Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Extra Day

It’s February 29th – once every four years we get this extra day. I guess it’s not really extra since this year it’s showing up right in the middle of the week; but it feels extra.

The whole idea of an extra day seems both painful and wistful to me right now. My brother committed suicide 9 days ago – if we’d had one extra day together there are so many things I would have said.

I would have told him how much I love him.

I would have told him how proud I am of him.

I would have told him I need him here – with me.

I would have told him the world needs him here.

I would have told him what an awesome person he is.

I would have told him that it will all be ok.

I would have told him that I’m sorry.

I would have told him to keep dreaming.

I would have told him again and again how very much I love him.

What would you do if you really had an extra day? How would you spend it? Who would you spend it with? What would you say if you only had one day to say it?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Motivations

I stopped writing my blog a few weeks ago with the intention of once and for all getting it moved to its new home. I figured it would take me a couple of days to move and tweak it to my liking and then I’d be good to go.

A few days turned into days of complete inactivity. I lost my motivation to continue and I wondered why.

Instead of beating myself up like I usually do I decided to give myself a break for a change. I figured another day or two wouldn’t hurt and maybe I just needed a break from everything.

Almost as soon as I let myself off the hook I realized that my motivation had waned because I wasn’t writing for me anymore.

Somewhere along the way I started worrying about what people thought. I worried about what my friends might think, I worried about what my family was thinking (and not telling me), I was even worrying about what strangers were thinking. No wonder my motivation left the building!

I started this process to clarify what’s important to me. I wanted to document where my attention goes and to learn about what makes me happy and brings me joy. I wanted to meet myself honestly. I was craving authentic intimacy with myself and with others.

I still am.

So with that in mind, I’m going to remind myself that all I have to offer is my truth and my way of seeing and being in the world (and that’s enough) and keep on writing.

My next post will be at my new address...I hope to see you there! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bedside Table Books

“One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list”  ~ Mary B.W. Tabor

You know how much I love a good quote and this one is especially good because it involves my favourite things....books and reading.

I only need to look through my library to know this is true. If you were to look through my books you’d have a very clear idea of who I am and what I value. Maybe that’s why I always get uncomfortable when I have people over and they go straight to the books shelves. I don’t like being that transparent. 

Most people don’t have as extensive a library as I do and I don’t think you need quite so many books to see into a person’s soul. Often just what we choose to have beside our beds can say a lot about who we are.

I have a few favourites that are always in the little book self beside my bed, these are my comfort books. They’re books I turn to when I need inspiration, comfort or just a feeling of familiarity.

I also usually have a bunch of books that I’m reading that come and go. I’m still working on several of the books I got for Christmas and they’re in this category.

I’m often asked what I read; so here are my permanent beside the bed books and what I’m currently working on.

What are your all time favourites or what you’re currently reading?

Permanent bedside books.
Current books.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bell Let’s Talk Day

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day – it’s about taking the stigma out of mental illness and making it easier for people to talk about their experiences and seek help when necessary.

If you’ve been reading regularly you know I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life. Anxiety has been my constant companion and depression came calling after the birth of my first child. I have managed through a combination of talk therapy, writing and natural therapies to overcome depression and I’m happy and grateful to say I’ve been depression free now for about 8 years.

Then there’s my I mentioned it’s been my constant companion my whole life. I call it my companion because it’s a part of who I am and in so doing it lowers (for me) the anger and frustration I often feel towards it.

I have only just started speaking more openly about my anxiety and how it affects my life in recent years. I feel fortunate that most of the people I’ve spoken with have been understanding and kind but I know that’s not the case for all people. It needs to be. Mental illness is no different than physical illness.

We need to make it safe for people to talk about their experiences and to get the help they need. There should be no more shame in seeking help for depression/anxiety or any other mental health issue than seeking help for diabetes or arthritis.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes out of your day today to check out and if you have mental health issues maybe today will be the day you feel safe enough to talk about them. You always have an ear here – I’d be happy to hear your stories of struggle and of triumph.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Spiritual Perspective

I live my life from a spiritual perspective; not so much by choice, more by design. I came this way. It’s very simple – being spiritual is how I’m made. I was born more sensitive than most, more introverted than many and certainly more prone to enjoy solitude than anyone I’ve met so far.

Because this is my natural way I’ve always been drawn to others who share my love of spirit and personal growth (yes – they most certainly go together). I’ve been reading religious, spiritual and self help books my whole life. I follow many authors, teachers and spiritual leaders on Facebook, I watch those obscure PBS television specials and I enjoy deep meaningful conversation, but – and this is a big but; I have recently come to realize how incredibly pretentious many of these people can be.

Of course I don’t mean all of them or all the time and it’s certainly only my opinion having never really met any of them. But I have noticed a certain amount of showmanship and downright phoniness in some of them from time to time. It’s like they believe they are somehow better than the rest of us ‘regular folk’.

I’m certainly regular folk. I enjoy a glass or two of wine from time to time, I prefer my pyjamas to a power suit and I have to admit that my favourite word is probably fuck.  Does this make me any less spiritual than all the authors and teachers I enjoy reading? NO WAY!!!

Spirituality has to encompass who we are and our humanness or it’s useless. If we can’t be both who we are and spiritual at the same time it’s of no value to us or our lives. 

I consider my spirituality to be the most amazing gift of who I am this time around and it compliments my life in such a way that I believe my life is much better because of it. In fact I can’t imagine a life without believing in God, without meditation and creative pursuits. I simply can’t imagine looking at nature and not seeing a miracle, or looking at my children and not being amazed that they came to me.

I know there are many people who don’t consider themselves to be religious or spiritual in any way and I can’t imagine how people who aren’t spiritual get through life because my faith and my way of being and seeing the world are what get me through the good days and the bad ones.

We don’t need authors/teachers/spiritual and religious leaders who pretend to be something they’re not; we need teachers who embody being human and help us live well by showing us the best ways to be human and spiritual at the same time.