Renewal

20180610_151725-01This winter/spring cycle has been such a lesson for me on how I work, and what my own body/mind’s cycles are. I’ve noticed for the past 5-6 years now that winter is my dead time, and I was alright with figuring that out, I am totally cool allowing myself to nap and veg in the winter.

This past holiday season really hammered in how being a business owner is going to make that just a solid fact as the gift-giving season is just going to drain what energy I have left from the summer out of me. And that’s fine! January was still pretty busy, but I found myself not wanting to do much of anything at all. It took quite a while for me to get to those Sailor Moon teas, which I had begun working on in the fall, and finally released in April, I believe.

I think what this has led me to realize is that I need to utilize the spring/summer/early autumn energy to the fullest extent for myself, not only for my business, but for myself, for my home, for my friends and family. Even just outlining recipes for new teas for the following months, and creating them as is timely to release. To plan out the things I’d like to accomplish for myself in the year, such as bringing dance back into my daily practice, however, knowing that when the busy gift-giving season comes, that it’s just going to fall to the wayside for that time. And that that is fine. Everything has a season.
Knowing that entertaining and visiting is for the fair weather months for me. I’m not a fan of driving in the winter, and with my body requiring sleep and rest, that’s fine. It’s the few months a year that my body and mind will just use the season to renew itself.

 

The only other thing I think really exacerbated my hard fall into sleepiness after the holidays was the fact that my workspace was just not working very well anymore at all. With makeshift spaces with pieces of furniture that didn’t fit well with each other… it was bringing me down, to say the least! So this late winter/early spring, I came up with a plan…
At first, it was a cute cottage that would have been painted with flowers all over the outside; but that idea then turned into the building of a very efficient desk/shelf system that really utilises the space in which it occupies. The little cottage would have been fabulous, and I still maybe want something like that down the line, however, with the current situation we are in, it was simpler to create the desk/shelf space than build a whole little cottage outside. Especially when we think we’ll be ready to buy our first house in a few years.

But this workspace… I can’t tell you how happy I am with it so far, and I’ve barely had time to use it. I was not so happy with it when I was doing all the work to build it, hehe, but now, I can see how much more efficient the space will be, especially when October comes around, and I’m working longer and longer days leading up to Yule.

Not only did I build this workspace to help me keep encouraged to work better, but we also changed the space of our living room, which has also been a boon. Got rid of a coffee table that sucked up the room in there, and made it a pain to dance or do yoga. We bought a bunch of tall bookshelves to fill up a wall, and take all of our stuff that had no place and just lay on the floor or in other very inconvenient spaces (like the coffee table top), and placed everything in the shelves. I did not realize how much we had until those shelves were pretty much filled! Funny thing, that!
Then we got rid of my husband-man’s old, crummy desk that was a vortex for all the things he was keeping there, and replaced it with the desk I was previously using. A nice, open space that makes it hard for him to just leave everything on to pile up.

It’s been kind of amazing to see how much actually making a space work for us functionally as well as aesthetically has let a lot of my stress and anxiety fall away. The spaces we occupy affect us so much, and it’s so important to understand that and then make it work better for ourselves. I feel the weight of these spaces has gone, and I am excited for the coming holiday season knowing I will have plenty of space to work in, to store orders in process, and lots of tea being made and waiting to be put into an envelope.

 

This has all been very renewing, as the title of this post suggests. There is still a lot of work to be done this summer, however. There’s lots of household projects that have needed doing for a very long time, and we’re going to get on that! I have gardening things that need to be done, as this year, we aren’t dealing with a crazy amount of water soaking the yard.

And finally, I have also worked on getting my website back up! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but as you know, my energy levels to take it on have not been up enough to take on that project until this past week. It was quite a few long days updating product listings, adding my art, playing around with some of the code to get things working just right, and I can see that I’ll likely be continuing to work on it still, a constant thing. I will continue to have an Etsy shop, of course, but it’s nice to have a web space that is all my own, the feel of what I want to put out into the world better represented.

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Get Out of Your Head

My own picture on a walk in my neighbourhood the other day.

It’s difficult to feel comfortable with ourselves, body and mind, in our current climate of media driven images of what we should be, how we should look, what we should like, etc. I’m going to go ahead and assume that even though it is wide-spread now because of television, radio, and internet, it’s always been so, especially in large settlements, cities, etc.

What I’m really getting at is that it’s hard for us to just accept who we are, what we look like, how we compare to others, and the like. So really, our heads are filled with this constant, automatic stream of criticism over every little thing you say or do. This can be an incredible mountain of an obstacle to overcome when you need to focus on your path’s practice. While we are all mostly capable of amassing information, when it comes to the practicing part, the rituals, the raising of energy, the releasing of energy, calling the Gods to be with you, calling spirits and entities to be with you… well, it just gets in the way and makes for a practice that is very unfocused, and very unclear.

I feel I have been quite fortunate to not have been one of those who is incredibly concerned  24/7 with all the things I should be saying and doing. My mama raised my sis, brother and I to be fairly confident in ourselves (not full of our own hubris, however 😉 ), to be able to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and be honest about them, at least with ourselves. I feel as I’ve left my teen years behind, I feel more and more comfortable around people, talking to those I don’t know, just being able to enjoy myself in the face of others’ snickers and such.
I heard from a friend at school (as I’m not in this semester), that in our Music History class, there was a girl who judged us for laughing all the time at our teachers’ teacher jokes. My friend is the same age as I am, plus a few months. We don’t care that it “isn’t cool” to laugh at the lame jokes; in fact, I was laughing and enjoying myself despite others’ judging since high school. I was shy as a young girl, but after getting to know you, I felt pretty comfortable in myself. I feel happy that I am not bound by this nagging in my head of having to look “cool”. All those other people just look miserable all the time trying to conform… it’s boring… it’s sad… it suppresses who you are… it takes the joy out of interactions with others.

But back to the spiritual bit, it’s hard enough trying to free your mind *geeky Matrix reference FTW!* while holding ritual for yourself and truly experiencing your craft, your path; but if you’re in a coven with, Elysian fields forbid, other people, it’s nigh impossible to turn off the criticism because you’ll be constantly correcting yourself for mistakes you think the others think you’ve made. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. First of all, no matter how much you may think everyone’s eyes are always on you, they’re not. What you may feel is the hugest, most embarrassing mistake during circle (or whenever), usually is a small trifle that others might notice, but won’t take heavily as they are building up the energy in circle (and as we all should know, what happens in circle is meant to happen).
Secondly, if you continue this constant criticism, you are just cutting yourself off from creating a deep connection to the Divine, to the deities you worship, to the magic you make, to the rituals you hold. If your mind is constantly running on this criticism and correction, then you have no room left to focus on the spiritual path you are trying to work on.
Thirdly, because your mind is so heavy on the criticism, there’s nothing you can do but criticize others. Every seeming mistake they make, every odd thing they say, you catch it, you hold on to it, and you can’t move past it because you think you could do better, or you think of how you would react if you were them, or you… The point is you continue to think on the thing that is not supposed to be thought about.

I challenge those of you who do find themselves burdened by this to use meditative practice with these thoughts: when you find them in your head, let them float away. Stop over-analyzing every interaction you have, every move you make. When you feel like others are judging you, well, they very well may be, but it isn’t the focus of their life, and if they don’t know you, then who cares? There’s way too many people in the world to care about and try to please every single one. Choose the people who you love, or enjoy the company of in your life, and choose your actions and words wisely with them, they’re the people that should see the very best in us because we choose to cultivate that relationship, because they make us aspire to be better people, because they have reciprocated our love in return. This holds true for our relationships with the Gods. If we give them our very best, in a joyful, honest, and criticism free way, they will reciprocate our love, our adoration, our wishes.

Be yourself, enjoy who you are, enjoy the company of others freely. Love all that is within you, the light and dark, work on what you want to work on within and without, balance your body, mind, and spirit; for in balance, we can achieve greater things for ourselves, for the Gods, and for love of all.