Meal Planning and Jury Duty

Say what???!!! Do those two things even have anything remotely to do with one another.  My answer, nope…unless you don’t get one done because you have the other.  Mondays have become my meal planner afternoons.  My husband always works Monday so it is the perfect shopping time for all the big pieces needed for the week.  I usually do the planning part either on my prep at work or when I get home in the afternoon.

Today, I was in court until 4:30 (way past my normal be home time), and obviously there was no down time to plan my weekly meals.  In fact, since 10:30, I’ve been in the jury box, going through the jury selection process.  It appears that I will be placed on said jury, which is a 6 court days trial.  I won’t even be home most days by the time I normally start the meals.  This is not normal, nor do I really want it to be.  However, a change in pace isn’t a bad thing.

So then what is a woman to do? Well, tonight, since it is just the boys and I will, will probably be a kids’ choice, tomorrow will be quick and easy and on dad since it is date night, Wednesday is going to be the yummy Costco ravioli in the freezer, Thursday may be surprise night and Friday is dark at the court (yay), so I will find something yummy for the crockpot.  I will do my meal planning over the weekend and then be prepped for next week better (as I will still be on jury duty).

I will also end up behind on my own studies at Sacred Mists and on my work at well…work.  Hard to tell the kids what to do what when you aren’t there to see what is actually being done!

What do you do when there is a wrench thrown into the cogs?  Do you just roll or do you get all thrown off in everything?  I try to roll, but sometimes it isn’t that easy.

Apple Pie and Ice Cream

Somedays are just those kinds of days.  Yesterday’s blog talked about it…so to create a sense of calm to begin today with dinner was a fun meal and dessert was, fresh made apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  It brought that feeling of peace, that moment of sheer clarity when you bit into it. This morning, I am beginning my day with apple pie and coffee.

Things are still a mess, but not quite as bad as I thought.  We put some new furniture in its place last night, which cleared up the common space it had been stored in, I made an attempt at re-cleaning the kitchen and living space, which didn’t take as long since it had recently had a thorough cleaning.  I got a few more essays graded, and will do a few more when I am done here.

On Facebook someone replied tackle it one elephant at a time.  That’s what I did.  Today I will do the same.  Which elephant do I want out of the room first?  Clear it out.  I think there’s a bathroom downstairs calling my name, some glass shelving to put into the barrister’s cabinets we installed last night, and some clutter around the house that will get organized into them.  Yes, apple pie and ice cream fixed it all.

It also brought the rest of the energy down.  The boys all settled, my husband sighed in the peace it brought and the whole of the world that was surrounding us seemed to come into clearer, and not so daunting focus.  All because I took the time to spread the peace and love, with a little apple pie and ice cream.

Dinner was this amazing taco pie (Taco Pie Recipe) that was super kid friendly, which meant even the picky eater ate it.  So much friendly, that he, who hates apple pie, even tried that!  He didn’t like it, which I knew was coming, but he did eat a few of the apples with the ice cream.  I highly recommend the Taco Pie if you are looking for a quick and easy new way to have taco flavor.

Today was just about, being.  Sometimes slowing down, remembering the simple things matter, and can help, is really important.  I am off to grade some papers, clean a bathroom and do some organizing.  If I can sneak a trip in to Costco…well that would be bonus.

What do you do to reset the balance when it is too frenetic?  What life is hectic what foods comfort you and bring you back to what needs to be done?

Behind…always

Do you ever feel like you are never going to get everything on your list done? Like, there is so much on any given day, and whatever doesn’t get done rolls to the next day, but there is already a list there that would have taken the whole day?  I am in that spot.  I do not feel like I am ever going to get caught up or have everything done.  

It seems the dishes are a twice a day chore, which then takes over the spot of something else…and the accomplishment of getting the kitchen all done a few weeks ago, yeah well it is now in the same state as it was before I started.  So, when I wanted to be cleaning another room, I am back in the kitchen re-doing that.

In addition, I brought home real work, not Sacred Mists or housework, but actual essays that need to be graded, and some lesson plans that need to get written (I don’t see any of this happening).  So I am behind in work, home and play.  Feeling completely overwhelmed and like I can’t begin to take a breath, I want to just quit. Yep, you read that right, I want to quit.  

However, that is not really an option, obviously.  I am going to take the time to write the blog, meditate and re-center/ground and then take that energy and begin tackling everything that needs to be done.  I can only do what I can get done, and I need to focus on the fact that I am trying.  I will light a candle, start the diffuser and keep myself sane (I hope).

What do you do when you are overwhelmed?  Do you ever want to just quit?  Don’t!  Remember you are not alone in that.  Come visit and leave a message if you feel that way.  We can talk through it.

Anticipation and Anxiety

Oh yes, the two of them go hand in hand, especially when the wait is prolonged or we want something badly.  One of the things that I am working on now, within my own path and my own life, is controlling the anxiety that goes with the anticipation.  

Anxiety can be crippling.  It can cause heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, headaches…all of which can be dealt with fairly easy.  However, it can also cause complete shut down for some.  The fear of not knowing, literally paralyzes them.  Keeps them indoors, creates scenarios that they can’t deal with.  

There are things that can be done to mitigate some of the crippling anxiety that happens. Deep breathing, slow inhales and exhales, that bring a sense of calm to you.  You can take it further and do a full grounding.  Grounding is giving yourself a connection to the earth, in Wicca/Pagan practices it is a connection with Mother Earth.  You give her your anxiety and she gives you back peace.  When you have this sense of calm within from your deep breathing, feel your feet push the energy into the ground (grounding used to be called earthing), and let go, feel the earth push back the peace and calm.

You can also meditate, if you have some more time.  Take a few minutes, put on soothing music, or find a YouTube or amazon meditation channel, spend some time within yourself, finding the peace that lies at the center.  Meditation is good for everyone at some point, but during a high anxiety time it is one of the best ways to resettle yourself.

Scents also work well.  Candles or diffusers that have a lavender scent to them will help your nerves. As will Vetiver (placed on a cotton ball and applied to your pulse points).  Other scents that work well in a diffuser are Bergamot, Chamomile and Frankincense. All of these are going to help with anxiety and to calm your nerves.

What do you do to help your anxiety when you are nervous or anticipating something?

Seekers Need to Choose

As a mentor you learn that your guidance comes by helping your seekers on their path with your experience. You can’t force them onto your path. You might give them things that you’ve found helpful and useful, but they have to walk the path they are on.

As teachers we try to force kids to learn what we have been told to teach them. They don’t get to choose what they want to learn. We say here read this, learn this and be on our path of learning. We don’t say what would you like to learn and how can I make sure you get the necessary skills.

The problem is what we try to force them to learn can be uninteresting and disengaging to them. Occasionally  we hit a gold mine and they are all right there, and then for that brief glimmer you can see it…the learning, the engagement, the joy. It warms your heart, and then the next moment all that is gone.

Today I asked my kids if they could study anything what would it be? History of gangs, being a nurse, animation, professional …(insert sport).  So now I have a starting point, somewhere to connect Martin Luther King, Jr. to what they want to learn. A place where what I need to teach, meets them on their path.

Like those I mentor in Wicca and at Sacred Mists, teaching is a passion. When I lose my kids and I lose myself because of disconnect I come back to what I know best and who I am. So looking at my students as seekers changes how I approach them. Yesterday was a challenge. Today was a beginning.

What Is Your Role?

“The seeker sets the goals in response to their own needs, their own inner calls.  Mentors provide the perspective of long experience and study, help seekers understand obstacles, and make suggestions for further progress.”  ~ Judy Harrow, Spiritual Mentoring: A Pagan’s Guide

When reading this originally it resonated so deeply that I immediately highlighted it and wrote notes on all the people in my life I wanted to send it to.  I even sent it off to the Principal of a new type of school, as he doesn’t have teachers, only mentors.  It resonated with his vision, with my own beliefs, with those of so many people in education that I know, that is made my worlds meld.

This book is required reading for one of my lessons at Sacred Mists.  I am working on my 3rd degree Priestess course and my own personal callings have now been completely melded.  I am going to be saving money to start school online (as I mentioned when I began the blog) to be a pagan spiritual counselor and teacher.  I cannot even begin to describe the contentment in my soul when I began reading this book.

As a teacher/mentor I am always a seeker.  I think that is one of the most important things to know about those who have a calling for this life.  We never stop learning, about ourselves, others, things that interest us.  In addition, we want to share the knowledge we have and the experience we have gained.  We have a knack for it, and we look for those we feel we could help.  The nice thing about that is the energy we put out often draws in those who need us the most.

As I am reading this book, I am not even opening my lesson.  I don’t know what questions will be asked of me, or what I am supposed to be answering.  I don’t feel the need because this book resonates within my soul, within my energy and completes me in a way that I never expected.  I know the answers will simply be there when I need them.  The knowledge is now attained and I don’t need to worry.

I am also looking at my teaching for this year.  Am I truly doing what I am being called to do?  Am I applying this the way the students need?  The answer is no.  Not with my younger classes.  I can see what they need, but they can’t.  It makes it difficult when they don’t know what they need.  I am doing my best, and I am going to be looking at things with new eyes as I continue through the book, and even read it a second time.  How can I apply these to where I am and the students I come into contact with daily.

I need to view them as seekers, even if they don’t really know what they are seeking.

When You Fail

I don’t mean make a mistake and see it and move on, rather stop all things that are helpful or important and just…well FAIL! I did this last week.  I just didn’t do all the things I had been.  I didn’t work out, I didn’t meal plan, I didn’t write blogs, I didn’t cook dinner, I didn’t work on my personal or spiritual studies, I didn’t move.  I came to work, worked, and went home and well…sat.  Why?  I seem to have lost the motivation I had.

What caused me to lose the motivation?  Was it that I’m tired (because I am)?  Was it that I have a small infection somewhere in my body that is causing me to be more tired than normal (because I do)? Was it simply that it seemed like I was the only person in the house who cared to be doing anything (because it did)?

It could be any or all of those.  Do they really matter?  Nope.  In reality I didn’t do it simply because I didn’t do it.  There are always excuses that can be made, but the simple truth is that I didn’t get off the couch and do any of those things.  Some of them could have been done from the couch and I just didn’t get the computer out.  I sat and played games on the iPad, which has the blog app right on it.  I still didn’t open it.

So what happens now?  Do I keep beating myself up and letting it just roll into a big downward spiral and then life looks like it did a few months ago?  I could.  It would be so easy to just drift off into what I have always done.  That’s the easy thing to do.  It’s familiar, it’s comfortable and it has worked in the past.  Well, it has appeared to work in the past.  In fact though, it hasn’t worked.  It has left me feeling unfulfilled, like I’m letting myself and my family down and like I just don’t care. So nope, I don’t let it continue in this fashion.

Today is Monday.  It is a reset day.  Today I begin again. Daily, you can begin again.  If you feel like you totally failed one day, or one week, or even one month, well they all start all over again.  So just choose today as your start over date.  Today I will be blogging, meal planning, working out and just moving forward in the fashion that I want to move forward in.  It doesn’t matter what everyone around me is doing.  I need to do these things for myself, and for my family. My path of walking, the one that I follow for myself is one of constant work.  There is always something to be studying or to be learning about the Earth, about magick and about those who are part of Sacred Mists, so failing isn’t really an option.  There are people all over relying on me.  Time to pull myself out of the muck and put myself back on the path.

What do you do when you need to reset?  How do you gain your motivation back?