Friday, August 29, 2014

sharing faith in professional settings: do I or don't I?

The other day I was at work, discussing some job changes that are coming down the wire with a colleague. This colleague is someone I know on a very acquaintancey level.

While we were talking, she made mention of having prayed to God about finding a job that fitted what she needed at that point in her life. And then, low and behold, the job she has now sort of fell into her lap.



The point of my story is not the power of prayer or how things work out. Rather, I'm intrigued by the fact that she felt so comfortable sharing her faith in a professional setting, in a professional conversation, with a colleague she barely knows.

I don't know whether I think it's problematic or admirable. Honestly. I admire that her convictions are strong and that she is so comfortable in them that she feels that she can just put that out there to the world, even in a professional setting.

But on the other hand, I wonder if the professional setting is really the place to be sharing that information. However, even more importantly, I cannot even fathom what it would be like to share my faith so freely with the world around me, especially my professional world.

While I don't even know if I'd want to share that type of information, I am awed and saddened by the fact that I walk a path where I would never even dream of sharing my beliefs so openly.

I would never turn to someone and say, I did a reading on it or that I did a spell...

I can't even imagine what it would be like to share that information in a professional sphere, particularly an academic milieu.

Wouldn't it be interesting though...  I can only begin to imagine some of the reactions I'd get. Have many of you out there shared that element of your life in your professional settings? I'm curious about how you maintain a sense of professional credibility while discussing elements of your pathworking if you have shared your spirituality.


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Friday, August 22, 2014

last week: earth and the physical body

Last week:


pagan week in review

Lately I have been focusing on my physical well being. I've been working with Earth and as a result, I am have been very grounded in manifesting balance in my physical realm. It's been amazing. And something I tend to forget that I need VERY much in my life.

How this is manifesting in my daily life:

I have gotten back into a regular yoga practice.

This time I am trying Moksha yoga instead of Ashtanga and I have to say that I'm liking it. I thought I would hate hot yoga. And I thought that hot yoga = eco disaster! But the studio is really committed to sustainability and I love how the heat warms my muscles and creates more flexibility in the poses. I loved some of my Ashtanga teachers and honestly, my entire concept/understanding of loving kindness in my daily life comes from a particular teacher and it was a life changing realization for me. (It's funny how the smallest things, at the right moment, can be pivotal). But that said, I find my Moksha classes to be a good fit for me right now because they remind me constantly to follow my own body, to not compare, to be in my own practice, all of which are things that my Capricornian mind needs to be constantly reminded of during practice!

I am thinking a lot about the food I consume.

I spent a week doing a real food challenge, eating little to no sugar or refined foods and thinking about how I'm pairing nutrients in every meal. It was an excellent practice and it taught me a lot about my food choices. I realized that as a vegetarian, far too much of my protein is tied to fatty food sources and that I need to rethink those choices.

Less cheese, beans and quinoa, more lentils. (Yes, I know quinoa is crazy healthy, but there are some ethical questions about it's consumption to consider and it's crazy high in calories, which while helpful to some lifestyles, may not be beneficial to high caloric North American lifestyles).

Drinking more water, Plexus, and weight loss

I'm not usually one to go for the diet stuff. From shakes, mixes, bars, etc. But I decided to give the Plexus fad a go after several of the moms in my mom group seemed to be having success with it. I know that there are pros and cons to any diet fad/product, so you don't need to list them for me. It's expensive. And I signed up with a wholesale account (that's the link... I'm not trying to sell you anything though, promise). But I'll be honest, it does seem to be helping. I'm down 6lbs after 2 weeks. But is it the food/exercise or the product? Honestly, I think it's both because I'm committed to doing the work. The drink/water is helping me reduce my sugar cravings. And those were quite problematic for me. But the water is keeping me full and cleansing my system. I'm drinking a TON of water. (Ok, not a ton.... literally...).

Overall though, it is all working together and making me feel more energetic and excited about getting healthy and treating my body well. It's so easy to forget the things that make us feel better, but they are so very important.

Right now the goal is to keep plugging away, one day at a time, towards better health choices, from food, water, and exercise, until I feel like my body is strong and healthy. Not skinny. Not perfect. Just better than where it has been in the past few years.






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Thursday, August 21, 2014

loss

I'm not quite sure what it is about this time of year for me, but it has been repeatedly marked by loss over the years.

First, it was my grandfather. Then my father. Now my beloved Faye Kitty.


After over 15 years together, I put my constant companion down on August 14th. She was suffering from a degenerative kidney problem so we knew that the end was coming, but the end, when it came, came fast and hard.

It was heartbreaking.

I know non pet owners might not understand but think of it this way: this little lady has been my home for 15 years. She traveled from Victoria, BC to Vancouver, Whistler, Montreal, Quebec City and back to Montreal. When life was hard and lonely, she was my home. When family woes made me feel all alone, she was my family.

So saying goodbye, although necessary, was devastating. And quite honestly, was harder than the loss of both my father and my grandfather (it's a long story) because she was a constant in my world.

We planted a tree in our backyard where we buried her:


I'll be honest, I look at it often and feel both the rightness of knowing she is not suffering and that she is so honoured and the sadness of knowing she is there, alone, in the dirt and no longer snuggled up next to me.

I believe that death is just a phase. That life is just a phase. That we will cross paths again. I know all of these things to be true as part of my experience and practice. And yet, I still grieve over her loss.

Would I call her my familiar? No. While she was always very respectful of my practice and my workings, I don't know that she aided them. But she definitely knew an uncanny amount of etiquette around them.

And as I learn to live without her in my daily periphery, I am reminded to cherish what we have, when we have it, because it is all so fleeting. And I learn to respect and honour the grief I am witnessing in others as they too pass through their own loss. Because this time of the year seems to be one of loss and letting go. A time of sacrifice and remembrance.

A time to recall that the Horned God is the God of eternal sleep and dark places, even while he is the God of celebration and harvest.


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Friday, August 15, 2014

#paganlists : indigenous plants

A little while back I went on an herbal nature walk in my neighborhood. It was great. I got the chance to learn all about local plants that grow right in the forest in my backyard. 

One of the plants we talked about was Sumac.


Look at all the amazing things it's good for. I especially like the idea of wine.... Just saying!


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lammas Art Journal Page: In Progress

It's still a work in progress....


But I started it on Lammas morning. Not sure if I'm just going to fill it with words or fill it in with more imagery.

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