The Great Reset

Happy New Year

Time to reset the clock in a forward direction

It’s December 31, 2021. Happy New Year! What a year it has been for me and I am sure you can say the same?

I have been gathering a collection of thoughts, reflections on how this 2021 experience has affected the world. Now, more than ever, there seems to be a collective consciousness that can no longer be suppressed. Many voices are standing up and daring to be heard. I have watched thousands of friends, neighbors, strangers and influencers have epiphanies on what they value and  assess how they are living their lives. What was once worth sacrificing everything for has become meaningless.

There is a ton of information on what is meant by “The Great Reset”.  Some think it’s a shift away from materialism to minimalism. Others have linked it to an awakening of the population to what is really happening to our world and our way of life. However you look at this concept, you would have to have been living under a rock not to have heard about it.

The veil of needing stuff, status and wealth to feel satisfied doesn’t stand up to scrutiny anymore. There has to be more to it than that doesn’t there? 

After the euphoria of being “free”- no job and no responsibilities has worn off the practicality of how you are going to sustain your lifestyle into the future emerges. It’s all great to say that you are free to follow your passions and start living your dreams. It’s quite a reality check to understand if that is even possible given the current climate of economics, travel and unrest.

I heard an interesting quote about western society from an European perspective. In our culture we live to work where in Europe they work to live. I witnessed the cultural differences in Rome, where trying to find an open restaurant was virtually impossible before 3 pm. I worked hard so I could take numerous vacations, buy nice stuff and enjoy a privileged lifestyle. So I worked to live right? Not quite. I belief it’s about finding a way to live and work that you can sustain. We are living longer therefore we have to get creative about how we maintain our quality of life.

What I am learning is that my “all or nothing” mindset has left me with a glass half empty attitude sometimes. 

I can be a pretty intense person to be around. I take a lot of things people say literally. If you say you don’t like someone or something I take you at your word. If you say you can’t afford to do something I believe you even to the point of helping you pay for it, if I feel that strongly about it.

I have had an innate need to fix things for others. To overcompensate for what I believe to be smoothed over by my help or intervention. What I am realizing is that it was my way of distraction. If I spent my time worrying about your stuff I wouldn’t have to face my own stuff.

This last year has been mostly about me. A discovery of who I am apart from my work title, spouse, mother, friend or caretaker. 

There is an exercise we did at the ashram that involved a series of meditations to reveal our Life Seals. Symbols that are unique to our unconscious existence. The process was to bring those images to the conscious surface to help understand our cores. Some of the flow was easy to understand and find correlation to. Others were a bit harder. I struggled with separating my mind from my essence. How is my essence different from my soul or inner witness? Are they different or one in the same? 

Where am I going with this?

I have lined up on the screen questions to ask myself as I think about this last year and what I want for 2022. I want to share those questions with you as we all think about the coming year.

  1. What have I come to value now that I didn’t before?
  2. How am I going to maintain, nourish and grow my essence in the coming year?
  3. Do I see work as something to foster my life or something to replace my life?
  4. Can I have my cake and eat it too? Find work that has meaning while staying passionate about lifelong learning and helping others.
  5. How do I reset my clock for the coming year?

It’s not that I didn’t value time spent off grid before, I know now that those moments are the ones I reflect and cherish the most. The adventures in the van, the traveling with loved ones and friends, the ashram experience, hiking in the mountains and trails have been my happy places. I do admit though, I have missed being with industry peers. I have periodically peeked in on what’s happening in the learning industry during the pandemic. I am passionate about the exploration of how skills and knowledge can be reshaped. I am nervous about the fact I have been away from the industry for over a year. Do I still have anything to contribute of value? I won’t know until I walk into the field and see what has been growing there in my absence. What I value now is a sense of contribution to the community. My mantra to maintain me through 2022 is “how am I sustaining value here?”. I can use this in any reference whether it’s in my own life, relating to work, this blog, our podcasts, my footprint socially, economically, within the environment and with the development of the human race.

How do I reset my clock for the coming year?

The question is easy and yet complicated. Easy in the physical sense by action oriented tasks. Keep up with a healthy body through exercise and nutritious food choices. Sustain a curious and clutter free mind through meditation, yoga and self care. Be mindful of where you came from and where you are going. Remember the pauses as they are key to intentional course corrections when you doubt you are going in the right direction. Stay grateful for everything you have been given. It’s an imperfect, perfect life. To have the awareness and sense of need or desire to reset is a gift. To open the gift and take it out of its wrapping to get a true sense of it’s value takes courage and determination. We are lucky to receive this gift every year at this time. We celebrate and look forward to the possibilities as we say “goodbye” to the past.

I hope 2022 is full of life, love, curiosity and adventure for you and yours.

Cheers to “The Great Reset”

Namaste and light

On the Cusp

Here we are – New Year’s Eve 2021 – the cusp of a new year. For me, that’s only one.

I’m on the cusp of a new job. I start on Monday. A year ago, I was in the same position – starting a new role in January. It was never my intention to leave it so soon but, when the Universe hands you a dream job, well… what can I say? I wasn’t actively looking for work, it just kind of happened. I like to think of it as the Universe’s gift to me for all I went through last year.

I’m on the cusp of a new relationship with my son. While I was in Mexico, he stayed at my place with his dog to get out of the house. He’s never left. He’s chosen to live with me full-time. Even though “Mom” requires him to help with the housework, he has a much smaller bedroom, and he needs to cook the occasional meal, he’s happier here. His anxiety is non-existent and he no longer has a variety of aches and pains in this body. I knew my relationship with my ex was toxic for me; turns out it was toxic for him after I left.

He doesn’t spend all his time in his room anymore. Partly, I think, because I have a firm “only water upstairs” rule, so he needs to come downstairs to eat. 🙂 It’s giving us time to talk and get to know each other as adults. It’s a tough transition at times. In my heart, he’s always my little boy. I’m starting to reframe my thinking to see the young man before me. For him, he starting to see “mom” as her own person – who she is outside of the role of “mom” and “wife”. As much as I thought we could never live together harmoniously, I find I quite enjoy his company.

I’m on the cusp of a home renovation. I have an empty room downstairs that’s currently being used for storage and laundry. It’s going to become a bedroom with a 3/4 bath for my son. I’ve never undertaken a project like this on my own. All the decisions (and the expense!) will be mine. I’m currently at the stage of choosing a contractor.

I’m trying to think of anything else I’m undertaking at the moment. I think that’s it.

There’s excitement being on the verge of something. After so many endings in 2021, I suppose it’s only natural to be faced with beginnings for 2022. My corporate mind goes to Tuckmans’ Stages of Group Development – storming, forming, norming, performing. I feel it applies to individuals, too.

2020 was my year of storming. 2021 saw me forming and norming. For 2022, I am on the cusp of continuing to find my norm and truly start to perform.

Tadasana, I Am Firm, I Am Still

Me in the desert of the Atlas Mountains in Morroco.

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, focusing inward on the spot between your brows. Spine erect while you line up your vertebrae one plate at a time until you come back to the space occupied by your third eye. Hands lay open at your sides, palms face forward inviting the light and energy to merge with you. 

Can you calm the mind long enough to feel the ascent into the clouds? As I do the pose I have help. I am listening to the mantra Hari Om on repeat. It helps with the concentration and release of tension. My body is eager to move. The stance triggers a memory response to start sun salutation flows, plank, cobra and downward facing dog. I resist a bit longer and focus on my breath.

Can I become a mountain? Do I desire to voluntarily stay put? Hmmm

Do mountains move ever? Of course they do. History is full of geological graphs showing the migration of large masses of rock from one location to another quite far away.

As I stand in mountain pose I sense the rock chips breaking away subtle at first then becoming more frequent. Thoughts collect to form solid matter and I think I can find stable ground and stance that will connect me to the earth beneath my feet. Can I sort through the rubble enough to arrange the scattered material into a foundation then add enough mortar to keep it stuck together?

What makes the mass crumble? I have watched avalanches from a safe distance, even seen some snow slides too close for comfort. I have been in flash floods that have moved the rocks beneath my feet on mountain sides and tested my skills to find purchase on a loose shale path. It’s a slippery slope when the material under your feet isn’t stable. I have fallen, even hurt myself and yet I am still willing and able to go back up and try again. I am determined or maybe just stubborn…lol.

Being a mountain can be a lonely choice of states. You may be part of a family of like minds such as a rocky range that traverses as far as the eye can see or you may have to stand out alone. Other beings depend on you for their existence and shelter. You can be covered in stuff put their by others such as plants and animals or thoughts and ideals you don’t own. Liquid flows around you, through you and sometimes even breaks you in half. It’s good to note the most harmless things like water can erode your foundations over time and yet is essential to yours and others existence. What comes to erode you that you may want to divert or eliminate? What helps you to grow strong and healthy be it mineral or mentally?

I hold the pose a bit longer. What am I trying to avoid facing by moving on or away from this place of stability and solitude? I do have an insistent desire to take flight, go anywhere most of the time. To keep moving. While in the pose I do feel a sense of calmness that replaces the anxiety.

Do I like being alone? I don’t hate it. I get my energy from the time spent in my own company doing things I love to do or doing nothing but standing on a mountain in Mountain Pose. We are made of compressed things forced together over time. The matter that forms us. Sound familiar? We have more in common with mountain masses than you may think. Sometimes we find ourselves up high on a ledge wondering how we got this point without awareness? At the peak we need to decide which directions to go from there. Often we get to the top of our goals only to discover that all we have reached are plateaus or a false summit. Just a ladder top that you can see multiple ladders in the distance waiting for you to discover their existence. Are they worth dying on or are we missing the point of the climb?

My mind wanders as I hold the pose a bit longer. My eyes are closed and my breathing has become deep and peaceful. I am sinking further into the mist. A vision pops up in my head, at first I brush it away then decide to let it come. 

I am back in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. I have awoken to the sound of the wind whipping through our tent. My bed is right by the door which is now ajar. It’s not quite morning but I am awake so I decide to get up and make my way towards the dunes. The predawn shed enough light for me to find my way. I pass the camels that have been hobbled in between the sand hills and push upward to the top of a rocky peak. I look out over the range and decide this must be what they mean by the place that heaven meets the earth.

I can see myself standing there in Mountain Pose. I can sense the pressure changing as the sky starts to illuminate. I have chosen an elevated spot to witness the beauty of the day as it begins.

I feel extremely connected to the universe when I occupy the mountain pose. I wonder why that is and then seem to understand the connection. The quiet solitude that comes from the stance. The sense of peering outward while planted on top of the world. Connected to everything yet a recognition of being alone.


Looking in the Review Mirror…Part 2

Yesterday, I responded to two of the the “10 Questions to Process Before you Wrap up 2021” posed by Nedra Tawwab on her Instagram feed. Today, I’m going to look at the next three.

What do I need to accept about myself and the other people in my life?

  • We’re all doing our best. Sometimes it may not feel like it and I need to accept it’s my best at the time. I need to accept that others are doing their best, even if it doesn’t look that way to me because, like me, it’s their best at the time.
  • I need to accept that it’s OK to lean on other people. I pride myself on being independent. Others see me as a strong, confident woman. In many ways, I have a toddler’s attitude of “I can do it myself!” This past year has shown me it’s OK to ask for help – whether it’s to move furniture or cry on a shoulder.
  • Similarly, I need to accept that others want to help. The people in my life support me. They’re here for the good and the bad. Just as I want to be there for them, they want to be here for me.
  • 2021 taught my life is never what I expect it to be. When it started, I had no idea I’d be buying my own condo and rehoming my dog. Yet, here I am – on my own and dogless. I need to accept the adage, “The only certainties in life are death and taxes”.

How did I cope with uncomfortable feelings?

There were SO many uncomfortable feelings in 2021. There was the end of my marriage, moving out, buying a new home, no longer being Dad’s caregiver and his decision to move into assisted living, realizing I spent the last 10 years with a narcissist…it was quite a year.

  • I cried.
  • I talked things through with, and sought advice from, my partner and my friends.
  • I read blogs and listened to podcasts.
  • I journalled.
  • I went back to the gym when Covid rules relaxed
  • I sat with the feelings and thought about the possible root cause. I knew if I could figure it out, I’d be able to work through the feeling.
  • I worked with a psychologist and started EMDR therapy.

How can I better manage my reaction to my feelings?

  • I can start by recognizing the triggers that cause a reaction. This has been the focus of the work I’m doing with my psychologist.
  • I can accept it’s OK to have feelings of joy, anger, grief and that these feelings are valid. There’s no need to repress them and pretend everything is OK.
  • I can examine the cause of the feelings. Are they a result of my personal values?…memories?…experiences? What can I do more of (for positive feelings) or differently (for negative feelings)?
  • I can give myself a time-out if my feelings start to cause I reaction I’m not ready or able to control.

This blog took a long time to write. There was a great deal of writing and rewriting as I processed the questions. I don’t think I’m done with them. I feel them working their way into my head and I know I’ll be revisiting them over the next few weeks. I expect that’s part of the exercise Ms. Tawwab has posed. 🙂

Looking in the Review Mirror…Part 1

I’ve been following quite a few therapist-type people on Instagram this past year. One of the people I follow is Nadra Tawwab (@nedratawwab). Last week, she posted “10 Questions to Process Before You Wrap Up 2021”. I thought I’d consider her questions in our blog.

“What did 2021 teach me about myself?”

It taught me:

  • I am incredibly resilient. Life handed me quite a few lemons, and I continuously made lemonade.
  • Related to above, I can handle a great deal of change.
  • I am able to take care of myself – emotionally, spiritually, financially
  • I’m not afraid to ask for help. Sometimes it was answered, other times it wasn’t. Either way, I didn’t try to do everything myself.
  • I value alone time. I love to socialize, but I need to recharge on my own. It was wonderful to have a place of my own where I could have quiet.
  • I don’t really know who I am. For so long, I was a wife, mother, and caregiver. With those roles no longer my focus, I was at a loss. Who am I if I don’t apply a label? What makes my heart sing? These questions no longer unsettle me. I see answering them as a journey that will extend into 2022.
  • I have a tremendous network of support. I knew this, but it was a good reminder. I have friends who love me.

“Who showed up for me, and how can I nurture those relationships?”

I promise, I didn’t think of this question with the last bullet point above!

Many friends showed up for me – some in person, some via video messaging, some via text. In no particular order:

  • Vanessa and Selena – my co-blogger and co-podcasters. These women keep things real for me. They celebrate with me, support me, and call my out on my bullshit when needed.
  • Lana and Derek – my former neighbours and very good friends. I used to live across the street from them and our boys grew up together. They have always gone above and beyond. It was harder to move away from them than from my ex-husband!
  • Martin – boyfriend extraordinaire. His belief in my ability to become my best self is unwavering.
  • Nathan – my son – a self-proclaimed “momma’s boy”. 🙂 He’s been busy starting to live his own life, but still finds time to talk to his mom.
  • My dad – he’s always believed in me. All he’s ever wanted is for me to be happy and he supports whatever makes that happen.

There are so many more; too many to list.

How can I nurture these relationships?

Keep being me. All the people in my life are here for a reason. Just as I see something that draws me to them, they see something in me. The best thing I can do is continue to be my honest, authentic, caring self who makes time for the people important to me.

There are 8 more questions. I’ll get to them all eventually. 🙂

So Long, Playa del Carmen

You may have noticed Vanessa has been busy blogging the past few weeks while I’ve been absent. That’s because Martin and I were in Playa del Carmen for two weeks.

It was the first “real” vacation we have taken. Sure, we’ve gone camping for a few days and we’ve visited each of our ‘home’ cities, but this was the first time we were heading out of country together.

I have to admit, I was slightly concerned. With Martin’s work schedule, he and I haven’t spent more than 10 days together since we met two years ago – now we were looking at three weeks together, two of them in Mexico. Just him and me – no distractions – only each other. Add to this, Martin has a stronger than average need for solitude given his introverted nature. How were we going to manage?

Turns out, we managed very well. We got through airport madness, resort construction, street vendors, getting lost when we tried to find Walmart, and COVID tests intact. We fell into a routine where he’d get up before me and get our lounge chairs for the day. He had a couple of hours to himself before I joined him. We’d have breakfast together and then go to our loungers where he’d read stock market news and I’d read a book or play “Plants vs. Zombies” on my iPad. I’d go to the gym (he joined me a couple of times) or join in on water volleyball and water aerobics classes while he suntanned. Sometimes, we’d snorkel in front of the resort. Then, we’d relax on our room’s deck and have dinner together. Some evenings, we’d walk into the city or watch the evening entertainment. Other nights, we’d go back to our room to relax.

It was a perfect vacation. Our goal was to get somewhere warm, near the ocean, and relax. We didn’t book any excursions, though we did go over to Cozumel for a day. We’d be in bed by 10:00 Calgary time, and sleep soundly through the night. We didn’t realize how exhausting it was to do so little!

It was a wonderful way to end 2021. With everything that happened throughout the year, getting a chance to spend so much quality time with him was exactly what I needed. I think it was what he needed, too. He hadn’t had time off since March of 2020.

As I said good-bye when I dropped him off at the airport last night, he gave me a big hug and said “I’m actually going to miss you.” I laughed. I knew what he meant. I’ll miss him, too.


Sometimes the lines are clearly marked to indicate which spaces are within a game to play and which are not. The rules of engagement are decided upon prior to the activity commencement. Everyone understands how to achieve the goal, in this case, be the last person standing that hasn’t been plowed by the ball.

I remember physEd and the eventual assembling of the teams to play. Back then we were less politically correct and called it “murder ball”.  The object of the game was to hit your opponents as hard as you could to leave a welt on the side of their leg. Kids can be pretty mean when they are left without supervision to set their own boundaries. I digress with my childhood memories of trauma in the gym. The point is still relevant though. As kids we test boundaries. It’s part of a natural curiosity and establishes an understanding of how far we can go without crossing lines. As we get older, we take those lessons into our relationships, careers and expand our domains. If we have learned healthy ways to deal with the balance of give and take we thrive with hopefully fewer people who want to leave welts on our psyche. I am under the impression that there are quite a number of us who perhaps didn’t have the most positive examples to learn these valuable applications from. The world appears to be in a state of dodgeball.

The point I am trying to make is about boundaries, not necessarily the game of dodgeball. We do play quite a bit of dodgeball as adults. We test our level of mental toughness while we decide which lines we want to draw and which we want to cross or erase. Lots of opportunities to make ourselves vulnerable to potential hits if we don’t set clear expectations or learn to communicate our feelings and wishes in a way that lets others know what we are willing to risk in order to survive. 

Like the game, the number of participants declines in our own personal spaces as we get older and more ingrained in our thinking and habits. Can you list your non-negotiable boundaries? For me, I can think of some that are easy to share: You can’t smoke in my house, I don’t tolerate physical violence. Those I can say with confidence to anyone.

 Some get a bit trickier though. I don’t smoke but on occasion I have been known to smoke a cigar with a good glass of whisky. I don’t tolerate violence but I do believe in defending yourself and those you love. See what I mean? We are already blurring the lines of established markers.

I believe in freedom of speech and expression. Where do you draw this line though when these days everything you say and do is up for discussion and review? Can you safely have an opinion without feeling like you have to defend your constitutional right to choose what you put in your body and what you don’t? Oh, I am sure that hits a few nerves in this politically charged arena we now all live in as teams get selected and filtered.

I have been watching and reading about varied opinions of our current political and social consciousness. Where have our boundaries gone? I no longer have confidence that I understand the rules of the game. As I try to sort out my own personal feelings in how I conduct myself, communicate intimately and more universally I find that I am more inclined to self censor. When did that happen? I have never been that outspoken as to join protesters marching for a cause. I have participated in passive activities like running for cancer funds or canvasing for charities. I am a lover not a fighter…that folks is another boundary…lol.

I hope you get what I am trying to say here? It seems harder and harder to stand firm in beliefs that no longer seem to hold elements of truth and compassion for others. In this big “Dodgeball” game we find ourselves now embroiled in, I am looking to see which side I am on. Do I need to pick a side or can I just sit on the bleachers? Do I have a choice? I think I do and yet choices seem to be setting more and more lines around us. It’s a curious situation don’t you think?

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Hatha Yoga Hidden Language

fit woman doing eagle pose
Photo by Miriam Alonso on

I felt drawn to practice the Eagle Pose today. The twisting into a perch that requires the body to lower into a center of gravity while you maintain a balance on one firmly planted foot. Right arm over the left weaving around each other to flare at the elbows like winged hinges. Hands come together in prayer pose. I sometimes flex the fingers out like rutter feathers before deepening into the stance. Right leg over the left with a move into a controlled sense of balance and centering. I feel my ribs expand with air as my back spreads out like giant wings.

Ah, it feels good to wring out the tension as the body gives and stretches. Shift the movements to the opposite leg and arm to now cross over from left to right and sink once again into contemplation.

Of what you may ask are you contemplating in such a precarious contortion?

“Eagles are symbolic for sharp sight, for penetrating vision. If you can see through yourself, how you lay your own traps, you can avoid them” (Swami Sivanada Radha)

We all have to come down from our flight or fancies at some point. Return to reality so to speak. Once we do what are we sensing about ourselves? How do we avoid our own self induced impedments?

I have been a witness to my behaviour lately that I am not to keen on. I have alot of pent negative charged energy. I am antsy, even a bit resentful of anyone or anything that tries to keep me tetethered to the ground. Maybe it has to do with the change in weather from sun filled to winter snow. I know I have to stop watching the COVID news and find a sensible balance of wanting to know and understand what is happening to this planet and the humans that dwell on it. At what point does all this information become a hinderance instead of a means to enlightened?

The eagle is a known symbol of strength, power, agressiveness. A desire to control the surroundings in which we find ourselves while keeping a birds-eye view outwardly and inward.

While in the pose, I am contemplating the error of my ways. What can I do differently to improve my postitivity and well being? Not everything is dire, there is many things to be thankful for. One has to experience sorrow to understand joy. One has to grieve loss to bask in adundance. Finding the “sweet spot” where there is confidence in the perch as you survey the potential. A bit of respite that is welcomed while I wait for the sun to come out again.



What do you do about time?

Bunny taking a timeout on my back patio

I envy kids and the opportunity they have for a “timeout”. Most think of it as a punishment for misbehaving. You have to earn the timeout by doing something that is looked upon as going against a desired behavior. If we were smart as kids we would leverage them to gain space and moments of time for thinking freely about nothing. Staring at an empty space and concentrating on letting go of pent up emotions that no longer help us be our true selves. If I had little kids right now I would teach them to do just that with the hope they would thank me later as adults. Well, I can imagine that would happen. Reality might be something of a different scenario.

My kids are used to having a mother who thinks a bit differently about most things. I coaxed my daughter into taking a Tai Chi class with me when she was about 13 or so. The instructor turned off the lights and we were instructed to see if we could see auras. My daughter was a good sport about the whole thing. She wouldn’t say she enjoyed the class but she didn’t refuse to go either. I did see her aura and it was blue, now that I think about it. How fitting as she is a surgical nurse.

My aura was mostly yellow. My daughter did say she saw it but not while in the presence of others. She was thirteen afterall…lol.

I wish I could stop time now and again. Not turning back time. I don’t feel that would help me much as I have learned a great deal from how I spent my life. I just want a pause function to help me catch up. I know I am the accountant for my clock and yet some days it gets away from me before I realize “time is up”. I just can’t seem to catch a break some days and end up being late for everything. I have learned to accept these days and triage them rather than try to fix them. What can I cancel? What can I do today that will help me get back on track tomorrow? I forgive myself for getting off track. I don’t let myself off the hook. I know that I can’t change today but tomorrow is a different story.

I have never been one to “be on time”. It’s hit or miss for me. On occasion I am early and most often I am scrambling to just barely make the target second. I have studied time management, created and facilitated many workshops and courses on effective use of time. Here I am though, thinking about how I manage my time. My credits spent and my expectations of future use.

I used to create a three month calendar with important dates and times on it. I had a big bulletin board with project dates and deadlines on it as well as personal goals and estimated completion points highlighted. It was my measurement of time in a very visual way. I could look at it and see how my life was progressing. I had my major trips planned, my small getaways marked. Exercise charts, weight loss goals and eating schedules all planned out with details attached.

 In the last year I turned off all my tracking and planning devices. My Fitbit, my watch, my phone trackers, my GPS, my internal clock and anything else I thought would force me to keep track of my time. No quarter calendar with categories and goals. 

 It was a year of freedom. It was my “Time out”.

My year to just exist in whatever circumstances I found myself being drawn to. It’s been interesting to say the least. I started the year with a push to get the blog and podcasting going with Sharon. Then I found myself drawn to the ashram for almost three months. I went out to Vancouver after that to spend time hiking and getting to know my daughter a little bit better. After that I came back to buy the van and started planning out how I wanted to make it mine. My sister in-law and I spent some time hiking in the National Parks and figuring life together.

My brother and I worked diligently on the van for the rest of the summer and fall. We are almost done! I know my brother a bit better now and I am beginning to see life through his eyes, just a bit. 

I banked on having an unlimited amount of time to spend with loved ones and friends only to realize those moments kept in the vault and not used evaporate. They have no shelf life. You either use it when the spirit moves you to do so or you lose out on the dividends attached. Hard lesson to discover. I have been lucky enough to follow intuition often and redirect my time to focus on their needs and share what moments they had left. 

The year is ending soon. How time has flown by so quickly….lol. A whole year gifted to me to just be. I am looking toward 2022. Can I collect enough pauses, held breaths and brief suspension of knowing or caring to carve out my “timeouts”? Then use those precious gifts to extend that hold on my most inner thoughts and feelings?

Those “timeouts” are crafted when all I feel is joy and the gift of knowing I am alive and held in light and love by the universe.


Second Chances

Wonderful awareness of second chances and our ability to change.

Reincarnation? Mulligan? Deja vu? Do overs? They all have a common theme of recognizing you have been here before or gone through a similar experience somewhere in the past. I would like to think that in this life I am having the opportunity to reincarnate at an accelerated speed. You may say that the theory doesn’t work that way and yet, here I am, knowing that I have had many opportunities to “do over” a scenario I didn’t get quite right the first time.

Here is an example. 

When my dad was alive he lived in an apartment that allowed pets. The deal I had made with him was that in order for him to keep his dog he had to agree to take him for walks and look after him. At any time if that became too much the dog would be given away. He agreed with those terms in theory. The reality of it was something quite different. My dad became ill and struggled to get up and walk. He had lost his desire to engage in the responsibilities of life let alone owning a pet. He wanted to keep his dog but he was unable to manage the dog’s needs. 

I don’t pretend to be a dog lover. I know that I am not the right kind of person to own a pet of that level of involvement. I only thought of the inhumanness of keeping a dog stuck in an apartment. Having pee stained carpets and curtains and poop on the rug for days. It grossed me out when I would come check on them both to discover the mess and my dad’s lack of caring to clean it up. I never stop to consider that perhaps the dog was one of his only senses of companionship and unconditional love he had. 

I arranged for dog walking and it seemed to be going ok until my dad had to be hospitalized for an extended length of time. He wanted me to take the dog home with me. My son is allergic to all pet hair and even though my son doesn’t live with me anymore I have never had pets in the house. It’s to keep the house as dander free as we can. I put the dog in a foster home but it was getting expensive as time went on and a more permanent solution had to be made. The dog had to go. I couldn’t see any other way to manage the situation. My dad was able to see his puppy on occasion as the new owners were ok with me coming and taking “Pogo” for visits. It wasn’t the same for my dad though, he had lost his closest friend.

My dad and I have always had a rocky relationship. I have been mad at him for most of my life and felt he took advantage of my kindness at every turn. He didn’t bring out the best in me unfortunately. I am sad for that fact and my inability at the time to recognize how it affected my treatment of him and his needs. Through much therapy and meditation I have come to terms with those feelings and worked through forgiveness and understanding of my dad and his behavior.

Fast Forward to now. My sister has a sweet puppy. She is in the middle of a divorce and is transitioning back to full time work outside her home. The dog has had to stay alone for the first time ever for a few hours a day. He started using her downstairs living room as a bathroom. I had a few minutes of Deja Vu. It triggered memories of my dad and the ultimate decision I had pressured him into giving up his dog.

I had a choice here once again. She is getting back on her feet and can’t afford doggy daycare right now. I regretted not helping my dad more with the dog. Now, it seems that it wouldn’t have taken much for me to have walked the dog and made sure it was being looked after. Not to say my sister isn’t looking after her dog, that is far from the truth. It’s just a shadow memory of a similar scenario that hits home for me.

Part of my own mental health is getting more exercise and fresh air. I love to walk in the canyons and parks around my home. It doesn’t take too much effort to go and pick up the puppy before exploring. This time around I choose to change the outcome. I have recognized I needed to learn something from this scenario as I have seen it played out before with less than happy results. I am getting a second chance to try a different way. The dog is such a good dog. He makes me smile and is eager to go as soon as I open the door to her house. He is smiling and excited which gets me excited. They are such loving creatures, so eager to just enjoy whatever you give them of yourself.

How many times do you stop to ponder a situation you know has happened to you before? You find yourself going “wait, this is familiar and I didn’t like the results”. What if you recognized that you could change the outcome by selecting a different path this time around? I challenge you to watch for your second chances. I am not sure you get third or fourth chances in one lifetime. I will have to reflect and see if I recall that happening to me on any given occasion.

In the meantime I am grateful for the awareness and opportunities the universe keeps sending me to learn and make peace with my past, present and future. 


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