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

Time and Space

Moving from a large home to a two bedroom suite is a huge task and the number of boxes to still be unpacked is a little daunting. One box at a time Donna, one box at a time. I did manage to find my yellow mug, which was tucked into the mop bucket for some reason. Finding my mug made me a happy woman! So the new and the old are mixed together in my new temporary home and I am starting to feel as if I belong here. The universe guided me here so I should know better than to question it, but I am stubborn and rebellious. The day we moved the last of my boxes into the new place a deer was sitting on top of the huge rock outside my door watching us. This rock is almost as tall as the house so all you could see was his head as he sat atop the rock with wary detachment. For me it was a beautiful moment and I stopped to admire him in the midst of a very busy day.

I also had a run in with a feral cat that roams the area. I opened my door and right at eye level on the rock was the cat and the first thing I noticed was her eyes. This cat is dark brown and black with wild yellow almost crazy eyes and reminded me of this dreadlock sporting bag lady that mumbles to herself constantly. I stopped and had a staring contest with this cat and for some reason felt as though I was being tested. I sent this cat as much love and energy as I could but it just sat there staring and hissing at me. I wonder what kind of life this cat has had? I wonder what the cat thought of me?

Animals play a huge role in my life though I do not have any that live with me. I love animals but treat them all with a wary respect and give them the space and time to get to know me. I also do this with people even though I just want to run up and wrap my arms around some of them. I give people space, the space and time they need to reach out on whatever level they want. I have actually spent time around one person who did not speak directly to me for a few months. I just let them do their thing without judgement and did not take it personally. They came around when they were ready and have been an important part of my life for a number of years.

Patience is the key. Have patience for yourself and others. Patience unlocks a whole new world for you. Give yourself the space and time to be you and extend that gift to others as well. I didn’t realize how much I did this or how important this was to me as a person. I am great at extending this to others not so great at giving it to myself. We are all connected and once the illusion of seperateness is unveiled it is not difficult to look at people and see yourself. It is not difficult to look at their struggles, fears and insecurities and see your own reflected back at you in a slightly distorted way. It is like looking into one of those fun mirrors at the fair. You know it is you but what you are seeing is distorted a little.

I have a busy day planned but the urge to write was strong this morning. I was worried about the writing for a few days. Every time I sat down at the keyboard nothing came. No inspiration, no thoughts, nothing came. This morning I sat down expecting more of the same then the words flowed from my heart to the keys and I took a deep breath. This blog has become a huge part of my life and allows me to express myself and explore my thoughts and feelings. I thank all of you for reading and interacting with me in this way. You have given me a wonderful gift of time and space to be me. My heart and soul thank you for that. Final thought for the day: Be fearless with your heart on this journey and love as many people as you can! Loving them is the same as loving yourself. It is only a matter of time and space baby!

Much love to all of you
Hug people and please don’t kill spiders
Donna

Kind or Polite

Seems like I am finding my groove again after a week of waking up at odd hours and feeling an edgy restlessness. I would imagine that things will settle out even more once I hand over the keys to the house and am living in the new place. I am looking forward to being there on a regular basis instead of visiting there to empty boxes. I bought one of those coffee makers that takes the little cups and have not enjoyed one cup of coffee out of it yet. I don’t like the prepackaged coffee so I bought one of the refillable cups and cannot for the life of me get the coffee to taste right. Does anyone have a need for a Keurig machine? I guess it will be back to the French press style of coffee maker for me! I like my coffee strong with a hint of cinnamon. After I wrote that the thought I had was that’s how I like men too, strong with a hint of spice and I started laughing. Who compares men to coffee? Apparently I do.

I got to spend some time yesterday with a female friend that I haven’t seen in months. We spend most of our time laughing when we are together and it has always been easy to be around her. So we were catching up on our lives for the last few months. She lost her significant other just a month after Howard passed away. Two totally different experiences for sure, but same results. We are each handling things differently too but it does not matter, what matters is that we approach each other without judgement and are supportive and encouraging. That is what it is all about. Do not assume you know the best way to handle anything for anybody. Let them do it their own way and be happy for them.   Let them be, but be there if they need you.

Lots of people told me to call them if I needed anything. Some people meant it and some didn’t. Oh, I can spot phoniness a mile away so I know who is just being what they think is polite and what I think of as bullshit dressed up to look nice. I would rather people be kind than polite, because I find most times the polite ones have another agenda all together. They want to look good, but don’t mean a word they say. Be kind! Show up with someone’s favourite take out and eat it with them or show up with a bucket of cleaning supplies, but do not wait for someone to call you to do something. Kind people get shit done, polite people just talk about it.

It is funny comparing the terms polite and kind. Politeness seems to me to be an external thing and kindness an internal attribute. Don’t get me wrong I do not like rude people as a rule, but sometimes a little rudeness is needed to get the point across, some people don’t get the picture any other way. I would rather have someone be honest and rude than polite and deceitful. Kindness is a whole different ball game. It shows a respect for others without restriction and doesn’t have strings attached to it. Kindness comes from your heart, politeness comes from your mind.  Politeness is dictated by societal standards and by the looks of what is going on in the world, is on its way out. Kindness, even the word has a softer sound to it and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Politeness is exclusive where kindness is inclusive. Polite society will donate money to a cause, a kind society would create change to benefit all and get their hands dirty. I like dirty handed people!

Now there is something else that fascinates me, people’s hands. I am always looking at peoples hands! I look at their eyes a lot as well and have a thing for butts and shoulders too! But their hands can tell a lot about them. Don’t assume you know what the hands are saying. I know some hard working hands that are very soft thanks to hand cream and work gloves! You will just have to trust me on this one but take a look at the hands of the next person you have a coffee with. How comfortable are they with their own hands, do they use them when they talk? I have noticed that when people are uncomfortable their hand gestures are as well. I have also noticed that I put my hands together like I am praying in front of my mouth when I am trying not to say anything and focusing on what the other person is saying. It gives my brain a cue to shut up and listen I guess. Watch their hands and let me know what you see! Bet you start noticing your own hands as well.

Peace and love to all
Hug people and trees and animals
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

The Joy and the Anger

One of the most difficult years of my life has created some amazing changes in me. While my initial response to all of the adversity and loss that I faced was a soul numbing anger, things have taken a different turn in the last few months. There is a softness in me that did not exist before and a renewed and refined compassion and love for others has blossomed out of that. While I have faced challenges before in my life, this was the first time I looked nowhere but inside my own heart for solutions and answers. I did not look for an external solution.

Something I have discovered is that I have an ability to be in the moment with whatever is happening internally and externally. I am able to be present and look at what is going on and as a result have a better understanding of myself and others. One thing that happened when Howard passed away was extreme sadness and grief which greatly conflicted with my hopes and the feelings of freedom his death gave me. I believe that conflicting emotions are normal during the loss of the significant person in your life and we waste too much time feeling guilty about it. It is a horrible situation to be in, you are trying to let go of them, the life you shared, move on with your life and remember and miss them at the same time. It is a tall order, the letting go and holding on to their memory all at once.

Life is full of conflicting emotions, challenges, joy and miraculous moments. We choose how we respond to that! I allowed my anger to take over for a short period but could not sustain it for long, it was killing my soul. The anger did serve its purpose for that period of time and I am thankful that I experienced it. The anger taught me a lot and may have been the catalyst for the softening that happened. I have a softness for myself and my struggles and have started behaving in a more gentle manner towards others. I do not know, nor should I presume to know how others should be under any circumstance. We just need people to allow us the space to work through it in our own way. We all need that space to learn and grow.

Having the ability and desire to look objectively at yourself and your reactions to the world and circumstance is a priceless learning opportunity. You can allow theses things to harden you and I believe that the people who feel as though these things have happened to them will harden. Life is happening to them, they are not active participants in their own life, the surface of the why of things is barely scratched. When you take the time to look deeper with an attitude of discovery and wonder it is amazing to see the layers and depths of the pain and untruths. My anger was there to insulate me from the pain and fear. But in insulating myself from the grief, pain and fear, I also insulated myself from fully experiencing all the good, the joy, the hope and the wonder. It is a double edged sword, anger is, that closes your heart off so you don’t feel anything.

I sat in this living room the day I started this blog and had an awakening of sorts. I fell in love with my life and could see how all the emotions, both conflicting and complimentary, were connected. I will call this a spiritual awakening simply because I experienced my own soul breaking free from all of the constraints my mind and beliefs had placed upon it. I was free in a way I had never been, I was free to just be. No rules, no right and wrong, just me naked in my humanity. I have great hope for humanity and know that people just like me are having awakenings of their own in the most mundane of places. Our quiet strength is far more powerful than the anger and fear being spewed out of so many minds and angry hearts at the moment. Living with your heart wide open allows you to feel everything and that can be a scary place to live from. It is painful and my heart breaks on a daily basis but my heart with it’s wide open embrace also gets to experience all the joy and wonders of being human in this time and place.

Be gentle

Donna

Moon Dance

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

 

mindless movement

cool grass under feet

legs bare, arms raised

hips sway gently

hesitantly softly

breath and heart

earth’s rhythm

quickens with the wind

leaves quiver, hair flies

faster, harsher

power and emotion

spill into darkness

from bone and blood

to roots and dirt

all are connected

indifferent moon above

witness to the dance

 

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

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

 

Much peace and love to all of you

Donna

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