For us not against us

Last night I dreamt I had a plane ticket and I lost it.  Then I found out someone had stolen my passport photo and I could not use my passport.  I looked up the meaning of this in dream dictionaries and it said that I feel out of control with my life.  Have you ever felt out of control with your life?

Experts tell us hat we really can’t control life, that it is an illusion.  The only thing we can control is ourself.  Even then when we go to sleep our subconscious takes over in our dreams.  How much of our  behaviour is programmed in childhood and then set.   Unless we take the time to examine our reactions we end up assuming it is the other person who has the problem.

My father used to believe that the world was out to get him. What if I grew up relating to the world as an adversary?

I do have a choice now, to look at what I want to believe about the world and the people that surround me.

I choose to believe that the universe conspires for me, not against me.

swimming upstream

Today we sat by the Breckenridge river, at the french bakery here in town. As the days of september get shorter and cooler brook trout and brown trout attempt to go upstream to spawn.

We sat and watched the brown trout in the stream, as the water rushed downhill.  There were two culverts dumping water into lower lying land.  We watched fish trying to jump up to higher ground, going against the rushing water.  They attempted to leap the 5 ft gap.

Their jumps seemed like futile attempts, but they kept trying. These fish were my teachers today…I asked myself:

How much energy do I put into futile endeavours?

How much energy do I put into swimming upstream?   For example trying to do it my way rather than surrender and trust the universe.

Everything flows downstream….I have been swimming upstream all my life, resisting the flow, resisting life.  Letting my mind and ego run the show until it no longer works.

Now is the time to let go and flow.

Miracles every day

Today I experienced a miracle.

I was accepted for a green card.  I received the letter but not the card.   It seems the government sent the card to the wrong address.  The letter without the card is worth buchus.

For those of you who don’t know the green card=social security card=getting a job=getting a Colorado drivers license=getting my car registered.

My life hinges on this card.

I would have sprung for the $17.50 Fedex fee for a signature delivery, since it cost me $5,000 so far to apply for immigration,  through a lawyer.

So now the government is tracking where they sent the card, that will take 10 days.

Meanwhile I have a ticket back to Canada yesterday, to visit my best friend who is 74 and in ill-health.  She had to sell her house and move into a seniors residence.

I wanted to be there, to take her round possible residences, negotiate the agreement with the agent who is selling her house.  Help her every step of the way.

When I found out about the lost green card, this ment no trip back to Canada as my lawyer said “if you leave the country your application becomes null and void and they won’t let you back in”.

I was angry and upset and heart-broken.  I felt like I could not do my duty for my best friend who was always there for me.    I was widowed at 44 years old.  Blindsided, shocked and deeply suicidal she saved my life, as my neighbour talking to me, seeing my pain, accepting me as I am.

Now in her time of need I was not there.

I did not sleep, I felt deep soul anguish, which led me to prayer.

I begged my dead husband to help.  I invoked the angel of god.   I asked for the impossible: to make things easy for my best friend Pauline.

I prayed every night for help and ease.  I  did the loving Kindness meditation imagining my friend Pauline at ease, and at peace.

A miracle happened.

Today I called my friend Pauline, and she told me a neighbour has offered to buy her house for cash, no agents.  They have been to the lawyers and the house closes July 28th.

She has seen a nice seniors home that has an indoor pool, and card games and is moving in July.

What a miracle.

Here I was in deep anguish that I could not leave the country to help my best friend.

As soon as I surrendered to spirit, and asked for help, and allowed spirit to take over, the solution was fast, creative, effective and perfect.

Something I could not have thought of or engineered.

You see my friend is very private, and I knew she would not want people trotting through her house.

This solution was PERFECT.

This was a great lesson for me in trying too hard to manage situations, rather than call on the mighty spirit to bring about the perfect resolution.  In this case within 48 hours.

Wow what a lesson for me.

Tell me about your everyday miracle.

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?

Manchester by the sea

We just saw the film “Manchester by the Sea”.  What a deeply moving movie.

It’s a story of a young man who just can’t forgive himself.  My heart broke for him.  He was on strike with life.  Leaving a place where everyone knew him at his home by the sea, to go live in a one room basement in a big city away from his past pain.  Every time he went home he was reminded of his past, reminded of his pain and his heartache.

How often have I run away from pain, changed locations and thought that I was leaving my pain behind.

The irony is that we take the pain with us, inside us no, matter where we are physically.  We can change locations and get new partners. But still the heartache is kept alive inside us.

As I watched that movie my heart ached for the character played by Casey Affleck.  When he meets his ex-wife in the street, she wants to forgive him, and love him, but he could not receive the love, as he could not forgive and love himself.

This movie was a moving portrayal of an extreme circumstance of loss.  How often have I played out situations or circumstances where I don’t forgive myself. My unforgiveness is being on strike with life and it becomes a habit or a stance.

Is there anything you have been stubbornly hanging onto from the past, that you are  in unforgiveness around?

There are many benefits in not forgiving ourselves.We get to continue to punish ourselves and play the victim in life. We get others to feel sorry for us and justify our backdoor behaviours, like being cruel and impatient with ourself and others.

Right now as I wait for 90 days for my immigration permit I tell myself that I am “trapped”, that I don’t have choices.   I feel frustrated and impatient, as if that official piece of paper will give me permission to shine.   Someone asked me what would a spiritual leader do in this situation?  A spiritual leader would be disciplined and use this time to expand, write, meditate and create.   Time is something that people crave and associate with abundance.  Rather than see myself as being punished I can see myself in abundance, in a time to be me, to flow to shine, to listen to my spirit.

 

 

The benefit of daily awe

I was reading the Saturday Wall Street Journal, and saw an article which told me that if  I experience one minute of awe in nature each day, it will make me happier, kinder and more compassionate**.

Today, as we drove down the mountain, we saw people ice climbing.  I screamed out loud “holy mother of god, pull over”.  I have never seen a person climbing up a frozen waterfall on the side of a mountain.  I asked my fiancé, “Why would they want to climb frozen water or ice- it could break off any minute.”  He said, “because they can”.…talk about awe!  I stood there and watched them repel down a frozen waterfall with such ease and grace. At any moment a piece could break off and they could slide down.  I looked up to see where they had tied off the rope, it was to a small aspen tree at the top that was leaning over with the tension of the rope.

Risks.  Something we crave,  something we avoid, something we assess in life.

Some people believe that we have acceptable time periods of our life to take risks.  It is o.k. to take risks in your teens, or your 20’s because that is what youth is for. We tell ourselves later in life that we have done all our crazy stuff, now we have it all together.  The truth is that risk is always something that is present at any age.

In my 30’s and 40’s I had everything.  I had a great career, a wonderful lake front home, a great couch that you could sink into and disappear.  I would read the Saturday paper for 3 hours.  It was a high back tufted couch which I had yearned for 3 years and it cost $6,000.

For years in Toronto, Canada I had dreampt of owning a lake front home and having a great career.  We moved out to Scugog lake area and bought a cottage that was “lifted up” so it could be a home.

I was a driven professional, ambitious.  Then my husband died at 44 years old— and everything was meaningless.   Suddenly the couch was meaningless, the panoramic view of the lake was meaningless.

Eight years later I have found more meaning, but the couch is long gone, sold to a single mother for $100 who left her abusive husband.  She deserved to have time reading the paper against the high back tufted curve of my designer couch.

Now I live in the mountains and have very few belongings…. but I have love, and great dogs.  It feels like family.

Life is full of risks and the p0tential for awe at any age.

** In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that after gazing up at tall trees for just one minute participants in Berkeley California behaved more helpfully to others than people who looked at an unremarkable building.   The reason,  Momentary awe it suggests. The University of California Irvine psychologist Paul Piff, who co-authored the study  says “I think we can say pretty certainly that having a little bit of awe everyday in your life would make you happier, kinder and more compassionate”.

Your church?

Our favourite bakery is the french bakery on main street in Breckenridge.  My fiance gets the almond croissant.  It reminds me of Montreal, Canada.  I was living there in my 20’s. I would get a bol de cafe o’lait and a chocolate croissant.  I would sit there and smoke my Gauloise filterless cigarettes and pretend to be Simone de Bovoire in Paris while I wrote in my journal.

Well here in the mountains there is a little bit of France.  Excellent Baguette, incredible authentic crepes.   The pastry chef said that he could not find housing for him and his Newfoundlanders dog, so he lived in a tent when he first came to the mountains.   After four months in a tent he found a studio apt that would allow him and his dog.  What determination!  Living in a tent in the mountains to make his patissere dreams come true.

What would I be willing to do to make my dreams come true?

The song by Peter Tosh comes to mind, “get up, stand up”.

Am I willing to get up and do what it takes?

Some days I find I don’t go out because of the cold or the snow.

How can I reframe the winter to be something that is fantastic.

This is a place where people spend thousands of dollars to come here for a few days, to ski and be in this incredible scenery.

I have talked to many people who came for a year in their 20’s and still live here 12 years later.  I asked my accupuncturist what makes a girl from California stay here in the mountains?

She said most of California is so congested, in this mountain town, within 5-10 minutes she can be in the woods in the silence.

She calls the wilderness her “church”.

“Its most important to create a church within yourself, where you are the minister of the temple in your own soul”.  Paramahansa Yogananda

So what is your church?  What do you do in your life to bring about peace and silence?

I know my church is meditation and prayer.  I meditate and connect with divine love.  I pray to my ancestors. Each day I take one hour to open my heart to divine love and be still.

What do you do to create stillness in your life?

Gold mine of the heart

Fear, have you felt it? Have you interpreted it to mean you should stop what you are doing?  Or do you feel the fear and do it anyway?

Coming to the mountains for love, I have felt a lot of fear.  Mostly fear of making a mistake. Part of me wants the map for my life.*  The really scared part of me wants to know that my relationship will work out, that this is it!  We all know that there are no guarantees with love.  By leaving my home country for love, I have this hidden expectation that this should be worth it.

Having this expectation put demands on the situation, that really has nothing to do with the situation, or the other person, but has everything to do with fear.

I was researching the history of this area in the Colorado mountains.   During the Pikes Peak gold rush thousands of men came here, young and restless and hoping to come for a summer, then go home with a pocket full of gold.

Breckenridge was a town of men and some women in transition, who were adventurous, restless, and seeking an outcome that would make the sacrifices worth it.

Am I any different from these 19 century gold miners?

My gold is love, intimacy, connection, an expanded self, success in a career, and having a true life partner.

Dr. Barbara D’Angelis says “fear is a natural response to the new, and the unknown, the invisible.  Fear is an energy that keeps you alert and paying attention” .

I find this reassuring, that I’m growing.

If I listen to my fear long enough it immobilizes me, and stops me from moving forward.  My fear would have me stick to what is familiar, and would never make a change.  My fear wants to keep me in a holding pattern, in limbo. Focusing on my fear leads me to want to eat sugar, drink beer, and sleep; all behaviours that are avoiding taking responsibility for my life.

Its like driving with the parking brake on, or living your life with one foot on the brake, and one foot on the gas*.  What if I feel my fear, listen to its voice, but don’t let it dominate the discussion in the room?

What if I take my foot off the brake?

When I was 20 I leapt and was not fearful, I was fearless.  Is it possible we get more fearful as we get older?

What if I make friends with my fear?

Risking love again brings up huge fear.  Having lost my husband suddenly in a crash, has left me with parts of my heart that have walls up; parts of my heart that have been intentionally unplugged for 8 years, so that I would not feel the pain.

But Dr. Barbara D’Angelis says “we cannot selectively open”, meaning we don’t pick and choose who or what we open to.  I always believed I could shut down parts of my heart, and pick and choose whom I love, when I love.

I told myself when the time comes I can choose to love again.   But after years of practicing shut down I am like a vintage car that has been in storage for 8 years and needs an overhaul just to be driven again at any speed.  Hell, I might even need a new engine metaphorically speaking!

Whenever one of us embarks on the risks of love, are we all not leaving our home country; the place that is familiar,  to go to the unknown.  Is that not the role of love to get us to unknown territory within ourselves;  to expand us, to grow us? Are we not all prospectors of the heart?

*concepts explained by Dr. Barbara D’Angelis author of the bestselling Soul Shifts and the upcoming book The Choice for Love (out Feb. 14th).

Meeting Love face to face

I am a 51-year-old woman who was widowed suddenly at 44, when my husband was killed in a crash on the way home from taking his mechanics exam.  After the severe shock and loss I resigned myself to being alone.  I started traveling and meditating, thinking that in traveling I could leave my grief behind.  Over the past 7 years since my husband’s death I have dated, but I had never let myself love someone, or be loved.  I was on emotional strike.  I was being emotionally loyal to my dead husband.  I never let anyone in.

On my 50th birthday I was asked out to lunch by a man online, who said all the right things to me but his words did not ring true.  Something felt not quite right.  But hey, it was my birthday and I thought it would be nice to be taken out for lunch.  We went to a lovely riverside town called Bobcaygen in Canada, we had fun laughing and chatting.  As we walked down the street arm in arm he said “well I bought you lunch, you owe me”.  I thought he was joking and I started laughing.  I asked what he thought I owed him.  He said “at least a blowjob”.  I laughed even harder, I could not believe he was serious.  Except he was.

After that wonderful experience I sat down and spoke directly to my dead husband.  I wrote a list of all the qualities that I deserved in a partner.  It was a very specific list.  I then lit a candle in front of my  husband’s picture, and read him the list.  I told him directly that I would be celibate for the rest of my life, rather than accept crumbs.  I told him that I expected these qualities in a partner.  I challenged my husband’s spirit to find such a person.  I burned the list, and surrendered my request to spirit and let go. The cynic within me thought “good luck with that”, as I did not believe such a man existed.

A few weeks later I was drawn to a spiritual development retreat at the Omega Centre in upper state NY.  That is where I met the man with ocean blue eyes.   He sat in front of me at the retreat with a friend.  I tapped him on the shoulder, and asked if we could work together.   We were put in groups of three and asked to share about our ability to receive in our life.   He shared at a deep emotional level with his eyes tearing up.  I was lost in his eyes.  One of the qualities on my list was a partner who could express themselves emotionally, rather than having to drag it out of them.  I was struck by his eyes and wrote in my notes “that I could swim in his eyes forever”.

I noticed he was with a woman, and I said to myself “forget  about him, this is not why you are here”.

Saturday night, I went to the Omega Centre cafe even though I was tired.  Something in me made me go.  I ran into the ocean blue eyed man again, and we sat and chatted until the cafe closed.  I told him about my husband dying suddenly, and he talked about his 35 year marriage ending.   He asked me if he could come back to my dorm room and keep chatting.  I told him I had to go and ask my angels.

I went to the bathroom and asked my angels, my wise self-what to do.  they said “ do not invite this man back to you room”.  I told a young staff woman in the bathroom that a guy wants to come back to my dorm room, and what did she think?  She said “well its a cold october night”.   I came back to the table  aid my angels said “no you cannot come to my room”.  He was disappointed but did not question my decision.

Sunday morning I went to yoga, hoping to see him.  He was not there. I went to breakfast and sat with 3 women who were in the retreat.  I told them I had met a man at this retreat, they all knew him, and they had known him for 5 months as part of this ongoing group.  They spoke about his big heart, and his willingness to work on himself.  They basically vetted him.  This was another of my requirements on my lists to my deceesed husband, that I would meet a man face to face, and through other women who knew him, and could vouch for him.

Sunday was the end of the retreat.   Before he left, he ran to the Omega bookstore and bought two wooden malas, one for me and one for him.  He said “now we will always be connected”. We kissed as the autumn leaves fell.  It was a sunny day, but it was also snowing lightly.  I distinctly remember the kiss in slow motion.  The sun on my cheek, the soft snow falling with the leaves.  And then he was gone.

We started to talk via Skype every night for hours.  We meditated together via Skype.   We talked about our relationships.  He had been married for 35 year and has been alone for 2 years. I shared memories of my dead husband every night.  For the first time I met a man who was not offended by my love for my deceased husband.  He honoured and embraced my love.  This kind man I met at the retreat begged to come and visit me in Canada.  After 2 months of talking I said yes, and we went on our first date in Toronto.

Flash forward 14 months, I find myself deeply in love, and in a foreign country.  I know my spirit husband sent me this man.  How do I know?  He has all the qualities on the list, that I had written to spirit.   I met him face to face, as I had requested in my list.  He  had an interest in growing spiritually,  he had no interest in the bar scene,  he is emotional and romantic, and still curious  about life.

It was as if spirit lined us both up, to be there at the exact right time.  Spirit put him right in front of me.

This experience has made me really trust more that spirit has my back.  That there is such a thing as divine timing.  My part is to be clear about how I want to feel in a relationship, and what qualities I want, but then I need to surrender the timing to spirit, to the divine.