Shaped by the Past, Sculpted by Dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

Treat others with kindness and compassion
Hug yourself for me

Donna

A Year of Grace

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Donna
aka Miss Daisy

Kitchens of Love and Laughter

Woke up this morning at 5:30 to a wet world that smells so fresh.  It rained during the night and the birds were singing enthusiastically this morning in celebration.  We have not had much rain this spring and us locals usually call our home the Wet Coast.  I love the sunny weather we are having, but (I can’t believe I am saying this) I miss the rain. It gives me an excuse to stay home and curl up with a good book and a glass of tea.

Cooked supper for friends last night and I realized how much I missed a kitchen full of people laughing, talking and eating together.  I have lived my life in self imposed isolation for so long that I forgot what it was like to be surrounded by people.  I am looking forward to buying a new home and cooking for friends.  I love to cook and try new recipes.  Well, I read recipes for inspiration then do my own thing.  I have never been great at following directions!  Some of my best memories involve being in someone’s kitchen with a group of friends.  I spent a lot of time in other people’s kitchens while growing up, playing cards, making music,eating, drinking and laughing.  So I spent the night at a friend’s house and am writing this morning at their kitchen island.  There is much food and laughter shared around this island.  I also have come to realize that this kitchen and the people in it have become a huge part of my life and my healing.  The kitchens of my past were filled with love and laughter and I know the kitchens of my future will be as well.

I am going to pay more attention to kitchens.  I think they truly are the heart of the home. Pay attention to what goes on in your own kitchen as this could be a barometer for the atmosphere of your home.  I like a tidy kitchen, it doesn’t have to be spotless but tidy and organized without a doubt.  I cannot cook in a messy kitchen.  I do have to admit that I have wanted to organize the kitchen for a few people and have even done it once.  I don’t really care if your kitchen is messy, it is your kitchen.  I do not judge you based on the condition of your kitchen.  It is your heart that captures me.  I watch how you treat other people, your family, and see how willing you are to laugh at yourself and the life stuff that is tossed your way.  If you have heart I don’t care how tidy your house is.

Just got a text message with a tarot card for the day from the Osho Zen tarot deck.  Oddly enough, the card was isolation but they spell it ice-olation.  My self imposed isolation was in a sense like being encased in a block of ice and my friends both old and new are contributing to my melting and merging back into a warm and caring community.  They are helping me find myself again. This is a family, the people who feed my body and soul.  Family is so much more than just blood relatives. Family is also the people you choose to spend time with that nurture your spirit and encourage you to be the best you possible.  I hope that in some small way I do the same for them, they mean the world to me.

So, as I sit here beside a fish named George pondering the significance of kitchens and families, I am filled with warm memories and heated hopes and desires.  There is fire in my soul once again and while I do not know what the future holds for me I am full of excited anticipation like a small child on Christmas morning.  Everyday brings more light and clarity of heart.  You have given me the space to heal and for that I thank you and give you the biggest and warmest hug.  Thank you for allowing me to find myself again.  If you ever get to Vancouver Island send a message, perhaps we can get together in the kitchen of my new home and fill it with food, companionship and wild hearted laughter.  I am looking forward to it.  Peace and love to all of you.

Hug trees and please don’t kill spiders

Donna

 

 

Winged Messengers

I saw a beautiful blue heron this morning flying overhead. I watched as he glided through the air with long effortless strokes from his powerful wings.   There was one glaring issue with this bird.  He was missing feathers on his left wing. The space the missing feathers created was obvious but it did not detract from his grace or beauty. The animals remind me of things and bring lessons for me everyday.   Today was no exception.   The people we meet in the world are not perfect, they have scars both seen and unseen. We all have missing feathers but still have much to offer the world.  I envy people who seem to move gracefully through the world no matter what life seems to throw at them. I feel more like a young foal who has not grown into its legs yet, awkward and stumbling across a field of grass wet from the morning dew.

So I watched the birds in the sky for a few more minutes and some played in the wind currents, some glided above the wind in spirals of flight and others seemed to be flapping their wings in a battle against the wind. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the winged ones. A few nights ago I had a message from the universe to look up. Stop focusing on the earth and look up.   Did the universe know the lessons I would learn from looking up and paying attention to the birds. Do I share these things with you so you will start looking around you and seeing the lessons that nature and all the wonderful beings we share this planet with teach us? I am not sure what the universe is asking of me most of the time. I just go where I am led.

The universe sends us lessons every day through people, nature, animals, and circumstances. Whether we learn anything or pay attention to any of it is up to us. I have discovered that the same lesson gets tossed my way time and time again until I pay attention. The world speaks to us in symbols, which can be hard to decipher sometimes. I seem to be getting a better handle on the symbolic structure of the world and have taken many steps to learn to interpret these symbols for myself. I see the heron and get one lesson, you will see the heron and it will hold a different meaning for you. Simple right? So look up today and tell me what you see. Are there messages for you in the wind, the clouds or the tree tops? What do you see when you are not just focused on the path in front of you?
Love to all
Hug everyone
Be kind

Donna

 

 

The Wind Through the Trees.

Went for a walk this morning and on my way back to the house I noticed the cherry tree beside the driveway. I swear the tree was glowing this morning with an aura of light surrounding it. This is a beautiful tree in full bloom with soft pink blossoms that are starting to cover the ground. So I stopped to thank the tree for all that it contributes to the universe. The tree was happy to be acknowledged. I believe that when you are looking at and experiencing trees they are also experiencing you. The trees speak, we just have to listen! My new landlords most likely think, what is that crazy woman doing now, standing there touching the tree with her eyes closed and a big smile on her face. They will get used to it. It is part of my charm.

I am sitting here in the living room of my new place on a dark grey sofa with a painting of a beautiful elephant hanging behind me.  I bought this painting yesterday because it spoke to my soul. Elephants have a lot to teach us. All of the animals have something to teach us and so does everything else in nature for that matter. I seem to have a special connection and an ability to communicate with rocks, trees and animals when I take the time to do so. Taking the time is the challenge at the moment. Anyway, sitting here on the sofa I can see Howard’s straw hat hanging on the coat rack across the room. I almost threw his hat out and a friend talked me out of it. Some days seeing the hat brings me peace and comfort and other days it brings pain and discomfort. This morning it seems to bring both. God I miss him. I miss the smell of him and watching him move. I loved the way that man moved, there was a fluid grace he possessed that enthralled me. Every movement had a purpose and grace combined with economy of motion is rare to see.

I love watching people move. You can learn a lot about them from their movements. Do they walk with their head up or down? Are their movements awkward or do they posses that ease of movement that comes when someone is comfortable in their own skin and the world? I think about how I move and what that says about me. Can people tell that I am shy by the way I move? I spent a lot of time walking yesterday and for some reason was really conscious of my hips. The way my body sways from the hips and where I was relaxed and where I was tense. Focusing on the movement of my hips really made me aware of being a woman. Even though I have lost a lot of weight, not by choice, I still have a few small curves and I love them. Yesterday I was 108 pounds of pure woman when I moved and felt very graceful. I feel as though at 53 I am finally discovering who I am on a number of levels and it is fun! I wonder what I will discover today?

I think I think too much! Yes I was laughing as I wrote that. I seem to be at one end of the thinking spectrum or the other. I either think a lot or I don’t think at all. Neither of these things are bad in and of themselves when employed in a healthy manner. Some things require thinking and some things don’t. On certain occasions I turn off my mind and just feel. It is like I am meeting the world through my heart and senses. In certain situations this can be overwhelming and then my mind kicks in. I have a tendency to shut my mind and heart off when I am really uncomfortable and have come to realize that this is a defence mechanism that I learned from a very traumatic event in my life. I don’t think, I don’t feel, I just retreat inside myself to a place where no one can reach me or hurt me. I have also discovered that I spent a lot of my time living from that place and not fully experiencing life. With the recent events in my life it is no longer possible for me to retreat. You cannot hide when your heart is wide open! I no longer feel the need nor do I want to hide. Here I am take me or leave me.

Sometimes I feel very lonely. In the past I would have tried to fill that loneliness with something. Now, I explore it and acknowledge it for what it is. Being alone is one thing, being lonely is another. If I am able to stay present and in the moment there is no loneliness. It’s going into the past or attempting to predict the future that sends me down the lonely road. I do not need someone in my life to be happy, healthy and whole. I already am all that. I don’t need someone to complete me, I want someone who will enhance me. That is also what I want for them, no strings attached. No strings attached is a tall order for most people and navigating a relationship under those conditions can be tricky. I believe that honest communication is the key. That also seems to be a tall order for some people. Sometimes it is a tall order for me as well in the communication department, I leave a lot unsaid. Honesty, well some would say I am too honest. I don’t think that is bad, you always know where you stand with me. Is leaving things unsaid dishonest? I really do not necessarily want to share all my thoughts and feelings with someone else until I am ready. Sometimes they are not ready to hear them either and that is okay. It really has nothing to do with them, I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions. I cannot be responsible for how others interpret or react to what I have to say, I can only clarify things a bit for them if they have questions or concerns.

So, spend time with people you enjoy and who enjoy you right back! Spend time getting to know yourself. Get out there and sit with the trees, rocks, or whatever part of nature makes you feel good. Don’t be surprised when you ask the universe questions if the answers come back through the very fabric of nature itself. The wind carries the questions and answers, you just have to be silent and still long enough to hear it whisper through the trees. They touch both the heavens and the earth and are conduits of knowledge through their root system that covers the wonderful planet we share with them. Connect!

Peace and love to all
Donna

It’s All About Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and peace to all
Hugs
Donna

Sunrises

It is just after five in the morning and I am heading to the beach to watch the sun come up.   According to Google the sun will rise over the southern end of Vancouver Island at approximately 6:52 am. I have a while to wait, so I will write for a bit. I love sunrises and sunsets especially by the water. There is something magical about the moment when the dark and the light meet in the sky and a new day hangs in the balance. Right now I wish I was somewhere tropical but that is not in the cards at the moment. The weather here has been warm for the end of March and the temperature rose to nineteen degrees celsius, which for my friends south of the border would be close to sixty seven degrees fahrenheit.

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Well I am at the waterfront and I am not the only person here. There is another car with someone sitting in it alone, watching the sun come up. The sky is spectacular and I will take a few pictures so I can share it with you. I can see the mountain range to the south poking up out of the mist with its snowcapped peaks. Cannot think of the name of the mountain range at the moment. Um, I think it is the Olympic Mountains, though I am not one hundred percent sure. The sky is a brilliant orange with streaks of gold and pink.   I wish I had thought to bring a blanket to keep me warm. It is a little chilly along the coast this morning. I went for a walk along the sand and took a picture of my feet. I take lots of accidental pictures of feet but this time I did it on purpose. My new hightop black sneakers with my girly grey and pink wool socks pocking out of the top of them are getting covered in sand. I love my socks and my new black sneakers. I wonder why they started calling them sneakers?

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A seal just glided by and the birds are busy flying around doing bird things. There are a number of fish boats slowly making their way through the water. I feel so alone yet connected to everything at the same time. Life is full of contradictions. At least my life seems to be. The traffic on the road is picking up with people headed to work and another day begins. I am glad I got in my car and drove here to write. I usually have a sense of peace when I am by the water. Lately that peace has eluded me but sitting in the dark by the water has brought it back. I try not to think about things too much, it shatters the calmness of my soul. I can get myself into all sorts of trouble by thinking too much. Think less, do more should be my mantra.

You have been with me through a lot in the last few months. I want to thank you for listening to my words by reading what I write. It has been extremely beneficial for me to be able to express myself in this way and work through some of my thoughts and feelings in this medium. I have a feeling that it is all about to change. I can’t say for sure how this will happen. Only the universe and perhaps Alfred Hitchcock know what is in store for me. I’m not sure if I am excited or fearful, most likely a combination of both.

I have a busy day planned so I guess I should get things started. Hope you all have a joy filled day.

Hug people
Donna