Tuesday, December 16, 2014

yulemas spirit?

It's beginning to sink in... finally. Yulemas is approaching, rather quickly and I admit that this year I'm feeling a bit off kilter about it.

Of course, part of that probably stems from the fact that I'm headed home this year, with a 1.5 year old in tow. Nothing says anxiety to me like flying for 6 hours with a rambunctious toddler!

Oh well. I'm working on Zen.

I'll let you know how it goes. Millions of people travel with kids, we should be able to do it too, right?

Another thing I've been chewing on a lot this year, is the whole grinchy feeling I have over Christmas in light of motherhood. I used to LOVE Christmas growing up. Sure the gifts were great, but I loved the songs, the lights, the colours, the food, the parties. But this year, I'm feeling a bit ambivalent about it all because I'm overthinking it in light of my own traditions and what I want Baby Faye to experience as holiday traditions.

I think I might be killing Yulemas for me this year because of it!

Gah! What is a pagan mama to do when she wants to celebrate the joy of the season, but isn't comfortable with all the "joy to the world, the lord has come" rhetoric? Particularly when she's sort on board with the lord has come, but just not that particular understanding of the lord. I mean... the lord is the lord is the lord kind of deal, but not really...  You know?

I just find myself feeling more at odds with the season this year than I ever have before, mostly because I keep thinking about how I am navigating the tension between my beliefs and those of the mainstream public. I have never been a minority and yet, this year in particular, I have been getting glimpses of what it might feel like to be part of larger minority groups in a sea of generally "understood" cultural norms. And I say that with the full understanding that it's totally ridiculous to even compare my "chosen" path to the imposed minority status placed on others. I just think that it's interesting that this year has really been about making me think/feel/attempt to loosely empathize with what others feel on a much larger scale.

My small scale woe is me, how do I deal with feeling left out of the conversation/teach my son about alternative identities or choices, Yulemas angst is so crazy stupid and privileged. But this past turn of the wheel has been humbling in it's insistence on teaching me to contemplate the othering experienced by choices outside of the mainstream in relation to the life lessons and values I want Baby Faye to grow up with an awareness of.

So yeah, Yulemas this year is definitely an interesting culmination point to a conversation that I am having with others and myself about privilege, sensitivity and openness in the choices we make and the way we talk about the idea of what is "normal" in society.

What does this mean for this season? Probably not much. I don't expect to find easy answers any time soon. But I know that I think it's important to think about, particularly in light of parenthood and creating meaningful memories and celebrations in a mixed faith home and diverse society.


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Photo Challenge: December

I'm thinking of taking part in this photo prompt for the holiday season. I can guarantee that I won't take a picture EVERY day, but I took part in her AugustBreak prompt and did pretty well with it.




I don't think it should be something that stresses me out but rather, a fun way to remember to see the day as it unfolds during the season.

Care to join me? (us?). I'll be posting mine on instagram and popping in on the blog from time to time to share.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

scrapbooking conundrum

Scrapbooking post here.

My partner and I are in a scrapbooking disagreement over what gets recorded and what doesn't get recorded in our family album. I think that we should tell the story and he thinks we should think about whether it's really important to remember certain details 20 years for now.

What do you think? Do you think that even the negative stuff should be included?

For example, the money woes or the frustration over dealing with his parents undermining our parenting? Keeping in mind, of course, that this is something that Baby Faye will one day inherit (should he want it).



My argument is that when he looks back at our life together, he's likely to not realize that there were hard times in his childhood or how said stresses affected us as a family or couple, which I think are important for him to know about  because they might help him as an adult.

But my partner makes a good point when he mentions that talking about the frustrations we have with family isn't exactly helpful to him. And my mom never talked about her frustrations with my grandparents, I only found them out much later in life (well the ones she had with my grandfather, but that said, they weren't exactly a surprise either given his nature). Does it do more damage (even if tucked away from easy viewing) to share these stories?

I think he feels that they would be disrespectful while I think that they would show snippets of real life.

What do you think? Disrespectful or integral part of the story?
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

recalling scents to change reactions

How do you deal with the demons inside your head? What are you coping mechanisms or how do you neutralize the insecurities that get the better of you?

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. 


While I wouldn't say that I'm neurotic or even extraordinarily insecure, I definitely let my overly analytical nature get the better of me, far too often.  The voice inside of my head tears things apart, looking at all the cracks, all the flaws, all the ways that it went wrong.

Clearly this is a problem.

My most recent gander down the insecurity train of thought parade had to do with a public speaking event I was asked to participate in. If there is one thing that you should know about me, it's this: while I can public speak, I hate it. Expressing my ideas or thoughts in front of others just kind of kills me. It fries my nerves and turns me inside out.

Sometimes this is because I am unprepared. Other times it's because, while I can think on my toes, I don't like expressing my ideas on my toes in front of a crowd. Other times it's because I'm scared my ideas will sound too simplistic and I'll come across like an idiot who is repeating the obvious (hello academic imposter complex). And maybe, sometimes, though I'm not sure that I'm aware of this one per se, maybe I think who am I to express an opinion, why would they even care about my thoughts?

Ready for the even bigger problem with this insecurity? I work in education.

Yeah. I'm a glutton for punishment.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well this: Yesterday I participated in a panel about technology and education and I went home kicking myself over some of my comments. Comments, which truth be told, no one else likely remembered. But comments, nonetheless, that I woke up in the middle of the night to chew on (ok... Baby Faye woke me, then I started chewing on them).

And try as I would, I couldn't still the beast.

I knew that I needed to just let it go. But here's the thing. I'm kind of shit at just letting things go. It's not my forte. I know that. Everyone who knows me knows that. You dear readers, may have also figured that one out too by now.

So instead of just telling myself to stop thinking about it, I did this:

  • Focused on my breath. 4 counts in, hold 4 counts, 4 counts out, hold 4 counts
  • I remembered the smell of Frankincense. Why, you ask? Because that is the smell I associate with my daily practice. With meditation. With remembering who I am and my divine nature.  And more than anything, this is what calmed me and allowed me to not only remember, but also to know and trust that I said what needed to be said in the moment, and that it was ok.
It was awesome. And I was so thankful that instead of fixating on the beast, I was able to draw on years of dedicated meditation practice to come to my rescue. And that my exploration into using essential oils and scents for changing emotional patterns taught me this as a tool because it worked beautifully.

Some days I feel like the work never ends. And it doesn't. But every now and again, I get these lovely break through moments where I see how my practice is supporting me in my daily life and shaping who I am and how I react in the world in simple but positive ways. And that's a beautiful thing!



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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy [belated] Halloween and New Year

Hello all,

I just wanted to drop you all a line and wish you a Happy Pagan (Wiccan centric) New Year!

I hope your Halloween was festive and full of merriment (and suitably introspective). I found this year's holiday just flew by and crept up on me almost out of no where.

To be fair though, I'd been spending the weeks leading up to it nursing a rather unhealthy but fun Jamberry obsession!

Don't worry though. Things have settled back down and I've regained perspective again. Phew. It was a bit of a ride though. A few friends went down the path with me and I've come to realize a couple things during the ride:


  • 1. That I was hiding from some things I really needed to face and using the high of the new obsession to ignore that truth


  • 2. That this particular combination of friends and new projects is incredibly productive BUT dangerous because we feed each other. For some projects this can be amazing, but it can also be a bit of a problem and I need to be sensitive to that in my life. I'm not good at venturing down new alleys on my own, but with a buddy (or 2) who are equally as curious and adventurous... eek I can be a bit too bold!
I don't know if it was the energy leading up to Halloween, but so many people I know were just having a bit of a crap time leading up to November. I hope for them, and myself, that the craptastics have finally eased and that we'll all start feeling a bit more even keeled. 

Anyways... baby Faye is waking so on that note: I wish you all a lovely new turn of the wheel!



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