Life lessons in linguistics

A few months ago I began studying Italian via Rosetta Stone software. For the most part I love the software. Languages come pretty easily to me to begin with (for which I am hugely grateful because I love learning them), and the intuitive nature of the software is, for the most part, convenient and meshes well with how I learn. Being a stay-at-home mom, my schedule is erratic and time to myself is pretty minimal, so I haven’t exactly been able to work with it in as disciplined of a fashion as I’d like. Shortly after beginning Italian, I started to miss speaking French (the second language I learned). I studied it throughout high school, college, and then lived in the country for just under two years, but have lost a lot since my return. So when the computer that the Italian software was on crashed, I took the opportunity to start working with an intermediate/advanced French grammar and vocab book I checked out of the library. Earlier today, I went through and completed all the exercises in the first chapter of the book – a somewhat frustrating experience as I struggled to remember words, proper spelling, grammatical structure, etc. After I finished (and had made flash cards for verbs I’d forgotten, good little student that I am) and several hours passed, one word keeps coming up in my brain. I hear it spoken in my mind at random intervals. The word is céder, to yield.

Because, in my experience, the things that crop up like that are not typically coincidental, I sat with that a minute. Yield. A number of things come up. Synonyms, foremost being ‘surrender’ (a lesson whose levels I’ve been working on – and will probably continue to work on – for a long time).  Questions – to whom (duh – Momma and Papa)? Yield what (probably another duh – uh, me, everything)? In English, ‘yield’ sounds like such a harsh, forceful word. The beginning of it requiring a push from the back of the throat to get it out; the “ee” sound that follows invoking a sense of nervousness, tension, apprehension, anxiety; and, the awkward combination of the consonants ‘l’ and ‘d’ at the end requiring great linguistic intention to annunciate fully. I find that pronouncing the word in English parallels my own experience in moving through the lesson of Surrender with the Divine – challenging, full of tension and anxiety, awkward. And yet, complete surrender, and, therefore, Oneness with the Divine IS our natural state. So why has my experience with it been fraught with such negativity?

The French, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Céder. Despite being one syllable longer than its English translation, the first part of the word flows off the tongue like water or a sigh, its phonetic pronunciation of “se” (like the English word ‘set’ without the ‘t’). The second syllable, ‘dae’ with its ‘d’ firm – yet not harsh – followed by the long ‘a’ vowel sound, cushioned with a gentle, open finish (like the ‘a’ in ‘ate’, but without the ‘t’ at the end), is like a mother’s solid but gentle hand around her child. When I hear it, it carries the softness of a whisper with reserves upon reserves of strength. Céder. I want to curl up in it, feel it wrap around me because that kind of gentle, wise strength could only create the most comforting safety. And there we have it. What it both takes to surrender to the Divine (some crazy ass strength, an owning of our own will and the gentle yet firm release and relinquishing of it) as well as what is offered in the surrender itself (Divine and Supreme Care and Safety, the likes of which exist nowhere else). The English word ‘cede’ is similar, and that makes me think of its homonym, seed. A seed is not forceful or dictatorial. Yet, it contains within it enormous potential (for instance, just think of a redwood tree).

I got curious about the etymology of the word ‘yield’ and looked it up online, English being such a hodge-podge language that it is. Among the root words from which it is speculated to come is the Old Norse gjaldo, meaning “to repay, return.” And isn’t that what surrender is? A return? Return to Source, to Divinity? A reunion, but one that is, ideally, lived every day? Chosen every moment?

I’ve had a hard time thinking of it and conceptualizing it like that – because a return and reunion with Source lived with each breath of my body sounds downright blissful – and perhaps part of my problem has been the language in which I’ve considered the lesson. Yield, as previously discussed, but even surrender. The latter brings to my mind images of war and/or a half-life in captivity or shame, capitulation, failure. Perhaps at this point, you may think that I’m overthinking this whole thing. And though that may be partially true (it is a tendency of mine, after all), we throw words around in our society to the extent that they lose their power on the surface. But not in our internal world. Our internal world – the one to which we’re more often than not oblivious – retains the memory of the essence of those words. And the language we use to make sense of and give meaning to the world around us and our interactions with it has great power. Like gravity, we don’t need to believe in it or know exactly how it works for it to be very real and effective.

One of the things I’ve learned over the last few years is that so much of life is simply about perspective, how we choose to view things or think about them. I’ve been blessed with a gift for learning languages and the opportunities through which I am able to use that gift. Perhaps if I can look at this lesson with which I’ve struggled through new eyes and with new language (céder) that bears completely different connotations for me, my movement through it will be smoother.

In France, the street sign equivalent to the American ‘yield’ sign is sometimes just the familiar upside down red and white triangle , but often, it also reads “Cedez le passage.” Most interpreters advise against direct translation and that’s a general good rule of thumb; but, sometimes direct translations provide insights we would otherwise miss. Cedez le passage, translated directly means ‘Yield the passage, or way.’ What if I stopped trying to force my own way or passage onto or on my life and just took a side step? What amazing things could grow from my having ceded, and therefore, seeded the way?

What about you?

 

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Reality blogging – in the Truest sense

I try to be a very tolerant person. I think it’s a good quality to possess and express and consider it a key ingredient in the recipe for world peace. But I find I have little to no tolerance for “reality TV.”  I consider the phrase a misnomer. In my experience, and when I have forced myself to sit down and watch it (mostly when it was first introduced to our cinematic existence), I concluded little other than it being an unecessarily excessive drama-filled production; a caricature of the human experience. And because I place such an enormous value on Truth, any time I encounter or hear about it, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that makes me want to spit. So I do my best to avoid it, not wanting to waste energy.

Though somewhat less potent, my response to what I consider “reality blogging” is similar. It’s something I’ve written about (here) before, but apparently, I’m not quite done with it, so here I am again. Before I continue, I think it’s important for me to clarify that I am, by Nature, an Idealist. I am Joy-filled and Innocent (in the Truest sense of the word). I am not a cynic. Nor am I pessimistic. Really. So throughout the remainder of this post when I’m discussing these kind of blogs, it’s important for me to communicate my distaste for them does not come from that place.

I am all for positivity and positive thinking and energy and the laws of attraction and Love and Gratitude. They are sources of hope and healing and, seriously, I conclude that there’s not enough of any of them in the world; that if there were more of them, the world (and everyone in it) would be more healed and, in general, better. Not the kind of better that leads to debates about superiority or inferiority or judgment, but the kind of better that only compares each person with that person. Better as in more a manifestation of their True Selves.

Now, it is damn hard work to get to that place of True Self and certainly to live from there. I know because I’m working on it. And instead of things getting easier the further I go, they seem to get more challenging as I root through all the shit that’s piled on top of Who I Really Am in an effort to get rid of it. Yet, I find I am also filled with more resources to be able to move through that process, and the rewards are great. The “reality blogs” that frustrate me are the ones that are fairytale-esque, the ones that are only positivity, that show only the light-filled portion of that journey or only the “end” of it.

Perhaps you’re wondering why, if I’m all Joy-filled and Hopeful, something that’s so positive bothers me so much. I’ve been wondering that myself, and here is what I’ve come up with: Those blogs are the air brushed and glamour shot photos of the pursuit of self-actualization. As a Witch and a person, I have dedicated myself to being an instrument of healing in the world. Healing – synonymous with self-actualization, for in self-actualization we heal all that is not our Truest Self – is not easy. Healing is messy and painful and uncomfortable and takes far longer than anyone ever wants it to (anyone who has actually attempted to pursue psychological, spiritual, emotional, or even serious physical healing will attest to that).  Because I have committed myself to being an instrument of healing (and perhaps because of my professional training as a counselor), I think anyone considering healing should have fully informed consent before they begin. They need to know how much it’s going to suck in the middle, how it will probably get worse before it gets better (and that’s a good sign!), how it will be a process and, depending on the nature of the healing, a lifelong pursuit. So these blogs that only showcase the “end product” or the light half of the adventure serve as false advertising, mystify the process and possibly create disillusionment in anyone who reads them who is considering healing. Such disillusionment can be downright damaging, sometimes irreparably so because if one person comes across a blog like that and tries to pursue healing and then runs smack into the actual Reality of the process, the consequences – and I’m NOT being dramatic here – can be as severe as to be literally deadly. I don’t understand something, though. The question I have for those bloggers who paint such an unrealistic picture of healing and growing is this: if you actually grew or healed or are pursuing growth and healing, then I can guarantee you did or are working at it – why would you exclude the actual work part from what you share?  Do you not realize that in doing so, you dishonor not only the process itself, but your Self as well as the progress you have made and are making? How can anyone share in your triumph with you when you don’t talk about what it was or is that you’re triumphing over?

Now, to be clear, I’m not advocating anyone be a fount of negativity or talk about nothing BUT their trials or obstacles without following that up with how they moved through them. But if you’re going to blog about a pursuit of growth or healing, then I think you have the responsibility to your readers – whether your readers number 5 or 5, 000 – to be honest and real, to include the dark as well as the light. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that movies or books based on true stories are so much more powerful and meaningful than those that aren’t. So even though it can be hard, even when it might not paint the prettiest picture of you, I encourage any bloggers writing about growth and healing to include those moments of stumbling, those moments that seem less-than-beautiful if not downright ugly.

It is our imperfections that make us perfect and beautiful.

Perhaps you think that I take this whole blogging thing too seriously and are saying to yourself, “Blogs are for entertainment – Who looks to them for a life-changing experience? Get a grip, lady and chill out.” But I’ve looked to blogs for that very reason, for connection with others, to try to find out if I was the only one who had experiences like those I’ve had, if there was truly hope out there, if anyone who’d had similar problems had made it through to some better place. When we are dying of thirst, we will hunt feverishly, almost maniacally, for any source to quench us, to sustain us; and, when the internet provides immediate access and connection to a host of the world’s population, surely someone out there could offer us the life-giving substance we so desperately need. And we can stay anonymous so no one will know how we struggle and where we fall short! So, if one has access, what better place to look?

In light of all of that, I commit to you that I will never try to gloss over or sugar coat the healing process, the process of unfolding and becoming my True Self; I will share my struggles (though not wallow in them) with you and I will share how I move through them. I will be honest and authentic and seek to inspire encouragement and hope. And I welcome dialogue, your stories, your feedback, your input, so while I certainly appreciate all the “likes” for my posts, if you feel moved to do so, please do comment. I genuinely want to know what you think and how you’re doing, and if I can be of any help, I am honored to share in your journey.

It’s getting to be that time of year

We just celebrated Litha here at our house, and as a precursor to the celebration, I asked my wife/Teacher to have a review with me so we could go over together all the lessons that I’ve been focusing on (or not, as it was in some areas) since our last Samhain. I don’t know what it’s like for other Witches (and if you’re a practicing Witch reading this, feel free to chime in here and tell me about your experience because I really am curious), but for the Witches in our house, if we haven’t worked through our individual life/spiritual lessons enough throughout the year the result is that October sucks. A lot. What happens is that the Universe dredges up all those lessons and shoves them in our faces all at once to give us 30 days to work on them, move through them, and complete them all before the end of the year.

If it’s hard for you to imagine what that might be like, you can think of it like this: Imagine that you’ve only straightened up your house all year long. You haven’t ever really cleaned it. So that first day of October, then, all the dirt, grime, crap, dust, moldy-refrigerator science projects that never got thrown away, etc. rains down from above to cover everything and everyone. And you have 30 days to clean up 335 days of putrid and disgusting crap and get it to a sparkling shine.  To put it in perhaps even more understandably concrete terms, think about this: Have you ever had one of those days where everything that could go wrong seems to do just that? But you also happen to be super hormonal and you have the flu and food poisoning. Oh, and just to keep things interesting, you still have to keep living your life per usual. No calling in sick. That’s what October is like around here if we haven’t worked on our shit. That’s what October has been like for me for the past few years. And in the event that we can’t get it all cleaned up by the end of those thirty days, the mess not only stays but more gets added to it so that the crappiness of October stretches out for, well, it’s been known to stretch out for the entire next year.

Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about all that with the intention of throwing a glorified pity party. As far as I specifically (meaning my personal shit) am concerned, it’s been my own damn fault for slacking and no one is responsible for that but me. Thankfully, I’d like to think I’ve gotten rather smarter this year. Hence the requested review.

I am happy and grateful to report that there are some areas where I’ve made considerable progress. Unfortunately, there are also some areas that I’ve either completely or at least mostly neglected. One of those is the area of self-discipline (Who – me? Ms. I-write-on-my-blog-once-every-few-months? Yup. My bad). To remedy this situation, I am (yet again) creating a schedule for myself. Schedules are great for improving self-discipline – especially if you’re like me and take immense joy from getting to cross things off to-do lists. Especially when you really don’t feel like doing them (I like to think those times get double points in the self-discipline column).

Among my list of daily activities I will be completing (see – positive thinking – I have grown!) I have included writing. Whether it’s journaling, writing here, or working on my book I am determined to write for an hour a day. Today is day 2 of my adopting this new practice. So, I intend for this to translate into an increasing number of posts here.

Wherever you are in your own journey and lessons, I hope this finds you well. Blessed be.

Wait: A nasty, four-letter word

For years I have yearned for a place that was “home enough” and that had a yard where I could grow some kind of garden. Being a sensual person to begin with, I have great appreciation for flowers that simply smell yummy and/or look pretty – I’d love to grow peonies and dahlias in particular for those purposes. But what really drives me is the desire to use the things I grow – and for more than just decoration.  Magic food, mojo bags, infusions, salves – you name it. I dream of basil and rosemary, mint and jasmine, bell peppers and nasturtiums, calendula and meadowsweet and goldenseal. And a whole host of others.

We’ve got an ever-expanding cabinet of dried herbs that we use for various magical and medicinal purposes, but to grow our own to supplement our current supplies! Oh! How fabulous it would be. Of all the Witches in our house, I’m the  Witch who spends the most time in the kitchen and seriously, I will probably cry when I harvest the first of the herbs I hope to grow. You should have seen me at the Old Drug Store in St. Augustine wandering through their collection and meeting SkullCap, Motherwort, Linden, and Crampbark for the first time in person. I got all choked up – no joke.

And while we live on a wooded lot (well, really, it’s not that we have a lot of trees on our lot but our neighbors do which translates into lots of shade and ridiculous amounts of fallen leaves in our yard), I’m choosing to be optimistic. I’m especially excited about gardening because it’s something that my wife and I will be doing together. It will be our project.

The other night we were chatting and I’d recounted wandering through some of the gardening aisles of Walmart. My wife – ever the patient one – told me it was still too early to start when she spotted me eyeing up the manual tiller hanging on the wall of our garage. Not even tilling? Nope. No tilling yet. The Earth is still chilly and she is not ready yet. If we till her now when she is still cold and wet and has told us it’s not time yet, she won’t trust us and won’t grow happy things for us. Hmmm…You’re sure? I am – I had a little chat with her the other day. *sigh* Okay.

I’ve come along way in the patience department over the last few years, but my nature is do! do! do! Not wait. And usually I start out wanting to tackle step 5 and ignore steps 1-4 which generally does not lead to success. So I’ve had to learn to pull the reins in on myself. I’ve made improvements in that area by having conversations with myself (literally) about what I want. Then, I inevitably have to tell myself that that cannot happen overnight (no jumping to step 5), so what would a first step in that direction be? As soon as I can figure out that first step, I’m usually all right because it gives me something to do. Somewhere to focus all my energy.

After my conversation with my wife, I thought about what I could do now while I waited for the earth to be ready for me to play with her. It’s been rainy and overcast here the past several days, so trying to determine more specifically where in our yard we get sun and where good locations for growing herby and plant people might be was not an option. However, the obstacle of shade and sun still sat in front of me, and while I know little about gardening at the moment, I know enough to know that’s important. So I went to the library. I have to pull the reins in here, too, because my first instinct is to get an overwhelming amount of books which usually leads to me not reading any of them. And while I am a rather voracious reader when something really captures my attention, I’ve learned to limit myself now to two or three. The two I checked out include Making the Most of Shade and a Beginner’s Guide to Herb Gardening.
Meanwhile, in the rest of my life, lots is going on and I’m far from bored. For what might be the first time (possibly ever), I’m not the one whose shit is all over the place. It’s quite nice here (temperate, easier to breathe), and I’m enjoying it a lot. Historically, though, how Momma and Papa have communicated to me in the past that I’ve got shit to work on is usually through some physical means. All Witches process energy through their bodies. Nine times out of ten when a Witch is sick, the root of the issue is NOT physical in nature. It’s typically related to some spiritual or life lesson. So, for me, when my shit crops up, I’ve gotten some kind of sick, I gotten a cold, etc. For a while toward the beginning I used to break out in mini hives along my arms (very unpleasant), etc. Recently (as in for the past year or so), it’s been a cough. It’s a cough that won’t ever completely go away – it just gets worse some times more than others. An annoyance, really, but an alert system that’s very functional. However, I was recently explaining to our newest Witchlet how that worked and saying I would very much like to get smarter and be able to become aware of those issues another way so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the cough or any other physical ailment like that anymore.  

As I began writing this and was thinking about how fiercely the idea of gardening has grabbed me and the ensuing conversation with my wife, I had a moment. As soon as the concept of ‘patience’ came up, multi-colored flags flew up, alarm bells started jangling, etc. (This is the exciting part!) Brief caveat: I learn by making connections and associations among things. I take the new information with which I’m presented and weave it in to my existing knowledge base by connecting it to something. So in my moment, the following thoughts occured to me: Where else in my life is this concept appearing? Can I draw parallels and connections and associations? Does this hold some other lesson for me that I have been refusing to see? Well, yeah. This sounds so simple that I’m a little embarrassed to be writing it, but what if I used the way I learn (making connections) to figure out what shit I need to deal with based on seemingly mundane things going on in my life that grab my attention? No more coughing!

So, how does gardening and having to be patient and wait play into issues/lessons I’m dealing with at the moment? I’m having trouble with being patient with some of the people in my world. A variety of them of have created monstrous messes for themselves (which affect me indirectly, because, you know, I’m in relationship with them and actually live with them), and my perception is that they’re not really doing much to fix their messes. Don’t get me wrong – I love these people. Ridiculously. At the moment, I don’t like one of them. One of the get-out-of-almost-any-mess-free card that we whip out around our house is the “I’m sorry – I was being dumb” card. We all have moments when our brain just kind of falls out and we behave like idiots. The thing is, when you whip out that card, you have to actually own that you were being dumb and acknowledge that you’re done with that now. This particular person is being really dumb.

However, I have also been dumb. A lot. Like, for the past four years until several months ago. Almost, if not, the whole time. What can I say? I don’t like to admit it, but some times, I’m a bit slow.  My wife, Goddess bless her, is an inordinately patient woman, and throughout the past four years, sowed the seeds I could receive (and a bunch I couldn’t at the time but that took root once I was ready). And waited. Eventually, I stopped being dumb.

So the wise and best-version-of-me-possible thing to do here is to wait. And be patient. And keep loving these people and sow what seeds Momma and Papa tell me to sow when/if They tell me to sow them. And to remember that I was really dumb before for a while, too.

The art of getting lost

Whenever I move to, or perhaps just visit, a new place, I will at some point relatively early on set out with the intention of getting lost. I’ll take some precautions. Usually. I’ll make sure I have enough gas, some money, maybe some snacks. But I’ve found that it’s a great way to get to know a place and to discover treasures off the beaten path that I might not otherwise have come across. Things and sights that won’t be found on any citysearch website or in the pages of a tourist book.

I’m beginning to come to the realization that I do the same thing with my life, except not always intentionally. Okay, most of the time it’s not intentional, but rather it’s a result of setting out to find something. I just tend to get a little ahead of myself and take off with no map, no supplies, and the only thing in my pack being my sheer will, my ability to actively cope with pretty much anything, and a compass a little like Captain Jack Sparrow’s, except mine seems to be a little less reliable. Hard to believe I used to be a major planner, huh? Perhaps it’s something in my hardwiring – I have no idea. In keeping with the whole Pirates of the Caribbean movie connection I’ve got going here, it reminds me of the second movie. You know, when Captain Barbosa says, ‘You have to be well and truly lost to find a place that cannot be found.’ Or something. I’m paraphrasing. My point being that most of the things I set out to find are not straightforward, concrete, tangible objects.

In a conversation with my wife and L recently, my wife remarked that I was lost. I was working on getting un-lost, but there I was. I hadn’t confessed this to myself in those exact words yet, but the idea was present enough in my space to the point that when she said it, it wasn’t even a light bulb moment for me. Not one of those – Aha! That’s what’s going on! No wonder I feel/think/seem *fill in the blank here*. It was just a, Yup. I am. Again. Sigh.

I have a rough idea as to what this round of being lost centers around. The last major time of being lost was about finding my Self. I made some serious progress in that regard, and I can say that, while it’s certainly a process that continues to unfold, I know my Self better at the moment than I ever have before. In general, I am more managed and have the rest of my shit more together than it’s ever been before (no, really – you can ask my wife). That is certainly something I am celebrating and am grateful for. What I’ve set out to find in this most recent endeavor is my career. Like, the career that harmonizes beautifully with who I am. Because I’m stubborn and a bit idealistic and can’t imagine settling for less. In the mean time, sure, I’ll wait tables, but it’s simply a means to an end and is definitely not my career.

So, here I am. Lost.  My wife reminded me early on in our relationship that what you do when you get lost is sit down and stay in the same place and wait for your Momma to come and rescue you. Thus, am I staying in this place, and asking Momma to come find me (again) and please bring my Career with Her when She does. I’m slightly frustrated with myself about the being lost again part, but not blaming anyone else for it and nonetheless am determined to make the best of it while I wait for Momma to hunt me down. For instance, I asked my wife to teach me sign language. In the past 3-5 days or so I’ve established about 100 word vocabulary. Do I think I’ll actively do anything with sign language or that it’ll be integrated somehow into my career? Nope. But I love to learn – especially languages – and it’s something I’ll be able to share with my wife. Just one of those little scenic side routes along my journey.

I respect those who do not need to pursue their life’s path the way I have mine and some times am a little envious of those individuals. Perhaps my life would be easier or smoother in some way if I moved through it differently, but then I wouldn’t be being me. And that is something I have learned (the hard way) to never do. 😉 Wherever your journey takes you, may it bless you beyond your imagination. And remember, if you ever get lost, just wait for your Momma to come and find you.

As for me, I’ll be…

 

Autumn reflections

Perhaps the title of this post is a bit confusing for you provided that it’s the beginning of September and here in north Florida, fall is a ways off still (though you wouldn’t know it by today where the sky is gently overcast, the temperature is probably in the low 70s, and there isn’t a lick of humidity in the air). The day before yesterday I woke up, got myself coffee, and headed out to our back patio per my usual routine. As soon as I had sat down and taken a deep breath, my senses were overwhelmed by Fall. It didn’t matter that it was probably 75-80 degrees outside and sunny here. Superimposed over that reality in such tangibility that it left me literally breathless was a deeper one. One in which I could smell crisp leaves recently fallen from trees, apple cider, bonfires, and pumpkin pie; one in which I could see and hear those leaves – on trees and being whisked along the ground and those bonfires; one in which I could taste that apple cider and that scent of autumn in the air around me; one in which I could feel the crisp and cool fall breeze along my skin; and, one in which I could feel that pull as the year, for Witches such as myself, begins to come to a close and the pull of the darkness of the coming winter starts to overcome the length and lightness of the days of summer.

For the last several years toward the very end of July and beginning of August, I have felt the undercurrent of fall beneath the summer that still was in full swing start to slowly rise to the surface. I have had moments, as well, of that kind of superimposed vision of seeing the leaves of trees around me in their fall attire when, in the moment, they were actually still in their stunning summer green. But I have never before experienced being so tuned in to the cycle of the year so as to experience the coming autumn on every sensory level like I did several days ago. It was as if Nature opened herself up and invited me to partake of her magic. I have had “witchy” moments and experiences before, but nothing at this level of primal energy and certainly not solo – completely unaided by my Teacher, other witches, or a coven. I sat for a good 10-15 minutes, silent, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, in utter and complete awe and gratitude. Still, when I think of it now, I am humbled to have been granted that experience. No amount of ‘thank yous’ could suffice, and so I take a moment to simply be in deep reverence.

As a Witch, this time of year is about the Harvest. Mabon is approaching in the next weeks, the second of three harvest festivals of our year. It is a time both of celebration of what we have learned, what we have manifested, what we have been blessed with this past year, as well as a time to reflect on the work that remains in front of us before the last harvest sabbat and the end of the year at Samhain. Come October 1st, at least for me and my family, that work that remains can be felt as a tangible burden on our shoulders, an almost oppressive energy (depending on what is left to do and learn) that continues to grow until the end of the month. It can be, in some ways, a month full of “those days” where it seems that every obstacle that could come up in our path does because the Goddess and God are presenting us with last-minute opportunities to move through those lessons and be able to leave them behind us as the year ends.

This entire past year has felt like an October as my family and I have faced trial and challenge and crisis one right after another. You can imagine how much I am looking forward to bringing the year to a close! And yet, as I shift my mindset into that of bringing in the harvest as I reflect on what I have learned, how I have grown, and what remains for me to learn in the time left, I have created for myself a place of peace and gratitude (something I can count among the things I have learned this year) in which to do that work. Among other things, I still have some work to do on money shit. I also have some figuring out that needs to take place about the differences between intimacy, sex, and romance and where my needs lie within those three. And I need to actively embrace compassion as far as my parents are concerned if I am to find any healing for that relationship. I’m sure there’s more (there usually is 😉 ), and that’s all right.

I never promised you…coherence

After I had received my emailed copy of Grace’s post today (I have a subscription to her blog), I had written a scathing diatribe of a post about Horace Bushnell and his ideas about hardship and inspiration. Being intimately familiar with hardship, particularly over the course of the past couple years, I felt bitter, angry, and annoyed that someone could imply that inspiration was automatically linked to hardship and not an act of transmutation – something that requires conscious choice, intention, and a great deal of work. In the end, I deleted it. I still feel miffed about the quote, but I could see no healing or benefit in sharing my extensive angry words with the public, and I didn’t like how jaded and bitchy it made me sound. Sure I might have moments, but they’re just that – moments. With everything I have gone through over this crises-filled time, that is still not a reflection of who I am at my core. I am proud of that.

I haven’t had much energy for blogging recently. And when I have had energy, I haven’t been able to think of much to say. My own thoughts have been so disjointed and the kind of coherent that’s only somewhat coherent to me that I didn’t know where to begin to try to form them into some type of meaning that could be understood by anyone else. I’ve wanted to write and have toyed with the idea of some creative writing, maybe taking pieces of my own story to create a work of fiction that could be healing for others. But each time I think about it, I wonder where I would take the story, how I would resolve the conflicts I could see myself weaving in to the plotline, and I have nothing. Perhaps because it feels like little is resolved in my own conflicts from which I’d borrow or simply because I need more space from where I am. Either way, it’s not happening now. I like the idea, though, of writing in the future.

I wrote ago (at some point) about how I was dedicated to only writing from a truly authentic, raw, and present space; and, while I don’t think I am going against that now, I also don’t see how writing here and sharing the darkness of the spaces I’ve been in recently could be helpful to others. Or at least I don’t know how to share that in a way that would communicate the strength and faith I have within me as well so that it wouldn’t simply be depressing and draining for anyone who read the posts.

One thing I do want to share, though, is that in the midst of all of this, I have bumped up against one of my biggest issues (or at least, one of my known biggest issues) – being my Self. I hate how just plain icky it sounds to point the finger at my parents for my issues, and I think that there comes a point when that’s just tacky and irresponsible coming from a 30 year old woman (like, I should have fixed this by now, right?), but it is what it is, and if it makes me sound tacky and irresponsible, so be it. My parents communicated to me from a very young age via mostly passive agressive and indirect ways, that parts of my self were unacceptable. The fact that other parts were totally fine only served to create confusion, I think. I don’t know many conservative Christians who are comfortable with raw sensuality (my parents were certainly not the exception to that rule), and I had bucketloads of it since before I could form coherent sentences. My parents also struggled with my fascination with all things mystical. Both were stamped out and forced to be buried. So if it wasn’t okay to be me, I had to put on something else. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Since we got together, it’s driven my wife insane (not that it was exactly intentional on my part), especially because I’ve spent a good portion of the last 3 1/2 years putting pieces of her on, a lot of which don’t fit me at all and she is a fiercely independent woman. Recently, I had a chat with Momma about the whole thing, after I realized I’d left the “me” out of my spirituality and, most everywhere else in my world. I’ve been doing this for so long, I told Her, how was I supposed to find me in all the mess and be that? Her response was (I think) super cool. She told me it took far more energy for me to fight the natural state of who I am by putting all these other people on than it did for me to simply be me. The solution? It was something I don’t know if I’ve ever heard from Her before – stop working so hard. It made me think of the Buffy episode where Xander gets split in half into two versions of himself and, in the end, Willow explains that his natural state was to be one Xander – the spell was the only thing working so hard to keep him split in two. So she just says something like, “The spell is endeth” and poof! One Xander.

The other piece of this that’s been very cool is that Momma and Papa have started to give me traits that do truly reflect who I am. I started a running list in case I start being dumb again in the future. The instances over the past week or so when I have acted from those traits, it’s felt like slipping into a pair of shoes that fit perfectly. It’s like my whole Self just sighs in contentment with the rightness of it. A very yummy feeling.

So, I’m still here and finding me in the mess of all this to boot. Thank you for visiting. I wish you well on your journey and hope to have more exciting and happy news to share soon. 🙂

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about

A day after I declared that the time for whining and wallowing was done and it was time to move forward, L found $140 in a parking lot. The day after that, our housing situation solidified and, instead of having an uncertain 60 days (to which we are almost at an end), we now have 6 months with a manageable rent payment scheduled to begin in about three weeks. And I have two days off in a row. All of that screams to me that the Universe and Momma and Papa are behind me 150% and that my sense that it was time to start moving forward was accurate and in sync with what is in my highest and best interest as well as where we are in the Wheel of the Year.

The Summer Solstice is a time of things coming to fullness and abundance. It’s not time yet to start to do the work of harvesting – now is the time to simply revel in the beauty and prosperity that abounds, to take joy in living among the fruits of previous labors.  It feels to me to be a quintessential live-in-the-moment sabbat. The work of the harvesting will come soon enough, but it’s not time now. And despite this whole year feeling a bit Samhain-esque, the events of the past few days seem to be saying to me that we have completed the spiral down in this time of transformation, and now we begin spiraling back up. The road blocks that contributed to the necessity of the transformation have been uprooted and are no longer in our path. And while I’m not so naive as to think there won’t be bumps or stones that will be encountered and need to be dug up – after all, we are here to grow and learn and unfold which means taking off all that is not Truth – it feels as though we have reached a turning point in this cycle. And for that I am exceptionally grateful.