Reflecting: August 2019

Hello, September.

A breath for here and now.

Today I’m looking back at my August intentions, and where my attention ended up being.

August Attention

Obnoxiously Encouraging Thoughts

(+) Lean into Goddess card (Maeve).
More grieving, more cycles, getting more used to this strange iteration of myself, where how I feel from day to day can vary so much.

Inner Universe

(+) Finish reading “Wicca for Beginners.”

(-) Meet the minor arcana cards.
Tarot was on hold this month, as I had to return both books to the library, so my attention went elsewhere. I turned to my Goddess Guidance cards when SUV-anxiety was exploding, which helped. (The card I turned over the final week, when it was getting unbearable: “Leap of Faith.”)

(-) Start reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.” I’m trying to make my way through “Sacred Contracts” by Caroline Myss—a library book with a due date. It’s been a slow (but enjoyable) start.

When talking with my neighbor, a pastor who has spent a lifetime in the spiritual world, about my Pagan/Wiccan interest, she recommended a book called “Celtic Devotional” by Caitlin Matthews. I paged through it at her house, put it on hold at the library, and ordered a copy for myself after spending just a day with the book. There is a morning and nightly devotional for each day of the week, for each season of the year. It’s been maybe three days since I got the book from the library, and it feels great to think these thoughts right when I wake up and before I go to sleep.

I watched the movie “Kumaré” this month, and recommend it.

Material-World Burden Things

(+) Buy an SUV.
I bought a Honda Element a week ago, Saturday! The transaction itself was soured, but it’s behind me now. The weeks prior to that day were getting pretty gross—I was constantly checking Craigslist for new postings, not sleeping, worrying about SUV hunt, feeling crappy, and it was a lousy cycle. What’s done is done so I’m moving forward onto next steps. I applied for license plates/title transfer that Sunday and got insurance last Monday, so I’m set with the basics. There’s a lot more that needs to be done—which will be my focus in September. I taught my last Spanish class the last Monday in August, and it’s felt good to pack up those teaching materials and shift my focus completely to the Element project.

(-) Transfer Roth IRA.
Whoops, didn’t get on this in August.

(+) Take ukulele to get repaired.
I took the ukulele in—they couldn’t repair it—but now I know.

I sold a few things on Craigslist in August: a viola (made the posting for my parents), a bass amp, gave away a free bass stand that’s sat in our garage for over a decade, and I think I found a buyer for an old electric bass guitar I had in high school. It takes energy to coordinate, but feels good to have these things in a home where they’re actually used.

Creative Projects

(+) Finish AZT Guide
Finished it!

Gratitude + Box Project
I started working on a smaller zine project in August—even went to the library a few days for small work sessions. It’s been on hold this past week of SUV-everything, but maybe I’ll be able to turn it into something printable next month.

(+) The Encouraging Times
I sent out an email the other day to the people who’d signed up to be notified when the zine was available. I shared a few encouraging moments I’d collected over the summer, and said I would continue to invite people to share their encouraging stories for this project. When there are enough for a zine, I’ll make a zine.


September Focus

Obnoxiously Encouraging Thoughts

Lean into Goddess card (Aeracura).
Aeracura is the card of Blossoming. Her message: “You are just getting started, so have patience with yourself and the process, and do not give up.”

Explore “The Celtic Devotional.”
As I mentioned above, I’m really enjoying this Celtic Devotional book. So far I’ve just been reading each morning and evening page with the corresponding day as I lie in bed, but I could explore variations of this practice during the month (ie speaking aloud, learning what each of the sections are meant for and how the book recommends doing morning/evening practice, candles, etc.) But minimally, if I keep reading these devotionals twice daily, that’s the direction I’d like to move towards.

Inner Universe

Finish “Sacred Contracts.”
I keep checking out other books from the library and reading them first, so I haven’t gotten far into this one yet.

Read “Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-centered Religions”
After sitting in my book basket all month, I finally cracked this open two days ago and am really liking the content. I’m most interested in chapters 2, 5, 6, and 7, so that’s what I’ll read.

Element Conversion

Drive everywhere!
The SUV I bought is a manual, so I’ve been learning to drive stick this past week. Thus, any little errand I make in town, I’ve forbidden myself from biking/walking. Instead I must drive my Element, because practice = experience/confidence. I’ll usually stall out at some random stop sign, but I’m definitely more comfortable in town than I was a week ago. Haven’t done stops on hills in traffic yet, just intentional practice. This week I would like to get above third gear, which means driving to Madison or Cross Plains, somewhere not in town.

Build bed.
I’ve actually gotten pretty far on the bed structure. Today I played around with everything some more, trying to get the bed to sit level. (Note: My car floor is not at all flat. Curves everywhere makes it interesting to build!) I’m using free lumber scraps from the curb a few blocks away, and the same tools we had for deck building. Making it up as I go along…

Build shelves.
I will have three cubbies in the back, and then space under the bed platform. I don’t know if I’ll build more shelves or not.

Attain mattress.
I just ordered a foam pad online, which I’ll have to cut to size and then sew a cover for.

Paint and decorate.
This is what I can’t wait to do. I want to be making it pretty! Lots of smaller projects in here—such as sewing the curtain that will go across the front, cutting old carpet to have a rug (?), etc.

Move in stuff.
Attain a few cooking items and plastic bowl/plate from thrift shop, finish attaining car maintenance things, figure out where to store car stuff / food stuff / cooking stuff / camping stuff / clothes / paper/art stuff / ukulele/guitar(?) / etc.

Material-World Burden Things

Transfer Roth IRA.

Make car appointment.
There are some things I need to have done on the Element before I head west—though I’m not exactly sure of everything that will need to get done. I haven’t done this before, so it feels scary. Also: goodbye money.

Get car serviced.
Making the call is part A, taking it in and having the work done (and paying for said work) is part B.

Start browsing the jobs.

Re-purchase old domain.
One of my old domains expired. I was (am?) stuck in a Catch-22 with G-Suite and couldn’t renew it, and now I can’t purchase it or renew it. I have two tickets open with G-Suite; no one has replied since the August 22 expiration.

Writing Projects

Camino/AZT Zine
We will see how the days shape up, but if I need a break from Element prep, I will work on this writing project.

Box Project
This project is always on my mind… I’m still collecting, collecting, collecting. It’s about a message that feels very important to me now, so I’d like to have a shitty first draft by November.


An Invitation…

Where has your attention been in August? What would you like to illuminate in September?

I’ll close with Aeracura’s blossoming message once again, in case it resonates with you at this time: “You are just getting started, so have patience with yourself and the process, and do not give up.”

You’re doing a great job!