In the Company of Yin

cover yin yang

There was a time in my life (in that maiden to mother phase) when I naturally fell into a routine of caring for my mate and child, spending more of my time on them than on anything else.  It’s easy to do and I think many American women can identify.

Your girlfriends are in the same stage and it’s easy to let those friendships fall by the wayside.  It’s easy to allow yourself the joys of family and immerse yourself in your relationship with a significant other.  With the exception of lesbian couples, this is almost always a male dominated time in one’s life.

Family

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I know, for me, it was a time to explore the Animus side of my own psyche.  I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to put myself in my husband’s shoes, in order to better understand him.  It was part of my endeavor to be a good wife/partner in our relationship.  And much of this time in my life was worthwhile and valuable and enjoyable.

But something was still missing.  I realized, one day, that so much of my life revolved around Husband and Family that I no longer had strong bonds with women.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I ever had.  I seemed to hold a belief in the back of my mind that I’d always identified more with men anyway.  In hindsight, this might have been a “sour grapes” sort of attitude.  I felt obligated to that life… even though, when I got honest with myself, I had to admit that I chose it.  But there was, at that time, a bit of a feeling of being trapped in that.

In my marriage, our friends were HIS friends.  My women friends were the wives of his friends.  So I thought I’d try to cultivate some real bonds in that pool of choices.  I decided to have a party just for the women in our social group.

High Tea

I devised a beautiful, pampering “High Tea” sort of soiree.  I called it my Sereni-Tea Party, during which each woman would receive massages, manicures, a soak in the Hot-Tub and all sorts of pampering.  I also devised a small ritual, where each woman was crowned as a Goddess.

The idea was to remind each of us that we are sovereign in our lives, that we may choose, daily, how (and for whom) to live.  It was a big hit.  Everyone loved it.  No one loved it more than I did.  It sparked some changes in my life that are still in the works, I think.

aphrodite

I’m not sure if anyone else at that party “got” what I was trying to convey… but I did.  I claimed myself that day, and again and again on many days that followed it, I claimed my own sovereignty.

The experience sparked a new way of thinking for me.  I had one close female friend and I forged deeper into that bond.  She supported me and cared about my outcomes.  It was a really good start.

friends

I began to embody the Queen archetype.  And that sovereign queen of her own life was not the woman my husband married.  So in some ways, I could call that the beginning of the end of my marriage.  It’s okay.  It was a marriage that needed to end. And when it did, those women (the wives of his friends) shunned me like an Amish photographer. And that’s okay too. They were not “my tribe” anyway.

After the divorce I began to create more and more relationships with women.  I came honestly and openly into groups of females sharing my experiences and my ideas, and offering my empathy for the things that they may have experienced as well.  And that’s when the magick started to happen in my life.

I joined a witch’s grove of learning.  We met each week to discuss books, teach and learn and challenge each other toward excellence.  In the process we also loved, nurtured, supported and cheered each other on.  The grove developed into a coven.  I served as one of the leaders of that coven for quite a few years.

circle of women

I learned and grew more in those years than any other time in my life that I can recall.  I increased my personal power exponentially during that time, because of the company of other powerful women, all striving for their own excellence and the collective excellence of the group.  It created such momentum.  We were all swept along in it.

My leadership role in that group led me to more leadership.  I formed a non-profit spiritual center in my own home.  We offered worship services of an inclusive nature. We provided workshops, support groups, had festivals.  And I gained all of the experiences of facilitating that. And I could not have done it without the blessing of a number of breath-taking feminine souls who were regular members at the center.  They enriched me and the others in our group tremendously.

Life changed, as it does, and eventually I closed the center and moved clear across the country.  In my new home town, I volunteer and teach at a non-profit which supports women in ALL their endeavors to improve their own lives. It’s called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

And now, I also facilitate women’s spiritual retreats.  The latest installment of that happened in Sedona, AZ last month.

(There’s a new one coming up in November – Click here for more info!)

Six women from different backgrounds, understandings, beliefs and challenges came together.  We discussed and explored our hopes and fears. We worked towards our dreams.  We shared laughter and shed tears.  We moved forward in our lives, powerfully and magickally.

Above is photographic evidence of the goddess power we generated around us.  (Watch the orb at the foot of each goddess.  This showed up on 3 different cameras!)

owl yin yang

Yin in Taoism is the Feminine Principle.  The feminine aspect of this dualistic reality in which we live occupies the “dark side” of the yin yang symbol.

In Wiccan circles the Goddess is represented by the Moon, the night, while the God is represented by the Sun and the day.

This, in no way should be interpreted as meaning that the feminine principle is “bad” or “wrong”, although that is the way that much of our patriarchal society defines it.

But the divine feminine is a mystery.  The High Priestess card in Tarot holds a scroll, which is half hidden and sits before a curtain, beyond which are mysteries and wisdom untold.  There are even popular jokes about how women are complete mysteries to men.

High Priestess

There’s a reason for that.  And I think it’s our power.  This kind of power cannot simply be offered to everyone.  The power of the Feminine Divine is hidden for a reason.  The right to exist in its web must be earned.

And the women whose power is blatant and obvious to the world have been called everything under the sun, from demon, harlot, bitch to witch, activist, boss and Goddess.

The fact is that all women possess this power.  The degrees may vary or the power may be more or less suppressed by this patriarchal jailhouse, but, make no mistake, it is there.  It is present and can be awakened to greater strengths to greater missions and to the greatness of all things touched by such power.

I’ve found that when women come together in any kind of group, there is a magickal phenomenon that takes place.  There is a heightened power, an increase in intensity, like a spiritual battery being turned on.

A woman is powerful.

A couple of women, or a group, aligned in their Will, connected at their hearts and clear in their intentions, are UNSTOPPABLE, and deeply magickal.

Goddess Group

I’m not talking about excluding men from your life, by any means!  Today, I am in a committed and happy relationship with a loving, wonderful man. In fact, I believe that the time I’ve spent loving and nurturing other women (and myself) is a direct contributor to my finding him and to my being worthy of him.  Our relationship is very strong.  We believe in each other. We encourage each other. We acknowledge each other’s sovereignty.  And I adore spending time with him.

But these days, as the sovereign queen/goddess that I am, I choose to also spend a lot of quality time in the company of Yin.

Goddess Divine Empowerment!

How I went from Playing Way Too Small to Being an Empowered Goddess and So Can You!

oppressed-women  My last blog post ended with me in the depths of addiction and and suffering the pain and humiliation of a terrible marriage.  So, how did all of this turn around?  I’ll tell you!

A few years into that marriage I finally decided to get a handle on my addictive, self-destructive practices. That makes it sound like it was easy, like I made a decision one day and then got clean. That’s not what happened. There was a LOT of “Facing my Shadow”, and “embracing my darkness” at that time. I was introduced to the concepts put forth by the noted psychologist, Carl Jung and began to study the practice of uncovering and accepting our “Shadow” aspects, those parts of ourselves that we would rather deny. I had a lot of that. Also, during that journey, in my twenties, I was introduced to the concept of spirituality as opposed to religion. Cultivating a connection with some “unknowable force” helped me greatly in my recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, and I became a seeker. Learning about spiritual practice became my new drug of choice, I believe, because it touched on that true nature and those gifts I was denying. Some part of me recognized that something here might actually have an effect on the root cause of my destructive behavior. I wasn’t consciously aware of this, of course, but I believe it was there.

So I read everything I could. I spent many years investigating different spiritual practices. I studied, and continue to study, world religions, and philosophies like Catholicism and Christianity in general, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and so on. And while I can’t say that I felt a deep connection to any one religious view, what I did find was the practice of meditation. Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

I’m going to repeat that here because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT!

Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

empowered goddess   My studies continued and began to include more philosophy, psychology and mythology. I read some classics by great scholars such as Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato and added in some more modern works by the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell. My views continued to expand as I continued to grow in every way that I could manage. During all of this, I became the mother to a beautiful old soul, a daughter. Witnessing the miracles of her birth and growth and my regular meditation practice were putting me in connection with the divine on a daily basis. Everything changes then. You see, when you meditate it puts you in touch with that ineffable ground of spirit that permeates all that there is. It verifies the unbreakable connection between these bodies we are currently inhabiting and that limitless “other” which we discover is not “other” at all. It’s like plugging in to a vast switchboard where everything is accessible. The miraculous is occurring all around us at every moment in time. I began to notice, is all.

All the while, I was still married to that overbearing, narcissistic man. And during most of our marriage, because there was still that part of me aiming to please and eager to be seen as “the good wife”, we got along fine. But then I began to grow a spine. I began to understand that I had to set an example for my daughter. And I began to disagree with some of the decisions he was making for us and for me. And that was when it got bumpy. I won’t go into the details here of the ultimate awakening that brought me out of that marriage, but know that I did break free and I did so in a meaningful and mindful way, understanding my part in all of it and understanding what I would no longer accept for myself or for my child.

In the following years I was inspired to study the many connections between science and spirituality and became very interested in (um, ok, obsessed with) quantum physics and the philosophies of mind over matter, what some call the Law of Attraction (what I call witchcraft). There was a wonderful feeling of being carried along on a wave of new information and discovery. One insight led to another. One book led to a dozen more. With a broader understanding of myself and the concepts of energy, I renewed my interest in divination and I studied the Tarot, with all of its wonderful Archetypes and insight into the human journey. I also began again to experiment with Skrying. All of this brought me to the study of Nature-based religions like Wicca and Heathenry and paganism in general. And a new wave of discovery launched me into practice with others and the structure and benefits of ritual, shared energy and sisterhood. I delved deeply into the study of mythology, especially the Goddesses which re-energized my desire to facilitate women’s empowerment. I was given the opportunity to expand my leadership skills as a founding member of a coven, often presiding over Ritual as Priestess. And, finally I put that into practice in my own spiritual Meetup Group and opened an inclusive spiritual center from my own home where I hosted many, many workshops, ceremonies, rituals and festivals before moving to Phoenix, AZ.

Aphrodite2   So here I am today, wanting to share some of this learning and insight with you, the seeker with the Goddess hidden inside. I can help you find your inner Goddess because I worked so hard to find my own. And I’ve distilled all of the seeking and struggles and mistakes and successes into some very essential lessons to set you on your personal journey to Goddesshood. Join me and a number of your sisters on this amazing, life-changing adventure. Simply email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details.  There is absolutely NO obligation, NO spam, NO sharing of your email address and a free gift!  This retreat will fill up, so don’t hesitate!  

With Love and Sisterhood,

Renée

Blessed Be

… How I went from Natural Psychic to Natural Disaster…

This series of blogs is dedicated to  Goddess Divine -A Spiritual Retreat for Women which will be taking place in Sedona, AZ in May.  Email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details! When last we connected, dear reader, I had given you a brief overview of my “qualifications” to help you bring forth your inner […]

Goddess Divine Women’s Retreat – Why You Need It!

Sedona

So there’s this amazing event coming up!  The Goddess Divine Retreat for Women in Sedona, AZ on May 20, 21 and 22, 2016 will bring you into deep connectedness with your Sacred Self.  In this way you will discover and form a truly rewarding relationship with your inner Goddess and be excited to share her outrageous beauty and light with the whole world!  If you’re even the tiniest bit curious, do yourself a favor and e-mail AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com right NOW!   There is no obligation and you will receive a valuable FREE GIFT – and even MORE valuable information about how you can be a participant in this wonderful weekend of Sacred Sisterhood! 

In a previous post, I promised you more details about ME Renee Damoiselle of Divining Damoiselle, your retreat facilitator.  So, What qualifies me to prepare you for Goddesshood?

Well, to begin, I will tell you that, as a much younger woman, I was very focused on being perceived as “good” and on not being too noticeable (all the while fearful that my “freak-flag” would be uncovered at any moment!) In other words, I was very much NOT living like the Goddess that I am!  Today, however, I enjoy referring to myself as a Badass Witch Priestess of Warrior Deities, with a divine mission to save the world, one woman at a time.  In other words, I successfully grew a spine and stepped into my Goddesshood, after a time of hiding my light.  It was not easy.  It took work and desire and commitment, but because I’ve been there, I can show you the way.

Shine

That’s me now.   Along my journey, I’ve met many other women whose light has also been kept hidden.  The reasons may be varied (patriarchal society, misogyny, trauma) but the result is actually tragic, for the individual woman and for the world.  The divine feminine light that glows within every woman is meant to be anchored in this world and to shine brightly.  What a woman can achieve once she embraces her true divine nature is limitless.  The healing ripple effects of her efforts will be felt universally.  This is my mission because I know, intimately, what it feels like to break free in this way, and that joy must be shared.

Looking for a juicier story?  Stay tuned for the next blog, where we’ll get down and dirty with the details of that amazing journey!

… to be continued… 

Goddess Divine

Goddesses dancing

The first week of 2016 was rough for me.  I’d failed to reach some of my goals for 2015 and was, at the moment, failing miserably at my “Healthy Lifestyle” goals.   I was pretty down on myself, which, as a spiritual adviser, I know is self-defeating. But, as a human being, I say, “Hey!  Sometimes I get mad at myself!  That’s life!  Deal with it!”

Funny, I’ve been contemplating hard on doing some more Shadow work lately.  The Universe says, “Your wish is my command!  You want shadows?  Here ya go!  Self-loathing!  How’s THAT for Dark?!”, she proclaims with pride.  (HeHe)

The fact is that this whole thing (yaknow- life, the universe and everything) is a process.  You think you’ve learned a lesson and then you discover another layer of the same lesson hidden underneath.  It’s cool!  I’m not ready to be “Done” yet.  I kinda like it here.

So, there I was, in my MOOD; cranky, frustrated, restless – STUCK!  And when I’m stuck, I think about my spiritual practice.  It has always been what has saved me.  I realized I wasn’t finding enough time for it;  Meditation, Ritual, Offerings.  I was “fitting it in” here and there, instead of making it central to my life and my days.  And, for me, that means I need a sort of shock treatment – a BIG DOSE of my medicine to bring me back from this profoundly human habit of pleasing others and attachment to outcomes.  (All those goals = outcomes, for me.)  I need some “freedom from the lust of result”.  (Thank  you Mister Crowley!)  The fact is that those “goals” I had set for myself, in truth, were largely rooted in that particular aspect of my Shadow that says “Prove yourself.  You’re no good unless others recognize your successes.”  And that, dear readers, is ego and nothing more.  The goals I’d set for myself were not meant to feed my soul but to prove myself.

In my ponderings on Shadow and my moments of self-loathing, I realized that I had entered the auto-pilot mindset of dealing with things like the day-job and the mundane “have-to’s”, “Need-to’s” and “Get-to’s” of life.  I was embracing the lazy routine of working, and doing what I thought I had to do, then coming home to much deserved “relax” mode (doing nothing!).  I had allowed myself to slip into the comfortable groove of the “normal”, “mainstream” life.

This witch, dear readers, is far from “normal”… even for a witch!  In this realization I felt that I needed to firmly establish my “witchy-ness”!  In an expression of my MOOD at the time, I thought I’d change my entire wardrobe to nothing but black, flowy dresses! As black as my soul!  Then I laughed at myself, realizing, of course that it’s not about appearance at all.  In fact, it’s about the opposite.

So I  asked my brooding, black, moody soul what it needed.  The answer was SILENCE!!!  I realize that’s a bit of a paradox – a shouted “SILENCE!!”  But that was what I got!

I thought, “I need a couple of days away – a sort of Spiritual Immersion retreat.  You see, in the time before I moved to Arizona, I LIVED at a Spiritual Retreat.  I was in need of total immersion in my practice, no distractions, no excuses.

I happen to live about a 90-minute drive away from “Spiritual Retreat Central” aka, Sedona, AZ!  So I began researching what was available.  None seemed totally suited to my needs and ALL were EXTREMELY PRICEY!  So, since I didn’t win the Powerball, I started thinking, “Well, I know of this lovely, small (affordable) Inn in the heart of Sedona and I have hosted numerous Spiritual events; retreats, workshops, festivals, you name it!  I’m a goddamn High Priestess of Warrior Deities!  I’m a Badass Diviner, Channeler, Intuitive!  I can come up with my own weekend, filled with that BIG DOSE of Spiritual Practice (with lots of silence) that I need.”

So I began planning.  And then what happened was pure Magick, the kind of Magick I’d become accustomed to when I WAS honoring my spiritual practice.  You see, when you decide to give to your soul, when you honestly ask it what IT wants and when you are willing to face that Shadow side of yourself, well, everything aligns.  The universe will marshal its every force to help you.

So, as I was planning my own retreat, I realized that many other women I know have felt this way.  I understood that, yes, I could get away in a month or so and give myself this gift, but why leave it at that?  I could create this gift of an affordable retreat for others as well.  Since coming to that understanding, I have been OBSESSED!  I’ve blown through goals like there’s no work involved.  Yesterday, I spent 16 hours learning new software, creating a new meditation recording, planning the event, getting ready to launch this creative baby to which I am giving birth.  Those 16 hours went by in a flash.  I’ve been so IMMERSED in this creation that I’ve lost track of time.  My previously moody, black soul has exploded in color and joy!  THIS is (part of) the food that my soul has been starved of!  I’ve been extremely present in the planning of this and nowhere else, because I’ve no desire to BE anywhere else or to DO anything else!  This is BLISS!  And I’m following it! (Thank you Mister Campbell!).  It’s happening!  Goddess Divine – A Spiritual Retreat for Women.  May 20th, 21st and 22nd in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

And so, dear reader, if you have identified with any of these feelings, and if you feel that you’d like to get away for a bit and maybe even examine a bit of your own shadow in order to emerge on the other side with a goddamn FORCEFUL PURPOSE, then email AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for more information and for your FREE GIFT of that Meditation MP3 that I spent so many hours creating.  More information can also be found at my Goddess Divine page here on wordpress.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Bright Blessings!

 

 

 

Unblocking

So this blog is called “Witch in the World”.  And I wanted it to be about magickal practice, spiritual studies, paganism, witchcraft, etc.  But I also wanted it to be about how we witches function in today’s modern world and how a witch can manage her mundane life while using a little magick to move things along.

I felt, for a minute or two, with my recent posts about health and fitness, that I might have been getting off the subject a bit. But, not true.  I’ve mentioned how I included magickal workings in this.  And my new, more earth friendly lifestyle is certainly a goal of most of the witches I know.  After all, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.  But ,as I like to say, and as most witches know, because we are so connected to the earth, “We ARE Having a PHYSICAL experience.”  So it makes sense for us to dwell in both realms and to embrace our physicality, as well as our magick. So, I’m going to stick with this subject for as long as it interests me!

I’ve realized something recently.  I mentioned in previous posts, specifically in “This is Sparta!”, that I performed all kinds of magick to try to help myself see myself in a more loving light; to help me feel more beautiful.  If I am honest, I was so down on how I looked that all I really wanted was to feel more visually “acceptable”.  I was in a pretty bad mental state over it.  I did spells, created talismans, performed full moon rituals to goddesses of youthfulness, you name it!  And the thing is, I kept thinking that those spells weren’t working.  But they were.  Magick isn’t as magic as we think sometimes.  I guess I expected to wake up the next day after each of these workings to a new woman.  I expected to wake up and look in the mirror and say, “Good!”  But that’s not how it works.

river blockage

An image occurred to me this weekend.  The image is of a river, coming to a narrow portion where its banks close in on one another and where debris has filled that space.  The flow is restricted.  But water is relentless, as anyone who has seen a canyon can attest.  Eventually, little bits of this debris are pushed loose by the pressure of the water, and as it flows through one tiny crack in the blockage, it begins to loosen other bits in the way, a twig , then a stone, then a clump of mud.  This tiny flow picks up speed and pressure unclogging its path with greater and greater swiftness.  Suddenly, the whole blockage just lets go and the river flows freely again.  That’s what was happening with my magick.  I didn’t give up on it.  I was relentless, like water (thank you Bruce Lee!), and so eventually, it worked.  The “blockage-letting-go” moment was the moment I was in a meditative state, still questioning my psyche (which is another form of magick) as to why I would feel this way about myself,  or why couldn’t I cultivate some self love for my appearance.  And words came from a place that I recognize as the “higher self”.  I’ve spent years listening for and listening to that voice.  I recognize her when she speaks.  Even if I don’t understand the words she says right away, I always pay them due note, because I know that they will become clear, and usually pretty soon.  She said (and of course she rhymed it, because she knows I love that shit!) “Your beauty, my dear, is not in the viewing, but in the doing.”  And within 48 hours of hearing that sentence in my head, I was suddenly ready, willing and able to make the necessary changes to my lifestyle.  It was like magic!  Wait, it wasn’t LIKE magic… it WAS Magick – Magick that I’d been performing for over a year.  It just so happens that this was a tough blockage and took time to break down.

riverflow2

That is how this life works.  We are all creating, manifesting, performing our own magic with our thoughts all of the time.  We must work to do this consciously, instead of in default mode.  This is how I incorporate magick into a mundane life.  I’m now giving myself all kinds of love!  I love myself by feeding my body lots of delicious, healthful food, taking the time to carefully choose and prepare that food.  Every single morsel I put in my mouth these days, by the way, IS delicious or I don’t eat it.  I’m loving myself by giving my body lots of great and varied (and FUN – above all FUN) exercise.  I’ve lost weight, and that feels good.  I’ve built strength and THAT feels really good.  And when I do glance in the mirror, it seems, my thoughts have lost the most weight.  I’m not going to tell you that I see something beautiful every time I check my reflection, but I can tell you that my thoughts about it are no longer heavy.  They don’t carry any judgment or even any concern about “beauty”.  I have noticed my skin looking healthier and my eyes brighter and my hair shinier, but those are all just side effects.  And this is good.  The beauty is indeed in the doing.  And I’m doing it. I even took a selfie and smiled!

selfie

Blessed Be.

The Magick of Variety

So here’s an update on my progress toward the Spartan Race. spartan – Woo-Hoo!

I’m getting stronger and healthier by the minute.  And I’m learning all kinds of new things along the way.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking on the weekends to have easy, ready-made meals for the week.  I’m finding new recipes and basing my choices, mostly on whatever I find at the farmer’s market and the organic section of Sprouts.

Farmer's Market< Look at all that gorgeous food!

There was one week where I planned to have a green smoothie every day for breakfast and a salad every day for lunch.  That got old fast!  By Thursday I was so bored with the food that it was REALLY difficult not to grab something off-plan.  I managed, but I was miserable.  And this journey that I’m on (as I’ve said before) is not punishment or deprivation.  This journey is about feeding my body lovely, delicious, vibrant, healthy food, and giving my body solid and fun exercise that strengthens and empowers me.  It’s self-love, NOT self-loathing.

So this week, I have variety!  I’m very excited about it.  I have choices for breakfasts ranging from smoothies, to fruit to eggs and even egg sandwiches with avocado – YUM!- using a recipe I found for paleo, wheatless sandwich rounds made with plantains and coconut flour! Who knew such things even existed!  For lunches I have Spaghetti squash crust pizza, eggplant rollatini, a wonderful medley of beans with spices, mini meatloaves and the most delicious butternut squash soup you’ve ever tasted and yes… salad too.  I actually love salad since it can come in so many varieties… but the same salad every day for five days is a recipe for disaster.  I won’t make that mistake again.

Also, I’m really enjoying being in the kitchen again.  And I’ve noticed that, even though I’m not cooking the traditional foods that I was taught as a child in an Italian household, I can still feel the spirits of my Mom and my Nana with me while I cook.  Mom < This is my Mom.

They are peering over my shoulder at the stove as I add spices, they are lifting their chins as they smell the aroma of the beautifully fresh vegetables and they are smiling approvingly as I dish these masterpieces up for my family.   This is ancestor magic.  The line of my people going back to the beginning is with me as I improve my life.  I feel their presence as I haven’t in quite some time.  I am putting my magic in all the food.  I’m pouring my love (and the love of those who have loved me my whole life) into every meal that I make and this is producing amazing results for my body, mind and soul.

I’m also varying my workouts.  The same workout every day can get just as boring as a salad every day, so I’m doing different things and incorporating magic into all of it.  When I swim, I pronounce incantations in my head.  As I scoop the life-giving force of the water with my hands on every stroke, I’m visualizing the waves of it sculpting and strengthening my core.  When I do water calisthenics, or weight training, my trainers, Odin and Athena, are there to help me keep count, improve my form and keep pushing until the final set.  When I run on a treadmill or elliptical, I listen to empowering music and visualize my muscles working at peak performance.   On hikes, I am rallying the forces of nature to join my quest.   This week I’m adding burpees to the routine.  In case you don’t know, a burpee is a grueling combination of a squat, plank, push-up, squat and jumping jack.  Yes, all of that is ONE burpee.  And if you fail an obstacle in the Spartan Race, you have to do THIRTY of them to get to the next obstacle.  So, I’m starting now.  And no, that doesn’t sound like a tremendous amount of fun. And I’m going to have to find a way to put magic into those! But it will be fun when I start to see my numbers increase and when I start to feel like I can handle it.  And I will.  Because, As I Will It, So Mote It BE!

winning

Blessings, dearest readers!  Love yourselves today!