A Review of Decembers Past before We Move into the New Year by Marie Cartier

Last month I looked back over six years of postings I have done for FAR. In November,  I noticed that I usually during that month tend to review the year and find something to be grateful for.

I decided this month to follow that up by looking back at the posts I have done for the past six years at this time of year, right before the wheel turns into the New Year. I have the privilege of writing for FAR usually right after Thanksgiving and right after Christmas and before New Year’s. I tend to think of this time as a time of looking forward, and Thanksgiving as a time of looking back.

Continue reading “A Review of Decembers Past before We Move into the New Year by Marie Cartier”

Small Victories by Sara Frykenberg

Last year was a hard year. I wrote about this difficulty—vaguely eluding to challenges of environment, home, and work—in my last post. In this blog, which was a copy of my reflection for our last faculty meeting of the year, I asked my colleagues and myself: should I take the year apart or find thoughts that will help us put ourselves back together again in the fall? I am pretty good at taking things apart. But returning to school in less than a week, I find myself most concerned with the latter question: have I put myself back together again? Have I found these thoughts?

I have slept more, but am I rested?

I have taken space, but am I ready to be close again?

I don’t know. But I am beginning to find the answers, the fragments of thought, in my small victories.

Bringing my panic to ‘get it together’ before school starts to my brother, he said to me: “You have a stubborn Taurus heart.” He’s right. My Taurus moon, which tends towards obstinacy, perfectly suits my Libra (in)decisiveness. I might have a lot of trouble coming to a decision, but once I have, you better believe that I am going to hold onto that decision—particularly in matters of the heart. I tend to hold onto anger too, problematically. I once lived an entire year in perpetual rage. But, I eventually had to let it go to learn how to breathe again (literally and figuratively). This summer has also been a practice in breathing; and the process feels at best, incomplete. Continue reading “Small Victories by Sara Frykenberg”

Surviving and Thriving: For My Defender by Sara Frykenberg

Sara FrykenbergLast year many of my actions, choices and emotions could have been characterized as a part of my ongoing efforts towards what I recognize as survival: I was often ‘trying to make it through,’ live ‘despite,’ exist ‘even though,’ grapple with violence or choose in such a way that I could continue to live in the midst of chaos.

Survival is an extremely important skill, practiced by many people for many different reasons.  And before I continue here, I would like to say that in all of my struggles last year, I always had the basic necessities required to live my life.  Many people do not; and for many, survival is an everyday practice that may or may not be achievable, requiring access to necessities that may or may not be accessible.  No one tried to kill me last year.  I had access to food.  I did not lose my home or livelihood; though I felt these things threatened.  I am privileged to live where and how I do, with many resources available to me.  These resources helped me to make it though, where other people survive with far, far less.  I choose to share my own feelings of survival because I want to decry the self-dehumanizing shame that tells me I am bad or wrong for feeling my own experience.  I identify my survival in an attempt to also, thrive. Continue reading “Surviving and Thriving: For My Defender by Sara Frykenberg”

Patterns for the New Year by Sara Frykenberg

Sara FrykenbergLife last year continually pushed me to figure out how I should care for those close to me while also caring for myself.  I have been pushed to see the difference between myself and other people: their choices and my own.  This is perhaps, the most difficult challenge I faced in the first year of the Age of Aquarius… and life has been an unrelenting teacher. 

Happy 2013!  Or a statement more accurate to my feelings: Happy end of 2012!  Last year around this time, I wrote a post entitled: Celebrating the Beginning of the Aquarian Age.  The push to evolve was and is very exciting to me.  This shifting astrological paradigm challenges us to break away from those habits and patterns that no longer serve us.  But excited as I am, I have to admit that the first year of the Age of Aquarius really kicked my butt.

Did last year feel exceptionally difficult for anyone else out there?  I really felt like I couldn’t catch a break for the entirety of 2012.  This is not to say that my year was simply filled with loss and grief, though I am dealing with loss and a great deal of grief.  But some really great things happened last year too, which I celebrated, but also found extremely difficult to manage.  Many of my roles and relationships radically changed in ways that were more difficult than I expected or wanted.  Riding the Aquarian tides, I felt tossed about and was often confused.  I kept telling myself: just hang on.  Just hang on, because you are not alone riding these cosmic waves.  Hang on, because you will learn how to swim in these new waters.

Therefore, in honor of the New Year, I would like to take this opportunity to evaluate and strategize for my how.

I am not usually one for making new years’ resolutions.  The cultural rhetoric surrounding resolutions either presupposes failure or relates success to the amount of money you spend to achieve a goal.  Yet today I find myself considering how I approached last years’ challenges, successfully and unsuccessfully.  I have concluded that I need to create more life giving patterns and habits in 2013.  Many things I am doing now, my coping mechanisms and my defenses, can no longer meet my needs.  So, I guess I am making resolutions.  I, however, prefer to say that I am actively hope-ing to evolve my praxis of living. ;) Thus, I set the following intentions for 2013: Continue reading “Patterns for the New Year by Sara Frykenberg”

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