Swimming Upstream


In the face of adversity, lay back and drift on down the river.  That is what I would like to do, however, the problem with this theory is that eventually you could hit rapids which are extremely troubled waters indeed!

I feel like I’ve been swimming upstream for a very long time and I just decided to jump up in the air to see how far I’ve gotten. It looked eerily familiar to the last time I jumped out of the water.

It has been a tough week.  Let’s leave it at that.

A head cold sidelined me for the majority of the week.

Radiation begins next week.  Once I am through this treatment then I can truly get on with my life.  At the moment I feel restrained.

Then I read a letter that Burton Cummings of band The Guess Who wrote and published.  In it he talks about all the negative issues that are happening world wide.  He talks about his mother’s passing and laying her to rest and perhaps looking at his own mortality.

It had an impact and I replied. Whether he will see the response or not, I can’t say.  I hope so.  Below is my response.

Burton,

With everything that is going on these days it is easy to feel overwhelmed, defeated.  

Yet I’ve caught glimpses of the beauty of the human spirit, of my true self and that is what drives me forward.  

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Cancer and I have undergone surgery and am now finishing up treatment.  

I have fared exceptionally well.  What I am taking from this experience is the urgency to live my life to its fullest potential.  

I am letting go of ego and inviting love in.  I am sending prayers out to the universe daily with the hope that this little filament of energy will join others and move to shift this world of ours to better place.  

These are little things, I know.  I blog about the need to change how we do business and challenge everyone to re-think profit.  

It starts with each of us.  

I am delighted that you are still singing, Burton.  Music is a balm to so many.  The reason you are so good at what you do is your passion for it.  

You have never lost your love for it, in fact, it has likely increased.  

Hope your solo shows are a fabulous and an intimate  connection for you.  

Change can happen and will.  It won’t be easy to adjust how we function in this world, but it is possible.  And this, I will always believe.

Peace. 

Nancy

And you know, I’m glad I happened upon his letter.  It helped to lift me up and shake some of the agitation and irritability I have been experiencing off.  So I will get on with this and continue to plan and move forward.

At lunch today I commented on how tired I was wearing this wig.  Plaintively I whined with the eloquence of a spoiled child…”It’s itchy, its hot, it always looks the same!”  One of my co-workers smiled and said, “Then take it off.”

Again, a rather insightful moment and as my other co-worker pointed out.  “You are entitled to have a rant or two.”

Indeed.  Most of our conversation was in jest as well.  I am not one to bitch about my lot in life.  And things are getting better and will continue to do so.

I have been quiet this week…but then I don’t want the heaviness I feel at times to weigh on anyone reading my posts.

And with that…I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend.

Namaste.

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Purpose


We all ask the question then spend a lifetime looking for the answer. 

“Why am I here?  What is my purpose?” 

Like the rest of humanity I don’t have a ready answer.  Then I got to thinking, if I did know would that diminish the experience of life? 

Last evening I had a really good run with my group.  Interesting note is that I think I am now seen as being somewhat frail.  Deborah, who is the pace leader for the walk/run group told me we would be doing 1 1/2_3. 1/2 (which means walk for 1 1/2 minutes, run for 3 1/2 minutes).  She asked if this was okay or was it perhaps too much.  I smiled and told her that would be just fine.

I do appreciate the thought and consideration.  I have rolled back the intensity of my workouts and my runs because I feel it is best not to exhaust my system.  I need to conserve my energy yet I also know that by working out and running I am generating energy.  The trick right now is finding the balance that allows the body to remain strong in its fight yet challenge it to a certain degree. 

In the logistics of the universe I am but a little nano spec of cosmic dust, a micro-molecule of energy.  Yet I do have a purpose.  All life does.  Perhaps the purpose is simply the journey itself.  Could it be that simple? 

I like what Chris Hatfield said upon returning to Earth after spending five months on the international space station.  In a nutshell he said he went up as a proud Canadian and came back as a human being. This excited me because I have been turned on to the notion that we need to look past race, colour and creed. 

We are all humans first and foremost.  I know that there have been atrocities done to many cultures.  We can’t change what occurred in the past but hopefully we can all learn from it.  So far that hasn’t happened but I am hopeful.  Still, at some point we need to let the past go and move on from there.  It is a delicate issue. 

Once again I wonder, why I am here.  Can I make a difference in this world, however small?  Can I send all the love I feel within out to the universe with the hopes that it will perhaps sway the pendulum a bit more in our favour.  We are remarkable beings. Complex and confounding at times.  Quite dramatic little pieces of cosmic dust if you think about it.  Capable of so much. 

I have heard the statement that we only use 10% of our brain’s capacity.  That is just part of it though.  I don’t think we use several of our functions to full capacity.  Do we love 100%?  Do we embrace each day fully?  Do we seek knowledge daily? 

Is that the point of this life?  To take the vessel we house and use it as it was meant to be, as it was designed for? 

Kind of like living in a house where you have all the furniture covered in plastic.  Can’t really use it now can you? 

I hope at the end of this life I can look back and know that I made a difference somewhere.  When I become a fading shadow absorbed by the universe around me let me have used this vessel of mine to its capacity. 

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

The Secret?


I had a fabulous run this morning.  I didn’t sleep well but then it seems as of late the battle of wills occurs when I slip into bed.  Then I have to really work to achieve the quiet mind and even once sleep claims me, the fight is carried on into the next stream of consciousness .  Dreams have been reflecting my anxiety regarding these recent rounds of events.  Even though only 4 1/2 hours sleep were attained last evening the need to run and find that connection, an affirmation to the living world held a deeper level of need.

And so as I greeted this day in all its glory I decided to do one of my first routes plotted out when I moved to New Westminster and began running again.  Today’s run was right up there and reminded me why I love to do this.  I got to thinking about many things this morning.

I am excited by the though of how much more energy I will have after the surgery.  I will just soar and I’ve never let myself do that before.  And with that thought I began to contemplate a few things I have been working on over the past few years.  I did a workshop a few years back and one of the exercises was to write for 5 minutes how we would look if we were truly happy and content in our lives.  We had to write down how we would dress, where we would be living, what type of work we would be doing…and we needed to add as much detail as we could.

I wrote furiously and managed about two pages of itemized detail on what ‘happy’ would look like on me.  Next we shared this with the group.  The last part of this exercise was rather telling.  We were asked why were not in the state of happiness that we had just described.

Oh, a plethora of excuses sprang to the surface.  I could easily have bemoaned the circumstances of my life with just cause but then the light bulb really went off.  It was quite simply my attitude that stood in the way of achieving the state that I so wanted to be in.  Change that and just see what comes of it.  I took the bait.

I have read about the Law of Attraction.  I have listened to tapes about secret societies that hold the key to untold wealth and power.  I have researched these secrets  and then I stopped and wondered why I found all of this rather tedious.  In truth, I don’t seek extreme wealth in monetary form.  I have no desire to own an estate on every continent.  I have no need for ten automobiles and a yacht or two.

I would like to be a successful writer and be able to earn a decent living from the proceeds.  And I will realize this.

There is an awful lot of talk about the law of attraction these days.  It started with the book The Secret.  Like many of you, several years ago I purchased it and attempted to apply what it spoke of.  Nothing changed.  Last year I listened to some tapes that stated the powers that be removed the truly beneficial information as they felt ‘threatened’ to some degree on what was being disclosed in this particular book.  Hence, The Secret remains as such.

Then I got to thinking about the whole power thing.  Power is one of the most misunderstood entities on this planet.  Too often it gets confused with control.  Beating the masses back into submission by means of using fear tactics does not grant power to the instigator.

Power is knowledge, it is love, it is selflessness, it is surrender.  Power is standing before this world  in all your vulnerability and accepting it as such.  Power is a quiet force that grows and spreads to like-minded individuals when it is released and shared.  It cannot be coveted and has no monetary value.  It is simple in its subtlety and yet when understanding begins to form you will see it in its honesty.

We talk about the power of natural forces.  Indeed.  Wind is without question a powerful entity.  It can rip down a forest or stir the seas up to boiling.  We are in awe of this, yes?  And we cannot harness its random nature, but we can learn from it.

And so I will continue to grow and find that quiet power within.  I will surrender this to the world, to the universe.  What comes back to me feeds the spirit, feeds the heart.   As this cycle continues, what is received is offered back and so a balance is found.  The life source flows naturally and unimpeded.

Thinking on these books such as The Secret, I liken it to the American Dream. We are all being sold one vision when there is an infinite kaleidoscope of viewpoints to choose from.  You just have to find the one that fits.  I also find it interesting how the introduction to these things starts by having the potential customer being asked to  ‘imagine having wealth beyond your wildest dreams…”

It is a current phenomenon I am sure.  Yet, it’s what we are instructed to go after.  It will make us happy.

This morning I was reminded on my run that I am still very much alive and still very much a part of this world and that made me very happy.  And I am going to allow myself to have this.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day.

Blessings!

In Traing (Day 83)….Just Breathe!


Lions Gate BridgeI did it!  The legs are coming back!  I am feeling so strong right now too.  I rose a little after 6:00 AM this morning and prepared for my run.

As planned I parked my car at English Bay then took a cab to the starting point.  I had wanted to start running around 7:00 AM but it was about 7:50 AM by the time I began.  I was just hoping the legs would feel pretty good and they did.

The emotions that ran through me today were just amazing.  My daughter turns 30 years old tomorrow and I reflected on what has transpired over the span of these last 30 years since I entered into my role as a mother.  It has been one hell of a ride!  Many lessons have been learned along the way.  Some were easier than others.

And as I ran today I completed my longest run to date.  I am stoked.  The emotions that passed through me… the doubt and the resolve and persistence to keep going.  And somewhere in that mix was the belief and wonder that I can still do this.

I thought of where I started with my daughter almost 30 years to the day.  It wasn’t a planned pregnancy and I was on my own.  The fear and the guilt weighed heavy on me.  Was I being selfish?

So many mixed emotions because in truth, I had no clue just what the hell I was doing. One Tree Island

She slept in a laundry basket for the first three weeks of her life as I scrounged around pulling together the basics.  Those nights when I would stare down at this beautiful life that was gifted to me.

Somehow I knew I had to make this work for her.  Somehow I had to correct the dysfunction that revolved around me.  I had been a cloud of ineptitude, a fractured being whose emotional state seemed to be in a constant state of flux.

I begged for love.  Watched it pass me by time and again, but then I didn’t really understand love at all.  I was confused by it.  Afraid of it.  At times I felt its power and then shrank back overwhelmed and unable to open myself completely to its beauty.

And now here I am, blossoming. The heart is opening fully and expanding.Seawall

Sometimes I wonder what it was I feared but when you are told throughout your formative years that you are just not worth it, well, it can do a number on you.

And now I accept that I have done some amazing things in this life!  I have come so far and I have so much more before me.  With each step I took, at times the burden seemed to be too much.   And I would dig a little deeper.  I had to.

And today was no different.  As the legs at times felt like lead weights, I pushed through it.  And when I finished I felt like I could fly.  Along with feeling stronger and having the best run in the last three weeks my confidence soared reassuring me that I will be able to do this.  It may not look the way I initially thought, but isn’t that joy of any journey?

It is a spectacular day outside and I  have a few errands still to do.  Enjoy your day and thank you for stopping by.  Many blessings to all of you!

English Bay

Namaste

 

In Training (Day 34)….Essence


Our favorite day of the week has arrived.  Friday.  That erstwhile day we all get to exhale the week’s worth of stress as it winds down and leads us into the weekend.  Or at least that is kinda, sorta the theory behind it.  I slipped out into the dark of morning for my run with the temperature hovering around zero.  A thick frost was on the cars and rendering the blades of grass motionless and white.  Under the yellow street light the streets glistened like diamonds.

Man, I love running in weather like this.  Stars were peeking out at me and I exaggerated my breath so that it came out in billows of steamy white puffs.  Smiling I greeted the world around me and began my run.  I fell into a rather meditative and contemplative frame of mind today.  One thing I noted is that nothing has ever come easy to me.  Perhaps that is the point.  Perhaps that is why we set challenges for ourselves.  I thought about running, of when I introduced myself to this activity again.

At times the physical pain felt was excruciating.  Yet I didn’t let that stop me.  I accepted that the pain was in some way necessary.  With each level of accomplishment completed I would raise the bar a little higher.  Now I have raised the bar yet again.

I have changed the course of my Friday run a bit.  Now the first third of the run is going up a gradual hill.  I wondered if it is more difficult to go up an incline that is stretched out over several blocks than running up a hill that is steeper, but substantially shorter in distance.  The gradual hill at times feels like it is more challenging.  But in each of the courses there is the point where it levels off.  I don’t have to work so hard now.  The body is warmed up, the pores are open and the breath becomes stable and then the run is just pure bliss.  The hard part has been overcome and now the reward is the freedom I feel in this movement and the place it takes me to.

Last night I met with my writer’s group and had an interesting conversation with a gentleman about religion.  We were discussing our writing projects.  He explained that he was, through his writing project, seeking his essence.  He is of the Islamic faith and when he moved to Canada, a host of things presented themselves causing him to question his place in this world, his existence.

At one point he stated that I had ‘closed the door on religion’ because I related a few incidents in that I found religion to be confining and judgmental.  Now at no time did he ask me what my beliefs were and I did not ask this of him either.  Yet there was this assumption on his part that I was in essence denying a part of myself because I had turned away from religion.  Curious I thought.  I told him that I looked at all religions and noted their similarities rather than their differences.  He liked this statement. The other curious thing in this conversation that stood out was that he referred to God in the masculine the entire time.  I left this alone as well.  In my mind it is irrelevant.

As I was driving home last night it occurred to me as well that he did not ask me if I believed in God or not.  So it was an interesting conversation where subtle assumptions were made.  I enjoy conversations of this nature as I can also reflect on my points.  What I was trying to relay to him was that truth is in fact very subjective.  We do have absolute truths as I have discussed before but if there is one thing I love, it is engaging others opinions regarding this.  It is our humanness that is so unique to each of us that I delight in sharing.

And as I ran through the morning I gazed at the point where the parallel lines of the sidewalk seemed to meet.  It occurred to me that while my eyes tell me they are in fact joined at a certain point, I know this to be untrue.  I know this is just perception and that the lines will in fact never meet.  Yet the eyes see a different reality.

How we interpret information may vary and what we take from it can direct how we live our lives.  At some point though, I think we will all find that absolute truth that we seek, that is our essence.  Perhaps that is the just the simple of joy of being human.  Embracing the journey we have been set upon that will ultimately lead each of us to where it is we need to be.

Happy Friday everyone!