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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

“And Then My Soul Saw You And It Kind Of Went, ‘Oh, There You Are. I’ve Been Looking For You’.” - Iain S. Thomas

The same way that Canadians ask about the weather and respond "It will change, just wait 5 minutes" is kind of like the same answer I'd give when someone asks what's going on in my life. It's not that it's dramatic, it's just very transformational, and very quickly.

The beautiful thing is, this is 2013 and we're making this happen.

Every person in your life is here because you chose them.
Your parents. Your significant other. Your friends. Your ex-love that broke your heart to pieces. The cashier at the grocery store that was extremely rude to you for no apparent reason. You chose them to be in your life, no matter how small or significant the relationship, to contribute to your life lessons and purpose.

Feels better knowing that, doesn't it? It's not happening to you. It's happening for you.

I surrender.

It's so easy to take the blame. To wonder what we might have done wrong, or if we weren't good enough. It's easy to be hard on ourselves, and throw a pity party for one.

You have every right to feel like this. I'm proud of you for recognizing this. Give yourself permission to feel scared, and hurt, and disappointed.

Because if we don't, we fight the whole process.

When you get the lesson, that's when they stop giving it to you.

So if everything is a mirror and the Universe is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, what is being shown to me? What is happening within myself that is being reflected in what's happening in the relationships around me?

I received instant freedom in that question. I can choose to feel hurt and betrayed by circumstances beyond my control, or I can choose to feel empowered and enlightened. Embracing the unknown rather than resisting. Stepping away from the familiar no matter how uncomfortable it is. That seems to be what my February is about.

Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling "This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!"
And each day, it's up to you, to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say:
"No. This is what's important."
-Iain S. Thomas, author of I Wrote This For You




Song of the day - Best Thing I Never Had - Beyonce

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"When the choice is to hurt or be hurt. Cheat or be cheated. Violate or be violated. Always, always, always choose the latter." - Mike Dooley

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it" 
-Audrey Hepburn

I have been asking every day for the last 14 days "is this real life?"

The position of the sun during the time of my birth tells me I am a Scorpio, which is described as mysterious and secretive. At times, it is hard to open up. It is important to feel safe. It is scary to think that the people you feel safe with could turn their back at any moment. It is a risk we take to pursue love.

I've been scratching my secrets off the list one by one. I want to be completely honest and transparent so that none of my secrets go unclaimed. So that the only baggage I have left are the ones resting under my eyes - Ha! I like to think it's hereditary but let's be honest, this mind and my spirits don't let me sleep all that much. The last two nights especially, I have watched every hour on the clock pass by. My clairaudience comes in most clearly in the latest of hours. As well as my creative writing abilities. A lot of these posts are written between sunset and sunrise. Midnight hours are some of the rare few that the capacity of my mind doesn't need to be divided among obligations and people. 

The last thing I read last night before (attempting) sleep was an email from my Aunt that said "Don't settle and don't hold back from loving, if you want to. The world would be cheated if you did"

When did we stop telling little girls they could grow up to be princesses? Why do we get to a certain age and stop hearing "you can be anything you want to be when you grow up"And why do women believe they need to be guarded and play hard to get and not give too much of themselves away? How real can I be under those rules? That wouldn't be my authentic self, and how could I accept love if I wasn't authentic? 

Being my best authentic self doesn't mean giving you only a few of the puzzle pieces and expecting you to put me together. No guessing games. I'm on your team. Here's the big picture. Maybe our pieces will fit together, maybe they won't. Beautiful. 

Here's another line we don't hear enough: You can do anything you put your mind to -- That's my favorite answer to everything, especially when it's silly. From "Do you think I get this job?" to "Can I have another cup of coffee?" to "Can I make you mine?"

You can do anything you put your mind to.
Song of the day: Happy - Leona Lewis

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

“Your Task Is Not To Seek For Love, But Merely To Seek And Find All The Barriers Within Yourself That You Have Built Against It.” - Rumi

“When someone is honest and vulnerable, they wring my heart - I want to hug them for being real.”
John Geddes
_______


Someone once told me that my "problem" in relationships is that I give 100%.

My problem is that I wholeheartedly give myself to another when appropriate?
And that I treat them the way I want to be treated?

Hmm. What a problem I have.

I'd rather have a bruised ego than regrets and what-ifs.


Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they’ll love you back. 
Don’t expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn’t, 
Be content it grew in yours

Song of the day: Fear You Won't Fall - Joshua Radin

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I wrote on the door of my heart, 'Please do not enter.' Love came smiling and said: 'Sorry I am an illiterate'. -Michael Paul

My heart is beating against my chest like someone banging on the door to let themselves in. I've dusted off the welcome mat at the entrance and put on a fresh pot of tea. By all means, stay a while. Make yourself at home. Mi corazón es su corazón.

Sometimes people feel more like home than the structure of the insulated walls that surround you. They are the people that make you laugh when you're not looking. They make you feel safe when you're trying to stand your ground. Your guard is down. Your fists are unclenched. Your suit of armor crumbles. You are completely and effortlessly free to be you. They don't even need to break down the barriers you've built up, because they found the secret entrance.

I've been measuring my life in heartbeats.
So when I have days that I think I am unlovable,
My heart keeps knocking at my ribs to remind me: 
Knock knock,
Who’s there?
You are. Don’t you forget


And lately, my heart has been racing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

“Love Is The Easiest Thing There Is. It’s The Layers Of Doubt, Fear, And Expectation That Make It Complicated.” - Luanne Rice

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain and remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself
Storybook People


Today, February 14th, Valentines Day 2013, I am celebrating self-care. I celebrate my accomplishments, decisions, and especially my mistakes. Mistakes are tuition.

We've all had the time-machine fantasies but I wouldn't change a single thing, not even in the slightest. I am loving my growing pains. I am patting myself on the back for the love I have experienced, received, given, and lost. Accepting that sometimes I will be the one to love more, longer, put my entire heart into, and still lose. I am grateful for the loss. Knowing what it means to fall, crash, hurt, and recover. Reminding myself that you can't help others by neglecting yourself. To leave and let go of what no longer fulfils you. That you don't stay for the sake of staying. Just to prove that you could. Carrying on in a sinking ship is not bravery.

When you don't succeed in that relationship, or getting that job, promotion, or house... you wake up one day thinking Thank God he was not the one. Thank God I didn't get that job. Thank God I don't live that life I once thought I wanted... Let go of the why and the how, and trust that everything you want is on its way to you, and the Universe always has better plans for you than you're even capable of dreaming up... but first you have to get out of the way.

Song Of The Day: In Real Life - Demi Lovato

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

“I Took A Deep Breath And Listened To The Old Brag Of My Heart. I Am, I Am, I Am.” - Sylvia Plath

My body lets me in on the things my subconscious mind will not.

Recurrent sore throats, for example.
It’s like I’ve got words stuck in there or something.

One day I woke up with my ankles mysteriously, severely, and deeply bruised.
Every step was excruciating. I could hardly walk.
It’s like my body was saying:
If you’re not ready to move forward
Then don’t.

I thought I was going to die.

Here I was sitting in the waiting room next to my Mom. I managed to get to the doctor on my own before the nurses called my parents due to my disorientated state of mind. Anxiety piling as high as my list of work emails left unattended that morning. I started telling my Mom all the passwords to my social media accounts and protected documents on my computer, all my bank pin numbers, all my instructions and last wishes. Please pay my last credit card bill. There are unused gift certificates in my wallet. The Marble Slab stamp card just needs one more and you'll get a free ice cream. There's two-for-one coupons for the movies that expire at the end of the month. I still owe Patrick a copy of our play from highschool, "Something About A Closet", make sure it gets to him.

It's funny now that it's over...

I brought the nurses flowers a few weeks later to thank them/apologize for putting up with me in my delirium.

Through blood tests, biopsies, xrays and being endlessly poked and prodded, doctors still couldn't tell me what exactly this mystery disease was or what caused it. So: here's some addictive and life-ruining medication to ease the pain, see ya later!

I tried so hard. I tried to ignore the pain and heaviness with each step, but I ultimately found myself in bed surrendering to this mystery. It happened shortly after I had moved back to Edmonton so I was very grateful that it happened when I was near my family who could help me. My brother delivered food and water to my room, and sometimes stayed with me as I drifted in and out of a medicated-sleep.

I had just started my new job in my new city and tried my best to maintain normalcy. My job sometimes requires long and active days running around. I'd do what I had to do to make it through. A few clients caught on to my problem but I made it. I remember going on a date once and holding on to this gentleman's arm -- not because I was trying to be affectionate but because I truly could have collapsed at any moment.

I tried mind-over-matter, convincing myself that I was pain-free and didn't need the medication. I refused to get the prescription refilled and on my first day without taking the medication... I didn't even make it to noon without giving in. That's when I discovered that my Grandfather was on the same medication so he was generous enough to spot me for the day. Great. I'm on Grandpa-medication.

One evening at one of my regular hangouts, I met a man who practices Reiki. He noticed my struggle walking and asked if he could help me. I was in the worst discomfort of my life. Desperate and willing to try anything, I let him. I think he worked on me for about 15 minutes... He sent healing energy to the parts of my body that needed it. He told me that through visualization he placed a kyanite crystal in my foot. I felt it pulsing and I still can today. And that was the last day I took my medication. I was praying for a miracle, to overcome my struggle and take the lesson from it.

I still can't put a name to what I experienced for three months this past summer, but now that it's over I see how much quality time I had by myself going through this. In those times, I learned how much I love to be alone, and how necessary it was for me to be alone despite feeling obligated to meet the requests and desires of other people.

That was what I needed to learn how to say no. And how to ask for help. And how to be strong by revealing my weakness and vulnerability. I dealt with a lot of internal emotions during that time. I didn't have the rush and busyness of daily life to distract me from it anymore. I had to say no to people that wanted my time because I couldn't get out of bed. I had to ask for help because otherwise I was truly useless and couldn't do much for myself. I had nothing to keep me from dealing with neglected inner-work that was calling to be acknowledged. I'm better. Thank God for this experience.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thoughts Become Things, Dreams Come True, And You Just Keep Getting Better Every Single Day. - Mike Dooley

Learn to say 'no' to the good, so you can say 'yes' to the best
-John Maxwell

_________

I've been going through a whole week of deja vu. Maybe longer, it's hard to tell. I've had a hard time verbalizing my nonsense. My body finally catching up to where my head is at. My physical self meeting with my higher self.

I couldn't put my thoughts together into words. I'd sit here with a blank screen in front of me waiting to be filled. I had so many things to say and feel but didn't know where to start. It was a whirlwind of chaotic feelings and cluttered thoughts. I couldn't pinpoint my deja vu moment. My "whoa" moment. My "Where am I?" and "Who are you?" moment.

I think deja vu says "In this moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be." My higher self has gone through big change and shift and release. It's easier for my higher self to get ahead because my physical body has an ego and can easily get caught up in the past or what I may believe I'm not ready to let go of.

I wonder if deja vu means I've literally experienced this moment before in some way or another. Past life. Parallel universe. Or if I've reached this "checkpoint" in my life and now the Universe is providing me this dizzy feeling to reassure me, "you've made it!"

Thursday through Saturday alone could have filled pages and pages with moments and memories and revelations. I had my "whoa"-moment that spanned over the course of the whole weekend. I'm not sure I've processed it enough to write about it, but it's coming.

I'm also trying to pinpoint exactly what happened or what I did for things to move so drastically. Was it just luck or coincidence? -- you know I don't believe in those.  Was it my craniosacral therapy just earlier that released a blockage? Was it this statue of Ganesh that was gifted to me? Ganesh is a Hindu deity, the remover of obstacles. My beautiful friend Jadene and I have the same statue and each morning we state the obstacle we're giving up to Ganesh. For five minutes a day, Ganesh reminds me to forget my fears, problems, and pain. And to feel the feelings I want to feel most, for the rest of my life. Perhaps it was leaving the things behind that were no longer serving me. It's been a long time coming. It's been too much resistance. Not knowing when to hold on and when to let go of things that were just okay. But not great. Or amazing. Or incredible. I sat in my car on Thursday night physically shaking with emotion. I'm human. I have an ego. And a temper. And some days I lose it. Make the call, my inner voice said. I don't have time for "just okay". I don't have tolerance for love that is conditional. I don't have energy for anything less than mad, passionate and extraordinary.

I'm not really sure where my feet are planted right now. They're somewhere between this new ground and being swept right off of them. When I am able to regain my thoughts, maybe I'll write about how I made space for new things in my life. Or I'll write about how I learned that the potential in my wildest dreams truly exists. That there are people that will come into your life at exactly the right moment to remind you who you are and how extremely and utterly special that is.

Last night I finished my 40 day prayer journal program. Every night I've been doing these writing exercises and as I crossed the finish line of day 40 I realized that the things I wrote 40 days ago are right in front of me now. I love miracles.

You are now, officially, the person you once dreamed you'd become.
-Mike Dooley

Song of the day: Wanted- Hunter Hayes

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL

When I think of courage, I think of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. He was always running away from danger. He often cried and shook with fear. But he was always sharing his real feelings with those he loved, even though he didn’t always like these feelings. That takes real courage, the courage to be intimate
-Michael Jackson

_________

I can't believe everything that happened in one day... happened in one day! It was 17 hours of pure adrenaline and excitement in Edmonton.

My company had the absolute pleasure of producing the show at the Chamber Ball on Friday night, with a very special performance by The Jacksons. The brothers returned to the stage for the first time together in thirty years and blew us away with their classic hits and a tribute to Michael. When they performed "I want you back" I stood there in awe thinking I can't believe this is happening in my lifetime.

It was incredible to meet them and their entourage of thirty members with tons of stories to share. I was so intrigued to hear about their lifestyle and what they do when they're not on tour with the most world-renowned musical family in the world. The members of their crew have been in the industry for years with some of the biggest names. One member told me he got his start in the industry with Whitney Houston right when her career began, and he was Whitney Houston's childhood boyfriend when they went to church together as kids. Another was going from this gig to work with Justin Timberlake for the next few weeks. Another just worked with Justin Bieber for the last four years. Others mentioned Prince, Nsync, Britney Spears... Hearing their stories and where they came from was so fascinating.

The moment the Jacksons took the stage for their soundcheck that afternoon I was so inspired. Again, I can't believe this is happening in my lifetime. We witnessed candid moments of them working, collaborating, laughing, and always in a musical mindset. Singing in the car to and from the venue. Spontaneously they started a beat along with the sound of the signal light in the car clicking. Tito started clapping. Tapping his foot. Marlon snapping his fingers. One brother would start singing and the other jumped in, harmonizing.

They were mesmerized by the snow and our winter wonderland. It's like it's Christmas here all the time! They said, recalling memories from their childhood. Remember when we had to walk backwards on the way to school because it was so cold? Look at that man cleaning the snow off his car. Let's go help! Can you imagine? Can you imagine if we helped clean the snow off of all the cars! It's so beautiful!

It was a night to remember. We got a fantastic interview from them for Trixstar TV, Carmen received a couple of marriage proposals from crew (of course she did, she's exceptional and people fall in love with her instantly), we made some amazing friends, and the performance was unforgettable. At the end of the night as we were taking a group photo, I was shaking everyone's hand in the group and Jermaine pulled me right from shaking Tito's hand and placed me right next to him. We took a photo before I could continue along the line. He said I love your dress, girl you are WEARING that dress!

It was a beyond-incredible experience. I woke up the next morning after 5 hours of sleep for airport runs and texts from Carmen Remember that night we hung out with The Jacksons?! It's amazing to be a fan at one of our own shows in addition to being in work-mode.





Song Of The Day: I Want You Back - The Jacksons
Seriously, I want Friday night back, let's do it all over again!

Monday, February 4, 2013

There's Only Love And What You Do With It

I remember the morning we walked through the city together. "You know," she said, leaning into me, "there's only love and what you do with it." And suddenly, like the first scent of green things at the end of winter, it was all around me. And everywhere there were people with eyes shining and it was so clear they had been there all along that I had to laugh and wonder how I ever thought we could fail.


What most people don't know about the sunrise...

Each day when the sun rises, the indescribable colors are released into the world one by one. We see the sky filled with a variety of pinks, the purples, the oranges, the beautiful colors and moments that take our breath away first thing in the morning before the sky comes to its full blue. Each vibrant color eagerly waking and bringing their story to tell and magic to unfold. It's something we've become so accustomed to that we haven't paid enough of the attention that each color deserves as it awakens with us each day.

Before society had become distracted by the morning commute, the rush to the local coffee shop, the stock exchange and getting the kids out the door, we used to take time each morning to greet and welcome each other and each color returning after they too had gone away to sleep. Good morning yellow, good morning orange, good morning pink... When the sky finally sets to blue that's when we know all the colors have awakened and are out bringing magic to the day. The sun sets each night and tucks away each color like a nurturing mother, sweetly tucking in her children to sleep. Each color brought back to the sun to rest and recuperate while we do the same, leaving us with comforting dark and the protective moon while we dream.

The thing I appreciate most about them is that they wake each morning, despite the heartache and challenges of the atmosphere we live in. Despite any longing or temptation to stay in bed and hide under the covers from the unknown challenges that may confront us. They get out of bed to bring color to the world every. single. day. And if they can, I think I can too.

So on those days I want nothing more than to stay in bed and forget about the world, my inner voice says to me: "Do you realize how far the sun has come to rise for you today? Do you realize how much the sun has seen and been through on its way to reach you? Please get up and count your blessings and be one to the world because there's someone that needs you to rise and bring color to theirs."

Every morning my alarm clock goes off and sings "You gotta get up and try, try, try"
and every morning... I do.




Ps, have you ever seen your own eyes? Look at them today, I encourage you.
Song of the day: Lost in my bedroom - Sky Ferreira

Thursday, January 31, 2013

When You Tough It Out And Stay The Course, There’ll Come A Day When You Look Back And Seriously Wonder What All The Fuss Was About.

I'm so all over the place. I tried to lock the fridge with my car remote after putting my lunch in it this morning.

Take a deep breath. Ground yourself. Find your center. Where are you?
Universe. Milky Way. Earth. North America. Canada.
Alberta. Edmonton. My Office. Here.

Phones ringing right off our desks. Emails that come in faster than I can read them. Handfuls of entourage to coordinate, and lights and sound and music to produce.

I have a box I keep things in that I never want to lose. I wish I could put this feeling in it.

...this is what I live for :)

I could live off this adrenaline my work gives me, this buzz and vibration I've been standing on for the last few days. I also had a shot at lunch, so that might support the cause. I don't drink, but a fellow businessman bought it for me, so it was the polite thing to do. Salud!

Living in the "now" because I'm so wrapped up in what I'm doing and what I love, I don't have time to live in anything else! I could stay up here forever, but when I inevitably come down from this high, I can reassess.
This is where I am, this is where I stand, this is what I feel.

Carmel always says "I'm just trying to be the best spiritual person I can", reminding us that we're all human. We have egos. So last night when we encountered an obstacle in our work she turned to me and said "I'm trying to be spiritually pissed off!". We can feel mad, upset, anger, sadness, pain. It's about finding the positive in the negative, and acting from a place of love and honesty and authenticity.

I don't know what you've gone through. I don't know the life you've lived. I don't know what side of the bed you woke up on this morning. I don't know what life lessons you chose to learn in this lifetime.
"I don't know" is my favorite position.

I learned last night that sometimes the best thing I can do for someone who is struggling is to say "have a nice fall". If I interfere with this struggle they've chosen... I'm interfering with a lesson they've chosen to learn in this lifetime. If I try to "help" by saving them from the fall, the universe will continue to provide more learning opportunities to let them fall again. I'd rather be broken than saved from that fall. I'd rather learn my lesson hard and put my broken pieces back together myself. The first time. And then move on. When you get the lesson, that's when they'll stop trying to give it to you.

You can't build a foundation in a storm. You can try, but it will keep getting torn apart and washed away. It will take a lot of energy and it will hurt. Do what you have to do until the sun rises again and the clouds clear. Then you will get what you want.

How do I know that I don't need what I want?
Because I don't have it.


Song Of The Day: Stay- Rihanna

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If You Understood The Extraordinary Gifts Every Challenge Makes Possible, You’d Celebrate Them As Omens Of New Beginnings.

Sometimes, when it seems your wings have suddenly been clipped, maybe there’s more to learn by staying where you are. Maybe not. You decide.

Friday in the middle of the night I woke up in a panic, and searched frantically through my bed for my eye mask. I was half asleep and worried about not being able to find it because I kept thinking to myself "I can't sleep without it!"

Minutes later after I had woken up a little more, I stopped searching and realized:
...I haven't slept with an eye mask for months. I don't need it.

It was a strange flashback to experience in the middle of the night. It's true that I used to be dependent on it. I could not sleep without it. My eyes had to be covered by this mask. And it had to be this mask.

I had formed a fear of the dark over a year ago while dealing with a death. For the first few days after the news came, I didn't sleep until the sun came up. The night felt too eerie. Then the first month or so I slept with full lights on. Then for next two months after, I slept with a lamp or night light. I feared the dark because things felt more sensitive when I couldn't see everything around me. I slept with the mask because although I was scared of the dark, I have trouble sleeping unless it's dark. I left the lights on and if I woke up scared, I could easily pull off the mask quickly and be able to see everything around me. I eventually acknowledged how irrational this fear was and I faced it. I embraced the dark again, but I still slept with the sleep mask for another year and gradually worked my way out of needing it.

I laughed in that moment when I realized I had been looking for something I didn't need anymore, nor did I even want anymore.

In this moment that I had been brought to remember my past fear - only to discover that it's a fear I've long let go of - I asked: What other irrational fears do I hold on to? What other irrational fears are coming to the surface at the most irrational times? What are the elements attached to these fears that I don't need anymore? Or even want?

Fear of the dark - being attached to a sleep mask.
Fear of being wrong - being attached to being right, taking away from potentially valuable lessons and growth experiences.
Fear of losing important people in my life  - being attached to people that may not be meant to stay, taking away from potentially valuable people meant to come into my life
Fear of not being worthy - attached to need for approval.

And when I compile the list like that with the elements attached, it seems so obvious. Let go. There's so much freedom in not being attached to outcome. The weight lifts instantly. Trust.

Worthiness has been a big topic of thoughts and discussion lately and we could all use the reminder: your worthiness is never in question. You will always have everything you deserve, and you decide what you deserve. I blogged this before and I'll blog it again: It's scary to jump off a cliff. But life is also scary even if you don't jump of a cliff once in a while. You have to get out of your comfort zone to reach a higher level of comfort. Think bigger - you deserve luxury. There will always be another cliff.

Of course it's hard at first. You're going where you've never gone.
________
My note from the universe:

Believe me, I know all about it. I know the stress. I know the frustration. I know the temptations of time and space. Marley, we worked this out ahead of time. They're part of the plan. We knew this stuff might happen. Actually, you insisted they be triggered whenever you were ready to begin thinking thoughts you've never thought before.

Good on you,
    The Universe
Song of the day: Pieces- Sum41

Monday, January 28, 2013

I've Got 99 Problems And A Red Balloon Ain't One!

“That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.”
__________

I got in a car accident this weekend. I spun out of control and landed in the ditch. I'm really grateful that all I walked away with were bruises, headaches and soreness -- it could have been a lot worse. Even though the Universe is gentle with my lessons, that one really shook me.

Veered off the straight road
Needed a lift to find my way back.
Saw it all coming and it still happened.

But I'm safe.

I thought about how quickly it happened. One minute I was on the road, the next I was not. I thought about how I scold Keghan when he's not wearing a seatbelt in my car, and why these are the moments when it's so important. I thought about who I should call first. I thought about guard rails, and why there wasn't one there to keep me on the road. Then the more I thought about it, I realized how scratched and banged up my car could have been if there had been a guard rail to slide into. Even if the guard rail was there to keep me on the same road, the results would have led to more visible damage. Instead I went right into the snow, leaving my vehicle still intact and without a single dent or scratch.

Last week I asked for a sign. I asked that if I'm meant to stay where I am to show me a sign. Making it more specific for the Universe, I asked "Show me a red-heart shaped balloon." That's how I ask for signs. I put my intention out there, ask for what information I need, and I let it go.

Yesterday while stopped at a red light, I turned to my right and saw A BALLOON STORE! This is a road I take fairly regularly and I had never seen it in my life. The window was filled with balloons. Big beautiful blues, greens, polkadots, stripes, congratulatory ones, animated characters... and among them, my red heart-shaped balloon. I had to search through the sights of all these other beautiful balloons competing for my attention, but it was there. I expressed my gratitude and continued on my drive. Thanks, but what does that mean? I had gotten my red heart-shaped balloon, but with a twist.


Within the next few hours things in my life had shifted significantly. I met a woman I had many synchronicities with. We were complete strangers but had lots of friends and experiences in common, and a very similar life path. She had a kyanite stone in her pocket. I had a kyanite stone in my pocket. She had just bought a lapis lazuli stone. I was wearing lapis lazuli earrings. A moment I couldn't find words for. We shared some tears and I went home with a beautiful gift from her. I had a heartfelt realization. God is in the pots and pans, she told me. I had heard this before but it wasn't until that moment when it really clicked. My day continued with a difficult and teary conversation. Followed by my drive into the ditch. Luckily without injuries and gratefully, with eager helpers that had the tools to pull me out quickly. The key point is that I was recovered quickly and painlessly.

With all that had happened it was an emotional day. I had a hard time staying present in conversations. I was calm but drifting in my ability to concentrate and focus. It was a strange state to be in. I slept on it and dreamt of balloons. When I woke in the morning I found the image below at the top of my news feed. I don't think it could get any more clear. Thanks for the clarification.

I've veered off my current path and continued on to a new one. I needed a lift to get there, which came quickly and painlessly, but I'm there. I'll be honest, I'm a little cautious to take that road again. I won't know when it's right but I'll know when it feels wrong. I know I will take that road again, but perhaps not until the snow melts and the icy patches are gone. I can't risk getting stuck in the ditch again or being in an even worse situation by colliding with or hurting someone else. So maybe in the spring. Spring sounds good.

...This isn't about the road and my car anymore is it?
...Was it ever? ;)


“How can the future be molded with hands full of baggage labeled “What Was” and “What Could’ve Been?” Where can you go with all that stuff, and how much fun will you have with it when you get there? Leave those bags behind, and hope they stay lost before you get to your next destination. All right, take a few souvenirs if you must, but just nice stuff. No junk.”
Song of the day: Sunburn - Ed Sheeran

Friday, January 25, 2013

How We Wait Is Just As Important As What We Are Waiting For

Life will work for us when we realize that we must learn how to wait. 

Sometimes it's hard to wait. We wait in fear, we wait in anger, we wait in confusion and sometimes we even wait in indifference. Then there are times we wait helplessly, hopelessly, with our head's bowed and our hands in our pockets. How we wait is just as important as what we are waiting for. 

Waiting is the realization that God knows what he has done, will do, and can do. While waiting, your job is to put your faith into that realization. Waiting requires joy accompanied by the belief that what you need or request WILL be provided by God. Waiting is knowing and accepting that if it is good for you, if it will bless you and others, then what you request must happen ..but will happen in God's way. Waiting is having enthusiasm and excitement about where you are right now on the journey. Waiting is clarity about the "how comes" and " what for's" of yesterday that have prepared you for " YOUR GOODNESS" of tomorrow. YES! Waiting is good! However if you can not wait peacefully, faithfully, confidently,joyfully,gratefully and lovingly then you are waiting in vain! Today be prepared to look at how you are waiting for something and be willing to make any changes that allow you to trust, believe pray ..and then LET IT GO TO GOD.
~Iyanla Vanzant~ 

________
Lovely Carmen.

She listens patiently and quietly as I rant, and scream, and throw tantrums. She smiles. She smiles even bigger on the inside and reminds me: "Inner self, please."

And my emotions magically melt away. A big sigh of relief in very little words. She gets me. She reminds me to get off the rollercoaster, leave the amusement park, and take the slide instead. The slide has an end point.

It's because of those words that I've been able to stay centred these last few weeks. In my moments that I sense my emotions or my ego going out of control I hear her voice: "Inner self, please".

Ego, we are never, ever, ever getting back together.

She's on the road a lot but I'm so grateful to have her in my life every day despite physical distance. And funny enough, I just realized I somewhat do have her somewhat physically every day... For her birthday we made a cardboard cut out of her and a [video - click to watch] of our team wishing her a happy birthday (my favorite part is at 2:58 -- that was hard to keep a straight face behind the scenes while filming). Cardboard Carmen now protects my office and is the first thing you see upon entering.
________

I met Bruno Mars with my friend Steve years ago in Toronto and unfortunately he wasn't in the greatest mood, but it's undeniable how freakin' talented he is. And recently I found out he's been honing this talent since age 4! You have to see this video of him as the youngest Elvis impersonator. Make sure you watch his lips when the interviewer asks Bruno what he likes about Elvis. 


And THE best live video of "Locked Out Of Heaven"



Today's song of the day:If I knew - Bruno Mars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Horror You Face Today Will Become The Funny Story You Tell Tomorrow. In The End, Everything Is Overcome And A Life Is Lived.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
___________

I really want to let people be who they are. I don't want to interfere. It's quite the miracle to discover yourself. I consider it a privilege to be able to witness the exploration.

I want to watch your excitement and optimism that anything is possible, that dreams can come true and that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. No matter how unrealistic it may be. The realization that your success and happiness is defined by how many nights you go to sleep beaming from what you experienced that day and how many mornings you wake thrilled about the next 24 hours you have ahead of you. Your world is filled with people who fulfill you and moments that feed your soul. I want to watch you uninhibited and unscathed from discouragement. I want to see your pride in that moment that you know you've made it.

I want to watch the sudden amnesia from past wounds as you blissfully jump head first into another heart, completely ignoring that it could very well end up broken and in pieces like last time. Even if it does, it's all worth it in the end isn't it? The pain? The joy? Once it's over you can acknowledge how those puzzle pieces fit into your life and why they make up the picture. Maybe your heart beats a little differently than it did before but those are your battle wounds -- you faced your match head on, and the result isn't defined by whether you won or lost. You won by just being there.

I want to watch you make mistakes. I want to watch you struggle and hurt and ache. So that one day you know exactly why you had to go through that. That moment of revelation when you say "It all makes sense now!!!" Under your life resume you've got that experience down pat. You are overqualified for this. You got this! Heartbreak, grief, anxiety: been there, done that! Proved you're strong enough to pick yourself up and recover. Torn, then gutted. Twice. And managed to survive both times. Life is beautiful.

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.

The best relationships and conversations I have are the ones where you can turn yourself inside out and pour all of your contents out on the floor. I want to see all your pieces. I love to hear your stories of how you transformed, and what might have hurt you along the way. Most importantly what you learned and why you're better for it and how it's all worth it. Every single person and experience that comes into your life is because you picked them.

I asked Keghan the other day what he wants to be when he grows up. He hardly took a moment to think about it before responding "I want to be Keghan when I grow up." He said it so matter-of-factly too. Thank God for you I thought.

I had this moment yesterday where I thought "I really like the person I am, and am becoming". I hope you all take a moment to feel that today too,

Marley
Song of the day: Everything Will Be Alright - Joshua Radin

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Everything Has Changed And Yet, I Am More Me Than I've Ever Been


Not everyone is okay with living like an open wound. But the thing about open wounds is that, well, you aren’t ignoring it, you're healing, the fresh air can get to it. It’s honest. You aren’t hiding who you are. You aren’t rotting. People can give you advice on how to heal without scarring badly. But on the other hand there are some people who’ll feel uncomfortable around you. Some will even point and laugh. But we all have wounds. Anyway. I guess what I’m saying is that, I’m grateful.

_________

I'm not sure if I woke up on the right side of the bed today. I've been experiencing a small series of nightmares and the one this morning had me scream myself awake. Let me tell you, waking up to your own scream is not the best alarm clock.

Lately my nightmares have been based on my fears of things I do not want to happen. I accept that it's almost a good thing that my subconscious is putting me through living my fears in dreams so that I would know what it would feel like. In addition, giving me the ability to experience it in dreamworld and know that I can overcome it.

Fear works for you, in a way. It can work in your favor. It makes you acknowledge your issues and overcome them. The Universe uses them to point out your belief systems.

Do I believe that I am worthy? Or do I believe that I don't deserve this job, relationship, opportunity, etc? If I trust that I am worthy of all good that comes my way, the flow of good things will continue. If I send mixed signals, the results will be mixed as well. The stress can pile up. Stress is the alarm clock that wakes you up and says "this isn't where you are supposed to be". If God created his Universe with word ("let there be light") I can too with my thoughts and beliefs.

I believe that I can solve my problems with inner work.
I believe that progress happens fast for me
I believe that opportunities come to me easily and frequently.
I believe that I always have more than enough.
I believe that people naturally feel very comfortable around me and open up to me with ease, inspiring deep conversations and mutual growth.
I believe that the people in my life love and support me unconditionally and always have my best interest at heart.

How easy it is to forget this though, when life gets in the way. I get in my own way quite often -- I'm a work in progress. It's the I can't do this thoughts that shut down everything I just stated that I believe in. There's a lot of freedom letting go of your fears or need to control; trusting that things will fall into place effortlessly when you get out of the way.

If I can't trust others I can trust myself. If I can't trust myself, I can trust The Universe.

I guess it's those jolt-out-of-bed-in-a-sweaty-panic moments that make you realize this.



You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way
When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky
Song Of The Day
Porcelain - Mariana's Trench

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Soul Misses The Falling Eyelash Waiting To Be Wished.

“Love is the answer, said the songs, and that’s okay. It was okay, I supposed, as an answer. But no more than that. It was not a solution; it wasn’t really even an answer, just a reply.”

I notice you have limbs and a head and I really like that in a person. I also notice your heart beats and you've got a mind that thinks... I'm kind of into that. You walk by putting one foot in front of the other and that is so attractive. I bet when you feel intense emotions your heart just starts to race. That's kind of what I'm feeling right now. I can just imagine that the life you've had, taking each day 24 hours at a time. Sleeping and rising and filling your life with as much purpose as you can hold. Your life is just beautiful. Wow. You're quite incredible. You. Yes you!
_________

I'm trying my best to love my best even through frustration, stress, and negativity. When people attack you and you send love in return, your work is done. When a friend confides in me of a negative situation or relationship I try to encourage: "love them through it". We're all fighting a hard battle -- or so I've heard ;)

Since I don't know the life you've lived, what you've been through, or what side of the bed you woke up on this morning, I can only hope that I can do my best to love you through whatever you're experiencing. But sometimes I may need to love you from a distance if the space is necessary and that's okay. 

Contrary to what would seem like logical thinking, putting up your defenses actually inspires others to put up their offenses. The truly defenseless need no defense, if you know what I mean.

En garde,

Marley
Song of the day
LaLaLie- Jack's Mannequin
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Monday, January 21, 2013

“You Don’t Get To Choose If You Get Hurt In This World But You Do Have A Say In Who Hurts You.”

“He was silent for thirty seconds, maybe a minute. I uncrossed my legs under the table and wondered if this was the right moment to leave. It was as if my whole life revolved around trying to judge the right point in a conversation to say goodbye.”

Who gets your pillow talk? 

Your most honest and revealing conversations. The last words before sleep, or first ones in the morning while returning from the dream world. In those intimate moments, the most honest things can be expressed. 

As I shed my clothes from the day now behind me, I shed my layers with them. I shed my encounters with loved ones and strangers I met that day, my shared laughs, my real emotions. As I lay my head on the pillow that supports me and I cover my body in the blanket that protects me, embracing that feeling of warmth and security... truer words have never been spoken.

I'd sacrifice sleep for pillow talk. Give me a dose of your truth. Show me what's real. I can rest easy on the trust between two hearts, two mouths, and two overactive, perhaps over-sensitive imaginations.

Maybe we talked all day. Text, Calls, Facetime, Email, Twitter, Carrier Pigeon, Smoke Signals; it's possible to be connected in every moment and still at the end of the night we haven't had enough. Maybe it's just the sound of the other person's silence. Silence of understanding, interest, intrigue, comfort in just knowing you're there.

But I haven't been there. I haven't been there for you. I haven't asked how you've been. How your day went. What you had for lunch. What your first song was today when you turned on the radio and why you think "x" lyric resonates with your life. What you think about how when I asked for a sign that I heard your last name three times in one day. And how when I asked for another sign, someone unrelated to you but with your last name contacted me to ask me for a sign. True story. I haven't given away my pillow talk for a while now. I sacrificed my pillow talk for sleep. I sacrificed you for the ability to put my hand back on my heart and say "this is what's important". And say "this is not love".

I don't know how long I can do this, she said. I think The Universe has different plans for me. And we sat there in silence and I thought to myself that this is the thing we all come to and this is the thing we all fight and if we are lucky enough to lose, our lives become beautiful with mystery again. And I sat there in silence because that is not something that can be said.
StoryBookPeople


song of the day: Give Me Love: Ed Sheeran

Friday, January 18, 2013

“If The Only Prayer You Said Was Thank You, That Would Be Enough.”

“The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we just start there, every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.”
__________


Two nights ago my friend and mentor Carmel taught me:
"You can't feel grateful and crappy at the same time" -- so it's important to take time each day to find something to be grateful for.

So that night we made gratitude beads. And a promise that each day, several times a day, we'd take a break from our work, obligations, and reality in general to reflect on the things we are grateful for; one statement for each bead. Challenging ourselves to find gratitude even in our most stressful of issues.


You may have seen posts on facebook, twitter, and our story in several news outlets about Buddy and Maddy.

Buddy, a 2 year old yellow lab, and Maddy an 8 month old bulldog, went missing on December 29th from their home on an acreage near Sherwood Park area. Buddy was supposed to be on bed rest waiting for his surgery to repair a torn ACL which was supposed to happen within a few days. Without anyone knowing, he pushed through the screen door and Maddy followed so they could play outside -- which is not uncommon. They have a huge yard to roam around in, but the strange part was when they did not return and could not be found. A huge team of family, friends, and volunteers searched the area. We trudged through knee high snow at all hours, combed the bushes, climbed through the river valley and even rappelled down cliffs. We hired trackers, pet detectives, animal professionals, who followed footprints and ruled out coyote attack or any other type of predator. We made and posted hundreds of missing posters throughout the city. In response we heard stories from people throughout Alberta and surrounding provinces about their dogs going missing. We even found just from the surrounding area in Edmonton that approximately 20 dogs went missing within a month without any clue. Stories of dogs being taken from their own yards, with theories of fighting rings, or stealing dogs to resell or breed them for money. You can imagine the worry, concern, and utter sick-to-our-stomach emotions hearing these stories and the days passing by without a sign of the pups.


Buddy belongs to 12 year old Keghan. Keghan and Buddy are joined at the hip, everywhere Keghan goes, Buddy follows. Buddy could be with 20 people petting him and rubbing his belly but the moment Keghan gets up, he's with him. This summer Keghan fell off his bike and injured himself very badly. Buddy stayed with him the entire time, licking his hand as if to say "you're not alone". The paramedics even had to pry Buddy off of Keghan when the ambulance came. Keghan and Buddy go everywhere together and even sleep in the same bed at night. Since Buddy has been gone, Keghan has been sleeping on the couch and gazing through the window hoping his dog will run up the driveway at any moment and come back home. I've never seen a dog love anyone more than Buddy loves Keghan.

When Keghan was 4 years old, he had a dog just like Buddy, a golden lab named Tucker. His best friend. Animal lovers can understand the bond between a boy and his dog, there's nothing like it. One day when Keghan was going outside to play, Tucker ran with him right out the door and into oncoming traffic. Keghan helplessly stood and watched his dog get hit by a car. This experience haunted him for years. When he was ten, the family, during a very emotional conversation, realized the burden Keghan was still carrying from this event and the nightmares he still had. He had been asking for another yellow lab, but it wasn't until the family realized this that they agreed, and that's when they got Buddy. When the two met, the connection was instant. It was as though Tucker was reincarnated through Buddy. Buddy's full name is actually Tucker's Buddy, and his arrival in Keghan's life is what healed him from that traumatic incident when he was a child. Losing Buddy was like experiencing it all over again.

Last night we got a call from a woman who told us Buddy was in her front yard. She called his name and he ran toward her but unfortunately when they were close enough for her to touch him, he got startled and ran away. Quickly there was a team of volunteers searching the area and calling out for Buddy. And because of what happened last night, I now have more to add to my list of things to be grateful for:

I am grateful that we now know Buddy is alive. In addition, I'm grateful that the woman who spotted him in her yard was unable to catch him, because if we hadn't continued our search, we would not have met the other woman that said "No, I haven't seen a stray yellow lab in the area, just a stray little bulldog" - MADDY! At this point we weren't sure if Maddy could make it through these past 3 weeks but now we are so grateful to know they're both alive and that we're so close. Most importantly I'm grateful that very soon I get to witness Keghan's face light up when he is reunited with his best friend in the world.

Today is our miracle day. Today they come home.

With gratitude,

Marley


Song Of The Day: I Just Want You To Know - Backstreet Boys