Dirty courage

Dirty courage is being willing to fall in love again in your 50’s and 60’s when you can never pretend that you are young, fit and free.  You have bags under your eyes, and emotional baggage. You have memories that are treasured, and ones you wish you could forget.

I have so many friends in their 50’s and 60’s who secretly want love but have resigned themselves to living alone.  They are getting by with their job, their kids are growing up, and moving out and they have a stable life.

Love would complicate that.  One of my very good friends has said to me he would not date anyone unless they were 20 min-30 min away from him.  He does not have the time or interest to date someone further away.

What if the love of your life is waiting for you? What if you were destined to meet this person on your next trip to the city, or to a campground or on a hike in the mountains?

Once you narrow your view, then your view is changed.

Your mind only notices what is in its direct view.

Goddess of letting go

Dhumavati is the hindu goddess of letting go.  We are told we can invoke this goddess to help us navigate disappointment, and to discover the freedom in letting go.

Letting go is not something we are taught.  It is a skill we observe in our parents  assuming they are able to let go.

My mother hung onto everything and guarded her belongings.  “Grasping” was a word that comes to mind.

My father was interesting, he was a collector who had 3 of everything just in case.  He grew up in the depression.  He would swing between hording, and letting go of everything.

One day I came home and my mother was furious.  My father had given away the silverware, so we had nothing to eat dinner with.

As a child growing up in the British Air Force, we were forced to let go of the idea of home.  We moved countries every 2 years.  As a kid I intuitively knew not to get too attached to friends, objects, or placse as it would be gone when we moved.

Deep inside me I know I yearned to attach to something.  I had no idea that I could build a “home” inside myself.

Now I find myself in a state of relinquishment, choosing to let go-for love.

How much would you give up for love?

Would you leave your country?

Would you leave your work?

Would you leave your friends?

Would you leave the familiar?

I have a good friend who is now 58, and is seriously seeking love.  His criterion is that a women lives within 30 mintues drive of him.  He is not willing to drive beyond that for love.  Does that not limit his options?  What if his perfect match lived 2 hours away?

How often do we get attached to a fixed outcome, and cling to it.   Then we get angry when something else shows up that does not match our vision.

How do we surrender to the life that is right in front of us?

 

 

Transforming our shadow into light

 

We all have a pain story.  We all have a past where we have been hurt, dumped, and left broken-hearted.  We think our story makes us unique.  We believe that no one could fully understand our suffering.

As we enter into the new moon I have been contemplating letting go of my pain story.  To no longer let my pain story define me now, and into the future.

I went to a new moon ceremony that included stories about goddesses, live music and asana practice.

We were led us through yoga asanas while the musicians chanted.  We were told in this new moon we have an opportunity to transform our shadow into light, and to set our intention.

What is it that no longer serves you that you can now let go of?

What darkness would you like to release to the light of this new moon?

 

The heart loves silence

Have you slowed down enough to listen?  Where can you slow down enough to make space for the silent whisper of your heart?

There is so much silence here in the mountains.  On our daily hikes we have found secret meadows for a picnic, and spots where we can dip our feet into the cold mountain streams.

I have taken to meditating by the mountain stream.  The rushing water creates a background of pink noise that you can zone out to.  I imagine sending my energy and stress down to the earth and into the stream.  I invite the pine tree energy and the cosmic sky above to flow universal energy in through the top of my head, and mingle with the earth energy.  I can smell the pine trees, I can hear the running water.  I am sitting on the moist earth after a night of rain.  Running these two energies through my body clears out any “cobwebs” or stuck energy that I have picked up thought the day.

My two dogs sit beside me, drawn by the energy.  What a privilege to be here in the mountains at this time, insulated from the chaos in the rest of the US.

You can always find stillness inside if you slow down enough to listen. I would love to hear what is your place that allows you to get to still inside?

Learning to Settle

After surviving the winter as a new immigrant.  Spring came then Summer, along with my work permit and my SSN.  All of a sudden I could open a bank account, get a driver’s license and access to money.

Finally I am here.  I shipped all of my sentimental belongings to Rick my new husband as “gifts” through UPS.  I have no belongings left in Canada.  No longer straddling two countries I finally feel like I have landed here.

I think back to my parents who emigrated to Canada from England at 42 with 3 kids. I remember my mother saying “it takes a year to stop hating a new country”.  I thought she was ridiculous  at the time.  Perhaps she was right.   I am two months away from my one year mark, and I am just finally settling in, realising I live here and that I am yes married.

We have taken to hiking in the mountains first thing in the morning.   At 2pm each day it rains for an hour and clears up in time for happy hour.  The climate is perfection, 75 degrees and with a soft wind.  Perfect for hiking into the mountain woods with our curious Husky and our little Eskimo/Papillon dog.

For a ski town, the tourists don’t stop in the summer. Farmers markets, craft shows, food and wine shows, paddleboards, tumble bubble,s and multiple hikes make this a summer play land.

I am starting to love hiking.  In my past I never had the fitness, or energy to hike the trails.  I have met many women on the trails with injuries who told me they are “trying to get their power back”.  Perhaps that is what I am doing in these mountains, learning to get my power back.  In the trauma of sudden loss I forgot who I was, each step I take I start to reclaim my energy, reclaim my joy, and reclaim my power.

 

Storage past lives

Its amazing what you discover when you are moving.  I have had my belongings stored in my friends basement.  Now she is moving and it’s time to get everything out.

I have been living in Colorado and my belongings are stored in Canada.

Going through your stored belongings, is like going through your past lives.  Your hobbies, your half-finished projects.  I  find a finished piece of stained glass mosaic.  When did I  create this? 10 years ago?

Another box holds your theatre life in Montreal ,Canada from age 24-30.  I pull out the poster Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang  It was my first juicy lead role at age 24.  Then another poster Blatantly Sexual produced at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto.  A play I wrote and produced.  This was when you were dating your first real love, and thought you were so radical and creative and was out to prove it to the world.

A third completed project a stained glass piece, of a girl on a hill, the girl is in red while the hills surrounding her are clear white glass. Reflecting on it now it looks like a lonely image.  Perhaps that is how I felt in my 20’s.

Finally my angel wings I made out of metal ready for a garden.  Meanwhile these wings have only seen the back of storage.

Why do we hang onto these random objects?  Is it because they tell us who we were?  That we existed. That we were creative and daring at some point our life.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

Relationship Flashbacks and Mud season

After the initial romantic fling ends, the domestic partnership begins.

Last night my fiance brought out a wood spatula to show me how the rice had been baked on in the dishwasher, and informed me “it needs to be scrubbed before it goes into the dishwasher”.

“Oh I see” as he waved it in front of me while I was reading the New York times weekend edition.

Then came the muffin pan, “you really need to wash these by hand you know” .

“Oh ok”

“I am not nagging you, I just want us to be a good cleaning team”.

“Oh ok”

When did we transition from passionate romance to being a good cleaning team?  Yes it has been a long winter in the mountains.  And the snow continues.

We are now officially in mud season.   This means that the ski hills have closed April 23rd, but the snow continues to fall.

The restaurants and cafe’s that were packed are now empty.  Most people have closed up shop and gone on vacation for 2 weeks.

We were initially excited for mud season that lasts from April 23-June.  We thought finally, we can get a table in some of the really nice restaurants like Relish, Twist and Hearthstone, that are always packed with a 1-2 hour waiting list.

Now we go to these gorgeous restaurants and they are closed till May 29th.  Even our favourite sushi restaurant does not reopen till June.

I understand that businesses need a break before the summer tourists arrive to hike, bike and rock climb the mountains.  Suddenly the only people left are the few locals that are too poor to take an exotic vacation.

Our beloved yoga teacher hurt her back, but the chiropractor and the accupuncturist are away, and will be back after mud season- so suck it up.

My fiance just came back with dinner and told me the hot local news.  The city has just hired a new housing authority, as housing is in short supply in the mountains.  The successful candidate has just turned down the job, because he can’t find affordable housing here.

Well no cleaning team tonight, take out fish and chips from Murphy’s irish pub, and a Netflix movie, who says romance is dead?

Braving the golf ball hail, waiting for spring…..

 

Let go of the oars *

I saw on a bulletin board the phrase “Let go of the Oars, everything you want is downstream….”

When I was 16 I immigrated to Canada from England.  15 years later I went back to visit England with my new Canadian husband in tow.  I always felt British in my blood, and that England was my home.  When I went back in my 30’s I had changed so much, I no longer fit into the British way of life.  Most Brits thought I was American.  I was shocked, I did not realise how much I had changed until I went back to visit.

I had a similar experience recently when I had a single friend visit me here in the Colorado mountains.  He was interested in the nightlife in the mountains.  I really have not been out in the bars late at night, as my fiance does not drink. I wondered if I was missing out on the live music and the dancing scene by staying home every night.

With my single friend visiting we went out on the town in Breckenridge.  We first went to a bar called Apres where they serve craft beers. It was fun, I had a dark beer from a Fort Collins Brewery.  We met people from Miami who grew up skiing in Breckenridge.  We met lots of young folks from Florida who grew up in the heat, hate the heat, and love the snow and mountains.   Then we went to the Gold Pan Saloon which was loud and we left. We Finally ended up in the back room of another bar called the Motherloade tavern.  We sat and watched attractive 30 somethings hooking up around us.  One couple had just met three days ago, she was from Denver and he was from Miami, they were on their third date and they were very cute. I kept encouraging my friend John to go and talk to women.    He went up to ask a woman to dance and she said no.  I mean really? it’s just a dance.  Everywhere people were doing shots of Fireball whiskey.  The band started at 9pm and people were dancing on the tables, with pint glasses smashing on the floor.  We were standing on the ramp to the back room, and within 15 minutes the place filled up.   We were  pressed up against two other rows of people on the ramp hanging onto our pint glasses.  People were screaming in your ear to talk to you.  One guy beside me got up and sang with the band and did the Rolling Stones song Ssympathy with the Devil.  He rocked the house.

The energy of the place was drunken hook up energy, or as they say here “hitting the mountain”.  I said to my friend John “if I was a cougar I would have easy pickings here” as everyone was in the 20s or 30s and pounding back shot after shot.  I realised that this was no longer a place that I fit in.  I missed my fiancée who was home in bed, and I could not relate to the drunken hookup artists around me.   I just wanted to go home.  I waited  until my friend was ready to go.   I was relieved to be home.  I realised I had emigrated from the country of singleton to the country of relationship, and I was not missing a thing.

*Image credit:  By Motmit – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Having a guest up in the mountains

My brother from another mother came down to visit me in Breckenridge.  After a sushi dinner I wanted him to see the town at night.  My fiance goes to bed about 9:30 and gave us his blessing to go out and party.  We went to one bar and had a half pint of local brew then ended up at the Motherlode Tavern for a full band Karaoke night.

We ended up standing on a ramp to the backroom listening to the band.  We had an eagle eye view of the room where we were able to watch all the people on vacation doing shots of fireball whiskey. It was hilarious as we watched them getting ready to stand on the tables and dance.

We surveyed the room together.  I suggested he ask this one woman to dance who looked fun and was grooving to the music. She had tight jeans on and a black and white spider top that had silver glitter across the chest.

Even though my brother from another mother is very shy he still asked her to dance. Much to my chagrin she said no. Wow, how hard is it to be a guy these days?  I felt sad for him and somewhat responsible as I suggested he dance with her.   As she walked by I asked her why she did not dance with my brother. She barked a drunken answer at me but then stood by him and rubbed up against him not talking.

Strange.

I struck up  a conversation with a guy named Paul who was very shy. He surprised everyone when he got up and sang a kick ass version of Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones. I must say, he had the place rocking. It turns out he used to be a professional singer  He said he lived in Massachusetts and was a retiring tool and die maker. He is now training to be a ski instructor and wants to retire here.  I said DO IT.  “I live here and don’t ski, you love skiing and live for it,  you should live here instead of me.”

What is wrong with me?  I live here and don’t ski?

Today I tried to cross-country ski and loved it. I did fall down twice but laughed and enjoyed myself.  I also love that my thighs burn in such a good way.

I tend to be a winter hermit. Perhaps I need to reform my ways, now that the weather is hitting 40 degrees during the day.  Maybe I could try venturing out.

 

Adapting to each others rhythms

Adapting to each others rhythms takes courage after 7 years of living alone.  It seems this morning I stole my fiance’s pillow, and would not give it back in my sleep.  I talk in my sleep – last night I was mumbling about aircraft hangers. I have been told I sometimes sleep with my legs bent up in the air, on my back. Combine that with nightly gratitude lists said out loud before sleep, and prayers before bed, no wonder my previous husband had his own room.

My fiance naturally wakes up at 6am, I wake up at 9am, especially when I don’t have to work.   He is in bed by 9:30pm and I cannot sleep till midnight.  Over the past three months I have spent the evenings watching movies, TV, snacking and drinking beer to pass the time.

I read a quote recently “your destiny is the consequence of your daily actions”. What kind of destiny am I creating by just passing time until my work visa comes through?

I had a friend read my Akashic records.  The Akashic Records are an energetic imprint of every thought, action, emotion, and experience that has ever occurred in time and space. The Akashic Records can also be understood as the imprint of all experiences of all lifetime in all realities.  Right in the middle of my reading she asked me what a spiritual leader would do in my situation?   I can’t imagine the Dali Lama sitting around killing time, untill he is given permission to do his spiritual work by the state.

A spiritual leader would adapt to the situation and not take the obvious detour (TV and beer).  A spiritual leader would find a way to continue to discover their spirit, to be grateful, to be creative, to be on purpose.  Rather than just pass the time.

You’re scared, I’m nervous / I guess that we did it on purpose, on purpose, on purpose / Baby, I know it’s weird, but it’s worth it / ‘Cause I guess that we did it on purpose, on purpose, on purpose.. (Song by Sabrina Carpenter)

Living on purpose.

I want to live on purpose.

So much of my life up to now has not been on purpose.  I swing from being very self-aware; exercising, meditating, reading, or completely unconscious; watching trash tv, eating crap and drinking beer.  Enough is enough  I want to be on purpose all the time.

What would living on purpose mean for you?

Words like intention, and deliberate, come to mind.

What are your words for living on purpose?