Reflecting Between Q1 and Q2 of 2020

It’s been over two weeks since I first started looking back on the first quarter of the year, using Nicole Antoinette’s “What’s Next” quarterly reflection workbook. That reflection goes deep, but what I’ll share here is a brief update on my three focuses of Q1.

Movement on Q1 Focuses

My three focuses of Q1 were:

1. Develop daily meditation practice
2. Weekly creative play + monthly challenge
3. Explore maintenance jobs + develop alter ego

For brevity’s sake, and a challenge, I’m summing up the movement in each using 100 words or less:

Develop daily meditation practice.
I do not have a daily meditation practice. I tracked it throughout the first quarter; longest streak was 10 days in February. March 13 is the last day checked meditation box. Morning routine didn’t develop because I was too tired; I didn’t want to meditate in that foggy state. There is still resistance and it has lost heat. I’m not connected to my why, so will let this intention rest for a while. I will pursue other ways to connect with my inner self, and can of course, as always, still meditate whenever I want to.

Weekly creative play + monthly challenge.
As I detailed in this post, I’ve created a feels-good system that allows for weekly creative play. It’s simple, light, and fun. I took on a creative challenge in February and in March, as they each emerged organically. I never did a weekend songwriting challenge, though, and would like to bring my attention there.

Explore maintenance jobs + create altar ego.
I slowly learned a few new “maintenance” skills and created map of skills to learn. I made a USAjobs resume, applied to 30-40 positions, had a phone interview, and accepted a tentative offer at a National Park. The mindset/somatic fear response is still very much present, but I’m uncovering new lenses through which to look at it, and new tools to try. I’m not going to actively work on this when I’m not job hunting; it feels right to give it some space and air to compost for a while.

Bringing Forward Q2 Intentions

I’ve already created a sense of starting fresh in the last 2-3 weeks, by:
– Reorganizing the furniture in my bedroom, adding new art to walls
– Hair cut
– Small celebratory ceremony with myself (5 min.)

This quarter, I want to feel:

DEEP-ROOTED = [+strong] [+connected] [+purposeful]

MAGICAL = [+light/unburdened] [+creative] [+fluid] (à la Havi Brooks)

TRUSTING = [+aware] [+grateful] [+peaceful]

I want to put my attention back towards my body.
I want to feel strong, especially when I start on trail crew.
Back in February I went to the gym a few times and it was great. I wanted to go, and it felt fantastic to lift. I especially liked seeing so concretely in numbers my strength gained.

I thought I’d restart that routine to build this strength, but lately, when the sun is shining and the air smells so crisp, I just want to be outside: walking, lying by the river, reading in my backyard, eating on the patio.
I haven’t felt drawn to go to the gym, so I don’t go.

I have felt a pull to restart my yoga practice, though.
As someone with a fused spine, this is extra important for me.
A few years ago, I purchased lots of yoga for spinal fusion video courses, many of which I have just on audio, and a few on video.
I rarely did them over the winter, even though I had a home in which to practice.
So, as I reflected at the end of quarter one, I knew I wanted to put some attention back here.
I’ve done a yoga session nine times since March 30.
But even then, I notice resistance.

I’m able to recognize how much better my body feels after I’ve stretched in this way, and logically I know it’s Very Important for me with my spinal fusion (and lack of medical insurance, to boot). But there’s still some resistance to “doing yoga” (= pressing play on an audio track, moving around on my spacious living room floor—next to my ongoing projects out on the tables, the tantalizing sunshine out the windows). I’m starting a playful experiment to find some clues about this resistance.

So, the first thing I’m doing is changing its name. Words are powerful, especially naming. This practice is now called Body Flow.

Then, I’m experimenting/playing to see how I can make Body Flow feel more fun. How can I make it more me?

Do I ditch the recordings and make up my own stuff?
Do I listen to a podcast instead of being present?
Do I do it first thing in the morning?
Do I do it before bed?
Do I bring it outside, by the river?
Do I keep it short to 10-min sessions?
Do I increase my knowledge of the history/theory of “yoga”?
Do I try a non-spinal fusion-specific teacher, and simply do lots of modifications?

These are some of the questions I’ll be asking and playing with.

I’ve shared about my creative play slips and monthly challenges. Ukulele songwriting did get some energy, but it still feels “not enough”—dipping my toe into this particular area feels so slow and dragged out.

So what if this quarter, I turn my 10 min. creative play sessions into ukulele freewrites?

I had the first one on Friday, when I happened to pick a ukulele prompt as my slip that afternoon, and it was great.

All those challenge ideas I’d come up with in January can be used as prompts to pull from. Then I’ll make stuff up for 10 minutes; no pressure to write it down or turn it into a song. Just fun improv for no reason.

I did an audio recording of my play on Friday, and that didn’t even seem to hinder my improv sparks.

Finally, the area that feels most important at this point in time is spiritual exploration. (Those two words “spiritual exploration,” to me at this time, involve =  +intention +rituals +ceremony +Celtic Devotional +visualizations +meditation +candles +separating from ego +Marianne Williamson +Mother Earth +breathing +oracle cards +etc.)

Weekly I will choose an action item or something specific to focus on. I’m reading about lots of ideas and practices, but it will take concentrated attention to stop and pull some of those out and actually try them.

I’ve also had the idea for a weekly Spiritual Meeting with my inner self. I have a journal for this, and have already had a meeting and jotted notes on a page. It’s a place where I can record what I’ve been noticing lately, where I’m feeling challenged, where I’m feeling called. And at that sit-down, I can choose a concrete action item for the following week.

So, my intentions for Q2 are:

1. Spiritual exploration
2. Body Flow
3. Songwriting play


Have you stopped to look back on the first quarter of the year? How are you different from the you in January? What are you proud of?

What’s feeling important to you these days—what’s calling for your attention? How do you want to feel in the coming months?

The space below is yours for any and all thoughts; come play with me!