Following Nature’s Clues

Nature’s transitions, like changes in daylight and colder temperature, throw many people off balance. The results of this can be seen in feeling down, wanted to stay indoors, struggling with colds and flu or even stomach viruses. Don’t you find it interesting that Nature’s creatures are able to flow so easily between the seasonal changes? Plants and animals sense when it’s time to change and begin the process.  Plants and trees begin to go dormant, lose their leaves and the sap flows down in the roots preparing for winter.  Nature knows how to prepare for each season. Following the clues from Nature allows one to flow in harmony with the changes and seasonal patterns. Fall is Nature’s time of letting go. Without letting go, there can be no real rest during winter, and no subsequent growth the following spring. Every part of the process has a reason and a purpose, and it all combines to create the cycle of seasons we witness every year. This is the time for ‘letting go’ of … [Read more...]

A Modern Gypsy

How does one know they are a gypsy? In my case it consisted of 5 elements. The first was being born into family that already has its share of misfits, mystics, and psychics. My maternal grandmother was a midwife, tea leaf reader, and herbalist. My paternal grandmother was a garden diva who’s life revolved around the cycles of the Moon and the seasons. Both grandmothers were psychics. Added to this generational milieu, was my love of travelling, my secret desire was to be a hippie, the pull of wild gypsy music, and books that took me to foreign countries. Which brings me to element number two. I was 16 lazing around in the backyard on a sunny summer day when I heard a voice. Yes, a voice! This voice stated very precisely, "You were going to live and work overseas.” As strange as it may seem, those words resonated with me and I had no doubt that they would happen. In the ensuing years I based many decisions on this voice. For example, my career choice to become a … [Read more...]

Stronger Than You Think

I am ever amazed at the resiliency of human beings.  Five mornings a week I teach English and settlement skills to refugees and many other newcomers to Canada. In my role as teacher, I have heard some of the most horrific and heart wrenching stories. On a day-to-day basis I witness the struggle that these newcomers have adjusting to a new life in a new land were almost everything is strange and often incomprehensible. Despite the hardships they have faced, the separation from family and friends, and the daily struggle to learn a new language, life and culture, the students arrive at school with a smile and an amazingly positive attitude. I often wonder what it would be like to be torn away from family and friends and then shuffled about from country to country to finally end up in a place where you were to begin again. You are alone with your nuclear family or perhaps not. You no longer have your family support system. Your friends are either dead or in another … [Read more...]

What’s Your Ikigai?

The people on the island of Okinawa, Japan are some of the oldest, healthiest and most content people on the planet. What is their secret? Ikigai! (pronounced icky guy) Ikigai translates as “a reason to wake up each morning.” Do you have a reason for waking up each morning? Or do you reluctantly drag yourself out of bed each day thinking, “Another day to get through” or “Is it Friday yet?”. Can you imagine waking up ready and eager for a new day of life? It is possible! This is what an ikigai is: it’s waking up each day with a purpose  or direction. You know where you are going. An ikigai is something you love to do, want to do, and that makes you feel alive. It can be a specific goal, ambition or dream or it can also be something as simple as setting an intention for a new way of expressing yourselves or interacting with others. For example, some people find depth of meaning in cooking and caring for their family. Other people find it through genuine and sincere … [Read more...]

Change the channel.

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra The other day I took my car in for an oil change and came away with an unexpected gift. By habit before I leave my car for service, I shut off the audio and slide my seat back. I move the seat back as a curtsey to the mechanic’s knees. I assume they are taller than me. As for turning off the audio, I don’t like it when the service folks change my programming or radio station. Do you also have something that bugs you when it gets changed? I have to admit that there was a time when I had a long list. Getting back to the oil change. When my car was ready I got into it, adjusted the seat and headed off to the next destination. As I was driving along something caught my attention…the music was different but enjoyable. I checked and sure enough it was on a different station. I left it there and began to pay more attention to the music and before I knew it I was welcoming the new tunes I was hearing. Looking back at … [Read more...]

Just show up!

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle While engaged in the “Creating the Impossible” course with Michael Neill, he used a phrase I’d never considered before. The phrase was ‘showing up’. Initially, I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. I was showing up each day by waking up, going to work, taking care of my family and all the other little details of a busy life. I tried to keep my life balanced and positive. But the more I listened to him, I began to understand what he was getting at. I was getting up, going to work and doing all the other things, but half of the time my mind was some place else or focused on an expectation. Let’s take work example: I showed up every day, not really liking what I was doing, but I liked the pay cheque. I showed up with the sole purpose of monetary reward and went through the motions of productivity. I did what was required to get the reward, but gave little else. Much of the time I was … [Read more...]