Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lessons, Letting go and Love

Reflecting on 2009…

Lessons Learned
1.       I have codependency patterns in my intimate relationships
2.       I  take other people’s issues personally then create self-defeating stories
3.       I incorrectly base how I feel about myself by the  behaviours of others
4.       I have let unconscious wounds run my life
5.       I have come to realize my own worth
6.       I am not inferior to others
7.       I do have gifts and something to offer
8.       I can trust my own thoughts and feelings
9.       I am stronger and wiser than I think I am
10.   I can rescue myself
Letting go of:
1.       Self-pity
2.       Childhood and self-defeating patterns
3.       Victimization mentality
4.       Self-doubt
5.       Beating myself up
6.       Allowing my mind/demons to torment me
7.       Overanalyzing things and confusing myself
8.       Taking on other people’s issues as my own
9.       Low self-worth and lack of confidence
10.   My old self-concept
Love & gratitude for:
1.       Friends who have been there through difficult times and good times
2.       Family who have always been there for me
3.       My cats whom I learn so much about living peacefully from
4.       New friends in a new town who have been so warm and welcoming
5.       My good health
6.       Beautiful landscapes that surround me in my new home across country
7.       Writing from my heart in this blog and the words of encouragement from others
8.       Teaching yoga, which inspires me and allows me to inspire others
9.       My vulnerability and open heart
10.   The courage to face my demons/wounds

I hope to take all these lessons and love and step into 2010 lighter as I let go of all that was holding me down. Much love, happiness and peace to all in 2010!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”    T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To Let Go Takes Love

As 2009 comes to a close, it's a good time to look in our hidden places where we carry our fears, our hurts, our resentments, our bitterness, our anger, and all our self-defeating beliefs and LET THEM GO! Clear out for 2010 and make some space for new possibilities and more love to come in and fill you up.

To Let Go Takes Love

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring;
it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off;
it is the realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another;
it is to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.

To "let go" is not to "fix", but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To "let go" is not to regret the past,
but to grow and to live for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

Author Unknown

Monday, December 28, 2009


As we approach the end of the year it’s a good time to let go of all that no longer serves us, all that is holding us down or holding us back. Let go of the heaviness of your past and move into the future lighter and more open. Let go of what is weighing heavy on your heart and make some space within. If you are holding on to something else you will not be able to receive what the Universe wants to give you.

Allow the Universe to fill this space with what you need. You don’t need to search for it, you just need to be open and allowing and it will come to you. Just stop resisting, clinging, holding on. Let go of victim mentality, defenses, blame and attachment.

Stay in alignment with who you really are and your truth. Just be open. Just allow. Then all the love, happiness and peace you are seeking will come to you.

All you need to do is embrace it. It is already here just waiting for you to accept it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Presence as a Present

Presents is what we give our loved ones at Christmas. Presence is the best gift we can give our loved ones at Christmas. Is it a coincidence that these two words are pronounced the same? Presence truly is a gift. Your complete presence. Present in the moment, present in your communications, present in listening, even present in arguing.
So often we are lost in thoughts of the future or pains of the past. We worry about, or anticipate a future event or we become nostalgic about, or regret a past event. Very rarely are we ever completely present in our interactions or even with ourselves. Or present in our own lives!
And subsequently all our relationships with people are skewed because we are not relating from the right now and we may also be diminishing our own power, our power of authentic choice when we are not truly present in the moment. Everything seems to trigger a past event in our subconscious and we react from there or sometimes it triggers our fear or expectations of the future – although that is still related to past experiences.
Yet our power lies in the present moment. It is only the present moment that we can effect. The past is gone, what’s done is done. The future hasn’t happened and can’t be controlled anyhow.
It is ONLY the present moment we have.
It is ONLY in the present moment that we can truly be alive.
It is ONLY in the present moment that we can give our love.
It is ONLY in the present moment that we can find peace.

Give your greatest present this Christmas…your Presence.

Love and Peace to all this Christmas and in the New Year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Set the Dark Alight

The passage from darkness to light. 

The Winter Solstice – daylight is the shortest due to the tilt of our planet, leaning it the furthest away from the sun - occurs on December 21st.
The longest night of the year has long been celebrated and heralded as a turning point – the day that marks the return of the sun. The rebirth of the sun.
In darkness we turn inward and reflect on the past year – our joys and our challenges and garner the lessons learned. This earthly shift is the perfect time for creating and accepting change, and realizing our personal growth over the past year. Our own rebirth of sorts.  
Many cultures the world over perform solstice ceremonies. At their root: an ancient fear that the failing light would never return unless humans intervened with anxious vigil or antic celebration. In darkness we must face ourselves, our fears – the monsters in the dark and we must intervene with anxious vigil so the light can enter and dispel our darkness.
A celebration of changing dark into light. Celebrate who we are, our lives and all of our lessons.
The Winter Solstice is a time to release our fears, our pains and let go of our difficulties and as we do, the light of a new day can enter. A perfect time to set positive intentions for the year ahead.
Trust. Faith. Light. 
This is the meaning and magic of the Winter Solstice. 

Trust that at the very darkest moment, the light will start to return. 

A Winter's Night song

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One day, if you are lucky... will be in pain.

Why do we hang on so long after someone is gone or something is done? We go over and over it in our heads, rehashing the conversations, what we said, what they said, what we should have said. Keeping the story alive. Giving the “sad” story more power than it had even to begin with. We feed the demons, feed the sadness, feed the pain, feed our own story that we created a long time ago about who we are. Or rather, who we believe we are. Our conditioned self, the role we played in our family, our patterns of behavior, our way of coping and surviving in our family structure. And we take these roles and wounds out into the world, projecting them everywhere and on to everyone, especially in our intimate relationships. 

Whether we want to admit or not, or whether we are even aware of it, most of us recreate our family patterns in our relationships. We approach love the same way we did as children, whether that is through shutting down, acting out, seeking constant approval or trying to be really good to prove our worth. We keep chasing that wound. Searching out there so we can feel good in here.
And it works for a while; all the same familiar patterns over and over again feels strangely comforting, feels like home, feels like what you know even if it isn’t healthy. 

But one day if you are lucky, you will hurt so much that you will no longer be able to bear the pain of living these old beliefs, behaving from your conditioned self and allowing that wounded child to steer the wheel that keeps you from the path of finding who you really are. Keeps you from owning your own power and from living from that space. The very space that will provide you with what you are seeking out there for: love…happiness. 

One day, if you are lucky, you will be cracked open so wide that you will need to look inside and from there the real you will begin to emerge.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

RIP - Pieces of Me

Rebuilding. I didn’t realize it would take so long to build a home with a good, solid foundation, but that’s what I have been doing for the past year – rebuilding from the ground up.
My old home shattered, fell apart, collapsed from a life storm, but it had slowly been crumbling over the years from many other life conditions. The hurricane swept my home away and took away everything I clung to, including my self-beliefs. This home could not simply be repaired; I could no longer live here safely and certainly not happily. All the mortar in the world wasn’t enough to fill these gaping holes in the foundation; it had to be torn down and rebuilt from the beginning.
Pieces of me scattered everywhere. Pieces I didn’t even know existed. Dark, ugly demonic-like pieces lay there claiming to be a piece of me. I couldn’t even pick them up and look at them. ‘No these pieces belonged to someone else, they belonged to the person who caused the storm in my home.’
But in the light of day, after the storm passed through and after the year it took for the dust to settle and clear, I could see that these pieces were indeed a part of me.I came to see that the dark storm lived inside these pieces and inside my home for most of my life. That these pieces were the cause of this destructive force.
And as I started to rebuild, these pieces just weren’t fitting in anymore, in fact they just kept hindering and delaying the rebuilding project making it extremely difficult to continue to build. I had to rid my home of these pieces of debris that caused my home to be weak and insecure even in the best of weather conditions.
A painful and arduous task to rid yourself of pieces that have been with you for so long, even if you have learned they are threatening your survival. They are a part of you, you believed them, you took comfort in them and they are so familiar after all these years that they feel right.
It feels like I am ripping pieces of my flesh away from my bones, reaching in and tearing out a living, breathing organ from inside of me causing me to want to hold on to them or else I will die. Yet this is exactly what needs to happen. A part of me must die, so that the healthy part can live … can thrive … can find peace.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Score 1 for the Devil

Why do we sabotage ourselves? We do things that we know that will hurt us or are not good for us, yet we do it anyway. Expecting a different outcome, but it is never a different outcome.
I put these ridiculous absolutes in my head that feed into my self-defeating story that if this person is doing this or if I see that, then it must mean I am (insert any self-defeating adjective here).

I use someone else’s behaviours to gauge how I feel about myself, rather than seeing it as something completely detached from me, nothing to do with me. And I rationally know this, but if it will feed my false self-beliefs, the self-defeating story of I am not good enough, special enough, loveable enough, I will believe it over rationale. And then I am on a role as I further feed my story with skewed perceptions of what I see or hear and make it mean something negative about me. “Oh my ex is still with that girl that he met just 2 months after we broke up, then I mustn’t be very special, I mustn’t have meant very much to him, he mustn’t have cared about me, she must be better than me” and on it goes….feeding the story, feeding the demons.
My wisdom and all the things I claim to believe and know about the human psyche goes out the window.

I claim to believe that we draw to us how we feel about ourselves, yet if I really believed that then that would negate my self-defeating story. I would see that he only drew to him exactly what he is, exactly what he always has. Someone that is codependent and insecure, someone that will tolerate being treated poorly.

I would believe that he just defaulted back to who he always was and how he has always been because he never did the hard work of facing his own demons, his shadows, rather he ran away like a coward and stayed in denial. If I believed what I claim to and believe what I know strongly enough then my self-defeating story would be squashed and I wouldn’t be tormented by my thoughts. I wouldn’t perceive his behaviours as proof of a negative self-belief. Yet I do. Thus, the demons have won this round.

The old stories and self-defeating beliefs are still winning. My inner demons are still stronger than my wiser, more evolved, esteemed self.

These demons need to be slain once and for all so I can LIVE.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday. A time I usually look back on the year and reflect. Reflect on where I have been and where I am now. I'll start by saying that this birthday is better than last year's. Last year I was in a place of pain and confusion as I just ended a relationship with someone I adored. It ended suddenly, no time for falling out of love or getting tired of the person or arguing or not getting along. I felt alone, abandoned and heartbroken.

But the break up ended up being a catalyst for me in finding me. Leading me on a long and painful journey of healing as I began to realize where I was deeply wounded. A year of coming face-to-face with my shadow. Old wounds I had been carrying around unconsciously for my whole life and definitely what drew this person, this relationship to me in the first place.

I am very aware that it is my own wounds and ego that keep me stuck and holding on and that he was merely a mirror of my deep inner wounds. Wounds needing to see the light of day and be questioned and analyzed. An old story that needs to stop being told to myself. And, oh, did this person fit perfectly into my story. The break up fit into my story of “not good enough, special enough” even better. Yet he never said these things to me, in fact he adored me. All he did was be who he is: emotionally dysfunctional, codependent, insecure, fearful, cowardly and stuck. I am the one that made it mean something about me.

So, I guess I could say in the past year, where I have been is Hell. In my own dark, self-created hell. Where my shadow, my wounds, my fears, my insecurities, my obsessions and my codependency dwell. In hiding, yet were the silent but deadly drivers of my life.

Over the past year, I lost my relationship, lost my job, got rid of my car and moved across country. And where I am now is in a new home, a new car, new friends and in a new job that I love – teaching yoga. I am in a much lighter place, perhaps not Heaven or a place of peace yet, but I have escaped the captivity of my personal demons. I have the key in my hand to unlock this cage, now I just need to figure out how to use the key.

My ex wrote a very heart wrenching, soulful song when he escaped his substance addiction years before we met, called “Happy Birthday to me, I think I’m finally free”. My birthday wish is to be free of the deep hurt this relationship brought about in me.

Looking forward to my new journey this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teach Me

What does being a teacher mean? Does a teacher have to be better than or know more than their students? Are teachers wiser and smarter people? More advanced human beings?

Even as a yoga teacher I have struggled with that question at times wondering if I am “advanced” enough to teach when I still struggle with some more challenging poses that may come easier to others, even if I can teach them well. If a student can get into and stay in headstand better than I or balance upside down on their arms when I cannot, can I then still be their teacher?

Yes I can, I realized. I believe a teacher is someone who guides you to find your own potential, challenges you to grow and ultimately guides you into your own self.

And I believe there are two types of teachers in general: those that inspire you and build you up and those that discourage you and tear you down. But both serve the same purpose: to guide you to you. To who you really are, to your authentic self. Both push you to grow and challenge you to reach your potential and find your own power within.

We can love and look up to those people in our lives that have encouraged us, recognized our potential and made us feel good about ourselves and we can despise or resent those people in our lives that have hurt us, broke us down and had us feeling like shit about ourselves … yet they are both catalysts for the same thing... bringing you closer to you.

A true teacher gives us the gift of ourselves.

And most times it is the hardest teacher – the ones we resent or despise - and the most painful lessons – the ones that hurt and bring us to our knees - that leads us down the right path. Our own path. Our true path. The path that leads us deep into ourselves where our gold is ... just waiting to shine.

There’s a Buddhist proverb that goes: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Know, that when you are going through difficult times that your teacher has indeed appeared. So pay attention, learn your lessons and you will be ready to claim your piece of gold.

Now I'm Gold

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy New Me

Just as today, November 1st, marked the New Year for the Celts: the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle, today also marks an end of one cycle and a beginning of a new one for me.

One year ago today, I ended a relationship I really didn’t want to come to an end, but something inside of me told me something was unhealthy. His extra close relationship with his ex, although healthy in some aspects, seemed really unhealthy and bizarre in other aspects. And I knew it, felt it all along…but I tried to ignore it or allow his dysfunctional logic to override my own thoughts and feelings. Upon hearing that his ex was now sleeping over, so he could help her recover from cosmetic plastic surgery was the last straw.

Amongst the many other situations that I won’t bore you with, this was the two by four I needed to be hit over the head with. This is codependency, an unhealthy attachment, a non-letting go. I should have known there was codependency at play here, so I told myself as self punishment, after all he was an alcoholic and drug abuser for 20 years of his life and all during his marriage. She stayed with him through drama, selfish behavior, violent lifestyle, lies and whatever else goes on in those types of relationships. A part of him I had never known, but only heard about from him. It was only when he became sober, that she fell out of love with him and in love with another heavy drinker for 4 years. Yet she and her ex, my ex, kept on carrying on like a happy little family, or maybe for the first time as it may not have been so during their 16 year marriage.

Now living a platonic marriage? They would even celebrate each other's birthdays together and Mother's Day, Father's Day with their son, but still.... where is the separation in this scenario? Besides not sleeping together anymore or having "romantic feelings". Is it not just a platonic marriage now but still a marriage like, bizarre, unhealthy thing? No?! She even had a key to his place! And all the while she was living with another man and leaving him at home for these ex-husband excursions! So why did I not listen to my first instincts? I was so confused with my own thoughts and feelings (still am to this day). I suppose because I cared for him so much I pushed away my inner knowing. I should have listened to myself in the first place, continued the self punishing voice.

And this day marked my own descent into codependency, obsessive behavior and my own inner addict. A year where all my own deep, dormant wounds came to wake and wreak havoc with my life. Self-pitying, self-doubting and self-loathing. Along this dark, long, winding road I learned a lot about myself at an even deeper level than I had already explored. I seem to be low on self-value, self-respect, self-worth, self-trust. Why? Where did this come from and how has this affected my life? All these questions were answered through painful bouts of sadness and loneliness and immense inner turmoil. Old wounds, old beliefs and subsequent old patterns were exposed.

Dragged out of the comfort of darkness kicking and screaming into the harsh light of day. No longer able to hide and subtly control my life from an undetected place from deep within. Wounds and beliefs and patterns that now had to answer to these questions because they had nowhere to go anymore; their shelter had been exposed and demolished. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I had to sit with them for a year, calm them, interrogate them and then embrace them and learn to love them.

So why did this happen? Why did this relationship, with this person whom I had such strong feelings for, such a pull towards and vice versa, end? Or happen at all? I conclude that it is because he had all the “right” qualities, wounds, dysfunctions to awaken my deep wounds. It was because he had some wonderful qualities that I adored and commonalities that we shared that drew me to him, but it turns out he had all the similar dysfunctional characteristics as the person who originally wounded me and lead me to create these false beliefs about myself in the first place ... so I learned through lots of deep, painful self-reflection.

And I realized I needed to be wounded in the same way so that I could process these dormant, life-stealing wounds with the awareness and wisdom of an adult mind. It’s like homeopathy; you need to be given the same poison such that a greater healing can occur. In retrospect, maybe I should thank my ex for setting me free … but I am not quite there in my healing yet. It is said that the people that hurt us the most are our greatest teachers.

My ex had all the key ingredients to unlock my self-created cage and set me free. Free of my wounds, free of my false self-beliefs, free of my self-created limitations.

Free to fly.

Let the New Year begin….

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Unveiling

Halloween is the time of year when we put on masks and go out and be something, someone different than we are.

Yet this annual event of becoming someone else by putting on a costume or mask, is something we subconsciously do every day of the year and perhaps a different mask many times a day depending on where we are, who we are with, the role we have assumed, etc. We often choose the mask that matches the mask of the person we’re trying to please. The masks we have chosen to wear in our varied experiences are a way to keep us safe, but hides our true self from others and ourselves.

And that is exactly what the Celts were doing on Hollows Eve … trying to hide their identity to keep themselves safe. Celts who lived 2000 years ago, celebrated the New Year on Nov. 1. This marked the end of the Summer and harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold Winter. The Celts believed that transitions, times when things change from one state to another, had magical properties.

They, thus, believed the night before New Years was a powerful time in which the veils between the two realms was thinned , allowing one to move between the two worlds with ease. October 31st they celebrated Samhain or Hallow’s Eve, when the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Afraid the undead would harm them and cause trouble, the Celts left out food on their door steps to keep their homes safe from these ghosts.

And if the Celts people needed to venture out on this eve, they would dress up in costume and don masks in hopes of being mistaken for one of the ghosts' fellow spirits.
Just as we do with the masks we wear every day. To hide our true identity, to keep ourselves safe, to fit in, and pretend to be something we are not.

Indeed October 31st - Halloween – is a magical and powerful time. A transitional time. A time to get in touch with our inner spirit, to observe ourselves more clearly as the veil of illusion is thinned. As the lines of our two worlds, our inner self and our outer selves (our own ghosts), are blurred. Opening up the realms so we can move with ease into deeper regions of ourselves and begin to remove the masks.

This Halloween I am going to be someone totally different than I, or anyone has ever been...

I am going to be me!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twisting out the Toxic

At the end of teaching my yoga class tonight, I found myself thinking, “Did they like the class?” “Did they like me?” “Did they think I was good or bad?” “What did they think of the words I said, the ‘wisdom’ I imparted during class?” “Did they think it was corny, did they think it was profound, did I talk too much?”

Rather than just approaching the class from a sharing experience, I was wrapped up in my fear of rejection or failure. And here I was again, working through these codependent behaviours. Patterns I have learned about myself in the past few years after a couple of broken relationships…with broken people.

In my relationships, intimate or friendships, I realized that I worry about what they think of me, if they like me, rather than what I may think of them or their behaviours. I seem to need people to like me and/or approve of me, no matter if I really like them or approve of their behaviours. Sounds crazy and it is, but so many people look externally for proof of their worth, their value because somewhere along the line (usually childhood) their worth and value were not validated.

Let’s face it, most of us were born into some level of family dysfunction and thus learned specific patterns of behavior that made us feel safe or loved, for example pleasing others so they will like you or not expressing your opinions for fear of being shot down or worse. Then we carry these patterns of behavior into our adult relationships, without even realizing it because these patterns and wounds are so embedded into our subconscious. And as a child we did not have the cognitive skills to realize this is their shit, their issues and their unresolved pain not yours.

But I am slowly waking up to these hidden wounds that seemed to have been driving my life. I am learning to trust myself, believe in myself and really love myself. Learning to pay attention to my feelings, my thoughts and my intuition and make me matter. Hopefully empowering myself to find my value and worth inside instead of chasing my wounds out there trying to heal them. When we look for it out there, all we are ever going to draw in is our own subconscious, hidden wounds. Our relationships mirror to us how we feel inside.

So I will continue to do just as I told my yoga students in class tonight during our twisting postures, "Keep twisting from deep within your core and release all your toxins".

Friday, October 23, 2009

When you are falling ... Let Go

This is what I learned in Yoga class tonight as I went into a pose I have went into successfully many times before – headstand.

I was getting up into my headstand at the top of my mat, my right leg was up and as I began to bring my left leg up in line with the right I started to lose a little balance, but that didn’t stop me, I kept going. I can do headstand! I’ll balance myself out as I keep going in this already unsturdy foundation, I thought. And as I started to sway more, the more I tried to get up into place. It wasn’t working, I was struggling and starting to fall out of it yet I continued to get into the “right” position rather than just go with it, to just fall. Go where I was going anyway. It would have been easier, less painful and certainly more graceful.

Wish I had this little piece of wisdom in my pocket about a year ago during a break up that caused me so much inner turmoil … I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t let go of the pain of breaking up, couldn’t let go of my expectations of the relationship, couldn’t let go of why he couldn’t understand, couldn’t let go of analyzing him, analyzing the relationship, couldn’t let go of the love we shared, the words he said, couldn’t let go of the why’s. Why did he do this? Why did this happen? Why couldn’t it work out? Why? And the more I held on, rather tried to hang on, the more suffering it caused me. My mind, my ego had a grip on me so tight that it was squeezing the life out of me. Yet it was the trying to hold on that caused the inner turmoil, the pain, the suffering more so than the actual break up, the fall.

Then I fell … awkwardly. Not awkwardly in a humiliating sense (although I am sure humility would have served me here instead of my ego mind), but in a potentially physically harmful way. My left leg fell over to the one side and I came crashing down on the side of my heel, my other leg fell forward over my head and my neck twisted sideways, while my hands were still grasping to hold on! When I fell, I felt a little stunned but I also had this weird sensation … an exhilaration. I had felt, for a very brief moment, like I was flying. Then I landed ... not so gracefully.

So, instead of all this time spent thinking, doubting, questioning, trying to get it right; instead of all these mental acrobatics that wouldn’t change the outcome anyway, all I needed to do was let go. LET GO. Just let go and land. On the solid ground beneath me. A stable place. Then try again from this new landing place.

Try again. I recommend falling, in fact, because it is your chance to really experience freedom, but try to fall with grace. You do that by letting go.

It is from falling that I have started to learn how to fly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fate or Free Will?

This is the question I was left with after my, perhaps, “fateful” meeting with a homeless, gypsy Tarot card reader the other day as I stepped out into the streets from my friend’s downtown apartment. “Would you like a reading”, greeted a friendly and a little disheveled man holding up a worn deck of Tarot cards. “Sure,” I answered, a little too eagerly without asking what this would cost me … financial or otherwise.

He guides me to an empty bench on a quiet side street as we chat and immediately find a connection through our mutual hometown 3000 miles away. This is fate, I thought, I was meant to bump into this homeless gypsy so that he could offer me some profound insight into my future!

I won’t bore you with the details of my reading…okay just a little bit…I am going to live to be 100+, I am going to be successful, write a novel and have an animal sanctuary. Oh and he said I am very youthful and look much younger than my age (yes, flattery works!) I must admit that writing a novel and owning an animal sanctuary have been dreams for me, but does his prediction of such mean this is truly my destiny no matter what choices I make?

First, I actually think there is a difference between what is termed Fate as opposed to what is our Destiny. I think fate is something we subconsciously create for ourselves as we make choices from fear, insecurities, the need for security, beliefs, family structures, wounds we carry from the past and so on. The cage we create for ourselves leads us to a certain fate.

Sure there is free will involved, in so far that we are making our own choices, but we’re operating from a subconscious place. One of security and familiarity, self-imposed limitations and old patterns. Like a gerbil running on its wheel in its cage, but always ending up in the same place. We are fated to something as we keep making the same choices from the same place and end up just recreating the same experiences … maybe different people and different scenarios, but all part of the same theme. That seems to be fate.

Destiny I think is what we are supposed to be, our purpose; that innate calling we feel inside and the yearning in our soul. It is what we could be if we let go of our fears, insecurities and ego. If we truly follow our hearts, listen to our instincts and truly make choices out of self-love, self-esteem and self-value. This is authentic free will, perhaps. The freedom to break out of our own self-created cage.

All our own choices, but choices made from different parts of ourselves. Choices made from fear or from love. One seems to fate us and almost seems to steal our free will and the other sets us free to live our destiny. Although I think many of our fated events are the unfolding of our destiny … if we learn and are willing to change.

Free Will? Absolutely. But we can “free will” ourselves into fated lives or living our destiny. Therefore, every choice we make is an investment of either our Fate or Destiny, that’s our free will.

So was my encounter with this gypsy fateful? I guess fated to be out $30 by placing my trust in someone else to tell me what I am destined to do, to be.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they
will be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood of
every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned,
they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caterfly - Freak of Nature?

There it was on my dining room floor of my apartment, a half caterpillar, half butterfly – a caterfly. Not fully metamorphosized into what it was intending to be.

Crawling on my floor, flapping its wings you could see the beginning of aesthetic beauty, the bright orange colours of a monarch butterfly at the centre of its otherwise faded brown and underdeveloped wings. But this creature could not fly.

Assumedly blown into my apartment during a torrential downpour, the blustering winds tearing it from its home on one of the trees out back. Breaking open its cocoon that was created for shelter from the inner storm of transformation. It’s self-created protective device to keep it safe while it goes through the agonizing discomfort of change. Not unlike our own self-created, eventually self-destructive, protective devices intended to keep us safe from the storms of life.

This caterfly was unceremoniously cracked open far too early for it to reach its full potential, to fully transform into a butterfly. Ripped from its shelter, while in transition from beast to beauty.

But this caterfly did not come to me by accident. Propped on my apartment floor six storey’s up, the wind guiding its way through a small opening in my balcony doors seemed like an extreme feat even for nature …. not to mention that it had not been eaten by my cats, who were in fact just merely staring at this “odd” creature in awe and curiosity just as I was.

This creature torn from its cocoon, its comfort zone during its most fragile transition was symbolic of me, of my life … able to crawl, but not quite able to fly yet.

Yet this caterfly survived the storm, seemed to be accepting of its limitations, not frantically searching for its cocoon of safety and needing to fearfully crawl back into it, rather it appeared to be at peace as it continued to crawl on and attempt to fly.

And it is with this observation of character and perseverance that I realized it is exactly these imperfections that make it beautiful and unique … perfect in its imperfection. And it is here in this transitional stage where we find our own way, who we really are and develop our own wings to fly.

But I wanted to keep this caterfly, to nurse it, help it grow and become what it should be or so what I thought it should be, but I knew I couldn’t. It would wither and die and never be what it is supposed to be in this life if I tried to hold on to it and force it to become something it couldn’t and, perhaps, something it didn’t want to be. I knew it could only be what it is and realized there was nothing wrong with that when I saw it find comfort and joy as I placed it where it belongs … in the garden. I watched it happily crawl up the stems of the plants, proudly spreading its wings and showing its unique beauty to the world.

I knew it was flying on the inside.

Beautiful Freak

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tides of Change

The change of the season can be felt in the air, with the days becoming shorter, the nights growing cooler and the waters turning colder. It is said change is a constant; something we can always count on. We often view change as good or bad, depending on our own wants, desires and perception of things. We tend to notice change more when it is something we don’t want, and then we have difficulty dealing with it … accepting it. We think it should be different or it’s not fair. We resist, sometimes even deny it’s happening at all.

As I resisted “unwanted” change in my life, I felt I was swept up by a cyclone, spinning me around, spinning me down into a dark well of stagnant water with walls so high I could not climb out of. Holding on, not wanting the change to take place (even though it already had). My mind gripping on ferociously to what was already gone, already done. My resistance and the not accepting what was, created a dam inside me; blocking the natural flow of the river, the flow of my life. Not letting anything in, not letting anything out. Being sucked down by the undertow.

It wasn’t until I let go, stopped resisting and accepted the change, that I found some peace, a glimpse of joy … the very things I was searching for in the first place. Though in an attempt to calm the raging rivers of emotions that change brings, I clung, resisted, not realizing it is just that which kept me from what I was seeking.

Perhaps we resist change because of the fear of the unknown and our primal need for security and safety. And sometimes it’s just easier to stay with our limitations and with what doesn’t work. To keep things the same. Keeping us in a state of inertia, yet one of familiarity and comfort, even if it isn’t ideal. But things will never stay the same no matter how hard we resist or stay in denial; we just prolong the struggle.

Just as we can’t stop the trees from growing, the flowers from dying or the rivers from flowing - all the natural beauty and wonders of nature - we can’t stop change. And when we can learn to accept change – “good” or “bad” – perhaps, then, we will be able to embrace the beauty and wonders within ourselves.