I did divination for myself, to gain new insights—or be reminded of old ones—about self-care when working hard. The reading was for me, but I post it below in case you find it helpful.
The following italicized paragraphs provide background, so the reading makes sense to you:
Exhaustion exacerbates multiple sclerosis symptoms badly. The final parts of curriculum development for an online course can be seriously exhausting for me because of how I tend to approach those final stages of creating an online course. I’m learning to approach those final stages differently, and have come a long way, but still have progress to make.
After working off-and-on for a long time developing a curriculum for learning Ogham divination, it’s time to finish the curriculum.
The course will be online, as opposed to my oral tradition classes, which meet by telephone. My process of creating an oral tradition class is a very different experience from creating an online one, but I’ve been teaching oral tradition for decades. I’ve been teaching online courses for far less time. And I find only the final stages of creating an online course terribly exhausting.
Mind you, I love my work, and doing it is a privilege. I adore the process of curriculum creation. But everything has its downside. For example, self-employment often requires a strenuous work schedule. End of background.
I did a reading about how to finish the curriculum in a self-caring way. I used a mini-deck of Ogham art I’d created, and pulled these three cards:
The messages from the reading:
* You have a high standard for your work, and work hard toward your ideals. That’s important. But working hard does not mean working so hard you hurt yourself.
* Perfectionism is not the same as hard work and high ideals. Perfection is impossible. No matter how hard you try, it is unachievable. Don’t beat yourself up by overworking because you think creating a course that is absolutely perfect in every way is possible.
* You are a bringer of light and goodness. Negative entities move toward those who do good work. Put up your boundaries, only allowing kindness around you.
* You easily forget you’ve already spent years honing this curriculum. Recognize that excellent work. Otherwise, your undervaluing the curriculum’s quality will cause you to overwork in the final stages of curriculum creation, sabotaging your health. Overwork caused by that undervaluing represents internalized oppression. It’s not enough to ward off external negative energy. Note when you internalize it.
* You are beautiful. Your spiritual beauty will shine throughout the course material, helping course participants affirm their own spiritual beauty.
* You let the Old Gods speak through you when you channel this course; it is far more powerful magic than you recognize yet.
* Pace yourself: if you have to take a few extra months finishing the curriculum, that’s okay.
* Yes, you’re at the point in the creative process that requires ongoing focus, to maintain awareness of all the threads that weave through the curriculum, so you develop each thread properly and weave the threads together properly. Yes, don’t doubt that maintained awareness of threads is necessary in the final stages of developing this course. Yes, if you walk away from that focus for very long, you’ll lose the ever-precarious hold of those threads, and may never find it in you to do all the work required to gather so many threads together mentally. Yes, mentally holding onto so many threads forever is impossible. But working slow enough that you might need to take a few extra months on the project will be fine; you don’t have to live in fear that you’ll lose those threads if you go at a sane pace; trust your Gods to do right by you; after all, They asked you to write this curriculum.
* Intensive curriculum creation will take a big chunk of your day, while you’ll also be doing a lot of other work. Take plenty of breaks and minimize the number of other things on your plate.
* Yes, you see nothing on your plate that you can afford to remove. Give it thought, remove one tiny thing, and you’ll get more ideas.
* Do activities that calm, encourage, center, and nourish you, so you’re centered and refreshed when working on curriculum, and hence don’t fall into work patterns that are not self-caring. (Dear reader, creating curriculum does calm, encourage, center, nourish, and refresh me, big time! In fact, it is a spiritual practice for me. It feels like I was born to do it and, as such, is a huge act of self-expression, which sometimes brings up every bit of internalized oppression—messages that I have no right to express myself, I have no right to joy, that I shouldn’t do what I love for a living, that I’ll be attacked for doing what I love for a living, that spirit and work should be separate, on and on. Harrying messages and fear can continue, debilitating me and subconsciously driving me to overwork. But adding other spiritual practices that are calming, centering, etc., make curriculum creation the wonderful, instead of negative, experience it is meant to be for me.)
The three wee Ogham cards for the reading are part of a complete Ogham divination set I made for students of the Ogham divination course. Everyone receives a digital file of the set to print and cut up into little cards. It is all my original full-color shamanic art.
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