Before we get into Austerity and Glamour, you all know that an austerity is only an austerity if it’s voluntary, right? At least, spiritually speaking. If you are currently living off of food stamps, that’s not really a spiritually goal-oriented austerity so much as a life circumstance. Being on food stamps and choosing to give up caffeine to add extra oomph to magically accomplishing your goals would count.
The voluntary aspect is really critical to spiritual austerity, it’s what gives your tapas their heat. Austerity, if done correctly, is sort of like going to the gym. You know how supportive everyone is for your first month? You know how no one gives a shit about it by month two? You’re going to the gym at that point for your own reasons. You’re not getting all of those delicious praise cakes anymore, you may have plateaued on your weight loss for the moment, you may still not be able to run on a treadmill. But you’re going, despite all of that. Because you want That Thing bad enough to voluntarily suffer for it.
Half the time the goddesses themselves don’t really give a shit about why you want That Thing. Shiva is notorious for caring about X work getting done will bring you That Thing, and not really giving a crap why you want That Thing or what you’ll do with That Thing, sometimes to absolutely disastrous results. He often doesn’t really care why you want whatever it is you want, but if the work merits treats then that’s what you’ll have!
Huddle up, Charmers. We’re going to have a little talk here.
Change, real change is really hard. It’s why most people don’t really actually change. It’s terrifying, it’s uncertain and it forces you to look really hard at your life. I know this already. God! I can hear you saying.
But do you really?
Gordon knew that this job change was in the works for me months ago. When I first spoke to him about it, I was really resistant to it. There were aspects of nannying I didn’t want to give up. What about my craft business? What about my writing? All I could see was the sacrifice of working with other adults and feeling resentful that Jow gets to go to school to get a new career and I’m back in an office, hating everything about life.
Gordon really called me out on it, that I was afraid to change and working in an old house with people I’ve known for a really long time, having conversations with people who can respond to me and dressing for the work place wasn’t going to be the end of the world. I would have a shorter commute, I would make more money, I would have paid time off, I would have health care and benefits and I’m good at administration. He flat out said I was afraid to jump and that was the problem.
And I was! I was scared shitless to jump. But I also knew that if I didn’t jump, my future wouldn’t be quite as bright. Fibromyalgia and hauling tiny children around for the rest of my life isn’t really a great match.
My what if list was endless. Once I decided not only would I accept the job, but that I wanted it, I was really scared that they would decide to go with someone who is completely shiny and new to the office for a fresh start.
I wanted to walk the walk since I was already talking the talk. I wanted a position that would force me to focus on my posture, on my appearance, on my voice. Four week (and possibly more!) paid time off is enough for vacation, writing and craft shows. My craft business is doing great! I’m writing more!
I’m doing it and it’s really fucking scary.
If you want to see a large change in your life, be it the way you look, getting a mate, getting a new career, whatever, it’s likely going to require you to take a psychological selfie and determine if you’re ready to shake up your internal ant farm with the zeal of a toddler. Are you willing to make changes even when they’re hard? Are you willing to do the things that you balk at? Are you willing to try things you’ve never thought you’d be willing to try to see what happens?
Because at its heart, magic is like science right before the Age of Enlightenment. You’re throwing spaghetti at the Universe’s wall and seeing what will stick and why. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out why some spaghetti is sticking and some isn’t. If you’re finding yourself saying no reflexively, you need to really look at that. Let’s say you hate the idea of willingly sacrificing something as an austerity. Well, you’ve never done a (willing) austerity before, have you? How do you know what that will feel like? How do you know what it will do for you? You don’t. So pick something very hard and do it for a day. See what happens. If nothing changes, well! You got to be right! If something changes, then that’s what you wanted. It’s a win-win.
But don’t lie there on the floor, waiting for something or someone else to change your life. You’re too good for that, Charmer.