My mission statement: a yearly check-in

Sunset at Pt Chevalier beach, Auckland, Queen's birthday weekend. Bliss.

Sunset at Pt Chevalier beach, Auckland, Queen’s birthday weekend. Bliss.

I am at my best when…

When I feel I am living true to myself, surrounded by family and friends who know and love me. When I love myself. When I feel proud, and motivated, happy, healthy, stimulated. When I feel general affection without an object. Relaxed, present. When I feel like I have agency- kicking ass and taking names.

I am at my worst when…

I am ignoring/editing/masking parts of myself. When I am too much in my mind, anxious, living in the past or future, obsessive. When I am mean to myself, hard on myself, angry at myself, sad. When I am bored. When I don’t feel like I have any agency to create positive change in my community, in society, even in my own life. When I feel unmotivated.

What do I really love to do at work?

Anything that is creative, fresh, new, stimulating, exciting, challenging. Helping others, working for non-profits. Supportive leadership roles, seeing people grow with my encouragement. ‘Leading from the middle (or behind)’, helping people help themselves. Something active, different, lateral. Designing my own work, my own career. Working in an inspiring team.

What do I really love to do in my personal life?

Be with people! Be social, make new friends, explore different parts of myself with others. Discover myself with my friends and family. Be physical, express with my body, sweat: dance, pole, aerials, yoga, bedroom work outs, hiking, swimming, cycling, kayaking. Playing! Discovering music that connects with me. Challenging myself to learn new skills. Building a richer spiritual life, meditating. Nourishing and respecting my body. Traveling, being out of my comfort zone, going to places where I am a stranger to everyone. Snuggling in bed. Reading a book. Having sex and exploring my sexuality.

My natural talents & gifts are…

Organiser. Smart facilitator. Educator. Self-reflective. Eloquent communicator. Mindful. Compassionate. Empathetic. Imaginative. Inquisitive. Positive. Determined. Focused. Effective negotiator. Calm in a crisis. Self-reliant. Independent.

External: creative writer, expressive performer, talented pianist, flexible and fit, tough and good stamina in physically challenging conditions, comfortable and friendly with wide variety of people and different situations.

 If I had unlimited time & resources & knew I could not fail, what would I choose to do?

I would set up and work at a sex-positive community centre. It would offer individual and couples therapy, sex education classes for teenagers and young people, workshops and seminars for all ages, safe play spaces, events and meetings, a library and resource centre. It would be free or very cheap for people to attend, and would cater to a wide variety of languages and cultures. It would be the space for anyone and everyone who is interested in discovering more about their sexuality.

My life’s journey is…

To love myself. To have an emotionally, physically, sexually and socially fulfilling life. To cultivate a rich personal spirituality. To support others to love their sexuality, and fully embrace it in their life. To help where I can, always. To serve those I love.

What would people say about you on your 80th birthday?

That I don’t let life past me by, that I truly live it, throwing myself at it with imagination and positivity. That I love my partner, family and friends passionately. That I am strong and fierce, caring and loving. That I am fun. Laughing stories about adventure, travel. That I create and support significant positive change in the lives of individuals and communities. That I will die, leaving the world a better place.

What do I consider to be my biggest future contribution to the most important people in my life?

To help them be the best people they can be. To support them to reach their full potential. To selflessly care for them. To make them feel important and very loved.

Are there things I feel I should change or alter, even though I’ve dismissed these thoughts many times? What are they?

Walking the talk. Being honest, having awkward conversations, not glossing over or hiding truth. Opening myself to people, showing vulnerability. Treating my partners with more integrity. Constantly checking my privilege. Being true to myself: not hiding parts of myself that I’m scared to show to people, not saying yes to things because I don’t feel I have the power to say no- create that power!

Imagine you could invite to dinner three people who have influenced you the most. Write their names & the one quality or attribute you admire most in these people.

Clarisse Thorn: she is a young, eloquent, inspiring S&M feminist. She creates her own career, field of study, life opportunities. She is a champion.

Gala Darling: she left everything to pursue her dream, and is rocking it. She lives self-love.

Dorothy Heathcote: she had a vision of alternative education and single-mindedly made it happen, and it was so holistic and healthy and honoured kids as human beings. She was determined.

What are your values? What is most important to you?

Living a life within the rules of karma. Serving others, treating them as good as, or better than you would like to be treated yourself. Reaping the rewards of good karma. Accepting the bad karma, and letting it go.

What are some goals you’d like to achieve this year?

Quit my job. Move to Toronto in September. Find volunteer and paid work in a job that aligns with my life journey: women’s shelter, rape crisis, sex ed, group facilitation, phone counselling. Apply for Masters programmes.

Deepen my relationship with K, and let it find its own parameters. Stay present with him, resist the temptation of future planning. Continue with celibacy until September- do it for self-love. Be brave to explore the cause of my triggers with my therapist.

Find a sense of peace with my sexual identity. Commit to regular focused meditation practice, train my mind to become calmer, quieter.

Perform a pole and/or aerial silks routine. Develop a plan for yoga teacher certification. Continue to find healthy ways to feed myself, to give my body the food it needs.

Meet everyone with the possibility of deep connection and friendship. Have sparkling conversations. Dance and hike as often as possible.

See my parents at least once every month and a half. Focus on the time we have together, appreciate them for who they are and everything they’ve done for me. Ignore their perceived flaws.

What kind of image do you hope to project?

A woman who knows herself, without a doubt. She knows her limitations and weaknesses, she knows her strengths and triumphs. She is dependable, trustworthy. People are drawn to her, she is interesting, engaging, entertaining, fun. She is sparkly. Her motivation and drive inspire those around her. She is calm, incredibly caring. People feel relaxed and comfortable around her. People want to be open with her.

 Is it similar or dissimilar to the image you’re projecting right now?

I’m on track. I need to work more on being more dependable, honest, and strong in my sense of self. I think I’m pretty sparkly already! And I know that people open up to me.

What are your roles in life?

Sister, daughter, friend (social, spiritual, supportive, lover), facilitator, national organiser, employee, educator, performer, volunteer, yogini, writer, traveller, activist, participant, submissive (to K), aerialist in training.

Are you happy with them?

Yes. Very much so.

Apart from: employee.

And I’d like to take ‘national’ away from organiser (this will happen in September), and ‘in training’ away from aerialist (this will happen with time and dedicated practice).

I wrote my first personal mission statement at the beginning of 2012 after reading an inspiring article by the one and only Gala Darling- check it out! She gives great ideas on how to get started with this. I love it.