My long-term goals have not change much from last year. The only change has been in my perspective. I have changed and my view of my goals have as a result deepened and blossomed.
Deepen my spiritual journey
- Study wisdom traditions
- Deepen my spiritual practice
- Build my tradition
My understanding of my spiritual journey has changed considerably. I initially thought my studying for example, would primarily shift to a more formal effort associated with the Assisi Institute. But what I had not imagined was how much my independent study would deepen in addition to the certification program’s requirements.
My spiritual practice went from my trying to dictate canonical periods of prayer and morphed into a continuous process of dream, trance, contact, reverie and prayer. The only goal that has stayed pretty much the same is building my tradition. We are hard at work on our bylaws and secular structure. At the same time, our ecclesiastical structure and vision has become clearer and more detailed.
Nurture the fabric my life
- Build core strength
- Open my heart
- Care for my home
Nurturing the fabric of my life has similarly evolved as I have slowed down for various reasons this winter and spring. And for the first time in my life I am experiencing a slower pace, an open schedule and a calmer mind. At first I thought it was a result of the fogginess, but as I have revived with the help of vitamin D, I am noticing a lack of urgency in my gut. Part of it is a result of my practices of deep awareness and prayer, but it is also the result of the painful work of reclaiming my physical awareness from a lifetime of pain, rage and grief.
Whatever the cause, I feel stronger. I cannot bench press anywhere close to extremes of my youth, but I am stronger where it counts. And with this strength and calmness, my heart is opening in ways I had never imagined only a short time ago. And with this evolution, I am letting go of even my modest self-expectations in favor of an acceptance of what is real … in the here and now. And in the here and now, my home needs to be a place of peace, serenity and compassion – and not a place of sterile organization, overcompensation and fatigue inducing projects. So I let it all go … at least in the moment … and instead I focus on what is the work in my hands. And in my hands are simple things like clean dishes, delicious meals, clean laundry, empty trashcans, and paid bills. I do what I can and leave what I cannot handle … for now.
Share my message
- Write and publish
And in sharing my message, I am slowly weaving my way out of my self imposed hesitancy and reticence. There is this great song that was taught to me by the mighty, mighty Madrone. “I am learning to breathe underwater, it’s so beautiful down here, I use to think that if I tried, I would drown. I’m learning to open my mouth and say what I want without fear, that I’ll chase away my future with a sound!”
It may have seemed that I was unafraid, but some fears are so deep down, you don’t even know you have them. And so I am learning to open my mouth … and say what I want … without fear. And what I am learning is that the one who needs to hear it the most … is me. And so as I open my heart, my mouth, my ears and my hands … I am becoming stronger, happier and more at peace.
So my goals for this year:
- Incorporate our church
- Register to perform marriages in DC
- Develop weekly Reflections’ courses
- Publish my book
- Regular blog posts
- Studying at the Assisi Institute
- Teaching and priestessing
- Offering spiritual counseling
- Radical self-care
Submitted by katrina on Tue, 05/25/2010 - 1:52pm.
This is the fifth post in my series on my new long-term goals. Go here to see the first post in the series.
This is the one long-term goal that for the most part remains unchanged from last year. Last year it was share my writings, music, art and message with a wider audience. And this year I shortened it to share my message.
And it remains a large part of my work in the world. So much so, that I had to find a way to balance this goal against the long-term goal of nurturing my life. This was the core of my balance pursuit.
And like the earlier ones, this long-term goal also has three sub-goals – write/publish, teach and connect.
This goal includes writing this blog of course, but also publishing books, podcasts, and other media. Once I discovered that my current book was born out of a practice of writing articles on topics that interested me, I realized how important it is to just write about whatever catches my fancy. Most of those articles have never seen the light of day. They will eventually be repurposed into either a book of essays or expanded into books of their own. At least two have been turned into conference workshops and a third was used in my Descent workshop. I am learning so much about writing as practice, and I oh so look forward to the writing that will be required as part of the program at Assisi.
On average, I plan to teach 5 to 6 one-day classes, 3 sequestered weekends, 5 ritual/classes each year. In previous years, I also taught 3 to 4 six/seven week classes plus one or two conferences, festivals, lectures and sermons scattered throughout the year. I am hoping to add some online/tele-seminar courses plus maybe encourage some invites for a few out of town classes. I also want to debut a new set of what I call Essential classes to replace the Reclaiming courses I no longer teach.
Some, many of my friends and students, would call this overdoing it. But if you ever have taken a class from me, you probably know why I feel such a calling to teach. I just love teaching! I will necessarily hold off on some of my plans because plainly I will need the time since I am now back in school. But … I will have to scratch that teaching itch every so often just to keep the urge under control.
In my mission statement, I explicitly state that I want to be willing to touch and be touched by the journeys of my loved ones. I was trying to capture my need to make room for authentic loving relationships in my life. This is still true for me. The new insight is that this extends not only to my family and friends but also to my students, colleagues and members of my community. My natural introversion and the nature of my illnesses act as barriers to my participation in many community events. It takes a great deal of planning, assistance from others and time afterwards for recovery for me to just show up for most functions.
But what is funny is that if I am teaching at an event, I can usually pull it off. That is why I could attend select Pagan Pride festivals over the years. Each time, I was asked to present a short class on a topic. The other way that works for me is a focused discussion or a class on a topic I have an interest in presented by a teacher I admire.
Several times this past 12 months, I planned to attend an event then had to cancel due to illness or exhaustion. It is frustrating to say the least.
Now that I have a diagnosis, I am hoping to be more available in some respects. But of course, the next obstacle is my calendar of crazy. This fall, I had only two free weekends from September through December. The first free weekend was Labor Day, and right at the moment, I cannot recall when the next one occurs.
With my weekends full, I focus instead on having more time for folks mid week. I try to meet up with friends for dinner, movies and just hanging out during the week. I also am getting better with setting up times to chat over the phone with long distance friends. As I plan for 2010, I will need to keep this goal in mind.
Submitted by katrina on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:05am.
This is the fourth post in my series on my new long-term goals. Go here to see the first post in the series.
As I shared when I announced my diagnosis, my house is a constant reminder of the true cost of my illness. I was recuperating from major surgery when I moved into this house and I have not had a healthy year in the almost twenty years that I have lived here. It is all pretty amazing when you think about it.
There has been movement, my library has moved twice I think. My closet used to be the junk room. And now my old office plus half my new office serves that role. I use to store things in the basement after I stopped renting it out, but that stopped when I turned it into a temple and classroom. So most things are stored upstairs.
In the mean time, all my artwork, at least the ones that survived the floods, lives in my offices, old and new. When I retired after twenty five years, my ton of belongings including a library of technical books and archives was moved in boxes into the old office which was already holding the remnants from previous schools, organizations, churches and homes.
Each year, people would help me clean up for New Years by moving boxes of unopened mail to joined the unexamined boxes from previous years. The funny bit is that my filing cabinet is buried under a ton of boxes, so the paper just piles up waiting for that day when I am full of enough energy to tackle it. And of course that day never comes. People have offered to help but most only want me to throw everything out which freaks me out.
On top of the clutter is the constant fix it litany of any 100-year-old house. My dream of new windows went out the window after the ironically named hurricane and her sis, Rita. That is when I discovered what my insurance does not cover. Subsequent house woes were chronicled in Live Journal, which I will not repeat here except to say – DA-AMN!
This is all a long way of saying that de-cluttering and reorganizing my house has been a goal of mine for over fifteen years. And despite having thrown out a literal ton of stuff over the years, I have at least half of that left that needs organizing. I have had some areas of the house repaired, made some necessary changes and upgraded some elements. But it still feels like a ton of work is needed.
So my goals in this area include cleaning, sorting and organizing (what I call CSO), clutter removal, and setting up some household routines. Of the three, the household routines are mostly in place. On my balance score sheet, I reserve the highest score for de-cluttering and publishing. I am trying to see if this will motivate me. In the past two months, I managed two de-cluttering sessions. On one hand, it is a pretty miserable result. On the other hand, It is two more than I did all last year. This one is definitely a work in progress.
Next up is my last overall goal of sharing my message.
Submitted by katrina on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 8:00am.
This is the third post in my series on my new long-term goals. Go here to see the first post in the series. So far I have discussed deepening my spiritual journey. In this post, I begin discussion of my second overriding goal, the nurturing of the fabric of my life.
Back in February, I realized that several of my previous long-term goals were actually subsets of a larger, more expansive goal. Spending time with loved ones, having a spiritual, sustainable and healthy lifestyle, and having a welcoming home were actually part and parcel of nurturing a sustainable, passionate and creative life. The new wording worked for me and it covered one of my most challenging issues, self-nurturance.
But that statement desperately needed more definition. Over time, it expanded into three sub goals: build core strength, open my heart and care for my home. (Am I the only one seeing a trend with three high level goals with so far three sub goals under each? Hmmm …)
Build Core Strength
Strengthening my core has been a focus for several years. It involves primarily physical activities and issues. This includes yoga, walking, and eating nutritious meals. Regular health care counts as well.
I have been walking each week and up till the Flexeril episode, I managed several yoga practices a week. And earlier this year I restarted my fruit and vegetable deliveries, which has helped with my meals. I am hoping to build back up to almost daily yoga and am trying to get back up to two 1 mile walks each week.
My work with the intuitive healer has helped me loosen up some stuck areas all over my body, so that now when I walk I am using both legs pretty evenly at least until I get tired. But thankfully I am no longer limping for the last quarter mile, which is a big improvement.
My yoga practice, when it is regular, enables me to move with confidence all week. If I can get the meds just right, my hope is be able to walk on inclines and steps with a smoother gait. It is the one place where my disability reveals itself even when I am well rested and my joints are warmed up.
The last area I was working on before all hell broke loose was building abdominal strength. Hopefully I can get back to it as a focus before year’s end.
Open My Heart
This past week, my healer pointed out all the rage I carry just below my ribcage. Most of it is due to my continuing issues with my health. My heart opening practice up till now had been focused on my shoulders and spine. She loosened the affected area by manipulating my spine and the connecting muscles – a truly weird sensation. Now when I pull my shoulders back, I can feel more of my chest expanding.
My role in this effort now also includes preserving and reclaiming openness in my schedule, my home and my journey. For example, although technically I had time to teach at Cherry Hill and return to school, it would have left me no buffer in case of illness or an emergency – so I decided to not return to Cherry Hill while I am in school.
I have also made an effort to enjoy the beauty I encounter as travel around the area. Just recently, after that heart opening session with my healer, I visited Sligo Creek Park. Instead of doing my regular walk, I just sought out a friendly boulder to sit and enjoy the beauty of the water and greenery – it was delicious!
So my goal of heart opening operates at multiple levels -- physical, emotional and spiritual.
Next time I will discuss my goal of caring for my home.
Submitted by katrina on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 8:00am.