Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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The best laid plans…

I had a great plan.

  1. Get back into the studio in the evenings. (I haven’t been in the studio throwing paint for a few weeks now. Busy-ness. New Job. Several events. Summer-like evenings and all that jazz kept getting in my way.)
  2. Wake up earlier (5am) to be able to meditate half an hour every morning followed by half an hour of yoga.
  3. Go to bed earlier. Lights out by 10:30.
  4. Check my diet. Ensure it is laden with nutrients and healthy foods.
  5. Walk an hour a day.

 

And, like many best laid plans, life got in the way.

Well, a cold actually.

I have managed to fulfill on Step 3 — Go to bed earlier. Sleep is about all that has been calling to me this past week and weekend. Sleep and more sleep. In fact, Saturday, which was a perfect summer day in the studio because of the rain, I did not get out of bed all day.

That’s the thing about ‘plans’.

You gotta be flexible. Adaptable. Kind.

Flexible enough to adapt your plan to unforeseen circumstances. A cold was not on my agenda, but, working back at a frontline homeless-serving agency it is in some ways inevitable. New venue. New germs. And as this is a child and family centered agency, there are always lots of germs floating around.

Years ago, when I started working at an adult shelter, even though I’m not frontline staff, I got a cold every month for a year. After that, my immune system had strengthened itself enough, I didn’t get another cold for the next five years I worked there.

 

I figure this may be part of my modus operendi. Condition my immune system with variable germs until its strong enough to defend itself.

At least, that’s the plan.

But then, you know what happens to the best laid plans…

We either adapt to present conditions or the plan falls apart.

In the case of a plan that doesn’t follow my script, there’s only one thing I can do, be kind to myself by treating myself with tender loving care, and when conditions improve, give myself the grace to …

Begin again.

 

 

Always begin again.

I am on the mend. The bloom is off my cold as its love affair with my immune system wanes. There are clear nasal passages and fewer coughs on the horizon.

All is good. My plan for now is to treat myself with tender loving care, allowing myself the grace to not appear anywhere at 5am except my bed. And if getting up whenever I get up does not allow enough time to appear here on the page, I’m okay with that too. It’s all in the plan.

Namaste.

 

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Begin Again | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 18

acts of grace week 18 copy

We know the things we need to do that keep us healthy. We start a regimen, get going and everything goes along swimmingly until a life hiccup interrupts the flow and we stop. We stop exercising daily, writing in our journal, meditating, eating healthily.

And in the stopping, we tell ourselves, “I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “It wasn’t making a difference anyway.”

And resistance rises. Avoidance mounts. Shame grows.

Stop.

Stop and breathe and tell yourself, “I shall begin again. Right now. Right where I am at.”

And begin again.

Stop the mind chatter. Stop the litany of reasons why you can’t, or how you are such a loser because you never follow through, always fall down, can’t keep agreements with yourself.

Give yourself the grace of letting go of ‘the story’ of why not, and begin again.

Always begin again.

 


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Soul-full encounters on the journey

I raced the sun. Drove west into the darkness that rested above the peaks lining the far horizon while behind me, pink light streaked across the sky, lighting up day’s beginning. By the time I reached Canmore, an hour west of the city, the sun had won the race. Day had broken.

I was driving towards a day of retreat. A day to meditate in group on the beauty and synchronicity of being within a circle, grounded, connected, at One.

It has been awhile since I joined my meditation group. Life. Excuses. Piled up piles of busy-making lists have all intervened in my commitment to join the group to be of service through silent contemplation of our collective power to create peace, love and joy in the world.

As written in The Rule of St. Benedict, “always begin again“.

I begin again.

To connect to group. To be part of a weekly commitment to join the circle and delve into the silence, and the wonder, of what is waiting to reveal itself when I quit doing, doing, doing and allow myself the grace of being. Present, at one, at peace with where I am, connected to the soul-full synergy of my fellow travellers on this journey of Life.

It was a beautiful day. A joyful and playful encounter. A graceful reminder to stop. Breathe. Listen. Feel.

And to begin again.

I am grateful.

There is no yearning copy