July 2014

My blogging has been pretty pathetic this year. My keeping track of my goals hasn’t been very good either.

But I’m trying to break them down more into more manageable bench-markers, and the beginning or a new month is as good a time as any to see where I’m at and what I want to be doing. Continue reading

Derailed

Many years ago I was in graduate school. I had aspirations to be a college professor, and was working toward that goal. I had become frustrated by my career in the restaurant industry, and wanted to do something that was a better use of my innate talents. Continue reading

April 2014

It’s been kind of a rough and exhausting year so far. I’ve set a lot of goals for myself, and had a lot of problems motivating myself to achieve them. There is progress, though, and some of those goals have changed. So I want to look at where I’m at and what I’m still working towards.

Continue reading

Fear

There’s a young man at work that I’ve been talking with quite a bit. He’s a rambunctious, obnoxious sort who’s more inclined to have fun than worry about the consequences, but he’s got a sharp mind and is a lot more self-aware than most people I know. (He’d make a great magician should he decide to focus on it someday. I’m casually prodding him in that direction. Because I can.)

One thing that he never expects is when I make a simple observation into his nature that explains why he is experiencing discomfort with a certain situation and suggests how he will likely deal with it. And I’ve explained the process to him, because it usually is really simple: what is he motivated by, what are his typical behavioral patterns, and what is he afraid of? How do those play together?

And so, since I’m doing that self examination thing, I decided to turn those insights onto myself.

What are my motivations? What are my fears? What are my typical behavioral patterns?

My motivations are fairly easy. I am motivated by mental stimulation. I like puzzles. I like games. I like creative expression. And I am also motivated by a desire to achieve mastery and perfection in whatever skill I pursue, and to receive recognition for that mastery. I want respect and honor. I want to be loved and looked up to.

What are my behavioral patterns? I analyze things. I counsel people. I lecture and show off my knowledge and skills. I tell stories.

Oh, and I procrastinate and am lazy as fuck.

So we now have a disconnect.

There’s a little thing floating around the internet that says something to the effect of: people procrastinate because they are perfectionists and have a fear of failure. Yup, that’s me.

My biggest fears are failure and disappointing people. (Well, and being abducted by aliens. But I’m not going in to that one.)

I’m a quick learner. So I tend not to give myself a long time to master something. Or I will dabble with something and not demonstrate my abilities to others (if I play my guitar in front of you, I am very comfortable with you, because I’m not very good and it embarrasses me). And if I don’t feel I can master something quickly enough, or I encounter a block or limitation that is extremely difficult, I will either give up or avoid the project.

I’m not avoiding blogging because I don’t have the time. I’m avoiding blogging because I’m afraid I won’t come up with enough interesting content. I’m afraid that I will be just another self-serving voice on the internet, and that people will not find any real value in my words.

I am afraid of being mediocre. And so I avoid trying extraordinary things, because to fail is to be proven inadequate. And in the end, I am mediocre because of it.

This is why I never started my own business. This is why I haven’t published any books yet. This is why I don’t play any instruments.This is why I haven’t had any apprentices. This is why I haven’t gotten out of the restaurant industry. This is why I haven’t lost weight and gotten into shape. This is why I’m single.

Because if I can’t be perfect at something, I’d rather not do it. And the few occasions where I do take a risk and fail impact me far more than the cases where I try and excel.

I hate being in ruts. But they’re cozy. Change is scary. Change has the risk of failure. So all too often I stick to what I know.

And know this doesn’t help. Having the information does no good unless I make use of it. And therein lies the problem — it is the taking of action that brings about the risk. It is the motivation to take action that is lacking. And I’m back to that question of how to motivate myself when my problem is a lack of motivation?

And try as I may to convince myself that perfection is unattainable, and that I’m really not that kind of person, I can’t escape it. It’s a big part of who I am. And I will sabotage myself until I can change that.

I suppose it’s a good thing I’m a wizard. I’d better start actually wizarding, then.

Setbacks

I’ve been setting a lot of goals for myself lately. And I’ve been failing to meet them.

A lot of those goals have been related to writing, specifically on this blog. Some recent work I’ve been doing to get rid if writing blocks and find motivation have been helping (although the Mars and Saturn retrogrades have not).

So a few thought.

1) I am still writing the color magic posts. They will all be published.

2) I have had the realization that almost all of my writing is reactive. I write in response to things. I am hereby eliciting feedback. What would you like me to talk about? It can be a scholarly topic, a religious topic, a magical topic, or even a personal one.  Readers are always welcome to comment here. or email me at chirotus@gmail.com

3) I’ve been spending a lot of time on my blog at Tumblr. There is more interaction there, which I like.  But I am no where near as focused or formal as I am here. There is much more personal, whimsical, and random content. All readers are welcome to come by if they like, but be warned that while this blog is about paganism, magic, and metaphysics, and my experience with them, my Tumblr is about me. And I am a messy person.

4) The aforementioned Tumblr blog is not a replacement for this one. It is just easier to generate content for it. I want to be more purposeful in what I publish here. I am silly there.

5) I have been working on some things and coming to some important and slow realizations. I may share some of them. I may not. We’ll have to see how it goes.

6) I am a work in progress. That is a cheap cliche excuse I am using to avoid the fact that I had set goals for myself and not met them. I will probably set new goals.

7) Some of the work I have been doing has actually satisfied some of the more important goals. This is a good thing.

8) Motivation to do things is a chief problem at the moment. My idea to appeal to the forces of Mars are going to prove difficult during the retrograde period. I may turn elsewhere. Expect posts on planetary magic to surface, since I will certainly take advantage of any experiments in that area.

9) Ego magic is becoming a bigger priority. I have some habits that need to change.

10) I have direction now. I know where I’m going. Now I just need to plan the stops along the way and how I’m going to pay for gas.

11) I’m having a paradigm shift and rethinking my relationship to the gods. The Chaos Current runs deep. I will discuss this as I process it.

I need your comments, questions, and feedback, dear readers. This blog is a project that we’re all invested in now.

January 2014

I had listed out several long and short term goals for 2014. And since we’re about a week into February, I figured a status check on how I did through January was in order.

Develop a workable plan to complete college degree. Complete by End of January. [This will require money and reaching out to disappointed professors.]

Yeah, this hasn’t happened. I have made no efforts whatsoever toward this goal. I have come to the realization that since I am not seeking a job in academia, the completion of my master’s degree won’t offer me much additional consideration due to the field it is in. I already hold two bachelors’ degrees, and those count for quite a bit in the job market. By stressing over my master’s, I am discounting the work I have already done.

But I wanted to do the work, and did not. Fail.

Determine ideal career choice and plan to achieve it. Will depend on magical work and plan to finish degree. Hope to have done by June at the latest.

I still have plenty of time for this, but I mention it because I am working on finding not an ideal job but a better one, at least for now. I am barely getting by on my current income. If I do not remedy this soon I will certainly succumb to depression and despair. No, seriously: I am struggling to come up with the gas for work, and if I didn’t work at a restaurant I would not be eating. I have no financial resources to pursue artistic, entertainment, and social distractions. And I will be unable to attend Heartland Pagan Festival.

Sapphire has been helping me with my resume, and I will hopefully be able to make the jump into a new occupation that will compensate me better until I can decide on a more ideal career.

Attain Knowledge and Conversation with my Holy Guardian Angel. This will need to be done before developing career plan. File under “Screw finding myself, I’m going to cheat and invoke myself.” This may take a while, and I’m not going to be following the strictest rules for this, but I’m hoping for June at the latest. [Biggest issue here is tools, since I’m doing ceremonial magick, and momentum, since this will be a daily thing.]

I have made no efforts to begin this project. Part of that is inertia, part of it is the belief that I must acquire certain tools to perform this operation, and I cannot afford those tools. Both of those are mental blocks. I must get to work on this.

Revisit astrology studies. I will start with basic natal astrology (by February hope to have it down), relationship astrology (by April), transit astrology (by June), and progressed astrology (by August). By October I should be able to handle teaching someone.

I have not been studying my astrology. I still have some time to reach my goal, but I am finding little motivation for intellectual pursuits.

Develop and facilitate a class/workshop on tarot. Determine whether the class will cover just the trumps or the entire deck. Determine whether the class will be a local thing or online via Skype. Hope to have it started by March. [I am seeking to acquire seating for my living room. I already have a few people interested in this workshop. I can probably get it underway by the beginning of February if I keep at it.]

I was a bit optimistic here. I have made no efforts to put this class together. I am using my lack of furnishings and seating space as an excuse, but the truth is that the loss of a particular friendship has affected my desire to get this project underway.

Continue blogging with a minimum of 5 posts on Blacklight a week. Hope to have one essay a month to submit to other sites like Witchvox. [I need to find ways to overcome writer’s block …]

This is making me laugh. I have obviously not fulfilled this. I’ve been doing good on Tumblr by posting links to resource sites, but have little new content of my own to share. Fail.

Assess and regulate caloric intake. Do research into feasible goals by the end of January. [I’ve already lost weight since moving out of my parents’ house. This is partially due to the fact that I can control my portion size, partially due to the fact that I cannot afford all the crap that my parents had floating around, partially due to the fact that I eat better than they do anyway.]

I have been watching how much I eat and losing some weight, but i do not have an actual goal plan set. Partial success, I suppose.

Gym twice a week minimum starting in February. Add swimming once a week once the apartment pools open. [Gym still isn’t open at the apartment. I have a workout routine that I am hoping to do three times a week. I should keep a journal or calendar or something to track this.]

I have developed an effect means of tracking this. I haven’t worked out for two weeks. Part of that is due to an injured wrist (I can’t do push-ups), and part of it to laziness.

Fail.

  • Take up sculpting again. Start with sculpy. Hoping for at least one piece a month.

  • Start photography again. Going to try for one roll of film/shooting session a month, depending on costs.

I have been unable to afford the materials needed. Fail.

One phone call to a friend a day. [Going to make more effort to call Facebook friends. I may have to readjust this goal due to work schedule conflicts, though. It may not be practical to talk to someone everyday if I work nights and they work days.]

I have been way to reclusive. Fail.

Plan for Heartland Pagan Festival in May. Maybe bring someone along. [Have someone who wants to come along, at least for a day pass.]

Without a drastic change to my finances, I don’t think I’ll be able to go.

Start dating again. It’s past time. At bare minimum one a month. [This is going to be tough. I don’t readily meet new people. This is … complicated. We’ll see.]

I’ve actually been doing pretty good on this. Had three or four dates last month, have two women of potential interest. Just really self-conscious about my finances and my ability to go out. I need to reframe this and be more positive: there are women who enjoy my company. Success.

Consider Skyping with internet people. I should make you all earn the honor. My Skype account is, however, readily visible on my Tumblr. [This would be fun. I’d love to talk to some of you.]

I got a Snapchat, too. I closed off who I can receive snaps from, however, due to an influx of penis pics. If you friend me on either Skype or Snapchat, please find a way to let me know who you are.

Bottom line is I’m not doing too well. I’m becoming reclusive and depressed, and lacking in a lot of motivation. I have a lot of work to due this month, and hopefully I’ll find the resolve to do it.

Goals for 2014

I keep saying that I’m not bog on the New Year’s resolution thing.

But I also recognize that this is a good opportunity to evaluate past goals and set new ones, especially since I did not do so on my birthday.

Bach in March, I set some goals for myself. In June I reviewed and revised them. Time to see where I’m at now. Continue reading