Saturday, May 30, 2009

AWARD! Yay!


Eddie Bluelights has bestowed upon me the great honour of The Panda Super Comments Award for regular attendance to his blog.

If you haven't visited Eddie's blog I implore you to take a peek. It is imaginative, creative and hilarious and one of my favourite places to visit in Bloggy World. He also calls me young lady which makes my heart go all a flutter as most people in real life have now taken to calling me ma'am.

I'm going to present this award to Debbie at Single Mom in a Complicated World . There are a lot of regular visitors who are deserving of this award but Debbie is a very busy woman who still makes time to write wonderfully insightful posts on her blog and takes time to visit and comment on my blog regularly. In making her journal public to us here in bloggy world she is giving so much more than she receives although I'm not sure she realises that completely!

So Debbie, this one's for you. Thank you for everything you do and everything you are.



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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Herself

She slipped into the silver gown
the one she wore each day
its silver threads and fabric
had begun to rend and fray

She checked the seams that held her in
and saw they'd ripped and torn
she knew the dress was useless now
the one she'd always worn


She slipped it off, discarded it
on the floor threadbare and worn
the remnants of her facade
ill-fitted, old and torn


There was no gown to mask her now
she stood in barest skin
and realised she felt herself
comfortable within

Authentic now she knew her skin
needed no silver gown
the Goddess that she knew she was
didn't even need a crown

this is the one I am she said
honest true and free
and she slipped into herself one day
and let herself just be




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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Loneliness

As you leave, the fog draws close
grey, still, weak and pallid,
a duck swims lanquidly in a muddy rock pool
lonesome waddling speckled mallard

The wine tastes sweet in stemmed glasses
as music of a bygone vintage
plays the songs of love and heartache
and pen aids in time's slow passage

Children putter in distant rooms
quiet play of imagination
scattered thoughts invade my comfort
missing your voice is my recreation

Fog draws close its cold wet blanket
as from my life I adjourn
passing time alone and empty
until your overdue return




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Love Languages~A Book Review


Romantic love is something most of us want in our lives. But once we find the person of our dreams we spend a lot of our time trying to figure out why it's not going the way we want it to. I hear variations on the theme all the time that go something like "He's a good father, provider but...I don't think he cares" or "She's a good person but if only she'd...I'd feel more loved" as though something is missing from the other person. What might be missing though, may not be the love but rather the way love is expressed by the other person might not be heard correctly. In other words, they are speaking a foreign language.

I recently received the book The Five Love Languages from a giveaway I entered. Wow, what a wonderful book. It's a quick read and the premise of the book is that we all have certain languages we read and speak that make us feel loved. A certain disconnect occurs however, if people have different love languages and this can cause strife in a relationship because if one person doesn't feel love and the other thinks they are showing love it becomes very frustrating for both people.

I am an idealist in a lot of ways. We should all love each other and get along. But somewhere along the way I also became pragmatic. We're all individuals and if we are to live with another human being as a partner and raise a family with them we have to be committed to making sure it works to the best of our ability. Most people who are in committed partnerships love their partners when they start out and most intend to stay. There are millions of dollars being spent on marriage and couples therapy only to have the marriage or partnership breakdown anyway. Where do these good intentions go? How come so many good people end up no longer able to feel loved by their partners to the extent they separate and start over? Only to find that the second time around the same thing happens. In fact the odds of second marriages ending in divorce are higher than the first one, up to 65%, so something is happening to all these good intentions.

I think this book goes into one of the causes of this. Gary Chapman, the author of the book identifies the 5 love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. I read these and know that for me physical touch is at the top followed by quality time. The other three are nice, but they don't particularly make me feel loved. My partner however, I'm sure, would consider acts of service as his number one. I know this by the number of acts of service he does for me. He's always doing something for me. He is very tuned into what I need to feel loved. I would think that physical touch is second for him, which is why he's so affectionate towards me. He's giving me what I needs because he speaks that language. We just got lucky that way.

I'm not so sure I have always been tuned in to him however. Being as acts of service is not really that important to me as a love language, I didn't get that when he is doing all of those things that this is how he says he loves me. Now that I know I try to fulfill that need for him. I make him dinner, I fold a load of laundry and I ask him if he needs me to do something for him. So that he knows. I had to learn this language and put it into practice however.

If you are hearing from your partner "I don't know what you want me to do" then I would read this book. These are the words of a partner that is trying to show love but not able to speak the language you need to hear.

If you are the one saying or thinking that you don't feel loved by your partner although he says he/she loves you, again, this book might be of help.

Romantic love is such a gift. My partner and I have been together 8 years now and I now believe we kind of just lucked out. We happen to know and speak each others languages of love. And we've been willing to learn the ones we didn't speak fluently.

I can imagine any poor ex girlfriend of my husband's who might have the love language of words of affirmation and need to hear them to feel loved. He just doesn't do it well, and since I don't need that, I don't really notice if he doesn't tell me how wonderful I am because it's just not important to me. I always joke that our relationship is a successful one because I tell him daily how wonderful I am and how much he loves me!

If he was buying me presents all the time but never held or touched me I'd be feeling very unloved. I love the presents he gives me but only because I love him, gifts aren't that important to me either. In fact I often pick out things I like and then ask him to buy them for me and he's happy about that.

I read a lot of truth in this book and I highly recommend it. The advice will carry over from romantic relationships to all the relationships in your life. It's been particularly enlightening to see how my children differ in their languages. It has helped me understand what I need to do so they feel loved and often it isn't cooking their meals and washing their clothes.

Don't be afraid to become bilingual. Identifying your partner's love language and learning how to speak it may change your relationship for the better.










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Monday, May 25, 2009

Walk With Nature



Photos taken by me, May 23, 2009 Bronte Creek, Ontario


I have never seen trees quite like these. I wonder as I walk along, how it came to be that one side is so lush and typically green but on the opposite side of the path the trees run jagged and naked, as though they've shed their foliage clothing for more comfortable wear. As I walked along it strikes me that this is how it is with nature. A tornado will wipe out one side of a street and gently leave the opposite as though nothing happened much at all. That is how nature works, completely random, playing no favourites, and us, weak little humans, somehow think we can defy her, think we can conquer her with our chemicals and our science when one big wind, one big storm, one big shake of her hips and we are all so much dust.

How do we become so arrogant? It is impossible to be so, when standing in the middle of this sweet green forest, the feeling of insignificance is almost tangible. How can we become so egotistical to think we can destroy or conquer nature? For the very side affects of our destruction of her will inevitably lead to such a defiance from her as to lead to our own destruction, and we'll be gone, grown over by trees and flowers, buried forever, casualties in her most verdant victory.

Nature is to be lived in, to be enjoyed, to be appreciated and to be bewildered by. We should be accompanying her along our journey not cutting our way through, leaving scars on her suntanned skin. How dare we treat her so. As we go along seeing each side of her, every facet of her beauty, finding ways to coexist with her we always must remember, she is the one with the power. We may dent her and damage her but should we push too hard, she'll push back.

When I look at her lush riches, her expansive beauty, the random organisation of her creatures I feel that I am a part of her and not her enemy. It makes me strong to be on her side, to know that to protect her is to protect myself and my family. Green is not only a way to save the earth, it's the way to save ourselves. For we are nothing without the cozy warmth of her earthy scent and sweet smelling leaves and grasses. It feels good to know, I am her friend and she is mine.

Walk with nature, appreciate her and flow with her, tread lightly and leave a small footprint. She is our friend, our mother and with gentle coexistence, will be for our children and theirs as well.

I'm reminded of a Native American quote "Think not forever of yourselves, O chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground".
...Peacemaker, Founder of the Iroquois Confederacy (circa 1000 AD)




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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Battered, Not Broken

So what does a very active woman with 3 children at home do when she takes them to the park? She promptly sticks her foot into an animal hole and wrenches her foot. And then, after that she walks quite a distance to the creek and sticks her foot in there for an hour or so, nature's first aid which worked quite well and there was no swelling. Then she walks all the way back. Then she spends the day with her friends and has a great time, drives back home, drops off the family and takes herself off to emergency for 5 hours.

The emergency room is an interesting place on a Saturday summer night. It smells like beer. And the doctors and nurses there are subject to a lot of abuse. Yes, there is a long wait, yes it's late, but that is still no excuse to hurl expletives at anyone, particularly an emergency room with sick little children in it.

Also, to the older woman who was so woozy, might I advise, do not take your sleeping pill and then drive home, because sometimes they kick in before you get there and a serious accident occurs causing others to be injured and you to lose your licence and while I listened patiently to you inside I was thankful that they took your licence away for showing such poor judgement. Yes, I understand, you only lived five minutes away and didn't know it would kick in that fast, but still, very poor judgement, no licence is fair.

Now. Back to me. Five hours in emergency, an X-ray this afternoon and another 4 hours wait and the diagnosis is a torn ligament, damaged tendon, other soft tissue damage and they will let me know for sure tomorrow after the radiologist has a look at the pictures if the bone is broken. I've never had a broken bone and I'm hoping this continues to hold true.

The treatment. No walking on it, I am to have crutches. Relative inactivity which my husband says means I have to get my relatives to do everything for me, and lots of ice and elevation. So far I haven't done any of it.

I have a real problem being sedentary and an even bigger problem asking for help. So am I to think the universe directed me to a gopher hole in order to force me to slow down because I've definitely been on high speed lately. I don't know. But maybe I'll have more time to write. I got some nice pictures of our trip to the park yesterday that I'll share with you once I'm able to descend to the basement where my computer and camera cord is. Meanwhile, send healing vibes my way so my poor battered foot heals in a timely manner.

Namaste



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Friday, May 22, 2009

Moving Forward. Rest in Peace Victoria Stafford


It's been a dark time in these parts with the loss of a little girl at the hands of two people equally lost, in a different way. And a grey cloud has hung over my mood since the news broke that this little girl that we all fell in love with, worried about and hoped for, had met with our very worse fears.

My mind travels frequently a few kilometres down the road where a family is waiting and mourning a loss beyond scope. I cannot imagine the despair of a mother who has been judged so harshly publicly during the darkest moments of her life. And then there is the father, who took time during his bleakest days to send a message to me thanking me for my few inadequate words here. How he must miss his little girl.

My fondest hope is that as time goes by these people find a way again to recapture the peace that all humans on this earth deserve to have. I hope the clouds part and instead of despair and sadness a flicker of sunshine on their faces is seen as a gift yet again, that the memory of a spunky, happy little girl's life outweighs the memory of her tragic death.

Little Victoria is somewhere at peace and I hope somehow, some of it finds its way back to buoy up her family during this most difficult journey they now find themselves on.

I hold my children a little tighter, I worry a little more and trust that such tragedy never visits this way again. I think of the despair the families of the two people under arrest and think of their family's loss. The horror they must feel that their loved-ones did this.

Rest in Peace Victoria, Peace be with you Rodney Stafford and Tara MacDonald and all of your friends and relatives. My fondest wish is that you find solace in each other and Victoria's older brother Daryn. My heart weeps for you, Daryn, most of all.




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Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Wasn't Loved

I wasn't loved

I lost my way, I felt no joy
I cried alone in pain
I screamed until my voice was hoarse
It seemed I screamed in vain

I wandered lost, wayward and wild
following a lonely path
I chose the roads others laid
paved with hate and wrath

I angered for the love I craved
and felt I wasn't worthy
and took along some friends of mine
and showed them little mercy

I hated for I didn't know
why for me no love existed
and it left me angry, dark and cold
bare and weak and twisted

And all I wanted all along
was the love that others claim
to replace the hatred in my heart
and remove my cloak of shame

And they were there, they could have loved
the child that once was me
the strangers who looked past my shoulders
and pretended they didn't see

See the human in the being
give a second chance
don't walk by your fellow man
without a second glance

Extend the hand of kindness
whenever you see the need
a singular moment of compassion
might be your greatest deed.





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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Reveda has honoured me with the Honest Scrap award, how wonderful. So the idea is for me to tell ten truths about myself. I'll try to be as straightforward as I can.

1. I love my children as much as is humanly possible, yet at times I feel the need to be in my own company, alone, with my thoughts to create, read, meditate and I am irritated by their interruptions. I find that if I do this regularly though and the need is met, I don't become as irritated with them and have far more patience.

2. I have begun a new intiative called "Other Than Mother" which is a series of events designed to help women explore personal growth beyond their roles as mother.

3. I am hosting a movies screening of "The Shift" on June 5, 2009 as the kick off to my new initiative

4. I miss my hubby when he's away and he's away a lot.

5. I am working daily to decrease my footprint on the earth, I bought a composter and it is amazing to me how I have decreased the amount of garbage I bag up for the curb each week.

6. I hate flying, I'm claustrophobic and they won't let me out.

7. I am not afraid of Swine Flu, Norwalk Virus, SARS, or any other disease that might be given a name and used in conjunction with the words epidemic or pandemic. I never take medication, not even tylenol, and have minimised my contributions to the drug company's coffers.

8. Writing Poetry is my favourite thing to write because I'm lazy and it's easy.

9. My house is very clean and tidy right now and I love it this way, but I hate cleaning about the same amount as I hate dirt and clutter so I'm constantly battling within myself as how to go with this.

10. I'm handwriting a letter to someone soon. I haven't done it in years. I'm sort of looking forward to it.





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Weather Vane : A Minute


Jinksy was practicing the Minute form on her blog. I thought I would give it a try. I've never written one before but I'm all about a challenge. Someone was talking about weather vanes the other day and how you rarely see them now(I believe it was a fellow blogger but forgive me, I can't remember who you are) and this came to me as I wrote the poem. I was in the middle of a storm, well it was actually coming to an end as I wrote this.

Sallow winds blow at the clover
knocking over
grey earthen crocks
Weather vane cocks
spinning desperately around
ignore the ground
embrace the wind
Begin again
pick up the remnants of the storm
true to the form
We start anew
with cobalt blue
and bowing arches signify
storm has passed by
to still again
the weather vane.






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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Childhood Memories


Change Islands, Newfoundland, my home town.

Bubbling up like champagne bubbles
sweet and tasty, vintage thoughts
drift outside of real life's troubles
free of all the shoulds and oughts

Simple times and pleasant places
ocean smells and soft, sponge turf
rocks with greying granite faces
white boats swaying at the wharf

Bluest blue of deepest brine
deadly tide delivers life
verdant nets of tangled twine
brings simultaneous ease and strife

Bubbling up like champagne bubbles
vintage thoughts, remembered deep
life of insignificant troubles
as I lay me down to sleep.




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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Din of Silence

In the numbing noise of normalcy
the speeded people walk
hurrying through the silent noise
of erroneous electric talk

Fast like trample-threatened bugs
to some false destination
more and more and more its beacon
misleads the impulse of creation

Loneliness cascades the masses
drowns their crowded purpose
no depth of love dare intrude
the life lived at the surface

Then unbidden silence comes
and loneliness descends
upon the desperate noise-crazed masses
battling quiet until the end

And in the racious din of silence
the truth speaks without voice
the harbinger of quiet peace
offers another choice

Silence seeks the searching soul
and the wise drink tranquility
They do not blindly follow chaos
and choose their silent legacy.








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Compassion; The Default


I'm going to tell a story now, related to me by a friend about her relationship with another woman, a mutual friend, let's call her Jane. Jane is a lovely person and is always ready to help. If I mention something to her she always has something to say to try to help. She will be at your house in a moments notice if you need something.

Quite a while ago my friend, the person who told me this story, let's call her Martha, had a crisis, a loss. During this crisis we all gathered to offer comfort and support and she got through and is on the path to healing. Jane was right there in the middle leading the group to help. Yesterday though, Martha confided in me that she wasn't talking to Jane and hadn't spoken to her in a while. I was surprised at this, because Jane had been fundamental in the drive to help Martha, inspiring the rest of us. My first thought was that Martha was being somewhat ungrateful and she in fact expressed that she felt that way about herself sometimes. Once she explained though, I think I understood a little better.

As part of her way of helping, Jane offers a lot of unsolicited advice. "This is what you should do" and "this is how you should fix it". She has gone as far as to say "this is what you should have done". She is also very religious and offers sentiments like "It's God's will" and "It was his time" and "you'll see him again in heaven" and things along that line. Martha is a very spiritual person but of a different religious persuasion and feels Martha is prideful in her religious beliefs. Martha and Jane actually have similar beliefs so Martha felt Jane didn't need to remind of these things at all.

In explaining to me why she was avoiding Jane, it came to light that she feels Jane does not offer compassion but rather gives advice. She also said "you have to move on" and gave suggestions as to what she should do to move on. But Martha, in her vulnerable state, only needed compassion. The type of help Jane offered was rejected by Martha, who, in her time of need, couldn't listen to it any more. She stopped answering the phone when Jane called and effectively stopped communication with her so she simply didn't have to hear it.

This was a very enlightening discussion. I had never really thought about what is appropriate help but certainly I've been offered advice over the years and I've also offered advice. I probably have offered advice when I should have offered only compassion and I've probably offered both at times.

Adlai Stephenson said "We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word".

So Martha and I continued our discussion on the topic and in doing so we came to some conclusions. Most people do not want advice at any given time and generally just need a supportive ear to listen. If they want advice they do ask for it. If they don't ask for it though, it's best to offer compassion and a listening ear instead. Let them walk their journey, talk their talk and give understanding and empathy. If they want advice listen to the cues they give you seeking it. Questions like "What do you think I should do?" or even "I don't know what to do" might require some suggestions. And if someone calls up, as a friend did the other day and said "I need some parenting advice" then there you go, an opportunity to offer up your wisdom.

If, however you are unsure of how you can help, simply ask. "How may I help?" or "Is there anything you would like me to do for you?" before jumping into help. Because Martha found Jane also to be intrusive, she would come to her house often to check on her and help her, but seemed to take over her home when she was there, answering her phone, cooking and cleaning. Once she rearranged her countertop items in an attempt to help because she thought it would look better. Martha was highly insulted and upset, moreso than usual given the circumstances. She was used to Jane's odd ways, and passed them off as quirks generally, but given her grief, had no patience for her antics at that time. She stopped answering the door when Jane knocked.

Meanwhile, in the course of our discussion, Martha came to the understanding that Jane simply doesn't know what to do in crisis but truly is a caring person and does the best she can. Now that Martha has healed some she is going to attempt to reopen communication with Jane now that she can cope with her constant advice giving and help. She's going to be compassionate towards her and gradually bring her back in her life. She truly loves Jane and wants her friendship back.

I'm grateful for the discussion, it gave me an awareness I hadn't had before about offering advice, help and compassion and help me formulate in my mind that if I am unsure what the person wants I'll opt for compassion every time as the default. I would think that you can't go wrong with compassion.

I hope Jane and Martha mend their friendship. I believe they will. It is true that everyone is a teacher and Martha and Jane's story have certainly taught me a lesson. I'm grateful for the lessons Martha and Jane taught me.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama



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I'm a Winner!


A while ago The Shabby Hag was offering a prize for Halloween poetry. I love Halloween and as such I entered a poem and she is sending me a prize. This blog is so much fun, I absolutely love it and I will post the poem on Halloween, yes, I'll make you wait because, really, deep down I'm truly evil!

Then a couple of days ago I won another price, the movie Killer at Large from one of my favourite blogs The Nourished Kitchen. I know the title of the movie makes it sound like it might be Halloween appropriate as well however it's about the obesity epidemic in America. I've very excited to see this movie and I'll be reviewing it for my other blog Weighless and Weightless .

I was feeling quite blessed after all this and then to wake up this morning to find I had won a third giveaway, from another fantastic blog, Truth 4 the Journey! The prize is the book The Five Love languages by Gary Chapman. I am so excited to receive this and to own a copy of this well known, popular book!

So thank you to all of my benefactors. I am truly grateful to be so blessed with this abundance. Books and movies and surprises all coming to me soon in the mail.

If you get a chance stop by their blogs and say hi.

And I too would like to host a give away. I just have no idea what to offer as a prize.

Namaste



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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Morning



Horizontal wind, impressive light show
Thunder booming, distant roar
early morning, before the sunrise
nature is knocking at my door

Cracking like a robin's egg
knocked from the nest a fragile parcel
the sky reveals its latest treasure
sailors delight is morning's marvel

Dawn breaks free from night's sweet chains
stretching yawning, a wrinkled newborn
robins peck in fresh-wash grasses
earth and day is ever reborn





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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunrise

Dark, grey, heavy
cold and dreary
weak and tired
bones are weary

Clouds come in
as they wont to do
and weigh their burden
heavy on you

Reach up higher
in search of light
attempt to win
without a fight

Drift to sleep
let go of things
dream of the hope
the sunrise brings





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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reason 2,483, 457 Why Talent Should be Shared!



There are a multitude of reasons why you should do things you love, create things using whatever talent you have and if you simply do it for your own pleasure that's often enough. However when I see examples of talent, I often feel an intense gratitude that the person who made such beauty shared it with me. I read a beautiful poem on someones blog and I say thank you in a comment and for me, it's not about something to say, I'm truly grateful that their words made that moment special for me. I feel the same way about beautiful paintings, sculptures, art, crafts, all things of beauty created by the human hand.

This brings me to my point. See the jewellery in the side bar? That is my mother's day gift being made for me by my cousin Tonya in Edmonton. I told her what I was looking for and this is a mock up of what it will look like. Isn't it beautiful? There are earrings in there too if you look closely. I'm begging her to start an Etsy store, she has a lot of ready made stuff on hand and she does beautiful custom work as well. She has talent and she truly enjoys the work.

Now check out the photo above. The artist who drew this is the same cousin. Yes, This girl is multi-talented. This is exceptional work. She recently started working with a teacher and is spending time improving her art. I feel privileged to share this with you. She truly has remarkable gifts and I'm grateful to be able to witness the results of her creativity and inspiration.

I thought it was time to post about this cousin. I'm trying to convince her to start an art blog and a jewellery store and just be done with it all(never mind the full-time job she has) but until she's ready, I'll share her talent with the Bloggy World myself.

I'm proud of you Tonya, you have amazing talent and thanks for sharing it with me and making me this beautiful example of your art!





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Monday, May 11, 2009

Success and Failure; Outgrowing Feelings of Inadequacy!

I often note that one thing that prevents people from doing the things they love is a feeling of inadequacy. I've experienced it certainly. All through my life I've been a reader and one of the reasons that I've never written professionally or considered it as a career was because of a feeling that I would never be able to write like "them". I would never be able to spin a tale of horror, complex and logical in the styling of Stephen King or tell a story of love and character such as those sweet tales woven by my personal favourite, Miss Jane Austen.

Today, I read some samplings from a novel by another writer who, in the past, would have left me with such a feeling, that feeling of "why am I wasting my time, he can write, I can't" but unlike in the past, instead of that thought, I simply enjoyed what I was reading. It was only later I realised after reading someone Else's rant on why they couldn't do the thing they loved because they weren't as good as...that I realised "hey, I don't think that way anymore"! How far I've come and how much I've grown over the past few years!

The fact is, I don't write like him, I write like me. His stories are his, mine are mine, his style is different and there simply isn't a comparison. But it doesn't matter as there is no competition, there is room for all creativity in the world. All in the universe is equal in value and the biggest mistake humans make is to doubt their own ability based solely on the simple fact that it's theirs. Our motivation should be to do the thing we love and enjoy it and competition should not exist and in fact stunts the growth of the creative mind.

Instead of giving all up as lost now I delve into the world of brilliant literature as a writer and from the depths of the creative word, instead of inadequacy I instead glean inspiration. I look at styles and see how they've created an image, I've opened up to the aspect of combining talent with experience and in doing so have begun to become a better writer instead of throwing my hands up in frustration. I'm not afraid to write crap anymore! That's growth!

Tomorrow I pay off my library fines, who knew one "on hold" book overdue one week could cost me so much, but tomorrow I pay and pick up some new reading material. And I look forward to the day when the samples I read today become a novel! Actually, I can hardly wait, the guy is brilliant!

Let go of feelings of inadequacy. You don't need to be better than anyone else, you simply need to be better than you were. The only one you have to compete with is your former self. There is no failure, there is only a result. Do what you love, practice creativity and you will find a new joy in your life and success beyond the finished product. You will find joy in the path you've taken.




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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our Infinity Anniversary


The horizontal 8 is the symbol of infinity. It is 8 years together that we became a couple but I knew on the 8th day that infinity was ours. Happy Anniversary my sweetheart!

On the day that you first sang to me
the sun enveloped my soul
in its brilliant yellow warmth
my heart was finally whole

You read my soul and said you'd stay
the earth shifted a little to the right
and I shifted a little in your arms
closer for the long sweet night

On the day that you first sang to me
The sky settled in to stay
So did we my destiny
that perfect sunny day

You read my soul and said you'd stay
as Blue Rodeo played in the night
5 Days in May, ours is one
today, preordained and right

On the day that you first sang to me
I heard a sweet love song
shifting with the whitest clouds
trying to sing along

You read my soul and said you'd stay
This marks infinity
and I sing to you and you to me
in perfect harmony.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Laugh for all the Wonderful Moms!

A little gift, the gift of laughter, to all the wonderful moms out there. Have a wonderful day on this day made to celebrate you. This came to me in an email last week and I knew it was perfect.

WHY GOD MADE MOMS

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:


Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.


What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.


Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.


What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.


What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?


Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.


Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.


What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.


What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.


What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.


If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Happy Mother's Day!


Mustang Sally


Sally

How sweet you make our human lives
with floppy puppy faces
you bring us wagging doggie love
and quickly stake your places

You give us love unconditional
and never question us
when we come back from absenses
you never cry and fuss

You walk with us and love us
and fill a certain void
and in your non-judgemental way
give trust that's vast and wide


Your time is less than ours on earth
so we often too soon part
and miss our precious doggie friends
who leave their paw print on our heart.

In memory of a sweet doggie, Mustang Sally, sleeping lazily in green meadows of unlimited love. Missed so much by her human mommy Pam and many others.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

What do you want your children to remember?


Picasso

As mother's day approaches I've spent some time in contemplation about the things I want my children to remember of me. This sounds like a morbid topic but really it isn't. What I'm referring to is how they will have perceived me as a mother and what they will take with them in the future as an example of how to mother, when they have their own children. Even more importantly though, it's about how they will perceive themselves as women after they become mothers.

Yesterday I attended a meeting with a lovely lady in town who has agreed to let me use her facility plus will help me with setting up a series of events, workshops, informal meetings along the theme of women outside of being mothers. The working title I have for the series is "Other than Mother". We're kicking it off with a screening of the movie The Shift with discussion after. Then further events will include finding your passion, women's health initiatives, physical fitness for women, meditation. We'll have speakers, discussion and refreshments. It's mostly about self-exploration with the secret plan of giving women a reason to get out of the house and do something beyond mothering. It's about preventing the woman from being lost inside her job as mother.

As a woman with four daughters, it's important to me that they see me as something beyond mother, that they see the person who is their mother. While they always are my priority, it's imperative to their mental health and their lives as future mothers that they know they are important as women and mothers and to find a way to amalgamate the roles so that they have balanced lives.

A common mistake women make when they become mothers is they wait for someone to come and take care of them. Giving all you have to your children will empty your vessel very quickly. If you are fortunate you will be surrounded by people who understand this need to be taken care of but more often than not, this doesn't occur. It's sad and true. We do have to ask and we aren't always good at simply asking.

I'm also often dismayed about the term "self-care". It's buzzed about lately, women must take care of them selves. But it's a sad reflection of society's priorities when women, the caretakers of the family, have to take care of yet another person, themselves. I, personally, in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of caring for small children, do not have the time to take care of another person, even if that person is me. The act of taking a bath involves making sure children are asleep, and then deciding, is a long hot soak in a tub a priority over an extra fifteen minutes sleep. Sleep usually wins. It's just something else to do and I don't often want to do anything else.

I remember when my third daughter, Sophia was born. My husband is a truck driver and had been off nearly 6 weeks waiting for her to be born. She was born at home. A few short days after she came I was left alone with a newborn, a 9 year old and a 12 year old. Alone, completely alone. The first night I got up to use the bathroom and on my way back I was overcome by a weakness of some sort. I barely made it back to the bed. I'm not sure what happened, I was freezing cold, shaking and scared. Alone with three children debating if I should call an ambulance or wait it out. I chose waiting. It eventually passed but I was sick for several days after that. It was a very scary time. I never told anyone.

Now I look back on that time and wonder "What was I thinking?" Further to that, what was everybody else thinking? Self care? I needed other care. Someone should have been caring for me. I could go on and on with examples of this type throughout my mothering career but this one is a good one. It was very difficult and is very difficult to no have support and care when you are mothering.

Self-care is better than no care but what society needs to be doing is systematically caring for its mothers. Husbands should be arranging childcare and taking mothers out, mothers should be caring for post partum-daughters so they can give more to their babies, post partum doulas should be common and available and government funded. There should be places where women can go to explore themselves as women outside their mothering roles, where their passion can be engaged for other things, where they can fill up their emotional cup and return with more to give to their families and children. Fathers shouldn't need to be asked to do things, they should be taught before the children come what their role is as a father. Mothers of sons should teach that, fathers of sons should model it.

What I want my daughters to remember is that while I am there for them, I am a whole other person apart from them. I am a poet, I write stories, I write books, I help other women who are mothers stay true to themselves so they can be better mothers, I am a loving partner to their father, I volunteer, I work, and I play.

It does my daughters little good to model martyrdom to them, they need to see a feminine example of a woman who is well-rounded, grounded and whole, where motherhood is but one facet of the whole woman. They need to have the support when their turn comes to become mothers, so they don't have to live in the all or nothing mothering paradigm. And they don't have to wait until the kids are out of the house to do it.

As I finish this post it leaves me thinking. I've listed a litany of the way things should be but no real insight on how to get there. I guess the key is to start providing support, each of us, to the mothers we see. Get together as women without the children, invite other mothers to our homes for gatherings, go to the pub for a beer and a man bash, go to the theatre, join book clubs, sailing clubs, rowing clubs..whatever we love, make the time and space to go do it. And ask for help when you need it. My wonderful husband would have taken another week off had I asked him back when Sophia was born but I didn't ask. He trusted I could do it all and had no inkling it was so difficult. That was unfair to him in a way as well. I didn't give him the opportunity to be there.

As mothers day approaches, take time out to look around and see the women in your lives, not just your own mother, but other moms who might be struggling, look for opportunities to help out, step in and step up for them. Even a chat over coffee can do a world of good.

Namaste

Eleven Minutes

Eleven Minutes

In eleven minutes I'll wake you
and see your perfect faces
I'll marvel at your beauty
with sleep bedraggled traces

but now I sit with me
a gift so rare and fine
eleven minutes of solitude
as sweet as well-aged wine

In chaos I'll immerse myself
when it's your sweet morning
but first eleven minutes of solitude
at early morning's dawning

Quiet and peaceful beginnings
breath and meditation
eleven minutes of solitude
spent in sun salutations

Eleven minutes fading
it's time to awaken
I'm ready for your laughter
with just eleven minutes taken

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Further Thoughts on Gratitude


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Chaffey


Lately I've been thinking about this post. over at one of my favourite blogs. Then today I read thispost on my blogger friend Audrey's site and I'm compelled to comment on gratitude.

In Raising My Boy Chick, the idea is raised that comparative gratitude "I'm grateful for having shoes because there are people who have no feet" is gloating. I had not given much thought to this and of course often did the comparative gratitude. My gratitude manifests this way "I happily do housework because I'm grateful I have a home" and of course the natural thought follows that many others don't have homes and therefore I should be grateful. And yes, of course I should. But there is, I agree, some amount of gloating here. I don't consciously think "I'm better therefore I should be grateful" but it's not entirely stand alone gratitude either. I have a great sense of compassion for those who live with much less than I have but that's kind of snobbish isn't it? For many people, who have so much less than I have, somehow still manage to live in gratitude and peace. After all having a nice home doesn't guarantee happiness and millions of people the world over live happy lives with next to nothing but the basic necessities of lives.

Then I read that the Buddha said "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful" which of course is indeed a comparative gratitude although it doesn't refer to "things" it refers more to "how we are". And it refers to how we could be compared to how we are. It doesn't mention others.


Cicero echos the words of Arwyn with "Are we to only be able to appreciate what we have because we've found someone who has less" referring to the comparative gratitude I spoke of above.

So I then continued my search for an answer to my question "What is gratitude?".

When I read Audrey's post on Stage 3, Who me? I saw the little boy in the post, the poor little boy, so grateful for the shoes from the dump with broken soles, true, stand alone gratitude that I could see that honest gratitude that sprung not from any source beyond the depth of a little boys appreciation for a gift. True, honest gratitude.

Then it dawned on me, maybe we aren't to be grateful for what we have so much anyway. It does good to have appreciation for your blessings but true appreciation comes from having the blessings that are non-material. Blessings of the spirit. Blessings of the body and of the mind. Buddha does a comparative gratitude but he isn't talking about being grateful for what we have but rather our well-being. I cannot help but be grateful for good health. I feel it's a great gift to have wellness. It would be completely against my nature not to be grateful for that. I should be in a feeling of gratitude for that at all times. And indeed I strive to be.

I saw a show a while back, a Canadian production called Bookie's Crush. The show is set during the depression. One of Bookie's friends is a rich girl. Bookie asks her why she wants to hang around with them, the "poor kids" and the rich girl replies "because my dad says we may lose everything and you are so happy even though your poor and I want to know how to be happy if we become poor".

Our culture is so caught up in the idea that in order to be happy we have to be grateful for what we have. Indeed I think that in order to be happy we have to be grateful for who we are. That we need to value ourselves enough outside of our belongings to know we deserve happiness no matter what.

The little boy who is so excited for the shoes, so grateful, so innocently gleeful, knowing he is deserving of the riches he's received, that's the kind of stand alone gratitude we should be exhibiting. He is not comparing the shoes to other people's shoes. He's not saying "well I should be grateful because at least I have shoes". He's in complete and utter gratitude for having such a gift. He's in absolute humble rapture for who he is, a boy deserving of such a gift.

It's a subtle difference but it's there. While having compassion for those who have difficult time is perfect and sensitive. It has absolutely nothing to do with having gratitude.

Albert Scweitzer said this "To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."

Jesus, in his very usual way, gives an example of gratefulness through a parable. Jesus heals ten people, but only one gives utter and complete surrendering gratitude to him. Jesus asks "where are the others?" but they've gone off to tell of the healing. Jesus then goes on to say "your faith has healed you". But then if the one who returned had pure faith then why were all of them healed. My interpretation of this is that the grateful one, the purely, truly grateful one, was healed spiritually as well as physically. By throwing himself at his healers feet in complete humility and gratitude his healing was twofold. His eyes were opened physically as and spiritually. And he was truly grateful.

So something as simple as gratitude has become something more to think about. To practice complete, stand alone, surrendering gratitude for ourselves, our spirits requires the ability to be grateful for everything we are every moment with humility and surrender.

To express gratitude I believe we need to nourish its expression with regular sessions of pure, simple, uncomplicated gratitude. I believe it to be essentual to growth and healing. I have always attempted to do so but now I go forward with a new understanding on how to completely and humbly be grateful.
And to start I would like to express such gratitude for the lesson and to my teachers mentioned above. Thank you.

I am deeply grateful
and I am truly free
to have this perfect moment
to sit and simply be.



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Living with Enthusiasm!

Are you enthusiastic about your life? Do you want to run out and be a part of the world and live in it with joy and peace and love, feeling sense of belonging and acceptance, judgement-free? That is the place I want to get to. I have moments like this and certainly there is a way to cultivate moments like these.

Today I'm going to once again spend time in nature. This is the number one way for me to ensure that my attitude towards life is enthusiastic. Another way is for me to spend time in creative inspiration, writing and drawing, the things I love to do. And again a third way is to be alone, to spend time in quite meditation or doing a little yoga, as mother, times of quiet with no demands being made upon me are rare and treasured.

And then at other times being in the presence of people cultivates my sense of enthusiasm about life. I love spending time with my family, cousins and other extended family, who are the funniest, smartest, best people on earth. Then other times just holding the hand of my love is enough to make me excited about my life.

Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. If I approach a situation with excitement then it comes to me in other forms. It comes to me in all forms.

So recognise the things about your nature that make you happy, singing, music, art, either creating or enjoying the creation of others, and do it more. Do it with excitement and know that the more you do it, the more enthusiastic you will be in your life.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm"

Grab the ring
hang on tight
go with peace
live large, live right

You know the way
trust the joy
learn to die
while you're alive

live in joy
Take a chance
earth is full of heaven
find a reason to dance.


Namaste

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ask and Let Go


In recent years I've been studying the Tao De Ching. The Tao(pronounced dow) is a collection of 81 verses written by Lao Tzu. The translation of Tao is "The Way".

In spending time studying the Tao I've discovered that there seems to be a great emphasis on not living in want. That things will flow to you if you let go of the attachment of wanting them. This is a little difficult to explain. The Tao is full of paradox and complication but this "letting go" theme runs through out the 81 verses.

In the Law of Attraction literature the general consensus seems to be that we have to make an intention and then focus on that, keep it in our mind and hold that vision fast, not letting go of that thing we want. And if we hold on to that idea, that which we want to attract, it will come to us.

This sounds easy enough but then upon further examination it seems that we're not quite hitting it with this simplistic explanation. Something is missing.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says that we don't attract what we want but that we attract what we are. That we aren't to come to the universe and ask from a place of want and lack or we will attract want and lack.

In his explanation he suggests getting into the emotion of having what you want and staying there, in that feeling, and then moving along in your life with that feeling so that you are aligned with it. He suggests to look for ways to serve the universe while feeling this way to further align yourself with the source that provides all abundance.

So in simple terms, think about what you want, imagine how you would feel if you have what you want, hold on to the feeling and help others in whatever way feels right for you in your life. Random acts of kindness, a cause, some sort of giving all serve this greater purpose.

Of course you must always rembember that you are deserving of that which you desire. Many of us walk around with the idea somewhere that we will never have that which we want, that we attract deprivation because that's what we are entitled to. As an aspect of the source from which you came, you are deserving of all of the abundance of the earth. That you must never forget. Along with all the rest you must have unwavering trust, or as some call it, faith.

As I was reading some literature on this topic it suddenly occurred to me that if we live in the emotion that we have everything we need, that it has been provided, that would ensure we are happy. If we are happy in this emotion and working at helping others as we walk along in our life, then we are not in lack. If you feel happy isn't that all there is to want? So then it is logical that in this peaceful state of being, you will already have everything you have asked for and then you will truly be living in the "let go" phase. It reminds me of the "Let Go and Let God" of the recovery movement.

It's so simple. Make a wish, imagine your wish is fulfilled, stay with that feeling and then let go. Be happy. The universe will provide. Be patient, it comes in its own time and in its own way. Stay in the feeling, stay aligned and all that you need to be happy will be provided. Indeed, it already has been.

Breeze

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Feeding My Soul

I am sitting here watching my children and my love doing yard work. There is a mountain of laundry upstairs but I sit here yearning to be there, in the glorius sunshine, gardening, walking, playing, swinging. Outside in the sundrenched afternoon, this perfect gift of a day.

I'm certain that is the place I am to be. So I'm finishing up this post, a short one and heading into the world, where constant interruptions by little voices are pleasant and natural, not shrill and annoying, where frollicking puppies happily lay frog-like in the rug of green. I'll watch little yellow butterflies dance on the surf of the wind as they join me in paradise.

Today I visit nature and by doing so I tune into my own nature. For in the deepest most honest part of me there is a spirit that does not feel one with laundry mountains and ironing boards. This true nature loves the sunshine and fresh air and absorbs it's rays like a sea sponge absorbs its salty bath.

Loving Queen of Golden light
make me up some tea
I'm coming for a visit
will you sit and chat with me?

Tell me all the secrets
that I may be at peace
for my true nature is with you
and yours likewise with me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lady Blue



At somepoint in the early eighties, my early teen years, a friend of mine, Dona Hoffe, played me a Janis Joplin song. I had never, up to that point, heard anything like that voice. And I haven't since. The song was Piece of My Heart and I was hooked. And saddened. That she was gone. Such a small but powerful body of work. I think every single woman singer I've listened to since that day has fallen short. There are many great ones but they just aren't Janis. Tonight I immersed myself in some old music, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and of course Lady Janis. Before my time and for my time, this ones for you, Lady Blue.

Lady Blue


Bohemian heartbeat
genius of the damned
plucked from our lives
by Morpheus' hand

Blue lady Janis
in her Mercedes Benz
every sweet note
foreshadowed her end

Raw and uncensored
deep to the bone
lost in the crowds
while completely alone

Make my eyes weep
Cry baby cry
cat's gone to Africa
and I don't know why

Piece of my heart
somewhere man
held in the grip
of Lady Janis' hand

Demons chased you
until you caught them
drank of the poison
Capricorn stolen

Great lady Janis
singin' those blues
still busted flat
in Baton Rouge

Sings with white choirs
rocks with damned souls
Lady Blue Janis
ephemeral rose


Friday, May 1, 2009

Helpless or Helpful~The Choice is Yours.


In the past few days we've been overwhelmed with health crisis that have come to our our family. My treasured Aunt Christine received word that the cancer they'd found in her colon was also in other places. This left her and the entire family shaken and dazed from the implications of the entire thing. Possibilities we hadn't ever considered were forced before us and challenges never thought of now have to be considered.

Then I heard the news that my nephew and niece's little brother has been admitted into the hospital for unknown causes. He's very sick and my former sister-in-law is worried as is their entire family. My heart breaks for the sweet little two year old who is now in a children's hospital. I also worry about my niece and nephew so far away. How scary when your little baby brother you love so much is so desperately ill.

All of this is happening back in my home province, hundreds of kilometres away. It makes for certain feeling of helplessness and isolation. Never have I been more grateful for the technology of the Internet to keep in touch with family and get information and updates more quickly.

And while I'm wandering about, doing the menial day by day tasks, hoping somehow to forget what's happening, and basking in the feeling of helplessness I was sent a message by a local friend. She was asking for sponsors for her participation in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay Walk for Life being held on June 12, 2009. She is walking in support of her friend whose little three year old girl was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. How unfair, children should not have these kinds of challenges. So I pledged to donate and sponsor her because, I thought, if I can't be there to help my family, then I will help whoever I can.

Then suddenly I thought maybe I could expand on that. So I immediately put my google skills to work and connected with the website for the Relay for Life. We need a team of 10 to participate. I contacted my aunt who lives here in Ontario, one who I am sure feels this distance from her sister intensely right at the moment, and asked if she was interested. In moments I had an affirmative. I sent face book messages to every cousin in Ontario and asked for them to join me. My brother called me and I asked him. He said "sign me up" and we have 7 confirmed and a few more who I think will join us in this event. I've started our team and on June 12 our family here, so far away from our home, will be walking together to raise awareness and money.

Our team is called Christine's Angels. We are walking for my father who is gone, my Aunt Christine who has just begun this journey and her sister, my Aunt Irene, who has been on the journey and defeated cancer. We will be walking for every family, every person who has been touched in some way by this disease. This event will raise awareness and funding for cancer research but for us, as a family, it's a way to get together, be together and strengthen the hope we all carry that this disease will be eradicated in our beloved family member.

I write this to let you know you are never helpless. There is always someone who needs a hand. If you can't help the person you want to help do the next best thing and help someone else. If nothing else, share a hug.

The fringe benefit is that you feel so much better suddenly. Feeling helpful is such a powerful feeling next to feeling helpless. I don't tell you this because I want accolades or pats on the back, I tell you this to pass on the message that if you are feeling helpless, hopeless or depressed, you too can gain the positive energy that comes in giving and serving humankind. I tell you this for you. So that you too may go in service to others, that they may be helped and you too can feel the lightness of your footprints on a path walked for the good of others.

Go lightly my friend
on the path of your life
help up your neighbour
lessen your strife

hand out to the stranger
open heart to your friend
helping your brother
pays off in the end

The power of giving
the energy of love
is as strong as an eagle
and as light as a dove

Namaste

An Invitation!

When I started this blog my goal was to write about three aspects of a person, the mind, body and soul. I feel all three are interconnected to a degree that we often over look. This blog is about inspiration and positivity and creativity, but I have another blog! My other blog is about self improvement of the body through methods other than those set forth by the diet industry. I feel that the diet industry has failed us, how can a industry call itself successful when so few people actually achieve long-term, lasting results. I know I haven't.

It is more specifically about physical health as it is impacted by being over weight. It's also for those want to do this themselves without spending a fortune on the gimmicks and weight loss clubs that are everywhere.

It also could be used in conjunction with a program you are already using.

I believe the weight to be a symptom of a larger problem, an unhealthy attitude about weight and weight gain, and our love-hate relationship with the food that nourishes our body.

Please visit at Weighless and Weightless for my thoughts on body health.