Friday, January 20, 2012

Just for fun - part 7 

Lit from Within: Just for Fun - Part 7

Play with sounds, stones, and flowers. Explore the fun and playfulness of them. Tap into them to enrich your life. 

Sing, chant, drum, dance, listen to music. Make it part of your everyday.

Add stones to every room. Their beauty alone adds to the enjoyment of a room, but so does the very energy of each stone. Choose stones with properties you wish to have or that you need.

Flowers inspire a sense of LIFE in a space. Cut flowers, growing potted flowers. But flowers are not just visual additions. Flowers and other plants have scents. Add scents (aromas) to your life as incense or oils, as perfumes or sprays, as bath salts. Maybe even look into Bach Flower Remedies.

For those of you who know me... DUH! I do this all the time! Where do I work? My life is full of music, crystals, and smells.

And yet, my home lacks something... I keep wanting to bring in flowers for the altar... but i have this kitten... this way too curious and troublesome yet totally adorable kitten. So... how do I fix this? OH! I know, I have some lovely fresh art of flowers from my Mom and from an artist on Deviant Art. I can laminate those and put them up.

Find ways to brighten your life. Add pretty stones and fun scents to all your spaces. Life your life with music every day.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lit from Within - Part 6 

Oops, more like the 6th chapter of Part 4, really. This is all about developing your own sense of style. I never really thought I had a sense of style and have wondered often what is my "style".

Bury the myth that style is for a select few. Observe style. Build on the areas in which your sense of style is already apparent. Think about the clothes you wear. The colors, the fabrics, the accessories. What do you like and what fits your personality? Find accessories that accentuate your style, like a scarf. And have a few really good sets for when you want to really show yourself off. Incorporate your liabilities. make the cane work for your style or the shoes or the hearing air or the glasses. make them part of your 'look'. Feel free to experiment. The secret is not to fit a style, but to become a style setter. 

Do what you can do well, and work to do it even better. Then you can set your own trends.

So, what I wear has come up a few times. I always come back to practical and functional. Cargo pants and safari pants and jeans. I can expand on these by expanding the colors. Usually jeans are blue or black. Usually cargo and safari pants are light tan or cacki-green. I can work with browns, burgundies, darker blues, richer greens. These make good bases along with the tans and blacks. Although I have to be careful about greens, most look awful on me.

My shirts tend to be so random... T-shirts long or short sleeved, sometimes button shirts if they are thicker. Why oh WHY are women's shirts practically fucking transparent?! I often resort to buying in the men's wear for sturdy clothes. But then I need to look less... boy. I do that with scarves. That is one of my personal trademarks. I wear scarves as belts all the time. I like vests too, but no one seems to have vests anymore. I like the brocade or rugged vests that look a bit dressy. Or even some of the more medieval bustiers. Maybe I will have to resort to getting patterns and making my own. Oh... *whimper* that would mean digging out the sewing machine and trying to learn how to use it. Mom suggested a newer machine that is less complicated. I almost want an antique Singer with the rocking pedal. Those were nice and simple. I used to sew decently with one. Ok... so I can concede making my own vests, or pleading my mom to make some for me *GRIN*

I don't do skirts often, and again mostly because I like the more rugged long ones that I don't see anywhere. I hate dresses. I can't really find any that look good with my body shape. so I think it is best to not add them to my style if I want to work with the body I have.

Same goes with heels. My various injuries and weakness of ankles makes me unstable in heels unless that are blocky and can fit my orthotics. Usually I wear dock-like shoes. I suppose I can make them part of my style and seek out some nice ones. I also like desert boots (those are like suede hi-cut rugged sneakers with treds). Shoe shopping is a personal nightmare since I have the orthotics and a foot a 1/2 size larger than the other. Shoes are just such an expensive accessory.

I like cute and patterned socks. No one really ever sees the socks, but they make me happy if I can find ones I like. Otherwise I am boring with my cotton black ones.

Overall, I tend to work best with fall colors or tans and creams with color accents. Most purples are vile on me so I stay away from them, same for yellows and most oranges. Something about orange hair and blue eyes and fair skin that makes many colors not work. Of light colors, I can do white. cream, light blue, sea-foam green, sometimes a blue-turquoise, peach, and even a particular shade of light bubble-gum pink. Ok, I generally detest pink, but that one I actually like.

As for my hair... I usually wear chopsticks or a large Celtic clip. With my hair short now, I often do pony-tails. Who cares if i am almost 40. I like pony-tails and they keep my hair out of my face and away from my ears and neck. Oh... I think the bits of military in me just crept to the surface.

So I guess I have a style if I think about it. I can work with this and clean up what I have and get clothing that is actually in this plan rather than trying to dress in styles that are not me. I can do classy as a style sometimes too, but rugged and adventurous is way more me. If it can survive me running through the woods, then it is perfect!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Just for Fun - Part 5 

Lit from Within - "Take Yourself Lingerie Shopping"

You have got to be kidding! The title alone instill nightmares and personal self-loathing and an absolute hatred that I almost did not read the chapter. But I did.

A woman may dress well because she is secure or because she is not. What is underneath tells the tale.

And what is that supposed to mean / imply? Personally, I think what can be said about the clothes you put on the outside is no different than those underneath. What matters is that you feel comfortable, comfortable with what you are wearing and with who you are.

I hate bra shopping. I equally hate lingerie shopping. Yes, I consider them different. Bras can be lingerie or they can be practical underthings. I am a sports bra kinda practical girl. With now something like 5 good/practical/semi-fancy bras that I almost NEVER wear, I ask that no one please think that I need to go bra shopping ever again, thanks.

Lingerie, on the other hand is the fancy fun things you wear to show off to someone special or to feel sexy and slinky to yourself.

If you feel beautiful to yourself, then you will be beautiful to your husband.

Yes, I have a few fun things. No, I will not share. So... if you have been dying to see some pic with me... use your imagination.

Toss the old, holey, torn, worn, stained, threadbare underthings and get new ones.

This means bras, undies, AND socks. This I can do. It is not lingerie/bra shopping. It is fresh and new and comfortable. Practical. I like soft cotton. I hate itchy lace. Sometimes silky is nice. bottom line, practical and comfortable equals confident. There is nothing more awkward than watching a well dressed woman fidget because her undies are riding or her bra lace itches her. There is nothing graceful about trying to fix those things. If you are comfortable then you do not have those intimate things as a personal distraction. If lace and g-strings are comfy to you, go for it. I would rather be comfy than sexy any day. sexy can wait for special occasions in private.

Well, I think that is enough of an expose... hope you find something useful from this chapter. Go have fun and buy fun new underthings.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Just for Fun - part 4 

Just for Fun is still a great part of Lit from Within. This next chapter is about "Establishing a Self-Care Fund" that has nothing to do with basic needs and everything to do with FUN!

As was mentioned, having fun is important for the soul too. My mother reminds us to stay real, but I remind you that in the hustle and bustle of staying real (doing with work thing and living thing)... remember to have some fun and do something that makes you happy or makes your soul sing!

The self-care fund is just that.

Do not underestimate the power of treating yourself to what you believe is important.

Feeling good about myself is important. Books are important. Seeing places (ROAD TRIP)  is also important. I started with home. Feeling good about where I live inspires me to want to come home and love the home I have. So I am doing little redecorating projects. bathroom, bedroom, living room, office will all get small changes over the coming month. Feeling good about me started with a few new clothes that reflected my personality more. Clothes that were fresh and new and comfortable. I have new books arriving because they feel my soul.

The road trip thing is the only challenge. That requires more careful budgeting. Ideally, I would do a small road trip once a month. Budget is not that open. Maybe once every few months. The hard part is doing a road trip that is just for me, just for fun. All my "vacations" have been work-related.

I want to have a weekend away, a romantic kind, alone with the husband in February. A cabin somewhere with a fire place.

Budget for what you want to treat yourself to.
January's treat is a new computer. Monthly treat is books.
I will start budgeting for a road trip for my own personal sanity and need to "be somewhere else" for a little while.

Just for Fun - path 3 

This next chapter from Lit from Within is about "Selecting a Symbol".

Whatever symbol speaks to your soul, put representations of it around you. Let these remind you that you can take on qualities of these symbols you have selected.

I have pondered this at length. The first symbol that comes to mind is the Scarlet Cougar. This is a large North American cat that I have as my spirit animal. The Scarlet Cougar or Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi) is a more reddish colored puma/cougar/mountain-lion. It is highly endangered. There are less than 70 left in the world, mostly in reserves and zoos with limited success with captive breeding. Their habitats are shrinking faster than the animal can be saved.

http://www.panthersociety.org/faq.html for more information.

The cougar spiritually is a leader, amicable, confident, and yet very independent. The Cougar is also a strong teacher. I would like to think that this represents me well.

Other animals that symbolically impact my life are: the wolf, the raven, the dear, the horse.

I also thought about pictorial symbols and written symbols. Among these are the triskele, the moon, the Asian symbols for HONOR & LOVE as well as SERENITY. The moon is important for my connection to lunar cycles and my concept of the divine associated with the Gnostic Goddess Sophia (Wisdom). The triskele is for my Celtic roots and represents the Celtic cosmology of land, sea, and sky with a sacred inner fire in the center. HONOR and LOVE are for my clergy vows to live with honor and love in all things for "Honor is the law & Love is the bond." Serenity... This is something (I hope to also have moments of in my life, to live with serenity in my heart.

What symbols do you select for your life?

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just for Fun part 2 

From Lit from Within come this next chapter. "Give Yourself a Name"

We deserve to be called what we want to be called. I am called Theresa, by my family. I hate the name Theresa. i tried to get people to call me Kim or Kimberly (my middle name) but it did not suit and never stuck. some folks call me Terri. That was ok. I thought it was quaint when that started. A British student who just moved to Montreal and joined my grade 10 class could not properly pronounce Theresa and started calling me Terri. It kinda suited my tomboy-me. But still wasn't really... me.

Off and on, childhood friends called me Scarlet after the red-haired GI Joe cartoon character. being the only girl on a street full of boys, the make believe meant I played Princess Leia or Scarlet.

I really kinda liked Scarlet from GI Joe. She was confident, skilled, really intelligent. she was respected by her peers. She was the kind of person screaming inside me to come out. But I could not convince any teacher or family member to call me Scarlet. It was not the name on my birth certificate and so one could not just make up a name and be called it and respected for a fake name. It didn't matter that my heart screamed that it was ME!!!

Then I learned a secret.

When I was born, it was with this scarlet red shock of hair (mohawk-like). My mother didn't know what to call me yet. the first name spoken to me was Scarlet, by my god-mother (who to this day still calls me that). My mother rejected the name because at the time my last name was O'Hara and she did not want me to be teased as Scarlet O'Hara (like the character from 'Gone with the Wind' classing literature). "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." My aunt named me a name that is just not me.

My mother remarried after I was born. When I was 7 years old, my step-father asked me a very mature question. he asked if I would do him the honor of taking on his name as his daughter. I gave him a mature answer. YES! He had always been the only father in my life and really... I could not have asked for one better. He is deeply loving, ever patient, and eternally giving of himself. My mom married well. I love him so very much. so yes, I took on his last name, Jory. But Scarlet still called to me.

I took on Scarlet as part of my spiritual name. Friends and later teachers came to know me as Scarlet and many growing circles in my adult worlds. This is my name. Willful, courageous, fiercely loyal, confident. This is my name. Scarlet... with on T... like the vibrant color. Live life vibrantly. I have been applying this name to all that I do and now have it legally added to my name as a second middle name. My family still call me Theresa, but to the rest of the world, I am called by the name I have taken on, the one I gave myself, the first name whispered into my soul. For that, I thank my god-mother.

This name has helped shape who I am... or does it simply reflect who I have always been?

Just For Fun part 1 

Still reading Lit from Within but have slowed now that I am healed enough to start doing things and not sitting like a couch potato.

Let us look at this new section called Just For Fun!

Having fun is integral to your well being. If everything is sad, serious, hard, and only work work work, then we lose sight of ourselves and our spirit. We get dragged down and deteriorate. Sometimes you just need to cut loose, laugh, and enjoy yourself. It lifts the spirit and inspires positivity and creativity. It recharges the batteries of motivation.

We all need a little fun in our lives.

The first topic of this section is all bout "Dressing Like Yourself." Once again it asks that you look at your wardrobe and purge it of those things you cling to for no reason, those things that don't/won't fit you, those things so warn that they are not even fit to be rags, those things that are not really YOU. Cull the clothes. Also, think about what the clothes say of you and how they make you feel. Which ones resonate and being YOU? Don't dress to stylishly like so-and-so. Dress to look like you in all your own beautiful glory.

That was the task this week in chunks. I purged the clothes with these things in mind. I haven't gotten to the summer clothing as it is all in storage at the moment. I am donating the clothes to others and hope they really find great uses for them.

I found this chapter both intriguing and frustrating. It made me think more about the clothing that I wear. What do they mean to me? What do they say about me? How do they make me feel? The answers were: rugged, practical, boyish, ready to be hit my a falling tree and walk away alive. The chapter frustrated me because it implies that you know who you are in order to dress like YOU. Most people don't know who they are. It is the hardest thing to pin down. It is so easy to describe who you aren't and so difficult to describe who you are.

I am not fancy, girly, dressy, corporate, slinky/sexy. I don't like heels. I hate bras. I don't much wear skirts and certainly not short ones. I work in an environment where I am constantly getting dirty, covered in oils and powders and herbs and stuff. I prefer to be comfy rather than fancy any day! If I could dress like an Victorian through early 20th century archaeologist, that is probably close to who I am. I am rugged and practical. Though I like to be just on the edge of classy. I like solid shoes with treads (like docs, but unfortunately I have not found docs that fit me). I like cargo pants and thick shirts. I like sports bras and nothing lacy. Lace itches you know! I love classy vests with brocade, almost Victorian (not that anyone makes vests anymore for women). My clothes need to be practical and durably. The tomboy in me likes men's wear way more than girl's clothes, but I am still a girl and on occasion want the whole world to notice that!!

Is this who I am?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Body & Soul 

So this is part 3 of the Lit from Within meditations and readings.
My home on forced vacation (read healing/recovery leave) has allowed me to get lots of reading done.
We move from "Attitude" to "Action" to the needs of "Body & Soul".

Discipline is where beauty and soulfulness meet.
Have a routine you can count on
Daily moments of quiet
Regular exercise
Washing face & brushing hair & brushing teeth
Orderly environment
Honoring commitments
Speak kindly or not at all
Learn something
Serve (wisely so you have the resources to serve again tomorrow)

All of these lend to the self-discipline you can create for yourself. Mark Twain suggests we also do something every day that we do not want to do in order to develop the habit of doing our duty painlessly.

Today I finished my usual morning routine and then ran errands outside before doing anything else. The winter storm necessitated getting stuff done before it hit. I have enjoyed a long moment of quiet reading this book and preparing this entry. Exercise is out till I am fully healed, but I did clean the kitchen in preparation for baking later. I have a new commitment for tomorrow (go to clinic) that will be honored regardless of the weather. Speaking kindly is sometimes hard. I try to speak kindly of others, but I seem to regularly fail at speaking kindly about myself.

Never stop learning. I never do. I am researching Celtic tree meanings and months and sacred moons. What are you learning?

Do yoga. Do yoga for to strengthen your breathing, your posture, your flexibility. Breathe! Stand and sit tall! Be flexible and adaptable!

I am not personally interested in yoga classes myself. But maybe I will explore some over at Happy Tree Yoga at Atwater. I have always liked the people there, their beautiful environment, etc.  Exploring their website, I think I can do the Gentle Yoga series on Mondays & Wednesdays. Ok, the more i think about this, the more I think I want to do this after all. Curves can be the other days (Tuesdays & Thursdays and maybe Fridays). And I am back to self-discipline.

Speaking of which, the 2012 calendrical year is about to begin. Time to work on my chakra series again too. I do this every year before the next Chinese New Year. 3 days to a week per chakra. Tomorrow  will begin root chakra. I will work on each chakra for 5 days at a time. This works well for my current situation. Root chakra is about basic physical needs. This weekend will be all about the basic physical need to heal and strengthen my foundations.

Purify the body. This can mean physical as well as spiritual. Fasting is one method, but does not mean dieting or starving. Ingesting purifiers is another, like white tea for its anti-oxidants and detoxifiers. Spiritual purification can be sacred baths, sage smudging, or aura cleansing.

White Tea is is! *GRIN* I love white tea. Green tea is also very good. I will alternate according to my flavor whims. Two Dove Silver Needle white tea is exceptionally potent and tasty (and expensive but so worth it). I have jasmine white tea too from my favorite Chinese Tea House. After that comes the fancy greens (jasmine dragon tears & peach-jasmine pearls & blooming teas). Usually I purify with a week of drinking pink lemonade. That will be next week (Wednesday when I can go to a grocery store again). Aura cleansing will be done with coven when next we meet.

Help the body function. Adopt proper sitting and standing posture. This not only helps with your sense of confidence, but with simple digestion. BREATHE! Take time to truly fill your lungs and just breathe. Get a massage to relax the muscles of their built up tension. See your healers regularly. Allow that cloak of confidence not just wrap you but become you and you it. Drink lots of water to help replenish your body.

I suppose that one I am healed, I should call Laurence for that massage that has been on my To Do list for over a month. And see Val and Matt more often than I do. I am adept at neglecting my body. 2012's goal: to not neglect my body.

Speak with your true voice. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Know before speaking so your words come out with the resonance of conviction, knowledge, and wisdom.

And I am reminded of my Three-Fold Promise, an oath I took before the gods:
Be True to your Word.
Be True to your Path.
Be True to Yourself.

Avoid the "uglies" which include things like smoking, drinking, drugs, and anything else taken or done in excess. These are destructive to the body, mind, and soul. Also, among these is "hard living" that most people in today's society engage in without ever realizing till they burn out. Moderation in all things. Take things one step at a time, one day at a time. Slow and steady wins the race. Do not be hard on yourself. Love yourself. Care for yourself. Enjoy yourself.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Post Yule 2011-2 

So I wrapped presents for everyone and watched a movie last night.
And... I woke with a cold... *sigh*

Back to the book: Lit from Within: Part 2 - Action

Adopt one better habit & look good enough.

I mentioned these earlier in the attitude section as they both work on changing your attitude, but they actually belong in the Action Section.

Surround yourself with those who see your light.

This actually is from  the Attitude Section but I missed it. So I put it here with actions. As we get rid of those things that do not "fit", this includes people who are toxic to us or people who inspire negative feelings within us. The hard part comes when you have someone in your life who falls into both categories. I have a few like that in my life. I am distancing myself somewhat from them till things change a bit so they I am no longer an emotional wreck after seeing them despite how wonderful they can sometimes make me feel.

Along the lines of looking good enough is grooming yourself.

We always get insulted when someone tells us to groom ourselves like we never shower or brush our teeth or something. but that is not what this statement means. It means taking exceptional care of ourselves, of our body. It does not mean costly appointments to hair dressers and nail painters and make-up artists. It means allowing yourself the time (unrushed) to care for your basic grooming needs. It means not neglecting your body, your temple and tool. Keep it clean. Scent it as you see fit. Trim it as needed. Do not allow dead ends to linger or clutter. Sometimes it means pampering yourself a little to help with the grooming. So yes, occasionally get your hair done, or have a manicure/pedicure, or see a make-up artists to know how best to decorate your face. Try to be beautiful naturally without covering yourself up. KISS (keep it simple).

Move your body.

The body is meant to be in motion. This gets the blood moving, helps circulate fluids, keeps the joints limber, and stimulates more energy. This isn't about exercising to lose weight for some goal you have in your head. It is about exercising to be fit however your current body will choose to comfortably define it.

What am I going to do? Get back to Curves. It is hard to get to, but maybe I can get a friend in with me and we can motivate each other. I also have wii Fit at home I can get back to. Our living room got rearranged, so I am not sure this will be feasible, but I can try... when no one else is in the house. At some point, I want to go back to martial arts classes. I would love to see my hubby in martial arts classes with my friend's hubby.

Ritual pampering... weekly.

For some this means a weekly ritual bath. I personally hate baths. but the bottom line of this is that once a week you devote time to just YOU. Give yourself permission to spoil your body regularly. For me, this is taking a day off work (used to be Mondays, but is now Tuesdays) to sleep in as long as I want, take a LONG HOT shower, self-massage my feet, meditate, read, and do the things my body wishes to do or not do. Sometimes we only have an hour to devote to ourselves. I am lucky that I can devote a day to me.

Get your beauty sleep.

The body needs sleep to replenish itself. So does the mind and spirit. Dream time (REM) is necessary for the brain to sort things out and file things away. If you have trouble sleeping (like I do), then here are some suggestions.

  • Do something to totally change the head-space from the day/week.
  • Eat something small but heavy to ground yourself and keep the stomach busy so you are not woken in the middle of the night for a snack. (cheese and crackers are good or nibble a bit of turkey this time of year)
  • Drink some warm milk with vanilla and honey. Or fortified soy milk instead of regular milk. (this is because honey is heavy proteins, vanilla is grounding comfort, and the warm milk contains triprophens that help trigger sleep enzymes in the body)
Bring your body to silence. Meditate. Enjoy some quiet time for yourself.

Daily quiet calms the mind and body and spirit. Meditate on a daily basis for a few minutes. Just sit or silently have a cup of tea undisturbed. I like to plan my day in this moment. I take slow breaths, sip my tea, and write my To Do list.

What am I doing right now? Drinking tea (peach infused jasmine dragon pearls).