Friday, December 31, 2010

Apples and Onions

Another year passes into the past and all of the potential of a new calendar sits in wait. As this time rolls forward, and on the heels of an evening with friends of my youth, I have taken a moment to reflect back. My apple for this year of 2010 has probably been the moment in a hostel at one o'clock in the morning, awake from the sounds of fellow hostelers having a grand time, when the words of a master came to me, "Have integrity, sit up and present all of yourself to this practice, you are here for you."

In that moment, a shift occurred. I was the person selling me short. There is no need for the world to change, rather it is up to me to really show up in my life. No one is going to bring life to me. I am the one who must believe in my own value and live my life fully.

Last night I listened to very near and dear friends discuss the economics of practicing medicine in Canada verses the UK; the merits of world travel and meeting the right people and making ten times more money than make. I wanted to tell them they weren't focused on the right things in life. I wanted to point out how no amount of things could replace the experiences we had as friends growing up on a lake, skating all winter and swimming or paddling in the summer. I wanted to shout at them to notice they have money, but at the cost of having to take blood pressure medication, being overweight and living to for the next vacation.

But how do I really know what is true? This may be their truth for them in this lifetime. For me in this lifetime, I need to learn how to believe in my self, my own potential to be all that I desire to be, to "sit up and have integrity;" to really show up for myself.

My onion for this year.... that it took me so long to really believe it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This summer while on a Yoga retreat in Colorado, it became very apparent that I still have some growing to do. As this was clearly identified, I felt my whole body resist it. I felt the tears well up into my eyes and the restriction in my abdomen. My shoulders tensed and I wanted to hide. My mind raced with thoughts of... "I am tired of growing. Haven't I done enough these past 3 years!?! I want safe and comfortable. I want to coast." And yet, even with those thoughts swirling around in my head, I knew in my heart that life has never really felt that safe or comfortable.

Rod Stryker once said, "You don't forgive someone, you practice loving them and forgiveness comes." These words rang true for me. As I reflect on my willingness to grow, it became apparent to me I will never be fearless, I can only face the things that scare me and courage will come.

Yesterday I strapped on a snowboard for the second time in over 10 yrs and went down an intermediate run at our local ski hill. I did it for me. I did it to feel that sense of adrenalin that comes with hard physical effort and the unknown outcome. I did it because it made me feel truly alive.

In 2011, I will face my challenges, one breath at a time, moment by moment, with love in my heart.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Alerted awake by the ringing of the phone, I leapt out of bed rushing down the stairs. Too late.
Who would be calling me at 2:30 am?
No one. It must have been a wrong number.
What if it was an emergency call?
No message.
I wander back to bed and try to settle into sleep. The replays of the previous day swirl around me. Sleep alludes me.

3:12 am another call.
Maybe it is my friend Pete from England. Maybe it is about someone being hurt or killed.
God.... The rain lashes the windows, and the wind lifts the shingles, the thoughts roll along pushing forth an emotional snowball, growing and growing.

I get up. It's 4:30 am.
More wood in the stove. A little immune drink. Warm socks. I sit in stillness and allow only the thoughts of my beautiful child, his love and enthusiasm, pushing all other thoughts and their chains of emotion out. There is only room now for love. I offer this love to myself. I wrap myself in the warmth and comfort of this feeling.
I sleep.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Greatness & Joy

I remember being about 9 yrs old and building a raft with construction materials my Dad had discarded. A little foam insulation, a palette, a paddle made from end cuts of two by four. Then I would proudly launch this raft onto the lake behind our house and I was off. The adventure would end with a half sunken raft, floating debris, a broken paddle and a petrified and angry father shouting at me not to be so stupid.

This message to play it safe reiterated with countless raft-like stunts through my youth taught me well. As I grew, I learned not to trust myself. I didn't stop having adventures, I just put the trust in someone else. Then all those eggs broke and I was alone and very afraid. I wished things were different. But all that wishing was just my fear of not being great, or even just good enough.

Realizing this, brings real joy. Not the joy of presents on Christmas morning, rather the joy of looking into the eyes of a newborn and seeing only love. It was not whether the raft floated that made me feel special or happy, it was believing that I could do it. Today I sometimes still lose my paddle, but at least I believe that, for me, nothing is impossible. I believe in my own greatness.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creating my day

My son is off with his Dad. I feel sad. Incomplete. I am resisting all that is. I am resisting this split in our family.

I am caught in the idea of what MY family should be.
I am caught in MY judgment of what would make ME happier.
I am caught in MY thoughts of 'I haven't been able to do enough to be accepted, loved and valued.'
I am caught in my feelings of worthlessness, poverty, fear, loneliness.

Me Me Me. There is so much of me wrapped up in this. And then...
... around me are beautiful souls inviting me home... yes calling their home, MY home. They are MY family. Friends sending me love in emails. Blessed by people offering to help me, support me.
I almost missed it in my grief and sadness.

Both realities are always present.
Today I choose the reality of love and beauty. It takes more effort in some relationships, but I will focus on the ones where it is so evident. I will begin with holding myself; it is okay to not like some of what is happening. It is okay to resist this situation. It is also okay to choose love, attending to others with love to open my heart.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Room for a View

Yesterday, as I waited for a friend in a coffee shop, I listened as a woman complained of a co-worker. She was speaking of this co-workers complete disregard for sustainable living in the lunch room. as I listened, I could sense her negativity, her anger and I thought, "What is it she really wants; to be right or to be happy?"

In a discussion over a rite of passage for our son, Nick and I were not on the same page. I struggled with how to handle it. I wanted to be understood. Then it occurred to me, Nick just wants to be understood too. I narrated my impression of the experience of this rite of passage, and acknowledged, I don't know if it is right.
I simply tried to see it from his side, and that made all the difference. It opened his heart and we came to a peaceful and supportive agreement. We are both right.

We all just want to be right. But if I cannot leave room for others to also be right, they cannot see my view. And they are less likely to try. Now to keep practicing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I M agination

When I was little, I recall many nights of trepidation-how could I across the vast expanse of 3 feet between my own bed and that of my older sisters bed? I was looking for comfort from my own thoughts. That vast expanse was a great ocean of danger with things that might grab my ankles. Many times I just jumped from one bed onto the other.

As a little girl, I believed anything was possible and I was just the one to be a part of it. As I stumbled through adolescence and my early 20's something changed and I no longer believed in all of me. I always believed in my physical potential. I could pull a bobsleigh loaded with logs across William's Lake for my Dad when I was 14 or 15 yrs old. I could pass my level 4 CRCA Instructor certification and I did. I did not however believe I was lovable enough. Surely I must need to be different, prettier, have bigger boobs. I rejected parts of me more than anyone else ever did.

Today I still believe in my physical potential. Anything is possible if I practice enough, fail and learn enough. That is not where I need to work. I need to believe that all that I am and all I can become is worthy of the greatest love and devotion, loyalty and worship. Oh... I don't mean in a narcissistic way. I mean in the way that I approach all things I do, all relationships with a sense of my own worth, fearless to offer my best and fearless of failure. Fearless of the monsters who may grab my ankles.