Containment

/kənˈteɪnm(ə)nt/
noun

the action of keeping something (harmful) under control or within limits.

This year’s theme for me was ‘containment’, quite fitting for the entire world probably. Last years’ was ‘going inward’, which turned out to be essential preparation to get through this one. It was the first time that I had made a year planner for the Toverbosch events, initially to actively make time to focus more on my art. However 2020 turned out to be the worst year to make plans, let alone planners..

The pandemic and it’s measures left me totally confused. I didn’t feel it at first, because I had quite a few projects to finish. When these were done, I made a call for jobs and luckily got loads of replies. But when you take my deadlines away, apparently prioritising becomes my worst enemy. So work, or no work, didn’t matter.

I had to reinvent myself, not being able to make use of my beloved ‘rush’ that comes with a nearing deadline. It gave me many insights on my internal and external motivators and also the things that numb me mentally/physically. In facing these, ‘containment’ turned out to be my most important anchor, when my mind was adrift.

Decluttering, organising, cleaning, fixing. Breaking bigger tasks into smaller bits. Making time to rest and reflect. Taking care of unfinished business. Getting rid of all that extra mental load. Taking care of my house: making it my home again. Making room for new things, by giving the old a purpose or a destination.

There were so many things I wanted, but didn’t get done this year, but so many other small, yet very important things I did do.

Last year I limited myself to having 5 main personal goals:

  • make food important
  • study yoga & circus
  • become a great artist
  • be in nature
  • allow yourself to be fragile

And in retrospect, I am soo thankful that I made my list this compact.

Make food important:

Well, if I did succeed in one thing this year, it was making good food important! In May we started the fourth location of Lekkernassûh at Toverbosch. We have a weekly market now, filled with biological and locally produced veggies, bread, cheese, eggs and other local food. The markets are all run by the participants themselves, which makes the project a great team effort. So happy that I’ve met all these wonderful and inspiring people ♥!

Study yoga & circus:

Doing circus is one of the best ways to train yourself to overcome setbacks, practice your perseverance and feeling accomplished when you finally succeed. Last year I started practising poi, and mastered the basics. This year I added the rope dart, which is similar, but suits me better, and am working on getting the hang of that. I have a long way to go before I can make a full choreo, but I am so happy to feel the joy of the practise itself. Thank you Bokkepootjes ♥!

As for yoga, I’ve deepened my practise by falling in love with Downward Facing Dog as a restorative pose (instead of punishment, what it always was to me) and finally knowing AND feeling where my shoulderblades should be hahaha!

Become a great proud artist:

This ofcourse meant realising the things I’m doing are.already.good.enough. We all know how that one works right? Not being so hard on myself about where my creativity and energy goes, was key. I’ve been telling myself “I don’t draw enough.” for years and years now. And it does not help me to draw more. Yet apparently “all these other things I keep doing all the time”, make me happy. Quite a shocker, when that one finally hit. So why constantly grade these things as time less well spent?

Letting go of, as my Yogini Jacqui Howles always puts it, my “shoulds” and “supposed to’s” of what makes me an artist, gives me more space to appreciate the things I do. Well, it was about time :).

Be in nature

If I only compare my total outdoor-time to previous years, I might have failed horribly at this one, but when you look at how being in nature is a more natural part of me, I think it’s definitely a win. Because of all the Toverbosch events got cancelled, it feels like I haven’t been outside as much. But we did work in it’s vegetable garden and that of our sister-garden ‘t Notentuintje every week. I did go outside with my girls a lot, we did enjoy summer. I went on many walks with my dog Wicc, because I felt like I had “more time” for it. Being in nature has always been important to me, but often something I had to actively “do”. This year it has been incorporated more in my daily life I guess. In fact I didn’t have more time for it, I just took it.

Allow yourself to be fragile

Last, but not least, a big one for me: This year was hard in many ways, and all we could do was surrender to it. Something I’m not very good at. I like to know where I’m at, what exactly I’m doing, and why I am doing it. This year that was impossible. Luckily most people didn’t know what they were doing and weirdly enough that was freeing to me. Not knowing what I’m doing, but just doing it, is often a better way to do things for me, but I hardly allow myself to let things just happen. This year forced me to slow down, let go and focus on the things that are most important to me. And to feel that they are. The good bits and the bad. I invested in invisible things, litteraly not “for show”, but because they are dear to me. I invested in people, my friends, my kids, my community.  So, not much to show this year, but loads to feel, and I’m, slowly but steady, dealing with all of it.

All in all, I’m in a good (and loving) place most of the time,
and that, during confusing times, I am proud of.

That said, I hope you enjoyed my pondering and find yourself in a good (or at least ok) place too. Please let me know :).

Our Root Sellery being properly taken care of by my daughters ♥

Last year’s intentions ♥ (better pic soon)