Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have an iPod and a lesson in forgiveness!



I have a brand new iPod.  A few weeks ago my old one disappeared so this week I bought myself a brand new one.  It's a beauty.  A classic with 180GB which is more than big enough for me.

I have been listening to all of my pod casts including my favourite, the Hay House Radio program, Excuses Begone with  Dr.  Wayne Dyer. 

In the course of one of the shows he starts talking about forgiveness and during the conversations says to a caller "In order to forgive you must have placed blame.  Who are you to blame anyone? Who are you to judge?"

It was probably the single most "light bulb" moment of my life.  I have spent a lot of my time forgiving people.  I try to understand and let go of the hurts they've caused me and I've also done the same to myself, taking the time to forgive myself for my mistakes, of which there are plenty.

But with that single phrase I realised what judgement there is to the idea that we should "forgive" someone.  Inherent in that is the idea that you are superior to them in some way.  And of course there are no superior humans, we are all equally fallible in action (though flawless in spirit). 

So to forgive another human is to judge them.  Every person's behaviour is a result of their perspective, their experience of life and their predisposition and personality traits.  Who is to say that we would behave better than they would if we were tossed into their circumstances?  Who is to say we wouldn't behave worse?

What I think what we humans need to focus on is compassion and empathy and love.  We need to offer understanding and try to find peace in our situations and peace within ourselves for the hurts we cause others.  Forgiveness in its regular sense is not necessarily what we need to offer.

Now I'm off to listen to my iPod some more.

 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meet Dante!



This is my Grandson Dante.  I call him my prince.  To him, I am Gigi.  He is 4 months old and after 4 daughters, you can imagine what a blessing this beautiful boy is to our family.  He is the light of our lives.  I remember the instant he was born and it was the moment in my life that I knew I was comfortable with my own physical mortality, and in fact it was the first time I knew for certain that I was actually immortal.  Now I do not mean I'm immortal in the sparkly vampire sense(and if you rip their heads off and burn them they die so they really aren't right?) but in the eternal life sense.

Often, when people learn they are to be grandparents it solidifies for them the destiny that we all face, that of our growing older and our eventual departure from this life.  In my quest for purpose in life, and my thirst for knowledge, in all my work with people as a life coach, one of the most common fears I have encountered that of aging and dying.

Tied up in that is the very human tendency to be afraid of any change in our lives.  Yet all life is change so to be afraid of it is to bicycle uphill constantly, working hard, exhausting yourself.  It means never coasting along, taking the turns in the road as they come, and enjoying what's around the bend instead of fearing it.

My life has been a whirlwind of change lately and yet, I am exactly the same person I was six months ago.  My spirit is the same, my essence is unchanged.  I've learned some lessons, discovered some truths and I celebrate every dash of pain and every shake of hurt and most importantly every ounce of love that brought me to the realisation that the part of me that matters, the very core of me, the actual real self is forever.

I may change my behaviour, I may change in my physical appearance, I may get fatter, skinnier(highly unlikely), older, grayer, wrinklier and  yet, I am still the same energy that sits here typing this post and that cried her first wails when she slipped into this crazy world in 1966.

And so I celebrate Dante and all the grandchildren and gray hairs to come.  I celebrate the loves of my life, the joys of my life and most of all the changes that take place around me. And when things are difficult, when the bend opens to challenges and pain instead of ease I'll take my comfort from the fact that I, the essential me, no matter where I go, and what goes on around me remains constant.  I also know that after this body is done and no longer able to support this spirit, I'll simply slip it off and head happily into the next great adventure.

All of us are on this same journey.  Pull your children closer, celebrate your grandchildren, love the people who love you completely and openly and accept their love of you without condition or concern.  Embrace your anger and hurt and feel your pain. Cry when you're sad.  But when you are through, smile and laugh and love yourself, your true self.  It's that spark inside of you that is the only thing in your life that is guaranteed to remain unchanged.

Namaste



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Update on my friend Annette!

After some scary moments I'm happy to report that Annette, my friend that I wrote about yesterday (See Here) is on the mend. After a serious cardiac episode after giving birth to twins, I'm happy to report that the ventilator is out and she was able to sit up and hold her beautiful babies, Matthew and Molly today! 

She is pumping milk to maintain her supply though she cannot nurse them yet due to the medication they are on but knowing Annette as I do, her commitment will not wane and those babies will have their mama's milk in their tummies in no time! 

Thank you everyone for your concern and healing energy and prayers.  The magic worked and continues to do so.

To-Do List! Time for a Jolt of Energy!



It's been a bit hectic around here and of course I got behind after my tumble down the stairs that had me  laid up for a few days.  But some heavenly massages and lots of TLC from my loved-ones, and a couple of days of Advil Liquid Gels(I rarely take drugs but I have to admit these are my go-to pain relievers) and I'm on the mend.  So I sat down and did my to-do list.  It's not a typical to-do list, it's more like a list of things I'm involved in and have to work on. 

Here it is in no particular order

1.  Christmas Shopping~4 kids, 1 husband and a bunch of other people I love.(not fond of the shopping, love the giving)
2.  Christmas other stuff~Decorating, setting up the tree..I love this part.
3.  Assemble poetry collection~a little project I'm working on. 
4.  Write 2 hours a day for the new novel~not sure why I put this here..could replace it with breathing.
5.  Clean~might skip this.
6.  Cook daily~ordering pizza tonight.
7.  Bake almost daily~homemade bread from my secret recipe.  Christmas baking, pies etc.
8.  Tutor at the school~filling in application right now
9.  Tutor after school(1 student so far!)
10. News Reporting at Rogers~one of my favourite things to do!
11. See my cousin about some part time office work he has for me~$$$$
12.  Prepare information about book I'm publishing with the local grade 2 students~they are writing it and selling it to raise money for charity~with some other parent's help I'm coordinating and publishing it through my newly formed publishing company
13.  Run my newly formed publishing company
14.  Various book signings and related promotional tasks~good reviews so far!
14.  Run the Nutritional Snack Program at the school~moving to 4 days a week after Christmas!
15.  Spend as much time with my family as possible~my favourite one and the most important one!
16.  Look for opportunities to give~these show up.
17.  Look for opportunities to help~these show up even more often.
18.  Meditate~peace, love, kindness, compassion, healing and my specialty, magic.


You would think this list would have me exhausted but it doesn't.  Every single thing on it has a purpose in my life.  Except the housework thing. Well I'm sure it has a purpose, it's just not a priority one for me.  And the last one helps me through all of the others.  I cannot wait to get started.

What we have to do in our life isn't as important as the attitude we take as we go forward.  With the jobs you're not so fond of, crank the tunes(AC DC right now for me) and get at it! 

With the tasks  that you love, jump in and enjoy!  

And you can still crank the tunes!

Life is a blessing.  Love every moment, live every moment, be in the moment! 

But most of all be kind to each other.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thinking of Annette and her family!


Just putting it out there that if you have prayers, healing energy or any kind of magic at all can you direct some of it towards my friend Annette who is in an ICU?

Yesterday morning she gave birth to twin babies, Matthew and Molly who are completely healthy but mommy encountered some complications that are pretty serious.  We have heard there is improvement and we're hopeful for a full recovery but still, a little extra collective magic can't hurt.

To Annette and the entire family.  A large circle of love is all around you.  Fast healing friend.


Ok people, Let's go for a really wild ride!




And so today was spent in research and reading and copying and pasting for the new book!  I haven't actually written a word but my process is to dream the scene before it takes place anyway.  I do have some names for some characters.  The male main character's working name is Clark and he's amazing! Sexy, attractive, generous, successful, bit of a ladies-man but a good man nonetheless.  His hair is really soft and dark, especially along his neckline and he has an adorable little mole on his left cheek.  He's beautiful. 
Now, he's flawed,  for sure we all are, but absolutely a hero.  If you have read my first novel, The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle and loved Joe Indigo, well you're going to love this guy too.  I'll tell you about the main female character another time.  I haven't quite worked her out yet.  I can't give too much away in the first post.


There are, of course, even more secrets in this one.  Maybe some of them are mine!  Maybe not! 
 
If you haven't read The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle, what are you waiting for?  Order it or pick up that copy you've already got sitting there!  Maybe it's time you dug into it, it just might be the escape you're looking for.
 
I'm not sure how this story will evolve, I have lots of stuff in place in my mind, lots of experiences to draw from and I've been given a little too much spare time lately and my mind has been working overtime thinking of how to approach this project.

But the outline is done and the juices are flowing and the muse says this is the time.  So off we go, buckle up!

And in case you aren't on Face Book (I've heard there are people who aren't!) I had this nice review from a reader just recently.

Just finished reading the best book I ever read in my life The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle "The wind will dance with the leaves When we meet again by and by I'll come to you when I can And we'll love in the indigo sky" Joe & Christianna will be in my heart forever.. Carolyn R Parsons thank you for this beautiful story ...it truly planted a fire in my soul...Glenda Marie Parrot Chaulk



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And it's an errant wind that blows this way!



I started working on the novel again.  I had it all planned.  I've had the story for a year.  The working title is The Tempters.  It's been outlined for as long and begun several months ago.  Then November came and I thought, yes, now it's time.  So I started, announced it, and set up a facebook page.  I'm sure it's a great story and then, BAM, new story walks into my life and says "write me."

It's not entirely new, it has been tugging at my sleeve for a while, asking for some attention, like a little child, not really annoying but difficult to ignore.

And, like most kids, persistance paid off and today I set up an outline for a brand new book, tentatively entitled "That Heart" and it is another love story in the vein of The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle.

And errant wind blows this way and the muse rides its waves and I get pulled along and I've learned it's best to just go with the breeze, pun completely intended.

Wish me luck!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pretending

Pretending

How my fingers ache to touch the soft hair
at the edge of your neck
how my hands long to stroke the back of yours
linking our fingers in that ageless connect

How my self wants to dive into
your smiling eyes as they flash with enjoyment
and swim in the love you bestowed
with ease and abandonment

How my ears long to hear your voice
its tones familiar like the breath I breathe
the laughter from your lips I crave
like the some ancient past life need

How my legs longs to dance
in the silence of music and lyrics unwritten
in those arms that embraced me
those moments we were first smitten

How my soul craves the magic
of that time we loved like dreamers and poets
before life dropped its axe
and severed our love of its merits

How my heart sits here remembering
ever loving you, in spite of it all
enjoying memories of our past all the while
pretending life's axe didn't fall


 
 

LIving from a Place of Love instead of Fear.




I got a little off track recently, trying to hold on to something only to discover that what I was fearfully grasping at is as hard to hold in your hand as air.  That thing was love and by doing so I thought I felt it start to slip away from me.  It came to me hard and fast in meditation though, that I don't own love and that it is elusive and intangible and as easily gained as lost but only if you let it flow freely without constraint.

In considering why I was suddenly clinging to it I realised it was because of fear.  I was afraid of losing it, of it going away.   And by holding it in such a choke hold I could made it disappear, like those dollar store toys that slip from one hand to another when you squeeze them.


I also forgot, for a short while, to love myself first and foremost.  In loving a person, I don't have to love all of their behaviour, particularly that which is hurtful towards me.   That in becoming self reliant, while you share your life with others, you don't give it to them. 

In the past I've touched on the idea that there are really only two emotions, love and fear.  That all other emotions, happiness, anger, frustration, sadness often come from one or the other of these two.

In recent weeks I've been giving great consideration to this idea, both in my own life and how I've been conducting it lately and in the lives of those around me.

It as affirmed for me that a great deal of inertia, indecision and unhappiness stems from fear.  People stay stuck in jobs they hate for fear of losing income, neighbourhoods they hate for fear of change and in relationships for fear of being alone.

Even within relationships people behave in ways to those they love in ways that are unfair and hurtful because of fear.  They fear losing the person,  censor by their friends, judgement by their families, anger from ex-spouses and a wide variety of other fear driven behaviours.

It often leads to stagnation in life, doing things the  way you've always done them, though it's not worked in the past.

Then there is the other side, where I am happiest, living life from a place of love.   In my world I love big and completely.  I allow for the mistakes and follies of those I love though I do strike a good boundary in how I'll be treated by them.  While I do get afraid, most times I am able to love enough to overcome any fear I have through meditation. 

I love in such away that any person I love has the freedom to be who they are and live their lives as they wish.  If they choose to do that in a positive and loving way I know their happiness is sealed.  If they continue with fear and even try to love within the walls of that limiting emotion, often they find they end up having that which they are most afraid of happening, come to fruition.

Consider this applicable to all loves in our lives, that which we have for our parents, children, friends and yes, of course, our lovers too.

When within my heart, there is only love, fear disappears.  You cannot love and be afraid at the same time.  The truth is  I've never had love go away.  I've had people go away.  I've gone away from people but I've never had a broken heart.  This is because my heart can't be  broken, its disappointments easily packed away in a place of acceptance.  I still return all of the love that has ever been gifted upon me and know that more will come if I continue to carry on that way.

I'm human, I have many human moments but if I love you I will attempt to love you fearlessly.  And if it suits your heart I'll leave you free to love as you please, whoever you please, and be happy for your joy in life as I'm happy for mine.

Namaste

 



Monday, November 15, 2010

Amazon Review about The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle!



Check out the great  reader review of The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle at Amazon.com!  And now, until December 1, 2010, purchase an autographed copy from me through paypal for just $25 including shipping and handling, both US and Canadian!

Email me at breezedaze@gmail.com for details.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

This long day



I loved this long day
with its bare breast poplars
and windswept smiles
I loved this long day
with its cold grass fingers and
infinite cloudless miles

I loved this long day
with its grinning breeze
and sightless meandering
I loved this long day
with the dancing air that
pirouetted into eve's surrendering

I loved this long day
with its sighing star scape
and waving gibbous moon
I loved this long day
that sat with me so long yet
walked away much too soon

 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Eye to the Polestar!

Someone today mentioned they'd like to take a couple of weeks and just escape to a cabin and read.  It sounded like a good plan for him and it reminded me of Henry David Thoreau, someone whose work I admire and who did "escape" to a cabin(on Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts) for a few  years to write about his thoughts on self reliance, self actualization and self sufficiency.  He did more than escape, he built and maintained the cabin as a practice in the very beliefs he wrote about in Walden.  When he wrote Walden, he was not officially a writer.  In fact in his eulogy to Thoreau, his contemporary Ralph Waldo Emerson(who owned Walden Pond and the property upon which the cabin was built) said he was "without ambition, " even then misunderstanding Thoreau's lack of desire for wealth and recognition as laziness.

I, myself,  have no desire whatsoever to go to a cabin in the woods.  I hate being isolated and alone.  I love human beings too much.  But, even Thoreau was against the idea that the way he lived was the ideal for all and in fact he only lived in the cabin for 2 years and truth was, the cabin was in no way isolated, in fact it was just outside of Concord, Massachusetts, a bustling community that is famous for being the birthplace for many of the great American thinkers including the aforementioned Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Louisa May Alcott of Little Women and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

So by now most of you are going, "so what the heck is she on about today?"

The title of this post is "Eye to the Polestar" and I take it from this quote in the conclusion of Thoreau's book "Walden" about his time at Walden Pond.

"I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account; for, beside that before he has fairly learned it I may have found out another for myself, I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible; but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. The youth may build or plant or sail, only let him not be hindered from doing that which he tells me he would like to do. It is by a mathematical point only that we are wise, as the sailor or the fugitive slave keeps the polestar in his eye; but that is sufficient guidance for all our life."


I'm a bit of an odd duck.  I know it.  I read things just because I want to.  I make decisions that others think are strange, selfish, unorthodox and unrealistic.  Somehow, oddly enough, I also adopted many of the ideals of Thoreau as my own before I'd ever read a word written by the man or about him.  I have always believed in the importance of the individual above the group and that a truly independent person understands that the independence of others is equally as important as their own and that to be truly happy one needs to be, above all,  self-reliant.  That doesn't mean one doesn't desire emotional support, time in society, friends or family.  It means that within those ties you are free to be exactly who you are.  Spend time with exactly who you choose to spend time with and love those you wish to love.

The polestar referred to in Thoreau's quote above is not literally, the north star.  In my estimation, he is referring to ones personal truth.  I do not have to love the same music as you and you do not have to love the same as me.  We each just need to know and be proud of that music we do love. 

I have heard it said often that art is subjective.  That what one finds beautiful and artistic is someone Else's bag for the dumpster.  Isn't life subjective too?  That frequently what one values the other finds invaluable?  But all too often a person will choose to find value in something simply because those around them do.  Money for example.

But, in all of that, respect for each others path is paramount.  Thoreau said there should be all the different people in the world but that they all should follow their own way not the ways set out to them by others.  I do find it ironic that there are those who call themselves "Thoreauvians" for how can one say they are following their own polestar if they are guided by the star of another?  Even if that star is Thoreau's?

I have two younger children who I am raising to be independent thinkers, self reliant and individual.  They did math worksheets all day yesterday because they wanted to.  My 7 year old, without prompting, unloaded the dishwasher for me and both played independently without television or toys for hours.  They are remarkable in their independence yet also in their ability to parse out appropriate social behaviour.  If you met them they are not rowdy children, but they will express their opinions clearly and they are likely to disagree if yours are different.  I'm not only OK with that, I'm thrilled. 

I wonder how many of us would have an easier time if we had never been told that our path was wrong and allowed to develop our skills and talents as valid and important. Someone pondered online if it were more valuable to form unions for workers or to teach the workers how to live independent of industry and career.  Lech Walesa or Henry David Thoreau?  Who is the hero?  Both?  Neither?  There is a question that might spawn some great debate!

It is important to study great thinkers like Thoreau, to solidify your own personal beliefs and to also learn what you don't believe.  I am often amazed by how a conversation about my own ideas settles them further into my mind for me.

Meanwhile, someday I look forward to visiting Walden Pond, walking through Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and pondering the message of all of the transcendentalists and great authors buried there in Concord, Massachusetts.  And I'll do it because I choose to, not because someone said that perhaps I should.

Namaste
 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Attachment vs Connection; Unconditional Love.


A couple of weekends ago I went to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak in Toronto. What an incredibly moving and powerful day that was.  His message so clear, so simple, so true.  I feel truly humbled to have been a part of it.  No other philosophy has spoken to me as clearly as Buddhism.  I am not Buddhist.  And like all of the other philosophies and religions of the world I take my truth and leave the dogma behind.  Still of all of them,  I've probably learned most about life from my study and practice of Buddhism.

Since that day I have spent a great deal of my time in thought about attachment.  In Buddhism, it is said that it is our attachment to things that causes our suffering.  Our attachment to outcome, personal belongings, our past, our bodies, anything that is outside of us.  Indeed, even our attachment to the idea of self.  That anytime you feel suffering you can look at what is causing it and directly trace it to an attachment to something.  I do this frequently and it does give great insight.  For example, is it the loss of a job that causes suffering or the attachment to what the money from that job can bring..security, things, the social part of working or indeed the entire package.  Most people who have become unemployed end up better off long term in some way.  It doesn't always change the emotional response but sometimes it helps make it more appropriate to the situation and it certainly has changed how I look at life.  I see every job loss of my past as dumping me into opportunity.  None of them has caused me any long term hardship and I certainly wouldn't be writing full time if I had stayed employed at any of them.

Inevitably though, in any discussion of attachment, someone asked the question, but what of love?  Isn't it a normal human instinct to seek and find love, particularly in the form of relationships and attachment to a mate.  And if so, how do we reconcile the idea on non-attachment with the idea of love itself.  How can one love and not feel attachment.

So I've meditated and thought on this question taking into account changes in my own life, my loves, my past relationships and my current ones and even those yet to come.  I've come to some conclusions that ring true for me.

Attachment is not what we need to be seeking.  It's what we think we should look for but truly what we want, as humans with this great capacity for love, is connection.  We want to find people to share our true selves with who don't run screaming once they hear our darkest thoughts, our past mistakes and our future foibles.  We want people who accept us truly as the incredible spirit we are, not as the fallible human we exist as.  We want to be judged fairly by our soul, not our behaviour.

This is what we want.  What we first need to do is connect to ourselves in this way, forgiving ourselves our faults and striving always to be authentic to the soul you have to offer to the one you connect to.

The Dalai Lama said "Always see the human inside, not their actions."  While I'm not perfect, I do look for the spirit inside and try to connect with that rather than attach myself to how a person should behave or has behaved in the past.  This has served me well.  For example, I know no negative people, I know no bad or evil people. I see good people everywhere. I see misguided choices from places and perspectives I cannot truly understand but accept as true for the person.  Am I truly just attracting wonderful people or is it I just don't see the bad others see anymore.  I don't know, all I know is that I love human beings and believe all of them are truly, at heart, good.

It all sounds wonderful but what does this look like in real life in a love relationship?  Here are a few very odd and random questions.  In your relationship or those you are fostering, are you focused on getting your love to propose or are you focused on taking care of him or her?  Are you taking care of him or her in order to get him to marry you or love you or are you doing it because you love them and value all humans as worthy of love?  Are you being yourself with them or are you afraid of showing your depths?  Are you angry at your spouse because they didn't pick up their socks or are you smiling because yet again this person you love didn't pick up his socks?  Are you attached more to the idea of his tidiness than connecting to his heart?  Are you attached to behaviour or are you seeking a true heart to heart connection that transcends all the little attachments to what everyone tells you a relationship should look like?

Attachment to the idea of what a love relationship should be like is probably why they so often fail.  What should always be the goal of both persons is to keep the connection. Allowing a person to his own mistakes, giving them the freedom to come and go and trusting your ability to deal with it if they choose the later is the most important aspects of non attachment you can practice.  Meanwhile keeping a healthy dose of the same connection to your own soul so that you know when behaviour is at the extreme and unhealthy end of the spectrum.  You can love a person and not want to live with their destructive behaviour.  You can love a person and not want them as part of your life.  This is perfectly fine and in fact, vital.

Unconditional love doesn't mean you sacrifice or endanger your well being for someone who isn't capable of returning that love, it means loving them from wherever the safest place for you is.  Because you need to have unconditional love for yourself as well.  Perhaps you are connected with one whose lifestyle isn't something you can live with. Or they are violent or controlling or addicted to something.  Are you attached to the idea that you must live in the same home with the person you love?  Have them actively in your life.  Perhaps you can be happy with an alternative arrangement and maintain connection more easily without the trappings of domesticity getting in the way.

Without that connection it is still possible to be happy in an exclusive love relationship with someone.  Yes, you will be able to get along but don't be surprised if eventually the desire for that connection becomes intense.  It is often like a hunger and almost as strong as the urge for food.  You may not die without it but you feel you can't fully live.  Ideally you reconnect. But that takes two and if you don't it may be time to decide how important to your life this connection is.  For me it's vital.

You can fill the need for it with friends and family and work and fun but still the desire to connect with that special person who gets you on every level is intense.  It is certainly possible to live a completely fulfilled life without it.  I've known many happy single people who aren't looking for it.  That's not what I'm saying. 

What I'm saying is, if this is who you are, and this connection is important to you, beware not to drive it away with attachment to the trappings that society sets down as the norm.  So when it does show up embrace it but don't attach to it.  Let it evolve and let it be what it is.  Enjoy its magic and revel in it.  Don't make demands on it and it will evolve always into what it's supposed to be for exactly as long as it's supposed to. I think that this applies to every other relationship in your life.  To your children, your parents, your friends without the burden of expectation.  It changes how you deal with people and how they relate to you and for the better.

Detach and connect.  Give unconditional love.  To all  humanity and to yourself.  And the love and connection you are looking for will find you.  The first book I read by the Dalai Lama was called "The Good Heart".  I've often said the title of the book was enough.  All we need is to look for the good heart in people and we'll be on the good path.  If you didn't read the poem I wrote recently called That Heart, read it here.  Absolutely nothing about picking up socks in it, I promise.

Namaste