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Weekly Reflections, 21 October 2013

once overheard a conversation, or maybe I read it somewhere that witchcraft was the refuge of the disenfranchised, the marginalized, and the oppressed. I’ve often thought of witchcraft as the original “self-help” methodology, a vehicle for self-improvement, or at least improving one’s situation in life. Recently, I’ve been reading a new kind of magic book. There is no crescent moon or ankh on the spine of these books, but nonetheless, they contain great wisdom, ideas and, well…magic.

Unfortunately, many of the books marketed to Pagans and Witches are either not offering a complete system for improving one’s lot in life, or the readers are simply not applying that which they learned. I have yet to meet anyone in the Pagan community whose life is one I would like to model. Yes, we have many talented, lovable and smart people in our community, but for me at least, there is always something missing. It doesn’t mean I like them any less, or have less respect for them, or anything like that. Clearly, their life and lifestyle make them happy and Gods know I love our weird diversity. I simply mean that it is lonely to be the only one interested in the things about which I am passionate. As Kermit the Frog said, “It isn’t easy being green.”

I suppose I appear pretty conventional compared to many of our more colorful members of the tribe. I am happily and monogamously married to, for the sake of clarity and brevity – a man. I have no interest in figuring out what new prefix I should use to accurately define his sex, gender and/or sexual orientation. Nor do I have any interest in exploring polyamory, an open marriage or “monogamish” relationships. For the record, I believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Period. I think we would all do well to let adults make their own decisions about their bodies and lives with no interference, provided it is not harming others. I also have a pretty conventional education – I have a degree in accounting from a well-respected Catholic university. I drive a clean, dependable car that isn’t fueled by used cooking oil or high voltage batteries. I tend to favor athletic and casual clothing instead of the more popular vintage, second-hand, hippie togs many Pagans seem to wear. I wear a wedding ring that may very well be from a blood-soaked African country, but I didn’t look into it. I’ve never participated in a protest, or a march or lots of other activities that seem to be popular with Pagans.

But Pagan I am, as shocking as that may seem to some. I am interested in dogs, cars, real estate, health, personal finance, fitness, yoga, travel, motorsports, film, music, food and running a clean, efficient and comfortable household. Currently, I am on a mission to get healthy and improve myself. I’ve been reading tons of books on success, personal growth, time management, and goal setting. Most of these titles would be things you find in the business & finance section of Barnes & Noble, near the entrepreneur section. The one thing these books have in common is the inclusion of fitness and health in the equation for success.

I’ve heard several cute slogans such as the shortened version of Virgil’s gem, “health is wealth.” I completely agree with Virgil as there is nothing I can truly focus on when I don’t feel well. When I am sick, there is nothing I wouldn’t give to feel better. I see good health – not just the absence of illness and pain, but physical fitness, clear skin, bright eyes, shiny, thick hair and nails, a robust immune system, physical strength and flexibility as a duty of self care and a birthright. Bodies require maintenance, and call me vain, but I’m rather fond of mine.

I’ve been struggling with my weight for the past ten years or so. I realized I wasn’t getting enough exercise and while my eating habits weren’t really poor, I ate too much and too inconsistently. I’ve learned a few things about myself as well. One, I hate going to the gym and I love working out in my own house with my own shower just a few feet away. I prefer solo pursuits like running and yoga to team sports. I have also found that using technology to track every bite of food that goes into my mouth, in addition to scheduling reminders to eat to be very helpful. I am slowly losing weight. I am also slowly losing body fat and gaining physical fitness, strength and flexibility. I also learned that I must vigilantly guard my routine because changes can really get me off my game and deflate my motivation.

Tomorrow, I am starting a new exercise program. It’s called Insanity and it has received great reviews. I will wrap up my journey with P90X over the next couple of weeks. When the fall quarter started, it proved to be a serious blow to my daily workout routine and I quickly got off-track. I started trying to stack workouts to keep up, but pretty soon it was too much. I will finish up the last Training Block concurrently with Insanity.

If anyone is interested in sharing in this journey toward fitness – if you just want someone to help motivate you and keep you accountable – then, I’m your girl. Hopefully, if nothing else, my blog posts about working out, eating clean and getting results will prove to be inspirational. After all, health is the greatest wealth.

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