Weekly Inspiration #48

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Okay, c’mon – who’s felt the gentle touch of mercury retrograde upon their life this week? At the beginning I was boasting that as I was born under a mercury retrograde in Gemini (common in poets apparently!) that this retrograde in the same sign as my birth would be a doddle, a walk in the park, business as usual, even. That was perhaps a little cheeky. So, half way through and we are one computer and one printer less than when the retrograde started, a tempting offer was dangled and then withdrawn, a slightly terrifying financial decision has been made, the Bear has been without his car for most of this week, as well as some difficult conversations with people we would not normally have difficult conversations with (Mars in Gemini along with Mercury retrograde in Gemini? Wtf? Of course there are going to be difficult conversations).

Still, the interesting thing about all of this is that none of these things originated in the retrograde. No; the (kid’s) computer has been on its way out for some time, the printer as well. The Bear’s car has needed the handbrake fixing for ages, we knew the financial decision was going to have to be made sooner or later and the difficult conversations had their seeds way before now. As for the tempting offer – well, that was just cruel by the Universe and I have no more to say about it.

The thing about Mercury retrograde is that it clears the decks. Out with the old and in with the new! it cries, hurling all of your broken shit off the balcony and cheering as it smashes onto the concrete below. And then it stands, hands on hips, surveys the new-found space (and clarity) and asks you with a quirked eyebrow why on earth you leave all the dirty work to him :). My answer is, “because you do it so much better than me.”

So, the first half of the retrograde is always like that, because it is preparing for the second half – the business half. With all of the clutter gone, you might look around with a renewed sense of clarity (and let’s be honest, terror). You re-establish and renew the things that are important to you, let go of the things that aren’t and and with a newly reinvigorated sense of purpose and direction, you march onward. Or that is the general idea, anyway :). My mother always used to say that before you are able to receive, you must first empty out your overflowing drawers filled with things that you don’t like anymore, don’t wear or don’t fit. Clear it out, so the good can enter – literally and metaphorically.

One thing – be fussy about what you let enter the hard won new space in your life. Don’t frantically fill the void with stuff to paper over the fear or loneliness you might be feeling. Don’t rush into a new relationship, job or purchasing spree. Survey your surrounds, be afraid but don’t let fear win and above all have faith that you are being loved and looked after. This is a space of power and freedom. Things don’t have the hold over you they once had – savour that. And yes, if this sounds like a note to myself, you’re right. It is ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough of that retrograde business – hey, guess what? I won second prize in our writer’s group annual writing competition! This year’s genre was non-fiction, and seeing as that is the genre I most often write in, I thought I had better put an entry in. It’s quite a prestigious competition within our group – we nominate a receiving officer who is unable to enter the competition, the entries are judged externally and anonymously, and winning a prize is considered a great honour. In last year’s competition the genre was poetry, and first time lucky, I won – long time readers of my blog may remember my cheesy grin, the trophy and even the poem that won it for me :). This year I actually submitted two pieces – one I wrote specially for the competition, and one that was one of my most popular blog posts. Guess which piece won second prize? The blog post of course – you can read it here :). Do I look happy do you think?

Second place prizes, cheesy grin and our judge, Leonie Henschke.
Second place prizes, cheesy grin and our judge, Leonie Henschke, from the Coffs Harbour Writers Group.

Best Short Read

The Simplest Act of Defiance to Encourage in your Daughter by Jane Caro for Daily Life

So many women in our culture have this incredible self consciousness, dislike or even hatred of their bodies. I am not going to go into a discussion of why that is so here (remnants from the patriarchal Christian misogyny and a capitalist consumer culture anyone?) but I will say this – you do not want to pass this on to your daughter. Make it stop with you. It depletes our power, damages our potential and causes terrible suffering.

In this article, Jane Caro (I love her – whip smart and funny as hell) discusses her own obsession with weight loss and her eventual journey to self acceptance as well as a great campaign that the Butterfly Foundation is launching. How’s this for the opening paragraph:

There are far worse things than being fat. You can be stupid or boring, for example. In fact, being obsessed about your weight and controlling everything that goes into your mouth practically guarantees you will be boring, even if you were once quite intelligent.

Click here to read the rest.

Best Poem

This beautiful poem is about how to be a poet, but it is really about how to create anything beautiful. It could easily be called how to be an artist…

HOW TO BE A POET
(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill โ€” more of each
than you have โ€” inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

– Wendell Berry

Best Watch

I am still watching Outlanders, but I know the season is almost over. Luckily, I came across this new series – it’s still playing on the ABC (Australia) and you can watch it on iview or itunes. So yes, okay, my secret is out – I love period pieces. It’s probably a guilty not-so-secret…but I can’t help it ๐Ÿ™‚ Poldark is adapted from Winston Graham’s Poldark series, which I discovered and loved in my first year in high school, browsing the shelves for a good book to read. It was probably my first taste of historical fiction, unless you count Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and all of the Enid Blyton books I had read. Okay. So maybe it was my first taste of adult historical fiction. What can I say? The seeds were sown early ๐Ÿ™‚

Poldark is set in late 18th century Cornwall and tells the story of Ross Poldark:ย Ross Poldark returns to his Cornish copper mines after spending three years in the army to avoid charges of smuggling, leaving behind his sweetheart Elizabeth. On his return, having fought in the American War of Independence, he finds his father dead, his estate in ruins and Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. He rescues a young woman, Demelza, from a beating, and takes her on as a kitchen maid and goes about trying to resurrect his fortune.

No, don’t thank me, it was my pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚

Best Words

This is a beautiful Celtic marriage vow – if the Bear and I ever get married, my vote will be for this prayer:

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Imagine a space where we do not need to defend ourselves
A place where our beliefs are honoured
Our wisdom valued
A place where there are no expectations
and therefore no disappointment
and where disputes are resolved without
manipulation or other methods from childhood.

We’re working on it โค

Best Graphic

You know? All of our posturing and need to be right – let’s just drop it. Just for today <3.

And…that’s it from me today my friends – it’s Saturday morning and I am lucky enough to be able to watch my son play under 12s soccer. Yes, it is nearly an hour and half drive away, but it still feels like a privilege to me. Ask me at the end of the season and I may not be as perky :). I hope that whatever and wherever your weekend delivers you, that you can find some peace and gratitude as well. Love to you!

Sara โค

PSSSTTTT

Twitter โ€“ follow me on Twitter to see all of my other best reads that donโ€™t quite make it on this blog, but are still awesome โ€“ I love a chat too, so come visit ๐Ÿ™‚.

Facebook โ€“ I have aย Practical Mystic Facebook page, where I share inspirational and thought provoking ideas, quotes and art. I would love to see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

45 comments

  1. What a week it’s been… I feel like I’m a little behind you because it was a week when things got done effortlessly, moved and progressed. But yes, there were conversations had, there are always conversations but a couple of these were significant.
    Your appeared to navigate the events of the weekly perspective and sense of humour intact, if somewhat tested. Putting thoughts down can be quite revelatory, notes to self indeed ๐Ÿ™‚
    The Waylon Lewis quote resonates. It’s a great summation of what I aspire to, gracefully worded, although the execution of it in my life is sometimes not so.
    I’ll forever now have that vision of Mercury hands on hips, and be able to say, we’ll it’s your job!
    I enjoyed Jane Caro’s perspective. One thing I’ve enjoyed about getting older is caring less about superficial opinions on appearance. It so limits us.
    Congratulations on the award. Your smile says it all.
    Two episodes of Outlander left… I’ll see if we enjoy Poldark as much as you.
    The G.O. and I often said “if we ever get married….” it’s a lovely vow regardless of if you legalize it or not.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ for your week

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky you! Nearly nothing was effortless this week – although I’m not taking any of it personally. The thing is, as soon as I think I have a grip on something, it changes, so I’ve given up. Better just to let things unfold me thinks!
      The Waylon Lewis quote is one that I aim towards as well, rather than look at it as something I have achieved ๐Ÿ™‚
      As for Body image and getting older, well, thank goodness. The older I get the happier I am :). I have never been a dieter and haven’t worried too much about my weight. Yoga has been very good in this area, with mindfulness around eating and a new found respect for what my body is capable of.
      The vow is lovely on its own…nice one ๐Ÿ™‚
      Enjoy your weekend Dale xo

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  2. My week’s also seen its share of new things, new fears, renewed apprehensions….and it’s ending on yet another shift of change as my parents are heading back to Taiwan tonight so I’m (once again) on mom duty with the youngest sister until school’s out. But I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking this week and feel like I’m on the cusp of finally deciding once and for all whether to actually start a project I’ve long been thinking of doing so we’ll see how that plays out I guess. Huge congrats on the writing prize but were any of us really surprised? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you are having a beautiful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. oh, Aiden Turner, how I love thee. I have only watched one episode so far but I’ve recorded each week and I’m saving it up to savour as a reward for something. And that gorgeous man is reminding me whyI was very quickly on Team Mitchell and discarding those sparkly vampires, though Team Eric was also very appealing. If you want to check out Being Human and the delectable Mitchell, let me know (I have the whole series on DVD)

    And yes, I was subject to the mischief of Mercury Retrograde this week. Emails going astray when I was trying to set up something. In the end, I resorted to text. However, I couldn’t tell him it was Mercury’s fault, he doesn’t believe in that stuff (and that’s cool).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aiden Turner omg ๐Ÿ™‚ I have only watched two episodes but the rest are waiting for me! I’ll check out Being Human – I haven’t heard of it I don’t think.
      Of course, if people don’t believe in astrology I can forgive them ;). Tricksy Mercury ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I’m liking the idea of a bit of mercury retrograde… Our back packs are way too heavy for tripping about, clearing out a little of that load would be great. And the ‘flat blah’ feeling post Nepal needs a little clearing, to clear space for the here and now (not wishing homeward bound thoughts… Tropical Islands vs winter in Vic… and I want winter in Vic…go figure! But can’t have it coz flight changes too expensive, so one more month of asian travel. Gotta clear the space for that don’t you think… Meditation and yoga nidra continues to be nuturing, but I shall greet mercury retrograde influence with open arms.

    Wendell berry poem is beautiful, wise, a guidepost to good living. I can read it again and again.

    Thanks for another weekn of great sharing.

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right Kate, spot on of course – all of our back packs need clearing out from time to time, literally and metaphorically, and Mercury retrograde does that so very beautifully.
      I am sure you are wanting to come home, but that will come soon enough…where are you at the moment and what are you up to?

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      • We have somehow found ourselves in Singapore for a few days…clearing the backpack a little is great… i am one to completly throw out my wardrobe of opshop clothes every six months anyway, so it’s timely. The clear space will perhaps create a place for Rejuvinating the parental enthusiasm… Gently observing my exhausted critical voice speak it was revolving around the challenging moments with the kids… so an area to settle into (again!)…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rejuvenating parental enthusiasm…just going on holidays with the kids is exhausting – I can only imagine what travelling must be like! Go easy, sister.

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      • Perusing our backpacks with a critical eye as we ‘speak’…using it as an opportunity to side step kids responsibilities for a moment. And yep, if you haven’t guessed already yoga meditation practice a little sketchy these past few days! Shall refocus with open arms there too…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. yay! Congratulations Sara that’s awesome. Well done lady!
    As for Jane Caro, she’s awesome. She was on one of the panels I got to attend at the Sydney Writer’s Festival last weekend (Motherhood and Creativity). Tells it like it is and drop dead smart. Got to love that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly right – fab that you got to see her! It’s festival season…we’re going to Bellingen writers festival next weekend (not quite on the same level as Sydney lol ๐Ÿ˜œ but fun).

      Like

  6. Many thanks for following Sara.. And congratulations upon your prize winning.. Poetry is close to my own heart. as was the Poldark series .. and I smiled as I too read the Novel way back.. And adore historic Period novels.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Enjoy a Peaceful Sunday..
    Blessings
    Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I did follow you before Sue, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t following you! Anyway, I fixed that :). I’m glad you enjoyed the poetry and that you are a fellow Poldark lover!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That happens to me often.. One persons blog I follow regularly WP managed to unfollow it for me several times.. I was getting dizzy! lol.. Listening to others its a common occurance, and sometimes I have to delve into my List of follows so I can see why I have not been getting updates etc..
        I am sure we have spoken on each other’s posts before Sara.. Anyway Welcome back and yes I was annoyed at myself as I missed the final episode of Poldark.. in the current series.. I am not a soap watcher.. But I watched Polark when it first came to the TV way way back.. And enjoyed the new adaptation of it.. Plus reading the book.. ๐Ÿ™‚ x Have a great week Sara.. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I suppose wp is a bulky beast that operates pretty well considering its complexity…I am also a selective watcher, so I love it when I find something good. Enjoy your week, Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your words on Mercury Retrograde! You so well captured its purpose and how to best handle all of its circumstances….thanks for that! And congratulations on your win! You look beautiful in the photo, content. Good luck on your son’s soccer season. We are winding down…our last game was yesterday (though still a few more crosstown practices to get to ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) I’m happy to have caught up with you this morning…you have a lot happening! Enjoy the week, Sara. x x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elysha – it was one of those lucky times where my understanding was created by my words, rather than the other way around, if you get my meaning :). So glad it was helpful for you.
      Yes, soccer was great, our team won :). I hadn’t been able to go for the previous 2 weekends, so it was fun.
      Enjoy your week xo

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  8. Congrats on your writing awards & thanks for the heads up on Mercury being retrograde. That explains a LOT! And I love, love, LOVE how you put a positive spin on it. I feel excited instead of worn down now – ready to clean house and start fresh!

    Looking forward to the piece from Jane Caro. As the mom of a 11 year-old girl, sounds like just the thing.

    Have a great week, Sara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jamie, and I’m glad the heads up was helpful for you. I find it so helpful to know what’s going on in the ethers!
      Thanks for popping by Jamie, enjoy your week xo

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  9. Now I want to hurl some broken sh*t, lol, but I live in a one story house. Perhaps some plate smashing followed by mosaic creations. โค Thanks for following and coming by my blog. I see Sue here, so it is probably she I can thank for your acquaintance

    Namaste
    Sindy.

    Like

  10. Congratulations on your award! And yeah, it’s always good to see how things that might put us back a bitโ€“ Like Gemini in retrogradeโ€“might be positive in some other ways. Learning, growing experiences.

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