Dare boldly

Inspiring acts of grace in everyday living


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Are you a slave to reaction?

Just when you think the universe is sleeping on the job, it turns up. But then, the universe never sleeps. It’s just we humans sometimes shut down our senses and quit feeling its presence.

Yesterday’s divinity card was one of those, remember Louise, you are 100% accountable for your life. You are the one who can take action. You are the one who chooses not to when you don’t.

inactionToday, I pulled out a mini, 3″ x 3″, book my daughters gave me some time ago, The Goddess Within, and opened it to a random page.  I had to laugh all over again at the universe’s sense of humour, and timing.

Okay. Okay. I get it!

To be a slave to inaction is to live a life devoid of intellectual and spiritual stimulus. It means that creativity lies fallow, joy seeps out through every crack and peace flows ever onward missing the shores of where you live.

It is so easy to give into reaction. To say, I’m too tired today. Let me take the path of least resistance. Let me go ‘with the flow’, when it’s not the flow of life’s energy you’re going with but rather, the ennui of apathy. It has you in firmly in its grip and is pulling you deeper and deeper into living life on the shallow side of reacting to everything that happens from the darkness of believing in the impossibility of taking action that makes a difference.

The universe doesn’t really care if you take action or not. It just keeps humming along, doing its evolutionary thing, regardless of whether you get on board with its invitations to create, live large, be your most magnificent self, or not.

The universe has no expectations of your being brilliant, divine, magnificent. It already believes you are.

The doubt comes from within each of us. The fear of taking action, of being 100% engaged in the process of creating a life worth living out loud, is all ours.

So, ask yourself, “What am I a slave to?” and then, emancipate yourself. Give into the impulse to fight for your freedom and set yourself free of reacting to life so you can live your life fighting every day for your right to live fierce and true to the magnificence of your being you.

And then watch the miracles happen!


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Stop indulging in the big questions.

I like divinity cards. Decks of inspirational cards that give advice, inspiration, ideas on living life in the now.

I have several different decks to pull from and most mornings, I randomly choose a deck, pull a card and use it as my meditation guide.

img_0887Today’s card, pulled from The Artist’s Way Creativity Cards by Julia Cameron, is titled, Daily Action.

When I first read it, I made myself laugh. I thought it read — Take one small daily action instead of indulging in the big operations.

Upon second read, I realized my mistake.

Take one small daily action instead of indulging in the big questions.

Oh. Questions!

And then I had to laugh again at the little Freudian action I had going on.

I have been stuck in avoiding taking action on a couple of things because I’ve been indulging in big question asking.

Like, what is the purpose of making art if I don’t have a plan for marketing it?  Which, when I dig even deeper gets into that whole indulgent quagmire of ‘if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s there does it make a sound?’

And that is a big question that can suck all the life out of leaning into creativity, revelling in the full expression of being alive!

Being creative is at the essence of our humanity. We are by nature creative expressions of life. Every one of the 7+billion humans on this earth is a unique creative expression of the human form. No two people have the same DNA, same fingerprints, same biometrics.

We are all unique — which to me is the ultimate creative expression.

When I create, throw paint on canvas, words to paper or let them flow through  my keyboard, I am letting my unique creative expression of life have its way, my way.

Indulging in the big questions simply inhibits my process of self-expression and thus, limits my expression of my life. It keeps me spinning around unanswerable questions (like the tree falling in the woods scenario) and thus, keeps me from taking action.

Without taking action, one step at a time, one act at a time, we become stagnant, trapped in the swamp of fear, confusion, worry, negative-fortune telling and a whole host of other messy  habits that continually drain us of our life force.

Be a force of life on the wild and exuberant side of your self-expression. Let go of indulging in the big questions and focus instead on asking yourself, “What’s one thing I can do right now that will bring me closer to the ‘more’ of what I want in life. What’s one action I can take, right now, that will express my passion for being alive?”

And then do it.

 

 

 


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What will you do with your 30,000 days?

Three separate yet connected events inspired this post.

  1. An interview on CBC radio, The Current, where several authors including, Neil Parischa, shared the books that changed their lives. Parischa talked about the life expectancy of the average Canadian as being 30,000 days. That got my attention.
  2. On Monday, I co-presented to a group of first year medical students on homelessness in our city. Before the session began, I chatted with a palliative care doctor who has started a program here in Calgary to deliver palliative care to people dying in homelessness. His passion, his commitment to provide care that respects the individual, treats them with dignity and provides them support in their final days was inspiring.
  3. A share on FB of an article on CBC Radio on palliative care in the homeless sector in Toronto. (Thank you @NFalvo )

homeless-graphic

And then, I heard the 30,000 days quote and wondered, what will I do with my remaining days — whatever the number I have left.

What will you do?

By the law of averages, I have used up approximately 2/3rds of my 30,000. Like everyone of my 30,000, the next 10,000 are precious. Filling them with heart-driven purpose is vital to my well-being.

But what about the 2/3rds already used up? How well did I employ them?

Fact is, I cannot change the days past. They are gone. Used up. Spent.

Today is all I have in my bank account. How will I spend it? Because, spend it I must. I can’t save it for a rainy day. I can’t deposit it into some huge cauldron where days not spent are accumulated so that I can get the biggest bang for my buck by using all my days together.

I only have today. How will I fill it with meaning and purpose? How will I inspire the best version of myself today?

How will you?

Here are 3 + 1 ideas to inspire you on living this day of your 30,000 well.

  1. Say ‘Thank you’ to yesterday. 

Gratitude is the seed of joy. Be thankful for everything that appears on your path and in your life. No matter how dark or grim, no matter how bright and shiny, be present to the opportunity to experience it by acknowledging everything as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to become. And remember, just because something appears on your path, doesn’t mean you have to keep it there or pick it up or hold onto it forever. It simply means, it’s on your path — what you do with it is your choice. Choose compassionately.

2. Let yesterday go.

Whatever you did, or didn’t do, whatever embarrassing moment, hurt or slight you perceived/received, let it go. Holding onto slights from the past will not improve the quality of your life today. It will only get in the way of living today freely. (And yes, I know. They were mean. They didn’t hear you. They didn’t care for you the way your deserve.  You cannot change what happened, just as you cannot change what they did. You can change how you hold on to it, how you respond. Find a way to respond that sets you free of carrying someone else’s stuff.) And if you caused someone pain or hurt, acknowledge it, apologize, make amends, commit to doing better and let it go.

3.  Live today free of guilt.

A friend was telling me how they feel so guilty about the fact they have….. and then they listed the beautiful things in their life. Later, another friend was telling me about how guilty they feel about something they’d done to someone else that they knew they shouldn’t have done. They’d already apologized but the guilt was killing them, they said.

Guilt is just a way of staying trapped in the ego. Guilt keeps you roiling around in the past, preventing you from living compassionately, authentically, lovingly in today. Guilt is not your friend. It’s the enemy of joy. It’s the killer of hapiness. Make the decision today to let go of guilt. To get out of your ego’s desire to be the centre of attention (good or bad) and set yourself free to live in this moment right now unburdened of guilt. You can’t change whatever was done to you, or whatever you did. You can change its hold on your joy and appreciation of this moment right now. Let guilt go.

Whatever days we each have, living them as if each one counts is what matters most. Because everyday counts. Every  moment creates the possibility of the next being filled with the more of what you want in your life — what ever that is.

Which leads me to the +1 idea.

4. Whatever you do today, make sure it creates ‘the more’ of what you want more of in your life.

Whatever you are faced with today, choose to do the things that bring you closer to your ‘more’. In your ‘more’ is where your passion lives.


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Is this awesome? Or is it not?

https://embed.ted.com/talks/jill_shargaa_please_please_people_let_s_put_the_awe_back_in_awesome


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Express your gratitude | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 40

acts-of-grace-week-40-copy

Gratitude is the foundation of joy. Let your gratitude out by expressing it in small and big ways. Be thankful for the blessings in your life. Be thankful for everything. Especially the people.

Last night C.C. and I held a dinner to thank those who made it easier for us to go away while my mother was in hospital, and the pets were at home.

It was a fun way to say thank you, to tell them, we appreciate you and are glad you are in our lives.

What could be better than sitting around our table connected by the common bond of our gratitude, sharing share a meal and good conversation while giving thanks. It all added up to a whole lot of gratitude, grace and joy!

I am grateful.

 


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When faith is strong, miracles happen

Mom-engagement_1943

My mother. circa 1944

She is sitting in bed, fully clothed when we arrive, watching the small screen television that hangs from the wall via a giant white metal arm.

She is surprised to see us. Smiles her special way and says how excited she is that we have come. I’ve told C.C. that his being there will be extra special for her. My mother loves to flirt.

On December 15th, my mother fell and broke her shoulder, elbow, finger and hip. The doctors did not give a good prognosis from the surgery. “We can’t guarantee she’ll make it through,” they told us. At 94, any surgery is risky and for my mother, the extent of her injuries made it even more so.

And now, she’s defying the odds.

She’s walking. She still needs assistance to get out of bed, and her left arm is still in a cast, but she has confounded everyone with her spirit, her determination and her will to ‘get going’.

“I’m so frustrated by how slow it is,” she told C.C. and I last night. “I want to heal faster.”

And we laughed and told her to slow down. The nurses have told my sister that mom tries too hard, pushes herself too fast. She needs to pace herself better.

It is not her way.

I remember when, sometime in her 80’s, she wanted the couch moved in her apartment. I told her I’d be there later that day to help. By the time I’d arrived, she’d already done it by herself.

That is my mother.

Stubborn. Determined. Independent.

Last night she told us that when the accident happened, she was ready to die. “I’ve lived my life,” she said. “I was good to go. Now, I guess I’ll just keep living every day.” And she shrugged her shoulders in her oh so French way and said, “It’s God’s will,” before adding with a mischievous smile and a twinkle in her eyes, “I guess he just doesn’t want me yet.”

My mother’s faith is strong. She has no doubt she is going to heaven. That God will eventually call her home. She believes.

I admire my mother’s faith. It has been a constant in my life. It has never wavered. Even in me. Even in those times when she despaired I would ever ‘turn out right’. Her faith has never wavered.

No matter how dark the times, like the loss of her only son and his wife in a car accident and then her husband to a heart attack a short 15 months later, while she felt lost and afraid, her faith stayed strong. Her belief that God has a reason, a grand design for her life has never dimmed.

She shows us the black rosary wound around her wrist. I remember that rosary from my childhood. It hung around the neck of the statue of the Virgin Mary that stood in the living room of every house we ever lived in. “This was my father’s,” she tells us. She pulls out the crucifix that is tucked into her sleeve. “He was wearing it when he died. I shall be wearing it when I die too. But that won’t be for a while yet,” she adds as she kisses the crucifix before tucking it back into her sleeve.

My mother is doing well. She is walking, slowly, or at least as slow as she is willing to go. She is getting stronger, sleeping well and eating even better. That is a gift. We’ve sometimes worried about her lack of eating.

No more. God has a plan for her. He doesn’t want her yet.

“I hope Alexis and J get busy making a baby soon,” she said. “I’d like to be a great-grandmother before I go.”

She has faith that God will answer her prayers.

 

 

 


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Give into Love

the-battle-within-copyIn the dream, I am running along the edge of a building under construction. I am a couple of floors up. There is someone chasing me. I find a place to hide and tuck myself behind a half-built wall. I peek out and see the person chasing me getting closer. They are now holding a person in front of them as they slowly move towards me.

They have a gun.

I don’t know what to do but know I cannot escape without first trying to rescue the person they’re holding hostage.

When they reach where I’m hiding I leap out, grab their arm. We tussle for control of the gun. I yell at the person to run! They run and I keep wrestling with my pursuer until eventually, they shove me off the edge of the building and I fall to the ground.

Everyone thinks I’m dead. I know I’m not but cannot tell them.

I am on a bed. I want to get up. I want to tell the people gathered around me that I am alive. But no one can hear me.

When everyone leaves, I get off the bed and walk quietly out of the room, putting one foot in front of the other, carefully.

And I awaken.

I lay in bed and wonder about the dream.

And I think about this journey called life. How sometimes, we can appear to be awake, yet we are sleep-walking through each day. The Walking Breathing Dead.

Yesterday, in a phone call with my eldest daughter, we talked about the purpose of writing, of blogs, and our vision for what we want to put out into the world.

I have been pondering this blog for awhile now. Considering what direction I want to take, how  I can better focus my writing and in the process, enhance my sense of living on purpose.

“I kind of use my blog as a place to just write what’s on my mind,” I told my daughter. “Perhaps it’s time to get more intentional in how I express my heart.”

If I was fearless of heart what would I write?

If I was intentional in my mind what direction would I take?

I had a dream last night. In it, I was fighting an unknown oppressor that was me.

In dreamspeak, every character in a dream is you.

The one in hiding, the one escaping, and the oppressor. Everyone is you.

If I am both oppressor and the oppressed, if I am fighting and fleeing, does that make me winner and loser?

Balance, inner joy and peace are not found in pitting one part of yourself against the other to see which will win your battle of wills.

Balance, inner joy and peace are found in accepting all are present. In acceptance, love encompasses all we are in this world. In love, all is present without fear. In love, there is everything.

Within each of us exists limitless potential to create, to build, to dream, to shine.

When we battle against ourselves, when we pit one aspect of our being against the other, we lose sight of the beauty and awe of our human essence and limit our creative expressions through our fear of being seen as the magnificent souls we have always been.

I had a dream last night. I am grateful for its call to give into Love.

Namaste

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