Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The First Step to Anywhere!
Article ID: 15648
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,824
Times Read: 2,328
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Author: Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Posted: March 23rd. 2014
Times Viewed: 2,328
Recently I achieved the heady experience of seeing my very first book manifest in printed form. Having been a writer for almost my entire life, though not yet a published one, I did not feel the great rush that some fellow authors told me I’d feel the first time I held my actual book in my hands and thumbed through its pages. I felt very matter-of-fact about it, actually…and why wouldn’t I? I’d been working on it day and night for six months! However, a few things that happened not long after I received my books and began selling them clued me in to the significance of what I’d just done.
One was that I heard a few people who had far bigger credentials than mine, speaking about how they hoped to one day have a book published but, for one reason or another, had not done so yet. This really struck me, because it was something I hadn’t thought about before. Sometimes, when we do something, we lose sight of how big it really is. This amounts to us under-valuing our achievement, in a way.
We need to stop thinking of our accomplishments in terms of “it’s about darn time I did this! ” and instead take a big step forward into the place of “I Did This and It Is a Really Big Thing!” Is this being proud of ourselves? Sure it is, and that’s all right, because in order to be self-confident in our ability to do things, we have to be a bit proud. Apart from that, though, it helps us to realize that there’s nothing wrong with the people who have not yet done what we just did. They haven’t done it yet, not because they’re somehow lower on the evolutionary scale than we are, but because IT IS A REALLY BIG THING. Just because we did it, we don’t need to go around acting like it’s an everyday occurrence. That discredits both us and others who’ve done it, as well as those who hope to do it but haven’t yet.
Another eye-opener happened for me the first time I went, with my book, to one of the rather big Pagan gatherings, Sacred Space 2014 in Laurel, Maryland. Of course I went there planning to take some awesome classes, participate in some amazing rituals, and meet some great new people. I also hoped to sell a few books! I was excited, thinking about MY book, in all its grandness, being on The Authors’ Table along with many others.
When I arrived, and strode boldly to The Authors’ Table with my small stack of books, though, I suddenly plummeted from a proud High to a small and humble Low. There were so many books already there, by so many authors! Some were by people I’d never heard of before, a few of whom might’ve been fledgling authors like me. But many were by very famous Pagans whom nearly all Pagans have heard of, some of whom were going to be teaching classes at the Conference! Since first helping to design the cover of my book, I’d been especially proud of how beautiful it was…but all of the books on The Authors’ Table were just as beautiful! And I found myself thinking, “Why would anyone choose my book from amongst all these?” From my own smaller world, in which I felt fairly significant, I’d stepped into a much bigger world and was feeling very insignificant indeed.
Happily, book sales happened and spirits lifted. And I learned that, no matter how big one’s accomplishment is, there will always come a time and place where one meets others whose accomplishments are bigger. There is no “best in show” for the majority of human accomplishments! The fact is, we are all traveling on a path, with some people a bit ahead of us, and others a bit behind us, and a few who walk along right beside us for a ways. Besides that, nearly all of us travel on several different paths at the same time! For example, I am traveling the Author path and also the Magickal path. I know people who travel just one or the other of these, and a lot who travel both! Some of them, I might be ahead of on one of the paths and behind on the other. Some, I might be ahead of or behind of on both! It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I am ON paths and I am moving forward on each one, and so are you and you. Shared experience like this should never intimidate us; it can inspire us and give us insight and help us grow.
Sometimes we hesitate to take the first step…to writing a book or to any other goal…because we don’t feel that we are ready yet. The truth is, sometimes we’re really not ready, but oftentimes we need to get started on the work in order to finish the task of BECOMING ready! Our skills might need honing, and taking those first steps hones them! There certainly is importance in the preparatory work that we do, but acts of preparation can only get us to a certain point. The more advanced skill-enhancement comes in the actual doing. In short, there’s a limit to how ready you can become before you begin! It’s the process itself, and going through it, that gets you fully ready.
Do not ever wait to perform your dance, song, etc., or present your book, workshop, art, etc., until you or it is perfect, because if you are that picky, you’ll never think it’s perfect enough. Even when you do, for a moment, decide it is perfect, you’ll eventually encounter an example of it, manifested by someone else, that will seem better than yours. That is perfectly okay, too, because once you’ve taken that first step, and reached that goal for the first time, you’ll undoubtedly not stop there. You’ll reach it again and again, with each time being better than the first, even though none are that unattainable “perfect”!
It’s been said that beauty lies in imperfection, and that is true. As we gather our courage, shift our gears into “drive, ” and take our first steps toward the things we want to do in this life, there is so much beauty in our planning, dreaming, hoping, revising, conferring with others, improving, erasing, restarting, and finally celebrating and sharing! And while it could be said that as we manifest creative works again and again, we are striving toward perfection, I think it’s better to not say that. We’re not striving toward perfection at all; we are striving toward doing and completing, for only with completion can we have things to share with others, that can help and inspire them. And along with our doing and completing is our BECOMING. With each first step, and through each process, and with each completion, we become more and more the shining individuals we came into this life to be!
Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Location: Greenwood, Delaware
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