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Saturday, December 20, 2008

An Almost Unbearably True Christmas Tale

Yesterday was the final day before holiday break. I watched the clock with my breath held inside my chest the entire day. Anticipating the release that final bell would bring. The north has been unbearably frigid and for a week now the children have been cooped up inside, too cold to venture out for even 10 minutes at recess.

Time, as it is know to do, did indeed pass. At 3:30 you could see the ripples in the air as adults throughout the building released a collective sigh. While waiting for excited children to make their way onto buses and into cars that would carry them to wonderlands of Christmas adventure, I had some harsh words for a boy from a neighboring school who was banging on the door window of the bootroom, demanding someone let him in.

He was there to pick up his sisters (one of whom is in my class) and then escort them along the bitter 2 km walk home. I told him for his poor behavior he would have to wait for the girls in the alcove (outside) and that he should be treating school property with a bit more reverence.

The tears were immediate. "I've had a bad day" and then the words that broke me, dropping from his lips like frozen cubes into a stainless steel sink. "I'm so cold." And I knew immediately it was true. With quick inspection his jacket had been passed down too many times. Long beyond being the right size a year ago, sporting a broken zipper on a front with no closure. Worn in spots to rayon only.

I called to the girls who were now waiting, to wait a little longer. The boy shivered inconsolably and uncontrollably as we walked down the hall. We have a room with the antidote to the secret pain and shame that too many children experience. I crossed my fingers, silently conjuring up a remedy in the right size.

As I opened the crate I could feel my heart beat in my throat. And there it was. It didn't look as though it had ever been worn. It was better than the right size, as it still had room for the winter growth spurt that boys are known to take. "How does it feel William?" I whispered in his ear. The warmth filled us both, clinging to spaces between.

Somewhere in the span of five minutes I exchanges his tears for mine. And stoked dying embers of miracle apathy with pieces of tinder dry wood. All is not well with the world. Sometimes it is horridly out of balance. But the smallest acts can fill up rooms and people and schools and communities. And that is how the world is renewed. And the heart is awakened.

Is the magic of Christmas the warmth we are able to provide another?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Servitude

A rare day off! In fact I'm officially 'sick daying' it. And my mind is free! Oh the directions my thoughts can take, they have been bound up and were starting to come undone.

Is it possible that thinking can be one's hobby? If so, it is mine. While some run away from theirs, I relish them. I want them to grow deep roots and encourage self-expression in my life. To me there is no greater freedom that to think. No one can control another's thoughts. Money can not buy them, increase them or bring them to a hault. It is a realm in which the individual has all the control.

Lately my thoughts have been concentrated on work. And that is okay. I really do love what I am doing and am finding more satisfaction than in anything else I've ever been paid to do. But my mind needs to go beyond grade 3 reflection journals and how to teach multiplication. Yet those things become so time consuming there are few minutes left over to let loose inside my own head before having to go to bed and do it all over again only hours later.

I used to always want to write my thoughts down or tell someone about them. I guess part of me is past that now. It doesn't help that so few people's brain work like mine - so expressing can become a lonely lecture. I'm more content to just let them have wings -bumping into each other in the confined space of myself.

Monday, December 08, 2008

That oh so familiar yearning is back.

Do you believe that there really are no mistakes? Or do people prone to mistake making just philosophize about shit like that to somehow bring themselves comfort and gloss over all of their fuck ups?

I'm torn.

That reminds me. Did you know the shortest verse in the bible is 'Jesus wept.'

Sunday, December 07, 2008

All day I've been wanting to sit and write yet keep finding other things to do instead. Now I'm out of words and a bit nervous they are not coming back.

I've been thinking how very much I've been someone else over the past few months. Not that it is a bad thing. Perhaps as someone else I've been much more stable and happier than who I tend to be. The things that get to me are the strangest and tiniest irritants that most other people have the good sense to overlook. Not me.

Today I want an escape plan. The real Angela is once again returning - she is always looking for the way out. Claustrophobia grows in the corners.

Sometimes I get nervous when I see an open door
Close your eyes
Clear your heart
Cut the chord
Are we human or are we dancers?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I'm on my knees looking for the answers
Are we human or are we dancers?
Human, The Killers

Monday, December 01, 2008

giving cheer

Over the last few years I have struggled to find anything I really care for about Christmas. I've been an utter party pooper about any and all festivities. Last year I didn't even buy Jeremy a gift! Gee, that sounds really bad when I vocalize it on paper.

I used to love the season. And this year I am determined to love it once again. Over the weekend I even made a special trip to the city and bought something for the man that I know he is going to love - in fact, I imagine him dragging his boys down into the workshop to admire it! What might the piece de resistance be you ask... an aluminum 6 foot magnetized level. Yeah, it makes me giggle too, but I know he will believe himself truly loved when he opens it.

So to bring myself back around to embracing this season of leaving darkness and opening to the light (solstice) I have decided to celebrate primarily with gifts from World Vision (husband the exception). Cause honestly, it is all the excess that we live with that puts me a bit on the sick to stomach side of life. I recently read about girls in Afghanistan as young as 7 who are being sold into marriage (often to men in their 50's) so that their families can pay off debt and be able to feed their other children! My god, if such knowledge does not stop one dead in their tracks and give pause to be thankful, what would it take?

If you are like me, tired of the gifting and regifting of the crap we receive and don't give a shit about - think about making charitable donations in someone else's name. Someone in the world who really understands the difference between wants and needs will thank you from the depths of their heart.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Standing There Pretending

Do you ever feel like you spend your life pretending? That the real you, stands shrouded in the shadows, while the public persona of yourself runs your life, busying itself with the affairs of the world and playing by standardized rules?

I've always desired, above all else, to pull myself out of the shadows and and to stop standing in any given place, pretending to be what I am not.

Perhaps, the most difficult of things to do, is to stop standing there pretending and be who you authentically are.

But do you know who you authentically are?

Until you do, you are destined to pretend. Our world systems are not interested in authenticity. In fact, they abhor it and reward the opposite - look at Wall, even now after days of devastating market blowouts and loss of faith by people around the globe, continues to reward the greed and actions of those in direct violation of an authentic self. I'm certain there are many ceo's sleeping soundly at night in opulent surroundings whose conscience has lost all ability to discern right from wrong. They know only money, not themselves.

Authenticity takes time. To know thyself is not on the short-order cook's menu.

If you seek it, it will come. But the price is high. Pretending is much easier. Pretending is best done by copying the actions of others without thoughtful reflection of them. Authenticity is your own drum, even for those of us who are beat challenged and tone-deaf.

Think about the many ways and situations in which you are able to encourage your authentic self. Nurture these and give them room to grow. You may find the the pretending begins to diminish and lose its shine.

Namaste.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is the Best yet to be?

Like many, I wonder about my life and how it is unfolding. Am I making the right choices right now? How will it all turn out? Is there hope that in the future I will be able to slow down and spend a bit of extra time smelling the wildflowers as I drive along unchartered roads (not highways)? Should I be buying real estate today that in 25 years time I could not possibly afford? Will I be alone? With the same person? Or with someone new? Will I be able to afford the kind of life I want to live?

My apologies if I have already exhausted you before you've even gotten to the 2nd paragraph. But I'm quite certain that I am not the only one whose mind gets way-layed by such overwhelming thoughts. My past mistakes don't ever concern me much. And, I embrace the present. In my line of work one cannot help but take hold of what is right in front of them as it is so demanding of attention that it is impossible to turn away from it.

But on a down day, like today... a much needed down day in which I have forced myself to rock the fashionable yoga pant and hooded sweat and pile my hair haplessly atop my head... it is today when I have a chance to think and even be a little bored that I wonder about all of the above.

There are times when we need to take ourselves seriously. Even if it is just for a day. And give due consideration to those worries in life. Does it change their outcomes? Maybe. Does it give me pause? Definitely. If I don't take the wheel, then who?

I know all of this comes from fear. But fear can be a motivating force. As much as we want to be fearless - whom among us really is? And should we aspire to it? Does compromising on certain aspects of our lives detract from other parts? Or, does the compromise actually enhance other areas? It is a tough question to answer with certainty. I know many people who have followed desire down a dead end road, causing much carnage along the way.

Welcome friends, to my bipolar musings. ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What makes you happy? I'm finding out that YES! It is possible!

Once again, I am working an insane amount. And yet, I'm finding my creativity through work, this incredible freedom to uniquely express myself and have others praise me for it! It is a strange dynamic at play, which in turn is making work more like play.

Yes, it is still work. But rather than getting bogged down by the hours and commitment required, I find my self caught in the most rewarding groove. The more I give to it, the more fun it becomes. The more I notice a circle of influence taking shape around me.

Is the secret to life self-expression? It it the key everyone is searching for and so few are able to turn?

Namaste.

Friday, October 17, 2008

somehow we always come back to our true-er selves. yes, life catches us up in things and we get occupied with activities and learning and responding to the daily grind... but at some point we get pulled back, as though by a magnet, to align ourselves.

I think this pull back is almost cosmic in its nature. reminding me of who I have always been and who i will forever be. i'm thankful for this. because i really like who this person is.
sometimes life is hard, for all of us. even the priviledged. but thankfully the sometimes pass quickly and we find our feet again. sometimes we find them through our tears.

that is me today. frustration to tears. somehow they disolve it like sugar and salt. melting down my fears and turmoil to somthing a little less rough around the edges. that soak my shirt one drop at a time, puff up my eyes and turn the face red. not pretty, but beautiful just the same.

even though i hate how i have to get here, i do love the here. it is so raw and exposed and even as it hurts, it heals. so the journey, in the end, is worthy of the terrain.

very soon i am on my way out the door for diner with friends. it is friday night. i am blessed beyond reason. i shall take such humility with me as i eat and drink and be merry.

namaste.

Joy Void

Fuck. That is how I wish to begin this post. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck it all to hell. God-damn it. So much in life is just masturbation.

And, in my line of work, saying crap is considered a bad word. Now I am going to take a deep breath and come to the swift realization that one bad day does not a bad life make. Would you believe I'm feeling better already.

It was just one of those weeks. I was off. And so it seemed everybody else was too. I'm not sure if that is just my skewed interpretation or if it really is true. That big full moon influences us all. Too bad it makes us all crazy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Is endurance your measure of success?

And if it is, is there something fundamentally wrong with using this stick?

Food for thought.

To endure or not endure? Which leads to greater growth?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Something random about past lives...

It is good to be home after 6 weeks away of summer fun, wedding bliss and a bit of travel. (I went to Atlantic City and New York City for some urban recreation!) Every year I go home. For a long time it has been like an addictive solace for me, and nothing else would do. This year felt different, different good. Home isn't quite what it used to be. Actually, it is exactly the same as it has always been, but I'm not.

In many regards, the people I love the most are stuck. Some of them know this, some of them don't, some of them think it is their penance to live this way. I found the whole thing difficult to watch and even more so not to try and offer a door. As much as my humanness would allow, I refrained.

For whatever reason, I have been blessed to see beyond the physical forms that we inhabit. No, I'm not clairvoyant! But I can pick up on all of the bullshit we muddle in and see it for what it is - thinly veiled fears that keep us down and stop us from taking chances and embracing the possibilities in life. I see all of our compromises and know that they are just that - compromises. It is impossible to live without making them, as we are each entitled to only one reality/dimension at a time.

So often I could feel the despair of lives compromised by a path of least resistance. Such leads to bitterness, complaining and a 'whoa is me' take on what could otherwise be a beautiful life! It seems to create much unnecessary struggle, filling lives with aggression, envy and the attitude that a good life is for the few - the rich, the powerful, the blessed and the beautiful.

Being in a mindset such as this steals away one's chances for a new reality. One in which life can be blessed and where our compromises and difficulties are opportunities to rise above, to win at life when the illusion tells us the chips are down.

Life is a succession of experiences. Sometimes we have these on our own and at other times we have them in tandem. Not one of us lives in a bubble and we all impact each other, even through our solitary confinements (just as this quiet moment of mine may in some way affect you). In fact, most of our solitary moments are spent thinking about other people and the influence they are having in our own lives - whether for the positive or negative.

There are several directions I could further take this line of thought, but the one I am most interested in right now is how it all connects to past, current and future lives. I've never done any past life regression. I'm both terrified and skeptical. Yet I believe without hesitation that this is not my first life!

Where I want take this idea to is 1) why I chose my parents and 2) past life physical connections with people I have touched in this life.

Recently I read that as spirits we choose our parents. (I would cite a reference but can't recall where I read it, probably somewhere on the Internet.) I can see why I would have chosen mine. Both are very thoughtful and highly spiritual. Although they are Christian in belief, their musings are not that of typical born-again believers. They engage in thought provoking discussions and my dad thrives on biblical nuances. They are as philosophical in their understandings as one could be and still remain fundamentalists. Above all else they are spiritual seekers with strong boundaries for their search. I have become a seeker without boundaries.

If I did choose them, it is without a doubt for the foundation I knew I would gain from them. A freedom of sorts to explore a world unseen. One bound by light and grace and to be cautious of its counter culture possessed by darkness. I'm just not sure any other two people could have given me the same preparation for adulthood.

This summer also had me thinking about people who have made strong impacts on me. I think we have all had the sensation of knowing certain people well without barely having met. We are not together long in life and yet our markings on each other seem to be branded on the heart. The counter to this is people we innately avoid, as though there is a lingering history of ill will even though we can't think of a specific time when that person harmed us, we live with cautiousness around them. My question is: Is this a result of past life encounters?

There have been several men in my past (this life) that I have had strong attractions to. One has been with a man named Nelson, a long time friend of my father's whom I have known since I was about 15. Although he is many years my senior, we have always had an intense connection. Once, when I was 19 and already engaged to my husband, I fell on some rocks at the river and cut my knee open to the bone. I was terribly embarrassed that he had seen me fall but thankfully he is a paramedic and helped to bandage me up. As he was touching my knee, I was concerned I might orgasm right there on the bench! Although he was completely appropriate I felt as though this was not the first time he had touched me and I am certain he felt the same way.

A few years ago at a community summer dance, we waltzed together. He is a tall strong man with some serious physical presence. I found it challenging to keep up a witty banter without it turning too serious or sexual, both seemed to be close to the surface. The humorous part of it all is that I tend toward the prudish not the sluttish! I can't quite recall what I said that got me this response but while dancing he informed me that he may be older than me but would give making love to me 110%. Gulp. Another near hit on orgasmic bliss. Every summer we manage to seek each other out and embrace. I can't help but wonder what 110 feels like!

The truth is that there are about a handful of men (not many) for which I have had similar and unacted upon feelings. I'm sure it is universal to all people, we each have a Nelson. Are they lovers from past lives? Does this explain such brazen familiarity with people we barely know? And yet I do know. A connection so intense that it makes every hair on my body come alive.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Alas, I did not see my once true love. I was sad but have now decided that the timing must not be right. I struggled with the idea of calling him up and saying I was sorry I missed him at the funeral, but the act had a smell of desperation I wasn't quite prepared to embrace. That plus the fact that he has kids and a wife and I have a dog and a husband and neither of us need rumors circling the Bloomfield hills.

Sometimes I wish life were simpler when it comes to our desires. That we could act upon them without causing hurt. To ourselves or to others. Above all else, I want to remain an honourable person at heart. Chasing after long lost loves doesn't seem to fall logically in the category.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer is ticking along quickly. I have only a few days left in the Maritimes before returning home to Alberta. A few days ago my last surviving great aunt died (at the ripe ole' age of 94) and I will be attending her wake today. The prospect is not at all depressing, in fact I am looking forward to seeing many cousins and family friends from the area.

I am excited to see one person in particular and crossing my fingers he is there. Last time was 18 years ago, half a lifetime for me. He was the first boy I ever fell in love with. If one even knows what love is when you are 15! Regardless, we met because I was trying to do a blind fix-up for a girlfriend who was smitten with the boy in question. I was brazen in those days and without a shy bone in my body, I offered my services to call him and make the connection. At first I felt a bit awkward, calling up someone I'd only ever gotten a glance at and certain that he had no idea who I was. To my surprise, he did know of me and had made enquiries. That I should just out of the blue call him, seemed too good to be true.

For weeks we conversed on the phone. Late at night before the invention of the portable I would snake metres of cord, carrying the rotary dial into the living room and closing the door. More than once we talked all night in quiet hushed tones. We were becoming fast friends, I was far too innocent to be anything other. One day, as I heard my dad stirring to get ready for work in the early morning hours, I quickly said my goodbye and feigned sleepfulness on the sofa, smiling that we had talked for the entire night. All the time my heart beating rapidly, terrified I might hyperventilate.

Later we finally met at a graduation dance. It was by invitation only and I accepted another's offer just to make it in the door! I caught his eye many times that night but he was forever surrounded by his friends and I by mine. No one, not even my bff at the time knew of our secret burgeoning romance. As bold as I may have been to call him, I was equally as shy to approach him.

Finally the last two waltzes of the night arrived. I felt desperate and brokenhearted that we had not so much as even talked. We began with different partners. And somehow as the first came to an end we found ourselves side by side with another on each of our arms. As the music changed so did we. We just went to each other and embraced. For the life of me I cannot recall who either he or I was with. But I do remember how he smelled, his dark wavy hair, those hazel brown eyes, a faded yellow shirt and equally faded Levi's. It was heaven to me. At at the end of the waltz we kissed. Not my first but until the day I die it will go down as one of my best.

Our romance ensued for a few years on and off. When I last saw him, he told that had been one of the most memorable nights of his life. Me too.

I'll let you know if I see him at the wake. ;-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

For a long time, all my writing seemed to hone in on the idea of letting go. Adding nothing back in. Emptying my being and lifestyle not only of extras and add-ons but past accumulations that resided in my mind like heavy metals. During this time, both yoga and blogging served as a carrier to where I needed to be transported.

In the last year, I have found a lovely place to dwell. I have given up the struggle and replaced it with acceptance. There is much peace and beauty here and I am amazed at just how far from perfection it is. In fact, I believe perfection just might be the most unhappy of places to reside.

It is so easy to get caught up in competition. Bigger house, nicer car, smaller ass, better toys. This mindset keeps us living in a world that is predominately material. We lose sight of why we live and we become enslaved by what we own. Oddly enough, we come into this world naked and we exit in the same manner. We bring nothing with us and we leave it as we come in. This game of bigger, better, faster makes no sense what-so-ever.

I do not want to leave you with the impression that I am a stripped down, back to basics, non-materialistic person. This would not be true. I love things. Beautiful things. I like to travel and stay in upscale hotels. I appreciate quality and workmanship and the aesthetic quality that exists in the marketplace.

However, I do find that my motivations have changed. More is not better. Rather, it is how we get there that makes the difference. That we can feel the joy of giving and receiving, the flow and the compromise of getting out of life the truest desires of our heart. That in this short time we have, we learn to play the game so that our insides and our outsides become compatible with our philosophical ideals. In a nutshell, what I am trying to say is that I am coming into this place.

Here, things (whatever you consider a noun - people, places, things and ideas) don't need to be held on to too tightly. They exist for pleasure, pain and our individual personal growth. Everything you are in need of is at your fingertips and already exists. Like a tree heavy with fruit that can be plucked to satiate your hunger. There is no need to hoard or glutton and one soon finds out that in different seasons, different fruits. Here, the creative mind can expand and transform the challenges of life into opportunities.

Namaste.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


It feels good to be home. Although, with all the busy preparations for my sister's wedding happening, relaxing has not been on the to do list.
~
The temperature rose to a toasty 34C today and the outlook for tomorrow is about the same. So, our plan for the upcoming day is to float down the river and do little of anything else!
~
I've been enjoying my long walks to the end of the bridge and back in the evenings, once the sun has gone down - accompanying me, the many thoughts and imaginings that run through my brain. Despite the heat, I still find this an inspiring place to be. This year I feel more at home in my own skin than ever before, so there is an easiness to me which marks my biggest change.
~
It is nice to be here with Jeremy. My parents own these old camps that they used to rent out as a business, so before he arrived I spent a couple of days decobwebbing and refreshing the paint. It was a pleasant surprise for him, as it means we have our own space and we don't have to be under my parents' roof. They are almost generous to a fault, so it is as much for them that I did it as for us.
~
For now, I'm heading off to watch some tv and unwind in an a/c room. Happy summering.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Oooops


Pictures taken at your sisters stagette party is an excellent reason NOT to be on facebook!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Man Watching

The Man Watching
by Rainer Maria Rilke

I can tell by the way the trees beat,
afterso many dull days,
on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler's sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts

It's late and I should be in bed.

But my mind is active and I just can't seem to make myself quiet. The weeks have been so busy that my brain and body do not yet seem to realize that vacation has begun! There is still a lot of adrenaline coursing through me. And I'm excited to get home and see everyone.

On the flip side of expectations for home, I'm also experiencing the dissolution of a friendship. I feel myself pulling and pushing in a soft sort of way. In ways wanting it to end and in other ways wanting to talk about how and why we find ourselves at this place and time. I feel sad and lonely and hurt. It is all so subtle, so slight of hand. I'm confused at how someone I considered such a confidant, companion and even sister, can be so far away from me. I question what was the straw that broke the camel's back? It feels like it all slipped away in the dark when we weren't looking.

(Thinking about it, I'm pretty certain I initiated the parting of the proverbial waters.)

I met this person in my early 20's. We hit it off immediately and for the next couple of years were practically inseparable. Conversation was always easy and we both liked being spontaneous together. They were years filled with fun. But at the same time, if I am honest, they were years that did not always bring out the best in me. She can be an extremely negative and self-centered person. Sometimes fun came at a cost. My cost.
Looking back at journals I kept from that time, I knew even then that our friendship was not of the quality I was seeking.

But here I sit at one o'clock in the morning. Feeling confused. We live in a small town on the same street. Our spouses work together, we teach at the same school and our circle of friends more or less comprises the same people. Part of me wants to run to her and try to work out our veiled indifference. If everything could just remain more or less the same, I wouldn't even bother to try. But it is the sting of rejection and an orchestrating of events (from which our names keep getting left off of the guest lists) that hurts the most.

And I don't quite know how to deal. I keep trying the self talk. In fact I keep giving myself the same speech I give my students when they find themselves with no one to play with. And just like them, I'm not convinced. Mostly I scream inside my head how juvenile it all is and how I want none of it. And for the record, I'm not outwardly misbehaving in anyway. But it sure does make me feel my humanness, my fragility.

Perhaps I want to be the rejector not the rejected. It is safer that way.

When I think about the affirmation ~ let go of all that does not serve you ~ I know that this too needs to be let go of. Both the friendship and the fall out. To let it go quietly and freely without adding to the drama.

The most challenging part is to live consciously and recognize where I need to take responsibility. To let this be a part of my growth, for my own good. To act within my own code of acceptable and pleasing conduct. To be able to let something go, because it is better for me that way.

Namaste.

This is how we grow, by being defeated decisively by constantly greater things. Rilke.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

DONE

Today is one of those days where the wheels fell off. All four of them.

After two straight weeks of going straight out, I'm done. Like dinner. Tomorrow is my last official day of school. Students were finished today. And oh my, how they were hyper and overtired!

So I'm going to go to bed and call it a day.

After all, who can complain when you've got a work-free summer ahead!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blessed

“Home is where you can scratch where it itches” ~ Anonymous

I'm just a few days away from traveling home for the summer. I'm excited. In the last year my sister had a baby girl, who I'll get to meet for the first time. On top of this she is getting married in July. If anyone knows how to throw a party, it's Andrea! So I'm expecting that it will be a festive occasion that works its way into the next day. A few of our mutual friends from BC will be attending, so there will be an element of reunion mixed in.

Lately it seems that I have been too busy with work to even give much attention to going home. Which is probably good, otherwise I'd be so over the top that I wouldn't accomplish my to-do list. But work has been positive busy not the other kind. In fact, I feel as though I have tuned in to a nice little cadence of satisfaction.

I received my assignment for next year. Grade 3 again but this time with 3 special needs Fetal Alcohol Syndrome boys. It will mean I have some learning ahead of me as I currently know little about FAS, but I do know the students already and believe that it will be a good year. Funny, not that long ago I would have been horrified at the thought of having any special needs students! And now, here I am actually looking forward to the experience. I guess one should never say never. Success in certain areas actually makes you feel as though you have the power to change the world.

On a different note, today is the longest day of the year. Bittersweet. Living so far north, it will not get fully dark tonight. The sun casts its light in long bending rays that seem to wrap the earth, moving without interruption from west to east. I wonder sometimes if I came here for no other reason than to watch the sun in summer and the moon in winter. It certainly brings me to a primal place inside of myself.

And I've decided that this primal earthiness suits me. Most of the time anyway! I have more right now than I've ever had and yet my wants are less. My blogging has slowed because I'm just not compelled to give it all words all the time. I know what fills me and I know what doesn't. Once you get the formula, the rest is just a shopping list! I'm content and that is enough. The things I want that are important are in progress. They're already in the works and at this point don't need names.

So for right now, I'm just going to be. And I like it.

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” Frederick Buechner

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Peaks and Troughs

Emerson once said "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." I can not think of a more transcendent life philosophy. To consider every encounter or foray into living, not as success or failure, but strictly as experience. If we could do so consistently, we would no doubt transform our lives and be more present in daily life.

The Apostle Paul tells us (Phil 4:11) that he learned contentment regardless of the situation he found himself in. Sometimes there was plenty and other times there was want. He did not let himself get anxious about either, and knew that each could be enjoyed for their season and that both were temporary states - sometimes of the mind, sometimes of the physical. Both a reflection of the cyclical nature of ourselves and the planet we live on.

In life, we are always moving along the abundance/need continuum. Beginnings and endings. This is true not only of our financial lives but also of our spiritual, emotional and physical selves. With experience some learn a certain art to riding the wave. Fully embracing it, surfing life in full freedom of spirit. To others, the wave is always out to get them. Sucking them down in undertow, bringing them back up only to gasp for air and spit up water.

More or less we are all in the same current, we just have varying skill and intuition about how to navigate. Those who can conjure up fearlessness will love the open sea and be made alive by its offering of experiences. When storms brew they waste no time battening down the hatches and using all of their knowledge to safely ride it out. When the calm returns, they set their course and steer by the wind. They look up during the day and follow the sun from horizon to horizon, giving thanks with open hands and hearts. At night, they count the stars, seeing them with wonder as they fill up the sky. They trust the sea to always be their rising - whether stormy or calm. Both invite them to hone their skill.

For some, fearfulness is all they know. They never quite find their sea legs. Storms are met with head between knees, wallowing in the belly of the boat. Praying someone will come along and take the helm, perhaps Jesus will take the wheel. Although the storm eventually passes, it seems longer than it actually was, gripped by doubt and anxiety. The sun above has once again begun to shine but no one below deck realizes this yet. They are still anticipating the wave that will eventually bury them at the bottom. Their breath is constricted and shallow from hyperventilating. There is no course, no one learned how to use the sextant and batteries in the GPS have long been dead.

With some life experience, I have been learning to trust the sea to be my rising. I like the sea as a metaphor for living. To batten down the hatches when necessary. To breath in and out during the storm and to come back up to the deck just as it is passing, because I don't want to miss a minute of seeing the sun break through the clouds. And I want to appreciate the beauty of being a witness to the calming of the waters. Storms can be catalyst to great and unnecessary drama. It takes having your wits about you to ensure you don't stay down longer than you should and that you don't pick fights with your deckhands. We are after all, in this together.

Right now, I'm weathering a small storm. Mostly it is inconsequential. A small amount of head between knees, but not too much. Sometimes our storms are started by people we expect to love us and want us. When they don't, our boat gets rocked. We get filled with indignation and forget that we have at one time or another been the 'didn't love didn't want boat rocker'. All in all it serves to remind me that my boat might just be a little to close to another's and that I'm getting moved by their wake.

I want to love everything about my life - even during the painful parts, the times when it is difficult to see the beauty or trust the rising. I want to experiment with it all.

Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Lighterside of Yogi







You can find these and many more funnies at www.greatcosmichappyass.com . Hope they tickle you like they did me. :-) Namaste.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sigh of the contented...

I can feel myself being called. The voice is getting clearer, as though I am getting closer. But for now, I keep paying the bills and showing up everyday. This will not always be the case.

Namaste.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chain Re-act-ion and Knee-jerk Reflexes

There is a softness to life that is easier felt when times are rough than when they are grand. Much to be said for getting cut off at the knees from time to time and crawling back into the shell of uncertainty and humility. Retreat so as to sort through it all and take a breather from the race (where people only ever get up go to work and then rush home to watch crime and drama unfold on cnn).

Inside the shell the mind gets quiet. The radio gets turned off for a while. Sometimes the lights even go out. Echos of what someone said that was unkind and unwarranted bounce in crazy directions from the curvature of the walls. You try your best to get out of the way so that it would stop smacking you over and over, after all hasn't enough damage been done? And you wonder what to do. What to say. How to respond.

Anger is a natural. The easy way.

But you've been on another path. Huddled in your turtle pose you wonder who hurt them that they should hurt you? Your anger begins to dissolve. It's energy has been wounded. The corners of your heart loosen. An image of their pain replaces your own.

You feel only. So much so that you can't quite figure it all out. You weep for your own relief, that you need not fight that which has fought against you. This knowing lights your eyes with strength and you have gained a new knowing. A thresh hold has been broken through.

Joy finds you through unusual and unexpected circumstances.


“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves.” Abraham Heschel

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Intention Experiment

"You just have to do your own thing, no matter what anyone says. It's your life!" Ethan Embry

I've been reading an interesting book called The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart. It is a synopsis of research done over the last 30 years in the field of quantum physics. One of the areas that has really intrigued me is the relationship between time and our thoughts.

Very important to the study of quantum physics is the Zero Point Field. To crudely paraphrase, the Zero Point Field exists at absolute zero, the temperature at which scientist once considered all movement to cease. Come to find out this is not the case! In fact subatomic particles continue to move and take on a synchronicity, in which they begin to act as a single organism. Technology has been able to make use of lasers that are able to squeeze this ZPF, so much so that it creates negative energy, also known as exotic matter. It is apparently well accepted by QPs that such matter can bend space-time!

Based on the research in this book, our thoughts could very well be our most valuable resource. And the way we use our thoughts could determine the quality and course of our lives. The idea that intention can mess with the ZPF and the ZPF can transcend space-time has actually been proven in experiments of retro causation - so what you are thinking not only influences your present and your future but is not bound by space and time and can therefore effect your past which is now playing out in your present. It is a little much to take in! All research and experiments have been carried out by ivy league universities and prestigious research facilities around the world.

Something else in the book I found quite profound was this statement: "The possibility is that all information in the universe is available to use at every moment, and time exists as one giant smeared-out present...There is also the possibility that at the most fundamental layer of our existence there is no such thing as sequential time. Pure energy as it exists at the quantum level does not have time or space, but exists as a vast continuum of fluctuating charge. We, in a sense are time and space. When we bring energy to conscious awareness through the act of perception, we create separate objects that exist in space through a measured continuum. By creating time and space, we create our own separateness and indeed our own time." (171)

I have long known the value and importance of my thoughts. I have experienced them in powerful and life changing ways. This book took me into a new reality of the power of the mind.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in healing or the new buzz of manifestation. A worthwhile and highly informative read.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, April 03, 2008

you know the kind of day... the one for which you should be given a medal of honor for just getting through it without harming someone else!


that was so me today.

i have decided to celebrate my accomplishment with wine.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Today I am just going to start writing and see where it leads. I have many ungrounded thoughts that are doing leap frog dances through my brain. On some level they do make sense and I can see their connectedness, however trying to convey them could be grounds for institutionalization.

It would seem that just in the last few weeks I have entered into a deeper level of personal development, I call it this for lack of a better descriptor. A lot of things seem to be in confluence, coming together, flowing with ease. Remarkably these "things" are not necessarily "easy" things and in a way should contradict any sort of flow. I must attribute it to getting better at setting aside my own ego and letting things find their own natural rhythm.

Many of the things I really want to write about I am not giving myself permission to explore in this forum. I'm not ready to be that open about certain ideas I am having nor am I prepared for the onslaught of misinterpretation that might come from some readers.

To skirt the issue and yet still talk about it, let me tell you this. Yesterday two lovely people, Jehovah's Witnesses, showed up at my door. I'm one of those strange people who actually enjoys talking with JWs. They are incredibly passioned in their beliefs. They also tend to be very scripted and show up as the perfect neighbor next door who just wants to slip in a single bible verse and ask you how you feel about it or what you think it means. I don't look like the sort of person who has an extensive knowledge of the bible, so I'm pretty sure I often catch them off guard and can counter just about any argument and do it better than they can. Especially when I move beyond the verse they initially present - you soon find out they were unprepared for a pop quiz.

For many years I tried to argue them. Loved doing it in fact! They were wrong and I was right. Obviously my interpretation of the bible was better than theirs. Didn't they know that I was the one going to heaven and they were the ones doomed to hell.

Yesterday, however our conversation while lengthy was non confrontational in anyway. They seemed genuinely interested in my future conversion to Buddhism and the fact that I had chosen this path after being brought up born-again seemed to dumbfound and confound. What I realized is that JW's see themselves as very peace loving and a class above traditional christian sects. They do not go to war and they do not celebrate many of the pagan rituals that are pervasive in the christian church. For this I applaud them and all things being equal, if I were interested in following a christian faith/doctrine I may well consider the JW model. At this point I don't ever see that happening.

One note to add to this process of peace that they see themselves involved in is that their means can be very inciteful. Going door to door and offering your version of a better Jesus can be grounds for great conflict. Those who care will care A LOT! And will feel compelled to battle you to the death for daring to insult the religious beliefs that they are very feverish about. Christians seems to scramble to have a monopoly on whose Jesus is the right Jesus and spend their hard earned cash promoting their version of truth throughout the world. After all, we couldn't have those JW's being the only ones out there converting the pagan masses and doing it WRONG at that! It all seems incredibly humorous when I stand back and take it all in.

Now when I started I didn't exactly plan on going off on the JW's or any kind of Jesus mousetrap. What I did intend to explore was that part of me that can decline the fight. The part that no longer has to win and therefore does not need to expend all of that energy trapped in tangles that serve no purpose.

To put an analogy to it, it is like I have been walking in a corridor with lots of doors with signs on them. Somehow I got to the end of the hall with out opening any of the doors. To my blessed surprise a beautiful garden full of light and love awaited me at the end. And now I get to explore this warmth and light until I start to crave some other important lessons.

I know me and I know that the garden will not always satisfy. But for right now I will drink it all in.

Namaste.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who really knows if we find words or if words find us. Sometimes I almost feel as though I am made for a moment and in that moment, if I surrender to it, a beauty takes shape. I experience this all the time when I am teaching - as though the words and the lessons just come, flowing out without effort.

When life is like this, we are channelers of sorts. Moved through. Moved with. Moved by. Maybe this explains why I have always loved my river so much. My whole life, it has carried me places, no effort.

Tonight after yoga I felt restored having practiced many poses of surrender. These are my favorite. Where you lay it down on the mat. You be a witness to your conscious mind and possess the unconscious, the failing, the yeilding, the exposing. You let those things that hold you down go with gravity and return to the earth. In the end it makes you lighter. Your eyes clearer. Your heart wiser.

Before I sat to write tonight the verse "you anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over, goodness and mercies follow me and I forever dwell in the house of a most high god" was very strong in me. As though I could not escape it. Earlier today, I was bogged down, having spent the last several days feeling rushed and pulled and trying to catch up.

I'm not sure why we choose the illusions of life. When instead we should acknowledge that our dwelling is a house with a most high god. This god anoints us with oil, a sacred and very personal spiritual practice. In fact, my life cannot contain the goodness, it overflows on every side.

My practice dispels the fear that the world wants me to take on. We can live where we want to live. There are no strong men holding us to one place. We should flow and move. We should graciously give and recive alabastar jars full of precious oils.

*** After just visiting George, I've decided to post a prayer from his new zenbaptist blog that fits nicely here:

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
*
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
*
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
*
Rilke

Friday, March 14, 2008

What I'm reading right now.

The Good Dog is a novel by avi. I've been reading it with my grade 3 language arts class. They are eating it up.

It is the story of McKinley, a malamute husky and self appointed head dog of his community. He is more or less a dog that lives without barriers, no fence, no leash and a loving family to return home to each night. In McKinley's eyes he is the keeper of the family and not the other way around. He takes his job as caretaker to his human pup Jack, very seriously!

McKinley finds himself coming face to face with a she wolf named Lupin on the outskirts of town. Lupin scoffs at McKinley for being bound and not living the life of freedom that she enjoys in the wild. Lupin does her best to try and shame McKinley into leaving his current life behind and accepting his ancestral call.

What I like best about this book is that it forces kids to think about good and bad. McKinley, in efforts to protect his family and the other neighborhood dogs, makes choices that are not easily understood and often get him into lots of trouble. If they only knew the reasons why, perhaps his actions would seem heroic as opposed to disobedient. I think this is a good lesson for each of us. It is easy to judge things that happen as right or wrong so long as we don't scratch the surface to find the deeper motivations for some one's actions.

My kids and I give this book 5 / 5 dog bones! A great family read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I picked up the book marrying buddha the last time I was in Edmonton. It was in one of those last chance 75% off bins. I almost always look there as I have found some cheap and fantastic reads - plus your expectations are lowered and that makes finding a good read even better!

The book is set in Shanghai and Putuo Island (China) with flashback's to a prior life in NYC. Self reflective in mood and pace the pages weave a story about who we are and how we interpret the world through all the shades of human behavior and endeavor. It is at times graphic and erotic, making no apologies or excuses - only insight into the very fabric of what it means to see ourselves for the beauty our complexities force upon us. It reads like a zen trance. I am falling in love with Coco. I hold on to each chapter. I don't want it to end. It has been quite some time since I have been so affected by a character.

I'll let you know what I think by the end.

Ah, there is nothing better than the promise of a good book.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The grass in the fields ahead.

As you may have noticed, my blogging frequency has increased significantly in the last week! I'm not sure what has gotten into me, but love of the word has once again overtaken. I do not mind being in her possession, it feels good. The rattling of this old keyboard is comforting and I can play her as some might tickle the ivory and ebony.

Early in January I posted that I was going to change the content of my blog from spirituality to money management. Oppps. That hasn't quite materialized like I envisioned. True enough I am done with self-help but I am not quite ready to relinquish the thoughts that fill my head on the self. It is far too interesting to me and there is still so much to learn. I hope that by the time I am 70 I will have more wisdom that I do now and yet still have infinite capacity to learn and to make observations on human nature. At every stage we just see things with new eyes. The deepest beauty of life is that it is an ever changing dynamic, if you're static you're not living. Dynamics allow for chaos and confusion and a never quite knowing how it will all turn out. This in itself makes me excited about life.

I think I have passed a tipping point. 15 years ago I never would have imagined that I would become this person - really it is quite surprising. I am curious to know who I will be at 50, in another 15 years. I hope that I will be just as imperfect and prone to making mistakes and taking risks, just new ones - and that I will have learned from all my current mistakes, 'er I mean learning opportunities! The tipping point is that I'm ready for more now. More in all capacities.

Part of that capacity is financial. I grew up relatively poor. Not destitute and always fed, but I knew the pinch of lack. When I connect the dots I can see how influential poverty has been on my life's beliefs and choices. I set low standards for what would be enough, what I could attain. I did not want to take or be given more than was my share. As a result, I have always had a bit of a gypsy attitude. My husband describes it as a tree planter's mentality. I go so far, work so hard and then pull back. There was always an imaginary boundary, an invisible high charged electric fence that kept me from the other side. I have carried on as though money were unnecessary and that all that I would ever need would be provided to me.

This is not the worst paradigm a person can view the world from but it does have a down side. The biggest down side is that it keeps you from being all that you can be in other aspects of your life. When the going gets tough you hide out and seek refuge until the storm is over. Then you proceed to rebuild your house, all the time anticipating another storm at any moment. Another rebuilding. Another storm. Rebuild. Storm. And the cyclone continues.

I still believe that when necessary, all that I need will be provided. I believe in providence and serendipitous circumstances. But I also need to go beyond my fear of just having enough and come into the presence of plenty. I can do it, I have all of the tools necessary. But one's toolkit can be full of the highest quality crafting material and the crafter can still create sub quality workmanship. I have had the toolkit for a long time and have in many ways mismanaged its use.

Proverbs 24 v. 30-34 says:
I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgement;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
*
I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest -
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
*
As women in particular, it is high time that we step up to the plate. It can be intimidating and easy to let our fear point us down the path of least resistance. The path that often waits for the eye of the storm and keeps us caught in the yo yo of build tear down, build tear down. It is a temporary mindset that we allow permanent reign. We need to put our energy into building up and building up in places that can sustain what we build so our actions are not in vain. I know there are lessons to be learned from having what you've built taken away, but I feel right now my lesson is for the good that comes from building up not tearing down.
*
My tipping point is that I now have the belief that I can build and it can be good and it can prosper. It is a new direction for my energy and my thinking.
*
So my question to you is this... Are you moving toward a tipping point and in what area of your life? How have you folded your hands to rest? Is it in your family life? Your love life? Your financial life? Your professional life? What scares you? Where do you need to give more or less?
*
Namaste.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

If only we could be this good all the time!

I'm not sure I have ever written a week in review post but here it goes. :-)

As weeks go, this one was pretty normal except for my extreme fatigue. It was like I had fallen and couldn't get up. Literally. Every morning it took all of my strength to get out of bed. Jeremy had to nudge me (he is an early riser) many times! I didn't even shower everyday.

On top of this exhaustion I had a busier than normal teaching schedule with almost every single thing I did being teacher directed. As a rule I try and keep a balance between dependent and independent work for my students. But not this week. We did several intense science experiments that required lots of prior knowledge.

This year and next year are also evaluation cycles for me professionally. My principal is required to observe me at agreed upon times but he is also free at anytime to be present in my room. He showed up unannounced on Tuesday morning. The funny thing is that I generally do math first thing in the morning but due to some student paper work that need to get sorted and put into binders I ended up having an impromptu science lesson/review. Just as I was beginning this completely unplanned activity, guess who walks in and takes a seat!

For the most part having people in my room rarely breaks my stride. Overall, I am confident in what I do. But there is always the fear that what you do 90% of the time will get observed during that other 10% and get misconstrued. It is however, intimidating to have the principal waltz into your room. I kept praying that he would not wander over to my desk and see my empty day plan! The cardinal sin of teaching. Thankfully he did not.

My unexpected lesson was on rocks and minerals in the rock cycle. I was explaining to the kids how over breakfast my husband (a forester and expert pit digger) and I were discussing rocks on a beach and how they are a perfect example of an accelerated and visible rock cycle taking place. The lesson ensued for another 15 minutes and as soon as we got started in math, Mr. P up and left.

At first recess I stopped by the staff room for a few minutes and walked past Mr. P's office. He called out after me with "Great lesson this morning." I said thank you as I carried on down the hall. Later the same day after students had been dismissed I walked past his room again. This time he came out of his office! "Angela, that really was a fantastic lesson you gave this morning!" He was visibly excited. "I was really impressed with they way you had the attention of every student in the room. They were all engaged and actively participating in the discussion". At this point the VP sticks her head out of her office and adds, "Yeah, he's been talking your praises all day!"

I must say their words gave me quite a rush. But I had absolutely no idea how to respond. I even felt somewhat embarrassed and could feel the heat rising in my face as they spoke. I think I managed a "Thank you" and scurried away.

The week however ended on a low note. I've been trading off gym classes with another teacher so as to squeeze in a couple of more prep periods. Truth is, I'm not a fan of her class. They test me on every turn and are just difficult in general. If you have never dealt with 8 year olds and think that they are mouldable and eager to please jars to be filled with knowledge... think again. That kind of child seems to be the exception not the rule these days. Make no mistake, we are currently living in a child-driven society and I believe the anthropological effects of this will not be recognized until a few decades from now. Although I have a couple of narcissists in my own classroom we have developed a balanced relationship and strong emotional bonds. They have mostly accepted my role as teacher and no longer challenge me when I say no - thankfully. It is not easy to get those kids who have cart blanche at home to give it up at school and let someone else be the boss. Parents, if you are failing your children in any way, it is in letting them be the parent and you becoming their servant. It is in neither of your best interests.

So my week, a tired and emotionally charged one, scaled the top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley. Last night I was numb. I declined invitations to dinner and listened to some Blue Rodeo, my favourite co-dependent music.

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. Forecast says that it will be as high as +5C. I'm already feeling restored. A little yoga this morning helped and I can breathe once again. And for today, a bit of eye and ear candy for the ladies. :) Namaste.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where this came from...I just don't know.

It seems that in the last few years, a common thread in my writings has been about letting go. I don't think that I have ever been particularly attached to things but when I made a substantial relocation move in 2002, it truly surprised me just how much stuff I had accumulated. Lots of brick n' brack, or whatever else people like to call it.

Looking at all that useless clutter gave me heartache and I swore that I would never walk that road again. I thought about the wasted time, money and energy I had put into storing all those small items. Hundreds of dollars in knickknacks, shipped off to the goodwill to become someone else's yard sale material. I can't for the life of me remember even one item that got left behind.

Somehow those trinkets lead me to look in other areas. The not so obvious places. Areas that are not displayed on shelves. Or even just hidden in the spare room closet. They have roots that run deep and they don't get collected in green bags on garbage day.

They go around with you and slink and slither into every move you make. They sometimes tell you lies and burden you down with their weight. They tell you that you are responsible for other people's happiness. That you must try harder. Do better. Be more. More beautiful. More thinner. More everything to everyone.

They are the elixir of the miserable. But the kicker is that they somehow convince you that no one else can know that you are completely in their grasp. And so, you play by their rules and pretend to be what you are not because you believe that is the right thing to do.

So who are they?

They are the deepest, darkest, stankyiest, ugliest, perverse ideas and fears you hold about yourself. The "I'm not good enough", "I'm not smart enough", "I'm not pretty enough"...enough enough enough.

No matter who you are, what you do, where you have been, you are ENOUGH. You are good enough and smart enough and pretty enough and worthy enough and then some.

It is OK to get pissed off at all of the people who have fucked you over and made you cry. It is OK to be this with yourself - if you have been one of the people! And haven't we all? At one time or another? So if you need to, get good and mad. Get mad and stay that way for a week. Call in sick every day from one Monday to the next. Make a list of whomever has wronged you. Write them letters you will never send, speak to them as though they are in the room with you. Don't let anyone off the hook, even the one's you love more than life itself.

Then make your peace, inside your own heart. Because 95% of all your bullshit lives inside your head. And it fills it up and creates barriers that keeps you down, not them. They have their own walls and demons. How do I know? Because pain breeds pain and we hurt others because we need to share it, dish it out and spread it around. As humans, we seem to have a certain drama factor. We want to perpetuate the pain, keep it close. It has been a dysfunctional friend for so long.

And the process begins. I have been journeying for years now. But I'm changed. And, I'm on the other side now. On the side where there is enough to the nth degree.

As I've been writing this I was thinking of a song by Jan Arden called Waiting in Canada. It seems so appropriate. Namaste.

every tear you cry
every doubt you have
all of these things will pass away
all of your big mistakes your little old heart would break
wishing that i could take them back
write down the things you don't want burn them in a glass
write down the things you dream of
make a paper plane that flies to heaven
*
and buy a ticket for a plane and come and see me baby
or drive your car all night by just starlight to Canada
that's where I'll be waiting
*
all of the empty rooms
all of the silent space
every warm embrace is you
nothing is like it was, there's nobody here but us
i have been filled right up with this
write down the words of sadness burn them in a cup
write down the things you've wanted
throw them to the wind that's soaring up to heaven
*
and buy a ticket for a plane and come and see me baby
or drive your car all night by just starlight to Canada
oh buy a ticket for a plane and come and see me baby
or drive your car all night by just starlight to Canada
that's where I'll be waiting waiting

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The things I do for love.

burn incense
light candles
sing in the shower
talk to myself
do yoga
walk the dog
try new recipes
be alone
read trashy novels
think
dream
believe
cry
laugh
grind my own beans
buy organic coffee
drink red wine
eat carbs
send telepathic messages
dance in the living room
give thanks
expand my mind
let go
unwind
know the moment
remember the past
visit a grave site
feel the chill of winter
watch the moon cycles
walk barefoot in my kitchen
meditate
forgive my imperfections
breathe
cradle my dog
embrace
walk away from strife
sing old hymns
recite poetry
down dog
mountain pose
standing forward bend
call my parents
go to bed early
eat my vegetables
blog
be me.
*
*
What do you do for love?

Monday, March 03, 2008

You're NOT the Boss of Me!

A kid in my class is driving me a little batty. He's a sweet kindhearted fellow who is extremely helpful. Way too helpful. He's so helpful in fact that it turns him into a bit of a control freak. He also has difficulty completing his own work because he busies himself with his neighbors work.

He can't seem to keep himself from being a bossy boots, even though he is one in an unconventional way. He does try but the problem almost seems bigger than he is - like an unseen force that controls his will!

So I've come to the conclusion that although I could discipline him everyday it would basically be to no avail. Natural consequences seems to be the best course of action. This is already taking place as he has increasing difficulty with his peers, who generally are not interested in his overtaking of their lives. Who could blame them. I'm frankly quite tired of his benevolent attempts to hijack my role as teacher, one I don't give up easily!

The question I have for myself in this situation is, what is the lesson I need to learn?
Hmmm.

"Never mistake my self control for tameness." Teresa Lindner

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Confluence of Joy

I was just in the process of running a bath when this phrase came into my thoughts. A confluence of joy. Instantly, I loved the way the words flowed together and how aptly they convey what I have been feeling of late. A confluence of joy.

So just to be sure I was actually thinking what I thought I was - I decided to look it up.

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con·flu·ence /ˈkɒnfluəns/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kon-floo-uhns] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like: the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
2. their place of junction: St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
3. a body of water formed by the flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like.
4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
5. a crowd or throng; assemblage.

Dictionary.com Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
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Such beautiful phrasing - a confluence of joy!

I've been doing more reading and reflecting on making space, capaciousnous as my friend George refers to it. And the two seem to go beautifully in hand, make space so that life might flow. Make space so that joy might have room to breathe within us.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Time, don't run out on me

I was thinking...

perhaps time is the biggest illusion of all. We sure give it a lot of importance but have practically no understanding of what time actually is or even means. Although it is a yardstick of our lives - it is in essence a poor one, having nothing to do with quality - only quantity of minutes and days. Even though each second that passes is still only a second, a measured space, the speed at which we expend our lives is relative and yet it is not. I find even the painful parts pass far too quickly.

I recently lost my watch. A somewhat expensive and status(y) kind of watch. I hope whomever has found this lovely gem has wrists as tiny as mine. I sincerely want them to enjoy the time that it is theirs as they metre out the days of their lives.

I am currently learning to live with out constantly consulting my left forearm so that I might know what to do next and in what sequence. This could be liberating.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Last Night

painting by Carol Buchman - Meditation
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I wanted to share a meditation that I did last night before going to bed.
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Before I begin I always set the timer on the stove, last night I set it for 20 minutes. I find the timer is very freeing as it allows me to be much more present in the moment. It is one less thing my mind has to worry or fret or think about.
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I lit a single tea light and wrapped myself in a soft and cozy throw. I sat half lotus on the sofa. For the next several minutes I alternated two mantras. With a full cycle of breath, both the inhale and the exhale, I focused on 'ease in my body'. As I did this, I just allowed my mind and my breath to scan my body looking for areas of discomfort or tension, and then releasing those areas as they arose. On the next cycle of breath, I focused on 'ease in my mind'. Again, searching and releasing any thoughts.
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For me, meditation is much easier if I have an area of thought to attend to - hence the mantra. I readily found places of 'dis-ease' or dis-comfort in both my body and mind and was successful at dissolving their effect. I don't always have success but last night I did. Even though my head was in a normal forward facing position, soon I noticed that it felt heavy and light at the same time - as though all tension in my neck had been erased. I also generated a lot of body heat which I found surprising. I believe that the body can heal itself and that meditation can energize the process - the meditation felt very healing to me. I was not seeking to increase my energy but rather to quiet any excess, sluffing off the residue of the day.
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Meditation is a wonderful discipline but it does take time to cultivate. Where once I was unable to achieve success for even 1 minute (or less), I am now able to do so for about 12 minutes. It is very helpful to approach it as though you are an observer to your own mind. This is also the beginning of seeing yourself apart from your ego. Let your thoughts be like clouds that float by but do not change the sky. Let them become light and unaffecting. Cultivate forgiveness for all your imperfections and do not judge yourself for your negative thoughts.
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Namaste. Angela
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"Let go of all that does not serve you."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life

This is my nephew Brady and niece Ava. I stole the picture off my sister's blog. It made me so homesick I wanted to fly home immediately and be a part of the whole crazy show.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Year Ahead...

In 2008 I am going to take charge of my financial life. I'm going to learn to invest and do it apart from a paid advisor - none of whom ever got me a decent return on my dollars. I've grown tired of reading books on pseudo religious themes and self improvement. Lately it seems I've nothing left to learn from this stream (book wise) and keep running over the same words and thoughts rearranged by new authors. I'm starting to think that this is as good as I get, spiritually speaking. Now I need to take those lessons and apply them to real life in a conscious manner. After all, being conscious is the key.

So from this point on, this blog stops being about my self-awareness crusade. Not that I haven't enjoyed the ride, on the contrary it has been great. And although the ride's not over - I may even blog about the spirituality of money - it is time for a new focus, to learn some new things. And hopefully make a little money along the way!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

calm

"Saw the world turning in my sheets
and once again, I cannot sleep.
Walk out the door and up the street;
look at the stars beneath my feet.
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And so I sent some men to fight,
and one came back at dead of night.
Said he'd seen my enemy.
Said he looked just like me."
James Blunt
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"Let go of that which does not serve you."
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"Open yourself to something greater."
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