“Life is not about being safe and secure; life is about growing, learning, transforming.” Sharon Blackie.
The last few weeks have been a mix of learning, of cleaning and renovating, and helping family plus a bit of travel. There’s been challenges too, and I guess that’s where the transforming comes in.
I had a tooth extracted after months of pain and a nasty infection that left me with no option but to have it removed. I’ve painted the inside of my sister-in-law’s house and we’ve recently come back from a five day road trip through Gippsland, finding a nice balance between family commitments, writing assignments and leisure. I guess that’s the beauty of stepping off the hamster wheel and choosing how we want to live.
I’ve had more stories published, in the latest On the Road RV Touring Guide. And I was thrilled when I saw the front cover
That’s one of my photos from our nine nights on the Nullarbor. Inside are two of my travel articles from our trip, which is exciting in itself, but to have an image chosen for the cover was extra special.
My dream when I was little was to write and travel and create travel brochures. Thankfully I never became an “official” journalist (because I question just about everything they report) but today, to see my words and pics in print is my own vision of truth and I’m so grateful.
Never give up on your dreams. Write them down and act on them.
Whilst these are my current stories in print, every day is a chance to create more pages of joy, more connection to our landscape and more of a sense of belonging, wherever we are. It’s a part of our own life story. Everywhere we go becomes part of us, as we feel the grounding and support of Mother Earth.
I’ve just finished reading The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday by Sharon Blackie. It’s a soul enriching read, a journey into our relationship with life and landscape. In her writing Sharon offers suggestions on how to slow down and explore a wilder life, one of magic and enchantment. It’s a glorious read which leads to a greater understanding of our connection to nature and our sense of belonging to the world.
I believe we can make our lives richer by finding a closer connection to the world around us and by approaching life with a sense of mystery and wonder.
In her book Sharon offers a list of ways to “Manifesto for an enchanted life“. These are the ones that really spoke to me:
1. Everything around you is alive, believe it. Tell stories to stones, sing to trees, start conversations with birds ( I do that all the time). Build relationships. You’ll never be lonely again.
2. To be fully in your body is to be fully alive. Get out of your head and into the world. (I’m guilty of thinking too much.)
3. Look for the wonder wherever you are. Be all your life, as American poet Mary Oliver suggested, ‘a bride married to amazement’. (Life expands when we live in wonder)
4. Embrace mystery – don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. (Surrendering to the unknown is both terrifying and exquisite.)
5. Know your place. Learn to belong, because wherever you go, there you are. There’s nowhere else real to be. (Here I am at Tarra Valley, at home hugged by nature.)
6. Slow down. Create. Buy handmade. Live folklorically.
7. Don’t have a career, have a life. Find your calling – but above all, find your meaning in the community of the world.
8. Foster meaningful ritual; make each day a ceremony or make a ceremony in each day.
9. Treasure change, it’s the stuff from which lives are forged. Stop looking for the eternal and immutable and enter into the daily dance with the transitory.
Life these days seems to be all about change but we can be the driver in the seat or the dancer taking the lead. I recently contacted an Editor and suggested a story on South Gippsland. He said Yes which lead to a wonderful mini road trip from which we’ve just returned. It didn’t all go as planned but how amazing when our thoughts create our reality. I envisioned it and it happened.
We can always redesign our lives and we can start small. We don’t have to travel far. Small steps and simple intentions foster change.
Here’s Walk off the Earth and Brett Cassell singing A few Good Stories. I love the joyful vibe and the lyrics that epitomise freedom and a simple way of living.
Here.s the chorus:
I’m gonna soak up the sun, keep the wind in my sails
Try to get to heaven while I raise a little hell
When it’s all set and done, I’ll know I lived it well
If I ain’t got nothin’ but a few good stories to tell
Living an enchanted life isn’t something airy fairy. It’s not fantasy and escapism. It’s living authentically, and humbly, opening our heart to the wonders around us. It’s allowing all that comes, being open and receptive to the power of the divine and the Universe, remembering our connection with nature and who we really are.
Life is always a choice and what we create is up to us. Empower yourself and think for yourself. In this disenchanted world which has always told us how to live, maybe it’s time to turn our back on the old ways and throw out the rule book. Perhaps it’s time to step out of what’s expected and into a life of our choosing. What do you choose?
Make every day into a good story. Be aware of your focus, be enchanted, be yourself and be in LOVE. Take your life and make it the best story in the world.