Taking Care


It’s been a while since I’ve had the energy to write a blog post and I thought the reasons why (anxiety/stress/fear/grief) would be a good topic, and how we need to look after ourselves during difficult times.

Maybe you’re one of those people; you know, that person whom everyone else relies upon. The Dependable One. Is this sounding familiar? You are that individual that people turn to when times are tough. Maybe someone has lost a family member, or your neighbour was in an accident and they need your help. Perhaps you have a good friend whose life is full of frustration, and they need someone to really hear and see them. That someone just happens to be YOU.

The thing is, you’re probably going through your own stuff. Maybe you have people in your life that you care about that have addictions. Perhaps there’s an ill family member or your job is dragging you down. It could be a number of issues and situations that cause feelings such as anxiety/stress/fear/grief, or even, anger/depression/hopelessness. All you need to do is pick one.

Thus, along with being there for everyone else, you are dealing with your own shit, too.

This can be difficult because you may not be the kind of person who feels comfortable reaching out for help, for yourself. You may not post about all of your ‘stuff’ on social media. In fact, you could be really quiet about what’s going on in your own life, only sharing with a select few…so not many really know that you’re suffering, too.

During these times, self-care is imperative. Let’s call it emotional health rather than mental health. I don’t really like the term coined by science: mental health as opposed to physical health, because it implies that our brain is separate from our physical bodies. It is not. However, our emotions/feelings are intangible results of situations and, ultimately, our experiences.

We could get into quite the lengthy debate over whether our experiences are stored in our brain, our heart, or our soul. I think all are true. That said, we can’t exactly examine an emotion, touch it, feel it, measure it, in the same we can a physical body part. It’s an invisible energy/force that has a ripple-effect on everything.

So, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of my point. During stressful times where there are elements beyond your control that cause upset, one needs to slow it down and take a little care of both our physical body and emotional wellbeing.

Yet, so few take the time to do this. We’re all caught up in a race to some finish line (possibly death) and not many make time to simply BE STILL and allow emotions to settle down, so we can better serve ourselves. If we can’t serve ourselves, we certainly can’t serve others.

How many times have you heard this phrase uttered by breathless, stressed-out and angry people when told to slow down: “I’ll slow down/sleep when I’m dead!”

People, I have news for you; life doesn’t end when your body is dead and there is no slowing down or sleeping in the Afterlife. But, that’s another blog post so let’s carry on with the presenting theme of this one.

Are you still with me?

Make. Time. For. Your. Self. That is all that is required. Whether it’s meditation, physical exercise, reading a good book or simply going for a walk, in nature – all of it will help you cope.

Take care of your feelings. Let’s dig a little deeper into that sentence.

Caring for your feelings. This would indicate that you have to acknowledge that you’re having some that are causing you problems, in the first place. Then, you have to figure out which one/s they are, and finally why/what is the underlying cause AND (last but not least), care about them.

Drilling down and taking a deep dive into ourselves can be a bit foreboding but once you’ve identified what’s happening, you can move forward with a plan to create a better environment for you to heal and, ultimately, feel better.

Does that make sense?

There are tons of posts about self-care, out there, and I don’t want to get into self-indulgence because this isn’t what I’m writing about. More to the point, I’m writing about holding space for yourself before you hold space for someone else. If we’re not at our best with our own body and spirit, we can’t be our best for someone else’s.

It’s okay to say: No.

Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s simply respecting your own space and creating boundaries. There will be times when you’re overloaded while dealing with your own personal life, that you simply can’t deal with another’s. That’s okay. No one will blame you and if they do, that’s their issue. Let them go; you don’t want these types of people in your life, anyway. They’re draining, and they’ll suck the life out of you.

Creating boundaries doesn’t make you selfish. You’re not a narcissist if you’re giving yourself some consideration, once in a while, instead of always putting everyone else, first.

It doesn’t mean you have to give a play-by-play on Facebook about how/what you’re doing for your self-care. In fact, during this time, I recommend that you stay away from things like Social Media, entirely. There’s a lot of BS on there that we can get all caught up in and let me tell you: things are not always what they seem.

So, what are you going to do to take care of your emotional health? When are you going to start putting up a few boundaries and say no, once in a while, to allow yourself to move through your own stuff?

At what point will you discover you’ve got so little energy that it’s time to S L O W down and make room for some healing?

I’d say the time is now. In this very moment. Just do it. Start the process and watch yourself become a better, healthier/stronger, you.

You can do it. I believe in YOU. xoAnxiety concept word cloud background

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? 
sad woman

Manifesting Part I – Writing a Letter to the Universe


Many moons ago, my then husband had a friend named Joanne. Joanne was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. My ex was half convinced she was a witch (the good kind) and with wild raven tresses that fell to her waist and piercing sky-blue eyes, she looked the part. Joanne was super cool.

She was also very new age and talked a lot about energy, bringing what you want into your life and generally working with the flow of the Universe. She had a beat-up old car that she talked to and several cats.

Once, when Joanne was visiting us (she lived in another city) she started talking about writing letters to the Universe. I asked what that was and she kindly explained it to me

Joanne knew about and was practicing “The Secret” long before someone wrote a book about it. Joanne knew how things worked.

She told me that you are able to bring anything you wish into your life, simply by manifesting it. One of the easiest ways is to write out what you want.

“I call it my letter to the Universe,” she said.

She advised that I write as though the thing that I wanted (perhaps a new career or more money) was happening in the present OR the time frame in which I wanted it to occur. Keep in mind, this was about 15+ years ago… This woman was a metaphysical trailblazer.

For example: One could write that they wanted to bring in a new career in the year 2017 but one had to write as though it has already occurred.

So…

Dear Universe,

It is the first half of 2017 and I am now settling into a wonderful new career. This new job pays me xxx $$ and I have the BEST manager. I only have to commute no further than 20 min. so I am loving sleeping in!

You get the picture.

You could bring in whatever you wanted (within reason) but you needed to be very specific. Also, she warned, be careful what you ask for as you will get it.

The idea is that thoughts are energy. The Universe is energy and is also very literal. If you say: I wish I had more money, this is what you’ll get…a wish that you had more money.

If you focus on negative things like: I am so poor! Well, then, poof!! You’re so poor.

See how this works?

I’ve tested this out many, many times in my life (usually with career moves) and I will say that about 8 times out of 10 – it’s worked. That’s pretty good odds.

The thing one needs to realize is what you WANT isn’t necessarily what you NEED. So – be careful on that. Imagine winning that million bucks and then having all of your friends and family suddenly demanding their share. People you haven’t spoken to in years suddenly crawl out of the woodwork looking for handouts. It could ruin all of your relationships and create havoc in your life.

Manifesting takes practice but it does work. When I write my letter to the Universe, I also say it out loud. Joanne insisted that it HAD to be handwritten. Joanne never saw my handwriting.

So, I neatly create a word doc and rather than type it out a hundred times, I verbalize it. Words are power. Spoken words have more energy than written ones. I have no proof of this but can only go by my personal experiences. Every thought (good or bad intention) is energy you’re releasing. If you wish to handwrite yours, by all means!

Another worthy note is that this is a working document. You can change it and update it, regularly and I advise this. Life changes, your wants and needs change with it. Also, if there are any unknown factors that suddenly come to light, make sure you change things to be realistic.

One can NOT impose their will on someone else. So, no, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to marry Johnny Depp. Sorry.

I’ll get into more techniques, later. In the meantime, give this a try.

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Welcome to My Garden


I imagine the fey playing round in soft swirls of light; a dance among spring petals and fresh-smelling, warm earth.

Let your imagination move a little. Hell, let it FLY and soar into unknown and uncharted air waves and celestial vibrations. Stop and listen for a while. Turn off your daily thoughts of business, coffee, that meeting you’re late for and taking the kids to their soccer practices and…

Just…breathe.

One inhale and exhale at a time.

Take a little ‘me’ time and indulge your senses with playful spirits, faeries, gnomes and elves. Believe (if only for a few moments) that ANYthing is possible.

Go on. I dare ya.

 

Paint the Gardens

Brian’s Blog


I realized that as Bri is no longer with us…he wouldn’t be updating his WordPress account and thus…it’s changed back to a free account.

I’ve linked a few posts to his site and you can’t access them as they are.

So…

If you’re curious about the late, great Bri, this is his blog: https://tradervancouver.wordpress.com/

He was a very talented (genius, I’m told) trend trader as well as a loving p/t dad to a fur kid named: Baxter the basset hound. He was also a plumber, incredible friend, much loved boy-friend and mentor to many.

As well, he was quite the talented writer (one of the many reasons I was crazy about him).

Happy reading. 🙂

Brian with his two favourite things, a cigar and a glass of scotch.IMG_0367