The night air is cool and Pumpkin Spice Latte is coursing through my veins. I haven’t been writing. I’ve been scheming instead and drawing Witch-girls with amethysts in their hair.
My third eye is glowing.
Change is on the horizon.
This week, I organized my real and virtual lives.
Well… I tried to.
It didn’t go particularly well. There was a lot of “GGGAAAAAAH! F*CKING PIECE OF SH*T!!!!!!!!” followed by a string of even more colourful curses. But things are good now. Problem solved. Mostly.
Soooo… without further ado…
What’s Making Me Happy This Week:
THIS VIDEO IS THE CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN! It makes me giggle, and I DO NOT giggle. I’m going to marry Kristen Bell and have her babies. Also, if you brought a sloth to my party, I would react this way too:
Have you seen The Oatmeal’s horrible Valentine’s Day cards??? Here’s a preview:
I’m taking Goddess Leonie’s business e-course and it rocks! If you’re in the market for a self-help course or e-book of some kind, you can join her Goddess Circle and get all of her courses and access to the forums for $99. It’s a reeeaaaallly good deal. She’s not even paying me to say that. Here’s some of her free stuff, if you feel called to check her out.
This NPR article on the Danish concept of hygge, roughly translated as “coziness,” is very interesting.
If you live anywhere even remotely close to the Tucson Museum of Art, you should attend their exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Murray.” Nicholas and Frida were lovers for many years and his portraits of her are exceptionally beautiful. The museum is also offering a children’s program to teach kids about Frida’s art and fashion. They also get to make Frida dolls! You need to go ASAP, because everyone should love Frida as much as I do.
And if you don’t live in Arizona, maybe you could attend this!!!!!! Toronto is less than an hour away form me and my year has officially been MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My eyes have been welling up with tears of happiness ever since I heard:
I hope your weekend is as happy as mine,
This week was full of cinnamon hearts, slush falling from the sky and meddlesome cats.
I also drank A LOT of margaritas.
Soooo, without further ado…
Things That Make Me Happy:
I love cashiers. A nice cashier, barista or bank teller makes my day. Yesterday, a lovely cashier (who was possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met) made me SO happy when she told me that her sister used to make icing sandwiches when they were kids. Seriously, whoever you are Cashier Super Girl, know that you are AWESOME.
This blog post from Unicorns for Socialism. Alexandra Franzen is my hero. Just start there and read her whole blog.
I love cinnamon flavoured candy: cinnamon hearts, Hot Lips, Hot Tamales. They’re pretty much the only reason I embrace Valentine’s Day.
I joined Goddess Circle! Yeah, yeah, yeah! I looooove it. If you haven’t seen Goddess Guidebook, go now. Goddess Leonie is the living embodiment of positivity.
Pop Culture Happy Hour is my favourite podcast. It’s also where I stole the title of this post from. Listen on the NPR site or find it on iTunes. This week they talked about Oscar nominations, oh yes they did.
HAVE YOU SEEN MICHELLE WILLIAMS’ GQ PHOTOS?!?!?! She looks gorgeous! It’s a very Marilyn-esque shoot but she looks just as beautiful wearing jeans and a Mia Farrow haircut. The interview is supposed to be very revealing and raw. That’s why I love Michelle Williams; she’s the spitting image of honesty.
Also, the church across the street from my workplace put up a rainbow flag with a sign that says “All Welcome.”
As it should be.
I hope you’re weekend has been nourishing and fulfilling. Have a fantastic Sunday!
This excerpt from The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, one of 7 Year-Old Me’s favourite books:
Prince Ronald said, “Elizabeth, your hair is all dirty. You are wearing an ugly paper bag. You don’t have any shoes on and you smell like a dragon’s ear. Come back and rescue me when you’re dressed like a real princess.”
Elizabeth said, “Ronald, your hair is all nice. Your clothes are all pretty. You look like a nice guy, but guess what? You are a bum.”
They didn’t get married after all.
This book should be read to every little girl on Earth. As much as I love Belle and Esmeralda, FUCK Disney!
I like my princesses in paper bags.
Fiancé just gifted me a Cinnamon Dolche latte from Starbucks and I’m writing this in bed, still wearing yesterday’s makeup. Week 2 of my 4-month long temp job was completed with slightly less waterworks than Week 1, so I consider that a success. The past week was full of snow, Twinings Ultra-Spice Chai and many, many podcasts.
So, What’s Making Me Happy?
On the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron,” comedian Tom Glass came out of the closet (to the general public anyways) and the discussion that followed was honest and very intelligent. Go listen NOW. Find it on iTunes. excerpt:
“Leave everybody the fuck alone… let people do what they want.”
I cleaned the apartment. Trust me, this is a HUGE triumph.
Gala Darling affirms everything I’ve been saying about celebrating every day.
Weird winter weather in Ontario. On any given day this week I was snowed, rained and shined upon. I wore mittens and ballet flats. I love it.
I purchased a Hello Kitty blanket and have been wearing it cape-style for the last 3 days.
L’Oréal Colour Riche Balm is sooooo good. If you’re looking for an everyday lip balm with a bit of colour, this is it.
This Frida Kahlo coloring book is adorable.
This article on recognizing your inner critic is enlightening.
Sometimes, parents rock.
Have you seen the Twitter feed #AmWriting? It’s a great compilation of tweets about, obviously, writing but also inspiration, creativity and great books. This Ray Bradbury quote came directly from #AmWriting:
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
SO TRUE. Especially now that I’m stuck in an office environment, on a 9-5 timetable. And, full disclosure, I avoid the corporate 9-5 life as much as possible, so my heart goes out to amazing, creative people who are unhappy with their jobs and have been stuck in them for years upon years.
This quote applies to everyone, writer or not. The cold reality of daily life can be depressing. Try not to wish away your weekdays. Focus on your passion. Focus on your ideals. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Where will you be in 5 years?
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
You must stay drunk on art so reality cannot destroy you.
You must stay drunk on music so reality cannot destroy you.
You must stay drunk on travel so reality cannot destroy you.
You must stay drunk on friendship so reality cannot destroy you…
You must stay drunk on your dreams so reality cannot destroy you.
I’m going to remember that Monday-Friday, when I’m deep in monotony and wishing it was Saturday.
Maybe it’s time to give up on your New Year’s resolutions. I mean, if you haven’t managed to keep them any other year, why would anything be different this time around? Resolutions tend to be kind of a downer anyways, they’re just big lists of stuff to give up, avoid or get rid of. Here are some better options:
Instead of giving something up, add something to your life. Pick something you want to learn, try or develop. Maybe you want to learn to cook foods from different cultures or read a book every week or be kinder to strangers? If I may suggest a few anti-resolutions that people desperately need:
2. Pick a word, phrase or color
What do you want to accomplish this year? What are your dreams, wishes and goals? Pick a word that represents your intentions for 2012. Maybe “Peace” or “Happiness” or what about something more abstract like “Marilyn” (as in Monroe, for those of us seeking glamour and beauty.) My word this year is “Eudiamonia,” meaning “striving toward excellence based on one’s unique talents and potential.” It’s an Aristotle thing, check it out here.
Alternatively, choose a colour that is symbolic of the mood or atmosphere you want to create this year. For example, if I wanted to feel free and happy, I’d pick seafoam green. Surround yourself with your chosen colour, wear eyeliner and underwear in that shade, paint a room or just your nails. Carry around crystals that correspond to your color. Want more confidence? Choose pink as your colour and carry rose quartz in your pocket, it’s pink and its healing energies promote self-love and beauty. Incorporate your colour into daily life on keychains, coffee mugs and notebooks as a reminder of what you’re trying to achieve.
3. Burn the Past, Embrace the Future
Write down everything you want to leave behind on squares of paper and then burn them in a candle flame. Symbolically destroy any bad habits, negative feelings, emotional baggage or past failures and start 2012 with a clean slate.
Do what all the revellers in Times Square do. You know all that confetti flying through the air when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? That’s not just any confetti. The million+ people who crowd Times Square write down their wishes and dreams for the New Year on little pieces of paper and those wishes become the confetti that rains down at midnight. You can do this yourself by writing down your dreams for 2012 on (eco-friendly, biodegradable) paper scraps and then releasing them to the universe with a toss into the wind.
4. Vision Boards
Don’t knock them until you try them. Even if vision boards don’t “work,” you’ll end up with a collage of pretty pictures that makes you happy every time you walk by. You don’t have to pick images that correspond to everything you want in 2012, but maybe create a collage that represents a feeling, idea or goal that you want to bring to fruition. Maybe a collage of beach scenery makes you feel calm or excites your passion for travel. Maybe you choose pictures that are all yellow because yellow makes you happy. This technique works well for visual people who respond better to images than words. Hang it on your bulletin board or create a digital collage and use it as the desktop on your computer. If the term “vision board” is a little too Oprah for you, lots of people just call them “inspiration boards” and fill them with images and objects that inspire them. Comme Ça:
“There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathize with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life.” – Oscar Wilde
What if you could just enjoy your day instead of being weighed down by the mundane, the boring and the negative? I’m always striving to be happier and, so far, coffee has been the key. I also try to incorporate a few techniques that brighten up my dark, twisty brain:
1. Customize Your Holidays
People spend so much time looking forward to a distant holiday, regardless of whether it means anything to them. Instead of living for the weekend or craving the downtime of a holiday, develop your own sacred days. For example, I celebrate Frida Kahlo’s date of birth and death (they’re 7 days apart, so it’s evolved into a week-long celebration…. often tequila is involved.) I also celebrate several women whom I consider feminist martyrs, like Anne Boleyn who was killed because Henry VIII wanted a divorce, Bridget Bishop who was hanged in Salem for little more than dressing provocatively and, of course, Joan of Arc. It sounds depressing, but it’s not. I celebrate these women as heroes and pioneers. I also celebrate the birthdays of my favourite creative people, writers, artists and actors.
Who do you celebrate? What inspires you? Take the time to light a candle or drink a glass of wine in honour of your heroes. Celebrate the solstices and equinoxes. Pick a random day and take it off work each year. Spend it doing something you love. Opt out of the holidays that don’t resonate with you (Goodbye Valentine’s Day!) or find something about them that really means something to you. Whether it’s a random Tuesday or a federal holiday, meaningful celebrations take you out of the mundane and remind you of who you are and what you love. They brighten your day and, ultimately, your life.
2. Plan Ahead
Do you ever hear about an event that happened on the weekend and think, “if I’d known that was happening, I would have gone.” Well, the same could be said for people’s lives; if they’d known they were happening, they would have shown up. Instead, people rush around in a constant state of panic, worrying about details that don’t matter and missing life events. Planning ahead eliminates the stress from your life and, therefore, increases your daily joy. Whether it’s deciding on an outfit the night before or purchasing all of your Halloween decorations when they go on sale November 1st, planning ahead will give you some breathing room to enjoy your life.
So, plan ahead.
3. Live With the Seasons
Stop bitching about the weather. We all do it. I LOVE to bitch about summer weather. I hate the heat, I hate how obnoxiously bright it is, I hate sweating, I hate places that aren’t air conditioned, I hate that my hair goes frizzy in the humidity… I could go on. BUT I WON’T. Instead, I’m going to fully embrace each season for it’s positive aspects, for example, the gorgeous parade of summer flowers that begins with May tulips and ends with Autumn chrysanthemums.
Make a point of fully participating in each season. This winter, get cozy with a stack of books, drink mugs of hot tea, sleep in on cloudy mornings, watch the snowflakes, enjoy the crunch of snow under your feet. In the spring, look for baby rabbits (I live in the middle of a city and I ALWAYS see them,) buy bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs, enjoy the sound of rain on the windows, jump in puddles. Eat seasonal foods, attend festivals and don’t be that annoying person who becomes seasonally depressed every time the temperature drops below 25 degrees (77 Fahrenheit for you stragglers in the U.S.) We all know that guy. Nobody likes him. Also, if you actually suffer from seasonal depression, have lots of plants around the house and purchase a UV light. Winter happens every few months, there’s no point in struggling through it every year.
4. Morning Rituals
Most people’s mornings consist of coffee and commuting. They rush around the house, forget their lunch and are consistently 10 minutes late for work. Or, they read the news and are bombarded by every bad thing that’s happened in the world while they were asleep. It makes for a cranky, horrible day. If you can wake up just five minutes earlier, you could squeeze in a quick meditation, eat an apple or write a few sentences. It doesn’t sound like much but five minutes of meditating can create inner peace, an apple a day increases health and a few sentences add up to a novel.
Create a meaningful morning ritual. Tape affirmations like “today is a great day” or “I am happy and fulfilled” to the bathroom mirror. Make a vision board and stick it on the ceiling over you bed so that it’s the first thing you see in the morning. Sit quietly with a cup of coffee and connect to your inner voice. Read a few pages of an amazing book. Go for a walk around the block. Write morning pages (three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing that gets all of the crazy out of your head and down on paper, allowing you to think clearly.) Mornings set the tone for your entire day. Doing something you love first thing will create more joy in your entire day.
Go create an amazing year for yourself!
October’s full moon is called the Blood Moon, in reference to the early farming practice of sacrificing animals that can’t be fed through the winter. A bit gory but fitting for the Halloween season. The October moon is also called the Shedding Moon or Falling Leaf Moon. This year, the full moon falls on an Ancient Roman festival called Meditrinalia. The festival celebrates Meditrina, the goddess of wine and witches, so drink a glass of Cab Sauv in the moonlight.
For many witches, this moon marks the thinning of the veil between the worlds, which begins in October and is most transparent on Samhain night, Oct. 31st. Think about your distant ancestors and the lands they came from. Plan a séance for the nearly and dearly departed. Spirit communication is popular this time of year, so ask the other side for a sign.
This full moon is in Aries, the sign for art and individuality. If you are a craftsmith or artist, including musicians and writers, consider dedicating a project to one of your deities and asking them to oversee it to completion. Saraswati, Minerva and Brigid are all goddesses of creativity and the arts, but you should ask a familiar deity with whom you already have a relationship.
You may want to celebrate the sacrificial symbolism of this month’s moon by giving something up, particularly for your art or a creative project. Spend the day painting or writing instead of working. Sacrifice Twitter and take photos outside. Give up television for the evening and look at the moon.
Blood Moon Correspondences
Colours: blue, black, purple
Stones: obsidian, amethyst
Plants: apples, mint, catnip