I saw an interesting post on Facebook yesterday which was essentially saying, it’s okay if you’re too tired to Witch right now. And that resonated with me. As I’ve said before, sometimes we can fall into the trap of labelling ourselves ‘good’ or ‘bad’ witches, in the sense of we might practise every day or not at all for weeks (not in the sense of ‘dark’ magic/k). For me, I’ve been feeling it lately, because I not only have a super busy work and PhD schedule, I also have some health problems which have really been affecting my ability to sit down and smash through things like I usually would (read: workaholic, burner of both ends of the candle etc.).
So I preach a lot of self-kindness and love, because I think it’s important to remember that we are also human beings, and sometimes it’s just not possible for us to hold down a day job, work our side hustle in the metaphysical world, or any other side hustle, AND meditate, AND care for kids if you are a parent, or care for another family member, AND keep on top of life admin etc. Short of taking performance-enhancing drugs and running a pretty kickass bullet journal game, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything perfectly. And that’s okay.
So today I wanted to talk about the way that I’m approaching 2020, because it’s still January, and we have a whole year to manifest all the sh*t that we want to achieve in the next twelve months. And I’m starting off shaky, with a pretty major surgery.
Health comes first.
That’s right, witches – health comes first. This isn’t easy to hear when, like me, you’re prone to Generalised Anxiety Disorder, you have too much on your plate, and your anxiety gets worse when you can’t eat everything on that plate. Let’s leave that metaphor there. So when we put our health first, that doesn’t mean you literally drop everything and everyone else from your list of priorities – it simply means a re-shuffle. For example:
If you need sleep to be at your best, then sleep. There is no point pulling an all-nighter trying to smash out some sh*tty version of something when you could sleep for 8 hours, wake up refreshed(ish) and do a better job of it in less time. That’s called productivity.
Eat healthy food. If it takes an additional 15 minutes to make something with actual nutritional value rather than slapping together a PB&J, do it. Take those 15 minutes and make yourself some porridge, or a salad, or something with protein and greens in it. I believe in you.
Hydrate. I know, everyone says this. For me, hydration is a bugbear because I need to be hydrated but I also have to pee every 20 minutes because of my fibroids. However, if you weigh it up, hydration gives you better skin, better digestion function, more energy and generally keeps you ticking along. So don’t skip the H20. Please.
Schedule self-care time. I know it’s hard to schedule, but do it anyway. When I’m feeling super overwhelmed, I will literally plan out my day to the hours. For example, 0830-1030, I’m working on the PhD. Then I schedule a 15 min break. Then I spend another two hours on something else, then I take a lunch break (this is important). And maybe, just maybe, that night I might schedule time to take a ritual bath and meditate. Why? Because it gives my brain a chance to recuperate and rest, soothes my body and reinvigorates my soul. That, in turn, allows me to sleep better (see point 1) and basically gets the routine into a healthy situation.
Check in with yourself. At least 3 times each day, I want you to stop, breathe, and check in with your body and mind. Are you holding tension? Is your posture causing you pain? Then re-arrange it. Are you feeling tired? Maybe you need a 20 minute nap. Are you feeling sluggish? You might need a green juice. And so on. By checking in with your body and mind, you can assess throughout the day what you need to keep yourself ticking, and to keep yourself in good shape.
Say ‘no’ to things.
I’ve harped on this before, but it is so important. If someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, don’t do it. If it doesn’t serve you, don’t do it. If it doesn’t give you mental, emotional or physical fulfilment, don’t do it. Say no. There’s a whole blog post here about this, and I will never stop preaching the gospel of F*CKING SAYING NO.
Be open about your boundaries and limitations.
This is the kicker. If you are open with your family, partner, friends, and colleagues about your limitations, you will be surprised how receptive and understanding they can be. I have a very supportive partner, who is constantly reminding me to chill the f*ck out and have a rest when I need it. If you don’t have that, then start setting those boundaries. Try saying things like, “thank you so much for the invitation. Unfortunately, I’m not feeling too well this week, so I’m going to catch you next time. Have a great evening!”. It is so refreshing to say no to something without making up a lie to make someone else feel better. Just say no, explain the boundaries, and enjoy your evening recharging and watching Cheer on Netflix.
Another thing to remember is that it’s okay to cancel. If you made plans but you’ve woken up in pain/nauseous/exhausted or you just don’t fancy that activity anymore, then say that. The people in your life who care about you will understand.
So now to the Witching
All of this has been really related to life admin and socialisation and work, but I promise I’m coming back to the witching.
When we place pressure on ourselves, it adds more stress to our lives. And witching should not be stressful. It should be spiritual, add calm and joy to our lives. So if your witching schedule is getting you worked up, re-assess it. Because we can be witches without honouring every single Sabbat, without making moon water every single time we ‘should’ be doing so. We can meditate in bed without lighting up the altar and performing rituals. Even taking a walk is witching when you do it with intention. So the next time that you’re beating yourself up because you missed a ritual or casting a spell, or you lit the wrong candle, or you forgot to do anything at all and just binge-watched something, forgive yourself immediately. Because you have nothing to feel guilty about.
Being a witch is something we are, not something we do. Being any kind of spiritual person is an embodiment of spirit, rather than just ritual and words and grimoires and card readings.
When you have the energy, if you want to, perform a ritual. Until then, don’t be so hard on yourself, friend. You are a witch, and I love you.