I’ve been going through a bit of a crisis lately. The fibro has pretty much changed the way I look at everything. It made me reexamine how I spend my energy, who I give it to, and what actually feeds me energy back. I’ve spent the last 2 years getting more weak, feeling less ME.
From the embers of my old life…
THE LONG STORY
Part of this is due to my retail job. Anyone who thinks that retail is a nice, easy job has never done it. The energy output is boggling. Even if I don’t step out from behind my counter once the entire shift, the running back and forth, twisting for cigarettes, bending over for dropped change, etc. makes the shift seem more like 8 hours of Jazzercize than 8 hours of honest work. Add in people who can’t summon up even the most basic politeness, and my energy plummets. When I have a true problem with a customer over some misunderstanding or miscommunication, it truly wrecks my day. Those are the days that ensure I’ll be in pain for the rest of the night and part of the next day.
But I’ll get to that later.
I attempted to take a class for a work-at-home customer service job. I’ve done it before, and while it is a bit more stressful taking call after call, it’s also less stressful in that I don’t have to constantly rearrange my sleep schedule based on what days I’m opening or closing, and I don’t have to try to arrange for a ride. I also wouldn’t have to stand/Jazzercize for 8 hours at a time, and I was really looking forward to how that would help my body. So I was taking classes from 9-1pm, then going to work 3-10. This all sounds reasonable until you factor in the 2 hours of homework, and the fact that I didn’t get home/fed/tired until somewhere around 1am. So I kept getting behind on homework, losing sleep, stressing over the class, and I realized that it just wasn’t going to work if I was still working my retail job at the same time. Sadly, I can’t quit retail for a month of unpaid training for what could have been a temporary job, either. So it was a no-go.
And suddenly, I was stuck in the same position. All my hopes for getting out were dashed. The problem is that I have a very limited time in retail before my body just crumbles. I can feel it coming. It’s getting worse and worse, and there’s going to come a time when I really CAN’T physically do it anymore. Some people may have passed that threshold a while back, but unfortunately for me, I have a lot of experience with pain tolerance. So I’ve been sticking with the situation that’s hurting me.
So this leaves me with some interesting questions. First and foremost, what the fuck do I actually want to do? I love writing, and would love to be a full-time author, but that’s the kind of thing that makes money in the long run. I may look into freelance writing or editing, but those would just bring in a little money here or there. You can’t really make a career out of those things. I’m almost 40. It’s time to think bigger.
Then I flashed back on a company idea that Bear and I were kicking around a year or so ago. I made a huge batch of kyphi, intending to sell it on Etsy for basically enough money to buy more incense ingredients. I had an aromatherapy company a long time ago, and I burnt myself out on it by working too many 16 hour days and eating/sleeping/breathing aromatherapy. There came a point where I realized that I didn’t even enjoy it anymore. I tend to be a bit Type A about these things.
This time, I’m going to take it easier. I’m going to work on a few things at a time, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. One company that has really inspired me to try it this way is MoonaLisa, whom I’ve never managed to order from because her products are in such high demand and I miss the window to order. If you look at her catalog, you’ll see that everything is sold out. I love that.
THE SHORT STORY
So, we reopened the topic of Ravenson Reagents. We’re going to sell on Etsy, maybe Ebay, and probably end up with a full shopping site at some point, but with a limited product range. I’ll have some incenses that are available most of the time, but there will be special lines when I get inspired. Right now, I’m working on one called ‘The Temple of Morpheus’, which will have incense, tea, bathsalts, and candles to assist with dreamwork. I’m also going to list my first batch of kyphi, and I will continue to tweak my recipe and offer the results for sale. (Hint: the next batch will have about half as much frankincense. I love frankincense, don’t get me wrong, but I wished that some of the other ingredients could have shone through a little more.)
I’m also trying to visit here more often, and I’m sorry to say this, but I might start placing ads here. It’s not something I wanted to do, but if it helps me through this transition, so be it. Since nobody wants to place ads on a blog that doesn’t get many hits, there will be some more promotion work going on behind the scenes. I’ve always had a linked Twitter and Facebook, I just haven’t used them much. Now I will. For other places to visit me, click here.
I’m also noticing how certain people impact my energy level. I’ve always been relatively empathic as far as sensing how people are feeling, despite what they say. But more and more, I’m letting their energy impact my own. It’s like I had stronger boundaries once, but they’ve weakened with the rest of my body.
I’ve always believed in the energy exchange of personal interaction, and I’ve always had a huge aversion to attention whores. There’s a big difference between a happy extrovert and an energy-sucking vortex, and I’m really noticing that there are a lot more of the latter types than what I initially suspected. Again, I think I had better boundaries and shields at one point.
So, that’s something that I’m needing to manage as well. I need to make sure that I limit my time with people who exhaust me and make sure that I have some sort of shield up when I am around people I don’t know or who drain me.
It looks like some deeper energy work is in order.
I’ve been doing some meditating, which is a practice that I always seem to let go of after a while. I’m trying to figure out a way to make a daily practice of it, something short and sweet. We’ll see how that goes.
While I was at the sauna, I did a reading with my new The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards. These are supposed to be used as a companion to The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life, which I haven’t read yet, but it looks interesting. At any rate, the art on these cards is gorgeous, and the meanings are relatively easy to glean. So I bought them as an unbirthday present for myself.
I did the 6 card spread, and this is what I got. (My descriptions are paraphrased loosely from the handy-dandy included booklet.)
The Enchanted Map Spread, sauna, 1/20
Card 1: The Past Influence — 38. Heal the Ouch — Healing and soothing heart, body, mind, and soul. This is a time of healing and spending time with the healing arts. (I’m seeing this as me trying to heal myself of all the physical pain of fibro, as well as letting go all of the things that were holding me down. I can also see this as representing Bear’s heart attack, and just all the chaos of our lives, and having to get through that to get to this point.)
Card 2: The Present Point of Vantage — 34. Spark — A spark of creativity, and moving on with optimism and hope. Good time to give birth to an idea or begin a new endeavor. (No-brainer. I’ve been creative and manic, and the spark is CERTAINLY there.)
Card 3: What You Resist — 52. Magical Map Shifter — People who come into my life to affect personal growth. “The Magical Map Shifter always initiates you into a better version of yourself.” (This is true. I resist this. I tend to keep people at arm’s length, most especially when I’m in one of my tender creative periods. I have NO desire to ask for, or even accept help, and this seems like a very foreign concept to me. Also, I really don’t think this is Bear. He’s absolutely my soul mate, and he’s willing to help me with this, but I know that this isn’t his dream, and may not be part of his life path. So I’m cautious about asking for him to do too much for Ravenson Reagents if it’s going to keep him from pursuing his personal goals.)
Card 4: Unexpected Help — 2. Gentle Gardener — A reminder that my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs help create my reality. Stay positive and expect a wondrous return. (I love this card so much. It’s very ‘Law of Attraction’, and that’s something I’m striving to work with right now.)
Card 5: The Next Right Action — 16. Rescue — Ask for help to expand your life. “Ask and you will receive.” Also, ask for divine assistance. (I did ask Bear if he would help me with small things, but again, that just doesn’t feel like what we’re talking about here. I don’t honestly know who else to ask. But I’m going to keep an eye out, and spend time with my meditation to see if I can deepen my connection with Goddess. Karmically speaking, I think I’m about due for some good things to come my way. I don’t feel entitled to them necessarily, but I’d like to think that all the BS was building up to something beautiful. :-))
Card 6: The Probable Future Destination — 28. Movement — “This is the time for positive momentum as you come out of a time of restriction.” The fog lifts, I feel compelled to move forward, and I take the right actions to change my life. (Ye Gods, I hope so. This is a wonderful card, and the ‘period of restriction’ really spoke to me. I’ve mentioned to Bear and J how much I’ve just felt ‘stuck’ lately. I’ve been feeling like I’m out of options. Maybe that’s not entirely true. What a wonderful feeling that would be, to actually move forward with something and be successful. :-))
So this was all a really positive reading. I loved it, and I want to work with these cards A LOT. Again, they’re beautiful, from the artwork to the gorgeous gold-leafing on the edges, and I love the archetypes and their influences. It brings me back to the bosom of Jungian theory, and that’s always been something I’ve loved.
This is the last of my obsessive self-analysis posts for a while. I’m actually boring myself with all this processing here, but it IS that inner exploration time of the year, after all. I promise to get back to something much more fun and upbeat next time. Maybe I’ll post my recipe for Imbolc potato soup. Actually, there’s not really a recipe, it’s just something I make up every year. There’s always onions, potatoes, milk or a milk substitute, and lots of garlic and herbs. Sometimes there’s also cheese. 🙂