Tuesday, November 8, 2011
November is a beautiful month. It is it's own unique time of the year. After all the activity of the summer, getting back into fall routines, celebrating Thanksgiving and Halloween, November can be a quiet time to slow down and rest before the busy holiday season begins. I recently read an article that outlined the steps to doing your own "year-end review" and I think November is a good time to start this process when we have the time to be reflective. The article was written by Susan Susanka who is an architect and describes herself first and foremost as a student of life. She has written 9 books including a couple which I have read - The Not So Big Life and The Not So Big House. In her books she describes the process by which she lives her own life - a process that helps her realize her full potential as a human being. The interesting thing about Susan is that she has developed a philosophy of sustainability, simplicity and well being that can be applied when you are designing a blueprint for your home, or a blue print for your life. In her article "the year end review: the key to beginning your not so big life" she talks about taking some time at the en of every year to check in with yourself. She suggests that we can each be "gardeners of our own lives." Gardeners plant their seeds, do their best to create the optimum conditions for them to grow (good soil, light, enough water etc) and then watch over the years: some germinate and grow and others don't. Susan believes we can apply this process to our lives by having a yearly ritual of checking in with ourselves to decide what seeds we want to plant and support in our lives. It's about knowing what your hearts deepest desires are and then ensuring that how you live your life every day helps support your vision. Susan has a website (www.notsobiglife.com) that you can go to and click on chapter 11 and download the PFD of the year end ritual instructions. There are a list of questions that you can use to facilitate your own year end review. Susan recommends that you designate a couple of hours a day for a few days to answer the questions in your journal and when you are done close the journal and lock it away until next year so that you aren't tempted to look it again until next November. The idea is to forget about and drop all attachments to what you've written, understanding that the process it not your hands - you are simply the gardener! When you get the journal out next November you might just be surprised at what has germinated.