today's post, Jow talks about something I recently went through as well. I conjured for more income, more business, more more more. Surrender the Booty, says I.
And the universe did, bless her heart. Like Jow, I was busier than a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest. It didn't take me long to get overwhelmed to the point of inaction. You know, when you have so much to do you can't do anything. That's where the Do One Thing post I wrote last week came from.
Crap, the Druid just posted something similar. He's got too many patients to care for at the level of care he wants to give. Is it going around? I feel worse for him than I do for me. I got bummed because I just had too much stuff to do. He's bummed cause he can't provide the quality of life he feels his patients deserve. Maybe this can help him too. Hope so.
Anyway, we get overwhelmed when we try to cram too much stuff into the space we have available. You can't grow more corn than you can fit in your field. If you play Farmville, you've probably reached the point where you've got more stuff on your farm than you have squares to put it in. You start sacrificing your productive land to fit in all the animals or planes or balloons or golden gnomes or topiary gardens or Japanese barns or whatever. (I don't play it, my spouse does. I quit years ago. It got silly.)
We do the same things with our lives. We live at a certain level of responsibility, and we get used to having X hours of work, and X hours of everything else. We cram more and more into the schedule, and pretty soon we're sacrificing in the give and take, blossom and decay of our efforts. It drives us nuts for a while until we adapt.
How do we adapt? We sacrifice. We get rid of something to make room for the stuff we want to keep. We get rid of the shit we don't need anymore, eliminate the things that are taking up space or time that don't give us a big enough return on our investment of time or effort. Non-productive time in front of a monitor is the first thing that goes for me. Video games, episodes of Torchwood and Doctor Who, even time spent reading other people's blogs. At work, the administrative tasks that I can catch up later get sacrificed so I can work on putting out whatever project fire has my boss calling me into her office. Sacrifice is the instinctive reaction.
It can be good. You prune a tree, and you get a lot more fruit. The resources that went to maintaining all those extra branches and leaves get channeled into bigger, juicier, more abundant fruit. Good stuff.
Pruning, cutting back on things, sacrifice... It's Saturn and Mars. Saturn because the things we're sacrificing are coming to an end, but Mars because we're cutting things out. When we sacrifice things like this, we're working within a closed system. There's only so much space available, only so much time, only so many productive hours in a day that we can work. There's only so much our minds can handle at once. Limits. Boundaries. Closed circles. Saturn.
But there's another option.
You ever meet those people who have twice as much to be responsible for than you do, but they're sitting there all relaxed enjoying a cold beer on a weekend because they just finished mowing their perfectly manicured lawn and they aren't all behind on everything trying to catch up? I always used to assume they were just rich enough not to have debt eating their pea brains the way I do. Or they hired other people to take care of their kids or something. But that's not it.
See, people can handle more shit than we think we can. We think we're in a closed circle with limited resources, but we aren't. The human brain can handle a lot more shit than we give it credit for. We think we're in a closed loop with limited resources within the defined boundaries we're already aware of, but the truth is those boundaries are flexible.
In Farmville, you go up a level, and you can expand your farm. Presto, more squares to use for stuff. You don't have to get rid of all that shit you thought you'd have to get rid of. In real life, farmers buy more land when they've maxed out the profitability of what they've already got.
But the things we're talking about here are mostly time constraints, and there's no way to expand the day, right? Well yeah. But we're magicians! We have access to the sphere of Saturn, where boundaries are set. We have access to Chronos himself! TIME constraints? Fuck time constraints. I didn't go through these initiations to get ass-fucked by time constraints.
Now, when we're talking about cutting back and sacrificing, it's Saturn and Mars, right? Well, when we talk about expanding our limits so we can create more, do more, grow more, have more, we're talking about Saturn and Venus. Primarily. There's plenty of room for the Moon too, and you'd time it to occur during a waxing Moon. Which is, you know, NOW. But a Saturn/Venus rite is what is called for.
Me, I just conjured up Cassiel and Anael. I used those seals from the Magical Calendar, and the Modern Angelic Grimoire, and my conjure box, and I called up Cassiel first, and then Anael, and when they were present and accounted for, I explained the situation. "I got too much to do, and not enough time or attention or brain power to get it done. I need the boundaries of my sphere expanded, upgraded, I need my resources to deal with everything grown. I need to be able to take care of things in the time I have available, and the bandwidth left over to enjoy my life. Grant me the expanded sphere of influence, the wisdom to manage my time wisely without sacrificing the things I need to keep. Generate more space, and let it be fruitful."
The result was better time management skills, though I didn't notice it at first. Things were getting done that were slipping through the cracks before. I was able to sleep soundly, at a decent hour, without my brain running a million miles an hour going over all the things I didn't quite have time for. I've been able to blog more consistently. Above all else, I've been able to think more clearly.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying sacrificing things is a bad thing. We're all little hoarders of bullshit, and we accumulate habits and patterns that need to be shaken up. We need to prune from time to time, and we need to "sacrifice" things that aren't helping. We need to be Martial with ourselves once in a while. It's a damned good thing to do.
But when the quality of your work is getting sacrificed, when you're falling behind on the things you really have to get done no matter what and the make-up time just never gets there, and people are counting on you, it's time to consider that you need to expand your sphere, upgrade your farm, get a little more room. There's an adjustment phase, and like all magic that affects your sphere directly, it's not always comfortable. But the benefits are worth it.