Circle of Support / 2012

In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I’m in need of a major life overhaul. He responded that I’d had one last year, what with the move to Oregon and starting grad school. I said that I felt more like Frodo when he reached Rivendell in “The Fellowship of the Rings” – skewered by poisoned swords, barely alive and wanting things that would destroy most of what I’ve been working for. Rivendell is the place where he began to heal and where he found his fellowship. Portland is my Rivendell, but I’m still taking stock of wounds and healing. And I haven’t quite found my fellowship yet. That’s where you come in.

Over the past week, I’ve had a few opportunities to see into what my future could be like, if I keep going the direction I’ve been going. Maybe it was the repeated viewings of “A Christmas Carol,” or maybe I was indeed visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future, in the form of my mother and various other beings. Christmas Past visited in some communications between Jeff and I earlier this month. And I guess Christmas Present would be on Facebook. Anyhoo, somewhere around Wednesday, I realized that things really have to change. So 2012 is going to be that year. And as I mentioned, I’m looking for my fellowship. (Excuse the switching of literary metaphors, heh.) What I’m looking for is a small group of people who can and will be brutally honest, who know me and most of the people in my life reasonably well, and who are willing to help keep me on my quest. If we continue with the Tolkien comparison, I have a helluva ring to drop off in Mordor. In a way, I’m looking for a group to help me through what I think will be an initiatory year.

So what does that look like? Well, I’d love to include a trip to New Zealand where we could tromp around the wilds, but instead I need to do it here in Portland, in the gritty reality of where I live and intend to stay. I have created a list of overall goals, and rather than plan out the entire year, I’d like to set monthly goals every four weeks. And all I’m asking of you, friends, is that you read a weekly update, that you help me do it afraid just by listening/reading. And that if I disappear (i.e. stop communicating), you invite me back out. I really do feel like my life is at stake here – my mental and spiritual life for sure, and perhaps my physical life as well. I may ask for other things (for example, I have a training app that allows people to send text messages while I’m training, which the program then reads to me in real time), but mostly I just need to feel connected and supported.

If it’s not a good time for you, or if any of my goals trigger stuff for you or if you just feel like you can’t support what I’m doing either in theory or in practical reality (i.e. you don’t have time), please feel free to opt out (but let me know, so I can take you off this filter). But I hope you’ll be in. It’s hard to ask, but this is hopefully just the first of many experiences of truth-telling and working through fear and broken patterns this year. My overall goals, as well as January’s goals are below.

Goals for 2012

  • Improved physical health – the stamina to run a half marathon by October, more flexibility so that I’m less achy, and the strength to move in June. I want to feel alive in my body.
  • Improved mental health – no drinking until June, when I will reevaluate for the rest of the year based on my experiences in recovery and therapy. Clarity and action around my relationship status with Jeff and overall emotional well-being, with a decision made by June, when I will make a decision about living – and relationship – changes and arrangements.
  • Reconnected spiritual life – I will find or create a supportive spiritual community. I will reestablish a regular spiritual practice (to include daily and seasonal observances) and strengthen my connection to the land and her divinity through hikes and ritual.

January Resolutions

I will attend one SMART Recovery meeting a week, either in person or online.

I will begin training with the Couch to 10K podcast for May’s 10K.

I will stay sober.

I will attend one therapy session each week.

I will update my Circle of Support once a week.

I will set up a schedule to avoid procrastination with my classes.

I will set my altar up and find or create a meditation space.

I will sit for at least 5 minutes each day, according to the practice outlined in Evolutionary Witchcraft.

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