One of the things I’ve been thinking about for the last few years is the probability of woo – that is, magic and the divine. This is not a topic I speak openly on because, like politics, it comes with its own set of derision and trolling. There is also the idea, to me, woo is a very private thing. Part of my world holds many secrets, not all of which are shared. (Yes, I do understand apparent conflict of interest here.)
So what, exactly, is woo? The best definition I can give is the search for the divine or spirituality, in that it enhances your everyday life rather than constrict it. So whether you worship a deity, plants, or yourself, it’s all woo. But what really makes woo “woo” is all of these incarnations contain, at their core, magic. Whether it is rituals, prayers, practice, or straight up spell making, it’s all about the magic.
Some example of woo-ers are friends who are Druids who believe in faerie folk but not ghosts; die hard atheists who are ghost hunters; honest to goodness God believers who love their church; witches of all varieties; purveyors of reiki and yoga, and everything in between.
The big reason I started researching what makes me “woo” is how we tend to live our lives on a daily basis. Below is a quote cobbled together from various sources by Allie over at Wardrobe Oxygen and is attributed to Brené Brown that encapsulates my thoughts perfectly.
We all get so many emails in our inbox on ‘how to…’ However ‘how to’ does not work – if it did, none of us would be struggling, we would not be the most obese, in debt, addicted society in human history. We frequently look for ‘quick fixes,’ ‘instant solutions,’ and helpful tips in the areas we struggle most in our attempt to ‘fix’ the areas that cause us pain. If ‘how to’ worked, none of us would struggle with feelings we’re ‘enough.’ We live in a culture where if we are not doing huge, extraordinary things, we are ‘not enough.’ All of the social media are based on the shame-based fear of being ordinary. We are hyper-aware of lack. The first thing we do in the morning is to say to ourselves, ‘I didn’t sleep enough’ and the last thing before bed is, ‘I didn’t get enough done.’Brené Brown
The other big thing I’ve learned in the last year is I don’t need much to make me happy. I’ve culled down my physical goods to at least a third of what I left with back in the late fall; getting rid of everything I not only didn’t want but also didn’t miss. Living out of suitcases will force some perspective on you, especially when you have no idea where you’re going to be next (and yeah, it sounds way sexier than it actually is).
The last year also taught me about personal growth. Even at my most manic, I wanted to strip myself down to the rawest person I could be and build myself up again. That, I reasoned (and still believe) was the best way to begin anew. We change with time, but change is often gradual and here I have brute force change happening from all directions. I have to roll with it NOW or deal with the fall out later. The former seemed like a much better idea than the later.
Angry Lisa has got to go, petty Lisa has got to move on, and any other toxic versions of me also needs to move the fuck away.
I’ve been taking small steps for months on making these changes, such as extending an olive branch to those in need, removing toxic people from my life, not allowing myself to get in situations that could be mainly mentally or emotionally damaging. And attempting, really hard, to create some kind of practice of everyday woo that would include meditation, yoga, and long walks everywhere to start. Woo, and magic, is about the practice, the ritual, the particular prayer or worship which allows me to center myself, self-care myself, be a better person.
I’m still trying, I will forever always be trying, and it will forever always be hard work. Life is complicated and it’s messy, but that is what makes us human. We try, we fail spectacularly, we try again. This journal is anything, it’s an attempt to record my efforts and my failures, even if it means it is over and over again.
Thus, I’ll be writing more about woo, which I’ve started a bit ages ago, what works and doesn’t work for me. If you have some suggestions on woo-ing (books, sites, etc), let me know via social media *points to the upper right hand corner of the website*.
Lastly, be kind, be good, and love you.
P.S. A few weeks back I got my usual manicure, with gel polish, and instead of my usual blacks/greys/darks, I went with hot pink. Hot, gorgeous, neon, brilliant pink. This small shake up in one of my rituals, and one that I ended up adoring, I knew then that miracles and change are possible in every way.