November 2020 Elemental Review

Here we are in December, which means it’s time to review November.

Here’s how I approach these reviews:

In the realm of Earth: My body, health, energy levels; my business, work, service to my community; how well am I receiving? Am I feeling abundant? Growthful?

In the realm of Air: My mind. What am I feeding it? How are my anxiety levels (while for some, anxiety is a body thing, for me it is a mind thing)? What’s interesting to me? Exciting to me? What am I learning? Researching? What ideas or insights are coming up for me?

In the realm of Water: My heart. How am I feeling? How are my relationships going? What’s happening in my underbelly, my subconscious? What’s bubbling up? What dreams are coming into my conscious awareness? Are my waters calm or troubled? If they’re calm, is there troubling stuff going on underneath? If I’m feeling troubled, is it about stuff I can actually change or am I borrowing trouble from the past or future (regret/worry)?

In the realm of Fire: My empowerment, which includes all spiritual work/study, and my sexuality. What am I passionate about right now? What has me shaking with fury? With desire?

I grabbed the elemental icons off the Internet ages ago, and I have no idea who made them, but the rest of the format is my own. Feel free to use this system of review if you like. :)

Earth vectorIn The Realm Of Earth

My body is feeling it’s age lately, and I’m aware of a desire to move it, but the motivation isn’t there, so I remain pretty sedentary. I am eating *way better* than I was for a while there, though, since I took my own advice (read this month’s workbook for more) and started stocking up on things that are quick and easy to heat up. My health is stable. My asthma is manageable. I’m better hydrated. I feel the impacts of stress (some hair loss & sleep disturbance) but this isn’t overwhelming. My energy levels are way better than they were in October, though I admit it takes three hours to do what usually takes me one. Long hot soaks in scented water are, as always, a huge source of comfort and self-care.

Work is wonderful, as always. The live gatherings are amazing to me – so energizing and soul-nourishing. Business is slow (to be expected) despite it being year-end, but I’m not in panic mode. I think as the vaccines get distributed and people can go back to work/move more freely and with less fear, I’ll see an uptick in class sales.

My meatspace community is fractured by the pandemic. Holiday plans have been cancelled. The isolation is very real. That being said, my virtual community is beautiful. The Wilderhood is full of gorgeous humans sharing the work they do in response to Journal Jams and my classes. My Facebook timeline has been curated to the point where I rarely trip over something that will trigger my fried nervous system.

Air vectorIn The Realm Of Air

My mind isn’t as sharp as I’m used to it being. I feel foggy most of the time, and deadlines are slipping through the cracks. I’ve had to ramp up my ‘list-making’ and schedule keeping to stay on top of things. This might also be menopause talking, though.

My anxiety is high, but I’ve been experiencing some relief. I have moments where I’m aware of my shoulders dropping and a sense of ease coming over me, and when that happens, I get quite a rush. There are days when I can’t stop shaking, and there are days when I’m okay.

Mind Food lately includes watching The Crown (I finished my West Wing binge), and listening to audiobooks (The Promised Land by Barack Obama is *so soothing*).

Water vectorIn The Realm Of Water

My heart. Oh, my heart. Attempts to repair a rupture with a family member was met with – well. Let’s just say I wasn’t well met. My dreams are anxiety-riddled things that include work deadlines looming or getting lost/losing my phone. My waters are troubled, but then I think we’re all in that boat.

Butandalso my boundaries are better. My awareness of what I am worthy of has grown. I am less likely to let people off the hook for shit behaviour. I’m not fawning, chasing, or begging. A certain kind of constant absence has given me space to heal.

I’m dreaming of a time when we can all gather again. I’m dreaming about being in a world where I can hug people and hang out with people and make plans to go places I want to go and do things I want to do, like take up pottery.

This piece overlaps with the realm of water & the realm of fire, but I’m going to put it here:

I had a disappointing encounter with someone who spent three weeks being very sweet to me (stirred up a lot of hope that maybe this could be a thing) and then dropped a steaming pile of deal-breaker in my lap – texted it to me in the middle of the night when he knew I’d be sleeping, so I woke up to ‘in the interest of full disclosure…’.

Ugh.

I thought it over and decided that a) I felt manipulated. This disclosure should have happened *much sooner*, and b) the situation wasn’t right for me, so I said so – clearly, firmly – no, this isn’t for me. Good luck out there.

His response was to deadname me *twice* and tell me I was obviously more interested in sex than a relationship. Deadnaming is a no-no. Slut-shaming is a no-no. Yes, I’m interested in sex as a very important component of a romantic relationship and suggesting that I’m *wrong* or *shallow* for wanting it is – well – bullshit.

So, I told him to go fuck himself, because being hurt when someone rejects you is one thing, but deadnaming and slut-shaming them is a form of emotional violence, so I really feel like I dodged a bullet.

I went into this with an overabundance of caution, given all that I’ve experienced this year, so I am happy to tell you that I am not shattered by it. I’m *disgusted* by it, but I’m not feeling hurt.

Still, I’m going to pull in my seeking for a while. Maybe for the rest of the winter. I feel the need to hermit and spare myself any further disappointment or ‘other people’s stuff’.

(P.S. WHY MEN? *Rolls Eyes*)

Fire vectorIn The Realm Of Fire

I feel empowered. I feel powerful. I feel like I’m coming back into my skin. This may be a touch TMI, but I’m able to self-pleasure without bursting into tears, and that’s a huge relief. My libido is still low but it is sparking up a little bit in response to things like music.

I’m passionate about my work, and about self-soothing. I’m energized by live concerts – especially Rufus Wainwright – who is doing weekly home concerts that are so sweet and intimate.

I’m furious with the opposite sex for obvious reasons. I’m furious with certain members of my family. I’m furious with anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists. I’m furious with Doug Ford. I’m furious with people who don’t do what we need to be doing to get this pandemic under control.

I desire comfort. Cotton nightgowns and heating pads. Soaks in the tub. Comfort food.

Grateful for:

My meatspace pod – Lee, Kimi, Alli. Bundling up for a fire. Bluetooth speakers. My new bed armchair. There are SIX PILLOWS ON MY BED. St. Hubert Tortierre. PC Shepherd’s Pie. Livestreamed concerts. Journal Jams. My coven, my BODkin, my guest artists, my colleagues. My virtual pod – Renee, Myrna, Sal. The 50 oz double-walled steel French Press that means my coffee is always hot and there is always plenty of it. A studio full of supplies.

 

November Art

Some Favourite Moments

October 2020 In Review

Me, with the signature Effy head tilt and some lip.

Here we are in November, which means it’s time to review October.

Here’s how I approach these reviews:

In the realm of Earth: My body, health, energy levels; my business, work, service to my community; how well am I receiving? Am I feeling abundant? Growthful?

In the realm of Air: My mind. What am I feeding it? How are my anxiety levels (while for some, anxiety is a body thing, for me it is a mind thing)? What’s interesting to me? Exciting to me? What am I learning? Researching? What ideas or insights are coming up for me?

In the realm of Water: My heart. How am I feeling? How are my relationships going? What’s happening in my underbelly, my subconscious? What’s bubbling up? What dreams are coming into my conscious awareness? Are my waters calm or troubled? If they’re calm, is there troubling stuff going on underneath? If I’m feeling troubled, is it about stuff I can actually change or am I borrowing trouble from the past or future (regret/worry)?

In the realm of Fire: My empowerment, which includes all spiritual work/study, and my sexuality. What am I passionate about right now? What has me shaking with fury? With desire?

I grabbed the elemental icons off the Internet ages ago, and I have no idea who made them, but the rest of the format is my own. Feel free to use this system of review if you like. :)

Earth vectorIn The Realm Of Earth

Some of the lethargy I experienced in September has eased up, but I am definitely feeling the impact of less sunlight. I’ve been pretty good about taking vitamins and getting food into my face on a regularish basis. I’ve also started toting a half-gallon water bottle around with me all day and glugging from it regularly. I’m already noticing a difference in the number of dehydration headaches I’m getting.

I stopped microdosing after the third cycle, but I’ve had a bit regression in CPTSD symptoms over the last couple of weeks, so I’m considering doing another cycle or three at half the dose I was doing before. We’ll see how this week goes.

I recognized the reason I was so late in opening all my programs for 2021, and nipped that shit in the bud with a soft launch of Moonshine 2021. You can find out more about that here. It was a real push to get it out there, and I had to overcome some real resistance and even make a pinky swear with a dear friend to get it done, but I did, indeed get it done.

I bought a bunch of skincare stuff and, miraculously, I’m using it once in a while. That feels like progress.

Sleep is disturbed, but better than it was through September. I am being haunted nightly by dreams I would rather not be having, but I think that’s pretty much to be expected given all that’s been going on.

I’m skin hungry, but the purchase of floor-length cotton chemises (white, and so soft) has helped a little. Something about the routine of stripping down to skin and donning one of these luxurious garments feels like a caress of a sort.

 

Air vectorIn The Realm Of Air

I don’t have a whole lot of bandwidth in this arena. Most of my brainmeats are busy battling procrastination and anxiety. I did spend the better part of the month writing love notes for Darling Human, though, and I *actually got that done*, which feels like a minor miracle.

I’ve ducked out of most of the classes and projects I’ve been doing in an attempt to preserve enough mental energy for all I have to accomplish before year-end. I know I’ll get back to all of that when I can come up for air. (Hah! See what I did there?)

I’m listening to The Plains of Passage as my nightly audiobook indulgence. I am finding it repetitive, but that’s almost comforting since I have no fear of missing out when I’m drifting off to sleep while listening.

Thinking about: impossible dreams, obstacles in my way, executive function/dysfunction, Mary Oliver, and how much I’m looking forward to spending a year combining her poetry with mixed media art journaling.

Water vectorIn The Realm Of Water

It’s a dance. Some days are better than others, but most of them are cut through with some kind of saltwater moment.

I know healing is a process, but I am having trouble having patience with myself in this regard. There is no way I should be as heartbroken as I am, I tell myself. I should be over this by now, I tell myself.

All that is nonsense, though. It takes as long as it takes. I’m trying for self-forgiveness, working toward acceptance. Riding the waves most days. Treading water some days.

 

Fire vectorIn The Realm Of Fire

Libido is still dead, buried beneath all of my other concerns. Anything to do with that aspect of self is still too attached to *waves at the last two years* to feel good or even safe. My body wants affection, sure, but otherwise, it wants to be left alone.

Passionate about: painting pomegranates, lip up girls, Journal Jams (There’s one today at 12 p.m EST), fires at Kimi’s place (we had one last night, and it was so good). Also passionate (urgently) about continuing the work I’m doing in therapy since I know it’s getting me somewhere.

Grateful for:

Therapy. My work & the students who appreciate it. Journaling – both art and written. Those little snack packs of dried cranberries and nuts and cheddar that keep me alive some days. Fresh flowers. The bottle of Buffalo Energy scent I have from Beaux Magique. Twinkly lights. Spotify Playlists. Renee, Lee, Myrna, Kimi, Sal, Dani, Alli, Sera, Alex, for the way they’ve been showing up lately. The new double-walled stainless steel FIFTY OUNCE French Press that I gifted myself last month. Instacart. Holy Clothing (and those wonderful cotton chemises). My dogs. You. <3

October Art

Some Favourite Moments

 

September 2020 In Review

I made an effort to review my months throughout 2014, but somewhere along my journey, I stopped. In fact, I stopped blogging for the most part and the Socials became my place to write. These days, I’m doing less Socials and more blogging, so I’ve decided to dust this way of reviewing things off.

These reviews will begin with a favourite selfie from the month. I love this one (left – a photo of me sipping Baileys and coffee from a blue mug, wearing a hoodie and a smile) because it was the first time I felt like myself in a very long time. The trauma of 2020 almost killed me – not exaggerating – but the trip I took to the cottage with my fest family saved my life.

Because I’m witchy AF, I like doing things that feel like they could lead to the creation of some kind of ceremony. Once this is written up, I might offer it to the elements as a way to release it all and make space for October.

Here’s how I’ll be approaching the areas of my life for review. If this is a thing you’d like to try, too, please feel free to steal it. I found the elemental icons way back when and no longer know who to credit. If you know, could you let me know? The rest of the template for review is my own invention. I think I’ll design my own icons for each element at some point when I have the bandwidth.

In the realm of Earth: My body, health, energy levels; my business, work, service to my community; how well am I receiving? Am I feeling abundant? Growthful?

In the realm of Air: My mind. What am I feeding it? How are my anxiety levels (while for some, anxiety is a body thing, for me it is a mind thing)? What’s interesting to me? Exciting to me? What am I learning? Researching? What ideas or insights are coming up for me?

In the realm of Water: My heart. How am I feeling? How are my relationships going? What’s happening in my underbelly, my subconscious? What’s bubbling up? What dreams are coming into my conscious awareness? Are my waters calm or troubled? If they’re calm, is there troubling stuff going on underneath? If I’m feeling troubled, is it about stuff I can actually change or am I borrowing trouble from the past or future (regret/worry).

In the realm of Fire: My empowerment, which includes all spiritual work/study, and my sexuality. What am I passionate about right now? What has me shaking with fury? With desire?

Earth vectorIn The Realm Of Earth

I am feeling pretty tired lately, probably because I experience so much anxiety on a regular basis that my energy is drained. I am struggling with eating well. COVID, grief, the state of the world, all of it is weighing heavily on me and it’s impacted my self-care.

I think I might be B12 deficient and I’d like to do something about that. I’m also putting together little plates of things to nibble whenever I can force myself to do it. Brie, olives, crackers. I order in way less than I did when I was living with GG. I think I ordered in all the time back then because I felt responsible for ensuring *he* got fed, even if I didn’t feel like cooking. This pattern is repeating here, where I order in if I have company (my platonic life partner does like to eat) but if he’s not around, I eat peanut butter out of the jar or some instant noodles, if I eat anything at all.

My cataracts are really wearing on me but the amount of work I have to do in order to do something about them is daunting. My health card has to be renewed which requires me to get my ID sorted. My executive function is low. I feel like I have just enough to work and nothing leftover once that’s done.

I’m trying microdosing and today is day one. I’m quite wobbly, but my experienced friends tell me this will pass. I feel quite euphoric and energized, which I have to admit I do not hate. ;) I’m hoping it helps with the freeze trauma responses to everything + the generalized anxiety.

Money is tight, but that’s to be expected given the time of year and the economy. I am not panicked about it. There’s just a frisson of fear about how programs are going to sell at the end of this year given that we are all probably going into lockdown.

I love my work as always, and all the people it brings into my life. I am fully invested and engaged in all the classes I teach and I am making myself as accessible as possible while saving time for myself to recharge and renew.

 

Air vectorIn The Realm Of Air

I’m taking in the Collective Trauma summit – bought the whole package – and I’m finding it enlightening. There are some practices I’ve picked up from it that I’m finding quite helpful. Especially ‘let it be, let it in, let it out’ as a breathing practice that allows one to be present with what is.

I’m listening to Clan of The Cave Bear as my nightly audiobook indulgence. I’d forgotten how much I loved that series.

Anxiety has been quite high, but I’m wrangling it. Long hot soaks help, and so does the presence of friends who get me.

Insights and ideas are in short supply though I do find that once I get my butt into the chair into the studio, I can always come up with *something* to paint about. Even though creativity can be stunted when anxiety is high or our basic needs aren’t being met, I somehow always manage and I’m very grateful for that.

Researching: microdosing, trauma.

Water vectorIn The Realm Of Water

My heart is fucking broken. It’s mending, but whoa.

I’m not letting myself dream all that much. The old practice of writing out what would be happening if I were living my dreams just makes me cry the ugly cry, so I’ve given it up.

I think I just need to be gutted and hollow for a while, and I trust, because I’ve been here before, that it will pass in time and I will feel whole and full once more.

But not today.

 

Fire vectorIn The Realm Of Fire

Truth: my libido is dead. I am passionate about my work, but nothing else, really. I am furious all the time for all kinds of reasons, and mostly, I desire numbness. And I think I’m just going to let myself be okay with *waves at all of that*.

Full Moon in Aries today. Maybe my fire will be returned to me as something other than fury. Maybe my body will get the memo that we are alive here on earth and I just turned 52 and I’d like to feel something good and light and pleasurable and it would be really awesome if I could muster up some kind of desire for something.

Plodding is not my favourite thing, but that’s all I’ve got in me right now.

I’ve also decided to add a gratitude list – especially after reading this review and feeling really saddened by it. I think ti’s important to remember the goodness…

Lee, Drew, Kimi, Rick, Emi, Jessie, Sera, Sal, Sarah, Myrna, Renee and all the rest who occupy my days with visits and zooms and messages and love and witness. 

My students, who never cease to amaze me. 

My willingness to keep trying. 

Leanne. 

My work.

Spotify playlists. 

I’m hoping these reviews prove useful to me in terms of tracking my healing progress over time. If you read this far, OH HEY, you’re very kind. :)