self empowerment

Book Review: Idiot, by Laura Clery

Don’t Be an Idiot, READ Idiot.

So, this isn’t a typical review for a witchcraft blog, but I just loved this book too much not to review it. I love Laura Clery, I’m a huge fan of her videos. I wasn’t going to get her book, because I’m not into self-help books. But this is like a self-help-memoir-letter that sucks you in and spits you out feeling like your soul has been to the dry cleaners, you’re all clean and fresh and crisp.


My Star Rating for Idiot:

Is Laura Clery an Idiot?

She certainly used to be! But, who isn’t when they’re spending everyday on drugs? And before you get all mad at me for being insensitive: I am an addict, so I know how idiotic people can be when they’re high. I’ve been clean for about five years now. I did not go through AA or anything, because the program didn’t work for me. But it worked for Laura, and works for many, many people everyday. So before I move any further, if you are an addict and need help, I encourage you to seek out your local AA. You can’t know if it will work unless you try it.

So, is Laura Clery an idiot? No. Not anymore. She was, and this was an amazing retelling of her life. I have to say that you can tell Laura isn’t a writer. The chapters are too long, and she tends to hop around a bit. She’s not a bad writer, but as a writer, I can tell she isn’t one. That’s okay though. Her authenticity and raw voice makes up for it. The content makes up for the poor construction. So, bandaid has been ripped off, and I can move onto the good stuff. I’m a huge fan of Laura Clery, so it pains me to criticize her like that, but I must remain authentic and be honest with you guys.

id·i·ot
/ˈidēət/
a stupid person.
a person of low intelligence.

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Laura Clery has proven that she was not stupid, she just made poor choices. Wit is a sign of intelligence- I don’t know who said that, but my father once told me that and since he’s really intelligent, I stick to it. Ipso facto, Laura Clery is not a stupid person. She was a troubled person. She was a lost soul. This story takes you through her life, from her happy, albeit weird, childhood, to her first experiences with drugs, and to her rock bottom. I thought my rock bottom was low, living in a tent in the woods, but that was nothing compared to being chased out of a house by your boyfriend’s girlfriend leaving you in the middle of LA with no friends, no family, and no place to go. So, yea, she’s had it hard. But equally drastic a difference between us, she is now living in Beverly Hills making a shit load of money. It balances out, right?

Why Idiot?

This book is not for idiots, because I fear they will misinterpret the message Laura is trying to communicate. I think this book is for the following:

  • addicts
  • anyone who is troubled spiritually, emotionally, etc.
  • victims of abuse, as well as survivors/thrivors of abuse
  • anyone who doesn’t know what to do with their life
  • anyone who knows what they want, but doesn’t know how to get there
  • anyone who wants to know Laura Clery’s life story

This book is for us Witches, too!

I found so many parallels in Laura’s story, so I can’t help but feel a connection to this book (hence why I’m reviewing a non-occult book on my blog). The thing is, the answer to her incredible life is mystical, and therefore it does fit on my blog! So this book is also for witches, pagans, and every other person that ascribes to the Law of Attraction, and lives by the power of Gratitude.

Laura Clery’s Magical Life

She spent a huge part of her life partying, drinking, drugging. She struggled to stay sober. She almost lost her husband because he relapsed and tried to detox off of benzo’s cold turkey (>>>btw that’s lethal. If you are addicted to valium, Xanax, or any other benzodiazepines, please don’t quit cold turkey. Get yourself to a rehab facility to chemically detox so you don’t die<<<).
All in all, she has been through the ringer. So what got her to her house in the Hills? The Law of Attraction. Yes! score one for witches baby! She specifically states in her book “I don’t think this is magic”. Well, Laura, hate to break it to you, but if you’re visualizing what you want and expressing gratitude as if you’ve already achieved it, that’s magic. That’s the law of Attraction, a law upon which magic works. So yea, her life is literally magical.

I mean, if getting paid to sing about your VAGANA isn’t magical, I don’t know what is.

Another reason I think Laura Clery’s book review is fitting for my blog is because she empowers the witch’s idea of a woman. She’s all about female empowerment, without being feminist, she’s a vegan, and she knows and acknowledges the power of the mind. So, yea, ’nuff said.


Peeing in Public, Shitting in a Hot Tub.

This section is actually going to be an assortment of my favorite quotes, but I wanted to make this a headline and couldn’t figure out a better place for it. I do want to say that I have the audiobook, and while I’m certain of the words, because I listened to the clips multiple times to make sure I noted them down right, I might get punctuation wrong. It’s setting off my OCD anxiety not knowing if it’s exact, so the least I can do is let you guys know I did my best lol. And, yes, she claims she pissed in public. She didn’t actually shit in the hot tub- her friend did, then handed her the turd. So Laura held a turd, and threw a turd, in a hot tub. Like I said, she was a fucking weird kid. Makes me love her all the more lol. #nocontextforyou #buythebook #justdidthat


…we are constantly in a state of either love or fear, and these states control the choices we make and the way we live…


…you’re an artist. You make art. Stay in the action and out of the results.


It sounds really cheesy, but those affirmations are what lifted me over the edge. I swear by them. I had such a rigid self image before, and the only things that could break the cycle of self hate were intentional, affirming, statements. I have been depressed, anxious, and suicidal for much of my life, and this is what has turned it around for me.


The only thing I can recommend is to visualize. For the record, I’m not saying this is magic, I’m saying that a shift in your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want is more powerful than we can ever imagine, and it works in mysterious ways.


Buy Laura Clery’s new book Idiot!

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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 23

In the comments below, tell me where you are and what the weather is like – more specifically, describe the air. I live in New Hampshire which is in the North-East United States. The air is cold, and crisp. It tastes and smells fresh, like an ice cold glass of water. It’s refreshing as well, like mint gum bursting with flavor, ensnaring all of your senses as you make the first few bites.

In ancient teachings it is said that when a person reaches the point of being deeply grateful for the air that they breathe, their gratitude will have reached a new level of power, and they will have become the true alchemist, who can effortlessly turn every part of their life into gold!

                                                                                                                                             Byrne, p. 204

Did it happen by chance?

Are you grateful for the air you breath? When I posed the question to myself, my knee-jerk reaction was “yes, of course”. But then I thought about it for a moment, and realized I wasn’t deeply grateful, as I have never thought of the miraculousness of having air on this planet. Byrne explains that “It’s not an accident that there’s a protective atmosphere surrounding us, and that beyond it there’s no air or oxygen. It’s not an accident that the trees give off oxygen so that our atmosphere is continually replenished…when the realization hits you that all of these things might not be an accident, and that the balance of every microscopic element surrounding Earth on and on Earth is in perfect harmony to support us, you will feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for life…” (p.202). Talk about breathtaking- in every sense of the word! 

Take a Breather!

Today, take 5 full deliberate breaths (in 5 times, out 5 times) 5 different times today. After you take a set of 5 full breaths, say the magic words: THANK YOU FOR THE MAGICAL AIR THAT I BREATHE. Be genuinely grateful. Think about everything and everyone that benefits from the air you breathe, think about how the magic of your gratitude could help bring clean air to a part of the world where people have to wear scarves and masks over their face, because the air is not pleasant to breath – it may even be painful or toxic. Today’s exercise is not only for you, it’s for everyone and everything on earth. 

As Always…

Add another 10 blessings to your Thank you list in the morning. If you’re having a hard time thinking of something, since we have come up with over 200 things so far, take a walk around your house. How do you keep your food cold? How do you cook it? And you now have at least 3 items (fridge & microwave, stove, oven). When the sun goes down is it dark in your house? Do you have overhead lights in all of your rooms? In my apartment, the only overhead lights are over the stairs and in the kitchen. At first it really annoyed me, but now I don’t get bothered by the lack of ceiling lights because I am feeling grateful for the plethora of lamps I have accumulated! I’ve got big lamps, little lamps – I have a lamp shaped like a belly dancer lady, complete with stringed beads hanging from the lamp shade! (it was a hand-me-down from my mother…when she first gave it to me it creeped me out lol, but when I moved and was deciding on what to keep and what to toss, I had planned on getting rid of the lady lamp…the shade was broken, the lady was dirty…but moving day came and I brought that lady up to my room and put her on my night stand, because I realized I should be grateful my mother gave me a lamp that she could have easily sold online, or kept for herself). 
When you go to bed, be sure to hold that magic rock and say thank you for the best part of your day! (like, breathing maybe?)

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 22

We are almost to the end of our 28-day challenge! This month has FLOWN by! They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I’ve certainly had more fun this month! My mood has improved, my patience has improved, my luck has improved (and considering it was almost non-existent before, that’s saying something!), and most of all, I’m feeling grateful for so much! It’s been snowing all weekend, and instead of thinking “oh this sucks, I have to shovel this damn walk way” I thought “I’m so glad I have warm boots and gloves and a shovel to clear my walk way! And I’m blessed to have been able to get my son a nice snow suit, so he can play in the snow while I clear the path and dig out my car, and don’t have to worry about him getting soaked through to his clothes.”
Have you noticed any differences in how you look at your world? in what you think? in how you react to things?

The very first desire that I received was bringing joy to millions of people through my work. The rest of my desires magically followed, and one by one, as they appeared before my eyes, I crossed them off my list. So now it’s your turn to use gratitude’s magical power to make your desires appear before your very eyes.

Byrne, p. 197

Top 10 Desires

We are going to be working with our list of desires today. At the start of your day, after you add 10 more items to your Thank You List, get your list of Top Ten Desires out. Read through each sentence and desire on the list, and for one minute imagine/visualize that you received your desire. Feel as grateful as possible. If you have a hard time with visualizing, then imagine your desire came true and conjure the emotions you’ll feel when that desire comes to you.  
Byrne tells us “…no matter how big your desires seem to be, you can receive them through gratitude. Even more than that, gratitude will bring a joy and happiness for life that you’ve never felt before, and that is truly priceless.”I am confident that this is true. I know since I started expressing gratitude even a little bit my life improved dramatically. Since this challenge began, I’ve been able to get 2 more clients, which will increase my income by 25% per month. That is huge for me! I’m so grateful – for the work, the income, the people who hired me, the person who referred me, and to myself, for not giving up on my writing business when things got hard. 
This isn’t something that Byrne suggests, but I recommend that when you hold your magic rock and say thank you for the best part of the day, you say thank you for the best part AND say thank you for achieving your number one desire. Re-read it and imagine it before you go to sleep. Think about how you will react, what you will do the day after you receive it, who you will tell, how they’ll react…even imagine if you’ll post it to social media, and if so, what will you say? The more detailed your imagination the greater gratitude you’ll feel, and the more gratitude you have means more magic which will bring forth your most deeply desired goals. 
As always, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for reading!

Magical Gratitude 28-day Challenge: Day 15

                        

Magically Heal Your Relationships

Byrne starts the chapter off by saying:

If you have a difficult or broken relationship, are suffering from a broken heart, or hold any resentment or blame toward another person for anything, you can change it through gratitude. Gratitiude will magically improve any difficult relationship, whether that person is a husband, or wife, brother or sister, son or daughter, partner, boss, business client, work colleague, mother- or father-in-law, friend, or neighbor. 

P. 141
Chances are, you are not grateful for someone when you are harboring angry feelings. You’re angry, so you can’t be blamed for not stopping to think about why you’re grateful for that person. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, said:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. 

There is some merit to the broken relationship; you just have to look closely to see it. I have a troublesome relationship with someone, but if I stop to think about it, I have a lot to be grateful for! That person has made a lot of great things happen for me. Today, we are going to make a list of 10 things we are grateful for about one person we have chosen to mend a relationship with magically. The list should be formatted like so:
Person , I’m grateful for_______.

As always…

Start the day with your thank you list, and close the day with your Magic rock!
Until tomorrow my lovelies!

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 14

Wow, we are half way through the challenge! Who else has noticed a change since the magick of gratitude has been growing in your life? Isn’t it incredible? I’ve noticed that I’m cheery, even in the mornings when I have to get my son up and ready for school after he woke up in the middle of the night or didn’t go to sleep at his normal bed time (I follow a routine and he’s in bed at the same time every night, but there are a few nights a month when he is just a spaz and spends have the night thrashing around playing in the blankets). I’m noticing my blessings much more, like having a great heater in my car – again especially in the morning when I take my son to school! It has been 5-10 degrees most mornings this winter, and I am so grateful my car warms up quickly! I’m grateful to have a car too! I see parents walking with their kids and 1. feel awful for them, and 2. feel so blessed that I not only have a car, but a reliable car that runs well, gets good gas mileage, and is even kinda cute! (I have a Toyota Matrix)

Have a Magical Day

So, you may have noticed I posted this article the night before instead of the day of. That’s because we are going to start our gratitude exercise FIRST thing in the morning. When you’re getting dressed or taking a shower, go through your plans in your mind from the moment you are done getting ready for the day to the moment you get into bed. After you think about each event, think about how grateful you are that it went to plan – you’re in the mindset that the day has already happened, and you’re not imagining but you’re remembering. I hope that makes sense lol, but you have the book I’m sure, so, you can read through the chapter if you need clarification.

Being grateful for your day beforehand creates a magical day through the law of attraction. 

The Magic, p.133

By the time you imagine yourself getting into bed, you are feeling immensely grateful that you had the perfect day! Have you ever noticed that when you wake up cranky, it’s Murphy’s law – you stub your toe, get soap in your eye, you lose your keys, your kid spills their breakfast all over themselves and the floor, you can’t find your favorite earrings and this is all before 9 am. But when you wake up cheerful, everything seems to fall into place. The light goes green the moment you drive up to the intersection, your co-worker surprises you with a coffee or a bagel. Your kid gives you a big hug when you drop them off at school (my son LOVES school, so I usually have to chase him around the classroom to get half a hug and plant a kiss on his head). So, you’re feeling awesome about the day. Before you move onto the next step of your morning routine, conclude your magical exercise by saying “And thank you for the great news coming to me today!”.

Don’t forget!

Make sure to add another 10 items to your Thank you list, and before going to bed you hold your Magic Rock and say thank you for the best thing that happened during the day!

Magical Gratitude 28-day Challenge: Lucky #13!

Make All Your Wishes Come True

When I initiated this challenge I talked about motives – the reason behind why I’m doing it, and hopefully you thought about why you wanted to do it too. Aside from learning how to be a grateful person, we can’t help but think about what we would do if we could magically transform our lives. As a witch, I have used magick to change my life multiple times. If you’re a witch or a magician of some kind you probably have too. Gratitude is a magick unlike spells we cast – it’s more powerful than any amount of energy we harness from the moon or sun or stars. Gratitude and love are the strongest powers in the universe in my opinion. By now, we have begun to generate quite a bit of gratitude magick in our lives. So what are we going to do with it? That is what we are going to figure out today. 

I wish I may, I wish I might…

Carve some time for yourself today, and sit down with either a pen and paper or your computer. Make a list of your top 10 desires. Do you want to take your child to Disney World? Do you want to own a home with a big yard and a climbing tree? Do you want to write a novel someday? These might be some of the items on my list…your list may be to look like a model, or to win the lottery. You can’t write the wrong thing- if it’s what you desire most, put it on the list. This list is not going to be in the future tense though! You are to write “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for _____”. This list is to be written in the present tense, and in your mind you will see your life as if this wish has been granted. 
After you write your list, go through each item and, using your imagination, answer the following questions – again, as if you have received the desire. 
  1. What emotions did you feel when you received your desire?
  2. Who was the first person you told when you received your desire? How did you tell them?
  3. What is the first great thing you did when you received your desire? Be detailed as possible. 
  4. Re-read the sentence listing the desire and emphasize the magic words Thank You, so you feel them as much as possible. 

Imagination is the true magic carpet.

Norman Vincent Peale, The Magic p.123
You’re going to start today with your list of Blessings, and end it with your Magic Rock. If you haven’t already, grab your copy of The Magic, so you can follow along with me in the book and read through the chapters for each day. And last but certainly not least, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for reading my blog and most especially for joining with me on this wonderful adventure! Until tomorrow my lovelies!

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: Magical People Who Made a Difference

I’m sure by now you have your copy of The Magic, so you would know that she starts by saying:

Every one of us has received help, support, or guidance from other people at particular times in our life when we needed it most…And then life goes on, and we tend to forget those times when one person touched us or changed our life. Sometimes you don’t even realize the impact a person had until well into the future, when you look back on your life and realize that a particular person was pivotal in magically changing the direction of your life for the better. 

(page 117-118)
We are not going to do this, though, we are not going to forget the people who touched our lives and magically changed it for the better. We are not going to live on with blinders, only the feel gratitude when it’s too late. At some point today, carve out time for you to sit and think of three extraordinary people in your life. You will address each one in turn – either by talking aloud, imagining their presence, or by writing a letter to them. You should do this in one sitting, Byrne says, because splitting it up into three separate occasions will result in you not feeling the same depth of gratitude, nor will you receive the same magical results. “Tell” each person what they did, how it affected your life, and why you are grateful to them. Say thank you three times, out loud, for each person. 
Byrne states that when you’re done, you will feel the magic in the air. 

The evidence of gratitude’s power working is always that first and foremost it makes you happy. The secondary evidence of gratitude’s power is that you attract wonderful things. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, the happiness you feel after practicing gratitude also attracts more wonderful things, which will make you even happier. That’s the magic of life, and that’s the magical power of gratitude!

(p.120) 

Day 12 Recap

So, you will start the day by counting your blessings – writing a list of ten things you’re grateful for, followed by saying thank you, thank you, thank you, after reading each item on the list. Then at some point throughout the day, find some time to be alone, where you can think of three people who have made a difference in your life. Work through the list one person at a time, and while talking aloud (or writing), tell each person the reason why you’re grateful to them and how they affected the course of your life. (Byrne doesn’t say this, but I think it would add to the magic by actually expressing to each person how you appreciate them. Don’t tell them why you’re doing it, as one of the rules of magic is to never tell anyone of a working until after it has come to fruition. The energy becomes less condensed, and if the person you told has any doubts it could negate your spell). Before you go to bed tonight, take your gratitude rock into your hand, think of the best part of the day and say thank you for it, really feeling that gratitude and filling the stone with the emotion. 

Magical Gratitude 28-day Challenge: Day 11

Welcome to day 11! 

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful, thankful week!

Start today with the magic words: THANK YOU!!! Say thank you for everything you touch today. Thank you for the heat in your car, the coat that protects your skin from the biting cold, thank your child for having the will to live when s/he was but a heartbeat in your womb. Be thankful for your toothbrush, and toothpaste, be thankful for the clean, safe water you use to brush your teeth. 
Instead of the Thank you List, you are going to count your blessings. Make a list of 10 blessings, and why you’re grateful. Reread the list, and say thank you, thank you, thank you! Feel as grateful as you possibly can. 
Before you go to sleep tonight, hold your magic rock and say thank you for the best thing that’s happened today. 
The best thing that happened today for me was seeing my son run up to his teacher and embracing her with love and appreciation. His teachers are amazing. When my son started the school year, he could barely speak. He tried, but I could only understand maybe 50 words. He couldn’t count, despite my attempts – I would count everything with him! He knew his colors, although only I could understand what he meant when he said anything other than blue. He loves school – everyday when I pick him up, (he only goes for a few hours, Pre-K is half day), when I pick him up he tells me “he played! with cars and play doh and friends”. Of course he still has a speech impediment, but now even strangers can understand him! He is speaking so much better, it swells my heart with pride to hear him babble on with his teachers or friends, my mother. He can count to 10, and I almost cried when I realized it. He knows his colors, and can say each one almost clearly. I am so thankful for his teachers and the work they have done with him. 
My boy opening gifts at my father’s house, telling his Nana
he didn’t want to pick up the wrapping paper I believe lol

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 9

Welcome to Day 9! 

So, we have been adding 10 items to our gratitude list every morning, and each night we hold our gratitude rock thinking about the day and saying THANK YOU for the best part of the day. 
Today we are going to be practicing an exercise designed to bring us more money! (again!) Byrne has dubbed the chapter “The Money Magnet”.

Day 9 Exercise: Gratitude for your bills…

If you don’t have enough money, the last thing you would normally do is feel grateful for your bills, but if fact that’s exactly what you have to do to receive more money in your life.

The Magic, p.96
Get your bills together and separate them into 2 piles – paid and unpaid. Get at least 10 paid bills, and all of your unpaid bills. On all of your unpaid bills, write THANK YOU FOR THE MONEY and feel grateful for the money to pay them (even if you don’t have the money). Feel grateful for the services provided to you, feel grateful that you were able to get electricity or cable or phone time without paying up front. Imagine you have the money to pay them all in full and appreciate that money to your bones. 
Now, for your last 10 bills you’ve paid, write THANK YOU – PAID and feel truly grateful you had the money to pay the bills!
 I know I’m grateful when I pay my bills every month! When I was with my abusive ex, if I wasn’t quick enough he would take the money and blow it before I had the chance to pay the bill. He’d get so mad whenever I paid the electric or for the phone bill. I still pay my bills the day I get paid, and it feels so great to have my bills paid in full, and to not worry about any negative consequences for paying my bills. I am so grateful to see zero’s on my electric bill, phone bill, and I’m even ahead with rent! Life is an amazing thing when you feel gratitude!

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 8

Take a Bite Into a Gratitude Sandwich

Welcome to Day 8! We are more than 1/3 through the 28-day challenge! I don’t know about you, but things have already started magically improving in my life! 
Today we are going to express appreciation for the food we eat and the drinks we drink.
Byrne writes that giving thanks for the food one is about to eat has been practiced thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. In Elen Sentier’s new book Shaman Pathways -Following the Deer Trods: A Practical Guide to Working with Elen of the Ways, Sentier explains that the ancients dating back to Paleolithic times, when humans were still hunter-gatherers, considered hunting a sacred rite, and gave thanks to the animals and plants who gave their lives to sustain that of the humans. (Btw – if you’re interesting in learning about Elen of the Ways, this is a great book choice! Sentier teaches a lot of exercises that help you explore the Otherworld, and helps you connect with the Universe in unique and enlightening way).
When you’re about to pop some popcorn for a movie night with your family, or pop open a bag of pretzels for your child (obviously something I just did), think about the work it took to get that food into your hands. You went to the store and spent the money, yes, but there’s more than that. The people who stocked the shelves at the store, the people who delivered the food to the store, the people who put the food into the neat mini-sized bags, the people who made the food….when you think about it, you realize that a lot of people contributed to feeding your growing child; that keep your belly from rumbling angrily when you’re hungry.

The incredible thing is that when you are grateful for food and water, it doesn’t just affect your life; your gratitude also impacts the world’s supply. If enough people felt gratitude for food and water, it would actually help the people who are starving and in great need.

The Magic, pg. 89

Day 8 Exercise

In the morning you will add 10 more items to your thank you list, and before bed you will hold your gratitude rock and say thank you for the best thing about the day. Before you eat anything today, look at the food and say Thank you!
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