Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Passing thoughts...

PathwayThere are times in my life when I feel as if I am filled with the knowledge that time is passing and there is nothing to stop it. During these times I worry a little that I've not spent my time wisely. I worry that I will only leave behind sadness. I understand that we are not to know these things, but I would like to have the knowledge that I have touched lives in a positive way. I know that all seems a little maudlin, but there it is.

This is an odd time of the year for me. A lot of loss and sorrows and heartbreak has occurred this time of the year. And it seems to bring me down each year, too. This year I am striving for something better. I won't get the fire that I'd hoped to have, but I have several candles and now have a lovely bit of wood to work into a special candle holder that will last me many years. The wood came from an ash tree that had already died, but I still had thoughts of gratitude for the use of it.

The Ash is said to be an excellent wood for promoting brain activity. Its magick aids in communication, intelligence, wisdom, and promotes curiosity. Used in ritual applications, it is said to remove mental blockages and aid in the promotion of word use and understanding and increase spiritual love and health.

See? Pretty cool. I'll be working on smoothing and preparing it later. It will take a while, though.

So... why am I doing this? Because this is a good year. No, I'm not conjuring that up or anything like that, but it is. There have been no great sorrows with the people most dear to me, no losses, no heartbreaks. And for that, I am most gratitude-filled.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winner...

Early yesterday it was pointed out to me that I was leading a group in a special way. And yet, in all honesty, I do not think of myself as a leader. Not by any stretch. Sometimes I want to shrink back into anonymity and watch the world from my little corner of the world. But knowing that some of my ideas are helping others? Knowing that the simple things that I put here are any kind of inspiration? I know that I can't go back to my shelter. At least not permanently. Once in a while when I need to ground myself, yes, but only until I can breath again.

My trip to Asheville helped me more than I can ever express. The energy of the people there. The peace of the home I was in. The deep strength of the mountains. All of that showed me just how far I'd fallen since moving to this town. I'd lost a lot of vitality and the ability to see my own Light on a regular basis. I only saw it in tiny glimpses and it seemed so feeble. Some people would tell me that I was an inspiration to them, but I felt like they must be blind... I couldn't see it for myself. Especially when I could hold so much animosity toward some other human beings on the fringes of my life.


The workouts are helping. My new determination is helping. The handful of women in my group is also helping. In this effort I'm also finding the strength to fight against the concession that wants to rise up and just accept what "is". I am finding the strength to walk away from the situations that do not help me grow.

When I look at myself in the mirror I sometimes see the most beautiful Being there is because I can see the radiance of Spirit shining through my eyes. That's not conceit, it's just there. Other times I see a tired woman struggling to make it to the end of the day so she can escape into the oblivion of sleep. I strive to see the Shining One much more often.

And now? Even though it is the end of the day, I have a commitment to my Self, and I need to get out there on that bike and pedal for the last 30 minutes of exercise for the day. Because I deserve this. I am the winner.



Friday, October 12, 2012

A lesson...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. "
~ Bertrand Russell

On Monday I posted about some people not gathering all the facts about an issue before they started fighting about it. I truly thought that my post would be read, thought about, and maybe, just maybe, discussed in a mature fashion. Only on a very tiny scale did that happen. And the rest?

My inbox was filled with comments from liberals and conservatives telling me how wrong I was, how stupid I was, how close-minded I was. There were messages of hate, messages of accusations, and messages telling me to hang myself (from an anonymous commenter). I even had a few of my customers let me know that they could no longer purchase from one who was "with the other side".

Wow.

I can honestly say that all of it stunned me. I like to think that people are capable of disagreeing with someone without turning to hatred. Perhaps I am putting too much faith in the world in general. What seems funny to me is that I wasn't attacking any political party, only the fact that people were arguing with the wrong information.

I've lost customers, I've lost a few people from my friend list on Facebook and Ravelry, I probably even lost a few people who had "favorited" my shop on Etsy.

Am I still hurting over this? Yes, actually, I am. I can take comfort in the fact that the people I've welcomed into my home have not turned away. I can take comfort that the people I call my "Fiberly" are still my friends. And most important of all, I can take comfort in knowing that I spoke up with intelligence and facts, and that the ones spouting hatred really don't matter.

Monday, October 08, 2012

We are better, right?

October 12, 2012 - Comments have been closed on this post.

First, if my information is incorrect, please feel free to send me a message to let me know. You can comment below and I'll get it in my inbox.

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Yes, I get upset when people don't check facts before they start trashing "the other side". I know everyone is up in arms about the whole PBS/cut funding comments, but many are arguing with the wrong information.

I see arguments that Sesame Workshop is making enough money to be counted as a "one-percenter" (actually the comment was Big Bird), but those people didn't stop to think that PBS and SW (formerly CTW) are not the same entity. I also see arguments that the shows will all be canceled and PBS will be shut down, but that's not necessarily the case, either.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (created in 1967) provides about 15-20% of the funding for many public broadcasting organizations (such as PBS and NPR). Where does the rest come from? Private membership donations AND individual people. Yes, those annoying telethons and pledge drives are ways for the average person to donate to PBS. That's me. And many of you.

Ideas? I have a few... for people who can organize a car wash (although the weather is starting to get a little cold for that), wash cars and raise money for PBS. You run a restaurant? Donate all the proceeds from a day's worth of sales to PBS. You work outside of the home? Donate 10% of your paycheck to PBS. Donate here.

Will it be easy? Of course not, but I would like to believe that we are a better nation and will work toward building a better country.

Will I be putting my money where my mouth is? Yes, I certainly will. For all the sales I make during the month of October, through my shop (Alina Shea Creations), I will donate 5% of my profits to PBS.

And, no, I don't watch PBS anymore. I got rid of my television quite a while ago and haven't missed it since.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Catching up...

Beautiful flowersI have so many thoughts still swirling around and I meant to get them all written out earlier. Instead I got busy with a few things, had a cold (which always makes me feel a bit disconnected), and generally have not had much of a chance to sit down and write.

Being in Asheville was amazing! From the absolute breath-taking beauty, to the small peaceful moments, I loved it all. I hope I can convey some of that now.

One of the most simple things I enjoyed was the fact that everyone called me Shayla. There was no hesitation, no forgetting, no confusion. I was Shayla to them and that's just the way it was. I know that it's still something people around here are getting used to. I know that some will always think of me as Shannon. The ones who matter most to me are trying and will keep trying because they know how important it is to me. There are some folks who don't "get it" but they make the effort anyway and that means a lot to me, too. But to have my chosen name come from so many people naturally? Well, that felt like a gift.

Nearly every day I went out onto the front porch before the sun rose and enjoyed the morning hush. There is something so peaceful about knowing that the place you are is compatible with your own energy. Mountains have always been that way for me. Even in Colorado, when I was very young, I could feel how much more my spirit resonated with the land. I think it will always be that way with mountains. The desert was beautiful and I liked much of it, especially how attentive you had to be to your surroundings. This area? Well, the marshlands are nice. But the mountains! Oh, how my heart sings when I'm in the mountains!

I also tried new foods nearly every day. Asparagus tips, Indian food, Chinese food, and so many other things that I can't even remember them all. I just know that when April cooked, I ate whatever she gave me. When she or Kam took me out to eat I tried something new. I didn't have any negative reactions to anything I had and was sure I'd have a lot to work off when I returned home (in fact, I actually lost 4 pounds while I was there). Oh! And I had a chai latte and decided that I just might like that more than coffee.

Knitting happened every day, too. Whether I was sitting in a cafe, on the front porch, in the back yard, in the room off the kitchen, or in the room that I called mine, yarn and sticks were usually in my hands. I even knitted a little at the studio after April put me through one of her classes. I finished a scarf, started another, finished socks, and worked on my shawl.

On my birthday I was able to talk with the most important people. It still felt a little odd to not see them, but it was okay. I still don't really think of myself as having a birthday at all, but then... I've felt like that for many years now. I feel so much more vibrant than I did when I was 30 that it seems more like I'm going back in time. Or, perhaps, it's just that I'm more aware of Life. Regardless, I am truly happy that I feel so good.

And, for our picnic on Mount Mitchell, it seemed that the day was made for us. The sun peeked out just as we were starting lunch. And, most awesome of all, we heard a raven calling before it flew over us. Then it returned just a short time later, so close that we could hear the wind rushing over its wings. A truly powerful moment.

And now I am back in Sandusky and things are somewhat back to normal. I took the kittens and Nala to a shelter so I have the use of my back rooms again. I got the dyepots steaming and filling the house with the smell of alpaca & wool. I have fallen asleep with thoughts of my loved ones and woken in the wee smas with the same people on my mind. I've begun a few new projects (one of which is clearing out some stuff from the house) and finished a few others. I've thought about my journal (haven't sat down to write in it yet) and other important areas that still need attending. I've realized that my jeans barely fit me (they stay up for a short time after pulling them from the dryer, after that I need to pull them up frequently) and that I don't have a dress to wear to a wedding (all I had are now too big) and that I'm happy about that, too.

Mostly, I have been thinking about how good my life is sometimes. And that I love the people I choose to have in it.

Namasté.