Category Archives: Marriage

Weaving Our Way Home

I am home now. After two-weeks away, we drove back over the weekend, stopping along the way in the Okanagon wine-country for some tastings and relaxation.

My heart is full.

The time with my daughter and her family, including newborn Ivy, was pure love.

My heart is heavy.

We are back on this side of the Rockies.

In wine country, C.C. and I rented a delightful Air BnB for three nights. We visited Bench 1775 Winery where we married five years ago, as well as a couple of other favourites and a new one too.

Wine tasting at Nichol Vineyard

It was a beautiful, relaxing respite.

It was also the shortened version of the trip we’d planned for our anniversary in April that was side-lined by Covid.

Covid changes are visible everywhere in wine country. There are limits on the number of people allowed in the tasting rooms at a time. Screens in front of the servers and social distance circles on the floor. Our favourite bistro at Liquidity is closed – though you do get a gift of a wonderful bag of fresh veggies from their garden when you purchase wine.

And yet, despite of and because of the changes, there is a beautiful, relaxed, slowed down pace to it all.

On Sunday, the last winery we visited was a new one for us, Nighthawk Vineyards. Daniel and Christy, the owners, were on hand to pour and share their stories of life as ‘farmers’ as Daniel calls it.

As we sipped and asked questions and Daniel shared his love of wine-making and farming, which he discovered 9 years ago when they purchased the property, we felt the warmth of the late afternoon on our skin and savoured the view of the small lake at the edge of their property tucked between the hills that surround their property.

It was an enthralling and inspiring sojourn.

Their two adult sons also work with them, creating a beautiful story full of the mystique and mystery of viticulture soaked in their love of family and their desire to create wines and experiences that reflect their deep commitment to the earth and environment and exceptional customer service.

The reflecting pool at Liquidity

Sitting in the late afternoon sun, savouring their delicious offerings, breathing deeply of the bouquets of the wine dancing on our taste buds and the gentle late afternoon breeze caressing our faces, I felt my body relax into itself as I said a little prayer of gratitude afor Love and life and people who create with such passion and integrity and share their gifts so graciously.

And when we were done, We drove back down the mountainside towards our little cottage, our hearts full of this time together.

The view from Bench 1775 – where we got married

When C.C. surprised me with his plan for our trip home, I whined. I wanted to get home. To be in-place again. I was tired, and not all that happy about stopping off.

I’m so glad he was patient and persistent and wise enough to know, I was tired enough to not know what I truly needed. The respite in wine country was perfect!

Home again, today I unpack, take a long walk with Beaumont and settle into being in-place.

While in wine country, I spent the mornings at our cottage, sitting on the deck painting and creating in my art journal. As with all the pages in this series, one of my mother’s prayer cards is collaged into the background – a now invisible thread weaving her prayers for everyone.

The text woven into the painting reads:

“We are the memory keepers. The weavers of threads of beauty and mystery and wonder into the warp and weft of life.

We are the story-tellers. The speakers of truth shimmering with grace and love into the tapestry of life unfolding as we journey through time and space.

We are the story-creators. The women gathered at the well throughout the ages. The women dancing around the fire, tending to the vestal flames of life on earth. Bearing life. Gestating. Birthing. Communing. Divining. Weaving.”

Namaste

PS. I am back home but not back regularly to these pages. I am relaxing over the summer, divining my schedule, and giving myself space to create so will be posting irregularly. I hope you visit and leave a comment. It is always such a gift to hear your voices and ‘see’ you here.

An Image of Love

A collective painting. Created at our wedding celebration, April 25, 2015 by everyone who was there.

This painting tells a story. It is a story of Love. Family. Friends. Marriage. Union. Communion. Hearts intertwining and lives weaving together to form a beautiful, vibrant tapestry of life today and everyday.

It is the painting my beloved and I created, along with our family and friends who had come together on this day, five years ago, to celebrate our union in marriage.

The day began with pouring rain. Cats and dogs as they say.

I was disappointed. We’d chosen Bench 1775 Winery in Naramata, BC because of their deck overlooking Okanagan Lake and the incredible views it offered of the vineyards, the lake and the surrounding mountains.

By 11am I had to make the decision — we would not be getting married on the deck. We’d have to set-up in the tasting room and the tent we’d had erected for the occasion.

By 2pm everything was ready and I raced back to Therapy Vineyards Guesthouse, where we were staying, to get ready. (I know. I left it kind of late but I really wanted everything to look ‘just so’, even if we weren’t going to be out on the deck).

While Charles and his son got ready at the Bench, my two daughters, step-daughter and I laughed and drank champagne as we got dressed at Therapy. The girls did each other’s make-up and mine. Ross, our photographer quietly took photos and Tim, C.C. and my best man, ensured we had everything we needed. Though, getting to the ‘deck’ on time was not high on the agenda, we definitely had fun and were looking ‘smokin’ hot’ by the time we were ready to go.

At quarter to four, the time we were supposed to leave to get to the ‘church’ on time for a 4pm wedding, we still weren’t quite ready. I jokingly said it was, ‘my day’ and I’d be late if I wanted to! (queue It’s my party… though the only thing I would have possibly cried about on that day was the weather but even it seemed to be lifting the shroud of grey and mist that had enveloped the lake and valley all day).

At 10 to 4 a friend text me from Bench 1775 where our guests were all seated, inside, waiting for the big moment. Three simple words. “The sun’s out.” Followed by a series of smiley face emoticons.

I promptly text back. “Tell them to move the chairs outside.”

Momentary silence. And then she text back. “Ok. Done.”

She stood up, called out to the 50+ people gathered for the celebration and said, “Louise wants to move the wedding outside. Everybody pick up your chair and move!”

And so they did. Amidst lots of laughter and shaking of their heads and possibly a few, “Seriously?  What on earth is she thinking?”

Five years later, that day is still indelibly written on my memory. It was a day of laughter, joy, friendship and familial bonds shining in the sunlight that streamed in through a gap in the mountains lining the lake on the western side.

It was a day of vows committed beneath a cerulean sky dotted with fluffy white clouds, vows that continue to reflect and inform and enrich our marriage today.

It was a day to say, I Do.

As I sit in our home today, I feel the power of that ‘I Do’  resonating throughout my being. There is no one I’d rather be sequestered in solitude with during this time of Covid’s forced isolation.

While this virus might be coursing around the globe, our home is filled with the love and wonder of that day. It is imbued with the spirit of the hearts of everyone who gathered together to witness, to celebrate, to share, to dance and laugh and… to create an Image of Love with C.C. and me.

The painting we collectively created hangs on the wall as you enter our front door. It is a reminder of the one thing that endures, sustains. nourishes and abides no matter the weather or the times, no matter how dark or easy the path, no matter where in the world we are.

Love.

 

 

When Your Home is Your Boat

There is a story about a man who travels through a desert searching for escape. He stumbles over a dune and there at the base of the dune, he sees a river flowing, it’s waters sparkling in the sun. On the other side, he sees what looks like the land of paradise. Lush. Green. Full of trees heavy with fruit.

He races to the river’s edge and drinks deeply.

He stays there for awhile, catching his breath, letting his body grow strong again.

Eventually, he gets up, scours the water’s edge for wood and makes a raft.

Happily, he rows across to the other side. He climbs off his raft and sets off to explore paradise.

But first, he decides to take his raft with him. Just in case.

Eventually, he grows tired. Bone weary tired. The raft weighs so much. But he cannot put it down. ‘What if I come upon another river that needs crossing?’ he asks himself.

And so he continues to stumble along until finally, he cannot take another step. He falls to the ground and his boat falls with him.

We are all at home now. At least those of us who have a home in which to shelter-in-place. And those who are not ‘out there’ saving lives, keeping us fed, keeping us safe and secure.

We are all at home.

What are you carrying on your back as you shelter-in-place? Does it serve you well?

Yesterday, I spent a few hours cleaning out the basement. My cleaning out/up began with the realization that it’s mid-April (already) and the Christmas boxes are still sitting at the bottom of the stairs, outside the storage room door. (I’d give you the story about why they weren’t on the other side of the door, but it’s not all that interesting.)

Fortunately, along with the boxes, I can now put away that tired old excuse-filled story and relax.

I feel lighter. More accomplished. More peaceful. More spacious.

And all it took to alleviate the weight of those boxes of glitter and boughs on my peace of mind, was to put them in their place.

For me, it is one of the hardest parts of our self-isolation. Whatever I’m carrying, worry, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, resentment…, grows into a heavy-burden when I do nothing about it. Because I am sharing this space with my beloved, sometimes, the presence of the undone, unmentioned, unspoken creates choppy waters between us.

Fact is, I think I was kind of secretly wishing, hoping, thinking, he’d put all the boxes away. I mean, I took Christmas down. Why can’t he put it all back where it belongs? You with me?

Probably because his COPD makes tasks that require lifting and moving of things very challenging. Probably because it hurts him to breathe when he over-exerts.

It does not hurt me.

What hurts is when my mind goes round and round in circles of discontent, nattering about the ‘why me’s?’ of everyday living.

When your home is your boat, it’s not just what you carry with you that makes a difference in how smooth or choppy the waters upon which you sail. It’s also about how lovingly you navigate the messy places too.

Yesterday, I got rid of a weight on my shoulders that had no purpose other than to weigh me down. In getting the job done,  I released myself of the guilt-riddled anxiety and self-defeating grumbles of resentment that arose every time I walked down the stairs and saw all the boxes sitting by the basement door.

Today, the skies are clear and my sails are set for smooth sailing.

I feel lighter of heart. More expansive in nature.

And all it took was the willingness (and a wee bit of elbow grease) to right my boat by ridding it of the ego-driven thoughts and things that were weighing me down.

When your home is your boat and your boat is your home, carrying unwanted baggage makes the journey a struggle between ego and will or compassion and Love.

When your home is your boat and your boat is your home, jettisoning the things you know do not serve you well, creates space for harmony, joy, peace and intimacy to blossom. In the beautiful garden of their nature, you are free to enjoy the waters of your day sparkling in the light of Love.

The question is: Are you willing to put down the things you are carrying that do not create harmony, joy, peace and intimacy as you sail through your day?

Namaste.

 

 

Beauty in the rubble.

 

My beloved and I had one of those conversations last night… you know, the difficult kind where all you really want to do is dump your unease, your fear, your shallow breathing on the one you love, if only so you can feel relieved of the burdens weighing down your heart.

Yeah. That kind. Where grace takes a back seat to your drive to take your unease out on the one you love.

It is one of the challenges of sequestered solitude. Being together 24/7 is an unusual circumstance.

The mind does not like unusual circumstances.

It prefers the predictable. The known. The road most travelled. Especially where human relations are concerned.

The challenge… Sequestered solitude/quarantine/stay-at-home/sheltered-in-place is such a new circumstance, it can be easy to mistake the comfort and ease of travelling together on the road most travelled for a rut.

For me, if there’s one thing I want to avoid, it’s being stuck in a rut. And, because my ruts are often constructed of unspoken words and thoughts not shared and dreams and fears unexpressed, I end up convincing myself that the only way out is to lob a few word-grenades at my beloved to blow up my silence.

Yeah. Not pretty. Nor all that smart. Because, if you’re like my beloved and me, when I lob a couple of word-grenades at him, he doesn’t like to back down. And then… You guessed it. Game on.

We all hold in our minds, stories of how these battles are won and lost. How fraught they are with minefields and how the best defence is a strong offence.

In moments of discord, however, flinging your words like a heat-seeking missile at the heart of the one you love is not an act of self-defence. It’s an act of aggression.

Yeah. It was that kind of discussion.

Not pretty in the midst of the fray. Grace-filled and loving in its denouement.

Compassion is key.

Compassion for your beloved, and yourself.

Compassion that awakens the grace within to stop, mid-sentence and acknowledge how your behaviour is contributing to the discord. How your fears and uncertainty are the shaky foundation unleashing your angst with all that is going on, and not a statement of anything shaky in your Love for them.

Compassion that allows you to look at yourself and your behaviour with loving-kindness and to look at your beloved through eyes that see ‘the why’ of your love for them, not the why not’s.

These are scary, challenging times. Not just on pocketbooks and bank accounts, jobs and businesses, health and well-being. But on our hearts, minds and bodies. All around us, there is uncertainty. Lacking clarity, uncertainty gives rise to fear. Fear can become a powerful force of destruction when it is not surrounded by Love.

My beloved and I had an uncomfortable conversation last night. It had begun with a relatively benign event that grew into a mountain of discord by days end. Our conversation didn’t start out pretty, but then, when word-grenades are used to ‘open up dialogue’, the ensuing conversation seldom is.

Trapped in the rubble of our discord, we had a choice to make. Dig deeper into our individual foxholes firing shots at one another until one of us eventually falls into an uneasy sleep. Or, join together and dig into the rubble to unearth the exquisite beauty of the truth that sits mounted like a beautiful jewel at the centre of our relationship. Love. It binds us together. It makes our lives and hearts sparkle.

Sometimes, because of our habitual responses to stress, change, uncertainty, we will default to our positions of weakness, rather than strength. And while in our heart of hearts we know neither of us wants to hurt the other or cause the other pain, when weakened by fear, it’s easy to forget that truth.

It is in those moments we must both choose to let go of our need to be right so that we can give in to our desire to grow together in deep, intimate, sacred Love.

My beloved and I fell into the muck of deep, difficult conversation last night. I am grateful. It opened our hearts to deeper, more intimate connection, not just in this time of Covid but in all the times of our lives together.

 

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

Covid 19 – I’m keeping my distance.

Even after baking fresh bread. After making a big batch of mushroom soup and a beef stew. Even after packing up my paints and brushes, my papers and ephemera, I decided not to go.

I was going off to a week-long artist’s retreat in the foothills of the Rockies today.

Yesterday, I called and said I wasn’t coming.

My beloved has a cold. He also has a chronic medical condition. He’s in the high-risk group.

But that’s not really why I cancelled.

I cancelled because I did not want to worry. I did not want to fear inadvertently bringing disease into our home.

I cancelled because I love him.

I made the decision after I saw that Alberta’s number of cases had doubled yesterday. Yes, they are all travel-related but, one of the others at the retreat will be going back and forth to the airport a couple of times for work while I’m there. I do not want to lay the burden of my worry on my friend. And, if you look at the statistics from around the world, this virus exponentially increases on a daily basis. Travel is its gateway. Airports one of its conduits.

It wasn’t an easy decision. I love being at this retreat centre. Savour time spent in the foothills, surrounded by nature’s wild beauty. And I particularly like creating with these friends.

But I couldn’t do it.

To dive deep into my creative essence I need to let go of ‘worldly’ concerns, of worry, of anything but creative expression.

I couldn’t do that when no matter how deep I breathe into the moment, I know my beloved is sick and I am not doing everything I can to protect his health.

So, I decided to practice ‘social distancing’. I hadn’t heard the term before my eldest daughter sent me a link to an article in The Atlantic, Coronavirus: Cancel Everything. In it, the case for social distancing is clearly laid out. In the data, it’s also hard to argue with the fact that to stem Covid 19’s spread, we must change our behaviours.

Yesterday, I scrolled through many articles on Covid 19 and how to prepare for its inevitable presence in the community.

I was looking for reasons why it was okay for me to go.

There were many.

None of them out-weighed my responsibility to the one I love. My responsibility to do the right thing in these difficult and challenging times to create better for everyone. A week ago, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I would have gone.

In just one week, the sinister reality of Covid 19’s presence has darkened the globe and the lives of 14 people here in Alberta, 7 of whom were reported on yesterday. It’s impact cannot be ignored.

This isn’t because the media have created fear and paranoia. They are simply reporting the facts — Covid 19 is killing people and there are things we can do to mitigate against its impact. Media are also not the ones telling people to hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Human nature’s doing that.

I’m doing what I can.

Sure, it’s possible that my response is over the top for the situation right now. It’s possible it is predicated upon the recent passing of my mother and death’s heavy cloak of sorrow clouding my vision.

That is all possible, but none of it outweighs the reality of Covid 19’s lethal capacity to take life.

If I can do anything to stop it from hurting the ones I love, I must.

It doesn’t mean I won’t be creating. I have a beautiful studio at home. It’s french doors open out to the trees lining the river which I can watch flow from where I sit at my work table. It has a fireplace and all the supplies I need to create. It also offers peace of mind. And when it comes to creating, peace of mind is the foundation of my expression.

So, for the next few days I shall be ‘pretending’ to be on an artist’s retreat. I’ll go for long walks (Beaumont will be very grateful as he is not allowed at the retreat centre). I’ll make lemon tea with honey. Share my fresh bread and mushroom soup and other meals with my beloved.

It will be a different experience than I had anticipated and I’m good with that. Different doesn’t make it ‘not as good as’. Different means it will include the one I love and share my life with. It means having the peace of mind of knowing I am expressing my love for him the best way I know how. By taking care.

I am grateful.

Love Will Never Let You Down

“Smoke rises. Tears fall. Hearts break.
Doors open. Time passes.
Love will never let you down.”

The words drifted into my mind as effortlessly as the smoke rising from the incense stick burning on my desk in the corner of my studio.

When I was a young girl in my teens, I loved a boy with all my heart.

He broke it.

And then, I met another boy and I broke his.

I kept falling in and out of breaking hearts and feeling like mine was broken until I learned to not fear my brokenness but to celebrate and cherish every crack and scar of time. To dance with the light that did get through and to illuminate the dark corners with Love.

As Leonard Cohen so famously sang, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

I used to think that to know love, to be in love, to have love, I had to have a perfect heart and be perfect in all my expressions of this thing called ‘being in love’.

I thought I had to ‘win’ another’s heart by only showing the parts of my heart I thought were worth showing. I thought that to win someone’s love, I had to hide my cracks and scars.

Time and the constant breaking open of my heart has taught me that fearless love means loving my cracks unfilled and leaving my scars unpolished.

It means stepping joyfully and courageously into the dark corners of my fear I will never be enough and trusting that Love will never let me down.

And it never has — Let me down.

It’s just given me more cracks for the light to get in and more scars to strengthen the weave and warp of my beautiful tapestry of life.

A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart. 

May we all live with our hearts wide open, loving this beautiful, precious life in all its cracks and scars.

 

 

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.

A Love Poem A Day

Several years ago, for an entire year, I awoke every morning and wrote my beloved a love poem.

It started out as a gift of a love poem a day for two weeks.

And then… I got kinda uppity about how he was receiving my gift, let him know how I would have responded if I was receiving the gift of a love poem a day and well, let’s just say my telling him in no uncertain terms my expectations of his behaviour did not go over well.

I had to make amends.

At the time, he was living in another city and when flowers arrived for Valentine’s Day, I realized I had totally forgotten! I knew I didn’t have time to get him chocolates or anything concrete so, I offered up a pretty email with a love poem and a committment to send him a love poem everyday for the next two weeks.

It only took one day for my attitude to interfere with my intention.

Originally, my thought had been to do something that would create intimacy over the distance. Instead, I created more distance when I suggested he open my emails at 6am when I sent them versus his normal afternoon reading which was when he got to his personal emails.

Harrumph. I responded via email. If I were getting a love poem a day it would be the first thing I read in the morning.

Well, you’re not me, he replied, and went on to suggest that a gift came without expectations of how the recipient received it. That’s what made it a gift.

Ouch.

He was right.

And so, I wrote him a love poem apology and committed to getting my expectations out of the way.

When I shifted, everything shifted.

By the time the two week mark appeared, I was committed to writing a love poem a day and he loved receiving them. So I kept at it for a year.

And in that year my understanding of Love grew deeper.

It was a gift to begin every day writing about love, thinking about my beloved and focussing on giving the gift of words to the one I love.

Recently, I shared that story with a group of coaches at Choices Seminars during the G2 training process on how to guide the trainees through the process of crafting the words to their purpose statement. In the actual process, there are a series of questions that lead them deeper and deeper into the truth of what they do naturally in the world to create a difference – which eventually leads to their purpose statement coming clear.

On that day, I was the example to show them how powerful the questions are, and how beautiful a journey writing your purpose statement can be.

As I answered the questions I gained more and more and insight into what that year of writing a love poem a day gave me and my beloved. It drew us closer together. It gave him a look into my day from across the miles (I started taking a photo everyday and writing my poem to that photo and sending both). It deepened my understanding of Love and it gave C.C. the thing I wanted most to give him and had messed up so badly at the beginning — the experience of receiving Love without any expectations.

Ultimately, what I learned is that Love has no expecations. It does not look for words of affirmation, reassurance nor reciprocity. Love is and when we share it without an expecation of how the other will receive it, or give it back, we transform ourselves and our relationships.

My purpose is to lovingly touch hearts, open minds and set spirits free. When I sent my first poems and let him know my expectations of how he should receive them, I was not lovingly touching his heart; I was attempting to hammer it into submission to my way of loving.

Love doesn’t work that way.

Writing a Love Poem a Day helped me learn that vital lesson in living and loving with grace.

Why not give it a try?

 

How to love yourself first and still be in relationship with another

Once upon a time, I thought being in relationship meant I had to change who I am to fit who I was with.

I thought that loving another meant giving up all of me to serve love.

Life, and relationship has taught me otherwise.

One of the most important things I’ve learned along the way of being in relationship with another without losing myself first is to always, Love Myself First.

It’s a game changer.

For me, that means understanding and honouring who I am the value I bring to the relationship is found in being exactly as I am.

It’s in knowing, the strength of my vulnerability when I allow another close-in is not measured in how much of myself I give up. It’s found in how much of me I bring to the relationship without warping, shifting, and submerging my true self to be with another.

I am done with warping, shifting and submerging my true self.

Which is a good thing! I never felt all that comfortable trying to fit into someone else’s skin, no matter how hard I tried to make myself fit just right.

And here’s the thing about the ‘game changer’ part for me.

In the journey of learning to love myself first, exactly the way I am, beauty and the beast, I have discovered the true value of being me. Where once I believed I needed a man to complete me, today, I love and like me with, or without, a man in my life.

What I value most today is not my heart’s capacity to get all excited about being in relationship, it’s how relationship feeds my heart what it needs  — connection.

Think with your heart. Feel with your mind.

My heart is a connector. It not only keeps the blood flowing throughout my body, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients to every cell, it is continually teaching me how to be in this world by the connections it makes in relationship with others.

I am learning to think with my heart and feel with my mind.

I am learning to trust my heart and question my mind’s demands that I fear, avoid, and sometimes destroy relationships because of the past.

It has been an amazing journey.

To go from broken to pieces, to broken open, to feeling whole in this lifetime!

A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart.

I love my heart for its capacity to feel, to know, to teach and guide me in being connected to the world around me.

And I love my mind’s capacity to take all that information the heart feeds it, and sift through it and measure it and give me feedback on how I’m doing, and feeling, in Love.

When I listen to my heart and keep my mind free of fear, I am free to be me completely, no matter where I am or how close-in another gets.

We are all relational beings.

Once upon a time, I was in a relationship that almost killed me. That was many years ago now, but the lessons learned in having survived that painful journey continue to enrich my journey today. A question I was often asked in the aftermath of the relationship was, “How will you ever trust a man again.”

My response comes from the depth of my heart’s knowing what is best for me. “It is not about trusting another. It’s about trusting myself enough to not give up all of me to another. It’s about knowing who I am is not based on who is in my life. Who I am is a reflection of how I am turning up for me in relationship with myself and others.”

Through relationship with my beloved I continually learn to embrace being all of me. Every day I am given opportunities to expand my capacity to trust myself in relationship without fearing losing myself all over again.

What a beautiful gift.

Namaste.

When did you last have fun?

We didn’t set out to have so much fun. But there we were, laughing and playing along and doing just that. Having fun!

C.C., my beloved, returned from a business trip to California in time for dinner last night. Not feeling like cooking, I suggested we go try out a pub our neighbours had mentioned. I thought it was the one closest to our home. Fortunately, C.C. knew where we were going.

Hexter’s in Bowness didn’t disappoint.

Sure, it’s a pub and the food is pub fare but it’s hearty and C.C.’s Shepherd Pie didn’t disappoint nor did my Quesadilla. It was so filling I brought half of it home for lunch today.

We got there around 6:30 thinking we’d be an hour and a half. Expect the unexpected and you won’t be disappointed!

When we arrived, the early evening sun was streaming in through the garage door windows that were rolled up to allow access to the front patio where several people were enjoying the heat and their meals. Having just returned from southern California and Palm Springs, C.C. wasn’t up to anymore sun and heat so we sat deeper inside at a table next to the bar. We were two of max 30 patrons scattered around the place. There’s a fancy long bar and a couple of pool tables in the back next to a room with VLTs. Beside our table there was a giant Jenga set and a DJ station set up against the wall.

We chatted with the friendly server, Laura, placed our order in anticipation of eating and going home. We had no idea what we were in for.

Just before 7, a tall woman comes striding in the front door. Scottie doesn’t just enter a room. She makes an entrance. Long frizzed up blond hair piled on top of her head, tendrils streaming down her back. Dressed all in black. Black top over tight black shorts. Black boots. Somewhere in her 50s, this is a woman who knows who she is and what she’s doing.

She prances around the room, laying down pieces of paper and a pencil on every table or every person. “Give yourselves a clever team name and I’ll give you 25 bonus points,” she tells us as she firmly places the paper in front of us.

“What’s this for?” I ask.

“Music trivia!” she exclaims and then she’s gone. Off to the next table to engage them in playing the game.

“I’m awful at music trivia,” I tell uber competitive C.C.

He smiles and picks up the pencil. “What will we call ourselves?”

I’m also awful at picking names. He raises an eyebrow at Sugar and Spice, gives me a dazed look at Lucky ‘n Love and starts to write.

“Laughing Stock”.

Hmmm… do you think he was predicting our trivia game fortunes?

Well, we didn’t come in dead last, but we were pretty close.

It didn’t matter.

We laughed and got lots of extra points for our animated singing and dancing in our chairs for every song. I threw names out for everything — artist, song title, year released, whether I knew it was right or not.

C.C. kept trying to get it right. I wasn’t helping. Neither was a guy at the bar who said the answer for the Bonus question at the end of one of the rounds was ‘C’.

C.C. said, “It’s A.”

I pointed to the guy at the bar. He insists it’s C.

I grabbed the pencil and change the answer.

I got it wrong.

It was A.

Dang. 100 bonus points lost ’cause I listened to a guy who was propping up the bar! Now if that doesn’t tell you something about my past experiences in bars… 🙂

By the final fifth round, we’re so far behind we don’t even know where to begin. And even though it’s now 9pm, we don’t want to leave.

C.C. thinks we can make up lost ground.

But the category… “So you think that’s a word?” defies us.

Seriously? Out of the 7 songs we got two parts of the three part answer for one song right. Artist and Title. We were way off on the Year Released. But we did get 50 bonus points for each song because of our singing out loud and dancing!

No matter that we came in second last. Where we really felt like winners was in all the fun we had together.

And what matters more than sharing good times and laughter together?