Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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What do you do when life is too busy to take time to be present?

Do you struggle with the pace of life? The never-ending flow of moment to moment passing by, filled with lists of things to do, accomplish, finish?

I know I do.

Right now, after having moved into our new home March 12th, I am finally feeling at home in the main areas.

Furniture is where we want it. Some of the paintings are hung. New couch. New pillows. All in place. It feels like home.

Our bedroom is another story.

I have sorted out the boxes, created two big bags of give-away clothes. Moved the stack of paintings from one wall to the other. And there they rest.

Books are stacked in baskets on the floor. Clothes are hung in the closets but there is still that one box of clothes waiting to to be unpacked.

As I said to a friend at dinner last night, I no longer really see ‘the mess’. It’s normalized in my brain and I don’t feel compelled to do anything with it.

Yet.

Time to breathe into the moment, to create space for my attention to open up to the possibility of creating a beautiful living space in our bedroom so that I can commit to getting done what needs to be done.

Time to celebrate ridding our bedroom of disorder to create harmony and order in our lives.

Because that’s the thing about celebrating the sacredness of simple acts. Tidying up isn’t a grind. It’s a joyful expression of creating harmony.

Getting rid of unwanted bags of clothes isn’t a nuisance. It’s an opportunity to create space for a fresh start.

And, building bookcases and putting books where they belong isn’t a tiring job. It’s a delightful opportunity to spend time with ‘old friends’ remembering sacred passages and special stories.

I have been letting the busy of my life distract me from the sacred nature of everyday moments and simple acts of grace.

I have been giving into the chatter in my mind that would have me believe I’m too tried, overwhelmed, [insert word of choice] to celebrate taking time to do what needs to be done.

Time to make space for diving into the sacred moments of living this one, beautiful life immersed in the joy of creating value in every moment, no matter what I’m doing.

Time to let go of my excuses and awaken to my desire to create beauty all around me.


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Let Love wash over me

 

June Daily Intention Photo Credit:  Photo by Irina Kostenich on Unsplash


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

Photo by Kristen Wyman on Unsplash

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

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

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

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

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

Let me never forget
to share my gifts.

_____________________________

Photo by Kristen Wyman on Unsplash


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Live with joyful abandon

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

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

Remember when?

Life is a journey of creating moments for gathering memories.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

I was scared.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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The Writing Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But if I could unhook gravity…

I sit by the river this morning, writing.

I no longer want to unhook gravity’s hold.

I no longer live ‘the lie’.

I am blessed.