Adventures with Astrid – January

In December I began my Adventure with Astrid, in my attempt to change my haphazard ways and become a more organised person for 2015. The reasons for this were to get my life in order and to make things happen that require some kind of long-term planning. The first step I took was to buy myself a gorgeous planner, who I named Astrid. In my planner I have sections for everything. Addresses (I’m always losing my address book) diary, goals and dreams, to-do list, and notes from books I’m reading and ideas I have.

Astrid has stayed faithfully by my side since I bought her, and since the beginning of the year, I have been filling her up every day with things I want to do, but I also have used her to form some daily habits that I have wanted to have, but never got round to creating.

Some things have been blanked out to protect the innocent. Hehe

Some things have been blanked out to protect the innocent. Hehe

Having Astrid by my side has helped me to take part in a 30 Day Blogging Challenge, of which I have done every day for the last 19 days on my author blog, and I have also begun a new blog on my business website, all about Indie Publishing, and I am on day 4 there.

I have started the habit of meditating daily, going for a walk every day, reading a book every week, reading through my Love List every other day and writing one thing I am grateful for every day.

My Sunday walk in the woods

My Sunday walk in the woods

In terms of long-term plans, however, that still hasn’t really happened. I had a session with the Time Doctor, Mike Gardner, and he helped me to realise that I am a creative person, and not a linear-thinking, organised person. So perhaps instead of trying to become linear – I should come up with creative solutions to my problems.

Part of me still very much wants to just go with the flow, and just see what happens along the way. But another part of me really wants to break the cycle of not moving forward in certain areas of my life. I think if things were good financially, then I would feel more justified in going with the flow, because I could afford to. Which might not make a scrap of sense, but it seems to make sense to me.

Anyway, my plan now, is to create creative solutions for the areas of my life I’m not happy with. I think the solutions need to be very visual, colourful, fun and maybe even a bit silly. But I’m not sure yet what they looks like or where they’ll come from.

What I have realised, is that having a structured routine might just not be the right way forward for me. So although I have daily ‘action’ lists, I don’t stick to rigidly to doing each thing at the same time each day, as long as I can tick it off the list by the end of the day, when it happened doesn’t matter. Though I have been trying to fit my walk in before dark!

I consider my adventure to be successful so far, as I feel quite calm and peaceful, which I think is down to the meditation. In all the years I have been reading spiritual self-help books, I have never had the daily practice of meditation. But I can see now, finally, why so many people swear by it! It creates a space in your head, it makes room for growth, for new ideas, for love to envelop you. In fact, I think I may sign off now to meditate for a while.

How are your New Year plans coming along?

Permission to be Myself

I was inspired to write today’s blog post after having a great Skype session with Mike Gardner, aka The Time Doctor. We met on Facebook through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge group, and he suggested we have a session to see if he could assist me with my time management problems.

Well how many ‘aha’ moments can you fit into an hour and twenty-minute conversation? Quite a few apparently. The first thing to come up, was that based on the way I speak, the terms I use to describe things and my chosen vocation, Mike identified that I am very right-brained, and very creative. Which means that I simply don’t think the same way that left-brained, logical, structured people do.

AND THAT IS OKAY.

It’s who I am, it’s how I think, it’s how I work. It’s not defective, it’s not wrong, it’s not awful. So why do I keep beating myself up over it? My family members are all very creative people. My dad is a photographer, a musician, an artist and a craftsman. My mother is a quilter, patchworker and craftswoman. My sister is an artist, musician and graphic designer and my brother is a musician and handyman. It would be downright odd if I were left-brained, to be honest, coming from the background that I do. At home, we didn’t really do routine or structure, aside from school and work. We were encouraged to be creative, to do our own thing, to be original.

We weren’t encouraged to be practical, to save money, to be disciplined and stick at things we hated. (In fact my dad did work in a very corporate background, and he did stick to it, but seeing how miserable he was doing it, put me off that kind of life completely).

I realised after my session with Mike that I had created this link in my mind, that the reason I was in a bad position financially, was due to my haphazard (creative) ways, and so if I was to solve the financial issues, I would need to become more organised, more structured, and more left-brained in order to solve those problems. Because being creative = being poor. And this isn’t unusual thinking. After all, the ‘starving artist’ concept is so strong in our society, that when artists, musicians or writers do make a lot of money, it’s a big deal, because it’s seen as being so out of the ordinary.

I could go on about this all day, but the point is, I have now unlinked those concepts in my mind. Because I don’t choose to live in a world where to be wealthy you have to be left-brained. I choose to live in a world where if you are living a life full of passion, love and service, you get to be wealthy. If working in a highly logical, structured way is your passion, then you should be wealthy. If working in a creative, authentic and unstructured way is your passion, then you should be wealthy.

The reason that I have tried so many times to implement structure in the hopes it will help me sort my finances, and yet have always failed with it, is because I was trying to be someone I was not. I need to play to my strengths – which is to be creative – and use that ability to sort it out. And in allowing myself to come up with creative ways to solve my financial problems, I have already had several awesome ideas, that not only will help me, but will also help others who have similar issues.

Wow. The above is just talking about a single ‘aha’ moment I had in my session with Mike. If I wrote about them all, it would be a ridiculously long post. Because suddenly, I have been given permission to be myself. And I cannot believe it has taken me this long, or that I needed someone else to give it to me, but at least from this moment on, I will no longer strive to be someone I am not. I will strive to be me.

I went into my session with Mike expecting him to give me some strategies on how to be more efficient with my time, and yet I came away with something far more valuable and awesome. I would recommend checking out Mike’s blog, where there is a wealth of information. Or get in touch with him to arrange a session. In the meantime, just in case you need it – I hereby give you permission to be 100% yourself. Because you are awesome 🙂

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PS. I just Googled ‘Be Yourself Quotes’ and looked at the images to find an image for this post. I loved the one above because I love Richard Bach’s work, but there were so many great quotes, check them out for yourself 🙂