Category Archives: My Daily Intention

What Dreams May Come…

I am in the between space of sleep and awakened, dreaming.

I am walking through a jungle. Struggling actually.

I am chopping down vines, watching out for snakes and muttering about the people following me. “Can’t they find their own path? Why do they need to follow in my footsteps?”

I am also scared. I can feel the fear clinging to my skin like the sweat that rolls down my back in the heat and humidity of the jungle.

I keep whacking at the vines. Possibly a tad too violently, but hey! They’re thick and unruly and blocking my way.

I pause to catch my breath and someone from behind bumps into me. I turn to tell them to be careful and stop.

It is me. Just a younger me. Maybe a teenager, almost adult me.

I look behind this me and see more me’s.

“Oh,” I think. “It’s me following me. No wonder they don’t go somewhere else. They can’t get away from me.”

I laugh (okay more smirk but I’d like to think I find myself funny in this predicament) and turn back to begin whacking at the vines blocking my path forward.

That’s when the inner wise woman whispers to my heart. “What would happen if you just stopped whacking your way through everything and invited the other you’s to join you in the silence and beauty of this moment where you’re at right now.

I want to tell the inner wise woman what a stupid idea that is, but I don’t. I’ve learned through the years and all my experiences that when I listen deeply to her wisdom, I find myself in peace and love.

I sigh. (I may not talk back but I am not willing to give in graciously. Yet.)

“Fine.”

Quickly, I clear a space in the jungle where I can sit in a circle with all the other me’s.

Wow. There’s a lot of them. All varying sizes, shapes and ages. But they’re all me.

In the light that is able to filter through the clearing, I see their faces.

“Why do you keep following me?” I ask them. A tad huffily but not quite as ungracious as my ‘Fine’ response to the inner wise woman.

“We have nowhere else to go but be with you,” one of the me’s, she’s about 30, says to me.

“Aren’t you tired of following me?” I ask.

They all laugh in unison. “YES!” they cry out as one.

“Then stop,” I reply.  Ha! Take that inner wise woman.

The smart-alec me, she’s about 13, smiles at me knowingly. “Hmmm. You just don’t learn do you?”

“Of course I do,” I reply huffily. I do not say, well if you’d learned your lessons way back when maybe I wouldn’t have said what I said now!

I think I’m pretty smart.

I sit and smile smugly at all of the me’s gathered in the circle.

No one says anything. They just sit silently watching me, their eyes loving and kind.

Finally, I break the silence. “What am I supposed to do with all of you?” I wail. “I gotta get through this jungle and you’re slowing me down.”

Just then, the inner wise woman whispers into my heart, “Invite them in.”

“Yes,” say all the me’s gathered in the circle. “Invite us in. Welcome us. Love us. We are all part of you.”

I am a bit taken aback by their response. They can hear her too?

And, seriously, there’s a lot of them…

But I know truth when I hear it.

And I’m tired of fighting myself.

So I invite them in. Embrace them. Integrate them within my entire being.

And as I do, the jungle disappears and I am standing on a hillside, bathed in sunlight. Birds sing. Flowers blossom. Rabbits play in the grass.

I am no longer afraid. No longer sweating. I am home.

_______________________________________

So… this dream really did come to me this morning as I lay in bed, not quite awake, not quite asleep.

It is profound.

In times of crisis, inner knowing and beauty can rise to the top if we are willing to stop fighting what we wish was true. In loving acceptance of ourselves (all our selves) we flow into acceptance of what is. In that place, regardless of the times around us, love and grace flow freely. We are free.

Namaste.

 

Love in. Love out. Love in. Love out.

I carry it with me.

No matter where I go. No matter what I do. What I’m thinking, saying, hearing, feeling. I carry it with me. And it carries me. Through. Into. With. Of. Everything I do and say, think and hear and feel.

My breath.

In. Out. In. Out.

In these crazy, uncertain times, my breath carries me.

It sustains me. It nourishes me. It keeps me alive.

I feel so helpless in the face of the news. I feel so scared. There is so little I can do, but whatever I do, I must ensure it sustains, protects and nourishes me, everyone in my world and all the world around me.

And so I breathe.

In. Out. In. Out.

As I breathe in, I imagine love all around me. It flows into my body with my in-breath. It courses through my arteries. Is carried into every vein, every molecule, every cell every fibre of my being.

I breathe out. I imagine the love that fills me up, rippling out into every molecule of my exhale.

I imagine love flowing out. Flowing out into the world around me, filling every molecule, every cell, every breath of air around me.

Love in. Love out.

It may not stop a virus from attempting to slip in undetected, but it does calm my heart, ease my mind and bring me peace.

And with peace of mind and heart, I am better able to cope with fear, uncertainty, anxiety.

With peace and love rippling through my body, I am present in the here and now without fear stealing away the moment.

Love in. Love out.

Love in. Love out.

And so I breathe.

 

Giving Tuesday – you can make a difference!

Today is Giving Tuesday, an annual day of giving to not-for-profits doing the heavy lifting of social change, supporting research for intractable diseases and other issues like healing our environment, helping animals and a host of difference-making work to support those whose lives have landed them in hard rock places.

Imagine if every day was Giving Tuesday. Imagine if we all believed in the importance of supporting organizations at the frontlines, monetarily and through volunteerism – and then did it!

What a world of difference we would make!

I also get that giving every day would be cumbersome – it would cost more to process a daily $1 donation than a monthly $30 one – but you could give a recurring donation every month to reflect a month of daily giving. It definitely does good things for your heart. And even the tax-folk recognize your giving by giving you a break on your taxes!

Colour me altruistic… but my dream is that Giving Tuesday becomes like Valentine’s Day (without the artificial sugariness and commerciality) — hard to ignore, simple to participate in, and an expression of our love — for humanity, the planet, all sentient and non-sentient beings, everything and everyone on this earth.

I like that.

— Making a difference in the world – everyday.

The original name of this blog when I started it on January 1, 2012, was ‘A Year of Making a Difference’. At the time, I had just left my role as director of communications at the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre and was concerned about how I was going to keep making a difference in the world. I was doing consulting work and thinking I might continue along that vein but, helping clients (who albeit were all not-for-profits) didn’t quite feel the same kind of ‘difference-making’ as walking into a homeless shelter every day.

So I focused on finding one thing every day that made a difference in my life, other’s lives, the world at large, and I wrote about that.

It definitely made a difference in my life to put my attention on difference-making/makers every day. Eventually, I moved back into working in the homeless-serving sector and at the end of that first year, changed the name of the blog to Dare Boldly. My goal was to inspire each of us to live beyond the limits of our comfort zones and to make a difference.

When I left the sector, and the formal workforce at the end of May this year, I still wanted to make a difference — Difference-making is in my blood.

Inspiring others to make a difference is also in my blood.

So, my challenge to each of us today is to find one not-for-profit organization where a donation of any amount will make a difference. And then, make that donation.

It’s not hard and it doesn’t have to be a huge amount! A quick google search of the term “Giving Tuesday” will give you lots of links to click on to inspire your giving.

I just made mine through  Canada Helps — where for today only, every donation of $25+ is bumped up by $5 — it’s fast, it’s easy and it makes a difference, plus, your favourite charity is probably listed on their site! (And PS — you can even make the donation in honour/memory of someone you love — I did and it brought a smile to my face just to write the message — see, giving is receiving!)

And here’s the thing, if giving monetarily isn’t in your basket today, Volunteer!  Or, when you’re out and about, share a smile, a kind word, an act of grace with everyone you encounter — from those you love to strangers. Share the goodness and grace of your heart.

Seriously, together we can make a world of difference. And BONUS! Giving generates lots of feelings of goodwill in your heart that ripple out into the world in joy and harmony — and what could be better than a world awash in feelings of joy and harmony?

Namaste.

PS — here’s a 30 sec video from the Giving Tuesday org that helps you understand how Giving Tuesday works as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday — I like it!

 

Snow? In September? What the Weather?

Autumn falls in golden glory, shedding summer blossoms and leaves like rose petals falling upon the smiling faces of a newly wedded couple.

There’ll be snow tomorrow, the weatherman drones on, his smile masking his dismay at Autumn’s duplicity. Like the river flowing endlessly to the sea, the wind pays no attention to the slithering fear the weatherman’s words convey into the heart’s of city folk who throw their words at television screens like a magician throwing knives in the hopes they do not hit their mark. “Snow tomorrow? Too soon. Too soon.”

Autumn leaves falling pay no heed. Impervious to our pleas for one more day  the winds blow free of summer’s promise bringing with them dark clouds brewing up an early winter storm.

In this moment, right now, I sit at my desk watching the river flow endlessly to the sea. No ice in site. I want to keep this image, right now, as my future state but know, I must release it so I can flow freely in the beauty of this moment, right now.

Snow will come. The ice will dam the river. Birds will flock south. The leaves will fall.

There’s snow coming tomorrow, the weatherman intones and I breathe deeply into the beauty of each golden leaf falling gracefully.

I cannot change the weather. I can change my state of being present in this moment, right now.

I breathe in. Breathe out and move into acceptance.

The weather will be what the weather will be. For this moment, right now, I choose the peace and joy of being present in the beauty falling all around me.

Perhaps though, it would be wise to go buy a new pair of winter boots today.

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?

 

Frozen Shoulders and other aches

I have a frozen left shoulder. It hurts.

And one thing I know about pain… it’s not only physical, it’s mental too. It changes my outlook from bright and cheery to gloomy and dark.

Doing anything hurts. Though it does also make me laugh. Kind of.

Like when I try to blow dry my hair and can’t hold the hairdryer in my left hand so have to bend my body down to meet it where I’ve placed it on the top of the bathroom vanity, desperately trying to hold it in place with my hip so I can get some heat on my wet hair and brush it at the same time. Looking in the mirror I did create a rather odd perspective. And why I didn’t think to just hold the hairdryer in my right hand and forget about brushing is beyond me!

Who knew one frozen shoulder could impact every part of my body? Just goes to show, it’s true. Everything is connected to everything. And when one part of your body is out of whack, your whole body feels the pain.

My poor beloved is also feeling my pain.

I’ve not been the most ‘cheerful’ of people to be around. Which is probably why he took off on his 3 day golf junket with nary a ‘would you rather I not go?’ on Sunday morning. I’ve been wallowing in self-pity ever since.

Even Beaumont is keeping a low profile, though he is taking advantage of my lack of mobility by sleeping on the couch in the living room confident I’m not about to get out of bed to tell him to get off. Quite frankly, he can sleep where ever he wants right now. I just wish I could.

See. I’m whining and whining and the challenge is, whining does not make me feel better. Drugs do. 🙂 And acupuncture helps too. As do meditation and loving self-care.

Yesterday, I went to see the amazing Michelle for a treatment. It helped. Just not enough. She did tell me it could take a few treatments to unwind the damage. I believe her. At least the spasms are gone.

This morning I’m not feeling quite so helpless and in not feeling helpless, I’m able to hear the deeper messages of my body.

Louise Hay, author and self-help guru whose book, “You Can Heal Your Life” has changed millions of lives worldwide, says that any illness, whether mild or severe, is a reflection of what is going on in our emotional state. Shoulder pain is all about carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.

I relate. I’ve been dealing with a high stress situation at work and most of that stress has landed on my shoulders. In addition, Louise Hay also states that left body pain relates to the ‘feminine energy;’ When it’s out of balance, I’m out of balance.

See, that’s the thing about when our bodies are hurt. They are giving us messages but often, we can’t hear the message because we’re focusing in on the pain.

When I step back and breathe into the pain and ask it what it needs, I create space for my mind to hear what my body is trying to tell me.

And a lot of that relates to the thing I keep forgetting — it’s important to take good care of me.

This is my one body. The one vehicle I’ve got to carry me through life, moment by moment. Ignoring its needs, over-stressing it, taxing its capacities without balancing whatever I’m doing with healthy food and exercise and all the things I know are good for me, is not good for my well-being. Not to mention my attitude!

So here’s to taking good care of myself. Here’s to balancing my world with loving kindness and letting go of burdens that are not mine to carry. and doing the things I know are good for me while letting go of the things I know do not serve me well.

And more than anything, here’s to treating my body like my life depends on it. Because it does.

Namaste.

,

Let compassion be my guide

It can be easy to forget some days that we are all on this journey of life, together.

That my plan may not align with yours.

That your ideas may be different than mine.

Regardless of our point of views, or our goals or aspirations, we are all on this journey of life, together. We all share this one planet, one earth. We all breathe this same air. Bathe in the same waters. Need the same things to sustain our lives.

It can be hard to remember sometimes that just because I disagree with you, it doesn’t give me the right to judge you. To make you bad or wrong. It just makes our opinions different.

My job is to stand true in my beliefs, and to hold that delicate space between us gently and lovingly clear of my desire to make my voice heard louder than yours.

Whatever you do, my responsibility is not to change you. It is to see you. To know you and acknowledge you as you are, not as I’d like you to be. And regardless of what you say, my voice does not matter more. Talking over you will not make me heard more. It just makes both our voices become louder.

We can disagree. We can hold differing positions and points of views.

When we do, how we share our differences is a reflection of where each of us stands and what each of us values.

How I treat you is a reflection of my values and of who I am.

How you act or speak or respond is a reflection of who you are.

I may not agree, but judging you doesn’t make me ‘more right’. It just makes me part of the problem.

Let me not be ‘the problem’ today. Let me be the path to compassion, love and peace.