Every year for who knows how long, I’ve randomly selected myself a word for the year from a bag of clouds in lieu of New Year resolutions. Eventually, I got greedy and had two words: one I randomly selected AND one I chose. It may be called hedging my bets. (For those interested, I have described the process here.) Some years, I remember these words for about three months and then forget them but other years they stick and create a kind of framework for intentions or reflections on life. After a run of tough years where hard words like courage and resilience and tenacity just gave me the tom-tits, I removed them as choices from the bag. Or so I thought!
So, I was a bit pinged off on the 31st December 2022 when I drew out discipline. I was hoping for ease or wellness or boundless energy under whatever circumstances with no vertigo or illness*. And if the dear universe didn’t select it for me, I was going to choose SPACIOUSNESS/ PRESENCE but what did I get? Discipline.
On reflection, I have grown to rather appreciate the word discipline. It occurred to me that to create the spaciousness I crave, I would need to be disciplined. I want that spaciousness to be in the form of more regular unstructured times without a lot of scheduled plans. A bit like Thich Nat Han’s LAZY DAYS! And being present, staying in the present moment, requires discipline! It takes discipline to simply be sometimes. Discipline to overcome my default pattern of DOING.
I already do some things that will help to create spaciousness. Things that last year seemed hard to do so I could cross them off my list, seem easier this year. In fact, now I look forward to some of those things because they make spaciousness and presence more attainable. Same activities, new mindset.
One delightful January discipline is to carve one small (5cm x 5cm) lino-cut per day for 30 days. Loving this. I’ve included a few photos of what I have done so far. Some have already been transformed into polymer earrings. Of course!
*All unlikely since they weren’t in the bag! And a great podcast about Lazy Days is here.