It’s Time To Let Go Now

September is no longer peering into August, but now standing at the open door. The breezes will cool, the rains will wash out what was stuck with humidity, and the days will grow shorter. What must soon die will first delight us with its splendor and then without resistance will fall to the earth to create a vibrant blanket of mosaic influence.

There are some that are struggling with releasing the summer sun, with letting go of the waters edge, of the sunsets and the barbecue. More so this year than any other, I have noted the shrill sound of discontent as the rains start to move in and the temperatures dip into hoodie status. We complain as if we are being further punished after a less than typical summer; as if the usual swing of the seasons should instead stand back until we have received what we feel we deserve.

It’s time to let go. Time to release the notion that we are owed anything more than what the universe is capable of providing.

Take a moment over the coming weeks to walk among the trees before the hues herald the end of this cycle. Don’t wait for the colors before you decide to look closer. Go now. Stop and peer into the branches, note the leaves and how they have dried, have cracked or have broken under the weight of the summer sun. Hold a leaf between your palms and note the bumpy texture where the tree tried to heal the small holes created by the insects that could only live by taking life. See the wonder of how this living thing tried to pull the edges together to be whole once again.

We are not so different as humans in our attempts to soothe what has created our cracks, to want to keep it together. To want to band aid our holes, to airbrush our pain, to stand strong and tall in the face of all adversity. What makes us different is that we add to the weight by holding on to what drained us, what drew from our roots and what took small pieces of our whole. It’s as if we believe we might be stronger than the oaks and that everything that is broken is ours to keep.

Are we smarter than the mighty oak?

Maybe its time we take a lesson from the tree.

The trees have so much wisdom to impart if we would take the time to listen. The trees intuitively understand that in order to nourish the seasons ahead they must release that which no longer serves them. To continue to be an integral part of the eco system, of the universe, of the air that we breathe, the trees must let go of all that they have experienced in the season before. How long would our world survive were the trees to grown thick and gnarled with what harmed them? How much nourishment could possibly be left to nurture the new while the parched drinks so deeply from the well?

What do we lose if the trees stop letting go?

What do you lose if you stop letting go?

So like the wise tree, take time over the coming months to reach down into the roots, to bring sustenance to the experiences that have grown you. To acknowledge each one lovingly with a splash of color that reminds you that each and every tear and fracture has its own role in creating what you are becoming. Paint brilliance to each moment. Bring life to all that you have given of yourself to sustain another, for all the times you curled away from the harshness of the winds.

The timing of nature is perfect. As the tree begins to wane from the weight of giving life, the cool rains appear to release the pigments of the palette. The tree now stands in the splendor of what it has learned for a short time before the winds move in to pull away each broken tendril and drop them to the earth below.

Oh the things we can learn from the tree. From the cycle of natural. To understand that what grew us must go below us to now act as a foundation on which to stand. Forever a part of our system but now giving of nourishment not draining.

Take a stroll once the colors drop. Jump into them, crunch them into the soil. The trees are gifting you the beauty of what they have given of themselves to make way for the new growth to come.

Be like the tree. For a short time stand in the brilliance of what you have given and stand proudly.

Be like the tree. Drop what you no longer need to make space for more life to follow. Crush what parched you and create a new layer of root.

And lay bare for a time to the cooling winds to soothe where it still stings.

The tree of life is every tree. The cycle of life is etched into its trunk not into the fresh shoots that appear in the springtime.

It’s time now to let go. To release the notion that you owe anything for a time.

Be a tree for the season and heal for awhile.

In love, in colors, in light.

Tania

F**ck Off, Namaste & Amen. With Love.

**This blog is intended only to serve as a reminder in these very difficult times. It is intended to be an honest and open expression of the truth and nothing more. I believe we can only get through this together if we understand each other a little better.**

If you are an empath, a counsellor, a social/healthcare worker or anyone involved in the easing of human discomfort you will understand when I say that we are in the most incredibly draining time in our own human history. The sadness is overwhelming, the fear is palpable and the loneliness in reduced social activity is creating need of immense proportions. To all those that engage in the human condition please know that it is OK to hang up your wings and swear when necessary. And drink wine. Whatever you need to get through your own day.

“Are Reverends allowed to say f**ck off?” This question popped up into my inbox this evening from a long time friend, a spiritual colleague and someone for whom I hold much respect. As you may have already surmised she is also an ordained Reverend. She worked long and hard to reach this place where she can be of spiritual service, be an ear when it’s needed and a shoulder to cry on. We are much alike in our respective careers so she understood that she could find confidence in me and that I could easily empathize with her frustrations.

Yes, my friends; Reverends are allowed to say F**ck off. Reverends and all those that walk along the spiritual path are certainly permitted to be human. As often and as loudly as is required to make it through a day.

She didn’t need to come to me for permission to use the expletive but it is a natural thing for those on this path to ask if they could have done better. I do it all the time. I seek out a close friend…we all do this. It is a built in system of self awareness. And it’s flawed.

“I snapped someone’s face off this morning, but they kept at me and at me and well…I just lost it. I feel terrible. I could have handled that better right?”

My friend never agrees with that part and is quick to remind me that I handled it exactly how it needed to be handled in the moment that it occurred. And as a psychologist in these current times she had to step back because her own seams were cracking. Lucky for me she hasn’t yet told me to “f**ck off” but if she does I will forgive her for being human first.

Half of the problem is that for most of us that do this work we keep our own private selves private. We don’t share the fact that outside needs pop up in the middle of a disagreement with a spouse. We don’t make it known that we might be grieving our own losses, through death or through disconnection. We don’t make you privy to the fact that at the exact time you sought us out for help, we were dealing with a family member in crisis and absently staring at our phone while scrambling to figure out what to do with them. If we can think straight we may reply with a quick “Sorry not today” or we may simply not respond at all because our brains have turned to mush in that moment. And then inevitably forty other requests arrive and we forget to respond at all. Either way we choose to respond we will be judged; we all know this and accept that it is at risk of our halo falling five inches.

My dear friend the Reverend took steps toward easing others through their pain because she carried the pain of losing a child herself. But she won’t tell you that while she comforts you in your own discomfort. Because she is an empath. We just simply don’t do that. And I for one am wondering what that characteristic is born of? Is it innate or is it groomed in by a world that expects halos to consistently shine without a tarnish? Is it that we were set on a path of being there for those that hurt and with that comes the responsibility to bear it no matter the cost? Or is it because at some point in our own lives we have learned that we never want to cause pain to another soul because we have known that pain ourselves?

I don’t know what the answer is for everyone but I do know that people need to remember that those in the more compassion driven careers are human after all as well. Even when we act like superhero’s, we still had to wrestle in the phone box before jumping into action.

My dear friend was cornered and bullied today because she said no to a request to do something that she wasn’t prepared to give energy to. My friend just put a family member into a nursing home. She was already feeling the sense of failing someone before this bully tried to convince her she failed in her vocation simply because she said no.

“I would have expected more of a Reverend” is self serving and disrespectful to everything this person has put ahead of herself these past ten or more years. And I have no problem with telling bullies such as this to “F**ck off” because despite it all she still feels uncomfortable saying that out loud because someone thinks her halo must shine and not be tarnished by the simple act of being human. So I have just said it for her. Loudly and proudly. And I seek no forgiveness for that either.

Lets try to work harder together. Lets not presume to set the rules for those in certain vocations. Let’s not make it our duty to enforce how they behave. Lets maybe start with not ripping into another human because they can’t wear a mask. We all fail if we continue to behave as if we are the only opinion that matters without consideration of extenuating circumstance.

Lets try not to fail each other through this.

In love of course. Namaste. Amen.

And I will hang up the wings and reserve the occasional “F**ck off” for when the need arises.

Masked & MentalPausal

Editors Note:

That’s me. I’m the editor. I’ve just always wanted to use that disclaimer in a blog. “The writing to follow is intended as humor only. If you wish to debate the mask vs no mask argument please go back to your Facebook feed, where I am 100% certain you will find a thread to sate your desire to battle with humans that don’t see it your way. If you can’t find one, just start one. It will take less than five minutes to find a fight. This blog is intended to help us laugh a little and nothing more”. Thanks for listening. “The Editor” 😉

The face shield was donned for creative use only. The time span between placing this on my head and snapping the photo was 1.7 seconds that seriously felt like three days trapped underground. As the fog rolled up via way of my “I’m having a contraction” inspired breathing, I found myself losing peripheral sight. And then the hot flash hit…

Great. So now I’m visually impaired, fogged up and in hell. I am saving the photo above to wave in my great- grandchildren’s little faces when they dare to complain about life and how hard it is. My parents used the whole “we walked through 8 feet of snow for 12 miles to get to school young lady” way of expressing their hardships.

Oh yeah? I survived a pandemic during menopause. You got something better than that kids? No I don’t think so. Yeah, you just go whine elsewhere. And the generation before me…pfft…snowdrifts. That’s adorable, thanks for sharing.

So the area I live in has decided to make masking mandatory in all indoor public spaces effective 3 months post pandemic. A man made this decision. I know that because any woman would have considered the hot flash. A woman would have issued 12 foot circumference electric fencing to be affixed to the hips of every female over 45 because let me assure you… 6 feet is not gonna save you when we are ready to beat you to death while you stand deciding between Tide or Gain. Let me be clear, we are literally heading into a physical and emotional meltdown of catastrophic proportions. Grab the Tide or face the consequences. We are not smiling sympathetically behind the mask. We are pursing our lips and wondering if we have to wear one in prison.

Another part of me truly believes this decision was made to stop the screaming matches in the grocery store lineups. The whole “everyone gets a blue ribbon” mentality so that no one feels left out or special. I don’t think its working as well as we hoped but being only one week into this new normal I suppose I don’t have much to quantify that with. Not yet at any rate. But give it time and I am certain that something more ridiculous will present to scream about; maybe the shopper ahead of you losing their schnitzel because you dared to wear open toed sandals. Wait for it. For those not in the medical field there are finger cots ( they look like little condoms for the troll dolls) available that could be used to shield your ten little piggies if necessary. No offense to anyone that has less piggies of course but the norm is ten. No offense to trolls either, I love your hair.

I want to quickly go over the upsides to the pandemic and the things we should be grateful for. Or things I am grateful for.

  1. Shaving your legs is completely unnecessary. Anyone on the beach is six feet or more away and unless they have x-ray vision you have no fear of being exposed for not touching your Bic or Lady Bic for the last 106 days. From a distance it looks like a Coppertone tan. Or a bear with a Coppertone tan. Doesn’t matter. No one cares. Half can’t see cause their glasses are fogged up anyway. Let it grow and embrace your authenticity. **This does not include arm pit hair. Please shave that cause we all know nothing tans in the dark**
  2. You’ve saved a fortune on razor blades in only shaving your pits. Have you seen the price of razor blades? This is a plus. Now you can stock up on Tide for your own safety. You have surplus income. Buy the Tide.
  3. You’re learning what you don’t need to survive. Prior to this adventure I was a grocery hoarder. I have learned that a half loaf of bread actually won’t evaporate in one day if I don’t run out to buy a new whole loaf as a “just in case backup”. In fact, I have learned that the half loaf is still sitting there six days later. It’s blue but it’s still there. I should throw that out. But the point is…why was I replacing what we weren’t consuming? When this is over I plan to patent four slice loaves of bread and approach No Frills. I may get rich.
  4. No antiperspirant? No problem. No one will get close enough to smell you anyway. If they do they have a mask on. Still can’t smell you. Cha-Ching. More surplus income for the loaf of bread you don’t need.
  5. Masks muffle words. You can freely curse at the person not wearing closed toed shoes and they will think you’ve been drinking and smile sympathetically. You won’t see the smile but it’s there and it’s sympathetic. Just be sure to change up your curse phrases because it won’t take us long to catch onto what “fluffin aspwall” really means. Be considerate and use your words to heal not harm.
  6. If you tighten the strings on your homemade cloth masks you too can be a flying elephant for a day. I tried it last week. Walked through the drugstore looking like Dumbo. The downside to this is that the hearing is improved because you’ve elongated your ear drums. So I now sadly know what the masked “fluclin ijiuf” actually means. I loosened the strings and now look like I have seven chins. But at least I can’t actually hear you anymore so will smile at you sympathetically instead of wanting to throw my sanitized cart at you.
  7. Masks can and most likely WILL cause middle age “wtf is this?” acne outbreaks and hide them at the same time. Win win. You won’t die and you won’t need Clearasil.
  8. We have seen a significant reduction in the phrase “date night”. Sadly this phrase has been replaced by new wording that may be considered as admissible in court one day, but the good news is I think we finally worked our way through that life phase. Halleluiah praise Covid. Sorry…not sorry. Do you know that in my early marriage date night meant he washed and I dried? Oh wait…now I sound like my parents.

Do you know I survived the 2020 pandemic in menopause?

Just buy the Tide and you might too.

Viral Vulnerability

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it ~Maya Angelou~

This may be a slight diversion from my typical humor, but I wanted to share with you what I have been learning over the last year, but it took me til now to figure out what that was. I would love to know what you feel you have learned also during these trying moments. Thank you for reading.

I respect all opinions, all viewpoints and all choices. I hope that you stay healthy during difficult times and that you all try to do the best that you can to respect the health of others, while respecting your own limitations.

We are all experiencing viral vulnerability right now. We are not only exposed to the undetectable movement of an organic nature, but also exposed to the reliance on each other to ensure our own survival. We are wholly and completely attempting to survive while pointing fingers at those that may threaten this survival. One needs only to take a stroll through social media to find evidence to support my thoughts. And yet throughout these current difficulties we are expected to traverse our normal lives, with our normal responsibilities and our normal discomforts. Life as it is continues with all of its unexpected twists, with health issues that lie outside of the boundaries of a pandemic, with family needs that take precedence and with the ever growing knowledge that we are in control of none of it. So do yourself a favor and do others the same service. Respect how you choose to survive and allow others the same respect without demanding that you are their responsibility. Without attacking or bullying someone that doesn’t do it the way you believe it should be done. They no more know of what brought you to your choices anymore than you know what brought them to their own. I stood and watched a young woman burst into tears last week after being publicly shamed for forgetting to mask. As she stood there with an agitated toddler trying to get out of her arms, my heart felt her fear of being that one person held responsible for the life of everyone in that store in that moment. That’s too much. It’s gone too far when the weight of your survival falls onto the shoulders of that unfortunate soul that happens to be in your line of fire . We have to carry it equally and with that comes the responsibility to not terrorize another human without giving some respect to who that human is when they are not standing in line trying to buy dinner for a screeching child.

~Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know before you learned it. ~

I found this quote about a month ago now and it resonated with me deeply although I wasn’t certain why. I promised to write a blog because I felt stirred by the words but each time I attempted it my mind went blank. I guess I had to wait until I learned what it was I needed to forgive myself for not knowing sooner.

So…

I forgive myself for not believing myself worthy of respect of my human edges.

I lost my shit the other day. My spiritual self crashed into my frail human and the emotional response it garnered was both shocking and strangely exhilarating. As my middle finger hit “send” I experienced a quick flash of shame that the receiver was soon to read something they likely didn’t anticipate yet should have expected had they paid heed to their earlier words that perpetrated my own. Their response to my words simply seeking some respect of my “gift”, of my energy, of my time and of the time of the countless others currently in need was to reply with two infuriated sentences followed by blocking me. I fully anticipate that somewhere out there may be a shaming thread aimed directly at me, but if so that’s fine. They need to find space to place the anger that they feel in their lack of control of a situation that they are facing. It’s fine. I understand their anger, their fear and their impending loss, but a line was crossed in their expectation that I give to their need in the moment they expressed it.

I sat for a few minutes following this exchange and berated myself for over explaining my lack of availability in the moments that it was demanded. I berated myself for giving reasons for why I wasn’t prepared to respond right away. Berated myself for asking for patience as I nursed a painful tooth, which seemed unimportant in the face of their own health condition. I berated myself for being human and for being authentic in that humanness. And most importantly….

I berated myself for expecting that they might respect that.

As an intuitive, as a healer and as someone who simply wishes to ease pain, I have never desired to be the person that demands respect for the energy I share. I have always attributed that need to an EGO response and have worked tirelessly to avoid falling victim to it.

And it took a pandemic state to teach me what I hadn’t learned. That the giving and sharing of energy is something to be celebrated and appreciated, not something to be downplayed or anticipated because the spiritual have long been expected to be restrained in chasing accolades. That I can and will apply this celebration in both my personal circles and my professional circles. That despite having a gift considered unusual by many, does not make me unusual but simply makes me an unusual human.

An unusual human with a toothache.

I think we can all respect that.

I have struggled for decades with accepting thanks for what I give or share with others, believing it to be an inherent expectation on my part to simply do. So if I have ever brushed off your heartfelt gratitude, forgive me…

I didn’t know I deserved it until I took vulnerability by the hand and walked with her awhile.

What do you deserve….that you’ve forgotten?

With gratitude…and love…and with nothing but respect..

Tania

Coo Coo for Co – CoVid

Last night he leaned in for a kiss and I screeched “Social distancing!!” without thinking and then coughed for good measure. He hasn’t tried since and my growing list of things that annoy me pretty much assures I won’t feel his lips on mine again for a decade  (unless of course I am forced to attempt resuscitation

 

I was intending to write about the grief of distancing but I think we have had enough of the sadness that is surrounding these current times.  The grief aspect is something I am well tuned into but that will be for another place in another time.  I believe that laughter is the better option to get us through.  In my connections to the spirit side this past few weeks I have met with great resistance to my questions about how long this may last. I have finally come to the understanding that this is another of the lessons that they can only be witness to yet the experience is ours alone. They are here for us only to bring comfort but beyond this, we are to learn to be better humans.  It’s really just that simple. We come out of this better humans.  We find more consideration for the lives around us, we put more thought into how they may feel and we understand individual fears in a way we couldn’t before.  And we learn to roll with the punches in the very best way we can.  I choose to laugh as I roll. I invite you to do the same.  

Today I spent twenty minutes of my life admonishing my spouse for his incorrect pairing of chips and dips.  I caught him dipping MY Tostitos Scoops into the Helluva Good Dip. He still seems to be struggling with the logic that HIS Ruffles goes with Helluva. And salsa and cheese goes with MY scoops.  He is banned from all pairings from this moment forward.

Last night he leaned in for a kiss and I screeched “Social distancing!!” without thinking and then coughed for good measure. He hasn’t tried since and my growing list of things that annoy me pretty much assures I won’t feel his lips on mine again for a decade  (unless of course I am forced to attempt resuscitation due to unexpected accidents that might include a flying salsa jar.)

I am the very definition of introvert and despite that today I messaged my best pal that I was almost prepared to risk arrest just to run up to people outside and touch them.  Appropriately of course.   But then, I suppose being touched by a complete stranger might be considered inappropriate.  Another month of social isolation and we might just find out for sure…

So how is your social isolation going?  Mine’s going wonderful as you can see.

I’ve eaten about four hundred mini eggs, my bra isn’t fitting properly and my eyelashes have fallen off.  I’ve discovered a taste for wine where a taste for wine never did exist before this and I’ve cooked everything I learned to cook in my first 40 years of life.  The remaining dog in our home is eyeing me suspiciously because I am here ALL of the time now and I swear he is now wondering if my guest status has changed to permanent resident.  He isn’t liking this much because I am the “snack limiter” of the family.  If I am making a sandwich for lunch, the other half always orders two and I immediately go into my rant about the second one is for the dog. My husband argues with me every single time this happens and as I make the second one I mutter about him thinking I must be stupid. So when he does in fact attempt to give the dog the second one, the dog stares at me in anticipation of my certain meltdown.  Our much loved Molly was 45 pounds overweight the week before we lost her.  Hubby says it was all muscle and I am mean.  The dog just looks at me like he can’t wait for me to pack and fly away again.

So in my desire to find some balance….

I’ve made several attempts at solitude and mediation.  I get all comfortable, feet flat to the floor, eyes closed and palms up to receive all that spirit can provide me. I fail the minute I hear a voice in the parking lot outside of my window and jump up to look in my excitement of another human being within twenty feet of me.  The picture I chose for the blog is a fairly true representation of what they see when I pull the curtains back.  Many haven’t been back since. I have no idea why, I am clearly just trying to be friendly.  On this note, grandparents please stop before you lean into the window separating you from your grand babies..because you just can’t be sure that this isn’t what they see.  It’s cute when they do it….us not so much.  Stop and think before you press your wrinkles people. Therapy is going to be hard to find and expensive once this is all said and done.  Plan ahead and stay three inches from the glass please.

I’ve watched every episode of nearly every Netflix series made since 2015.  With the exception of the guy that plays with big cats. His face annoys me and therefore I shall not delve into any episode that features it, so please stop telling me I should. It is not happening. The man has a face that only his mother could love.

This morning I actually woke to fantasies about learning to bake. Things are bad when I start considering this. To save myself from attempting butter tarts  I went for a walk instead in the graveyard, made friends with a squirrel and talked him into posing for me. The photo below. I think he resembles a furry Burt Reynolds.  Let me know what you think.   On my next visit I might take him a sandwich.  😉

 

squirrel
My new friend Burt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles Of The Isolated Introvert

“I am leaning on the wall staring at her and in my mind I have grabbed her paper respiratory mask that she is wearing and snapped it back onto her face just to silence her.  I think I might actually have followed through on this impulse had it not been for the voice in my head reminding me of the 6 foot distance rule…”

Are you all losing it yet?  I am and I am not afraid to say that out loud. While I am fully cognitive of the need to stay put and to be a responsible member of society I have no issue with telling you that I am slowly losing my marbles. I expect that you are too so I am not going to wander off into the ether of love n light for this one but instead try to find the humor in this moment in time.  While this microscopic little SOB is wreaking havoc across nations we can do little but wait for the day that it chokes on itself.  In the interim we must do our best to sit still and ride this out so that we don’t put others at risk. This is our gift to each other so to say. I love and value you so I will wait it out with you and for you.

But it’s hard. We can be honest about that. This is hard. And it will get harder in the days and weeks to come.  We will eventually come to the realization that toilet paper is not our biggest loss but our sanity is.

I am sitting here at 2 am heading into day 4 of “social isolation”. Joining me in this new and unexpected adventure is my spouse, our two dogs and the cat.  The only one that might survive this is the cat because he’s small enough to slip through the bars on the balcony and run like hell.

If I could morph into a feline like slither I can assure you I’d follow him. Unfortunately, my soul is shoved into a rather curvaceous and mature human so my only means of escape would be to lunge one leg over the rail and we all know how that is going to end.  It would take time away from our emergency services that they can ill spare in this current climate, so, I am doing my best to behave in this imposed isolate state.

It’s not easy and I know you know that too.  I am an introvert but I am also a control freak and I prefer to choose my introversion, not be forced to it. The second someone tells me I must do something my immediate instinct is to do the opposite.  Hence my current struggle with being caught between four walls with the spouse, two dogs and the cat.

The spouse has ants up his underwear and has gotten up a dozen times in the last two hours in his curiosity over what I am furiously typing about.  With each meander he makes over my left shoulder my typing grows more aggressive. I live with the constant presence of someone’s loved one hovering nearby so this movement by this human is making me cranky and liable to snap at any moment. He knows this yet clearly he is bored and looking to fill his Virgo need to get his adrenaline going.  After 35 years in my oh so gentle presence one might think he would know better than to make me the object of that rush because the risk of getting stabbed by a fork is rather high at this point.

Molly our older dog is behaving like the Queen of The Nile right now. She is four or five days (or weeks..who knows..I have lost track of all time) post op from a surgical procedure.  If I whisper the word “cookie” she has the ability to drag herself from her horizontal position on her furry rug, get to the kitchen in no more than 3.5 seconds and produce a clear loud bark for her treat.  The minute I get into bed however she is suddenly in “drama dog” mode that sounds very like a coyote just got shot and is slowly dying in the field next door.  It is a godforsaken sound that she is clearly perfecting because she has learned that it does gain my attention.  The reason behind this satanic howl? The pillows are on her couch, the same way they have always been yet now she wishes to have her concierge remove them because suddenly she has forgotten how.  She hasn’t forgotten how to leap onto said couch however so I am catching on to this game.  Old dogs can learn new tricks folks.  I am rarely home so now I am trapped and she is enjoying this.

Our younger dog Scooby is on the fast track to a tranquilizer dart. Can we buy those over the counter?  If my other half so much as moves toward the door Scooby is in flight and lands like a 40 pound budgie on the back of the couch. This would be less of a problem if I wasn’t seated on that couch when he does it but he seems completely oblivious to that fact. I have had a leg shoved up my right nostril several times this week as he attempts and almost fails to sit his perch without tipping off of it backwards. Thank God my nose is there to avoid that tragedy.  He has taken to joining Molly in her 3 am singsong so now it sounds like one dying coyote and an off key soprano who has absolutely zero perception that he is tone deaf.

Our shared laundry facilities are in over time use this week so it’s taken me seven hours today to do three loads.  The woman stomping about ( I have no idea who she is, she doesn’t live here) has taken up every washer and is nattering on because someone hasn’t emptied their dryer in time for her to change hers out. I am leaning on the wall staring at her and in my mind I have grabbed her paper respiratory mask that she is wearing and snapped it back onto her face just to silence her.  I think I might actually have followed through on this impulse had it not been for the voice in my head reminding me of the 6 foot distance rule. Oh, and maybe I considered that arrest might follow.  Can they handcuff from 6 feet away?

Two of my adorable grandchildren went breaking bad tonight and showed up for ice cream and chocolate milk. I let them in only because I know their germs and I know their mother has recently annihilated a lice infestation (school gift) from every crevice of hair and home so anything that might have tried to live through that has failed. Other than the kids of course. And their mother. Barely, the poor girl.

My grandson all three feet of him, admonished me loudly for using the word “stupid” to describe my 40 pound budgie ( “You do not use that word around children!”). Well OK then. Clearly I need to get with the program.

As they were preparing to leave the building I ran ahead to ensure that no other human was present. No sooner had they stepped into the hall than the door to my left cracked open to reveal the sweet face of our senior neighbor peeking out.  She is out and about and talking to everyone constantly so I had no fear of her concern for her own safety with the two moppets that I was trying to usher down the hallway.  And then she started. She is Italian or Portuguese and heavily accented. I still don’t know which one and I have lived next door for five years.  Regardless, she speaks quickly and it can be difficult to hang onto each word.

Until tonight that was.

As she cooed and ooohed at the kids she glanced up at my daughter and said how nice it was to see the little ones and that it brought her such joy.  She then went into a slight vent about our microscopic little SOB and how it was making it so hard for everyone to be family.  Her final words with my grandkids hanging on to each one?

“Is bullchit you know. Is bullchit! But what can ya do. You can do nutting. But is bullchit”

My grandson said not a word.

But I can’t say stupid.

 

It is now 3:15 am. The song of the dying coyote is in full swing.  From the bathroom this time because I put the lid down on the ONLY existing fresh water supply in the world.

 

Laugh or you’ll cry as my grandmother would say…

Lets laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smashing Glass Slippers

“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy”   

~Andy Stanley~

“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy”

~Andy Stanley~

I am not sure I am comfortable with the word enemy in the quote above, but in keeping with the original wording I must allow it to remain.  I really don’t consider anyone to be an enemy.  In any situation where I might happen upon someone with whom I have suffered a disconnect, I can and will behave in a cordial albeit aloof manner, but I would never consider them to be an enemy.  More so a lesson in what to avoid, I suppose.

I am terribly imperfect. This blog represents a vulnerability that is uncommon for me because I am much more comfortable in healing your discomforts than my own. From yours I have an ability to disconnect.  Perhaps this is why I am so good at what I have been led to do. It’s worked for me so far, yet recently it has become evident to me that I have missed a step along the way somewhere, and my ability to go forward and provide the best of myself  was reliant on some soul searching and contemplation.

For those that know me quite well, they know of my inability to comprehend or extend forgiveness. This is in complete opposition to my empathetic nature, a learned human behavior not a true characteristic of who I am.  It is not uncommon to hear me tell people to reserve the act of forgiveness for themselves alone.  To heal their hurts without giving opportunity to those that created them to feel that they are abolished of their wrong doing.  As the quote above states I have always lived by the belief that forgiveness does little more than reward the behavior that created discomfort.

So, in keeping with the fairy tale, I will, more often than not, don the proverbial glass slippers and exit stage left. I rarely to never leave a shoe behind either.  Gone. Little trace exists that we spent time in each other’s journey short of a few crystals you might find that have broken off in my escape.

I am no Cinderella by any stretch. She was much kinder than I when it came to the dealings of those that distressed her. At least she provided them jobs in which to support themselves once her Prince Charming appeared. I don’t even allow that much.  I cut you out entirely, my support in your journey forward is over.

It’s just always been my way.  I will not forgive you but I will forget you. I guess the premise behind that logic (somewhere in my mind) is that you won’t forget me because I leave no opportunity for you to feel that you found closure in my departure.

Well that’s not screwed up at all is it?

Someone recently asked me to consider forgiveness and my first instinct was my natural instinct. Find a big box to put that in. Nail it down firmly and bury it.  Dig out my glass slippers, rush off to my hearth, pack them away and then sit and forgive myself for allowing something or someone to cause me pain.  And it often goes a little like this.

“I forgive myself for allowing myself to be harmed by the actions of another. “I forgive myself for my inability to control the events that led to my discomfort”. I forgive myself for being misguided” “I forgive myself for giving too much of my good energy”  “I forgive myself for the expectations I put on others”

I could go on forever here because I can find a litany of reasons to forgive myself in any and all situations.  I could forgive myself for burning the pasta last week.

But I digress.

I recently pulled out the glass slippers. I haven’t done that in a long time now. Maybe the passage of time caused me to hesitate before I slid them to my feet. Maybe I was too tired of trying to run in them.  Or maybe…..just maybe….

I was tired of putting the blame on myself and soothing myself with a ritual of self forgiveness for my own sincerity of action.

I still strongly believe in the power of self forgiving. Once this blog is public I will forgive myself for not discovering this lesson sooner.  I will forgive myself for perhaps offering up advice to others based solely on what I thought was true for me. Early into this spiritual journey I was reminded several times to not permit my own prejudice to color the souls that I encounter along the way.  And I believe I have allowed that to happen.  Forgive me.

So something today I never thought I would do…..

A plot twist perhaps…

Forgive.

Forgiveness does not mean that you will accept further discomforts. It does not mean that you are a pushover. It does not mean that you announce open season for those to take aim once again. Forgiveness means that you are loving yourself enough now to include boundaries that will not permit discomforts in the future.

Forgiveness is not weakness. Forgiveness is strength.

Forgive. If your forgiveness comes with an apology accept that and forgive because in doing so the responsibility for your pain is shared. As it should be. It is not solely your discomfort to carry and feel you created. Sharing it is much less uncomfortable and far less self injuring.

Forgive. If your forgiveness must come with no apology attached, forgive anyway.  Because no one suffers in this but yourself. Spending decades waiting to hear I am sorry takes the beauty out of life because there is no pain such as the pain of waiting for words that never arrive.  And if it has taken you decades to reach this part, then forgive yourself only for not doing it sooner. You are a beautiful creation and you deserved so much more than that. You deserve so much more going forward from today.

Forgive. Because forgiveness is self love in its most unconditional manner. And there is no one more deserving of that love than yourself.  It does not require that you maintain a connection to those that you have forgiven  but it does require that you understand that until you forgive you do not attach responsibility to anyone else but yourself. And that’s a heavy load to carry alone.

 

So take a moment and repeat this with me if you are so inclined.

I forgive you if you caused me discomfort intentionally, unintentionally, with malice or with lack of consideration.  I forgive you because it is my right to live a life unfettered by the weight of pain. I forgive you because I deserve to live a life that is free of self blame.  I forgive you because I love myself.

And if I have caused you discomfort I ask that you forgive me also. Because you deserve nothing less than I deserve.  We will share our discomforts and love ourselves through it.

You’ll excuse me now……

I have glass slippers to smash

With love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosts, Goats & Giggles – Making Heaven

My life takes me to some pretty interesting places. Last week it was a farm in rural PEI. As I brought loved ones through, audience members cuddled baby goats and baby rabbits on their laps. It was surreal and fascinating at the same time. Goats don’t sit still often, so to see these little creatures curled up quietly while we worked with spirit was truly quite amazing for me; in fact it confirmed for me that those gone before us have a settling effect on all living things.  How beautiful and not something I ever expected I might be involved in.

That’s my grandaughter in the picture by the way.  Her only concern that day was goats and giggles. And combined it created the perfect photo op. Goats are naturally curious and fun loving. They climb, they nudge, they head butt and they smile if you can imagine. It’s like they just intuitively know how to cheer us up.

As I watched them bounce around last week they reminded me of those that we’ve lost. Always present, peering around doorways and always trying to get our attention. Or, curled up peacefully in the arms of those seeking comfort. Not so unlike the ones we love at all.  I never thought a goat would become a metaphor for spiritual connection but there it is.

The world is a tad bit bananas of late if you hadn’t noticed. I could choose to discuss the pain of this past week, the questions of why bad things happen to good and innocent souls but I chose instead to talk about ghosts, goats and giggles. Because sometimes the weight of the world beyond that is too heavy for us to bear. It doesn’t mean that I am ignorant of the turmoil; in fact I did exact a fairly lengthy narrative on it but have decided instead that I am choosing to share some light and hoping it finds the dark corners.

When life is bananas make bread right?

We got this.

When life starts to get you down, feel the feels for the moments that you feel them and then search for a giggle. Balance is the key to existing on a planet hell bent on knocking us all off.  And it’s OK to seek the balance. It’s OK to not feel guilty for laughing, for enjoying life and for turning off the news.  It’s OK to not be informed at every waking moment.

Take moments to breath and to feel life on each inhalation. If those on the spirit side could tell us to do one thing, it’s to keep on keeping on without them. Because when we keep on, they keep on right beside us.

Those you’ve lost and love exist vicariously through how you live. We bring them to beautiful places on each laugh, on each kindess and on each breath that we take.  We create their heaven for them in each waking moment.

Why not create a heaven that includes goats n giggles?  There’s nothing wrong with that and everything right in that.

Can’t find a goat to chase around? Find a butterfly. Run with your dog. Find a splashpad and rush through the waterfall in your clothes. Dance to the elevator music. Stop and listen to the buskers and clap for them. Go to the fair. Ride something huge and terrifying and exhilerating.  Eat what you shouldn’t eat. Giggle too loud in a library and giggle harder when you are shushed.

Heaven today is heavy. It is welcoming souls who had different plans this week. It is sorting and shaping new enviornments for those that are now part of that world.  And it will need our help to make these spaces as bright and wonderous and joyful as possible.  We couldn’t help them here, but we can help them there.  So send them bubbles and sunshine and laughter to light the way forward.  Not only do we help them we help us.  We need to learn to lift the enviornment we live in. Only then can we lift the world.  And that will change it. Not today. Not tomorrow. But soon.

The goats don’t know the state of the world. They simply know that they are happy. And that somehow that happiness makes us right again.

Grieve for a moment. Pause to acknowledge those gone forward. And then give them the gift of a life well lived.

They deserve that.

Oh…by the way…if you are in the neighbourhood drop by Island Hill Farm

#cutestplaceonearth

 

 

 

 

 

“I Can’t Today, I Have To Wash My Hair”

“I think the knitting part finally did it.  I was poised to Facebook message my mother ( the knitting queen) to ask her to lend me needles when I panicked and promptly booked a tour date to distract myself from the desire to make a sweater that would only ever evolve to something warm yet backless. My husband remarked that I might actually finish the one I started for him in 1989. That made me panic further as I recognized a reemergence of patterns from decades ago….” 

“It’s been 6 months since my last blog post” I almost feel like I need forgiveness.

It’s Canada Day, the sun is shining strong and I imagine the beaches are packed to capacity with families and friends sharing in the holiday.  Me, I am curled up in my  favorite chair with the AC cranked and a hot coffee beside me working on schedules. And to be truthful I am happiest right here enjoying the day in my pajamas.

I am a natural born introvert and I do it well. My husband is helping with the community BBQ at our building and I wished him well while I shooed him out the door.  Most of my nearby neighbors ( aka my hallway) are lovely souls, but I can find conversation with them by simply passing in the hallway as I exit or enter the building.  And, well, some of the others in the building just simply find my last nerve with their high heeled arrogance. I find it incredibly difficult to coexist with someone complaining that the kale salad was prepped from bagged.  Everyone is different I suppose. The beautiful thing about life is that we have the opportunity to place ourselves into the situations that feel most comfortable for ourselves. I also don’t want to be responsible for using a plastic picnic fork to  stab the person that has to pick up each sandwich triangle to determine contents and then drop it back to the platter when it doesn’t suit their tastes.  And let’s not get me started on the odd fella that wanders the building in his housecoat and comments on my ravishing beauty at each opportunity to do so.  I am still wondering where he leaves the seeing eye dog given that he generally finds me in the laundry room with raccoon eyes from sleeping in my mascara and my hair sticking up like a troll doll. Regardless, I find it less than flattering and one day might throw him my track pants from the dryer and instruct him to put on clothes like normal people do when in public.

I am just simply not the Knots Landing type of girl. For those that don’t know the reference…Google is your friend.  Watch ten minutes of one episode and you’ll understand me completely.

It’s been a long haul from the end of last year to today.  I have gone from occasional driver to nearly full time driver since my spouse seriously injured his vision in a fall last November.  We thought he might be improving until one day last week when he panicked that I was about to run over the “two little people in orange raincoats” that were standing on the roadway I was travelling along.  They were construction pylons guarding a pot hole. However, the twenty minutes of laughing til I cried certainly helped to alleviate any stress I had amassed in the weeks prior.  In his defense I did finally find my Tide Pods in the freezer nicely propped against the bag of frozen cauliflower. I blame the packaging for my faux pas in this instance. In my mind zip-lock anything must be edible right? Oh wait. Perhaps that explains the Tide Pod eating craze. Maybe I am not the only one that mistook them for carrots and the kids though they were Freezie bites.

Sitting at home trying to stop my spouse from hurting himself further as he learned to navigate with one functioning eye found my introversion blossoming like an untreated dandelion. I began to rather enjoy just taking my time in the morning and not having to get dressed to do anything social in the evenings. I mean, obviously, I had to get dressed for clients but other than that I was free to just be me.  I got into some Netflix series that found me reminiscing about easier days, I had time to actually make dinner for a change and I was finally able to make an appointment for distance glasses that would ultimately save everyone’s lives on the roads.  I rerouted my spouse from walking into walls, soothed his very frustrated pride and considered knitting to wile away my hours.

I think the knitting part finally did it.  I was poised to Facebook message my mother ( the knitting queen) to ask her to lend me needles when I panicked and promptly booked a tour date to distract myself from the desire to make a sweater that would only ever evolve to something warm yet backless. My husband remarked that I might actually finish the one I started for him in 1989. That made me panic further as I recognized a reemergence of patterns from decades ago.  So I made the decision to get up the next day and greet the world again socially.  That went well until the next day as I sat with my coffee cup at  11 am and decided that I really had to dust the apartment instead. And the next day was vacuuming. The day after was laundry.  I began to have visions of turning into my mother and setting aside Tuesdays to wash my hair. For those that don’t know my mum, her hair washing routine involves two full days and I am not kidding. One day to wash it and one day to walk around the house in her curlers.  “Mum do you want to go for lunch today?”  “Oh…I’ve just washed my hair can we do it another day?”  OK mum…see you in 72 hours.

We naturally retreat into comfortable patterns when the opportunity presents itself to do so. And comfortable for me has always been to disengage. While it serves me brilliantly in my work it doesn’t necessarily do the same in day to day life.  So I again made the decision to jump back in. I made that decision just a few weeks back. I flew my antisocial self to Prince Edward Island with the intention of spending the days on the beaches and smiling at everyone I saw.  What’s that old saying again?  I plan and God laughs?  I walked off the plane into what I am certain was -20 windchill. With no coat and sandals ( for the beaches remember).  And while I absolutely enjoyed the time spent there with my dear friend at her home, we both laughed at the lack of social interaction because the entire province had retreated into their homes to save themselves from freezing to death. So we got up each day and drank coffee and stood staring through the windows at the frost instead.  We finally braved the only day above five degrees and hit the beach which resulted in my poor friend getting a migraine for two days from the sub zero winds that almost blew our sorry asses into the Atlantic Ocean.  I did however get to practice my antisocial self further at the farm she works for.  If you are an introvert you will understand how good it feels to just talk to the animals because they literally agree with every single word you say. If you even feel like making conversation that is. The farm is the perfect place to practice your introvert communications skills. I had an absolute blast but I failed miserably at my original intention.  However I got to cuddle a baby alpaca.  Worthy trade off.  I did one event where my social self seems to suddenly reappear out of nowhere and then retreated again in the safety of alone. It’s the weirdest thing in the world. Hand me a microphone and I can talk your ear off. Send me to Wal -Mart and I’ll stare at the floor to avoid conversation. I should start wearing a wireless headset to the grocery stores right?

I suppose you all might be wondering right now where exactly is she going with this blog?  It does have a destination. Bear with me. I am chatty today.

I boarded my flight to home and made a firm decision to engage with the other passengers. I was happily chatting with two ladies in my seating row until the air attendant shooed me to another spot because ( in her words) “You look so uncomfortable stuck in the middle. There’s a full row of empty seats you can stretch out in”  I said goodbye to my travel buddies and found myself staring out of the plane window wondering why I wasn’t allowed to communicate with anyone.  You can laugh at this. I did. It was rather ironically amusing.  Mind you the leg room that a full row afforded me was divine. I arrived home full of my usual pep, anticipating perhaps a night out and friendly faces and woke up the next morning with an odd discomfort running from the top of my head into my neck. Decided it was from whacking my skull on the lavatory ceiling on the plane and proceeded to make plans for a weekend of social engagements.

And woke up two days later with shingles. Now, let me assure you of one thing. If the universe doesn’t think you’re getting the messages clearly enough it’s going to do something fairly drastic to make you finally receive them. Yes, the universe had slowed me down and forced me into some type of self seclusion, but what it had failed to do was to stop me from keeping every waking moment occupied doing anything but sit with my own self. I was planning. I was writing. I was counselling via social media. I was booking sessions. I was planning dinner at 9 am. I was planning laundry a week ahead. Despite being at home and not being social I was constantly doing something to keep busy.  I was even contemplating knitting for the love of all things holy. All this to divert myself from myself.

Well. Let me assure you of one very certain thing that I have learned. A severe case of shingles will bring you down to both knees and keep you there. There is no planning, no dusting, no meal prep. There is only you focused on you because you are unable to focus on anything else during the process. You have no option but to escape to your own mind as a way to escape from what is probably the most painful physical condition I have ever experienced.  And it was here that I found myself again.

It was here that I was able to face the fact that I disengage from focusing on myself because I don’t believe I am worth focusing on myself.  Yes I said that. I find my value in focusing on anything that lives outside of me. Because as an empath that’s just what we do. It’s easier to hone in on outside discomforts than face our own.  In the 17 days of pain that brought me to tears at every turn I had no other option but to focus on me. And it changed me exponentially.  For 17 long days I was able to retrace my steps to where I took the wrong steps, where I could have done better for myself, where I put myself into situations that made me feel worthy only to ultimately find myself feeling overwhelmed or worse than that, feeling used or disrespected for not setting firm boundaries. It was a period of deep introspection because I wanted to understand why someone as strong as myself would get knocked to the floor by something as ridiculous as a series of blisters that suddenly appeared one morning.

Sometimes comfort zones have to be uncomfortable to gain insight.

Nothing has changed in the work that I do. If anything this has heightened my sensitivity to the discomforts that others deal with every single day. It has taught me to be kinder and gentler. To take a moment and sometimes only a moment to send you a loving thought but to not get tangled up in trying to take it from you.  It has taught me that in order to be the best version of myself that I have to set boundaries to care for myself. I have learned that I am worthy of my own softness and that I should never feel guilty or selfish for reaching for it.  I have learned that I am worthy of the same from those that might wish to share it with me and not to downplay my need of it.

Most importantly I have learned that although others may need me, that sometimes I need me more and to honor that.  So you’ll forgive me if I can’t be there to fix it for you right away but promise to help you with it at another time unless you can fix it yourself first. That would be preferred because you learn so much from working on yourself.

I know I did.

But I am here if you struggle…sending love and support.

Oh…I also finished the third book kids. I couldn’t find time before now to do so because I was busy planning dinner at 9 am…

Progress rocks. 😉

Love love love….and thank you once again universe for sending me down the next path on this amazing journey.  But don’t do that shit again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gently Bruised

`I can clearly recall thinking that if I had tried harder that she may have remembered my kindness `

Today’s blog is part cathartic and part an attempt to ease the gentle hearts that I encounter every day. In a world that can be tragically uncomfortable I wanted to take a moment to recognize those that try to soothe it. Bless your soft and tender souls for trying to light the many dark corners.

`I can clearly recall thinking that if I had tried harder that she may have remembered my kindness `  Tania

She’d always be the last one to get to her desk; the impatient students would shove past her, the condescending would glance at her as if she were an inconvenience; an obstacle in their path.  She wore thick glasses and carried an odor of stale urine as firmly attached to her body as the steel crutches that were attached like bracelets to her wrists. I think it may have been polio perhaps, but will never know for certain I suppose.  I found her one day, not so long ago now and upon reaching out in my excitement of seeing her grown and a seemingly happy adult; felt slightly wounded as she brushed me off like a piece of lint on her sweater.  I can clearly recall thinking that if I had tried harder that she may have remembered my kindness.

I would run ahead of her as she tried to reach the bathroom before her bladder released into the telltale darkened stain on the back of her jeans.  Her best efforts at speed were only slowed by the non compliance of two feet that would be dragged behind the frantic clicking of the crutches that hung from both forearms. She rarely to never would make it and the remaining hours of the school day would be spent sitting in the dampness that shared its pungency with a room full of student nostrils.  They would pick on her while I did my best to make her feel that she was not unusual.  And I remember wondering if I could have done better back then… that perhaps she may have recalled that I tried to be gentle.

Or perhaps the insults and the cruelty of others overshadowed the softness.  And if that is true, then my heart still wants to fix it despite the passage of decades.

It’s my natural way to be gentle. I struggle to understand anything less than a desire to be kind.  I cannot comprehend cruelty, or intentions that may be less than loving.  I will never find comfort in stepping on other humans to get to my destination. I would much rather join those on the ground to help ease the burden of the weight of those that do so.

Certainly I am no saint and have followed selfish paths in the moments that I feel unsupported. We are human of course, and not one of us balanced perfectly. I can dive into bursts of anger as quickly as I can dissolve into tears.  I can hide the bag of Oreo’s just as well as the next person simply because I believe I deserve the sweetness. We have all shared of the discomforts that can manifest into human nature.

However…when all is said and done…my defining nature is to be gentle. To not step on others to gain my rewards.

It is this characteristic that will find me continuing to want to soothe the way forward despite having felt the weight of such feet press into my spine time and time again.  I say this without complaint but a simple yet new understanding that in this gentleness is my greatest strength.  Empathy is an unforgiving journey and not for the faint of heart. Empathy requires an ability to unbend a spine that is bruised, sometimes broken and unfurl it to standing without sharing the pain.

I wondered for a moment if I was practicing true empathy in questioning why this woman did not remember my kindness.  It burned ever so slightly for a minute or two to feel that I hadn’t done something good enough to be remembered.  And I had to stop and wonder if I was battling the EGO or punishing my heart for not being enough when she needed it.

Or if, perhaps, I was understanding her from the value of being different than most. And in doing so I could feel how the discomforts might overshadow the kindness; and better understand my overwhelming desire to make it go away for her.

Which leads me to question something very obvious.

Are the gentle trying to heal the world because in doing so they heal themselves?

Life offers no easy answers. But it does offer us the opportunity to ask the questions.

And I love questions.

And softness.

Don’t stop that. Your gentleness. One day it will be remembered first.

Love love and more love.

Be soft to you first. And then share.