Monday, December 28, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This has been a few days of contemplation and pondering about traditions and family and such. I am appreciating the different ways to celebrate. I am giving up that I need to have ALL my family under the same roof on Christmas morning in order to have a successful Christmas Day. I am understanding that giving my mom her wrapped presents early will make her Christmas morning cheery and will give her something to look forward to over the next couple of weeks. She may not get out of the house to get us anything more than a greeting card sent before the 25th. She will likely share her Christmas dinner with friends and family of theirs. Her clear desire to spend her remaining days in her own home means that our visits will be sporadic and rarely for more than a few days, barring emergencies. I cannot control how it all turns out any more than I can manage the weather.
At my daughter's house, the 9 foot real Christmas tree is decorated with 8 strings of lights and she has garnished it with ornaments old and new. The front yard is festive with outdoor lights for their first Christmas in the house they all share. She has the Advent Calendar hung that my mom made for my little ones to count down by putting another decoration on the felt Christmas tree each morning. While little Kai is blissfully unaware of the fuss and preparation, this is really in honour of him and the designation of 'family' that being blessed with him has created in that home.
I am ready to go back to my 'borrowed' house and pull out some more festive stuff and light up the place. I will play my favourite seasonal CD's and light up the miniature Christmas village for the sideboard to glow in the darkness of the next couple of long, long nights. I will anxiously watch the weather forecasts for inclement road conditions that might prevent both shopping trips and travel to gather with the family. I will bake shortbread and goodies to share with friends and I will plan an evening of celebration for one evening to eat and drink and laugh with friends.
This year's memories are not yet set so I can say how it will play out. It is with gladness and anticipation that I look forward to the coming days and the warmth of the love that is more important than anything at this time of year. Thanks for reading - this blog was a little gooey, the sweetness is getting to me.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The dialogue during our learning today was fascinating. It is a facilitator training for Appreciative Inquiry which is a philosophy that is very dear to my heart. Not only does it describe the way that I view the world but this week I got clear about how to distinguish it from "positive thinking" which has all those gooey Pollyanna'ish attributes. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is not positive - it is generative. That is, it creates a framework from which to inquire and therefore observe the best in people, organizations and systems. It is in its broadest sense a systematic discovery about what gives "life" to a living system when it is most effective. I have begun to study it in depth and this training that I am away from home for is another step towards more mastery in the discipline of facilitating it in my profession and in my life.
Today, we entered a dialogue in the course room about what it will take to shift the attention of the world from a deficit based world view. While it was acknowledged that there remains a vested interest in that position, surely there is a growing opportunity to find sufficient value in engaging in a new paradigm of thought that gives life force and energy to "change at the speed of imagination". I have discovered that this IS my life's work. Currently it is expressed through my coaching others and growing my coaching and training skills to the point where I can teach and facilitate for learners becoming excellent coaches and I am beginning to see the path which leads me even further in my commitment to a world that works - for every one.
Being distanced from the usual, removed from the familiar and spending some time with myself for company does make room for observation from an uncommon perspective. Nattering away as I do when in a room by myself, I discuss with myself the implications of my scrutiny of my behaviour and reactions and draw some interesting conclusions. I actually like my own company and perhaps because it is now a rare occasion that I have to spend hours alone, I value the manner in which my mind operates and honour the intuitive sense of forward direction that is clarified without distractions.
I miss home and the comfort and luxury of being well loved by my husband. I do appreciate the tremendous value in this introspective review and the new knowledge that I am advancing here. I will return refreshed and renewed. I have traded palm trees and extravagent heat for rain and some marvelous conversations - with others and myself!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Please watch this video, then go to this site and add your name, check out the other affirmers, peruse the events and ways to participate and tell me that you are not moved beyond your stodgy, cynical, "this will never change" perspective. I have followed the creation of this charter for many months and was honoured to receive the final version in my inbox this week.
I am left with some questions though... how will we know that a difference is being made? What will be the evidence that a shift IS occurring? How will the orphans of Gaza, the disappeared of Chile, the child soldiers of Somalia, the teenage hookers of East Vancouver know that we are making the world a better place?
Will the fat, apparently heartless corporate heads of the companies that exploit the poor and the helpless wake up tomorrow with a change of heart and give their profits to Save the Children Fund? Will the powerful leaders of countries that dominate and slaughter people in other parts of the world in the name of a "justifiable" defense suddenly smack their collective foreheads and call a cease fire everywhere? Will the angry gang member put down his gun and forgive the slight from the other side instead of getting in his car and shooting up someone's house in a driveby revenge?
What would have to happen to create that miracle?? In the face of all the magical, powerful, amazing openings that are being created every day by so many of us, how can we possibly know we have turned the corner and are not facing the inescapable end of human beings? What certainty can I give to my darling grandson that he will have an opportunity not just to live but to prosper and thrive in a world where the majority also share that future?
As I dwell in these questions, allowing the not-knowing to just be a part of what is present in my sunny office in the space where I was blessed to be born, I can look into my heart and realize that it is not possible to have a Hollywood type conclusion here. There seems to be some inexorable and unrelenting momentum propelling us to our future. The interpretation of what will result will be up to each individual.
I can, in the light of being a part of the creation of the Charter for Compassion, accept that one possible outcome will be that we pause a few years from now and look back on the progress we have made in a remarkably short period of time and experience wonder and joy for what work has been done and how this Charter was embraced by so many. Let it be so. Namaste.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
that my magical son was born... my graces today are for him:
~ that he has become this incredible man who acts, reads poetry, loves deeply and makes people laugh
~ that he follows his heart - knows why he is on this earth - and what he is good at
~ that he has beautiful hands, long elegant fingers and uses them in expression of his words (when he was a teeny baby a very funny old lady that rode the bus with us exclaimed over his long fingers then -she said he would play the piano...)
~ that he calls me "Mama" and writes me these beautiful notes and poems and cries when I send him notes and poems back
~ that he is such a great big brother for his sister and tender uncle for his nephew and loves to experience harmony in our family
Happy Birthday my son!! (okay it was yesterday, but I had to share!)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
~ a day of diversity - office to myself - bookkeeping that MUST be done (yuck) and a visit from an old friend this afternoon
~ being busy with details but stopping to notice that the sun is really shining this morning~ wondering if I can fit in a walk...
~ after reading a timely piece in Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnach (seems she has an online version now - of course!) about business travel, I am going to pack differently - making sure I am truly taking care of myself next week, instead of just enduring the travel
~ my husband tells me that he has a commitment to post something positive about his day every morning on facebook - do you think after 35 years I might be rubbing off on him??
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I know that I could research and learn a lot more about time being relative (and the meaning of dreams) but what is a fact is that I have an experience of time stretching, being truly elastic in nature and allowing me far more comfort in dealing with the deadlines and tasks of my days. So, in contrast to the amazement I have at the zooming calendar pages (remember how they always showed time passing in the old black & white movies - calendar pages flying off the pad - who even has those pads of calendar pages anymore??), I have an ease and sense that there is time for all of whatever I need to do. Is this true? Frankly, that doesn't matter - I experience it that way and that is what counts for me.
As much as anything, I believe this relative serenity about time (time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future...) has been achieved through letting go and actually meditating regularly. (I do hate when I actually stumble upon what other people have known and practiced for many years - it makes me feel like I should have gotten it much sooner in my life -
Any-whoodles (as my delightful Bloggy friend Extranjera would say), it is time to move on to another project. Thanks for reading my thoughts today!!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I wondered today why I have been noticeably absent from blogging - writer's block? change of focus? don't wish to bore you with more mushy exclamations about my exquisite grandson? I determined I am suffering from the 'dog days of summer'.
I have often wondered what that means (ooh - quick googling - ahem..."refers to the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere they usually fall between early July and early September"...- thank you Wikipedia) okay, so now I know! And it isn't early September any more but the sultry weather seems to have returned. Which I am thrilled about. But I know even in my most unwilling-to-accept-reality moments that these days are numbered and the numbers are dwindling - then it will be winter!
And I didn't really expect to still be here in my 'borrowed' house a year later. And I hadn't really thought beyond the move back to the island and getting going in a new direction. In fact, I have never been very good at making long term plans and then following through on them. So, what does this mean? Well, in a fable that impacted my consciousness at an early age, the Ant and the Grasshopper, I have always emulated grasshopper more than ant - hence the lack of significant retirement savings and solid means for my 'golden' years.
Now, I imagine there are a number of 'ants' out there right now whose carefully stored savings went for a powder in the last year and whose equity in the their homes vanished as quickly as the summer sunsets, so Aesop may not have the last laugh. I have no regrets about the uncharted, often unexpected expeditions in my life. I have learned to land on my feet, be grateful for what I have, be creative and responsive to opportunities and have confidence in my ability to weather the storms (holy mixed metaphors, Batman!). My desire to put down roots and plant a garden and adopt wayward cats comes to me rather late in my life. Better late than never, I figure. I am finally ready to putter about a little homestead and be happy with projects and knitting - and yoga - in my home.
So, Grasshopper, what now? (asks the wise Crone in me that I am learning to listen to). Well, as the dog days of summer wind down I am actually quite prepared for the winter. I am undertaking training and development - physical, professional and spiritual; I am looking forward to the miraculous growth and changes in wee Kai; I am improving my diet and taking on a cleanse for my body and spirit and I am already anticipating spring and the return to the long, hot days of summer. And it will be fascinating to see where I am this time next year!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Getting part way through a blog about God and realizing that I am not finished with it yet - nor am I prepared to "publish" prematurely, I honestly just figured out that I have less profound things to say.
- isn't it funny how spending time with a baby slows the world down to a much more reasonable pace?
- eating take-out pizza for dinner on Sunday is a really good idea
- I am amazed at how many people don't have rousing conversations - like, ever, at all... how boring that would be!
- my work provides me with the opportunity to have spirited conversations almost all day long, any given day - how great is that?
- living here, gazing over the ocean is an indescribable blessing - which I am very grateful for
- today I got to hang out with my daughter, my grandson, my husband, my son-in-law - talk to my mom on the phone, a good friend by cell phone and a whole bunch of bloggy friends - life is good!
- AND I have left over pizza for lunch tomorrow mmm...
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
You know those days when you just have to steel yourself to get up and when you have that conversation with yourself in the mirror (I just presume that everyone talks to themselves in the mirror like me) you say to self:
Carol: Okay, today is another day and you can find the energy to zoom through this day.
Other Carol: Yeah, right... and you are going to keep this up for the next 15 years??
Carol: Of course, it is all about finding the inspiration for today and the appreciation of what is working in your life.
Other Carol: (sneering slightly) Suzy Sunshine this morning aren't you? Did you notice that it is completely overcast and dark this morning and it is August?!
Carol: Certainly, but that is why the Universe emails me every morning and I check in on other blogs when I start my day.
Other Carol: Good luck with that...
Well, fortunately, several of my bloggy friends posted this today and altered my morning:
As I watched this and goosebumps raised on my arms (no, Other Carol, it was not just cold in here), I realized that I was extremely thankful for Joni Mitchell, through all the stages and phases of my life, she has been there. Car on a Hill was my theme song for a while...
And this morning she reminded me that:
We are stardust * Billion year old carbon * We are golden * Caught in the devils bargain * And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
See you there... xo
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
(Verb1. sally forth - set out in a sudden, energetic or violent manner) into my day - perhaps over to the chain saw guy who started up again and give him a piece of my mind, since I appear to have a few to spare! Tally ho!
Monday, August 10, 2009
1. His mom & dad stayed together, through thick and thin (and many bizarre episodes in between), providing consistency and an example of a couple working through it all;
2. He had the balance of both maternal and paternal loving and while as the maternal influence, I often thought that the paternal impact was odd and not the way I would have done it, I have come to see that both aspects are needed for harmony in maturity;
3. He was brought up in a community where he was exposed to many loving adults and children, diverse situations which allowed him to see that there are many ways to be a family;
4. He had the opportunity to listen to a huge variety of music and choose his own favourites;
5. He saw live theatre, dance performances, numerous sporting events and music concerts;
6. He explored outdoors - on his own with little supervision in the relatively safe environment of our housing co-op and beyond in parks and wilderness with us on adventures;
7. He got a trip to Europe and a year of post-secondary education paid for by the parents and learned a great deal from both;
8. He travelled to Mexico with the family and saw both extreme poverty and tourist-y luxury;
9. He was encouraged to speak his mind, tell his truth and share without consequence;
10. He was always loved, loved and loved some more.
As a new grandparent, I can see the trepidation of the new parents, "what if we screw this up?" and the overriding desire to keep the little guy safe and protected. Since kids don't come with handbooks and even if they did, the continuous updates would make them useless, we all just do our best, trust that will be enough and love our children some more. Love is the final answer!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Here I am at the end of Day (oh wait, rapid calculation required...) SIX of my brief holiday and I am typically considering the end. Hmmm... it has been delightful, filled with all the kinds of pleasures that I was looking for. I have had hours holding my wee grandson, lots of laughter with my daughter, an artsy movie with my son, time to walk and window shop alone (ok, a little bit of actual shopping) (one has to buy undies in the city when you have the opportunity...) and even a sushi lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon. Try that in Duncan!
I haven't had sufficient alone time to explore the inner landscapes I was hoping, but have realized that can come in small bites - moments of meditation at yoga class - a deliberate walk with myself during the day - and in this contemplative exercise of writing onto the glowing screen. The internal monologue - sometimes, dialogue - I am a Gemini after all - gets aired for public viewing.
Still and all, I would love it if I could make tomorrow last for another week - because I still haven't:
1) Walked to the ocean
2) Walked past my old house and leaned on the fence to really take a look at the garden and wonder how the bones of my cats are doing in the pet cemetery in the corner of the yard (did we tell the new people that? "Oh, and don't dig there, you might find several burial mounds with various tattered cat toys carefully arranged around the corpses")
3) Gone for tea, anywhere (it is Victoria, after all)
4) Called my brother (oh, sh*^ , I really should have done that - even though he doesn't believe in computers, he might find out from somebody that I was here, feeling guilty for having not called him...)
5) Written in my old fashioned, hand written journal (with the new pen that I bought at Island Blue Print - well, HAD to buy - there is nothing like that store in Maple Bay!)
6) Come to realize that I am completely energized and ready to dive back in to work and life without hours on end to gaze at my gorgeous grandson.
But that is what Days Seven, Eight & Nine are for!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Babies survive in spite of us, not because of us! Watching my daughter go through all the uncertainty and nervousness of being a first time mom, I realized that I went through exactly the same thing. It's inevitable - you react to every teeny noise they make, each motion of their bodies, each time they eat or don't eat, pee or don't pee - everything appears like a crisis in waiting. Without a current expert at your elbow every moment of the day one feels so alone. (And I say "current" because what was considered right or healthy for baby even 5 years ago is so silly, even laughable, you need to keep up with the immediate advice).
And since everyone has an opinion and the professionals often provide contradictory recommendations, it often boils down to our guts - does this "feel" right? Is my baby thriving and happy? Does this make sense? Seems scarcely enough data to raise a child on, yet most of us make it!
And I find that I wish I was a pediatrician, an experienced and gifted nurse or a trained adviser in some aspect of this journey they are on. My newborn experience was decades ago and in hindsight, is mostly a blur. Doctor's waiting rooms, emergency ward visits, consultations with other parents, I remember lots of those. Mostly I remember feeling very ill equipped for this role as someone's mom and somehow inadequate because it didn't all naturally come to me. What is with this idea that we should have all this knowledge inside of us?? Are human beings that more complex than the deer that roam around by my house? Mama Deers seems to know what to do. Yes, but what if their babies get constipated?
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I ascertained, with the assistance of my very gifted coach, Fiona (see, she should have a blog that I could hyperlink here, then you could all meet her), that I have actually been giving my family the short end of the vacation stick for the last.. ummm, ten years or more. You see, I only pretend to be on holidays, mostly. The only exceptions to this have been on extravagant Mexican travels where we acted as if we were rich and ignored the rest of the world for weeks on end - well, four weeks on end. The travelogues for those trips are exotic and wonderful and not what my bank account can support for the next eight days.
The other, shorter holidays mostly consisted of me pausing to answer the b-berry, checking webmail and worrying that my role might be eliminated before I get back to my desk. Not very relaxing for anyone who traveled with me, I am sure. I am committed to changing that.
For the next eight days, I am putting down the corporate baton, having provided my boss/colleague/friend with everything she needs to cover me. (Oh wait, I still have to type out an instruction sheet for her - I can get that done on Monday - that doesn't count, does it?) I have determined that I will focus on my family and friends, let them know that they really are the most important people in my life.
I am also going to spend some time by myself, which occurs like a luxury. I am called to exploring my spiritual side and internal landscape too. This is timely as the summer peaks on this first day of August. Reveling in each sunny, hot day, relishing each moment outside with very few clothes on, that is what will propel me into the fall.
And I will take time to blog - this expression of my thoughts is most enjoyable. I like writing to readers that I may not even know, as if they are my friends too. If you are one of those, thanks for reading. Wish me luck on the time out part - I may have to remind myself on occasion!
Friday, July 31, 2009
At the risk of once again offending the men in my life, I just want to give a big SHOUT OUT to the women of my virtual world. I am including those that I speak to by phone and text by cell phone as I count them as virtual because I can't hug them (at the moment).
In my relatively new exploration of the blogosphere, discovering the distinction between bloggy friends and RWP (Real World People), I have noticed that I am mostly in communication with other women in this world. Now, truthfully, I have always found it easier to talk to other women (with two notable exceptions - my husband because he has had 35 years to figure out my quirks and crazy bits and understands me when I am talking around my toothbrush - and my son, who has the distinct advantage of having half of my genes to be able to fathom what the hell I am on about). But the women I am daily spilling my guts with at Grace in Small Things from all over the world, from all different ages and backgrounds and the women whose blogs inspire me and tickle my fancy; they are special!
Again, my husband who has been developing on-line friendships far longer than me has told me of the capacity to establish connection in this impersonal, kinda suspiciously superficial internet world. I didn't really believe him. How do you know these are "real" people, not pretending to be nice when they are really mildly psychotic, small 'c' conservative, strangely twisted weirdos who only want access to your obviously top-secret email and your hush-hush, espionage covert operations?? (because we all have important documents on our computers that might risk national security if leaked, right?!).
Well, you don't - it comes down to trust, like most everything else in the world. I have faith that the women I share with and chat with and talk to are as real as me. Sometimes phony, often misconstrued, not always facing my less-than-perfect side, but warm blooded and mostly warm hearted and welcoming the vibrant connections and laughter generated each day.
My days are brighter, lighter and more fun for these glimpses into their lives. To the wimmin of my world - thank you, I love you!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I have been crying off and on for two days - happy tears for the most part - but still unusal for me to wipe off all my mascara by 9 am twice now! I am leaping into risky conversations as the space seems very open for communication right now. I have spoken with people that I have not talked to for over two years; I am inviting people to visit and be around us all; I am accomplishing results without effort; people are saying things to me that I just never expected. I am observing shifts and metamorphoses (is that really the plural of metamorphosis?) all around and this, as I pointed out, is Day 2.
Catalyst: an agent that causes an interaction between persons or forces without being affected itself - thy name is Kai.
We welcome you and embrace the changes.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Now, this whole "elder"thing has me a little daunted - it implies wisdom, experience and knowledge. Yah, uh huh, okay... not so sure about that part. However, I get a glimpse, no more than a glimpse, it is a gut level certainty about how connected we are - he is blood of my blood. I will have the privilege and responsibility for his safety in the world, his outlook on it all, how he will associate and communicate and how he will feel about himself. But I get to do all of this not from the intense, direct, sometimes overly myopic perspective of a parent but from over here where it is both a choice and a duty.
Being a grandparent - this is the playground where parents get to "do-over". I get the tremendous opportunity to be for baby Kai all the ways I wish I had been with my kids, knowing what I know now.
I am starting to get this whole circle of life thing (cue the Disney theme song...).
Finally, I want to acknowledge that I was able to experience this miracle of him being born, to have been of service to Tia and Jesse, who openly and willingly shared this incredible moment in their lives. They welcomed me to be with them, not as an observer but as an integral part of Kai's birth. I am humbled by this common occurrence that happens all over the world many times every day and each time results in this magical little being, whose life is just beginning; such unimaginable potential in their perfect tiny fingers, untapped brilliant thoughts in that sweet, little head.
I am blessed!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Next on my horizon is the imminent birth of my grandson. I am part of the birth "team", a concept that was quite foreign in the olden days of my children's births. For my generation it was a big step to have Dad in the labour and delivery rooms. While I suspect the whole team will not be there for the entire event; we may work in shifts - I hope to be there for the actual birth and I am nervous. My experience ("I dunno nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies, Miz Scarlett...") is only my own kids' births and I don't know how that prepares you for anything. It is mostly a blur of pain and ecstacy. But, I am honoured to be asked to support, love my daughter, son-in-law and this new being more than I can describe, so I will be of service.
Being of service - that is where I can lose my ego, discover endless patience, calm and order, find depths of understanding and abilities that I don't know that I have. I understand why women (and men) would choose a life of service in religion. There are tremendous rewards!
This is my meditation for this week - topic for thought and consideration. Being of service - including being of service to me - what does that look like and how does it serve the greater good?
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I have some signficant attachment to remaining attached.
In fact, I am convinced that if I don't keep scanning the horizon for the next attack/accident/crisis with shoulders tensed and adrenaline ready to shoot through my body that "my" world will quite possibly collapse. After all, it has been my vigilance that kept body and soul together for me and my extended family so far, isn't it?
This seems silly as I re-read it but that is contrary to the sensation that I have in my gut - this feels very grim over here in this sack of watery flesh. I actually operate in the world like I have the responsibility for taking care of it all. And I take on this grave duty very seriously, in case you hadn't noticed.
Now, there is good news... having noticed the extent of being gripped by this super hero delusion, I have an opportunity to hang up the cape. Bad news is that it is double knotted around my neck, so it might take a little loosening before I can take it off.
I always laugh with my coaching clients when the "trust" thing comes up - it is so consistent in everyone's conversation, how it all rolls back to trust. Coach, listen for thyself - uh huh, I can do this! My note from the Universe this morning http://www.tut.com/ (shout out to Mike Dooley) said that I will "prevail, thrive and arrive". I will trust that this morning!