Skinny and Other Treasures

Well, it’s five in the morning and I am sitting here with my sunny yellow mug full of coffee.  I no longer sit in my slightly soiled chair, it is in the basement, and I now write from a brown velvety sofa beneath the painting that Shawn bought me for Christmas.  It is a beautiful painting by Terry Issac of an ancient raven totem pole that has a real raven perched on top crying out into the mist. It is called the storyteller and was the perfect gift for me, I love it.  I still write most mornings but rarely post anything anymore.    I am still trying to find my way in my new life.  I still miss Howard and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or talk about him.  He was an amazing man.  I remember writing a post called “To the Next Amazing Man” two years ago.  I have been blessed to find another amazing man who challenges me, makes me laugh, loves me for who I am, and shares his passion for all things old and rusty with me.  He does sometimes question my purchases and asks where the heck I am going to put them.  This question coming from the man who bought juggling balls ( he does not juggle)  a second cd stand with a creepy old guy with stringy hair holding the cd rack (we do not have a cd player) or two hooves with hair and googly eyes attached to them (he loves them) always amazes me and makes me laugh.  My usual response to where are you going to put it is, I won’t know till we get home!  On Christmas Eve I brought home an old oil can that is now our garbage can in the garage where we play darts. Shawn’s first question was, “Where are you going to put it?”  I love the oil can, it is two feet tall, painted black, has a wooden handle, a lid, a spout and a glass window for seeing how much oil was in the can.  I also have an aversion to regular old garbage cans, they are boring and mostly ugly.  I have never seen a garbage can that I fell in love with and I enjoy repurposing old items.

You might be getting the idea that we buy a lot of old stuff and you would not be wrong.  I start getting antsy about the time the swap meets start up in the spring and cannot wait to get out there and find the next treasure!  The perfect job for me would be roaming the country like the American Pickers on television looking for old and interesting items.  I have come to the conclusion that I am basically unemployable simply because I can no longer work with the general public without telling the idiots that they are idiots or rude customers to shove off.    After 25 plus years in the retail industry in some form or another, I have no patience for bullshit or rudeness and cannot see myself being employed by anyone who is smart and who wants a dumb boss!  Okay, back to the matter of treasure.  Shawn buys a lot of used and unusual things.  I am not allowed to say the H word (hoarder) in reference to him, he likes to be called a collector of fine treasures!  This has worked out for him for a lot of years.  He is always buying and selling.  Well, selling not so much- he gets attached to these items.  I like the hunt more than the item itself, most of the time, so we make a good team.  An eccentric form of retail therapy!  Besides, who doesn’t need an antique Inuit kayak frame hanging from their living room ceiling?

Once in a while, when I am away from the house for a few hours I will get a text from Shawn that says, guess what I bought.  There is no possible way, based on his purchasing history, that I could guess and be remotely close unless I said the words car or truck.  We both love old cars and I love driving my 31 Model A pickup ( picture of me in Skinny at the top).  I even got to drive it on the Bonneville Salt Flats this year!  Her name is Skinny Bitch.  The truck used to be owned by a local man called Skinny who passed away, so the Skinny part of the name was a given.  When I first met Shawn I needed some new jeans because I had lost a lot of weight during Howard’s illness and passing.  I went from 145 pounds down to 103 pounds and was basically skin and bones.  I went to a local store and one of the sales clerks pounced on me before my rear end had cleared the doorway asking me if she could help me find anything.  I find this to be extremely annoying so I said, “Sure, I am looking for new jeans, show me what the skinny bitches wear.”  Hence, the name of my truck.  She also sold me the most comfortable and well fitting jeans I have ever owned!  All of our cars and trucks have names which may seem silly but they all have their own personality and temperament.  I did not like to drive Skinny at first, but Shawn pointed that we just needed to get to know each other a bit and he was right.  All relationships take time and attention.

It seems strange to me sometimes that I have only been in a relationship with this man for about two years and yet it feels like he has always been a part of my life.  I met Shawn during one of the most difficult periods of my life and he helped me find the joy in living again.  Some people thought we got involved with each other too soon after Howard passed away.  Howard would have disagreed.  You only have so much time on this earth so don’t waste any of it worrying about what others think.  Do not let fear hold you back from moving forward and most of all don’t be afraid to face the world with your heart wide open.  I went from living in a big empty house all by myself, miserable and grieving, to a life filled with people, dogs, laughter and joy, because both Shawn and I took a risk.  We were willing to risk our hearts and trust our feelings.  Both our lives are richer because of it.

Love you all
Hug lots and sing loudly

Donna

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Energy of the Heart

Why is it when you spend time around certain people they raise you up and you feel energized? Then again there are others who drag you down and your energy level plummets. My take on it is people have different energetic vibrations. Some vibrate higher and raise you up, others vibrate lower and bring you down. What causes people to have different energetic vibrations and how can you deal with the ones that bring you down? I would say a person’s vibration level is based on a number of factors such as diet, general world view, life experiences etc. However, one thing I have noticed is that people who live from their heart seem to always have a higher energy regardless of the factors mentioned previously. Maybe there is something to that. Think about the people you know, how they make you feel and whether they live from their heart.

I have always had difficulty around certain people who make me feel drained after I have spent some time with them. I tried everything suggested to me by other energy workers and nothing worked. Sometimes I am given information, though I cannot tell you where it comes from, it is almost as if the information is downloaded to my mind. I am unable to explain it. One day on my drive to work last year I had in influx of information about energetic exchanges with others. I was so excited and it made perfect sense to me, it also helped me deal with the issue in a different manner. The basic idea is if two people are vibrating at different levels one will move up and one will move down until they are at the same level. Some people are like leeches and just keep sucking at your energy field. They want to feel good and this is the only way they know how to achieve it. The way to deal with this is to NOT prevent them from taking your energy, protecting your energy creates a game of tug of war, with no winners in the war. Instead of trying to stop them from taking it, just give it to them freely. The amount of energy available to you from the universe is limitless so tap in and just give it to the poor buggers! To tap in just envision roots going out of your feet and into the earth and ask the universe nicely for the energy, for the most part intent is enough. The universe responds to you!  For years people told me to protect myself from these energy leeches but it never worked for me and I couldn’t figure out why. This solved my problem, I mean it literally stopped the problem of feeling drained. Now I just pass them energy, their level increases and it is a win win situation, everyone leaves feeling great.

I am a firm believer that what you resist persists and that there are no winners when there are two opposing forces. You are not trying to prevent something you are solving a problem, yours and theirs. Try it and see if it works for you. It may not work for everyone, but I think it is possible if you do it freely with loving intent. We all have someone who we feel drained around in our life so give it a whirl next time you see them. I promise the more you do it the easier it gets. I even practiced on people in the line up at the grocery store! Some of their reactions were really funny, but most of the time I noticed some of the tension they were carrying lessen and some even smiled at me . It’s like a little energetic good deed! I even did it tonight when I was out to dinner, there was a fussy baby at the next table and I just sent her energy and she calmed down immediately and we all enjoyed our meal.

I know I talk about living with your heart wide open a lot and I believe that this is just another facet of that. It is all about what you are putting out into the universe. What you put out comes back to you. It is a huge cycle of giving and receiving but without the expectation of getting anything out of it. It is done out of love, plain and simple. There is no I, there is just us. We are all connected to each other and part of each other and the universe. Love has the power to heal and melt the most frozen of hearts, it just takes time. So love yourself, love others and meet everything with your heart wide open. Share the energy of love!

So this morning as it sit here with my steaming mug of coffee in, you guessed it, my sunny yellow mug, I ask the universe to help me find the energy to get everything done and have some left over to be of service to others.  This cold I have has taken its toll on me and I still have a house to finish packing up, a garage sale to organize, a new house to set up, and a number of other things to attend to.  There are always people who are willing to help and what do you know, they show up just when I need them.

Hug everyone and live like you mean it!

Donna

 

Friends with Benefits

I was so overwhelmed by loneliness yesterday it was, well, overwhelming. I don’t think I have ever felt this lonely in my life! I tried just sitting with it and exploring it and made it to 9pm and then reached out to a friend. We talked about a number of things but I didn’t mention the lonely part. Why wasn’t I willing to just say I was lonely? Perhaps I didn’t want to appear needy? I need people and the connections with others and am tired of doing most things alone. One of the things I have discovered on this twisted path of learning is, there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. So what is the difference? One is focused inward and one is focused outward. Much of our lives are focused outward and we are disconnected from ourselves. Now that is lonely!

Some people would give anything for sometime by themselves. When they get it what do they do with it? I don’t know, even when I am in a relationship I spend a lot of time by myself. I read, create things, talk to friends, listen to music, go for a walk and putter. I like to putter, it helps me think. No one likes people who are self-centred right? I think we need to be centred in ourselves, subtle difference but huge at the same time. Instead we are constantly distracted by things, always entertaining ourselves and looking for answers out there. We know the answers already, we just need to be self-centred in order to see them. So instead of viewing the term self-centred in the negative sense of a person who shows no concern for others and is only interested in their own wants and needs, let’s redefine it as someone who is centred in themselves. We can use self-absorbed for the negative aspect.

So you don’t want to be self-absorbed but you do want to be self-centred! If you are centred, some would say grounded, it means you are aware of yourself and the world around you. You can see the interactions for what they are. You are not trying to constantly distract yourself from yourself. Back to last night, what is it I did not want to look at internally that had me reaching outside of myself and had me feeling terribly lonely. I want to matter! I want to matter to someone else! I don’t want to be an afterthought for them. I want to be a priority in their lives. First, I have to be in that relationship with myself. I need to matter and be a priority in my own life! So in order to have that I need to be present and if I am constantly looking for distractions that cannot happen.

Our society is a sad sad world of distractions and disconnections. We spend so much time looking outwards and expecting others to meet our needs it is no wonder there are so many divorces and unhappy relationships. They cannot fix you or any other part of your life! Only you can fix you and your life by doing the work and being centred in self. You are not going to find the relationship you want until you are able to have that relationship with yourself. So stop looking outside yourself for the answers. The next significant person in your life is not the answer to your problems and it is extremely unfair to expect that of them. So before you enter into any relationship ask yourself why. Why do I want to be with them? What am I expecting them to provide me with that I can’t provide for myself?

My ideal relationship, which I have touched on before, still gives me lots of time to be by myself. I am not looking for someone to be the solution to my troubles. I don’t need someone to be my other half, I am already whole. I want someone that I can talk to, travel with, be intimate with, laugh with and grow together and separately with. Basically I want a friend with benefits who doesn’t “need” me in their life but “wants”me in their life and challenges me to be a better person. I also want to challenge them to be all that they can be, I don’t need or want to change them, they are already whole.
Don’t forget to hug

Love to 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

 

 

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