slowing down

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

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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

Book Review: One Year Wiser-An Illustrated Guide to Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia

May, 2018

Book Review

One Year Wiser-An Illustrated Guide to Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia

Mindfulness has been the buzz word for meditation in recent years and getting people on board with slowing down and living fully present in any given moment has been the challenge of many an author and teacher. One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia has captured the essence of what a mindfulness practice is and morphed it into an illustrated journey that resonates with the graphic novel approach. He invokes the art of visual stimuli to engage readers in well-founded content.

Mike uses his skills as an illustrator to bring the practice of mindfulness into a mindscape filled with color and easily relate-able images that any reader can identify with. Another interesting layer within this book is the outline used of working the practice through the gift of the seasons.

Appropriately, Part One is dedicated to Spring…

Spring is about blossoming and letting yourself change and become.

Taking steps with confidence towards a brighter future

and a more sincere self.”

This opening statement sets the tone in preparing oneself for something transformative that is about to happen. Each section focuses on various aspects of the journey towards becoming more mindful in your daily activities and key words that bring your attention to how that presence interacts with technology, smiling, values, forgiveness, and more.

Mike takes us on a journey through the seasons that resonates at multiple levels of understanding about what those seasons are both in the physical expression, as well as the spiritual. There is humor and there are suggestions for practice, all beautifully illustrated and offered in step-by-step increments. And, as is true with all cycles, the final page states…

But, of course the snows of Winter melt, moistening the

earth in preparation for Spring.”

A simple statement that heralds a new journey to begin, now healthier, happier and more present because of the foundations laid in the previous year.

All in all, this is a great book for anyone who has yearned to begin a mindfulness practice, but has hesitated because of a perception of austerity and overly structured practices. And, if you are looking for more supports, check out Mike’s other books:

One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal

Previously reviewed in PaganPagesOrg HERE.

and 

One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book: Unwind With Weekly Illustrated Meditations

For Amazon information Click Image

 

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate and High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. Her path is the fusion of Western Hermetics and Eastern Practices, including meditation and energetic protocol. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org and has authored several books and been published locally and Internationally.

Robin maintains a rigorous teaching schedule presenting locally and at festivals throughout the North East. She writes several blogs, The Magickal Pen being her first foray into blogging and is a writer for Sage Woman blogs.

Her primary blog is The Magickal Pen

www.themagickalpen.com

Her blog at Pagan Square, The Womb of Light, can be found at:

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/womb-of-light.html

For more information about Robin, her blogs and books, please visit her website:

www.robinfennelly.com

Or, Amazon Author’s Page:

Robin’s Author Page