I found this in the Notes section of my phone the other day.
It took me by surprise, not only because I had no recollection of writing it, but because here and now, on the cusp of this new year and amid all the reflections that always swirl around my mind in this changeover, they are the only four words I really need to focus on.
It’s always around this time of year that I start feeling bold and clear. There is a sense of movement that is palpable; Onwards, as Elizabeth Gilbert always signs off with. I used to make the mistake of swapping onwards with upwards, but now I tend to think of positive direction not so much UP but IN. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if we’re not moving up, we’re moving wrongly, but in truth, progress is more a corkscrew spiral inwards – patterns repeating themselves over and over again, but deepening us as we go. More awareness. More comfort with ourselves. More strength. More acceptance. More confidence.
I didn’t set great goals for 2014. With the upcoming birth of my second child, I was gentle with myself in what I believed was realistic to achieve. Hold on and ride the wave was the motto I carried with me, the only plan I had, and I’m glad for the space this gave me because everyone knows that life with new babies and small children is Intense.
I had a session with Nicole Cody the other day. It was a perfect way to end the year — to shake off all the bits of crap that were stopping me achieving what I dream about. These bits of crap, I hold onto them like they mean something — the “I’m not ready’s, the I’m not good enough’s, the I don’t know’s”. But, as Nicole so eloquently put it, “You need to stop *&%$ing around and make some plans, Rachel. The world is ready for what you have to offer.”
She can be direct, that Nicole.
If Stay Afloat was my guiding force last year, this year it is Build.
“Joel, I know my word for the year”, I say.
“What is it?”, he asks.
“Build. As in, if you build it, they will come. You know, like what the Romans said about the Colosseum.”
“Um, I think that’s actually a Bible reference.”
BUILD, I WILL.
It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” And now, while I stand here in that in-between place of reminiscing over the year I’ve had, nostalgic for moments passed, now nothing more than memories, I’m excited to jump into new pages, folding away the things I’ve loved and seen into books that hold stories of my past, ready to write even bigger, richer, bolder ones.
This tent is evolving, sisters. Exciting things are happening. But more on that later.
2014. Oh, 2014.
The year I laboured through the toughest ten hours of my life to finally hold the baby boy I had been desperately waiting for.
The year my creative journey with photography expanded from a hobby which fed myself, to a service which fed others.
The year we dug roots deep into this place we call home.
The year I became clear about what it is exactly I want to do with my one wild and precious life.
Some favourite moments…
Preparing for our boy.
Meeting our son, and settling into new family life.
Celebrating our girl’s second birthday.
Taking a holiday at our favourite farmstay.
Celebrating Easter at our local fair.
Dancing the winter prep dance in our home, where quilts are pulled from cupboards, socks are put on feet, and we cozy the place up.
Our annual road trip to Coffs Harbour, reuniting with beloved friends and family.
The month my adored friend Caitlin visited from New Zealand and we wrapped ourselves around her like a warm fire.
Taking the kids to ‘the snow’, because we celebrate what we have and create what we don’t. First ever snowman — check. And isn’t he a fine young thing?
The Ekka. Oh, The Ekka.
Celebrating Father’s Day.
Reuniting with my old school friend Bec and her sweet little babies, who traveled across great big seas from Austria to get here.
Taking a family holiday in Kingscliff, falling in love with my brother’s girlfriend Sophia and making her promise she’ll never leave us.
My first professional photo shoot, euphoric and proud.
Halloween – our second annual pumpkin carving party and all the goodness of trick-or-treating night.
Celebrating Billy’s naming day and honouring his life with our precious little village.
Taking a quick little beach holiday to Tugun with Joel’s parents. It was truly grand.
My second photo shoot. This one documenting my beautiful friend Amy’s first child. It was ALL THE FEELS.
Oh December. My favourite month of the year — filled with the magic of Christmas, the traditions which shape our family, great thankfulness for all we have, and the sense that love and community are the greatest things on earth.
2014 is safely tucked away in our This Is Our Lucky Life box, and I’m excited to open a new year.
You can. You are.
Let’s remember those four words this year, sisters.
We can. We are.
“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.”
~Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World