Notes to my self

I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to be called. It is early. 6am kind of early and I am on my first latte of the day. I think of how I’ll treat myself to a second when I arrive at my destination. How I’ll walk along the sea wall, soaking in the moist ocean air, smelling the foliage, hearing the sounds.

I’ll walk and then stop at that cute little caffe in English Bay, the one where that man kept staring at me one day only to inform me, “You remind me of Madeline Albright”

Excuse me? Madeline Albright? Ummm. She’s …. How do I say this? Old? Matronly? Brilliant! Yes. That’s it. Brilliant.

It was a first. I’ve been told I look like Lisa Minnelli. Bonnie Bedalia. Catherine McKeen. (the wife of a former Canadian prime minister). But never Madeline Albright.

I wondered if it was a new kind of pick up line for the over 50 set. Didn’t matter whose name you used. It started a conversation, and wasn’t that the point of trying to pick someone up?

That day I smiled and grabbed my latte and C.Cs Americano, thanked my unknown ‘admirer’ and joined my beloved.

Today, I’m looking forward to time alone. Time to people watch. Cloud gaze. Breathe into this space of where I am.

It’s not my way. To drink more than one latte a day and usually it is consumed in the warmth and familiarity of my home. But today is special. Today, I am off to Vancouver to spend some time with my eldest daughter and have the luxury of unscheduled time until I meet up with her later in the afternoon.

I’m excited.

C.C, my beloved, gave me this gift for Christmas. A trip to Vancouver and tickets to see Oprah!

Alexis is over the moon. Not only is she going to Oprah, we’re going together.

The airport is busy already. The waiting area for Gate 42 filling up with travelers eager to be on their way, going home, going places, going away. No matter the direction, I am surrounded by people going places this morning.

And I wonder, where am I going? Not the ‘this is my destination I’ll know when I get there’ kind of going. No, this is more the ‘where is my spirit calling me and am I listening’ kind of going.

This place I’m headed isn’t so much ‘out there’. It’s not a physical place that once arrived at will entrance me with its sights and sounds and new people to meet and new things to do.

This place I’m going is less physical, more ethereal. It’s that place within me that says, “Yes! I’m here and there’s no where else I’d rather be, no one else I’d rather know than me. I’m okay, just the way I am. In fact, I’m beyond ok. I’m magnificent and in my magnificence I see and experience your magnificence and together we create a world of wonder all around.”

Yeah. That’s where I’m going and some days, I know I’m in that zone. I can feel it, breathe it, live it and feel completely, absolutely at ease.

And then, there are those other days. Those moments, those broad sweeps of time when I’m not really feeling it, not really living from deep within my essential self or even that I’m out of the zone. It’s on those days I need to stop, take a breath and feel my way back into being present, aware and alive. Fully conscious of the air against my skin, the light shining all around.

It’s on those days I need to examine my story and ask, “whose story am I living now?”

In his book The Power of Story, Jim Loehr writes, “Our destinies follow our stories. It’s imperative we do everything in our power to get our stories right. For most of us, that means some serious editing.”

I’ve yet to write an article, report, blog, story, poem, anything that doesn’t require editing, that doesn’t deserve or need a second read.

I’ve yet to live a day that doesn’t deserve a shift in direction, a change of perspective, a second glance, another look, a different take on how I’m doing, being, loving life.

And while I’m not about to edit my life to look like Madeline Albright’s, I can take a page from her book and use it to inspire mine. She’s a feisty woman, self confident and self-expressed. She had a clear vision of what she was doing to change the world and she lived it to her best ability.

I could learn a lot from Ms Albright’s story. And on those days when I’m not feelin’ it, I can choose to change my state. I can kick up my heels and jazz it up a la Liza!

And maybe, I could even find a stranger to pick me up and swirl me around and make me laugh at the sheer outlandishness of the notion I could be anyone else than me!

And a quick update. I’m on my second latte, sitting in a cafe overlooking the Harbour. Life is so sweet!

The everyday poem is posted on A Poetry Affair

The Value of Vulnerability — Guest blog

The first time I watched Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability was shortly after it appeared in 2010. I was hooked. Gave the link to my daughter. Shared it with everyone I know. Read, The Gift of Imperfection and recommended it with everyone I know.

Today, guest blogger, Ian Munro. shares the value of vulnerability in our lives — not only will it help lower stress, you’ll love yourself and your life a whole lot more!

Thanks Ian for sharing your light so graciously. Thanks for being so vulnerable!


The Value of Vulnerability

By Ian Munro

The holiday season is behind us and we are back to our normal work routine. It gave me pause to reflect back on the past several weeks. This year I worked through the break, having taken my vacation earlier in the year. Normally I would find working through the holidays somewhat burdensome but this year was totally different. I found myself using this slower time of the year to have some slow, meaningful conversations with people. With both time and some solitude as the office wasn’t very busy, these conversations often penetrated through a few layers of the normal office shields we wear to protect our essential selves. They were great connections, and I look at them now and see how uncommon it is for us to reveal the true nature of ourselves to each other, especially within a work environment.  To read the rest of Ian’s fabulous article, click here!

The light of evensong makes a difference

I walked beneath the light of the full moon, the air chilly against my skin. Ellie, the wonder pooch, pranced and danced beside me, her tail wagging enthusiastically as she sniffed for scent of gopher, squirrel maybe chipmunk beneath the snow covering the ground.

It was the in-between time. That hour just before darkness falls where dusk draws a silken veil across the sky and tinges the horizon in pink and rosy and golden hues. The time of Vespers, an ancient Catholic ritual of expressing gratitude in the twilight hours.

I walked and soaked in the air and view and quiet of the evensong drawing day to a close.

I walked and silently gave thanks for my day. A day of quiet. A day to work on a project for  my beloved (and I can’t tell you here because he reads here and telling you would spoil the surprise!). A day of sharing a meal with good friends and talking about the Essential Journey and how to translate ‘the knowing’ of our essential selves into service for the world.

“Louise,” my good friend Kerry Parsons sat across from me at lunch and as is her way, asked the questions of her heart. “You go out into the world and do your thing and do it singularly because, that’s what you do.” She glanced around at the other two members of our Essential Journey team. “That’s what we all do. But how do you, how do we, do it collaboratively? How do we enter into the spirit of co-creation and keep it as our collective vision?”

It was a good question. An important one.

How do I move from the ‘Me’ to embracing the ‘We’. How do I ignite possibility through collaborative energy versus singular drive?

I don’t know. I’m learning as I go. It’s evolutionary.

That’s the thing about the evolutionary process. It is constantly evolving. Continually unfolding and growing and emerging.

And I grow with it, emerge, become.

When I was a child I didn’t like team sports. Not because I wasn’t good at them, but rather, because I feared criticism. I feared letting others down. If I just say “I’m not a basketball player, volleyball player…” or whatever the sport was that required me to cooperatively engage in exercising with a collective, then no one will expect me to be part of the team. And in the release from that expectation, my expectations of not being wanted could be ignored.

I never had to challenge my belief — I am unwanted.

It also meant I took up singular sports and those where it was me against an opponent. Running. Skiing.  Racquetball. Tennis. Squash. I could be good at those because I never had to ask if I was wanted on the team, I just needed to turn up and be my best.

Except, being my best also came with mixed messages of childhood. “You think you’re so good.” You think you’re better than everyone else. Don’t get too smart for your britches. Nobody likes someone who always wins.

And so, I began to hide. My light. My drive. My brilliance. I began to hide behind the mediocrity of getting along, getting by, getting it done. Even though there were brief bursts of ‘wow! I can do that!’, I did my own thing — but never to the best of my abilities, always to the best of my belief it was vain and self-serving to shine.

I adapted.

It is the core message of the Essential Journey. We are born into this world with gifts and light and perfection shining. And then, we adapt.

We adapt to fit our family unit. Our circle of friends. Peer pressure, cultural biases, faith dictates, all impact our journey, moulding us into adaptive beings capable of living life and fitting into the norms of our society.

In the Essential Journey we learn to identify our adaptive beliefs and behaviours as we release the essence of the magnificence of our birthright. The brilliant, shining light of who we are born to be in this world of wonder.

The Essential Journey asks, “Who am I when I live up to my higher-self? What can we create through the collaborative energy of the highest expressions of our magnificence?”

Imagine what a world this would be. Imagine the difference we can make, imagine what we can inspire when we let go of living from our adapted selves and allow the full expression of our magnificence to unfold with grace and ease in a world of wonder.

Just imagine.

I walked in the light of evensong and felt gratitude, joy, Love and humility rise within me and all around.

I may not know how to operate in the collaborative but I do know how to allow the process to unfold. In its unfolding, I let go of making it happen to make room for miracles to happen, everywhere, because my life has been an evolutionary journey of Love. And in Love, I know, all things are possible. In Love, miracles happen.