Category Archives: Mind

Writing, books and organization.

Aligned af

Aligned AF. I don’t know about you, but I tend to go the extra mile making sure my soul is aligned and I am centered in my own energy. Alas, I’m a human and sometimes I fall short. In those cases, AF stands for anxiety and forgiveness. Two of the things I struggle with the most. 

Mental health has a huge stigma behind it, and even in this current social climate where we are being as open and honest as ever, we still get judged for the chemicals our brain is releasing. Like we have any control over it. I’ve had anxiety my entire existence. Stories of how I would stress myself out so badly I’d get sick has sprinkled my childhood. Most of those stories are told with humor rather than thinking I could ever be anything other than what was perceived as “normal.” I’ve been called emotional, mean, and controlling all because of my anxiety. The times where my anxiety has literally caused me to shut down and internally panic, I’ve been called spoiled and lazy. Pretty much every negative adjective you can think of, all because I’ve been constantly stressed. It’s a struggle to balance out what my brain perceives as reality and what is just me overthinking everything. What people’s actual intentions are over what I assume they are doing. As a Libra, balance is EVERYTHING. It’s enough to make a person go insane, and because of all of this confusion and stress, some sticky situations have arisen. That brings up the next big issue in staying aligned AF. Forgiveness. 

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels

Forgiveness is tricky. Sometimes we have to accept that in life there will be times that we will have to forgive and move on, even when an apology isn’t offered. Not because those who wronged us deserve forgiveness, some of them genuinely don’t. But that doesn’t mean that we deserve to carry about hate in our hearts. All it does is keep us awake at night while the people who hurt us probably sleep soundly. Wrapped up in a blanket with the fan on, nice and comfortable while they dream of who cares. So why don’t we deserve to sleep soundly, cozy and safe on our mattresses? Why do we get hurt, but carry the weight of that on our shoulders when we didn’t ask for it? We may not be the ones who put the burden there, but we are the ones holding onto it. And sometimes we need to, we cling to it like a shackle, waiting for the cut to scab over. But long after the scar tissue has set in, we still hold onto those boulders. We act like songbirds trapped in a cage, but the door is wide open. All we have to do is step out. All we have to do is drop the boulder and stretch out our poor, overworked muscles. It’s amazing to see how much better we can breathe when we aren’t hunched over. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to freedom. 

The reality of anxiety and forgiveness that I have come to is, I’m not responsible for other people. Not how they act. Not how they interpret my good intentions. Not how they perceive my life choices. None of it. And I’m not here to impress them anyway. At the end of it all, what truly matters is that I am happy with myself and my family. What matters is that my relationship is strong and healthy, and that my children are happy and healthy. Everything else is just background noise. And yes sometimes the background noise gets way too loud, but the good thing about that is, we hold the remote. We can turn down the volume. Distance ourselves from the bullshit, get some noise cancelling headphones, whatever you need to do to align yourself. 

Photo by Benjamin Suton on Pexels

It’s taken me a long time to get here and some people never do, because it takes an immense amount of energy and work to get to this milestone. Hard work isn’t for everyone, but good news is, you are a gem. You are a unique snowflake with a design that never has and never will be repeated again. You are not like everyone else, and thank the universe for that. Being your own shade of rich color is one of life’s greatest blessings. Once you see your own worth, a whole new color pallet opens up. Imagine what beautiful portraits you can create with an array of hues designed just for you. 

history, huh?

Every year I set a New Year’s Resolution and by February I’m thinking, why did I do this to myself? So instead of falling into the pattern of basic and unattainable goals, I decided to be sweet and simple this year: Read more books. 

I’ve actually had people tell me that as a mother who writes from home, I should have plenty of free time on my hands but contrary to that belief, I don’t. No one has free time on their hands these days. We are so busy with our jobs, our families, our friends, our houses, and on top of all that there’s the self care hurtle. It’s overwhelming. But I’m a firm believer that a good writer is a good reader. The best way to become a more balanced writer is to write and read a lot. A LOT. Every single day. 

I started off with some books from my shelves that I hadn’t gotten to yet. An older YA vampire series from my younger days. The last three books of the series sat there and whimpered to be loved for far too long, so I loved them. They were wonderful. But it wasn’t until I flew back home to California for a long weekend a few months ago that I turned to GoodReads to see what I was going to download and read next. As I skimmed through the lists of the best books of 2019, one really stood out to me. 

I’m a sucker for a good romance novel. As a hopeless romantic, there’s nothing my heart swells over more than two people who defy all odds and obstacles to be with one another. It’s been a long time since I read a book with such a unique plot or two characters that I would die for, but Red White and Royal Blue but Casey McQuiston just floored me. 

If you have been searching for a refreshingly new love story and haven’t read this book yet, you need to. I first picked it up back in February and I’ve already reread it about five different times. No shame. 

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the biracial son of the first female President of the United States (woot woot!). He is passionate to better his country and he’s completely relatable on a personal level, especially to anyone who has gone to college. Up until four o’clock in the morning. Color coded binders and notes. Constantly pushing yourself to be better. It’s like someone was spying on me back in my university days. 

Henry Wales is a Prince of England, a seemingly unimpressed and bland heir to the throne. If you ask Alex, Henry is completely insufferable. He hates him. He can’t stand the way he presents himself, or how tall he is, or how dreamy his ocean blue eyes are. 

The two start off as nemeses who go from talking shit to each other to causing dramatic public scenes which forces them to mend the bridge between their two countries by pretending to be friends. And shockingly, the more time they spend together, the more tolerable they find out the other one is. A little too tolerable when, much to Alex’s surprise, he realized he isn’t quite as straight as he had spent his life convincing himself he was. 

My heart literally melted the deeper I got into this story, as the layers of each character were pulled back to reveal how raw the pain was that both of them had buried deep in their souls. Not only do they fully accept one another for who they are and their baggage, but they also inspire the other to be better versions of themselves for themselves. And if that isn’t the kind of relationship we all strive to be part of and see our loved ones in, what kind of human being are you?

Not only does Red White and Royal Blue have two of the sweetest protagonists, but the secondary characters are just as loving and supportive with their own colorful stories all woven together in a thick tapestry of new adult relatability. The book touches on relevant political issues and conflicts within the way the people running our country maneuver through politics to meet their agenda, both for the good of their people and, unfortunately, the good of themselves. 

It’s the debut novel writers like me dream about publishing and I couldn’t be more proud of McQuiston for the success and creativity she shows. It’s easy to get competitive as authors when we see others succeed, but as artists we have to celebrate one another for our accomplishments and support each other in our stumbles. At the end of the day, all any of us want to do is write great books that people can relate to and escape from their troubles. This was a hundred percent one of those books for me. 

Check it out for yourself: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150487-red-white-royal-blue

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Book and Coffee Cup photo by fotografierende on Pexels.

RWRB Cover art photo from Spectrum South

Intro

Hello and welcome to the Mystic Quill! In this very first post I wanted to explain my intentions and where I am at the beginning of this journey. My why and my how. Why did I decide to start a blog focused around my spiritual voyage as a pagan and how I walk my own unique path. 

The main thing that attracted me to witchcraft was the freedom. The ideology that there is no set of rules, no idea that you have to practice a certain way to be a witch. It’s all in your intention. Good or bad intentions is what makes the person rather than how you fit into a cookie cutter mold. The very idea that the magic comes from you. Not the herbs you use or the crystals you have, whether you have certain items placed on your altar just right. And while all those things definitely have their own vibrations and their own meanings, the true power comes from the user. Magic is in our hearts and our souls, our energies. Witchcraft, to me, is about being able to tap into and being sensitive to the energies that flow through all living things. The same energy that flows through you and I is the wavelengths that connect the animals, trees, and the stars in the night sky. The moon that gives us the tides illuminates our path amidst the darkness.  

It’s really a beautiful thing when you think about it. That we are all connected to each other and the world we live in. That mindset really makes you appreciate the earth we live on and all the beings we share it with. It makes you protective over it, wanting to do everything you can to help preserve our home. Once you feel that shared vibration, you can never look at a blade of grass or a small squirrel the same again. That is the calling that I felt to the craft and that is why I have stayed so long. The forest is my church, the animals are my congregation, and the moon is my communion. 

I was raised Catholic, just like many generations in my family before me, and I had a great childhood. But once I became a teenager, a lot of the things I was being taught felt off to me. I didn’t feel it in my heart. Now, don’t get me wrong, many people live their lives perfectly content in Christianity and I’m truly happy for them. My path is different than theirs, one isn’t better than the other, they just aren’t the same. Life is all about doing what is best for you, what you feel is right for you in your own heart. That is what led me here and that is what brought me to starting this blog.

Earlier this month I posted a meme on Insta, this one here:

I was expecting anything but the responses I got from women on my personal page. Everything from hearts to clapping hands emojis. Various messages of support and how they felt the same way. It was really uplifting and made me realize this topic is something that interests more people than I first believed. I brought up starting a blog to document my own journey with witchcraft and everything that I still have left to learn and the ones I did speak to were supportive and enthused. So I figured, “Damn, if they are here for it then so am I.”

As a writer, I wanted to create a space where I could express myself in my beliefs and document my trek but also somewhere that I could publish my thoughts. And although I typically write novels and I do have some projects that I am in the process of self publishing, I wanted to combine my passions. Writing, witchcraft, and self care. Or as I will be referring to them in each post: mind, spirit, and body.

So here we are. While there is quite a bit that I have already learned (which I will cover in future posts in an organized fashion, I hope) there is still so much that I want to explore and open myself up to. Life is a voyage, all about navigating rough seas and taking the time we have in calm waters to be thankful for what we have. I’m excited to be able to share this portion of my story and hopefully hear about yours too.

Milky Way Galaxy photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexel.