Dreams, NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Living “Debt Free”…

I had a dream almost a week ago in which my dream mentor told me, quite plainly, “all your debt is paid…

When the words were first spoken, shock set in, followed rapidly by disbelief, which morphed into thoughts of consequences and caveats…

“But what about the taxes?,” I asked.  “Has any provision been made for that?  I mean, if you write off that kind of debt, there are tax consequences…”

My mentor cocked his head and just looked at me, exasperated.

I didn’t say your debt has been forgiven; I said it has been paid…  You are now able to begin living debt-free.

As these words were spoken, I allowed my doubt to leave, watching as it burst into a tiny flame burning somewhere near my heart.  Slowly that flame grew into excitement, anticipation, and yes, even hope, spreading rapidly throughout my body.  The expanding warmth finally reached my head and toes, and with it came clarity…

Laughing, I said to him, “ohhh…  You’re talking about Karma, aren’t you?”

And then I awoke…

Ok, so maybe my financial debt remains, a holdover from when I believed I owed the world something, simply for taking up space here.  But still…  this “gift” is huge!!

Debt free, karmically speaking, what does that really mean?  How does it feel?  How does it translate into daily activity?  These are the questions driving my experiences today…

The first thing I noticed was a certain “lightness,” a lifting of an ever-present weight upon my shoulders.  I stood straighter, calmer, more confidently in my space.  I realized, with a growing sense of wonder, that I owed nobody anything (can’t figure out how to make that work, grammatically, but you get the idea…).  I understood that everything I do now truly is by choice, a choice freed of guilt and expectation.  What do I want to do, right now?

And the first thing I did was go to work.  Of course.  😉  Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to.  I looked forward to spending time with coworkers, to enjoying my work for its own sake, to doing something helpful and productive with my physical being…

Then I went for a walk in the woods, spending time with the trees and the animals who shelter and live there.  Only this time, I wasn’t there seeking messages, lessons, or learning, but simply enjoying the beauty of the moment, the sharing of time with Other beings, similar to, but so unlike my self.  It was quite gratifying…

And today…

Several days have passed, and slowly I revert to the “should’s” and “ought to’s” of life…

***

One of my “grandkitties” had to be euthanized two days ago, and I ached all over, for my daughter, her family, and the animal himself.  I know it was the “right” thing to do.  I struggled with what part I should play in that unfolding drama.  I offered myself to my daughter, whatever she needed.  But I understood that she was the “adult in charge,” and the decisions were hers to make.  I respected those boundaries, even when it became obvious she didn’t “need” me at all…  My baby is all grown up now, and I couldn’t be prouder of her, or the way she handled this unexpected tragedy…

But I had to catch myself, more than once, reminding my self that debt-free goes both ways; I may not owe anyone else, but neither do they owe me.  She didn’t need my “help” this time, and she did brilliantly!  There is absolutely nothing I could have said or done to improve that experience; she, quite literally, got the job done in the most compassionate, loving, and responsible way possible.  With no urging or guidance from me…

And it truly came home to me this morning, after two days of “grieving,” that this, also, is part of what it means to live “debt free”…

And being free just took on a whole new dimension for me…

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NoBloPoMo, Poetry, Reflections

“What if?…”… (Day 30 – yay!)

“What if…?”

Two words that can change Everything…

If I create my own Reality,

Then these two words are how it starts.

Before “in the beginning” even

There must have been some thought

Like “what if…?”

It looked like this?

Then what?

As creator of my own Universe

Influencing all other Universes I make contact with

Being inflenced by them

I become co-creator of yours

As you co-create with me…

What if…?

We worked together to create?

Whatever we desire to share?

What would that look like?

Where would it lead?

What if…?

We created something beautiful today?

Something peaceful and serene?

Maybe something Empowering?

For both you and me…

Come create with me today…

Grant wings to your dreams…

And co-create a story of Love and Compassion both

To influence all beings!

Together we can make a difference!

We can change our worlds!

We can do magick with the simplest of thoughts…

Please come “what if…?” with me!

***     *****   ***

And so a New World begins…

Not with a Big Bang

Or a War of Conquest

Or a Revolution of thought or deed

Or any traumatic upheavals of change…

But with a simple thought

Spoken quietly

Reverently

And shared openly…

“What if…?”

11-12-15

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NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Ethics of Magick… (Day 29)

I know, random topic, right?  Or maybe not…  (I am, after all, mid-story in a tale of magick gone awry, and planning to pick it up again soon – yay!).

I used to teach a class in Ritual Magick, and I always used to start with a solid discussion of ethics; it was my belief that if you understood how magick worked, you’d be much less likely to ever use it.  The standard for modern times is “an’ it harm none, do as you will.”   The problem arises in our attempt to define “harm.”  A similar sentiment is echoed in the adage “be careful what you pray for; you might just get it.”  True, too, for the “Law of Attraction,” where positive thoughts yield positive results, and vice versa.  And how many fairy tales have been told warning of the dangers of misguided “wishing”?  And now we are officially entering the season of miracles and wish fulfillment…

So, no, maybe not so random after all…

I was taught that, contrary to popular belief, there is a finite amount of energy in the Universe, although, from our limited perspective, it may appear infinite.  As co-Creators of All-That-Is, we are free to mold and manipulate that energy at will, thus manifesting whatever it is we desire.  But we must always remember that whatever energy we hijack for our purposes (good or bad intentioned) has come from somewhere else; nothing in life is free!

The purpose of ritual in magickal efforts, be it circle craft or praying, or visualization, or superstitious behavior, is to practice discipline, sharpen focus, and amplify awareness; in essence it allows us to “take charge” of the magickal process.  But the truth is that magick itself requires no such drawn out processes; it happens as quickly as a thought, even an only partially formed one.  We think, “boy, I’d love some ice cream right about now,” and an ice cream truck comes trundling down our block.  Or, “I think I may be thirsty, maybe I should go get a drink”; and the skies outside open up, drowning the earth in a sudden downpour…

Coincidence?  Maybe, except that I don’t really believe in coincidences.  Today, I would likely call it synchonicity, but it’s all the same process in the end.  It is magick, defined, for my purposes anyway, as “the manipulation of real world events by the application of thought or will.”

So…  ethics.  Big topic, lots to work with, where do I want to run with this?  I guess I’m hung up today on the nature of “harm,” and where we draw the line with this.  I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and articles on social media sites involving “how to protect yourself from…” and “how to manifest…”, and while I understand the intentions of such pieces, I am nonetheless irritated by what appears to be a basic misunderstanding.  On top of that is this hyper-sensitivity running rampant through our society, where we take offense at everything!  How will we ever make peace with each other when we can’t even have a simple conversation?  Way too much drama out there, and woefully little self-responsibility.

So this is my lecture to those of you afraid of “psychic vampires”, or “being cursed”, or “being attacked by others’ magick”…

It’s not happening.  Period.  Really…  At least, not in the sense that you need “protection” against these happenings.

I know this because I get how magick works, and other than intimidating someone (which is not a magickal skill), there is nothing you can truly do to another person, magickally speaking.  You may convince them to harm themselves, but that has more to do with your ability to deceive and persuade; you cannot actually make them grow warts or turn into frogs.  Unless they want to, of course…  But then, they wouldn’t really need you…

Magick is personal, we can only directly influence our own lives; we might “suggest” to another how to alter their own life, but we cannot actually cause those changes to occur for another.  The actual “harm” that comes into play when doing magick is the way we coopt energy and twist it to our purposes, and the kinds of suggestions we make to others.

Example…  Many years ago I found myself short of cash for a car insurance payment.  It was due in about a week, and I could not squeeze the budget any tighter; there simply was not enough money coming in.  After making all possible adjustments, and juggling bills, I still came up about $60 short.  So I gave in to the urge to do money magick, being very careful to only ask for exactly what I needed…

Within three days (yes that number three does play prominently in all things magickal), I came out of work to discover that someone had hit my car where it was parked.  Luckily they left a note, so I called them.  They came right away, begging me not to call the insurance companies.  They offered me whatever cash they had in their wallet, and more later, just to keep it between us.  There was no serious damage to my car, which was really old anyway, and they had… wait for it… exactly $60 in their wallet (actually it was an odd number like $57, but it was exactly the amount I needed to pay my bill).  So my car was damaged, this stranger had a horrible day, but my bill got paid on time.  Magick accomplished… (Just for the record, I only took that $57; I did not try to compound the “wrong” by seeking more.)

That is how magick actually works.  All magick is “wild” in the sense that it brings its own consequences, and it tends to be a bit snarky always.  It will exploit whatever loopholes you leave open, while technically meeting your demands.  And I have never met anyone with a disciplined enough will to close every loophole; or if I have, they are not doing “magick” like this.

The “harm” in this case is obvious, but minimal, in part because I was so very careful and specific in my demands.  I coopted energy (in this case $57) from another, and I got my car damaged in the process.  I learned my lesson about doing money magick.  Reminder: there is a finite amount of energy to draw from, a finite amount of resources you can tap; you may draw to you what you need, but you will take it from someone else.  That seems to me to be the very definition of “harm,” though some might argue that the other person could clearly afford it in this case, but I can’t actually know that…

The same principle applies to those teaching “how to manifest your desires” in the world today.  “Become abundant by doing what you love, etc” is good in theory, but understand that, for you to make a fortune at something, someone else is going to have to pay for it.  The “ethical” question is “are you targeting people who can afford to pay for your dreams to come true, or are you targeting others just as needy as yourself?”

Now, back to those “psychic vampires”…  Are there people out there capable of “feeding” off your energy?  Absolutely!  You’ll recognize them by paying attention to how you feel around them.  Do you always feel exhausted after spending time with a certain person?  Do you avoid interacting with someone because it feels like too much work?  Yeah, they’re everywhere.  Do you need protection from them?  That depends entirely upon you, and how much you are willing to share with those people…

Again, a finite amount of energy to be used, and in this case they are drawing from you.  Are you willing to give it or not?  In my experience, most of these “energy vampires” are not even aware they are doing anything to you; they are just very “needy.”  They know people avoid them, which makes them feel even more needy for whatever attention they get, thus causing them to draw even more on the energy of those they interact with.  Which encourages more people to avoid them, etc.  It’s a self-defeating cycle, and it’s sad, but it is not dangerous, at least not to the “giver.”

You have three choices (told you three is a magickal number) when you realize you are in the company of such a needy person: you can give what energy you feel you can spare freely, and rest later; you can walk away and avoid all future encounters with them; or you can enact “protection” protocols, which will allow you to be around them without being drained.  I caution against the last, in spite of that being the option most strongly “suggested” by the mainstream momentum.  In order to “protect” yourself, you actually have to isolate yourself from others, create a little bubble around yourself, which serves to separate you from the rest of the world; and really, in my not-so-humble opinion, this world needs more unification than separation…

But my caution runs deeper than that…  All life exists because of that subtly moving energy, that exchange that crosses forms.  Animals eat plants to absorb their energy for survival; carnivores eat herbivores to support their needs.  The death of animals provides nutrients to the soil that allow the plants to grow in the first place.  And that’s just one, very simplistic example of the connectedness of all life.  You cut yourself off from another for the sake of “protection”, and you isolate yourself from all others; you also isolate yourself from natural sources of replenishing your energy.  If “protection” becomes habitual, you will become “needy” yourself, you will drive others away, you will become needier…  Like magic, another “psychic vampire” is born…

In my opinion (and no, there is no particular reason that should sway you), the real problem is that our human minds, as they exist today, are too limited to grasp the complexity and enormity of energy transactions.  We cannot take into consideration all possible ramifications of our thoughts; and it is through “thought” that most magick goes awry.  But, luckily, we are not limited to minds alone; we also have feelings, and souls capable of grasping the totality of all existence, since our souls are part of the One-ness that birthed everything.  Our emotions are what bridge our thoughts and souls.  If we focus our feelings on calm, peace, love and light, then we will naturally minimize the “harm” we do to others.  After all, the person driving the ice cream truck is trying to make a living, and maybe the earth was also thirsty, so encouraging the rain benefits us all…

So…if any of this resonates with you, feel free to contact me privately to sign up for my Magick 101 online course.  I can teach you how to manifest all your dreams, protect yourself from curses and other evil intentions, and heal others, with or without their consent.  And, if you sign up in the next three days, you can have the entire course for only $200 ( a course like this usually sells for a $1000 or more!).  But I believe in you, so I’m offering you this special deal!*

What can I say… rent is due next week…

 

* (Yes, friends, this is a joke.  Please don’t contact me about this course; I’m not really teaching it.  I don’t want any misunderstandings to occur here…)

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NoBloPoMo, Poetry

“The Rhythm of Life”… (Day 28)

Drum6

Photo by Lisa Palmer, 2015

Tick… tock…  Tick… tock…

So says the clock, as it measures out the moments of our lives.

Tick, tick, tock…  Tick, tick, tock…

Time speeds up as years slip by.

 

Be-dum… Be-dum… Be-dum…

Beats my heart, proving I am still alive.

Be-dum-dum-dum… Be-dum-dum-dum…

My heart now racing with anticipation and desire.

 

Bump-be-dum-dum…  Bump-be-dum-dum…

A mother’s anxiety begins.

Whoosh-be-thump-bump… Whoosh-be-thump-bump…

A child’s answering response.

 

Ding-dong-ding…  Ding-dong-ding…

A visitor arrives: stranger, family or friend?

Buzzzz… Buzzzz…  Buzzzz…

News arrives, good or bad, the vibration never changes.

 

Ding-dong-ding-ding-ding…  Ding-dong-ding-ding-ding…

The bells toll, calling the Faithful to pray, celebrate or mourn.

Brrrinnnggg-tinkle-tinkle…  Brrrinnnggg-tinkle-tinkle…

The Fey Folk can’t resist the bells and chimes, at least according to Lore.

 

BOOM!… De-boom-boom…  BOOM!… De-boom-boom…

Tap… Tap-tap-tap-tap…  Tap… Tap-tap-tap-tap…

Clap… … … … Clap… … … … Clap… … … …

… … Snap… … … Snap… … … Snap…

 

The fire beckons from afar,

The people gather at its altar

Bodies move, voices chant

Souls dance a spiral path…

 

The rhythms of living

Felt deep within my being.

Solid, steady, heard and shared

The sound of life unending…

 

 

 

 

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NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Irony… (Day 27)

We raise turkeys, chickens and pigs on farms, where we overfeed and under-exercise them for the whole purpose of fattening them up, so we can eat them…

We look for new ways to grow crops, anything (healthy or otherwise) that will grow more, grow bigger, feed more, regardless of what taste or nutrition is lost in the process…

We over-stuff our birds, over-fill our plates, eat until we’re sick, then go back for more…

We cook so much food that we eat leftovers for days afterward, and we smugly admit that’s all part of the holiday charm…

Some of us drink too much as well – too much wine, beer or coffee, and somehow expect to remain who we usually are…

We do too much, and sleep too little, all in preparation for this special day…

And what exactly are we celebrating by doing all this today?

Aside from celebrating obesity in America, we tell ourselves that this holiday is all about sharing to overcome scarcity; it’s about surviving in a world where there was too little to go around…

So, while I sit back in my chair, hands resting on my Happy Buddha belly, too full to move, it occurs to me…

There’s still too little to go around in our country and our world, and I have had too much…

The irony of it struck me hard today, and so the writer in me responded.  Couldn’t think of what to do with it, other than share it with all of you.  Not that’s there’s any scarcity of irony around here, I know…

😉

 

 

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NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Unsolicited Advice… (Day 26)

For those of you who celebrate the solstice season, at least in part, with a shopping and gift giving frenzy, this post is meant for you.  It includes my unsolicited advice for maneuvering through the retail chaos of this season, offered from the perspective of one who has worked in the field for over 30 years, filling every position from cashier to clerk to management, and several in between…  (And if it sounds a little snarky at times, just go with it, as I’m merely trying to get into the holiday shopping spirit!)

  • DO shop small.  Please support your local small businesses whenever practical and possible.  Not only will you likely encounter more unique gift options, shorter lines and more helpful staff, but you may very well be helping that business (and its employees) to stay afloat.  Many small businesses depend upon the holiday season to pull them through each year.  And though they may not offer the Black Friday deals you’re looking for, many do offer huge sales on Small Business Saturday (the next day), and American Express offers incentives for shopping at local businesses that day as well…
  • DO come prepared.  If you come with just a list, hoping some clerk will help you find the “perfect” gifts for you, please be prepared to answer a few simple questions: what age you are shopping for; what price range are you looking for; and what interests does your recipient have.  If you have no clue on the last one (and most don’t, so you are not alone), be prepared to take suggestions, and to make the final decision.  We can tell you what’s been selling (trendy), and what might be unique and memorable (our own personal favorites), but we cannot, under any circumstance, guarantee that your recipient will like it.  So please don’t come back after the holidays and tell us you’re returning a gift because our clerk failed in their recommendations.  Ultimately, you are going to get credit for a win, so take responsibility for any fails as well…
  • DO be patient!!  I cannot emphasize this enough!  Expect to encounter lines and wait times.  There are only so many of us working, and we are vastly outnumbered by those of you who are shopping.  We WANT to help you, we really do, but you are going to have to wait your turn.  For while you, as the customer, may be the most important person there, you are most definitely not the only most important person there!  Tapping your toes, rolling your eyes, and making snide comments will not improve your status or your wait time; in fact, the opposite may occur.  By the time you finally get to ask for help, you may find we are “out of stock” or “going on break.”  Let’s face it, it’s the only power of retribution we have…  And if you are one of those customers requiring a lot of “help” time (as in you want us to shop for you), be prepared to be interrupted several times while we’re working with you; there’s absolutely no reason why another customer should wait 30 minutes to ask us what aisle such and such is in, and we clerks are well-practiced at multi-tasking…
  • DON’T delude yourself .  There is no magical retail warehouse we can call to get that one last brand-specific requested gift you want that’s out of stock everywhere!  If you need it that badly, plan ahead.  Shop early, call ahead to see if an item can be put on hold (and yes, folks, if we say we will only be able to hold it for three days, we mean three, not four, five or six), buy it online for in-store pick-up, or put it on layaway.  If all of that fails, and no substitute or gift card will replace it, call Santa Clause; maybe he can help you…  (And remember, every minute you waste ranting at us about not anticipating your last minute need for this item, is time Santa’s elves no longer have to create your miracle!)…
  • DO control your children!!!  (Do I feel strongly about this? Yes!!)  They are your responsibility!  Please do not let them run amok in the store while you shop, grabbing whatever they want off the shelves, opening packages to see what’s inside, and generally wreaking havoc.  Demo items and toys for kids to play with are usually prominently displayed; anything else should be off limits! And while we provide play tables in our store for kids to demo products, that does not mean you should leave them there unattended while you shop.  Please understand, we are not babysitters; we don’t have the time, or by now, the patience for it.  (I’m more serious than snarky here because I have seen parents of small children walk several aisles away from their kids to shop, leaving them at the play tables, one of which is right by the door.  Some time later they come back, demanding we tell them where their child went.  When told we don’t know, but we’ll help them look, the parents scream at us, “well, weren’t you watching him?!  He was right there in front of you!”  Problem is, we weren’t able to be there the whole time, and countless other people were.  Usually, the child has just wandered off in search of the missing parent, but we did have a case where a little boy followed another family right out of the store.  Luckily, they brought him back!). So, seriously, folks, please watch your kids!
  • DON’T  just drop unwanted merchandise wherever you happen to be!  Classic scenario: customer asks us for something we happen to carry (yay!); we take them to its location, but the shelf is empty (noo!);  we check inventory, in case we haven’t had time to restock, which happens quite often at this time of year (so always ask if you are looking for something specific), and computer says we have one left (yay!); we check backstock, but it’s not there (nooo!); we enlist other clerks to help search, who are busy with other customers and such (yay!); we search reshops, hold bins, layaways, everywhere, but we do not find (sad sigh…); we fail to produce said product and both the customer and store are disappointed…  Closed, finally (yay!); cleaning up the mess the customers left us so we can do it again tomorrow (nooo!); find missing product shoved behind other merchandise on a shelf four aisles away (grrrrr…..).  Is it any surprise, really, that retail clerks get a little grumpier as the season progresses?  Seriously, friends, if you don’t want it, fine, just please hand it off to a clerk or a cashier and tell them; they will be more than happy to return it to its proper place.  Really!
  • DON’T throw a fit about how long your transaction takes to process.  Just an FYI to those of you using credit cards this season, especially the new chip cards: they take 2-3 times longer to process than the old cards did, especially if the store has the new chip reader technology that requires the card to be inserted into the machine.  We have no control over that.  And if your chip card has the word “Debit” on it, expect to have to enter your PIN, even if you’re using it as “Credit.”  It’s how the new system works, and it’s designed to protect you!  We cannot override it, even for you…  Also worth noting that during the busiest shopping times, the credit card servers can get back-logged, slowing things down even more.  Yelling at the cashiers, and ranting at the system will not change anything but the moods of all those around you; and they will get darker and meaner the longer you carry on…
  • DO take the time to acknowledge excellent customer service.  Really, this is important!  We, as a society seem to have no problem voicing our complaints whenever anything doesn’t go our way, but we spend precious little time acknowledging our victories.  Your compliment, even expressed to management, will not likely result in a raise for that cashier or clerk who helped you, but I guarantee it will make that clerk or cashier’s day!  We are mostly overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated (and I’m not just talking retail people here), but it’s amazing how worthwhile it can all feel when that one person steps up and says, “Thank you!  You made my day!”  If you can take the time to tell management, even better, but please try to get the name of the person before doing so; that kind of personal recognition might just keep them going another day in this retail hell.  And if you don’t have time to wait for a manager, consider going on the store’s website later and leaving a review, or calling to speak with a manager on the phone.  Trust me, this small act of kindness is more in keeping with the holiday spirit than any gift or deal you might find while shopping…  Speaking of which…
  • DO try to have fun, and spread a little cheer.  Ultimately this holiday season (whatever you celebrate, be it religious, spiritual, or simply capitalistic) is about spreading a little light and love in the world.  It is no coincidence that the holidays come at the time of the winter solstice, when days are short and nights are long and cold.  Whether you are celebrating the birth of a Son or a Sun, or Lights in general, it’s all about a little love and hope to get us through the darkest nights.  We can all share that much, even if we never agree on details…

So…  Having said all this, let me be one of the first to wish you a happy holiday shopping season!  Together we can get through this, and maybe, just maybe, we can have a little fun doing so!

End rant…

 

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NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Mysteries… (Day 25, Take 2)

Ok, here’s a mystery for all you sci fi and mystery writers to work on…

It was late last night when I got around to doing my blog post, so I sorted through my “Drafts” and found a poem I had not yet published.  I looked it over, tweaked it a bit, and “published” it.  Then I went on to start working on tomorrow’s blog, so I won’t be too far behind.

So far, all is normal…

My notifications tell me that someone from Facebook read the new post, and one other.  Cool!

So, this morning I log in, and there is no new post…  Hmm…  I check in my “draft” folder, but it’s not there, either.  So I go looking through my “published” archive, and I find the post, as last edited, but it’s status indicates I published it “20 days ago”?!

My first thought is that I must have forgotten that it was already published, so I go looking for another post from 11-4 (Day 4)  or 11-5 (Day 5), knowing that, for November anyway, I have purposely only posted once a day.  Sure enough, on Nov. 4, (Day 4), I published a chapter of “Nemesis”, and on 11-5 (Day 5) I published “Stillness”…

And sitting between them in my Archives is “Birth of a Butterfly… (Day 25)”…

WTF??!!!

So tell me, wise ones…  How the heck did I manage to go back in time 20 days to publish my post?

I know I often have issues with Time, but usually it’s little things.  This is downright disturbing…  lol

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