Why I Make the Sacrifice to go Camping

This weekend was a camp out with a group of friends and people from my church. I really loved seeing my friends, and getting to know some new friends. The more I go camping, which isn’t very often, the more I realize that I am not meant to camp.

Mary and BellaFirst of all, the ground and I do not get along when it comes to sleeping. Thankfully this year my air mattress did not deflate. I still woke up sore every morning.

And I woke up so early! When you’re in a tent, it’s hard not to wake up with the sun. And the birds. And anyone else in the camp. Which would have been fine (maybe) if I had gone to bed when it got dark. But no, we stayed up sitting around the fire sharing stories. And others stayed up even after I went to bed, so I could still hear them. This year, I was tired enough to crash pretty hard when I went to bed, so that wasn’t as much of an issue.

Outhouses stink. I don’t think these had been emptied in a VERY long time. The camp site we were at was putting in actual washrooms, but they weren’t quite complete. So instead, the building taunted us from behind the construction fencing.

I don’t warm up easily, so being cold is not fun for me. It rained on and off all weekend. I lived in my sweater coat. All weekend.

I’m lucky there were other people to start the fire, and that my husband looked after the cooking. I appreciate him so much!

I know. I’m spoiled. When I was a child, my grandparents lived on a lake. We never went camping. We just went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and slept in real beds, cooked in a kitchen, and used the bathroom with running water whenever we needed to.

So why did I do it if it makes me miserable?

Because of the people. There were some people there that I love, and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. Good friends from the Mainland that I admire, and mentors from the US. I was able to sit with these people and talk with them and learn from them in a way that I am not able to at larger gatherings.

And there were people there that I had never met before that I am extremely grateful we had the opportunity to meet and talk. We planted the seeds of new friendship.

Growing in my spirituality and my ministry is important to me. Extremely important. So I will make sacrifices and do things that are out of my comfort zone in order to learn and grow.

What do you love (or want) so much that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it?

Blessings,

Mary

 

And So It Begins…

snowdropsThis weekend was the pagan festival of Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and more popularly as Groundhog’s Day. It marks the beginning of spring – here in the Pacific Northwest snowdrops are blooming, and crocuses are pushing up through the soil.  The days are getting visibly longer and brighter, and no matter how cold it is, we know that spring is coming.

It’s a time of cleaning out the old, and setting goals for the coming year. This past week I’ve done some of both.

Sunday we had our circle’s Imbolc celebration at our home. And it was definitely time for our house to have a thorough clean. So I spent much of the day leading up to the ritual cleaning. It was tiring, and yet it felt good to clear away so much of the grim that had built up.

I’m working on my Associate Degree in Ministry at the Wiccan Seminary, and one of the assignments was to set goals, one for each astrological sign. I remember two years ago this assignment totally overwhelmed me. The idea of setting twelve goals, and matching them up to the astrological sign sent terror through me. I looked at the list and the guidelines and my mind went blank.

This time around, it was a lot easier. It took me some time, and I went over the list several times over the course of a few days. It flowed much more easily, though. I think the biggest difference is that I wasn’t afraid of it.

I’m very pleased to be able to look back and see this growth in myself. 🙂 I’m pleased that I am able to choose goals for myself this year that flow easily and naturally. And I’m pleased that I have a record, a way to look back and actually see how much I’ve grown.

The Wheel of the Year turns it’s progression around the same track every year. This time, I can see that I’m at a different level than I was before. Remember back at summer camp, singing one of those repeating songs? “Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse!” Only I’m getting better each time around. 😉

How do you measure your progress? Let me know in the comments below.

Blessings,

Mary

My Babies are Growing Up!

As a mother, a priestess, and a life coach, one of my greatest joys is to see my children, students, and clients grow into new levels of awareness.

My oldest son turned 13 this summer. He’s had some challenges with being bullied at school, and has moved through several different distance education programs over the last few years. Last spring he decided he would go back into the public schools this fall.

We chose a school across town where he knows a few people who attend, and also where the bullies from his old school will NOT be attending. Of the people he knows at the new school, two were girls he played with a lot when he was younger. Our families used to be very close, and spend lots of time together. Then, the other mom and I had a falling out, and unfortunately, the children weren’t able to play together any more.

He was really looking forward to seeing them again, since they had been so close in childhood. He even had lunch with them a few times last week. Then, the girls’ mom phoned us – her daughter was coming home in tears because she was being teased about my son having a crush on her.

I’m really proud of my son. As soon as he heard she was being teased, he immediately, and on his own with no prompting, said he would stay away from her. Because he knows what it feels like to be teased and come home in tears. Even after just reconnecting with someone he was really looking forward to seeing again, he chose to back off, so that she could have more peace. Wow.

Tomorrow morning, the first of my students elevates in our church. She’s been a student of mine for three years, and it is so exciting for me to see her efforts acknowledged in this way. She is a kind, gentle, helping soul, and I have looked on her more as an equal than as a student for quite some time. She battled her way through major health challenges with grace and an extremely positive attitude – I’m not sure I could have handled it as well as she did.

blooming plantI don’t take any credit for the growth of my children, or my students. I didn’t make them grow. All I did was hold the space, and water the seeds now and again. I am honored to be a witness to their successes.

It is the same with my coaching clients. I hold the space for your growth, and ask questions to water the seeds you plant. I will also be there to witness and celebrate you as you bloom. If you are interested in seeing how life coaching can help you accelerate your growth, contact me today.

Blessings,

Mary

Love and Marriage

Spring is in the air (except in Fargo, where I heard it snowed this weekend), and everywhere the plants and animals are feeling the reproductive vibes. I think of that scene from Bambi where all the critters get twitterpated.

Even the royals have caught the fever, as we saw with William and Catherine’s wedding on Friday.  I didn’t actually watch the nuptials (sleep was much more important to me), I just saw some of the photos online.

Were we really so young? 🙂

Also last week, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. I’m really proud of that.  15 years, and still happily married.  A significant chunk of the married population falls to the 7 year itch, and many never make it past 3-5 years!

I heard an audio recording with Marc Victor Hansen a few years ago, and he said he and his wife throw a huge celebration and renew their commitment to each other every year. My sweetie heard it too, and we really like the idea.

Tired, Sore, and Still Happy!

A couple of summers ago, not anywhere near our anniversary, we did an impromptu renewal with a couple of friends.

All dressed up...again!

This year, being #15 (did I mention we’ve been married 15 years?), we did a whole vow renewal ceremony with friends at a festival we’ve been going to for a number of years.  It happened to fall the weekend before our anniversary this year, so the timing was perfect.

To what do I credit our still enjoying each other’s company? A willingness to grow, separately and together. From time to time, one of us grows faster than the other. And then sometimes we work to grow at the same time, helping each other to catch up.

To my sweetheart…I love you! And I look forward to many more years of growing with you!

Blessings,

Mary

PS. This is the creative project I took time off to complete!