Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just not myself.....

"It's okay to not feel like yourself."

This is what the voice inside my head keeps telling me these days.

As I sleep and sleep and sleep. 

And still when I am awake and walking and talking.  I feel like I am still asleep.  I feel like there are no organs inside of me.  No heart pumping vitality to the rest of my body, no breath releasing old energy and bringing in new.

I've managed to set up distractions so that I don't feel completely useless during the day.

I think if I keep myself busy, the emptiness will go away.

And then it returns, with the setting of the sun and the bedtime kisses.

This is one of those tell tale moments of personal growth.  What I would call a "doozy" of a lesson that's being learned.  And yet I do not consciously know what is being taught.  It's all being done at a level I cannot grasp in this moment.  Like a curtain has been put up to keep me from viewing the scene. 

The only way my body can translate all the "work" that is being undertaken is to tell me that I am tired.  That I need to lay down and rest.  That I need to only concern myself with taking the next breath.

In....Out....In....Out....  Like the ebb and flow of the river lapping against the shoreline.

Just breathe and one day...POOF...I will see what has been learned, I will have the clarity that I pray for.  I will see the light.

One day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a choice.  Just like what to have for breakfast and what we wish to wear today.

It's not a pill that you swallow.  It's not magic or mystery.

It sometimes takes all the strength you have and it sometimes pisses people off.

In every moment of your day you can choose between happy and miserable.

Whether your life gets better or worse in that moment is your decision and yours only.

I know that this seems like simple fact.  But to a few people it may still be a mystery.

They may be walking around in their day completely oblivious that it is them that can make the change.  Turn it around.  Turn tragedy into triumph.  Turn that frown upside down.

To choose happiness, no matter the circumstances is a great feat.  And it's something that most spiritual teachers will tell you is the key to life, to abundance, to great health and relationships.

You don't have to believe my words.  You don't even have to read them.  Because this is a choice also.

Nobody's perfect.....

We hear that all the time don't we?  Nobody's perfect?  It's how we excuse ourselves for mistakes.  Convince ourselves that it's okay to be flawed.

I've said it many times about myself in the past.  In fact one of my favourite lines when I was working out of the house was "I don't remember putting "perfect" down on my resume", when something didn't work out as planned or I had fallen short of a goal.  It was an excuse.  Plain and simple.

My belief now is not that we aren't perfect, but that we absolutely are.

Some would think the things I've done in my life are all mistakes.  All of my decisions the wrong ones.

I suppose it's easy to guess that since most of what I have done and most of the decisions I have made were made because they were the right ones for me and not for someone else.

I don't make excuses for my decisions and mistakes anymore.  I know that all of it is perfect.  It sometimes doesn't look that way on the surface, and it is sometimes confusing for the people around me to experience, but they are perfect.

I had a friend tell me once that she is an "experiential learner".  I believe we are all experiential learners.  This earth is our classroom and we are earning (as another dear friends likes to call it) a Ph.D. in life.

We all have a story.  And isn't that the point?

I believe heartache, tragedy and life experiences are what bring us as human beings together.  To be able to hear someone tell a story that touches your heart because you remember  being in that position at one point, you remember the emotion, the physical feelings of it, you remember it like it was yesterday and so therefore, you can relate and you can send love and support to the other person experiencing the same thing.

The moments when this happens for me confirms my belief in perfection.  Nothing is left for chance in this world.  Every event, everything that has happened and will happen in my life will be perfectly planned to give me the opportunity to learn and to become a better human being. 

It's there for all of us.  If we just take the time to see it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Greatest Gifts of All!

I have had the most blessed year. 

I've met some extraordinary new friends and reconnected with old ones, I've moved into a home I love in a town I love even more.  My marriage and my relationship with my sons are full of tremendous joy.  My business is thriving and I'm makig more connections in my community than I ever thought possible.  And I've had the pleasure of learning how to love myself more for all that I am and all that I have to offer my community, friends and family.

Yep, it's been an amazing year!

Having a chat with a friend today helped me to connect a little more deeply with all the things that I am grateful for.

I remember starting off this year feeling vulnerable, lost and alone.  I'm ending the year feeling inspired, loved and supported.

This comes from all of those new friends in my life.  The ones who taught me how to "breathe in compliments".  The ones that helped me recognize that sometimes getting a negative response to something meant I had impacted or affected a change in the person offering that response. 

They have helped me to realize my special hidden talents, supported me in my journey to finding my light and inner love.  They have laughed with me and cried with me.  Held the mirror up for me so I could see where it was I needed to make a change in my life.

Inspired me with their passion for change.  Motivated me with their kind words of encouragement.

Linked arms and walked side by side with me.  Grasped my hand and pulled me up when I was down.  Showed me there was way more to life than a busy calendar and lots of money.  Offered me their wisdom and love without asking for anything in return.

To all of you...  Thank you...  For the greatest gifts you could ever have given me...

 I love you all with all of my heart.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Flashbacks....whoa!

Blame it on the full moon.  Blame it on my PMS rubbing off on them.  But the men in my house have been on each other's nerves for the last 2 days!

A recent verbal war between father and teenage sons about the dishes (of which I didn't do a very good job of staying out of) brought me back to a childhood memory I always knew I had, I just didn't know it was lying dormant waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

My father was an active alcoholic until I was around 12 years old.  And for the most part I ignored this fact until one Christmas he came home from the local bar totally hammered and obviously not up for any annoying behaviour.  Well, if you consider eating a festive cookie annoying behaviour.  Which apparently he did!

I might have been around 9 or 10 and I remember sitting in front of the television watching a Christmas special with my sister and foster brother.  My father came in the room (I don't remember what he was saying, if anything at all), I remember him walking in front of the tv and all of a sudden getting really angry about the way we were chewing our cookies...  He started to yell and make rude comments about the way we were eating our cookies and at one point offered to help shove one down one of our throats.  I remember being understandably frightened of him at this point (like I said I made a great effort to ignore my father's alcoholism prior to this).  It all happened really fast and most likely my mother ushered him off to bed (all the while giving him a piece of her mind).

The point is I had no idea that this memory (which I have always had total recollection of btw) still held any power over me.  In fact, I didn't think it had power in the first place.  It was just one small event amongst many.  But after the boys were done shouting I instantly felt the emotion ball up in my throat.  The lights on the Christmas tree, the sound and tone of their voices shouting, and Christmas music in the background made me feel like throwing up!

My body knew where I was, but in that moment it felt like my brain hit rewind and I was instantly transported back to that moment all those years ago and I bawled like a baby for over an hour.

It's a struggle for me to get in the Christmas spirit.  I wonder if this is why?  I also wonder if it is why my dad never liked Christmas either.  Did he remember that moment and feel ashamed?  Did he ever wish he could take that moment back?

There's so much within me that needs to be healed still.  Obviously.  And this episode made me realize that my body, mind and spirit will choose the way in which it best needs to do this.  I don't believe I could have forced this to happen even if I tried.  The Universe definitely knew what was necessary for me to connect all the dots and experience the healing that occurred.

So, what's the moral of the story?

I have no idea. Thanks for reading anyway!

Friday, December 17, 2010

boobs, butts and bellies.....NOW have I got your attention!

If your a regular to this blog, you will no doubt have noticed I am on a kick to embrace my divine femininity.

I have to say that it's been quite intense over the last couple of weeks.  I'm finding myself weaving in and out of old and new stories about myself.  I feel like I've been given a magnifying glass to look at myself more clearly.

I've been doing more to help myself feel better in my skin.

I've been making an effort to attend yoga classes at the local gym (and I'm finally learning to love yoga and what it does for the body and mind!)

I've also begun to make a ritual out of really facing myself and looking at myself in the mirror every morning.  The trick to this is to have no thoughts as I am doing so. 

One day as I was investigating every inch of my body as I stood in front of the mirror, I once again noticed all of the stretch marks and wrinkles on my belly.

This part of my body has disgusted me for years, since I've had children.  Gone is the once tight smooth skin of my abdomen (that unfortunately even THEN I didn't appreciate).  What is left in it's place is a bulging bunch of wrinkly skin.  My navel barely recognizable! 

This particular day though I took a closer look and I could hardly believe my eyes!  I noticed that the lines on my belly resembled a tree!  The roots, trunk and branches all very defined and visible.  How could I have missed this amazing visual effect all of these years?!?!?

Wow, a tree!

At that moment I connected to the realization that I have never appreciated the symbolism of this part of my body. The sacrifice my body made to create, nurture, house and grow another being into life.  It truly is magnificent. 

As women we talk alot about our bodies.  It doesn't seem to matter what the conversation is about, somehow it turns to a discussion about boobs, butts and bellies.  What we'd like to change, what we wish we could upgrade, what could use a downsize or upsize. 

We do all that we can to improve ourselves, no matter the cost to our health sometimes.

I hear that when a woman hits her fifties that she begins to be comfortable with her body, her life, herself.

I don't want to wait 12 years to become comfortable with myself.  I don't want to wait 12 years to finally embrace my inner Goddess, to finally be able to step into my feminine power and love my body.

I want that now!  How 'bout you?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I've got a new song!

Sometimes along your journey towards something spectacular you can pinpoint exact moments in time when something shifts inside of you.  A word is spoken or a story is shared and you realize "OMG!  That's it!  That's the missing piece!"

This week has been filled with them and today was no exception. 

There are no coincidences here.

I shared in my last blog about the disconnectedness I have been feeling with regards to expressing my femininity.  I've been giving this SO much thought over the last couple of weeks and the more I think about it the more I receive messages from my world about the next steps I need to take.

For example, a couple of days ago a good friend of mine handed me a book she picked up at a store entitled "GROW".  It's a great book about connecting to our femininity, what that looks like for each of us as individuals.  It is filled with vibrant colors and inspiring stories to help me truly find my true nature, connect with it and live it on the inside and out.

Then today, as I sat sharing stories with another good friend the conversation turned to self love and how we feel about our bodies, how we treat (or mistreat) them.  She leaned over and said to me "This is a bit embarassing but I used to wear really tight bathing suits under my clothes to squish and hide my breasts as a young girl."  She shared how much she felt like a freak in her own body.  In that moment I connected to a memory I had of stuffing my own bra at a very young age because the torment I got from being skinny and flat chested was unbearable.  I shared this memory with her, to which we both laughed at ourselves and questioned why it is that as young girls we insist on covering up who we really are?!?!  And more importantly WHY do we still do it as adults?

The memory of the pain of growing into a woman hadn't come to mind in quite a long time.  This was a Eureka moment for me!  That moment of reconnecting to the memory of me being a young girl, teased for something I had no control over really hit home.  I have been not trusting my inner self for a very very long time.  I have not been feeling good in my own skin for 38 years!

I believe there is no greater tragedy in this lifetime than to live with the idea that you are not good enough, that you are not pretty, tall or slim enough!  I've had enough of that life!

It's time to turn on a new song ladies.  It's time to turn on the song called "Take this shame and shove it!" and like the quote says "dance like nobody's watching!"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Helllooo, divine feminine....Where are you?




The topic of the divine feminine has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now.

As I grabbed Marianne Williamson's book "A Woman's Worth" off my bookshelf for the first time and leafed through it, I began to realize just how far away I have pushed my divine feminine "powers".  Her words about feminine power and the ways of a woman really touched me and at the same time had me feeling frustrated and confused about where I am in this moment with those feminine powers.  I feel like I have misplaced them somewhere, like a set of car keys.

I can see it in the way I dress myself, the lack of effort I put towards my hair and make up, the muted colors I choose for my wardrobe.  There's no color, no fun in anything I wear.  To quote a good friend during a conversation about my struggle with this topic; "my inside isn't matching my outside".  I feel more frumpy than sexy.

Inside I feel love, joy and gratitude almost consistently.  Yet you wouldn't know it by my physical appearance.  My outward appearance looks tired, worn out.

Years of giving all of my energy to my son's and husband, throwing on jeans and a sweatshirt to head to the arena and watch hours upon hours of hockey.  Working from home as a healer means I don't have a need to get all dressed up in the morning.  The lack of time these days to write, draw and create have me drifting even farther from the girl I want to be.

I want to be comfortable inside and out, and I want to look good and inspire other women at the same time.

During yoga class yesterday I found myself staring into the mirror as I held the Warrior pose.  I forced myself to look over my body, I watched myself hold that pose, strong and powerful in that moment.  And I wanted to hug that woman in the mirror, to tell her that she is beautiful, that she is powerful no matter how it looks on the outside and that she is well on her way to becoming reacquainted with her divine femininity.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All I've Ever Wanted

 Last year at this time I had taken part in something called "An Idea Party". 

It was a workshop based on the law of attraction.  You know "what you think about you bring about!".  There was a lot of motivational information and we made lists of things we wanted in life, what our perfect day would look like if we had everything we could ever possibly want.

I had even won tickets to the Napoleon Hill Foundation's 100th Anniversary celebration in California.  I was convinced that if I surrounded myself with all the big names, that somehow some of their success and their secrets to a money filled life would rub off on me.


Although, this time in my life was exciting.  It was far from comfortable.  

While I was purging some old paperwork a couple weeks back I came across my notes for this workshop.  My list of things that I wanted in life was 2 pages long (I think the idea was to come up with at least 100 things).  There were things on that list that don't even make sense to me now.

In just one short year, my list of 100 material wants and desires has been shortened to:  Grace, Love and Connection.

I have realized that I don't need anything more than grace, love and connection to be fulfilled.  And that while I was out searching for more money so I could acquire some of the 100 things I thought I wanted, I was taking myself further from all I have ever needed or will ever want in life.

What's great about needing only love, grace and connection is that I don't have to work towards attaining it.  It is there for me to have, it has been all along.  All I have to do is allow it to surface and bathe in the flow of it all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waving my White Flag

My whole life I have struggled with decision making.

Even the simplest decision, like what to cook for dinner could take me all day to make and could still end up with my family eating Cheerios!

It's part of my astrological make up.  I haven't met a Libra yet that can make a quick decision. 


When I'm faced with even bigger decisions that need to be made, I become stuck.  Frozen in my tracks. 

Most of those big decisions mean facing some of my biggest fears.  Stepping through obstacles that are usually more powerful in my imagination than they are in "real life".

I found myself faced with one of these monsters of a decision this weekend.  I knew it was coming, and it landed right in front of me on Sunday evening.

I don't want to get into details, what I want to do is share with you how terrified I am. 

I know what the right thing to do is.  What I HAVE to do.  Not for the sake of someone else, no one is telling me what I should do.  I am feeling it in my heart.  I am being spoken to by a higher power on what my next step is to be.  And yet I am having so much difficulty trusting in that feeling, trusting in the knowledge that when I am lead by my heart I never fail.  And yet, my mind is telling me that I will fail.  That I will be shunned, that I will be turned away.

There is this war going on between my heart and head at the moment.  My heart knowing full well what the best course of action is and my head making up imaginary scenerios that look almost like the end of the world (the downside to a creative mind I suppose).

I have spent most of this day imagining a white flag.  Seeing myself declare a truce between these two powers within me and asking for just a moment of further clarity and a whole lot of courage to get through this.

In the end the reality is that it doesn't matter either way.  Whether I am turned away or embraced, it doesn't matter because taking the step, making the move, taking action and going with my heart will be the gift.  There is nothing that could possibly be more rewarding that just taking the risk and making the decision that might change everything forever.

{deep breath}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Urge to Purge

For the past couple of weeks I've had this overwhelming urge to purge some old stuff. 

I had been holding on to binders full of prayers, meditations, information on spirituality, fasting and how to stay well.  I had pages and pages of poetry I had written, doodles of fairies and angels, journals full of feelings, acknowledgements and insight.

I pulled all of these binders out of their hiding place and page by page began to say good bye to the past.

At first I was hesitant. 

What if I decided I needed this stuff one day?

The answer to this question was this.  I have never needed this stuff.  Those journals full of old words, old feelings, old perceptions are no longer necessary for me to keep.  There isn't anything in those journals that is the least bit valuable.  Everything of importance is stored in my mind and body.  Everything that isn't important was gone a long time ago.

I read through journal after journal and was amazed at how far I had come.  That acknowledgement helped me to toss all of the information in the garbage.

I could only imagine the energy that was being stored in those pages.  The confusion, frustration, sadness, guilt and shame, still stuck there in the form of words and thoughts that served no other purpose than to remind me of who I used to be.

I opened up my creative journal today and began to cut out pages that were not conducive to a loving nature.  Anything that sounded critical, judgemental, frustrating or angry got cut into teeny tiny pieces.

I no longer see the purpose in holding onto journals full of past confusion. 

Life is so much lighter when the past is gone.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Gramma!

Today was my grandmother's 92nd birthday.

I kissed the soft skin of her cheek and I asked her "have you ever in your life thought about the day you would become 92?"

She replied that she didn't think she'd make it this far.  Her own mother dying at the age of 55.


She's a beautiful, beautiful woman.

At one point in our conversation she asked if it was November 11.  I told her it was November 14 and she started to laugh saying "oh, it's my birthday today". 

It was a cute moment.

She can remember watching her grandchildren play hockey 30 something years ago.  She can remember the names of her neighbours and old friends.  She couldn't remember that it was her birthday today.


I love this woman who became my grandmother when I married my husband.  I love that she calls me her granddaughter, something I have no memory of my own grandparents doing since they died when I was young.  I love that she believes I am a special part of her family.  I love that she is 92 and can laugh at the fact that she didn't remember that today was her birthday.

I want to be just like her when I grow up!

The mess in my mind...

Have you ever been surrounded by people and still felt completely alone?

I have.

I do.

Most days.

Like even if I picked up the phone and called my very best, very closest friend she/he would still not be able to understand a word I am saying.

The equivalent to looking in the mirror and not even recognizing myself.

It's like stepping off a plane from a far off land, not knowing anyone and not being able to speak the language of the locals.

It feels like my brain is over stimulated by all of the everything that goes on around me and I can't put it all together and organize it into anything useful.

And so I smile.

Hoping that someone, anyone will recognize that smile, that look in my eyes that says "I need someone to understand me".


And then the reality of this situation. 

One day they may be able to know who I am, to understand my passion, my motives and the next they will not.  And that's the whole point isn't it?  To change, to shift, to grow?  To become someone you were not just 5 minutes ago?

Always sitting precariously on the edge of something new.  A new belief.  A new thought.  A new life.

Then instantaneously, nothing is the same.  The faces are different.  They have to be.  Or do they?

I don't know....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Letter to Me

I love that song by Brad Paisley entitled "A Letter to Me".

If you don't know the song, it's about a grown man who wishes he could write a letter to himself as a teenager giving himself tips about life and how to get by.

I'm not sure why, but this song is stuck in my head today and it got me thinking about what I would say if I could write a letter to myself.

Have you ever wondered what you would say to yourself as a child?

Dear Jennifer;

You don't know me, but one day you will.  You were born to do amazing things.

I know it doesn't always seem like it, but there is love for you everywhere, no matter how invisible you feel at times.  I've learned that this feeling of being invisible is really common amongst children and you are totally normal and there is nothing wrong with you!

You work so hard to get good grades in school, most of the knowledge you will need however won't come from text book or a teacher.  It will come from a place within you.  It's a place you already know very well and all you need to do is practice listening to that wisdom and using it when you can.
 
If you only knew how much your smile would light up rooms and melt sadness and fear, you would show it off more often.



You know all those dreams you have that others laugh at.  Keep those alive inside of you and don't let anyone knock them loose.  You fulfill every single one of those dreams.  

There are going to be many bumps in the road of life, you manage each one of them just fine, always brushing yourself off and setting off to the next thing.

You know that hunch you have about marrying the Merritt boy?  That one's right on the money, and it's a special relationship the two of you have.  You'll finally know unconditional love, you'll finally know what it's like to have someone appreciate and admire you.  You have so much to offer eachother.  But you know that already, don't you?

Make sure to always say what you feel, even if you think someone's feelings will get hurt.  It's important to speak your truth, to share your feelings and thoughts.  More important than you realize.

And just so you know, parents don't get divorced because their kids did something wrong, they get divorced because they don't love eachother the way they used to and they want something more for eachother.  Your Mom and Dad will always be proud of you no matter what!

You grow into a beautiful, strong and healthy woman.  You'll be a great mom, one of your greatest dreams!

All that you think you are, small, unimportant, fragile, invisible and "uncool".  You couldn't be further from the truth.  You are powerful, important and strong.

You have a very important role in this life and I am so very proud to be who you are.

Love

You @ 38.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Time to Give

I have for the better part of 4 years now been self employed.  And of that time I have spent a large portion worrying about finances, wondering how to attract clientele, stressing because nothing seemed to be going my way and struggling with the responsibilities that come with networking and marketing myself as a healer.


Over the past 2 months I have come to realize something very, very important.  That my "business" is not going to flourish just because I have a website, or kick ass brochures or pretty, eye catching business cards.

My "business" is going to flourish because I put my heart and soul into it.

This seems obvious right?

It wasn't to me.

When I look around at the business industry, I see exactly what they want me to see.  The businesses with the big ads on tv, the best marketing campaigns and the ones that spend the most money on advertising seem to do the best.  Therefore, I felt the need to spend every penny I had (which wasn't much) on promoting my "business".  There is a business mentality that you feel you need to follow when you are self employed.  You know the sayings "you need to spend money to make money", "you gotta be one step ahead of the competition".  Those types of things.

side note:  I am putting the word "business" in quotations because I'm not seeing what I do as a "business" anymore.  I am seeing it as a lifestyle choice. 

When I placed emphasis on making money and bringing in business I was miserable and unproductive, constantly feeling like a failure if there was no response.  Which, (no matter how much self promoting I did) sent the wrong energetic message to potential clients and sent them away from me instead of towards me.


Now, when I think of myself as a healer by choice, not by necessity there is a lighter feeling.  And the ideas flow much more freely now that I'm not putting added stress on myself to maintain an unfair standard.

I have recently been guided to give away much of what I have to offer.

As you may have read in another post, this week was Reiki Awareness Week and I treated people to Reiki in exchange for a free will donation (meaning they were free to give a donation or not give a donation).

I have also been guided to offer complimentary Reiki treatments to cancer patients for the month of November.  I wish I would have thought of this last month during cancer awareness month, I suppose it's better to be late than never to offer it at all.

I have created my own calendars, filled with artwork and famous quotes that I will be selling, a quarter of the proceeds will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

And I recently held a Reiki awareness evening for free so that I could bring much needed education to my community.


I guess what I am saying is, if you're like me and you've tried everything to build your business, you've spent large amounts of money getting started and haven't seen any progress.  You might want to consider a different approach, if your calendar has holes in it where appointments could be booked, and you lack the clients to fill that space, offer your services for a discounted price or for free.  Or book in a free information seminar to get the word out about what you can offer to your community.

It feels way better to do this than to sit around wondering what on earth your doing wrong and in the end those good feelings are way more beneficial to the rest of the world than the negative ones.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reiki, Reiki, Reiki

This week I am offering full 1 hour Reiki healing treatments to anyone wishing to give this "alternative" healing practice a try in exchange for a donation of your choice.

I believe that if we want things to change in this world, than we need to step up and encourage these changes to happen.

Lately I've noticed a tremendous lack of awareness about "alternative" healing practices.  In the area where I live there is practically a Reiki practitioner living in every other house, yet no one seems to really know what it is or what it can do for them.

My Reiki practice has brought me so much joy and success, that I have become quite passionate about sharing my experiences with others and encouraging them to become educated in the choices they have when it comes to their physical, mental and spiritual health.

There are many different modalities that you can take part in.  Each one with a specific technique, yet delivering the same level of care for those who seek a better way of finding balance in their life.

Taking that first step and trying something new can open you up to some profound learning and healing.

You are worth at least a first step.  Aren't you?



Jennifer is a Reiki Master Teacher and is committed to helping you become more aware of this ancient healing practice.  Feel free to send her a message to book your "donation only" Reiki treatment, or ask any questions you may have about this practice.

PS - I'm also holding a Reiki Awareness Evening, Wednesday, October 27 @ 7pm if you care to join us to learn about all things Reiki!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Simply the Best!

I believe I've been to this place before and was too busy with life to stop and notice.

This week it seemed I had no choice but to stop & notice.  It felt like the most bliss filled space I've ever been.

You know the feeling you get when you sit in your new car for the first time, taking in the feel and smell of it. 

How about when your kids come down the stairs on Christmas morning, eyes alight with anticipation and joy. 

Or when your boyfriend of 2 years gets down on one knee and pulls a ring box out of his jacket pocket.

You know; the heart fluttery, love filled, smile on your face, nothing can bring you down feelings.

That's been my week.

More than once this week I found myself doing the "jump around the kitchen with my arms pumping up and down in the air, squealing "yes, yes, yes!" dance.

It didn't seem to start off that way though.

The week began with us making the decision to put our year old puppy to sleep because she had a brain tumour.  If you read my blog that day you already know that it didn't turn out to be the grief filled momen I had anticipated, it actually turned into a moment filled with a sense of love and peacefulness.

Later that same evening I was blessed with a house full of Reiki friends as we shared our Reiki stories, new information and ideas, as well as some much needed healing sessions with eachother.  The love that I felt through that day and into the evening was indescribable.  Like my heart was going to burst open and fill the house with light.

Every moment this week was like that, whether I was shopping at the second hand store, having tea with a friend or spending time with my pastels; the feeling was there, embracing me and making me feel like I was right where I belong.

I experienced a whirlwind of encouragement this week, from students, friends, clients and strangers.

I even had a gentleman call me with regards to a drawing I did for him.  It was a gift from his wife.  He wanted to tell me how much he loved it, that it meant a lot to him and that he hoped "I take my gift to the moon"!

This was one of those dance around in the kitchen moments for me.

I've learned to breathe these compliments in (thanks to some very wise friends) and so I took this entire week and breathed it right into my heart.  Feeling the love and perfection with each and every moment.

And it seemed the more I did this the more confirmation I received from the Universe that I was on the right track.  It was like watching a beautiful story unfolding.

I'm hoping this blog inspires those of you who may be having the shittiest week of your life, to keep moving forward, keep moving towards your dreams and goals.  Don't stop to look back.  Don't worry whether you're doing the right thing or not, if it feels right in your heart then you are exactly where you need to be.

I also needed to write about this week as a reminder to myself when things aren't looking so wonderful, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.  There will always be a moment put in my path that will give me the encouragement I need to keep me going in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ode to a Beautiful Pup

Yesterday I had (yet again) the unfortunate duty of making the decision to put a beloved pet to rest.

Willow was only a year old, a beautiful lab/sheppard mix that received many compliments from passersby on our daily walks.

When we brought her into our family, we were still dealing with the loss of my brother, and I knew in my heart that Willow was coming to us to bring us the love that we needed at the time.

Throughout the last 3 months we watched as her health steadily declined.  The vet had no answers for us, he was completely baffled over the mass of symptoms she was experiencing, that she responded to none of the treatments he tried made it that much harder.

While we were away on vacation last week, her health declined even further and we knew we would have to make a decision about her future when we returned home.

So, yesterday as I stood in the veterinarian's office, listening to the vet tell me that it was most likely a brain tumour causing all these odd symptoms.  I felt relieved to know that there was nothing more I could do for her and sad at the same time that the only thing left for me to do was to say good-bye.

I thought the sadness was going to overtake me, render me useless for days while I grieved her absence in our lives.

Then something happened....

I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and calm.  In fact it was the same sense of peace and calm that I felt when my father passed away.

Then a deep and profound sense of love and gratitude swept over me.  New tears began to puddle in my eyes as this love grew stronger and stronger.  I have never in my life felt so completely and utterly loved, as I did in that moment.

This feeling has lasted through last night and into today.  It's hard to explain with words, so I won't muck it up trying.

In my heart I know that Willow's spirit came to me, embraced me and thanked me for my love, time and attention.

I believe she chose our family to care for her because she knew she would be loved, understood and nurtured.  She knew that our hearts were big enough to handle the heartbreaking task of helping her to transition with dignity.

I will never forget what Willow did for me in my time of need.  And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I returned the favour.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Forgiveness....and then some

What is the most difficult thing you have ever had to forgive?

I was reading through a Reader's Digest magazine the other day and came across an article about the genocide in Rwanda.  The article described a woman and a man who had both been involved in the genocide and who were acting in a new play about the struggles of the people of that region.  The play is about a woman who forgives her sister's killer.

It got me thinking about the power of forgiveness.  As well as the many times I have forgiven others.

What I have come to realize is that ultimately the forgiveness comes around to me.  I willingly forgive someone for their "wrong doing" and then am faced with or find that I have forgiven myself for believing that someone would intentionally do something wrong towards me.

Here's where I'm getting at. 

Each and every act is an act towards the self.

Each and every situation, no matter what the circumstances and details is an act towards the self.

When we gossip about someone.  We are gossiping about ourselves.

When we hurt someone.  We are hurting ourselves.

When we criticize, judge and blame someone.  We are criticizing, judging and blaming ourselves.

The person whom we are directing all of this at is merely a visual substitute for ourselves.

It's an interesting experiment.  The next time you are in a foul mood and are projecting that in an outward direction, bring it back for a minute and ask yourself "is this how I feel about myself?"

9 times out of 10 you will find that the comments, attitude and negativity are truer when you relate them to yourself than they are when you relate them to someone else.

On the positive side.  The same is true for all the love that we give out in a day.  We are projecting all of that love out to others, and it really is how we feel about ourselves!

That was then... This is now!





one of the many roads it takes to get into the cottage 
Imagine. 

A quiet, cozy cottage nestled deep in the forests of Northern Ontario, overlooking a serene lake where the only noise you can hear is the dropping of the leaves from the trees.  Smoke rising from the chimney throughout the day.  Warm tea, a snuggly blanket and a good book.

This is where I spent my time these last 7 days.



We finally decided this was the year we would do something we've been wanting to do for some time now, spend Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.

the view from the canoe
The weather was absolutely perfect.  The boys caught tons of fish each night they went out and had a ton of fun hunting down unsuspecting wood grouse (only to either not get a shot in or miss them completely when they did get one).  They get their desire to hunt, as well as their complete lack of aiming skills from their father.  {smile}  I managed to digest 5 books in the 7 days I lounged under my cozy blanket, complete bliss in my world.

I remember a time when I didn't enjoy this space as much as I do now.

Actually, for much of 13 years I suffered severe anxiety about being in the fabulous North.  Weird...  But not really....

My anxiety had to do with a combination of things.  Mainly I didn't like being alone.  Let me correct that, because I wasn't "alone", I didn't like being with MYSELF.  There were many times that my husband would be off doing a chore or indulging in a bit of fishing and I would be left at the cottage by myself and I would literally panic.  It began to be a problem when I would anticipate being alone and my anxiety would grow before we even left our driveway at home!

I realized this week as I journalled about my feelings now versus my feelings then and I realized some of my anxiety was also about me wanting things to be different than they were.  The anxiety and panic were my way (subconsciously) of trying to change my situation through forcing it to change.

That didn't work out as well as I had "subconsciously" planned.

The panic got worse, spilled over into every day life and had me thinking I would need to be medicated in order to function as a "normal" person, especially if I was to go on vacation.

a yummy treat
3 years ago we ventured into the North for our family vacation and I spent an entire week without one panic attack.

I do remember how wonderful it felt to be able to enjoy such serenity and time with  my family without having to constantly cry or throw up!

I wish I knew what I did differently.  In reflection I don't think it's anything that can be written down or handed out as advice.  I think I just grew into a space of no longer needing to control life.  I know for certain in the past 3 years I finally started to love myself and I gave my permission to just be, whatever that looked like in the moment I promised myself I would be okay with it and stop judging myself for it.

It seemed the minute I came to those conclusions within myself the anxiety/panic was deflated.  It no longer held any power over me.

So this trip (as with each trip over the past 3 years) I was filled with an overflowing sense of gratitude.  Not only because am well enough to enjoy it all, also because I appreciate how wonderful it is to have what we have.

Life is good.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The "B" word....

** I offer you my sincerest apologies for the length of this post.  The topic of bullying came up for me this morning and I felt it was worth posting my thoughts, with the new school year well under way our children are once again experiencing bullying on the playground.  My perception of this issue is my own and I do not expect anyone else to agree with me.  This is a touchy subject with parents all over the world and I respect everyone's ideals and beliefs about it. **

I'm sure we've all had an occasion where we've dealt with a bully in our lives, and watching our children go through it can be excruciating and we often don't know how to approach the issue.

As a parent of children who have experienced bullying in the school, I think it's important to first keep an open mind.  When your child comes through the door after a day at school and unloads all the stuff that made him uncomfortable about the day, take the time to ask some important questions to try and sift through what may be your child's insecurities and not a bullying issue at all.

My middle son used to come home and say to me "everybody at school hates me!"  I would then ask him "who is everybody?"  After some investigation, I would find that there was one child specifically who made it his duty to create conflict everyday with him, would work towards getting other kids to join in the conflict and make him feel like everyone disliked him.  To a child who just wants acceptance from other children, it is easy to get caught up in the feeling that "everybody hates me".  We do it as adults as well.  It's our ego's way of filling us with more fear and insecurity about ourselves.

I didn't "poo poo" his statement about everyone hating him, I questioned it.  I questioned why he felt the way he did.  I questioned what happened to bring about the supposed hate he was feeling.  I question everything until I got to the heart of the matter, which usually always turns out to be an insecurity that my son is nurturing in the moment.

I also let my children know from the beginning that I am interested in only the truth of the situation.  That I am not interested in embellishments or twists in wording.  Just the simple truth and the facts so that I can guide them to a solution that will be most effective.  When you are engaged in this kind of conversation with your child you can usually pick up on the subtle queues they are giving to indicate they are not being completely honest either in what their role was in the situation or the role of others.

My boys also know that I am not the kind of parent that will run to the first school official or parent to unleash a wrath of anger and assumptions (however tempting that sometimes is).  I work to give them the tools they need to deal with the situation themselves (we have yet to have a circumstance where parental intervention is required, they have been quite capable of handling it themselves with support from myself and my husband.  If it were to escalate I would certainly step in, of course with documentation of what has transpired in the past).

By taking these steps I am providing my children with the necessary skills to dig deeper into a situation to find a solution without over reacting to it.  I am allowing them to become more aware and to learn from their peer group.  I am also allowing them to take responsibility for their relationships, something they will definitely need to know how to do in the future.

What I find has happened over the years is that the term "bullying" has been used to describe everything from physical threats to emotional abuse to a simple disagreement between children.

So what is bullying really?  Bullying Canada describes bullying as "someone who hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves".  I will add that it is usually directed at a someone the bully feels is weaker than they are and is a consistent ongoing behaviour with the bully, it is not a random act.  A true bullying situation demoralizes and alienates the person being bullied and has lasting emotional effects on the "victim".

Not every situation that your child encounters that makes him uncomfortable is a bullying situation. 

Bullies have an agenda.  It is always in their best interest to manipulate another person, beit another child or a even their own parent. 

I don't agree that bullying build character and that children should just "suck it up" and I never inform my boys to do this.

What I have learned over the years is that despite well intentioned educators, the children who are being bullied are largely ignored when they submit a complaint about another child.  A reason for this is that the bully is often a repeat offender and the parents are unresponsive to phone calls home and disciplinary action that needs to be taken and so the bully is given more power and is able to continue with his destructive behaviour.  This is when I decided to coach my children and to give them a safe place to talk about their feelings and dig deeper into what can be done to alleviate the problem.

For example, my own children have made a decision to no longer associate with a boy in the neighbourhood because this boy decided that one day he would carry a utility knife "for protection from people who are mean to him".  They decided to tell this boy that they would no longer be riding their bikes to school with him or spending time with him after school because they felt uncomfortable around him.

This was not the first time my boys had been in an uncomfortable position with this boy, and had on countless occasions witnessed him manipulating, criticizing and demeaning another neighbourhood boy.

This boy went home to his mother and told his mother that my sons were being mean to him and that they were bullying him.  We've known this family for years and have known about this boys tendencies for a while now.  The mother confronted my sons without my knowledge or permission while they were playing with friends.

This mother is not doing her son any favours.  She is actually enabling her son in his sociopathic behaviour.

It's important as parents to recognize our children's tendencies.  It is important to learn more about how they interact with other children, pay attention to conversations they have, how they respond to others and how they deal with conflict.

It can be as easy as listening at the window when your children are outside playing with friends.

By doing just this I learned that my youngest son likes things his way, he likes to have everyone playing a part when they play.  Other children will often go off and play at something else when he gets a little too obsessive about it and he ends up playing on his own.  Eventually he will learn how to play in a more balanced way because he will experience this over and over again, this is how children learn to be social.  If I stepped in and cleared things up or instructed the other children to play his way, I would be enabling his behaviour and he would never learn to socialize "properly" and he wouldn't be a someone anyone would want to associate with.

If this particular mother were to better understand her son, she could effectively help him to realize why he feels the need to intimidate and demoralize other children.  The other children he is involved with are trying to teach him proper socialization and she is standing in the way of this natural process and growth.

Helping our children through these times is not easy, we have to be diligent with every opportunity and we have to be respectful of everyone involved.

This is not an easy thing to do.  It is not easy to let go and let our children learn through their peer group.  It is not easy to take a good hard look at our beloved child and see that they are struggling and need help.

However, we MUST confidently step into what is not easy to effect positive change in our children's world.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Note to self: get out of the way!

Does it ever feel like there is always something getting in the way of your success or holding you back from getting what you want out of life?

It often feels this way to me.

I can go along for months gaining momentum with each opportunity that comes up only to find that one day I wake up to a brick wall where there was no brick wall before!

I often wondered why this happens. 

Well, maybe "wondered" isn't the right term.  I've always known why this happens, I CHOOSE to ignore it, hoping it will go away!

Does this sound familiar?

For example, the one area of my life that could use a boost is my relationship with my business.

I can pinpoint exact moments when I sabotage this relationship and to be honest I am no longer disappointed when things don't go exactly as I had originally planned because...well....I know I'm sabotaging it.

So today someone asked me the question "in the deepest part of yourself why are you sabotaging your relationship with your business?" 

My answer shocked the heck out of me.

I replied "I'm afraid of becoming successful because then I may not have the time to spend with my family the way I want to spend it". 

I equate "success" with working like a dog 24/7 because that is all I've known, it's what I was taught.  I have not fully integrated the vision of success being whatever the hell I WANT it to be.  And the reality is it would look like having oodles of time to spend with my family!

The other thought I have associated with success is "who do you think you are, what have you possibly done to deserve success?"

The moment I spoke the words it felt utterly ridiculous.  Who is afraid of success?  What a stupid fear?  I'm so ashamed that I've had this fear and it's been holding me back...

But wait a minute....

In the moment I voiced that fear.  In the moment I finally acknowledged it's existence instead of sweeping it under the rug I felt a shift in my perception.

I had been holding myself back through indulging this fear.  It doesn't have anything to do with anyone but me!

I began to notice my whole body start to feel heavy, a calm and peaceful relaxed heaviness came over me and I could feel that the acknowledgement had somewhat released the grip that this fear had on me.

To me fears indicate a missing piece to a puzzle.  It's frustrating to have missing pieces to a puzzle, isn't it?  If we dig deeper into our fears we begin to uncover those missing pieces and bit by bit we can put the puzzle together and in doing so we make ourselves whole once again.

What is your biggest fear when it comes to meeting your full life potential?

Are you ignoring this fear hoping it will go away?

What is it going to take for you to release this fear and take the next step toward living an inspired life?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The gift.....

Evolving and growing has always been a fascinating process to me.

I liken it to opening a gift.

You know that big juicy gift that is sitting on top of the table along with all of the other gifts.  The anticipation of knowing that you'll soon have your hands on something mysterious.  Will it be an easy journey to what is inside or will it take a process of removing layer up on layer of gift wrap?  Will there be a picture on the box to give you a hint of what's to come or will the instructions be written in a foreign language and require some assembly?

Anymore, when I lay my head on my pillow at night I know that I am saying goodbye to the person I was during that day and preparing for a new life that will come with the rising of the sun.

I've come to realize over the years that growth is inevitable, whether you are prepared or not it happens.  Sometimes we don't recognize growth until many months later and we take a moment to survey our life and realize that there isn't much that is recognizable anymore.

We spend a lot of time resisting change in our lives, only to notice one day that despite all of that hard work and energy towards keeping everything the same, life has changed regardless.

Sometimes we resist change because it simply feels more exciting to be engaged and feeling productive than it is to surrender to the unknown and let go of our control.

And sometimes the Universe comes in and kicks you in the butt to get you moving in the right direction.

We've all experienced this sort of kick in the butt.  Though we recognize that it created enough of a shift to stimulate change, we may not have known it was intentional.

Whatever occurs is the Universe's way of telling you it's time to move on.

For instance, I lost a file folder on my memory stick today by accident as I was "cleaning up" information.  This seemed like a very big deal to me in the moment.  I was initially devastated about losing it, and at the same time do you think I could remember what was in that file?  My body and mind were telling me "that was important, and you just lost it all" and my heart was telling me "you no longer need that information as a crutch or guide, it's time to let it go".  And let it go I did.

My point is that we never know what is underneath that wrapping paper.  It could be something easy or it could be something difficult.

You should know though, the more difficult the circumstance the greater the reward.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My friend the full moon.....NOT!

Really... Do we need a full moon EVERY month?


Ugh!

It's gorgeous to look at, terrific at lighting up the night sky (keeping you awake all night with it's brilliance) and absolutely the most effective way to throw me off whack!

We've heard it all before "the crazies come out and my kids are uncontrollable during a full moon".

Have you noticed what it does to your own sanity?

With each full moon I find myself once again considering the reason I feel like I can't think straight, focus or become productive in anything during that phase. My brain is like 75% water and the moon governs the flow and tides of water (I know I am not sounding like a genius here, most likely because I am NOT a genius, I'm just trying to make a point. Bare with me).

During the week leading up to a full moon, I can be found staring into space for long periods of time. This creeps out the other customers in Walmart btw. And if you see me in this state, please be a friend and find me somewhere to sit so I'll be comfortable.

I can also be found wandering aimlessly around the house not sure what I was doing or where I was going.

Currently, the vacuum is still in mid pass, the bubbles have gone from my dish water, I have a 1/2 finished piece of art sitting out, I have not showered (yes, that's what that smell is) and lo and behold I have been sidetracked once again by facebook.

It really is frustrating, I really only have 2 good weeks in the month, considering next week puts me smack dab in full blown PMS! Sorry TMI!

I have yet to find a cure for the effects of the full moon (unless you count vodka, but that's more of a cover up than a cure).

Sometimes I feel it would be best just to stay in bed and hope it passes just as quickly as it showed up.

Then I get out of bed (usually for a bathroom visit), forget my genius plan to stay under the covers and end up starting the madness all over again....

SIGH!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Competitive Life

Life can be so competitive sometimes.  What's with that?

We compete in business, we compete in our relationships, we compete as mothers, we compete as neighbours.  Competition is everywhere!  And the stress of that is having a not so nice effect on our bodies, minds and spirits.


Do you sometimes feel like you are running a race and you have no idea who you are racing against or where you are running to?  There's just a sense of needing to do something MORE, something BETTER than the next guy.


In business this is of course what society has taught us.  "It's a dog eat dog world out there" I found myself saying to a friend yesterday.  Do I believe this?  Do you believe this?  And is this belief contributing to yours (and my) occasional need to succeed and the misery we experience in the process?  You bet!


I've never been an overly competitive person.  In highschool I chose cheerleading over other sports, I have never fought another girl for a boy, I don't feel a need to have the latest gadgets, vehicles or material items just because someone else has them and I enjoy losing just as much as winning.

So when this feeling of needing to compete comes about, I know that it is not a natural part of who I am.  I know this first of all because it doesn't feel good for me to think about having to compete.

I do work diligently at shifting this belief and I'll tell you why.

What happens when I get stuck in the competitive thinking brain is that nothing happens in my business, no new ideas, no new plans, no new clients.  It also affects my personal life and how I deal with my family and friends.  When I shift my thinking as this belief comes in is that I begin to feel more energized inside, the ideas begin to flow, I am more accepting of my personal limitations and boundaries, I am more focused on who I am and what I want to offer my clients, my family and the world.

So for me it is extremely important to not get caught up in the competitive forces that are forever at work.

How do I shift the belief?  For one thing I know for certain that every being on this planet has gifts to share with the world, in their own unique way.  Each of us has come into this life with an agenda and a goal that we will work to bring to fruition during this lifetime.  What I have found for myself is that competition slows down my process of growth because it keeps me in a state of fear.  As much as fear can be a motivator it can also act as a resistor to what you desire to manifest.  So I remind myself of this.

Then I focus only on me and my business.  I don't get caught up in how many other people are working in my field.  I don't make it my business to know who is doing what and when.  I don't work to try and "one up" someone.

Maybe this is all sounds a little naive to the business minded people out there, I just don't think that owning a business means you have to become ruthless and competitive towards the other people working in your industry.

I run my business the same way I live my life.  From my heart.  If something feels good, I will pursue it.  If I have an idea I feel would be fun to incorporate and useful to my clientele, I bring it to life.


For me, true success isn't going to come from the number of clients I have in my book or the bottom line at the end of the day.  It's going to come from the knowledge that everything I have done, I have done because I believed in it and it brought me joy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What are you waiting for?

When was the last time you explored life?

You know, the last time you did something out of the ordinary.  Behaved totally unlike your usual self.  Took a risk regardless of the fear that nagged at you in your mind.

I've done a bit of this lately.  And each time it has set me on a path I had no idea I was going to be walking along.

It started with a trip to a local retirement home at the request of a good friend.  She invited me to come by and take the seniors through a pastel art workshop.

I was a little nervous (okay ALOT nervous) about doing this since, I DON'T TEACH ART!  In my opinion I'm just "playing" with pastels and I have nothing to offer by way of HOW to draw!

Still I went along with it.  The seniors loved the experience, one of them even had her daughter run out and get her some art supplies so she could continue on her own.  A wonderful compliment to my ability to impersonate an art teacher {smile}.


This next one is kind of funny actually.  I've been wanting to revisit my pursuit of effectively communicating with angel guides.  I've done this for years for myself and really had only ever done an "angel message" for one other person and that was about 4 years ago!

So, I decided I would put the word out on facebook that I was in need of some practice and if anyone would like to help me out by being a "victim" I would really appreciate it.

Lo and behold I got 30 responses!  A little more than the 2 I was expecting.

The kicker is that I received feedback from more than half of the readings and they were all very accurate and helpful!  I have now been offered all sorts of opportunities to continue in this line of "work" which is really cool.....and scary....and cool!

My point here is not to go on and on about all the new stuff happening with me, rather I'm looking to show you how if you just step a little bit outside of your comfort zone you never know what good fortune might crop up for you. 

Especially if you find the fun within the stepping outside part.... 

Because in the end, it's the fun that brings you the fortune when you explore life!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A+

You know when you plug through life doing the best you can, always wondering "am I really doing the best I can?" or "what if what I'm doing isn't good enough?".

Maybe you don't, but I do on occasion....  Okay, who am I kidding...  I wonder about this ALL THE TIME  It's an obsession really.....

I can't tell you how many evening prayers end in "and if you could please send me some sort of progress/report card I would sooo appreciate it, K?  Thanks".

Well, this week I got what appears to be an answer to that prayer.  Well, not the kind you get in the brown envelope with your name on it, the kind that looks like your kids doing an amazing job transitioning into their new school.

I never had to experience this as a kid.  Moving anywhere.  I lived in the same house from the day I was born until the day I moved out at 18 and I stayed with the same friends all through public and high school, some of them stuck with me through marriage and kids.  So, I had no idea what to expect when it came to asking my boys to leave all of their friends behind.

I was really nervous for them, crossing my fingers that they made at least one friend they felt comfortable with and who would make this transition a bit smoother.

Needless to say my worrying was completely unnecessary.

My kids went into that school like little pros.  Picked up every kid they could lay their eyes on and pronounced them friends.  It really was amazing to watch!  To hear the stories of all the children they were meeting and how much they love their new school.  It made my heart fill right up!

I thought of it again today as my son and I rode our bikes side by side to a new friends house so he could hang out.  I thought about how I rarely ever take credit for these types of things in my children's lives, I've been home with them for 12 years now and I truly believe that if it weren't for that constant nurturing and coaching they wouldn't be the confident, true to themselves people that they are today.

So today I am going to take this week as a progress report.  I'm going to read it as though there are a bunch of A+'s on that sucker (since I rarely EVER got A's in school) and hold my head up proud.

Like every mother should when their child succeeds at something!

Who wouldn't befriend these guys???

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Becoming Responsible

This is one of the main points (I believe) of becoming more self aware and spiritually evolved (and by spiritually evolved, I mean more connected to your divine state). 

It is one of the main points to finding true peace and empowerment in your life. 

Becoming responsible for yourself. 

Ask yourself these questions:  Who has responsibility over your happiness?  Your level of self esteem?  Your success?  Your thoughts?  Your goals?  Your dreams?  Your anger?  Your lack of financial independence?  Your relationships?

Very rarely do we accept ownership or responsibility for these things in our life.  How silly is that?  I mean why do we want to give our ability to be happy over to someone who has no idea what happiness even looks like?  Or what about making it someone else's duty to ensure our self esteem levels are at a healthy standard when their own self esteem is suffering?

It's an utterly ridiculous concept and still we see it all too often, don't we?

We put expectations on friends to ensure we are entertained when we are in need.  We complain to our spouses that we aren't happy in the relationship and place the blame on their shoulders.  Our children insist it is you who must find them something to do when they are bored.

Granted, it's a beautiful thing to love someone so much that you try to make them happy, successful, wealthy and fulfilled.  However, it's a much more beautiful thing if you insist on being the person that does this for yourself and encourage those around you to consider the same.

We take a wrong turn in life when we hand over power and control to someone outside of ourselves.  It results in internal and external conflict, marriages fail and friendships implode, people become increasingly miserable and blame everything under the sun on external sources.

This behaviour does nothing more than feed the victim within.  The person inside of us that insists on not taking responsibility for their life absolutely loves being able to blame someone else for their misfortune.

It's not fair when you think about it.  The husband who has been put in charge of his wife's happiness will most surely fail.  There is no room for success since he most likely hasn't got a clue as to what makes her happy (how many women actually know what will make them happy)!

The point is, there is only one person who can be responsible, who has control over your happiness and that person is YOU.

How do you become more responsible?  How do you take charge of your life? 

Here are some tips:

1)  You want to become aware of your emotions in every situation.  Our feelings are our first indicator that we need to explore more deeply.  If you are feeling sad, it isn't because someone caused you to become sad, it is because you placed unfair expectations on another person or experience and the outcome disappointed you, therefore you are responsible for your own sadness.

2)  You want to actively engage in "turning it around".  If Joe is frustrating you because he won't pick up his socks turn it around "Joe should pick up his socks" becomes "I should pick up his socks".  If you want something done and no one is doing it (regardless of your nagging) take responsibility and do it yourself since you are the only one that wants it done anyway.

3)  Remember that no matter what the situation looks like on the outside, people are NOT out to get you, they are NOT out to make your life miserable and there is NOT a personal vendetta against you.  When we get to this place inside of our heads we really have no sense of responsibility for our selves and so it feels like every single person on the planet is against our quest for happiness.  Again, awareness of these thoughts is a great first step because awareness moves us into a new phase of growth and realization.  To get past this you can use the "turning it around" tip.

I have to say that it has been my experience that becoming responsible is not all that hard.  Since the reward is almost always automatic in that you begin to feel empowered and that is where the domino effect starts to happen.

Soon, you will be able to recognize when someone is putting their responsibility on you and you can make the wise decision of not accepting it.  When we accept the responsibility of making someone else happy, or useful or whatever we are perpetuating the problem.

And we all know where that road leads......

Simply J is a self awareness mentor and certified Reiki teacher. 

If you wish to learn more about her work visit www.stateofbeing.ca

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A trip to Lavender Sense

As a last sort of hurrah before school began, I took my 2 youngest sons (ages 10 & 13) to a Bed & Breakfast retreat in Wallacetown, Ontario called Lavender Sense.

We treated ourselves to 3 days and 2 nights at the Bed & Breakfast and enjoyed all there was to see and do while we were there.

The Lavender Sense property has acres of Carolinian forest with nature trails to walk through or sit within and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the birds singing.

My boys had a great time laying in the hammocks that were placed amongst the trees in the forest, finding treasures in snail shells and beetle carcasses that had long been left behind when whatever moth or butterfly emerged from them.

There is breathtaking artwork hanging amongst the trees in the forest as well, giving it an even more peaceful feeling.

There is a rocky beach about 5 minutes down the road where you can beach comb for interesting shaped rocks, fossils and driftwood.  We brought our reusable bags with us as the boys and I LOVE to find beach treasures.  I loaded my bag with a half dozen large heart shaped stones! 

Sitting by the pond feeding the fish, trying to spot the painted turtle and walking through the rows and rows of lavender plants was another way we spent our time.  The boys even clipped their own lavender to take home with them at the end of our trip.

The bed & breakfast itself is amazing!  This century home is filled with natural hardwood floors and oak trim.  With an angel decorum throughout the home it feels so serene, it's easy to find a cozy corner to rest and read.

The owners of the B&B are so welcoming and loving, it felt as though we were home and not at a B&B at all.  Within the home there is an angel gift shop as well as a lavender boutique filled with oils, cookbooks, jams, teas and all sorts of other wonderful lavender treasures.

This was my first experience staying at a bed and breakfast and I will certainly do it again, very soon.

The Andersen's were very accomodating to my son who is a vegetarian and to the boys themselves, suggesting things to keep them occupied for those rare moments they found themselves with nothing to do!

I highly recommend Lavender Sense as a place to visit during any season, they are open year round and I hear there is easy access to a toboganning hill close by!

I felt as though this retreat was filled with abundance, I could feel it as we arrived and I was filled with it when we left.

Check them out here and see all of the workshops and events they have planned for the year!

If you're looking for a relaxing, quiet getaway, Lavender Sense is the place for you.  It's easy to find and easy to fall in love with.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Writing from the heart

"The positive thing about writing is that you connect with yourself in the deepest way, and that's heaven. You get a chance to know who you are, to know what you think. You begin to have a relationship with your mind."       ~ Natalie Goldberg

I think this is a great quote!

What I find happening is what I wrote about months ago, no longer rings true for me. 

That's what is so great about journaling and blogging.  Without written testament of where I was all those days ago I wouldn't be seeing where I am today.
I'm finding that little by little the things that used to push my buttons about life, no longer have that affect on me.  Anger has turned into Love.  Frustration has turned into Forgiveness.  Impatience has turned into Faith.

With each day I am letting go of the old ways of dealing with life and opening myself up to new understandings. 

It's exciting really.  To look back at where I was and feel the anger and sadness that was living within me and know that today those feelings over those issues are no longer there.

To be honest, it is my hope for every writer that they will be writing differently, seeing differently and feeling differently month after month.  Those are the truest signs that you and I are making progress in our individual journey's.  And yes, I have very far to go, we all have very far to go.  

I write the way I live my life, from my heart.  If in my heart I have conflict you are going to read about it here.  If in my heart I am seeing a new truth about a situation you are going to read about it here.

We cannot see the light if we have not allowed ourselves to admit the dark.

 








 


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Work of Art

There's no doubt about it.  Families are interesting works of art.


I could have said "families are a real piece of work" and that may sound just as true to you, however lately I have been looking at my family with clearer vision and I would have to say that they are definitely a "work of art".


The very role that each of my family members has played in my life has been nothing short of miraculous to be honest.


I was remembering my dad the other night, just out of the blue his image popped into my head.  I was a young girl in this image and I was looking at my dad in adoration.  I truly believed he was a hero.  In his earth story he was an alcoholic with what seemed little time for his family.  What I saw in my image was a man who was doing the best he could with what he had at the time, he loved us deeply and his addiction got in the way.  Nevertheless, as a young girl this man was a hero, strong and nurturing.  Thankfully I got to see this strong and nurturing side as an adult when he walked away from his addiction to start fresh.  


My mother.  Our relationship has never been an easy one (name one daughter who has ever NOT had conflict with her mother) and at the moment seems to be dangling dangerously from an invisible thread.  As a child I remember feeling my mother wasn't so happy.  Not completely sure in whether she belonged where she was standing.  What I saw in my image was a woman with dreams and desires, amazed at how quickly they were forgotten beneath a pile of laundry and a house full of kids to feed.  I do remember, much like me, she struggled with being a stay at home mom and working outside the home to contribute financially.
To be honest I most likely wouldn't be a stay at home mom if it wasn't for my mother, she was who I wanted to be.  The person who kissed the kids as they left for school and welcomed them home at the end of the day, the person who gathered everyone to the dinner table to spend quality time together.


My little sister.  Our relationship is most likely the truest form of love/hate you will ever see.  I think this is true for most sisters actually.  Growing up we fought constantly about clothes, hair, music and breathing (much like my own children do today).  As adults we do a great job of getting on eachother's nerves.  I like to think she had a hand at teaching me to stand up for myself and toughen up, back then she was one of the toughest people I knew, I was scared shitless of her too!  It seemed she hated everything about me until I would find that she was borrowing my clothes and then I realized there may have been a piece of her (buried somewhere deep inside) that actually liked me.  Maybe she just liked my clothes, I like to think my clothes symbolized me...  Please don't burst my bubble.


My little brother.  He came into my life when I was around 11.  My parents had been fostering children for years and decided to adopt.  I won't forget the day I met him or the day he left our lives.  Brothers are very different than sisters.  From the very beginning of our time together I felt this strange need to nurture and protect him.  Maybe because I knew he was fragile and would need some guidance, I call this "big sister syndrome" I seemed all too eager to "save" people from themselves in the good old days.  My brother taught me compassion and in the end offered me an opportunity I couldn't resist.  To live my talk.


My 1/2 brother and I have a different kind of relationship.  He is 20 years younger than I am, came into my life as I was having my own children and so I assumed a more distant role in his life since I was busy raising my children.  I hazard to guess he's never been thrilled with my presence when I was around, since I was usually trying to parent him.  I regret that now.  What he needed was a big sister, not another parent.  2 of those is ALWAYS enough!


I've come to realize that as much as we've had our difficulties, our ups and downs, ins and outs, each person plays their part extremely well, each like a color spread across canvas, each one lending a different perspective and depth to the piece.  Without each color blending into the next I wouldn't be who I am, all of them blended together created....me. 


Like I said families are a work of art.