As I sit here in the deep twilight, candlelight warming the walls of my home, I pause and wonder if I am satisfied enough to stop.  Stop cleaning, stop working, stop trying to make more of my day.  Stop.

I’m on vacation and using this time in the way I feel best for my spirit and soul.  Or attempting to do so.

By the first I mean that I am staying home, enjoying the world that I have built for myself, from the physical enjoyment of how I’ve decorated and arranged my rooms to the basic pleasures of living I consider most important:  stretching, ritual, writing.  I have gone to places made favourites in childhood that are still beautiful to me.  I have spent time with friends.  I have read.  I have eaten great food.  I have seen movies.  I have surfed the web and even watched a bit of tv.

By the second I mean that I have been distracted from my highest goals of my vacation.  My list of what is important to me is, it turns out, in order of importance.  And I have regrets that I spent less time in writing than I had planned and more time in the movies and the web.  I have even avoided writing with a judicious application of house-cleaning.

My house is better for it, but my story isn’t.

The story is a child of mine.  A child I am afraid to bring to term.  She still rests in my belly and will until the editing is done and the queries start flying in flocks out into the world.  The longest gestation in history.

The closer I get to her birth, the more afraid and reluctant I become.

And this week I am getting very, very close.

And so I procrastinate and avoid even though I have longed for and waited for this chance, to have the time sitting in my hands, no, freeing my hands to do what I love, without boundaries, without alarm clocks, without a list of ten other things that have to get done now too.

Even now I write this rather than edit my story.  But this I find congruent with my inner spirit.

Today has been an extravagence of avoidance.

Strangely, it was spent primarily cleaning my home.  I mean really cleaning.  Vacuuming under the couch, washing under the stove kind of really cleaning.  A little magical cleaning was thrown in to boot.

My home feels great.  So good that I feel very relaxed and have cheerfully lit candles in nearly every room (small tealights in proper receptacles because I’m crazy, not stupid).  This is the state of clean I always want my home to be in and so very rarely see.  It’s glorious and I am thrilled that it’s like this.

I am heartbroken that I did not work on my story.

And I am torn between appreciation and anger (at myself, of course, for choosing other than my supposed primary goal).

Ah, that is the heart of it, isn’t it?  That I had told myself that my primary goal was to finish this book.  And yet I stray from that goal.  It was and is one thing to stray from it when pursuing the other goals of my vacation, but it is something else entirely to cheat on my goal with some random movie or etsy surfing.

It’s not as if the finishing of it is a ‘fake’ goal, something I tell myself but in my heart don’t care about.  No, it’s very real and I enjoy working on it.  And so it is my fear holding me back.  Ah, the theme of my year.  Fear.

But in the end, that will be something to face tomorrow, to see if I can do what I currently plan for it.  Which, yes, does include some work on the story.

For now, I sit, watching a movie, typing in a blog, and enjoying the peace and clean charm of my home.

And realize that at the centre of me, past the pleasure, past the disappointment, there is stillness.  It is accepting.  It is peace.  It is neither of those things.

It is.

I have stopped.

It is good.

~the Abysmal Witch

Changing Direction

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

There are days when I wish I was other than where I am.

Days when I look at what I owe (gulp!), or what job I do (sigh), or even just assess my general level of happiness with the particulars of my life and I come up wanting.

Wanting more.  Wanting different.  Wanting something other than what is.

And somedays I dream about the magic solution.  You know the one, just wave the magic wand and have the knight in shining armour ride up to rescue me or the lottery website to shout out “yes, it’s you!  you’ve won!”.  It’s not very practical, but it can be emotionally satisfying.  Until the water in the tub gets cold and it’s time to pull the plug and dry off and get back to the practicalities of daily living.

The answer of what to do is pretty obvious.  It’s not even hugely difficult.

But it’s not at all sexy.  Or fun.  And the very simple steps it requires may spell the ultimate defeat.

It’s living life differently.

It’s not going out to dinner so often or not buying that fun gadget so that more money can be applied to debt.

It’s choosing the carrot sticks and pickled beets (okay, I adore pickled beets but some change is fun and tasty!) and saying no to the chocolate cake.  Not every day, perhaps, but most days.  Where most days = almost all.

It’s doing the small thing today that contributes to the future you want.

It’s NOT saying “I’ll start tomorrow”.

It’s about living today the life you want tomorrow.

And you know what?  Sometimes living that life you think you want teaches you that you really don’t want it after all.

Being slim and fit requires (for those of us not endowed with a high metabolism and high athletic ability) EFFORT!  Daily commitment to eating right and exercise.  Daily.  Every day.  As in that is your life.  You don’t get to the slim & fit by not living the lifestyle of the slim and fit.  Just doesn’t work that way.  Alas and alack.

I don’t get to be debt free by spending money rather than saving it and applying it to my debt.  Just doesn’t work that way.

Our dreams don’t come true unless we live their lifestyle now, as in today.

And sometimes when we live that lifestyle we discover that we really don’t like it.

If I don’t like the lifestyle needed for my dream then I’d best be changing my dream, hadn’t I?  After all, the dream is an image I’m attempting to create.  If I don’t like what it takes to live that way, why do it?  Time to think of something else that will make me happy, to dream of, where dreaming of means actively taking steps to make it happen.

Or maybe my dream is my life right now.  Ummmm, no.  I have more dreams than this.  Time to go make them happen.

To change direction in life doesn’t require a winning lottery ticket, a rich and generous uncle, or meeting the perfect person at Starbucks.  It requires taking a step today that will, if followed up with similar steps every successive day, take you somewhere different.

And hopefully somewhere you wanted to go.

Where are your steps leading you today?

~Abysmal Witch

Awakening the Infinite Sun

Days creep by, one after another, slipping and sliding into the future without any effort or thought on our part.  It simply is, a lovely cascade of sunshine and rain and wind and action and repose moving unstoppably forward into tomorrow.

But we stop and look and see what today is.  Today nears the height of the sun, the pinnacle of His power.  The Sun comes into the fullness of His time and He is stretching between the poles of sunrise and sunset with all the lithe, long grace of a lion getting ready for his day.

How glorious is He, how wondrous the heat on our skins, the light dancing over the trees and plants and buildings.

He will not stretch this long into time for another year, He will wane and appear to diminish, but His strength remains eternal, it is only our perception of it that must, by necessity, change.  And that is good too.

But now that He has filled the edges of His being, we will feel even more His power raining down on us.  The strength of summer will now come to us, full and ripe, filling out the way a man comes into his form and his soul after he has reached adulthood.

I revel in Your beauty.  I rejoice in Your presence.  I wear sunscreen to keep my skin safe from Your strength which is, alas, too much for me.

Giver of life, bringer of death.  All hail the Sun King!!

Do you feel the Sun within yourself?

Do you?

You have felt Him upon your skin, tasted Him in the plants that you eat, watched him with every sight that daylight brought to your eyes.

But He is more than that.  He is part of more.  He is the Sun and the Sun is greater than that.  It reaches far across the Universe and through all time and space.  It is the Infinite Sun, that is beyond gender, beyond knowing, beyond all ken, but yet still reachable, still touchable, still experienceable, if we but reach out, gently, and with care.

Do not let yourself be burned by it, but instead, let it enfold you within the rapture that is at the very heart of It.  We are one with the Infinite Sun and have only to awaken to the possibilities it holds within us.

~Abysmal Witch

What lies in the now.

The Now is only now, here, precisely in this instant of being that your mind, soul, body are centered within.

The Now is not then.  Neither is it Then.  Not the Then of the past, not the then of the future.  Not the Was, the Will Be, nor the moment before nor the one that follows.

The now is only Now, one and the same and no other experience but that.  Seeded by the multitude of previous Nows into its own existence; pass into the past and become Seed in the space of the passing of Now and of now.

Having dealt with what the Now and now is and is not, let us address the joy that the Now contains.

And its utter Sorrow.

The Now is all that there is.  Each Now, each moment, is birthed into existence and as with any birth it is due all the joy of the universe.  Even within the adversity and the horror the child may be, it is still celebration.  It is still birth.  Every moment is a birth.  Every Now is the instant of becoming.  All Joy to the birth of NOW!!!

The now is so very, very ephemeral.  We breathe and it has already passed.  It can stretch itself out in time with a familiarity of previous and future Nows, but it passes even as you notice it.  It spirals ever into death, into Was, into being No More and never to be again.  No individual Now shall ever come again.

Each passing Now is a death, a loss, the finalness of its entire being, gone as the eye blinked and the bird flew by.  Weep in every now for the Now that shall be no more.  Endless sorrow, endless loss, that is the now.

Weep in sorrow, leap in joy, every moment that is breathed.  Breathe into it.

It is who we are.  We are now and only need to make the smallest of leaps to be of the Now.

May you find it within your own soul.

~The Abysmal Witch