Hello and Goodbye

It is a beautiful sunny day in Sooke and I slept for over ten hours last night. First time in a long, long time that I have not been awake before the sun peaked over the horizon. There are a few pieces of furniture and some piles of boxes in the living room and the house is almost empty. It has been a strange experience living without a television in the living room. I have to admit I miss it a little but only when I am bored out of my mind and too lazy to do anything else.

Had a wonderful dinner last night but had to say goodbye to a few people as they journey back to their homes in Saskatchewan. I only met them in the last month or so but I adored both of them instantly. It is funny how you can make a connection with some people as soon as you meet them. Not sure why I am surprised, this happens to me a lot. But then again, it does not happen with every person I meet.  Some people just become part of my heart and I am better for knowing them. I am going to miss their teasing banter and the laughs we shared, even though sometimes they were at my expense. Karoke night will not be the same without them!

I have trouble with goodbyes. The words get stuck in my throat when the tears threaten to spill out of my eyes. My eyes leak a lot and at the strangest times. I cry more happy tears than I do sad ones, so that is good. Lately I have had so much fun that I have laughed so hard I started crying. Those belly laughs are good for your soul! Having people around you that you can be silly and have fun with is important. As adults and all the serious business that adulthood entails I think we sometimes forget to have fun. Life is funny and has a way of keeping you humble if you can laugh at yourself.  If you can’t laugh at yourself it is not as funny!

I have not been able to write much lately. Partly because I am busy, but mainly because there are new people in my life and new things happening and I wanted to keep it private. I have a tendency to say or write whatever pops into my head and heart and right now is not the time for that. Let’s just say that my life has taken a few unexpected turns and I am having fun with it. I am having fun! I have no idea where any of this will lead and I am okay with that. There are no guarantees in life, you just have to enjoy what the universe provides you with, whether that is people or situations.   New people and situations can take you out of your comfort zone but are essential for your growth.  Saying hello to the new can be as difficult as saying goodbye.  So no more goodbyes just see you laters!

To the people in my life, new and old, please know that I cherish each and every one of you for the beauty, laughter and love you bring with you. Thank you for making me laugh and challenging me to be a better person. Thank you for challenging me with such affection and humour! Thank you all for allowing me to be part of your life and watching you as you grow and struggle and laugh and cry. The connections we share are priceless and mean so much to me. I think you are all a little strange, but then again I like strange! I only ask one thing of you, just be yourself.

 

Peace and love to all

Donna

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Guardians of Stone and Trees

I am sitting here on the sofa and it is quiet this morning, my slightly soiled chair is at the new house. My yellow mug is filled with steaming coffee and the rooster next door is not awake yet. Oh let me correct that, he just woke up and has started broadcasting his manliness to the other roosters in the neighbourhood. Once he starts the rest of them get going, he seems to be the ringleader though. I hear him but I rarely see him. He’s like a sneaky little ninja rooster!

My magnolia tree in the back yard has bloomed and I was hoping it would before I move permanently in two weeks. I was given the tree as a gift on Valentines day twelve years ago and it is now over 14 feet high and overflowing with beautiful white blossoms. I am amazed it is even alive because the neighbour’s goats ate it down to a small nub when it was still in the pot. I do not like goats. Interesting tree, it has no leaves when it blooms, the leaves come later and it is still beautiful after the flowers are gone. Most of the trees planted around the koi pond were gifts. There is a twisted baby black locust tree that has leaves that hang like little ringlets, a waterfall maple that turns a brilliant red in the fall, a fig tree, an assortment of replanted trees that were used in the house for Christmas trees and a gorgeous rhododendron that was transplanted here and has blessed us with huge red flowers every June.

It is not the house I am going to miss but the land and the trees. I am surrounded by tall pine trees, cedars, alders and other trees I am unable to identify.   I feel safe and secure here surrounded by these green sentinels. I have lived in a nurturing green cocoon for years, but now it’s time for me to leave and it is much harder than I thought it would be. I don’t know if I will come back to visit, it would be like stepping back into the past where there are only echoes of the time I lived here. Things change, people move on and new people and things take their place. I hope the new family is happy and that they thrive here. This land is special and has a way of becoming part of your blood and bones.

My new place has no back yard. All I can see out of my windows is this massive rock that has little niches that are just begging for some potted plants, steps carved into it that essentially go nowhere, moss strategically growing in the best spots and my raven sculpture sits on it greeting anyone who walks the path to my door. I love rocks, so it is a wonderful view in my opinion. I feel safe and protected there with this huge guardian of stone keeping watch. It is the perfect place for me to be for the next year. Ooh I have to remember to take my stone gargoyle and find him a spot on the rock!

I have had lots of help with the move and things are clearing out quickly. I cannot believe how empty this place feels. It almost feels as though with everything that has left the property a little of the spirit of the place has left too. More and more of the things that were part of Howard have been sold or given away and every time something leaves it is like he is slowly letting go of this place as well. We both had a lot of letting go to do. The hardest thing for me was to see Howard’s mountain gorilla sculpture leave. I know it is going to a great home where it will be loved, but he has guarded the gate for a long time and the yard feels bare without him. There is also a huge rock in the front yard that looks like the head of a gorilla and the picture for today’s post is a shot of it. The one below is a picture of Howard and his Mountain Guardian sculpture that I took before he got sick. It was rare to see Howard smile in a picture so I really like this shot.

Mountain Gorilla

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you are able to let go of the things, people and places you need to with grace and love. Much love and big squishy hugs to you all.

 

Please don’t kill spiders

Be kind to everyone

Donna

 

 

Toothpaste and Soul Mates

Do you believe in soul mates? I don’t, even though at some point in my life I did for a brief moment. It was during my Disney view of the world and then I grew up and stopped clinging to fairy tales. I like the idea of soul mates but i think we have a very distorted view of what that actually is. I suppose we have very unrealistic views as to what a relationship should be or not be as well. I also do not believe that we are destined to spend the rest of our life with one person. If that works for you, great! It does not work for everyone. What is the definition of soul mate? Soul mate sounds perfect doesn’t it? Nothing is perfect. If you asked ten different people to define it you would most likely get ten different answers. So the chances of two people getting together that would both define soul mate and what the ultimate relationship is would be slim. It can happen sure, but I don’t think it happens very often.

People talk to each other all the time but are they truly listening to what the other person is saying? People hear what they want to hear. The words come out of someone’s mouth and then you interpret them through your filtered view of life. Something strange happens to the meaning of the words between their mouth and your ears. What they said and what you heard can be two different things. Someone says I love you and your definition of what love is or is not, is how you hear it. To me love is an unconditional state of being that allows the other person to just be themselves, there is no judgement, no expectations, just a celebration of differences and similarities. So when someone says they love me that is what I hear, that is not often what they mean. This stuff is complicated and God knows us humans are good at complicating even the simplest of things.

My marriage lasted thirteen years, then I had two brief and spectacularly disastrous relationships in which I learned a lot and I mean a lot, then my last relationship lasted twelve years. My view on relationships has changed greatly over the years. I have learned a great amount about myself and others. Does this make me better prepared for the next relationship? Perhaps it does, but I had better make damn sure that I understand what the other person is saying when they say it. For me, the typical marriage contract is a fear based arrangement. As if that contract will insure you both adhere to the rules and it will be a success. I would rather just make a commitment formal or informal by jumping over a puddle together. Marriages are failing at record rates according to statistics, especially in the over fifty age group. Why is that? In my world view, marriage is fear based and I don’t want a relationship based on fear or conformity to an ideal. I want a relationship that is based on relatedness and a genuine love for the other person. If I get that in return wonderful, if I don’t get that there is no point. Two people should celebrate each other and their unique characteristics and funny little quirks. Relationships should be fun! They should not require so much work that you are exhausted trying to maintain them. I realize that all relationships require some work but that should be done by both people, if one person is doing all the relationship work that sucks.

My role in a relationship is this, to love unconditionally and remind the other person that they are already whole and they are more than enough just the way they are and offer them the space they need to grow at their own pace. If they are not meeting my expectations than I had better have a look at myself and what those expectations are. The answers are inside me and so are the problems. The other person just being them self is not a problem. I always go back to the tube of toothpaste, one because it is extremely funny to me and everyone can relate to a tube of toothpaste. So the significant person in your life squeezes the tube from the bottom, leaves the cap off, or never puts the toothpaste away when they are finished. One or all of theses things drives you crazy! Who has the problem you or the toothpaste challenged person? The problem is yours. Now that the problem is yours you have choices. You can stress over it and admit that this little thing is so important to you that you will nag and criticize the person you supposedly love. Or, you can smile because this is one of the little quirks the other person has, put the cap back on, shove it in the drawer and go on your merry little way still loving them. What sounds better to you?

We make mountains out of ant hills over silly shit all the time. Relax, let go, breathe, let the other person relax, let go and breathe. Allow them to feel loved just the way they are. Don’t put up with bull shit, in fact never put up with bull shit, but let them be them. Sit back and just watch them move through the world and appreciate the beauty of who they are. If they are not willing to do the same for you then you need to look at that a little more closely and decide if you can live with that. We enter into relationships hoping the other person will satisfy our needs and that is unfair. Everyone has needs, but you alone are responsible for yours being met. Have fun brushing your teeth, you may never look at a tube of toothpaste the same again!

hug people and trees and dogs

love to you all

Donna

Focus Pocus

I have some downtime as I wait at the car dealership to have some window shields installed on my car. Bonus, they are going to wash it for me too! That was my next stop, the car wash, so I can now cross that off my list of things to do today. Oh yes my list that I spent ten minutes writing out is sitting on the kitchen table at home. I could have sworn I put it in my pocket but found receipts from the grocery store instead. I have only been on my own unsupervised for a few months, so don’t judge. I am learning to focus but it is slow going. I seem to be one of those people who gets so engrossed in a task that I don’t notice anyone or anything around me, or, I can’t focus at all. Do not talk to me when I am reading a book, I will not hear you.

This ability to tune everything out can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you view it.  I can focus intently on the project at hand, that is good. But I also forget to eat or pay attention to the time and can miss appointments. I am rarely late simply because I don’t start something I need to focus on for a few hours before I need to go out.   They are taking a long time to install these parts on my car, I should go see what is going on. Okay, they are only half done and I have been here for 1.5 hours. My car was really dirty so it took them longer to clean it I guess. See the focus can turn off and on willy nilly. Being unfocused sometimes allows me to go with the flow more readily. I can change plans at the drop of a hat, I am flexible like that.

Now for the unfocused part. Sometimes I have trouble finishing things. I write a note but leave it on the table. I start something in one room, stop for a cup of tea and then something else catches my attention and I forget what I was halfway through in the other room. Perhaps I will find a happy medium at some point or I could always move to a place that just has one big room for a living space! I just tell everyone that it is part of my charm!

Started this post on Friday, it is now Saturday.  Today is moving day. My house looks like a disaster zone and it is pouring rain outside. I have friends coming to help which is beyond wonderful. It will be nice to see something other than a sofa in my new place. I did not realize that I owned so much stuff!   Sorting through and packing things has been an eye opener! I have six boxes of stuff, numerous furniture pieces and art work set aside for my garage sale in two weeks. I am taking the things I love with me and finding new homes for the rest. Guess I better get my act together and get more things done and packed before everyone arrives. There has also been an offer put in to buy my house before I put it on the market! It seems fair to both of us so with a little tweaking I may accept it. Wow! I hope this place is as peaceful and nurturing for the next people who live here. Wish me luck on my new adventures!

Today I wil leave you with a poem that I love! Enjoy, I am sure you have heard this one before.  Read it with your heart this time.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

(Attributed to St Francis)

 

Much love and peace to all

Donna

Shitty Days and Smiles

Had one of those days yesterday! I hurt my finger again, yes the broken one, lost my glasses, forgot my passport paperwork somewhere and had to go back to get it, stopped at a store and the clerk thought I was really funny and tried to set me up on a date with one of her regular customers that happened to be there at the same time, and I left the window of my car open in the pouring rain. This all happened before noon, shit shit shit. Now I just noticed a hole in my favourite socks, damn. My goodness I have to laugh at myself. Of course my dear friends on Facebook, well some of them, made jibes and poked fun at me. Thanks! Most days I feel like a walking disaster then there are days that make it so. So I have to stop saying I am clumsy and forgetful and making it true. I have the grace of a swan, a weird black swan, and the memory of an elephant, I am sharp!! Add all that to the social skills of a barn cat and what do you get? A fifty three year old with an attitude and strange dancing skills. Good thing I am small, cute and lovable!

Okay, I guess I will have to explain the slightly soiled chair thing. Why does everyone think I soiled myself? My chair is slightly off white and I had a border collie that liked to roll around in the dirt outside then come in the house and rub herself along the sides and back of my chair. Her name was Terra and we had a love/tolerate relationship. She passed away and is buried on the property and I can see her grave from my chair if I sit up properly. I miss her and have not wanted to clean the chair, silly huh. I have cleaned the chair before and have owned this chair for seven years. I just cannot bring myself to clean it at this time. I miss having dog love in my life and have just signed a one year lease for a suite that has an absolutely no pet policy. I did this for a reason. I want to live pet free for a little while. I still have about 12 koi fish that each weigh over 10 pounds but they just ignore me and they can ignore the new people who look after this land.

Have I told you how much I love people? I love people all the crazy wonderful weird people. I talk to people everywhere I go. Complete strangers will come up to me in coffee shops, the grocery store, well anywhere really and I will say hello and the adventure begins. I get to hear their stories, they just start spilling their stories. This has happened even more lately and I have realized it most likely has something to do with the fact that I smile at them. I smile a lot! I also smile with my eyes so it must make me seem approachable. I’m not sure why it happens but I like it! I can almost guarantee you that if I am not smiling for a moment someone will tell me to smile. I must have a very serious face, I call it my resting bitch face, when I am not smiling. It used to annoy me when people asked me to smile, now I just tell them I was resting my face for a moment, then I smile at them.  I love people and it shows!

I pick up the keys to my new living quarters today. Since my house has not even gone on the market yet, I will essentially have two homes for a little while. So I will split my time between the new and old homes. It is almost as if the universe is slowly easing me into my new life. I was standing on the front porch with a friend on the weekend having a coffee and talking and they said you are going to miss this place. I had tried to convince myself that I wouldn’t but he was right. I am going to miss the trees that have grown over ten feet since I first moved here. I am going to miss the brilliant night sky out here in the woods, the silence, the birds, the deer, the rabbits, the owls, and especially the frogs when they sing spring into existence. I lay in my bed at night with the windows open and fall asleep to hundreds of frogs singing, a frog symphony of sound. I am going to miss living here but like everything else nothing is permanent and it is time for me to let go and move on

I question the universe and its wisdom sometimes. This usually happens when things are not going according to Donna. Why did Howard have to die so young with all his plans and dreams left unfinished, while the girl unable to make plans lives? I don’t think I will ever know the answer to that one. The plans for my future change on a daily basis. I think of something and roll it around in my heart for a while to see how it feels, nothing feels right. So my plan is to not make any concrete plans for a while, at least until my year off is up. I wonder what adventures the universe has in store for me? I do know that I have met some wonderful people now that I am not spending so much time working. The people are the important part of this journey. The people feel wonderful in my heart! The connections with others, the hugs, the love, and all the interesting and sometimes colourful stories they share. I am going to miss Sooke and my little plot of land here. I can always come back for a visit and wander into The Stick ( my favourite coffee shop) to see who is around, or visit the shops and talk to friends. Once you leave you can never really go back, things will never be the same again and I look forward to my new adventures and the people I will meet.

I am off to the passport office this morning! I will smile at the people standing in line with me and no doubt strike up a conversation or two. I challenge you to look at people and smile the next time you have to stand in line somewhere, look them in the eyes if they will let you and say hello. Don’t judge them just open yourself up to whatever they have to offer!  You never know who you are going to meet and your smile just might make someone’s day! Spread the love.

 

Hug everyone and trees

Hug lots and lots of trees

Please don’t kill spiders

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

 

 

Let It Go Baby

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

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

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

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

 

Peace and love

May you be hugged a lot today

Donna

 

Loneliness and Silence

How do I follow an extremely brutal post about bullshit? Do I make this one all soft and fluffy? Sorry, I just don’t have it in me. I am feeling very lonely tonight. So rather than distract myself I decided to sit with it and explore the feeling. I don’t mind spending time by myself in fact I need it on a regular basis. I don’t get bored very often and can usually find something to do if I am. I spend a lot of time walking by myself and enjoy that. Some days I would just like to start walking and not stop until I reach the other end of the island. Walking is a meditation of sorts for me. I have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes. Honestly right now I have trouble focusing on anything for more than a few minutes. Walking represents forward motion and I feel stuck so that could explain the appeal of walking. I tried jogging and I hate it with a passion. I am not running unless something scary is chasing me!

I move to my new suite in two weeks and am excited about that. In the meantime it feels as though my life is on hold, I am stuck in the space between my old life and my new one. It is almost as though my life won’t start moving forward again until I am sleeping in my new bed with white bamboo sheets and new pillows. Everything in the bedroom will be new except for the artwork and my lamps that I finally found after a month long search. I always go shopping with a clear idea of what I want, finding it can be the tricky part.

I want to share my life with someone, but is that even possible at this stage? My life is in a state of flux and how do you incorporate someone into that when you don’t know what you are going to be doing. I may have started dating a little sooner than my life permitted. I am ready but my life situation is preventing me from moving forward at the pace I would like to. I realize that this has not been fair to the people I have met.  The universe guides me, I just have to pay attention.

I am not lonely when I wake up in the morning. For example, yesterday morning I was fine. I had plans to go out with my sister and do a few things. We went to the Intuitive Wellness Fair and I got to see a lot of friends, hug people, laugh and buy the tuning fork set I have had my eye on for a few months, locally grown sage for smudging and a new book written by a man who had beautiful eyes and a bright shiny soul. Great more things to pack! My sister and I ran some errands and went to lunch where I shamelessly flirted with the gentleman sitting at the next table. My sister and I share a similar sense of humour so we talked and laughed so hard we both had tears rolling down our faces. Then I went home.

That is when the loneliness hits, entering a silent house with no dogs running out to greet me, and no one to welcome me home from my adventures. Just silence and a pile of things to get done. I miss the noise and flurry of hugs and wet dog kisses. I miss my man waving to me from his workshop where I would stop and we would chat about where I had gone and who I had seen, and I got to talk to him about his latest sculpture and watch life take shape under his hands.   God I miss watching those strong, talented hands work and create. I could just watch him for hours. I think that is why I liked spending time in our boat, sitting there facing him I got to watch him for hours while we fished. I never felt alone, even in the silence. Where there was once art being created, dogs playing, conversations and love there was now just silence and memories.

I guess the silence makes me uncomfortable. Us humans don’t like being uncomfortable do we? I feel the need to fill the silence with something much in the same way we try to fill the emptiness with in us. It is the same thing isn’t it?  Space the final frontier!  In that space and silence there is nothing but me drifting along as I learn how to navigate this new world that I have been thrust into. I have to get comfortable with the space in my life and the silence it contains. Donna is hiding in there somewhere and I get a better sense of her every day. So for today I will sit in that space and explore the vast uncomfortableness of it. I won’t seek out someone or something to fill it. I will just be.

Peace and love to all

Donna

Embracing the Pain

I blew the dust off of my yoga mat this morning and spent 30 minutes with some of my favourite poses. I forgot how soothing it was to spend time just breathing and moving my body. When I am struggling with something I have a tendency to do busy things like clean the bathroom or go for a long walk. This morning since my struggle was internal I decided to go inward and listen instead. What am I doing and why am I doing it? That is the question I asked myself this morning. Sometimes I don’t get any insightful answers, I am just left with more questions. Perhaps the answers are hidden in those questions. Then again, maybe sitting here with a cup of coffee and writing will illuminate those dark corners inside me that I have not been willing to fully shine a light on.

Bring on the light! Okay, where is it? No great moment of illumination has happened. Yoga reminded me that it takes time to work the stiffness out, just be in the moment and breathe, just be. How can I forget these things so quickly after I have learned them? I don’t like being in pain and as a typical human I just want the pain to stop and apply short term fixes looking for a long term solution. So I turn to one of the best things I have ever learned from Buddhist philosophy, embrace the pain. All the things I do for quick fixes only fan the flames of the fiery pain. Sit with it, befriend it, love that painful part of yourself, love yourself. The flames will burn, shape and reshape you and out of the ashes a new you is born. So tonight I will sit here and burn.

Well, yes, pain burns but at least it has heat. So I look for the positives in pain and to be honest I cannot even describe this pain. All I can tell you is that my soul is crying out for something so strongly that it feels as though I will cease to exist if I don’t find it. Pain, it is warm in my case, also reminds me that I can feel some wonderful emotions. Pain teaches me that I have a heart, I have more in common with others than differences, that I care for myself and others, I have the ability to love others unconditionally and pain reminds me that it is not always returned to me in kind. Okay, pain whether physical or emotional is my teacher. What exactly is this pain educating me on?

I just got to meet someone that I had previously only had contact with through writing and phone calls. Huge risk for both of us since we had an idea of who each other was but that first meeting always says so much. I recognized him instantly and walked towards him arms and heart wide open. First moment wasn’t so awkward phew. What a relief! We got to spend two days together. We ate, laughed a lot, walked, sat, talked and talked some more. We have huge differences in opinion on certain matters, but it doesn’t matter. We learned from and about one another. We learned. It was a beautiful two days and then it was back to our regular lives. I am changed forever because of meeting him. I am changed because by learning about him, I learned much about myself. Sometimes seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can give you a new perspective. Arkemedes it was an honour to meet you my friend, I ask the universe to send you many blessings on your journey.

Now it is 6:30 at night and I am sitting here in my slightly soiled chair exploring my pain. We all have some pain in our lives and how we approach our own as well as the pain that others carry says much about us. Embrace the pain, yours and theirs. Compassion and love can heal the most damaged of us. We just need people in our lives who are willing to stand with us in the fire and bring their own pain with their arms and hearts open. We can bring great healing to others just by creating that space where we can support and acknowledge each other. No judgement, just space for healing from the pain.

Love yourself

Hug Everyone

Donna