Self-Care Sunday: A Lesson in Self-Care Culture

Cleanse yourself & your space with sage or Palo Santo.

Play your favourite album on repeat. (Willow’s “1st” is on deck today).

Light about fifteen candles of various scents & sizes. Set the mood.

Yoga flow in the warm light. Mostly stay in extended child’s pose for an extended amount of time.

Run a hot bath & pour in eco-friendly bubble bath & essential oils. Yum.

Spark up something special & slip gently into the water.

Pull a few tarot cards. Check in with the unconscious.

Read some sad poetry & remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

Dry yourself off, wash your face & cover yourself in coconut oil.

Wrap yourself up in warm, knit clothing & a fluffy blanket.

Play music from personalized playlists. (Spotify knows me better than I know myself).

Eat an entire Milka chocolate bar because you’re an adult & we can do things like that.

Write down three things you are grateful for. Let that chocolate bar be one of them.

Write down the reason you chose to take care of yourself today.

Write, write, write. And write some more.

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25 Lessons I’ve Learned in 25 Years: Part II

Now, where were we?

Ah yes, life lessons from the twenty-something that’s got it all figured out.

Wait, is that me?

Don’t let the mature words & philosophical questions fool you. I do not have it all figured out. I know what makes sense to me. I’ve seen some stuff & had life kick my ass. I’ve got some good ol’ life experience to back up the advice I provide. But, I don’t have all the answers!

So, with that in mind. Here are the next five lessons that my twenty-five years on the Earth have taught me:

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The Hermit ~ Shine Your Light Within

I have been practicing tarot reading for almost a year now. It has been an unbelievably beneficial journey of self-reflection & a revelation of my intuition. I am so excited to share what I have learned so far! Currently, I work with The Wild Unknown deck by Kim Krans. I am very connected to my deck. I adore the imagery (do you see that turtle?!) & have always felt a pull to read them. Every now & then I will be spotlighting specific cards that speak to me as well as sharing the spreads I work with. Today, The Hermit gets to shine. Enjoy!

The Cards

For those unfamiliar with tarot & how it all works, here are some basics. There are seventy-eight cards in a traditional tarot deck. Twenty-two of those cards are called the Major Arcana (the deck’s trump cards). “Arcana” means secrets or mysteries. The Major Arcana are powerful and each one represents an archetype of the human psyche. These cards are the energies we all hold within ourselves. If you receive one in a reading, don’t take it for granted. There is always a reason for it to show up.

There are also fifty-six Minor Arcana divided into four different suits: wands, cups, swords & pentacles. But, that will require a whole other post. Subscribe to stay updated!

The Hermit is the ninth card of the Major Arcana & always a welcome sight. When you think “hermit,” you might think; lonely, depressed, isolated. Hermit behaviour is often misunderstood. However, there are many reasons for us to celebrate it.

When this card appears in a reading, I know there is no need for extra guidance or questioning. Whoever is receiving the reading already has the answers within them. They just needed to be reminded. Be happy for the presence & the practice of The Hermit!

The Meaning

The keywords we can associate with The Hermit, according to Kim Krans, are solitude and meditation. I use the word introspection when I read this lovely card. The Hermit also stands for self-reflection. Deep, deep self-reflection. The type of self-reflection that one needs to sit with for a while. To sit in solitude & practice introspection is the only way we can discover our true path.

The Hermit reminds us that we hold the wisdom within to guide us on that true path; the path we are all striving to be on. Do you see the lantern on our dear Hermit’s back? That represents the flame we all hold within. It is our inner guidance. To realize that guidance, we must check-in with the self & unearth whatever it is that’s waiting beneath the surface.

At times, checking in with ourselves is the last thing we want to do. Who needs to recognize all of those scary emotions anyway? Well, I’ll tell you who. You. It is so important to check-in with the self; to discover our wants & desires, find out what our fears are, and where our comfort zone begins & ends.

Perhaps, your comfort zone is in solitude. Personally, I can find a lot of comfort in being alone & I know I’m not alone in that feeling. So, for those who enjoy their time by themselves, or maybe are avoiding society in general, The Hermit is asking you “Why?” Why are you hiding yourself from the world? It urges you to find that flame burning within & let the world see it shine.

The Hermit in Me

I identify very strongly with this slow-moving yet active character. It always shows up when I stray too far from my true path or when I simply need inspiration. Every year, I pull a Year Ahead Spread on my birthday. The Hermit is my card for January! I couldn’t have asked for a better card to show up for me this month. The Hermit is here to remind me why I started this tarot journey; to share what is within.

It is also the time, in the Northern Hemisphere, when we experience shorter, darker days and tend to spend a lot of time indoors to escape the biting cold. This is the perfect time for a lil’ introspection, meditation, & self-reflection.

The Hermit has truly helped me focus on myself & my journey so far this month. I needed a reminder to slow down, check-in, & move forward – slowly.

For, even if we are moving at a turtle’s pace, we are taking the necessary steps on our never-ending path to be our authentic selves.

With love ~ zz

25 Lessons I’ve Learned in 25 Years: Part I

Life lessons. Woo! Quite literally my favourite topic of conversation. I may sound like I have it all figured out. But, don’t be fooled, friends.

Why listen to me? I’m not really sure. I’m considered a millennial even though I don’t feel like one. Yes, I have a minor addiction to the blue light of my iPhone & I do love a good selfie. But, I would hope I’m a little less entitled & a little more self-reliant than the stereotypical 20-something in 2017. So, take this series of lessons, and subsequently this blog, with whatever grain of salt you like. This is the lens through which I see the world. These are the lessons I’ve learned that have made all the difference. Enjoy, lovelies!

1. Love yourself first. 

Easily the most important lesson I have taught myself. Five years ago, if you asked me what I loved about myself, I would have answered with a list of things I hated. Now, at twenty-five, I can tell you I love my sense of humour & quick wit. I love my strong desire for human connection. Plus, I love my big hips, big hair, big thighs, big laugh, and big smile. And I am so proud of how far I’ve come. Of course there are still things I wish to work on, like my indecisive nature, but I know that will come in time. There is no guide to self-love. They don’t teach this in school. It is a lesson you have to teach yourself.

2. Hug your mom as much as you can.mama

Like, right now. Go.

Your mama literally gave you life. You didn’t spend nine months in her womb to be an ungrateful little shit. Hug her. Because, she isn’t always going to be there. Because, maybe you’ll live half way across the world, have a really shit day, and not be able to feel the comfort of her love. Maybe your relationship with your mother isn’t the greatest. Maybe she isn’t around. For those souls, I hope there is another nurturing woman in your life that you can hug in her absence.

I love you, mama!

3. A few good friends is better than a lot of crappy friends.

It’s a matter of quality over quantity. I used to believe that I needed a million friends to be happy. Especially in a world where Facebook has us collecting friends like trading cards. I am now only interested in friendships that are of benefit. I have met so many amazingly genuine people in my travels & have kept in touch with them over the years because we truly care about each other.  The same cannot be said about people I spent years working beside or going to school with. Perhaps I sound like a real asshole. But, I want to surround myself with good people who make me laugh, who teach me things, who lift me up instead of bring me down, who ask how I’m doing, who actually CARE. And I want to be that kind of person, that kind of friend, for others too.

4. Express gratitude every day. 

This is one of my more recent lessons learned. I have since adapted it into my every day life. And I am a much better person for it. There are so many things in this life to be thankful for. Just waking up in the morning is a fucking gift! Be grateful that you have air in your lungs, a bed to sleep on, a creaky floor to walk across, a window to see the marvelous sun rise. I encourage you to take a mindful moment at the end of your day (Heck, do it right now!) & think of three things that you’re grateful for. It can be small things, like “I am grateful for hot coffee on the commute to work.” Or it can be the big things, like “I am grateful for my home, my cozy & safe space, and having enough money to pay for it.” Just three things. Right before you turn on that Netflix series to fall asleep to. This practice forces you to recognize the good things that have happened to you in your day-to-day. I promise (PROMISE) that you will be a better, happier, human being.

5. Be honest with yourself. 

Let’s get real deep for a second. We hear the saying all the time, “Honesty is the best policy.” Usually we hear it in response to white lies we tell our parents or our partners. What about when we are dealing with our ‘selves’ & matters of the heart? Nobody told me how important it would be to be real with myself and admit to the emotions I would feel.

I am someone who feels a lot of emotions. I blame that on being a writer. As such, it is necessary for me to feel emotions fully in order to move on. I wasn’t always a heart-on-my-sleeve type of woman. I would push negative emotions and feelings of vulnerability way down. Way, way down. However, I have since grown into a woman who acknowledges what she’s feeling whether it’s anger, depression or happiness. I let it flow in whichever way it decides to. Most importantly, I acknowledge the love I feel; for family, friends, lovers, you name it. Bottom line: allow yourself the courtesy of being honest in your emotions. Your heart will thank you.

Stay tuned for the next five lessons in this series.

With love ~ zz

Who is the Wanderess?

Who is the Wanderess? A question much like; “what can you tell us about yourself?” One of my least favourite questions to answer, yet the most honest & telling.

I hope the following sheds a light on who I am, where I’ve been & what makes my heart happy. Enjoy, my lovelies!

The Writer

Above & before all, I am a writer. I started this blog as a way of getting my words, wild thoughts & witchy intentions out into the world. My words are trapped in the many notebooks scattering my apartment floor. The wild thoughts have been bouncing around in my brain for too long. My intentions are waiting impatiently to have the world read, hear and understand them.

I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned the skill in the first grade. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I’ve filled countless journals (a practice my darling mother introduced me to) but I have never shared my writing with anyone outside my circle. So, consider yourself lucky.

For a long time, I was under the impression that everyone kept a journal, wrote their feelings down, reflected on what happened in a day. I soon realized, while not alone in my writing practice, journal-keeping & creative writing wasn’t a popular pastime. I was a quiet kid growing up (if you know me, you might find that hard to believe) & I had a difficult time talking about what was going on in my head. As an experienced adult, I know that same struggle with communication I once had is very common. But, once I learned how to express myself (and I mean really express myself, my authentic self) I was so much happier. Not only happy, but relieved. I was so relieved to have an outlet that allowed honesty with myself, those around me, & the world.

The Wanderess

I have lived on the beaches in Spain, worked in the mountains of northern Italy, and hung off the edge of the world in Ireland. My heart is always yearning for new scenery & a new adventure. But, right now, my heart is yearning for something else – to be heard. So, thank you for listening.

It was travel that truly inspired me to write this blog. I’ve written pages upon pages about the experiences I have had & shared amongst my closest & dearest friends in places all over the world. Whether it was good, bad or down right ugly, it made it on the page & will one day make it here! I have written in the middle of lush forests, on white, sandy beaches, on the top of seven-hundred foot cliffs, and in train stations, parks, bars, & cafes all over Europe. The constant change of scenery that travel allows will always inspire me. There is nothing quite like waking up in an unknown city & venturing out to see what it has to offer you.

Travel is humbling, gratifying, frightening, and always inspiring. I owe it to my wandering heart & supportive friends & family for pushing me out into the world. For, if not for them, I would still be caught up in who I used to be, not living an authentic life, never having crossed an ocean, and kicking myself for it every chance I got.

This summer, a man behind a hostel desk told me, “With a name like yours, you must be destined for something great. Something that’s going to change the world.” Wow. How does one respond to that? Obviously flattered, I took his words & thought hard about what I could do to change the world around me, even just a little bit. I still don’t have a concrete answer. But, maybe this is the start of that journey. Maybe this will be nothing but a diary. Either way, this blog, this space, was created to share the stories trying so desperately to get out there. Wherever “there” is.

I invite you all on this journey of discovery with me!

The Witch

Let’s set the records straight. I didn’t just decide one day that I was a witch. There was no “Ah-ha” Oprah moment where I told myself, “Girl, you’re a witch now.” It was more of a gradual realization that I already was one & that the beliefs I had were shared amongst other women around me. It also helped that the universe started inserting witchy, intuitive experiences into my life. The universe will do that to you.

I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe that everything happens to us for a reason. Sometimes that reason is a blessing, sometimes a lesson, sometimes both! I believe we are all connected to each other & Mama Nature. I believe that the energy we put out into the world comes back to us; good & bad. I believe there are tools like tarot, crystals, and astrology to aid in the realization of the energy we all share. I use these tools intuitively & intentionally for guidance, self-reflection, and growth. They help me focus on what is important & true in my life as well as to understand the world around me. My practice has not only aided in my personal growth but the growth of the ones I love as well. And that makes my witchy heart very happy.

Now, these are not ideas that everyone understands. Frankly, you don’t need to understand them. My practice is ultimately just that. My practiceIt is ultimately for myself, my growth, and my happiness. As with my writing, the witch had to come out. She was begging to. Sharing this part of my identity was beyond necessary for so many reasons. But, mostly, it was to continue the journey of my heart’s happiness.

In the last week leading up to this blog launch, I have become increasingly confident in who I am, what I stand for, and what I practice. I have never been witchier either. And I have loved every minute of it.

It is no coincidence that I launched this blog on October 31st. Samhain (SOW-en), Halloween, or even Witches’ New Year, is a time of great transformation. The veil is at its thinnest between this world & the next. There is a sense of darkness, truth, and rebirth in the air. This sensation allows us to catch a glimpse of our truest selves. It is up to us (with the help of our chosen tools & support groups) to harness this energy around us & reveal our authentic selves.

This is me – my authentic self. This is the Wanderess Within.