Monday Meditation: Worry versus Fear

The Man and His Two Sweethearts

A MIDDLE-AGED MAN, whose hair had begun to turn gray, courted two women at the same time.  One of them was young, and the other well advanced in years.  The elder woman, ashamed to be courted
by a man younger than herself, made a point, whenever her admirer visited her, to pull out some portion of his black hairs.  The younger, on the contrary, not wishing to become the wife of an old man, was equally zealous in removing every gray hair she could find.  Thus it came to pass that between them both he very soon found that he had not a hair left on his head.

Moral: Those who seek to please everybody please nobody.

I used to be a people-pleaser in my younger days. I had very low self-esteem, and believed that I had to pretty much make up for existing by being of service to the world. It took me a very long time and a lot of work to overcome that self-sabotaging sickness. What I learned from the experiences is similar to what the man in our fable discovered. We actually cause more harm than good by attempting to please everyone, and the person we hurt most of all is ourselves.

On a conscious level, we all seem to get this. We understand from a purely intellectual perspective that you cannot please everyone. I've never met anyone who believed otherwise. So, why do so many of us continue with this kind of behavior? Of course, the immediate answer is the one I gave; low self-esteem. But, is there more to it than just that?

I had a friend who owned an online shop. She was in her crone years and this was her main source of income. She created some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry I'd ever seen. She was truly gifted at her art. But, this friend was so absolutely afraid of  losing her business that she wouldn't take a public stand on anything. She would quietly and privately agree with someone on an issue, but would make it clear that she couldn't choose or say anything publicly because someone who disagreed with her might not buy from her again. She lived in a state of fear so much that she would work herself into a frenzy. I cannot tell you how many times she called me on the phone in tears because of an issue in which she felt she would not be able to support me or someone else because she was afraid of losing customers. I felt awful for her, until I realized that this was a choice she made out of worry... and worry is the bigger cause at stake.

We worry that we won't be liked. We worry that we won't be able to sustain a business. We worry that we won't be able to pay our bills or we'll lose our home or we'll lose our job or .. (insert your favorite worry here).

Ly De Angeles wrote about Fear as an entity versus worry (which is what a lot of us actually mislabel as fear). Fear comes from the Old English word "faer", which is related to the word "faerie" and means, "to cast enchantments". This also links to the word "faith", derived from Latin, which means "to trust".

Fear is that prickly sensation you get when something is about to go very very wrong. Fear shows up in the fight or flight syndrome to help you decide whether to stand your ground or flee for your life. Fear is your friend. She describes Fear as a beautiful entity. Fear is an instinct that is there to protect you.*

Worry, however, is what most of us do regularly. And, it's all about assumption and expectation. We can't seem to live in the moment very well. We're either living in the past tense by remembering how good we once had it or we're living in the future with the nightmare scenario. Worry produces distress (as opposed to eustress, which is good stress) and distress does a serious number on our physical and mental health. You can literally worry yourself to death.

In my friend's case, she was worried that if she actually took a stand on something publicly, she'd lose customers. She worried that if that took place, she'd not be able to support herself or her child or her husband. She worried that she wouldn't be liked. She worried that she wouldn't fit in. She worried so much that it was almost impossible to talk to her at times because she was so busy with her worries.

Mindfulness is really a practice of staying in the present. It takes a lot of discipline to do this, as it's not something we're conditioned to do. Did you know that there is no present tense in Hebrew? It's only past/future, so this mindset goes back a long way.

In Aesop's fable, the man was worried he'd be alone. The old woman was worried about what others would think of her being with a younger man, and the young woman was worried about what others would think about her being with an old man. None of them were in a state of blissful present. They were too worried about others and what might happen in the future to enjoy this moment.

Just for today, try practicing living in the moment. Don't worry about what's going to happen in five minutes, an hour, tomorrow, etc... just enjoy being here; right now, present in this particular moment. Worry has no way of messing with us that way. Enjoy who YOU are, and not what anyone else THINKS you are... just for right now. If you find yourself beginning to worry, just snap out of it and come back to this moment. For now, you have all that you need and want, and there is nothing else to be concerned with. It may take some practice and some adjustment, but you may just find that you feel much freer and happier by practicing this state of mind.


*Source: Witchcraft: Theory and Practice by Ly De Angeles, pages 32-33.

Witchy Wednesday: Mercury Retrograde Survival Kit

Mercury is about to go retrograde again, and people tend to panic when this takes place. For whatever reason, this particular planetary rx seems to be the most well-known, but not necessarily best understood.

Mercury will be in retrograde from September 17 - October 9, 2015 in the air sign of Libra. This planet, according to astrology, rules all types of communication; including listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying. Mercury also rules all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such as book manuscripts or term papers, agreements, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and so forth. It also includes all types of code, including computer codes, as well as transportation, shipping, and travel. When this planet retrogrades, these areas tend to get scrambled or spin out of control.

Here are some of the things most astrologers recommend:

  • Avoid anything involving communications, such as launching a magazine, website, or an advertising or publicity campaign.
  • Do not sign any contracts or even to shake hands on any new agreements. Do not close on a house during this time nor sign a lease. Verbal agreements are considered the same as written ones. The environment will be quite fluid and changeable, no matter what you are told or what you think.
  • If you start a new job, it won't necessarily be the position you thought it was when you accepted it. If you are a manager, you will have difficulty choosing the right candidate for the job, so, if you can, hold off hiring anyone. 
  • If you buy a house, problems could crop up later that were completely unanticipated.
  • Do not have plastic or elective surgery during this time.
  • Be extra careful to read and re-read important documents. Make sure you take your time in constructing emails, letters, etc... if you send a fax, follow up with a phone call to ensure it arrived.
  • Try to avoid buying/selling anything expensive.
  • If using a GPS, be sure the maps are up to date before the retrograde begins. Bring a printed map if driving, to be on the safe side.
  • You can take a trip for pleasure during these periods. Actually, this could be a perfect time to go, for you get away from it all, and everyone back at the office will "feel" the retrograde - they will miss your quick problem-solving ability and advice while you are away! During a retrograde phase, you might want to travel to a place from your childhood that you loved but haven't seen in a long time. It could be lots of fun because going back to places you knew is favored.
  • Forgetfulness can be a problem during retrogrades. You are more likely to leave your airline ticket or passport on your desk rather than put it in your pocket; leave your cell phone, sunglasses, or gloves in the back seat of a cab; or lock yourself out of your car or house. 
  • Spellcasters should be cautious about performing spells during this time. They can backfire or have an unintended effect. Magic and the gods are not immune from communication chaos that this Rx brings.
  • For those of us who perform divination, it's a two-edged sword. Retrogrades are friendly toward feeling, not thinking. Feelings, impressions and intuition are likely to be more sensitive during a retrograde. They are also likely to be quite accurate - until you think it through. Over-analyzing, and re-interpreting your initial intuitive wisdom makes it just as susceptible to error as doing paperwork. The more you think, the less you know.
Mercury retrogrades in Libra, an air sign this time. When Mercury retrogrades in an air sign, lots of discussion will need to take place, as air signs are highly communicative. Talk to a lot of people and poll their responses. Do a great deal of research, too. Air signs are analytical and modern - you may hear of a solution that is so new, you may not even have known it was possible. Use the answer that seems best for you after going through this process, and make sure you are objective and not emotional in choosing your answer. Libra is also about balance. Be sure that you weigh all ideas and words carefully during the retrograde.

Mercury is a good time for anything that begins with "RE":

  • Reorganize
  • Reassess
  • Redo
  • Repair
  • Repeat
  • Redesign
  • Revisit
  • Reconsider

This is a great time to reorganize your files or closets. Pack up clothes you haven't worn in a while and give them to charity. Polish your shoes and decide which ones need repair, and while you're at it, decide which appliances need to be taken in for repair as well.

It's interesting, because during Mercury Rx, we seem to find the time to do these things, where we couldn't at other times during the year. When you clean your closets, you will find treasures you thought you lost or had completely forgotten about.

The bottom line is that Mercury Retrograde is not something to dread or fear. It's simply a chance to catch up, and that's a gift in this fast-paced world to which we've adapted. 

So, RElax. It's all going to be okay. 

Monday Meditation: Lord Logos and His Bombardment

Logos: "In ordinary, non-technical Greek, logos had a semantic field extending beyond "word" to notions such as, on the one hand, language, talk, statement, speech, conversation, tale, story, prose, proposition, and principle; and on the other hand, thought, reason, account, consideration, esteem, due relation, proportion, and analogy." ~Wikipedia

Logos is the Lord of western society. We are constantly assailed with words, speeches, statements, analogies, articles, opinions, etc..,

One only has to look at the misuse of logos today, it is no wonder people seem burned out. Words are being abused and redefined so much that they lose their meaning, as well.

Words are potent; language is powerful. A Jewish rabbi once told me that we are only given a certain number of words to say in this life, and that we should use them wisely.

For many people's ancestors, nothing was written down for thousands of years. Everything was spoken. Thus, words were more powerful.

Seannachi (story-tellers, bards, poets of Celtic society) could curse someone or things with words (and were greatly feared by the people for that power).. one could completely destroy a reputation within moments of speaking.. and reputation was what you lived by.

In more recent generations, a person's word was his/her bond. Deals were struck and kept by that word.

The power of logos is minimized by its overuse, or speaking/writing without true intention.

Human beings need a break from words at times. In martial arts, and forms of meditation, people are taught the "thought-no thought" philosophy. It is important to hone the skill of simply being. This is the reset button, or way of "clearing the cache" from the bombardment.

It takes discipline and practice, but the end result is balance, peace and empowerment.

It's something to consider...


Monday Meditation: A Better Goodbye

It's a fact of life that people change as they move through life. They take in new information, contemplate their goals and dreams,  make decisions based on more information- all of these things alter behaviors. The more experiences, the more people change, particularly if they are intent on learning and growing. Many times, this means leaving behind those people and things that no longer fit. When it comes to people, separation is painful, particularly when effective communication has not been employed.

Humans are creatures of routine, and will tolerate the intolerable to avoid change. Change can be scary and painful, as it brings the unknown with it. Sometimes, people begin to move down a path, and then run back to their old habits and routines. It feels safer to be in familiar territory.  It's all human nature, and there really isn't anything to judge or condemn. It is what it is.

People tend to feel guilty about the decision to end friendships, particularly when the friends have done nothing to really warrant dissolution of the relationship. Instead of simply communicating about what's really going on, they begin to vilify the person(s) from whom they want to disengage, because it's easier to leave an unlikable person than a friend.

As this new construct begins to take hold, assumptions are easily made, fitting this "villain" into the mold. Issues suddenly arise that were never there before, accusations begin to fly. Before anyone knows it, this beloved friend is now a terrible enemy. Walking away is easy now, because there is justification for leaving. What's left behind is a wake of poisoned hearts and damaged spirits, rather than loving farewells  and well-wishes.

How much different would life be if people simply said, "I appreciate the time we've walked together. It is time for me to walk a different path. Thank you for all you have shared with me. I am better for having been here with you" ? What if the receiver of that loving goodbye could say, "I understand. While I will miss you, it is time for you to go your way. You are loved, and I wish you nothing but beauty and peace as we part ways. Thank you for this time together"? And, what if both really meant it?

It's something to contemplate...