Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review of Pagan Generation; A Young Person's Guide to Paganism

This review is part of the Read Along with the Witchipedia event for March 2013

Pagan Generation: A Young Person's Guide to Paganism by Luthaneal Adams is a guide for young Pagan seekers new to Paganism who have not yet found their path. It offers guidance for navigating the Pagan community and an overview of several Pagan paths including Kemetic Paganism, Hellenismos, Druidry, Heathenry and, of course, Wicca. The overviews are pretty good, though they are very British in focus and the magical community in the US are quite different from that in Europe. For instance, the Druidry section had me quite confused, as I have spent some time with Druids myself, until I realized he was talking about the British Druidic organizations, about which I am unfamiliar. He did mention American Druidry in passing and provided contact information for both British and American Druid organizations. I don't fault him for this since if I were writing about Druidry, my writing would most certainly be skewed toward the American version. There are other mildly confusing Britishisms in there too. He keeps telling you to bring a torch. I know he means a flashlight, but I keep imagining teenagers running through the woods with flaming sticks and thinking what a bad idea that is. Again, I can't fault him for this as he's only speaking his native language.

There were some other problems that made me say "hmmm". While most of the book seemed well-written in simple, conversational style, there were whole sections that were grammatical nightmares. It was as if the editor skipped a few pages here and there. This wasn't as annoying as the fact that the "general" information was very skewed toward Wicca. This just annoys me because that is my biggest pet peeve. Every time anyone "generalizes" about Paganism it's skewed toward Wicca... so I it's probably actually a point in this book's favor since it's reflects the way things are.

That all being said, this is a good book that fills a niche that I think really needed filling. I learned something from reading it about Pagan paths I'm not overly familiar with and I have been around a block or two. I would definitely recommend this book to a young person, or any person, who is new to and exploring the Pagan community. This book is useful even if you aren't looking for a new path because it offers information about the various paths within the community and if you're going to be social at all, it is very helpful to know a bit about the other folks as well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get Moving #myheartdayresolution

My very first goal for my Heart Day Resolution project is probably the hardest so I thought I'd get it out of the way early. Unfortunately, I wasn't entirely successful. Now is the time to re-commit!

First, I would like to identify some obstacles I have run into while pursuing this goal:

1. I am the primary caregiver for a one year old. My husband is gone 12 hours a day five day a week at his day job plus rehearsals and gigs (he's a musician). I don't trust a lot of people to watch my son. And I don't have a lot of people to choose from as it is.
2. I haven't got a lot of discretionary money so joining a health club is out of the question.
3. It's freezing cold outside!
4. I am lazy.
5. I would rather be writing or knitting.
6. For the majority of this month, I have been down to one car because my husband's car has been broken. It is fixed now.
7. Work has been out of control. Today is my first day off in 6 days and the last one I will have for the forseeable future. Although I will be training dogs at home instead of out two days a week starting next week. So that's almost like having a day off. But not really.

I need to find activities I can do with my son that won't require me to take him out into the cold
I also need to figure out where I can squeeze in some solo activities.

Here are the solutions I came up with.

1. The Mall! Okay, so I'm broke and I can't shop at the mall but I can take the baby there in the stroller and walk around for an hour! When the weather gets nice, I'll go to the park instead.
     I haven't been able to do this yet, due to car issues, but I will be trying this in the mornings when I work evenings and my days off.

2. The Museum! I got my husband a family membership to the museum for his birthday (It was an Amazon Local http://local.amazon.com/ deal). We spent an afternoon at the museum on Saturday after I taught a class and then took a class (I felt very accomplished on Saturday!). This is a great way to spend time with the family and once the membership card arrives in the mail (I hope there are two, we do't share these things well), my little Sunshine and I can visit the museum just the two of us. When the weather improves, we plan to get a zoo membership as well.

3. Work out at the community center at night. Our community has a fitness center which is free for residents of our town. They are open till 9pm. My husband gets home at 7:45pm. If I have dinner on the table, myself already fed and the baby in the high chair when he walks in the door, I can dash out and have a real workout for 30 to 45 minutes before they close.
   I have not managed this yet. We are spending our evenings making sure mom gets her car back. Now that the car is back, I may be able to pull this  off once in awhile. The only problem is, at 8pm, I do not feel like working out at all.

4. Exercise videos. These make me feel self-conscious. But I have found that Baby Einstein's Baby's First Moves is something the baby and I can do together and while it's not a workout per se, it is active.
   We've done this a few times. It's fun.

5. Dancing. I used to go dancing at the bar once a week and at drum circles once a month before the baby came. It's time to get out of the house again.
   I haven't done this yet. I am not sure how much I really want to.

6. Yoga. I know how to do Yoga. I don't need a class or a video. I have even created a daily devotional to Eos incorporating Yoga. My daily devotions have been neglected too long.
  I have no excuses for not doing this. I am just ridiculously lazy!

I have also slacked off quite a bit on my journaling. But I've picked it back up. On the other hand, the fact that I am so busy with work means that I'm more active by default - although the majority of my work time is spent in my car.

The biggest hurdle is to get over my laziness and my rather-be-doing-something else-ness. To help with this I have created a schedule to try to fit everything in. Every morning I wake up at 6am and do my morning devotions. I  write for an hour till the baby wakes up and then feed him breakfast and do the Baby's First Moves video together. We leave at 10am no matter what. If I don't have clients that day, if we don't have any errands to run, we go to the mall and walk for an hour, then come home. Lunch at noon followed by a nap then I write (assuming I'm not out training dogs). Snack at 4pm then we get dinner started. Daddy is home at 7:45 (if he doesn't have a gig or rehearsal and I don't have to drop off or pick up a dog) and I dash out to the fitness center for a workout. Back at 9:15 in time for storytime and tuck in. Knit for an hour then to bed.

On Friday or Saturday night instead of the fitness center I will go out dancing (if daddy doesn't have a gig)! Yay!

Monthly Goal Check In
Days Exercised
This Week: Yoga:  Fitness Center:   Walking: 1  Video:  Baby Video: 1 Dancing:

Weight: 195.3
BMI calculation: 32.54
Waist measurement: 39.5
Hip Measurement: 43
Waist to Hip Ratio: .90

Next Month's Habit: Menu Planning

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Am a Creature of Air

So my goals of late have been focused on my body and that's a good thing. My body is a much neglected part of my life. I have been thinking about why that is and why it's so difficult for me to focus on improving it and then I realized that it's mostly because I don't give a shit about it. I just don't think about it much.

This morning I was getting ready for my day. I washed and moisturized and brushed my hair and put it up. I didn't do any of these things because I wanted to. And I didn't do any of them because they give me particular pleasure. I do these things every day because I have to, and I am rather annoyed that I have to. You see, I wash so as not to offend anyone with my stink. I moisturize because if I don't then when I train dogs it won't be damaged as easily when they scratch or mouth me. I brush my hair so I can get it in the ponytail which it must be in or it falls in my face when I bend down to handle a dog- and annoys the hell out of me. I only have hair because my husband reacts with horror whenever I suggest that I want to shave it all off.

My body is nothing much to me. It is a vessel to move me from one mental experience to another. After writing my article about elements on Friday and thinking about how annoying my body is, I realized that I am suffering from a severe lack of the Earth element. It is no wonder that I crave carbs like I do. It's no wonder exercise is abhorrent to me. I am a mental creature. A creature of air. I haven't always been this way, at least not to this extreme. But now here I am.

The first thing I realize I'm going to have to do to rectify this situation is to get a little self-discipline. Honestly, this is not an easy thing for a creature of air to do. I'm going to have to get creative.

I am also going to have to focus a little more on my balance. The excess Air element I carry probably has something to do with the high anxiety state I've found myself in for the past few months. There was a time when my mental health issue was depression. Meditation will help me here. I need to establish a daily routine of elemental balance meditation. We're back then to that self-discipline.

Another thing I'm going to have to do is spend some time enjoying my skin. There are things I have in the past enjoyed in my skin. Sex, something I don't do often enough since the baby was born. Dancing, I can't remember the last time I went dancing. Gardening, well, I'll have to wait for spring for that. Houseplants aren't even an option since the cat and the baby are united against all houseplants. Baking, I have been avoiding baking because it results in things that make one chubby...

I will have to give this more thought.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Falling Off the Wagon

So I haven't journaled in days and I haven't managed to do anything resembling physical activity. Ever. I have lots of excuses. Helping my grandma pack up her house (sad job). Sick baby. My husband's car broke. It's freaking cold out. Is there more? Probably. I am completely off kilter. I need to take some time to refocus on my goals. Maybe add in some incentives. More to come.