Perhaps I would do exactly the same things, and they would change from a cage to a springboard. I am growing and changing, and it is wonderful. Eliot:

The highest treason

to do the right thing for the wrong reason

Monday, I felt low. Sunday was so good. Monday was just back to the living room. I did not affirm myself, much, on Monday: I could not say it. In the evening, I knelt in my ritual space and affirmed, and my tears flowed. I thought,

When I affirm myself
I am in a space where I am real
If my emotions are too scary
I cannot go to that real space.

I have spent 11 Christmases in a row in Cardiff, and this year neither of us wanted that. I arranged somewhere else with someone else, and on Tuesday we decided to cancel as she was ill. It was not a potential date, just a friend, and we never discussed it, only emailed and messaged, to arrange and then to cancel.

What do I want? is on my mind. Interesting job? Greater income? Not particularly, actually. I do not discern any particular such desire in me.

I want heart-connection, 
real deep human connection.

In the evening I told H Christmas had fallen through, and she said immediately come to Cardiff, and I said No.

On Wednesday, I awoke in a strange place. It is a beautiful day. I could get the bus in to Swanston to get food, or just have what I have in the house. Perhaps if I tidied and cleaned a bit the house would be pleasanter: I have not tidied or cleaned my living room this month. And yet, I don’t actually need to get out of bed today, I don’t need to clean my teeth, I don’t even need to eat.

I have been doing things because they are sensible, or because they are conventionally accounted worthwhile, fun, whatever. It is just a slog. It is misery. If I tidy my room because I am ashamed that others might see it as it is, that is horrible. If I tidy it because I want to-

I decide to do what I want. I will not do anything without a desire for that thing itself, divorced from shame, or what would people think, or anything like that.

In the shower, I consider what to wear- warm old clothes to slob about the house in? Though I am not going out, I decide to wear a dress and put on make up, because I want to.

These are small things, instantly achievable, carrying no risk expense or difficulty. It feels revolutionary. It also feels all or nothing: do I want this? I will not do it unless I want to. I wrote in my diary a new line of affirmation:

I am Abigail.
I am worthy of life.
I know what I want, and I take steps to achieve it.


it is sensible
I rationally assent to it
it is conventional, or what people do
it is what my wise loving friend advises


I want to try things, to see if I like them.
I want Human connection
I value my want.

I was in a state of high excitement writing these things, like a fire with flames leaping up the chimney; now it is quieter, the coals glow, warming me.

This changes the way I see having withdrawn to my living room: part of it has always been shame at giving up and retreating. Now it is pride and quiet satisfaction, as it was the way I saw to look after myself. It was what I wanted. I move on from last week: from the biggest things in my life, I move on to all things.

Veronese, The Wedding at Cana

2 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. Hello, Clare! One day I shall have to come to Cardiff and introduce myself in person. For now I shall enjoy my occasional visits via your blog.

    As it happens, I am in a very similar space today. I am revisiting an exercise I once employed and found very useful. It is a daily application of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Secrets of Success, one per day, Sunday through Saturday each week. Todays law is the law of Dharma ( , and it relates very much to your blog theme of what we do and why.

    Chopra proposes three areas of focus for the day:

    1. Nurture the god/goddess within and listen to the direction of the eternal self.
    2. List one’s unique talents & the ways in which we love to express them.
    3. Consider how we can use our talents to serve or help today.

    Your comment about tidying the living room really resonated, because I had just written this in my own personal journal (redacted):

    • Things I love to do: Organize Spaces to Promote Calm and Creativity – Expressed in my home & my work spaces, including reorg of office supplies & conference room resources + planning & design of NEW BHIS website & SharePoint infostructure

    • How I can use my talents to serve or help today: Tidy my home and prepare some creative spaces (e.g. cooking!) / project setups (e.g. painting tomorrow!)

    Have a lovely day arranging your activies and your spaces – both physical and digital – to suit your divine self!


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