When I was in my teens I always thought “tragic” was such a glamorous word. There was something about pain that was so beautiful, so comfortable to me. But, reflecting on those years, I see now that it is only because it was the only world I knew. Tragic HAD to be beautiful, because otherwise my foundation would crumble. As a former drug addict, if my addiction couldn’t be seen as “cool,” or my pain as “pretty,” then I’d have to clean up and rebuild.
So, this week’s ThursdayThinks, featuring yet another Oracle Card from my Modern Goddess Oracle Deck (illustrated by @tamalgoth) I’ve decided to list some words that SHOULD be glamorized for those that need it. Feel free to post yours in the comments <3
Some of these words might even be your core values, or may inspire you to live fully. Use this list when you feel down and begin to do things that aren’t aligned with your soul, but with tragedy. I implore you, if “tragic” is something you feel akin to, take this list and start looking up, because when the Tower crumbles, new beginnings emerge. Stay witchy, beautiful ones ( *)
Brought to you by a small bout of anxiety and depression, here is your WednesdayWisdoms exercise for the week!
Last post I fessed up about over-doing it on vacation and the spiral it led me down as a result. And under further investigation, I found that it is because I’ve strayed from my baseline routine.
There are certain things in everyone’s life that bring them joy and order. And when you abandon all of that for a certain length of time, you begin to float around in a sea of worry, not really realizing where you are in the ocean. And that’s because you pulled up your anchor.
Now the beauty of that, is that once you realize you’ve been floating aimlessly and that’s why you feel like shit, you can always drop anchor again! Now, what makes your anchor so sturdy?
For me, if I don’t have a steady diet, exercise, and meditation, I will go nuts. I will literally run off of the rails. And it’s very easily explainable. I don’t have proper nutrients to fuel my body, so I’m tired and feel gross, which means I don’t exercise. If I don’t exercise, I don’t get any endorphins, so I’m unhappy. And when I don’t meditate, I don’t clear a space in my head for my thoughts to pass through and it all becomes a screaming mess.
There are additional things, too. Like if I go too long without listening to an uplifting podcast (What’s the Tee with RuPaul and Michelle Visage and Your Kick Ass Life with Andrea Owen are my faves) or singing at the top of my lungs, I peter out as well.
So this week, I want you to observe your routine. What is it that maintains balance in your life? Is the morning cup of coffee from your Keurig an absolute staple? What about midday yoga? A certain TV show before you fall asleep? What brings happiness and order into your life?
Start naming these things and hold them at the highest importance. These are your new non-negotiables. No clients before coffee. No emails once you’ve turned on Golden Girls. Do not let these snippets of joy be compromised by anyone or anything. They are your baseline. They are your anchor.
So next time you feel an energy shift, do a check in with your routine. Have you been neglecting the things that provide order and happiness? Keep it together and stay witchy ( *)
Are you dealing with a high strung manager that won’t get off your back? Try these tips to keep yourself sane under all of the harsh treatment.
1. Remember that they are under A LOT of pressure.
Most likely, if your manager is coming down on you hard for something, it is because they are under direct order to do so. Their delivery might be harsh, because they aren’t too versed in how to communicate, but they are only doing their job. This understanding might help you to just let it go.
It is really easy to fire back with a response, start to tear up, or shake with anger (whatever your chosen method is) when faced with someone who is a condescending prick. But if you remember to take three deep, long inhales before responding, and slightly meditate on, or at least remind yourself of, the first tip, the whole world starts to feel bigger than just that interaction.
3. Just say yes
This was a huge one for me to learn. I love to have a comeback and an answer, but in all honesty, you need to save yourself the exhaustion. Just agree with your boss. If it’s a deadline that you can’t possibly make because of all of your other work, then speak up in a polite manner, but if it’s anything trivial, just say yes. You don’t even have to do it (haha don’t tell them I told you that.) Sometimes, bosses just need to say something to remind themselves they are the boss. And if you just nod in agreement, they’ll walk away feeling great and you can go on doing your job as well as you always do.
4. Remember the BIG picture
Are you truly happy at this job, despite your boss? Do you like your coworkers, the work you produce, and your hours? Is the pay good? Is the commute worth it? Think of this tip like you think of finding an ideal mate. Tick off all of the must haves, the “great if it did” haves, and the “could do without”s. Is this job meeting your standards? Or are you convincing yourself that you’re happy because you don’t know anything else? Ask the big questions before continuing to put up with a sour asshole who’s bad at communication.
I hope these help you in your future work endeavors. Working for someone else is not easy, but neither is owning a business. Neither is sitting still forever. It all takes work. Just remember to ask yourself what will make you the most happy. Stay witchy ( *)
When shitty things happen to you, and they will through the course of your life, you have two clear routes to take. As discussed in the previous post, you can turn to whiney victimhood, or to raw vulnerability that helps you move on in an organic way.
But before you get to this fork in the road, there is a long stretch of grieving. Some of us know how to grieve, in fact, we’re seasoned professionals. Some of us others, however, would rather push the grief down or aside until it takes the wheel as an act of rebellion, and we’re forced down the road of panicky, inconsistent victimhood.
So for all of the events, people, pets, homes, jobs, or traumas you never got to grieve, I have an exercise in purging some of the anger that leads us down the back alley of victimhood.
We’re going to write down everything we wish we could have said “no” to.
I suggest Post-it notes or index cards. You want to write each specific event on a card of it’s own. We aren’t making a list, we’re giving individual space to each shitty life event.
There is no need to journal on this either. Give your event a title, and as you write it down, imagine what it would look like if you could have said “no” to this particular event.
Then, for each card, I want you to burn it (safely!) over an open flame. As you do, say the following:
“I cannot change the past, but I can re-route my future. I accept the reality of the present, and release my anger towards ___________”
This should help to begin a revolutionary healing process. Acceptance is the final stage of grief in the Kübler- Ross Grief Cycle. But we must move through the other six stages in order to get there.
What I find people hang on to the most in grief is guilt and anger. This ritual should alleviate some of those feelings so you can continue your journey inward, and then onward. Stay strong, and, as always, stay witchy ( *)
Life happens. And sometimes, it is really, really shitty.
You know the saying, when it rains, it pours? Well, like many of you, I have experienced a hail storm.
So what are we supposed to do when it all falls apart? How do we keep it together when everywhere we turn there’s a new tragedy right in front of us?
The Tower represents a sudden upheaval. It shows chaos and turmoil. The eye of the storm. But what it also represents is nature’s order. There must be a rough pattern of weather before clear skies; you must push through the challenge to reach the other side.
If you’ve experienced death, then lost your job, then broke up with your boyfriend, then got kicked out of your apartment, you sure as shit know how tough life can be. But what if I told you the MOST challenging part of this journey is not the actual occurrence of the tragedy or setback, but the acceptance of it?
We fight so hard against just accepting the reality of a situation and it throws us into this dark, twisted fantasy land that we can’t escape from. If we just cried, got out the sadness, picked ourselves up from our bootstraps and moved forward, we would be one step closer to freedom. We would be moving out of the storm.
I mean, how much easier would finding a new apartment or job be if we just got real with ourselves and stopped wishing things were different?
The Sun reversed shows you are finding it difficult to see the positive. And trust me, I get it. You want to scream and cry and just give up because its all just TOO MUCH. And maybe the positive isn’t necessary, at least not right now. Maybe just the reality is enough. But it is imperative that you get a grip on what’s happening in order to survive this literal shit storm.
If you’ve lost someone near to you, grieve. Grieve authentically. Reach for support and talk it out. The acceptance will come naturally when you allow yourself to move through the stages. If you broke up with someone, grieve that too! Let it out, move to acceptance, and then get back on that horse. Man-shop on Bumble to distract yourself. Let the other person go so you can heal and focus on growing. Lost your job or apartment? Get on Craigslist. Take active steps to finding a new place to flourish. Listen, at the end of the day, you got this. The universe doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. It is not a cruel overlord. It is a teacher.
So when it all just seems to be way too much, give yourself a minute to cry. Cry hard. Cry from your gut. And then pick yourself up and take action to heal and to re-situate. Make a list. Write down each struggle individually and journal about it. Tackle everything separately to organize your thoughts and emotions. Nothing is impossible. You just need the right tools. Stay strong and stay witchy ( *)
Over my few months of writing here at WitchyWisdoms, I’ve come to notice a pattern in some of my posts. When trying to prove a point, through examples and comparisons, I’ll throw my past self under the bus and shame her for the “mess” that she was.
And in being quite frank, I did look like a mess from the outside. But shaming myself for what I did with what I had is like judging a homeless person on their outfit. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right, for my growth and yours.
Yes, I had many bad habits and made many reckless decisions, but underneath all of that were the bones of a survivor, and through every bad experience I made it out to the other side with a little bit more knowledge than before, and finally I’m at a place of self awareness that allows me to work on myself consciously.
I may have forgotten some creativity to drugs, sex, and alcohol, but it was never lost. It always lived in me and I have to remind myself that the sad girl in the past just didn’t know that. She was told it went away forever, and that made her sadder.
Once women have lost [the Wild Woman] and then found her again, they will contend to keep her for good. Once they have regained her, they will fight and fight hard to keep her, for with her their creative lives blossom; their relationships gain meaning and depth and health; their cycles of sexuality, creativity, work, and play are re-established; they are no longer marks for the predations of others; they are entitled equally under the laws of nature to go and thrive. Now their end-of-the-day fatigue comes from satisfying work and endeavors, not from being shut up in too small a mind-set, job, or relationship. They know instinctively when things must die and things must live; they know how to walk away, they know how to stay.
This excerpt is so empowering because it highlights that all women have the ability to find their original wild woman and excel, and though you may not be in that part of the journey yet, you are one step closer to her because every experience peels back a layer to let her shine through just a bit more.
I am deeply sorry for all of the judgement I cast. I had all of the same traits that I possess now, I just didn’t have the tools. As a child I was free and unashamed, as a teenager I was curious and experimental, as a young woman in my early twenties I was ambitious and tough, and rounding out the later years of my twenties, I can say I have all of these characteristics working in tandem, but with mental health as the glue.
I apologize fully to my past self. She went through hell for me, and she made my present state possible. I love that little sad girl, because the fire within her was always of tenacity and passion. She lived honestly within her means and she survived. She continues to survive, but she blossoms and flowers with the strength of her Wild Woman identity.
I can say now that I am still finding my way to the Wild Woman, but she is visible in the distance. When earlier I did not know which direction I was headed, I ended up back on the path that I belong. Every heartbreak, overdose, sexual victimization, binge and purge, starvation, maxed out credit card and penniless night was not in vain. Though it was not the easiest route, it was the one that we chose, and through it I am able to help others and speak from experience.
So when you reflect, when you compare yourself to how you were a few years ago, do it in a way that is enlightening, but also kind. You don’t need to bring internal shame, because you are here now doing what you need to do as she did years before you. Stay kind to yourself, and stay witchy ( *)
To bereave quite literally means to deprive or to rob. Anyone who has dealt with grief will know that this is exactly how one feels. Robbed.
Be it a death, a divorce, the loss of a job, really anything that a person can become saddened by, we all have our own ways in which we grieve.
Some cry, some don’t. Some want to be alone, while others choose to be around loved ones. What is important is that when we grieve, we do it in a healthy manner.
Support can come in all different forms. If you don’t know what to say to a grieving person, that’s just fine. Grieving can be awkward for those not involved. But dancing around the subject of loss, rather than being present and accepting that you have no idea what to say, can actually harm the relationship you are trying to preserve.
The truth is, nothing will make a situation better. There is no magic wand to wave and “fix” reality. To best support a grieving person, offer a kind word, a hug, or even a smile. Let the person know that they can come to you for a chat if they want to. That they are in your thoughts.
Grief is never fun. But it is a necessary vehicle towards healing. The grief never really goes away, but it lessens over time. When you are a friend trying to help, you can always do so by just being there.