BEING CALLED TO A PARTICULAR DEITY

 

I recall someone talking about a feeling of being called to a given deity, and

how to know this was for real, and how to go about making it Signed and

Official(tm) and all that . . . I thought I’d give out with few (yeah, right)

words as to my own experiences this way.

I’m pretty much a believer in the notion that a person is best served by

following their natural inclinations on some ways.  I found my own Craft name

this way — I just sort of waited until I found the “right” name.  I waited

until I got a handle on what I was like at that time (it may change in the

future) and at that point, saw the name as the proper noun that described what I

was, the word for my inner nature.

It’s not a name in any but the most basic sense — a description of what I *am*.

It’s no more a “chosen” name that an apple “chooses” to be called an apple.

It’s simply the name we have for the thing.

Finding a deity figure is similar, and the one that fits you is often different

from time to time.  Don’t look for one that you like and say, “I want to

dedicate myself to that one.”  Look inside yourself and see what’s there — and

don’t lie or hide anything.  Honesty is needed here.  Know yourself, and then

see if you can find a deity matchup for what you see.  This is what I mean by

seeing what your own natural inclinations are and then going with them.

Oftentimes, the deity will just sort of fall into place with no effort, like a

dewdrop rolling off a leaf.  It just finds the proper time and bango — it

happens.  Very zen, actually.  This is similar — if you relax and just know

yourself, the deity will fall into place with no effort. Well, enough effort to

read books and research so that you’ll be able to know him or her when you see

them.  But research isn’t effort — it’s fun!

My own deities are a bit odd — the moirae from the Mycenean/Greek pantheon are

good, as is the Minoan god Kouros.  (Never let it be said that your deity has to

be the same gender!)

Anyway, the only advice I can give you is to know yourself and then when you see

your deity you’ll recognize him or her as the right one. Choosing one that isn’t

a good fit is a bad idea

Today’s Affirmation, Thought & Meditation for Thursday, February 16th

Thursday, Thirsty Thursday Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics

Today’s Affirmation for February 16th

I have a body but am not my body. I have a mind but I am not my mind. I have thoughts but I am not my thought.

 

Today’s Thought for February 16th

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

Dogen (1200 – 1253)

 

Today’s Meditation for February 16th

Restore Truth

Our ability to perceive truth is often distorted by our beliefs. To raise awareness of your beliefs, meditate on a recent situation. Try to identify the beliefs that led to your actions. Now cast your mind back to your early years to learn the origins of these beliefs – perhaps in the messages given by parents a teachers. The greater your awareness of distorting beliefs, the more you will be able to perceive the truth.

In a similar way, meditate on the actions of a colleague or partner to gain greater understanding of their behavior.

Stress Is Not What You Think

Stress Is Not What You Think

  • Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ironically, the holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year. Imagine you are trying to squeeze some toothpaste out of a tube but you have forgotten to take the top off. What happens? Deb actually did this in one of her most unaware moments and the toothpaste soon found another way out through the bottom of the tube and got all over her. It will force a hole in the side or wherever is the weakest point.

Now imagine that the tube of toothpaste is you, under pressure and beginning to experience psychological or emotional stress. But you don’t take your lid off, as it were, by recognizing what is happening and making time to relax or deal with your inner conflicts.

So what happens to the mental or emotional stress building up inside? In her book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, Deb shows how eventually it has to find a way out and if it can’t come out through the top, as it were, by being expressed and resolved, it will come out somewhere else, whether through your digestion, nerves, immune system, behavior, or sleep patterns. Repressed or ignored stress can manifest as depression, addiction, or anxiety; projected outwards it can become hostility, aggression, prejudice or fear.

We have built into our physiology a fight-or-flight response that enables us to respond to danger if, for instance, we are on the front line of a battle or facing a large bear. The battle may be with your teenage son and bears tend to come in a variety shapes and sizes, such as impatient and angry holiday shoppers. Seemingly unimportant events can even cause a stress reaction, as the brain is unable to tell the difference between real and imagined threats: if you focus on your concern about what might happen it plays as much havoc with your hormones and chemical balance as it does in a real situation.

Recent studies show–as if we didn’t know–that job dissatisfaction, moving house, divorce, and financial difficulties are at the top of the list of known stressors. But we all respond differently to circumstances: a divorce may be a big stressor for one but it may be a welcome relief to another. The difference lies in our response, for although we may have little or no control over the circumstances we are dealing with, we do have control over our reaction to them.

In other words, the cause of stress is not as much the external circumstances, such as having too many demands and not enough time to fill them, as it is our perception of the circumstances as being overwhelming; and our perception of our ability to cope, as when you feel stretched beyond what you perceive yourself to be capable of.

What you believe will color your every thought, word and action. As cell biologist Bruce Lipton says in his book, The Biology of Belief, “Our responses to environmental stimuli are indeed controlled by perceptions, but not all of our learned perceptions are accurate. Not all snakes are dangerous! Yes, perception “controls” biology, but… these perceptions can be true or false. Therefore, we would be more accurate to refer to these controlling perceptions as beliefs. Beliefs control biology!”

In other words, believing that it is your work, family or lifestyle that is causing you stress and that if you could only change these in some way then you would be fine, is seeing the situation from the wrong perspective. It is the belief that it is something out there that is causing the stress. And, although changing the circumstances certainly may help, invariably, no matter what you do, it is a change within your belief system and perception of yourself that will make the biggest difference.

Try It Yourself

If you find yourself feeling stressed, take 10 minutes to breathe more deeply. Most people who are tense breathe short, shallow breaths into the upper part of their chest. If you take slower breaths and deepen your breathing into your belly, the stress will dissolve.

Then find an affirmation that works for you to shift perceptions and belief patterns and to reinforce your strengths, such as: “My mind is at ease and I am capable of doing everything,” or “With every breath I am more relaxed and flowing through my day with ease.”

Where Faeries Tread

Where Faeries Tread

Author: Priest Christopher Aldridge

I think it’s a shame that we live in a society that makes fun of adults who believe in Faeries or who tell of an encounter they have had with them. I am a Wizard, A Hellenist and a practitioner of Witchcraft, and most who know me know that I believe in Faeries and other magickal creatures very strongly.

Now I won’t try to force my beliefs on others, but I do wish people would stop trying to label believers like me as “delusional.” If I don’t try to force my beliefs on you, don’t try to force yours on me, or anyone else for that matter. To assume that someone is “stupid, ” “crazy, ” or “delusional, ” because they don’t believe the same as you, is arrogant. It’s all right to have debates, but don’t be disrespectful.

I think that people who do not believe in Faeries have this fallacy that because they have not experienced proof, that no one else could possibly have, and therefore Faeries cannot exist. They compare their experiences to that of all people. But the fact of the matter is that there are countless sightings by adults from all over the world who have had encounters with Faeries and little folk.

The people I have talked to who have encountered Faeries are, like myself, perfectly sane. One such website where you will find many Faerie sightings is: http://www.fairygardens.com/sightings/adult4.html

However, I cannot really blame the average individual for thinking that belief in Faeries is silly or insane for someone who is an adult. After all, our society has conditioned people to certain beliefs. As humans, we tend to establish our own laws in regards to what is possible and impossible. We do this while not realizing that we did not create this universe, nor do we control it, we are but a part of it. We should not be so quick to assume that we know what is possible and impossible when we are but a link in this chain of life.

I am 25 years old, and unfortunately, some people have made fun of me for believing in Faeries, and I’m sure they even believe that I am insane or delusional. I do know other Pagans and Witches who don’t think I’m crazy for believing though, and some people have even commended me for having the courage to basically broadcast my beliefs in the Fae. The bottom line is that I am not ashamed of my beliefs. Of course, Faeries are but one part of my belief system, but I hold that belief strongly.

Many people don’t believe in Faeries because they have never seen or encountered them, which I can understand, because some people are just the type who only believes what they see. So why would people who believe in the Fae be labeled as insane or delusional for believing in something they have seen? I think that we have certainly discovered that just because you can’t see something, does not mean it’s not there. But many people have seen Faeries. There are several books published on Faeries, including how to communicate and work with them.

Throughout history, many cultures have believed in and even feared Faeries. They took the belief in the Fae and the honor and appeasement of the little folk very seriously.
You will find that there are different beliefs held by different individuals as to who or what Faeries actually are. If you’re like me, you believe that Faeries are literal beings, real magickal creatures that are either individuals on their own, or are reincarnations of the dead. I believe that they can travel to our realm and interact with humans if they choose. And I believe they have great magickal powers and abilities.

While some believe that they live on the Astral Plane, I do not believe that that is the only realm they inhabit. To me, Faeries can be guardians of certain places and things in nature and friends to humans who respect them.

Every spring and summer, I keep a Faerie garden outside my home to welcome good Faeries and their good energies into my life. Even when the garden dies in the winter, I do not remove it. Now of course I do not and would never place the Faeries on the same level or above the Gods and Goddesses, but I do believe in respecting the Fae. But I do not worship them. You can show respect without worshipping.

I also hold the belief that the Fae are but not limited to reincarnations of the dead. I think that humans can reincarnate to the Faery Realm. I believe that Faeries can also be the creations of the Gods and Goddesses as well. I also happen to hold the belief that Faeries can also be nature spirits, as in spirits of nature herself. Such as woodland Faeries, water Faeries, air Faeries, etc.

I am very careful to not offend the Faeries. I have read about times when people have paid dearly for greatly offending or angering a Faery. Now there are many types of Faeries, and probably depending on who you talk you, some would advise you to not contact certain Faeries due to their nature towards humans, that’s why when I call on them I make sure to call on the good Faeries who have only good intentions.

And then I think some people, unlike me, believe that Faeries are archetypal, symbolizations and personifications of natural things and magickal and unknown things or places in nature. Some may even believe that the names of some Faeries are the keys to unlocking universal energies, such as Faery energy. And that may very well be so.

Keep in mind that there are different kinds of Faeries. Faeries are not only little people with wings that we commonly conjure up when we think of the Fae. But there are, in fact, many types of Faeries. Some are friendly to humans; some are absolutely not. I would say that I think one of my favorite types of Faeries are the Gnomes.

Gnomes are dwarfs and Faeries. They tend to live deep within forests. Legend has it that they live under old oak trees, and are known to be helpful to humans and animals. They are also guardians of the gardens. They can also protect you and are intelligent beings. The common depiction of the Gnome that is short little people with pointy hats, many believe that that depiction is actually correct.

To me, the Gnomes are very charming and lovable. I know people who have seen Faeries and some tell spectacular tales as to their encounters, and sightings continue to come in from all over the world. I would say that one of the most spectacular stories of a Faerie encounter has come from Herbie Brennan, who is a very successful author from Ireland. His video where he tells about his experiences can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EclmR01xSds

I also constructed a Faery Garden Blog a long time ago to post Faery encounters from people I know or anyone who is willing to send one in to me. There are not many there, but the ones that are will be charming and interesting to you, I think. http://www.chrisfaerygarden.blogspot.com

Will we as the human race not even consider the possibility that Faeries exist? Is it so insane to believe in something that so many people have seen? At the least, we should stop ridiculing people who do believe in the Fae. We should always keep an open mind. And if you believe, don’t be afraid to express it.

Hail the Olympians!
And may everyone be blessed!

Tears of a Witch

Tears of a Witch

Author: Crick

As I wander through the beloved woods, ever so grounded and connected to Spirit, I begin to think of the fear of witchcraft. Such a fear was started by a religious belief system seeking power and control over others. And through the last two centuries this baseless fear has resonated like a war drum through generations of folks. Folks who dared to walk a path that began with the dawn of humankind have lost their homes, their belongings and in many a case, their very lives.

And so I pause beside a woodland stream, as I wonder why.

Are we not all seekers of the light? Do we not all seek the answers to the Great Mysteries within our own beliefs? Are not all beliefs systems, whether religious and/or spiritual simply a possibility to achieving one’s afterlife goals?

For no religion and/or spiritual path has a definitive answer to what our chosen Deity has in mind as far as the Grand scheme of things. As I watch the rivulets of water wash over this streambed strewn with multi-colored pebbles, I think of how generations of folks have come and gone, much like how each rivulet passes down stream. And yet such misguided beliefs have remained in place like the pebbles cascaded across the bed of this secluded stream. Unmoved though a new generation of water sweeps over them.

And then I begin to think that if we do not have the answers, why one would want to be locked into a strict dogma that filters out any new and fresh ideas about spiritual ascension. Seeking answers to such a grand mystery is an on going process. Choosing to be stagnant in one’s spiritual progression leads me to think that perhaps such a belief system it’s not about spiritual growth to begin with.

And so why the hate mongering and the overwhelming fear?

If one is secure within their beliefs, shouldn’t there be a tendency to at least listen to others even if one chooses not to accept what one hears from others. This is known as communication. But when there is no such open communication, it leads me to wonder from where the insecurities that have spanned so many decades are originating.

For as a witch, I offer no harm to anyone unless it is in self-defense. I seek not to convince others of my beliefs; for such beliefs are a mark of my individuality and are constantly undergoing changes as new revelations becomes available.

Does such institutional fear come from the knowledge that a witch connects with Mother Earth as a way of life? I would ask why those who carry such fear in their hearts do not themselves utilize such a rich resource of knowledge. For such knowledge is there for all.

Witches are chastised and have even been put to death for connecting with the spirit realm, and I wonder why. Do we not all have a spirit within us and will we not all revert to spirit when our time in this realm comes to a close? What is there to fear?

Witches are disavowed for drawing upon the energy that is all about us and manifesting this energy into a tangible result. Do not all religions and/or spiritual beliefs follow similar patterns though they may use different words and actions to initiate such workings? Is not such a divine gift available openly and freely to all who seek such inherent abilities? Does Deity select but one belief system and cater to just those thoughts? Or does Deity transcend such narrow parameters and in fact respond to all who seek regardless of which path they follow?

So why manifest such lies and unfounded hatred?

As this stream in the middle of the woods flows over the bed of pebbles, does it really care if some pebbles are red, or brown, or black? Or does it just want to be free to follow its destiny without a barrier created by humans. Are humans any less worthy of such a freedom within their beliefs?

As I think these thoughts, tears run down my cheeks. As a witch I seek to stay connected with the old ways. Ways that have served humankind for so long. Ways that open doors to those places that are now shrouded in the mists of ignorance. Ways that allow me to utilize introspection in an effort to see my own faults and thus gives me the strength to address them in a positive manner. Are such practices so terrible that they deserve the scorn of so many who do not attempt to try and understand?

As a witch, I too walk about in a state of fear. A fear based upon the realities of our society. There is the fear that I may lose my means of employment, if my spiritual path comes to light. This is an established fear that has come to pass at one point in my life. There is the fear that bodily harm could come to me and my loved ones by those who blindly wallow in ignorance, simply because I choose to believe as an individual. This is yet another bitter experience that has raised its ugly head at one point in my life. And once again, I have to ask why.

Why can we not all accept the fact that we are seekers on the path of life? And as it is with such travelers, no one person has all of the answers.

As I stand here on this cold autumn morning and watch this small stream flow by, I know within my heart that in time this stream will wear down the pebbles that it flows over. And that in time new pebbles will take their place.

As a witch and as a human, I can only hope that such a transition will take place in the river of life and that the fear and the ignorance will in time be worn down as well. I desire that which I wish for others, the right to follow my path without obstructions being placed before me by other humans.

I seek to not judge others nor do I seek to be judged.

Reincarnation Relaxes the Soul

We are all reincarnating at different rates. This is why some people are truly wonderful and some are, well, not. Those who seem incredibly sensitive and loving are probably way ahead of the prickly, spiteful people in the reincarnation process.

When you meet lovely, kind, and caring people it is probable that they have reincarnated many times. Their endless incarnation has raised their spirits’ vibration, so they automatically show patience and strive to do everything right in their lives. People who are mean, selfish and egotistic probably haven’t reincarnated as much. That isn’t to say that these people are wicked, they simply haven’t learned all their lessons yet. Think of them as bratty, adolescents and the sympathetic, ones as the grandparents of the reincarnation process–regardless of their age!

Witches Never Die, They Just Get Recycled

What is this life about and why are we here? Is there an afterlife? I get asked these questions a lot, especially by  teenage-witches who are curious to know the purpose of life and death. I usually answer by saying that a belief in an afterlife is a personal thing to each and every one of us, so you need to explore as many options as possible and then listen for your soul to find the truth for yourself.

Most witches throughout the world have a deep belief in reincarnation and the afterlife.  Common sense tells us that living a life again of approximately eighty years and then just disappearing forever would be pointless. What could we possibly learn from that? Nothing-and so the modern-day witch tends to think along the same lines as many other religions and faiths, taking comfort in believing that our spirit lives on after we die.

Imagine that your body is an automobile and it transports your spirit around for the duration of your life. Just like an automobile, your body occasionally breaks down and need repairing.A little tune-up every now and again will keep it in peak performing condition, and of course you’ll need to put the  right gas in the engine in the form of healthy good.  But no matter how good a caretaker you are the body that is your vehicle you are, the body that is your vehicle which can’t possibly last forever. Once it takes its last drive your soul steps right out of it and after a little rest with your loved ones in spirit, gets back into another vehicle. This is the crux of reincarnation your soul gets a new car to drive around the Earth in again, so to speak.

Your Daily Chinese Horoscopes 3/29

Rat

If you have strange and compelling dreams tonight, write them down so you can refer to them later. They could have disturbing symbols, but they are really instructive of the kinds of changes you need to make in your life. If you feel stuck in a rut, pay extra-special attention.

Ox

You have an opportunity to make a new friend today, but they may be a little odd or strange. There may be a health or emotional problem you have to deal with, and while that may be something of a challenge, it could turn out to be more than worth the effort.

Tiger

If you have an argument with your spouse today it is likely to be about career, social status or your ambitions. You’ll either be labeled completely lazy or a workaholic. The truth lies in the middle somewhere, but emotions are high and reason is absent today.

Rabbit

If your work involves the media, publication or large volumes of paperwork, you are going to find this to be a confusing and frustrating day, even though there are terrific opportunities. Take extra time getting to and from work and don’t push yourself too hard.

Dragon

You will have an opportunity to explore your spirituality or religious beliefs today. You may experience a moment of enlightenment or an insight into the foundations of your beliefs, and may chose to donate time or money to a spiritually-based charity.

Snake

You could have unexpected or unusual arguments with people today. The biggest challenge comes from your significant other, who may be under pressure from an elder parent to make some major changes to the status quo. You are not ready to meet their demands just yet.

Horse

You may have a good laugh at a sour-puss of a coworker today. All their prophecies of doom and gloom will come to naught when suddenly some unexpected resource becomes available. You may make a big sale or get a larger department budget.

Goat

You may find that your newest hobby turns a little frustrating today. Maybe you need more time or money to enjoy it properly? Keep plugging away, and you will figure things out eventually. Don’t give up on something just because you haven’t mastered it right out of the box.

Monkey

The old homestead may need some repairs. You could have a leaky roof, a problem with the weather stripping, or a problem with your garage. You may get some phone calls today that focus on a recent spiritual interest or experience you have shared.

Rooster

You may feel that no matter what you say that people are finding excuses to disagree with you today, but that is not exactly true. You may find in one case that your silver tongue comes in handy in charming some shop keeper into giving you a really good deal.

Dog

Financial stress continues, but there are opportunities to change the picture if you are prepared to use a little personal creativity. You may face unexpected challenges from authority figures, but overcoming them is not the obstacle that you are fearing.

Pig

A dramatic change in your attitude or appearance could have a negative impact on your work or career. You may not have done anything as drastic as dreadlocks or a mohawk, but you could risk making a bad impression with a new coworker or manager at just the wrong time.

Being Spiritually Centered (And Tips On How To Get There)

Being Spiritually Centered (And Tips On How To Get There)

Author: Blackthorn Furie

Witches are taught that life is an intricate web of interconnected forces; that we are all one and that each piece of the microcosm can influence the whole. We are also taught to think for ourselves (a bit of an oxymoron, I know) and that every living being has its own destiny and right to exist. Furthermore, we are told that everyone should be able to believe whatever they choose and that all beliefs have validity even if only for their respective adherents, since one’s perceptions can influence their reality. This I believe is a true but potentially dangerous teaching if not framed in the proper context.

Most of us are taught how to “ground and center” in the moment as part of proper preparation for ritual or at least as a stress relieving technique however, an increasing number of us haven’t been given instruction in the necessity of, or the way to becoming, spiritually centered beings. I have known several people in my life (some Pagan, some not) that struggle with a feeling of spiritual emptiness and unrelenting frustration. They feel abandoned by the universe and whatever concept of Deity they hold dear. They don’t understand why so much of their life is filled with chaos. They feel continual conflict, both in the outside world and within themselves. I myself have suffered from this ailment and have struggled to find answers as to why. I have come to identify a reason for this chaos and conflict: a lack of being spiritually centered.

Being spiritually centered is a powerful tool that we have to truly embrace who we are as people and how we approach life. If you study spiritual gurus or masters of any faith, one key factor keeps presenting itself; they practice what they preach. In other words, they live their lives according to a set of clearly defined beliefs that they adhere to without exception. They leave no room for inner conflict or hypocrisy.

Psychologists have identified a state known as cognitive dissonance, which is defined by the American Psychological Association as: a state of despair that is induced when a person holds two contradictory beliefs, or when a belief is incongruent with an action that the person had chosen freely to perform. Because this situation produces feelings of discomfort, the individual strives to change one of the beliefs or behaviors in order to avoid being inconsistent. Hypocrisy is a special case of cognitive dissonance, produced when a person freely chooses to promote a behavior that they do not themselves practice.

I believe cognitive dissonance to be one of the greatest social ills faced in human society. When people feel driven to hold a belief because it was instilled in them as a child but they personally feel that the belief is either too restrictive or wholly invalid, a frustration and dissatisfaction with life builds within the mind. We’ve seen the results of unrelenting cognitive dissonance on a societal scale many times in the past.

When a group (let’s say the Puritans, for example) feels compelled to hold personally restrictive beliefs that are too difficult for even themselves to comply with, they then feel a gnawing sense of inadequacy, guilt and despair, now known as cognitive dissonance. This would then result in a large number of spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically unfulfilled people which, (I guess) is fine if that is their free choice.

If however, another group of people is nearby that practice a different set of beliefs (let’s say Native Americans, Pagans, Less restrictive Christians, well anybody really…) and those people appear happier and more fulfilled than the former group, the inner conflict only grows. To ease this conflict they have only three possible courses of action: isolate themselves away from the less restrictive people and continue in their ways, change their own restrictive beliefs and live a more relaxed life, or persecute those that live more freely than they, in order to reinforce their own sense of values and ease some of their secret feelings of inadequacy.

Sadly, this last choice seems to be the one that is most often chosen. Far too many people throughout history (in my opinion) have mistaken the sense of power felt when they convert people to their beliefs for true spirituality and religious fulfillment. Instead of becoming spiritually centered themselves, they choose to force their values on others; attempting to stamp out other belief systems in the hope that this will reinforce and ‘prove’ the supremacy and truth of their own beliefs to themselves.

This is why at the beginning of this article I stated that I believe that the fact that everyone’s beliefs are valid on at least some level because a person’s perceptions can influence reality, can be a dangerous teaching. If a person believes that inner conflict and a feeling of spiritual emptiness are ‘the way it must be’ then, they are living in needless misery and becoming potentially dangerous to those around them that do not share in their narrow outlook.

With all that being said, I shall (finally!) come to the point of this article and discuss becoming spiritually centered. In order to be spiritually centered, you must know who you are. You must have ‘found yourself’ as they say, and you must be comfortable in your own skin. This requires a process of evaluation and conscious acknowledgment of how you think and what you believe. The first step in this process is to ask yourself what you believe. Take a notebook and write down everything that you believe. No, seriously! Make the list as complete as possible; write down your entire Spiritual, cultural, political, and personal beliefs, both positive and negative.

After this list is complete, consider each item and determine whether you hold this belief because you truly believe it or, merely because someone else told you to believe it. Now, consider each item and decide whether or not you want to continue to hold that belief. Those beliefs you no longer desire to keep should be crossed out on your list. It is vital that a truly Spiritual person be free of clouded judgment and the weight of other people’s beliefs.

To hold any belief only because someone else claimed it as fact is a giving up of personal control to that person. A belief should only be held if, upon personal examination and experimentation, you find that it truly speaks to you and enriches your life.

Any shame or fear-based beliefs must be thoroughly examined. Truly determine whether or not any guilt, shame, fear or doubt is based on genuine wrongs that you may have committed or rather, based on unfair labels and projections placed upon you by others. This no doubt, will be an emotional journey but I assure you it is definitely worthwhile. Depending on the nature and severity of any emotional issues, therapy may be required to properly resolve them. In that case, I would highly recommend it but use your best judgment. Just remember that we are all human and prone to mistakes. One of the great challenges in life is to learn from and grow beyond, our mistakes. Let go of shame and fear.

The next step is, create a new revised list (I’m big on lists) of your personal beliefs and scan this list for any conflicting beliefs that you still hold. As I previously mentioned, hypocrisy is just another form of cognitive dissonance and will continue to keep you away from your centered self. Remember, there is a difference in being able to see both points of view in an argument and never being able to give a singular personal opinion on anything because you don’t feel able to take a definitive stance on any issue. The latter results from continuing to hold conflicting beliefs that keep you bound in shame and guilt and blur the lines so that you can’t find personal truth.

When you are centered, you are able to speak your truth with a clear and proud voice because you know deep within your heart that it is your truth and you will be unwilling to abandon it.

Once all your beliefs align, there is only one more step in becoming centered…actually living according to those beliefs. Remember that it is just as important to ‘do’ as it is to understand and feel. There are three aspects to our personalities: thinking, willing, and feeling. We need to utilize all three as equally as possible in order to live fully. Thinking and (hopefully) feeling have been involved in the process so far, but never forget the power of the human will. It is connected to the fire element and is that special spark that is only gained through actual experience; contemplation, evaluation, intellectual understanding and emotional connection are only parts of the process.

To be complete, we too must practice what we preach.

Blessed Be.