In my day job, I've been struggling with a few issues. The stress has been higher than normal making me fall into old bad habits. I'd love to say I recognized this immediately and countered it but of course I didn't. I got in a rut.
As I recognized (finally) what I was doing and the rut I'd been spinning my wheels in, I returned to techniques I knew worked. Stress is bad for my gout. It makes it flare up and cause me a great deal of pain.
The days are getting longer. Even if the weather is still winter, I can start to see the energy of spring building as we step forward day by day. My day job is at a university so the new semester has started and the insanity in my day job is stressful and chaotic. This reminds me of the energy spring brings.
Spring season is all about new beginnings, fresh starts, and moving forward. In my way of doing things, I’ve considered over winter what is important, what I need to work on. I may have (very likely have) made a to do list of what I need to do for my goals – what the next steps will be.
Whenever I’ve gone to a quiet place in my head, it’s been the same. I find myself on a path in the woods. It’s always fall and always leads to a pool with a waterfall. There’s a stone there large enough for me to sit on or lean against. For years when I sought out a quiet, centered place in my mind, inevitably this is where I’d end up. I could feel the crisp coolness of the autumn day, smell the fresh air with a hint of drying corn (yes I grew up on a farm where we did this), and feel the bite of winter.
The other night when I sought out my center, my balance.I didn’t go there.I tried.I was tired, wanted to destress and wanted the familiar and the comfortable of this scene.My mind didn’t go there.Even when I tried to visualize it, I couldn’t find it.It was like a door closed in my mind.
In the month of September I attended two Pagan Pride Days (I taught a workshop at one, met Selena Fox at another), attended an Equinox ritual, officiated a same-sex Pagan wedding, finally started my new career as a child and family therapist, and co-facilitated a ritual for World Goddess Day (to list just a few things). In these past four, glorious weeks, it seems like my life has moved forward by leaps and bounds, but really, I feel like everything is spinning out of control. Rather than celebrating, I find myself freaking out, closing myself off, and retreating.
Warm water bubbles beneath my knees. I feel weightless. The pool is just deep enough that I can't sit, so I let my feet touch the sandy bottom while the rest of my body floats. The water must be the same temperature as my blood for I feel neither warm nor cool, as if heat and cold were a foreign concept. In these hot springs it is easy to forget where my body ends and the water begins. I run my hands up and down my legs. I expect little bubbles to rise to the surface, the way they do in the hot tub, but instead I feel a thin slimy film upon my skin. I wonder about the mineral content of the water. The smell of rotten eggs announces sulfur and I wrinkle my nose, then quickly re-frame my association from disgusting-gaseous-anomalies to miraculous-healing-waters and manage to enjoy the odor.
We’ve not long passed the equinox, that twice yearly point in the wheel where normal Paganism stops to talk about balance, and usually alongside this, peace. World Peace Day falls close to the autumn equinox and Earth day, and Earth Hour are around the spring one. Peace and balance are, without a doubt, good things to work for.
Some days my life has little of either. On the whole, I have a quiet, easy, privileged sort of life, free from many of the things that torment many of the world’s inhabitants. Even so, I find celebrating balance really difficult. Not least because I do not see much of the balance of nature as a comfortable harmony – all too often, balance is created by things in tension, pulling in opposite directions. Conflicting needs counterbalancing each other can create harmony very easily when you look at the whole effect. The experience of any part of the whole, is not of the harmony, but of the conflict.