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A Wiccan Elemental Approach to Overcoming Challenges

Author: Marty Couch
Posted: August 23rd. 2009
Times Viewed: 4,243

I went to the Doctor yesterday. I kind of consider it a victory when she doesn’t give me a referral to a specialist for an autopsy. It means I’m winning. Now I don’t know how often you go to the doctor, but I go every three months. I have one of those conditions that warrants very regular follow up. See, about three and a half years ago I was pretty focused on loosing weight. I was doing a lot of ritual work toward that goal and it was working. I started to drink lots of water and the pounds were dropping off. Now, you would think this was a good thing. For me it fell in the “careful what you wish for” column. Let me give a little back ground here. I was not trying to loose weight for health reasons. I had a physical 3 months before I started to loose and everything was exactly perfect. In fact, the only thing my doctor said was “you should try to loose weight”.

She didn’t say why. She just knew that was what she should tell me. All her training told her overweight people are unhealthy. I believed the same thing. Even though the results from my own body were telling me I was in perfect health, I believed that I needed to loose weight in order to be what I already was, healthy. I should also say that my Grandfather, for as long as I can remember was well over 350 pounds. He lived in to his 90’s. But still, in order to be healthy I had to loose weight. So, that became my focus. And it was working. Now about this time I went on vacation with one of my best friends who is also my High Priestess. Our birthdays are 4 days apart and we went to Galena for a long weekend to celebrate. My friend is in the health care industry. She did not see a healthy person who was loosing some weight.

She saw someone who was drinking over a gallon of water a day and was still thirsty. She saw someone who was loosing too much weight to fast. Things I thought were just a nuisance, she was worried about. I had leg cramps. I was always thirsty. I was having some vision problems. Well, she knew if she suggested anything serious was happening, I would avoid my doctor like the plague. So, she said, “I think your potassium might be low. Maybe you need a banana or two in your diet. Why don’t you get a blood test and see?” So, I went to my doctor. She drew blood, told me she would have the results within a week and would call me with them. Her nurse called the next day. She said the doctor wanted to see me. I asked when I could schedule an appointment for. She said they needed me to come in right away.

Well, that kind of makes you nervous.

So, let me give a little background here. I’m sure everyone here has heard of Diabetes and that it can be serious. Diabetes is when the blood has too much sugar. A normal blood sugar level is between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter. My blood sugar was 612. This level typically puts someone in to a comma. There was so much sugar in my blood I have no idea how it was fluid enough for them to even get a sample.

Now, when there is that much sugar in the blood, the sugar tries to dilute itself. It does this by literally sucking the water out of your cells. That’s why you drink so much. Which is why you loose so much weight which of course was my goal. Go me!

So, we spent the next 4 months getting my blood sugar levels back to normal with some very high doses of insulin. What I want to point out at this time is that Medicine was attending to the immediate need. At the same time I was attending to the long term. This situation was at the least a challenge. But I began the spiritual work to make changes. And it worked. Within a year and a half, I became the 6th person my doctor has ever taken off insulin in her 30+ year career in medicine. And I have never needed it again. As evidenced once again by yesterdays follow up, it’s as though I never had the disease.

This is an extreme example of a challenge. We all have extreme challenges in our life. We also have small challenges.

The way we handle them as Wiccans, as Spiritual beings, as Metaphysicians is a process. That process is what we’re going to talk about today.

So, where do we start? Well, everything in life starts at the same place, in Air. If we think of the start of the day, it starts with the Sun rising in the East. The day starts with Air. When we are born, our life starts with our first breath. Our Air.

I don’t often take quotes from the Bible when I teach, but John 1:1 is right on target here: “In the beginning was the word”.

So, what is a word? A word is the spoken or written expression of an idea or thought. So, everything starts with Air, or thought.

You see Air and Thought are connected. Not because we say so, but because Spirit designed it that way. Do you know that everyone that has ever lived, everyone who is alive right now and everyone who will live dies of the exact same thing? Does anyone know what it is? It’s lack of oxygen to the brain. The cause of this may be as different as there are people: Gunshot, Heart Attack, Cancer, Drug Overdose, the list goes on. However, we all die because Air and our brain are no longer joined together. So, even before the first human walked the Earth, Spirit or God and Goddess predetermined that Air and Thought would rely on each other. They would be one.

So, the first step in overcoming a challenge is to think about where the challenge is coming from. To “think clearly”.

We tend to face challenges with a reaction rather than thought. The first think we think about is who can take the blame beside ourselves.

“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” -Erica Jong (American writer)

You see, if you blame someone for your challenges you give them the power. I was ready to blame anyone. Why didn’t my doctor see this coming? Why didn’t my parents teach me to eat better? Why does this disease even exist? But when I moved away from blaming people and took the responsibility, I took back the power. Now a lot of times it will feel like someone deserves the blame in a situation. Maybe we have parents who are controlling. Maybe we have teachers who “just hate us”. Maybe we have a boss who takes all the credit for the work we do. But once we choose to take responsibility, we choose to understand why our parents want to control us. Is it their own insecurity about raising children? We understand why a teacher seems unfair to us. Do they see that we have more ability and potential than we are choosing to use? We see why the boss is taking credit for our work. Do they feel threatened by us? Once we take the responsibility and gain the power back, we can see and think far more clearly about a situation.

But, if all we do is think nothing gets done. We need to take action. We need to move from Air to Fire. We need to burn with a passion to overcome the challenge. Napoleon Hill said every millionaire started with a “burning desire” to accomplish what they set out to do.

My challenge with getting my meetup group started was that I wanted to over think every aspect of it. It was when I took action, found a location, set the date that it happened.

“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” – Will Rogers

I spent two years earning my living full time as an actor. In other words I didn’t have a day job. All I did to support myself was acting. During those two years my bread and butter was TV commercials. I was in several of them, along with having speaking parts on TV shows and some local spots on a few of the morning shows. Here’s the thing, I was going on between 5 and 20 auditions a week. This averages out to about 10 auditions a week.

So, over 2 years I was on well over 1000 auditions. To get cast 22 times. That’s about a 2% success rate. That is a 98% failure rate if you want to think about it like that. But here’s the thing, when you get a commercial, they pay you every time it airs. So, those 22 commercials can make a nice living. I still get checks today for TV shows I filmed 10 years ago. Friends of mine are on both extremes. 2 very good friends of mine worked in LA for years. Between them they had guest starring roles in over 200 TV shows and movies. And they had thousands upon thousands of auditions for parts they didn’t get. These are guys who worked with Bruce Willis, James Earl Jones, all the Golden Girls, Tim Allen and countless others. I also have friends who have been on 5 or 6 auditions and just gave up. I bring this up because making a living as an actor is a challenge to say the least.

The screen actor’s guild has over 200, 000 members of which I am one. You have to earn just under $14, 000.00 a year to get health insurance through the union. Currently about 17, 000 members are at that level. That’s 17, 000 out of 200, 000. That’s just over eight percent. It is a challenging industry to say the least. The way I had success here was massive action, in the form of over 1000 “no’s”. The way to change your life, once you have an idea is to go out and keep “failing” as many times as it takes. Because the success is in the action. If you take no action, you won’t fail but you won’t succeed either.

Now, here’s the problem. Fear. We can often be paralyzed with fear. This moves us to water. Water is our emotional self. There are two primary emotions from which all the others come.
They are love and fear. If we hate some one, it’s often because we fear what they can do or we fear what they will make us do. If we are jealous it is often because we fear feeling inferior to someone. We think of fear as being one thing, but there are two separate parts to it. There is the feeling that comes over us, which is happening now. And there is the event that is causing this emotion, which has the potential to happen in the future. Let me give an extreme example. If someone were holding a gun to your head you would feel fear right now. But the gun is not what you are afraid of. It’s the potential outcome of what would happen if the gun fires. Everything we fear is the future potential of an event, so, when we understand that nothing we are experiencing now warrants fear; we can work toward a positive outcome of any challenge.

So, what is a positive outcome? It’s one that makes us feel safe. It makes us feel grounded. It makes us feel at home. This is our Earth.

“Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.”
Thomas Merton

So, when we are faced with a challenge and have thought through it, taken action, overcome fear, we now allow Earth to take over, two plant the seeds of the work we have done and to let it grow. In this way a challenge is overcome.

The last thing we realize is that we are Spiritual Creatures and the element of Spirit has no concept of obstacles.

“The initial action must be that of the Originating Mind upon Itself, in other words, Self-contemplation. At this primordial stage neither Time nor Space can be recognized, for both imply measurement of successive intervals, and in the primary movement of Mind upon itself the only consciousness must be that of Present Absolute Being, because no external points exist from which to measure extension either in time or space. Hence we must eliminate the ideas of time and space from our conception of Spirit's initial Self-contemplation. This being so, Spirit's primary contemplation of itself as simply Being necessarily makes its presence universal and eternal, and consequently, paradoxical as it may seem, its independence of Time and Space makes it present throughout all Time and Space.” -Thomas Troward

So, what does this all mean? Well, when we think of Spirit, we often think of ourselves as a part of Spirit. We think of ourselves as having a “piece of Spirit” within us. What Mr. Troward points out is that before there was anything, there was Spirit. Spirit had nothing to measure itself against so there was no time and no space. Therefore Spirit exists in its entirety in every point of time and space. So, in reality we are not a part of Spirit. We are the whole of Spirit. Now think about that. The whole of the power that created and maintains the universe is within you in its entirety. We literally have the power within us to do anything without limitation. So, why do we have obstacles? Because we allow ourselves to.

We believe this to be our reality and this infinite source of creative power makes it so. How do we change that? That is our ongoing purpose as embodiments of Spirit.

Copyright: (c) 2009 Marty Couch


Marty Couch

Location: Chicago, Illinois


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