Friday, June 24, 2011

The Power of Partners

Anyone in a serious relationship knows, it's not always an easy ride.  And sometimes it can be downright difficult.  However, what I've found in taking a step back, is that being in this relationship is part of what makes me whole.  The English expression, "my better half" has a Spanish equivalent, "mi media naranja" literally my half-orange, which, some say, comes from Plato's story about soul-mates in The Symposium.  The story goes that "humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them."*

The most beautiful description I've ever read of a soul-mate, and the one that resonates most profoundly with me, is from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert., and it says, "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake."  Those of us who are fortunate enough to have met our soul-mates know that this is true, and that's why living with our soul-mates can at times be so difficult... but ultimately so rewarding.  

Just as I realized recently how very important the women in my life are, I've also realized how empowered I am by my relationship with my spouse.  The intimacy we share, whether we're side-by-side or oceans apart, is something I need to be me.  I find it very comforting that we share this kind of intimacy.  A dear friend once told me that we can be who we need to be because we know that they are there to support us, to love us, and to share with us parts of ourselves that no one else knows.  And I couldn't agree more.

*from the Wikipedia entry for soul-mates.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yoga in the Park

It was something I'd only ever heard about... until tonight.  My friend Ariane had given the class last week in a park nearby and, although she's an amazing teacher and I was dying to attend one of her classes again, I thought I was not in the right mood, so I didn't go :(  Probably would have done me the world of good though...

So I'd been looking forward to tonight's class all week.  I told myself that no matter what mood I was in and who was giving the class, I just had to go.  It's a free class put on by our local Lululemon and given by a different yoga teacher each week.  The thought of doing yoga outside in the fresh air really appealed to me, so when they said there'd be showers tonight I refused to believe it.  I didn't believe that it could be nice all day when we were cooped up inside and then rain just when we could go out and have some fun.  So after dinner I ignored the weather forecast, grabbed my yoga mat, and went out to the park.  Although there were only a couple of people when I arrived, the spot they had chosen in the park filled up quickly and, in the end, I'd say we were about 30 or so people.  The wind had picked up, the sky was grey and overcast, and the temperature had gone down a few degrees.  Sitting there on my mat I thought I should have brought my jacket.  The session, however, started off quickly and within a few minutes I'd completely forgotten about wanting a jacket.  The teacher led us almost effortlessly through a series of postures, holding some, flowing through others, and the hour passed by entirely too quickly. 

It was an incredible experience and one I was very glad to have ignored the weather forecast for.  In the end, the temperature was just perfect, not too hot, not too cool, just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay and the rain held off until I got home!  What an amazing evening!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

When time stands still

It happens when you least expect it. It's not something you can go looking for, it's not something you can even make happen, but when it happens, it can totally knock you off your feet.

Last night I attended an end-of-year party for a group I used to belong to years and years ago.  It was a chance to see some dear old friends again and find out how they've been doing.  They were such a big and important part of my life at one time, it's incredible that so many years have passed since I last had a chance to catch up with them.  When I walked in and was immediately surrounded by them all (no one knew I was coming) it was then that time stood still for me.  Just like that I was transported back to when I was sixteen, just a kid, and had all these wonderful people around me, loving me.  They kept telling me how I hadn't changed when, in fact, it was them that hadn't changed!  I remembered all the good times we had shared, the memories flooding back and choking me up.  It was pure magic.

I think I have always been surrounded by wonderful people, but only now am I realizing what a gift that really is.  I am so totally grateful for each and every one of them - whether they're near or far, whether I see them seldom or often - they all mean the world to me.

Don't you love it when time stands still?  I do!  It makes me realize what a gift this life really is...


Monday, June 13, 2011

A sea of happiness

This week I have been witness to a veritable sea of happiness...  my friend Terri got engaged and when I heard the news my heart just jumped for joy!!  Terri is an incredibly loving, giving, honest (did I say loving?) person, who deserves nothing but love and happiness for all that she gives out.  And so when she announced to the world (the Facebook world) that she had just gotten engaged, the comments exploded!!  Fast and furious the congratulations came, each one more overflowing with love than the one before, everyone tripping over themselves to wish her all the happiness in the world.

So what does all this say?  That she has a lot of Facebook friends?  That people are starved for good news?  Actually, no.  This speaks volumes about the wonderful person that Terri St. Cloud is.  I "met" Terri a few short months ago, through Brené Brown (author of The Gifts of Imperfection) when she posted one of Terri's quotes on Facebook.  I was just so taken with the quote, and apparently so were many other people as Brené soon followed up with a link to Bone Sigh Arts, Terri's website. There I found a wonderful e-book full of compassion that I shared with a very dear friend of mine, desktop backgrounds of her Bone Sighs (what she calls her quotes) that now grace my laptop, and a huge number of cards, matted prints, books and other goodies featuring her Bone Sighs and her beautiful water colours, many of which I now own.  I was in heaven!!! 

It was also there that I stumbled upon Terri's blog. Terri has a way of writing what I feel.  One of the first things I do when I turn on my computer every day is read Terri's blog.  It has inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry and, at times, really made me think hard about what my values are.  When I say that Terri has inspired me, that is no small thing.  My blog is a reflection of that inspiration.  For ages now I've felt I had something to say, things I felt I wanted to share, but I really didn't think anyone would be particularly interested in my ramblings.  Somehow the openness and honesty with which Terri shares with us her day-to-day life made me realize that maybe what I had to say did matter.  And so this blog was born and, regardless of how many or how few people read it, it makes me feel good to be able to share a little bit of myself when I feel I have something to say. 

So to Terri... thank you for your love, your inspiration, your kind & caring words, and all your encouragement.  You are truly one of a kind and you make the world a better place just by being in it.  Wishing you all the love and happiness you so richly deserve  ♥♥♥

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The importance of Moms

The love of a mother is unlike any other.  It is unconditional and deeper than we will ever be able to understand.  But maybe it doesn't need to be understood, it just needs to be felt, and cherished.  It is sad when someone doesn't realize the absolute gift that this is.  I realize it, and am more grateful than words could ever express.

I am truly more fortunate than most because I have two Moms - two women that love me for who I am and see the good in me that sometimes I have trouble seeing for myself.  I have learned so much from these two wonderful women and consequently a lot of who I am is a reflection of them.  This makes me infinitely happy because I love and admire both of them; they are the best role models a person could ever hope to have and I am the luckiest girl on earth to have them!!

I love you both, so very much  ♥♥

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not alone

Yesterday I wrote about angels and how truly grateful I am to have my beautiful angels in my life.

Today I want this to serve as a reminder, to me and to anyone reading this, that regardless of whether they are physically present or not, our angels are always with us.  You see, it is not their physical presence but their love that holds us in a tight embrace, and that is always with us.  It is very easy to feel alone, even when we are surrounded by people, but because we are loved (and we all are), we are never, ever alone.  In our deepest, darkest moments it is usually difficult to remember this but when I feel this way I will come back to this place and be reminded that I have angels who love me, and that I matter.  Deep down I must know this because on my good days I truly do believe this; however, when I forget and need to be reminded I will come back to this place and remember my angels. 

Angels too can feel down and so I try to send love to my angels and hope they can feel it from me, too. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Angels among us

Do you believe in angels?

I so totally do.

I'm not taking about the blond-haired, winged ones we see in children's books or beautiful drawings, I'm talking about the ones that are there for us when the whole world seems to have forgotten we exist.  Sometimes they come in the form of a beautiful song that takes us away from whatever place we're at in our heads.  Other times they are the frogs that sing in the backyard and serve as a lullaby that helps us drift off to sleep.  Or they can be the sounds of the cardinals and robins that gently rouse us from our sleep and help us to greet a new day.  A writer, through their writing, can also serve as an angel for us when their book speaks to us in a way that reassures us that we're not alone in how we think or feel, or explains something we'd always wondered about ourselves.  Yes, I feel these are truly all angels among us.

There is another type of angel, one that's very close to my heart, that I feel needs mentioning all on its own, and that is the angel that comes in the form of friends.  I know in my heart that I have been sent many such angels in my life and without them I would not have gotten through many of the challenges, big and small, that life has seen fit to send my way.  Some of these beautiful angels have been with me throughout my life; some have come and gone; some are with me every day; some I only see from time to time; some are new and oh so necessary; but all of them have left their footprints on my heart.  One such angel has been hovering over me recently and has reminded me that I matter.  Sometimes we forget that we matter, we start to feel invisible, and it takes an angel such as her to nudge us and remind us that we are, indeed, important.  This angel has done just that and tonight I am feeling incredibly grateful to her for this.  If angels do exist - and I truly believe they do - then she is definitely an angel, of this there can be no question, and I am oh so lucky to have this beautiful angel in my life.   

My wish is that everyone would have the kind of angels I have been blessed with. ♥♥

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today I am:

Surrounded by beauty.
Surrounded by love.
Surrounded by warmth.
Surrounded by joy.

And I am so grateful!!!

Yesterday I was reminded about the importance of surrounding myself with good people.  I was out for dinner with a couple I know, very good friends of mine, and that was when it all came back to me.  These people are so wonderful that just being around them I felt surrounded by all the things I mentioned above ♥  and it felt sooooo good!

Of course, someone I love very, very, very much also inspired me this morning with his humour

Today, those feelings linger, and this is what happens when I feel this way:

To those I love... thank you ♡♡♡


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Remember This

Do not assume that he
who seeks to comfort you now,
lives untroubled among
the simple and quiet words
that sometimes do you good.
His life may also have
much sadness and difficulty,
that remains far beyond yours.
Were it otherwise,
he would never have been able
to find these words.

Wise words by Rainer Maria Rilke.

While reading Terri's blog today (something I hadn't done in a few days because I thought I wasn't in the right mood), I was led to another blog, called Carry It Forward, to a post called "I remember them..."  It was a very powerful post that really made me think.  But even more than what she said in her post, I was struck by the words in the poem she used (which I've posted above) as it was sort of what I was trying to say at the end of my last post.

I think it's important to keep these words in mind always, as we can never truly know what is going on in the hearts and minds of those around us.  We all too often assume that their lives are better than ours, easier than ours, and that they couldn't possibly understand what we are going through.  However, as Rainer Maria Rilke says, it is because they have been or are going through, their own stuff that they can understand and help us with our stuff.  Powerful words indeed.