Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Every year I promise myself that I will go through all of my decorations and weed them out! And then, of course, I never do. That is until this year! And instead of waiting till the season is over, I actually did it as I was 'pulling out' rather than 'putting away'! The result is a truly spectacular tree (my humblest opinion) with only the ornaments I love and adore. Lots and lots of white lights, sparkly silver ribbon and a collection of stuff that has been building for 16 years.
This is one of a set of six tin snowmen that a dear friend gave me almost 10 years ago! How quickly time moves when measured in Christmases!
Merry Christmas everyone. May you find some magic in the day.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The darkness seems to have enveloped me this month. When I go to work the sky is a deep navy blue black and the moon sits proud just to the east of my drive. The still invisible horizon shows no hint that the sun is anywhere to be found. As I return home, so does the darkness. A blanket of charcoal grey slides into the dark of night and settles evenly around. Everything is crisp and frozen and crunches loudly beneath my feet in juxtaposition to all I can no longer see.
In the past, the night has not always been my companion. I recall waiting anxiously for the day that marks the change. For the hours of light to lengthen and the other to diminish. But for some reason, this year is different. Perhaps I have been so busy that the embrace of night is a comfort. Perhaps it is how it seems to slow down time and gives me room to breath. Perhaps something inside of me is just not ready to move on.
Long before the impingement of Christendom, the winter solstice was celebrated the world over by almost every culture and civilization. Somewhere around the 4th century, the sun and the son got lost in translation. For thousands of years, people have gathered to reverence the renewal and rebirth of the waning sun as it waxes to full strength. I find myself not quite ready, I'm not yet done with the darkness.
Life is an overlapping, interweaving series of events. For me, in this place and time, I have been asked by a small still voice to listen to the crunching snow beneath my feet and to watch the morning sky filled with moon and stars. To reaffirm and provoke the beliefs that I need to challenge.
“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.” Richard Wright
Monday, December 03, 2007
I'm taking the day off. Well, sort of off. Lately I feel like I am caught up in a never ending what if outcome loop that generates mountains of work that I can never get to. So I have opted for a personal day, in which I am going to spend the time at school trying my best to get caught up and plan for the remaining weeks until Christmas.
Right now I'm giving great effort to overcoming the bitterness I feel about having to take a personal day (I actually get to pay them for this priviledge!) and the 2 hours I spent last night preparing for a sub. Usually getting prep'ed doesn't take so long but I am in transition in almost everything and needing to introduce new topics. Also today is my outside duty day for the week, it seems kind of mean to lay all of this on a sub, so I tried my best to make the rest of her day as painless as possible.
On other fronts, life seems very confused. I'm not so good when I find myself with no personal space to sort through daily events. It is easy to become closed and choke the energizing flow that keeps me in balance. Today is an attempt to open this wider. My mind becomes the proverbial hampster on the wheel and needs to be manually switched to off.
Some time ago I posted with regard to a possible move back to Vancouver Island. From all the behind the scenes indications, this is going to happen in the new year. I find myself experiencing many mixed emotions about this. For one thing, I love our home here in the north. The VI market is much more expensive and staying in the same dollar range will mean a significant change. I know, I know... this is my ego talking! Also, teaching jobs are not easy to come by on the island. It could mean years of waiting in the wing on a substitute list. So while my husband advances and earns more, I may stall and take a serious pay cut! And to add to the stress the current housing market here in the north has just dipped for the first time in 7 years. Selling could prove to be difficult and not as lucrative as we had hoped.
On a more positive outlook... I love the Island (for those of you who are thinking remote island in the Pacific, don't! VI is the size of Nova Scotia and is home to the capital city of British Columbia). It is incredibly beautiful. The place and the people are grounded and seem to have their priorities less mixed up. We lived there for 8 years and I can honestly say that in that time I felt more like I had found home than anywhere else I have ever lived, including my first love the Miramichi. Truthfully, I want to go. I'm just not sure I've done all the living here that I want to do.
Ah, I feeler calmer already. Do you find blogging meditative? Sometimes I find it to be the best medicine for what ails me.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. Gilda Radner
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
George Breed - Cosmocracy
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I finished my report card comments on Friday and today I received kudos on a job well done from my principal. I guess that serves as a reminder that when called on to do so I can still write coherent and suscinct sentences. I enjoyed taking the time to consider the unique qualities and personalities of my students. In fact, I find myself somewhat saddened by the fact that they are only 8 and that it will be a very long time before they find their road in life. I wish I could, for just a few moments, fast forward to where their lives will take them, to see if my predictions come true. I wonder if other teachers think this way?
There are several highly intelligent kids in my class. Having learned as much as I have about giftedness over the last few years, my mind is always spinning in this direction and looking for characteristics that fit the profile. I'm quite good at spotting them and I find that it something many teachers discount or just file under 'smart' and leave it at that. To me this is a disservice not only to the child and their family but also to society at large. These are the kinds of kids that can change the world and unless someone tells them this, often they grow up not finding adequate challenges or believing that they are just like everyone else - they are not!
Recently I've noticed one boy in particular (who fits the profile and I imagine him squirrelled away in some obscure labratory 30 years from now) and his relationship to another boy in our class. They both possess lovely and delicate spirits and take great comfort in each other's company. Whenever they are standing beside each other, in line or on the playground, they hold hands. It seems to happen so naturally and spontaneously, almost as though they could not possibly stop it from happening. It touches me deep inside and I want to somehow protect these boys and their innocense from the cruelty of street savey bullies. Although I detect nothing sexual, they are afterall only eight years old, I do wonder if they are gay or if they for the moment have just found a safe refuge in another human being. My deepest hope is that their generation moves toward a loving acceptance rather than strained tollerance, and that their lives are full and blessed - and they have the freedom to be who they truly are.
Today. Take joy in who you are and share the good you have to give.
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
indulge in hot baths,
question your assumptions,
be kind to yourself,
live for the moment,
curse the world,
count your blessings,
just let go,
I haven't written in so long. And that makes me sad. Life has been moving so fast and yet so slow. There has been no down time, no reprieve from the work and it is taking (taken) its toll.
After a mostly sleepless week, some serious pms and a 60 kid Halloween party - I had nothing left to give today. So at 3:45 when I woke up this morning with a head full of snot, ears and throat on fire - I couldn't help but ask what the hell is wrong with me that I would put myself through this and get myself wound into such a frenzy. So I called in sick.
I rarely call in sick. Oh I get sick, but I am super womyn! Watch me scale tall buildings and rescue the helpless.
School is good but it is so ridiculously busy that there are times I resent it. Sometimes it feels like they own you and resistance is futile. We are little drones who keep doing what central office dictates, and with each request we get further away from that for which we were hired - to teach and nurture children. All the while, smiling and publicly moving about as though everything is exactly how it should be. It is not genuine but it is expected. The dissenters are called out on professional misconduct. Heresy.
And then today I read my sister's blog. Early last year she was diagnosed with precancerous cells. Remarkably, just as she was about to decide on a course of treatment, they were gone. Vanished. Without a trace. It was a medical mystery of self healing. Or so they thought.
Fast forward to present day. My sister has a beautiful 8 week old baby girl named Ava. And the cells are back. More plentiful than before.
And when I found this out I just broke down. I am overwhelmed by a sad despair. And I'm angry that life can be so fragile and doesn't seem to respect our person or our circumstances. I can't seem to figure out the big picture right now. My perspective is broken. And whoever is responsible for this game called life is obviously the most fucked up entity in the universe.
I wander through fiction to look for the truth, buried beneath all the lies and I stood at a distance to feel who you are, hiding myself in your eyes. Don't fall, just be who you are. It's all that we need in our lives. And the risk that might break you is the one that would save - a life you don't live is still lost. Hold back your fear and see nothing is real 'til it's gone. Goo Goo Dolls, Before It's Too Late
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Somewhere in this ridiculously overloaded month, I've regained a passion that has been lacking. I'd love to relay that it is all roses and apple pie but of course that is not real life, now is it! It doesn't work like that.
But I have been stirred, perhaps even shaken at times.
Every day I get the chance to laugh and cry, to applaud and chastise, to be silent and let loose.
I'm getting my shit together. Quite impressively together! And I'm getting the perspective as right as I can. To see it all with eyes of love. To forgive those who don't know the difference and hope that they someday will.
The more life I live - the good the bad the ugly - the more I believe that life is beauty and beauty is life, even if I'm the only one who thinks that it is so.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
This week has been particularly difficult. I've been battling a cold and sore throat (all those kid germs resurfacing) and exhaustion. Last night I was as low as low could go! Pretty close to my breaking point and I consider myself to have high tolerance. So I went to bed at 9 and got up at 7 feeling much better. Overtired is a place I really have to keep myself out of - it is my enemy to be certain.
Tonight I stayed late at school and sorted things out for next week. Having never taught grade 3 before, there are so many missing pieces in my mind construct of how it should all be done and even questions with regard to what needs to be done!
On the up side, I'm loving my kids. They're full of mischief and I wouldn't want them any other way! And at 8, they are blissfully unaware that I don't have my shit together.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I found myself making an unexpected decision this week. A long standing teacher in my school has taken a VP position in another location, leaving a kindergarten position open for a year long contract.
My current employment situation is to teach grade 3 while covering sick leave for someone entering their second year off and awaiting knee surgery. The possibility remains that this person may return before the end of the school year. However, if past behavior is any future predictor, and if I were a betting (wo)man...
The fact is my replacor has a long history of illness and is somewhere in the ball park of 125+ lbs overweight. Good luck with that knee. The knee requires replacement due to overcompensating after Achilles tendon surgery last year. So after knee surgery will the hip require replacement due to overuse?
The other consideration to this puzzle (apart from the hours I have already spent cleaning and clearing our the reamins of the room) is that this school district has shown itself committed to maintaining consistency in the classroom. Given that she has a six month recovery after surgery, and yet has to be scheduled for this operation, there will come a point at which they would not remove me from the position.
So I slept on the decision for a night and discussed it with husband. I've decided against the sure thing and opted to do what I really want to do instead.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your reactions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday, August 11, 2007
And as I skimmed said list, these jumped out and made me LOL...
I guess it really is all about me! (even my eyes are rolling)
Monday, August 06, 2007
I particularly love a Craftsman inspired home. Probably because of the strong lines and angles, niches and alcoves. I'd be lying if I didn't say that the roof lines excite me, all that rise over run on the outside(!) and living in the rafters on the inside. It's a house that can hold its own without having to be the biggest or the best in the neighborhood. It is as beautiful and at home in a modern day subdivision as it is on the farm or among its relatives on a 1920's street. I like that it lends to the traditional and calms my senses with porch sitting sensibilities (where I come from long hours porch sitting is an important ingredient to a good life).
Deep breath. I'm terribly inspired and just slightly depressed that this house does not belong to me!
I just recently found a great recipe for margaritas. Well, it wasn't totally great, so I messed around with it to get something spectacular, my humble opinion of course!
First you need to create a frozen mix:
1 - 12 0z can of MinuteMaid lemonade concentrate
1 - 12 oz can of MinuteMaid limeade concentrate
Keep this mix in a freezer safe container and use as a concentrate to make pitchers of the stuff!
4 oz frozen mix
16 oz water
4 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
3 freshly sequeezed limes
Enjoy on the rocks.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
1. characterized by hard work and perseverance [syn: hardworking]
2. working hard to promote an enterprise [syn: energetic]
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Okay, so I'm not officially back to work. But I have returned home after a month of river watching and raindrop catching and feel as though my break from reality was sufficient.
And I am ready to tackle those small naggling projects (clutter messes) that take up valuable real estate in both my home and head. Oh they are small and individually require only a few minutes here and there... but my excuse is that June was such a strangely unproductive month (and even a bit fucked up with my dad being here and not sure what was taking place between he and mom - not that it is really my concern, however him in my house does open the door to it being my business!).
So I was thinking that my biggest obstacle is (of course) my self. And perhaps I've lacked just a bit in motivation and been topped up on procrastination. So rather than wait for some supernatural catalyst to set me off, I'm just going to start by being industrious and trust that the doing will lead to motivation - as it so often does!
A great lesson reinforcer that I came away from home with this time around is that we MUST design the way in which we want to live and then consciously live it. Although I 'got this' previously, seeing the opposite on such a widespread scale was off putting! I don't believe it is an exaggeration to state that where I come from, most people carry out their lives without method or model to guide them. Seeing people that I love, living in chaos and confusion and ultimately paying a very high price for unattended living gave me a heart hurt I was not quite prepared for. (Okay, so maybe there was a catalyst after all.)
Ultimately it all follows awareness principles. Can you follow the course of current action and attention (or lack thereof) to a plausible future outcome? No one can predict the future but neither should one deny cause and affect/effect. Those who set their mind to what they want and follow with progressive action are the same ones who take the time to show up and claim it when it is being handed out.
Take care of business today. It may be a prodigious feat... or it may involve taking out the garbage and filing the bills - ultimately making way for future herculean accomplishments.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Perhaps I have relinquished the drama for dharma. (And to be quite frank, all the return on inner-peace has significantly reduced my entertainment value at a dinner party.)
My time on the East Coast is nearing an end. I'm ready to go home.
I miss my space.
I miss my friends.
Fuck, I even miss my husband.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Life requires certain components for peaceful continuance and growth...
An acceptance of who I was and forgiveness for choices that I may no longer make. Kindness, gratitude and affirming of all that this moment (this one right now) holds, and that I am fully sated in its imperfect excellence. Openness and direction for tomorrow, not needing to know the details of its unfolding, but that in the time and means necessary to me, it will be splendid, indeed.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
When I am a way from here, here seems nearby. When I am here, everything else seems far away.
Today I walked and walked and walked. And kept myself in good company with my own thoughts, the breeze and the beauty of it all.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
so what did I buy you ask?
The Bhagavad Gita and The Principal Upanishads - I have never read either of these sacred wisdom books, and to be honest until a few years ago, never knew of their existence. Not exactly on the required reading list of the United Baptist Constitution.
The Mandala of Being; Discovering the Power of Awareness. Mandala is Sanskrit for circle and in Eastern traditions indicates the whole of the self. Mandalas, not unlike a compass have four directions around a central focus - this book focuses on NOW at the centre and the four directions that take us away from the present, these being future, past, subject, object. "Subject-object is the psychological term for the inherently dualistic nature of our ordinary consciousness, in which, as soon as we become aware of ourselves as the 'subject' me, we simultaneously become aware of the 'object' you."
Words and Rules; The Ingredients of Language. This one came from the bargain bin for 4.99! And primarily I want to read it for professional development seeing as I will be teaching grade 3 literacy in the coming school year - a seemingly radical departure from quadratic functions and trigonometry! My expectation was that this would be an unbearably boring read but thus far has been compelling and full of wit. The author (Steven Pinker) has published several meaty language research based books and writes in a conversational style. He is a native of Montreal and studied at McGill and Harvard. He currently teaches at MIT.
Math for Mystics. Okay, I'm still a bit of a geek! But this is cool - it is all about the mystic inspired mathematics regarding the moon, days of the week, magic squares, templar codes, Pythagoreans, Fibonacci, geometric solids...
Buddhism; A Concise Introduction. I've already devoured a good chunk of this book. On a personal and spiritual level, I'm highly interested in Buddhism. This is more or less Buddha for dummies but none-the-less is well written and has captured my attention.
Creating Money; Keys to Abundance. So who isn't into the law of attraction? This book seemed completely solid right up until the part I realize that it is 'written' by the authors' spirit guides! Just in case you were interested, the spirit guides' names are Orin and DaBen!
And to bring balance to this heavy load of pseudo-intellectualism razzle-dazzle, I also bought 5 funny/somewhat trashy hopefully lusty sex filled brain candy autopilot I can't quite believe this passes for fiction novels.
Wherever you are, breathe and smile!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Just before leaving to come home I read an interesting article on how to make even difficult decisions in 60 seconds. The abridged version is that all of our decisions should reflect who we see our best selves to be. Rather than a laborious list of wants and needs to base our choices on, we should simply ask "Does it fit how I see myself? Does it make me happy?"
It is so easy to get caught up in duty - I fall victim to this all of the time. I am also recognizing fear within, fear of things that I could never have imagined living inside of me. And as much as I would like to think that the disappointment and or approval of certain people does not play into my decision making, it does. I hurt at the thought of being hurtful, even if the intent is not there - letting go, involves letting go of something or someone. Yet, I acknowledge that my pure and unaffected self has come to a few decisions here that need to be carried through.
The sucky part of adulthood is an obligation to take responsibility for and recognize who we are. Just a little black or white would be welcome. I look down one road and see a certain life - a good one, filled with good things and long-time friends who have chosen a similar path. The other road seems blurred. There are signposts but I cannot read them. There are too many Y's to count, some lead in and out of yellow woods and others don't. And sitting here right at this moment, all I want is the possibility of yellow woods. And right there, there is where the answer is - my 60 second decision. That I have know for such a long time but despite, keep clinging to the fertile soil of familiar, even though it suits me not.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
On some fronts things are busy, town seems to have lots of activity today. And, on other fronts things are quiet - my brother and his family no longer live across the street and dad is still in the west. The old house is the same as it always is. My sister is growing at an alarming rate! Believe it or not, I've not yet ventured to the river but am headed there soon (I'm sure she is calling my name). My regret so far is that I forgot my camera cable and will be unable to post pics.
I'm thinking about trying to post daily while I am home.
My agenda is no agenda. I want to get lots of exercise (I tend to do a lot of walking whenever I'm home), eat well, breathe, do some yoga, hang out with my family (and extended family), sit at the river and meditate, visit with my dear ol' auntie Clara. I've just started a very restricted diet for the next 3 days just to help put everything right from the inside out.
Life is beautiful. And I'm going to enjoy every bit of all this beautiful.
Monday, June 11, 2007
So the shortened version is that... as of yet I have no teaching position for the fall. It is frustrating being on the bottom rung, more so at 35 than 24.
... Jeremy went for the interview and has yet to hear news either way. However, from the interview he decided that the position is not one he would particularly enjoy. High profile, high stress. In the in term, current company is so broke that he couldn't get permission to buy a cake for one of his staff going on mat leave! Ironically, the GM retired last Friday, followed by a blowout party Saturday night for about 100 featuring prime rib and open bar!
... my sister is having a baby in 3 months. She has a LOT on her plate.
... my parents are taking a break and dad is moving out to live with me - this Saturday! This also means that my trip home will be completely monopolized by my mother, who is apparently in a polarizing mood.
... my marital status remains as always, undecided.
So in the locally famous words of my friend Marcel, it's nothing but a shit show! (God that makes me laugh). Just a whole lotta shitballs flying around!!
On the positive side of life - our taxes should be completed by the end of the week, our yard is being graded and landscaped starting tomorrow, my ticket home is bought, school is almost out and my feet will soon be in the Miramichi river.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
All in all, I generally come home from work exhausted and functioning at 1/5 my normal energy level.
When I am back to being me (and bacteria free) I shall post again.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
This year summer seems to be slipping away, right out from under my nose. When I was a kid, summers were eternal. A weaving of long days spent in, on and around the river. Scaling rock walls, swimming under the bridge, canoeing and watching my dad fly fish in the evenings.
When he would catch a salmon, which was often, I would watch him intently as he cleaned it right there at the edge of the river, first taking his jackknife to the skin, removing the scales and fins and then a slit right up the belly. Patiently I would wait for the heart, a perfectly pink little muscle about the size of a scallop that he would drop into my small hands. I was both horrified and intrigued as it continued to pump. When it would slow down I’d give it a poke and watch it contract again. Finally, when poking would no longer produce results, I’d place it at the very edge of the water and wait for the eel brave enough to come that close to shore.
Today there is nothing but blue sky above me. I sit on my deck listening to a quiet breeze rustle the maple and birch trees above my head. Their beautiful cadence is highlighted by the song of a morning bird and the jump and chirp of squirrels as they play from limb to limb.
It appears that I am nostalgic today. Sometimes it is difficult as an adult to be present in these moments, so many competing thoughts seek to distract. And yet, it is these very moments that bring me back to those eternal summers. A quiet mind removes me, albeit temporarily, from an overscheduled life.
As a child I had great freedom. In my town I knew everyone and they knew me – in fact most of them were my cousins, however many times removed! There were few restrictions on where I could or couldn’t go; what I could or couldn’t do. Moving from one blessed blue sky day into the next, all the while turning more golden brown and bleached out blonde. I knew great joy and almost nothing of fear.
My imagination ran wild. I was certain that I alone owned the river. I took such pleasure in it. In late August the water level would drop, revealing the shallow flat rock bottom. I would skip from rock to rock, jumping over small pools of water caught away from the main channel, begging for a heavy rain to reunite them. Years before, my dad as a boy, had carved his name into those very rocks. I loved knowing that the paths I traveled were so connected to his. I had big dreams in those days, of what I am not even sure. Who can know the power of a child’s mind, simple and pure and unafraid.
Yesterday I had no inkling that today, over a creamy cup of coffee in my back yard, hundreds of miles from that river and years removed from childhood, I would rediscover this unexpected bliss. The power is always within us, sometimes hidden beneath years of unswept leaves and pine needles. That special place for each of us, where we know great joy and almost nothing of fear.
But to clarify...I'm not holding myself to being on the right road!
A few days ago I started a new blog. More accurately I created a template. I didn't actually make an entry until today. I've made a conscious decision to keep it private. I have found that I enjoy working things out via the blogging process and the ability to blog regardless of my location or worrying about losing files from crashing computers.
I believe that this new blog will eventually serve as a business plan, be it unconventional. It will be a secret place to grow and energize the direction and doors I will open in the coming years. I have expectation that the blog itself will become an embedded aspect of the business and will someday be very public. Just not right now.
No worry, I will continue to drone on and on here! This will be for my confusion, the other for my clarity!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Finding clarity of purpose, I am discovering, is a journey to the deepest part of my person. I've always had a twinge of envy toward my friends and colleagues who seem to innately know what it is that they want out of life. However, I must put a disclaimer on this, that these people are rare individuals indeed. They are not found amongst the masses.
In many respects I have great clarity of life in general these days. There are few illusions or disillusions - things just are as they are. It is both easy and dangerous to apply the rules of coincidence to the lives we lead. Everything leads somewhere and eventually comes back around. Should this coming back around direct our path? I have no firm answer.
The art of living is so much simpler than I ever would have imagined just a few years ago. I've given up wondering why the cycle of life is what it is, although I do believe it has something to do with karma and spirits that sojourn for eternity. It is easy to get misdirected in this flash of time we are given to experience the mystery of life.
It seems that whatever challenge is in my path, a bible verse or fragment manifests in my consciousness. Today, very strong in my mind eye is:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." And,
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7.
Last night Jeremy came home after several days away and having just written an important exam. He was tired and discouraged. I used to think that tired and discouraged were detrimental places to reside, I now think differently. It is here that we come closest to finding clarity of purpose. It is here that we evaluate the broad way and look for the narrow gate. It is here that we forget about status and cash flow and learn to open ourselves up by baring our souls with humility. Here we are able to glimpse, even touch and stir if we are daring enough, what it would be like to live with passion and purpose.
The broad way is a marketplace. It is full of illusionists and magicians and marketing seducers who do not want us to dig deeper. They want us shallow and mesmerized by shinny whirligigs, believing that we must constantly upgrade to the newer better version as that will convince us that we too are constantly getting better.
Finding the narrow way and staying on this way comes via seeking and asking and opening up for receiving. I'm getting better at baring my soul in humility - not to the masses but those who also are seeking and asking. And I am getting better at discerning mere coincidences. And I've finally lived enough to know when life is on repeat and requires a channel change to stop the insanity of a groundhog day gone awry.
Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward. Robert Collier
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
So tonight I indulged myself in parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. And it was indeed a fragrant and refreshing bouquet. It is only Wednesday but the week has been wrought with fatigue and a few ill mannered children.
Sometimes tiredness brings me to a mellow place. Other times it brings me to a place where I wonder how I could ever possibly choose the way. During these times it is good to feel something akin to kinder, gentler. To know that within resides a fighter that still remains.
I've squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles,
All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmmm
Asking only workman's wages, I come lookin for a job,
Just a comeon from the whores on 7th avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there
Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than Ill be,
In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove
til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains
Friday, April 27, 2007
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger of the heart,
And no joy like the joy of freedom.
Health, contentment and trust
Are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I had a rough evening last night. I was overwhelmed by all of the possible changes to take place. To my embarrassment I played the 'what if' game and made myself quite miserable indeed. I worried about husband getting / not getting the job. He is working a ridiculous amount of hours these days plus he is studying for a professional exam in his spare time, so between the two, he's a ghost in this house. Our weekend trip away made me realize that the bulk of problems we've been having have been a result of disconnect and not having time together. I am not so naive to think that a new job will rectify this but regardless something must give. So I played the what if game over that too.
And one other small problem I've been having since coming back from the Island. Babies. I was certain that decision was completely behind me. However two of my friends there, both of whom recently turned 40, are pregnant, and glowing! And teaching primary school hasn't helped either. The funny part is that I always swore that if I did have children I would only want boys but now I can't stop thinking how sweet it would be to have a little girl. It just might be those damn little kindergarten kids doing this to me. They're all so lovely and tug at my heartstrings with batty eyelashes and crocodile tears.
Only time will have all of the answers.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I have found ME. Stripped down. A few pounds heavier. A bit wrinkled around the eyes. But all me. A very sweet place to move forward from, indeed!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won't be dissatisfied, you won't be envious, you won't be longing for somebody else's things. On the contrary, you'll be overwhelmed with what comes back."
tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So this weekend got me thinking on chaos and how our lives unfold. We went to visit our friends Rod & Jullie in Comox BC. Rod & Jullie were the first couple we met when we moved to Vancouver Island in 1994. To this day, despite rarely seeing them over the past five years, they remain the kind of friends for which time apart has no bearing on our relationship. Spending time with them makes me realize how incredibly blessed we have been to share our lives with smart, caring and conscious people.
When we moved away from the Island in '02, Jeremy got work with a water utility in Halifax as a Watershed Manager, taking care of all forested lands surrounding the water supply. This was more or less a political position that involved a lot of PR. Last year he left the water company to take on a Divisional Forester position with a large forestry company here in Alberta. Part of the reason we agreed to come to Alberta was to be that much closer to the Island and be able to take weekend trips such as we just did. I'm not telling you all this to impress you (Jeremy is a pretty humble guy) but to tell you that the choices above came out of seemingly random but seized opportunity.
Rewind to the past weekend and Saturday night. We were together with our friends (many of them) for dinner. A lot of company restructuring has taken place over the past five years on the west coast and people who all used to work for the same company now work for several different companies. Personally, I'm glad we missed all of that shuffling as it was a time of great uncertainty and stress. But the dust has now settled and Jeremy was approached by a friend to apply for a position for which his current work and watershed work would be huge assets. Coincidentally, the two people he has consistently used as reference on his resume over the last ten years are in the hiring seats. The position actually just closed on Monday but special allowance has been made for him to apply late.
A part of me is as giddy as a school girl. Mostly because I thrive on change and also because the choices made in recent years seem to have been validated - they actually were leading us somewhere. And even if that somewhere brings us full circle, we learned things about ourselves and life that I am convinced we could not have learned on any other loop.
Of course I do not know the future and therefore do not know how this is all going to come out in the wash. We have all witnessed a sure thing head south (without us). But I do know that Jeremy and I were able to reconnect this weekend and it felt like the way it used to feel. And that was sweet. And we do love the Island.
Don't worry... I will keep you updated.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
For several years now I have been taking yoga classes. I love Yoga. Of all the forms of exercise, Yoga and walking are my front runners. Pilate's and Yoga share may common elements and movements yet are two distinct disciplines. Very distinct, as I have recently learned.
Most nights after returning home from Pilate's, I felt empty, tired and sore. I did not look forward to actually going to the classes but did always feel good for at least the two days following the workout. I even gave some consideration to signing up for the spring sessions, but have since reconsidered.
Part of my reasoning for not rejoining at this time is that I have met a wonderful and caring Yoga teacher. Christine and I have kindred spirits and she approaches the practice with an intention and awareness I have not previously experienced with any other teacher.
I do believe that the beauty of Yoga exists in the deep connection that is made between the mind, the body and a collective spirit. The breath leads us on this journey, opening and extending our known boundaries of the three. It is a case of 'more than the sum of the parts'. Yoga, especially when lead by a teacher seeking the truth of who they are, goes far beyond physical exercise, so much so that the physicality is no longer even the point.
No doubt about it, Pilate's pushed my body to its physical limit. But something about it made me feel as though I had been robbed, that I wasn't good enough and that next time I should try harder. In Yoga, my breath is my focus, my mind is at ease and so is my body. I have experienced and maintained difficult poses and vinyasa by finding the beauty of the movement through the beauty of deep and soulful inhale and exhale. Also, I have found contentment and acceptance in not pushing my boundary (even backing off !) and allowing the pose to find its own rhythm. Generally, when I stop tyring so hard and rather focus my intent on releasing any tension and ego surrounding the movement, this release takes me far beyond the trying and into a deeper connect. I marvel at this over and over again.
I have found that this principle can be applied to daily living. My life takes on an ease when I thoughtfully practice the art of letting go. When I imagine myself soft and pliable I seem to glide through without getting caught up on so many small things. I also find that because I have purposefully given my physical and emotional self permission to accept things I cannot change, the things that I can change become much more meaningful and personal.
My desire for all of us, is that we can find our own space to practice and let go.
Take my yoke on you and become like me, for I am gentle and without pride, and you will have rest for your souls; For my yoke is good, and the weight I take up is not hard.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A couple of nights ago, my insomnia was rewarded with a sky filled with shimmering northern lights. I notice that they often arc like rainbows across the sky, directly above my backyard. They change quickly - always evolving in dynamic striations. I find them mesmerizing and have endured -30 (yes Celsius) temps to enjoy them perform. It fascinates me that while most of this town sleeps, right above our heads an electrifying dance of cosmic particles plays out repeatedly, ab libbing a story retold from long before an audience came to appreciate the effort.
I sometimes wonder if people were more content in their lives before technology and science broke down the magic of so much beauty in life - like rainbows and the earth NOT being the centre of the universe? But then again, man has always had to contend with himself (I'm going to leave this gender specific, hehe) and who knows what will be explained tomorrow that I didn't even know I was better off unaware of today! And we always have the choice on technology - take my tv and telephone but leave the high speed connection.
Speaking of contentment, I have been enjoying a trove of it. Wayne Dyer is right on the money when he says that abundance is something we tune into. Not unlike messing around with the radio frequency. The right station can go along way in improving the day and our reactions to the world.
I believe it is a Chinese proverb that says when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Ah yes, dialing into the right frequency. To invite a teacher one must be ready to learn. And suddenly, with an ease once thought impossible, it is possible to take a step back from all the chaos of modern life and create space for something new. Lately, for me, this step back has had the effect of baggage dropping. Things I didn't even consider needing to let go of, suddenly removed and not missed at all. I'm not even completely sure what I am making room for! Perhaps for the time being it is enough just to create the space and watch for signs in the night sky.
Oh, and Cathy, my cosmic thoughts with you on these twists and turns of fate. xoxo
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Dialogue from House, M.D. season 3
I've been giving much thought and attention to the idea of Intentions. My life is changing. And for the time being I feel as though I have successfully navigated through the initial fear of moving forward and into uncharted waters. Working through this fear has required a new spiritual commitment and trust in things unseen.
I have been reminding myself of instances in the past where I willed something to happen and it happened. When I was young I had an unfailing belief in my ability to manifest the things I wanted. I never discussed this with anyone - I regarded it as a sort of magical ability. Once, I confided in a friend of a certain boy I was interested in. Her response was that he was WAY out of my league. Without so much as another word to this friend, I put my mind to having this boy ask me out - within 6 weeks he asked me out and we dated for several months.
The strange thing is that this boy has been very near and dear to my heart since the first time I took notice of him in the high school gym - but in too many years to count, I have only seen him once. With the exception of this one meeting (he was with his wife and kids -he is since divorced - and I was with my mother and I scurried away like a scared rabbit) we have had numerous 'almost' encounters. Whenever I am home, I run into members of his immediate family all the time, but never him. Consequently, he runs into my immediate family on a fairly regular bases!
I've always felt as though we have an unfinished history. Like there is a cosmic loop that remains open between us. In the past I have filed this under school girl unrequited love, but in all honesty I am well past puppy crushes - on some level of consciousness I feel compelled to see him and find out how he is. While we dated I felt incredibly connected to him, different from other 'boyfriend' relationships I had had. After we broke up, there were numerous 'almost back together' moments that never materialized. (I don't' ever recall setting my intention for us to get back together) I always felt as though he 'got me' on a level most overlooked. I confided in him on the dreams I had for my life, and did not feel foolish in doing so. It was like he could somehow hear the things I did and didn't say and understood perfectly. I wonder if, when my thoughts are tuned to him, if his are also somehow tuned to me - and if that is what gives them so much strength, as though these thoughts have a mind and will of their own so very many years later. And then again, there is that insecure girl who discounts this all as lucid dreaming in my own little wishful thinking world.
I'm not looking for love and I don't believe that my thoughts are connected to reviving an old flame. But somewhere in this is an answer to a question not quite formulated. I feel as though it has been building for years and perhaps I am just now able to grasp and explore the significance of what it is and means - I might even find that it means nothing and that in and of itself will be beneficial.
Years ago when I first intended him into my life it was through willful thought. I am going to embark upon these same waters and see where this leads. My aunt once shared with me her thoughts on prayer - that when she would pray for the people she loved she imagined her intentions for those people as bits of energy that were able to go directly to the source of where they would effect. I find this such a beautiful visual. I am sending out my Intentions in the same spirit and for the highest good of all.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
verse 8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
I am struck by this - fill my mind and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, the beautiful, full of praise. If I practice these things, what I see, hear and learn from others, so long as they are in accordance with good things, will lead me into excellent harmonies and vibrations.
We cannot exist in two frequencies - either we are opening and expanding, which really means we are allowing things to move through us and hence letting them go OR we are closing and making ourselves an obstacle - whether to our own success or others. I know we all have stressors in our lives, and perhaps we must willingly let some of these things come to an end.
But don't forget to breathe - remember who you are, and that you are NOT these things, you just happen to be facilitating them in your life at the present moment. If Anxiety is rolling off of you at night in waves, know that you always have the power to choose the eyes through which you see the world.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
For several days now I have been setting aside some time to meditate and think on qualities I wish to strengthen and/or cultivate in my life. Depending on the day and the challenges it presents, clearing my mind of random thoughts or concerns can either be very easy or very difficult. Some days the weight of the world seems heavier and releasing the weight an act of heroism.
Miss K (who has now been living with us for 6 weeks) has been presenting her challenges. I question what it is I need to learn. Funny, what she needs to learn is clearly evident to me! But when I get right down to it, her lessons become translated into my lessons - and although mine are different from hers, proportionally they are as difficult.
Yesterday, in a moment of reflection I emailed this to my mom:
Today I want to thank you for the love and care you have given to me over 35 years. I feel immeasurable gratitude and love toward you and dad for the all encompassing standards and values you modeled and instilled in me throughout the years.
You are an incredibly wise woman who has taught me to guard and respect the sacredness of my very self. This has served me well. And it has enabled me to make decisions that are not always popular but are necessary for my own protection.
I rarely email Mom and as soon as I sent it all I could think is "boy that came out of left field"!
And this is how she responded.
Hi My DEAR,
Choice is not easy, nor a thing to explain, but one must live with it (them). God loves YOU and understands all things that are you. Do not allow fear to take your choices from you. Love you dearly and with much support.
When I read this, I was sitting alone in my classroom during recess. And for the next several minutes I was awash in tears that refused to slow down and took all my mascara with them. And all the anger I had been feeling toward Miss K and consequently myself, dissolved. I was able to find that connection inside that grounds us to the divide between what is and what is not important.
It is in this space that I would like to live my life. Easier said than done.
Despite having always had healthy self-esteem, I think one of my lessons might just be in regard to acceptance, of myself and others. Here are a few of the things that have struck a chord of late. (I found these on the Internet somewhere).
1. My worth is unchangingly positive because it is my spiritual inheritance. It is not increased
by my success nor decreased by my mistakes.
2. I love and forgive myself totally for all of my mistakes.
3. I now realize that I have total worth and value as a person whether I learn my lessons in life or not!
4. I am the light, not the lampshade over the light.
5. I am the master of my life. I choose to be my best friend instead of my own worst enemy.
6. Life is beautiful.
Gratitude. Thanksgiving. Appreciation. Praise. Joy. Unfolding. Directing. Thought. Growth. Addressing. Confessing. Answer. Claim. Accept. Action. Responsibility. Forgiving. Favor. Grace. Love. Full. Empty. Blessed.
I think there is nothing more rewarding than doing the inner work!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I give thanks for all aspects of my Self, in this present moment. For battles won and lost. And sometimes just because I stayed to fight or declined the fight altogether.
I am unique, and this in and of itself is cause for joyous praise. I aspire to my own experience on a road that sometimes twists and leads into extended meadows of rest and renewal.
I celebrate and acknowledge those who have written in permanent ink, leaving behind messages and parables that will forever bear witness in my becoming. That you saw me through when I needed you and you picked me up when I needed that and you allowed me to stay down when the time for getting up wasn't quite right. And even if you didn't do it out of love, I'm still thankful that you did it.
I give thanks for everything I've ever done and failed at. Or succeeded. Or didn't quite complete. I forgive myself for every moment I did not meet the mark. My life is not marked by negative or positive - it is just my life, and it is all beautiful - even when I must recognize beauty in new ways.
I give thanks that I am UNBOUND. Funny. Extraordinary. Curious. Odd. Surprising. Uncommon. Common. Amazing. Divergent. Bewildering. Breathtaking. Staggering.
I give thanks that MY life is MY own. I will keep my power and use it for good.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Also, it was an emotional week (the tired ones always are) with thoughts of leaving on my mind and where and when that will take me. I have a wonderful support in my beloved auntie Clara, my sister and Laura, my dear friend. Yet, I hesitated to burden them too greatly with ideas I myself am having difficulty reconciling. Their probes did not necessarily bring me to answers but did give me charters upon which to meditate.
And, meditate I did. I found myself challenged by some interesting coincidences. Perhaps I would have thought nothing of these nuances had I not read The Alchemist this week. It was serendipitous to have found the book, although it has been loosely in my brain as a book I would like to read, I have made no pursuit to actually track the book down and indulge. A quick peruse through our staffroom book share (something I do on the rarest of occasions) and there it was, smiling back at me, beckoning me with glee.
Each evening through tired and watery eyes I read. Initially the book depressed me. Agitated over my own lack of destiny. But as I allowed the parable to wallow and stew, I concluded that I do not lack a destiny - I lack courage and conviction to see myself through to the realization of a recurring dream I have had for my life for many many years. This only added to the depression!
My biggest obstacle, and I have iterated this many times inside my head, is lack . Lack of money to be specific. How many times have I said, "If I had $x, I would do x"? And over and above that excuse, there are always others that have kept me from pursuing what I want to do and what I believe I would be particularly good at.
In my mind eye I can see it in detail, smell its fragrance and hear the echo of laughter and contentment it would bring.
What struck me most from the book, is that fulfilling our destiny requires a patient commitment to do so. Our spirit needs preparation. Self-discipline needs exercised. And we need the universe to sometimes conspire on our behalf and believe in miracles great and small, in the face of extraordinary circumstances, that we were destined for success when others along the path fell short of the prize.
So after a weeks worth of recycling thoughts, I find myself leading with the ideal of pursuing the destiny that is mine. For a few years, I have practically given up belief in God. Honestly, this has afforded me little favor in the happiness department. So I am committing to begin with a shifted paradigm on the god issue. I am a spark of the divine and that divinity has purpose within my being. I need to develop a relationship with a new god, one not unlike but also not the same as one I worshipped in the past.
Also, I am clearing some room for mediation - both in my heart and in my house. This will be an "intention space" (Lynne McTaggart) to explore through affirmation, abundance and attraction. This will be part of my discipline. And I am down right excited to see where this leads me. I've done this sort of thing before, but always in a very general way. This time I will be specific in my objectives and open to how my prayers (of sort) will be answered.
For now, all of the other things (which are small and insignificant) are being put on the shelf. Let's give them a chance to resolve on their own. I don't think a little spontaneous healing is too much to ask for.