Solitary: A Self-Directed Spiritual Life

Let's talk. Come sit with me under a tree or by a lake while we chat about being alone in our practice and our beliefs. Solitary practitioners choose this path for many reasons and have a unique perspective. As a solitary witch, I want to share how I keep true to my beliefs and practices whether I'm working on my own, in a small group or attending a large group gathering. Author of Moon Affirmations, meditations based on the phase of the moon.

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Finding the Positive in the Negative

I struggle with chronic pain.  Between arthritis and some old injuries, there are days when breathing hurts.  If you go to the doctor and tell them you’re in pain they always ask – on a scale of one to ten what level are you at.  My good days are fives.  

When I have a bad day, when I’ve elevated to an eight or nine, it is difficult to cope but I try to find ways to cope because I still have to go to work and deal with daily life.

My co-workers are good.  They help me out and are understanding when I have these bad days.  I’m allergic to most pain killers so right now I’m coping with just Tylenol as a pain reliever.  On my bad days, it’s like taking nothing.  

What most people don’t understand is that pain is progressive.  My pain is in my joints and movement can be exceedingly painful.  Linking fingers with someone hurts.  Shaking hands hurts.  Walking, sitting, hurts.  

Since I’m unable to take most pain relievers I look for alternative solutions.  For me one of the biggest is heat.  If I put the heating pad on one of my joints the pain will ease (usually).  The problem on my bad days is that my whole body needs to be under a heating pad.  This is when I sit under my electric blanket.  

There are other issues.  Pain tends have a domino effect on these other issues.  It can cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness.  This means when I sit at my desk trying to cope with pain during my work day, I’m trying to cope with not just the pain but the other symptoms as well.  It means my mood is low and grumpy.  

Part of the pain has a mental component.  Mood lifters help.  When I say mood lifters, I mean things like essential oils that perk you up like peppermint or (for me) citrus.  The scents help perk up my mood.  The scents can help clear the head, ease the headache.  Lemon is a big one for me.  I don’t know what it is about the scent but to smell a lemon makes me feel lighter, fresher, happier.  

Another option is to meditate.  Meditation takes me out of my physical state and puts me in a different frame of mind.  This helps release the pain while I’m meditating.  It doesn’t actually relieve the pain but it gives a temporary release from it.

I have a meditation where I visualize the pain as being part of me like a layer of dust on my body.  Then as I go deeper into a meditative state and I feel the pain leaving me, I visualize the pain dropping away like it is sand dropping from my body.  In my head I tell myself “I feel lighter, easier within my own skin.”

The biggest part though is knowing when it’s time to let go of being responsible and staying at work.  Often the only solution is to go home and rest.  Sleep is a great restorative and escape from pain.  

I think if I didn’t have the alternative methods for coping with pain I’d struggle more with it.  I think it would make it worse.  My belief system helps me cope and manage my health issues.

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Tagged in: negativity pain positive
As a solitary, I consider myself a pagan witch who is seeking. Residing in rural Wisconsin, by day I work as a clerical worker and at night I spend my spare time writing. Writing is my way of expressing my feelings about my world and life. Raised on a farm, I have a love for nature and am inspired by the beauty and power I find there. I've been married for 33 years and have three adult daughters. Some of my other interests include cooking, genealogy, reading and crocheting.  
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