Blog Archives

Take 2

This is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Plant sale. Another gray day. But much more productive.

This is the third blog post I’m writing today.  The first one was lovely, until it wasn’t.   I started somewhere and ended up doing a writing catharsis exercise.  No one needs to read that.  Self indulgence happens sometimes.  It generates ideas sometimes.  It generates beautiful tortured poetry sometimes.  This time it needed to be put aside so I could move on.

Blog post number 2 was perfect.  I took my theme and ran with it.  I had photos all cropped and pasted just where I wanted them.  I had a message, love, family and all that.  I also somehow managed to create it as a page rather than a blog post.  I set it aside and ran off to a doctors appointment thinking I could fix it when I got back.  Nope.  Somehow I managed to erase all but the first and last sentence.  Irretrievable.

Mother’s Day at Eat Street Social. I didn’t think to pester the waiter to do it again after our surprise guests arrived.

So here I am again thinking it’s Monday after Mother’s Day and I really “should” put out something.  Orion promised me he was looking forward to reading what I wrote while he was at his day program.  Haha.  (I think he just wanted to see the photos he was in.)  But now I’m tired and crabby and the sun has disappeared behind the clouds.

In the post I lost I talked about gardening and spring and after I wrote it I was looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt this afternoon.  Given the sudden shift in the weather, and the fact I still have some writing to do, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Some days just go like that.  Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow.

Lot’s of herbs and tomatoes, eggplant, squash, tomatillo and a begonia. I’ll get to it eventually, honest!

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Procrastination

12969427_1087938171226430_1176227532_nThere’s a blog that’s been spinning around in my head for the past week.  It just won’t seem to come out.  I’ve had time to work at it, and have found plenty of other things to do instead.   I have tried to make it coalesce in my head, and have found myself dozing in my chair.

Now it’s Monday and I’ve got, nothing.  The problem with procrastination is that it adds stress to what’s usually already a stressful situation.  It anticipates things will get easier, but there is no basis in empiric evidence.

I’ve been putting off getting Orion a haircut.  I keep thinking it will be nice enough to walk.  Then it snows.  This week there are temps predicted in the 70’s.  (There are also temps predicted in the 30’s).  If I wait, will that happen on the day when I have time?  Will I feel up to it physically?  Will I have overbooked myself?

I’m trying to get through my list of things “to do” without putting things off so long.  Inevitably something slips through.  I don’t get enough sleep and something falls off the list.  I get stuck in traffic and time runs short.  I am faced with something that HAS to be done RIGHT NOW and so the thing that’s been put off gets put off again.

What happens the most often is that I just plain forget.  I get so used to putting something off that it not only drops off the list, it drops off my radar.  This week that was Orion’s weekend program.  Orion at Samba

He loves going on Weekend Ventures.  They’ve changed their notification system for registering.  I no longer have a piece of paper lying around that I have to keep moving (and therefore am continually reminded).  I get an email and in less than a day it’s no longer on my screen.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I didn’t do it IMMEDIATELY and now I hope I’m not too late!

Happy Imbolc

20160201_105835I’ve written several posts on this Sabbat in the past (links at the bottom).  It’s the time of year when we notice the days are getting longer.  Back before artificial light cows and hens stopped producing in the dark time of the year so it is a time to celebrate the return of eggs and milk.  Many animals are at the “birthing” time in their cycle.  It’s a good time to start things.

For many people who make New Years Resolutions it’s the time to recognize failure.   This is why I don’t do New Years Resolutions any more. Who needs to beat themselves up?  Not me!  But it is a good time for me to recognize where I need to get “back on track”.20160201_110101

Sunshine and winter thaw is a good motivator.   But I’ve got an even better one.  My copies of Pagan Leadership Anthology: An Exploration of Leadership and Community in Paganism and Polytheism  came in the mail!

This anthology, edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood and published by Immanion Press, includes a piece I wrote.   That’s where I need to get “back on track”.   I’ve kept up with the blog, but have been actively avoiding other writing – for no good reason.

Getting the books in the mail reminds me “I am a writer!”   I have authored 2 books  (Manifest Divinity and When Gods Come Knocking) and have published works in 3 anthologies (Pagan Leadership, Bringing Race to the Table, and Rooted in the Body Seeking the Soul).   Writers Write!book_when_gods_come_knocking_small-1 Manifest Divinity Front Cover hi res

The season marks the time to get back into the daily practice of writing.  For me, I find that it helps to set aside a particular amount of time I MUST write each day (with an eye to when I might squeeze that in).   The amount of time can be minuscule.  10 min, 20 min, an hour, how much doesn’t matter.   I need to sit down and do it.  Once I start I’ll write until I’m done, sometimes all day.  It’s the getting started where I need help.bringing race to the tableRooted in the Body

This time of year is the “housekeeping” time of year.   What have you been avoiding that really needs to be done?   Just do it.   Think of it as preparing the way for spring.

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/hope-2/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/stir-crazy/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/bonus-blog/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/light/

 

Anniversary

Throwback selfie

Throwback selfie

I was thinking this month was my 3 year blogging anniversary.  I actually started blogging in 2011!  Typical of me.

My “history” has never been strong on the numbers.  I often don’t even know how old I am.  (I’m not willing to do the math.)  My children keep track, and I’ll ask them if I need a number.  Orion is happy to tell anybody how old I am.  Not sure I appreciate that as much as I could.

I was 23 for 3 years.  Really, it was a number I could remember and an age I believed in.  I even had an argument with my ex about it.  I was filling out a form, or he was, and needed my age – 23.  We went back and forth at some volume in public.  He finally turned to me calmly and said, “Which one of us knows how old we are?”  ooops.

Blogging is getting harder to do.  I am not looking forward to writing the way I was at the beginning.  I often find myself struggling for a topic.  I don’t think I’m ready to give it up, but in this next year I may be more willing to take an occasional break.  Maybe not.  I’ve been surprised before.

Readers have come and gone.  Not many of you comment, and so sometimes I wonder if I’m making sense.  On the other hand I continue to get more likes and followers.  I’m really grateful for my readers.  It’s been delightful getting to know those of you who take the time to write little notes.  It’s been encouraging to see small shifts in readership.

Blogging has been part of my daily practice routine.  Writing it requires being aware of what is happening in my life.  It requires being willing to step back and refine those moments, magical and mundane, into words.  It requires being challenged to open up and share my actual thoughts and feelings.  It requires being vulnerable and present.

I hope that I have, at least occasionally, succeeded.

Thank you for reading!

Anniversary

I posted my first blog on July 26 2011.  That makes this the one year anniversary week for the blog!  Yea!!!   I haven’t acquired thousands of rapt followers, a long list of blogging awards or international acclaim.  But then, that isn’t why I started blogging in the first place.

My first post was under 400 words.  (I average somewhere in the 500 range.)  It’s a very optimistic little ditty about Spirituality and daily living.  Well this blog has certainly been that, and much more.  I think what I envisioned a year ago was some sort of little weekly sermonette on very grand topics of spirituality and spiritual practice.  I’m SO glad that’s NOT what this has become.

Instead this blog has been an exercise in opening.  I’ve had to learn to express myself in an honest and sometimes very vulnerable way.  Hopefully doing that while still being (at least marginally) entertaining and readable.

In the last year I’ve covered a huge range of topics from very personal to political (in the sense of civil rights) and thrown a good chunk of Spirituality in there to boot.  I’ve blogged about the things that have touched my heart.   This hasn’t been a journal in any sense, but it has been an exercise in focusing on where I am in the moment.  Occasionally it’s even been a plug for the work I’m doing with writing a book and presenting workshops on Spiritual practice.

What I’ve found it that you can develop real friendships on the internet.  I’ve found that I feel incredibly supported by my friends who follow my blog and especially by those who write encouraging comments.  I have found that some of the hardest things to share are the most important.  I’ve found that speaking from the heart is the only way to truly have an impact on others.

So on the anniversary of my blog I will write another very short little post.  This time rather than visions of grander I offer my humble thank you.  Thank you, to all my dear and treasured readers for finding and following my journey.  May we all continue to grow and thrive in all our endeavors in the coming year.

Blessed Be.

Celebration!

fireworks from free clipart at bloodspot

You’re hear expecting yet another blog about fireworks and the 4th of July aren’t you?   Don’t be too disappointed when I tell you that the celebration I’m writing about is a little smaller and more personal than all of that.  Of course ANY excuse to light off a few fountains of color and noise is a good one, right?

You all know (well you do now) that I’ve written a book on spirituality.  This week I was confronted with yet another step in the reality of being a published author.  This one seems almost too good to be true.  My fabulous publishers at Immanion Press http://www.immanion-press.com have sent me a “rough draft” of what will become the cover to my new book!   It’s quite the shock to open up an email and see my name in print!

Sending a book off to an editor is daunting.  There is that amazing high of having your material accepted for publishing.  The validation that yes you’ve done it!  Then there is the critique and edit process.  You’ve heard me complain about that.  If I’m honest with myself, as those things go I had it easy.  Then there is some “sit around and wait.”

The publisher at this point can pretty much do what they want to get what you have written into a format that they like.  They can muck about with art, or lack thereof.  They can choose a font that you hate.  They can send your material off to strangers to make comments for the back.  They can put your book into a “category” (science fiction, sociology, memoir, romance) pretty much at their discretion.

I feel very fortunate to have a publisher that is willing to include me in this process.  I am asked for my ideas about formatting and artwork.  When they sent the draft of the cover the email said, “What do you think?” and they meant it.   I get a quick response to my inquiries and I get advice when I have questions about the industry.

Even though I still don’t have a publication date I have  been given some very important advice.  Create some BUZZ for your book!   

It is against character for me to talk about my projects and promote myself.  This blog has been quite the challenge and most rewarding.  Cyberfriends and fellow bloggers from across the country reading and offering their encouragement makes it a little easier each time.  I think all of you who’ve been supportive of my whining deserve to celebrate a little bit with me as well.

So, dear readers, PLEASE help me out with this “creating buzz”.  Share my blog with everyone you can think of and let them know how much you enjoy reading.  Forward the link  lisaspiral.wordpress.com.  Tell everyone you know someone who’s book is on it’s way to press!  Light a firework for me and let your friends know that you have an “in” with a soon to be published author.  🙂

I suppose it would help to know a little something about the book itself.  The book is about exploring the different ways that the Divine manifests in our lives.  It is written in broad enough strokes that it would be useful to anyone looking to build a relationship with the Divine, regardless of their religious practice.  I identify the Divine by the AWE experience.  I give examples from my life experience of Divine Manifestation and tell stories from a wide variety of religious perspectives.  The book is also is a tool to help enhance that personal relationship between the reader and the Divine.

My intention with this book is to help people come to an understanding of the Divine that allows them to fill that gap between religion and spirituality for themselves.  You might say I am on a mission to promote awe-some-ness and bring enchantment back into our daily lives.

So as a reward for reading through the whole blog, and I hope sharing it with your friends, here is the photo that has left me well and truly stunned:

Thank you all for supporting me in this adventure!

Chat

As you all know from my last posting I’ve spent the last week in writers hell.  Many trips to the library and lovely conversations with reference librarians later I’ve at least got the appropriate information to create citations.  I do not, however, have anything in my head worth writing about.

I thought about a mother’s day posting, but then it’s post mother’s day and that just didn’t make much sense.  I thought about writing about stress, but my stresses are minor compared to those of my friends.  I’ve got close friends dealing with cancer, the loss of  a grandparent, the violent loss of a cousin, and the likely loss of a child. It’s no wonder I didn’t get much sleep last week, but in relative terms I’ve got nothing to complain about.

This feels like a week of “hurry up and wait.”  I’m busy, I have a long “to do” list.  I just don’t feel the forward progress.  Maybe when I finish with those damn citations and turn in the edited manuscript that will change.   The list is filled with household tasks, laundry, grocery shopping and dealing with the lawn and those on going things are not nearly as rewarding as finishing a chapter in a book or hearing from the publisher.

I’ve taken a few other stabs at the blog for this week but there isn’t anything that warrants a second look.  I’ve been doing a lot of other writing.  I put together a class or two.  I’m getting a workshop proposal drafted.  I’m reading and responding to notes and blogs that I’m reading.  Maybe that’s why I just feel like a chat.   I’ll give up trying to find something profound to say.   Let’s sip some tea and shoot the breeze and enjoy the summery weather.

Spring Fever

Old ferns and fiddleheads

When I started this blog it didn’t feel like I was doing a lot of writing.  Sure I was working on the book, sure I was doing my morning pages,  I was preparing for a workshop I was giving.  It just didn’t seem like a lot.  Today I feel like I’m doing a lot of writing.  I’m doing my morning pages.  I’m working on the next book.  I am trying to put together a workshop proposal or two.  What has changed?

Mostly what has changed is the season.  In the late summer and early autumn it makes sense to start pulling into yourself.  It feels “right” to be spending time putting your thoughts in order.  It feels good to be gathering and storing and bedding down for the long winter nights.

Now that it’s spring there are so many other things I’d rather be doing than sitting at my computer typing out words.  Even worse, editing and rewriting things that I’ve already put down onto my “pages”.

It's all about the attitude

Last week I talked about stepping out and I am really enjoying taking the time to get outside and walk.  I like having new things on my calendar.  Sadly, all these exciting new things make sitting down to write even harder.

My spiritual life is also taking another turn.  I am involved in a spiritual community project this week with the local COG council.  I’m taking on students again and need to prepare classes.  The workshop projects are expanding my circles.  I’ve found myself committing to working regularly with a new small group. (At least I’m not in charge of that one!)  Even my dreams are busy.

Pregnant with possibilities

Theoretically a writer needs input.  Something has to ‘prime the pump’ to get things started.  We’ve all seen blogs and Facebook postings that really have no impact or interest to anyone but the person writing.  I suspect I’ve written a fair share of those myself.  All the stepping out I’m doing will hopefully help keep my writing fresh, interesting and inspirational.

Beautiful Narcissus

I do want to connect.  I would like to inspire.  I love it when my readers “share” my blog on Facebook or recommend it to their friends.   I really appreciate the comments when my posts have been helpful.  (I also have appreciated a critique or two, but not quite the same way.)  I know that I can’t do that if I’m just stuck in my own head and my own house.

Two Tulips

I keep reminding myself that balance is not a static thing.  Balance is dynamic, always changing and adjusting. The balance that works in the fall is necessarily different than the balance that works in the spring.  With the season coming so early this year adjusting is just a little unfamiliar, but not impossible.

So I will find time to talk with friends.  I will find time to get outside and walk.  I will find time for my spiritual work.  I will find time to do some spring cleaning and maybe even gardening.  I will find time to read everyone’s blogs and post occasional comments.  I will find time, and inspiration, to write.

Hows that for an affirmation?

I'm usually digging through the snow hoping to find woodruff at the END of April!

Daily Practice

Spirituality is such a day to day part of my life sometimes I forget to give it any attention.  I take it for granted.  I don’t stop and appreciate the beautiful weather, or my amazing children, or even the fact that there is enough money to pay the bills and buy groceries.  All of these things are in my life as gifts from the Universe.    

One of the ways I try to remember to spend time on my Spiritual relationships is by doing daily practice.  Now this isn’t something I’m good at.  I struggle to remember to take my blood pressure meds daily, much less any task I may undertake.  To keep myself engaged (entertained?) I occasionally change up my daily practice.  I’m truly a generalist.  Thats not the sort of person who devotes themselves to achieving perfection at a particular task.

Currently my daily practice is reflected in my writing.  I have struggled plenty with journaling over the years.  But for right now I’m finding daily writing, open ended and on any topic, is compelling.  The thing is, if I don’t write about my Spiritual experience does it really serve me as daily practice?

That’s where this blog is supposed to come in.  The idea here is to keep me honest.  If I can find something in my daily writing, in my daily living, that inspires me to write here then I have succeeded in utilizing my daily practice to promote my spiritual journey.

Sadly, last week was a long and boring week.  There was a certain amount of fatigue that contributed to my lack of inspiration.  That was caused primarily from the pain induced from the de-cluttering you read about last week.   It was an avalanche of malaise and it was not particularly inspiring.  In the face of all that I did continue writing.  Perhaps not as much as I might have otherwise, but I did keep up the daily practice.

I also found myself falling back on other spiritual practices I’ve had in the past.  I had a daily practice for a while of an astral temple meditation before I went to sleep.  I did that several nights last week.  I’ve had a daily practice of casting a healing circle.  I did that several nights last week.  I didn’t get out my old prayer beads, but I remembered that prayer and a few others I’ve used over the years.

Last week I ran across a quote, or someone referenced it, or I overheard someone talking.  Don’t you love the way I source my material?  Anyway someone said something like, “The reason we do daily practice is to get us through the times when we can’t do daily practice.”  That’s definitely the way I felt about it last week.

So now I’m back up on the horse, metaphorically.  I’m a day late on the blog, but it’s out there.  I’m still writing daily, more than the minimums I’ve set for myself.  I’m continuing the process of cleaning up and de-cluttering.  (Thank you Tim, Bonita and Karina)   I’m also getting my notes together for a workshop I’m giving this weekend at the Mankato Women and Spirituality Conference.  Can you guess the topic?    Daily Practice.

BB

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