Over the past year I've done a lot of internet surfing over various blogs and read or listened to a fair amount of content in the journey of connecting my dots. I find that the act of others sharing their stories and reaching out makes me feel connected in a way that I sometimes don't feel with those around me day to day.
One of the blogs / groups I found along the way is Life After Tampons. Now this is not an exact fit for my circumstances. I don't fit the age bracket (+50ish), I'm certainly not menopausal (although thank goodness due to an early hysterectomy my days of tampons are done!) and I haven't quite yet got to the empty nest stage (although in honesty neither has the author with a 13 year old son!).
However other parts fit. Trying to find my niche. Trying to reclaim my sass. Feeling cut off from who I am and trying to reconnect with her, the true Yvonne. So off I went on the journey. I read a couple of the blog posts. Enjoyed her writing and have since done 3 of the Sass Challenges which run every 3 months. Although I don't participate publically on the Facebook forum, just don't quite have the nerve yet, I do listen to the daily videos during the Sass Challenges and make notes for myself and reflect on it in my journalling.
I'm going to share a little bit of what I have done in the shortened December challenge which ends today. The theme for December is 'All that Glitters' - obviously with it being December and Christmas and glittery stuff. The message though goes much further than that.
Jennifer Boykin's daily videos vary between 2 to 5 minutes at most. They get you thinking. And they get you working. Some of the things to think about over the last 14 days have been the following :
- What glittering gift would you like to receive and what would you like to give.
- To understand that 'lipstick on a pig is still a pig with lipstick'. In other words understand that things don't always glitter but make a choice to see the beautiful. Choose to put your energy into your blessings.
- Try and pinpoint those times when you are glowing more than you usually do even though the circumstances around you are pretty much the same. Remember what made you glow and hold on to that.
- Look for beauty in every day. 'Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm'. Storms will always happen - you need to find the beauty in them.
- Friendships and what connects us. The ability of women to find joy in the simple things and bring hope and joy to those around us.
- Finding ways to stay disciplined and connected to your health - find something soulful to make you body beautiful
- Narrow your scope to bring joy. It is about the small things.
- Find rituals that bring structure to your life
- Remember that not everything glitters all the time and that is ok. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Don't put pressure on yourself to always 'glitter'. Carve out your own space.
- You have a choice on how you view your life. You get to choose your memories. Don't focus on the negatives all the time, look at the positives more.
- Take time to reflect on your accomplishments.
It is food for thought as I close off the year. It has been a hard year full of ups and downs and ugly moments but I can choose to focus on those or I can dig deep and look for the good and rather set my intentions on focusing there.
A quick share :
One really beneficial thing I have learnt through the 3 Sass Challenges is a trick for meditation. I have tried to meditate but simply cannot quiet my mind enough to do it properly. The solution has been to collect sounds. Sit quietly. Take in a few deep breaths. And then listen for 10 distinct different sounds. It is not as easy as you think but it does clear your mind as you sit quietly and listen. And it reconnects you with that around you. I try and do it a few times a day - just to regroup and refocus. Helps soothe my mind.
So I will continue with my Sassy Journey. One day at a time. We can learn from all kinds of people at all stages of their lives - we just need to open our hearts and souls to the lessons.