Memories and Appearances

It is strange to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in twenty years. They remember who you were, but don’t know who you are now. They are in a sense strangers to me, though we are connected by blood and history. Now we get to make new memories with and of each other. Some of us have kept in touch over the years but there is nothing like hugging them in person and looking into their eyes when we chat. We are all a combination of our experiences and life’s ups and downs. We are shaped by them and they are visible in our physical bodies as well.
I got to visit Peggy’s Cove yesterday. It was and still is one of my favourite spots. The lighthouse on that rocky point warning mariners of the dangers along the shore stands tall and strong against the power of the wind and water. The rocks there are amazing and treacherous with huge waves that have swept many unsuspecting people out to sea. Yesterday, it was windy, rainy and cold and we spent more time in the restaurant gazing out the window than we did exploring the rocks. I ordered seafood chowder and a piece of their famous gingerbread with lemon sauce. It tasted as wonderful as I remembered. Here is a picture of me and my older sister Marg huddled against the side of the lighthouse.


My sister is thirteen years older than I am and she has been more like a second mother to me over the years. I was the flower girl at her wedding and have had the man she married in my life since I was two years old. My brother-in-law, Brad, used to take me out trick or treating and they took me on summer vacations with them. I tease them and tell them I was their practice child. I am blessed to have them in my life. They tease me, annoy me and love me. On this trip I got to meet some of their grandchildren that have all been born or become part of their lives since my last visit in 2009. I do not have any children of my own but I spent many many hours with my niece and nephews when they were young and I miss having children to play and let loose with.  
This is also my first trip east that did not involve the funeral of a loved one and I am determined to have more fun trips home. I am determined to have more fun! Somewhere along the line I turned into this serious person who did not have time to play. I think I shall spend the next few years reconnecting with the playful side of myself. So if you see a lady with long grey streaked hair and a big smile on her face acting foolish join her! There is still lots of play and laughter left in this tiny body I inhabit.
I am spending the day with one of my cousins. We are going to visit a friend’s farm in the valley then out for supper. I was never close to this cousin because of our age difference but when we met again last week there was an instant connection and recognition of souls. He is a big tough looking man with a heart of gold. He could even scare you if you did not know him but he has a wonderful sense of humour and a soft spot for children and animals. So do not judge people based on their appearance. Take me for instance, I look all tiny and fun but get me angry or be mean to someone and I am a force to be reckoned with and will stand up to anyone regardless of size and demeanour. So behind the tattoos, rough clothing or doo-rags there are some beautiful people, don’t miss out! I am often wearing jeans, biker boots and a Rolling Stones t-shirt, have my nose pierced and am getting my first tattoo. Yes I know, I am still not intimidating because of my size but people still judge me based on my clothing choices and appearance. Accept people for who they are, not who you think they should be. It makes life stress free.
This trip has been good for my soul. I plan to do more things that are good for my soul! At this point in my life if I cannot have fun doing it, it is not happening. In reality you can make anything fun, it is a choice. I dislike doing housework so I turn on the tunes and sing and dance my way through my chores so even cleaning the bathroom can be fun. So, go out and have some fun today. I know I will. Well it is sunny out there today and I am off to the farm. Have a fun filled day and spread some joy and laughter with the world.
Love to all

Donna

Know Who You Are

I have witnessed three beautiful sunrises this week from the east coast of Canada. I am in Halifax, where I was born and spent the first 23 years of my life. The city has changed so much I barely recognize it. I have lived on the west coast for more than 24 years so I have officially spent more time there. I still refer to Halifax as home. For us east coasters our roots run deep. If we meet people anywhere in the world and they are also from the east coast there is an instant bond, a shared understanding of a culture and way of being in the world. I love the accent that rolls off tongues in that sing song drawl and can recognize it wherever I am. The accent will vary depending on whether you are from a big city, or one of the smaller towns which each seem to put their own twist on a way of speaking. For now, I just want to sit and listen to the people speak. I find comfort in those familiar patterns of speech from my childhood.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning listening to the birds sing the beginning of the day into existence and even they sing a song that is different now. I lay in my borrowed bed comparing them to the bird songs of the west, unable to identify any but the crows. I am hoping to see a blue jay while I am here, they hold a special significance for me and they don’t exist on Vancouver island. We have jays on the island but the Stellar Jays of the west are slightly different. The eastern jays are brighter in colour and slightly smaller, though their screech is very similar. This trip has me comparing many things between the east of my childhood and the west of my adulthood.
I did think about moving east after Howard left this earth. I spent hours looking through the real estate listings and dreaming about a waterfront home along the Atlantic. My heart is in the west now though, with the people who have come to mean so much to me. I call them my soul family. I fit there amongst the cedars, bald eagles, mild weather and the laid back lifestyle of small town Sooke. I belong there now. Perhaps I had to leave there to know that. I wish I had the ability to be in two places at the same time. I just started laughing cause the word bicoastal ran through my mind. I am bicoastal!
When I arrived at my sisters home and unpacked my suitcase I found a note from the special man in my life. This man was kind enough to wake up at 3:30 am to drive me to the airport, I think he likes me. This small note brought tears to my eyes and melted my heart. His presence in my life has helped me to wake up parts of myself that have been dormant for a very long time. I thank the universe for him every day and appreciate the fact that he has the strength to walk beside me and encourages me to grow, heal, and live my dreams. His note was a little reminder of all that is waiting for me when I return. This was a trip of necessity, I needed to revisit the past and make peace with it to move forward with clarity and purpose. I needed to remember who I am. So, today I am going to visit with some of my cousins. I am looking forward to reconnecting with them and getting to know them again. They too will help me remember who I am.  
So while I was away living my life on the west coast the east coast has changed. I guess time stood still in my mind and I expected things to be the same. We change and grow and places change and grow. I am not the same person that left Nova Scotia many years ago. This trip has confirmed one thing for me, while the east will always be part of me I belong among the cedars of the west.  I have also learned that you need to know and understand the past to move in a different way into the future. Learn from the past but don’t dwell there or live from there, learn from it . Know who you are. Live your life with no regrets, just live!
Love to all

Donna

No Strings

I am sitting once again in my slightly soiled chair with a coffee beside me in my sunny yellow mug. It is five thirty in the morning and the birds are singing the sun up with cheerful little songs. It has all the makings of a wonderful day even though I have only had about four hours sleep. I had trouble settling down last night. There were a few things weighing on my mind and my heart. I have started making plans and dreaming and low and behold the universe throws a few curve balls at me just to see if I am paying attention and waits to see how I will handle it.

Have you ever had one of those moments where certain events in your life become clear in their meaning. I had one of those moments last night and I have to admit that it scared me a little. Actually my response was “well shit.” It reminded me that certain things are beyond my control. I can say I want this, I don’t want that till the cows come home and the universe in its wisdom will give me what I need. I never expected to fall in love with my life again, I never expected to feel or experience so much joy and peace again. Some of the best moments of my life have happened when I was not expecting it.

So I had a moment of clarity and it scared me. I am not sure scared is the right word. Perhaps it is more being unsure with a tiny bit of fear thrown in. I don’t know where this path will lead but I trust in the universe to guide me along and in the meantime will set the fear aside. No one knows what tomorrow will bring but I have had a few visions of the future and they do not coincide with what I thought I wanted. Perhaps there is a lesson in that. Do not be so tied to what you want and don’t want that you miss the wonderful people and opportunities right in front of you. Be flexible with your how your mind and heart respond to the events and people in your life. Be teachable.

I have ideas about how I would like things to be and have expressed a large number of those ideas on this blog. One thing that I do know for certain is that as long as I let my heart rule over my mind life is as it should be. The minute I start over thinking things and second guessing every decision, fears settles in and my mind gains control. Fear versus love the eternal struggle for control. So the universe is putting people and situations in my path to see if I can actually live what I say. Anyone can say anything, but can they back it up with action. The universe is saying enough talk Donna lets see some action.

So, I have said numerous times that it is all about living with your heart wide open. But what does that really mean to me? It is about others not about me. For one of the first times in my life, I have led a very self-centered life up to this point, the happiness of others comes before my own. I want the people around me to know what it means to be loved for just being them, no strings attached. I want to bring peace and joy with me everywhere I go and spread that around. I want the people in my life to know that they are appreciated and that I truly see them for who they are and that they are more than enough. I thought I knew what love was. The universe has shown me lately that I have only danced around the edges of it in the past. Well shit!

Have a bliss filled day
Hug people
Donna

Kitchens of Love and Laughter

Woke up this morning at 5:30 to a wet world that smells so fresh.  It rained during the night and the birds were singing enthusiastically this morning in celebration.  We have not had much rain this spring and us locals usually call our home the Wet Coast.  I love the sunny weather we are having, but (I can’t believe I am saying this) I miss the rain. It gives me an excuse to stay home and curl up with a good book and a glass of tea.

Cooked supper for friends last night and I realized how much I missed a kitchen full of people laughing, talking and eating together.  I have lived my life in self imposed isolation for so long that I forgot what it was like to be surrounded by people.  I am looking forward to buying a new home and cooking for friends.  I love to cook and try new recipes.  Well, I read recipes for inspiration then do my own thing.  I have never been great at following directions!  Some of my best memories involve being in someone’s kitchen with a group of friends.  I spent a lot of time in other people’s kitchens while growing up, playing cards, making music,eating, drinking and laughing.  So I spent the night at a friend’s house and am writing this morning at their kitchen island.  There is much food and laughter shared around this island.  I also have come to realize that this kitchen and the people in it have become a huge part of my life and my healing.  The kitchens of my past were filled with love and laughter and I know the kitchens of my future will be as well.

I am going to pay more attention to kitchens.  I think they truly are the heart of the home. Pay attention to what goes on in your own kitchen as this could be a barometer for the atmosphere of your home.  I like a tidy kitchen, it doesn’t have to be spotless but tidy and organized without a doubt.  I cannot cook in a messy kitchen.  I do have to admit that I have wanted to organize the kitchen for a few people and have even done it once.  I don’t really care if your kitchen is messy, it is your kitchen.  I do not judge you based on the condition of your kitchen.  It is your heart that captures me.  I watch how you treat other people, your family, and see how willing you are to laugh at yourself and the life stuff that is tossed your way.  If you have heart I don’t care how tidy your house is.

Just got a text message with a tarot card for the day from the Osho Zen tarot deck.  Oddly enough, the card was isolation but they spell it ice-olation.  My self imposed isolation was in a sense like being encased in a block of ice and my friends both old and new are contributing to my melting and merging back into a warm and caring community.  They are helping me find myself again. This is a family, the people who feed my body and soul.  Family is so much more than just blood relatives. Family is also the people you choose to spend time with that nurture your spirit and encourage you to be the best you possible.  I hope that in some small way I do the same for them, they mean the world to me.

So, as I sit here beside a fish named George pondering the significance of kitchens and families, I am filled with warm memories and heated hopes and desires.  There is fire in my soul once again and while I do not know what the future holds for me I am full of excited anticipation like a small child on Christmas morning.  Everyday brings more light and clarity of heart.  You have given me the space to heal and for that I thank you and give you the biggest and warmest hug.  Thank you for allowing me to find myself again.  If you ever get to Vancouver Island send a message, perhaps we can get together in the kitchen of my new home and fill it with food, companionship and wild hearted laughter.  I am looking forward to it.  Peace and love to all of you.

Hug trees and please don’t kill spiders

Donna

 

 

Spirit Says

Well this morning I decided to change things up and sit in my slightly soiled chair once again.  It definitely gives me a different perspective on the room .  I even grabbed a different coffee mug out of the cupboard and my coffee is steaming away in a mug created by a local artist that has a woman and a white raven on it.  Sometimes I feel the need to change things and other times the comfort of routine and familiarity is what I crave. That commercial jingle “sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t”, keeps running through my mind.  I realize I talk about living with heart a lot and today will be no exception.  Spirit tells me that they cannot emphasize how important us living from our heart is and that the world needs as many heart centered people as it can get.    Keep writing, spirit says, talk about the heart spirit says.  Fine, fine I will do it but people are going to get tired of it very quickly.

So what is all this heart based writing about?  If you look back over history we have done some horrible things to each other, animals and the planet.  Most of these acts come from a place of fear, the need for power over, plain old greed and ego.  We cannot continue to behave in the same way and expect different results.  Something has to change.  While there have always been people doing great selfless things, I think the numbers are swelling. The media is focused on feeding the fears and the feel good stories are few and far between.  The internet and social media have given some a platform for policing and reporting on the actions of others.  They see someone doing something they don’t agree with and snap a picture and post it to Facebook.  I noticed the other day someone had taken a picture of the back of someones car and called them out for throwing a cigarette butt out of their window.  Stupid thing to do definitely, but did the person snapping the picture stop and deal with the cigarette butt or just go on a rant about it.  This type of calling someone out makes me uncomfortable though I am not sure why.  Brings to mind police state, witch trials, and lynch mobs I guess.  This makes me nervous.  What does this have to do with heart centered living?  Absolutely nothing, isn’t that great!

It doesn’t have anything to do with the heart.  It is all about right and wrong, us and them etc etc.  There is even a local page dedicated to calling out people who park without regard for others.  Why would someone spend so much of their time on a page like this?  I would like to have a coffee and a chat with them to see what lies underneath the need to out bad parkers in a public form.  I had someone come into my shop and she had some psychic abilities.  She looked at me and said there is nothing but fear stopping you.  I was a little offended and curious at the time.  Then she reached out and touched me which made me extremely uncomfortable ( I don’t like strangers touching me) and said, “They can’t kill you this time.”  I completely forgot about her hand on my arm  and almost danced for joy because she woke something up in me with that statement.  I thought, you are right it is not easy for them to kill me for my beliefs this time.  It was like a great weight was lifted off of my shoulders.  I was free to be me.

So I talk about spirit, the universe, animals, symbols, plants and energy healing.  At one point in our history that would have gotten me burned at the stake.  In this day and age you would think people would not have the same fears but those who were persecuted and the people who persecuted them have passed down their beliefs and their DNA to their descendants and depending on your belief system some have carried the echoes of these things into the life that they are in now.  I remember some of my past lives and I was usually the persecuted one because I have always been a healer in some capacity or another.  In this life some people still react with fear.  They are afraid I can see the things they try to hide from others and they are right sometimes I can.  So could anyone else that observes people on a regular basis and reads their body language and watches how they interact with others.  That does not take psychic abilities.

I see what motivates people, the essence of who they are, spirit animals and I now see (this is a new thing) some of the people in their lives who are no longer with us.  I say I see, but that is not an accurate description.  I feel them and am unable to explain it any better than that.  I get feelings and just know certain things.  Right now there is a spirit hovering over my left shoulder reading as I am writing.  I cannot see her but I know she is female and believe this is my maternal Grandmother.  She just turned to me and smiled when I typed grandmother.  For some reason she is very excited about what I am writing, maybe interested is a better word.  I come from a line of people who had strong intuitive abilities and perhaps my Grandmother was one of them she is nodding her head and has her hands clasped together.  I know that my mother used to see people who had crossed over but she was not comfortable with it and never spoke about it.  Thanks Grandma!

What does all this have to do with living a heart entered life?  I know, sometimes it takes me a while to get to the point  We all have gifts or talents, whatever you want to call them.  If you are coming from a place of love or with heart those talents are of great service to the entire planet and all its inhabitants. If you don’t know what your talents are look to your heart.  It will almost burst with joy when you find it.  What makes your soul light up?  Find that.  Do that, even if you don’t think you are ready.  I was having a bit of a rebellious streak and told spirit they could wait until I was damn ready to write.  They told me that was fine, I was only wasting my own time!  So much for the rebellion.  I hope that the person with the parking page realizes that their talents and time are wasted on  that and they have far more to contribute.  I hope they discover their gifts because what they are doing is not far off the mark.  They just need to shift their time and focus to something other than badly parked cars.

So stop avoiding your talent or gift and stop focusing on what others may or may not be doing.  Look for the things that make your soul light up, that is what we are supposed to contribute to the world.  Sometimes it is the smallest talent that has the most impact so do not discount it even if it seems odd or tiny in comparison with others.  Stop comparing and just be you.  You are enough and you were born to do this.  Go out there and spread some love today.

Okay, I went outside for a moment before I hit the publish button and had two strange experiences.  I was wishing that my writing skills were better than they are and that I was more eloquent.  Spirit said enough of that.  Spirit wants you to know that the fears are constructed by your mind and wants me to remind you that your heart is fearless.  So live fearlessly and follow your heart.  I also encountered a male spirit who was distraught.  He was pacing up and down the path and muttering to himself so I asked him what was wrong.  He said, “I lost it, I lost it all!”  Don’t ask me how I know but he was swindled out of all his money and felt ashamed and did not want to go home and face his family.  We had a quick discussion and by the end of it he had a huge smile on his face and waved goodbye as I stood on the path with tears streaming down my face because once again I got to witness the power of love and compassion.  What a wonderful way to start the day.

 

Much love and many hugs to all

Donna

The Heart Knows

I woke up yesterday morning with a new energy and renewed spirit. This was a much welcomed change. I haven’t been feeling down the last few weeks, it was more of a flat feeling if that makes any sense. So, I have been pondering this change in my energy and trying to uncover what it is. What is at the root of it. I would have to say that it stems from my heart. What is really interesting is that it spreads out and touches the people I come in contact with. You know that saying smile and the whole world smiles with you? Well, it is true. If you live from your heart people cannot help but respond to you from theirs. It is contagious in a good way. Sure there are still some people who do not seem to have a heart to respond with but it is in there. It may be hardened and dried up a little but love them anyway. One thing I have a gift for is cracking the tough shell of cranky old men and old women for that matter. I love the cranky ones and always have. When I worked in a nursing home my coworkers would ask me why a certain patient was so nice to me and so mean to everyone else. I told them it was because I loved them and they knew it! On some level people can see through the bullshit and know who has a heart and isn’t afraid to use it.
I just had a flashback to a vision I had about my life when I was a child. I will just say that my relationship with my Mom was not an easy one, she was hard to love. The universe gave me the opportunity to look at all the interactions I had with my Mom and how different things could have been for her if I had responded to her with love instead of through my fears. I was also shown how different things would have been for me. Until you learn the lesson the universe keeps putting the same issues in front of you until you deal with it. The people may change and the situation my change but it is the same issue over and over. Since I chose to respond to people from my heart instead of my head, that dark space where the fear lurks, life has changed dramatically. Do I still have fears? Oh yeah baby I still have fears, I am merely human. But I have chosen to respond with love despite my fears and insecurities.
When we tell ourselves things like, I always have trouble expressing myself or I will never get along with my brother, we are reinforcing that idea. Someone told me to change the way I said things and I would start to notice changes. What I did was put the words in the past in front of these statements. In the past I never got along with my brother. This leaves the future open to a different outcome. So regardless of what you have struggled with in the past that is where it belongs, do not let your past experiences dictate the future. That small change in the way I spoke had a huge impact. I now try to choose my words more carefully. The answer to all of our troubles is always inside us. Someone I know was talking about his disastrous relationships. Two failed marriages were weighing on his heart and mind. I kindly pointed out that the only thing all of his relationships had in common was him. Then we both burst out laughing! When I realized that I had the solutions to any problem inside my own heart and accepted ownership of the issue and the solution my entire perspective changed. I make it sound easy, but it was not. It took a lot of work both internal and external. Fortunately the universe kept testing my new found skills and helped me hone them. Do I love everyone? No I do not, I treat them with kindness and compassion but I do not give them much time or waste my energy on them. I do say a little prayer for them though.
I have someone in my life who I really enjoy spending time with. I am out of my comfort zone sometimes with this person, but I do not let that stop me from getting to know them or interacting with them heart wide open. The world is a better place because they are in it and they make my soul want to dance. I enjoy them for who they are at this moment and all their little quirks and idiosyncrasies. I have fears, but will be damned if I am going to let them dictate this relationship or any other one. My past is not going to colour the future. I have wiped the slate clean and the future is only full of possibilities. Perhaps it is easy for me to do this because the life I had ended abruptly. I am not sure. All I know is that I take each day as it comes and try to deal with any issues as they come up. I have the answers inside my heart. What do you want out of a relationship? Do you want acceptance? Then give that to the other person. Whatever it is that you want, that is what you have to give. Simple isn’t it? 
I stopped for a minute to refill my coffee and had a vision of my heart. When you think of someone’s heart the colour red comes to mind for most of us. Well, I will tell you a secret, the colour of my heart is blue. It is a calm peaceful blue like a clean clear ocean warmed by the summer sun. It is liquid like the ocean too, the colours change in depth and swirl and shift and swell. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Well, my warm blue heart wishes you a love filled day and please don’t let fear stop you from having the life and relationships you want to have. Get out there and open your heart to the world. I promise you will not regret it!

Much love to all

Donna

Be Teachable 

I have so much running through my mind and heart this morning that I don’t know where to start. I have had a few rough moments lately that have me questioning everything. When this happens I usually phone a friend and run things by them. Sometimes you need an outside opinion when you are too close to a problem to see the bigger picture. It helps to broaden my view of my situation. People keep telling me that I am doing an amazing job at working through grief and moving on with my life. I guess in some ways I am, but for the most part I feel like a young frightened animal running through an unfamiliar landscape trying to find my way home. I am a fifty three year old woman who feels lost. 

 Every morning I see a turtle sunning itself on a rock at the edge of the pond by my house. I wonder if this is the same turtle that greeted me in the middle of the driveway when I moved here? I like to think that it is. We have a connection, this turtle and me. One of the great things about nature and the universe is they provide answers to your questions if you pay attention. Why do I keep seeing this turtle on the same rock every morning? This may be the universe providing an answer to some of the questions I have. I call them questions now instead of problems. So what does this turtle have to tell me.Turtles are able to live in two worlds. One is water and the other is land. They also carry their home, in a sense, on their backs. Their progress on land is slow and perhaps clumsy compared to the speed and grace they display when in the water. That takes care of the mind that dissects and analyzes everything. Now what does the turtle say to my heart? Sometimes life is slow and clumsy and that is okay. Sometimes it takes less effort to move through the world and you will bump up against obstacles that will slow you down and that is okay too. I live my life in two worlds (like the turtle) one of spirit and one of the physical plane. In the world of spirit I soar and on the physical plane I stumble a bit. Is it possible to soar and stumble at the same time? Yes, I think it is. In fact I am doing it on a regular basis. Stumble a bit here, soar a bit there. That is life, it is never all rainbows and puppy kisses nor is it all strife and hardship. Life is a wonderful combination of all those things and a sense of humour goes a long way in helping you navigate it with some sanity.

I guess the biggest message that comes through is be teachable. Be a life student and allow yourself to question, stumble, soar and fuck some things up. If you are not teachable the universe cannot help you. You know it all and the lessons sent are ignored or it is always someone else’s fault. You are not happy because you don’t allow yourself to be happy not because of something your husband, child, coworker, lover, or a complete stranger did. Becoming teachable requires you to look at yourself as the source of your problems and the answers. The knowledge of the entire universe is contained within you but to be teachable you must have an open mind and an open heart. Be open!
The turtle does not worry about what the rock thinks when it butts up against it. The turtle finds a way to navigate around the obstacle by looking for answers that are within. Oh yes, last time I just kept going forward and got nowhere, perhaps if I change my course just a bit that will help. For me changing my course is not a physical act but a mental one. That is the beauty of being human. I can get shit done while I work through the questions and answers. I can plow through a lot of work when I am mulling something over! I guess that one of the things that works for me is getting busy physically calms my mind. When I meditate I usually chant or rock back and forth. Yes not the standard meditation method but it works for me. Even cleaning the bathroom can become a meditation for me and clarity of heart and mind usually follow a cleaning spree. There is only one problem, I don’t like housework!
I keep getting a message from spirit to keep writing. Heck even Alfred Hitchcock chimed in! I just have not felt like writing. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I detest being told what to do by anyone, even spirit. That presents a problem. So I don’t want to write about my personal experiences at the moment, mainly because it’s well personal and not fair to the other people involved. They deserve their privacy and I respect that. Perhaps Alfred was right and I need to tell stories that will allow me to explore and let the people around me be anonymous. So, I will give some fiction a try and see what happens. Hope you all have a wonder filled day.  
Hug each other

Donna