A Black Sheep Wearing a Rebel Cloak

A Black Sheep Wearing a Rebel Cloak

It’s said that all families have one… a black sheep. Not in the literal sense but in the form of a family member who is usually in trouble or who goes against the values and beliefs of family and community. My family considers me a black sheep, but I don’t see myself as such.

If you google black sheep, you’ll find that one definition of a black sheep is a person who is more creative, willing to take risks and has a lifestyle that sets them apart from the norm. I choose to walk my own path not as a black sheep but as a quiet rebel.

Let me count the ways I’ve been a quiet rebel.

Homeschooling

Three decades ago, in my part of the state, homeschooling was practically unheard of. I had read of people in the larger cites homeschooling their children and after much researching, I decided I’d become a homeschooling mom. Eyes rolled, and gossip flowed. Who did I think I was? Did I think my children were ‘too good’ to go to school with other children?

No, I didn’t think that at all. I wanted more for my three children. I wanted a more well-rounded education for them, not a cookie cutter education. I wanted to develop their unique talents and interests. I wanted to offer them a wide range of experiences that didn’t refine them to sitting inside a small room with four walls at a desk for 30 hours a week. Our school became not only the kitchen table but the great outdoors.

House Guests

While homeschooling my children, we incorporated self-sufficient skills into our curriculum, which led to a magazine subscription that was geared towards being self-sufficient. As an assignment, my children and I wrote an article for the community page that talked of our goals of raising and preserving our own food and how we were homeschooling. We listed our mailing address and asked for pen pals from others with the same interest. We got six letters.

The letters came from Montana, Missouri, New York, Kentucky, Kansas and Canada. We became f close friends with all but one of the six. The lady who wrote from Montana was married and had five children, three near to the same ages as my children. She too was homeschooling.

Our children corresponded first as a school project then as friends. The mother and I and I wrote monthly letters, small books I should say, detailing our daily lives. We shared laughter and tears, goals, ambitions, recipes, homeschooling ideas and sent gifts on occasion. She began to feel like family.

A tearful letter telling me that she and her husband were divorcing tugged at my heart. I wrote back and asked her to come for a visit while she decided what she was going to do. My husband, knowing me as he does, had only slight reservations to my invitation. My family, on the other hand, was a different story.

What was I doing? How could I truly know this person just from writing letters? She might be serial killer, a thief or a drug addict. Why was I putting my family in danger? Didn’t I have more sense than to invite a stranger into my home?

She came with her five children. No, she wasn’t any of the above. She was now a struggling single mom with no support and no home.

A month later, she found a house to rent and a job. She became friends with other members of the community including my family. It was as if she’d been born and raised there. We still laugh today about her being a ‘serial killer.’

Later, we were to have the four others come spend mini vacations with us including the one from Canada. Other strangers have entered our home over the years. Each taught us something.

Career

Had I lost my mind? Why would I want to be a massage therapist? Why would I want to rub on naked bodies, especially men’s naked bodies? Didn’t I know what type of reputations massage therapists have?

Yes, I knew what type of reputation massage therapist had in the past. I wasn’t living in the past. I wanted to be a massage therapist to provide health benefits in an alternative way. I wanted to provide pain relief without medication.

Over the years, I’d steered myself and my family away from the traditional health system as much as possible. Our small backwoods town needed to be educated about massage and its benefits. Again, I would be the rebel, go to massage school, get licensed, become an entrepreneur and open my own massage therapy business.

Spiritually

When I slowly began to come out of the closet regarding my spiritual beliefs, I truly thought I was going to be put in a stockade and pinned with a scarlet letter. According to my family, I had really done it this time. As before, I would walk my path and eventually they would look over my nonsense and still own me as family, not crossing the street or bringing out the holy cross when I was near.

Black Sheep or Quiet Rebel?

I’m a person who isn’t afraid to be different. I’m creative. I’m a risk taker. I think outside of the box. My life style, beliefs and values set me apart and for that, I don’t ask forgiveness nor am I ashamed. I walk my own path. I am who I am…a quiet rebel.

About our guest rebel

Jackie Frazier is a wife, mother, grandmother, aspiring writer and a massage therapist along with a host of other titles.

She lives in Southeastern Kentucky in the gorgeous, breath taking Pine Mountains, a ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. Here, she walks and seeks a more spiritual life while being a quiet rebel.

Don’t Be Defeated: Rebel and Rise

Don’t Be Defeated: Rebel and Rise

There’s something I want to share with you. It’s important.

Contrary to what social media feeds would have you believe: we all have dark days.

It’s not all sunshine and smiles and wonderful food and #livingmybestlife

That’s not how life is really.

It’s human to experience those days when you feel like shit and it’s all too much and you just want to curl up in a ball and for it all to go away.

And if you’re highly sensitive and/or empathic then when those times come, you really feel it.

I’m sharing because I have those days too.

Those times when I cannot be bothered any more. When I give up on humanity and curse us all as selfish and stupid.

There are times when those feelings overwhelm me and there are times when I curl up in a ball on the sofa crying – no I mean howling, proper full-on snotty wailing – at the pointlessness of life.

We’re destroying our planet. Trump and his venal enablers are normalising acts of deepest brutal inhumanity. Brexit is going to destroy our economy and may well end up plunging Europe/the world into another war because nationalism is on the rise … and that ‘us v them’ mentality never ends well.

A downward spiral

The last time I felt like this, I could feel myself getting pulled into a downward spiral of ‘what’s the point of me teaching and sharing yoga and meditation because trying to alleviate anxiety and stress is just a sticking plaster – all these mental health issues are being caused by deep and structural issues in society which are never going to end!’

Oh my, yes, I love a deep full-on existential nihilistic crisis; it’s my specialty…

When you’re sensitive and empathic you literally can FEEL the pain of the world. Perhaps you feel it too? To me, it can feel like a howl of pain that’s filling the atmosphere.

The last time I had one of these moments, I’d like to say that I used some yoga technique or deep breathing to get me out of this state.

But, I didn’t.

The thing that helped me most was some words from my husband: ‘don’t let them defeat you’.

Because, oh my, was I feeling defeated.

I’d lost hope and motivation and inspiration and love.

But as he said those words, a little fire inside me was relit. ‘No, don’t let them defeat you.’

Don’t let the greedy, power-hungry, manipulative side of human nature, which is all too often on display in public life, defeat you.

There is another way. Yes!

Choose to rise

This is how I inspire myself to carry on and embrace life. I hope these words inspire you too.

Choose to rise up in love and connection and hope and inspiration.

Refuse to compare and compete.

Connect in your community as a citizen and refuse to be a passive consumer.

Choose love and connection over fear and division.

Root down to connect to Mother Earth and appreciate Her abundance.

Look up to the moon and sun and stars and breathe the infinite wonder of the universe.

See the deep beauty in a flower and the radiant life in another’s eyes.

Connect to your heart and immerse yourself in the infinite peace and strength and wisdom that reside there.

Realize your true nature and that of the universe is LOVE.

Don’t let yourself be defeated by the fear and anger and belligerence and judgement that is all too often on display in this world.

However, you can find courage in your heart to awaken and rise up.

And live and act from a place of powerful, peaceful, presence and embrace life and all its challenges with a profound and soulful YES!

About our guest rebel

Stella Tomlinson is a Hampshire-based Dru Yoga and meditation teacher, writer, energy worker and Priestess-in-training empowering sensitive, soulful people to connect to inner peace by living in rhythm with the cycles and flow of life through movement, rest, meditation, guided self-enquiry, and cycle and seasonal awareness.

Her first book Peace Lies Within: 108 ways to tame your mind & connect to inner peace is out now from Amazon, visit: http://livingyogawithstella.com/peacelieswithin 

Stella Tomlinson is a Hampshire-based Dru Yoga and meditation teacher, writer, energy worker and Priestess-in-training empowering sensitive, soulful people to connect to inner peace by living in rhythm with the cycles and flow of life through movement, rest, meditation, guided self-enquiry, and cycle and seasonal awareness.

Her first book Peace Lies Within: 108 ways to tame your mind & connect to inner peace is out now from Amazon, visit: http://livingyogawithstella.com/peacelieswithin 

A Quiet Rebel Transmuting Energy

A Quiet Rebel Transmuting Energy

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a little shop on South Parade Pier in Portsmouth and this is my story of how I got there and why I consider myself to be a quiet rebel.

From an early age, I knew I was ‘different’. I saw animals at night and things no-one else in the family could see. It didn’t take me long to realize I’d been quite randomly plonked into my family. It’s just one of those things I had to get used to.

When I was ten, my family and I moved to Switzerland, where I attended an American school for three years. It was a completely different lifestyle from the one I was used to and the first of many game changers in my life.

Shortly after, mum and I returned to the UK whilst my dad remained in Switzerland. Two houses and two schools later, things finally settled down.

At the age of 17, I needed money so I illegally obtained a job in a well-known off-license chain and continued to work in pubs for years thereafter. During those times, so many things I never expected came into my life including several failed relationships and a child. I decided then and there to create a list I entitled Things I never thought would happen to me, a list that continues to grow to this day.

One of the most traumatic things on the list was a near fatal illness that cost me six-hours of surgery, 24-hours of recovery, nine pints of blood, two days in HDU and half a lung. If it hadn’t been for my son and my revelations of what was going to happen to his father, I would have used the get out of life clause a hundred times over.

Through it all, I hung in there, learning valuable lessons from my experiences and the spirits.

In just the last five years, I suddenly decided to use all the psychic stuff the spirits taught me:

  • Defense against psychic attack
  • Opening up
  • Receiving and using upgrades and downloads
  • Shamanic techniques
  • Divination with cards
  • Dealing with multidimensional beings and situations
  • Working with Egyptian mythos
  • Working with gods, goddesses and other entities
  • That the Pagan community is not all love and light

What makes me a quiet rebel

Sitting in my little shop quietly transmuting sea to land energy, my portal in my healing room quietly guiding those over to the other side, the dragon on the pier keeping it safe, I watch the unseen ships in the air and water in the Solent as merpeople bob about in the sea and play in the surf.

The public comes in and out enjoying its days on the pier. As the day passes, idle chit chat takes place, readings and healings are done and very few see all that’s in my little shop. Yes, I’m a very quiet rebel indeed.

Being able to transmute energy wherever I am is an awesome thing to be able to do and the planet loves it. So many things can be done silently.

You don’t need to be out there visibly doing things to make a difference. It pays dividends to work quietly and go unseen. Not everyone needs to know what you do. What they think is neither here nor there.

Occasionally I will be sent dark ones to try to put me off what I’m doing (they should know better by now).

My tips for being a content quiet rebel

  • Make yourself a list of things you never thought would happen to you. I promise it won’t disappoint.
  • Follow your heart and soul.
  • Always do what feels right for you.
  • Always know that it’s never too late to change your life
  • Don’t waste your time doing things you don’t enjoy. Life is too short
  • Realize life can change in the blink of an eye
  • Never let anyone tell you what your energies are or that you can’t do something

Ending with a heart of gratitude

I’m thankful for good friends, my family (who have no idea what I do but are happy that I’m happy), the cats and dogs, my front room with its own menagerie of elementals, the spirits who roam my house and of course, my fabulous husband Rob who puts up with my ramblings.

About our guest rebel

Kate Buxton, based in Portsmouth, Hampshire, is the owner of Sundance Pier Shop (a traditional pier shop with a modern twist) located on South Parade Pier in Southsea.

A Moment Of Gratitude

A Moment Of Gratitude

As autumn turns to winter, depression and grief return to haunt me. It used to be my favorite time of the year, especially Halloween. The year 2012 changed all that for me, and ever since then, this time of year has been a struggle. As it turns out, this year is particularly rough, but I’m trying not to let it beat me. I recognize that it’s more difficult this time… it hasn’t been this bad in years.

I’ve got to keep fighting though. I must push through this. If I just weather out this storm, things will begin improving after February, or at least that’s been the cycle for the past five years. You would think by now it would get easier, rather than more difficult, but you can’t predict life’s twists and turns, it’s effects on your emotions, how strong the hold, or how deep the reach, until you are already in its clutches.

So what do I do when the cycle of darkness returns? I turn to my creativity and draw, paint, and write, and I turn to nature to find something beautiful to be grateful for, and I get the hell out of Dodge (the confines of my house) and find something to do to take my mind off my burdens. Basically, I seek out anything that can bring something positive into my life, even if short lived.

Today was a work day, but it was one of those slow, quiet days when I find myself all caught up on paperwork and tasks. Slow mundane days tend to allow a person’s thoughts to run rampid, and when those thoughts are gloomy, it’s a bad combination. So today, I sat outside for a few minutes after lunch, and took in the sights and sounds of nature, as well as the banging and shouts from the nearby construction site, and I welcomed the light and warmth of the sun.

I live in Arizona, so nature here isn’t as pretty as other places of the world, at least in my opinion, but it does have its own particular kind of beauty, so I sat on the concrete and took it all in.

I gave thanks for the not-so-hot weather, the brilliance of the clear, cloudless, blue sky, the thousands of sharp bristles on the jumping cactus, saguaro, and barrel cactus. I took notice of the tiny ants navigating through the pebbles and cracked dry earth, and how I could smell the unique scent of the ants. I admired the mounds so carefully and painstakingly built around their homes near where I sat, and the patterns of the dry, crack-riddled dirt. I admired the growth of the new addition and appreciated how quickly it has grown and changed.

I respected the teamwork of the workers as they shouted across the steel beams, communicating to their team. I welcomed the slight breeze, and I just soaked it all up… until it was time to go back inside. By the time I returned to my office, my mood was slightly improved.

Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that brighten your existence. Amazing how just a few minutes outdoors, shifted my mood… and just like that, I found myself grateful for this day.

About our guest rebel

Rebecca “Reba” White is an artist and writer.

Her work can be found in Soul Path Magazine, her personal blogs, Quiet Rebel Bureau and gracing homes and offices of family and friends.

Reba lives in Arizona with her sister, a loving marmalade tabby, and a midnight cat from hell.

She is a warrior fighting a battle against lifelong depression and anxiety, and a cheerleader for perseverance.

It’s Reba’s hope that through her writing and art, she can touch lives, and help others who have similar battles.

“Depression is a bitch, but you can’t let it win! Keep fighting!”

A Witch Out Of The Box

A Witch Out Of The Box

“How are you a quiet rebel?  What do you do to rebel against the ordinary?” I’ve had many conversations with pagans and non-pagans about not being ordinary, or the word more commonly used ‘weird’.  I’m very proud to be weird!  But actually, when you think about it, what is normal or ordinary? On entering the world of paganism, you’re hit by a huge number of different pathways and with that labels.  Why do us human beings like to be put into boxes? Does it make us feel wanted or needed, or do we just like to fit in somewhere? When I first started on this spiritual journey a gazillion years ago, I started studying Wicca.  Finding witchcraft felt to me like ‘coming home’. At the time, Wicca was the only structure of learning that was available via books, so I studied and practised it. Once that new-fangled internet thingy took off, I was offered online courses of learning, again in Wicca – but I took up the challenge. I loved all my studies in Wicca, they gave me a very good base to work from. However, I realised early on that Wicca wasn’t quite the right fit for me personally.   I like to do my own thing and I definitely began to trust my intuition from a very early point.  I also don’t like being told what to do (seriously ask my husband).  And, although Wicca doesn’t have rules as such, it does give guidelines for working with deity, laying out your altar and the like.   I wanted to rebel… I felt the need to stretch my wings and push out to explore.  So, I did… After completing the three Wiccan degrees, I went off on an adventure.  Well, more than one adventure. I studied whatever I felt drawn to, which included: Druidry, Hedge Witchcraft, Shamanic practices, Hoodoo and I even did a workshop as a Viking Shield Maiden to name but a few!   From each journey I delved into, I took away the bits and pieces that worked for me.   A bit of a spiritual pick n mix.  Adding practises from each pathway into my own.  I love learning, I love studying and I love attending workshops and talks – everyone has a different take and I will always come away having learnt something new. I have continued to study and dip into other spiritual boxes, taking what I like and discarding that which doesn’t resonate with me. Some would throw their hands up in horror I know, but I must do what works for me.  It is my own spiritual journey and very personal, so it must be right and sit comfortably for me. Do I have a title or a label?   I am a Witch.   If you want to slot me into a heading of some sort, then I would say Kitchen/Hedge Witch. I work in harmony with Mother Nature, I don’t necessarily work with the sabbats as such.  I fell off ‘The Wheel’ a long time ago.  I felt restricted by dates on a calendar that didn’t tie in with the weather or nature.  One winter solstice it was so warm we didn’t have to wear coats, and I had pelargoniums still flowering in the garden in December (I am pretty sure Mother Nature is menopausal). It’s hard to associate that with a date on the calendar that says its winter. Now I prefer to work with the energy of the season, the month or even the week or the day, stepping outside to see and feel what sort of magic is in the air.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think we should all learn about the sabbats. They work perfectly for getting together as a group to celebrate (any excuse for cake is a good excuse as far as I am concerned).  But, I prefer to do my own thing. My magical tools are whatever I have to hand, or nature provides.  OK…I do have quite a few pretties as well, handcrafted deity statues created by very talented artists, wands that have been gifted to me and a million candles.  But the whole host of paraphernalia that I purchased in the beginning; chalices, athames and bells – have all been given away.  They looked lovely, but I didn’t use them. When I create a spell, I use what I have, my garden and my kitchen cupboard provide all the herbs, spices, flowers and plants that I need to work magic.  I recycle jam jars to create witch bottles and turn fabric scraps into poppets. My magic is worked at my dining room table or in my garden.   Magic is added to the food as I cook in my kitchen. These are my sacred spaces. I am a witch, it’s who I am, what I am and how I live my life.  I don’t believe there is a right way or a wrong way. I must trust my intuition and do things my own way.  

About our guest rebel

Witch, Mother, Wife and lover of cake. Rachel is High Priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven and Elder at the Kitchen Witch Online School. Having had 15 books published by Moon Books, she also give talks at Pagan events and writes regularly for several Pagan magazines (Pagan Dawn, Magical Times and Witchcraft &Wicca) as well as blogs over on Patheos Pagan, Moon Books, Witches & Pagans and Wyldwood.

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