I have a confession to make: I always shrugged off the concept of ‘being in the moment’. What does that mean, anyway? You have to plan ahead and dream and make things better, right? How can you do that if you are sitting in your own presence.

Here is one of the lessons I have learned lately: being in the now takes discipline and is probably the most  active way to live your life. I always pictured people who abide by this concept as being passive and just going where the wind takes them. But as I take time to understand myself and reconnect, I see ‘Now’ as a living entity.

Living in the ‘Now’ means that you have to do what is in front of you. You have to look at life honestly and see what needs to be done right now. And that calls for choices at every instant. For example, the most important thing right now for me, is to make sure that my family is safe and that they have all they need to grow. What that means concretely, is that for me to be able to do that, I have to be rested and have all the energy at my disposal. So I have decided to go to sleep early, sometimes at the same time as the kids if that’s what I need. That’s what needs to be done Now. It is my sacred duty. I choose to put other things aside because that is what ‘Now’ requires of me. So ‘living life in the moment’ calls us to make choices, to live actively and to not get lost in a hypothetical future.

Going back to being a ‘student’ has been a great exercise in humility. Why humility? Well, having written a book and having people consult with me and blogging etc… There is always the presumption that that is a great thing that I have to continue doing. What author does not want to keep publishing? I certainly do. I love writing more than anything else I have done in my work. But I had to also acknowledge the ego part of that and the fact that this moment was for reconnecting myself and reading the signs of what this moment is telling me. ‘Now’ requires something else of me and that there is no greater honor than to honor that commitment.
I am sure that you all have things that you feel you should do. The truth is that right now, there is only one thing you must do. You know what it is.

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My children’s birthdays have become a rite of passage as much for them as for myself. After all, the years roll for all of us whether we wish it or not. But the day where I became a mother is without question the biggest rite of passage of my life. It will probably have no equal other than the Great Passage that will occur when my earthly days end.

My dearest boy, my first born, turned 6 years old today. It is always emotional for me, not only because he is getting older, but because of how this symbolizes my own birthing into motherhood. For someone like me who was always deeply involved in thought and meditation, motherhood opened me up to the new realm of deep and overwhelming emotion. By becoming a mother, I learned to feel. It taught me compassion and fear and love and amazement.

Yesterday, we did the socially required ritual of the ‘children’s birthday party’: a first for us, I am still just barely recovering. I don’t think I was that stressed on my wedding day!

Tonight, we spent a quiet evening together. After the kids were in bed, I retreated to my room and made an offering to the Almighty for the blessing that is my son. I offered the only present I felt appropriate for the birth a firstborn son: frankincense and myrrh. I thanked my Lord for granting me such a precious ward and the Great Mother for keeping us in her care.

It’s been a crazy weekend. Whereas last weekend was a dream come true, this weekend my son lost all composure. The culmination of the weekend was having to drag my screaming son across the park to get him to take a shower before going into the pool because the lifeguard said so. Not hot.

Of course, this sends me into a mind loop of what I did to mess things up and how I should make things better and a whole lot of anger at a system that doesn’t tolerate a child to stare out the window for 5 consecutive minutes. How do those other parents muster the authority to get their children to do what they want (well, at least in public….)? Well, I have said all this before. Recurrent theme in my life.

Today was better, even though my mind did race all day with a bunch of unwanted thoughts about what will happen in the future and why is this happening. As I put the children to bed, my son starts screaming. He tells me there is a monster. I proceeded to expel the said monster, but it wasn’t clear whether he wanted the monster stay or go. I asked him, ‘Can we call angels instead?’ His face softened and he said, ‘Yes, angels.’ So I called Raphael to bring us health and strength, Gabriel to bring us wisdom and inspiration, Michael to bring us courage and a thirst for justice and Uriel to bring us love and compassion. I then said the prayer to our guardian angels. And my son fell asleep.

From the next bed, my daughter calls me to hug her to sleep. As I lie down next to her, she looks at me and says ‘Prière’. Prayer. I start saying the familiar words of Our Father (which she almost knows by heart already) and a sudden wave of emotion took over me. I looked at her steady breathing. She is only two years old and already she has this sacred place that she can go to for comfort, the sacred place of a few rhythmic words that I weave around her. She then looked at me with her peachy smile and said, ‘Marie’. I continued my weaving with a string of Hail Mary’s, the rhythm of which lulled her to sleep. As I was saying these words of power, the gifts from our tradition, I felt four pillars take hold of each corner of my house. I realized then, with deep emotion, that it did not matter how I raised them. It didn’t matter what I said and how I got them to behave or if Super Nanny would be proud of me. More important than this, is that they grow up surrounded by the Great Source, in its all its faces and symbols and songs. I don’t even need to tell them about it. It is their gift of vision that will let them see the sacred in their own special way. Four pillars of strength for a sacred place. And me, the Mother, Priestess and Keeper of this place, weaving magic and peace and fortitude for all to behold. This I can handle.

Not to say that I may not lose my mind tomorrow. But for tonight, I give thanks to my Lord and Lady for the vision of my most cherished dream: a fortress, a sanctuary, a home.

OK. I challenge any Zen monk, priest, hermit or yogi to look after two whiny kids and keep their harmony and inner peace!

Jokes aside, I love my kids to death. I just can’t wait for my love, my boy, to start speaking. He is three months away from his fourth birthday and he barely speaks yet. It has been the central concern in my life for most of this year. I’m just praying that everything else is OK with him and that I am worrying for nothing. He is bright and loving, is a musical genius as far as I’m concerned and is great at every single sport he has tried. Communication is just not his thing and I don’t know how to break through to him. Whining for whining is one thing. Whining and screaming as a means of communication is a totally different story and it drives me bananas! It just underlines how hard it is for him to communicate and hits me right where it counts. I’d appreciate a little prayer if you can spare a moment. Of course, my sweet little girl imitates everything her brother does, so I get two screamers for the price of one. Plus, she figured that you don’t really need to be two to get into her assertive phase. So, it’s been that kind of weekend!

I haven’t posted anything this week. I’ve consecrated most of my spare time brainstorming the new book. It feels so good to be back in study mode! I’ve been browsing my experiences once more for lessons that may be helpful to others and have picked up books that I’ve been longing to read for a long time. It’s been nice.

I’ve also started a new job. The clinic I was supposed to work at closed my position after a week of me being there. It was unsettling to say the least, but it gave me time to really settle in. You have to see the opportunities life gives you, even when it seems rotten at first. Well, a few days after getting laid off, I got an email from a friend (who didn’t know I was out of work) saying that there was a new long-term care facility looking for an occupational therapist. This facility is 10 minutes from my house! So, I decided to give it a try. Long-term care is not my specialty at all. But the way this opportunity came my way, I figured that the universe has a very important lesson for me there. Maybe it’s time for me to look into the crone aspect. I’m sure I will learn a lot about compassion and spirit working with the elderly.

Lastly, we had a a great Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Autumn is giving us beautifully crisp weather and the leaves are a symphony of colors. There is a lot to be grateful for.

Blessed Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

Crazy Week…

It’s always crazy the week before going on vacation: tying up loose ends at work, making travel arrangements, packing everything. The usual madness! It’s no different for a Witch than it is for everyone else!

It’s not easy being the mother of two young kids. Sleep deprivation aside, it’s the worrying that really does me in. Do they eat enough, poop enough, are they developing on schedule, how are they coping with the world…. In short, are they OK?

I went to sleep with all this in my head,  feeling completely helpless and washed out. As always, I turned to my Mother for guidance. What should I do? Is there something I am not doing right? How do I help my son speak more and my daughter sleep at night? Please, Mother, help me take care of them!

I woke up in the morning with a vague knowledge of having spent the night in conversation with someone. We had talked about hope.

Hope.

That was the answer. That’s how you make it through the worry.

Nothing to do. Just hope.

Expect the best.

Bottle down the fear and let it fizzle out with great blasts of hope. That’s the gift of Hope: it is the destroyer of fear. Without fear, you can dare to reach out for your greatest dreams.

And so, that day was born with a new hope. And while we were all playing outside that evening, my son did something unexpected. He reached out to the moon and pretended to gobble it up. He burst out laughing and I knew everything would be all right.

I celebrated mother’s day by the most sacred of mothers’ rituals: the afternoon nap! It got me reflecting on how there it is nothing greater than being a mother. It is great in love and affection, full of those little moments that fill your heart to bursting. It is great in devotion, forcing you to give of yourself to a point you never thought possible. It is great in worry, about everything from cavities to seat belts, through to food groups and shapes and colors. It is great in revelation, for everything you know about life and about yourself gets tested right before your eyes. Kids are the greatest and most honest of teachers, pushing you to heights you never, ever thought you could achieve. Pure Greatness.

One of the greatest lessons I learned on the Pagan path is that nothing is black or white. This I learned most by sitting in the presence of the Goddess. By sitting in this presence, I understood so much about myself as a woman. The bouts of rage and madness, sudden outbursts and tears that could take hold of me, I understood them better once I had discovered her. I respected their strength and the lesson they were teaching me. I stopped trying to suppress them so that I could become that virginal vision of calm and beatitude that I had grown up with. I became woman in all its colors, from all-giving love to absolute fury.

This I had learned before I had children. Now that I have been blessed with two angels, I live the lessons of the Goddess in its full expression. The greatness that I mention above, that life of pure emotion, swaying me through love and admiration and fear and courage, I could not have understood its fullness had I not understood the greatness of the Goddess.

Spiritually, most of us have grown up without a Mother. How did we survive so long? This is my little gift to you on this Mother’s day. If you are a mother, embrace the light and the dark and cherish it with the entirety of your being! If you know a mother, let her know of the greatness that is her life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Goddess Bless!