I woke this morning with a warm puppy snuggled into the nape of my neck. This tiny bundle of caramel coloured fur always makes me smile. As I scratched his belly, I heard the click of my coffee maker come on and smiled again, proud I had remembered to set the timer.
I wandered to the kitchen, poured a cup, turned on the fireplace, settle into my favourite chair with puppy in my lap, took that first bless’ed sip, and listened to the silence fall around me.
Most mornings start this way, calm, peaceful and reflective.
There was a time when my life was busy and noisy. I didn’t always appreciate the colours of the day, or have the time to slowly sip my coffee and gaze out the window.
Decades were spent on the move, hustling my boys to and from day-care, school, sports, and other activities. Bouncing between work, community services and my own educational pursuits, always busy, always rushing, always something to do, somewhere to go or someone waiting for something.
The “busy stuff” is the means needed to build our lives, but, the busy stuff doesn’t define our lives. It’s the simple beautiful moments that bring us joy and give meaning to the journeys we’re on.
Moments watching a child fall asleep in your lap because that’s where they feel safe, moments making messes and allowing pumpkin guts to fall on the floors and get stuck in your hair because they’re having fun, moments spent with two little guys on a skip-out day appreciating the wonder and silence of the forest or sitting in an open field, feeling content watching birds glide on the wind.
Then, there’s the quiet morning moments, when all the busy is behind you, those two little guys are grown and now its a puppy falling a sleep in your lap.
We need a balance of busy days and days when we’re able to just “be”. Days when we don’t just count our blessings, we live them, being fully present, taking in all the magic and meaning they bring. Because these are the days we will remember, these are the moments that will warm our hearts for ALL THE DAYS of our lives.
There is light within this messy, tangled, unconditioned 2020 tunnel we’re passing through.
You’ll find this light shining in the words, the wisdom, the hands, the acts of kindness and the hearts that capture your attention and hold you. Surrender, and let them hold you.
If you need to let your tears fall, let them fall. Let your tears take the the pain, fatigue, confusion and disappointment with them.
We will emerge from this year kinder, wiser and into better brighter days. Until then, find and hold on to the light that comforts you and provides you with shelter from the heaviness of this downpour,
The light and the warmth it brings always, without fail, returns☀️.
As we begin the slow descent out of the dark clouds of 2020, and prepare to launch a new year, things are still not right with the world.
Covid continues to wreak havoc across the planet and is now way to close to home. Election chaos continues to play out for our friends in the south. There is civil unrest breaking out in several countries around the world. Wind and rainstorms are keeping people hunkered. Christmas is pretty much cancelled and there will be no fancy festivities to ring in 2021.
People are out of work, many businesses have shut down, we can’t travel, and we miss our families and friends. Add to that, many of us haven’t touched another human in months, haven’t gone to a concert, a play, a restaurant or a celebration, wedding, birthday or graduation for almost a year.
However, amidst all the chaos, I’m still happy, really happy. My spirit is light, my heart is settled and my mind is peaceful. I find multiple reasons to smile or laugh out loud every day. My inner child is as goofy and playful as she has ever been. I’m truly grateful for this life despite what’s going on around me and the rest of the world.
This feeling of contentment is proof (for me) that happiness comes from the inside. No matter what is going on around us, we still have the capacity to feel joy and be grateful. What happens inside us, not outside us, is what regulates our happiness meter. In my case, having hobbies, exercising daily, eating right, meditating, spending time in nature and engaging in creative activities, all fuel my sense of positivity and well-being.
This sense of happiness and well-being doesn’t mean I’m not affected by what’s happening around me and the people I love and the world, of course I am. It means I won’t let it unravel me or get me down, because that serves no purpose.
When the weather outside is turbulent, we generally seek shelter from the wind, rain and the cold by coming inside and creating a cozy internal retreat. When the world around you is turbulent, seek shelter from the chaos by creating a cozy, peaceful place in your mind. You can do this by engaging in positive and creative activities, practicing gratitude, staying physically active, being kind and carrying out random acts of kindness, celebrating small successes, eliminating toxic people, toxic media content and toxic substances from your life. Read uplifting information and listen to uplifting music. Make your mental wellness your first priority.
Life’s storms can not rain on your peace of mind, unless you let them. Don’t let them.
When I seek answers, I retreat into the sanctuary of my thoughts. The route I take is often along a soft earthy path that leads me into the woods.
Once I enter the sanctum and stillness of the forest, the smell of autumn rain upon fallen leaves and moss-covered logs, fill my entire being with peace. My breathing slows and my steps soften.
Tall cedar and fir defenders having stood for hundreds of years, blanket me from the wind and shield me from the noise of the outside world.
Now I’m free to dream, to let my inner child loose and allow her to run free with the magic of her imagination.
Mushroom caps become hovels to small gnome like creatures, dragonflies and other winged insects transform to become fairies and elves dancing on tree branches, sprinkling dew drops on to the tips of the forest foliage below.
Rays of light stream in between lush fern, foxgloves and trillium petals creating the highway pixies, brownies and imps tiptoe upon as they move through the woodlands.
The hidden faces within giant boulders protecting the river bank, emerge and keep watch over all living things that come to sit and heal by the water’s edge.
As my inner child explores the forest and creates her own magic, my mind rests, my body heals and my spirit connects to her highest self and then, the answers come.
Most of our lives we’re busy moving fast and making noise. Allow yourself to stop, to walk quietly on the earth and trust the voice rising out of the stillness. This is the voice of your soul gifting you with the wisdom you seek.
If you’re struggling, seeking answers or want to spend time with your “real” self, go to forest, exhale and take a walk in the woods.
You know you’re evolving when you stop believing you’re broken, and believe you’re healing and growing. And, you know your growing when; ~ You can comfortably walk away from anything or anyone that does not bring you joy. ~ You can look back on your journey and own your part in the things that didn’t go according to plan. ~ You feel genuine remorse for the things you did that caused others pain. ~ You forgive and feel compassion for those that caused you pain. ~ You no longer seek revenge, or have a need to tell “your side” of the story. ~ You no longer feel like you are competing with anyone, because you realize each of us is walking our own path. ~ You recognize you still have lessons to learn. ~ You value your health, your learning and personal growth over material possessions. ~ You’re grateful for your journey and those that have joined you along the way.