Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

hearth altarI have long been trying to live in the now. To be present in each moment. To let go of my past and to stop grasping at unknowable futures. To be open, receptive, aware. Willing to be who I am, where I am, right now. It is a challenge.

Much of the time my mind whirls with memories of the past and possibilities for the future. My emotions fluctuate around previous experiences, or tangle themselves into hope, anxiety or concern for the future. I react to life as it happens, and my reaction times are slow. I worry about what might be. I grieve over what was. So I sought to become less reactive and more proactive. I tried to tune into each moment as it happened, to process it like raindrops swelling my inner rivers. I tried spiritual techniques, mental tricks, psychological methods. I affirm my connection to the here and now. I practice mindfulness. I meditate. I let go.

I realised that we are never truly in the present moment, we may come close, but we simply cannot immerse ourselves in the now. We need time to process our understanding of now, and the greater the lesson, the longer the arc of understanding. Even listening to my own heartbeat takes the time of feedback and interpretation, but listening to my heart and its desires takes longer, listening to the hearts and desires of others longer still. We are never truly now or then, we are always somewhere in the middle. Like Janus we have twinned faces looking back at past and towards the future – a body in the present, and a mind split between what was and what will be. We are never fully present, even in the present moment.

The present is the past before you are able to grasp its importance and significance. And the unknown future is upon us before we even avert our gaze from that which just was. The importance of a single moment takes time to realise, yet it is the time in between experience and understanding that unravels the truth. This is the time when we listen, learn, understand and integrate the importance and value of every now. Therefore even if the only moment we have is now, it is the liminal times that we both seek and treasure. The liminal times may be brief and in sharp relief, or they may stretch over years as we slowly come to terms with that which once was, and with that one moment that changed everything.

This was my lesson, hard learned. By striving to remain present, I fell through the cracks of time and discovered the in between. The dusks and dawns of my own understanding. I live in the liminal times.

RRivers logo

Advertisements

Romany’s Random Reviews presents:

Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon (Please follow the picture link)

The Leader Within – Articles on Community Building, Leadership and Personal Growth By Shauna Aura Knight

“I often say that the secret to leadership – and to conflict resolution – is relentless personal work.”– Shauna Aura Knight

I recently had the opportunity of reading The Leader Within, a book by Pagan Activist and Author Shauna Aura Knight. Being familiar and appreciative of the articles and essays that Shauna shares online, I looked forward to finding the time to read through this selection of articles and explore some of the topics she has previously raised on blogs in greater depth. The book didn’t disappoint, it is absolutely crammed with a wide range of articles on conflict resolution, management strategies, boundaries and burnout, and grass roots style leadership. I love the fact that Shauna does not shy away from the really hard topics, and instead tackles sexual, physical and emotional abuse; ethics and taboos; mental illness; and even button-pushing subjects like fundraising and finances in a concise and upfront manner. (more…)

helping-handMy heart goes out to the loved ones of Robin Williams, and to all those touched by his life and death. His suicide has opened a wave of discussion about the impact of depression and what it means to live, and love, and be within the shadow of sadness. This has hit me hard, not least because I know what it is like to smile through sadness, to live with depression and to face suicide. Mr. Williams brought laughter to so many, lifted the hearts of others so often, and yet he lived with a shadow that many of us endure and never speak about. Now people are talking. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it. The internet is full of people talking about it. Talk is great, we need an open discussion about mental health and its impact, yes we do. But talk is also a trigger, and these last couple of days have forced me to poke old wounds, bringing memories to the surface. (more…)

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

 

The Question: When do we apply psychological principles to Witchcraft/energy work? When we say that the confirmation bias is what is really at work for superstitious beliefs, why don’t we also apply it to things Witches frequently use, like astrology and Tarot?

In my opinion, the answer to when we apply psychology to our spiritual beliefs is always and never. (more…)

“Personal work is some of the hardest work out there. I often see Pagans wondering, “Where is the advanced level work?” and the advanced work isn’t rituals, it’s not spellwork, it’s not ritual tools…it’s knowing ourselves deeply and working on our issues to be our healthiest, best selves.” – Shauna Aura Knight

RRivers logoToday I found out that a dear friend had passed away. I grieve and I hurt and I remember. I remember the last time I saw him, and I remember the first time I met him. I was just 14. Inevitably my memories of his kindness and his support brings with it memories of why his kindness and support meant so much to me. That year was hard for me. It was the year that I attempted suicide. It was the year that I faced a dark night of the soul, pulled my wounded inner child close to my chest and vowed to find happiness. It was the year I stood tall after each beating. It was the year I learned that there was more – more to life, more to death, more to living and loving and learning. It was the year that I found friends who brought out the best in me, who supported me, who believed in me, who helped me face the long journey towards a happier, healthier me. He was one of those friends and I am honoured and grateful to have known him.

This harsh healing journey is intertwined with my spiritual journey. For me, doing the work of Witchcraft means knowing myself deeply. Understanding my past to understand my present. Exploring the pain of rebirthing myself over and over again. Shedding the skin that no longer serves me, exposing deep wounds to light and love, and learning to love myself for who I was, who I am and who I have the potential to be. The healing process is not without pain, because the very nature of exploring our issues reveals the areas still raw and sore, underdeveloped, weak, and troublesome. Sometimes we must rest deep in the cave, in silence and solitude, licking our wounds until they become a pattern of scars stitching us back together. Sometimes we need the love of an honest friend to gently redirect our attention to the areas of bruising, to show us how we can take care of ourselves. Sometimes we need the structure of routine, ritual and meditation to heal ourselves from the outside in. Sometimes we need all of this, over and over again. The process of living, learning and healing is a work in progress.

The Japanese practice an art called Kintsugi, a method of repairing broken ceramics with gold joinery. Cracks are often aggrandized before being filled with gold, silver or platinum. It is a philosophy that speaks of overcoming suffering, of beauty revealed not despite its flaws but often because of its flaws. Most importantly, it is a philosophy of embracing imperfection that speaks of damage and healing as an important part of the history and creation of each piece, and not something to hide. Sometimes I feel like I am the ceramic pot, broken but blessed with Kintsugi. Every time my heart breaks, I work to slowly heal the cracks with layers of gold and remain a complex, beautiful vessel for the soul.

This post is a part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014, and is in memory of my beloved friend Al and his wonderful family.

PBP2014

ForgiveI have a lot to be angry about. There are a lot of people that impacted my life in harmful ways, whose actions caused scars inside and out that I will live with for the rest of my life. I have experienced abandonment, grief, bullying, abuse, humiliation and rape. How could that be forgiven?

For the longest time, I could not forgive nor forget. Too many times the pain threatened to swallow me whole and as a child I tried to end my life to end the pain. I couldn’t even do that right. I failed. I carried that pain inside like a burning coal and learned to use it as fuel to drive me onwards, drive me forward, drive me far away from the places that hurt, the people that hurt me and the person I was. The distance I strove for never truly occurred because I always kept that burning ember held within my own damaged heart, and no matter how far I ran I could not outrun myself. (more…)

PreOrder

Excited to announce that Poison Pen Letters to Myself is now available to pre-order through this site and through Amazon.com! As a special offer, the first 25 signed copies purchased through this site will receive a free postcard print of my painting Dark Heart of the Fire Flower as a thank you! Please do share this picture far and wide to spread the word. If you would like this book personalized with a message or name, please just let me know in the ‘Add Special Instructions’ box during checkout. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for supporting me and helping to make this book a reality.

Bright Blessings, Romany

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

 

Poison Pen Letters to Myself by Romany Rivers

I am pleased to announce the front cover artwork of my new book ‘Poison Pen Letters to Myself’. I am so excited to see the design process of the fabulous Moon Books team, and how they are manifesting my dream into a physical reality. I am really looking forward to holding that first printed copy in my hands!

From a dark mind to a light heart,

a poetical journey of emotional and spiritual self-discovery through the years.

Poison Pen Letters to Myself
Romany Rivers and Moon Books (C)2013

This book chronicles a very personal journey through the years overcoming severe bouts of depression and consequently creating a more holistic and spiritual lifestyle. The chapters Red Letters, Return to Sender and Addressee Unknown reveal periods of depression and anxiety; anger and healing; and acceptance and spiritual growth. The words in these pages were not written for mass consumption. They were not artfully crafted for reading aloud in dim rooms to a soundtrack of clicking fingers and Parisian style applause. They were not intended as political statements or a way of reaching other wayward wandering souls. Over the last two decades they were poured, purged, scribbled and spat onto scraps of paper, napkins, backs of hands, into empty pages and blank spaces of other books. At times of sorrow, frustration, confusion, acceptance and joy these words made sense of the minds muddled meanderings. Within these pages you will find heart breaking, heart healing honesty that crosses the divide and touches the souls of others.

Published by Moon Books, 2014.

As the wheel turns, the days grow colder, the nights grow longer and shadows pervade our inner and outer landscapes. Darkness brings with it the desire for introspection, reflection and contemplation of our own shadow selves. Samhain reminds us of the deep descent into the underworld, of the thinning veil, of the influence of ancestors, and of the masks we wear in daily life. At this time of year I find myself following the dark inner spiral and reflecting upon my own shadows, a regular journey that is no longer fearful to me but instead enlightening and, eventually, uplifting. In honour of the seasonal shift, I offer two poems from deep within the shadows and push them into spotlight. They are reflections on my dramatic transition from maiden to mother, a role that brings its own joy and darkness – often in equal measure. From grieving over the loss of my personal identity, to dark and debilitating postnatal depression, these poems lay bare some of the hardest aspects of the emotional shift into motherhood.

Image

(more…)