Let me never forget to share my gifts (a poem of Love)

Photo by Kristen Wyman on Unsplash

Forgetting why
I’m here
I struggle
to make sense
of the sometimes inexplicable
nonsense
of the world
around me.

Remembering why
I’m here
I dance
in the light
of a full moon rising
sensing
the power
of the Love
that brought me here.

Let me never forget
the beauty of my coming
into this world
precious, unique, whole.

Let me never forget
I am born of Love
born to love
be loved
loving and lovable.

Let me never forget
to remember
the gifts I carried with me
into this world
swaddled in Love
designed to share.

Let me never forget
to share my gifts.

_____________________________

Photo by Kristen Wyman on Unsplash

Live with joyful abandon

Remember when you were a child and the sight of a dragonfly in the air brought squeals of laughter and joy?

Remember when the simple act of lying on the grass, staring up at the sky, made your imagination soar?

Remember when?

Life is a journey of creating moments for gathering memories.

Yet, in this fast paced, over-scheduled life so many of us live today, gathering memories is forgotten in the stress of filling every moment with the work of daily living.

Just for today, take a moment, or two or three, to stop and savour. Savour the sounds, the feels, the textures, the look of everything around you.

Take a moment, or two or three, to stop and appreciate all that is around you.

For many of us, living in the city, we forget to hear and see the sights that make our daily lives rich and vibrant. The sound of that bus driving over the bridge. Hear the deep roar of its engine. The rubber of its tires hissing on the pavement.

The laughter of those two people chatting at the corner, waiting for the walk sign to turn green.

The clatter of a baby carriage as a mother pushes her child to daycare, or the store. Where ever she’s going.

The daily sounds and sights around us make up our world. When we separate them from nature, deem them unworthy or unbecoming to our desired state of being, we separate ourselves from the beauty and awe that is the world around us.

Just for today, stop, listen and savour every sound and sight around you.

Find value in all things and treasure the precious beauty of your world.

Create memories worth gathering in everyday things and give in with joyful abandon to the beauty and awe of your life in this moment right now. Live!

 

The River is High

The river is high. The river is moodie.  The river knows its own way.

In the Rockies to the west, spring run-off is in full force. Water cascades down mountainsides, swelling streams and rivers to the east. They flow never-ending towards Hudson’s Bay in the far off distance.

Outside our windows, the Bow flows deep and strong. It creeps up its embankments, soaking low-lying flora in its passing.

The river is high.

This morning, grey clouds cover the sky. Rain is promised.

And I watch the river.

It is ‘the thing’ about living on the river. Even though we are not in a flood zone, I still watch it. With caution. Awe. Curiosity.

It is our first year of living along this river. We are learning its language. Learning its ways.

It is a journey of discovery. Of coming to terms with, what is and letting our desires for the river to be any any way than the way it is, abate.

It is a lesson in life.

Do not hold onto the way you want things to be. Accept they way they are. Accept what is, and let the water’s of life flow freely so that in your acceptance of ‘what is’ you can be all you need to be in the way you are.

And like the river flowing by, this too shall pass.

And like the river flowing by, this too shall pass.

The river is high.

I am learning to hear its voice. It is telling a flowing story of life.

 

Watch out world! This womb is open!

No. 35 #ShePersisted series.
http://louisegallagher.ca/shepersisted

I am laughing at myself. Gently. But I am definitely finding myself amusing.

I am sitting in a room of 30+ women, gathered on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to plant seeds of Sisterhood. One of the facilitators takes us through a closed eye ‘womb-clearing’ process.

That’s when my inner laughter begins.

The womb is the seat of our creativity. Our power. Our essence, she tells us. Imagine…

All I can imagine is a big honkin’ concrete lid on top of my womb, keeping the whole friggin’ fecundity of my essence in check.

And in that imagining, my laughter takes hold.

Thirty years ago, after the birth of my second daughter, I had a tubal ligation. She was my fourth pregnancy, two of which had ended with ectopic ruptures (yup. That hurt). The final two resulted in C-section’s that brought the miracle of my daughters safely into this world.

I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children. My doctor suggested I might want to end at two. Not press my luck and all, he suggested. I agreed.

My ‘funny-line’ after that was, “This womb is closed.”

And that’s what brought the laughter on.

Imagine. Even though I was joking, the power of that phrase, “This womb is closed.”

If the womb represents the seat of my creativity, power, essence, then I have been inadvertently shutting it down, turning it off, putting the lid on it, ever since I spoke those words.

Aren’t I fascinating?

Don’t get me wrong. I am highly creative. Continually finding ways to express myself.

But… and there’s always that but getting in the way of my expression.

I also limit myself. I put a limit on how I set my creative expressions free in this world. Sometimes, I play a big dream and live it out as a footnote in the story of my life.

So, here’s the story today…

This womb is open for business.

Okay. Okay. Not the child-rearing kind of business of my younger years, but the fertile blossoming business of my creative expression having free reign to explode in living colour, all over the place.

Watch our world, this womb is open!

If life is a BHAG, what progress are you stimulating?

As I approach that space where leaving the formal workplace opens up upon the horizon, I come back to the question that sparked the creation of this blog six years ago.

Originally called, A Year of Making a Difference, this blog was my space to dive into the question, “Who am I when I don’t have a job that makes it easy for me to feel like I’m making a difference every day?”

At the time I had just resigned from my role as Director Public Relations and Volunteer Services at a large adult-single homeless shelter. I’d been there for six years. It was work that inspired me and filled my heart. I loved the place and people but the politics combined with my lack of enthusiasm for the values and direction of the leadership provided the impetus to make the decision to leave.

I was scared.

Everyday I walked into that place and knew, I was making a difference.

Without my title, position, profile in community, who was I? Would I have value?

Six years ago, I wrestled with the question of how to make a difference just by being present in this world. It was a year long adventure of finding value in all things, and acknowledging ‘my connection to you and your connection to me’ creates a world of difference’ — the kind of difference we make is dependent upon our intention, our willingness to be present, no matter the circumstances, with loving-kindness in our hearts and harmony in our being.

At the end of the first year of writing in this space, I changed its name to Dare Boldly; a reminder to myself to always take the bold step, no matter my fear, trepidation or insecurities.

Daring boldly isn’t easy. I want to play it safe. Stay the course. Not make waves. Keep on keeping on.

Daring boldly isn’t hard either. It just requires the courage of knowing what I want create in this world, and then, taking action to create it.

For me, creating a world of harmony, a world where we dance, laugh, play and create without fearing one another is a ‘BHAG’.

According to its originator, Jim Collins, a BHAG (pronounced Bee-Hag), is a powerful way to stimulate progress.

Which got me to thinkin’ and a’wonderin’ — I get that organizations can have Bee-Hags, but individuals?

Life itself is a journey of progressing moment to moment, each moment building upon the last, each moment informing the next. When I seek value in all things, every moment is filled with opportunity to create better.

Life is a BHAG! I don’t have to stimulate progress. Progress is inevitable.

Knowing and naming my personal BHAG within life’s big hairy audacious presence and taking action on progressing towards a goal, or perhaps an idea, or ideal way of being in this world, big, hairy and audacious, or not, is necessary for me to feel engaged, vital and content in my life.

Six years ago, I started this blog with the idea of creating a space where, every day, I sought difference making in our world.

Today, as I begin to contemplate ‘life after formal work’, there is little difference in my focus. No matter what I do, I want to be conscious of, and engaged in, difference-making.

Yes, I know that just being present on this earth makes a difference.

Yes, I know that one person cannot change the world (but it sure is good if each of us tries because that adds up to a whole lot of people trying to make the world a better place. In our collective efforts we create a tsunami of better!)

And yes, I know that my job is not so much to change THE world, it’s to create a world of difference in MY world.

Ultimately, to feel content, to feel engaged in and activated by life, my job is to change my world so that no matter what I do, the difference I make is one of creating more harmony, more joy, more love. And more opportunities to dance, laugh, play and create.

 

Flow into love like a river to the sea

Do you remember a time when life flowed with grace and ease? A time when every breath you took seemed to fill you up not just with oxygen but with life itself? A time when you were in such harmony with the universe, there was no end to possibilities?

Those times exist. For all of us.

Those times are possible, within each of us.

Yet, like a dam blocking a river from flowing freely, we let life’s happenings block us from flowing effortlessly in the river that is our life.

This morning, as I meditated, I felt the presence of life’s flow pulling me effortlessly towards the ocean of love that is all around me.

I felt at One with life and all that is around me.

For those brief moments of meditation, there was no separation, no me versus them, no here not there. There was just life.

It’s easy to forget the effortlessness of breathing freely when life feels like it is crashing up against the shores of your sensibilities and possibilities.

It can be easy to forget that Love is always present, always calling us home to our hearts when we are swimming upstream, pushing against life and everyone in it.

In those moments, it is vital to stop. Breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Breathe.

Close your eyes and just for a moment imagine, there is no other. No force pushing you away from life and love and grace and ease.

There is just life. Flowing like a river. Gently carrying you always in a sea of Love that is unending.

Love has no beginning. No end. No in between or anywhere else to be other than where you are. Right now. In this moment.

Love is.

You are.

In the flow.

In Love.

Namaste.

_________________________________________________

The delightfully conscious and inspiring Leigh shared a meditation for Journey 2 Peace this morning on her blog, Not Just Sassy on the Inside.  Her words and the meditation she included inspired my writing this morning. Thank you Leigh!

There is no better time than now to give yourself the gift of time to sink into the peace that comes with being present to Love, with Love, in Love.

The Writing Space

Many years ago, while I was immersed in a relationship that was killing me, I didn’t write. It was one of the many signs I ignored on that road to hell that was telling me, “You are not safe here! Run for your life!”

Ignoring the signs of my ill-being was easier if I didn’t write. Not acknowledging how sick I was becoming was vital to keeping his anger and abuse at bay.

I didn’t want to face his anger. I also didn’t want to face myself on the page.

Writing for me is about truth. The truth is those days was that I was lost, abused, terrified. I didn’t believe I had value. I didn’t believe I deserved to live.

There was no grace in that place. There was no grace to write.

One of the graces of writing is its capacity to awaken me to the story beneath the story.

On the weekend, I created a writing corner just for me. It’s beside a window that overlooks the river’s edge. I can sit and watch the water flow, hear its voice, feel its essence, be one with nature.

There is something very symbolic about my writing space, something I hadn’t connected until I started writing about writing (and not writing) this morning.

On the morning of May 21, 2003 when I was released from the hell of that relationship, we were staying at a small bed and breakfast beside a river. It wasn’t as wide or fast moving or as deep as The Bow. It gurgled through the property, laughing in the sun as it raced to the sea.

Every morning I would stand by the river’s edge and imagine I could unhook gravity’s hold on my body so that by its own volition, it would fall into the water and be washed out to sea. In its disappearance, all memory of my having been here on earth would be erased from my daughters’ minds and they would be able to continue on with their lives, free of any memory of the mother who had loved them so, and then disappeared.

See, I couldn’t take my own life. That would have made a lie of the one truth I held onto — I love my daughters. Everything else in my life had become a lie. I could not violate that one truth.

But if I could unhook gravity…

I sit by the river this morning, writing.

I no longer want to unhook gravity’s hold.

I no longer live ‘the lie’.

I am blessed.

 

 

Happy Days are here again!

Happy Days! Our wedding April 25, 2015

I didn’t realize it was ‘The Day.”  At least, not when I first awoke. Or even in the days preceding, marking time’s relentless movement as ‘The Day’ approached.

I didn’t realize what day it was as I made coffee. Sat and watched the river flow or let Beaumont, the Sheepadoodle, out for his morning rituals.

I didn’t even realize it was the day as I read the news of flooding in British Columbia. At least, not until I saw mention of the town of Langley.

And then I remembered.

This was the day fifteen years ago when two police officers rolled up in a blue and white police car and arrested the man who had promised to love me ’til death do us part, and was actively engaged in making the death part happen.

Langley was near the town where we were ‘hiding out’ as he evaded police and tried to make me vanish.

That’s when I remembered.

And I smiled.

And breathed. Deeply.

This is ‘The Day’ when I was given the miracle of getting my life back.

This is ‘The Day’ when I began to breathe freely again.

Breathing freely was an automatic response to having the yoke of fear and sadness and sorrow and grief lifted from my life by the removal of one person.

Breathing freely was the gift of knowing I no longer needed to be the ‘walking dead’.

I was alive.

What a gift.

Fifteen years ago today I was given the miracle of my life.

Fifteen years ago today, I stopped waiting for death and got busy living again.

I am grateful.

I am joyful.

I am blessed.

Life is good.

Life is an adventure.

Life is a joyful journey of happiness, peace, beauty and Love.

Life is a gift.

Namaste.

Super Heroes are all around us!

Super heroes come in many forms.

When I joined Inn from the Cold a year ago, I wanted to bookmark my career with work that I knew resonated deeply in my heart. That way, I felt my career would make sense. That I would make sense.

I knew the Executive Director, Abe Brown, and felt excited to work with him as I admire his ethics, his passion for the work we do, and his desire to create safe, courageous work places where people feel honoured to turn up, give their best and SHINE!

I didn’t really know anyone else at The Inn, but felt welcomed from my first day.

My role as Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations was a new one at the Inn. The Director Resource Development handled MarComm and RD and had built a solid team of exceptional people who worked hard, got the job done and created value in the team.

Like all new positions, there were ups and downs and inns and outs. People left. New people joined the team.

This morning, as I watched one of the videos the team created for Claire’s Campaign, the Inn’s annual fundraiser, I noticed that the video had subtitles so that even if you didn’t turn on the sound, you knew what was being said.

Now, this may not seem like a lot to some people but my team is incredibly busy. Subtitling the videos was not a priority, but, they took the time to do it so that the video is even more impactful.

And that’s when it hit me about super heroes.

They are all around us. Walking amongst us. Being with us even when we don’t notice them. They just keep doing their super hero things as we continue to live our lives, day to day.

So yes, this is a callout to all super heroes out there, but in particular, to the team I am so incredibly honoured to be part of. Hilary, Kara, Chris, Elizabeth, Meg, Eunice, you ROCK!

I know I don’t generally write blogs like this one but I felt strongly this morning the need to call out these super heroes in public.

See, their plates are really full. We are looking to add two people to the team just to handle the volume and to create more impact in community. To go that extra mile to ensure we reach our audience, tell our story in ways that touch more hearts and open more minds, even when there are other deadlines looming and projects to complete, is in my book not only a herculean feat, it shows commitment, passion and above all a dedication to the mission that speaks volumes about what is at the heart of those with whom I work.

And it goes beyond my team. Everyone at the Inn is a super hero. Every day they respond compassionately and authentically to the needs and wants of those who come to our family emergency shelter for support and those whom we support in housing and community. Everyday they make a difference in the world of a child, a mother, father, grandmother and their co-workers. Everyday they make the world a better place.

So yup. I’m kinda waxing eloquent about this team. But man, I am so incredibly proud and humbled to walk amongst such superheroes everyday!

HAve a great long weekend everyone. May we all find the superhero within us and let her or him SHINE!