Small Steps

Hard times. But I am moving.

Today, I have a cold. Sneezing, coughing, battling to keep warm (or cool), headachey… brain too furry to do much. Plans put by the wayside as I return to bed.

But something shifts in me, as I sit and think. 

In recent times, my head has been almost suffocated by the thick fog of negative thoughts. But with recent medication changes, I’m starting to see clarity again. The fog is thinning. My lovely doctor is thrilled that my natural smile is returning.

I’m finding myself again. I walk around this house, where I’ve lived for ten years now. My home, with my wee family. Full of the stuff of our lives: physical things holding unique memories, but also games played on the stairs with kittens, pups rolling around on the rug, hugs and laughter in every room…

When that black fog (dog?) rolls in, my tactics are now taking effect. I light a candle for focus and brightness. I burn sweet incense to remind me of magic and ritual. I walk barefoot across the wooden floors, wrap myself in blankets I knitted, immerse myself in stories that engage…

I write random thoughts to share, for those who may feel as I do. To prove that I can still express myself, create, speak up – that my mind is my own. This is me. I’m still moving. It is possible.

The cold germs force rest. With every sneeze, badness is spat out and my head clears (briefly!). I trust that my body does its thing and evicts the toxic, as I am trying to do with the unhelpful thoughts. 

I reach out with my words… magic from the tips of my fingers, to reach you.

And I smile as I imagine you reading. 

Much love, my friends.

Self-Care Playlist

Today was… difficult. So, I got through with thanks to:

A sweet, funny movie: ‘The Final Girls

A simple but decent urban fantasy book: ‘Black Magic Woman

Knitting that’s complex enough to engage, but not frustrating: ‘Urdr

A podcast that makes me laugh out loud: ‘The Weekly Planet

Catching up with fun and familiar characters saving the world: ‘The Flash

Not being afraid to take time under blankets when necessary.

And puppies who realized something was wrong, and tag-teamed me with hugs all day:

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Now feeling more able to breathe. Hopefully I’ll do a little more tomorrow.

Voices

Today… inspiration, but also gratitude. I am thankful and deeply touched by the voices of those who read my words.

Creative folk will know how hard it can be to expose your work to the world. I’m often nervous about doing so, but take a deep breath and press the button to Save or Publish, before the doubt gets overwhelming.

The words I’ve received in return have been so wonderful.

Today was a hard day. I fought, but was unable to stop a watery meltdown this morning. This was fixed by Himself being fantastic (as always), but also by the ‘ping’ of comments arriving from my blog posts. And an unexpected gift from one very special lady. 

The Universe hears us, of this I am sure. Too many times, far beyond coincidence, the perfect thing has appeared, precisely when needed. This actually set me off again, tearing up – but now in happiness, overwhelmed with awe at the generosity and love stretching across the internet. 

I do what I do because my words find connection. I speak my truth, because to do any less would dishonour you, the reader or listener. Please know that I am so very thankful for you all.

The flame of my inspiration is rising. The breath of many keeps it alive xxx

Wrapping

Many years ago, not long past the very beginning of my Druidry journey, I saw a priestess at work. Prior to a ritual of passing, she sat at a riverside, shawl draped over her head. Utterly at peace, preparing for what was to come.

I’ve heard of many modern-day Priestesses who do this. I usually wear a shawl or scarf of some sort, and have been applauded happily by fellow non-Pagan chaplains for being a woman with her head-covering prepared if necessary. It can be a sign of respect, but also an act of protection. Literally covering the head to enter the right ‘head-space’.

Last year, I was recommended a site called ‘Wrapunzel‘, which is run primarily by Jewish ladies who wanted to share their love of beautiful wraps and allow other women to practice their faith and not look dull while doing so. Nowadays, the Wrapunzel Facebook group plays host to women of all faiths and none, ladies undergoing chemotherapy or other illness… those who simply wish to stand in their womanliness while having their head covered. For whatever reason.

I’ve met lovely new friends on there, Pagan and otherwise, and while still exploring my own practice regarding wraps (ie still practising getting the things on and looking good!), I’ve found this so useful when alone and preparing for ritual – as in that original circumstance, back when I was witness only.

Many modern Pagans wear hoods on their robes. ‘Hoodies’ are common on the high street. The act of wrapping, whether tichel or hijab, can be a political statement. Or it can be a consolation, a ‘head hug’ (love that term!). Our ancestors did this, in virtually every culture, and now so do we.

Today, it struck me as inspiring. A woman wishing to add to her beauty and be proud. This video is a ‘How to‘, one of many on this YouTube channel, but made me smile so much this morning, just from the simplicity of the act but also how happy the lady looks once she is done and ready to face the day.

And then, in a local charity shop, I found a pretty glittery green scarf for £2. Perfect. Now to keep practising…