Out of the Comfort Zone…

This year has been full of change for me – lots of firsts, lots of doing things differently. Probably a better way of putting things – there’s a lot of me stepping out of my comfort zone. In just two short months, I have found myself going to a Pagan retreat, and doing a chat session with an author for the podcast. In both instances, I was stepping way out beyond what I have been doing. Going to outings where I know so very few people is something that makes me a little nervous. And the only two interviews I had done previously for the podcast were with two people that I was very familiar with in a face-to-face environment. But…the podcast changed to this new format for a reason. And getting out into the community was a part of that.

Many people view Crow as a mischievous Trickster – and that is quite true. However, the crow is also a bringer of messages – as are many birds. Its this particular area that I focused upon when studying the crow and finding Crow in my meditations. The promise is to provide a platform for others to present their perspective, and thus “Upon a Pagan Path
” was born. But there are little caveats to that promise being fulfilled, as I have been finding out.

MeMy friend, John Beckett recently described me in a blog post as “…epitomiz[ing] ‘solitary practitioner’” and he’s quite on the mark. My Path in Paganism leads me on a solo track — even though I have a very active CUUPs group nearly in my backyard, and a few other groups just to the south of me. I like to refer to myself as “solo by choice”. Its not that I dislike any of the groups near me — merely that I find my footsteps easier to handle in my own manner and time. I do occasionally make an event at the nearby CUUPs group — but those are very far between. Mostly because my time schedule and theirs don’t always mesh. But over the past few months, that push has been there…

Yes, I feel the gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle push of the Gods — pushing me towards being more out in the open. Being more in the community. And I am working towards doing better. As I noted, I made Hearthstone Grove’s Imbolc Retreat this year, and hope to be invited back again next year. In just a few days, I will be attending the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering. In late March, I will be attending the Melting P.O.T. Pagans in the Park event. As I have for the last two years, I will be at this year’s DFW Pagan Pride Day event, and hope to have the available time to make it to this year’s Austin Pagan Pride Day event as well. There’s an outside chance I may be able to make it to the OBOD East Coast Gathering. And I am already making plans to attend Pantheacon next year, and possibly Many Gods West. Those are, of course, a little further out in the calendar, so there’s some give and take where those are concerned at the moment.

So why am I getting out there? Well, the answer is two-fold. Being a solo Pagan does not mean that I have to hole-up in my home, and wander the brush and wooded areas near my home only or even alone. Paganism is about experiencing things, and its about community. Being here in my local environment, there’s plenty to experience, but I have to get out to experience community. I’m just not going to get that through Skype alone…plus, I can set my digital recorder in front of people and let them talk…about who they are.

I did From the Edge of the Circle for a little more than….seven years, I think. In that seven years of shows, I only brought an outside perspective in once. That was a talk that John gave at the first Pagan Pride Day event that I attended in Dallas. That’s a lot of shows talking about where I cam coming from, explaining what I believe about this topic or that topic. Its time to turn the microphone on my audience and the best way to do that is to get out there with them.  Yes, that’s what “Upon a Pagan Path” is about – that was the promise. Now I am being held accountable to that promise.  And that means climbing out of my comfort zone…

::opening the door::

::looking both ways down the hall::

Here goes nothing….

::stepping out of the comfort zone::

 

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