The Real Me, The Real You

My True Self

It’s strange to think about all the roles I have played in my life. I was a daughter, then eventually an adopted daughter, only child, competitive figure skater, good little Catholic girl, a Duranie, rebellious teenage runaway, juvenile delinquent, friend, lover, teen mom, college student, wife, heart-breaker, teacher, occult student, Tarot reader, Priestess, & one who lives with chronic pain. These are just a few off the top of my head. Now obviously there are some roles I am not proud of and there are those that make me happy inside. Each one of those roles has been a unique learning experience and has led my life in many different directions. Two of those things I have been for more than half my life; and those two things are a wife and mom.

The role of a wife and mom are are what most people identify me as, because they are the two roles I show most to the world. They are big pieces of my life, and I love being those things. My journey as a wife and mom has given me some of my most beautiful and amazing memories and I know there are good things to come (even through the muddy waters of problem children). The roles of wife and mom are pieces of my life but they don’t define me. These roles are what they are; roles. The real me, (the real you, the real them) is infinite and immeasurable. Everyone is their own being with a unique spirit and a spark of the divine, and yet I can sometimes bog myself down with labels. Do you do that too? Yes, I’m married, I have children, I’m a pet owner, volunteer, and homemaker. I have many interests and hobbies. I am blessed with those things and those are a part of my being, but not the totality of me.

Why do we limit ourselves with our self-image? Why do we habitually identify our uniqueness with roles and titles, employment and status, what we own or what we don’t own, our personality traits and our looks? It’s self-limiting, and I don’t believe that’s the entire reason for this incarnation and most definitely not my soul’s existence. There’s so much more to me. It was time to knock down those walls I’d made. It was time to expand my sense of self and open myself up to new opportunities. There was room needed for my new dreams and ideas to flourish.

So, who am I?

In learning to know myself, I have had to become more aware during times of meditation, journaling, and when reading the Tarot for myself. From time to time I pause and ask myself if I am keeping to certain roles during this time of introspection, or am I floating free of those labels? Am I looking at the whole picture of me? This has helped me tremendously in letting go. I was surprised at first when I felt more complete the more I let go. Now it comes naturally when I’m in my quiet time and space of solitude. It has become an immeasurably important piece of my life, allowing me to step back in order see the strength and beauty of who I was, who I am, and the woman I aspire to be.

                  magic recievers - supernatural links often attributed to things that people do not understand. Mirrors seemto posses a power beyond the natural, a reflection of the truth, and so became a handy repository for many mystical and supernatural ideas. They did seem to be portals to another world at times..

    Blessings on your Journey )O(


Finding Balance

Finding Balance

As a Free Spirit, there is no set prescribed dogma or rules about how much, how little, how long, or even where I decide to practice and honor the Divine. My path is a reflection of my Soul’s yearning, and I feel as naturally drawn in that direction as branches of a tree bend towards the light.

Daily Spiritual Practice is vitally important for the Journey of the Soul but can be very difficult to maintain if you don’t find some sort of structure that is evenly tempered with balance. This is my ongoing journey towards balance.

Over the past two decades, my daily practice has evolved (and continues to evolve) in the most wondrous ways. I’ve come a long way since twenty years ago when I felt it necessary to perform formal rituals for any spellwork of any kind. When I flip through my first Book of Shadows and the countless spiral notebooks I had filled with ‘necessary’ knowledge, it’s clear how much I lacked in self-trust and balance.

Unlike my Catholic upbringing and other major faiths, my new way of Spirituality was not centered on an individual’s teaching. I wasn’t following a “Book”, instead I was creating my own. I was discovering my own Truth and quickly became passionate, eager to learn anything and everything I could about Paganism, Goddess Worship, Witchcraft, New Age, Astrology, Divination, Angels, Holistic & Natural Healing, Reiki, Eastern Philosophy, Zen, etc.. Although I had freed myself from the bondage of mainstream religion, I found myself to be very much alone. I was no longer accountable to anyone other than myself, and like many others, I am my own worst critic.

Young and in the early stages of my new Spiritual Path, I quickly fell into the New Age Wicca trap and became guilty of buying gleaming new tools to adorn my altar because I didn’t trust myself to create them myself with items I found in nature. (And I’ll admit I’m drawn to pretty, sparkly things, and oh my are there pretty, sparkly things packed in metaphysical shops!) I read, reread, rewrote, and reworked everything until my head spun and I began to second guess all of my actions. Instead of finding fulfillment and peace, I became a nervous wreck with less self-esteem than I began with. I’ve come a long way spiritually since then, and had a lot to learn about the concept of balance.
Regular balance adjustments have been crucial to my Spiritual alignment and have become as welcome as they are necessary. Over the years I’ve accepted the fact that overdoing can be just as bad as doing nothing at all. Roadblocks and perfection detours have no place on my Spiritual Path. Creating balance allows me to move along freely and maintaining that balance in my daily Spiritual practice has helped me gain balance in all areas of my life.

Life is just one big balancing act. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives are in constant stages of change. We can be physically cold, emotionally sad, and spiritually malnourished. On the other hand we can feel great in one or more of these areas.

When it comes to Spiritual Balance, it’s important to understand that a person’s idea of balance can vary greatly between individuals. When you factor in all those moment to moments, the one size fits all mentality just isn’t going to work.

The trick to finding that sweet spot of equilibrium will rely on your honesty. With yourself. We are creatures of habit, but not all habits are good for us. Look at yourself, then look at your situation. What needs to change? More than likely it will be something you don’t want to change, but it’s our responsibility to know where our strengths and weaknesses lie at any given time. Knowing where and how much power we can draw from one area of our life to help balance another is one of our life’s best lessons to learn. For me it was one of the hardest. It meant I had to evaluate and be objective in my reasoning.

One of my favorite tools to use when looking within is the Tarot. The archetypal images work beautifully for me to tap into my subconscious, bringing to light certain aspects of my life that I couldn’t see . Many are inspired by the Tarot, but it’s not for everyone. The key is to find that special tool that resonates with you on a deeply Spiritual level in order to unlock the subconscious. For some it’s meditation, for others it may simply be going for a walk in nature. There’s automatic writing, trance work, dream analysis, etc. Look for that special something that works for you, try out new things. When you find it you’ll know it. If you find yourself second guessing, then it’s probably not right for you, and you should move on and try something else.

Balance is a constant state of give and take. You will only be disappointed if you think balance and harmony can be a moment frozen in time. The only constant in life is change, so you just gotta to roll with it.

Blessings on your Journey )O(

Mirror, Mirror

Life is full of mysterious reflections. Some are clean and clear while others are distorted or deceptive. The mirror of our soul reflects back to us all aspects of our hopes and dreams, our love and passion, and ultimately our true self. These reflections serve as reminders and change according to need, and are felt within and seen by others without.

Before each incarnation our souls are known to us, as is our intimate source to the divine. That connection becomes muddled with life as a result of all the headaches and heartaches, complexities and confusion we endure. We struggle with holding on to that connection but it continues to float further and further away from our day to day consciousness. What once resonated with us spiritually becomes a distant faint glimmer among the stars of our forgotten dreams.Mirrors capture our image, revealing to us our likeness in great detail. But these are not the only mirrors we have available to us. There are other types of mirrors that reveal things about ourselves that we can’t see. Those reflections are all around us in one form or another, but none more common and reliable than our daily interactions with others. These mirrors provide the clearest reflection of our innermost selves once those reflections are brought into focus. That act in itself can prove to be quite a challenge.Remember running through the room of mirrors in the carnival funhouse? It was dizzying and disorienting, and you kept finding yourself bumping into either clear glass or mirrored reflections, unable to differentiate between the two. There probably came a point where you began to question which illusion was true to your eyes and which was in fact deceptive. Perhaps in trepidation you held your hands out in front of your body to shield yourself from hitting your face against the glass again.

If we’re honest, we’ll be able to admit that we have certain traits or characteristics that we don’t want to see, and we most certainly don’t want others to see. When we show our true selves, we are left vulnerable to the judgement and critique of others. When we hide these things then we are hiding from ourselves. We’ll eventually move through our self-made illusions and come out the other side relieved.

Those we encounter are the mirrors showing us our hidden truths. These encounters are arranged by the universe, and more times than not they are an opportunity for growth.When we can honestly watch ourselves through the actions of others, we are able to connect with both our strengths and weaknesses. These reflections of ourselves that we see in others help nudge us to remember who we really are, what we are really like, and what our life purpose is.

There are people in our lives who can trigger good or bad reactions almost immediately. Do you cringe when you think of bumping into a certain person you don’t like? Do you smile when you hear your children get off the school bus? What about the feeling of excitement when you arrive at a get together with your closest friends?
Our mirrors appear as people who come into our lives (friends, neighbors, co workers, enemies, grocery store clerks, and telemarketers) who have a way of bringing up our own issues. You can be going about your day when you encounter someone who creates a downward spiral in your world. Later you find yourself still thinking about the situation, going over the details, reliving the feelings of anger, insecurity, or guilt. Coming up with things you could’ve said, should’ve done.

Picture yourself showing up at that get-together you were so looking forward to only to see someone whom you always seem to clash with. That is a perfect time to look for the reflection of yourself. What is your reaction? Do you turn around and head out the door? Do you hide behind a plant? Maybe you walk right up and say hi in the most pleasant way you can only to feel your lip twitch. What are your feelings? Anger? Shame? Embarrassment?No matter the emotion, it’s strong and It can feel overwhelming. These instinctual feelings are a signal for you to take a closer look at yourself.

One personal experience occurred after my third child was born. I was insecure about the way I looked as It had been 6 weeks since I gave birth and I was still trying to shed the extra baby weight. I felt frumpy and depressed. I wasn’t getting much sleep, and I had no energy whatsoever.

One warm spring evening I made a quick jaunt to the corner market because we had ran out of milk. My husband was helping finish dinner so I reluctantly agreed to go. Besides, I hadn’t been out of the house in days. It was one of those ‘in cognito’ quick run in, run out, hope you don’t see anyone you know trips and lo and behold I run into an old high school friend. There I was, caught in my baggy sweatpants and milk-stained t-shirt, wearing no makeup with my hair pulled back in a ponytail.

Gina however, was sun-kissed and smiling. She seemed ‘put together’. In fact, she looked amazing. Several things ran through my mind; I was grateful that my husband wasn’t with me, that she probably wouldn’t have noticed me if I had been wearing my sunglasses, and that I hated her guts. I felt a twinge of guilt with that last thought because she was in fact a dear friend of mine during high school. She had always been positive and caring, but at that moment I couldn’t stand her. Everything about her bothered me, and I found myself focusing on how she was chomping on the piece of gum in her mouth and how incredibly irritating it was.

This encounter with Gina was a real wake-up call when I was finally able to come clean with myself about my jealousy towards her. It was emotional to see someone from my past, someone who reminded me of myself just a few years earlier. I found myself reluctant to answer when she asked me what I was up to. I didn’t want to ask her what she was doing with her life, afraid that she would have the same answer as me. She was married too, with a three year-old ; and 8 month- old twins! I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself as I looked at the radiant woman standing in front of me. Not knowing what else to do, I politely told her I was in a hurry and left

Later that evening I reflected on the encounter. After processing the feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, embarrassment, and sadness, and as I continued to peel back the layers of those emotions, my reflection became clearer and more focused.

The fact of the matter was that I wasn’t taking care of myself. I couldn’t remember the last time I took any time for myself, even to grab a coffee, or take a bubble bath. I was too exhausted and depressed to even give it much thought. After pouring all of my energy into being a good mom and wife, I had nothing left for me.

Encountering someone from my past, someone who I admired, someone who reminded me of who I used to be, was also a reminder of what I could still be.. Happy. Healthy. Put together. It created a sadness within me that was a direct reflection of my lack of self-love and acceptance. I threw on the sweatpants because I didn’t think to bother looking for anything else. My devotion to others allowed me to ignore myself, my own needs, and my feelings of worthiness. Why bother with makeup or brushing my hair if I wasn’t expecting to leave the house? What was the point?

The point was that I had simply forgotten about myself! My feelings of inadequacy stemmed from the fact that I had failed to create a perfect life for my family (which of course doesn’t exist for anyone). In feeling like a failure, it became easy to neglect my emotional and spiritual well-being. The more I neglected these two things, the more my self-image suffered. This was obvious in the way I treated myself, and my physical appearance was a direct reflection of that.

I was not only too tired, but I felt it was too selfish to worry about my own well-being or to fight for my own happiness. I thought that if I could manage making everyone else around me happy, then happiness for myself would naturally follow. I had fallen into the trap that so many moms fall into. Put simply, I had it ass backwards. This encounter with my old classmate was a wake-up call, a slap in the face from reality, and it was a way to stop the downward spiral.

I realized that I was the only one responsible for my own happiness, and I began a new way of life. I had an entirely new mindset. I began to think about myself. My needs. My wants. My emotions. My physical health. All of it. Gina mirrored the qualities I so desperately wanted back in my life. The self-confidence and genuine smile, the positive aura, and the bright energy. It was the real me, and I wanted it back. I began that night, scribbling away in my journal. I wrote out reasonable goals and crossed them off as I achieved them. I then created new ones. My confidence grew and my love and appreciation for myself blossomed.

Everyone you meet has the potential to act as a mirror. Every day you encounter them as smiling faces or sour looks. You’ll see friendly gestures or hear rude comments. How do those people reflect your own personal emotions that day? Are they similar or quite the opposite? How do those actions and attitudes affect you? Do they bring to attention certain patterns or habits you need to do away with? What are some that you need to embrace? Make the most of the human mirrors you meet in the world. Be open to the learning experience they offer, even the ones that make you feel uncomfortable. Well, especially those ones.

Remember to keep close to your heart the knowledge that you too are somebody’s mirror. Never underestimate the importance of that.
Blessings on your Journey )O(