cedar_grove: (Storm)
I have spent several weeks in contemplation of when, for me, the new year should begin, or perhaps has already begun. I tell myself this, and not that it is procrastination against the beginning of an undertaking, or perhaps the opposite, a wish for a precipitous beginning of said undertaking. The fact remains, I have questioned, and still question when a new year begins for an individual. When does it begin for me?


As a Wiccan, should my new year have begun in November, as Samhain passed us into the gathering season of winter, or did my new year begin almost a month later with the start of a journey that has led me to the threshold upon which I now stand – or may even have unknowingly passed beyond already? Did my personal new year begin as a new year of my life began with my birthday on December 11th or with the new solar year, and returning light at Yule? Or should I simply do as most folk seem to do and say my new undertaking will begin with the new calendar year as 2016 gives way to 2017?


There are so many conventions that we follow, cultural and religious, and some that fall into both categories. The notion of the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ have never appealed to me, and not just because many (if not most of the people I personally know) give up on those resolutions soon after making them – myself included in the past. Perhaps that’s why, through this soul searching, I have shied away from that option, and why I questioned in the first place.


Through my introspection, not just of recent days, but of many months, perhaps even years – and extrospection (though Google tells me that even though technically this is the anonym of introspection, it is rarely used), I have discovered a thing or two. This is the point at which I feel I must type the disclaimer that, if you think this part of my journal entry is about you, well… that’s your prerogative, I suppose, but this is my journal, and these are my observations. However, as the saying goes, if the cap fits… or the shoe fits, then… be Cinderella if you must.


There are too many people out there who can’t, or perhaps worse, refuse to see past the end of their own garden path. Such people trap themselves in their own misery, and as prisoners lash out at those around them, transferring their misery and negativity to people who are merely trying to help them realize their own state of being. I’ve been an enabler of such behaviors for the sake of a quiet life, because the gods know that when I’ve tried to do otherwise, all holy hell has broken loose.


Loyalty, like charity, must begin at home. Blind loyalty to other people or beliefs or any other thing that one can be loyal to is often self-destructive. Loyalty to someone or something that reinforces or promotes self-deprecation or a negative self-image, no matter who or what that someone or something is; what part that person or something else plays in your life, is an act of cowardice, not loyalty, and ultimately damaging for you and for others in your life.  As with love, if you cannot love yourself, you cannot properly love others – if you cannot be loyal to yourself, then your loyalty to others is misguided at best.


Ignoring the wise words of good friends and loved ones is just plain stupid and can only lead to trouble and pain. You might think your reasons for arguing the point (inwardly or outwardly) are good and valid reasons, but experience and hindsight will always come around like a two-headed dog to bite you on the ass. When that happens, you know the people that had your best interests at heart when they spoke the advice because, while they might remind you of what they said, they’ll never say, “I told you so,” and will just be there in quiet support while you find your feet after being knocked on your smarting backside.


There’s great sadness in the realization that sometimes, people will – by their own thoughts and actions – disqualify themselves from certain parts they have played in your life, and you can fight and flail all you like to keep them there because you want them there, but if that want isn’t truly and unconditionally matched, there’s little you can do but create a negative and toxic situation for the both of you that is ultimately damaging. Conversely, people can sometimes surprise you. When you least expect it, with a single word, or a short message, people you might have once been close to, that you didn’t even realize you missed, can give you a boost when you’re at your lowest ebb, and remind you that they’re still there.


In all of the above, I’m drawn to, and feel the need to also share a story that was given to me as a ‘lesson’ by one of those wise friends many, many years ago - a wonderful man by the name of Alawn Tickhill - who told me the Story of the Sparrow – and you can find it here.


So… anyway, the conclusion I came to, is that really and ultimately, when and why I start the undertaking is entirely up to me. Also, it’s no big secret what the undertaking is.  It’s just that I’ve been wanting to do more journal writing for a very long time now, and I thought, well, with a new year, it might be time to start this journaling journey.  I’d like to say I’ll write every day. Even though that might be my intent, I know that sometimes life is going to get in the way. I also know that’s perfectly fine.


What I write, how often I write, and why I write – well, those things are my prerogative and my responsibility too.
cedar_grove: (Eirian with a smile)

I don't like schedules. They deny spontaneity and stifle flexibility if you stick to them, and if you don't,  what’s the point of having one? The other problem I have with schedules is that it's rare that life, the universe in particular, rarely respects the orderly progression of tasks that you’ve so carefully laid out so that everything gets done in a timely manner. This can manifest in things not working out the way you intended, or other people asking things of you that mean adjustments be made, and if you’re anything like me you’ll put whatever it is that has been asked of you ahead of your schedule, ahead of the things you’ve planned (read want) to do after you’re done with the chores on your list of things that must be done.

Inevitably, those desired activities/tasks remain unfulfilled, initiating a stress response, leading into a spiral of negativity and resentment - unless you’re able to embrace true selflessness… a fully enlightened state of being that few of us, myself included, reach in our lifetime.

So what’s the solution? What are  the answers or the steps to strive for at the beginning of our golden solar path? I believe it’s a matter of learning how and when to say, “no” or, “not right now,” and not being afraid to take care of self while adhering to the schedule you made; recognizing when you need a moment of and for you, and not feeling guilty for doing so.

cedar_grove: (You go first)
From The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.

The buffalo fed on the buffalo grass that was fertilized by their own droppings. This grass had deep roots bound to the earth and was resistant to drought.
-David Peat



Like the buffalo, we are nourished by what sprouts from our own broken trail.

I think I mentioned earlier in the week that I found the manuscript of the first novel I wrote. I found it while tidying up the mess that had accumulated in my room, nestled in a padded envelope, the pages held together with treasury tags and protected between two pieces of stiff paperboard.

And my-oh-my lets just say, as kindly as one ever is to oneself, that I've been nourished by that one. The title is bad, the composition is… well definitely first novel… okay, let's face it and say it out aloud. It quite simply is shit.

Now I'm allowed to say that, and don't worry, though you can't hear it I'm saying it with a chuckle in my voice and a great lightness in my heart, because while it really is a terrible piece of writing, (I started reading it, and after about 50 pages stopped reading and started skimming and after a while just slipped it back into its envelope), from that beginning, I have grown into the wordsmith that I am today, and can say with all humility, that I've come a long way since then.

I will at some point try to wade through the rest of it… not out of any sense of ego, but more as a learning experience – and they do say that in every pile of poo there is some hidden gem or other, so maybe I'll find something – but then I'll put it away, safely, and keep it for whenever I next might need to see how far I've grown.
cedar_grove: (Default)
From The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.

Burning your way to center
is the loneliest fire of all.
You'll know you have arrived
when nothing else will burn.



It is the same in the human journey as in the natural world. As the center grows stronger, what once was protective turns into a covering, like tree bark or snake skin, that is now in the way, and, sooner or later, we as spirits growing in bodies are faced with burning old skins, like rags on sticks, to light our way as we move deeper and deeper into the inner world, where the forces of God make us one.

This reminds me of a show we were watching yesterday about butterflies… about how the caterpillar sheds its skin to grow, and how the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis ready to move on to the next stage in its journey.

When I got home on Friday I spend a bunch of time clearing up in my room. I was looking for something, and couldn't find it, so decided to have a clear out – eventually found a bunch of other stuff that I wasn't looking for as is usually the case – and managed to find what I was looking for, as is not often the case. I got rid of a whole bunch of junk, things that I didn't need any longer, and have ended up in an environment that feels less cluttered, even though there were a lot of things that I didn't get rid of.

One of the things I didn't get rid of was an old OLD, manuscript that I found, of a 100,000 word novel I wrote pre 2003. I know that it's from before that time because of the address on the cover. I started trying to read a bit of it today, just to see what – if anything – could be salvaged from it. I can't help but cringe. I've obviously grown since then. It would make good a good fire.

I don't mean that in the negative way that it sounds; I'm not meaning to rubbish it all, rather I mean it in a positive way. It has helped me to see that I have moved on, as a person as well as a writer, and as such it has helped me to move inward, to see my inner self; to see what needs to be burned away or consumed, as a caterpillar consumes its old skin in order to provide sustenance for its continued growth, and for me to step into just letting go and throwing myself with even more excited abandon (if that were possible), into the exercises that Mir started sending me today.

As a random thought – I need a butterfly icon.

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