Natural.. last year.

While thinking about the whole "natural" thing, I realized that its more than just a goal for this year, its also something that I have been working on for a while. Thinking back to some of the things I have worked to simplify/naturalify/reduce my mark:
switched to reusable shopping bags
switched to reusable produce bags
using reusable feminine products
recycling glass, (some) plastics, cans
use a wood stove for heating to save propane
purchased a diesel Jetta car with up to 45 mpg
flow reducing valve on shower head
eating more whole grain hot cereals instead of cold box cereal
eating less soy (more on this later)
reduced use of microwave oven
learning about herbal medicine for natural healing
use own natural handmade soap
switched from antiperspirant to mostly natural deodorant
make our own mouth wash
making and using natural cleaners
Wow that's a longer list than I was expecting. :) I have lots of stuff going on already for this year. Be back with that later.


Religion and titles

Soon after I left what was familiar and started to wander my own path, I felt bare without a title. Christian. Buddhist. Muslim. Pagan. Republican. Democrat. Mother. Teacher. Politician. Farmer. Titles provide a shared focus.. a group of similar thinkers.. a place of belonging. I was frantically searching for a new religious title. I found it was a bit hard to find a title when you really haven't refined your focus or believe. So I calmed myself a bit and decided I didn't need a title. I described my beliefs as "my own form of nonreligious ever evolving spirituality." That's been over a year ago now. There's been a lot of reading.. a lot of keeping what resonated with me and tossing what didn't.

There is a silly little religion quiz called the Belief-O-Matic quiz that I had taken a few times before I started on my own path. It takes your answers and gives you a list of what religions are compatible with your beliefs along with a percentage of how close your beliefs are to the religion. Each time I took it the percentages were usually no higher than around 93-95% match to the top religions listed. Well I took the quiz again recently. My top match was New Age at 100% with a close second of Neo-Pagan at 98%. So I guess I could claim those titles now. Though, I think I'll just stick to "my own form of nonreligous ever evolving spirituality." Leaves it open that way.


New year, new decade, new focus.

Making new year resolutions is not for me anymore. They just don't work at all. I'm lucky if I last one month, as demonstrated by my sad attempt at project 365 last year (which also translated to no blogging). It's discouraging to me so I have decided to just not do it.

Instead, I am trying something new- focusing on the word "natural" throughout the year. It may involve different aspects at different times of the year but will include things like eating more naturally, spending more time out in nature, learning more about natural healing/cleaning/beauty care, doing more to take care of the earth, etc. I plan on making some reminders- designing some kind of natural centered picture that I will print on canvas and hang in my kitchen, making or purchasing a necklace with the word natural on it, etc. Just incorporating "natural" into my life.

Speaking of natural, did you know there was a Blue Moon in December? Its not really blue of course, but it is the second full moon in one calendar month and only happen about every 2-3 years. Since it is rare, it is believed to hold mystical powers. Some believe it contains the knowledge of the Goddess and holds 3 times the energy. It's also a time of heightened or clearer communication between worlds.

Since this blue moon occurred on New Year's Eve I decided to once again dig out my Herbal Tarot cards. I really should use them more often and not just for special occasions but such is life. I shuffled and infused the cards with the energy of curiousness about the new year in connection with my "natural" focus. While thinking of this and being ready to shuffle a little longer, a certain card strongly called to me. It was The Sun card with the meaning of "Warmth. Openness. Friendliness. Happiness. Earthly joy and contentment." Symbolically used for "A cold, withdrawn person. Tendency to stay inside a lot, not exposing oneself to the light of the sun. An antisocial person who is withdrawn and morose."

What a completely perfect card to have drawn. While I don't associate with cold or morose (it actually more about shyness), withdrawn and having a tendency to stay inside is definitely an accurate description of me in the last couple years. A description that I'm not proud of, I might add. Spending more natural time is sure to help that and this card is surely enforcing the idea! I have always loved the sun. With my eyes closed and my face turned upwards, its energy is so warming and uplifting.

Wishes for a beautiful year full of joy and contentment to all beings.

*Info from paganspath.com