Is It Possible To Have Too Many Ideas?

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Hello, all! I am a person of ideas. Ideas are magical. I have many crackpot ideas, some of which are good (like making good food), others are bad, and still others are just weird.

For example, yesterday was National Album Day. I felt left out, so I played my bass with a brass slide for 31 minutes, recorded the whole thing, and popped it on the web under the name sbass.wav. That idea was completely random, but it came to fruition quite well. I am very much a person that flies by the seat of my pants when it comes to my ideas and implementing them.

Burnout

This can make me very exciting and also very, very frustrating to be around. I bite off more than I can chew frequently and spend a long periods of time feeling overextended. I work very well with projects that I can complete quickly with a large rush of creativity, like recording albums in one night. This doesn’t translate well to, say, building a video game. The burnout happens when the novelty wears off.

This is something I’d like to work on. I know consistency is key here. I have the time for everything I want to do currently, I just need to make time for all the things I want to do.

Excuses

I can make all the excuses in the world, but the biggest one I make in writing is that eventually, I think that nobody seems to care about the project but me. “Seems” is the important part here because there are people who care. I was told for a long time to not talk about things like minor plot details in my work in progress all day, so I am hesitant to talk about what I write. I’m gonna throw that mostly out the window.

I’ve been working on a book for 5 years now. It’s come a long way since the original 2014 draft. I write it in great spurts and then stop because I’m afraid of boring people when it’s on my mind. It’s become massive and sprawling, and I want nothing more than to talk about it when I am actually writing.

The Question

This has always caused me to call my ideas into question. I was afraid for a very long time of being a bull in a china shop as far as ideas go – being too intense, too much. I’m thankful for my husband, who has gone to great lengths to tell me that I’m not crazy for having a lot of ideas and being passionate about them. I do, however, need to make goals and stick to them.

How can I do that?

An example: I have a goal to get 1,000 page views a week on OID. I am almost there! OID amassed 508 views this last week and 700 in total! To get these results, I am being consistent, blogging every day, and posting on Instagram and Pinterest occasionally. The same type of thing needs to happen with the book and the music! I need to be consistent.

A Little Time

I have found that with blogging, carving out a little time for writing and doing blog related things each day is not only helpful, but very satisfying. Getting up from my chair after an intense writing session and stretching is the best feeling ever. I want to do the same thing with writing my book, practicing my instruments, and job searching. I need to continue working to find balance.

So yes, ideas are great. I am learning, though, they are not very good without goals and action. Let’s go!

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Are The Things I Do Worthwhile?

Are the things I do worthwhile?

Hey, all. Lately I’ve been asking myself, “are the things I do worthwhile?” because I’ve been getting caught up in a spiral where I berate myself for making tiny mistakes and tell myself that I can’t do anything right. That’s untrue, of course – I can write, I can sing, I can make art, I can cook…but will those ever get me anywhere? Are these activities even worth pursuing? I ask this because I currently don’t have steady work.

I’m a history tutor, but it’s a numbers game there and I only really make steady money when people are panicking about their grades. Meanwhile, those around me have steady work, are making money, and are achieving more goals than me. This is mostly my fault. I was fine with this state up until about a month ago, but now I’m not and I feel awful. As a result, I feel like I have nothing to offer the universe at present and that what I currently do doesn’t matter.

Feelings Aren’t Facts

It’s kind of a downward spiral.

The things I do do matter, of course, but it doesn’t feel like they do. It’s time to make an important point here: feelings aren’t facts. A wise therapist taught me that many year ago and I try to remember it. Most times I forget. When I remember, however, things are better. There is a definite disconnect between feeling and fact here. I do things that matter. My writing matters. My music matters.

I realized last night that I feel guilty about pursuing things I love because I feel that I don’t deserve them. That’s another thing that’s not true. Feelings aren’t facts. I feel like all of my energy should be devoted to looking for work, not writing posts or checking stats or even playing instruments. That’s not true. Of course I should keep searching and searching hard, but I do deserve to enjoy life and do things I love. So what does this mean in practice?

Time, Patience, and Balance

If I give it time and patience, I will see my creative work pay off. I need to be consistent with it, as well. If I drop off the face of the Earth for weeks at a time, it will take longer to be successful. It’s patience that is the hard part. I’m flat-out afraid that nothing I do will pay off, that I’ll be stuck here forever. Something I need to remember is that nothing lasts forever. Nothing bad can exist without something good and vice versa – when discomfort or outright suffering happens, something good will come of it. I need to do something important, though.

Tea helps me calm down.

This is a dirty word for me – I need to find balance. That’s a dirty word for me because I have no idea how to do it most days. Making my lists helps, but sometimes that leads to me spending hours playing Athena (my bass) with a slide and then there goes any semblance of time management. I’m thankful for my husband for providing me with the slide, but practicing my instruments is so engaging that I forget that time is a thing. It’s bad. It’s definitely something to work on.

The simple answer is yes, the things I do are worthwhile. The slightly longer answer is that yes, but I need to find balance and be patient with everything. You might be thinking now, “yeah, this is is great and all, but how in the world does this apply to me? Are the things I do worthwhile?”

Are The Things You Do Worthwhile? How Do You Find Balance?

Yes. Anything good you do is worthwhile. Just keep at it. Your efforts and experiences are sacred and you should hold onto those and celebrate your victories. Celebrate them even if they are small. Regarding how you find your own balance, you can use my tips above. It might be different for you, and that’s okay! Many people recommend mindfulness, but mindfulness makes my anxiety worse. I begin to see everything around me instead of feeling grounded. It may work for you!

I often set intentions consciously or unconsciously while I make tea.

Another favorite activity of mine is setting intentions while I work, especially while I’m cleaning or cooking. I personally think of intentions like making wishes. If you put belief behind those wishes, they will come true. They’re especially powerful with I statements, like saying I am powerful or I attract money or I attract good things to my life. You can do the same things for your house or an object, like I will find my wedding ring or May I find my wedding ring. You can attract balance into your life by saying something similar.

What helps you with your self worth? Do you think the things you do are worthwhile? Let me know in the comments!

If this post helped you in any way, consider buying the blog a coffee here. OID runs entirely on donations, so any coffees we receive go towards gathering supplies and trying new things! Thank you!

How To Celebrate The Birthday Of A Spirit

A blog graphic reading "How To Celebrate The Birthday Of A Spirit".

Hey, all! It’s my dad’s birthday today, October 11. He died in 2016 and I’m still trying to work through it all. One of the questions I’ve been asking myself in the last few days is “How do I celebrate his birthday if he’s a spirit now?”

If I’m honest, I didn’t have a plan going into this post. My cousin put it best. He said that my dad would not have wanted me to be sad. Instead, he would want us to go launch some fireworks and have fun. So that’s exactly what I think I should write about today. I’m writing from personal experience, so take what you will from it!

The Nature Of Spirits

The first thing I want to talk about is the very concept of spirits. I strongly believe that those who have passed on are still around. I believe that my dad is even my husband’s spirit guide. It’s a firm belief of mine that my dad watches over the entire family, but over my love specifically. I hoped that he would be my spirit guide, but I got enough of his guidance while he was alive. It’s time for him to guide my husband, and he has!

The spirits of those who have died leave us signs and even talk to us! It’s a belief of mine that if we acknowledge them, they will communicate more. So for my dad’s birthday, I am going to first make a special effort to reach out to him today.

Things to Do On Birthdays

It would be cool if I could light off some fireworks in his honor, but it is snowing (yes, snowing!!) outside and there are many trees in the area, so…bad idea all around. I want to light a candle today instead, even if just for a moment. I might put some of my essential oil blend that reminds me of him in my diffuser instead if candles don’t work. It has a green light setting, the color of the candle I got for him.

Food To Celebrate

Another thing I want to do to celebrate is birthday is eat good food. He loves oatmeal cookies, but I don’t know if I can eat oatmeal on keto. I don’t think I can. He loved to make peanut butter cookies, so I might eat a lot of peanut butter because I ate all the eggs yesterday…whoops. Cookies are out. We also have a saute packet with garlic chicken, so I will cook that today and set an intention with it. I also want to brew some tea and prepare it in his honor.

I also think music is a part of it. His favorite band was the Police and he also loved U2, the Decemberists, and the Waterboys. I sang “Drowning Man” by U2 at his funeral. Here it is for reference:

I love U2 as well. There might be a marathon a few of their albums today in his honor, although “Drowning Man” makes me cry.

As part of my craft, I love to cook things that my ancestors loved to cook. Someday I’d love to get on my Mimi’s level and cook lobster mac and cheese. She actually made that and it was delicious. My dad’s specialty was chili. I want to make all of the food they cooked. My Mimi even made coffee perfectly. I hope she guides my cooking someday.

But what if the spirit is someone you had a hard relationship with while they were alive? What if you barely knew them as a living person?

How To Celebrate The Birthday of A Spirit Who Was Hard To Love – Or How Not To

My take on this is a possibly controversial one. I believe that if you had a bad relationship with someone who is now a spirit while they were alive, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to celebrate them on their birthday. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Nobody should make you do so. It’s kind of the same thing as people trying to get you to interact with family that you feel uncomfortable around. That’s unacceptable on all counts. If you love and care about the spirit, celebrate them. If you feel uncomfortable around or angry at the spirit, don’t bother celebrating or even take steps to banish them. It is up to you. Always. Thank you for reading!

If this post helped you, please do the following:

  1. Check out my post about talking to spirit guides!
  2. Consider buying the blog a coffee here! OID runs entirely on donations, so all the coffees the blog receives help me expand and try new tea blends and recipes!

What Do Songs Look Like? Let’s See!

Hi, friends! I have been thinking a lot about art. Painting, as I said in my last post, is one of my favorite ways to express myself. I don’t do it often enough, though, and that’s upsetting. It takes a lot out of me to paint sometimes. This is because I know what songs look like (to me). It’s kind of a magick power.

My mind does this weird thing where I see sound as shapes and sometimes colors. I’m unsure if it qualifies as synesthesia because my color associations are more rare. Flavors also take the form of shapes for me, though to a lesser extent. Savory flavors are round, almost like a bowl turned upside down or the Bean sculpture in Chicago.

I like to think of my possible synesthesia as something like this scene from Disney’s Ratatouille.

This is so similar to how I experience sounds and flavors that I want to learn how to animate just so I can convey what I perceive. This itself is magick. I love making art and food just so I can even attempt to convey how the sounds and flavors look. I fall short many times when painting because what I perceive moves and I don’t yet know how to animate it, but what I make is really cool. There are going to be a few YouTube links to songs in here, be warned. This is “Love Comes Tumbling”, the first song I ever painted. The painting follows.

What do songs look like? Two examples -“Love Comes Tumbling” and “Paper Trails”

Love Comes Tumbling”, the song.
“Love Comes Tumbling”, the painting.

I saw most of the song as those circles because this song seemed to spin and loop. I am pretty happy with this one, but others get more complex. This is why I would love to learn to animate. There’s another song I painted that I love. This is “Paper Trails” by Darkside.

“Paper Trails” the song.

A painting of "Paper Trails" by Darkside. I can see what this song looks like.
“Paper Trails” the painting.

I often get the shapes of the songs I paint right, but it takes several times to get the colors right. I could have gone with a darker background with “Paper Trails”, but I like the color choice as a whole. So what goes into painting a song?

The Act Of Painting

So what does the act of creating song art look like? I decided to paint “Polymorphing” by Chairlift because that’s been my jam lately. It took me about 15 minutes to paint what you see in this video before it stopped recording. Also, it’s not true to color because I had my night settings on. It was only 7:45 AM when I started painting. I paint on a program called Autodesk Sketchbook on my phone because my phone is the most high-tech product I have. It’s also the most true to color.

You’ll see me restarting the song over and over in the video. I want to get an accurate feel for it.

The “Polymorphing” video.
Completed painting.

I think the human mind is magical. I see what songs look like. You may be excellent in math. We all have things we’re good at. I used to think my mind was nothing special because my art and music skills come naturally. It took people saying “how do you do that?!” in order for me to realize I was special. We are all special. You may be able to do gymnastics, you may be able to paint realistically. You may be an excellent public speaker. We are all special. We are all magical. How do you make magick?

Stay cool!

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How Do I Cope With Setbacks?

Hey! As a kitchen witch, I do a lot of work in the kitchen. I was taught by my parents and my grandmother Mimi that food helps me. Food also helps others. I turn to food for comfort a lot, especially since I’ve been having a lot of setbacks and playing waiting game after waiting game. Food helps me cope with setbacks I encounter.

To me, a setback is where you have a goal and you’re trying to achieve it, but something sets you back and you have to either wait, find a new path, or both. I have some special ways to help myself and others cope with setbacks in healthy ways, some involving food, some not. Let’s get started!

1.) Find a new way to look at the setback.

First, I want to talk about looking at the setback in a new, different way. I’m not saying to look it as an entirely positive way, but instead to look at it from a different angle. Re-evaluate where you are. Let me tell you about one of the most major setbacks I’ve experienced recently. My husband and I found out that we likely won’t be able to get a house we really wanted. It might take longer since I’ve had a few plans fall through, as well. That’s forced us to look at our goal in a different way.

What do we want to do now? How can we modify our goal to adapt to the setback? I’ve been job hunting and working here on OID to start. I know it’s a long game and a long road ahead of us. I’m not hunting for get-rich-quick schemes because I know it’s a long game, but am instead (trying to) be patient. By re-evaluating our goal, I’ve been able to realize that all is not lost because results were not immediate.

2.) Track your experiences.

This tip comes from this post on Nerd Knows Life. She writes about how tracking one’s own experiences can lead to inspiration in the future. I’d like to add that tracking your experiences can help you cope with a setback. I kept a journal for many years and it is very interesting to see how much I changed from a giggly, boy crazy 12-year-old to being crazy about my husband (whom you can read about in this post) to infinity and beyond. It is also interesting to see how I failed, how I coped with this failure, and how I ultimately succeeded.

It might help you to write down your experiences if that’s your thing. I have built an enormous body of work in poetry and music that also serves as a rough chronicle of my life and story. I focus more on the setbacks themselves in the music with more of both in the poems. My poem set “Futility + Joy” talks a lot about finding only despair in the first part and finding joy in the second part. It’s things like that that give me hope when I’m faced with a setback.

3.) Don’t panic.

This one is important, for I am a firm believer in getting what we need when we need it. As a result, I believe that setbacks aren’t here to make me panic, they’re here to make me learn. That helps me cope with these setbacks when they come. When I want to panic, I talk about what’s going on with my husband and people I can trust. They provide comfort and insight when I am sad about something. Because of this, I feel better. I also refer to the first point and try to look at things in a different way.

So let’s talk about short term solutions if you do find yourself panicking or sad.

How do I cope with setbacks in the short term?

1.) Practice self care.

We talked a few days ago about self care. I like to keep busy, you might like to chill out and do things that make you happy.

2. Make yourself laugh!

An example of something that matches my sense of humor from Tumblr.

Laughter is one of the best things I can get when I’m feeling sad, angry, or stressed. Browsing YouTube is always awesome. I also love browsing Tumblr occasionally because there are some funny things on there from time to time. Tumblr posts are great because a lot of them are off-the-wall. I have a Tumblr blog spanning over half a decade that’s filled with stuff like that. Find what makes you laugh and visit it often.

3. Relax.

How Do I Cope With Setbacks?
The mandolin I’m getting soon.

What do you like to do to relax? I love to play my instruments and write. In fact, the very act of blogging relaxes me. It took a long time to find out what works to help me relax, but once I found what helps, I learned how to use it. Running and painting also help. Painting is a huge help because it’s tactile and not something I often do. A lot of times painting is pure venting for me.

Last but not least, I love to cook and try new foods and teas! What helps you deal with setbacks?

If this post helped you, please consider buying the blog a coffee on Ko-Fi! OID runs entirely on donations. All the caffeine that we receive go towards growing the blog, buying new herbs, and trying new things! Click that lovely red button below!

How To Use Chamomile

How To Use Chamomile - A Tea Blend Guide

Hello, all! If you had a childhood like mine, you had chamomile tea to help you settle down before bed. It is a popular sleep aid and just the tea itself can be very calming! If I ever have little ones running around, I’ll whip up a batch of tea that includes this glorious herb before bed! It will be a staple of my kitchen. Did you know that this herb blends very well with other herbs? This post will walk you through how to use it and what to blend it with.

I love blending chamomile with other herbs. Chamomile is very mild and smooth. It doesn’t have the tanginess of hibiscus or the bite of mint. It blends well with many other herbs. I have tried it with blended with jasmine and blended with lavender, but I’ve found some other interesting recommendations from around the web that I’d like to try. Let’s talk about blends!

Jasmine + Chamomile

This blend is absolutely amazing and smooth. I made it for a friend whom I actually met in a coffee shop and then drank almost all of it myself. The blend is named “Smooth Criminal” because of how smooth and delicious it was. I blended it using a 1:1 ratio. It’s cool that I drank a lot of it, but I’m also sad that my friend didn’t get to try.

Regarding where to get these herbs, I like Frontier Co-op’s selection and quality! I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I just like their products. Another awesome thing is that they have free economy shipping on orders over $25. Pick up your jasmine and chamomile here and here.

Adding Lavender to the Mix

Lavender is another calming herb that smells great to most people and helps them chill out. If you like lavender, I highly recommend adding it to your tea blend. It’s got a slightly heavier flavor that I really enjoy. You can also add jasmine again, either by itself or with chamomile. Have fun with it and pick up your lavender here.

Here Be Dragons

Here are some blends that I have yet to try that looked interesting. I found them on the forums at TeaChat.com. Some people suggested pairing it with spearmint, hibiscus, or lemongrass. I personally want to try it with valerian (another sleep aid) for maximum sleep time. I’ll try all of them!

How do you like to blend chamomile, tea fans? Let me know in the comments!

If this post helped you, please do two things:

  1. Check my other tea post out!
  2. Consider buying the blog a coffee on Ko-Fi! OID runs entirely on donations. All the caffeine that we receive go towards growing the blog, buying new herbs, and trying new things! Click that lovely red button below!

My Rest A Stone

 

The first white stone.

Hello, all!

I’ve spoken briefly before about my Mormon background. I was a member of the Mormon (Latter-Day Saint) church for six years. I joined when I was 14 and loved it for a time. As I got older, though, more and more questions went unanswered, and following a spiritual warning, I left. Some things from church still follow me, and some of them are hymns. The title of this post, “My Rest a Stone”, comes from one of my all-time favorite hymns that we sang in church often. The line comes from the second verse:

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

“Nearer, my god, to Thee”, Sarah Flower Adams

This song never failed to make me cry when we sang it in church. I still enjoy it even though my beliefs have changed. I love this song because the imagery is beautiful. I’m still not sure why this song makes me cry. I believe that it’s tied to something spiritual. Today I want to use it to tell a story and to talk about something important. It goes like this.

Our story begins in about March of 2016. I was at a therapist appointment in Annapolis, Maryland. My dad had died in February and I was part of the way through my freshman year of college and I was broken. My therapist and I were talking about doing what we can and only that. She had me lay down and think about that and asked me at the end if I could find a symbol that I could use to remember that. I chose a white stone. The white stone would be my symbol of resting when necessary and doing what I can.

As my beliefs went away from the traditional Mormon mold, one thing remained constant – my need for that white stone. I wanted to get a white stone tattoo, I thought about it often for many years. A white stone even made it into my handmade oracle deck along with a black stone. My friend and I were walking along a lake yesterday and I noticed a pretty white stone among the other stones. I snatched it up. It’s the stone that graces the top of this post.

As we were walking back, my friend picked up another white stone.

 

The second white stone.

 

The black stone.

It’s more of a pure white than the other one, which is striped. Further up the trail, I picked up a smooth grayish-black stone.

 

The stripes in the first white stone.

I liked it because of its shape and texture. It was then that I realized that there was more than one white stone, just as there are always multiple reminders to complete spiritual assignments such as learning to move and learning to rest. I’ve been given several spiritual assignments and I’m not super great at doing them. I don’t show up for myself a lot, but I think that will change. In my oracle deck, the White Stone symbolizes good luck, finding what you need, and that the universe is listening. The Black Stone symbolizes the coming of truth, cleaning house, and the cycle of pain and then joy. You can’t have pain without joy, just like you can’t have joy without pain. That’s something I try to always remember. I find it interesting that the first white stone has black stripes in it.

I still need to cleanse these stones and put them someplace nice. I want to put them in the kitchen somewhere. They need to have a place of honor and I need to remember to do what I can. A lot of the time, “doing what I can” means pushing myself more. I can do a lot more than I think I can most days.

Here’s my to do list for today. It looks like a lot, but I break big tasks up into tiny ones for satisfaction’s sake. I don’t know what’s cooking today! I’ll definitely put some tea on and take notes on it. Once I get this done, I’ll rest! I also need to exercise today..

Stay cool!

Eris

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Anniversary!

Hello, all!

Today was a good day. 

It’s my wedding anniversary! We’ve been married a year as of today. It’s been a crazy year. I left Texas a year ago tomorrow for Alaska, where I live currently. It’s been a very steep learning curve, but we’ve made it through so far. On my old blog I talked about my mental health and how it’s changed in the past year. It’s safe to say that it’s changed for the better. I’m very proud of me, of him, and of us.

If I were able to converse with all of my past selves from any given year, I would single out me from 6 October 2011 and 6 October 2016. Assuming what I say holds no true bearing on the future, I would tell that girl who is a ball of nervous energy:

Hey. Your dad IS gonna die after all. But you will turn out okay. Don’t give up hope, don’t despair. Remember that squeaky kid you have a crush on in your Geography class? Yeah, you’re gonna marry him. Yes, you’re lovable. YES, you’re worthy. And NO, you’re not crazy. You’re just fine. I know that you hate yourself. Stop that if you can. It’s not all your fault. Nothing about this is all your fault. 

And to me in 2016, I would say,

Hey, just a little while longer. I know you’ve had the hardest time of your life. You’re about to enter a new season, but it’s not the end, no matter how much you might want it to be. The hard times will ease up on you and you will find love. No, you aren’t unworthy. No, you aren’t unlovable, and you aren’t crazy. You have some stuff to figure out. That’s all. 

A big part of what I want this blog to be about is finding out more about who I am. I did heaps of self discovery this year. I learned that I’m not who people said I was growing up. I don’t have to listen to people’s opinions of me, nor am I an aggregate of what everyone thinks of me. I am me, and that person is who I make them to be. I did a lot of deconstructing as well as constructing – breaking down beliefs I had held about myself and about the world, shaking them out, and examining them. 

I found that I don’t fit in with a mainstream belief set. I come from a Mormon background and even after leaving, I still felt a lot of pressure to be very Christian. I strongly believe in Jesus’ message, but do I hold to all mainstream Christian beliefs? No. Hardly. I got in touch with my spirit guides and started reading cards and that was when things really started to change. The various things I had been taught as a kid and teen didn’t fit. I found more truth in a history textbook and Fahrenheit 451 than I did in the Bible, and that’s when I knew that it was time for a change. In this deconstruction process, I found witchcraft via friends of mine. Upon looking into it further, I found that I understood and connected to a lot of it. I did further research and fell in love with kitchen witchcraft. I’d been reaching for the vocabulary to describe my ambitions with herbs and food. There they were!

My husband is also magical. I need to do a lot better about listening to him because he has more years packed into his soul than any person our age should. He often tells me things, I shrug them off, I learn about them elsewhere, and then he gets irritated that it took me so long to come around.  It’s bad. I feel bad. He’s a computer wiz and loves to cook, too. That brings us to the present. I’m Eris, baby kitchen witch, and my husband and I made a delicious chicken Marsala for dinner tonight. We used  this recipe , doubling the batch and using about three cups more Marsala than the recipe called for, along with a lot of Italian seasoning and just a dash of Old Bay. We also baked a red velvet abomination of a cake. I consumed other wine and ended up crying because I had broken pieces off the cake while frosting it and it no longer looked okay. I was very sad, but it ended up being silly because while there was too much frosting on the cake, everything else was yummy. 

Thank you for reading! Stay cool!

Eris

Self Care Saturday!

Hello, all!

What do you do for self care? Maybe you’re good at it, maybe you’re bad at it (like me), or maybe you’re somewhere in between. Me, I’m still learning about how to care for myself. I only accepted and discovered happiness earlier in this year and have been slowly learning how to NOT treat myself. These things to NOT do include beating myself up when I make a mistake, engaging in self sabotaging behaviors, and holding grudges against others. But what about self care?  I can just not mistreat myself all day, but what about honoring who I am as a human being? What about honoring accomplishments? What about giving myself breaks when I’ve had enough? I’m not quite there yet. 

I do, however, have some things I do enjoy doing to care for myself. 

The biggest one is to actually get up and do something. I have the opposite problem of many others I’ve heard and met – I’m not too busy, I’m not busy enough. Building huge to-do lists and checking the items off one by one gives me great satisfaction and helps keep me very happy and satisfied with my life. 

One such list.

I’m hesitant to call myself DEPRESSED because I’m usually able to bounce back after a bit, but there are times when I battle something I call the Deep Sad, and keeping myself occupied is one of the best ways to fight the Deep Sad. 

Blogging falls under this category, but blogging isn’t everything quite yet. I like to clean when I get frustrated and bake when I’m bored. I’ve found that when I plink on my computer all day I fall into the Deep Sad, especially if I’m trawling social media for hours on end.  Pinterest  is an exception because it’s more of a search engine/curation tool, but too much of it can still make me sad. I know bloggers are supposed to be active on their socials. For me, though, Facebook is the ultimate key to the Deep Sad kingdom, and Instagram is only slightly better. I’m beyond thankful for the amazing Facebook groups I’m in and for Messenger, but other than that, I don’t like to take part in it all that much. 

My favorite Instapicture of mine.

I am beginning to enjoy Instagram now that I’m not trying to get somebody to buy something and just having fun. I’m becoming active in the Kitchen Witch Niche and having a blast with it. Going around and interacting with other witches and magick enthusiasts makes my day, but too much of a good thing does lead back to sadness. I have to be careful. Social media 24/7 doesn’t equal keeping occupied most of the time. 

Next up is exercise. THAT dirty word. I’m not good at doing it regularly yet because [insert lame excuse here], but I will get better because that really helped me get my head clear. I like to get up and dance if nothing else. Pair that with eating right in moderation and I can drop 10 pounds in two weeks from losing water weight. I need to do THAT again. I felt amazing. 

Another good thing to I like to do is to talk to my spirit guides and do spiritual things. Even if I don’t get an answer, it’s still good to engage my soul early and often. I’m not a traditional Christian, but I do enjoy the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament and it’s good to revisit them every now and then. The book of James (also in the New Testament) is one of the most beautiful and challenging spiritual works I have ever come across and is one of my guidebooks for seeking wisdom. I also enjoy reading about Buddhism and studying history to learn how religions and schools of thought spread and worked. 

Like I mentioned in  yesterday’s post , learning is also important to me. Trying new food, making something cool, learning a new song, all of these stimulate my mind and often my creative side. The creative side of keeping occupied is also incredibly important to me. I’m getting a mandolin soon (my first*) and I look forward to learning with him. I don’t plan on performing anytime soon. I want to see what kinds of sounds I can coax out of him.

The mandolin in question.

Finally, if I’m super down and nothing else helps, I take a bath and listen to music. Baths soothe my anxiety, especially when I put something that smells good in them. I love my essential oils. Music in general is my constant companion. I’m listening to “Happiness is Easy” by Talk Talk right now. Turning on a good song and rocking out is very soothing to me. 

Before I take my leave of y’all for the day, I want to share a very excellent self care tea with you. Mix equal parts chamomile and jasmine flowers and let them steep. The resulting tea is so good!

Stay cool!

Eris

Learning

Hi, all!

Music has been a huge part of my life until recently when I kinda hit a wall. For a long time (like, 20 years), I had an image in my head of becoming a superstar musician and singer and becoming rich and famous, but that image was slowly draining me and I’d forgotten how to ENJOY making music or even seeing or playing my instruments.

My husband and I were in the car today and we started talking about being ourselves. We were in Guitar Center a bit before the car ride. I picked up this guitar that looked like a candy cane. I also obtained a brass slide and began to practice playing slide with the guitar laying on my lap. With a little bit of echo there, I coaxed some sounds out of the candy cane that reminded me of a theremin.

Now, I have no idea how to play slide guitar, all I know is from some videos I’ve seen and things I’ve heard. What sets this apart from other times I’ve played instruments is that I wasn’t coming at it trying to prove I was good, I was coming at it to try and learn what all I could do with a brass slide and an electric guitar. I wasn’t an expert, I was learning all over again.

He brought up exactly what I had been doing – making music for the fun of it, not just doing it to get famous. To explore something new, not to make a living. That will be the only way I get somewhere. I will only get somewhere if I do what I love for me, not to please anyone else.

I’ve been struggling with what to post all day. I took a photo of the insanely good lunch we had today, but along with that post would come some self imposed shame because I am not yet good at eating healthy or eating in moderation and I completely blew the health benefits of lunch at dinner. I could write about how when it rains, it pours because it’s raining outside, but that’s been done before.

I know this isn’t about cooking or herbs or tea making or anything kitchen-related, but I want it to extend to that. I want to be my authentic self here, not just somebody who positions themselves as some kind of expert in order to get likes and comments. If you are an expert in your field, blog the crap out of that, but I am not. I want to use this blog to document what I learn, not necessarily to try and teach. Part of my magick is music, and I can do great things with that, but there is still much I must learn. I want to incorporate all I do into this learning process, because that’s what it is.

So today I learned:

  • Sashimi is very filling
  • Beans are more addicting than they should be
  • That I can make a guitar sound like a theremin with the proper slide and some echo
  • That I need to do the things I love for myself.

That’s all! Stay cool!

Eris

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