Kara Nothnagel
Simple Authentic Living


Simple. Authentic. Grace.
Posts in Distinct Living
Need a fresh start? Here’s what worked for me.

Hi there friends, how has your January been? Maybe you are organised, ready, full of vision and excitement for the New Year or perhaps you are still settling in. At the close of 2017 I had to do some serious heart work in order to face this coming year. A lot of those changes haven't been easy, but I must be honest and say that I am already reaping the benefits. Based on the process I put myself through, I have put together few tips on how to approach your year in terms of living well.

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NEW TIME | 2018

Beginnings and endings have always been important to me. I am a big fan of finished chapters and fresh starts. But I must admit, I found myself experiencing nothing but anxiety as last year came to a close. I could feel the pressure to set goals, be “ready” as well as excited and motivated. But I wasn’t. I realised that, I actually needed to rest and allow my body time to recover, my mind time be still and my spirit time to settle in and just be content in my being. In light of my these needs I decided that I would allow myself the first week of January to get ready. 

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When I hear the word “trust”, I cannot help but think about relationships. Trust is both the necessary bridge for building relationships and the glue that keeps them together during periods of pressure, strain or disappointment. Looking at my life I have learned that there is something integral about the journey toward living well and the need for trustworthy friends who help you get there.

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HOPE | DAY 4 OF 31

Sometimes at the end of a long hard journey we can compliment the adventurer who undertook it and say “you did well” or when someone passes away after a difficult illness we say they “shame, they did so well”. I once did a mountain climb that I was convinced was going to kill me! At the end of the climb, people said to me, “you did so well!”. But, upon reflection I know that what they meant was, “You made it”. 

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In today's world many many people do not consider themselves to be people of faith and therefore not people who worship. But looking at this scripture it makes me think... worship is not so much about lifting your hands to songs, or bowing down before alters. However, worship is much more about the things that not only grab and hold your affection, but also your resources - emotional and physical. We invest in what we love, in what holds our affection. But the word treasure... that takes it a step further. I asked myself, what do I treasure?

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THIRTY ONE: days are some of the best in my opinion. This issue is jam packed with pure gold. Right from Ps. Edna's powerful Power Note all the way through the stunning articles written by women I love and esteem. Edna challenges us to "refuse to allow smallness to enter our thinking." And dares us to "enter into the spacious wide-open life". And for me, my contribution to this issue, was just that. A refusal to give into smallness, or to stay quiet in the process and journey of life.

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Every time I write it, say it or think about that word I smile. Because just saying it... Focus... Brings a stillness to my heart and a deep breath in my lungs. As I say "focus" I feel lots of pressures and tensions fall away, because I don't have to do it all! It is a quality over quantity word. It is a word that causes one to live from a posture of being proactive rather than reactive.

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January 1st comes... Ready, set, go!

But all too often, by the time February rolls around, or even mid Jan, the realities of life, or even our early failures in our best laid plans can threaten to derail and deflate us. So I today I thought I would share what I think are some of the keys to maintaining momentum as you work through and toward your vision for the year.

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Simply put, Harvest is the process of gathering ripe crops from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain and pulses. Harvest also marks the end of the growing season. As I was reading up a little on the subject I felt a tugging at my heart and a question popped up - What have I grown over the last season that is now ready to harvest? What have I been cultivating that is ready to be pruned?

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In the West we are not used to being quiet, we do not practice "getting quiet". In fact, if most of us are honest, we fear the quiet. And stillness is a foreign, abstract idea. You see stillness is not the absence of movement... Quiet is not the absence of sound. To still and quiet ones soul is a journey for the brave because it means that each of us have to face the resounding jungle of words, thoughts and voices that line the path along the way.

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The great unknown. Sounds beautifully enigmatic doesn’t it? Wide open space with no boundaries, no time constraint, no systems or agendas. Um… Yes. Until you are living smack. Bang. In the middle of it. And the only thing you have to hang onto is a word or a promise and of course, everyone’s questions.

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“It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” from the opening scene of the movie Crash.

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