The Invitation

a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Lesson learned…

Krishna and his beloved, Radha– artist unknown

 

I’m integrating this of life’s lessons lately…

Love is never a waste of time; regardless of how things “turn out” in the end, it forever changes me for the better.

Shows me how human I am.

Humbles me.

Fills me with warmth and joy

and depth of understanding I can’t access otherwise.

Love is not a “mind” thing or a concept…

It needs to be experienced and felt to truly be known.

I currently sit in a place of deep gratitude that I am able to let myself go there knowing

That there are never any guarantees in relationships that they will stand the test of time.

No longer in illusion that it is otherwise

and freed as a result to allow more love to enter…

“Heart Hug” artist unknown

Kids as Teachers…

A colleague of mine sent this out today and I found it to be an interesting spiritual take on children and what they teach their parents.  Of course, we also teach our kids lots of things- often not the things we THINK we are teaching them.  After all, they don’t listen to what we SAY per se, they watch what we DO and respond to that.  What if we were to assume that our kids actually KNOW what they want and parented from the perspective of helping them accomplish their goals in this physical reality?

Thoughts on Touch…

from ANGRY LITTLE GIRLS

This post may interest both parents and non-parents.  I am currently taking a parenting course alongside my kindergarten families.  I thought I’d share some quotes on why physical affection like touch and our presence is so important for the ability of our children to thrive. There are also a ton of books out there on neuroscience and child development, which also do a great job of explaining why physical touch and proximity are so important to our neurological and emotional development as humans.  I found this book fascinating:

“Our silent and most potent language, touch is the medium through which parent and infant communicate and become attached, each tender touch strengthening the bond between them. In fact, touch is literally a baby’s lifeline. Able to thrive without hearing, without vision, and without smell, infants lacking affectionate touch literally perish from a syndrome called, appropriately, failure-to-thrive.”

-Sharon Heller- author

 

“Cultures high in physical affection; touch, holding or carrying, rated low in adult physical violence. Those cultures rated low in physical touch were high in adult physical violence.”

James W. Prescott – neuropsychologist

 

I also recently watched this documentary, which is also interesting.  So many ways to parent and create happy and thriving kids….

Awakening

Thank you to my dear friend Maho from Japan for sending me this song.  It captures how I feel about where humans are at in our evolution.  It is a beautiful song….kinda like you, Maho 🙂 Enjoy India!

For those of you that don’t know about Deva Premal and her partner Miten, I highly recommend their recordings.  You can sing along with the chants.  And they are also a pretty inspiring couple in my opinion.

Brrrrr…

Park by my house


OK.  So I have discovered that I am in SERIOUS need of a different kind of clothing.  Been on the lookout for warm winter boots and a down parka and I finally found both today for under $200 at the good ol’ Hudson’s Bay company.  I now have a good hat made of wool and felt that covers my ears and is stylish.  Also bought warm layers at Mountain Equipment Coop today.  I experienced my first ever 26 below weather with wind chill yesterday.  Holy cow is it ever cold is all I have to say!  Remember when you were a kid drinking slurpees too fast and that feeling of brain freeze?  UH.  Yup.  That is how it feels when the wind blows and it is that cold- takes my breath away.  I am diggin’ it though and it is OK as long as you’re dressed warm.  The sun glinting off the snow is gorgeous.  I am most impressed, however, watching the Calgarian ladies in their high heeled boots and shoes in this kind of weather.  Hats off to them;  I can’t even walk on the things when the ground is not an ice rink.  I sit at Chiasso coffee shop and watch them prance by in amazement.  Here are some pictures I have taken lately:

Icicles out my kitchen window

 

Tree in front of my house by streetlight

 

Love how snow can look like diamonds!

Calgary: First Snowfall

“Snow” by Gauguin

 

Last night was the first snowfall since I moved to Calgary.  I hadn’t noticed until a friend called and told me it was snowing around 10:30 pm.  I watched it from my window from a long time- studying it.  The snowfalls here that I have experienced are not like the ones in Vancouver that are quiet and where the snow falls in a straight line.

The snow here undulates in the wind like a dancer’s belly.

“Dancing Girl” by Ken Meyer

So after a restless time in bed trying to sleep, I got up at 1 am, put on my snow gear and went out walking in the magnificence of it.  The streets were silent and I was the first one to walk out on this glittering blanket that instantly made everything beautiful under the streetlights.  It was exhilirating and magical; I felt like a kid again.  By the time I got home, I was ready for bed.  And I am learning all sorts of things about living in this climate:

*The temperature swings like crazy here so wearing layers that you can strip off while inside in the insanely hot buildings and put on before going out are essential.

*Looking at the weather network so you know what you need for the day and how to move around the city is important.  When it snows, things are often delayed.  Crowchild Trail (a highway) was super backed up this morning.

*Monkey see, monkey do.  I can tell by observing the locals that I will need to buy a good parka!  My Vancouver fleece will not cut it in 4o below.  So far, it’s only been 9 below.  Christina: the boots you gave me are great!  Thanks.

*Move FAR away from a bus after you get off to avoid snow spray!

So life in Alberta is a continuous adventure.  I am enjoying the people- who are, in many ways, like the weather: unpredictable, direct, helpful and forgiving.  Unlike Edmonton, Calgary has chinooks which are warm fronts that move through regularly and clear out all the snow.  Edmonton stays pretty much at below freezing temperatures the whole winter, so I am told. Did I say it was DRY?!  Wow.  I don’t get nose bleeds too often but I did have some blood in my nose the first week out here.  Will post “after” pictures of my apartment later in the week.  Hope you are all well!

Home Sweet Home

Some of you requested some before and after pictures of my apartment.  So here I am after painting my apartment.  And, YES- that is a Safeway bag on my head!  I am now all moved in.  Almost all boxes unpacked.  Will post the “after” pictures once I’ve done some finishing touches.  Everything went well; the movers brought everything on Friday morning and only 3 glasses broken.  Not bad.  It is a bachelor suite I live in.  Only 350 square feet.  Cozy and just about all I need at the moment.

Living Room/Bedroom

Kitchen

Hallway

 

Bathroom

Toilet Room

Front of House

I’ve also been spending a lot of time at Prince’s Island Park (Vancouverites: Think Stanley Park only this is the Bow River instead of the Pacific Ocean).  This park follows the Bow River just North of the Downtown core.  It is not far from my house.  I can walk there in 30 minutes or take the bus.  I’ve been really enjoying the sculptures in the park and just taking in nature.  Was a cool day today- for me- BC girl that I am.  I got on a bus and the bus driver said, “So uh.  Yer lookin’ pretty warm.”  I smiled and said, “I am from Vancouver; I am acclimatizing.”  He laughed.  You know I am not from here because I am not wearing shorts on a clear- but cold- day!  It is also DRY here.  I had to go out today and buy some heavy duty moisturizer for my skin.  No humidity here.  I’m definitely not on the West Coast any more! And I love the prairies.  Although it is colder here, the sun shines a lot- and I mean so that folks don’t pack away their sunglasses in the winter like they do in Vancouver.  Lookin’ forward to seeing the Northern Lights when that comes about….

Yes.  Only in Alberta would you see swingsets shaped out of cowboy hats!

Chinatown dragon statues

 

Settling in…

Thought I’d just put a quick post in here before I head off to paint my new apartment.

I got here on Halloween night and really enjoyed going out with my friends Loreen and Carell with Loreen’s daughter Rhiannon and Carell’s granddaughter Briana.  The little girls were dressed up as a Hula Dancer and a Pumpkin.  The Hula Dancer’s coconut bra kept falling off and Carell and I laughed so hard when Briana said, ” Can I take this thing off?  It is annoying me.”

Out of the mouths of babes.  She probably speaks for many women out there that understand the discomfort of wearing bras!  She is 4.  They were over top a Hawaiian dress so we put them in her Halloween candy bag- a suitable place for the torture devices, in my opinion.  The Pumpkin was pretty cute.  We watched Rhiannon waddle up and down tall steps in her BIG costume.  She did pretty good holding onto walls pretty much by herself and maneuvering her way up BIG steps for a 2.5 year old!  Briana and I went into a scary haunted house that a neighbour set up.  I was impressed how she handled the whole thing.  Her eyes were as big as saucers as she surveyed the scene and looked for things that might jump out at her.  I picked her up half way through and finally near the end, a werewolf jumped out at us.  He went easy on the little kids and didn’t yell as loud so it was OK.  I noticed he had no mercy for the adults though 🙂  So after an hour and a bit of the little girls walking, they were done and getting cold.  The skies were clear and we could see shooting stars in the night sky.  Several neighbours had fire pits set up where kids and parents could come and warm up once in a while.

No snow yet since I got here.  Mornings and nights are cool but the days have been warm- as high as 19 degrees Celsius.  My place is currently undergoing some renos because when we did the move in inspection on Monday, I noticed some things I wanted fixed so I have been staying with friends since I arrived.  Today, I go in to paint my place before my things arrive tomorrow morning with the moving company.  I HIGHLY recommend this, by the way; it was so nice not to have to do any shlepping of stuff myself.  They are super professional, tag and inventory everything and they unpack all the fragiles when they arrive.  If anything is broken, it is insured.  So worth the extra  bit of expense.  And the BIG bonus is that I didn’t have to chance getting stuck on the highways between BC and Alberta in a U-Haul by myself.  So all is well….

I will post pictures of my place soon after I finish unpacking.

Will be nice to sleep in my own bed after over a year of it being packed away in storage as I gypsied my way around the world…

Hope your All Hallows Eve was fun and that the ancestors who love you were able to slip through that thin veil between the Spirit world and the Earth plane that night to bless you!  I know I felt blessed that night as I walked among all the trick ‘o treaters.  I am grateful for that.