Gifts for the journey to come

When we used to travel in the ‘old’ days, I would pack a selection of goodies for the journey. It was part of the experience.

Starting the journey of 2021, I now realise that perhaps I’ve been creating my travel bag since before Christmas.

At the time, I sensed that just doing a walkthrough of 2020 by selecting posts from each month wasn’t the best thing to do this year. Instead, I decided to look at the ‘free’ gifts we can give ourselves and offer to each other, which in TS Eliot’s words are A complete simplicity / (Costing not less than everything).

And to ask you for suggestions – thanks for your response.

As I have worked with each of these gifts, they have taken me further on. Sometimes in realising the magnitude of the shifts I have gone through during 2020. While others have illuminated areas I needed to recognise were choices to be settled, and then live in the good of them.

And now as I look back on each, I realise how significant they are for the journey to come. The gifts I need to step into 2021:

  • Good endings
  • Space
  • Contentment
  • Wonder
  • Being human
  • Belonging
  • Unlearning
  • Hope
  • Curiosity
  • Wisdom

Reading Seth Godin’s new book: The Practice: Shipping Creative Work – slowly – I was struck by his practice #80: Choose to Go There

Your practice is a journey, and it takes you to a room. A room with different rules, different expectations, different challenges.

You know when you’re in that room. You’ve probably been there before. Salto mortale, the dangerous leap, that feeling in your stomach when you’re in thin air, neither here nor there.

Some people avoid this feeling. That’s why they need a recipe and want reassurance that the work they do will pay off.

The practice requires you to seek out this experience of uncertainty, to place yourself in the room where you will create discomfort.

As uncomfortable as this feels, I know it is true. And I know it is time to cross the threshold and do the work.

So these gifts are for a purpose – certainly for me and perhaps for you too – to prepare and sustain us to produce our best work. To embrace the discomfort, uncertainty and fear (and impostor syndrome) and take our role in the ongoing creation of the world seriously, to quote Rob Bell.

I’m packed and ready to go.

How about you? What else do you need?