Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Good Morning, Life. It's Good To Be Awake

“This is an apology letter to the both of us 
for how long it took me to let things go. 
It was not my intention to make such a 
production of the emptiness between us 
playing tuba on the tombstone of a soprano 
to try and keep some dead singer’s perspective alive. 
It’s just that I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there 
and that you meant it 
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open 
so I ate ear plugs alive with my throat 
hoping they’d get lodged deep enough inside the empty spots 
that I wouldn’t have to hear you leaving”
-Buddy Wakefield

In 2010 I sat in a lecture hall at the University of Toronto, hearing a renowned spiritual teacher give a presentation. He spoke through spirit and answered questions by the audience. Without my hand raised, he chose me. He said he could sense many guides around me and knew I had a question. At this time I did not have any close family or friends on the other side to ask him about, but I did have a deep wondering about my life. I struggled with anxiety and a deep sense of impending something that I couldn't define. I felt that something was shifting in me or that something was about to happen. I did not know how to put it into words. I asked him about it. He sort of laughed at me and asked my age, which I sheepishly responded "twenty..." He then told me "You're young. You have lots of time, you'll figure it out"

I'm not sure if he brushed me off because he truly wanted me to figure it out for myself, or if he just didn't know the right words to say to point me in the right direction. If I knew what I know now then, I would have told myself that it's just the beginning. I was waking up.

We never know we have been asleep until we wake up. You look at the clock and realize you've accidentally fallen asleep for a few hours. Or maybe years. Some of us live our lives half asleep. Going through the motions rather than growing through them. Not willing to wake up and look at ourselves and the baggage we are unknowingly holding on to, or perhaps refusing to let go of.

I have always been afraid of the dark. There is so much around you that you cannot see or protect yourself from in the dark. Yet, there is so much more we are blinded to by our egos even when the lights are on. My darkest moments have also been most magical. Bad things do not happen in life. It's our ego that labels and perceives these experiences as "bad things", when they are really just experiences, stepping stones to the next level of soul growth.

When going through the most grief in my life, I didn't suppress my pain with drugs or alcohol, but I did find other ways to suppress it. Through work, outings, keeping myself more busy than I could handle. When looking for a relationship - I was so afraid to be alone, because I was not willing to look at my inner self - I suppressed the opportunities to see myself by putting myself into the arms of unhealthy relationships. What was I afraid to see? Shouldn't I have been more afraid of what I was not seeing? I knew I struggled with trusting men. As a result, I chose men who I knew were not trustworthy. It took the pressure off to know they were not faithful or honest from the beginning. I dated men who were already committed to other women and didn't feel guilty about it so I didn't either. Until I began to wake up and look at my belief systems and patterns. I was afraid of getting hurt, yet the walls I put up were more painful than the risk of having an open heart. It hurt others in the process, and I've worked hard to forgive myself for that.

When I woke up, I realized that I had been suppressing my own intuition and taking a major detour from my healing. I realized once I uncovered myself from my shell, that there was so much to love about myself. That I could rejoice and be proud of the baby steps I took. The difference was, this time when I would fall down after each step I didn't criticize myself for it. "You did this to yourself, you're such a victim, you can't even take three steps"... you never say that to a baby learning to walk, do you? Each step became a victory. I ended relationships that I knew were unhealthy. I said no to them and said yes to me. I learned how much I love myself and I soooooo love my alone time. Warsan Shire said "I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude" and I finally understood what that meant. I no longer accepted dates because they were a better alternative than being alone. I said no, knowing that being alone was sweet. That I enjoy being with myself. "You get crushed like grapes until you decide to be fine wine" - Caroline Myss.

When I realized this, that question I had asked the spiritual teacher in at the University of Toronto didn't matter any more. That search and feeling of longing for something I could not define was gone. "We're not here to search for happiness, we are here to follow our joy" - Robert Holden.

"Do you know what's better than getting to the top of a mountain? Getting there after you have been lost" - Mike Dooley. This is a reminder for my past, present, and future that it is far better to be vulnerable and love with all your heart, even if you're at risk of getting hurt. It is more of a risk to have the regrets that you didn't give it your all, that didn't love your hardest, that you left things unsaid. It is better to see what is hidden in plain view, and to love yourself for it



Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Summary Of My Flight Home, Through Poetry and Haikus:

6:39pm
They cancelled my flight. 
Twenty six hour wait home. 
Seven bucks for food.

7:15pm
Is he on a train? 
On a plane? 
Or in Spain? 
Where is Wayne?
Is he in a van? 
Is he in the can?
Where is this man?
Is he in the sky?
If he's not here soon he'll make me cry.
Never mind, I found the guy.


7:20pm
At the airport now
Live haiku-ing my journey
When do we go home?

7:26pm
United airline
What a joke of an airline
Just ridiculous

7:32pm
Please bear with me now
Haikus are my therapy
I'll stop soon I swear

7:37pm
I like poetry
Everything is haikus now
How do I stop this?

7:43pm
The doors are closing
The train's leaving the station
We'll catch the next one

7:45pm
Then mom sneezed "ah-choo!" Then everyone stopped and stared Well this is awkward

8:03pm
I just got a tweet
Airline responds to haikus
On our way home soon?


















8:10pm
Phone is going dead
Need to charge for more haikus
To be continued

8:46pm
I'm just having some fun 
Please don't cancel my next flight 
I want to go home


Thursday, April 9, 2015

We're Engaged!

My love and I have decided to spend the rest of our lives together


I have never had so much fun every day. I come home to warmth and affection, laughs and excitement. I finally understand what it means when couples say they are married to their best friend. And that home is where your husband is. When something happens, he is the person I want to tell... the most basic indicator of love.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Want An Indefinitely Long Blank Book And Forever

I have put together a list of pros and cons about living forever. Unless you have the superpower to stop and start time whenever you want, and be able to age at whatever pace you'd like, I am now on the fence about this one. I used to be jealous of this one species that can live forever. It is called "Turritopsis nutricula" and they can live forever by continuously transforming their cells over and over. And I think, if they can do it, maybe we can too.

Living forever has a lot of consequences and heartbreak. Although you'd never have to worry about procrastination because there literally, will always be a tomorrow. You'd fall in love over and over again with the people you meet, only to see them leave eventually. You could try every single career you were ever interested in because you have enough time to learn about them and experience them all! You could find the answer to life (or something like it), you could find a cure for disease, you could end world hunger and bring on world peace.

But maybe dying holds you back from the next step. You never really know what's on the other side, right? Maybe it's a reunion with everyone you've ever had in your life. Lately I've been entertaining the idea that maybe dying is just a way of teleporting. Maybe when you die, you don't actually "die" but you just leave earth and end up on a different planet, like Mars. And all your lost loved ones that died before you will be there waiting for you, and they've been living there ever since. And for now all you can do is wait until your other loved ones take the same path, or else you'll have to wait until technology is invented to allow earthlings to travel to Mars to come visit.

Maybe life is just like a theatre production. People will enter and exit your life, stage left and right. When it's all over you can meet up back stage and celebrate every individual that made up the play of your existence.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Unapologetically Me

The thing about writing...

Writing is isolating. You do it alone. Even if you're writing in a crowded room, you're writing alone. How do you be in the world and also be alone? Be inspired by the world but then also have that alone time to gather and write? Writing takes balance and discipline. It takes that part of your brain that is cranking the gears on the side to work bits and pieces of conversation and daily experience into something you can write about. My brain is always taking notes.

When I started writing was when I learned how beautiful it is to be alone. And how being alone doesn't mean lonely. I love being alone. I love my me-time. I love spending time with myself. It wasn't always that way, but now that I've discovered it... It's a good place to live from. 

Loving yourself enough that you get to choose from the heart rather than from fear. Not staying in a relationship because you're afraid to be alone. Not doing anything that doesn't benefit your life in some way. Choosing to be with people who inspire you, encourage you, make your life better. Having no guilt saying "NO" to the ones who don't. Putting yourself first and being unapologetic about it.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Art of Letting Go

Basements. Sometimes they are used for storage. Sometimes for extra luxury space in your home. I'm consciously tuning into my deepest darkest corners for the clutter I may be holding on to. The things sitting there that I've forgotten about. The stuff I've pushed to the side with the intention of "getting around to it eventually". The items that I keep thinking I may one day need it, but likely won't ever... My house looks like this too, and I have no doubt that it's a reflection of myself. I moved to this house over a year ago. There are still boxes in the basement waiting to be unpacked. We all have things like these. Again, a reflection. There always seems to be baggage you forgot you had.

In my defense, I have done a lot to make the basement into "extra luxury space" rather than storage, and a lot of the boxes that are left unpacked are because they're waiting for the renovations to be completed, whenever that may be. 

I moved in with my Gido to help take care of him after my Baba passed away, so my home doesn't really feel like "mine". But as long as my Gido is here there is nowhere else I'd rather be. I wouldn't trade hearing his same stories over and over again for anything. Or having to monitor what he puts in the freezer. Or making sure he eats more than just mayonnaise sandwiches every day. Or always living with the scent of Listerine and Apple Cider Vinegar because he believes they are the best home remedies for just about anything.

We are in the process of renovating. We have cleared out enough junk to fill three 5-tonne dumpsters. Sometimes as we are throwing out the junk, Gido stops us and says "wait, don't throw that away"-- pointing at a broken chair. I know he has good intentions. I know he thinks he can fix it and make it better. But that's also how we have enough junk here to fill three dumpsters, thinking he'll one day get to it and mend everything he stored away. But the truth is, you can't fix everything. You can't make everything better. Take what you need, keep what's sentimental, let go of the rest. 

As I clear out space I feel a shift in myself happening. We're in a period of transition with the change of seasons, the transformation of our home, and adjustments in our routines. As I clear out space in my home I feel that space is clearing in my life. Things that no longer serve me are falling away, new experiences are showing up unexpectedly. And then there's this feeling like something else exciting is on it's way. It's like I'm waiting on the platform for a train to arrive but not sure what will greet me. Whatever life brings I know it will be good.

In the meantime... I have another dumpster to fill.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Putting Men On The Moon

I was told a story once, about a group of high level business executives getting a tour of NASA. They were brought to all the special behind the scenes areas, shown the most incredible awe-inspiring technology. They met some of the renowned explorers and inventors who have done such amazing things. An amazing experience to see all of this.

Along their way in the tour, one of the executives struck up a conversation with a janitor he saw sweeping the floors. The businessman said: "What do you do here?"

The man momentarily stopped sweeping, pointed up at the sky and said: "I'm putting men on the moon".

Thinking of this story inspires me so much and makes me think about my leadership in any role I'm in. There is no job that is beneath me. There is not one person that doesn't deserve my attention. Make a positive impact on every single person.

Say "hello", say "good job", say "thank you!"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And In Dreams We Listened Closely...

Last night I had a dream with my cousin.
I had been talking about her just the other night and wished I would have a dream of her again soon. Shortly after she died I had several dreams of her. It feels amazing to hear her voice and see her again.

Sure enough, in my dream last night I found us taking an art class together. She's an amazing artist. I thought it was funny that here we were, sitting at two blank canvases together. She told me that she would come to me in my dreams to help me begin therapy to heal me since she's passed, and that she would teach me. I asked, "What do you mean? What will you teach me?" 

And as she started to tell me, I was jolted awake by the sound of my Grandfather's emergency button being activated. He wears an alert bracelet with a button he can press in the event of an emergency to call for help. This has only happened once before in July, when I arrived home to ambulances flashing outside of my house. A moment of pure panic. I yelled, woke up Wayne, bolted out of bed, burst out the door... to silence. The alarm wasn't going off. Gido was fine. He was sleeping. If anything the only sound I could hear was his snoring.

I dreamed up the emergency alarm too.

What will she teach me?!!!
My last letter from her - A quote from Storybook People

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"That's A Lie, I Wasn't Born Ready... I Had To Be Induced"

Just as I can look at someone on the street and make up their life story, I wonder if coroners do the same: uncovering a pretend biography based on the autopsy.

At the end of my life, I wonder how much they could find based on the marks left on my body.

They'll find my bony hips and piano fingers. Two circular scars from chicken pox: 3 years old. Right ankle, a burn scar from a date gone bad: 18 years old. Weak right wrist after breaking it in dental school. Poor wrists overall: being a dental hygienist. Bone indents in the left shin: summers playing at Baba and Gido's. Flexible elbow: dislocating it twice under the age of 4... didn't mind it the second time cause it meant more animal crackers from the doctor. Loonie shape scars on both knees and my big toe at 8, from tripping over my pool toys in Mexico, and then Gido thinking listerine was a good substitute for polysporin.

A brain that couldn't get to sleep. An imagination that was saw monsters in the dark even as an adult. Three healed but still visible scars over the heart. Small piece missing and location unknown. Vocal cords scratched. Music still playing in my head between my ears. Small red dots on my fingers, needle poke injuries and blood sugar tests. I wasn't diabetic but I tried to be compassionate.

Somehow these experiences have left a roadmap on my body, each leaving memories. Some good, some bad, some bad at the time but good once its over with-- like most things usually. In the way that everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is just for the next thing to happen.




Song of the day: Paradise - Coldplay


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Set It Free & Let It Be.

Judging yourself for what you haven't yet accomplished is kind of
like taking rocket fuel from a rocket so that it might fly higher.
The rocket needs fuel.
You deserve a standing ovation
-Mike Dooley

_______

We guard ourselves to avoid getting hurt. We clam up in our shells and hide behind these self-made walls. We think we are protecting ourselves. We save money for worst-case scenarios that will likely never come true. We say we love ourselves, but we hide. We prepare for bad things to happen. And we wonder why we create lack and illness in the world.

How hard is it to let go? I sit in a women's group every week and we talk about our anxiety, stress, fears, insecurities, and how much we wish we could just "let go". Well, why not? Why can't we just do it? It should be just that easy, right? What is my insecurity serving me? How do my fears help me? When is anxiety ever good for me?

I have this crazy brain that imagines up the worst possible things that could happen. We want positive things to manifest but we're living in a chaotic environment that distracts us from thinking those positive thoughts. Sometimes when my imagination comes up with these nightmare situations that may occur, I ride it out. I let myself imagine every single horrific intricate detail... and then, because I can control my imagination, I make up this big stick of dynamite and blow it up. Thanks, but not happening. If I can control my imagination and take that thought and say, "not gonna happen", I can use my imagination to create all the good positive things I want to occur in my life and make THAT happen.

When you think something is too good to be true, or you want something so bad you're scared to lose it before you even have it, when you hold on so tightly because you want it to come true... holding on tightly doesn't let what you want slip into your hands and allow you to have it. People. Money. Love. If I hold on too tight, it can break within my grasp. So I let it flow freely and I do my best to trust. When I pay for something, when I give love, when I appreciate someone, I think "There's more where that came from. Money flows easily and frequently. There is an endless amount of love here." - instead of worrying about spending and fretting about reciprocation.

Being attached to the outcome is what makes me lose what I want. How do I know I don't need what I want? Because I don't have it. There is so much freedom in being unattached to the outcome, trusting whatever is meant to happen will happen. Lost jobs, missed opportunities, ended relationships...

How do I know it was meant to happen? Because it did.

And if I held on to that too tightly, how would the other amazing, wonderful, completely meant-to-be opportunities flow through my hands if I was grasping too tightly to what I thought I wanted?


Song of the day: Never Let Me Go - Florence and the Machine

Monday, April 1, 2013

If I Could Speak To That Old Me Now, I’d Remain Silent.

If it's appeared on your life radar, this is why: to teach you that dreams come true, to reveal that you have the power to fix what's broken and heal what hurts; to catapult you beyond seeing with just your physical senses; and to lift the veils that have kept you from seeing that you're already the person you dreamed you'd become.
And believe me, that was one heck of a dream.
-The Universe (Mike Dooley)

_______

We accept the love we think we deserve. Sometimes we find ourselves in a pattern of the same relationship over and over again. In a series of abusive, negative, toxic, or unfaithful relationships, the common denominator is you. It's not them, it's you.

I've experienced a bit of them all, and I struggled to leave each time. The toxic, the unfaithful, the abusive. The serial cheater, the manipulative, the mindgames, the one that got rough when he drank. Removed from the situation, I'd be the first to tell someone to get out of the experiences I found myself in. I used to wonder why my parents never said anything when they saw me suffering in relationships, but I would I have listened anyway? We have to learn our lessons the hard way. We have to fall hard and hit bottom before we decide to get up on our own and continue on our search for what we want.

We want to be loved
We want to be cherished.
We want to be accepted and understood.

But what if there's a part of us that doesn't believe we can have what we want?

What happens when we find the person that sees us for who we are? Loves us the way we want to be loved? Treats us the way we want to be treated?

Well sometimes... We run. We hide. We make excuses. We sabotage.

I said that I want the one that sees me for me. Who loves me for who I am, not what I am. But for being warm hearted, and family oriented, and emotional, and sensitive, and likely headed in several different places at the same time but grounded in priorities and what's important.


One of the things I'm learning right now is being who I am without having to explain it to anybody, and being able to share myself with someone at the same time. Because I want to be able to share myself with somebody. And I want to find the right person that shows me how.

"Pay attention to what you say you want and what you believe about your ability to have it." - Iyanla Vanzant


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lessons In Disguise

We are only born once into life 
but in life we are reborn many times.

I am honouring myself.
I am declining invitations. I am letting the phone ring. 
I call in 'sad', or 'tired' to life's obligations if I need to spend time with myself.

I broke a mirror last week. There is a crack in my reflection. There is a long line right down the centre of my own image. We are meant to look deeper at ourselves when we are broken. We need to be brutally honest and confront what we feel, even if it hurts. We need to accept what is, even if we don't like it. We need to display what we are made of, even if we are still figuring it out.

There are many arms outstretched. There are many hearts being offered to fill the piece of mine that is missing. There are tears being shed on my behalf when I've cried out all of my own. My heart is beating in a new rhythm that I am still learning.

Something in me broke free, releasing things that were being blocked. It felt like a broken rib, and it hurts with every breath taken until it heals. In the last month it felt like part of my heart was taken from my chest, reversed, flipped inside out and shown to me: 
This is what it looks like. This is what you're doing. This is why it hurts.
And then put back in it's place to say "Now deal with it, and have nice day!"

The Universe doesn't throw any more at us than it thinks we can handle.

In the past month I have experienced some tough lessons, some heartbreaking losses, some life altering changes.

I asked for more consistency in my life, so I take responsibility for manifesting this. 
I asked for people I can trust. To know who is in my life for the right reasons. For love that is transparent and kind. A solid foundation. A stable home. A strong support system.
The Universe said "Ask and you shall receive":

Friendships and relationships ended. 
I let go of the damage and made room for forgiveness. That hurt, but it's getting better.
I bought a new car and let go of the one with all the funny quirks. That was exciting.
My grandmother's health took a turn for the worse. I was there for her last moments. I wrote a eulogy for her funeral. I watch my grandfather every day trying to recover from losing his other half. That is devastating.
I moved houses. That was tiring. Stressful at times. Still hoping to find time for a nap soon.
I was laid off from my job and hired by another company a few hours later. I'm still with the company as needed and working with them from my new job, so it's not goodbye. Definitely disappointing, but change is good. The new job comes with many exciting opportunities and fulfilment.

New job, new home, new car. I can't imagine a clearer slate.

Here's to new beginnings and trusting that everything happens for a reason.
Understanding that the Universe made these choices on my behalf to give me what I need.
This or better, thank you.

Song of the day: Go First - Rose Cousins

Monday, March 4, 2013

Time Is Passing, And You Right Along With It

These words have been running through my head this week... Trying to write but I'm not sure how to put down these emotions yet.

I could hook up my heart to your ears and let my tears be your morphine drip
because maybe it's easier to let you slip away than it is to say goodbye

So I hold my breath
Because in the countdown to death the question of "why" melts into "when".
How much time do we have left? Because if I knew what I know now then...
Move pen move. Write me a mountain. Because headstones are not big enough.
My mother says stop it. Write me a poem to make me happy.
So I write this:
Stay.
She smiles and says "gotta go"
I know.
Goodbye.


Move Pen Move - Shane Koyczan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Were Born Prequalified To Rock The World - Mike Dooley

The heart is a muscle like any other and the best exercise you can do for it is called picking yourself up off the floor -
Iain S. Thomas, author of I Wrote This For You

_______

Congratulations, you did it!

First of all, you slept last night. Which is a big accomplishment in itself considering what you've been through.

Second. When you awoke in the morning, you had the strength to pull yourself out of bed.

You hesitated when you got to the door, didn't you? You half-turned the door knob. Stopped. And considered turning back. Just for today, can I pretend I don't exist?

But you do. You're here. And your existence is what pulls others out of bed on the mornings they don't necessarily want to face the world. You might feel different from everyone else and it might make you feel alienated at times, but don't you remember? That was part of the plan.

That's when you remember the people in your life who see you for who you are and aren't scared by it. The ones that hold your heart when you don't want to. When you don't want to take responsbility for the way your heart beats, they remind you why it does.

It's reflected in the goodnight and good morning texts. The messages left for you to find in surprise places. The flowers delivered to your work. The meals dropped off at the door, knowing that your mind isn't always focused on taking care of yourself.

You smiled while reading this, knowing exactly what I'm talking about, and who those people are for you. How much they mean to you, and how grateful you are for their existence. And whether you're conscious of it or not, there are many that are grateful for yours.

Don't worry about tomorrow, because it's not here yet.
Even if it was just for today, you made it.