Time famine

It seems the mountain energy seeps into your soul.  The ability to see awe all around you through every window in your home has a way into your heart.  Recently we took a vacation from the mountain and we went to Hollywood Beach Florida.   A mountain friend said to me Hollywood beach is a place where old people go to die.  Nothing to do but sun and surf, it seemed so flat so bland. I think of it as Margarittaville culture. While I was in a t-shirt store in Florida  the worker hanging the new shipment of shirts said  “I need a vacation, my soul is slowly dying, I don’t have enough time to do everything”. He needed a vacation from the vacation spot.

I read recently that North American people are experiencing a time famine.  “Time might be the scariest commodity for many people in modern life. A recent poll of more than 1,000 Americans found that nearly half (47%) felt they lacked enough time in daily life (Carroll, 2008). This feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it—or “time famine” (Perlow, 1999)—has been linked to undesirable side effects, including trouble sleeping, stress, difficulty delaying gratification, and postponing seeing a doctor when ill (Lehto, 1998; Vuckovic, 1999; C.-B. Zhong & DeVoe, 2010).”

Is it true we need more time? Or can we adopt practices that help us shift  our perception of how much time is available.  Awe researchers tell us we can shift our perception of time.  It seems that experiencing awe expands time.  Especially when we experience awe on a vast scale, like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon.   Researchers says it jogs our brain to update our mental schema, which is like restarting the computer after software updates. It is amazing that awe has that ability to reboot us.  Even reading a description of someone climbing to the top of a mountain or viewing  an inspiring image of nature can fire the pathways for awe.

It is worth considering putting ourselves on a steady awe diet, especially if we are feeling low or stressed.  Taking in images of awe or focusing on a description of awe can shift our perception of time, and reboot our energy with just three minutes a day.

I want to encourage you to give yourself a daily dose of awe, via physical experience or through an image.


Shades of grey

via Daily Prompt: Nuance

Nuance is a word that reminds me of a flavour we add to a dish.  Nuance could also be a tone or attitude or stance we hold within ourselves.  The word actually refers to shades of meaning.

How often have I had different shades of meaning in my life?  How often do I use Nuance in a story to allude to the truth but do not tell the truth?  How often do we get offended when someone does not have the skill of nuance like Trump who just tells it as it is?  Different cultures have more nuance than others.  I think of Asian cultures where a lot is not said but is conveyed through gesture, tone and body language.  That is nuance.

As a Canadian living in the USA I find myself recoiling at the blunt nature of how people talk to each other.  People volunteer their opinion without being asked.   A sense of self-importance amongst the culture is present.  Perhaps this is common in world power countries?  What do you think?

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.


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.


Coming down

Coming down the mountain for a spring vacation.

Rick and I came down the mountain for an “all-inclusive vacation”.  Since the Trump travel ban we have decided to avoid the airport chaos and just drive down the mountain to Boulder instead of flying to a beach area like Florida.  We have found our favourite hotel called the St Julien in Boulder.  We joke that it is our own “all-inclusive resort”.  Anyway, my good friend John flew down from Canada to visit.  We walked through Boulder on a Friday night trying to find a restaurant. We were told the wait time was about 2 hours without a reservation.  We walked up and down the Pearl Street Mall looking for live music.

The only restaurant with live music on their patio was a 1.5 hour wait.  We ended up at our hotel St. Julien  in Jill’s restaurant.  We had an amazing meal, and my fiance bought the butter dish from the hotel as it was very french.  My fiance has a love affair with butter dishes from all over the world, he tends to buy  one whenever we visit a new place.

We went into the lobby of our hotel and there was this great band playing called the “Pamlico sound”.  They had a horn section, saxophone player,  a female trumpet player, french horn, electric organ, guitarist, drummer and a gorgeous soul filled singer.  The hotel was turned upside down.  People were dancing everywhere; by the concierge desk and around luggage racks.  Groups of women and kids were dancing in the lounge while the kids played tambourines handed out by the band.  This five-star hotel was turned into a dance hall with everyone standing, everyone moving, everyone grooving. It was amazing.  I got to dance with my fiance and practice our Rumba. It was so amazing to move together in love, and feel the room disappear, only us smiling and moving together.

I asked the front man in the band, who is pictured above about the origins of the band name.  He told me about this series of lagoons and inlets in North Carolina.  One of them is called Pamlico sound.  He spent his summers there as a kid on the shore of the outer banks of this barrier island in North Carolina.  Across the water was a live band venue that had bands that played funk and the sound floated through his cottage window into his bed as a child. He said he was forever affected by the funk sound.  He told me “he was baptized in the sound of funk”.

You never know what you will get in life, but for us it was a perfect evening, great food, great music, and turn down service with an organic chocolate on our pillow.

What more could you ask from a day?

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?

Cuba or Iceland?


Last night I went for a pint at Murphy’s Irish Pub.  They have a beautiful open fire on their deck that overlooks the mountains.   I went outside to look at the lights on the mountain and be close to the fire.  A real treat on a warm winter night.  Around the fire were a group of four women in their 20’s who were on vacation.  They were drinking “mind errasers” handed out free from the Kahlua girls that were dressed in pink and white snow pants, with Kahlua printed their hats.  I had a conversation with one of them.  They said their job is to go to happy hours and promote the new “mind eraser “drink.  I asked her what was in them she said Absolute Vodka, Kahlua and club soda, and it is ment to be sucked fast through the thick red and white straw.

I told her in Canada that this kind of promotion would not be allowed, also that we have no happy hour.  Her jaw dropped, she had a hard time believing me.  She asked if it was because of our health care?

Back to the fire the four young women were planning their next vacation while on their current vacation, here in Breckenridge.

Cuba or Iceland?  was the discussion of where to go to next.  One guy chimed in that Iceland is amazing and remote and really beautiful.

I said “go to Cuba!” They all stopped and looked at me.  You have been there?  I said “yes I am Canadian, I have been going there for 20 years.  I said go now before it is ruined by Americans taking over”.

It struck me as odd that young travelers are debating Cuba or Iceland.

What happened to getting into the back of a van with your dog and driving across your own country?

Breckenridge does attract all kinds of people, from average to over the top wealthy people who have “the aspen walk”.  The aspen walk describes well healed women and men in their 5,000 dollar furs and high heels that tiptoe delicately along the heated sidewalks.

The beauty of this town is that all walks of life are here.  Young people working and living in their car as there is no housing, ragged mountain characters who have been here for 40 years, europeans, and the nouveau rich from Texas.

Where else can you and have a pint across the street from your house, stand by an open fire, look out at the lights on the mountains, talk to travelers from all over the globe, and then trot off home across the street to your cozy bed.

Making space for fear

I spend days feeling fear.  Today I decided to make a big list of all my fears and burn them.  Byron Katie  author of Do the Work says to write your fears as if they are happening now in order to release them.  Ok here goes.

I am afraid I am running out of money not working in the USA.

I am afraid that I am bored and isolated here in the mountains.

I am afraid that I am a sloth, that sleeps and eats, and lays around just passing time.

I am afraid that I am not enough for my partner.

I am afraid  I have nothing to say, nothing to contribute.

I am afraid I am wasting my life in Colorado.

I am afraid that I have no friends here.

I am afraid we are driving each other crazy in this gorgeous house.

I am afraid to have sex on the new 750 thread count sheets.

I am afraid of losing myself.

I am afraid I am becoming someone else for my partner.

“We have to be careful of how we handle our fear-because I’ve noticed that when people try to kill off their fear, they often end up inadvertently murdering their creativity in the process.  So I don’t try to kill off my fear.  I don’t go to war against it.  Instead, I make all that space for it.  Heaps of space.  Every single day I’m making space for fear right this moment.  I allow my fear to live and breathe and stretch out its legs comfortably.  It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back.  If I can relax, fear relaxes too.  In fact, I cordially invite fear to come along with me everywhere I go.” Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic

“The professional tackles the  project that will make him stretch.  He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.  Is he scared? Hell, yes.  He’s petrified.  So if you are paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign.  Steven Pressfield The War of Art

So feeling my fear is a good thing.  It means I am onto something big, meaningful, important.  It is the opposite of what my ego tells me, that fear is a warning sign.  Henry Fonda, the famous actor, used to throw up before each performance out of fear.   But he still went on the stage.  He did not stay in the wings and let his fear rule him.   Many people who don’t know me well have said “you are so courageous”.  Perhaps that is true. I am not sure there is such a thing as a fearless person.  It is a matter of making space for my fear, but not letting it rule the action.

As  the author Elizabeth Gilbert says, she takes her fear along for the ride as a passenger, but she does not let her fear drive the car, touch the maps, or even change the radio station.  Fear sits in the back seat, and looks out the window.

Fear does not drive my car.




awe ô/ noun

How Awe Makes Us Generous


awe  noun

A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder., wonderment; admiration, reverence, respect, esteem;
“we watched in awe”
“capacity to inspire awe.”

I am so intrigued by the role of awe in our lives.   It is not something I have generally thought about.  I think about eating right.  I think about exercising. How often do we think about getting a few minutes of awe each day.

I have been thinking about the benefits of activly seeking  daily awe.

I believe it is an essential key for inner happiness.

Consciously seeking awe in nature fills up my soul in a way that exercise never could. Stopping and noticing nature once per day is a conscious act.

“What we’re finding is that brief doses of awe move us from a model of self-interest to really being engaged in the interests of others. The preliminary data are showing that it starts to break down this us-versus-them thinking.”  A new study by Adam Hoffman at Berkely, finds that feeling awe in nature makes us more generous to other humans.

For me, awe creates a momentary sense of peace.  Within me, for me.  It is the act of opening and making space for awe that is miraculous. Researchers suggest that experiencing awe moves us from the “I” identity to the “we” identity.

Awe can change us as people, it can rewire us to feel something beyond ourselves.   The only other thing that can shift us into “we consciousness” is being in love.  Love opens us up to a flow.  We feel more relaxed and content when we are in love.   Awe experiences travel along similar pathways as love does in our brain.

The awe practice:  Seek out nature in all its forms, even if it is just an aspen tree rocking in the winter breeze. Stare up at it for 3 minutes, feel the awe, feel the inner happiness.


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.



Flashbulb memories

“Flashbulb memories are nearly photographic recall of paticularly shocking events. The specifics of flashbulb events can change in our minds, but what is nearly impossible to erase is their emotional impact”   Michael d. Lemonick- The Wall Street Journal.

For me being in a new relationship I have constant flashbulb memories of moments in my past marriage.  When someone dies it is not the big romantic moments you remember, it is the small silly details.  This morning my new partner who I am living in the mountains with went to the fridge, and grabbed a slice of baloney.  He smeared it with mayonnaise.  I sat there entranced watching him roll it up, and pop it into his mouth with such glee.

I was in a complete flashback to my previous husband who loved baloney, he used to make bread, butter and baloney sandwiches and freeze them.  He would take a stack of them to work.

When his doctor told him to cut back on fat due to high cholesterol, I nagged him about his baloney habit.   Flash forward to now, watching my fiance, pop baloney into his mouth made me feel warm and sad, there was a bittersweetness to the memory.

Memory is an interesting thing.  I was thinking about what causes us suffering in life, and I believe a lot of it has to do with hanging onto memories.  Hanging onto the past, investing life force energy in past experiences.

Recently we went to see my finance’s mother who has alzheimers, she was joyful, happy, living right in each moment because that is all she has left.  Is this not what we strive for in enlightenment?  To live in the moment?

What is the purpose of our memory?

Researchers tell us that our memory is designed to help us accumulate knowledge to make sense of the world and to navigate it better.

I know my memories are not exact, they are my interpretation, and from my perspective, and speak to the emotional impact the experience had on me at the time.

How often do we have “relationship flashbacks”?  Where we notice something our new partner does, and it triggers a past memory postive or negative from a previous relationship?