No matter what anyone else says

I have a younger brother who is a bit of a practical joker. He loves to trick people, and one of his favourite tricks references the title of this post. He says, with great sincerity I might add, “You know, I like you. You’re alright, no matter what anyone says.”  We were laughing about it a while back because the different reactions people have to this statement are not only funny, they’re very revealing of people’s personalities.  Think about it for a minute and be totally honest with yourself…what would you say in return?

It seems that most people immediately ask, “Who said they didn’t like me?”…or something along those lines. It’s a normal reaction right? We all want to know what other people secretly think of us. Of course, it’s also completely normal to feel dismayed or upset when we find that someone doesn’t like us. I’m not so removed from highschool that I can’t remember the angst of finding out some popular girl thought that I was weird and freaky…lol! I’m absolutely certain that everyone can relate. It hurts and it often sends us into a negative thought spiral where we start to wonder who else doesn’t like us and if our friends think bad things about us.

So what if you could stop that from happening.?What if you could respond with complete honesty and say, “Good for you, you should always make up your own mind.” What if you could genuinely not care what other people thought or said about you?

There’s a saying that’s been doing the Pintrest/Facebook/blog rounds for a while that particularly appeals to me….”What other people think of you is none of your business.”  In fact, there was a great piece on Positively Positive last October by Kute Blackson (click here to read it). The first time I saw it I had to stop and think for a minute. My first thought was, “Of course it’s my business. It’s about me so it must be my business.”  Now, I always try to see things from as many sides as possible and so it occurred to me to wonder if I would really like to know what other people thought of me. After thinking that through for a while I decided that I would really rather not know. Sure some people would like me and think nice things about me, but I am just as sure that there would be many who would not. There are probably some people who like me ok, but might not like, or even be irritated by, some of my foibles (as we like to call them). Then there are those people who can’t stand me but are currently acting as though they like me for one reason or another. I’m sure I don’t want them to tell me how they really feel!

You might wonder how I know how they/you think all of this. It’s easy…that’s how I think and feel. Nobody in the world can possibly like every single person they meet. Not even someone like Mother Teresa or Pope Francis likes every single person they meet. They can make the choice to love people as they are, but that doesn’t mean they actually like them.

We’re all trying to grow and develop and turn into the best version of ourselves possible. Some days we fail, some days we succeed. But the very best thing we can do for ourselves today is to forget about what other people think of us at all. It’s one less thing we should worry about amidst all the stresses and problems of our lives.

In fact, the very best thing to worry about at the end of the day is….do I like myself?

Can you say with honesty, “You know, I like you. You’re alright, no matter what anyone says“?

 

Signs from the Universe?

Have you ever had a great idea and gotten super excited about it only to have it all fall apart or fizzle out? Situations change, things come up, or everything is so much more difficult than it’s supposed to be, and we get frustrated, drop it and move on with other projects.  Sometimes it just seems as though something is deliberately working against you and nothing you do can seem to get through the obstacles thrown in your way.

In my experience that’s when you have to remember that withdrawal or retreat is not necessarily failure or loss, but rather a time for regrouping and reassessment. It’s the Universe (or god/goddess) telling us that this isn’t the right time.  Once we have taken the time to think and meditate about the situation we can decide more easily on the correct response.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to cut your losses and move on to something new. Sometimes you need to put it on the back-burner and let it simmer like a good stew. So often we do our very best thinking in the subconscious mind, unbeknownst to our surface awareness, ideas and thoughts bubble away making links and connecting disparate pieces of information to come up with solutions or creative new ideas.

That’s what I hope is happening in my mind at the moment.  I’m trying to come up with a way to combine some (or even all) of my creative loves into a way of supporting myself financially. I have seen many bloggers make the transition from hobby to profession, and I find the idea incredibly appealing. I love the idea that if I’m having a bad pain day I could still work from the comfort of my bed or couch.  The problem I have is that I’m not 100% sure what to choose to blog about. I kind of want to do it all…religion and spirituality, crafts and sewing, art, home decor and even cooking. Is that too much? Too crazy? Do I need to limit my focus and specialize?  I just don’t know. If you have any ideas let me know. I am happy to take on all thoughtful and positive feedback…but please be nice, I’m feeling a little delicate today.

Kristie

Self Reflection

During the last week I have seen a number of things on Facebook that have disturbed me deeply. So much in fact that I have seriously contemplated just “unliking” everything and resigning myself to missing out on the good stuff, just so I didn’t have to face the bad. I’m not going to repeat any of the things that bothered me…why should you all have to suffer as well? If you’re on FB then I’m sure you’ve seen enough yourselves. What I don’t understand is why? Why go on to a page only to spread hate and meanness wherever you go? Why set out to deliberately hurt the feelings of people you don’t even know? How can anyone justify that in the name of their religious beliefs?

How does it make them feel, when they write something like that? Do they feel strong and powerful, like they have achieved some kind of victory over their opponents? Opponents who all too often don’t even know that they’re at war. I know that the bad is only a very small percentage of the people who are on FB. I know that most of the people I have met on-line are lovely, sincere and honest, reaching out across vast distances with the hand of friendship. I know that I shouldn’t let that small minority spoil the friendships that are inspiring and valued. But it’s hard.

I can honestly admit that I can have a pretty bad temper, that sometimes I get really mad at these people who I don’t even know and threaten them with all kinds of bodily harm. I am often reduced to yelling at the computer screen, decrying the fact that these people are smart enough to use a computer, but not smart enough to think about whether or not they should.

And then I catch myself, I stop and I am forced to remind myself that it is not my place to judge them. That my anger at them passing judgement has caused the very same flaw that I am upset about. I remind myself of a very good piece of advice I once heard: The things that bother you the most about other people are probably the things that you need to work on yourself.

No matter what our religious persuasion, we are all deeply flawed human beings. Not a single one of us is perfect…certainly not me. Although we try our best, we so very often fall short of our aspirations. I know that I do, much more often than I would like. So, for the rest of February I am going to refrain from yelling at those people who annoy me. I am going to take a deep breath and remind myself that I can’t know what they are dealing with today, that they might be having the worst day of their lives, and that I should treat them with the same kindness as I treat those I love.

That’s my Valentine.

Kristie )O(

 

Introducing…

Seeing as Journey has shared a bit of her story I thought I ought to share some of mine :)

My name is Kristie and as I said in my sidebar I am a bibliophile (that’s a book lover…nothing kinky), crazy about craft, and more to the point of this blog, I have recently gone public with my personal religious beliefs. Yes, I’m a Pagan. I think that deep down inside I’ve been one since I first read the myths and stories of the Greek and Roman gods when I was 10 years old. I’m pretty sure that my Mum only bought the book for me because she thought it might amuse me during a long hospital stay…little did she know that she was about to set me on a path that would obsess me for the rest of my life.

I was bought up a Roman Catholic and I always struggled to reconcile what the Church taught with the life I saw around me.  I also found it impossible to believe that anyone who was not a “good Catholic” was going to hell. It made no sense to me what so ever. As I got older my interest in history and religion kept me reading, questioning, and often getting into trouble for my questions. I dabbled in a few different religions over the years, but I never found “IT”, the one that satisfied both my soul and my intellect.

So, prompted by a change in circumstances, I decided to go to university and study religion from an academic perspective. I hoped that by looking at it with my intellect I would be able to reconcile the different sides of my personality and fulfill this amorphous need that I felt inside me. After four and a half years, and a couple of medical issues, I graduated with a first-class honours degree in Studies in Religion (that’s summa cum laude for my American friends, and yes I am bragging!)  In my course I covered every different kind of religion that mankind has ever practiced, from ancient hunter-gatherer societies to modern-day cults, this course looked at it all. I minored in Ancient History and Philosophy, focusing on religion in both subjects, and slowly built up a pretty comprehensive knowledge of what people believe about the divine.

I have always tried to keep a very open mind about other people’s beliefs. I always try to show them respect and courtesy, taking seriously the idea that even if we share the same beliefs, our person religious experiences are always utterly unique to us. What I don’t tolerate though is people who feel that it is permissible to disparage my beliefs (or anyone’s for that matter), without actually knowing anything about them. I am always happy to talk religion…just ask my family (LOL), and if you have any questions or wish to engage in a dialogue, I am here and more than willing to participate.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. I was planning on making this a crafty blog like the previous one, but things have changed a little. I hope to share some craftiness on here for sure, but there will be heaps of other stuff as well. Journey, my bestest friend in the whole world, will be contributing all kinds of interesting things from a spiritual perspective, while I might tend toward a more academic approach…after all, old habits die hard. We’ll be talking about Pagan deities, beliefs and practices…not all of them things that we do or believe, but we want to appeal to a wide range of people and hope that anyone who joins us here will enjoy learning what other people think and believe.

Until next time,

Blessed Be

Kristie )O(

Within

This is the first time I have tried automatic writing using the computer instead of pen and paper. I am surprised how easy it came especially given the fact that my current environment is ideal. I am expecting that when I move into my own place in two weeks time things will be a lot calmer, friendlier and more conducive to this kind of work and that more will come through. I have missed it dearly and can’t wait to get back into it full time. Take care friends. Blessed be. xox

Within lies great possibilities, treasures untapped

Within lies great apprehension, doubts compound

Within lies great power, surging through the core

Within lies the answer, ready to escape

 

Journey 2013

Merry Meet xox

Hi, my name is Journey. This was a name given to me by a very dear friend a long time ago and I have used it ever  since when doing any of my spiritual work. My personal journey started many years ago, well at birth really, but being stubborn as I am it took a while for it to all sink in and make sense and even longer for me to say out loud what I believed in without fearing the usual sneers, odd looks and outrage for not conforming. It has taken me a very long time to be confident enough to stand up for myself and my beliefs and not give a damn who is offended by this.

So what am I? Hmmmm I really hate labels as inevitably someone will try and call you out and accuse you of not being what you claim because one part of your belief is different to their stereotypical view of what that belief should be. I like to call myself a spiritual being but for practical purposes I guess I am an eclectic witch. I enjoy collecting and casting spells, performing ritual and using natural products around my home environment as much as possible rather than clogging up my psyche with chemical crap. I have always had a special connection with cats (my familiar is my 14 year old black Bersian Sooty) and my “talent” is spiritual writing. I am also an olfactory psychic.

For the last 18 years I have concentrated on being a Mum (I have two sons) and for the last 12 years I was also a dedicated and loyal wife. The last twelve months have been a huge upheaval physically, mentally and spiritually. I was sick and tired of being taken for granted and always having my needs/desires/wants thrust to the back burner. I know had allowed for that to happen over time but there comes a point where enough is enough and I had been moving towards a breakthrough for the last few years. At the start of last year I announced to my family that I wanted to sell up and move 2.5 hours away to relocate in my old home town. They were all for it to my surprise! Mid-way through the year we discovered that my Dad’s cancer had returned with avengence and he was told that this time it was terminal. Late September I told my husband that I wanted to separate and in October my Dad came to live with me and see out the little time that he had left. He and I have always had a close relationship (kindred spirits in so many ways) and although the circumstances of his stay were heart wrenching I will always cherish the time we had together laughing, crying and just being.  I told him that he could feel free to come back and haunt me any time he liked. My wonderful Dad lost his battle on December 11th 2012 and it is still extremely raw for me to talk about him. I miss him terribly.  After the funeral my kids and I moved back to my home town and in two weeks’ time we will be moving into our own place.

I was invited to contribute to this blog by my very best friend whom I have known forever (yes I mean that literally). We were commenting just recently how “strange” it was that we are both in the same place at the same time in the same frame of mind and both trying to focus a tremendous amount of spiritual energy somewhere just not quite sure how we were going to do it. I welcome new views, new ideas, inspiration and yes even criticism where it is due but don’t by any means think that I will be bullied/harassed/persuaded to change my beliefs or practices to suit someone else’s agenda cause it’s just not going to happen. I would like to share my collection of spells, ritual and homemade items to make all our lives a little more fun/better/witchy.

Looking forward to sharing this wonderful trip together. With love and light – Blessed be

 

Journey xox

Lughnasadh/Lammas

lammas9

Lughnasadh or Lammas is the name used for one of the eight Sabbats in the Neopagan Wheel of the Year. It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being Mabon and Samhain. In the Northern Hemisphere it takes place around August 1st, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated around February 1st or 2nd. It is seen as one of the two most auspicious times for handfasting, the other being at Beltane. Some Pagans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the “corn god” in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it.

Lughnasadh is the name for the ancient Gaelic harvest celebration, which involved a grain offering being made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it. This was followed by a meal of billberries and the newly harvested food, most often in the form of bread, as well as the sacrifice and consumption of a sacred bull. Lughnasadh celebrations were often held on hilltops and included bonfires and dancing. The god Lugh is honoured at this time, as he is a deity of storms and lightning, especially the storms of late summer. Gentle rain on the day of the festival is seen as his presence and his bestowing of blessings, though I’m fairly sure that last night’s storm couldn’t be considered gentle ;)

Lammas is the Anglo –Saxon version of Lughnasadh and means loaf mass, clearly highlighting Christian influence on a traditional Pagan holiday. This festival celebrates the wheat harvest and traditionally a freshly baked loaf of bread was bought to the church and blessed. Afterwards it was broken into four pieces and placed in the corners of the grain storage facility to protect the harvest.

Although Autumn is not considered to begin until March 1st here in Australia, Lughnasdagh reminds us to enjoy the prosperity of late summer. It is the perfect time to get married (two of my siblings have wedding anniversaries in February), to bless and consecrate your tools, or to just have a party and celebrate the delicious abundance of the season.

Wishing you a successful and abundant harvest,

Kristie )O(