Hold on- let go

Yesterday I led a clutter workshop in the mountains of Breckenridge.  As I was preparing for the workshop I had a realization.  Clutter is a first chakra issue.

The first chakra is Muladara in Sanscrit.  It represents our ability to ground ourself, to have boundaries, to not being pushed around or intimidated.  It also relates to our ability to accept change, to allow change in our lives.

Having excessive clutter really is about safety, grounded-ness, our ability to cope with change in life.  Our ability to cope with our changing identity, our changing body as we age.  Clutter also keeps us in the energy of the daily grind, focusing on the day-to-day minutia of life— leaving us thinking is that all there is?

What if we want to see more, to have more, to deserve more.  To have a bigger life than what we currently have?  This requires letting go.  Letting go of objects from our past, that no longer represent who we are now.  Updating our vision of ourselves is what clutter clearing is really about.   Are we ready to do that?  To let go of who we used to be, to allow who we are becoming to lead our life?

Clutter represents our ability to hold on, or let go.  I really believe this is a continuum with holding on at one end, and letting go at the other.  If we are in balance we are somewhere in the middle.  One woman in my workshop said “she used to be at the far end of holding on, but over the past ten years she has shifted more and more to letting go”.   She realised that this was her unconscious way of getting ready to transition in her life.  To get ready for the next re-invention of herself once her kids left home.

Your thoughts on your clutter are most welcomed…..

 

 

 

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.

 

Facing the truth in America

Overdose is the leading cause of death in the richest country in the world.  These deaths are predictable and preventable.

Before I left Canada, I was involvedin a community network that helped prevent overdoses.  We had 90 first responders and community members brought together to learn about the signs and symptoms of overdose.   We managed to get a grant to put Naloxone overdose kits into the hands of firefighters, first responders and drug users; all were trained to use the life saving Naloxone to interrupt an overdose, buying themselves, their friends or their family member time to get to a hospital.

Now living in the USA I hear that there are 22 opioid overdoses a day in Colorado.  It is the leading cause of death here.  Today the youngest person to die of an overdose is a 10-year-old boy from Florida who got into some Fentanyl.     Naloxone the overdose disruptor is sold for $4,500 for a 2 dose kit in USA.  In Canada the cost is $17 for the same kit including needle cleaning equipment and a carrying case.

This blows my mind, how did the one of the richest countries in the world have such little access to education and prevention tools?

When the news covers the issue the discussion is about hiring more police officers and focus on the crime of the drug user, rather than funding prevention and education.  It is shocking and ridiculous that a first world country does not implement the four pillars approach to this crisis, that has succeded elsewhere.

Imagine these newly hired police officers trained to respond to overdose; task them with delivering prevention education in the community, and we would have a winning combination of prevention, education, harm reduction and enforcement: the four pillars approach to solving this crisis.

This is not rocket science, this approach works, and has been implemented in Europe and Canada.

Lets wake up America, and include funding for overdose prevention and education and save some American lives.

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

split between two countries

Living a life in two countries.

It is a strange subversive stress to live in one country (in this case the USA) and have your friends and your belongings in another country (Canada).  I live in Colorado and I am adapting to the differences in culture.  But despite how much I love my new husband I am always feels torn.  Torn between the familiar, the ease of Canada and the strange individualistic culture of the USA.

As we flew here to Canada from Denver a mother and father with twin boys boarded the plane.  They asked a man if he would be willing to trade seats with the husband who was in the back of the plane as he would be separated from his kids and wife.  The man refused to move, he liked his seat near the front of the plane.

For the next two hours the kids screamed and the mother screamed, I bet he wished he had traded seats on the plane.   I remember thinking he must be an American.  Most Canadians would have given up their seat.

When we landed in Canada we came through as one family.  I had a Canadian passport and he has an American passport.  I thought we would get pulled over for scrutiny.  Instead they said to my partner “Canada welcomes you”.  What a sigh of relief!

Living in the USA without the right to work is stressful.  So is not being able to leave the country.  I  sympathize with the undocumented hispanic populations who live in fear that they will be kicked out.

I am relieved to know that the end is in sight—- I will have all my life in one place soon.

I believe as humans we are territorial.  This means we desire all our stuff our belongings in one place.   I have had my belongings in Canada for 8 months, while living in Colorado.   Have you ever felt split?  A part of you is in one country and part of you is in the other? My heart is with my new husband, and my heart is also with my elderly best friend, who is in Canada trying to manage her house on her own.

For me finally having the right to travel and go to Canada, to have my belongings all in  one place,  is a feeling of being home.

We had a Canadian wedding reception.  Ritual is so important to mark rights of passage.  For me this reception helped me know and feel I was married.  To be witnessed by a community of people I loved and who love me in return.

I would love to hear from others who are living life in two countries…………

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.

The Healer

I went to a Deva Primal concert in Boulder.   It was amazing.  She asked us to turn to someone beside us and chant to each other.  I chanted with a women whose eyes were clear, and  her heart was open.

In the break we chatted.  I told her she had such a great spirit. I asked if she was a healer.  She said “I don’t call myself that.”  I asked what do you do?  She said she did Reiki.  I said “so you are a healer”.   She said “if I use that word healer it implies that the person lying on the table is broken.  I don’t see my clients as broken.  I see them as whole.  What I do is bring through the I am energy, to help them remember their wholeness.”

I really appreciated this conversation.  It made me think how often I hold someone as broken in my mind? Are we not limiting the other person by how we hold them energetically?  If I think of someone as broken, am I helping them break out of their box?  Or am I energetically joining with them, to reinforce what is not working.

How often do we hold ourselves as broken, focusing on our own deficits.  When we do this we are energetically reinforcing the walls around heart.

What if we started connecting to our wholeness internally.  Consciously connecting to the part of us that is already is complete a few times a day.  How would my life change?  How would the world change, if we all spend time each day, connecting to our existing wholeness rather than focus on what needs fixing.

 

 

Its not nuclear war

It’s not nuclear war, we are just trying to get health insurance!

This is the cry of my fiance as he is attempting to get me on his health insurance policy.

He puts me on the phone with the insurance broker, who tries to pretend he is my friend.  After a little small talk about how he wishes he was Canadian because of our abundance of water and health care.   He proceeds to investigate me and my health history.   I tell him about my surgeries 2 years ago. His response “well I am not sure we are in the clear”.  I told him “it sounds like we are going to war.” He laughed and said well we have a 2 year window on surguries.  Oh ok.

My next step? to be investigated by the underwriter and then to be verified.

Douglas our insurance broker tells me its all about risk and assessing risk.

I start to wonder if we approached relationships focused on risk how many of us would date or fall in love again?

Crazy US world.