Monday, September 15, 2014

#paganlists : apples

Fall is in the air, and with it, the fall harvest, which, to me at least, means apples.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share some of my fav apple recipes in a list:

I love fall. I think it might be my favourite season. I love the crisp air, the warmer clothing, the desire to stay inside and snuggle up with a good book or a loved one. And I love all the delicious apple goodies that I'm tempted to make at this time of year.

One of the best are beer battered apple rings. It's a Dutch goodie but really not healthy. Go google it if you're interested (I won't be responsible for teaching to you fry your food!)

Now... to decide which apple goodie I'll be making for the Solstice, that is the question!


Friday, September 5, 2014

around here

Things have been crazy over here in Faye land. We are integrating Baby Faye into daycare, my job is in a state of flux, I'm trying to implement some health changes, and I have to admit that by the end of the evening, I'm just tired and not motivated to take the time to write in this space.

Hopefully that will change as things settle into a new routine. For now I'm giving myself a little bit of grace as we adapt.

a recent page I've been puttering away at slowly and thoughts about my new job role...

Ironically I feel like the biggest adaptation has more to do with my changing job situation than the actual new schedule. Before I left for maternity leave, my boss pretty much royally screwed me over in a way that I have never experienced before professionally. It was a huge source of bitterness and strife for me, particularly given that I couldn't really file a complaint because nothing was official until I returned from mat leave, at which point it would be too late.

I'll leave the background info at that.

Suffice to say, returning to work has been challenging because I was walking into a very different work environment. At the same time, while I'm frustrated by the uncertainty of my role, I'm also excited by the possibilities ahead. New ideas for my job duties are incredibly exciting and have ended up turning what was a contentious job change and turned it into an interesting blessing of sorts.

I love it when life works out that way.

Now, to find balance in it all, that is the task ahead...


Thursday, September 4, 2014

what are your rituals leading up to the sabbat?

I recently had a conversation with a friend whose background is Hindu. She was talking about the fasting she'll be doing for Navrati and what it used to mean to her. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about a custom that I knew little about and it was a fascinating conversation.

I found myself thinking about various purifying/sacrifice based traditions that different paths have and wondering about if I see them in my own path. In our conversation we both mentioned that we often don't see the things we do as being part of these types of rites and do them without sometimes realizing that we have traditions that are similar to other paths.

contemplations over morning coffee
I'm not explaining myself well. Let me try again...

In Judaism, there is Yom Kippur, which is a time of reflection and atonement. Christianity has Lent, a time of sacrifice. Yes... I realize these are over simplifications. Hinduism apparently has Navrati (should you choose to do it) and Islam has Ramadan. Other paths may have similar rituals but I don't know about them so I'm not going to go and do a google search just to fill a gap because that's not my point.

Pagans who follow the Wheel of the Year/8 Sabbats also have times of sacrifice and reflection, but aside from the actual Sabbat, do we have rituals of fasting, purifying, reflection, etc? If we don't, should we have them as part of our practice to help link us to the Wheel and remind us of our nature/aspirations? And if we do, are they relevant and do we do them with intention/mindfulness?

I have to be honest, I often feel a bit disconnected from the Wheel because I don't think about the deeper meaning of the Sabbat until I'm in circle, celebrating it.

Would I benefit from thinking about it ahead of time in order to allow the season leading up to that turn of the Wheel to have a deeper meaning and personal significance in my daily life? Possibly. Or would I only be over complicating my life? Possibly!

What about you? Do you do anything to help get you into the head space of the season/Sabbat or do you think it just happens naturally?

Sometimes I think that because I live in a mainly secular Christian world, with a calendar and work schedule built around the Christian holidays, that I tend to be, in some ways, more mentally in the head space of those holidays (Christmas, Halloween, Easter) than the pagan ones that I actually celebrate. It's an interesting conundrum for me because I don't know how I want to change that, if I do.


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.


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.