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

 

Relationships

What would you do if life walked up to you and said here is a clean slate create a new life, you have one year, go! I certainly don’t know. Would you say woohoo and go driving happily down the road? Well for me I have to tidy up my old life first. Now while that tidying up happens I start creating my new life. The problem is I have no clear picture of what I want the new life to look like. I know it contains a few material things, my red claw footed table, a Buddha painting and some other artwork, a new bed, charcoal grey sofa and assorted other things that I love. I know it also includes a wonderful group of people that I love and cherish. I am hoping it will contain a wonderful man who thinks I am adorable and all that. The rest is still blank. So far the only decisions I have made are: putting my house up for sale and moving, having a garage sale, I have taken a year off of work, and I refuse to be anything but me regardless of what other people want. Doesn’t seem like I have created much of a life yet does it?

Considering all I have had to let go of, I think I am making great progress. I have examined every belief I have had about myself, the world and others, to try and discover how I truly feel about all of it. One of the things I discovered is that I have always given up a huge chunk of my life for my relationships and am no longer willing to do that. I would support and participate in the things that interested them but they would not do the same for me. Now, no one forced me to behave this way, I volunteered. What the hell was I thinking? Why was I willing to give up so much to be in a relationship? I didn’t think I was worthy, or interesting, or lovable and made apologies for being me. I gave up me to be with them. Society has painted a picture of what relationships and family looks like and we blindly follow it. I always knew I was different than the norm and just wanted to fit in somewhere. I have never felt like I fit in, even in my own family. Now I do not want to fit in anywhere. I just want to be me without feeling like I constantly need to apologize for that. So how do I do that?

Spending lots of time alone gives me time to think and try things out. I have said since I was 19 that my idea of the perfect relationship was me in my house, them in their house and we spent time together when we felt like it. I should have stuck with that. I don’t think I am the marrying type. I don’t want to spend every day and every night with someone and when you live together that is unavoidable. Even living in the same house with separate living quarters would work. Or same property separate houses would work as well. I realize that this is not ideal for everyone, but I am meeting more and more people who think this way. It sure makes sense to me. I think this type of relationship could work if that was what both people wanted and I have seen it work. I have friends that have been married for over 30 years and live next door to each other. They love each other dearly but do not want to live together in the same house. They tried living together and it was a disaster that almost ended in divorce and building a second house on the property was their solution. They are happy, their children get to spend time with both parents and the pets wander from one house to the next. Works great for them so it could work for others. We just need to get past the idea of the traditional relationship that society has thrust upon us.

Relationships, in my opinion, are about respect, passion, communication, affection, trust, honesty, unconditional love and supporting the other person to be themselves in all their glory. What I forgot in my previous attempts was to ask for and allow myself those same things. I would offer those things to the wonderful man in my life but forgot that I deserved to be treated in the same way, not just by them but myself. I did not ask that of them. Now I am asking for what I want and need to be in a healthy balanced relationship and am no longer apologizing. Wow, now there is no pressure to fit in. No desire to be anything but me. I can offer myself fully and completely without losing myself once again in someone else’s idea of what a relationship is. Now, I can have some fun!!

Relationships should be fun. If your friends were no fun you would find new friends, take your toys and go somewhere else! You decide what the game rules are and as long as both parties are on the same page you should have a wonderful time. But, don’t play games, no one likes a player!  This is not to say the relationship won’t have any problems. You are dealing with two people and their egos, accumulated baggage perhaps, and all the ups and downs of any relationship in general. So while I am supporting the other person and encouraging them to follow their dreams, I have to remember that I deserve the same from them and myself. Guess you have to have the ideal relationship with yourself before you can share the love with someone else.

Have a wonderful Monday. I am off to have passport pictures taken and pack more things for my move. Love and peace to you all.

Hug everyone!

Hug them like you mean it!

Donna

Mental What?

When I was twenty three I got married and moved from the only home I had ever known on the east coast all the way across the country to Vancouver Island. I also suffered my first panic attack shortly after that. I thought I had a heart attack and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where they declared me physically fine, said it was just a panic attack and sent me home. I had no idea at that time that anxiety and the associated panic attacks were going to lead me on a painful and wonderful journey of discovery.  At one point in my late twenties these attacks were so bad that I could not leave the house on my own. My own territory, my home, was a safe place where I could control the environment and who entered it.  Just going across the parking lot to get lunch at work was a walk of extreme discomfort. At work I was fine, at home I was fine, or was I? I had trouble breathing, got frequent chest pains, headaches, suffered from severe stomach issues and the list goes on. Living in a constant state of fear is hard on you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Living in a constant state of anxiety is like being slowly buried alive and not being able to do anything about it, you are frozen with fear.

I did not get my drivers liscence until I was in my thirties and still deal with panic attacks when I have to drive somewhere that I am not familiar with, though the severity of them has lessened over time. I have to tell you that I have driven across most of Canada now, woohoo!  I would like to be able to tell you that there was one magic thing that fixed it all but there was not. It was a whole bunch of little things learned and ways of being that were incorporated into my life in small increments that helped. I also had help from professionals and non professionals. I also encourage anyone with any type of problem to reach out for help. Apparently some would consider this to be a form of mental illness, though I do not label myself in that way. From what I have seen over the years everyone suffers from some form of mental illness even if it is just an grossly overblown sense of self importance.  Just take a look at the Trump disaster that is going on with our neighbours to the south. Do you think he is displaying any level of sane thought or action, or the country as a whole is thinking with their right mind?  We are seeing only a small part of the picture. The anxiety and panic attacks are only a small part of you, though they can take over your life. I think as a society we are too caught up in labels. Every one has felt fear, anxiety and panic at some point in their lives. For some of us the dance with them lasts longer and for others the dance only ends with their death. Please reach out to people and keep reaching out until you find someone that you can relate to. I have worked extremely hard to get to the point I am at today, so I understand the struggles people face. Their struggles might not be exactly the same, but if we focus on the differences there will never be any understanding of the other.  I won’t lie it will not be easy.  Nothing worth having ever is.  You are worth it so fight, dig, cry, scream, but do the work.  You. Are. Worth. It.

I did not expect to write this post and quite frankly I am not all that comfortable doing it, but once again the universe compels me to speak. Okay universe I will go with this, but know I am not happy about it. This makes me vulnerable and I know based on previous experiences that I will be judged by some people and loved by others for my honesty and candor. I have no control over how others will react to this. I want you to know that most of these panic attacks and severe anxiety episodes have taken place in private. I still have them happen in public and this is when I say slightly inappropriate things or my behaviour seems a bit off. I laughed so hard at a funeral that I had to get up and leave, people thought I was sobbing in grief and I was almost peeing my pants with laughter! Yup, I’m a giggle at a funeral. Sometimes I look away from you when I am speaking to collect myself and so you do not see the pain or anxiety. Most of you don’t notice. People who know me socially, may be surprised by this post. Those who know me on an intimate level have seen me struggle, overcome, struggle again and grow and grow and glow.  Little typo there but I’m going to keep the glow, I like it.  It fits.

What do you think when you hear the words mental illness? It sends shivers up my spine let me tell ya. I want nothing to do with that. I had a friend who was a psychologist and I had a chat with him one day. I told him that I thought I might be crazy and gave him a few examples of why I thought this.  He told me nope you are just human and the secret is that the really crazy ones would never even question their sanity, they are the serial killers, the Hitler’s of the world and the ones with no thought of anyone or anything but themselves. God, I loved that man and miss him still. Thanks John for helping me realize my humanity was showing and heal myself.   I loved his down to earth perspective on life and am grateful for the short time I got to spend with him.

So our societal and medical systems love labels but labels don’t take into account that we are so much more than just that and capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.  I think that what I am supposed to remind you of today is that you are so much more. You are so much more than your fears, insecurities, doubts and struggles. You are also enough, more than enough and much more lovable than you believe. Your ability to heal is also far greater than you have been led to believe. You are uncomfortable and fearful for a reason. Get help and discover the reason. There is always an underlying reason. Do not be afraid of uncovering what lies underneath.  I know it is extremely difficult and I would hold your hand through it if I could. The truth of it all will set you free from the prison that anxiety has you caged in. Today I will leave you with a poem that I wrote a few years ago about a crystal called sodalite. I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to write the poem down so I could go back to sleep. The stone wanted to speak. This dark blue stone is related to your voice, throat chakra and speaking your truth. My wish for each of you is that you are always provided with the help you need and you live your truth with love and compassion. I also hope you find your voice and use it to help others.  Much love to all of you.

 

Cold, blue, stone of truth

Release the bonds of silence

That fear has wrapped

Around my soul

The truth inside me is released

With quiet strength

I find my voice

In the middle of my thoughts and feelings

My hearts sings with freedom

Arms raised to the night

I dance with my tears

Under a cold, blue, sky

Reach out and hug someone

Judge none

Donna

 

The Universe Speaks

Yes! I managed to get six hours of solid sleep last night! Woke up thinking about starting a walking group in the new area I am moving to and I hear very clearly in my left ear someone say sisters. In some cultures the left side of your body is considered the female or yin aspect. So it would make sense the word sisters is said in my left ear. Okay universe I am listening but what the heck does this mean? I believe that we are constantly being given guidance and we just have to pay attention. One word doesn’t necessarily give me a view of the whole picture, but I will pay attention over the next few days and see what else falls into place.

When I sit down to write in the morning I rarely have any idea what I am going to write about. I am a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person so this is okay with me. So off I go willy nilly through my life and just stumble into people and situations never worrying about the small details of things. Just like I started this blog, I just started it, no planning, no idea what I was going to write about. I felt compelled to do this and the words just started flowing. Who cares about grammar and sentence structure, communication and giving myself a voice are the key points. If the universe gives me too much time to think about things I cannot make a move. I get frozen with the options, choices and decisions and just spin in circles never moving forward. The universe is much wiser than I am so I constantly get thrown into things that I wouldn’t usually think are good ideas then a little while later realize they were exactly what I needed at that time. By the way, because I do not follow any one religious or spiritual path, I use the term universe where some would say God, Allah, Jehova etc. This is not me being anti religious it is just my belief system and method for making sense of the world. You have your way, I have my way. Isn’t that wonderful?

So I have told you about my relationship with animals and how they give me info. So the kangaroo sent me a message about moving forward not backward. Last night there were two animals that stood out for me, one was a baboon who shook his red butt at me and a very quiet hyena. At this point I do not have a clear idea what either of those animals were trying to say. I do know that baboons are communicators and hyenas in some cases represent choice of words as in choose your words wisely. Hyenas know when to shut up! The other animal that showed up was a beautiful palomino horse and horses have been popping into my mind a lot lately so I paid attention. Horses for the most part represent power and freedom and this one just popped into view again nodding his head. So this is the way my mind works and yes I realize that to some I will sound crazy, but I no longer care about that.

Kangaroo– moving forward

Baboon– communication. ( was the butt wiggle saying don’t talk through your ass lol)

Hyena– kind words, choose words wisely

Horse–power and freedom

What I get from this –to keep moving forward on this path, the act of communication is very important but to choose my words wisely. There is power in this for me if it is used properly and I will experience a kind of freedom because of it. One more animal that has shown up is a Pegasus and his message last night was more voice, more voice but refine it. So folks there you have it.

They speak and I listen. I was wondering if I should continue with the blog. What am I doing this for? Well the universe got me to start this blog and will continue to guide me. The people who need to read what I have written will find it and the people who don’t need it will not read it. The only way I can refine my writing is to practice, practice, practice.  Simple right? Nothing is ever simple despite how it looks on the surface. I have been given an opportunity to say what I need to say and in a sense this has provided great growth for me and has helped me sort through my feelings around the changes that have taken place in my life. The future is always uncertain. Regardless of your dreams or plans, things are going to happen so don’t be too attached to the outcome. Just sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride the universe will take you on if you let it.

Peace and love to all

Don’t forget to be grateful!

Donna

Walking in Love

Some days I ask my self what the heck were you thinking! I know other people have said that to me but when you say it to yourself it is a whole other matter. My life has had so many changes lately that I am dizzy. I am doing a number of things that I have never done before and some of them make me uncomfortable. I wonder why and continue to explore that. I have someone coming to the house today to look at and hopefully buy one of the old Cadillacs. I have asked a friend for advice and listened to what he had to say and he made some very good points. What it comes down to is the emotional attachment I have to that car and the man who restored it. It is difficult to be objective and not take it personally when they point out the flaws and walk around the car looking for any little mark or blemish. It is just a car. Or is it? The car represented a dream for someone and they spent thousands of hours making that dream a reality. I just have to remember that it was their dream, not mine. I will bite my tongue so my mouth doesn’t get me into trouble and perhaps this person will love the car because it is part of their dream as well. My dreams for the most part don’t have material things at the forefront.

My dreams are about people and community. I want a life that is filled with meaning and deep human connections. I don’t care what kind of car you drive, what you do for a living, how many things you own or how much you weigh. I sometimes forget what an impact we can have on the lives of those around us. My favourite people are the ones who love unconditionally and treat everyone with respect and compassion. The longer I live the more of them I find. This is also what I want to give to others. One of my dreams is to have a small almost communal retreat centre. I see yurts or mini houses and a large communal space for workshops and dining. I see horses there (I know nothing about horses) for some reason, as well as dogs, cats, and chickens. Animals rescued from neglect and trauma similar to the people who find their way there. We have all suffered and continue to suffer from what we do to ourselves or what is inflicted upon us by others. I find it easier to get over what others may have done, the damage I have done to myself is a little tougher to work through. One of the things that I have realized lately is that I already offer that to people, a safe place to recover from whatever haunts them. I listen to them and I share my own experiences. Being able to do that is precious to me and a fundamental part of who I am today. I have not always been that person and have been ashamed of the way I have treated people in the past. I was struggling and doing the best I could at the time and have had to let that go. Times are different now and I finally feel as though I have something to offer the world. I think you need to go through some tough times in order to understand others when they go through it. Now all I have to do is manifest the buildings and the rest will flow from there. If you build it they will come!

So today the only thing I have to offer you is me. When we sit down together we create a sacred space and in that space is my love for you, the universe’s love for you (they are the same). That is a very healing space don’t you think? No judgement, no condemnation, just freedom from your past and an appreciation for whatever stage of your path you are on. In the past when I have run across people who have struggled with the same issues I have, I did not display much patience. I just wanted to smack some sense into them and show them how to do it. Not great, I know. Time and growth has given me a different perspective and I can truly appreciate where a person is at this moment in time. Judgement has been replaced by compassion, anger towards myself replaced by patience toward you, hatred by love, exclusion by inclusion, differences by similarities and the list goes on. I ask myself on a regular basis how I want to contribute today. I let the universe know each morning that I am ready to serve others in a way that is good for them. I learn more from helping other people than I ever did when I was a self centred, self absorbed person. There is a softness in me that did not exist before and it continues to grow. Oh, I can still be self centred and it happens when I struggle with things and fear takes over. It is not pretty but life and the human experience are not always pretty. I am learning to show myself the same level of compassion and caring that I extend to others.

Create that space for others, if you are able, so they feel safe and loved. People who are crying out for love can do so in some of the most unlovable ways. I am not saying you should tolerate atrocious behaviour or abuse from other people, walk or better yet run from that. Some people don’t want to change or grow. You cannot help them yet. The people who need you will find you and you will learn much from each other. The best teachers are students themselves! So the answer to what were you thinking is, I was doing the best I could based on my level of resistance and emotional turmoil at the time. The struggles from our past have created the masterpieces that we are today. Even the great masters painted some nasty looking stuff while they honed their talents and craft. Be gentle with yourself and others, we are all learning what it is to be fully human and walk this world in love.

 

Spread some love

Don’t forget the hugs

Donna

 

Wings and Things

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

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

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

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

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

Peace and love to all

Donna

 

 

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