Monday, December 27, 2010

Virtually Smacking Myself over Christmas

"The Holidays." That's a phrase, a paragraph, perhaps a whole novel in itself. Lets look at it as a novel outline:

The premise: Children's excitement over opening presents, Santa's arrival and the break from school. Adults get twinges of pleasure when confronted with the nostalgia of those childlike feelings, and in most grown-ups cases, the joy of a break from work.

The Conflict: The children continue on in an oblivious(possible sugar-induced)blissful state of ignorance. The Adults on the other hand are attacked by an evil dark cloud bringing with it thoughts of "I can't believe i'm missing work to go shopping, i'm going to be so far behind when the holidays are over. I'm running out of money. What the heck to i get my father-in-law who has everything? We can't get little Anne that present without getting little Andy something of equal value. When am I ever going to have time to get all my baking done? The parking lot at every store is full! I spent 3 hours at the check-out to buy one bloody scarf!! What happened to the scotch-tape????

Climax: "THATS IT! I'm Cancelling Christmas!!!!!!" The sheer narcissism of thinking one individual can actually cancel Christmas gives our hero a new found strength. They shop, they wrap, they bake and they create, but most of all... they bitch about it every step of the way... to anyone that will listen. Until one day, the miracle of "readiness" sets in. A stranger asks them, "are you all ready for Christmas?" and with a moment of realization, the evil dark cloud dissipates and a feeling of calm comes over our hero.

Anti-Climax and Moral of the story: Christmas day arrives, the children are smiling from ear to ear with glee, the smell of peppermint and cinnamon fills the air and for a brief moment, through chaos and noise our hero realizes they are surrounded by those they love, and those who love them. Sure our hero would have preferred to hide under the covers to be woken up the day after New Years and skip the whole stress filled ritual, but that's not what Christmas is about.
For a short period of time during the year we are forced to focus all of our energy, money and time on the people we care about. Sure most of us may do that throughout the year as well, but this is the only time we are forced to take that action... in bulk form.

So maybe next year instead of letting the dark evil cloud of Holiday Despair rain it's ugly pessimism, stress and negativity down upon us, we can put our selfishness aside and say "Hey, i'm doing this for the people I love because I love them", regardless of if it's a bad time for us health-wise, money-wise or mentally.

As a victim of the evil cloud myself, I'm hoping I hold on to this lesson for next year... or win a trip to a far away land...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gotta love those quotes...

While searching around aimlessly on the internet, I came across a few quotes that I found very inspiring. It wasn't until I really thought about my love for quotes that I realized why they intrigue me so much. The answer was pretty simple, a quote often explains a truth (or viewpoint) in far less words than it takes for me to explain anything.

So this posting is a tribute to quotes and their brilliance, a brilliance I will never possess. To celebrate, here are a few quotes that struck my fancy today:

- "The gods conceal from men the happiness of death, that they may endure life." Lucan
- "Hesitancy in judgement is the only true mark of the thinker." Dogabert D. Runes
- "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." James Branch Cabell

Keeping it short and sweet,
Nina Powers

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cognitive Behaviour Crisis??

During my cognitive behaviour group I've come upon the same general issue arising amongst my peers that has me concerned. Most people who embark on a cognitive behaviour seminar or course are looking to better themselves in one way or another, but I'm noticing a trend where most seem to forget that their goal is to change themselves, not those around them.

Anyone looking to better themselves has the potential to run into the problem that while they are growing, those around them are stagnant. For those who are on a bettering-themselves journey, please keep in mind this journey is yours, you chose it and your partner, family members and friends did not. YOU chose to change, the people around you did not. Though you may be wiser and more understanding of your inner workings, it does not mean that your entourage seek the same goal.

There is a second part of this which could probably warrant its own post but I'll just make this one a little long...

You are the one changing, which can leave your people feeling very out of sorts with the transition. Change is scary, especially if you didn't ask for it. Let's say in your personal relationship that you would get hysterical during fights, and now when your mate provokes you, you respond with reason and understanding. This is change. This is scary for your partner. You changed the game, the playing field and the rules.

Patience and purpose is key. Remember why you wanted to see change in yourself and stick to your journey, but cut the other guy some slack as well - or cut them loose.

Forever long-winded,
Nina Powers

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Its' not about them, it's about YOU!

Let's face it - we often place blame on others for our feelings. Thoughts pop into our heads such as "I'm mad because he..." or "I'm sad because she..." or "so-and-so did this which is why I'm so frustrated". Let's have a look at a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

That one insightful sentence says so much. There are usually a minimum of two people involved in your feelings (unless you're fighting with yourself) and the blame for your reactions and feelings lies in only one person's hands; YOURS.

Back to Eleanor... nobody can make you feel angry without your consent. If someone cuts you off on the highway you have a choice whether to get angry or whether to think to yourself "Hey, maybe he's rushing to the hospital because his child has been in an accident. And really, whats the difference, nobody got hurt." Or you can get frustrated, yell at him (though he can't hear you) and have the whole incident cause stress to your body and possibly ruin your mood for the rest of the day. The only person who gets hurt by the first latter reaction is You.

I could spout off a million incidences, scenarios and occasions where remembering that You own Your feelings can save you and yours a whole lot of unnecessary stress and aggravation - but this post is long enough and I'd rather hear from you:)

Forever thinking of the other shoe,
Nina Powers

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top 110 Favorite Pagan and/or Spiritual movies

I took a poll at PaganSpace asking what people's favorite pagan/witchy/spiritual movies were and so many members replied with their lists that I wasn't sure what to do with all of their amazing ideas! Of course, a lot of the old favorites were repeated, and some movies I've never even heard of were mentioned as well. I was completely shocked on how many movies I had forgotten about for my own list when reading through these. So here it is, a nice long list:

Honourable mention to the TV Shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed.

5 girls
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer's Night Dream [Black and white 1930's]
A Wrinkle In Time
American Flyer
Avatar the last air bender
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bell Book & Candle
Bridge to Terabithia
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Burnt Offerings
Casper Meets Wendy
Cat People
Clash of the Titans
Darby O'Gill and The Little People
DaVinci Code
End of Days
Fairy Tale
Harry Potter (all of them)
Hocus Pocus
Hour of the Wolf
Interview With A Vampire
It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown
Kiki's Delivery Service
Leap Of Faith
Left Behind
Little Witches
Lucinda's Spell
Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil
Mortal Kombat
MR. Peabody and the Mermaid
Never Ending Story
Pan's Labyrinth
Peter Pan
Practical Magic
Rob Roy
Rosemary's Baby
Satan's School for Girls
Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost
Scream Blackula Scream
Secret Garden
Serpent and the Rainbow
Simply Irresistible
Sleeping Beauty
Sleepy Hollow
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Star Wars (all of them)
Summer Rental
Teen Witch
The 13th Warrior
The Blair Witch Project 1 and 2
The Blind Side
The Covenant
The Craft
The Entity
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
The Good Witch
The Good Witch's Garden
The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The Legacy
The Little Mermaid
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Matrix series
The Mists of Avalon
The Mummy Trilogy
The Omen (all movies in series)
The Pagemaster
The Pirate Movie
The Reaping
The Secret of NIMH
The Secret of Roan Innish
The Skeleton Key
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Waterhorse
The Wicker Man
The Wicker Man [the 1970's version]
The Witches
The Worst Witch
To Kill A Mockingbird
What the bleep do we know?
Where the Wild Things Are
White Zombie
Witch Hunt
Witchboard (lol)
Witches of Eastwick
Witches Of The Carribean
Wizard Of Oz

I hope this list brings you new ideas of movies to check out, or reminds you of some of your old faves. Thanks again to all those at who sent in their selections.

If I missed any movies you think deserve to be mentioned please let me know!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Ostara, Easter, Spring etc…

It’s Easter! It’s Ostara! It’s Spring! And it’s probably a few other holidays that I am unfamiliar with…

I wish I was better rounded in my spiritual knowledge to know if I missed anyone, but alas, Christianity and Paganism are the only two Religions/Spiritual Paths that I am aware of that celebrate this time year. For everyone else (or those I missed) It’s SPRING! That’s enough to celebrate in itself.

So what does this time of year mean to me? Well as a youngin’ (from age 0-13) I was raised Catholic, so Easter meant one major thing… CHOCOLATE! And lots of it! It also sometimes meant a family gathering with my relatives on my mom’s side of the family. Easter always saw mom and dad cooking up a big brunch and my sisters and I enjoying our egg hunt, sometimes finding eggs that were hidden the year before… Easter meant colouring hard boiled eggs with those cute little kits, followed by a week of egg salad sandwiches. Oh and somewhere in there Jesus died and was resurrected…

Then came the neophyte witchy years (from 13 to early-twenties) when I was terrified of doing anything witchy on Ostara for fear of getting pregnant. Yes a little naïve there, but I figured if Ostara was all about fertility, I best be keeping my mojo and energy in check. And of course, there was still the loveliness of obscene amounts of chocolate.

It wasn’t until my later Witchy/Spiritualist years (mid-twenties to present) that I realized fertility can be used in all aspects of life, not just the unplanned pregnancy kind. Now I see it more like “Hey! It’s Spring! Shake off those dirty winter cobwebs, stock up on some majorly depleted Vitamin D, open up those windows and let the stuffiness out and the fresh air in and watch the earth come back to life!”

As for the family celebration aspect, we’ve lost (my sister hates that term, she’s always saying “it’s not like we misplaced them” some very important and close family members, so holidays lately are more something we just try to get through. Oh, and of course, yet another excuse to eat a variety of different chocolate…

What about you? How are you celebrating this time of year?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meditation Techique: Colour Your Emotions

Imagine… You storm out of your house or office, angry and frustrated. Your skin is radiating hostility; your blood is running hot and electrified through your veins. It’s invigorating but very negative and draining. What do you do?

Get in your car. Make sure the windows are closed. Close your eyes and pick a colour that best represents your feelings. Take a deep breath through your nose picturing a little filter at the end of your nostrils that only lets clean fresh positive air into your system. Then, breathe out slowly and visualize the emotion draining out of you in your chosen colour. Repeat this breathing technique until your body is empty of the feeling and the car is full of the colour. Crack the window and visualize all of that accumulated colour and emotion sucked out of the car through the window and whisked far away into the universe.

This technique can be used pretty much anywhere, and doesn’t necessarily require a vehicle. With practice, it can come naturally to you and you won’t be required to close your eyes anymore. I hope you find this technique useful. 