Relationships

What would you do if life walked up to you and said here is a clean slate create a new life, you have one year, go! I certainly don’t know. Would you say woohoo and go driving happily down the road? Well for me I have to tidy up my old life first. Now while that tidying up happens I start creating my new life. The problem is I have no clear picture of what I want the new life to look like. I know it contains a few material things, my red claw footed table, a Buddha painting and some other artwork, a new bed, charcoal grey sofa and assorted other things that I love. I know it also includes a wonderful group of people that I love and cherish. I am hoping it will contain a wonderful man who thinks I am adorable and all that. The rest is still blank. So far the only decisions I have made are: putting my house up for sale and moving, having a garage sale, I have taken a year off of work, and I refuse to be anything but me regardless of what other people want. Doesn’t seem like I have created much of a life yet does it?

Considering all I have had to let go of, I think I am making great progress. I have examined every belief I have had about myself, the world and others, to try and discover how I truly feel about all of it. One of the things I discovered is that I have always given up a huge chunk of my life for my relationships and am no longer willing to do that. I would support and participate in the things that interested them but they would not do the same for me. Now, no one forced me to behave this way, I volunteered. What the hell was I thinking? Why was I willing to give up so much to be in a relationship? I didn’t think I was worthy, or interesting, or lovable and made apologies for being me. I gave up me to be with them. Society has painted a picture of what relationships and family looks like and we blindly follow it. I always knew I was different than the norm and just wanted to fit in somewhere. I have never felt like I fit in, even in my own family. Now I do not want to fit in anywhere. I just want to be me without feeling like I constantly need to apologize for that. So how do I do that?

Spending lots of time alone gives me time to think and try things out. I have said since I was 19 that my idea of the perfect relationship was me in my house, them in their house and we spent time together when we felt like it. I should have stuck with that. I don’t think I am the marrying type. I don’t want to spend every day and every night with someone and when you live together that is unavoidable. Even living in the same house with separate living quarters would work. Or same property separate houses would work as well. I realize that this is not ideal for everyone, but I am meeting more and more people who think this way. It sure makes sense to me. I think this type of relationship could work if that was what both people wanted and I have seen it work. I have friends that have been married for over 30 years and live next door to each other. They love each other dearly but do not want to live together in the same house. They tried living together and it was a disaster that almost ended in divorce and building a second house on the property was their solution. They are happy, their children get to spend time with both parents and the pets wander from one house to the next. Works great for them so it could work for others. We just need to get past the idea of the traditional relationship that society has thrust upon us.

Relationships, in my opinion, are about respect, passion, communication, affection, trust, honesty, unconditional love and supporting the other person to be themselves in all their glory. What I forgot in my previous attempts was to ask for and allow myself those same things. I would offer those things to the wonderful man in my life but forgot that I deserved to be treated in the same way, not just by them but myself. I did not ask that of them. Now I am asking for what I want and need to be in a healthy balanced relationship and am no longer apologizing. Wow, now there is no pressure to fit in. No desire to be anything but me. I can offer myself fully and completely without losing myself once again in someone else’s idea of what a relationship is. Now, I can have some fun!!

Relationships should be fun. If your friends were no fun you would find new friends, take your toys and go somewhere else! You decide what the game rules are and as long as both parties are on the same page you should have a wonderful time. But, don’t play games, no one likes a player!  This is not to say the relationship won’t have any problems. You are dealing with two people and their egos, accumulated baggage perhaps, and all the ups and downs of any relationship in general. So while I am supporting the other person and encouraging them to follow their dreams, I have to remember that I deserve the same from them and myself. Guess you have to have the ideal relationship with yourself before you can share the love with someone else.

Have a wonderful Monday. I am off to have passport pictures taken and pack more things for my move. Love and peace to you all.

Hug everyone!

Hug them like you mean it!

Donna

Mental What?

When I was twenty three I got married and moved from the only home I had ever known on the east coast all the way across the country to Vancouver Island. I also suffered my first panic attack shortly after that. I thought I had a heart attack and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where they declared me physically fine, said it was just a panic attack and sent me home. I had no idea at that time that anxiety and the associated panic attacks were going to lead me on a painful and wonderful journey of discovery.  At one point in my late twenties these attacks were so bad that I could not leave the house on my own. My own territory, my home, was a safe place where I could control the environment and who entered it.  Just going across the parking lot to get lunch at work was a walk of extreme discomfort. At work I was fine, at home I was fine, or was I? I had trouble breathing, got frequent chest pains, headaches, suffered from severe stomach issues and the list goes on. Living in a constant state of fear is hard on you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Living in a constant state of anxiety is like being slowly buried alive and not being able to do anything about it, you are frozen with fear.

I did not get my drivers liscence until I was in my thirties and still deal with panic attacks when I have to drive somewhere that I am not familiar with, though the severity of them has lessened over time. I have to tell you that I have driven across most of Canada now, woohoo!  I would like to be able to tell you that there was one magic thing that fixed it all but there was not. It was a whole bunch of little things learned and ways of being that were incorporated into my life in small increments that helped. I also had help from professionals and non professionals. I also encourage anyone with any type of problem to reach out for help. Apparently some would consider this to be a form of mental illness, though I do not label myself in that way. From what I have seen over the years everyone suffers from some form of mental illness even if it is just an grossly overblown sense of self importance.  Just take a look at the Trump disaster that is going on with our neighbours to the south. Do you think he is displaying any level of sane thought or action, or the country as a whole is thinking with their right mind?  We are seeing only a small part of the picture. The anxiety and panic attacks are only a small part of you, though they can take over your life. I think as a society we are too caught up in labels. Every one has felt fear, anxiety and panic at some point in their lives. For some of us the dance with them lasts longer and for others the dance only ends with their death. Please reach out to people and keep reaching out until you find someone that you can relate to. I have worked extremely hard to get to the point I am at today, so I understand the struggles people face. Their struggles might not be exactly the same, but if we focus on the differences there will never be any understanding of the other.  I won’t lie it will not be easy.  Nothing worth having ever is.  You are worth it so fight, dig, cry, scream, but do the work.  You. Are. Worth. It.

I did not expect to write this post and quite frankly I am not all that comfortable doing it, but once again the universe compels me to speak. Okay universe I will go with this, but know I am not happy about it. This makes me vulnerable and I know based on previous experiences that I will be judged by some people and loved by others for my honesty and candor. I have no control over how others will react to this. I want you to know that most of these panic attacks and severe anxiety episodes have taken place in private. I still have them happen in public and this is when I say slightly inappropriate things or my behaviour seems a bit off. I laughed so hard at a funeral that I had to get up and leave, people thought I was sobbing in grief and I was almost peeing my pants with laughter! Yup, I’m a giggle at a funeral. Sometimes I look away from you when I am speaking to collect myself and so you do not see the pain or anxiety. Most of you don’t notice. People who know me socially, may be surprised by this post. Those who know me on an intimate level have seen me struggle, overcome, struggle again and grow and grow and glow.  Little typo there but I’m going to keep the glow, I like it.  It fits.

What do you think when you hear the words mental illness? It sends shivers up my spine let me tell ya. I want nothing to do with that. I had a friend who was a psychologist and I had a chat with him one day. I told him that I thought I might be crazy and gave him a few examples of why I thought this.  He told me nope you are just human and the secret is that the really crazy ones would never even question their sanity, they are the serial killers, the Hitler’s of the world and the ones with no thought of anyone or anything but themselves. God, I loved that man and miss him still. Thanks John for helping me realize my humanity was showing and heal myself.   I loved his down to earth perspective on life and am grateful for the short time I got to spend with him.

So our societal and medical systems love labels but labels don’t take into account that we are so much more than just that and capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.  I think that what I am supposed to remind you of today is that you are so much more. You are so much more than your fears, insecurities, doubts and struggles. You are also enough, more than enough and much more lovable than you believe. Your ability to heal is also far greater than you have been led to believe. You are uncomfortable and fearful for a reason. Get help and discover the reason. There is always an underlying reason. Do not be afraid of uncovering what lies underneath.  I know it is extremely difficult and I would hold your hand through it if I could. The truth of it all will set you free from the prison that anxiety has you caged in. Today I will leave you with a poem that I wrote a few years ago about a crystal called sodalite. I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to write the poem down so I could go back to sleep. The stone wanted to speak. This dark blue stone is related to your voice, throat chakra and speaking your truth. My wish for each of you is that you are always provided with the help you need and you live your truth with love and compassion. I also hope you find your voice and use it to help others.  Much love to all of you.

 

Cold, blue, stone of truth

Release the bonds of silence

That fear has wrapped

Around my soul

The truth inside me is released

With quiet strength

I find my voice

In the middle of my thoughts and feelings

My hearts sings with freedom

Arms raised to the night

I dance with my tears

Under a cold, blue, sky

Reach out and hug someone

Judge none

Donna

 

The Universe Speaks

Yes! I managed to get six hours of solid sleep last night! Woke up thinking about starting a walking group in the new area I am moving to and I hear very clearly in my left ear someone say sisters. In some cultures the left side of your body is considered the female or yin aspect. So it would make sense the word sisters is said in my left ear. Okay universe I am listening but what the heck does this mean? I believe that we are constantly being given guidance and we just have to pay attention. One word doesn’t necessarily give me a view of the whole picture, but I will pay attention over the next few days and see what else falls into place.

When I sit down to write in the morning I rarely have any idea what I am going to write about. I am a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person so this is okay with me. So off I go willy nilly through my life and just stumble into people and situations never worrying about the small details of things. Just like I started this blog, I just started it, no planning, no idea what I was going to write about. I felt compelled to do this and the words just started flowing. Who cares about grammar and sentence structure, communication and giving myself a voice are the key points. If the universe gives me too much time to think about things I cannot make a move. I get frozen with the options, choices and decisions and just spin in circles never moving forward. The universe is much wiser than I am so I constantly get thrown into things that I wouldn’t usually think are good ideas then a little while later realize they were exactly what I needed at that time. By the way, because I do not follow any one religious or spiritual path, I use the term universe where some would say God, Allah, Jehova etc. This is not me being anti religious it is just my belief system and method for making sense of the world. You have your way, I have my way. Isn’t that wonderful?

So I have told you about my relationship with animals and how they give me info. So the kangaroo sent me a message about moving forward not backward. Last night there were two animals that stood out for me, one was a baboon who shook his red butt at me and a very quiet hyena. At this point I do not have a clear idea what either of those animals were trying to say. I do know that baboons are communicators and hyenas in some cases represent choice of words as in choose your words wisely. Hyenas know when to shut up! The other animal that showed up was a beautiful palomino horse and horses have been popping into my mind a lot lately so I paid attention. Horses for the most part represent power and freedom and this one just popped into view again nodding his head. So this is the way my mind works and yes I realize that to some I will sound crazy, but I no longer care about that.

Kangaroo– moving forward

Baboon– communication. ( was the butt wiggle saying don’t talk through your ass lol)

Hyena– kind words, choose words wisely

Horse–power and freedom

What I get from this –to keep moving forward on this path, the act of communication is very important but to choose my words wisely. There is power in this for me if it is used properly and I will experience a kind of freedom because of it. One more animal that has shown up is a Pegasus and his message last night was more voice, more voice but refine it. So folks there you have it.

They speak and I listen. I was wondering if I should continue with the blog. What am I doing this for? Well the universe got me to start this blog and will continue to guide me. The people who need to read what I have written will find it and the people who don’t need it will not read it. The only way I can refine my writing is to practice, practice, practice.  Simple right? Nothing is ever simple despite how it looks on the surface. I have been given an opportunity to say what I need to say and in a sense this has provided great growth for me and has helped me sort through my feelings around the changes that have taken place in my life. The future is always uncertain. Regardless of your dreams or plans, things are going to happen so don’t be too attached to the outcome. Just sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride the universe will take you on if you let it.

Peace and love to all

Don’t forget to be grateful!

Donna

Walking in Love

Some days I ask my self what the heck were you thinking! I know other people have said that to me but when you say it to yourself it is a whole other matter. My life has had so many changes lately that I am dizzy. I am doing a number of things that I have never done before and some of them make me uncomfortable. I wonder why and continue to explore that. I have someone coming to the house today to look at and hopefully buy one of the old Cadillacs. I have asked a friend for advice and listened to what he had to say and he made some very good points. What it comes down to is the emotional attachment I have to that car and the man who restored it. It is difficult to be objective and not take it personally when they point out the flaws and walk around the car looking for any little mark or blemish. It is just a car. Or is it? The car represented a dream for someone and they spent thousands of hours making that dream a reality. I just have to remember that it was their dream, not mine. I will bite my tongue so my mouth doesn’t get me into trouble and perhaps this person will love the car because it is part of their dream as well. My dreams for the most part don’t have material things at the forefront.

My dreams are about people and community. I want a life that is filled with meaning and deep human connections. I don’t care what kind of car you drive, what you do for a living, how many things you own or how much you weigh. I sometimes forget what an impact we can have on the lives of those around us. My favourite people are the ones who love unconditionally and treat everyone with respect and compassion. The longer I live the more of them I find. This is also what I want to give to others. One of my dreams is to have a small almost communal retreat centre. I see yurts or mini houses and a large communal space for workshops and dining. I see horses there (I know nothing about horses) for some reason, as well as dogs, cats, and chickens. Animals rescued from neglect and trauma similar to the people who find their way there. We have all suffered and continue to suffer from what we do to ourselves or what is inflicted upon us by others. I find it easier to get over what others may have done, the damage I have done to myself is a little tougher to work through. One of the things that I have realized lately is that I already offer that to people, a safe place to recover from whatever haunts them. I listen to them and I share my own experiences. Being able to do that is precious to me and a fundamental part of who I am today. I have not always been that person and have been ashamed of the way I have treated people in the past. I was struggling and doing the best I could at the time and have had to let that go. Times are different now and I finally feel as though I have something to offer the world. I think you need to go through some tough times in order to understand others when they go through it. Now all I have to do is manifest the buildings and the rest will flow from there. If you build it they will come!

So today the only thing I have to offer you is me. When we sit down together we create a sacred space and in that space is my love for you, the universe’s love for you (they are the same). That is a very healing space don’t you think? No judgement, no condemnation, just freedom from your past and an appreciation for whatever stage of your path you are on. In the past when I have run across people who have struggled with the same issues I have, I did not display much patience. I just wanted to smack some sense into them and show them how to do it. Not great, I know. Time and growth has given me a different perspective and I can truly appreciate where a person is at this moment in time. Judgement has been replaced by compassion, anger towards myself replaced by patience toward you, hatred by love, exclusion by inclusion, differences by similarities and the list goes on. I ask myself on a regular basis how I want to contribute today. I let the universe know each morning that I am ready to serve others in a way that is good for them. I learn more from helping other people than I ever did when I was a self centred, self absorbed person. There is a softness in me that did not exist before and it continues to grow. Oh, I can still be self centred and it happens when I struggle with things and fear takes over. It is not pretty but life and the human experience are not always pretty. I am learning to show myself the same level of compassion and caring that I extend to others.

Create that space for others, if you are able, so they feel safe and loved. People who are crying out for love can do so in some of the most unlovable ways. I am not saying you should tolerate atrocious behaviour or abuse from other people, walk or better yet run from that. Some people don’t want to change or grow. You cannot help them yet. The people who need you will find you and you will learn much from each other. The best teachers are students themselves! So the answer to what were you thinking is, I was doing the best I could based on my level of resistance and emotional turmoil at the time. The struggles from our past have created the masterpieces that we are today. Even the great masters painted some nasty looking stuff while they honed their talents and craft. Be gentle with yourself and others, we are all learning what it is to be fully human and walk this world in love.

 

Spread some love

Don’t forget the hugs

Donna

 

Let’s Dance

For most of my life I have always felt that I did not fit in. Didn’t seem to fit with my own family, coworkers, or society. I tried to fit in, I really did. I did what they told me was right and good and tried to be part of them but something always felt off. It was like they were living in a slightly different world than I was and spoke a different dialect.   I wanted to be a part of it so badly that I sacrificed my own beliefs to try. One day, I do not know the date, I realized that I could no longer live that way if I wanted to live. I am now sure that I was not the only person who struggled with this. I’m sure of this because I have met others who felt the same way over and over again. We were struggling to be true to ourselves in a world that wanted conformity and we paid a price.

Some of us turned to drugs and alcohol to deaden the feelings we had inside. Some of us walked away from society and live far from other people, hermits I suppose. Some of us stood up and made a huge difference in the world. We were not thanked for it at the time. Look back over the history of our culture and these people will stand out like sore thumbs! You decide who they were, I am not going to tell you. Please do not judge us for trying to stop the pain, we did not know any other way to do it and felt we had no one to guide us, we felt we had no other choice. We are a passionate bunch and have created some beautiful art, music, movies, books and poetry in our attempt to reach out to you from our hearts. Our hearts pouring out of us in the hope that the pain would stop and someone somewhere would understand. Most of us have not stood out in the crowd but we are stepping out now!

I use the word dance a lot in reference to pain. Anyone can walk with pain but there are those of us who literally dance with it. We get down and dirty with it in a primal way and because of this have much to share with you. I have come to realize that I have been in pain both physical and emotional for most of my life. I did not talk to many people about it. I did not think they would understand. Now I realize that them understanding my pain was not the point. The point for me was I needed to understand it and sharing has helped me do that. This is the story of Donna, pain, fear, joy, celebration, love and hate, the whole enchilada!

I do not have a competitive bone in my body, jealousy doesn’t exist in my world. How do you think I fit in a corporate culture that has a cutthroat attitude? Not so well, so I left the corporate world and just took a job. I have been selling you things since I was sixteen years old and I was good at it but not in the traditional sense. I even used to go to chain stores and teach the employees how to sell based on the corporate cultures mandate of illusion and fear, that was my career. That is not how I sold things though. I sold by not selling! I gave you information about things so that you could make the best decision for you! I empowered you to purchase based on your own wants and needs and had some of the highest sales rates in the country. They could not figure out how I did it. I was honest with you and sometimes I would even send you away without selling you anything, not what the boss wants to see but they couldn’t argue with the sales statistics. I developed relationships not customers. As you can see, out there in the retail world this is starting to happen all over the place. Woohoo!

One thing that people are surprised to learn about me is that I was a classically trained violinist and started playing at the age of seven. I was fairly good and at the top of my class in music school. Then it got super competitive and I walked away. Not because I couldn’t cut it, the competitiveness ruined it for me. I had my first solo at a concert when I was twelve and no one in my family came to see it. I was heartbroken. I walked away from it all a few years later. It was the pain I couldn’t handle. I feel music! Even today I do not listen to music with my ears, I listen with my heart, so it doesn’t matter if it is being sung in a different language, I feel it. I still love the violin, it is the instrument that speaks to me and once in a while I will rosin up my bow and let all the pain flow through me and transform itself into the air as sweet music. Even pain can be beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the world is changing. There is a shift in consciousness happening all around us and I am excited. I am doing my happy dance! We are moving from being exclusive to inclusive, head thinkers to heart minded, small minded to open minded and oh my God we need that if we are going to thrive as a people. Don’t be surprised the next time you see a homeless person sit down to play a piano like a genius, or sing songs so sweetly your teeth ache. The only difference between you and them is they danced with the pain and have not found their way back to their chairs. They deserve love and compassion as much as you do. Feel the music, feel the pain, just feel. What I once looked at as a curse I now see as a blessing. I help people, I help them heal in many different ways and I can do this simply because I can feel the pain, my own, other people’s, I feel the world’s pain and I am ready to dance with it. So today I say to you, I don’t feel as though I no longer fit in, I was born to do this, I was born to be part of this new way of thinking and help people in whatever form that takes.  This new world that is forming is all about the heart and love. Are you ready to be part of the revolution that is taking place inside of us, are you already part of it? Good, let’s dance!

Thank you Carolyn for the inspiration

Love you all

Donna

Let It Go Baby

Sunday was a strange and difficult day full of mishaps, anger and discoveries. I guess I do not grow when everything is going smoothly and let me tell you sometimes growing is not a graceful process for me. In fact, the morning was so spectacular that I crawled back into bed shortly after noon for a nap. One of the things that I discovered is that my authentic self is always present, she just gets covered up in the untruths that are wound around and around what is real, by myself and others. So what is true? How do you peel away all the extraneous lies, half truths and bullshit. I guess you examine every belief you have about yourself and the world around you and search out the source of it. It doesn’t sound like much fun, but it could be, depending on how you look at it.

With every layer that gets peeled off the weight that has been crushing me lessens. Some of these beliefs are buried deep and it is tough to find their origins. Some have come down through the generations, some from your religion, society, the media and any other entity that needs you to have certain beliefs to further their own agenda. The big question now is what do I believe. I remember talking to a friend when my first husband and I were parting ways. I told my friend that I didn’t believe in divorce, that was for people who didn’t try. He looked me in the eyes and laughed, then he said “Whether you believe in it or not it is happening to you.” That was the first time I traced the origins of a belief and realized it wasn’t really mine, I had been trained to believe it. So, I decided that if I am going to get divorced I am going to make it the best possible divorce I can have. People had lots of advice for me but even back then I looked deep within my own heart and did what I needed to do. The two of us had hurt each other enough and I was not going to allow that to continue, despite the fact that the lawyers and my family all thought I was crazy. I did it with heart.

I now examine things on a regular basis. Sometimes it is easier than others. I have a resistance in me called my ego. Now this ego is a self centered creature and does not want to change anything let alone a belief system. That little voice inside my head that constantly has an opinion and tries to keep the status quo by playing upon my fears and feeding the untruths. Untruths sounds so much better than lies doesn’t it? Nobody likes a liar. So now I know where some of these beliefs come from and that my ego tries to bolster them. What is a woman supposed to do? Well, you look the little liar in the eyes and say enough. You tame that voice until it sits there quietly and becomes the best little ego it can be. You do this by observing your ego’s childlike antics, practicing meditation, yoga, or anything else that works for you and then letting go. Did I mention letting go? Letting go of the beliefs that never served you well, letting go of the ego’s hold on you, and the unrealistic expectations you have of yourself and others. Breathe and let go. Trust. Trust yourself.

Once the letting go becomes part of your life funny things start to happen. I want you to discover them on your own, but as a teaser good days will far out number bad days, laughter will burst out of you more often, and moments of joy for simple things will occur more frequently. The truth was always present, you were born knowing it. Once all the lies and untruths are stripped away you are left standing in your truth all naked and vulnerable like a baby. But a baby with years of worldly experience who lives from the heart, cause really the most important and beautiful things are all about seeing the world through your heart and eyes brimming with love. So, get out there and spread the love and help support others to do the same. Provide them with a safe space to unwind the layers of untruths that are crushing their souls and causing them pain. Please do it gently, they are babies after all.

 

Peace and love

May you be hugged a lot today

Donna