For most of my life, I’ve lived in places with very few weather changes. I did live in the Midwest as a young girl, but I only have vague memories of that. I just remember lush green grass in the summer and piles of snow in the winter. When I decided to go out on my own, it was important to me to live in a place where I could experience the seasons.
I was a closeted Neo-Pagan for many years. My family was Jewish, but my parents weren’t religious. In fact, they were suspicious of religion. Religion to them meant brainwashing. My father, I think, was skeptical of anything he couldn’t rationalize. My mother was a little more ambiguous. She grew up in a family that kept the Sabbath and made a big deal of every Jewish holiday. In her house, God was a reality. But my mother may have also seen religion as the way my grandmother justified the way she treated her, namely that she had to spend many childhood hours helping around the house while her brothers got to go out and play.
Judaism never spoke to me, but there was something about Neo-Paganism that always felt right. Neo-Paganism is mostly individualistic. There are Neo-Pagan groups that follow the same beliefs and practices, but a lot of Neo-Pagans create their own way of experiencing the spiritual in their lives. I like that. I see it as a vibrant, creative way to cooperate with the creative force that underlies all of existence.
When I chose to move to the country (another first for me), I “came out” as a Neo-Pagan. I celebrate the eight festivals, and you can’t help but be aware of the seasons when you do that. The next one is the Autumn Equinox, which falls on September 22 (make that September 23) where I’m at. Autumn is a time for letting go. As the leaves fall, we can let go of old patterns of behavior, old beliefs, old feelings, and anything that stands in the way of growth. Autumn is also about celebrating the harvest. We’ll be moving into the last quarter of the year around then, and it’s a chance to start assessing what we’ve received during the year and just be thankful for it.
All year, I’ve been hammering away at a corrosive passivity. Making that leap from planning and dreaming to actually taking the first steps to manifesting something has been a big deal for me. That’s what this blog is all about. I’ve experienced internal resistance that I never knew could be so powerful. Sometimes, I’m overcome with fatigue and just want to crawl into bed. Headaches are also common. I might sometimes over-research something before I do it, knowing deep down that I don’t need to know any more than I already do about it but researching it anyway.
The most important lesson that I’ve learned this year is patience. I never knew I had so little of it until I really needed to have it! I think it’s really about wanting to get the hard parts over with. I want to be cruising along rather than stumbling through the first difficult steps. I used to beat myself over the head for these delay tactics (fatigue, headaches, over-research, etc.), knowing where they came from and yet succumbing to their influence. I’ve learned, though, that fighting them isn’t the answer for me. Persistence is. If I can write half a blog post before my headache incapacitates me then I’m on the road to victory. The next day, I’ll finish that blog post before I crawl into bed for a completely unnecessary 2-hour nap. The day after that, I’ll post it and spend two hours researching something that should have taken me half an hour to research.
But eventually, those resistant internal forces get the message that no matter how often they interfere, they’re not going to stop me. They’re a little less persistent now than they were at first. Perhaps by the Winter Solstice, they’ll die out and it won’t be as difficult to keep going as it is now sometimes.