Tuesday, August 16, 2016

To Will...

The Pagan Experience - To Know – To Will – To Dare and To Be Silent - These Four together are known as The Four Powers of the Sphinx and the Witch’s Pyramid. But, they are not limited to a specific spiritual path and show up in varying forms and combinations within all spiritual truths. So, holding the intention of exploring more deeply what these concepts mean to you, this month our focus is: To Will: What is it that you will (into) to be? How do you exert your will? What form does this will take as you strive towards w(W)ill to Action? Use this month’s writing to dig a little deeper into what this topic means to you, both at the levels of the mundane and the spiritual…….

I spent the summer teaching children. This was a tremendous act of will, one I likened to a marathon. It was a long period of intense effort, with very few breaks. It was also a bit like performance art - one is always on stage.
Every day, I had to think on several levels. As always, self-care had to come first. This was very difficult to maintain in that environment. Time and energy were both limited. Then, I had to think of my personal mission as an educator and spiritual leader. What am I trying to achieve? What is my message?

Of course, I had to keep my eye on my job description, to be sure that I fulfilled my duties to the community, my peers, and the children. That's quite a lot to do when one is working 14 hour days six days a week!

Every day presented a new challenge, and a raft of the same challenges that repeated each day: To maintain one's freshness in the face of exhaustion, heat, insects, and the like. To have patience for the young ones. To be put on the spot every moment, ready at a moment's notice to mentor, teach, inspire, mediate, or comfort. To actually teach something meaningful about Nature or some other topic. To make it all FUN!

This summer was like no other. I have faced many challenges by choice in my life, not least of which has been my journey with martial arts. Long hours, difficult training, and self-discipline were the order of the day. Sore muscles, exhaustion, frustration, fear...all these things were difficult to endure. But in this environment, teaching children, one must do all that AND maintain a positive, fun attitude 24/7.

I look back now that I'm on break and think "how ever did I do it". It all comes down to will. It was the path I chose. Every day, I got up and chose it again. Halfway through the summer, I fell ill. I refused to give up, and made a conscious choice to finish the summer, no matter what.

But it's more than that. Each moment of each day was a choice, an act of will. Surely, I wasn't perfect for all of those moments. There were moments I complained, or brooded, or asked for help. There were moments when I did lose patience. But I'm happy to say that these moments were the exception, and not the rule.

As often as necessary, I took it one day, or even one moment, at a time. I posted the schedule on my wall. I'd get up and think 'ok, breakfast, meeting, hike. Just make it to lunch'.

That's Will - when one is creating one's life consciously, in full recognition of one's powers, one can choose a course of action, then use their will to make it happen. Often, that means choosing actions that support a goal many times a day.

I'd say really, that is the essence of magic. Knowing what you want is Air - getting inspired by a certain scenario and daring to believe it's possible. Working toward it, manifesting it, is Fire, where lives the Will. Choose it, choose it, choose it again.

The magical part of this, of course, is that we often don't know how our Will may manifest. We focus on the goal, we repeat affirmations, work a spell, chant, etc. What happens next is the magic - the external world begins to align itself in accordance with our Will. The opportunities that do support our goals begin to appear. Then we can choose them.

And so it goes, one choice at a time.

"In the highest good of all, with harm to none. As I will it, so mote it be."