the forest and the sea

“I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organized drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive
or awake
however you choose to see it
and I live in my own flames
sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
or handle
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
run run run
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please”
― Charlotte Eriksson

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carving…

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

No truer words have been spoken about the process of carving out habits and rhythm in our lives. It is true that everything we do ties into everything we have done and will do. Words are powerful; thoughts are magical; what you do and what you say remains in the fabric of memories and time.

The habits that we create are the fabric of ourselves that, layer upon layer, form each day and week and year of our lives. It is incredibly difficult to replace a negative habit with a positive one – take smoking, for example. It is so easy to start smoking, to get into a habit of buying cigarettes and lighting them up any time we are stressed or around other smokers or after a meal. But then, years after starting, try to quit. It is extremely difficult (I would know, I am still in the process of quitting).

 

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

You can imagine habits as being notches carved into a walkingstick. All of those negative habits we hold onto, alongside the positive habits we have created for ourselves. We can never erase those notches, they will forever be apart of our walkingstick, but we can do things to change them. We can carve a new design over them, create a design, add to the design – do something, anything, to change it. It will always be there, to serve as a reminder of what was, but we have made the conscious effort to change it.

So, what notches am I working on changing? What habits am I forming and creating in my life? What am I trying to carve out of, and in to, the walkingstick of my soul?

daily quiet time
daily prayers
healthy eating habits
daily connection

It takes a strength of will to change yourself for the better. It takes constant mindfulness to realise when you are sliding back into the negative habits you are working to change; you must be present and honest with yourself, and those around you. You must hold yourself accountable for your actions. How do I do any of this? Do I erect walls between myself and that which unsettles my spirit? Do I dig a mote to protect my soul from all of the things that work to drag it down? What exactly unsettles my spirit and drags me down?

social media
cigarettes
my soon to be ex-husband
television

What I choose to grow in the soil of my mind and heart will sustain me and provide me shelter – but, more than myself, it will provide for my children the things that they need from me. This is what drives me to change those notches, to carve out beautiful and inspiring designs in my walkingstick – I want to be a better me, not only for me, but for them.

 

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Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

Find your walkingstick, evaluate the notches, and work toward forming the designs – the habits – that inspire your soul to be the best that you can be.