Thursday, 31 October 2013
In indigenous communities there is a large respect for the elders. The have lived their whole lives through and experienced a bit of everything. They are wise, cautious and always willing to share a story or two. In our youth we are usually rushing, going through the motions, but spending time with an elder slows us down and grounds us firmly to the Earth. Take time this week to seek out an elder, maybe a grandparent or a neighbour or a retiree at work. Ask them questions and then just listen. Take in the feelings coming from their eyes, their posture, let their words mould your cells into a new, more wise, being. Write about this experience on your journal and give thanks to your God or to the stars for letting you experience the gifts of an elder. I spent the evening with Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. David Schindler. Two Davids battling an environmental Goliath. I was overwhelmed with hope and energy. Do you like that I have started sharing a bit about myself? I have a hard time with these final sentences.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
In life we may be going full steam ahead on our path until we hit a roadblock. A difficult person, a difficult task. It is hard to see around this road block, to view the path ahead. Step back. Breathe and figure out what your plan is. You have choices and it is up to only you to make them. How will you handle this problem? Write out a few scenarios and imagine each one of them happening. How do you feel in each dream? Take your time, ask friends for advice. You can do this! What roadblock are you facing? I had to tell an online dating boy that he was acting very controlling and I didn't appreciate it. It was scary, but I felt so much better after.
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Most people in this world spend much of their day being a little too hard on themselves. They set high expectations that may not be within reach and then attack themselves when that plan fails. We don't have to live like this, there is a better way. Take your goal and see if there are possible markers along the way. Create a serious of little stops where you could rest, look back and say wow, this has been a great journey and take the time to set your bearings and move on. You have the option of setting small rewards for each mini stop reached. A cup of tea, a meal out with friends, or a new toy you've been wanting. The journey isn't meant to be as hard as you think. Relax and know that simply making the decision to move forward will set you on the right path. What is your big project standing in your way? Mine is teaching dance classes. I have no idea if it is going to improve my life or take away from it….hmmmm
Monday, 28 October 2013
It is so comforting to spend time in a place of contentment and stillness. Some of us sleep, some of us meditate, some of us read a good book. We pull away from the details that are causing us stress and retreat. This is a beautiful and necessary practice, but some of us can get lost in the quiet and fear reaching out to a different wave of energy, uncomfortableness. In this state we are shaking things up, moving energies and emotions around that were once laying dormant. This is a scary and strange place, but it usually marks the end of a chapter and the start of a new path. Maybe you try to make a new friend, perform public speaking, or request a raise. These new experiences are trials for sure, and they are not void of stress, but they can be transformative and really, usually worth the risk. What will you do to shake things up? I went on an online dating forum, yikes!!
Sunday, 27 October 2013
We are looking forward to additions in our life. Yearning for a shiny, new thing that will ignite our senses. A new car, a new pair of shoes, a new book. Once they arrive we will be so content. But can we get excited about items we already have? Are the items we've already committed to feeling neglected from lack of use? Your blender has been quiet for months, those rollerblades are collecting dust, the food in your fridge is begging to be made into an exquisite meal. Take a tally of some of those older things in your life that have not used for a while. Could they be repaired? Could they be given to a friend? Could you begin to add them into your daily habits? When you use what you have, your life is fuller, more whole. Go through the garage, go through the storage unit. Purge, play and forget about the call of those shiny new things for awhile. What item will you part with, repair, or re-love? I turned on my espresso machine today….it felt great! Might get rid of my longboard though, I rarely take it out!
Saturday, 26 October 2013
We spend much of our time reaching. We stretch out towards a destination, trying to find a grip and a hold. We may want to lose weight, go back to school or improve a relationship. But this reaching can exhaust us often without us realizing it. We have never quite arrived, are never quite on stable ground. This is a stressful state to upkeep and the struggle should not be so hard. Rather than stretching up towards a far away goal, ask yourself what part of the goal might be right in front of you if you just trust in the process that eventually, the holds will reveal themselves and you will climb gracefully, comfortably. Wouldn't it be nice to find a place to simply rest and know that everything you are trying to achieve is possible, it's just not going to happen in the now. We must be patient and relax a little. The process will flow and all we need to do is to try and float rather than swimming our way across. Give yourself a bit of a break and know that the place you need to be is here, now.
Friday, 25 October 2013
Who are you spending your time with? Are you connecting with people who are learning and growing and speaking hopefully about the world or is your company a drain on your energy? We have people in our life that need us but we get to dictate how much we let that person's mood affect us. Saying things like "I am sorry things are going bad for you" or "it must be hard to think so negatively about something" might release you from owning that person's troubles. There are some attitudes and values out there that are so far removed from our own, once in awhile it is nice to find people who think more like you do. It can ignite new ideas and form bonds that might be a nice break from the hard work of dealing with more negative people. Write down a list of all the people who bring happiness to your life and note down any that create the opposite feelings. You may notice you have only one or two difficult people in your life but recognize the power you might be allowing them to have. Choose to connect with positive as much as you can. How do you handle those difficult people in your life?
There is one language, one practice that is celebrated throughout planet Earth by only the humans that inhabit this blue planet. Music. These sweet sounds can transport you away from your worries into a place of harmony and bliss. Our favourite songs are as unique as we are and our likes can alter based on our mood or the type of activity we are doing. Learn about new music from your favourite record store, the library or the internet. Ask friends what they are listening to right now and maybe even trade music for a little while. Music can lift us up. It can heal. It can inspire. Avoid living in the silence and find a rhythm that suits you. Right now I am addicted to Brandi Carlile and Joss Stone because I can sing along very loud in my car. What are your favourite musicians these days?
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Memories are coated with a new film. A sweetness covers over the grey lines that once clouded my image. Your words drip into me like liquid honey. I hold them tight and cling to them as though they are all that matters. I matter. But in this brief exchange, the lens transitions to a new location and I spot the beauty only you could see. I am beauty. The sheath of my dark thoughts becomes brittle and transparent. I am not darkness. I am light.
Friday, 11 October 2013
Our life can be broken down into chapters where we have learned specific lessons and perhaps went through a trauma or a large challenge. It is ok to end the chapter and start a new new section of your journey. Maybe you are at the end of a grief cycle after losing a loved one or finishing school or home renovations. Celebrate the end in a way that comforts you and brings you closure. Perhaps the act of giving something away or letting something go will provide a release and hope for the new chapter. The new chapter can also be celebrated by a new journal, a new friendship or perhaps a new, healthy recipe that will start your new journey on a strong base. Have you recently experienced a new chapter? How did you handle the transition, did you celebrate?
Thursday, 10 October 2013
There is a vicious cycle that occurs within us that we often feel powerless to alter. We generate a thought, which affects our mood and influences our behaviour which goes right back to our thoughts. We think "I don't know what to write", which makes us feel discouraged which makes us not put pen to paper and we then think "see, I really cannot write". Have you ever experienced this? Write down one of your thought cycles and see if there's a way to disassemble the thought and create a new idea. The worst thing to do when this negative spiral begins to spin is to shove it way down to your feet because it is uncomfortable. Hiding it away and avoiding the discomfort only means it will fester where it sits and then crawl up into your consciousness much more powerful than before. Emotions, moods, are simply energy in motion. When they bubble up, allow them to flow and then breathe through the pain, knowing that your are cleansing your mind for new and lighter thoughts to emerge in its place.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
The term selfish tends to have a negative slant to it. Treating ourselves, improving our situation or asking for help could be considered a selfish act. We sometimes feel guilt for taking care of our own needs. A bubble bath when the dishes are still piled up, choosing a less stressful project at work, ordering dessert at the restaurant are all a little on the extravagant side, but these things are so necessary. Of course there has to be balance, we must be of service to others and our jobs and our community, but of equal importance is self care. The only way we can continue to give and spread our light out into the world is to stoke our personal fire and ensure our happiness has been tended to. Make a list of your favourite self care activities, or build a list of things you need that you won't compromise on. Review this list often to check in. "You, yourself, more than anyone in the universe, deserves your love and affection" - Buddha
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
It is not easy to give a compliment. Somehow, deep down you notice something in another human that makes you smile or pay attention or both. Then your fear of opening up to strangers and public speaking takes over and you keep the compliment inside. When someone offers you a compliment unwrap it gently, letting the sensations slide through your skin, then exhale with a "thank you". I have watched many people discount compliments and brush it off, not knowing the powerful gift they just received. Take note of the message you received and write it into your journal. Start a list of reasons why you are awesome…according to other people. You dress nicely, you draw well, you bake a mean treat. Whatever the gift, embrace it and own it. You are a miracle. Celebrate it!
Monday, 7 October 2013
Have you ever met a perfect person? A person radiating with happiness and healthiness and love? Well, they had flaws that you just couldn't see and it is those flaws that truly make that person so strong. We often put work into fixing our flaws. We read self-help books and take on new, challenging goals and sometimes even shame ourselves into being better being more complete. You were designed to have flaws. Your flaws are unique to only you. Embrace them. Love them and know that you are fierce because of your broken parts. Take time today to journal about your perceived flaws. Make two columns. In the left column write out those things you often wish you could change about yourself or maybe those things that have happened to you that have hurt you. In the right column write out reasons why that flaw may actually be an asset or a tool. You will be able to recognize yourself as one, beautiful disaster. A chaotic mix of events and parts that together make a precious whole. Just like a clay vase with a flaw, own your beauty and shout to the rooftops, "this is me!"
Sunday, 6 October 2013
As young children we connect with superheroes who seem to have unlimited power and abilities to save the world from baddies. We want bedsheets with their images screened on, we wear Halloween costumes to embody their strength and we play with our toys, imagining a world where superheroes are reality and the planet will be saved. At what age do we walk away from these feelings and thoughts? At what point do we abandon our connection to the fierce, confident superhero of our childhood? I challenge you to spend some time with your imagination. Grab some markers and paper and begin to sketch out yourself as a superhero. What powers would you yield? Who or what would be your enemy that you strive to fight? Write down aspects of your powerful self or doodle a cool outfit and action pose that you fully intend to strike. Doing this activity with young children will further stretch the imagination. Play, dream, hope.
Saturday, 5 October 2013
We live in a world where messages tell us everyday that we need more stuff to be better, to feel more complete. I am a consumer just like you and the act of window shopping excites me no matter what mood I am in. I ask that you take some time to reflect on what you are buying and how it is going to improve your life. If you are buying a new shampoo, ask for a sample before you commit to one brand. If it is a new sweater, could a similar sweater be purchased from a second hand store or maybe even free at a clothing swap with friends? Question the product, its purpose and of course, its cost. You worked very hard to earn your money and you deserve to spend your cash in a way that maintains your level of peace and comfort for many years to come. I have read studies on the connection between a woman's moon cycle and the type of shopping she does. If you are a female or know a female, understand that on some days they need a farmers market, on other days they want big ticket items, and on other days they would rather stay home. Honour that. Before heading out to the malls, ask your heart if that is what it needs. Maybe a simple coffee out for friends or a long prayer would be enough to fill the void. Have you noticed the change of shopping habits of women…? I wish I could find that article...
Friday, 4 October 2013
We are surrounded by a powerful force that is beyond any amount of strength we could offer out to the world. The universe is infinite, endless possibility, hope and energy. Sometimes we forget to go with the flow rather than trying to force the universe to change its ways. If a project at work gets cancelled, the universe has a plan for a new endeavour that will be better than the last. If the gas station pumps are out of order, maybe you were meant to meet the gas attendant at another station. If you are out of milk for your cereal, maybe you were meant to treat yourself to an egg sandwich on the go. At every curve, every setback, ask yourself what message the powerful universe is trying to send you. Then relax and surrender into the hope and calmness of the all-knowing spirit of the cosmos. How is your relationship with the universe? Do you try to fight it or do you just flow?
Thursday, 3 October 2013
Many of us often feel part of a race. Do better, be more, work on your weaknesses. This striving for strength can leave us feeling empty and defeated because the process of change takes such a long time in human years. In nature, trees don't try to be more than a tree, jaguars are quite happy being jaguars and fish are content swimming along in the vast ocean. It is admirable to be driven and a desire to change is courageous, but at certain spots along the way it is key to stop and say "enough, time to just BE". Your homework today is to make a list of nice things you can do for yourself to reward your experience so far on this journey. Maybe you will buy a new bag for work, sign up for a community yoga class, or arrange a brunch with good friends. Let's celebrate our human need to feel love and rather than request love from the universe, let's give it to ourselves.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Our personal space can be very important to us. It can create a sense of place, of purpose. But many of us are so busy with other aspects of life that we forget about place. When we care for our space we take care of ourselves. It can be part of our personal habits like eating well or exercising. Some people are very good at caring for their home, car and office and others, like me, tend to let these things go when other priorities arise in our lives. Choose one action, one task that has been bothering you about your precious space and give yourself a week to tackle it. Start out by giving it a half hour and see how far you get. Remember that you are doing something for yourself, and you , more than anyone on this planet deserves your love and affection. I would love to hear how it goes!