There is truth in everything…

In her later years, my mother wanted only to know peace and harmony.

“Stop being so difficult,” she would say to me whenever I wanted to talk about our relationship. “Just be nicer to me and everything will be fine.”

I struggled to understand how wanting to talk about our relationship was not nice. I believed talking about the challenges we faced was the path to peace and harmony.

My mother felt otherwise.

Peace and harmony come when we let the past lie where it belongs.

For me, peace and harmony are founded on honesty. Not the ‘brutal honesty’ that some feel is necessary to get it all out in the open, but rather, the heart-driven honesty of being vulnerable and truthful about what is true for you. Your pains, hurts, feelings and thoughts.

Honesty does not accuse. It reflects.It listens. It hears. I respects.

What is true for me. What is true for you. What I’m feeling. What you’re feeling. Understanding. Observing. Making conclusions about. Making decisions on.

My mother struggled to face ‘truths’, at least truths of the personal kind. To her, my constant quest to understand, know, explore and talk about our human frailties, quibbles, quirks and inconsistencies was disagreeable.

We struggled to find peace and harmony together.

In looking back on my relationship with my mother, I can see the gaps where I could have built a bridge but chose instead to stand in the brutal truth of my position without respecting hers.

I see where her need for letting the past lie in peace was in constant conflict with my desire to unearth it, dig up the roots and till the soil so we could plant new seeds.

And I see where I ignored her cries for silence in my efforts to be heard.

And I am at peace.

Today, I can see where I judged our dance of intimacy as not enough and she saw it as too much.

I can see the steps I took that were out of time with hers, and, where our truths were singing different songs.

There is truth in everything but not all things are true.

For my mother and me, there is one truth that can never be denyed. It is unassailably true. The truth is, she gave me birth. I am grateful for the gift of life.

The rest is just a story we created to make sense of a relationship that could never be what either of us wanted or believed we needed because neither of us could see the other as the other wanted to be seen.

My mother wanted to seen as a ‘good mother’. I judged her harshly.

She felt my judgements. I felt her disappointment in me.

To grow, to learn, to become, I had to move through my feelings of not being who she wanted to become who I want to be.

I am becoming. Everyday. Me..

And there’s the truth shining bright. My relationship with my mother was exactly the one I needed to become who I am today. It was exactly the one I took to get here now.

I am grateful for the journey.

And that’s the truth.

Thank you Mom!

I Worry…

Deep Cove Beauty
I Worry…
©2023 Louise Gallagher

I worry
that humanity will never find an end to war

I worry
this beautiful planet we call home will grow weary of our excesses and excuses.

I worry 
that the sun will grow tired of shining,
the winds die down or rage too strong
the rivers overflow or dry up
the air grow too thick or disappear completely 

I worry
the trees will stop abiding by the seasons
the earth will quit giving life
the wheatfields will grow fallow and the flowers die forever
and the darkness will overcome the light.

I worry
and in all that worry one thing remains constant

I am not powerful enough to stop the guns blazing
the planets spinning
the sun shining or hiding behind grey clouds

I alone am not powerful enough to change the river’s flow
the consistency of air
the nature of trees
the colour of dirt
the bounty of wheatfields
the perpetuation of flowers
the depth of the darkness.

What I am powerful enough to do
Is let go of worrying
and move, confidently and with grace
into everything I can do
to create harmony in my world

I am powerful enough to do everything I can
to preserve
the integrity of this planet
the health of its rivers and fields
its mountains and streams
and always, shine light and love where darkness would prevail.

I am powerful enough to stop worrying 
about the things 
I cannot change
and instead, do my part to change
the thing I know I can
to bring us together to change the world.

I can dare boldly to change

Thanks Dad for the Life Lesson!

Cheese-braid Loaf fresh out of the oven

My father taught me how to bake bread. I was 17, in my final year of high school. We were living in Germany at the time and I was busy trying to make a plan for the rest of my life. It wasn’t going well.

“Here, I’ll teach you how to bake bread,” my father said one day in his usual gruff voice that left no room for argument.

From the first knead I fell in love.

It’s a love affair that has never ended, though there have been times when the challenges of baking sourdough during Covid’s lockdown almost soured me on my passion!

But I digress.

Baking bread from scratch is one part science, one part alchemy and one part Love with a hearty dollop of magic thrown in for good measure.

Along with its capacity to lighten any burden I may be carrying and calm my fears or tears, baking bread also deepens my connection to the ‘now’. It brings me full circle back to life’s mysteries, beauties, and sometimes inexplicable inconsistencies.

On Monday, while snow fell and the temperature began its steady climb down into the sub-zero zones of Arctic climes where it currently rests in defiance of my demands it rise up again, I heated a cup of water to just the right temperature (110F), poured 3 teaspons yeast onto the water in a large bowl, threw in a pinch of salt, gave it a stir, and let it rest for five minutes.

The water, salt and yeast responded well to each other’s presence and frothed joyfully in the bowl.

A cup of flowr. A cup of grated cheddar. A good healthy whisking, a second five minute rest and the ooey gooey mess was ready to receieve its final ministrations.

It is the simplicity of bread-making I love the most. Three ingredients (plus whatever extras, like cheddar, parsley and herbs, you want to throw in). A bit of attention to measurements, the water to flour combination does not require accuracy, just a good feeling in the dough’s bounce back response prior to its first rise.

Of course, it’s important to pay attention to the details – the water can’t be too hot or it will kill the yeast. Too cold, the yeast won’t awaken. The biggest demand on the breadmaker is our willingness to let the magic happen without poking and prodding it along.

Bread-making, if you’re doing it from scratch and by hand, requires patience, time and muscle. After the second five minute rest, when you start adding flour to the mixture to create the doughball, arm-strength is vital. Not only are you thickening up the gooey mess, you’re moving it around to make sure the flour, water and salt are combined and the gluten is stretched and coerced into activation.

And that’s where the ‘stress-relief’ comes in.You get to punch and roll, punch and roll as you apply your full arm power to the process, ’cause it’s the kneading that puts the gluten to work. Plopping the dough onto the counter and giving it a couple of tepid roll-overs just doesn’t make it work!

You gotta knead that baby doughball into an elastic-like consistency where the gluten knows, with great certainty, that its only job in life is to stretch in all directions beyond the confines of its small-spongle like birth-form to become what it is destined to be – a baked to perfection, crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside, delectable concoction whose only calling in life is to inveigle you into smearing a copious serving of butter and jam onto its fresh out of the oven goodness and devour it with moans of delight.

Kneading is the stress relief. Consuming is the delight.

On Monday, in anticipation of our family dinner of ten that evening, I baked a cheese-braid loaf of bread in honour of my eldest daughter who would not be joining us at the table. It is her favourite and I have never created a family dinner without one loaf gracing the center of the table(or two if she’s present as, as along with C.C., she tends to nibble away at the loaf until the product that appears on the table looks like a horde of gophers had free-reign with its preparation).

It is an act of Love. A reflection of the strength and stretchy nature of our family circle that has spanned decades and generations, been stretched at times to its maximum capacity to hold pain and grief, sorrow and sadness and still bounce back to hold us all together.

I baked a loaf of bread on Monday. The family circle remains strong, reminding me that no matter the times, or weather outside, we are all connected through Love’s enduring embrace.

Thanks dad for the life lesson! You taught me well.

Creating Beauty: the gateway to possibility

I love to cook and entertain. Fortunately, my beloved enjoys entertaining almost as much as I do and finds my desire to ‘create beauty’ umm… amusing/admirable/adorable… Yeah. That’s it.

Anyway, I do love to create a beautiful experience for everyone who comes to our home. To have the table look as good as I hope the food tastes.

This is why I spend a lot (read that – an inordinate amount) of time creating placecards for each guest and a unique look for the table-setting along with a menu that is inspiring and intriguing, as well as appetizing and fulfilling.

It pleases my creative heart and soothes my yearning to create beauty in the world.

I tell you this because I believe the world needs more beauty.

I believe that the only way to offset the ugly out there, is to create beauty, in here.

It doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the ugly in the world. It’s hard to ignore when newsfeeds are full of graphic accountings of humanity’s ability to destroy one another and the planet we depend upon for our very breath.

But there is little I can do about the bigger world beyond my own sphere of influence. And so, I do my best to ensure my sphere (some might call it a bubble) is as devoid of conflict, strife and hard edges as it can be.

That also doesn’t mean I cannot be prone to being edgie at times or behaving badly. It does mean that when I do miss a step or fall down in my behaviour, I do my best to get accountable and take responsibility for my missteps by cleaning up my act whenever I can.

And sometimes (read that most times) cleaning up my acting out requires I come back into integrity with my own self, inside me.

It means getting authentic inside so that who I am in the world is aligned with who I want to be in every aspect of my life.

When I used to coach at Choices, I remember every Sunday evening at the end of the five-day training, I’d think about how I am in ‘the room’ and ask myself, “Is how I am in the world outside this room aligned with how I am in this room?”

Often, I’d find gaps in my behaviour, in how I was presenting myself out there that were not aligned.

See, in a sacred space like the Choices room where hearts are broken open to the power of love and possibility (Discovery Seminars now that Choices no longer operates in Alberta) it is easy to be authentic. Not only is the room a safe space, it is a brave space – a space where no matter your human condition, you know without equivocation, you are loved, lovable, Love in action.

In the big world out there, it doesn’t always feel safe, and being brave can feel not only scary but dangerous.

How do you stand up to a bully when that bully has a gun?

How do you speak truth when truth-speaking could cost you your life or your family’s freedom?

And how do you create beauty when everything and everyone around you feels shrouded in the darkness of anger, fear and hopelessness?

I don’t have answers for the world ‘out there’. I do, however, now that what I create in here will ripple onward, out into the world in ways I can’t imagine.

And for that ripple to be filled with beauty, wonder and awe, I must release droplets of beauty, wonder and awe into the world around me with everything I do.

We live in times that feel unprecedentedly uncertain, at times confusing, at times nullifying and frightening.

I don’t know if what I feel today is worse than what my parents and their cohorts felt during WW2, or when I was a child and the Bay of Pigs was unfolding and we children were practicing hiding under our desks at school in case of an atom bomb going off. But, what I do know is, like my mother who wanted only to create beauty and peace in her world, I am doing my best to walk in her footsteps and do the same.

It is only the steps I am taking that can fill in the gaps between fear, hopelessness and possibility.

Sometimes, knowing I am imbuing each of my steps with beauty is all I need to bring myself back into integrity.


PS. It was my youngest daughter’s 35th birthday yesterday. To celebrate her, we held a dinner on Sunday night for family and friends. These are some of the photos. (thank you @ChristieeJames for the photos!)

And PPS. I used to avoid making cakes. I’m learning to love it! She wanted a “sprinkle cake’ – read that – Confetti Cake. I loved how it turned out!

Life in the Key of Grace.

According to Thomas Moore, whose soul-centered philosophy speaks deeply to me, some of the more turbulent life passages we’ve experienced need to be healed, or we stay stuck. In our ‘stuckedness’ (my made-up word, not his). Unhealed passages leave us acting out in immature, unconscious ways that limit the grace with which we pass through each day and ultimately, prevent us from knowing grace in aging.

“Passages are not always easy. You may decide it is too much for you and settle for being stuck in a comfortable phase.” — Thomas Moore, Ageless Soul

Moore suggests we look back on our lives and see various passages as linked by plateaus which represent the stages of our lives. Not necessarily the ‘aged’ stages, but rather, the significant events which make up our growing ‘up’. School. Marriage. Travel. Jobs. Adventures…

Sometimes, we don’t navigate the passages between plateaus well. Sometimes, in our inability to let go of one plateau to pass through to another, we refuse to say yes to possibility and hold onto, or stay stuck in, what was and can never be again.

There are many ways to heal those broken passages.

One way is to draw a timeline of your life. (For me, doing this exercise, I like to tape pieces of 8 x 11″ paper end to end horizontally. I begin at the beginning – birth, and include photos, pictures cut out of magazines, drawings, etc. as I move along my timeline. I take my time – this is my lifeline, my life journey, I want to savour each moment, whether I judge it good or bad – it is my life.)

From birth to today, mark the significant events and a word or three to describe what you did when that significant event appeared in your life.

Look for patterns, for spaces where your reason for ‘living in the NO’ or stepping back from possibility carried over into other areas of your life, even when you wanted to say Yes.

Now, hold those moments lovingly in your mind, and let compassion, love, acceptance pour over them. Let your heart open wide to the realization that in those instances you chose No, not because you couldn’t do it, but rather, because doing it was too risky, scary, fear-inducing, or you just felt more comfortable staying stuck.

Let the grace of self-forgiveness envelop you. Imagine grace is a serene river flowing through every fibre of your being.

And then, say, “I see you. I forgive you. I let go. I am peaceful with my decision today.”

Repeat often.

You Are Not A Mistake

Transitions can be frightening and necessary. We can’t see the road ahead. We don’t know what will happen. We feel unsafe in unknown territory.

And…we worry that to step forward into the unknown means leaving the past behind. Including the anger, the loss, and the pain that fuels us.

Somewhere, in a book I have long forgotten the name of, I read that we must look to nature for inspiration. The author wrote of how the beauty of fall is followed by the death of every leaf. The leaf lets go because it knows it’s time to move on. It is not striving for something else. It is not angry with the tree for letting it down. It isn’t about being perfect, it’s about the willingness to acknowledge its journey was perfect.

For humans, that perfect journey includes acknowledging our human imperfections, making amends where our imperfect behaviours have caused harm (where possible) and forgiving others so that we can transform our hearts and lives throughout our journey as change is as inevitable as the sun’s rising every morning.

To let go of what was and to allow what is unfurling to unfurl, we must forgive what was, what was, what wasn’t, and what did hurt us, and caused us angst, or pain.

And in that forgiveness is the gift of more. More peace. More gratitude. More possibility. More grace.

It isn’t that forgiveness negates justice or the need for justice. It is that forgiveness sets the forgiver free — and possibly the forgiven too. It is that forgiveness opens our hearts to possibility. Renewal. Hope. Peace. Love and Joy.

Forgiveness makes me whole. Because no matter what justice I deem necessary, or the law determines right, there is and always will be room for Divine mercy.

Mercy is the right of the God, the Divine, the Universe, the unknown and forgiveness is the deepest mystery of all.

A mystery is not something that cannot be solved or to be frightened of. Mystery is something I do not understand enough. And in the quest to understand the mystery of forgiveness, I am strengthened in my quest for inner freedom through learning what it means to forgive.

Those words in a book I cannot remember, continue to resonate as I explore what it means to be human on this journey of my lifetime.

A human being who makes mistakes and is never a mistake.

One Word. One Sun. One Moon.

The New Year is four sleeps old.

I have been waiting for ‘my one word’ to appear since before the calendar turned over.

This morning, in the stillness that comes before dawn, in the quiet of the dark holding onto the sky, it slipped in as gracefully as the river flowing past.


My One Word is FIERCENESS.

It is a scary word to me. To embody fierceness I must be not only fearless but strong and supple, committed and convicted of my path.

Fierceness reminds me that it is never too late to choose harmony, not discord. Peace, not war. It’s never too late to have a change of heart. Never too late to forgive. Never too late to let go.

And never too soon to choose Love.

To embody fierceness I must live within the moment allowing love to embrace my fears, whatever they may be.

My one word, “Fierceness” embodies the invitation to let go of fearfulness and stand strong of back, soft of heart, in Love with all humankind, all beings on this planet, sentient and insentient.

Fierceness calls for me to walk as one with this one whole world

Do you have One Word for 2023?

Please feel free to share it in the comments section below. Perhaps your word will inspire someone to hear theirs.


What I’ve Learned

In March 2007, I made a commitment to write a blogpost every day. For a year.

That year has come and gone and I am still writing a blogpost every day (almost).


Because it’s good for my soul. My heart. My head. My being. It’s good for me and how I am in this world.

Writing every morning has taught me so many things. It’s taught me that turning up on the page (or screen) keeps me flowing.

Through turning up on the page, I’ve learned to trust in the process.

To be present, in whatever I am experiencing, and find its gifts, its value, its lessons.

Turning up here has taught me, I am not alone. We are not alone. We are all connected.

And, it’s taught me the value of practice. Of doing something just for the sake of doing it and in that doing, to allow the practice to improve my doing.

So many things I’ve learned turning up here every morning.

I have learned through writing here that I am my thoughts. And what I write needs to reflect my deep belief that we are all miracles of life. Life is miraculous.

I have learned writing here that we are all on this earth to live as our highest expression of life. We are here to be the sacred nature of our soul’s desire to express itself through our beauty, truth, and creative essence. We are here as miracles of life. Because, a miracle of life is all we can be.

I have learned that my thinking can keep me playing small, or open me up to my magnificence.

I have learned that trusting in the Universe is important. I have learned to trust that; life is filled with limitless possibilities and I am powerful beyond my wildest imaginings when I trust in the Universe. The Universe is not against me. t is always there, encouraging me to trust in the evolutionary impulse to evolve and grow and expand and keep becoming. To be all that I am when I let go of fearing the Universe is not with me. The Universe is with me. For me. Of me. It is in the best interests of humanity that I shine, that you shine, that we all shine full of our greatest expression of Love.

I have learned that fear will always want to steal my peace of mind. I’ve learned that being courageous and letting love lead the way is the only antidote to fear.

I have learned that people are amazing. People make the world a better place.

And I have learned that Love is the answer. Love always wins.

Love connects us all.

We are all spirit. We are all human. We are all miraculous beings of life and light.

It is a deep realization that has continued to open up within me the possibility and the knowing that there is nothing to fear in this world. Not failure. Not success. Not falling. Not flying. Not life. Not death.

There is nothing to fear. For no matter what happens on this earthly plane, we are eternal. We are soul. One humanity. One spirit. One people. Connected through Love.

Don’t Think. Just Do.

On December 28 I made a commitment to write in my journal every day. Whether one word or a page, I will write with a pen whatever is on my mind.

Last night, after spending the day disrobing the Christmas tree, putting away the season’s finery, and putting the house back in order, followed by an evening binge-watch of a series on my laptop, I realized I had not yet written in my journal.

“It’s too late to do it now,” the critter whispered in my ear. “Save it for tomorrow.”

My commitment to myself saved me.

The inner loving voice of wisdom whispered, “Write this… I deserve to believe in myself. To trust me. To honour my commitments to me. I deserve my self-respect.”

I wrote out the words 3 x — and went on to fill out the page with my thoughts.

It has been a long (long) time since I wrote consistently by hand in my journal. Reawakening the habit requires consistency – and commitment keeping.

Keeping commitments to myself creates a world of difference for me. It ignites feelings of self-respect and love. It creates a sense of honour, like I can depend upon myself to turn up for me.

In fact, I have been doodling away at a novel I began writing last year and haven’t gotten very far – mostly because of self-excuses that let me off the hook of turning up for me.

In my journal, I have drafted the outline for the book along with the first three chapters.

That is progress.

That is turning up for me.

What about you? What commitments to yourself have you not kept, or would like to keep but are putting off or avoiding altogether?

What are the stories you tell yourself about why you haven’t turned up in full living-colour within your own life?

If you have anything on your list, here’s my recommendation:

Don’t think about all the reasons why not. Just Do.

  • Don’t buy into your own excuses. Just Do
  • Stop thinking about why you don’t, or why you shouldn’t, or all the other why nots that clatter around your brain. Just Do.
  • Stop beating yourself up for not doing — Just Do.
  • And above all, love yourself by turning up for yourself in your hesitation, stalling, confusion, regrets, excuses — and Just Do.

Don’t think. Just Do.

Gratitude. The shortest distance between two hearts.

I am sitting at my desk. Later than normal morning for me. But it’s the week between Christmas and New Years. A week where time seeps gracefully into the back seat of life unfurling in that liminal space between one year’s ending and a new one being born.

A week to breathe and be present.

To ease into each day without checking off lists and rushing towards a deadline where that jolly ole’ big guy in a red suit comes swooshing down chimneys all over the world to the delight of little girls and boys.

That week when pundits offer up reflections of the year past, and gurus provide sublimely simple (yet hard to attain) counsel on how help even the most recalcitrant of acolytes can set and keep New Year’s resolutions.

That week.

Amidst the clamour and the clatter, the stillness and the spaces between, I sit at my desk contemplating the misty view outside my window while inside, the scent of the cinnamon candle I received for Christmas fills the air with sweet aroma.

In front of me, the journal I gifted myself for Christmas sits waiting. I have made a commitment to write in it once a day, 365 days, like in a row as DK would say, for the next year.

I began early. My gratitude list for 2022.

At the top, a reconnection with a young woman very close to my heart. Life happenings. A horrific tragedy. Misunderstandings. Moving far away all took a toll on this relationship.

In 2022, she reached out and we are once again connected.

This is what tops my gratitude list for 2022.

The loss of my dear friend Andrew is also there. Not his leaving this world, but his legacy of friendship, loyalty, love. They are at the top of my list.

My beloved too. It’s been a challenging year for his health in particular. We are moving through it all. Not always with grace. But we are doing our best. As my niece said to me on an early morning call this morning, “You have to give them A for effort. That’s what matters most.”

She’s right. Perfection is just a state of mind that keeps me seeking something I cannot have or achieve – which ultimately will always leave me feeling dissatisfied/disgruntled with my life!

The fact is, my beloved will seldom remember to put the toilet paper roll with the paper coming off the top — but he will always replace the empty one. And while I know that sounds petty on my part, it is letting go of my need to have it one way (ok My Way) that creates space for both of us to revel in the field of gratitude without needing perfection as our benchmark.

And reveling without expectation of reward or outcome opens the portal to living in life’s field of joy every day.

Hope your day is full of joy and wonder, awe and mystery.