Snack Attack

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Food is my vice. Despite the chaotic and emotionally traumatic roller coaster of a life I have had to survive since day one on planet Earth, the only vice I have truly had is food. I have dabbled with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs and have never become addicted. So I can even say that I don’t have an addictive personality, it’s not that I can say no and never try things. I have even tried things and then never become addicted and had it been a mind over matter situation and chosen to not become addicted to any of those substances, ever.

But food/sugar. That’s another story altogether. I have struggled with it for as long as I can remember. I would struggle to stop at just 3 cookies. I could scarf down an entire bag of double stuf Oreos all by myself in one sitting. And I always knew that I ate primarily out of boredom or for psychological reasons. But I could never get a handle on it. The only time I seemed to be able to get a grip on it was when I was sort of forced via pain and working out when I started karate. Pain because I had braces that they were trying to get two years worth of work done in one year, so I got them double tightened each time, so I could barely eat for days after each orthodontist appointment. My senior year of high school was the best my body ever looked due to those two things. I have a big build. When people say some one is big boned, that isn’t a cop out for some people. I was truly the skinniest I probably could ever be as an adult that year, and I was still a larger size in women’s clothing. I will never be a size 0 or a size 2. It’s physically impossible for me.

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That’s my graduation picture from high school, at the lowest weight I’ve ever been in my fully grown body. It’s now a pipe dream that I know I’ll never achieve again.

My husband pointed out when I got my non-identifying information from the adoption agency when I put in to search for my birth mom that it had reported on there that when I was in foster care that I was becoming irritable and the doctor recommended for the foster parents to put honey in my bottle….so….let’s analyze this a moment. I’m irritable (probably from the trauma of being ripped away from my mother and not knowing who these people are that are “taking care of me” and who knows how much they were cuddling me and giving me the emotional side of what a baby needs to thrive) so the doctor says to placate me with honey (something sweet)……fill the emptiness, the longing for what’s missing with sweets….hmm, no wonder I’m addicted psychologically to sweets.

Whenever I’m bored or feeling empty, lonely, unloved, unwanted, fearful, angry, self conscious, anxious….you name the negative emotion….I feel a snack attack coming on….

Until recently. With my life spiraling out of control, once again, without warning and with me working on self love and having worked so hard for 6 months to work my way out of a 3 year depression, I was not about to let myself slip back in to another one. So I began to cling to one thing I knew I could control, regardless of how psychologically hard it has always been for me, I knew I COULD physically control the food that goes in my mouth, or doesn’t. I put on 15 extra pounds while I was on an extra anti-depressant to get out of my 3 year depression. I was on that med for 6 months and gained those 15 pounds all within that time frame. And I wasn’t happy at the weight I was at prior to those extra 15 pounds. So now I was SUPERBLY depressed about my weight. But I was finally able to come off that medication in January of this year.

After coming off of that, starting my ADHD meds again (which also help me shed some weight), upping the dosage on one of my migraine preventative meds (which also helps me shed weight as well), starting to take diet pills and finally starting to become OCD over controlling what I eat, I am finally down the 15 pounds I had gained. I dipped down one extra pound earlier this week but put it back on in the past couple of days. The method I have been going g with has been to watch very carefully what I eat for many days in a row and then for a couple of days (typically weekends) to not count anything. I often gain back a couple of pounds during those days but then they come right off and then I lose another one or two during the week as well. So it has been working pretty well for me and has actually been keeping my metabolism tricked so that it doesn’t ever go in to that starvation mode since I am eating pretty well one or two days during the week. So even though the scale weight goes up a couple days a week, I am consistently losing weight week to week, which is the important part.

It has become something I am now OCD about and something I want to prove to myself and others that I can control and also something that I can have in my back pocket in case I ever have it thrown in my face if things ever get ugly in my life that I am not able to control my addiction. Since I have had my addiction my entire life, and we will always be exposed to sugar, I will always be tested with my addiction the rest of my life. I will never have the opportunity to fully walk away from it and stay away from it, which is easier once you kick it fully. I need to do this to help empower myself so that I feel I have a stance to take if and when I am ready. More likely when. I have been taking almost daily pictures of myself in the raw to help me with my analysis of my body image, to help me accept myself as I am and to know what I want to change. I am going to be completely raw and brave and post a collage of those selfies here of my daily selfies in different outfits over the time frames that I’ve been trying to lose weight so that I can see how I look in different outfits and know myself and help myself to become more comfortable in my own skin. Most of them I am not posing and dont have makeup on and don’t have my hair done etc….these were strictly for body image, not facial image. So I’m being very vulnerable in doing this.

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2 more weeks until I get on a cruise ship and am surrounded by women in bikinis where I will feel self conscious, even though I made a point in telling my husband I don’t want to go on any excursions that make me have to be in a bathing suit or be around people in a bathing suit. But there are pools on the ship. It’s not like I can avoid being around beautiful bodies in bikinis sitting by the pool that I can never look like and never measure up to, or down to technically. This world just sucks for people like me who have to work so hard to even look somewhat average, and still know that I can never compare to so many of the other women out there and that it’s just yet another area of my life that I can never be first choice in to anybody. Classic Adoptee theme, always second best (if that), constant rejection feeling, always feeling unwanted….

 

My song of the day…Unpretty….by TLC…I don’t feel the exact lyrics, especially since they talk about feeling too skinny, that’s clearly not my problem, but still many of the lyrics and feelings of it resonate with the theme of my post…

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/snack/

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Rich stay rich, rich control needy, needy remain poor

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As if healing from the trauma of adoption and narcissistic adoptive parents weren’t enough, and having the chemical imbalances of anxiety and ADHD that weren’t discovered and treated till I was in my 20s and 30s, let’s add to that a child who has Asperger’s Autism. Please don’t get me wrong. I love my daughter, and nothing can ever change that, no diagnosis could make me love her any less. But I obviously must have convinced Kuk Sa Nim and the Universe that I am some sort of Warrior that has all the strength in the world with the largest set of shoulders. And that synopsis snapshot is only a tiny little picture of it all really. Yet somehow I remain drug, alcohol and cigarette free…not sure how still….you might want to check back with me again on that one in another 10 years….

So the past couple of days have brought on a reminder of exactly the way the world runs. That the rich rule the world. The rich get to dictate and control those who are dependant on them for care and those who are needed always remain repressed by the rich. What does that mean in layman’s terms. Here has been my battle this week.

My daughter receives her medications through her pediatrician for her Autism (anxiety). He requires a 6 month med checkup. Ok. No big deal. Due to the fact that I have ADHD and a very stressful job when it comes to fine details that keep my head swimming, I often forget when it is that I need to make an appointment (and I can’t make them ahead of time due to my schedule because I’d end up having to cancel and reschedule anyway because my schedule is constantly in flux due to it’s shifting nature). So it ends up that the need for renewal of her medication is often the way that I am reminded that I need to make an appointment. I just can’t keep that detail worked out. And it’s not like the doctors doctor ever sends any notice like the dentist or the vet or the eye doctor does. So I tried to renew her prescription through my pharmacy and it was denied twice. So I called her pediatricians office. The front desk told me the doctor may not do it because she’s due for her med check and they don’t want to be held liable for patients with psychiatric and ADHD issues and medication dosages. After arguing with her (which I will splay out my logic in a second) her medication has still not been refilled 2 days later….So I guess I will be on the search for another pediatrician who will work with her diagnosis and continue to prescribe her medications.

Here is my logic on this one….

So they claim they don’t want to be held “liable and responsible” for mis-dosaging of psychiatric and ADHD patients….Yet I tell them my daughter is out of her medication and they won’t even renew it for a month until I can get her in with an appointment. So they’d rather be liable for a 10 year old to have withdrawn from a medication she’s now been on for several years and that all I’m going to do is walk in and tell them that she’s doing fine on it. If there was a problem with the dosage to where there major problems at home due to her dosage being too low because she had outgrown the dosage, I would have already made the appointment. They hadn’t upped the medication dosage, she’s been on the same thing, so worst case scenario is that it’s not as effective because of her weight differentiation….So….sounds like they are more interested in making their money than in the real care of their patient, who will have to suffer withdrawal. Luckily, I and my husband are on the same medication just double the dosage and we are cutting our pills in half. It probably changes the extended release portion of it, but it’s better than watching my 10 year old go through withdrawal from a medication I’ve been through the withdrawal of and it is not pleasant. I’m utterly appalled by this doctors behavior……

Rivulet of my Consciousness

 

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Today I spent the majority of my day finishing up a book for my book club meeting for tomorrow. I haven’t been very good about completing them lately and I wanted to finish this one and I wanted to change this aspect of my life. I just finished the book. The book was a very triggering one for me as it dealt with topics of adoption. I don’t have much capacity today for thoughtful writing due to this. But there have been many thoughts traveling the rivulet of my consciousness throughout the day, ones dealing with my emotions from the book, ones stemming from other areas I am working through from my depression and other daily life encounters. I am going to simply post memes and quotes that outline my thought processes of today.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rivulet/

Just a spoonful of applesauce makes the medicine go down…

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I. Can’t. Swallow. Pills. I’m a grown-@ss 40 year old woman and I can’t swallow pills.

Of all of the psychological damage my Dad pulled on me when I was younger, this is definitely the most pervasive and the most over-all traumatizing. It is something I have never been able to get over and it is something I have to face every single day of my life. I start my day with it. And even if I don’t consciously think about, that is engrained in my physiological being. Even if I have accepted it as my way of life in my brain, it still pervades my psyche in ways that I don’t think I even realized until just recently.

When I was 6, my Dad decided that since the bottles of medication said 6 year olds could start taking medicines that were swallowable, that it was time to start making me try. So he got me one of the cups at some point, like the one in the picture at the top of this post, and had me start trying to swallow pills. Whenever I couldn’t do it after those first few times (at whatever point he deemed it to be ridiculous that I should be able to by his own timetable), he began to yell at me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. that it didn’t happen. He never stopped to think that the split uvula that I had (which they knew about), could have affected this.

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(Sorry for the graphic grossness-don’t worry not my actual mouth, lol)

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I never had any trouble eating, but my voice does sound nasal, and it was particularly nasal when I was a child. But my Dad doesn’t think outside of himself for a hot second. All he could see was the inconvenience and the failure of his daughter to achieve something so simplistic and commonplace. Then again, had he have figured out back then that it was due to my split uvula, it would have only given him more fuel to the genetic fire to blame my shortcomings on my genetics, since he was my adoptive father, and boy did he love to point out all of the things he disapproved of in me and pin them on my genetics. So maybe it was for the best that he never figured that one out, because it would have never turned in to a reason for compassion anyway.

My split uvula causes me no troubles with normal eating because I can chew my food up as much as I need and then swallow whenever I am ready to. But it does cause a horrific gag reflex for me. Which is the problem it causes when I try to take pills. And then add in the psychological damage my Dad added in to that, and it was a recipe for disaster. The only way I can take pills now is to take them with a spoonful of applesauce. I can even put multiple, large pills in one tablespoon of applesauce. But it is the function of the spoon to hold my tongue down and force the pills and applesauce which masks the feel of the pills to the back of my throat. I can even take a very small pill if needed in a teaspoon of liquid, it is the spoon that is the key, to hold down my tongue. When they need to swab my tongue if they are doing a strep test at the doctor’s, they HAVE to use a tongue depressor or they absolutely can’t get the swab done because my tongue will snap up in the back every. single. time. Because it makes me feel like I am gagging. When they made the mold for my top retainer with that huge metal tray, just wow. What a horrifying feeling that was.

I’m sure that swallowing pills would have been hard for me no matter what. But I’m sure that with patience I would have figured out a way to get around it. But the psychological damage is so deep now that it causes anxiety if I do try. When I decided to look for this cup shown at the top of this post a couple of months ago, when I was thinking about it, I wasn’t prepared for the reaction it would bring when I found it. It actually caused a mild physical panic attack.

Whenever I go on vacations, I have to either pack applesauce and a spoon or remember to buy it if we are going to a grocery store. I have a spoon packed in the car and in my purse so that I can take my migraine pills in a spoonful of liquid anywhere I am (they are small). It invades my life that much. And it is a constant reminder that I was a failure at something so commonplace that most people on the planet are able to accomplish at some point in their life. Every morning when I am taking my pills in applesauce, my 10 year old daughter (who could do it at 8) is swallowing her pills with water. It is all just a constant reminder of how I can’t beat this, of how I can’t overcome, despite how much I have survived and how much I have worked myself through on my own. It is a daily reminder that even though I have succeeded in life where many people would have ended up in a straightjacket with some of the circumstances I’ve endured, that I still can’t fix this aspect of my life. It is beyond disheartening. No matter how many psychology books and articles I read, no matter how much I educate myself on all of these topics, no matter how many other traumas I have risen above throughout my life, I can’t seem to conquer this one. And it makes me feel so weak, no matter how many ways I spin the information in my head logically.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, it’s time for me to go take my spoonful of meds…

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/swallow/

Restaurant Catering

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From the time I was pretty young, it always bubbled underneath the surface. Eating meat felt inherently wrong to me. If I stopped to think about it, I quickly fell down the rabbit hole. While I’m on the topic of rabbits, it was even so apparent that anything that looked like an animal would get under my skin. I used to save alot of my chocolate bunnies at Easter time because I just couldn’t eat them because it made me think of eating animals in some strange way (even though I intellectually knew it was just chocolate), but because they had faces on them, and I knew I couldn’t control eating meat at that point in my life, it seemed like something I could have some control over in some ridiculous way in the mind of a warped 8 year olds mind.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to finally try being a vegetarian to lessen some of the guilt I felt in my life (guilt is a real issue for me). I made it several months without eating any meat at all. But there were certain situations that made it very hard. And because of those situations, I have modified my diet in to what I call (thanks to a former student of mine for coining or passing along this term) a Flexetarian. I eat animal meat on certain occasions but try to refrain when I am just at home on a day to day regular basis. I eat meat on special holidays that involve traditional meals such as Thanksgiving. I eat meat when I am at other people’s houses so that I don’t have to imposition anyone, or make anyone feel uncomfortable due to my own decisions in life. My husband also is more of the chef in the family and he enjoyed making specific meals and was very disappointed when I chose to become a Vegetarian because it would mean missing out on sharing those meals with me, and I didn’t like seeing him disappointed or feeling as though we were losing something we enjoyed doing together (including going out to eat and often sharing meals etc…)

Which brings me to my last reason for modifying. I am a picky eater. And it was often hard to find things at restaurants that I could eat or modify or that would be satisfying beyond a side garden salad. I really feel that restaurants need to implement a couple of different universal standards in their menus. There are certain groups that I think they should have options available for as the numbers within these groups increase. I think there should be some options that are peanut free, as this is a life threatening allergy that has increased exponentially. There should be options that are gluten free. There should be options that are vegetarian and/or vegan. And I think for those 3 categories that the options should be meals that are fairly base standards that could please a good majority of people or could be added to should others want extra flavor, like a build your own pasta type options.

And then I think for kids menus there should be certain standards in every single restaurant. I was honestly ASTOUNDED when we went to the Be Our Guest restaurant in Disney World, a place that caters to children, and even though they are looking to have a hoity toity ambience, their selections on the children’s menu were all abominable for a child who is a picky eater. And my child is a picky eater, not because I’m a bad mom and wouldn’t refuse to be a short order cook and gave in to her and didn’t force her to have what we were having, but because she has Asperger’s Autism, and textures bother her and smells bother her. She’s even picky about types of pizza. There’s only about 2 places she’ll eat pizza from. It’s not because she’s a spoiled brat. She’s very sensitive. I think every restaurant should have the following on children’s menus: (and no, these are not all things my kid eats, but things I think would cover almost all bases)

Hamburger/Cheeseburger, Chicken Nuggets, Hot Dog, Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Pizza Slice (Cheese or Pepperoni), Spaghetti (with option of meatballs or meatsauce or just sauce).

Forgive me if I am forgetting another large category of “special eaters” out there. That isn’t my intention. I hope that I do not come across sounding like a Veruca Salt spoiled brat that feels like the world needs to bend it’s ways to everyone. I just feel that these groups of people have either health issues or a world philosophical reason that is worth having a standard menu that can be counted on being at any restaurant they visit, and then hopefully more available within that restaurants particular cuisine as well for each subsection. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but then again, I’m not in the restaurant business. And maybe I am a stuck up food snob that is perpetuating some of the rigidity that is rampant in the world today. But my parents were the type that made me sit at the dinner table till I finished everything on my plate and made me eat everything they ate (the only thing they spared me was the liver-thank God). But, everything my parents made me try as a kid that I didn’t like back then, I still don’t like as an adult. The only exceptions to that are that I like some of those things of they are prepared differently than how my mother cooked and prepared them (ie: caramelized onions (which I now like) vs. onions just thrown in every dish raw and cooked in the meal- or raw onions in my tuna fish sandwiches-which I despised). So, that method didn’t do anything for me. I liked what I liked…Period.

 

As above, so below

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As above, so below. This is a common phrase in the Wiccan and Pagan traditions. I thought I had a general grasp on the meaning of this phrase, but I decided to research it today when I decided to use this as the material for my post.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but was placed in a Fundamental, Born Again Baptist school for my elementary years. This ended up creating a ton of confusion for me in the religion department. Many would think that they are similar in that they are both Christian religions so they should be more compatible and shouldn’t have had that negative of an impact on me. But it started as early as 4 years old for me. I hadn’t started Sunday School for the Catholic faith yet, but I was already in my elementary school and being influenced by the Baptist faith. When the pastor at my school spoke of being saved and asking Jesus in to our hearts in order to go to Heaven, I wanted to make sure I was saved, so I did that one day at school when I was 4. I came home very proud of myself and told my Mom and Dad that I was saved and would be able to go to Heaven now. And my Dad’s response to that? In a yelling tone, “That’s crap. We don’t believe that. You don’t have to ask to be saved to go to Heaven. Who told you that?” As someone who was already very afraid of my Dad, you can imagine the kind of impression this had on me. I didn’t understand. I knew nothing about the Catholic faith yet. I only knew what I was being taught, and then I was yelled at when I got home for doing what an authority figure at the school he sent me to told me was a good thing.

After that scenario, things only got worse during my stay at that school through 6th grade. My Dad would constantly negate much of what they preached at school and there were many conflicts between moralistic values between the two religions. The pastor of my school had three children. One of which was in my class. All three of his children were not the most well behaved, which only gave my Dad more fuel for his fire. The son that was in my class picked on me horrifically in 5th grade and tried pushing me down the stairs and taught me sorts of choice curse words in 6th grade. His two older daughters were pregnant by 16 and 18. So all my Dad would speak about was how hypocritical the Pastor was.

Of course, my Dad failed to ever recognize how hypocritical he is as someone who claims to be religious yet remains married to my mother to this day and carried on a gay relationship with the same man for over 10 years until the man passed away, in addition to any other flings he had.

My moral compass is not made up from either of these sources. It comes from within and is not based in any religion. I believe it is engrained in my genetic makeup (since I am adopted) which was my saving grace through all of this confusion and hypocrisy through which I was raised.

When I got to college, I began to explore various religions and spiritual traditions. I found a journal that was the size of a text book but blank inside. I titled it a “Book of Shadows” just like the Wiccans used as this term resonated with me. I used it to research almost every religion there is. From Buddhism, to Islam, to Wiccan, to Judaism, to Rosacrucianism.

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The conclusion I came to after all of this research is that all of the religions, at their very core, all had the same main tenet or principle belief. The Golden rule. Do unto others as you’d have done to you. There were many different ways of expressing this, but it was all the same exact meaning. And they all believed in some higher power than themselves. That’s it. That is the basis of all of them. And that was what drive me religiously and spiritually through my 20’s and 30’s once I was put from the confines of my parents scrutiny.

Right before my 40th birthday, I realized I needed to make changes. One of the things that came to me as an insight was that I needed some sort of ritual. I have begun in recent months to have a nightly tea during which I have a personal ceremony of sorts. It does follow a sort of Wiccan type ritual, but it definitely has it’s own personal feel to it. I still have Christian roots in it. Each day of the week I have certain saints assigned based on what the Wiccan influences are and what patron Saints that are dear to my heart that match up with those influences. I say specific prayers to those saints on those days. I also say the Serenity Prayer in closing every time. I also have a pocket rosary which I intend to use when I have something that I need to atone for. I open each ritual by casting a circle and then making an invocation to either Ariadne or Pan, depending on whether the day of the week is a masculine or a feminine day.

Ariadne and Pan are my chosen God and Goddess. Ariadne is the name I gave to my clarinet back in high school because it is a mythology story that always resonated with me. I never really analyzed it back then, but now it makes total sense to me. Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus, much in the way I felt abandoned as someone who is an Adoptee. Dionysus rescued and loved her. Little did I know back then who my husband would end up being. He is someone who did love alcohol and was a little edgy and I felt as though he rescued me from my abandoned life. He also ended up being very similar to my birth father once I found my birth father a couple years ago. All crazy coincidences, yet something I was naturally drawn to. They say girls marry their dads, and I did just that without ever even having met mine.

During my ritual I use a wand from Harry Potter, corny as that might be. When we went to Universal for my 40th birthday and I got a new wand while we were in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I got the wand of Fleur Delacour. I chose this one for two reasons. First because I liked the design of it the best, and second because she embodied natural beauty, and confidence in my inner beauty shining forth so that I may feel more confident in my outer beauty is something I am trying to work on.

I also have on my altar as the center focal point, from Harry Potter as well, Fawkes the Phoenix, to represent rebirth. This is one of the main precepts of my entire journey right now and I want it to be the center focus of all that I do.

During my ritual I do alot with candles and received chakra balanced candles from my step daughter for my 40th birthday, so I burn the appropriate one to the corresponding day of the week and use an app to balance that chakra during my ritual. I am also starting to collect other candles that are just like the chakra candles and used for different purposes such as balance, motivation, prosperity etc…I am collecting different spells to help me dispell negative energy, shield myself from negative energy, aid in gaining confidence etc…

I fill out my daily inspirational journal and sometimes will write in my prayer journal or other journals and I read my nightly daily inspirational during this time. I sometimes pull a tarot card if I have a question that needs answering. I am trying to combine various religions, traditions and concepts that resonate in me to help me connect to my inner spirit.

So as I’ve been re-exploring some of the Wiccan traditions, and came across the saying As above, so below, I took it more as another interpretation of the Wiccan Rede, or a WWJD type of concept. But as I researched it, I came to find that it is actually much deeper than that. It is actually more the basic foundation of what the pagan and Wiccan religions are founded on. It is that the universe is the same as God and God is the same as the universe. Everything is one and the same. This is why pagan religions are so connected to the earth, because everything is one. Humans are an earthly manifestation of God or other dimensions and other dimensions and God are divine manifestations of humans. This is why Wiccans believe in magic using energy and that if it is willed in the mind, it can be made so, because everything is interconnected. If it is something that can be made or done up above, it is something that can be made or done below. The power of the mind is endless. It is science tifically stated that we only use about 10% of the brain’s capacity. So, perhaps these practices are elevating the capacity of the brain’s usage.

Most Christian religions think Wiccans are devil worshippers and evil. And sure, some may use powers for evil, but in my experience, many Christians can also be extremely hypocritical and evil. It is not what you believe, it is your actions. I choose to be a good person, make the best decisions I can, get my advice from my conscience, which is the voice from up above which runs through my thoughts, and I use the practices of many religions and traditions that make me feel spiritual.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/above/