Posts Tagged ‘Self Improvement’

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

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“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.

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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

 

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A dear friend with a HeroSoul told the world to Do.The.Fucking.Work. – and I completely agree with him. My first response to his message was the quote above, but after thinking about it some more I realised it goes so much deeper than that. In order to work upon ourselves, we must first acknowledge that we need to work on ourselves, and despite our common mentality of highlighting our own flaws every chance we get there is still a resistance to the idea that we are in need of improvement. We are not perfect, not in the ridiculous ideal that social standards set upon us. We are perfect, in ourselves, in our own honest, messy, complicated way. And there is always room for honest improvement, even in perfection. Living our truth means accepting ourselves, all of it – the good, the bad and the downright ugly aspects of ourselves – and understanding that some of the things we reveal to ourselves is not reflective of the person we want to be. This is the first step in doing the work – knowing what needs to be done. Time and time again it comes back to honesty and truth. We must be honest and truthful with ourselves, accepting who we were, who we are and who we wish to be. Only when we know the truth can we move forward and work with joyful abandon. We are all a work in progress, and the work and the progress never ends.