Category Archives: Tools

Clearing clutter

tasklist Spiritual clutter can also take the form of negative thinking, over thinking, and negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, and other soul-sucking emotions. It’s not letting go, it is living in the past, it is letting others’ actions or words reside in your heart for too long. For me, the biggest issue of spiritual clutter is overthinking and having too much to do. Like a dog thrown too many toys and catching none, having too many tasks lends to my doing nothing. I get overwhelmed. The time has come to clear it out.

Recognize the clutter. This is the toughest part of the process because we fool ourselves into bad habits. Multi-tasking and keeping busy provided me this false sense of being productive. In fact, I was not. If anything, I stressed myself out. Getting to the heart of the issue can be a process that takes a while, but well worth finding the issue to fix it. Take stock of your feelings, your motivations, and how it serves your Life. Does it move you forward? Help you evolve? Or does it stand in the way of opportunity?

Find a way to remove clutter. This next step can also be a process of trial and error. Removing anger and jealousy can be huge because if you live with it long enough, its like having a favorite sweater you wear. We grow comfortable with the emotional/spiritual clutter, not recognize how unhealthy it really is. Sometimes taking it off ends up an illusion, you find yourself doing the same thing. Commit and keep at it. I find it helps to cultivate healthier habits to replace the old ones. For instance, being angry with someone can be replaced with compassion, knowing everyone has their issues. Difficult people often work from their own weaknesses (and clutter). You don’t have to let that take you down too.

Stumble and try again. This was tough for me to recognize- to accept I will fail, stumble, fall back into old habits. This is part of the process.

Some of the things I’ve cleared out;

– The anxiety I felt that had me biting my fingernails. After a year, I finally have long fingernails and don’t even feel the urge to bite. I might tap the nails now with anxiety, but I found mediation and simply taking moments to recognize that feeling to remind me to feel calm. Slow breathing helps too.

– Over thinking. Wow, this was really difficult to work through and I still work at it. Over thinking causes so much anxiety because you imagine things that haven’t happened. I remind myself of Scarlett O’Hara’s quote of “tomorrow is another day”. If I can’t fix something, I let it go to deal with it when I can.

– Too much to do. I realized this year that I just have too much to do. I homeschool my son, have my own business, volunteer with Score.org, organize meetup groups, blogs and fiction writing, and I find I just can’t do it all. I quit two meetup groups, keeping only the writer’s group open. I cut back on Score volunteering, rely more on my son taking on responsibility of studying, and most importantly, learned to say no. Even blogging will be on a schedule so can get it done, providing its scheduled and planned. This has made a world of difference.

wiccanalter Sacred space also needs a cleaning now and then, and mine was no different. I went through my stuff, asking if it serves a purpose. If it isn’t used regularly, it goes into a storage box. I prefer a stream-lined alter with only a few useful items, and you can take note, the Zen influences here. I really like the Terracotta flower pot plate filled with sand. I can put in any type of incense. It can be in cone form or stick, and I use a spoon to clean out the ash. I also add various crystals depending on my need. The plate that looks like a leaf is made from Paper clay where I used one of the leaves from my grape arbor to give it shape and texture, then painted it. I do not use anything flammable on it. Behind everything is a corkboard, so I can hang my jewelry, prayers, chants, and the pentacle charm.

What do you do to clear out your clutter? Post in comments.

 

 

Tip: Easy and cheap incense/candle holder

MAS01 I wish I learned this trick years ago, but the problem with altar tools is finding things that fit the various types of incense and candles out there.

Incense come in sticks, cones, and the charcoal briquettes. Candles also come in various size tapers, pillar, and even tea light size dimension. But do I seriously want to get different containers to accommodate them?

The tips is easy; A single container, preferable wide and flat, filled with sand, salt, or dirt, works wonderfully as a holder for all incense and candles, and even other things.

flowrepotI prefer using a terra cotta flower pot plate. They are heat resistant, and come in many sizes. You can also paint them, or use a flower pot, overturned, as a base to raise up the plate.

This is also easy to clean by scooping or replacing the sand, salt, or dirt. I use white sand, but you can find various Sand in Vivid Colors at the craft store, or find the Sand for Aquarium at pet stores (you can even find black sand). Hardware stores also carry sand for gardens or walkways.

Other containers include bowls, pots, or plates. This can also be used indoors or outdoors, and changed with the seasons. Use dirt for spring, sand for summer, dirt/soil for Autumn , and even snow for winter (outdoor only). Use your imagination!

Crafty Fun: Incense burner and bowl

The creative bug bit me the other day, so in a frenzy of crafty elation, I made some new things for altar;

009

From Paper Clay I made these mini-incense stands. Its pretty easy to make, as well.

You get material you can shape and mold. This can be polymer clay, Play dough, or what I used, Paper clay. The Polymer clay requires baking, so I went with air dry stuff. You can also make your own ‘cold porcelain’ to make something that air dries.

Once shaped (I used a resin mold), stick a small incense stick upright or at an angle. Remember, if its at an angle, the ashes will fall in that direction. Its this reason, I’m considering some new designs, such as a leaf that can catch the ash.

012

After letting it dry completely, you can now paint it with any sort of paint. I even used fingernail polish. You can see in this photo the painted incense bases, but also a few other things I made since I wanted to use up the paper clay.

035

Here you can see some leaf bowls made from the same paper clay. As another easy project, you collect any size leave or leaves. It must be about the size you want your bowl. Roll out the clay, and press the leaf in the clay with the veins down into the clay.

011Now, cut away the excess clay with a knife. Once you finished, get a bowl a bit smaller than the bowl size you want. You now overturn your leaf onto the bowl to take its shape. You can wrap in tin foil if you like. I found it really didn’t matter.

037Once dried, remove from the upturned bow, and paint as you like. I suppose you can use spray can paint, but I used a matte green acrylic paint for this bowl, and used a metallic sheen paint on its edges to get this effect.

038

The other one I used only the metallic paint, and I think it turned out great. I’d like to find or make a metallic sheen that’s green as well.

The leaf bowl will be used for offerings on my altar.

The mini incense sticks are easy to make as well- just get some formidable shears and cut a regular incense stick down to a few inches. I make mine about two to three inches. And be sure your base is shaped so that it stands upright and won’t tip over.

You could also make candle holders as well.

I think they turned out rather well, if I say so myself.

Products that I used:

Prang DAS Air Hardening Modeling Clay, 2.2 Pound Block, White (387500)

Environmental Technology Castin’ Craft EasyCast Resin Jewelry Mold, 11 Popular Jewelry Shapes On One Tray

Sculpey Push Mold – Art Doll Faces