Building Resiliency

I’m later than ever. It is almost 8 pm. I hope my American friends are having a safe Thanksgiving. Today we have 299 new Covid cases in the province, with 72 at the Correctional Centre in Saskatoon. It’s nothing to celebrate or be grateful for. I’m starting to feel like a reporter. I have to snap out of watching the numbers. We all need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. It frightens me to listen to those people who are anti-masks. Do they really believe what they’re saying or do they have another agenda? Either way, they are dangerous, stirring up vulnerable people to create havoc. Be careful of stories you tell. If they are not your story, do not repeat.

Now that I got my rant out of the way, let me tell you about my main concern. I feel much more settled and comfortable having decided to stop going to the gym. I don’t have to second guess whether I’m putting myself, family and friends at risk. I can put my efforts into keeping and building resiliency. I am also one of those vulnerable people. I am easily affected by the weather and mood of others. I am easily affected by everything. It is important for me to keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit. I want to be kind and empathic but I don’t want to feel everyone’s pain. I’m not good at either one though I am improving. Sometimes I just have to grit and bear the pain.

I am learning that I have to be kind to myself first. I’ve had a hard time of it. I think that’s the reason for the anger I’ve felt and held so often in the past. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt it. Hooray for me! Free at last. It’s not so easy ‘getting it’. It takes a life time. It really have given me a mental boost in these times. I’ve learned to get up, dress up and show up no matter how I feel. That’s thanks to Regina Brett. These are the things that you still have to/can do even if you feel lousy. You might not be able to do them as well on any given day. If you try your best, you can forgive yourself.

Get up, dress up and show up is etched in my brain. It gives me that boost/resiliency on especially difficult days. And these are those days. Even so, I still find great joy and satisfaction – of getting up, dressing up and showing up – to make a soup from all my garden veggies for lunch, making kimchi and then going for another ski in the park. They were not all masterpieces but they were my honest efforts. I feel proud of them.

If you are interested in the recipe for my kimchi, here’s the link. I throw in different ingredients sometimes. Today I put in Jerusalem artichokes instead of radishes. Making food is very healing – for whatever ails you.


One of my problems is that I have to get to the root of everything. I’m obsessive about it. I dig and dig, trying to get to the heart of the matter. Sometimes it does me in. I’m worse off. There’s such a thing as knowing too much. I go into overwhelm. Another problem is it takes a long time for me to overcome an every day illness like a cold. These two are not a good combination. It comes as a no surprise now that it’s a huge battle for me. They take away much of my time and energy. Quite often I feel I’m robbed of huge chunks of life.

I see some of the error of my ways. I don’t have to get to the root of everything. They will be revealed to me in time. AND I do have a lot of knowledge already. I have to accept how my body heals. I cannot hurry it along. It goes into more stress and I into more distress. Everything gets worse and I go beserk. Not a good scenerio. Now I have learned to chill, just be in my usual mode of moping along, laying in the sun, sipping my tea, watching my navel, do a little of this, a little of that, and not trying to get anywhere. In essence, be the tortoise.

On the other hand, it is always good to rise to the challenge. I should not so readily accept my bodily’s inability or my mind’s disability without question. I should at least give it a good go without pushing too hard. There’s the rub, to have good judgement and to have balance. Upon rising in the morning, I drink my little cup of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I meditate to the voice of Mark Williams on Youtube. Then I listen/watch something educational and uplifting. This morning it was a lecture on Immunology 101 from the University of California. I have a passion for learning. I just need to keep in mind not to pursue it to the nth degree AND to put the knowledge into practice.

I’m coming out of my body and mind funk. The other night I gave up fretting, took a pain killer, laid on the couch and watched two episodes of Grace and Frankie. Comedy can be healing. Then I popped a sleeping pill and went to bed. Uninterrupted sleep is very healing. I’m not advocating medication but sometimes it is what I need to get over the hurdles. When all else fails, it is how I get over my over obsessive mind so that I can heal. Now that I’m unchained, I’m in a better place. I’m soaking up the sun in my space, tapping out my melody. Meanwhile it is cold out, baby. I don’t feel it, only the warm healing sun though the windows.


The jukebox in my head is playing again. I keep hearing Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through the Night all day. Mostly it was just the first two lines. Take the ribbon from your hair. Shake it loose and let it fall. I see it very vividly in my mind’s eye. It’s like when I hear Autumn Leaves. The autumn leaves drift by my window. The autumn leaves of red and gold. I see the leaves gently floating down.

I think they are beautiful lines that I can use as a mantra to let go of intrusive thoughts. Just singing them in my head relaxes me. It stops the obsessive chatter in my head. I can smile hearing the words and melody playing in my jukebox. I can feel the tension leaving my body. My forehead relaxes and unfurls. I can sit up straight in my chair. My thoughts are loosening. I shake my head. I watch as they fall and drift by my eyes. Music is a great healer.



I love sitting here listening to Caroline Myss speak her wisdom. She is what you call a no nonsense woman. “Stop it!” she stresses. “Or I am going to put your head in the toilet.” I like to put Sheba’s head in the toilet now. She’s barking over her rubber chicken. I can hardly think! I’m suppose to toss it with her. I like sitting here with her when she’s quiet and peaceful. She probably likes it when I play rubber chicken. We are both in training – to better ourselves and to please each other. Mutual love.

I think we are making some progress. We are going to prove that you can teach old broads new tricks. It depends on the rewards used. Sheba is not as discriminatory as I am. She is tail-wagging happy, will sit, down and stand on her head if possible for any treat big or small. I am not so easily swayed. It would be in your best interest to trick me into self motivation. I am a tough cookie. Sheba loves tough cookies, too. She’s always next to me.

For today at least, I’ve relinquished my guilt for everything. I’m letting it fall like puddles at my feet. I can declare like Martin Luther King, Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are I am free at last. A little melodramatic, you say. But alas! I do feel shackled by all that I’ve been taught, unwittingly or otherwise.

I like to turn a new page, a clean slate with no blame. I’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t forget, we can’t forgive so let’s move on and start a new story. We think our wounds are healed but are they just scarred over? They can bleed at any provocation. Ask any survivors of residential schools in Canada. And has Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought about truth and reconciliation? I am sure that many would find a fallacy in my comparison between such a big hurt and my little hurts. But aren’t wounds, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? I’m not a fan of licking each other’s or trading stories of wounds. It makes me want to have bigger ones than you have. That’s why I think it wise for me to move on.

I hate the name of Wounded Warrior. I don’t even like being a warrior at all. The title signifies fighting, warring. Don’t we have a lot of that? Every day in the news there’s a war. The Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam, Iraq. Then there’s the war on drugs, terror, against crime, poverty, cancer. Why must we fight so much? Can’t we work to find solutions? Maybe if we can change our talk, we can change our thinking and seeing. Maybe we can find common ground without the fight. How about a little brotherhood and sisterhood. And maybe then there won’t be so much ass and other body parts grabbing.

So why this sudden avalanche of sexual harassment stories. They’re tumbling out of closets. Big names, starting with Harvey Weinstein, are falling like dominoes, except for Trump. He is still President even though he said grab them by the *  *.  Maybe he has a big gun mouth.



IF NOT FOR – Day 82 and 83 in the year of…

Day 82 and 83, October 15, 2016 @8:26 am

There is a bit of sunshine this morning.  Thank the Lord for small mercies.  I am feeling a little blue and discouraged.  Too much in the news and social media last evening and this morning.  How do you not pay attention to what’s happening in the world?  You would want to know if disaster is coming and prepare for it, wouldn’t you?

img_8074The question is, What do you do in today’s climate?  Our world is a minefield waiting to be detonated.  Which way to go?  It is likely that we all are tiptoeing carefully in our personal domain.  We are careful and silent till the explosion goes off.  I am tired of it all, aren’t you?  I am tired of the Trump-Clinton dramas, of the media circus, of the corruption, racial slurs and inequities, of personal conflicts.  If only I could vomit it out. I guess that’s exactly what I am doing!

Please do not worry about my state of mind.  It’s my writing mind and my fingers tapping out what is in my body.  But are they true feelings?  It’s helpful to put them on the page and let the light shine on them.  I have been accused by many people that I say what most people would only think.  That has puzzled me. What is wrong with what I say?  They are not vulgar.  They are not lies.  I do not gossip. Others have said I’m brave.

I do not feel particularly brave.  I love words.  I love their sound as they fall from my fingertips.  If not for them, I would find it harder to breathe.  I would find life more difficult.  If not for life’s adversities, I would not be as adept with my words. As I am now tapping, I hear the Byrd’s lyrics.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

Yes, sometimes it is hard to watch what is unfolding before me – chaos, distrust and hatred.  But I have to believe in purpose and the beauty in our lives. Sometimes I moan and groan about Sheba, but if not for her, I would miss a lot of nature’s beauty, the stuff that can heal a battered and disillusioned soul.  She insists and drags me out to witness skies, blue or grey, to feel the wind rippling my hair, the rain on my face and in my shoes.  She’s like a bunny hopping through the snow, a little black seal in the river …. She brings me utter joy.

But now she’s barking.  Enough already!  It’s time to go for our walk.


Day 8 of Kat McNally’s Reverb.

Today’s prompt and image come from Jennifer Williams-Fields (photo credit: Bing Osterman Photography). Jennifer is a true inspiration as she glides and stumbles through life as a single mum to six kids, yoga teacher, fitness instructor and writer. Her book Creating a Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learnt from Yoga and my Mom was published  this year to great acclaim.

Jennifer writes:

While alchemy is the active process of creating something of value, serendipity is the passive path to finding an unexpected treasure.

Looking back through 2015, what did you diligently try to create? 

What great thing did you just happen to find?


IMG_1625I started this year with great diligence and intention of smoothing out all my rough edges. I was going to cast out all my mean evil spirits, all my faults and become the woman of the year. I had good intentions but it all backfired on me.  I became a MESS.  But I was a very functional one, having past experiences.  Past experience is a great asset in these kinds of situations.  I survived, shivering and quivering inside, hanging on by my fingernails.

I survived by hanging on with experience, knowing that “This, too, shall pass.”  I healed by letting go, giving up.  I threw up my hands. C’est la vie!  I felt every one of those shivers of fright and lived to tell about it.  It’s much like the feeling of falling in your dreams.  You don’t hit bottom.  You float up.

IMG_3755That is the great thing I found when I gave up.  Life is messy and there are things that I cannot control.  Things happen. That is how it is.  Look at what happened to my bread!  Though I am SURE that I did everything right, they came out like this. Where are my usual PERFECT loaves? Wait, all is not lost yet.  I still have the baguettes in the oven.

IMG_3757They are out of the oven now, looking beautiful, brown and crisp.  Will they pass the French taste test?  Does it matter?

What matters is  – I am still here.  Though life is not perfect and there is darkness and meanness, there is also something greater than ourselves.  I have stumbled and fallen. When I was too weary, the Universe took over.  I am healing.  I have to believe in the ultimate goodness.  I have to believe in the Divine.



It is still April.  The morning is mighty fine. I love how the sun comes through the windows and dances on the walls of the sun room and dining room at this hour. Everything is bathed in soft buttery light. I bask in its glow, appreciating the moment, knowing it will be gone soon.  This is what makes me feel lucky, knowing and appreciating the now.

Yes, I am sitting and holding this space from Kat McNally’s #AprilMoon.  I’m tap, tapping out the words from my fingertips.  I feel lucky, too, that I am able to do this – to breathe through my nose all the way down to my fingertips. The words come out, one by one.  They march across the screen, forming words and sentences.  They give me life and sustenance.  They help me live in the moment.  They anchor me in the now.

Sometimes I drift away, carried off by my thoughts, of course.  They are devious and intrusive – full of trickery.  I am mindful of them.  They can deceive you with their false truths.  I try not to spend time in that space of wondering – ‘if I will ever’.  Thoughts cannot do the deed.  Thinking is just thinking but it sure can burn up the energy.

I try to stay in the here and now, not examining the past nor wondering about the future.  I like it here, tap, tapping and watching the sun dance on the walls.  It is peaceful.  It is healing.


Today I’m none the worse after wrestling with restlessness and wordlessness for a few days.  Oh, what a mouthful!  I’m trying to make up for lost time.  I mustn’t be too gleeful. I could be sent back into my silence in a nano second. You know how these things can happen.

image courtesy of Google search

Being lost and wordless in my desert is not a bad thing. I feel like Charlie Chaplin in a silent movie. I’m toddering around, swinging my cane, trying to tap my way out of the black and white landscape. How is it that I am trapped here? Help! Let me out.

I wonder if this was how Robin Williams felt. But somehow I don’t think he was ever trapped.  I do not feel he is dead. His laughter and energy are surrounding and healing us – as always.  Can you feel him? He is beaming his comic smile down from Ork. He has found his way home. He has lived a full life here. Can we say that about ourselves?

IMG_1302It’s good to kick up my heels, swing my cane and tap out a few words. It’s warming to come in from the black and white. The colours are that much more alive and vibrant. They jump at me and wakes up the senses. They fill me up. Would I have appreciate them so much otherwise?



wineBring out the banners. Bring out the trumpets. Bring out the wine. Let us blow our horns and celebrate life and all its phases faces. They are worthwhile, whether sad or glad. There’s good that comes from each. To Life!









healingSeptember is here.  I have signed up for the NaBloPoMo again, only to find my words have disappeared.  I am restless, fussing turning and bothering people in general.  I am distressed and lost in my desert without an idea or words.  How am I going to write about healing?  It is such a good theme.  What a time to get the stutters!


IMG_1282I fret, pace, wring my hands.  I sigh, huff and puff to no avail. I take to the garden, wandering here, there – pulling weeds and looking at the summer’s effort.  You can certainly say the tomato beds have ran away on me.  The plants are toppling over and strangling each other with the weight of the fruits and foliage.  More is not always better. Live and learn.  There’s always next year.

It is now getting late in the evening.  I am not any less fretful.  The words are not coming any easier.  They do not fall from my fingertips like water from a leaky tap.  Music jangles my nerves.  Talk does not help. Perhaps a cup of tea.

Do you have days/nights like this?  Experience has taught me not to fuss too much, as if I can help that.  It’s best to stay put and ride out the waves. Don’t go on a serious shopping trip.  Don’t get your hair cut. Don’t bother calling anyone.  Usually they are not home. Even if they are, the conversation leaves you feeling worse than before. I try to stay off the bicycle, too. I have fear of falling.

IMG_1267My cup of Chai is working its magic. I feel a slight ease in my chest. My fingers are losing their stutter across the keyboard. Breathe! I tell myself. Relax those shoulders. Unfurl the eyebrows. Move those fingers across the keyboard. Forget about profundity. Just get the words out. Do not worry about grammar and tenses. The night is not young. You can do better tomorrow. You have done your best today. It is enough.






IMG_6635I was so envious of Sheba this morning. There she was, asleep on the rug, not a care in the world, not a tense bone in her body – at perfect ease.

That’s the state I am seldom in.  But I am improving. I’m reading Lissa Rankin’s book, Mind Over Medicine and becoming more aware of how I am living and my un-ease.  It’s not all about doing the proper things like diet, exercise and genetics.  There’s much more.

There’s our attitudes, moods and a thing call happiness that affects our health and our ability to heal ourselves.    I did not know that I was living in a constant state of distress until I left the world of nursing – code Blues, stats, call bells and bedpan alley.

Now I know and it is the next morning.

I listened and heeded my body and went to bed instead of finishing this post last night.  I needed sleep and knew if I stayed up, sleep might escape me.  And I have slept well in the night and up early this morning.  I drank my lemon water and did my qigong routines, guiding my body and mind into ease for the coming day.

IMG_0829The birds are singing, the sun is shining. Sheba is resting after our romp in the park. I will leave her sleeping self  be.   I could learn to relax myself watching her.

I sipped my tea, thinking of how I will weave my story for the Friday Fictioneers post.  Life is good.  I can relax.  It is okay.