Good morning friends,
I have been a bit negligent on my blog posts. I have been posting every morning on my Facebook pages, but I realize that many of you do not do Facebook still. And I want to include you as well. Here is my morning post from my Facebook page. Hope you enjoy!
"William Butler Yeats comments on man's loss of freedom. He says it is because we have turned the table of values upside down, believing that the root of reality is not in the center but somewhere in the whirling circumference. Life for most persons is completely exterior-oriented. We have been conditioned to think that we come into this life empty and go forth into the world to ...be filled. We go to school to get knowledge. We go to church to get religion. We go into the market place to get money and security, and we look to certain special people for love. Thus, love is outer-centered and other-motivated. It is thought of as an object rather than a faculty. If someone gives us love, then we will be able to love. Love comes natural to us when we find the right person to love, or to be loved by. Or so we reason.
Life for most persons is a long quest for love, which becomes a quest for objects of love. The most sordid and depraved lives are really crying out, "Won't someone please love me?" And yet, intuitively we know that love is an inner power and not an object, and that our need is to love and not just find someone to love us. Within every person is a hunger and thirst to be love, to express love, and to let the Infinite Power of Love flow through him (her)."
~Eric Butterworth, Life Is For Loving.
It's been a while since I spent some time with Eric Butterworth in his beautiful books. I missed him! I find the meaning, in his writing, to be clearer for me this time around though. I guess as we go along, we learn and grow, and certain concepts take on different meanings for us? Perhaps as young adults, it is natural to live our lives on the circumference? Maybe as we go along, and we realize that there is now more life behind us, than in front of us, we are urged to look for the real meaning in life? I don't know, but this is what I am experiencing at this point of my life.
When I was younger, I wanted all of the outer things too. I dreamed of a grand home, impressive cars, nice clothes, good hair, make-up to improve the outer world of me, a man to dote on me (yuck). And it's not that I'm against having nice things now, but they are not at the top of my list of priorities these days. Today I yearn for relationships, world peace (yes, I do), an earth that is cared for by us, her children who depend upon her for our very breath, and the ability to find Love in all of my earthly experiences.
Today, love means acceptance, generosity, caring, listening, seeing myself in others and caring for their feelings like I would wish to be cared for myself. I am not a princess today. I'm a fellow earth traveller.
Don't get me wrong, having someone who shares your values and gets you is really nice to have in my life. And those are the attributes that I desire in my partner today. That is what love, in the relationship sense, means to me. I wish to share my life with another human soul who allows me to be me, understands what is important to me, does not belittle my values and contributes to the love I want to share with the world. I want to recognize those same values in him too. And I guess I am really blessed, because that the love that I have.
My husband is that person for me. He loves me, even more, for my ability to love others. He never feels insecure because I Love so big. And together we are a love-force that is multiplied because we both want to love as much as we possibly can in this life. We work on our character defects together. We make each other better people. We are not so concerned about buying bobbles for each other, as we are about lending a hand to others who need it (including each other). And to me that is the best kind of Love. I believe that it's True Love. We are not perfect (thank God). We screw up all of the time. But together we help each other back up onto the beam.
I often sign off, with friends, that I love them. There was a time in my life that I would never have done that. I would have thought that they would think I was crazy (maybe some do...lol). But today I see myself in others. I really do love their hearts. I mean it when I say it! This life, this world, and all of God's creations are so beautiful. How could I help but be in awe and Love of that?
Today that is what is important to me. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." What I want I see is Love, so I guess that is what I need to be! Peace and Love on this glorious Sunday to you all! JM
Artwork, Love, by Jeanette MacDonald
My most recent art. The message in it is we all have our own unique way of seeing life. It is as valid as anyone's. Be authentic and unique. <3 "Perhaps Roses are not Red like you think? Maybe to you, Roses are Pink? Well, that's perfectly acceptable my dear.' Her friend the blackbird, whispered in her ear.
Good morning friends,
I've been doing my "Morning Reading" posts on Facebook for a while now and I really love them. I can do them from wherever I am, using my iPhone! So, each morning I do a little post and pair it with a piece of my art, and push send. It is so easy and the real beauty of it is that I can be consistent. My blog, on the other hand, requires my computer and a bit more hassle. I haven't blogged on here in two weeks, and I apologize. But it will happen. We go to Hawaii on the 6th of June. I am going to Writing From Your Soul, by Wayne Dyer. I am not sure if you all know this, but my gift for signing up to my blog posts is called, Painting From Your Soul? I called it that almost two years ago! No coincidences, right! I am so excited to get to do this! Plus I get to listen to Doreen Virtue talk about writing too. I love them both! We are combining the trip with a 12 day vacation to Maui. We got married there almost 10 years ago, so this is going to be a very special trip for us.
So, I will be away from blogging for two weeks. But, if you follow me on my Facebook art page, or are a friend on Facebook, you will get my mini blogs, that I call my "Morning Reading". Each morning I write three pages to get any crap out of my psyche (Julia Cameron's Morning Pages). Then I do my inspirational readings. I have several daily inspirational books and I choose two or three. Then I sort out my thoughts that come up for me. It is my therapy. It keeps me feeling connected to spirit and happy. It is really magical.
I used to obsess a lot more over the things that really had nothing to do with me. My practice in the morning keeps me out of that obsession. I am so grateful for it. So, I thought I would try something a bit different this morning. I am going to write my Morning Reading here and then copy and paste it to my Facebook page. That way my blog readers, who do not do Facebook can read get it too.
"At its essence art is an alchemical process. By practicing art, by living artfully, we realize our vein of gold. What I refer to as "the vein of gold," Egyptians referred to as "the golden ray." It is the individual, indisputable, indestructible connection to the divine. The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life. The heart is the origin of creative impulses."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way Every Day
Last night we watched a documentary on The Grateful Dead. A couple months ago we watched one on The Eagles. What struck me about the artistic success of both of those bands, was that their growth as artists seemed to be because of their perseverance. They played their hearts out and no matter what challenges came their way, they just kept at it. I get this drive to keep at it.
There were drug problems too, for sure, but it was the growth of these artists that excited me. I could see that keeping at their craft lead to improvement. Some people think that fame and notoriety, and the wealth that comes with it, are only accessible to the naturally talented. But this isn't so. I believe that what we desire is achieved simply by keeping at it.
In Julia Cameron's The Artist Way, there was a quote I read (I can't remember who said it) that has stuck with me. It said something to the effect, that in order to paint something well, we must first be willing to paint something poorly. We must all start at the beginning. And only when we are connected to our source, and enjoying the art of creating, and keeping at our practice, will we be able to amount to anything as an artist. In other words, practice, practice and more practice makes an artist.
I'm sure there are people, for whatever reason, are born with more natural inclination to be artistic in one way or another, but trust me, even for them, it took a lot of work to hone their skills. We see the band, when they have made it to the big-times and think that it happened over night for them. But, what we don't see is the the sores, blisters and loneliness, it took to get there. We think, "Wouldn't it be nice to have that kind of attention." But two things come to mind for me when I think like that. First, would it be nice? I am pretty sure it would be awful. I would not be into touring like a mad woman ( I love my quiet life). The Grateful Dead did over 3000 performances over the span of their career! Think about that!!! If they worked every night that is almost ten years worth of days! Not for me, sorry!
The second thought is that if I can feel good enough about myself in my own skin, I would not need that kind of validation from the masses. I am a bit of a hermit anyway. I love the social part of my life, but I love to get back to my little piece of the planet, away from all of that hectic energy. We live in a tiny little town. And I can breathe here. I want to keep it that way.
Being an artist isn't about doing something that will get the attention of others. It is about connecting our hearts to the divine. Art is a kind of communication devise that we can use to become a better person, and to allow us to feel confident and connected with the magic available to us all. Creativity is not something reserved for the talented few. Creativity is like breath. It is the path of the heart that leads us to all that is. It is joy. It is our gift from the Creator. And Julia Cameron, in Blessings, put it this way, "...all souls are part of God and God is part of all souls." We are all the same. There is no such thing as being better than anyone else. If you want something, you just need to work for it. Isn't that nice to know?
Have a blessed day full of love, light and creativity!
Hi everybody! In case you do not follow me on Facebook, we spent he past week on board our new-to-us boat. I did not bring a lot of art supplies with me. I was only able to bring pencils, coloured markers and Gelly Rolls (coloured ink pens). I managed to create quite a bit of art with what I brought though! I was surprised really. The 'naked-breast mermaid' was by far my most complicated to make using only the pens and markers I brought. It took approximately 12 hrs to make her! I know, I have trouble believing it too.
I posted her on my Facebook page along with a question wondering whether people thought having breasts exposed was too risky for my art page, or not, and I got a LOT of really great responses. The consensus is that breasts are good...phew! I thought it was appropriate for Mother's Day. Most of us have had some experience with breasts (yah think?). So it was fun to put it out there. I realized that I am a bit more prudish than I care to admit. But, it was a fun little experiment.
Making art on the boat was kind of a relief, to be honest. I had to curb in my more-is-more personality. I ended up creating my own version of stick people, being inspired by my niece who asked me if I would consider doing a baby in a Wearing, after she saw the wacked out little creatures with dancing animals I was createing. I told her I would give it a shot. But first she had to explain what a Wearing was (in case you don't know either, it is the scarf-like sling that a mother wears her baby in, like the antiquated Snuggly of my generation). I decided to give making a personalized piece a shot. I told her it wouldn't look that much like her. She and everyone else loved it.
So I found myself into creating these funny little caricatures of my loved ones. It worked to have something I could do on the boat. I ended up creating quite a few fun little pieces while we drifted from place to place.
I feel so blessed to get to live this life. Trust me, I have paid my dues for the ease of how my life is now. I appreciate my struggles though. It helps me to really appreciate the abundance and good life I get to enjoy. I never want to take that for granted. I am fortunate to be married to someone who loves my art and my heart as well. Could I ask for more...I think not! Here is the art I made this week:
Our Friends Don't Always Look The Way We Pictured Them
She Is So Catty; He Is Too Ruff
Just Because You Don't Understand The Music
Baby You Rock My World
Por El Amor De La Familia
Believe In Miracles
That is it for now. Thanks for stopping by! Love you and have a blessed week! Oh and make some heart art! <3
Art from my book Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La
I have a desire to write. I mean, I love painting, but I want to write as well. I am not sure where that desire comes from, but it seems to be a fairly strong one. I read Julia Cameron's, The Artist's Way Every Day
, daily, for inspiration and ideas on the mysteries of writing. And I just started reading Stephen King's book, On Writing
. There seems to be a common thread that runs through the experience of these two. Even though, they are both very different from each other.
I am not sure about the experiences that lead Julia Cameron to write, but I have a hunch that she has attended meetings at the same program as I have (hint hint). She speaks the language of recovery. My hunch is that King has some recovery under his belt too.
I am new to writing. I mean for the purpose of publication. I have been doing morning pages (We are asked by Cameron to write three full pages about the junk that floats around in our consciousness. This clears our mind of all that stinking thinking that rattles around in there, restricting us from being able to access our creatively), off and on for quite some time now. I am learning that consistency is key. And I have failed in that department. I have never made my writing a priority. This is what Cameron had to stay about keeping all of that crap in our heads:"Perhaps the greatest barrier for any of us as we look for an expanded life is our own deeply held skepticism. This might be called the secret doubt. It does not seem to matter whether we are officially believers or agnostics. We have our doubts about all of this creator/creativity stuff, and those doubts are very powerful. Unless we air them, they can sabotage us. Many times, in trying to be a good sports we stuff our feelings of doubt. We need to stop doing that and air them instead." Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way Every Day
King says, that if we want to write, we need to have a room away from it all, with a door that we must shut, so we have no distractions (even from the view) to divert us from our daily writing goal. And we must show up at the same time every day and set a goal to get down a certain amount of words. We don't stop writing until we have accomplished the goal we have set for ourselves. We write and then as we write the muse comes. It is not the other way around. We do not wait for the muse to show up to start writing. That is the way NOT to be a writer. And by the way, he says as a beginner we can make our goal a 1000 words per day (his goal is 2000 words/day). But the point is, we write until we have written whatever goal we have set for ourselves down. It is our job as a writer. We need to be disciplined and not cheat ourselves. It takes a lot of self-control. My inner-critic can be very creative and persuasive at coming up with reasons why I do not have the time to commit to making writing a priority, and in convincing me that my writing aspirations are too lofty for someone not naturally talented, such as myself. Writing is clearly not for the faint of heart. "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."
Consistency is a new concept for me. I write and paint a lot, but I do not do it every day. I mean, I write something most days, but I haven't had a goal before. If I did not feel like it, I simply didn't do it. So, I am going to try to make writing and painting my job."If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."
King also says we must write about topics that we know intimately (and maybe even love). We can't just randomly pick any author and emulate their writing style and interests (although he does suggest that we read a lot on the topic that interests us and that we will emulate another artist's work that we do love to begin with and that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to do that...he has done it himself...phew!) thinking if we do, we can make loads of money and be on "easy-street" like them. That kind of thinking is a pile of bunk. Writers who make it "big", work their asses off. There is no "easy-street". We can assume that the stories that float our boats, were created by someone who took the time to lock themselves away, and translate the miracle of a story telling, from the ether, to the rest of us on the physical plane, who do perhaps like to be on "easy street"? Thank God for the writers who write the stories that inspire and please us, they improve the quality of our lives. And unless we are willing to give up a big part of our own life, and lock ourselves away, invest our passion into the craft of story telling, we probably won't be a good writer. That's what I hear. Dreams do come true, but only if we work for them. If I want to write, I need to put the time and energy into the craft and it needs to be about a topic that speaks to me about me. It is the only way
King says to pay attention to what we do like to read. I f we don't read anything, we are probably not going to be a writer. So I had to think about what it is that I love and what I read? The answer to those two questions will tell me about the kind of book I could write. That is my map. I read non-fiction books about the spiritual principles that I am passionate about. I like to paint pictures about fun, spiritual and happy ideas. I do not like painting sad and dark pieces (sometimes I do though). I love bright, whimsical and colourful art that is related to my belief that we manifest our destinies with our thoughts. And that is what I like to read about. I like to imagine a world where peace prevails, where people are passionate about art and where we learn to see the good in others and our environment. I like to imagine a world where we put our focus on those kind of possibilities. Not everyone likes to read about that stuff. But I do. So that is what I need to write about. It is my thing. It is my gift. And it is a start.
I have come to see that writers give up a big part of their lives, to make our lives more exciting. Imagine a world without stories and art. How dull it would be to live like that. I remember when I was a child there was a Christmas movie about a town where no one was allowed to sing, or play. It was a sad and dull Christmas for those characters, but it was a great idea for a story where a hero could rescue the village and bring back Christmas and the joy that comes along with creative expression. If we were not allowed to be creative, write, paint or sing, imagine how dull our lives would be. And now think of the blessings we get to experience because we have all of these talented and driven people who lock themselves away and create beautiful, colourful and interesting art and stories for us. I am now thinking differently about them. Are you?
Here is a list of some of the things we can do to make a writer of ourselves:
1.We need to have a love of the written word.
2. We need to read a lot on the topics we love.
3. We need a place to hole up in.
4. Do not take your phone with you or other distractions (for example: TV, computer etc...).
5. Set a goal for how many words you will write each day.
6. Do not leave until you have those words written.
7. Share your writing.
8. Don't believe in talent as much as you believe in good work ethics.
9. Have fun in your imaginary world where anything is possible.
10. If you love someone, it is perfectly acceptable to be inspired by what they do and to use that inspiration as a stepping off point for your own writing (or painting).
P.S. I have never considered myself to be a good writer, but over the past year I have had stories published in magazines, a chapter in the #1 Best Selling book Super Women Myths
, and published my own children's book, Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La
. Not bad for a start hey!
Thanks for reading this and feel free to leave me your feedback around this or any other ideas you have.
Good morning friends! I want to try something a little bit different. I want to post my comment about my morning writing and reading for you. I hope it will resonate with you. I think we all struggle with the same challenges?!
Yesterday, someone asked me what my word for this year was. I am sure I had a word, but I must have forgotten it already? I replied that I go back and forth between these three words: flow, allow and acceptance. She said that really they all meant the same thing. I guess they do. I might be just getting stuck on linguistics!?
I remember back a few years when I thought it would be quite easy to create a simple design for living a healthy life. I would only need a couple of rules to follow: A. Mind my own business and B. What others think of me is none of my business! Phew! Turns out that simple isn't really that simple.
A friend tells a story in Alcoholics Anonymous. He says one of his early sponsor told him quitting drinking was "simple". All you have to do is quit drinking and change your whole life! This simplicity business is hard core, right!?
So back to simplicity. Learning how to mind my own business was difficult for me. After all, everything everyone else had to say seemed like it was all about me. It was how I gauged whether I was ...... or not. You fill in the blank. I would put "smart" "pretty" "talented" etc...in the blank. But the biggie was "loved". I did not know how to be me and to be loved at the same time. Seems, it did not work to put the cart in front of the horse. I had to start with loving myself first. And how did I do that and still manage what everyone else was thinking about me at the same time? It did not work.
So there came a time when I had to matter. I just wrote a comment on a friend's blog where I said that who I was eventually demanded to be released. I am not sure why it happens, but we seem to come to a time in out life when who we are wants to come out really badly? It is not enough to care so much about what others think of us anymore. All of a sudden we have this uncontrollable desire to burst our truth onto the world. And damn the torpedoes! Or at least that was the way it was with me.
So back to my words and my morning writing. Yes. So today I am trying to stay in the now and in those kind of action words(Allow, Acceptance and Flow). In my morning writing I wrote:
"Help me to know that there is always a safe harbour for me in every kind of storm."
That is allowing and that is faith. It will all be alright. I realized recently that I can not concern myself so much with censoring every thing I say and do for fear that someone might get triggered. I came to the conclusion that if we get triggered it might actually turn out to be a gift for us? We must need to be triggered and shaken loose of the rut we have gotten ourselves into? It might feel safe in that rut, but it is merely a stagnant waste of life, in my opinion. I am beginning to realize that if I am feeling sensitive, or if what I say brings out sensitivity in others, we must need to do that work right now. I am learning to bless the lessons. I realize now that even though I am feeling uncomfortable, what is really happening is that I am growing and discovering my self at a deeper level!!! So bring it on!
Julia Cameron wrote: "When we write, we place ourselves in our world. We say, "This is where I am right now, and this is how I feel about that." Conversely, when we focus on the places we have been, we often connect to a deep and specific sense of how we felt when we were there. In other words, by mapping our literal, physical placements, we are often able to more accurately map our psychological placement. Good writers know this."
So, in other words, if I stay in the now and go with the flow, I will be okay (I am okay). I can allow for the unfoldment of the miracles that are possible in my life. But, I need to get out of my own way for this to happen.
Here is my little poem I wrote to go with the painting I made the other day (It is really all about faith!).
Open Your Heart
by Jeanette MacDonald
Release your vulnerable heart to the open ocean.
Cast your line out to the fish of your wish.
You might not catch the fish that you imagined....
But perhaps the one you catch will be more delish!l?
Painting by Jeanette MacDonald, "Good Ship Lollipop"
So, everyday there are opportunities for me to grow and overcome my fears. I know this is going to sound crazy (unless you are like me, and then you might actually relate to it), but I hate having my picture taken. I don't particularly like my face that much (I know...I have no business saying something so sacrilegious and taboo as that, and I am pretty sure it discredits me as a stable individual, but I enjoy the opportunity to be honest and reflect on my insecurities). I am trying hard to be grateful for what I have.
Getting pictures done is a challenge for me. The little annoying "I don't believe in you" voice was running rampant yesterday evening. I even took along my fuchsia coloured dress for the shoot, just in case I miraculously turned into someone other than who I am (I am not a big fan of colour in my clothes!) while getting my picture done. Surprise, surprise, that did not happen. I was still the same Jeanette who did not like looking down and seeing fuchsia on my body. I ended up wearing my gray sweater, jeans and cowboy-ish boots. Now there is a surprise! No one will recognise me in my uniform (sarcasm)! But my beautiful and talented photographer, seemed to have an intuition about what was really me and what was not...thank goodness. This is a very valuable skill for a photographer to have. Remember this is her art.
This sometimes chameleon tendency of mine, prompted me to take a look at who I am and what I like. And why do I try and be someone or something other than who I am anyways? I studied this picture, which has probably been touched up a bit and I still see wrinkles and imperfections. Sometimes I study other people's faces and I still see wrinkles, but I admire how those lines have created the beautiful face of someone who wasn't born yesterday. In some cultures it is even revered to be older. The older you are the more status-y it is. So why do I feel repulsed by my own signs of aging? Perhaps because in our culture we admire youth?
It was Aristotle, I believe, who said that youth was wasted on the young. I agree. I told two of my girlfriends that I thought it would be cool to look at myself now, like I would when I was sixty! That way I could appreciate the youth I have now in comparison to what I will have 8 years from now. My, oh-so-well-rounded, girlfriend asked why I can't just accept myself now...as I am in this 50 something moment? Hmmm....I don't know why I can't! Or maybe it is better to say that I haven't been able to yet, but I am working on it.
Getting pictures done was hard for me. The wind kicked up. I hate wind! I hate it when my hair blows all over (turns out that allowing the wind to blow my hair all around was pretty!) and I hate it when my hair sticks to my lip-gloss. I hate being cold. I hate being the center of attention, with my insecurities exposed like a badge that reads "Member Of The Odd Squad". That is a lot of hate, right? And I hate hate...lol!
But the bottom line is that I love me. I delight when I look at my face and know the struggles I was going through in the moment of facing a fear. I love how this picture reminds me of Sherry, who was so excited to capture a beauty she could see in me, even when I could not. I love how when I posted this photo as my new profile picture, it was received so well.
When Sherry was asked by a friend on Facebook, whether she would recommend a book that they could read, so they could take pictures that would tell the story of the person getting the picture done, as they felt she had done with me. My friend/photographer, Sherry Nelson of Fresh Air Photography
here on the Sunshine Coast, said that it was in caring about the person being photographed, that the best pictures came out of a shoot. We had a half hour to take these pictures and I was laughing at my hair flying all over my face. I never had a chance to feel like a poser. Sherry was talking and engaging me, and it just felt like two friend goofing around on the beach. I never had a chance to get all up in my head about it. Thank God!
So this post is turning out to be a bit of a contradictions. A love-hate story if you will. But the truth is that getting my picture taken, turned out to be way more like therapy than photography. I want to love myself. Every time I stretch myself by doing something outside of my comfort zone, I feel like I grow a little bit. So, thank you Sherry!
So here are a few suggestions that I as an photo-phobic person have learned from this experience, and perhaps you can take along with you if you have anxiety around getting your photos done:
1. Hire someone who is a little in the gray zone rather than all black and white. Artists generally love diversity and look for the magic in all experiences!
2. If the person is a bit spiritual it helps.
3. It helps if they are a relationship artist (this is when the artist combines their art and the art of relationships.
4. Take only what makes you happy to wear. If you don't wear purple, it's probably not the colour to start wearing now.
5. Don't think of it as a photo shoot...think of it as having a fun artist date.
6. Allow them to be the artist here.
7. Have FUN!
If you live here or close to here and need a special moment captured, check out Sherry at: http://freshairphotography.ca/
You will not be disappointed!
Love you all and thanks for loving me back! <3
Good morning everyone. I am contemplating my life this morning (not an unusual thing for me to do actually). We are going through a lot of changes right now. A fellow Barry works with said, "Moss does not grow anywhere near you guys." That made me laugh, but it is true! I used to feel so embarrassed that we do not stay put for too long. I felt like we were sppose to get settled and stay put! But why "should' we?
We often joke that Barry and I are "change-aholics". But, truthfully, I have felt a bit ashamed about this. I read this little piece called Crying For The Moon, this morning and it just hit me. "This very real feeling of inferiority is magnified by his childish sensitivity and it is this state off affairs which generates in him that insatiable, abnormal caving for self-approval and success in the eyes of the world. Still a child, he cries out to the moon. And the moon, it seems, won't have him!" ~ Language Of The Heart. I realized that the reason I feel ashamed is because I am still seeking the approval in the eyes of others. I can't be seeking approval and being the most "me" possible at the same time. These two ways of living are polar opposites!
"Success in the eyes of the world" This is the part I have consistently gotten tangled up and confused about in my life. Why is that I can't just be excited about the next new adventure? I get glimpses of clarity around this when I write my morning pages and read my inspirational books. There is magic in the act of writing my thoughts down.
To start with, Barry is in the process of selling his business to a younger fellow, so he can finally retire. He has been commuting to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) for over 25 years. He is tired of doing it and wants to enjoy himself more. Because we are trying to tie up loose ends, we have also sold our beloved boat, Natural Selection, to a couple (now friends!) from Puget Sound. Also, we are in the process of buying a smaller boat. We still want to cruise a bit and get to go to the island to see our kids and grand kids. This boat is 29' with a master stateroom. It is a great weekend cruiser or if we want to go on a month long cruise we can still do it.
Moving back to the Sunshine Coast was a big change for us. I left behind my kids and grand kids on Vancouver Island (even they would admit we did not see each other that much when we lived there). I feel a bit selfish looking after myself by doing what we want to do and not looking after someone else?! But, I really love it here and I LOVE our new house and this sweet bay where we get to live. We will just have to visit the kids more.
The thing is that I accept that everyone else is doing there own thing. I do not expect anyone to do anything for me to be okay, but I have trouble extending the same courtesy to myself. I seem to have the idea that I should not be able to live my life in a way that makes me feel joyful?! To do that makes me feel selfish? I do it anyway. My soul leads me and then my ego (Edging God Out?) tells me I am being bad somehow (where did that kind of thinking come from...ugh!) when I am not sacrificing my happiness for everyone else. That has always been my job. I haven't been really good at it, mind you. I always do what I am inspired to do. But I still feel naughty about it.
I really want to practice acceptance and self-love more. I know this will just improve my relationships with my friends and family. Let's just all give each other permission to follow our dreams and reach for the stars. Let's let go of expecting others to do something so we can be happy because that just does not work. Let's just be happy and eat cake instead, okay!
"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it. because action has magic, grace and power in it." Goethe
This is what I went for really--a big hug from my beautiful soul sisters!
Empire State Building....looking way up!
Bird's eye view of the city from the Empire State Building
The start of our journey at Langdale ferry terminal.
New York lovers!
Gramercy Park Hotel. It was like a lovely home.
I met a foodie in a Soho coffee shop. She lives in that tall black building!!!
The only time I saw the Statue of Liberty...way out there!
It has been a while since I have written a blog post. As you can see we have been busy with our trip to New York and Bethesda. I have to say that I loved New York, albeit we were there for just a short time: five days in total. It was enough for me. We were both exhausted by the time we set out for my When The Soul Speaks
healing workshop in Bethesda Maryland and we were really ready to slow things down just a bit.
Admittedly, I did not know anything about the east coast of the United States (or Canada for that matter) before this trip. It was really outside of my comfort zone to travel like we did. But, it all worked out and I have such amazing memories to linger over for a lifetime because I made this trip! It has reminded me that I CAN step outside my comfort zone, and there are plenty of gifts there that I would not have access to, if I just play it safe all of the time.
New York, in itself, was such an experience! But I have to say the biggest thrill for me was meeting my souls sisters and brothers in Bethesda. Learning about some different healing modalities (Myofascial Release and Breath Work for example) was quite the experience for me. It sparked my curiosity for sure. I was completely out of my comfort zone there as well. But, because I was with all of these beautiful non-judging people I felt completely at home and safe in participating.
I have to tell you that I am not the world's best traveler. I am quirky as all get out. When I am out of my element,I have always had the tendency to get a quite anxious, and when I do it is not at all good for my husband, or anyone around me. For some reason I was open and excited this time, and I mostly enjoyed all of the experiences, even when I was tired.
I mean, I got to meet my beautiful friend/soul sister Laura Probert, Physiotherapist, Myofascial Release practitioner, fellow Warrior Love, and many more publications, author
!!! And, as if that was not enough, I got to meet my other sister, my book designer, fellow artist in WL journals, and beautiful friend, Atousa Raissyan! Also, I met Phil Tavolacci, my brother from When Your Soul Speaks group. His book, What's In Your Web is already changing the way I think about my body and my health!). I met Amy Bernier, in person too. She and I have been friends on Facebook for a year and a half.
I met many other new friends and teachers there as well. What a Spiritual experience getting to go to this place! Before this trip, I had not even imagined what joining up with this wonderful group of healers, to participate in this healing workshop, would look like! It was an incredible and magical event. What a gift!
I came away curious about all sorts of things. For starters I am now really interested in Myofascial Release work. I feel like being exposed to this therapy might be a Divine gift; perhaps even the answer to years of unsolved problems? I will keep you all posted. I am excited to work with someone here on the coast, on releasing stored trauma in my body; trauma that may have been influencing the quality of my life for a very long time (When I think of all the trauma my body has been through, I get a renewed sense of appreciation for what this body has done for me. Think surviving a car crashing over a 700 foot cliff as just one of those traumas)?
So, now that things are starting to calm down, what do I want to focus on? This is the million dollar question for me right now. I have my little book
to market. I want to do some more writing. I always have ideas about that. Warrior Joy
was just released!!! That is so exciting. I want to work on my art. Travelling cut into my art and now I have to settle back in. I feel compelled to keep moving forward. Sometimes I am not sure where that desire comes from? I sometimes think it would be easier to just relax and do nothing. Doing stuff can be painful. It takes risk and it takes being vulnerable to put myself out there. But the truth is that it is exciting being in the arena with all the other warriors.
It is dull, being safe. So, I will keep on looking for more adventures and keep plugging forward on my life journey.
I think about the miracles that I have been gifted because I put myself in an uncomfortable place and was ready to go with the challenges that might come out of being in a spot. I know this courage is the secret to getting to experience all of our desires. It is like getting the go-ahead to eat from the tree of forbidden fruit. That fruit is not poisonous like we have all been told! That fruit is merely the doorway to getting to experience miracles. Don't believe it when people who tell you something is too risky; off limits to us because of some short-coming they think we may have, or that we ourselves believe we have! Biting into the forbidden fruit is exactly where all the gifts are. If you listen to the worriers, you will never experience any of the miracles. I say bite into that apple. Let the juice run down your chin. Don't be afraid to let people know you took that risk! Never feel ashamed that you had the courage to try something out. You are the one who will strike gold because of your willingness to keep digging, and the people who judged you for trying something risky out, will line up for your autograph when you succeed. I know success takes risking our safety, in one way or another. So let's all celebrate our courage together. Let's support each other in being brave. Woo hoo!
What risk will you take today? Let me know in the comments below if you like. I will tell you what risks I have taken today in return. Lots and lots of love and light to you all! <3
Love and Light,
Street art seen from The High Line in NY
Street art NY
The High Line!
"Friend's" fountain in Central Park
The HIgh Line
John and Yoko's place
Believe it or not, that is a school playground down there in between those building. Kids out for recess at school in NY. The High Line.
Robert De Niro and I in Central Park! lol
Barry at Moma
John Lennon Imagine memorial in Central Park
Just a building in Soho!!!
After getting up at 4;30 (1;30) our time) we get out first sight of the ferry terminal. Almost home!!! I love home!
I like to use my blog as a sort of true confessional...lol! Sorry in advance to those of you who might be bothered by my confessions. I just find that the more honest I am in my life, the better things go. I have this huge giant ego that gives me grief all of the time...Ugh!!! So I want to bring it out into the light and expose it for what it is, so I can move on. so here I go.
Yesterday, I dove into a bit of a tail-spin. I plummeted. I went to where I do not like to go anymore. I felt like a victim. A victim of my own actions. Here I am professing to be a positive thinker, and I just couldn't get into the positive groove yesterday at all. I am a bit fragile sometimes. I am tough as nails too. And the beauty is that I have some tools today to get myself out of the depths of my own self-induced and fragile despair, when I dig myself in real good, like yesterday.
What set it all off? My books arrived and because of living in Canada, I got to see it and hold it in my hands for the first time yesterday. I never did receive my proof. The book seemed smaller than I had anticipated. Perhaps that was my big thinking. Perhaps I blew it out of proportion in my mind? But it arrived in its 7x10 size full of my dreams about making a book out of my childhood memories, about my struggles and adventures that have made up my life and consequently who I have become. All of a sudden I felt shy and full of self-doubt. Here was my heart laid out for everyone to see. And would they even like what they see? Would they think I was a weirdo, childish, untalented, blah, blah, blah? I just felt completely naked, exposed and vulnerable.
I went through the day trying to utilize some tools I have developed to get myself out of my stinking-thinking, but the fear followed me around all day like my shadow. It wasn't looming. It was just there like a bad smell that I couldn't quite shake.
I woke up this morning feeling a bit different. I am back to feeling myself more. I am trying to figure out how to price my book. I find that the idea of asking for money for my book brings up all sorts of limiting thoughts and insecurities for me. I thought I was getting a bit of a handle on this area, but nope. Those issues are still there. I wanted to price my book at a price that people could afford. That was my number one consideration. A lot of the kids who could benefit from reading my story are going to be the ones who struggle, like I struggled as a child. And that may just mean that they do not have a lot of money to buy books? We will see what happens.
Really this story is about a little girl who survived and used her struggles to get even more out of life. This is not a story for the person who wants to wallow in their past despair. I believe wallowing keeps us in the place we are wallowing about (just like yesterday did). I want to experience all of the good that this life has to offer me. I am coming to see that the only way to do that is to realize I have the ability, always, no matter where I find myself, to choose joy; to make the decisions necessary to not be a victim; to take responsibility for my "now".
I read a story by Emmet Fox yesterday about an old bear who happens upon an empty camp site. The campers had left a pot boiling on the fire. The lid, dancing, popping and whistling, intrigued the bear. So he picks up the hissing pot and in the process scalds himself. As he burns himself with the boiling pot, he does what bears do; he hugs the pot even closer to him, and burns himself even more. The more he burns, the more he hugs. He doesn't think about putting the pot down and letting go of the thing that is causing his pain. Likewise, the more I hug my negative thoughts to me, the more I hurt myself. But the beauty is that I can let it go at any time I choose to think differently at any time, and I can pick up a happier thought instead. Oh what relief!!!! Thank God for choice! :)
So here I am today. I am pulling up my big-girl socks and I am going to be happy again. I am going to feel as good about me as I do about you. I am not perfect, but I am growing and doing stuff, and that is alright!
Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/224806715/shoo-shoo-shoo-sha-la-la-personally
. Thanks for inspiring me.
Art from my book...dad, Julie and me.
The real Julie and me
what the cover art looks like, front and back
What dad looked like near the end of his life
So here I am, awake early on another glorious Saturday morning. It is 6:30 am and I have already been up an hour. Some people might get frustrated if they woke up as early as I sometimes do, but I see a gift horse and I am ready to ride that baby. First thing I do when I get up is feed Sydney who is always eager for me to get up early, feed her royal highness and then she is ready for some more serious sleeping. Right now she is laying beside me snoring her little pug heart out. That's just the way I like it. Then I make myself my morning latte (I know, high maintenance), and get down with my pen and paper for my morning pages. I write three full pages first thing. After my writing, I have four daily readings. What can I say, I like choices! One of them, if not all of them will relate directly to what is going on in my life. Is that weird or what? I don't think so. I think it is more likely that I suffer from what I consider to be a common human condition. I call this condition being ego-driven. It's an on-going trip for me.
Even before I got out of bed this morning I was being visited by a ghost from my past. My children's book was made live yesterday, so my ego wants to get in there and do some work on that number! Holy crow! My Love inside my soul says, "I MADE THIS BOOK"!!!! Wow! And my ego says, "I wonder if anyone will like it?"
The point is that the latter question is none of my business! I need to get back into why I made this book. I made it as a celebration of life. I was celebrating the life of a man, who happened to be my father, and the adventures (AKA struggles) of two little girls who had to navigate a bumpy life at a very early age.
My sister and I had two young parents. They made huge blunders, both of them. I have carried resentments towards both of them for a lot of my life. Dwelling in those painful moments in the past, highlighting all the obstacles that that pain has caused in my own life. But, my art (my darling art) has been freeing me and helping me to see things much differently.
Julia Cameron's daily reading today, talked about getting out of our heads and into action....making art, as a form of moving meditation. She suggests that remaining in our heads causes us to continue to talk about doing the things we want to do, but we never really think we can. Just starting has a power. That is what I did a few months back. I started to write my first children's book! And yesterday it was published on Amazon! Truly amazing for someone who never considered herself to be a writer, right?
This is what I wrote in my morning pages: "I am not a writer per say. I have become a dedicated creatively expressive person. I drag my stories out of hiding, expose them to the light of my soul and create love out of those old dry bones." Yes, that is exactly what I did with this little book. Were there hurts and resentments building back then that I could have focused on? Oh yeah, definitely! But I was lucky to realize somewhere along the way that I could make honey out of dog shit. I realized that I could remember the ghosts of my past the way I chose to, and that changing those memories into positives could become my truth. In other words I could be a survivor instead of a victim. Yes, I could focus on all the things that hurt me as a child. There were plenty of old stories like that to grab on to. But, I also had a choice to remember the good moments, the love, the dreams, the growing up together that we all did. The truth is that when I focused on those good stories, like I did with my book Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La, I felt much better. And isn't that what the point of all this is? When I choose to remember the good times, and there are lots with both my parents, my whole life changes for the better. I wondered why I had chosen to stay in my dark corner, only big enough for one, for so long? I had suffered and re-suffered and for what? To prove a point. I was sacrificing my own happiness to be right.
I recognize that there is a certain high that comes from feeling superior. My ego loves that vantage point. But I am here to tell you that the costs of being right about being hurt, is much greater than the rewards.To be right, to be mad forever, separates me from the Light of the Spirit, that can only be found by being a part of all that is. There are no rewards found in isolating myself in the pain of past woes.
My book is a celebration of life for me. It is quirky, but it is also loving. It is about finding the gems in the dirty archaeological dig that is my life. It is time for me to forgive, and get to love the deepest way possible because of that willingness to let go. I am letting my dad go with this book. It is for me, him and my family so we can celebrate the beauty and put the pain away. It is time to live my life more fully. Thanks for sharing in this very personal journey with me. It is my story, but i think it is also yours. We all suffer from the same condition: being human. This is what we do, until we know that we don't have to anymore. When we finally realize that we do not have to hang onto pain, we can choose to let the past stories go, and then we get to create a beautiful today. I love you dad. Perhaps the next story will be about mom? There are lots of good stories there too. Today I choose to love both my parents and to celebrate what is right and beautiful about them. And for that I am grateful.