Mundane in Pagan Clothing: Shifting Focus
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Article ID: 13678
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,580
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Author: Patricia Telesco
Posted: December 20th. 2009
Times Viewed: 4,461
People at work know me as the "hippie dippy chick" who can tell them about herbs, make wild gourmet foods, handle recycling issues, and help green the company. Purchasing Rep by day, pagan and writer by night and weekends. It's all such an odd juggling act.
When the Pagan writing market took a serious downturn I confess I was heartbroken. Writing had been my blood... ok, ink ... for 20 years. Suddenly I didn't know how to define myself. I stop and to a quick "Self check:"
- Still Pagan? Yes.
- Path is still meaningful and motivational? Yes
- Still a writer? Yes, in every fiber of my being.
- Still need a day job to pay bills? Yeppers. Big time.
- Still teaching your children to be good humans and worrying about dogma later? Yeppers times three.
- Still think humor is a great teacher? Goodness if it's not, I shouldn't be on this planet.
So nothing had really changed, yet the world felt upside down. I do not believe I am the only Pagan in this tumultuous boat. In fact, there are probably many of you reading this and nodding vehemently.
The truth is that the times have required many of us to reinvent ourselves. Where once I wrote books, now I've hopped into the Search Engine Optimization train. Thankfully my clients are very good humans who just happen to be struggling and reinventing themselves too. I may write about antiques, about skin care, about alternative healing, and about holidays and history. But the one thing that has come back to me again and again in these months has been that the work still touches people, still helps people... and whatever you're doing can do likewise. Sometimes it just means shifting your perspective.
Forgive me for using myself as an example, but it’s the reality I know. In my case, I could have simply gotten a second part time job somewhere nights (and in fact did so for a while, only to discover I missed my family terribly) . So, I tried something that I love in a different venue. Yeah, it's not as flashy as being an author, but it's real, and viable, and gives my clients the help and hope they need to rebuild their lives too. It's a community - build on respect and trust, like any other. LEARNING that lesson was a process, but its one many of us face (and will likely continue facing for some years now) .
The reason for sharing this is to tell you - you don't have to loose yourself and your passions during hard times. If anything they're more important than ever. They give us joy, and inspiration and fulfillment. Yes, sometimes you have to adjust. What you thought was viable changes, but that's where transferable skills come to bear. Find another way to celebrate your passions, and also honor that Pagan that may not always be able to come out of the closet except in creative ways.
So how do you begin? Keep it simple.
1. Look at your skills - what are you good at?
2. What of those skills make you happy? Start with these. No one should spend 20-40 hours a week being miserable
3. Think out of the box: Ok, as cliché as it sounds, you really need to get creative these days. There are still lots of opportunities; the key is learning how to find them.
4. Network your butt off: The importance of networking cannot be underestimated. Employers, partners, etc. all want to feel they can TRUST in the people around them.
5. Don't get lazy: There are moments when you might be tempted to give up - DON'T. That's something that sets you apart from others too.
6. Communicate: Set up local or online groups that share information with each other. People who are looking for jobs or covens or services can help each other find GOOD ones. The Pagan world need not be ‘dog eat dog’.
7. Remember who you are in your heart and soul. If you lose that - you lose everything.
8. Embrace common sense. It's NOT common.
9. Choose substance over fluff: it keeps you fulfilled much longer
10. Don't always look at the bottom line. Analyze wants and needs - with focus on the NEEDS.
11. Remember that clothes may "make" the person, but your spirit shines through. A tie or power suit won't squelch your Pagan heart.
12. Stay informed and involved as possible (and also know when you need to retreat) . Hearth and home is always priority number one.
13. If you have a gift / knowledge / talent share it somehow. Be it with your children, a friend, or an apprentice… don't let those things simply fade away because life takes odd twists and turns.
Some of these points may seem obvious, but when you're in the middle of a whirlwind you might find your focus faltering. Our community as a whole needs to maintain the energy and drive that it gathered during the New Age revival if we're to survive with some continuity. We can use this time to cleanse, purge, re-group, refocus, educate, and adjust to the world as it has become (and hopefully make it better) .
No it's not easy. I won't lie. There will be tears and those proverbial brick walls. There will be moments of terrible failure and others of fantastic success. It's up to each person to decide to persevere.
When you find one door closed, look for another one to open. BE ready to MAKE it open, and then decide if you can walk thru or minimally give it a go. My mom used to say that you never know until you try, and the worst anyone can say is, "no." But if you never venture out, you'll never know the breadth and depth of which you're capable whether you're mundane in pagan clothing or pagan in mundane clothing.
Keep the faith!
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