Posts Tagged ‘Self Development’

quote-anne-lamottHello world.

It has been rather a long time since we last spoke – so long in fact, that I forgot my log in to this blog. I was in hibernation, or in hiding. I think I still am. I am not even sure if I am ready to be here, to hold this space, to open the door and let anyone in, but here I am. Scared witless and struggling, but still here.

For the last year or so I have had the worst writers block I have ever experienced. It was only today that I finally accepted the truth – that I was not only finding it difficult to write, but that I have been actively avoiding it. For someone who believes in living ones truth, I have been living a lie. Or lots of little lies. Lies of omission.

I haven’t finished the book I was writing. A book I know is meant to be birthed into this world, a book with a due date that is past due, a book that should be nestled on my shelves with the scent of fresh ink. A book I have let down repeatedly by not giving my best, my all, my heart and soul, my truth. I stand still with anger, and the pages remain blank.

Here is the painful truth. I first write to clear my mind, then to open the floodgates of my soul, and then to pour myself and my stories onto the page. To feel the flow of words where the magic of creation happens. I cannot write with a cluttered mind, and my mind is cluttered. The floodgates are jammed with debris, the flow slowed, and the magic out of reach…. because I won’t let myself write the words I need to write. I am creating the blockage, I am the clutter, I am holding myself back, I am holding myself in. It is not that I cannot write, it is that I am afraid to. The words that need to spill out of me are personal, emotional, ugly and revealing. I need to turn my blood to ink and then bleed all over the page in ways that other people may find unpleasant and uncomfortable because what I need to write are all the reasons I could not write. I am afraid that in telling my stories, I will be telling the stories of all those connected to me. I censored myself so much, in fear and compromise and consideration of others, that I taped my own mouth shut.

vulnerability

 

Enough is enough. I am on a journey to the underworld, and like Inanna I will strip myself bare to face the truth of love and loss. Through the dark half of this year I will turn my inner journey outwards and as the world awakens, so shall I.

I shall be vulnerable, and I shall be strong.

 

 

Thank you World, I needed that. Maybe we can talk again tomorrow.

 

 

Bright Blessings,

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hearth altarAs part therapy and part devotional writing practice, I often use writing prompts given to me. I don’t know what I will be given, and I don’t know what I will write, I simply put pen to paper and let it form before me. These prompts can be an amazing technique for getting over writers block, or for self analysis and self exploration. I don’t think about the prompt too much, I don’t usually edit what words hit the page, and after the fact I often find myself surprised by what is created within the spilled ink. It is as if the deepest parts of me surface, and the small snippets of subconscious become a focus for conscious meditations. Today I was given the prompt “If I were a house, my walls would be…”

I fully expected that the word ‘walls’ would bring forth ideas of boundaries, defensiveness, perhaps even raise the many challenges I have faced this last year. As always, I surprised myself.

If I were a house, my walls would be cracked and patched with plaster and paint. They would be old and new, rough and smooth. Layered with years of paint in various colours, reflecting the seasons and reasons of my life. Here and there, holes still remain from pictures long since removed. Art peppers the walls in muted, rich and earthy tones; pictures and paintings and fabric hangings. To the stranger, a single glance would reveal a creative and artistic house, beautiful and uplifting. It would take a renovator, someone who understands the nature of broken things, to see the cracks and repairs beneath the surface. Someone who knows how much time and effort goes into gentle repairs and careful redecoration. Someone who knows how to make old, tired and broken things beautiful again with love and belief. My walls show the story of a house made a home with perseverance and pride.”

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Writing prompts are endlessly revealing. Take the time today to put pen to paper and let yourself be surprised.

Blessings, Romany

triple-goddessIt was during the very womanly act of pregnancy that I lost my sense of womanliness. In the act of becoming a mother, that I let go the other parts of feminine self. I lost myself, I lost my sense of sacredness, my sense of sexuality. I felt adrift from myself. It was on the journey to rediscover the sassy, confident woman I once was that I first fell in love with the luscious Lady Lister. Not a woman who has all her shit together, not a woman filled with shoulds and quick fixes, but a woman totally immersed in the sacred act of being her messy, beautiful self. In her passion, I learned to listen to my own passions. In circles with other women, I learned to listen to others asking the same questions as myself, and better yet we all encouraged each other to find those answers within. With the sacred She behind me, I got up off my knees and started walking towards myself. I came home to myself.

Part of that process was getting to grips with my body once more. Not just rediscovering my sexuality, not just learning to love my ever changing form, but actually understanding my personal cycles and seasons. Getting to know my monthly flow and how that affects me throughout all aspects of my life was a game changer for me. Suddenly I understood how to time my periods of productivity, activity, creativity and rest with my natural body rhythm. I stopped pushing myself to meet deadlines on days when I knew I would feel tired and emotionally drained, and I started booking more networking activities around the peak of my fertility cycle. My stress levels lowered, I became more conscious of my personal needs, and overall I coped with my day to day life better – all because I stopped treating my monthly bleed as a burden and started working with it instead of against it.

This whole learning curve was inspired by Lisa Lister and her desire to support women in unlocking their own lady code. I listened and watched as Lisa pulled together her knowledge and wrote the book known as Code Red: Know Your Flow, Unlock Your Super Powers + Create a Bloody Amazing Life. Period.

Code Red“So, there’s a code.
A lady code.
It’s ancient, it’s deeply spiritual and more than that, it’s powerful.
Fiercely powerful.
So powerful that it’s barely been spoken about in over 2,000 years.

Your menstrual cycle.

Yep, your period is way more than PMS, carb cravings and lady rage, your menstrual cycle/period/ragtime/ – insert whatever you call your ‘time of the month’ here – is actually a 4-part lady code, that once cracked, will uncover a series of monthly superpowers that can be used to enhance your relationships with others, build a better business, have incredible sex + create a ‘bloody’ amazing life.

Code Red, from the creatrix of thesassyshe.com, Lisa Lister, is a call to action. A rallying cry thats calls you to explore, navigate and most importantly, love your lady landscape.

You’ll learn how to live and work in complete alignment with the rhythms of nature, the moon and your menstrual cycle, be inspired by insights from Wise and Wild Women like Meggan Watterson, Alexandra Pope and Uma Dinsmore Tuli and gain access to easy-to-follow strategies and SHE flow practices. You’ll be invited to re-connect with your true nature as a woman, tap into the transformative power of your innate feminine wisdom and use your menstrual cycle as an ever-unfolding map to crack your lady code.”

Honestly, I cannot recommend this book enough – and I am not the only one. Get down and dirty with yourself, learn the power of the period, and find your rhythm. Go on ladies, the sacred She is calling you.

“Code Red is a modern priestess guide for women to go within and use their feminine cycles to lead the good life.  Lisa Lister is sounding the call for you to heal your cycle, accept your ever changing body, and honor your feminine soul. This is the essential foundation and practice for you to get in your ‘FLO’ and  become the powerful force of nature that you are designed to be!”
Alisa Vitti, Hormonal Health Expert and Author of WomanCode

“Lisa Lister doesn’t mess around. She’s here to break boundaries and barriers that have been created by what society defines ‘normal’ and in turn, remind us what’s real. Teaching and leading other girls to honour their divinity inside and out is no easy task and for that reason alone, I respect Lisa wholeheartedly. As far as I’m concerned, Lisa is part angel, part goddess and part rocker – she writes in a way that’s friendly, honest and captivating. This book is filled with ‘aha!’ moments from beginning to end. Let Code Red help you recognize your monthly flow – as a reminder you are fiercely feminine.”
Kyle Gray, Bestselling Author of Angel Prayers

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.

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Epstein QuoteI try not to regret the things I have done, because at some point it must have been what I wanted. Even if it simply seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight was a terrible idea, harmful and hurtful in its teachings. I do often regret the things I didn’t do, the opportunities I missed, the times I said no even when a part of me was screaming ‘Fuck, yes!’ The times I said no from fear or a sense of not being capable, or not worthy or not good enough. I look back on those missed opportunities and wonder where I would be today, or who I would be today, or how much richer and wiser in experience I would be had I followed through on those chances.

Every experience has made me the woman I am today, for good or ill. Each yes and each no has shaped me in some way. If only I had been brave enough, smart enough, creative enough, more confident, more willing, more daring. If only I had said yes instead of no, or no instead of yes. If only I valued myself more. If only I had chosen a different path. (more…)

I am currently working with the very luscious Lady Lisa Lister of Sassyology, and she is inspiring my personal truth-be-told style of writing. This post is a little bit of a departure from my usual Pagan and Poetry based blogs, but I felt called to share it. Today we were exploring the idea of letting go of the safety of repeating old patterns and taking the safe path, and instead becoming the heroine of our own story. It hit home with me in a big way, ripped me up a little inside, and forced me to face my own reflection. This is what inspiration feels like – a mix of pleasure and pain, excitement and fear, and the inescapable desire to express it. I challenge you to also  explore the idea of your own hero story, your own journey, of becoming the leading role in the tale of you. If the lovely Lisa inspires you as much as I, then check her out here.

In the meantime, this is me – Writing my freakin’ heart out and bleeding all over the page.

Epstein Quote“In my dreams I am the everyday superhero. The one without magical powers, but is fit and fabulous enough to leap fences, kick ass, know every form of street fighting and martial arts, who can pull terrified people together, who can save those in distress, who can fight the monsters, who can win the war, who can save the day. I totally rock in my dreams. I face Armageddon with barely a blink, I take on the zombie apocalypse with style and determination, I face the end of the world with a Fuck Yeah attitude. I run, I jump, I race, I fight, I fuck, I fly helicopters and I feel completely alive in the face of death. I am the hero on the journey. And I will survive. (more…)

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…)

RRivers logoTeachings of Earth: All things must die; yet death is not the end.

Earth shows us the complex cycles of life and death. All aspects of nature, even those that seem most enduring, will eventually leave their current form. They will die, break down, transform. The more we observe nature, the more that we understand that every death feeds into the cycle of life – that energy itself does not die, merely transform. The horror of the rotting corpse feeds the world and nurtures new life. The leaves fall as they must for the trees to survive the winter, to feed the ground, and to make way for the new blossom of spring. The very planets of our universe are born and will die. There are many little deaths within our own life. Moments when relationships, behaviours, beliefs, knowledge, even things we held as truth must die. As it is natural for humans facing physical mortality, we often resist the death of these aspects and grieve their loss. When we face these inner deaths, especially those of deeply held beliefs, it helps to look to nature and understand that the death we resist may actually nurture new life within us, it may in fact be necessary for us to continue along our cycle of magical, emotional or spiritual development. To grieve is a part of the process and may actually be very enlightening, for grief is the twin of love, pain the twin of pleasure. Understanding why we resist the death of that which no longer serves us, why we grieve it’s loss, why we feel pain to let something go, may actually tell us why we held on to the belief, relationship or behaviour so tightly to begin with. Release what you must, watch the parts of yourself that are unhealthy die a slow death, and do so with grace and understanding. These aspects will transform in time, becoming fertile soil for the new seeds you plant.

 

Romany Rivers (c)2014

This article is a copyrighted extract from my upcoming book: The Inner Alchemy of Witchcraft by Romany Rivers

triple-goddessSeveral times in the last few months I have come across individuals in several communities who are looking to create Red Tents, and I have seen an incredible backlash against the idea. In our ever expanding and diverse Pagan communities there appears to be a pendulum swing between private and exclusive, and public and inclusive. I think there is some confusion about what it means for others to host a restricted event – restricted does not mean rejected. Refusing to cater to one segment of society because it clashes with caring for another segment of society, does not mean that we are disrespected or rejected, it means that we are all respecting and accepting the differences between us. By celebrating the diversity of the human species and creating a safe space for certain groups of people to discuss specific issues and ideas unique to their form, we are not excluding others in a harmful fashion. We all need to understand how to accept, respect and celebrate the differences between us as well as the similarities. We can all learn to enjoy quality time together, and quality time apart. (more…)

WorkThe truth holds a power of its own. It is the power to challenge, to change, to start new paths and spark new ideas. Speaking the truth can be painful, powerful, liberating or damaging, but truth held within has its own way of working itself from bonds and flying free when least expected. Truth is a three edged blade, and getting to the point can pierce a heart. Truth is a salve for festering wounds, exposing pain to the light of day and easing concealed suffering. Truth has the power to burn or to cauterize, to hurt or to heal. Truth reveals that which is hidden, for better or worse. Truth transforms us.

The power of the Witch is the power of personal truth. We stand on the thresholds of the worlds and explore the landscapes through our own understanding. We converse with Gods, with Angels, with Demons, with Spirits, with the Beloved Dead, and we walk away with truth upon our tongues and hearts. We take on the truth of Mother Nature, of the restless ocean, of the Sun and Moon. We accept the truth of magic, even whilst we still learn the techniques and process of manifesting magic every day. We accept the truth of seasons and cycles, of honor and hospitality, of differences and similarities. We face the truths hidden deep within our personal shadows, stepping into the darkness and dragging them into the light. We face beautiful truths and ugly truths, and truths that parts of us wish we had never seen. We learn the truths of personal power and personal responsibility, shared truth and shared responsibility. We learn that my truth is not always your truth.

The Witch does not shy from the painful truth, for there is always transformational power within the pain. We cannot heal that which we cannot see is damaged. And truth be told, we need to speak our truth even when our voice shakes… for the truth really does set us free.

 

PBP2014

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014