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 

01 March 2017

spread love...

In looking at my life, this quote pretty much sums it up.  I was asked why I write this blog when secretly I hope that no one I know is reading it.  The answer is simply to hope that if some stranger out there in wherever, stumbles up on this and finds words that they connect to - either those that are uplifting or even reading through the moments that are challenging.   I hope that as I sometimes share what seems to be a struggle, that if someone can read it and know that they aren't alone perhaps in what they feel then it may serve as a bit of a lift.  My goal is to put happiness, gratitude and positivity out into the universe because i do believe that we get back what we give out.  But (as much as I live in a world of rainbows & unicorns) I also know that there are going to be moments of struggle and change because that is how we grow.  Sometimes when we feel most alone is when we just need that simple connection to know that someone understands us, and that tomorrow is always another day.  For me, when I'm thinking through something I feel weighted down and as soon as I can put them into words it's as though that has been lifted.  

Today begins the 40 days of Lent - a time of sacrifice and reflection as we prepare for the one of the most important times in Catholicism, Easter.  I do tend to give up items that are a challenge as a way to cleanse my body however over the past few years I chose to not only focus on what was going into my mouth, but coming out of it as well.  So over the next few weeks, I will also send out 40 pieces of "happy" mail to friends and family thanking them for being a part of my life. I've cut zillions of little hearts to go in each envelope so that literally I'll be spreading love all over the gosh darn place! 

So here we are with an opportunity to reflect over these last few weeks of winter and begin to prepare to come out of hibernation as spring unfolds.  It's a time of rebirth and a time of extended light - all of which make me excited to see what lies ahead.  Over the past few days of struggling with some pretty dark thoughts, today I feel lighter just knowing that I have thought them through, felt them and now released them.  I accept what I cannot change and look ahead knowing that there must be something wonderful just beyond my reach.  I realize that I don't want someone who so swiftly will walk away from me without discussion - I want a partnership and that entails two imperfect people willing to talk things through, to see the other person's point of view, compromise when there is disagreement and forgive when there is hurt. All I know is I have learned so much in this past year and I feel as though my heart came alive again.  It's hard to believe that it was this time last year when JC and I began really talking again and though it certainly did not end up as I had hoped, I am a much better person for having loved him.  And in the end what matters most is that people leave us happier, stronger, better and loved.  So over the next 40 days take a moment and tell someone you love them or share with them a memory that you treasure and light up their day.  Put good into our world. xo