Friday, January 20, 2012

Happiness and Sun Rays~just rambling and pondering!

Rumi said, "Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment."

Do you ever walk out the door, look up into the sky and  marvel at the fact that you can see forever?  I try to do that deliberately and I believe it is a good thing to practice.

But very occasionally I will just be awestruck in random moments,  by how magnificent and incredible it is that we are all just here.

There are all many theories and stories and beliefs about how this all came to be but I can never seem to get too caught up in the the "how" of it all.  I'm just too completely caught up in the reality of it all!

This entire world of conscious beings in physical bodies set upon a sphere of stone and gas and air and water in orbit around a ball of fire, just takes me aback with the miracle of it all!

Infinity.  Forever.  Never ending.  That is what I see in those moments when I look up in the sky and that is why it is easy for me to believe that I too am infinite, forever and never ending!

In those moments I am almost resentful, but not really because I am too entirely happy, of being weighed down by gravity and my physical body.  Perhaps that's why flying has always fascinated me.(That and the fact that it is truly one of the best representations of humankind's creative spirit and ability to make things happen simply by considering the possibility and carrying it forward).

When I was a little girl I remember thinking, "If I live to be a hundred years old, I will never ever be able to learn everything there is to learn."  This troubled me a great deal because I hungered to know EVERYTHING.  Are all children like this?  Mine all seem to be though they don't seem troubled by it I was.  Now I'm not longer troubled but I do still hunger for knowledge.  In fact I'm insatiable to absorb everything I can.

Particularly, people fascinate me.  I love them, every single one and I am always fascinated by their thoughts, their motivation(or lack thereof) and how some seem to follow the status quo and grow and change at a remarkable slow rate while others are constantly moving and growing and learning new things.

I have had the great fortune lately to be able to spend time with some of the most interesting people I've ever met.  I joined a local networking group with writers and artists, actors, editors, jewelry craftspeople etc. I've met some well known and fascinating celebrities and sat with a former Pentecostal Pastor's wife turned author from Newfoundland and had an amazing and insightful discussion about her life and philosophy which oddly enough is closer to my own than you might imagine.  Her book,  Feet First tells a story of amazing resilience and of the power of a human to overcome unimaginable circumstances.

Meeting these people has stimulated a new sort of growth in me, reignited my passion for life and reminded me that I still have a lot to learn!

Will I live to be a hundred?  Of course!  Not a doubt in my mind.  I imagine I'll be a very cool centenarian and I'm hoping my hair will have grown long by then.  People will tell me I don't look a day over eighty and I will have a pile of finished and published works under my belt including the television script and new novel that I'm working on now!

Will I have learned all there is to know in the world?  Maybe not.  But I will have learned all I am to know in the world and I'm going to make sure of it!

I was driving home yesterday and it was very blustery. The wind was blowing drifts of snow across the road and it was dull and drab.

Suddenly it became very bright.  An amber glow was all around me.  I was in a sun beam!  Just one ray of sunlight was breaking through the clouds and it illuminated me like a streetlamp on a dark corner.  I slowed down a little to bask in this warm light and smiled in delight at the pure beauty of it.

And this is one thing I have learned.  I want to be like that ray of light.  I want to brighten things for those who are having a dismal day.  I want to leave every room a little brighter than when I entered it, leave people excited, leave people inspired and motivated to learn all there is to learn in their lives, leave this world a better place.  Whether it's through my writing or my business or just from a conversation and being a friend to them, that is what I've learned about myself.

I may never know all there is to know.  But knowing the kind of human I want to be and being that human makes me too happy to be concerned...after all perhaps it's not the knowing everything that's important but the willingness to be open to learning everything.

So there you have it, all of the things that make me happy.  Learning,  people...and sun beams.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tart and the Hussy went purple this time!  Hello Red Carpet!

On Monday night I took to the town!  Hog Town!  Toronto! Lauren and I, colour coordinated in shiny purple(blueberry tart perhaps?) hit the red carpet at the premiere screening of the CBC television series Mr. D. and Republic of Doyle.  How we were lucky enough to get into this exclusive, by invitation only event, is a story on to itself.  Let's just say, if you want something badly enough, and expect it will happen, it will.  Some call it luck.  I think it is magic!

And boy was it a star studded event!  We hit the red carpet at approximately 7pm for our photo op which can be seen on the CBC live Face Book page.  Then we took it upon ourselves to enjoy every last moment.

Instead of going in the theatre like good little guests we made the choice to stay with the celebrities and CBC executives, casts and crews and this afforded us the opportunity to stand at the edge of the red carpet and photograph all of the comings and goings of the CBC stars.  We saw and met many of the most popular Canadians from the best television shows on the air today.

Familiar faces surrounded us as the likes of Wes Williams, Anne-Marie Mediwake, Dwight Drummond, Zaib Shaikh  and Sitara Hewitt strolled around, chatting and taking photos.  It seemed that they were all fans of each other as Blackberries and iPhone flashed capturing this exclusive event for their individual twitters and face book pages!

Lauren and I were there specifically in support of and to meet all of the members of the cast of Republic of Doyle.  I had a lovely chat to the very talented Allan Hawco who looked at me and said, "I knows you!"  and I compared rings with the funny, friendly and omg gorgeous Lynda Boyd who plays Rose on the series.  We have a love of bling in common!

I met Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea for the first time.  You read that right, the FIRST time.  For those who don't know, I used to travel to Great Big Sea shows in places like Rochester, Guelph, Toronto, Ann Arbor, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Mount Pearl, well the list goes on!  But I had never met any of the band members.  I did speak to Sean McCann at his concert in Waterloo last May and now, fter nearly 40 shows where I was in the front row for all but one of them(I was in the second row), I met Alan Doyle.  He had earlier given me one of those "I knows you from somewhere but don't know where" looks, so I finally introduced myself to the him.  He was very sweet, we grabbed a picture and had a little chat about his foray into acting in the past few years (Robin Hood with Russell Crowe and Republic of Doyle).

I took over one a hundred pictures, grabbed a few videos and then we watched the shows inside the theatre. They were both, seriously laugh out loud comedy and I highly recommend the shows but only if you have a sense of humour, love to laugh and have fun and are intelligent enough to get the jokes.  The episode of Mr. D. has a decidedly silly and distinctly Canadian edge that had me in stitches and Republic of Doyle is more clever and well written than ever, with a great mystery, brilliant acting(Russell Crowe..duh) and comedic one-lines  that made me giggle hours later.  If you didn't catch it last night when it aired go to CBC today and catch the replay online.  One zinger by Mark O'Brien(Des) still makes me smile and now I'm wary of the English.

We managed to stay out of trouble, drank water, ate popcorn, did not drool(with all the gorgeous men in the room I consider that a victory) or trip on the red carpet!

I am an ordinary person but sometimes I marvel at the extraordinary opportunities that life throws my way.  There were about a dozen people at this event out of 400  not affiliated with the CBC or the shows that were screened.  I was one of them.  How does that happen?  Magic.

But that is nothing compared to my next trick.  Stay tuned.  Interesting things are brewing for this Tart!  A huge big event, the biggest and most original one yet!  Yes, I am being cryptic, yes I am a tease..what else would you expect from a tart?

The Cast of Republic of Doyle!

CBC megastar and all around silly guy..posing for me..Rick Mercer

After almost 40 Great Big Sea shows in the late nineties I finally meet Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea..he  smelled good.

He might bat for the other team but they still make a cute couple!  

What a great sport!  That's his "Take the friggin' picture" face.

Great fun!  Nice to meet the famous Rick Mercer finally.

With the beautiful Lauren Hammersley

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Tart and the Hussy are hitting the red carpet!

Guest starring in the premiere, Russell Crowe!

Omg Omg Omg.  By an act of sheer will, wishing, and manifesting miracles, my friend Lauren and I (aka The Tart and the Hussy) scored tickets and once again we are hitting the red carpet at the season premiere screening of Mr. D and The Republic of Doyle in Toronto on Monday night!

I knew this would happen!  I knew all of my life that I was destined for the red carpet.  It is my is the way it should be!  It is what I have planned on my whole life.  I am red  carpet material..yessirreee!

And I'm ready!  When they ask me "Who are you wearing" I will reply "George of Walmart" of course, just like one of the stars at the premiere of any top notch show!  What else would any self-respecting tart wear to an event of this caliber?

And of course this leads to the big dilemma!  Whatever shall I wear?  I'm just not a fancy girl and I don't really own anything, red carpet-ish.  Last year the premiere was at a Pub...I have many many pub worthy premiere in a theatre type digs though.  I'm stumped.

I may be forced to shop!  Damn it!  Nothing like shopping to take the fun out of getting new clothes.  Sigh. I now have a cleaning person and a personal trainer so perhaps I should look for a personal shopper next to avoid this kind of thing in the future.

All that aside, it will be fun.  I will be shooting photos and videos but as usual won't be able to give any spoilers about the show so you'll have to wait until it airs on the CBC for that sort of information!  Expect a full report here and of course, regular photos and updates on my Face Book and twitter as the event occurs!

Yes, once again I must don my best demeanor(usually I don a misdemeanor), behave like the lady I should be but am not, drink beer from a glass (with pinky finger extended),  and enjoy a fun-filled night of celebrities and fantastic television in the city I love.

Yes it will be on the CBC news and last year ET Canada also reported from the event!  And for goodness sake, if you don't already, start watching Republic of Doyle, Wednesdays at 9pm with the television premiere being this week!  I'll reserve my recommendation for Mr D. until after the event!

And now I just have one thing to say.  Squeeeeeeeeeeee!

Star struck tart~over and out!


The Skating Meditation

With the kids still home from school until Monday and the most amazing but busy Christmas season tucked warmly and  neatly in a very special place in my memory, it has been a bit of a challenge to keep two very active little girls occupied and happy.  Luckily several businesses in the area have sponsored free skating at the local arena and we have gone together for 2 hours every other day and we've gone to every one of them.

Finally, both of my little ones are able to skate independently without the back breaking necessity of me holding them up by the armpits and whirling them around the ice instead of their actually gliding along.

Which frees me up to skate independently!  The first glitch was that I can't find my figure skates but what I did find in the garage is a pair of size six boys hockey skates.  I have always skated in figure skates and while I realised there would be some obvious differences I was unaware of how much easier it is to skate in hockey skates!

So for nearly two hours every other day,  I go around and around with music playing, other skaters whizzing by avoiding collisions and practicing in the unusual but comfortable boy skates.  I feel the cool breeze on my cheeks as I circle the rink time and again.  My feet ache at first, my legs protest this new activity but I carry on because the sensation of pushing forward, then gliding effortlessly, then pushing again with a crunch of blade against the ice surface is invigorating and meditative.

Sometimes bliss comes from the most unexpected sources.  I expected to enjoy skating.  I did not expect to be transported.  Sometimes my thoughts drift to past days.  I remember skating on the frozen ocean from our cove on Change Islands to two smaller islands with my dad.  I was probably about ten.  I remember my dream of someday skating on the ice surface of an NHL arena.  But mostly I sit in that moment allowing all the good that is flowing my way to come.  Breaking even with my life, matching up with my dreams, living with my contentment.

Freedom.  It all comes down to that.  There is nothing in life more valuable than the freedom to do that thing that makes you happy.  It came to me in one blissful revolution around the rink that the reason I am able to be happy so easily is that I have chosen to be free.  I have chosen, not been made to feel that I "have" to do the things that I do in my life.  There is no force that I feel that makes me decide one way or another and in that autonomy I am free.

The road to this freedom is much like the skating..pushing off, avoiding the obstacles, falling occasionally when you are learning but then, with practice you start to glide through blissfully, happily, skimming the surface with just the occasional effortless push to propel yourself.  You slow or stop, then go again.  You get better at the entire thing until it becomes second nature and you know, with all your heart that this is where you are meant to be because you chose it.  It is your expectation, not the expectation of others that you meet.  It is your life that you live, not the one others would have you live.

I had the question asked of me the other day by someone who was completely burnt out from doing all that other people expected of them, "isn't happiness found in the service of others?"  This is a great question and I answered in the affirmative.  But I did qualify it.

It is actually in the service of ones self that happiness is found.  If it is true happiness, it is so immense and overflowing that simply being that way serves others.  A person who chooses to find their own happiness by being and doing that which pleases them is not selfish, they are simply doing what feels good and right.  And if they are truly reaping happiness from their behavior they will want to share that by doing good for others and they will also bring those around them up with their happiness and that is, indeed,  true service.

I spent all of my time before Christmas doing all of the things required for a happy holiday for all of us as do many others.  Unlike many others, I did it completely without resentment and of my own volition. No guilt trips and I didn't do anything because it was expected.  I stayed happy and enjoyed our holiday season.  I asked for help when I needed it and I got it.  Things got done.  Things didn't get done.  I moved on.  I also did some service work, volunteered to help with the Salvation Army food hampers and gave money to charities whenever I could.  All was in the service of others via my happiness and freedom.  It was easy to do and give because I was choosing to do and give.  I had not committed to do and give.  I said no when no was appropriate and said  yes as frequently as needed and to those things I wanted and did not want to do.

I have made only one commitment in my life and that is the commitment to my own happiness and well being. I have discovered freedom to be the key to that.  From that springs forth a giving spirit not a selfish one.  I take care of my family because it makes me happy.   I run my business because of that.  I write for my happiness and I choose when to do either or all of those things.

Big and fun things are coming in 2012 for me.  I will write about some of them here in the next few days.  Meanwhile give some thoughts to making your life yours, making yourself feel good so that you can share that good feeling.  Giving isn't about the doing, it's about the feeling.  In fact all of life is about the feeling so feel good whenever you can

Off to the rink this afternoon!  Cheers!