Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


This too shall pass.

Mar 20 This too shall pass“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there.
Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there.
You have to believe this.
We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I read the beautiful quote above at Val Boydo’s “Find Your Middle Ground” blog this morning.

Oh look… Beaumont’s not here. I am!

It reminded me of the practice to ‘see’ my emotions as being something present in that moment, but not the entirety of who I am. That when I’m feeling anger, or pain, or despair, to quietly repeat to myself:

“Oh look. Anger is here… So is love.”

“Oh look. Despair is here… So is love.”

“Oh look. Pain is here… So is love.”

The practice is based on the belief that Love is always present. In bad times and in good. Love is always present.

When we remind ourselves that, even in the darkness the light of Love is shining, we create space for possibility, for hope, for light to appear. In its appearance, we build a path forward, knowing that yes, these emotions are present, and in time, this too shall pass.

Try it. The next time you’re feeling down, or feeling angry or like the world is just too much to take or too confusing to understand, name what you’re feeling. Acknowledge its presence by saying, “Oh look. [name the emotion(s)] is here. (pause) So is Love.”

Repeat often.



Moving In. Getting Connected.

It is quiet here in this new space in the early morning hours. I sit at the kitchen island, lights dim, music playing softly in the background. Morning is still somewhere over the horizon. Dawn waits as I awaken.

We are settling in.

Yesterday, the installation guy came from Shaw and hooked us up. We had spent the week searching for the modem. Finally found it buried in a box marked, Spare Room. Diane’s stuff.

I don’t know who Diane is, nor what was in her Spare Room but the items in that box didn’t come from our Spare Room.

It was all a jumble.

There is a gift in having movers come in to pack everything up. Less packing equals less strain on my back which equals less pain.  There’s also value in the fact for both the environment and our pocket book that they reuse boxes and give you money back when you return them.


Ah yes, that ole’ butt…

Not scratching out the identifier’s from old users’ rooms and contents and replacing them with ours has made unpacking an… adventure!

I have mostly found all our kitchen things — which is always my priority. It did take until Thursday to find my cappuccino maker (it was in a box marked, Dave’s workroom). Now it’s all set up and I feel ‘at home’.

We are loving our new abode. Loving figuring out what goes where, what needs to go, what needs to have more thought before deciding if it stays. And of course, figuring out where things are!

Our contractor is still working on finishing touches. Friday afternoon he installed the rods in all the closets which meant Saturday C.C. and I unpacked wardrobe boxes and put clothes away.

There are still lots of tools and building debris in the laundry room and downstairs as the contractor finishes off final touches. Once he’s done, this week, I’ll begin the task of organizing the boxes currently taking up floor space in what will eventually become my studio downstairs.

I’m grateful for the counsel of friends, like Iwona, who suggested I think of moving-in as a 6 month timeline. No need to stress about getting it all done today. It’s a process. Not a race.

For now, I shall savour my quiet mornings seated at the island as Beaumont sleeps on the chaise by the window. I bought him a new bed which is on the floor by the deck door, but for now, he prefers the furniture. Marley the Great Cat is finally settling in. He’ll sleep on any spot he pleases but seems to find the desk by the window most welcoming. Though he’s a bit tiffed with me right now as I moved some things around and ‘his’ desktop is now covered with plants and a bowl I’m not sure where to place.

He’ll get over it.

Just as we will get over the anxiety and angst of a move-in to a not-quite-finished renovations home.

Because, no matter the unpacked boxes and the chaotic disorder around us, we are always connected to the Love that fills the spaces between and within our hearts. Like the river flowing past endlessly racing towards the distant sea, it is Love that carries us from this moment to the next, flowing endlessly into the Sea of Love that is always present.

No matter the times, all we have to do to be connected to its deep and abiding grace is to Breathe. and Be.

In Love.



The Big Move-In

I will be offline for a few days as we move into our new home. We’ll be without Internet — and we’ll be busy!

And I’m excited.

When we bought this house, the kitchen looked like this:

We renovated it to look like this: (Thank you Brad Cumnmins at Mountainview)

And so much more!

I’ll be back in a few days with stories of The Big Move-In.

Thanks for hanging out with me!

Have a great week.


How does this moment want me to be with it right now?

Isn’t that an interesting question?

I read it this morning at the lovely Val Boyko’s site, Find Your Middle Ground. The question comes from a story by Jonathon Foust, which Val shares this morning.

A big element of mindfulness, writes Jonathon, is a form of self-diagnosis. You can ask yourself a variation of two questions:

What is happening right now?

How does this moment want me to be with it right now?

Think about the questions. The first one doesn’t ask — What is happening TO ME right now,  it remains non-judgemental.

The second question isn’t How do I want to be in this moment right now. It’s a more open invitation to be present in the moment through a gentle inquiry into how the moment wants you to be with it.

Imagine if throughout the day, whenever we find ourselves feeling anxious or unsettled, or like the ennui of living is too much to grasp, we stopped, took a breath and asked, “What is happening right now?” and then we listened to the response.

And once we hear it within, we ask “How does this moment want/call/invite me to be with ‘this’ right now?”

Think about what that would feel like for you the next time someone cuts you off in traffic and you immediately leap to anger and a not very charitable response. Imagine if instead of simply getting all self-righteous about how dare they! you stopped, took a breath and asked, “What is happening right now?” Suddenly, the emphasis isn’t about ‘that awful driver’, it’s about your response, how you are being present within what is happening – and the happening isn’t about being cut off, it’s about your rising blood pressure and anger.

If your intent at the start of each day is to be present, mindful and balanced throughout your day, I’m pretty sure ‘the moment’ is not going to say, “Hey!! Get all hot and bothered about this inconsequential event. Fill this moment with curses and raised fists and really make it a hot one!”

More likely, the moment will reply from the middle ground, to: Breathe and Be. Breathe and Be.

I invite you to take a few moments to read Jonathan’s story at Find Your Middle Ground and ask yourself, “How does this moment (story) want me to be with it right now?”


Don’t think. Just do.

Change is here to stay was a favourite saying of one of my very first bosses. You can either go with it, or fight against it, but you can’t resist it, he said.

This morning, as I awoke, my mind leapt to the place of resistance. “Oh, just lie here in bed, Louise,” the critter hissed. “You’ve had two days of morning movement meditation. Give it a break. Just slumber awhile longer.”

Now, I know me. Once I awaken, there’s no going back to sleep. But, even though I got up, the critter kept trying to convince me to forgo my movement meditation. “You don’t need it,” it insisted. “You’re too tired. It’s not good for you. Why don’t you just sit down and forget about it.”

Fortunately, my loving self stepped up to the abyss of giving in and gently drew me away from the edge.

“Don’t think. Just do.” she whispered. “Drown the critters voice in music. Listen to your body calling you to flow into gentle movement. Don’t think. Just do.”

I heard the wisdom of her voice, turned up the music and began to move.

Change isn’t about thinking my way into doing. It’s about moving through my resistance to change, to move into the doing of whatever the something different is that I’ve identified as necessary to create the more, the better, the most of what I want in my life.

As the days and months and years pass, my body has aged with time. It has lost some of its flexibility, its natural fluidness that allows my joints and muscles to move without pain.

I want to change my status quo. I desire to move from being resigned to time’s impact on my body to a place where I am moving with time to create a more fluid and graceful way of being.

It requires change — in attitude. In belief. In awareness. It does not require more thinking about what I need to do. It requires action.

There is an art and a science to change.

For me, the art is in gracefully embracing my awareness that to live a grace-filled life, all parts of my being need to be part of my doing.

The science is in recognizing and acknowledging that my resistance is not based on a rational ‘knowing’. Believe me, I know I need to stay active. Get moving.

But my knowing gets drowned out by the critters insistence it knows best. “What!” the critter exclaims. “You deserve to just lie back and relax. You’ve done enough running, walking, moving to last a lifetime! Give yourself a break.”

The critter doesn’t ask questions. He only makes statements that are posed as fact when really, they’re based on nothing more than my fear (his aversion) to change.

My loving self knows, part of living with grace is to flow with time and its inevitable changes. It knowing that I need to fall into love with doing what is necessary to fill myself with grace. And grace comes when I take loving care of this body that is my vehicle and my container for my life.

I gave into the critter’s insistence I didn’t need to take action and fell out of the habit of taking care of my body and self.

I am shifting from fear to desire, to knowledge to actions that honour and celebrate this amazing container that not only supports every movement, thought and breath I take, but also has the capacity to create ease and grace with every breath.

I woke up and moved this morning. The benefits are many. The joy profound.

This morning I listened to my loving self as she whispered. Don’t think. Just do.

I took action.




Change Management: It’s about doing things differently.

Have you ever done something a different way and thought, “Why didn’t I do it that way before?” or “Why didn’t I think of that sooner.”

Anyone who knows me well knows I love to dance. Really love to dance. Like dancing where definitely I do it like no one is watching because dancing moves me, it stirs my heart and digs deep into the soul of who I am.

On Saturday, C.C. and I went to our good friend Jane’s Birthday Party and I danced.

Full disclosure: my beloved had cautioned me about dancing. The weekend before I wound up in the Emergency room because of my back.

“You be careful,” he cautioned me.

But, when the music starts playing, I truly cannot help myself! I have to dance. Especially when Jane’s delightful daughter CJ asks the band to play as their first song, Proud Mary.

It is my daughters’ and my ‘anthem song’.

We even have a ‘routine’ for it — at least for the first few slow bars. And then… we break loose.

On Saturday, my youngest daughter and I stepped onto the dance floor, and broke loose.

I stayed conscious of my back, but I definitely moved my body. Seated in the back at our table, I could see my beloved shaking his head in loving wonderment at how I could so totally lose myself to the music and forget all about my back. I smiled and waved at him and spun and moved and gave myself over to the music.

To be fair, I did not leap or cavort. I just spun and moved, conscious of my back’s need to feel secure while giving it the freedom to simply feel fluid again.

And here’s the surprising thing. It felt better!

Yup. Movement helped. Which makes sense. I’d been holding my body so still and careful for many days, the stiffness had devolved from my back being out of whack to my lack of free-flowing movement causing my body to feel as though my back was still out of commission.

It wasn’t. Perhaps if I’d been listening I would have heard it saying… Move it baby. Move it.

I finally did.

What a relief.

Which is where the ‘doing something different and wondering why I hadn’t thought of it before comes in.’

Every morning before I write, I meditate. I let my practice slip for the past few months but had moved back into ‘time to begin again’, and was doing it.

What I hadn’t yet embraced was the need to also create space for movement, stretching, exercise.

Yesterday morning, as I awoke and prepared to meditate my mind awoke too. “Hey!”, it said. Why don’t you meditate and dance at the same time?”

I heard the question rising from within and thought, “Hmmm. Why don’t I?”

So I did.

What a gift!

I moved around my hotel room (albeit carefully due to not a lot of room – but enough) and stretched and let my body flow with the music as I reached and bent and leaned into the space around me.

And then I sat down to write.

My body thanked me. My mind thanked me. My being thanked me.

All because I chose to do something differently.

We all resist change. It is our human nature.

I have been resisting the change of letting inertia hold me to my chair, the couch, the bed, the doing nothingness of sitting around without intent.

Yesterday, I changed my position.

In the parlance of the Prosci (that’s said – Pro Sceye — as in Sci-ence) Change Management Course I’m taking, I was applying the ADKAR model to my morning change-up:  Awareness. Desire. Knowledge. Ability. Reinforcement.

This morning, I stepped reinforced my commitment to change and practiced my Morning Meditation Movement.

Definitely feeling the movement in my back and body. Definitely feeling in the flow of my day!

I like it! I FEEL Good!