We have had an incredible run of mild weather. For weeks we have been able to turn the air conditioning off at night and sleep with the windows open, waking in the morning deliciously chilled and refreshed. I have fallen asleep to the sound of the neighborhood owl calling late into the night and have smelled the recent arrival of a skunk. Birdsong is my snooze alarm (I am notorious for hitting the snooze 3 or 4 or 5 times before actually waking up!) along with the distant whirl of a lawn mower tending to the golf course grass.
(Did you not know we live off of a golf course? It would be more picturesque to say a wild wood abutted our property or even a farm or fields but alas, for wide open space I had to settle for the rattle and hum of golf carts. Cowgirl is amassing a booty of stray balls that she plans to sell for our fortune and which,perhaps, will fund our retreat to wilder spaces.)
Life with open windows - that is how I think about my world these past few months. Three months and a handful of days since I checked out of the daily grind that was my "normal" job. But it was not normal to work in a space where the windows did not open. There were times when I would press my hands against the glass, recalling William Styron's memoir on his depression, where he gives the vivid description of feeling like he was trapped in a room with the windows and doors sealed shut, and it is becoming increasingly hotter and hotter, and he would do anything to escape the sensation of being smothered.
Now that I have windows that open (and close - symbolizing healthy boundary maintenance) I understand how my previous situation slowly eroded my confidence and sense of power and self worth. Having some distance and fresh air in my life, I am able to understand I am on a journey to reclaim what had drained away from me and more importantly, to appreciate that this process will take time and effort.
These past few months have been the best of times mixed with some low moments. Not the worst of times, but challenging times. While I anticipated clunky moments adapting to being at home, I was blissfully unprepared for the lapses in my confidence and the assault to my sense of trust and faith in things working out as long as I do my part. I still believe that; but part of my real work is realigning myself - my attitude and spirits - with what I choose to belief about life and meaning and purpose.
I would say this is how I practice magick on a daily basis. Not casting spells with dried toad tongues or uttering incantations in Latin or Celtic; but regularly sitting still, giving space and time to acknowledge the voices of fear and doubt that swirl madly in my head and then to gently send them on their way as I usher back in what I believe to be true and possible within myself and my life. The magic is me showing up, every day to face my gremlins and to manifest my justice league of inner superheroes and heroines.
The magic is acknowledging the gifts of abundance that come my way every day:
conversations with neighbors when deeper secrets and joys are revealed; the box of cucumbers by the mailbox with a sign "for free"; the cool morning breeze kissing my skin as I water the tomato plant, heavy with fruit; the nighttime story book adventure about a girl and her dragon; my girl and her dragon egg incubating in the fairy mail box (it is due to hatch tonight on the full moon!); and this, my wondrous drying rack that I set out every day on my patio, in defiance of neighborhood covenants outlawing laundry lines.
My small gesture of rebellion is also my five minute warm-up as I ease my way into slowing down and showing up. As one of my teachers explains: what I put on my altar is my life - that is my practice. Inquiring deeply into the nature of things and through practice - through showing up - testing the accuracy of that view and adjusting it as my understanding and awareness evolve. This moment, this being me, is all I have. It is my north star and every day I make the conscious choice to follow it.
Join with me in an inquiry into the structures, support and challenges of practice. Enjoy the support of community to experiment and experience The Gift of Practice. I am offering a free counsel session when you sign up by August 24 as part of an early bird registration thank-you.