keeping myself accountable

way, way, waaaaaaaaay back now, i made a list of things  and slowly but surely i have been able to tick some off my list. if i’m being completely honest, did i think i would still be working on this list OVER 6 MONTHS LATER? no. no i did not. but i am grateful that i have not given up, not turned my back on these mini-projects that are making me whole again.

so a quick update on which i’ve “newly” accomplished: #4 { returning to yoga }, #5 { exploring various faith communities }, #9 { creating something as a gift to give away }, #17 {  learning a new skill from/with someone }, #18 { having a “terribly adult” conversation }, #21 { re-purposing something}, #22 { doing something wildly outside my norm }, and #28 { spending the day being crafty }.

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creating ritual: purification

if i absolutely had to pick a religious identity, i would label myself “Christ-emulator”, as in i try to emulate the teachings of Christ. to me, it differs from being “christian” in many ways, and it allows me to weave in truths from other spiritual practices while not feeling fake. i celebrate jewish holidays in honour of my matriarchal russian-jewish heritage. my time living in japan, and my affinity for japanese culture, drew me to shinto { and buddhism, and taoism }. my ojibwe heritage has opened me to elements of native american spirituality. my love of mythology has opened my mind to the idea of many gods and goddesses. i’m a feminist moon-worshiper. all of the preceding hold TRUTHS; my creative persona finds comfort, calm, and solace embodying the crazy-mixed-up jumble of beliefs i hold in physical rituals.

there is a salus per aquam { spa } near my home where i retreat to in times of high anxiety. in the decompressing area, hidden in a pile of feminist books, i discovered the goddess oracle–a collection of stunning cards used for divination. after using them several times, i decided to purchase my own, since i find them more intuitive and illuminating than tarot.

in order to cleanse my personal deck of any residual “ick”, and to truly set the intent, attuning it to me, i performed a purification ritual. first, i laid down fabric which will adorn my alter, and lit my homemade “saints” candle { one side is an image of carrie fisher, the other of david bowie. i coloured in the images and affixed them to a beeswax pillar candle }. i poured water into a bronzed bowl, then lit a sage smudge stick whose smoke i used to bless the candle, the water, myself, and the cards in an anti-clockwise fashion. after cleansing the cards, i laid them upon a small scrap of silk a top the fabric, and then cleansed the two stones i had chosen to fully align my deck. clear calcite, is a stone of clarity,insight and manifestation- facilitating inner clarity and initiating multilevel awareness. selenite is as tone of spiritual activation, aiding in communication with one’s higher self, and facilitates the experience of receiving inner guidance.

once purified, i placed these stones upon my deck and covered them with a remaining scrap of silk, then again smudged everything in one giant anti-clockwise circle. now i sit, with a calming herbal tea i blended myself, waiting for the deck to set.

an imbolc prayer

for all the times you have been silenced:

may you take pride in voicing your opinions without fear

for all the times you have felt alone, left out, unworthy, unwanted:

may those deep wounds be healed; may you find yourself surrounded by love & support

for the years you felt trapped by gender roles:

may you be freed daily from oppression

for the times you have been quiet, meek, timid, and worried about other’s opinions:

may you find a willingness to share yourself with others; to know your true value & worth

for the times you feel self-doubt:

may you see what i see in you and recognize your inner strength. may you know that you reside in the Divine, and She resides in you.

blessed be.

 

hide my head i want to drown my sorrow { no tomorrow, no tomorrow }

i am not strong enough.

my entire body aches & throbs as if it’s been crushed by a steamroller. moving hurts. breathing hurts.

i can barely stay awake, because sleep is all my body & weary, weary soul can handle right now.

and yet i feel guilty. guilty for my pain. guilty for my inability to cope. guilty that i am not strong enough to make it though the day…because i, i am one of the “lucky ones”. i read as cis-gendered and white. i live in the { relative } safety of a liberal city in a liberal state.  i am employed. i have benefits.

still, i fear for my life. i fear for my friend’s lives. i fear for the future we are creating. i fear for my nephew, for my friends’ children…i fear for all women. i fear for all people of color. i fear for people who love the same gender as they are. i fear for all marriages. i fear for trans*folk. i fear for all people of “non-christian” faith.  i fear for immigrants. i fear for all of us with mental health issues. i fear for all “disabled” folk. i fear for all of us who LOVE FIERCELY. i fear. i fear. i fear.

I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH

an update on the lack of updates

you know how sometimes you get grandiose plans to accomplish things { and stuff! } and then life gets in the way?!?!? yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaah……..that.

during october i managed to balance the chaos of: my parents visiting for a week; an extended-weekend of insanely early, long distance commutes to work off-site; my spouse’s sister coming to visit { a weekend earlier than we had planned– our mistake, not hers } ; AND our good friends’ wedding, which of course included the bachelor/hen’s night parties, rehearsal, rehearsal DINNER, ceremony, reception, and day-after brunch festivities. on top of that, i managed to go to therapy { yeah self-care! } and not miss a single work shift…. needless, to say, it’s been exhausting and emotionally taxing.

i ALSO managed to check a few more things off the list…but those will have to wait for another post.

takin’ care of business: where-in many things on “the list” are accomplished

it turns out that when putting off writing a blog entry, it gets harder and more difficult to want to update the longer one puts it off. ah well, so this will be a more “guerrilla style” update.

below, you can read about the following things i have completed from my list of things embrace: #6 { reading a book outside my go-to genres }, #24 { hanging out with a new friend }, and #25 { making a mini altar }.

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#12 & 13: reading in a public setting; practicing self-care–massage

not much to say about #13- practicing self-care:massage.  i booked a 90 minute massage at a local place. it was heavenly! soothing music, muscle manipulation, a heated massage table !!! i think i struggle with justifying spending a huge chunk of money on something so fleeting, particularly because it’s sole purpose is to care for myself. $100+ for a tattoo…that’s fine because it literally lasts forever. around $100/month for unlimited yoga classes {which i’m not currently doing….it’s on the list} seems reasonable because you’re building a healthy practice. but $ for massage….i struggle with feeling “i’m worth it.”

on #12, reading in a public setting…i thought it would be an easy challenge. i love reading. i’m never bothered by taking a book to say a park or the beach to read. however, on two different days, my book and i went out into the world for food/coffee and reading time. i’m not sure if i feel awkward or pathetic or what, but both times, at both locations, i could barely stand staying more than 30 minutes after finishing the food or beverage before me. probably due to the fact that i used to work in cafes, and hated when people would sit at tables FOR HOURS knitting or reading or doing school work without ordering more. do i feel i must spend more to be allowed to stay and read? quite possibly….

#27, 20, & 23: one day-many yeses!

last week, i made a list, challenging myself to turn and face the strange.

yesterday was something of a “powerhouse” day, where i managed to accomplish 3 off my list. {for the record, just because it’s been achieved doesn’t mean it’s a one-and-done situation. this is suppose to help me grow, after all } i hung out with an old friend {#27}, shared my happy place with someone new {#20}, and practiced a random act of selflessness {#23}.

my friend K, whom i have known since living in the bay area over 5 years ago, and her significant other, A, just moved to our fair city from boston.  the spousal unit and i have hung out with the 2 of them a few times since they’ve moved…but yesterday, K and i had lunch/coffee, i gave her a walking tour of my favourite neighbourhood, AND then took her to my sanctuary/happy place. the random act of selflessness happened during the lunch hour–you will have to trust me that i did something because sharing details feels icky,boastful, and self-serving.

here is a picture of my happy place: it’s at a local park/beach about 1.5 miles from my home. i usually drive there because of steep hills, but i have walked there on days off. the beauty of water, mountains, and forest stuns and calms me.

img_20160914_155720106

#7: exploring chakra meditations

i have a root {muladhara} chakra problem–it’s terribly blocked/out-of-whack-imbalanced.  i know that for some people, chakras and other”non-traditional” ways of explaining how/why things are {ie. traditional Chinese medicine, auras, the enneagram, etc/.} can seem a litte, well woowoo– as my therapist likes to put it. however, i have found uncanny linkages between scientific and spiritual explanations for all the crud in my life.

according to most sources, and under-active or imbalanced root chakra manifests in many of my least favorite “personal issues”:

Under-Active Root Chakra:

If your root chakra is under-active you may feel disconnected from the world around you, including from your body. You will feel disorganized and consequently this will reflect in your world. You will lack focus and discipline and you may even become afraid, anxious or restless in your daily interactions. You will probably experience a lack of stamina, depression or desire to do or to want anything out of life. You will have trouble obtaining financial security and will find yourself with no, or very little boundaries.

Physical symptoms of an Imbalance:

Weight-loss/gain, over or underactive sex drive, poor immune system, anemia, depression, laziness, irratible bowel syndrome are all possible physical symptoms of an imbalance within the root chakra.  { from OneWorldHealing.Net }

other fascinating references on the root chakra can be found at chakra-anatomy and at the chopra center. sonce i’m pretty shitty at meditation in general, i turned to the world wide web for guided meditations…lo and behold, the interwebz is full of them! after much sampling, i found two that didn’t annoy the shit out of me, so i’m sharing them in case they might be of benefit to YOU…and so i can easily find them again!

a very powerful root chakra healing

powerful root chakra activation and balancing

autumn interruption

img_20160923_213333as anticipated, my has already gotten in the way of my list. mainly having to be at an off-site work event at *ass balls* of early in the morning. 6 am today. 5 am tomorrow. 6 am sunday. that’s when i have to BE there so i’m waking up 1.5 hours before. ugh.

in lieu of being rested enough to apply myself to the list, i present instead some gorgeous leaves i gathered up today. YAY AUTUMN!!!