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Iaconagraphy Sabbatical: July 26, 2017-September 21, 2017

Most people who take a sabbatical at this time of year (end of summer) do so to go on vacation–to go to the seashore and perhaps go swimming, or go to the mountains for an extended hike, or what have you–but for some of us, such rests are necessary so that we can actually get things done.  That is the case for me.  This time away is nothing so glamorous as a trip to the beach, although hopefully the end result of it will be a home where we can live constantly reminded that the Ocean, and Her Gods and Goddesses (Njordr, Freyja-Mardoll, Ran, Aegir, the Nine Waves, and Nehalennia), are never very far away from us. 

Most of you are aware that we’ve spent the entire summer embroiled in the real estate “shenanigans” of selling our house and procuring a new one.  Well, we are now at that crucial point of packing up our lives and moving them (and their “souvenirs”) to a new home.  That is going to require quite a bit of work on my part, so I will be taking time off from this business from today (July 26, 2017) through September 21, 2017, so that I can take care of the business of getting us packed, moved in, and unpacked in a timely fashion.

Njordr has been a primary and guiding force for me, through this entire “debacle”.  I never really realized how much selling one house to move to another has in common with fishing until I was deep in the heart of this situation.  When a fisherman casts a line or a net, he doesn’t wiggle or worry that line or net; he waits patiently.  Sure, he puts in all of the hard work of baiting the line and reeling in the catch at the end, or of setting the net and hauling it back in, but during that in between portion, he simply waits. Patiently.  Patience is not one of my better virtues, I’ll be honest.  But I’ve learned a lot about the hope and faith that patience actually requires through undergoing and enduring this process.

So it is with that same hope and faith that I beg your patience, while I am away for the next couple of months.  I may occasionally, as time permits, still post art and musings both here and at Facebook , so please, don’t give up on me!  I’ve cast this net, and I would very much appreciate coming back to find it still full of Wonderful Peeps!

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The Holiday Disconnect

The holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love, joy, and hope; a time when we feel perhaps the most connected to all things people and all people and The All (Deity) that we’ll feel all year long, and yet for too many people, they become an opportunity for disconnection.  We get so caught up in holiday shopping and holiday baking and holiday get-togethers that we forget what we’re actually celebrating: holidays is just a contraction for holy days, and we’re meant to keep this time of year holy.  What does it mean for something to be holy?  It means that whatever it is, whether it’s a thing, or an observance (like a ritual), or a time of year, that it is something that deeply promotes that connection between all things, all people, and The All (Deity); that it is something that spreads light, and promotes active compassion.  Yet we all too often, at this time of year, lose ourSelves (and that connection right along with them) in the hustle and bustle of what we think is “celebrating the holidays”.  When all of that stuff makes us switch our focus from the holy to the mundane–things like debt, baking failures, missing the people who are no longer with us to the exclusion of celebrating the people who still very much are–we lose the holy part of holidays, and they just become days!

When we get caught in that trap, we desperately need to reclaim the holy part of the word holidays.  Part of that process is practicing active compassion with ourSelves. In active compassion, we’re supposed to let go of things with loving-kindness: a place of good will, with a strong wish of happiness for our target audience, patience, receptivity, and appreciation.  If you’ve let yourself fall into this trap, it’s time to let go of whatever it is that’s making your holidays days, instead of holy days.  What is preventing your holidays from being holy days this year? I’m talking about things like continually negative patterns of thought, a lack of faith and hope, a tendency to dwell on things and worry.  Now would be a really great time to give yourself the gift of letting those things go!

Often, when we work towards letting go of things in our lives, though, we wind up “beating ourselves up” quite a bit before actually releasing them. That sort of behavior is not actively compassionate!  For active compassion to happen, you need to adopt a stance where you care what happens to your target audience–that would be You, your True Self–and you only want the best for them, but with those sentiments, there is no further attachment: you care enough to want the best, but you can be patient enough to let any negativity involved wash away from you; you care and want the best, but you can also receive and appreciate any lessons which might go along with whatever you’re about to release.

What holiday activities are causing you to feel the most disconnected right now?  If your present focus is on debt, the activity in question might be shopping, or even wrapping gifts.  If you’re missing family members or friends who you have lost over the past year (or even over the past couple of years), family gatherings might be more than a little tough right now.  Whatever activity is making you focus on the opposite of hope, peace, joy, and love right now, you need to delegate authority and get somebody not you to take care of that “holiday chore”, or you need to at least keep that activity to a bare minimum.

What holiday activities are causing you to feel more connected right now?  What’s actually “doing it” for you?  What is making you remember hope, peace, joy, and love, and helping you feel more connected to all things, all people, and The All (Deity) right now?  Maybe it’s just lying on the couch, watching Christmas movies, and listening to your kids giggle and talk upstairs.  Or maybe it’s taking long walks outside in the cold. Whatever it is, you need more of that, and less of whatever you answered for the last question.

What do you have in your life right now, that others might not have? Take a moment to count your blessings.  If you’re finding yourself presently covered in debt from all the gifts you’ve bought so generously for others, consider this: there are some people out there who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, much less frivolous Christmas gifts!  If you’re finding yourself missing people that you’ve lost (family members and friends), consider this: you are surrounded by remaining family members, loved ones, and friends who could just as easily (God/dess forbid!) not be here next year, so celebrate them while you have them! Enjoy every single second! Imbibe moments with those people, so you’ll have those moments to treasure for always!  This may seem like a rather depressing way of addressing this issue at face value, but if you take stock of what you actually do have, I promise you, you’ll find you have way more than you don’t have.

Be actively grateful for what you do have, and rest in the generosity of Original BlessingThe World is an infinitely creative place.  Instead of worrying about how you’re going to accomplish this or that, or wallowing in what you don’t have this holiday season, keep these days holy by resting in faith, and constantly expressing your thank you to the Universe not only for what you’ve already been given, but for what you’ll receive in days to come.  If you want your life to be filled with good things, you have to actually believe those things are out there, just waiting to come to you. That may seem like a tall order, especially if what’s keeping you down is debt.  Trust me, I of all people get it, but as I’ve said numerous times before in this blog, the instant I stopped living in that place of debt, and started living in that place of abundance, my entire life changed, and yours will, too!

Spend time in prayerPrayer may not be something you’ve ever tried, or believed in before, but ultimately, a prayer is simply an offering of energy. In Dragonfly Theology, we talk about magic–you put your energy out there, and the Universe reciprocates. That’s all prayer is; prayer is one of the simplest forms of true magic. Prayer is simply asking; it comes from the Latin root precari-, meaning to beg or entreat. You may not feel terribly comfortable begging for anything, but the truth is, begging isn’t actually required here. True prayer isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign that you know who the heck you are, and you know what you can accomplish if you put that real you out there, and point its energy towards the things that need to be done in the Universe. Prayer can—and should—be about so much more than constantly asking, though. It can—and should—also be about worshiping and showing gratitude. Again: whatever energy you put out there, the Universe reciprocates. So if you’re spending your time saying thank you to the Universe (to The All, or however you identify Deity), you’re going to get a pretty amazing you’re welcome back!

Here, you can use these:

Peace Prayer 1

Yuletime Prayer Card

clothed in connection prayer

If all of that doesn’t “snap you out of it”, and get you back on track with keeping these days holy, instead of “just days”, feel free to contact me (sicilianomishy@yahoo.com), or purchase yourself the Dragonfly Theology Bundle.  You may also want to “refresh yourself before you wreck your Self” with my Advent Series, here on this blog.  Whatever it takes to get you back to the Light, back to connection, back to hope, peace, joy, and love this holiday season, I hope you will find it, and if I can help you at all, please know that I’ll do my best…..

 

 

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Advent Event: Second Day of Advent: Prepare Yourself for Peace

The second Sunday of Advent is a call to patience, with the understanding that preparation is required for anything remotely good to happen or come to fruition.  It is a call to rest in the blessed assurance of hoped for peace, which requires a rebuilding of faith in the heart.  In order to rebuild something, we first have to know what that thing is. I mean, you can’t exactly build a bridge, if you don’t know what the heck a bridge is, now, can you? Well, how the heck are you supposed to rebuild faith if you have absolutely zero clue what that word actually means?  The learning of that thing–of faith–requires patience and preparation. It isn’t something you can just turn on and off, like a lightbulb.  Ultimately, this call is all about peace: only if our hearts are perfectly at peace can we hope to develop the patience of preparation, but that peace is impossible without first understanding and rebuilding faith.

At this time of year, patience tends to be in short supply.  Everyone seems to be in an all-fired rush, whether it’s driving down the road or bustling through the mall or grocery store.  Nobody wants to wait for anything, and we see that reflected in people’s attitudes. Those attitudes tend to be harsh, unforgiving, and downright pissed off.  At a time when there is supposed to be “peace on earth; good will towards men”, both  of those two things seem to be in overwhelmingly short supply. Even worse, in amidst all those rushing, crazy people, there are the people crying and moaning about the “war on Christmas”–I’m sorry, but if you’re out there in the morass of the rest of the holiday shoppers, pushing and shoving and showing your ass, you don’t get to talk about the war on anything, because you’re part of the problem! When you’re acting like that, you are “the war on Christmas”; in fact, you are the “war on peace on earth and good will towards men”, and that’s even worse!

We all know that patience is the ability to remain calm and not become annoyed while waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people, but that raises two important questions:

  1. What are we waiting for?
  2. Why shouldn’t we become annoyed when dealing with problems and difficult people?

Are we waiting for everybody else to catch up to the realization of who they really are and what they’re meant to be doing, like we talked about last week?  Yes and no. Certainly, that’s what we can hope for, but if we don’t actively get out there and try to teach people that way of being, we’re going to be sitting around and waiting for a long, long time. That “trying to teach” is actually what we’re waiting for: that’s the preparation part of what we’re talking about.  We’re waiting for everybody else to become as prepared  as we are, but the only way they’re actually going to get there is if we teach them, and that is going to require a butt-load of patience!

Which is why we shouldn’t become annoyed when dealing with problems and difficult people–if we let ourselves give in to that level of negativity, nobody is ever going to learn anything, including us!  But how, when people act the way they so often do–requiring us to teach them these lessons in the first place–are we supposed to remain patient? What tool is there to help us maintain our calm and not get so annoyed that we might actually punch one of these folks in the face, and let that be their lesson?

That’s where faith comes in.  What the heck is faith? Faith is the firm conviction/belief in something for which there is no proof. There is absolutely no proof that if you attempt to teach this person what you already know–who we really are and what we’re meant to be doing–that they’ll actually get with the program and start doing that.  But think of it this way: there is absolutely no proof that you can potty-train a puppy, either, but people still adopt puppies every day, put that paper on the floor, and keep hoping and trying!  Why do people do that–try to potty-train puppies?  Because they love the puppy, even if they don’t love the poop, and they have faith–a firm conviction/belief–that if they love that puppy enough, and keep on trying to teach it to do better, eventually the poop will happen outside, instead of inside.  You have to love difficult people enough to do the same thing: you may not like the poop they leave all over your life, but you’ve got to have faith–a firm conviction/belief–that if you love them enough, and keep on trying to teach them to do better, eventually the poop will stop happening at all.

Faith is the gateway to peace.  Without faith, we’re never going to have any peace, because people are going to continue to poop all over our lives.  What exactly is peace? It is a state of quiet, where there is no fighting, no oppression, and no emotional upheaval.  Sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be great if that was the “resting state” for all of us? Instead, we have expressions in our society like “resting bitch face”.  So what gives? If peace is such an awesome thing that all of us would enjoy so much, how come there isn’t more of it in the world? Because very few people have the faith to make it happen.

Peace is what happens when all the “ways are made straight”–when the obstacles are removed, and there’s no longer a need for detours into things like judgment, backbiting, arguing, and “resting bitch face”.  Think of building a road: in order to make the way smooth, so you can pave that road and make travel easy, you’ve got to bring in the bulldozers and even out the hills and valleys, right?  Doing that takes a lot of patience, and a lot of preparation.  If it’s that hard to make the way smooth to build a physical road, how much harder is it to do that when dealing with ourselves and other human beings?  The guys who are building a road get out there every day to do their jobs, because they have faith that at the end of the work, they’ll get paid.  Yet when we’re doing this kind of work with ourselves and human beings, what is the guarantee of our pay-day? Peace is the pay-day!

When you’re out there trying to teach other people who they really are and what they’re meant to be doing, you’ve got to come at them believing they can actually change; if you come at them with doubt, they’re going to react the same way as a puppy that’s being potty-trained: they’re going to poop all over your life.  The only way to believe in that puppy, as we’ve already discussed, is to love that puppy. That’s unconditional love, y’all, and that’s something we’re going to be talking a lot about in our next-to-last Advent Event entry, on December 21st.  It is exactly what it sounds like: love without conditions; that means without judgment or doubt.  When we’re potty-training a puppy, we don’t punish the puppy (well, some people do, but all they wind up with is a pooping puppy with a poopy nose, and poop perpetually on their floor); we reward the puppy when it does the right thing, and just keep trying til they actually do that right thing. We’ve got to treat the people we’re trying to teach the same way: yelling and screaming at them is only going to create more poop in your life, and less peace!  Rational people don’t let their pooping puppy send them off on crying jags, or other tangents of emotional upheaval, do they?  They remind themselves “this is just a puppy, and one day, this will work”.  You’ve got to do that with the people you’re trying to teach, too: “this is just a person–a luminous being–and one day, they’ll finally figure that out.”  When we operate this way, we maintain quiet in our lives, there is no fighting, no oppression, and no emotional upheaval.  We maintain peace by working to deliver peace, the exact same way roadworkers deliver a smoothed out stretch of road by actually working to smooth that road out.

The bottom line is, the only way you can ever achieve peace, is if you believe peace is possible–and that applies to any negative entities which you might encounter, as well as to difficult people. You’ve got to know the definition of what it really is, and then you’ve got to have faith not only in the fact that you can get there, but that you can also deliver it to other people.  And all of that is going to require a lot of patience:  you’ve got to remain calm in order to be calm and stay calm.  So, be who you really are, and let that light-spreading keep you calm, giving you the faith you need to prepare others for the peace you’re discovering; the peace you so desperately want to share with the rest of the world.