Friday, 24 January 2014

My Year of Writing

This year is definitely my year of writing!  I've started a year long writing course with Angela Deutschmann called 'Writing as a Spiritual Practice ' and the scholar in me is just so excited. We received our first set of notes along with our reading and writing assignment on the same day that my kids went back to school for the new year and so I feel like I too am embarking on a new school year myself.  Only this time I'm learning about something that excites and thrills me and is purely my choice.  How divine!  My daughters are green with envy!

English was never my strong subject at school, having Dutch parents who never formally learn't English grammar and who didn't read a lot of English literature.  We also had a very stern and critical English teacher and so I always felt that I was not particularly good at English, especially grammar.  Poetry also used to make me really nervous as I didn't always 'get' what the poem was about and what message the poet was trying to convey, but looking back now, I see that a lot of it also had to do with maturity and life experience.  I was rather sheltered growing up as an only child and very involved in competitive swimming and so my world was just so different from what I was reading about and I battled to relate to it, the language used and the message conveyed.

Today, some twenty to thirty years later, with a lot more life experience, I read poems through very different eyes and am pleased to say I no longer find poetry so daunting.  Even putting across my opinion about a book or essay certainly feels comfortable because again I'm not trying to sound intellectual or pretend that I really know what's going on.  Thank God!  That I also think comes from being more comfortable in your own skin and just loving who you are!  

So here I am, a week into my writing course and I am just loving it! I have written a bit, watched a very interesting talk on writing and have read up excerpts from a recommended book, and my heart is singing, as my friend Anne says.  Where it will take me, I don't know; I just know that I'm feeling happy and joyful!

I came across this quote and loved it ...

"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose." — Ludwig van Beethoven

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Unraveling 2014

Hello hello!  And hello 2014!!  I am so excited to be writing on my blog again after a lovely long summer holiday!  The kids are back at school and this week we are back into our termly routines of school and extra murals which was all a bit of a rude awakening after such a lovely, lazy holiday.  In fact, I was actually quite nervous to get back into the fast paced action, but at least we eased into it with a three-day school week last week.

So, here we are three weeks into January and I have managed to complete Susannah Conway's Unraveling 2014.  I really enjoyed doing it and as I have said before it is highly recommended as it is a great way to reflect on the year passed and to put some thought and energy into the kind of year you would like to have.  Obviously this doesn't mean you are in full control of everything that happens in our year, but it gives us something to steer by and work with.

In the worksheet, you choose a word that becomes your word for the year and for me it was uncanny how that played out for me in 2013 and for my group of circle women who also did the unraveling.  At the end of 2012 I did it over two separate sessions and initially came up with the word 'create' which felt really good.  However by the next day, I just knew it was wrong!  And what came to mind was 'just be' which I couldn't really fathom why.  Well two weeks later my dad went into hospital for a procedure and ended up dying 5 months later in hospital and all I could do through all of those months was exactly that; 'just be.'  Only in the last three months of the year did I manage to get down and start creating! So it was amazing for me how that just panned out; two words and both had their place.

This year, my word is BRAVE.  It started out in December with a friend putting together a CD for me and I heard Sara Bareilles' song Brave for the first time and I just loved it. Then when I started playing with what my word for 2014 would be, I came up with 'truth.' I felt like I really and truly wanted to stand fully in my truth. Then I realized, in order to do that wholeheartedly, I need to be brave! And so here I am at the start of 2014 with my new word, BRAVE.  I have to say that It does make me rather nervous for what it will require of me, and for what lies in store, especially after the year we have just had.  But that's what felt right so we'll have to just let it unfold and see!

One of the exercises on the worksheet is to play around with words and images for 2014 and I decided to do a vision board for it.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing it and just love it!.  

 Any ideas for what your word for 2014 is? If you have the chance and it appeals to you, try the unraveling worksheet.  I think it is really powerful. You can find the link here ...  Lets make some magic in 2014

So as a little treat for 2014, here is the song Brave for you. Enjoy