Final Reflection on my 2011 Theme: Conscious Faith

Oh what a year 2011 was, it was a very hard year.I started out last year in such hope for amazingness and it really didn’t eventuate though I hoped so hard for it.

Much of my experience of the year can be appreciated through the two other posts on Conscious Faith that I wrote, mainly because so much of the year was internal and that’s where I set in motion and then realised the learning and experiences. Here is my beginning post on the enquiry and my check in about how it was progressing. Today is about creating an end point so that there can be a beginning point. Transition. Entry and exit. Consciously. 

I spent (and needed) a lot of time in my head and heart working through things. I’m still surprised at how much of the enquiry and the aims I set out were present and acted on throughout the year. Also, as I write this I am surprised at how comfortable I am putting this enquiry to rest, how complete I feel with it. That realisation came only with the writing of this post. Some of what I’ve done has led to things that will be part of next year’s work with Renewal. But there is a lot to appreciate and acknowledge about what I’ve achieved and received throughout this year’s enquiry.

It’s still true for me that Conscious Faith was about how I move through the world, recognising where balance is for me, looking at boundaries and where I spend my energy, looking at what brings me joy and where I want to spend my time. It was a year that allowed me to regain my sense of Being A Giant and recognising that I have something wonderful and vital to contribute to the world.

I’ve learned more about doubting that and coming back from that space of doubt, even if it’s still a work in progress. So in many ways, last year was about healing, cleaning out dark and dank places in my heart and head. It was about listening to myself and becoming aware of what I hadn’t realised, what I was blind to and what I needed to know and learn.

What am I left with looking back on the goals I outlined, now that I’m ready to put Conscious Faith to rest and begin with Renewal?

  • Improving my active listening ability:

This is something that I thought that I’d managed huge inroads into, making it a part of my ordinary, what has also happened that I didn’t really notice at the time was that I’ve become much better at listening actively to myself, inwardly. I’m more aware about what’s going on for me, what I’m seeking, what I need, what I want.

  • Evaluating and reconsidering processes and systems:

There are many ways in which this has happened. Reworking or evaluating systems or adding in new processes have filtered all the way through my life from emotional and intellectual to more practical things such as ways I do exercise, manage pain, job hunt, communicate, employ boundaries and utilise my time.

One of the obvious examples is how the extensive reworking of how I process/consume/share/read information online and store it all (Dear Pinboard, I love you!) At the very least I’m paying a lot more attention to my habits, what feels natural and organic in my actions/schedule. I’m aiming ot make things less of a struggle, less of a fight so that I have more time and energy for things that matter more to me. This has been successful so far and honestly is one of those things that is a continual work in progress, and I’m okay with that.

  • Non-fiction reading, particularly study related: 

So this didn’t really occur outside of blogs. Partly it’s because a bunch of the texts I’d planned to read spent most of the year in Kununurra, but also the emotional toll of the year meant that I really didn’t have the capacity to really go in depth with my reading. I read lots of fluff instead. This is something that I hope to take into 2012 with me.

  • Cooking consciousness around eating and ethics

This is one of those that I think was the past lurking in the present, cooking has been a major part of my life over the years, but I don’t think it has the same priority now. At least, I am sure of that for the past two years. I didn’t spend much of last year cooking, what I did cook was of a high quality but it wasn’t regular. It was most often something quick and easy for dinner with occasional bigger efforts.

I’m still no closer ot having any idea how to deal with food and ethics, I waver back and forth. I have spent a lot of time *thinking* about it. And that was the point, resolution while nice wasn’t the aim. I learned a lot about how I prefer to eat out and my eating habits have changed in that regard. My body and hormones are in process of changing (I think) because what I eat and how it affects me seems to be changing. Trying to just go with it at the moment as I have no real conclusions.

  • Meaningful conversations were a cornerstone of the year, and they were how I felt that I made a difference in the world and to people around me. 

This was one of the central ways in which conscious faith really occurred. This was a year for one on one or small group conversations that meant so much to me. There were conversations I had with people that made an immense difference with them and their lives. There were also many times where I was in need of support and there were conversations then too.

I have come into a space of gentle trust again that what I bring to these conversations, to the world is unique and valuable. I am feeling more and more comfortable with being passionate about my life and the world around me again. My confidence is regrowing itself. All of this feeds into the conversations I’ve had, needed or moderated. Being a conversationalist in this sense is a huge expression of my Gianthood.

I’m very seriously and very gently growing ideas around how I can use my talent and passion in this way to earn a living while making a difference in the world. It’s a tiny fledgeling idea at present, it has lots of growing to do.

  • Goals and wishes and desires

Desires is a big one, I’ve desired so much and am still in a space of wanting and hoping. Some important things I’ve wanted shifts in haven’t occurred despite my attempts to do so, but I’ve learned a lot.

I got to spend a huge amount of time practising with ‘asking’ and it’s not that much less uncomfortable than it was a year ago. But, it has also helped me to unhook unhealthy patterns and collect evidence that demonstrates a much better pattern to take on.

I proved to myself that I could fling myself into a challenging situations, adventures that were huge! I also learned that if they don’t work out, I can totally come back from it and take the best I can from it. Given these intentions were the closest I came to making a list of goals I’m feeling pretty satisfied with how I fulfilled them overall.

  • More on making a difference

Aside from the conversational element, I also learned more about being myself. Being my best self. Not only that it doesn’t happen all the time, but, what my capacity is for ‘best’ is changeable. I am clear that I have throughout things I have done the very best I could do. What I was capable of in doing my ‘best’ at the time varies greatly. Some days are a win because I got through the day, or stayed in bed. Other days, I felt like I conquered all the bad things in my world.

This is one of the most frequent conversations I had over the past twelve months and also ties into letting go of perfectionism and doing things suffiently well, or trusting that I’ve done things sufficiently well.

  • Keeping my vows to myself and being my own best friend

Keeping in mind that I am responsible for being kind to myself and giving myself a break from all the expectation and judgement was a big part of last year. It was a huge reason why I think that I got through so much crap this year. It’s also why I think I was able to notice and address a whole bunch of things that had been in the back of my mind being pleasantly ignored.

I wasn’t always successful, but I was quick to make amends and adjust my actions or speaking as I was called on it. I got better at it as the year progressed too, even as the emotional stuff got harder and I struggled more. 

This was another of the conversations that I had multiple times with others to good effect. I think that having the conversation so often is also why I was forced to remember it and act on it perhaps more than I would have without the consistent reinforcement.

  • Knowing connectionism like I know how to breathe

When I last checked in with my enquiry, I was so thankful because it seemed like this was the gift I’d given myself to get through the year. I still believe this to be true. I couldn’t have gotten through the year without the connections around me and without being as deeply committed to connection as I am.


Overall… this enquiry has been the kind of inward and quiet success that is difficult to articulate or point to. But I can feel it. What I can take away from this is a knowingness that I have faith in myself, in the people and the world around me. I also have a better understanding about how I move through the world, and what happens when I consciously consider things or take things on, or even remove them from my life. It’s been fascinating and so much hard work. I’m content with what I’ve gained and learned from it. I’m also eager to move on to the happier space that I hope Renewal will be. 

Thank you 2011, you were so very rough, so very hard and I hope that what I learned and took away from my experience of you continues to grow and bear fruit in the years to come.

Checking in on my enquiry for 2011: Conscious Faith…. it’s all a work in progress.

I stumbled upon the entry I wrote at the beginning of the year about setting the space for my 2011 enquiry. I’m still in the midst of it, I can feel that there’s some time yet to have this fully play out. But, I am listening to the the universe and happenschance that I looked at it tonight and thus, updating.

Oh how difficult and sobering and heartening it is to revisit that post. The year was so full of promise and coming out of the last third of 2010 which was horrible, and it overall being a difficult year…. I wanted this year to be amazing. I also knew it would be challenging and it certainly has been. I feel like there have been glimpses of amazing… I hope it means that the really really good stuff is yet to come.

Still, I don’t think this is the update that I wanted to write. It will require me to be a little more personal than I thought I’d be in this space. However, what good is an enquiry if you don’t engage with it? 

I didn’t think I’d engaged with it as much as I have… it hasn’t been as much in the forefront of my mind as past year themes have been. But oh, looking back on what I wrote… there’s been so much to do with this theme going on. So. Very. Much.

Conscious Faith was about my life, how I move through the world, how I run my life and where I direct my energies. I’ve learned *so* much. I’ve shifted and changed so much of what was so at that point in the year. And all of it has been inside the world of trust, sincerity to self and my commitment to my life, to the world around me. I couldn’t be where I am at this point, without that being true.

Where am I with some of the goals I outlined?

  • I wanted to continue developing my ability to Listen Actively

It’s hard to describe where I’m at with this, because I feel like I’m better at this, but it is an overall sense rather than specific events I can point to. It’s about an attitude to listening that has become part of my background thought, part of my ordinary, rather than being something I have to employ consciously and with deliberate intent. It has (to my mind) been subsumed into how I move through the world in general.

  • I wanted to look at the systems and strategies I employ, and at their effectiveness.

I’ve employed some new systems and they’re new enough that I can’t yet evaluate them. It’s all a work in progress, but I can say that decluttering has been a big part of things. I’m also shifting how I do things in my online spaces so that I can streamline things a little better… it’s not there yet, but I’m thinking about it.

I’d still like mechanisms for being able to keep links together for link salad posting… currently I’m partly using whatever social networking is handy and partly my igoogle task list or just having a bunch of tabs open in my browser. See? Still a work in progress.

  • Non fiction reading increase and expansion

If I can count the amount of blog reading, then I can say this is happened. However, I know that I meant books of theorists. I’ve sourced several texts… but with the burnout I haven’t really taken any of them up to read. I’m a little sad about this, I’d still like it to shift and do a little bit of it. I know I’ll enjoy it when I get there… the big thing seems to be starting. Some work to be done there…

  • Cooking, being conscious and thoughtful about ingredients and ethical impacts

This is a hard one. There has been cooking… though not as much as I wanted. I have been conscious and thoughtful about the ingredients and ethics. Am I any closer to a position or being definitive about what works for me? Not a bit. That said, resolution wasn’t a requirement – it’d be a nice bonus though 🙂

  • Meaningful conversations with people that will assist with them working through or shifting hard stuff.

This has been a joy and challenge this year. There’s been a lot more of it than I could have conceived. I believe I’ve done well with it, people I’ve had conversations with where there was intentionality and something of a purpose in mind, there was beauty in sharing and moving through conversation and listening. I won’t say more than that save that it is very rewarding and it fills me up inside with light.

The hard with this is in confronting that I perhaps have something to offer, something meaningful that makes a difference. I do, I am learning to trust this and rather than worry about being egotistical I am concentrating on trusting myself and sharing without imposing.

  • Goals and wishes and desires

Oh I’ve been listening. I’ve been acting on things as well. I took a chance on an adventure to Kununurra for a job. It was amazing and heartbreaking. It didn’t work out… but I took a leap of faith and that felt *amazing*. I’m conscious that my time in Perth is drawing to a close, that it’s time to be in a different living space, a different city space and exploring other aspects of myself and my relationships.

Professional goals and wishes have come with some fruition despite the difficulty that was Kununurra. There have been jobs I’ve done and enjoyed. I’ve worked with great teams. I’ve achieved significant and measurable results. I’ve achieved things. I’ve become more aware of what shape my career might take on. It’s still barely shaped… but it’s there and I can feel it starting to come together.

  • Making a difference in the world… myself and others. Also here is the space where I wanted to live in accordance with my ideals that ‘we’re all an us’ that ‘anything is possible’

I am making a difference in every moment that I am myself to the best of my ability. Authentically, I am an intense person and I have an enormous impact on my world around me. I am an overflowing well of love, of wonder and of joy shared freely with those around me. I am powerful and driven by my visions for equality, for personhood, for connection, for a greater understanding and appreciation of love. I am someone who motivates and inspires, I lead people and most of all…. I am a Giant.

I am a Giant standing on the shoulders of many other Giants, wanting others to stand on my shoulders to become Giants, all of us reaching for far away stars, creating them with our dreams.

It’s not without stumbles and falls, none of us manage to be our best selves all the time. Sometimes, I am learning, it is our less awesome selves that teach us what being sincere and authentic are really about. It is all about the journey, the destination may yet be grand, but without the journey I have no context with which to value it.

I’ve seen people around me take on amazing projects, start inspiring businesses, speak truth and love, connection and community to people. I’ve been part of some of this and some of it just a witness to it… but oh, I get to be around some of the most amazing people who are making the most amazing difference in the world in so many different and important ways.

  • Continue to be my own best friend, to abide my my self dedication vows and promises.

This is a mixed bag in some ways. Or maybe not… I’ve been very conscious of this all year. I started the year in burn out, I’ve discovered a heart-wound as part of my trying to recover my energy reserves (which in part explains why it’s taking so freaking long). Self care and introspection have been strong motivators for me this year. I’ve been working so very hard in my head and in my heart. I’m not done yet. Some of what I’ve been working on has uncovered some really nasty and unhealthy patterns that are not at all keeping with my promises to myself. However, I’m paying that they’re there and working to unhook them and let them go.

  • Know connectionism like I know how to breathe…

This has to be one of the gifts I gave myself at the beginning of this year. I swear it’s been one of the key things that’s helped me to deal with all the hard and all the painful stuff. I know my connections like I know how to breathe. I can feel them and I can nurture them. For most of the year the energy has been rushing outwards in some key spaces and that tide is now turning.

In other spaces the flow of energy back and forth has been sublime abundance. I am surrounded by the most amazing loving friends. I cannot for a moment doubt that love and care… And even in the spaces where the energy has been in ebb and it’s mostly been coming from me… there is a special kind of caringness and building that comes from that. It’s not one sided, just held in trust. I’ve been holding close my knowledge of those connections, knowing that tides and energy flows would revert in time. Knowing connectionism has made the hard that much easier to navigate. So unbelievably easier.

This is where I am at just now. I think the summary is really, still all a work in progress. But oh, I can absolutely recognise far more clearly 2011’s theme Conscious Faith in amongst all the stuff going on this year. That’s actually quite satisfying… I’m kind of delighted by the effort my subconscious has clearly made in this area.

As a work in progress I’m very conscious that it also means… there’s still a lot of work to come. But, I have faith in all the ways I’m negotiating my world and beingness. It is all coming together. I’m still learning so very much. I’m seeking recognition and reassurance in different places and I am letting go of my sense of independence as a fortress around me. I must remember that my best strength is always in vulnerability. 

Here’s to the rest of 2011… bring it. I’m all over this.

2011 Theme: Conscious Faith

This year’s theme didn’t leap out at me with the same kind of vibrant declaration that I’ve been spoiled with – there was a lot of searching and musing involved. In previous years, I’ve started listening and the concept became obvious fairly quickly, like one of those inner moments where it feels like a bell song reverberating throughout your body. This time, no bell. I did get there in the end – and it wasn’t just a case of deciding between my two top candidates as both of them were getting my attention pretty thoroughly. In the end it was realising that neither single choice was the right one, that actually the correct choice lay in embracing both concepts in tandem as a complimentary entwined enquiry for the year.

2011 is about both consciousness and faith. Conscious Faith. 

When I say ‘consciousness’ what I’m referring to is conscious living, looking at the way I’m using my energy, what I’m putting it into, what I’m directing it away from, what I am choosing, what consequences I come across, how I organise and process things, my systems and strategies for making my life work – is it working for me or just running the show? Am I living in line with my values, am I questioning them and thus refining my positions – am I willing to change a position entirely? Am I taking chances, am I playing things ‘too safe’/’too well-behaved’? Am I exploring and expressing myself honestly and with vulnerability?

Those kind of questions.

When I mention ‘faith’ I’m not speaking from any religious or spiritual space. I’m talking about the way you can have confidence or belief in something without tangible supporting facts – without needing to seek out proof, because it is the act of believing, of trust and sincerity that is the key aspect of the concept.

When I think about how these two concepts look together, what it might entail or look like I feel like faith is also about looking around me. It is appreciating what is in my life and being conscious about where my energy is going, where my priorities are, seeking out my wishes and goals, discovering what projects will encompass those things. Really noticing what is happening within my life, what opportunities are available, what pitfalls to avoid. Leading on from connectionism stuff, conscious faith is also about recognising people who cross my path where there is some sort of exchange to take place – learning or listening, teaching, humbling, growing or inspiration, taking actions or appreciating results. It is about recognising that connection moment when it happens and playing it out to its full potential, where everyone gets the best of the experience.

This is all conscious faith to me, recognising and following from intuition into belief and trust and considering or generating what I need from within to meet the challenges without.

What kind of actions and/or goals are going to be part of this at this beginning stage?

– practise listening and continue to develop this as an active ability

– look at what systems and strategies I employ for efficiency and to get things done, evaluate their effectiveness and implement new systems or strategies if required. 

– continue to expand on my reading list of non-fiction study related material, take advantage of the many recommendations that cross my screen on a daily basis and read some of those as well. 

– be conscious about my cooking, look at what I’m choosing to cook, consider what ingredients are involved, what ethics are impacted by my choices, by my family’s choices.

– develop trust in my ability to have meaningful conversations that will assist people in shifting some of their hard stuff, as part of this I should never forget the honour that is being invited in to share someone’s hard and scary stuff.

– listen to my inner desires and heartfelt goals and act in accordance for their fulfilment. This would include my degree and any other major decisions like travelling or moving. 

– practice playing, get more comfortable with being silly and not so serious, enjoy my creativity and imagination and encourage this so that it becomes part of ‘my ordinary’. 

– make a difference in the world, be honest and sincere. Do it because it feels right and not just to look good. Make it contribute to lasting cultural shift and not quick and insincere bandaid fixes. 

– support others in their making a difference in the world. 

– actively live in accordance with the ideals that mean the most to you. I mean, ‘we are all and us’ and ‘anything is possible’.

– keep faith with yourself and your self dedication vows and promises. Give this away to others so that they also have the opportunity to be their own best friend. 

– continue your practice of connectionism, expand on it and know it like you know how to breathe. 


This is the beginning of the journey. From here who knows what it will look like? I suspect at times it will be a rollercoaster and other times it will be deeply peaceful and calm. I have no doubt that the year will be challenging, that it will demand from me all of myself to the best of my ability to truly, honestly and powerfully be myself.

I am so ready for this, here’s to 2011.