Love and Shit

Yesterday was the first day of summer and I am back home on Vancouver Island. The sun was shining and my guy picked me up at the airport on Sunday with a huge smile on his face and big hug that lifted me off my feet. No one has ever picked me up at the airport with so much joy and it made me melt a little, it made me feel loved. Today, Tuesday, finds me awake at 4:30am suffering from a bit of jet lag as my internal clock tries to sort out the time change. So, I sit here on a comfortable sofa wrapped in a purple blanket waiting for the coffee to perk in the French press and feeling the need to write. You would think that someone who writes so much would have a way with words when talking to people, this is not the case for me. I stumble as I try to speak from my heart and I can be as awkward as a newborn colt when it comes to expressing my feelings. I worry about things and I worry a lot. Sarcasm and joking around are easy for me, serious discussions not so much. I don’t like being vulnerable.
One of the reasons I don’t like letting people know how important they or something else is to me stems from how people have used those things against me in the past. I have also come to the conclusion that I cannot let the past, regardless of how it turned out, write my future. You cannot approach life or people the same way time and time again expecting different results. I realize that everything I say on this blog has been said by countless others. The truth of these statements, as old and worn as they are, has withstood the test of time and then sometimes regardless of the truth of things, the heart of things, shit happens. Shit you were not expecting. I also want to point out that shit helps things grow. So it doesn’t matter whether your glass is half full or half empty the truth is, it is still half a glass. Your viewpoint of the truth is the important thing.

I know that I can ramble on sometimes, but this is the way my mind works. One thought leads to another and the point comes out at the end, if there is a point. I don’t know what the point of this blog is. I know it has helped me tremendously in dealing with my grief and growth. I hope it has made a small difference for someone else even if it is only that they realize that someone has had the same thoughts or fears and they don’t feel so alone in this vast world of disconnectedness. We have vast amount of information at our fingertips but we are all lost in that sea of data looking at a small screen and not noticing the people or events taking place right in front of us. We excel at being disconnected when the only important thing is our connections with others. But, in order to connect you have to open up, let people in and work through the difficulties together.

When I started this relationship with the wonderful man who picked me up at the airport, I wanted someone to do things with. I was essentially looking for a friend with benefits. I did not think any further than that. I have written blog posts about what I want in a relationship and this man is quite aware of my aversion to marriage or living with someone and all the other things that I have written about. He has read my blog and he has listened to me when we have a conversation. He and I are similar in some respects. We both have a weakness for antiques and rusty old cars, sushi, reading, music, coffee chocolate etc etc. We are also very different in the way we view the world and move through it and there is nothing wrong with that. We have much to learn from each other and are inadvertently helping each other refine our perspective and grow. What I was not expecting was this relationship becoming so much more than I had originally intended. I am not going to throw the love word out there simply because I think it is misused and misunderstood. That word holds great meaning for me and I do not use it lightly. Anyone can say the word, few actually mean it in its purest sense.  This man has helped me fall in love with life again and I cannot imagine my world without him in it. I am grateful that he is part of my life and hope he feels the same way.

One of the professors in an English lit class ,yes this was years ago but I have never forgotten it, asked us who had the most to lose in a relationship. I could not come up with an answer. His answer was the person who loves the most. I disagreed with that then and I still disagree with it now. How can you love too much unless the meaning of the word is twisted and warped in your heart. To me the word love is about acceptance, truth, it has a softness and warmth to it. Just looked the word up on line and in my opinion none of the definitions come close to explaining love. Some describe it as a feeling of deep affection, a strong attraction to another person that may include a sexual attraction. I think they, in their definition, have only scratched the surface and in trying to define it have reduced it and taken something away. For me love is never grasping or confining it is about letting go. Letting go of your expectations, letting go of the need to be right and letting go of the person if that is what is needed. When you let go love has some room to enter your heart. When you let go there is space for another person in your heart. So let go, open your heart and watch the magic happen.
Hope you all have a wonder filled day

Plant some flowers for the bees, they need our help and 

our very lives depend on them

Donna

No Strings

I am sitting once again in my slightly soiled chair with a coffee beside me in my sunny yellow mug. It is five thirty in the morning and the birds are singing the sun up with cheerful little songs. It has all the makings of a wonderful day even though I have only had about four hours sleep. I had trouble settling down last night. There were a few things weighing on my mind and my heart. I have started making plans and dreaming and low and behold the universe throws a few curve balls at me just to see if I am paying attention and waits to see how I will handle it.

Have you ever had one of those moments where certain events in your life become clear in their meaning. I had one of those moments last night and I have to admit that it scared me a little. Actually my response was “well shit.” It reminded me that certain things are beyond my control. I can say I want this, I don’t want that till the cows come home and the universe in its wisdom will give me what I need. I never expected to fall in love with my life again, I never expected to feel or experience so much joy and peace again. Some of the best moments of my life have happened when I was not expecting it.

So I had a moment of clarity and it scared me. I am not sure scared is the right word. Perhaps it is more being unsure with a tiny bit of fear thrown in. I don’t know where this path will lead but I trust in the universe to guide me along and in the meantime will set the fear aside. No one knows what tomorrow will bring but I have had a few visions of the future and they do not coincide with what I thought I wanted. Perhaps there is a lesson in that. Do not be so tied to what you want and don’t want that you miss the wonderful people and opportunities right in front of you. Be flexible with your how your mind and heart respond to the events and people in your life. Be teachable.

I have ideas about how I would like things to be and have expressed a large number of those ideas on this blog. One thing that I do know for certain is that as long as I let my heart rule over my mind life is as it should be. The minute I start over thinking things and second guessing every decision, fears settles in and my mind gains control. Fear versus love the eternal struggle for control. So the universe is putting people and situations in my path to see if I can actually live what I say. Anyone can say anything, but can they back it up with action. The universe is saying enough talk Donna lets see some action.

So, I have said numerous times that it is all about living with your heart wide open. But what does that really mean to me? It is about others not about me. For one of the first times in my life, I have led a very self-centered life up to this point, the happiness of others comes before my own. I want the people around me to know what it means to be loved for just being them, no strings attached. I want to bring peace and joy with me everywhere I go and spread that around. I want the people in my life to know that they are appreciated and that I truly see them for who they are and that they are more than enough. I thought I knew what love was. The universe has shown me lately that I have only danced around the edges of it in the past. Well shit!

Have a bliss filled day
Hug people
Donna

Freedom

Well, the move is complete and I hand over the keys to the new owners of my home today!  It is a bittersweet moment.  I knew who I was in Sooke and am not sure who I am in Langford, if that makes any sense.  I guess I felt that I belonged in Sooke and don’t feel that way in the new place yet.  I will give it some time, but know this is only temporary.  Let’s see where the universe sends me next!

Now the unpacking and further sorting and sifting through the material parts of my life begin.  My goal is to get rid of all the things that are not necessary or bring me joy.  Cannot part with my car Lola though and I am so happy she has a warm and safe place to wait for me.  It is going to be so much fun driving her this summer!

Wow, the last year has been quite a roller coaster ride.  Lots of highs and many low spots to navigate through.  My life has been completely changed because of Howard’s life and death, mainly his life though.  It has also been changed by the new people who have entered and become so important to me.  I am blessed to know and care for each of them.  It can be hard sometimes when life turns shitty to find the positive aspects of it.  I am one of the lucky people who can experience and see both sides of every situation.  Even during the darkest moments there was light visible.

I had better get this day started and over with.  There is a freedom that comes with not being tied to a property and animals.  A freedom I have not had in a very long time and I’m not quite sure how to respond to it.  There are so many options open to me that it is hard to pick one.  For now I will just keep sorting and sifting and see what direction the universe sends me in.  I do know one thing, it will include many wonderful new people and I am looking forward to meeting them and getting to know them.  I also get to build on the relationships that have already formed for me and that is exciting too.  Even freedom has a price.

Peace and love to you all
Donna

Odd Shit and Potatoes

Well once again it is just after five thirty in the morning and I am sitting in a mostly empty house waiting for the coffee to brew. In a few more days this house will be occupied by a young family. I wonder how the house will feel, it has never had children living in it before. The energy of this house is very calm and peaceful so it will be interesting to know how the family and the house react to each other. I know it sounds a little odd for me to write about the house like it has a personality and feelings but I think about these things. Perhaps it is the energy of the people that permeate the building, like the house is a container for their spiritual energy. I may never know.

Speaking of odd, some people would describe me and my lifestyle as odd and that is the way I like it. I am open to all the possibilities and if that makes me a little odd so be it. One really strange and funny thing happened this week. I was talking on the phone to a friend who also happens to be a medium and she started laughing. When she starts to laugh it always makes me nervous and curious at the same time. She had Alfred Hitchcock show up on the ceiling of her little sitting room. I started laughing as well, really Alfred Hitchcock. So, I asked what does Alfred have to say?
Well his message was for me to keep writing but in a more creative form. He told me to make up stories. Who am I to argue with Alfred Hitchcock? So once I am in my new place and life has settled down I will start writing in a more creative form, which has always been my passion, reading and writing fiction. No idea what I will write about at this point but you can bet it will have a spiritual theme and some odd characters.

The universe has a funny way of leading me to things. I also notice this happening in the lives of the people around me. We are lead where we need to go, even if at the time the method of getting us there does not appear to be beneficial at first. You lose your job unexpectedly then out of nowhere the perfect job for you appears. This has happened to me a few times! I was lead to this new place I will be living and there were lots of applicants for the suite, but I knew that it would be mine. People show up out of the blue just when I need them. I always get what I need though most times that is rarely what I want or perhaps it would be better to say what I think I want. The universe is much wiser than I am.

Some would say that our thoughts create our reality and for the most part I would agree with them. However, sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes big shit or unfair shit just happens to you or to those around you. I don’t think our thoughts manifested that situation but I do think that our thoughts determine how we respond to the shit! Keep expecting negative things to happen and negative things will happen, expect the positive and you get positive. I am always surprised that the universe thinks I deserve all the wonderful things that it brings me. I am no more special than the next person, but am constantly amazed at the things that happen to me and around me. Not all of them have been pleasant but each one has been a learning experience. Some lessons are easier to learn than others of course!

Well it is now three hours later and a wonderful friend just left driving my 51 Caddy called Lola. It was hard to see her leave the garage with someone else behind the wheel but I know she will be treated with care and is being stored in a safe place. I love that car with her curvy behind and all the little things that come with owning an old piece of rolling art. I especially love the colour, which was a happy accident. Someday I will tell you the story of the creation of Lola and all the laughter, happy coincidences that happened and how she got her name. Today is not the day for that. I had tears in my eyes as she went down the driveway with me standing in an empty garage. Here I am once again saying goodbye, alone with tears in my eyes. This portion of my life has almost come to an end, no more standing here by myself watching people and things leave my life. Just got the phone call, Lola and driver have arrived safely, woohoo!

Friends are arriving this morning to help me move the last few things from the house. Don’t know if I will sleep here again. Maybe one more time to say goodbye.
Life is funny and messy and beautiful and tragic and miraculous and difficult, it is all good, all the ups and downs are good. So my final words today are, if a man asks you to hold his potatoes walk away, even if they are warm!

Peace and love to all of you
Donna

Toothpaste and Soul Mates

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

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

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

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

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

hug people and trees and dogs

love to you all

Donna

Buying Into Bullshit

I cannot believe that I am writing this! Remember that this is after all only my opinion and in no way am I trying to tell you not to believe what you believe, or am I asking you to agree with me.Having said that, let’s do this. I am so tired of bullshit! I had a chat with two friends of mine yesterday. You know, the real friends that allow you to just say whatever you want and need to get of your chest, without getting upset about it or taking it personally. Anyway, we discussed many different things and they asked me one question (a lot of people have asked me this in the last six months) “Are you going to open your business again?” In my head and heart I heard HELL NO! Up until that moment, whenever I was asked this, I would say I am not sure. Something didn’t feel quite right until yesterday when the hell no came screaming out of me. My business was a retail store that sold yoga, meditation and metaphysical products to the not so general public. I just fell into the business with a forceful nudge from the universe. I cannot open that business again because that would mean I am not living an authentic life and at this point I have trouble being anything but authentic. You do not need the shit I was selling! What most of you wanted was someone to talk to and I provided that for free, no purchase required. What I got out of the business was you, I needed you to interact with me and at that point in my life the only method I had to meet you, was to sell you stuff.

Please note that this is not an attack on a specific industry but the retail industry as a whole and certain segments are singled out only as an example for making a point. You want to practice yoga get on the floor or the grass and do it! You do not need a mat, special clothing or any of the other stuff that you are being sold. It has been done for centuries without any of that. People want to sell you stuff and in order to do it they need you to believe that you cannot possibly do it “right” without their stuff. Meditation, same thing, just sit in a comfortable position and get it started. Mind you, I do love my meditation bench and it allows me to sit for long periods. (In my case 1/2 an hour is long) and be comfortable. You want healing and look for things that are going to make it faster and easier. These things you buy are tools people!   They are just tools to get you out of the small minded world you have trapped yourself inside of so you don’t feel the pain. They can help sure but no one thing or one person can heal you. You heal you! You get honest with yourself and do the work because if you don’t no one person and no thing can save your ass. If every time you need to make a decision you consult someone or something you are not acknowledging your own feelings. You want someone else to tell you what to do and then if it doesn’t work it is their fault. Take responsibility for you and find, search, and seek out the help you need but don’t expect to not have to do the work.

Sorry, I went on a bit of a rant there. I feel very strongly about it and cannot sell you things at this time. What I want to sell you on is your own ability to help yourself. Sure we need help sometimes and that is true for all of us, accept help, seek the help, be the help for others. I am not saying don’t buy the tarot cards or consult a psychic, or use crystals or have a reiki treatment or seek professional medical help in any capacity. These are all wonderful tools on the path to healing. I use Reiki, tarot cards, crystals, essential oils, and medical professionals on my own healing journey. I do not depend on them to make decisions or to solve my problems. What I am saying is do not expect them to fix you. I am asking what you would do if none of that existed or all just went away. What the fuck would you do? Well some people would have you believe that if you would only have nothing but positive thoughts it will be all rainbows and puppy dog kisses. I say bullshit! You want to get rid of your pain then you need to get down and dirty with it. Roll around on the floor naked and make sweet love to that pain!   Feel it, don’t try to push it away or cover it up with flowery words because sometimes your fucking life will depend on your ability to dance with the pain. I have survived some seriously nasty shit over the course of my life, am thriving even and for the most part am a warm and happy person. Most of my friends, notice I said most, would agree with that statement. Some would call me something much less flattering, they also have no idea what I have been through in my life because I don’t share all the details with everyone. I have danced with the pain in the many shapes and forms it came in. I have been there. I hope you do not have to stay with the pain as long as I did.

I don’t care how many positive and self affirming thoughts you have going on in that pretty little head of yours, it is masking the symptoms of a much larger problem. It cannot take away the pain until you face the pain and there is always help available. Please get help if you need it and please don’t feel as though you are all alone. That is the big secret, everyone feels alone with their pain and afraid they will be judged, ignored, rejected etc. etc. if they reach out to someone. If the first person you reach out to is a complete idiot reach out to someone else and then someone else until you find the right person. You are fucking worth it and your life matters no matter what you have been through. You are not alone. Think about it, with over seven billion people on the planet I am sure there is someone who will understand what is eating you up inside.

Positive thinking has its place for sure! What works for me is sending the positive thoughts out to others, by helping them I help myself. I am not focused on my narrow little world, I am getting out of my own dark and sometimes self defeating mind and giving to others. What you put out into the world comes back to you, they say. I’m still not sure who the hell “they” are but I could kick their ass right now. Manifest the life you want “they say”. So, what you put out comes back. Putting out I want this, I need that, this is what I want my life to look like, blah blah blah is grasping. You grasp anything in your fist long enough and you will choke it. Grasping, greed, me, me, me. Just think you get back what you send out!!! Send out love and compassion for others and you get love and compassion back from others. Send out all the bullshit you have bought into and you get back more bullshit. Is it starting to make sense?

Please stop buying the shit they are selling that tells you that you are not enough, this pill will fix all your problems, that car will earn you respect, this newer and bigger house will improve your messed up family life. The healing starts internally with you and a decision to do the work you need to do to start the healing process. Seek the help that you need in whatever form that takes for you. But, I beg you not to hand them the power you were born with to know and heal yourself by purchasing the shit they are selling. You do not need to purchase anything to be a happy healthy person in all of your brilliant glory, what you need is other people, that human connection. You need love and you cannot buy that.

Be the love, be the change
Love you all
Donna

Serenity’s Path

When you pull into my driveway there is a locked gate. Just past that gate on the left there was a rather large hand carved wooden sign that hung between two tall spiked medieval looking metal posts. The sign read Serenity’s Path. One day as I was leaving for work the sign had, after many years, rotted and crumbled to the ground. Me being me, I thought, I hope that is not a sign. I now think it was. The crumbled serenity sign reminded me that all things must end and nothing in this life is permanent. The signs are everywhere so look for them!

I lived behind a locked gate in a land called Serenity’s Path. I was happy there, or was I? When I would drive home after work I had to stop to open and close the gate and always stood for a moment to hang all the things from the day that I wanted to let go of on one of the posts. I would then thank the winds for carrying them far away and continue on to the house where my man, conversation and a cup of coffee were waiting. It was my life and while I loved it there was also this feeling of restlessness deep inside me that I didn’t quite understand. I had a wonderful husband, a business, a job and friends I adored so this restlessness confused me.

I asked Howard one afternoon, as we sat on the deck drinking coffee in the warm sun, if he would be willing to sell everything we owned, get in the truck with our travel trailer behind us and go on a great adventure. As per usual he raised his eyebrows, he did that a lot for some of my ideas, and said “Why would I want to do that, I love it here, There is so much I want to do here.” He had plans, so many plans. Now he’s gone, a half finished sculpture still sits on his work bench, and I am sitting here, drinking coffee in my yellow mug, with the same yearning for something more.

I want more than to spend eight hours of my day in a job that I have no interest in and a business that takes up an extreme amount of my free time. What am I doing this for? I am not a materialistic person so it wasn’t to get bigger and fancier things. Society places a lot of emphasis on and tries to convince you that your self worth is tied to being productive and having a career and all the right stuff. We live in a sad sad world that places too much importance on things that really don’t mean anything In the long run. It is all an illusion. Talk to anyone on their deathbed and you will not hear them say I wish I had worked more or had more material things. They say things like, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. They wish they had slowed down enough to enjoy the life they had. Don’t be that person! Enjoy what is right in front of you, this precious moment, because it will not last. Nothing is permanent, not the wonderful times and certainly not the bad ones.

There is an upside to all this! With the acceptance of no one thing being permanent comes freedom. I know my grief will not last, I know that bad days only last one day, people come and go and I don’t have to get used to any one way of being unless I choose to. While my driveway is straight, the path to serenity is not. The path has twists and turns, viewing areas and it sometimes doubles back to show you something you missed the first time. Whatever you are going through today, remember, it is only temporary. Learn from it, savour it because soon it will all just be a memory. Also remember it is your choice to view the world in the way you do. You can always change your mind and your viewpoint.

Live like you mean it
Peace and love to you all
Donna