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New Year’s Day 2014

I’ve burned away the things that I don’t want to be a part of my life anymore – I wrote them on small slips of paper and fed them one by one to a candle flame in a small cauldron on my altar.  (Don’t worry – I had a bottle of water open and within reach – the element of Fire and I occasionally have issues.) Part of today will be spent meditating on the things that I want to draw into my life to replace the things I burned away. (Nature abhors a vacuum – if you banish something you need to replace it or it will sneak back.)

I’m also starting some new traditions this year.

One is an idea that I got from Face Book – a gift jar.  Throughout the year, whenever something good happens, write it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar.  Then on December 31 open the jar and read them as a reminder of the good things in your life.

(I have done something similar in the past – when I feel stressed and hounded by negativity I keep a Gift Journal.  It’s just a small notebook in which I write at least one “gift” each day.  It doesn’t have to be something tangible – it can be a beam of sunlight through clouds, something someone says, the caress of a breeze, anything that gives your spirit a boost.  The point is that “energy flows where attention goes” and it’s so easy to only focus on the negatives and not see the positives.  Change focus, change events.  As within, so without.)

I’m also doing a challenge (along with some friends) to spend time every day doing something creative.  For me this means something in addition to writing, which I do just about every day anyhow.  I’m hoping that this challenge will result in some finished cross stitch projects this year.  (And also a start on a Book of Shadows – or at least my CookBook of Shadows…)

Part of that creativity challenge will involve crocheting my way through the stash of yarn in the basement. I’m not sure how we came to have so much of it, but I think that it’s time that it gets turned into afghans and donated to charity: a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter.

And, of course, there will be my ongoing work of becoming more focused on my spirituality on a daily basis, making it part of my daily life.

May all of you have a year filled with blessings.

So mote it be.

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Thanksgiving 2013

I had originally planned a post about reasons that I’m glad I’m Pagan, but that was before I realized that this is the day before Thanksgiving.

(Yeah, sometimes days get away from me…)

So instead I thought I would take this post to do the traditional listing of things I’m thankful for.

1) Friends: both online and in person. They keep me sane – most of the time.

2) Family: they may be a little a little hard to explain and things might be a little strained at times, but they are still there, and they are important.

3) Freedom: I live in a country where I am free to practice the religion I choose and to walk down the street unescorted, without having to answer to anyone – not all people are that lucky.

4) Paganism: I feel so much more at home on this path than I ever did as a Christian, and I am grateful to the forces that guided me home.

5) My deities: the way They impact my life, the way They have guided and protected and taught me, and simply for being so that I could find Them and know Them.

6) Internet: it makes job-hunting so much easier.  Plus, without it, I wouldn’t have some of the wonderful people who are a part of my life.

7) Creativity: writing, stitching, scrapbooking, all of the other hundred and one things I want to learn and do – they all help keep me sane. I really don’t understand people who have no hobbies other than television, who never feel the urge to create something. (I’m not judging them, I just don’t understand them.) (I don’t understand people who have totally spotless houses, either, but I sure wish I could be one of them!)

8) Home: I have a place to live, warm and dry and sheltered from the elements.  And I love it here – this apartment felt like home the first time I walked in the door to look at it.

9) Health: overall, I’m healthy.  Well, other than the fact that it’s bronchitis season.  (Oh, and that pesky weight thing, a.k.a. “the perpetual New Year’s Resolution.”)

10) Food: I love food (a little too much – see above) and I am grateful that I have enough to eat and the ability to cook it.

11) Clutter: yes, clutter. It means that I have more than I need, which means that I can help those who have less.  I have probably cut my wardrobe in half by donating clothes to charities, and I’m currently doing the same with books. (I have more clothes to go through too, but that’s going to wait until the next change of seasons.)  (It also means that I probably don’t need to spend money on craft supplies for the rest of my life.)

12) Sense of humor: yes, it’s warped and people don’t always understand it, but it allows me to revel in the ludicrousness of human behavior without being insulted (most of the time).

13) Imagination: without it I… The one thing I can’t seem to imagine is what it would be like to have no imagination.  It enriches my life in so many ways.

There are other things of course – those were just the first 13 things that popped into my head.  And just about each one of the above could be broken down into individual items, but that would leave me feeling a little overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with gratitude.