Hello again!

Hi y’all! Week number one of the semester is done (15 more to go!) and I had a little time to post a life/goals update and some journal prompts and ideas for you lovely people. This will probably end up being a rather short post, but I miss writing here and will write what I can, when I can.

As for my daily life, not too much has changed: I go to school Monday through Friday, spend time with my friends and family, and do my best in order to pet as many damn animals as I can haha. Life is a bit quiet at the moment but I am enjoying it to the fullest. Going to school full time- even at just a community college- can be overwhelming and busy, so I genuinely enjoy whatever peace I can find!

Concerning my goals, however, my life has been a little more exciting and lively. Although I have big and general goals for 2015, I decided to break them up into smaller and more specific goals that I will work on each month. For example, one of my annual goals is to continue learning and becoming a smarter, more informed person. So every month I aim to read at least one book (which sounds totally wimpy but when you’re a student time becomes scarce!) and keep up to date on current events. My monthly goals for January are:

★ Read a book

★ Complete & send in 3 writing submissions

★ Make good grades

★ Volunteer once a week

★ Blog daily

★ Maintain healthy habits

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished one of those goals already (I finished a book I started in December and then read a captivating fiction novel) and am halfway through on the second. I have also been doing my best to maintain healthier habits, which means I’ve been keeping on track with my skincare routine, staying hydrated, making and eating healthy meals, resisting junk foods (unless I’m having my daily treat), going to bed at an earlier time, keeping good hygiene, etc. This goal, along with achieving good grades, will have its success shown at the very end of the month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Unfortunately, I have not accomplished the remaining two goals- blogging daily and volunteering once a week. I’m going to be honest and say that the first is completely unreasonable given my schedule during the semester, and as far as the latter goal, I’ve been damn lazy. I could get off my butt and sign up for duty at the soup kitchen, donate some items to the self-help pantry of the city’s Epilepsy foundation, etc. These things are plausible and totally doable. But I’ve been lazy and a tad selfish this month. I’ve spent so much working on myself that I’ve forgotten that part of self-love and inner-peace is helping to better the lives of others around you. So while I won’t be able to check these things off of my list, for the remainder of the month I’m going to keep writing when I have the time/energy and at least once donate my time and efforts to a good cause. I just need to do it; otherwise I’m wasting some of the life that I’ve been blessed with. As the beautiful-inside-and-out Audrey Hepburn once said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at each end of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.” Words to live by, my friend.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you all a few of the journal prompts I thought up this morning:

★ What are the things going right in my life? What am I doing right in my life?

★ What are the things going wrong in my life, and what am I doing wrong?

★ How can I turn those wrong things around or use them for the greater good of myself and others?

I hope this post resonates with you in some way. We all fall off the wagon but we must remember to celebrate our successes- no matter how small- and get back on track and continue working hard. How are your goals going? Are you enjoying January? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day & lots of happy moments,

Violet XO

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I love winter, but I want my Vitamin D!

Hi, lovelies.

It’s been one of those days.. It seems that in winter (without much sun or my favorite weather, rain) I always find myself in a deep slump. I’m either totally bored, grumpy, or not feeling satisfied with my productivity level. It’s during this season that I need to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my well-being. If you feel the same as myself and many others,- and even if you don’t, it’s still important- take some time today to figure out the ways you can take care of yourself wholly. After all, it’s hard to help out and be kind to others when you’re not feeling well!

How do you practice self-care during these harsher months?

As for myself, I tend to:

❀ Get out of my own head, be it through reading books, watching documentaries, or creating something that requires my focus and attention.

❀ Take multivitamins once a day. I am by no means a doctor (and you should always ask yours first before taking any sort of supplement, but my psychiatrist recommends I take them because we don’t always get enough sunlight/nutrients. I suggest bringing it up with your physician; especially if you take certain types of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds like I do.

❀ Try my best to quell feelings of boredom. This means that whenever I’m feeling particularly lethargic and bored, I force myself to get up and do something. When I feel the laziness and dissatisfaction arising, I shall try out a new makeup look (the crazier the better!), make something for someone, bake a sweet treat, look for new music, try out a new meditation or exercise, annoy my merm with random questions, art to my RSL (Radical Self Love) Bible, etc. The possibilities to fill up your boring time are pretty much endless.

❀ Carve out a block of time to work out and pump up those endorphins, and also to meditate. My personal favorite meditations can all be found on Youtube and include Gabrielle Bernstein, The Five Minute Miracle, and Positive Change by The Mind Guide.

❀ Go outside! It’s always incredible to me how much we need nature to be healthy and feel whole. It’s so easy to become hermits and blanket burritos this time of year, but I promise some time outside will do you good. Just remember to dress warmly! Bonus points if you walk your furry friend(s).

❀ Get the chores I hate out of the way. Yeah, I’m looking at you, pile of dirty laundry and un-swept bedroom floor. It’s hard to not feel productive when you’ve already tackled the big things.

Let me know if these tips help you out, or if you have any to add to my list! 🙂

Much love and warm wishes, from me to you. Stay cozy!

Blessed Yule & Spreading the love ♥

Good afternoon, babes! I’m wishing y’all a happy and merry Yule. 🙂 Yule is the time of the winter solstice and one that Christians and their holiday Christmas borrowed a few traditions from. It’s a time of celebration- it is when some Pagans and Wiccans observe the story of a god being reborn. Sound familiar? It’s also a time where we are invited to look within ourselves for wisdom and guidance and plan ahead for the next wintry months. If you’re interested in learning more, a couple basic informative webpages are: https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm & http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/p/Yule_History.htm.

I’ve had my altar decorated for a while (glittery pine cones, deep and royal jewel-tones, gold/silver/white candles and all) and I can’t wait to spread the holiday cheer. Since my family and I still celebrate Christmas, I’m saving the gift giving for the 25th. Other acts of kindness, however, are fair game for today. It’s always nice to have a reminder to be your kindest, most loving self!

For those who would like to join me in making a small piece of the world a little brighter, I’ve listed a few things I’ve done/will be doing today to invoke the jolly holiday spirit!

♥ If you’re on any virtual gaming websites, spend some of your points to buy kind gifts and gift randomly to strangers! An example for a virtual pet site could be giving out food that someone could feed their pets, a toy the pet can play with, etc.

♥ When you’re browsing the comments section of a post or article, be an encouraging soul! There’s usually a few bummed-out people on there, and sometimes a few kind words or a *hugs* can help cheer that person up. You can also write a “Good job! Thank you for writing this!” or “Well done!” if you enjoyed the piece.

♥ Pamper your pets! Whether it’s giving them a special treat, carving out more time of your day to play with them, super-cleaning their living space, or taking them on an extra walk, our furry friends (and non-furry) deserve some love and affection.

♥ Write out a spontaneous Thank You letter or send a random loved one a card listing some of the reasons why you think they are great!

♥ Spend time outside today; we can’t forget to show Mother Nature some love! Grab your bestie and pick up some litter, then treat yourselves to some yummy hot chocolate or heated beverage of your choice.

♥ Compliment a stranger who you genuinely think looks good in that scarf or has their makeup done gorgeously!

♥ Smile at other people!

♥ Do some extra chores around the house! Do a kind deed without someone asking you too, do a loved one’s chore that you know that they strongly dislike doing. I guarantee it will make their day a little easier.

I hope you have a great Monday and a blessed Yule. What do you do for others on days like this? How do you spread your kindness?

Gentle Reminder That…

You are worthy.

You are beautiful and stunning and looking hella fine today.

Your insides are just as glowing, too.

Progress is a process, and that you can’t do everything perfectly every single day. It’s one of those things you take one step at a time.

You are bigger than any obstacles heading your way and you CAN overcome them.

This is a gentle reminder that you are just The Bee’s Knees and a little update too. I’ve only got one more week left of the semester (GET YOUR PARTY HATS OOON) and I have a deliciously long winter break- six freaking weeks. I’m excited to announce that I’ll have a lot more time to post here, and maybe even write once a day! I’ve got some big plans for the next six weeks for Scars & Sparkles.. heheh. Stay tuned and I promise it’ll be worth it.

Happy Friday, lovelies. Much love & Good luck,

Violet

A little lesson from the moon (AKA: Violet learned how not to be offensive)

I’m inclined to say that Friday the 13th was not as lucky for me as others, but maybe it’s just a different kind of good luck I experienced. It was early in the evening (about 8ish) and we were seated at C’s wooden table and someone mentioned something like, “Oh are you talking about your spirit animal?” in a joking tone. The first thing that comes to my mind when someone says spirit animal? Young adults who like an animal or think it’s cute and decide that they have a spiritual connection with that animal only to be trendy (spirituality is big with the New Age crowd, it seems. Which is cool, it’s just not cool to make a mockery of people that practice rituals and hold beliefs because you want to be that cool, edgy chick on Tumblr). Or the popular meme, “So-and-so is totes my spirit animal”. Like, Lorde. I would love Lorde to be my spirit animal. It’s considered an internet joke, and I have only seen people use it as such.

So I began with the first statement with, “Yeah, I think the ‘spirit animal’ thing is bullshit-” but was unable to finish the rest of my thoughts because the guy in front of me became really upset and clutching his dog tag (which I still have no idea of its significance, he just sort of threw it in my face) and said that he didn’t like me anymore. That I just dismissed his spiritual beliefs but that it was okay, he wasn’t going to bother to change my mind and opinions; all that mattered was his thoughts and my opinions were just invalid. Between his words, I apologized several times and attempted to ask him questions or explain himself but he just talked over me. When he calmed down a little, I was finally able to say “I’m sorry I offended you, can you please explain what it’s all about? I like discussion and I’d like to learn.” He explained that he was part Native American and had had a spiritual experience during a retreat with people about the wolf, and how much it meant to him. When he was done with his story, I thanked him for talking about it and apologized again for my ignorance. He thanked me for listening, then left the party for 15 or 20 minutes.

As you might be able to tell, I felt so damn awful. I felt like the shittiest human being to ever live. Me, the girl who prides herself on acceptance and kindness and respect, managed to offend someone deeply. This is also the first time I have ever offended someone. I remained quiet for the rest of the night and ended up leaving a couple hours early because I felt so miserable. So, yeah- my lucky Esbat ended up being really crappy, and seemingly unlucky.

But maybe it was a super lucky day.

1. I learned how to practice humility and apologize when I know I did something wrong. I also thank the Universe that I was able to admit ignorance and invite conversation about the other person’s beliefs. It REALLY sucks to admit you were wrong and don’t know as much as you had thought, but I was able to swallow my pride and own up in front of my peers.

2. It was a reminder to be very very careful with my word choice. It makes sense; as a writer, I’m going to have to be so precise because my words will literally determine my job. Even though I did not intend to offend the dude or even make that statement, I did and it was sloppy and not well thought out. Words can make a world of difference, and now I have a (painfully) fresh reminder of it.

3. That incident was a big test of my love for myself. As I have mentioned before, I used to self-harm. Part of that self-harm was denying myself food on occasions because I believed I wasn’t worth it/needed to be punished/etc. Two or three years ago you can bet that had a similar situation occured, I wouldn’t have eaten for the rest of the night (even though I was seriously hungry because I hadn’t eaten since 4pm). I would have considered myself inferior to everyone else- a stupid burden- and denied the nutrition my body needed to grow healthy and strong. It’s scary thinking about it now that I haven’t self-injured in so long. At first I didn’t eat anything because I did feel so badly about myself and my worth. But I took myself out of the situation via my mom driving me home, cried a little, and thought really hard and deeply about what happened, how I was feeling, and what I was going to do about it. I still felt horrid, but I decided I was going to eat. I had some extremely delicious bread rolls and slices of my favorite deli cheese. I drank a glass of water, took my pills, and went to sleep. I decided that even though I made a mistake and hurt someone’s feelings, hurting myself will never be the answer and I am a person and infinitely worthy of love and care just like everyone else. I am imperfect and human, and that is okay. I will learn from my mistakes and keep on being me. I think this action demonstrates how much I truly love myself; that I refuse to harm the vessel I live in because I am upset and feel insecure. I’m proud of me. *pats myself on the back*

and lastly, 4. Dude was kind of rude about it. I, of course, was in the wrong. My statement was not only unkind but incorrect in a lot of ways. I was offensive (regardless of intent) and deserved to apologize and listen to his beliefs and thoughts. However, I think he was being a bit immature and disrespectful by automatically jumping to “I don’t like you, I don’t like you anymore” and “your opinions are invalid”, instead of hearing me out and letting me say sorry. Throwing your dog tag in my face is also not going to help you seem more intelligent. No one’s opinions are invalid- just because someone doesn’t hold the same spiritual or moral beliefs that I do doesn’t mean that they don’t matter as a person. I have dealt with people saying similar offensive statements about me learning about Pagan traditions and whatnot and I never said anything to invalidate them and their personal beliefs. I have asked them why they felt that way, tried to open up a discussion, or simply asked to change the subject because I didn’t feel comfortable talking about it. The bottom line was that I was rude and a bit of a jerk. However, the guy’s reaction was- in my opinion, of course- unnecessary and childish.

But anyway, I messed up and owned up to it. I learned the person’s perspective. I guess that’s about all I can do about it now. Best believe I’ll be making sure my words are crazily precise before they come out of my mouth.

Preparations for the upcoming Esbat!!!

Squeeeee! As you can tell by the multiple explanation points in this post’s title, I am WAY stoked for the closest Esbat. I haven’t celebrated one in soooo long- I know, shame on me- and I’m even more because this Esbat falls upon a super lucky day:

Friday the thirteenth!

I know, I know. Lucky? More like most-likely-to-be-killed-by-a-serial-killer unlucky! It might surprise you to know that not all (or that many) cultures consider thirteen an unlucky number. Every culture has its own set of things deemed lucky/unlucky. For example, while buildings in the U.S might skip a thirteenth floor (though only through numbering), while in China buildings are more likely to skip the fourth floor because the Chinese word for four sounds very similar to their word for death. I used to be terrified of the number thirteen because of all the Western media that condemns it with horror movie themes and unlucky events that appear on the news. However, I dove into the history of thirteen and discovered that the number actually used to be considered very lucky. According to some, it was a number greatly connected to the Moon, lunar calendar, and femininity; huge parts of Wicca. So the fact that the most lunar-associated number, that ALSO corresponds with femininity, landing on a Friday (which is considered as a day connected to Venus/Freya/other Goddesses of the same nature) AND having a full moon?! if that’s not a hella positive and amazingly powerful sign from the universe, I don’t know what is.

If you want to learn more about the histories of Friday the thirteenth or why certain numbers are regarded as bad/good omens I seriously encourage you to read up on it. It’s such an interesting thing to explore!

So you know I am taking full advantage of this Esbat. Since I’ve already written a long intro, here is a simple list of things I’m going to do in preparation for this Friday:

1. Draw a relaxing bath before my shower, taking the time to put on a face and/or hair mask on, and think good thoughts.

2. Decorate my altar to correspond with the Esbat (i.e: symbols of love, romance, femininity, thirteen, positive changes, the moon, etc.).

3. Bake something with good, positive intent to make people smile, happy, and feel comforted; I have a bonfire to go to so I’ll be making Oreo muffins. Yum!

4. Wear an outfit that makes me with fabulous and that embraces my femininity. For me, that means flattery and comfy clothes, clean nails, shimmering makeup, and loooots of pastels. Yep, not a day for my badass purple lipstick haha.

5. Do a kind deed for Mother Earth: for example, a nature walk with a loved one where you pick up litter to dispose of, pruning and taking care of your garden/flowers, leaving excess animal-safe foods out for the little critters, putting up a birdfeeder/butterfly bath, trying to use as little electricity and gas as possible, etc, There’s an infinite amount of lovely things you can do for the environment!

6. Do something equally as loving for my marvelous human buddies! Write a random letter expressing your care for that person, leave sweet notes in public places, draw a picture for your little sister- once again, the possibilities are endless. 

7. Give thanks to the Universe for the privilege, food, shelter, love, opportunities, kindness, and health that I have in my life. I’ll probably make a gigantic gratitude list. 

8. Have a small offering to the Goddess(es)/Universe for being so darn wonderful and cool and for giving me life. I don’t do the typical cakes-and-mead thing normal Wiccans do. Instead, I like to fill a small, porcelain teacup with a little bit of milk, honey, and a small sugary treat and place it on my altar overnight. In the morning, I toss the food out the window and clean the cup for continued use.

9. Be extra aware of how I speak to, approach, and treat other living things- hopefully with love, kindness, and respect.

10. Read to my heart’s content, because I love myself and I love to read!

11. Spend time outside and outdoors.

12. Write down my current goals, hang ’em up, and focus on them. Full moons are a great time to focus on positive change and new things.

13. Celebrate! Woo!

Hey, thirteen also happens to be MY lucky number 😉