All Things End in Time

Grief is the price of love.  It can be hard to bear, agonizing in its own special way.  It never truly leaves us, only scabs over.  A painfully slow desensitization to it until it fades into the background noise in your mind, waiting until something pulls our attention to it once more.

It is never truly gone, it just sinks down into the love that sparked it, coloring our memories. 

If you love something, and that thing goes away, you grieve.  The deeper the attachment to that entity you love just means that when those hooks were created they were set deep down in your soul.  That is a love that shakes you, one that clutches at your heart until you are fit to burst.  It makes sense the pain of their loss is felt just as deeply.   

My tears are a blessing, they marked the passing of something important.  It washes the soul of that entity clean and blesses them with the knowledge of one thing before they face the terrifying trek through the veil.  The knowledge they were loved.   

My tears also cleanse the wound left behind so I may begin to heal.  It may take weeks, months, decades before I recover enough to call myself healed.  I may never reach that point at all but I will tell you; the wound is worth it.  Having just gone through the pain of loss, to still feel it’s tight grip around my lungs and as someone who’s eyes are still wet with tears, yes, that wound may never heal, but it is absolutely worth it.   

Look, I don’t have to tell you life is hard.  Some days you wonder if you are gonna make it, if the pain you feel will ever end.  I know those depths all too well.  Life _hurts_.  But the joy, the deep sense of belonging, of comfort when you feel loved?  It is one of a very small set of things that make this life worth fighting for. 

Endure despite the pain, show them they are loved, the unknown is terrifying and they shouldn’t face it alone.

Rest in peace Inara, your suffering is over. Thank you for sharing your brief time in this world with me.

Living the Cause

I believe in a cause. The cause of making the world a better place than the day before. To raise the collective wyrd of the human race. I dedicated myself to this cause decades ago and the flame burns no less bright today.

I believe in service.

I believe the only way for my life to get better is to help better the world I live in. I believe that the tug of wyrd can bring down the gods themselves. If my community suffers, I suffer. This has come up more and more these days as I watch the American Empire fall. Things are only going to get worse for a lot more people, it’s time for me to face my fears and take my places among the community to help heal the wounded.

I am not a warrior, I do not seek to go a-viking. I am bound to Frigga first and foremost, my job is to make sure when the dust settles those who are broken and bruised can return home to a safe place to heal and continue the good fight another day.

To those that are called by the Norns to walk the warrior’s path please know that I am here for you. I am happy to hold a safe place for you as best I can. I will speak with the spirits and twist good spells for you. I will seek boons and forge a good alliance with The Powers That Be. I will teach you to find your own strength. You will be strong so you are prepared for the challenges to come. I will do this for you so long as you honor my boundaries and remain a good guest. May my boundaries keep out all those who would break the frith of the community and destroy our good work.

My call is to serve, but that does not make me any less vital to the cause. Service is not weakness. Strength is required to follow this path.

To Frigga
Hail to Frigga, wise and knowing goddess,
great lady of Asgard, mistress of Fensalir,
whose guiding hand pulls order from chaos,
whose keen eye sees the patterns of existence,
whose presence makes our footing firm.
Beloved Frigga, fair one, judicious one,
wary and watchful, perceptive and aware,
guardian of children, defender of family,
holder of harmony, heart of the home,
we thank you for your blessings. Hail Frigga!

Hearth and Field: A Heathen Prayer Book
By Hester Butler-Ehle

Cold and Flu Season

It’s cold and flu season!  The weather is cooling off, pumpkin spice lattes are out in full and pharmacies are stocked with flu shots!

Speaking of which, have you gotten your flu shot yet?  Now is the time!

If you do happen to find yourself weighed down by the horrors of the sick season, there are a few things you can do to help ease the symptoms and support your immune system.

1. Eat right. Making sure you get the nutrients you need to sustain function is vital.  Your body is working hard to fight off the infection, make sure to support it by providing it the energy it needs to continue the fight.  Chicken noodle soup is actually a good choice!   A 2000 study suggests chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that help lessen the severity of respiratory infections. Chicken soup and other warm liquids, such as hot tea, help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.

2. Hail Hydrate!  Make sure you are getting your fluids!  The last thing you need is to get dehydrated while you are feeling miserable.

3. Rest.  No really.  I know in this day and age of limited PTO or unpaid sick leave it is really hard to take time off when you are sick.  I get it.  But if you can take the time off, do so.  You will need to focus that energy on getting better.

4.  Hygiene is important. If you can’t take the time off to rest (and even if you can!), make sure to wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and a good soak in the bathtub helps to clear your airways.

There are essential oils that can help to ease some of the symptoms that can be used during an illness.  Check out Up-Nature.com for more information and some handy recipes to use at home!

1. FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL

Frankincense essential oil has remarkable rejuvenating and healing properties. It has natural cold-fighting properties, such as antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties which make it an ideal essential oil for treating a cold or the flu. Frankincense is also useful for reducing anxiety which can help with worrying about missing work or important events when you get sick.

2. OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL

Oregano is a super powerful antiviral and antimicrobial essential oil. In fact, a recent study shows that oregano essential oil dramatically reduces symptoms of upper respiratory ailments including coughs and sore throats.

3. EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL

Eucalyptus essential oil comprises about 72% eucalyptol making it an efficient remedy for chesty coughs and to ease breathing.

*Do not take eucalyptus essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.

4. TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL

Tea tree essential oil contains antiseptic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Using this essential oil for colds is excellent for diminishing coughs, bronchial congestion and sore throats. Tea tree essential oil is also an excellent, natural disinfectant, so you can use it to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.

*Tea tree essential oil can be a mild sensitizer, so be sure to perform a patch test before using it for the first time.

5. LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL

Lemon has long been considered a cure-all fruit and essential oil, especially for treating the flu and for reducing fevers. Furthermore, lemon essential oil also is a great treatment for fatigue as it is an energizing essential oil.

Lemon essential oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which not only makes it ideal for fighting viruses, but also for reducing cold and flu symptoms such as coughing, congestion, swollen glands and bodily aches and pains.

Another remarkable thing about lemon essential oil is that the oil is found right in the peel of the lemon. You can cook with the peels or rind, and use the peels as a room disinfectant by placing the peels right in your fireplace and burning them to release the oils and aroma. You can also add them to a pot of boiling water and allow the steam to escape into the room.

*As a citrus based oil, lemon oil is phototoxic, so avoid using it if you are heading outdoors into the sunlight.

Hippy Dippy Feelings Post

SadnessI talk about mental health and self care a lot.  It’s a favorite topic of mine, honestly.  I tend to focus on self care, tools we can use to combat stress and anxiety, and affirmations that things do get better.

Occasionally, I’ll see a sarcastic meme about self care.  Watch someone roll their eyes when they talk about ‘those crazy people’.  Sometimes I’ll watch as someone gets lambasted because they shared something they were struggling with, watch as they are told they are just doing it for attention.  I’ve been lucky that none of my friends have said it to me, but some folks apparently feel the need to be disrespectful to those who are suffering because they don’t understand.

Seeing that always breaks my heart.

I don’t talk about my anxiety to garner attention. (There is SO much more out there that should catch your attention. Seriously, if you haven’t noticed the world is in a bit of an uproar, I’m positive you can find something worthwhile to focus on.  There is plenty for you to choose from.)  No, I don’t talk about my struggles, my frustrations, because I want pity. I talk about it because I know so many people who suffer the same. I see it in my friends, I see it in society, I see it all throughout history.  We all are dealing with anxiety, self defeating talk, self harm and a whole host of other mental health issues.  By talking about my own struggles, by letting those who are currently living in the darkness of depression know I understand what they are going through, I can help them to feel less lonely.

Most people want to experience connection.  Most folks just want to be understood.

I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life.  But it came to a head in 2014 when I started having massive anxiety attacks.  These attacks would leave me in agonizing pain and sometimes resulted in blackouts.  It was a seriously scary time.  Knowing I was not alone was the only thing that helped me learn my coping mechanisms, it was the only thing that kept me sane. Knowing that while I suffer, I suffer with some damn fine people and that despite their suffering they were still amazing people.

That simple realization changed my perspective on a lot of things.  Suffering doesn’t make you a bad person.  How you react to that suffering determines that.

So yes, I talk about my brain weasels a lot. More than I am comfortable sometimes. But if it helps, if it shines a light for someone lost in darkness to give them hope… I’ll keep talking.

For those who are suffering; You are not alone, I see you, I understand.

 

Quiet Saturday Musings

Vedis sat in silence, surrounded by books deemed ancient by today’s standards.  The soft hum of the electric lights still put her on edge so she settled for several candles scattered around her library when she was alone.  She had been lost in silence for so long, alone even among her brothers and sisters.  Lucifer had ruled by fear once he had fallen, losing sight of the creature he once was when bathed with holy light.  That isolated her even more, was it any wonder why she clung to humanity so tightly?  Seeking a single moment of pleasure that would remind her of what she had once been?  But pleasure is fleeting, and she could not hide within it any longer.

It was Llwyd who had finally raised her up, his love, his power, wild and deep, pulling her from her tormented depths into something resembling forgiveness.  She closes her eyes, listening to the voices of the Host as if a child lost in the sounds of it’s mother’s voice.  She didn’t bother focusing upon the words, songs of praise, songs of power, little whispered words to the scared and uncertain.  She simply reveled in the sound of it.  Order upon chaos.  Her bonds broken with a simple word from the Creator, she knew she was no longer trapped in this strange modern world.  She knew that she could leave any time.  But she had given her word, and it had saved her.  She would help Isabella, now known as Emma.  She could fix the past if she had to, but she knew the cost of such a powerful act.  Nothing ruins realities more than messing with their timelines, and once such as herself spanned so many timelines.

She sighs, a gentle sound that slips, lost, into the silence.  She had a few more hours before her first assignment with Llwyd’s strange modern day company.  She had no doubt that she would be useful to the humans they serviced.  Their needs complicated, but easy enough to handle.  She was a Watcher now, after all, it was her job to bring enlightenment to the masses.  A new path, perhaps, but one she was happy to walk.

She smiled as Llwyd walked in, his form shimmering at the sight of her, the intensity of his gaze curling her lips in a smile.  They would have to keep up the masquerade for a while longer but when they were alone together all the glamour faded away.

She finally felt the loneliness seep from her bones, after eons wandering, she finally felt as if she had come home.

Temptation of Immortality

(Written by myself and Matthew, the player of Alastair.  This is a character study long past their time in Second Life.  Thank you Matthew, I appreciate the stories you and I have shared.)

She appeared before him, stepping from the shadows of the corner of his study.  Ancient books set among flickering firelight weighed down the heavy shelves that lined the wall.  He knew her form well, soft pale curves carved from porcelain perfection. She was made of shadow and light, a monochrome specter save for the long locks of crimson curls framing deep black eyes.  

He let out a startled gasp when he saw her, his eyes going wide.  She smiled when she saw a ripple of surprised lightening shimmer across his eyes.  

“Good to be remembered.” She murmured, her true voice was madness to hear, echoing wildly of the moaning masses of her demonic domain.  He had heard it before, oh so many years ago.

“Ach… ‘ow could ah forget?”

His voice was nothing like she remembered, gone gruff with age.  How many years has it been? 40? 400? Time had been so slippery between them.  His long black hair gone thin and grey, though he never lost that boyish gleam in his eyes.  That bright spark of curiosity that had so drawn her to him, despite him being trapped upon the mortal coil.  Even his godlike powers could not keep time from his bones. Thunder eventually goes silent and storms only exist so long as there is a planet on which to have them.

She was larger than that, her being cast out over the entirety of creation, her death was still such a painfully long time yet to come.  Inhuman black eyes trail over him as he struggles to his feet, the grip of age is heavy upon his joints yet he still manages to leap up from his chair to greet her on his feet- old hands that held some of the rarest mysteries of the world, now clinging for dear life to an oak cane.   

She gathers herself from shadows, drawing light into her flesh as she steps further into the room.  Darkness clothes her and she flicks her two twin tails slowly behind her, a small sad smile curling her lips at the sight of him.  

“Oh Alastair,” she whispers, “You know I can ease your burden.  I can pull you from the mortal coil, We could be together until the cosmos returns once more into the arms of the Void.” Her fingertips brush his cheek, a gentle caress of past affection.  

He looks at her for a very long time, memories of their time together flashing through his mind.  His chuckle rumbles low, a reminder of the power he wields vibrating through the air between them. A little shake of his head flits strands of grey down over his shoulders.

“Ah Vedis, Ya really dinae know wha its like due ya?  I’m not mean’t ta live f’ever. Heck! I’m not even certain I want to!” He straightens his shoulders and pulls on his vest down with a jerk.  He still had that aura of strength about him. Despite the years between them, he was still the god of the storm. His energy snapped and crackled in the air between them, lifting his hair up from his shoulders, nearly floating it back into place.  “Look Lassie, ya know I love ya, I cannae help but ta love ya till ma grave. Tha’s jus’ it, d’ya see?”

Leaning on the cane, he pulls up the sleeve of his robe revealing the marks. The tattoos pulsed with the fury of the storm, still visible- even unnaturally dark- against the aged skin of the old Scot.

“In mah life… what all ah’ve done… ah’ve held more time than ah should’ve, and more power than mos’ men imagine. Fer all a tha’… there’s a price t’pay. An’ ah pay mah debts, lass.”

His eyes meet hers again, and he gives her a wan smile. “We both know it canna’ happen, lass. We ‘ad our high times… beautiful ones.”  The flicker of pain that tightens his lips doesn’t go unnoticed by the demoness. “Ah’m tired of seekin’ more. ‘Ventually, the Dhoo’ll come fer me… or Le Baron- tho’ ah don’ think ah’m in ‘is jursidiction. D’ye know… I’ve met w’ Death so many times now- should ah be scared when it comes roun’ one las time?”

He shakes his head softly and runs a thumb over her the back of her perfect, porcelain hand.  “But m’time is runnin’ up, Vedis.”

She nods reluctantly.  “This is love.” She sighs with a wistful smile.  “I thought it a lost memory, but I remember why I have come to hate it.”

His gaze softens, “Vedis, ah will always love you- but ah’ve Lorelei, an’ our boy, Dougal.  They are everything ah ever wanted, lass. S’ a happiness tha’…” he struggles for a moment, trying to find the right words, “Ah couldn’a have had any other way…”  He prays she understands.

Her gaze drops and she nods, she would never be the one who could give him what he needed, she knew that all to well.  “I just hate to see you suffer so.”

He waves it away, “A small price t’pay for all ah’ve seen and done.  A small price t’pay for the memories that ah carry with me now.” A slight wince as he turns to the window, and chuckles. “‘Ere… y’remember tha’ idiot dragon that crashed yer castle?” He looks down at the marks again- a sigh rattles in his chest.  She snorts in amusement.  

“Agin’ ain’t s’bad, lass.. Ah’ve got all these memories t’keep me company. S’ the stories, Vedis- y’ unnerstand? Folks hear th’ stories… and they remember.”

She cocks her head, “Stories are no match for reality.  At best they become legend, at worst they fade into time.” She steps up, resting a hand upon his shoulder, she seemed so small for such a vast entity, “I can keep you writing your stories.” She smiled up at him, the glimmer of crimson tears dancing in those pitch black eyes. “I keep age’s cold grip from your bones.”

Alaster smiles and pats her hand, walking her over to sit near him on the couch.
“Ah lass…if’n there anythin’ ah’ve learned from a life of finding legends- s’that they’re th’ single bes’ way fer a man t’be immortal. Y’ still drink tha’ ol tea you liked? Ah might ‘ave some round here…”

Laughter bubbles up from her throat, eyes twinkling “You were always one to have tea with the strangest of creatures.”  She shifts and the shadows shift with her. She settles down on the couch, her movements as graceful as ever. “Magicians and fools don’t fear death, and you have never been a fool, Alastair.”

The old face splits into a wide grin- it was always good to see her laugh. “Ach, yer kind t’say so… “ With a grunt, he stoops and drops the last few inches into his armchair. “OOF! … Ahh, but per’raps it was foolishness kep’ me alive all those times.” He reaches over to the small end table and tips out two small tumblers of scotch. “Nah.. Death was never a true enemy t’me, lass” he murmurs, offering her one of the glasses. “Fate, though… tha’ was always a bitter pill t’swallow.”

Her fingers curl around the glass as she watches him behind cool eyes, “I am not known for my kindness and I hope you don’t take my offer as anything of the sort.”  She pauses to look down at the glass, the amber liquid swirling within. “You were the only one who took me on my own terms, you treated me as more than just a Demoness.”  Her gaze is drawn back up to his. “I never understood why.” Her smile was wry. “You were so smart, so cunning, yet your kindness never wavered. Even when I showed you none.”

Alaster sipped the liquor through pursed lips, intently enjoying the smooth, smoked peat aroma. He raised an eyebrow, a small smile of his own appearing behind the glass. “S’tha’ wha’ immortalities good for, then? Pertendin’ y’ don’ have qualities ah know y’ do?” He set the glass down gently- he doesn’t trust his fingers to hold their grip for so long. “Y’ said yerself, lass- tha’s love. Cleverness is well an’ good… s’what y’ do with it tha’ matters mos’.” He shrugs slightly. “Y’ were never jus’ a demoness, Vedis- no’ t’me any way.” He smiled. “Ye’ could be a right terror… b’ ah never once doubted ye were capable of goodness an’ kindness. Tha’ was enough.”

Her tails would curl and uncurl by her thigh as she watched him, her fingers playing over the top of her glass.  “Then come with me, Alastair.” She scoots forward on the seat suddenly, setting her half finished drink aside. “I could show you such sights, worlds beyond your imagining.  Come with me and watch your grandchildren and your great grandchildren thrive.” She pins him with an intent stare, knowing full well she could simply escort him away, but giving him the respect not to.  “Just say the word and I will ease your pain.”

He studies her for a moment- he’s seen that look on her face before. Reaching over, he picks up his glass again in silence. After a sip, a deep sigh comes up instead of words. “Y’ make it sound wonderous, lass… an’ per’raps a part of me would want it. But… “ He pauses again- the old doctor in him trying to choose the right words. “Lass… d’ ye ever go down t’ the sea anymore?”

She blinks, nodding slowly, “When I can, when it’s safe.”

Alaster nods. “Aye… d’ye no’ sometime watch the sun go down into the horizon? See the sky change’s colours, the clouds turn t’ wafts o’ pink an’ purple in th’ golden light?” He leans back, picturing it in his head as he speaks. “Supposin… suppose the sun never set. Suppose y’ could make the skies blue forever… or suppose y’ could wave yer ‘and, an’ make that sunset stay jus’ as it is, fer as long as y’ like… ‘ow long would ye hold it, lass?”

“S’because the sunset ends and night comes they’re so beautiful.. It means y’ can wake up early an’ see a sunrise. Science an’ all ‘as told us where those colors come from- told us wha’ the clouds are made of, an’ how the sun works an all… but it don’ make it less beautiful fer that moment, Vedis, y’see? If ye get rid o’ th’ moment though… s’just scenery.”

Crimson curls frame her face as she looks into the flames of the fireplace, her dark eyes shimmering with the light of a thousand stars.  She knows full well that everything has a time, everything has its moment before disappearing into the crazy chaos that is the end. Immortality is just a matter of living longer than everyone else.  She closes her eyes, fighting fate to the end. When she opens them once more she offers him a smile. “You always were so stubborn. You strove to answer your own questions, to search out your own mysteries.  I loved the way you stopped to watch the sunset when we went on our adventures.” She looks out the window, something shifting around her.

She stands, uncurling from the couch slowly.  “If this is what you wish. Then this is my gift to you.”  She leans over and cups his aged cheek, her smile kind, despite the sharpness of her teeth.  “I shall remember you, dear friend. Until the darkness takes me once more. I hope that wherever you end up, you are happy.” She smirks and straightens, “I hereby declare you banished from my domain, and the domain of my brothers and sisters.  Your soul shall find no admittance into the infernal realms.” Finally, a singular kindness from the queen of the damned. “May your journeys bring you peace, Alastair. You deserve nothing less.”

Alaster can’t help but chuckle at the ceremony of it all. “Ach.. Kicked out of Hell, is it? Well, m’mother should be QUITE disappointed… she was always convinced ah’d wind up there- though ah ‘magine the neighbors’d be less than pleased t’see me.” Setting down his glass, he stiffly rises again, his hand cupping Vedis’s smooth, ageless cheek- a thumb brushing away whatever hints of tears may have been there. “Thank ye, lass. We’ll remember each other- that’ll b’ enough immortality fer both of us, hmm?”

An echoed laugh, and the warm sensation of a kiss upon his lips and she fades one more from view.  “It will be enough for me.” She murmurs before leaving him once again, alone in his study.

April’s Delights!

Dugan Cover website Large

If you aren’t following Dugan Apothecary on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you are missing out on some of my neat upcoming projects.

New Product!

I am working on making eye shadow kits.  Having a hard time finding just the right color?  I can help with that too!  Eye shadow available in compressed and loose powder, if there is interest I can include eye shadow creams as well!

Scent of the Month!

I have so many wonderful scents to share with you!  They will all be available as a beard balm, beard oil, lotion bar, and whipped body butter.  I will be posting more about this in a separate post so stay tuned!

Subscription Boxes!

I am looking at opening a Patreon for Dugan Apothecary!  Patreon will work wonderfully for my subscription boxes!  Sign up for the $25 or more level on Patreon and each month you will receive a box chock full of fun products!  Lotion bars, beard balms, beard oils, serums, whipped body butter, therapeutic oils, eye shadow, it changes every month so you can try out products you wouldn’t normally think to try!

Dugan’s Dapper Box (unisex) – You will have access to our full line of products! Lotion bars, beard balms, beard oils, serums, whipped body butter, therapeutic oils, eye shadow and any future offerings.

Dandy Dudes – You will have access to products that may interest those of the masculine variety! Lotion bars, beard balms, beard oils, whipped body butter, therapeutic oils, and any future offerings.

Delightful Dames – You will have access to products that may interest those of the feminine variety! Lotion bars, serums, whipped body butter, therapeutic oils, eye shadow and any future offerings.

I am still working out the kinks on the boxes, but if you are interested in subscribing, let me know and I will send you an email directly when they are up and running!

Find Your Moons

Perfection is a lie.

This last week has been a trial. I fell into a well of depression and anxiety that was crippling. I am blessed my work allows me to have weeks where I can work in fits and bursts because I was so swallowed by darkness I was barely functional.

During these times I don’t do trancework, I don’t perform Seidhr. I lay my offerings at the feet of the Gods and I hold on tight.

Most marketing professionals will tell you to keep things light. People don’t want to hear about your suffering when they look at your page and to an extent I agree. There is plenty of suffering in this world, why add to it?

Because by avoiding the conversation we stigmatize it. We isolate those who suffer. By always putting forth a positive face and a smile you lie to those who need the truth.

Life is hard. There is little we can do to change that truth, but there is so much we can do to soften it. Compassion and kindness go a long way to making life an easier burden to bear. Having a community, a tribe to help you bear the burden is vital. Knowing that others have suffered as you have suffered, and survived, helps you to survive too.

I am blessed by wonderful friends who are more than happy to reflect my light back to me when I cannot see it myself. Their kindness and compassion, their stories of survival make it easier to focus on the end of the tunnel when the darkness will fall away once more and my light will shine out again. My moons. My saviors. I know I can depend on them because they know that I will do the same for them when the time comes.

I am feeling better, not perfect, but as I said, perfection is a lie.

When the darkness falls around you, may you find yourself surrounded by many moons to help light your way back home.

Some Advice from the Wounded

2017.10.18 - Weeping AngelsI don’t have to tell you life is hard.  You know that.  Hell, most of you are living that.  I get that.  I understand.  That struggle is real, it holds you down, holds you hostage.  You feel like you are so much better than you are achieving, or perhaps you simply yearn for a break in the clouds of oppressing circumstances.  Whatever, you know the feeling I’m talking of.  Life hurts sometimes.

It’s at those moments when we are at our weakest point, when our long struggle has us questioning every choice we have ever made, that the soft whispered lies that come from the darkness within begin to overwhelm us.

“I can’t do this anymore…”

“I’ll never get out of this shitty job.”

“I’ll always be alone.”

They linger far longer than any of us would like, months, years, heck, if you let it, a lifetime.  It sucks.

But life is a process.  We are designed to be tested.

This doesn’t lessen the pain, but instead works as a focus.  It gives you something upon which to move, a way to gird yourself and walk through the pain on to something better.

This pain you feel?  These trials that you face?  They are not the end.  They are not who you are.  You are more than that.  You are greater than that.  You have a strength you didn’t even know you had until you look back upon your tribulations and see just how far you have come.

It is easy to listen to the lies your brain tells you.  I see it in my friends from all walks of life.  I see it in the climate of the United States at large. (Damn right I’m getting political, just because I don’t post about it a lot, doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. People have been shouldering a great burden for years.  This darkness has gotten pretty widespread.)  But this is a process.  We will push through.  We just have to work through it.  The birthing pains of a new life, a new job, a new outlook, a new world, they hurt, but they bring us just that much closer to something amazing.

I would like to share my experiences on surviving these birthing pains.

  1. Stop.  Take a deep breath, and center yourself.  You aren’t going to do you or anyone else any good if you are overly emotional or hysterical.  Fully accept that this is a test of your character.  The only thing you can control is how you respond to it.
  2. Take hold of that thing of which you can control.  Your response to those things bringing you down.
    1. Anxiety, do what you can to be kind to yourself then sit back and ride the wave.  You should have tools that help you to manage it, use them. If you don’t have them, find some.  Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself for using them.
    2. Life stress, brainstorm a plan, don’t worry about the details yet.  In the world you live in today, right now, where would you like to be in life, what type of person would you like to be?  Be realistic but take a moment to focus in on the best idea, the one that would bring you most joy, plan out a way to get there.
  3. Take Action!  Make sure you have a toolbox of healthy coping tools, make the changes in your life that lead you towards a better existence.  Even if they are baby steps they are still worth taking.  Moving forward allows you that small pulse of comfort.  You don’t have to be a prize fighter to win a war.  So long as you are moving forward, you haven’t given up the fight.  The weight you bear is heavy, but that doesn’t mean you cannot move with it on your shoulders.
  4. Create a support group!  Life was not meant to be lived alone.  Find others who can help you when the darkness gets too much to bear.  The load is a little lighter when carried by friends.  Be careful who you trust, but don’t give up trusting all together.  We are all fighting our own battle, it’s good every now and then to take a moment and sit at the fire with friends, to disengage from the war with people who understand how to refill your tanks.
  5. Give it time!  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  A big change takes a while.  Takes even longer when you are dealing with more than one person.  There will be good days and there will be bad days.  On the bad days, go back to step one.  You aren’t starting over, you are confirming your intentions and as all witches know, intention is key to great spellwork.

If this advice works for you, fantastic, if it doesn’t, find a better way, share it.  Promote compassion and kindness.

The world really needs it right now.

 

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holiday 2017.png

May you find peace and contentment in the coming year.

I say that, and I mean it, but it always sounds so trite.  The world is in chaos right now in a multitude of different ways, and this coming year is going to be a hard one for so many people.  But together we are stronger, community is vital for the survival of the species, even if that ‘species’ is your local geeks or writers.  Human beings are social creatures, and with friends, everything is just that much easier.

So while I know life won’t be full of rainbows and roses, I can hope that whatever may come, you can find peace with it in your heart, and a contentment in your actions.