Self-Discipline and Personal Power

I want to talk about personal power and self discipline….It’s not a popular topic. Everybody wants a magic answer. They want to wave a wand or wiggle their nose and have the job done.

Me too, folks. Me too.

This is at the forefront of my mind for a couple reasons. The first has to do with my oldest daughter, the Princess. The second is hitting home because of my own situation.

The Princess is a hairdresser. She just passed her 4th anniversary at the salon she works; a high-end salon where she apprenticed. I know that she’s my daughter and I see her through rose colored lenses but let me tell you a bit about her.

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The Princess Empowering Women.

She’s annoyingly positive, incredibly emotional and was doled out an extra helping of guilt at birth.

She moves through her life trying to avoid making decisions that will make her feel the twisted pangs of guilt. Its her internal compass and she calls me when she has to make the hard decisions. She calls often.

This affliction has manifested in a number of traits such as a ridiculously strong work ethic and a desire to be helpful, supportive and kind.

I can tell ya, she is NOT the poster girl for the beauty industry.
She doesn’t fit in with the typical hairdresser and has, on occasion, been the target for the collective petty bullshit that happens whenever you get a bunch of insecure women in one place.

(I feel that ‘target’ is an ancestral wound gifted from her dad’s side and it’s her responsibility to heal it for herself and every woman that came before her. She agrees and is not happy about it.)

She loves what she does and she loves the people she works for, so she stays. Fortunately, she’s been working from their satellite salon and doesn’t interact with most of the women who target her.

On her 4th anniversary, she sat down with management to look at her numbers and discovered that she has hit the goal to receive her next raise in prices.

This is completely numerical. It has nothing to do with who she is, her work ethic, the quality of her work or how well the owner likes her. This formula is well known and applies to all hairdressers. The percentage of service sales + product sales = a bump in haircut prices.

My daughter busted her ass to earn that bump. She did her job, she scouted new clients, she took extra classes, learned new skills, perfected her techniques, built up her clientele, and promoted the products.

This success was not appreciated by the heard of cackling hens who posited that she only got the raise because she’s favored by the boss.

For a week we heard bits and pieces from a few ally’s and learned that a number of the girls confronted the boss demanding that her prices be reverted back, because it wasn’t fair. Some of the women had been there longer, some had more clients, some weren’t even hairdresser and had nothing to gain by protesting….but hey, herd mentality….

Their demands fell on deaf ears. The boss explained, once again, the process of obtaining a raise and how each of them had the power to do the same.

The Princess isn’t a witch, she doesn’t want the responsibility. She has never asked me for spells, only blessings and positive vibes. I’ve never cast a spell for her, success or otherwise. (I offered to hex the bitches but she turned me down.)

She is focused and disciplined and passionate. She wins.

And she inspires me. She reminds me everyday that Focus, Passion and Discipline are the keys to success; the keys to a happy life.

Going back to personal power and self-discipline. As kids we ‘do’ thing because we’re told to. We do it because if we don’t we’ll get in trouble. I don’t know about you, but most of what I did as a kid, was because it would stop my mom from yelling.

As an adult I didn’t. It was a rebellious thing. All those things I should have been doing for myself, like eating healthy, exercising, tidying up my home, studying my college course work…. I didn’t do that because it’s what the adults told me I had to do and now they weren’t around to make me.

I had to learn the hard way that doing those things would benefit me, they’d make me stronger, they’d make me feel better. They would give me room to focus on the things I’m passionate about. They would take me to the life I dreamed about.

It took me a good 15 years of rebellion before it started to click…

…Don’t laugh at me, everyone gets it in their own time.

So much of the craft is about what we do or don’t do. Intentions, spell work and magic will only get us so far. The rest is the boring mundane everyday things that we don’t really want to do.

Its not about motivation, its about discipline.

The princess recites that like a mantra. You do what needs to be done because it needs to be done. The results will be worth it.

In the Craft, most of the magic performed is done to boost the mundane work (at least in my practice). We set the intention, we focus the energy, light the candle, chant the rhyme, mix the herbs, charge the stones and then we do the work. The boring mundane busy work of reaching your goals.

Day in day out, we do the work that needs to be done. That’s where our personal power lies.

Sometimes the work is directly tied to the goal (The princess recommending products to her clients) and sometimes its not (Her choice to go to the gym everyday). But even if the task isn’t directly linked, It still matters. It’s all connected.

She goes to the gym because it makes her feel good. It helps her anxiety, manages her weight and makes her feel stronger. If she chose not to go to the gym everyday, her anxiety would be through the roof making her edgy and irritable and less able to deal with the stress. She’d be carrying extra weight which might have a negative effect on her self-confidence. She wouldn’t have the strength or stamina to take on the extra client with the 6 hour service.

I’m recognizing all this as we embark on this new journey and lifestyle change.

My sewing machine broke last year. It was 12 years old. It wasn’t a really expensive model and I didn’t sew as often as I wanted to because it couldn’t handle what I wanted it to do. I looked into having it fixed, (I couldn’t find the part I needed online) and it dawned on me that it would be better to save up for a heavy duty sewing machine.

I was half way to my goal when I casually mentioned it on Facebook. My cousin offered me her mothers old sewing machine. My crazy Aunt Joyce was an amazing and creative seamstress, I was humbled by the offer.

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My Crazy Aunt Joyce! R.I.P Beautiful Soul.

So now I’m sitting on extra money with some serious craft store fantasies, knowing that I need to take that money and be responsible with it.

We still have debts to be paid and savings to increase. We’re not going to buy the farm if I waste the money on fabric. (especially when I have two 18 gallon totes full of fabric.)

My passion for a homesteading life has to outweigh my passion for being creative. I have to stay focused and be disciplined. Today it really sucks.

Today, I’m exercising my power, staying focused on my dream, and being disciplined with my resources.

Tonight, I will wave my wand and wiggle my nose and Tomorrow I’ll go to the bank.

Behind the Scenes

This post isn’t really magical if that what you’re looking for. This post is just behind the scenes info and a peak into human side of my life.

I’ve been feeling a ‘change’ vibe for awhile. Battling some Wanderlust.  I’ve told The Renaissance Man. He didn’t like that. He still believes that he doesn’t like change. Silly Muggle.

About a month ago my suspicions were confirmed or rather clarified. Long story short, it looks like we may be moving out of our tiny little hobbit house.

Yes, first reaction was a freak out! For Both of us. Followed by some serious swearing. I’m totally not ready to move, not physically, not mentally, and definitely not financially.

But once the shock wore off, I felt that spark, that energy, the magic butterflies… the possibilities. The Renaissance Man, not as much, he’s stubborn that way… Silly Muggle.

In his defense, he’s put a lot of sweat equity into this house with the understanding that it would be ours someday. It took a few conversations to point out the faults in this property and open him up to the possibilities.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted a big white farmhouse with a wrap around porch and an expanse of land to grow gardens; vegetable garden, fruit gardens, herb garden, secret tucked away garden. And trees, Lots of trees. I love trees.

Maybe it was growing up reading Little House on the Prairie or maybe it’s my ancestors (They lost the farm in the depression), but that was the picture in my head, That’s where my heart goes when I loosen the reins. My happy place.

I buried that dream for a while because circumstances put my sorry ass in the City, with all the people and pollution and noise.  I did my best, no matter where I lived, to enjoy the postage stamp yards and make them magical.

Having to move, means the possibility of buying a house with a bigger yard, more land, more nature.

I’ve recently found a word for what I’ve always wanted.

Homesteading.

I’ve also learned that I already do so much of what a Homesteader does.

I grow my own herbs and vegetables. I preserve the things I grow. I cook 90 % of my meals from scratch. I can sew, I can crochet, I can knit now, Whoohoo!

The Renaissance Man can paint, sculpt, cook, bake, design and build things. (Hence his nick-name)  He does almost all the maintenance on our home and vehicles. He’s pretty freakin’ amazing!

The only thing we lack here is animals. They’re against the city ordinances and our space is already cramped.

I would like to keep chickens for eggs, and goats for milk (and because they’re adorable). I’ve also learned to spin fiber this year, so sheep or alpacas have entered the dream.

The animal part still seems very far away, if at all possible but the moving to a house with more land is now on the table although its going to take us at least a year to get the finances back in order.

Now I have to go back a bit to tell you that I got to that Hopeful, Excited Place before The Renaissance Man. It’s pretty typical. He likes to hang on to his worry; pet it and cuddle it and call it George. He has back up plans for his back up plan. He’s not really good with the whole “Trust the Universe” thing.  It took a bit of counseling, a card reading, some logic and a threat to get him on board.

Pretty much I pointed out that he needed to stay positive about this, or at the very least put it in a box and forget about it because I’d be working some magic and if his bad juju threw a wrench in all my good work, there would be hell to pay.

He laughed….nervously.

Its been a couple weeks since this all transpired. We have a finance plan in place to get rid of some debts and save some money. It’ll be at least a year before we can start looking at properties.

The focus is now,  will be on the side-business, my Etsy shop and blog.  Its always been good economic sense to have multiple streams of income. Doing that from home makes us happier people

The world needs happier people.

After 11 years of me running the Etsy shop and begging him to contribute, he’s  considering it.

I told you, he’s stubborn. If he actually does, is another question. He’s in the workshop honing his skills and making cool pieces for Christmas gifts. He may or may not be planning cool trinket and boxes to sell. We shall see.

I will be making a list of all the things I need to list on Etsy. I’ve got bundles of herbs drying and a stack of yarn craft waiting for new homes.

I’ve been doing this long enough to know the steps. I kind of burnt out and took a break but we agreed that its time for me to jump back in and do the work.

  • The making part is easy. I love the making part. The media may change but the joy is the same.
  • The photos and editing are tedious. Switching from the SLR digital camera to my phone camera may make life easier. I won’t have to transfer to the laptop to edit. Let me know if you notice a difference in quality.
  • The listing part isn’t hard. Etsy makes it pretty easy.
  • The Social Media stuff is where I struggle. Not because I can’t do it just because it always takes more time that I want it to. Let’s all wave our wands together since I can’t seem to find a working time-turner.

The biggest change for me right now may actually work in my favor. The Renaissance Man and I discussed this blog.

The Renaissance Man

A candid shot of The Renaissance Man investing sweat equity

*queue ominous music*

Okay, I rambled, he nodded a lot and occasionally made suggestions. Our final agreement is that this can’t be just a witchy blog. It can’t just be about those fun topics like plants and magic and tools that I’ve made and Goddesses that I work with.

It has to expand into the rest of our life because basically everything I do is flavored with my beliefs and touched by my magic.

This has to be a lifestyle blog. And it should chronicle the journey we are about to embark. From the very beginning (now) through all the ups and downs. The fun parts and boring parts and all the magic I work in between.

I guess I’m saying that their will be more behind the scenes type posts which  gives me more topics to write about! Which should, in theory, translate to more posts.s

Wish me luck!