Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thank You Note

Amazingly gorgeous, and unexpected weather! Auntie and I just got back from a bike ride along the canal. It was low tide and the fresh tang of exposed seaweed, the sea's salty remains baking off in the warm glow of the sun wafted on the gentle breezes. The day is easy. Our minds are clear and calm. All is beautiful and breathtaking in the world.
Thank you, Earth, for your gifts. And thank you, Spring, for coming!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Online Dating Can Leave Things Sort of Fuzzy.

Recently, I received a message from a "suitor" on OKCupid. Further into the message, he wondered at my revealing that I am a "practicing Pagan."

"What does that mean?" he inquired. The following is my response, of which I am quite proud.

Pagan, from the Latin "pagani" meaning people of the earth. You may have heard of "Wiccans." You've certainly heard of Druids and Shamans. Each of these are types of Pagans. Wicca:Paganism::Catholicism:Christianity. I used to call myself Wiccan, but part of my heritage and other parts of my spirit have called me to follow a sort of cocktail of beliefs. All reside within the realm of Paganism, but I still call myself a Witch. Essentially, I worship and honor nature. Sometimes I pray to the Goddess (my matron goddess being Bast of Egypt), sometimes I pray to Great Spirit (whenever I see an animal that does not usually cross my path), but always, always I honor nature for all that it has given us and all that it is. Like the Greeks and Romans, I believe in a pantheon of deities and elementals. At the risk of sounding like a complete nut-job (especially to an Atheist), when I do energy work, I work with "faeries." Also, when I am in my everyday life, I acknowledge the breeze, lap of the waves, spark of the fire and rustle of the leaves as the elemental energies in nature (otherwise know as the Wee Folk, Faerie and the Sidhe.) Perhaps it all seems like a bunch of hokey, fairy tale jibberish, but it is what resonates with my inner being. It gives me peace. However, I would never dream of trying to convert anyone to my thinking. We all follow the path that is right for us. As the Hindu believe, we follow what religion we may. In loving and respecting what we follow, we give the utmost love to our "Gods and Goddesses" (whatever they may be, or not), because we all end up in the same place when we have passed. Truthfully, we do all end up in the same place, religion/beliefs or no. But I have gone on long enough. *^_^*

How do you describe your path to those less spiritually fortunate, my witchy brothers and sisters?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ho Hum...

Here in Southern New England, especially right along the coast, Spring doesn't seem to last very long. The Winters have been icy and grey, and feel nearly endless. While I enjoy every season, with the cooler weather winning over the hot, Winter has really been kicking my ass that past few years. This could be a result of having taken on a labor-intensive, outdoor career. That's fine, though. In the long run, it's better for me in many ways. However, once the heat of the end of Spring and the entirety of Summer set in, working becomes a bit oppressive. My days off are lovely; spent reading in the shade, sunning in the hot sand, biking to the beach and cooling off in the delightful ocean waves. But Spring is almost non-existent. This is something that I am still getting used to from spending the first half of my life in the Mid-West, where the seasons actually change (though Winter was always tougher there than here...) I digress. The days, while beginning cool, have been transitioning into nearly 70 degree weather already. That's mostly in the inland cities, but the Cape has been enjoying a cooler form of early Summer.
My point? It's not even halfway through Spring, yet! Why does this bother me so much? Well, other than the obvious dread of working in the coming Summer months, I fear that I am beginning to fall into the stereotypical, older female, Summer body image issue. I'll be 28 this October. And while I realize that this is still a very young age, I am fast approaching 30; that time in a woman's life when her metabolism decides to forsake her. As you all know, I am a Hypothyroid sufferer. (You should know, by now. I whine about it enough!) I used to be a little, string bean until I hit puberty. Sure, I filled out, but that coupled with the low hormone production and, by default slower metabolism saw my body gain at least 50 pounds over what was considered a "healthy" weight for my height and age. When I became a vegetarian, I saw some loss, but not much, as I didn't have any guidance and, essentially stuffed my face full of junk food rather than the proper veggies, fruits and carbs that I should have consumed. Then, finally! Gym class changed and we were allowed to choose what activities we wanted to spend pursuing for the 4 hours a week. (We had a rotating schedule, so gym class was only a four days a week deal. Sweet!) When our teacher showed us the option in the mirror room/ballet bar room, I was ecstatic! Tae-Bo videos by which to work out! Only a handful of kids (mostly girls) chose this, but enough of us to keep it as an option. No one but me really tried very hard. I loved it! That year, I lost ten pounds! I looked better than I ever had (since becoming a woman) and I felt so good about myself! Fast forward to two years ago, when I was in my second year of working on the farm. I had lost another ten pounds!
Unfortunately, I still feel as though I've gained a bit back this year. I plan to rectify this.
~I want to be able to weigh in whenever I have a doctors appointment and have her tell me that I am at an even healthier weight and am maintaining.
~I want to be able to tell her, when she asks about my diet, that I have been eating healthy and stray next to never.
~I want to be able to tell her truthfully, when she asks about my exercise outside of work that I have been active after work everyday and active on my days off.
~I want to be healthy.
~I want to be healthy as I age.
~I want to be able to control myself when it comes to what goes into my body and how long those calories stay there (which will be no more than a day!)
My oldest sister, jen, has been using a free, calorie-counting, exercise-logging website called "My Fitness Pal," and has seen great results. Of course, she has greater willpower and more drive to exercise than I, but she's encouraged me to give it a go. Having someone that I know personally on there to help support me through everything and help keep me honest and motivated is what, I think I really need. You'll see, if you scroll down to look below the posts on this page, my ticker for weight loss. I currently am roughly 180 pounds. My goal weight is 130 pounds; I want to lose 50 pounds. Honestly, considering what so many others are going through on the site, 50 is no big deal. And, as long as I stick with this, stay honest and keep up a constant regime, I can lose that weight by January of next year, if not sooner! Setting my goal at a pound a week seemed the most realistic to me; that's why it will take so long. Who knows, though? Maybe I'll be able to shed 2 a week and lose it all by my birthday this year! Woo! What a gift that would be?! To wake up on my 28th birthday 50lbs lighter than I am now!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. One day at a time. I think that the Fall and Winter will be the hardest because we all seem to go into hibernation mode; eating loads of food to bulk up and keeping our activity levels low to conserve energy to keep us warm. Dumb! Starting out in the Spring and working through it, reprogramming my brain and body before the cool weather, I should be able to do it. Besides, what better time of the year to eat healthy and get active than when the fresh fruits and veggies of Spring and Summer are abundant? When the weather allows us to frolic and have fun outside? No time like the present!

It doesn't hurt to have a little motivation here and there, though. Aside from the website, I'll have photos of how I want to look posted on my desktop. Unrealistic, in that they are anime characters, but realistic in that they will inspire me for future cosplay costumes. And, really? No one wants to see a chubby Cheetara, Sailor Scout or Street Fighter. Am I right?

In other news, I had offered a slice of apple to Bast a few weeks ago. A few days ago, as I was walking out the door, I glanced over and saw that She had made it spiral as it dried! So cool! Since it's dried fruit (very much like something in a potpourri sachet) I'm keeping it for Her on the alter. Why not share such a lovely gift with the giver? We seem to have a very nice, complimentary relationship; Bast and I. She certainly has kept my home calm and quiet ever since I welcomed her into my life. I've always had a love of the Egyptian myths and pantheon. It only seemed natural to adopt Bast as my Matron Goddess. Though, I admit, I do still adore the other Goddesses, Gods and Elementals, and will always work work them.

I'm off to start my laundry and take a bike ride! Have a fab day!!

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