Friday, February 24, 2012

Privately Pagan

Dear Readers,

I am retiring, at least for now, the term Pagan from the title of my blog as the term, as it is most frequently applied by other Pagans, rarely reflects my beliefs or intentions as a spiritual person.  The word will continue to have meaning for me within my personal spiritual practice and private life. 
My thea/ological perspective has not changed.  My admiration for several other individuals who call themselves Pagan has not changed.  What has changed, and which has been changing for some time, is my naive belief that my confidence in the legitimacy and meaningfulness of my own definitions of Paganism could outweigh the fact that I stand against much of the most popular and pervasive attitudes and convictions shared by the Pagan authors and communities to which I have access.  I am only causing confusion when I continue to use the term.  So I will not.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

To Cure a Broken Heart II

An update to the last post in which I ruminate upon my mitral valve prolapse, tachycardia, and sense of spiritual longing for an unnamed something.

I have been drinking lots and lots of water and doing my Qi Gong.  It feels good to do these things and gives me energy to add small amounts of cardio exercises to the mix.  I am careful with this because I do not wish to raise my heart rate excessively.  I find that exercising for five to ten minutes at a time repeatedly throughout the day is a good pace for me right now.  I haven't checked my pulse recently, at least not with anything other than my fingertips against my skin.  It feels slower to me.  I guess I don't want to be discouraged if a more accurate mechanism tells me that I'm wrong.  I've become more in tune with my body's feelings.  I have learned to breathe more deeply from my abdomen rather than from my chest.  I've learned different ways of slowing my pulse when it races and therefore alleviating the intensity or even stopping anxiety attacks before they take hold. 

Last night I dreamed that I entered a house in a virtual world.  I gasped in surprise and delight as I opened the door.  The first room contained two glorious Christmas trees, round and fat.  They were covered in old-fashioned decorations and around the room were wonderful displays of dried herbs and flowers.  Each subsequent room I entered was likewise filled with colorful, fragrant dried plants.  Herbs and sliced citrus to be used in wreaths and other crafts hung to dry over a large fireplace and were arranged prettily on an old sturdy table.  I felt great admiration for the householder's ability to use the natural world as a medium of artistic creation.  I admired the simplicity of her home and the way that it blended Earth, Spirit, and Art so seamlessly.  I wanted that too.

The woman who owned the house was enviable.  I realized as I moved from room to room that I wanted to be able to live and work the way she does.  She told me that the saving grace of her home was that it had a large skylight on the top floor.  I've been learning about chakras lately and even as I write this, it becomes clear to me that this must relate to my desire to be more open to the Divine Source that has felt so distant from me for so long.  I've been living in my head with all my windows closed.  I've been watchful, ready to defend myself from people I've grown to accept as smarter than I am, people who scoff at my spirituality which my honesty will not let me hide and my intellect will not let me accept.  I've been angry with myself for a long time for failing to be what I believe others want me to be.  But every day I find more and more evidence that I'm not "that kind of academic".  I'm not "that kind of intellectual."  I'm not "that kind of feminist."  I don't think I ever can be no matter how hard I try.  I'm not sure why I continue trying.

Finally Spring

My kids and I planted bulbs today.  What a difference one week makes!  The spring warmth has brought everyone outdoors.  People are walking ...