December is the month I do a lot of taking stock, even when life is going well for me. A few years ago, I found this book called The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte. Now, this lady can be a little woo-woo, sure. But, I like the process she lays out for end of year reflection and planning ahead to the new year. It’s clean and follows a really helpful step-by-step pattern. I’m a very scattered, right-brain kind of person and can get mired in details and easily derailed when it comes to this sort of deep reflection, so it’s nice to have a guide to lead me through it.
That being said, I ordered LaPorte’s planner this year, and it came with three workbooks. The first is called, Free & Clear. I did part one of this workbook two weeks ago and had some pretty profound take-aways.
Here are a few excerpts from my journal from that day:
I believe that over the years we have been married, I’ve lost myself. It seems crazy and impossible with as much writing and introspection as I do, but I think, like many women, I am a chameleon. That’s not Mr. D’s fault. And I am not sure why I change to fit my surroundings – other than low self-esteem and a deep need to be not only accepted, but celebrated for being acceptable (or more than). As a chameleon, I even turn my own brain colors – believing wholeheartedly that what I think I should want IS what I want.
I am stuck. When I look back at my calendar, how little I actually did…it’s all very routine…checklists…practices…meetings…it’s not wonder I am bored and burnt out. Not much gave me real joy. In fact, the good things I did (yoga, writing, reading, camping) were all (in my mind) escapes from my life, marriage, career…Always feeling the need to escape my life is obviously not a good thing. But, what needs to change? And how do I change it?
Today, in part two of the workbook, the focus was on considering what’s not working in my life and in the world (not figuring out how to fix it, mind you…just figuring out what’s wrong and listing it).
So I did. My marriage and sexuality topped the list in the first column, along with not having enough fun, being unhappy with my weight, and feeling disappointed with my house/yard and all the work that goes with it. Politics, homelessness, and education topped my list in the second column.
The final stage of this step was to answer this question: What are you tired of feeling and what makes you feel that way. Here’s what I wrote:
- overwhelmed: by housework and responsibilities
- bored: because I don’t have enough fun in my life…or adventure…or “new”
- resentful: because Mr. D puts so much of the shittiness of our marriage on my head
- guilty: because our crappy sex life is more my fault than his, supposedly…and because I don’t write enough…I’m inconsistent in every area of my life…so up and down
- frustrated: because I have no control over his depression, lack of motivation, or negative attitude
- inferior: because I get imposter syndrome with my writing
At this point, the workbook asks me to pause…to sit with this for a few days and have start a goodbye conversation with all of it.
The section closes with this:
I’m getting ready to let you go. Thanks for teaching me a few things. I’m not sure how I’m going to fix this, but I’ve opened myself up for answers. Prepare for transformation.
Love and Clarity,