My Mother’s Love

My mother and I had a challenging relationship.

In her view, I was always criticising her for not being the mother I wanted/needed her to be. In mine, I felt like I was never the daughter she wanted/needed me to be.

As we both grew older, the tensions between us eased, but finding harmony in a relationship where we felt comfortable and free to be ourselves was a constant journey into acceptance.

When she died at 97 years of age a couple of weeks before COVID lockdowns began, we’d reached a truce. As long as I didn’t try to get her to talk about the past, which in her mind was me just trying to make trouble as I always did, we had a modicum of peace between us. It was a tentative peace, one she was not willing to put to the test, Which meant, we never spent time together alone. Which, for me meant, we never talked about the things that mattered most.

At the time, wished it could have been otherwise, but my desire to ‘clean up the past’ was to her, a recipe for pain and more hurt. Silence was our companion, the boundaries of which were not safe to cross.

After her death, she began to ‘visit’ me whenever I was in the bath. I was a tad confused and consternated by her choice of venue. She’d arrive, dressed up á la Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany fame, long ebony cigarette holder in one hand, a martini glass in the other.

You are not my mother, I told her. My mother would never be so daring.

She laughed (something I did not recall my mother doing very often in life) and replied that on this earthly plain, the burdens she carried weighed her down so much she could never be find her lightness of being.Just as she could never be the mother I wanted (needed) her to be.

That shut me up.

My mother admitting she might have failed me?

I didn’t dare say it out loud.

It didn’t matter. She laughed at my thinking.

I’m spirit, she said. I can see through all those bubbles you pile on top of you in the bath to hide your naked body and, I can read your mind. Don’t worry. On this side of life, there is no judgement, only Love.

I wrote a lot about my mother’s after-life visits. They were healing, comforting and above all, loving. They filled in the missing pieces, smoothed out the rough edges and built a pathway to understanding, forgiveness and acceptance.

My mother’s and my relationship was exactly as it was meant to be. It was the starting point of the journey that brought me here, to where I am today, grateful, accepting and loving of the path I took to get me here, to this place where I am today.

No matter its hardships, no matter my falls, my tumbles, my getting lost and losing my way, it was the path I took. I cannot change the path behind me, just as I could never change my mother.

There were a thousand paths I could have taken, a thousand things my mother and I could ahve done differently. It doesn’t matter.

It is not the path I took nor how angry or resentful of my mother i was, or how I much I judged her lacking (and wished I hadn’t) that counts today, It is how bright the light I shine on my path, how much joy and love I dance with on my journey from here that makes a difference.

My mother taught me that. After she was gone.

My mother gave me life.

For nine months she carried me in her womb, praying for my safe arrival.

She did not intend to make my journey hard or difficult. She did not intend to hurt me or cause me to doubt who I am or my worth. And she did not purposefully or knowingly do the things she did that caused me pain.

Like me, she did the best she could with the tools and resources she had. She struggled. She fell. She got back up and tried again.

She hurt. She bled. She cried. She despaired.

Yet, through it all, no matter how difficult the road she traveled, no matter how dark the night or bleak the weather ahead, she never quit doing the one thing her mother’s heart told her she must do – love the child that was me, no matter how much she did not understand, agree nor approve of the road I was on. No matter how hard I fought against her. All she could do was love the only way she could. Her way.

My mother wasn’t perfect.

But then, neither am I.

What my mother was is the one thing I can never deny, she was the woman who gave me life. She loved me as best she could no matter how difficult I sometimes made her journey.

I am grateful.

I am blessed.

And,above all, I accept, she did the best she could in the life she gave me.

And in that life she gave me, I have come to know the truth about who I am. I am not the stories I’ve told that kept me walking in the pain of believing I was never enough for my mother, the world, or myself.

I am not the things I’ve done to prove my biggest fears about how undeserving and unworthy I am are true.

I am me, because of my journey and the way my mother loved me. I am awakened to my birthright of worthiness. I am awakened to knowing, without a doubt, I am a miraculous expression of divine love and amazing grace.

My mother taught me that.

A mother is not born in giving birth. She is forged in the crucible of life’s trials and tribulations teaching her with each painful and uncertain step, to become a vessel of love that can never be broken.

It is my mother’s womb that carried me into life. It is her love that could never be broken, no matter how much I found it lacking, wanting or deficient, overwhelming or too needy, it is her love that continues to shine on the path of my life today.

For, though it is her womb that nurtured me into being, it is not the womb that connects and binds us. It is Love.

To all the mothers, however you arrived at the threshold of motherhood, no matter how far the distance between your heart and the ones you love, may you always know how beautiful, special and divinely graced the world is by your presence.

May you know how miraculous you are, in all the radiant beauty of your unique expression of your love. And may you know, deep within you, that the Love you share so selflessly and with such devotion, no matter how it is received or felt or rejected, is exactly the Love the world needs now.


To Know Love…

We humans have an inate desire to know love. To feel it and be loved and loving.

Love carries with effortless ease our desires for belonging. Our need to feel like we fit in, like we have a place and purpose in this world. And despite our insistence ‘Love doesn’t come cheap, or isn’t free’, Love and asks nothing of us in return.

And still, too often, we fight its ways. We resist its presence and defend our hearts against our fears of being hurt by someone else’s love, reminding ourselves of all the ways others have hurt us in the past, as if memory can defend us against Love..

None of us love perfectly. We have that oh so human tendency to judge, criticise and blame. We tell stories on another’s imperfect love and how they hurt us without seeing that in our own beautiful imperfectly loving ways, we too have hurt others, and ourselves.

To know Love, to feel it, to be in its soul-filling flow, we must stop defending our hearts against our fear of what might happen, or could happen, or our self-assured belief WILL happen, if we let love in.

To know LOVE we must allow ourselbves to pull down the walls around our hearts and dance with joyful abandon in the freedom to see ourselves through Love’s eyes. In Love’s eyes, it is not our imperfections that count. It is our willingness to stand naked in Love’s light and let our beautiful imperfect human being shine bright for all the world to see, we are a reflection of Love’s beauty.

International Women’s Day 2023

No 25 – #ShePersisted Series

I have tolerated a lot of bad behaviour in my life.

I have had men hit on me with the promise to support my career if I slept with them.

I have had men offer money for sex, because I was standing in a hotel lobby by myself or walking down the street at night.

I have had men ask me to take notes at a meeting, not because that was my role, but because I was a woman.

I have had men ask me to grab them a coffee, again, not because that was my job, but because I was a woman.

And, I have had men tell me crude jokes, or make suggestive comments on the phone, confident they will not be corrected, abraded, or called out.

Sure, it may seem small potatoes in the big picture of the pressing dangers women face all over the world, everyday — Rape, war, violence against women, female genitalia disfiguration and so many other inhumane practices that do not serve our humanity well.

But, gender-based biases, where I allow bad behaviour to be the norm, or laugh them off with a wave of my prettily manicured hand and shrug as if to say, “Oh well. Boys will be boys,” does not change anything.

Boys will be boys and they deserve so much more than being the target of women’s ire and disdain.  Or being boys who hurt women.

It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Yet, even he could not escape the more carnal elements of his human nature. In his own letters, he wrote of his ‘experiments’ of sleeping naked with young women in his bed to test his resolve of chastity and promote the celibate life as the path to peace.  (Source) He gave little thought to the impact of his actions on the mental health of his young female companions.

We can’t just BE the change we want to see in the world. We must ensure the changes we make change us for the better. And, that they are good for everyone. Not just the one.

Change doesn’t just depend on our doing the small things and the big things to create better, it means being ‘the better’ we want to see in the world.

Let’s begin changing ourselves so that in those changes, we change our world. Because when I change, my whole world changes around me — let my changes create better for everyone.



INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (IWD) (March 8) is an important day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural & political achievements + call for gender equality

This year’s IWD theme is – “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” highlighting gender gaps in STEM education and careers — and calling attention to the online harassment many women face.

International Women’s Day is also a reminder of the long road ahead. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that women’s rights are being “abused, threatened and violated” around the world and gender equality won’t be achieved for 300 years without urgent action. 

#EmbraceEquity #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2023 #women #standupbestrongbebold #ShePersisted #ShePersistedSeries

Unbroken Morning

Wrapped in the soft glow of candlelight illuminating the dark, I sit in the quiet of night’s velvety embrace.

It’s early. Dawn sleeps deep, bedded down in night’s arms. The dark envelopes the sky.

I sit at my desk, breathing in the silence and watch the lights from the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river outside my window shimmer on the water’s inky black surface.

I am awake. I don’t want to be. But a dream I cannot remember awoke me. Unable to find sleep again, I do the thing I always do when sleep evades me. I get up, light a candle on my desk. It sits in front of the large picture window in our living room, looking west. Looking out into the darkness, to the river, the dark silhouettes of the trees that line its banks, nature’s painting of black on light shadow, waiting, like portals into some magical, far away land calling me to let go of what I know to enter the realm of all there is yet to discover.

My fingertips skim the keyboard on my laptop. The river flows. Olafur Arnald’s piano quietly plays in the background. The fridge hums. Beaumont the Sheepadoodle, lies at my feet, sleeping.

A light moves along the bridge. Someone on a bicycle is crossing. East to west. For a moment I am distracted. Where is he going? What is he doing riding a bike across the bridge at 4am?

His light disappears. I return to this moment.

The river flows. No wind stirs the naked branches of the trees that fill the gaps between tree trunks like cracks in ice spidering out.

Morning has yet to beckon.

Day has yet awaken.

I breathe in the quiet of the moment and feel my body easing into the darkness.

There is nowhere to be in the dark of night. No one thing I have to do. There is only this. This moment where I sit typing, breathing, and watching the river flow and the lights dance on its surface.

Day will come. Light will return to the sky. For now, I sit in the dark belly of night and let my mind flow like the river and dream of dancing with wild, fierce abandon into the unknown adventures of the day yet to rise.


Soften Your Heart

When we harden our hearts we close off access to Love. When we soften our hearts and let it break open, Love flows freely.

But, softening our heart, letting it break open can be scary.

Memories of past pain play continuously in our minds. Fear of rejection holds us locked inside the walls we’ve built around our hearts. Fear of being hurt, used, misunderstood, all play a factor in how willing we are to leave our hearts and selves vulnerable to life’s slings and arrows.

It is a constant dance between choosing the way of love or choosing to live defended against its ways.

Brene Brown asks, “Why be vulnerable when armor feels safer?”

Because, we can’t show up authentically in life without taking down our armor. We can’t be real without risking being vulnerable.


Hold Onto Love

We are all on this human journey together We have all experienced loss, anger, hurt, pain. We have all hurt someone. We have all been hurt by someone. To hold onto love and not let go of kindness in the face of our differences and similarities requires courage.

Those thoughts floated through my head as I was sitting in the quiet after returning from having driven my eldest daughter to the airport this morning.

Last night, sitting around the dinner table, the conversation turned to today’s political climate and global conditions. There were many views at the table, all of them had as much right to be there as the other.

The challenge, I said at one point as the conversation veered into the right and wrong of differing views, is that because of the polarizing nature of our political leaders today, which has been exacerbated by media feeds and algorithms, we have become camps of us versus them.

In essence, those who are not ‘with’ us are de facto ‘against’ us. We defend against instead of listening with tolerance and curiosity. We create camps of believers designating those outside the tents that proliferate our campground, as others. And in that other dom, we lose sight of our human condition.

In that state, differences become things to fear.

To hold onto love means to allow all differences to be present, without judging, denigrating, or demeaning them.

It means allowing the diversity of our human condition to shine bright, in all its many lights without trying to dim someone else’s in order for ours to be the brightest light.

Not an easy thing to achieve, but if we are to survive as a species, we need to hold onto Love, not war, kindness, not anger.

About the Image

This is the March She Dares Boldly message from my 2023 desk Calendar.

Capturing Life’s Magical Imperfections

Life is full of magical imperfections.

I’ve always seen life through the lens of, ‘no matter how cloudy the skies, the sun still shines behind their sodden blanket.’

It’s been both a strength and a weakness, but, when I peel away the judgements that cause me to see my weaknesses as a roadblock to joy, I find that there is always a gift, always value, beauty and magical imperfections in EVERYTHING.


It just means that sometimes, life is asking me to dig deeper to find them.

Now, I also acknowledge that my rosy outlook is also a result of the inherently privileged environment in which I live my day-to-day life.

I have always had food on the table, clothes on my back, access to hot and cold running water, secure housing (ok, there was a brief period while I was in that abusive relationship where that wasn’t true) access to education, employment, health care and a host of other life necessities and niceties.

Being positive is easier when fear of nowhere to sleep, how to pay the bills, or worries about how to feed your children don’t cloud your thinking.

Which is part of the impetus for my She Dares Boldly Series. To inspire finding life’s magical imperfections in all things — big/small, consequential/inconsequential/ exciting/mundane.

I also admit, some days it’s harder to do that than others.

Which is when I need to take time for myself. I need to go back into the studio, write it out in my journal, share my sorrows, woes, and sadness with a friend, meditate, sit in silence and listen to my heartbeat, walk in nature or simply, be still.

Self-care is good care of your life and everyone in it.

Allowing and accepting the magical imperfections in how we take care of ourselves is part of the journey of aging and becoming ourselves.



The She Dares Boldly 2023 Calendar is available now! Order your copy HERE.

It’s the right thing to do.

Resilience is in all of us. It’s just, for some, access is blocked by life circumstances and events that lead to choices that undermine resiliency’s ability to play a part in creating a life of grace and ease.

And living a life of grace and ease, at any age, is, at least to me, a wonderful way to live.

When I make choices that undermine my body, when I think thoughts that disrupt my peace of mind and break down my confidence and belief in myself, I am not only weakening my resiliency, I am hurting the person I need the most in this life — me.

I need me to be strong, healthy, confident and full of grace to move through this world, creating better in my wake.

And to do that, I must take care of all of me — my whole body – head, heart, belly, torso, limbs, eyes, ears, mouth, skin, skeleton, arteries…. All of me.

And not just all of me – but all of the world around me for we are all connected. We are all part of this one planet. This one giant ball of matter spinning around the sun, giving birth, dying, regenerating, renewing, evolving.

We are all connected to everything. Part of the same matter, lifeforce, world.

And in this world, me, the individual, is a microcosm of the whole earth. When I stress my resiliency, I am stressing the resiliency of all the world around me.

Taking care of me, no matter my age, takes care of all the world around me, decreasing the stress I place on the world.

And that’s why taking care of myself as I age, being conscious of the choices I make is so important.

When I don’t, I put more stress on my body, the people who love me, the people and systems that are there to care for me when I’m not well or capable of taking care of myself, the world all around.

Limiting stress is good for me – it’s good for everyone.

And that’s what I’ve realized this week as we’ve explored ‘Resiliency’. If I want it to be strong and capable of supporting me when I really need it, I need to take good care of me in the here and now.


The Age of Unreason

It is called The Wolf Moon. The first full moon of January.

I almost missed it.

Not the moon, but my favourite ‘under the light of the full moon’ thing to do – stand amongst the trees, throw back my head, lift up my chin towards the sky and howl.

Wrapped up in thoughts of my beloved’s slow (to me) recovery from pneumonia that landed him in hospital for the first 10 days of the year, my daughter, son-in-love, and grandchildren’s bout with Covid and a project deadline looming at work, thoughts of howling were far from my mind on Tuesday morning.

And then, as Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I walked in the woods along the river in the icy-cold, frost-riddled morning of the day after the Wolf Moon rising, I saw it. There it hung, high above, a giant punched-out pale orb of eery white and beige and creamy light yellow in the pale blue sky.

Oblivious to its presence above, Beau sniffed and snuffled his way through snow-laden deadfall and dry winter grasses, following the scent of some unseen forest creature.

I stood in the early morning light, closed my eyes and breathed in the magic of it all.

The moon watched. I breathed.

Howl, a voice within whispered.

Another voice parried back, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“No, seriously. Howl!”

“No way. People will think I’m weird.”

“Louise, there’s no one here. The park is empty. Howl.”

I really wanted to. Howl that is. But that self-conscious, I don’t want o stand out or make a fool of myself can be a strong advocate for taking the road most travelled sometimes. Especially it seems if the road less travelled includes howling at the moon. “You’re beyond the age of howling,” it hissed. “Beyond the age of reason for that matter!”

I wanted to shout back, “That’s because I’ve entered the age of unreason!”

I remain silent. What if someone hears me?

I walked a bit further. The moon followed me.

The cacophony of voices arguing the pros and cons of howling were becoming more than just an irritant. They were a clamouring, writhing claimant of my morning zen in the woods walk.

What would a woman in the age of unreason do? The voice of spirit asked.

I smiled. I stopped walking, glanced up at the moon, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and let out a tiny, wee, quiet howl.

I opened my eyes, the world looked the same. Beau was still sniffling and snuffling in the woods. The trees were still standing in silent witness, birds sung in the trees, the river flowed on and the moon hung still in the pale blue sky above.

And the park was still empty of other humans.

I took another breath. Deeper this time. Fuller.

I leaned my head back, stretched out my neck, jutted out my chin, opened my mouth and howled.

Aywhooooooo! Aywhooooo! Awhyoooooooooooooo!

And then I laughed.

Deep, loud, belly shaking laughs.

I did it again.

Aywhooooooo! Aywhooooo! Awhyoooooooooooooo!

I looked around. Beaumont, raised his head from sniffing a particularly fascinating piece of deadfall, cocked it sideways, looked at me for a moment, lowered it again and went back to his investigations.

And the trees kept standing, the river flowed on, the birds sang and the moon gazed down from above.

And I laughed again, threw my arms out wide and began to dance in the icy-cold, frost-riddled morning of the day after the Wolf Moon rising,

Because deep within me, I want to live the truth of my affirmation to live bravely. Dare Boldly. And howling and dancing beneath a Wolf Moon on a crisp winter morning is exactly what a woman in the Age of Unreason does.


And then…. just as I sign off on this post, a song begins to play in the background. Normally, my morning writing music is without lyrics. For some, unknown, magical reason, one song with words has slipped into my playlist just as I’m about to press publish on this post.

How divine!

This post is also in response to Eugi at Eugi’s Causerie where the prompt this week is “Affirmations”.

Do go visit – there’s lots of good reading theree and who knows… you might be inspired to respond too with your written gems!

Dare To Be a Vessel of Love

She Dares to be a vessel of Love. Always.

It’s not the choosing to be a vessel of Love that’s hard. It’s the ‘always’.

We’re human. And that makes us unpredictable, at times undependable and suspect to cloudy thinking and poor decision-making.

Like, when someone cuts you off or doesn’t allow you to merge, or worse yet, takes their own sweet time merging when you’re behind them and want to get going… Thoughts of being a vessel of love, of moving with grace through every moment, can evaporate in direct opposite proportion to the offending party’s speed, or lack thereof.

In fact, I’m often surprised how quickly I can fall into criticizing, complaining and condemning other drivers!

Or people who don’t clean up after their dog.

Or people who wear their masks below their nose.

Or people who stand too close in line.


You get the picture…

Perhaps if I lived in a cave, cut-off from all human contact… But I don’t. Which means, being a vessel of love has to include forgiving myself. A lot.

To balance the scales, in that forgiveness I must also remember to forgive the other, bless them. And me.

It goes like this…

Someone doesn’t let me merge, my mind immediately jumps to… “What a jerk!” (or worse).

My heart kicks into high gear and whispers gently and lovingly… “Bless them. Forgive me. Forgive them. Bless me.”

And I move on.

The speed at which this internal dialogue goes on is always dependent upon how balanced, centred and embodied in the present moment I am.

Sometimes, there’s a lag between my stinkin’ thinkin’ and the awareness that I’m not being a vessel of love.

Sometimes, my heart needs to prod my head a little to wake me up to my off-kilter presence.

As in, “Now that’s an interesting response to an irritant but not a criminal offense Louise. Something on your mind? Are you dancing with anger right now? Will this attitude get you more or less of what you want?”

Fact is, when I am moving through the world casting criticism, complaints and condemnation about like confetti, I am being my own worst problem and an irritant in the world.

Which is why forgiveness is so important. It awakens me to grace by moving me gently through the portal of acceptance into gratitude.

And, while I don’t often say, “Thank you for this reminder to wake up and be present”, the fact is, every time I act out, is an opportunity to come home to my heart in gratitude and Love.

The good thing is, each time I act out and forgive and bless myself and others, the distance between my acting out and staying true to myself gets shorter, And, with each time I act out and forgive and bless, I am strengthening my heart muscles and deepening my capacity to be a vessel of Love. Always.