Tips for getting motivated and being productive.
I am often contacted by Witches asking about what they can do to stay motivated, grounded, and focused within their craft. I get it. Most of us feel overwhelmed with work, school, family, COVID, and so on – It can be hard to carve out part of our day to include magick! Many of us desperately want to make meaningful and genuine connections to our guides, magick, and lifestyle, but we feel blocked in some way.
If you are one of the many who feel this way, you are not alone. I too have experienced a sense of disenchantment and stagnation at some point on my journey. Today, I hope to offer you a few tips and tricks I have used over the years to get myself into a place that is more focused and forward-moving.
Sometimes when we hit a state of stagnation it’s due to a sense of overwhelming expectations. Many times, finding focus and beating overwhelm is all about doing something small each and every day. We get overwhelmed when we are trying too hard and doing too much. Please know, you don’t have to do it all to be valid in your craft, you only need to be dedicated. Remember small-focused acts of reverence are just as valuable as the big ones.
I realize this is not a warm and fuzzy post. With all the turmoil in the world right now I am not feeling warm and fuzzy. We are nearing the end of 2020, and we still have a lot of work to do. 2021 is not going to be any easier if we don’t resolve some of the collective shadows we are struggling with now. It is time to get on the bandwagon (if that is where you are meant to be) and get some meaningful work done! We are in this together and we have our legacy to maintain. After all, we are the next ancestors.
With that said, here are my suggestions for gaining focus on your path and developing meaning within your practice. This post is FILLED with helpful links I hope you will utilize when necessary.
IDENTIFY THE ISSUE –
When I am feeling unmotivated and ungrounded, I find stopping and asking myself “why” is critical to identifying how to remove myself from a counterproductive pattern. Ask yourself pointed questions about why you feel unfocused and stagnant. What makes you feel ungrounded? Could you be drinking too much caffeine or have an undiagnosed/untreated ailment? Are you comparing yourself to other witches? Are you placing too many expectations on yourself? Do you need to adjust your daily routine? Do you have un-necessary stress you can eliminate?
This part is essential to breaking free of old unproductive patterns because you can’t resolve the issue if you cannot identify the root cause.
WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR SHADOW PLAY?
Okay… I know Shadow Work has become a buzz phrase over the past several months. Why? Because 2020 has been the great revealer. The process of Shadow Work was taught to me by my elders, and I now teach it to others. While Shadow Work has been around for centuries, its current presence in the collective consciousness is revealing. There is definitely a great need for this kind of work.
Doing your Shadow Work makes you more effective in your craft. It helps heal deep ancestral wounds and resolve scars that run deep. When we deny and close off aspects of our personality, we set ourselves up for repeating unconscious behaviors. Simply put, do your Shadow Work. Identify the aspects of yourself that need to recover and heal. Identify where you repeat counterproductive patterns that drain you of your energy and motivation.
Don’t know where to begin? I can help. I will be offering a 6-week Shadow Work course in the spring if you are interested. You can visit the Claiming the Shadow page to sign up for the email list and be the first to know when registration is open.
DECIDE IF THIS PATH IS TRULY IMPORTANT –
Trust me, it is this simple. Sometimes we just need to put on our big boy and big girl undies and get real. Your path needs to be important to you for it to have a place on your daily “to-do” list. If something is valuable to you, you will make time and dedicate yourself to the theology of your path and its related practice. You will dedicate yourself to resolving the issues that stand in your way. If something is not so important to you, you will find a million excuses as to why you can’t. We are going back to the first point I made, get to the root of the issue. If you find yourself in a position where you feel like you have no time to spend on your craft, it is time to evaluate why. If you feel like you have no focus, or are ungrounded and you are overwhelmed, ask why. It is time to get real with yourself, and this is something only you can do. Get to the root of why you feel this way and discover the changes you should make to your lifestyle. Once this is done you can make room for this important thing in your life. Do it now, ask yourself if this path is really important to you.
GET ORGANIZED –
Cleaning our space and organizing our thoughts, items, and processes can be very beneficial in generating a sense of being grounded and motivated. If your space, particularly where you practice is messy, clean it up. If your magickal tools are scattered and misplaced, collect them, and organize them. Clutter creates chaos. Chaos will distract you and divert you from your intentions.
TAKE 5-MINUTES –
Once you have determined that this path, the Craft of the Wise, is important to you, carve out 5-minutes of your day and practice. Dedication creates intensity. Five minutes spent doing something with purpose is far more valuable than spending hours doing something half-assed. Again, this goes back to making your path valuable enough to carve out 5-minutes of your day to practice. If it is not valuable you will not, you will continue with the excuses.
You can take five minutes to hold a crystal, light a candle, say a prayer, stir your coffee… whatever you choose make it meaningful.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, STOP DOING IT!
Okay, you put on your adult undies and you decided that your path is important to you. You decided that you really want to make this work, but you hate the way you have been practicing. Sometimes we get stuck in the idea that we have to do certain things or be a certain way in order to be valid in our craft. This is simply not true. Sure! Try things out and give them a go for a while, (I like a 30-day timeline), but once you discover that it simply isn’t working for you, stop and move on. If you don’t enjoy candle magick, try herbal magick. If you don’t enjoy meditation, try journeying. If you find you don’t connect with crystals, try astrology… and so on. There are so many things you can explore out there, never feel like one modality is better or more valid than another. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t force yourself to do it.
LIGHT A CANDLE –
Maybe a super simple practice makes more sense for your lifestyle. If so, try this – Everyday light a candle in honor of your path and those who walk it with you and support you. That’s it.
The act of lighting a candle is monumental in gaining focus and developing the habit of ritual. It can be a simple tealight or a special handmade candle. It’s your choice. Sure, when I first started out on my path, I made my own candles, but guess what, it was not my thing. I enjoyed it for a short while, but when I realized I could focus on other interests I let it go. Now it is a skill I will always have should I need it. I get my candles from a couple of sources I know are authentic. These companies are run by witches. I know the candles they create are already infused with energy that will match my intentions. But don’t think you have to spend extra money on candles that are specially made. You can use what you have on hand or buy candles that match your budget.
If you are interested here are links to the companies where I get my candles.
COOK SOMETHING –
Maybe I say this because I am a Kitchen Witch, but I find it very effective. Cook or bake something you love. Cooking is a great way to honor your path and those who walk it with you. Make the process of gathering, chopping, measuring, and combining your ingredients your ritual. I do recommend that whenever possible, use fresh and whole ingredients. Our connection to the earth and the elements is held in the whole-fresh foods we consume. They are valuable for nourishing our mind, body, and spirit.
I wrote a book on Kitchen Witchery if you have not read it yet, I recommend it for anyone looking to get started. Get your copy.
SACRED BATHING –
We all have to shower once in a while, right? So why not make this act of personal care a magickal one? Showers and baths are an important tool and are often over-looked. Use a simple meditation or visualization while you shower. Envision the troubles of the day by washing away with your soap and the water as it penetrates your energy body and pours over your skin. In the bath, envision the warm water doing the same but this time it is extracting all the negativity and counterproductive energy you have collected.
Bathing with herbs and other magickal ingredients is also highly effective. Try blending a few of your favorite herbs and even oils together to create a sensual magickal experience. You can check out this article The Magick of Self-Care on creating your own bath salts, scrubs, and self-care items. OR if you don’t have the time or capacity to create your own check out The Rebel Herbalist and her Ashes to Ashes Bath Soak.
SACRED BEVERAGES –
Tea, coffee, and even water can play an effective role in creating small rituals on your path. Stir your coffee or tea with purpose. Use herbs and teas that have magickal purpose. Pour out some of your next cocktail as a libation in gratitude of your ancestors, guides, and protectors. These are super simple acts you can do at any time. Even when you are out eating dinner with friends and family, you can dip your fingers in your beverage and flick out a few drops before you drink.
If you don’t have an affinity for blending your own magickal teas and sugars check out my catalog at The Witchwood Teahouse.
ANOINTING OILS, PERFUMES, AND AROMATHERAPY –
Maybe your daily magickal act is done with scent. Taking time while you get yourself ready in the morning to anoint yourself with sacred oils is a great way to infuse your day with a little purpose. Maybe you choose an oil in honor of your guides, ancestors, and protectors. Or Maybe you choose one that is linked to a specific purpose like prosperity or peace.
Again, my friend at The Rebel Herbalist has a nice selection of oils.
HOLDING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS –
Okay, I have to include this one, because I think many Witches are still expecting sparks to fly from their fingers and lightning to crash as soon as they begin a spell or ritual. Real magick is not like Hollywood magic. YES! Sometimes we can make electronics glitch and books fall off shelves, but this is not the typical responses most magickal encounters generate. Most meaningful magick and practices are simple and unassuming. Don’t expect Hollywood movie effects each time you light a candle. If this is why you practice Witchcraft, then I am sorry to say, you are not here for the right reasons. In this mindset, reality will disappoint you every time.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF –
I think this is the bottom line and sums up the whole point of this post… We need to stop trying to live up to the expectations of others. We live in times when overwhelming expectations are floating around like shining glitter on the wind. It is easy to get caught up in perceived expectations. We see Witches online who have beautifully built altars making Witchy Aesthetics a new norm. This can send anyone into a fit of overwhelm when you don’t have the time, energy, space, or money to pull off elaborately decorated altars and magickal scenes. More is not better. Stick with becoming dedicated and then worry about aesthetics later.
To sum up this whole thing – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK OR ACT LIKE OTHER WITCHES TO BE VALID IN YOUR CRAFT! Take the time to dedicate yourself to your craft and make time to practice your craft. It’s that simple!