Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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!




Change Management: It begins with what I don’t know

This is the view from my hotel window for the next three days.

I am awestruck.

I am in Banff for a Change Management course and, when I stop to really think about it, what better way is there to change my point of view, my ‘normal’ than to immerse myself in the beauty and awe of such a place.

Originally, when I signed up for the Prosci Change Management Program course, I wondered why on earth the organizers would hold it in such a beautiful setting if the agenda is so chocker block full there’s no time to enjoy the surroundings.

Yesterday, after I’d checked into my room at the beautiful Rimrock Hotel and sat in the comfortable leather chair in my room looking out at the view, I realized how smart the organizers are. To hold a Change Management course in a downtown business setting would not have afforded the attendees a chance to get out of our everyday worlds. And keeping ourselves in our everyday worlds would have inhibited our capacity to ‘see different’.

And that’s what change management requires. A willingness to see change through the eyes of possibility so that engagement of everyone involved becomes more dynamic, energized and creative. Because ultimately, change management isn’t about creating stellar processes to manage ‘the change’. It’s about engaging people in the change so that they buy-into the value of why change is necessary and how they can benefit from being part of making it possible.

From that point of view, change becomes less threatening, less scary. It becomes more of an exciting journey in which we all engage, together, to make change happen so that together, we can create better in the world around us.

The view outside my window

And this world definitely needs us all to be engaged in creating better.

I am in beautiful Banff for the next three days to deepen my knowledge of change management. From this beautiful setting I can see how deep transformative change is only possible when I expand my limited thinking to become more inclusive of a broader point of view. A POV that isn’t just about what I see as possible, but what we all see as possible when we let go of holding onto ‘the way things are’ and dive into what is possible when we allow change to transform our lives for the better of all.

And the only way to let that happen, is to stop holding onto what I think I know, and dive into all I don’t know about change management. For me right now, that begins with breathing into the beauty of my surroundings and giving gratitude for the organizers for having the wisdom to hold this course in such a beautiful, awe-inspiring setting.




About My Friend Jane

Let me tell you about my friend Jane.

She is one of those people you simply cannot help but like. No matter your age. From infant to octogenarian, everyone falls in love with Jane.

It’s understandable.

She is ‘the real thing.’

Genuine, loving, uber-caring, Jane always has a laugh and a warm hug ready. She listens to whatever is on your heart and then,  envelops you in the most crazy-azzed hug you ever experienced. She won’t tell you what to do, she’ll simply give you the feeling whatever you decide, she’ll be standing right there beside you. And she will.

Jane is loyal.

If someone says something negative about someone Jane cares about she will tell them, in no uncertain terms, that their words are not welcome in her world. That while she values their friendship, they will need to re-think their position in her life if they want to talk about one of her friends that way.

I know. She did it for me when someone was beating up on my character. Just as she does it for everyone she cares about.

And Jane cares about a lot of people as was evidenced yesterday afternoon when over 90 people gathered at The Ironwood to wish the amazing Jane a Happy Birthday.

We were all ages. All colours. All faiths.  All sizes.

To Jane. We are her friends. The people whom she has touched with her warm and loving heart, her kindness, her caring ways and her generosity of spirit.

Oh, and let me tell you this about  my friend Jane. She’s the only other woman I know who can milk her birthday for longer than the month in which it appears.

Yup. Jane’s Birthday was actually at the beginning of January. Yet, there we were family and friends gathered together almost 2 months later to ensure that she knows how much she is loved and how honoured we all are to call her our friend.

Because that’s the other thing about Jane. While I may think of her as my best friend, there’s room for many best friends in Jane’s world — and she treats each of us with the same grace and love, always giving her most to make each of us feel special.

Yesterday we celebrated Jane’s birthday. It wasn’t a decade thing. It was more a demographic kind of watershed age where she was moving from one ‘population marker’ to a new space where discounts are offered and even the government gets into the act by providing a stipend to honour your age.

Oh right. I forgot to mention, Jane is MUCH older than me. Uh huh. Yup. She’s also much taller but hey! Who cares about inches when it’s the years that count! And while I might just happen to be experiencing this same birthday marker later this year, it is MUCH MUCH later — which is why for 11 months and a few days I get to say, I Love you my friend!

Thank you Jane (my MUCH older friend) for all the love and beauty you bring into the world. Your smile, laughter, sense of humour and pure essence of joy always makes the world a lot brighter, and a whole lot more loving.

And BTW, remember how you taught me everything about being a mother by having CJ 9 months before me? Well I’m watching you. If you don’t like this particular watershed age, I may decide to skip it by taking a page out of your book on How to Defy Time! – I know! I won’t file my documents with the government so they won’t send me the stipend that says I’ve reached a certain age which means… I won’t have reached that certain age!

See, there you are once again teaching me how to navigate uncertain waters of life! Because quite frankly dear Jane, there’s no way on this earth you’re 65! I mean… You look AMAZING — because you are.

Love you my friend.

Keep celebrating life. Keep sharing your joy and laughter. The world is a better place because of you.