Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Canadian Perspective

Today is the day after.

It is the day after a soldier fell and died from being shot guarding a war memorial. It is the day after the same shooter ran through Parliament only to find his own final moments making his peace with the bullet of an others gun. It is the day after Canadian news made international headlines for an Attack on Ottawa.

First, let me clarify that if there is an underlying stereotype that I am operating with, it is that the majority of people associate Islamics as terrorists. I believe terrorism has many faces, religions and ideals. This planet has a long history. Second, I will tell you that this is merely my perspective, through the lenses of my own life experience. Third, get a grip on reality. Fear, greed and violence vs truth, ownership and solutions. Filter all the media input and chatter through the question, "Am I really seeing this from all angles?"

Yesterday, as I watched the news take over the television and my Facebook feed I only felt still and aware, listening for more information, trying to avoid the constant replays of video footage and checking back to see if there had been updates. As the day went on my anger began to rise not at the shooter, rather at Canadians naive enough to believe that this cannot happen on our soil. Do we feel so entitled to our freedom that we believe that these so called terrorists do not live in our country, that they cannot get on a plane tomorrow and land in a Canadian airport with the goal of terrorizing us? Do we genuinely believe there are not people in the world who dislike us? Do we actually believe we are immune simply because because they are 'over there' on the other side of the ocean?

There is no country on this planet that is not accessible by some form of transportation. There are any number of technological devices that can be used remotely. Our world is small and we are more connected than ever. We are not out of reach of anybody and I don't mean that just as a Canadian, I can confidently say that about every country in the world. If you don't believe me, look at Ebola. How far away are the countries in West Africa? One plane ride...

For the last five months, while in Europe, I repeatedly said that coming from a country that has not seen a world war on it's own soil, it is hard to imagine, to integrate all the war experiences you are exposed to. You simply cannot comprehend the magnitude of what that does to a land, to a culture, to it's people and their faith. To their families and communities. It is too overwhelming to imagine. You can see it in their eyes. And here I am today, hearing Canadians lash out about how we have been wronged and violated and how we are victims of terrorist crimes. We lost a single soldier on our home land yesterday and today the nation commemorates his life because we had the ability and safety to choose to do so! Despite what we might believe, there are soldiers in the middle east fighting to keep civilians safe. There are true Islamics fighting the extremists every day, but I doubt those people get the freedom or safety to commemorate anyone. They might be lucky if they get to mourn. That is violation.

Yesterday, today and for likely all my tomorrows I will be grateful to have lived in a country that has, so far, been free of war on its soil. I do not feel violated. I do not feel wronged. I feel alert and aware and investigative.

This is an opportunity to find perspective. We, as Canadians, have not been wronged or violated. We have merely been prodded. It is easy to mistrust when fear is all around. Some people are counting on this. Our responses (as individuals and as those representing us) and steps following this day will dictate how our future unfolds both within our own borders with our own people and outside it internationally. We must start paying attention, if only for ourselves.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random Findings on a Mac

I was fumbling through folders on my laptop and came across this piece. I had to share it...I am so grateful for my writing and for another years worth of experience that I have brought to reading this. I would not change a thing.

Crack Me Open…Please!

God damn the last few months have been challenging. From health to happiness to work and relationships; anything and everything I could possibly feel has run through me with an intensity unlike any I have experienced.

My life has reached a perturbation point…AGAIN! And this time the reorganization of my life is less about letting go and more about moving on. I want to make a distinction between the two for myself. Letting go, for me, is releasing my attachment to what should or should not be and allowing it to be as it is because it is beyond my control. Moving on, for me, is a realization that the situation may be beyond my control, yet my ability maintain my happiness and health is dependent on my own conscious choices to honour and respect myself.

I have been wanting for months to feel something other than frustration and hurt and disappointment. I have been loathe to the fact that I have felt out of alignment for far too long. I have been resentful for circumstances in which I have found myself in and have been wondering if I am not becoming a martyr for a cause that seems to care so little about me.

And then I found myself in a room of 200 people this weekend as an event supervisor, completely unattached to anything other than getting the event delivered to the best of my abilities. It was not my designation position to help clients enroll in programs, or train the staff on how to communicate effectively with clients, or worry about whether or not I would offer someone a benefit of the doubt in the hopes that I could help them to help themselves change their lives. I found myself in support of a gracious and kick ass team who showed me what it was like to be of service again. Who modeled to me what it was like to have fun and smell the roses and who showed me in more ways than one, that they had my back and would do anything to make my job as smooth as possible. They showed me over and over again what it means to care about something bigger than yourself, to care about others because they are scared and new to change, to care about each other because that’s all we’ve got. They showed me a part of me I have long since lived in…and that’s a tough pill to swallow.

And there was a room full of people who reminded me that there are always wounds that need to be healed, that the most minute details can have a major impact, that people are always seeking something and usually the root of that something is a wound that needs healing whether it’s personal, financial, physical, mental, spiritual. The healing of those hurts is what allows them to transcend beyond their reality to create a new one. The healing is what creates their freedom from whatever chains may lay around their ankles, wrists, or necks.

I want more of this. I want more of these moments of vision, compassion, heartfelt caring and empathy and I want more of the moments that bring me to tears as I listen to people share from the back of the room and think to myself awestruck, “I helped create that for that person…wow. I helped to create freedom for that person, I helped to create empowerment for her. I helped to create healing for him. I helped to create a lighter, more conscious world this weekend…”

It’s not OK for things to continue as they are. I have always been willing to stand in the fire and hold space for shifts to occur. I have been standing in the fire long enough…I am beginning to get burned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why Motivational Quotes on the Internet DO Work!

I will not pretend for a second to be the most motivated person on the planet. These days I'm quite the opposite, scrolling through my newsfeed and 'liking' all the motivationally minded photos everyone is passing around. Usually, in the moment, they spark a level of resonance that passes just as quickly as my next breath.

Then there are the photos with quotes that elude to the fact that if we spent less time 'liking' and admiring said motivational photos and actually did something, that we would be more motivated ourselves.

Maybe...maybe not.

For all the photos I have liked and passed along, the rare few get saved into an album or onto my desktop wallpaper because I need the constant reminder!

This is one such photo...  (which I aptly saved as 'I Need This')

It is a photo created by or for Gabby Bernstein who is the author of 'Spirit Junkie'. I have only seen/heard her when she was a guest with Marie Forleo and Mastin Kipp on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. My impression of her was not stellar; one of a girl who is above everyone else, who knows more than everyone else and one who's message is the only way. While I would love to think she is not what I have impressed upon her, her work, until this, has not crossed my path of interest.

HOWEVER! This photo, motivational, spiritual, whatever you want to call it, photo has taken residence on my desktop wallpaper and on my FB wall numerous times. It helps me stay sane! It helps me allow miracles! It helps me allow others to help me! It reminds me that there are other currencies aside from money (which for me lately is important).

When I remember that everything I need will be given to me and I am taken care of and take action in the direction of my heart I find even more opportunities or gifts come my way.

I will give an example. My sewing machine has been acting up. I had tried everything, so I figured I'd take it in for a tune-up. I'm tight with my money while I'm not working so I had some cash from some of my sales I was going to put towards it, hoping not to have to dip into my bank account. According to the internet, my closest repair shops were both an hour away. Then, like magic :) I call the local shop to see if they do repairs and they did! I got to the shop, she fiddled around with it and tested out all the stitches and said, "It's likely that you are just threading it wrong....your machine is fine." :)

When I remember the words on this 'motivational photo' I hear the quiet voice that always takes care of me and gives me everything I need. My example might seem trivial, but the amount of inconvenience it saved me is not.

From my experience, it's likely that most of these photo quotes are marketing tools, but that doesn't mean they can't be powerful. 'Like' away and hopefully in your scrolling and searching you find one that resonates highly with you, that moves your mind in the way it needs to be moved. In my own personal opinion, I believe many of us are living in an apathetic world despite our best efforts to appear otherwise. Do your thing, find what you need, figure out what works and just keep stepping one foot in front of the other because Everything You Need Will Be Given to You Today. You are Taken Care Of.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wow I'm Bored

I do my best to refrain from using the word 'bored' because there are a million things one could do...believe me, my mom tells me this all the time! It's not so much that there aren't things for me to do, it's that I choose not to do them.

Working for a company that had me on the go all the time never gave me a chance to be bored and when I had the down time I WANTED to be bored and recharge. I've found over the last months, having not worked and been fairly restricted to my immediate geographic area due to family situations, that previous practice probably wasn't the best kind of practice to have because I think I have made it a habit!

Life actually is quite good rather than boring. I've had a road filled with potholes and speed bumps since 2014 rolled around, yet when I take a step back. Life is good. I could be really happy if I chose to be! I could feel super fit if I used my gym membership as often as I had planned to. Here's the reality though...things being good (for me) has gotten boring so I have managed to create emotional drama in my life. Things are good so instead of making them better or maintaining them I've somehow decided it was better to make them appear or at the very least FEEL worse! HOW FASCINATING!!!!!

Did I subscribe to some kind of programming that said, "You aren't working therefore you need to be really dramatic and emotional and go through some major changes". Is this what I do to myself? Invent chaos so that I can feel something, experience some dynamics, express myself??? If that's the case perhaps I should take up a drama class!

I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to serve me. The timing of everything is always perfect. Perhaps the universe wasn't thinking about whether I'd be dramatically assessing all the nuances of every experience conspiring to knock me down, but rather, it was looking out for me and assuming this girl needs time and space to process shit, and since she can't do it while she works, it's going to have to wait until she takes some time away. :) Maybe....just maybe....

It's good I can look bad and have a chuckle and sigh some relief.

Back to that girl who needed time and space to process shit.

For the first time in 5 months I felt alive. Chasing a herding dog in a big back yard, hearing the crunching ice under my boots, feeling the cold air in my lungs and stinging my cheeks and having nothing in my head except for the thoughts of which stick I would race him to in hopes I would arrive first to throw it so I could chase him again. I felt joy. I felt peace. I felt reconnected.

That feeling of life was so subtle, but so noticeable that my goal is to make sure I feel that every day.

I know these blog posts haven't been entirely insightful or revealing the last while. That's ok. It's my blog :) . I am grateful for the space to share, that people read and also if what I have shared was even a source of a smile. Life isn't always great, but it isn't always bad either. Understanding how I create the bad has been a huge awareness I am still practicing. Thank you for standing around me and supporting. It is deeply respected and appreciated.

Much love. xo

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Captain We Have A Problem...

My 'bullshit meter' has been compromised...

For some time now I have felt in between somewhere and somewhere else, not knowing where either of those places or spaces are, but knowing that I bounce around (more like stumble) between the two confidently and often. It's only when I reach 'somewhere else' that I feel like I have no idea where I am in my life and head back in the other direction. If you are feeling exhausted and tired reading this, then you get the drift of what it feels like in my head some days.

I have to stop myself, look around and remember I only have this moment. And the culmination of moments in the past couple months has taken a toll on me. A lot of change has been occurring, some voluntary, some not and in the process my ability to sense my way through my own life has been diminished.

Those 'gut reactions' have been weak, my pulse on who people are has been inaccurate and my confidence in myself has been slowing dwindling. My fire is burning out and I have been my only cheerleader.

Being my only cheerleader was a bit of an eye opener. "Surely there are people cheering me on...right?". Yes, I am sure there are people cheering me on. I just don't know where they are, or who they are or whether I have simply muted them in my stint of 'doing it all by myself'.

This is a toughie for me. I am a cheerleader for many people. While I empower them to make their own decisions I also encourage them to take risks and go for it. Just like I do in my own little pep talks...they just aren't as effective when it feels like it's only me that believes in me. But perhaps that's the irony of it all...maybe everyone else believes in me, but I don't believe in myself! That would explain why I'm tired of giving myself pep talks!

That is a bit of a hard pill to swallow. Necessary to move forward though. Captain, we have uncovered the problem, onto solutions!