Saturday, 1 November 2014

A New Start

As a Pagan today is my New Years and I am stepping out of my broom closet. For the record I do not practice Magick only share the earth based beliefs of those who do.

As a Pagan I believe in goodwill to all humans on this planet, extending a helping hand as I am able and our responsibility to treat our planet and all of its life forms with care. To some of you that makes me a "tree hugger", so be it, I am a tree hugger. The other not so nice term for me and mine is "a bleeding heart". I accept this with pride as well. It means that I CARE and that is not a bad thing.

I have been lax in my duty as a tree hugging bleeding heart the last few years but I aim to change that this year.

Why? I don't know, I only know that it is time to keep my promise to the Great Spirit and the Goddess to do what I can. My work is to ease the suffering of those who need easing and look after my small bit of the planet.

As you can imagine it can be demanding work but I pledge to give to the panhandlers what I have, walk my streets and pick up trash, volunteer in whatever soup kitchens I can find and go with the group who hands out blankets and other necessities to those who choose or are forced to live without a home, toss seed bombs into places that need the boost, and knit for the needy.

Blest be!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sunshine

Have you ever looked out your window and noticed the golden color the morning sun washes everything with? So too can your spirit share warmth and love to others.

It really isn't hard unless you are a super-shy person to smile and say hello to everyone you meet. For the shy ones leaving a cheerful quote where someone is sure to find it is one way you can bring warmth into someones life.

I want to talk about sharing joy today.

Online there are many places you can find funny or uplifting words. Here are a few:



And those are just for inspiration, here are a couple of funny ones:

One of the things I found at RAK was the suggestion that you put a few quotes on paper and then one or two into library books you are returning or on a bus seat or any where a random person might see them. This way you can brighten up someones day totally anonymously. I haven't done it yet but I have found the odd one here and there and it always brightens up my day.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Religion vs Spirituality

Today I want to talk about the difference between religion and spirituality. First I will give you the dictionary meanings, then I will give you mine. After that an explanation is probably in order. 

According to Merriam-Webster online 
Religion is :
1a : the state of a religious religion
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

and Spirituality is:
1: something that in ecclesiastical law belongs to the church or to a cleric as such
2: clergy
3: sensitivity or attachment to religious values
4: the quality or state of being spiritual

According to the dictionary spirituality is derived from religion, in my opinion they are two different belief systems altogether. I operate from a different perspective because I have been religious and now I consider myself spiritual.

Religion and as a result religiousness is a set of rigid beliefs about what is considered worthy behaviour in order to get to heaven. It is a set of rules based on the interpretation of a book that has been heavily edited and has a very male bias. At least for most westerners for other areas of the world I am not sure. Understand that my background is Christian so I can only speak to that. I was raised in two different Christian sects and explored several others so this is what my interpretation of religion and religiousness is based on.

Over the years after I finally left church life behind in my twenties I searched for something that I could latch onto. Most of us need to have faith in something even if it is faith in ourselves or science or "the man". It is a part of being human. 

During my childhood I was exposed to the belief that we serve the natural world as it serves us and one other very basic rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" It is perhaps the only part of the Christian dogma that I sincerely believe and try to follow every day in my life. 

So what then is my definition of spirituality? It is the acceptance that we are all part of the great cycle of life. It is the acceptance that there is a higher power or maybe several out there that listen to us and try to steer us down the best path for ourselves and the world. It is the acceptance that we are all here because we need to learn something even when we are not sure what that something is. It is the acceptance that while we may be alone in our heads we are not alone in the world and that our focus needs to go beyond ourselves to others who we can help even in as small a way as sharing a smile.

Spirituality is all of that and so much more but is boils down to one big thought, we live on this planet with billions of other humans and our "job" is to help as many of them as possible in as many ways as possible without sacrificing our own needs but forgoing most of our wants in favour of helping others live to the best of their ability.

Its a lot of words that mean only one thing "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Period.

So simple to say but so not simple to do. We have become a very self-centered society here in the western world and we need to learn to be more world centered. 

For a long time I lived my life paying forward and then I was diagnosed with not one but two different syndromes. I had been living with them for a long time but to have a name put to them sent me into a downward spiral that I am trying to work my way out of but as anyone knows who has been there that is a whole lot easier to say than to do.

I have spend many years feeling sorry for myself but a little while ago I read words similar to the words in this Self Love article and realized what I had been doing to myself. Since then I have been inching myself back to life and living the way I feel I should. I am not there by any means I have days where the whole world is just one monotonous shade of gray and I feel leaden and lost. All I can do is keep reaching for that silver lining and one day I will finally be able to touch it.

Take heart dear reader, you CAN think yourself better so I'm told and you know what so far it has been working for me. The grey days come a lot less often than they used to. 

Introducing the Church of Kindness


Greeting Readers

The Church of Kindness!? 

A new religion? Are we talking a cult here? No it isn't new just unknown to a huge quantity of humans.  And it isn't a cult but I would love for it to become one!

You want to create a cult?? Yes in a manner of speaking I want to create a cult but it is not the dark kind. The Church of Kindness is a light of joy in a dark and depressing world.

Explain please? With pleasure! So a Church is a meeting place of humans who share a common belief system. In that way what I'm talking about is a church in that its doctrine is something that can be shared, the difference is my focus is not on the soul but on the spirit.

Kindness is a word we all know, the meaning in the context of the Church of Kindness is to do a good turn for someone or something. A Random Act of Kindness is another way of saying it but Kindness is shorter and to the point. To someone born in the 1920's it would be defined as being neighborly, something the last few generations have lost touch with.

A random act of kindness or paying it forward! That is the central belief of the Church of Kindness with one important condition, you are not kind because it benefits you but because it benefits the person you are being kind to. I strongly believe that doing a good deed is it's own reward and should require no acknowledgement to the doer. In this day and age in North America such a declaration is not received well, everyone seems to be looking to profit from everything they do. I'm not looking for any kind physical profit, the profit one receives from doing a anonymous act of kindness is the good feeling that you have brought some happiness into someone else's life.

I have a deck of cards I picked up a few years back when the kindness movement first came into the public's awareness. The "Smile" deck has the standard four suits but each suit represents a different level of kindness; Hearts represents acts of kindness "For those Unknown"; Spades represents acts of kindness "For the World"; Clubs are for "The People You Know" and Diamonds are "For Yourself". Make no mistake the ones on the diamonds are spiritual kindnesses or karma builders not physical rewards, as a result they are among my favorites, they are also the hardest to pull off.

Here are the Aces:
Hearts- Hug the first five people you see
Clubs- Call a mentor to say thank you
Spades- Make and post signs with tips to reduce water use
Diamonds- Give away one of your possessions RIGHT NOW 

I also have a business card  called a smile card though it is not for my business. These cards are given when you do an anonymous act of kindness to encourage the receiver to pass it forward. While I don't use these often I have given a few but the point of giving an anonymous gift is to remain anonymous and these cards direct the receiver to a web site rather than just offer encouragement to repeat the kindness they have received.

 If you want to see where I got some of my inspiration for the Church of Kindness check out Help Others. They have tons of ideas of things you can do to spread the gift of kindness. The first inspiration was a film made in 2000 that spoke very strongly to me and started my search on this idea of Pay it Forward which in turn led me to Random Acts of Kindness and from there to the idea for my own Church of Kindness

I am encourage you to check out the above website as well as a few others I've put over on the right to learn more about my church and the foundation of my spirituality.