Every year, it seems that I make some form of life-changing turn. This year is no different. And its not a coincidence either. Every year around this time, I spend time reflecting on where I am, where I am headed, and how I am working towards getting there. Some would call it a ritual of sorts. I don’t. Its a force of habit for me – and it goes back a long ways into my own personal history.
When I was on a Wiccan Path, my first High Priestess (Mary), spent a lot of time with me for one-on-one studies. At the time, I was in the Air Force, stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth. Mary, at that time, lived in north Plano – nearly on the other side of the DFW metro-mess. Coven gatherings, at that time, were on weekends – and for my schedule, weekends were few and far between. Since my schedule was far crazier than most – I was invited out to the house at odd and irregular intervals for the class sessions that I had missed. I was also not the most balanced individual at that time either. Hyper-activity was something that ruled my life completely. It still does from time to time – but thanks to a lot of time from Mary, I learned to identify when things like that were happening, and to use a grounding-and-centering technique she taught to me. That particular technique, I’ve discussed on the podcast (quite a while back – Episode 28: “Grounding and Centering” released on November 23, 2006) – and its the backbone of my entire meditation technique. This particular method will start and finish every mediation that I do (and I try to meditate at least once per day). But this particular technique is not the only thing I’ve carried over from the lessons that Mary taught me.
As I’ve noted (and have been leading up to) is a particular technique that was named to me as the “Positive/Negative Mirror”. In this exercise, I was to list 50 positive things about myself. Afterwards, I was to list 50 negative things about myself. Then, as the final part, I was to compare and contrast the two papers. I’ve since taken that particular exercise and modified several times over the years. Its also the primary meditation exercise that I use every Samhain. As I’ve said before, Samhain is an incredibly intense and private time for me. This particular exercise is one of the primary reasons why. What happens here – without delving too far into my own personal life – is that I take my entire life and place it under my mental microscope. I examine everything carefully, and determine if it is still correct for the Path that I am on. For the most part, everything is usually in place – but is sometimes a little off-kilter. Its just a matter of putting things back on-track, and then going through a re-dedication process to place my mind, motives, and self back into place. However, sometimes certain things are off-kilter so far that its more than a slight adjustment to make things right. And this is where I currently find myself.
For the last three-plus years, I have been on a collegiate career path to get a Doctorate degree in Business – with an emphasis on my career path of Information Security. Three years ago – that path was a logical step for me. In my professional career, I was readying myself for a path further up the management ladder – and succeeded two months later – for Information Technology Director. It didn’t take long for the G-ds to show me that this wasn’t the right Path for me on a professional level. I wasn’t willing to compromise my principles – nor suffer abuse on issues that I understood, but the President of the company was clueless over. Two years of unemployment followed. I continued on the Doctorate path. I rationalized my position that I could utilize the degree to make a career change to teaching – a path I had wanted to follow since I was in High School. Eventually, I carried into that role, which I have been in over the past year. During that time – I’ve started to realize that the Doctorate path is unnecessary for me to teach at the levels that I want to be at. Thus, I’ve started to question the need for this degree program to my career. Over my Samhain meditations, this particular issue continued to crop up in each session. And I’ve finally reached the conclusion that when my current class finishes on the 21st of November, that I will withdraw from my Doctorate program. To broaden my education areas, as well as broaden my teaching opportunities, I will pursue a Masters in Military History at another school – starting in April.
To be honest, this was not the easiest choice in the world. No choice like this ever is. I don’t make these choices over a single meditative session. Nor do I let the meditational aspect drive my decision alone. As with any decision, I’ve taken the time to look through what I’ve been doing. To look at how it will effect my life going forward if I choose to stay in the program versus leaving the program. And that’s how I handle changes like this. That doesn’t mean that this particular process will work for you. It works for me though. Hopefully, there’s something in all of this that will inspire someone to try it, modify it to their needs, or develop something else entirely. To be honest, the meditational processes that I use – and have somewhat described here – were born from modifications that I made from the numerous sessions I had with Mary. If it were not for her patience and her teachings…I would most likely not be using these techniques today. I would have most likely found other coping mechanisms to use in my life…and would most likely be a much different individual. My individual choices, along with the teachings and practices I have been taught, have made me who I am today. The teachings and practices I am using in my OBOD courses, along with the choices I make going forward in my life — these will continually shape who I am going forward. Because learning is a lifelong tool…