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

Buying Into Bullshit

I cannot believe that I am writing this! Remember that this is after all only my opinion and in no way am I trying to tell you not to believe what you believe, or am I asking you to agree with me.Having said that, let’s do this. I am so tired of bullshit! I had a chat with two friends of mine yesterday. You know, the real friends that allow you to just say whatever you want and need to get of your chest, without getting upset about it or taking it personally. Anyway, we discussed many different things and they asked me one question (a lot of people have asked me this in the last six months) “Are you going to open your business again?” In my head and heart I heard HELL NO! Up until that moment, whenever I was asked this, I would say I am not sure. Something didn’t feel quite right until yesterday when the hell no came screaming out of me. My business was a retail store that sold yoga, meditation and metaphysical products to the not so general public. I just fell into the business with a forceful nudge from the universe. I cannot open that business again because that would mean I am not living an authentic life and at this point I have trouble being anything but authentic. You do not need the shit I was selling! What most of you wanted was someone to talk to and I provided that for free, no purchase required. What I got out of the business was you, I needed you to interact with me and at that point in my life the only method I had to meet you, was to sell you stuff.

Please note that this is not an attack on a specific industry but the retail industry as a whole and certain segments are singled out only as an example for making a point. You want to practice yoga get on the floor or the grass and do it! You do not need a mat, special clothing or any of the other stuff that you are being sold. It has been done for centuries without any of that. People want to sell you stuff and in order to do it they need you to believe that you cannot possibly do it “right” without their stuff. Meditation, same thing, just sit in a comfortable position and get it started. Mind you, I do love my meditation bench and it allows me to sit for long periods. (In my case 1/2 an hour is long) and be comfortable. You want healing and look for things that are going to make it faster and easier. These things you buy are tools people!   They are just tools to get you out of the small minded world you have trapped yourself inside of so you don’t feel the pain. They can help sure but no one thing or one person can heal you. You heal you! You get honest with yourself and do the work because if you don’t no one person and no thing can save your ass. If every time you need to make a decision you consult someone or something you are not acknowledging your own feelings. You want someone else to tell you what to do and then if it doesn’t work it is their fault. Take responsibility for you and find, search, and seek out the help you need but don’t expect to not have to do the work.

Sorry, I went on a bit of a rant there. I feel very strongly about it and cannot sell you things at this time. What I want to sell you on is your own ability to help yourself. Sure we need help sometimes and that is true for all of us, accept help, seek the help, be the help for others. I am not saying don’t buy the tarot cards or consult a psychic, or use crystals or have a reiki treatment or seek professional medical help in any capacity. These are all wonderful tools on the path to healing. I use Reiki, tarot cards, crystals, essential oils, and medical professionals on my own healing journey. I do not depend on them to make decisions or to solve my problems. What I am saying is do not expect them to fix you. I am asking what you would do if none of that existed or all just went away. What the fuck would you do? Well some people would have you believe that if you would only have nothing but positive thoughts it will be all rainbows and puppy dog kisses. I say bullshit! You want to get rid of your pain then you need to get down and dirty with it. Roll around on the floor naked and make sweet love to that pain!   Feel it, don’t try to push it away or cover it up with flowery words because sometimes your fucking life will depend on your ability to dance with the pain. I have survived some seriously nasty shit over the course of my life, am thriving even and for the most part am a warm and happy person. Most of my friends, notice I said most, would agree with that statement. Some would call me something much less flattering, they also have no idea what I have been through in my life because I don’t share all the details with everyone. I have danced with the pain in the many shapes and forms it came in. I have been there. I hope you do not have to stay with the pain as long as I did.

I don’t care how many positive and self affirming thoughts you have going on in that pretty little head of yours, it is masking the symptoms of a much larger problem. It cannot take away the pain until you face the pain and there is always help available. Please get help if you need it and please don’t feel as though you are all alone. That is the big secret, everyone feels alone with their pain and afraid they will be judged, ignored, rejected etc. etc. if they reach out to someone. If the first person you reach out to is a complete idiot reach out to someone else and then someone else until you find the right person. You are fucking worth it and your life matters no matter what you have been through. You are not alone. Think about it, with over seven billion people on the planet I am sure there is someone who will understand what is eating you up inside.

Positive thinking has its place for sure! What works for me is sending the positive thoughts out to others, by helping them I help myself. I am not focused on my narrow little world, I am getting out of my own dark and sometimes self defeating mind and giving to others. What you put out into the world comes back to you, they say. I’m still not sure who the hell “they” are but I could kick their ass right now. Manifest the life you want “they say”. So, what you put out comes back. Putting out I want this, I need that, this is what I want my life to look like, blah blah blah is grasping. You grasp anything in your fist long enough and you will choke it. Grasping, greed, me, me, me. Just think you get back what you send out!!! Send out love and compassion for others and you get love and compassion back from others. Send out all the bullshit you have bought into and you get back more bullshit. Is it starting to make sense?

Please stop buying the shit they are selling that tells you that you are not enough, this pill will fix all your problems, that car will earn you respect, this newer and bigger house will improve your messed up family life. The healing starts internally with you and a decision to do the work you need to do to start the healing process. Seek the help that you need in whatever form that takes for you. But, I beg you not to hand them the power you were born with to know and heal yourself by purchasing the shit they are selling. You do not need to purchase anything to be a happy healthy person in all of your brilliant glory, what you need is other people, that human connection. You need love and you cannot buy that.

Be the love, be the change
Love you all
Donna

Pay Attention

Once again it is 5:25 and quiet, so very peacefully quiet. Just the sound of the coffee maker, and oh the rooster next door just woke up. I find the call of the rooster to be lonely, not sure why though. It almost makes a mournful sound as if it is crying out in the dark, calling out to someone. I’ve been thinking about people a lot lately, especially in relation too how I feel when I am around them. While I have generally paid attention to my feelings, I think I will pay more attention in the future to my emotions when I am around other people. I would have to say that I am confused by some people and that my emotions get all messy when I spend time with them. Oooh, the coffee is ready, be right back. Steaming coffee in my sunshine mug, life is perfect at this moment.
I do believe that each person who crosses my path or spends some time in my life has great purpose. Once in a while I meet someone and they shake my view of the world. This is neither a good nor bad thing, their presence just changes me. In some ways this could be viewed in a positive manner. Anyone who gets me to question my beliefs and the way I have been doing things has done me a favour. They are contributing to my personal growth. I view this as positive, well mostly positive, there have been a few interactions that I could have done without. This has even happened to me with people I have only spoken to on the phone. I have talked on the phone a lot over the years, thank you Mr Bell, and have made connections with and been changed by the voices on the other end. I’m having a bad day and it can be turned around by a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.
The tools for growth are available to me in many forms, I just have to recognize or acknowledge them. A book, a voice, a smile from a stranger, the person next to me in line at the grocery store can all have an impact on me. Information comes in, I process it and I am never the same again. Think about that for a minute, every person you meet and experience changes you on some level. I think that is very interesting. Our minds and bodies are constantly interacting and changing in response to the world these encounters can have a powerful impact if you are aware of them. No, I need to correct that, you don’t even need to be paying attention, though it helps speed the process along. Some people can have a huge effect on me without me knowing right away. It takes my brain and heart a few days to understand that a shift has taken place. I know it on some level, it just a takes a while for me to integrate this new part into the complicated whole of Donna. It’s, well, it’s complicated. Can you hear me laughing as I type that, well I was. Is there a way to add sound effects to posts? Insert a fit of the giggles here. Yes 53 year old woman giggle, at least this one does.
I forgot to mention that these encounters are not just about you, sometimes it is about the other person and sometimes both people. You just never know at the beginning. Beginnings are wonderful aren’t they, filled with anticipation and hope? Goodbyes are hard, the letting go and the change through loss can bring me to my knees. Pay attention to the people who cross your path, dance with them for a few minutes or a few centuries. Some people have the ability to make everyone around them feel special. How do they do that? I wish I knew, then I could be one of them. I think it happens simply because they choose to be in the present moment with others and give them their undivided attention. I know I want people to hear me, really hear what I am trying to say. It makes me feel as though I matter and that is of huge importance in this world of constant stimulus and distraction. So I should give others that gift when I interact with them. I reach out to the world and it responds in kind. Take time to hear the people in your life today, give them your undivided attention, you may be surprised at what you discover about them and yourself.

Peace to all beings,
Love you all
Donna

A Fool’s Path

For most of my life I have needed 8 hours of sleep in order to function. Now if I get 5 hours, I am doing well and functioning just fine. I have wondered what has brought about this change in sleeping patterns. I could attribute it to all the changes that have taken place for me in the last six months, but my instincts say it is this release of new creative energy that is running through me. There is a new thirst for life that fuels me. My dreams have also taken on new attributes. They have always been very vivid, colourful and if I woke up in the middle of one it would continue right where it left off like someone had pressed pause then play when I return to sleep. I used to remember my dreams in great detail, now I don’t even remember dreaming during the night. I find this to be strange but interesting.

I can still remember certain dreams that I had years ago as if they happened yesterday. Sometimes I have had the same dream repeatedly over the years. I started writing this last night and this morning I remembered a dream woohoo! So in this dream I had a friend who was severely injured and there we were in an old Viking settlement about to participate in a purification ritual when Taylor Swift knocked on the door looking for me. Weird right? That is the way my dreams are. I can smell things, taste things ( I don’t like the stuff the Vikings drink in my dream and there was no coffee damn it) and this dream was in black and white except for Taylor’s red toque and blonde hair. If you can analyze that, call me. My dreams have always seemed so real to me. Those are the dreams I have when I am asleep.

Now for the waking dreams. You know the ones where you imagine what your future will look like. I don’t have those, never have. I can read a poem and it will come alive in my mind and heart. When people tell me their stories I can see them as if watching a movie. Ask me to imagine what I want in the future and yup you guessed it, I get nothing, just a big blank spot. Plan my blog posts ahead of time, cannot do it. I sit down to write and the words come out. I plan it ahead of time and it never gets published. I have absolutely no idea whee this post is heading as I type it. I wonder why I can’t dream or imagine my future? It’s not like I don’t make plans or set goals. I do on a regular basis but for the most part I just stumble into things including my future. I just never know where I am going to end up. Sometimes it feels like there is no point in imagining my future because I seem to be led by an unseen hand into it, regardless of my plans. I always end up where I need to be and sometimes it doesn’t make sense until later. One minute I am looking for a yoga bag and the next thing I know I am starting a business that leads me to a number of people that have become hugely important in my life. You know all the things you are supposed to do before you start a business I did not do any of it, none of it. No grand plans, I was compelled to start a business and everything just fell into place. No training, no preparation and off I went stumbling into a business.  It was a beautiful thing!

One thing I have discovered is that because of all this I have the ability to take great big leaps of faith. A bit of a crooked path to get to the point of this story, yes, crooked even for me. So I guess the whole point of this is the only expectation I have is that I will know what to do and where to go. I live my life in the moment for the most part and when I get a nudge from the universe I jump. That is how this blog happened as well. My life is like that movie Field of Dreams. I have faith and though people around me sometimes think I am a little odd, I just smile because I know that I will be guided to the people, places and things I need. I have no expectations in most situations, I just see things unfold in my life as though I am both watching and participating in the movie of Donna. This I believe to be my truth, don’t get so wrapped up in your dreams of the future that you miss the signs and opportunities that are in front of you right now. We need the planners, the visionaries, the builders and we also need those of us who dance to the beat of a drum that is unheard by many.  We are the fools, the happy happy fools who skip down a crooked path stopping to smell the flowers and talk to the wildlife along the way.

Dedicated to my fellow fools with their big big hearts
Love ya, Donna

 

Greetings From the Dandelion Whisperer

I had an interesting experience when I hosted a small group at my home last week. I had bought some fresh flowers for the table. I bought mums and tulips and divided them between two vases. One vase was for the table and one for the bathroom. I don’t understand it, but I love having flowers in the bathroom. I cut the stems at different heights and arranged them in a haphazard fashion in my Grandmother’s red crystal vase. Beautiful right? They were a little messy and it drove a friend of mine, who works with flowers for a living, a little crazy. I think she actually winced when she saw them! She asked me if she could do something with them and I said sure! I wanted to see what a professional would do with them and I watched very closely. Watching her just hold the flowers filled me with delight, she has a special connection to them and this was going to be wonderful! She turned my motley arrangement of flowers into a beautiful, photo worthy creation. Then she looked at my face. If my mouth doesn’t give me away my face will. I really loved the arrangement and smile every time I look at them. What bothered me was I realized that for some people my wild ways were not all that attractive.

I’m a little messy and disorganized, so was my flower arrangement. I like to think of myself as a little wild, free spirited, outspoken slightly crazy person. People don’t necessarily respond as I would hope to my craziness and all the other wonderful attributes I have. They want to reign me in and turn me into some neat and tidy flower arrangement, because it makes them more comfortable! Not only are those flowers a reflection of me and how people respond to me, they are also a reflection of the person who felt the need to arrange them that way. I do not want to be tamed!!! I do not want to conform. I do not want to be like anyone else. My wild and messy flowers were now a neat and tidy but beautiful arrangement. I must drive some people crazy with my spontaneous and fly by the seat of my pants life! Good! If you are one of them and are reading this (I wish I could type that raspberry noise) I am sticking my tongue out like a five year old. God people are so serious. Fuck, loosen up people!

Even though I can be messy, I straighten things. When I go to your house I will straighten your artwork, fix the towels in your bathroom, line shoes up and if you let me, put your spices in alphabetical order. I will be moving to a new place in a few weeks. This will be only the second time in my life I had a place of my own where there was no one around to have an opinion on anything and there is a part of my that wants to dance for joy!   I am going to hang some pictures at odd angles just to remind myself of my need to line things up and also see who goes slightly crazy from all the crookedness. My lawn is another great example of my life. There it is 2.5 acres of wildness. I love seeing the dandelions and all the little weeds and funny things that pop up out of the ground. My late husband spent a lot of time in the yard cutting, trimming and pruning that wildness into submission. He never did that to me! He told me once that when he started the lawn tractor he swore that I went outside and talked to the dandelions and told them to duck when he mowed over them! There were always some dandelions left and I think he left them there on purpose just to make me smile.  God, I miss that man!

It is 5 am on a Saturday morning and I am waiting for a response from my flower arranging friend to use this story. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable, that was not the point. I love her, she is creative, funny and a joy to know. I just wanted to explore the flower arrangement and what it represented for me. So, how are your flowers arranged? I just want to sit back and watch people be themself without judging them. Observe people and at some point you will notice yourself being reflected back at you. Right and wrong is a societal and individual construct. Don’t judge just explore. So next time you mow the lawn think of me, the dandelion whisperer! I will be here rolling on the floor laughing my ass off!

Serenity’s Path

When you pull into my driveway there is a locked gate. Just past that gate on the left there was a rather large hand carved wooden sign that hung between two tall spiked medieval looking metal posts. The sign read Serenity’s Path. One day as I was leaving for work the sign had, after many years, rotted and crumbled to the ground. Me being me, I thought, I hope that is not a sign. I now think it was. The crumbled serenity sign reminded me that all things must end and nothing in this life is permanent. The signs are everywhere so look for them!

I lived behind a locked gate in a land called Serenity’s Path. I was happy there, or was I? When I would drive home after work I had to stop to open and close the gate and always stood for a moment to hang all the things from the day that I wanted to let go of on one of the posts. I would then thank the winds for carrying them far away and continue on to the house where my man, conversation and a cup of coffee were waiting. It was my life and while I loved it there was also this feeling of restlessness deep inside me that I didn’t quite understand. I had a wonderful husband, a business, a job and friends I adored so this restlessness confused me.

I asked Howard one afternoon, as we sat on the deck drinking coffee in the warm sun, if he would be willing to sell everything we owned, get in the truck with our travel trailer behind us and go on a great adventure. As per usual he raised his eyebrows, he did that a lot for some of my ideas, and said “Why would I want to do that, I love it here, There is so much I want to do here.” He had plans, so many plans. Now he’s gone, a half finished sculpture still sits on his work bench, and I am sitting here, drinking coffee in my yellow mug, with the same yearning for something more.

I want more than to spend eight hours of my day in a job that I have no interest in and a business that takes up an extreme amount of my free time. What am I doing this for? I am not a materialistic person so it wasn’t to get bigger and fancier things. Society places a lot of emphasis on and tries to convince you that your self worth is tied to being productive and having a career and all the right stuff. We live in a sad sad world that places too much importance on things that really don’t mean anything In the long run. It is all an illusion. Talk to anyone on their deathbed and you will not hear them say I wish I had worked more or had more material things. They say things like, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. They wish they had slowed down enough to enjoy the life they had. Don’t be that person! Enjoy what is right in front of you, this precious moment, because it will not last. Nothing is permanent, not the wonderful times and certainly not the bad ones.

There is an upside to all this! With the acceptance of no one thing being permanent comes freedom. I know my grief will not last, I know that bad days only last one day, people come and go and I don’t have to get used to any one way of being unless I choose to. While my driveway is straight, the path to serenity is not. The path has twists and turns, viewing areas and it sometimes doubles back to show you something you missed the first time. Whatever you are going through today, remember, it is only temporary. Learn from it, savour it because soon it will all just be a memory. Also remember it is your choice to view the world in the way you do. You can always change your mind and your viewpoint.

Live like you mean it
Peace and love to you all
Donna