Old Wounds Heal

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Melancholy is common, and probably even more common these days. This meandering affliction has flitted in and out of my life with an erratic flow, mostly hidden away as a secret despair. And within those months and even years I felt utterly exhausted and completely incapable of succeeding at any task. Yet, somehow, I pushed through, numb and only partially engaged, fat with anxiety. I seemed to be on auto pilot, unable to take control, my lifetime of gaffs and blunders were the only memories I’d play, over and over like the relentless refrain of an old song stuck in my head.

As I grew older, my list of botches grew longer and longer. And then, when people confided to me with their own troubles, I found myself automatically adding them to my own litany of unravellings or downfalls to solve.  A ridiculous notion at best, as though I could fix their problems too. Soon, in any conversation I found myself begging in a silent voice, “Please don’t ask anything of me with your expectant eyes and anxious energy for I cannot carry your burden too.” And in reality, I’m sure if they knew what I was thinking, they’d have thought I’d lost my ever-loving mind, and replied, “But I haven’t asked you for a thing.” And deep-down, despite my exaggerated sense of responsibility, I knew this to be true. As a middle child from a dysfunctional family, I was always trying to make it better for everyone else because that was my job. I was forever on guard, reading a rooms emotion, either trying to defuse the bomb before it exploded or running before it did. Focusing on others to maintain a smoother road of life absolutely crushed my ability to manifest a clear future for myself.

Celebratory events with family and friends which were intended to be easy and joyful, were a form of stilted play-acting in an attempt to satisfy the expectations of the group. Despite the good-humoured grins and laughter thrown around like money in a casino, my smiles were consistently hollow and my laughter forced; a pittance at the penny slots. My feelings became non-existent. The space inside my heart reserved for warmth and caring had long iced over, and in actual fact, the slow pulsing core of my being felt more desolate than a prairie field in the depths of winter; icy, rigid, and filled with emptiness.

Those were the darkest of days. Today, the sunlight pours down creating dancing shadows on the ground, my smile is an expression of my heart, my future unfolding as I choose. This is our one guarantee in life, everything changes. So, if you are feeling that your life is pointless, overwhelming and beyond repair, believe me when I say it is not. We live in a world of opposites; up/down, rich/poor, cold/hot, happy/sad, and on and on. Nothing is stagnant. All around us, every day, everything transforms, including you.

Please remember that spring comes; the grass greens, the sun shines and the gofers in the burrows foster little ones. I, for one believe in you. And maybe you are thinking, how can you believe in me? You don’t even know me, and I reply, “It’s because you are human that I believe in you. I believe in the power of your heart, of your love, of your forgiveness, of your kindness. I believe in your creativity, in your tears and in your future joys. I believe in the contrast of who you are. Even the most evil-minded individual holds the capacity to become giving and loving. It is in our potential to become; to evolve. We falter, we fall, we bleed, we lash out and we learn. If we can be strong enough to accept our pain without blaming the world or those around us, we grow. Our power lies in the love we give, not in the love we hold in our hearts. The love in a smile, in a letter, in a devil’s food cake. Human beings are magical creatures because they are capable of overcoming. Let us overcome.”

Say I Love You

It was July 29/21 and I was doing it. I could nearly hear my dead mother gasp with shock, I could almost see my dead father giving me the head-shake of disapproval, and I was convinced I heard my husband cuss me out with worry, as I stepped on the brake to offer a ride to a stranger on the road of life.

A week ago, I wouldn’t have dared grant a lift to a scruffy looking man without having another person with me for added protection. I’m not a total country hick. I’ve seen the news reports and read the horror stories of well-meaning people picking up strangers and having things go dark and dastardly. I’m quite aware of how easily a stranger could overpower me, strangle me or stab me and then kick me down into a steep ditch. I even admit to being aware that the stranger could have driven away with my weeks’ worth of groceries and my daughter’s groceries too, leaving my family hungry. But honestly, at that point, none of those considerations mattered, the only thing that mattered was that I had been given a distinctive sign from above to offer this man a ride. 

To be clear, there was no flashing neon lettering hanging over the gaunt man’s head instructing me to give him a lift. It was subtle, much more subtle, and in all fairness, the only reason I had noticed at all was due to my newfound meditation practice. For those in doubt, I wrote meditation, not medication. This practice tends to enhance one’s attention on life’s details in a way that is nearly magical. For myself, meditation gave me cause to open my heart to a scruffy stranger and as a result I was granted the wondrous gift of knowing we are all connected no matter our status in life. 

Leaving the farmyard that morning, I had a smile on my face and elevated emotions in my soul and there was no reason for either. It was an overcast day, and I was merely going to town for groceries. As I turned off the gravel road and onto the highway I met another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Instantly, my thoughts drifted to the people in the other vehicle and I wondered about their lives. Not knowing a thing about them, I simply smiled at the black, shiny truck now in my rear-view mirror and said, “Good morning! I love you!” 

I blushed a bit at my silliness. People would think I had lost it, never mind meditation, they would have thought I was on too much medication. But my current practice of mindfulness had taught me that my feelings are an important guidance system, so instead of judging myself, I considered how I felt: My heart was lifted with joy. Everyone could use a little more love I decided with a nod, and I certainly wasn’t hurting anyone, so continued to say I love you to every vehicle I met along the way. 

Before I knew it, birds were soaring alongside my vehicle and daringly darting in and out in front of me, never seeming to be in any danger. It was as though they approved of my sentiments. I looked up. Clouds shifted aside and the suns rays fingered downwards displaying a kaleidoscope of colours shimmering with light. Magnificent. My heart blossomed hot pink. Feeling encouraged by natures response to my proclamations of love, I playfully began to singsong, “I love you,” instead of simply saying it.

Fifteen minutes later, I noticed the stranger up ahead on the side of the road, he wasn’t hitchhiking exactly, he was walking in the same direction as I was driving but in the opposite lane facing the oncoming traffic. I glanced at him as I passed and said, “I love you!” in an upbeat voice. My enthusiasm completely contrary to his demeanour. As I studied him in my rear-view mirror, I took my foot off the gas. My inner voice was suggesting I stop and offer him a ride. At that thought, my fears puffed up inside of me, a black balloon of programmed negativity expanding into every nook and cranny of my being. In an instant I recalled dire news stories, and many loved one’s warnings instructing me to never pick up a stranger. Those thoughts instantly deflated my good feeling vibe.

I stepped on the gas driving away from the stranger and wrestled with the morality of my decision. I gripped my steering wheel much harder than necessary. Maybe I should have stopped for him? After all, he was a person in need, my inner voice wanted me to pick him up. Guilt. A heavy self condemning dislike for myself stuck me with sharp barbs. All the sudden, a bird smacked into the front-end passenger side of my car with a loud thwack, and then 30 seconds later I hit my breaks to avoid killing another dodgy bird. See? I thought, even the birds are telling me I should have stopped for the man. 

And then I felt ashamed. “What’s wrong with me?” I fumed, voicing my anger aloud. “Why am I so afraid of everything? We are the same, the stranger and I. We are all just people trying to find our way in this crazy fucking world.” My chest tightened; heavy with regret, with sadness. My decision had been wrong. I acted out of fear instead of love. I snorted at myself. What a hypocrite I am, I thought. Here I was shouting, “I love you,” to everyone, but without action they are empty words.

Coward. I though. My heart nearly winced at the abuse. Tears welled up spilling over, and then my inner guidance spoke to me, “By judging yourself you are in a sense disrespecting the stranger too; condemnation without offering space for forgiveness blocks all healing… we are all connected by the living threads of energy. He is you and you are him.

Tiny streams of wetness ran down my cheeks and I was urged to place a hand on my heart and whisper, “I love you and I forgive you for being afraid.” And then I did not block the rest of my tears with my usual wall of hard self-judgement. Instead, I offered myself compassion. In that moment, I decided if I saw the stranger again I would stop and offer him a ride. 

The grocery pick-up was quick and easy and before I knew it I did see the man again. He was still travelling alongside the road. I wish I could say I felt courageous but I didn’t, I felt the shaking hands of nervousness strumming my tethered line of fear. Sitting up taller and grasping at elusive threads of courage, I roped my emotions and turned into an approach a few hundred feet ahead of the somber trudging figure. Another human being that was down on his luck. Instantly, I wanted to give him something, my grandma’s standard fix for everything was food. So, I turned around and rifled through my grocery bags until I came up with a vibrant red apple. I set the fruit in my cup holder and looked up. He was closer now, shambling towards the car, his face hollowed and drawn, a bulging pack on his back. It looked like everything he owned was in that bag. He was so thin. My throat tightened with emotion, I wanted to help him with more than just an apple. What road in life had brought him to this point? 

I snatched up my purse and grabbed my wallet hoping I had stashed some cash for a rainy day. I almost never carried cash. Today, there was a fifty and a ten. My desire to help swiftly wrestled my tight-fisted Scottish genetics into submission and I grabbed the fifty from my wallet sticking it under my leg for easy access. My Scottish bloodline kept the ten.

The man approached my driver’s window at a weary pace, rumpled and shaggy, looking as wary as I felt. I rolled down my window to greet him, and as he stepped closer my planned words were obliterated by my horror. His feet were bare. “Oh my God, you have no shoes!” I said with far more forcefulness than I intended. 

He bent his head and studied his feet momentarily, almost sheepishly. Then, he sighed and met my eyes gesturing with a limp hand towards the lumpy knapsack on his back where his shoes dangled like an oversized car mirror decoration. “I got soaked this morning when the rainstorms came through,” he said, his voice rusted from lack of use. “My feet were getting rubbed raw, so I was letting them dry.” Weariness lined the edges of his dull blue eyes and blondish stubble roughened his face; thick straw-coloured hair stuck out from under the edges of a black ball-cap. His frayed tan shorts and faded t-shirt hung on him; a scarecrow left to be weathered and worn. 

“Where are you headed?” I said, still feeling slightly nervous despite his harmless appearance. Fear porn news stories still rolling in the back of my mind. 

“I’m going to Plamondon,” he said, a touch of hope sounded in his words. “I have a line on a job.” The stranger reached up with one hand, fingertips brushing the peak of his ball cap and then sliding back alongside his hair smoothing it down.  

Plamondon was behind me and a little off my trail, but it would only be an extra twenty minutes. “Do you want a ride?” I asked, feeling lighter as I spoke the words. Love and kindness winning. 

“Yeah, that would be great.” His cloudy eyes brightening suddenly; a flash of brilliant blue. 

As he walked around the back end of my car, I tossed my coat and purse into the back to give him room to sit in the passengers seat. 

The back passenger door swung opened, and he held his backpack in his hand looking for a spot to put his possessions. I awkwardly moved a grocery bag out of the way feeling a crushing sense of guilt at the amount of food in the car. “It was my grocery day,” I said, blurting it out, wanting to explain. “I shop once a week online and since I am at the store anyway, I pick up my daughter’s grocery order too.” I laughed, a stuttering laugh and then offered the stranger an excessive grin. “It saves two vehicles going… you know, the extra gas.”

He nodded politely, and set his gear inside and closed the door.

I turned back to the front and then remembered a container of delicate Hey Clay sculptures I had sitting on the floor in front of the passengers seat, they were my granddaughters creations. The door opened just as I lifted the treasures from the floor. The man slid into his seat and clicked his seatbelt into place, appearing completely innocent. The fact he had put his knapsack in the back had made me feel much safer. 

I held the container out towards him like a peace-offering. “Would you mind holding these? They are my granddaughters—they were broken by her cousin—adorable sweet boy, but rough— and my husband has fixed them so I was returning them to my granddaughter today.” I was rambling, but he didn’t seem to take any notice. 

He just nodded and offered the slightest grin. 

I swallowed hard, put the car in gear and turned onto the highway back the way I had come. The stranger studied the carefully crafted blue dragon with interest. “These are pretty good,” he said, his tone honest.

I glanced over and smiled at his appreciation of the amateur art. “The sculpting material is called Hey Clay, it’s much better than the Play-Doh we used to have when we were kids, and it air dries really well too.”

His features suddenly softened and he appeared much younger.

“Well, you probably played withPlay-Doh when you were young,” I said, trying to make a connection with his past.

He nodded enthusiastically, childlike. “Yeah, I used Play-Doh all the time.” His scruffy face flinched then, as though the good memory hurt and he set the dragon back in the box with a light sigh.

Again, I wondered of his story, he seemed so wounded, his obvious pain triggered my desire to help even further. I remembered the apple and motioned to the fruit in the cup holder. “Oh yeah, I was wondering if you wanted an apple, I thought you might want a snack or something after walking this morning?” Ugh, I silently groaned at my words. Talk about minimizing; like he had gone for a pleasing stroll along the edge of the road to listen to the birds, instead of an agonizing walk in wet sneakers that rubbed his heels raw forcing him onto the pavement barefoot.

He reached down and lifted the apple with thin spidery fingers. “Thank you, I am kind of hungry.” He held it tightly in his hand, fist pressed against his stomach.

People have called me an empath, and maybe I am, I have always been sensitive, and this human being beside me leaked a type of suffering that I had rarely been around. The underlying pain and hurt inside of him was soul crushing. In that moment I just wanted him to know that he meant something. He was something. He was a living creation of a holy energy and that something was looking out for him in this world, whether we call it the Creator, or God or Source or Allah or whatever. This man needed to know he was looked after. So, in my authentic and unceremonious way, I said, “I was supposed to pick you up today.” I glanced at him brightly, earnestly… not crazily.

He met my gaze, eyes curious. “Yeah?”

“I mean, I was supposed to pick you up when I first saw you on my way into town, but—” I bit my lip and I frowned at my former actions. “—You know.”

He knew.

“I let my fear stop me the first time,” I explained glancing at him earnestly. He dropped his eyes, clearly uncomfortable but I continued on, “And then by the time I reconsidered you were too far back. So then, I don’t know— the Universe, or God, or the Creator, or whatever you may believe, gave me the idea to stop and see if you needed a ride if I saw you on my way home.”

“Hmph,” he said, an acknowledgment but a dismissal as well.

I laughed. It was a genuine laugh. “I know. It sounds crazy, absolutely bonkers, but it’s true. You don’t have to believe me.” And he didn’t. But I felt at peace.

He scratched his temple. “No. That’s cool, I appreciate the ride.”

“Happy to do it,” I said, “What’s your name?”

“Mitchell.”

My body, my brain, my very soul expanded with light. “Shut up!” I said, my filled with awe, bubbling over, my eyes wide. I’m nearly giggling as I explain, “My maiden name is Mitchell and my sister named her only son Mitchell. Isn’t that crazy?”

He patted his knee, unsure, and then nodded, his head a child’s rocking horse bobbing at an even tempo. “Yeah,” he said, his tone wondering. “Mitchell, isn’t a common name around here.”

I wanted to offer him more. “My nephew Mitchell is really clever.”

He bobbed again. “I used to be smart too,” he said, voice sad, regretful, beaten.

“I’m sure, you are still very smart.”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“You should give yourself more credit.” I said, in the tone of a bossy older sister, “Obviously the Universe believes in you, I wasn’t planning on picking anyone up today.”

He smiled and his eyes contemplated my words.

I slowed the vehicle as we drove into the small community of Plamondon. “Where do you want to be dropped off?”

He sat up taller looking ahead and pointing. “At the co-op gas station. Maybe I can get a coffee,” he said, sounding hopeful, “I could really use one.”

As soon as I rolled to a stop, I pulled the fifty dollar bill out from under my leg and thrust it towards Mitchell. “Here,”

Wide-eyed, he accepted the bill with a shaking hand, and then his brow creased as though he couldn’t quite believe his eyes. “Really?”

“Yeah really,” I nodded eagerly. “The Universe wants good things for you. You deserve good things.”

His voice trembled. “Well, thank you.” Appreciation shone on his face. “You have no idea how much I needed this.” And then he snorted happily. “Now, I really can get that cup of coffee.”

My heart sank. He really didn’t have anything. I watched Mitchell, hop out of my car taking tender steps on the rough ground as he retrieved his bag from the backseat. “Thanks again,” he said.

“Anytime,” I said “It was nice to meet you, Mitchell. Good luck on your job.”

The story doesn’t end there. There was one more gift in store for me.

On my way to my daughters to drop off her groceries, I picked up her mail. She had some parcels. At her house, after her groceries were put away she made me a coffee and then she began to open up her packages. As she sliced open the boxes, I started retelling the story of my day: of my spontaneous proclamations of love to everyone I met; how I wrestled with myself about picking up a stranger walking on the side of the road; how he had my maiden name, Mitchell for his first name, and how I I thought that was a sign that the love we have for others is the love need to have for ourselves. My daughter, Megan, followed the story nodding here and there, and then when she opened her final package exposing some gorgeous plumes of pampas grass, she squealed with shock. “Oh my God, Mom, this is crazy!”

“What? What?” I said, nearly dumping my coffee in my lap. 

She thrust a piece of plastic with writing on it. “Look! Look at this!” She held one hand to her throat, tears forming in her eyes.I took it from her. And this is what it said:  The bold lettering leaped at me.  SAY “I LOVE YOU”  

Blessed. I felt blessed. And then I read the whole thing and felt even more blessed. Today, was my wedding anniversary too.

Your Destiny

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Greetings, lovely people. So honoured you have chosen to read my blog today. Now, I’m not here to lecture you on this fine morning like some stogy old professor with yellow teeth and smoky breath. I’m simply here to tell you how much I appreciate your amazingness and uniqueness. I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and clutching your wallet protectively, thinking, “How can she say that? Is she trying to scam me? She doesn’t even know me?” True. I don’t know you. However, as an old unstogy non-professor I can still infer certain truths from my own life experience. I can claim quite confidently that you are a complex individual coming from a multifarious past of quintessential experiences which has uniquely crafted you into the life you are currently living. You, my friend, are one of a kind.

And in this fine fresh month of January, I am here to remind you that your innate capabilities are limitless. Billions of people are blessed to live on this wondrous planet. Think of it. Billions! And out of those billions no one else has your fingerprints or your energetic frequency. As a rarity, you do not need to fit into anyone else’s idea of how you should act or what you should do with your precious life. You need never bow down before any other person. We are all equal and divine in nature. Part of our divinity means we show respect and compassion for all of our fellow humans, for each and every single being, right down to the drug addict on the corner all the way to the Queen of England. We show respect and compassion because it is right to do so, because respect and compassion lift others and ourselves. This generousness of heart settles the torment in our lives because living in this society is no easy ride on a merry-go-round. It’s more like the Yukon Striker roller coaster in Canada’s Wonderland, with its 360 degree flip, four inversions, and 75 meter drop which descends into an underground tunnel surrounded by water. I dare say those clambering to get on the Yukon Striker don’t need a pep talk through life challenges.

So, my friend, it’s a New Year. Take a deep breathe… and now get excited. What do you want to do that you have always put off doing due to fear or inconvenience? Guess what? Today is the day! There is no better mantra for this year. A little stress and angst is worth feeling alive; thorns can cut and tear our flesh but they offer us the rose. Engage, dear heart. Risk. Smile. Cry. Live. Variety is the glitter of our world. Put a hand on your heart, feel your life force. Remind yourself what a miracle you are. Become aware of the rising energy beneath your palm; swirling dreams by the thousands waiting to be realized. Bring your passions to the table and shine.

What is the greatest gift you could ever give yourself? Self-empowerment. This is the year that you take control of your destiny. There are no more excuses. So go ahead, you one of a kind miracle, show yourself what you can do.

Offering You a Smile

A smile is a gift. It is a welcoming recognition of another person’s spirit and serves to connect with others in a meaningful way. On, April 12, 2019, a team of psychologists from the University of Tennessee found that smiling can make people feel happier. They combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants and found that facial expressions have an impact on our feelings. This rings true for me. I certainly feel happier and more synergistically inclined when anyone, be it a stranger, or a friend, flashes me an honest smile.

Smiles are impossible to find these days, in the streets or in the stores, and while we may feel a temporary jump of joy at buying such things as; soap in the shape of a big toe, or a pair of it’s okay to fart socks, or a Maserati sports car, eventually the glee of owning something new fades away leaving only emptiness in your heart. Truthfully, the only substance in our lives is created by maintaining and forming new connections with other human beings. Joy is better times two. We are without a doubt happier, healthier and stronger with regular human interaction.

Harvard Health Publishing, printed an article; The Health Benefits of Strong Relationships, declaring that, ‘Good connections and social support can improve health and increase longevity.‘ And it went on to state: ‘For many of us, the holidays mean family gatherings, getting together with friends, and participating in special religious, community, and workplace activities. Such occasions are an opportunity to check in with each other, exchange ideas, and perhaps lend some social support to each other.

Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

Conversely, a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality. One study, which examined data from more than 309,000 people, found that lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% — an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity.’

We all know at our very core just how important human touch is for our health and welfare. It is the weakest among us who need people around them the most. The miraculous healing benefits of a loving touch has been seen time and time again in hospitals and care centres, and was clearly demonstrated in the CNN story on YouTube called, The hug that helped change medicine. Doesn’t everyone deserve a hug from someone who loves them? It is time to reevaluate the data on asymptomatic spread. There is more and more information coming out which proves people without symptoms pose no threat. We must use our good sense instead of our fears. There is always a tipping point when good intentions fail. Have we gone over?

“Sometimes I feel so— I don’t know—lonely. The kind of helpless feeling when everything you’re used to has been ripped away. Like there’s no more gravity, and I’m left to drift in outer space with no idea where I’m going.”

-Haruki Murakami

Dreams Come True

 

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The thudding rhythmic beat of the hooves is music to my ears. The momentary pause as man and beast soar over the jump is grace in action. The competitors make it look simple. They gallop around the course in a collected manner and then spring up over the jump. I’m not sure the audience can fully appreciate the hours of practice and training that goes into the presented teamwork of horse and rider. This is a dream come true, it is the riders dream come true.

I attended the Nations Cup At Spruce Meadows held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on September 9, 2017. It wasn’t only an outing to enjoy the beauty of the equestrian sport but it was a small reunion between a few Equine Studies college friends, and myself. We hadn’t been together in over ten years. So what better way to reconnect than to horse around at Spruce Meadows? Yeah, it’s a groaner.

The horse is an instinctual animal that has survived for hundreds of years by living according to it’s fight or flight instincts. I reluctantly add that by nature’s choosing, horses are creatures of prey. In the wild they are hoofed grass eaters subject to the laws of the hunt. The weak and slow of the herd are meals for packs of roving wolves, the henchman of the bush. Most horses choose flight over fight. Unless they are cornered, and then watch the kicking, striking, and biting commence. This fact alone should add to your admiration for all who sit astride a horse in hopes of controlling the outcome.

I’ve had the pleasure of horses in my life since I was a naive little pea pod on the vine of life. (Such a bad metaphor, no comments from the peanut gallery.) I have been tossed, trampled, struck, bowled over, bit and kicked by horses. I know through painful and personal experience that horses are not just instinctual beings, but are emotional creatures as well. They form strong bonds of companionship between other horses, and given time and trust, between people as well. Horses are sensitive to emotion. They sense fear or hostility in a person by simply being close to them. They don’t need the demonstration of trembling hands or a rough brush, to know a person can’t be trusted in that state of mind. This means, for a rider to be successful, they must be calm and confident, even in the face of their own personal fears. The trust between horse and rider must be like the trust between a flying trapeze performer and their partner who catches them. There can be no hesitation, or doubt, timing is everything. Welcome to the Spock Academy for hopeful equestrians.

Now lets add to the mix, the fact that horses actually do have ideas and desires of their own. Sometimes a stallion would rather be mounting a mare than leaping a fence. It takes a strong hand to guide a stallion to a rider’s whims. Sometimes horses are having a bad day. Maybe they miss a stable-mate, or are feeling lazy, like they would rather just lie around the pasture. It’s a whole different ball game when a sport includes a non-verbal teammate.

 

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Ultimately show jumping is communication between man and beast, for the jumper to be successful the horse must want to jump. Somewhere inside them there is the desire to soar. And as I watched the jumping events it is clear to see the horse trusts it’s rider, and the rider trusts his horse. The horses responds to the encouragement and challenge from their director to jump fences they wouldn’t jump on their own.

It’s bloody amazing. The professionals in any sport can make the task look easy. The teamwork in show jumping seems effortless, and therein lays the magic. It is the slippery fricken magic of appearance. We don’t see the in behind scenes of hard work, or countless hours of practice and failure. We haven’t seen the riders struggle to maintain a positive outlook through their feelings of frustration, doubt and fear. If these show jumpers can trust their horse, who by nature are a creature of fight or flight, to go over jumps for them time and time again. then I do think you can trust yourself to accomplish whatever dreams you can conjure up in your limitless mind.

You got this. Oh yes. Damn right you do.

An Absence of Sun

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Welcome friend, it’s come around again, we have officially entered the seasonal shift when morning light has attained a later state of being. These days, when my alarm sounds out, and I battle to pop my peeper’s open, I am greeted by a dungeon-like darkness. The only thing missing is the shackles. And to be truthful it’s not the pitch-black mornings which bothers me the most. It’s the possibility that crude creeping creatures might be hiding in the lightless space. That idea quickly ignites my imagination and brings to life the horror of unexpected slippery touches, bony grasping fingers, and weird grunting noises… And then I remember, my husband is away at work.

And so it begins, the return to the dark and dismal rise and shine time. The absence of the sun has throttled the very breath out of my fun loving demeanour. I find myself prompted to drag the life size skeleton, Mr. Bones from our garage and have him sit beside me on the couch. We lean in towards one another, fleshy humerus to naked humerus and listen to the top ten hits of funeral music. We silently mourn the death of my chirpiness, although to be frank, Mr. Bones seems quite unsympathetic to my current state of being.

I glance out into the blackness of the early morning hours, and summarily decide the stars are grieving too, as they are veiled by a thick coverlet of clouds. The only light in the room is the orange glow from my Himalayan salt rock. I could turn on a real light but that would interrupt the mood. And in all truthfulness, I’m not quite miserable yet, I’m simply setting the scene. I figured I may as well wait and see what happens, after all, misery loves company. I ruminate for a while longer, and soon realize it’s not coming. Misery has snubbed my overture. I drag Mr. Bones back to the garage, and set him on his sled with his sunglasses positioned over his empty eye sockets. His day won’t get much worse than it already is, and at that bright thought, I feel myself smile.

Paddleboard For Peace

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I’ve been contemplating the world from my secluded slice of heaven for a while now. Our lake invites a reflective state as you can see from the photo above. My daughter’s dog, Mica enjoys a good paddle on the water, and I am happy to oblige. My hubby occupies the other board and he struggles to keep up. I revel in the fact that I am faster than he. On land, he is the fleetest of foot, his legs compare to the stilts of a caribou running in front of a wildfire. If he strapped on skis, he’d be akin to a bunny on steroids. If you give him a pedal bike, his legs spin in a blur like the roadrunners in the Looney Toon’s cartoons, “Meep Meep, try to catch me.” So I admit, I practically glow with satisfaction when I look back on him as he wobbles in my wake. He blames it on his weight and the length of his paddle. I, however, patiently tell him, “Your paddle is fine. It’s the way that you use it that counts.”

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Anyway, my grand dog Mica loves to go cruising on the lake with me. She is oddly at ease, sometimes she stands up, and sometimes she sits down, and then there are times she lays across the bow like the July playmate in a Playdog magazine. She trusts me. She believes I will do my level best to keep us afloat, and so far we’ve done well. We are two different species cooperating for a successful experience.

The contemplative nature of steering across the lake has caused me to toss around the notion that the most troublesome of the world leaders should be required to paddleboard. It should happen on a remote lake in the middle of nowhere. They should be instructed to ride together and then switch up partners taking turns at being the paddler, and then being the passenger. It would be a good teambuilding experiment. It might instigate a sense of trust— no rocking the boat on purpose here. It would be an excellent time to remind them of the beauty of our planet, and how well an ecosystem survives when there is little to no manipulation from human kind. Maybe all leaders should heed the words of Mother Teresa,  If you want to change the world, go home and love your families. (love your people) Just imagine if everyone stopped throwing spitballs at each other, and went home to hug their family and pet the cat?

Out here on the lake, I see no imaginary lines determining countries or property. It looks to be open access for all. On the water, the voice of the wind speaks gently to the trees, and the willowing cry of the loons echoes in the dusky evening light. We see the fish leap and land with a splash causing circles to ripple outwards. The dragon flies glimmer and sparkle in the fading glow, as they dip and dive consuming mosquitos that would feed on our blood. Out here there is a sense of freedom, and a definite detachment from the over populated parts of the world. As we sweep along on the wrinkles of the lake there is no phone by our hand, and no call to be judged or judge. Our hearts are open and our minds are free.  Our particular section of the world is shaded in splendiferous colors and glows that offers an abundance of hope for tomorrow.

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What You Do.

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Photo by Fröken Fokus on Pexels.com

We all begin at the same place, as wide-eyed innocent children, full of wonder, exploring our amazing and magical world. More often than not, it’s the people and the expectations from our culture around us that banishes the sparkle from our existence. We begin to give our attention to what everyone else wants as opposed to what we might desire. It happens through dogma and brainwashed beliefs. It’s taught to us when our sponge-like minds are ready to soak up knowledge like water from a sink; be normal, work hard, and don’t fool around. Society wants typical, well-behaved, tax paying citizens. Don’t listen. I dare you to ignore the propaganda of all news related feeds. If you want to read something worthwhile, read psychology books, so you can become familiar with human thought processes, and as a result you will find the clarity to live your own future.

I’m here to remind you that living within the constraints of society’s ‘normal’ is soul sucking. It leads you into the robot factory. Rise and shine, eat, have a big poop, go to work, eat, work, come home, eat, watch TV or play video games. Intermittently, you will shop and buy stuff you need; food, clothing, and toilet paper. Much of the time you purchase extra hogwash you don’t really want or need. Usually, it’s because the television recommended the product, or a fashion magazine demanded you to buy it to remain en vogue.

Let me ask you, what did you do last night? Did you do anything that fed your inner spark that leads to feeling alive? Or did you simply zone out in front of the television while it brainwashed you into new purchases that will max out your credit card? Listen, I don’t want to be a nagging voice. I’m pretty sure you already have one of those. I simply want to say, you are potential incarnate. Don’t settle for ordinary or you will find yourself on autopilot sporting a vapid stare.

Let’s pause for a second my confidante, consider the fact that our bodies are simply blood and bone with some muscle and gristle thrown in for good measure. Consider also, that we are all on a continuous path to the compost heap. Looking at those facts, I have to wonder why we get stuck in the robot life? Why don’t we have some fun while we are here? As a matter of fact, why not have a whole heap of fun? We don’t need to be so serious about our lives. I seriously think we need to drop all the frowsy faces.

One last bit of useful advice, ignore all your shoulds, coulds and woulds that will undermine your ability to create your chosen life. You know what I speak of, I should do that. I would have done that. I could do that. Should, would and could are words that will hold you back because they attached to the energy of a big fat BUT. Instead of but, ask yourself: what’s holding you back? Why are you hesitating? How can you make you dreams come true? Grab a hold of your desires today and  begin your plan to manifest the best life you can imagine.