Following my path

I’m back. When I looked to see when I had last posted I was shocked to see it was April. I knew it had been a long time, but not that long!

This quote speaks to me. What have I been doing the past 7 months? Well, I’ve been working on “me”.

Those who have followed this site from the start know that my life has gone through quite a few changes in the past three years. I’ve been working on shedding where I thought I’d be at this stage of life, what it would look like, the path I took to get here.

During the spring and summer, I worked on understanding my core motivations with a friend who is also an Enneagram coach. He was starting his coaching business. He needed clients and I can always learn more about myself. I figured, “Why not?”. I learned a great deal. My learnings will be shared in upcoming blogs. (I’m a 7 on the Enneagram, if you’re familiar with it. Actually, the poster child for a 7).

Over the summer, I met quite a few of my neighbours. We’d have regular social gatherings (a.k.a. wine and beer) in the green space between our condos (and move into my garage if we were still there after 10:00 p.m). We’d also go to karaoke and live music nights at the local pub, the summer festivals in the park across the street, and visit at each other’s homes.

I watched my son get, and lose, his first job. However, as so often happens, it was the stepping stone needed to find another, better, job he truly enjoys. I never, in a million years, would have guessed my son would willingly – and consistently – get up at 0530 to be at work for 0630 and work 12 – 14 hour days.

This fall, we moved Martin’s dad to Chestermere from Kelowna. I’ve been able to get to know him better. What a sweet, quirky man. He will be 94 years old at the beginning of December. His stories are amazing. The things he’s lived through! He’s so different from my dad. As extroverted and talkative as my dad is, Martin’s dad is not (Martin comes by his introverted nature genetically). We found out they both love perogies, sausage, stuffing, and pumpkin pie so we may have the weirdest Christmas dinner this year. With them being 94 and 84 years of age, it’s all about giving them what they want and creating happy memories.

The last big change was for me to leave permanent, full-time employment and go out on my own. I now own a business called Synapse Learning, Inc. I started my instructional design career as a freelancer and I want to go into retirement the same way. I’m also looking at, eventually, going back into psychoeducational assessments and helping children with learning and behavioural problems.

Martin and I just celebrated three years since our first date and are considering buying home together in the next couple of years. Who knew relationships could be so easy?? Usually, after three years, I was starting to form an exit strategy. Not this time.

As you can see, I have quite a few stories to share as I reflect on the past several months and start my own business. My path is very different from where I thought I’d be, but I’m not lost. I welcome you to walk along with me.

90 Day Practice of Kundalini 

Upside Down View

Salamba Shirshasana:The Headstand pose in Hatha yoga tips my perspective upside. When I was younger standing on my head was easy. I wasn’t good at cartwheels or many “sporty” kinds of actions but I could easily stand on my head.

Today, I attempted one. To my chagrin I couldn’t do it. I accepted my current abilities and laid down with my feet propped up against the wall. The question to meditate with in this pose is “What would happen if my world was turned upside down?”

I just finished an eight week session that explored yoga practices related to the Kundalini system. I really enjoy the connection with the group from Yasodhara ashram and find that I learn an incredible amount about myself each time. One of the very clear realizations is my need for a firm foundation. This includes a discipline of practice. I am a bit stubborn and pride myself on being spontaneous and free to do whatever I want when I want. This attitude has some merits but it also has some flaws. I took two years off of life, just to float ( sometimes literally in my kayak on many lakes near my home). I put my watch away, and had no idea what day it was sometimes. Spring, summer and fall of 2022 was a blur, to be honest the last two years have been a blur.

So why am I feeling a need for a change in my behavior now? I feel like I need more. Time is speeding away. Hours have become days, days have become months and months have become years. The world is almost unrecognizable. I am well rested, I have ample opportunity for a great reset and have a plan to plug myself back into the grid of the living that exists outside my current bubble.

But first what I thought I might try is a deep dive into the theory and practices of the Kundalini system. I am going to use the books and techniques prescribed by Swami Radha as those are the ones I am most familiar with from being connected to the Yasodhara ashram. I am including other tools I have found effective in my yogic practice such as mantras and card decks. I will include the tools and references each day that I practice with in case you wish to try them yourself. 

It’s time to plant my feet in the sky. Feel the ethereal energy flow and realize that it is a lot harder to just walk away when I am unable to find purchase easily in my steps. Walking on air is something to strive for. 

How do I feel when my world is turned upside down? 

Shaky, vulnerable, a bit dizzy, inability to walk away, head rush, reverse direction of energy and blood flow.

I feel alive and ready to explore.

For reference: Kundalini-Yoga For The West and Hatha Yoga Hidden Language-Swami Radha

Soulmate vs Lifemate

Soulmates or Lifemates? These two want to know more…

When it comes to choosing a partner to experience  life with, does anyone think of ever after anymore? 

What is a soulmate?

I was curious so I scanned the internet looking for what made sense to me. I wasn’t aware that there are different types: 

Soul Partners They come in and out of your life to serve a purpose. They may be an intimate partner or something else playing an important role in your growth or certain path. The main purpose is to help to accomplish or complete a goal or milestone (kids, career, goal and so on).

Soul Tie– Unexpected addition that isn’t planned. A connection is made that seems random but ends up being something more. I have met many people in my life who seemed to have a message for me to pay attention to. If I don’t get the message the first time, I notice they come back to try again as themselves or someone similar in manner, behavior or speech. 

Past Life Soulmate– Ever have someone come into your life and you feel an instant attraction or connection to? There is a familiarity with the person that has no known origin. It can be an attraction or just a vibe or energy exchange. It’s tangible though when it happens.

Karma Mates– Sometimes a person comes into your life and changes everything or just enough to get you thinking about a different existence. Universe disruptors I call them. They are put in my path to wake me up and remind me that I need to do something differently or change a behavior or action.

Kindred Spirits-Whether you have a history with someone or have just met them, sometimes, if you are lucky, you have people in your life that just get you. They think like you, they act like you and they are willing to keep you in their lives and vice versa. I have friends like this. We have been friends since childhood for a very long time.

I haven’t exhausted the list of types of relationships one can have. There are many more. I picked out the ones that I was curious to explore further for me and thought you might enjoy the comparison.

At the end of the month will mark 38 years that my husband and I have been married. I think of all the things that have changed in this world over that time. I am not sure I would recognize my 20 years old self that said “I do” and meant for life “I do”.

I have read theories on soulmates. There has been a shift in how they are perceived. Many think you can have multiple soulmates throughout your life. They come to share a part of your story then drift out when the story concludes. They aren’t meant to last forever. If you think about it in the vein of being temporary would you treasure the time spent with them more?

Lifemates I think of differently. If you look at animals, those that mate for life only make up 3% of the population according to Google. Out of that 3%, they quickly find another mate if the first one dies. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that the lifermates don’t live together. They only come together during mating season and the rest of the time they remain apart.

Relationships are such an individual thing. Trying to mirror someone else’s experience is virtually impossible and impractical. Through the years, I have found that you need to decide for you and your partner what will work and what won’t.

In the honeymoon phase it’s easy to see yourself with this perfect soulmate as long as you both shall live. The first twenty years or so are spent building your connected existence. Kids, home, career, lifestyle are all distractions that make time disappear. History is built with this partner that, in my opinion, becomes more valuable than a greater emphasis on lust. Don’t get me wrong, intimacy is important and necessary to sustain a connection. 

I have had many opportunities to watch as couples get married, divorced, pass away, live apart, live together but apart and many combinations that are interesting to contemplate.

I hear single friends and family complain about the state of dating these days. It sounds depressing that humanity puts so much emphasis on how we look on the outside. Since when did it matter if I had hair on my body in places where most people never see?

I am not sure what the future holds for me or my continued journey with my soulmate? Lifemate?

I know one thing for sure, we are meant to have others in our lives. They make life that much richer and full. I am grateful for those who have put up with me over the years and look forward to discovering others yet to be part of my story.

Moss

Bryology-The study of moss

Simple and Elegant

I started gathering ideas, muses and relevant tidbits that could add to the content of this blog and then finally

One thing I can say with certainty is that I tend to overcomplicate things. No matter what it is, if there is a way to make it more elaborate, detailed, on the edge of gaudy I have mastered that approach. As I move away from my 50s and closer to my 60s I am becoming aware that having this personality trait isn’t helping me get closer to fulfilling my desire to know the meaning of…

I Am That, That I Am

Acrocarps-upright, tufted moss

I went for a walk with a friend I made at the ashram. We were in the forest soaking up as much early spring life energy as we could stuff into our spirits. I mentioned my long time love affair with moss. I am obsessed with it. Every chance I get, I touch it, photograph it, smell it, see if I can differentiate between the types. I am not surprised that she agrees with my assessment on the virtues of the green substance.

Easter Rock

We meander up the trail until we come to a place called Easter Rock. There we stop, sit and go in and out of some meditations. The big slab is covered in varieties of vegetation including rich displays of mosses. She has mentioned a book before called “Gathering Moss” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I am excited to read it. It’s about the natural and cultural history of mosses.

What is it about this species that has me so curious?

The colors are vibrant and magical. They seem to illuminate light from within. The more I discover about moss the more I am marveled. It lacks roots, seeds and has no flowers. It has no way of retaining water internally and yet somehow there are thousands of types all over the world.

Leafy green shoots of Gametophytes

What lessons can I take from this plant?

You can still thrive without roots. Chances of success become improved when you don’t over complicate the process of survival. Since there isn’t a need for seeds, flowers or even fruit, moss doesn’t require much to continue to grow. Making associations with the moss I encounter helps me to see its potential beauty to photograph. The angel hair fingerlings that cling to the pine branches, the beard-like bristles that cling to rocks or any numerous variations I stumble across on my trails. All give me a sense of gratitude that I can gaze at the natural living mural before me. It has endless life, grace and beauty.

I look forward to spring and summer to witness the forest floor coming alive with vibrancy and vigor. Feeling pretty lucky to plan some hikes to document and, with any luck, capture some mystical energy digitally and mentally.

Mystical energy of a forest floor

I have tried to grow moss…

I have tried to migrate moss to my yard from various sources. I thought I had all the similar elements recreated only to be disappointed that the moss didn’t take or dried out. Moss isn’t meant to be contained or long term. I could use that information in my own life. 

Let go, stop hanging onto things, keep it simple,  cover more ground with less t0 unpack.

Namaste

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