Re-inventing yourself and your craft

Every now and again, it’s important to stand still and take a look at how you are doing. Yes, really. Not only health-wise, but much, much broader and deeper. Starting with ‘do you still like the way you look’ and ending… I don’t know where yet, but I’ve arrived at ‘what would you like your spiritual practice to look like’. Along the way, I am effectively re-inventing myself and the way I work. Because I take my time for it, I’m convinced it will work better, making me happier as a result! Who wouldn’t want that? In the meantime, though, you might have noticed the blog being somewhat silent. With taking a look at yourself, you also uncover things you are not happy about at all (like my current job-status…). In my case, I didn’t feel like writing during this period. However, most of it is now over and back on track, so I’ll start posting again!

I’d like to give you three examples of what I did and how it helped me. You might also want to try out some these options 🙂

Shopping for clothes can take me forever, because I don’t know what suits me, and I have often bought clothes that either didn’t really fit or that eventually didn’t really suit me. Since that is quite important, both for my feelings of self-esteem and for my job interviews, I decided to change this! I took an online colour-analysis to discover what colour clothes I would probably look best in. Turns out that with my blond hair, light blue eyes and skin that easily gets sunburned, I am a light summer type, so I look best in soft pastels (yes, I tried it and it’s actually true). Anything but hard, clear colours, actually. I also looked at my body type, which is athletic with quite broad shoulders. I might be able to tone this down by wearing drapey clothes or soft-shouldered clothes. Since my wardrobe needed some new additions for autumn and winter, I went shopping and put this new knowledge into practice. I got a bordeaux tunic that I love, and a blue-ish sweater that hugs my body and shows of my waist. I also decided to get a few good, fitting bras. Turns out I’ve been wearing the wrong size for ages (though this is what the tests used to say). So I am perfectly happy now with how I clothe myself and I love seeing myself in the mirror in these new outfits!

My days were jumbled, with email overflowing, no clear structure to my days, notes in notebooks all around the house. I am now working on a routine so I can get this all in check. Recently, I rediscovered Evernote, a note-taking app that stores your notes in the cloud and lets you access them from all kinds of devices. I am using it now to try and go paperless, clearing the mess from notes all over the house. The papers I do still need are filed in organizers that I can easily find, so I don’t have to go searching for one particular note anymore. I either pick up the right organizer or use Evernote’s search functions. I am trying to create a daily planning in Evernote as well, not exactly like Getting Things Done, but something similar that I think will work for me. Each day, I want to produce several notes: one dealing with how I slept, for how long, whether I had any dreams and how I feel when I wake up, another with all my meetings, to do’s and planned time for self-improvement, and a third with stuff I want to remember or track over time (number of steps I walked each day, what I ate, what fitness things I did, what I really enjoyed today etc.). I will keep a paper diary as well, but Evernote will provide me with prompts, so I know something to fill my diary with. And I can always take a picture of the diary pages and put that into Evernote. This will also include some blogging prompts 🙂

Spirituality is somewhat important to me. As a witch, I want to celebrate nature, honour the Gods and Goddesses and get to know (and improve) myself to enhance my spiritual practice. But in reality, I barely have a spiritual practice. I very much like my altar, but I have it in a room that we barely use, surrounded by clutter and it is not directly visible from the hallway because there is a desk chair in front of it, which actually annoys me most. This again makes that I do not go and sit at my altar and meditate, do spells or rituals or that I am reminded of my path. And I dislike that feeling. With Evernote, I am challenging myself to enhance my spiritual practice and make it how I would like it. This means I want to meditate every week, speak out gratitude daily, craft something (and cook something special) every sabbat and esbat and observe nature daily. And, most importantly, I want to learn more and create my own knowledge base. 

By doing these three things and more, I am getting back on track. It takes some hard work, but it’s good to re-invent yourself every now and again. And as you meditate and get to ‘know thyself’, you might realize you are at the crossroads again, with the possibility to stray from the path and change yourself.

Don’t be afraid to show it

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” 

This quote from Marianne Williamson‘s A Return to Love, though it is also attributed to Nelson Mandela (and is not complete), is my mantra when it comes to sports. It hangs on the wall of the living room and when I feel insecure, I repeat it to myself.  It helps me to let go of tension and realize that every time again, I can play my very best, not holding back or worrying about how I come across to others.

That’s exactly what this is about. Related to sports, mediocrity is common in the Netherlands. If you try to stand out individually, or even as a team, you are shot down (though luckily this is slowly changing). Some people choose to do less than they are capable off, to prevent people from shooting them down. They are not afraid of not making it internationally, no, they are afraid to show what they can do.

Don’t hold yourself back. You are capable of so much more than you show and even than you think. If you put your mind to it, the sky is the limit. So don’t be afraid to show it!

Find your greatness

The Olympic Games end tonight with the closing ceremony. We’ve seen so many great things, unimaginable for the most of us. Only the absolute best athletes in specific Olympic sports can perform at this highest stage in the world, once every four years. And only the best 5% or so can amaze and win medals. The Paralympics are perhaps more impressive, athletes that are not able-bodied, performing at the highest level possible. Of course they are influenced by their handicap, but they have refused to let it stop them from pursuing their dreams.

I play sports myself and try to go as far as I can. It’s not my ultimate goal however, and not where I think my talent lies. I know from myself that I am always happy and that I can bring a smile to people’s faces, as I’ve noticed during my work on campings, in a store and now in a nursery home. My intention is to inspire people to start moving, to find a sport that suits them. All people are good at something, have bodies or attitudes fit for specific sports. They just don’t know it yet. Perhaps they have bad experiences with sport and decided they’d rather do nothing. Such a shame! There is a sport for everybody!

Perhaps you didn’t like the more established sports of for example basketball or tennis. Then go try out something else, such as cycling, fencing, or archery. Maybe you’ll find you enjoy it and are somehow good at it. And mostly we enjoy things we are good at. You don’t have any money, there are no facilities, but you want to try something anyway? Most cities have a way of financially supporting people wanting to play sport, at least in the Netherlands. Or try running, you don’t need any club for that, just your two feet. Go for a swim and try to cover the same distance in less and less time. You have a disability? Plenty of opportunities for you as well, just look at the Paralympic Games. And remember, what you see there and during the Olympics is only the tip of the iceberg where sport types are concerned and even more where athletes are concerned.

Not many people can make it to the top, but we can be great in our own way. We can find a sport and get better and better, improving and enjoying ourselves. The last woman finishing a marathon, sweating like crazy, a red face, a hand at her waist because it hurts so much but going on anyway, how is that anything less than the man completing the marathon first? We don’t have the same body or background. We are not fit for exactly the same, which is why people specialize in mostly one sport. But in that sport we should try our very best to come as far as possible, to persevere. We can all deliver our own great performances, if we just dare to try.

So.. I dare you