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