Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holidays approach

Snow blankets the ground all around me. I love this time of year, though this year I admit I'm a little down. Such a mixed bag of emotions at the holiday time. I think this is true for many of us.

We are approaching one of the busiest weeks of the year for us. We have 2 Winter Solstice celebrations to attend, a holiday party for our homeschool co-op and then Christmas Eve with my parents. To top it all off, we've barely begun our shopping.  I'm  looking forward to Christmas day - we spend it just the 4 of us and it'll be a peaceful fun down time after a week or so of craziness.

Jenn's passing has affected me more than I thought. I think of her daily and miss her terribly. She was the one friend I saw and spent time with on a regular basis. I have internet friends that I spend time with every week, but that is in the virtual world. With Jenn we were in physical proximity, with hugs and sharing space and conversation - looking in each other's eyes. I miss that.

I'm looking forward to interactions with others for these celebrations we'll be attending this weekend. I'm hoping that I don't get too overwhelmed and become anxious with lots of people around. I suffered from a inner ear problem a couple of years ago and was housebound for about 9 months then had some serious problems with depression, so I've lost my social skills over the last couple of years. I'm very awkward in group situations and sometimes one on one. Even with people I've known for years. I've changed a lot over the last couple of years and find it difficult to trust people - even the ones that have proven themselves trustworthy. I'm craving more socialization (as are my children) and we've made a start with our new co-op, but I'm missing some of the people from my past and wish that I had the strength and courage to reach out and let them know I'd like spend time with them. I'm too scared though - afraid of being rejected or of making a fool of myself - coming off too needy or just very awkward. So instead I stay home and knit - it's the only thing that really seems to give me purpose these days. Well that and being mom and wife.

All in all though, this has been a better dark time for me. In spite of losing a dear friend recently and dealing with some heavy duty family issues, I'm not feeling as down and depressed as I usually do this time of year. I'm a little down, but no where near as depressed as usual. I have a light to help treat my depression and I haven't been using it, but I don't feel like I need to. Now I just have to continue working toward a healthier body, getting some exercise and hopefully upping my energy level. The depression isn't bad, but I could use some more energy.

In other news......I'm thinking of opening an Etsy shop and selling some handmade goods. I was thinking of selling sweaters, fingerless gloves, cowls as well as some sewn things - bags of many sorts - reuseable tea bags, produce bags, shopping bags and reuseable gift bags. First I just have to get some things made up and then I can start selling. I don't know how successful it will be, but I really feel a need to contribute financially to our household and for reasons beyond my control I can't work outside the home right now. I knit all the time anyway, so maybe I can make some money from it.

I'm feeling blessed - I'm filled with gratitude for all I have in my life. My physical balance has returned and I'm striving toward better spiritual, mental and physical balance in my life and just that journey is something to be grateful for. I'm blessed with a loving family and loving pets with a rich spiritual life and a desire for more regular spiritual practice. I'm blessed with talents that help give my life more meaning and I sit here typing in front of a beautiful Christmas/Yule tree that brightens the room and fills my heart with hope. I'm lucky - clean water, heat, a roof over our heads, enough food in our bellies, the basic necessities of life as well as quite a few comforts. We may not be able to afford a lot of expensive gifts this year, but we have what we need and that is gift enough.

Monday, December 9, 2013

journeying on and exploring old paths

Hey everyone, it's been awhile, but I really haven't had a lot to say as of late. I think the darkness that has encompassed this part of the earth has me feeling a bit down - my energy level isn't real high and I seem to be tired a lot. I'm also experiencing some apathy right now. I'm doing a lot of knitting for Christmas/Yule gifts and find that I'm more excited about that than I am about Christmas and Yule themselves. I think I may still be mourning a bit. I'm trying hard not to beat myself up about it and just make the decision to be happy or excited and I find it's working pretty well.

Yesterday was a busy day for us. In the search for some passion and real feeling - I went back to my roots or rather a semblance of it. I've been really trying to connect with my Higher Power - the Great Spirit - the Goddess - God or any other name you prefer. My spiritual journey has been very varied over the years and this time of year I often feel a pull to go back to my roots - Christianity. Perhaps it's the plethora of Christian sentiment this time of year, but I have to admit, my own Paganism (yes that is how I spiritually identify) is very strong this time of year with the Winter Solstice approaching. This time of year it feels possible to combine the two - find a way to join my roots with my current Paganism. Not easy to do I can assure you - well not out in the world anyway - in my heart it all feels the same to be honest. Anyway, we as a family (parents more than children) decided to go to the local UU church yesterday. It was a lovely service - a large congregation and I even liked the pastor, but somehow I was disappointed. I couldn't tap into that place of spiritual ecstasy that I strive for and find in my personal practice. Not that the experience was bad, just not what I was hoping for.

I'm looking forward to Yule this year because I know my observance of this holiday will bring me to that spiritual plane I'm looking for. Of course just my mediation at home brings me there often. I'm blessed that way - I find it easy (most days) to just quiet my mind and find that link with Spirit.

After church we did some errands and then went and got our Christmas tree - we celebrate the Solstice as our spiritual holiday and Christmas as a secular holiday, so we have a Christmas tree though we interchange the term Yule tree quite frequently. Anyway we cut our own and out while looking for our tree this year, I found glimpses of that spiritual connectedness and ecstasy I was looking for in church. I was reminded once again that returning to the Earth and all Her goodness is the way for me to connect with my Higher Power. Why I need to constantly be reminded of this I don't know - I guess I'm just a little distracted by everyday life. It's interesting to me that I found "God" in a place other than church - not that S/He wasn't there - S/He was - I felt Him/Her in the presence of the people, but S/He was stronger in nature for me.

Now I think I just did some rambling there, but what it comes down to is, I'm lucky enough to find my Higher Power in simple places and right here in my own heart - I need to stop looking and start being with that Spirit

I'm sitting now in my living room in front of our lit Christmas/Yule tree with snow falling outside the window and Christmas carols playing on the computer and I feel so incredibly blessed. I'm a little overwhelmed with the feeling.

Anyway these are the thoughts that are going through my head today - I thought I'd share them with all of you as a way of experiencing them myself and clarifying what is going on with me in my own mind.

May the coming of the approaching Light bless each and every one of you.