Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tomorrow, a new calendar page

and the opportunity to grab hold of the dragon's tail of cosmic consciousness and pretend that this arbitrary "change of date" day can be the beginning of a new cycle of life changing decisions if I want it to be. Note the assiduous avoidance of the "r" word.

But when so many on the planet are "r-ing" to change, as a magickal person, I'd be a mite foolish to not try to piggyback on some of that good energy and implement a few small changes of my own. For starters - we are leaving the year of the Wheel of Fortune card (numerotarotlogically speaking) and entering the year of the Strength Card. I will write more about that in a separate post. But for now - acknowledging this shift is enough.

And all of this ties nicely into our new year of Studies in the spiritual group of which I am part. We are re-examining a teaching I am developing called "the Spiral of Life" - we held a Retreat based on it a few years back, and now it is becoming the tree trunk upon which to hang various and sundry ideas.

The first level is all about the basics of every day life - taking care of the physical needs that sustain our lives, and becoming better, faster, stronger, more resilient, more physically and fiscally fit, more balanced etc in the physical realm. This makes us better metaphysicians (metaphysician, heal thyself! shall be the whole of the beige level law).

So I read with great joy a post in one of my favourite new blogs "Awake at the Wheel" called "Too Tired to Succeed?" While the author is focused on more secular pursuits, I immediately drew a comparison back to some of the recent conversations we have been having in our Tradition Classes at the Witchery.

One of those pesky "laws of the universe" is that "you get out of something what you put into something". This is true for me especially in my religious practice. In order to empower my prayers (read: spells) I have to put energy into their manifestation - at the very least making room for the manifestation of my prayers to appear in my life, in whatever form the Goddess decides is best for me (read: no cherished outcomes). But if I am unable to raise sufficient energy, due to being too tired, too stressed, too physically unfit, too lazy, too < fill in the blank > - then I'm hooped.

My favourite quote from "Too Tired to Succeed" is

The ancient Greeks came to the same conclusion, viewing intense daily physical practices as a necessary element of the pursuit of scholarly success thousands of years ago. The yogic sage Patanjali codified a similar realization in the classic Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, revealing the need to follow the yamas and niyamas, their version of the 10 Commandments, exercise and meditate in preparation for pursuit if higher level thought and awakening.

The lustrous little-men in loincloths (I’m sure to be drummed out of the yoga world for calling them that) remedied this by prescribing a set of fairly simple daily practices that, done regularly, would bring the body and mind into a place of optimal health. They called it yoga.

Others call it exercise, meditation, movement, visualization, breathing exercises, relaxation-response training, mindfulness and on and on. They are all points on a continuum of practices that, done daily, profoundly enhance your physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual states.

I see Tai Chi and a treadmill in my future. And a little Chi Gung for dessert.
yup. sure. uh-huh. you betcha. right-o. I'll get right on that.

I wish to end this culturally marked solar cycle and enter the new calendar year with a recognition of Ike Neutron's Laws of Magick as defined by me. (misspelling intentional)
  1. The Law of "In-Nerd-ia" - A Pagan body at rest stays on the couch in front of the TV, or with an open book, or with game controller in hand. A Pagan body in motion around a ritual fire is often out of breath after a couple circumnavigations of the circle. I will strive to be a Pagan Body in Motion more often so I am not winded and invoking Air to return to my gasping lungs at the first expenditure of energy. Are ya with me?
  2. The Law of "Moment-ummmmm" - If the net force of an object is equal to the mass of an object multiplied by its accelleration - then my ability to have a positive impact on my inner and outer worlds (net force) is equal to me getting my sh*t together (mass) and doing the right thing in a timely way (accelleration is the obtuse inverse of PROCRASTINATION). Are ya with me?
  3. The Law of Unintentional Consequences - I have a whole new year to ponder the diametrically opposed statements - "cause & effect" and "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". This means that, like Bernie Botts Beans, life is going to contain a myriad of flavourfilled possibilities. Sometimes peppermint, sometimes earwax. Let's make for sweeter consequences where we can. Are ya with me?
So there you have it. My last post of the calendar year. Thanks for joining me on this little journey called Wiakia. It still isn't a knitting blog. But it has been a place where I could unravel a few ideas, and see what shape they take. Let's end with a song, shall we?

Make it a good one - without any fear. I wish you Peace.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TT# 25 - Ikea Comes to Winnipeg. Yawn.

Thirteen Thoughts about the New Ikea Store

So - there is going to be a new Ikea store in Winnipeg by 2012/13.  Buckle Up, Pilgrims.

  1. Nicholas Hirst wrote a great article in todays Wpg Free Press on the contradiction in the thinking of our civic leaders.  I may or may not refer to some of his points, and expound on them - but the subsequent rant below has been brewing for days. Our city needs more than a big blue building full of stuff.  Our civic leaders need mental floss to remove the congestion of old-thinking and to make room for a clear cool breeze of forward-thinking progress.  Paging Glenn Murray... at least he knew where to buy a clue (Montreal).                                                                                                              
  2. Do we REALLY need another big box retail store - especially one filled to the rafters with low priced mass-made furniture?  Aren't we over-mega-retailed as it is? How many more small independent businesses need to close as consumers flock to the foreign made imported goods that populate the big box stores? Count the empty storefronts on your next drive down any major street.  You'll need more than both hands and all your little piggies too.                                                                        
  3. Don't we really need to do something about the rampant consumerism that is crippling our society - both morally and economically? Is buying more stuff - or new stuff - going to lead to happiness, or is it just going to put another debt-laden bandaid on our collective culture of self-negation and self-worth issues?  Can we spend our way into wellbeing? I think not.  Say it with me now - I AM WORTH MORE THAN MY STUFF.  MY WORTH DOES NOT DEPEND ON MY STUFF.  MY STUFF DOES NOT MEASURE MY WORTH. I NEED LESS NOT MORE STUFF. and used stuff is good too.                                                                                                                                                
  4. Is someone going to put a plan in place to deal with the mountains of perfectly good furniture and household goods that will be "liberated" from their current homes but have years of usefullness left in them but are now destined to be sent to the landfills?  We need a plan, people - cause it won't all find its way to Value Village or other Thrift Stores.  Some cities have a curbside "citizen-reclamation" program - where furniture, etc is put on the curb on a certain day each month, and it is "open season" for people (not businesses) to pick it up.  Then arrangements are made to have it hauled away by whatever charity wants it.  Yes, enforcement is a problem - but at least it gets neighbors talking (about each other's bad taste in home decor).  We need to start actively promoting freecycle, kijiji, etc... or just rent trucks and go around yelling "bring out your dead" and furnish homes in the inner city.  Hands of Hope needs truck drivers - and trucks to deliver what they already have and can't find a way to distribute.  Can you lend a hand? strong back and four wheels - all that is required.  Or cash to buy gas for the trucks they have. More stuff, they don't need. They got lots to give away.                                                                                                                                                                  
  5. 400 jobs are nothing to be sneezed at. 400 jobs is a good thing. Good thing lots of local furniture retailers (and manufacturers too) have closed down in recent months so there will be no shortage of skilled and experienced labor - who deserve more than minimum wage and crappy shifts.                                                                                                                      
  6. will said jobs be minimum wage jobs? More than likely. It's hard to raise a family on minimum wage.  Hells Bells, its hard to be a student on minimum wage.  Min Wage is below the poverty line.  Can we rethink the meaning of the word "minimum"?                                                                                                                                                                                    
  7. will said jobs give benefits to both full time and part time workers? After how much tenure? The new "retail standard" of two years? People need benefits. Esp. if they need medication, or want to see a chiropractor, or wear glasses.                                                          
  8. what kind of working hours will be expected - what kind of crazy hours will the store be open (I remember when Chapters opened, it tried to be open from 8am to 11pm - which made for many unhappy staff. Bad enough we have Sunday shopping - and now we have to contend with 24 hour shopping). Retail employees have lives too. (I will someday write about how retail is the new slavery.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  9. How will these workers get to work? The entire Kenaston Mega-Shopping Mecca is WOEFULLY under-served for transit (read: none) - for shoppers but most importantly for employees.  So we can miraculously commit to widening two major streets because a RETAILER is moving in - but not just because we're building houses for families?  Where's the commitment to easy transit access for our citizens to help with climate change? AND _ How will the homes in that are be affected? Lots of people bought "out that way when it looked like the edge of the city. Now it's the middle of suburbia.  More cars. More traffic. More time spent idling at the railroad tracks - higher emissions.  Yummy.  Good thing most of these kids are driven to school - the walk just wouldn't be healthy. (sorry, can't find the link to the article with the stats, but will add it when I find it).                                                                                                                                                       
  10. And speaking of the environment - what about the impact of this store (and the whole Kenaston MegaPlex) on the environment? The geese are already confused enough when they fly over and see all their wetlands turned to parking lots.  There are deer - and other woodland creatures to consider.  How big and bad will the big blue box footprint be? Will they use solar generated energy? Have a wind turbine?  use composting toilets? recycle? Are there any minimum standards being negotiated, or have we rolled over on this completely?  Care to write a letter to Ikea and Mayor Sammie?                                                                                                                                  
  11. Do we really need another reason to spend money that most of us don't have? Really? honestly? Talk about seeing salvation in terms of increasing consumer debt.  Most of us are trying to spend less - and now the pressure increases exponentially - because we are lemmings and go with the herd.  We are trend followers, not trend setters.  The advertising blitz will be incredible.  People are already thumbing through the catalogue and post-it-note-ing themselves into a frenzy.  Highlighters are being worn down to tiny little nubs of felted inky yellowness.  Ikea is obviously an ancient Scandinavian word for "Furniture Religion".  Just wait til the grand opening. You won't believe your eyes. Trust me.                                                                                                                                                                         
  12. let's be honest. Their stuff isn't that great.  Now your living room will look like thousands of other people's living rooms. Wow.  Bet I know where you bought that lamp. People People People - true style is based on individuality - not conformity.  Dare you to be different.  Double Dog Dare you.  Yeah. Think of me when your foot crosses the threshold.                                                                                   
  13. Retail will not save the world. It will not save our culture.  It will not build communities.  It will not bring families closer.  It will not bring peace to the planet. It will not reverse climate change (not even MEC can do that).   Only we can - one choice at a time.  I choose to not get caught up in the Ikea frenzy, and to raise some of these points at every opportunity.  Join me.  We can't stop the river, but we can be a pebble in the pond. or in their shoe.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TT #24 - Thirteen Great Blog Articles You Should Read

Thirteen Great Blog Articles You Should Read

  1. The Best Moment of Your Day - from The Simple Dollar
  2. 8 Tremendously  Way Important Ways that Gratitude Can Change Your Life - from Zen Habits.
  3. Use Only What You Need - from Wise Bread
  4. Accountability - from The Simple Dollar
  5. Want to Save the World? I'll Tell You How - from Zen Habits
  6. How to Improve Morale and Confidence - from Bad Language
  7. Squaddies - from Between The Ticks
  8. 3 Tips to Make Writing Less of a Struggle - from Copyblogger
  9. Aligning My Values With My Clothes - from David Seah
  10. Does Recycling Paper Really Save the Rainforest - from The Frugal Wench
  11. Grocery Shopping In New Dehli - from Get Rich Slowly
  12. Gravity is Just a Theory - by Seth Godin
  13. Treehugger - everything related to environmentalism from hard science to warm fuzzy good feelings.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!