Holding on... do you listen?

As I am learning to listen to my own heart, soul and spirit I wonder how long I have been avoiding doing so.  I often listen with intent but is it with the right intent?  Am I looking to argue with my own heart, challenge my own soul, and let my ego control my very spirit?

This morning I awoke about 20 minutes before the alarm was to go off.  I could see the clock and it read "6:12 am" and I was happy to know I had a few more minutes before I needed to get up.  I had been in bed since ten last night so it was not that I was lacking sleep nor was it because I wanted to snooze longer I was happy because it gave  me time to reflect in the darkness.

I could hear the clock my brother made me ticking in the darkness.

Tick, tick, tick, tick.... with each passing tick I knew the end was near.  The end of my slumber and a need to face the day was almost upon me.  I waited.  I opened my eyes into the darkness and could see just a little light around the pulled drapes.  The pre-dawn glow in the distance of the upcoming day.  The sun would rise again as it always does.  Today is no different.  I may be different but the day would dawn like it has for millions of years.  Solstice is past and the light of the days will get longer each day as we evolve into spring.

I anticipated the alarm and listened and watched.  The LED of the clock moved on from 6:12 to 6:20 to 6:28.  Then it was time.

Time to rise and shine with the sun.  Time to get out of bed and no longer anticipate the end of the night but to celebrate the beginning of the day.  Time to move on with the evolution of my life and to let the universe shine through my existence.  Time to get up, get going and start another day.

Do you weigh yourself down in the endings in your life?  Do you steep yourself in the fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of beginnings and the newness of each day that you dread the coming of the clock to read 6:30 knowing the alarm will break the silence bring in the world and open up your vulnerability.

I am in transition all the time.  I am changing and ebbing and flowing with the tide of the universe.  I can fight against it or I can flow with it and float on my own choices.  I am the universe manifesting through a human nervous system and becoming self-aware (Deepak Chopra) I am "unbounded and free" to be all that I can be.  The key is dealing with my endings, losses, grief and overcoming any fear of the unknown.

The clock with strike 6:30 AM whether I want it to or not ... I can welcome the day kicking and screaming or I can welcome the day embracing the potential and possibility it offers.  I can welcome the growing light in my life or I can live in the darkness of my endings.

I choose life!  Do you?


Do you just BELIEVE?

Very early yesterday morning before the dawn was breaking I was laying awake listening to the breathing of my 4 year old grandson.  He had been sleeping since 6 pm the night before after coming home from daycare/junior kindie totally soaked from winter play and exhausted from a day with his friends.  He fell asleep in the car as I ran errands and when I finally got home I wondered if I could simply let him sleep through.  Often we awaken a child and then are curious to know why they are cranky.  It is in the awakening we make the mistake.

He was soundly sleeping still and it had been 11 solid hours.  He needed his rest I had no doubt. Within a bit he began to stir and I stayed very quiet.  He called out into the darkness "Gramma?" and I responded.  He simply said, "I just wanted to be sure you are here."

"I am" I said.  He then lay quietly in the dark and I could hear a gentle whispering and all I could make out was a little "Amen".  Then he was quiet again.  I didn't ask about it.

Later that morning after we had got up, ate some breakfast made of toast, homemade jelly, a bit of popcorn made the old-fashioned way, on the stovetop with butter and a stainless steel pan, coloured a picture and watched a little tv he wanted pancakes.  I don't stock milk in my fridge so I suggested we go for a walk to the local Timmy's I would get a coffee and a carton of milk and we could return and make pancakes.  We set out.

The distance to the Timmy's covered with adult legs would take 5 - 7 minutes if one sauntered but with little 4 year old legs it took us about 20 - 25 minutes as he played and sang to himself, asked many questions and doddled along.  It was life giving for me, as always.  He picked up and carried dirty snow packed from the throwback of the plow and talked to these balls of snow like they were old friends.  When we arrived at Timmy's he set the most recent find outside the door to wait for us to come back out.

As we entered the first door I was alerted to a flash of red in my peripheral vision.  It was a jolly old elf seated with a Timmy's cup in front of him joyfully ho-ho-hoing to those around him.  I stopped and tapped my grandson on his shoulder and said, "Look!"  His eyes got big and he stopped dead in his tracks, looked up at me and said, "SAAAANTA!"  And we entered the coffee shop!

Immediately Santa locked eyes with my grandson and beckoned him over.  My grandson slowly responded.  Santa shook his hand and said "Good Morning!" and my grandson stood and stared.  This was a real, authentic Santa even for me.  One with true whiskers that were his own, unruly and grey. He had a twinkle in his eye that I had  never seen before and my grandson asked to sit on his lap.  He pensively said, "are you dry?" and I laughed.  Santa had a big day ahead and didn't want to begin it with a wet lap.  So we tested out the snowpants for remnants of the icy walk and determined he was dry enough to snuggle in between Santa's knees for a hug and stand leaning on his thigh.

"What do you want for Christmas?" Santa asks.  "A transformer!" says  my grandson.  Santa holds his belly and with a jolly roll of laughter says loudly so everyone can hear, "...and I don't suppose you mean an electrical component!"

Just then we hear a tee hee and a giggle and up comes Mrs. C all dressed in Disney best.  Minnie mouse ears and a beautiful diamond bow for a watch.  She is dressed all in red with bells on her ankles.  My grandson is totally enthralled in this moment in time.

As I gently pulled him from this scene like hot fudge that has landed on cold ice cream we back away from the table as Mrs. C reminds Santa they must go, others are waiting.  He waves to my grandson and he and I head for the counter.  Hunter still has his mouth slightly open trying to comprehend how he was so lucky to find Santa in the local Timmy's.  I get my coffee the milk for the pancakes and we head out the other door.

In leaving by the other door I am nudged that the beloved snow ball is at the other door.  Thinking this grand experience would leave that memory in the dust we begin to walk.  All of a sudden Hunter stops and says, "Gramma, my snow ball!" and I suggest he leave it for another little boy to find and play with and he is content with that.

In my own lack of faith lately I am nudged as we walk to ask Hunter about his prayer.  "I heard you praying this morning, who were you talking to?"

"God" he says.

"Oh I ask, and what were you praying for?"

"I was asking God to give me good dreams." he answers.

"Oh" and I add, skeptically, "You think God helps your dreams?"

He simply says, "Yup" and carries on walking with his three Timbits in a bag, kicking the snow and climbing the next giant snow pile.

Hmmm I think is it really that simple?  Just knowing or believing in my four year old heart that this God Hunter is talking about can take on the role of giving me good dreams?

Where does the magic go?  When we are children we are so easily faithful to what we are told and simply just believe. Then the world gets a hold on us and beats us up, tears down our faith, scraps our dreams, deals us life's hard lessons only to beat out of us the very faith that there is an essence to believing.  Not in any one god, or the supernatural of a being, or in fairy tales or Santa Claus but in the essence that belief, in itself, and how there is good someplace that helps us with our dreams.  Whether we call it god, synergy, energy, light, love or soul have this faith to believe in the very essence of the good of all existence is the hope of tomorrow.

In the pre-dawn prayer of a trusting little boy I rediscovered what it is to simply believe as I do every year at this time.  I find it in the hokey romantic movies, re-visiting a dollar store tree, the extended hours of darkness and in the very faith in the magic of a child's faith.  Find your inner child again, find that moment in time when your dreams were shattered, rewind just a tad and bask in the blind faith of your four year old heart.

Sweet dreams my friends ... sweet dreams!

Josh Groban BELIEVE from Polar Express


Deepest darkness and its merits...

This is so true and especially poignant when the knowing what Robin says comes from within the self, hearing his truth.  Whether his smile was fake or real he struggled and so do I and many others I know.  The tough part is to say it out loud and to own it.  Some say "fake it till you make it" others say "believe it to achieve it" but I say, "until you honour it, face it and work with it" nothing else real can happen.  Take those moments of depression and bouts of melancholy and look them square in the eye.  Nurture the real feelings of them and shed light into those dark spots.  Authenticate the feelings so you can begin to peel back the layers of avoidance and live your own authentic reality.  I AM who I AM ... the burning desire that never is consumed ... the fire that never goes out.  Some days positive and some days not.. the truth is in identifying which you are dealing with today and wear it proudly!

I struggle every day with a reason to continue.  I love my life, my children,  my grandchildren and my passion is to help others but the depths of my own personal journey has shattered my reasons to believe in anything.  So each day I search anew for a shoot of life and something I can grasp to keep myself going.  I own this.  I realize it is within me to feel this way and believing otherwise is the lie. Believing it will go away with enough positive thinking or that it is simply a bad day that will be better tomorrow is also nonsense.  I face it as a reality of  my life.

I look and I find reasons.  I take the time to hear my sorrowful heart and nurture it where it is at. Addictions are not a cure, I know that for a fact, nor do they make it go away.  It simply is what it is.

I AM that I AM and I momentarily watch over this I AM-ness ... a level of consciousness that is necessary in order to keep going.  You can keep going too.  You can do this too.  You can invite yourself to partner with that which is your worst enemy and feel good.  Remember the old saying, "keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer".  Bring this demon/enemy to bed with you and love it away.

Your shoot will come each day and that is all you need to worry about today.... is today!  
Blessings and love from my brokenness to yours 


Forever changing...

I have changed many of my practices lately because I have changed my mind and my outlook.  I have finally realized I was letting my ego control where I was going and what was to come next.  I was teaching about letting go and listening and yet was living very much in the driver's seat of my own life, not heeding my own good advice.

Walking and pondering in the local conservation has been solace and comfort to me.  I spend as much time as I can there just walking, listening and smelling the fall.  Leaves falling, trees going to sleep, my grandson pitter-pattering along beside me.  His questions about "Why, Gramma?" causing me to dig deeper for an answer.  The realization that like peeling an onion, eventually the perpetual "why" will lead you to the final response, "I just don't know Hunter, I just don't know" and then he ponders.  Gramma doesn't know?  But when I consistently give him answers he is lead to believe that I know everything.  A false-hood if there ever was one.

A hollow log laying in the forest decomposing back to the land.  I feel like that some days.  I have been strong and standing only to find the life I have grown is not what it appeared to be.  A different road has stretched out before me.  A time when I must curl up into a small seed of new potential and see what the next phase of growth means.  What will I be next?  Where will it take me?  I don't know, Hunter, I just don't know.

What I do know is I am happier than I have ever been in my life.  I feel settled and ready to give whatever it is that is asked of me.  I am in the three days of darkness after the full lunar appearance waiting to see what the darkness unfolds for me.  I have my eyes closed trying to see more clearly as i feel that my sight has made me blind (Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark page 108)  This picture was taken by my friend Bill and it has a profound story behind it.  Not my story to tell but when he tells it my life changes.   Maybe Bill will post a comment to my blog and share his story.

As one chapter of my life leads into the other I have been compiling all my journals together to store them.  For the past seven years I have been recording thoughts.  Funny how these notes are very special to me now at this stage of my life.  It feels like I have been heading somewhere and can now stand at the crossroads looking back and forward at the same time, seeing how important the journey has been thus far.   I never considered  myself a writer or one who journals regularly but, in gathering all the dollar store books that have my thoughts and my notes, maybe someday they will be put into a set of works for my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I want to teach somehow and the only way I know how to teach is to do.  So that is the next phase for me.  Hands on tactile work that will help me do into the lives of others that which I know of as spiritual.  I have learned about self-awareness and human consciousness and left behind the religion I grew up with.  I have intimate knowledge of myself that I never dreamed was possible.  I love myself and I love what it is I want to do with my life.

Deepak Chopra's meditations and lessons around pure potentiality have become a root of this magnificence I am nurturing.  Letting go of the ego, hearing the spirit and steeping myself in the divine beckoning of that which is the pure creative spirit has taken hold of me.  How about you?  Are you looking to be the best you can be?  Begin today and go for the ride of your life to wholeness and fulfillment of your greatest passions.


Burst forth and let the seeds of your potential spill over into the world.  You can do it!


Words recreate time of day...

Funny how I am working in a current, present time and yet everything I study, via the Christian Scripture, is in time past.  Using words and names etc. that are in the past.  Since I understand the Christian Bible is a composite of writings about the experience of the Divine through the eyes of the historical Jewish and Christian people I try to listen to the "word" in a contemporary and alive way.

This Sunday I am looking at two pieces of which I have used the inclusive bible and re-wrote the words for my own purposes and to share them on Sunday.  The two pieces are Matthew 4:17-24 and Deut. 1:6-7a

Matthew 4:17-25

From that time on, Jesus began proclaiming the message, “Change your hearts and minds, for the kin-dom of heaven is at hand!” 

As Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galalee, he watched two brothers Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew, casting a net into the sea.  They fished by trade.

Jesus said to them, “Come and follow me, and I will help you fish for people.”  They immediately abandoned their nets and began to follow.

Jesus walked along further and caught sight of a second pair of brothers James and John sons of ben-Zebedee.  They too were in their boat, mending their nets with their father.  Jesus called and immediately they abandoned both boat and father to follow.

Jesus traveled through Galilee, teaching in synagogues, proclaiming the good news o f a kin-dom that was forgiving, loving and empowering healing all  kinds of sickness and dis-ease among the people.  His message spread throughout the land, and people suffering were brought to him and he taught them, healing their weaknesses and ailments.  Large groups of people followed him ....

Deut 1:6-7a

YHWH, our God, says to us, “You have lived on this mountain long enough. Begin your journey again....

So when I hear these words I here the Divine, that which is part of all creation, speaking to me reminding me that every day is a new day with no mistakes in it and I can begin the journey today.  I can be strong, full of courage and resourceful TODAY!  Yesterday are lessons I can learn from and the future is my oyster. I hear how Jesus went out and made friends and said "come, follow me" and I will show you the way of truth and the way YHWH means you to live.  I will fight for justice, seek kindness and walk humbly with you, not ahead of you, but beside you reminding you that you are special and unique.  I will help to heal your dis-ease in yourself by helping you find the Divine in you.  I will lead by example so come follow me and watch, learn and listen.  Leave behind the clutches of material need and social pressure.  Leave behind the ego's need and start fresh TODAY. It is a new day.

Come on a journey with me!  Come and find the teaching's fresh and new all over again, or maybe for the first time.  BE authentic and BE all that you can be.  Come with me ... Come with me!

The road it before you ... drop what you are doing and follow your own heart!


An after-thought to my early morning pondering ....

I am revisiting one of my favourite CBC productions from 1986 the year my daughter was born.  "Anne of Green Gables" is a multi-part mini-series of which I had borrowed from the library and taped on VHS until I finally purchased the five-disk collection a few years ago.  I watch it regularly to remind me of all of life's lessons and how innocent we are as children.  In the few first hours Anne is at Green Gables Marilla asks if she said her prayers.  She says "I never say any.  Mrs. Hammond told me God made my hair red on purpose and I haven't cared for him since!"  Could we all be so honest as this young red-headed orphaned girl who life has bounced around and around?  Could we cry so deeply when a bitter old gossip says our hair is "red as carrots" and stand our own personal ground as Anne does defying the famous apology?  

It is when the gentle butterfly like love of Matthew touching Anne's very soul that she realizes the balance of give and take.  This touching story should be watched over and over again to get the full breadth and width of the lessons we could learn.  Look to the cosmos for all there is to see!

Sick in the head...

Stepping out!  As a little girl I remember my mother using funny sayings.  I hear them in my head and see her saying them in my mind's eye.  She would say things like "six of one, half a dozen of the other" or "running 'round like a chicken with its head cut off!" Things like "dumb as a sack of hammers" or my dad's favourite was "stand a post up beside him to see him move!"  Sayings that simply rolled off their tongue without a second thought. There were others that I would never put in print because in today's culture and context to even think them feels bigoted and oppressive to my human brothers and sisters.  So I let them fall through the sieve and fall away.

One of my mom's sayings was "sick in the head" a way of speaking about another person she could not understand or comprehend their actions or thoughts.  A way of describing that which she would set outside of normal.  A saying that most could understand with little explanation or detangling.

I  have been feeling pretty "sick in the head" for a while now. I liked this simple understanding my mother had; I just didn't feel normal.  But what is normal?  Who defines it?  By what post should we stand normal beside to see if it moves?  Is normal good, bad or indifferent?  Normal for me is a measurement of how I feel in my heart and my spirit.  I am a positive optimistic person and yet, over the past long while it seems, my positive optimistic self has been lost and steeped in a strong lack of desire to be anything but self destructive. The new normal for me seemed to be lost in a quagmire of broken dreams, loss of identity and a hopelessness that I could not overcome.  Each morning waking up, not with a sense of love for a new day but, with a dread that I did awaken at all and had to once again for another 12 hours or so put one foot in front of the other, putting on my mask and making others think I am okay.

Mental illness comes in many forms and my mother's simple statement of being "sick in the head" did little to describe or define the plethora of ways people can be mentally ill in today's world.  The term "mental illness" tries to denote and capture all that it means to be dis-eased mentally.  But all it does is put walls and boundaries around that which I see as a cancer more deadly that anyone can realize.  Like the term "cancer", mental illness is a catch basin for all that is life-taking with many, and still yet, so few cures.  Band-aids are used to prolong the facade of life much like when we gather with family for turkey, show our gratitude, play games, kiss and hug the babies knowing, bleakly, that winter is just around the corner.  It  has a false sense of security like this "40-day gratitude movement/challenge" picked up by so many because it sets up for failure, yet again, when mental dis-ease is a daily challenge.  It says somehow by showing gratitude it will make everything okay.  But it doesn't.

A state of mental dis-ease means a break in the flow of spirit and soul that leaves a crevasse which can lead to loss of life and light.  From this crevasse comes all the doubt, self-hatred and ego-rooted baggage through which drives the psyche deep into a darkness that often cannot be penetrated.  A black hole, much like those found in the universe, that is so dense with emptiness it takes a mother ship's tether to save.  I have been there in that darkness.  Sadly for some, and I can attest to this validity, ending it would be the easy way to ease the pain ... and oft is the path of choice.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Sunday, I walked in the sunshine.  I was going deeper and deeper down that crevasse sitting in my apartment and knew I needed some fresh air, Mother Nature's love.  It was one of those fall days when the air is crisp, the sun is shining, the leaves are rustling, and the squirrels are scurrying.  It was beautiful, yet in my heart I knew it was the falling away of time into the winter months when snow and cold temps will prevail.  I walked and I listened to my own pain, my own heart, my own spirit and  my own soul.  I fed myself sunshine, air and felt the blood flowing through my veins.  I laid on the forest floor looking up into the trees, watched my feet as they took me along the path, and peered intently into the darkness of my soul.  I am not afraid to go there, are you?

Part of my own mental illness is genetic and I strongly feel most people you see walking around today has some mental illness.  This is not to take away from the severity of schizophrenia or dementia/Alzheimer's but to partner with these extremes to know degrees of mental health are as common and complex as the rays of light you see in this picture.  From a common source mental disease fans out and is as unique as each shard of light from the sun over my shoulder in this picture.  No two are the same.

Like a tree my roots go deep into the ground and I grow toward the light.  I reach for the stars as well as the sun and along the way I grow different levels of coping skills.  I have scars and blemishes that I choose to honour and let other's see so it gives comfort to know they are not alone in their mental unrest.  Spirit Care 101 is a beginning.  A start to know your own primary existence, not that which has been imposed on you by caregivers, or taught to you by teachers, or beat into you by human relationships.  Honestly looking at our spirit, soul and inner world gives the darkness permission to bring to fruition all the goodness there is along side it.  The darkness is not to be avoided but to be cherished as a place where seeds are  nourished and sprout new life and only a journey into our own bleakness and fear can bring fruit to life and love. 

I am studying a couple of books right now which are walking with me as I explore the light and the dark of my life.  Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor is a wonderful segue and tool for walking your own journey.  I am walking it with a small group in Orillia and will be starting a small group in Bradford soon.  I also cherish Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore and would invite anyone who wants to explore these two books with  me to do so.   

This is not about "church", religion or faith in a higher power it is about looking honestly and carefully at yourself in order to see who you truly are.  I have been working with faith traditions now for over 20 years and, frankly find them empty and void without a better understanding of self.   I say this because blindly believing something is in charge or that if you simply have enough faith all will be well is simply not true in my honest opinion.  Faith and higher energy is only possible when you look deeply into the darkness and light of your own being. 

I can help.  I want to help.  Come into the dark with me and find yourself.  Become your own best friend, lover and companion and in doing that your world will explode with light, colour and love!


Falling into Fall ... planting seeds and evolving through the darkness

As the sun streams in the window this morning I watch the weather report and it looks like I can be excited about a fabulous fall weekend.  Cold and crisp and yet sunny!  What more could I ask for?  Well I could ask for more human interaction.  I love the fall and spend time walking in the fallen leaves.  I smell the fresh cool air and know winter is not far away.  I watch as the evenings are dark earlier and soon with the time change it will be dark by 6 pm here in Ontario, making the night's darkness quite long.
fall chairs
How do you fare in the long dark winter hours?  I have lived in this darkness spiritually knowing the sun will come out again but fighting to cope in the meantime.  I work hard at combating the genetic melancholy that seems to plaque me.  It is in the knowing that I can fight and work toward finding something positive in my life.  October 20 I will begin a book study, as the facilitator, with a group in Orillia.  This small group is keen to study Barbara Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark where we will investigate how the mystery and the divine can show up in the darkness.  As Christians often God is most present in the darkness but the dogma and doctrine tells us to run from the darkness and only seek the light. However, all faith traditions or those with no particular faith tradition seek to find colour in their soul.  Come sit in a chair and explore the fall colours as you head into winter toward solstice and Mother Earth's turning point Dec 21.
Exploring the dark, both spiritually and emotionally, is the only way to find our way in life.  I can help because I am no longer afraid to go there myself.  I have explored a lot of my own darkness and have realized by tethering myself to another who is not afraid to walk with me I can shed light on these dark recesses of my own heart.   Come and explore with me.  Find yourself fully and end the life you lead where you skim along the surface fearing what is swimming below.
Come on a journey with me, I can help, I can walk with you, I can guide you and you will be amazed as the wonder and depth of your own heart shows its own fall colours.   Come out of your cocoon, spread your wings and make a difference in your world even if it is as subtle as the pass of a butterfly's wings.



Bradford, new home base!

I have returned to Ontario and have been here for a month now.  I feel at home again and I am enjoying my friends and family.  As I begin to explore and grow the services I can and will offer it is with fear and challenge.  Gaining respect and trust with aging adults is hard work and it takes time for seeds to grow and produce results.  I am thankful for those folks who are promoting me and sharing my services with others.  I have placed an ad in the local paper and will be doing an elder fair this week.  It is a good way to expand and explore many people at once.  I love the aging adults and their stories!  It provides me with wisdom and hope as age  myself.
Yesterday I was in Orillia with a church congregation providing supply.  Such a wonderful group of people who are desiring to learn more about themselves and the divine mystery once called "God".  For many they struggle with calling this wonderful energy and passionate call "God" because that name comes with much history and baggage.  So what does it mean to leave the name behind but embrace what it represents in a new and exciting way.  It opens the heart and the soul!
I also have been exploring the world of Mary Kay Cosmetics because I believe when we look good, we feel good and if I can bring some fun into women's lives I will.  I find I can do that through a Mary Kay facial and some one on one time with any woman.  I am going to offer workshops in Orillia at St. Paul's United Church where 10+ people and I will explore the spirit and recognize what it looks like for each individual.   The people who signed up are eager to learn more about themselves.  This is key in today's world where we are bombarded with stress and life's challenges.  Coping daily can be difficult if you do  not have the tools you need to help with stress.  Come and see what you can learn about yourself.
Call me or email if you have questions about my workshops or if you would like a visit.  I can help if you are willing to be honest with yourself and with your divine energy.
I will be in the St. Thomas area September 14th weekend speaking at the Rodney Fair and hosting a Mary Kay table at the fair.  Come and visit me if you are in that area!


Grey areas and overlapping centres...

I have been working with folks lately in a spiritual capacity and really concentrating on spiritual growth and the spiritual journey.  It puzzles me now how a recent conversation has stuck with me.  I was asked about a person who the inquirer and I have in common.   There was a concern for the well-being of the common person.  I stated what I knew to be public knowledge, that the person in common was experiencing some health issues.  The person inquiring wanted to know more.  Was this person suffering from anything emotional?  I couldn't really say so I simply said "they are doing some spiritual work and on a journey."  The one inquiring stated, "this has nothing to do with spiritual stuff I just wondered if they were struggling emotionally."  How in the world could someone be struggling emotionally and have it not be attached to the spirit?

As you can see from this wonderful image I have posted we are human beings who experience four realms of space.  Each realm overlaps somewhat the others.  There is common ground.  In a course I took during the M.Div. we dug into "illness narratives" such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Not Yet.  These true accounts of people's lives show clearly how we are complicated as human beings.  When we are struggling in one of the areas it affects the rest of our life.

Most recently I was working with a class of education assistants and was asked to focus on the "Journey of Spirituality".  This being the conversation we watched the movie The Prince of Tides and discussed the lives and spiritual journey of Tom and his twin sister Savannah.  This conversation clearly opened doors for the class and they have a new respect for the spiritual journey or the journey our spirit takes as we function in human existence.


Every aspect of human life matters and is crucial to optimal aging and a better understanding of our journey.  Take the time to smell the flowers, hear the birds and walk with your spirit.  Talk to yourself and see what is ailing you.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love you.  Link all the parts of yourself and take some time to grow your awareness of your own spirit.  You will be amazed at what conversations you will have.  In this busy world we neglect ourselves the most.  Putting everyone else ahead of our own needs because we are not to be selfish ... I say, be selfish in this challenge.  Be present with your own heart, body, mind and soul and see into the darkest corners.  



Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has said, "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience!"  So let your spirit speak out loud and clear and walk into the light and you will be amazed at what is on the other side!



Plan your work and work your plan

As I work planning my own future I find more and more it is built on the past.  I have always worked hard to play by the rules and yet push boundaries.  Sometimes those two do not mix very well.  I am sometimes impatient which can also be less than good.  However as I strive to do the work that is close to my heart I realize these are gifts that I can utilize for the good of others.  Pushing boundaries helps people to reach their full potential.  Colouring outside of the lines gives way to creative thinking and impatience often can spark people into changing what needs to be changed just simply to shut me up.

One of my favourite compliments that I receive so often is that I am a "breath of fresh air".  This is evident because I love live and all those who are with me in it.  As I begin this new adventure growing my new business LesMar Respite Elder Care and partner it with the deep passion I have for spiritual care, growth and end-of-life care I know this is what I am called to do.


Spring is a time of new growth..

It is with excitement I will return to Ontario this summer and begin my new business LesMar Respite Elder Care which will accent and bring to fulfillment the spiritual care I want to provide for people.  Spiritual care is not only found in church ... it is found in life!  My life over the past seven years has been coming to this day.  I have worked hard and have learned much about my own life and hope to help others learn about theirs!  It is with anticipation and excitement I ask you to consider how I can bring spiritual fulfillment to your life to to those aging adults in your world.
Grad Photo May 2014
I am choosing to blend spiritual care with my master's degree, the congregational experience I have gleaned, and the palliative end-of-life care I am so passionate about.  It is my mission that for each person as they age they will realize that on the last day of one's life here on this earth we need to say "I have lived to the fullest!"   I know I can say that. 

It has not been without its bumps and challenges that I got to this space but if I was to place an "X" on my life's timeline and it was tomorrow or 25 years from now, I feel fulfilled and I feel like I am continuously learning how to live life to the fullest.

How about you?  Where are the green shoots of life sprouting from?  When you touch your life is it life giving or does it drain you?  Find yourself and do so with purpose! 

I would be happy to share my story.  My life's journey to this point with anyone who asks.  You can contact me through the LesMar Website or my LesMar Facebook Page or through this blog. 

However I can help.  Just ask!


Spiritual journey and ponderings...

I have seen, what appears to be, the same woodpecker on my morning walks.  This bird is at the top of the hydro pole and alerts me to their presence by tap-tap-tapping on a metal plate.  I look up and watch.  Is this bird communicating wit me or am I simply stumbling upon this bird in its own world?  I don't know but it begs the question how many of us try to penetrate the impenetrable looking for food?  If I choose to believe the bird is saying good morning... then I am staying away from concluding that the bird has hard lessons to learn and is simply, like us humans, slow to learn them.

Sometimes we choose to believe things that we honestly cannot know as truth.  So we must go into our own heart and simply live the life we are born to live.  How many do that?  How many keep pecking at a metal plate hoping they will break through and find what feeds them?  I know I refuse to continue in that path.  It was told to me once that "God" sends me back to learn lessons over and over again until I get it.  As I have matured in my years and moved into a different spirit place I would say further that if there was a God that could "send": me anywhere why would he bother?  I think he would just sit back and have a good laugh at the bumper cars called humans.

I continue to find dark nights of my soul and as I do I hear the words of Thomas Moore in his book.  Page51, "Here is a key idea: stop thinking of your dark nights as problems and begin to see them as opportunities for change."  I love it.

As I prepare to leave Bella Coola and return to Ontario the first of July it will begin a new chapter in my life and for the first time in seven years I am no longer scared.  The dark nights are my friend .. are they yours? 


In court...

Local display at the Terrace Airport
Well I was asked to court in Kitimat, B.C. and I was greeted warmly by the locals.  It is not maybe what you think.  I was not a witness or charged with anything, I was attending the presbytery meeting which is a court of the church.  It was, once again, an enlightening and delightful experience.

This in mind the United Church of Canada is witnessing unsettled waters and the seas are not only on the west coast but all across the land to the other side.  "Church" as those who have been in it know it is changing.  The world outside of church may not even realize the weather in here is frightful, but that being said it is scary for those who are caught in this storm.

I have personally come to that conclusion (even tho it may sound arrogant) that the church needs people more than the people need the church because I can be a divine child with or without the church but the church cannot exist without congregational work and passion.  So all those in church need to ask the question "why are we church?" and then just do it.  The church is needed and respected in the community even if there is no worship time.  It is the work it is doing that is important.  Presbytery is dry and struggling trying to balance between the larger courts and the congregations.  The insight I have gained is how there is a cynicism and anger toward "Toronto" at some of the local levels.  Presbytery often is a four-letter-word in many congregations.  This must change too.

Local church community is in the driver's seat.  If the local community does not work and pay dues then neither presbytery or conference or gen. council can exist.  These groups will exhaust their resources, shrivel up and die. So what does that mean?  It means the local churches need to do what they can to be viable and strong in the community and then pay it forward into a collective group that will streamline and nurture oversight. Although there is a hate on for governance right now, it is only poor governance that is disliked, governance as a concept is a must. Church of the past has lived thinking presbytery is in charge when it is the product of the very groups they represent.

So, as this clarity sets in once again and as I pick up my little stick with the bulging hanky hanging on the end of it, take a little bread and a little wine, and trek a little further along this journey.  I see where I have a role and a responsibility in all this.

To speak out and simply do what I am called to do ... Love abundantly and love wastefully and let the rest take care of itself.

Augustine said (paraphrased), without God I can't, with out me God won't so, in partnership with this mystery and this divine source I move along my path, watching and listening, choosing to do the work I feel called to do because without me doing it, it (MY work) will not get done.   How about you?


Spring changes

It has been four months since I posted to my blog and much of that absence has been spent in deep pondering and a profound wilderness.  Now it is lent, a time when the Christian church recognizes the space where Jesus lived before the crucifixion and resurrection story unfolds.  A time of deep and profound exploration into the dark places in our soul. This purpose-filled exploration may reveal places where the conscious mind cannot go.  It is hard work.  However, by doing this work one uncovers a vast and wonderful place within our own existence.  As Thomas Moore says in his book, Dark Nights of the Soul on page 46, "Your dark night may be a rite of passage" and take you someplace wonderful.

In Christian language the words "sabbath" and "salvation" are used.  I have reclaimed them into my own life even while deeply discerning my own spiritual journey.  As I find "sabbath" which means rest, I have heard the wee small voice, that which is my deepest desires crying out to be married to the person I am on the outside.  My "salvation" comes when I make space for this wee small voice to come out and visit the world I live in and see how it manifests.  This purposeful rest and making space has created a new awareness of my inner and outer world.

Just this past week I was honoured when a friend said to me, "You look fantastic!"  I thanked her and felt amazed how now I have allowed the inner depths of my soul to shine through it is revealed to others.  I shared with her that I finally feel that if someone was to reach into the piggy bank slot in the top of my head, grab my soul and flip me inside out I would look the same.  This has been the result of purpose-filled intentional discernment into my beliefs and my spiritual journey.  It has been life changing.

As I turn 55 this summer I will do so with a clear consciousness that I am on the right path.  Walking a good journey and beginning yet again knowing the most important things in life are family relationships, loving friends and being truthful to your own spirit.  One of my soul mates posted this picture today to Facebook and it is very true.  What is holding you tethered?  What imaginary bondage are you bowing to? What is keeping you chained?  Free yourself, find your sabbath and your salvation and reclaim the true meaning of these words.

As one chapter is complete and another chapter is beginning I hope you will be part of my spiritual growth and the work I intend to do.  LesMar Respite Elder Care is part of this journey.  It would help me so much if you would "like" my page on Facebook and watch for the launch of my website.

The path continues to be revealed as I walk along .... how about you?