sandpiper912: (pic#4378879)
2012-09-22 08:28 pm

[Water] Stage Fright

I've been invited to present on seidr for Denver Pagan Pride Day, October 20th.

I've said yes, because my brain response to anything teaching/pagan/Norse worldview related is "Let's do it!"

Of course, my heart response is much different and runs along the lines of "Are you insane!?!" The actual clinical answer to that(per my therapist)is yes, but that's another Oprah.

I am not afraid of speaking in front of other people. I do it relatively often with no adverse effects. But this isn't just a few people I kinda know at a ritual or workshop. This is lots of strangers. Not even pagan strangers.

This takes me from public(on the fringes of the pagan community with excellent colleagues and word of mouth reputation)to Public(spotlight on what I do and how it is different than what other people do, noticed by lots of people).

Luckily, I have a month to get comfortable with it.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-07-09 07:56 pm

[Water] Being Reasonable

I pride myself on being reasonable. I work very hard to understand where other people are coming from, so that I am kind rather than demanding, self aware rather than self absorbed.

Lately this has gotten me exactly...nothing and nowhere. Or, at least it feels that way.

So I decided I would try to be unreasonable, demanding and self absorbed.

Epic Fail. I've forgotten how to do that.

Which really sucks. :(
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-04-22 11:52 am

[Earth] Gardening

I try to garden wherever I live.
It puts me in touch with the land, the wights of the land and my body. I have a dreadful time exercising just to exercise, but getting exercise doing physical labor? I will do that without thinking about it.

It also puts me in touch with the Vanir(despite the fact recent scholarship has suggested there is no Vanir family, that Snorri Sturlson stuck them together, but that's a whole 'nother Oprah).

I'm very lucky where I live now. There is a pretty big patch (maybe 6'x12') patch of yard run to weeds which qualifies as my "backyard". I'm in the process of digging that up to turn into a garden. The soil, typical Colorado soil, is full of rocks and deep rooted weeds. So there's a lot of "sweat equity" involved in what I'm doing.

I love springtime.
sandpiper912: (pic#879556)
2012-04-07 01:54 pm

[Earth] Death

My son's father's sister has pancreatic cancer, stage 4. Which means there is nothing doctors can do other than make her comfortable until her death. They suggested chemotherapy, but they didn't press the subject.

Having a death goddess as a deity of choice means death is not frightful to me. So I forget that other people are frightened by that final passage.

I sat in the hospital room after her surgery, with some of her friends and other relatives, when the doctors were telling her what she has and what they could do to help. I watched as all the people fell into denial. I listened to the chatter after the doctors left. There was talk of a clinical trial cures over in one corner, the power of positive thinking in another corner, the miracle of prayer in a third.

A social worker came in to talk to her about advanced directives, living wills and DNRs, and she was shooed out by all the "well meaning" friends and relatives.

I was so frustrated by level of fear and delusional thinking, I left the room. And I took a deep breath and another. And I walked back in and I held my tongue and I was gently supportive. Because I want what's best for this gentle, compassionate, independent woman.

Don't get me wrong, I don't discount the possibility of a miracle. But none of us make it out alive, and there are some practical things that need to be done. And done soon.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-03-29 09:38 pm

[Air] EMDR Therapy

I've started EMDR therapy.

I have had many years of talk therapy, but all the skills that I have learned over the years have been insufficient to control my anxiety/depression/emotional exhaustion over the past 9 months or so.

I'm going through some major transitions emotionally and spiritually and my workplace is triggery for anxiety, OCD and some of my PTSD issues.

I'm really surprised at how immediately helpful EMDR has been.

My therapist and I haven't delved into the basement where all the really yucky junk is yet. Instead, we've been focusing on strengthening positive, functional aspects of my self. Even with only a few sessions, the change is drastic. Gone are most of the nightmares, the nervous tics that turn into self-harm or the extreme bouts of self-loathing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
sandpiper912: (pic#879563)
2012-03-14 08:26 am

[Earth] Sleep

I haven't been getting enough sleep lately.

I have a conflicted relationship with sleep.

I get excited about life and projects and relationships and I don't want to go to sleep.

Or I go through horrific nightmare cycles when sleeping is my enemy rather than my friend.

Or I am called to do a lot of work in dream time by my deities of choice, ancestors or local wights.

All of these things have been in play in the last month. And despite my inhuman constitution, my lack of rest is catching up to me.

So, I must get more sleep.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-03-02 07:45 am

[Water] Relationship Boredom

I've been with my beloved four years today. And I'm not bored.

For an Aquarian, that is a rare and amazing statement.

I've been in relationships for longer periods of time. My longest relationship was with my third husband for seven years. But I was bored after two years. I had heard all of his stories and knew all of his quirks and we weren't having new experiences or interests or anything. The relationship hinged on what was in the past, was dependent on everything staying the same as when we got together. Then he left me for a 25 year old blonde. He's never told me why he left, but I'd bet the farm he was bored too.

Boredom is an underrated but powerful force in my relationships. If I get bored, I tend to drift away. If the relationship is changing and growing and moving forward constantly, I'm not bored. I may be annoyed, frustrated or angry. I may be uncomfortable because I'm doing something new. But I'm more likely to give a relationship a chance if it changes than if it doesn't.

But I'm weird that way.
sandpiper912: (pic#879556)
2012-02-19 01:31 pm

[Water] Sometimes, things just don't turn out the way you want

So, the first promising start of a relationship I've had with a woman went down in flames this week.

It seems that she's fallen madly in love with a "straight but exploring" girl who happens to be dating her live-in boyfriend. And she's decided she only has room for one FF relationship right now.

I always try to look at the positive, so I'm glad this situation came up now rather than farther in when I more attached. But darn it to heck, I really liked this one.

I have to say, my self-esteem has taken a hit on this one. I think I'm going to be a bit less cheerful for awhile.
sandpiper912: (pic#)
2012-01-12 09:49 pm

[Water] Dating

I have been with my beloved for almost 4 years.
We are very happy together, but being poly people, we date other people.
And my dating success rating is not very high.

First there was the woman who was "me, me, me" all the time. Any conversation had to center around her. Any plans had involve her. Anyone who wanted to date her had to eventually want to date her exclusively. As I am monogamy-challenged, that didn't last more than one date.

Then there was the woman who was okay with dating other women in theory, but when it came down to actually holding hands, hugging, touching, snuggling or kissing, she would freeze up like a Montana lake in February. As I am an exceptionally touchy-feely sort of person, that didn't last more that two dates.

Then there was the woman who was angry about everything. Everything sucked and everyone was stupid and the universe was out to get her. As I am a person with a happy heart, that didn't last more than three dates.

So I was a bit leery when I got a message from a friend that said,"I just met the coolest person. You would love her." But I agreed to go out with her for dinner, just to see if my friend was right.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

She was smart, funny, educated, with amazing stories about growing up in Australia and traveling to different places in Asia. She's openmindedly poly, her current beloved is dating two other women, and she was dating another man as well.

So we went out together for New Year's Eve, when I learned she was a great kisser.

So we went out again tonight. And she's made it past the third date.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-01-08 09:16 am

[Spirit] Energy Workshop

I don't usually have a plan, I have a way.

I'm a "Well, lets see how things go, and what happens and adjust from there" sort of person. I call it open to the moment. My more organized friends and relatives are inclined to call that something else. (shrug)

I have so many bits of my awareness in other realities other than my mundane one, that planning becomes an annoyance of ignoring one thing to do another.

However, I have planned out an entire year of lessons for my energy workshop group. I have a syllabus and a reading list and worksheets. It's a bit scary how organized I am for this.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2012-01-01 07:36 am

[Earth] Yoga

Now that I have my car and my license, I've had the time to do yoga before going to work.

Yoga serves two important dynamic functions for me. On a physical/earth level, it strengthens my body, promotes flexibility and helps the moderate to severe osteoarthritis I have in my back and hip. Yoga also promotes physical relaxation; I store a great deal of stress in my jaw, neck and back and yoga relaxes those muscles so I am more comfortable.

On an energetic level, it makes me aware of my energy flow, makes me focus on what is extra, what is missing, and what is damaged in my energy field. I then can remove, correct or repair for a healthier energy, and therefore a much more positive attitude for the rest of my day. And being aware of my energy flow also ensures that my connections to deity, ancestors and allies are strong and active.

But like anything else, yoga has latent dysfunctions too.

Being more aware of my body means that I am more aware of things that I usually suppress by will; pain, hunger and weakness. Getting through my day is often an extreme exercise of will, on the physical level as well emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Without yoga, the physical is easiest to suppress; with yoga, it becomes the hardest.

Being more aware of my energy flow means that I am also aware of the energy flow of those around me. I don't have as many problems with those that are negative as I do with those that are damaged. I have the urge to help without the means or permission. I am also more aware of the spirits of place, some of whom are quite unhappy or mischievous.

And as yoga strengthens my energy field, it increases the "Dresden" effect(for those of you that haven't read the books, Harry Dresden is a wizard in modern Chicago that has an adverse effect on electronics). As I work with computers all day, the "Dresden" effect can be really annoying.

The benefits of yoga outweigh the dysfunctions, so I will continue to practice.
sandpiper912: (pic#879558)
2011-11-26 06:33 am

Holiday Nightmares

I was singing with my sister, "One" by Three Dog Night.

When I was a little girl, my mother was the choir director for our church. We were compelled to sing at the drop of a hat to prove how good my mother was at her passion. Unfortunately, while my voice is pleasant enough, I do not have the range, timing or skill to match my mother's compulsive need to prove she had talent. Or to match my sister's amazing talent.

After every impromptu performance, I would get a beating, for performing poorly on purpose so that my mother would look bad. I don't think it ever crossed her mind I just wasn't that talented. The number of impromptu performances increased during the holiday season.


At least today I woke up before the beating part. And the first nightmare waited until after Thanksgiving. So good thing there.

The sad/sick part? I miss singing with my sister.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2011-11-22 08:24 pm

Patience

I work very hard to be patient.

I am patient by neither nature nor nurture.

Aquarians are flighty, high-strung, of a nervous and dramatic disposition. Fire horses love the excitement of action and the change it brings. Bears are unpredictable, jotun are chaos incarnate.

My family believes if they stop moving, stop striving, stop fighting, they will die. Literally die, like a shark who stops moving and can no longer breathe.

So my patience is a hard-won skill. It's a deity-taught skill; two of my deities of choice believe patience is an important part of their mandate.

But I've been losing my grip on patience lately. Just lots of little things like eroding away my capacity for BS like water torture; drip, drip, drip.

I find myself having to apologize to innocent bystanders or friends because I got snappy. I've been in an on again, off again argument with my beloved for a week now. And I have the intense urge to bite, break things and scream until I'm hoarse.

So over the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm going to look for my patience again. Because without it, I am an unpleasant person.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2011-09-03 08:21 am

Body Image

Some of my friends have gotten more fitness conscious lately. This is a good thing, and good for their health, and I wish them all the success necessary for them to feel good about themselves.

But dieting and exercise are both very painful subjects for me. They bring up a welter of judgement and pain that have nothing to do with real time conversations or my friends, who are great people.

My mother was a diet freak.
She was on every diet known to Western civilization. And if she was on a diet, we were on a diet too. This encouraged me to binge eat when at my grandmother's, who, I sometimes think, didn't know the meaning of diet. She knew the meaning of exercise, exercise was work. She worked at physically demanding tasks that in all my years of cleaning houses I never matched.

When I turned 13, my mother put me on a starvation diet cause I was "too fat". From 13 to 17, I was eating crackers, grapefruit and carrots at home, and running 7-10 miles a day. I was in cross country,track, volleyball and basketball. With all of that, I still never got under 160 lbs. And by the standards of the day(before widespread use of the BMI) I was still overweight.

I looked like a skeleton. Because I'm big. 5'9" with 9" wrists. No matter how much I dieted or exercised, I wasn't going to look like Kate Moss. I wasn't going to look like a thin person. And the irony is, my mother, who shares my same size and build, was never going to look like one either.

My father came for Christmas the winter I was 17(my parents divorced when I was 9), and asked me WTH I thought I was trying to do to myself, and WTH my mother, who was supposed to be caring for me, didn't notice I looked like death on toast.(That's a story for another time).

My father put me in therapy. Then the day I turned 18, February 4th, 1985, I moved out of my mother's house.

In my process of getting healthy and comfortable in my own skin, I have tried every diet known to the Western world. I have been in weight loss studies, behavior modification studies, and eating disorder therapy.
Despite all of that, my weight hasn't changed that much. I weigh between 250 and 275. Which by modern standards is morbidly obese.

So I try to eat healthy without feeling deprived of the things I really enjoy. I do yoga every day and since I don't have a driver's license, walk at least a mile every day. I press on through the world like the wider culture's fixation on body image doesn't matter. I press on through the world like the assumption that if you don't look a certain way you must be lazy or stupid or uncaring, some stereotypical couch potato that eats bon-bons and watches soap operas, isn't me and doesn't affect me.

But sometimes that level of personal pain and societal scorn is hard for me to ignore.

So if I'm not as excited by your excitement about meeting your fitness goals, or I get really quiet during the conversation, it's not you. It's me. Once my reality check has finished processing, I will be excited for you.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2011-08-03 07:09 am

Can you say "exhausted"? I thought you could.

I am a very tired Piper today. Moving this time took an incredible toll on me physically, which I really wasn't expecting. I'm used to physical labor, so to be so tired after this long is weird.
Despite the fact I REALLY hate moving, I seem to do it about once every year. I have stayed in some places 2 or 3 years, but that doesn't happen very often. And I've never stayed in a residence longer than 3 years.
But this year, the move was brutal. And we are looking at the possibility of doing it again in a couple of months. I get tired just thinking about it.

I have never wanted to own a house before. But the prospect is looking awfully attractive right now. Of course, I would have to have money.

On an interesting side note, writing of money, (something I suppose I should have known but the fact didn't sink into my consciousness until just yesterday) my most recent deity of choice, Hel, is a goddess of poverty. She is a goddess of poverty in that according to lore, she welcomes the most lowly of people into her halls. And she is a goddess of poverty in that she does not stand for charging $150/hour for energy work, she's not the goddess for those out there who cater to the general public or to make a fortune doing workshops and retreats featuring her kind of energy or spirit work. Instead, she's interested in helping anyone that needs it.

So, no guru on a mountain bilking my followers out of millions job for me.

That's okay.
" We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungratified. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."
sandpiper912: (Default)
2010-03-20 11:45 am
Entry tags:

[MEDIA] Dead Snow

Okay, okay, okay, so I've been waiting to see this movie since I heard about it last year.

I am a major fan of zombie movies,evil Nazi movies and Scandinavian horror movies, and this was all of those!

When I heard about it, I thought it would be a spoof, you know "What lurks in the mountains? Skiing Nazi zombies!"
But it was actually a pretty serious film.

It has the typical slasher movie setup, a group of attractive young people(medical students in this case, which becomes important later) go to some secluded place to drink and have sex. Along the way, they hear the story of the local bogeyman(in this case delivered by the weirdest and most obnoxious bit character) and then mayhem ensues. Pretty typical up to this point.
However, then it diverges from the formula in a couple of significant ways.

The gore factor is VERY high. It makes all those Friday the 13ths and Nightmare on Elm Streets look like G rated movies. Lots of blood with realistic blood spatter, as well as several shots of ripping and eating, including intestinal ripping and eating, with one bit where a character's insides get stuck on a tree and unwind in a disturbing fashion.

The medical students are amazingly tough.
One of my biggest complaints about slasher movies in general is that the victims are extremely fragile.
Not these kids. There is one scene where one of the students gets bitten badly(with much blood gushing) in the neck, and he sews it up himself with a fishhook. And that's just one example in an example rich environment.

This is a good film. Better than a lot of American zombie movies. I think I love Scandinavian horror movies more and more all the time.

Viewing suggestion:DVD(only because that's the only way I know of to see it)
sandpiper912: (Default)
2010-03-11 09:40 pm
Entry tags:

[MEDIA] Spartacus: Blood and Sand

An important context tip...
I love history. Not for the dates and names, but for the stories.
I love historical dramas, comedies, etc.
One of my all time favorite series is "Rome".
When I saw the previews for Spartacus, I was very excited.
Another drama about ancient Rome, this time from a gladiator's perspective.
Gladiators, the sports heroes of their time, slaves yet not despised.
And the story of Spartacus before the slave revolt, one of the pivotal movers and shakers in Roman history...
What a brilliant idea!

Well, not so much.
I can almost see the pitch the writer/creator made to the studio, "Okay, okay, okay, it's like 300 meets Xena:Warrior Princess meets Rome" (All of these shows I liked, BTW, but together they are a disaster)
I tried to like it. I truly did.
I ignored the guys walking around in the barest of clothing during a snow storm.
I ignored the Roman commander wearing armor with nothing on underneath it.
I ignored the truly stupid 300 slow-mo moments that made the action seem like I was watching it through a strobe light.
I ignored the Barca of Carthage, a huge muscle bound guy that didn't look any more Carthaginian than I do.
But the straw that broke my suspension of disbelief was Crixus the Gaul. Asterix is more of a Gaul.
It was just downhill from there.

And to add insult to injury, the show actually has this disclaimer...

"Spartacus depicts extreme sensuality, brutality and language that some viewers might find objectionable"
(Actually, those parts are the most interesting and believable parts of the whole show)

"The show is a historical portrayal of ancient Roman society and the intensity of the content is to suggest an authentic representation of that period"

Well, "suggest" is right.
If you want to see a great show about ancient Rome, watch "Rome".

Viewing suggestions: Don't. If you must(you lost a bet or it's the only soft-core porn you can find), drink lots of wine. Then you won't care the story sucks.
sandpiper912: (Default)
2010-03-10 02:04 pm
Entry tags:

[MEDIA] The Crazies

So I went to go see the Crazies last night.
Cons
It wasn't successful as a horror movie, they let the cat out of the bag very early in the film, so I spent the rest waiting to see when the main characters would die.
There were some good startle/jump moments, but most of the best ones were "friendly fire" startles.
Pros
There were some great jokes, not the kind of one liners you could pull out and say over and over again until you annoyed your friends into homicide, but they were laugh out loud funny.
Also a couple of bizarre romantic moments, I thought only Gothic poets could put love and death in the same sentence and make it romantic, but they did in this movie.
I've liked Timothy Olyphant since Deadwood and Radha Mitchell since Pitch Black, so I was pleased with the main characters. George Romero was the executive producer, and while I had never heard of the writers or the director, the story was a solid entry in the Cloverfield genre of horror.
And while they let what was going on in Ogden Marsh be explained relatively quickly, they did have some story surprises in the later parts of the film. And the characters(along with the audience) didn't understand every thing about the mechanism that drove the town crazy, which was cool.

All in all, not too bad
Viewing suggestion: DVD or matinee
sandpiper912: (Default)
2009-04-12 09:33 am
Entry tags:

What Kind of Heathen Am I?


You Scored as Modernist

You are a Modernist Heathen. You believe in a balance between lore and present-day relevance: innovation keeps religion meaningful to you, though you still feel bad about mixing Germanic and non-Germanic practices needlessly.

Modernist
90%
Eclectic
75%
Traditionalist
50%
Non-Heathen
20%
Fake Heathen
0%
Reconstructionist
0%
sandpiper912: (Default)
2009-01-22 05:42 pm
Entry tags:

Fwd:

My sister has been hectoring me on the phone about not staying in touch with her. It's been a running theme since before Yule.
So I come back with, "Well, it's not like you call me or email me or write me, except to tell me what a deficent communicator I am."
And she says, "I email you all the time!"
No, she doesn't, at least not to my mind.
My sister is queen of the Fwd:
Every message/electronic chain letter about friendship, or love or God(in the monetheistic sense) or stupid jokes that have been circulating on the internet like a rotten turds in the toilet bowl, these are the emails she emails me "all the time".
And she doesn't email me anything else. No weekly updates on how things are going with her and her children. Not even a line at the beginning ot the Fwd:  to say, "Hey, I thought this was funny/moving/touching/beautiful and wanted to share it with you"

To be clear,I don't hate Fwd: from my friends. Because my friends know
A)what I think is funny/moving/touching/beautiful/ important
B) how to communicate/write/call/Pony Frigging Express without Fwd: someone else's thoughts and feelings.

Electronic chain letters are not communication. Not all by themselves.