Grief Part 682

I will start this post by saying that I am no expert when it comes to grief. I have danced with grief a number of times from a young age to today, at 54 years of age. I say dance with it because grief has a rhythm to it that moves you. I have experienced the death of two grandparents, a number of friends, my baby girl, both my parents, my older brother and finally the man I loved and lived with for twelve years. Each experience was different and each person’s death brought about a change within me. Howard’s passing happened Sept 15th, 2015 and I have to say that his presence in my life and his exit from it has changed me in ways no other experience has. Howard’s life and death had a profound effect on me and in some ways I am still discovering what those are. I will tell you that the grief never ends but it changes over time and becomes more of a slow heart warming waltz instead of a heart racing paso doble that spins you around and shakes your world. Grief changes you and grief changes.

I am one of those people who cries when I am happy and laughs when I am sad. This is not to say that I do not cry when I am sad. Howard’s death brought me to my knees, but I did not cry, I wailed a deep soul shattering sob that robbed me of breath and thought. I would cry myself to sleep at night and when I woke up in the morning for just a moment I would forget that he was gone and then the sobbing would begin as reality came into focus again. I cried at the grocery store, I sobbed in my car and had to leave a few places, (the bank for one) when my emotions overtook me. I wouldn’t change a minute of the grief. It was heartbreaking but it was also heart opening. I do not see the world in the same way, my vision is clearer because I see with my heart, not my eyes. So a year and a half later something will catch me by surprise and the loss of him will overwhelm me. I was visiting the hair salon that I frequent a few weeks ago and a song came on the radio there that had special meaning to me and Howard and the tears started flowing. This is a song by Shawn Mendes called “Never Be Alone” and here are some of the lyrics:

I promise that one day I’ll be around
I’ll keep you safe
I’ll keep you sound
Right now it’s pretty crazy
And I don’t know how to stop
Or slow it down
Hey
I know there are some things we need to talk about
And I can’t stay
Just let me hold you for a little longer now
Take a piece of my heart
And make it all your own
So when we are apart
You’ll never be alone
You’ll never be alone
You’ll never be alone
When you miss me close your eyes
I may be far but never gone
When you fall asleep tonight
Just remember that we lay under the same stars
And hey
I know there are some things we need to talk about
And I can’t stay
Just let me hold you for a little longer now

Howard passed this song on to me through a friend who is a medium. This happened while he was still alive but could not talk much. He did manage to say a lot to my friend in spirit while he was still alive even though they did not really know each other well. He chose his words sparingly at this point and did not waste his energy. Well, I played the song as Howard lay in his bed in our living room, while a few friends were visiting, Howard had his eyes closed with a big smile on his face and his toes were dancing to the music while the rest of us had tears streaming down our faces. After Howard was gone every time I started my car (for a few weeks) this song would be on the radio, it was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It made me cry and reminded me that I am never alone.

So, here I am early in the morning finishing a post that I started over 4 months ago. I want you to know that I still miss him and think about him every day. I also want you to know that some days I still struggle to find my place in this new life I have created. Sometimes I still struggle. Howard’s artwork graces the yard and walls of the new home I share with Shawn the new amazing man in my life. He has brought much joy and laughter to my life. He loves me, he challenges me and encourages me to dream and grow. But, grief is a funny thing and I don’t think it ever goes away or is something you can overcome. I believe that it is always there, always a part of you. Grief changes you and grief changes you again, but your dance with it also changes the grief.
Now, it is not so much about the loss of Howard in my life, but the end of the life that Howard had cut short when he was just beginning to blossom as an artist and had found something he was so passionate about.

I believe that I have a difficult time finishing this post simply because there is no end to this story. Nor can I sum it all up and leave you with a something to think about. This is just a snapshot of day 682 of grief.

Be kind
Love ya
Donna

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The Wind Through the Trees.

Went for a walk this morning and on my way back to the house I noticed the cherry tree beside the driveway. I swear the tree was glowing this morning with an aura of light surrounding it. This is a beautiful tree in full bloom with soft pink blossoms that are starting to cover the ground. So I stopped to thank the tree for all that it contributes to the universe. The tree was happy to be acknowledged. I believe that when you are looking at and experiencing trees they are also experiencing you. The trees speak, we just have to listen! My new landlords most likely think, what is that crazy woman doing now, standing there touching the tree with her eyes closed and a big smile on her face. They will get used to it. It is part of my charm.

I am sitting here in the living room of my new place on a dark grey sofa with a painting of a beautiful elephant hanging behind me.  I bought this painting yesterday because it spoke to my soul. Elephants have a lot to teach us. All of the animals have something to teach us and so does everything else in nature for that matter. I seem to have a special connection and an ability to communicate with rocks, trees and animals when I take the time to do so. Taking the time is the challenge at the moment. Anyway, sitting here on the sofa I can see Howard’s straw hat hanging on the coat rack across the room. I almost threw his hat out and a friend talked me out of it. Some days seeing the hat brings me peace and comfort and other days it brings pain and discomfort. This morning it seems to bring both. God I miss him. I miss the smell of him and watching him move. I loved the way that man moved, there was a fluid grace he possessed that enthralled me. Every movement had a purpose and grace combined with economy of motion is rare to see.

I love watching people move. You can learn a lot about them from their movements. Do they walk with their head up or down? Are their movements awkward or do they posses that ease of movement that comes when someone is comfortable in their own skin and the world? I think about how I move and what that says about me. Can people tell that I am shy by the way I move? I spent a lot of time walking yesterday and for some reason was really conscious of my hips. The way my body sways from the hips and where I was relaxed and where I was tense. Focusing on the movement of my hips really made me aware of being a woman. Even though I have lost a lot of weight, not by choice, I still have a few small curves and I love them. Yesterday I was 108 pounds of pure woman when I moved and felt very graceful. I feel as though at 53 I am finally discovering who I am on a number of levels and it is fun! I wonder what I will discover today?

I think I think too much! Yes I was laughing as I wrote that. I seem to be at one end of the thinking spectrum or the other. I either think a lot or I don’t think at all. Neither of these things are bad in and of themselves when employed in a healthy manner. Some things require thinking and some things don’t. On certain occasions I turn off my mind and just feel. It is like I am meeting the world through my heart and senses. In certain situations this can be overwhelming and then my mind kicks in. I have a tendency to shut my mind and heart off when I am really uncomfortable and have come to realize that this is a defence mechanism that I learned from a very traumatic event in my life. I don’t think, I don’t feel, I just retreat inside myself to a place where no one can reach me or hurt me. I have also discovered that I spent a lot of my time living from that place and not fully experiencing life. With the recent events in my life it is no longer possible for me to retreat. You cannot hide when your heart is wide open! I no longer feel the need nor do I want to hide. Here I am take me or leave me.

Sometimes I feel very lonely. In the past I would have tried to fill that loneliness with something. Now, I explore it and acknowledge it for what it is. Being alone is one thing, being lonely is another. If I am able to stay present and in the moment there is no loneliness. It’s going into the past or attempting to predict the future that sends me down the lonely road. I do not need someone in my life to be happy, healthy and whole. I already am all that. I don’t need someone to complete me, I want someone who will enhance me. That is also what I want for them, no strings attached. No strings attached is a tall order for most people and navigating a relationship under those conditions can be tricky. I believe that honest communication is the key. That also seems to be a tall order for some people. Sometimes it is a tall order for me as well in the communication department, I leave a lot unsaid. Honesty, well some would say I am too honest. I don’t think that is bad, you always know where you stand with me. Is leaving things unsaid dishonest? I really do not necessarily want to share all my thoughts and feelings with someone else until I am ready. Sometimes they are not ready to hear them either and that is okay. It really has nothing to do with them, I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions. I cannot be responsible for how others interpret or react to what I have to say, I can only clarify things a bit for them if they have questions or concerns.

So, spend time with people you enjoy and who enjoy you right back! Spend time getting to know yourself. Get out there and sit with the trees, rocks, or whatever part of nature makes you feel good. Don’t be surprised when you ask the universe questions if the answers come back through the very fabric of nature itself. The wind carries the questions and answers, you just have to be silent and still long enough to hear it whisper through the trees. They touch both the heavens and the earth and are conduits of knowledge through their root system that covers the wonderful planet we share with them. Connect!

Peace and love to all
Donna

Moon Dance

I have always been drawn to the moon. I spent a lot of time as a child gazing into the night sky and dreaming. I dreamt of times and lives past. Strange dreams for a young child. There is one particular woman that I have dreamt about many times over the years. I see her in different time periods, but she is always the same, always her. She is alone, searching or waiting for someone or something. Her hair is always long and she is strong of spirit and connected to nature in ways I don’t understand yet. It is almost as if she is part of everything and everything is part of her. She has a way with plants and animals, they speak to her and she listens. It is always dark when I dream of her. Sometimes she rides a horse through the woods, stands on a windswept cliff looking out over the ocean, walks along cobblestoned streets or tends her garden near a solitary thatched cottage in the moonlight. I have no idea why I dream of her. The dreams are comforting though and I feel as if I know her, like I know myself. I am not sure why she came to mind tonight, but then again I am never asleep when I dream of her. She just comes into my mind, a silent movie in my mind. So tonight I wrote a poem that I will share with you. Like it, don’t like it, it doesn’t really matter. The words want to be expressed and I am the just the writer.

 

mindless movement

cool grass under feet

legs bare, arms raised

hips sway gently

hesitantly softly

breath and heart

earth’s rhythm

quickens with the wind

leaves quiver, hair flies

faster, harsher

power and emotion

spill into darkness

from bone and blood

to roots and dirt

all are connected

indifferent moon above

witness to the dance

 

This is a slightly odd post, but as always I feel compelled to write. I don’t sit down with a plan. I was planning to do some artwork this evening and got out my sketchbook but no inspiration came. So I sat with a piece of paper and there was a poem. The poem came first, the topic was triggered by that. I thought everyone saw silent movies in their minds. Can’t believe I never thought to ask anyone about it. Then again I learned at a young age not to ask too many questions.  Once in a while what I see will manifest a few days or weeks after I see it. I have dreamt (while sleeping) of people and have met them a few weeks later. They usually end up being an important part of my journey on this earth. Other times, I will meet someone and there is a knowing. I know them somehow on some level that I do not fully comprehend and this is happening to me more frequently. With this knowing comes a love for them. This has nothing to do with a sexual love, just plain old unconditional love. There are also some people that I react very strongly to when I meet them, this can be on either a physical or emotional level and I am always wary of them. Once in a while this wariness is unfounded though most times it is not. Is this some type of internal warning system, my intuition perhaps? I do not have any answers. I see things and animals give me messages. Strange for you perhaps, but normal for me. I just share parts of my story so that others know that they are not alone.

Some of the seers, the healers, and the misunderstood isolated themselves and kept these things to themselves out of fear, fear of rejection, ridicule, heartache and persecution. They have tremendous hearts and are very sensitive to the world around them. They do not talk about these things with others. At this point, I will talk about anything even if it leaves me open and vulnerable to being rejected by others. Do not be so quick to judge those you don’t understand. You don’t even need to understand them or believe what they believe to treat them with kindness. People fear what they do not understand or things that challenge their belief systems. Unfortunately fear leads men and women to perpetrate horrible acts against others. Love is everything fear is not. Love heals while fear destroys. Be the love and show others kindness and compassion. The world and its people need all the healing they can get.

 

Much peace and love to all of you

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

She Walks With A Raven

It is 5:30 am and the fire is going, coffee is brewing and yup here I am all snuggled up in my chair with a blanket that I made. I need some comfort this morning. The last time I glanced at the clock it read 3:30.   I have had two hours sleep and I rarely have trouble sleeping. What is going on? There are a few things that can keep me awake at night, excited anticipation (no, it is not that) or a restlessness that is usually a harbinger of a unexpected huge change in my life. This has happened to me a few times in my life and this time I’m nervous. Good God how much change can I possibly handle in one year! It is almost as if on some level a huge shift is taking place and I can feel it in my bones. I am moving next week, but I have known about that for over a month. I don’t think that is it. This one is going to be a game changer, I can feel it. I do not feel as though I am ready for it. Am I ever truly ready when the universe literally rocks my world? Nope but I stumble into the future with a huge grin anyway.

My life is strange by some’s standards. I have friends who can predict earthquakes, see people who have crossed to the other side, heal broken bones with the energy that flows through them, and one or two who channel their spirit guides. How do I know these people, well, I am one of them. I decided that I have avoided this subject long enough. I have one or two friends who have seen people who have crossed over since they were small children. The world has not been kind to them. The world is never kind to people who are different and by world I mean the people.   People who tell a child that she is being seduced by the devil, need to spend some time in hell. I don’t really care if people believe that I can see some of the things I can see. I certainly cannot prove it to them but damn it don’t treat me like the spawn of satan. I as well as my friends do things from our hearts and most of us would not even hurt a fly. We would trap them gently and put them outside. We see things you may not and because of this we walk very softly on this earth.

I remember sitting on the bus with my mother when I was approx five years old. I pointed to a woman sitting across from us and said, “look at the pretty camel Mom.” My mother was not impressed and I am sure the woman wasn’t either. I was told that it was not polite to tell people they looked like a camel. What they didn’t know was that my young eyes saw the camel with her snuggled up close like a part of her but I did not think she looked like one. I stopped telling people what I saw and just ignored the animals because that would mean I was crazy right. When people hear that I see spirit animals they react in one of two ways, they either get extremely uncomfortable or they ask me if I can see their animal. If I am uncomfortable I see nothing and to be honest I don’t go looking unless someone asks me or the animal just pops up begging for my attention. People deserve their privacy and i don’t invade that privacy. I have had an animal with me since the day I was born and it warns me of danger and has literally saved my life once or twice. My raven is huge and he makes a noise that sounds like laughter. I walk through this world with a raven beside me. When there is danger nearby or I need to pay attention to something ravens and crows in nature will start acting strangely around me. This has happened many times and I always pay attention.

If I run into people and the animals show themselves it is usually to give me information me about the person. For example, I know to be wary if I see a weasel around someone. It tells me that the person is subtle and sneaky and will use others to meet their own needs all under the guise of being helpful and they watch people to learn their weaknesses. Now if the weasel is hissing ( do weasels actually hiss?) or aggressive that is quite different than if the weasel is all curled up and gentle. One makes me wary the other doesn’t. The soft gentle weasel is comfortable with their surroundings and they are great at seeing under the surface of things, they are also fiercely protective over the people they love. God this is difficult to write about. Still thinking I am a little crazy? It gets even more strange.

The animals give me information immediately that I normally would have discovered over time. They do not tell me your secrets! Even this ability is starting to change for me. Animals have always acted in strange ways around me. Horses that the owner swears are gentle will rise up, hooves pawing the air and head tossing wildly. My friend’s birds hide when I come near their cage. Cats usually avoid me and I love cats. Birds in nature swoop at my head all the time. I was attacked by a group of dogs when I was younger and have been terrified of strange dogs ever since. This fear is slowly starting to leave me and having dogs in my life has helped tremendously. I actually met some Great Danes yesterday and while the thought of it terrified me it wasn’t bad at all. They were like the gentle giants of the dog world and have such huge hearts. So while in the past they have reacted to me in some not so cuddly ways now it’s like they want to rub themselves all over me. They know I can understand them and this is the new thing, your pets are talking to me. I don’t actually hear voices it is more like feelings and just knowing. They don’t give away your secrets either! They love you and they do not judge you. Lately I have had a few animals show me things but I have to be very calm and comfortable around them and you in order for this to happen. Given my past I am not comfortable all that often around animals or people.

Why have I come out of the animal closet this morning? I am not sure. Maybe it has something to do with the restlessness of last night that has still not left me. Perhaps I just am tired of not being able to talk about it except with my closest friends. The animals in our lives and nature have much to teach us. Has your dog ever reacted strangely to someone? Pay attention to that, it can tell you a lot. Why did animals react so strongly to me in the past? I think it may have to do with the fact that I usually travel with a zoo of spirit animals and when I was uncomfortable so was the zoo. Perhaps your animals were reacting to me and the spirit animals discomfort. I may never know the answer. All I know is that this is changing and I am willing to explore it so I can no longer hide it.  I give thanks to all the animals both the real and the spirit ones for teaching me what it is like to be human. I give thanks for all the love they have shown me and the trust they have given to share their feelings with me. Okay animal kingdom bring it, I am now ready.

 

 

Walk gently

Hug lots

Donna

 

 

 

Wings and Things

I was going to take the day off and then it got filled up with things to do. I am busier now that I am no longer working and wonder how I ever got anything done when I had a business and a full time job. I guess now my time is filled with things I want to do. Lunch with friends, long walks, phone calls with friends and family who don’t live close by and time to just breathe. Getting geared up to move and selling most of my material possessions is an interesting and some times strange experience. I have a difficult time putting a value on material items. I apparently do not have a talent for dickering, they ask what I would like for it and because of my previously mentioned difficulty I just ask what they would like to pay. If the offer is reasonable I’ll accept it. This throws people off and gives me much amusement when they feel the need to explain or justify their offer. I also like to just give things away! So as I go through each room there is a must pack, a must sell and a donate pile. I also have a cannot decide what to do with this pile. Make me an offer on that pile would you please . My house looks like a war zone.

There is something about decluttering and moving that brings a sense of freedom and clarity. A new home and some new furniture mixed in with the pieces I love. The hardest thing for me to pare down is the artwork. Each piece has strong emotional significance for me. Some pieces I have bought or inherited and then there are Howard’s sculptures. I have decided on two pieces of his, the raven that he made for me and a sculpture called the peaceful warrior. A picture of the warrior is at the top of the page and it is made out of chrome bumpers from antique cars that were no longer usable. Howard was into recycling in a grand way. Interestingly, whenever Howard did a warrior piece they were always female, I loved that about him. This piece is not small so I have no idea where it will fit but I cannot leave it behind. Perhaps it will live in my meditation room, I shall see.

Back to decluttering. What a huge job! It amazes me that a person who really isn’t materialistic can accumulate so much stuff. One thing is for certain I have a penchant for home made soap. Going through the bathroom cupboard revealed 21 bars of soap! I have enough soap to last me almost a whole year! Note to self do not buy anymore soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, olive oil or coconut milk until I am out of them. Seven cans of coconut milk, really! I stop at the store without my list which is still sitting on the kitchen table ( I make lots of lists then forget to take them with me) and then I can’t remember what I have, so I buy more. You run out of anything call me! Except sugar or cow’s milk, I don’t have either in my house. I also own every kitchen gadget known to mankind. So if I haven’t used it in the last year out it goes. The only thing I do not own at the moment is a coffee grinder, it died a tragic and noisy death last month. So if anyone has bought me a gift in the last few years you may see it at my garage sale and please do not get upset. I am downsizing, it is not a reflection on you, your gift or our relationship.

The important things cannot be packed. The magnolia tree Howard bought me for our first Valentine’s Day together is now almost 20 feet tall, the lilac tree that I planted in memory of our child that was lost, the rock wall we built together on a sunny afternoon, these things cannot be packed. These remind me of the life and love we shared and can only be carried with me in my heart. The land, the house and the material things really don’t matter much in the long run. It was the life of the people and the animals that spent time in this place that I hold dear and I will carry them with me, they have shaped me and made me who I am today.

So I give thanks to the land, to Howard and all the animals that have shared my life, for allowing me to grow and flourish in a safe and supportive environment. I am grateful that I got to be part of it. Now it is time to spread my wings and leave the safety and comfort of this soft little nest and part of me is afraid that I will not be able to fly on my own. I know that letting go is a constantly recurring theme in life and if I hang on to old ways of thinking and being my wings will never develop enough to carry me. Today I will fly knowing that the universe will help me and guide me. The people I need in my life, the new lessons to be learned and the life I am destined for are already there waiting for me. I just have to go meet them with an open mind and wings strengthened by a wide open heart! So the next time someone asks me what my sign is I am going to say open!

Peace and love to all

Donna

 

 

Waiting Room Observations

I had a few hours to sit and watch people come and go through one of the largest ERs in our fair city yesterday. There was so much going on it was difficult to process it all. I attempted to talk to some of the people sitting in the waiting area with me but for the most part they were not interested. Bummer. While I was there for something minor, a broken finger sustained when I fell up the stairs at home, some of these people were in a lot of pain. One young woman paced and talked about how bad the pain was for her. It didn’t matter if she was standing or sitting the pain was severe. I wanted to reach out to her, but felt It was not my place. I wonder why I felt that way? I could have helped with energy work and showed her some breathing techniques for the pain but I just sat there and watched her pace and be largely ignored by the staff as person after person was called from their chair into the little treatment rooms. She was there when I arrived and approximately 10 people were seen before her. One nurse did approach her and asked her not to pace in that area and to please sit down. She did get looked at while I was still there and was sent home and told to take Tylenol, there was nothing they could do for her, her back was out and it was, how did the doctor put it, a mechanical issue that they could not treat. Wow!

Another thing I noticed was almost every person had a cell phone and eyes locked on that little screen they were barely cognizant of the fact that there were other people around. I did send two or three texts myself but I saw and heard a lot. I also felt a lot. It was difficult for me to be back at that hospital. That was where we got Howard’s cancer diagnosis and my world started falling apart. The couple sitting next to me were very emotional, he was dying and they were waiting for a bed to have a procedure that would make him more comfortable while they prepared for the inevitable ending. I felt their pain. I asked them if I could get them anything while they waited, what I really wanted to do was hug them. They declined and said they were fine. They were fine. I reached out to them in the only way I could and wished I could have done more.

I also had a bit of a chuckle as one particularly agile woman in her 50’s made a break for it with nurses running after her. She needed to use the bathroom, they called security and she was escorted back to her room. Well let’s say she walked at a marathon pace and now had two nurses and two security guards trying to keep up with her. She winked at me when she went by and that is when I laughed!  Another older gentleman (in his eighties) with a broken shoulder moved to another chair down the hall and left his jacket behind, no one noticed. I returned his jacket to him and we had a short but sweet conversation. He lives alone, his daughter is 3 provinces away and his neighbours came to pick him up and take him home. He really should not be by himself he can barely walk with a walker and now he is one armed, the other strapped tightly to his chest, and trying to use his walker to get around.

Another couple who sat on my left were interesting. She spoke to me a few times. When the woman found out they were going to be there for a few hours she told her husband she was going home and to get the nurses to call her when he was done. He looked shocked! So, she left and he went walk about leaving his cane behind on the chair. I happened to hear his name when they came in so when I was done I took his cane to the nurses station and told them who it belonged to. The nurse did not even look at me she just said okay set it there. I wonder if he ever got it back?

So the two hours went by rather quickly as I watched and listened to what was going on around me. All those people in a small space and they did not really interact with one another. Each one lost in his or her own world of pain. I had the pleasure of some type of connection with almost each person who came into the area, even if it was only eye contact and a smile from me. People don’t look at each other often in these situations it seems. Are we trying to give the others privacy or do we not know how to connect with each other? I’m not sure. All I know is that it was a difficult experience for me to be in that hospital again and I did the only thing I know to do. I explored the feelings and tried to reach out to others. It turned out to be a good day and my finger splinted by the plastic surgeon, off I went. We will see what happens when I make my way to the hand clinic for a more usable customized splint today. This broken finger is leading me on an adventure of discovery and learning that I never expected. Just goes to show me that every situation can teach me something.

 

Peace and love to all

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

The Dance of Grief

Grief is a funny word. I think it should contain more letters and have a harsher sound to it. It sounds soft and uncomplicated doesn’t it?   It is not soft, that is for sure. Experts say it has five to seven stages to it depending upon where you get your information. Seven stages sounds complicated especially since you can go through them in order only to revisit one of those stages at any time. Grief is different for everyone! Just like life and the way humans respond and react to that, it is different for everyone. Remember that.

Dealing with loss is complicated and you can grieve for many different reasons. My grief is due to the loss of my husband and sometimes it sneaks up on me in the strangest situations. I think it’s odd when someone says I lost my husband. I did not lose him, I know exactly where he went and there were times I wished that I could have gone with him. It would have been so much easier if he had lived and I had died, well easier for me. I would have traded my life for his and offered that solution to the universe a few times. The universe had other plans for me.  I have had a few long chats with the universe and all the powers that be, I was not impressed.

Okay grief let’s dance. It was mind blowing how powerful the grieving was. It brought me to my knees, some days I didn’t get out of bed and a few times I just sat in this chair staring out the window not seeing or feeling anything. I had trouble concentrating, I couldn’t sleep, some days I couldn’t even get dressed. Please, oh please, oh please don’t ask me to make another decision. It doesn’t matter how many people you have around you, grief is there waiting for you. I just got this image in my mind of grief as a dust bunny ninja, lurking in corners and hiding under the bed, jumping out at you when you least expect it. Not only are you grieving the loss of the person, you are also having to let go of your dreams and the future you had planned. Your person ( mother, father, child, friend, husband) dies and your entire life is changed forever, dreams gone in the blink of an eye.

I am a practical person and can usually find solutions in any problematic situation. There is no solution for grief. It doesn’t stop and is constantly changing. One minute it is in your face and messing with your ability to breathe and the next it retreats back to its dark corner and waits. I can remember a day when I was out with friends and on the drive home I had realized I had not thought of my husband for a few hours, grief jumped into the seat beside me and I was assaulted by it. My heart screamed how could I have forgotten Howard for those few hours? My mind was on other things and I had some fun with the girls, then the minute I was alone the reality of the situation hit home. This was no ordinary lunch date because Howard was not going to be home when I got there.  Sometimes when I go to sleep I forget what has taken place and when I wake up in the morning it hits me all over again.  Some mornings I wake up and don’t think about it all.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. Because I have always had the ability to go with the flow when grief struck I embraced it. I explored this aspect of the process and went where it led me. Grief also has the ability to transform you and like any transformation the process is not pretty or pain free. The amount of growth for me has been proportionate to how willing I was to experience all that grief had to offer. I have grieved without apology. Despite the fact that I am moving on with my life, I still have moments of overwhelming grief. I had one last night. Driving home, tears pouring down my face and singing at the top of my lungs in great gasps and sobs.  Thank the universe it was dark and no one could see me. I grieve in private and I grieve a lot in my car.

There is no end to this story, no tidy summation to leave you with. The loss is always there, you just learn how to go on with your life and live with the loss. You learn to live with it and if you let it grief can teach you much about living. So please have some patience with the people you know who are suffering a loss of any kind in their life. Just love them through the process and set aside your own expectations of how they should be handling it. Until you have danced with grief you don’t know if you will be dancing a fast and hard flamenco or a slow intimate waltz.  In my case it has been an awkwardly beautiful interpretive dance that changes speed and rhythm on a whim.

Hug people, all the people

Love you all

Donna