One of the overarching themes of 2016 for me has been shifting things, looking for new rhythms and patterns that feel supportive and nurturing. I entered the year feeling like I wanted to do things differently, and decided to kick things off by using a new calendar/planning system and also switching things up with how I work with the new and full moons. That felt like a foundational piece I needed to get in place, and then I went about overlaying other changes/shifts as I felt inspired. Underlying it all was (and still is) the feeling that everything has changed energetically and I don’t want to be responding with old systems.
Past the half way mark of the year I can report mixed results.
I started with Living by the Light of the Moon by Beatrex Quntanna, hoping that this would be one calendar planner to meet my needs. This was a sort of leap decision – I just stumbled upon it online, and knowing I really wanted something honoring my lunar cycle orientation, I took a chance. While there are definitely some things I like about this – it offers an interesting process for working with new and full moon intentions, and it offers the necessary moon/astro info, and some interesting numerology info – it doesn’t really meet my planning needs. I have both tasks I need specifically scheduled and those I can be more flexible with fitting in wherever I can, so I like to have a place to list what needs to get done, as well a place to keep track of client appointments. Although I continue to work with this as a lunar planner/journal, it’s definitely not my daily/weekly scheduling tool. And I’m not sure I’ll buy another one next year. Finding something lunar I like is proving much harder than I thought.
The inkWELL press Quarterly Planners have proven an almost right-fit for my planning and scheduling. They’re a smaller size which I like, but there’s room for lists. But they’re not lunar oriented so that’s a minus.
An additional thing I’ve been playing with is Rituals for Living Dreambook by Dragontree Apothecary
I’ve really been using this more as a quarterly planner. It’s actually set up to be more a yearly dreaming/visioning journal, then with quarterly breakdowns, and then further weekly breakdowns. There are things I like about it, and it’s actually been helpful for organizing my business plans/ideas/schedules, but it’s definitely not useful to me as a calendar/schedule/planner.
So the truth is, I haven’t found my perfect right-fit covers-everything-I-need/want system yet.
And equal truth is, I do have a rather elaborate system I work with before the beginning of each year, wherein I sketch out major plans. I choose 5 or 6 categories/focus points I’m going to expend my energy on, infuse them with the values/energies that are important to me, and hold that container.
Big plans are then broken down into actionable quarterly plans, and those quarterly plans sketched out as monthly tasks. At the end of the month, I take a look at what I’ve accomplished, and what’s upcoming and make adjustments.
I thought this year I wanted something different – some fresh system to accommodate the fresh energy of this ever-changing world we live in. But I think I got that one wrong. I think what I actually wanted was a new way to move through the energy pretending I could organize/calendarize my way through what seems more fluid and changeable and malleable than ever before. The new energy is here, and trying to control my way through it is pretty much useless, as I think we’ve all come to understand. I’m just going to have to give up pretending a calendar/planning system is anything more than just a tracking system.
But I’m also not giving up. I keep returning to something William James said:
“We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone, until those smiling possibilities are dead. Whereas ten minutes a day of poetry, of spiritual reading or meditation, an hour or two a week at music, pictures, or philosophy, provided we began now and suffered no remission, would infallibly give us in due time the fullness we all desire. By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves a little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.”
I most certainly want the blessings of poetry and art, spiritual practice and connection with those I love. And if I have to put them on the calendar to make sure they don’t get overlooked, I absolutely will. But I rather like knowing they are actually part of my internal rhythm, already calendarized in my blood.
What about you? What “C” thing is capturing your attention today? What sort of system(s) do you use for planning and scheduling? Do you have time for the things that really mean most to you? Does anybody really know what time it is?