Now, Abundance

“What do you have now?” Peter Block

I’ve been focused on the idea of abundance in the past week, mainly as I spent a large chunk of my time cleaning/purging/organizing my craft* closet.  As items were unearthed from boxes and bags, I realized not only how many talents/memories I had left buried with their physical representations (anyone remember Friendly Plastic?) but also how much of myself I had discarded in pursuit of something external. The process became part excavation (of Self that had been) and part inspiration (of Self that could be), and evolved into ritual as each item was taken out, honoured, and embraced or discarded as it should have been long ago.

In the end, I realized that I have enough “things” in the closet to complete, easily, 75% of the ideas of my “I could make and sell/gift this” list. I was particularly excited to find a large stash of FIMO, dollhouse miniature dishes/trays/baskets, and completed items that I had not even realized I still had, putting me ahead of where I wanted to be, inventory-wise, by this date. So yes, this process helped me to feel abundant, because I can start planned projects now, not later; because I have items already completed, not just in progress; and because I remembered that I can do this kind of work too.

Abundance can be defined in many ways. For me, abundance is not just wealth, but an opportunity for choice. Reconnecting with this aspect of my Self says that I may be making a different choice, but abundance is here and the Path is right. Blessed Be!

Breathe

I’m very good at distracting myself with to-do lists. I’ve only been home (aka back from holidays) for one week, and already I’ve grocery shopped (3 times in one day, a new record, and also the source of several near-extreme couponing moments), read about 500 pages on adult education and democracy, cleaned my kitchen, baked cookies… meh, you get the idea. I’m the queen of to-do – and when the list of have-dones gets this long, there inevitably comes a moment of panic.

That moment came up earlier today, thanks to this article found via my Facebook feed: Life in the Red, in which the cycle of unemployment and poverty conspire in such a way that I could see myself heading down the exact same path now that I’m figuring out what happens next, work-wise. So, panic.

Fortunately, as the queen of to-do I also have a to-do list for when this panic hits. (Yes, it’s a little OCD, but what isn’t in my life these days?)

First, breathe. A lot. Outside, where the trees are. Feel.  Connect with Goddess and the Earth.

Second, come back inside. Light a candle on the alter. Breathe some more. Feel. Connect with Goddess and the Self.

Third, pick up something at random and read Her words. Today it’s from the latest SageWoman magazine:

It is not so important to know what you will do in any particular given situation. The crucial thing is to know that you will be able to do something. To have faith in your own instincts and intuition to figure it out as you go along. To believe in your good intentions and your courage to do whatever is called for. Donna Henes, Queen of My Self

 

 Blessed Be.

 

The Snow is Not

 

The snow is not the only source of cold this morning.

I stood at my window this morning and watched

As a man stood, silent, smoking amidst the snow

With a bag of collected bottles and cans at this feet.

And I cursed the interlocking systems of oppression

That kept me from inviting him in from the cold

That kept him in a position most likely not of his choosing

That kept us as strangers for this moment

And perhaps for a thousand moments to come.

The snow is not the only source of cold this morning.

On Nonprofits and Tech

Confession: I’m one of those people who checks her Twitter feed before getting out of bed. And because I’m still on holiday time, I caught up with many of the articles/links posted. One in particular caught my eye – IT worker shortage has serious implications for Canada (December 2012) – for a number of reasons. (I just finished a class on cyberspace issues, I’m working on a website upgrade, and I’m exploring my relationship to my career all come in the top three reasons.)

Although the article looks at ICT (information communication technologies) in relation to business, these are also serious issues for those in the community benefit/nonprofit sector. But there are other, more serious, implications for that sector:

  • We’re already struggling to keep good people in the sector in Alberta because the lure of better pay/benefits/etc. in some business/for-profit areas. This article implies that this will become increasingly difficult as ICT professionals will be drawing even larger salaries than the norm. (And no, recruiting ICT professionals as volunteers won’t address all these issues.)
  • As the article notes, it’s a challenge (time-wise) for people to learn new technologies. How do we make time for professional development in this area in addition to / as well as the other areas we’re working in? How do we encourage those working in the sector to do it?
  • What happens to agencies when they can’t keep up with the changing world of ICTs? Do their visions/missions get picked up by others (ie new agencies, grassroots) or do they disappear? How does a lack of independent voices around the table change the sector?
  • The sector is fairly risk-averse. How do we balance that with the inclusion of new ICTs, many of which are untried and untested? Do we risk falling further behind the corporate/for-profit sector, and how does that impact our working relationships, donor relationships and so on?
  • What opportunities are we missing when we aren’t engaged with new technologies? What if the best way to fulfill a mission is “right there” and we don’t know about it?

One of the best way to develop solutions is to communicate, especially with those who are working in the ICT field. So I’m off to converse with one of my best sources in the field (@pinkgecco) over dinner and a couple of Catan-settling games. I expect it will lead to more on this subject in the future, as it always does!

The Gift of Light

Blessed Winter Solstice! Hail to you, the longest night of the year! In past years I’ve celebrated alone (with the exception of one memorable cold-weather ritual) but not this year. This is the first time Xander gets to stay up all night (or at least try to). So far we’ve gone out for dinner, made decorations for the outdoor tree (bird feeders and popcorn strings, which we’ll put out tomorrow morning), played a few board games, had snack(s) and are now watching Lord of the Rings. I’ve also got a tarot reading planned (for both of us), more snacks, and (if we’re awake enough) some more baking before we greet the sun’s return.

There are many interrelated themes to Winter Solstice: endings and beginnings, for example, and darkness giving way to light. I also feel gratitude for the light that returns, a gift from She-That-Is to the world, and a renewed sense of faith in that which I cannot name, that which is larger than we can comprehend or imagine. It has been a season of endings, but it is now a time for beginnings.May the light shine anew this morning for us all. Blessed Be!

On Endings

 

Last night about 9, I turned to Xander, “I’m bored.” His reply? “That took a lot longer than I expected.”

Yesterday was my last work day at Calgary Seniors Resource Society. (My contract goes until the end of December but I had some vacation/lieu hours to use up.) There’s a sadness that comes from something ending before you’re ready to let go, and there are a lot of people that I know feel that way about this project. I’m not going to dive into my personal feelings about that here, but instead focus on two questions that came up for me this month.

Do you think you’ve outgrown this position/sector?

The person who asked this isn’t a part of the non-profit world, but he has excellent insight into how people work with one another. The irony here is that I took the position because I’d outgrown the last one (and knew I had), but I hadn’t asked myself if I needed to change sectors as a part of the growing process as well. (This isn’t to say that I don’t respect the sector or those working in it, but more that I need to remember that I’ve done this sector-changing thing before and it helped with the “new” factor for me.)

Do you think [specific action] was worth the risk?

The “risk” wasn’t actually that big of a thing, and it certainly never came up for anyone I was working with. And no, I’m not going to name it, that’s not the point. But what it did for me was show that my perception of social change and risk were very different than this person’s. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s something I need to keep in mind as I’m moving forward (my favourite new phrase, apparently, which means I hope this is the last time I use it) in the new year.

Rosetta Thurman was absolutely bang-on when she posted today, “For people who enjoy helping others, it can be a challenge to stay on track with YOUR purpose vs. being pulled in different directions according to other people’s needs.” I’m taking a well-needed break for the next couple of weeks (which hopefully will lead to more blogging, not less!) and will be moving into 2013 with a renewed sense of purpose, with truth, with intention and with a trust that all manner of things will be well. Blessed Be!

On Vision

Sometimes, you read a horoscope and think it just doesn’t apply to your life. Other times, it just fits:

Look, you’re an alien. You’re advanced so far beyond humanity that thinkin’ you’ll be happier if you were like us simple folk is only going to bring you down even more. You’re a child of the universe! Don’t get stuck here, get back out there. Way out. That’s where the fun is. FFWD

As an alien, I can be a refugee and struggle with what I’ve lost, or a pilgrim and seek for what I need to find.

I’m struggling with a lot of why, how, and what, not just where, as I transition from one stage to the next.

I’m finding what it is that brought me here in the first place: the vision of a different world, the belief in social change, and the spark that lives in all of us.

It’s not really a choice, but if I have to make one, the vision wins every time. I may be way out, but at least I’m going to have fun while I’m there.

Passages: Patricia Monaghan

The goddess has never been lost. It is just that some of us have forgotten how to find her. (The Goddess Path, 4)

Another of our feminist foremothers has passed from this world. Patricia Monaghan, academic and poet, was one of many women whose words I treasured on my path (back) to knowing the Goddess. Even today, when I need the name of a Goddess or an aspect to invoke, her works are among the first I turn to. We have lost so much of our past. I honour those who have dedicated their time to reconnecting us with our herstory, and I am comforted as they in turn have comforted us:

The most important fact about goddesses, it seems to me, is that they are invariably connected to polytheism. Put another way: there is no monotheistic religion based on a goddess. Not a single goddess appears without friends, companions, lovers, children. The presence of the goddess demands the presence of other goddesses, and gods as well. This is comforting for me, for in my vision of the world redeemed, the world made whole, I yearn for connection, not for separation. (The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines, xiii)

Blessed Be.

On Remembrance

Today is a day of Remembrance. Mary Daly defined Re-membering as “Realizing the power to See and to Spell our connections among apparently disparate phenomena” – to bring together that which has been taken apart, to heal that which has been torn from each other, to work for harmony and peace.

To See is to be aware of that which is around us. To See is to understand that we are not a nation of war.

To Spell is to connect what we see with what we are trying to create. To Spell is to understand that remembrance isn’t enough to stop war.

To Remember is to connect our Selves to the history of Peace so we can name what needs to be done as we work for Peace.

Today, I again commit my Self to the work of Peace, asking Goddess to guide my thoughts, words and actions on this path. I Remember those who have come before me, those who work with me, and those who will come after me. I See with clear eyes and I Spell with a clear heart. Blessed Be!