Starting Kit

OK – you mad evolutionaries…here's how to make this experiment work for you, in whatever state of mind or circumstance you occupy.

1. Read the Assignment

Every week there will be a new Assignment. 
Follow any or all of the suggestions for practice. Or get creative and come up with your own version.
The idea is to choose the elements that will give meaning to your life. So that your life is handcrafted, personal, rather than a series of reactive habits to the swirling chaos we live in.

2. Pay attention

Make a note of any experiences, responses and insights that arise. You could just make a mental note, or go the whole hog and jot them into a journal or evolution logbook.
I bought a beautiful big artist's portfolio to journal in. Somehow the beauty of it keeps me motivated and reminds me to keep it light and joyful.

3. Connect with your community of practice

Compare notes with others doing the practice. Exchange tips and hints.
Use the comment section of the blog (or use the Evolution or Bust ! Facebook Page to do any of the following:

  • Whinge, whine, complain and express protest. Best whinge of the week wins a prize.  (OK - I just made that up.)
  • Read my comments as I struggle, breakthrough, gain clarity …and whinge right alongside you. 
  • Ask questions about the practice or the philosophy around it.
  • Ask for help.
  • Tell heroic stories of your evolving magnificence!
  • Or just log in to remind yourself that you’re not alone.

4. Complete

At the end of the week, note your learnings. Too often we achieve enormous breakthroughs.... and refuse to acknowledge them. Even small shifts in thinking or attitude or behaviours should be marked and honoured.

That’s evolution.

Finally, choose what you will continue to do and what you will discard from this practice. Some will be incredibly useful and you will decide to do them every day. Others will confirm for you that you don’t benefit much and hence should stop feeling guilty about NOT doing those things.

And have a nice celebratory something or other on completion (champagne anyone?)

5. Rinse and Repeat!

52 weeks, 52 assignments. Imagine how evolved we’ll all be at the end!

You can start wherever and whenever you like. I started on June 3rd 2010. (maybe check that entry out in the archives to get the best feel for what it's all about) People will come on board later and will simply start when they start, then cycle through a whole years worth of practice in their own time. Some will dip in and out as they feel like it. Some might even miss one week entirely and move on to a topic they like better. The more dedicated the practice the greater the benefits, but - hey – do what works for you.

Lastly – don’t do anything that just feels wrong. Many of these assignments are deeply grounded in thousands of years of practice, passed down from great teacher to great teacher in unbroken lineage. Doesn’t mean it’s always right for you. If you give your power away to a blog I shall be forced to come to your house and there’ll be smacked bottoms all round. You have been warned.

Sometimes the most affirming thing that you can do is say “No thanks...”

The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.
 Abraham Lincoln
Some tips on Journaling

The practice of journaling has been around since writing began. It is a way of tracking progress, of noticing the subtle, yet crucial shifts in attitude and circumstance. It is a reminder to give thanks for the things we take for granted, but which in fact are the cornerstone of our happiness and source of our joy. It is an opportunity to whinge, moan and gripe about all the obstacles that life puts between ourselves and the realising of our potential.

Remember, not all insights are dazzling. But the practice of reflecting upon where we are at and where we are headed is vital to the achievement of change.

How to do it

You may like to write 3 pages a day, you may quickly scribble down 3 sentences at the end of a week of practice. You may like to write continuously first thing in the morning, you may like to write at night when you can reflect on your day. Some people find this is a good way to empty the mind of all the worry and concerns of the day, particularly if the assignment is reaping plenty of anxiety or resistance. Or indeed, plenty of insights and opportunities for self-affirmation, or moments of just noticing that all is well in your world.

If you find it hard to begin, try using coloured textas to doodle and decorate key words for your feelings, experiences, happenings and achievements of the day. Do what feels right. The purpose of the journaling is to support your weekly practice by capturing the mental, emotional or circumstantial shifts that arise, and consequently allowing more choice through the reflection upon these shifts.

Remember that unraveling your own thoughts is a private practice. If there is a part of your consciousness concerned with what someone else might think of your scribblings, then quiet that voice by keeping your journal under lock and key! Only by writing by yourself, for yourself will you uncover your authentic voice.

Still stuck?

Try these thought starters…

1.   How do I feel about my practice today/ this week? (e.g. disinterested, fed up, can’t wait to achieve success…)

2.   What are all the reasons why this assignment is impossible, too hard at the moment, completely insane (who writes these idiotic assignments??!!) don’t know why I ever started this program…?

3.   What progress have I made toward the achieving the practice/task?

4.   What unexpected avenues have provided me with support/ guidance/information?

5.   What have I learned about myself this week? (e.g. I’m a lot more stubborn/strong/fearful/wise than I thought)

6.   What am I grateful for this week? (e.g. for a supportive partner, for a strong spirit, a hearty constitution, for good food and sweet water to drink)

7.   What challenge have I met well this week?

8.   What have I done poorly? How would I do that differently next time?

9.   Have I rewarded myself for progress made?

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.