letting go

Interview with Author of Everyday Enchantments Maria DeBlassie

January, 2019

Interview with Maria DeBlassie

I loved Maria’s book, Everyday Enchantments. You can find out exactly what I thought of it by reading my review in last month’s PaganPagesOrg. So, imagine my delight when the author agreed to have a chat with me about her writing and the themes within the book, particularly finding the magic in everyday life. Read on to find out more about this fascinating author and her wonderful outlook on life.

Mabh Savage: What inspired the book, Everyday Enchantments?

Maria DeBlassie: This book was inspired by my journey back to a happy, healthy, whole self. I was at a place in my life where I could finally explore what it meant to live, and not just survive. I’d finished school, gotten a job, and was finally setting down roots. Then came discovering what it meant to be a writer and a woman. I committed to a year of daily blogging on simple pleasures, everyday magic, and those quiet mystic moments inherent in our lives…that turned into a lifestyle, an ongoing blog, and this book!

MS: Who would you say it is aimed at?

MD: Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the simple pleasures and subtle enchantments that make life delicious. I hope readers see my book as an invitation to pause, refresh, and open themselves to the magic inherent in daily life. We all have a little bit of witch in us. My book is for anyone who wants to tap into that magic and conjure their own bliss!

MS: Do you have a favorite chapter?

MD: I love them all as I read them. Sometimes, when I’m needing more introvert time, I’m drawn to the chapters on reading and writing. When I’m ready to go adventuring, I find it’s the chapters on dancing and dreaming that resonate with me more.

MS: What was the biggest challenge about putting the book together?

MD: I wanted to collapse the space between the mystic and the mundane, which had its own challenges. How do you show that synchronicity is an integral part of your everyday? And how do you explain that a good cup of coffee is pure divinity? These are the questions I wrestled with as I wrote the book. I didn’t want the mystic to be something outside ourselves or beyond our daily routines. It’s always there, right within our grasp, if we take the time to look for it. I think, in the end, I was able to illustrate that.

MS: And conversely, what did you enjoy the most about the process?

MD: I love how writing became an act of self-care and spell-crafting, bringing me back to myself when I’d grown too tired of the world. It allowed me to conjure the life I wished to live: one of abundance, grounded mysticism, and happiness!

MS: Some reviewers have commented on the mindfulness contained within the pages of this book. What does mindfulness mean to you?

MD: Mindfulness is a fancy word for staying connected to ourselves and the universe. It’s about slowing down and letting go of the debris that weighs us down, so we have more room for the euphoric.

MS: Should we all be practicing a little more mindfulness? Why is it so important in today’s world?

MD: We live in a world that asks us to move faster and faster, do more, buy more; in short, overextend ourselves in our addiction to busy. When we practice mindfulness, we can unplug from this ugly addiction and connect to what truly matters. It really is the art of slow living or simple living, where we let go of anything that complicates our lives. Once you unplug, you see how addictive- and unnecessary- all that hustle and bustle is.

MS: Can someone in a thoroughly urban setting, with a high-pressure schedule, still find enchantment in their everyday lives?

MD: Absolutely! I live in the heart of Albuquerque and have a very full teaching and writing life. Both are jobs that never quite end, which makes it easy to get lost in the daily grind- even when you love what you do. I’ve just found ways to put limits on them by carving out self-care time and leaving myself open to the little bits of magic that come my way. It’s amazing how much enchantment you find in your daily life when you decide to let go of negative patterns and unhealthy social norms that say we must always be spinning our wheels.

MS: Each chapter holds a meditative, poetic quality that’s very relaxing to read but I imagine would be potent read aloud. Would you consider doing an audio book?

MD: I would love to! I don’t know quite how it all works, but I am addicted to audiobooks myself in all genres. A few minutes listening to a good story or bit of wisdom on my lunch break or while tending house does my soul a world of good.

MS: What’s on the horizon creatively for you? Are you planning any more books?

MD: My current project is called Tarot Tuesdays, or #TarotTuesdays if you are on social media. It’s a series of 78-word stories based on the 78 cards in the tarot deck and synchronicity. Each week, I draw a new card, learn about its role in the tarot, and, with the help of meaningful coincidences, write my story. I’ll say this about my journey into tarot so far: the magic doesn’t lie. The cards always tell me exactly what I need to hear! I’m so grateful for this new project because it gives me an opportunity to meditate on the magic of these cards.

MS: What are you most optimistic for about the next year?

MD: I look forward to the unexpected adventures and spontaneous synchronicities while delving deeper into the realm of everyday magic. Every year I get a little bit better at welcoming enchantment into my life so I’m excited to see what that manifests.

MS: Do you have a favorite time of the year, festival or season? If so, what makes it special for you?

MD: This is a tough one. I love every season as it unfolds, blooms, then fades into the next. I’m ruled by the season and enjoy experiencing each one in their turn. Right now, I’m loving the long nights of winter and delicate hush that hits around 4pm as the sky begins to fade to dark. It’s the best time for walks; everything is watermelon-kissed before the sun sets.

MS: And finally, as we move deeper into winter, how do you celebrate the holiday period? ?

MD: This is a time for turning inward for me. So much of the mainstream holiday season is about noise, consumerism, and doing more. I like to get away from all that and simply be. I indulge in afternoons reading over mugs of home-made chai tea. I make simple, heartfelt gifts for loved ones. I up my self-care routine and allow myself to rest. This winter solstice season is the perfect time to pause, reflect, and absorb the many ups and downs of your year before slipping into the next. I like to honor that liminal space. There’s plenty of joy in that; I’m all about the twinkle lights and festive holiday cheer. I just like it at a slower, cozier pace, where I can absorb the delights of this more introverted season and recharge with the magic of the solstice.

Thank you so much for speaking to us here at PaganPagesOrg, Maria! You can find Maria’s book on Amazon and all good book stores. You can also follow her fascinating blog, and find her on Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the #TarotTuesdays hashtag to follow Maria’s exploration of the Tarot.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Mindful Meditation

November, 2018

Samhain Mindful Meditation

Samhain, or the third harvest, historically was a time for farmers to harvest their last crops and head into the dark times when the nights were longer than the daylight. Also known as “Witches New Year,” we can use this time to reflect on our accomplishments and regrets as we begin to look ahead to the coming new year. What are we letting go of and what are we calling in to our lives? 

Items you will need:

-a quite room to be completely alone in

-a comfortable seat

-writing utensil & paper

-cauldron or fire pit

-special box for safe keeping

Intentionally create sacred space and allow yourself to relax into this meditation.

Imagine yourself throughout the evolution of this past year, from November 2017 up until today. Watch your milestones, your mundane actions, and life changing decisions unfold before you. Notice how each movement through out life this year has gotten you to where you are right now. 

Write down any regrets, missteps, or perceived mistakes or missed opportunities you have made.

Now, imagine yourself in the future year from this day until November 1st, 2019. What accomplishments do you see yourself making? What do you wish to manifest for this coming year? Write the manifestations in an affirming way by using phrases like, “I will have” or “I am”. Envision yourself achieving these goal and living it as if it is a normal day, like a waking dream. 

You have your future manifested now in your mind and affirmed on a piece of paper. 

Fold the paper intentionally, mindfully, and place it in your special box. You can place your box upon your Altar or in a special place to be kept secretly.

Now, take the first sheet of paper which refers to your past year and hold it in your hands. Say, “I forgive myself for _____” (stating each individual regret) and once you have released the energy from your heart and tears, through the paper into the fire, watching it burn away before you. Allow the fire to fully extinguish.

Thank yourself for taking the time to sit with your thoughts, thank the fire for burning away the past, and thank your future self for creating this intention-setting moment.

***

About the Author:

(Amy Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the country.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Meditation Moment

August, 2012

Letting Go

 

Lammas, also called Lughnassa, is the celebration of our first harvest and of the slowly lengthening nights.  Grain and Corn Gods die in order to feed Their people.  Some tarot decks assign Lammas to The Hanged Man, the card of sacrifice and gain.  One of my favorite decks shows the Hanged Man as an infant in the womb, ready for birth, and that card is the inspiration for this month’s meditation.

This is a more advanced guided meditation, requiring an ability to let go of the limitations of time and space so that you can exist in two or more times/places at once.  You are going to form an affirmation on the spot that is unique to your life and needs at the end of this meditation.  The affirmation should be positive (I am, I have, I do,) and concise.  For example, “I am grateful,” “I have a happy home,” or “I calm myself with music.”

Before performing this meditation, ready your environment by turning off your cell phone, any alarm clocks, and putting a do not disturb sign outside your door.  The temperature should be warm, lighting should be dim, and you might consider piling a bunch of pillows and blankets in the floor that you can sit on at first and recline on later if you wish.  Dress for comfort.

Stretch your entire body, paying special attention to areas where you hold tension, such as your neck and shoulders, and relax.  Close your eyes and breath slowly and deeply, rocking yourself rhythmically as if you are standing in a warm sea, moved by gentle waves on a hot summer day.

Imagine, or remember, yourself as a baby in your mother’s womb.  You are perfectly warm and snug, seeing your tiny world in shades of black, brown, and red.  Air, food, and water come in through your navel.  As your mother moves, you rock back and forth, lulled to relaxation and sleep.  Every so often, the world contracts, hugging you firmly yet gently.  The steady rhythm of your mother’s heartbeat soothes you and marks the time.  Other sounds make music for you, sounds that have no meaning to you yet.  You are curious about them.  You are curious about the occasional pressure and bumps that you feel when something in your mother’s world reaches out for yours.  You are comfortable where you are, but you also feel a primal urge to explore, to experience, and the day you start that journey approaches rapidly.

The world you exist in as an adult is bigger, but still tiny, a cell in Mother Earth, an atomic particle in the immense universe.  Adult you sees more colors, though at times the world seems black and white, or composed of infinite shades of gray.  Explore the way you live in the present.  When you breathe, do you take air all the way to your navel?  When you eat, does your food nourish you, or does it make you ill?  Do you drink enough to saturate your cells with cleansing, healing water, or do you drink too many toxins and empty calories?  What habits have you formed to comfort yourself in this bigger, brighter, louder world?  What adventures call you, what experiences have you not yet allowed yourself to explore?

In order to make room for more good in your life, you must let go of the things that no longer nourish you.  Perhaps the habit you need to change in obvious, like a need to quit smoking or a need to drink water instead of soda.  Perhaps the habit to change is the way you talk to yourself, or in the thoughts on which you tend to dwell.  Ask yourself now, “What is the one habit I can change to make the biggest positive impact in my life?”

Rock yourself, hug yourself, keep yourself as comfortable as you can as you choose the habit you wish to release.  After you have chosen, ask yourself, “What habit would I like to develop in the old one’s place?”

Imagine yourself performing this new habit in a variety of times and places.  Let it feel natural and comfortable to you.  Create an affirmation for yourself that claims this habit is yours now and from now on.  Then drift back into the memory of yourself in the womb, perfect and ready to expand your world.

Feel full-body hugs massaging you in preparation for your release, encouraging you as you give yourself permission to let go.  As you breathe in, repeat your affirmation.  As you breathe out, give yourself permission to let go of the habit you are ready to release.  With every breath, you move closer to your rebirth.  Breathe in your affirmation, hug yourself, breath out your permission to let go, until you feel ready to open your eyes.  Bring yourself back to the present by stating your affirmation aloud, firmly, three times.  Repeat your affirmation many times a day until it is obviously true.

HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

September, 2010

Letting Go

Merry Meet all, and I hope you have all had a happy Blessed Summer in the Northern Hemi and Winter in the Southern Hemi…

Recently I have had to look deeply into my heart to deal with something I never thought would be hard.

Letting go… of my son. Not in death.. but in life.  Growing up and growing away.

As they grow..  They become independent, strong, opinionated (very) and educated. But we as parents do not grow the same way. We create this life, nurture it, hold it, teach it, and bandage it… but never do we think we will be cut off from it. But cut off we are, often very abruptly. Suddenly they become all that we have worked towards… but what then???

Suddenly we are cast adrift, loaded with things we have yet to teach, advice we have yet to share, help we have yet to give.

Still we have to trust that we have given them all of the tools that they will need. That all the time we have spent on them, shared with them will arm them to go into the world able to survive.

Letting them go can (and is) one of the hardest most painful moments in a parents life. But it is also one of the most joyful. Look at what you have done… you have spent a huge portion of your life guiding this wonderful person on the path he or she needed to be on to become all that they can be. You have brought love, religion, faith, joy, rules and the enforcement of them. And out of the cocoon of childhood here they are.

Remember that even though they are pulling away, pushing you away. All they are doing is exerting their independence. They do not love you less (even if it feels like it).  They just have not found a way to show you how much they love you without falling back into childhood. They are striving so hard to be adult, to prove that they can be on their own, they fear falling back into being a child. They fear that they will fail, be unable to be the adult that you taught them how to be. You have to trust in them, know that they will achieve greatness if they have enough of the support that they need. The invisible, strong support that only their parent can give them. Give them all the love you have, and remember that the older they get the smarter you get. They will come back asking for your advice, your help. Give it graciously when they do.. as if they never left.

You have to wait. Wait and see what wonderful things they will do with their lives.

My own son who is 18 ½ is moving out. He has already started on the path he has chosen; He is an EMT, he volunteers in the local fire Department and Ambulance Department. He is working, toward a car( to get a better job) and apartment which he will share with 3 others. He is going to do great things and be very good at them.

Even though this makes me amazingly proud of him.. I grieve the loss of my little boy.  I have invested ½ my life to him and now he has moved on, to hopefully create his own family, life and future. The image of him as a two year old, a five year old, a teen overlay the man he is now, making it hard to see him as he is.

While I still have my sweet daughter, who is only 14, I know she is running fast on the path out the door.. Even though she promise me she will never leave me.. I know I will go through this again in a few years. But I will cherish these year all the more knowing what is to come.

So , as the days go on and the moments of grief pass. The moments of joy and pride take over. And hope you live long enough to watch him or her go through this with their children.

My only advice is to cherish every moment that you have with them when they are young.. for you WILL miss them later on. When they are teens and all in your face, remember that you WILL miss it when they are grown. Hugg them and love them and teach them everything they will need.. And then get a box of tissues.. Because you most likely WILL cry when they leave.. Tears of sadness, of grief, of pride and of love.

Until next time
Blessed Home and Hearth
The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here… Please email me at
theheartkeeper@gmail.com