"Simplicity is complexity resolved." ~Constantin Brancusi
Ah sweet summertime. . . another school year is complete and the pace of life slows dramatically. It's the savasana (corpse pose) of my year where I can gratefully let go of the effort of living: juggling work, teaching classes, school projects, and extracurricular activities. This is when I settle into the delicious sweetness of being for a couple of months. One of the benefits of being self-employed is that I get to structure and plan my life in a way that allows for this kind of space to recalibrate and restore. I use this time to nourish my body with more rest and lighter foods (lots of watermelon!), stimulate my mind with books that I specifically save for these longer days (stay tuned for my summer reading list) and ignite my soul with plenty of time to daydream and listen for what inspirations are seeking my attention.
More than any other season in my life, summer is dedicated to savoring simplicity and ease above all else.
Also, as this month marks the mid-year point, it is the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on where the first half of the year has brought me and to consider my next steps. I project my vision to December 2018 and choose NOW how I will conclude the calendar year. How do I want to feel as this year ends? What am I most proud of? Who have I become? That positive projection helps me discern my next right steps and keeps me on track with fulfilling my intention to stay aligned with my greater mission for being alive. I don't concern myself so much anymore with "how" things will unfold, instead I anchor my commitment to my "why" and trust that the details will fall into place as I continue to show up and stay curious.
I've collected a few gems that I have discovered this year so far that I'll share as my "Mid-Year Manifesto." Here's what's been important in my journey in the first half of 2018:
*Simplicity reigns supreme. As this post is themed, simplifying has been an overarching theme in my personal life. It's an art to be able to refine and define your life based on a few core values and then create something beautiful as a result. My new mantra: subtract to find the solution. Less really is more. Unless it involves watermelon.
*Despite evidence to the contrary, if it doesn't feel right it's probably not. Don't wait for full blown red flags. Pay attention to the yellow lights and stop before you override your intuitive hunches. Science has proven that you actually have a gut-brain that can signal the central nervous system--use it wisely.
*When in doubt, zoom out. Make a regular practice of widening your perspective. Wherever you are right now, imagine you could look at yourself from high above and at a distance. What do you notice about yourself and your life from this place? How do your problems look? What couldn't you see that you now recognize? How can you use this information to serve you? Broadening the lens through which we perceive helps us identify what's most important and let go of the rest. Which leads me to my next revelation:
*It's okay not to care so much about everything/everyone. This has been such a liberating gift for me this year. As an empath, it's incredibly challenging to turn down the volume on feeling so much. Learning to create healthy boundaries is one of the biggest lessons for the thin-skinned. I recently read the book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@ck and my big take away was this: Give less fucks. Be much more selective about the fucks you give. In the end, was it worth giving a fuck about? The thread of simplicity weaves right through here and the law of subtraction must be applied for best results.
*Tell the truth without blame or judgment. I am learning that real truth telling takes time and patient persistence. It's not for the faint of heart--it's for the courageous ones who aren't willing to settle for less than their very best. Start by telling yourself the truth. Say it out loud. "My deepest truth right now about ______________is __________________." Notice how it feels. Is it scary, exhilarating, shameful, empowering? If you're willing to take it a step further, try sharing your truth with someone you can trust. If, like me, one of your greatest values is freedom--you must be willing to tell the truth.
*Take the leap. Do the scary thing that you know clearly in your heart you are called to do next. Yes the fear and doubt are there but deep down you know it's right. Ask yourself: will I be sorry that I didn't take my chance? If not now, when? Just do it.
*Cherish the people in your life that feel easy like summer to be with. Your people, your tribe, your allies. They are one of life's greatest treasures and without their love and support you wouldn't be who you are. These are the people that only want to see you truly happy and living in joy. This kind of love is the ultimate simplicity--grace embodied.
What beautiful gems or challenging wisdom has the year offered you so far? Write them down. Share them with someone. What do you want to have a bigger experience of in the next 6 months? What is your positive projection for the conclusion of the year? Send it out with clarity and knowing that everything is unfolding perfectly. Then just relax, let go of the hustle and let the summer be savored.
What My Clients Are Saying:
"I know that “life changing” is a bit over used but it best describes how I feel about what Jenny Clarke offers with "The Courage to Create" course. She uses the metaphor of the labyrinth. A twisted turning path with hidden chambers that takes you to the center and then back out again with new insights. I took the private version of this program. The weekly lessons took me to the core of who I am. Along the way looking into some long closed chambers where we cleared out a few ghosts and discovered some buried gems. At the end of the course I emerged forever changed with a new understanding and appreciation of who I am. You can not get lost in a labyrinth as long as you keep moving forward. The journey begins when you take the first step. I highly recommend that you take the first step and sign up for the Courage to Create!" ~L.H.
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