Against all odds!

Savvy Raj

Motivational read …that I just had to share.

This is Jim Thorpe. Look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement.

It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field. On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were stolen. Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can. That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day. This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back. So what if life hasn’t been fair?

What are you going to do about it today? Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen…

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Turning Point

A few years ago, while I was in the early stages of recovery from burn out, I realized that all the work that I was doing to heal was missing a component. That component was my spirituality.

From past experience, I knew that my spirituality was the foundation of my existence. Over the years I had taken a lot of workshops, drawing from each of them, facets that I resonated to and that supported my inner world.

The only way I managed to do anything was when I was reacting to the world around me. but to do that meant that I was ignoring my inner world. to accomplish what was expected of me I would over extend my self and once I had fulfilled ‘their’ expectations, I would collapse for days, sometimes a week. A ‘Catch 22’.

It was at that time, that I received an email regarding an online Spiritual workshop from Jocelyn Mercado. Being online meant that I didn’t have to leave the house, I could choose to listen to the presenters or not.

It takes a lot of energy to listen and focus and I didn’t have the energy to listen to all the presenters, so I sorted through the offering and chose 1 or 2 a day.

I enjoyed listening to the other spiritual guides and advisers, but it was Simone Wright’s no-nonsense grounded attitude that caught my attention.

I worked with Simone for 2 years until she took a sabbatical from teaching last year. Recently, I received an email telling me about a program she is offering called Visioneering.

In Simone’s words “There IS a way to making your Visions a reality and it’s not rooted in magic. It’s rooted in an energetic STRATEGY that actually helps you ENGINEER your Visions for the future, by giving them a stable yet powerful, container through which ALL of the energy of your Visions can move!

YOU are that container and YOU are the Engineer as well.”

Check it out at Visioneering.

Simone’s offering a special price until March 3.

Disclosure: I have no connection with either Simone Wright or Jocelyn Mercado, other than the work I did with them. As a spiritual teacher I highly recommend Simone.

Rivers of Energy, Places of Power

Hello Everyone!

Today I am honored to have Widdershins as guest Blog post.  Read On & Enjoy!

Widdershins has just published her book, Prelude – The Gaining Of Shamanic Wisdom. It’s part memoir, part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side. More information about Widdershins herself, and Prelude, at the end.

Take it away, Widdershins!

-oOo-

We are Beings of Earth, Air, Water, Fire.

But there is so much more to our existence, so much more to ‘see’, all around us, if only we have the ‘eyes’, the awareness, to understand what we’re looking at.

We are also children of this planet, our Mother, Earth. And as such we are able to connect to the fifth Aspect of Her Spirit, by engaging with a different Realm of Awareness than the Physical, measurable, quantifiable one that we see all around us, and without which we wouldn’t exist in these biological forms we currently inhabit.

One of these Realms of Awareness involves the Places of Power on the surface of the Earth, and their interconnectedness through the body of the earth.

The Places of Power are scattered throughout the six great landmasses, Australia, Africa, South America, Eurasia, Antarctica, and North America, and the myriad islands throughout the ‘seven seas’. (There may indeed be Places of Power under the oceans and seas, that we haven’t got close enough to experience yet)

They are naturally occurring Sacred Circles, that separate the magical from the mundane and from within which, it is easier to connect to other Realms of Awareness.

They range from famous and grand structures like Stonehenge in south-western England and the Nazca lines in Peru, to the moment when you walk between two trees on either side of a forest path and know that something is different.

All of them are connected to each other by rivers of energy that pass through the body of the Earth, the mantle and inner and outer core, like a giant three-dimensional spiderweb.

In my Shamanic Journeys I see them as brightly colored strings of shiny beads, woven around a core of pure energy. It’s possible to, carefully, engage with these rivers and hitch a ride to any destination, to any Place of Power, you wish.

The rivers also allow the Places themselves to communicate with each other, to share energy as needed, to repair the passages of Time, or the careless scuff made by the boot of a human tourist.

The smaller Places that are not anchored to one geographical location, as are the two ‘famous’ ones I mentioned above, have the ability to move around, drawn by a Spirit’s need, or responding to the Earth Herself.

They are both the Journey and the Destination. And are such fun to play with!

Imagine, having prepared your physical and Spirit bodies, you close your eyes and hitch a ride with one of the rivers. You travel, at the speed of thought, through the great body of the Earth, observing all the energies swirling around you.

Who knows what adventures you will have.

-oOo-

 

About Prelude:

Shamans come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from all the continents of the Earth. We’ve been around since the human race realized there was more to existence than just the physical, and we’ll be around long after the last star has died, when the Wheel turns to renew All.

Becoming a Shaman is not for the faint-of-heart, or the timid-of Spirit. It is not an easy Path, nor should it be. The responsibilities are great and require harsh testing before one is judged capable of shouldering them.

There are many Pathways to becoming a Shaman, and I came to understand mine through my Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, She who is the First Mother of Us All, in all Her forms.

‘Prelude’  is the story of my very first steps along that Path. It is part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side.

From the moment I came across a giant statue of Bast, I knew my life would never be the same. There were times I froze, bled, burned, raged, and cried.  My life, my past, the shadows, and the shining moments, all the things I believed defined me, were challenged, until nothing but a truth, my Truth, remained.

Join me as I confront my monsters, discover my true Name, and come to understand that the Physical world I grew up with was just a tiny corner of a much vaster Cosmos.

Prelude is available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback, HERE … and on Smashwords as an ebook, HERE

Widdershins-72dpi-1500x2000

-oOo-

About Widdershins:

I was born in England on a crisp autumn eve in 1958, emigrated to Australia at the tender age of two, and moved to Canada in 2004 where I married the love of my life. I left school when I was fourteen, and thereafter continued my education via libraries, books, and whatever Life decided to throw my way.

I’m a Shaman, a lesbian, a writer of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Fiction. I’m a bicyclist, a feminist, a gardener, a crafter of clay … I’ve been an architect, a seamstress, an athlete, a field hand …

Being a Shaman is the Thread of my life from which all else is woven. Writing is one of my Great Passions, novels specifically, short stories occasionally, and always with lesbian characters.

I adopted ‘Widdershins’ as a username in the early days of the interwebz, and it stuck … because I am, if nothing else, contrariwise. Also, it’s witchy, whimsical, and wild.

I can be found in the ethers with my writerly hat on at Widdershins Worlds and wearing my Shaman hat at Widdershins, The Shaman.

-oOo-

Widdershins, as Writer:

One day, late in my high-school career, in order to avoid writing a very boring science essay, I turned in a short science fiction story instead. It incorporated the information in the essay, but in a much more readable form. (in my humble opinion)

When I handed it in I caught a glimpse of my teacher’s face as she started reading it, she’d turned rather pale. I discreetly exited the room before her ability to speak returned.  As I fled I heard a bark of what I hoped was laughter, but it could’ve been an incipient heart attack. Only time would tell.

Upon receiving the marked essay back I saw the following scrawled across the top. ‘Don’t ever do this to me again.’ Somewhere in the middle was a, ‘Well Done.’ In the bottom left-hand corner  was a very large red ‘A’.

That was the moment my career as a writer began.

-oOo-

Widdershins, as Shaman:

I always wanted to know the layers of ‘why’, about everything, and to see beyond the horizon, all the horizons. I found answers to most of my ‘why’s and wherefore’s’ about things of a physical, intellectual, and emotional ilk, but the spiritual … hmm … that evaded me. So I engaged with the obvious first, but found far too many holes in traditional religion, and any practice that required genuflecting to a guru didn’t do it for me either, particularly if there was some bloke at the top of things telling everyone else what they should or shouldn’t do in order to achieve his vision of … whatever he wanted.

I read everything I could get my hands on, and quested among New Age philosophies, and ‘eastern’ practices. (a good many of which, unfortunately, fell into the above mentioned ‘bloke-at-the-top’ category)

Then I discovered the women writing about feminist politics and spirituality from a woman-centered perspective. Women like Mary Daly, Colette, Kate Millett, Diane Stein, Starhawk, Monica Sjoo, Dale Spender, Vicki Noble, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and many, many others.

After much searching I came to understand that what moved my Spirit was an Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, the First Mother of Us All.

And so, my Journey to become a Shaman of Her Path began, with ‘Prelude’.

In Memory of 2018 – May You Rest in Peace

2018 has been a year of Perseverance and Transition.

After hitting bottom, which can be translated as burning out, over 3 years ago, I had hopes that 2018 would be the end of the stop/start format of the previous years as I tried to heal and create a new lifestyle. Despite all my efforts, well…

2018 started with a concussion and a broken ankle… this was not an auspicious start.

During the first 6 months of the year, I did start working as an office temp. I did learn to ride my scooter. On the business end, I did shift my business from live theatre with a plan to teach … what, I wasn’t sure of. I had numerous ideas, all interesting, created plans which quickly revealed their limitations and at times were noticeably dead-ends.

But… why is there always a but… the healing component was slower.

At these times, my life was like quicksand. According to Wikipedia, due to the density of quicksand, movement may be impaired… slow movement will enable an individual to remove themselves from quicksand, (this is due to water displacing the sand through pressure), sinking is impossible unless movement is panicky. If panicky movement is continued it could trap a person and under adverse conditions, they could lose their life.

The myth of falling into quicksand and dying, according to Wikipedia, is unrealistic and an exaggerated ploy of the film industry.[i]

That being said, the more slowly I moved through the healing aspect over 2018, the lest apt I was to sink through the foundation I was building. There were times, sudden spurts of enthusiasm or worse, trying to fulfill other’s expectations, I would sink… then, I would have to re-evaluate, and find tools to rebuild my foundation.

At the time, I equated slowness with nothing changing, yet in hindsight a great deal changed.

For over the last quarter of 2018, I transitioned my focus on healing, and found the subject I would teach, Burn Out’, my focus, ‘Recovery’.

 

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicksand

 

Summer’s End 2018

Caught in the Winds of Change

The wind blows
Strong, yet warm
Soft brushes lift my hair.

A spring wind in Autumn
Rattling the bamboo
Sweeping, incoming waves shaking trees.
Seeds filling the air, like a cloud of butterflies.

A spot of rain dropped,
A singular wetness upon my face.

Seeds in Time

Its been a hard summer – heat hit, spring was barely a whisper.

Throughout the British Columbia, fires exploded caused by lightening and stupid humans. Destroying hectares of timber, cleansing the forests of beetle killed jack pine and slash; and threatening homes.

Smoke, soot and particle matter (PM2) replaced oxygen.

Once again, we rescheduled our vacation, hope holding, before finally cancelling.

Rain replaced heat, sudden heavy rains saturating the earth – good for the fires but not vacations – the fires, though held continued to burn, sending smoldering clouds of smoke, soot and PM2 into the environment. Temperatures tumbled towards winter, Bronchitis replaced smoke.

October’s closing in; we grasp onto the autumn wind, holding past memories of softer springs, easier summers and long warm autumns with leaves gradually changing and plan for a long winter.

 

Ice storm

We just returned from a walk, surveying the damage of the ice storm that swept through Mission.

Trees are shaking off the ice, snow and broken branches as they bask in the heat of the sun. Icicles now hang precariously on power lines ready to impale the unwary. As we were forewarned by a few standing up-right – piercing our drive.

We had listened to the thud and cracks of the trees that surround us; topped, branches torn and swept away by the wind.

Our maple lost 2 branches… we’ve nurtured that tree since moving here 6 years ago, and it was painful to hear the heavy crack as they gave way under the layers of ice. 

It was nirvana to wake up to the power on yesterday morning, after 3 days without it. We’d kept warm with our kerosene heater, but we were down to our last filling of kerosene. And we were melting snow for water, our electric water pump for our little cult de sac has no back up generator.

I’d like to join the many others who are Thanking BC Hydro crews that worked 16 hour days to get the power back on.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to battle the ice rain, toppling trees, branches and poles layered with ice.

A Trap. A Trip. A Tumble.

The fog lifts.

Battered I feel.

I took a tumble the other day.

One would think that a person would recognize that when a large group of people are bustling about, the lighting is dim and even dimmer at the floor level that the person they dump their over-sized stuffed black bag beside may not realize that said bag is there. Perhaps she could have said something like ‘my bag is on the floor beside you’.But she did not.And I did not. So… stepping carefully over my own bag, mindful that it was dark, and I didn’t want to trip over the straps of my bag… I stepped… then stepped again… right foot anchored… like a bird caught in a snare, leaping upward only to have the noose tighten and slammed back to earth.

Fortunately for me, I have worked on getting back into shape over this past year.

For I landed on my left side, my left arm and hand braced against the fall, all the while twisting my right side into the fall to take some of the impact.Its taken a few days for damage other than the immediate contact point to show itself

I don’t think I have a ligament, tendon, or muscle that isn’t in some degree of discomfort

Even my brain has been mushy.

I seldom take drugs… of any sort… but to ease the inflammation and relax, I have indulged in – acetaminophen and IBUs, (a hard toss between them and the bottle of wine) this is both a shock to my system and my ego.

Old habits press upon my mind when trauma happens. The discomfort ignored, yet undermines my day.

All my plans have gone awry.

 My emotional shield…  propped up with adrenaline, didn’t hold and for one brief moment.

A bubble of rage flashed …. Startling in its intensity.

Fortunate I am… no bones broken. Though, spotted with bruises large and small.

#@%**** Bruise of Impact

Yellowing each passing day.

YEA ME!

Sound Panels

One of the challenges of starting any new project is figuring out the tools you’ll need to do the job.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, ‘Work-space Upgrade, I had to buy equipment to do Voice Over work. I bought a mic and downloaded the software… but that’s only the beginning. I also needed sound panels, to cut extraneous sound. So, back online I went … after viewing what was available (I don’t have the space to build a sound studio) … my partner suggested that I look at the DIY on Youtube – How to make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels for $5. 

With a few revisions, I built my own. The 1 ½” finished product was a trifle expensive so I went with the 2” common.

The guy at local building supply were really helpful – he found me 4 boards – approximately 8’ long and agreed to cut it for me and even wrapped the ends up. Easier to carry and cut my work load way back.

Since the wood was stored outside I wanted to ensure that the wood was good and dry… taking advantage of the 26 to 30 degree heatwave.

Drying Rack
Drying Rack

 

Gathering my tools

Tools
Tools

using 3.5 inch wood screws … the 2″ common wood became 4 frames

Sound Panel frames
Sound Panel frames

I bought the towels at a local thrift store laid them out on the floor

Colour!
Colour!

stapling the outside towel, then,  cutting the inside pieces from additional towels – a large bath towel, gave me 2 pieces per

Front stapled on
Front stapled on with loose inner towels in front

My frames are free standing, rather than wall mounted and I wanted to attach them together in pairs

Hinges
Hinges

I tried sewing the inside pieces to the back panel as suggested but the inside pieces didn’t remain taut.  I pulled the stitches and stapled instead …

inner towel stapled to inside of frame
inner towel stapled to inside of frame

Stapled on the back, attach the brackets to the 2nd frame and…

Voila!
Voila!

My cost was a bit higher than the $5 per but I did add 3 sets of hinges per pair and increased the inside towel pieces to 7. Cost was approximately $8. Still a lot less expensive then buying portable sound panels that would be 2/3 the size.

Work-space Upgrade

As I said, I realized I wouldn’t be travelling and performing as I had originally planned in 2017. My Business Advisor at Community Futures suggested I create a Plan B.

What to do?

What to do?

I played with a few ideas and latched onto Voice Over.

Changing Plans required ‘deep thinks’. My adviser made a few suggestions … Librivox … sounded interesting… a good place to start.  following their suggestions, I ordered a mic and I downloaded Audacity.  I read (moan) parts of the manual. Looks simple enough.

Seeking guidance on the net revealed Voice.com and Voice Acting 101. Love their websites …a boon of information.

It quickly became apparent that my work-space wouldn’t work.

So after a few trips to thrift stores… this space …

Becomes this space …

Mmmm that’s big
Bigger & Better

The final results are!

Wow! Mega Space

 

Coming up … Sound Panels …

Sound Panels DYI