Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shifting gears - changing seasons

We made it through February - yahoo! I don't get a sense of the challenge of holding my breath for a whole month until I realize that I am exhaling again! February, every year of my memory, is a challenge. No statutory holidays - the obligatory Valentine's guilt-laden tradition, short, cold days and even colder dark nights - what is there to love? Well, from this buoyant perspective of March 1st - it is over! Now, we can get on with the rest of year and all the worthwhile spring, summer days to look forward to.

I had company for dinner last night and reveled in the opportunity to hang out in the kitchen preparing food from recipes that I had drooled over and anticipated making and sharing. My kitchen features a counter where people can gather on stools participating in the preparation and encouraging by tasting and sipping wine with me while I bustle around completing the final steps for dinner. It is one of my favourite things to do - try a new combination of flavours and watch my friends and family enjoy the outcome.

And the conversations - somehow the act of gathering for a meal warms our souls, opens our minds and allows for free wheeling and fabulous discussions! I have noticed a tone of optimism and possible transformation in the discourses I have been engaged in. Even with the self-proclaimed cynics in my crowd, there is a sense of possibility and grudging respect for what is working in the world around us. Whether it is the burgeoning buds on the trees, foreshadowing the luxurious leaves to come, or the cozy atmosphere created on an evening of convivial breaking of bread, it was delightful to acknowledge that I have survived another winter.

I am anticipating the weeks ahead - the promise of spring in the air and the communications that come out of a hopeful state of mind.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No lack of wisdom

1928 “When the great leaders of banking and industry can see no further than the artificial prosperity that comes to Big Business while those who toil on farms are getting no return for their labor, then indeed we have a right to question the wisdom of our financial leaders.” George Norris, in “The Farmers’ Situation, a National Danger”

Laying in bed last night, curled up next to my husband, safe, warm and ever grateful for this simple pleasure which I get to experience nightly, I had the the seedlings of this blog germinating in my head. I remember wondering as I drifted off to sleep about the circles and cycles of us simple creatures.

Every where you turn right now, you can read a quote from the 1920's & 30's which could easily be describing our situation today. And going back further into history, from this perspective, you can see the pattern repeating over and over. Many minds have come to this same conclusion (hence the interest in quotations from the time) and yet, here we are again - this always puzzles me. However, having observed my own tendency to mindlessly rerun the same behaviours that were not effective the first, second or third time, I am clearer on the apparent hard-wiring.

This is clearly not because we don't have the knowledge about how to interrupt - we most certainly do. Interfering with the habits which don't serve us is the basic premise of all spiritual growth so when do we actually put this logic into action?? This seems to me to be the next jump in our evolution - and the piece that needs that inexplicable leap forward - baby steps are not going to cut it!

Once again this esoteric conversation gets grounded in reality with me. Current status of "grammy-to-be" has this talk of evolution or extinction of our species seem very important. I am sending energy for this little person to have not only great brilliance but to gain practical wisdom at an early age. A generation of young people trained from birth in observing their habitual nature and getting that they have a choice - now that will make a significant difference. Perhaps that is the gift my peers as the elders can be sharing with our wee ones. Gentle reminders, as grandparents can, of the virtue of "wanting to do the right thing, in the right way for the right reasons" (from Barry Schwartz' talk on TED www.ted.com posted yesterday).

This is not very different than the talks I had with my Gammy - she always advised me to "get the work done first" and look for the best in people. Pretty good advice for a great life. I hope to be able to grandmother as well as she did. Oh, and by the way - the ultrasound today indicated we should expect a boy - woo hoo!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Challenging times call for uncommon responses, right? Remarkable people stepping up and inventing and creating from nothing, agreed? So, then, why is it that I feel so flat and incapable of digging up enough energy to keep going this week? After all, we survived January, the days are indisputably longer and spring seems like it will return after all.

After spending a signficant amount of time researching and organizing a day of planning for the enterprise I am involved with that would set a new course and send us off renewed and excited about an unimagined future, it just didn't come off quite that resoundingly. Now, there are lots of reasons, all understandable and what was accomplished did make a difference, don't get me wrong. I do comprehend that when you pause to look at where you will be in 5 years and fill in the blanks for the backwards timeline, it is easy to get bogged down in detail. Where I find myself is wondering what it will take to change direction as a species, like really?!

Because if two committed and exceptional women who have powerfully spoken an incredible vision for human beings and have promised to be responsible for their part in it, cannot put aside the standard view of business for 8 hours, then how can I expect that our leaders, both corporate and political will have what it takes to respond to what is ahead?

Hmm, seems I am knee-deep in overwhelm this morning - no wonder my morning has been a slog to get through and I was over an hour late in starting my day. Here is where it gets interesting - whatcha going to do about it, Carol?? Where to find inspiration and faith when it all looks a little bleak? Well, reliably in my life, the solution has been to get into action. Make that phone call that I was putting off, dive into the tasks that I have been procrastinating on, jump in somewhere where I can immediately see results (washing dishes always has that effect!).

So, this morning, this Monday to begin this week, I will be grateful, remember who I am and believe - just, believe.