"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Banking Karma

It's 3am as I start to write this post. I have been up all night writing essays for my counselling course, which I am happy to report will soon be at an end.  I have only five classes left to attend and a couple more essays to write, and then the training will be over.  I am looking forward to crossing the finish line!

It will be nice to get my freedom back.  When I embarked on the course I didn't imagine that it would infiltrate so much of my life, but it feels as though everything else has had to be put on the back burner for the past four years.  It will be nice to have free time again, where I'm not thinking about the latest college assignment.

I miss day-dreaming. I miss being able to sit in reverie, without feeling guilty because I'm not writing essays!  I miss reading books that are nothing to do with psychotherapy.  In the past four years, I have had to think of my course as a priority.  This doesn't sit well with my rebellious, Bohemian spirit. I like to be free to drift through the days, doing what I want, when I want to.  

I hate writing essays.  It is the most tedious writing I have ever had to do. Essays leave no space for self-expression because every word has to meet a certain target and you are shackled to the criteria.  This academic hoop jumping has really stifled my creativity.  The best way I can describe is, it is like writer's block, but instead of being blocked out of writing, you are boxed in to a corner and a particular kind of writing -  a kind that is zero fun to produce and feels very much like a complete waste of your time. It's not that it is hard intellectually - it's just very tedious to keep repeating the same thing over and over, because all essays are simply a variation on a theme. At least I keep passing them though, that's a blessing. 

I feel less like myself because of it, which is surprising because I was assured that this course would make me much more self-aware - so shouldn't I feel more like myself then?  Apparently not. 

All this will change once I have my life back in July - I will no longer have to wear the student hat, and I can go back to just being myself.  I won't be trapped in a classroom every week, bored and fed up of endless navel gazing. Instead I will have my freedom once more - freedom to look up at the stars and dream magically, rather than examining all the crap in the world and trying to identify where it came from!  Freedom to focus on my real job of writing once again, taking it in a new direction;  freedom to take the dance class that I've had to put off because it falls on the same night I'm in college; freedom to play, to be filled with wonder at the beauty of the world, rather than focusing on that one inevitable imperfection and discussing it to death!

There is one good aspect to the course though and that is my placement.  I love doing my clinical hours.  It is the only part of the training that makes me happy, and which validates my original theory that you really don't need a diploma to help people - counselling is little more than basic common sense and human kindness. I said as much at the beginning of my training, and four years later I stand by that assessment.   I have used nothing I have learnt in class on my placement because each organisation has its own way of working.  My placement is with a counselling organisation and totally separate from the college, so it is a nice break from the lectures.

I never expected that working for free as a psychotherapist would be the best part of the course, but it is.  Obviously it would be better if I was getting paid for my time, but that will come eventually, just like it did with my writing.  I love my placement.Because everyone is voluntary there is no hierarchy, and people are nice! There is no bitching, no snottiness (some counsellors I've met in the past can be quite snotty) and no veiled put-downs masquerading as 'concern' like you sometimes get with doctors.  It is just a really nice environment. I enjoy working there and I come home feeling elated that I have played a small part in helping my clients through a very dark time in their lives.  It is the one part of my course where I feel like myself again.

Of course helping people with their troubles is all part of being a witch, so despite the academics trying to remould me, I am still doing exactly what I have always done - and that is, I help people, bringing a glimmer of light into their darkness, as any wise woman of old would have done.  As a messenger, I can sometimes bring comfort to those who need a sign, but mostly I help people to keep living, as best they can, when they think that their life is over. 

I see it as banking good karma - I help those who need me, for free, and that skilled kindness will be returned to me by the threefold law at a later stage. Its a win-win situation.  I wish all good things for my clients, just as I do for my readers.  Spreading kindness and gentleness helps to shine a light in the world and it makes a positive difference. But I'd be lying if I said I'm not looking forward to the eventual cosmic pay-day! Good things come to those who wait. 
BB x

Sunday, 21 May 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Patience is a Virtue, But Mine Wears Thin!

"But it never is time for the waiting to be over, until its time. No matter how much wringing of the hands, crying, begging or bargaining we do, the waiting will continue until its damn good and ready, which is rarely soon enough...

The truth is that waiting is when the magic happens. Waiting is the mystical space between the dreaming and its coming true."

from Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I'm good at waiting, but sometimes my patience wears a bit thin.  Its not so much the waiting that bothers me - its the silence, the false endings and the lack of news that irritate me and make me wonder if my time is being wasted. But this is what I need to remember - it will all happen in its own time, not mine. Be patient. Keep busy. Play music with meaning and wait for the magic to happen, because this really is just the beginning...better to wait and make a fresh start, than to rush and make a false start.


Monday, 8 May 2017

MUSICAL DOLL; Half The World Away

The sun comes up in China
The lights go on in Rome
Half the world is waiting...

Friday, 5 May 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Pretty In Pink - Biker Heaven

My Life Mantra

I have been utterly seduced...I have just returned from retail heaven!  The local shopping centre is simply full of pink, tempting me in every shop window...shades of rose, blush, flamingo, candy floss, baby, shell...were everywhere I looked, as far as the doe-eyed could see.  The shopping buzz has me in its grip and I am delirious and dizzy with joy! 

Pink has always been my favourite colour, closely followed by red. But for years pink hasn't really been that available, so I am delighted that it is now the colour of the season.  I have spent a happy couple of hours shopping this morning, adding to my collection of all things pink.

Some time ago I bought a lovely dusky rose pink, trench-coat style jacket.  Because I am petite I have a problem getting coats and jackets to fit me and all the trench-coats swamped me, but this little pink jacket comes just past my hips and belts at the waist, so it fits quite nicely.  I have been wearing it for college and clinical placement and people always compliment me on it.  You certainly do get more attention when you're dressed in something pink, hence the old saying "Wear pink to make the boys wink".  I have always found this to be true. 

Earlier this week I was out with my mother and I spotted a darling pastel pink tote bag, which of course I snapped up right away.  It's the perfect size for me and matches my pink kiss-clasp purse from Accessorise, so I knew I was meant to have it.  It goes beautifully with the dusky rose trench-coat too and they make a perfect pair.

Then today I was seduced - literally seduced - by another pink jacket!  A leather biker jacket to be exact, in the softest, palest shell pink!!  It's zips were twinkling at me under the store lights and I just lost all sense of self control... I had to have it...I just had to. It reminded me of Michelle Pfeiffer singing 'Cool Rider' in Grease 2.  I love that song (see end of post) - it sums me up.  So the biker jacket and a pink semi-sheer skirt, shot through with silver thread, found their way into my shopping basket and I beamed at the check out girl as she claimed her commission on the sale.

I justified the purchase by reminding myself that I still wear the black leather biker jacket I bought way back when I was 18.  It still fits and looks fab, so if the pink one is as good an investment, I will be very happy with it.  I also feel like I deserve a little treat for making it through four years of academic torture - my psychotherapy training finishes this summer and this jacket is my reward for sticking with the course.

It also goes nicely with a very pretty dress I bought a few weeks ago - a dream of a dress that is floaty, floral and balletic in style.  If you follow me on Twitter you will already know that I love this dress so much I named it Juliet! It's romantic and feminine and I can't wait to wear it with my new pink biker jacket.

Finally I popped into Victoria Secret and sniffed around all their fragrances.  I love their bath and body products; my favourites are currently Amber Romance and also Temptation, which suits me, being the author of  The Wiccan Temptress, which you can purchase here if you are so inclined. 

So it has been a very productive few weeks of girly shopping sprees.  I do love buying new clothes - it honestly makes me feel better, and I need smart new things to wear for my clinical placement and also for my holiday to Oban in autumn.  I can't wait for that. Just four months or so to go and I will be back in the land of the kilted Scotsmen where kisses aplenty await! Until then let's not forget that... 
"On Wednesdays we wear pink" 
- from Mean Girls
I wanna Cool Rider (In a kilt!)

Monday, 1 May 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; The Wheel of Fortune

Image result for wheel of fortune tarot google images

"It is the wheel of fortune that can throw you up very high, or bring you down very low. Its message is to be indifferent to victory and defeat, as they both come on the turn of the wheel."

extract taken from The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I have been ruminating on the wheel of fortune a lot recently, pondering on how it governs all of our lives; how it turns steadily round and round, allowing each of us to experience the highs and lows of life.   It's as if we are all riding a cosmic big wheel - for someone to enjoy the view at the top, someone else has to be at the bottom.  With each cycle the wheel draws you higher and higher, until it is your turn at the top, but then inevitably, it also begins its descent, taking you back down to earth again.

You will know which half of the cycle you are on by noting the main events of your life in recent months or years.  An upwardly mobile cycle brings promotions, great experiences, new lovers and friends, opportunities, abundance, lovely holidays and all the good things life has to offer.  In this stage of the cycle, it will seem as if everything is just coming to you, as you realise your dreams and enjoy life to the full.

A downward cycle tends to strip things away from you, so you experience bereavements, divorce, job loss, poverty, rifts with family and friends etc.  Delayed starts, false endings, obstacles and the derailment of plans are all a sign that you are on the downward cycle. It can be frustrating, upsetting and debilitating. But the wheel doesn't take away anything that you were meant to keep - rather, it removes that which has been holding you back, or which has served its time in your life.

It's like emptying a vase of stale, stagnant water and refilling it with fresh, pure water so that the flowers can continue to bloom.  If you didn't do that, the flowers would die, poisoned by the toxic water. They need purity to survive and thrive.  On a downward cycle it can feel as if your life has been emptied out and there is nothing left but the void of what used to be, but take heart, because when you feel that you are at your lowest ebb, that is a sign that you have reached the bottom of the wheel, and the worst is over. 

Like any big wheel in a funfair, the wheel of fortune allows us time to enjoy both the pinnacle at the top and the doldrums at the bottom. We need this breathing space to assess how far we have come on the climb, enjoying the fruits of our labour, or to come to terms with the losses.  It isn't about being punished - it's about being prepared for the next cycle. 

And you are far from powerless - you can use the two poles to make plans for the next half of the cycle; so when you're at the top, you can start cushioning yourself for the downward journey by setting money aside in savings or retraining to improve your qualifications etc.  When swinging in the doldrums, you can rest and recover, seek counselling for support with the losses and make goals for your next upward cycle so you know what you want the wheel of fortune to offer you.  

These seemingly small actions will keep you being proactive in your life and set the wheel swaying a bit. Before you know it, you will feel the jolt as the wheel shifts gears and moves on once more, taking your day to day life along with it.  

I have also noticed a pattern of seven year cycles in my life, in that I tend to have a seven year block of any one thing, whether it be good or bad, before moving onto something else. These cycles tend to alternate between negative and positive, and right now I am sitting on the cusp between the fall and the flight. My next bliss cycle is due in any time this year and I am ready to welcome it, knowing that the wheel of fortune is lifting me into a new phase of life, with new people for me to meet and new experiences and opportunities for me to enjoy.  

It's exciting and liberating to be free of the past and ready to move on into the unknown.  That is the purpose of the wheel of fortune - it keeps us moving forward; it teaches us that everyone has ups and downs and no-one's life is perfect. It makes us stronger, more resilient and ready to accept that change is necessary and can be a good thing.  It prepares us and makes us ready for the fresh start it brings, as we ride on into the next upwardly mobile cycle of life. So say a prayer for everyone who needs it...because their down cycle might have only just begun.