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Taking Some Much Needed Downtime

Wow! It’s hard to believe that Winter Solstice will be here on Saturday. This year has just flown by. And what a year it’s been. I’ve been simultaneously busy and relaxed, contemplative and active. I’ve been chasing my new puppy, busy with the tarot cards of the day and writing this blog. But now that the holidays are upon us I am going to be taking some much needed downtime.

We all need a bit of a break now and then. A time to regroup, refresh and reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and spirits. Getting some much needed downtime is crucial to our health. This time of year is perfect for that. The days are colder and the nights lend towards snuggling in your favorite blanket, enjoying a cup of tea and a good book. For me, it is also the time I take stock of what is or isn’t working for me. How can I best use my time? What things need to be put aside and what new things should be put in their place? My Virgo soul enjoys a good list so I grab my pad and pen and get to writing up pros and cons.

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Turning our Resolutions into Goals

It’s the second of January and many of you may be reading the resolutions you wrote for the New Year. Are you wondering how you are going to accomplish these resolutions? Do they sound unattainable, or more of a wish list than anything else? How do we go about turning our resolutions into goals?

What is a Resolution?

Any resolution, in the context of a New Year’s resolution, is defined as a firm decision to do, or not to do, something. Did you write a resolution to stop overeating? Perhaps your resolution was to spend more time with your family. Loftier resolutions may involve learning a new language, securing better employment or writing your first novel. Maybe you’ve decided to resolve a bad situation or habit and perhaps replace it with a new and better one. No matter what your resolution, nine out of ten times these resolutions are started, then abandoned or forgotten altogether. Why? Because at this point they are just thoughts written upon paper. There is no concrete plan on how to accomplish them. We need to understand how to make our ideas work by turning our resolutions into goals.

Creating Goals

The difference between a resolution and a goal seems simple enough. Goals, as defined, are an idea of the future or desired result in which a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve them. As you can see, where a resolution was a decision, a goal is how we accomplish getting there. Turning your resolutions into your goals is not quite as difficult as you may think. Below are few steps to get you started on turning your resolutions into goals.

  • Take your written resolutions and reword them into goal form. – For example, if you wrote you wanted to stop overeating you would state in your goal “I will reduce my food intake by half.”
  • Establish a timeline. – Using our example of overeating we could say – Week 1: Eat only 4 ounces of meat. Week 2: Remove starchy foods and replace with vegetables.
  • Give an end date to your goal. – Be firm but realistic. Set it for three, six months or even a year. Give yourself time but don’t be so generous as to forget where you were going with your goals.
  • Re-read your goals. – Are your goals realistic? How about your end dates? If the goals seem unattainable – chop them into smaller, bite size pieces. Instead of just the one goal of reducing your food intake by half your first goal would be to stop snacking. Your next goal would be to reduce breakfast by half. The next goal, lunch amounts reduced, etc.

Don’t be afraid to create and plan for large goals, just keep them manageable by dividing the tasks into chunks, By doing so you are more likely to hit each goal on target and keep yourself motivated.

Achieving your Goals

Now that you have changed your resolutions into goals and given yourself a timeline for each, it’s time to achieve those goals. Starting now, right this moment! Don’t hesitate in beginning to move forward, momentum is key here. The faster you begin the more likely you are to succeed. It’s a proven fact that most of us procrastinate, a lot. The longer we tell ourselves that we will “get to it tomorrow” the less likely you are to ever start.

In the list below are some proven ideas to get yourself started and to stay on track to achieving your goals.

  • Rewrite your goals and timeline in fancy script or type them and print on colored paper. This cements the goals into your mind as well as making them easy and pleasant to read and reread.
  • Hang the goals where they are likely to be seen every day. Tape them to a mirror, the front door, the refrigerator, any highly visible place.
  • Make the goals into a “to do” list on your phone, iPad, Kindle or laptop.
  • Add your goal dates to your calendar.
  • Cross your goals off of your written/typed list as you complete them. Use a vivid red or brightly colored pen to mark them off, giving yourself a visual reminder as to how much you’ve already accomplished.
  • Give yourself a treat for each item accomplished. Have a spa day, buy a little something special for yourself, take a day off to just play. Rewarding yourself for a job well done helps to keep you motivated and happy to move onto the next task. You may even want to add the reward to your goals list so you know what you have to look forward to next.

Accomplishment is its own reward.

Turning our resolutions into goals will increase our success rate in keeping our yearly resolutions. Having goals helps you to progress a bit each day towards what you want to bring into (or out of) your life. So next December 31st, instead of having unrealized resolutions you will have reached your goals, giving you a wonderful sense of accomplishment, peace and pride in the fabulous year you have lived.

May you accomplish all your goals with ease, joy and great success.

Blessed Be!

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Resting Witch Face

Meditation.  You’d have to be living in a bubble somewhere not to have heard about the importance of meditation for your physical and mental well-being.  Seriously, you can’t swing a dead rutabaga without bashing into a book on meditation, seeing a YouTube how-to video or a hearing about it on your favorite talk show or radio program. Meditation this and meditation that.  So, why the constant media bombardment and why am I writing about it here? Because all of this hoopla is correct. Meditation is vastly important. Not only for your physical and mental health but for your magickal health as well.

Cultivating a meditation practice affects your magick in several ways. First, and foremost, it makes a healthier and happier witch.  Meditation relaxes you, allows the cares and worries of the day to be carried away on your focused breath.  Relaxation fights dis-ease, aids in the fight against depression and anxiety and brings you mental clarity.  Mental clarity is essential in defining your Will, that which allows you to manifest the changes you wish to make in your world.

Secondly, it teaches focus and discipline, two vitally important skills to have as a magickal practitioner.  Without proper focus your spells and workings can fall flat, lacking the steady influx of energy vital to take them to manifestation. A good meditation practice teaches you to quiet your mind and to focus singularly for long stretches at a time, a requirement for adept spell work.

By disciplining yourself to maintain a meditation practice you will find that the discipline you need to move forward in your Craft becomes more effortless.  If you’ve already been maintaining a sitting practice of twenty minutes a day , adding 15 minutes or more of magickal activity – a must in my book for flexing your magickal muscles –  seems like child’s play.  Your newfound discipline can even be the catalyst you need to get off your now healthier butt and play in the moonlight more.

Last, but not lacking in importance, meditation allows a deeper connection with all that is, the Universe, your deities, your spirit guides, all of it. Quieting your mind gives those that wish to impart their wisdom, give you much needed answers, or just chat, a chance to get through. Meditation clears your mind of extraneous thoughts and quiets both your conscious and subconscious mind. This quiet cultivates the proper reception in our minds for communicating with those on much higher frequencies as well as allowing us to feel the more subtle astral vibrations associated with those on a different plane. Meditation opens us, clears us of ego, then offers up our quieted minds to bring us closer to our Gods, aid us in finding out more about ourselves spiritually and magically, and connects us with the vastness of the Universe. When we are connected, all things are possible. Imagine what that can do for your magick!

The next time the “M” word comes up and the verbal debate on just what it is and how to do it ensues, just smile and nod.  You now know how wonderful meditation is and the many benefits it can offer you.  So what are you waiting for? Take a seat, put on your resting witch face, and prove to yourself and the masses that meditation can make you the person, the magickal practitioner, the witch, you always knew you could be.

Namaste and Blessed Be!

 

 

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The Sticky Note Dichotomy

I had a very interesting conversation with a co-worker the other day.  We were talking about all the changes that were taking place our the office and how it made her feel like things were out of control.  I mentioned that I have a sticky note on my monitor that says, “Relax, nothing is under control”  and how it helped me sometimes when the general craziness of an ever changing environment starts to get to me. Then bam! I had something click so loudly in my brain that I wondered if it echoed down the hallways.  I took a step back, commenced a hard mental assessment of the statement, “nothing is under control”, and metaphorical bells went off.

I am a witch.  By definition we bend, we shape, we manifest change. We take those things that are seemingly out of our control and through our will we mold it into what we want or need in order to control our environment. While the general populace is constantly being bombarded with self-help gurus and social media telling them to just go with the flow and not worry about those things that are “out of their control”, we the Witches, the Wizards, the magickal folk, are instead in the shadows creating change and making life flow in the direction of our choosing.  By having placed that little yellow note in my constant line of sight I had created the perfect personal dichotomy.  On the one hand as a Witch I create change on a daily basis.  On the other, I am in a mundane work environment where I have no say in the changes happening around me so I need to just relax and go with the flow ( if I wish to keep my job).  As you can imagine, this revelation did not sit well with me.

I guess you could consider me a bit of a control freak.  Hello! Virgo and a Witch. My entire existence revolves around keeping things organized and under some sort of control.  Imagining that somehow, for some strange reason I seemed to be relinquishing that control by following the advice written on a tiny piece of paper really got my hackles up.  This wasn’t really me.  Was I changing myself to fit my job or was my job changing me? The control freak in me was scrambling to find a foothold on a crumbling cliff.

A few breaths later and the practical Virgo found her footing and started shooting spit wads of wisdom at me.  “Remember,” she said. “There are just some things you can’t or shouldn’t try to control or change either because of personal ethics or possible negative consequences.”  As an example,  I can’t change my boss’s personality, but I can work to sweeten her attitude towards me.  I shouldn’t try to control the weather, one, because I am a novice weather witch and two, because moving that storm away from my house could possibly cause unforeseeable and/or harmful consequences.  Ok, for those things, I could give the control freak a much needed vacation and perhaps relax, a bit.

As for all those other instances in life when I am told to relax, it’s out of my control, guess what?  I am going to mold, shape, and manifest any changes I feel will enhance the quality of my life and the life of my family and friends. I will do so with all the skills I possess and will relax knowing that this Witch is doing what she can to make this life a great one.  I will continue to do this even at work, where positive change is so desperately needed.

Oh, and come first thing Monday morning I will be wadding up and chucking that sticky note in the trash.

Blessed Be!