Disconnecting, setting priorities

A Long Time Coming

It’s been, well, a really long time since I last posted here. It wasn’t that I didn’t have things to say, or ideas to share, or products to tell you about. Rather, it’s life. From a life-altering event in our home last year to all of the reality-shaping events that have brought us, the collective us, to where we are today, I haven’t been able to really feel into the reasons that I began this endeavour nearly 3 years ago.

This isn’t, however, good-bye. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement that I’ve been silent and that I’m still holding space for this – and for you. I also want to make space for a new adventure as I’m growing my spiritual practise, so to those of you who may be interested in ocean spirituality, I would say, stay tuned. I’m still working through a lot right now, but I’m slowly but surely finding my way back to the light.

Finally, I posted this to the Renaissance Magpie Facebook page, but I want to leave it here to ensure that there are no questions about where Renaissance Magpie stands: Black Lives Matter. For too long, the BlPOC community in the US and abroad has suffered at the hands of systemic and overt racism, and we are all responsible for enabling this. Whether it’s through our silence, our inaction, our voting history, the words we use when we speak to anyone, or the words we use with ourselves, non-POC/BlPOC must do better. We must acknowledge our role in this lifelong trauma we’ve inflicted upon the BlPOC and POC we live and work and exist with – and do better. Support BlPOC owned businesses. Donate to bail funds, the NAACP, the BLM movement/chapters. And for the love of everything you hold near and dear, understand your privilege. Understand that you may have grown up dirt poor, abused, and at the bottom of the barrel compared to white peers, but you still grew up never having to worry about being targeted by the police, by your neighbours, by strangers, by passersby, for your skin colour.

This statement, dear readers, is inarguable and to diminish it is, itself, an act of racism. On this matter, I will not waiver. I would lose readership than have any single BlPOC or POC visitor to this site, my Twitter, Facebook, or IG wonder, for even a moment, where I stand.

To the BlPOC and POC communities, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my own complicity in my inaction and lack of understanding, truly, what was happening. I’m sorry and I won’t remain silent anymore. Sorry doesn’t begin to make amends, but right now, this is what I can offer you. I have already put my money where my mouth is and donated. I’ve been calling out racism even when I know it’s going to cost me relationships. I am striving to learn more and I hope that everyone reading this does this same.

Bullet Journalling, Healthy Habits, Mental Health, self-care, setting priorities

The Benefits of Unplanning

tempclosespirmaintNo, Renaissance Magpie isn’t closing, temporarily or otherwise, but I felt that this image spoke directly to what I did last week for myself.  It dawned on me that those of us preaching the good word of the Bullet Journal, productivity, mindfulness, and the benefits of forming and maintaining healthy habits never address the one true downside that all of this living better brings:  Spiritual Burnout.

Most of us have full and busy lives.  We blog, we write, we create, we work, we parent, and we try to build our own personal lives and realise our dreams.  We preach, we sell, we tell, we share…and inevitably, we crash and burn ourselves.

As I’d written in my previous post, the spring months have not been all that kind to me in terms of mental well-being.  I’ve had to take some serious steps back and re-assess my methods of communication and the energy I was allowing in, as well as sending out into the world.  I’d been scattered, moody, argumentative, and generally down.  Although I was coming around and out of that place by the end of May, I found that my bullet journal, and my daily routine, had become a chore.  A drudgery.  It was not (sorry, Marie Kondo!) sparking joy.  So, on Memorial Day weekend here in the US, I made a conscientious choice.  I put it all down.  I took my Fitbit off.  I set aside my bullet journal for the rest of May and instead, I set up for June in my new Citrus Bindery journal (another topic for another post that I can’t wait to share with you!).  I didn’t do dailies.  I didn’t track anything.  And most importantly, I didn’t beat myself up if I didn’t adhere to my morning or nightly routines.

In fact, the only thing I kept was my morning stretching followed by my morning meditation because those two “habits” really did bring me joy.

I set a “re-opening” date of 1 June and here’s how I feel:  Amazing.  Taking the time off from my own, self-imposed obligations, was like a mini-vacation without the stress of packing or travel.  I didn’t worry about anything and when I returned to my desk this past Saturday to begin anew, I felt completely refreshed and excited to get back into my routine.

I referred to this period as my “Un-planning Week”, but it occurred to me that this is a topic we see a lot of, especially in bullet journaling communities.  Posts from people who managed to skip a whole month, or who put their journals down one day and now don’t know how or where to begin again, even though they want to.

It’s like this:  Turn the page.  If you really feel that your routine isn’t cutting it, isn’t bringing you happiness, isn’t helping you be a better or more productive person, take that spiritual time out.  Close down for a week or a month or more if you need to.  But if you’re serious about picking up again (and I hope you are!), set a date to re-open. 

One thing I will caution against – if you’re working on forming habits and you’re still in the early stages where you really, really need to track them or you just won’t do them, it might not be the best idea to take a time out.  I still track some habits that are pretty well ingrained, but I knew that because they were pretty well ingrained, missing a few days or a week wasn’t going to set me back to square one – and it didn’t.  I track them because I know myself.  It’s OK for me to take a few days off here or there, but if I don’t keep myself accountable, well, no one else will.  If I was trying to form (or break) a new (or old, bad) habit, I likely wouldn’t have felt as good about taking this spiritual time out last week.  So do consider that when you’re assessing your state of spiritual or mental/emotional readiness or burn-out!

Most importantly though, be good to yourself.  When self-imposed tasks and obligations become a chore, it’s time to un-plan.  Set it down, walk away, take a deep breath, and re-center.  I guarantee that you’ll come back healthier, happier, and more determined to succeed than ever before!

Have you experienced this spiritual burn-out?  What did you do to get back on track?  We’d love to hear your words of wisdom, so feel free to comment below!

Disclaimer:  I receive NOTHING if you click on any of the links in this post.  They are shared purely to show you what I use and to give you a reference point for purchase.  I am not paid or sponsored by any entity or corporation.