Category Archives: Essential Journey

Stormy Take Outs

It was a day of rest. A day to savour time by the fire. Chatting. Reading. Playing crib. (I won’t mention the fact C.C. skunked me! Cad! 🙂 ) And, a day to appreciate the power of nature and the benefits of electricity.

It was at 2pm the lights flickered and then went out. Completely. For almost 3 hours, a large swathe of Vancouver Island was without power. Storm. Power surges. Faulty lines. Not sure what the problem was but it was rather exciting for a while with just the fire and candles to add light in the storm.

Inside, at The Lodge at Middle Beach, we were warm and cozy. Outside the winds howled. The surf surged and trees danced in the storm.

By 5pm the power began to reappear. On. Off. Until after about 10 attempts, it stayed on.

I had taken a walk on the beach earlier. The wind blew fiercely. The waves roared and the tide crashed against the shoreline. Within fifteen minutes, the path I’d taken along the beach was awash and I had to find the high tide trail back. It was wild and beautiful and intoxicating.

When I returned, my pants were soaked but my upper body was dry as I had worn one of the bright yellow slickers the Lodge provides.

I felt exhilarated. Revived by the wind and sea and salt air.

This morning, the storm has died down. The skies are a misty grey, white flecks dotted with blue struggle to break through. Rain still falls. Soft and gentle, not the skin prickling sensations of yesterday.

The power is on.

We had a delicious dinner last night in The Great Room at Longbeach Lodge. Their generator had kept the kitchen running, albeit at limited capacity, throughout the afternoon and by 8pm when we arrived, everything was back on. We chatted and listened to the waves and savoured the delectable food and toasted our ‘togetherness’.

And my heart expanded, my breath deepened and my thinking mind drifted effortlessly into silence.

Inside me, I feel the ebb and flow of the waves pulling me into stillness. I feel myself slowing down, once again becoming attuned to my heartbeat, the blood flowing through my veins, the feeling of my bones grounded in space and time, connected to the ‘everythingness’ that is all around.

I breathe. In. Out.

I feel my breath move throughout my body. Energizing. Life-giving. Connected.

I feel my breath move down, down, down into my legs. Into my feet. Tingling against my soles. I feel it move through me into the ground beneath me. And I say a silent prayer of gratitude.

My body is present. I am aware. Alive. Awed.

Outside the wind continues to howl.

Inside, I am rested. Peaceful. Connected. Present.

Life is an adventure. Life is grand.

Tofino Solace

Wind blows. Waves crash. Trees bend.

Rain falls from grey sky melting into grey ocean. The horizon is a distant shrouded line drifting effortlessly into infinity.

The view from our room

I am in my happy place. At the edge of the rocks where land meets sea. Where seagulls swoop and the air is kissed by salt and sea.

This place of endless sky brings me home to where I find myself drifting effortlessly into restfulness, peace, tranquillity. In this place, I reflect and refresh. In this place, I settle in beside the fire and let my mind drift into the endless nothingness of being present, being at one with this moment in which I find myself drifting effortlessly into time present, past, future, to all that has brought me here to this moment right now where all of time is wrapped up in this moment, right now.

As the sounds of the bells ringing in the new year fade into the call of a new day unfolding, my heart skips a beat of recognition, of clarity, of excited anticipation. A calendar page turns and the story of my life shimmers with possibility on the spine of calendar days flowing, one into the next, in the story of my life unfolding.

The Lodge at Middle Beach

It was a year of great opportunity. Of growth. Of trial. Of struggle. Of possibility. Of excitement and stretching to find muscles I never new excited within me as I adapted and evolved, shifted and stretched my wings, my horizons, my possibilities. It was a year in which change beckoned and familiarity called me to hold on, to let go, to release and to let be.

It was a year to savour. To give thanks. To be grateful. To be content.

It was time past that was once each moment.

I sit by a roaring fire wrapped in gratitude and ease, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks outside the windows find the rhythm of my heart and fill my soul with grace. Soft music plays. My beloved sits beside me reading.

I am at peace. I am at rest. I am here. Here I am.

Namaste.

Ring In The New Year!

The New Year has begun. Gratitude rises. Love expands.

After several delightful days in Vancouver with my daughter, son-in-love and grandson (he is AMAZING!), we arrived on Gabriola Island to spend New Years Eve with my sister and her husband. This morning, we are preparing to leave for Tofino. The forecast is rain (after my beloved finishes watching the Canada/Czech World Juniors Hockey Game that is! 🙂 ). My outlook is sunny.

Storms on the west coast. Moody. Dramatic. Captivating.

Walking the beach. Smelling the salt stung air. Hearing the waves crash.

My kind of magic.

Yesterday was a bright blue sky day. The sun danced on the ocean. The mountains glistened in the distance and my heart sang a song of joy.

My sister and I did the Gabriola Polar Bear Swim (it was my second, her third) — or as one woman at the beach called it — the Dunk and Dash.

Yup. That was me. I ran in. Dunked. Ran out.

It was worth it! To begin the year with a dip in the Pacific Ocean, chilly waters and all.

I am looking forward to Tofino. Looking forward to quiet time to reflect on the amazingness of the year past, to fill my memory bucket with gratitude for all that transpired, all I received, all I experienced. And, to open my heart to all that is possible in this year to come when I let go of worry and fear of what the future may hold and flow with grace into being present in this moment of Love unfolding.

It has been a grand end of a year and the beginning of the next.

It is a time to celebrate. To reflect. To give thanks and to share the Love that flows as effortlessly as the sea, in and out and all around.

Happy New Year to all!

 

Mother Nature: Defiant in the face of adversity

As the days grow shorter and the cold settles in for the winter, the river moves more slowly. Once a frolicking dance of water rushing towards the east, it slithers along its course in a smooth sinuous dance of water and light flowing together. In the middle, between the two abutments that hold the pedestrian bridge up above the water, an ever-widening island of ice is forming.

Winter approaches. Snow covers the ground. The trees stand naked on the river’s shore.

The river runs cold. The river runs deep.

The sky is dark and gloomy. Morning has not yet broken.

I sit at my desk, looking out as daylight slowly creeps across the sky. I am warm and cozy inside my home.

And then, for just a moment, I take my eyes from the river and sky to glance at what I’ve typed and when I look up again, the horizon is awash in rosy pink and golden hues dancing across the sky.

I sit in awe of nature’s ability to fill the world with beauty in just one breath.

Amidst all the inexplicable and often horrific happenings in our world, in spite of the dire news that fills our newscasts with all the things we humans do to destroy each other and this planet we share and call our home, nature continually defies our senselessness with acts of beauty.

Thank you Mother Nature for opening the morning with such grace and beauty. Thank you for reminding me that no matter how far the world seems to be spinning off its axis, no matter how dark the skies or turbulent the waters, spilling warm inviting colours all over my world creates a more inviting place to be. Thank you for showing me how a warm inviting smile, a graceful dab of laughter, a sprinkle of tenderness and kindness can push away the darkness and let the light of day shine bright.

Morning has broken. The river flows deep. My day has begun in beauty.

May we all live this day like Mother Nature. Defiant in the face of adversity. Continually overpowering darkness with light and ugly acts of violence with loving acts of grace. Let us all be fearless in our desire to create beauty in the world.

Namaste.

___________________________

and PS — if you’re wondering…. Beaumont is still asleep in bed with his dad!

 

 

 

 

 

My Birthday Manifesto

It is good that once a year the day of our birth comes around to remind us to stop and breathe and give thanks for life, living and love.

It is good that on this day we are reminded of all the love that fills our every breath.

It is good that on this day we take the time to reflect and appreciate all we’ve experienced, received and given over the past year(s).

It is good to be thankful on this day for the people in our lives who make it so rich and special.

It is good to take time on our day of birth (and everyday) to acknowledge within us the deep place of knowing, who we are shines brightest in our connections to one another. That Love fills the intersection of each relationship with its never-ending flow.

It is good that we stop and acknowledge and give thanks for that which binds us together, connects us and keeps us safe – Love.

It is good that we give thanks for the Love that illuminates our hearts, filling our lives with such abundance and joy.

It is good that we give thanks on this day for the trials and tribulations, the pains and sorrows we’ve experienced. They are part of the tapestry of our life that lets us test our wings and unfurl them just a little bit further.

It is good to remember that no matter how dark the day, the light shines brightest in the darkness.

It is good that we fall into gratitude for the richness and beauty in the depths of all that is present in our lives.

It is all good.

And on this day of my birth, It is good to acknowledge how my journey is strengthened and made more beautiful because it is woven into the lives of so many people whom I love so deeply my heart aches in the joy and wonder of that Love.

And it is good to acknowledge on this day that I believe in Love. I believe in the power, the majesty, the wonder of this energy that embraces our world in such beauty it takes my breath away.

Because I believe that in all things, in all ways, in darkness and in light, in beauty and in sorrow, in joy and in loss, in wonder and in tears, there is always Love.

It is my birthday today. I am grateful for all of you who come and share this space with me, who leave comments and likes and tiny little footprints that illuminate my heart with your presence throughout the year.

I am blessed with this beautiful life I inhabit. In the love I know is real and true and deep and profound.

I am joyful in this space in which I find myself today and every day. This space where I get to live my life free of fear and turmoil. Where I know when I flip the switch the lights will come on. That when I open the fridge there will be food to eat. That when I open the front door, there will be only friendly faces to greet me. That when I walk the streets I do not fear bombs falling or guns rattling. That I do not shiver with cold because I have a warm coat and boots and gloves to protect me from the cold.

I am thankful for my home. My lamp lit desk that overlooks the river. My bright and airy studio that inspires my creativity and personal reflections and expressions. My home. My beloved. My family and friends. My delightful Beaumont.

I am grateful that my world is filled with such possibility, such joy, such Love. That I am free to express myself without fear. That I am free to be myself without censure.

I am grateful for another year to have journeyed around the sun connected to the world in new and exciting ways that enliven my outlook and sparkle-up my perspective of this amazing, crazy, sometimes thought-defying, inexplicably cruel and breathtakingly beautiful world of harmony and contradictions. Of grandeur and of pain. Of our human condition in all its multi-faceted dimensions. Of our natural world showing us what is possible when we let go of fearing one another and join hands in peace, hope, Love and joy.

It is my birthday today. I am so blessed.

Are you willing to give up control to have what you want in life?

Early morning. Lying in my bed. Comfy. Warm. Cozy.

I listen to the sounds of the house. The gentle breathing of my beloved. Beaumont snuffling in his sleep where he lies on the floor at the side of the bed. The hum of the furnace. The faint, distant thrum of a train rolling westward out of the city. The air feels fluid, soft.

I feel enveloped in a womblike glow of peace, calm, graciousness.

Morning has not yet broken. The day is slow in its awakening.

Sitting at my desk.

Music plays softly in the background. Piano. C, Eb, G, Bb. My desk light casts a warm glow on my fingers. Lights of cars travelling across the bridge sparkle in the early light. The surface of the river shimmers in the light shining on the pathway under the bridge.

Yesterday, there was an ice island forming at the base of the middle abutment. In the warmth of yesterday’s temperature, the ice has disappeared. The river flows freely, moving in harmony with nature’s grace.

Life is like the river. We flow gracefully, effortlessly in its never-ending harmony and then, something happens. A hurt. A loss. A sadness.

We stiffen up. Freeze. And ice begins to clog the flow. Sometimes, in our pain, we isolate. Stand still. Run faster. Resist. Push back against life’s constant flow.

Sometimes, we’ll do it all repeatedly, trying anything everything we can think of in a desperate attempt to stop whatever pain is damning up the flow.

Slowly, like ice forming on the river as winter approaches, we begin to move more labouriously, our hearts become heavy. Our limbs stiffen. Our minds circle again and again, like water in an eddy, around and around we swirl, trying to dislodge whatever is holding us in place, pulling us down. We struggle to control life, forgetting life is not to be controlled. It must be experienced.

And then, spring arrives and we begin to feel the first promising breaths of hope teasing our aching hearts and limbs into motion. Frightened it will not last, we cling a bit more to whatever pattern we’ve developed to keep ourselves safe from feeling the pain of hurts, loss, sadness.

The river flows freely this morning. Moving with the grace of nature. It will freeze again before winter is done, and always, it will thaw in nature’s continuous flowing of the seasons.

My heart is light this morning. Flowing freely in the beauty of nature awakening to the day.

There will be hurts to come (there always are), losses, sadness to experience. And always, when I immerse myself in the flow of life, when I release my resistance, my belief I can control life’s happenings, I am free to flow effortlessly and with grace in life’s unending river dancing in the light of each new day.

Are you willing to release the need to control life and be with the flow?

Let’s flow together!

Namaste.

Trees Fall Down And Nobody Yells At Them.

I didn’t do it.

No excuses. No reason why not (well actually I have a lot of those but you don’t really want to hear them).  The fact is, I did not reach the 50,000 word target of the NaMoWriNo.

And I’m okay.

When the time is right the writing will be written, I shall continue on.

At this moment in time, I am having way too much fun in my studio, creating a new platform on my website for creative offerings and developing courseware that expresses my life focus of being a Creativity Activist. Oh. And I’ve got Christmas gifts to craft for this year.

If I were really committed to the writing, it would happen. And it’s just not happening write now.

Isn’t that the way of life? We think about the things we’d like to do, and then don’t get to them. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision not to. Sometimes, it’s procrastination. Sometimes, competing priorities or different ones take centre stage. And then, there’s just the good ole’ filling time with other busyness.

Whatever the reason, not doing it is information that can create light in our life or heavy spaces.

In the past, in not reaching a target I might have wasted time chastising myself, beating myself up for what I deemed ‘falling down’. It never really helped. What it did do was create that heaviness of being that nullifies and defies my peace of mind.

Enough is enough.

I don’t need to chastise myself. I have to either get on with completing whatever it was I was doing, or, decide to be okay with not doing it.

In the ‘being okay with not doing’ I can choose to create space for self-compassion and self-acceptance.

I didn’t reach the NaMoWriNo word target.

I did sign-up. I did complete my outline and chapter synopses. I did a bunch of research on an area of the novel that I need to understand to write about it. I did start writing. And that’s a big deal. Those are positive steps.

Time to celebrate the steps taken.

Time to acknowledge I’m exactly where I am. Life is exactly what it is in this moment right now.

And then… it’s back to the studio I go to play and create.

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I’ve been creating more Christmas balls with clear glass balls and alcohol ink and glitter. I do love sparkly things!  Did I mention how much fun I’m having?