Monday, November 1, 2010

New Beginnings...

Happy New Year!

Today is a day for new beginnings. As the year ended last night and the celebration came to a close I was introspective. But first, I believe I should introduce myself.

For the purpose of this blog and the journey I will be undertaking throughout the next year or more I am to be called Honey. It’s a variation of my first name that I have used on more than one occasion. I’m 36 years old, female, pagan, a hobbyist writer, and am morbidly obese. I hate that word.. morbidly. It adds a depressing air to an already depressing fact. I think there should be another name for my size. Instead of being called morbidly obese perhaps I should be called 3-to-1. Only those on the inside would know what I mean is I’m 3 times the size of the average woman. My weight is only part of the reason I created this blog. The truth is I decided to start this blog as a way to keep myself honest. When you have to report to someone other than yourself you tend to do things a little better. I’m doing this for myself, to be sure, but a part of me is hoping that others will be encouraged by what I’m doing and make positive changes in their lives.

In 2004 I decided to go back to school and got caught up focusing all of my attention on succeeding at completing my two degree programs. I did succeed and received my Masters in September of 2009. In the middle of those five years I made an attempt to lose weight and was very successful. I lost 50 lbs in 4 months and that’s when I starting being pressured to veer off of the plan I was following. Well, not veer exactly. She wanted me to skip ahead in the plan and work on the maintenance portion. I didn’t feel ready. I wanted to keep my success going until I lost a lot more weight before I started to maintain. But because I trusted the opinion of the person suggesting it I allowed myself to go against what my heart was telling me and attempted to “maintain”. I failed and slowly started gaining the weight back even when I started the diet and exercise plan all over again. I felt defeated and after another 6 months of trying and an injury that lead to surgery I gave up. I have since gained back the 50 I lost as well as an additional 65. Ouch! That’s definitely what my knees and back say all day. :D

My weight is only part of my decision to reconnect with myself. The second part is my religion. My faith. My beliefs.

When I was 16 years old I started seeking my own truth. I wasn’t content on the spiritual path my mother, my friends, and most of my family followed and I found myself frustrated over the hypocritical viewpoint of so many people following a Christ based faith. I could not understand how someone could hold himself or herself in such a self righteous place and then commit the acts that I knew for a fact the bible said were sins. How can you preach honestly and faithfulness when you pay for your daughter’s movie ticket and then have her let the rest of the family in the theater exit. That’s stealing. Or how can you marry someone but sleep with other people. I didn’t like the duplicity. It felt wrong.

My attraction had always been to nature and how we, as humans, connect with the ground beneath our feet and the celestial bodies above our heads. Because of my history and the misinformation that I had heard as a child (and oh so wished were true) I was first attracted to the Native American based shamanism, but that didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t understand why until I heard a friend I had in a group I was a part of talk about how you have to be true to your heritage as well as your heart. When it’s in your genes you ultimately already have the coding necessary to find a foothold in that faith. I understood later that he was pretty much telling me that you shouldn’t try and be what you aren’t. Even more plainly, I was being told that I wasn’t Native and really should try and find a more European way to my beliefs.

As I read that it sounds offensive, but that’s not how it was meant and it wasn’t how I took it. I still have a pull toward the beliefs of the Native people but there’s an instinctual reaction missing when I’m involved in ceremonies. I still gladly attend any public pow-wows and festivals in my area but I no longer seek to become a part of the “tribe”.

The pull of nature was getting stronger and I started to seek out more people that had a connection with the earth. I found it through a little shop that sadly recently closed due to the economy. Inside were books on subjects I had never heard of before. Along with the books were divination tools and crystals and music. After browsing through the books that I couldn’t afford to buy I started to take note of the language and subject matter that I then went and researched at the library. I had started junior college by this time and had two jobs to help pay for school as well as a better living situation. Through a co-worker at one of my jobs I was introduced to the book A Witch’s Bible. I read it but didn’t like it. There were parts of it that didn’t feel right to me. It was closer to what I was looking for and yet it was still not right.

I continued searching and I found books at second hand stores that I could afford but I felt the information was lacking. Over the next few years I came into contact with amazing people and groups and I slowly found myself. But in 2005 I was forced to relocate from Northern California to Southern California in order to keep my job. Since I was in school I needed my job and I moved. My connection to my faith began to suffer. I no longer had a group to be a part of and the ones I found had a different understanding than I did. I wasn’t part of a group to be in competition for who is the better pagan. I was looking for connection that didn’t involve superficial things to polyamorous relationships.

So, I slowly lost track of my faith allowing my focus on school to be my excuse.

In September of 2009 I separated from my employer. I saw this as an incredible opportunity. I would be able to move home and find a job putting my new degree to work. Unfortunately, only part of that has come to pass. I did get to move home and back into the bosom of my family, but I am sadly still unemployed. I have made attempts to counter my unemployment and constant search for work by starting my own online clothing business with items made of cotton and by my hands (and a sewing machine).

Since a year has passed with no changes I knew it was time to get back on track. So as the year came to a close I made plans for a new path. A path that will lead me to a healthier me and a more dedicated pagan existence. I am ready to be who I was once afraid to be… a slim, happy, dance under the moon pagan.

This is my new beginning. I hope you will come on this journey with me. You are most welcome.

Pounds lost: None
Pagan insight: Each new step brings me closer to myself.
Steps in the right direction: 1

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