In February I wrote about entrenching new patterns in my life and I’ve continued with this in the time since. My resistance training is showing modest but steady results, I’m still churning out a photo each day and my daily writing is lagging behind, sadly. Overall, I’m happy with my trajectory.
In April I will be getting rid of as many items as I can from amid my clutter, through selling and giving away as much as I can in 30 days. I’m actually looking forward to this a lot, because I always feel more creative and unfettered in an environment that is uncluttered. It might just be a clinging to order and minimalism, but it works well for me.
The framework I use to direct my personal development is an Integral Life Practice, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Central to ILP are various modules used to assess and improve many aspects of our lives. I’d like to share with you my most recent look at my overall practice in a range of areas in hope it might inspire you to look at your own life.
Let’s begin with the four core modules of an ILP.
Body – While I’m not entirely happy with my physical state, I feel healthier and more energetic than a year ago. I eat well most of the time, though I want to find ways to ensure I can have quick meals ready for when I’m rushing off to do things. My resistance training is going well, and right now seems to just demand perseverance. With warmer weather on the way I want to return to frequent walking and hiking, as well as more time outside in general.
Mind – Pushing my cognitive boundaries is something I try to engage in daily. I read or skim through over a hundred articles online each day and make an effort to inject new ideas into my awareness. Recently I’ve been considering my educational options for the next couple years and have been considering a return to university that would be refreshing and engaging.
Spirit – I’ll admit to neglecting my spiritual practice lately. I’m down to at best one dedicated meditation session each week and I’ve noticed some dulling of my ability to be present because of this lapse. In the next few weeks I want to get back into a daily routine and add more immediate state experiences to my practice to help shake my practice up.
Shadow: Shadows are our disowned psychological parts, those aspects of ourselves we deny. I actually feel my shadow practice is fairly strong. Though it’s not firmly structured, I’m often using the 3-2-1 Process to inhabit things that trouble or attract me noticeably.
The four modules above are the essential parts of an ILP, but it also has auxilary modules that are optional but very valuable. I’ll run through some of my interests in these.
Ethics – While I feel my ethical foundation is sound, my proactive work to engage myself in the responsibility I feel toward the world is far below where I’d like it to be. In my daily life I’d like to make more conscious and informed decisions on everything from my few purchases to interacting with friends and people in my workplace. There is always room for taking more perspectives into account and doing so more skillfully, so I want to work on this especially.
Sex – I’d describe my sex life as very healthy at the moment, even with some recent challenges. Gwen’s health has deteriorated recently and this presents a new dimension and potential strain to our sex life. I want to focus on working with these new obstacles and maintaining a vibrant intimacy.
Work – My workplace provides an environment that tests a lot of my virtues. I want to improve my general stance toward the people I deal with and maintain the sort of work ethic I demand of myself.
Emotions – I’m rather steady emotionally, which can lead me to being less conscious of what is going on emotionally for me when I do have swings in my emotions. I try to take the time to reflect on my emotions from time to time and explore what they offer.
Relationships – As I mentioned above, Gwen’s health has deteriorated during the past couple weeks. She has lost much of her vision and is enduring other ailments. I want to be as present for her as I am able, to help her through such a devastating time. In my other relationships I want to offer the same level of presence and become fully engaged in the friendships I treasure so much but have neglected unnecessarily. Ensuring I find time for each of my friends is often a challenge as I try to juggle everything in my life, so I’ve been trying my best to keep my social life beating.