Friday, August 28, 2009

manifest goodness

Yesterday was a lousy day. Do you ever have one of those days where it seems like nothing is going right? Where it seems as though the entire universe has abandoned you? That's what I felt like.

And then, things started to shift. I received some good news, I spoke with a friend on the phone and had a good laugh about being mothers and went to bed with the feeling that tomorrow would be a better day. Well, for many reasons, today has been a great day.

But the best part? I went into the frame shop to pick up my art for the children's rooms and the manager, who is one of the loveliest people I know here, noticed my cute pink shoes, my most favorite shoes. She asked me what my size was, and then she said, "wait here." She went in the back and brought out two beautiful pairs of shoes. They weren't working for her, but they happened to be my favorite brand, and my perfect size. This shoe angel gave me two new pairs of shoes! I was just looking online last night coveting some new shoes but reminding myself that we couldn't afford them. And here they are. Brand new. You see? The universe never abandons us, we just need to be clear and ask for what we need. This was such a beautiful reminder that we are all being cared for, every day, even when it doesn't feel like it. Thank you J. this was such a gift, more than you will ever know.

What do you want to manifest in your life? All you have to do is ask.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

wash the dishes to wash the dishes

Huh? This was my first lesson in mindfulness. It is a story written by Thich Naht Hanh. It is all about a man who would wash the dishes at the end of the night only because he knew when he was finished that he would be able to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea. The task that was given was for him to wash the dishes, just to wash them, not for any other reason. Why you ask? Well, if we go through life always preforming our tasks to get to the next step, then we are never fully present in what we are doing and therefore never fully present in life.

This summer has not been an easy one. My 5 year old has pushed me to my limits most days and some beyond. I eventually got to a place that I began resenting his school. That's nonsense you say. Well, my son is enrolled in Waldorf. It is a great school, wonderful teachers, storybook setting. It is also not just a school. Being a Waldorf parent requires that we also make lifestyle changes. For the past 5 years, I have made those changes in our home, willingly, sometimes almost self-righteously. All of this with the idea that it would make my son a better person and validate that I was a good parent.

Well, this summer has proved me wrong. He is still 5. And for any of you that have a 5 year old, you know exactly what I am talking about. Back-talking, sassing, tantrums, tears, disobedience. He can also be really sweet, don't get me wrong. But it has been a very challenging time none the less. Where does the resentment come in? Well, I signed up for Waldorf, I mean really signed up. Our home and our lives are only one degree from peach walls. And I still have the child that I so arrogantly used to say, I wouldn't.

Then it came to me last week. It's not about the school, or lack of plastic toys or even the nature table that is going to support him to be a wonderful person. It's me and my husband. I know this sounds so obvious, and I believed that before too, but I held this value in his school as thought it would produce something different, something that public school just couldn't.

What I realized last week was that my love of nature, history, classical music and books, that all came from my dad. My love of being creative, my strong, willful nature and my compassionate and empathetic spirit, that all came from my mum. None of these came from the school I attended. And so will be the same for my children. That is the trust that has been bestowed in us as parents, as guardians for these little souls, to give them the gifts of life, from our heart to theirs.

So, in a couple of weeks, my son will go back to school. I still think it is a good school and a great place for him to be. However, I no longer believe that it will give us a certain outcome. That person I hope my son to grow up to be (loving, considerate, thoughtful, passionate etc) is partly my husband and I and partly just who my son is, the school is just the icing (and expensive icing at that). Because whether he goes there or some other school, we will still go for walks in the woods, eat dinner together at the table, keep the TV off and maintain the nature table. And with all of that, I can still have my cup of tea too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a wise woman once said....

"Attention is the most concrete expression of love. What you pay attention to thrives. What you do not pay attention to withers and dies." -Karen Maezen Miller

This past week, my attention and love has gone in different places. My son went to camp Nana for the week while I spent some glorious time with my daughter, alone. I realized that I had 3 and a half years alone with my son, but really no time alone with my daughter. Why I ever thought having one child was so hard I will never know. Although the daughter and the son are very different children.

I also gave my love and attention to my home, to the Ruby Slipper Project and to my husband. I can see them all thriving.

What I failed to give my attention to was my website. As a consequence, it is down for the next week or so. It was a serious mishap with a previous web host and a new web host that made switching look much easier than it actually was. The result...files deleted, website gone. Except for my amazing web designer who in his wisdom has all of my files and can breathe life back into the site when he returns from his vacation.

So there it is, so simply put, yet so very true. If you want what you love to flourish, give it all the attention you can, if it withers and dies, well, you know why.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

announcnig...The Ruby Slipper Project

Do you remember the story about Dorothy and her journey to OZ? By some befallen fate, she was transported to an unfamiliar land and bestowed with a pair of Ruby Slippers. All she wanted was to go home. But instead of the good witch just giving her the answer (wouldn't that have been so much easier?) she embarked on a long journey to find the answer to her question. Along the way she collected her heart (the Tin man), her brains (the Scarecrow) and her courage (the Lion). When she finally reached the Emerald City, what she discovered was that it was all an illusion. The Wizard didn't have the answer she sought, it was within her the whole time...a few clicks of her heels and there she was, exactly where she wanted to be.

Have you ever had that experience yourself? Maybe not in a land of munchkins, but searching for an answer and embarking on a long journey (either literal or emotional) to find the answer only to discover you had it within you all along? We women are wise and we often forget it. We get so caught up in our daily life of self-deprecation and doubt that we lose touch with our own instinct. So how do you re-connect with it? When you are going through a transition, feeling stuck or just wanting to re-connect with your creative self so you can then approach your challenges with a creative mind, you need something that is free and without judgment.

The Ruby Slipper Project is just that. It is a women's only process art circle that will meet once a week for 6 weeks. Women will come together, materials laid out for them and just paint. Can't draw a stick figure you say? Perfect. This is a group that focuses on the process, not the outcome, so neither myself or anyone cares what it looks like. What I care about is what the experience is like for you. Do you find a new freedom in making a mess? Have you found some clarity about yourself as you put colour to paper? What about when you get stuck and don't know what to do? What will you do? And how did you know how to do that? How can you apply that to your life? This is Self-Discovery through art and it is powerful. It is also just plain fun.

This group is a culmination of years of a dream that has evolved into something amazing. Come with me, this is going to be an amazing journey.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

being brave enough to dream a reality

Have you had a dream for a long time, or a short time, of something that you would love to do but think you can't? Does it seem impossible, indulgent, too big to accomplish? If you were given the opportunity to at least try, without any fear of failure or judgment, would you do it? If I told you that those fears of failure that are holding you back are just your story and are not necessarily reality, would you then consider to step out and try? What have you already done in your life that took a great deal of courage, but you found it and accomplished it? If you did it once, could you do it again?

I have created something new. Something that I feel not only passionate about, but also truly excited to put forward into the world. It is the culmination of a dream that started when I was 18. And now 16 years later, after traveling around the world, hiking the Westcoast trail, a university degree, marriage, two children, Birthing From Within and Doula certification, a move to the Cowichan Valley and a transformative journey to California (all which took a great deal of courage), I am not holding back any longer . It is interesting to me to see how my dream at 18 has evolved to what I dream now. It is the realization that I needed these past 16 years of experiencing life to be able to arrive here. The outcome is uncertain, but it doesn't matter, it's about the process. It's about being brave, about creating something born of passion and vision. Intrigued? Keep reading, I'll be announcing soon.

What is your dream? How long are you going to wait to make it happen? It no doubt takes courage but I know you are brave. The answer is always no, until you ask.

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful that it was to blossom."
-Anais Nin

Saturday, August 1, 2009

God's country

So, it's true, I live in the most beautiful place in the world. Living on the island affords us the privilege of living in a small community in a sweet 1920's home with the ability to drive out to the west coast for a week of amazing camping, beaches and of course boogie boarding (I know that isn't the same as surfing, that's coming later when I hit Surf Sister in September). Wondering why I haven't posted for a while? This is where I've been....