Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!
Article ID: 15672
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Posted: April 13th. 2014
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Many of we Pagans find the most rewarding parts of walking this path to be the many ways it helps us expand ourselves and grow as individuals. That’s not usually the thing that originally draws us to the Pagan path, but it comes as a pleasant discovery we make along the way. I like thinking of it as being a wonderful gift we find as we are traveling along not even looking for a gift. One day we look, and there it is! It’s a gift we can see by looking into a mirror; it’s the gift of a new and improved SELF.
The simplicity of it is a beautiful thing, though of course ones intentions have to be genuine in order for the magick to work. We become acquainted with new concepts about how to live, and we’re introduced to new ways of perceiving the world and thinking about it. If our intentions really are genuine, we actually make changes in the way we do things based upon the new way we see and think about things. Over time, the changes we make in our DOING transform our BEING.
My Elder in The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, Ivo Dominguez Jr., in his book Spirit Speak, writes of “a journey with no steps” and this kind of personal transformation is like that. It happens…the change part…without us consciously trying to make specific changes. We begin following a path and the changes happen. We trust in the process. Where it takes us is where we need to be, in order for us to become the people we are meant to be.
Sometimes we over-think and other times we under-think. We can say a lot of words that sound good, without digging down deep into ourselves, unpeeling all the layers of what society or family has taught us that we “should” want to do, to decide whether we actually want to do what we say we want to do or not. Obviously, just saying the words “I’m going to ___” won’t ever make anything happen. And if we don’t really even care, then we’re not going to do any more than say the words! If we take any action at all, it’ll be half-hearted at best.
How often do we say we want something just because someone else has made us think we ought to want it? Losing weight…getting a better job…keeping our home tidier…showing less temper…exercising more? Who is it that wants us to? Is it us? Or is it our mothers, fathers, significant others, friends, the media, society? This all boils down to learning how to say No! Life is too short to waste part of it trying to re-make ourselves into someone others want us to be! We owe it to the Universe and its Greater Scheme of Things to figure out who we actually are, and become the best-possible version of that person!
It behooves us to take advantage of the many opportunities for self-learning that present themselves to us. As Pagans, we are blessed to have so many ways of self-learning available, and especially so if we belong to an active coven or tradition, or live in an area where classes and events are plentiful and frequent. Chakras, tarot, meditation, reiki, Qabala, spiritual dance, shamanic journeying, sweat lodge, runes, crystals and herbalism, astrology, and the study of ANY religions…this even includes Christianity, with mindfulness…there are things in any of these that can help us to explore new facets of ourselves.
Sometimes we don’t know how a particular practice can be useful to us until we venture into it. We can always go in with the thought, “I’m going to give this a try.” I, for example, really had no interest in astrology ten years ago, but I thought, “Well, all witches should know something about astrology.” To be honest, I didn’t even believe in it…a state of mind akin, as my astrology Teacher once told me, to not believing in biology or chemistry!
What I found was a wondrous and complex system by which I could unwrap the many layers of my behavior and study all that lies hidden beneath my outer shell of day-to-day consciousness! Astrology became a way I came to understand and respect both myself and the other people in my life! Who would’ve ever guessed that something I didn’t even think I was interested in would become one of my life’s passions?
Some things we decide to take up on our own, and there are bound to be some things that others recommend to us. One of the benefits to being part of a group is that we are afforded input from others, which we should be open to considering. When I was working toward my First Degree Initiation in The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, my High Priestess and High Priest recommended I take tai-chi lessons. They said it would help me with the way I moved energy. I didn’t even know what tai chi was, but trusting the advice of my coven leaders, I signed up for classes. Tai chi really did help me move energy better, but in more laymen’s terms, it changed me from a rather clumsy-moving person into a graceful person! Wow! After thinking of myself as awkward, and being teased about being awkward, for fifty years, this transformation came as a very nice surprise!
Another personal transformation began when a coven-mate of mine told me that the Goddess Brigid had given her a message specifically for me. Because I am a poet, Brigid told my coven-mate that She would like me to sing, also. I’m sure I gave a look of great astonishment, because all my life I had not been told even once that my singing was good or even passable. I was very self-conscious, because anytime I sang and noticed one of my companions sharing a glance with another, I was sure it was about me, and not in a good way! But I loved to sing and had always been mystified as to why I was apparently not good at it.
My coven-mate, an excellent singer, confided in me that she hadn’t always sung well either. She gave me a copy of a book she had used in teaching herself to sing. Rather than disbelieving in myself, as we often do, I took the book and began to read it. I learned things that I’d never known about singing! And I discovered my true singing voice! Did you realize that it’s possible to be so self-conscious that you stunt yourself? It most certainly is. But sometimes someone else, looking at us from outside us, can see potential in us that we didn’t know we had. Within the past year I’ve also discovered that I am a good dancer. Well, trust me when I say, this is new! I haven’t taken any dance lessons, but being open-minded to trying out things that were suggested to me just loosened me up and enabled me to flow!
As we follow our Pagan Path, it is important that we open our minds to reaching out and trying new things, and taking the advice of others we respect. It’s important that we replace all the “No I can’ts” with a whole lot of “Yes I cans!” Getting out of our own heads means opening ourselves to the reality that we cannot see all of ourselves from in there! Going inward IS very important, but we can spend too much time in there also. While it is good for us to make plans for ourselves, it is also very freeing to let loose the reins and often let life take us where it may. If we’re doing all the planning, we can’t discover any places we don’t already know! But riding along on “the journey of no steps” can literally open up wide vistas for us!
Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Location: Greenwood, Delaware
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