Thursday, February 25, 2010

Typical Dinner Conversation

Dryst: "Do you think the gods pee?"

A moment of quiet as family members ponder the question.

Mom: "What do *you* think?"

Dryst: "I think they don't *have* to pee, but they probably want to sometimes."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Competition Addiction

First the Superbowl, and then the Olympic games, got me thinking again about competition. Games, to my mind at least, are all about having fun. It doesn't matter whether you're viewing a big national or international match, playing video games, watching your kid's sports team, or playing a board game - it seems to me that hanging out with friends, enjoying some laughs, and perhaps learning something new are the objectives. I'm talking mainly about those of us who enjoy games for free, not those who've made a career out of it, like professional football players.

Yet some people get so attached to winning (or having "their" team win) that they make themselves absolutely miserable. If they are "losing," they yell and swear and stomp around. Not jokingly, but in actual angst! And all this for something they chose to do voluntarily, with their leisure time, presumably to have fun. So who cares if you win or not? You're hanging out with your friends, so relax and enjoy the experience.

I can't begin to comprehend why people would value winning more than having fun. I think there are probably reasons for reacting so negatively to a game, but I just don't get it. Seeing that behavior makes me wonder why they would even choose to put themselves in a win-lose situation to begin with if they know it's going to potentially be upsetting. I guess I'm just not that interested in feeling bad.

Perhaps competition is like an addiction. I just wonder if the high they get from winning is worth the low when it's someone else's turn to play the victor.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Explore, Teach, Volunteer

There hasn't been as much blogging this week, as I've been busy, well, doing stuff. So I thought, as promised in my post about this year's goals, that I'd give you an update. In particular, lately I've been combining my goals regarding exploring spirituality and giving back.

I really enjoy volunteering in the Pagan community. The people are fun to work with, the projects are inspiring, and I always learn a lot. If you're not familiar with Paganism, it is an earth-based spirituality that focuses on personal empowerment, environmentalism, and seeing the Divine in everything. I've been able to contribute my writing, organizing, and time to several different Pagan organizations over the years.

This coming week, I'll begin student-teaching an Elements of Magic class. The two teachers I'm working with are wonderful people who teach in the Reclaiming tradition. We met to do our planning for the first couple of sessions, and I'm so much looking forward to the classes! As I drove away from the meeting, I found myself doubting whether my teaching abilities are up to the task. I gave myself a little pep talk, and hopefully my contributions as a teacher will be worthwhile.

Many members of the Maine Pagan community have been involved with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland's interfaith home-building projects. I recently found out that Habitat is looking to involve youth in their volunteer projects, so perhaps our homeschool group will want to get involved this year. At the very least, I plan to walk (as a fundraiser) again this spring.

So far, so good. I'm sure other opportunities will present themselves as time goes by. Maybe even some where I can focus more on goal number 3, connecting with nature. I've taken some walks lately, but I must confess that I still don't like the cold. This cat likes to curl up in a warm indoor place until the warmer weather reappears. Does looking at seed catalogues count?!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let's Build It

“The theory is simple. What we create with our thoughts is what we can expect. If we focus on disaster, this increases that possibility. If, on the other hand, we focus on positive matters, we have a chance to build a better world.” – Shirley Andrews

Friday, February 05, 2010

Manifesting

Earth is the element most closely associated with manifesting. Manifesting could also be called creating, or fulfilling your goals. When you want something in your life, whether it is a material thing such as a house or a new iPod, or perhaps a love relationship, or your Master's degree, or something more abstract such as inner peace or mindfulness, you work toward bringing what you desire into your experience. You do that by bringing your thoughts and feelings into harmony with what you want.

Sometimes the work of manifesting is slow and deliberate. You might do a bunch of research, choose a college, save money for tuition, apply for a Master's degree program, and look for financial aid. Only then do you sign up for classes and purchase books...and that's just the beginning. You still have two or three years of academic work before the sought-after degree is yours. The element of Earth is the foundation of the physical-realm work that you are doing. Earth sustains you over the long haul, helping you see the ultimate goal that you've set out to attain.

Other times we seem to manifest our desires almost overnight. After I lost my Subaru in an accident a couple of years ago, I visualized the replacement car I wanted. The check from the insurance company arrived promptly, I did a very short search, and then found the exact car I had pictured, with all the features I wanted. It seemed like I didn't need to put that much work into manifesting the new vehicle (granted, that same car's engine decided to quit less than a year after I got it, but that's another story...or perhaps a lesson for me about trusting my creations).

Either way, slowly or quickly, we are using the energies of our mind, body and spirit to influence what happens to us. Whether we do this consciously and intentionally or not is up to us. Having goals and aspirations is helpful, as it gives us something to work toward. Yet we also need to avoid clinging too strongly to particular outcomes, because that can keep us from moving forward. If we get too invested in what we wish to manifest, we can get stuck, which is part of the shadow side of Earth energy.

Ultimately, matter is still energy, at its root. Everything is moving, even huge boulders that appear to have been sleeping in the same place for eons. Protons and electrons are in constant motion, and the space between them leaves plenty of room for mystery. Our own moving energies affect what shows up in our lives, and by working in concert with the Earth element, we can achieve our heart's desires.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Inspired Business

A couple of years ago, BlackLion and I decided we wanted to start a business. We named it Feline Dreamers, put up a simple website, and brainstormed a bunch of ideas. We got started on some of them, but then life interfered. My yearbook quote in high school was "Life is what happens when you're making other plans," from John Lennon, and that's indeed what happened.

I left my longtime career in public radio to be at home. Over the past year-and-a-half I've been adjusting to my new freedom and the concept of creating my own schedule. I've been doing and being a lot: homeschooling with two kids, teaching homeschool classes for the Maine Wholeschoolers, volunteering a lot, gardening, homemaking, learning new things, doing a bit of traveling, renewing my Pagan spirituality, writing, making art, exploring my inner landscape, and more. I've journeyed with my family through my Dad's heart attack and surgery last year, grieved the loss of two feline members of our family, adjusted to changing finances, gone on an intense yoga retreat, and created change within myself.

Now, after going through the 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse early this year, BlackLion and I have both discovered that we are ready to focus on our business once again. We got really inspired by a tele-seminar from Christine Kane. She's an amazing person, a singer-songwriter who likes to show how you can be creative and also succeed in the business world. We are using some of the tips she gave, incorporating them with our own ideas as we move forward. It's very exciting and fun! I have often thought of "business" as dry and boring, but not anymore. We're setting up Feline Dreamers such that we can follow our callings, offer our services and ideas to others, and also pay the bills. Stay tuned. :)