Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Darkness holds the heart And pumps black stones Into the engorged veins. Always there. Always calling for evil deeds. Time mends the open wounds And calms the shaking soul But bitter taste reminds the tongue Of lost dreams forever Hidden in the bitumen Far below the soil. A flush of new liquid enters. New hope. Rebirth. Rain, ocean, sky, Making love in an infinite dance Beyond the body Steam crawls through the pores Cleansing mind, body, spirit. The heart emerges from the ashes Light penetrates the arctic blue eyes. Love. Exists again.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
If you are like me you like to help others find happiness and avoid pain. But this rescuer action is not always as effective as we want it to be. We want a quick fix, a bandaid to stop the bleeding. But why not give the gift of space? Maybe this means a safe ear to listen to their fears, or it means sitting in silence and just holding hands for awhile, and maybe, just maybe they want time to fix their own hurt away from the influence of others. Offering healthy food, someone to clean their house for them, and a chance at a neighbourhood walk with a support can be the light needed for them to open their eyes towards hope. Suffocating may seem helpful but can snuff out the fires of emotion that need to burn off so the body and mind are a less toxic place to be. Giving loved ones a chance to inhale and exhale while knowing they are loved deeply and unconditionally is a chance for them to step in a direction toward the healing light and away from the stagnant darkness. Just breathe and encourage them to breathe as well.
Monday, 8 September 2014
Autumn is the perfect time for a walk with the sweet odour of decomposing leaves, the crisp call of birds through exposed branches and the low sun filtering through to light your grateful face. Let your fingers brush past shrubs and tree branches, playing with the soft leaves that still remain before their final drop to the leaf litter below. Say a sweet hello with an inviting smile upon your face as other walkers cross your path. You can even do a walking meditation if this is in your practice. Choose a destination at least a few kilometres away where you can really get into a walking rhythm. Any changes in elevation are an added bonus because your breath becomes audible and you begin to notice the now's as you inhale and exhale into the fresh fall air. Feel your feet plant firmly on Earth and know that you will make it through this winter…one step at a time.
Friday, 5 September 2014
Our emotional body was not designed to hold in grief, worry and negative self-talk. We need to release these dark and often harmful thoughts. We expel toxins from our physical bodies every day. We exhale carbon dioxide, we sweat and we visit the bathroom several times a day. But how often do we flush our emotional body? Maybe when you come home and see your dog waiting for you? Maybe when you hug a loved one? But what about a big release, when could you take time to honour this need? In my weekly yoga session, our teacher would say "whatever you did this week, you did ENOUGH". I would weep each time in response to this pressure release in my heart. We can discharge grief when we reach a state of ecstasy and security with our self or with a loved one. Dance is a fantastic release or any fitness really. Singing and musical vibration can expand the soul. Writing as many of you can attest to, is a powerful exhale of the mind. Crying is….amazing. Soldiers cry, cops cry, and so can you! My favourite release is in meditation. I take all the heavy weight from my shoulders and place it into a beautiful urn for safe keeping while I walk away with freedom and and expansive spirit. True story. How do you release from pain?
Thursday, 4 September 2014
The yellow sun gave Superman his other-worldly powers and fuelled him up to save the world another day. The sun is also a fuel centre for Earth. Water evaporates and separates into a fine mist that re-enters the atmosphere to provide moisture to the thirsty planet. Plants grow in the sun's rays and create oxygen for the wild ones to inhale safely. Food only grows with the power of our glorious star, creating diversity of species throughout every eco region. Temperatures warm enough to help creatures search for food and find shelter and keep their bodies from reaching hypothermic conditions. But what about us, do we need sun? Are we connected to this light just like the rest of the planet? Heck yes. As emotional beings, the sun also helps us to break through depressive symptoms and relaxes us following stressful events. Make a plan to honour the sun this week. Pick a day when you will watch the sun rise or the sun set. While your witness the miraculous colours and change in temperature, give thanks to this universal energy centre. Have you given gratitude lately for the light in your life?
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
We are always told to live in the moment and experience what is happening for us in the now. But is there value in future planning to make sure we are set on the right path? Our future is created from our now's and if we don't point our sail in the ideal location we may get distracted and end up in a less than ideal scenario. Monday mornings at work are my proactive time. I plan out what I want to accomplish in the week and figure out how I might achieve this goal or if I need to adjust my expectations. I write down my goals in my task book and I highlight my top tasks to target my efforts to on my whiteboard. The whiteboard is also a public commitment. I aim to work on these goals and if I am distracted from that my co-workers might notice I am not on task. It is a bit intense but I know my weaknesses and laying down a set but flexible plan for my week gives me confidence, feedback, satisfaction, direction and a bit of peace knowing I am in the right place. How do you future plan?
Tricky, but well needed post. Read with caution. Being real with friends an family is a present. Their intentions are always well meaning but our ego bruises when helpful but painfully real words scrape the surface. But each time our heart feels hurt know that the intent was kindness. The driver of those words came from love. Accept real and be real with friends and family. Relationships cannot grow in a safe vacuum of candy-coated non truths that are used for protection as opposed to expansion of a connection with another. Some friendships do well in silence and if that is your practice, keep it and learn how to use its benefits to enrich relationships with others. Accept your loved ones as is but know that anger or concern can fester if it not given air to breathe. Use caution and tread lightly but with care and well meaning emotions your message might be communicated in an effective way. Do you have something you need to get off your chest but are not sure how to approach it?
Friday, 29 August 2014
Like inimitable snowflakes, we are all a unique specimens with distinctive emotions, features, hopes and struggles. This planet has one type of person on it, the human person. We spend so much time in this mental comparison, actively and subconsciously separating ourselves out from the pack, noting our many differences and individual tendencies and often placing judgement on these qualifiers.This judgement interrupts our perception of the world around us and makes us feel different and alone. Each time we open up and listen to other points of view or practice empathy and loving kindness to others regardless of sexual orientation, religious influences, career choices,parenting skills, or even wardrobe decisions we practice living as one. One love as the wonderful Bob Marley shared with us via song. Thank you for listening to my inspirations and following me on my journey. You are practicing acceptance and it is a beautiful thing. No real challenge today. Just celebration of the efforts you are already making.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
We have this voice inside us telling us to be more, do more, achieve more, have more. This voice is ego and it doesn't connect with your true self love emotions. More doesn't equal happiness. Gratitude and appreciation equal happiness if you take the time to reflect on what matters. How far down the road will you travel before you realise it is in the wrong direction? Stop, look at your compass. Are you on the right track? It is ok to admit the path is not taking you to a peaceful destination. Reflect on your map and see where your passions would rather you go. Life is short, getting lost isn't the end goal but we get determined and confuse our priorities. Ask the trees where you should go if you are unsure. The spirit will guide you out of the darkness and into a clearing where you can gauge your surroundings with a little more clarity. Have you been lost recently? How did you find the right path?
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
On some hot days I secretly indulge in the heat by stepping into my steamy car and letting the waves of warmth wash over me, sweating instantly and letting the moisture mix with the sweltering air. I realise not many people do this, they immediately try to beat the heat with air conditioning or at least windows rolled down to let in a fresh breeze. Maybe I am unique? But...My winters are eight months of the year and while I enjoy the snow as much as the next outdoorsy Canadian, the heat just has this special quality to it. I feel happy to be alive and mostly, I FEEL. I recall travelling to Australia for the first time and how the sweat would begin pumping out WHILE I was in the shower, dousing myself with cool water to balance the intensity of the Australian summer air. To see if this works wonders for you make plans to try a hot yoga class, partake in a native sweat lodge ceremony or visit the local pool's sauna. Winter, summer, whenever. Heat can remind us how lucky we are to walk around in fairly "normal" temperatures and it can help us go deep into our emotions and see what might be sitting dormant, needing to get warmed up and comforted. Do you have hot practices that you enjoy?
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
This post is in honour of my friend Keith and his bride to be. We are taught at a young age that all the fairy tales we read and watch are never, ever going to happen to us. This is about as silly as (insert strange organized religious practice here). Through meditation and prayer and hope and experience I have learned that thinking about THE BEST and hoping for THE BEST only has amazingly great outcomes. True, we rarely get what we wish for but that's because our wishes aren't always aligned with what the universe is prepared to give us. Send out seeds of positive energy and low and behold, a beautiful flower grows in its place. Plant stinkweed seeds of despair and complaints….and yeah you get the picture. Life can be a dream. Life can be a musical filled with song and dance and celebration. Will it ever come true? Maybe not. But at least you can swim in the waters of a good dream for awhile. What's wrong with that? Keep dreaming my lovelies.
Monday, 25 August 2014
This inspiration will be fairly hands on. Find photographs of yourself from ten years ago to today. Take the time to really look at each photograph of that moment in time and notice your smile or lack thereof, your hair, your clothes. Then take some time to go inside and remember how that time in your life FELT. Were you scared, excited, sad, elated? We tend to leave the past and move on but sometimes a view at the journey that got you to today can be a powerfuel fuel for creating strong tomorrows. 2004 - Italy 2005 - Met Alain 2006 - In love 2007 - Australia 2008 - The wedding 2009 - Fernie 2010 - Folk music festival 2011 - Pigeon Lake 2013 - Plan Canada Fundraiser 2014 - Costa Rica Thank you for letting me share this ten year storybook with you. I have gained a lot of insight, acceptance, self-love and pride from viewing these images. Maybe you can experience something similar with your own photo graph.
Friday, 22 August 2014
Each morning when we grab the toothbrush and try to refreshen our sleepy mouth we catch a glimpse of something miraculous, something bigger than ourselves. Look. What do you see? There is a figure of you, yes, but it is the only you that has ever existed and ever will. What you can't see is the energy expanded beyond your physical body, it's actually your soul body staring back at you. You are the essence of your yesterdays, nows and tomorrows. Treasure your reflection and create a short mantra to empower your day. Make eye contact with this person, this mirror image and say the words slowly. Notice your reflected mouth move with the words flowing over your lips. What mantra you may ask? Well this is very personal. What do you need to reach a state of peace and gratitude? Perhaps you struggle with obesity - tell that reflected self "you are beautiful". You may have lost your job and need to say "you are important. You are skilled in many ways". A loved one may have passed and you are grieving so say "I miss you and will love you forever". Make it yours and embrace it. Keep eye contact at all times and give yourself the gift of this verbal bear hug from your bestie. I leave you with a quote...Be yourself, everyone else is taken (Oscar Wilde)
Saturday, 16 August 2014
There is pressure from our environment to be a better version of ourselves. To be healthier, stronger, happier. We sometimes even feel a push from the universe to discover and live out our purpose on this Earth. But is this meant to be a solo journey? If we sit in our basement and read self-help books all day will we find peace? This I am not so sure of. In the wild, wolves will go in search of a deer so they can be nourished by its flesh. Does one wolf approach the deer to take it down? Most likely the one, lone wolf would not be successful and he would starve after many failed attempts to catch his prey. But in a pack, the wolves come together to hunt and capture their meal. Like the wolves, we are a communal species and finding a better life by being alone is a little like trying to find your own image in the clouds. You may be waiting awhile. But reach out and ask for a hand or two and the journey may not seem as daunting. You can ask someone you admire to be your mentor. Maybe you meet once every couple months and talk about ways to improve your career. You can join a group in your community, religious or not, just real people who want to talk about real issues. You can introduce yourself to one of the other parents at the playground and swap stories while your wee ones stay busy. If you think that getting one person's help may not make a difference, answer me this: Can one person create a newborn? Or does it take a sperm and an egg to unite and create life? Human souls were meant to intertwine, not to stand alone. When have you reached out recently? Did it help or hinder?
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
We have this habit of protecting ourselves using boundaries to keep us safe. We place blocks at our castle gates and stick firmly to our plan. We think that the barriers prevent negativity or hurt from creeping into our lives, which is absolutely true! However, is there ever opportunity to bend your boundaries to suit a new situation? Maybe you have a needy friend who you have cut off but they really need an ear. Do you stick to your original plan or do you bend and see where it leads? You might save another person from pain, or you could keep your walls up. It's a choice. The only person who sets our boundaries is us, we decide. Evaluate a number of your boundaries. Are they serving you well or do they need a slight adjustment? I have a number of boundaries from being hurt in the past. But I know sometimes the best way to protect a wound is to gently care for it. Give it air, massage the edges and see if healing manifests itself from your willingness to address the issue at hand. Do you set strict boundaries with family or friends? If you do, that's completely ok. This task is an evaluation of boundaries, no need to tear the walls down just yet.
Monday, 16 June 2014
People come into our life to serve a specific purpose. Perhaps they teach us something about ourselves, about our world or about others. Perhaps they allow us to help someone or be helped in return. They may make us laugh, cry, scream, or all of the above. When it feels like a friendship is no longer serving a purpose, just know that it is perfectly fine to put the relationship on hold for a day, a week or a month. Think of it like a battery that needs charging. Set your friendship on the relationship charger and spend time with others who may not be causing you as much worry, anger or loss. During this time it is ok to grieve the former soul of your relationship. Recall the good times, reflect on where things may have gone wrong and give thanks that they walked into your life, no matter the reason. Friends bring us joy, happiness and connection. If your friendship has lost this sparkle, maybe it needs a quick breather. Inhale. Exhale. And return to your buddy when your heart feels ready. Have you experienced a friendship burnout? What did you do to heal yourself and the relationship?
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Many of us feel that quieting and focusing the mind is an impossible task. Trust me, it can be done with practice and patience. Find a spot near your work, school or home with water, trees , flowers or birds. Seat yourself using a blanket, bench or rock to quiet the body. Bring a special item to focus your thoughts on, perhaps a stone or a photograph with meaning for you. Inhale your gratitudes towards the sky. Exhale your stresses into the Earth to be composted for future growth.
We often turn to retail therapy to help us cope. Consuming is something natural that we do to feel better. But, as an alternative to shopping, try to put love into the items you already have. This practice will help you give back to the planet and build pride while also saving you money and guilt. You could make cleaning or beauty products from ingredients in the kitchen like vinegar and baking soda or lemons and yogurt. Fix your old purse strap or use veggies from your garden for the ultimate feeling of satisfaction.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Ever wonder why many animal species rest so much? Lions take a break from roaring, elephants stand still, even groundhogs stop to take a look around before scurrying off to another hole in the ground. We can learn a lot from these fellow Earthlings. Take time out for a siestas and do not, do not feel guilty for recharging your batteries. Today I invite you to do a small meditation or guided imagery in a quiet, comfortable place. This could be sitting on a park bench, resting on the subway or curled up on your couch. Imagine a fish in a mountain river. Choose any fish you want but pay attention to its colours, its eyes, the way it moves. Watch this fish swim and swim, seeking food or a mate, but always on the go. Feel the energy your fish gives off, determined, skilled. Kind of like you near the end of the workday, trying to tie up loose ends. Now imagine this fish entering an eddy, a deep quiet pool off the side of the main flow of the river where the swimming comes to a halt and the fish rests its muscles and stop to experience the inflow of oxygen from the water into its gills. Imagine slowing down just like this fish. Does the fish think "oh I should really be swimming more, why am I so lazy?" No. Once you feel your friendly fish has had enough rest, imagine him swimming off again and slowly bring yourself back to your day as it is. If you try this, I'd love to hear your experience!
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
There are only 24 hours in a day and only seven days in a week. While most species have a routine of finding shelter, food and a mate, we add in a plethora of extra expectations that threaten to distract us and drain our precious energy. When someone requests action from you that is not connected directly to your priorities, think twice before accepting the mission. Other people are attempting to further their own agenda and everyone wants a hand in getting there. Find people that share your same goals and values so you can move forward on your path together helping one another over the obstacles that may unbalance your stride. When I was separated from my husband years ago I became closely connected with another separated friend. This friend was self-medicating with alcohol and sexual partners while I was attempting yoga, river valley runs and journalling. I had to let go and it was one of the hardest and best things I have done to move myself forward and cut ties that were holding me back from true ecstasy. When have you had to say no? Was it hard and did it help you?
Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Like all nature's creatures we need to consume food to keep our energy up, balance our system and regulate our mood. Many of us create so many tasks in one day that food becomes almost an annoyance. It is this act we have to partake in so that we can complete all the other things we want to achieve in our day. So we eat on the run. We grab easy meals so we can focus on other activities. But then do you notice how your emotions and comfort level become affected? You are slower, more frustrated and often more tired than you need to be. Try to add colour to your meals this week. Rather than meats and starches, focus on vegetables, grains and fruits. Find a healthy meal recipe that you think could be delicious and achievable, preferably one with a photo so you can dream about your creation. Make a special stop to the grocery store, specifically for your ingrediants, and maybe a small dessert - of course! When you arrive home, set aside a half hour or so to chop, peel and slice. Use those spices that you often forget you have in the cupboard. The beauty of making your own meals is that you feel pride, you choose how healthy you want your meal and you know what is in it so your body can be confident it is receiving sustinance that might imporve your mood. What is your favourite meal to make? Do you have a favourite cookbook?
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Appreciation, we yearn for it and sometimes even seek it out. Before you receive information that might heal your ego, try complimenting someone else first. Did someone at work go above and beyond in their job? Did a friend listen to your relationship problems without ever rolling their eyes? Did a performer inspire intense emotions within you? Take the time to write a thank you card or express your gratitude through other, more creative processes like bringing them a coffee or highlighting their skills to a supervisor. Giving, primes our pump for receiving when the opportunity presents itself. We might actually accept praise and gifts with grace and gratitude without feeling as though we are not deserving of such love. Have you ever received a kudos, or a pat on the back, at work or in your personal life? How did it feel?
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Humans used to travel in packs where we would help each other gather firewood and pick medicinal plants. But now we are independent as can be, on a mission to find happiness, pleasure and fulfillment. Connecting with other humans that walk this Earth is grounding, cultural and spiritual. Take some time this week to build a relationship with a soul or two near your home. Maybe a "hello" or an offer to mow their lawn or complimenting their flowerbeds. Every journey starts with a single step. I love my neighbourhood because our houses are all very close together and everyone sits on their porch in the sun and waves to each other. It brings me comfort, stillness and pride. Do you have any neighbours you appreciate??
Saturday, 24 May 2014
Ask for romance. Do it. You are so worth the feelings of butterflies and sexual tension and full-on acceptance and appreciation that romantic gestures can bring. Man or woman, romance flatters us, builds our broken ego and spreads love into the universe. Sending out love ensures that at some point, that love will be directed back to us. Maybe it is a picnic in the park, or a dance in the rain, or an hour session of just breathing and looking into your partner's eyes. Romance connects with our lover and builds a relationship foundation that offers stability when the seas get rough. I once discovered a date night book with 101 romantic plans. You pull out an envelope and voila! Date night. Unfortunately, my partner was not as romantic as I am so I still have this unopened book. One day…so, what is the most romantic thing done for you? Or for your loved one?
Friday, 23 May 2014
Some toxins come from things we ingest, expose ourselves to and even the stressful relationships we keep working at. Do you give, give, give to a friend and never feel cared for in return? This can lead to self-doubt and feelings of depression. You matter more. Take some time to go through your relationship list. Which connections need to be cultivated with effort and love and which ones need to be pulled out of our relationship garden? Take a close look, this is not a decision to make lightly. Perhaps a friend is going through a crisis and needs more attention, but maybe the drama just never ends and you're always sweeping up their broken pieces. We have to put ourselves first. It sounds selfish, but no, it is simply self care. You can't help someone else if you feel overwhelmed or unbalanced. Ground down and ask what each relationship brings you and find ones that take from you and perhaps alter your involvement in them. Have you had to let a friend or love one go in the past? Was it a good decision?
Thursday, 22 May 2014
Life often feels like a race with all our goals, dreams and hopes stumbling over one another in an effort to reach true ecstasy. In North America this appears to be more prevalent than in other countries surrounding the globe that I have experienced. We embody impatience and we fill our mind with should's and have to's. The responsibility carried on our shoulders could be a manageable load but not when we are attempting to run ahead of the pack. Why not chill, stay behind, just be? Think of island time. People living near the sea are skilled at stretching out the hours of their day. They may wander slowly through a market, grab a siesta in the shade or collect food for dinner from the garden. Slow. Easy. Peaceful. Shouldn't this be our goal rather than attempting to be a superhero and prove to other humans how amazing we are? Let the ego shrink, let the time grow. Cultivate happiness. How do you get slow?
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Life has its twists and turns, its ups and downs, pain and beauty. But from a distance, the journey is a beautiful design that no one can take from us. Many times we find ourselves yearning for a scenario that we believe will connect with our true happiness and remove our roadblocks that we've had placed in our way. But maybe ploughing through isn't the best method to build a rich harvest. Maybe, just maybe, we must wait patiently and give thanks for the scraps we were given before the true feast becomes a reality. Wish you would have married that old boyfriend? What if your true prince is only a few years away from the singleton place you've found yourself in? What if not being able to have children means you can adopt sweet babies who need love that only you can create for them? Still taking the bus? Maybe fate had meant for you to crash your car, and by bussing it to work, you save your legs from being crushed. There are so many what ifs and hope-to's but there is serenity in acceptance and faith. Your path is winding in the right way, not to worry.
Monday, 19 May 2014
In times of trauma or unrest we may fill our mind with non-stop negative messages that trigger our moods and emotions to flow in a dark downward spiral. Often we fill our head so full of harmful thoughts that we leave no room for the positive ones. This can lead to depression and suicide if we are not watchful and if we forget to ask for help. So how to unwind the mind's eye to focus on a place of light and hope? Create something new. Something only you could create. Depending on who you are and your interests it might be a drawing, a poem, a collage, or even writing thoughtful messages in a card for a friend. By taking a moment to re-adjust the negative patterns of our brain we might find the space to breathe. If only for a short time. Thank you Mom for this post, and for everything you do for me.
Sunday, 18 May 2014
When did we stop being playful? When did silliness become taboo? We don't realize the benefits of letting go and following our imagination and moving our bodies in a way we feel inspired by. We all love the release of endorphins, we all love to laugh, so why not invest in our childlike side? I have noticed that some people have an easier time letting go when they are around children...but even in the presence of innocence we hang on to our "shoulds". I should be mature, I should be in control, I should work hard. Why not say "I should indulge in playful activities for the benefit of my mental health". Stock up on board games, balls, bubbles and stuffed animals. Indulge and celebrate your connection with your younger side. What do you to feel young?
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
The ultimate new relationship moment has to be the first kiss. It determines where the relatioship will go and if the connection between two souls can actually ignite pleasureful emotions. We just might be the only species on Earth who kisses in the sensual way we do with our special partner. Maybe this is an evolutional behavious for us to stay in a family unit and not just create offspring and part ways like many animals do. Sight, touch, smell and taste all come together when tongues intertwine and perhaps a slight moan escapes from each happy party. Am I being too graphic? Hey! We need to celebrate our sexuality and affection rather than push it away as taboo or only for Newleyweds. Intimacy, intention, and intensity make kisses all that much more memorable. What was your first kiss with your partner like? Did you see stars, feel electricity pulsing thorugh you?
Monday, 12 May 2014
Sometimes in order to let go and give in to ecstasy means we have to break a few rules. We all want to be known as good people, but once in a while good people do bad things, naughty things even, and the world is better for it. Late night ice cream run, an extra glass of wine, a kiss on the first date. If it gives you goosebumps you must be doing something right. Playing with fire can keep us warm and remind us of our true boundaries. Getting burnt only happens to those who let go of their control and forget to ground their feet to the Earth. So use caution, use logic, but still push the envelope. Go on, test yourself. It's the only way to learn and grow. What naughty things have you been up to lately?
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Life can be a scary place to maneuver. There are countless "what ifs" creeping into our brain telling us that the bad is to come. Will all these things come to fruition? Most likely not, but thinking about them almost makes them so. If you are afraid of flying, you will panic in the days leading up to your holiday instead of getting excited for the escape. When you meet a potential new partner you run through all the possibilities of it not working out forgetting to honour the butterflies in your stomach. Sit quietly today preferably in a place close to nature or an area that offers sanctuary for you. Imagine a a bubble surrounding your whole body, it can be as big or as compact as you like.Imagine a situation where you require a little extra hope. Picture what success would look like. Imagine your smile, your sense of relief, your satisfaction. Not to worry, you won't "jinx" it. Thinking positive, breeds positive. I'd like to know if this works for you….I've been trying it lately. Tough, and no quick results but I think it's the best option in the long term, ya know?
Friday, 2 May 2014
Each day we are given certain amounts of energy, worry or anxiety and focus. Some days are easier than others and some days are really, really a test of our strength. Honour what is being given to you. It is all happening for a reason. Can't get out of bed today? Grab a movie and maybe ask a loved one to snuggle up as well. Have boundless energy and cannot fall asleep? Do those boring tasks you've been putting off. Sometimes it makes sense to act against the emotions and urges we are feeling but sometimes, it is ok to take the easy road and just accept what is. Rather than feel guilty for not behaving in our expected ways just know that this day is going to be a little different and have peace with that. This one will take practice, try baby steps.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
We have stuff. So much stuff and we are often confused as to what we will use our stuff for. Broken parts of an old clock, torn blue jeans, cassette tapes, it all adds up to clutter in our living and working spaces. This clutter is a constant reminder of all the things we have NOT done, despite our best intentions and the amount of hard work we put into each day doesn't leave us much left for cleaning. Grab yourself an egg timer or use your stove timer. Give yourself one hour. One hour to tackle that pile of unopened mail, clean up around the dog's dish, and toss out those old birthday cards. After you're done, write out all the mini or giant tasks you completed or started within that one hour. Post it up on your fridge as an "I did it - take that procrastination - in your face!" kind of kudos for yourself. This may be hard for some of you who have lists and lists worth of organizing projects around the house, but in one hour chunks, it may not seem so bad. What's the one bit of clutter you can't seem to clean?
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
There are so many aspects of our cognition, habits and behaviours that are extremely disconnected from our fellow species. We share this planet with them, we eat food, we find shelter and we create offspring, and we have many physical aspects that make us less strong or agile or sensory focused than other beings. Our minds have created customs, reilgions, transportation, physical structures and tools and communities that can communicate across nations in an instant. Does this make us better, happier than our animal neighbours? We will never know. But when is the last time you experienced another species taking their own life? Animals can become depressed, we know this, but it is often because of neglect in a domestic setting or the loss of a mate or child. This is normal grief. Our minds have the ability to take our thoughts, emotions and actions to a far different place that can be deadly for themselves and others. Why not take some time to connect with another species and try to observe their balanced lifestyle? Pet shops, your sister's cat or a nearby farm are great places to wander next to a different kind of soul, an animal soul. What are your favourite moments with animals?
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
We carry a lot of burdens. We hold on to them because we think it is up to us to sustain their weight. We don't realise there is a way to set them down and walk a little lighter. Take some time today to visit a tree, maybe in a park or your yard. Observe its outstretched branches and solid trunk. That tree you approach will have strength that you will feel and sense inside. Then, take each worry of the day (I shouldn't have had fries with my meal, I should've remembered my friend's birthday), imagine it being lifted off your shoulders (picture the words in 3-D if your mind allows it) and then place each worry on a different branch and watch to see if the weight damages the tree. It won't, but you will wonder how on Earth you were holding on to such a heavy load.Let your friendly tree allow you freedom and energy to play, to laugh, to dream. You may want to revisit your tree tomorrow and thank it for carrying your worries. All things love to be appreciated.
Friday, 7 March 2014
This post is inspired by my late Grandmother, Mrs. Julia Higgins. A strong supporter of community, living on the same block for 89 years and giving selflessly time after time. You are missed…. Like a spider needs a web, or a monkey needs a tree, we need habitat. We need a safe place to move about, connect with our tribe, collect food, and sleep soundly. Humans also have extra needs that the animal world may not ever think about, spirit. We need to ignite our spirit in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Use your community to massage your soul and work away the problems that may be holding you back from true happiness. Think about signing up for a community garden plot, giving your empties to the neighbourhood bottle drive, offering to mind the neighbour's dog while they are away on holidays or simply exchanging smiles with a neighbour while you go to collect your mail. Your home reaches far beyond the four walls of your dwelling and out into the streets and parks and trails of your community. Take a moment to list some ideas for your future community connections. What can you contribute or create? Maybe you have an apple tree with harvest you could share or a backyard fire pit that might be warmer with more bodies around it. I would love to hear your ideas!
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Find a tree, any tree to look at today as you go about your many tasks. Reflect on its ability to simply let go in the winter, shedding leaves and sitting dormant, waiting for the warmth of spring to come again. Wonder at its amazing ability to filter the air around us as it breathes out fresh oxygen and locks carbon dioxide into its cells. Imagine how much water is held within its leaves, its trunk, before the sacred liquid is released to the air where it will dance with the clouds. Trees are places we used to climb and rest when we were young. Innocent play turned into wonder and connection and imagination. Our senses ignite when we smell a pine tree after a summer's rain, its perfume kisses the air as we inhale and gradually forget about our stresses and worries. Sound is different among the trees as they soak up the traffic noises like a sponge, letting us tune our frequency in to the birds and the wind through the leaves. At the same time, laughter seems to bounce of its branches inviting us to stay in its presence and let the world float away. Trees are alters to the soul, thank a tree today as you breathe in all its wonder and breathe out your worries of the day.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Sometimes…sometimes…it is ok to be too much, to do too much, to say too much, to eat too much. It lets us know where our thresholds and values lie. We learn what we will accept and what we simply will not tolerate. Some people may get hurt, but in the name of science and growth, isn't that ok? Perhaps no, but should our goal be made to make everyone around us happy twenty-four seven? Sometimes we are too much for others to handle, but maybe we can allow that to flow because we are evolving and shifting our old skin, making room for new perspectives, new breath. What have you done recently where you gave, showed, shared too much? Did you survive? Was the situation painful or refreshing?
Monday, 3 March 2014
While spending time swimming in water we have witnessed that struggling in the liquid can burn us out and makes it hard to keep our head above water. However, if we choose to relax all our muscles and just be part of the environment, we float. We can bring this practice into our daily lives by choosing to accept what is rather than fight against it. Perhaps you are hoping for cereal but your milk has gone sour? Have some fruit and toast for breakfast instead. Maybe you are travelling and your flight gets cancelled? Take a trip to another city and explore the wonders of a new perspective. Accept the new scenario with an open heart and see what happens. Struggling will keep us in one place but if we can just be a leaf on the water, we just might travel on.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Why do we often fear the idea of reaching for our dreams? Do we not feel worthy of such happiness? Do we believe we may not make it to the end, so we should just forget about it? If you spend ten minutes a day thinking about reaching your goals you may come up with baby steps to get yourself moving forward, and the motivation to achieve that dream may over-ride your fear of failure. When is the last time you set aside time to dream? Directing your mind to that level of excitement not only lifts your spirits, it builds your confidence because in your dreams, you have already arrived. Celebrate what you want and imagine the journey that will get you there.
Thursday, 30 January 2014
Sometimes, the best way to see our life is to look at it from 10,000 miles away. We see our life from a different angle when we travel. The air is different, the people are new and the learnings are common. Do you have a year or five-year travel plan? What adventures would you want to save up for and try out? Find photos online of the places you wish to explore. Post them on a dream board and when your day-to-day struggles are overwhelming you, glance over at your travel art and know you will soon be free. I would love to hear your favourite travel story!! Tomorrow I leave for Costa Rica. I won't be in the blog world for a couple weeks but I will come back. Armed with positive stories I am sure!!
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Feel shame for asking what you really, truly want? Don't. Life is meant to be pleasurable, rewarding, and full of acceptance along the way. If you need to feel you "deserve" your wants, you can create a reward system. I used to buy a pile of new clothes, hang them in the office closet and each week that I reached all my fitness goals I could pull one item out. I did the same when my partner went to Afghanistan. Every week I made it through the pain and worry, I got a present! It removes and remorse or guilt you feel for getting what you want and you're reaching your goals. What could be better? Reward charts and jars may seem childish but boy do they work! Do you have any creative ways to get what you want? How happy does it make you?
Friday, 24 January 2014
One of our five senses that never receives gratitude enough is our sense of smell. The aroma from a turkey in the over at Thanksgiving, the smoke from a campfire in the summertime, or the smell of a lover's skin first thing in the morning. These scents awaken our spirit and leave us to experience a myriad of emotions. And we like emotions because they are energy in motion and we don't want to be blocked up! Find a soap, cologne or lotion that you really love the smell of. Use this amazing potion on your body at least twice a day and feel yourself fall into ecstasy with your nose experiencing the reward of your gift. Watch out for those scentsitive people though, they might not enjoy your scent out in a public place, maybe keep it to home if that is the case. If not…indulge.
Friday, 17 January 2014
It always feels good to share with a loved one, no matter if we are feeling on top of the world or down in the pit of despair. One universal thing that lifts people up no matter what century or country you live in, is music. It cracks open the thoughts in our heads and makes us FEEL. Just like my grandma says you have a second stomach for dessert, you have a different brain for music. I am no neurologist, but I might say that the part of our brain that interprets music is connected more strongly to our body than the thought of "Oh I should have chicken for supper". Give the gift of a music to someone who needs a lift today. This can be done by singing a sea shanty over the phone or forwarding a link on your media device. Music is the centre of most spiritual practices for a reason. I don't quite know what that reason is, as I rarely study religions, but I am sure it has something to do with community, celebration, and love.
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Speaking our mind is a chance to unleash the passion within our thoughts, but why choose now as the time to open up? What is the driving force? Anger? Pride? What if we take a moment to hear the ideas from a different perspective? This pause may reflect a new view before our eyes. Shifting our stance if only for a while is uncomfortable and we may perceive it to be pushing us back or knocking us off balance but in truth this expansiveness allows us the space to potentially move forward…and isn't that where we want to be? Take some time to sit back in a meeting and hear other ideas, ask your partner how you can create options from a debate, or imagine your big day tomorrow going really well instead of failing badly. Take the time to add expanse. Take a break from your stance before you get stuck there. Take care of your needs without causing harm.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
There is a battle raging on inside of us that many of us never experience unless we reach the edge. When we reach that point where the equilibrium flips and we lose control, we often collapse into despair. In this place, we have simply entered a realm where hope and confidence are displaced by worry and self-doubt. This is the place to rebuild. Your tank of happiness has been drastically emptied and it is time to fuel up once again. Fear had its chance to run the show but now is the time for faith. Things will improve. They have to. Have faith.
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
This new beginning, it awaits us with open arms. We take a small step back and view the year that was. The tough days at work, the new additions to the family, the memorable meals that will make our mouths water for years. We are blessed to know this past year, no matter its challenges and we are blessed to not know tomorrow because its possibilities are endless. What kind of goal will you set moving forward? More inner strength, more time at the gym, daily gratitude that you may find from this post?? This new beginning, it awaits us with open arms. What will your tomorrow bring?