I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.
Morning’s song awakens me. Outside my bedroom windows, birds chirp a happy song into the silence of dawn’s awakening, as if in welcoming back the light, they are singing praises to earth’s indefatigable journey around the sun.
It is early. Night still lingers and I lay still. Cocooned in my bed, the gentle breathing of my beloved quietly measuring the moments of awakening with their steady thrum.
Quietly, I slip from between the covers, pad barefoot into the kitchen, turn on the light above the stove, the halo of its soft glow casting back the shadows from where I begin my morning ritual of making coffee.
The world feels quiet outside the safe enclosure of our home. I have not yet read the news, not yet caught up on the happenings, out there, somewhere beyond the security of these four walls.
I cling to the silence. Wrap myself in the stillness and savour these last few moments of serene calm.
The world can wait.
For now, morning light beckons me to sink into contemplation. To slowly release night’s lingering shadows into dawn’s early light.
Still, I wait.
Still, I let the world’s woes recede as I sit embraced within dawn’s soft silent light.
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Let’s just keep things the way they are”? It’s easy to fall into the comfort of the status quo, where everything feels familiar and safe. After all, why change or fix something if it isn’t broken or working just fine, right?
But then, life happens. Unexpected events occur, and suddenly, everything is turned upside down.
It’s during these interruptions that we face a crucial choice: do we resist change and cling to what we know, or do we confront our fear of change and embrace new possibilities?
Maintaining the status quo is like finding your balance on a boat. When the waters are calm, there’s no need to question your steps. But when the seas get rough, you have to adjust your stride, find stability, and hold on tight.
Don’t get me wrong, the status quo has its benefits. It gives us space to breathe and assess our surroundings. But if we look closely, we may discover pockets of unease or areas where our lives have become overgrown with dissatisfaction.
Yesterday afternoon, a group of strangers walked into the Discovery Seminar Room to explore how the status quo is holding them back from living their best lives yet. For some, all it will take is a shift in perspective to see their lives and surroundings in a new light. Others will need to dig deep, challenging the limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck in the past.
For all, it will be a journey into self-discovery where they uncover the incredible beauty of their human essence. Because, no matter where they go with their own personal discovery journey, in the end, they will all find a beautiful truth—they are worthy of love, deserving of joy, and free to take this adventure of life unhindered by regrets or the baggage that was holding them back from living the life of their dreams.
In all our lives, the status quo we cling to so tightly is often the very barrier preventing us from experiencing a life filled with passion, joy, deep, meaningful relationships, inner peace and self-acceptance.
So, the next time life throws you a curveball, consider letting go of the familiar. Embrace change as an opportunity to uncover your true potential and live a life that resonates with authenticity and fulfillment.
Remember, change may be challenging and purposefully setting out to discover the things that may be holding you back in life may feel daunting, but it opens doors to a world where you can truly, madly, deeply fall in love with yourself.
And loving yourself truly, madly, deeply is the gateway to life unbounded!
We live in a beautifully imperfect world. A world full of mystery, wonder and awe-inspiring moments, including, dark and forboding times.
What if, it all belongs?
What if it is our constant struggle to be perfect and to create perfection all around us that causes strife, our lack of connection and belonging in this world?
It’s a not so subtle force, this desire to be perfect and to make the world around us perfect. Its constant yammering to do better, be better, make better of ourselves and everything we create, achieve, buy and do in the world leaves us feeling dissatisfied and sometimes defeated by ourselves. Its constant wailing pounds away at our peace of mind disrupting our ability to be together in peace in the world.
In its strident calling out for justice, in its insistence that ‘this’ or ‘that’ do not belong in the world, in its labelling of human suffering and misdeeds as ‘wrong’, in its endless battling against one foe versus another, it denies the inescapable truth — Imperfections, sorrows, and struggles are threads woven into the tapestry of our shared human journey.
As long as we do not accept each other and our shared journey, the everything we perceive as imperfect will remain as thorns that prick away at the tapestry of our human journey causing knots of discord everywhere.
It is in our acceptance of imperfections that freedom waits. Acceptance should not be mistaken for resignation or passivity. It does not imply giving up on striving for change, justice, and truth. Instead, acceptance allows us to relinquish the habit of railing against perceived injustices and embrace the imperfect nature of our existence. By understanding that imperfections are an integral part of being human, we foster a sense of belonging and unity in our ability to work together in our shared imperfections.
For me, my quest for perfection often leaves me exhausted. In my journey, I’ve gathered together a tool-kit full of ways to quieten my need for perfection–meditation, exercise, dance, creative endeavours, being in nature. Yet still, there are times I refuse to do the things I know calm and heal me. Still, my quest for perfection raises its persistent voice whenever I fall into the belief that I am separate from the world around me or that the world around me is separate from me by our differences..
The desire for perfection keeps us separate from one another,. Those whom we deem ‘different’, the things we deem unwanted, become the barriers to the things we want most as human beings — a sense of belonging, that we fit in, that we are loved and needed on this journey. In that separation, we arm ourselves against our fears of the other, and lose our belief in our power to affect postiive change, together.
Love is perfect and when I when I choose to stand, strong of back, soft of heart, and lay down my arms full of discord and open them instead to Love, I find myself in a more peaceful, loving world.
When I choose to focus on changing the things I can with loving-kindness, my ripple becomes part of our collective power to change the world for everyone.
Our world is full of imperfectios amidst its perfect beauty. When we let go of criticizing, compaining and condemning the things we do not understand, or judge too harshly, we pave the way for perfect Love, together.
What about you? Are you holding onto your perfect armor, hoping it will protect you from life’s imperfections? Are you holding yourself separate from all the world’s perfectly imperfect beauty?
I wrote this poem some time ago and am sharing it spoke to me again this morning as I was looking at all that has happened in the election we’ve just endured here in Alberta — the outcome of which wa not to my best liking– but, as I said to my beloved, “The people have spoken. At least this time, she was elected by a majority of Albertans, not just a select few.”
And I am reminded of the words of Rev. Gary Pattison who said, the Sunday after Trump was elected as President of our neighbours to the south, “We must stand, strong of back, soft of front.”
We must listen to understand. Hear without judgement and Be tolderant and Create common ground where ever we go.
Our system isn’t broken — but when we let divisiveness separate us, we create broken spaces.
I AM NOT BROKENby Louise Gallagher
I am not broken
though I do have cracks
I am not cracked
though I do have wounds
I am not wounded
though I do have scars
I am not scarred
though I do have cuts
I am not
I am not my cuts.
I am beautiful.
cuts that cut deep
of the places
that have shaped
I am not broken.
I am woman.
I am me.
In 2006, after my youngest daughter took the Choices seminar, following her sister and I who’d gone through earlier the same year, we would always go to the Family Dance on Saturday night.
It became our tradition.
As did, dancing to Tina Turner’s – Proud Mary.
The music would start, the girls and I would step into the middle of the dance floor as everyone formed a circle around us. Nice and easy. Movin’ and groovin’ Rollin. Rollin’. Rollin’. as the music sped up and Tina belted out the words of the song. Nice and rough.
By the end, and it’s a long song, 100 people would be gyrating wildly to the pounding music as we pulled the rest of the room onto the dance floor with us.
Out of breath. Hearts pumping. Smiles wide. We danced and laughed and flung our heads back and twisted and turned our bodies as we lifted our arms into the air, fist pumped the air above our heads and gave our all to the music and Tina Turner’s urgings to keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’.
At the end of the song, the three of us would hug and lean on each other as we stood celebrating six minutes of wild dancing as if no one was watching.
People were watching. Our Proud Mary ‘routine’ became a staple of the dance.
It was wild fun. A moment in time that stood still as we moved into the empty spaces of our bodies and filled every cell with the exhilaration of wild, abandoned movement.
Over time, as one daughter moved away and the other became involved in other areas of her life and had less time to come to the dance, I would still dance it with anyone in the room. But our Proud Mary moments together at the dance past on.
Yet still, we carried the rhythm and the music with us. We danced it at C.C. and my wedding, at karaoke one night where a group of “just us women” had gone to celebrate my eldest daughter’s upcoming nuptials. In fact, that night, as the three of us were prancin’ and a dancin’ (the youngest daughter and I always let her older sister hold the mic – she knew how to use it well) a friend text his sister, who was at the party with us, to say he’d just received a text from a group of guy friends who were at the same pub where the girls and I were dancing to Proud Mary. The friend, not knowing the relationship between us and his friend, sent a video of the three of us with a comment about how his friend was missing out! There were crazy women performing Proud Mary!
At my eldest daughter’s wedding, she and her sister slipped away to don white mini-skirted fringydresses, a la Tina, and when they returned, the music started, nice and easy, and the three of us started to dance, Rollin’. rollin’. Rollin’. and then, with wild abandon, nice and rough. It’s our schtick.
Proud Mary is my anthem. My call to action. My heartbeat’s yearning.
Once, at a course I was taking, each of the 20+ participants were assigned a song they had to sing and dance to, alone, in the middle of the floor, with about 40 to 50 people watching. The facilitator did not know my connection to Proud Mary — but there it was, the song she picked for me, the song she felt I needed to embody to stretch myself beyond the comfort of my known way of being in the world.
The facilitator was very wise. She knew the dancing part wasn’t my stretch. It was the living into the legacy of Tina Turner I needed to embrace. To keep rising up, claiming my right to be powerful. wild and free..
Whenever I’m asked, “who do you admire and if you could, would ask to be your mentor, or to at least sit down and share a meal with you?” Tina Turner is always at the top of my list, ahead of Madeiline Albright, Gloria Steinem, and other powerful women.
Tina epitomized rising up from a trauma-riddened past and leaving the destruction behind. In everything she did and said, in every movement, every song, she declared her freedom with wild abandon. Her power was in her decision to walk away and rebuild. To reclaim not just what was lost in her relationship with Ike Turner, but in living her life to other people’s demands and expectations.
Frank Sinatra may have sung, I did it my way. Tina Turner lived it.
Thank you Tina for teaching me (and the world) how to live wild and free, being true to who you are, singing and dancing as if no one is watching, doing it your way.
The #dailypromt-1945 WordPress presents when I log into my blog this morning is, “What is the Legacy you want to leave behind?”
The card I pull from my Deep Conversations box reads, “Where is your fear of responsibility preventing you from taking the next step?”
My mind quickly leaps to a response, “Not taking care of the legacy I want to leave behind.”
Can it be so easy? The answer that is. Not the answer to the answer, because seroiusly, the question behind the question, My Morning QBQ, is much deeper, more challenging, more elusive.
Taking responsibility for self, let alone one’s legacy ain’t easy
We’re human after all.
When I think about the concept of legacy, it feels both awe-inspiring and overwhelming. It’s like gazing at a vast landscape, stretching out before me, waiting to be shaped by my actions and choices. It’s the mark we all inevitably leave on the world, the imprint we make on the lives of others, long after we’re gone. It’s a reflection of who we are, our values, and the impact we’ve had.
But when confronted with the question of what legacy I want to leave behind, I can’t help but feel a pang of uncertainty. How do I even begin to define it? Is it the achievements and accolades I accumulate? The relationships I nurture and cherish? Or perhaps it’s the values and principles I live by, the positive change I strive to bring about in the world?
Thoughts swirling, I glance again at the card I pulled. The question behind the question shimmers. “What about your fear of responsibility? You know, that invisible force that holds you back from taking that next crucial step towards shaping your legacy?”
Seriously? Shaping my legacy? Who said I wanted to leave one, let alone be responsible for it in the first place? And suddenly, it becomes clear that this fear is not something to be dismissed lightly.
Responsibility can be a weighty burden, a call to action that requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to confront our own limitations. It demands that we take ownership of our choices, our actions, and the consequences they bring. It urges us to step out of our comfort zones, to embrace the unknown, and to face the possibility of failure head-on.
Yet, despite the challenges it presents, I cannot escape the truth–Taking responsibility is the key that unlocks the door to the legacy I want to leave behind. It is the driving force that compels me to make a difference, to leave a positive impact on the lives of others, and to contribute to something greater than myself.
If only it was a simple as just acknowledging the answer.
Like so many things in life, the real complexity lies in the journey towards fulfilling that responsibility. It requires self-reflection, introspection, and a willingness to confront y deepest fears and insecurities. It demands that I be honest with myself and recognize and remedy the areas where I fall short.
Dang! This taking responsibility for yourself is no small feat. It means acknowledging your flaws, embracing your strengths, and constantly striving to grow and improve. It means recognizing that you have the power to shape your own destinyand that your actions, no matter how small, can have a ripple effect on the world around you.
As I reflect on the question of legacy and responsibility, I am reminded of our shared humanity. We are all imperfect beings, navigating the complexities of life, learning from our mistakes, and striving to leave a positive mark on the world (hopefully). We are bound together by our capacity for growth, compassion, and the innate desire to make a difference.
This journey of self-discovery comes with an enormous responsibility. In that responsibiity we must remember to be gentle with ourselves. To embrace the challenges, the setbacks, and the moments of doubt as opportunities for growth. And, to strive to leave a legacy that not only reflects our values and aspirations but also inspires others to embark on their own transformative journeys.
Because in the end, it’s not just about the legacy we leave behind, but the impact we have on the lives we touch along the way. And no matter how big or daunting it may feel, that is a responsibility worth embracing.
It’s called being in the flow. It’s that magical state where time loses its grip on you, and you find yourself completely absorbed in whatever you’re doing.
I’ve been experiencing it a lot lately.
As I delved into research and worked on my book, I became fully immersed. Every fiber of my being was engaged.
At first, I attempted to listen to a podcast as I often do while creating an art piece. It turned out to be a misguided idea. When I write, I need to let the words flow, and having someone else’s voice in my ears distracts a part of my brain, draws my attention away from being present to the creative process..
The same goes for music. When I’m in the studio, adding splashes of color and texture to a canvas, I adore listening to songs with lyrics. They ignite my desire to dance and sing along. My splashes of paint become more free, more expressive. But when it comes to writing, the fewer words, the better.
Classical music and new age compositions work wonders for me. The only exception I make for music with lyrics while writing is the recordings of 13th Century composer and convent Abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Her music stirs my imagination and liberates my writer’s mind from any creative blocks.
Her melodic chants soothe my soul.
Entering the flow-state is a powerful experience. It enriches my being, causing time to fade away. All that matters is the present moment, the only place where I want to exist.
In that realm, magic happens. Wonders unfold, and I am awestruck by the mystery of it all.
Ah, the mystery. It weaves through life, creative pursuits, and the words that appear on the page seemingly of their own accord. As I sit here, fingers dancing across the keyboard, focused on my one task, I lose track of time and space, surrendering to the flow.
That’s the beauty of the flow-state. When I am immersed, my soul dances. My spirits soar. Ideas appear as if of their own volition as words flow out to express themselves without my thought-ridden ministrations hindering their appearance.
Now, my bathroom… well, let’s just say it is suffering from my lack of attention. It’s a disaster zone!
Okay, perhaps it’s not that terrible, but you get my drift…
When was the last time you slipped effortless into ‘the zone’?
When was the last time you granted yourself the gift of immersing in something you’re passionate about, allowing your creative nature to flow freely as you mind (and body) dance with abandon in the pure joy of being so engaged, there is no time, just you and your endeavours?
The flow-state isn’t limited to the realm of arts. It can manifest while solving a scientific equation, baking, walking the dog, running, or riding your bike. All of these activities, and more, have the potential to draw you into that state of flow.
It’s different than mindfulness or meditation. You’re not trying to still your mind and simply sit quietly. You’re consciously bringing your attention to whatever you’re doing so that you can create or build something, find a solution to a pressing problem or mystery, or simply learn something new.
I hope you embrace it often. There’s no judgement in flow state — only the doing.
Let it all flow like a river, finding its path effortlessly.
And if you want to know more about flow-state — the brain even behaves differently when you’re in it — this website has some great information including ideas on how to enter it’s healing and creative spaces.
For some reason, as I dive deep into my morning meditation, the words “Remember, The Core” pop into my head. In my mind’s eye, the letters are capitalized, much like Calgary’s downtown shopping area known as The Core. But that can’t be what I’m meant to remember, can it?
In the midst of my meditation, a soft laugh escapes from within me.
Not a bustling shopping center, but rather my belly—the muscles I am meant to keep strong to support my skeleton, enabling my body to stay upright and in motion.
Today’s meditation was far from serene. I drifted in and out of focus, much like the wisps of smoke drifting along the river’s surface this morning. While the sky above remained a vibrant blue, the river valley was veiled in a hazy uncertainty.
I consult my trusted Air Quality app, a morning ritual I rely on several times a day. It shows a reading of 3 today, down from yesterday’s 9. Moderate risk. According to the app, it’s deemed safe to venture outdoors.
Here along the river, it doesn’t look it, I step out onto the deck. The smell of smoke lingers in the air, its presence visible above the water’s surface.
I close the door, disregarding the app’s advice.
Seated at my laptop, I find myself confronted with unwritten thoughts. I’m aware of what I’m avoiding.
Today marks the twenty-year anniversary of my rebirth. At 9:14 a.m., twenty years ago yesterday, the man whose name no longer holds power over me was arrested, liberating me to reclaim my life.
It was on this very morning, two decades ago, that I began to write myself back into existence.
Yesterday, while working on my book, tentatively titled “Dare Boldly: Cultivating Passion and Joy After Life Knocks You Down,” I took a brief pause to browse my social media feeds.
There, at the top of my Facebook page, a memory resurfaced from four years ago.
“On this day four years ago,” it began.
It was May 21, 2019—the date I shared an article on my blog recounting the significance of that very day in 2003.
The day I reclaimed my life.
The day I awakened.
The day I discovered that hope still thrived amidst the shadows of abuse.
I had forgotten.
Even though my book delves into the journey of healing after that relationship, employing it as a framework for numerous exercises within its pages, I had let the weight of that memory slip my mind.
Yet, as I contemplated the Facebook memory, all I could think was, “Wow, I’ve come a long way.”
This is not the first time the significance of that date has faded with the passing years. Life, like ripples on water, expands ceaselessly, unveiling beauty, wonder, and awe.
Today, as smoke gently skims the river’s surface, the Canada Goose—a faithful visitor who builds her nest on the riverbank below every spring—lands with a clunk on the railing of our upper deck. Standing tall, neck outstretched to the full length of her avian skeleton, she surveys the surrounding land, her eyes watchful for any lurking predators.
And every year, time moves forward, an unbroken stream of passing moments, each carrying its own gifts.
For amidst my journey into and out of abuse, I have gleaned one unyielding truth, a truth that forms the core of my existence and shapes my beliefs in the beauty of life today: Regardless of the chaos surrounding me, when I actively seek to find the value in all things, when I embrace the gifts within each moment, disappointment becomes a foreign concept, as transient as a wayward traveller stopping for just a brief moment at my doorstep before moving along its way.