Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vacation Reply

Dearest Readers,

Because I am on vacation, today's post is about giving myself permission to NOT post (even though I just posted).

Inspiring Message of the Day: ;)

Friday, February 26, 2010

More on Acceptance

Dearest Readers,

After I posted yesterday's blog, I wondered if I'd come across as hard-hearted. After all, I was talking about accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. I am aware that this kind of thinking can come across as judgmental and lacking compassion but, in fact, it is my belief that acceptance is borne from Love.

Love is the abiding Force behind everything. Some people will dispute that. It's okay. That doesn't mean it's not Truth. Because we are human, death and illness appear real. That's okay, too. They might appear to be real but they are not true.

This little nugget of wisdom was given to me today and I'm lovin' it. Something might be (seem) real but that don't make it Truth.

I choose to practice acceptance because I trust that somehow the Great Abiding Love Back of All Things is at work, even in the darkest places. Without negating emotional needs or minimizing pain I am choosing to acknowledge what is True rather than give power to what is not.

Inspiring Message of the Day: The human experience is real to us and therefore must be validated but the Truth is greater than our human experience. The Truth is that Love is behind everything and if I trust this Truth I have the key to lasting Peace.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Acceptance Brings Peace

Dearest Readers,

There is a fire warming my legs, a blue sky outside the nearby window, a sparkling lake in the distance and a dis-ease called cancer that is ripping apart the life of my friend Leanne.

The unbearable incongruousness of life! How can we live with it?

Recently I heard someone talking about the frustration we humans feel when we are faced with questions that we cannot answer. In our arrogance and in our fear, we demand the answers. "Why, God? Why?"

So often, here on this earthly plane, we cannot know the answer.

Sometimes all we can do is practice acceptance. It might not satisfy the need to understand but it can bring peace nonetheless. We can practice letting go of the "why" and instead look for the "way".

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will practice letting go of my need to make sense of things that don't make sense. From this, I will trust that peace will come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wish You Were Here

Dearest Readers,

As one chapter of my work life comes to an end and another begins I am happy to report that I am taking a few days to rest and restore my energy.

There was a time in my life when I would have scheduled something, anything, on the day immediately following the end of a project. I would launch myself into more work lest I miss an income-generating or career-enhancing opportunity.

This way of operating clearly wasn't working for me. Burn-out was something I knew well. My coach introduced me to the term "re-entry", which is the state of being that comes with endings and beginnings, especially when travel is involved.

It took me a while to learn how to give myself the re-entry time required to adjust to normal life but eventually I got it. With the conclusion of the Big O Project I'm taking it one step further. Before I head home and into re-entry mode, I'm going on spiritual vacation.

For three days I will be on a personal retreat in a beautiful location, taking part in activities like Qi Gong, labyrinth-walking, and guided meditation. I will receive Spiritual Direction and healing treatment sessions and my time will be devoted to letting go, discerning new direction, and seeking quiet.

The fact that I am now able to give myself this gift is a testament to the healing work I've done over the last number of years. One, I didn't ever believe I deserved a spiritual vacation, and two, I didn't think I could afford it, either financially or time-wise.

Today, I know that not only do I deserve and can I afford this gift but it is absolutely necessary for my overall sense of well-being.

What a change! From financially-insecure-overachieving-workaholic to prosperous and relaxed vacation-taking mama. Let the re-entry begin.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Do I need a spiritual vacation? Do I believe that I deserve something like this? I will explore the idea of taking time to rejuvenate my spirit and restore my emotional energy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Land of Serendip

Dearest Readers,

Because of something that happened to me yesterday I just looked up the word "serendipity" in this computer's dictionary.

Here is what it said:

"The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

ORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

As I was walking along the street yesterday afternoon I saw a woman I know from Whitehorse. She now lives in Vancouver and there she was, riding her bicycle past me on the street. I opened my mouth to call her name and, to my surprise, it actually came out. (Sometimes, in these situations, it doesn't.)

She stopped, recognized me immediately and got off her bike to say hello. We hugged and when I asked her how she was doing she responded truthfully and said she was struggling. We walked together for a while and she shared with me some of her difficulties.

I related to what she was talking about; I had been through similar challenges myself. I was able to share my experience, strength and hope with her and she left with the name of a book I recommended and a smile on her face. I felt as though I had been useful and helpful to a friend in need.

Neither of us were on a quest for such a happy and beneficial meeting but nonetheless it occurred for our mutual benefit. Is this "chance", as the above definition describes? Or it is Higher Guidance, giving us just what we need precisely when we need it?

I think you know what my answer would be.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will continue to stay open to the happy and beneficial discoveries provided me by serendipitous encounters. I will trust that this is Higher Guidance, giving me just what I need.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Checks and Balances

Dearest Readers,

It's now two days after the biggest performance of my career so far and I'm happy to report that I'm NOT now experiencing the biggest crash of my career, too.

There was a time in my life when I would push myself to make the climb, peak, and then crash and burn, needing days or weeks to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually. At some point, I realized this wasn't working for me. There had to be another way.

Balance, anyone?

Balance can be tough to achieve. I once had a yoga teacher who said if you're falling over in Vrkasana (AKA Tree Pose, which involves standing on one leg at a time) then your life's balance is out of whack. I wasn't too crazy about hearing this little bit of truth because I was unsteady in the pose.

Today I can stand completely still in Vrkasana but it took a series of painful lessons to get here.

Through regularly occurring breakdowns after pushing myself too hard, I was forced to learn how to balance my time and my energy. Those of you who are regular readers know that I've shifted my perception a number of times in order to reduce the scale of the Big O Project in my mind. But by making it "just a job" I've been able to stay grounded.

Yesterday, I took a day of rest and today I will get some work done but take it easy, too. I'm not lying on the couch, sick as a dog, feeling depressed and mournful, recovering from an immeasurable high. I did a gig, it was big, and life is continuing on.

That said, it's important to celebrate the highs, too. And O.M.F'N.G., you guys, it was awesome.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will continue to strive for balance in my life today. I will not push so hard that a crash is inevitable and I will not retreat so far that coming back is painful. Mindful, forward movement is the best practice.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm Gonna Let It Shine

Dearest Readers,

I am in a dressing room backstage at BC Place Stadium listening to the muffled sounds of the Stereophonics rehearsing their set on the main stage. When I was standing on the giant deck, staring up at a screen the size of an apartment building, surrounded by technicians and performers and Olympic logos, there was only one question on my mind.

How did I get here?

The simple answer: I walked through my fear.

Emotions are running high. There have been a few tears shed because a gig like this is a lot for the nervous system to endure. But there is no doubt that we are all excited, grateful and more than a little stoked.

Yes, I walked through my fear to get here but I also had a lot of help, both from people and from On High. I believe there is a purpose to our lives and that we must devote our energy to its discovery. Mine is to shine the light I've been given in the most exquisite and truthful way.

What's yours?

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will discover my Life's Purpose and I will commit to its fulfilment, one day at a time, to the very best of my ability.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Glass is Half Full

Dearest Readers,

(Before today's post, a word (or two) about leaving comments. A friend emailed me to say she tried to leave a comment and couldn't. I don't know if any of you have tried to do the same and been blocked but, if so, here's why:

My mother received a comment on her blog, the characters of which were actually multiple links to Asian porn sites. Soon after, I received the same comment. I then chose the setting that only allows members or followers to leave comments. If you'd like to leave a comment, please become a follower or create a Google account. Thanks!)

There are lots of people out there who are against the Olympics. What I would like those people to see is the unity this event is creating among people. It's everywhere!

Strangers are connecting in myriad ways all across these city streets. Conversations, shout-outs, mass cheering, you name it. There is a kind of solidarity at work that is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's like Facebook, only live.

As I was getting off the bus with one of the gals on the Big O Project last evening, a woman saw our official jackets and said, "You're from the Yukon?" We said we were. Another guy piped up and said, "I used to live in the Yukon!" and began to describe to us his old life in the North.

The woman who first spoke alighted with us and we chatted with her as she walked us to our destination. In exchange for her kindness and curiosity, I gave her an official Yukon pin, AKA gold (for some) in this pin-crazy environment.

I'm sure the protesters and the naysayers all have very good reason to be fighting what they perceive to be a beast that must be slain. But all I'm seeing is the Love.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I can choose whether to focus on the negative or the positive. Today I will embrace the positive. It is there for us to discover!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Buying Groceries: Lessons in Compassion

Dearest Readers,

Conversation overheard in an organic food store on Commercial Drive, Vancouver:

Cashier: Yeah, I hate that guy.

Customer: Hate's a pretty strong word.

Cashier: Come on, everybody hates somebody.

Customer: I'd rather just be happy.

Cashier: Yeah, happy people are cool. I like happy people. But not all happy people. Happy people are so "on" all the time. Are you pro or anti-Olympics?

Customer: Oh, anti. I'm pro-people.

Cashier: Yeah, people are cool. Not all people. Most people. Some.

Customer: ...

Cashier: Well, you have a wonderful day!

Customer: You, too.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will heal the hole in my heart that tells me it's okay to hate. I will ask for freedom from the temptation to judge. I will have compassion for those who are not there yet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's a Hit

Dearest Readers,

This post is being written in the wee hours of the morning pre-flight to Vancouver and post-show at the Yukon Arts Centre. That's right, tonight we premiered the Big O Project for the locals and tomorrow we take it to the Olympics to represent.

This show has been a big part of my life for the last 6 months. My vision for the piece has, from day one, been to inspire the punters (a word the Irish use when referring to the audience -- I picked it up while living there and still love to say it).

Tonight the vision became a reality. The punters went wild!

Six months ago I almost said no to this job. I didn't want to create a stadium show. I couldn't see how it could be in the slightest bit artistic. When I told this to a friend she said, "Well, that's fine, Celia. As long as it's not fear."

Boy, did she nail it. It was fear.

And I walked through it. And here I am on the other side of it. Having created, with more help than I can adequately describe here, an artistic stadium show.

I'll be posting from Vancouver.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When we let fear hold us back we rob ourselves of life's most profound experiences. I will say "yes" to something today that I'm afraid of.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tech it Out

Dearest Readers,

For those of you that are involved in any kind of show biz career you know that what we, in the industry, call "tech days" are some of the more challenging times in the process of creating a live production.

For the Big O Project, we've got two tech days and 2 shows on the night of the second one. Yesterday was our first.

Save for a couple of SNAFUs, the day went by smoothly and we finished early. One of the glitches we experienced actually bothered me quite a bit and, at one point, I was rather vocal in my vexation.

The situation was resolved at the end of the day and I got an apology for the mistake, which was great.

Upon retiring I reflected back on the day to the moment where I had voiced my distress. Albeit to comic effect, my punishing words were something to the effect of, "Please don't remind of this again because I'm going to poke a f&$%#ing stick in my eye if it gets mentioned one more time."

The perfectionist in me says, "Celia, do it better next time." The recovering perfectionist in me says, "You're allowed to react to stressful situations and you're a funny gal, in an acerbic kind of way."

I like the recovering perfectionist better. She gets my jokes.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Though I am committed to practicing "Restraint of Tongue" I will give myself permission to vocalize my frustration, when necessary!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Doctors Do It

Dearest Readers,

After five months of build-up we have arrived at the week of production/performance for the Big O Project and what I'm feeling can be pretty much summed up by the following two words:

Holy s&$%!

When it comes to the intensity of pre-performance time and, let's face it, the experience of the actual performance, I must use all the tools in the tool kit. Here are just a few: surrender, acceptance, fearlessness, humility, patience, prayer, meditation, relaxation, faith and trust.

The other day, I blogged about the documentary 65_RedRoses and there is one scene in that film that keeps coming back to me.

In it, the doctor who is about to perform the double lung transplant on Eva, the young woman in the film with cystic fibrosis, is alone in a locker room preparing for the surgery. He is nervous and he is pumped, pacing back and forth, shaking his arms, releasing the tension. Then he does something I never expected to see a doctor do. He gets down on his knees and prays.

Not only was it surprising to see a doctor, a scientist of medicine, pray in such a way, it was astonishing to be allowed into such an intimate moment in a person's life. Fantastic!

Here he was, an intelligent and skilled man (whom we later learn is one of a number of doctors who performed a record number of transplants over the course of those 24 hours), asking for help (strength, guidance, courage, steady-hands?) from Something Other Than Himself.

If there were to be a camera following me around this week you can bet it would catch me down on my knees, brothers and sisters, seeking that healing balm of Higher Guidance.

Holy s$%#!

Inspiring Message of the Day: My strength and courage come from a Power Greater Than Myself. I will continue to ask this Power to guide and carry me through the operation of my life.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Judge Judy Presiding

Dearest Readers,

Some time ago, the rock band The White Stripes flew into Whitehorse to play a concert. I wasn't a fan, I'd barely heard their music and I didn't even really know how big they are in the music world, which is huge.

Sometime after their arrival, I got a call from a friend who is also a local reporter. "The White Stripes are going to play an impromptu concert in one hour at Lepage Park. Go." I went. They played, it was a crazy scene and I really dug the performance.

Well, I dug his performance. Jack White. He was dynamic and obviously really talented, not to mention hot. Then there was his sister, Meg. She sat on the ground beside him, hardly moving, never speaking, occasionally shaking a couple of percussive instruments.

As much as I hate to admit this, I wrote her off as lame.

Last night at ALFF, I watched The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, the documentary that was made as the band toured Canada. The footage includes the stop they made in our fair city and the Lepage park concert. It's a great film.

For two hours I watched this gal, Meg, whose character I had totally assassinated, wail on the drums with the speed and virtuosity of a true maestro. It was astonishing.

After the movie was over I cut myself a great big piece of humble pie and ate the whole thing, bite by bite.

Inspiring Message of the Day: The Diviners

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dying to be Human

Dearest Readers,

A friend who read yesterday's blog sent me an email that said: "Breaking news……You are not going to die."

He went on to say that the "real 'you' is ethereal, inextinguishable" and, as a result, there is no death.

I also happen to be studying a book by Emmet Fox called Power Through Constructive Thinking and the chapter I am currently on is called, Life After Death.

Fox writes, "There is absolutely no reason to fear death... The actual truth is that there is no death." He goes on to talk about alternate realities and the Greater Truth of Oneness.

"You have nothing to fear in life or death--because God is All, And God is Good."

I understand on a fundamental level that there is no death. And my friend's breaking news was not news to me. I must, however, allow myself to be human in this process of accepting this Higher Truth. In order to arrive at this place of fearlessness I first must acknowledge my fear.

It is simply not enough to say, "There is no death. I get it man. We're all One." Why? Because I'm human. I live in a body, here, on the earthly plane. That means I have an ego, it means I'm going to feel fear, it means I need to process information before I can integrate it into my personal experience of being.

When I was living in Ireland in the mid-nineties I had a lover whose parents had both recently died. One night, after too much Guinness, this lover of mine broke down in tears, grieving this terrible loss. Although I was physically responsive I remember having a conversation (AKA giving a lecture) about grief being useless because death was only an illusion.

No compassion.

We are human. We have to grieve. We have to feel. Accepting that I am connected to the Infinite is vital to my spiritual well-being but acknowledging that I am a person, with a sometimes complicated emotional make-up, will allow me to practice that most integral of spiritual agents: Compassion.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Breaking news: There is no death! I will practice allowing this deeper Truth to travel from my intellect to my emotional understanding, from my head to my heart.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Live Free

Dearest Readers,

It's ALFF time in our fair city and last night I got to see an amazing documentary called 65_RedRoses about a young woman living with Cystic Fibrosis. Talk about inspiring.

The main character, Eva Markvoort, is one courageous cookie. At one point in the film she is talking about the reality of her dying and she says, in essence, "You have to look at your own death, you have to feel that and go through it and then you can move on."

The beginning of my work as an Inspiring Coach can probably be traced back to the moment when I faced my own death, grieved the loss of my life and became willing to die. It was an awakening that has continued to help me to walk through my fear each and every day.

The discovery that my fear of death was actually the big mother fear at the root of all my little fears and anxieties led me to finally confront it head on. I've written about this experience before. I was on an airplane and the fear of crashing was so intense that I had no other recourse. I simply had to go there.

As a result of accepting the fact that I do not know when or how I am going to die I have been able to let go of many of the control issues, which, as I mentioned, stem from this underlying knowledge of my true lack of control.

My fear of death still comes up and I still have to practice letting go of the illusion of control but embracing death has brought a profound richness to my life. Without the denial of death's reality I am able to breathe freely in the experience of being alive.

Eva Markvoort looked her death straight in the eye. She accepted the reality of her dying. And then she got on with the business of living. She is the embodiment of courage, in my eyes.

Inspiring Message of the Day: By going to the very core of my fear I can be freed of the power it holds over me. I can walk through it, let go and move forward into a deeper and fuller existence.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sweater Heaven

Dearest Readers,

Yesterday I shared the following post on Facebook:

"Celia McBride wants you to know that hand-washing your cashmere sweaters can actually boost your self-esteem."

Was I being facetious? Not entirely.

Sweaters love me and I love sweaters. I actually wear sweaters in July, much to the chagrin of my t-shirt loving girlfriends. Some of my sweaters need hand-washing and, like vacuuming (see earlier post), I will put this task off for as long as humanly possible.

A few days ago I finally started taking action to wash the four sweaters that so badly needed it. I told myself I could tackle the job one sweater at a time. And that is what I did. In baby steps.

First sweater came out of the closet and onto the chair. Then into the kitchen. Then into a pot with soap. Let it soak. That evening scrubbed and rinsed and hung to dry. Why not number two? Out of the closet, directly into the pot, repeat.

Four days later and the last one has been soaking overnight in the pot and will be hung to dry today. Not exactly OHIO, but progress, friends, not perfection.

Where does the self-esteem part come in? Well, after sweater number two, I felt good about myself for having done the thing I was avoiding. My energy shifted. I experienced satisfaction and pleasure knowing the job was getting done and I had taken the action necessary to do it.

Bonus track: four clean sweaters!

Inspiring Message of the Day: We can feel good about ourselves by accomplishing the simplest of tasks. Today I will take on a simple task in order to boost my self-esteem and feel the joy of accomplishment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Take it Down a Notch (or Seven)

Dearest Readers,

As a result of some of the challenges I've been experiencing with the Big O Project I have had to do a lot of "right-sizing" both with my ego and with the job itself.

By "right-sizing" I mean putting things in their proper perspective. I'm a recovering extremist and the child of an exaggerator and much of the healing work I've done over the last decade has involved this process of shifting my perception back to the actual reality of the situation.

If you haven't seen Spinal Tap, the mockumentary by Christopher Guest, then surely you've heard the expression, "It goes to eleven," that comes from the movie. "Eleven" refers to the noise-level on the guitar amplifier belonging to the character of Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap's lead guitarist. All the other amps in the world go to 10 but his goes to 11.

Once, when I was in an emotional situation that seemed enormous, my friend said to me, "Celia, you come in at 11. Maybe you could approach this situation differently. Try coming in at 4."

In other words, RELAX.

So in the last couple of weeks I've gone from saying, "I'm in the middle of the biggest job of my entire life, it's just HUGE," to saying, "I happen to be doing a job right now that is asking me to operate on a bigger scale than I am used to."

Taking it from 11 to 4 has helped me to enjoy the process again, release the pressure, and right-size the experience. It's a job. Period. It will come to an end and then there will be another job. Period.

As much as Nigel drew pleasure from the extreme power of his amp, I am learning to draw pleasure from the power that exists on the middle ground.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Putting things in their proper perspective takes the pressure off and allows me to rejoice in the simple activities of the day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Present

Dearest Readers,

As the love and support continues to pour in for who I am and what I do I am truly humbled by the kindness and generosity so many of you have shown me. Thank you for being on my team.

Now a word (or two) on meditation...

Just over ten years ago I was looking after a couple of kids while their parents were away. Their mother had a yoga practice and although I had a knowledge of yoga and had been taught some of the asanas, I did not have a practice, let alone a devoted one. This particular mama had yoga video tapes and one morning while the kids were in school I put one on and followed it.

At the end of the practice it came time for savasana. As you may or may not know, savasana, AKA the Corpse Pose, is often the last posture to be taken in a class. It's the resting and restorative pose that allows our bodies to integrate and feel the benefits of the entire practice in which we've just engaged.

Lemme tell ya somethin', folks. Ten years ago, I could not relax enough to lie in this posture for ten minutes. I kept sitting up to see if I'd missed the end of it somehow. No joke. I'm lying on the mat going, "Come on! Are you serious?" and then I'd peek up at the tape again. At the time, those ten minutes felt like an eternity. I had zero patience.

Meditation is the art of being present. People think meditation means you have to clear your mind of everything and be some kind of a supreme being. No. It is the simple practice of being in your life as it is happening.

Yesterday I spent 12 hours in a studio working with a multimedia artist on our video for the Big O Project. Most of the time he was working on the computer and I was waiting for him to show me something. For twelve hours I was able to sit there and be present in my life as it was happening.

For a gal who could not lie down and be still for ten minutes this is a miracle.

I attribute this miracle to meditation. Learning how to sit still and breathe and observe my thoughts. It began by lying on a mat, sitting in a chair, doing NO thing.

As I developed an ability to do this much I carried the practice into my daily life. Being on the bus, tying my laces, doing the dishes, etc. Through the practice of meditation I've learned how to be present in my life as it is happening.

Impatience still comes up. I still look for distractions. I still avoid the stillness sometimes, not wanting to go there, not wanting to find out what I need to hear or feel. But meditation has changed my life for the better. It has landed me in my life, in my body, in this Celia skin, where I have learned to really love myself and others.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will practice meditation in all its varying forms. Lying down, sitting, breathing is just the beginning. I will practice landing in my life and being present to who I am and what I do.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

We All Need Somebody to Lean On

Dearest Readers,

During a summer road trip with lover a few years ago the two of us were sharing some of the more intimate parts of our lives with each other while driving along the deserted highway. As we pulled over at a rest stop this lover got out of the car and approached me for a hug, saying, "I need life support." The sharing was that deep.

This expression is now one I use whenever I need a hug or an ear or a shoulder to lean on. I have to carefully choose to whom I say these words because not everyone is able to give life support. Sometimes the moment isn't the best either.

Yesterday I was in need of big time life support. I ran into a friend and, for a moment, considered saying it right then. But the timing wasn't great so I said nothing. Moments later, we were interrupted by a fracas and I was glad I'd held my tongue.

So I asked The Life Force Energy of the Universe for life support instead. I prayed for help. And I got it.

First, I received an invitation to tea, during which time I and a girlfriend chatted and laughed and listened to one another share. I was able to process what I had been through that day and come out the other side.

The second and third responses to my request came in the guise of voice mail messages. When I got home after the tea date there were two messages waiting for me. Both were from friends calling to tell me they love me, love the work I do and support me unconditionally.

Thank you, friends, for answering my prayer and for performing CPR on my self-confidence right when I needed it.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will reach out and ask for life support when I need it. I will trust that it will come back to me in unexpected ways.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dispense with Defense

Dearest Readers,

Yesterday I got a call from the local press wanting to interview me about The Big O Project. I was expecting a friendly interview and what I got was accusatory challenge. Nice surprise.

Some of you will remember an earlier blog about the criticism surrounding the fact I hired a composer from Toronto to work with me as a co-writer on the Yukon Anthem section of the project. Well, the reporter who called me was bound and determined to shame me for doing so.

Most of the interview was spent explaining and defending my decision. I hung up the phone feeling sick to my stomach. But then I had an epiphany. (Don't you love it when you have moments of sudden insight after the fact? Big help!)

Here is what I realized: There is nothing to defend or explain. I acted according to my intuition, which is connected to Higher Guidance. Let them think what they want, write what they want, believe what they want!

Next time I'm asked to defend my position I simply won't.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I cannot convince the rest of the world to see things my way. If I know in my heart that I have made the best decision possible, that I have stayed true to my Highest Self, then no one and nothing can move me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Be the Tree

Dearest Readers,

Yesterday I received a couple of emails regarding the Big O Project that made me want to poke a stick in my eye so I shut off the computer and went to have a rest. My brain, however, wouldn't stop thinking so I got up and went to my friends' empty house and watched an hour of television.

Television is something I rarely look at. I don't have one and the only time I get to see what's on TV is when I stay in a hotel. Believe me, this is not about being noble. I'm actually a TV addict and abstinence is the only cure. I used to watch it when I didn't want to be watching it. TV is an energy-sucker and I would get sucked in for hours.

As we all know, there is a lot of crap on TV but there is also good television. When I turned the box on yesterday evening it was tuned to PBS, the American Public Broadcaster, and the show that was airing was Ken Burn's The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

Vanity Fair magazine had recently published a story about Teddy Roosevelt, the President who managed to secure so much of what is now National Park land in the US and I had read the article with interest. The part of program that was airing when I tuned in was describing precisely the same information as the VF piece had, which was a lovely bit of synchronicity to calm me down.

One particular shot from the show has stayed with me until this morning. A photograph of a group of men, Roosevelt and his entourage, standing in front of an ancient sequoia tree. Of course, you cannot see that it is a tree trunk behind them because it is too huge. It looks like a wall of bark. The camera simply couldn't capture it's breadth. The narrator tells us the tree is estimated to be 3500 years old.

When I get emails that make me want to poke sticks in my eyes it is of great benefit to me to remember things like 3500 year old sequoia trees. Ancient, steadfast, lasting stillness. It was here long before me and it will be here long after I'm gone. True Power. True strength.

When I measure the day-to-day minutiae of my life against the enduring Power of Nature I am humbled by how small my "problems" really are. What is really important? Yes, my work is important. But when I remember that my life is but a blink of the Universe's eye, everything is put in proper perspective and nothing can rattle me.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will not be shaken or stirred by life's "problems". In the face of frustration I will emulate the Power of the steadfast Sequoia.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

Dearest Readers,

Here is further proof that when we commit to working in tandem with the Life Force Energy of the Universe, this Force will support us and guide us in all that we do.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the middle of a pretty challenging situation and needed help to process my emotional journey through the mire. I have a Spiritual Director but she is currently hiking through the Yucatan and was not available.

Last month I had come across a pamphlet advertising a local woman's services as counselor/spiritual guide. I took down her number thinking I might need it one day.

When the s%&# hit the fan I called this woman's number and miraculously she was available to see me that day. I went to her office and we ended up having a great session. I left feeling as though I was on the other side of the inner chaos.

While in the session, I shared about my vision of fearlessness and my commitment to inspiring others to cultivate courage and walk through fear. I realized that part of what I was needing to process was letting go of the fear of disappointing people.

With all this talk of fear, this woman said to me, "I think I have something for you." She got up and went away, came back and gave me a book: The Fear Book: Facing Fear Once and For All by Cheri Huber.

"I picked it up this morning," she told me. "I didn't know why I was picking it up. I didn't think I really needed it -- I wasn't sure it was for me." It wasn't. It was for me.

Inspiring Message of the Day: The Power that is back of all things has my back. I trust that I am being looked after, guided, supported and loved by the One Who Sustains All Things.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Making Progress

Dearest Readers,

A friend sent me this prayer, written by a former slave:

Lord, we ain't what we want to be,
we ain't what we ought to be,
we ain't what we gonna be,
but thank God,
we ain't what we was.

This makes me think of "progress not perfection." In times of struggle, it can be difficult to recognize progress. I often get mired in what I'm not doing well instead of looking at how much better I am dealing with the situation than I did in the past.

One of the keys to being a great self-coach or our own best friend is to remind ourselves how well we are doing. We can never do this too often.

Maybe I'm not perfect yet but I'm on the healing path and I'm doing my best each and every day. Some days my best is better than other days. But that's okay, too.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I am doing really well today. My fear tells me I'm not, that I could be doing more. But I refuse to listen. No matter what, my best is good enough!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Give Yourself a Break

Dearest Readers,

Awhile back, in a post called Run for Your Life I blogged about needing more cardio-vascular exercise. I made a commitment to myself that each Sunday I would run up a looooong outdoor staircase that we have here in our fair city.

So far, so good. I think I've only missed one Sunday and on that day I ran to the corner store and back to make up for it. For the fun of it, I've also started running to meetings or appointments instead of walking. I don't run all the way, just a block or two, but it gets my heart rate up and I get there faster, too.

Yesterday was an outdoor stair-master day but I decided to mix it up a little. Some friends of mine are out of town and they've asked me to check on their house once a day in exchange for the use of their car. Normally I drive to their neighbourhood, which is about a 45-minute walk from where I live, but why not run there instead?

Because I haven't actually "run" in years and years, I decided to set the bar as low as possible. Rather than pushing myself to run all the way there without stopping I decided I would walk and run.

This walk-and-run system is one I developed in Edmonton, where I once lived for four months. At the time, I had a "yoga" practice that one of my sisters called "Yoga Balboa", named for Rocky Balboa, the character in the Sylvester Stallone films. She once did the routine with me and, expecting asanas, instead got low-impact aerobics and stretching, hence the nickname.

Doing Yoga Balboa everyday will start the body craving for a more rigorous workout. So in order to satisfy the craving I started running. Again, I hadn't run for years, so the walk-and-run system was born.

It's a simple formula: run until you feel like you're going to puke and then walk until it passes. Repeat.

So yesterday I set out to walk-and-run to my friends' house. The weather was perfect. I ran until I was out of breath, walked until I caught it, and then ran some more.

There were moments when I was running and I felt really good! I remembered what it was like to actually go for a jog and enjoy it. My energy and stamina were surprisingly high and it was extremely satisfying to use my body this way.

I managed to make it there and back in less than an hour. Who says you have to jog the entire distance of a run? Taking breaks when we need them is just fine.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will take breaks when and where I need them. Going the distance doesn't have to mean full-speed ahead!