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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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On Fast Forward

Life for me has been in a state of fast forward.  In January my husband and I both went through some health issues - nothing life threatening but still concerning.  We spent a lot of time in Urgent Care, doctor's offices, and my husband had a outpatient procedure.  

In March, my daughter announced she got a job close to home and was moving home.  We spent March and April packing, moving, and organizing.  We're still working on the organizing.  It seems like my weekends for the last few months have all been hurry up and get stuff done.  Of course not all of it gets done which then add to the stress.  

Midway through April, I realized there were too many things happening.  Our weekends were too full, too busy, and life in general was too stressful.  Part of me wants to get all the stuff done - organize the basement, organize the craft room, get stuff ready for a sale and so on.  I want it done and done NOW.  

However, I realize not everyone works on my time line or my schedule.  Also there are many things I can't get done.  I can't go to my basement and organize because of my physical limitations.  I have to let go and allow my husband to do it.  This is probably the hardest thing for me to do.  

My husband is great at many things but making decisions about letting go of things is not his best skill.  In fact, it is probably one of his worst skills.  For me, this adds a layer of stress.  I keep reminding myself to let go.  I need to let go of my control and my timeline.  I need to work on encouraging him to reduce the amount of stuff in the basement.

I'm struggling with this.  We've been married a long time and I'm always the one who goes through and organizes stuff like this.  The zen part of me is telling me to relax, be supportive and encouraging, and trust he will get it done.  The realist in me is screaming at me because his track record on this type of thing is not stellar.  How do I resolve this?

I've been finding myself doing a lot of crocheting.  It's one thing I can control.  It would be very difficult for me to go in the basement and move things like entertainment centers, dryers, and other bigger items.  However, I can cut up terry cloth, run my skip cutter over it and crochet a border to create hand towels and dishtowels.  I can use crochet cotton and make dish cloths.  I can take fancy yarn and fleece to create beautiful blankets, or fun yarn to make scarves.  In all this, I can employ my design skills and create new patterns.  I have control over this aspect. 

This gives me two things - 1 - it calms me down because the repetitiveness of the tasks is meditative and as I complete projects, I can see progress being made  2 - it puts me in a better frame of mind to better handle the things I can't control. 

This doesn't really help get the basement organized and cleaned out.  It doesn't bring up the items for donation or selling.  However, it does put me in a better frame of mind so I'm not grumpy (or maybe grumpier) with my husband.  

Crocheting is meditative.  I have a favorite pattern for my dishcloths.  Sometimes I'll vary from it to make a fancier one but in general I use the same stitch.  The stitch I use is bumpy enough to make the dishcloths good for scrubbing but it isn't so fancy people won't want to use them for a dishcloth.  I used to make doily and seasonal themed dishcloths but now I have this one I particularly like.  The nice thing about this is, I can just make them.  If I'm watching a tv show or having a conversation or watching training, I can still crochet.  My hands know what to do.  It's repetitive and meditative.  It puts my mind in a calm place so I find my balance.  

With my limitations, I struggle to feel productive and not a burden.  Earlier in my life, I would have gone to the basement and done what needed doing.  The fact I cannot do this now raises my stress and frustration.  However, when I crochet I'm being productive.  I can see the progression with each item I make.  

Recently, my niece came out to help me clean my office.  I sat in my chair and told her what to do.  We sorted through stuff, rearranged furniture, and got the job done.  As a thank you, I'm making her things.  I started with dishcloths, moved on to dishtowels, and pot holders.  I have a stack sitting next to my spot.  It started out being about a half in tall with the first dishcloth.  Now I've made her multiple (I've lost count) dishcloths, eight potholders, six dish towels, and two hand towels.  My stack is now about two feet high.  All of these patterns are ones I know well enough to simply crochet.  As I added to my pile, my sense of accomplishment increased.  I felt useful.  While I needed her help and she willingly gave it, I'm able to give back to her without causing myself more pain or aggravation to my health.  

It's not easy but I'm learning to step back and find ways to let go of what I used to be able to do.  I'm learning to slow things down and set realistic goals.  I'm definitely not always successful but I'm trying to embrace the more zen part of me.  

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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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