Monday, December 27, 2010
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
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,
Sunday, July 4, 2010
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.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
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,
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Honourable mention to the TV Shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer's Night Dream [Black and white 1930's]
A Wrinkle In Time
Avatar the last air bender
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bell Book & Candle
Bridge to Terabithia
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Casper Meets Wendy
Clash of the Titans
Darby O'Gill and The Little People
End of Days
Harry Potter (all of them)
Hour of the Wolf
Interview With A Vampire
It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown
Kiki's Delivery Service
Leap Of Faith
Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil
MR. Peabody and the Mermaid
Never Ending Story
Satan's School for Girls
Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost
Scream Blackula Scream
Serpent and the Rainbow
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Star Wars (all of them)
The 13th Warrior
The Blair Witch Project 1 and 2
The Blind Side
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
The Good Witch
The Good Witch's Garden
The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
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 Pirate Movie
The Secret of NIMH
The Secret of Roan Innish
The Skeleton Key
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Wicker Man
The Wicker Man [the 1970's version]
The Worst Witch
To Kill A Mockingbird
What the bleep do we know?
Where the Wild Things Are
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 PaganSpace.net who sent in their selections.
If I missed any movies you think deserve to be mentioned please let me know!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
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”...lol) 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
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.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Your brain is a muscle, using different parts of your brain regular helps you exercise that muscle. Think of the following exercise as push-ups for the part of your brain that tends to wander around on its own:
Take an object, preferably one of interest to you. A wrapped candy for example. Now look at it. Really look at. Take a few minutes to notice all the little details, the colours, the surface, is it pleasing to your eye and so on. Next, pick it up and feel it, is the surface smooth, hard, soft, grainy? Does it make a sound? Does the wrapper crackle when you touch it? Does it smell? What does it smell like? Now go ahead and open it, look at it again without the wrapper. Smell it again sans wrapper. Pop it in your mouth. Does in clink against your teeth or mae any other sound in your mouth? How does it taste? Is it sweet, salty, creamy?
So how did you do? Did your mind wander? If so, the important thing here is to realize where your mind wandered to. Where did your mind want you to go? Now that the exercise is over, go back to where your mind took you, this time on purpose. Why do you think your mind wanted you to be there? Analyze your wandering thoughts.
This exercise has many benefits other than “push-ups for your mind”. It’s a moment of relaxation often referred to as “stopping to smell the roses”. Try the exercise daily with different objects to keep your brain in shape, and see where it takes you…
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Spiritual Task of the Day: Compliment someone you aren't very fond of. Be sincere.
It’s Ash Wednesday for the Christian sect. I’d like to think that exploring different religions and spiritual practices is good for the soul. So what is Ash Wednesday? It’s the start of Lent. It’s the day you begin to sacrifice a luxury for 40 days (until Easter), mimicking Jesus’ 40 days in the dessert praying and fasting.
The realist in me does not like this idea whatsoever. What if, let’s say, your ultimate personal indulgence is chocolate. You absolutely LOVE chocolate. You live for that moment in the day when you get to consume a piece of chocolate and enjoy the flavour as the creamy rich texture fills your mouth with a happy goodness that makes you tingle all over. Now really, why would you want to give that up? What harm does one little piece of chocolate give you, when it’s followed by such pleasure? We aren’t talking about heroine or cocaine here, just one little piece of chocolate. And let’s say you do decide to give up chocolate for lent, and you die on day 39. That’s 39 moments of sheer happiness you missed out on… for what? Exactly.
On the other hand, from a spiritual point of view, Lent can be a very useful ritual to take part in by simply flipping around the idea a little. Instead of giving up a luxury in your life, why not give up something that hinders you. Think of something you do that represses your spirit or you dislike about yourself and consciously give that up instead.
Here are a few examples:
For 40 days I will stop…
- Saying anything negative about myself.
- Procrastinating, I will finish the projects I have started.
- Taking things for granted. Take a few minutes everyday to be grateful for the little things.
- Focusing locally and start focusing globally by keeping up with world news and events.
- Talking and start listening.
- Mourning what could have been and focus on what IS.
Well you get the idea… give up something that will increase your spiritual well being not something that makes you happy.
If you want to make the whole process a little more ritualistic, go ahead and write your resolution on a piece of a paper, and burn it (using all fire-safety precautions) letting the ashes fall into a bowl. Dip your index finger in the ashes and mark a cross or and X on your forehead with the remnants while concentrating on your new goal.
After the 40 days, at Easter, you can look back and reflect on what’s changed in your life since you’ve made your chosen alteration. Perhaps you will choose to keep it up even after Lent. If not, at least you didn’t miss out on the chocolate!
Monday, February 15, 2010
To Know Yourself is to Love Yourself
Happy Valentine’s Day! To mark the occasion let’s take a look at love. My mommy always said that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love anyone else. I pondered this thought for years and I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t truly love yourself, until you know yourself. Has anyone ever told you they loved you and you sat back wondering why? Who is it they actually love? Do they maybe see something in you that you don’t see in yourself? Have you maybe adjusted yourself to be who that person wants you to be? Sure they love you, of course they do, but who is it they really love?
That’s where a little self-discovery comes into play. Sometimes the most drastic self discovery is made in times of crisis, trauma and life or death situations. But let’s not go jumping in front of buses to figure out who we really are.
Here are some ideas of how to get to know the real You:
• Keep a journal. Look back on your journals periodically to see the changes within yourself, maybe as a ritual on New Years or your birthday. Make it a way of celebrating You.
• List your Strengths and Weaknesses and decide if any of them need changing or if they are quirks that make you You.
• Give thanks to your creator, no matter what name you chose to give them. Remember that you are connected to a greater being in some way, shape or form and making you a truly divine creature as well.
• Get to know your body. This is a constant exercise as your body is always changing. If you believe a higher power is within in, then your body is their temple so you might want to get to know it. Stand naked in front of a mirror. Take the time to look at the lines in your hands, the creases in your feet, the symmetry of your toes, what part of your body is the softest. See how far you can stretch your limbs. Take stock of the situation and decide whether a change is needed or if you can accept the parts you are unhappy with. Most importantly focus on the parts of yourself that you like.
• Figure out what you want in life, your “True Will” so to speak. Now personally I’ve never been able to achieve this goal, if you have any ideas on how to find this answer, please let me know!
• Listen to criticism but don’t take it as gospel. If most of your friends say you are selfish for example, think about the actions you are doing to give off that impression. You might find you aren’t selfish at all but that you are doing something that appears selfish to others. Also remember to take what people say with a grain of salt so to speak. Opinions are just that, opinions. Don’t just focus on the bad, focus on the good too. If every one says you are the best listener, take pride in that and put some meditative focus into what makes you that way. Keep in mind that what you say to someone may be reflected upon as well, words hurt, so be mindful of your criticisms and generous with your compliments.
• Reflect. Every night before bed think about your day. How did you feel today? Was there anything you would change if you could start the day over again? Did you make yourself proud at any given moment throughout the day? Did someone make you feel good or bad today? What did they do and why did you react that way? Which brings me to the two most useful exercises in self-discovery…
• Pay attention to yourself in the moment and ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS! Asking yourself questions is the best way to really get to know You!
Check out my site on questions to ask yourself for self-discovery at http://sites.google.com/site/aspiritualcheckpoint/spiritual-exercise/getting-to-know-yourself-by-asking-questions