Free Bird

You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now, fly.

~Rumi

I had been feeling caged. So very caged for quite some time. But no more. This year, year 40 of my life, marks the the beginning of a new journey. Inward, upward and outward. I won’t be stopped.

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Relax. Nothing is in control.

When I read these words on some silly thing that floated across my Facebook feed, a smile touched my lips and a chuckle escaped my throat. Truer words have never been spoken.

Nothing is under control. Nothing. Nobody is driving this bus. The sooner we let go and enjoy the ride, the happier we will be.

Last week three different women told me they awoke in in the middle of the night with a sense of panic. Three! Then it happened to me. I flew out of bed and literally gasped, “What the hell?” Nothing was wrong, per se, but I was uneasy. Not all was well with my soul.

I ran down to my writing room and opened my journal to a blank page and let the words pour forth. I wrote and wrote and wrote. There was, evidently, a lot to get off my chest, hence the crushing panic attack-y feeling.

If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.

~Buddha

An hour later I fell back into bed, finally able to sleep. But seriously, what WAS that?

It’s time to get serious about not being so serious, I think. Serious is exhausting and terrifying.

My word for 2016, or words in this case: Let Go. Or Release. Same-same, right?

I start every new year by letting go of things; bags and boxes of material debris leave our home each new year, but this time I’m letting go of some way heavier stuff. In that fevered journal-writing attack I had the deep realization that I need to release and let go of what others think of me. I soooo thought I was done with this bullshit! But no, it has been holding me back. What I really want to do with my life has been lying in wait while I somehow overcome my fear of what you think me.

I decided to just rip it off like a band-aid. The very next morning I put it out there that I was interested in teaching meditation, something I have wanted to do for many years.

Anyway, I had a positive response and am excited to see where this leg of the journey takes me. I’m not going to worry about where I land because nothing is in control.

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The Meditation Circle

Welcome to my inner circle

Sometimes lattes or a glass of wine are not enough. Sometimes a mani-pedi is not enough. Sometimes even cute new shoes or a handbag are not enough. We can try to chill ourselves out using treats and material things, but it’s just not enough.

It’s not even close.

We are craving something that is much deeper.

Sometimes we just want to stop. Take the first exit off. Jump from the hamster wheel of daily life.

We just want to breathe. We just want to slow down. We are too busy, our schedules too full and our minds are racing to keep up. We are exhausted and running on empty. We are awakened by our own sense of panic in the middle of the night. This is bullshit.

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Illusions of Grandeur

Today I conducted a social experiment. I love a good social experiment!

I have been plugging away at the creation of the ideal feminine den, my dreamy writing enclave, the most beautiful girly office. It is, in essence, complete. Except for some pesky tenants who refuse to move out. They are Husband Clutter, Sporting Goods and Laundry Paraphernalia. It is not their fault they can’t move out, they really have no place else to go and my office is right off the garage and our smallish laundry room. I cropped all that stuff out of this photo. But it exists, trust me!  And so I struggle to keep the peace and co-exist with my unwelcome roommates day after day.

The truth is perfection is an illusion.

I got the idea to post a photo of my writing enclave on social media after scrolling through Pinterest last night, looking at nothing in particular, but constantly wondering how anything and everything could really be that perfect. The truth is perfection is an illusion. Much of what we see is propped, styled, cheated, cropped, brushed, filtered and lit and that’s ok as long as we are aware of this fact. What we are seeing is not necessarily real. But don’t we love, love, love the intoxicating beauty of unattainable images of perfection?

We do.

But why?

Even looking at the picture of my office now and I’m actually sitting in here as I type, the photo is somehow more magical. And I’m the one who hand-picked the tiny white Buddhas, the gilt-edge pin board, the ballerina skirt curtains, the perfect pink silk peony blossom and Parsons desk! I created this! Yet, something weird happens when we snap a photo and post it on social media. It goes out there into the world of Grass Is Always Greener.

For the moment, however, I am content to soak up the aroma of my lavender candle and listen to the sound of rain on my window as I sit in my little corner of heaven. I can shut the whole world out and exist in this moment. These few square feet of loveliness are all mine.

Just as long as I don’t turn around. 

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Keep Going

Usually I like to keep myself at an even keel. I try to stay calm, be zen, not overreact. The problem is this is NOT my natural state of being. I am sensitive and emotional creature prone to, shall we say, meltdowns here and there. It sucks sometimes, crying in supermarkets when choosing birthday cards, or having giggle attacks during the childrens’ school assemblies at inappropriate moments. I can’t help it. I just FEEL a lot.

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The Restorative Pleasures of Friendship

I don’t have scads of girlfriends. I’m not really a chatty Cathy, social butterfly type. But that’s okay with me. Quality, not quantity is the name of the game when it comes to friendship.

My true kindred spirits – and they know who they are – are my soul sisters. I could call them crying in the middle of the night and they would sit up, rub the sleep from their eyes and say, “What do you need? How can I help?” Fortunately for them, I’ve always made it my business to live a life that requires very few middle-of-the-night phone calls. But I take comfort in just knowing this fact.

The beauty of the kindred spirit is time has no effect on the relationship. Weeks, months or even years can come to pass and we’re able to just pick right up where we left off. There’s no expiration date on the relationship, no awkward conversations, no need to sugar coat the realties of our complex existances and no guilt over the inevitable passage of time. Instead, there’s a deeper connection that spans beyond time and space. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I think it’s a willingness to be vulnerable. To let down both our guard and our hair. To feel okay admitting we’re scared. Not always easy to do in a world where we are all supposed to be Superwomen, doing it all, perfectly, all the time.

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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The Big 4-0… and a confession

I turned forty this weekend. And guess what? I am OKAY!

Since I’m all about the truth and admitting my own fears (even if they’re silly) in an effort to liberate others from theirs, I have a confession. Turning 40 freaked the hell out of me. I’ve been mostly a basket case for the last six months. Ask my husband, he was there for the entire performance.

When my eyes fluttered open on the morning of my fortieth year he was already awake and staring at me. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “Happy birthday, honey! I love you. Do you want to go look at the forty pink flamingos on the lawn?” I laughed. There were no pink flamingos, of course, but he can always make me laugh. Even in dire situations like the arrival of a birthday that has been causing angst for half a year. Continue Reading →

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Meditation Elation

Last night:

Sometimes when I meditate it’s a disaster. It’s not all Buddhas and bliss, let me tell you! I can’t let go and just be. Thoughts thunder around my mind like a bunch of unruly buffalo, I can’t get comfortable and try as I might the mind, body and soul union will not unite. Continue Reading →

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Spiritual or Religious?

Oh-Oh! Here’s a touchy subject!

I have always been pretty open when it comes to my beliefs. It’s pretty simple. Believe what you like, just don’t force it on others or harm anyone with it. I have friends and neighbours from nearly every walk of life and that is exactly the way I like it. I love diversity. I love learning new things. I love the freedom I have to live life, well, freely! Continue Reading →

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How to say “No.”

It is not easy. But a huge part of Self Care is being able to say “no”.

As little girls, we are taught to be polite. To come up with other answers. To skirt the issue. To internalize all the natural responses, feelings and truths. We need to be mindful of other people’s feelings. We need to consider all options. We must find a way to please the other person and keep the boundaries undefined instead of clear. Just in case.

“Are you enjoying school?” an auntie would ask. I would want say, “No. I hate it, actually. I suck at sports, I’m the last one picked for every team. I’m painfully shy. I don’t understand math. I’m the first one on the stupid bus and the last one off.”

This was not an acceptable answer. Continue Reading →

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Derailed

Sometimes you think you’ve got it all figured out. You think you might actually be that spiritual bohemian glamour girl you’ve pinned so many various images of on Pinterest. You think you’ve finally struck a balance, that you know how to manage it all and then with the addition of just one simple favour-one more ball to juggle- it all comes tumbling down. Continue Reading →

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Back to the Mat

Sometimes in life you just know when something is right for you.

That’s how I’ve always felt about yoga. I did yoga way before yoga was cool, trendy or mainstream. Before Lululemon launched a firestorm of yoga pants and controversy, before Bikrams was a thing, before there were as many yoga studios as Starbucks, hell, it’s possible I did yoga before Starbucks. I may be dating myself here, but my point is back in the day when I was very young I tuned into something ancient and I knew it was right (for me). Continue Reading →

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I’m such a Goddess!

And so are you… and you… and you.

The full moon has come and gone and almost every woman I’ve spoken to, not to mention a few tuned-in little girls, have had trouble sleeping this week. Specifically on Monday, which was the night of the full moon. Think back to Monday. How well did you sleep? Not great, I’m willing to bet. I’m also willing to bet this happens every month around the same time, if you were to pay attention. Continue Reading →

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My Christmas, freshly-cut

I love Christmas and the entire holiday season. But I don’t love the madness that can accompany it.

At the beginning of the season we, like most families, decorate our home. This is supposed to be a pleasurable experience shared by the whole family, right? Wrong. Somehow, it has turned into eighteen (EIGHTEEN!!) totes and boxes of ornaments, lights, decorations, dishes, towels, trains, florals and figurines. Continue Reading →

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Autumn Musings

October.

The smell of woodsmoke, fallen leaves and rain without and simmering stew, sweet pumpkin and warming spices within. There is an unmistakable earthiness to this time of year as the season draws toward winter. Harvest and our awareness of things ripening keeps us tethered to the outdoors and nature, but the occasional chill in the air takes us by surprise and the need to cozy up and reflect by the hearth is nigh. Continue Reading →

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Uncertainty

Today is not a good writing day, I’m afraid.

I find myself plummeting into uncertainty.

A soul shaking blow occurred a few days when my husband offered to help send my writing files from the old family computer to my shiny new MacBook Air. It didn’t take him very long, but then suddenly he asked me “Where is your book?” I descended even further into uncertainty. I think he was expecting tidily organized files entitled Chapter One, Chapter Two etc. Instead he found random strangely named blurbs only I would understand. Why? Because I don’t know how to write this novel. That’s it. That is the Truth. Continue Reading →

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An Office Romance

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

~Virginia Woolf

 Guess where I am right now?

That’s right! In my office! It’s not quite ready for instagramification or FB posting, but it is getting there. I have a lovely white desk under the window and a shiny-new laptop of my very own. Continue Reading →

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A Feminine Den- it’s happening!

Well, it seems my days of writing at random locations around the house are finally numbered. Work is happening in my feminine den and what a journey it has been! Continue Reading →

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Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday. I am at an age where birthdays elicit all sorts of mixed emotions. Obviously the giddy excitement of being a little girl has long past, but I am not filled with doom and gloom, or even complete denial, as some women are on the day that marks another year older. Continue Reading →

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True North

Tomorrow is our nation’s birthday. It is a day to celebrate our glorious country, to welcome summer and for me, at least, to consider what true north, strong and free means.

My family and I celebrate Canada Day by donning our red and white and making the trip to Fort Langley, a charming town also known as the birthplace of BC. The community gathers around the Fort’s ancient wooden flagpole to raise the bold, beautiful Canadian flag and then we all burst  into an off-key, yet totally heart-felt rendition of Oh Canada. The whole thing makes my eyes tear up and my heart glow. Finally, we all line up for a slice of the giant Canada flag cake, the one with the sickeningly sweet frosting and loads of toxic red food dye. What can I say? I’m a sucker for tradition. Continue Reading →

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