Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

fall.jpgAlmost 4 years ago I sat in a doctors office, bouncing my baby daughter upon my knee, whilst a medical professional told me I had breast cancer. She looked at me with a sadness and confusion that almost annoyed me as I desperately tried to calm my fussy baby. In that moment, I was more interested in calming my daughter than facing the concern of the stranger in a white coat who patted my arm and asked me “Do you understand what I am trying to tell you? This is bad news.”

Yes, I told her. Yes, I understand. I whipped out the offending breast and popped a nipple in my daughters mouth. I looked at the curvaceous white flesh that provided my baby with life giving nutrients and wondered whether the same breast would take my life. Yes, I understand. But in the way of human nature, I clung to the little piece of hope hidden within the box of bad news – more tests meant uncertainty. I could live with uncertainty. (more…)

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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Carefully I reach into the depths and draw it from the darkness,

Lay it down upon the cutting board and reach for the knife

Piece by piece

Side by side

Slice and divide

A million pieces of my heart

Will it ever be enough?

Raw and wild, each fraction a reflection of the whole

Every part complete even when broken,

Divided,

Torn.

Beating under my fingertips as I witness each tiny offering

And gift my open heart upon open palm

So many ways to love

Flesh and form

Hearts and thoughts

Parts and whole

Snippets of soul

So many ways to love

A million pieces of my heart

A million ways to love

A million and counting

(c)2015 Romany Rivers

RIMG0269

I have heard these words before

Like raindrops running across my skin

Rolling along my body and falling to the floor in pools around me

I remember these words

I whisper them to my reflection in sadness and disbelief

But this time I hear them

There is a quality to his voice, a look in his eye

A sincerity upon his tongue that makes me pause

Look up

Look in

Look deeply

You are beautiful, he tells me

Inside and out

The droplets fall from my eyes and roll along my cheeks

But this time I stop their falling

I reach out and take them back into myself

Sad and salty upon my tongue

A bittersweet taste

I let them sink back into myself

Into the core of who I am

Nourish me

Fill me

Consume me from the inside out

You are beautiful, inside and out

 

 

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You are Beautiful (c) Romany Rivers 2014

 

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…)

Witches are people tooI stood in the centre of the room and felt the tension rise. Glancing over my students I could see the people causing the shift, someone finding difficulty in the interruption of the class. The mundane had invaded the magic. The tension made me angry; the attitude of the interrupted students irked me. It pushed my buttons, and I vaguely knew why. I acknowledged the tension and my emotions, and breathed. Slowly and carefully I drew everyone’s attention to this moment of interruption and the shift in energy.

“Witchcraft is not a two hour class each week, it is a way of life. It is not just the moments you spend meditating, not just the practices and exercises, not just your studies, your coursework. It is not just reserved for festivals and celebrations. You do not practice spirituality, you practice the techniques of your spiritual path. You are your spirituality. You must learn that the mundane life and the magical life are one and the same.” (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

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