Changes and habits

This week has been a variety of things. Frustrations, delays, irritants; finding solutions and using good problem solving, effective magical workings, and making some additional discoveries about myself that I am able to capitalize on for my own growth. I found out I was successful with my latest Grade exam and am thus able to advance to the next highest Grade in my magical Order. This particular exam took me five hours to complete, and was much more involved than previous Grade exams, so when I found out I did well on it I was not just relieved, I was grateful. Grateful that all the work I did to prepare for it was really worth it, and that the additional research that wasn’t required, but I did it to broaden my perspective and deepen my knowledge, was super beneficial. I wrapped up the week by making a Christmas list of close friends that my husband and I want to send special homemade gifts to. I’m also gathering ingredients for oils and incenses that I’m going to share with fellow Order members at our Yule celebration that’s coming up.

Probably the best thing about the week, though, was the fact that I did something that made me uncomfortable. At first that appears counterintuitive, but sometimes things aren’t always what they appear. One of the corollaries of being a magician that I’ve always lived by, is that of self mastery, of having control over my ego, and directing it to do what I tell it to do. If one cannot or will not control their ego, if thoughts are allowed to run amok, if impulses are allowed to run the show; the practitioner has no business trying to control the forces of the Universe! Naught but chaos will result. The true magician knows him or her self, has a firm hand on their ego, realizes the power of words and thought forms, and does not allow their most powerful tool, the mind, to be under anyone or anything’s control except their own.

I do daily Work without fail, so I have a good level of awareness of my internal condition But, when I feel internal nudges to look at something within myself, I listen to them. I did so. The issue at hand is not necessarily important to specify, as I think most habits have certain common denominators. When a habit or tendency seems to have a larger presence in my life than I would like, I must look at it and see what’s going on. In order to do that, I go within. I face the uncomfortable feelings that come with making a small change in my behavior that directly conflicts with the dominance that the habit has been given in my life. That feeling of being uncomfortable when I delayed the instant gratification that the habit had given me, was the clue that I had been looking for. Once I discovered that, I went farther, meditating upon the feelings and looking at what was there. At times, even with vigilance, we find ourselves with habits that can, and do, become larger than they should; and at times this is because we are uncomfortable with simply looking at what’s there. Not making judgments, just looking at our various mental states, observing and making note of what we see. I have found myself at times having knee jerk reactions to what I find there, which has led to making some changes that didn’t stand the test of time.

This time, I decided to just observe myself. There are times in meditation when the goal might be stillness, thought control, observing a symbol or quieting the mind. This time was different. I simply wanted to watch the machinations of my mind. This was difficult to do in a way, as I usually like to be focused and disciplined with meditation, but I stuck to my goal. I discovered that not doing the habit first thing upon awakening, was uncomfortable. This has happened to a degree, each time I meditated first, versus doing what I had been doing, each day this week. Meditation was then followed by my other daily ritual work. The information I gained from this has been incredibly important. Changes that need to be made in virtually anything are more likely to be effective in the long term if they are made with the proper information and after investigating them thoroughly. Quick fix solutions, while sometimes necessary, should not be the first thing we turn to. Effective magicians are those that know the best approach to use to match the situation.

Humans are creatures of habit. As a magician that strives to have that self mastery mentioned earlier, and one that works hard to be the best that they can be, I owe it to myself to continue to look at my habits and the role I give them in my life. If I have allowed something to become larger than it should be, that’s a signal to me that I need to tweak my routine and look deeper. The ability to have control over my inner environment MUST come first, no exceptions. Exceptions can quickly become rationalizations, which are really lies and laziness, and have no place in my mind. Those who choose to do that, do so at their peril.

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