September is nearly here! But before we can step into early fall, we have to let go of August. I can’t think of a better way to end a month than checking in with Carolyn and everyone’s One Little Word.
I’ve used this year to practice slowing down and cultivate stillness in my life. I want to learn to let go of the feeling of needing to do all.the.things. I’ve found a lot of ways to integrate more stillness into my everyday, but I continue to get sucked into the constant need to produce. Of course, it’s all tied into my self worth, which I’m working on, and I’m happy to have another four months to sit with these thoughts.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I’ve listened to Emily P. Freeman’s State of the Podcast three times (and counting, I’m sure). In that episode she models how she’s reflecting on the state of her podcast – what she finds life-giving, life-draining, the questions she’s holding, and the arrows she’s following. I’m not good at this sort of reflection, but I thought this post would be a good opportunity to practice, given that sometimes this blog can be a barrier to honoring my desire to find stillness. So, let’s give it a shot?
✔️ Connection with other readers and knitters. I finally feel comfortable identifying as a capital-r-Reader. I think I’ve always been a Reader but have doubted my ability to read well. Thanks to this blog and the wonderful other Readers I’ve connected with, I feel much more confident owning that identity! My version of reading well is different than the next Reader’s, and that’s the beauty of the world of books! Same with knitting — I’ve been knitting for nearly 20 years and was always bashful about my skills. Of course, my knitting ebbs and flows, but I still feel like I can pick up a pattern and figure almost anything out. My ability hasn’t changed in the last few years, but my confidence surely has.
✔️ This is an outlet for some of the thoughts swirling in my head and gathering outside perspective from people I’ve learned to trust is invaluable. These Word of the Year posts are a perfect example. I know that no matter how discouraged I am, I’m going to get an inbox full of encouragement and gentle nudges in a positive direction. So thank you.
✔️ I’ve had an opportunity to set goals, measure my progress, and look towards the future. Again – posts like these keep these practices in the forefront, ensures that I think critically about how to integrate these new ideas into my life, and gives me opportunities for growth and reflection.
➖ I almost always feel like I’m behind. Behind either with checking in on other bloggers, responding to comments, or writing my own posts. I’ve addressed this by giving myself a loose framework to fall back on: 1) I have no expectation to post more than 3x a week; and 2) my commenting “priority” is on other people’s blogs: I focus on reading/commenting elsewhere before I try to respond to my own comments. Those two guidelines have helped a lot!
➖ I feel really guilty when I’m just laying on the couch and watching TV because I think I should either be reading, knitting, or doing something “worthy” of blogging about. I’m trying to remember that relaxation is an important part of finding stillness.
➖ I’m not sure this blog has helped my feelings of wanting to do all.the.things. I often get stuck in the cycle of doing, doing, doing. And I see all of the beautiful things my friends are creating and the incredible books that you’re all reading and I want to be right in the middle of all of it. I can’t quite shake that.
Questions I’m Holding
⍰ What is my goal here? My blog has changed several times over the years and the purpose has morphed along with those changes. The most recent iteration (The Cozy Burrow) was created to make room for more of my life, not just reading. The problem is that I’m not comfortable sharing a lot within the posts and pages of this blog (see the question listed below).
⍰ Who is reading this? I’m a very private person and am careful about what I put into the world. Perhaps writing a blog with my name as the web address isn’t the best strategy for protecting my privacy in ways that I’m comfortable? The words I share here represent a very narrow window into my life — and I’m not comfortable sharing much more despite wanting to dig into so many other things.
Arrows are hard to define because they’re subtle nudges found within. The questions I keep turning over are: What do I want? Where do I feel pulled? The problem is that I can’t possibly go in all of the directions I feel pulled – so what’s the most important?
📚 I want to read.
⌨️ I want more time with my keyboard
🧘🏻♀️ I want to spend time exercising.
🎧 Time with podcasts and bookish communities.
🧶 Time with my knitting needles
The list could go on and on, but it feels like 5 is a good place to start. I think these are the five places I’ll be concentrating on over the next few months and see how this blog can morph with those arrows. It will probably mean fewer than 3 posts a week for a while and that’s okay – more isn’t always better!
Other Stillness Goals
I’ve continued my daily meditation practice in August and managed at least one session every day. I pushed pause on the daily yoga because of some issues with my hip and plantar fasciitis, but I’m planning to work it back into my daily routine in September. More meditation and yoga were two of my goals this year and I’m happy that they’ve stayed in the forefront as we’ve moved through the year. Here’s to September and seeing this mission through to the end of 2021!
I can’t wait to catch up with all of you this month. I hope to be back on Wednesday with a few good books and maybe some knitting progress. Until then – take good care!