Giving Thanks Once Again

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in Canada!

It’s a happy coincidence that this holiday always falls on a Monday, when I post here. It is such a wonderful opportunity to count my blessings.

I am grateful for my husband. He is so supportive, and loving, and encouraging. We’ve been married for over 21 years, and we are still very much in love. We’ve been together through some challenging times, and always found ways to overcome them, together.

I am grateful for my children. They are all turning into amazingly fine young men. They are affectionate, and helpful, intelligent and handsome. I feel so lucky and blessed to be their mother.

I am grateful for my parents and my sister and her family. We don’t get to see each other nearly often enough, and yet, I know they are there, loving and ready to support us in any way they can. And I am grateful for all the help and love they have given us in the past.

I am grateful for my spiritual family. They teach me, they guide me, they learn from me, and they love me. And I love them. I am grateful for the sense of purpose I receive from my interactions with them.

I am grateful for my job, for the challenges and the flexibility, and the financial stability that it provides my family. I am also grateful that the environment has improved since two short years ago.

I am grateful for my students. They push me to learn and grow, to expand my understanding and continue to walk my path.

I am grateful for the improvement in my health, for recognizing the foods that were harming me and the will to limit them.

I am grateful for ALL of the abundance in my life – an abundance of love, of food, of shelter, of opportunities – financial, growth, spiritual, kindness, generosity…

I have so many blessings. How can I be anything other than grateful?

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving, with an abundance of blessings.

Mary

In the Flow

This week I had a wonderful reminder of being in the flow of abundance and opportunities.

As (almost) always, my week was scheduled to the hilt. Meetings and classes and work and… well, you know the drill.

I’m also organizing the Campbell River Spirit Fair. Because I’m crazy. Because it is a fundraiser for our Circle. I want to make sure it happens, and I had agreed to it a year ago. It is such a fun event!

I’ve had a couple of email money transfers for that event, and another for work that I’ve done, just not show up in my email. I’ve had to request that they be re-issued, which is unusual.

The last time it happened, my friend pointed out that I needed to unblock my acceptance of money – somehow I was repelling it!

That won’t do. No, it won’t do at all.

So I put on the Lakshmi mantra. And immediately reminded myself that I am a child of the Gods. Abundance is my birthright. I am in the flow.

The email money transfer came through. A friend needed kitchen help for a fundraiser, so my boys and I went to help with that, and we will be paid for that work.

I am back in the flow.

It’s not always that easy. Fear and scarcity thinking definitely block the flow of abundance, and those mental spirals aren’t always easy to get out of.

I have a set of affirmations that I use when I find myself succumbing to the itty bitty shitty committee:

  • I am a child of the Gods with Infinite Worth.
  • I am always taken care of.
  • God and Goddess love and accept me.
  • I am always more than enough.
  • The worth of my soul is great.
  • I now fully accept myself.
  • My body is now in perfect balance.
  • I am always healthy and strong.
  • Everything I touch prospers.
  • Other people experience their worth when they are in my presence.
  • Everything works together for my highest and greatest good.

(Adapted from The Creation Course by Tony Lister)

You can adjust it to suit your beliefs. For example, you might say “I am a child of God…” or “God loves me and accepts me”. It’s pretty powerful for fighting off the brain weasels when they run amok, and not just when it comes to abundance.

May you be in the flow as well!

Blessings,

 

How important is it?

The autumn equinox has just passed, and so balance is on my mind. Day and night were in equal balance for just a moment, and now we tip into the dark time of the year, the Underworld.

Equinox by Molly Costello

Equinox by Molly Costello http://www.mollycostello.com

Actually, balance has been on my mind for a while now. A couple of weeks ago, at our Full Moon ritual, we used my Balance Guided Meditation to reassess the priorities in our lives.

And I’ve had a few conversations with friends recently about how to balance all the parts of our lives. We all seem to be so busy! Working more than one job, doing things on the side to make ends meet, going to classes (or teaching them) in the evenings, making time for family… Where’s the me time? What about exploring things just because we WANT to? Or the things that support our overall well-being?

The question that keeps coming up for me is how important is it? (And then the refrain from Walk Off the Earth’s song These Times: “I just don’t want it, I just don’t want it enough I guess”, which is totally me when it comes to exercise… I want to, but I don’t want it enough.)

For me, my spirituality and spiritual practice is vital. Being a priestess is an essential part of who I am and what I do. I can’t turn that part of myself off. I am sad and disappointed when I have to miss rituals or festivals. My spiritual family is as important to me as my biological family.

And while I understand that priority is not the same for everyone in my spiritual community, I always have a moment of disorientation when someone chooses another activity over spiritual practice. I have to remind myself that my priorities are not necessarily their priorities. I imagine others have the same experience with me since exercise is low on my priority list.

Not only do I have to ask myself how important something is to me, I need to remember to ask others how important a certain thing is to them. Because they may not want it as much as I do, and expecting them to is setting us both up for disappointment.

And asking myself how important something is helps remind me to not expect too much of myself, and not over-commit myself. In this way I avoid overwhelm, or disappointment about not being able to do everything I want to do. Well, sort of. I still get disappointed that I can’t do it all, however, I have more realistic expectations about what I am willing to sacrifice, and what I am NOT willing to sacrifice.

So, how important is it to you?

Blessings,

Mary

 

Time to level up?

The world is a crazy place. And chaotic. It’s a crazy, chaotic place, and lately, it seems to be worse than ever.

level upPolitics, especially in the United States, are out of control. I’m not even going to go into that craziness.

Mother Nature is busy working on a wake up call, with record wild fires, hurricanes and earthquakes.

We’ve just come through the energy of a complete solar eclipse and Mercury Retrograde, both of which are fairly common events, and yet they have an energetic impact on us.

And I, for one, have been feeling the effects.

I’ve been experiencing some nausea, and weird digestion. That pales compared to the headaches, though. I wake up at 2 or 3 am in pain that I cannot find release from. Painkillers don’t touch it. I have a few stretches that help, however, then I’m awake, which leads to sleep deprivation, which leads to more pain…

And I’ve had a lot of injuries. Kind of like when I was growing, and I was awkward because I wasn’t used to the new dimensions of my body.

I’ve been feeling more anxiety lately. When I first felt anxiety, it was due to a toxic relationship at work. When that resolved, the anxiety went away. And now it’s back. Fairly mild, but still there.

I feel like I’m falling behind, and I can’t catch up. Actually, it feels like I’m playing a video game, and I’m fighting the boss. I’m not sure I’m up to this challenge. And I’ve got to keep at it because I don’t want to have to start over.

I want to level up. I want the world to level up. I want us to have learned from past mistakes, and be better and stronger than the negative in the world. And I want to feel less pain.

So I will keep working on raising my vibration. Because the more I hold my vibration high, the more others can do the same.

Blessings,

Mary

 

Sugar Free September

It’s been 8 months since I completed my Whole30. And I’ve definitely slipped. The sugar dragon has me firmly in its teeth.

no-sugar-woodenI’ve mostly kept wheat out of my diet, except for earlier this summer when we had a lot of visitors, and sandwiches were just easy. And sugar. Sugar was easy; pop, frappes, chocolate, peanut butter. Easy at hand, and it tasted so good…

And once I started, I just couldn’t stop. A little here, and a little there. Which led to a lot here, and even more there. And I realized that I had a problem, and I still couldn’t stop myself.

I was gaining back the weight that I lost in January and February. And then exhaustion hit me like a brick wall. No motivation, wanting to sleep all the time. One day I even was so tired I felt ill.

Anxiety rode quick on the heels of the tired. Overwhelm was also on the horizon (yes, I know, I do a lot, and expect a lot of myself). These are all of the things that led me to try the Whole30 in the first place.

I’m not quite ready to do another Whole30. That takes some preparation – both shopping wise and mentally. And mentally, I’m not prepared to give all of that up again, at least not the rice and beans. Because I know sugar is my kryptonite.

So I’m giving up sugar for September. Again, not quite as strict as during the Whole30. I’m not bothering about the small amounts of sugar in things like salad dressings, or sauces (except chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce, or the like). However, no more lattes, or candy, or sugary drinks.

Hopefully cutting out sugar helps reset my body’s energy. If this doesn’t work, then I have to check my thyroid levels. 🙁

Wish me luck!

Blessings,

Mary

I Don’t Know My Own Strength

I’ve received quite a few compliments recently, and while I appreciate them, I’m not quite sure how I earned them.

I’m a person, just like everyone else. I do my best to treat others with kindness and respect. I work to live my life by my values. I learn. I grow. And I share what I’ve learned with others.

I do all of this to raise my vibration. And if I can raise my vibration, and hold it high, then I can help others raise their vibrations as well. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Apparently, I make a bigger impression on people than I realize.

People that I have passing, though perhaps regular, acquaintanceship with, say that I’m “good people”, “amazing”, “wonderful”. I feel like I’m bragging now, and I really don’t mean to. I kind of think I ought to just stop writing now, and come up with a new topic.

And, I’ve come this far. I’m uncomfortable. To me, I’m just me. I’m not spectacular, or amazing, or special. I don’t have any super powers. I’m definitely not perfect, and I certainly don’t know everything. I’m not trying to impress anyone.

I’m honestly baffled at how I affect others. I mean, I’m glad I affect (most) people positively. And I guess I’m glad it is relatively effortless, in that it’s not something I think about doing, because then it would come off as trying too hard, and now I’m rambling.

Let me be 100% clear: I’m NOT fishing for more compliments. This is not about stroking my ego (I’d really like to keep that in check). This is me musing to make sense of my experiences.

If I have made a positive impact in your life, I am grateful. It is enough for me. I’m going to keep doing my work, the work I need to do to keep growing. And if you would like to join me, I’d love the company.

Blessings,

Mary

Thoughts on the Eclipse

I’ve been contemplating different things to write about this week. There are a few things going on in my life that I’ve thought to share with you. And yet, the eclipse is so timely.

I went out this morning and sat in my yard with the sun shining on me. We had light cloud cover. I meditated about connecting with the earth and sun and moon, and the intention I have for this eclipse.

Homemade Eclipse ViewerI felt the moment the eclipse began. Well, I felt a shift, around the time the eclipse began. I asked the Dark Mother Goddess, (Kali, Ereshkigal, Hekate, Morrigan, the “mean” mom) to take away the negativity and fear and hate and greed. I asked Her to take into herself anything that does not serve the highest good of humanity and our beloved planet Earth, and transform it.

I took turns with my husband and our boys looking through our homemade pinhole viewer, and watching the image created from a hole punched in a piece of cardboard projected onto a piece of paper. Because of the light cloud, we weren’t able to get any crisp images.

A wonderful neighbor came by with a pair of eclipse glasses, and allowed us to have a look through them. The eclipse was only about 30% by that point. Still, it was fascinating to see the clear image of the orange crescent sun. It was even more fun to see the look on my youngest son’s face when he took his turn looking through the glasses.

Crescents from the eclipseWe looked at the crescents that were made on our van by the light coming through the leaves. We listened as the crickets increased their chorus. We watched the quality of the light change to a strange combination of overcast day and twilight. We felt the temperature drop.

As the eclipse reached it’s maximum (I don’t live in the path of totality, so our maximum was about 86%), I imagined the union of the God and Goddess, the Sun and the Moon, giving birth to a new reality of love and joy and compassion and understanding and appreciation – appreciation of the diversity of our experiences as humans and appreciation of out Mother Earth. I held the vision of increased vibration, increased trust, and increased awareness of the effects of our choices.

We came inside and witnessed the diamond ring of totality flare on the computer screen from somewhere in Oregon, sealing this intention for a new reality. May we all work together to bring this vision to fruition.

Blessings,

Mary

PS. Do I think the eclipse was a magic pill that will allow us to suddenly wake up in an alternate reality? No. And, it is a catalyzing moment. It will take a lot of work to make this vision a reality. I hope you’ll join me in my commitment to making it happen.

Pagan Pride and Protests

This weekend was the 13th Annual Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day. And it took over my life for the past week several weeks.

Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day 2017

Circle of the Sacred Muse book at Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day 2017

I’m really pleased with how well the day turned out. My team of volunteers/friends pulled together, got over the rough start to the morning (the sprinklers were on for the first hour we were supposed to be setting up and marking out vendor spaces), and made the day a fantastic one.

The smoke was more or less cleared from the sky, the sun came out, and there was a gentle breeze throughout the day.

The main ritual touched many people, and I am so grateful for Bella and Dusty coming up from Washington to perform the White Goddess ritual for us, and for Michele and Erik coming up from Duncan and supporting us throughout the day.

The organizers went out after the event and had a lovely dinner. I crawled into bed after unloading my van at about 11:30 pm, and it still took me a little while to wind down, even though I’d been up since 4:30 am. That’s when I checked back in with the rest of the world and learned a tiny bit about what happened in Virginia.

Demonstrators clash late Saturday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo credit CNN.com

On the same day that our peaceful Pagan Pride event was going on, people gathered on the other side of the continent to spread, and protest, hatred and fear. White supremacists clashed with counter protesters in violence. People were injured and killed.

My initial reaction was shock. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I didn’t want to know what happened. I wanted to just write a blog post about how wonderful Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day was.

And yet, my heart is heavy. I may not know exactly what to do, however, I know I can’t ignore what has happened. I’m white. It is my responsibility as a conscientious white person to speak out and loudly say “THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.” We are all people. We all deserve to live in love and safety.

I have friends who are Black, Native, Syrian, gay, lesbian, trans-gender, gender queer, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan… They don’t fit the “white Christian” mold, and have been living in fear of exactly what happened in Charlottesville. That the hate and fear that has been hidden below the surface would not be hidden forever. That racism, sexism, and religious bias would once again become okay. That the rights and freedoms that they have fought so hard to gain would be ripped away, because they haven’t even been universally supported.

My friends are tired. I don’t experience even a fraction of what they do, and I’m tired. And it’s precisely because I DON’T experience what they do that I need to speak up. I need to fight harder. I need to support them. I need to educate myself, because it is not their job to educate me. It’s not enough to dismiss the current events as a one-off, as not my problem because it’s too far away/I’m not racist/I didn’t vote for the president. That’s a cop out. And as much as I would like to turn a blind eye, I can’t. People I love are hurting. They are terrified. And history shows that not doing anything allows it to get much, MUCH worse.

If you want to know what you can do, here is an excellent article: White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville

Read it. Take action. Call out your friends when they are being insensitive. Do not stand idly by while hate consumes and destroys.

Blessings,

Mary

The Cost of Business

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you. Running a business is expensive! Even if (especially if?) it is a part time business.

time and moneyIt’s on my mind because I have had to order more supplies recently. More business cards. More marketing. More website resources. More product.

And more time. (I wish I could buy that as easily as I can the business cards, although I’m sure the time would be MUCH more expensive!)

When you run a business, there is always something that needs to be done. There is content or product to create, networking to be done, and marketing. There is always more marketing that can be done.

And it’s probably the place I miss the most opportunities. I love creating content. I love designing. I love teaching. I know how important marketing is. I even know a lot of the “how to”. I still struggle with it.

It takes time. The resource I struggle to manage the most as I follow my passion. It’s a good thing I love what I do!

Blessings,

Mary