‘Tis the Season


Every December, I marvel at how on earth it got to be ‘December’ so quickly. Suddenly Christmas is sneaking up on us and then, another New Year. As busy adults, the years fly by at a reckless pace.

At least, it seems that way. We prioritize, summarize, organize and generalize. It can be the same story every year at this time but does it have to be? It used to be for me; I’d race through December tripping over myself and come barreling through into the next year; ready or not, there I’d go!

This year is different. I’m giving myself space and permission to just be in the moment and doing whatever I can to incorporate healing from within, during this busy time. I’m thinking a lot about my worries: an elderly mother with cancer, a sibling with addictions and unemployment, and of course, remembering Brian (he’d have turned 49 on Dec. 23rd…the same age I was when we met). I’m giving extra care to my current partner and we’ve not only solidified our relationship by purchasing a home, together, but we’ve brought a new pet into our lives.

Where there were three, now there are four. We feel more complete.

This year feels different and slower than usual. In fact, it feels more normal, as in, this is how it should be, not some race to an imaginary finish line.

I remember when I was a kid and had such mixed emotions about Christmas. I’d be excited about presents and family gatherings at my Grandparents home, around the corner from where we lived. Then I’d be worried sick that my father would get drunk and Mr. Hide would show up, turning an otherwise fun event into something dark, angry, embarrassing and sad.

Now, Christmas is about sharing, giving, expressing, feeling and letting go. It’s friends and family, being kind to strangers and remembering to listen to our hearts rather than race around inside our heads.

Let’s take a moment and remember who we are and why we’re here. Before this year is over, let’s be grateful for everything – good and bad, blissful and painful. Remember, you’ve learned from everything.

I ask this of you: for the next two weeks live in your heart and higher self. Be generous, warm and kind. We all live many lives but we only have ONE experience of THIS life.

Make it a good one.

A beautiful Holiday Season to all. Let 2018 in with love, grace and joy.

Christmas Blog post

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There’s been a lot of writing, lately about calling ourselves this and that – of lives that matter, the privilege of being White and of course, racism. While all of these are real and human and sometimes ugly, I’d like to look at things a little differently. I’d like for us to remember who we really are.

Who/what – we really are, past our human Ego, past our human bodies and beyond this 3D seemingly solid world we live on.

Let’s take a step back.

We’re not gay or straight or black or white or brown or red. We’re bodies and we all have one. We’re not bi or male, transgender or female, we’re human beings. We were all made in the same way.

We’re not Christian or Muslim. We’re not American or Chinese, Italian or Australian. We’re Earthlings. This is the place we call home, the ONLY place these bodies come from.

Let’s take a step back.

We are souls. We are choosing to have a human experience. We’re here to learn and grow, about everything. Every. Thing.

We are not individuals; there is no US or THEM. We are connected to each and every single life form and then we’re connected to this planet, and of course, each other. We are all part of this little world and if we kill it, our bodies die with it. Why would we cut off our own legs in spite of our arms ? Because, this is what we are doing.

Let’s take a step back.

We are energy. We are all part a Universe and beyond, that, which is all made up of nothing but Energy. Some call this Source. Many call it GOD.

Let’s take a step back.

You are me and I am you. We are all one thing; we are all ONE. Why are you despising YOU? Why are we pointing fingers that, in actuality, are at ourselves? Think about that. Really, THINK. We’re all ONE, take your ears and eyes and beliefs away and what do you have? We have humanity, we have a consciousness, we have an energy being that’s part of all the other energy that’s around us. Part. Of. Not separate.

Let’s take a step back and shed the labels of you’re this and I’m that. Let’s go beyond a body, a faith, a sex, a country, a colour, a belief and this world. Let us see ourselves; see YOURself …for the first time.

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Working Through Anxiety


I have it and always have. I remember getting migraines as a child brought on by anxiety when my parents were screaming at each other nearly every weekend. I’d complain that my head hurt (it really did) and was taken to the eye doctor, the regular doctor and various specialists. I had all sorts of tests done and in the end my parents were told that I ‘just wanted attention’ and was making it all up.

This was the 1970’s; no one thought to look into the social dynamics of my dysfunctional family and ask questions and if they had I wouldn’t have said a word, anyway, for fear of being beaten within an inch of my life. One of my father’s favourite threats was: “I’m gonna knock your teeth out!” English not being his first language, it came out: “teet” rather than “teeth”. I’ve never forgotten that and he’s been dead 28-years.

That was my childhood. As I got older, anxiety lead to panic attacks but surprisingly not until I was an adult. I didn’t have them often but when I did, it was full blown I-think-I’m-having-a-heart-attack episodes. If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you’ll know what I mean: difficulty breathing and catching your breath, pain in your chest, shaking, sweating and feelings of utter chaos. Your heart races and your mind keeps up; they end up doing endless 100-meter laps with your thoughts in tow until you’re able to release it and start to calm down.

It doesn’t last forever, but when you’re in the thick of it, it seems you’re either going to pass out, whither and die on the spot, or explode.

Although it’s been a few years since I had a heart-racing panic-attack (the last time was when Brian took his life) I’ve had other anxiety-related issues: lack of sleep, terrible dreams, worry to the point of being ridiculous and being very irritable.

So what’s the magic formula? How does one cope with the escalating madness in the world – both in your own and on the outside where you have little to no control? How do you handle stress from work, family – demands upon your time, illnesses, finances and then contend with our Southern neighbours worst mass murder in their history?

If you’re sensitive like me, and are prone to anxiousness, it’s no easy feat.

You may find that people around you tell you to: calm down/get over it/take it easy/relax etc. None of these help, by the way, but there are a few things you can do for yourself.

  1. Breathe. Concentrating on just breathing keeps you grounded in the moment and helps calm you in the gentlest way.
  2. Take a walk in nature. The energy of plants and water is incredibly calming and healing. Make sure you are by yourself and with no distractions and simply ‘be’ with the beauty. The forests, oceans, fields, rivers and lakes have amazing healing energy. You’ll understand better when you immerse yourself in it.
  3. Pets and animals. If you have a pet or two, spend some time with Fluffy. Animals are very psychic and pick up on our emotions. You may have noticed that when you’re feeling down or anxious, the family pet seems to gravitate towards you with extra cuddles and affection. This isn’t a coincidence. Their energy will always help make you feel better. There’s a reason why trained animals are used as helpers. There are psychiatric service dogs, comfort pets and companion animals. All make a huge difference.

Lastly, there is professional help. Counsellors, Coaches, Psychologists and Psychiatrists are trained to help you maneuver through your anxiety with a variety of tools.

Take care of yourself and be gentle. You matter and there are people out there who ‘get it’ and understand what you’re feeling.

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Cancer


Today I learned that my mother has it. And it’s not the first time she was told she had breast cancer, but the previous time…her doctor spoke out of turn before he had the results back. He was wrong. Then, she was fine.

It was about 14-years ago and I remember panicking. I turned down a job, packed up all my stuff in another Province, left my boyfriend and came back to British Columbia, tout de suite. But this time… this time, it’s real.

I’ve had one parent leave this world because of it, already, and I’ve had my best friend beat it in the bravest and humblest of ways.

Mom’s prognosis is really good which I’m eternally grateful for but there’s that conniving little voice whispering in my ear: “Yeah, but…she is 81, Carrie, and it’s spread to some of her lymph nodes; if I were you, I’d be very worried. I think you should let this flood your brain with ‘what if’s’, panic (at least a little) and make sure you get even less sleep than you do because that’s the right thing to do. If you don’t, you’re a bad child.”

Yup, that little voice is an asshole, for sure.

Part of me wants to give in but a larger part of me says: No. It will be what it will be and as it should be. It’s not my call and all the worrying panicking and lost sleep in the world isn’t going to change the outcome.

So I’ll let her be strong (she likes to call herself a Pit Bull with lipstick). I’ll let her lead the way in how she wants to be treated and helped. I’ll probably call more and such but I’m not going to treat her as if she’s going to drop dead, tomorrow; she’d be super angry if I did. I’ll say it again: Pit Bull wearing pink choral-shaded lipstick. She never sets foot outside without it. Seriously, you do not want to piss this woman off.

If I were my own Coach, I’d ask myself how I’m feeling about all of this. I’d ask how I planned to move through my days with this new information and I’d ask how I was going to take care of myself so that I can make sure I’m there for her 1000%.

It’s an interesting place to be – holding space for myself and flip-flopping back and forth until something makes sense and I balance myself out.

Despite all of my spirituality and coaching ability, we are only human, after all. I’ve long ago prepared myself for her eventual move into the afterlife – we all will get there, but it’s not wanting anyone to suffer if this is what turns out to be her exit plan. My father suffered a LOT. I don’t wish that on anyone.

That said, all could be well and she could carry on being the tough old lady she is for many years to come.

It’s not for me to know at this point.

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The Letter


A while ago, I took a little writing course. One of the exercises I had to do was write a letter to myself (from my future self), one that I’d read, back in time. Of course, I had to choose the most difficult day of my entire life to send this letter to: the day after Brian took his life. 
I found this exercise most powerful and healing. I will incorporate this into my Coaching sessions as I think it’s valuable to people. 
Feel free to give it a try. 

May 11, 2017

Hello me,

It’s me…

You’re reading this the day after that really bad thing happened (May 12, 2015). That’s what we (as in- you and I) ended up calling it. Sometimes we simply can’t bear to speak it out loud. It’s been two years. In fact, today is the 2nd anniversary of his death.

I know you’re in shock. I know this is the very worst thing that has every happened in your life. We both know there have been a lot of very bad things – this one tops all of them. I believe with all my heart we will never have to deal with anything this terrible, ever again. That’s a good thing because I don’t think you/we could survive it.

Right this moment, you’re torn apart and your heart just went through a rusty shredder. It’s been hurled all over the place, bits and pieces of bleeding muscle and everything is soaked in your tears. The very sky is dripping with sadness in spite of it’s perfect spring-blue. The cherry trees are still blooming and a warm west wind blows in to ripple the Pacific, but all you see is black.

I want to explain a few things to you so that eventually, you can take back something that you had so strongly before this happened: Hope.

Our love for him was enormous, vividly deep and hope was our wings; we defied everything. We felt it would carry us and him through those dark and inky days. We were wrong about that because it was never our choice. It was always his.

I need you to know that hope lives on and that this pain will ebb back into that depthless sea from which it came. Like a shadow moving through the light, it will take on many forms, grow, recede and finally it will only follow you around, a ghost, catching your attention, now and then, instead of staring you right in the face as it’s doing now – screaming that this CAN’T be true, there MUST be some sort of mistake because Brian CAN NOT be dead.

You’ll eventually come to terms with this and please know that he is here, always with you, always sending you signs and he hasn’t stopped. He won’t unless you ask him to.

I want you to understand that we made it through the fire. Oh yes, we walked right on through the centre of agony and didn’t stop. We just kept on moving forward even though it was excruciating and when we emerged, black and scorched, we turned back to look but the fire was gone. We’d used it all up, consumed it in our grief. There was nothing left but our smoking footprints to show us where we’d been.

We’d made it.

YOU, will make it. You HAVE made it and even though there are moments when you are raw again, broken apart and the tears flow like muddy rivers…you never let go of that hope. It carries you, it cradles you and now it leads you to where you’ve always needed to be.

So, cry and sob and be angry. Scream, weep softly and know you loved like you’ve never loved in your life. Remember him. Speak his name, often. He’s around and you can feel him in the stillness of the morning, just before the birdsong, moments before the first rays of dawn and seconds after the darkest part of the night.

Hello me…it’s me. Today is the first day that he’s gone – really gone… you feel as if you, too, may leave this world from your torn apart heart. You won’t. You’re still here, better than ever. Hope, your love, his love, all that brought you here and all those days yet to be born, are waiting just for you.

So…what would you say to your past self if you could send a letter from the future? 
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Moving in the Right Direction


So, I’ve decided to add to my education and take a counselling course that is offered by the same College as where I did my Life Coaching. It would allow me to get a diploma in Life Coaching – adding to the certificate that I already have.

Also, just as a dentist needs to see another dentist (every 6 months or so…) so does a Medium need to seek out other Mediums. It’s always good to get another’s perspective on things that our Ego can get in the way of. I have one that’s fantastic and we’re good friends, too.

It was suggested that I merge my Life Coaching with my Intuitive practice rather than offer them separately so…

Voila!

I’m going to do just that but I’m deciding on the packaging and packages that make the most sense to someone that would like to engage with a Life Coach and receive intuitive counselling at the same time.

Thoughts? I’m all ears (and eyeballs).

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Trust


Trust is an interesting word, don’t you think? You can have this firm belief in the reliability of someone or something – but where does it come from? Are we naturally born with this ability or do we develop it as we grow?

Some give it away freely and expect nothing in return; an act of good faith. To them it’s nothing to have an open-heart and believe that everyone and in every circumstance around them will act accordingly.

Others believe it needs to be earned; you need to be willing to prove yourself before you can be found worthy of such a thing. I’ll give you this trust thing but first you must convince me, in some way, that I won’t regret it.

One of the things I learned to do (as trust didn’t come naturally to me) was to offer up this trust to any new relationship. If the topic came up, I would say something like:

“I offer you one cup of trust and one cup of respect. It’s up to you what you do with it. If you keep those two cups filled, that’s great…but if you empty them out – either a little at time or all at once, it’s up to YOU to replace it.”

I always thought that was pretty fair, right? Yet, is it? After all, if they prove untrustworthy, isn’t it up to me to walk away or decide to live with how that affects me? If someone has done something to lose my trust – that’s my issue as I’m the one who ultimately decided to trust in the first place. That doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook, it just means that I can choose not to trust them any longer or even walk away entirely. They don’t have to do anything – unless it bothers them that they are not trusted. In that case, they can choose to take action by either convincing me that they will be trustworthy the next time by doing something (an action) that would make me change my mind – thus ‘earning’ my trust once again.

I truly believe by nature we are trusting entities; do we even have a choice? As infants, we are at the mercy of our caregivers as we come into the world completely vulnerable and unable to take care of ourselves. Then…somewhere along the way, something happens and we lost trust or faith in how we think life should unfold or people should behave. How does one warm up to trusting after trust has been broken?

What would you do if someone lost your trust and are you someone who offers trust openly?

Building up trust concept: Black alphabetic letters forming the