Creating a Shining Year

Detail from my journal. Dreamboard class taught by Tamara Laporte as part of an online retreat.

*I've been taking time out to listen to the 'whispers' - the things I need to take notice of for the sake of my wellbeing. Since December 20th I've been dabbling in some (online) art sessions and got a lot more from them than just colourful pages in my journal read more here. A big thing is that I need to lighten up - I've been too serious lately and need to have more fun in my daily life, not just when I'm on holiday or seeing my friends! Another key thing is that, in the language of the late Jim Rohn (who I was fortunate to meet in my early 20s), I really haven't 'set my sails' since becoming a mother. 
Learning to reset the sail with the changing winds rather than permitting ourselves to be blown in a direction we did not purposely choose requires the development of a whole new discipline. It involves going to work on establishing a powerful, personal philosophy that will help to influence in a positive way all that we do and that we think and decide. If we can succeed in this worthy endeavor, the result will be a change in the course of our income, lifestyle and relationships, and in how we feel about the things of value as well as the times of challenge. If we can alter the way we perceive, judge and decide upon the main issues of life, then we can dramatically change our lives. Jim Rohn
In 2006 I went from being an organised person with 'a plan' to being a stay-at-home mother, just getting through the day. And the bad habit stuck.... for a decade!
[M]y goal has been to keep the kids/husband/dog alive and well, take each day as it comes, and get as much sleep as possible. - Sarah Knight
Not much of the last 10.5 years has been intentional and I now find myself with a family, a blog, designing things every now and again, and without any sort of plan or focus for my life, never mind the new year! For the last decade, my goal has been to keep the kids/husband/dog alive and well, take each day as it comes, and get as much sleep as possible. Luckily it's worked out, but it's not exactly inspiring. 

As 2017 begins, I've never been in a better position to have fun and create my life how I'd like it to be. We have a beautiful family, we are doing ok financially, our health is good. With the kids growing up and becoming less dependent on me, I have more freedom to pursue the things that make me happy. Yet in the absence of things to be excited about, I have been far too serious and grumpy! I spoke to my friend Nerissa just before Christmas and with a little encouragement from her I've been working my way through a Life workbook by Leonie Dawson - it's proving to be fun and a bit challenging.

My Workbook. Digital versions are also available to print at home or complete online.

Fun because I got to look back on the great things about 2016 (and there were more than I realised) and also because it's really good to think about all the possibilities. Challenging, because the workbook is split into key areas that require thought and intention:
  • creativity, 
  • soul, 
  • mind, 
  • relationships, 
  • family, 
  • body, 
  • house, 
  • travel/adventures,
  • finances, 
  • community, 
  • self-care, and 
  • support
If you're anything like me, some of those topics might give you goosebumps while others make you groan aloud. For example, I don't want to deal with the clutter in my house, even though I know that it would be a positive thing for all of us who live in it. However, I'd love to think about how to bring more intention to my community and creativity - those are the things that make me feel excited. Needless to say, I haven't finished all of the sections yet.

I must confess that I've considered getting one of these workbooks for a few years - ever since I first discovered Leonie Dawson's website - and I thought it might be a bit too 'woo woo' and bright and colourful for me so I didn't bother buying it. The fact is that I also didn't bother setting any intentions in those years, I just bobbed about with no direction, and went where the wind blew me. I was lucky that the wind was mostly favourable - there have been many highlights over the last few years - but it's time to have some sort of plan.

Filling out the workbook was a little bit overwhelming to start with, and it sat on the shelf for a week, but now I'm on a roll. I'll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, if any of this speaks to you, you might like to take a look at Leonie Dawson's website and her free goodies page or Ezine. The workbooks can be found on Amazon for UK delivery, and here for US/International.

If you're already using the Workbooks, leave a comment and let me know what you think - which are the bits that inspire you? What do you find more challenging? 

*NOTE: affiliate links are included throughout this post, thank you for using them and supporting future reviews and blog content, at no additional cost to you. 


  1. Well done you! I think as Mums, we often lose our identity, and we stay lost to ourselves. I have to admit to having got a wee bit teary reading this, remembering a long ago near breakdown, I couldn't answer the simple question "What do you like to do?" because I couldn't remember a time when I had a choice, I couldn't remember who I was behind the mother and wife. I ended up in hospital for 10 days. Nearly two decades later, sitting in my cluttered house with 2 grown girls and a now teenage son, I find myself thinking "who am I" again. Thank you for this Sarah, sometimes it just takes someone else's courage and honesty to shine the way for others. What a wonderfully bright torch you have proven to be. xxx

    1. It's always good to ask that I think, Amanda, as we are constantly changing and developing and the answer might radically change while we are busy getting on with life, and don't realise it. Thank you so much for your comment. Personal posts like these make one much more vulnerable than a "look at this knitting" post and get much less response, but I remind myself that it's my blog, and to write about what's happening for me. Somewhere out there, it might ring a bell with someone else, even if they don't respond directly. It's lovely when they do xxx

  2. Amanda, this question has really spoken to me tonight. Ive been properly in the doldrums, not sure where to go. Just to be guided by 'what do I like to do?' (And, maybe 'what needs to happen to let me do what I like to do?). So obvious, but I just hadn't thought of it like that....

    1. A great starting point indeed! Hope you are feeling more inspired soon :) x

  3. Sarah,
    I love your blog and your crafts - even thought I don't do them myself. You have achieved so much in your life already(certainly more than I have in the last ten years). I am taking it one day at a time now and trying not to put any pressure on myself to do whatever I think I should have by now. I'm just going to see what happens. Happy New shining year to you and your family love Bernie

    1. Happy new year Bernie! I think blogging has been the thing that carried me through the last 6 years tbh, I don't know what I'd have done without that outlet and community. Sending love to you and yours xxx

    2. Keep blogging as it is inspiring. We must meet up in real time soon.

  4. Far out! Big, big, big, loud, resonating bells ringing in my head reading this. Thank you for writing this post Sarah. Everything you wrote is so very similar to what I'm experiencing; I've been a stay at home mum for almost 10 years, my youngest is finally going to preschool 3 days a week this year, now is MY TIME, Bec time, Three Bags Full time.... but what the hell do I do with it? What does it even mean to have time that doesn't belong to the house, the kids, the Huz? How do I structure it so I can make the most of it? Do I even NEED to structure it? Well yes, yes I do, otherwise I'll just waffle along, faffing about and never get anything done lol I appreciate your raw honesty Sarah, I appreciate women like you helping and uplifting women like me, especially because you've just showed me that you are actually a woman just like me and the eleventy million others of us out there who feel this way but for whatever reason feel that they don't have a right to feel this way. In all of this exciting "free" time that's all about me, I'll definitely take time to sit down with a cuppa and have a chat with those whispers. Big love and thanks, Bec xxx

    1. Taking a cuppa and listening is definitely a great plan. I don't have any answers, but I think that they are already inside if you let them form and listen out for them. I'm excited for you! Please do come back and let me know what your whispers say xxx


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