Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

Self-Sabotage and the Light of Awareness

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

I recently read an article about healing and how sometimes we have parts of ourselves that just don’t seem to want to heal. I had toimages-8 admit to myself that there was something in what they were saying about how when we choose something that isn’t the best for us that there may be a hidden part that for some reason doesn’t want to heal. It was a bit of a shocker because its true.

I know that many times I continue to choose to hang out with a person who leaves me feeling drained and used up. I make choices to do things that I don’t want to do and that leave me feeling empty and directionless. I stay in relationships because its easier than causing upset or hurt feelings. Even the choices of that hamburger over that salad thought I know I will feel better – healthier with the salad. I know that I will feel better if I make the choices that I know are for my best life… but still there is something that stops me from making that “Enlightened Choice”.

It happens unconsciously which is why I’ve not noticed it before but I self-sabotage. That’s a hard thing to admit when you have spent so much time working on yourself and trying to learn and grow and heal. Why does some part of me resist healing, especially when I have struggled for so long to face my demons? I’ve come to realize that the part of me that gives battle against me is the part of me that needs my attention. That area hides the information that will help me to heal. Sometimes all it takes is the realization that I am self-sabotaging. It’s almost like it is a light that suddenly, shines through the darkness and reveals what the real issue is.

Question is though; if it works on the unconscious then how do I bring it into the conscious? I know when I am not making the right decisions – I have sat before that quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a milkshake, or have said yes to doing something that I knew was not the choice that would make me happy. I have known that I wasn’t making the healthy choice for myself. Sometimes I just must stop and say, “Wait! I am not taking care of myself by doing this.” Often this gives me that proverbial kick in the butt that helps me to stop and look at what is happening.

What next? I’ve been finding that sometimes just bringing that spotlight of awareness to the fact that I am not making the righ2bef1151faaa06ccd1bad290e5e896e5t choice often helps me to deal with the part of me resists healing. Sometimes I have deeper work to do… but the point is that I can’t do that work unless I am aware what it is that I need to be working on/with. I am tired of being afraid of these parts that seem to resist and sabotage the good work that I have been doing on healing the demons of my past and the ways that I have learned to cope with and be in the world.

So, for now, I will embrace those wounded places that don’t want to heal and bring them to the light… I will let you know how it goes! I am sure there will be more on this topic in the future.

Raiwvynn’s Thoughts on Weight loss

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

10261844-fat-woman-cartoon-fat-exerciseSo I was talking to a friend the other day about what I was going to post here in my blog and she looked me up and down and said “Have you looked in the mirror lately? What makes you think that you have any expertise on weight loss?” I looked right back at her and said “Well 7 years ago I weighed twice what I do now. That’s over 250 lbs gone with no surgery, no drugs, and no eating disorder.” She just shrugged and walked away.

I got thinking then, well do I really have a right to talk on this topic at all. Like really! I am still 120 lbs or so overweight. But then I thought about it. I have suffered because of my weight; the teasing from school kids, the ridicule from my family, the jobs I got passed over for because of my weight have left scars that I still feel to this day. I just might have some insight that helps someone else.

Personally I don’t believe in making New Years Resolutions. We all know that there is a high expectation to do so at New Years but it also sets us up for a huge amount of stress. Stress doesn’t help us to keep our resolutions however. It simply adds something else to our plates where we are trying to adjust to the new year we keep writing wrong on our checks, adjusting from being on Holiday time back to work and school time, adjusting to the fact that winter is finally really here. Look at it! January is a stressful time even without the New Years Resolutions to keep up with. So I take January as it comes. I use the month to plan and prepare for a year of healthy eating, good exercise, and building a healthy, balanced life.

Weight Loss and food issues are a sore subject with a lot of people. Over 60% of Americans are overweight. I am sure that the statistics are not much different up here in Canada. Each year millions of people make that same resolution – I am going to lose weight.  But the days go by and the diet and exercise plan fall by the wayside and they find themselves looking in the mirror three months later saying “What did I do wrong?”

There is no easy answer to weight loss. The truth of the matter is that it is hard work, self-discipline and understanding your body and the foods you eat. It’s also about your emotions. Sound like too much work already? Well, there are some tips that can make it easier. The following are tips that have been gathered from books, and conversations and trial and error over the years. I offer them here for you to see if maybe they might help you out in some small way. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, therapist, or fitness expert. These are just ideas and concepts that have worked for me in the past.

Raiwvynn’s Nine Tips to Start You on Your Way 

See a Doctor/have a physical – You may be saying to yourself, “Well Raiwvynn, that is just a no brainer!” But the truth is that many people jump into weight loss without taking this step. We all hate going to the doctor. Who likes being poked and prodded, stuck with needles, having their arm squeezed off as the nurse takes your blood pressure. Not me!!!

However it is a vital part of effective and healthy weight loss. You need to know if there are any conditions that may be hindering your weight loss. Do you have a thyroid condition? Are you on a medication that makes weight loss difficult of even causes weight gain? For women do you have hormonal issues, or polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Do you deal with depression? These are all things that can really put a strain on your efforts and sometimes even doom you to failure before you start. Knowledge is your friend and so is your doctor.

Buy a journal – You don’t like to write? It’s never helped before. I never know what to write. Yes I have heard and used each of these reasons for not writing before but it is quite simple here is what you write each day:

  1. What did I drink today and how much?PERSONAL_JOURNAL_1024x1024
  2. What did I eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner?
  3. What did I have for snacks?
  4. How late was my last meal?
  5. What did I do for exercise?
  6. How did I feel today?

It’s all quiet simple really you can do all of that in less than a paragraph. You may be asking why do this? Well the reason for keeping a journal like this is because often times we eat unconsciously. We don’t really consider what we are stuffing our faces with when we feel sad, anxious, or happy. This helps us to have a bit more awareness about our food intake but also about the triggers that set us up for emotional eating (and emotional eating include emotional not eating as well!!!)

Make a plan – This can be the hardest part of getting started on your weight loss journey. You need to have a healthy, ACHEIVABLE plan. What do I mean by achievable? Well, you need to set goals that will enable you to succeed. You also need to have a blueprint about how to accomplish those goals. Remember the key here is to break things down into manageable steps. Make sure that you are making goals about food, exercise, water intake and self-care. What is the Goal and what do I need to do to accomplish this goal (list at least three things)

Goal – To drink 8 glasses of water daily

What do I need to do to accomplish this goal?

Drink one glass as soon as I get up in the morning, take a water bottle to work with me in the morning, drink another glass each time I brush my teeth, drink one glass with every snack or meal.

Goal – To walk for 1 hour each day

What do I need to do to accomplish this goal?

Purchase some good walking shoes, get a pedometer, week one walk for 15 minutes three times a week; week two walk for 15 minutes 5 times a week; week three walk for 15 minutes 6 times a week; week four walk for 20 minutes 3 times a week and 15 minutes the rest of the week; etc.

Breaking down these goals into smaller more manageable steps eliminates a lot of the fear of failure that can subconsciously sabotage our efforts. It also helps our bodies adjust to the changes that we are making.

Find your personal motivation and a plan for keeping motivated – Somehow just saying “I’m fat!” isn’t the motivation that we need. In fact all that statement does is make us feel guilty and worthless. What is it that really makes you want to eat better, get in shape and drop those pounds? Is it that small child who you can’t play with as much now because you get winded so easily? Is it that memory you have of being able to do something that you can’t do now – like playing baseball or hiking or climbing the stairs without getting winded? You need to find what really motivates you to change.

My motivation came when I was travelling a few years back and we had just eaten fried chicken that had been rolled in potato chips, eaten with French fries, and followed by a Deep and Delicious chocolate cake. I remember looking at myself in the mirror at 505 lbs and saying to myself “I hate you.” I looked at myself and said either I hate myself enough to let myself die or I hate myself enough to do something about it. Looking back, I know now I made the right decision. I’m here, 250 lbs lighter, happier, and being an active part of the world. One would hope that the motivation would be positive but to be honest sometimes you just have to go with whatever motivation you have. If it is negative like mine was there is always time to work on changing that. If it is a positive one like you just love yourself enough to take care of yourself that is great!

Now comes the hard part – how to keep motivated. My way of staying motivated was keeping those “fat pants” where I could see them on a regular basis. I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I finally stepped into them and found that I could fit both legs in one pant leg. A friend took pictures of himself completely naked from every possible angle and then stuck them on his fridge. He lost 160 lbs in a year and has kept it off – He’s even been on Dr. Phil and other TV and radio programs. So find a way to keep yourself motivated!

Tell someone – You may be going “WHAT?!?!” but secrecy really doesn’t help when it comes to loosing weight. A lot of times our emotional eating is just another way to keep the secret of our hurt feelings, our anger, our disappointment, and our pain. Find one person, someone you can trust and talk to them. Tell them about your goals, your motivation, and your struggles. Tell them about what’s eating you and what’s making you eat. You don’t necessarily have to find a therapist or a professional though they can be good resources. Ask your partner, a trusted friend, a family member and ask them to help you by being an encouragement and support to you. So let the cat out of the chip bag – or tube, it may be that you find that they will join you in your journey to better health and weight loss.

Variety is the Spice of Life – This might be another one of those things that make you go “hmmm…” but it has been my experience that a lot of people overeat because they are bored. They also quit exercising because it’s repetitious and monotonous. So spice it up! When it comes to food try new things. Eating the same foods over and over again can be deadly to your weight loss. Having a wide variety of healthy foods helps by making sure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you need. Different foods can also help by cutting down on the cravings that can be the booby traps that lead you into a frenzied feast of a 2 quart container of double chocolate fudge ice cream and a bag of bite sized brownies.

When it comes to exercising change it up! When you become bored with something what is the first think you want to do? You want to stop! So if you are doing things that are different and enjoyable you will be all the more likely to continue with it. Try a new sport that you have never tried before. Get into a competitive team where you will be challenged and encouraged by others. Change up the routine so you are not doing the same thing day after day. Your body will thank you for it as well. I know for myself that I need to change up my routine pretty much every four to six weeks because my muscles and body get

Used to doing the same movements over and over again. You will find that if you don’t change your routine you will hit a plateau and this can be frustrating and discouraging. So even if your mind doesn’t tell you that it’s ready for a change your body will.

Self-Care – Self-care isn’t necessarily about a hot bath, with candles and some scented bath salts. It is about doing what is necessary to help keep you healthy emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well as the physical side of it. Make sure that you are taking regular time to work on you. Get to know yourself – your likes and dislikes, your passions and your dreams. Take the time to find out what makes you tick. Invest time in learning something that you want to learn.

Take time to relax and rest. Get good nights full of restful sleep. Pamper yourself and treat yourself gently. Yes! Even you men can take time to look after your heart and soul. Explore your spirituality, get in touch with the Lord and Lady, and spend time in nature. Find ways to nurture your soul. Find ways as well to take care of the emotional needs. Some of us will need to seek therapy and there is absolutely no shame in that. Some of us will be able to address life’s hurts and pains by writing or painting or singing or some other outlet. Do what you need to do to create balance in your emotional life. It is this aspect of our lives that most often connects to the food we eat, the amount we eat, and the time we eat. Find ways to nurture yourself without food. Find ways to fill the gap inside without devouring the entire contents of the refrigerator.

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil but he did say something that I think is really important. It went something like this: You can’t keep giving and giving of yourself if there is nothing in you to give. You must feed yourself emotionally, spiritually, mentally in order to have something to give to yourself and others. Now those are my words, but that was the gist of what he was getting at. Feed your soul, your spirit, yourself with love, acceptance and with the knowledge that you are a wonderfully worthwhile person.

Reward Yourself – Rewards are great ways of marking you progress, encouraging oneself and  celebrating success. But DON’T REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD!!! Somehow rewarding yourself for a 5 lb weight lost with a family sized chocolate bar doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Pick rewards that are health and that will give you pleasure. One that I like for myself is that for every pound lost I add a dollar to a fund for books or crystals or something that I enjoy. Rewards like a movie rental or money set aside towards something you want or some special self-care are great motivators in helping you to reach your goals.

Forgiveness – There is an important reason why I left this to the very end. Forgiveness is vital to successful weight loss. There are going to be days when the world seems to crash down on your head and nothing goes your wait. The storm during the night knocked out the power, your alarm didn’t go off, you woke up late, you forgot your lunch, you had to stay late at work to get things done and you didn’t get to the gym and on top of that you ate horribly from the corner store on a quick break. Life happens and you have to have the grace enough to forgive yourself for not accomplishing your goals and forgive the world for getting in the way of your plans. Guilt over not meeting your goals or for letting the world get in the way only adds to the emotional baggage that often leads to our problems with food and exercise.

When things don’t go your way, take it in stride, and say to yourself “that was just today- tomorrow will be a better day.” Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and pick up tomorrow where you left off. If it was just a matter of you not being organized or prepared forgive yourself for that to and make a plan for tomorrow to be a better day. It’s only one day in your life. Don’t waste any time wallowing in regret and guilt when you could be looking forward with expectation to what you can accomplish tomorrow. Remember it is just one step at a time. I hope that there was something that struck a chord with you today. You can reach your weight loss goals. I am living proof of that. I have confidence in you! May the Lord and Lady bless you on your journey to weight loss and better health.

 

Raiwvynn Dusana

Thoughts on Holiday Stress

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Do you find yourself frustrated and overwrought by all the demands of trying to have the perfect holiday dinner, gifts, and traditions? Many of us set ourselves up for failure by demanding perfection that we can not deliver. This push for perfection brings up an over abundance of stress and anxiety and leaves us feeling disillusioned and too worn out to enjoy the holiday season.

What drives us to the perfectionism? Often times we are comparing ourselves to others or afraid that we are not going to measure up to the expectations of others. Or perhaps we are afraid that if we do not have the perfect dinner, decorations or gifts that we will loose the respect, love, and acceptance of family and friends. Perhaps it is simply that we need the validation from others that we did a good job. abstract-christmas-tree-vector

Regardless of the reason behind why we strive for perfection, more often than not we can’t achieve it. Too often our goal of perfection is unrealistic and ultimately harmful to our health. Especially during this season of spending, parties and family gatherings we need to look at perfection as Geoffrey F. Fisher commented “when you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”

Every attempt we make at having a perfect holiday season is hindered by the fact that others may not be inline with our ideas, money restrictions may not allow what it is that we want, or even the weather may not cooperate. Perhaps even the fact that it just doesn’t resonate with who we are inside. We need to learn that our constant striving to be perfect only serves to stifle the accomplishment of a joyful and free spirited holiday season and turn it into a scripted, ridged, and unfulfilling chore.

This year attempt to realize your own unique potential. Accept that limitations are there and you can not change that. Liberate yourself with the understanding that things do not have to be “just so.” Give yourself permission to go with the flow, and to let things slide if it isn’t working out the way that you had hoped. You will find yourself faced with unbelievable moments of magick if you let go of the obsession with being perfect or making a mistake. Not having things go as planned is not the catastrophe that most of us make it out to be in our minds. Sure it might be an inconvenience or a momentary embarrassment when you take to opening your gifts and find that you put Bob’s tag on Sally’s gift. Embrace that as a moment to join in some gaiety and laughter.

Make a conscious choice this year to accept your best – even if that is not perfection. Accept that each time something doesn’t work out exactly as you planned it is a learning opportunity for you. Chose to accept that the expectations of others are simply that – their expectations.

Step out of the habit of saying “this is how we always do it so it has to be done this way.” Traditions are good, there are comfortable and soothing but when they become “ho hum” maybe its time to try something new. If it doesn’t fit try something different. Trying new things, making mistakes, taking the road less travelled are all part of things that make this life and especially this holiday season bright and rewarding. Stop focusing on being and having everything perfect and don’t let the “perfection bug” paralyze your own creativity, inspiration, and joy. Do what you can, do it well and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

During this holiday season, make realistic goals – define them clearly and how to achieve them. If you look at the goal and it fills you with panic or fear then it is an unrealistic goal. Sure the season if full of challenges: places to go, people to see, things to do, but it should not leave you feeling frustrated and angry with yourself for not accomplishing what you wanted to do. Celebrate the fulfillment of each goal as a job well done – even if it wasn’t done perfectly. Learn for next time. Concentrate on one thing at a time and find your flow – the one that brings you through the season likely still tired but content that you have done what you wanted and have grown and learned through it all. Make this years holiday celebrations an extension of who you are and what you are about.

Make it a season of magick for you and yours.

Yule Blessings from my home to Yours!

Raiwvynn

Rituals, habits and daily magick

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

00848_BGI don’t know about you but I’m a very routine and ritual oriented person. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but perhaps its just that I know that it helps me to bring the magick into every day of my life. We all have little rituals that we do whether we realize it or not. The way we do things when we first get up in the morning, the way we put on our clothes, the way we create a meal. All these involve little rituals that we do and they make us feel comfortable, safe and they get the job done so to speak. Another way of referring to these little rituals is to call them habits. Unfortunately the word habit has long since had a negative connotation.

I have read a number of psych books and self help books and most seem to go with the adage that it takes 21 days to break or create a habit… So less than a month to start a new good habit. That worked for me when I decided that I wanted to add some time each day for meditation. I decided to make sure that I added some quiet time to focus on the day each morning and each evening. It didn’t matter really how much time just that I was taking some time. At first it was hard slogging. I would go a few days and I would miss and then I would forget. So I thought about it and said to myself “maybe you are trying to make to much of it.” I decided to just start again with a night time meditation. What better way of ending my day and to be honest it was much easier to do that than try to think about it in the morning when my mind was overrun with all the things that I needed to do that day.

Eventually I got to the 21 days and indeed it did seem to have worked. I naturally felt drawn to meditate before bed. Now I am not saying that there weren’t days that I missed but it has become a habit and one that if I missed I usually could tell by a less restful night. It was a good thing for me. Eventually I added other little ritual habits into my day. Since each morning I would go to the window to pull back the curtains or put up the blinds I took that few moments to address my Goddess and welcome the day. I set a little note on the window sill to remind me and eventually – even before the 21 days I threw out the note. I had added a new little ritual into my life that started me off on the right foot. Got my focus in the right direction each morning and connected me with my Goddess.

Now you are probably going – well doesn’t the fact that it is a daily ritual that I do take away some of the magick. I will admit that during that first few weeks it did seem a little like a chore and a planned tribute but over time as the Goddess blessed my efforts it became a pure joy to come to her each morning and greet her and commune with her for a few minutes before facing the day. I used the same words and process when I was first starting but it very soon became a “planned spontaneity” – a moment that I was going to take to greet her but now it took on a life of its own. No longer is it done by rote but now it is a pleasure and a different conversation each day.

It’s important to me to have these little rituals each day. We can get so very busy that we can often go all day long without taking a minute to commune with our Gods, to see the great beauty in the world and to give thanks for what we have. I don’t want to do that. I want to make sure that every day is fill with that magick. I want to be one who has a grateful heart and vision for a beautiful, magick filled day.

May your day be filled with little rituals that fill your life with magick!

Light, love and laughter

Raiwvynn

Define yourself they ask…

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

I was asked recently how I would define my path. I thought wow! That’s really an interesting question but perhaps not so easy to define as it really is in a state of constant change. But in some ways it is also very simple. I am sure I will come back to this and redefine things as I go along but this is a start.

I believe in the Goddess and the God. Do I believe in them as archetypes or as individual Deities? Both. I think that that the archetypes call to us in the form that suits us best. The form that is most acceptable to us. I can accept that there are a number of Goddesses who essentially are “The Goddess” embodied. So for me I am called by the Celtic and Norse Pantheons predominately. It resonates with my Celtic Heritage and my Norwegian Heritage. It gives me a connection not only to the Goddess and the God but to my history. I honour and serve the deities in my actions towards others and towards the earth I live on. I honour them in my worship and also in my learning. I don’t particularly believe that if I do something wrong that the Gods are going to strike me down. I do however believe that they can and will withhold their wisdom, energy and their blessings.

The other primary focus of my beliefs is that of connecting with the power or energy of nature. This is actually the more complicated part of my faith really. What does it mean to connect to nature? Well it means acknowledging and accepting the power that flows from the natural world and using and taking care of all of the nature that pours out that energy. How does that manifest itself in my life? Well for example all living things have energy so I work with them. I work with the plants and the animals and I take care not to harm or endanger them if at all possible. I work with the cycle of life understanding that life and death are a part of the cycle and that in taking responsibly and giving back are also part of that responsibility. I have a responsibility not to take more than I need and to facilitate the growth and replenishment of anything that I do take. I am responsible for giving honour to what I take and not waste it or use it to bring about harm. I am responsible for using the energy to bring about life and creation not destruction.

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So how do these two things manifest in my path?

Well traditionally I guess you could call me a Wiccan. I follow the basic tenants that are covered by most Wiccan traditions.

  • Do what you will but harm none (Rede)
  • What you send out will return times three (Karma)
  • Life is a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth as seen in human life but also in the wheel of the year and the agricultural cycles (Cycle of Life/Wheel of the Year)\
  • There is a balance in the world  – positive and negative, male and female, yin and yang that needs to be respected and strived for
  • All living things have energy that can be utilize for positive or negative means
  • The earth is the embodiment of the Mother – so we take care of her
  • Within each of us is an element of the divine
  • I have and can use the power within me

So more practically I believe that my path is one of healing and nurturing of those around me and of the natural world. I believe that in all things that I do I need to be conscious and vigilant about creating and healing as opposed to destroying. I practice my craft as much as possibly without harming nature or other people or animals. I believe that drawing on the energy within and the energy of nature can heal and create and sustain life.

When it comes to dealing with magical power I believe that this should be done with extreme caution, and with understanding of what you are doing. Because of this I believe that my path calls me to extensive study not only of the “Magical Arts” but of the natural world, the different cultures and of course the deities that I work with. I think that an uninformed witch is at the least is ineffective and the worst a threat. I believe that wisdom grows with knowledge and practice so we must use was we know and learn in order to move forward and be of aid to our world and our Gods.

The practice of my craft is pretty much in every part of my day. I wake and meditate and have a few moments of devotion before my Deities altar. And then I go about my day taking care of the mundane and doing my best to draw in the magick and power of my faith in the Gods and in the power of nature. I don’t believe that my path is fully definable right now nor do I think it ever will be. It is in a state of change right even now as I write.

I’m a witch. I am in touch with nature and the energies there. I am in touch with my Gods and their energy is present in my life. I do my level best to treat all people, and nature with respect and care – striving to heal and strengthen instead of tear down and destroy. I strive to learn and grow and gain wisdom and understanding about the nature of the world I live in, the people in this world and the occult as well. That is my path. Learning, growing, practicing what I learn, and helping to heal a pretty damage world.

 

Raiwvynn Dusana Windsong

Finally Here….

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Well, I have been wanting to start up a blog again. It’s been a few years and I definitely was never consistent. But I am going to follow along with Lylith and Wynter and see if maybe I can keep motivated. I love to write but usually its just scribbling away in my journals and keeping my thoughts hidden away. I am hoping that this is going to be a way to bring me a bit more out of my shell and also to help me share the things I am learning with others so that we can all learn from each other and grow together. Your feed back is welcome and I look forward to what’s to come.

Blessings of laugher and love

Raiwvynn