Carpe Weekend

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

This week, cancel something over the weekend.  I’m not suggesting that you become a total flake and drop out of a whole load of commitments and engagements; simply pick one thing and cancel it.  It need not even be an event; it could be that you take a minute to unsubscribe from a mailing list that you’re no longer interested in or that you put a stop to a direct debit that goes to waste (new year’s gym membership, anyone?!).  Or it may be that a future commitment looms large like a big black cloud.  Do you *have* to do it?  Is there no way of graciously getting out of it without causing damage or hassle for others?  I’ve been on a cancelling spree of late, encouraged by Anna Kunnecke’s Queen Sweep programme.  She drew on Martha Beck’s concept of The Three Bs, or bag it, barter it, better it; ie ditch, delegate or somehow improve responsibilities (damn not being able to find a word beginning with d for the last one!).  From simple things such as Ebay saved searches that I don’t want daily updates about anymore to some big work projects, I’ve bagged, bartered and bettered across various areas of my life and can attest that I feel relieved – lighter – because of it.  But there’s no need to do lots.  Just pick one thing.  Cancel it.  It may only create a tiny space in your life, but as Leonard Cohen sang, a crack is how the light gets in.

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Carpe Weekend

As part of The Queen Sweep programme that I’m doing with the fabulous Anna Kunnecke, we were encouraged to spend a tiny amount of time each day working towards our big dreams and goals.  The reason for going with a tiny amount of time is that we have less excuses for not doing it, nor does the prospect of working on something for a short time intimidate us as much as thinking ‘I’m going to spend the whole afternoon on it’.  My tiny amount of time was five minutes per day.  I’ve been doing it for a week now and, oh my, it has exploded!  So much has happened, so much stuff has shifted, so many possibilities opened…and I’m also finding that I have much more than five minutes per day now that I’ve started on it.

I don’t feel quite confident enough to declare publicly what my dream is just yet, but one of the things that I’ve been doing as part of working towards it is start a document where I note down all my thoughts and ideas about it.  This includes questions to research, ideas to follow up and inspiration about what I could actually do.  As part of this, I was suddenly struck by the urge to start a weekly suggestion on my blog.  Inspired by the Rich Juicy Starry Beauty missive that comes from Anna Kunnecke each Friday and Susannah Conway’s ’Something for the Weekend’ posts, I want to create something similar.  I had assumed that this would be something that I do *one day*; one day being I don’t know when, possibly when Oprah asked me to write a column for her magazine or some other kind of external proof that I had the right to do this.  In this shower this morning, I though ’**** this.  I’m going to start it today’.  So here it is: my first Carpe Weekend post.

Carpe Weekend

Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’.  Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe.  This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend.  Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts.  Enjoy – and seize your weekend!

Start a memo or similar in your phone labelled Shopping List.  Whenever you come across something that needs replacing (or even better, will *soon* need replacing), or you remember an item that you want to buy, simply add it to the list.  I’ve found this really helpful when I spot that i’m running low on particular toiletries, especially because my phone is never far from hand.  

Delete the item once it is purchased, but keep the list ongoing – or even create a list of regular purchases, rather than having to think afresh every time you’re in the shop.  If you share the shopping with someone else, maybe you could create a shared list in Google Drive or similar.  Of course, having a list to hand doesn’t mean you’ll actually remember to look at it, but it’s a start!

Sweeping…space

Over the last six weeks, I’ve been taking part in The Queen Sweep, a group coaching programme with Anna Kunnecke, whose work I love.  So much has been transformed through this process, from the glasses I wear to the way that I see my time.  Much of the programme is about sweeping out the dross and allowing the beauty of one’s life to shine through, or for new beauty to come into the spaces created, both literal and metaphorical.  Such has been the change that after months of inactivity, I suddenly feel the compulsion to blog again and that I have the time (and head space) to do so.  I posted the other day, and just sat down to do so again.  Only my mind has now gone blank.  Oh the frustration, when I know that I have *so much* to say, so much to tell, so much to share with the world.  I had the same experience when I first started A life of one’s own; a vast amount of time angsting about it all then complete brain freeze when it came to write a post.  And coincidentally, that very first post came four years ago yesterday.  I hadn’t realized it, but Tumblr kindly sent an email to remind me.  What a journey it has been.  What a journey it still is.  What I didn’t understand then but that I know now is that this journey will always continue.  I will never get there, wherever there is.  The journey is all I have, all anyone has.  As we used to sing at primary school, ‘One more step along the world I go’.

And so it has begun

In 2005, I decided that I wanted to write a book exploring what I had discovered from my self-help obsession. What I didn’t know then was that an enormous journey of spiritual growth would soon follow. Nor did I realise that there was a whole world of personal development material out there, going far beyond the shelves of books in my local library. Indeed I am following one such programme at the minute, The Queen Sweep with the amazing Anna Kunnecke from Declare Dominion and the Sit At My Table blog. One result of this is a renewed enthusiasm for all of this – not just reading and thinking and talking about it (that has never gone away), but also writing about it and trying to reach out and share what I’ve discovered with others too. So today I finally, some nine years down the line, wrote three paragraphs for the book idea! And my word, doesn’t it feel good?! The first step, but an important one. May many more follow, both in that document and on this blog.