Saturday, October 31, 2009

all my life's a circle..........


In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.
Donovan.....

The candles are burning bright tonight in my home as I write this. Lily, our trusty pooch, is monitoring the front lawn through the window looking for little trick or treaters carrying big goodie loot bags, all excited to be out in the dark on this blustery Halloween Eve. There is a combined sense of fright and delight.

I love Halloween. It truly does bring the neighbourhood together in a different way than on any other day of the year. Little Emma down the street, who is almost 4 years old (how did that happen??!) looked so adorable in her flowy pink wizard costume. Of course, Lily had to be the first greeter as she ploughed past me as I opened the door........... her tail wagging, a smile on her face. When we opened the door to Emma, it was a reunion between friends. I heard this tiny little voice exclaim.......... "Happy Halloween Lily!" Then, a big yawn came from the worn out wizardess, and a polite thank you without any prompting. :) So grown up!


Tonight, I'm have the house to myself. I chose to stay behind to hand out the Halloween candy. I'm too wiped out and physically feeling a bit off kilter. To combat a sense of weariness, I've lit dozens of candles and put on a CD chock full of the songs I love to listen to when I am in need of rejuvenation. It feels like a multi-sensory haven which has generated a sense of grounding and a lovely feeling of nostalgia wafting all around me. It's exactly where I want to be, reflectively soaking it all up.

Every single song that has played tonight has conjured up a photo album of beautiful faces, heart held memories ............... stuff that dreams are made of .... Within the tunes, I can hear intimate conversations, envision late night guitar picking, picture smiles and tears, reunions and shared walks. I remember boisterous campfires, spirit moving canoe paddles, nights laying on a floating dock looking up at a sky so full of stars. Close enough to wrap your hands around them. And then there were the nights when the northern lights danced up from the horizon. Oh my God, they are sight to behold.

It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's the slow and steady fire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's your heart and soul's desire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of.... (Carly Simon)

Connections to past and present feed an internal flame that propels me onto to the adventure ahead..... wherever that may lead, whatever it offers. While the music plays on, I fall into a place deep inside... where the ME in me is most authentic. To label it with feelings? A profound sense of gladness.

My gladness, however, is steeped in multiple layers of feelings, softened by a cotton gauze over the lens with which I view it. Tears spring forward, smiles too as I realize how much time has already marched on in my life and how FULL it has been thus far. I bring forth the living spirits of the people who continue to touch me .... the ones in particular who are far away in physical distance, but never ever far from my grateful heart. I kiss them all tonight. I kiss them all......

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart,
Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.
(Donovan)

As the outside winds send welcoming gusts from the past summers in blustery autumn billows, I sit here surrounded by the wafting scents of candles and wonder what makes their flames flicker and dance in unison? I think I know.

I 'm not alone in this ultimate adventure called life. Let the music play on.....

It seems like I've been here before;
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we'll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my thoughts have bends;
There's no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.

All my life's a circle;
But I can't tell you why;
Season's spinning round again;
The years keep rollin' by.

Harry, keep the change, Chapin.

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is adventure. Mine is enhanced daily by my friends and family.... the beautiful people whose spiritual presence always make the candlelight flicker and dance and bring meaning to the music that touches my soul.

spirits..........

"We have falsely spatialized the eternal world. We have driven the eternal out into some kind of distant galaxy. Yet the eternal world does not seem to be a place but rather a different state of being. The soul of the person goes no place because there is no place else to go. This suggests that the dead are here with us, in the air that we are moving through all the time. The only difference between us and the dead is that they are now in an invisible form. You cannot see them with the human eye. But you can sense the presence of those you love who have died. With the refinement of your soul, you can sense them. You feel that they are near."
John O'Donohue, Anam Cara.

Spirits defy human logic. Sometimes logic is overrated. Instead, let us recognize their presence in the moments when our creative efforts find a fluency emerging from the depths of our lyrical possibilities.

I think we can easily become estranged from the loving forces around us who carry us in ways we may not be able to understand logically, but are there to support and guide. During times when we are integrated with our creative side, we move out of the logic of cerebral contemplations and into a space where we are openly vulnerable to receiving direction from the soul spirits of those who guide. Creativity defies logic. Creativity dwells in the illumination of our heightened senses. Spirits help us move beyond logic and into a place of sensory perception. We wouldn't have art without a little help from the Spirits all around.

Let us toast their nearness.


ps. Happy Halloween. May you enjoy my jack o'latern sunrises. Brilliant orange has been the most predominant colour at dawn where I live......


Thursday, October 29, 2009

nuances



There is a scene in the movie The Remains of the Day when the emotionally uptight Stevens (played by Anthony Hopkins) clearly let Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson) know he was never going to soften to her advances. He was never going to let his guard down to allow the possibility of feeling any sense of intimacy obviously present within the space of these two people. The importance of maintaining decorum outweighed any human desire. Hopkins somehow managed to express this so effectively with a subtle shift in his body language. In a split second, the observer knew just how he felt. Clearly, Emma Thompson's character received the message...... uncomfortable, closed, off bounds. She backed off to regain decorum.

I consider the scene one of the most brilliantly acted scenes in movie history and the perfect example of how a minute flinch can speak volumes. Such nuances in our behaviour can easily be missed or dismissed as inconsequential. Sadly, they can be more revealing than sharing a whole evening with another person. They reveal a whole buffet from one morsel.

Daily life spins on a busy axis, where our encounters are numerous and blurry. Rarely do we take a breather to catch the little flinches of comfort and discomfort.... of need and wanting ..... of feelings too sharply stirring to remain under the skin completely. We think we aren't readable, that we have control over what we express to another. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Its just that we are time starved for standing in the long now appreciating the stories behind the subtleties.

Reading nuances is the core of intuition. It's the key to effective counselling. It's the most important counselling tool I carry. I have honed it over the years and can zone right into this place of careful observation when I'm in the middle of a counselling session. I've known all my life however that I've always had this ability to read these messages. It's like I was born with a heightened sensory radar or some kind of feelings barometer. A slight change in the energy around a person and my alert system kicks in. I can be crazy busy with no time to attend to the feeling but I can't avoid it or shake away from this happening. It has its advantages and disadvantages that's for sure.

Whether its a movement of the eyebrow, a twitch of the cheek, a different pursing of the lips or a millimetre difference in the space between you and another person, this subtle change reflects the treble of emotions rising from the soul. If the other person's message is one of inexpressible discomfort, the knowing I feel is immediate. Sometimes the clarity scares me.

If I catch this emanating from someone whom I care about, it hits me hard in the pit of my stomach.... right where I struggle with my own issues of rejection. Sometimes I follow up with a question ........ "Is everything alright?" "Are you uncomfortable with me?" "What's wrong?" These questions often aren't received well because I jump in and ask too quickly, sometimes before the other person has even recognized it in themselves that their feelings have changed or have been triggered...or at least in a place where they want to admit it.

A Psychic recently asked me, without knowing this (or at least me verbally informing her), if I had ever considered using my abilities to read people's auras. Since it seems to automatically happen, I guess I do. It's not that I can read minds. I can read a person's presence and their feelings about being in my presence. It helps tremendously in a counselling session because the trust and the comfort happens very quickly. If a person feels a sense of being understood, especially without words shared, they normally sink into a place of sharing. But when it happens in a negative sense with someone I care about or want to be closer to, I can't shake the feeling very easily. It gets replayed in my thinking over and over again while I try to sort it out.

I met a Reiki master last year who without knowing my background or much about me at all asked if I had ever considered studying this art because he could feel the energy around me. he referred to it as a blue light. OOOOOOoooooo, I glow!!! At first, I thought the idea was kind of kooky and wondered if it was merely a very strange pick up line, but I sensed he was genuinely feeling comfortable standing with me. I knew he was reading some kind of intuitive openness that is a part of who I am.

Yes, I seem to have been born with external proprioceptors that can gauge changes in energy and mood. There are a few people in my life whom I seem to have this uncanny connection to through shared energy and knowing. These are the human beings whom I truly believe I was destined to meet. It's like there is a syncopation in our flow. Now, how's that for new age drivel? Its true though..... in fact, there is a different thickness in the air, like it went from oxygen to helium. Within this lightness are floating particles containing meaningful communication. I can also stand back and observe it between two people interacting as well.....

The intensity of my intuitiveness obviously makes them uncomfortable at times, like they feel more naked around me. I don't mean it. It just happens. Nuances are very visible. They expand in stature when I take notice. I just have to learn to be more careful about when and how I share these feltsenses. On the other hand, I have to learn how to let go of the messages I pick up and not take them so personally.

I honestly don't know if this is terribly unique or whether it is commonplace. Because of the type of work I do, I've become more aware of how it manifests within me, but my perception of being able to catch these nuances is skewed. What I do know and accept is how fascinated I am when I see it happen, as it did in that scene from The Remains of the Day, and how I am left with a sense of intrigue and unrelenting curiosity when I feel it emanating towards me from someone I care about.

There you go............... a confession. Now, don't you want to hang out with me?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

bully, bully.


A bully is a bruised leader with a heart that bleeds weeping nails of steel. Sadly, they don't know that they are leaders because they are too busy starring in the role of raging victim, poking holes in the souls of others. Their pattern of behaviour which ranges from brutal physical attacks to sneering body language is frighteningly abusive. They lead by overblown power.

So, how do we help those bruised bullies transform into effective leaders?

Through relationship building by finding a way to past the chrome shield that protects the heart from being hurt again.

Through fostering emotional literacy and spiritual awareness.

Through effective listening and teaching how to express emotions productively and appropriately.

Through recognition and affirmation of their stories.

Through mentoring empathy, respect for others, and kindness.

By showing how to be responsible for one's actions........ to STOP and THINK before impulsively acting out from an emotionally charged place.

By developing trust, and nurturing this fragile essence in another.

well, that's a start.........................

Patterns of behaviour are very difficult to break if what you do gets you what you want..........






Monday, October 26, 2009

ramblin' through the messes.

My beautiful girlfriends....
strong, resilient, hilarious, brilliant.
not that we have any messes
to talk about or clean up.....
oh no!
we just tell funny upbeat stories ;)


I was driving back to my office after delivering a presentation, Miss Muskie style, thinking about the new connections I had made with a classroom full of human beings who had dropped out of school and had returned to give it a go again. It must reek of failure to them on most days. Hopefully on other days, they look at the ugly building and see it as something they can conquer!

I spent a few minutes or so with them telling a few stories, sharing some crazy bits about me. Then I passed it over to them so I could learn at least a little bit of their personal stories and to find out what kind of information they wanted to gather from my presentation. There's no point standing up in front of any group like a blathering talking head passing out disconnected fluffs of information if there is no engagement with the audience. How boring is that? How rude is that? How typical is that??? Lectures get you nowhere especially when you are in front of a group who tuned out and turned off for that very reason........

When my daughter asked me this morning on the way to dropping her off at school, what I was going to talk about (I was there to give them information about College courses and upgrading options....) I explained the purpose and then told her what my plan was ...... how I would deliver it.... through a conversation .... one which I would set up by sharing a few goofy stories about my time at high school. She looked at me with THAT look she gives me (the same one my husband gives me actually) when she hopes I don't make a complete ass of myself. I reassured her that, YES indeed I would make an ass of myself if it engaged the class and pulled them into a conversation of sharing and asking questions. I don't care. I'm pretty much an open book when it comes to the STUFF I've shared.

This of course alarmed her 16 year old sensibilities even more. So, I dropped the subject and moved onto asking about losing one's virginity. That question didn't get very far. DAMN! It did make her laugh though. Oh, and roll her eyes. It wasn't an off the wall, out of the blue kind of topic, which I am prone to do. No, this random talking momma was simply continuing a conversation which had begun the night before when I was informed of a few teen girls who are preggers at the school, and the conversation my daughter had with one of the future Daddios.

Who. is. 16. and lost .in. the. weird. world. of. make. believe. playing house .in. somekindof. mom. and. dad. drama. Like reality tv. Sadly, he thinks he's going to be able to turn off the channel.

This fantasy is brought to you by unfulfilled love and belonging needs, parents who refuse to let their children take SEX EDUCATION because one does not PROMOTE premarital sex, one PROMOTES abstinence and the idea that our bodies are dirty (by NOT talking about it) so don't be talking about erect penises and where they shouldn't be place ...... , thereby fostering a daughter who doesn't know the basics of intercourse and what to do with all those stirring feelings. This fantasy world is exacerbated by wacky religious rules where A: If you have sex before marriage you will go to hell. and B. Let's fix this fuck up by getting you two little ones married just in case God was a bit busy and didn't see the end product of the backseat rumbling fornication and will let it go. This time. ....And C. You better make it work, because if you divorce you will go to hell too. Good luck......... change your plans, drop your dreams and move on......... Praise be to Jesus.

So, I was merely extending the conversation we began last night. When she jumped out of the car to get the hell away from her crazy ass mother, she was laughing as I was babbling on about the myths of "being on the pill" and got pregnant anyways, or the condom broke. Over my explanation that there has only been one documented immaculate conception, my beautiful daughter told me she loved me, shut the door and scurried off to escape the lunacy left behind the wheel of the van. Off she went. My God, I love her.

And off I went to meet a group of people I expected hadn't fit into the regular system we embrace as public education, knowing a couple of them would most likely be teen moms whose bright innocent faces now had a look of shock and awe on them. Maybe a couple of young dads in there too unable to comprehend anything beyond wanting to escape into the smoke of a doob, a chat room and a few riffs of Guitar Hero. DUDE!

Unfortunately, I was right and eventually spent a couple of hours with a group of students sitting in a semi circle. Their classroom was tucked away in the upper reaches of high school beige fatigue, amongst other classrooms filled with unengaged teens looking everywhere except at their teachers at the front. How do I know this? I glanced in many as I walked towards room number 226. It hit my gut with a vengeance of memories. Oh, how I hated high school. It all came rushing back in a pit of anger as I realized that not one blasted thing had changed since I sat in class lala land dreaming of camp, parties, kissing boyfriends, catching up with girlfriends, weekend ski trips, ANYTHING but the blahblahblah of the talking head at the front of the class. Boredom ruled the day then. Boredom ruled the day today.

I decided to take it up a notch and be as nutty as I could in front of the classroom......... share feelings, ask for feelings. ASK THEM what they are thinking, feeling.......... what they did on the weekend. How are they FEELING being back at school. What kind of jobs would they like to do....... stir, churn, make them squirm a bit. Make them laugh! Offer them a chance to express themselves. Luckily, their teacher was all for it. Hurray!

In the end, there was talk of many different types of training and career options and if they had an idea, I threw three more at them that were similar as an attempt to expand their thinking. They shared their interests and unshaped goals. More importantly, they shared some of what makes them tick. One of them did fall asleep....the one with the youthful baby face very bright red flushed cheeks. I don't think he was feeling well. And even if he was fine, I didn't care if he fell asleep. He obviously needed it. Who the hell knows what he has to contend with on the homefront??? He's in this class for a reason and guaranteed it ain't a pretty story with a happy ending.

On my way back to the office, as I listened to music, I began to think of the messes we fall into as human beings of how our lives are filled with drama, conflict, angst, disorder, excess. Excess in so many areas..... Abuse of all kinds. Unfinished business, unsolved problems. Our coping is maxed out as we turn inward or outward, depending on our style. Big emotional barriers form shielding us from hurt or resolving anything. WE try our best to bury our heads in the sand as the chaos of our lives get messier and more complicated. We lose focus, drop our values, run away, sleep with the first warm body that pays attention. We drop out, crawl under the covers and play the victim. Until...................??

We live in the drama we create. Not that the massive wounds many of us carry as heavy painful burdens are our fault. They aren't for the most part. But, we create the ongoing drama that follows it by trying to avoid healing and forgiving and moving forward. Healing ourselves, forgiving ourselves and others.......... finding resolutions. Finding a way to surrender and soften from the PAIN.

hmmmm. I wonder if many of the messy messes we make are because we are suffering from boredom? Or are we just too numb and need the excitement of the drama?? Or maybe, just maybe we're doing our best coping?

Lives are not pretty for the most part. They are chaotically driven, eventful, emotion full, painful. They are also loving, exhilarating, absolutely STUNNING. Lives brim over with connections, disconnections, crapping times and clapping times. And you know what? The VERY best we can do for ourselves and others is to be open to sharing stories, to listen to the silence between the words shared, to affirm one another, to accept one another and to remind each other that we have the capacity to be happy. Despite the messy messes. Heck, maybe even because of them....

Love to you all........ don't be so DAMN hard on yourself. oh, and can you do me a favour? Share one of your stories with another person tomorrow. Just one. xx

Enjoy your messes ...... embrace the chaos ..... and never forget to laugh it off with a friend.

ps. jeez. I didn't even get to my afternoon or the drama of the evening. :) Oh yeah and tomorrow? I've been asked to confront a bully. My plan? I think I'll bomb her with love and then listen to her stories.

kingdom come......stand by me.

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It's a beautiful day..............
And its only just begun.....

Let your gaze be beautiful.

U2,
who serenaded me all night long
only to be with you......



^^Sunrise over the Saint John River sometime last week....the view from my home.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

clarity


rain soaked impressionism
through the windshield
from the driver's seat
Oct, 2009


Most days, clarity is an illusion steeped in mystical impressionism. Ah! But on some days, stark reality rattles bones and leaves a lingering echo reverberating deep into the baritone swell of the soul. This is when the desire of seeing an altar resplendently graced with Affirmation moves into a ripe longing. It can send you to your knees. Holy loneliness haunts until it is recognized as a transitional touchpoint.... an awakening epiphany. A fear of God moment? In all its reverential orchestration.

The thought I am pondering today as I picture what my preferred altar looks and feels like as I sit feeling the resonance of the cello playing inside me.....

Love always has a tinge of vulnerability to it. When it's real. When it rattles bones. When you give it. When you receive it.

Which leads me to wonder.........

Does God feel vulnerable too when He shares His love for real? How about when He feels your love for Him?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

fallen angel

fallen angel's wings


Didn't mean to disappoint you.

I could see it in your eyes.
Seems as though my appearance
came as a sad surprise.
It was the last thing I intended.

I had hoped for so much more
our ethereal connections
kept those promises in store

Instead those wanting expectations
openly expressed

were left in discarded tatters
no reasons were confessed.


These wings are dipped in ashes,

My heart's brimming in shame

this broken angel's fallen

her appearance is to blame....

Every time you were all alone
Discomfort spoke to me

Loud waves of noisy silence

Choking air of possibility

Still I prayed I was misreading
intuitive warnings all around
Averted eyes tell no lies

when they're focused on the ground.

These wings are dipped in ashes,
My heart's brimming in shame

this broken angel's fallen

unable to spark the flame.......


This week's Sunday Scribblings word prompt is shame. It is such a powerfully debilitating feeling....the one that makes lonely feel like a walk in the park. Toxic, physically riveting, shame employs thoughts and actions in a way no other feeling comes close to. What is the opposite of shame? hmmmm.....


Shame is grace turned inside out. Can you ever experience grace when shame hits home?

My first thought when I saw this prompt was a vision of a fallen angel..... one who was given the opportunity to connect on a deep level with someone she believed she was destined to meet. But, when it happened, she quickly realized that her appearance didn't bring the comfort and joy she had hoped for, even expected. Consequently she felt like she had failed in her quest. She was left feeling ugly and discarded. Fallen, shame filled her ethereal soul.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the pows and the wows.....


My days are filled with numerous moments, crackling with emotional intensity. Highs and lows, peaks and valleys...... deep soul interactions sprinkled in the grace of poetic lives.

At the beginning of the school year, I visited every classroom and introduced myself. I told them why I was there..... to listen to their stories, to help them find balance, to encourage and to support them as they focused on their studies. I shared a little of me .......... who I was, where I came from, what I could offer, and most importantly how glad I was to be there because it felt like home to me.


Come tell me your POWS and your WOWS stories, I said. And they have, in a steady stream of unrepressed confessions. Beautiful.

Mostly, I listen to their POWS........the ones that make them keel off to the side like a listing boat taking on water. There's an urgency in the voice, a red flushing of the skin, a wringing of hands, anxious movement. Tears held in for too long cascade.... sometimes attached to relief, sometimes accompanied by embarrassment. Sometimes their tears bring mine close to the surface when the stories pluck certain chords. In those time captured slices of life, there is a sense of intimacy only felt when the depth of the connection swallows you into its gulp.

My days are filled with numerous moments, bubbling to the surface like uncorked champagne. Effervescently complicated ruminations steeped in relationships soured by abuse, addictions, arresting apathy, broken down communication pour out into cups too small to hold the drink. Life champagne overflows too quickly to take sips.

Sometimes, the WOWs walk in..... to celebrate a popping cork accomplishment, an achievement, a decision..... a resolution. We toast the highs and the lows, knowing they often go hand in hand, knowing that crisis is the catharsis for much needed changes. We deserve the champagne. It's hard work being human. It's hard work recognizing the dented imperfections in our body armor.


ah..........but I sit in peace. tonight ......... is peace, and a little breathing space .... to reflect while inhaling deeply. I haven't had much of that, and I can feel the need to. I have this urge to go find a pew.

I am in a good place. Front row seat. High intensity sound. Multi-sensory upheavals and newly found calms. I'm finding my way helping others find theirs too. I can't tell you how much that makes me smile.

I am in a good place. Face to face. Deep glowing hearts. Wide eyed interactions. Connections where kindness and kinship grow daily.

A good place........ to learn, to grow, to experience, to teach, to listen, to guide, to feel the discomfort gnawing in souls. It makes a difference.

My days are filled with numerous tenderhearted moments of meeting, greeting, and being there to catch the POWs however I can. I guess you could say that I'm helping people turn their POWS into WOWs. I feel blessed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

best intentions....


Intentions are halfway promises posed beside the shadow of time kept desire. Believable reflections of wanting, they have the power to alter a lifetime of breathing in night's indigo blues, nuanced by the light of a slivered moon. There is a deep resonance so strongly shared when intentions are transformed into words spoken out loud. Tell me what you want, what you wish for and I will meet you there.

Like a light touch whisper kiss filled with horizon promise, intentions wreathe around hope tendrils of temptation and breathe out yearnings with relieving force. A secret held onto until it becomes unlatched by the promise of receiving it unblemished by judgement, untouched by questioning, find focus only when they become a blossoming expression. When they become sensory, dreams find life.

Intentions can easily transform into lethal knives that puncture the heart of lonely. They can refresh wounds when they become rejected specks blowing in the wind.

When they feel the most believable, they hurt the most deeply when all of a sudden they evaporate. When they seem incredibly close to happening and then get yanked away by a change of heart, they leave gashes of ugly looking doubt on another.

With no explanation, beautiful potential evaporates....whisked away and thrown onto a heap of shards made from broken promises. It can just about rip you in two.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

advice from the cat.




Seek solutions in all the predictable places and you'll never the find one with staying power. Bandage your problems rather than delve into the core of the issue, it will fester below the surface. Primitive first aid stops the bleeding temporarily.... enough that we can fool yourselves into believing the problem has gone away. We have a tendancy to slip into a game of cat and mouse against that foreboding beast, internal conflict.

Deliberate denial is the choice of weapon. The goal is the successful abduction of truth.

Want relief? Step into the intrinsic chaos of the heart. Lose yourself until the descriptive feeling words are uncovered. Restricted thoughts remain shackled to you hurting humans until they are released into the field of expression. Unfetter them....give them oxygen. Storing them only leads to a bitter fermentation like cheap wine. Unfurl to seek out the real problem. Its hidden under the surface.... go below the surface. What have you got to lose? Do you honestly want to FEEL the same way forever??

If you get stuck....? DIG like a moronic dog looking for his disgusting bone,???? Dig until your find your WILL. Take that determined perseverance for the ride. A strong will is a noble trait if it has an authentic cadence to it. It folds into itself if combined with blinding stubbornness or reckless yearnings in need of immediate fulfillment rather than meeting the problem face to face.

Why is it that you pathetic human beings use your energy to AVOID and IGNORE your burdensome overblown problems rather than use it towards solving them? Suspended in time, stretched beyond its expiry date, your problems then become so much heavier, and carry so much more of the guilt and shame sandwiched in between two pieces of stale failure bread. Unleash them dammit!

Will nurtures motivation. Will awakens hope and helps you believe that solutions can be found. It is often the only ingredient left to endure suffering. When the going gets tough, and you've just about used up your internal reserves, a gulp of this inherent booster juice may possibly be all the gumption you need to deal with the bumpy road. Almost as tasty as a saucer of milk.

Use your WILL wisely........let it lead you out of that muck you got yourself in. Don't let it befriend denial anymore. After all, denial is really just a river in Africa.


ps. Cats are really full of themselves aren't they? I'm glad they keep their verbal opinions to themselves most of the time...... though they do tend to wear their snob filled disgust about how humans keep screwing up on their fur don't they? Snarky little buggers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

being understood....

I can't think of anything more life affirming than the feeling of being understood. Its like finding an open door leading to a cozy room, warmed by a stoked fire. Inside is someone who welcomes you with a generous smile and a genuine twinkle in their enthusiasm to see you.

Being understood is the confirmation that your style and your way of being is accepted unconditionally. It feeds that feeling of being comfortable in your own skin. You can relax, let your guard down, be yourself .... accept yourself .... forgive yourself. It can only happen, however, if you are in a place of comfort with who you are, and how you are.


Have you ever spent time with someone who is unable to let go of their self consciousness? So acutely aware of people who may be watching in judgement, they trip over their own projected image. It's like they are electrified with discomfort, terrified that they won't be accepted that they try too hard.

The aura around someone who is acting out of character, who is obviously uncomfortable in the own skin fills with a feeling that makes others around them feel unsettled. All the hard work beforehand....the primping and planning, the worry and the fretting to ensure that every piece of clothing is just right, that the makeup is applied without too much blush, that the accessories are not too flashy and not too conservative.... all that bother ends up creating the exact atmosphere this person was trying so hard to avoid. The unsettled feelings others have keep them at bay. The person remains on the margins. Soulfriend homeless.

Unwelcomed. Misunderstood. Destined to remain standing in the middle of an echo, behind a mask that just doesn't fit. What a complicated paradox.


John O'Donohue captured the essence of being understood so beautifully throughout his book, Anam Cara, and ties it into the love, belonging, and feeling of finding a home inside another ......."Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul." And to think we all thought a home had a roof and 4 walls!

It can't happen easily if a person doesn't find a home within herself. You have to start by loving yourself.... being kind to yourself .... accepting your imperfections as beauty marks of a life lived. It rarely happens if there is internal discomfort crawling under the skin, layering any honest vulnerability. It is almost impossible to find that open door with the warm hearth and the genuine twinkling enthusiasm when the person isn't authentically who they appear to be.

As much as we should embrace the unembraceable, love the unlovable sadly most of us walk away in an effort to get out from under the jittery aura, all the while trying to understand the person behind the persona. Phoney does that.


___________________________


ps.... What I love and admire of my friend Lisa (whose legs appear in the accompanying photo is the confidence she exudes in her beautiful unique attire .... and the fact that she lets me stalk her with my camera every Saturday at the Market! thank you Lisa! xx

Friday, October 16, 2009

part of something beautiful...



I stumbled across this youtube video on another blog and it simply took my breath away. I could picture myself in the audience listening to this man fill the space with wondrous sound images. As he sang this beautiful song, in my mind's eye, I saw him transform the Performance Cafe at the Greenbelt Festival into a swaying sea of people absorbing the positive swirling messages through a sense of communal love and belonging. I have no idea if he's ever played at Greenbelt before, but he surely should!!!

Under the star twinkling lights....

The artist is new to me. Perhaps he's well known across the pond? I don't know. What I do know is that I have fallen in love. Alexi Murdoch's gifts pull you into a holy moment of rapture.

If you have the time to sit inside the stillness of this song......

give us this day, our daily bread....


Today is World Food Day......

On Wednesday, the United Nations released a new report on global food security highlighting the correlation between the global economic crisis and the severe increase in the number of people worldwide who are starving to death. For the first time, the numbers of human beings suffering from lack of food and nutrition reached a staggering 1 billion. Over 1 BILLION people are undernourished.........

According to the report, "The largest population of the under-nourished is in the Asia-Pacific region, with 642 million, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (265 million), Latin America (53 million) and the Middle East and North Africa (42 million). Some 15 million people suffer from hunger in the developed world.

In the Global Hunger Index report released Wednesday by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Democratic Republic of Congo scored the worst, followed by Burundi, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Chad and Ethiopia."

Every six seconds, a child dies of hunger.

six seconds.........another little one perishes.

no tears...... they've dried up.


Give us this day our daily bread......... Today is World Food Day. Go to your cupboards, or go to the local supermarket and fill a bag with groceries. Take it directly to your local food bank or soup kitchen. Drop it off at the church down the road. Find the Sally Anne and give it to them. Now. It's the least we can do.

Then, if you aren't doing this already, consider sponsoring a child in need.



time out........




"Ordinary life, be my rock in times of trouble
Get me back on the earth
Put my feet on the ground."

It's been a while since I sequestered myself downstairs in the room I consider my own (and lend out to guests when they visit). I hadn't felt the urge to tuck into this comfort zone. But tonight, it called out. It called out for many reasons, all to do with the warmth you feel when soul rediscovery happens. So, here i am...... surrounded by sweet aroma candlelight, their flames somehow flickering meditatively to the voice of my companion on nights like this..... Van Morrison.

I can feel the silence coming........
Silence coming in hymns soaked in Celtic resonance.
Bred in the bone familiarity touching my own Celtic soul.

There is a beat to his music which conditionally slows me down, and leads me to a place of resting contemplation where I feel my breathing find its safe evenness. When I reach that security, my own emotions reveal themselves. Tonight, I needed to answer the call to this comfort zone, to gather my thoughts, to reflect more deeply than what the typical day allows.

Tonight...... I want to and need to re-coop, refresh, reframe, relax, and restore ....... So, I return to my soundproof, music filled, candle lit, duvet soft room, where the photos remind me of my roots. As soon as I tucked in, the softening began in a blink. The restlessness that was haunting me all evening as I paced with no sense of purpose or direction took a hike. I'm rediscovering my core, which was caught under the gathered layers of others.

I've encountered many overflowing cups these days and nights .....
Cups spilling over with acute feelings of anguish, disbelief, anger, confusion, of creeping depression, sleep deprivation, obsessive thoughts.
Cups in need of repair because they've endured big swipes from startling life gashes.
Cups spilling from the tired trembling hands that are trying so hard to balance it all.
Cups tumbling over, splashing crisis after crisis onto the floor.....

Stories and secrets unraveled with me right there to listen to, to sit beside, to try to understand, to store in confidence as promised.
As promised.....
Stories sometimes revealed in big immediate bursts, some in convoluted contortions, some in half formed thoughts and in words not worthy enough to describe the fullness of the tearful trauma.

Secrets held in with such vice grip tightness because the idea of revealing them brought red cheeked shame, or blotchy neck rash guilt were finally allowed to spill out in messy humanness.


I've realized that the type of counselling I'm best at is the crisis stuff. At the time when I was really grovelling in a ruminative navel gazing way over whether or not I wanted to continue counselling as a career, I kept stubbing my toe on the whole topic because I was only seeing the side of the field that pertains to therapy....long term, client caseload therapy.

Not for me! No. What I need is to be in the middle of the melee..... to be out in the corridors connecting, directing, listening, guiding, encouraging, hugging.... to be in my office deeply listening, problem solving, asking questions, delving into the soul crevasses, and mentoring someone to learn how to take their own lead. This is the type of counselling I'm involved, and it completely suits my personality. Its intense. Its fast paced. It requires complete rapt attention while in the moment. Rewarding beyond words, connecting through counselling is massively transformative.... for both of us.

It's tiring too. But in a really really good way.

I've encountered many overflowing cups these days and every single time I have been given the opportunity to connect with another person on a level not many have the chance to. In order to keep at it, however, I need to be aware of when it is time to sequester myself in my comfort zone.

so here I am..... drinking deeply again, sitting in the silence soaked in celtic resonance. "By his grace, by his grace...."

time for sleep................................

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'til it bleeds daylight

Fear trembles bottom lips just before the day is done.
Anxiety heats unsettled souls.
Our eyes stop blinking.

During the last vestiges of gold light upon golden leaves,
thoughts stir and whir in heart quivering spin cycles.
Stark images project on our internal screens,
stoking ash remnants of our innocence and
revealing the harsh realities of our "what if" scenarios.

mind over matter........
what is matter?

does it....... matter?

yes it does.

All we can do is to try our best.
All we can do is to ask God to dance with us.
What more can we ask of ourselves?
What more can we ask of God?
We're only human.
We're only human.....

......caught like a deer in the headlights.

Hey, God? Can you please add me to your dance card?

Monday, October 12, 2009

lost in discovery.... always a good thing.


Yesterday, my daughter and I walked along a path through the woods together, both carrying our cameras. Everyone else was way ahead of us in no time. Knowing what we were up to, they left us to amble at our own pace.

As we
stopped and pondered....
visually framed and reframed....
found unique light and angles...
attempted to capture a feeling, a mood
enjoyed quiet peace,
we shared our growing interest in photography and nature.

Lost in discovery together.

What always amazes me is how a shared walk can look, feel and be experienced so differently. I guess it just depends on the lens you use to see through.

Tonight, Martha posted a few of her photos on her blog, from our walk through the woods up on Keswick Ridge. Her ability to capture a feeling..... a mood is a gift. Her ability to confidently design visual collages of life stories like its a simple thing to do always makes me smile. At age 16, Martha is finding her own path...... and it is a beautiful one indeed.

Please check out her blog and let her know what you think of the photos she chose to post. Though I am biased of course, I think you'll like them. Besides, we all know how much a little encouragement (besides from her parents!) has the potential to stretch beyond the horizon.....

thanks.

ps...the photo above was taken by a friend.

Nature's artwork, Keswick Ridge

A blending of colour
The collage of nature
Simple extraordinary gifts from God.
enjoy.








As we are always.......... loved.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


Late afternoon yesterday, I drove towards the country roads of the Kingston Pennisula. It is a stunningly beautiful part of New Brunswick, especially at this time of year. Below a blustery stormfront, the landscape rhapsodized in a joyful harmony of colour. It seemed like such a contrast of emotions meeting on the horizon. It reminded me of a moody piece of music played by a full orchestra; one you can't help but feel deeply.


Soon, the road lost its yellow markings, and the pavement became patched and hilly. It curved to the left and then to the right, and hugged the shoreline of the Saint John River, which had widened its majestic flow. The rough waters with its silver shimmering crests looked forebodingly cold. Summer docks, abandoned once again stood silent. As did the boats moored along the banks, waiting to be lifted up on a winter hoist, to be covered in blue tarps, to be tucked in for winter. Abiding respect. That's how I felt.

Openings where barren fields, cropped only a few weeks ago of their bounty appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Old barns creaked by the heaviness of hay stacked to the rafters stood on high ground, their red rusty roofs spoke of the fatigue of days of hard labour. Flower beds in front of farm porches laden with colourful overblooms in big clay pots and hanging baskets of ivy and hardy geraniums dotted the sideroad.

I slowed down to watch an elderly man down along the shoreline, his body angled to meet the wind as he walked the empty sand beach behind his country home. I wondered what he was thinking about.... whether he was reflecting. He seemed to be in reflection. I know I was. It's that time of year.

A combination of evergreen pine, maple and birch trees lined up closer as though they were welcoming sentries on watch. Every time the wind burst forth a new gust through the narrow passages of the standing sentries, their yellow leaves detached and came showering down like handfuls of confetti. Lovely fluttering leafy butterflies. All around, the complicated splendour of autumn unveiled a resonating feeling of gratitude.

No other season encapsulates the feeling of wanting to stop life from moving so quickly as autumn does. No other season generates such a warm glow of gratitude,
for the bounty we have received,
for the harvest we are about to receive,
for the bountiful harvest others need and somehow don't receive.
May we always remember our neighbours.


This morning, the glory of autumn continues with a sunrise which lifted up in a delightful orange glow....the chosen colour of the season. Its new light reflected off the grand stay of tall trees next door, and turned the leaves into glimmering golden embers, like a fire burning way in the middle of the the air.

......a fire within a fire a burnin'
way in the middle of the air.
The little fire burned by faith
and the big fire burned by the grace of God.
Ezekiel saw a fire a burnin' way in the middle of the air.....

This afternoon, we gather with good friends to celebrate, to give thanks, to say grace together. At this time of year, grace is spoken with a timbral reverence. Humility underscores our words of praise and as we gather to hold hands.

If I could only press the pause button so I could stay here a little while longer to taste the sweet nectar of the eternal.....mmmmm, I want to linger, mmmmm, a little longer.......

Happy Thanksgiving.

ps. The last two photos were actually taken from the street I live on. Beautiful isn't it?

oh, and Mr. Chambers? I'm sorry to report that Mr. Piano man will not be joining the Thanksgiving feast today, but you both have an open invitation to break bread with us anytime ........... for the long haul.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

5 words....to make me think....

Tonight a meme from my beautiful friend Gypsy. She chose 5 words specifically for me to use as a jumping off point for some random thought scribbling. Its always interesting to see where your thoughts go in a writing exercise like this. You can easily narrow in on one itchy idea and go with that. But, if you take a step back a bit, the options on where your words will sail becomes a little more adventurous. I don't know yet where these words will lead, but I'm anxious to find out.... Lets see...

Regret.

Say it silently to yourself, or give it a voice and the word regret still has a taste of salty tears. Listen to it closely and you can hear it sigh remorsefully. Try to lift it and you feel the tugging burden of unresolved mistakes. Regret shackles you to the past and lurks like a stalker obsessed with impacting your present life.

Is there anything good about a little bit of wallowing in a puddle of regret? Well, the longer you stay in that perpetual rumination of blame and shame, the more you want to find the right key to unlock the shackles that bind and get the hell out of there. Perhaps regret in all its self-flagellation, is really a motivator to get unstuck from the moment?



Crazy....

My Psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I asked for a second opinion. So he said, "Ok, you're ugly too."

Badabing! yeah....it's not mine......it's as old as the hills. I stole that from Rodney Dangerfield. But it still makes me laugh.


So, what do I have to say about the word crazy? It's under-rated. Try it sometime. Just remember, there is a HUGE difference between being crazy and being a crazy maker. What's the difference???

Crazy is eccentric, unpredictable, kind of funny, a little outrageous, sort of lovable, RED, PURPLE and Shiny, spontaneously laughs out loud, lightheartedly responsible, motivated to embarrass her children in a crazy auntie kind of way, flirty and friendly, non intrusive, a happy dancing fool. Crazy carries quirkiness in her multi-coloured purse.

Crazy Makers are off balanced, obsessive compulsive , a little frightening, mind manipulators extraordinaire, award winning victims, people's space invaders, motivated by lustful jealousy, not aware of being crazy, always blaming others for misinterpreting their actions, folks with socio-pathological personality traits. Never in the wrong, they deny deny, deny.... Crazy makers carry mind mace in their black bag of endless tricks.

SEE? Big difference eh? So who would you want to share your Fruit Loops with?


Turn.

This week, it's been my turn to be sitting at a student's desk in a classroom listening to the teacher. OH.MY.GOD! I can't stand it!!!!! It is a mind numbing exercise in trying to remained focused on a talking head at the front of the class.

I'm taking a train the trainer course on Non Violent Crisis Intervention. By the end of the day tomorrow, I will not only be qualified to teach this course (believe me, I won't be jumping at the chance to do this as it is written in the instructor's manual) I will be able to restrain you............ legally. So, don't mess with me, unless of course you would LIKE me to restrain you.




Alive....

I don't know which way I'm going
I can't find it on my map....
seems like I get lost if I look too far ahead.
But I know it don't come easy,
life's supposed to be this way....
at least that's what my latest self help guru said.....

Gotta a compass in my pocket
and the sun to guide by day.
But when the lonely stars are out at night
Only love can point the way.

I don't know what I'm after
No answers in the wind.......
seems like its a never ending road of self reflection.
But I'm sick of gazing at this face
I see no beauty looking back,
why can't i simply accept those blatant imperfections?

I have no idea how this fits with the word alive, except that these are the words that just tumbled out of me..... so, well, there you go...........



Passion

Charismatically paradoxical, passion burns and delights. Like the heat of two bodies entwined in a hungry love tango, it simmers in endless longing. Unanchored, passion can force you down onto your knees as well as lift you up into the thin air beyond the clouds, beyond recognition. Whether it stimulates suffering through blind yearning or focused intent, passion has the potential to pump you with enough energetic adrenaline to transform your emotions into determined thoughts, which in turn can move you into action.

Passion can be good or evil, light or dark. It can bring joy or it can surround itself with sobbing sorrow. Unwilling to surrender to mediocre, it suffers fools gladly by consuming disbelievers. Passion has NO time for skeptics.

As much as it can be selfishly all encompassing and bring darkness to this world, it can also be a selflessly open-hearted expression of love. Passion radiates, frightens, motivates, inspires, stirs, refreshes, churns, shocks, delights. It is the central focal point where all emotions derive from, and return to when they need a boost. It makes us want to breathe more deeply, devour more hungrily, wrestle bears with more desire.


Passion has the panache of a flamenco dancer, the mystical faith of a seeker, and the freedom of a gypsy soul. Paradoxically, it has the light fingers of a pickpocket and can steal away your morals. It is what makes you feel crazy, it may even force you to turn your life in a different direction. It certainly wakes you up and makes your whole being feel more ALIVE.

Can it lead to regret? Only if it gets you in trouble. And if you cross that line, I may have to restrain you. I know how.



ps. thanks Gypsy. :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

joy and woe

lighthearted life, UNB woods
October, 2009
(click on the photo to make it bigger!)

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.


William Blake


Amidst the swansong sadness of the season, sometimes life is affirmed by a little miracle moment when just the right light appears. It reminds you that joy is never too far away. In fact, it may just be nestled in the woods. Grace, waiting to be discovered.

ps. I had several comments on my last post that somehow
were assigned for "moderation"
somehow and it looks like they were lost in a blogger glitch.
Sorry about that.

Monday, October 05, 2009

gifts and blessings....


This morning, I awoke to a wonderful visual gift ....from my emerald friend, Pip. He took my Greenbelt Festival Soulspace story and turned it into 4 expressive pieces of word art. Here are two of them ..... I will see if I can have it blown up and printed into a poster for my office.


I LOVE the internet....and the magical friendships I have made because of blogging. Surprised by joy and full of smiles I was this morning..... Below is my favourite photo of my emerald friend.... (a GEM through and through), which we had to plan and secretly SNAP while sitting in a poshish beautiful restaurant in Londontown last year. We had been told that in no uncertain terms were we allowed to take photos. Well, that stirred up the devilishness in the both of us..... after sharing the most delicious tea .... peppermint .... and delving into some good level 5 conversations, I got my camera ready......... and CLICK. :) I keep a copy of it posted above my computer at work and smile everytime I look up.

Pip, I want this on the back of your next publication. xx

The two beautiful pilgrims below, Joan and Pip...... we were on our way to Canterbury Cathedral, but of course had to stop for a cuppa and some sweets to tide us over. LOOK at what happens when Mr. Pip Wilson has a few sweets.... Joyful JUMPING Jacks along Pilgrim's Way.
BEE-UUU-TEEE-FULLL.



Loveitloveitloveit.... Thank you bhp Pip... I am blessed to have you and Joan in my life. Happy Anniversary to you both.