Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


Moving In. Getting Connected.

It is quiet here in this new space in the early morning hours. I sit at the kitchen island, lights dim, music playing softly in the background. Morning is still somewhere over the horizon. Dawn waits as I awaken.

We are settling in.

Yesterday, the installation guy came from Shaw and hooked us up. We had spent the week searching for the modem. Finally found it buried in a box marked, Spare Room. Diane’s stuff.

I don’t know who Diane is, nor what was in her Spare Room but the items in that box didn’t come from our Spare Room.

It was all a jumble.

There is a gift in having movers come in to pack everything up. Less packing equals less strain on my back which equals less pain.  There’s also value in the fact for both the environment and our pocket book that they reuse boxes and give you money back when you return them.


Ah yes, that ole’ butt…

Not scratching out the identifier’s from old users’ rooms and contents and replacing them with ours has made unpacking an… adventure!

I have mostly found all our kitchen things — which is always my priority. It did take until Thursday to find my cappuccino maker (it was in a box marked, Dave’s workroom). Now it’s all set up and I feel ‘at home’.

We are loving our new abode. Loving figuring out what goes where, what needs to go, what needs to have more thought before deciding if it stays. And of course, figuring out where things are!

Our contractor is still working on finishing touches. Friday afternoon he installed the rods in all the closets which meant Saturday C.C. and I unpacked wardrobe boxes and put clothes away.

There are still lots of tools and building debris in the laundry room and downstairs as the contractor finishes off final touches. Once he’s done, this week, I’ll begin the task of organizing the boxes currently taking up floor space in what will eventually become my studio downstairs.

I’m grateful for the counsel of friends, like Iwona, who suggested I think of moving-in as a 6 month timeline. No need to stress about getting it all done today. It’s a process. Not a race.

For now, I shall savour my quiet mornings seated at the island as Beaumont sleeps on the chaise by the window. I bought him a new bed which is on the floor by the deck door, but for now, he prefers the furniture. Marley the Great Cat is finally settling in. He’ll sleep on any spot he pleases but seems to find the desk by the window most welcoming. Though he’s a bit tiffed with me right now as I moved some things around and ‘his’ desktop is now covered with plants and a bowl I’m not sure where to place.

He’ll get over it.

Just as we will get over the anxiety and angst of a move-in to a not-quite-finished renovations home.

Because, no matter the unpacked boxes and the chaotic disorder around us, we are always connected to the Love that fills the spaces between and within our hearts. Like the river flowing past endlessly racing towards the distant sea, it is Love that carries us from this moment to the next, flowing endlessly into the Sea of Love that is always present.

No matter the times, all we have to do to be connected to its deep and abiding grace is to Breathe. and Be.

In Love.



The Big Move-In

I will be offline for a few days as we move into our new home. We’ll be without Internet — and we’ll be busy!

And I’m excited.

When we bought this house, the kitchen looked like this:

We renovated it to look like this: (Thank you Brad Cumnmins at Mountainview)

And so much more!

I’ll be back in a few days with stories of The Big Move-In.

Thanks for hanging out with me!

Have a great week.


How does this moment want me to be with it right now?

Isn’t that an interesting question?

I read it this morning at the lovely Val Boyko’s site, Find Your Middle Ground. The question comes from a story by Jonathon Foust, which Val shares this morning.

A big element of mindfulness, writes Jonathon, is a form of self-diagnosis. You can ask yourself a variation of two questions:

What is happening right now?

How does this moment want me to be with it right now?

Think about the questions. The first one doesn’t ask — What is happening TO ME right now,  it remains non-judgemental.

The second question isn’t How do I want to be in this moment right now. It’s a more open invitation to be present in the moment through a gentle inquiry into how the moment wants you to be with it.

Imagine if throughout the day, whenever we find ourselves feeling anxious or unsettled, or like the ennui of living is too much to grasp, we stopped, took a breath and asked, “What is happening right now?” and then we listened to the response.

And once we hear it within, we ask “How does this moment want/call/invite me to be with ‘this’ right now?”

Think about what that would feel like for you the next time someone cuts you off in traffic and you immediately leap to anger and a not very charitable response. Imagine if instead of simply getting all self-righteous about how dare they! you stopped, took a breath and asked, “What is happening right now?” Suddenly, the emphasis isn’t about ‘that awful driver’, it’s about your response, how you are being present within what is happening – and the happening isn’t about being cut off, it’s about your rising blood pressure and anger.

If your intent at the start of each day is to be present, mindful and balanced throughout your day, I’m pretty sure ‘the moment’ is not going to say, “Hey!! Get all hot and bothered about this inconsequential event. Fill this moment with curses and raised fists and really make it a hot one!”

More likely, the moment will reply from the middle ground, to: Breathe and Be. Breathe and Be.

I invite you to take a few moments to read Jonathan’s story at Find Your Middle Ground and ask yourself, “How does this moment (story) want me to be with it right now?”


Oh my aching back!

My body, especially my back, has been sending me messages since long before Christmas.

I’ve been ignoring them. Well, not completely. I have been stretching and doing strengthening exercises, but mostly. Okay. Yeah. I’ve been ignoring the messages.

Until this weekend.

Then my body gave me no option.

My back ceased up. I could barely move and whatever movement I could make made me cry out in pain.

I ended up in emergency — mostly because there was some concern I was having a heart attack — given my age,  the fact the pain was radiating down my arms and legs, oh and I was crying.

I don’t cry. Especially when I’m in pain.

Don’t want the other guy to see me weaken!

Okay. Not an effective strategy and not all that useful for coping with severe Sciatica. Note to self:  It’s okay to cry when in pain.

Right. Got it.

In the meantime, my weekend was very quiet. My back is slowly mending and I am moving without grimacing.

And, bonus!  I read a trashy novel in between Netflix binging and lots and lots of sleep.

Watch out world!  Here I come.

Oh wait. C.C. has warned me to not get all enthusiastic about picking up the pace just because my back is only marginally sore.


Heed my body.

Heed my beloved.  He takes better care of me than I do!

For right now, I’m off to the Chiropractor and breathing deeply as I remember to treat myself with compassion and care, heeding the signals my body sends me.


Day is looking sunny and bright!













How to listen with an open mind and heart.

Think about the last time you had a disagreement or were in conflict with someone. Did you engage in a discussion with an open mind or heart, or, was your mind made up, and nothing was going to change it?

If you’re like me, in moments of disagreement or conflict, you probably didn’t stop to think about the state of your mind or heart. You probably just wanted to defend against the other’s words, or defend your position because ‘you were right, they were wrong.’

When I stop defending against, or attacking another’s position, disagreements are no longer all about winning, they’re about finding shared solutions that create opportunities for greater connection with another. And when that connection is with a beloved, it leads to deeper intimacy.

Stop. Breathe. Get Present.

That doesn’t mean the discussion, or argument, will begin on calm and tranquil waters. Sometimes, I get going in a ‘discussion’ and find myself in turbulent waters, stirring the pot and making waves.

When I Stop. Breathe. Get Present. it gives me amoment to ask myself, “What do I want in this moment right now?” Do I want this argument to be my hill to die on, or do I want to use this moment to create clarity, opportunity for closeness, understanding, connection? What am I willing to give up to create that?

To create it I must be willing to give up my position and need to ‘be right’. Often, that moment to Stop. Breathe. Get Present. happens mid-argument when realization hits that the argument isn’t about the broken dish or the lost keys or the fact someone didn’t call when they said they would or didn’t complete a task as promised. In that moment when I realize we’re not fighting about ‘the issue’, we’re arguing about our positions, I know that one of us must Stop. Breathe. Get Present.

It doesn’t matter which one of us, but one of us must do it. Why not me?

It isn’t always easy. The stopping, breathing, getting present. Sometimes, I’d rather just be right.

But being right doesn’t create connection or intimacy. It just adds distance, resentment and hurt to my relationships.

I want all my relationships to be fulfilling. For me and the other. Whether an interaction with a sales clerk whom I deem has made a mistake, or my beloved, I want my part of the conversation to come from a place of respect, compassion and empathy.

I don’t always achieve it, but when I do, I feel better. Stronger. More grounded and content with my path in the world and my way of being on it.

And to do that, I must listen with an open mind and heart so that it is not ‘my way or the highway’ but rather, our way together for mutual benefit where regardless of the discussion, I am not acting from a place where ‘disagreement equals rejection’, but from a place where I know, I don’t need to be right to be happy. I just need to listen with an open heart and mind, stay true to my values and create opportunity for both of us to find value in our relationship because I am honouring all my relations.


What’s in your bank account? (Action 4 – How to build well-being and balance)


Think of your ‘self’ as a bank and your life as an ‘economy of self‘. Everyday you deposit goodies (love, joy, laughter, smiles, happy thoughts,), you eat good food, consume or create good ideas, take positive actions, make healthy lifestyle choices, and a myriad of good decisions into your bank account. Your investment in your economy of self pays off with a positive bank balance that can weather any storm, any crisis you encounter, including every day withdrawals that deplete your resources of energy, time and money.

Withdrawals come in the form of everyday occurrences such as how you handle traffic jams that make you late, bank machines that are ‘out of service’ when you need them most, an angry partner, a run in your stocking, a soiled shirt, an empty bottle of shampoo when you are half-way through your shower.

Withdrawals are part of the yin/yang of living. How we handle them is what creates our positive or negative balance. Withdrawals deplete our account when we make negative choices. Unhealthy food choices, binges of anger, jealousy, envy, regret, and a host of other emotions — unforgiveness, non-repentance, uncompromising positions that undermine our peace of mind.

Withdrawals can be balanced with ‘goody’ deposits such as love, joy, laughter, sharing a good time with a friend, acts of kindness, volunteering, etc.

As long as deposits outweigh withdrawals, your bank account is healthy and happy. Your economy of self is balanced.

Big picture, when your deposits build resilience, good-will, contentment, balance, you have the resources to trust yourself to weather any momentary blips in the economy of self.


Today’s exercise:

Write down the dollar figure $1,000.00 in the middle of the top of a blank page in your notebook.

Beneath it, draw a line to the bottom of the page dividing the page in half.

On the top left side write: Withdrawals On the top right side write: Deposits

Throughout the day, remind yourself to write down a value for every emotion you experience during the day.

Every emotion has a value of $1.00. Doesn’t matter if the emotion is love or anger — it has a value of $1.00 on the Deposit side of the ledger.

Now, if you notice that the anger lasts longer than the momentary ‘noticing’ of it, make a withdrawal. Every withdrawal is valued at $2.00.

For example, you are in a meeting and Joe from the corner office is, as always, late. The thought of Joe being late is a positive emotional deposit — lateness lacks integrity. However, the ‘as always’ component is a negative. Have you ever discussed the importance of punctuality? Have you found a respectful way to tell him about your feelings around his lateness? So, in this situation you have a $1.00 deposit and a $2.00 withdrawal.

As the meeting continues, Joe asks a question about something that was discussed before he entered the meeting. You reply, “If you’d been here on time you’d know the answer.”

That’s a $2.00 withdrawal. There’s no deposit because you’ve already given your emotions around his tardiness a say.

Later on, you go for coffee and Joe is standing in line in front of you. As you walk towards him, you smile, but in your head you think, “Ha. He’s never late for coffee.” That’s a $2.00 withdrawal.

Back in your office, the phone rings. It’s a supplier telling you they’ll be late with delivery. It’s the second time this month. You mention that fact and they apologize, explaining that they haven’t received the necessary components because their supplier is late. You agree on a new delivery date and you hang up. You get a $1.00 deposit because you handled the interaction effectively.

Later on, you are explaining to your boss about the late delivery and complain about the supplier, blaming them for the situation, yada yada yada. That’s a $2.00 withdrawal — and more withdrawals for every time you repeat the story about how they are to blame — like when you get home and tell your partner all about it, complaining about the supplier’s lack of responsiveness. Oh, and you also get a $2.00 withdrawal when you talk about Joe’s tardiness.

At the end of the day, add up each column. Are you in the negative or positive? Look through eyes of wonder at your bottom line and ask yourself, What can I learn? What can I do to change my bottom line? Be open, and joyful. Just in doing the exercise you have created positive well-being for your self.

The purpose of this exercise is to bring to your consciousness the impact of your complaints and critical, negative talk on your well-being.

When you invest time and energy into criticizing, condemning and complaining, you are making withdrawals from your economy of self. You are depleting your resources, running your balance down and creating stress — think about your real bank account. When the balance is depleted, do you worry about how you’ll make ends meet. How you’ll pay for the new tires, the furnace repair, that dress you really want for the Christmas party?

Criticizing, condemning and complaining are energy vacuums. They suck the ‘goodies’ right out of you.

Stop it.

Make a commitment to notice how much you criticize, condemn and complain on a daily basis. Offset the negative with positives. Keep focusing on the positive, on the deposits, and ease yourself away from making too many negative withdrawals. Life has its ups and downs. Someone will inevitably do something to hurt, disappoint, disillusion, betray…. you. It is inevitable.

How you handle the ups and downs makes all the difference in the world to your economy of self. Choose to create a bank account of well-being that is continually balanced with positive ‘goodies’ that will sustain you through any situation that may arise. Keep yourself in the black by continually depositing self-sustaining and enhancing well-being.

The question is: What’s in your bank account?