I have never read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or the Hobbit for that matter. I have watched the movies –which I absolutely adore. To the LOTR purists, mea culpa, mea culpa. The books are definitely all on my list, I promise; still though, I hold a deep connection to the place that inspired Tolkien. Hogsback is a tiny, mountainous town in South Africa, as explained previously, that was the inspiration to J.R.R Tolkien in the writing of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. I have just returned a few days ago from four days in the enchanting setting, and the extraordinary healing and spurring of spirit I experienced there has brought me much insight and peace.
I set out a year ago with a mission to manifest my Self as an authentic human being, whole and radiant. In my last posts I acknowledged myself for how I've grown and what I have achieved, but now 2013 is no more, friends, and it is prime time now for us all to move into gear with purpose and vivacity for 2014. I am doubly excited! I have the pre- jitters of an amazing year bouncing around within me, and I have spent much of the end of last year and most of the beginning of this year building my mission for 2014 (and a little beyond). Also, I have spent much time is deep thinking, retrospection and reflection, and I feel have connected with my Truth and Spirit in many ways. In the ways I haven't, well, isn’t that what life is for?
Robin Sharma has in many ways influenced the way I approach my year planning and even my day to day activities. He has many plans and videos online, as well as guide books, put together specifically for each viewer or reader’s enrichment so that this may be their “best year yet”. I have been integrating many of his methods and have been feeling super keen to fly into 2014. I have planned for this year to be my best year yet, and in this post I am going to share with you all how I have come to my mission of 2014 and what it all means. I share this with you as an example and hopefully, inspiration for you to build your own course of action for this phenomenal new year ahead.
"Read. As much as you can. As deeply and widely and nourishingly and irritatingly as you can." - A.L Kennedy, author.
One of my new goals for this year is to read, and read, and read. I am quite chuffed that I have managed to make it through several books these holidays, many of them bringing me great support into my mission-building.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the book, or even the title, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. In the last weeks I decided to make my way through his son, Sean Covey’s version, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. My readers out of your teen years, please do not feel perturbed by the “Teen” part. I consider myself quite a mature reader; however, upon seeing the book in my school library, I decided that it would be suitable for me at this point in time as the book deals with less business-like and career issues and is more apt for my one-year-to-go-till-university-and-still-in-school status. The Habits are the same, just put into a different context, and with a little Sean Covey flair through great quotes, poems, interviews and examples. This is my matric year, folks, so as described by one of my really good friends, Anasofia, having recently graduated, “get ready for one last great effort”. The book was really holistic and didn’t just deal with just work or tasks, but also with relationships and self-improvement.
Such gems these Habits are!
For me, Habit 4 and 6 were the most powerful.
Habit 4, Think Win-Win, talked about relations with others as a way for you both to be uplifted. It dealt with Win-Lose attitudes and how that kind of approach to life only festers negativity and unhealthy competition. As said in The Teaching of Buddha, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” One should then also not aim for Lose-Win –we are not doormats! Win-Win means supporting others, but not being trampled on in the process. It means that we also give a hearty refusal to being coerced by the “Tumour Twins”, as put in the book , Competition and Comparison. We are our own special individuals, all in different stages of development. We must treasure ourselves for whom and where we are, and we must know that we are not alone. The fruits of Win-Win can only be picked with help from others.
Habit 6, Synergize, was particularly valuable for me, as it brought forward a thinking of “1+1=3”. So often are experiences and relations dulled because of excommunication, compromising in some way, or simply ‘tolerating’ other people and their ideas. Synergy means that it’s not my idea or your idea that we’re going to follow; it’s our idea that we combine together as intuitive individuals. It’s an idea that is better that just yours or mine. Synergizing means that we work with the strengths of other people and our own strength to create what? A Win-Win situation of course!
One part of this habit that really affected me was the part that asked, ‘Do you just tolerate others and their differences? Or do you celebrate them?’ Being able to synergize means that we work with each person’s unique perspective, but if we are simply tolerating all that is not on board with us, then how can we work productively for both parties? I took a step back and realized that I have been doing a lot of tolerating, instead of celebrating.
I quite like how Sean Covey put it. He pointed out that if everyone was to have the same understanding, the same ideas and the same way of looking at things, how dreadfully boring would the world be? "Differences create the challenges in life that open the door to discovery" Diversity and difference is something to be celebrated! And sure, it’s nice to be agreed with, but much more interesting agreeing can come about with the honouring of your synergy partner and their point of view. It was a really wonderful eye widener to some of my unconscious habits.
I really urge you all to read the book of either Stephen or Sean Covey, and also to check out The 7 Habits website of Stephen Covey. They are treasure troves for a fantastic year ahead.
The next book that I've been digging my teeth (and multicoloured pencils) into is this book right here on the left, The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent Wild Life by author and cartoonist, SARK.
This is my first proper introduction to SARK and her bold books, and each page has been a small handwritten journey for me in the truth and wonderfulness that SARK expresses.
I have become enraptured and inspired by what she describes as Succulence.
“A succulent wild woman is one who feels free to fully express herself in every dimension of her life.”
That is precisely what Succulence and living succulently means. It means living with the intent to radiate joy, creativity and Self through self-nourishment and care, being open with the people in our lives, and bodacious being with regards to our Calling and legacy in the world.
However, what is a succulent plant? How does it survive? It feeds itself from within.
This is where Exquisiteness and Incandescence come in. I have created this Succulence Star as a way of expressing this all.
The star in the middle represents Incandescence. Now what does Incandescence mean to me? Well firstly, incandescence means radiant, it means bright, it means luminosity; incandescence means magic and it means splendour. Incandescence manifests in my life in the gentleness I hold around my Self, in my times of silence and stillness and in the Divine Love held around me. Incandescence is the part of me that holds faith and eternal love for my Self and for every being in the universe –it is where my deep courage lies;
It is the part of me that is aglow with light.
Exquisiteness is the blue circle; it is the aura of Incandescence, yet it is still unique. Exquisiteness for me would be, as Robin Sharma puts it, “Living Outrageously”;
It means embodying my own exquisiteness through outrageous kindness, generosity and compassion, outrageous zeal and focus toward my last final year of school and my master-building in the rest of my life, and then being outrageously warm, fun and weird (yes, weird is a wonderfully good thing!). Being exquisite expresses the love and wonder within. But, what exquisite is not, is perfect. Exquisite doesn’t aim for perfect, and exquisite practises at not judging and pulverising for mistakes, blind spots and the occasional lost-ness that can hit us. I find myself making these grand plans and statements of ‘This year I am going to be completely (insert good quality)to every person I meet. This year I am going to be totally present and focused in every task I take on. This year I am going to be…’ However, I know that these kinds of statements are not sustainable and would just lead to bouts of ugly negativity and judging if I am anything less, by my high standards, than what I have set out to be. What I find so powerful about this is that Exquisiteness is gracious, dynamic, and it is also true.
“Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, colours, sounds and work that nourish your soul” What I find magnificent about the entire being of Succulence, Exquisiteness and Incandescence is that it is an authentic mission. Authenticity is real and true, and is growing constantly. As Thomas Huebl explains, every day we become better inspired versions of ourselves. The authentic state is one of motion.
Succulence, Exquisiteness and Incandescence.
Making my new mission statement each new year is so special for me. I find it just sets a wonderful context for the months to come, and it is a kind guide for me when I lose my direction a little. Part of my mission this year includes my beloved blog, Petite Dynamite. In the next few months there are going to be many changes and new definitions to who and what I am about. I hope you all thoroughly enjoy what is to come and I look forward to hearing the feedback!
So now that I have poured all my heart and soul out, I want to leave with you my final message.
Dearest readers, individuals, souls,
2014 is an adventure, and it is daring us to jump off the sheep-ship and have the audacity to be shockingly, shamelessly alive. Ask questions. Be unreasonably curious. Be weird –weird is interesting. Share your heart; Open your heart. Thank God, Allah, Yeshiva, the angels, the fairies and the gremlins, your bedroom ceiling every morning for who you are and what you have. Hold deep gratitude for the Earth. Spend time in nature, really, smell the roses. Give a hearty YES! Break the rules. What are the rules? Be silly, you’re never going to see these people ever again, and if you are, still be silly. Be enchanted by little nuggets of beauty, even your especially-white tooth paste. Nurture your soul daily.
Read. Read. Read. When did you last sing in the shower? When did you last dance around, or for that matter, moved your body? We are not meant to be static creatures. If you’re afraid, holding back, being aloof, kick yourself into doing it. Soar. Forget the clichés, because being an optimist is awesome. PAUSE. Take a deep breath. You are a star.
Watch Dead Poets Society. Again. Be seductively feminine. Wear lipstick –everywhere. Listen to your body, to others, to your Self. You are wise beyond your own understanding. Meditate. Blow people away with your presence. Be there in that moment. Do small things and big things with great love. Take a step back, zoom out, turn the volume button down. Everything is relative. Will this matter in a year, two years, five years? Laugh vigorously. Celebrate difference. Go the extra mile –be OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!! Give generously.
Aim for vitality. We deserve nothing less. Nothing less. Deep peace lies within us all.
Turn on the taps. The Universe is working in our favour. Hakuna Matata.
Know that you matter. Affirm this: I am a wonderful human being.
The world is waiting for us all to step into who we are supposed to be. Jump!
What a wonderful world...