Week 24: How has it been?
Reflecting on a time of self-understanding
Interestingly, I find the reflection weeks quite tricky. I am analytical - it is part of my job! I find it easy to empathise with others, but I would rather be getting on with a more 'physical' challenge. So perhaps that is why these reflection weeks are even more vital for me. To be honest, the experiments are fun and generally very in tune with the way I do things anyway, so I could easily classify these experiments as just little reminders of what I could do to wake up my life. But then I am not looking at the experience as a whole, rather just focusing on the individual and specific experiments set.
When looking at it as a six-month experience I can see there has been real movement. At first I felt like at times I was doing the experiments thinking about what others would think of me doing these experiments. Would they appreciate, think I was a better person? I also liked the excitement of telling others - it made me special, gave us something to talk about. Even the blogs were a kind of vanity - what would others think?
But the process builds in times for us to actually contemplate our motivations - the time outside, journaling, finding time in the day... From realising I felt fear when stepping outside my world I found the energy to start prioritising these times of quiet. From these times of quiet I started questioning my ego and the experiments have started becoming something I do for me. I don't need the validation of others. I am now able to think: what impact does this have on me at this moment? How am I more awake? I don't mean this selfishly - I know a more woken up me has positive consequences for others. Importantly, modelling this more awakened, curious way of life which is not based on something 'out there' to purchase, is an amazing life lesson for my kids!
I have always been spiritual, always curious about life beyond the capitalist one we inhabit in the West. Ironically, as I realised with the 'buy nothing' challenge, I am very much part of that capitalist desire to own more. These experiments have allowed me to start really questioning how much satisfaction this numbing way of living can be. Realising that 'waking up' is more than just shaking routines up a bit! It has allowed me to come to a realistion that it is more profound - it is about actively engaging in the here and now. So simple, but so challenging in our day and age.
So big thanks Chris and the Wake Up! team. Thanks fellow bloggers! Here's to another six months of rejoicing in the here and now; another six months of waking up to life!