Overcoming Obstacles

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This last week has been rough. I put out resumes online, went to an interview that had really hard chemistry questions for a lab with horrible reviews from previous employees, blew out my tire on the way home, had to get a ride to my bank so I could get my car repaired, let my landlady cheat me out of $ 100, sold my plasma for $ 45, got 2 decent used tires for $ 70, had the mechanic remove my front bumper so I can still drive, dealt with demanding dogs during 100+ degree heat, and cleaned up after my dog pooping on the living room carpet at 3 am last night.

Meanwhile, being sensitive to subtle energies and other peoples emotions means I have to sort out whether what I’m feeling is purely my own emotion, the emotions of people around me, some kind of precognition warning of “doom”, or a trick of my mind and brain chemistry. I had ugly feelings last night as I was writing my blog and early this morning when I first woke up. I stayed up late to finish my last blog post, then was cleaning up after my dog when my roommate came home at 3 am. Not having enough sleep last night means my serotonin levels are lower today, so it could be easier to feel miserable. One good thing yesterday was that when I started to feel anxiety, I could tell it was just coming from my own internal mental state. I wasn’t sensing any kind of precognitive warning. This morning too, after my initial feelings of anxiety passed, I felt a protective calm descend around me, as if my guardian spirits were trying to help me. It didn’t feel like it was just some trick of my brain, which I think that calm feeling has been sometimes in my past.

I still have hope that everything will turn out ok, even though anxiety and mood swings have plagued me this last week. Stress is the cause of course. Still, I feel like I’ll be ok. I was able to put out resumes, go to a job interview, talk on the phone about another job offer, get $ 45 for my plasma, get 2 tires replaced for $70, and get 2 books I wanted for cheap, even though I was going through all this drama and stress.

Here’s my Soul Collage card about facing and dealing with Obstacles:

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Rough, stressful times feel kind of like this.

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Magical Thinking (and 2 dream fragments)

Doloris -Westworld-episode-9

(from diary posts on Thursday, Aug 31)

My dog woke me around 2:45 am, wanting to go out. I’d been dreaming and thought it was probably a pretty stupid dream anyway, then realized it had some interesting bits.

In it, I’d just walked into a shop from outdoors. The items in the shop appear around me as I try to make sense of them. It’s a clothing store. I think the designer of these clothes is a woman, clever and innovative. My Dad is here with me. I try on first one, then another, historically-themed dress. The first might be late Victorian, but simplified, not historically accurate. The second is in a blue print that I think is an homage to Disneyland. When I put it on, I see it’s a pioneer-style.

I also put on a small pistol, attached to a chain hanging at my waist like a belt. My Dad doesn’t like that I have this gun. I say, “Why not? It’s not usable. It’s just decoration.” I think having this gun makes me look tough and like I can defend myself. – I wake at this point.

When I’m outside with the dogs and trying to make sense of this dream fragment, I think spontaneously, “These violent delights have violent ends.” I realize this is a reference to HBO’s Westworld and how Dolores is triggered to become violent. I say this phrase aloud to myself and realize I’ve used her accent in the show, the slightly southern prairie girl accent. I wonder if I was about to become like Dolores in my dream? The patterns on the blue dress might be a reference to the patterns I’ve been trying to sense and understand on a metaphysical level, or the ones Dolores is forced to repeat over and over, until she seemingly changes direction? Maybe my Dad also didn’t want me to have the gun, because it symbolizes when I wanted to kill myself?

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My landlady made a deal with me to take $ 10/ day off my rent because I was watching 2 little dogs for a friend of hers. On Tuesday, my left front tire blew out while I was driving back from a job interview. On Wednesday I asked my landlady to drive me to the bank, so I could move money from savings to checking for the repair and so I could give her my rent money. I handed her $300. Then she said, “I was thinking it should be $400, since I watched the dogs part of the time too.” She didn’t watch them for 10 days worth of watching them, but I didn’t feel like I could argue with her. I didn’t feel like I was in a position to defend myself, so I took out another $ 100 from my ATM and gave it to her. I didn’t even write a check for proof of what I paid her, like I usually do.

Feeling angry toward my landlady on Wednesday was starting to trigger vindictive feelings and thoughts of how I could get back at her. Maybe my dream was about to take on a Westworld theme, in which I play the role of Dolores in my blue prairie dress, so sweet and passive on the outside, but with a rage building inside as I recall all the abuse I’ve suffered? I was getting angry at Life for all the crap and hardship I’ve been through.

On Wednesday, after the trip to my bank, I had my landlady drop me off at the plasma center, so I could get $ 45 for having my blood pumped out, separated in a centrifuge, then having my blood cells and cold saline pumped back in.  The movie “Inception” was playing on the screens above the donor beds. I watched it in a strange state of mind. In the movie, the characters are in a dream world, with different levels, as they try to manipulate the mind of another man. As I watched it, I was feeling like physical reality isn’t fully real, like it’s just one level of reality.

I thought the level the gods work on is the level above our physical reality. Dream reality is one level. Cyberspace is one level. Virtual reality platforms like Second Life are another level. I thought that maybe when I’m doing effective spell work, I’m connecting to that upper level the gods work on. – I thought later that I often feel like I have one foot in normal reality and one in one of these other worlds, which is partly why I call myself Persephone.

The movie and my state of mind allowed me to have an altered state of consciousness in which I could easily imagine, visualize and sense my ideas. As I looked at the wall in front of me, I was able to visualize my favorite little beach in Fort Bragg. (Donors aren’t allowed to close their eyes for long while donating, in case they might fall asleep or pass out.)  I felt like I could sense and communicate with my Goddess here at this mentally imagined beach. Taking advantage of this altered state of consciousness, I decide to recite in my mind and mentally cast my favorite money spell. (This kind of mental magic is called Inner Temple work. Outer Temple work uses physical tools and rituals.)

When I recited the spell in my mind, I identified with the seed in the line, “As the rain upon the seed.” This line symbolizes money coming like rain falling upon a seed, a natural nourishing force. (Many people subconsciously think they don’t deserve money when they try to cast a money spell, which makes it not work. The wording of my spell evokes the sense of money being a natural force to which anyone is entitled – like the tide, rain, fruit growing on a tree, or honey made by bees.)

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Westworld does play homage to Disneyland, by the way, a place where our imagination becomes real, so we can play in it. In Westworld the dark turns of human imagination are allowed to run free. – “These violent delights have violent ends,” was a warning to me not to give in to the dark turnings of my own imagination. It was a warning not to become vindictive and spiteful, which was how I was starting to feel Wednesday night.

As a witch, when I feel angry toward someone I know pretty well, they sometimes have bad things happen to them, even if I don’t consciously try to hex them. I can’t say this to mundane people, because if they believe it even a little, they might feel afraid of me, which is not good. If they don’t believe it, they’ll think I’m weird and delusional, which isn’t good either. Some things are better left unsaid when trying to navigate living in both the mundane and the magical world.

After my landlady took more money than she should have from me for my rent, then dropped me off at the plasma center, she accidentally locked one of the little dogs I’d been watching in her bedroom. He tore up the carpet near her door while we were both out. When I got home, I heard him barking from her room and let him out. I thought, “Don’t piss off a witch,” and smiled in schadenfreude.

Normally people will say this was just a coincidence that she left the dog in her room and it damaged her carpet at the same time that I was angry with her. Yet, I’ve seen this same kind of thing happen before when I was angry with people. When it happens once, it’s easy to call it coincidence, but when it happens multiple times, there might be some underlying causal action.

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I had another dream later on Thursday morning. In it I’m poor and maybe homeless, since I’m pushing a shopping cart with my possessions in it. I’m still finding good things around me though. I come to a big public library and collect books that are being thrown out. They aren’t great, but I see some potential in them. I open one that seems to be in a foreign language and it’s all tables of these symbols I don’t understand. It seems like it’s for magical work of some kind. Maybe it’s in Arabic? Most of the other books are fiction. I put them in my shopping cart with a few other things I have.

I see Kathrin (my former landlady and friend). I go to talk with her, but she seems hostile toward me. She says the books I have are crap. I say they’re not very good, but they’re not that bad. Then she says I’m not even supposed to be here because she put out a restraining order against me after I was stalking her. [This is not from real life.]  I say I’m sorry and I won’t bother her anymore. She leaves. I go back into a library building behind me.

One of the librarians sees me and says I’m not supposed to be here because there’s a restraining order against me for the whole Sacramento public library system. She points out a green sign that says I’m supposed to stay 17 feet away from this building. I apologize and say I didn’t see that.

I go outside again and see the same kinds of green signs on the outside of the building. I move to a circular spot in the middle of the walkways between these buildings. The buildings are white marble. The walkways are lined with birch trees with light green and yellow leaves. The setting is very pretty. I don’t think it’s fair that I’m not allowed to go to any libraries anymore, but I think I can still find books in other places. [This idea may come from when I found books lying on the ground at the grocery store parking lot, the free ones I found at a food closet, and the ones a lady gives away for free at our local farmers market.]

I woke feeling first sad, then angry. I never tried to stalk Kathrin, though she was probably afraid I might follow her to her new apartment, hex her, or say bad things about her. I think these 2 dreams came from my anger toward my roommate and current landlady for taking advantage of me, and my anger toward how Life has treated me. I felt like I wanted to lash out and hurt someone, but I was restraining myself. I don’t really want to hex anyone. The green restraining order signs refer to me retraining myself so I won’t hurt someone. I don’t know why the distance on them was precisely 17 feet. That might be a precognition about something that could make sense later. In this dream I’m being kept from one of my primary sources of power – access to knowledge. I still have nature around me as a secondary source of power though.

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Today (Friday, Sept 1st), I went to 2 used book stores this morning. Thinking back to the Dimple used book store on Broadway, near the Tower theater, the scene in this later dream might have been precognitive of my visit here. I didn’t find books being thrown out, but I did find an odd bunch of empty CD cases tossed out. The pathways in my dream crossed at a kind of crossroads point, and this intersection is definitely a crossroad. The trees in real life weren’t birch trees (symbolic of new beginnings), but there are plenty of trees and bushes here. At that store, I got a science fiction book for 65 cents, by using points on my Dimple VIP card. At the second store, I got a book on how to read horoscope natal charts, which is kind of like the magical book in my dream. It’s in English, but the astrological signs are kind of like a foreign language. It’s also a reference book with some tables and charts.

 

 

Creator of The Spiral Path

Three of Pentacles 2

Creator of the Spiral Path is the name of the picture on the right. It’s one of my favorite Soul Collage pictures I’ve made, representing how we are the creators of our own lives, in a very positive and hopeful way.

The picture on the left is the Three of Pentacles from a Tarot deck I recently bought. Unlike the more common  Rider-White-Smith image for this card, the central figure is a woman sewing, rather than a man doing stonework for a Cathedral. Either way, the card represents skilled work, dedication, contentment, and possible spiritual growth. The birch tree represents new beginnings. The spiderweb represents connectedness. The infinity symbol represents eternity and eternal truths. This is the card I’m going to use for my significator in a tarot job spell I want to do. Not that I’m content now, but I want to be.  I want my skill set and experience to give me confidence as I try to get a new job. I want to do work I’m good at and comfortable doing. I want to feel safe and content. And I want to be paid fairly for my work.

Of course spirals can also have a negative connotation of  repeating old patterns. I hate this part of my life, feeling like it’s so hard to break out of negative thinking, bad habits, and ineffective behaviors. I’m fighting with these negative spirals lately, just as I’m also hopeful that I can create a better future for myself.

I wish I could write more that’s clever and uplifting, but I’m feeling depressed, so that’s too difficult right now.

Trapped 2

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This is how I’m feeling lately. My mind is a mess, unfocused, easily distracted, sometimes anxious, but just as often calm. I feel like a leaf floating down a river. I keep getting caught in spots where I spin around in pointless circles, trapped behind some little rock or dead branch. A current catches me and moves me a little further, until I get caught in another trap.

I’m home most of the day, watching my dog and 5 others. My roommate watches dogs for pay, but I watch them more than she does and get paid nothing for my time. I’m also watching two little ones as a favor for my landlady, charging $ 10 per day, which I’ll take off my rent. Each dog individually is not much trouble, but 6 in one small house can be. They all vie for attention, with the potential for conflict. One of the little ones rolls in poo sometimes, then needs to be bathed. My Kaylee wants to keep them out of our room, or at least keep them from running past her and jumping onto my bed. She snarls and snaps at them, trying to terrify them, but doesn’t draw blood. I decided to watch how she feels about them, then take my cue from her as to whether I let each of them in or not. I realized that if I don’t set boundaries on these dogs, she will, so better I keep them out than for her to start fighting with them. Dogs will always seek better status in the household hierarchy, so as humans we need to be sure they know we’re the alphas of the pack.

My roommate has a new job she likes, but doesn’t have a car. She lost it for mysterious reasons. Not paying her car payment? Getting traffic tickets? I don’t know how someone can afford alcohol, weed, new clothes and a trip to Las Vegas, but can’t afford to make car payments or get her car out of impound. She’s a good person for the most part though, so I’ve been giving her rides to work and picking her up sometimes. I told her I want $ 5/ day for driving her, but she often “forgets” to pay me. She also “forgot” to pay me for the 6 pack of hard cider she and her boyfriend drank without asking me.  – I dreamt one morning that another friend wanted me to help her with some work instead letting me do my own. I realized after I woke that this was really about me doing too much for my roommate, when I should be doing more for myself.

Some days are so hot that I focus on keeping cool and getting drive-away chores done early in the day. When I get home, it’s hot and I’m tired, so I lie on my bed, listening to the radio, then sometimes dozing off. I get up to watch the news, then maybe a TV show. I don’t spend enough time on my job search. I worry that I don’t have enough high-speed data on my hot-spot. I try using the local library for their free computer access. Then I get distracted by Facebook, YouTube, or annoying people at the library. I’m not going into Second Life, but I’m still wasting time. Today I was so frustrated with the slowness of Internet Explorer on my laptop, that I finally downloaded and used Mozilla instead. This seems so much faster now. Hurray!

When my computer was updating Windows the other day, I couldn’t use it for anything else, so I got pulled into a sci-fi paperback in a series I like. Now this book calls to me, suggesting I can read a little more before I go to do my work.

Our refrigerator wasn’t working the day before yesterday, frozen food melting, cold food not staying cold. My roommate called to tell our landlady, who quickly bought a new refrigerator and brought dry ice to keep the food cold in the meantime. The delivery of the new refrigerator came yesterday, so I had to clear out all the food from the old refrigerator, clean it, then put the food into the new one. I still need to clean the shelves before I put them back in the old refrigerator, which is now in our garage. It’s not even really broken though, since the freezer was still working. It probably just had the cold air from the freezer blocked by ice build up or something.

I don’t feel grounded and centered. I’ve used essential oils, baths and spells to help me be more calm and focused, but my mind is still a mess most of the time. I feel like I’m too sensitive to the emotions of other people around me, so I’m better when I’m in the house alone. The dogs have emotions too though. Most of the time I keep them calm enough, but sometimes one will be whining, demanding attention, or barking at every person who walks by outside.

Flying Free

flying woman 2

In my dream this morning I found myself in a 2-story shopping mall and remembered I could fly. I see my friend Joey and tell him he can fly too. I tell him and another woman to stand like a superhero about to fly, then jump up. They both fly easily, which not everyone in my dreams who I try to teach to fly can do. (Some look at me like I’m crazy and won’t even try.) I tell them both that the most important thing for being able to fly is believing you can. We all fly outside, and it feels so nice and empowering. I tell them they can try flying in different ways if they want, but I don’t tell them they have to do anything in particular.

Dreaming of flying generally means you feel empowered and free. When I was in high school, I often dreamt of trying to fly, then having my mother hold the hem of my clothes and tell me to get down before somebody saw me. In my dreams, it felt like she was afraid of standing out or having me stand out. It seemed like she was afraid of what other people would think, while I really didn’t care about their opinions.

I thought after I woke that maybe going online is kind of like flying in dreams. I feel so free once I go online that it’s easy to get distracted by what’s interesting, rather than just doing what I need to do. I feel much the same when I go into Second Life, except that’s more immersive and more fun.

Lately I’ve felt limited by only having 10 GB of higher speed data to use per month on my mobile hot spot. This isn’t enough to play in SL or watch Netflix. It’s barely enough for my job search and watching a few short YouTube videos. When I first get online, I spend a couple hours clearing out email junk, which is not fun. If I go on Facebook, I feel trapped by other people’s posts, like I have to “Like” or comment on them. I feel like I have to use my precious data allotment on making other people feel better. Then I get annoyed by the algorithms that Facebook, YouTube and Google use to feed me suggestions for things I might like, while hiding posts and videos that I might actually want to see.

When I’m in Second Life I don’t have these annoying feeds. My groups might post teleport links or notices for events, but I can turn these off easily if I wish. I’m free to explore where I want to go, to follow my own impulses and ideas.

In physical reality, I can get in my car and drive places, but then most of the time I’m still being led to spend money on something. It’s hard to find pleasant things to do in the physical world that don’t cost money. I could read a book, but that’s going within, not going out. Reading doesn’t take me out into the world around me. Going to a movie costs money and doesn’t really take me out into the world much either. It just takes me into the world of the movie, rather than into the world of a book or TV show.

Going to a park or river with my dog lets me experience the real world around me, but then I feel like I have to be careful so other people won’t think I’m crazy for being out alone with my dog. When I was homeless for a month, people might even pick up that homeless person vibe. I once had a small child ask why I was sitting in the park. I said because it was lunch time. People seem to think it’s odd to be out in a park on a weekday, especially if you’re not there with another person.

Shopping allows me a way to go out into the world without other people judging me too much, because shopping is a more socially acceptable activity than sitting alone in a park or mall. Shopping at a farmers market or pagan fair are socially acceptable ways of going out into the world, much like going to a mall, but in these places I don’t feel out of place because I’m poor. I can use CalFresh (food stamps) credit at the local farmers market to get fresh food for half price, which I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. People at a pagan fair also don’t seem judgmental if I’m sitting at a table and watching people while I wait for a lecture or something. The only negative vibe I got at the last pagan fair was when I was sitting at a table near a food vendor, eating food I brought instead of buying the food for sale.

When I’m in Second Life, on the other hand, my poverty, weight and age are all invisible. My avatar looks pretty good – not like a newbie anyway – and my text and profile represent me as someone with intelligence and varied interests.  I can go wherever I want in SL without feeling judged or like I don’t belong. I can “window shop” without feeling like I’m expected to buy something. I can go to a beach, a private island, a city in another country, an art exhibit, a fantasy land, or even an adult club. If someone bothers me, I can teleport away. If I don’t mind chatting with someone, I can do that. And if I get annoyed by feeling like I “have to” chat with a friend when I really want to be alone, I can log out and pretend like I crashed out.

Technical Difficulties

I posted earlier on my Facebook page that my life is having technical difficulties.

I was using an unsecured Xfinity account for wifi and occasionally using the unsecured wifi at my local library. One day, I tried to connect at the library, but it was impossible. I took my laptop to Office Max to find out if it had malware on it, & sure enough it did, which they charged me $ 150 to remove. Then I upgrade my cell phone account with Verizon to include wifi for my computer. I thought this would only cost me $ 10 more than having my previous phone service & paying $ 55/ month for wifi through Xfinity.

So great. My new service was faster & secure, but it seems to not be truly unlimited, since I got a message saying I was nearing my limit, then one saying my next bill would be $ 199! I stopped using my Verizon wifi, came to the library to use their computer, but couldn’t log on to my Verizon account to see what my charges really are. They wanted an answer to a secret question that I had never given them & didn’t recognize my zip code as belonging to my phone #.

Meanwhile, I’ve been driving my roommate to her job because her car isn’t working, but she’s not paying me enough for my gas & time. I also used my EBT (food stamps credit) to buy food for our household at the local farmer’s market. My landlady & roommate said they’d reimburse me for their part, but they didn’t.

Our landlady finally got central air conditioning put in before the temperature hit 100 degrees F., but before this happened, we had a contractor put in screens on our windows & some other minor repairs. On Monday, May 8, he was finishing up his work when he had a heart attack & passed out. Luckily my roommate knew CPR & was able to keep him alive until the paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital. His car & tools were at our house for a week until his brother picked them up. He’s still in the hospital. Our landlady still owes him money for his work.

Now I’m at the library, trying to use their computers, because I need to update my resume & work on trying to get a new job, but I’m still not able to get into my Verzizon account & I’m getting annoyed & jumpy from being next to this woman next to me. She’s an older Asian woman with newspapers on her seat & holding a paper towel over her mouse, apparently a germaphobe, but her paper towel is infringing on my personal space and sometimes it even touches my arm.

I feel overly anxious.  I’m trying to hold it together so I can get a new job, but I’m so worried about my Verizon bill that I’m afraid to use my laptop at home. I can’t really get enough done here at the library either though.

Freedom & Responsiblity

freedom-and-responsibility

Thirty minutes after I clocked in to work last Friday, my boss phoned to ask me to come to HR. I thought I hadn’t done anything wrong for the last 2 weeks, so I shouldn’t worry. I think they’d already decided to let me go back in March though. That’s why they brought in a woman from the chemistry lab to train her to take my place. They let me go and paid me for half of Friday. I told my boss I had no hard feelings and wished her good luck. After I went back to the lab to get my things, a security guard escorted me to my car. (Labs always do that when a person is fired, so they can’t steal anything or cause any damage on the way out.)

After I came home, I sold plasma for $ 50, then put in paperwork to keep getting MediCal & to get unemployment benefits.

I felt free and happy both Friday and Saturday.  I don’t feel anxious or depressed. I have enough money in my bank to live through July. I can certainly get a new job before then. I have a good resume and improved my lab skills in the short time I worked at this last job. I was also kind of worried that if I did stay there, I’d always be worried about the woman who was in charge of the lab day to day. My supervisor was nice, but the woman under her has a mean streak that is unlikely to change.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – except with new people.  I think my biggest faults were being too anxious and too eager. I couldn’t really help this at the time, but I’ll probably be less anxious next time. I can also give both understandable and weird reasons for being let go.  Understandable: that I didn’t learn to plate onto Petriflim quickly enough. Weird: that I looked for work to do instead of asking and waiting to be told what to do. I didn’t really do anything terrible, but for whatever reasons, the people evaluating me didn’t feel I was a good match for that lab.

I’m free now. I don’t have to stand for hours on a hard floor. I don’t have to stand quietly and watch other people work when I know I could be doing some of the work too. I don’t have to feel like there’s a metaphorical sword hanging over my head and waiting to fall. With this freedom comes responsibility to use my time wisely though. I have to work at cleaning up the mess of papers on my desk and getting a new job. I lost enough weight while I was working to fit into nice black jeans that I couldn’t wear before. Now that I’m home each day, I have to make sure I don’t put that weight back on. I also have to keep doing good work, so I feel good about myself. I tell myself I want to be a good person, so do good to be good. That means being good to myself as well as being good to others. That means taking care of myself physically, mentally and financially, as well as being a responsible roommate, pet-owner and employee.

Freedom always seems like a great thing until you have it. Then you realize it can also be scary and not always fun. Every day we’re free to make a hundred choices, which have both positive and negative consequences. I’ll try to make good choices, but I can’t expect to always make perfect ones with no negative consequences. Sometimes we have to accept that being perfect is impossible, but that’s ok, because nobody is really perfect anyway.