I am in a constant love/hate relationship with change. On one hand, change is good. It gives us new challenges, new hopes and a much needed change of direction. On the other hand, change is bad. It’s scary, messy and never seems to do what you want. Yet change is inevitable. Without change your life becomes stagnant, boring and well, not much of a life. So what’s a witch to do? How can you cope with change? Can you embrace change without fighting it? Can you use change to your advantage in both your mundane and magickal lives? How do you go about making change your bitch?
We tame change by tackling it piece by piece, starting with its inevitability. Let’s start by taking a moment to think about the statement “The only constant in life is change.” This tells us that nothing stands still. Not time, not the Universe, not you. And because we are always in a state of movement (even when we relax, we move) we are constantly changing. Changing ourselves and the environment around us without consciously knowing we are doing so. A shift on the couch cushions changes the shape of the area. A new puppy changes the dynamic in your home. That new job you’ve worked so hard to get. It is changing entire portions of your life. When you look at change as natural, normal, the scariness goes away.
Making Change Work For You
Change is messy. It always seems to muck up your day or throw you a curve ball at the wrong time. So, how can we make change work for us, make it our bitch? I’ve talked about how change is a constant. However, the way a change occurs can be manipulated, made to work for us. As an example: There is a new manager at work. The change has been hard for everyone because the new manager is shaking things up, letting people go and causing disharmony. You need to keep your job and learn to get along with this individual but you don’t care for them at all. How can you make this change work for you?
Since this is a blog primarily about witchcraft, I would cast to “sweeten” the change. Send a bit of sugar to the new manager by baking a batch of magick filled cookies. Or better yet, cupcakes with sigils drawn in lemon juice on the paper wrappers, designed to sweeten and aid the manager to play well with others. Not a witch or magickal practitioner? The sweets will still work – just add extra love or prayers into the batter with the same intentions.
You get the idea. Work with the change, not against it. Stand up to change and show it who’s boss. Mold it, bend it into the change you desire – not just an arbitrary happening. Yes, change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to work against you. Change can be your friend, your ally. But when it is misbehaving – conquer it.
Embracing Your Bitch
We now come to the truly difficult part, embracing change in all her glory. We’ve learned that change is constant and doesn’t need to be scary. We’ve talked about how to manipulate and mold change. The next step, embracing change, is ultimately the most difficult. Why? Because we have been trained to fight change and not to really look at and understand it. As mentioned before, change is scary. We try running from it to only find that it is running with you. Stop running. Stand firm, breathe, and open your arms wide to change. Yes, it may knock you over a time or two, but you’ll bounce back up. Change is like that.
Making change your bitch isn’t easy. But it can and must be done in order to lessen our anxieties about the processes of change. By opening your arms wide and embracing change instead of fleeing from it, change loses its death grip on your psyche. The fear and anxious feelings have no place to fester and grow when you accept change and the possibilities it brings. Think about how much better you will feel by letting change happen or by knowing that you can make change work for you. Realize the freedom in change, the infinite potential change holds. Who’s your bitch now?
The next time change knocks on your door, open it and give that change a big hug. Or maybe give it a make-over so the change looks and fits better into your life. Change is constant, inevitable, and it will always be there. Why not learn to love that bitch and make her your best pal. Imagine the possibilities then.
Softly she walks, her feet skimming the cobbles along the path. She knows where she is going, guided by a combination of intuition and sheer will. Walking quickly she notices that the path has changed from pristine and clear to overgrown and broken. Undaunted, she stoops and begins pulling the weeds from the path. While this may slow down her progress. in the end, it will allow her to think, to contemplate on where she needs to go next. Looking to her left she sees another at work. You are there as well, pulling the weeds from your path. She smiles, waves, and continues on her way, leaving you with a hand full of weeds and a head full of questions.
This was the vision I had during a meditation this morning. I’d been contemplating whether I should continue down the life’s path I had chosen for myself, continue the work I have been doing. To say it has been a bit challenging lately would be an understatement. My creativity seems to be waning, my energy and enthusiasm levels are at a definite low, and I need a bit of direction. I cleared my mind, asked my questions and She appeared, along with the weeds.
Apparently even my visions have garden metaphors. No grandiose visions for me. No Goddess on a golden throne, no trumpets blasting or unicorns dancing. Nope. I get pathways and weeds. Gardens are kind of my thing so its no wonder it’s where my inner thoughts hang out. I get it. But I don’t have to like it.
Weeds from your Path as Questions – and Answers
Back to my original question about continuing along the path I’ve chosen for myself. What does it all mean, this pulling the weeds from your path? I can’t answer for everyone but for me it means that unexpected things are going to pop up now and again. Like the dandelion or stinging nettle that seems to always find its way through the cracks, so too do problems and incidents that at first seem to be a deterrent, a nuisance. You try yanking them out but they just return, stronger than ever. Toiling and sweating you just keep working away at ridding your path of anything you had not intentionally planted, yet the weeds remain, resilient and plentiful.
What would happen if we stopped fighting the “weeds” and instead looked deeper into the “whys” and “what ifs” behind their presence. Take Stinging Nettle for example. A tough little weed that stings and burns if you touch it. Yet treat it gently, pulling it up carefully from the stem or using gloves, and you can capture its benefits. Not just a nuisance, nettle is a powerful natural antihistamine, is chock full of potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Cooked it loses its sting and is a tasty addition to soups and stews. Nettle has changed from just a weed into a helper, something that could benefit us.
If I take a look at some of the weeds popping up along my path I begin to discern patterns and hidden advantages. The lack of energy is telling me that I need to rest, to regroup and take care of myself. The weed labeled “lack of creativity” is instead a dandelion of new ideas, waiting to flower. Don’t pull your weeds before taking the time to study them, contemplate and meditate on them. These weeds may be just what you need.
Clearing our Path
Not every weed is going to be beneficial. Some of them choke out the path – our ideas and purpose. These weeds need to go so we can move forward, continue our work. Weeding our path clears the way so we may walk swiftly, unhindered, towards the goals we set for ourselves. However, weed carefully. Don’t become so caught up in weeding your path that you forget to walk it. Sometimes it’s better to just to step over and around the weeds than to stoop to pull them. Keep your eye on your goals, your path, not just the weeds.
Take a few moments today to look at your own personal path. Do you have weeds to pull? Will these weeds help or hinder? Can you turn your weeds from pest to asset and make them work for you? Or will you ignore them and leave them to grow where they may?
As for me, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I have a path of my own that needs tending. Who knows, maybe we’ll pass each other along our paths, garden trowels in hand, pulling the weeds along the way.
Dreamers. People who dream, imagine and create help fill our world with wonder and invention. Our society would become stagnant, decay and crumble if it were not for those that dream big and then pursue those dreams. But sometimes even our dreams stall. They become an anchor weighing us down, an anchor we cling to regardless of the threat of drowning. When you feel as if your dream is taking its last dying breath, its time for a reality check.
Okay, I see that look and the not so subtle eye roll. A reality check? Really? But its a vision, a dream, something wanted, wished for, worked for. Dreams aren’t supposed to be based in reality, are they? Trust me, I do hear you and no, I am not here to discourage you from pursuing your dreams. Just the opposite, in fact. This article is here to give you encouragement to follow your dreams but also to assist you in making your vision a reality.
Together, we’ll take a hard look at identifying what you are trying to accomplish. We’ll discover what your vision actually is and how to nurture it. We will also take a hard look at what tools and experience you may need to make it happen. Included in this article are tips on how to get your dream back on track if it is stalled or even broken. By taking the time for a reality check you will be better able to keep moving your vision forward.
Reality Check #1 – Putting a Name to Your Dream
I feel that the number one thing that makes our dreams fail is that we don’t actually know what it is. We may say: “I want to write.”, “I dream of traveling more.”, “I want to start my own business.” Yet, we never actually define what the thing is. We don’t put a name on our dream.
For years I wanted to make Witchcraft my life, my work. I thought about, dreamed about it, but I never really put a name to it. At the same time, I wanted nothing more than to write and make a living with my writing. After years of my dreams stalling and never being realized, I finally put the pieces together. I put a name on my dream, Author.
This may sound overly simplified, but it changed everything. I had direction, a purpose. Both of my original visions now melded into one. I would make Writing about Witchcraft my life’s work. So how do you put a name on your dream?
Identify your dream. – Write it down. Start with the simplest version, perhaps “I want to be an artist.”
Define your statement. – Using the example above, define why you want to be a artist. Jot down all the reasons for why you feel you wish create art. Don’t think it through, just write it down.
Read out loud the reasons you just jotted down. Does anything on that list make you feel happy? Do you keep going back to a specific word or phrase over and over again? Perhaps the word “ceramics” keeps drawing your eyes back to it or an inflection in your voice is different as you say it.
Take that word or phrase and write it big and bold on a separate piece of paper. Place the paper someplace you won’t see it. Then leave it there.
In three or four days, take it out again. Speak the phrase or word out loud again. If it still resonates – you’ve placed a name on your dream.
Reality Check #2 -Nurturing and Feeding your Dream
Now that you have taken the time for a reality check and have defined and named your dream you can start (or restart) the process of nurturing and feeding it. This can be the most difficult part of keeping your dream afloat. Why? Generally it’s because when we dream we often forget that dreams take work. They may take specific knowledge and hands-on experience to bring them to fruition. We may think that we have all the skills we need to make our ideas a success, but even if we start with all the right knowledge, times change. You may have to refresh your knowledge base and skill sets from time to time to keep up with the latest trends. Below are a few ways you can nurture and feed your dreams.
Take a class – Sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at the resistance I find to that suggestion. Learn a new technique or revitalize an old one. If your dream is to be a tax consultant, take specific classes on the areas you are unfamiliar with.
Find a seminar in the area on your subject – Seminars are usually a one to two day commitment, can include a wealth of information and are usually fairly budget friendly.
Subscribe to a journal or magazine about your chosen dream – There seems to be a magazine, newsletter or journal for nearly every type of profession, calling, or job. Subscribing and reading these can keep you up to date on new trends, styles, tools and information.
Work on your dream – Every. Single. Day. If you aren’t nurturing it, it will fail. Even if its something small, like picking colors for a new glaze for your pots, do it.
Have a visual reminder of your dream – Place it some where you will see it often. A simple 3 x 5 card with a word written on it stuck to your bathroom mirror makes a great daily reminder.
Reality Check #3 – Resuscitating our Dreams
Let’s face it, even if we think we are doing everything can to make our dreams a success they can go under. We are then filled with disappointment, frustration and even grief. You may even feel a sense of relief when it fails if keeping the dream alive has become a burden instead of a joy. So how can we go about resuscitating our dream? What tools can we use to resurrect it from the rubble of mismanagement, indecision or indifference? While I can’t give you all the answers I can share some insights and tips that have helped over the years.
Is it indecision that is crippling your dream? If you can’t decide how to move forward you will never accomplish what you want. Being the consummate Virgo, I have lists for everything. Is it just because of my Virgo analities? Nope. It’s because they work. A list forces me to decide what I need, what tools and knowledge I require to move forward. A pros and cons list can aid you in deciding a new course of action for your dream – weighing the good and bad of what you wish to do. If you are still feeling indecisive after your list making, share them with a friend or friends. Perhaps a fresh perspective will aid you in making a decision.
If mismanagement is pulling your dream under then you may need to pick apart your current way of doing things and come up with a new, more innovative style. Let’s face it, if you’ve been writing a book for years but have never sent it off to a publisher, you are mismanaging (and self-sabotaging) your dream. If your dream involves creating art but you’ve never taken the time to research galleries or art shows to display it, you are mismanaging your dream. Resuscitate it by making the leap and calling that gallery to see of they’ll add you to the next showing. Get a literary agent and have them review and send solicitation to publishers to get that book out there.
Reality Check #4 – Identifying When a Dream has Gone
We’ve talked about ways to feed, nurture and if necessary, resuscitate our dreams. However sometimes we just can’t bring our dreams back, no matter how hard we try. We all change and grow. What once was a perfect vision, a dream to end all dreams, may look different a year from now and that’s okay. Our dreams, once so bright, shiny and exciting, no longer resonate, no longer serve us. How do we know when it is time to let it go? How do we identify when a dream is gone. We look for signs of neglect and decay.
If you’ve been neglecting your dream, ask yourself why? What has changed? Does it no longer feed my soul? Is it a lack of self-confidence that makes me put my dream aside instead of pursuing it? Did I jump into it without thinking it through? Does it still have meaning, importance in my life? Be honest with yourself. Don’t try to sugar coat it. If the thought of continuing to pursue this dreams makes having a root canal seem like a Sunday picnic, it’s time to let it go.
It’s okay. Continuing to try and rescue a dream that is already face down in the water is a waste of our time, effort and a drain on our physical and emotional health. Give it a funeral, a fabulous eulogy and send-off, grieve over it and then move on. Acknowledge the journey this dream took you on, relish the knowledge and insights it brought you, then release it.
No matter what your dream is, always be sure to check in on it regularly. Make time for a reality check weekly or monthly to keep yourself and your vision on track. By learning the signs of when to nurture and feed your dream you’ll be able to keep your vision afloat on your ocean of success. May all your wonderful dreams and visions become a reality!
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