Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Get Inspired with Maureen Doallas

Over at Writing Without Paper, Maureen Doallas shares Wednesday Wonder -- and it is wonderful and inspiring. I was awestruck when I watched the videos she shared.

I've pasting in the second video she shared of kinetic sculptor Reuben Heday Margolin's work -- he is absolutely amazing and his work is awe-inspiring.

Do pop over to visit Maureen's site. Get inspired and discover more about Margolin's incredible work.

You'll be glad you did!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I believe... Love Is

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death."  Robert Fulghum

I am writing the courseware for Writing Your Heart Out. A Simple Guide to Falling in Love in 21 Poems
On lesson 12, I am finding myself growing with each exploration of the lessons I am creating to guide others into the power I have found in writing a poem a day to my beloved since Valentine's Day.

When I read Robert Fulghum's quote this morning, it struck me how powerful that simple statement, "I believe" is. How in its all encompassing statement of our truth, it speaks volumes about who we are, what we see, and what we know to be true in the world.

It is one of the exercises in my course -- To understand know what Love is, you must examine your beliefs about Love.

As I worked on the courseware, I asked myself -- what do I believe about Love.

The answer was simple.  Like Robert Fulghum, I believe love is stronger than death. I believe we come into this world on an act of love, love is all we can leave behind and love is all we can carry with us for it is love that carries us over the threshold of life and death.

Love is all around. There is no separation between where Love begins, I end. There is no separation between where Love is because

Love is. Everywhere. Everything. It infuses all, washing over pain and grief and sorrow. In Love, there is room for hatred. In Love, there is room for sorrow to pass through. In Love, shame erodes confidence, but it cannot destroy Love. In Love, beauty rests.

It has been interesting writing about Love. I'm loving it!

What about you? What are your beliefs about Love? 

What do you believe is true for you?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

He Made a Difference by Glynn Young

It's Sunday, which means a guest blogger over at A Year of Making a Difference.

Today, Glynn Young of Faith. Fiction. Friends. graces the pages with a beautiful story of a man who made a difference in his life.

Please do pop on over and let Glynn know you came for a visit to read, He Made a Difference. A lovely and inspiring read, He Made a Difference  is Glynn's tribute to Jim Fox, a man who mentored him in his early career.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Turning up in the real world of writing

My internet was down this morning. took until now to get it back up and running, and in the interim, I had a meeting with a new client, took Ellie, the wonder pooch, for a walk and got some other chores done.

So... the question becomes, 'What does being online keep me from experiencing in the real world?'

It is a question I wrestle with some days as I find myself glued to my keyboard, writing, answering emails, commenting on blogs -- which is something I've really cut back on in the past two weeks as I've been so immersed in writing on my new book, participating in an online retreat and creating the workbook for an online course I'm creating -- Writing Your Heart Out.

Where do my virtual experiences supersede or impede my real world experiences -- and should I be concerned?

Which is a funny thing to think about this morning when I logged into this account to discover I hadn't posted a blog yesterday.

Seriously? I was positive I had!

Hmmm..... is it meno-pauses snapping, or is it simply that in all the virtual and non-virtual world writing I've been doing, I'm becoming a tad forgetful of keeping up with posting here?

And.... can I just give myself a break and be okay with having missed yesterday.

The answer is....

drum roll please.....


It is okay to miss a day here. Not because I don't care, but rather because in living my life, in focusing on my writing, on being committed to do the things I need to do to have what I want more of in my life, I need to let go of the imperative I've given myself to turn up here every Sunday to Friday, six days a week.

Lisa Rosenberg inspired me yesterday to really look at how rigid my thinking has become on 'being here' everyday. In her blog, License to Write Outside Yourself, Lisa writes about her commitment to get the first draft of her YA novel (Young Adult) completed by June 15th. To meet her target date, she writes, she needs to change how often she appears on her blog.

Great wisdom in Lisa's post (great writing too!).

I'm inspired. To give myself a deadline too for my the completion of the proposal for my new book, and the course I'm working on creating. For the course, I'm committed to having the first draft of the workbook completed by May 1, 2012 and for my book, Lessons In Love; Everything I know about being human I learned at a homeless shelter, I am committed to having the book proposal done by June 15, 2012.

There. It's done. A public commitment to my target dates.

So... if I'm not here everyday, know, I'm busy getting real in the real world of creating more of what I want in my life!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What the .com!

I don't know when it happened. How. What. Nothing.

I just noticed it this morning. Where once my URL for this blog was at '' it is now, ''.

I am Canadian, eh!

I don't even know why it's important -- but it sure feels good to know, my URL is Canadian -- it also feels weird.

Like..... who did it? when did they do it? Why?

Oh yes! WHY?

That age old question that drives me crazy, and drives my thinkin' into stinkin' territory sometimes.

Why is the sky blue? I asked as a child.

Why do people hurt eachother? Why is the grass green? Why did that man yell at the lady in the grocery store? Why did you hit me?

Why is never an easy question to answer when it comes to affairs of the heart, and living and loving.

Why is particularly futile, and self-defeating, when it comes to understanding why I did/do some of the things I do/did.

Why keeps me stuck in fear. It keeps me dancing around the reasons for what happened, and avoiding the what I can do to make a difference in what is happening.

'What' leads me into taking action that will bring me more of what I want in my life...

What am I going to do? What steps can I take to change direction, shift perspective, switch-up my intention?

While 'Why' leads me to frustration and dis-empowerment, 'What' leads me into empowerment.

Somebody switched the URL suffix on my blog. Maybe during the night. Maybe last week. Heck, maybe even last month and I didn't notice.

Bottomline is -- does wondering about the why get me more or less of what I want?

The Why doesn't really make a difference.  If anyone types in at the end of Recover Your Joy, they're still going to get here.

It's what they find here that has meaning, that adds value, that creates wonder in their life that is important for me as my intention is to create a safe and courageous space for people to discover the wonder in their lives.

I am Canadian, eh!

And this is my space where I open my mind and touch hearts to enlighten the world with light and love.

Whether I'm a .com or a .ca doesn't really make a difference -- unless I make the wondering about it more important than what I'm doing to create a world of wonder all around me!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The map of my heart

When I headed off to coach at Choices last week I carried with me a question from the Soul of a Pilgrim course I'm taking -- What does the 'map' of your heart look like?

As I sat in the room with the other coaches and all the trainees, listening and watching and witnessing miracles unfold throughout the week, I pondered the question about the map of my heart and Christine Valters Paintner's invitation to draw the map in the form of a mandala.

Yesterday, I sat down with my pastels and drew and coloured and as I worked on my map, gratitude flooded my senses and I was awash in its grace.

I have an amazing life. I love and am loved. I give and receive. I do and I am.

I laugh. I cry. I dance. I leap for joy and sometimes, I fall down.

And, as I did yesterday, Always I begin again.

Because coaching is such an intensive and rewarding experience, I didn't have time last week to touch my coursework. In the past, missing so many days my response might have been to say to myself -- What's the point? I don't need to do it. I've got so much to catch up on, I'll never get there. I may as well just forget about it. No point beating myself up trying to catch up....

The Map of  All the Piece of My Heart
Instead, I let the map of my heart that had been creating itself all week bubble to the top and set to work where I left off on Tuesday. Engaging in the process in a way that ensures the steps I take do not skip any aspect of the journey.

I don't want to miss what I didn't do. I want to do it all to ensure I savour each step, each moment, each bit of learning and deepening within me.

I could have picked up the coursework from the point where I am, but that is the joy of an online course! I don't have to do it according to the days of the course, I can be a couple of days behind and still receive great value.

It was a gift. To know -- it doesn't matter that I've missed a few days. What matters is that I don't let self-defeating games, or limiting beliefs keep me from re-engaging in a meaningful way with coursework that is inspiring me to always begin again.

Always begin again.

It was a great lesson in living my best. In giving my all to ensure my journey is taken with eyes and heart wide open and full of love. Letting go of my limiting beliefs I am free to experience the wonder of the world around me because my heart is held in Divine hands full of Love.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I am my difference

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. Banner in the Choices room -- sometimes attributed to Henry Ford or Anthony Robbins

On Saturday at Choices a woman told the group about her Choices journey. In it, she thanked two people who have made a significant difference in her life and then, she turned to me and thanked me by telling me how my book, The Dandelion Spirit, and my blogs have impacted her.

I started to cry.

Me. The person who jokes, "I do not cry in public" crying in front of a room full of people. Not pretty.

Who cared?


Other than my ego of course which wanted to hit me over the head and remind me of how to play small in the world.

I was curious. What is it within me that makes me fearful when someone thanks me and touches my heart? My resistance to accepting her gratitude and her public acknowledgement of how I've made a difference in her life, shook me up.

The thought, "I've always been like that" ran through  my head and was quickly followed by, "Does that get your more or less of what you want in your life, Louise?"

The answer is simple. Dissing someones gratitude, thanks, acknowledgments gets me less of what I want in my life. Her expression of gratitude was heartfelt and very, very beautiful. I wanted to embrace her words, and her being. She is beautiful and loving.

And I was resisting accepting her words into my heart. What's with that?

The solution is simple.

Stop It!

Of course, The Critter likes to pipe up in those moments of absolute certainty and have its say.

Ha! How you supposed to stop it stupid if you've always been like that?
You can't trust what people say anyway. You know they're just lying.
Just you wait! The Universe is going to bop you on the head if you get too big for your britches.
Show-Off! You're so conceited. You think you're so smart. You think you're so much better than.....

UGH!  I really really dislike that critter.

Then Stop It! Louise.

And I do. I remind myself of who I am, my purpose and my intent to make a difference in the world.

I am a radiant woman igniting joy in a world full of wonder and love.

I am a radiant woman igniting joy in a world full of wonder and love.

I am a radiant woman igniting joy in a world full of wonder and love.

And so it is.

I make a difference in the world.

You make a difference in the world.

We all make a difference in the world.

And when our different making is based on being our most incredible selves, in shining bright and letting others see our magnificence through our being real and authentic and grounded in creating more of what we want to see in the world, the world is full of wonder and love.

A woman thanked me and in her gratitude I was given the gift of more than just her words. My heart was broken open in love and I embraced the truth of who I am.

I am the difference I make in the world when I honour the presence of those whose lives I touch by living my truth -- I am a radiant woman igniting joy in a world full of wonder and love.

Let's all be who we truly are and make a world of difference!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Miracles miracles everywhere

I'm not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.  -- Louisa May Alcott 

I am off coaching at Choices for the next five days and will have little time for blogging. Choices is the personal development/lifeskills program I took in April 2006 which has continued to be a guiding light in my life ever since. It is a time of hearts breaking open, wide eyed wonder and miracles everywhere.

It also means I'm into long days, fast sleeps and breathless moments of wonder.

My dream would be the whole world did a program like Choices -- just so that everyone could remember what a miracle they are.

Know, you are a miracle of life. Beauty. Love. Joy. are you.

May your day be filled with miracles alighting where ever you are.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My cup runneth over with Love

The invitation in Week 3 of the Soul of a Pilgrim retreat I am participating in is to create a 'map of your inner journey'.

Last night, I meditated on my map, read some fascinating articles online of inner map-making and dove into creation.

It was a fabulous experience!  Filled with wonder and with the unexpected -- and as I wrote in my journal yesterday, "I am falling in love with the unexpected."

From my Soul of a Pilgrim journal -- 
Discovering The Map of my Inner Journey was a very unexpected uncovering for me. I loved the concept of mapping, found a map of the Pilgrim routes to the Shrine of St. James -- which excited me -- there were so many routes to arrive at the same place -- much like my journey of life. Years ago, when I'd come out of an abusive relationship that almost killed me, I commented to my therapist that I really liked where I'd come to having come through that journey. "I get that I'm an experiential learner," I told him, "but did I have to take such a big experience to get here?
And he replied that there were a thousand routes I could have taken, this just happened to be the one I chose.
My pilgrim journey is like that -- as the map shows -- a thousand routes, I happen to be taking the way I am walking -- the Path is the Way.
What surprised me in the creation of this map are the places outside the routes -- those places I've dwelt in during the dark winters of my soul -- the Land of Unspoken Dreams, the Valley of Under Achievement, the Sea of Regrets, the Basin of Unexplored ideas, the Mountain of False Starts, the Desert of Perfection, Ocean of Hidden Talents, Lake Hopeless Despair -- all of these places exists out there, waiting for me to wander into if I do not stay true to my path of coming home to the heart of me.
And that is where I found that deep truth on my map -- that when I stand in Love, when I allow Love to infuse my being and my journey and my way, I fall in love with all of me -- and that includes the bits that journey into the Sea of Regrets, or Mountain of False Starts.  My cup runneth over with Love -- no matter where I walk.
Loving myself means accepting where I am at, without the need to change course precipitously. 
To simply allow.
And in that allowance, in that acceptance is the truth -- I am never lost because I always find myself when I stay true to my course, true to my journey of coming home to my heart, no matter where in the world I am.
There are a thousand paths to take -- choosing one is simply, a choice. Always, no matter what path I choose, the path will unfold and I will travel, burdened, or unburdened. And always, what I carry is my choice.
Today, I choose to carry joy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beginning again and again

We are entering Week 3 of the Soul of a Pilgrim online retreat I am participating in. I wanted to assess where I'd been in the desert of my exploration of this journey and decided to create a slideshow/video of my progress by using my mandalas and photographs as the map. You can see my progress HERE.

It was fun, exciting and rewarding to learn something new, to explore my journey and find my truth illuminated in my creative expression.

That made me think of how I could enrich my journey with my beloved -- by creating a video of the first 21 poems I've written him since Valentine's Day.

Thought leads to action and so, yesterday morning, excited about the prospects of creating a video for him, I sat down at my computer to play.

And I played. And I played. For four hours. And when I was finished, I was excited about the results. (and yes, I admit it, I can be compulsive...)

The final transition perfected, I hit upload, and that's when the trouble started.

File corrupted. No go. Sorry. You're screwed. No video to access. Not gonna happen. (ok so the 'unseen hand of the cyber-nerds' didn't quite put it that way but that's how it felt.)

I... softcore cursed, I'm not into hardcore cursing -- this is a family show too you know!

After a few minutes of 'what on earth is going on', I decided to figure it out.

One hour later, after exploring all the possibilities at the root of my connection issues, I had fixed the problem. But I could not find my video. It just wasn't there.... no video meant no poem and I contemplated what to do next.

And I am reminded of one of the many lessons from my Soul of a Pilgrim retreat -- Where ever you're at, always begin again. 

In between, C.C. and I Skype (when did to Skype become a verb?) and he casually mentions the lack of poem that day.  I tell him my woes but am secretly delighted. The poems have become part of the rhythm of our day.

I begin again and spend the next two hours in delightful creativity. It's very different I know because I had written that day's poem as a thread running through the slides -- and did not have a hard copy of my words.

But, finally, happy with the result, I click upload.... and this time it works!

And he is pleased with his gift and my heart is happy.

And then.... I find the original version still on my computer!

What a gift.

Both video poems are very different. Yet both speak of Love.

I am grateful.

In learning something new, I discovered there's always room for more and in that more, beauty unfolds and unfolds and unfolds.

And in the process, me and the 'unseen hand of the cyber-nerds' had a conversation and they get my point -- no sense beating them over the head with my ire. They're rather testy little fellas' -- ya' know what I mean?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guest blog at A Year of Making a Difference

Over at A Year of Making a Difference, my friend Dave Cunnin shares some wonderful insights into how acts of service, and being served, can make a difference when we pay attention.

Where Is The Love by Dave Cunnin (

Friday, March 9, 2012

Get Inspired!

Night lingers. Dawn slips through the crack on the horizon, pushing into the darkness, lighting up the night.

Snow still covers the ground but warm temperatures are quickly melting the evidence of its fall. Wisps of spring dance on the horizon, just over the next hill, the next valley. Promises of blossoms to come tantalize my senses.

I search for my first sight of a robin.

I am in the time of waiting.

Like Lent.

That time when the promise of something greater than this winter landscape enters my soul and pushes me into wakefulness.

March 9 Mandala
In the Soul of a Pilgrim retreat I am taking through Abbey of the Arts, I wrote in my retreat journal, "Love blossoms in dark and light for love is the portal to my heart." It was in response to the mandala I drew that day to honour my journey into the desert.

One of the processes in the retreat is to create a mandala a day representing your journey.

I have been inspired by this process. I've used different mediums. Even created a digital mandala using Paint.

And in the process, the exploration of medium, of expressing my state of being through a daily mandala has inspired me to keep creating. Keep exploring. Keep moving deeper into the desert.

What about you? What gets you inspired? What fires up your desire to explore the hidden landscape of your heart?

To give your inspiration muscles a boost, I am sharing a composition from one of my favourite groups. The Piano Guys.

They never cease to inspire and amaze me. They never cease to wake my spirit up!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wake Up Calls and Other Reminders

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. Pema Chodron

My mind is skipping around judgment. I am driving back from a meeting when the object of my ire crosses in front of me.

He is an older gentleman. Red puffy ski-jacket unzipped. Big winter galoshes untied. He takes a drag on his cigarette, steps off the curb into the intersection just as the light to 'go' turns green for traffic. He doesn't care. He just starts walking across the street in front of the still stopped traffic.

We wait.

He saunters.

He reaches the other side where I am waiting, steps up and over the curb and collected snow and ice in the gutter onto the sidewalk and continues on his way.

Traffic begins to move.

Fortunately, he didn't saunter so slowly everyone missed the light!  Whew! I mean, how awful would that have been? To actually miss a light!  No way!

I get to another intersection just as the light in front of me turns red. I stop. Bet I could have made it if that man hadn't been so....

I decide to not call him names.

I decide I'd best let it go. See if there's a lesson in it for me.

And there is. I wonder about his children. If he has taught them to obey traffic signals or to ignore them, regardless of the danger.

I think about all the children in the world who do not receive loving guidance. And through all my thinking, I absolutely do not think about judgments. About judging others. About criticising, condemning and complaining.

No way.

I am being constructive here. thinking about the children of the world and what they need.

I'm not judging. I'm just being real honest about what I see.

The light turns green. I wait, watching oncoming traffic until it's safe for me to turn left. There's a gap in the flow of traffic,

Gotta use that gap. I zip through the intersection...

And almost hit a young woman crossing the street.

I slam on my breaks. Where did she come from?  My eyes go moucho wide with alarm.

I wave my hands, asking for forgiveness and scoot through -- there's a car bearing down on me coming through the intersection.

Bless them. Forgive me.

I am shaken. Rattled.

Focussed on another's wrong-doing, I have not been paying attention to my doing.

I almost hit someone.

I carry the guilt and sadness with me, the critter of self-criticism lurks to attention. Yeehaw!  Let's have a field day in the garden of guilt.


Let's have a field day in the garden of forgiveness.

Let's not beat ourselves up. Let's commit to doing better. To paying attention. To letting go of judgment and criticism and 'I can fix the world if you'd just do it my way' thinking.'

Let's be present.

And so I breathed. Bless them. Forgive me.

Yes, I almost hit a woman -- I didn't.

It was a good wake up call.

That man in the intersection is a good teacher.

He reminded me to stay focused on what I'm doing, to pay attention and stay present in the moment with a loving and forgiving heart.

Thank you sir!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What is this thing called Love?

The Path of Love
I played yesterday. Played in the snow. Took my camera. Created photos of hearts.

And it was Fun!

It's all in an effort to explore the question I've posed for myself,  "What does Love mean to me?"

Yesterday, I read this from Andrew Cohen,

When we use the word "love," what exactly are we talking about? Are we referring merely to our unique tastes and preferences? Are we referring to our experience of deep personal bonds and emotional attachments? Or are we referring to our connection to a higher spiritual Truth? When we have an experience of revelation or what is traditionally called enlightenment, we directly taste for ourselves a kind of love that is of a different order altogether. It is a love that is truly eternal and unchanging, a love beside which all other forms of love pale in comparison. Once we have tasted its liberating and all-encompassing depth, our understanding of what love is and what it means changes forever.

Lovescapes in the Snow
Yesterday, more snow covered the ground and the labyrinth I'd created in the front yard was almost covered over.

I decided to re-create it, and in the process of walking it, respond to my question, What is Love?, by drawing myself into the centre of my 'true blue heart'.

It was a wonderful, delightful and playful exercise of intentionality marrying with creativity and whimsy.

Afterwards, I let my heart, and my creative nature run free creating LoveScapes in the Snow...

And, in the process, my understanding, knowing, embracing of 'Love' was enlightened by my path into my 'true blue heart'.

A Heartfelt Repast
I have always imagined letting go to mean 'falling'. What if letting go means flying free? Like zero gravity, what if letting go means lifting off, flying free, soaring into the unknown where I am free to explore all it means to be a loving human being without fear of falling?

What if...

I no longer chose to let gravity define my journey?

What if...

Letting go I fly free.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Transformed by beauty all around

Every moment of my life is a new adventure. Soulseeds
It snowed last night. The wind is blowing this morning, the world is a white woolly blanket. And I am warm inside.

Ellie, the wonder pooch, and I went for a walk in the snow last night. The world was silent, all sound muffled in the weight of snow falling. Halos of light glistened in the dark, prisms of snow danced in their eerie incandesence leading us every forward on our way.

The path is the Way.

We trudged through the snow, Ellie zig-zagging her way down the lane. There is no straight line to anywhere when she is off-leash, and in the quiet of the night, letting her off leash in the lane-way was a safe alternative to going to the off-leash park.

Her joy was infectious. I threw snowballs for her. She chased them and couldn't find them, running back to me to see if maybe I'd tricked her and had thrown her a curve ball. And then she ran back to where she thought she'd last seen the snowball land, always searching for new evidence, new places to run and explore, as laughing, I lobbed snowballs all around her.

The curve in the path is the Way to explore new directions.

I carried my intention of being intentional on my walk last night. Of 'noticing'. The light. The snow. The air. The feelings within me and all around me.

In my 'noticing', I realized that each step is a new step. Each step is informed by the previous, and I am transformed by each step.

It is a learning from my Soul of a Pilgrim retreat at the Abbey of the Arts.

Holding on to letting go, I am transformed by every thing.

I wrote in my journal, Travelling into the unknown, each step transforms me. In the perfection of each step, I discover myself without fear of transformation. Mystery waits in the unknown. Mystery welcomes me into the beauty of the mystery unfolding in each step.

As you journey through your day, ask yourself, "What new adventure is unfolding as I take this step?"

And then, be open to the mystery and the beauty unfolding before and within you.

I walked in the snow last night and was transformed by the beauty all around me.

May your world be transformed in every step you take today.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Letting go now.

The past is for wisdom, the present is for action but for joy the future. Disraeli 

Calgary is one of those interesting climate zones where bright warm, sunshiny temperatures can give way to clouds and snow within moments. Blink and the world is transformed.

In the Soul of a Pilgrim retreat I'm engaged in, we are invited to go through our day noticing and experiencing what is on the surface of things as well as below.

This morning, I worried. 

A friend who normally emails her comments in a project we are engaged in by 6:30am, had not sent anything before 7 even. 

Worry marched in before I had a chance to whisper, Stop. (Like I would have.)

What is beneath the surface of this worry? I wondered.

And I saw the truth.

Last week in the Pilgrim's course, I wrote about a limiting belief I'd unearthed. I do not trust the Universe.

Now that is beyond limiting, it is self-defeating and imposes a world of distrust in everyone, everything and every happening in my world.

Sure, I realized, on the surface, I trust...

On the surface.

Below that? well... let's just say there's this little critter in me whispering, right, they say they love you but what they really mean is, "I love you as long as you do things and act in ways I approve of." "Don't disappoint me." "Who are you kidding? You don't deserve love." and on the critter slithers through my psyche.

"We only see beauty if we practice," writes Christine Valters Paintner, Abbey of the Arts Abbess and guide of the Pilgrim workshop.

I see beauty in my worry. I see the beauty of my limiting belief and I see the beauty within it. For within it, beneath the surface of its limitations is the full and encompassing power of embracing it in Love and knowing, the universe trusts me and in my reflection I am the trust, I become the trust, I have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

Fear is at the base of my worry. Fear of disappointment. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid, ridiculous, of being conned, of being misguided, of trusting another for fear they will let me down.

No one can let me down when I trust in the Universe, and gravity, to hold me up.

>I cannot fall down when I trust myself to let go and surrender into Love.

Letting go now.

Snow is falling and the world is transformed in beauty.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Joyce Wycoff -- guest blogger

Confidence is key to making a difference in the world.  Confidence in our ideas.  Confidence in our ability to take them into the world. 
Joyce Wycoff, When Confidence Wanes

My beautiful blog sister, Joyce Wycoff, is the guest blogger over at A Year of Making a Difference.

Her post, When Confidence Wanes is replete with solid advice and soul-lifting inspiration.

Do drop in and visit and let her know you did!  You difference counts!

Thanks Joyce for sharing your wisdom and your beauty so generously. You shine!

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Ate My Voice (a poem)

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.  -- Roderick Thorp 

Roderick Thorp, whose novel, The Detective - Nothing lasts forever was made into the feature film, DieHard starring Bruce Willis, has it right -- I am suspect of falling into the trap of being my own worst enemy.

At lunch the other day with a friend, I had a nibble of Baklava. "Go ahead. Have some. You deserve it." and so, I cheated. And I lost a connection to my best friend -- the one within me who wants only the best for me.

I breathe and begin again.

Always, begin again where I'm at.

I have lost 18 pounds and I am feeling great! Yet, temptation to quit, to cheat, to have one bite lurk within the next spoonful, within every step into the kitchen, every view of TV. I have never been so conscious of how often food and drink appear on TV until I've been on this diet. No wonder we are becoming a nation of eating disordered consciousness. Encouragement to eat more, starve more, diet more, get thinner, let food be the way to happiness, are everywhere!

In honour of my commitment to eat what pleases and nourishes me -- body, mind, spirit and heart, I wrote the following to celebrate my commitment to Always Begin Again -- and celebrate where I'm at. Where I'm at is my journey of being exactly where I am, letting go of those things and thoughts and ideas that do not celebrate where I'm at.

I Ate My Voice
by Louise Gallagher

I ate my voice today
stuffed it down

beneath layers of grilled salmon
and mixed greens

beneath a nibble of dessert
I didn’t want

but chose to eat

I ate my voice
and was consumed

by sadness

my voice needed
no, my voice must

rise up
speak up
be heard

I ate my voice

only I can set it free
but I wanted so desperately

for someone else
to unlock

the recipe
keeping my silence

measured out
in carefully packaged words
that do not ring

I wanted someone else

to open
the door
to my voice

I ate my voice today
and I am tired

tired of feasting on my words
never spoken

I am tired of being full
of nothing

but regret
keeping me eating

the truth…
I ate my voice

looking for the perfect

or way
to say
I’ve had enough

No thank you
I’m done

eating my words
I’m done

not listening
to me

Speak Up.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Angels are always on our path

 It is her voice I hear first, "I'm going to be passing you on your left," she calls out cheerily from behind me on the path where Ellie and I are walking. And she does, pass me on the left, riding her bike, her body clad from head to toe in a snow suit. It is February. And this is Calgary at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. And while it's not cooold, it is brisk, a balmy 0 degrees Celsius. Add the wind on a bike and definitely snow suit biking weather.

I call out a thank you and Ellie and I continue on our way. We meet her again at the point where the asphalt veers left to meander down the hill to the river below and Ellie and I are veering right to the unbeaten path through the woods skirting the top of the ridge. She is standing looking out at the vista.

It is beautiful.

Crystal clear blue sky.

Snow covered mountains in the distance. Dark fir tree clad hillsides sweeping off into the west. There is no sign of 'city', of population expansion at this point of the trail. Just broad vistas of forest and rolling hills climbing into the Rockies.

We chat for a moment and Ellie and I continue on our path to explore the wonders of the day.

I am feeling happy. Content. A productive morning of writing, a few phone calls to prospective clients and now, freedom to explore the outdoors with my pooch. Does life get any better?

We spend some quality time walking and sitting on the hard cold earth, looking out at the view. The silver strip of frozen river a ribbon of possibility snaking through the valley bottom below.

Ellie doesn't have much time for sitting and meditating in the sun. She wants to get going, get exploring, get in motion.

I stall her with a couple of treats and entreaties to 'be still', lie down. It works for awhile but finally, off we go for more wanderings. And on our way back to the car, there is the woman of the bicycle, standing once again, or possibly still, at the edge of the cliff overlooking the view.

She sees us and calls out, "How wonderful to see you again!" And proceeds to tell me about what she's going to do when she gets home -- stay in her snow suit, sit on the chair in her front yard and enjoy the sunshine.

Except, she's worried about what the neighbours will think. And her husband. He's always telling her she can't just sit around and do nothing. "Do you think that's true?" she asks, before racing forward, into more dialogue. "Maybe you can help me," she says. "My son just moved out and the room he had is now empty. I want to use it for something. It's such a wonderful space but I don't want to turn it into a bedroom again, definitely not. My husband says I should make it into a yoga studio but I don't want a yoga studio at home and I don't know, I have this dresser in the basement. It's beautiful old wood with this gorgeous mirror and..." she pauses momentarily for a breath. "Do you think I should move it up there?"

"Do you want to?" I ask, still not sure why a complete stranger is asking me for decorating advice.

"Well, I love it and it seems such a shame to hide it away and I have all these other pieces of art and antiques." Her eyes snap wide open, her mouth forms a tiny 'O'. "I could turn the room into my art gallery. A place where I go and sit and admire all my beautiful things."

And she climbs onto her bicycle in preparation of riding off. "Oh thank! You've helped me so much. Now I can go sit in the sun and plan how I'm going to do this and.. oh Thank you!" And she was off to sit in the afternoon sun.

Ellie and I stood, bemused expressions on both our faces, watching her ride away. Ellie was somewhat dis-chuffed. The woman had barely acknowledged her presence. What's with that? And I was smiling. What a delightfully insane encounter.

I turned from watching her retreating figure back to admire the view. And that's when I saw it. A patch of untrammeled snow, the only patch around, just at the edge of the ridge where the earth falls away to the river valley below.

I knew what I had to do.

I bid Ellie 'Stay' (who am I kidding?) and walked over to the edge of unmarked snow. I turned around, faced away from the ridge and carefully lay my body down and made a snow angel.

It was divine.

I smiled up at the cerulean sky soaring above me. I laughed out loud.

And wonders of wonders, Ellie stayed still until I stood and walked away, leaving my angel lying in the snow behind me. A reminder that angels are on our path always. Sometimes, they come riding up on a bike, all wrapped up in a brown and red snowsuit.

And always, they come bearing gifts of laughter and joy.

When I got home, I gathered my journal and pen and a blanket. I moved the wrought iron table and chair into the sun on the deck and spent an hour basking in the glow of a February afternoon, enjoying the moment, exactly the way it was meant to be. Exactly the way it was.