I just picked up two grocery bags full of icky litter!
I hate litter, but you know what whining about it does? NOTHING. (Unfortunately.) On the other hand, going out in the fresh air and doing a little dirty work? Well, it might not save the world, but it at least makes an immediate difference!
This post was made with the specific intent of encouraging you to also pick up litter. Even just one coffee cup missing from the landscape makes an improvement.
So, if you were at a work meeting, and someone mentioned having just discovered Buddhism, how would you act? Or, if a friend of yours in the office confided, loudly enough to be overheard, that she just taken up a Hindu meditation practice? Or, how about all those colleagues I sometimes hear talking about a shared experience at church? What’s the proper office protocol?
Granted, the office really isn’t the place for religious discussion, but if we’re being honest, from time to time it does happen. And, if we’re all going to be tolerant of one another, ideally it shouldn’t really matter if it does. That said, I think if you encountered any of these situations above, as a rational human being, you are going to greet the person with respect. You might even be a little curious! You definitely wouldn’t laugh. That would be exceedingly rude.
Imagine my surprise when I encountered the following situation in a training class at work today…
There’s this middle-aged woman in my class, and I don’t know how they got started on the topic, but somebody asked her if she was Catholic. And she said, “actually no, if I’m anything these days I feel like I’m mostly Wiccan.” Which I thought was a lovely thing for her to say, and very honest too! And the girl sitting behind her burst out laughing. And I mean she really laughed.
It seems to me that most other religions would expect a little more respect. It also seems to me that my religion deserves every bit as much respect as anyone else’s. It’s hard not to react negatively in that type of situation. But I suppose I have to understand, it might just come down to cluelessness.😤
Perhaps there’s a way to gently educate my coworker? I haven’t said anything yet.
Full disclosure: I had to switch my bracelet over half a dozen times yesterday, so…today is my new Day 1! We’re off to an auspicious start! (That wasn’t a complaint, I swear!)
Actually, this is completely ok and somewhat expected. Proponents of this challenge, including Will Bowen himself insist that there is no shame in Day 1. Here’s a video of him doing/struggling with the challenge. (It’s only 3 minutes long!)
But still, having to switch it like, 6 times? Even I was a little surprised. I did notice that the complaints that surfaced were these bitchy little throw-away thoughts. They were grumpy impulse vocalizations about little things around the house, for the most part. So, at the very least, I would say that I am already becoming a little more aware. We will see if that awareness pays off today!
On a totally different note, Jason brought home a foldable craft table yesterday! I am very happy about this, because it gives me a space to set up my candle-making supplies in the basement! Candles are fun to make, but a they are a bit time-consuming (they must be left untouched for many hours while drying) and always a little messy. Up until now, my candle-making operations have been very limited. NOW I can definitely get a few going at once. Look at me, not taking over any kitchen counter space!
I am currently making a “Goddess” candle for myself. It contains scrap wax from the last one I had, and I think it’s turning out to be a bit of a smokey blue. I have zero complaints about that! (I use God and Goddess representation candles in my spiritual practice.)
Anyway, having a little time right now to do things like make candles and putter around the house should put me in a very positive frame of mind. Hopefully making it easier to cut out any and all complaints?
Either way, I am anxious to get the hot plate heated up and to get that second pour on the go! I can’t wait to get this one out of the mold and onto the altar.
The other day, I spoke to a wonderful, kind and gifted woman who lives all the way across the country from me. Despite the miles between us, she still managed to kick my ass. (In a good way!) It’s always an honour to speak with Donna, the incredible “Mountain Medium.” The fact that the universe works in mysterious ways is no shock to me. Donna and I met by chance, in Toronto as contestants on the set of Canada’s Smartest Person. (Just being on that show was a surreal experience…I really am grateful!) Anyway, Donna was on the show, and they were touting her as a professional medium. Of course I was fascinated, and we got to talking. Donna and I seem to have a fair bit in common, and so we’ve kept in touch. Recently, I had a few questions on my mind, and she very kindly agreed to lay out some cards for me. (Although she did warn me that her readings were more about what her clients NEEDED to hear versus what they WANTED to hear. Fair enough.) I wanted to ask her some very sort of “square” questions about planning for the future. It’s important life-stuff to be sure, but right away Donna and her cards saw right through me. She knew that I hadn’t written a creative word in months, and that my creative side was damn near ready to explode. She saw my urge to write as pent up and unfulfilled; kept eternally at bay by the commitments of work, family, housework, and fitness. I am a writer who doesn’t write. Donna and her cards took about two seconds to get to my root. She was adamant about my deep inner need to write RIGHT NOW. The trouble is, lately, it just hasn’t been a part of my days. “I have no time” I explained aloud to Donna, and perhaps, more so to myself. I heard how it sounded as I said it, too. Like an excuse. A committed writer would make the time. What the heck was wrong with me? Why was everything coming between me and this thing that I supposedly love? Somehow Donna and I got to the root of that as well: unrelenting perfectionism. I feel like if I write something, it must be at a very high standard, and that it must serve a purpose. Like, if writing was my day job, of COURSE I would do it, but it’s NOT my job right now. Beyond my lack of having any professional reason to write, on a personal level, I also feel like I “should” be writing a novel. Therefore, ANYTHING outside of novel-related ideas is likely to be pushed aside. Oh, and on the novel-writing front, I don’t really have all that many ideas! That’s a steady stream of little ideas coming in, and because I don’t think any of them are really any good, a big fat nothing going out. So yeah…my writing right now is at a total standstill. Writing doesn’t even have all that much to do with the questions I wanted to ask Donna. She just caught me out; my soul is sad, and I have to remember what happens when I neglect my creative side. If something inside of me is screaming that I need to write, then something about my current life must change. And here we are. I’m writing y’all something. It’s not up to some crazy-high standard, nor does it serve a huge purpose. It’s not even what I’d been planning to write next on this blog. (Then again, my grand plans are why I write ALMOST NOTHING.) I suppose this post is just a reminder that you really really need to do what you’re meant to do. You also need to be kind enough to yourself to not judge every attempt you make at it incredibly harshly. If you don’t follow your heart, your favourite sensitive souls will call you out, and you just might get cosmically bitchslapped. 🙂
Hopefully I’ll see you around these parts more often.
I don’t always have the chance to go, but there is a wooded area behind where I work, and on my lunch breaks I sometimes venture up there. When I do, I find myself blissfully alone in what I consider to be a mind-blowingly beautiful place.
My pictures don’t do it justice. I hardly think they could. Not until they can capture a perfect panoramic shot, along with the brightness of colours alive in the moist air, and combine it all of it with the actual feeling of being there. I only hope there is some shadow of how it seems to me reflected in the pictures I snap with my phone.
Apart from when I indulge in dramatic makeup and costumes, most of the pictures I take of myself are “forest selfies.” Me, against a backdrop of trees left to grow of their own accord. Embarrassing, perhaps, but it makes sense. I am trying to capture the state in which I feel I am being my most authentic self.
In the wilderness, things like choice of clothing are of little consequence. Somber or bright, as long as I am warm, comfortable, and not hitching my hem on the trees, I’m fine. (Still, because I walk directly up from work, I admit that I do sometimes wear wilderness-questionable outfits out on the trail anyway!)
Like any immediate concerns about appearance, most modern distractions become so much nothing in the forest. My social media presence and number of Twitter followers are infinitely less interesting than this one particular tree I was fascinated by. It stood “alone” in a crowd; surrounded by trees of different species. Yet it was the one dripping in sunlight. I wondered if anyone else had ever even seen it look like that before.
I miss the outside when I don’t go. I work indoors now, and when the days are busy and long, or cold and miserable, I don’t go to the woods at all. It bothers me not to have this tiny escape. The urge to follow the path to the trees some days is quite insistent.
When I worked as a mail carrier, Mother Nature didn’t have to push me quite so hard. Outdoors was a given. I couldn’t help but observe natural cycles in action. I brushed past buds and first crocuses. I was met by fall bugs seeking warmth in the crevices of dark mailboxes. I even, in the right place at the very right moment, caught a glimpse of late-summer Blue Flag Iris growing wild. In short,I saw the change of the seasons as easily as I read the words on the envelopes and fliers between my fingertips.
I have to force myself to pay a little more attention now. Like so many others, I don’t have to go outside. It’s just something I endeavour to do. I am fallible. I am easily distracted.
Still, even at my most distracted, I think Autumn has always been my favourite. The trees themselves may be bare or nearly so, but the wooded landscape is far from lifeless. I love the moss, and the brilliant shades it boasts, even late into the season.. I love the cacophony of the leaves that litter the ground. I also cannot help but love the proliferation of strange mushrooms in their multitude of unexpected shapes and arrangements. You might find the strangest specimen standing alone, or a circle of frilly brothers and sisters keeping unexpected vigil. I love those perfect days where the temperature is just crisp enough to tell you to keep moving, and to whisper of impending winter.
I have a history of wandering. Trails through the forest, going precisely nowhere, suit me perfectly. I love the mystery that lurks there, and the fact that we as humans don’t fully understand everything about how it works.
Life is complicated. 2016 has been so hard on so many people. This fact only heightens for me the spiritual importance of creating a built-in time-out. Ordinary breathing space on ordinary days. I’m not saying a walk in the forest will cure your sadness. I’m just saying there’s a lot that clean air, mossy undergrowth and being awed by the wilderness can fix.
Yours in continued observations and aimless wanderings,