The time of the year (Matariki) calls for reflection and time away to recover, recharge and fine tune our approach.. we've become aware that there’s a way things look and there’s way things are - who cares what it looks like on the outside to other people, because we know what we’re up to and what we’re not up to; let them go about their judgementy 'too-busy-with-their-own-goals-to-comment-on-what-we're-doing' business while we knuckle down on doing what we need to take care of ourselves. Ka pai? Cool, let's carry on.
The recovery process can be similar to renovating a house. We make the time, make the plans, take out features we don’t like or want to change, expand certain areas and minimise or eliminate others, get new furniture, paint the walls etc. you're starting to picture it aren't you, your ideal house or home? While you're doing that, shift your focus and reel it in a little bit, bring it in close.. what about you? What does your ideal self look like? When we visualise our dream or ideal self (or anything for that matter), it looks so glorious and wonderful. Whether it be the physique, the happiness, the connection, the job, the house, the car, the tropical destination or whatever.. it's hard not to admit how it fills us up with good feels inside. You're welcome.
What we often don’t visualise is the flip side to the renovation and rebuilding process, let’s consider it with the house metaphor; there’s the frustration when things don’t go according to plan, when we're waaaay over budget, when the colours we chose for the walls don’t turn out how we expected.. Just think of how much all of that would get minimised or even eliminated if we would take the time and the patience to try out a few different styles until we find exactly what we want for our dream home.
There is no difference when it comes to rebuilding ourselves; who we are, what we’re about, what we want to do.
None at all! We can take a look at our life plans; make modifications here and there, experiment with a few options (job, relationships, lifestyle choices) until we find the best fit. Ha, yeah right. What a dream... instead, there’s so much (unnecessary) importance and perceived value about figuring it out yesterday, as if we should know straight from the womb what our divine destiny and path should be. We’re told that we can be and do whoever and whatever we want (which is true) but people miss out the flip side to it all - it takes work, dedication and it is a process (big surprise, bet you didn't see that coming).
Let’s take it way back to Hawaiki (homeland) a couple hundred years ago. Before my tupuna (ancestors) departed Hawaiki for Aotearoa, there were processes to be carried out and followed in order to make the journey a success. Karakia (incantations) to select, fell and prepare the trees before they were carved into their final shape as waka ananaua (double hull canoe). Members of the tribe were then strategically selected in terms of whakapapa (lineage, genealogy), skill and ability and probably a couple more for good measure. Once the necessary processes were carried out and the waka entered into the realm of Tangaroa (god of the sea), incidents occurred along the way which meant some members who departed Hawaiki did not arrive in Aotearoa. Then once in Aotearoa, dynamics shifted, tribe members separated and moved on to others areas and they constantly rebuilt themselves based on their set kawa (protocols), values and mission. This is evidence that the process of stripping away of old habits, behaviours and people, time to recover and reflect then to rebuild - the renovation process - is a continuous one.
Just because we start with a a big slab of wood doesn’t mean we can’t chip away and reveal what’s on the inside. Like the kaiwhakairo (carvers) who fashion the beautiful, powerful wooden figures of our tupuna to adorn the wharenui (traditional meeting house) on the marae (courtyard); we are the carvers/designers/architects of our own lives.
But where, and how do we start?
There’s so much conflicting information and knowledge out there about the right way to do things, from diet to lifestyle to how to raise kids to education and everything in between. It can be a bit daunting.
Because since we can do anything we want, the paradox of choice comes into effect i.e. there are so many options to choose from that we don’t make any decision! Or we regret the decisions we made because we compare it to the fantasy of the decisions we could have made, or the reality of what we’ve chosen doesn’t quite meet our expectations.. any of this sound familiar?
One piece of advice, make a frikn choice. Any one will do. We can adjust and critique as we go. The flip side to making a choice is that we have to take responsibility for the consequences, yup breaking news.... but equally as important, we can change our minds!!! We can make another different decision if we don’t like where we are, who we are or what we’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s validity in committing to something and seeing it through, but there is equal validity in making a different choice or making changes if our environment and our circumstances are doing more harm than good (physically, psychologically, spiritually - every way) or not in line with our values and mission.
As you recover, take the time to be flexible and allow yourself room to 'make mistakes' or to experiment with options and don't get too attached to them because they may not be the best fit. But make the decision. It's not a risk if you trust that what is meant for you will never miss you and if you trust in the timing of the universe. Things are gonna be the way they’re gonna be because of us and in spite of us, so you may as well build the confidence to make a decision*, and on the flip side if it doesn't work out how you expected it to - you can always change your mind.
Kia ora rawa atu,
*In a way that will work for you, how will you know? Experimeeeeeent..... or bounce ideas off someone, I'm always here too.