Face in the Floor

This morning I found a face in my floor. I have lived in this space for 18 months now and never realized there was a face in my floor. What else do I miss every day? Where could I be more observant?
I struggle every day with worry that I am letting life pass me by. I think about how I could have done better and how I might have made a difference. This is why I like to work with aging adults because as I age I realize how much I slow down and enjoy life. Although I struggle it is a good struggle. Last night when I dropped off my sleeping grandson we went from the quiet slumber of my car into an active environment of rushing and excitement. Hunter didn't have a chance to awaken before he was roused out of his carseat, from a warm car to a cold evening to a different carseat. That is life today. Shuffling children to accommodate the adult choices of busy life. How many grow up be taught to miss the face in the floor?
In a healthy spiritual journey I feel the most important thing is to let go and let happen. Let life unfold before you and walk into the open doors and look out the open windows. In my life, I always tried to dictate and control how things would go. So I was constantly running ahead of life in order to ensure I knew which door was going to open because I would drive my life that way. What a disaster.
In traditional language one might say "let go and let God" but I find then that tells me the traditional concept of a supernatural being in charge and moving us like chess pieces will take over where I do not control. Another traditional thought may stray to the concept that when we try to control we do not trust in God's plan; another way I hear that there is something or someone who is like a puppeteer.
Today may you rest in your own life and see the face in the floor. Today may you let each moment unfold before you and then engage with action in your own life. Today may you realize that stress is only fear, fear of the unknown, when the unknown is the safest place to land. Allowing life to happen does not mean simply throwing up your hands and quitting, it means watching for the face in the floor and reading the details and experiences in order to make good decisions to go forward.
My favourite story from Chicken Soup is The Worry Tree. It is a story about a man who touches a tree every night before he enters his home. The neighbour asked "why?" The man said it is his worry tree. He hangs his worries on the tree and picks them up the next morning. He noted to the neighbour, "it is interesting how when I come out in the morning there are always less than I left there the night before."
Have a wonderful day.


I have a dream...

As I work with people in community and watch the events around the world it saddens me how broad a paintbrush many people use. It is not just one thing either. It is many fields: religion, aging and homophobia. A broad stroke keeps the person safe in their own world never needing to understand "the other". I love the speech by Martin Luther King Jr. where he says "I have a dream..." Well I have a dream.

I dream I will be in a sacred space where there will be Christians bowing down with Muslims, Jews praying with Buddhists, Christians meditating with Bahá'í in they "emphasize the oneness of humanity, the oneness of God and the fundamental oneness of religion". This to me is sacred. This is what the great mystery that holds the planets in line, blossoms the flowers and is wide as the uni-verse (uni - one, verse-song).

I want to love all people and hear the voices of every person. As the voices are heard the questions will be answered, the anger will subside because behind it is fear, and flesh and blood with take the place of the unknown. Get to know your own neighbour ... put a face to what you fear so you can better understand it.


In a RUT?

Walking a path... staying on track.  Do you find veering off the track is much harder than staying in the rut.  Today I walked a country road, the cool wind in my face and the sun brilliant upon my shoulders.  I was mesmerized by the beauty of the day.  I loved it.  As I came to a "T" ... turn right or left...?  Or go off the road and follow the path into the woods.  Go off the path?  Move away from that which is trod?  YES!  So down the path I went.  There were two distinctive ruts I could follow but chose to stay on the high ground in the middle ... it was hard.  There were times when I lost my balance a little and fell into the rut.  My life story... falling back into ruts when I am determined to take the high road.

When do you choose to make changes in your life only to find yourself falling back into old habits and patterns.  I do this all the time.  But today is a new day and today is a day where I can make a difference.  I can change today .. yesterday is gone and behind me and has no impact on today. Today is what counts for my future, the positive things I do today is the rut of my future.

I was saddened as I moved further along to path to find unscrupulous people had dropped trash in this beautiful location.  I was angry at the people and angry for the disrespect of Mother Earth and our environment.  As I thought about it though, I realized I need to shed my own trash (but not literally) along my path.  Let go of the garbage ... let go of the baggage... put the garbage of my past where it belongs .. .appropriately in the trash bin.

The high road in the middle all of a sudden got wider.

I opened up into a larger median that I could walk upon and the ruts became less predominant.  This is the same with life ... as you persevere in the narrow paths of life and fight the urge to drop into the rut ... the grassy berm will grow wider and the ruts will fade to the fringes.

Today, is the day for change.  Today you can make a difference in your own life.  You need not make any changes in anyone else's life but your own.  It is the only place you have control!  It is the only place you can make a difference in life.  Let go of the garbage, open your heart to move off and out of the ruts you are in, let go and let life come to you as  you welcome spiritual changes.

The sun is there behind the clouds, waiting for you to clear the skies.

(All photos are my own... share them linking back to my blog)


Pictures in my mind...

The morning after... a full lunar eclipse .. the morning after.  Today on my FB feed there are a plethora of pictures of the moon in its full beauty and glory ... I almost feel imposed upon because I watched it with my naked eye with a lovely glass of white wine, crisp and sweet, in my hand.  I leaned on my car and experienced the marvel.  I watched no distractions, no concerns about the perfect photo, just the presence of a marvel ~ and I watched.  I took pictures with my mind and now whenever I want I can conjure up that moon, on that night, and along with that the peace of just standing, leaning on my car being in the presence of awe.

As a spiritual being living in this physical presence I wonder will I take these memories with me when this body is dead and cremated?  Will this spirit I am move beyond this reality and take with it the wisdom I have gleaned?

I hung, (hanged?) a glass prism pendulum in the west window this morning ... I wait now until the sun will catch it and glorify my kitchen.  Again I will sit and watch and experience when that happens.  I await in anticipation!

I hope you have a wonderful day, taking the time not to take photos but to file away, just for you, special memories that only you can hold.  Blessings and love to you as you optimally age.

May the eyes of wisdom find you as the fall leaves being to meet the ground in a loving embrace...


Fresh Five Friends

I have been working hard with spirit care and aging adult care.  I also have recently achieved personal trainer status and group fitness instructor.  These two designations are important for me to help those who are looking to start!  Start where?  Where ever you are.  I also will be engaging in a nutrition certificate in September to further learn about healthy eating.

I am looking for five friends to engage in a program with me so I can start where I am!  I am unsure of what to charge, what my skills and gifts are, how good of an instructor I will be and so on.  So maybe you can help me help you!

Contact me for more information!


Change for the better ...

August 13, 2015  and I am realizing time is clicking along.  I will celebrate another birthday soon and I remember my 48th birthday I had just started university in May of that year.  I was beginning the journey of discernment and academic study in order to become clergy in the Christian church.  Now eight years later I am finally wiser and have learned to let some things go and hover a little higher above my life.  I have been listening to Chropra Radio and the topic one day was clairvoyance.  That is where I am reminded it is not about having psyche insight into the future but simply letting go of micromanagement.
I love that feeling.  Letting go of that which does not serve me.
I am proud of the work I have done in 56 years, but moreso in the past eight.  I have accomplished wonderful things and have learned to love myself “just as I am” and THAT is tremendous work for anyone.  That is why I am proud of myself, because I choose to get life and live in the moment.  Listening to that which is the wisest part of me has become second nature.  Trusting in my own judgement and my own thoughts.
Today I hold a BA Hons., Religious Study, Certificate in Gerontology, Masters of Divinity, Fitness Instructor Specialist, Professional Personal Trainer, CPR, First Aid, Hospice Care training, and optimal aging passion.  I have 56 years of life’s experience and now eight years of academics to support that life’s experience.  I think of myself like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.  As the Wizard is leaving he awards the three with what they most desired.  He reminded the Scarecrow  that he had a brain all along and that all he lacked was a diploma.  The awarding of the diploma was the key that was missing for the Scarecrow.  I now believe in myself because of the diplomas.  I believe in myself because of all the life that happened while I was achieving working the programs!
The beauty of it all is I better understand challenges in life because I choose to take risks and look deeply at living life.  Whether your challenges are with body weight, food, exercise, spiritual understanding, grief or day to day personal boundaries maybe I can help.  I seek to rebuild spiritual community that is based on a faith in that which is the purest divine power and is a place where personal relationships grow in person and in community.
I live in Bradford Ontario Canada and want to build community through the local library, local coffee shop, on the telephone (maybe by text) and over a meal.  Come join me … there is no exchange of money just passions and love.   It used to be called church but dogma and doctrines and a false belief got in the way.  So let’s start again please, can we start again please, and come build community with me!
I can help, call or message me anytime.  Visit my website LesMar.ca and help me build community one friendship connection at a time.


Important lessons

I have been running through the alphabet on my FaceBook page.  Today "P" is for price.  Can we put a price on human life?  I think in our culture and society this is so when excluding from health care eg eye exams, some blood work, dentistry, chiropractic and naturopath while including others eg pap smear, physical exams, cancer treatments.  How do we measure what should have a monetary value and what should not?  I preamble with this because my topic today could be seen as controversial. 

Most recently in the last 6 months I have walked the path with a person who has been charged with a DUI.  Driving under the influence.  A sin to say the least and something that continues to be driven home (pun intended) over and over again.  Valuing  human life is on the top of the list as to why people should not drink and drive.  That being said I have been guilty of this crime in the past and am ashamed to admit it.  However, if you are honest I believe there are few who will read this blog that could not admit the same.   {Hang head now and be thankful you did not get caught}

I feel a pull to list out the journey of the person who is charged with a DUI.  Maybe in our materialistic, money driven society someone will say “Holy Smokes!” or “Wow” and NEVER get behind the wheel again after having even one drink.

On the given day outdoor fun was had by all.  Playing around with a group of close friends trail riding, camp fire, joke telling and laughter.  A few beers enjoyed in the warm sunshine.  After a long day of exhausted play a trip for a solid meal was on the young man’s mind before the final campfire of the night.  With the physical exertion and the snacks the driver felt in full control and care of the vehicle and, with a friend, jumped in the vehicle to go to the local MacDonald’s .  In the drive thru they were joking with the young person on the speaker ... continuing the fun of the day.  Got their food and headed back to the back yard camp site. 

Upon pulling out of the MacDonald’s parking lot there was an OPP car sitting in a spot close by.  As the young men pulled out on to the highway the cruiser followed.  The young men were pulled over.  The driver was asked to step out of the vehicle and was questioned.  The smell of beer on his breath alerted the officer and there was an open case of beer behind the driver’s seat as the truck had been used as the central hub for all the riders during the day.  It was grand central station for the trash and empties.  A detail that should not have been overlooked when leaving the campsite.  The roadside breathalyser showed red and the driver was taken in for booking.  As the officer was talking with the driver he commented, “you do not seem impaired.” The driver concurred he wasn’t, he was in total control and of sound mind.   The officer then told the driver the MacDonald’s drive thru staff had called them and alerted them as drinking in the drive thru (which they were not but bottles were seen)  hence why the OPP were waiting for them to exit.   The truck was impounded, the passenger left on the side of the road, the driver arrested and taken for official testing and charges pending.  This scene could be played out by many people who feel they can drive after drinking.  We all hold our alcohol differently.  

This is where I want you to read closely and pay attention.

Add this up:

One night in jail – Personal cost of humiliation, finger printing, criminal record.
Fine for open alcohol -  $225
Cost to find ride home from police station the morning after – personal cost of humiliation asking for a ride.
Getting a ride to find your vehicle at whatever impound it was taken to and getting personal items left in it the night before.
Seeking and finding a ride to work for the foreseeable future or locating transit schedule.  Getting groceries so you can eat.  Making arrangements to pick up children for visitation if you are sharing custody or getting kids to school and back if you are custodial parent. 
Seven day impound (mandatory for over 0.08) $780      Picking up vehicle takes three people and one car.  You have to be driven there with another person to drive your vehicle home and park it for you to look at until you can drive again.
Minimum lawyer’s fee - $1500 (if you are lucky, plus HST)
First court appearance – Cost of ride there unless you send your lawyer on their own, getting disclosure and scheduling the second court appearance.
Second court appearance – cost of ride there unless you send your lawyer alone. 
Third, Fourth or Fifth court appearance – in this case the disclosure was delayed, so until the court had it they would not entertain a plea.  There were four court appearances before a guilty plea could be entered. 

Officially charged with over 0.08 but not impaired - $1,000 fine.

Some tidbits of information:
Did you know you can be charged with impaired driving and/or driving over 0.08?  If charged with both that is very serious.  You can be charged with impaired driving without having consumed alcohol because impairment is based on your demeanor and your ability to function in the presence of the officers.  In this case the officer stated “you do not seem impaired” so there was only the charge of over 0.08 which was determined at the station by an official breathalyser.  This person’s blood content was 0.11 slightly over the legal limit.  Still “over” none the less, and guilty as charged.

There are different options now for first time offenders.  If you qualify you can have your license returned to you after 90 days.  Keep in mind when you receive a roadside suspension of 90 days you serve this until you are officially charged.  Then the 90 day criminal charge starts.  So in this case, because the disclosure was delayed the driver was without license for 60 days of the 90 day roadside suspension before being officially charged and is now serving the 90 day official suspension.  By the time he is driving again it will be 5 months with no license. 

After the 90 day official suspension is served then there will be the install of an ignition interlock system which is $125 per month rental (nine months = $1116 + HST).  Each time you get into your vehicle you must plan and allow time to warm up and blow into the system before your vehicle will start.

You also must enroll in the “Back on Track” program at a cost of $568 which must be in place before you can get your interlock system put in your vehicle. 

The insurance company notified they were dropping the driver as of the anniversary date of the policy.  The search was then on for a new provider.  $4000+ later new insurance is in place.

So on September 19 the driver will be driving again ... with interlock and paying $4000 a year in insurance.  Will have paid $780 impound fees, $225 fine, $1000 fine, $1500 lawyer, $1116 interlock, $568 back on track program, countless trips for cab/hired driver to get to and from work, and a criminal record.

I believe one should never drink and drive because we value human life but I wonder if an honest account of a first time clean record offender and their journey might make a person stop and think.   If I can help one person to never have this experience the time and effort I put into this post will be worth it. 


Peter Pan ... "I don't wanna grow up...

I'll  never grow up ... not me!   Peter Pan... Never Grow up...

I have been actively using FB and other social media to promote and work on some passions.  Upon settling in Bradford a year ago now it has been fun to find out what I want to do when I grow up.

Who am I?  Many of my friends and family call me a bit of a gypsy and that is true.  Now it is time to put down roots close to my children and grandson.  That being said I am still a child at heart and feel like I am a naughty teenager.  I think that has something to do with my Leo horoscope status.  A Leo is mid-point between Aries and Pisces being a soulful teenager wanting to explore.

Some qualities of a Leo are:

Leo Strength Keywords:
- Confident
- Ambitious
- Generous
- Loyal
- Encouraging

Leo Weakness Keywords:

- Pretentious
- Domineering
- Melodramatic
- Stubborn and Vain
Leo is very independent but they need something to control and someone to admire them and appreciate them. They are fully capable of being greatly successful on their own but they are much happier if they have an audience and a following of people who look up to them. They would prefer not be alone.

As I read I know they are all true of me because I have spent time inside my own skin, learning about me and what makes me tick.  Have you?

So further than being a Leo "who am I?" Or better yet "who do I think I am?"  I think empathetically and feel compassion.  I taste life with vigor and smell a rat when things are not right.  I can hear the voices clearly in my own psyche when the unconscious mind is screaming for attention and my consciousness or awareness is avoiding hearing the screams.  I love deeply, passionately fight, soulfully feel and hungrily explore.  When I sleep, I sleep.  Soundly and with a deep and profound understanding that it is THEE most important time of my day.

I am accumulating life's experience. I was born in 1959 on the cusp of the 60's.  I remember the Beatles' on Ed Sullivan and wore bell bottomed pants the first time they came 'round.  I know life with only three television channels and my family never had a microwave until after I moved out, long after.  I secretly got birth control when I was 14 from a progressive doctor in the local community never realizing it only became legal for a woman to take it, about 10 years before.  I have suffered with teenage depression and stress, alcoholism, drug addiction and sexual promiscuity  I have prayed to a god that may or may not have helped me, I don't know, and I have damned that same god.  I have raised two children as a single mother only to, most recently, spend time with their father, and look back on the years that have past.  I regret the pain I caused him many years ago.  So what did I do?  I apologized.  It is never too late to admit one's errors and pain.  I have buried two siblings and my parents.  I lived through my son's near death dirt bike crash in 2009, a week before my mother died, and his subsequent addictions and him fighting his way back to health.   I am elated by my daughter's climb to be an amazing musician and an even music teacher/conductor.  I have studied intently what it means to be self-aware, theological, spiritual, and faced down demons while joyously being thankful for the angels in my life.  I have grown to believe that wisdom comes with age but cannot be imposed on others.  Like a butterfly landing on a flower .... I am the flower full of the earth's strength, blowing in the wind, inviting the bees and the butterflies to come and visit but only when they choose to can I engage.

I believe in myself and want to share all that I have learned with others ... I have finally overcome the final chapter of what I needed to do in order to feel confident and have come full circle to help others. I believe in myself and I believe in you.  You can do it too.  You can find the divine mystery that lives within you and tap into the power it holds.  You can tether yourself to the creative seeds of strength that reside in you as a created being on this ball in the universe and weather any storm.  You can find the strength you need to fend off stress, beat any fear, and grow roots from your feet into Mother Earth.

Come on a spiritual journey with me.  Let me guide you and care about you.  Let me listen to you and help you find your way.  Spiritual renewal is tangible and is abundant when you know where to find it and look for it.  Come with me ... walk into the darkness and be amazed at what grows.  Plant your own seeds for your future.  Love yourself ....

Spirit Care 101 - Bradford, West Gwillimbury - Women's Spirituality Group ... message me for more details.  Do you want to start a Spirit Care 101 in your neighbourhood?  Let me help!  The new community of faith coming soon.... the community begins with you!

As a side or closing note, I want to share with you that for the past 10 years I have been working within Christian ministry.  That being said "church" as we know it is falling off the cultural radar and, rightfully so, diminishing in popularity.  I think this is a good thing.  It is a good thing because doctrines and past faith statements about a "god" in the sky dictating or judging is not where I find strength.  I find strength in a spiritual understanding which is linked to something beyond human understanding.  It has nothing to do with heaven/hell, or what happens after death, or whether prayers are answered.  This divine calling is reachable by all human beings who wish to touch the source of life and define it for themselves.

Remember "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience."  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

What does your spirit say to you?  Come on your own spiritual journey with me.  


Planting seeds ...

I remember in the fall of 2009 when I went into seminary I was rattled and challenged emotionally.  I had so much happen that summer and was reeling from the events.  As I studied I tried to push it all away and just focus on doing ... not healing or growing, just do, do, do.

Through pastoral study of self I set my heart on being a "gardener" for the seeds of divine mystery. Like the earth the mind only grows and cultivates the seeds that are planted I could see the need for a good gardener.  The challenge I faced was the seeds of doubt, fear, turmoil and anger that were planted in myself.

The seeds lay dormant under the seasonal fall and waited for the perfect time to sprout and grow. This spring was the time.  The spring of 2015 the seeds of my heart began to grow and I welcomed the hard work of tending, digging and transplanting historical stuff and placing it all in a garden that I could manage and tend.

Some of the plants that I grew were not as desirable as others.  In their own right they are beautiful but for my garden I realized I needed to cull them out and let them go.  Compost them so they can become soil again.  I worked hard, down on my knees, digging in my own garden of life.   The amazing thing is I added manure to make the soil better.  Funny how the feces of other species makes the soil of my garden better and more full.

Desired foliage is now appearing and I am happy with my garden.  This has been a hard road but one that I would not trade for anything.  Deepak Chopra says, "my life unfolds in divine order" and when we live with this philosophy it is amazing how our garden grows.  All manure that is tossed into our garden is fodder for tending, any challenging weeds that seem to continue to flourish are nothing more than a reminder to continue picking, and when the blossoming begins it is magnificent and nothing is more satisfying.

I can help, I can share my story to help others.  I can guide and walk with you on your journey and I can provide compassion, empathy and love.


Back to Basics...

I PVR many movies and then they just sit on my PVR unwatched.  But today I decided to watch "Eat Pray Love" the story of a woman who realizes she no longer has an appetite for life or love.  She is empty inside, spent and lost.  What does one do when one realizes that and does not have the financial means to live in Italy to learn Italian and eat their way through their emotions, live in an ashram in India or move to Bali and ride a bike?

FIRE in the Belly..... when it goes out does eating hot peppers ignite it again or simply create a need for Pepto Bizmo?  Jalapenos?  Naw ... good food for thought, good friends, good relationships, good experiences.  All feed this fire and when those are missing the fire goes out.

"Gawd" for  me is fire in the belly and right now this fire is out because I cannot find Gawd in my heart, my belly or my soul.  So I am going to go searching... for bigger jeans Gawd in the flesh, food and presence of this human life.  As I grow fat on all the research I can do I will plump out on passion.  I will find it because I am going looking for it and not inside the walls of a church sanctuary with other homogeneous people hoping that somewhere in this space is the wholeness of life. Somewhere in the bad coffee and processed cookies is food for the soul as people talk superficially about the fundraising dinner that is necessary in order to keep the lights on.

I want to fling open the doors in order to invite people in to tell me what it is they are looking for. Tell me how I can offer a program that will make them laugh, feel a part of, and have fire ignited in them to come out and participate.  I want to open an oasis for all, a colourful rainbow of wonder with all people that want to engage with me.

Come and colour your world with me.  Let's meditate together, laugh together and find that fire in our belly and then we can call it whatever we want!!


Heavy Sigh .... what next?

Do you ever just sit back in a chair and look out the window and wonder "what next?"  I do.  More often than I like actually.  I find this road to be a difficult one and as I age it gets more difficult to put one foot in front of the other.  Today the cooler temps remind me that winter is not yet gone but the brilliant sunshine also reminds me that spring is on her way.  So I am caught in the middle of the two seasons with remnants of darkness and cold weather but with a promise of new life, growth and fertility in essence around me.

I visited friends this week and she is an avid quilter.  She told me the story of how during the detailed work, which has now culminated in hours and days, had met with a little moment of diversion but it had not changed the results.  A beautiful piece of art.  As I was looking at the quilt she asked me if I could see the 3D effect.  Upon laying out the quilt in the living room to get a full view of it I could see it.  But as I looked at it on the table in a pile I could not see it.

You can see here by the pictures the details of this work.  I was reminded how each stitch makes up the whole.  I am reminded that as I sit and look out the window and wonder what next I must remember that each stitch of my life will make up the whole.  And although I might have something spilled on me and need cleansing now and again, it cannot stop the stitches of my whole.  I must keep going, keep stitching and when the time is right my own quilt of life will be complete and as anyone lays it out to look at it they will see the depth and dimension of each stitch. 

So as life unfolds before you and you wonder "what next?"  remember to keep stitching it together so when the time is right your whole will be assessed as beautiful and complete, likely with a  missed stitch or two creating what A Song of Faith reminds us:

"Creating and seeking relationship,
   in awe and trust,
we witness to Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love."


Like prayer, do blog posts simple fall on deaf ears... LOL

I was looking at the stats for my blog and they sure are not stellar but really that is okay.  I do not write for the stats I write when I feel prompted to record my thoughts.  I have a journal and books that are filled with thoughts and words, ideas and brainstorming, hopes and dreams.  Some day my children or grandchildren may learn much about this old girl and how she ticked.

As I study Puchalski and find ways of integrating health and healing with spiritual things she asks in her book "A time for listening and caring", how do people present their spirituality in the context of health and wholeness?  Spiritual coping is much different than religious ritual or belief.  James Ellor (1997) defines spiritual well-being as "being healthy in the very core of the person" with no mention of religion or practice thereof.  If spirituality is a dimension in all relationships and all people and reflects a yearning for a larger connection or deeper meaning is it not just a natural part of our being?  I don't know actually.  That is what I quest to find out.

John A. Sanford, in his book Healing and Wholeness  from 1977 says on page 6, "wholeness implies something organic, that is, many separate parts working together in a unified way."  Ah, the beauty of that statement is beyond comprehension without some very deep pondering.

As I spend time today, Saturday, with my grandson letting him simply do nothing but watch some tv, cut up paper, eat brownies, lick up ice cream, tear apart a sandwich, and use my belt as an imaginary rope like Mike the Knight ... I find myself living in his spirituality.  It is simply the spirituality of the moment.  Not concerning himself with one minute before or after the moment he is experiencing.  When does that get knocked out of us?  When do we lose the ability to simply be?

"Wholeness is something organic..." right now my grandson is perfectly whole, wrapped in the secure place of a warm, safety, tummy-filled  existence with no concerns for yesterday or tomorrow.  That is where I yearn to be ... back in that place of unconcern, not because I am irresponsible but because I am happy where I am knowing the past is just that, the past, and should I be brave enough the future will unfold as it should without too much influence from my human thought.

I remember sometime in my past listening to Garth Brooks as he sings "Mr. Midnight" and the story about the NY dj who feared no one was listening and in asking his audience to all flush their toilet at the same moment backed up the NY sewer system, or the boy who called "wolf" for the umpteenth time, it is here and now I wonder if my words bring anyone to question, heal or seek to find wholeness. 

Maybe, maybe not ... but they help me as I write simply because the more words I share the more room there is in my own heart and soul for the re-filling of my cup. Spirituality is relevant in each person's life.  It is whether they choose to explore this part of themselves that may go unheeded. 



Spirit Care 101

As I google "spirit care 101" this blog comes up first.  This tells  me there is not much google payment for the words "spirit care 101" what does that say overall? hmmmm

Yesterday I spent the afternoon back in the academic halls of Emmanuel College.  I love that school. It is seminary for the United Church of Canada and where I took the masters degree that I now hold. I was there because I am feeling a desire to further my studies since finding the work of Dr. Christina Puchalski . I have been engaged with the personal support worker program since January 2015 only to be one of the unfortunate people cast out on the sidewalk with the closing of Everest College and now wait to see what is next for me with this program.  While I wait I work as a casual employee of a nursing company going in and doing light housekeeping for infirm and shut-in adults.  I am learning so much about our Canadian system of caring for people.

Most recently there was an article in the UC Observer focusing on Spiritual but Secular talking about the need of people to find meaning in their lives.  This article partners, for me, with the need to bridge gaps in our human development. I am seeking desire and find little burning desire in my gut these days because, at times, I feel defeated as to where I should be in life. Traditionally, at my age many are thinking of retiring or at least looking to cash in their investments and traveling.  But in this new environment of more people reaching 100 and 50 becoming the new 40 I find myself hungry to further discover what work needs to be done. It is when I focus on this study, grief, loss, finding meaning that the inferno in my belly fires up once again.

As I work more and more with the grief groups I find people trying to find meaning in their life. Grief does not simply follow the death of a loved one, it follows everyday life and challenges with daily living. Aging adults, children going to school, teens seeking post-secondary education, young adults looking for work, empty-nesters and any walking/talking human being faces grief and loss in life. What is "normal" anymore and how can a person find meaning in life?

Finding meaning is not a destination it is a journey.  Meaning is experienced and developed over time.  Dr. Puchalski's book A Time for Listening and Caring she points out right in the forward how "real care doesn't begin with costly procedures but with simple gifts of affection.  As living beings, we all wish for happiness and seek to avoid suffering."  By looking at this statement the work I do begins with the activities of daily living, simply trying to put one foot in front of the other.

Working with the oldest-olds I hear such wonderful stories.  Most recently I was providing respite care in home.  I was working around the kitchen and she asked me to water the shamrock! I was commenting how it is a beautiful plant and she told me it belonged to her grandmother! Further she told me her grandmother died at 103 in 1974!  I said to her, "if this plant could tell its story".  She further went on to tell me about a table that is in the house that was the local tavern table where the men would gather to play cards or checkers and have a pint and again I think about the tales it could tell.

The butterfly on the wire speaks to me about the way life cycles.  This beautiful plant adorned with a butterfly is witness that life never ends, but simply continues to ebb and flow.  Through life and death the spirit of all things moves in and out of the energy fields around us.  Finding meaning is finding a way to interact with this energy and faithfully wonder if all those we have loved in our past and future are very real in the spirit world.  Is that the new normal? Is that spiritual in a secular environment?  I don't know.  I know what I believe and how I get through my own days and it gives me hope and meaning to feel my mom and my dad and my brother and others who have died and are no longer present in this human existence.  I like to believe that there is a world of spiritual existence beyond what my consciousness can comprehend and a place where I will better connect when I shed the human vessel.  I have faith in the spirit and live in the secular.  A place of limbo wondering what is next.  Will the shamrock continue to bloom? Can I help others find their own spiritual home?  Is the path to meaning paved with human partnerships as I find simple affection?  Wholeness is holy and is more significant when realizing it is not the cure of physical illness but the understanding of the human spirit.


In the deep freeze of your winter emotions....

Spirit Care 101 is my brain child and upon searching it out online there appears to be few others who are using the phrase.  To care for your own spirit is uplifting and will nurture the most important relationship in your life.

I have said before and continue to quote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist who said, "We are not human beings having (trying to understand) a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."  So by honouring your spirit you honour that which is most sacred, caring for yourself. Being in relationship with yourself is important.  Understanding yourself is key to living a well balanced and caring life.

As you walk the path of your own life and travel through the deep freeze of your own emotions you will ebb and flow in your spiritual awareness.  We are seasonal beings here in Canada traveling through cold temperatures and changing times.  We travel with Mother Nature as she protects that which is her own.  Withdrawing into the darkness of winter the very sap of each plant to envelope it in the warmth of the earth.  Trees look dead but we know they are sleeping, resting and refreshing themselves to burst forth in the spring.  We as human kind trust in this phenomena, this evolution of our home and our planet.  We never doubt that spring will come the question often simply is "when?"

So why when we are emotionally in the dark, in the winter of our lives do we lose hope that spring will come?  This is a time when we are most vulnerable to spiritual growth and a time of change in the very fabric of our being.

In a dark time, the eye begins to see - Theodore Roethke

Barbara Brown Taylor in her book "Learning to walk in the dark" talks about how the dark is a frightening place where few dare to enter.  However, she notes on page 112 how going into the darkness of a cave physically taught her that the darkness of her own mind can be physically over come when one takes the body someplace dark.  As she enters the "wild" cave she says, "The idea scared me, which made it a good opportunity to practice courage."  It takes courage to go into the darkness of our grief, loss and pain.  It takes courage to be vulnerable and let others see we are in pain.  It takes courage to admit to self you are scared.  However, realize when the ego bonds with the fear of the spirit and the brokenness in life spiritual growth is paramount.

Only she [he] who is ready to question, to think for self, will find the truth.  To understand the currents of the river, one who wished to know the truth must enter the river! - Nisargadatta, Indian mystic, born 1897

Come journey with me ..... take the first step, dip your toe in the water ... and take the plunge!



en + theos. Two little Greek words. Put ‘em together and you’ve got enthusiasm—or "God within"—the secret sauce to authentic awesomeness.
Can we find the divine within ourselves?  Can we look inward and not outward for that which we may call "god"?  When we do not like ourselves very  much how can we look within for the very depth of spirit that we seek to save us?  I don't know.
Family day weekend a time when family is promoted and family is the focus.  Did you spend time with your family or are you one of the  many that struggle with this concept?  I saw both  my children and love them both deeply.  They are both adults now with their own lives and good news.  Family day has brought for my family a wonderful announcement and hope for the future.  For me though I struggle trying to find something, anything that feels  hopeful in my own life.  I grieve something and have a great sense of loss but cannot seem to put my finger on it.  Do you ever feel that way?  A darkness that is so imposing and yet like the proverbial monster in the closet or under the bed the sensation is palatable but the monster is not tangible.  One cannot put a finger to it, other than to know it is there haunting you every single day.
The grief workshops I manage and run teach me I am not alone.  They teach me how to look into the eyes of another and see their pain, fear and struggle.  Together in a group setting we share our most darkest moments and honour that which is scaring us.  The fear of being alone and finding no one really cares.  The recent announcement of a colony on Mars, a one way ticket for colonization on a planet that is so far away you can be assured you will not return to earth.  You sacrifice your existence here on earth for this mission and yet the supreme court is the decision maker for those suffering and struggling with illness are requesting the same thing; a one way ticket out of here.
How do you deal with the desire for a one way ticket anywhere?  How do you find en*theos?  I don't know ... all I know is I am not alone in this quest and seek others to walk this lonely road with me.  Join me through a workshop, through email correspondence or a  message on Facebook.  You are not alone and neither am I ... Family Day shows me that physically but emotionally I still struggle.
I just do not give up ... that is my one way ticket ... a ticket on the "keep trying" locomotive. 

citing:  https://www.entheos.com/Fierce-Love/entheos 


The Hundred-Foot Journey ...

"Maybe brakes break for a reason" he says.  She says, "What do you mean?"

This morning I indulged in a PPV movie and lazed while I watched.  What an indulgence to take Saturday morning and watch a movie.  This movie is a delightful combination of culture and the intertwining of relationships and spirit.  The growing of love and care for another while feasting, and I mean literally, on the food we need to be the best we can be.

I have discovered I love to cook and have shared that with many of my friends and family. Most are likely sick of hearing it.  But that being said I have come to realize how we have strayed from the very essence of feeding ourselves.  Feeding our soul in all the ways possible; spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally and our need for food is imperative to wholeness, furthering our connection to the holy. If we are healed and whole we are holy! What does it mean to feed our sacred and spiritual self?

I have come to understand one of the most important rules for my life is to be watchful every minute of every day.  Find the goodness in all life has to offer and reach out to touch it.  Taste it and add our own spices to make it our own.  I am unique in a way that no other creature, plant, animal or person is like me.  I am the creation of the universe which has evolved to this very millisecond as I put fingers to keys.  I am different than I was a minute ago and will change as I type this blog.  The spice I add to my own life is to stretch and reach for the mystery and welcome it into my soul.

I am passionate and hungry to keep peeling back the layers.  Life is such that when the brakes fail maybe there is a reason to be broken down in this place.  In this space. In this time.  Maybe brakes break for a reason because life is saying stop and see what you can build here.  See who you can meet. Take this time to spice up an otherwise boring journey of pavement and concrete.  Smell the spice of life.  It is understood there are four basic or recognized tastes:  sweet, sour, salty and bitter and we taste these with different parts of our tongue.  How about if we tasted life this way?  Opening doors to all kinds of experience and allowing the passion to flow.  Face the bitterness in your life, taste it and then let it go.  Savour the sweet, giggle at the sour and be the salt of the earth.  All possibilities for every soul.

This two hours this morning has enriched my life with a darling movie of which made me cry at the end.  The complex cultural explosion and the mellowing of people gives me hope as this romantic and yet poignant realization leaves me wondering what stones I have left un-turned and where I neglected to spice up my life.

"This is the beast with 1,000 mouths needing to be fed twice a day."  Can you meet that task?  Are you up to the responsibility for your own existence and happiness to change your taste and explore new food for life?  Are you ready to love unexpectedly and accept the previously thought unacceptable?  

"Maybe brakes break for a reason." Make every broken brake count!