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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What’s Growing In Your Head?

Healthy habits take root in a fertile mind and will feed you for a very long life time.

Walking Their Walk

If you wanna look like you live like that…you’ve gotta live like that. No one gets buff sitting on their duff.

Going Over Board?

Vision boards not only help you to determine where you want to go, but also provide a record of all that you have manifested by using this Magickal tool. However, if you’re like me, you are inclined to get a bit carried away.

I have them as scrolls tucked away in sealed cardboard tubes that are dated years into the future, not to be opened until that date so that I can see how many things have come to pass. There are several posted in my walk in closet, on the walls and on the back of the door so that I have full view of them when I am in there getting dressed for my day as well as getting ready for bed. This helps to imprint the vision as I dash off for work and also ads a subconscious element to aid in ‘dream work’.

There are also a few ‘portable’ versions that I did on 3×5 index cards and laminated them. These are tucked into my purse and mainly have to do with making healthy food choices in restaurants. One look at the images of leafy greens and broiled fish keeps me mindful of eating right, but there are also pictures of work out clothes to remind me that if I do indulge, I will need to compensate by putting in some extra time in my gym.

I had the idea to purchase a small cork board to hang on the inside door of my closet. That way I can have a ‘working’ vision board that will evolve and reflect the various aspects of my life that I want to enhance through manifesting. A cabin in the woods has recently become something that keeps popping into my mind. A picture of the perfect small A-frame with a cottage garden had me ripping the page out of the magazine and will most likely be my first image on the board.

We all have a variety of goals and dreams that we want to achieve. They change with time and circumstances and having the cork board will enable me to attach images that represent them with colorful pushpins and move them around, but also remove them should my vision inspire me to reevaluate whether or not I still want them. This will allow me to have more creative control than affixing pictures to poster board with glue as I have in the past.

Let the adventure begin as the vision unfolds before me, one picture or motivating quote at a time. I will look for my cork board tomorrow after work and may customize the frame with paint and glitter, the perfect back drop for all of my champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Blindsided By The Light

Perhaps I am just naïve or maybe expecting more from those who claim to promote Spirituality is expecting too much. When I sent an email to a local metaphysical store with a link to the radio show that I co-host, I did so with the best intentions. Our guest on the show that I mentioned is a well known author and Pagan advocate who stated during the interview that she likes to do book signings at the smaller metaphysical stores to show support for locally owned businesses.  The last thing that I expected was a curt, rude response.

I don’t go out of my way to provoke people into being rude to me so when I receive this kind of treatment I am a bit shocked, but also hurt. Every day I strive to be a better person, to be less judgmental and to live a more conscientious  life. It is for this reason that the Spiritual path that I follow called to me in the first place and the primary reason that I responded affirmatively. It seemed to be a perfect connection. My desire to live from my higher-self manifested by leading me to the Craft. That was over 20 years ago and as that connection deepens and becomes more steeped in what I value, the more I find that I love my life.

However, when those that I viewed as ‘kindred spirits’ and ‘of like mind’ treat me in a manner that is far removed from the proclamation of  acceptance and love and light that they frequently make, I have to wonder if we really are on the same vibrational frequency. When a person is  part of a group that is definitely considered to be a minority, the need to ‘network’ is very desperate.  Feelings of isolation are part of the deep sense of loneliness that I warn all of my students about. For some, it becomes too overwhelming and they find that they just aren’t meant for this solitary path. Even when we are part of a group that practices regularly, we are still represented by the miniscule slice on the mainstream pie chart .

I had no idea that reaching out to extend a hand in kinship and camaraderie would result in having it swatted away. This author would have welcomed a visit to their store to do a book signing and a talk as opposed to rejecting it because it was not one of the large chains and not worth her time. You don’t find that very often, so I wanted to make them aware of this as well as the release of her latest book. The link to our blog talk radio show would have allowed them to listen to the interview to get an understanding of her work. During the interview, the author also lists her contact information which would have saved them the hassle of having to look for it.

When I ran a retail business, the last thing I wanted to do was drive away potential customers, much less  someone who had been a patron for years. However, I’m not sure that I can bring myself to support them any more. Not only is it the fact that I don’t want to contribute monetarily, I simply don’t know if I can accept the other bill of goods that they sell.  The aspect of being ‘Spiritual’. Crystals, candles, incense and New Age books promoting the life style and philosophy of all that is kind and loving abound. The word ‘Namaste’ trips off smiling lips. Are these mere ‘trappings’ of the image or is it real?

That question will hang heavily on my mind and make me a bit hesitant to leave my solitary, comfortable den in search of that ray of pure white light that claims to shine in kinship. The klieg light may be bright as it sweeps the black eerie sky, but you can’t hope to walk on it and follow it up to the divine source it claims to originate from. If you do, you’ll find it was just an illusion…and you will fall.

 

Your Place, Your Space

It has long been my belief that your environment is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. After all, it is where you live and demonstrates how you live. This is your haven and refuge. A place set apart from the mundane and commonplace. It is from whence you leave to work and play and it is where you return for shelter and comfort, and yes, escape. Does your space reflect the love and respect that you have for yourself? One that says, “I deserve this. I deserve to live in beauty and harmony.” Or is it chaos and clutter. You don’t have to be rich to be clean.

Every apartment that I lived in no matter what the décor soon began to take on my personality. From Brady Bunch shag carpet to the outdated appliances, I changed what I could and found a way to incorporate what I couldn’t. Soon the personal touches of my Spiritual path could be found in every room and the voice of the Divine guided me and put me in alignment with the most awesome ‘finds’. Crystals, candles, pictures, and figurines of Crows, Owls and Hawks found their niches and the scent of incense had replaced the stench of stale cigarette smoke of previous renters. It became home, but like the homes of the nomads of this Earth, it was temporary, all of it was movable and would indeed move many times.

Building a house is an extraordinary experience. For the first time, we could choose everything from the faucets and lighting to the floor coverings. Fortunately, the builder had specific places under contract from which we were able to make these choices. That made things easier in that we didn’t have to run all over the city which was great because all of these stores showcased enough items to keep us more than busy selecting and then changing our minds. The chandelier in the foyer was probably the most memorable. After finally choosing what we wanted, I spotted one on the way to do the paperwork to put in the order. I stopped in my tracks and pointed…”That one”. This was after at least two hours of looking at every light in the place. “Are you sure?”, quarried the clerk and my husband. “Yes, that’s it”, I assured. It is the focal point of the foyer and I love it more every time I hit the switch and dim it to ‘just right’.

If there is a downside to building, it would be that everything is put in brand new at the same time and has a tendency to need replacing at the same time. This gets a bit ‘spendy’. So, you put off what you can and replace the things that drive you nuts. This was the case with the carpet.

It was a soft silver gray that I loved initially. Even though we never wear shoes indoors, with the Cat’s Technicolor ‘yawns’ and assorted spills, running my carpet cleaner on a regular basis was the only way to keep it acceptable. When we bought Cat food we would discuss getting flavors that ‘matched the carpet’. Fellow Cat people would give us a knowing nod. Salmon was definitely out unless you’re into pink residual spots no matter how much oxy you apply. Over the years it was stretched 3 times but soon a new ‘wrinkle’ would appear and no amount of furniture placement could hide the lumps. It had to go.

At first I thought tile in the foyer and wood in the great room, but soon decided that I no longer wanted that line of separation. I wanted it all to flow and provide a space that said ‘come on in’ instead of ‘wait here’. In addition to having the carpet in the great room, it was also in the hallway and master bedroom on the second level. We talked of doing wood in the kitchen as well which is lofted over the great room, but my first idea was to do that in tile. This is a future project since the stuff that’s in there is vinyl that looks like tile and is still in great shape. We decided on laminate because of the hardness factor and knowing that it would not have to be sanded and refinished in years to come plus we wanted a ‘floating’ floor.

When we spoke of getting the laminate installed, we were told how easy it would be to do it ourselves. Beyond replacing outdoor lighting and painting we are not exactly very knowledgeable, but are willing to learn. I was like a kid with a water canon when I got a nail gun to work on the lower level several years ago. Kathunk, kathunk, kathunk. I only hope we won’t need to pull all of those out in years to come. We have a table saw that we got to cut one board and a compound miter saw, neither of which has any bits of flesh clinging to the blades.

Some family and friends offered to ‘help’ with the floor project. This consisted of us waiting for instructions since they actually knew what they were doing. I did have the joy of ripping up the carpet. What fun!!! Did you know that sucker is tacked down with some nasty wooden strips and sharp pointy things? I guess I had assumed that gravity kept it there. The padding was stapled as well and when that was removed there was a layer of rough stuff that was none too comfortable on the knees.

We also discovered a sub floor under the vinyl in the foyer and the removal of that put us behind about 4 hours. Did you ever take a crowbar to your living space? Makes you euphoric and feel like vomiting at the same time like riding one of those roller coasters that inverts you in loops. That odd combination of joy and dread that would be less nerve wracking if done in someone else’s house. No wonder people like to ‘help’.

The new floor got put in with only a few snags like the odd wood trim around the fireplace. There is still a gap there that I am optimistic I can artfully disguise with the trim I got yesterday. Then, there was when our teenage feline, Hmandu, decided to tour the ductwork when the cold air return vent plate was off.

The upper level had to be completed two weeks later so I got to do all the prep myself, but it’s done now and I am not missing the carpet at all. The last vestiges of it remains on the stairs and they will get new carpet at a later date. It’s a bit flat, but lacks the bagginess so I can look at it without screaming.

Today is my target for getting my walk in closet put back together so I no longer have to recycle the same 5 outfits. It was a great opportunity to weed out and haul bags of purchases of clothing that became ‘what was I thinkings’ when they never saw the light of day. In the near future I get to play this game again when I have my new ‘closet system’ installed…this updating thing doesn’t snowball…it creates an avalanche. Oh well.

I also replaced the sofa in the great room and hauled the old one down to the pub and got rid of the junky one that was down there. If you’re gonna be a Bear, be a Grizzly as they say. So, it’s all a bit streamlined now and more open. The highest complement came from my daughter, the interior designer when she said, “your house looks much more awesome now”.

You really need to do this for yourself. Even just moving things around a bit can bring a sense of renewal that comes on the winds of change. Your place, your space, your way. Let it be quirky if that’s what you are. Touches of elegance have the ability to invoke the feeling of beauty and refinement after a long day in the ‘trenches’. Get a whistling kettle and let its song be the signal to get out a lovely china cup bought from a second hand store and allow it to reveal its history when you brew and sip.

You deserve to have a beautiful environment filled with a collection of beautiful things. No, we can’t take it with us and so many people downplay the importance of ‘things’, but what inspires and provides slices of joy is never overrated. Items of the past have us reliving the moments and provide us with a lineage that is tangible and can be touched as long as we outlive them. One of my favorite ‘things’ is a small collection of fossils. Not only do they carry their own history, they have now become a part of mine.