Break It Up

Lifestyles are remodeled one habit at a time. The urge to take on too much, too fast can be so overwhelming that the whole process is soon abandoned entirely. Most patterns are actually comprised of various components that have a domino effect. If we attempt to eliminate the pattern without examining how it is constructed we might miss something. Deconstructing a pattern begins with the last domino that fell and ends with the main trigger. Working our way back to the starting point and discovering the trigger is the only way to create a lasting change.

A trigger is born of the senses, so it can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic, but some people are literally lead by their noses. Have you ever suddenly caught the scent of pit smoked barbeque and found yourself sitting at a table, up to your ears in sauce? If the impulse was intense enough you might not even remember how you got there.

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a real eye opener, in that when asked, the children that delayed immediate gratification and held off devouring the marshmallow replied that they didn’t look at it. They distracted themselves in various ways until the 20 minutes were up and they were rewarded with a second marshmallow. That concept has saved me from the compulsion to react to impulses on many occasions. Having the ability to delay gratification is the key.

Once we excavate and discover the root cause, we can find a way to distract ourselves and stop automatically reacting by reinforcing a habit that has become an ingrained pattern. Start with one pattern, one habit and one change. Keep at it and you will have that newly renovated lifestyle.

 

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All The Rage

Do you ever begin your commute in a great state of mind, excited about getting to your destination and even enjoying the journey? It doesn’t take long before some road hog cuts you off, rides your ass close enough to see what’s up your tail pipe and then screams their entire repertoire of obscenities at you. Yeah, sorta takes all the fun out of it. Before you know it, you’re seething and just want to get to where you’re going as long as it involves an adult beverage and a place to vent.

This happens to me many times, especially on my way home from work, and like you I am thinking, “What have I to be upset about? The day’s over and I’m going home.” Then I find myself getting angry that the situation has managed to manipulate my emotions. Well, there is a way to stay grounded and unaffected.

I love my collection of heavy metal CDs as much as any ‘on the edge of 60’ year old woman, but sometimes I feel the need to chill because all that head banging and pounding on my steering wheel to the screaming guitar riffs can make me even more outrageous. New Age music to the rescue. Pop in Kevin Wood’s ‘Kindred’, ‘Sacred’ or something by Deva Premal and it’s a lot easier to pity the fool who finds pleasure in being a jerk. Not that I don’t enjoy yelling, “Sorry about your little penis” at the guy in the pick up truck who just roared around me, but being able to be the ‘bigger person’ and just let it be is very gratifying.

A car scenting device in lavender flavor is especially soothing as is a true pine or another calming combination of herbs that you can concoct yourself and put in a little organza bag. As a Disco queen, I used to wear Tuvara, a heady exotic fragrance that seemed to linger because my troop of girlfriends used to tell me that after riding with them, their cars “smelled like me” for days. So, if a spray of your favorite designer scent gives you pleasure, spray a bit on a square of satin and keep it in your cup holder or near your vent.

Being a Witch, I have a few items that keep me spiritually grounded in my vehicle. A pentacle hanging from the rear view mirror, a few crystals that I can grab in an emotional emergency and the presence of one of my Nature Guides. Halloween always presents me with an opportunity to purchase an array of Crows and this past year, I found one that is about the size of a Robin, secured to a plastic platform that fits perfectly in the little tray area on the top of my dashboard. Although my eyes are often searching the sky for the real deal, my little companion keeps me mindful of the connection I have with my Nature Guides and that relationship always keeps me centered.

When you turn your vehicle into your own private traveling sanctuary it’s a lot easier to be in control of your mindset on the inside even though you can’t control what’s occurring on the outside. You are always the master of the inner you. We can direct our thoughts and when we can also design an environment that is conducive to feeling a sense of peace, we are more apt to be in control of how we feel.

Don’t allow others to push your dashboard buttons. Control your own climate, turn down the heat, and enjoy your own playlist. You just might arrive at your destination with a beautiful, serene smile on your face. Blessings.

Rock Your World

Things can get a bit intense around the office, so I have an assortment of crystals on my desk to help alleviate much of the stress. When I feel the pressure mounting, I take the appropriate stone and hold it for a moment. I focus on the energy of the properties it possesses and allow it to work its Magick. Visualize the energy as light associated with the color of the crystal spreading throughout your body. Once I feel grounded and back in control, I express gratitude and put the crystal back on my desk. When I feel the need to cleanse it, I simply hold it under running water and focus on having all past influences drain away and it will be ready to assist me again.

Search for stones that will have the correspondences that you are most likely to need. Make sure that you have a clear quartz crystal in your collection. Not only will it serve with properties of its own, but it will also enhance the power of any other stone that you work with. A search on line for the metaphysical properties of crystals and stones will allow you to choose the ones whose uses will best suit your individual needs. Mine range from the calming effects of blue lace agate to the energizing energy of orange calcite. http://www.healingcrystals.com is a great site. It includes pictures so you’ll have some idea of what to look for before you begin shopping.

You may choose to keep your crystals out of sight instead of out in the open. Keeping them in a little cloth bag or tucked away in a drawer will protect them from curiosity seekers as well as avoiding having them handled by those whose energy may not be conducive to your work with them. If you feel the need, you may also decide to carry it with you in a pocket to keep it close at hand.

Gem and mineral shows sponsored by geological clubs are a great place to shop and learn. You will have the opportunity to handle a variety of stones so that you can choose those that ‘feel right’. Many stones are set into jewelry that can be worn to utilize the properties on a regular basis. Those with protective qualities are particularly desirable.

Engage in the entire process of procuring and using crystals to enhance your life in many ways. A display of larger pieces is a beautiful way to incorporate Nature into your living space. Enjoy and rock on.

What’s In Your Box?

We self-label and then become what’s in the box. But, we have the power to change the ingredients, put on a different label and become “new and improved”.

Postmark Joy

Is there something in your space that needs a change? Does it drive you crazy every time you see it, but the task of changing it seems like too much trouble so you just learn to ‘live with it’? I had one of those ‘things’.

When I did the “Enchanted” stencil for my wall, I had the design on the ends, backwards. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but over the years it became something that bothered me every time I looked at it. I often thought about how to change it, but worried that there would be a slight difference in the shade of the paint, due to fading and that it would be too obvious that I had fixed it.

Finally, I decided to ‘just do it’. I was doing some touch ups to the walls where some of the corners meet that the Cats frequently rub on and figured that I had run out of excuses. I had the paint and I had the time. I also had my collection of stencils since I had just used them for another project so the one I had used for the end border was within easy reach.

I used a sponge instead of a brush to carefully go over the design. It took two coats, but it covered perfectly. No obvious difference in the shade of wall paint, just a new ‘blank canvass’ to recreate the design. I placed the stencil in line with the end section and redid the design…in the right direction.

Why did I wait so long to do this? It was easy enough and now I love the effect. Even my husband remarked how much better it looks. Such a simple change can make so much difference.

Is there something similar that is postponing the joy you could feel in your space? Driving you crazy every time you see it to the point that you prefer to look away rather than face it another day? That stack of books, outdated shade of paint or décor that you’ve convinced yourself is ‘retro’? Feel free to share the story of the ‘Elephant’ in your room or tell me what you think of the change in mine.

IMG_0500                        Enchanted 005_pp

Shhhhhh

Your yard is speaking. Is it screaming, “MOW ME” or “WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS”? How you respond can make the difference between the Magickal and the mundane.

I can remember living in apartments when my yard consisted of a four by four-foot balcony or the stretch of side-walk from my front door to the parking lot. At one time, we lived in a side by side duplex and actually had a yard. I’d sit out there for hours and think of all the ways I’d change it and make it ‘my’ space had it really been mine. I got to plant my own flowers as well as maintain what the landlords had put in, but it was not the same as envisioning and designing and finally breathing life into something personal and beautiful.

Manifesting is a glorious thing!!! I have a yard of my own. Every year, starting in January when a thick batting of glistening white snow still covers my yard and my perennials lay beneath it, brittle, crystalline blossoms and stems, it begins…I clear the library shelves of gardening books and whoop for joy when my seed catalogs begin to arrive. Out comes my sketch pad and lists are made.

Lawn is so overrated. It’s not good for the environment and unless you grow native species, the up keep is futile when the heat and humidity and lack of rain turns it into something brown that crunches beneath your feet. Grass shouldn’t ‘crunch’. Going barefoot becomes a ballet on razor blades. But, it provides me with the bliss of replacing it with beds and borders of colorful blooms.

Native grasses are considered ‘weeds’ but I allow as many of them as I can to invade my lawn until the neighborhood association gets militant on my green ass. When the lawn is a sea of brown, what springs eternally emerald? My ‘weeds’. Besides, if what I wanted in a yard was a pristine, manicured expanse of lawn, I’d go live at the golf course.

The wildlife is also welcomed with no regard as to what they may destroy. I put wire fences around my flower beds when the Rabbits gnaw my investment to stubs and put out extra ‘critter chow’ in their dishes. After all, what lays beyond my open door is their home. I am simply allowed to share it with them.

Bird feeders, as well, are open to the public. Discriminating against Birds who ‘eat too much’ would be like getting turned away at the buffet because of your size. So, ok…I have combination Bird/Squirrel feeders. The show those little gray acrobats put on never fails to bring a dopey grin to my face. Chase them away? Not in this yard.

My Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks march their new families out with pride. The babies find their way beneath the feeders and become furry Roombas, vacuuming up what spills. Soon they catch on too and join their parents in following the lady in the big, showy hat with the peanuts in her pocket (that would be me). They shove the nuts in their cheeks until they’re so full they can’t even close their mouths.

So, how do I view this paradise of my own making? A place that requires hours of toil and trouble or is this sacred space? I always know when I’ve crossed that line. My flowers sadly hang their heads, and even the fountain in the pond no longer splashes a happy song.

When it becomes ‘work’ instead of a privilege, it’s time to remember the woman who longed for a yard of her own. Once the proper mindset is achieved and the joy of creation and the pride of ownership take over and reclaim this Magickal Space, it all transforms.

Everything is bathed in a golden, rosy glow. I have things growing that defy any explanation as to how they even got there. I have a Mullein that appeared from the ethers and is the size of something you’d expect to see at Findhorn. My Yucca is huge and has three towering spires of white blossoms. Three is a Magickal number in the Craft.

It’s like an international airport out there. Birds and furry little beings coming and going through out the day, all with their own agendas, busily eating, creating new homes or just playing.

The fountain in the pond plays a merry tune as Dragonflies perch on water plants, their gossamer wings reflecting the light like pave’ jewels. Butterflies provide an aerial show and a Humming Bird zips past my head so close that the wind from its wings stirs my hair.

At night, the light show begins as strings of little white bulbs pop on and solar stems change color. Fireflies flicker until the whole thing looks like someone above is showering it all with silver glitter. My husband calls it my ‘Rivendell’.

Sometimes a fire is made in the ‘cauldron’ and a new gourmet s’more is invented. Orange flavored dark chocolate on a chocolate graham cracker, the marshmallow toasted to the perfect golden hue. Mmmm. Pistachio studded milk chocolate and a chocolate flavored marshmallow smacked between two Walker shortbread rounds…oh yeah.

Listen to your yard. Look at it with Magickal eyes and you will truly be seeing it for the first time. It will respond, love for love. It’s not a ‘chore’ to take care of it, it’s an honor. Name your Trees as I did and hug them once in a while. If you’re really concerned about being watched, a cloak of invisibility spell will preserve your dignity. Unless, you do as I do and toss it to the wind. Dance in the sprinkler, knowing that Faeries will join you. Laugh hysterically…it’s required.

Even if your yard is a balcony and your paths are concrete, put a flower in a fanciful container and call it a garden. Flowers love complements so tell her she’s beautiful every day. Toss some seeds in a pot and you can grow a salad. A basil plant will keep you in pesto all Summer long.

Well, I should stop or this book will never fit on the shelf. Besides, a corner of the Woodland Garden wants a make-over and the Cardinal is calling my name. I can’t wait to get out there and tend to my very Magickal Space. This is joy.

This is home, theirs and mine. Flora and Fauna. This is our “Enchanted”.

I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures as much as I enjoy sharing them.

Of My Own Creation

When asked about my beliefs regarding creation:

“Sure, I believe that an energy force may have created life, I just don’t believe that it’s in the form of an old man with a long gray beard, living in the sky. Why be Gandalf living in Middle Earth when you can be Galadriel living at Bloomingdale’s?”