Two Years Later

I can’t sleep tonight and the need to write is strong. I have a feeling that this might be my last blog post on a Life in a Slightly Soiled Chair. There is a new blog taking shape in my heart and in my mind, but I am unable to describe it for you at the moment. This new chapter in my life and my writing is still taking shape and in all honesty, I don’t think I will know what it is until I start to write it. It has been exactly two years since Howard passed away and my world crumbled and I think this last post needs to be a letter to him but I have decided to share it with you. For some reason I think that if I put this out there, it will travel to all the corners of the universe and Howard will read it somewhere, somehow.

Hi Howard, it has been two years since you left this earth and sometimes it feels like yesterday and at other times it seems like centuries. I still miss you and think I always will. You know that I don’t remember dates for anything, all that well, but I think that my heart and body remember on a cellular level the moment that you left. I am not the same person, your life changed me and your death changed me again. I would not alter one moment of our life together, but I would trade everything to change the end of it for you. Oh yeah, I would like a redo on the day our house was raided and we were arrested, yup, I would change that. That was a crazy day and I am still convinced that they had the wrong house regardless of what the paperwork said. All they had to do was look at the dead plants on the deck to realize that I couldn’t grow a potted plant let alone a pot plant. We had the last laugh on that one, didn’t we!

I did plant a garden from seeds this year, but you already know that. This garden turned out much better than the year I decided to plant one in our backyard. Even the raven sitting on the pagoda laughed at my attempt to garden. I remember that you came out of the shop and asked, “Did that raven just laugh at you?” I managed to keep most of this one alive, with some help, and have had some wonderful meals with the vegetables from it. You remember how much I love bok choy? Well, apparently the deer love it more because I did not get to eat any of it. I did have an abundance of radishes. Deer do not eat radishes. Who knew? I tried to feed some to the cow Oatsie, but she didn’t want them either. Note to self, do not plant that many radishes ever again.

Yesterday I was in a friends store and saw some spirit bells. I was fascinated with these bells and took one home with me. I just could not keep this bell out of my hands and jiggled it around the whole time I was in the store. After I got home I remembered that in the last few weeks of your life you said you would ring bells. I gave you a bell beside your bed when you couldn’t get up by yourself so if you needed me I would hear it. Did you know that I slept with that bell beside my bed for months after you passed away waiting for you to ring it? I had a dream last night that I woke up and it was the exact moment that you passed away. All those emotions rose up in me like a huge wave threatening to drown me and you in spirit form kissed my head and told me it was okay. You also said a few other things and I went back to sleep feeling peaceful and loved.

I miss talking to you and sometimes have conversations with you in my head. I would talk to you out loud, but people already think I’m a little odd. Once in a while, I feel your presence and an image of you pops into my head. You always have a huge smile on your face and that light in your eyes that you always had when you were up to something. I loved that face. I keep thinking about your hands for some reason. They were large sturdy hands that were always covered in cuts and scrapes. Your hands were always busy sculpting, fixing, welding, weeding, cooking or petting a dog. Those large calloused hands were also gentle and I don’t think I ever felt safe in my life until you held my face in your hands and kissed me. I don’t think I ever felt safe or loved in my life until I met you.

There are so many things I want to tell you. I also believe that you already know everything that is in my heart. There is a space in my heart that will never be filled. One thing you did teach me is that our hearts are big and I can keep that space for you and still have enough room for other people. I took a risk last year and have someone new in my life. He too is teaching me much about love and life. He challenges me sometimes, makes me laugh constantly and encourages me to try new things and grow. We have a great group of friends and get together regularly at the pub or in our kitchen, which is filled with food, love and laughter. We both believe that you set the stage for us to get together when you sold him my raven sculpture. I remember how excited you were with the trade the two of you made. He also has a big heart and since the two of you were friends there is a place in his heart for you as well. We have the first sculpture you made called Victorious ( I affectionately call her Booba) and the last one you finished, the rhino, in our yard. The raven you sold him sits on top of the gatepost at the end of the driveway and when I moved in we put the second raven that you made for me on the other gatepost. I always think of them and you watching over us and protecting us. We also have the gorilla sculpture peering out of the bamboo. That was my favorite of all your sculptures even though I teased you about becoming a gorilla while you were creating it.

I want you to know that I am happy in my new life. Shawn and I are having many adventures together and in some way take a part of you with us on each of them. We took your toolbox with us when we went to Bonneville this year and God knows we could have used your mechanical skills while we were there. The racing did not go as well as expected. It was still an amazing trip though because of the people we met and old friends we got to see again. That is the most important thing anyway, the people in our lives. I am so glad that I got to be part of your life and hope I brought some joy and laughter to yours. I do know that some of my crazy antics brought some comic relief and I can still see you looking at me and shaking your head with that what am I going to do with her expression on your face. We had a few hard times and we had many more great times. Howard, you were an amazing man and the thing that amazed me the most was that you loved me. You loved me so much that I can still feel it.

Love the people in your life
Hug each other and laugh over the stupid stuff
Donna

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Shaped by the Past, Sculpted by Dreams

I have been awake at 4:44 am for the last three mornings. I am not sure why, and this morning I was having a dream about Alfred Hitchcock which will make my friend Debra laugh. So, I decided to sit and write while the coffee is brewing and see what comes up. I think about things a lot, my mind never seems to stop unless I sit and meditate and lately even that is difficult. I have this unsettled feeling swirling around inside me and I cannot explain it. It is almost as if I am waiting for something to happen and feel like my life has been in a holding pattern for a long time. Weird huh? I you have any insight into this please let me know.

One thing that has been on my mind lately is my childhood. Most likely because my sister is writing a book and we have been discussing some of these things lately. My sister and I are 13 years apart in age (she is older) and had completely different lives growing up. Her father was an angry abusive man and mine was the gentlest of souls who rarely got angry. Our mother met my father after her first husband was killed in an accident. It amazes me that four children in the same family can be so different and have such varied responses to life events and their memories of them. It makes me wonder how reliable my memory of events actually is.

Growing up in a family filled with alcoholism and all the dysfunction that comes with it teaches you some things. It teaches you to not take responsibility for your own actions. Someone else is the cause of your anger, your need to drink, your inability to get ahead in life etc. etc. It teaches you to keep secrets. God forbid if anyone every found out what really goes on in your home or your head. They would turn away from you in disgust, wouldn’t they? One of the biggest things it teaches you is fear and mistrust. When you cannot trust your own family how could you trust others? When you live in a constant state of fear it takes a toll on you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You are always living in anticipation of the next drunken tirade that is filled with discord and abuse, in some cases physical and in some cases emotional and in a lot of cases both. Not pretty is it? I remember phoning home everyday from school to ask my mother if she needed anything from the store just so I could check her tone of voice to see if she was drinking. If she was sober I would go home, if she was drinking I would go somewhere else. This is the only world I knew and alcohol was destined to play a large role in the rest of my life. I was enrolled in Life Skills 101 with an alcohol fueled instructors. I was taught to think and navigate life like an alcoholic. All I wanted was to be loved and spent many years looking for that in all the wrong places. I didn’t understand that I needed to love myself before I could offer it to or receive it from another person.

In my thirties I found myself drinking a lot and married to someone who drank enough that his work forced him into a rehab program. The alcohol saga continued, but it was a familiar one and I knew it well. Funny thing though, I ended up walking through the doors of AA in 1992 and my life was changed forever. It was in those church basement meetings that I was taught the healthy life skills that I was not taught growing up. It did not happen over night because my conditioning was firmly entrenched and they were asking me to feel my emotions and take responsibility for myself, both of which I had no idea how to do. I discovered that I only had two emotions, or states of being, angry or not angry. I sometimes still revert to anger in extremely stressful situations. However, anger is not all bad and boy oh boy can I get some housework done when I am trying to get rid of some anger in a healthy way. I have made a lot of discoveries about anger since then and that emotion is rarely caused by someone else or their actions.

It has been over 20 years since I started this journey of healing. I have learned a few things that have improved my life and me as a person. I still have much to learn, but look forward to it. It is impossible to know yourself with out understanding what made you who you are. One thing is for sure, you always have choices regardless of your life circumstance. Sometimes you may feel like you don’t have any choices but you do. You choose whether you are hardened or softened by your experiences. You can also make new choices every day. You and you alone are responsible for the person you are today. Your life experiences began to mold you, but you are like an artist finishing the beautiful sculpture that is you.

I guess I have rambled a bit, though that is not unusual for me. I understand my mother and what caused her to be who she was. I also want you to know that every time I think about her with love and forgiveness her spirit becomes lighter and brighter. The people who were in our lives and have passed on are aware of our feelings and the repercussions of their actions when they walked this earth. We get to choose whether we will hang on to the anger, bitterness, or whatever else we are feeling. There is freedom in fully accepting responsibility for who you are. You can let the past shape your future if you want. Sculpt yourself, paint yourself, sing yourself or write yourself a new future based on who you want to be, not what has happened to you.

Treat others with kindness and compassion
Hug yourself for me

Donna

A Year of Grace

Apparently it can take more than one year to figure out who you are after your life is torn apart!  I didn’t realize how much of my identity was derived from my business and my relationship.  Once those things were gone, there I was standing naked, feeling exposed and alone, wondering what the hell I was going to do.  I have moved on with my life in a number of ways and most of the time it was trial and error and the best things were happy accidents.  This is the first time in my life I am not working, since the age of 15, and I also didn’t realize how much my self worth was tied into my job and being productive.  It has been one hell of a year with lots of ups and downs but the ups are winning.

I have done things in the last year I never thought I would do.  I tried online dating without much success.  How the heck do you write a profile?  The best and most honest one I could come up with went something like this:  I don’t dye my hair, I don’t wear make up, I own 6 pairs of black boots and I have all my own teeth.  There were few who were intrigued by this!  I finally gave up on the dating thing and asked someone I knew a bit if they were interested in being my friend with benefits, even though I wasn’t really sure what that meant.  Well, this friend with benefits thing turned into much more than I was expecting.  He helped me find the joy in life again and continuously makes me laugh.  He is a very private person so he may not like me writing about this.  Oops, too late.  I guess I just want you all to know that when you least expect it, someone or something is going to come along and help you find the joy in life again.  I also started this blog in the last year after a spiritual awakening of sorts and gained so much from not only the writing of it but hearing what other people had to say about it.  Some comments were surprising and made me see that I was constantly downplaying who I was and what I contributed to the world just by being myself.

Each of us has something to contribute.  You don’t have to move mountains or earn six figures to have value to this world. Sometimes a kind word or a smile can change the course of someones day or life for that matter.  I recently ran into my former husband who I have not been married to since 1998.  I was a little uncomfortable at first but we had a few chats and it was like having coffee with an old friend.  I also had lunch with his parents a few days ago while they were in town and it was a joy to see them again.  I forgot how much I adored them and realized that when we got divorced I essentially divorced a lot of people in my life.  The pain of that period of my life is long dealt with and gone, there is nothing left but love for all of them.  One thing my former husband said in a text message really made me stop and think.  He said, “Maybe you just bring out the best in everyone.”  Perhaps I do, though my first thought upon reading those words was I am not that special.

If you have the ability to approach people and love them unconditionally that is special. If you can let them be them without judgement that is a wonderful gift, not only to them but yourself.  Don’t try to change people, love them for who they are and just by doing that you give them the space they need to grow and change because they want to, not because you think they should.  Don’t restrict other people or your love for them because of your own definition of right or wrong, good or bad.  Open your heart and the world opens its heart right back.  Besides, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?  I love being wrong.

So, I would some up the last year as a year of grace.  There is a gracefulness to awkwardly finding your way.  There is grace in the tears of grief as well as tears of joy.  I am one of those people who cry when I am happy!  There is grace in this world, it is all around you and you can see it if you look for it.  You know what they say, you get what you expect.  So expect grace, expect kindness, expect love, just expect great and wonderful things to happen all around you.

 

Be kind to yourself.
Hug everyone like you mean it!

Donna
aka Miss Daisy

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

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

It’s All About Love

Have not wanted to write much lately. This usually happens when I have too many things to process. Information keeps flooding in from the universe and sometimes it takes me a little while to work through and integrate this new knowledge into my being. I was also thinking about the way I write. I use plain language and have a difficult time fancying it up. That is just the way I am in life. I like things simple and do not trust things when they come wrapped in fancy packages, it distracts from the real purpose. When the writing is full of big words and ideas I find it difficult to get to the heart of what the writer is trying to say. It’s as if the words (and author) dance around the subject without getting to the point. I like getting to the point!

There are some things I am uncomfortable writing about. I know, this statement coming from the girl who writes about some very personal things sounds bizarre.  One thing that is very important in my life is the universe and spirit. During meditation last night I had a strange encounter with a beautiful male blue heron. He was in front of me in the water with his wings spread wide moving his feet in a dance with great joy. I walked up to the heron and placed my forehead against his and he continued to dance in place. I knew this was some form of mating ritual. Now, whether herons have one I do not know, but this is how it felt. Our foreheads touching we danced and at some point it was as if we melded together and became one. I could feel the breeze in my wing feathers and the strength in my long delicate legs. I felt so much love coming from this great bird that is was amazing. No other thing, just love. That is the message he had for me, it is all about love.

Love with no strings attached is a beautiful thing. Have you ever experienced love without strings? I have, though it is rarely from people. I love trees, all trees, but I do not ask them to be anything other than a tree. I do not think, now if that tree was only 6 inches taller or a little greener that would the perfect tree for me. No strings attached to my love of trees, water, nature or people. My love is given freely without strings. Well most of the time, I am still a work in progress! We enter into relationships with people, animals, businesses etc to satisfy our needs. If we are clear about our needs that is great. I do believe that some people do not have a clear idea of why they do anything. Having said that, relationships with those people can be tricky or difficult. One time I was talking to a friend about a problem I was having with someone in my life. Their solution was to pray for them. My allergy to religion and my mindset at that point rebelled and I asked if God bless the bastard counted as a prayer cause that was about all I was capable of. He said that did not count as a prayer. He told me to find the love in my heart for that person, to separate their behavior from them as a person and pray. It took me a while but I finally did it and damn if didn’t work!

The universe also decided to teach me what prayer was all about and proceeded to steer me in the direction of a prayer and spiritually based life. I love praying! I do not pray to a specific God. I pray to the universe as a whole because to me it is a conscious living breathing entity and we are all a part and the whole of it. We are all connected so in a sense I am praying to all of you as well. When I pray I pour my heart and soul into it and the love that is part of us all radiates out and is reflected back to me. Sometimes when I pray it is as if I as a single entity cease to exist and I am everything and nothing at the same time. The universe, spirit, God or whatever you believe in is asking me to step forth and share my gifts with the world when I am not even sure what those gifts are. The only thing I have to offer is love and I am getting better and better at approaching everyone from a place of love. I am secretly enjoying it so do not tell anyone!

I was given a lot of messages last night from the universe through the animal symbols it used to help get the point across. The main theme was love and then the others were relax, trust, enjoy life, pray, be aware and in the moment. Good advice regardless of where it comes from. I had the honour of learning (many years ago) from a Native American Medicine Man from South Dakota and one thing he said to us as a group when we were in ceremony was, “Pray when you wake up, pray when you work, just pray until your life becomes the prayer.” Those words have always stayed with me and had a profound effect on me. Those words changed the way I looked at the world. I have noticed that when I approach the universe from a place of love, prayer and faith I feel connected to the world and the people around me. When I approach the universe from a place of anger, doubt and fear I feel disconnected and isolated. There comes a point when your realize that the love you spread to others makes it more important to understand than to be understood, more important to love than to be loved. The animals are right it is all about the love.

I do not care whether you believe in God, Buddha, Allah or Jehova, You don’t have to believe in anything. To me it is all the same and the message is about love, kindness and compassion. I share my experiences but do not ask you to change your belief system. I thank the universe daily for allowing me to experience this life in such a miraculous manner, through the world of spirit and animals. There is much to learn and much to do. I especially want to acknowledge the wonderful elephant that has made her presence and teachings known to me in such a gentle and beautiful manner. I also am looking forward to what the horses have to teach me. I am blessed to walk in spirit with the animals on a daily basis and am grateful for this gift from the universe.

Love and peace to all
Hugs
Donna

Electrical Tape and Shrink Wrap

I am back!  It is just after five in the morning and I have my sunny yellow mug filled with steaming coffee and though my slightly soiled chair is in the room I now sit on my brand new sofa instead.  The need to write has resurfaced in a new way, perhaps because of my new perspective from the sofa.  I am looking around this yet unfamiliar room and seeing the old blended with the new.  That is also who I am, the old Donna intertwined with the new Donna.  A wonderful synthesis of all I was and all I can be.  Transformation can be beautiful and difficult at the same time.

I am driving back to Sooke this morning to visit the post office, drop off some things to a friend and plan on visiting my favourite coffee shop to see who is around.  I am also going to buy a piece of art that spoke to my soul and am keeping my fingers crossed that it is still hanging on the shop wall.  If it is not, it wasn’t meant to be mine.  If I am going to make a frivolous purchase that is over a hundred dollars I usually walk away from it for a few days.  I want to explore my feelings about it and know why I am buying it.  This piece of art is a local Native American thunderbird mask that gave me goosebumps.  It is a symbol of many things and the thunderbird holds special meaning for me.  The mask itself reminds me of the masks we all wear in our daily life and how important it is for me to walk this earth unmasked.  This is what the universe is asking of me.  Well the universe is demanding it really and every time I try to hide it thrusts me naked into the world and makes me deal with it.  Sometimes the universe has a funny sense of humour!

I like the fact that the universe and its strange sense of humour keeps me humble and on my toes.  It challenges me in the same way that the people I care about challenge me to be a better person.  The universe encourages me to grow and stretch the limits my own mind imposes on me.  My mind can sometimes be a dark and lonely place, but when I use it in combination with my heart and all the love it holds there are no limits to what can be.  There are no limits.  Unless you live in a constant state of fear, then there are limits.  This is what I think about fear, because I do have moments of sometimes overwhelming fear, what is the worst thing that could happen?  So, I visualize the worst thing that could happen and then think oh what the hell!

My entire life for the last year has been about overcoming fear, loss and doubt.  I think I am handling it really well, but I am not going to get cocky about it cause then the universe will send something my way to remind me that I am not all that.  I have done things in the last six months that I would have never thought of doing before.  I have started this blog, I have deep conversations with complete strangers, and I have reached out to other people in ways I never thought I would even though I am shy.  There is a contradiction for you, I am extremely outspoken and extremely shy.I have no idea where my life is headed or what my next great adventure will be.  Somedays I am okay with that and other days the uncertainty drives me crazy. Oh Hell, I drive me crazy!

I have met a young woman recently, who I absolutely adore.  She is brave, funny, strong, and has a huge heart.  I admire the fact that she is who she is without apology.  I also admire the gentle spirit she has when dealing with other people.  She has taught me much and I am sure will continue to do so.  So in the spirit of our blossoming friendship I will leave you with the following thought today.  Having trouble with something in your life?  Just visualize yourself using electrical tape and shrink wrap on it until it is small enough to handle.  Yup,  electrical tape and shrink wrap will help you fix anything!

Much love to all of you
Donna