For the past 2 weeks I've been living fully aware as a Witch for every single moment (regaining a connection at a deeper level than I normally maintain), feeling a palpable connection and having the luxury of being able to focus completely on what was being brought forth, yet today I returned to the mundane world of work, finding my attention being pulled in too many ways all at the same time!
The day started with my morning commute, only 20 miles, and usually 20 mins, but today it was 45 mins (good job I set off with plenty of time) as the rain and roadworks slowed everyone down to a crawl!
Arriving at the branch to open up, running across the car park and standing in the cold, wet and windy weather whilst opening the shutters and doors left to chilled and wet, perhaps someone trying to tell me that I should be doing something else?
My team have done a good job in many ways during my absence, the store looks ok, the sales and KPI's have been excellent, yet there's plenty they havent managed to do, and one person in particular left a message that tells me he isnt happy at the staff levels, at the fact we're soo short staffed that the shoplifters are having a field day. Much as I want to agree with his suggestions, bulk up the shop floor coverage and have more staff, I also appreciate that we have set 'rota principles' we have to follow, and 'wage spend budgets' that have to be met, were we to follow our hearts and increase the coverage it would soon result in my being disciplined for overspending on the wages, a crazy situation, but one I cant do anything about!
Walking in to the branch this morning to find it reasonably tidy was good, but then finding that none of the admin seems to have been done, and possibly 1 week of the wages overtime hasnt been authorised, plus a million and one other things that our head office wants doing still to do meant I was overwhelmed by the worklist in front of me! I found myself almost unable to decide what to attend to first, it took me some time to get my focus and plough into it, I know many will say, thats just the 'returning from holiday lurgy', but it felt like more than that to me.
Dont get me wrong, I usually enjoy my job, I've been with my current company for almost 23 years, rising to run my own branch in the last 5 years, but whereas I enjoy certain aspects of the job, the current demands of the bosses to par everything back to the bone and maximise profits (especially where staffing levels are concerned) just doesnt feel right to me. I am customer focussed, I dont believe folks should have to queue or have to search for someone to help them, yet this seems now to have become the norm within the company. My current branch is far better than my previous one, as its a smaller size, so easier to run on the current staff levels, but if you have 1 off (for holidays or due to sickness) then its almost impossible to do anything but serve customers and the very basics of keeping the shop running! We are constantly firefighting, not being proactive and business focussed, not driving it like we would if we had just a little more staff coverage!
Coming home was another nightmare, traffic queues for 6 miles, what should be a 20 minute journey took an hour and 35 minutes, ok, the time wasnt wasted, Damh the Bard CD playing (I listened to it twice almost) and time spent talking with several of the Gods (the traffic being Pan's practical joke perhaps? He definitely seemed to find it amusing anyhows! Lol!), but what a waste of energy, time and lifeforce!
If I'm honest to myself, my heart really isnt in my job anymore, whereas once it was a consumming passion, something I would look forwards to doing every day, working countless unpaid hours and going in on my day off, nowadays my enthusiasm has been tempered by the actions of those who care for nothing but the bottom line! Its become a job, nothing more and nothing less, I do what I have to, work the hours (and then some) and then look forwards to going home at the end of my shift, not something normal for me!
I know I still have my connection, my feet are place firmly on my Path (as they have been for the past 10 years plus), akin to riding 2 bareback horses, 1 foot on each of them, 1 foot in the mundane and 1 foot in the otherworld, the magical realm, able to equally focus my mind and intent, yet this no longer seems enough, I long to walk my Path full time, to do something that allows me to retain my connection first and foremost for all of my days, yet what to do?
Ideally we would both like our own smallholding, preferably one with a self build earth sheltered eco home (such as the one in the photo at the beginning of todays post), heated by wood harvested from our own trees, powered by solar, wind and water, food provided by our own fruit and veg and livestock, some income from selling excess produce and perhaps having a few yurts to let out as holiday venues and working part time to garner enough income to allow a reasonable standard of living, living sustainably with the planet rather than being the mass consumers that our way of life makes us! I know it would not be an easy life (nothing worthwhile ever is), plenty of discomfort, worry, hard graft and potential catastrophes, but it would be living in a way that would give a fabulous connection to the Land, that would allow us to live as Witch every waking moment!
We could (if we sold up) afford to buy 5 or 7 acres of agricultural land, which would be enough for us to live on and be almost totally self sufficient, but you cant build on agricultural land without planning permission, and it is highly unlikely to be granted, buying land with planning permission is way too expensive, so after buying the farm land we'd still need somewhere to live, which then means big mortgage or rent, which means 5 or 7 acres wouldnt be enough to pay for it, so at present we're stuck in a catch 22 situation!
Which means unless our circumstances change (perhaps the Gods will see fit to grant us that Lottery Jackpot win, Lol!), I'm stuck with having to continue with my job and continuing with a life split between the grind of the mundane and the joy of shared connection to the Old Ones!
Ah well, perhaps the Old Gods will decide whats for the best, perhaps the daily grind is something they find amusing or a necessary part of my Path, forcing me to split my focus, bringing me to know myself deeper through conflict within and without, testing my mettle and commitment by placing obstacles in my way, who knows, I dont, but perhaps they do!
I will end today with a poem I wrote, inspired partially by the dream of living an ecologically sound life in our own earthsheltered ecohome, on our own smallholding and partially by the craziness of the Uk's planning regulations (We want sustainable development, but not at the expense of bending the rules!)
Making a Stand?
Walking the path that calls to my soul,
Recalled again to play my Role,
Living a life rooted in the Old Ways,
Learning once more for all of my days!
Finding my way along the crooked path,
Sorting wisdom from chiff and chaff,
Living a life rooted in the Land,
Yet yearning for more, to make a stand!
The Land calls me forth to live a greener life,
Sustainable and self sufficient, with all its strife,
Earthen Sheltered I wish a home for me,
Yet without money its not to be!
Short-sighted rules of those who planned,
Keep us chained to a life that’s killing the Land!
Profitable decisions rule the day,
Yet in the long run its All who will pay!
Greenhouse Emissions out of control,
Melting Icecaps at the Pole!
The black gold is running out,
Civilisation is now at it's last shout!
Legacy of past riches squandered away,
For the price of a life lived at play!
Culture of Greed is how most now live,
For tomorrow not one thought most now give!
Yet there is still another way....
Living in harmony, day by day!
Reclaiming our connection with the Land,
Is it now time to make our Stand?
Land is owned by so very few,
But with it, most know not what to do!
Called forth, a new Vision we need to see!
One that’s fair and allows all to Be!
Communities once more come to the fore,
Building together, living within the Lore!
Regaining the connections that once were Ours,
Reclaiming again those once lost Powers!
Land enough to grow and farm,
Living a life with minimal harm!
Reclaiming the skills of times long gone past,
Building a future that’s bound to last!
Managing the Land through permaculture,
Safeguarding the Land for all our Future!
Sustainable building from local resources,
Allowing Nature to run her courses!
Technology yet still has its place,
But it needs a human face!
Not the God of corporate greed,
But as a tool, us to feed!
Learn well the lessons of the past,
Build things that are made to last and last!
Choose to work on a human scale,
Pass on the word with Your Tale!
If we choose to make a Stand,
We still can save the Land!
Its up to you to choose you're Fate!
Act Now, before its too late!
Thanks for reading!