Clarity and Contradiction; New Priorities for a New Year


00:00, December 31st.

And just like that the old year is gone, and a fresh 12 months lie before us, pristine and shimmering with open possibility, like a mountain covered with fresh snow in the morning. What tracks will we make this year? How much shadow will we pass through on the way forward, how many new paths will we discover as we swoop and swerve and flow through each of those as-yet unrippled months?

It’s funny sometimes, what we know without knowing why. I love those little snippets of knowledge, like precious pearly secrets that are wholly unjustifiable and so much more delicious for it. Last night passed quietly for me, flowing swiftly towards 2014 with good conversation, delicious food, and periods of musing and visionning. And somewhere between 11pm and 11:30pm I realised: this would be the last quiet New Year’s Eve for a while.

Life is such a wondrously surprising rollercoaster, totally unpredictable and invariably swerving left when you thought it would sweep right. Just like the seasons we go through phases of growth, energy, action and stillness, cycles of different needs and different speeds. And my last cycle of stillness is coming to an end.

Part of the art of life is managing to toe the line between action and flow, and understanding when one phase is coming to and end and making room for the new to come into your life. The ritual of passing into a new year is one that I love, with its accompanying rite of review and revision. I like to do this every few months however because really, a year is a helluva long time to not review how you’re doing in life.

Last night working through my 2014 workbook from the lovely Susannah Conway (a masterfully gentle nudge into deeply nourishing introspection) I got to projecting further into the future; one year ahead, two, three. And as my dream of the last few years rose up again (location independence) I had a flash of insight: “I think I’m sending conflicting messages to the Universe.”

I got that slow, sinking feeling you get when something that has the strength to create massive disruptive changes in your life begins to dawn on you, and as I sat there with gently increasing luminosity mushrooming through my brain, I started to see.

I say I want to be a digital nomad…but I still have loads of stuff (that I’m really attached to). I say I want freedom to travel…but I keep thinking I need to get my own nest (to keep my stuff in while I’m off having my wild adventures, and to come back to post wild adventures). I say I want to wander off into the uncertain unknown indefinitely…but I keep thinking I want a close network in the place where I live (not just, as is currently the case, incredible friends scattered all  over the globe). I’m saying, thinking, feeling in effect, many highly conflicting things. No wonder the Universe is stalling; this is confusing even for the brain that’s coming up with it.

But as I sat there with the radiant light of clarity sweeping away the cobwebs of dusty though-patterns and long-held assumptions, I suddenly knew – I would get rid of everything in an instant to go adventuring. And just like that, my priorities have become crystal clear. I suppose a bitter dose of realism was needed as well as clarity; there are always some compromises to be made. I’d love to keep my stuff for the day when (ok, it’s a theoretical possibility) I decide I’ve had enough adventures for a while (not even convincing myself here)…but it’s not really very practical.

Also, part of me is weirdly eager to see what it feels like to have nothing. To be reduced to serious minimalism; not just for a few months but for a much longer, protracted, possibly indefinite period of time. How much more free would I feel? What effect would that level of reduction and letting go and simplicity have on me? It sounds like an adventure in itself to me.

So that’s my New Years Day question to you: Where are you sending contradictory messages to the Universe?

Happy New Year guys ♡

Ps, I made a pretty calendar, because calendars (real ones, not iCal – which admittedly I happen to love) are bastions of a faded era when things were simpler and not changing every five minutes and didn’t need to be constantly revised and updated and they made everything simple. Should you feel the same and want to engage in the vaguely romantic practice of attempting to put your entire day into a tiny box, you can find it here.

Picture 2


6 thoughts on “Clarity and Contradiction; New Priorities for a New Year

  1. I’m so glad to see another post from you! This reminds me of so many of my journal posts. Throughout the years I have recognized in myself a conflict between two very different worlds. I have three children, and I feel an obligation to give them at least a semblance of a “normal” life while also quietly teaching them that we have choices. I would highly recommend to live wildly, with no possessions and wandering the world before having children! I wish I would have done more of it. Happy New Year.


    1. Rachel thank you so much for that! :) I totally hear you, this has been the biggest struggle for me – and I think it just reflects that tension all humans experience between the need to be independent and the need for connection and security.
      Your kids are lucky to have you.
      Wish you much joy and exploration and micro-adventures for 2014 :)


  2. i am totally on the same page as you my dear! 2014 is the year of doing, risking, putting talk into action. i know the universe is infinitely patient – yet i know i’ve been stalling and the universe is in just fact waiting for me to jump in and get my feet wet – on a few things! no more procrastinating…much love, aleya


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