Friday, March 25, 2011

Seeds of Service

As a child, did you ever want to "save the world" or rescue animals? Why?

You know, my friends often played at super heroes, but I never did. I always wanted to be Laura from Little House on the Prairie. What does that mean? Perhaps my means of serving others is more mundane. I liked animals enough, but never felt a call to save them, or the world.

How have youthful dreams influenced the choices you have made as an adult?

As a child, I just knew that I couldn't be like my mother. I suppose that's a normal feeling, however my own circumstances were different enough to make it an important choice. Ending that cycle of abuse before it continued was of immense importance. I dreamed long and hard about having another mother, any mother but the one I had. Then I found the Goddess of the Wiccae, and discovered that I'd had a decent mother all along, I just hadn't known about her. She led me to other Divine Guides and spirits and gods, and eventually to the path I am currently on.

Who are your current heroes and heroines?

I have to say, of the people I personally know, Alison Jacobs is one of my greatest heroines. She's the lady who was the interim pastor at my church when I first joined, and she brought home to me the adage about "minister being a verb, not a noun." She embodied what I myself wanted to be in a minister, and she listened and encouraged me as I sought out a way to make that come true. There are other people who influence me: Gray's mother, sis, my daughter, my friend RussetShadow. But Alison is the one that touches me in my soul, a real soul mate.

Have you ever felt called to do something from your deepest Self? How did you respond?

That call is what brought me to seminary, so yes. I've felt the call to serve for a very long time, but didn't know how to follow through. I muddled through my early years in Wicca, trying to answer a call that the particular tradition couldn't really respond to. It was like having a phone but no service - I wanted to answer but there just wasn't anything on the line. Finding The New Seminary really made the difference to me. It gave me a place to channel my need to serve and a way to answer that call. In some ways it's opened a whole new bundle of questions that need answering, but that's alright. Eventually, I'll get where I need to be. It might even be that where I am now IS where I'm needed most.

How do you keep your heart open and not get overwhelmed by the needs you see around you?

Sometimes I get overwhelmed, though less now than I used to. I've mastered the art of saying, "No," when necessary, and I'm fairly good at prioritizing things when I have to. I don't always do these things (hence I get overwhelmed sometimes) . Mostly, I try to be honest with the people around me. If I'm feeling over-tired or over-stretched, I let them know. That way, there's no surprise if I have to walk away for a bit to recharge.

How do you know "when to hold, when to fold"?

I try to listen to my body and my mental processes. If I'm tired all the time, it might be time to fold. If I am sick, or stressed, or feeling "thin" or "stretched" in some way, again it might be time to fold. I try to be vigilant for those feelings so I have the opportunity to finish a section or part of what I'm doing before folding, thereby leaving a situation in a good place rather than a bad one. If I'm just feeling disgruntled or out of sorts from one or two small things, I will try and work my way through it. Again, that honesty is important, not just for others but for myself as well.

How do you keep your own energies renewed?

I like to go on retreats, listen to instrumental music, and write. Sometimes I like to do things like chop wood and carry water, and other times I like to do yoga or tai chi. It really depends on why I need to replenish, and how long I have.

How do you balance your needs with those of others?

Right now, I'm stressing over this one. I think I used to do a pretty good job of this, but with the pending poly-divorce, I have been shying away from balancing my needs with the people who have opted out of the relationship. Mostly, I just want to see MY needs are met, and the needs of my family, and not worry so much about THEM. I realize this is not a great way to look at things, but at the moment it's where I am. Time may heal those wounds, but right now they're pretty fresh.
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