Thursday, March 28, 2013

G is for Gratitude

About a month ago I was feeling stressed out with problems at work and the added workload from nursing school. I was in one of those negativity spirals and it was starting to cause problems at home. After a serious amount of meditating to rebalance everything, I watched a movie called "The Secret". It was a very interesting movie, with much that can be applied to magickal theory. If you haven't watched it, I recommend that you do.
The thing that I really brought away from this movie, was that good thing happen when we are grateful for what we already have. The movie was written for a non magical audience and explained it in terms of the universe giving you what you thought about on a regular basis. If you are constantly worrying about things you believe are out of your control, then you get more of the same, but if you are thinking about all the great things that are happening for you, more great things happen. An example was given of a man who picked up a random stone and put in into his pocket. Every time he touched the stone, he thought about all the thing he was grateful for. Because he put the stone into his pocket every morning and took it out every night, he touched it least twice a day.
I thought that sounded like a great idea and the perfect fix for my stress problem. Instead of a plain rock, I used a piece of rose quartz for its properties of self-love and acceptance. Every time I touch it I think of the things I'm grateful for. I have been carrying this stone around in my pocket for a month now and I can definitely tell a difference. My stress level has stayed low and hasn't gone up since using this technique.
Managing stress is important for everyone, but may be more so for those involved in magic. Stress can affect spell work, and can be especially killer for those using healing magic. Plus, spirits who are attracted to stress typically aren't the most pleasant. Also, the daily expression of thanks really does attract good thing into your life. Telling the people in your life how much you appreciate them doesn't hurt either.
Remember to find the magic in the little things, even if it is just a pebble in your pocket.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

F is for Facing my Fears

If you find this post confusing or disturbing, I encourage you to read my post Death and Shamanic Dismemberment for the Pagan Blog Project 2012.
Back in January, I was getting ready to enter the nursing program and was feeling very stressed out. I decided to meditate on it to calm my mind and relax my emotions. I told my guides that I would welcome whatever journey I needed to have since I find that trying to force a journey gets very poor results.
I put on a shamanic drumming CD and got comfortable. I decided to start with visualization. I read about an exercise that was supposed to help you release stress. You were supposed to visualize yourself dropping your stress into a deep well.
So I did just that. I dropped my stress down the well. As I was looking down the well, black tentacles reached out of it and pulled me down the well.
It was pitch black. I was surrounded by darkness so thick I could feel it envelope me. I wasn't alone. I could sense something else circling me in the darkness.
A voice asked me, "What do you fear?"
"The unknown", I replied.
It ripped my left arm off. "What do you fear?" It asked again.
"Not being good enough."
It ripped my other arm off. "What do you fear?"
"Not being there for me family"
Now it tore off my right leg. "What do you fear?"
"Not being able to take care of them"
It tore off the left leg. "What do you fear?"
"Losing control"
What remained of my body was destroyed. I existed without a body. The voice spoke again. "You have faced your fears. They have destroyed your body. Do you feel dead? You still exist. You can exist without your fears to define you. You don't need them."
A small light, like a seed, appeared in the darkness. It began to grow, forming bones, nerves, muscles and organs. "This is what is left of you without fear. Do you see it growing? You no longer need your fears, let them go." The light grew into a new body for me and I possessed it.
The voice spoke to me some more with private instruction that I am not allowed to share.
It was important that I share this journey, because you don't need your fears either. Letting go of fear is a daily process. It may never be complete. But it is a challenge worth taking. If you can let go of your fears, what could possibly hold you back?