I am feeling so much better now that I’ve opt out of the thread loop in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am no longer obliged to read the 2 posts above mine. It frees up not only time but my sense of obligation which is very weighty. I like rules. I think they promote order. I think I am taking them and the UBC too seriously. It is also time for me to take a break from the challenging element of showing up every day. I am remembering a Wayne Dyer quote: When change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

I wrote about working/writing smarter the other day. One of my faults is not knowing when to quit. I do know that now. I am walking my talk. Being committed to too many things is stressful. It does not lead to productivity nor sense of restfulness or peace. My mind was always engaged, having no time to rest. There was no time to organize my surroundings and to declutter. I yearned for time to read a story book like I used to. When I found some time, my mind was too distracted and frazzled to concentrate on the words.

I made the decision to opt out of parts of UBC just two days ago. I am surprised at how restful my brain is feeling already. I had time yesterday to watch Professor Paul Gilbert’s video on compassion and how it can help us lead happier lives. It is an hour and 17 minutes long but well worth it. It explains the tricky brains we’re born with. It is faulty by design but it is not our fault. But if we learn and understand how it works, it will help us live better lives. Learning is and always has been my passion. There’s always things to learn and opportunities to improve from where we are now. Every day is another first day of the rest of our lives.


I’m not God and I don’t have the whole wide world in my hands. I’m not and I don’t but I wouldn’t mind if I am and I do. It’s wishful thinking but what if wishes do come true? I’m feeling helpless and useless at the moment. I’m at the wall with nowhere to move. I can only take a deep breath and heave a heavy sigh for relief. This is real life.

So I am here, to lay some of my anguish on the page, the anguish of acceptance. I am not God. I do not have control of everything. I suppose this is the first part of the meditation practice called R.A.I.N. It stands for recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture.

Recognize what is happening;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nurture with self-compassion.

I’ve learned the first step of recognizing what is happening. But allowing the experience to be there, just as it is, is not so easy. I want to fix it with the first inkling of discomfort it brings. I can see myself getting into my Supergirl/Wonder Woman suit, all hyped up to the rescue and change the situation. There’s an urgency in me. I feel there’s no time to investigate with interest and care. I tend to berate myself rather than nuture.  I recognize what is happening in me. I want to change.

I am here, tapping out what I recognize and know. It’s been exhausting hosting all the thoughts and emotions inside my body. They’ve been in the wash cycle too many days , agitating and agitating. Now it’s time for the rinse to kick in and the dirt to drain out. I will hang on to the good stuff. I’m not God but I wouldn’t mind if he gives me a hand, light my path and point the way. It’s difficult navigating in the dark.

I haven’t been out in the desert for awhile now. I have missed my time there. I miss the emptiness, the silence and the arid air. I miss the seemingly endless time and the peace to heal body and soul. Most of all, I miss the conversations with God. His presence was all around me there. My heart was opened to accept and receive. Somehow every day life happend and it closed up shop. I have been sleeping on the job. I’m awake now and in the desert. I hope he will show me some wisdom and compassion.


I’m sleepless again. After wrestling unsuccessfully with the mattress, I decided to give it up. So I’m here, sipping my Orange Pekoe tea, trying to tap myself into ease and sleepiness. It is about the enigma, the woman next door again. I tell myself that there is clearly something wrong with her. Yet she has enough wits about her to run a business out of her house and a talent to irritate the hell out of us.

The frustration comes from not finding a solution/resolution to the problem. It’s difficult to conduct a conversation, never mind to enter into a negotiation with someone who makes her own rules/laws. Who does not allow you a voice at all. Who talks/yells over what you have to say. Who lies. I guess she could be called a bully.

What has she done this time? It’s the same thing – her obsession that she has rights on our property. She doesn’t like how we do our yard.  She planted little spruce trees on our property next to the raised bed that she doesn’t like either. She ‘weeds’ and digs little trenches to ‘drain’ rain runoffs on our property.  Somethings are just too small, petty and too tiring to fight over. So I had been ignoring all this before. Then she doesn’t like that we use woodchip mulch because it is a fire hazard. We mulched  under our cedar trees adjacent to her driveway. Whatever we use, she would push, scrape back when we’re not aware. So we put up some low wire fencing along the trees to prevent her from doing that. We used black (dyed with vegetable oil) wood chip thinking that it’s the colour of dirt and she wouldn’t see. How can anyone object to that since it was on our property and with a fence to keep them from her driveway?

Of course she would see and object. Today I found the posts pulled almost out and the wire netting laying flat on the ground, the mulch pushed back. I took photos. I am not sure as what to do. I could report this to the police as this is clearly vandalism, mischief and destruction of property. But I’ve been dealing with this kind of stuff from her for years. She is ‘something else’ as one could put it. She clearly has a bead on me and knows what gets my goat. She is very clever in this way.

I’ve also been getting smarter about myself, how I let people push my buttons. I don’t like how bodily reactive I am. I don’t like how the blood and thoughts rush to my head and I can’t think anymore. I can only feel – the cortisol coursing through my system and the feeling of helplessness. I’m here taming my thoughts and adrenaline. This is not a bitch session nor a tell-all. I’m trying to find some peace. I’m trying to find some love and compassion for the woman next door. It must be terrible for her to be so obsessed about me, my yard and whatever. Don’t we all need love and compassion?

I want to end on a positive note with a video of Daniel Champagne. We saw him perform live at the Bassment the other evening. He’s travelling across Canada. If he comes to your town/city, do go and see him. His guitar picking and music are out of this world. I came away from it with total body relaxation. I suffer anxiety and high blood pressure. It’s hard to explain but I suffer a hundred deaths of fright getting my blood pressure check. It’s difficult to feel confident about how well controlled it is. I’m always high at the doctor’s (white coat syndrome). The last visit a couple of weeks ago, I registered a reading of 180/90. Eeeek! I’ve come down since then, desensitizing myself each day by taking it regularly. My reading after coming home from the concert was 108/79. Music is good therapy. I have to listen and attend live concerts more often. Forward, ho!


WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE – Day 15 in a year of….

Day 15, August 6, 2016 @2:39

Afternoons are not any easier to show up here.  The air is warm.  What I really want is to lay down and have a nap.  Maybe a cup of tea will help.  That is my answer for everything – a cup of tea.

IMG_6973How quickly one’s brain get clouded.  That small window of clarity is there for me in the morning when most of the world is still asleep.  I can see that message on the wall before the world rushes in.  I sit in the silence and the unspoken wisdom.  Then I sit in the words of those who have trained and taught the wisdom – Melli O’Brien and Elisha Goldstein.  

IMG_6979What I know for sure is that it is never a good or right time for anything.  You have to make time for what your heart desires.  It is and it isn’t all about me.  It is about me in that it is I, who has the choice.  It is I who must do the work.  I am responsible.  It isn’t all about me.  The world is a big place.  There are many me, me, me out there.  We are all different but we are all the same.  We are all part of humanity.  We all suffer.  We all bleed.  If I can open my eyes and heart a little more each day, I can let more of the world in.  I can suffer less.  I can love more.  I can, can’t I?  What about you?  Can you let me in just a little more?

Till tomorrow again.


IMG_4300Happy Valentines Day!  There’s nothing like the feeling of falling head over heels in love the very first time – with myself.  It comes quietly in the early morning darkness over my cup of tea.  It is my favourite time of day in this month of the heart.  I sit with my tea, Sharon Salzberg and all my sisters on Instagram, feeling the love and connection. What better day to practice compassion and nourishment than on this day and month of the heart.  It all starts with the self.

The title of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic pops into my head.  Why am I always looking out to others for answers?  I breathed and looked within.  Why can’t I be my own magic?  I went further within to where I had been, feeling and experiencing it all.  It’s as if my whole life flashed before my eyes.  I was/am always going out of myself, being there for everyone, assuming all faults and responsibility. I saw my want to fix everything for everyone, wanting to take on the suffering even if it’s not my own.  I was never home for myself.

IMG_4302My Big Magic came this morning slowly and quietly with the breath and sip of tea.  It is in the knowing and accepting that I am not perfect nor all that powerful. Not everything is my fault.  I can’t fix everything.  I don’t need to fix myself.  I just have to be my own valentine.




Dear God:

I have just decided to travel the high road yesterday.  Why do you have to test me so soon? Your daughter is tired, her feet sore and blistered.  The road is long and rough.  She can find no comfort for her weary feet and soul.  Even Comfort’s Cab did not show up by her house this morning as it usually does.

Heavenly Father, grant me your grace.  Carry me for awhile.  Let me rest in the comfort of your arms.  Let me gather up my strength and resolve again.  Let me feel the goodness of Ollie in heaven above.  Let me feel the compassion for myself as you taught me to feel for others.  In you I do trust and find comfort.

Your humble human


IMG_5714The snow flakes are floating gently down as I sit here, tap, tapping on my keyboard.  I have been tapping out  the words this last hour on my novel.  The words come but they do not fall off my fingertips with the ease that I desire.

Am I experiencing writer’s block or is this heart block?  I am sorely vexed with bad and unkind feelings towards my neighbour.  There she is already, shoveling the snow off her driveway and pushing it between the Junipers, into our yard, even after many requests for her not to do so.  What neighbour would do that to another?  What woman to another woman?  Where is the respect?

I fingered my rosary, the one that Ollie gave me, breathing in and out as I touched each bead.  I was so happy to run across Kay’s post yesterday on gratitude.  She was using her singing bowl and rosary to meditate.  That reminded me that I do have four rosaries gifted to me on my baptism.  It was time to find them.

I was drawn towards the rosary with large, blue beads.  I held it in my hand.  I felt the coolness of the beads and then something else.  It was Ollie’s presence, her goodness.  I was quite sure of it.  I knew then that I can breathe in this bad energy and not harm myself.  And breathed out out what is good.

Compassion Road is such a hard and rocky way.  The traveler needs roadside assistance every step of the way.  I am glad to have read some of the Dalai Lama’s My Spiritual Journey.  We are all human beings is his message.  We all hurt.  I do not want to be hurt.  In the same way, the other person does not want to be hurt.  Knowing this, I can do no harm unto another.

IMG_5717Compassion is a very, very hard road to travel.  I clear my space with good energy.  I  hold the rosary close to my heart.  I breathe in what is here.  I breathe out white healing light to the universe.



So far today, I have not try to put any order to my office.  The day is hot.  The neighbour’s music is loud and insistent.  I cannot think.  My blood sugar is low and I am getting cranky.  I put on Pavarotti & Friends 2 on my portable.  I put it on the deck and crank the volume up.  I like to see how she likes it, she who wants to hear the birds sing.  So much for kindness and compassion.  My words are not going according to my intentions!

It is a little later.  I am bolstered by some crackers and walnuts.  I am a little mellowed by a glass of wine.  Pavarottie & Friends are done but   the beat is still going strong next door.  It is all right.  Everything is copacetic.  I am done with tit for tat.  There is no satisfaction in it except deafness.  And I cannot afford to lose any more hearing.

I am being kind to myself, not going down or up the spiral staircase of anger.  I no longer hold any feelings of irritation.  I really do not want to hurt others in the same way that I am hurt.  That is what compassion is.  It is not an easy thing to practice.  So often I want to give the other person a taste of their own medicine.  There, you take this or that!  See how you would like it.

I am remembering Karen Armstrong’s talk on compassion.  The beat is going on louder next door.  Ahhh, human frailties!  We so crave for attention and love and yet we do not know how to love.  I am so happy to have seen Karen’s talk.  Otherwise, I do not know where I would be.

I am looking at the flowers before me….pastel colours of pink, blue, yellow and white.  The flowers came from a genteel woman’s celebration of her 90th year.  She holds the key to the United Church in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, Canada.  I guess you can guess what kind of woman she is.  The colours of the flowers soothe and calm me.  Sweet pastels!

Kindness is such an easy and hard thing.  It is in your choosing.  Have you been kind today?  Enjoy this poem on kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye.  It is truly awesome.

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

The music next door has stopped.  Sweet peace!