In my writing world, I’ve been struggling with labels and boxes, and the limitations these things create. I’m sharing here, because it’s amusing to me. I like to think that, in my spiritual practice, I am beyond labels and boxes. I’m not, of course. I’m as influenced by such things as anyone else. We all have our things, right? For me, labels I struggle with are things like, “New Age” and “Wiccan” and the like; more, the mindset that one has, that such things are “fluffy”, is something I try to un-learn. I’m not sure when I picked it up (okay, a lie: I have a good idea, I just am not sure HOW I picked it up). I am not proud that my first reaction upon hearing things like, “Reiki is part of my healing practice,” is to dismiss the speaker as a fluffy, love and light, feel good psycho-babble person. At best, it’s not allowing for an open, honest exchange or a willingness to take people as they come. It’s allowing past experiences to make me prejudice toward others. At worst, it makes me a hypocrite. I, um. Also practice Reiki and see it as a valuable tool in the healing and self-discovery process.
But, on the whole, labels and boxes within my spiritual life are tools that help aid discussion but do not limit me in any way that I’m uncomfortable with. Depending on who I’m speaking to, I’m a polytheist, a pagan, a devotee of Poseidon’s and Odin’s, Poseidon’s wife, Odin’s daughter, etc. Because of labels and boxes I can say that I’m inclined toward a Buddhist philosophy, that my spiritual practice is not exactly a Recon-flavored one, and that I lean more toward a Germanic cosmology than a Hellenic one.
In my writing? The boxes and labels are hard structures that I cannot seem to work around. I’ve been working on a novel for the better part of the year. Therefore, I can Only Work On Novels. At some point, during this time, I decided that my shorter work wasn’t as important — never mind that I enjoy the whole process more — and, for the last month or two, have been spinning my wheels.
Progress has halted, and I’m realizing: I don’t want to work on the novel. I want to work on the stories that are in front of me right now.
My interactions with the Lady of the Wetlands made me realize that, not only is that where I want to be focused on, but I sort of, kind of promised to tell those stories, and then focused entirely on different stories altogether.
So, I’m fixing it, and it’s exciting and new, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Not surprisingly, my connection to place has strengthened.