My Morning Routine

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I feel much better about myself when I’m able to awake, rise, and begin my day early. I know this, and still, I struggle with it. It makes no sense that I have full knowledge of the steps that I can take to have a great start to my day and fail to take them. It becomes a cycle of self-doubt, disappointment, annoyance, and pity. I don’t want to live my life in such an awful cycle.

A good morning for me looks like this:

  • I wake up earlier than necessary — if Anna is home — so that I can have 30 minutes of conscious cuddling. We both toss and turn in our sleep so I normally wake on the opposite side of the bed. Waking earlier means that I can pull her closer to me and savor her scent, how warm she is, how soft her skin is. It’s the most precious period of time and it always passes by too quickly.
  • After my sweet cuddle session, I go into the kitchen to put on some water for tea.
  • Next, I take a shower and cleanse myself of yesterday’s worries.
  • I make/drink tea and enjoy a quiet, reflective moment of silence.
  • Any Spell Work that I have planned for Dawn
  • I look over my calendar and make a list of things to do and prioritize them
  • I write 3 pages in my journal (Henceforth referred to as my Morning Pages)
  • Have breakfast (and another cup of tea)
  • Start my day; Get to work

Do you have a morning routine that will start you off to a good day?

 

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Short Spiritual Update.

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As I delve more deeply into the spirit world, I’ve begun to work with angelic energies and strategic magick. I’ve given a lot of thought to what I want my little corner of the world to be like and aligned my magickal workings to that end. I’m excited about the things to come and I can see the manifestations of my work, daily synchronization, and my studies have become more colorful.

Quick Negativity Cleanse

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When I woke up today, around 9 am, I felt a bit frustrated with myself. I wanted to wake up much earlier, I wanted to do more with that time. By the time I made it to my desk I had a negative cloud hanging over me. It clouded my vision so I couldn’t read my emails, it shrouded my mind so the message from video that the educational video on web design wasn’t received, understood or retained.

I like my office space to have clear positive energy so I became even more frustrated with myself. Luckily, I work from home so after an hour of frustration and feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, I decided to do one of my favorite rituals: The Shower Cleanse

For this ritual, you’ll need 15-30 minutes alone.

1. Turn on the hot water in your shower and close the door so that the bathroom can fill up with warm steam.

2. As you gather the clothes and items that you’ll need once you get out, visualize that room being filled with warm, transformative, and healing light/energies as the steam permeates the space.

3. Take off the clothes you are wearing before you enter the bathroom.

4. Step into the bathroom with the intention to be renewed and refreshed. Take a moment to stretch, think about all of the negative thoughts that are hanging in the air and visualize that negative energy hanging around you in corporeal bubbles.

5. Understand that energy can never be destroyed only transformed. The purpose of this ritual is to alter the negative energy through purification. So when you get into the shower, do so with the understanding that those little black (or whatever color you imagined) balls of negativity are being transmuted by the healing energy that previously filled the room and will now be purified by the shower you are taking. You can choose to release this transformed energy by visualizing it washing down the drain or you can keep it, knowing that it has been renewed.

The Art of Doing Nothing

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Quality time is so precious to my wife and I. Our schedules are filled with saving lives, creating somethings out of nothings and speaking with people across the world.

Anna’s schedule, in my opinion, is a more simple to explain. She is a nurse who works 12 – 13 (sometimes 16) hour night shifts from 7 pm until 7 am (give or take a few hours). I don’t have to explain how demanding her job is. Working the night shift, in f itself, is tough. When you add the responsibility for the health and care of her patients, managing the politics of the hospital, being disrespected by doctors, having to work multiple floors in one night, etc…it just becomes too much to bear.

My schedule is complicated because I am in the midst of a career transition. Here is a quick snapshot of my daily schedule:

2 – 9 am: Every weekday but Monday, I teach English as a Foreign Language to people all over the world.

9 – 10 am: I usually workout, journal, apply to jobs and read the news.

10 – 5 pm: I work on Web Design, Web Development and Illustration as freelancer.

In consideration of our schedules, you can easily understand why time off is sacred to us. Quality time (defined as time we set aside to spend with one another so that we may nurture our friendship, relationship and because, well, we like each other a lot and love to spend time together) is even more sacred.

We’ve found lately, that we are skilled at filling our quality time with activities. We explore surrounding towns, go shopping, watch TV shows, run errands, complete personal projects, etc. We aren’t very good at doing “nothing”. At the beginning of this week, I decided that I would relinquish the following activities:

  • Reading – for pleasure
  • Facebook – outside of marketing purposes (clients often contact me through my Facebook Business page)
  • Instagram & Twitter – outside of marketing purposes
  • Watching Television Shows and Movies
  • Playing games on my phone
  • Any activity that keeps my mind too busy to think and doesn’t serve my Development business.

This means that Anna and I can’t watch shows together – something we often do. Nor can we spend hours looking at videos of animals, scrolling on Facebook (seriously, have you ever considered how much time passes when you are doing this?).

It’s more difficult than it sounds.

As much as I enjoy the above activities, I’ve found that they can be stress inducing. There is too much negativity and confusion on Facebook. I am genuinely interested in the lives of my friends so I cannot unfollow them all. I found myself comparing my life to theirs, scrolling in my downtime, always on my phone or computer. Since my work is also on my computer my eyes definitely need a break from the screen light. I think that many times, without realizing it, we fill our time with so many different activities so that we aren’t confronted with out thoughts. Mindless activities are dangerous in excess.

A good example of this is Monday night. Anna and I settled on the couch in our living room. She had her phone in hand and was busy scrolling. I didn’t bring my phone or computer so I found myself facing silence and I craved something more. I began trying to initiate a conversation. Various topics flew across my mind. It was silly. My wife isn’t difficult to talk to. In fact, she’s an amazing conversationalist (one of the many reasons I fell head over heels for her). I sat there, with my anxiety gradually increasing, trying to figure out what to talk about with her and when I couldn’t find a topic that I thought was “interesting” enough I became frustrated with myself. When I feel bothered, i have a habit of fidgeting and my wife looked on with moderate amusement as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.

“How do you do nothing?” I blurted the question, my eyes seeking hers.

I can’t remember the last time I truly did…nothing. “Nothing” usually includes something, even when I’m merely savoring the pleasure of idleness. Nothing useful, but some activity that isn’t considered productive.

So, tonight, I am writing aimlessly as music plays in the background. I’m hoping to hear myself speak and think clearly without the influence of others. I’m hoping to confront whatever intrusive thoughts my come my way. I’m hoping to simply enjoy myself, my heart, my mind and to relish in them. I intend to give my brain a break from learning and my body the rest that it deserves for working so hard all of the time.

I’m going to simply be. Why is it so difficult to just be?

Have you ever experienced this?

Spell for Clarity & Creativity by Deborah Blake

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9780738750927Recently, I purchased A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft by Deborah Blake (Wiccan High Priestess and leader of eclectic group Blue Moon Circle). I thought that I would share one of the spells, written in the book, that I liked:

I ask the gods for light in darkness
for clarity of mind & sight
Shine a beacon on my path
And creativity’s spark ignite

 

Crazy Good Things (Recurring Title)

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Anna, my wife, was attempting to find my blog by searching the url through google and she discovered an old picture of me in the search results. Immediately, I went to hunt it down and demand that whomever was using my picture take it down. The picture was nestled within a group of pins on Pinterest called “People and their Posts that Inspire Me.” Naturally, all of my righteous anger dissipated and was quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of incredulity. I don’t think I wrote anything of significance on my old blog.

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But there it is, the synchronicity that witches often speak of. I was just thinking about who I am, who I want to be and I was just given a sign that I’m doing something right on this path. It makes me happy that my words impacted her in a positive manner. I’ve added the screenshot that I took of this event to the “Kudos” folder that I keep on my hard drive to remind me of my accomplishments, both small and large.  This folder serves me, in times of doubt and uncertainty, as a reminder of who I am and what I am capable of. Here’s to the power of words!

The Significance of Names

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How many of you searched for the symbolic meaning of your name? Googled your name on the internet? Why do so many of us participate in such an activity? The truth is that names are a part of every culture and that they are of enormous importance to both the individual who receives the name and for the societies, families and cultures who give them. I’ve always found it interesting how people tend to reflect on their names and the stories behind the naming ceremony. In fact, I find it a great deal more intriguing how much naming ceremonies vary from culture to culture and that, regardless of when, why, or how often it happens, the giving and receiving of a name is an event of major importance. Frequently, the significance of names is emphasized by elaborate rituals that almost always have deep religious/spiritual meaning.

In Christianity, the child is officially recognized and named through a baptism ceremony whereas in Islam, the infant is named on the seventh day by the mother and father who make a decision together on what the child should be called. In the Hindu tradition, naming is considered a sacred practice and it involves not only the parents but also close relatives and friends. An elaborate ceremony is conducted on the 12th day after the birth of the child. No matter the differences in traditions, the effect of the naming ceremonies -across cultures- is the same.  The person receiving a name also receives an identity and a place in society.

I’ll refrain from doing deeper into the symbolic contract we make in naming individuals but I will ask you, in exchange, to consider all that comes with having a name: the birth certificate and all of the societal benefits that are attributed to those who bear legally recognized names, like being able to register for social security, schools, etc. Another thing to consider is how convicts, as punishment, are stripped of their names and are forced to be recognized by prison numbers. In doing this, society says, in effect, that the convicts have broken the contract with civilization that their names imply. They have separated themselves from the community by breaking the rules; thus, they are no longer entitled to the identity and social privileges their names give them.

The link between names and identity is reflected in the search for the symbolic meaning so many of use participate in online. We are wondering if our names correspond to who we believe ourselves to be. When we introduce ourselves, answer phone calls, we take care in the pronunciation of our names. By that same token, we are offended when people mispronounce them because, in doing so, they distort our identity. Accidental distortions are annoying, but mispronunciation and distortions of a name on purpose are sizable insults, especially if they result in unflattering puns. (Consider how people refer to Trump as Drumpf — along with many other insulting/unflattering names and how he, in turn, creates insulting nicknames for his own enemies.) The sense of personal identity and uniqueness that a name gives us is at the heart of why names interest us and why they are important to us as individuals and to our society as a whole. In spite of their importance, though, most people know very little about names and about the effects they have on us and on our children in everyday life. In a very real sense, we are consumers of names, and we have a need and right to know about the psychological, magical, legal, religious, and ethnic aspects of our names.

In Wiccan/Witchy Traditions, initiates take a Wiccan Name (Craft Name, Magickal Name). This name is typically not used in public, but is shared with other Witches, Pagans and  Wiccans relevant communities or gatherings. Some Occult authors use their craft name on their publications. For Example, Silver Ravenwolf, Starhawk and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. This tradition of re-naming signifies re-birth for Wiccans. As you are no doubt aware by now, names and naming both hold a significant amount of power. The Witch’s magickal name is encapsulates her/his Essential Self. It is their “true name.”

This is the very reason why your magickal name is held sacred and secret, generally divulged only to those with whom you are close. To know your true name is to know a great deal about you. Very few people know my full magickal name.

I often say to myself, “Know Thyself, Witch.” In taking a magickal name, full of intent and in complete understanding of it’s symbolic meaning, I identify myself. Every time I hear it or say it, I’m reminded of who I am – of who I choose to be. Every time I am called by this name, I feel the energy of it move within myself and in the person who uses it. I firmly believe that the Universe shifts, when you take ownership of yourself and give yourself a magickal name, to help you become that person you know yourself to be. The more cognizant you are of your name’s meaning, the more alignment with your Divine Essence you are creating. Thus, you are accessing more power when you invoke the name.

There are several components to my Magickal Name but I will only share two with you here:

Tala (TAH-lâ) – In Samoan culture means “teller of stories” or “story”. Significant because I am a writer. In Arabic, it means “little tree”, an offshoot that grows alongside a greater mother tree. Significant because, to me, it corresponds to spiritual growth and the Goddess.

Añuli (ah NOO lee) – In Igbo, means “joy” or “daughter who brings happiness”. Significant because I want to radiate with joy and bring happiness to those around me.

When put together, Tala Añuli speaks of a person, perpetually on a path of spiritual growth, who brings joy through her words, stories, and deeds. This is who I know and want myself to be.