The world is rough nowadays. It seems like it’s increasingly harder to be positive. Between drama, in-fighting, people lashing out behind computer screens, people suffering publicly, traumatizing life events, disease, the world as it is today…that list is long and seemingly growing longer.
I know that in my daily life, I can be sometimes seen as a Pollyanna-ish type person, always cheerful and pleasant, with a positive message not too far behind. It’s hard work these days, I must admit. I am also human, so I’m not going to show you my dark side, because that’s between me and me. And my journal. And maybe a few close friends. My shadow work. My banishing spells. It’s not easy being a positive pagan in this very dark world. Yet I remain so, despite life throwing so many of its own horrific hammers at me. How do I do it? Why do I do it? Second question first.
Why do I do it? It makes me feel good, honestly. I discovered that the more positive energy I send outward, the better I feel. The focus shifts from me to trying to help others. That distracts me, gives me perspective, and makes me happy. I am a healer, and I don’t say that with pompous loftiness. I say it with a humble gratitude I can actually make someone feel better. How do I know? They tell me, then I feel good, and it’s a lovely cycle. If I can help you with a kind word, spellwork to move some energy in your life, a reading, guidance, suggestions, or sympathy, I will do so. If all else fails, and if it’s okay with you, I hug you. People crave touch, and I love to receive and give hugs. I do it because there have been long periods of time where I felt despondent. This feels much better, and after I while I began to crave that good feeling.
How do I do it? Well, there are a few things I do. I was just telling someone recently about my journey to my “zen” state (I laugh as I type zen, as I hardly think of myself as a zen person, but apparently I come across that way). There was a long period in my life where I was overwhelmed and miserable. Every area of my life was affected. I kept internalizing it, stuffing it down, until my body reacted in a huge surge of rashes. I went to dermatologist after dermatologist, and all I did was spend money and get frustrated. I do have a form of eczema, but it was not responding to regular treatment. Sort of similar to the planet erupting nowadays. We have had enough. Long story short, I discovered ways to calm my mind and body down, changed up my diet a bit, and really did some shadow work. I have minor flare ups now and then, but the memories are so clear and vivid of those rashes, that I remain vigilant.
First thing is, I am polite. Maybe that seems silly, but I was raised by a strict German mother, and manners were huge in my family. Manners gets you a long way, and besides, does yelling and being mean get you anywhere? I’m not saying be a doormat, just be civil. It also allows you time to process, and come up with solutions to whatever is bothering you. It’s also a positive energy thing, sending that out in a “fake it until you make it” mode, until you actually feel better.
Second, I meditate. I can’t advocate this strongly enough. I have even increased my meditation time, even though I didn’t think I had enough hours in the day. Funny thing is, the more time I meditate, the more time I end up having. Why? Because it helps me process, calm down, think, snooze, whatever my body needs at the moment. Try it for five minutes a day, and see how you feel. I have even meditated in the shower, so don’t think you don’t have five minutes to spare. There are also useful apps that can help you with timers or recorded meditations to calm your monkey brain.
Third, I remain constantly grateful. Yes indeed, the world sucks, but I have lots to be thankful for in my life. Some days it literally boils down to that one good cup of coffee I had. And that makes the rest of the stuff worthwhile. I vividly remember when I didn’t have certain things and people in my life. When I get overwhelmed or sad, I start a mental list of things I am grateful for, and it helps. Tremendously.
Fourth, I jettison that which no longer serves me. My time is valuable and I don’t say that in a pompous way. I am over half a century old, and who knows how much longer I or any of us have left. It’s not the endless vista of life I had in my 20s, and I appreciate that. So, if something doesn’t serve me, I move it out of my life. Clutter, social media, obligations, drains on my energy. My mental health is priceless, and that guides me in making the choices that keep me sane. Put that as a priority, and see how your perspective shifts.
Fifth, I have clear boundaries and say no. I recognize this is hard for people. There are things you can do magically to help. Ground, shield and ward yourself daily. If you don’t know how, learn how. The internet and books are your friend in this area. Practice faithfully. I wear hematite any time I am around people. It’s inexpensive and is a visual reminder of boundaries to negative energy. I recently set up a negative energy trap in my home, and even I was amazed at how the energy shifted and felt. It felt so much clearer and comforting. Try it and see. Find items that help you move negative energy. For me, it’s Florida water and salt. Baths are also a help to get energies off me. Use whatever makes you feel clear: epsom salts, bath salts, beer, Florida water. Notice the change, and make note of it.
And sixth, I get out in nature. I personally crave it, but there are times, due to weather, that you can’t really enjoy it. So find ways to make it work. Make going to the mountains, the beach, or a park a priority on your days off. The errands can wait. Sometimes I just take my shoes off and walk in the grass for a quick fix. It’s grounding and healing. Truly desperate? I will pick up some herbs in a pot at the grocery store. Just smelling the herbal aroma and touching the dirt can ground me.
The result? Being positive in a dark, dark world. I’m not out there singing songs like a Disney movie. I work with the energies present and make it more comfortable for me. That’s the secret. Being a bit selfish. Because if I’m not feeling good, it may effect others. And I am too polite to invade your space (see number one). Also, make a choice. It’s a choice I make to be positive. Not doing anything or wallowing is also a choice. If you make those choices, own it. You ultimately are in control. And how lucky are we that have witchery and/or paganism in our life to help see things a bit more clearly? I know I remain in awe of how it has always enhanced my life.