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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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

meditations on meditating : creativity

This morning as I started waking, I contemplated not doing my daily meditation practice. I'll be honest, I've let it slide lately as Mr Faye started holidays and my days shifted focus as I prepared to head back to work. So this morning, when I woke before everyone in the house, I clung to the luxury of lounging in bed for just a little longer before Baby Faye woke.

But then the most interesting thing happened.

As I contemplated the options and my priorities, this REALLY loud crow started cawing outside my bedroom window and it felt like a sign. Personally directed to me to get my ass out of bed and to the mat as it were (getting to the mat means for me: getting my butt to the place where I'm doing the work that makes me happy and whole). And sure enough, wouldn't you believe it, the moment I sat down and started my grounding meditation, that crow stop making his racket.

Image Source: Crow Symbolism
 Could the universe make the message much clearer?

As always, when I've been away from the work for a while, my mind wanders that much more than it does normally. Getting myself back to the breath and letting go of my thoughts is a huge challenge at the best of times, but particularly so when I haven't been working on it regularly.

I found myself contemplating Leo Babuta's recent article on the habit of living in fantasies. In it, he expands on the idea that we spend too much time thinking about another time (fantasy) instead of living in the present. We don't take time to be here now, noticing the spaces we are currently in, listening in the conversations we are participating in, etc, etc.

I'll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this article.

On the one hand I totally agree. And feel that in many ways, my morning meditation is about training my mind to be here now, to focus my thoughts, to observe how my mind works and then to let go. (Which is more complex obviously than it seems and more than just being present in the now because the motives for it stem from both the idea of understanding the fantasies my mind creates AND learning how to use them magically because of this understanding).

On the other hand, and precisely because of the latter part of the equation, I feel that fantasies are very important because they are part of the creative process, be it in the artistic sense or the magical sense of the word. Giving my mind the space to fantasize (imagine) is part of what allows me to explore the full potential of my creativity.

Some days this means that even though I didn't still my mind during meditation, that's ok because I was able to settle long enough to allow inspiration through or to give my mind the space it needed to purge the obsessive day to day thoughts in order to get to the good stuff, the creative stuff that feeds my soul.

Some of the best stuff comes during the moments of trying to watch my thoughts and let go. Some of the best creativity comes during those moments of fantasy.

So I think that yes, we definitely need to live more in the present, paying attention to being here now in the space we inhabit and with the people around us without getting caught up in the delusions of what if, what then, etc, but we also need to give ourselves time to wander and daydream because I think we need both in our lives.


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Monday, July 21, 2014

art journal: home

We've been busy working on home stuff this past few months, which has had me thinking a lot about what I value in a home.


It's so easy to get caught up in the trappings of the stuff that we decorate our home with. I'm super guilty of this. I like decor. I like pretty things. I want my home to be a reflection of me and my values. But sometimes I worry too much about that instead of being present and actually living a life in my home that embodies those values. What colour the walls are isn't the goal. The laughter and love around the dinner table is.


I'm trying to get back to that. To remember to be grateful. To nurture my relationship with my son and husband. With my friends. To acquire less but cherish more. But man, I'll be honest. This isn't an easy feat for me. I am very much a by-product of my society and the massive consumption generation.

We're working on it though, as a couple, and trying to purge the unnecessary in order to have space for lightness. But we definitely have a long way to go!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#paganlists : meditation challenges

Or probably, more accurately, things that challenge me about meditating...



What's monkey mind, you ask? Restless, wandering mind that feels impossible to still. The thoughts that are caught up in the mundane, day to day stuff, that you can't seem to let go of, especially when you're trying to. That's a really simplistic explanation, but it gives you the picture.

And honestly, it's my biggest challenge when meditating. It's so easy to get caught up in the endless mind games and thoughts. I'm constantly reminding myself to let go and get back on track when I meditate. I don't know that that will ever really go away. I'm working towards just trying to get longer stretches before my mind gets drawn back in.

What about you? What is it that gets in the way of your meditation?


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*I've decided, for sustainability sake, that #paganlists is going to be a monthly project for me. One list on the 15th of the month. Please feel free to play along if you're so inclined. Use my list prompt or create your own and share it with #paganlists on twitter so I can find you!