Sunday, July 31, 2011

Defining Simplicity

Webster’s Universal Dictionary defines simplicity as  1. the quality or state of being simple, 2. the absence of complications. I decided that since I’m attempting to cultivate simplicity I’d better define it for myself so I’ll have some ideas of what I might want to do and of course so I know if or when I’ve achieved what I’m looking for. Looking at the above definitions I’m not sure I like number 1 – if I choose to pursue that particular definition it sounds like I’m aiming to be stupid – my apologies if that’s not politically correct or if I’ve offended anyone, but as mentioned, this is about me after all. I like the second definition, it sounds like what I’ve been thinking about, perhaps even what I’ve been aiming for without defining it specifically.

Simplicity then to me is about a life with no drama and no B.S., a life in which I will enjoy my family and friends, nature and the small things that we all usually take for granted. I will notice the gentle breeze while I sit in my favourite lawn chair and the fragrance from my roses as I walk by. I will notice when I get all green lights the next time I’m running late. I will laugh without restraint the next time I see a funny movie, I will cry with abandon the next time I feel like it and I will do my best to share these moments with the people I love.

Simplicity and the quality of inner peace seem to go hand in hand in my life and for a long time now I’ve been nudging my life along a simpler course unintentionally. It feels good to know that I was instinctually heading in the right direction all along.  I want to make sure I take the time everyday to appreciate life’s smaller things. I am so grateful for the beauty in every day moments and my ability to see and appreciate them.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Joy of Gardens

It’s a grey day here today. I love the rain and always feel more like myself on days that it’s overcast and rainy, but today it’s just simply blah; not enough rain to make it rainy and not enough sun to make it sunny. Jon and I ran some errands this morning and I looked for inspiration in something – in anything, but it’s one of those days. The only thing that grabbed my attention this morning was a new morning glory flower on my vine.

There is very little I love more than flowers, they never fail to brighten my day and inspire me to get out my camera. Since it’s one of those days I indulged myself in a few shots of my messy mostly wild flower garden. When we moved here last year the only flowers already here were some very old bleeding hearts. I always find it odd to see an old house with no gardens. It makes me wonder what kind of people lived there. I can’t imagine not having gardens and gardens and more gardens. By the time I’m done here – in 40 or so years there will be acres upon acres of gardens and flowers.

I can picture it so clearly in my mind. I get excited just thinking about it and how beautiful it will look that occasionally when I look outside and see only my little wildflower garden I’m surprised that it’s not already here. I can see the lavender, the roses, and a gazebo going towards my little building. I can see dozens of flowering fruit trees and my pond. I can’t wait for my pond! I can see the labyrinth and benches dotting the paths. There’s joy in just thinking about it and planning it and I’m enjoying every step of the way.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Does Everyone Have a Calling?

This is one of the questions I’ve been asking myself for – well; forever. I want to believe we do; in fact most days I want to believe it desperately. Then I take a look at my own life and the doubt settles in. If I have a calling it hasn’t called to me loudly enough yet. I’m not sure how a woman can get to 42 and not know what she wants to be when she grows up, but somehow that’s where I find myself. I read somewhere a long while ago to act as if you know the answer to the question being asked. Now this wasn’t specifically meant to be about callings, but it seems to me that it could work in this instance too.

I’m reading an amazing book – Callings, Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy. In it he tells readers to be curious, to observe those things that interest us and to remember ”that for now you don’t have to do anything about what you find out with your curiosity.” I like this way of seeing our callings, it’s comforting and easy.  I feel like it gives me room to move and flow and see what’s coming my way. It makes me feel like I’m open to whatever life brings me. It feels like a nice healthy partnership between me and The Big Guy. He offers and I have the choice as to whether I say yes or no.

I often pray for guidance and I’m specific – maybe even bossy. I always ask God to give me my guidance in a way that I will understand and because I’m a big reader I usually stipulate that the best way to ‘talk’ to me is through something I’m likely going to read. A book, a magazine, maybe even one of those benches at the bus stop; you know the ones that say “you just proved our advertizing works”. Imagine me sitting down to read one of the magazines that I regularly read and I happen to open it at an almost blank white page and all it says on it, right in the middle, is “Here is your gift!” It was like the Christmas M&M commercial where Santa and the M&M’s see each other and they say “they do exist” “he does exist” and then they faint. OMG! He’s been listening, He hears me and He doesn’t mind my bossiness; here’s the sign I’ve been waiting for. I’m so excited – my life is going to change – right here, right now. God is going to tell me my destiny, my calling!! But alas; no, it’s just Cash Peters in Spirituality and Health telling me and every other reader to listen to our lives because the clues we all look for are there if we can only see them and heed their calls. And that brings me back to what this is all about for me, looking and listening and finding the good stuff and by honouring all that’s good in my life even if I never hear ‘the’ call at least I can say I’m doing what my heart tells me to – and in the end maybe that’s all the call I need.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


‎"Imagination is the eye of the soul" - Joseph Joubert

I came upon this quote this morning while drinking my tea and getting ready to start my day and it stayed with me while I wandered my little slice of paradise with my dogs and my camera. When my husband Jon and I first came to this place this time last year I have to admit he saw far more here than I did. Almost immediately he could imagine us living here for the rest of our lives, he had our roots established before we even put in an offer. I didn’t see it.  I saw the place for what is was; a bank owned, vacant and run down farm on a beautiful property very close to the city. Jon fell in love and I saw a beautiful driveway lined with trees (and that’s all).

Jon’s imagination is one of the most beautiful things about him and one of the things that drew me to him right away. At first I saw things through his eyes that I couldn’t see through my own. He sees things exactly as he’d like them to be and his enthusiasm is contagious. I’ve learned so much in these last year’s about freeing my imagination and just letting it be. I now know how much I can learn about myself when I’m not afraid to let my imagination run wild. It’s there and maybe only there that I can be myself and have all the wonderful things I dream about.

This brings me full circle back to the above quote. While out for my morning meander I was letting my mind wander and it found its way to my little building (as we call it here) and I envisioned what a wonderful cozy little spot it could be for me. Just for me. I saw the little log cabin fixed and finished with a tiny woodstove and me creating any number of things in it. I could clearly see myself in there with my puppies at my feet writing my best seller,  drawing and painting, working on my photos, carving that horse I’ve been thinking about for years.  Imagination is a wonderful thing; thank you Joseph Joubert for bringing it to my attention this morning. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Two

Last night was not a night for sleeping. While I’ve been thinking about the blog for many months now, the reality of it hit me late last night.  2 a.m. isn’t often kind to me and last night was no exception. Panic, worry, stress – BOOM all at the same time! What am I thinking? What’s gotten in to me? And the biggest one for me....Who do you think you are???? I could all but hear my mother screaming it at me; "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" It’s a question that I heard over and over again as a child and as an adult I’ve had the deep need to try to answer it.  

My mother would be telling me (if she knew what I’m doing) that my writing isn’t good enough, my photos aren’t good enough, no one is interested in what I have to say. What she means by all of this is “Lynne; you’re not good enough because I’m not good enough, no one paid any attention to me so they won’t pay any attention to you.” This is what I’ve lived with and felt my whole life and it’s coloured my way of seeing myself and the world around me. How do I pursue my goals and dreams knowing that it will hurt my mother? This was my night – it wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be my last. But one thing is for certain; if I lay awake tonight it will be because I’m excited not because I’m stressed. 

It’s remarkable to me that I have dreams. For many years I didn’t. I didn’t know how to dream and hope and pray and I thank God each day that those days are in the past. Today is a new day, and I feel like celebrating it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

In The Beginning

Life has been difficult at times for me; as for everyone. My world has often been chaotic and crazy. Up until recently I used food to soothe and medicate myself from the pain associate with being me. I suffer from depression and anxiety; at times both overwhelming. Life hasn’t always handed me what I’d hoped or prayed for, but I believe it’s given me a unique way of seeing it and myself.

I’ve been reading self help and religious books by the dozens always looking for something to tell me what’s missing, what’s needed to make me happy and joyful. The answers haven’t been forthcoming. I’ve had more insights than I can tell you – everyday epiphanies I call them. But no lasting healing or ease. I need ease. I need joy. I need peace and simplicity and I need to feel a connection to That which is greater than me. I crave connections that other people don’t seem to these days. I need authenticity in my life – my own and other peoples.

So with that in mind I’ve decided it is (finally) time to get healthy and whole. I’m going to explore myself and my little slice of life here in the countryside. I’m going to actively and with intention seek to find the beauty in everyday life. I’m going to cultivate simplicity, creativity, peace and joy filled moments. I’m going to take the time to get to know myself and those around me in deeper, more fulfilling ways. I’m going to learn what being healthy and whole means to me one day at a time, one photo at a time, one post at a time, one walk at a time. Just for Today I can be open to what life brings me and I can learn to simply be.