DREAM ON~

“I am on an airplane high in a night sky.  I see the stars out my window and I am thinking about how clear and perfect and CLOSE they look.  I notice benignly that there is no one on the plane with me. I am enjoying the peace and silence.  I can also feel that my horse is somewhere on board and that makes me happy.  I feel secure and relaxed.

Up ahead I see a sudden flurry of activity in the captain’s cabin. The door is slightly ajar obviously unbeknownst to the participants of the argument not meant to be seen by a passenger in the cabin.  The flight attendant suddenly stops arguing with the captain when she spots me looking at her and her shoulders slump.  She looks to the captain for approval do something and she begins to walk towards me.  I can tell that something terrible has happened by the look on her face.  I feel an intuitive understanding that I am about to die on this airplane. We are going to blow up…I can just tell.

It happens fast; I have no time to become afraid in my consciousness. I don’t recall any noise, just a silent whoosh as the flames erupt behind the form walking towards me.  I see her evaporate as fast as one blink take. She is there, a black shadow moving slowly toward me, shoulders slumped i frank resignation to our fate. The next blink she is gone, consumed in a nanosecond. But time slows for me now and the flames look somehow beautiful, rolling towards me in a soft nearly inviting cascade. I am not afraid. I look down at my arms and time is now at a snail’s pace; I watch the hair curl on my forearms feel a rush of heat as I evaporate and become something else, somewhere else. I am something I have always been.

I am in a new place now; somewhere both familiar and foreign at once.  I struggle to “understand” this white room, made of light it seems, except for one door which is grey and seems an anomaly in this peaceful clean place. There is even a part of my lucid mind already searching for a meaning in something so psychologically obvious and basic as standing feeling formless in a white room with two doors; one white and nearly indiscernible and one grey to which I have absolutely no affinity.   But there is also a part of me that knows enough to tell my mind to shut up and allow me the opportunity of just experiencing this place, which is really no “place” at all.

I decide to move towards the white door feeling suddenly quite fearless and free. I push on it and it swings wide revealing a breathtakingly beautiful canvas of nature before me.  It was everything I loved revealed to me all at once.  Hills and valleys and rivers, animals and colours and birds.  Incredible huge mountains surrounded this place like a protective shawl.  Their bases all enrobed in perfect shades of green, lush valleys and sapphire blue lakes which dot the landscape. I am standing so high and yet I can see everything so clearly;  this is an amazing feeling.

I can “feel” everyone’s communication like nothing that we say or do is separate and it all occurs at this moment because there simply is no other moment.  All of this is The Truth, and anything else is an illusion we are able to create. I feel everything and everyone all at once.  There is such joy in my heart!  I can see now that nothing happens alone or separately from a great design and I am very much a part of the great design, as is everything that is alive.  I feel The All. 

“What the hell is The All?” I ask myself. 

Whatever it is, I think if I step off this escarpment I will fall “into the All””, I think to myself.  Dude that’s crazy.

First of all I know I’m dreaming, so I keep having to push at my ego mind to stop analyzing this dream even while I am asleep.  Secondly I am beginning to feel like when I was a little kid and everything in my world revolved around experiencing new things.  I loved that time, where it was ok to fall and play and enjoy.  I just want to jump out,,,and so I do.

I am not surprised that I can fly.  It’s beautiful here.  The air is perfect and I suddenly understand that there is no time where I am.  This is just free. It is the everything of everythings and it is giving me a “break”, this is how I feel, although it makes no sense to my “rational mind” now or even later after I analyze my dream.

So, I decide once again to just flow with this experience.  I let myself enjoy the JOY I felt, just looking around and BEING in the world, instead of participating in it.  I feel such love flow through me.  There is a little farmer down there with his sheep and other animals.  He is slightly aware of me but not so much.  Maybe he thinks I am a cloud?

I know I have to go back to the room eventually, but because there is no time I know I can continue to enjoy this “rejoining” feeling I was having for as long as I need to “re-member”.   I continue to fly peacefully just breathing until I am compelled to return.  I appear suddenly at what seems to be another door. The room is not big per se, but seems to accommodate the possibility of everything.  Suddenly to my left I see a small tent with a bevy of women milling about within.  At a table which is positioned under an exterior awning made of old school materials like burlap and ancient polished wood are two women.

The one to my left stands to greet me and I suddenly know she was my grandmother in life.  She explains that she and the other women are the keepers and creators of these incredible boxes meant to keep their ancestors memories well for future review. 

“So if my understanding is right, our experiences come down to snippets kept in a secret box which you review with your dead ancestors after you return to that energetic plain?

My grandmother, now about 30 years old dressed in a beautiful soft brown handmade pioneer dress with an overskirt dotted with little brown and beige roses.  She is explaining to me that it is not yet time for me to see my box but that when the time came she would be there as would my mother. Part of me really understands that I am not yet finished filling my box,. But I can’t ignore the slight tug in my heart that I realize I am not here to stay in this peaceful place.  I was only visiting.

I see a man in front of me. He has the most amazing smiling blue eyes.  It seems he is someone I know, but I just can’t place him from anywhere.  He looks like a real old school hippy; brown shoulder length hair, a flannel shirt with a tattered sleeveless green army vest over top.  Ratty jeans and a tattoo of a fish hooking his lip on his bottom lower lip and chin.  A real hippy with a sense of humor. 

Strangely enough he is pushing a baby carriage. In the way that we seems to communicate here (with no words, there is just a flow of thought and comprehension which occurs that is unimpeded by language, if that makes any sense.  He “asks me” to follow him, imparting to me that he has something to “teach me”, so I bid my grandmother farewell knowing that I will see her again (I am not sad, which almost surprises me), and follow the man.  He takes me and the baby carriage onto a bus, like a big cushy greyhound.  I sit in a chair beside him and he begins to play with the baby in the baby carriage, just making faces and being silly, which cracks the kid up.  Suddenly the baby begins to laugh and I feel it; I feel what God sounds like.  It is extraordinary – like angels singing. 

He stops and says that I have learned what I came to learn here and must now return.  As we are walking back to the room I notice I can’t “see” him anymore.  I can’t really “see” me either though.  But he responds to me clearly in my mind that he is always near me because he IS me…we are the same. Now I can feel him again, his warm presence steady by my side and I begin to understand what he means by this. 

Suddenly I am alone in this room, and behind me I hear a conveyor.  My son comes up and looks at me slightly confused. I convey to hi in the manner that we “speak” in this place where he is, and he goes to the door and waves to me.  I know we will see each other soon and I am happy to see him so free.

Next my husband arrives, on a conveyor like mechanism to my left.  He arrives naked and confused. I go to him and explain what has happened and where he is.  He is afraid and so I put my arms around him and we melt together.

I awaken and see the world anew.

 

 

 

 

Where to begin…?

Well I’m not sure where to start back into this discussion I’m having with no one and everyone all at once.  Things change sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly…but inevitably we can anticipate that everything will change.  In the past few week my life has made a rapid turn around in a way that I find hard to even conceive of.  In fact I’m almost afraid that if I look at it too closely, I will analyze away the joy and levity I feel in my heart.  But, it is not my nature to let things just emerge; hopefully one day it will be.

An old friend of my husband;s and I has come back to town. The person that originally brought us into the world of professional music and who inspired me to stretch beyond my self-imposed limitations quite regularly. he seems to think we’re doing him  a favour by letting him stay with us while he gets on his feet, but I think the whole thing is quite reciprocal.  He is helping us get past a few hurdles we seems to have gotten stuck at.  He is equally close to us both so the balance in the house right now is very nice. It seems all the kids are on their best behaviour because he doesn;t have any kids and he will talk to them like adults and he has adult expectations of them, which is making us raise the bar a little around here. It’s about time.

And I’m not saying everything is perfect. It was a little tough the first few days. he was very self-absorbed, trying to “find himself”, that the diatribe of past reflections became a bit much, but I have to remember that i was certainly in that place at one time as anyone who chooses to listen to the voice within knows is the first step to understanding the bigger picture.

But this is change.  It doesn;t have to be bad all the time; it’s about time I figured that out too.

My mother ended her chemo and radiation yesterday. Another huge WOW. That was a terrifying experience for us all.  There were sooo many people praying for her and directing their positive healing energy towards her that surely she benefited. Case in point: She didn’t lose her hair or become sick even after 6 weeks of seriously intensive chemotherapy and radiation.  This is an act of Grace of which I could never be unconvinced.  We joke that she didn’t even get the only real “benefit” of cancer, which was to lose weight.  She gained 50 pounds in the process…thinking that since she was going to be at a point in the future where she would not want to eat (like it shows in all the movies) then she was going to let her appetites run freely and fill herself up so she wouldn’t become too thin. But, she never got thinner.  The doctor’s loved it, she admitted wasn’t a big fan, but could live with it deciding that her health would become her number one priority after the treatments and their effects abated.  Pretty awesome lady.

Then there is change number three; his name is Archie.  His SPCA description said that he had belonged to a street girl for 5 years and therefore was extremely well socialized.  They said that Archie was a truly exceptional dog and they were looking for a special kind of home for him. I don’t know what it was that made me jump on that dog but there I was writing a little considered response to the Kijiji Ad – and please believe me when I tell you I was NOT in the market for a dog.  This just happened.

So the people write me back. Because of Archie'[s breed type, pit Bull, there is a special organization of folks, all volunteers, who work together as experienced trainers and handlers of pit bulls to try to change what they claim to be our misperceptions about the breed.

“Well”, I think, “this is all nice,  but I have enough crusades and I really don’t feel like taking on another.  So please count me out. ”

And yet my actions are not listening to my fear response.  I feel as though I will continue forward with this as long as the process is easy; as long as the road presents itself to me.  I would not force it or try to imply my will in this, which was clearly that I was not in the mood for any more CHANGE in my life.  But there it was. I tried to have faith that i would not be given more than I could handle. I realize that we don’t choose when we’re called to do something, even if we don’t know why.  We can ignore it, but we’ll just get called in a different way and maybe with greater challenge.  Also, it felt like an opportunity to try to “practice my faith” about how the Universe functions in relation to positive forward moving intention.  It was like my own private metaphysical science test.

First I ahve learned the really get honest about my own intentions.  Am I pulling a “Mary Pooppins ” with a person or animal, as I have in the past, to try and take the spot light off my own interior responsibilty to dealing with life on life’s terms? I had to check my intentions as well. Why was I attracted to this miserable looking sad skinny pit bull> For God’s sake! I have spent most of my life terrified of dogs.  I had one try and surgically rearrange my own when i was a young girl and have never quite shook the fear.  But Archie wasn’t in that category.  A part of me felt as though I couldn’t understand why Archie was living somewhere else; that he should just come home now.

The first tests came when I decided to fill in the adoption form for fun. I sent in short humorous answers, some of the questions being clearly for new dog owners.  I was surprised at the immediate response, so I relayed a message back and we opened a dialogue about Archie.   I expressed my concerns openly and honestly and Irina would respond with intelligent answers that made sense.

The day I had planned for a visit to the SPCA (I was dreading that in a big way), I ran out of steam and they had an emergency come up.  It was cancelled but we rescheduled.  I thought that maybe this was the sign that i was not going to have to adjust to a new “being” in my house.  I would avoid a change and I felt relieved.  But instead, I received an email shortly after saying that the volunteers had seen the website for our farm and were really eager to bring the dog to us and do the home visit at the some time.  I liked their tenacity and vigilance about ensuring proper dog/environment fit.  I was also grateful not to have to introduce a city born street dog to my farm animals without capable experienced handlers around if something went awry.  If Archie was going to have a chance he would have to display the utmost gentleness with people, especially when he greeted them.   I could feel we were all a little nervous as I’m sure Archie could as well. But he passed the tests of all of our keen observing eyes with flying colours.  Kids surrounded him and touched him all over and he only showed signs of raputurous joy.  Very gentle not move so as not to knock anyone over, I watched as Archie soaked in the love like a very dry sponge.  It was lovely to see.

But everyone (even dogs) has an issue and Archie’s issue seems to be cats.  He almost gave Kahlua, our very old declawed (she came like that) house cat, an aneurism his first night on his sleep over.  I have not seen her in 6 days now but the kids and Graham assure me that she is upstairs, alive and well cared for.  They feed her and change her litter every day.  Archie and I will have to work on the cat issue.  He just sees them as big fun play things until they fight back.

Archie has slid into our house with near effortless ease.  We had too much activity the few days after he came and he became quite unsettled. His worse behaviour was pacing and not finding a soft place to snore.

Archie snores, and smiles and talks like a parrot.  he grumbles and when he’s really happy he nearly purrs.

When unhappy (which is whenever I or my husband leaves) Archie “tweets” like a bird.  We still haven’t gotten over how funny that is.  Our friend Archie is very vocal.

Each one of us have taken things out of his mouth, in mid chew, and he never makes a sound. He only talks when he’s very very happy.

Jake has taken to him happily. They play like “real men” and when called down they both settle.  It’s lovely to have two dogs who listen so well that i don’t have to worry about them hurting each other.

Jake is better exercised with Archie around, that’s for sure.

Archie was lame for one day last weekend,. I think he pulled his stifle wrestling with Jake the enormous black lab/mastiff cross in the deep deep snow.

Archie has been quite a change.  I didn’t sleep my second night thinking he was going to kill Kahlua, but then the next day one of the barn cats practically walked over his face and he did nothing.  I can see that it’s not an unmanageable problem and so I begin to relax.

Relaxing is good.

The dogs are balanced, having Graham around is nice for someone to talk to about things you don’t talk to everyone about.  Everyone needs a friend like that. And Archie, well he can be found faithfully snoring on his “Archie Bunker chair” which he adopted his first night home and has claimed as his own from the get go.

Welcome home Archie.

CLOSET ART PIECE NUMBER 1: MOTHER EARTH

This is my first sketch…

I am one of those real-life hippies I suppose, who is coming to terms with an idea that the world is undergoing a great global shift in consciousness. Many of us are finding that our minds are opening much faster to new ideas, that we are connecting on 6th sense level through intuition, coincidences and synchronicity like never before.  This sketch represents that belief in me.  Her mouth is (poorly :)) made of a guitar symbolizing my belief that music is the voice of the planet. SHE comprises the planet actually.  On her left you’ll see something that looks like a big ear, which is symbolic of the Divine always listening.  Of course this sketch really emphasize the “Creative female Divine” which to tell you the truth I have not explored feminist religion all that much. Much relationship with God as it is is really beyond needing to believe in It Him her whatever in any physical form.

Her “Figure” as we say in french is really made up of as many types of geographical landscapes that I could contrive within her form.

Over her head lies the sun and ultimate representation of Divine guidance.

Her one and only eye is all she needs, being her sixth emergent sense. the clouds over her represent her ego and the always potential darkness that can come if she isn’t diligent. Maybe that’s about my depression.

Now that I think of it…

She began by the box in the middle of her face, then sort of exploded outwards in fantastic shifts of light and different kinds of shapes that really make me think of water…like a lake flowing by very quickly through her.  Mother earth. Something like that.

Maybe that’s what I’ll call this one…Mother Earth.

CLOSET ARTIST…

So, I have to admit something: I am a closet artist.  Shhhh…I never call myself that in public. Kind of like when people ask me what I do in life and really what I do is write and yet I would never describe myself as a writer to them.  It’s just not how I see myself.

But then tonight I did the strangest thing. I was Facebooking (is that actually an acceptible verb now?) with my young cousin Jenna, who seems to share at only 12 young years old the same passions I did for horses ( and all animals) and writing, so we are becoming fast friends. I gave her one of my horses to ride and take care of because well…because if I was a 12 year old girl with a distant cousins with a horse farm, I would sure be praying to Jesus or Shiva or Zeus even for a horse to magically appear for me!  I would have tried it all! And I could sense she was like me. Why not make my dreams come true for someone else. Mine are all here anyways 🙂

So, in my conversations with her, we begin to talk about writing and other forms of creative stuff we do, and she tells me about her drawings; Unicorns, butterflies and beautiful things…ahhh I remember those days.

So for fun I decided to take some pictures of my sketches to show her old people still do art heh :).  I downloaded them from my annoying blackberry onto my desktop and tadaa…all of a sudden through the magic of technology MY ART was staring at me right in the face on this ENORMOUS computer screen.  My head said:

“Ew”. That was all I heard.

At first I only heard all the negative  judgement in my head.  A snap reaction born of habit…that I fully intend to dump in the muck pile for all it’s worth. But the feeling inside me looking at those pictures I had sketched out really quite recently was quite horrible.  There was an awful lot of emotion in those drawings, and frankly it’s one thing to feel it, and quite another to stare it in the face.  Maybe my brain just didn’t like how it perhaps “re-felt” the events that cause me to draw these dreamscapes. Really I don’t know, and my older age 🙂 is teaching me to stop analyzing everything all the time. Just SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE. Man…I have been so busy in my head. Then I started thinking about Jenna’s happy unicorn and noseless women, and concluded that I had become very dark and unchildlike. In those first moments I really was seeing all that I felt I had lost. My youth, my “joie de vivre” and my panache and ability in drawing “care Bears and such.  Where had all the flowers gone?

My sketches looked eerie and frankly, insane.  I have always admires the “dream artists” as I call them, van Gogh, Dahli, Picasso etc…they were right up my alley. My favourite writer when I was young? Yup you guessed it…Edgar Allen Poe.  The Raven himself. Man I was dramatic.

But now, I look at these sketches and I see the same penchant for dreams and fantasy, but I firgure these pictures probably tell me as much or more about myself than my writing can.  Aince I believe it is our ultimate duty in life (the only one really) to figure ourselves out so we can be of greates use to each other, then I figured I’d better get objective and less critical about my art and start top use it as the tool it as meant for by god.  That’sd it…simple. And my6 perception immediately shifted.

All of a sudden I began to see shapes and landscapes emerging where I know I didn’t consciously intend them as I was drawing. Suddenly I saw purpose and feeling and emotion all wrapped up in little lines that spoke of some pretty interesting ideas.

I was loving this art!

So, then I DARED myself.

The little conversation in my head went somethign like this…

“Um Jo, put it on your blog. Maybe someone else will like it too?” Said Big Me

“Are you kidding!  Then people might SEE it. Gawd.” Replied Little Me with an over the shoulder, “you’re an idiot” back glance.

“It’s a visual expression…it does no good just being throw away by you in your 6 month “clean ups” as you call them.  Just post them and write about why you drew them.  Then they are at least useful to someone”.

“Ahh I get it”, said Little Me. Right.

So, I’m posting these sketches and trying to unravel abit more of my own mystery.

Peace ~

SOMEONE LIKE GOD

 

I tried to find you

in the stars tonight

Shining bright

Feeling alright.

I tried to find you

In the stars tonight

But you were out of sight

Alright.

 

You know it’s a far cry

From where I’ve come

I see

And surely a long way

From where I want to be

But~

I’ll keep seeking you in

All those places

That I’m sure

You can see me

I close my eyes

In the dark forest

Where I thought I saw your shadow

And deep down quiet like a grave

I’ll have to listen

For the sound of your BOOM!

In my quiet heart.

Then maybe I’ll be saved.

Just Maybe.

Bridges to Dreams

I think dreams come true because we want them to come true.  They don’t fall into your lap or suddenly appear unbeknownst to you. Dreams that are beneficial not only to you but to the world around you in some way, that are good for other people or the environment  are always assisted by the Universe through coincidence and synchronicity.

As we get older we begin to edit our dreams.  I notice I dream smaller now…more cautiously. But when I was young my entire focus was on getting a horse and living on a farm. At 45 I find that is exactly where I am.  It was a determined dream.  I always ended my wish for those thigns in my life with a very heartfelt addendum to God: If you give me my farm, I PROMISE I will do something good with it.  This was our deal, and I have kept it to the best of my ability. Today my farm runs as a refuge and retraining center. We do equine retreats to help people reconnect to nature and spend a great deal of time imparting the importance of communication and relationship with the animals we use as our sporting partners and workmates.  I am happy with our deal, but this year I fully intend to take out all the stops and step it up.  I have big dreams that have come true…and I am just realizing it!

If you think back to when you were young, maybe ten years old, can you remember what it is you always wanted to be? What was it that you wished for on your birthday cake?

Like many young horse-crazy girls, i wanted a horse my entire life. I’m certain that I was emitted from the womb wanting a life with horses.  They are in my blood. I was even born in September 1966 which is the year of the fire horse. I made the same wish every on birthday cake until i was 20.

“I want a horse”.

I would pray that when I woke up the morning of my birthday somehow miraculously there would be a perfect pony standing under the maple tree at our house in Dorval.  I would hop on his perfect horse and go visit all of my friends.  This recurrent day-dream was the subject of my fantasies every year from the first memories I recall. one year I remember getting my helmet and boots.  It was about as close as I could get to a horse in Dorval.

My sympathetic parents sent me to riding camp every year and from when I was 19 and got my first car, those boots stayed parked in my trunk in the hopes that I would randomly meet someone with a horse who would invite me to go ride with them.  Funny enough, that actually happened, and when I was 21 I sold everything and bought Harmony, my first horse.  I was as inexperienced a horse person as anyone could be.  I had a basic knowledge of riding and care from the affluent camps I had been fortunate enough attend, but the best knowledge I got was from an old polish Calvary captain who really won my heart one night when he caught me sneaking a cigarette at 12 years old out behind his barn. In a thick Polish accent he reprimanded me, told me to put out my cigarette and meet him henceforth in his study.  This was terrifying.  My father had sent me to the Captain Wiazowski riding school, and I felt like I had entered purgatory.  His rules were strict, his demands vocal and I was in a teenage time of turmoil where I just wanted to be left alone to melt into the wallpaper.

The Captain would have none of it and I soon found myself standing in his office stoic and quiet in front of his dark wood enormous work desk, my head bent and staring at his big bronze polish horse statues and shelves and shelves of books. A green and brass lamp on the desk was all the light we had. It was eerie and terrifying. Surely he was going to tell me he was sending me home, for the rule I had broken was all but cardinal. Instead he told me to sit down and have a cigarette.  At first I thought he was joking, and so I just stood silently waiting for his next words of admonishment.  Instead he repeated to me loudly as though I may be a little deaf,

“Seet down and smoke”.

“What?” I asked again.

he looked at me with a raised eyebrow as if he felt I was defying him.  The fog lifted and I sat down.

“But I don’t want to smoke”, I said to him.

“I won’t do it again”, I promised, dreading with every fiber of my being the phone call he would inevitably make to my father resulting in causing him further disappointment in me. I was not exactly the easiest teenager to live with.

“SMOKE”, he snapped at me in his most  Captain authority voice.

I fumbled in my damp barn jacket for my cigarettes and matches I had stolen from the kitchen.  He saw this and raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

Fine, I’ll just do it – I decided defiantly.

“Don’t go back there to smoke ever again.” he said finally after a few uncomfortable moments of considered glaring silence.

“ok”, I bowed my head praying for it to be over.

“Every night, after supper, you come smoke in here. After you clean the kitchen with Terry and rake the ring”.

“Rake the ring every night? We never do the ring every night!” I complained as if there should be some rule of fairness applied to the levity of the punishment.  But he knew exactly what he was doing. The Captain had commanded large mounted Calvary troops in Poland and held back the Nazi’s when they came across to Poland on their tanks he faced them on his horse. When Poland fell he travelled with his horses and men on boats and across the sea to go and fight them in France.  The had won 3 medals of honour and valour from three different countries, and had been teaching children since he landed in Canada in 1954.  This was a rare man I was going to scare or manipulate very easily.

From then on, every night, after enduring my duties I would stand uncomfortably while the Captain would wait for me to go into his office.  The first night was horrible.  I lit my cigarette and had no clue what to talk about to this old crotchety man; the silence was truly deafening.  Then he started to ask me questions. The smoking issue was never again discussed.  So began a dialogue with someone in a way I had never experienced before. he asked me questions, and seemed truly interested in what I had to say about things.  he believed that children had a take on how the world was doing, and he would value what i said.  It evolved in a way that i became curious and started asking him questions too.  The Captain changed also in my perception from  “crotchety old man” to trusted teacher.

My riding changed then too.  I trusted him implicitly even when he would tell me to do something on my horse which I felt completely incapable of doing; if he believed I could, then I just would.  Learning to follow in this way made a tremendous contribution to the way  teach riding.   My father always said “you have to learn to follow before you can lead”.

I won the entire horse show that year.  I always thought that Anne was a much better rider than I was. She had flair and seemed unafraid and daring in ways I could never imagine.  But ultimately I won because of my joy in the moment of riding.  I don’t remember the class, but I do remember how my horse felt, his gliding trot along the long side of the arena.  It was the first time I had really relaxed and let my horse move forward with no inhibition.  It was a glorious feeling.

The Captain taught me that a good teacher is someone who helps you find a way to let the animals guide your learning, like the captain did for me.  He helped me define a vision for my life just because he was someone whom I respected and he respected me back in a way I understood and that contributed to my understanding of my life.

This new year, I am here on my beautiful farm and I can’t help but acknowledge that it is the small moments in life that create the bridges to the bigger dreams.

LIFE GOALS or what?

Setting goals is an important human task.  I heard somewhere that only 3% of North American’s polled have set goals.  I don’t believe there is any coincidence between the percentage of people who hold most of the worlds wealth and this statistic.  During the New year season making “resolutions” is a popular concept.  New Years is viewed as a time of restarting, a jumping off place.  You can choose to loose weight, quit smoking, drop your current relationship, move to a new city, change jobs or decide to take that long awaited art course. A New Year’s resolution always has in mind some form of self improvement, but most of the time we are trying to improve upon some aspect of ourselves which is only a symptom of a larger issue. The word “resolution” sound harsh and determined. And unless we know why we are making the change or why we underwent the damaging behaviour that leads to the need for change in the first polace, the change will only be temporary.

You can resolve to quit smoking, go to the gym, loose 20 p0unds and spend more time with your kids, but until an action is taken, it’s just another reason for you to feel guilty about not doing the things you should be doing to take care of yourself.  Until you understand why you have self defeating behaviours, trying to change them all you want wil only create more disappointment and guilt.  I have never made a life goal list, but I am going to start one here online.  I hope others join me.  I don’t believe a business can be successful without a set of long and short term goals. It is certain that any life can benefit from setting and focusing on positive forward moving goals.

Goals are best if they have a focused effect that brings somethign good not only to your life, but to other lives as well.  For example, one of my goals is to train horses in Costa Rica.  This benefits me by expanding my knowledge and gives me work to do that I love as well as providing a more humane taining method to a place that only knows very harsh methodology in horse training.   This is one of my BIG goals.  I have smaller goals too, like rearranging my bedroom closet because it is a ridiculous mess.

When I started writring this list I was stuned at how little I had for it. Surely I must WANT something for my life?

I also realized that had I written this list 30 years ago, i would find that many of my goals have been achieved…so my list includes life goals that I have actually achieved:

1- get my own horse (my lifelong dream..now I have 7)

2- live on a  farm (I love my farm 🙂

3- Hvae a great dog

4- have seven kids

5- geta university degree

6- Get married to someone I am really good friends with

7- become a musician

8- teach

9- learn how to ride a motorcycle

10- have a horse refuge anmd work with refuge animals

11- Scuba dive

12- Write a fiction novel for teens

13– Travel back to africa to teach and do volunteer work

14- Horse training in Costa rica

15- Clean my bedroom closet

16- Write and produce a solo album

17- Play the Blues Festival in Montreal with SoulFusion

18-  Ride Otis all the way to Hudson on manson safely

19- Create trails on the farm

20- Fall in love deeply and truly – soul to soul

21- Have an arena at willowcreek by the fall 2012

22- One Mind: A Guide to Emerging Global Consciousness completed and published in 2012

23- Finish bedroom bathroom

24- Make Stables self sustaining by growing teaching and boarding business

25-

This will continue as the year goes on.  I am happy to say I have achieved many of these, and I am looking forward to adding on to it as time goes by.

2012 Year of POSITIVE FORWARD MOVING CREATIVE DECISION MAKING!

2012 unlike any other year in my history, feels very important. I feel an urgency to “get grateful”. This is a sticking point for me and for many people.  We are told to “love the life you have”, “grow where you are planted”.  Finding the things in your life to be grateful for is paramount to any positive change in your life;  so you can grow the things that work for you and shrink the things that don’t.  If there are two topics in spiritual study that had me stumped they were gratitude and forgiveness.   These are daunting because they are not within my control. I cannot “will” forgiveness; I can only become willing tp forgive.   The actual “feelign” of forgiveness comes from an action which comes from willingness. The willingess has an effect on the energy of the universe; once real willingness to forgive someone is achieved then you will find that situations and circumstances cross your path that enable you to take an action on the willingess. Both forgiveness and gratitude come from the Divine and they are quite interrelated.  Forgiveness comes when you accept a person or situation for exactly as it is in both it’s history and current circumstance.  Forgiveness comes from acceptance and acceptance comes from recognizing what you have in your life that makes your life valuable and good for you.  The first step to this recognition it taking the time to look around your life and express gratitude in a conscious manner.

I actually have specific goals this year…which are a first for me.

1- being more positive and grateful for what i have rather than always letting my mind wander to places that are unreal and unsatifying.

2- Setting actual life goals.

3- Eliminating negativity and negative judgment from my thinking.

Gratitude I believe is the essential key that is missing for me

On New Year’s Eve I received (by coincidence?) a gratitude journal from my neighbor. A very kind and timely gift.  I have an intention to become more consciously grateful, and the universe sends me a confirmation that I am on the right track.  It even sends me materials to help me along the way.  So, this year my blog is going to be dedicated to positivity and gratitude. You may want to kick me by Easter, but everything seems to be pushing me in this direction so I’ll just try and be aware and follow.

It was quite a trip for me to come to this conclusion. A few weeks before Christmas though I recall writing in my journal and everything I said was both negative and whiny. I’d feel guilty about not writing for a few days, then I would write all this unhappy whining blah and I only felt worse. Ironically, I believed that if I “got it out on paper” I wouldn’t become so depressed by “keeping things in”. The thing is though that I wasn’t actually using what I was writing to come to any “positive forward creative” conclusion. I was just whining and giving my unhappy thoughts and perceptions physical form and substance. Suddenly it dawned on me that if I was going to whine, then I could at least take the time to consider that my whining was a reflection of some aspect of my life falling below my level of expectation. I had to become aware of what those expectations were and most importantly try not to judge myself to death!

Kids are better at being selfishly unjudging than we are…

This year my 15 year old daughter asked for a particularly expensive gift for Christmas, to which my ex-husband and I agreed but said we would wait until after Christmas when electronics went on sale and we could get it for her less expensively. She agreed with great bravado before Christmas, but when everyone was receiving three or four smaller but well appreciated gifts, she was feeling the sting of not feeling included in the joy of the exchange. Maybe that was a better gift to her than receiving a computer on Christmas day. She also had to delay gratification, which I really felt she did well with. But on the actual day she did nothing to hide her misery, and for once I did nothing to make her. I heard my mother who would have told me to suck it up because I had made a choice, and I became a tremendous faker. But this made no sense; it would be the wrong thing to expect from her. It makes no sense to ask to a child to pretend to be happy when they clearly aren’t. Then I realized I try to not ask my children to be what they are not, why can’t I give myself the same courtesy?

The process to get to where I realized that Truth and gratitude are the keys to everything I have ever wanted for myself consciously or unconsciously felt like a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. On New Year’s Eve day (is there such a thing) I awoke completely excited and jubilant. After a few days of post Christmas exhaustion I was suddenly ready to have a party where I would be able to spend time with all of these awesome people I hadn’t seen in so long in a situation where I was not performing. Although we did play a little music that night, I was careful to stay out of the “limelight” and just watch. It was really amazing. The day unraveled with certain clarity. I was actually able to decide where I was going to park at Costco (on New Year’s Eve Day…truly a miracle!), deciding that in even small ways I should begin to want more for my life. I should stop accepting less than perfect because then I spend all my time complaining that my life isn’t what I want, and yet it’s me that made it this way. Kind of ridiculous. One of my New Year’s goals was to have more FUN and to stop being so serious about everything all the time. The importance of being lighter and less condemned by the more difficult aspects that each person experiences in some way is really important. It’s not that you’ll be happy when you have more money, better wife, nicer kids, better friends, more free time, a vacation, loose 50 pounds – it’s that those things will naturally happen when you start makign decisions like a happy person. Happy is not a destination, and if we took a moment to see that in our lives we ahve every tool available to keep moving forward. Happy is not your goal; that’s a pretty low bar by which to measure your life. This would indicate that you are only doing and seeking for yourself, and you won’t receive full satisfaction from this.  Honest is probably a loftier goal for most of us than happy:

There are seven aspects that we have to address when we are evaluating our lives.   I’ll talk about the first in this article:

1- Physical Body goals– look at yourself physically. Everyone complains at this one, and no, I don’t want you to stand naked in front of a mirror and declare that you love yourself ten times. Lying doesn’t help anything. But, I will tell you to get over what it is you criticize at first thought. What did you think of right away?

  • “ I’m so fat”? My boobs are too small? My butts too big? ” I hate my hair”.  These are automatic thoughts. You are judging yourself based on an image you have created in your head. I guarantee you that the image you have created in your head has nothing to do with reality. You create your “self image” mostly based on what people have told you about yourself or how you compare yourself to others.
  • The first things you criticized are automatic thoughts. They are not “your” thoughts, they are thoughts that you have become accustomed to. Get aware of them to get away form them.  Just let them be; knowing that something is there is often enough for it to change into something else more positive and productive. When you shine the light of truth on something, when you understand it just as it is without your own judgments and interpretations then you make it both useful and forwardly productive in a creative manner.
  • Understand that no one can do this for you. No one can tell you are pretty enough times for you to change a belief that you have that says you are not pretty. NO one can change your mind but you. You are on your own here, in one way because you do not have nor do you need the cooperation of your fellow humans to do this important work. You find the truth using your history, your past. This is where your past becomes useful, like a treasure funding tool. Use your past to understand how you reflect your physical image back to yourself.
  • Don’t berate yourself for making physical image important. After all, it is how we present ourselves to the world and to our lives in regards to 5 out of 6 senses. Our first impressions of a person can often govern how a relationship will unfold. Similarly, our impressions of ourselves will govern the decisions we make on our own behalf.

“It is what it is” is a mantra I find useful and I use it often. The past can’t be changed. Your choice sin the past can’t be changed. It is what it is. People can’t be changed. They are who they are. Not judging yourself is very hard! No one has a secret formula as to how you should approach viewing your past, but “it is what it is” can be really helpful.  I’m sure there are many very smart psychologists with opinions on how to approach your past, but in my view, things happen when they should, and when it is time for you to understand something, you will. Don’t stress. Just be aware of how you present yourself to the world. Your physical self and your environment really do reflect how you feel about yourself and what you believe. To try and understand how you function internally sometimes it is a good idea to start from the outside in.

SPIRITUAL HOMEWORK: PHYSICAL BODY

Start with this:

Before you change anything, you have to come to accept yourself as you are. You can’t change anything when you are focusing all of your energy on the defects of it.

  1. Find 5 things about your body that you like or appreciate. Do your legs work? Your eyes? Can you clap your hands? Can you hear music?
  2. Now (probably easier) find 5 things you would have are different about your physical self.
  3. Make a list of those positive things and let yourself know why it is you appreciate them. How do they help you function in your life?  How does what you do benefit someone else?
  4. Now flip the page and make a list of the 5 aspects of your physical self that you would rather be different.  How do those thigns take away from your ability to live a happy and purposeful lives. What do you do to make up for them? How important is each one of those perceived defects in your life? How have you adapted to any physical limitations you may have?

A little heads up…

Nothing is ever going to be exactly the way you think it should be because the reasons why you think you want what you want are false. Everything will fall short of your expectations of them until you can accept them for exactly who and what they are which seems impossible until you realize that your expectations usually come from other people. Other people’s expectations also came from other people, and all of those people created their expectations according to their very unique individual life experiences. This means that what they believe about the world to be true can only BE true because of what they believe.

You create the world around you according to what you believe. What you believe is what you think and what you think is what you believe. You are constantly doing things to reinforce that which you believe to the world round you. You create a world of believers around you, because what you believe to be true is the parameters by which you will make your choices and decisions in life.

How did you choose your husband or wife? Your friends? What is it about your friends that you feel reflects who you are? How about your job…did you choose it or did it choose you?

There are a million questions you can ask yourself to allow yourself to find out the truth about what it is you believe. Sometimes investigating these ideas is difficult. It will force you into a position of having to let go of the expectations of perfection you have for the teachers in your life. Some of your teachers will be harsh and some gentle. But make no mistake about it, every person with whom you have interacted and who has created any emotion in you and you in them are a relationship. Some relationships are intense and memorable and pervasive. Others are quick and light and easy. Some feel good and some feel bad, but each relationship and the type of relationships we choose in our lives really tells us a great deal about the choices we are making and the direction we are heading.

My desire to be more aware of my relationships has caused an extreme shift in both the way I perceive my family and the way they perceive me. What is important and unimportant to me has become starkly real, and valuable. I find that the more I get of this feeling of innate security, the more I want of it which makes me continue to want to do the work of truth-seeking.  So I use each interaction to try and figure out more about what I am supposed to do.  Life is like a great mystery novel. I don’t think Truth is a place you “get to”, or if it’s even like the “who dunnit” in the last chapter. It is not a destination nor is it a goal. However, making goals within the context of finding Truth is a very good idea.