About Louise Gallagher

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.

Evenning Rituals

I have a fondness for rituals. They act as my anchors, keeping me steady and in the flow. They forge a connection to something beyond myself, a collective unconscious that intertwines us all.

One of my treasured bedtime rituals is the “3 Things” practice. It serves as a serene reflection on my day, guiding me towards calm, gratitude, and a sense of flow. Before slipping into sleep, I embrace three aspects for which I’m grateful, three moments of grace that touched my day, and three dreams I wish to carry into the realm of dreams and write them down in my journal.

Recently, I introduced a fourth ritual that precedes my “3 Things” practice—I write down three worries, things that haven’t pleased me, or instances where I could have ‘performed ‘done better’. Once penned, I crumple up that piece of paper and toss it into the wastebasket.

This act of discarding is symbolic, urging me to release the self-limiting narratives I tell myself—the thoughts that hold me back and hinder my moving freely through each moment. By throwing them away, I relinquish the power they hold over me.

Yesterday, I had a heartfelt conversation with a kindred spirit—a beautiful soul seeking ways to rise above the darkness, to believe in their own luminous heart. We explored uplifting ideas, discussing what they were doing or not doing to stay in the light.

During our conversation, I shared a personal practice of mine: leaving love notes to myself on the bathroom mirror using washable glass crayons. “I haven’t actually done it in quite awhile,” I confessed. We agreed it was a good time to ‘begin again’. Always begin again.

As we talked about the love-notes on the mirror further, we came up with another idea. Before going to bed, write yourself a ‘pep-talk’ on the mirror. That way, the first thing you read in the morning will be your pep-talk.

What a great way to start a day, we both agreed and committed to do it.

Later, as I followed my nightly rituals, I remembered my commitment to give it a go. Already in bed, I chose not to go downstairs to my studio to fetch my glass-writing pens. It was more effort than I felt like expending in that moment and like Scarlett O’Hara, who famously said, ‘I’ll think about that tomorrow,’ I gave myself an excuse to not do the thing I needed to do to care for myself in the moment.

And that’s how easy it is to neglect the commitments that nurture our souls. It’s as simple as granting ourselves permission to deviate from our own journey, evading accountability and disregarding the actions that empower us to live boldly and be our best selves.

It may not seem like a significant transgression—I reassured myself this morning. But is that really true?

What if it isn’t solely about failing to fulfill a commitment, but rather, that this “not doing” forms a habit of disregarding the actions that nurture and love myself?

What if, in the act of “not doing,” I unconsciously tell myself that I’m not worth fighting for? That I’m not deserving of my own commitment?

You see, it’s not that I don’t want to engage in those practices—it’s the message my brain receives in the act of “not doing.”

What a fascinating awakening this morning. Not only do I have an opportunity to do better, I’ve also effortlessly identified one of my three things to write-down on the list of thoughts I refuse to carry with me into my dreams tonight.

I am grateful to have woken up to this chance to create a better world within myself today. It serves as a reminder that every journey comprises small steps—each step propelling us either closer to the state of being we desire or further away from our optimal selves. Last night, I took a step away from my desired state.

Some may argue it wasn’t a big deal. Yet, what if the significance lies not in the specific act I failed to complete but in how this “not doing” becomes a habit of neglecting the nurturing and loving things I know are vital for my well-being?

Let this morning’s revelation be a catalyst—an opportunity to cultivate a deeper sense of self-worth, commitment, and conscious participation in my personal growth.

How to Drain the Brain and Unclog Your Life

I love to start my morning with a bath. It’s as if the physical act of pouring it, testing the temperature of the water to get it just right, and then, sinking into its warm, sudsy depths unlocks my thinking, and my day.

Yet, here’s the thing, after a half hour of soaking my body in its sudsy warmth, the water begins to cool. I have to make a choice. I either have to add more heat and keep soaking, or get out and start my day, letting the now not so welcoming waters drain away.

Some mornings are made for soaking. Others are made to get up and dance.

Whatever my choice, leaving the water to stagnate in the tub is not an option. I have to let it drain away.

What if, our brains are like a bathtub? We fill them and fill them with the flotsam and riff-raff of life, soak ourselves in every thought that arises and then, instead of letting the not so ‘clean’ thoughts drain away, we just keep adding more and more negativity. In all that darkness, we become lost in the murky depths of the stagnant waters of our thinking?

What if, to live with more balance and joy in the beauty of now, we need to pull the plug on our thoughts, grab a plunger and start draining the brain?

Just as in writing, where it’s essential to drain the story of excess words and unnecessary details, in our life journey, it’s crucial to divest ourselves of all the mental clutter that weighs us down. Negative thinking, limiting beliefs, and doubts can seep into every aspect of our lives, from our relationships and career to our physical and mental health.

Draining the brain isn’t about suppressing or denying these thoughts and emotions. Instead, it’s about acknowledging them, examining them, and then letting them go. It’s like giving your brain a deep tissue massage, kneading out the knots and tension until it feels lighter, clearer, and more relaxed.

And, bonus! As we drain the brain of negativity, doubts, and limiting beliefs, a beautiful transformation takes place within. We become more receptive to the wonders of life, better equipped to handle challenges, and open to embracing the joys and sorrows that shape our journey. With our minds running clear, we’re free to dance through life’s melodies, finding solace in the ebb and flow of the exquisite nature of our human existence.

How to drain drain your brain

1.	Identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back. Write them down and examine them objectively. Are they based on facts or assumptions? Are they helping or hindering you?

2.	Challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs. Ask yourself: "Is this really true?" "What evidence do I have to support this?" "What would happen if I let go of this belief?"

3.	Practice mindfulness and meditation. Take a few minutes each day to sit quietly, focus on your breath, and observe your thoughts without judgment. This can help you become more aware of your negative thinking patterns so that you can practice releasing them.

4.	Surround yourself with positive influences. Fill your balcony with friends, family members, and mentors who uplift and inspire you. Read books, listen to podcasts, and watch videos that promote positivity and personal growth.

5.	Finally, be patient and persistent. Draining the brain is a process that takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away. Keep practicing, and eventually, you'll start to feel the weight lifting off your shoulders.

Remember, draining the brain isn't a one-time event. Just like a drain, our minds can become clogged again if we're not careful. But with practice and awareness, we can learn to keep our brains clear and our lives more balanced in the beautiful flow of our lives unfolding in wonder and awe, day by day.

So grab that plunger and get to work! Your brain (and your life) will thank you.

If your body is your home, where do you spend the most time?

Each of us humans who live on this planet exist as one interconnected, interdependent body.

This body of mine, with its skin encompassing all my organs, veins, arteries, cell and DNA is my home. It is separate from your home yet interconnected through the air we breath, the earth upon which we walk, the rivers we swim in and the forests we walk.

Imagine that the body you inhabit is your home. Like many homes, it has an attic (brain), kitchen (heart), basement, (feet).

Where do you spend the most time?

Is it in your head, constantly thinking, worrying, conniving, constructing ideas, fears, worries, possibilities, excuses, plans? Do you store hurts and pains, building resentments like a hoarder stuffing the attic with old newspapers and things they cannot get rid of?

Is it with your heart, feeling every nuance of life, healing others, and soothing the fears and woes of many while not giving yourself the medicine your desperately need?

Is it in your feet, always focusing on the next step, ensuring the ground beneath you is solid, yet avoiding adventures into the unknown because you cannot see the path?

Now, imagine you don’t have a choice where you spend your time. Your body is the vessel that carries you through life. You are one unified, holistic being. Every element, including the skin, is interconnected and interdependent.

In our Western culture, we walk through the world as if the body is just the vehicle for carrying our big, all important head around. Without a lot of thought for the interconnectedness of ‘the all of who we are’ we become mired in a belief system and habits that over-emphasize the ‘brain’, leaving us stranded in our heads, which if you consider the head as the attic of your home, your body then becomes, like most attics, full of ancient dusty old boxes holding the junk and paraphernalia of life that you just keep stuffing away and seldom clean out, while the rest of the body slowly withers from inattention and misuse.

Reframing our attitude, ideas, and beliefs around the body as a whole, we cultivate a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness and promote holistic well-being. Recognizing our bodies as intricate ecosystems, each part playing a vital role in our being and well-being, we foster self-care, empathy, and harmony with the world around us, and everyone and everything in it.

Embracing the body as our home empowers us to value the wisdom of our hearts, the grounding of our feet, and the integration of our thoughts, leading to a balanced, authentic, and compassionate existence.

I am writing my instruction manual for life, As I write, I keep returning to the Mind/Body Disconnection. Often, my heavy head weighs me down, affecting how I care for my body as a whole. I feed my brain but neglect the rest. It’s time to take better care of myself, my one interconnected body that is, for the life of me, the only way I live.

Food for thought as I sit watching a squirrel leaping from tree to tree from where I sit under a smoky sky masking the sun’s light.

Somewhere, in this village I call my earth-home, my home is burning, reminding me again. I need to take better care of my home.


When in doubt, choose Love.

Both my daughters were Caesarean births. Not the birth story I had in mind, but hey, that’s the one they got.

Picture this: my gyno drops the bombshell that I have an “incompetent cervix.” Seriously? Only a man would say that to a nine-month-pregnant woman about to give birth and embark on the scariest adventure of her life. Couldn’t he have used a less terrifying term? Like ‘you have a beautifully imperfect portal to give this child entry into the world beyond the womb’?

Needless to say, it took a lot of post-birth therapy to get over the trauma of his declaration. But, with a lot of my posse of girlfriends, not too mention wine, I’ve come a long way. I’ve even learned to laugh at myself for taking it so seriously. Back then, though, it felt like he was calling me defective, like I was less of a woman because my cervix wasn’t up to par.

Fast forward to the moment they lifted my precious newborn out of the shelter of my womb, and I couldn’t care less about how she took the final plunge into this world. She was perfect, and that’s all that mattered.

And then, the even scarier part of the journey began. Learning what it meant to be a mother.

Being an overachiever and go-get-er-done kind of gal, I figured I’d have the basics down pat and be sending her off to University in no time flat. And then, real life interrupted.

The next day, lying in bed, watching my child in the bassinet beside me, counting her breaths (you gotta make sure they keep breathing. Right?), with every rise and fall of her tiny chest I felt the tension ease. We were off to a good start.

Until, a lady named Jody came waltzing into my room with a too cheery hello and a booklet titled “When you’re not woman enough to have a working cervix” (Okay, I might be exaggerating the title). She explained she was from the Caesarean Birth Support Group and had come to help me get over the trauma of missing out on the most womanly of arts; pushing my child into this world through the birth canal. Seriously? I cringed and pulled away when she tried to show the booklet to me. Who even needs that kind of support group?

Lying there, listening to her go on and on, I wondered if I had so mis-judged my motherly capacities that my daughter wouldn’t be better off remaining under the care of professionals until her eighteenth birthday. Was my incompetent cervix an even bigger indication of my unfitness to be a mother? .Jody carefully explained all the feelings I should be having (which I had no idea I was supposed to be having) as I sank deeper and deeper into an ocean of self-doubt. When she again reminded me that she was there to support me, I didn’t laugh, cry, or chuck my brand-new breast pump at her. I politely thanked her and showed her the exit.

Why do we burden mothers with so much judgment and comparison? We spend ages scrutinizing each other, insisting there’s only one right way to be a “good” mom, or to become one. Why don’t we instead, do what we do for our kids? — Support, cheerlead, and create a loving space for growth and learning.

The fact is, before actually becoming a mother, motherhood was never on my radar; it terrified me. I’d spent my twenties declaring I wasn’t mother material. In fact, the medical experts agreed, after two ectopic pregancies left me with one tiny half of a fallopian tube, they told me I probably never could. Did I need more proof than that as to the motherly material of my make-up?

And then, at 32-years of age, the miracle of my daughter happened and I realized, ready or not, I had to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done, learn how to be a mother for a child who entered this world in her own way, without an instruction book on how to keep her alive and thriving. It was like diving into an on-the-job training course where I learned to grow up one step at a time while doing my best to not count all my mistakes, and dwell on the misteps and falling downs.

Even now, with my daughters and stepchildren as adults, I’m still learning. It’s a never-ending journey where I must constantly let go of believing I have all the answers or know what’s best for them.

So, Jody from the Caesarean Support Group, I didn’t deprive my daughters of anything by skipping the “birth canal journey.” And if they ever feel they missed out, therapy is on me!

What I’ve learned through diving into the deepwaters of motherhood without having any idea of the its destation is that while becoming a mother was accidental, the mother I am today is no accident. My children have taught me, every step of the way, more than anyone else ever could, that there’s no perfect way to bring a child into this world just as there’s no one way to become or be a parent. There is only the way it happens. And when we give it our best, when we stop looking back at all our mistakes or comparing our path to someone else’s or to an ideal we cannot attain, the road ahead is full of adventure beyond our wildest imagingings.

And, when the path is dark and the seas are stormy, when in doubt settles in like a cloud, choose love—it’s the best way to navigate this wild ride called motherhood.

My Mother’s Love

My mother and I had a challenging relationship.

In her view, I was always criticising her for not being the mother I wanted/needed her to be. In mine, I felt like I was never the daughter she wanted/needed me to be.

As we both grew older, the tensions between us eased, but finding harmony in a relationship where we felt comfortable and free to be ourselves was a constant journey into acceptance.

When she died at 97 years of age a couple of weeks before COVID lockdowns began, we’d reached a truce. As long as I didn’t try to get her to talk about the past, which in her mind was me just trying to make trouble as I always did, we had a modicum of peace between us. It was a tentative peace, one she was not willing to put to the test, Which meant, we never spent time together alone. Which, for me meant, we never talked about the things that mattered most.

At the time, wished it could have been otherwise, but my desire to ‘clean up the past’ was to her, a recipe for pain and more hurt. Silence was our companion, the boundaries of which were not safe to cross.

After her death, she began to ‘visit’ me whenever I was in the bath. I was a tad confused and consternated by her choice of venue. She’d arrive, dressed up á la Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany fame, long ebony cigarette holder in one hand, a martini glass in the other.

You are not my mother, I told her. My mother would never be so daring.

She laughed (something I did not recall my mother doing very often in life) and replied that on this earthly plain, the burdens she carried weighed her down so much she could never be find her lightness of being.Just as she could never be the mother I wanted (needed) her to be.

That shut me up.

My mother admitting she might have failed me?

I didn’t dare say it out loud.

It didn’t matter. She laughed at my thinking.

I’m spirit, she said. I can see through all those bubbles you pile on top of you in the bath to hide your naked body and, I can read your mind. Don’t worry. On this side of life, there is no judgement, only Love.

I wrote a lot about my mother’s after-life visits. They were healing, comforting and above all, loving. They filled in the missing pieces, smoothed out the rough edges and built a pathway to understanding, forgiveness and acceptance.

My mother’s and my relationship was exactly as it was meant to be. It was the starting point of the journey that brought me here, to where I am today, grateful, accepting and loving of the path I took to get me here, to this place where I am today.

No matter its hardships, no matter my falls, my tumbles, my getting lost and losing my way, it was the path I took. I cannot change the path behind me, just as I could never change my mother.

There were a thousand paths I could have taken, a thousand things my mother and I could ahve done differently. It doesn’t matter.

It is not the path I took nor how angry or resentful of my mother i was, or how I much I judged her lacking (and wished I hadn’t) that counts today, It is how bright the light I shine on my path, how much joy and love I dance with on my journey from here that makes a difference.

My mother taught me that. After she was gone.

My mother gave me life.

For nine months she carried me in her womb, praying for my safe arrival.

She did not intend to make my journey hard or difficult. She did not intend to hurt me or cause me to doubt who I am or my worth. And she did not purposefully or knowingly do the things she did that caused me pain.

Like me, she did the best she could with the tools and resources she had. She struggled. She fell. She got back up and tried again.

She hurt. She bled. She cried. She despaired.

Yet, through it all, no matter how difficult the road she traveled, no matter how dark the night or bleak the weather ahead, she never quit doing the one thing her mother’s heart told her she must do – love the child that was me, no matter how much she did not understand, agree nor approve of the road I was on. No matter how hard I fought against her. All she could do was love the only way she could. Her way.

My mother wasn’t perfect.

But then, neither am I.

What my mother was is the one thing I can never deny, she was the woman who gave me life. She loved me as best she could no matter how difficult I sometimes made her journey.

I am grateful.

I am blessed.

And,above all, I accept, she did the best she could in the life she gave me.

And in that life she gave me, I have come to know the truth about who I am. I am not the stories I’ve told that kept me walking in the pain of believing I was never enough for my mother, the world, or myself.

I am not the things I’ve done to prove my biggest fears about how undeserving and unworthy I am are true.

I am me, because of my journey and the way my mother loved me. I am awakened to my birthright of worthiness. I am awakened to knowing, without a doubt, I am a miraculous expression of divine love and amazing grace.

My mother taught me that.

A mother is not born in giving birth. She is forged in the crucible of life’s trials and tribulations teaching her with each painful and uncertain step, to become a vessel of love that can never be broken.

It is my mother’s womb that carried me into life. It is her love that could never be broken, no matter how much I found it lacking, wanting or deficient, overwhelming or too needy, it is her love that continues to shine on the path of my life today.

For, though it is her womb that nurtured me into being, it is not the womb that connects and binds us. It is Love.

To all the mothers, however you arrived at the threshold of motherhood, no matter how far the distance between your heart and the ones you love, may you always know how beautiful, special and divinely graced the world is by your presence.

May you know how miraculous you are, in all the radiant beauty of your unique expression of your love. And may you know, deep within you, that the Love you share so selflessly and with such devotion, no matter how it is received or felt or rejected, is exactly the Love the world needs now.


Beyond the Rubble

I am working with a dear friend on writing her memoir.

As a child, she and her family lost their home and survived the bombing of Warsaw which began September 1, 1939. They fled to a family estate on Poland’s eastern border only to be deported to the Gulag when Russia annexed that part of Poland in 1940.

Her journey to Canada is remarkable. As is she.

It is because of her inspiration, I paint today. Along with her husband, they were integral to my story of surviving an abusive relationship. They have always stood with me, giving me love, friendship and an extended family to belong to.

We have been friends a long time and working on this memoir with her is a journey through history, the horrors of those war years and the aftermath, and so much more. There’s a love story, poetry written between two hearts separated by thousands of miles. There’s the tumultous years of raising a family. Standing with her husband as he climbed the ladder of success he promised to build to provide for his family. And there is joy. In particular for me, the joy of our friendship.

This morning, as I do every morning, I pulled a card from my DeepTalk deck. “What was missing from your childhood?”

The trite answer could be so many things. A feeling of safety. Of being unconditionally loved. Of feeling wanted…

Yet, if I step back from pulling out the response from the pocket of my ‘victim story’ I keep stored in my memory that I have been known to haul out to soothe the edges of life’s inevitable sticky moments, I see a bigger picture. A more wholistic view of my childhood that transforms me from ‘victim’ to a powerful architect of my life today.

I am who I am today not despite my childhood and all the perceived wrongs and shortcomings of my parents. I am who I am today because of my childhood. Because of everything that happened throughout my life that made me, me.

I like me. Heck. I LOVE me!

I am the most fascinating person I know, if only because I know myself, inside out, better than I know anyone else. Better than anyone else can know me.

And that’s the beauty of writing your life story. (or working with someone else on writing theirs)

It gives you perspective. An opportunity to reflect, assess, and claim the things that happened not as things that broke you, but things that broke you OPEN.

In that openness, you have the choice to build back better.

My friend’s story starts in the first days of WW2 in Warsaw, Poland. She and her mother are baking a cake for her father’s birthday. And then, the bombs start falling. Five days later, when they emerged from the cellar to view the carnage, their home was gone.

Today, my friend lives a beautiful life. Not despite the hardships. Not despite the losses and grief and sorrow.

Her life is beautiful because from that rubble, she chose to find beauty in all things.

It is one of the most remarkable things about my friend. In the over 40 years I have known her, she has always created beauty all around her. A gifted artist, her paintings shimmer with the beauty that is at the heart of who she is. Her home radiates the serenity that lies at the foundation of her nature and her friendships reflect the loving care she puts into creating all things.

What was missing from my childhood?

Nothing. It was exactly what I needed to become who I am today.

I am a brave woman touching hearts, opening minds to set spirits free to dance in a world of Love, joy and harmony.

A world where beauty matters.

This morning, I choose to say, Thank you my friend for reminding me through your story, what is important in mine.

This morning, I choose to give thanks for my childhood. It was filled with all the things I needed to grow up to become more and more me.

Much gratitude


It’s Never Too Late To Have Fun!

It was 1am when the Uber driver dropped me off.

I could have been home for 11 but, as one of my companions at the Shania Twain concert and I walked towards a street a few blocks from the Saddledome where the concert was held thnking it would be easier to find a cab further away, we decided to join the others we’d shared the evening with for a drink.

Given the late hour, or early in the morning time to bed, you might think that was a mistake.

It wasn’t.

It has been a while.

A while since I spent an evening laughing with a group of thoughtful, compassionate, high energy, and fascinating companions exploring life as we sat perched around a hightop in a crowded downtown restaurant. We laughed. shared stories and a couple of plates of nachos (it was a Mexican restaurant) and then jumped into an Uber and got to the Saddledome just before the concert started.

For two glorious hours, we stood and cheered and hooted with the crowd, and sang along, as a diminutive yet mighty woman strutted her stuff and filled the giant space with her mastery of her art. When the singing and hooting and clapping ended, we went for a nightcap to talk about life, love, losses, careers, change, possibilities and on and on and on.

It’s the night cap part that did it. Put the cherry on the top, so to speak. Five of us huddled around a table in the corner of a bar at one of the city’s late night ‘in’ places. Giant windows separated us from the street where concert goers and late night partyiers walked past, gazing in. I wondered if they were checking to see if there was an empty table. There wasn’t.

At one point, I took a metaphorical step back and kind of watched myself sitting at the table, chatting, laughing, sharing stories and being part of the conversation. Except, my table companions weren’t of the grey haired set like me. They were my youngest daughter and three of her friends. Which is what made me sit up and pay attention.

“This is what you always imagined, Louise,” that inner sage voice whispered. “Spending time with your adult daughters.Sharing life’s moments, current and past. Building memories, unpacking old ones. Living life.”

It was wild.



Which explains (kind of) the late hour. Who wants to let a good time go, especially when it’s full of such electric energy? Not to mention, it’s been a long time since the last time I stayed out until the witching hour, drinking, laughing, talking and simply having fun!

My challenge is always, no matter the time my head hits the pillow. Morning still calls early. In this case, 5:45.

Definitely not enough shut-eye

Definitely don’t care.

Along with the concert itself, what made the evening extra-amazing was the company I kept.

They’re all 30 something. Talented. Successful. Building their careers. Building their futures.

I’m… well I’m 60 something. Okay. on the cusp of the magical era of my 70s. Leaning over the edge of leaving this decade for one that feels like an open playing field. Until those moments hit when I feel time leaning over my shoulder reminding me in its hissing slithering voice of doom, You ain’t a young chickie no more, Louise. Wisen-up! Though, it’s possible my hearings going and what it’s really saying is, You gotta lotta life left in ya’ Louise. Party On!

After a night like last night, I’m not sure I’m even close to getting the wisen-up part perfected. Perhaps I’ll just, Party On!

Then again… maybe I am, wisening up. ‘Cause if living my best life yet at any age has any relevance, last night’s frivolities prove – It’s never too late to have fun! (and stay up late!)


This Box

When faced with a problem or situation I’m trying to find my way through, I like to challenge the statement, “Think outside the box,” by reframing it to, “Create as if there is no box.”

If there is no box, what could you do?

We live in a world of invisible assumptions that become ‘the box’ that defines us. It is the container in which we live our lives, see the world around us and call, reality, when in actual fact, reality is just the story we’ve constructed to give meaning, sense, context to the box.

For those of us who identify as female, depending upon our age, there are many invisible assumptions that create the boundaries of our box. ‘Women are caregivers.’Women are emotional. Women are the weaker sex….’ In some cultures, past and present, the box is/was constructed of statements such as, “Women don’t vote. Women don’t own property. Women do not have a voice. Women don’t go to school.”

Today, as gender becomes more fluid and more and more voices are pushing against limiting beliefs and practices that would have them fit into a box that is foreign to them, the box that makes up our perceived reality can feel more strained as those who care deeply about the walls that hold their box in place, fight back to keep their walls from crumbling.

It isn’t that they’re wrong/Others are right. It is a pushing out of the walls that can feel more constricting to others than those whose box is different or does not fit social norms of the day.

We are all human. We all live in a box constructed of social norms that are inculcated into our psyche and beings through our mothers and fathers and their mothers and fathers and so on and so on. These boxes and the societies that constructed them have defined what it means to be human, and in my case, a woman.

It isn’t wrong. It isn’t right.

It is what we, the humans who make up the society in which we live have created, and work hard to keep in place in defense of ‘order’ and the ways we think things need to be. We are all participants in and of the evolution of that society and the box that holds it in place. It’s just some of us are at the edges pushing out, while others are in the middle pulling in and away from the edges.

Which brings me back to the statement, “There is no box.”

In actuality, when I challenge myself with the statement, “There is no box.” I am challenging my perceived reality of what it means to be human.

And that can feel scary. From the moment we are born, everything we do, say and believe is modelled on the world around us. That is our box.

And because it’s our box, the box becomes the framework of our life story.

And because my box is my life story that keeps me fitting in within the society in which I live, challenging it leaves me feeling vulnerable, unsettled and disconnected from myself.

Breaking free of the box that has become my life story is a journey into self.

It is not a head game. It is a whole body experience.

And that is where the challenge arises. My box is built on the necessity that to keep ‘the box’ intact, we must be a head strong culture. Conditioned through the generations to believe what we think is reality; we cannot see that what we think is reality is actually a story constructed to keep us feeling safe, secure and happy in our box.

Activating my body knowing, getting into my body to be within the world around me, requires unravelling of centuries of conditioning that have evolved into my believing today, my reality is constructed of what I think.

Reality is not what I think.

It’s what I experience when I am grounded within all of nature. When I experience my body as part of the universe, as the birdsong being as integral to this moment as the coyote sitting at my back fence or the river flowing past, I become an active participant within all of nature’s unfolding, Embodied in the world within and around me, I step away from head strong manipulations of reality, to being one with the reality of this moment right now.

In that place, my story falls away and I know peace. I am it.

And then I laugh.

Heady thoughts?

Body imaginings?

If there is no box, why does my head hurt so much?



If you managed to read through this, I should let you know, these are my musings, my wandering thoughts, my free fall writing this morning. I am exploring what it means to imagine and live as if ‘there is no box’.

It is a fascinating proposition. I’d love to hear what you feel and perceive. Can you hear your body talking. Does your head want to have its say?

And I smile again. And breathe with my belly expanding out and in. Ahhhh…..

Change: It’s here to stay.

Do you play self-defeating games?

I do.

I work hard to minimize their presence in my life. The challenge is, identifying the trigger points so that the self-defeating game doesn’t become a sticking point to living wild and free in the moment of now. Expressing myself with integrity, compassion and love. Moving with grace and ease no matter how harsh the winds or scared I feel to get real.

Recently, my beloved and I were deep in a conversation we’d started based on a question we’d drawn from the box of Deeper Talk cards that sits on our island, waiting for us to pull one during dinner every day.

It is a practice we both enjoy (normally – I’ll get to that part in a minute) because as the tagline on the box states, the cards are “A tool for creating lasting and more impactful connections”.

The box contains 150 prompts.grouped under six categories: Dreams. Life Lessons. Exposed. Courage. Beliefs. Self-awareness. (I also use the cards with another writer friend as a daily morning pages writing prompt )

It is this morning’s card from the ‘Exposed’ section that prompted my thoughts on self-defeating games. “What’s your instinctive reaction when someone or something hurts you?”

A very potent question.

I have lots of self-defeating games and with time and practice, I engage them less when triggered by an event or something someone said or did that causes me to want to take Flight. Fight. or Freeze.

Until I don’t.

That night, with that particular conversation, I spiralled quickly from engaging with grace and ease into sticky messiness.

I was not impressed with myself.

I was defensive, argumentaitve (for no reason other than I wanted to have the last word and get him to say, You’re right! How could I have been so wrong? 🙂 )

After we finally found calm waters again, I realized that I needed to go back to what triggered my response.

Why was his assertion about whatever we were talking about causing my pulse to start racing and my mind to start squirming around looking for clever (read – sarcastic) comebacks rather than seeking harmony through listening to understand his position?

It was a bit of an awakening for me.

I realized in my self-reflection (an important component of defeating self-defeating game behaviours) that I am often triggered when I feel he is assuming a position of authority simply because of his maleness.

I recognized that my upset with his behaviour/response to the question had nothing to do with what he was saying or even his behaviour in that moment. It had everything to do with HOW I was perceiving the way he was – both saying and sitting and behaving and appearing — to be a repeat of words and conbditioning from long ago. The long ago being my childhood and into my twenties and even thirties where in the world as I knew it, I came up against the reality of the times where “Father knows best” grated against my belief we are all equal and my right to say and do and be how I want is the same as yours (the man’s) In that world of inequity. It meant all men know best, men hold the power, we women are the weaker sex and therefore, we must do as ‘they’ say — “Shut-up and be quiet. Know your place. Don’t rock the boat.” which underlay the patriarchal assertion that men are right simply because… they are men.

I realize this is not true of all men. However, I continue recognize it as part of our collective consciousness, particularly in the places where women continue to be treated as chattel and objects.

My beloved didn’t say anything ‘wrong’ during our conversation. My self-defeating game was, I have a trigger point based on past experiences and when I reacted instinctively to that trigger being pulled, I went on the attack to assuage my deeper, historic feelings of being less than, not good enough, not listened to, not – a whole bunch of nots that did not add up to my recognizing my own worth.

Yes, we still live in a world where patriarchal structures and our social conditioning continues to allow the inequities of centuries old beliefs and behaviours to undermine our recognition of the worth of all human beings.

In my relationships, my responses to that conditioning are my issue — not my beloveds. The onus is on me to calm the angry voices from the past that rise up when I see him through the eyes of ‘All men…” so that, rather than throwing bombs of discord, I create pathways to harmony, understanding and deeper connections.


Give Yourself a Pep Talk

This morning, as I sat down to write, my mind wandered through the things I’ve been doing to keep my commitment to finish the book I’m working on (or at least the first draft) by September 1.

I’ve kept my commitments to stay engaged with my process everyday.

That deserved a little “Atta Girl”ing. It also needed a bit of a ‘ole pep talk to ensure I didn’t listen to that hissing little whisper deep inside that likes to trip me up when I give myself positive re-enforcement (it’s the critter mind wanting to ‘keep me safe’ because the critter mind is programmed to listen to those childhood voices that tried to protect me in moments when I felt scared or uncertain or ‘less than’ or simply couldn’t make sense of the world around me.

Self-pep Talks are important. Not only do they help calm any doubts or re-direct the critter-voice that would have you believe keeping your commitments to yourself are not important, or that you may as well give up now because you’re going to quit pretty soon (i.e. You don’t finish anything), a self-pep talk is a powerful body/mind connection. It reminds us that our brain is not in control. We are.

As a child, I had many interests. One of them was staying in touch with my pen pals spread out all around the world. Even as a child I had a keen interest in how other people thought and lived that was different than me. So, I cultivated a cadre of penpals and stayed in touch with them regularly. This was long before the days of social media and cell phones so staying in touch meant exchanging hand written letters.

My brother, who was five years older than me and, as he liked to remind me, much wiser, often made fun of me and my penpals. I loved my brother but man, did he know how to bring me to earth with a resounding THUMP!

One of the oft repeated phrases was that I, “Grow Up!” According to my brother, penpals were for babies. Desprately wanting to get on with the business of growing up (not to mention stop his teasing), I let his words take root and quit writing my letters.

Which is why my self-pep talk today is so critical to my keeping my committment to keep working on this book as planned.

As a child, the message to “Grow Up” attached itself to the limiting belief, “You never finish anything, Louise.”

For many years, I made that lie my truth. Or at least, that’s what I constantly told myself, even in the face of ample evidence that I finished those things that were (are) important to me.

I wanted to become a ski instructor. I did.

I wanted to learn how to fly a plane. I did.

I wanted to be a published writer. I am.

I wanted to write a book. I did.

And the list goes on.

Yet, despite my lengthy list of things I’ve done and achieved, I still have this little voice inside that can see me as ‘a quitter’.

Which is why I use my self-peptalk as a reminder, “I got this! I’m worth keeping my commitments for.”

The voice is no longer strident and loud as it once was. I attribute its decline to making a commitment to pay attention to doing the things I know support and love me. The things that help me grow stronger in my commitment to choose always to live this one precious life in the power of Love.

And a self-pep talk is a beautiful way to say, I love me, just the way I am because Love is what I deserve. Forever and always.

What about you? Have you given yourself a pep talk lately? I hope so! They’re full of encouragement. Inspiration and Possibility! And why not? You deserve to live you best life free of doubt pulling you back from shining bright!

Shine On!