Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yuletime cheer…

This is the first year, in a long time, that I’ve been excited about decorating and having my home filled with yuletime cheer. I’ve been counting the days until the 1st of December. I set a rule a loooong time ago that I wouldn’t decorate until December. I never understood why people threw up a tree and lights the day after Thanksgiving.

But I’m soooo anxious! Er, excited. I can’t wait to decorate this year. I know it has something to do with being home after a long absence from home. This year is going to be sooo wonderful! I think it will be more so because it’s the kind of holiday most people wouldn’t want. With the hit my family has taken with the loss of jobs and incomes none of us can afford to shop, so we decided to do a “secret santa” and make the presents we give.

Last year I went overboard and made pajamas for every member of my family. I ended up making 15 different sets and it took me almost 2 months. I promised not to do that again. It was just too much work. But I admit I love seeing that my family does wear the PJs I made and enjoys them.

I am sooo looking forward to the holiday season with my family. I always love the sparkling lights and smells of evergreen boughs.

Oooh, hurry December 1st. Hurry!

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: Patience is a.. Oh, who am I kidding. Hurry! Hehe
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 30

Monday, November 29, 2010

A weighty problem…

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is what weight does to your body. There are the obvious things that everyone can see. Weight makes your skin stretch and can make your limbs look like they were stung by bees from knee to ankle or elbow to wrist. Weight can give you the dreaded “cankles” named so because you lose the definition between the calfs and the ankles. Weight can make your face look swollen or like you have jello beneath your skin. Weight can throw your body out of proportion. If your weight delivers you into the arms of diabetes it can make your body look like a peach on toothpick legs.

In my case the outward evidence of my weight has been fairly proportioned. Every part of my body has gained weight. My arms are as big as you’d expect them to be. The only thing about my body that seems to be different than most heavy women is that I still have a waist. It’s consistently been smaller than my ribcage and hip measurements. Earlier this year I started to notice that my waist was increasing more than it ever had before. I was losing the one attribute that I admired in my weight gain. I still had “shape”. I think one of the reasons I was so keen to get back on the diet path is because I want to keep my waist. It’s my defining feminine feature that I’ve always had some pride for. If my waist becomes the same size as my ribcage or hips I would be devastated.

Inwardly, weight does far more damage to your body than what shows externally. Extra weight on your limbs can cause injury to your joints. Our bodies are made for the parts of our limbs above and below our joints to be similar in size. Strong bicep and forearms, calfs and thighs, etc. When you gain weight the size of those areas significantly increases. There’s a natural give in your joint when you bring your forearm up to your bicep just as in kneeling so your thigh meets your calf. But when you’re heavy attempting to kneel can be a problem.

I remember when I was in highschool I wanted to sit next to a friend of mine but there was only enough room if I knelt down. I did so and the people around me heard the same terrible pop I did. When the bell rang and everyone got up to go to class I couldn’t. I had popped my knee out of joint. It seemed like it took a very long time for me to get out of my kneeling position to be sitting flat on my backside with my legs out in front of me. Getting into that position hurt terribly. I could see where my knee was out of joint and I had to reach down and maneuver my leg and knee until I could feel it pop back in. The pain of the joint fitting back together again was NOT fun, but after it was back in the pain almost went away. The knee was sore for a long time after that but I never told my mom or asked to see the nurse. I was embarrassed. My weight had popped my knee out and I didn’t want anyone to know.

That kind of internal damage is just one example. When you gain weight the fat cells start to latch on to your organs and when that happens I believe the fat cells start to strangle the organs which is why I think they have to work so much harder to do the functions they were made to do. The fat in our bodies starts looking for new places to hang out and become the sugar in our blood stream. Diabetes kicks in and you know your body is now fighting to survive.

We can be so hard on our bodies and the reason why still hasn’t been figured out.

But I want to let my body know that I’m rooting for it. I know that if I snip my ego and the ID in the butt I will be able to overcome the things that have kept me sabotaging my body instead of letting it thrive. My body never asked for the abuse of my weight and I think it’s about time my body got what it deserved. A break.

So here’s to you body. I hope you kick a little ass and tell me where to shove my excuses.

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: If you need to set the alarm to stick to your diet, learn to carry one with you.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 29

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Exploring change…

One of the most pronounced and repetitive things we deal with in this life is change. As a pagan when we work magic we are creating change through the conformity of will. That means we are encouraging change every time we cast or create new beginnings. Change can be a positive force in life.

I remember once when I participated in a Bay Area event based on the Elysian Mysteries…when I traveled into the “underground” and met with Hades he asked me what I wanted, what I needed…and I told him CHANGE. He told me to beware of what I was asking for, but I knew that I needed things in my life to change. I was willing to allow it to change in negative ways in hopes that the changes would be positive as well. As above, so below, after all.

Change did happen for me. It was the following December that found me relocated to Anaheim. While my time in southern California kept me from my family there were a lot of positive changes that happened down there as well. I graduated with my Bachelor’s and went back for and got my Master’s. I lost 50 lbs and in the course became a BBW model for a little while. I dated and determined what I was looking for in the world of love and marriage. I gained it all back (blech), but that is the negative side of change rearing its head. You have to learn to take the good with the bad.

Change can be a positive force in your life if you let it be. The best way to create change for good is to not be afraid of it. You must be able to recognize change when it’s heading toward you and you must be willing to make adjustments in your life to either integrate the change or discover ways to avoid it. Now, remember that avoiding change in general will be detrimental to your life. There’s no such thing as something that never changes.

Never fear change, for it’s always there just around the corner. What will change next?

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: Change can lead to so many wonderful things.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 28

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Itty Bitty Teeny Weeny little obession…

I have a confession to make.. I have a love of bumper stickers but I never put them on my car. Instead, I collect them and tack them up around my office or keep them in little piles while making devious plans on where to tack them. I think they are fun and often make me laugh.

I was looking around online today and I found a bunch of bumper sticker pics that I wanted to share. I hope some of them make other people laugh too.























As for the rest of the day, it was busy with work in the morning, after that it was all about trying to stay warm. I’m frozen! The diet was obeyed and the water consumption was pretty good. Not a bad day overall. :)

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: Laughter can add years to your life and make it more fun too!
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 27

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quiet day…

Today was a quiet day for me, but still busy. I spent most of the day out of the house taking care of chores and picking up my furniture from my brother’s house. The rest of the day was spent on the computer working on the assignments I’ve been hired to complete.

My core is sore today from all of the dancing I did yesterday with the family and the Xbox Kinect and I allowed that soreness to interfere with my diet. I only managed to consume 4 of my 5 meals today, but I did manage to get most of my water.

Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive and my post will be more interesting. :D

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: Time flies when you’re researching!
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 26

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving of thanks; Pagan style…

Today is the day, at least in the US, where giving thanks is not only a requirement but also a joy. You are given the chance to really express how you feel about your family and friends that you may not feel you can any other time of the year. Why is that? We should allow ourselves to have thanksgiving all year long (without the food!) and never let our loved ones forget what they mean to us.

I wanted to share with you a solitary ritual of thanks that was written by Scott Cunningham that I found a few years ago. I really liked the simplicity of the ritual and the symbolism behind it. The original posting of this article can be found at: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1820

Solitary Ritual of Thanks


From Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

(You alone will know when to perform this ritual. It can be done at any phase of the moon, during the day or night, whenever needed.)

You’ll need one large white or pink bowl; one white candle; water; small, fresh flowers (white blooms are best) and one piece of white cotton cloth.

Place the bowl on the altar (or on any table). If desired, cast a circle. Affix the white candle to the center of the bowl with warmed beeswax or with drippings from another white candle (so that the bowl acts as a candle holder).

Pour water into the bowl. Float the fresh flowers on the surface of the water. Light the candle.

Visualize your reason for the ritual; remember why you’re thanking the Goddess and God. Touch the water on both sides of the candle with your fingertips, saying these or similar words:
Lady of the Moon, of the stars and the Earth;
Lord of the Sun, of the forests and the hills;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Waters, of flowers and the sea;
Lord of the Air, of horns and of fire;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Caves, of cats and snakes;
Lord of the Plains, of falcons and stags;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.


Look into the candle’s flame, then down into the water. Blow gently upon the water’s surface and watch the flowers’ movements. Meditate. Commune. Thank.

When it’s time, remove the petals from the water. Place them in the center of the white cotton cloth. Wrap the cloth around the petals. If you’ve cast a circle, close it now. End your rite of thanks by quenching the candle’s flame, pouring the water onto the ground and burying the flowers in the Earth. It is done.

I also really like that it’s clearly stated that you can use this ritual whenever you feel like it. There’s no set time, moon or sun phase, or corresponding herbal influence. Although I know those things matter when it comes to connecting with the divine I appreciate the simplicity that allows us to commune with our heavenly parents when we feel the desire and need to. Only you can really know when it is the right time to speak to the Mother and Father.

Today was a wonderful day filled with family, great food, and super double fun times playing a dance game on Xbox Kinect. I saw moves I didn’t think my family could do! Hehe.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I went to weight myself and discovered I had lost 4 pounds, exactly. Thank goodness for that because my plan for today went out the window. I can proudly say that I didn’t go back for seconds and I didn’t completely clean my plate. I also didn’t eat my dessert, but I did bring it home with me.

Pounds lost: 11.2 (377.8)
Daily insight: There’s nothing better than spending time with those you love.
Ounces of water consumed: 80
Steps in the right direction: 25

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Contemplating thanks…

Today I am once again thankful. I’m thankful for the time I have with my family and I am thankful to have them in my life. I feel blessed to have been witness to their lives and to have them be witness to mine. I could not be the person I am today or the person I’m striving to be if not for them.

I spent the day with my sister helping her to take care of something that she needed to take care of. I am so thankful that I could be here for her when she needs me because she’s always there for me when I need her. She’s not only my sibling, she’s my friend. I am blessed to have her in my life.

I wasn’t able to do the cooking and prep work that I needed to do for tomorrow so I’m going to bed early in hope that I can get up early and take care of the dishes I’m bringing to the family thanksgiving. I am saddened knowing that I will have to miss one gathering in favor of the other. I wanted to be able to celebrate with my Dad, Step-mom, Grandma, Grandpa, and GG. If things go well tomorrow morning and I can be done in time I still want to go over there before I head over to the big party at my brother’s house. Cross your fingers for me that I can get everything done fast! I think the best way for that to happen is by not making the pumpkin bread. That just means I’ll have another excuse to visit with family AFTER Thanksgiving! Yay!

The diet today took a hit and so did my water intake because of where I was today. I get to weigh myself tomorrow and I’m a little worried. Buuuuuut, I did do mostly liquid on 2 days last week so that might really help me out.

I have something special for you all tomorrow. It’s a ritual of thanksgiving that can be done any day of the year, but I favor it on the holiday we’ve taken into our hearts here in the US. I will post the ritual, as well as where it can be found from the publisher, tomorrow when I report in.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful night and spend tomorrow surrounded by those you love and love you in return.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: Never forget to open your eyes and look around you from time to time; you’ll love what you see.
Ounces of water consumed: 30
Steps in the right direction: 24

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The day before the madness begins…

Today is the day before all of the cooking needs to start. I have a larger list of things to make for the family Thanksgiving than I usually do. I’m making deviled eggs (a tradition), pumpkin bread with walnuts and chocolate chips, a hot artichoke/chili dip, and fresh soft pretzel breadsticks. I started the deviled eggs tonight and will cut and make the filing tomorrow so I just have to compile them on Thursday. I’m making the pumpkin bread and prepping the dip (I’m not mixing it together because there’s mayo in it and I don’t want that to oxidize) tomorrow. That will leave the only actual item to be made on Thursday the pretzel breadsticks. I know that they taste so much better when they are fresh and warm so I’m not even going to make the dough until that morning.

My brother is hosting the family get together this year and he’s very excited about it. I’m excited for him too. He loves having family over and having us there all day. I think he’s a little nuts to want the chaos of a full house all day, but if that’s what he wants I’m going to give it to him. J

After yesterday’s terrific reading I thought today would have gone differently. Last night when I went to bed I started feeling sick and today I’ve been battling a tickle in my throat and just not feeling well in general. Unfortunately, after I took my grandma for her weekly shopping I ended up snuggled under blankets on the couch with a sleeping puppy. The only productive thing I did all day was shop and boil eggs. LOL

The good news is that I’ve been hired to write some articles and am very excited to start working on them.

The diet went well and my water intact was great. I have a plan for Thursday so I don’t fall off the wagon, so to speak. I’m still feeling under the weather so I’m going to crawl back under the blanket and get some rest.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: Sometimes you just need to snuggle under a blanket and take a sick day.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 23

Monday, November 22, 2010

What does the future hold?…

In a previous post I mentioned that in the past I have determined if I was on the right track through déjà vu’s discovered through precognitive dreaming. I also mentioned that it’s been a good 18 months since I’ve realized any déjà vu’s. As a result, I admit that I have been feeling like I haven’t had any direction.

Leading up to a Halloween party this year I purchased a Tarot deck. Normally I don’t consult the Tarot preferring to use the Runes as my mode of divine communication. For the party I wanted the option for my guests to use either. As often happens in my family, my runes decided to hide from me. This left me with my beautiful new Tarot deck.

Tonight, a few moments ago in fact, I decided to do a reading on myself. I opted for the simple, traditional three card pull. The first card is your past or how you got where you are. The second card is your present or what’s happening right now. The third card is your future or what will happen next.

My first card (upright) is the 10 of Cups. My second card (upright) is the Wheel of Fortune. My third card (upright) is the 9 of Cups. According to the book of meanings provided with the Tarot deck The Cups is the suit linked to matters of the heart or material comfort and represents the element of water. It’s interesting to note that my astrological sign is an air sign.

My past is the 10 of Cups. Meaning is: Welcome home – Home, joy, and familial bliss. Peace. Love. Plenty. Contentment of the heart. Respect from your neighbors. I took this to represent what brought me to where I am today. I relocated back home from Southern California after a 5-year absence. I had lived more than a 2-hour drive away from my family for 5 years before that. So, I was finally home (no more than a 30 minute drive from any of my family members) after 10 years and I am happier now than I have been in all that time.

My present is the Wheel of Fortune. Meaning is: Change, destiny, fortune, good luck, the end of troubles in sight. Moving ahead for better or worse. Where I am now is at a fork in the road of my life, so to speak. I have endless paths before me. It is my destiny to be in this place at this time in my life. I am where I should be. And, thankfully, the end of my troubles is in sight. (Thank you Mother!)

My future is the 9 of Cups. Meaning is: Satisfaction, plenty, sensual pleasures, wellbeing, success, security, wishes fulfilled. To me, this means that my future is not bleak, in fact I believe this means that I will be successful in what I want to do with my life and it will provide me with the security and happiness I’ve always wanted in my life. There is hope for my future and with my hard work I will be able to do all the things I want to.

All in all this was an AMAZING reading and has set to rest a lot of the doubts and worry that have been eating at me. The reading was such a positive experience that I decided to do one final pull from the deck. I wanted to know what kind of job I would be getting and in what field it might be in. I was nervous but hopeful when I pulled this final card.

I received the Knight of Cups (upright). The meaning is: An opportunity may be presented to the seeker. Arrival of a lover. Appeal, approach, creativity, inspiration. What an amazing card to pull! My dream has always been to write for a living.. and to write about love and romance. I have started to venture out of my creative shell (so to speak) and submit my writing to review by publishers. This card indicates to me that my job involves the arrival of a lover and what good romance doesn’t! Romances start with one character appealing to the other and a situation that allows one to approach the other. And a story based on romance is created through inspiration. I have my answer. I need to focus on my writing and creating stories that inspire.

I feel blessed to have been given the chance to see the potential of my future and I am going to move down this path with good intentions and plenty of hope.

Blessed be.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: Knowing what road to take helps you plan accordingly.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 22

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pagan Negative Press…

It really disappoints me when a television show or a group of people shows their lack of intelligence by repeatedly associating demons or curses with pagans and/or witches. It shows just how uneducated and small-minded these people are. Just as with any culture there are people within that culture that are good and people that are bad. No other single culture (with the possible exception of Muslim) has been accused of being “evil” more than the members of the pagan/wiccan community.

Why would someone openly admit their lack of intelligence unless they just don’t know any better? That’s a shame. I seem to be in the minority in my belief that you should know as much as possible if not everything there is to know about a subject before you make your decision. And that has nothing to do with me being pagan and everything to do with me wanting to be the best human being I can be. I understand that there are some really dark (bad) people that have the same beliefs that I do and choose to do the wrong thing with their power and their actions. But this can also be said of every other religion and culture in the world.

I rejoice when the rare event occurs where a pagan is portrayed in a positive light or as the individual that came to “save the day”. That doesn’t happen very often, I’m sorry to say.

Tonight I was watching my DVR recording of The Haunted on Animal Planet. I was disappointed to hear that the individuals involved with the second story decided that the “roommate” that supposedly “cursed” the woman and her home was a witch, implying that she was EVIL, without any evidence to support this fact. Supposedly, the woman started dressing “Gothic” and lit candles and incense in her room. After a pet disappeared the roommate mysteriously disappeared as well. Supposedly there was “paraphernalia” left behind that identified the roommate as a witch that cast a curse. Paranormal researchers that were called in were interviewed for the show and one stated that casting spells or curses leaves behind a negative energy that accumulates other negative spirits until they turn on the people in the house. What an uneducated assumption!!

Yes, I’m sure there are foolish pagans out there that don’t know what the heck they are doing (another indication of uneducated idiots causing trouble for the rest of the world) and cause chaos, but it is a gross generalization to make a statement such as that investigator did. GROSS GENERALIZATION. Casting spells can leave behind energy that must be dispersed back into the universe but it is rarely if ever evil or bad. There wasn’t any proof provided in the show to indicate that this “roommate” was truly a witch. I understand that the production company could have edited out any proof but my “spidy sense” says how it came across was how that group meant it.

The type of magic performed depends on the pagan/witch and yes there are some bad people that perform bad magic. Thankfully, those people are the minority and yet they are the ones that seem to get the most press. This is where things need to change. I only know of one paranormal program on TV that has the right idea on how to deal with individuals of other faiths. One such show has a member that specializes in the occult (she comes from a pagan family) and has on more than one occasion helped people that were in dire need of assistance. Unless this is a case of artful editing, which I don’t think it is, PRS is the only group I know of that openly accepts and appreciates individuals from all faith. I hope this is a trend that continues.

Just like any and every other group in the world we deserve positive press. Keep your eyes and ears open and you might find ways to educate or be educated to the reality of those in the pagan world. The majority of us are good, decent people and we believe that bad people should be held accountable for their actions, but we are smart enough not to assume everyone is the same.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: Try reading the book instead of making assumptions reading the cover.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 21

Time flies…

I don’t know how the time snuck past me tonight, but before I knew it the clock said 12:30am and it was tomorrow already! I had sat down at the computer with the intent to write a short story that I was going to enter into a contest and ended up getting caught up in an email. I was asked to write a sample article for a potential employer that sent me busily researching the topic and cranking out a 300+ word article.

I admit I’ve never written an article before so I have NO idea if I even did it right. Because of that I asked the editor to please provide me feedback on it to tell me what was right and/or what I did wrong. My fingers are crossed (which would make for awkward typing, you know) that I’m better at it than I thought. Hehehe.

Today I decided it was time to get my garden in order (not realizing today was all about getting the heavy rainfall) and although I was only able to pull up my last harvest of carrots I was pleasantly surprised by how many I had! I cleaned them and divided them up so I could freeze some, give some to my sister, and put the rest in the stew I’m starting in the morning.


The rest of the day was spent on chores around the house and some indulgent TV watching. The diet went excellently today and the spiritual reawakening is right on track with my reading. I’m fighting with my sewing machine and we haven’t made up yet so my projects are still incomplete.

Alas!

Tomorrow (today!) could very well be more productive. I can only hope. :)
Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: When leaves are wet from the rain, they stick on EVERYTHING!
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 20

Friday, November 19, 2010

As Thanksgiving approaches…

As Thanksgiving approaches I find my thoughts turning toward the people and things that I am thankful for. One of the most important things I am thankful for is that I am finally home after five years. I can’t seem to stress enough just how glad and happy I am to be home. I was away for a long time and during that time I allowed what’s important to me to fall to the background of my existence.

Being home has reminded me of what I want out of life. Being unemployed is allowing me to start with a clean slate. I have no obligations, yet, outside of the things I want for myself. I have the time to take my dog for a walk if I choose. I have the time to finish the projects that have been sitting and waiting for my attention. I have the time to figure out exactly where I fit in in the world around me.

I know that I am struggling to make ends meet and I have spent a good long time looking for work. I’ve even found myself doing work that does not appeal to me because it will bring in much needed income. I am in that situation right not. I’m writing for someone about a subject that I just do not enjoy. As a matter of fact I am rather disturbed by the storyline he wants me to write. I am facing the decision of either going against what I think is right to make money or making the decision to allow someone else to take over where I left off.

I think I’m going to end the association and keep my pride and self-worth in the process. I have enjoyed writing (just not the subject) and I know that I will continue to try and find employment doing that. I am going to finish the deal I made with him and complete the scene I started, but after that I do not feel that I can continue along that thread.

I know that when Thanksgiving Day arrives I’ll be able to really write a list and supply details about all the things I am thankful for. But for now I am so very thankful that I am home once again. And I am so very thankful that the Mother has provided me with the opportunity to reevaluate what’s important to me. I know she will guide me to the employment that is right for me. It is my job to keep my eyes open so I don’t miss it.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: Don’t forget to look around you and actually see what is there. The thing you want most might be there waiting for you.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 19

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is it doing what’s right or doing what’s right for you?…

The issue of morality is important no matter what your faith or religion is. To often I have been the witness to individuals who claim to have a strong moral fiber and yet do “the wrong thing” just to get what they want. One of my favorite quotes comes from a character on NCIS sums up the difference between ethics and morals. “An ethical man knows that it is wrong to cheat on his wife whereas the moral man actually would not.” It seems to me there aren’t enough morally strong people in the world any more.

I believe in doing what is right and I consider the consequences of the things that I do. I know that if more people managed to look at the world this way there would be much less criminal activity and depravity. All people should strive to do what’s right. Not just what’s right for them.

The last two days have been rough for me and I didn’t post last night because I didn’t have anything positive to say. As you can tell I’m not exactly Miss Mary Sunshine in today’s post, either. I know that it has something to do with my chemical makeup after my monthly “gift”. The week after always finds me melancholy and negative. I usually counteract this hormonal upheaval by keeping to myself. I realize that I can’t do that if I am to keep my blog honest and real.

I gained 0.3 of a pound this week, which would have been worse if I didn’t spend yesterday and most of today on a liquid diet. I need to keep myself on track and keep my motivation on the task at hand. I allowed my emotions to control my eating habits instead of following the menu I have planned for myself.

My disappointment in gaining any weight at all has fired up my determination to start fresh tomorrow. I will not fail, no matter how many bumps in the road I come across.

Pounds lost: 7.2 (381.8)
Daily insight: The decision between right and wrong is easy. Do what’s right.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 18

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking out for signs…

I am stumped for things to say tonight for some reason. I’ve sat here for about an hour while I thought up ideas and systematically rejected them. Nothing seemed to fit the feel of the day.

Today was a full day of family and interviews. Family came first and last (as it always should) with interviews and preparations in between. The busy-ness of the day kept me moving without much of a rest all day. Unfortunately, this meant that I was also rushing around to make sure I got my meals in and drank my water. I veered off track a bit, but managed to get in all of my water for the day. Thank goodness.

As for the rest of it, I wasn’t able to spend any time reading as I had planned so I believe I will do so when I go to bed and before I fall asleep. It’ll be my time to focus on one of my goals. To reacquaint myself with my faith and the aspects of what it means to be pagan.

I feel like I’m moving along in a bog with my body getting heavier with every step I take. My path is not completely clear in front of me and I can only keep an eye out for signs to tell me if I’m going the right way.

Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: Laughter can unite people, or break them apart.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 16

Monday, November 15, 2010

What does it mean to be Pagan?

Does being Pagan mean you have to think a certain way, pray a certain way, dress a certain way, or talk a certain way? When you’re pagan you do tend to have similar thoughts, behaviors, and habits as other pagans but there isn’t any set of specific rules that you must abide by outside of the Rede. Being pagan is a state of mind, a way you look at the world, and the place you take in that world. It is how and what you believe and believe in.

I am pagan. It’s what I am, who I am; who and what I choose to be. To me what is pagan may not be the same as what is pagan to someone else. To me being pagan means having a connection to the Mother, to the Father, to the Earth, to the Sun and Stars in the heavens. To me being pagan means I think about what I take from the Earth and make sure that I give back. To me being pagan means that I have respect for other people’s ideas and beliefs. I believe in doing the right thing and not just because I believe in the three-fold rule, but because it’s the RIGHT thing to do. To me being pagan means harming none. To me being pagan… is the way I should be.

To me the Mother is three phases of the same being. She is the Maiden, newborn and naïve - the heart of new beginnings. She is the Mother, fertile teacher guiding those she has created - the heart of compassion. She is the Crone, wise and experienced – the heart of endings and preparedness for the cycle to begin again. We see the Mother represented every night in the sky above. Maiden=Waxing moon. Mother=Full moon. Crone=Waning moon.

To me the Lord of the Hunt best represents the Father. He is the provider, the protector, and the sage. We see the Father represented every day in the sky above. He is the Sun warming us and providing the Earth with the tools needed to sustain us.

I do not mean to imply that either of these celestial bodies is actually our Mother and Father, but they are the representations of them in our every day lives. Whether or not we acknowledge them as such is up to us.

There are many different things involved in what it means to be pagan. No one answer is correct and the journey to find out what being pagan means to you is the only thing that any of us should be concerned with. Find out what it means to you to be pagan. Ignore those that demand you be a certain way or dress and act a certain way.

There is only one place that I can think of where there are specific guidelines on how you should conduct yourself as pagan and that is within the sacred circle. How you act and what you do within the circle are important. Your mindset is important. But how you dress or don’t dress will not deter from your purpose. I do believe that certain tools and parts of the ceremony are important to your work, but I do not believe that everything must be rigid and not open to change.

Educating yourself or finding a teacher is the best way for you to determine how you practice. I choose to educate myself through books and people. I am thankful for what I learn and whom I learn from so that I can find my own way.

Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: No one is perfect, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to be.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 15

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Balance is easier said than done…

Balance is an important subject in regards to how we live our lives. Many people move through life focused in just one aspect and unknowing in other areas. This is especially true in the pagan world. I know quite a few people that live their lives from a sexual aspect… or a fire aspect. Their life is all about their sexuality and connecting sexually to other people or to their magic. What about the other elements we, as humans, possess? What about Earth? Air? Water? To have true balance we need to have equal parts of all four. (Yes, I know there are five, but I’m leaving Spirit out of this for a reason. Spirit is you, your love and compassion. And that’s assumed in this post.)

Fire: is about passion and energy.
Water: is about the subconscious mind, love, religion, intuition and emotions.
Earth: is about stability, abundance, wisdom, practicality, and prosperity.
Air: is about higher consciousness, creativeness, and thought.

I tend to be a water girl all the way. I’m all about emotions and intuition. That was never more obvious than today when my world was thrown into chaos that I created. I have a terrible habit of rushing through activities that I should have taken more slowly. I’m not talking about putting away groceries or deciding on what to make for dinner. I’m talking about decisions like… I need to take the crap out of my purse, where should I put it? And then I shove whatever was in it into some place out of the way. The problem is I keep some very important items in my purse and happened to shove those items somewhere I couldn’t remember.

I ended up panicked as I went through every drawer, every pile of paperwork in the office and even the recycle bin in my kitchen. I spent most of the day (at least 4 hours) going through everything, panicking and taking a time out, and then going through everything again. I finally found what I needed in an out of the way place. A place I rarely, if ever, shove stuff. I then spent the rest of the day trying to recover from my panic-fest.

As I sit here I realized that I did have plenty of Fire thrown in there to flame my emotional turmoil.

What I was missing was the grounding influence of earth and the memory aspect of air. I’m sure if I had chosen to go outside and lay on the ground with my hands and feet resting on the earth I could have taken in the physical reminder to ground myself and I could have slowed my breathing to inhale the warm air of the summer influenced fall day which would have helped me to think more clearly. I would have remembered sooner where I had put what I needed instead of slamming myself down on the couch and chewing my thumbnail to the quick thinking about what I was going to do if I had accidentally recycled them last week.

There’s an interesting book that I read about finding balance with the elements and what you can do in the moment or throughout the day when you realize that you’re lacking the influence of all four. I know that when the balance is within me I make better decisions and I have a different outlook on the world. I am more relaxed and far more tolerant.

I think today is a good example of the basics that I need to be working on. Starting tomorrow I’m going to start rereading this book. When I am done I will recommend it to you and post the author and title.

Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: Personal earthquakes can really rock your boat.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 14

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sticking my nose in it…

As I posted on Thursday, Friday night was the Clash of the Titan’s night and it was fabulous! The movies are not similar in much more than the names of the characters involved so there was no real comparison. They were both interesting in different ways, but I have to say the original is still my favorite! Dinner was fantastic and it is something we are definitely going to have to do again.

Today started out slowly and I’ve been anxious all day. I’ve felt like something was going to happen, but nothing out of the ordinary has. I followed my diet like a good girl and have consumed all of my water. It’s after 1030pm, so whatever was going to happen must be something for another day. But then again there’s still some time in this day so I had better be on the look out.

Nothing seemed to satisfy me today. I was terribly bored with everything I did and yet I only have myself to blame since I never left the house. I had planned on doing some rearranging of my bedroom so I could put my books away and have my tools in easy reach. That didn’t happen. I’d go to do it and have the “blech” feeling and turn around and leave the room again. Finally in late afternoon I sat down at the computer and went fishing.

I’ve been curious about the other people like me out there that are talking about their lives and being pagan. I found some interesting blogs that I’m going to add to my mainpage and I’ve found some networks that I’m thinking of joining. And yet… I still feel “blech” about the day. I’m hoping that when I wake up tomorrow I’ll feel better. I want to motivate myself into going for a walk or just enjoying the crisp fall air. The blech’s need to go.

There’s so much I want to get done and want to explore within myself and my faith and yet I find I have many days like today where I just can’t get motivated. I’m not quite sure what is holding me back, if anything, and how I am to defeat it. I think it must be hard to fight something you can’t see especially when the enemy might be within.

I think tonight when I go to sleep I’ll call out for a dream, like the ones I used to have, to show me the path.

I suppose that sentence might be confusing if you don’t know my history so I’ll give you some information.

When I was a little girl I was able to dream the next day in its entirety. Well, the entire day in my small piece of the world and my place in it. I knew when something was going to happen. I occasionally could tell my Mom who was on the phone when it rang. As I got older the gift receded little by little. When I was 8 or 9 my Mom flippantly called me a pretender (the exact word she used escapes me) and that I couldn’t possibly be able to do what I did. Not long after that our lives became filled with chaos and a lot of change. I stopped telling my Mom about my dreams. I stopped telling most people and when the “déjà vu’s” happened (which was really me remembering the dream I had about it) I would keep them to myself. They started coming more infrequently.

In high school I shared a little bit of that part of me to my friends and was rewarded with several “yeah right” and eye-rolls. Something inside of me lost faith in my dreams and they became even more infrequent. When I did have them, I was the only one that knew about them. I rarely shared them when they happened because I had stopped believing they were more than chance. The last time I had one that I openly shared it was concerning my niece.

Before she was born, before I knew my sister was pregnant, I had a dream I was holding this beautiful dark haired little girl in my arms. She was in a white smock and diaper cover with little white socks on her feet. She was asleep in my arms and I looked up from her to my sister that was sitting on the bed in the corner. I remember telling my sister about the dream and saying that I thought she was my daughter but I didn’t recognize the home we were in. Months later I went to visit my sister in her new home to meet my new niece. I sat down and my sister put her in my arms. She was in a white smock, diaper cover, and white frilly socks. It was the little girl I dreamed about, in the home I saw, with my sister sitting on her own bed in the corner. I told her I was having a déjà vu and reminded her of the dream I had told her about. She remembered it and I remember feeling reassured and strong in my abilities. I believe that was the day I started having faith in myself again, but I think it was too late to build my ability.

That was the day I realized my dreams foretold my path and when they happened and I experienced déjà vu that meant I was on the right path. I do continue to have them, but I believe the last one I had was about 17 months ago. I have no idea if I am on the right path today. Perhaps when I dream tonight I’ll find that out.

Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: The path you’re supposed to be on will reveal itself in time.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 13

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Busy bee…

Today was a wonderfully busy day. I spent the day checking out possible ways to work multiple jobs from home that will supplement my income when I find an outside of the home job. There are options out there but there’s always a catch. The catch I’ve been running into is that I need a telephone landline so that I can be on the phone without service interruption. Tomorrow I’ll call the phone company and get a line installed. I was trying to avoid another bill, but sometimes you need to spend money to make money.

I’d like to be able to use all of my employment history to get several jobs (yeah right in this job market!) so that I can get the kind of income I had before I lost my job. Of course the immediate goal is to at least make as much as I’d be getting on unemployment (which is all over). I have papers coming in from my student loans stating that if I am no longer on unemployment I would need to start making payments unless I could prove undue hardship. What I think is undue hardship they might not. Ah well, I’ll keep working to source and income while they are sending me mail to tell me what I need to do. Somehow we’ll all come together.

I’m very excited about tomorrow. My sister and step-mom and I are having our “Clash of the Titans” movie-a-thon. Finally! We are going to watch the original from the 70s and then the one that was released this year. We’re also making an awesome dinner. Chicken in apricot sauce over spinach fettuccine with a salad and a dessert. Yum! It’s to celebrate my step-mom’s birthday. Yay!

I finally found a proper scale and was pleased to discover I’ve been doing pretty darn well on this diet of mine. According to the scale I’ve lost 7.5 since November 1st and I have, officially, made Thursdays my weigh in day. Excellent. I look forward to good results every Thursday from now on. My goal is to lost about 2 pounds a week which, if my math is correct, would mean I’d lose about 50 pounds every 6 months or 102 pounds a year. Naturally, if I lose more a week I will not be sad. :D

Drinking all the water I need daily is getting easier and I’ve stopped using Milk as a soda substitute. I drink, throughout the day, approximately 8 oz of milk. That’s not too bad. I don’t use milk in my meal replacement shakes and I think that helps lower my intact and since I do use water in them that increases my water intact. Hmm, I just realized that I don’t count that water in my list at the bottom of my post. I think I’ll keep it out of there and allow it to be untold bonus water consumption.


Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: The solution is always out there, you just have to hunt it down and make it work for you.
Ounces of water consumed: 75
Steps in the right direction: 11

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Putting my foot down…

I must have checked my email today at least 2 dozen times. I keep hoping that I’ll hear from a prospective employer about a job that I’ve applied for or was interviewed for, but no such email has found its way into my inbox. Frustrating! It can be difficult to keep putting yourself out there without any response, but I know that right now I’m not the only one facing this challenge. This is the first time in my life where I didn’t have a new job before transitioning from the old job. I feel… scattered. Every day I wake up hoping to see an improvement in the unemployment situation in California, but opportunity is moving at a snails pace right now.

Enough.

I currently have several projects going in an attempt to find a way to make money. I’ve even gone back to doing survey’s online. So far, the surveys have been crap and/or I never qualify for them. It’s not the same doing that any more. One survey I started asked questions that seemed more like they were trying to figure out what my secret password for my account might be rather than asking me about products. I ended it in the middle. No thanks.

My frustrations over a lack of income aside, today was my step-mom’s birthday. I enjoyed calling her to wish her a happy birthday and to make plans to get together later in the week. I love birthdays. I’ve always looked at them as “special days”. Days that only belong to the person having the birthday.

In my faith there’s a lot of talk about new beginnings and how there are so many ways to begin change. I look at birthdays as a person’s own private New Year. As you start the new year of your life you’re getting the chance to do so much. You can continue down the same path you were on the year before, or make a change. You can create your own personal resolutions to complete throughout the next year of your life.

Our personal calendars run from our birthday and it’s up to us to count through the days and years as we see fit. Every year on my birthday I make plans for what I want in the next year. I might even write them out to solidify them. And at the end of my year I look back to see what I accomplished or gave up or started again. There’s no reason why you can’t revisit with your wants and needs more than once a year. Mundane New Year, Pagan New Year, or your personal New Year.



Pounds lost: 0 (I’ll have an answer tomorrow)
Soda: Last time on this list
Daily insight: Celebrate everything big or small and you’ll always have something to be happy about.
Ounces of water consumed: 70
Steps in the right direction: 10

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The gloom doom or the rainbows, I decide…

I’ve been told in the past that when you stop something like caffeine cold turkey it can affect certain things about you. It can have physical reactions like headaches or even body aches. It can also have an emotional reaction like melancholy. Having stopped drinking soda I think I’ve officially hit the “it’s gone and you know it” phase. I feel sad, moody, and achy. I miss me soda! I also remember how this affected me the last time I quit the juice (soda) and once I hold out for another week or so these feelings will leave me. Thank goodness! To keep my will power up and my path clear I need to remain vivacious and motivated.

Mother nature has sent her calling card to remind me of her monthly visit and that has compounded the way my body feels. When I was younger I was always surprised when it was time to menstruate. It was as if I had no idea it was coming (which of course I did) and was never prepared for it. Then I read something, somewhere (I wish I could remember) that spoke about how you can be the only person that really knows what’s going on with you. A doctor is there to treat you and give you suggestions on how to care for yourself, but it’s really up to you to know what’s going on and when.

I started listening to my body. I started becoming familiar with the way certain areas of my body ached before certain things happened. I learned that when my back hurts in “that way” I needed to be gentler with myself to avoid it going out. I learned that if I lean on my elbows my fingers would go numb within 30 minutes. Ultimately, I learned the rules of my body. Understanding the different pains or different reactions helped me be better prepared. This actually helped me medically. A few years ago I had an unusual pain in my abdomen. It wasn’t the kind of pain you get when you had an intestinal issue and it wasn’t the kind of pain you get when you have the flu. It was different. I went to the ER and said something was wrong. I wasn’t running a high fever nor was I having dizzy spells or vomiting, but I was having a pain in my belly. After about an hour or two I convinced the ER doctor to check me for appendicitis. Another hour went by while I waited for a test and then another two went by before the results came in. At that point the doctor told me he wasn’t sure I was right, but there was a chance. I went into surgery.

And I was right.

After I woke up from anesthesia the doctor told me that my appendix had ruptured and if they had waited any longer than they had I would have died. The rupture had already caused several organs to be attacked and they had to clean (scrub was the word he used) them once my appendix was out. If I hadn’t known myself and I hadn’t insisted that something was wrong they would have sent me home with the usual “If you get worse come back”.

You must know yourself. You’re the only person that can save you when you need it.

I believe this knowing of yourself applies to so many aspects of our lives. If you don’t know what’s in your own heart and mind, how to do you know what you should do… and when. If you blindly follow what other people tell you, you could end up having your appendix rupture. Or your life go unfulfilled.

Choose your own path. Whether that path is a specific religion or just living your life “right”. You must know whom you are inside to make the right decision. And you should allow other people to make that same realization. Talk to each other. You might be surprised to find out just how similar your beliefs are… and that they just have different names.

Pounds lost: 0 (I need a better scale!)
Soda: Go.. away!
Daily insight: Know yourself and be your own advocate for life.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 9

Monday, November 8, 2010

I’d like that extra lazy with a bit of laundry on the side…

When I woke up this morning I was shocked to find it 9am. I remembered hearing the alarm and I was sure I only hit the snooze button once before rolling over. So, there must have been an occurrence of stolen time between 610am and 9am. Of course this isn’t an episode of alien abduction. It’s just a case of the lazy-ies.

I could throw out the excuse of my back hurting (it was too) but that’s not an unusual daily event and shouldn’t have stopped me from getting out of bed. I could also use the excuse that I was still catching up from the hectic Friday/Saturday I had. That would be lame. So the truth has to be told that I woke up incredibly lazy. I moved through the day at such a snails pace that I was shocked to see that it was evening before I started laundry. Shameful! Yet… nice.

The diet today was pretty tasty because it included single servings of chicken and cheese tortellini in creamy pesto and I would have to say at least 3 servings of broccoli. Yum! What a satisfying dinner. Water consumption was excellent and I even managed to keep away from milk (a vice of mine). Milk, it seems, has become a replacement for soda. I have drunk fat free milk for the last 10+ years but the thing that most people don’t realize is that the sugar content in milk is pretty high. The lower the fat the higher the sugar. It’s a catch 22. It might be better for you in fat intake but it can smack you in the carbs department. Quelle dommage!

I’ve started to search out my books and think that I’ve found the box that contains most of them. I want to get them all out of boxes so I can really see what I have. Then I’ll be able to determine in what order I want to read them. This will allow me to start at the basics in relearning the aspects of my religion.

I remember taking part in a class in the east bay that told me magic is the practice of creating change through the conformity of will. This means that magic is successful if the will is strong enough. My teacher told me that he’d been able to hone his skills so well that he could effectively change the color of something. His example was that he was able to change the color of the paint in a room in their home. It only lasted a little while, but he did it. I was impressed with the idea and always hoped it was possible. I did not witness this change so there was the instinctual doubt, but I sure like to think that kind of power existed.

Since the very basic stems from strengthening the will I believe I am already heading down that path. Starting this journey and sticking to it will enable me to strengthen perhaps more than my will. It will strengthen my very character.

Pounds lost: 0
The need to stop thinking about soda: Immediate
Daily insight: Even if you only accomplish one thing today, at least that’s one thing less on your list for tomorrow.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 8