My husband and I may be taking a course in January called Holistic Management. It is intended for farmer’s but the principles can be applied to many aspects of our lives. Hence, my interest in it.
What the course teaches is to look at farming as a process that should help us meet our life’s purpose – a means to an end - and not the end in itself. In other words, we should tend to a piece of land because the act of doing it makes us feel at home in ourselves. For me, I have always enjoyed the satisfaction gained from creating food for people and the ability to do something real with my hands that always provides new opportunities to learn. (Indeedy that it is). But in the business and busy-ness of it all, the wholeness started to break into little tiny parts. And the sum of these parts were less than that of the whole.
Focusing on a complete entity, instead of the fragmented parts, I believe, is a spiritual practise. Wholeness is found when your little heart fills with curiosity and wonder about the day ahead as soon as you get up in the morning. Where you are connected to your pure self. There is so much about where we live that brings out that innocent, curious child in me. This is why I feel both confusion and hope when I become so tired from it despite having everything I ever wanted right under my nose.
My husband and I journeyed into a life beside each other because we worked well together. We bought a farm because we both appreciated the elements that it had to offer, not because it was entirely central to our plans. Within a few years there was a business, two children and major renovations and farm makeovers. We fared it well, I believe, but there was a landslide of responsibilities from very early on in the relationship. Though we were building our dream life together, my focus slowly shifted to all that we had to get done and away from the reasons why we were doing it.
What I had forgotten was that it was the two of us that had breathed life into our farm. And in return we were given a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. When, if ever, did our farm sign an ownership agreement to take possession of the two of us? How important to incorporate the needs of our family, our bodies, our house, our personal practices into our lives, despite the deands of our work. Yet it became so easy to take care of the pieces forgetting that there was a whole system to attend to. Focusing on the housekeeping and not the house.
Apparently, the clues to finding the underlying purpose of your life are all around you. I have read that in order to create change we should build tomorrow out of the stuff of today. In other words, it may not be necessary to quit your job, move out of the country, sell the farm and send your kids away to change your life! That is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Instead you ought to seek out the reason why you ventured where you did in the first place. What was the original passion that brought you to this undertaking? Then you tweak your decisions until the original purpose becomes clear again. That way you get to keep the good stuff, chuck the rest.
Sometimes our reasons get left in the attic with the rest of the unpacked boxes. The most valuable things can be stored away for safe-keeping. Yet having our dreams out of reach is not useful in the event that they are needed. It seems if you lose sight of the reasons why you’re doing what you do, you’re left with nothing but a to-do list. And that, in my opinion, is not enough.
I do look around and see that I still possess the stuff that my dreams are made of. I have a partner that is compatible with me beyond my wildest expectations. There are children that are healthy and seemingly happy despite the bumpy parts. My body is starting to relish in the changes from regular activity and healthier intake (Christmas cookies aside). I still humour artistic urges on a regular basis. There is love aplenty and strength to persevere and a palette to tell it all to in writing. What more could a girl ask for?
As the New Year approaches, I look forward to awakening to the purpose behind my life again.
One of my favourite sayings is the one about taking a journey only to find what you were looking for was waiting back where you started.
This year, may you tease apart the busy and unpack the purpose that brought you here. And know that you have the intuition needed to find your path back to the beginning. Back to where the circle is once again made whole.