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Endings are Beginnings

This is just a short little post because I graduated!!

Scenic Mountain view
Who needs a road when you have an entire world to explore?

Have you ever had a goal that became your singular focus, so that when it was achieved, you stood there like…oh…but what next? I graduated from the Spiritual Direction program from Cherry Hill Seminary on March 22. For the last few months, it’s been what has felt like my sole focus, despite having other focuses and things to deal with- but that was the one thing that had a hard deadline. I had work to turn in, reflections, papers, interviews, practice sessions- all of which had to be done! When life was pouring down on me, I still had to set that work as my “bare minimum”.

To say I’m done is a really happy thing. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the program- I did- it was just a lot of work, some of it (a lot of it ^^;) was deep reflection and self exploration. Going into places and asking why I was reacting to things, why I felt in such a way, and bringing it all full circle- was what I learned something I could use in my spiritual companionship sessions? Would my seekers (aka clients) be able to use these tools? And while those types of questions, and spiritual work itself is never done, having to do it as "assignments" and work one hands in done. I feel like a burden is lifted and there's a new sense of freedom.

There were many points where I wanted to quit. Points during this journey where I was in tears, where I thought I'd have to quit, it was all too much. I knew myself enough to know simple truths- if I postponed my studies a year or more, I’d never return. I’d lose steam, I’d lose focus. I couldn't give up, I had to fight through everything life was throwing at me, and keep going.

Portion of online invite to CHS graduation for SpiDir
I may have teared up when our invites went out, and during the ceremony.

I’m really proud of myself for achieving this goal. I know that I can take on too much ,and I also know that I can fall into periods of despair, where it’s hard to achieve more than showering daily. I know my scars, my limitations, I know what shadows are stronger than others, and when they can take over because I haven’t done all the work I need to do. Because some days, I’m not strong enough to face things. We all have those moments though, and that's important to remember. No one is perfect, and self-compassion is one of our greatest, under-utilized tools!

One of the questions I was asked in my ending month was why I blogged, and how I picked my topics I wrote about. I blog to show my humanity. I’m not perfect, and when I work with others as pagan clergy, and as a spiritual companion, I don’t like to stand above anyone. I prefer to stand with others. I trip. I fall. I cry, swear, curse, get mad at the Gods, despair and fall to my own weaknesses time and time again. I learn from every mistake, though sometimes it takes me a few times of making the same mistake to actually remember the lesson. However, most times I can even pick myself up, brush myself off and keep going. If I want anything understood about our spiritual journeys, its that none of this is love and light, pretty, neat and easy. It's messy, it's painful, it's finding the love in the dark, and in the pits of despair at times.

In a world of Roses, be a Sunflower
Cards I made for my fellow gradutes!

What I write about is based on what’s going on with my life, or what I see going on with the world. More often than not, it’s the things I feel pushed and compelled to write on because that’s what I’m being told write on. With the connected world, it's hard not to see patterns in what's going on, shared pain and struggles. And while I think the internet is a blessing, it's also a curse- I see more and more a presentation of fake, perfect lives and living. Superficial living- so many people presenting a life that isn't real, it's manufactured. It's toxic, and it's a lie, and without thinking, we can fall into cycle of trying to live up to that perfection. There's something about all this that just cries to be called out and addressed. That's one of many topics too!

Abstract glowing red and gold sunflower
Art piece I sent to each of my fellow graduates.

So here I am now- graduated and feeling like “Whoa, I did it!” but also “ummm, what next?” I am still working on Living in Magick, and that’s my next main goal (though, that’s almost done and then I will truly be at the “OMG WHAT NEXT” cross road.) I do know, giving my health situation, and the emotional toll that’s taking, I am keeping my plans small for now. My calendar is open to new seekers, and focusing on inviting others into that space. I’d love to blog more, and I hope that the warm weather and sun will help bring some creative energy into my life again.

I definitely want more art, journaling and writing in my life. I need to be awash in a space that nurtures my creativity once more. I can’t wait to hike and camp and connect with nature again. The 2023 Morrigan’s Call Retreat is around the corner, and with 3 workshops scheduled, I’m excited to be with my sisters and brothers again. I have plans for more blogging, online classes, workshops, and retreats as well. So while my life isn’t looking as busy as it was the past few months, it’s definitely not empty. I am looking forward to it all! It may be the end of one journey, but it's the start of an even better one!

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