Monday, November 29, 2010

Now what?!

I have been contemplating left turns, 180 degree shifts, outside "the box" and the road not taken this past month.  While it seems as though I have been in some degree of turmoil or another for months (no home, no job, no money), it really has only been 2 months since my world shifted significantly.  Today, as I am about to commit to a 2 year post secondary program (the first in my life I am almost ashamed to say), I am once again pondering how best to honour one's instincts. Actually, that is a cop-out; I am really just getting shift-y and scared about taking on something that I have always said I wanted to do and now I have to put my money (or rather Student Aid's money) where my mouth is and jump in. 

I am in the process of writing an essay in application for a scholarship specifically for women taking on a college education "later in life".  Yes, that is me.  Thirty six years ago, a fresh faced, "cookies and milk" girl from Calgary completed high school and considering a degree in social work, worked as a long distance operator and lived at home, dreaming of travel to castles in England.  Along came an exciting, older man who, while not exactly sweeping her off her feet, did provide a perfect exit to the first family life.  Moving to the west coast, marrying, birthing children, working, running businesses - just life - filled the next 35 years.  Each time that the idea of college or university came up there was always another priority, a more important consideration and the thought passed by, the current catalogue of classes became out of date and eventually recycled. 

Now, (it seems - I am still hedging my bets and feeling uncertain) is the perfect time to go back to school.  I am not in the midst of an exciting, upwardly mobile career, my children are grown and self sustaining, my mom's health is stable, my husband is at home in a semi-retired state and I ain't got nothin' to lose and everything to gain!  I have chosen a two year program in HR Management which could lead to a degree program or further education and will provide me with a diploma and education to provide credibility to my own natural abilities.  I have always loved being in training and even loved the challenge of studying for my real estate license.  So, you may ask, what is going on today??

Well, the "what-if's" are picking away in my brain, although, even as I type this, I can see how weak that sounds. The money comes up as it looks as though I am mortgaging my future (you got something better to invest in??).  The Student Aid is so measly that no human being could live on it (that is why you keep your part time work and continue to build more flexible options and HELLO, aren't you a coach?  Coaching does not require a regular schedule.).  And, okay, if we dig down a layer or two, I am just plain scared.  What if I go to school for 2 years, complete the program and still can't find a job that I love?  What if I am a terrible student and completely incompetent?  What if I can't find my way around a campus and feel like an idiot?  What will the other students think of me being in post-secondary school for the first time at 53 years old?  Like I said, the what-if's are prolific and the wonder of transcribing this all down on the bright little screen is that I can answer them all with "so-what's"! 

Since I actually took the step to inquire about the program, received information and started to complete what is necessary, I have held out that if the perfect job opportunity presented itself that I would take that.  In fact, it became that if any fulltime job came up that I would probably jump at it as money has been squeaky tight this past number of weeks.  No such alternatives have presented themselves and the patchwork quilt of options continues as the best coverage that I can create.  So... I will be heading off to the college tomorrow morning and paying my fees so that I can register for classes to start in January!  There, I have said it out loud and in public. 

The next adventure awaits....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This is becoming boring...

Someone suggested to me last night that I approach this time of no work as a holiday.  It startled me and my reactions were pretty defensive ("You clearly don't get it; I don't have a JOB or any MONEY.  How could I take a holiday now?!  That would be completely irresponsible, etc, etc...").  However, it did give me pause to consider how I approach times of challenge.

Now, I am of the opinion that I have had quite enough challenges this year but clearly the Universe is not done with me on this one yet.  And I have no fracking control over it at all, which drives me 18 shades of crazy.  My desire to assert my influence on this circumstance is overwhelming.  I. need. to. make. it. work!

Unh, uh (or however you type the negative form of Uh, huh, to indicate in typing the shaking of one's head...). Nope, not, nyet, nein, NO!  I have no ability to consciously force this to go my way.  That is not to say that I am not fully engaged in job-seeking, because I am.  I spend hours each day exploring options, opportunities, applying for positions, researching organizations, figuring out who to talk to, finding people of influence in my circle and beyond - I am at work, finding work, just like "they" tell you to be.  Never, in my life, have I worked so hard to find work and been (as yet) unsuccessful.  Well, that is not entirely true - I have secured 2 days a week, for a third less per hour than they originally promised me at my interview, which covers about 40% of my monthly expenses...

I get it - this is a sign of the times, the cracks in the economy showing just how broken it all is and we are in a "recession" after all.  And, I know that I am older than I was last time I took on a project like this and like one kind person who actually sent me an email to tell me I had not made the first cut said, "I have received over 350 applications for this position", when I asked why my combination of experience and skills, that seemed perfect, had not even made it to the first interview stage.  There are a lot of people out there, like me, looking for work. 

But, this is getting tiresome.  I want to think that I have some power in this.  I want to believe that my shiny, positive attitude will prevail.  I want to consider that my commitment to people and making a difference will pay off with a great opportunity.  I want to keep on having faith in it all working out.

And I am somewhat frustrated and notice a degree of (yes, I will say it) fear present in my head each morning.  A wise friend suggested I take a look at the worst case scenario, work out a solution and let go of the fear.  Great idea.  And I have done that - I know what my 'back pocket' plan is.  I just don't want to have to pull it out and to be straight, I am not ready to do that yet.  Knowing it is there is worthwhile.

So, I will carry on today.  I have calls to make with requests for ideas and assistance.  I am present to and appreciating the glorious sunshine and this beautiful fall day.  I will take some time and walk by the ocean and visit my daughter and I did sleep in this morning.  That makes it kind of like a holiday, doesn't it?  I am sure that when I am busy working/occupied in a paid circumstance that I will look back on this like a time of leisure. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Play it again, Sam... Letting Go...

In an unexpected moment of appreciation for the current state of affairs of my life, I am relishing my given quest for the year 2010 and am once again "Letting Go".  (I think there is a "Trust the Universe" edict in here too somewhere, but that part is not apparent to me yet).

     - Letting go of the "graceful" transition from a paid position that I had been counting on to a self generated income stream.
     - Letting go of how it is "supposed" to look to be generating that income stream.
     - Letting go of an idea that I am somehow at "fault" for not having immediately stepped into fabulous financial freedom.
     - Letting go of the second guessing (what if I had stayed at that last position - the one before the last one??).
     - Letting go of feeling guilty for taking the time, when it presents itself, to be working on me - my writing, my connections.
     - Letting go that I have any fracking control over the Universe and continuing to generate ideas, thoughts, possibilities and job applications without loss of enthusiasm.

I have never experienced a challenge in my life that I did not appreciate in some way later.  I guess I will have become enlightened when I can appreciate it in the moment.  So, today, I am dwelling on what the lesson of this time will be when I get to review it from the more generous 20/20 hindsight perspective. 

And the other questions that comes up is:  what am I resisting?  Now, I am aware that this is one of those giant, looping questions which may never resolve itself or provide much value in the considerations - so I just mention it in passing.

Feels harder to be trusting of the outcome today than it was a month ago, but here I am putting my fondest dreams out there again - creating a patchwork of circumstances that will be the quilt of income/money for the winter and building towards a marvelous future.

As a dear friend of mine used to say "Might as well... can't dance, ain't got a ticket".  Carry on!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One of "those" people...

 *photo credit to NiMal.13

This has been an interesting month - as in the phrase purportedly used a Chinese curse (Google makes an honest woman of me - can't mis-credit quotes anymore).  Yeah, I don't need too many more "interesting" months like that in my life.

I am viewing all of this as the Universe testing me, to see if I truly believe that blithely spoken "trust the Universe" that I have been on about all year.  Kind of in the same way that teenagers test the boundaries to find out if their parents still love them. ("Let's see, I have crashed the car, failed an exam and stayed out all night - how do you like me now?")  Once again, enough already...

Last night was a particularly sleepless night.  I was wrestling with all my fears, worries, anxieties about my situation and a niggling concern about giant spiders sharing my pillow (this is not unfounded; less than a month ago a humungous ugly spider was sitting right on my pillowcase, waiting for me when I pulled down the covers to climb into bed.  To my credit, I scooped him up in a glass with a card, carried him a long ways down the block away from my house and told him to tell his buddies never to darken my bed again, thus, earning "spider karma" which should prevent any of his/her kind biting me.  Okay, that part might be unfounded).  

I digress (not enough sleep).  In my restive state (which doesn't mean well rested, although it looks like it should), I called upon my Higher Being and Council of Elders that reside in my sub-conscious and asked how I should be handling this current state of affairs (no job, no money... well, not exactly, but close enough) and received some interesting insights:

     1)  In my declared statement of who I am (I will save the details of this for another post), I have said that I "call forth the integrity".  Integrity as defined by some on-line dictionary (thank you again, my friends at Google) as the state of being, whole, entire or undiminished.  That state of undiminished has not been my state of residence this month.  I have felt distinctly diminished and according to the the Wise Ones, "get over it"!
     2)  I don't need to be the counter effect for the bad stuff in the world - or for the people who talk about how crappy it is all the time.  Not my job.  Wisdom of the Circle - "Stop resisting the way other people are - that is their stuff.  If you spend all your energy trying to balance that in the world, you have none left for your own forward momentum."
     3)  The tide will turn today (mostly because that makes a lovely alliteration - "the tide will turn on Friday" has not nearly such an uplifting lilt).  Today, the opportunities will present themselves and if this is not immediately apparent it is because I am not "trusting the Universe". 
     4)  I have spent the majority of my life presuming that there are other people, "those" people, who have the luck, auspicious birthright, financial advantage, smarts or guts to be the winners of the world (cue Steely Dan - "I want a name when I lose...") and I am not in that group of the chosen folk.  Last night I wondered what it would be like if I was.  What if I truly was living this miraculous life that I have spoken of and here is the evidence.  (I am sitting in front of my little laptop, linked to the internet by a wireless connection, gazing out the window at the sun on the house next door, food in the fridge, money in the bank {albeit not a whole bunch} and the time and opportunity to pause and consider what is next in this curious life).  How would I view my life if I really considered that I was one of the fortunate ones?  (shifted my world just a smidgen).
     5)  I prefer not to spend my night discussing the state of the Universe with the Elders but once in a while can find the value in it.

This morning, although I notice a certain fatigue, I am in a different state of mind (perhaps province of intention is more accurate).  I have not yet gained mastery in this new environment of wisdom but there is a lightness of being today.  

My faith is back.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Passages, changes, motion...

How did this month slip by so unnoticed? It was full of people and visits, barbecues and summer walks. There was time in gardens and on lawns, decks and patios. There was chasing and being chased by a delightfully active crawling creature who continues to capture more of my heart. There was wine and fabulous home cooked meals. The time was appreciated if not remarked upon! Summer... ahhhh....

This week as we move into the last week of August, the sense of the season shifting is all around me. This is the time when I find I have to manage my expectations, practice letting go of another summer and welcoming the changes coming this fall.

The wheel is turning again and this fall I will be creating and engineering my own future, my own business, my own connections without the safety net of a regular paycheque. It is not that I haven't considered the option of being employed, it is that only one of my applications for paid positions resulted in an interview, much less a job offer. Oh, except that nice man from craigslist who offered not only to hire me without as much as a phone interview but send me a laptop, printer and "electric keyboard" (?!). Let's just say, I took that one with a grain of salt and deleted my address from my website, in case he was also the stalking kind of weirdo.

This week I was relishing my freedom from the 9 to 5 and had come to a place of real determination to keep the momentum going to have all the pieces fall into place to have sufficient paying work one month, two months and eventually 3 months in advance. I declared that I will continue to live a miraculous life with all the marvelous aspects of my days enhanced and enjoyed. I will keep finding the nice contact, next contract, next little piece of paid project work. I will keep on collaborating with colleagues whose ideas and thoughts intrigue and enliven me. I will be able to see the difference I am making and receive referrals and more opportunities to share what I do.

"Declare and fulfill" - this may be the mantra for this next piece of my life. This absolutely requires the continued practice of Trusting the Universe, but it has more activity involved. I face this time with tremendous certainty about being on the right path, at the right time and having the right people show up when needed.

Oh, and there are lots of backyard barbecues, bottles of wine and walks to the beach left to have before I am willing to admit that it is fall!

photo credit to Steadyjohn

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Musings from weeding an overgrown garden

Appreciating that there are no coincidences and the symmetry of the Universe is precise and perfect, it was no accident that I sat in a wildly overgrown garden, filled with thistles and weeds, looking for the tender, little carrots and beets that had been planted and neglected weeks ago. As I unconcealed the tender little shoots that would have been thriving vegetables had they been tended; each tough, old, prickly thistle that I ripped out was a victory.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no ability to be aware of the cosmic metaphor when I am in it. When I was weeding in the dirt, I was weeding in the dirt (props to Dewitt Jones, Celebrating What is Right in the World). But at some point in the amazingly restful sleep my tired body needed, this came to me and I wondered where I need to "weed my garden"?! I am not going to get all sermon-y on you here as I have milked this metaphor sufficiently (milk-thistle - get it?! Sorry...), but in the time of change that I am in, I will take advantage of every insight I can gain.

For me, the most critical aspect of moving ahead when I am literally designing my life as I am living it, is to hold the possibility of a spectacularly successful outcome that I can look back on in a year or two and say "Yes!! That all worked out so well!". I am balancing that with the practical, looking for ways to take care of what is necessary this week, next week, next month so that I have sufficient means to continue and avoid a financially critical circumstance. Been there, done that - thank you. I have no need to replay that experience to get the lesson!

Each time I sit in the dirt, weeding a garden - and, I just realized, for the first time in eons, I have had that opportunity in numerous gardens this summer - I am present to the wonderful simplicity of working with growing things. This seems the right place, to sing with John Denver, okay, everyone: "inch by inch, row by row"...

Oh, you are still reading?! I wondered if the segue to the Muppets might have been a little too much. But seriously, what I am left with is my desire to just putter in my garden, play for hours with my magical grandson and have amazing and life altering conversations. My interest in working really hard to get ahead to some undescribed destination is very limited. I want enough money to take care of myself and my loved ones but I have discovered that my needs are quite simple.

This allows for some freedom from the fear that grips me some days. Having stepped out onto the entrepreneurial edge a decade ago and falling right off into the abyss of bankruptcy (yes, it felt like that), I acknowledge my unsettledness in once again being solely responsible for my own income. I am keenly aware of the language that I use in describing this, knowing the power of my words. I am speaking of succeeding and ease and satisfyingly financial compensation for my efforts.

And I have had ten years to hone my abilities to accept and appreciate what is so. To be creative and imaginative in exploring opportunities. To be confident and bold in what I now provide in the world. To be declarative and intentional in my efforts. To ask for and accept the assistance I need. To collaborate and share the success and the work it takes to get there.

Ten years ago, I was sure I didn't have the time and I sure didn't have the interest in what it took to grow a garden filled with beautiful and nourishing plants. Now, I can't imagine any better place to hang out than among the bugs and soil!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

out of the satisfied daze...

Seems that there was something very satisfying in arriving here and just being in a city that is so familiar and beloved. My time was happily spent being near family and friends, exploring a new, yet old neighbourhood, walking streets that I used to walk 30 years ago when I lived nearby. I was happy just being here.

One must not become complacent seems to be the lesson as circumstances are shifting again and new challenges await. I awoke this morning, consciously holding the details of a dream where I had arrived into a position where I no longer had to worry about money. That my years of lists of expenses and income were a thing of the past and I could just relax and work and play without worry. I wanted to hang on to that sense of confidence and knowledge of having created the situation that I had been seeking for so long.

I determined a little while back that the measure of reaching that milestone would be I would no longer have those carefully scribed post-it notes of figures in backs of notebooks, with either plus or minus signs to indicate whether I was winning or losing the game. I have done this since I can remember and with a few times of respite when the numbers seem to take care of themselves (or my earnings were more than sufficient to cover the costs), this has been a monthly ritual.

What becomes clear as I write this is the sacred importance I have placed on this ritual. It is no wonder that not much has actually shifted from this circumstance over the years given how faithful to this practice I have been.

Without the time to actually consider what else, I will not jump too quickly to another way of managing the money but in this clarity, I can see how I have not served my intention of abundance with a bi-weekly accounting of scarcity.

More thoughts to ponder - a new ritual to invent...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Landing with grace

This week the tide turned. I could actually look around my suite and say "Yes, I am home!" I have had exquisite moments this past two weeks of pure pleasure at being back in the city that I adopted as my own when I was 18. The routes are familiar, the sights are welcome, the ocean smells marvelous and everywhere I go there is a good possibility of running into someone I know. I just love being here.

I have contemplated how different it is for me coming back to this city after almost 6 years. I have heard from many people how difficult it is to get "in" to the circles of influence here or even just find a friendly group of people to hang out with. I experienced something similar when I first arrived 35 years ago and only ever ventured out in my own little groups over that time. This time, as I consider where and what my business opportunities will be, I realized that I come back into this city with a bigger sense of myself than ever before. I no longer feel intimidated by the layers of wealth and influence that coat the social scenes here. I feel confident in the gifts and talents that I bring and welcome the chance to let others know about them.

I have a calm sense of ease here. I appreciate that there is good work being accomplished by dedicated people and I am ready to add my energy to those efforts. I am delighted to be able to offer my thoughts and listening abilities to the people I love here. I am absolutely tickled with the opportunities to drop in, pop over and check with the ones I love!

I am optimistic about the success of my business as a coach, working from this place. I really like that I have a room of my own which is my office and will be my refuge as I continue to create it and decorate it and set it up for just me.

I truly appreciate my cozy little space, not perfect, but everything has found a place, mostly! There is a range of wildlife that is not entirely welcome, from fleas to a rat that has been sighted several times in our front yard. We will deal with them as much as possible.

Over this summer, I will reaquaint myself with old connections and actively build new ones. I will consciously create a group of active, interested, like minded compadres. By the fall, I have declared I will be experiencing financial well-being and more business than I need, projects that sustain that and fascinate me to be working on.

I am extremely happy to be here!!

photo credit to Ngawangchodron

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving on, with thanks...

I am pausing in between packing boxes and organizing moving to give thanks for the time spent in my 'borrowed' home. As a typical human being, I developed a fascinating appreciation for where I am living only after arranging to move to somewhere else. This past week, I have been noting all the beautiful and wonderful aspects of this sunny piece of Maple Bay (well, that is a little Pollyanna of me - it has been raining buckets all week long...).

1) The fresh, almost edible, bright green growth on all the pine trees around me. The new ends of the branches are so soft and tender, as they push out into the little bits of sun.
2) The rain and cool spring weather has nurtured a fabulous batch of wild roses. I picked a tight little pink rosebud on my walk a couple of days ago and it greeted me this morning, fully spread out and gloriously fragrant.
3) The birds - there are so many friendly, curious birds around this house. The hummingbirds have been faithful companions all winter long at the feeder and the robins have been absolutely mad with their cheerful song at dawn and dusk. The crows have been playful and the ravens loud and cocky in their swoops past the house. There was a pair of majestic eagles and a whole flock of turkey vultures riding the thermals off the Bay.
4) Our walks which take us up and around the 'mountain' - past green and verdant farmers' fields and clearly meticulously managed little homes. We have watched the seasons pass as we walk along - from munching on the generous crop of blackberries last fall to urging the little green leaves to bust out this spring. The view of the Bay is always envigorating - the ocean giving us a show over and over again in the movement of the tide incoming or heading out.
5) The opportunity to work from a lovely home office. I have come to treasure my "commute" down the hall in my slippers. I love working from home. This house has served us well as a landing spot on Vancouver Island and a launching for the next phase of life.
6) Shifting my focus from business operations to coaching - this has been a time of accelerated growth and learning, facilitated by my boss/colleague/friend. She pushed me from the nest just as I was getting a little too comfortable and now it is time to fly. The year ahead stretches out with amazing possibility that was not on the horizon from our place in North Vancouver.
7) This strange house - it has such a fascinating history - mostly weird - somewhat of a legend in the neighbourhood. It now has changed hands again and will have new people and energy upstairs. It is my wish that the spirit that resides will find peace with the new residents too.

This has been the perfect time, being here. I have enjoyed the large, open space and sharing it with many people. We have had great parties and family gatherings, a memorable Christmas in the snow and a fabulous 60th birthday party for my beloved. We've watched the weather spread across the Bay and had the chance to swim in the usually freezing Pacific Ocean here on several hot, hot summer nights.

I have found that I would like to move back to this small and friendly community in the Valley. I would like to plant my roots here where the summers are hotter and winds calmer than elsewhere on the island. There is abundant water and still lots of room to spread out. This would be a fantastic place to call home again in a few years.

I am ready to move on and will have fond and warm memories of my time here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Upon the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of my daughter

27 years ago, right about now, I was blissing out in the sun streaming through the window of the birthing room at the 'new' VGH, with this perfect, little pink bundle in my arms, nursing contentedly. My daughter was born at 7:17 am on May 20th, arriving quickly after keeping us all waiting for 3 weeks past the due date. She was the first granddaughter born into a family of 10 grandsons and was showered with all the pink and fluffy, frilly things that everyone had been waiting to give a baby. Her grandfather came to visit her in the hospital and when I said "let's go see her", stopped in his tracks with the marvel at having a granddaughter.

She grew up around a lot of boys, followed her beloved big brother around in adoration. She spent lots of time with her father, who thought she could do anything and she learned to be fearless on cliffs, rocks and logs around the ocean. She grew up in a housing co-op with many loving adults and enough "other-mothers" to show her many ways to be a woman. She challenged me with her independence at an early age and knew who I was long before I was brave enough to acknowledge my own knowingness.

She traversed her inner world like her outer world, with the spirit of an explorer in her teens. She called out her teachers and her peers when they fell short and developed ferocious loving friendships and relationships. We learned to accept and appreciate each other during those stormy teenage years, when the turbulent times were affecting us both. She moved in with the man who is now her husband just before she finished high school and I packed her up with my blessing and celebrated her moving powerfully into her life.

She has nurtured that romance into a strong, solid marriage with a man who loves her immeasurably. They exchanged vows in a wedding ceremony that brought together 130 people in their community, joining families and friends into their inviting circle. My daughter became a mother last year, blessing me with a miraculous grandson, who she shares with me so openly. She has created a home which is a welcome place for everyone, it is often full and lively. She is growing a beautiful garden and is often happiest with her hands in the dirt. Her son is treasured by many people and will grow up in this community that she continues to build. She knows that she has work to do on this planet and that it is not always easy to be the one to show others their strength and possibility, but like everywhere else in her life, she tackles it with determination and bravery.

She has taught me more about who I am than I can fathom. She trusts that I have answers when I feel like I haven't a clue. She knows before the phone rings that I am calling her and is connected to me so deeply it feels like the umbilical cord was never cut, 27 years ago.

Happy birthday to my darling daughter - I am so glad you are in my life!
image credit to mmmcraft

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ponderings on Grace

One definition of Grace, given by an on-line dictionary is this:

a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of god.

I liked this definition as it rang true for me and that "god" was not capitalized, which also rang true for me. Grace...I don't have to pay for it, I don't have to earn it and it is an expression of love from god(s) undescribed. Fabulous.

Being in a state of grace is described as "the state of one who is under such divine influence". As I move through my day, which started very early with a provocative teleclass where "grace" came up several times, I realize that I am usually striving for that state of grace and not always experiencing the divine influence. That concept that I don't have to be working to achieve this mysterious state, nothing to do, nowhere to go, is novel for me. To be able to relax and be in that freely given, unmerited favor place - well, just even imagining it causes me to pause in absolute wonder. I wonder what my life would look like if I just accepted this as so. I wonder how much more time and energy I would have to be effective in my day if I wasn't so caught up in worrying about producing this state of being. I wonder what my world will look like a year from now when I am practiced in (wait for it...) Letting Go?!

Yup, this all follows the Trusting the Universe theme, no surprise there. I do marvel at how many different ways this message is coming to me, from how many different messengers. And in the short period of time that I have begun to exercise this new found ability to allow Grace to be present I have discovered that it does alter my perspective. I "see" the world differently and quite often, like right now, words fail to describe the depth I have access to in this precious life.


photo image by Manny Lorenzo

Friday, May 7, 2010

We're on our way...

The human brain is just too strange, isn't it? The instant that my focus was taken off the task of finding a new home (okay, it might have gotten a little dramatic there in hindsight), I immediately began to mentally list all that I will miss about this one. Oh, the hummingbirds, what if it is too windy for hummingbirds down there? Oh, the calm weather, how will I live with the constant wind of Dallas Road? Oh, the cupboard space, how will I squish all my stuff into that small place? I am just never satisfied, it seems.

And so I am pondering that elusive state of contentment this morning. I know there is much more research available to examine the state of happiness and positive psychology. I even have "the power of kindness, The unexpected benefits of leading a compassionate life" by Piero Ferrucci on my desk and I highly recommend it. When I grabbed it and opened it to the last page that I was reading, I had highlighted this: "At the center of trust we find surrender...Letting go is a major spiritual breakthrough." I have been actively studying this topic and it definitely impacts my coaching in brilliant ways.

Let go and breathe.

Yet, in the back of mind (a cluttered and not so well-lit place), I have this thought that all my study, meditation, practice should be having this stick somehow. That I will be enlightened when I no longer allow myself to go down the dark tunnels and can maintain this higher way of being. This past few months of my life would have been much more enjoyable if I hadn't trundled down the dark alleys of upset and disappointment and lack of communication. But, on the other hand (I am a Gemini and I rarely lack the ability to have a complete dialogue in my head), my daily experience of life is SO-O-O-O-O much brighter than ever before. And that is a gigantic victory. I have glimpsed the power of "letting go" and it is a major breakthrough!

This weekend is the last weekend "off" for a while. The reality of packing up a whole household and the usual nonsense of moving is in the wings. I am steeling myself for finding more of my own income instead of it being handed to me and the challenges (and rewards) that will bring. But right now, on this sunny Friday, I will putter for a time in the office then take the time to enjoy this beautiful place, this "borrowed" home and the gorgeous environment here. Here we go....

photo credit to andrealechase

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just too much...

My time this past few weeks has felt extremely full and busy and I noticed that I was avoiding writing about the process going on in my head. Now, some of that has to do with my new focus and discipline in how my time is spent but in fact, I have been really working my way through a considerable growth period and like one of my GiST'ers (Grace in Small Things), the words have not been there to share.

The time has come to pack my carefully saved boxes in the crawl space, clear out the numerous cupboards and take my slightly less than 2 years worth of memories and move on. Disruptive, to be sure, but not entirely unexpected -this has always been my "borrowed" home. The intended destination is a neighbourhood near my darling daughter and her happy household which includes my ultra-adorable grandson - all good! Except, I don't know where I am moving to yet and that is driving me buggy! I can't believe my level of anxiety without a forwarding address. Okay, managing this (breathe in and breathe out). We will find a place - we do have a contingency plan and my mom has said that I can move home, if I have to.

Then, as a result of many risky (for me anyway - catastrophic disaster seemed imminent) conversations with my boss/colleague/friend, I am taking on new directions in my own business as a coach and dropping to a part time role at a reduced rate of pay (uh oh, skyrocketing terror, certainty of failure, major unworthiness complex) and this timing coincides with the move - to nowhere...

You may understand my teensy bit of reluctance to share all this. Why would anyone in their right mind hire a coach who is a person who practices Appreciative Inquiry and Grace in Small Things and Positive Outcomes and yet can barely stay upright because she is holding her breath til she turns blue or passes out?! And without an income, how will I pay the rent (not to mention groceries, car payments, phone bills and absolutely necessary bottles of Pinot Noir)? Oh my...

Okay, now I have let out all my worst fears and I am apparently not dead. Or, you are reading a message from the "other side" and I will soon be relating to you stories of what it is really like. Sorry, no insights from the unknown yet.

I am sure this blog will be evidence of how the crises of life become a funny story with enough time to get the humour. I determined this week that I actually can rely on myself - I have made it through every ridiculous circumstance up until now and although my choices were not always the brightest ones and I did suffer through some very chaotic times, I am here, I am well and I am loved. What more could I possibly ask for? (well, perhaps the ideal 2 bedroom home for the right price and 5 more clients next month and for the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup...)

Stay tuned - I promise to keep you posted more faithfully on my progress!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Missing the Connection

I am sure you have noticed how many glorious, amazing, inspiring, profound websites there are out there for all the brilliant groups, organizations, people who are committed to changing the world. I am certain that you have as you probably wouldn't be reading my blog if you weren't at least a little bit interested in progressive change. I have highlighted a few that have recently impacted me.

Each time I come upon another moving and incredible group who are preparing for the revolution ahead with love and energy and heartfelt desire to make a difference, I think a few things:

* where do I sign up?

* will I be like them when I grow up?

* how can we connect the dots of all this good work and really GET ON WITH IT?!

Probably the most frustrating aspect for someone like me, chipping away at the mountain of resignation and despair, declaring the occasional victory when I hear that a conversation I have had or an action on my part lightened someone's day (woot woot - ring the bell!!), is to see the intentions of all of these wonderful people so tantalizingly close and yet so far away.

I know we are speaking the same language, sense that we all hold a similar dream in our hearts, understand that we share a huge vision of a world that works for all, yet we seem so disconnected. It is almost as though the competion for the attention and focus of the folks who are already enrolled and engaged is counter-productive to the end result. How do I know which group to align myself with? Where do I put my efforts where they will produce the highest return? If I am to tithe my income for a good cause, which one do I pick? If I were to join each and every group that resonates with me, not only would my inbox be (more) stuffed with newsletters for the sharing of their news, my evenings would be filled with listening to talks and my days could be spent learning and educating myself on how I would become better equipped and able to fight the fight too.

This weekend, during a lively discussion on the state of the world, which I enjoyed with dear friends, I suggested that the threads of inspiring and committed people would organically find a way to link up and tip us over into this lit up, global network, like little lights blinking across a dark planet until the combined luminescence shines like the sun on our precious earth. Romantic balderdash is how that occurs to me today. Optimistic poppycock. Pollyanna on steroids. A fairy tale...

I wish I knew the answer. I plug along, comforted that my little efforts brighten a small circle and that circle expands to its circle - you know the deal. But I can't help but think that something else is required; something that allows us to reach beyond the little baby steps. I know in my gut that this is an urgent need and requires some extraordinary response.

What would it take to find that proverbial 100th monkey? Which conversation will be the one to shift the balance? Which little kindness will inspire the right action?

I don't know, but I haven't given up. There is no other game worth playing!

photo credit to michaeljosh

Friday, March 26, 2010

the power of ferocity

I am known as a kind person, a gentle person, one who cooperates and easily concedes. I have cultivated some of this persona as a function of fitting in where I felt small and inconsequential. People aren't usually mean to nice people and therefore I ensured a measure of security in many circumstances where I was downright afraid.

This morning, in a moment of searing heat that I first put down to another one of those inconvenient flashes, I realized that I am actually mad. That's right; angry, outraged, fuming, ferocious!

There is plenty in this world to be incensed about, but this is personal. I actually realized that I am being taken advantage of in a circumstance where I was yielding and giving ground. Not the first time, I am sure, given my modus operandi, but this time, I have noticed and I am sufficiently annoyed to risk my situation by saying so.

That is exactly why I have not spoken up right there - I don't want to risk anything that might cause me to be expelled from the group/friendship/job/relationship. I am certain that I have known this about myself before as well, but once again there is a crystal clarity to my thoughts today and risking is the right direction to be taking, without a doubt.

Here's the challenge: how to maintain this ferocity? What would keep it burning so that it provides the impetus to take action? Not just in this moment but to shift to allow this energy, this power to propel me. I would say, practice. Just as I crafted a winning formula over years of experience of being the little one who was about to be left out, showing up as one with a certain fury will take some trial and error.

But today? I will allow the force of this indignation to move me. The path of my desired future has been coming clearer and clearer and I just figured out what the momentum will be!

photo credit to Kuby

Saturday, March 20, 2010

time keeps on slippin', slippin' slippin....

A whole week, no, more than a week has gone by and despite my grand intention to be more regular in my blogging, life has gotten in the way.

This has been a good week, punctuated by walks and yoga and regular, every day routine. Appreciating and celebrating the ordinary has been very prevalent. This second week at home, after the most satisfactory vacation, has me settled nicely into enjoying spring and being at work with renewed enthusiasm. The holiday has faded into some delightful memories and the flakes of my tan littering the inside of my socks. There is a degree of contentment.

The down side (if there is one) to a contented week, is that it has slid away very quickly - is it possible to be present and unconscious at the same time? I found myself several times suddenly aware that I was holding my breath - and quickly whooshed out the stale air and inhaled intentionally. While I love being a grandmother, there is no denying which side of the long life slope I am on, so I am relishing experiences and treasuring instances of laughter and delight.

I have been aware of other people's tragedies this week - losses of friends, parents, pets and as always, the state of the world looks challenging and daunting, but even with that awareness, I feel light and determined to be creating magic. Perhaps some of my thaumaturgy could be in freezing the moment and finding a way to hold on to it for just a little longer.

Image credit to Temari09

Friday, March 12, 2010

a very human work week

Today was the first Friday of the rest of my life. Today, I got to pick my hours, go where I wanted to go, enjoy conversations with people in my community, chat with my daughter about her sleepless night with my adorable but cranky grandson and drink a glass of wine before 5pm just because I said so. Kind of like a flex-day, but on my terms. Today, any work that was done was for me to benefit from and indirectly for the "group" that I work for to profit from. It feels like I have finally grown up!

I am in the midst of creating my life (oh wait, I think that is what I have always been doing, just more consciously now) and I like the idea of a four day work week. At least, working in the standard, punch-the-clock kind of standard that is held by most of the 'civilized' world. I know that Europe is light years ahead of us with benefits, healthcare, childcare and vacations but I have now taken a stand for a more reasonable schedule. It isn't exactly a 3 day weekend as I do need to generate income on this day, but it really feels like it is mine to do. A shift in perspective.

Having just come back from Mexico (did I tell you how amazing it was to be on vacation? Oh yes, I did!), where one of my new dear friend's (actually a new hermana) daughter (does that make her my niece? how cool...) works for $5/day - that is right, folks, FIVE DOLLARS A DAY - helloooo, third world or what?? Now she is an incredibly intelligent, well spoken, charming young woman who is worth so much more but that is what she is being paid to show up in the telemarketing company that clearly takes advantage of her. So, again I get to observe a different perspective and thank Zeus for the graces of my life.

I have requested of the Universe the means to uplift a whole bunch of people in my life (don't you love my use of the English language?!) and I am awaiting the windfall (oh, and working my little butt off in the meanwhile, just in case the Universe is busy with other requests) that will allow me to make a BIG difference in the lives of my loved ones. This is a big circle and it needs to be a big windfall so that I can share it (Got it, Universe?!).

So, for now I will focus on next week and next month and the difference I can make. I am so blessed and so grateful for what I have. This is a good day!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

back in the saddle again

I have new appreciation for Extranjera and the sabbatical from blog writing that took her away from us back into the "Real World" for a time. I, myself, have been anticipating, preparing for, working towards, relishing and enjoying a much appreciated holiday. Oh yes, a vacation, time off, a chance for a break - sunshine and no schedule. It was heavenly!

I intentionally avoided bringing a laptop, a cell phone, even a wrist watch to keep my time away as pure and relaxing as possible. I experienced the most marvelous down time I have had in the past decade. Magical...

Now, back at my desk, familiar vista out the window (although there was some weird flaky white stuff falling from the sky for a while today - what the __??), I have a new perspective and feel very ready for the year ahead. Exactly what a holiday is supposed to accomplish. Rested and renewed, I am back and raring to go.

I remembered why we fell in love with Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Friends we made there over 10 years ago still welcomed us, the climate is divine and I truly love the heart and soul of the Mexican people. I am far more realistic about what it would be like to live there full time and actually just want to create the possibility of spending an extended period each winter there. And now, I have the tools to work on that option.

So, this next couple of months, I will be looking ahead with some goals and intentions that are slightly different than a while ago. If change is in the wind, which seems very apparent this year, then I want to be saying which direction!

Did I mention how wonderful it was to be on holidays??

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Maybe I don't know who I am

During the night, when I often ask for insight and wisdom from the guides and inner council of my dreams, I had the thought that I may not know myself very well. My recollection of my life, like many others I am sure, is a series of memories mostly of the major screw-ups, missed opportunities and incidents that I would dearly love to "do over". The act of remembering some of those times still causes me to squirm and experience the emotions of shame and upset all over again. Not particularly useful, you would agree. Past is passed, right? Well, in principle, but I know I still get a negative charge from thinking about those less-than-stellar moments.

A glimmer of possibility did light up the night last night. What if all those times in my life were the result of ignoring my instincts about a circumstance? What if the degree to which I f*%ked up was directly proportional to my resistance about letting go and moving on?! Is it conceivable that I create the situations that force me to face my demons because I refuse to get the gentle nudges and subtle hints that I am not operating at my highest level (or even much above the earthworm)?? That perspective rocked me and brought me awake from the drowsy state I was in. Immediately, I denied it. That would somehow justify every mistake I have ever made and somehow that would make me an even worse person than the one that just screwed it up. But as I sit with this, in the light of day, I can see that it might just be another cut at Trusting the Universe (Carol's declared theme for this decade). (theme song to be announced...)

We know, if we tune in to our inner knowing, how to read any circumstance (I say this like I actually do KNOW this, which I am not at all certain about but will suspend that not helpful judgement for a moment and invite you to do the same...) and mostly in hindsight we can observe where we might have stepped over or turned away from the messages which could have directed us. So, if we (really, the royal "we" since I cannot speak for the collective "you") consider that our worst errors in judgement, our most shameful moments, the terrible and never spoken about actions are just the determined and somewhat desperate attempts of our internal knowingness to get our asses into action and out of the situations we are in, then how does that affect our relation to the past? Shifts it fundamentally, yes?! And what does that open up? Well, I can tell you from over here in the land of Trolls (my usual version of my self-image), a door is creaking open and I am feeling just a little lighter in my fuzzy slippers.

Now, this as yet unexplored postulation does come with certain responsibility (oh yes, this, my friends, is my other life lesson - how to be responsible for me - all of me). For having determined that listening to my little voice before it is shouting in my ear would be advantageous in avoiding crises, I now have to learn to rely on and take actions based on my gut, sometimes without a firm basis of reality or fact.

(oh cripes, now look what you have gotten us into, Ollie...) Ohhh, moment of panic - desire to hide under the covers - a nap or other diversion would be good right now...

Trust, faith, belief - these are not the known pillars of good judgement. But as I trundle down this road of self awareness and openness to being opposed to doing, I get clearer and clearer about what is required of me to grow up into who I already am. Taking the path of least resistance, always seeking the gentle and passive route, looking for quiet and non confrontational resolutions has my inner self, known as Ahara, letting me know that she will happily trip me up if I have to fall on my face again to get the lesson.

I work with a mirror on my desk. I use it in my coaching to be aware of my level of listening to my clients. I glance at it when I pick up the phone to be in communication or answer a call. I look for my shining eyes (if you haven't seen this video with Benjamin Zander, you really must take the time to watch - I highly recommend it!!) and now, I will be looking to see if I might be able to get to know that person in the mirror, for I truly have no idea who she is.

This is an uncomfortable place, my compadres - I am looking at the blogged-about changes from a different perspective and I don't know where it will lead me. I do, however, have a guide for the trip!

photo credit Per Ola Wiberg

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I already suspect that 2010 is going to go down in the history of my life as a year of changes. I think I need my friend Janyne to do my numerology for this year - I am sure it would show up as "change" year, whatever number that is. This all provides marvelous material for pondering and therefore blogging, as discomfort is often the trigger for putting fingers to keys to express, expel and exorcise the demons of worry.

So, knowing that change is the constant in the universe, why is it that I am constantly caught by surprise when I am faced with it? We just got sorted out with the 'borrowed' house, getting a six month reprieve in having to move, I thought that we might have a little bit of calm for a time. Not so much, it seems. Next is an upheaval in the status quo of the work situation, the result of a planning session that, as far as I am concerned, went seriously sideways. Well, at least not in the direction that I expected. Which is the background issue here - expectations; some spoken, some assumed but all that had left me with an apparently misguided sense of stability.

Now the sky has not fallen. I am blessed with a circumstance where dialogue is still going on and resolutions satisfactory to everyone is the commitment. It isn't that I doubt my ability to land on my feet, I have proven that many times over the past 10 years and the various iterations of my professional life, but this winter I have noticed that I am a little tired. This could be simply coming down the home stretch towards a much anticipated holiday (which I am very glad that I booked before all this disruption) but my energy for pushing outcomes is limited.

Which leads back to that trusting thing - (are ALL my conversations circular ones?!) and the Universe clearly is challenging me to do so. So, tonight, warm and ensconced in my upstairs home, with the fireplace glowing, oysters in the fridge, bubbly wine chilling (any excuse for sparkling wine is acceptable - even uninvited variations on the agreed upon agenda) and my dear and patient husband who has agreed to stay with me no matter where we end up, my life is pretty awesome. And change is in the wind... stay tuned!

photo credit to Pere Soler

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What if?

A while ago I wrote a blog on Indulgence with a wonderful list of "what if's" that make me smile. Today, I am meditating, considering, pondering the possibility of trusting the Universe. That phrase, "trust the _______ (insert here your theological, philosophical meta-figure of choice)" does certainly get overused. I mean, who really does that? Who actually trusts that the design of life is intended to be trusted? That we can relax and enjoy and be happy, confident in the knowing-ness that it will all work out?! Nobody I know... except maybe the Dalai Lama and I would not presume to say the I know him.

Given the continuous disruption in the force ("ahh, Luke, don't go to the dark side") which we are constantly reminded of by CNN, NBC and FOX, it would be ludicrous to pretend we are not aware of the miserable state of affairs this world is in. And I never wish to diminish the horrific experience that many of my fellow global citizens live through daily. No, I am very present to the blessings of my life and actively express my appreciation.

I am contemplating the concept of trust and the implications of that. Philosophically, I believe that trust is something that is given, like a gift, for no reason. That "earning" trust is a fallacy as there is no conceivable way that you can ever prove to someone that you are trustworthy unless they are willing to grant you that status. The trusting is always, always done by you and you get to choose when and with whom you participate in this activity. So, I get to say whether or not I trust the Universe (or Zeus or my husband or my mother or my prime minister or the guy that fixed my fireplace).

Ok-a-a-a-a-a-y, (I am working my way through this, hang in there with me...) if that is so, then why do I have such a challenge with trusting that this is all perfect? Rationally, my experience of life is quite magical. I count my blessings and marvel over the way that it works out favourably. There is another level of expression of trust that I am just beginning to make out on the horizon. The shape of it is becoming clear. It requires that leap of faith, which has been attributed to Soren Kierkegaard, which interestingly, he actually referred to as a leap to faith.

Levels of awareness and consciousness - this really is a continuum, isn't it? When I bring my attention to learning, stretching and grappling with new concepts, I step into a new world. I invite you to trust with me today!

photo credit - Marc Jenkins and the subject is my amazing son

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blessings with velocity

I have been very faithful to my GiST blog with 5 graces shared and communicated almost every day and I am truly thankful for the forum which has me focus on being grateful. It has been scientifically proven (no, really, I just have to find the data to footnote) that expressing gratitude has beneficial effects. You have to admit we find it much more common to complain and that is the society norm. This shift to appreciating life's graces just takes a little practice.

It is impossible not to be appreciative of my life when I think of the tragedy that continues to unfold in Haiti. I simply cannot fathom the sheer desperation and frantic exhaustion that must be overwhelming the people there. And of course, tragedies big and small befall good people every day. Puts that whole notion of faith in a different light, doesn't it? Mostly what I become aware of is how much drama I stir up in my own blessed life and how little it serves me when I peek at the bigger picture.

It is challenging to hold a world view that exposes the ugly and dispair reality that exists in so many places. Juggling knowledge of the circumstances the majority of the world wakes up to each day and my own commitment to generative forward motion often has me feel naive and somehow unaware. Yet, my philosophies don't have me avoiding or turning away from what is going on, I just have to measure and pace my exposure in order to remain balanced. Understanding myself is key to this and noticing when I am full up with one aspect of the world.

Comes down to coaching myself, nurturing my own ability to be compassionate and healthy with me. Finding ways to soothe my soul so that I can turn again into the intensity and be of service.

And back to that counting blessings exercise... I have many and I do not take them for granted!

Photo credit to: Saucy Salad

Sunday, January 10, 2010

just plain confused or the State of Limbo

Having found out that I am not moving imminently - meaning not in 3 weeks, I am feeling more and strangely, less settled. I guess I had wrapped my head around the moving idea and even though I was less than thrilled with the timing, I was ready to find a new home and get on with the next phase. So, now we are back in limbo, the 'for sale' sign still stuck in the front yard and there was even a scheduled viewing of the house by more prospective buyers (which, fortunately, got cancelled so I could putter about my kitchen without being banished by the sales agent).

Limbo - (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is clearly intended to be an uncomfortable place. Nobody gets all cozy and snuggled up in Limbo. One would not likely vote for staying in Limbo for very long. Limbo, as a destination, would not rate very many stars. And Limbo is where I live, which explains my various states of anxiety and distress.

Since I have resolved to embrace Wonder in my Life during the year 2010, this requires joyously taking on all aspects of said Life. Therefore, I need to get sorted out with this Limbo-thing. Which probably requires some conversations with my boss/colleague/friend to clarify the house sale situation. Then, I can figure out exactly what steps I want to take this year to be where I want to be, not just where I am currently perched. I have received coaching from several people that I admire to be deeply and consciously considering this next step and to have the choice come from a place of following my heart not being convenient.

So, moving out of Limbo is the intention for the first part of this new year. Destination to be determined... stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Managing life

That has always been my approach - to "manage" my life. A quick visit to my favourite English language site - Wordsmyth netted the following definitions:
1. to direct, control, or administer.

2. to contrive or bring about.

3. to accomplish or succeed in, usu. despite some difficulty.

Hmm, not much creative or exciting about that style of living one's life, is there? Scarce wonder that running that playbook for the last umpteen years has had my life look like veering from one struggle to the next, narrowly avoiding crises and disasters and with very little sense of fun or accomplishment. (Okay, I may be exercising my right to hyperbole as my life has not been all that bleak, as you may have gathered from reading my other posts.) However, it does allow for me to consider that another strategy for being a fully expressed, wondrous marvel of a human being is timely and not a bloody minute too soon!

So, in the realm of resolutions, a procrastinator like myself (yes, that is another one of my charming attributes), I have come to see that a very simple statement of resolve for the new year and decade might be: I embrace the experience and wonder of being alive!

The last week has opened my eyes in any number of realms. I have been reminded of Helen Keller's quote on Security: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security 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 exposure." I have noticed my expectations of the world around me and I have uncovered my core belief that there are choices in this world and the ones I make DO impact my immediate circle and beyond that, ripple out in ways that reach so far that I cannot imagine or predict.

It took me more than a week to cogitate and ruminate over the events affecting my 'borrowed' house and the manner in which the changes are coming about. I needed to allow the drama to fall away and the emotions to scale back to see with clarity what was at stake for me. Seeing the actions and reactions of the people involved, I allow my ability to be compassionate and also bring my own sense of responsibility to the situation. What is there for me to say to express my thoughts and feelings and how can I affect the outcome in a progressive and generative manner?

I am also left with the power of intention - focusing on what is possible and pushing energetically for a result. Now, if I could just intention away about 15 lbs and create more time and energy during the day...

credit for the photo to imoongypsy

Friday, January 1, 2010

and now for something completely different...

Well, 2010 is beginning with all the uncertainty and disruption I have come to expect in January. A quick tally of Januarys in the past decade found:
- we moved 5 times in January in the past 10 years
- I began new jobs/ventures in January 5 times in the past 10 years
- My husband & I began the new year by moving away from each other 3 times in January in the past 10 years.

And, in the glorious clarity of hindsight, these have become pretty funny stories. They were not experienced as such in the moment. You would think that I would be getting used to this. Triumphantly, I can say that I have not completed freaked out as the spectre of finding a home, packing boxes and moving my life this month has come to pass once again!

However, I am once again reminded of this primal need to find a home, not just another place to park the boxes for a while. And this time it is pretty short notice, with the determination of timing out of my hands due to the circumstance that are beyond my control. This makes the relative calm that I feel even more of a victory.

(Now, my husband who has been witness to the tears, gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands and fluent cursing language might not have labelled me sane, much less calm, this past week...)

But, there remains a foundation of optimism, of faith that it will work out. One gift the review of the past decade that I engaged in this week has provided is resolve that I do know how to land on my feet and be open to change. For the most part all of the disruptions concluded happily and progress was made. I have every reason to assume that this one will too!

I have a clear list for my new home - this is what I want:
: Sunny
: GREAT kitchen to work in - accessible for people and sharing space
: Garden space (could be pots on the deck, but I need to grow stuff this spring)
: Walking distance to downtown
: 2 bedrooms (so that I have an office space to write off / guest room for friends/family)
: Landlord who is friendly and available
: Good fridge/stove/dishwasher (if possible)/washer/dryer
: GREAT neighbours
: Warm in the winter
: Covered parking for my little red car
: Walkable neighbourhood
: Possibility of having a cat
: Within the budget!

I put this list out for the Universe to provide for me - I will search and explore and request. I understand that my actions will pave the way for the manifesting of miracles - please, let my home show up this week!!

Oh yes, and Universe? Let's change this January disruption to maybe, May?! Thanks!

Always look on the bright side of life!