My Big “Secret”?

Old Head

I spent most of Sunday by the coast in wonderful company. Even my hayfever behaved  this close to the sea!

I’ve made a funny observation. When things are dramatic and heavy, there’s usually no lack of conversation – people will leave comments on my blog post and really step up to help me. But when I post that I’m happy out, there’s often nothing at all, or very little.

I adore my tribe for being so incredibly supportive – you guys are zee best – but at the same time I think, shouldn’t we be talking MORE about happiness? Share the bliss, add our own, or simply bask a little in the warmth of another if our own is lacking at the moment (as mine has done plenty of times…)?

I’m writing this partly because I expect to be posting a lot of happy entries yet. Right now I’m probably the happiest I’ve been; my life is exactly how I want it, and my only challenge is to keep finding goals to strive for lest I get complacent. And when I look back to where I was only five months ago, I’m in awe and so deeply grateful I want to drop to my knees and kiss the ground that carries me.

People have asked me how I managed to pull myself out of depression, being sick and constantly exhausted as well as slightly overweight, to being active and healthy and blissfully happy within four months or so. I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t really know the answer, or whether there even is just one answer. I believe it may be a combination of several things:

1. Not pushing myself. I started off so gently, I just know the majority of people would scoff if they could see it, and tell me that’s no way to get in shape. Most days I did about five minutes of gentle Yoga stretches (from – they rock!), as I couldn’t keep up even moderate exercise for any amount of time. Many days I didn’t do anything, as I was too tired.

And thus, bit by bit, I clawed my way back, and in such a short time it still astonishes me, I was doing half-hour aerobics workouts and short but intense Yoga sessions of 15-25 minutes, as well as intense dance sessions. Then came archery, and then the swordfighting, and by now I’m happy to push myself because my body can take it. I have a loooooong way to go yet, but the worst is behind me – now that I’m “in motion”, nothing will stop me. I went from never wanting to get up off my chair, to someone who has real problems sitting down for any length of time. Yes, four months.

2. Food. I’ve left behind all “should”s and “must”s and the warring factions of food ideology and radically follow what my body tells me. One piece of advice I did implement was the statement that we only need about 1/3 of the calories most people consume, and I find that it’s doing me incredibly good to eat far less. This is not about starving myself, mind you – especially with physical activity, it’s important to nourish the body, so the key is to consume foods with a high nutritional density.

I’m nowhere near perfect, I believe food is a sensual pleasure and should be enjoyed, and I do still eat greasy chips or pizza. But I’ve made an interesting observation: Junk food makes me tired to the point of dropping off to sleep, almost instantly. And I’d rather feel bouncy and full of energy, so I listen to my body and mostly eat stuff that makes me feel great. Mostly – again, I don’t strive for perfection.


In practice, this works out at about 85% vegan food which I love most of all. The sheer explosion of flavour of an organic carrot with hoummous, oh my… and Magic Mayan Chocolate… yum! I mostly avoid wheat and rye because they tend to upset my gut, but I do eat them sometimes. About 15% of my diet is dairy and eggs (about once or twice a week), and about 5% meat (once or twice a month). I feel wonderful and have lost ALL the weight I’d put on since 2010, without effort – and now my body naturally maintains the weight. I like it, and I’ll keep it up for as long as it keeps making me feel so good.

3. Theta waves. I can’t explain how it works, but I know there is some science behind it. Theta waves can’t actually be perceived by the human ear, so people have created “binaural beat” tracks, so the Theta waves are created in the space between. Or something, haha. The point is, I’d heard they “re-arrange” your brain and since I’ll try anything, I looked up a track on YouTube and have been listening to a good hour of Theta Waves per day since.

A few days after starting this, the veil lifted and my happiness came through. It was just like the clouds breaking up and letting the sunshine through… exactly like it, in fact. I felt so light I wanted to laugh and sing all day. That’s when I started feeling my emotions again, in January, and with the happiness came a lot of heavy shit at first – there’s no light without shadow – but by now, the light outweighs the shadow by far, far, far, and I credit the Theta Waves for most of this.

This is the track I listen to every day, with headphones (apparently this works only with headphones). If you’d prefer the pure Binaural Beat without music around it, try this one instead.

4. Radically doing what I want. I started by writing a novel-length story, just for myself. Creative work is so therapeutic! I’m also doing a whole lot of nothing at all. I have given myself so much leeway lately. I’ve been slacking on re-launching my Coaching business (getting going now, in fact – finally!) and I refuse to feel guilty about it. I’ve always needed a lot of time and space to process my emotions, and there are a lot of emotions going around at the moment! I welcome all of it, it’s such bliss to feeeeeeeeeel! And yes, I get put through the wringer at times. It’s all good.

Every day, I consciously radiate love to everyone I know, and I make a point of reaching out to people in my life. I’ve been withdrawn for so long, I still need to remind myself sometimes! I have this vision of bathing all the world including myself in love and affection, and appreciation. It’s a state of constant bliss.

When I feel my vibration lowering, I usually do something physical, dancing mostly, or shooting my bow, or swinging around my sword or axe. Twenty minutes later, I’m back in bliss. It really is that simple.


All right, this has become very long – I hope it wasn’t too boring to read! Midsummer is almost here, and I’m going to write about that too, but in the next entry. The energy is incredible right now, a Waxing Moon which is going to be full right on Solstice Day (Monday), and in spite of hayfever I’ve managed to spend some time outdoors lately.

Sending you all so much love!

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Luminosity And A Delicate Subject

1 Lough

We have now entered what I refer to as “The Luminous Weeks”, the time from ca. four weeks before the Summer Solstice to four weeks after. I’m nowhere near the polar circle, obviously, but the length of the days is still very noticeable. When I turn off the light in the budgies’ room and go downstairs around ten, it’s still bright enough to see without much problem, and in the mornings I wake up at five and think it must be eight. It’s not doing my sleep any favours – I’m far too happy to go back to sleep once I’m awake – but I love love love every minute of it.

Or at least, I will until my hayfever sets in around the Solstice. Then I’ll spend six weeks groggy and grumpy, with a swollen face and looking like my own grandmother. Not exactly looking forward to that.

I have something to share with ye today, which I’ve been a little reluctant to talk about. I first shared it in the Village – thanks guys, for “proof-reading” it for me – and now here’s a slightly extended version of it. It might even go into my articles list. I titled it “The Wild Woman Over 40”! Here goes.

Advance warning: This post may turn out to be a little rambling. It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. As well, there has been tons written about it by far wiser people, so I’m aware I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here.

It’s about the perception of women in our society, but I don’t mean to make this a feminist rant. What I want to write about concerns me personally.

You see, I find – to my amusement – that society as a whole just doesn’t know what to make of me. To an extent, they never have, but as long as I was “young”, it was a little more accepted to live as I do. They could still put me into the “wild years” category. A young woman is allowed, to a certain extent and at least by more liberal minds, to live out her desires including her sexuality.

But what on earth should the world do with a woman in her mid fourties who is a. single, b. sexually active, and c. picky?? As well as being childless, if I may add.

I see this in almost everyone I meet, with very few exceptions. The first assumption is usually that I “just can’t get a feller to settle down with”. When they begin to realise that’s not quite it, they are confused (or they think I must have been “hurt”. I mean, yes I have, I doubt there’s anyone over the age of 15 who hasn’t been hurt in love, but I have no bitterness and I adore men). 

I think it’s to do with restrictive notions of how women are “supposed to be”, and considering how long feminism has been around, that’s astonishing. It’s the same reason why women seem to disappear from Hollywood movies once they hit middle age (except in very specific roles, usually as comic relief, or the “frustrated housewife” or similar). Yes, I know there are exceptions, but that’s what they are – exceptions, and far far fewer than the men of equal age.

Basically, a woman my age should be married / in a relationship, or a sad case. Since I am neither, the people I meet are at a loss. 

All my life, I’ve been used to being the weird one in the way I approach the whole subject of love (I wrote about this in the last paragraphs of my previous post). It’s hard for people to understand how I can love someone and not necessarily want a relationship, but this is just part of what I do: I adore people, I get starry-eyed about them, and I love them. In the case of a gorgeous man, this may include sex and last anything from a few nights or weeks to years. The entire construct of a “relationship” often just gets in the way of this (though not always; it does fit me at times). It’s a wild-woman thing.

I’ve ALWAYS had problems explaining this approach to people, but the way people don’t know how to react to me at all, has got a lot more pronounced over the last ten years or so.

Again, this isn’t a “problem” as such, it amuses me more than anything else, although it can get a little tiring. I’ve been fortunate to always know a few people who were above such idiotic ideas, and if the world has a problem with me, then that’s the world’s problem – I’m far too busy being happy! It’s just puzzling to me, and fascinating, how little has really changed in perceptions.

I own my age, my body, my intense-as-ever emotions (highly sensitive…), and my sexuality. Sorry, world. Not!

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Weird And Wonderful Things

Tour                               At the end of the tour, still slightly shell-shocked from all we had                                                               learned. Lee in the middle, Inga on the right, and me third from left.

I’m in a state of hagish bliss, which may seem over the top to some, but it’s actually authentic. With all the intensity that comes with being me, I know myself quite well and know what I need at any given moment. Recently, I’ve moved across the country and healed from a period of isolation, and I’ve only just started reaching out to people around here. These things take time, and so what I needed was an injection of people, inspiration, mental floss, and hugs in abundance. That’s exactly what I got this past weekend in London.

Usually I dislike cities, but earlier that week I’d had a heart-opening experience (I love it when people do that to me without even realising it) and I was radiating so much love and warmth that I attracted/met only the kindest, funniest, nicest people you could imagine, even complete strangers like the cabby on the way back to the hostel on Saturday night. As for my friends, I have a lot to make up for after years of withdrawing into myself, and it was doing me so good to reconnect and spend quality time with the utter blessing which is Inga, and catch up with my lovely “adoptive daughter” Penny.

Yesterday, Inga and I spent much of the afternoon and evening with the thoroughly wonderful Lee, starting off with his tour “Egyptian Magic and Enlightenment” in the British Museum. I’d been meaning to take this tour for so long, and I’d had sky-high expectations but Lee still managed to blow them out of the water. He proceeded to spin a web of symbols and meaning and context all around us in so many layers and dimensions, it was staggering. Apart from his vast knowledge, he has such passion and joy in the subject, it would be impossible to listen and be left untouched.

The sheer amount of facts left me reeling – in the good way! Seriously, if you are ever in London, if there’s only one thing you do, make it this tour. You can thank me later.

We went for a cup of tea afterwards and amazing Japanese food in the evening, and it was an all-around perfect day, with lots of talk and laughter and red wine, all combined with a mild spring evening in a wide-awake city. I felt a little surreal after a night of 1 1/2 hours sleep, but it was strangely appropriate for the experience – no chance of hiding anything, when I’m sleep deprived I carry my heart on my sleeve and I felt like hugging the world, not just the two people in front of me, simply because it’s been so long since I’ve spent any significant amounts of time around people I actually resonate with. When Inga and I got back to the hostel, we kept talking – seriously, we must have talked ourselves hoarse over the course of this weekend, and we’re not nearly done.

One of the insights I gained from talking to Inga is that there’s no need to figure out an ultimate destination in my life. I’m exactly where I need to be, and if “where I need to be” changes in the future, then that’s the way things develop, rather than the correction of an error (huge difference!). This refers to my living situation, as in the whole question of living in Ireland or moving to a different part of the world, as much as it refers to relationships. I’ve always struggled to explain to people how I remain flexible in the way I relate to the men in my life. I’ve been in relationships at times, but for the most part I’ve had what I call “loving affairs” which suit me much better most of the time, because they honour my contradictory needs for independence and a deep connection. The point is, both have had their place at different times in my life, and that’s how it still is.

It is SO GOOD to finally, once again talk to people who actually get these things. Who get this weird, happy, cuddly mess that is the hag. I’m back home today and while I’m still tired, I can’t stop smiling.

Life, I love you, all is groovy…

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Emotion In Motion

Bealtaine hag

This is me at around 3 a.m. on Bealtaine, partied-out, sweaty, exhausted, and ecstatic. I had done my ritual on Bealtaine eve, and then drove an hour to Spiddal to go to a Retro Club with some of the best 70s and 80s music I’ve heard in years, and great people who made me feel welcome. I proceeded to dance my hagish ass off for hours, chatted to some of the aforementioned lovely people, and then drove home feeling like someone had lit me on fire, in the good way. I took the picture just after stepping through the door.

A few minutes later I discovered that my period had started a full 2 1/2 days early, and so I spent Bealtaine (and the following two days) curled up with a hot-water bottle, grumpy and ache-y, and VERY far from feeling sexy and up to all sorts of things the way I should have. It’s times like these when I actually look forward to menopause!

Luckily, this is Ireland where “Bealtaine” means the whole of the month of May. So it doesn’t just all hinge on the one night and day, and there’s plenty of time for mischief. I’m a very happy hag these days, most of my time is spent running around and doing things, and dancing until I drop so I’ll stay grounded enough to not float away.

The process of slowly gaining back my strength and endurance is ongoing, and will likely take another while. I’m well past the point where I had to push myself to do exercise; these days, I have to stop myself before I do damage to my body. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, actually – you all know that Prince died about two weeks ago, and as it turns out, he wasn’t a junkie but died from complications of his medication for chronic pain, which he suffered from as a result of his dancing (here’s an article about it).

Music has been one of the few constants in my life. I’ve wanted to sing and dance since I could stand on my own feet, but a problem with my hip bones means that my lower back is fairly inflexible – other people struggle to touch their toes, I can hardly reach below my knees, and I’ll never get any better at it – so dancing professionally was out of the question.

And so I danced on my own, in my room and later in clubs. Just freestyle jumping-around, to whatever music inspires me at the time. I dance to 70s disco music and to prog metal (if you think metal is only good for headbanging, think again) and everything in between, and I often say dancing is my sanity, because it’s my way of processing my intense emotions.

It’s a sign of how much of myself I had shut down in the past years, that it was the only time in my life when I wasn’t dancing. I was numb to my emotions, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to bear it.

Now that I’m active again, I find it scary when my back hurts, or my shoulder. Often, it’s simply muscle stiffness, and that’s a good sign and means I’m getting stronger again. But other times it’s clearly just overuse, and I’m painfully aware of the fact that the years of sitting on my ass and eating crap have taken a toll on my body. I’m determined to find a way to keep moving and currently I think that building muscles is the key. There are plenty of examples of athletes of very advanced age; if you’re on Facebook, just check out the pages “Growing Bolder” and Alex Rota’s photography. I’m not going to slow down, not when I’m 70 and certainly not now. Moving my body, actually USING my body the way nature designed it, makes me way too happy to give it up.

The happiness also means that the darkness has mostly passed. I knew it would (if you remember, I wrote about it a few entries back), it was just a question of time. When I first started to truly feel my emotions again, there was a lot of shit which bubbled up with the happiness. It was quite a rollercoaster for some time, with scary lows. But now that the first wave is over, I’m beginning to settle into myself again, and the highs and lows are more manageable. I’ve always had them, it’s part of being the hag and also part of being highly sensitive, but the extremes are gone for the time being (normal people still find my emotions extreme, but they do anyway).

In the meantime, I’ve gotten so much done, I’ve been to Germany to see my dad, my sister and her man, and my dear friends Andreas and Karola. Next weekend I’ll go to London to spend a two days with my favourite Hulder! I’m not planning on sleeping, I’ll be too busy painting the town red. I’ll be home by lunchtime on Monday, and I’ll have the rest of the day off so I can catch up on sleep then.

I hope you’re having an equally beautiful month of Bealtaine!

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Aaaaand Action!


Ahem. I really do need to get back into the habit of blogging regularly, as in, once a week regularly, rather than once a month (I first typed “hagit” here. What would that be, I wonder – a hagish habit?). I promise I’ll work on it! The thing is just, there’s so much going on, the days are flying past and I never get to do everything I am planning to. It’s a great way of being, after the inertia – or rather, the one-sidedness of sitting on my ass and working day-in, day-out – of the past years, but it can get a little hectic.

So what’s keeping me busy? My new bow, among other things, check out the picture above. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m currently working on re-building muscles in my shoulder and back after not shooting for so long, so I’m doing 30 shots every day in the garden. I’ve also fiiiiiiiinally started with HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) after really really wanting to for years. Only a few weeks in, I’m already getting used to the dialogue every HEMA person knows by heart:

Me: “I’m into Historical European Martial Arts. In other words, swordfighting among other things.”

Other Person: “Oh, is that like fencing? Like at the Olympics?”

Me: “No, it’s historical fencing, the way people did way back when.”

OP: “Oh, more like re-enactment then.”

Me. “No, not that either. It’s *actual* fighting, based on historical training manuals dating anywhere from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.”

OP: *blank stare*

There’s a lovely documentary if you’re interested. Even just the first five or ten minutes of it will give you an idea.

I’m also still doing yoga and aerobics, and I dance to at least a few songs every day, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve healed and regained at least part of my old strength and endurance! I’ve also lost around 40 of the 47 pounds I’d put on between 2010 and 2014, which I know because I finally weighed myself when all my clothes fell off me and I got curious. I don’t care about the number on the scales but it’s yet another sign that things are definitely back to normal with me.

And in my case, “normal” means ecstatic, happy, and intense.

In the meantime, I continue to do my rituals and looking forward to spring, such as it is around here. I also still wonder what’s going to happen to me in the future, as in, where I’ll live. In my head, I’m making lists of pros and cons, along the lines of:

Ireland cons

  • I miss seasons. I am used to lush spring and sunny summers (and, you know, actually wearing t-shirts and shit. Irish people do too, but I’ve long determined that they are genetically incapable of feeling cold) and outdoor rituals, lying on the ground instead of in a puddle, seeing the sunrise on Solstice morning rather than clouds, seeing the moon more often than twice a month, and all that stuff. Hmph.
  • The almost complete absence of walking paths is getting to me. I used to walk all the time, spending 1-3 hours outside daily in “my” fields and by the river. Here, I walk along roads. This really interferes with my pagan practice.
  • No proper internet outside of towns. I’d like to live somewhere even more rural than here, but I need wired broadband for my job and my business.

Ireland pros

  • Whenever I go, well, anywhere here in Mayo and also Galway and surrounding counties, I breathe a sigh of, hm, relief? Recognition? This is where my soul originates. It’s simply where I need to be.
  • I love the people here, and now that my life is finally taking off again, I definitely don’t want to leave.
  • The air. THIS air. The intoxicating, ravishing, beautiful, yummy air. Every breath here is a joyful ritual.

I don’t want or need any “advice” on this, it’s a purely subjective thing and right now, only an abstract thought experiment anyway, so don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere! It’s just where I’m at and I thought I’d share it with you.

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Blood, Sweat, And A Flood Of Tears

Forest Husband

This astounding painting, “Forest Husband” by Mychael Lee, hangs behind my altar, a fitting representative of Earth/North. Check out Mychael’s website!

I just noticed that I never explained where I got the title for my previous post. When Judith Jannberg published her journey from a 70s housewife and “wife of…” to becoming a force of nature and witch, and completely independent, she wanted to title the book “I am an Earthquake Zone” (in German), but her publishers talked her out of it and the book is called “Ich bin Ich” (I am me) instead. I’ve always liked the intended title, and it was so fitting I had to use it for the post.

The whole re-awakening process is ongoing and at times, extremely painful, hence *this* post’s title. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing, I’m working through stuff, and while it’s horrible at times, it’s a process and leading somewhere. I’m still clawing my way back out and being fully awake and FEELING also means feeling a lot of crap I’d suppressed. Can’t have one without the other, but this is the dam breaking and it’ll calm down eventually.

I’m also back in the very reduced remnants of what used to be the several-thousand-users-strong Pagan community The Village. It’s very small and quiet these days but even to see those who are left is like a homecoming and blissful. I owe this place so much, I’m determined to pour all my love and care into reviving it properly. I’d love to see some of ye there.

Also, Happy Equinox! I think I mentioned in some previous post, that I have started to actively practise my religion again but it felt awkward at first so I didn’t do proper rituals for the Solstice and Brighid. I wanted to avoid “play-acting rituals” and forgetting the chants and invocations so I got into a regular everyday practice again first.

Well, I’m happy to say that today I did my first full ritual in seven years and it was amazing! I’m giddy with happiness. It feels like I’m really, truly the hag again. How I could have lived so long without feeling this particular power pulsing through me, I don’t know, or rather I do: by shutting off the largest part of what makes up myself and mostly exist, rather than living.

I was giggling with joy during my invocations, and thankfully seven years are nothing to the Powers That Be (I know people use this expression to refer to politicians, but I’m talking about the *actual* powers in this universe), and I was welcomed back with more of an “oh hi there” than the indignation I had half expected, haha.

It didn’t go without hiccups either. Note to self, old charcoal might malfunction! I had two tablets which refused to ignite properly and I felt like an idiot standing there all ready and then wasting 20 minutes to get the effing incense going. In the end, I laughed. I’m not the only one who’s a little rusty, apparently.

There was so much joy and ecstasy in this ritual. I’m in full spring mood, and I danced and stomped up a storm. I could never be part of a coven! I need to follow my own direction and do what comes up. I half expected something sexy, but that wasn’t happening at all, probably due to the lack of a suitable horned-god type these days, but I held a lot of anger which needed releasing, and gods was it powerful. By the time I danced to my Equinox song, I was all soft and joyful and ecstatic again.

Dropped on the floor when the song ended, and trance just happened, easiest thing in the world. I’m losing my focus faster these days, but that was to be expected after the long break. Kept it short and planted three sunflower seeds with intentions, before grounding and opening.

Afterwards, I walked around with my lavender candle to say farewell to the wintry spirits in every room of the house (which took forever. What possessed me to rent a 4-bedroom house??). Closing with “… and merry we meet next winter again” every time, I was tempted to add: “… and now kindly fuck off,” because it’s been rather cold again the last few days. Ah well, spring is definitely on its way. I forgot to mention that I took my Equinox walk with the last light of the sun in the afternoon, and it was beautiful! Blossoms coming forth everywhere, the day was glorious and the jackdaws have built so many nests in the tall trees next to the main road, it’s like a cawing, feathery city up there. I look forward to all the young ones visiting the feeder in my garden in the coming months.

Have I said “Happy Equinox” yet? Have a beautiful one, my dear tribe, and enjoy the light and the new life bursting forth everywhere. It’s such a magical, ecstatic (and sexy!) time of the year and just so fitting with my current state of awakening.

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Earthquake Zone

Hag October 2015

Aaaaand here’s a new Hag’s Den page. Bet you didn’t see that coming! Mwahahahaha!

Yeah, and I know I haven’t blogged in something like centuries, in internet terms. To be exact, it’s been since the early days of January. Truly sorry about that, and I solemnly swear I’ll work on it! The thing is, I was working on a major creative project, in addition to a full-time job and a part-time business, and there simply weren’t enough hours in the day. I think it was worth it, though – and now I’m back.

Actually, I don’t even know it’s true that “I” am back. Those of you who’ve come to know me over the past years, have come to know a rather reduced version of what makes up the hag. It was a chronicially sleep-deprived, unhealthy, low-energy, exhausted version who didn’t even have physical space for pagan practice and who saved every last cent of money for a dream and therefore didn’t even go out to see friends more than a few times a year.

Fast-forward to 2016, when the downsizing of my life (started in September with moving back West, quitting my job and getting a much nicer work-from-home one, albeit with lower income) is starting to pay off, and you’ll see a very changed hag. So changed, in fact, that you might not quite know me any longer. However, I do, it’s almost like I recognise myself in the mirror for the first time in years, and I am SO HAPPY with what I see!

I’m just telling you this so you’ll be prepared for changes.I’m only just beginning to wake up from my enchanted sleep, and I fully expect more revolutionary things to happen. For now, I’ve started exercising again, slowly, painfully starting to regain the strength and endurance I used to have. I’m also starting to go out and meet people, because frankly, while I’ve needed time on my own to heal, I’m very alone here. I like alone – love it, in fact – but right now it’s too much of a good thing, and I’m getting up, getting going, and getting a life again. Finally.

With this “revival”, the old hag is back. The hag who wore black lace and danced herself silly every day just in order to keep a resemblance of sanity and to stay grounded. And the hag who was always good for a surprise. I’m radically calling into question everything I thought to be true, and when I say everything, I mean absolutely bloody everything. Including living in Ireland and including the bird sanctuary. Yes, really!

I don’t mean that I’m moving away tomorrow (or at all), or that I don’t want to have a bird sanctuary any longer. Fact is, the Cauldron Community isn’t going to happen here, they’re looking in Northern Ireland now. As for the bird sanctuary: What I’m questioning is, do I want to do this on my own? If I did it now, I’d be completely tied down every single day of every single week, month, and year, and what if anything should happen to me? I wonder if it’s the responsible thing to do unless and until I find people to share the responsibility with.

For now, I need to LIVE. I’ve put it off for far too long. Up to my mid thirties, I was right in the middle of life, surrounded by people I loved, by music, writing, pagan practice, ecstasy. Then came the financial collapse and the much-needed recovery, and it had to take precedence, it simply was too urgent to be put off. Now that that’s done, though, I need to catch up with the rest of my life. I said it before and I’m saying it again: Watch this space!

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You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello

Sorry, I couldn’t help quoting the Beatles there in the title. It just fits so well, as this post is going to be both a Goodbye and a Hello. But first of all, Happy New Year to you all, my dear tribe!! I wish us all a beautiful, breathtaking, heart-beating, and joy-filled year.

On the 31stof December, I did my annual “closing off the old year” ritual, which involves letting go of all the more painful events and experiences of the year, whilst giving thanks for the lessons learned. Now all that’s left to do is celebrate what was wonderful about 2015, and there was a lot!

The blessings of 2015

  • My little Laeas. This past year was incredibly painful in that I lost three budgies that I’d loved to distraction, two of them for several years. But it also brought me a new addition, the flightless (due to a crippling disease he had as a chick) but unquenchable, infallibly charming and completely mad Laeas. He’s been like an injection of new life in my aviary, shaking up the older budgies who had become a little set in their ways.
  • New friends, new Coaching clients, new inspiration. The people are what made this year, from colleagues who became friends to new Coaching clients I cherish. Coaching is my calling, and I am so very grateful for the opportunity to do this work.
  • And of course, the biggie: Downsizing my life. It’s been such a blessing every single day. To step out of the madness of a long commute and long hours under incredible, relentless pressure and into a job which can still be stressful sometimes but involves the best company and colleagues and customers, and which I do from home. To be able to spend lunch with my budgies, look in on them during breaks. I have no words.
  • Part of this was moving back West. For the longest time, I was so stuck in the “must have job, jobs are around Dublin, therefore must stay on the East coast” rut that I had made an uneasy peace with it. Don’t get me wrong, Wicklow IS lovely, but still practically unaffordable for me except for the price of an even longer commute. Enter Apple and working from home, and I was free to go where my heart has been since the first time I ever stepped foot into this country: West.
  • Being able to sleep. For the first time in six years I live in a place where there’s quiet in the night. I can’t even begin to describe the change this has wrought in both me and the birds. We are healthier, happier, and capable of living normal lives.

Thank you life, thank you thank you thank you for 2015!

Hello 2016!

Why hello there, you sexy New Year! There’s much to do – bring it on! Now that I’m settled in this blissful new life, I need to work on making the most of it:

  • Heal myself. I still have health issues which developed during the stressful and sleep-deprived previous six years. I’m a lot better already, but I’m still struggling with very low energy levels, tiredness, and a constant feeling like I have a slight cold. Of course these things are minor compared to a serious illness, but I want to tackle them now so they don’t develop into anything serious. Sleep, clean food, and regular time for myself are what I’m doing right now and need to continue and further improve.
  • Exercise. I started with walks, now I’ve started with Yoga and Pilates in a more consistent way. Ten years ago I was very fit, went to the gym five times a week and walked for a minimum of an hour a day. I’m the polar opposite today but I’m working on changing it. It’s connected to my health issues, and so I’m taking it slowly but I’m longing to get my strength back which I used to cherish so much.
  • Making more time for my business. I spend too little time on it right now, apart from the actual Coaching sessions. But in order to keep getting clients, I need to constantly work on my business, and it’s been taking a back seat for too long. It means I’ll have very little time for socialising, but I’m CHOOSING this and I will make it work.
  • More time for creativity, mostly in the form of dancing but other things as well. This, too, needs to be incorporated and will be a slow step-by-step process, but I have robbed myself of my own core for too long already. I finally have a home again where there’s actual space for dancing, rituals, and the like; all I need to do is use it more!

Re-reading this makes me want to go “woo-hooooooo!” This is the life I choose, and I’m living it right now, all it needs is small adjustments to make it even more amazing.

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I’ve Got Something To Say

                  My new neighbour brought me this just now! Isn’t that 

                           the sweetest gesture ever? 

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m writing a blog entry. It won’t be very long but there’s something I have to say.

Some people might think that I should really be busy spending time with family and loved ones. To which I say, no, I shouldn’t. I’m Pagan and I celebrate the Solstice, not Christmas. Since I live in a predominantly Christian country though, I’m used to not getting my holidays off at work. That’s a bit of a shame, but no biggie for me. I have a celebration in the evening and feel festive all day instead.

I’m not saying this because I think Pagans shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. I know many Pagans who celebrate with their families; after all, it’s the time after the Solstice when the day gets visibly longer for the first time, and as well the important thing for them is to spend time with their loved ones. I think that’s great.

For me, Christmas has come to mean something different. For the last 18 or so years, I’ve spent the 25th and 26thof December – and whenever I can get away with it, the 24th as well – on my own. I look forward to these days all year. Why? Because they belong to me, and me alone. They are the only days in the year when I know nobody will bother me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my friends and I enjoy spending time with them. But everyone needs some time for themselves as well, and so I choose to spend other days with my loved ones and keep Christmas – which has no religious meaning for me – to myself. I love those days, I use them to plan ahead, be creative, or simply for being lazy. It’s pure bliss.

I wanted to get this out to the world, so people who don’t have anyone to celebrate with, or whose Christmas is ruined by something, don’t feel bad. There is enormous pressure for the holidays to be perfect, and people often feel like they fall short. I always grin at the song “Nobody wants to be alone for Christmas”. Yes, some people do! However, I realise that to people who are having a bad or disappointing experience, this song must be slightly bitter.

Therefore, here are my holiday wishes:

  • To those of you who celebrate, I wish a wonderful, magical Christmas which is everything you dream of.
  • To those who were going to have a magical Christmas but whose festive spirit was ruined by something, I send a hug and the assurance that no, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t mean you fail at Christmas, it’s just something that happens sometimes.
  • To those who, like me, don’t celebrate, I wish some beautiful days spent exactly the way you choose.
  • Finally, to those Earth Angels who work at Christmas, the nurses, firemen and –women, bus drivers etc, I want to give my heartfelt thanks for being there for all who need you. I hope you’ll get some time with your families too and wish you the merriest of Christmases!

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My Very Own Life

It’s been stormy for over a week now, with a small break of about 24 hours in between. Most of the time, the rain is lashing down, it hardly gets bright during the day, the wind blows over the bins in front of my house and rattles whatever isn’t nailed down. At night it’s so loud that even I – who usually never sleeps better than in a storm – get woken up sometimes by some crashing noise. At the same time it’s very mild, typical Irish weather.

Move back West, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

All right, so it IS fun. I’m enjoying the fact that I don’t even have to leave the house if I don’t want to. And from my office window, I get treated to amazing sights like the luminous, full rainbow you see in the picture above. In the evenings, I cuddle up in front of the computer with a woollen blanket and brainstorm, or work, or play WoW, with my budgies chirping away at me. Underlying it all is the blissful relief of being where I’m most happy, most myself.

This is a time of healing. I knew it would be, when I left behind the East coast and my stressful job, the Dublin-area commute, and the no-sleep situation in my flat. As a Coach, I know to ask the right questions: “Are you moving AWAY from something, or TOWARDS something?” I managed to put a bit of both into it: Towards the West, my spiritual home, and a house I could sleep in, towards healthier conditions for both myself and the cutest. Away from the stress, the mounting small-ish health problems and the endless, bone-deep, red-eyed, leaden fatigue.

Like a small child, I’m enjoying every little gesture and action of the day. Making tea in the lovely big kitchen. Putting on those magically soft slippers. Sitting down at my desk for a day’s work. Cuddling into my wonderful, perfect, heavenly comfortable new bed.

And sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep. I just can’t get enough of being rested!

Lately, though, I’ve started to feel a little restless. I don’t know whether it’s the stormy weather, or the fact that I’m beginning to feel better, but I’ve been strangely twitchy even through the New Moon this week. I’m looking ahead and I’m trying to figure out where my next steps will lead. I love being where I am, but I have still only fulfilled part of my goals and some are left to be done: Like having my own place, be that on my own or in a sustainable community, and running a bird sanctuary.

It’s time to take action. I started by moving my accounts from my old bank, the bank I’d been with for 24 years and who refused to grant me a mortgage on a silly technicality, to a new, modern bank without branches which offers great interest on the money I’ve saved up, decent interest on a current savings account, and good Credit Card conditions as well. Apart from this, I plan to:

  • Keep saving, if possible increasing the monthly amount
  • Build up my Coaching business even further, now that I have more time and energy
  • Remember what it was I originally dreamed about

What I mean by the latter point, is that when I applied for my mortgage, I was very ready to compromise greatly and for example, buy a standard Irish house. My dream used to be a timber cottage, but it’s hard to impossible to get finance on this type of thing in Ireland, and so I didn’t even try. Maybe there’s a reason why I was refused this time? Maybe I’m supposed to solidify my dreams first and save up more money, and then see what I can do in 1-3 years? It’s no longer an agonising wait, after all – as I said above, I’m very happy where I am and it’s exactly what I need to heal.

Maybe this is just the time and space I need in order to come up with something much better, something perfectly suited to my needs. Watch this space! There’s more, and concrete, plans to come, but this I feel is only the beginning of the life I’m building for myself now. It’s beautiful already, but one day it’s going to be magnificent.

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