November 8, 2022
January 3, 2023

This time last year I was choosing my ‘word’. The one that would guide my decision making over the following 12 months.

That word was Discernment.

And what a wonderful word it has turned out to be.

As a result of being discerning, I have curated my ‘uniform’, taken out the ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought-to’s’, hung out with people I truly value, got off the social media wheel, directed myself to where joy is found, developed strength in my physical being, turned the ‘on’ switch off, and thrived on my enthusiasm for art history and everything associated with it. I am happy, so my family, friends, colleagues and clients are also happy. It’s contagious!

Working my discerning muscle has also strengthened my instinct (sixth sense – if you prefer),

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a train travelling to London. My plan was; to read a specific book in time for a Book Club meeting the following Monday, to visit the Cezanne exhibition, followed by a trip to a ceramic exhibition at a neighbouring gallery. I opened the book, which I had already started, and realised very quickly that it wasn’t holding my attention. Moving to Kindle, ‘Quite’ by Claudia Winkleman, a British broadcaster and presenter, seemed to be saying “Choose me”. As soon as I started to read I knew I had made the right decision. I chuckled, laughed out loud and smiled so much I’m sure the passengers thought I was a bit crazy! What also resonated with me was how the author prefers to dress. We could be twins!

Half way through my journey, I thought about how changing my mind about what to read had already affected my day in the most positive of ways. It occurred to me that I didn’t really want to see the Cezanne, or the ceramics, even though it would be my last chance to view the latter. What I really wanted was to see Lynette Yiadon-Boakye’s ‘Fly in League with the Night’ at Tate Britain. So, I changed my itinerary – just like that.

When I arrived at the gallery, I shared the lift (elevator) with two ladies who had just come from the Cezanne. The queues were so horrendous they just turned right around. I had coffee with them – a lovely experience – and went to see the show. Fabulous, breathtaking, exciting, amazing – I think you get my drift! I saw two other exhibitions at the same gallery. None were overcrowded, so I got the chance to really see what was in front of me.

In the gallery’s book shop, I came across an open catalogue of the ceramic exhibition. I knew immediately that it wasn’t my cup of tea. I will never get to see the ceramics, and possibly the Cezanne is also out of reach but it doesn’t really matter. I was only going because I thought I should. I mean Cezanne is one of the greats. Who wouldn’t want to go? The December book club was cancelled and I cannot attend the January date so not reading the original book also turned out to be a good idea. I’ve lived long enough now to not continue with things that don’t sit right – right?

It was the most joyous of days and I was so thankful that I had listened to my inner voice.

The other major happening is being part of a like-minded community. Since Fashion Feng Shui changed its structure a year or so ago, 5 Masters (of which I am one) have been collaborating monthly. Our original intention was to build a new business that would include all aspects of Feng Shui, including how we dress. What we have discerned from our meetings is that it is a safe space for sharing our ideas, issues, concerns, wins and stories. We have come to value these interactions and truly look forward to them. We have supported, encouraged, praised, commiserated and advised one another whenever the need arose. I realise that this kind of space is crucial in our lives, especially as face to face contact has given way to virtual for most of us.

With that in mind, we are planning an online Coffee, Connect, Community, Compassion type of event in January. Our theme is “How do you want to FEEL in 2023?’. I will post details later. If you’d like to join us, you’ll be very welcome. It will be 5pm UK, 12 noon ET and it’s FREE.

I hope that your 2022 provided some valuable insights. It’s rare for me to look back. I have always been a ‘living in the present’ type of gal. but sometimes reflecting on recent happenings can provide nuggets of gold.

Here’s to a 2023 filled with whatever you wish and hope for. Thank you for reading me.

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