Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Genre of Truth

Tasty Tidbit #1:  Life

            At exactly 5:01pm on Friday, April 22, 2011, Jaylin Avery Faulkner decided to join us on the physical plane.  By my calculations she was one minute late, but that was just because I had a bet on when she would be born.  I felt honored to be at the hospital when she was born.  In a twist of irony, I had been on post earlier that day talking to my doctor about different methods (i.e. pills and shots) to prevent such a miracle from occurring in my life, at least in the immediate future.  Though not related by blood, I feel very much a part of the Spencer, Feliciano, Fetter, Faulkner, family.  Which is soon to be the Spencer, Feliciano, Faulkner, Adams family.  I was as excited and proud of baby Jaylin coming into the world as if she was my own niece.  My first look at her told me she was beautiful, (thank God she wasn’t a troll baby; it makes things so awkward when they are).  The grandmothers and great grandmothers, I think there were two greats I was a little confused on that, all got a turn holding the baby.  My limited baby experience always leaves me feeling wary when little ones are about, but not being a blood relation or grandmother of any sort I didn’t think I had anything to worry about.  That is until someone, I think it was Teresa, asked me if I wanted to hold Jaylin.  Being the Gemini that I am, my mind split off in a hundred different directions and questions, all at once of course.  I’ll just give you the abridged version.  One, yes I desperately wanted to hold that little bundle of joy, lack of experience or no.  Two, I didn’t want to be selfish by taking away time from the actual family.  Three, yes I really wanted to hold her.  Four, I was terrified at the prospect of holding her; I wasn’t even sure how to hold her.  I had tidbits of information rolling through my head about supporting the neck, but don’t touch the top of their heads.  It was getting messy in my over thinking mind.

            The wanting outweighed everything else in the end and after a slightly tense moment for me, during the transfer of baby Jaylin from a grandmother to me, I stood rather dumbfounded looking at this little miracle.  I looked down at her feeling so proud of that little girl I thought my heart would bust on me.  Good thing we were already in a hospital.  I was equally humbled by the fact that I was allowed to hold her on such an important and sacred day as her birth.  I looked down at that little life and welcomed her into the world. After a brief time, the nurse was headed back to the room and I relinquished Jaylin back into the care of her momma. 

            A few days later, Teresa told me she had something for me.  She handed me a picture.  Had I known a picture was being taken I would have felt very self-conscious and worried that I was holding Jaylin wrong or something along those lines, but I didn’t know.  Instead I got a photo of me, smiling down on baby Jaylin as I held her in my arms.  A moment to be treasured.  I think it might be the best present I’ve ever received.

The Genre of Truth

            Sometimes life is just a bitch.  To be honest, since we’re going that direction, that’s not how I originally intended to start this blog, but what the hell.  When I first started college, people used to ask me two general questions.  What is your major?  What do you plan to do when you are finished?  Once I got answers to those questions, or at least good approximations of answers, and settled into an English major, and decided that my chosen profession would be that of a writer I started getting a slightly different set of questions.  What is your major?  What do you write?  When I set about explaining what I wrote, which was a difficult task at best, I usually got this follow up question, can you make money at that?  Oh, sorry didn’t realize that was the end goal.  I thought I was writing because I loved to write and I’m good at it.  I also got a couple helpful suggestions; my favorite was from a fellow student who is also a writer and a damn good one as far as I’m concerned.  He told me that I should focus on being a teacher or professor and just do my writing on the side, which was his plan.  I guess from an economical standpoint that does make more sense.  From a creative aspect it’s stifling to the point of suffocation.  I realize that you need money to live, pay bills and all that jazz, but I don’t like putting the focus on that.  I don’t want money to be the reason that I do anything, especially writing.  I’m practical enough to know that I need a job; however I am also smart enough to know that if I place my writing on the back burner that’s exactly where it will stay.  So I decided, mostly with the birth of this blog, that my writing needed to come forward, as in all the way. 

            When people ask me what I do, I tell them I am a writer.  When I bought my car and heard Jessica’s story, I told Mr. Moore, “I am a writer, may I have permission to share Jessica’s story.”  Being a writer is no different than being a retail clerk, or a phone operator, I know because I’ve been both.  It’s a job, a career, something I have to work at every day.  What drives me to the point of insanity, or at least it did for a long time was that second question everyone asked me, what do you write?  At first it drove me crazy because I wasn’t really writing.  I wanted to write, I felt the hunger to write, but I couldn’t drag myself to the desk to do the actual writing.  I was road blocking myself with passivity.  I love one of the dictionaries definitions for passive, 3. Not working or operating.  Yep, sounds like me.  I was stuck in that tar pit of wanting to write, but not sure how to make myself do it.  When friends suggested that I do this blog things started to roll.  At moments they seem to roll along much smoother than others.  I am actually writing, I have a deadline each week to meet, and amazingly enough I am making that deadline, though occasionally cutting it close. 

            One Sunday, I got together with a woman who works at our shop who is also a writer.  She has had several works published and is working on a book, probably as I write this blog.  As we sat in the coffee shop,(and I have to ask this, why do artistic people always hang out in coffee shops, is that like required or something?), we discussed some ideas she had at the moment for stories.  Then she asked me the question, what exactly do I write?  As usual, I floundered around for a minute, and then said I write everything.  She laughed and said “have pen will write,” yeah basically.  We spent a couple hours talking about writing, ideas and other artistic stuff and then parted ways.  I enjoyed my time and got a lot of good information, but something was nagging me.  I knew it while I was still at the coffee shop, but it grew once I was home.  It didn’t take long to realize it was the question, that damn question, that was driving me nuts.  Truth be told it was driving me into a funk.   The fact that I didn’t have a solid answer bothered me.  I felt I should be able to say, I’m a fiction writer, or a blog writer, or something!  Shouldn’t I know what I write?  I should know what my genre is, but I didn’t.  The fact that I didn’t, left me feeling like an idiot. 

            I funked around for a couple of days, and to those who are wondering yes funked is a word.  I finally decided that spiritual intervention was needed.  There was an exercise on one of my online writing courses about talking with your soul.  It was basically an exercise in just writing for five minutes non-stop, the only difference was that at the beginning you ask your soul what it wants.  I was feeling blue, and not particularly optimistic about the exercise, but I did the damn thing anyway.  Would it be boring to say I was surprised, because I was.  Turns out my soul just wants me to write.  Don’t worry about genre, don’t worry about answer other people’s questions, just write.  That’s the short version at least.  I decided since that exercise was successful to try a second one.  This one you just write a question and then wait for an answer, writing down the first thing that pops in your head without censoring it.  I decided it would be fun to include the conversation between myself and well, myself.

Me: What do I write about? 

I write whatever my soul whispers to me.

Me: That is a beautiful and somewhat fluffy answer.

I let the story write itself.  I just hold the pen to the page, God does everything else.

Me: Better, still fluffy though.

I like the fluff.  Stop trying to be logical. It’s not going to work.    

Me: But what do I write?  What is my genre?

Your genre is Truth.

            Needless to say I was a bit taken aback by that answer.  Who ever heard of the genre of truth?  Is there an agent for that?  I don’t know, but I do know my truth when I hear it.  I felt the burden of trying to cram myself into a mold lift off of me.  I had been attempting to limit myself, and my soul had given me permission to write whatever I needed to write.  I had permission to write my truth. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sara Redefined

Tasty Tidbit #1:  The Ride Home

            Tonight, all I wanted to do was get home.  It had been a relatively uneventful day, read boring, and a long day on top of it.  My general lack of sleep over the past three nights was not improving my mood.  My boss kindly offered to let me go home early, and I took her up on her offer.  Shortly after leaving the shop I found myself stuck in traffic.  At first I was just pissed off.  Of course I get to go home early and what happens, traffic jam.  The radio was on, but it was more for background noise then entertainment purposes.  I thought about how we are always where we are supposed to be, and that everything happens for a reason.  That just annoyed me more.  Ever have a bad day and then have someone walk up to you and remind you of the spiritual lessons you already know, but are choosing to ignore at that moment because you want to be human today?  They make you want to punch them in the face, don’t they?  Cute little spiritual quotes were running through my head and all I could think was, shut up!  I don’t give a damn about divine timing, I care about getting home.  One of those little sayings must have gotten through to a larger part of me, because I decided to turn off the radio, it was just annoying me anyway, and take a deep breath.  Then I took a couple more, because the first one didn’t do much for me.

            After I settled my breathing down into something less than huffing gasps, I decided to simply observe the world around me.  I mean really, what else are you going to do in standstill traffic?  There was still a part of me that was pissed and thought that this whole thing was stupid, but the larger part of me was returning to my center.  I look at the limestone rocks and observed the way the heavy rains had dragged mud and debris into the ditches.  I looked at downed tree limbs and tree limbs still filled with spring blossoms of white and purple.  I saw two men sitting on the front steps of a church, which was next to another church, which was next to something I can’t pronounce or spell that was Jewish.  I saw a young couple walking hand in hand and wondered how they met.  There was a dumpster over flowing with trash, and a gas station that was being torn down.  I noticed that the animal shelter had one of the ugliest signs I had ever seen.  I even started noticing numbers on the buildings.  That there is a catfish on the fish market sign and a young man with a dollar store bag walking so slowly I wasn’t sure he was moving.

            I drive this route every day.  Some of these things I might notice.  One of those quick glances, your brain gets the information, and then discards it because it’s not relevant to what you are doing at the moment.  I was amazed by what I saw in just those twenty minutes of observation.  I wondered what I had missed all these times that I drove by without really looking, and I wondered what else I might see the next time I drove by.  The truth is that usually I am so busy, so absorbed in my own little world, that I don’t see the world around me and how beautiful it is, or how much it could use my help.  The sad thing is that when we have these experiences we often forget them too quickly until another opportunity from the Universe presents itself.  I think I’m going to make it my goal to observe something new every day or take at least five minutes a day to hold still and look.  It’s a way of bringing me back into the world and reminding me that there is more going on around me then just trying to get home.

Tasty Tidbit #2:  By Special Request

            A friend from the shop had messaged me that a dear friend of his had passed away.  He asked me if I would be willing to write a tidbit.  I said of course, just message me some information about her or talk to me at the shop.  We didn’t get much of a chance to talk at the shop and he said it was difficult for him to put his thoughts into words.  He said maybe just something on the subject of death and/or transition.  I thought about it for a bit and realized that death is a subject I know very little about.  At age 31, I have never been to a funeral.  The closest I have come is a family get together for my great uncle who passed.  All that was, was a bunch of family eating and observing my great uncle was had been cremated, so really we were looking at a small box that appeared to be made out of marble.  It looked like one of those Kleenex box covers to me, though I choose not to share that observation with my surrounding family members. 

            I did see my great uncle about less than twenty four hours before he died. He had been sick for years and his body was finally giving up.  He was bloated and looked to be in pain, though he did have a glassy far off look.  This being maybe the second time in my life that I had talked with this particular family member, it was semi odd to me.  We came back to their little house the next morning, after my grandmother got the phone call that my great uncle had passed away.  There was a van from the funeral home there to take the body.  I had been somewhat apprehensive to observe my first deceased person, but as it turns out it wouldn’t be so.  They had already covered him up and were moving him to the van when we pulled up.  I have to admit I had a serious mix of morbid curiosity and a fear that I couldn’t identify.  Maybe I was looking at mortality with seriousness for the first time, I’m not sure.  I could see the form of my late great uncle as the placed the stretcher in the van.  I immediately got the sense that “he’s not there”.  In fact, as my grandparents went inside to comfort my great aunt, I stayed outside.  It had nothing to do with the fear of being in a room where someone had just passed and everything to do with what I was observing outside the house.

            I had this sense of my great uncle.  Not just a sense, but I could see his energy.  It was just above the house and it was huge!  I remember thinking how did all that fit in that little shell? When I sensed his energy it seemed to me that he was younger, maybe late twenties early thirties, though it was hard to tell.  He was definitely smiling though.  There was such a lightness to him.  I knew he wasn’t in some van being carted off to be cremated, that was just his body.  My great uncle or maybe just the energy that was my great uncle was right there.  I’m not sure how long he stuck around, I eventually went inside to comfort my grandmother, it was her brother who had passed.  Though I understood her grief, in that she would miss his physical presence I had a hard time understanding the deep grief that she was going through.  I wanted to be comforting, but knowing her beliefs I could not have said ”it’s okay, Uncle Bud is outside and he’s happy as can be.” To me my great uncle had been freed and he was good with it.  To my grandmother, he was released from pain, but was gone forever. 

            I have had some people tell me that my understanding of death will change when something personal occurs in my life.  Maybe they are right, I don’t know because it hasn’t happened.  I would like to think that due to everything I have learned and observed in this life that I would be prepared in some way for meeting death.  Again, maybe not.  My observations of my great uncles energy certainly gave me a unique perspective of death.  Though most certainly I will mourn the people I love when it’s their time to leave this earth, I also hold onto the hope that I can celebrate with them.  What I observed after my great uncles passing was one of the greatest gifts he could have given me, and I’m grateful that I was able to be there to smile back. 

Sara Redefined

            Yeah I know, here I go talking about me again.  I must have a huge ego.  It was a struggle to decide to post this one after I finished writing it.  I thought, oh God here we go again.  But I decided to suck it up and post it anyway.  I figure either people will learn something, be amused, or get bored and stop reading.  Take your pick, folks.  So, we were talking about me.

            Some times I like to do a little personal meditation.  It’s more of an inward observation than meditation, but you get my point.  I close my eyes and think my name.  Lately, when I do this little exercise I see a horse, running flat out, mane flowing in the wind.  When I see this image it makes me think of strength, beauty, power, and freedom.  These are all qualities I would also attribute to myself, and you have no idea how hard that was to type that just now.  It’s taken many of my almost 32 years to get to the point where I have enough confidence to say that about myself out loud or otherwise (blogwise).  I’ve never really considered horse to be one of my totem animals, but that vision of a horse has always stuck with me, though it’s changed considerably over the years.  Sometimes I would close my eyes and see a horse tired and broken, just trying to shy away and hide.  Other times that horse would be tugging at its bridle, trying to free itself from the hitching post that it was tied to.  It’s taken me an equal amount of time to find my free horse as it has to figure out that every time I saw that horse chained, bridled or broken, that it was only through my own doing that it was so.  Usually, I would say that so and so has tied me down or made me do this or that and I didn’t want to.  In truth I was tying myself down, saying yes when I wanted (and in some cases needed), to say no, or staying in relationships friendship or otherwise long past when I needed to leave.  I’ve heard several times over the years that freedom is a state of mind.  I didn’t get it until just recently, and it stands to reason that while walking the path of life I might forget again, but for now I understand and now is all that matters.

            This is the redefining of myself.  The ability to stay balance and centered no matter what is going on around me.  Speaking my truth comes along with that.  I’ve found that when I’m in that centered place, there’s no real way to beat around the bush. You say what you need to say.  That doesn’t mean you’re a bitch about it, I always do my best to come from a place of compassion and gentleness, but also from a place of clarity.  When I speak, I want the person or the people I am speaking to, to hear me, to understand fully what it is that I am telling them.  This works in reverse as well.  I work on listening from my center.  Sometimes I hear what people are saying and I get excited, so I end up either not really listening to what the person is saying and/or I just plow into the conversation to add my own thoughts.  When I listen from my center, I truly hear what the other person is saying.  I allow them to express themselves and I honor them by paying attention to what they are saying, instead of my mind racing ahead to what comment I can add.

            Redefining myself and staying in my center isn’t just about my interactions with other people and communication skills, it’s also about my personal space as well.  Meaning, my ability to find the silence within, because I’m not overwhelmed with what’s going on outside myself.  I wonder if this might be one reason that some people have trouble with meditation.  We are so filled up with the outside stuff and so overwhelmed by outside stimulation that there’s no more space inside.  There’s no room inside for silence.  We have to start clearing out some of the noise.  The question becomes, how do I do that?  By finding your center.  It’s in there under all that stuff, I guarantee you.  By taking time each day, even if it’s only a couple of minutes to sit and find yourself.  I’m not asking you to quiet your mind that would be nearly, if not completely impossible when you first start out.  There’s too much noise, too many emotions, too many other things you should be doing instead of just sitting there quietly.  When you first try this just sit and be with yourself.  It might feel uncomfortable, because we aren’t used to spending time with ourselves, in fact most of the time we have something in the background and more probably in the foreground to distract ourselves from ourselves.  We have the television on, or the radio, or we are on the computer or all three at once.  We you stop to think about it we make huge efforts to do this, to keep ourselves at bay.  I think we inherently know how powerful we are, even if it’s just on a subconscious level, and we are afraid of that power, so we attempt to dumb ourselves down with distractions.  If we say we can’t meditate, that we have too much stuff going on in our minds, it becomes an easy explanation as to why we don’t get in touch with ourselves, because there is usually someone in the general area willing to validate that explanation.  “Oh, you can’t meditate either, I know my mind is always racing.” Etc, etc.  Once we have validation it becomes okay to be stuck. 

            It’s even difficult for me to write this, I’ve attempt to distract myself several times no, but I’m wining.  It’s as though there is something inside of me that doesn’t want me to look too closely at what I’m saying.  And that’s okay because I’m seeing it anyway.  Each time you look inside, you get that much closer to clearing out the clutter and that much closer to yourself.  You take your guard down brick by brick.  You remove distractions one at a time.  You’ll still have days when you feel like you are spinning your wheels in the spiritual sand pit, you might even feel like your progress is moving backwards.  Again, you have to trust me, it’s not.  When I get restless in the search for myself, I just allow that restlessness to be.  If I am sitting at my computer listening to a meditation and I can’t stop wondering what my bank balance is, I allow myself to check it.  I keep listening to the meditation, check my balance, and then return to my center.  By doing this I feel I am accepting myself, instead of fighting against myself.  If I tried to keep myself focused, I would spend the whole time thinking about my balance instead of focusing on my inner self.  I don’t beat myself up for not following the laws of meditation.  What are those laws anyway and who made them?  Make your own rules for finding yourself and then maybe one day you can start your own blog and talk about yourself, redefined. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leaving the Light On

It doesn't get much closer to a deadline than this.  Enjoy!

Tidbit #1: The Death Card, Again…

            Last night I asked one of the readers from the shop, Amber, to pull a tarot card for me.  Well, to be more specific, I said I wanted a reading.  Amber is one of our readers that was participating in Working Women’s Wednesday, sponsored by Q108.  Amber was kind enough to oblige me and pulled a single card from her deck.  Bet you can guess which one.  With all the transformation happening in my life it wasn’t surprising that the death card came around again, though I have to say I was hoping I was further along my transformational journey.  Most people have the misconception that the death card is an evil card that means you or someone you know is about to kick the bucket.  While it might mean that, depending on the cards around it, for the most part, meaning 95% of the time, the death card is talking about transformation.

            Transformation is a type of death.  It is death of the old, moving into the new.  Sometimes we don’t want to move out of the old, but that doesn’t really matter.  The Universe is going to move us for our highest good.  We can dig our heels in all we want that will just make it take longer, maybe.  Though I might hope that I have moved through my transformation stage I know there is at least one more area of my life that hasn’t yet been addressed.  The death card coming back up was simply the Universe’s way of reminding me that my work is not yet done.  No resting yet!  So thank you Amber for the reminder!  And in case some of you might have forgotten, we have work to do! 

Tidbit #2: Facebook

            This is more of a quick note, than a tidbit.  ‘Ritas and Rants is getting a Facebook page!  I have heard from many of you that you would like to leave comments on the blog, but don’t want to sign up for blogger.  No problem!  I have started setting up a fan page and you can leave your comments there.  It will give me a chance to interact with you all better as well.  Hopefully, we will be up and running next week.  I’ll keep you all up to date!

Leaving the Light On

            For as long as I can remember I have been terrified of tornados.  I always found that slightly ironic since I am an air sign, but maybe there is some innate knowing inside of me that understands the destructive side of my sign.  I can remember when I was little, living in our little house in Madison, Wisconsin and hearing the sirens go off.  I ran around the house in tears trying to herd our cats to the safety of the basement.  By the time I finally got them rounded up, the sirens had already turned off.  As an adult some of that fear has translated into respect for the power of nature.  Living in the Kentucky and Tennessee area certainly didn’t lessen my fear of tornados.  I went from living in a state which had only a slight chance of tornados and everybody had a basement, to living in a state where tornados could be counted on and there are no basements, at least few and far between.  This past year I have noticed a significant change in my attitude toward this destructive force of nature.  What caused the change I’m not sure, maybe it was just the realization that if I am destine to die by tornado, then I’m going to die by tornado, not a lot you can do about that.  The first seven years I lived in the south we had houses with no basements.  The best shelter we had was a walk-in closet or a bathroom, not exactly comforting.  For the first time since I moved to this area I have a basement, while this does bring some comfort it’s minor.  The fact that technology now enables me to get weather alerts on my cellphone and text messages from APSU saying take shelter immediately helps as well.  Before when bad weather would hit I would start tossing cats in the walk-in closet and hope like hell the storm would pass.  The last time we had a major storm I woke up checked my phone for the time and went back to sleep.  Okay, not the smartest thing I admit, guess I was just tired that night.  If I had to pick between eminent death and sleep, I was picking sleep.  That might be a sign that I’m getting old. J

            Two nights ago we had another bad spring storm come stomping its way through, Clarksville.  I’m not sure why, but this one bothered me.  In a way it made me revert back to those deep childhood fears.  It might have been the lack of text messaged warnings, or the silence of the sirens, I don’t know, but something was scaring the hell out of me.  I was tired enough that I could have slept, but there was something in the sound of the wind that kept me awake.  After one particularly strong gust of wind shook the house I got up and turned on the living room light.  In a way I felt childish and dumb.  What the hell good was that going to do?  Was that so I could see the tornado coming?  I didn’t really care about the reason why, I just knew that I want that light on.  I went back to bed and left my bedroom door wide open.  I also lit the candle on my nightstand just in case we lost power.  Every time the wind would slam into the house I would focus on that light.  Somehow, even though I knew there was nothing that light could do, just having it on to look at brought me comfort.  Maybe it was that scared little girl that herded cats to the basement that wanted to see the light, or maybe it was the adult me who didn’t feel like putting on a brave face that night. 

            That was what really got me about that night.  Here I was scared of a storm.  I was an adult; I wasn’t supposed to be scared of things like the wind.  But the truth remained that I was afraid.  Sometimes I think we are so busy putting on a front to everyone that we forget that it’s okay to be afraid.  I had to remind myself that even adults have permission to be afraid.  About an hour and a half later, I was extremely tired.  The sirens had still not gone off, and the phone was silent as well.  I decided that the storm had pretty well blown itself out. I turned out the light in the living room, welcoming the return of the darkness.  I decided to keep the candle lit on the nightstand just in case.  A comfort to my slumbering mind.  A little light in the dark.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Honor Your Body

A special thank you to all my readers for sticking with me!  I love you guys!

Tidbit #1   A Spell for Responsibility
            Just the other day I had yet another fascinating experience in the metaphysical world.  Two young women came into the shop looking for candles and/or potions to help them change their respective lovers.  They both told me that the men they were with treated them poorly, and they were looking for a way to change them.  The blonde in particular was focused on keeping her man.  He is apparently cheating on her, though living with another woman might need a redefinition of cheating and/or relationship in general.  The blonde woman said they had been together for three years and had a child together.  She said it was her fault for the most part that they fought, a statement that caused me to cringe, probably very visibly.  She did say that he started it sometimes, but if she could just stop bitching and nagging at him he would stay with her.  On that point, I very much doubted it.  The women asked if I could feel their energy, the women’s not the men, and given the fact that I had my arms tightly crossed against my chest and kept a minimum two pace distance in a very small shop, I acknowledged that yes I could feel their energy, I’m pretty sure everyone in Clarksville could feel it. 
            For whatever reason I was possessed with an urge to try to explain thirty years of metaphysical study to these two.  I compressed it a bit, into two categories, self-love and intention.  I explained that I could sell them anything they wanted in the shop. If they wanted a love candle, we’ve got it.  Crystals, sure, but the point I tried to make to these two was that no matter what I sold them it would do no good in trying to change another human being.  The only person they could change, or had any control over changing was themselves.  This was not what they wanted to hear, but that’s okay.  Blonde asked me if she used a healing candle for herself would that mean that her man, or excuse me but I have to say it, her baby daddy would stay with her.  Yeah, now I get to explain about vibration, expansion, and a whole slew of things that these women probably aren’t going to understand.  Still I stuck it out, explaining that as their vibration rose things that no long matched their vibrations would fall away.  That wasn’t what they wanted to hear either. 
            Dark haired chick who had remained quiet for most of the time, asked if they could be Wicca, so they could do spells on their men.  Oh goody, a whole other issue to tackle.  Not only did I feel like they were waiting for my blessing to usher them into Wiccahood, I knew it was imperative that I explain at least a couple basics to them about spell work.  I told them that you don’t become Wicca to do spell work.  Now, peeps don’t get your panties in a twist, this is my belief and my understanding, if yours is different congrats.  Yes, spell work is a part of it, but you don’t join up so you can try to bind someone to you.  The thought of the karmic connection on that one again had me cringing.  I explained that spells are actually the last thing you do, the last resort.  Once, you have exhausted every other avenue then turn to spell work.  I doubt that got through, but I did my best.  They decided to come to our Wicca class on Saturday, I figured I’d give the lady that teaches that class a heads up and let her sort them out.  She could probably do it better than I could, have much more extensive knowledge then yours truly.
            In the end each woman purchased a crystal, that’s a whole other story.  Blonde bought a rose quartz, and dark haired chick bought moonstone.  I don’t feel like I really got through to either of them, and I couldn’t help asking blonde at one point why it was that she wanted this particular man.  I asked if she thought there wasn’t anyone better out there.  She said she wanted this man, and if she could do like in Practical Magic (great movie btw), she would stab a bird through the heart.  I warned her what they also said in the movie during that particular scene,
“Be careful what you wish for.”

Tidbit #2 Quotes From Last Week’s Margarita Night
Some of these make no sense, some are funny, and some are stupid.  Doesn’t matter to me, it was a great time.  It was difficult to read some of these though; my handwriting wasn’t very clear at the end.

“That’s above my level.”
“He’s had a few Sanchez’s in his time,”
“What if it was a surprise Sanchez?”
“You need to chew that shit up better.”
“I have shit stuffer gnomes in my ass.” (They stuff corn.)
“It’s still talking or is that just God.”
“Spinxer Gnome.”
“There’s no “x” in sphincter.”
“Pancake tit.” (We have no idea where this one came from.)

Honor Your Body
            Speaking of drinking, yeah anyway.  As some of you may know and the rest of you don’t or don’t care (but you must at least a little if you are reading this J)  I’ve been on an exercise, eat healthy complete overhaul of my lifestyle kick.  Although this has been going great for me, I still find that there are times when I need to rest.  That may sound obvious and simple, but not so much.  I typically exercise twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.  I’ve gotten into the habit of putting my workout clothes on immediately after getting out of bed in the morning.  This sets me up to follow through and continue my routine.  However, there have been a few mornings, like today, when I get up, get dressed, but decide against exercising.  At first I thought I was being lazy and I was afraid missing might cause me to get off track.  Still the pull of resting was stronger than the fear, so I rested.  The next day I was back into my routine, it didn’t take any effort or convincing to get myself back there.  I was relieved to note that missing a day did not cause permanent damage to my progress.  That may sound a bit obsessive, but it’s so easy for me to start something, sticking with it is the tricky part.  I was impressed that the following day I felt even stronger, even though I had rested.  Then I began to wonder if I felt stronger because I rested.  Since, that first rest day I have continued to listen to the signals my body sends me about when to rest and it works out very well.  I’ve heard before that your body needs time to rest, but never took it seriously.  Resting to me, seemed lazy, but now I realize that skipping the rest stage caused me to wear out quickly and then I would need to rest longer and that was what caused me to get off track.  My rest days don’t appear to have any kind of pattern, and I don’t pick a certain day each week to rest.  I listen to my body and then honor what it’s telling me. 
            Listening to your body isn’t exclusive to exercise.  I take the time to listen to what my body wants and needs for food as well.  It’s not something you have to spend a great deal of time on, it’s just more of a quick “how about this?”  Many times I am drawn towards certain foods or crave them.  I love looking stuff up to see what nutrients the food I’m craving has, just to see what it is my body might be needing.  Most of the time it’s simple, like I’m craving an apple or a handful of nut nix.  Mmmm, nuts in my mouth.  Okay, my bad had to say it.  Sometimes I’ll reach in the fridge and put my hand on something and I get a sense that, whatever it is, is not what my body wants or needs, and I make a different selection, or if I just want it I eat a small portion.  The more I listen to the signals the clearer they become.  The other day I was craving fiber, yeah I know.  Teresa asked me if I was craving fiber from grains or fiber from vegetables. To be honest I didn’t know there was different kinds, I just thought fiber was fiber, but as soon as she asked the question I felt that I was being drawn toward the grain fiber, which made my purchase of some organic flax crackers (along with other assorted nuts and seeds) earlier that morning make sense.  In that case, I didn’t realize that I was listening to my body.  The crackers just looked good so I bought them.  Realizing that I was in alignment with my body’s needs both on a conscious and sub-conscious level was pretty amazing.
            If you are looking to make some eating or lifestyle changes practice listening to your body.  Hell, even if you don’t want to change anything listen anyway; you might be surprised with what happens.  Again, sometimes I feel like I want something that I would consider “bad”.  My feeling is that if I’m craving it, there is probably something in it that my body needs.  I allow myself to have a portion of whatever it is.  Note I didn’t say I bury myself up to my elbows, I said I eat a portion.  There are times when I am able to figure out what it is that I’m craving in the “bad” food and can make what I consider to be a healthier choice.  It’s important to note that I don’t believe any food is bad, it’s our abuse of food that is “bad”, really I suppose in the end it all comes back to choice and intention.  When we choose to over indulge, and believe me I have done my fair share of that, we forget how to tell when our bodies have had enough, (i.e. when we are full).  When I went through the master cleanse, not something I would recommend unless you are truly ready and you will know when you are, it was like a reset button for my body.  I was once again able to tell when I was full, and it took a lot less food then I thought it would.  I also ate slowly and added snacks throughout the day to help maintain my blood sugar levels.  I believe all of these things in combination are what have attributed to my healthy weight loss and my healthy life in general.  I knew the way I had been eating was not healthy, nor was it honoring my body.  We only get one of these, and they don’t come with extended warranties.  I could feel the strain I was putting on my body and I knew that I had to make some changes.
            I have had a lot of help both from the physical side, all my friends, and the spiritual side, all my other friends.  I don’t know if I could have made it this far without so much help, in fact I’m sure that I couldn’t have.  I had to make the conscious decision to change my life.  I knew it would take more than lip service to make it happen, excuses be damned!  Though I might occasional indulge and have a margarita or two, or two and a quarter of a half, I know that I am making good decisions for my body, honoring it in every way.