In the gaze of angels

Roe deer with yellow flowers 3c

Roe deer with yellow flowers 3c (Photo credit: Dluogs)

I am held
In the gaze of angels
Two strong women
Two strong men

No wait.
There are more.
Cousins, greatgrands… Ancestors.

My ancestry, they watch over me.
Waiting for me
To ask for their help.

My aunt Roe,
She was a feisty one.
She got things done.
I don’t pray to God, I pray to Roe.
She still gets things done.

My uncle Mike,
He had a good time.
He knew
Which ones to trust
And which ones to toss.
He helps me with the math.
He still has a good time.

And my Grandma,
She loved and listened.
She helps me keep my yap shut.
And know what to say when no words will help.
She still listens.

And Alice and Cliff,
They help me in my garden.
She still writes and tells me to travel.

And… And… And… So many more.

All of them.
Still here but not here.
Just like me.

I am more than just here.
There is more here than meets the eye.
And when your eyes no longer see me.
I will be here still,
Holding you in my gaze.


Tear duct tango, part two

The tango of tears
Has slowed to a tangled

How do tears form?
A slow filling, a sudden squeeze, the flow and drip of memories left unfinished.

But my eyes want to refuse this dance.
And stubbornly refuse to fill
And squeeze this last memory out of my vision.

A last dance and last goodbye.
A last dance and a last goodbye.
When is my last dance and last goodbye?

Not today.
Not tonight.

But not tonight,
So I can dance
And cry

And say goodbye.

First Workshop!!!


Today I got the posters out for my first workshop I will be teaching in the area of mind-body connection. So terribly exciting I went home early with a giant migraine. All too funny.

First the workshop, then the migraine.

My workshop is called “Connecting the Dots on Your Health Journey”. It is an evening workshop being held on May 2, 2012 in Calgary at Self Connection Books in Montgomery (NW) at 6:30-9:30 pm. I will be helping people discover the wisdom to be found within their health history, particularly to understand how the emotional events of their lives affect their physical health. I will be teaching how to begin to tell an empowering story about past hurts to transform and heal. There will also be meditations, affirmations and a mini-Reiki treatment. An action packed evening! Sign up at

Now to tell the migraine story. 😀 I woke up this morning with no trace of a headache, but with a pounding, driving pressure to “get it all done”. Knowing I had to get my son to his dayhome, poster’s picked up across town, drop my husband off, get back across town all before noon, talk to a few local businesses about putting up said posters, and get home in time to put in a few hours of work at my day job. I was very quickly thinking of how I wanted it all to be done simultaneously. I felt nervous about distributing my poster, a first for me, and feeling exposed, but at the same time I felt scared that I would not connect with the person distributing my posters and miss a week or two of advertising for my exciting new venture. One foot on the gas, one foot on the brake.

Throw into the mix my blog post from yesterday about my lingering pattern of trying to be perfect for everyone else, and kablamo! A migraine!

It actually illustrates my point I will cover in my workshop so nicely, you would think it was planned. It was not, I assure you.

A migraine happens when blood vessels in the head contract painfully, squeezing suddenly on blood which has nowhere else to go. The feeling I get is one of intense pressure that gradually ramps up to a stabbing sensation either in my temple or behind one of my eyes. I often feel nauseous and sometimes vomit from the pain. Over the counter medication generally doesn’t do much for me so I tend to not bother. Usually I just wait it out, resting in a dark, quiet room with my hand over my eye, breathing, meditating and sending Reiki energy to my head until it passes, usually after 3-4 hours.

Emotionally the triggers for a migraine mirrors the physical process so well it is stunning. A sudden, intense pressure, squeezing thoughts of perfectionism that are impossible to achieve bear down on you. There is usually no relief with any activity, since the task is impossible in the first place (getting it all done NOW). There is often the feeling of having nowhere to go to get relief, being stuck with no or few options. Trying to be all things to all people, but resisting the pushing and rushing.

The emotional antidote is the same as what physically relieves the migraine too. Stopping. Being still. Slowing the thoughts down and letting yourself off the hook. Finding a creative solution to the problem helps, as does finding options where only ONE way had appeared before. Going with the flow, instead of pushing against the stream. But mostly, just stopping all thought is required, which is likely why masturbation is said to help. But also meditation which is of an unfocused, expansive nature is immensely helpful. Breathing. Slowly. Helps. So does sleep.

So how do you slow the freight train of thoughts once it has started, and possibly avoid a migraine? Well, it is tough, especially when you are in the middle of it. I find what helps me most is to not get on the train in the first place. I have gotten better, with much practice, at seeing the start of restrictive, pressurized thinking and deliberately turning my mind to the task of finding as many different options and outcomes as possible. This time the excitement of the day swept me away and unfortunately I had trouble finding emotional or physical relief until I just rested my mind after I eventually got the important things done and let myself off the hook for the rest of it.

My migraine is gone now and I can clearly see how silly I was to stress so much over something so trivial and easily managed (I really had no trouble at all, even traffic was good). But knowing how migraines go, I will take it easy on myself and let myself off the ‘perfect’ hook. Laughing about it, blogging about it, hoping that I can help one other person who knows the painful pressure cooker that is migraine; That is the best I can do. Tomorrow and tonight, I just go with the flow and I will be just fine. And so with the rest if the course, just go with the flow, be honest, be humble, show up and be helpful, that is it.

Gotta love how this stuff works! 🙂

Being good

I’ve been dancing with my inner critic lately. I’ve recognized a pattern of needing approval from others. It is nothing new. Maybe it springs from my helping nature, I want to help people transform, to become their full selves. It is always so easy for me to see how amazing and lovable others are; I just want them to see it too.

But, of course, you can’t make anyone do anything, and that is definitely NOT what I am about. What I am weeding out is my tendency to be all things to all people. As a natural pleaser, I thrive on helping others and want positive feedback. But I often focus strongly on anything less than praise. My inner critic goes wild with trying to figure out how I could be better, trying to win over every single person on the planet. I absolutely am aware of how futile this inclination is, but there it is… A flaw.

I am not perfect. I cannot please everyone. But that is not the same as not pleasing anyone. I have many fantastic traits. Being myself is the most important one. Getting rid of the last traces of approval seeking is the task at hand, my self development Everest.

And yet I cannot deny how for I have come, sharing my creative and spiritual work in a public forum, writing daily, meditating, creating course material. These are all things my shy 20 year old self would never have dreamed I would voluntarily do. Progress made, progress still to be had.

I was told once that you know you are in the right place if you feel stretched out, uncomfortable, nervous. I must be in the right place! 🙂

What grateful is

I am grateful. I am gratitude. A series of misfortunes, some big, some small, have gripped me lately. I feel more like a cork bouncing along the waves of life. But still, there is so much to be grateful for. Tiny kindnesses. They make all the difference. Like someone holding your place in line in the wait for the Emergency Room, and letting you know where your loved one is when you run for food and drink. And mostly the camaraderie of fellow corks, not where they want to be, but making the most of it.

I am also pretty damn grateful for kind, skilled medical staff, universal health care, my support system of family and friends, my husband and son, and my faith in something bigger that connects us all.

Grateful. I am that.


Walking the famous labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral

Walking the famous labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Labyrynth

While winding,
Leads me in the right direction.

I cannot get lost because
I am shown the way.


detail of mandala

detail of mandala (Photo credit: Tracy Lee)

We are interwoven. Interconnected threads within the same canvas. The illusion we labor with is that we are isolated bundles adrift in this world. It is clear that we are more like notes within the same song. It only takes two turns, two tunes to connect with a friend of a friend. And once something happens to one, the resonance is felt, echoed, through us all.

Making Patterns

I have always been intrigued by patterns. In sewing, the pattern pieces look nothing like the final project. Odd jigjagging pieces somehow transform themselves into sleeves and pants. Knitting patterns are similar. An encoded language that requires keen deciphering to create sweaters and mittens.

Yet with all patterns the wisdom can be unlocked with training and practice. Creating the pattern, however, is a skill closer to writing. It is pure creativity. Working within a structure and creating something altogether new. Challenging, yes. But also immensely satisfying.

The iterative process when creating a knitting pattern seems to be an accepted part of the process. You try it one way and then another. Stopping, starting, unravelling and starting again. It requires persistence.

In writing, we can easily get caught up in trying to make the first draft a masterpiece. But writing is more of a craft than anything else. It needs to be practiced, over and over. Persistence is key. And also loving the process itself.

When I knit, I love the sensation of it. The feel of the wool, the rhythm of the needles, the careful counting, the slowly lengthening work. There is a satisfaction in each tiny loop, one closer to completion. The tiny steps are all marked off and row by row, the project gets done.

Writing a longer work is much the same. Tiny little steps. Each word a little loop that carries you along. Every idea and image captured is a tiny victory. Slowly the work takes shape. The satisfaction of crafting.

I am grateful

I am grateful for:
• spellcheck
• backspace
• a fresh start on a new day
• my husband
• my son
• storytime
• my immune system
• hope

The Writer’s Midwife – A transformational workshop


I have been so fortunate to have two wonderful friends who are incredibly talented writers. Not only are they writers, but they are also teachers, and good ones too. Samantha and Marsha are a powerful daughter/mother team who will kick your butt (with love).

They are all kinds of good for your writing life. They have a perfect blend of support and safety for your fledgling first drafts and persistent encouragement to stretch you outside your comfort zone. In their writing workshop, you will be held accountable to your dreams. You will learn scores of tips, tools and tricks to stomp your inner critic and nourish your inner ally. At the same time, you have never met two nicer people. They really understand how nerve-wracking it can be to share your writing, so they specifically set the tone of their writing groups to be inclusive and safe.

I know because I have had the immense pleasure of being in their writer’s group since September. In that time my writing has blossomed. More importantly, I have developed a strong persistence and discipline with my writing. Before I joined the writing group, I would write whenever I felt like it, maybe once every couple of months. Now I write everyday, no exceptions.

What I love most about the group is how free I feel in sharing anything I write. First draft or final work, the comments are supportive and encouraging. Help and critical feedback are only offered if I ask for it (which I generally don’t), but it is nice to know that a careful eye is available to edit if need be.

Like I said, I am fortunate.

Samantha and Marsha’s upcoming writing workshop “Skin and Stories” starts April 16th at Pages Bookstore in Calgary. For a measly $150, you can invest in your creative dreams and get motivated to finally write that novel you have been thinking about for the past twenty years. Be warned! Writing is fun, addictive, and powerfully life-changing. This workshop will fill up fast, signup buttercup!

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