Unbelievably, the end of the year approaches. A time when most of us come up with New Year resolutions for the year to come. A time to reflect on how 2018 has been.
Whew. 2018 has been massive for me. It’s hard to know where to start.
I’ve been trying to get a life.
That sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Its the kind of thing teenagers say to their parents: “Oh get a life, Mom!”
In the wake of my empty nest, that’s what I’m trying to do.
Get a life. A real life.
It’s time to stop messing around, wasting time.
It really is time to live.
Time to live the life I want.
Not someone else’s life.
My call to adventure, my nudge comes from a Year 7 Numerology reading. An email in December last year prompts me to think about the numbers for the year ahead. I quite like doing this at the end of each year, because it can help frame what the next year may bring. I can help to think about what I want for my life.
I work out my numbers for 2018.
2018 is a 7 year for me.
I’m eager to read what the year holds for me.
I search the internet for a numerology site.
A summary tells me that the 7 year is an ‘inner voyage’, a year of learning.
The 7 energy is one of privacy, solitude, and quietness. It seeks answers to its steady stream of questions about itself and life. It is seeking truth, wisdom, dignity, fulfilment, and perfection. […] 7 emphasises introspection, emotion, analysis, intuition, reflection, seclusion, research, and faith. This is meant to be a quieter, “inner” year in which you can learn the answers to your most burning and often avoided questions. [Source: THE 7 YEAR CYCLE: Christine DeLorey]
I am gobsmacked and excited. I love learning! Yippee!
I read on.
Each word, each sentence seemed like a message specifically for me and my circumstances for 2018.
I read that a 7 Year has a focus on these elements:
- Feeling lost, empty and lonely
- Slowing down
- Reducing overwhelm
- Analysis and Reflection
- Growing and outgrowing and letting go
It all seems a bit inward and there are parts that I’m not keen to explore. But this turns out to be my starting point on my quest, to rediscover who I am and figure out who I want to be going forward. You know, as in a long search for something that is difficult to find, or an attempt to achieve something difficult.
All definitions work in this scenario!
Fast forward to today
Overall, the 7 Year certainly has been everything “it said on the tin”, to borrow a phrase from an ad.
“Being lost may be the only way to find out who you are – which is exactly where you are meant to be.”
Yes! Lost, alone and lonely.
Yet in amongst this uncertainty, I have this strange trust that everything will turn out OK.
I know this because I recently explored re-framing my past. By doing this exercise, I discovered that I am courageous (in an everyday sense). I know that if I trust and have faith all will be fine because it has been before. I’ve never had much of a plan in the past, and yet it has all worked out. Maybe not as I expected, but fine all the same.
I’ve decided to believe that the Universe is with me, rather against me. I am so grateful for that. It feels less lonely and less like I’m wandering around in the dark, foreboding wilderness. Although I cannot see a clear path, I am surrounded by light, positive energy and illumination. I am guided.
As I write this, I am amazed. Are these words really flowing from my hand?
There is a sense of centeredness and grounding in my body – no tension in my tummy or racing heartbeat. That is incredible.
“I am aware that I am centred.”
In my world, that is a seismic shift.
A shift I have been wanting to happen for so long.
Where’s the angst, the anxiety, the detailed planning, the need for certainty and control?
I cannot feel it.
There. Is. None.
All I see on the horizon is lightness, freedom and possibility.
Not everything is rosy though
That is not to say that I don’t have days that are terrible.
Like I had this morning. And yesterday.
To paraphrase Julia Cameron, my feelings which have been frozen inside me for so many decades, are now melting, thawing and overflowing their container (which is me) at an alarming rate.
I feel volatile and changeable.
The tears and overwhelm come easily.
I feel an empty space in my life, an intense loneliness.
So that’s two aspects that the 7 Year forecast has right: faith and feeling lost.
I’m reminded that Mihaly Csikszenthmihalyi says “how we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences. Where we are happy depends on inner harmony, not the control we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe.”
Inner harmony, not control. It sounds so easy doesn’t it, when its written in a sentence like that?
But it doesn’t come easily. This year has been about my struggle for inner harmony and re-connection to myself. And freeing myself.
From my stories
From people pleasing
From hiding and lack of self-worth
Research and gaining knowledge
This has been a big part of my year. Earlier in the year when I was reading the bits about the year 7 energies for researching who I am, I decided in the back of my mind that this year would be a mini-research project; a research project to find out who I am and to document my spiritual awakening, or what Brene Brown calls an “unravelling journey”.
I had the time, my nest was empty, I was living alone with few responsibilities, so why not?
In conversation with Oprah Winfrey on SuperSoul Sunday, Liz Gilbert talks about quests saying that we cannot all go on major quests to find ourselves as she did, but we can still undertake quests that align with our own lives and situations. She reminds us that every quest starts with a question.
I needed questions for my quest. Right?
I came up with these for my quest:
- Who do I want to be? Who is the real Debbie? The one without the masks and personas.
- How do I want to be? How do I want to show up in the world? How do I act, respond, live on a day to day basis?
- What do I want for myself as Debbie? What do I want my life to look like?
- What don’t I need any more? What do I need to get rid of from my life – physically, mentally and emotionally in order to move forward? What is holding me back?
My Morning Pages have documented every single step of this quest. They have helped me to slow down, to be patient with myself, the process and be in the present moment.
I’ll end there for now. There is much more to this story!
What do I outgrow? What do I let go of?
Keen to know? Read more in Part Two!