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  • Writer's pictureCristina Stone

If Not Now...

‘Now you realise how precious your time here is. You’re no longer willing to squander your essence on undertakings that do not nourish you...your patience grows thin with tired talk and dead language...Now you are impatient for growth, willing to put yourself in the way of want your gods to be wild and to call you where your destiny awaits’

John O’Donohue


In the Northern Hemisphere, February isn’t the easiest month to love. The trees are bare and ghostly, and as I write this, winter is here in all its force. I am compelled to endure days of grey and gloomy skies in exchange for the promise of longer and warmer days bathed in precious sunlight. But, this time, I am taking longer to consider what I want from this year, digging deep into long-held ambitions, and setting a resolve not to wait too long (or at all) for conditions to be totally right before pushing ahead with a renewed commitment to my goals. I have no time to waste now.

I ask myself, ‘What things of little value am I succeeding at? What am I trading off for that success? Am I totally immersed in the practice of being fully present in my life? Am I feeling time-rich? Whose agendas am I still serving? Am I afraid of not knowing what comes next? Am I making my life predictable as a result? There are so many questions, and yet, I don’t want to be fixated on the goals - the process and the resulting growth are the point, and the hardest part is to surrender to them.

My attention shifts to artefacts on and around my desk, and I compose a mental ‘still life’ with some. Symbols of things that really matter to me - pictures of loved ones, a miniature black sheep, a much-loved saying in a pretty frame, a travel journal, a well-worn shawl, and a foraged pebble perfectly shaped like a heart. Such simple things, and yet, I have taken a long time to get to this moment of deep knowing.

Plans changed and changed again, and then again, until I finally reframed the questions and stepped outside of my comfort zone.

Pablo Neruda (Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner) writes that " start dying slowly if you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain, if you do not go after a dream, if you do not allow yourself, at least once in your lifetime, to run away from sensible advice. Don’t let yourself die slowly..."

How do your worthy goals make you feel? How daunting are they? How thrilling? Why do they matter? What will it mean to achieve them? What must you say no to in order to achieve them? How might they change you when you do?


Best Wishes




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