Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Are you Pagan Enough When Life Gets Tough?

OK, this is the day I feared, the one on which I felt it was long past time to post something, but feeling I have nothing new or time-worthy to say. Emoting over my every change in mood does not make for good reading, though many drama divas seem to gather a huge following by chronicling the perils of their lives.

I've decided life is perilous enough all by itself without any added drama. Most of the people I know well have all the drama they can handle simply getting through each day. This clusterf@%ck of "things I must do yesterday" causes all the upheaval I never wanted.

Think about your own life. Not just the broad picture, but the daily details; the things that make you crazy, waste your time, and sap your energy. Standing in long lines everywhere for any service, going through a ten minutes "press 8 if you want to talk to another computer" before you get a live person on the phone, unexpected pet messes, children's schedules and dramas, automatic payments deducted earlier than agreed upon, planning meals, illnesses, doing housework, paying bills, etc. Then there the nightmare of working itself, tasks which can make you feel like you're a car stuck in the snow without any hope of gaining traction.

Many of us remember when one salary could support a family. Somewhere between the 70s and the 80s this task suddenly took two incomes. Now most families need more than two income to keep going, and adults are taking part-time or seasonal jobs to pay the bills--not for the extras, but for the basic necessities of life. People well-past retirement age are out working to pay for the high cost of living, not to have something useful to do as was common in the past.

Then comes the trade-off mind game? How does one decide if a sick child, an elderly relative, personal medical appointments, or or other surprises requires giving up a day at one job or another? If that job is given up for the day do you risk losing it, or do you just lose the pay you need to pay for the surprise. Do you work when you're sick and stay home with sick relatives? That says a lot about the love you have for family, but what is it doing to your health and sanity?

Almost all of us put family and close friends first in our lives, and almost all of us have been faced with circumlocating the normal routines of hectic days to accommodate upheavals. We start our days before sun up, and then we hope for some quality time with loved ones and some private time before we have to start thinking about tomorrow and getting into bed. Face it, we all know we are a sleep deprived nation of over-stressed parents, over-worked employees, and overdrawn bank accounts.

Where does the general Pagan attitude toward life teach us that can help us get through the bad days? And, face it, we've had a lot more bad days than good for the last few years.

Trying to avoid making negative statements is easy for many of us simply because other Pagans, or even non-Pagans who believe in the power of positive thinking, call us on it when we say the wrong thing. However, there are no thought police, and sometimes convincing ourselves that everything is and will be fine is a huge hurdle to overcome. I've managed to catch myself in many of those mind-gaffs and mentally erase the images and words and re-create my present and my future. Is it working? Yes. No one has handed me a winning lotto ticket yet, but the focus on abundance has pulled me through the economic nightmares of this long recession.

I've written before about magick going mainstream, especially writing magick. Keep a notebook of positive, present tense affirmations. Write them daily--over and over. Put them under your pillow. Believe in what you write. After a few months of this no one will have to remind you to believe in prosperity for all ever again.

I don't feel jealousy for a friend or family member who succeeds. I feel an honest joy in their good fortune and know that the Goddess has created more than enough abundance for all. This was not always the case. It took time to fully assimilate the fact that no one's good fortune can take anything away from me. In fact, I believe that being around successful people about whom I care makes my own energy toward abundance stronger and, therefore, more open to receiving these blessings when they come my way.

For today I played the trade-off game. I work three jobs and attend grad school, but I have a sick dog and a brother with a family short one car. Today I chose to scale back the job duties and take my dog to the vet and be my brother's ride. I never forget every moment of life is a choice, and only I can make the choices, and only I can be blamed if those choices were not good ones.

To any of you reading this while juggling jobs, school, children, housework, networking, and other "have to do" things, please know you're in good company. Start realizing you can make positive changes in your corner of the world just by changing your attitude. No one said it would be easy, but, as Pagans, we know that nothing worthwhile comes without effort.

Wishing abundance to all,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Bucket List

For the first time in my life, the transition to a new year created several disturbing weeks of looking back on my life rather than looking forward toward new goals. I don't know whether to blame the economy--which has hit my extended family hard, just as it probably has yours--or the fact that my croning time is coming soon and, for the first time in my life, I actually feel a bit old. (And really embarrassed now about my overreaction to age 29.)

I never want to believe the best years are behind me. My grandmother took her first motorcycle ride at age 82 over the rocky backroads of the Texas Hill Country. I was nervous. She loved it!

I have observed enough death to observe those who grow old with personal goals and self-imposed limitations outlive those who have no concrete ideas about a future. Sadly, I've seen many of the these people become sick, physically and mentally. I concluded, when the mind realizes it will have nothing new to learn nor any fresh experiences to process, it prepares to die. Though at 52 I'm going to assume I'm still a long way from "kicking the bucket," these feelings stirred up by 2010 are my wake up call to make a list of the many things I still wish to accomplish. And, no, I'm not going to subject you to my list.

As magickal people we know the power of words, and we know written words have been sacred for thousands of years. The mainstream self-help books contain more of this old wisdom every year. I find that amazing and encouraging. Did you know there is a book called "Write it Down, Make it Happen?" It's not officially a book on magick. It's not shelved with the books on magick, yet it teaches nothing but magick--self-transformation through will and words.

Though I've already ridden a motorcycle, my grandmother's golden years were full of travel to new places, trying new things, and refusing to accept the myth that being over 80 equates to waiting around to die. She ignored the disgust of those she called "little old ladies" (most of them younger than here) and forged ahead into whatever struck her fancy. Many times she told me she missed climbing trees, and just as soon as she was shed of her body she was climbing the thickest, highest tree she could find. Only then would she be content to move on, anxious to see my grandfather again.

That inspired the title of my own bucket list: Never Give Up On Climbing.

BB, Edain

You Need Boots!

Nope, not what you think. It's the snow and ice, eight inches deep and more to come. All through the rather boring post-holiday winter Indianapolis has been pretty lucky to have had it so mild. On the flip side, the nasty stuff that usually falls on us has been going south for the last few years, smothering areas not accustomed to snowfall.

Why bother to tell you this?

WTF are we doing to our planet? Sometimes it really scares me.