Archive for March, 2013

March 29, 2013

Why I love (northern) B.C. – Curious moose behaviour!

In northern British Columbia, the moose even deliver the mail!

Mailbox attached to a piece of driftwood shaped like a moose head.

March 27, 2013

What we should tell our kids, every day . . .

A wonderful quote from Spanish cellist Pablo Casals:

Each second that we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again.  And what do we teach our children?  We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.  When will we also teach them what they are?  We should say to each of them, “Do you know what you are?  You are a marvel.  You are unique.  In all the world, there is no other child like you. . . . Your legs, your arms, your fingers, the way you move. . . . You have the capacity for anything.  Yes, you are a marvel.”

Every child deserves to hear this, spoken with unrestrained energy and enthusiasm, from an adult in his or her life.  Don’t you think?

March 24, 2013

Love the shadow to love the light

A bit of wisdom from my bag of Yogi Tea:

Love what is ahead by loving what has come before.

To me, this quote suggests that a key to living with contentment — both now and in the future — is the ability to acknowledge and accept all that has happened to you in the past — both the good moments and the bad ones.  “Love what has come before,” even if what has come before is nasty or painful or seems impossible to love.

If your past is anything like mine, it’s no rose garden.  Granted, there have been wonderful moments — plenty of them — but I’ve also experienced difficult and tumultuous times, stormy times filled with hurt and loss, times that have tripped me up, beaten me down and left a few scars to prove it.

Yet if I can learn to love those dark moments as much as I do the light — if I can make peace with them instead of trying to erase them from memory; if I can resolve past hurts and injustices inside myself and then let them go; if I can acknowledge and accept every bit of my past as a vital and worthy part of the person I am now — then I can enter my future with a free and open heart.  I can walk forward unburdened, alive to what is happening around me.  And I can welcome what will come with grace and compassion.

I’m willing to give it a try.  You?

March 18, 2013

Observed on the street: A snowy reminder to “just be”

A message in the snow from a walk I took recently:

Message written in fresh snow: "Smile, it will be OK."

March 15, 2013

“To understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world”

From Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children:
(Note that the grammatical eccentricities are Rushdie’s own!)

I no longer want to be anything except what who I am.  Who what am I?  My answer:  I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me.  I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine.  I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.  Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each “I”, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude.  I repeat for the last time:  to understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world.

March 14, 2013

Of midair leaps and burning bridges

I like this excerpt from “Central American Dreams” by Jennifer Bingham Hull, one of several stories included in the women’s travel anthology Go Your Own Way:  Women Travel the World Solo:

When the sages say, “Jump and the bridge will appear,” they don’t mention the other bridges burned or that moment in mid air . . . . In that space between the familiar and the foreign, you feel like your spirit could blow away with the first wind.

To me, this quote captures that feeling of gut-wrenching uncertainty that follows any major change of direction you make in your life.  When you purposely leap into the unknown, you necessarily close some doors, end some relationships, say “no” to one path or way of being and “yes” to another.  In a sense, there is no going back to where (or how) you were before.  The old ties — the ones that held you down and kept you “secure” for so long — have been cut, and you are now sailing through the air, untethered, unmoored.  Granted, you have before you your vision for the future, for the new life you want to build, but it looks so small and indistinct from where you are now.  Caught in mid-dive between the old and the new, you wonder, “Can I really hit that tiny little target I’m aiming for?  And if I can, is it really big enough to hold me up, to sustain me?  Was I right to leave a life of sharp detail for this fuzzy unknown?”

Temporarily stripped of your context and tumbling outside the bounds of your comfort zone, you might feel fragile, formless and uncertain about the decision you have just taken.

In this period of freefall, surrounded as you are by nothing, remember to do one thing:  wait it out.  Your goals will become clearer the closer to get to reaching them.  Your fears will subside.  And you have with you the one thing that you can truly depend on to get you through this moment — indeed, through anything:  yourself.  Trust yourself, and trust your motivations.  You’ll make it.  You’ll get where you need to go.

March 12, 2013

Why I love (northern) B.C. – Moose on the loose!

Here in northern B.C., moose are everywhere.  I caught this one running through the parkade below the library in my home town:

Silhouette of a running moose painted on a concrete pillar.




March 5, 2013

Why it pays to listen to your heart

Wise words, courtesy of author Paulo Coelho in his excellent novel The Alchemist:

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?”  the boy asked.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

March 2, 2013

In the spin cycle of life, perspective is everything

Thought for the day, courtesy of former U.S. treasurer Ivy Baker Priest:

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.


March 1, 2013

March challenge: Be like a birch tree

The Ukrainian word for the month of March means “birch tree.”

In Celtic culture, the birch tree represents growth, renewal, stability, initiation and adaptability.  According to Avia Venefica on her web site

The birch is highly adaptive and able to sustain harsh conditions with casual indifference.  Proof of this adaptability is seen in its easy and eager ability to repopulate areas damaged by forest fires or clearings.  Bright and beautiful, the birch is a pioneer, courageously taking root and starting anew to revive the landscape where no other would before.

Your challenge this month — should you encounter challenge or harsh conditions in your own life — is to be like the birch tree.  Find ways to adapt to your situation, without fear or favour.  Strive to outlast the storms of adversity with your own flexibility, and lay roots in any new soil (or old ashes) you find before you.  Stand tall and beautiful in your new surroundings, whether you asked for them or not, and extend your branches up to the sun.  Like the birch tree, you can thrive here.  You can thrive anywhere.  Thrive, shine and grow.