I am enjoying the process of putting together my Learning Pathway. I’ve found I’m in a new phase for the work that I’d like to do this morning. Rather than arranging things for the write-up, I’m looking for some reflection time.

I’m enjoying learning about Looby Macnamara’s Design Web, and I’ve come across Aranya’s expression of the design process as forming into four sectors:

Receptive stage – observing and listening
Creative stage – making design decisions
Implementation on the ground

For my Zone 00 design, I’ve got a number of goals in mind that centre on health, well-being, overcoming addiction and food. As with all things, there are crossovers, and today I’m not certain if I’m operating in reflective or receptive stage. In part I’m listening here to my internal dialogue, and giving voice to my wants and needs through writing. It’s clear that I’m writing about something I am going to implement, beginning tomorrow – so it’s a goal, an intention.

January has been an intense month, writing my Learning Pathway early in the mornings and doing the social media for Benthyg. It has been a caffeine fuelled time. Hours and hours at the computer needing concentration that I can only really manage with tea.

Looking back to September and the autumn, I was feeling very balanced, I had my addictions to caffeine, sugar and alcohol very much in check. I was feeling good. Then, as always seems to happen, Christmas came, and all the indulgence threw me off track.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new month, and I’m setting myself a challenge to leave caffeine behind. To move forward in my body in peace, to wash off the low level anxiety that I feel in my body when it’s caffeine fuelled. To find balance and grace in my movements once more, without the hum and buzz of the tea. I feel I’m very sensitive to caffeine, and always feel better when I don’t have it. But it is everywhere in our culture, hard to escape.

I’ll have a headache, so I’ll be gentle with myself. I’m hoping that once my blood runs clear once more, I’ll sleep better. I’ve been waking very early, 3am, thinking about my writing, then at 4 I give up on sleep and get up. 6 hours sleep doesn’t feel sustainable.

So tomorrow I move from this point of making design decisions (deciding to give up caffeine) to implementation – I’ll do it! I’m going to get myself some camomile tea today, so I feel armed with it as a support, or just simply a more healthful option. I’m also hoping for less time on the computer in the coming days.

Being caffeine free is one of the long list of changes I’d like to make in my inner landscape. Charles Eisenstein talks about the relationship between addiction and connection. That when we feel connected, our addictions can subside.

I see addiction as coming from unmet needs, where the true object of the need is unavailable. Desire is born from unmet needs – if you are hungry, you desire food; if you hold your breath you need air, you desire to breathe. Very simple: desire comes from unmet needs. But if the object of the need is unavailable, then the desire gets displaced onto a substitute.

Charles Eisenstein

Caffeine then may be about an unmet need for something…for energy most likely. I use it to help me focus and concentrate for long periods on the computer. I also enjoy the buzz in some ways, the way it makes me chatty and engaged and excited. But I’m starting to feel frayed and frazzled by it now after a month. I came back to caffeine as a way to get through the long busy days of Christmas. Spring feels like it’s on its way, so there’s room for something different to emerge now.

I also recognise that it is a mask in some ways, as with all my addictions. There’s something about the way the addictions mask the way I’m really feeling. They get in the way of my ability to truly sense. And that’s useful, because feeling what’s really going on is hard.

I stumble then into the realm of the ‘feedback and self-regulation’ principle. Sitting with my feelings has always been a challenge for me. It’s easier to mask, to cover up with caffeine, sugar and alcohol. But this isn’t part of the life I’m trying to create. And I am ‘absolutely capable of creating the life I can’t stop thinking about’. I’d like to be able to be receptive and responsive. To be open to the channels of intuition that are my guiding force. To feel calm and connected.

Here’s to the inner journey that begins tomorrow. To feeling better, more relaxed. It’s a good moment as the wheel of the year turns tomorrow through Imbolc – creating a space for new beginnings, allowing inspiration to enter for this new cycle. To help set my intention, I might see about making a drawing of a Brigit cross. I’ll also attend to the kundalini energy that came to me in a spirit object recently. The fire of the dragon is within me. I have the potential.

The intention is set. I’ll make it so.

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