31 August 2017

french press coffee and $23 wine....


Though I doubt anyone is keeping track of when I post on here...if you are, you'll notice a lag between musings.   It isn't for lack of thought however I have been suffering from a serious case of writers block. Months ago my reiki-ist (yes, I just made up another word!) asked me if I had neck pain, which I did.  She attributed it to having words that were left unsaid that were getting caught in my throat and causing a block...hence the resulting pain.   I found this interesting because I knew I was suffering from writers block.  

Here's the gist of it... someone I loved offended me back in March and I never addressed it.  At first I thought that I was being silly and over-reacting so I didn't say anything but as time went on, more and more things kept coming forward that illustrated just how this person's actions were making me feel sad and horrible.  One thing I've learned in my 39 (yelp) years here is that I am not one that deals well with confrontation.  I tend to take my time to process it, come to terms and let it go - sometimes addressing it and other most times not.  This time, all of this chaos gave me writers block.  And bam! Yesterday I found all the words I wanted to say to this individual to clear this out of my heart - no more neck pain and fingers typing as fast as they will go... Yes in the longest, most convoluted way, that was my attempt at an explanation for the dips in between posts ... now on to regularly scheduled programming and completion (fingers crossed) of about 16 billion draft posts. 

Any of you (yes of the 5 of you people actually reading this) who read my earlier post about taking the leap, here is some background to the story.  It began with hours of great conversation on my back porch (hmmm ok technically it began 25 years ago when we first became friends but THIS story begins here). So here we are on the porch, which is pretty much where I spend 80% of my waking hours at home from March through November.  A few ciders in and our discussion begins to be about this journey we call life. We are a product of our experiences but that doesn't have to meant that they define us.  All of our experiences, both good and bad, have propelled us to the person we are today.  Our paths aren't straight lines - they zig zag all over the gosh darn place - but the path is the purpose.  


We also don't have to define ourselves by our pasts, by our occupations or anything.  You can continually redefine yourself and grow from every circumstance.  I see myself as a single woman, not a divorced woman.  That time in my life has changed me, most definitely, but it does not define who I am.  I no longer look at it as a failure but as a stepping stone to knowing who I am as an individual.  This will consequently make me a better half of a partnership in future relationships.  Often people coast through life - one of my next posts will touch on this.  Are we truly happy with our lives or complacent because it's good enough. Is there anything wrong with that way of thinking? Do those who are simply content where they are live any less of a life than those who are constantly searching? Some people redefine themselves on the regular and others are content with never having to change. It has taken me a long while to get to the point where I am happy with each of these opportunities to further become myself.  It's take a lot of soul searched to realize that my life being different than those I am closest to does not deem it "less than." 

One of the things I miss most from a relationship is conversation.  The ability to just open my mouth and let all these random ideas blurt out (hence why y'all have to put up with my musings). So it was nice to move from my porch to one of the neighbourhood restaurants and continue laughing and talking.  We each enjoyed the loveliest glass of Pinot Noir that we later realized was the ridiculous price of $23/glass so it was on the cheap Tavern down the road.  The rest of the evening may get a little blurry.... Fast forward to the next morning back out on the porch but this time with my favourite Saturday treat of French Press coffee and more shared stories.  And this is where I may have finally decided that I found someone whom I'd like to keep conversing with, whether that be as a great friend or more.  It makes me think a lot about what I want in a partner and being able to freely speak my mind and talk about things is a big thing.  I don't know that I've ever felt completely comfortable being myself - perhaps part of this has come with age and acceptance that this is who I am. I want to stop apologizing for over-sharing my feelings at times and I want to not feel guilty for the moments I hold my heart super close.  I have accepted that what I once thought was meant to be, was a stepping stone and by finally letting go now I am open to what comes next.  I know more than ever that I am enough.  That what makes me me is pretty darn great.  

24 August 2017

.... find your tribe, love them hard

WG take on Naples April 2017
When it comes to friendship, I am one blessed gal.  The Wilderness Girls are one of my most treasured bunch of lady friends and the love that exists between us is hard to explain. We have grown up beside each other and became more like family then friends ages ago.  We know each other's secrets and fears.  We have celebrated and comforted one another. There isn't much of our lives that have been without each other. 

One of the numerous posts that were started and never finished included one about them but it never felt just right till now, as I meld it in with another post I began last week and thoughts from our time together last night.  A post about being yourself, accepting yourself and most of all, loving yourself.  Because before you can expect or hope for anyone else to do the same, you must be in a place where you can see your own light.  This hasn't always been easy for me to see.  I've often felt as though I'm either not enough, or conversely, too much for someone to truly love. With 40 approaching, I have to say I am finally coming to a place where I am happy with who I am.  These girls love me for me.  They often roll their eyes at my dating antics and Mary gives me that look of scorn when curse words fly out of my mouth at inappropriate times.  But they love me for me.  And often at times when I haven't loved myself for me.   When I've been down, they have carried me, fed me wine and dried my tears.  When I've been successful they have been the first to shower me with pride.  They know that I love big and that I am a big, giant sap. 

This week began with a funeral - yet another reminder of the lesson that life can change in an instant and that in some way we are all struggling. We stood there in that room with our arms around each other mourning the loss of a lovely man, 5 years our junior.  As Alissia said thank you for being there with her Christie and I, in complete unison, simply said 'there is no other place we would possibly be." Because it's true.  Something happens and we come together.  We hold space for each other.  We hold hands with each other and face these life experiences together because that is how we will get through. I sat with Christie on the patio of the Keg afterwards and my heart nearly exploded when she set down her wine, looked at me and simply said "you know what? I love you... I love that I can share anything with you and know that there isn't judgement.  That no matter what we are there for each other." This was quickly followed be a cheers of our wine glasses and her follow up question of "do you need me to be that friend that eats the cookie from the Billy Miner pie?" to which I of course answered yes.  


We sat there and talked about our blessings, our lives, what scared us currently and future tattoos that we'd love to get.  She reminded me that it was time to be brave and open my heart and jump with two feet and risk it.  At some point we all have to ask the hard questions or put ourselves on the line.  I am so happy that we can be that person to the other - that when we are down, there are all of us to grab hands and pull up.  That no matter what we don't even need words (though, there are always words...lots and lots of words).  These kinds of girl friends are the definition of soul mates to me because they are there - they have been there every step of the way.  Our families are family to each other.  Both our victories and our defeats shared by all.  There isn't much in my life that they were not a part of, they can call me out on my shit and 


I am more and more confident that my purpose on this earth is simply to love others and bring light. It may sometimes honestly be too much for some to willingly accept but this year has brought me the ability to realize that it isn't for everyone. And someday, the right person whom I am meant to share my heart with, won't be afraid of the depth or how fiercely sometimes the waves crash. But it is time to let go of the past and the words that have been stuck here in my sore neck.  This is the moment to put it out there and accept that no matter what comes of it, I am able to persist.  The person I want to share my life with as a partner will need to not be afraid of the way in which I love, as it is what I was sent here to do.  Life is precious and sweet but also fleeting.  My word for the year is courage - to love myself, to be myself and allow that self to be shared with others.  And so I leap.... I say the words that I've been pressing down and with them I move forward. Let us all count the blessings of the people in our lives.  Those who stand before us, beside us and those we carry with us in our hearts.  

11 July 2017

the best is yet to come...

A long drive to the cottage, paired with sitting in traffic stand-stills in both directions, gives a gal lot of time to think.  Lately, I've been really thinking about my word for this year and what it means to me.  My "Year of 40" list was created thinking of not only adventures that I've always wanted to do, but thinking of things that make me live out "courage".  In creating it, I began thinking of the concept of "going over the hill," and how that was supposed to symbolize that you are at the half way point of your life. What things have I always wanted to do and haven't yet experienced? Can I be more courageous? Can I push myself out of my comfort zone? 

Most likely the one on the list that scares me the most is #5 "Say I Love You to someone".  It's not about the simple words of that statement because obviously words are easy, but it is the action of trusting myself again to allow love in.  Having the courage to distinctly remember how much heartbreak hurts but to stay open anyways.  Courage to allow someone to see the real me may be the hardest of all.  I've been scared to let potential mates inside for fear of either not being enough, or being too much.

I think of courage in way that recognizes that relationships involve putting ourselves on the line and opening up to the most vulnerable complexities of our insides, hoping that the person we are trusting our heart to, holds it as gentle as we do.  For a lot of years I have wondered if I deserved the kind of love that others have.  I've doubted my own capacity for it.  Coming into this fortieth year I finally feel confident in that all who have graced my path of love thus far have been stepping stones.  I have complete faith that my life is meant to be shared with someone and that he is lurking just around the corner.  It is with this new chapter of my life where I have come to love myself more than I ever have.   If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would have imagined that this year would hold such significance for me., I likely would have said no.  I most likely would have anticipated that turning 40 would be hard and lonely feeling.  But the fact that I am looking forward to celebrating this milestone has kind of crept out of the woodwork and surprised me. The last decade has been one of change for me. There have been many goodbyes, changes, and new beginnings.  

Something I read today stated "we hurt, so we can grow" which I find interesting ... and true. The human body is an expert at healing & regenerating and nothing does that more so than our proverbial hearts.  I am no stranger to hurt.  I am ready to grow.  I am thankful for the chance to grow.  Living to celebrate forty turns around the sun isn't something that everyone gets to experience.  It's not lost on me that my father died early - living only 26 years beyond this 40th milestone.  I takes my breath away to think that our time is so limited here on this earth and I am yet again reminded to take chances, to live every moment and to love as big as we possibly can.  

Taking risks isn't easy.  It's hard to leap. Especially when there are others depending on you.  One of my dearest friends is at a crossroads and considering an significant life change to follow a dream.  Deliberately choosing change for your life is probably one of the scariest things to do because you are responsible for it.  It's easy to make a career shift if you've been laid off and the change is necessary.  It's easier to move when you've outgrown your home or it's outgrown you.  But to be in something safe and secure and choose yourself above everything else isn't easy.  And as the quotes says, it could very well not work out but my gosh if it does, it truly could be the best and most rewarding adventure ever.  I choose to believe that that which we go after with our whole hearts, is truly how we will grow. 

And we can apply this to most things in our lives - relationships, location, career.  There are no guarantees but we will definitely never succeed if we don't try.  "That which we manifest is before us," as Enzo says in The Art of Racing in the Rain.  "There is no dishonour in losing.  There is only dishonour in not racing because you are afraid to lose." We cannot let fear stop up.  We cannot let the possibility of losing keep us from trying because we will certainly never win if we never try. So I shared this quote with her today in hopes that she will always know that I am there behind her in support of the "leaps" in life.  The two of us share the words "be brave" inked on our skin and I know deep down in my heart that her pursuit of this new path will be successful.  Not only because it will bring her not only monetary reward, but because of the self-accomplishment, pride and growth that is sure to happen.  The best parts are in the journey through. If in the end it doesn't work, there will be a new path.  But the moments that she lived her dream will be the best adventure ever.  

For myself, I am taking this quote to heart in that I feel as though I have finally come to the point that my heart feels ready to welcome love again.  I am ready for that next adventure. I can take the lessons that I learned from my relationship with JC and appreciate that I now know to always trust my own instinct (a post for another day!). I can finally see someone in front of me that I can imagine sharing life with.  I can imagine late night whispered conversations and quiet Sunday afternoons.  I don't know yet what will be or what these feelings mean but all that matters is that I finally feel at peace in my heart and looking forward.  Maybe it won't work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever..... xo 

05 July 2017

no words....

There are approximately 8 posts sitting here in my draft folder - partially written, thoughts all over the place.  They are about both wonderful & challenging snippets of my life that have happened over the past eight weeks.  The moments in them are happy, thankful, and contemplative, though at times also confused.  For one of the first times in my life, I have had writers block, or at least that is what I have self-diagnosed my inability to complete a written thought. I don't know how to explain it really - sometimes, when the words in my head are too many, sometimes there aren't enough, or I can't seem to get them out and then I lose focus.  I've had the worst pain in my neck since April and after a very lovely Reiki treatment, Sarah asked me if I've been holding something back, and the answer is yes I have words that are stuck in my throat.  I don't know where the best place is to start, except that my goal every day is simply to remain present so that is where I will attempt to begin.  Here & now.  What is on my mind and in my heart today? I shall go forward from here.  (My apologies in advance for any onslaught of completed posts).

We've just passed the midway point to the year and last night in yin, my mind went to reflecting on this.  Am I "living" my word for 2017? Am I in fact being courageous and stepping outside of my comfort zone? Am I crossing things off my 'forty in the year of 40' list? Am I looking at my vision board and manifesting what I want into my life? It's the check in point and I'm asking myself where I am at.  Seems the perfect place to pick up where I have left off in the past few months of writers block.  Have I been lacking courage by not actually allowing what I've been feeling to materialize into words? Until they are written, are they in fact true? 

The ironic thing to me is that over the last few weeks, when I have struggled to focus, I've had a few friends who have comment to me that I have inspired them.  For the life of me I can't see how.  To be completely honest, I sometimes lie on my mat each night and wonder how I got through the day. I can't even fathom how I have affected others in such a positive light.  There have been moments in the past few months where I felt like I was barely holding on, seeking inspiration more than I think giving it.  Perception is an interesting beast - where we see ourselves may not always equate to how others do.  

So here we are already in July and I spent some time with my "list" today making revisions to ensure that what I am including are things that challenge me, move me forward and are an example of my word for the year. OK, let's be honest some things are also completely random and just for fun but that is what life is about right?! To date, I've only crossed off 5 so I've got a bit of work to do.  But I can't stay stuck - I need to let go of these past few months of smog and jump back into my life.  It's ok to stumble, but you have to get back up.  So.... here I am, getting back up and to keep myself accountable I'm sharing my list with others (slightly revised from v1).  Here we go..... 



Yoga under the stars 
Chicago Architecture Boat Tour 
Ride on a motorcycle
Have something published 
Say I Love You 
Climb a mountain 
Visit a new province 
Sleep under the stars (in a tent!) 
Try Korean Food 
Learn proper Italian 
Go on a Yoga Retreat 
Watch Star Wars 
Go on an impromptu road trip 
Visit a Cider Mill for a tasting  
Learn to write my name in Calligraphy 
Learn how to curl my hair 
Take a roll of pictures with Dad's camera 
Ride in a helicopter 
Make a retirement plan  
Read Little Women
Open bubbly on a weeknight 
Hold a headstand & handstand for three full breaths 
Bungee jump/sky dive/zip line
Sew a dress for myself 
See live ballet/Cirque/Rockettes
Take a spa day 
Travel solo & stay in a hostel 
Go to a Drive-In movie 
Skinny Dip 
Do something that scares me
Host a dinner party & use my "good plates" 
Learn an instrument
Perform in front of people
Train for something  
Go on a picnic 
Ice Skate on an outdoor pond 
Get my arrow tattoo & finish Dad's
Try surfing 
Buy a car for myself
Attend a live outdoor concert

26 March 2017

the art of racing in the rain

Last night I went to celebrate the birthday of the first boy that stole my heart.  As we begin this year of 40, it is just the beginning of numerous parties and celebrations.  It was nice though, to see him and his family and friends from that part of my life.  Amazing how quickly 25 years can pass.  I do feel very grateful that, (spare 1 very abusive relationship,) I have stayed pretty great friends with every boy that I have dated.  Our loves are perhaps just moments in time, stops along a great path to get us to our ultimate love. I just think that once you share something so intimate as your heart with someone, there will always be a piece of you attached to each other.

My gift to Rich was a copy of my favourite book, The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein.  This book is written from the perspective of Enzo the dog, whose "human" was a race car driver and many of the lessons taught in the subtext of the book were given in the context of racing.  One of my favourites was "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." What we put out is what we receive back.  And there is no dishonour in losing, it is only in never trying.  Which is equatable to love - we cannot be afraid to love because we have a fear of it not working out.  If we never try, we will certainly never succeed or receive love.  "That which you manifest, is before you." We are the creators of our own destiny.  Life, like race car driving, isn't only about going fast or winning.  The importance of living well is staying present and enjoying each moment.  Racing in the rain is about balance, anticipation and perspective.  Rain is an obstacle, and we will always have obstacles in our lives but it doesn't mean that we have to stop racing, living, or loving.   My birthday wish to him was love and peace and the ability to stay present and enjoy every moment that life has to offer.  I am thankful that he loved me so much all those years ago. 

I have to say it was a lovely experience to get to hug my first love.  I don't think that many get to have that.  I am grateful to have had that heart experience all those years ago, at a time that I definitely wasn't ready to accept the love that he wanted to give me.  It overwhelmed me then, that someone could care so much about me.  As we enter this milestone year, I think it's natural that we get a bit more introspective and think about where we are in our lives, what we have and what we desire.  And that isn't necessarily a bad thing to step back and evaluate.  Hopefully by looking at all that we have to be grateful for, we can find satisfaction in our present state rather than always worry about the future or wish for what is to come.  Sometimes it is important to stand still. Being still is necessary before moving forward. Stillness allows us to be satisfied with our current state, with what we have and where we are on our journey.  Perhaps we all need a bit more stillness to be grateful and present.  Perhaps that these moments and reflections are not only the gifts I choose give to others, but that they are a gift to myself in the same moment as I learn and grow.  Perhaps the gift isn't in the receiving, but in the giving. 

23 March 2017

the luckiest....

Last night before bed I wrote two slips for the gratitude jar, one of which said that I was thankful for my dining room table.  It is 6 feet of solid wood, flanked by two long benches on either side.  As opposed to chairs, when you sit with others it actually causes you to be in closer proximity to them; to feel their energy, their vibrations. I recently thought of exchanging this table for something newer, fancier with pretty little chairs around it but I am so happy that I stuck with my gut on this one.  This table has water stains, scratches and a giant chunk out of one of the benches.  So needless to say it's perfect.  I've been so home focused the past few months - cleaning, purging and reorganizing.  I've been making my space more mine and it feels wonderful.  It's really just like me - cozy, comfortable, a little messy, eclectic and welcoming.  So many times in the past year I've contemplated moving to a smaller space since it is just me in there but I am so happy that I've chosen to stay.  

But back to my table.... Last night was "Craft Night" so the ladies were over and in typical fashion we brought out the food & wine and took our places in the dining room.  I glued a few things back together as we sat and caught up but no one else even reached for their supplies.  Everyone was content to sit around the table, sip Cab Sauv and eat wayyyyy too much cheese.  I can't even begin to recant all of the conversation but there were moments where we were laughing so hard that my head was actually resting on the table trying to catch breath.  I believe it could have been when we were trying to help Sandra figure out how to stand her ground in the boys-club of the banking world and Sarah's best advice when a client hit on her was to pretend that she had diarrhea. Admittedly probably not the best advice in the world but certainly more effective than mine of standing in Superwoman stance before a meeting. These girls have only come into my life over the past few years, since returning to Canada but my gosh have they become such a lovely part of my world.  I am so thankful.  

Last week Ash & Ne came over for Saturday night dinner & drinks and we never left the table. The entire evening we sat, ate, talked and opened bottle after bottle of wine.  I mean you know you've had too much when one of you (Ne) creates a special, secret facebook group where only the three of you are allowed! But here we were - NeNe I've known since her birth and so will always be a sister to me, Ash again I've only known a few years but has become so dear to me and the two of them only recent friends.   But sitting there all together it was as though the friendship had just always been.  That dining room table has hosted the Wilderness Girls, all of my family, Danah my ladybug, morning coffee with Julie, couples dinner parties and even romantic dinners for two. There has probably been every kind of food and beverage served on that surface.  Those around it have told endless stories, laughed, cried and cursed.  A part of each of these amazing circles of friends who I have somehow circled into my world have all sat on those benches and became a part of my home.  


Part of losing my father was gaining insight to the similarities between us that I wasn't really aware of while he was alive.  It was something I noted in his eulogy - that one of the best things about him was that wherever he went, he made a friend. And now, losing him, even my dad's friends reach out to me now to check in and make sure we are all ok.  Hearing from John last week really helped because my heart felt super heavy missing Dad.  Sometimes, like last night and on the drive in to work today, I can take a step back and see just how lucky I am for all the people who I carry in my heart.  I am so blessed.  I tend to make friends easily and I put a lot of effort into these relationships.  This poster sits next to my gratitude jar so I can read it daily - it perfectly sums up what I believe my life purpose to be, and that is to LOVE. I have many groups of friends from all times and areas of my life - some of which have now intertwined as well which makes me happy.  I am so blessed to have both the Rossi Posse and the Wilderness Girls, all who have been in my life since High School.  A few even from elementary school! We have bonds unlike any others and have literally seen each other through everything in life.  Love, heartbreak, marriage, divorce, children, infertility, career changes, new homes, losing parents... I have friends like Amanda whom I met playing travel softball at 15 and friends from University whose main contact is still penpal letters.  I have those who are newer friends that were made after returning to Canada - fellow Walkervillians and business owners in the 'hood. Craft Ladies. The Babes of WECHU. My strongest friendships are those within my own family, my sister and cousins and their children whose bond is forever unbreakable.  I am actually the luckiest! These people have all sat around that worn-in, comfortable dining room table and made their mark on my life and I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world.  My only hope is truly that at the end of my life, when I look back I can say that I Have Loved. And I hope that in whomever says my eulogy, their words include that "wherever she went, she made a friend." xo 

20 March 2017

spring


Well here we are ...Officially the Spring Equinox and the International Day of Happiness! That would seem to be a pretty good mix!  I just completed 108 sun salutations with my Moksha sangha and I am still feeling the love and energy of that crew.  My life has been about making space since the start of this year.  Space in my home, in my mind, in my body and most of all in my heart.  It's a time to open up and let things go and welcome new blossoms.  I've been feeling a mixture of hurt and anger for the past week because of one word in a sentence that I'm sure probably hasn't been given much of a second thought.  That said, today being a day of beginning, my intention is to release these thoughts and try my best to leave it behind me.  How lucky are we to have Spring and this beautiful reminder of all the possibility that lies ahead? 

Admittedly I am a pretty easy going gal - even faced with things of great pain or adversity, I usually find a way to come through with acceptance and optimism.  It take a lot for me to be upset or offended, but that said, when others take my simplicity & lightness as a pass to condescend it hurts my heart.  I am a smart, well-educated woman and I refuse to ever accept being spoken down to.  People have differing ways of thinking but that does not make one more important than the other.  There is no way that I have weathered all of these storms, picked myself up from darkness and carried through, without having the strength and self-knowledge to decide what is, in fact, best for me. I appreciate when someone is looking out for me, however I think it is the assumption behind these words which has hurt me.  I primarily do think with my heart first but my head is not far behind.  I've taken a lot of flack for loving people long after they have turned their back to me but that's ok.  Not a lot of people love the way that I do. Once you are in my heart, you are there forever.  I will hold your hand when you falter and I will hold you in my arms when you fall.  Words are important to me and so when they feel hurtful, it is disappointing.  For the past week, this word has been echoing in my head but standing here on the brink of this new season, I leave it behind me.  

Today, as the first day of Spring, we create intentions of what new beginnings we hope for and ask for the peace and strength to release where we are venturing from. I need to accept that we don't always get the opportunity to speak the words that we'd like to. The Spring Equinox is a time to honour yourself and your journey.  We spend a great deal of our lives running away from darkness, pain or sadness, when in fact we need these emotions to understand the complexity of light, happiness and gratitude.  We need Winter to have Spring, the mud to have the lotus. We are all on this same journey and today is a day to honour that.  All of these moments that we experience both together and on our own -  good & bad, beginnings & endings, chaos & peace.  With each movement that we took together tonight as a group, we fed off the energy of each other and pushed ourselves to welcome this new season as one.  No matter what, i always get to carry with me each lesson that I have learned and reminders of every path that has lead to me where I stand today.  On my mat, breathing strong and saluting that beautiful sun 108 times.  I felt so unbelievably strong and grounded tonight.  Even if often misunderstood, I am so very happy that I lead with heart and that I choose to allow it to fill with light. 


The rebirth of Spring is so much more anticipated than the other seasons because we come out of this time of cold, hibernation, and endings.  Today is our first day balanced equally between darkness and light. May we continue to strive for that balance in all areas of our lives and even between our heads and our hearts.  May we accept that not all words get to be spoken and that sometimes we forgive without an apology.  Every ending is truly a new beginning so as we let go, we also create space for the next adventure that lies ahead.  Happy Spring! xo