Saturday, June 30, 2007

Make it real. Make it happen.

A caterpillar spins its cocoon without conscious thought of why or when or how. Nature propels its spinning ways until, possibly out of sheer exhaustion, it falls asleep to dream about flying free of the cloying nature of its weave. When the time is right, its metamorphosis from one state to another is complete and a butterfly is born.

We are not the caterpillar, being transformed by forces of nature beyond our control. We are human beings, doing the things that put us in control, or out of control as the case may be, of our transformation. Often, laden with our self-limiting beliefs, we resist change like a cat resists taking a bath. We claw and spit our way into reverse action, spinning protective webs of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, in our desperate attempt to hold ourselves in place and ward off change. James Belasco and Ralph Stayer wrote in their 1994 best-selling book on organizational change, Flight of the Buffalo, "Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up."

When I was released from an abusive relationship it was a case of 'grow or die'. While in that relationship, I was the living, breathing, walking dead. I didn't resist change so much as give up on the possibility of change ever happening in my life because I could not see that I could have a life beyond the realm of my existence with 'him'. I could not see the end of the story without him in it. I had completely submerged my identity into his. Tied myself to him within the sticky cocoon of his lies and my own self-limiting beliefs that said, "I am no one without him." "He is all that I deserve." "It's all my fault." "He's right. I'm stupid."

I look back on the woman I was and wonder, "Who was she?" While I also wonder, "What on earth was she smoking?", I know that woman was me. I love her for the abused and battered woman she was. She was me, once upon a time. She is not me today. In that moment of release when the police walked in and arrested him, I knew I had to take a leap. The choice of staying with him was gone. Was I going to grow or die under the weight of blame and shame and sorrow and guilt that threatened to bury me alive? It was up to me.

I chose to grow and live. It wasn't a slow process. It was a moment in time. A choice to live the moment the police took him away and left me alone with the devastation of my life. In that moment of crisis I took an evolutionary leap into the void. I didn't know where I was going. I didn't know what I was going to or what I was going to do. But I knew I wanted to live. The rest was simple. BE committed to DO what it takes to HAVE what I want. To be free of the past, I knew I had to rethink my thinking. Brush up on my existence. Retool my perceptions and reclaim my human experience.

That is the way of change, of evolution, of revolution. It isn't a linear line moving predictably forward. It's a circling spiral rising up within us. Sometimes, we slip back, or halt along the way. Sometimes, we soar upwards, ascending through earthly matter outwards into the vastness of the universe, catching momentary glimpses of the greater truth that exists beyond our consciousness, out there in the universe amongst the glittering stars of our existence. In those moments we know the truth: We are creations of wonder. Divine reflections of the miracle of life. Children of God, of Buddha, Baha'ula, Mohammad. Whatever you call it, we are divine beings of spirits rising.

I awoke this morning, tired. Wondering what I would write. I turned on my computer. Made my coffee. Fed the dogs and sat down in front of my keyboard. The screen before me was blank. My mind felt almost as blank! I didn't want to write. Didn't want to figure out what I was going to say. I wanted to resist being part of a change that created words that had meaning for me and might or might not have meaning for eyes I could not see, somewhere out there in the delicate web of the Internet. I closed my eyes, took a breath and leaped. In that moment of suspension, I trusted the process of creation and trusted the creative process to appear.

That's life. Living in the moment, suspended between what was and what could be, existing in the now of creation, spinning dreams only we can weave. I have made a commitment with myself to write on this blog every day. Some days, my words flow. Some days they appear in sluggish protestation of the time of day, my tired state of mind or simply my resistance to creating value in my own life.

In my BE. DO. HAVE. frame of mind, I accept that change is a necessary part of living and I create the change I'm living. There is only one way to transform a blank screen into the written word and that is to let my thoughts flow out through my typing fingers. There is only one way to transform a dream into reality. Make it real and make it happen.

That's me. I'm making it real and making it happen by doing it from where I'm at, right now in this moment of creation. I'm doing it on purpose, purposefully doing what it takes to have what I want.

May your day be filled with blessings. May you spin your own dreams come true.

Friday, June 29, 2007

May you dance.

Summer was in full bloom last night as Ellie and I wandered the rolling plains of our favourite park. Wild flowers dotted the long prairie grasses with glorious interruptions of colour like confetti strewn across the golden carpet of a wedding. The wind tugged at my hair and tickled my face. In the north, dark clouds gathered on the horizon as Ellie pranced along in front of me, her nose on constant alert for new and enticing smells, her eyes continually scanning the grasses for cheeky gophers looking for a game of Chase.

I love this park. Love its rolling grasses, the Poplar trees that stand sentinel along the ridges, leaning together against the wind, their leaves whispering with a thousand stories as they give each other support to withstand time and gravity so they can stand up tall. I love the silence. The quiet. The solitude. It is a vast place (over 280 acres) of rolling hills and dales and grassy knolls and plains. Wildlife roam throughout its spaces, coyote, deer, porcupine, the ubiquitous gopher, skunks, fox, yet somehow we seem to be able to find space for each of us without interfering in the one another's journey.

As I crested a hill last night I faced into the wind and felt its cool breath upon my skin. I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms to either side and began to turn. I felt the wind shift. No longer cool upon my face, it picked up my hair and cast it like rune stones around my head. I breathed and let my feet carry me through the grasses as I spun a silent dance of praise for the beauty of the world around me.

I breathed in the air. I could feel the rain gathering. The denseness of the air closing in. I opened my eyes. In front of me, upon the undulating ridge that crept along the horizon, a giant purple arc danced upon the wind. I gasped in surprise. The arc bounced up into the air like a giant upside down smile, hung suspended upon the wind, and then collapsed earthwards. From where I stood, I couldn't see if it was tethered to the ground or if a human held it in place. I could only witness its constant struggle to fill itself up with air before collapsing once again from sight.

Ellie bounded to my side. Barked in mad exasperation at this apparition that did not make sense to her. I laughed and told her we must investigate.

Boldly I walked towards the purple ribbon of colour while Ellie pranced warily by my side, her hackles raised, her body alert to any danger.

As we got closer I saw a man holding the ropes as the purple rainbow arced into the sky. He let it fill with air and then gave it a mighty shake before quickly pulling it back to the ground. This time, when it landed, he quickly gathered up the ropes and began to roll the purple fabric up.

Ellie was much too eager to run ahead and get entangled in the purple mess now that she could see it wasn't a threat. I made her sit and stay while I approached.

"I was hoping to watch you fly," I said to the jean clad stranger who was by now struggling to fold the fabric into a big white envelope-like enclosure.

"Not a good day for para-sailing," he replied.

"Oh, I would have thought with all this wind it would be perfect."

"It's only a good day for flying when the wind is," and he held out his left arm to the east and swept it westward along the escarpment to about a 90 degree angle. "Here to here."

"But," he continued as he packed up the final ropes of his parasail. "It's a perfect day for airing and drying it out, and," he paused momentarily before adding with a smile. "Dancing." He pointed to the north where black clouds gathered. "Rain's coming." And he bid me good-bye as he wandered down the trail that led to the parking lot below, the big white bag bouncing against his back.

I stood and let my eyes follow the line his arm had etched upon the horizon just moments before.

I thought about his words as Ellie, tired of sitting and waiting for me to return to my senses and let her roam, came gambolling over.

Were there really good and not so good days for flying?

I thought about flying free. Of soaring. Of letting go.

I thought about the winds of change. Of time’s journey away from that place from which I’d been released four years ago.

The journey hasn’t always been one of flying free. It has been one of breathing into the wind and letting it move through me and within me. Of catching my breath, and filling my sails as I measured the journey before me. No matter the direction of the wind, it was up to me to continue taking one step in front of the other. It was up to me to dance.

Sometimes, the wind is not in the right direction for soaring free. Some days, it feels as if there’s not even enough wind to hold me up.

Sometimes, the wind is a gentle breeze, a breath of fresh air blowing the cobwebs from my mind. Other days, It’s a ferocious gale forcing the depths of memory to crash into my mind, dragging the deep and hidden sorrows hidden within me to the surface. Sometimes, it’s just an angry storm churning up the sands of time into rolling waves rushing to be freed upon the shores of memory. And at times, it is a balmy whisper soothing my troubled soul, easing the burdens of memory until I am strong enough, safe enough, stable enough to hear the call of time passing, freedom rising.

There have been times during the past four years, that grief crashed into me. It ripped through me. Tumultuous waves of sorrow frothing and foaming as they raced to be freed from deep within me. At times I have fought my tears. Struggled to tame their unruly progress. Helplessly flailed against their demands to be free. At times, my tears have been a gentle rain nourishing my heart and mind, reviving me, restoring me, replenishing me. No matter the direction from which my tears flow, I cannot control the wind. I can only set my sails or rig my craft to keep me safe. Sometimes, I can only ride out the wind. Anchored in a safe harbour, rolling up and down with each swell, lulled into sleep by the push and pull of the waves moving back and forth within me, I ride out the storm until it is safe once again to venture forth without fear.

Healing can be a very complicated process ... I can keep it from happening, but I can't make it happen.

Some days are not very good days for soaring. But they're always perfect for letting go.

Some days, to heal, I cry. Some days, I laugh. I fly. I fall to the ground. But always I can dance.

Last night was a perfect time for dancing.

As the wind picked up and the clouds rolled in, I stood upon a hilltop, the city spread out beneath my feet, the mountains a dark and brooding dragon stretched out along the western horizon. In joyful surrender, I spun about, my arms flung wide, my laughter a joyous song awakening the world around me to the beauty of my life today. And as I danced the rain came down. Cool, refreshing, rain. It washed away the dust, the turmoil, the noise and freed my senses to the ions dancing upon the air.

Last night I danced, the pooch ran amongst the prairie grasses in search of a dream of one day capturing a gopher and the rain came down.

Life is a continuous journey of tears and laughter, sorrow and joy. No matter the weather, no matter the winds, I am free to dance.

What a glorious place to be!

May your day be filled with tears and laughter. With energy and strength. And may you dance.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Letting go of memory to do it My Way!

Last night, Alexis (my eldest daughter) and I got in a tiff. She commented that she had picked up an application form for a very important singing competition and never filled it out. My question "why not?" was the starting point of an extremely heated discussion about how I'm trying to tell her how to live her life.

In the end, however, I realized that our argument was not about what was said. My participation was based on my fears. My trepidations. My anxiety around disagreement.

My father was an angry man. Arguments in our house were fierce, loud and scary. My mother would cry, my father would yell and my sister and I would hide in our bedroom. I would hold her and whisper stories in her ear while outside our room WW3 unfolded.

One of my biggest fears around anger is that if I get angry, I'll be just like my dad -- I'll never stop being angry. Rather than staying connected to the conversation that is, I disconnect from the moment and scurry back to the past of what was. I let go of my truth and cower beneath my childhood fears. In my childish mind, Disagreement does not equal rejection becomes a lie. To that five year old inside me, Disagreement is synonymous with rejection -- one or both of my parents would inevitably threaten to leave during the course of every argument. To run away and leave us all alone.

As I open up to my truth, to my accountability for myself, I continue to unearth childhood drama's and fears. As I unearth them, it is my responsibility to throw them into the junkyard where discarded memories that cause me pain, disrupt my peace of mind and disavow my truth today are laid to rest. There was a time when my 'know it all' mind would say, "Louise, you should be over that by now. Drop it!" What I've come to realize with my 'knowing mind' is that getting 'over it' is not the purpose of remembering. Letting it rest in peace so that I can move with grace and ease beyond it, is.

Memory can be an angst riddled space where forgotten landmines threaten the harmony of each moment. I can't walk away from my memory. I can't forget it. It's with me, it's a part of me -- and memory has a wonderful purpose of keeping me connected to the world today. It is the warp and weave that has created my beautiful life today. I can however, disable memory's power to blow up my happiness today. I can step on memories that do not lie quietly in the past and blow them up! I can take away their power to trip me up with their annoying insistence that they are right to keep me trapped in fear by stepping into my truth -- I am a fearless woman living the life of her dreams when I leap into the moment free and clear of memory's thrall. The past is just the past. Nothing other than a memory -- and I fearlessly choose how memory claims my right to think and act and be clear today. I choose how I remember the past and I choose how I react to memory's call. When memory doesn't serve me well, I choose to claim my right to lovingly face myself in the mirror today and say -- The past does not create my life today. I do.

The memory of my parent's fights is not my truth today. When Alexis and I found that point of disagreement last night, I scurried into my self-defeating game of acting arrogant and superior. I hid behind my judgements, attempted to get her before she got me and acted out one of my core tapes -- I'm not good enough. My monkey mind leaped into the opportunity to disembowel my peace of mind as I blindly turned my back on what I know to be true and tumbled into fear.

The argument lasted about half an hour. At one point Alexis started laughing. "We're arguing about a two second conversation mum. It's not worth it." I tried hard to resist her laughter. I fought hard to keep myself from moving from my self-righteous perch into loving acceptance of our human state, and in the end, I surrendered.

She's right. A two second comment was disrupting my enjoyment of having spent an evening with her and her sister at a performance of Mama Mia! I was holding myself pinioned to pain rather than giving into the joy of my daughter's sharing of her dreams and aspirations, and her fears, about her future.

I don't know what is best for her future. I don't know what she should, could, will do. At one point, after the heat had flared out and we had settled back into harmonious conversation, she mentioned she wasn't sure what she should do with her talent, was it what she wanted to do in life? I commented that she might think about working with the talent she knows she's got rather than go searching for new ones. "Good point," she said.

And we continued to laugh and chatter about her dreams, her fears and my insistence that she live life my way.

She never will -- live it my way. She can't. My way is only suitable for my life. She has to find her own way, her own path, her own dreams. As I watch her stand at the edge, her wings vibrating, stretching, aching to expand, a part of me wants to sneak up behind her and shove her off the cliff. I know she'll soar. But my knowing makes no difference in her life. She has to find her own courage to leap. To let go of gravity and fly free of that place where fear keeps her tethered to the voice inside her that whispers with its irritating litany of self-doubt and hesitation.

Like me, she must learn to fly free of that scrambles around inside her head threatening to hold her back lest she fall. She must learn to leap in the right now before her as she builds her wings inflight.

Last night my fear of being hurt by anger held me back from lovingly hearing my daughter share her dreams and trepidations. Today, I'm flying free of my fear of anger as I lovingly embrace my truth and step free of yesterday. Anger doesn't cause arguments. Not listening with an open heart and mind does. Listening with one ear cocked on yesterday's voices and one foot dragging through the dirt of the past does.

Last night, I stepped back from my truth today and trapped myself momentarily in the murky waters of memory. Last night I escaped into self-defeating games that limit my ability to be present. In love, I surrender and accept myself, exactly the way I am. I am not the hammer pounding truth into my daughter's mind so that she conforms to 'my way'. I am the mother lovingly giving my child room to grow into her beauty, her song, her fearless anthem of joy -- her way.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beginning from where I'm at

Norman Vincent Peale (1898- 1993) is considered by many to be the grandfather of positive thinking. A preacher and a very positive man, Peale said, "The first step is to fill your life with a positive faith that will help you through anything. The second is to begin where you are."

Pick a goal, any goal and begin where you're at. Don't keep looking for that time and place where the stars align, your big toe is in step with your little one, your Great Aunt Bertha leaves you that inheritance or the garbage starts taking itself out. Begin where you're at. Today. Right now. In this moment.

For me, that means not loving my body when I'm 30 lbs lighter. It means loving my body today. Exactly the way I am and taking care of myself today by doing the right thing now. Losing 30 lbs is not important to me tomorrow. It's important that I begin today.

It means not waiting to finish writing my next book when I'm 'ready'. I'm ready right now.

Do it now.

Beginning from where I'm at, I take an inventory of my situation and map out my path, lining the way with steps that take me towards my goal so that I stay on the forward path and not get swept up on the away from slide.

For my book, my inventory, in this moment, is:

1. I have a working title -- Victor not Victim: Living in the joy of now.

2. I have the chapters roughly sketched out. I have written out the purpose of the book, its theme and how its put together.

3. I have gathered reference material for it, including many quotes I want to use to highlight the stories.

4. I have outlined my theme -- becoming the victor in the story of your lifetime -- with 8 clear and easy-to-follow steps that form the backbone of the book.


5. I have given myself a deadline -- and a schedule on how to complete it by my deadline.

Not bad! In looking at it in the now I realize how much more I've got done than I had imagined. For the next 3 months, my goal is to work 2 hours a day on my book. As I have a pretty busy schedule, it's up to me to ensure I use my time wisely. If I'm not, then I am not being honest with myself -- and honesty is a cornerstone of my personal integrity. If I'm slipping then I need to ask myself -- does not working on my book create more of what I want in my life or less? And then I must do the right thing. It's up to me.

Beginning from where I'm at is an essential ingredient of living life as a victor. Letting go of someday thinking is critical if I am to achieve my dreams and live every day with integrity, grace and ease. One of the greatest victor's of all time, Anne Frank, wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Beginning from where I'm at, I may not have the power to change the world, but I can improve my corner of the world and thus inspire a world of change. I can conspire with myself to create the beautiful life of my dreams, beginning from where I'm at.

Take a look around you. Where are you at? What's working -- and what's not working in your life today. Are you sitting around waiting for someday to appear upon the rosy horizon of a new day dawning when you magically have the powers to make your dreams come true? Are you living in anticipation of one day having every thing you need to make it all happen. Alex Fayle ( writes, "Procrastination is often based on fear. If we don't act, we let fear control our lives."

Are you living a fearful life? Are you living in fear of today all the while waiting for someday to appear when you're over it? Get it before it gets you and stops you dead in your tracks with the beautiful life you deserve a distant memory of a dream never come true.

Someday doesn't exist. One day will never appear. This is the moment you've got. This is where you're at. It may not be where you imagined, but it is what you have created in your life today. if fear is intimidating you, meet it, greet it, embrace it and overwhelm it with your commitment to living life fearlessly. As Alcoholics Anonymous suggest in the 4th step -- take a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself. Where are you at?

Ask yourself the question. What do I like about my life today. Give yourself 20 minutes (or more) to write about your life today. Find out where you're at, and then begin to live your life as it is, not as you want it to be. In the process, weed out the things that don't work for you, and become accountable for what does. Become accountable for your dreams and aspirations. Get serious with your life today, right now, and live it up!

This is your one and only life. It's up to you how you live it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Living it on purpose

Last night I gave a presentation in Banff on my experience of having moved from Victim to Victor in my life. I love it when I feel I'm doing it on purpose. When I am in the flow of life, moving gracefully and with ease through each moment. At the end of my presentation several people came up to me and thanked me for having provided them insight, and inspiration. For me, those are words of joy. My purpose is: to touch hearts and open minds to set spirits free. When I inspire people to check out the other side of their comfort zones, to explore the border zones that separate their metaphysical being from reality, then I am on purpose, and loving myself, my life and everyone in it.

After the presentation, I went for a walk around the townsite, revelling in the crisp mountain air, the soaring peaks towering above and the quiet charm of Banff. I walked past a friendly looking pub and decided to take myself out for dinner. The bar was crowded, filled with tourists and locals enjoying companionship and laughter. The hostess asked if I wanted to sit in the bar and I declined. "I'd prefer something quieter," I told her and she led me to a corner table at a window that looked out at the mountainside across the street where pine trees marched up its spine in silent solidarity. Summer solstice has just passed and darkness does not descend in these northern climbs until late into the evening, not much before midnight. I sat and sipped a glass of wine, breathed deeply and read more of the book I mentioned the other day, The Energy of Money, by Dr. Maria Nemeth. Great book!

One of the exercises Dr. Nemeth gives is to write your 'money autobiography'. She lists 20 questions and asks you to answer them honestly, completely. To let yourself be surprised, and edified by your responses. Answering these questions truthfully and lovingly, she says, will give you the tools and power to 'be willing' to create the changes necessary to ensure you use the energy of money effectively in your life.

I sat and read and answered the questions. It is a powerful exercise. She asks you to think about your first memory of money -- when did you learn about it, what did you learn, who was it from? I started writing about my experience and was surprised by my answer. My first money memory is about being told my father lost a case of beer and $20 when I was born because I was not a boy and how my mother was disappointed I wasn't born December 8, the Day of the Immaculate Conception but rather, 2 minutes later on December 9. Subconsciously I've always equated that memory with not being good enough, not being enough, costing too much and to being a disappointment and purposefully difficult! In my family, the two stories were always told laughingly -- but subconsciously the words wormed their way into my psyche as I worried a flap of memory around them protecting myself from their ragged edges like an oyster engulfing a grain of sand with a flap of skin. Only difference is, the memory didn't form a pearl of wisdom within me, it created a lie that I have subconsciously held onto all these years. I am unworthy.

So much of my thinking eddies up from that pool of darkness -- the feelings of being unworthy, less than, not good enough. Dr. Nemeth calls it Monkey Mind. Those thoughts that eat away at clarity, disturbing our ability to take authentic action that will lead us to living our life's intentions.

Last night I tapped into the power of doing it on purpose and knew the freedom of being exactly in the moment where I'm meant to be. Today, my world is unfolding with all the beauty and serenity and joy each moment can hold as it burbles like a brook dancing under the sun.

This morning, I awoke, went down to the restaurant, sat by a window over looking the bright colourful gardens, the sun a streak of light dancing earthward from the mountain tops beyond, across the multi-hued rainbow of wild flowers strewn across the lawn and onto my face and arm. I felt like the Cheshire cat, the warmth of the sun lulling me into a restful place where everything felt right in my world as I sat looking out at the world and revelling in its beauty.

When I returned to the city I took Ellie for a walk at her favourite park, a vast rolling expanse of hills that stretch out along the northern edge of the city. The air was fresh and clear. A breeze rustled through the prairie grasses, the leaves of the trees whispered the stories they've gathered from the winds passing through their branches. Ellie pranced and raced about in the sunshine, her tail a swishing metronome of joy as she darted through the long grasses chasing new and enticing smells, following the scent of some long forgotten gopher's journey. I wandered behind her, the air tickling my skin, my heart at ease, my mind at peace, in love with my world and everything and everyone in it. I don't know what tomorrow may bring but in this moment I am content, confident that I am living my purpose, exuberantly and fearlessly.

What a joyous day to be alive, living it on purpose!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Someday Syndrome

Three years ago when my daughters and I moved into this house I put a rack by the front door for their shoes. The rack didn't seem to have enough space so after a few months I added two wicker baskets -- one for shoes, one for dog paraphernalia. I never liked the look of the rack -- the front hallway opens into the living room and the rack is visible. It always looked cluttered and messy, the shoes a constant jumble. I also never liked the fact my daughters invariably missed the rack and the baskets. For some reason they seem to prefer leaving their shoes strewn across the floor...

The shoe mess has been a constant area of tension between us. I would ask them, politely, to please ensure their shoes made the shelves of the rack. The shoes would be in the baskets, including the dog one, and on the racks -- for a few days -- until like an elastic waistband expanding after a big dinner, the shoes inevitably slipped out onto the floor, blocking easy access to the door, littering the area and irritating my mind in their constant jumbled disarray.

Sometimes, I'd try more forceful language to impress upon my daughters the effects of their mis-behaviour. "If these shoes do not land on the shelves within 10 minutes they will be put in a black garbage back and stored in the basement."

Now, I must mention that when the girls were little we had one occasion where my black garbage bag threat materialized -- in a frenzy of anger, I swooped into their playroom, my high horse galloping, swept up their toys with the ease of a polo player striking his mallet at the ball and threw the toys into garbage bags. As I swooped, I swore, my daughters cried. "I've asked you a million times to clean up your toys. You knew I was going to do this. I've warned you, yada yada yada." At one point my eldest daughter, who would have been around 8 at the time, stood in front of me, hands on her hips, her cheeks wet with tears, her voice a shrill little quiver and said, "Mummy. Children learn by the example their parents set and right now you're not setting a very good example." I hate it when my children are more mature than me but her words barely dented my shield of righteous holy anger as I picked up one more teddy bear and threw it into the bag. "I know that. But right now, I don't care. This just feels good!"

Needless to say, my childish behaviour that day has stuck with them and me, though memory has helped us laugh at the Fiasco of the Black Garbage Bags. You see, to make matters worse, I had promised to return a bag of toys for every week they kept the room clean (not a hard task given there weren't a lot of toys left in the room). However, as I accidentally gave away two of the four bags to a goodwill society collecting for charity -- it proved to be impossible.

And thus was born the Someday Syndrome in my house.

Someday my daughters will put their shoes where they belong.

Someday I'll figure out what I'm doing and all my answers will appear.

Someday I'll undo what I've done and make amends.

Someday I'll forgive. Someday I'll apologize. Someday I'll say I'll get over it.

Someday my prince will come.

Well, I'm here to tell you, Someday never comes. It's as ethereal as a ghost. As impossible as corralling a cloud. Someday doesn't exist.

Right now, today. That's what we've got. Right now, in this moment, that's where I'm at.

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to IKEA and purchased a beautiful wooden shoe rack with a matching hat and coat (in our case scarf) rack. I put it together yesterday. Later on a friend came over for dinner and helped me hang the scarf rack.

Today, my front hallway is a riot of colour, design and neatness! The girls shoes are neatly stored in the cubbyholes, bright, multi-coloured scarves hang from the hooks and the one basket with the dog paraphernalia has only dog paraphernalia in it!

Will my daughters pick up their shoes and put them where they belong? I can only pray! And believe that with the orderliness and beauty of the front hall they will be inspired to support me in my efforts to keep our home a place of calmness and refuge. A place where beauty surrounds us in every corner and where peace of mind reigns.

Yesterday, I gave up on someday figuring out what to do about the front hall, and did it. My daughter and I spent a couple of hours wandering about one of our favourite stores, chatting about life, her career, her relationship with her father, our dreams. I came home and spent a joyful couple of hours putting the pieces together and can now sit back and enjoy the results.

Will they always put their shoes away? Don't know. But I do know that by getting rid of the unsightly shoe rack the sight of which constantly grated on my nerves, creating discord in my thinking every time I passed by, I have claimed my peace of mind. And, I also know that I will prefer putting any recalcitrant shoes that escape to the floor into the cubbyholes rather than throwing them onto the shelves of a rack that never looked good in the first place! I will enjoy knowing that regardless of what they are doing, I'm creating serenity in that corner of my world just by putting in place the tools I need to give me peace of mind.

Someday arrived yesterday. Today, someday does not exist. There's only right now. What are you doing with your time? Are you waiting on someday for order to arrive, or are you creating clarity out of the chaos, sorting through the flotsam of your life, rescuing the things you need on your journey, and leaving the rest to drift away on the waters flowing by?

Where's your mind? Trying to make sense of the past, or waiting for the future to bring you to your senses?

Stop. Look. Listen.

The moment is calling. Jettison someday and get into the act of being in the now where life is happening just for you.

And now, I must go create harmony around my desk. All those papers and files I've been promising myself I'll sort through... someday. Well, someday is now! Time to get busy cleaning up my act!

In peace and harmony,


P.S. -- I will be in Banff tonight giving a presentation. I won't have a chance to update my blog until tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Studying The Energy of Money

Yesterday I started a course based on the excellent and powerful book "The Energy of Money" by Dr. Maria Nemeth. There were about 30 people in the class, ranging from their 20s to 60s. A diverse group of varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds with a shared commitment to working on our relationship with money. I believe this work will have a profound effect on my life.

Joseph Campbell said, "Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life's possibilities". One of the first exercises in "The Energy of Money"is to take a dollar bill (for those of us in Canada it would have to be a five dollar bill) and to hold it for a moment. Imagine where this bill has been, whose hands its crossed and what they used it for. Think about the people who will hold it in the future, what they will use it for. It could be used by a single-mother of a small sick child who must buy medicine. It could pay for the taxi ride of an entrepreneur about to close a deal that will employ hundreds of people. It could be part of the down-payment on a car, a first home, a new instrument for a budding musician. There is energy in this bill. Feel it. Think about the energy flowing from your hands into many people's lives.

Money has powerful energy and our relationship with it determines how its energy affects us. For me, I've never had a healthy relationship with money. Growing up, what I learned about money was based on my mother's and father's arguments. Money = fighting. It equated to tears and yelling, to scarcity and confusion. There was never enough, and what there was, was to be spent as quickly as possible. Money was a means to and end. It was used to express love. It often came wrapped up in an apology. Money was not spoken about. Only yelled over. Mostly I avoid dealing with money -- and how I do one thing is a reflection of how I do all things.

I've been working on cleaning up my act around my emotional intelligence. It's time to smarten up my beliefs around money. And my physical being! But that's another story.

I also learned some vital dating information! Big tippers are the best lovers. I never knew that! Neither did the woman beside me. Where have we been for all those years of the dating game?

The book talks about six primary forms of energy:

Physical vitality
Support of friends

Nemeth attests that we use these forms of energy to energize our goals, "to help them across the Border between metaphysical reality and physical reality. When we are "doing what we said we would do -- with ease," then we have succeeded in using all forms of energy effectively. She goes on to say that many of us are successful in doing what we said we would, it's the 'with ease' part we often miss. She believes phrases such as, "No pain, No gain" hinder our ability to accept that success can be easy, graceful, enjoyable.

Interesting thinking. Powerful energy.

In the three hours yesterday I came away thirsting to know more, do more, be more confident around the energy of money. Like Nemeth suggests, I want to give myself Breathing Room to achieve my goals with ease. I want to not trade my dreams in for the illusion of security. I want to venture forth on my hero's path confident, energized and excited about the limitless possibilities of my life.

Helen Keller, blind and deaf from the time she was nineteen months old said, "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposures. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Today, I value this daring adventure. I am no longer focussing on getting rid of my fears and instead, focus on materializing my dreams. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone into the discomfort of travelling freely on my hero's path. I am willing for my life to be easier.

We are designed to prosper. We are designed to succeed. We are designed to take the hero's journey inward towards our greatest potential. Inward to that potent place where everything is possible and ease abounds.

The result of our experiences are our beliefs. When we replace them with better ideas, we shift our beliefs.

I am shifting my beliefs around money. Willingly moving into that place where ease abounds and I am at ease with the energy of money and my power to create the life of my dreams with ease and grace.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

She's a Star!

When Alexis, my eldest daughter, was born, she had a sweet little cry which she seldom used. As she grew, that little cry turned into an ear piercing cacophony that she knew how to use to express her displeasure. It sometimes seemed impossible that such a loud noise could emanate from such a tiny body!

I detested soothers. Loathed the idea of stuffing my daughters' cries back into their bodies with the insertion of a plastic tube designed to shut them up. In my belief, babies cry for a reason. It was my job as the mother to find loving ways to ease their tears. It was my responsibility to understand the source of their discomfort so that they could learn to trust their emotions and their right to express them, and to learn to trust me to turn up when they needed me. Perhaps it was having had the freedom to cry out loud as a child that Alexis has turned her voice to singing out loud and clear as an adult.

Last night she competed in a singing competition. Over the past five weeks at Cowboy's, a well-known downtown nightclub, dozens of performers have sung their hearts out in an effort to claim the right to sing in the enormous canvas tent of Cowboy's at the Calgary Stampede. On stage last night, four young women competed. The fifth contestant, a young man, dropped out prior to the show. The room was crowded with supporters and the normal, "It's Friday night at Cowboy's" crowd, "let's go have a foot-stomping, hootin' time!"

We were about 20 in Alexis' fan club. Mostly her friends except for we four 'elders'. In a room filled with twenty-somethings anything over 30 felt ancient and believe me, I felt older than anybody there! But it didn't deter us. Along with my daughter Liseanne and Alexis' boyfriend, my sister, and a couple of friends who love to hear Alexis sing, we stood and cheered with her friends, our enthusiasm a palpable voice of support.

What a gift to watch my daughter, that tiny little bundle of squirming, squealing, energy who arrived into my life 21 years ago last week, stand on the stage and belt out her two numbers. She sang with passion. Clarity. Fervour. She was a star.

Alexis' singing is always a lesson for me. When she sings, nothing stands between her and passion. Nothing stops her from giving it her best, her all, her rapt and utter attention. She is one with her song. One with her voice. She is the music that rises out of her into the world in such sweet, pure notes of joy.

That's how life is meant to be lived. At one with the moment. In harmony with every element of our being as we commit, without reservation, to passionately being the best that we can be as we create a world of beauty with our vibrant songs of joy.

Last night Alexis stood on stage and sang her heart out. She's not a large woman, in fact, she's very petite. But standing up there, belting out her songs, she filled up all the space there was and shone brighter than the lights shining down on her. Her voice rose above the constant chatter and laughter of the crowd as people stopped talking and started listening. Standing in the middle of the stage, her eyes closed as she reached deep into the recesses of her soul, her passionate rendition of Son of a Preacher Man stole the noise from the room and filled it with the vibrant chords of her beautiful soprano.

When the votes were counted the news surprised no one. She won. She'll be performing next Friday night again in the Grand Finale, vying for the right to sing at the Stampede. Whether or not she wins is irrelevant. She's already won just by entering and giving it her best. After she came down from the stage last night, she came over to me, gave me a hug and said proudly, "I did it."

She's right. She did it. Prior to the show she was ambivalent about performing. She's always sung, but has shied away from using her voice as the powerful force she owns to reach into people's hearts and open their minds to the power within. Last night she claimed her place at Centre Stage. Claimed her right to be the centre of attraction in her very own life and in that act, stated unequivocally, I am a strong and peaceful woman, capable of using my voice to help other's find their right to be the best that they can be at whatever they are doing.

She's inspired me to keep writing. Keep speaking up so that my voice can be heard above the drone of life moving on without sense of direction as to where its going. She's inspired me to continue being the light in my life, shining the way for others to follow. Along with her sister, Liseanne, who is equally as impassioned in helping people find their voices through the wise and steady focus of her talents, Alexis' star is guiding me to being the best me I can be!

I am blessed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Here's to life. Alive and Dreaming

Remember when you were little and anything seemed possible and everything felt like a big deal? Remember when time took forever to arrive and ended way too soon?

When I was a little girl I filled my time with dreams and dreaming. With thoughts of all that I could do and be and accomplish when I was all grown up and living in time with my heart beat pounding out my fear of never having enough time to do it all. My dreams were filled with all that I could do. With all that I would be. With everything that was possible.

And then I got 'all growed up' and my fear of living with no strings attached pounded out my dreams. Flattened them into the dust of days gone by as I slid into the days of one after another. That place where I was stuck at first base waiting for someone else to hit the ball so that I could run home all the while fearing I'd be struck out. That place where monotony droned and I lived silently between the spaces lining my book of dreams unlived waiting to leap off the page if only I would let go of the comma, and leap into the question of What if... what if my dreams could come true. What if I was the creator of my destiny. What if anything was possible if only I would take action to give my castles in the air a solid foundation in reality.

Most of my life I feared dreaming. I feared taking responsibility for my dreams. Of turning up for me without fear that I will fail, or somehow sabotage my success, or undermine my accomplishments. I feared making concrete those ephemeral wisps of images of what was possible in my life. Those secret yearnings that slipped through the night and skittered quickly into the darkness the moment the light came on. I feared dreaming big. Dreaming large. Dreaming in living colour. I feared I was unworthy, undeserving, unbelievable.

And in my fear I yearned. For more. More love. More happiness. More passion. I ached for arms that held me tenderly when they were gone. For words to unlock the secret of life I knew was waiting for me somewhere, out there if only I would let go of what could be when I stepped into living my life on the other side of my comfort zone in that place where more existed. More life. More feeling. More understanding. More colour. More space. More me.

I thought the truth was, my dreams were childish remnants destined to live on the shelf of yesterday like a tattered one eyed teddy bear long forgotten in the journey from childhood. And now I know the truth. My fear of dreaming was fed by the lies buried deep within the past when I was too young to understand the messengers weren't telling me to limit my life, they were simply acting out their fears of what was true for their lives. In my childish belief that they knew everything there was about me and that their words held the truth of my future, I embraced their beliefs as mine.

Truth is, no one else knows my truth. No one else controls my destiny. Just as I do not hold someone else's truth or what is true for their lives. What is true for me, like our fingerprints, is unique to each of us. It's embedded in our DNA. A specific combination of molecules and atoms, adding up to one clear, irrefutable fact: We are each unique.

Long ago I gave into the fear of dreaming and slipped into the shadow of living life from behind the curtain of my fear. Life is too precious to travel only in darkness. Life is meant to be lived in the light of dreaming. Full. Round. Technicolored dreams making possible all that I know I can be when I live fearlessly, passionately, alive and dreaming, being my one unique self.

Here's to living fired up by the volcano of life exploding with opportunities bursting into living colour.

Here's to living with passionate disregard to the fears that would hold us back from being the miraculous, amazing, awesome and unique creations of our dreams.

Here's to life on the other side of our comfort zones where more exists than we could ever imagine.

Here's to imagining anything is possible and knowing it's true.

Here's to sliding exuberantly through first base, anticipating the home run, feet exploding across the turf, hair flying, arms flailing, legs pumping, heart pounding, breath bursting through our lungs as we fling ourselves across the plate joyfully screaming, Home Free!

Here's to life on the other side of fear where dreams come true!

Here's to You and Me!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Time passes. Love heals.

Time. It waits for no man. Nor woman. Time. It heals all wounds. Softens all blows.

I cannot hold it in my arms. I cannot stop its inevitable course. I can only journey with it from this moment to the next. I cannot change time passing. I can change how I pass through time.

Time. When in an abusive relationship, time was my foe. It passed in relentless pursuit of itself, while I stood still, locked into the macabre dance of his sinuously veiled truths reflected in the contortions of his lies sifting through the hourglass of time, burying me alive. With him, time passed. Heavy. Ponderous. Dark. Angry waves crashing against the once impenetrable fortress of my psyche, eroding my foundation, peeling back my flesh to expose the soft underbelly of my dreams until I stood, alone. Lost in time.

With him, time passed, but the pain endured. Each moment a continuation of the last. Each second weighing me down until I could not rise above the nightmare of my happily ever after dreams distorted in the mirror of the living nightmare of the truth that I was dying. Time passed and I stayed trapped in silence. A victim of my fear that I could never be more than the silent witness of this living death with him. And then time stood still.

And in that moment. I was set free.

It was time.Time to pick up the pieces of my self. Time to discard the horror of his lies. Time to turn up for me. Without him and his lies.

Without him, time is my ally. Time passes, and as it moves it washes through me like waves rippling upon the sands, gentling caressing my wounded spirit, setting my heart free to break wide open in love. Time supports me. It moves through me and under me and over me and in me on gentle wings of love. Time encompasses me with its melodious song as I learn to dance to the gentle tattoo of my heart beating freely in time away from the constraints of what was into what truly is.

At the time of my release from the nightmare that was my life with him, I was numb. Every moment filled with tears. The pain of what was and what I could not yet believe would never be again pummelling me with its incessant questions of what happened to me? At the time of my release, I feared I would never find the missing pieces of my self. I feared I would never find myself in time to stop the bleeding of my heart.

In time, I found my answers. In time, I found myself.

My journey through time away from him began on May 21, 2003. Since that date, I have never spoken to him, seen him or tried to contact him. Other than the one time while he was on parole when he jumped out at me from the dark of a tree he was hiding beneath, I have had no contact with him. What a gift of time!

No contact has been my life support. It has been my safety harness, my flotation device. It has helped me through those times when my body ached with loneliness in the night and my mind yearned to hear him say, I’m sorry, or any other lie he would have conjured up had I taken my precious time and given it to him.

Time is wondrous. Time is miraculous. It is a gift from the Divine. From the heavens. It is a gift of life.

Time becomes our ally when we face the truth of how much time we’ve spent being hurt by the one who says he loves us the most. When we count up the moments spent trying to fix the times in which nothing could ever be put right because we were always wrong. When we weigh our tears against our laughter and discover the imbalance caused by his relentless pursuit of what he wants without consideration to us or anyone else. When we balance out the facts and find the truth buried somewhere in the past -- that we can never measure up to his lies – and don’t want to. When we quit saying, I’m sorry, to the one who isn’t real, whose love is but a four letter word scattered like chicken feed to appease our hungry heart’s need for succour. And, when we take the time to look at ourselves in the mirror and recognize the miraculous beings we are, in spite of our flaws, our pain, our sorrow we discover the time is now. Now or never. To be free.

In that moment of time, we crawl out from under the burden of the past, tentatively stepping into the light of a new day dawning. Our eyes squinting, our minds reeling against the beauty of a world we had forgotten existed beyond the confines of the dark corridors of his lies.

It takes time to come to the truth. It takes time to find our selves again. But in time, all things are possible.

In time, the pain fades, the tears subside and fear moves us into the courage to surrender to that which has endured throughout our journey through hell. Love. True love comes to the rescue upon a moment in time when we accept no one else can make the pain stop. No one else can fix it. No one else can make it all better. It's our time to turn up for ourselves and love the one who is here right now, in this moment, needing our time. Ourselves.

In time, I have come to love myself. All of me. Beauty and my beast. My strength and my weaknesses. My flawless imperfection of being human.

In time, I have surrendered my fear and claimed my right to be free. Claimed my right to love myself, exactly the way I am so that I can be all that I am meant to be.

In time I have come to know that feelings fade, emotions pass, time moves on -- and only love heals the broken heart.

In time, a broken heart becomes an open heart. An open heart is a loving heart as each day opens up to the glorious truth that I become the love of my life. The more I give. The more I receive.

May your day be filled with loving moments spending time with those you love, doing the things you love, being love, giving and receiving.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A perfect day for living.

We come into this world, prefect reflections of the mystery of life. A sperm meets an egg and in that encounter our life is born in love. For nine months (give or take a little) we live in the flawless perfection of the womb, our bodies, mind and spirit growing in time with life's mystery. And then one day, we hear the call of the world, out there, and begin the journey out of there into the unknown. As we travel the journey through the birth canal we experience pain for the first time. We experience sensations for which there are no words. As we travel through life, we begin to label our experiences, good, bad, excellent, indifferent, optional. We begin to lose site of our perfection in the womb to grow into our imperfection in the real world. We become the perfect balance between the magnificence we have forgotten and the imperfection we have grown into believing is our birthright.

Not so!

Our birthright is to be magnificent. Our birthright is to be perfectly human in all our imperfections. Flawless. Magnificent. Divine.

Last night about 30 of Alexis’ friends were here to celebrate her birthday. Tall. Short. Thin. Not so thin. Dark hair. Light hair. Curly hair. Straight hair. Thinning hair. Thick hair. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Green eyes. Young. Old. Middle Aged. A plethora of attributes and every one of them all added up to the same thing. Divinely human, human beings.

Today, as you travel through the ups and downs, highs and lows of your day, look around you. Look at the wealth of diversity you meet. Look at the differences of the people in your world and celebrate what it is we all share. We are all miracles of life.

Have an awesome day. Enjoy the view. Enjoy the ride. It’s a perfect day for living!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Twenty-One years ago today.

Today is my eldest daughter's 21st birthday. It is hard to imagine that it's been 21 years since she exploded into my world and began painting it all the colours of her unique rainbow. Absolutely amazing!

Over the past 21 years I have been gifted with the sacred trust of accompanying her on this journey of life. Of watching over her, guiding her, counselling her, coaching her, and inspiring her to spin her own dreams so that she can hear her wings calling her to fly free of the nest. To leap into the void and soar beyond the limits of her imagination into the amazing beauty of her life's dreams.

In becoming a mother I have learned how to mother my own 'inner' child so that I could let go of my childishness and grow into my beauty. It has been a remarkable journey. And -- it promises to continue to unfold with excitement, joy and the limitless opportunities of life in freedom as my daughter and I continue to journey further and further into our own dream territory. Her life is filled with the limitless possibilities of youth. And mine is filled with the limitless possibilites of being a mother and a woman who has journeyed through the birth canal of her own life into the pure sweet air of freedom to be me!

When I first became a mother, I was terrified. OMG! What if I'm a terrible mother? What if I don't love my own child? What if I drop her? Can't comfort her? Don't know what to do with her? What if I simply do not connect with her?

I needn't have worried. I was blessed. The circle of love that has carried me throughout the ages, from my mother's mother and her mother and her mother before her, forever connected my daughters to me and to our life together from the moment of their conception. In becoming a mother, my daughters became part of the circle of love that cannot be broken, no matter how far it's stretched, no matter how hard it's tested. Even when it appears to be stretched paper thin, to be a delicate strand of air connecting us, the circle of love into which we are born is indestructable because it cannot be broken by human force.

When I first got pregnant with Alexis (whom we called Balthazar while in the womb), I had to undergo abdominal surgery. Because of fears of miscarriage, my doctor ordered me to bed for 3 months. What an amazing gift.

Now, it sounds as though 3 months in bed could be an awful thing to have happen. My life at that point was pretty full. I was travelling across North America, living part time in Toronto and part time here with my daughters' father. I was training for a marathon, climbing and hiking, doing the things that kept my life busy and full. And suddenly I had to go to bed.

It was the first time I really acknowledged that I had a choice in how I experienced life's bumps. Rather than go to bed and be miserable, constantly complaining about my plight, I consciously chose to go to bed and revel in this unexpected gift of quiet time. Time to spend reading, writing, getting to know myself and this precious seed growing within me. Time to relax, to stoke my furnace, to kindle my creativity, and time to sink into the realization that I was, in a few short months, going to become a mother.

That period of bed rest was an amazing time for me. Every day I read and I wrote in my journal. We didn't have TV so fortunately, it wasn't an option! In that period, as my body rested, so did my mind. I began to focus my attention on the miracle happening inside my body -- and I began to fall in love with this soon to be exploding into the world life-force. The real gift of that time, however, was the realization that I had a choice in how I looked at it, how I experienced it, how I accepted it. It was up to me to find the gift and unwrap it.

In life, experiences happen upon us. Sometimes, we feel as if they're thrust upon us by the unseen, and not so kindly, hand of fate. Sometimes, we choose the circumstances believing we're on the right track only to find ourselves lost on what appears to be the road to hell. Regardless of how it happens, it's up to us to turn up for ourselves and chose our path through life's storms.

In ancient times, and perhaps still today, the Japanese would repair a broken vase, or plate or vessel and fill the cracks with gold. They believed that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. I am more beautiful because of the lines on my face, the wrinkles around my eyes and in particular, the breaking open of my heart.

A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart. In gathering up the pieces of my heart that have been broken through this journey I've taken in life, I have filled the cracks with gold -- the precious gold of love. Every day I am free to bask in the golden glow of being loved and of loving. Of giving love and receiving love. Of sharing love and embracing love. The love of being part of the miracle of life where it touches the miracle of other lives taking the torturous journey down the birth canal to come into this world and awaken to the pure joy of learning to spin our own dreams so that we can expand our wings and fly freely amidst the beauty of the world around us. And where our wings touch, love explodes around us in rainbow coloured sparkles that shower us with the incredible beauty of life.

Twenty-one years ago, Alexis came into this world and sparked a flame so bright, its light has continued to illuminate my life every moment of her journey. Twenty-one years ago, my heart broke open to an incredible gift more precious than gold. In her birth I experienced the awesome power of love to create miracles in my life. Happy Birthday Alexis!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Let today be my best day yet.

This morning I awoke and realized, Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Let it be my best.

I've never seen this particular day before. Never awoken to the same sunlight filtering through the slats of the blinds. Never had the same opportunities to get up and get going, get doing, get being, get living my life as if there's no tomorrow. Past present. Present future. One moment leading to the next, let this moment be filled with my best.

Every day I awake and have the opportunity to start again, begin anew, renew my commitment to Be. Do. Have.

Every day I awake to the first day of the rest of my life. And every day I have the opportunity to make it my best.

I received an email from a very dear friend this morning who's son has just relapsed into an addiction that is frightening in its ability to rob him of everything in his life. He has asked my friend to help him, to stand by him as he struggles to begin again.

I spoke with another girlfriend who's husband has fallen into the maws of an addiction. He has asked her to stand by him as he struggles to begin again.

Let yesterday be the last day their addictions reign so that today can be the first day of the rest of their lives as they begin again to live free of their addictions.

Every day we are given the opportunity to awake to a brand new day and step into the wonder and joy of living life freely.

What's your brand new day look like? Will you live it with the regrets of yesterday clogging your thinking, burdening down your every move or will you begin anew to commit yourself to Be. Do. Have.

Are you willing to Be committed to Do what it takes to Have what you want?

I am.

It is up to me to create the life of my dreams. Up to me to take my sandcastles in the air and give them a foundation. Mike Dooley, an inspirational author and speaker says, The secret to living the life of your dreams is to START living the life of your dreams.

If you don't start today, when will you begin? If you wait for tomorrow and then tomorrow again in five years time you'll still be thinking about living the life of your dreams as you struggle through the life of not living your dreams.

Begin today. Wake up and let today be your best day of your life. It is the present of this morning. The gift in awakening to the limitless possibilities of life with its freedom to be all that you are meant to be.

Good morning. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it your best.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sailing into uncharted waters to make the dream come true

Last night, at 9pm, the documentary I wrote and produced, At the Heart of Centre Stage, was aired on the Global Television network. At the Heart of Centre Stage is a one hour doc that chronicles the journey of 160 eight to 21 year olds (The Young Canadians -- TYC) who perform in front of 18,000 people a night at the Calgary Stampede, Grandstand Show for 10 days every July. I was asked to write the show originally because my eldest daughter was once a member of the group and I know lots about being a TYC mum! The Exec Prod and I have known each other for several years and she was working with me on a documentary based on on my book (The Dandelion Spirit). The training, the friends they make while members of TYC is awesome. For Alexis, being part of the group for 4 years created great value in her life and is part of her foundation for performing today. (Have I ever mentioned she's an amazing actor/singer/dancer. She has an awesome voice and when she performs you can't take your eyes off her -- LOL -- do I sound like a proud mum? I am!)

Writing and producing the show was an exciting opportunity for me to stretch. I had never written nor produced a one hour show for national TV before -- and it was awesome.

What was most affirming was to not sabotage myself! In the past, had this opportunity presented itself, I would have found a way to undermine myself, to hold myself back from really stepping up and doing it!

With Centre Stage I didn't!

Last night I watched the show with a group of friends and my daughters. It was exhilarating, exciting and satisfying to see something I had worked so hard at be appreciated by people I love and who love me. What a gift.

It was a good show.

In life, we are often presented opportunities to do things we've never done before. Throughout the process of filming and editing and writing the show I was scared! LOL -- this was major stuff and I had never done it before. I had little guidance from the Exec. Prod. -- she trusted me and assumed I would get it done! I did! IN spite of my fear, or perhaps because of it, I had to draw myself into courage, to pull myself forward without fear that I would fall back. It was up to me to turn up for me and learn to fly.

As Ray Bradbury said, "You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down."

And that's what I did. I didn't know how to write and produce a one hour documentary -- I trusted myself to know that I could do it, that I would learn as I went along, that I would ask the right questions to ensure the end product reflected the story we set out to tell -- and that other people would not let me fail.

It worked.

Last night At the Heart of Centre Stage aired and I was reminded again that dreams do come true when you set a goal and work to make it happen!

My goal is to do it again! It's up to me to chart the path, set sail and journey out onto uncharted waters so that I can make my dream come true. Creating documentaries is a dream I have held most of my life. I have completed one. It's up to me to keep building on my success so that I create a body of work that reflects the dream I've had for my life. It's up to me to make it happen.

I'd sort of let the goal rest for the past few months as I focused on doing other things -- time to brush off my wings, lift up my spirits and take that leap of faith! It's time to fly!

Wishing you great flying weather and a day of great sailing.

In love and dreaming,


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Letting go of the fear of who I am

It's a beautiful soft rainy morning. Spring is sprung, the grass is green and I had to turn the heat on this morning in the house. I am against turning the heat on mid-June. The solstice is almost upon us and man-generated heat should not be necessary.

As if I can control the weather.

I can't.

There's something else I can't control either. Other people.

Yesterday, while leaving the homeless shelter where I work, I noticed a big black unfurled umbrella propped up on the lawn. For a moment I wondered why it didn't fly away, but as I drove by, I realized there was someone lying beneath it. The handle of the umbrella was tucked around her foot, keeping the umbrella in place.

Beneath the umbrella's hood, a woman in a bright purple velour track suit lay curled up on a blanket on the grass. Her body was wedged beneath the umbrella, her knees tucked up to her chin in the fetal position.

I know this woman. She's been living at the shelter for several months. She's friendly, vivacious. A quick smile. Always willing to help. When she's not stoned.

She willingly tells you when you meet that she's a crack addict. "But I'm not like those crack-heads," she quickly adds. "You know, the one's over at crack corner. That's not me. I'm nice."

And she is. I've chatted with her occasionally. She reminds me of a little sparrow. Flitting from here to there. Seldom staying still. She's tiny, with that peculiar frailty crack addiction begets. There's no fat on her petite frame. She can't weigh more than 90 lbs. Her hair is mid-brown and often pulled back in a pony tail that bops along behind her wherever she goes. She never moves slowly. From her eyes that are constantly darting from corner to corner of the room, to her hands that continually flutter in the air around her head when she speaks, Jen is never still.

When sober, she's always volunteering at the shelter. Helping out here. Assisting someone there. When sober, she tries to pretend there's nothing wrong in her life, nothing amiss. Everything is just fine. She just happens to live at the shelter because, well because her life is a mess and her boyfriend walked out and left her and she lost her job because someone didn't like her and then her mother died and she was so depressed and then she .... eventually she pauses for a breath and repeats. "I'm addicted to crack. But I'm not like those crackheads over at crack corner. That's not me. I'm nice."

And that's her story. She's sticking to it.

For "Jen" (not her real name), her story is all she has. It's all she can hold onto during those periods when she is not actively engaged in her addiction. "I'm an addict but I'm not like them."

Jen is no different than you and me -- other than the circumstances of her life today.

We all have our stories. We all hold onto them during those periods when we are 'acting out', denying our beauty, or running away from our pain.

Our stories are all we have to convince the rest of the world we're not really who they think we are, we're actually much different.

Are we?

I listen to Jen's story about who she is and know, she's lying to herself. She believes she has to. How else can she cope with the utter devastation of her life? How else can she convince herself that her addiction isn't killing her?

When I was mired in a relationship that was killing me, I too was lying to myself. Every day. I needed to keep the lie alive because I could not face the truth, I was dying and doing nothing about it.

In my walking, breathing death, I was denying the truth of who I am for fear I was less than, other than, different than who I am meant to be. By playing small, belittling myself, I was running from the beauty of me into the fear of me.

For Jen, it isn't the addiction that's killing her. It's the lies she tells herself to keep from facing her truth. She is a wounded human being, lost on the road of life. Her story is not who she is. Her story is keeping her stuck in playing who she believes she is.

Ever day we have the opportunity to face ourselves in the mirror and love ourselves, exactly the way we are. Every day we have the opportunity to turn up for ourselves, and fly free of the fear that keeps us from accepting our truth -- that we are beautiful, warts and all. And every day, many of us deny the truth for fear it is the lie.

The truth will set you free.

When I look in the mirror and love myself, exactly the way I am, I give myself the grace to be all of me. When I turn my back on myself and turn into the self-defeating games that keep me stuck in playing less than all I'm meant to be, I give into my fear of who I am.

For today, I shall look in the mirror and love the woman I see.

For today, I shall embrace my beauty, warts and all, and fly free of the fear that I am less than I am meant to be as I accept that I am all that I am meant to be when I step fearlessly into the truth of who I am. A wondrous, miraculous creation of love.

Yesterday I saw a woman curled up under an umbrella and saw her beauty lying naked on the grass. She is wounded. Hurting. Abused by the life she is living.

I cannot change her life. I can change how I look at her so that I let go of my eyes of judgement and embrace her with my eyes of love.

I cannot change her life. I can accept her as she is, and not buy into the lie that this is who she is meant to be. In my acceptance I pray she learns to accept there is somewhere else she can be, someone else she can claim when she let's go of the story that is keeping her stuck in a place she never dreamt she would be.

May you turn up for yourself today, in all your beauty, warts and all, and accept the miracle of you. You are are child of God, freely living your dream, being all that you are meant to be.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The wind beneath my wings.

When my daughters were infants, I would lie on my bed with their tiny bodies held against my chest, their heartbeats beating a gentle tattoo against my body. As I breathed, their bodies would rise and fall with my breathing. I would touch my lips to their warm soft heads, smell the fresh sweet scent of their skin, and know bliss.

I could lie there for hours, my hands cupped around their tiny, fragile bodies. My mind floating as my world revolved around the indescribable wonder and joy of their beings in my life.

Those moments, though fleeting, live with me. As I reflect back on them, tears of joy fill my eyes. There was a purity in those quiet moments of calm, when the world seemed far away and distant, when I felt connected to a force greater than me as I reveled in the miracle of my child’s birth.

It is the miracle of my daughters birth that inspires me on my journey. When I first held them in my arms, witnessed the tiny perfection of their beings, I knew that I was witnessing the wonder of creation and it was truly miraculous. Yet, when I looked in the mirror I could not see the miracle and wonder of me.

That wasn’t right.

To be whole, to be free I needed to see myself as a miracle of life.

I wondered, where did my miracle go? What is preventing me from seeing the miracle of me in the mirror?

With that question my journey into wholeness began.

It's been a tough question to answer. A tough question to wrap my mind around so that I could get out of my own way and get into knowing the miracle of me.

But I'm doing it!

Last week at Choices ( as I was watching the faces of the 'newbies' enter the room, I was struck by the realization that every person in that room was a miracle. My job as a coach, was to shine light in the room so that they could uncover the miracle that is their essence. What a joy to watch people move from disbelief to realization -- we are each a miracle of life. Unique. Magnificent. Divine.

When my daughters were little I wrote a story for them about a butterfly trapped in a glass jar. She was a beautiful butterfly. Her delicate wings glistened in the light like stained glass windows in a cathedral. She sat on a little twig, her big dark eyes peering out at the world from behind the protection of her glass enclosure. She was happy. She was safe from the world, out there, content to live within the confines of her glass jar.

One day, a young boy took the jar with the butterfly in it and carried it outside. "Butterflies should be free," he said.

The butterfly was not so sure. She clung desperately to the twig, terrified of this sudden journey into the unknown world.

When the boy got outside, he took the lid off, shook the jar and said, "Okay butterfly, fly free!"

But the little butterfly didn't want to fly free. She liked her safe little home inside the jar. She liked the twig upon which she perched. She liked the constant temperature of the air, the cool feel of the glass against her wings when she spread them wide. She did not want to fly free.

The little boy became agitated. He shook the jar again and again until finally, realizing the butterfly was not going to come out, he threw the jar to the ground and smashed it into a thousand pieces.

Suddenly exposed to the chill of the air, the butterfly cried in terror. "What have you done! You've ruined everything!"

The little boy didn't understand. The butterfly quivered on the grass, her wings shaking, her eyes tearing. She wouldn't move from the twig to which she clung.

"Stupid butterfly," he said before turning his back and walking away.

The little butterfly watched him leave and wondered what on earth she was going to do now. Where would she go? How would she ever feel safe again? Just then a gentle breeze came up and stirred her wings.

"Who's there?" she asked.

"It's me. The wind," a voice answered.

"The wind? Who are you?"

"I can be your friend," the wind responded.

"Ha!" chirped the butterfly, her voice rising in condescension. "I don't need a friend. I need a glass jar."

"How do you know you don't need a friend? Have you ever had one?"

The butterfly didn't want to listen to the wind. She wanted to climb back inside the security of the glass jar and be safe.

"Go away! Leave me alone."

The wind didn't listen. He tickled her wings. Gently stroked her body. Poured himself around and under and over her as he coursed through the air.

"Stop that!" The butterfly cried. The winds caresses were encouraging her wings to unfold. She did not want her wings to unfold. She did not want to let go of the twig to which she still clung so fiercely.

The wind didn't listen. He grew stronger. Pushing himself into the spaces between her wings. Forcing them to open wide. To stretch out and move up and down.

Slowly, against her will, the butterfly began to lift off the ground.

"What? What's happening?" she cried as the earth began to fall away. "Stop it! I'm scared."

The wind continued to ignore her cries as he carried her further and further away from the broken pieces of the glass jar that was once her home. He carried her to a garden of bright, brilliant coloured wild flowers. Their velvety faces pointed up towards the sun, the colourful heads nodded in joy against the gentle caresses of the breeze as it carried the butterfly through their midst.

"OOOOOhhhhh!" cried the butterfly. "Look at all the colours. What are they?" she asked as without thinking her wings began to move up and down by themselves and she began to flit amongst the multi-coloured hues of the flowers.

"They're your friends," the wind whispered into her ear.

Suddenly, the butterfly realized she was flying. She stopped moving her wings up and down and landed with a plop on top of a flower. "Oh, sorry," she said as she struggled to gain flight again. The flower, a bright sunny, daisy with many arms smiled happily and replied. "Don't be sorry. You're helping me grow!"

Just then, another beautiful butterfly came flitting by. He saw the little butterfly struggling to lift off from the flower and settled on a petal close by. "Hi," he said, his eyes twinkling in the sun. "What's your hurry? How about sitting with me awhile?"

"Who are you?" the little butterfly asked, trying desperately to fold her wings into her body to avoid touching his.

"I'm a butterfly," he replied. "Just like you."

"Hmmm," the little butterfly thought for a moment as she digested this new information. "And you live out here?"

"Where else would I live?" he asked. Growing tired of sitting around in the sunshine, he spread his magnificent wings and took flight. "Come on," he called back to the little butterfly who watched in awe as the sun caught his wings and cast beautiful colourful prism onto the ground. "Let's fly!"

The little butterfly looked around. Amidst the flowers hundreds of butterflies flitted joyfully amongst the flowers. Here and there a big fat bumblebee buzzed its way around as it busily gathered nectar for its hive.

The butterfly wanted to be like the other butterflies she could see around her. Carefully she unfurled her wings. She felt a tickle of breeze caress her skin. She felt her body lifting up. Leaving her fear behind she spread her wings and took to the skies. Beneath her, the glass shards of her forgotten jar glistened in the sun. In the distance, the little boy played ball with his dog while all around her the world revolved in magnificent splendour as she began to fly. She was free at last. Free to feel the wind beneath the wings, as she moved beyond the memory of her glass jar into the big wide world around her.

We don't know what we don't know.

The little butterfly didn't know she was born to fly free.

You and I didn't know we were born to be miracles of life.

Today we do.

Today, I fly free, my wings unfurling, my light shining brightly as I journey into my perfect world with the wind beneath my wings. I hope you join me.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Letting go of the fear of dreaming

When we come into this world we arrive without expectation of what our lives will be. Having spent nine months wrapped up in the perfection of the womb, we do not know the difference between right or wrong, good or bad. We do not know the significance of words, of labels, skin colour, accents, social status. Birth is the natural outcome of the gestation of the fetus; the fruit of a seed impregnated in love. As we move into the world outside the womb, we experience sensations for which we have no words. We begin to feel. The air. Hot. Cold. Comfort. Discomfort.

At birth, the only natural response we carry with us is our startle response, or what psychologists call the Moro Response; The infants involuntary reaction to loud noises and the fear of falling. By three months of age we lose our fear of loud noises and falling and develop new fears based on our environment or external stimuli. We develop words that define us, that label us. Words that inhibit us, that position us in a world that, once upon a time was filled with limitless possibilities, but which we learn to fear as we adapt to the environment around us.

Fear is on my mind this morning. I'm stepping out into the unknown. Mapping a course for my future and fear is a natural part of that equation. What I do with my fear is what will make the difference in my life today leading into tomorrow. Will I be driven by fear to retreat, to step back from the void, fold up my wings and step away from possibility? Or, will I be drawn by my courage to trust in the wind beneath my wings to hold me up as I spread them wide and fly? The choice is mine. I have everything to lose and everything to gain by drawing upon my courage and flying free of fear.

Yesterday I met with two life coaches who assisted me in getting my book published. We talked about next steps. What I want. Where I want to go. What I need to get there. The possibilities are limitless and the opportunities boundless. The only thing holding me back is me. And fear.

When I was a child I feared the future. Growing up in an angry household, the future was as unpredictable as the weather. To escape my fears of my father's next outburst, or my mother's next threatened suicide, I retreated into my imagination. We didn't have TV so I dove into books, into writing, into story-telling. My safe place was my bedroom closet. I'd climb inside, close the door and by the light of my flashlight read away for as long as no one noticed I was missing. At night, I'd huddle beneath the covers and use the crack of light sneaking in through the partially opened doorway to illuminate the pages of whatever book I was reading. In books I could escape the world I knew to journey across foreign soil, distant lands. It wasn't the stories I was reading that held my imagination in thrall, however. It was their ability to take me away from my fear of the world around me and the certainty that tomorrow would come and with it, anger and sadness, pain and sorrow. I just didn't know when or how.

In my imagination, I could pretend to be anywhere but where I was. In my imagination, I could avoid the pain of my child's world. Tears dissolved and fear abated as I created a safe place that no one else could enter, unless I invited them. I seldom told anyone of my imaginary world, a place where I created the future of my dreams. A place where I didn't have to face my fears but could retreat into someone else's life unfolding upon the pages of the storybooks I read. I didn't dare tell them. I feared their ridicule and wanted, at all costs, to avoid the pain of their rejection. However, in retreating into make-believe to avoid my uncertain present, I unconsciously tied together planning for the future with causing me pain. Like a mongoose using his heightened sense of smell to avoid an area where a tiger is present, I used my heightened sense of fear of the future to keep me from looking beyond today. In the process, I associated the future with avoidance of pain in the present and thus developed an unhealthy fear of planning for the future!

It's time to untie the knots that bind me to a past where tomorrow held only fear and pain in my child's mind.

What a gift.

Most of my life I believed there was something 'wrong' with me. While I saw everyone else in the world willingly and joyfully setting goals, I berated myself for my recalcitrance in goal-setting. I liked to keep my goals fuzzy, ill-defined. I feared putting them on paper. Speaking of them. Marking them. It isn't that I feared success. I feared the untold child's pain of knowing the future was a certain place of pain. My unconscious fear of the pain the future held, kept me in its thrall, preventing me from creating the future of my dreams, not my nightmares.

No more. Like a new born child arriving into this world without expectation of life on earth, I am leaping beyond my fear of falling into the certainty that my world is filled with the limitless possibilities of my life today. A world in which I can create the life of my dreams.

This is a world of wonder. A world of exciting opportunity. A world where I can dream big and soar high. As I fly, I let go of childhood fears and embrace with childlike wonder the freedom of being all that I am meant to be when I let my courage draw me through my fears into the light of being me.

This is a world of opportunity. An exciting place, waiting to be explored. It is not imaginary. It is not a figment of my imagination. It is the world my dreams are made of.

What a gift.

May your courage draw you into the exciting opportunities of your life today as you step out of the fear of creating the life of your dreams and into the certainty that you are free to become all that you are meant to be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When Opportunity Knocks

While listening to an announcer on CBC intro a song by singer/songwriter Rufus Wainright, I was struck by her sarcastic tones when describing his response to hearing his latest album, Release the Stars, was rapidly climbing the charts. "Talk about ego," she said after mentioning that Wainright had said his success was 'well-deserved'.

What is it about other people's confidence in their success that encourages others to knock it?

I don't know Wainright, but I do know that to be successful in his business, even if your mother is Katie McConigle, you have to be good at what you do. And he is good at what he does. He deserves his success.

On Saturday, June 16th, at 9pm, At the Heart of Centre Stage, will air on the Global Network across Canada. At the Heart of Centre Stage is a one hour documentary about the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, a group of 160 talented 8 - 21 year old performers who sing and dance their way into the hearts of 18,000 people a night during the 10 days of the Calgary Stampede.

I wrote and produced it.

And I am really proud of my accomplishment.

When asked to write the show I was nervous. I'd never written a one hour documentary before. When asked to produce it, I almost panicked (after I said yes). I'd never produced a one hour documentary for national television before either!

In spite of my fear, I did it anyway.

Throughout the process the little voice of self-doubt that likes to whisper negatives in my head kept trying to take up space. I continually turned away from it. Sometimes I had to turn towards it, embrace it and say, "It's okay. I've got this one handled." Sometimes I had to ignore it as I didn't have time for it to play games with my confidence. Sometimes, I had to simply take a breath, step into my courage and keep moving forwards, always working towards my goal -- to create a body of work that told the story of these kids that would be entertaining and an inspiration to anyone watching.

On Saturday night at 9pm, the show I worked so hard to help create will be aired. WOW!

Do I deserve this success? Absolutely. I worked hard for it. Even in my fear, I believed I could do this. I believed this was my right, my duty, my responsibility. I had committed to it. I had to keep my promise to the Executive Producer that I would deliver the product she was confident I could. And so I did. It was my opportunity to win or lose. To fail or succeed. I chose success. I chose to believe in me, to believe in my right to Do It! And in the process, I got to do what I love and to create a foundation for more work of this nature. It was important to me and for me. I did it.

Am I excited? You Betcha! On Saturday night I'll be sitting with people I love watching something I helped create. At the same time, thousands of Canadians will be glued to their televisions watching the same show we're watching and being inspired by the same kids we're seeing do what they love. As the kids step out onto the huge outdoor stage of the Grandstand Show, I will be feeling their pride, their enthusiasm and their love of their art.

What an awesome experience!

Every day we are presented with opportunities to say YES! Every day the world greets us with the chance to live our dreams. And everyday, some of us will say No thank you. I'm not willing. I'm not ready. I'm too afraid. I'm not worthy. I'm not who you're looking for.

It's time to quit denying our talents. It's time to quit turning our backs on all that life has to offer by stepping with confidence onto centre stage of our own lives and claiming our own unique place under the sun.

The next time opportunity knocks and the voice inside your head whispers, RUN!, ask yourself, will this get me more of what I want in my life? If the answer is yes, run into the arms of opportunity and turn off the voice of doubt. You deserve to live the life of your dreams. You deserve to be the most amazing person you can be.

Like Rufus Wainright, pour yourself into your life and live it up! You deserve your success.

In love and dreaming,


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Life is for dreamers

When I was a little girl I had a lot of dreams. I dreamt I'd one day be a famous actress. A psychologist. An author. A doctor. I dreamt of white picket fences and never feared someone might try to fence me in. I knew all about glass slippers and nothing about glass ceilings. At night, I'd climb up the ladder to my top bunk and dreamland without worrying about the corporate ladders I'd one day challenge. When I was a little girl, I was a dreamer.

But, somewhere between make believe and I can't believe this is my life, I lost my dreamer's status. I lost my dreamy outlook on life and packed away the stuff dreams are made of as I sadly stumbled my way through everyday living without a dream to guide me through the dark days and the bright days of my living.

Who am I without my dreams?

Lost. Alone. Uncommitted. To living passionately. Fearlessly. Joyfully. Without my dreams, I stumble through the motions, never looking out for where I'm going. Without my dreams, I keep my eyes cast inward, protecting myself from the pain of feeling the sands of time running through the empty hourglass of my dreams. Without my dreams, I am footloose and fancy free without a goal in mind. I am lost.

Dreams are important. Napoleon Hill wrote, "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate achievements."

Without dreams we lose our childlike wonder in a world of limitless possibilities. Without our dreams, our souls die with each echoing footstep we take through the empty hallways of what might have been, could have been, should have been, if only... we had dared to dream and dream big.

Thomas Jefferson once said, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

I like the dream I have today better than the emptiness of yesterday. I like the fact that today I am looking at my dreams and turning them into goals I know I can attain because I believe in my dreams. I believe I can achieve anything my mind can conceive. I believe that with my passion, my fearless attitude and my belief in me, my dreams can come true.

What do you believe? Do you believe in your dreams? Do you believe in you?

Today, I am committed to working on my dream board. I am going to begin the process of creating the life of my dreams on paper so that I can have a clear and distinct picture of where I'm going with my dreams. I've already started the process. I've written down my dreams. Created goals out of the essence of what I want in my life, and put timelines as well as steps to the framework.

Goals are dreams with a timeline. Diana Scharf Hunt

Are you ready to start? Are you willing to begin to colour your world with the brilliant hues of the rainbow. To fill in the blanks of your dreams with vivid pictures that say, This is what I'm striving for. This is where I'm going.

Are you?

Then I invite you to dream board with me. You'll need, scissors, glue, a large piece of poster paper (you know, the kind you used in school to create your displays of The Life of a Bug and Itsy Bitsy Spiders). Get whatever magazines you can find and begin cutting out images. Don't think about the pictures and words. Just cutout whatever you see. Get lots and lots of images and words. If a heading has a word you like, i.e. THE FUTURE OF RATS, and you like the word FUTURE, cut it out. Cut out the symbols you see on pages, as well as the photos. Cut out parts of photos. Just cut everything up and put it into a big pile.

Once you've got your images cut out, sort them into WORDS, HOME, HEALTH, CAREER, PLAY & LEISURE, GOALS, FAMILY, SELF-GROWTH.

Now, turn off the phone, the computer, the beepers -- turn off the electric static of life and tune into the steady quiet beat of your heart. Get comfortable. If you have a CD with soft music -- NARADA has great CDs with sounds of water, or rain, forests, etc. -- Sit quietly and let your mind float. Breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Imagine you're on a raft, floating on a river. The river is calm, serene, deep. The water is warm. You lie on a blanket on the raft. Feel the warm, soft fabric beneath you. Feel the air caress your skin. Let your raft drift on the water's surface. Effortless. Weightless. Let yourself drift into the quiet of the moment. Feel the air. The sun. The gentle breeze. Feel your heart beat. Feel your mind easing into the softness of the day. Breathe deeply. In. Out. In. Out. Let your body ease into peacefulness. Let your mind float on the water surface without effort. Be the peace around you. Give yourself at least 10 minutes to float into the peacefulness at your core.

When you open your eyes, look at the piles of images in front of you. Pick one. Perhaps it's PLAY & LEISURE. Sort through the images and begin to paste the images and words that call to you on your dreamboard.

Don't rush the process. Don't hurry through it. Let your body and mind guide you. Let the quiet be the river carrying your thoughts to the paper. Don't force them. Don't bottle them up. Let them flow.

It may take more than one evening's work (it should take more than one evening's work!). Give yourself the gift of time and space to really create a dreamboard that reflects you and your life and what you want to create in it.

I'll be doing the work with you. I'll be cutting and pasting and dreaming right along side you. Set aside an hour, a half hour, 15 minutes. Whatever the time you commit to creating your dream board, do it. Commit to the time and do it. If all you do tonight is cut out images for an hour, you've created a great start! I keep manila envelopes on hand to hold my sorted pictures as I don't have a space I can leave the 'mess' out day after day.

And remember, dream boarding is a gentle process. It's a gift for you to be able to spend time every day and visually see your dreams come to life on the paper in front of you. While you're working, be aware of your feelings. Are you feeling content? Frustrated? Anxious? Is your mind at peace or is it scurrying about, trying to force the images to appear. Don't criticize your thinking or your work. Breathe. In. Out. Let the process unfold as you unwrap the exquisite beauty of your dreams, as you uncover the beautiful magnificence of the life you are creating.

I'm looking forward to spending some time with you this evening. Happy Dream Boarding!