At the Crossroads: Anyone Bring a Flashlight?

A day in the life of one witch’s attempts at community organizing, group leadership, public Paganism, and joyous shenanigans. Balancing inner work with external obligations, a professional career with public Paganism, and a full social calendar with gratuitous amounts of sleep.

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December Check-In

Hey.  How are you doing?  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you feeling okay?

 

The holidays can be crazy-stressful.  I’ve personally been feeling the pressure since September: Pagan Pride weekend, a few weddings, 1,000 Halloween parties and Samhain rituals, study groups, dance parties, work obligations, and few other shenanigans here and there.  I told some friends a few months that I was booked until the New Year, and I wasn’t kidding.  In this post-Samhain season where we should be winding down and turning inward, we often push out even more.  It’s like part of us dreads the cold, gray, lonely winter and we try to overwhelm ourselves with one last (or a dozen more) hurrahs before the (secular) new year really begins.

This is rough, and maybe not always healthy.  So, let’s do a check-in. 

Let’s all take a few moments out right now.  Turn off your music or the news or Netflix for a few minutes.  Set your phone aside and close your browser tabs.  (Don’t worry, this won’t take long at all but you’ll thank me when it’s over.) 

Take a breath, just at your regular pace.  Do it again.  And another.  There!  Doesn’t that feel good?

Now, in this space of silence, what do you hear?  Of course, things are never really silent.  Do you hear a beloved pet snoring?  Is a family member chattering near you?  (Did you actually leave your music playing even though I asked you to turn it off…?  Hmm???)  So often we get caught up in filling up the silence that we don’t get to enjoy the natural ambiance all around us.  Let those sounds, whatever you hear right now, vibrate through you for a few moments.  As witches and Pagans and general magical folks, we know the power of vibrations and we appreciate that power.  Let the melody of sound sit with you.

Take a moment to touch base with your body.  How does your body feel right now?  Snug in a sweater, in pajamas, in knit socks, or gloves?  Are you in starched work clothes or business casual?  How do your clothes feel on your body?  How is your physical health?  Have you been sick yet this season?  Are you tired from rushing around too much?  How does your tummy feel – too much eggnog or sugar cookies at the holiday party?  Send some love to any spots that may be bothering you.  Our poor bodies go through a lot, and that is even more true this time of year.  Now is an important time for a little extra self-love.

Look around you.  What do you see right now?  This article, of course (duh), but do you see a holiday tree?  Some twinkling lights?  Are you at your desk at work, or sitting on a bus?  Just take a moment to look at, really see where you are right now.  Find three pretty things.  Okay, one – two – three… good job!  Send some love out to those three things you love.  A spirit of this season is the spirit of gifts and exchange, and love sent out to your environment will reflect love back to you.

What do you smell right now?  Food, candles, fire, trees?  Something pleasant or unpleasant?  Something in the background that you don’t always notice, that goes under the radar?  Smell connects so very powerfully to our sense of memory and our ability to visualize.  Maybe take a moment to recall a powerful smell from your childhood.  What emotions do you associate with that smell?  What emotions are you feeling now, in this stillness?  In this moment?

What do you taste?  If your mouth is fresh, enjoy that feeling for a moment.  Ahhh!  If it’s less than pleasant, take a drink of water and swish it around a bit.  So refreshing!  Actually, everyone should stop what they’re doing and take a big drink of water right now.  (And no, diet soda is not a good replacement for water!)  Feel the water flow past your lips, go into your tummy, and refresh and rejuvenate your brain cells.  Wow!  That feels great!

Okay, take a deep breath again, remembering to go at your own pace.  Let this air fill your lungs and your body, and hold it for just a moment.  When you are ready, release that breath.  Breathing helps center us and ground us.  It feeds our brain cells and refreshes our bodies.  It improves our energy and memory.  When we breathe with intention our moods naturally improve.  So let’s have another big breath, in and out.  And when you are ready, one more mindful breath.

Ahhhh!

Let’s check-in again.  How do you feel at this moment?  What are your thoughts like now?  What emotions and feelings are you experiencing?  Energetically, do you feel better?  Even just a little? 

In this busy season, please give yourself permission to stop, just for a few moments.  Slow down.  Take in your sensory surroundings.  Get in touch with your body and your environment, no matter where you are or what you are doing. 

Finally, say no.  Just to one thing this season, say no.  Cancel an event, say no to a request from a co-worker/boss/family member/friend, remove ONE thing from your calendar.  Do not fill this space with something else.

Do NOT fill that space or that silence!  Just for one moment, be.

Blessed be.  )O(

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Trivia is a social worker, freelance writer, minister, and priestess. She loves to have a good adventure. Follow her exploits on Twitter (https://twitter.com/TriviaXRoads) and on Tumblr (http://triviaxroads.tumblr.com/)!

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