2013. This starts my 8th year of podcasting. I’ve shared a lot of things about myself – mostly opinions on this topic or that. In looking back over the last seven years – I noticed I haven’t really shared all that much of my own Path. I’ve had little pieces here and there – but nothing of the essence of who I am, what I believe, how I practice, why I follow the Path that I do. So, when I had the chance to take December of 2012 as a “down” month – and rethink what I could do with From the Edge of the Circle….I realized that this would be a good thematic for this coming year. It accomplishes two things for me – (1) it gives the podcast a lot more focus than it has had in the last three years, and (2) it allows me to really think back on how I got here, and to see where I am going. Ok, that’s technically three things – but I’m sticking to my stance on it being two. 🙂 Looking Back to Influences Recently, I sat down and listened to a handful of the older shows. Episodes 1, 7, 23, and 45 to be specific. I was struck by how different I was at that point – and how far I’ve actually changed over the last seven years. In the early days of the show – I could feel a lot of that angry and frustrated energy that got me ranting over topics. I still hit those moments from time to time — but not so much anymore. Part of that goes out to the influences off five particular people:
- Fionn Tulach (Fiona Davidson)
- Cat Treadwell
- Damh the Bard
- Paul C. Newman
- John Beckett
Each one has had their own influence on me – the first four through Damh’s podcast “Druidcast
“. The last, John is local to me here in the DFW MetroMess and I’ve had the awesome opportunity to meet with him face-to-face on a few occasions.
So let me start with the local angle, which also leads me to a spot where my Path changed. About ten months prior to meeting with John, I started the correspondence lessons for the Bardic grade in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids
(OBOD). I was happy to find a Path that was easier to mold into my own personal Spirituality. Something that had enough elasticity to bend where I needed it to – and enough rigidity to provide me with focus. After a few months, I found John’s blog “Under the Ancient Oaks
” and had been reading his writings quite a bit. When I got the chance to meet him face-to-face (thanks to an introduction through David Pollard of the CUUPS Podcast
– whom I have known since the beginning of time – or at least it feels that way), I was really excited to talk with him. I found that he had already traversed the OBOD path through to its fruition (all three Grades), and was excited to actually meet someone who had taken the Path I was on. The longer I talked with John, the more I began to realize that I needed to shed some of the emotions I had been piggy-backing through my life – namely the angry-me that came out in the rants on the podcast. Its taken some time, but I’ve managed to do so – though not altogether. Deny a specific emotion in one’s self is to deny one part of one’s self…not a good thing in my book. But thanks to John’s influence, I’ve managed to see a specific area that needed some work.
About the same time that I found John’s blog – I also found Damh’s podcast. The music on the show has been fantastic! Music drives my soul. I’ve been introduced to so much music I was never aware of: The Dolmen
, Telling the Bees
, Paul C. Newman
, Jim Faupel
(LOVE his stuff!), Kate and Corwen
(such awesomeness!), and many others. Damh’s style of podcasting generates a sense of calm, and playfulness – his humor is amazing, and something I completely enjoy. Through Damh, I came to know the playful nature of Paul Newman through the “Day in the Life” segments. Paul’s laugh is completely infectious…his interviews always make me feel like I am sitting down to have a pint with him and whoever he is interviewing at the time. Through these two I have re-connected with the perspective of finding humor in my daily Path. I find it far easier to connect with my students in the classroom through the usage of humor. It sets me at ease – and it lets them realize that I am no different than they are. And once I establish this setting, it becomes far easier to teach them the subject of Business Computer Applications and Information Systems (which, admittedly, can be a fairly dry concept). Humor breaks down so many walls and barriers…
Fionn Tulach, whom I omitted from the musical notations I made earlier (on purpose), is the amazing Fiona Davidson. I first heard her on an episode of Druidcast, when Damh played a track from one of her albums. The woman is entrancing and amazing – with a spell-binding voice and a gorgeously played harp – but I was amazed when Damh had her on for an interview. During the interview, she talked about “diving deep” into one’s spirituality…and not worrying about where you might come up after reaching the deep depths of yourself. It was through Fionn’s interview that I started looking at the possibility of examining where I was on my Path, who I was inside, why I was doing what I was doing. I may not dive nearly as deep as was mentioned in the interview – but its a technique that I have utilized from time to time with great results. Coupled with the fact that her albums are some of the most cherished tracks within my library (if they were vinyl or cassette tape – I would have worn them completely out by now) – her indirect influence on my Path has been quite large.
Last, but hardly least, is Cat Treadwell. About six months before her interview on Damh’s podcast (lots of synchronicity in all of this, eh?), I came across her blog “The Catbox
“. Her posts have been quite inspiring, particularly in getting me back outdoors. I have found myself looking for areas to go walking in my local area, where I normally would not. Usually, I walk through my neighborhood – now I have found myself going down by the lake (Lewisville Lake
is just south of me), finding trails in some out of the way places….just to experience my local area in a different light. This has helped me to strengthen the Kami
within my eyes – and to spend a few minutes with them firmly in my mind in those areas. Lately, I’ve begun to incorporate the Kami into my own little rituals – such as my “greeting of the Sun” each morning. Typically I spend the moments of dawn either in my backyard – or when the weather isn’t accommodating, at my window in the kitchen – watching the Sun climb higher into the sky. All of this started through reading Cat’s posts.
Most of these folk don’t know me. But all of them have played a tremendous part in my reconnection with a deeper part of my Self. Through them and the parts of themselves that they have shared through podcasts, music, books, and blogs, I’ve learned a lot about achieving that necessary balance within myself – I am a Libra (October 1st) after all. For some, it may seem odd that I could find such inspiration through people I know somewhat and in some cases, not at all. But I do know them. I know them through what they share with me. Just as people who read this blog know who I am through what I share. Just as people who listen to “From the Edge of the Circle” know me through what I share there. Granted – its not a complete picture. Very rarely will folks share the really bad moments of their lives through such mediums…but at least there is something that gets shared. And that something can inspire people to achieve great things. And its one of the reasons I am thankful that the medium of the internet was created. Through that, our world has become a little smaller…a little more cozy, and a lot more connected.