A year since I quit working with my husband’s company. A year since I earned a salary. Over a year since the onset of the midlife crisis. Yikes! Where has it led me, this beautiful journey of mine?
Ruminating in the shower (as you do), mind whirling and thoughts racing faster than Michael Schumacher, I was planning my day but kept being drawn back to two questions I noticed on Twitter last night:
I didn’t answer them last night, but they lingered on into my shower this morning and I realised they were the same question. And my answer was the same for both : I would be/I am stepping up and stepping in.
For this is my experience of my beautiful life. And this last year has seen it all come together, despite the fear and the tantrums, the insecurity and the money worries, the scorn and the – well, just not knowing… not knowing what it was, why it was, what I was actually doing and ultimately not knowing who I truly am.
This is a rather long post, so if you’re not that bothered about the minutiae of my life, then please skip to the bottom to get to the point and see a wee video from me…
How much stuff do you know? How much have you learned? How much of it do you want to put in practice? And how much have you still to do? These are just ten of the small ways I’ve stepped up during this last year;
- I finally discovered a regular, juicy commitment to yoga more than 13 years after I first decided I would.
- My gorgeously clever husband has been banging on about green drinks since I met him nearly 9 years ago. It took us until last year to try out a powdered version, and finally just this last month, I made the commitment to juicing our own fresh green juice 5 mornings out of 7.
- I threw out our microwave! I know, I’d tell anyone who listened that microwaves were evil, but here’s a secret – we were still using ours to heat up our soya milk for our cafe lattes! Not anymore …
- I started to make that delicious husband of mine his own home made organic facial oil, in addition to my own.
- Our household cleaning is now managed only with the use of bicarbonate of soda, soda crystals, water, essential oil and lemon juice – and as proven this week, a plunger! No sneaky drain unblocking chemicals or otherwise.
- I committed to sticking to a budget for our organic and eco friendly groceries – only 22 years since I started running a household later …
- I sold my car and turned us into a one car household.
- I refused some great house swapping opportunities on the basis that we would need to fly there and back.
- I helped arrange for my home educated son to go back to school, even though I didn’t want him to – and then arranged for him to be released back out when he’d decided he was a home edder after all (despite all the money spent on uniforms and what not)!
- I make all of my own personal care products or use only natural and edible products – even giving up on the hair styling products, no easy task when you’ve a tendency to frizz one day and go lank the next!
Jen – these small things are part of how I serve.
Gosh – understanding self was the business I was in for 5 years, but it really took for me to quit that business to take the time and rediscover my true self. Who I really was, and not who I had learned to be … here’s just ten small ways I’ve stepped into me;
- I went to a weekend workshop where women talked about femininity and goddesses, astrology and body journaling and I revisited my child self.
- I learned how to crochet and started to make things just for the beauty of them.
- The full moon, new moon and even ordinary days find me creating dreamboards.
- Breaking the habit of years – of started but never finished journals – I committed to daily journaling sessions.
- I took an online class to seek out and become conscious of everyday treasure.My words formed into poetry for the first time since high school and I started this blog to share some of my creative thoughts with the world.
- I started moving my body in a gentle way (I’ll never run again!) and am learning how to go about understanding its significant but subtle messages.
- I stopped blushing and denying any talent when complimented on my photography and when two photographs were published, decided to learn more about it and develop this interest/love, despite not owning a big girl camera.
- I took an idea I’d had about veg boxes for many years and turned it out into the world even before it or me is ready.
- I’ve refused paid work that I just haven’t been interested in, despite feeling the financial pressure of only one earner in the house.
- I just signed a contract to write articles about natural health and organic living – to share what I have learned on my Organikal journey with more people.
Joanna – these small things are some of what happened when I started pursuing all the things I’m interested in.
And here’s the rub: Less than 3 months ago I wouldn’t have written this post. I’d have been crippled with shame at the thought of sharing such little steps. They’re so little. So tiny that there wouldn’t be a ripple if I threw this post into a pond. Look at what Jen’s doing, I’d say to you. Look at what Joanna’s doing, I’d say to you. Look at what …. well, here you could just about substitute everyone. YOU included!
But now I know. Start again, what I mean is NOW I KNOW…. these small steps are part of me. They’re part of my beautiful life. And they’re every bit as valid as yours. For the reason I’m here? It’s to live my beautiful life. Not yours, or Jen’s or Joanna’s.
This is me – This is who I am:
There’s only one word WOW … or maybe two – Go Julie 🙂 x
Thank you lovely angel, I’m going, I’m going 🙂 x
Love love LOVE it, Julie. Thank you so much for sharing. You have great courage. Glad to know you online. x
Likewise Ruth – and given we are but 10 miles apart, perhaps IRL one day too 🙂
I wish you knew how inspiring your authentic, baby steps were… how natural, and how freeing. And even though baby steps are more than enough… without any ripples, without any difference – you know there are still lots of ripples, in all sorts of astonishing ways, that you might never know, but keep on rippling anyway x
Thank you for “freeing” – freedom is so core to this journey – I’d love for it to veer others that way too.
Your perceptions help me every day! x
Huge grin on my face! For the hit of clean green love life force I get reading this and because this morning I was formulating a post about how I’ve been downgrading small service in my mind in favor of BIG. You so beautifully captured small is IT. Not even where we start but IT. Thank you~! Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to write about living on the amount of carbon we are actually “allotted” as in how do we face into the fact we are part of the problem? You are doing that – and I am inspired. Thanks for responding to my question!!!
Really, Jen – thank you for your questions and your challenge and your encouragement and your shining eye’d videos to inspiration 🙂
Don’t sound like such baby steps to me, Julie. They sound big–maybe because all those little steps added together makes one giant leap!
Cheers Bo! I like that idea – one giant step into this beautiful life. Thank you 🙂
You were in my thoughts this weekend – as I saw your name on my calendar and remembered that you won’t be coming down. So I came to find you instead to say ‘Hi’ and I found YOU!!
Looking forward to watching you on your stepping up ~ stepping in journey.
So pleased to visit, whichever place, whichever form Heather! Thank you for saying hello 🙂 x
Oh Julie, you are *such* a inspiration to me. Reading your post about how you’re stepping up and stepping in, I can see all the ways in which I continue to step away… Gosh, lots to think about, Julie. Lots.
This journey is certainly only possible with the accompaniment of such fine souls as yourself, Amy – thank you 🙂
So happy to inspire thoughts x