Kendria Madrone

Kendria is a Druid and Hedge Witch. She is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD), the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), and the Gnostic Celtic Church (GCC). She has ADHD and ASD. Her favorite activities include hiking, camping, and singing. She lives with her husband in Sacramento, California.

This Blog is Growing!

I started this blog a little under a year ago with the main goal of it being a place to post about my personal journey. It will continue to be that, but after seeing how much neurodiversity there is within the Druid community, I have decided to open this blog up to other voices. I certainly don’t speak for all Druids with ADHD or all neurodivergent Druids, I’m only one woman’s perspective and I can only write from my own experiences.

So I am now in the process of converting this site from a single-voice personal blog to a space for many neurodivergent Druids to lend their voices to issues relating to the following subjects:

  • How their neurodivergence affects their spiritual practices
  • How their spiritual practices affects their neurodivergence
  • Neurodivergence in general
  • Nature-based spirituality (Druidry or other)
  • Any combination of the above, or other related subjects

There may be other changes/evolutions of this site in the future as well, due to the shift to a more collaborative space.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor in any capacity (guest blogger, regular blogger, or just to be part of the community via Discord), please fill out the Contributor Application form and I will process it as soon as I can (please allow up to a week). If you give your Discord ID, I will send you an invite to the ADHDruids Discord server. Alternatively, if you have questions or just want an invite to the Discord server, you can email me at adhdruid@gmail.com.

Looking forward to seeing how this community blossoms and grows!

/|\ Kendria

Header image by Tim Hill.

A Season of Contradictions

With Imbolc signaling the first stirrings of Spring, I’m reflecting on Winter and what that means in this time of my life. As you may have noticed, I haven’t written in this blog since the end of November. This post will explain why, and also why Winter is not a great time for me, and how I hope to change that.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have always been attuned to the seasons and the earth’s cycles, and this is the time of year when I want to hibernate as many animals do. I want to go dormant like many plants and trees do. But alas, this is the season of contradictions for me. There is no peace, rest, or reflection. There is only the stress, social obligations, and obligatory consumerism of the November and December holidays. Then, while I’m still recovering from that, the busiest time of the year at my place of work starts as soon as the new year starts in January. I’m not just talking about days that are more busy. I’m talking 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and still not being able to get everything done. Sure, it’s great to have that income boost from all the overtime, but it’s a one-way ticket to burnout town. This continues until around April every year. The months of November through March are usually horrible for my mental health. Once March rolls around, things are starting to slow down a bit at work, I can see and feel that Spring is in full effect, and I start getting that burst of Awen that I wrote about last spring in my post “Spring: Too Much Awen?“.

How I currently experience Winter is in opposition to how I feel that I should experience Winter. I feel that Winter should be a time when we slow down, conserve energy, reflect on the previous year, and start preparing and thinking about the year to come. I feel that it should be a time for deep shadow work and introspection. As it is, there is too much going on and I become too overwhelmed to slow down and do any of this. I expect the change in the weather and shortening of days to affect my mood and make me depressed, but I would be better equipped to deal with it and embrace my emotions if I didn’t have as many other obligations. I imagine it’s similar for most people who work a full time job, or maybe multiple, or who have many other obligations during winter time.

I have started to make some lifestyle changes lately that have been helping my mental health and keeping my energy up so that I’m not as drained after a long day of work. Yes, they basically boil down to diet and exercise which I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, but hear me out. I’ve started intermittent fasting, originally as a weight loss method, but it turns out this is how my digestive system prefers for me to eat. I stop eating for the day at around 7pm (no more midnight snacks for me!) and I don’t eat anything the next day until lunch time, which is anywhere from 11:30 am to noon. I’ve always been a breakfast person, so at first, skipping breakfast was difficult. But now I just eat what I would normally eat for breakfast at lunch time so that I don’t miss out on any tasty breakfast foods. For the exercise, that one was definitely a challenge because of my joint hypermobility and instability. But after some physical therapy and gradually increasing the amount of walks I take, it became easier. I also utilize tools to motivate me to keep up with the exercise and other good habits because, ya know, ADHD. I use the gamified to-do list and habit tracker Habitica (formerly Habit RPG), a gamified/virtual marathon app, the Conqueror Challenge, and Co-Pilot, which is pricey but worth it because it comes with a personal trainer to keep you accountable and make personalized workout programs for you. I have definitely felt a difference with the diet and exercise, but another key component is making more time for my Druid studies, meditation, and journaling. The journaling is especially helpful when I’m feeling frustrated or burnt out and need to just vent and get stuff out.

During my meditations and the small amount of downtime I have, I’ve been thinking about ways to work toward changing this part of my life that I’m not happy with, which is the fact that my Winters are so hectic. One major change that would go the furthest towards changing this is to get a new job that doesn’t have a busy season during this time of year. I have found a potential job that would be a good fit for me and I’ve applied. I’ve bounced around from job to job so much in the past and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be very selective of what jobs I apply for because I don’t want to get into the situation where I’m unhappy and want to quit again. As I’m applying to a few select jobs, I’m also looking into possibly going back to school to get into a field that would put me closer to nature. I plan on getting my California Naturalist certification in April of this year, and I’m hoping that the skills learned in that course and the subsequent volunteer activities that I’ll be doing with it will help guide me in the right direction.

I’ve also been working on things that I can do now. One idea that I’m working on is planning a “working retreat”, or at least that’s what I’m calling it for now. Since I can’t unplug completely and go on a full retreat because I have to work, I’d like to plan a week or maybe even start with just a day or two at a time, where the only electronic device use permitted is work related and for playing music. Outside of that, I would be unplugged. No social media, no TV, no video games, and lots of meditation, art, and journaling. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it, but I’m going to give it a try. And maybe I’ll write about it here when I’m done!

Yours under the sleeping Blue Oak and a Winter Full Moon,

/|\ Kendria

Header image by Kerstin Riemer.

What’s in a Name?

I don’t think I have many followers of this blog right now, but keen observers may have noticed that my name here used to be Liss LeFay, and it’s now Kendria Madrone. This is because Liss LeFay was just a placeholder name until I could find a Druid name. Well, I have finally found it! This post details a bit of the process I went through to decide on the right name for myself. During this process I was looking for all the information I could find on how to choose the right name, so hopefully this will be helpful to others who may be looking for the same. This was my process and yours may look very different, but that’s very much okay! This is a very personal journey for any Druid.

Disclaimer: This post contains a link to a book that can be purchased. I get a commission for purchases made through this link.

What is a Druid Name?

If you do an internet search for “druid name”, you’ll get a bunch of baby name and name generator websites, and tips for naming your Dungeons & Dragons character. There’s not a lot of information available publicly about druid names specifically, but taking on a magical or craft name is fairly common in Pagan and Witchcraft communities for a variety of reasons. A craft name can be used for privacy reasons, for getting into the right mindset to raise energy or magic, as a confidence booster, or just because it’s fun! There’s something empowering about naming yourself. It adds a new layer of your own sovereignty, and Druidry encourages creating your own path.

A craft name or Druid name can also be given to you by an elder or higher ranking person in your grove or group, or a close friend or family member. Some traditions use it as part of their initiation process.

How I Chose My Druid Name

I started out by making a list of meaningful name elements and putting them together to see what sounded good and resonated with me. I also did some meditation on the subject and hoped that something would come to me from the universe or my subconscious or something. I came up with one name that I liked, but I wasn’t entirely sure if it was the right one. I mentioned to some other Druids that I thought I might have a name figured out but that I wasn’t sure, and one of them recommended the book The Witch’s Name: Crafting Identities of Magical Power by Storm Faerywolf as a possible guide to help in my self-naming journey. It’s written from a Witch’s perspective, but it can be applied for Druids. I bought the book and it gave me many insights and ideas for finding the right name. I didn’t do everything in the book, only what felt right for me, but ultimately it made me more confident in my final choice.

I have a difficult time with choices like this. I don’t know if it’s due to my ADHD, autism, or just my own self-confidence issues, but I tend to second guess myself… a LOT. I have a very hard time trusting myself and my instincts and I wasn’t sure if I would ever come to a final decision on my name. I’ve had many aliases over the years from various online endeavors, so coming up with an alternative name for myself was nothing new to me. But this wasn’t just an internet handle, this was something that was going to be a large part of my identity. I have no plans to legally change my name, but I do have big plans for my future as a Druid, so this was a very important decision for me. The more important something is, the more indecisive I get.

Gathering the Ingredients

I continued to collect and list name elements that I identified and resonated with from various sources, using some sources that were suggested by the book, and some from baby name sites. If it weren’t for ad blockers, I’m sure my targeted ads would be trying to sell me all kinds of baby and new mother stuff by now! I used translators to enter words that I wanted to incorporate and find the translations for those words in other languages that relate to Druidry and even my nerdy interests. I translated words into Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Irish, and Sindarin (one of Tolkien’s Elvish languages). I also looked up the scientific names of trees that are important to me, but those usually don’t translate well to names. Welsh, Scots Gaelic, and Irish can be difficult to pronounce, so I tried listing the phonetic spelling of some of those words to use as possible spellings for those names.

Some elements that I came up with from the translation exercise were coille (Scots Gaelic for forest), eòlas (Scots Gaelic for knowledge), afon (Welsh for river), glad (Sindarin for forest), and craban (Sindarin for crow). I then started trying combinations of the elements such as using Gladcraban as a last name, or combining coille and eòlas to make Coilleòlas, which I learned is Scots Gaelic for forestry, which makes sense since it is literally “forest knowledge”.

The book also recommends drawing inspiration from deities, animals, and fictional characters that inspire you. Some Goddesses from Welsh mythology that I’ve become quite fond of are Blodeuwedd, Branwen, and Arianrhod. Some animals I considered incorporating into my name were the crow and the owl. Ivy was another component that I considered because I’ve always been a fan of the character Poison Ivy from the Batman comics, and an eco-warrior would be appropriate for a nature based spirituality! But Druids are also about peace, and Ivy isn’t exactly peaceful. I also wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite characters from the Discworld novels, Granny Weatherwax, so I strongly considered using Weatherwax as my last name. It is a fairly common surname in magical communities.

Making a Decision

Some good advice from Faerywolf’s book is to make this a name that not only represents you as you are now, but also represents who you aspire to be. I definitely took that into consideration when deciding on my name. Another requirement that was important to me was making sure that the elements of fire and water were both represented. It was okay if neither of them were, but if one was, I wanted both of them to balance each other out. Another preference, but not a hard requirement, was that the full name have a total of five syllables. I’m pretty sure I have OCD in addition to my other neurodivergences (not just because of my preference for certain numbers, there are MANY other signs), and I tend to prefer odd numbers over even numbers, and I also have a love of haikus.

Ultimately, I found Kendria on a baby name site that allows filtering and searching based on origin and meaning. It has the meanings of keen leader, wise leader, greatest champion, and clear water. So that covers the water element and aspirational requirements. I also ended up settling on that one by unconsciously using the KonMari method. I was flipping through some of the options, and that one sparked joy, so I kept it! It feels feminine and beautiful, and those are aspects of myself that I’ve been trying to cultivate and embrace lately. The “wise leader” aspect, while aspirational, makes me feel empowered, which is a good thing for any craft name to do.

Madrone is a tree that I’ve recently connected very strongly with and have come to love. They don’t grow in many places, but there are hundreds of them on a plot of land in the Sierra Nevadas that my husband’s family recently purchased, and I have become enthralled with their strength and beauty. With their peeling, many-colored bark, they represent transformation. They represent fire with their bright red and gold bark. They’re resilient to fire, and it’s even a part of their life cycle! Transformation is another element that I wanted to be sure to incorporate into my name because I’m constantly evolving and transforming into, hopefully, a better version of myself. I feel that transformation and versatility are aspects of my ADHD that I wanted to embrace and highlight with my name. Change is a constant in life, and especially so in mine.

I nearly named myself Kendria Phoenix because the Phoenix is another symbol of fire and transformation, plus it just sounds badass! But I ultimately went with Madrone for three reasons: it flows better with Kendria, my best friend and husband both liked it better, and Madrones are so important to me that I wanted to make sure they were represented.

So there you have it, the long journey of crafting a Druid name for myself! This ended up getting more lengthy than I expected, but I wanted to detail as much of the process as I could. Both for my own journaling purposes, and because when I was searching for information for how people come up with their names, I wanted as much information, personal stories and anecdotes as I could find. I hope that some other neurodivergent (or neurotypical) Druid who also likes as much info as possible finds this helpful.

Yours from under the madrone trees,

/|\ Kendria Madrone

Header image by Johann Reinbacher.

Using an Outdated Classroom Tool to Hack my Brain Into Writing More

Part of learning to live with ADHD, with or without medications, is figuring out what your roadblocks are, and figuring out solutions or what I sometimes call “hacks” to remove those roadblocks or at least turn them into manageable speedbumps.

So today I am trying something new to hack my brain into being productive and doing what I want it to do. The problem? I need to write more (as you can probably tell by the fact that I haven’t made a new post in a few months). I need to write more in my druid journal, in my personal journal, and in this blog. So here I am, typing on a digital typewriter, in hopes that this will help get my thoughts out into words, someplace outside of my brain. So far I’m really liking it! I like how simple it is, and the fact that I can do this while laying in bed – which I currently am.

You may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about. What’s a digital typewriter? How is that going to help? Well, here’s a bit of backstory about what I’m using and why.

I usually put off journaling and blogging for many reasons:

  1. I don’t like to sit in front of a computer any more than I have to. I do that all day for work, so more sitting in front of a computer after that just does not sound like fun.
  2. I don’t like to type on my phone or tablet because it’s awkward and not the easiest way to type. Even though I use the swipe typing method, it’s still pretty awkward overall.
  3. I love handwritten journals for journaling, but I’m starting to develop arthritis in my hands, so it’s becoming more and more difficult and painful.
  4. I don’t do well with voice-to-text because my brain doesn’t work that way and I can’t think good with the voice and the words making out loud. I can organize my thoughts much better visually.

The solution? A digital typewriter. It’s basically just a keyboard with a small, very minimal screen. These were mainly used in schools back in the nineties and early 2000s, then became pretty much obsolete once laptop computers became more common and affordable. The one I’m using is an AlphaSmart Neo2, and it’s got a basic monochrome LCD screen that only shows 4 lines of text at a time about 45 characters wide. It can save up to 8 “files” at a time, but they’re only files for the purpose of the machine’s internal storage. The text doesn’t show up as files on your computer. How it works is you plug the AlphaSmart into your computer via a USB cable, open up whatever program you want the text to go into (MS Word, for example), then click the “Send” button. It then acts as an emulated keyboard and types the stuff you wrote into the Word document, text file, blog post, or any other places where you can put text. It can take a while to send the full file, especially if it’s very long, but the main goal is to remove the complications and barriers to writing and encourage you to just write something, dammit! You can free write all you want, then send it wherever you need to and edit it later.

I know I probably sound like an infomercial or paid promotion, but the model I’m using is outdated and discontinued, so I highly doubt the company is paying anyone to promote these (especially since the company is now defunct). Sure, there’s a newer model coming out based on this one, but it’s overpriced in my opinion, and while this one may look old and a bit tacky, it works perfectly for the purpose I need it for, and it’s way cheaper. There are other digital typewriters and word processors out there as well, so if you’re also struggling with writing roadblocks that could be solved with a similar device, I suggest doing your own research to find the machine that’s right for you.

Sometimes the right brain hack solution for a roadblock can be a matter of finding the right gadget. I’ve only been using this thing for one day so far, and this is the first thing I’ve written on it besides a small test, so we shall see if it will stand the test of time… Otherwise known as withstanding the ADHD novelty factor wearing off after a while.

Yours under the California Blue Oaks,

/|\ Kendria

Header image by Annie Spratt.

How Ketamine Helped Me Have a Meditation Breakthrough

Content Warning: This post discusses substances that are not legal in all jurisdictions. The use of ketamine is legal where I live, and I only use it under the care of medical professionals and with the help of a trained guide. I do not condone or recommend the use of any substances which are illegal where you live, or the use of ketamine or any other psychedelics without the guidance of a medical professional and guide or therapist.

Having a neurodivergent brain, specifically an ADHD one, can make it difficult to meditate. Meditation is a big part of Druidry, and is a great practice for mental and physical health in general. My main issue is that I’ve never been able to quiet my racing thoughts. I know that it’s not necessary to clear your mind completely of all thoughts when meditating, but I would like to at least keep them from screaming at me and pulling me in a million different directions at once. I could sometimes calm my mind if I gave it a focus like listening to the words of a guided meditation or if I had something to fidget with, but without those aids, forget it!

As mentioned in my previous post about medications, I’ve recently started Ketamine therapy. My first session was underwhelming, probably because I started out on a low dose due to my history of being sensitive to any kind of substance. We increased my dose for the second session, and I think it was just right. During this second session, I experienced something I’ve never experienced before… a quiet mind! For once in my life, the inner voices just floated there quietly instead of zooming around and tugging at me. It’s like they went from the usual noisy chatter to mostly silent with the occasional muted whisper. It didn’t last very long, but it was a nice feeling.

After the session ended I thought “well that was nice, but it would be great if I could do that without being in a session.” And I went about my life as usual. Then a few days later, when I went to meditate, I thought “I still remember how it felt when my mind was quiet. Let’s try to do that again.” And sure enough, my brain remembered how to do it! It’s like my brain had to feel it to believe it and know how to get there again. Now that I knew it was possible, I could go back to that when I wanted to!

There are still times when I just can’t get my mind to be that quiet again, and it does require some work and to be in the right headspace for it, but I am so relieved that it’s actually a possibility for me now.

Yours under the Blue Oaks,

/|\ Kendria

Header image by Elias.

Medications and The Path Forward

Content Warning: This post discusses substances that are not legal in all jurisdictions. The use of ketamine is legal where I live, and I only use it under the care of medical professionals and with the help of a trained guide. I do not condone or recommend the use of any substances which are illegal where you live, or the use of ketamine or any other psychedelics without the guidance of a medical professional and guide or therapist.

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I have nothing against medications, nor do I have any negative views against anyone who takes medications for any reason. I’ve personally had mostly negative experiences with prescription psych medications, and the purpose of this post is only to talk about my experiences and my own path forward. This should not be taken as medical advice. Everyone reacts to various medications and substances differently, and you should talk with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication.

But First, Some History

Note: If you don’t want to read all the history and details of how I ended up with the conclusion of being on the autism spectrum and having ADHD, you can skip ahead to the section titled “The ADHD Medication Situation and How it Relates to My Druidic Path”. I won’t judge you. Trust me, I get it…

I was diagnosed with ADHD at age forty, but my history with psych meds goes back about twenty-six years to when I was about fourteen and starting to enter my rebellious teen years. At that age, I desperately wanted to fit in and impress my peers. I was definitely an outcast and didn’t understand why I didn’t fit in. I don’t think I was a bad kid, I was just very bad at saying no to anyone in my age group because I wanted them to like me and I wanted to impress them. You know, teen stuff.

This eagerness to go along with peer pressure eventually led to me running away. From my perspective, I wasn’t running away from home, I was only spending the night with some people who I wasn’t supposed to be staying with, and I lied to my mom about where I was. In my mind it should have been no big deal. But of course, this being the real world and not the idealized world inside my teenage head, it resulted in the police becoming involved and a search for me ensued throughout my small town. I came back home the next day, but this triggered my mother to seek out psychological help for me. From her perspective, I was acting out, which must have meant that I was mentally disturbed. But from my perspective, I was just doing what I needed to do in order to survive the social pressures of adolescence.

My initial diagnosis was depression, so I was prescribed an antidepressant. When that gave me sleep paralysis, I was switched to a different antidepressant. When the new one gave me paranoia and hallucinations, I was switched to yet another. Throughout these medication changes, I continued to see my psychologist. This was the early nineties, and around that time, new research was starting to come out that showed that bipolar disorder could occur in children. My psychologist had been studying the subject and decided that it described me, so I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around age sixteen and prescribed lithium along with the antidepressant. Then somewhere along the line I got an additional diagnosis of anxiety and had anti-anxiety meds added to my chemical cocktail.

The Path to the Right Diagnosis

Fast forward around eighteen years and many medication changes later, and I was a woman in her early thirties who was starting to question her bipolar diagnosis. From everything I had read on the subject, it just didn’t match up with my experience at all. So once I was able to get health insurance, I decided to start tapering off of all my medications under the guidance of my physician and a therapist. It took about two years to get completely off of everything and it was an incredibly difficult process. It took about another two years before all the withdrawal symptoms went away. I went through another few years of figuring out who I was without the medications. That can be a difficult task when you’ve been on these medications since before your brain had finished developing. I also had to learn how to regulate my emotions and often felt like I had “teenage brain” all over again.

My search for the right diagnosis first led me to Autism Spectrum Disorder, which I had never even considered before because most of the info about that is based on how it presents in males (those assigned male at birth), and the stereotypes found in the media. I wasn’t able to get a formal diagnosis of ASD because I have a husband and a job, so I don’t need help and therefore don’t qualify for a diagnosis because it “doesn’t negatively impact my life enough”. I agree that I don’t need supports and I wasn’t seeking that, but I wanted to get that confirmation so that I could feel comfortable “coming out” as someone on the spectrum. I still don’t feel comfortable telling most people in my life without that formal diagnosis, even though I know that self-diagnosis is widely accepted in the neurodiverse community and even in some circles of the psychological community. I know that there are people who, due to the above-mentioned stereotypes, will not believe me.

I also got an assessment for ADHD at the same time as my ASD assessment. I was told that I could not have ADHD because I did not have certain symptoms as a child, and because I was able to complete a “very boring” game. Apparently they had never heard of hyperfocus and forcing yourself to complete something because you don’t want to disappoint anyone. Did they expect me to get up and storm out of the room in the middle of the test? I’m not a child. All the tests in that assessment felt like they were geared toward children. After doing more research on ADHD in women, I discovered that those symptoms listed that I didn’t have as a child, are all symptoms that mainly present in boys. When I learned of how ADHD presents in girls and women, it became very clear that’s what I have. I ended up asking my doctor for a referral to a neuropsychiatrist because I was definitely struggling with ADHD symptoms even though I didn’t have a formal diagnosis. I got the referral, and the neuropsych agreed that I have ADHD (and it’s now on my medical chart so I call that a diagnosis), so we began looking at treatment options.

The ADHD Medication Situation and How it Relates to My Druidic Path

My neuropsych first started me on a non-stimulant medication while we waited for me to get medically cleared for stimulant trial. I also didn’t want to start with stimulants and wanted to see if a different type of medication would help me. My reasons for this were that I am very sensitive to caffeine (not all people with ADHD are coffee fiends!) so I was worried stimulants would have a similar effect on me. And I had heard horror stories about how difficult it can be to continuously get the prescriptions because it’s a controlled substance here in the US. The first medication we tried helped greatly with some symptoms, but the bad side effects far outweighed the benefits. We tried two other non-stimulant medications that both ended up about the same as the first, just different side effects.

I was finally cleared for stimulant trial shortly after I discovered Druidry and had begun my studies with OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids). Meditation is a big part of Druidry and my bardic grade studies, and I was doing relatively well with that in my first few weeks of the course. I had always struggled with meditation because of my wandering brain, but this course gives me a focus so that my brain has somewhere to go.

I started my stimulant medication trial, and the first day was amazing! I had motivation, energy, and focus, which were three things that I couldn’t achieve all together with the other medications. I was finally starting to get optimistic about my future! But as the week progressed, the side effects started showing up. I was getting heart palpitations every day, whereas before, I only got them maybe once a month or so. My blood pressure also went up and I was having more anxiety. One day during that week, I attempted to do a meditation exercise and ended up having a panic attack. The total opposite of what meditation is supposed to do.

At that point, I felt like my path had split in two, and I could only follow one of them. One path was to continue to take stimulant medications for the benefits and deal with the side effects, but at the same time, feel like I’m not able to fully pursue Druidry. And the other path was to struggle with my ADHD without medications, but being able to fully pursue Druidry, and hopefully Druidry could help me deal with the ADHD. I ultimately decided to stop taking the stimulant, not only because it was interfering with my spiritual path, but because I was afraid it would exacerbate my heart issues.

So, What’s Next?

I have been researching psychedelics for a while and seeing from various studies and the experiences of others with ADHD that it can be very beneficial. I discovered that Ketamine therapy is legal here in California and I found a provider for at-home Ketamine treatments. I feel that this will work well with Druidry as it will enhance, rather than hinder my meditation practices. I’ve only done one treatment so far, but I think this will definitely be a good thing to help me with the struggles along my path.

Once I’ve gotten a few more treatments under my belt, I’ll make another post about my experiences with that.

Yours Under the Blue Oaks,

/|\ Kendria

Header image by Steve Buissinne.

Spring, Too Much Awen?

I have always been very connected to the seasons. It’s part of the reason why I feel so at home with Druidry. In the winter, I become withdrawn and often depressed. But in Spring, I am absolutely and almost painfully bursting with life, energy, and creative fertility. I feel as though I’ve hit a geyser of inspiration, motivation, and creativity but I have no vessel or focus to contain it or do anything useful with it. It’s very frustrating. I sometimes feel like I’ve overdosed from Cerridwen’s cauldron.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Awen, there’s a great article that explains it pretty well on OBOD’s website druidry.org.

While generally Awen is a good thing, you know what they say about too much of a good thing. My ADHD sends me in every possible direction at the same time and I can’t settle on just one. Or even get started toward any of them. I want to sing and make music, but I need to learn how to make music. But I also want to paint and make art, but I need to take the time to set up the art supplies and make space in my office for it. But I can’t do that because I need to clean my office first. But I also want to work on this blog, but I can’t think of what to write next because I want to write EVERYTHING! But I have so many books to read, I really should read them. But but but…

And I’m certain this is all just my ADHD coupled with the upswing in energy and mood coming out of winter due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Studying Druidism has just given me a new perspective on it.

What do you do when you want to do everything? How is there time for everything? And even if there was time, how do you decide what to do first? How do you decide what to do with the time you do have? When I have the structure of my work day, I can easily decide what to do. Though it’s difficult to focus on work when my brain is frolicking in the fields and dreaming about writing songs and painting my feelings and building some new invention and my next business idea and on and on forever. I have an abundance of want and a deficit of focus or ability to get anything done.

Anyways, I just needed to get that out and I figured this is the best place for it. Hey, that means I was able to complete more than one post on this blog! Progress!!

Header image by Ronny Overhate.

Introduction

Contextual Update August 18, 2023:
This post was originally written when I first started this blog and had only intended for it to be a personal blog. I’ve kept it intact for historical reference, but this is now a community blog with multiple contributors.

Hello, I’m Kendria. I have ADHD and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and I’m a Druid. Welcome to my blog! I’ve never been very good at keeping blogs in the past because, well, ADHD. But the difference now is that I didn’t know that I had ADHD before. So now that I know, I can hopefully figure out how to get past the roadblocks that were holding me back before.

Who is This Blog For?

This blog is mostly for myself, to document my journey at this point in my life. I find that if I try to blog specifically for an audience, I overthink things and then get frustrated, feeling like I’m letting everyone down. But this is also for anyone who is neurodivergent and on the Druid path, or maybe seeking insight from this perspective.

This will definitely be a very personal blog, so don’t expect any great pearls of wisdom or advice, at least at the beginning. There will be a lot of inner dialogue and there may not seem to be any clear sense of direction. I probably won’t be very consistent with my posts, but I am going to try my very best to write at least one post per month. Once per week would be ideal, but I’m trying to set realistic expectations here.

There I went, veering off of the main question… I guess this blog is for anyone who finds this stuff interesting and wants to follow along with me in my quest.

What is The Goal of This Quest?

When I turned 40 a few months ago, I set some goals for myself. I see myself as entering a new phase of my life and I am taking control of how I define this phase. I try to keep these goals in mind as I go on this journey of self-evolution.

Stop Caring So Much About What Others Think

My life so far has been ruled by worrying about how I appear to others. As others with ADHD and/or ASD know well, masking is huge, and usually expected. We get so good at masking that we no longer know who we are. We have been rejected for being who we are, and have learned to conform ourselves to what we are expected to be. At this point, I just want to be myself and learn to deal with the fact that who I really am will not appeal to everyone. Some people in my life may not like it, and that’s okay. And part of this is learning who I really am underneath this mask I’ve been wearing most of my life.

Learn to Love Myself

This definitely ties into the first goal. I have taken past rejections very personally and learned to feel that I’m not enough. I have always felt inadequate because I just could never live up to how “normal” people look and act. Being a woman with all the unrealistic beauty standards in the media has definitely made me feel physically inadequate too. As I work on not caring as much about what others think, I will in turn learn to be more forgiving to myself, which will eventually lead to me accomplishing the goal of loving myself.

Discover My Spirituality

I have never been a religious person. I’ve been an atheist most of my life. I’ll go into more detail about all my spiritual phases in a later post. For now, I’ll just say that lately I’ve felt like my life was missing something. My search to find a religion or spirituality that aligns with my beliefs and values has lead me to Druidry. I’ll also go into what exactly led me there and why I chose Druidry in a later post. For now I’ll just say that it completely fits me and I have come to realize that I’ve been a Druid my whole life but never had a name for it until now.

You may be thinking: “haven’t you already completed this goal?” Well, yes and no. I have discovered which spiritual path I’d like to follow, but I still have to follow it. I need to prove to myself that I can follow through in my Druidic studies and that this isn’t just another one of my many hyperfixations that I will eventually drop when I find a new one.

So, Welcome to My Blog!

I hope that you find it enlightening, entertaining, or whatever you need to get from it. And if not, that’s okay because that just means it’s not for you. I wish you well on your path, wherever it may lead you.

/|\ Kendria

Header Image by Deborah Hudson.

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