Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Home again, home again, jiggedty jig.

Do you remember the nursery rhyme, 3 Little Piggies?

It was what was rhyming through my head as C.C. and I left the terminal on Saturday night, bracing ourselves against the onslaught of cold we knew we were about to encounter.

“Home again, home again, jiggety jig,” I said as we stepped from the aircraft into the port leading to the main terminal. “Brrrr!” I added as the cold air rushed at me through the openings where the port joined the aircraft.

“Just think of it as natural air-conditioning,” C.C. joked.

And the lady behind him laughed and said, “Yeah. And you can’t turn it off until May, no matter the temperature.”

019c09882520d689e20cc695a2edcdccd3c6148329_00001We Calgarians love our weather. We love to talk about it, groan about it, wish we could change it. But secretly… Well secretly I think we kind of like it. It makes us who we are. Hardy. Willing to take on anything. Not afraid of the elements. And optimistic (the summer will come, it always does) and maybe a bit pessimistic too. (Don’t worry. Wait five minutes and the weather will change — for the worst probably because you know, it can snow in July in Calgary!)

Yesterday, as I took Beaumont for his walk, I didn’t mind the weather. Sure, it was cold. Very cold. And yes, the slight breeze had a bite. But it was crispy clear and fresh! It definitely reminded me that I was alive. Everyone I met at the park was bundled up against the elements, but they were smiling. Our dogs played and romped and we laughed together and talked about how silly the puppies were being, and the weather, naturally.

I had to laugh when I saw myself all bundled up for the cold. Last week I was trying to strip down to the bare necessities to accommodate the heat and now, I’m bundling up to survive the cold.

And that’s the thing about we humans. We are adaptable. We are capable of adjusting our sails, shifting our perspectives in order to live as gracefully as we can in the circumstances in which we find ourselves today. Because that’s the thing about the weather. You can’t change it. You can breathe into it and find the joy in whatever you’re doing, where ever you are, no matter the temperature, because weather is weather and accepting what is as what it is makes for a more grace-filled life.

After I unpacked and stuffed the laundry basket and tucked my straw hat and sandals away for another day, I tackled the bigger job I hadn’t had time to do before we left for Huatulco. Put away Christmas for another year.

I lit the tree for one last time and began to unrobe it as if preparing it for the heat of summer. As I worked, I was reminded of Christmases past and the many changes my life has encountered over the years. Carefully wrapping the beautiful silvery balls and the decorative birds I cherish, my mind leapt back to the gold filigree ornaments I’d purchase many years ago at the Christkindl Market in Cologne, Germany. I loved those ornaments. The delicate design. The exquisite detail of each curved edge.  I lost those decorations in the aftermath of a relationship gone terribly wrong and for a long time, as I healed from the ravages of what had happened, I missed those ornaments and the life before the ‘bad man’ that they represented.

01fc4974d699cd78e8d81f3d9a2ce71730c8780f85_00001Today, I still remember those ornaments. But I no longer miss them. My life is so full of precious moments, of wondrous adventures and people I love that those ornaments remain gracefully in the past. When they do pop into my mind unexpectedly, I see them in all their intricate detail as a beautiful reminder to cherish what is in the present today.
I grounded myself in my world here at home yesterday. In this place that is filled with people I cherish and a life I love.

I am blessed.

And I do a little jiggety jig in the soft glow of morning and greet this day with joy.

It may be cold outside, my in my heart it is warm and toasty as I am surrounded in Love.

Namaste.

 

 

 


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Mexico bound! Bye Bye winter. Hello Sun

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We are sitting in Terminal 3 at Toronto Airport. It is early morning and I am sleepy. We took The Red Eye out of Calgary just after midnight. We almost didn’t make it. C.C. Got a little confused about the date of our departure. We thought it was tonight!

Fortunately, we realized our mistake early enough in the day to get organized (mostly). Beaumont and Marley are lavishing in the attention of our friend Tamz who is staying at the house while we enjoy ten days in Huatuclo, Mexico.

Decidedly decadent vacation!

Fortunately our return flight is direct to Calgary — this overnight thingy is not at all a restful journey! But that’s okay. We can sleep on arrival and currently, C.C is stretched out over several seats attempting to catch some shut-eye as we Wait out the time  from our arrival at 6am to our departure at 9:30.

I’m glad we’re inside, headed to some warmth, because baby, it’s cold outside. Snowy, Blustery, Blizzardy. Flying in, the visibility was  low. It wasn’t until we were almost over the end of the runway getting ready to land that any lights appeared.

I am grateful for the technology that makes it possible to fly, and land, safely in such dire conditions. Our flight is still on time. Our spirits are bright and the forecast in Huatuclo is sun, sun and more sun. And hot.

What could be better than that?

I’m looking forward to the heat. The sun. The water. The  relaxation. And the chance to spend some chill time with my beloved.

Bye Bye winter.

Hello sun.

Bring it on!

 


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How to get anywhere: Start from where you’re at.

So often we look for the path by thinking we need to know it well before we step on it. We need to get more experience, learn more tricks of the trade, gather up more ideas, investigate more possibilities.

Fact is, the best way to get anywhere is to begin from where you’re at, and keep moving.

But, what if I don’t know where I want to go? you ask.

Start from where you are by asking yourself (and writing the answers down) the follow 3 questions:

  1. What brings me joy?
    • Write a list of all the things you can think of that bring you joy. It doesn’t matter how short or long your list, you need to have at least one thing on it that brings you joy. And, if you can’t think of anything, make finding what brings you joy a priority. Watching the sunrise. Sunsets. Walking in the park. Being with my friends. Running. Skiing. Writing. Volunteering at the animal shelter. Soaking in a bath. Playing my guitar. Taking photographs. Listening to music…
  2. If anything were possible in my life what would I be doing?
    • Write a list of all the things you think you might want to be doing. Write a novel. Sail the Pacific. Work for a humanitarian cause. Be an actor on stage. Find a cure for a mysterious disease. Adopt a child. Adopt a dog….
  3. What’s holding me back from starting on a path to doing at least one of those things?
    • Write another list with all the things that come to your mind — don’t judge your answers. Just write your list. My 9 – 5 job. My family commitments. Lack of money. Lack of education. I don’t know how. I’m afraid. It’s a stupid idea. People will laugh at me if I…

Now, for every thing listed on your ‘what brings me joy list, answer the following question inserting each one of the answers you gave to Question No. 3 ‘What’s holding me back. (write your answer down)

“How does my _[9 – 5 job]____________ hold me back from ____[watching the sunrise]___.

“How does my _[9 – 5 job]____________ hold me back from ____[watching the sunset]___.

“How does my _[9 – 5 job]____________ hold me back from ____[Walking in the park.]___.

There are 2 possible responses here. 1. It does hold me back. 2. It doesn’t hold me back.

Either way, answering the question for each thing that brings you joy will identify your excuses, or the fact you don’t let excuses keep you from experiencing joy.

Cause, here’s the thing. If you know what brings you joy and take steps to experience it everyday, you are already on the path. And if you let your excuses keep you from experiencing joy, once you’ve identified that they are just excuses, stepping onto the path is accomplished by — letting go of your excuses.

Acknowledging that experiencing joy in our lives is not hindered by our list of excuses, helps us connect to the possibilities.

Conversely, we can’t get to ‘possible’ if we’re stuck in believing our life makes possibility impossible. If we believe we can’t do the things that bring us joy — simple everyday things that surround us always and are easily accessible just by doing, we can’t get to the bigger possibilities — because we’re stuck in ‘it’s impossible thinking’. We’re trapping ourselves in messages that say things like, “I can’t do that because…” and then we let the list the 101 reasons why we can’t, go back to school, get a new job, quit our job and travel the world, become our reality.

Our impossible thinking stops us from seeing possibility is always present. To open the doors of possibility, we need to step through our fears through the gateway of joy. From that place of knowing joy in everyday things, we become open to seeing possibility for greater things to be possible.

Start where you’re at. Name what brings you joy and then do the things that bring you joy. Let the path appear as you keep stepping through your fears into joy and possibility.

Namaste.