January 2017 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times
By the time you read this, Solstice, all the days of Yule including Twelfth Night, and Xmas, and New Years will be over with.
Some of you will be heaving a huge sigh of relief as all responsibilities for the Holidays will be done and over with, and you can start arguing with the kids/significant other as to how soon the decorations should be put away.
The obligatory gift exchanges, party going, and family trips and visits will be over with, and many of you (not me) will be feeling fat and guilty for all the holiday snacking and goody indulging, and will have bought or renewed gym memberships and will have new diets planned.
Those who work will be back to the daily grind, and depending on where you live, the weather may be getting more snowy and cold.
People will rein in their spending for a bit, and shopping crowds will return to normal…once all the holiday returns and exchanges are made!
I always brace myself starting the day after Samhain clear through mid January for holiday frenzy. Mid January brings a well-earned calm and hush to us as we slow down from our early winter festivities, and we catch our breath as the land falls deeper into silence.
With the passing of the Solstice, the nights will gradually shorten, as we approach Spring. The returning, strengthening light always provides a sense of hope for the coming growing season, and reminds us that growth is right around the corner for us, as well!
The time between Solstice and Imbolc can be used for this much needed quiet and calm in our lives, OR, if you are a kook like me, you can use this time to purge the house, as well as deep clean it. You can also use this time to still your heart and mind, and look into yourself to decide what new things you would like to incorporate into your already abundant life, as well as what things you would like to purge from it.
While we are “supposed” to take stock of our lives in America for New Years Resolutions if we did not do that at Samhain, the time between Solstice and Imbolc is actually a really good time to do that since there is some downtime after everything was so crazy!
Truthfully, I gave up making resolutions years ago, because I decided I wanted to set goals when I needed to, not at a set date. Some years I do tons of resolutions, sometimes, I don’t do any at all.
One resolution I set in place a long time ago was to give myself permission to do less and sometimes, do NOTHING when needs be and to do whatever it takes to recharge my batteries.
I read article after article and report after report about how Americans work the most hours and achieve the least amount at work compared with other Nations.
Many of us spread ourselves way too thin, during the Holidays especially, and then wonder why we are overwhelmed, exhausted, sick, and cranky.
People like to make snippy remarks to me when I say this. “Well, maybe YOU can slack off, but I CAN’T! I have (fill in the blank)” Kids, a husband, a job that is demanding, a social circle, you name it.
There was a time when I had all of the above except kids, and people with kids sometimes like to look down on people who don’t who say they need to take some things off their plate because they are overextending themselves. Some even go so far as to resent the hell out of childless adults, and then talk about all the things they would have LOVED to do with their lives has they not had children. I always just let them recite their epic monologues of how much having kids takes out of them, and then just excuse myself, or if I am feeling very brave, will ask if they have heard of contraception.
I find that a lot of the folks who do not have kids, but are extremely busy love to brag about how important they are, and how much they accomplish. They proudly proclaim how crucial their roles are in their community, or job, or social circle, and how people just can’t get by without them. This is because it makes them feel good, and I like to point out the same thing to such people that I first had to accept for myself. Nobody is so important that the World will fall apart if they are no longer around. We need to get over ourselves, you see. I am not saying we are not important in any way,or that our loved ones would not miss us of we were gone. I am saying there are some people who believe they are more important than they actually are. I used to be one of those people.
I find a lot of us complicate things unnecessarily, and could stand to simplify. I got my ass climbed years ago by a younger woman who informed me I needed to learn to work SMARTER, not HARDER! It took a few years to sink in, but I got the message.
I started paying attention to what things I was doing unnecessarily, and what I could get by nicely without. I noticed in not only my work life, but also my personal life, I had the tendency to overcomplicate things.
I had too much stuff, so I purged my stuff. I cleaned out closets, decluttered walls, dusted, cleaned the fridge and cabinets out, thinned out linens, and even cleaned out my car. My biggest area of clutter was in the papers I squirreled away and hoarded. All my college papers got pitched, because I decided I had no need of them. I thinned out my book stash by at least 75%, and stopped buying books all the time. I got rid of most of my media, and even thinned out my jewelry and craft supplies.
In my personal life, I took a good, hard look at some of the relationships I was allowing into my life. I was horrible at setting boundaries, and nobody was to blame but me. The result was, I had some very unhealthy relationships, and I made the difficult decision to purge those as well.
My diet was examined. I admit, I treasure sausage biscuits at McDonalds above most other breakfast foods. However, I was eating too many processed foods, too much sugar, was ingesting too much caffeine, and ate on impulse. We started cooking most of our meals at home, and bey9nd that, I had to eliminate certain foods completely from our diets. This took about two years, and it is still a work in progress.
My work life was literally killing me. I am an anxiety sufferer and was working in a high-stress field where competitiveness crosses over into heel biting and pettiness at best, and backstabbing and throat cutting at worst. The career had to go.
I was actually even using too much hair product, so I cut it out.
Large things, and little things were drastically changed to create a better life and a better me.
The way I did it was not magical. It was mundane.
However, MAGIC is using your will to move energy to create a change. The change started in me with a change of mindset, which created a change of habits, as well as a change of material things, and it manifested a newer, better life. Pretty darn magical!
It also created the habit of making changes regularly, and regularly assessing my habits, and revising them.
I’ll break down the simple process I used, and share a very simple spell to get you started.
Saoirse’s Simple Magical Formula for Creating Life Change
- Get pen and paper- Sit down and write out what you need to do away with, reduce, or increase. Revise the list all you need to.
- Now, list what you want instead.
- Next, list what it is you are going to need to do in order to make the changes happen. This is the tricky part. You may plan what it is that is going to be crucial to create the change. Unfortunately, until you start working at that, you don’t really know that it will work. Revise as necessary and as often as necessary. Like with changing my diet, which took two years, your change might take a long time as well. Remember, change is not a short-term project you give your all to for a time, and then stop. Change is permanent and for life.
- Write out a contract to yourself. Remember to be as specific as possible, but be realistic! If what you want is to settle down and get married, don’t put yourself on a deadline to have done so by a certain date. If you want to move out of State to be nearby family, but need a new job first, and money is tight, don’t have a date you expect to be there by. The problem with both magic AND change is that we tend to become impatient and expect instant results, but the World does not always work that way. Remember that the details in the contract can, and should be revised as needs be. This is a process, not a project to be completed, and then forgotten about.
- Get a candle and go into a dark room and look into the mirror. Read the contract to yourself, looking into your own eyes in the mirror. When you finish, say, “I deserve the benefits of making these positive changes in my life, and I understand this is a process. I will focus on the journey, not the destination. Blessings, wisdom, and joy on this path. So Mote It Be.”
Then get out there and make the change happen, one step at a time.