the thing about slowing down

It seems to me that we spend most of our time looking back at the what ifs or gazing forward in anticipation of the one day I wills. I have certainly caught myself up in these more than I care to admit.. and sometimes the what ifs can really be most brutal. With so much fear and uncertainty in our world at the moment, it seems very easy to do.

Most days I am just happy to be alive, eat dinner with the husband (and my gorgeous monster kitties), and have space to occupy in my cozy little hut. Here’s the thing though, life fundamentally is full of uncertain and that moment is what is most important.. it is where you make those choices to focus on what best moves you forward.

Another thing I have noticed, disheartening as it is, is that when I do stop to take a breath of observation.. I feel like I still see far too much indifference. Change is definitely needed.. and Mother Nature as we all have come to respect in her great beauty and rhythms, is an excellent balancer. I hold strong in this. I have to when I look around the world outside my garden walls and see all that is.

I believe on some level we are all aware of these cycles, even when we choose to look away. We shouldn’t, mind you, but sadly.. I can only make my own. I live in hope that after everything, a shifting towards better will continue and gain movement. As individuals, we can make seemingly small choices that together, can add up to so much more. Every little bit counts, we are all connected in this web.

The thing about slowing down, for me personally, is that it has been an amazing exercise in awareness of my immediate. In the mundane I am using this time to further streamline my everyday. I am moving my daily into cleaner, healthier, more sustainable in any small way I can. I am learning to grow some of my own food and that which cannot be squeezed into my teeny garden, I am trying to make better choices on.

In the spiritual, I am helping support causes where I can and hold space for those in need. The mundane may read very unimportant considering all that is, and on some level I guess that is so, but it is my bit of freedom and I am grateful to have it since it wasn’t always so. Still, more simplicity equals more time to put into energies elsewhere needed and keeps me moving – every little ripple and all that..

like a shadow on my mind (p 2)

Who am I?

Am I happy with what I put out into the world?

What am I grateful for?

What do I want to manifest?

How can I do better?

Am I being kind in my actions?

Do I give love?

Do I allow myself to receive love in return?

What ripples am I sending forth?

Who do I choose to be?

The Effect:

After I passed what I now refer to as my “what fresh hell is this” stage, I began a new cycle of self-discovery. I started simplifying – dropping everyone and everything that I felt was not working for me. I started feeling my way away from stressors and unhealthy associations. I started working on my boundaries (not my forte) and valuing my worth in order to start calling in what was needed. It’s been therapeutic doing my own thing and this new, I am finding, will most certainly be an ongoing process.. tending the garden so to speak.

As I started shaping my new normal, I began forming a manifestation process tailored to what works best for me (as I feel we all should).. cobbling together things here and there from too many sources. Nothing really is ever new I have found. After reading all I could and taking all loads of classes, I found many overlapping techniques – some worked for me and some not so much. It’s a process. Timing my work to harness the moon’s cyclic energies, I picked those bits that suited best. I am still that messy little dirt witch at heart after all, and nature has always been my best teacher. Yet again it appears that I am the Fool stepping out on my own journey.. only this time it is by my own hand.

like a shadow on my mind (p 1)

Years ago I went to New Orleans.. everything changed. I put my hand on Marie Laveau’s tomb and asked for movement. I received it. At the time I was there with my closest, it felt like home and we met many people.. some we would work with and some we would leave. Eventually we would leave each other to embrace diverging paths. As always, life does its thing.

The Cause:

At the time this was written, I was trying to find my authenticity.. I had lost the person I had known (thought I knew) as myself. Life seemed somewhat chaotic and those who I considered my tribe had turned unhealthy. I think we were all in places twisty and thus instead of holding each other up as we should have been, we were codependent.. feeding each other’s negative. My time in New Orleans, while so beautiful, lies like a shadow on my mind of the just before this.. and it’s very bittersweet. I did not like who I had become. It was after that trip, in the midst of all that negative, when I was finally diagnosed.

I have read that fibromyalgia is often called “the unseen disorder” – difficult to diagnose, enveloped in a stigma of disbelief, and unseen in that most who suffer wear a mask to push through their pain. It took nearly two years of misses, multiple tests, and an escalation in pain carrying over ten years. Mine came with a side of osteoarthritis and depression. Still, harsh as it sounds, I was glad to have a name to put with the face.. plus, it also came with some clarity for which I am grateful. Things were changing.. and it was time to put on my big girl panties.

my body is a roadmap

as for introductions.. an excerpt from a writing old..

.. And not just the wrinkles (or the saggy skin, and don’t get me started on the old lady arms).. not just of my age or my delicious croneholio-ness.. but of my choices and of my spirituality.

My first tattoo was a small rose on my hip. I was eighteen years old and quite rebellious for a nerdy girl. It started out as a mark of being freed into adulthood, soon to embark on my newly married life.. one that turned pretty quickly. I am a survivor of domestic abuse and although I do not detail it much – I am very proud to be so. It is but a small part of who I am, and so my little rose became a reminder of the folly of giving up too much of oneself.

I have added to it a crescent moon and a small crow for this freedom hard earned.. crow being the one mine who brings the hard lessons. The husband now has seen me through those twenty plus years of freedom and this not so new beginning has been reworked into another rose for a relationship true.. a compass rose..

Reading this, years later, I find it perfectly sums up my spent youth of life not living. The blur from there to the middle was a great journey of finding oneself and building.. life does move so very fast.

Just when I am sure set in my path, the universe opens up a new side road to travel.. or spirals me back to see the old one from a different perspective. So here I find myself moving into my winter, a witch leaning zen entering a new chapter. My life and spiritual is softening. I am softening. The little things seem to be the most important now.. time in the garden, a glass of wine with the husband, the right shade of red. This is the journey of cultivating simplicity and a life magical.