How to Make a Ritual
Let it be linked to something ancient
and universal, an invitation
for old wisdom to arrive, and so begin
with fire. Burn some small leaf,
or candle wick alone, let its scent
lift up into the air as if to say: begin.
Smoke as a signal or release, ashes
coming as a reminder of all that ends
and renews again. Sing a simple song
of thanks, hold a stone, draw a symbol,
move your muscles, eat fruit, drink water,
bend low in honour, bare feet in the grass,
all of this is a starting place of purpose.
All of it to hold a moment that
declares, in pause like prayer: here
and now the honourable energy of focus
settles, here and now let creativity commence.
Hello dear ANOGMS,
How are you? I hope you are well!
Another month has rolled around and this time things feel a little more optimistic here in the UK. The sun is shining today, we have a family of noisy starling chicks nesting in the eaves of our house and the greenhouse is full of seeds waiting to poke their heads above the compost. Things are opening up slowly and seem to be going ok. My children and my husband all learned how to cut each other’s hair this lockdown and reached a pretty good level of competency so we haven’t had to rush out to the hairdressers, which is good. I am channelling grey haired crone with plait so I’m all good too 😉
The other night I was bringing in the washing, gazed up at the waxing moon and thought to myself it was time to write the newsletter. Then I thought about how cool that was, to be noticing the moon and its phases, and to have some kind of calendar event that tied me to the lunar cycle. I have been writing this email regularly now for 16 full moons and I love that!
Kate’s musings today are all about Motivational Mapping, which is really interesting. My purpose is something that I think about often. In the past three years I have transitioned from super busy and unbelievably stressed GP whose creativity was being seriously neglected, through a period of ‘wintering’ and thinking that I was glad to see the back of my medical career, to a time now where I work part-time as a palliative care doctor (which was my background before GP) and have lots more time to be creative.
These were all conscious choices with some additional serendipity. If I was not the reflective person that I am, I would probably still be ‘powering through’ and trying to juggle far too many balls at a time. I acknowledge the financial security that I do still have, but leaving a GP partnership is not without its pain and loss of income and status. I love my current job but medicine tends to be more rewarding when you go for full immersion rather than a weekly dip and so here is the ongoing conundrum. This is where the concepts of Ikagi and Motivational Mapping are so useful.
I have realised that for my life to be completely fulfilling I need to be doing more than one type of thing. Work and service is really important to me so I will always look for ways of working that will serve my community. But serving is about so much more than work. I am willing to relinquish some status and satisfaction to enable me to have a job that is not so ‘big’ that I am unable to help friends and family when needed. I can’t always manage it and I am no angel, but I have realised that is very, very important to me and so I must prioritise that.
And then what really fills my cup outside of service to my community? Being creative. And actually not just one form of creativity but lots! I know that the soundest business model is where you do one thing and keep on doing it but for me I love running retreats, knitting, sewing, mending, weaving, spinning and dyeing wool, growing food and dye plants. And that is just how it is! I cannot beat myself up for not honing one skill or craft, I’m too old for that, so for now you will still find me wherever I happen to be making something!
Why am I sharing this with you? Simply to point out that there are so many ways to live. And no right answer. I am very grateful that I have been able to make changes to my life that make me happier, and I hope that you can too.
I love children’s books. When I was a teenager I had plans to write one myself, but I think that ship has sailed. But I still read them and love them. At the US Presidential inauguration, the world was wowed by the poet Amanda Gorman. She is astonishing. So young, focussed and talented. Breathtaking. Turns out she likes reading children’s books too and you can find her reading them on her IG @amandascgorman.
She read the book ‘Last Stop on Market Street’ and I had to buy it. It tells the story of CJ (which is what I used to be called when I was a GP!) and his trip by bus with his Nana across town to work at a soup kitchen. CJ is complaining all the way there but Nana shows him the beauty in the world around him. It’s a beautiful, optimistic story about the real world. The illustrations are gorgeous in their simplicity. Maybe I will write that book after all……
From our yogi Kate:
A few years ago I discovered a relatively new psychometric tool that has helped me to understand what motivates and de-motivates me, so that I can more effectively manage my own levels of motivation (energy), and help my clients to manage theirs: The Motivational Map gets under the skin of what makes us want to get out of bed in the morning, what fires us up, gives us energy, puts fuel in the tank, fire in the belly, you get my drift!
According to James Sale, the tireless and inspiring inventor of the Motivational Map, we have 9 motivators (see the pic below)
For each of us, the Motivators will vary in terms of importance and intensity, according to our inherent personality, and how we are feeling about ourselves and the future at any given point in time. I suspect many of you might have a strong leaning towards ‘Creator’, ’Spirit’, ’Searcher’ and perhaps ‘Expert’. But why don’t you take a ‘back of a fag packet approach’ and see what you think;
Read the descriptors of each motivator carefully
Rank the Motivators from 1 – 9, 1 being most important
Now give each Motivator a score out of 10 for how well satisfied it is in your life right now, 1 being not satisfied and 10 being totally satisfied
Sit back and look at this picture – what jumps out at you? Especially for your top Motivators.
No value judgement, no right or wrong – just observations
If you’re feeling a bit lacking in motivation, it’s likely that you are not doing enough of the things that specifically motivate you. At a time like this, when we are deprived of so many of the people, places, and activities we would normally have access to, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how we can nourish ourselves, and keep our tanks well fuelled.
If you are keen to delve a little deeper, the full Motivational Map also gives you a reading for how well fulfilled you are in each of the motivators (a bit like checking for a deficiency in vitamins and minerals) – this can help target specific areas of de-motivation. Sometimes seeing this in black and white can be the validation we need to take that walk, invest in a course, spend time at our loom or in the garden, start or leave a role etc etc.
I’m eternally grateful to people like James Sale for their tireless research and development to bring tools like The Motivational Map to the market so that we can benefit from the insight they give us into the workings of our minds. If you feel your Motivation could do with an MOT, then perhaps talk to me – the solution might be far more straightforward than you think 🙂
Until next month beautiful souls
Lots of food for thought!
And finally, thanks to everyone who emails me with examples of their creativity. You know that I love it. Thanks to Hannah for her beautiful lacework shawl and to Sharon for her sea-glass painting.
Here is to another good month of lockdown easing and hopefully moving to life opening up. Watch this space for updates on all the retreats we are planning.
Please stay in touch. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to show me what you have been making or follow me on IG @anestofgentlemakers and you can message me there. I love this little community that continues to grow and I really, really appreciate all of you.
With much love,