Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I'm participating in a 31-day blogging challenge called reverb10, responding to writing prompts that are designed to elicit reflections on 2010, and hopes for 2011. You can find out more about it here.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
Most recently I have begun to find elements of community within the African Dance class I have been taking.

Lynn Weaver at Moon Dance has been working hard to build community in several projects she has organized (including the Shawnigan Lake Street Festival) and for that I am grateful.  It has made finding people easier for me here in a new place.

Also, Earth Traditions of which I am a founder is all about building community, reconnecting us to each other, to ourselves, and to the land.  This labor of love as at it's core vision the idea that community is deeply important to all of us and to our planet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Are Worth The Time

Some wisdom from Jan Phillips:

Wonder, Letting Go, and Creating

I'm participating in a 31-day blogging challenge called reverb10, responding to writing prompts that are designed to elicit reflections on 2010, and hopes for 2011. You can find out more about it here.
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I have always been very good at noticing beauty in nature.  I stop for sun rises, sunsets, color in the clouds, rainbows, etc.  My boys often have their breakfasts interrupted by me encouraging them to come to the window and look at the color of the sky in the early morning sun rise.  I always wonder how I might paint such wondrous colors.  So for me, this year wonder has most recently been found in nature in our new locale.  The trees here are tremendous giants.  Beautiful and moss covered.  A stroll is like walking through an emerald fairy land.  It is so stunning it sometimes doesn't seem real.  The ocean is tremendous and powerful.  The fog settles in to the valley making you feel like you are floating on clouds.  And, will you just look at the paint job on that chicken!  I bet the egg she came from looked just the same.....well, maybe not, but it could have!

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

Lots this year.  We left behind a house we had designed and built, a life in Airdrie, all our friends there, but with that we also gave up all the chaos of the big city madness too.   We gave up the fast pace, and the jammed-full schedules.  Thanks to technology we can still connect with friends and family.  So....the trade off has been more than worth it.  Why?  Because it was important to slow down for our health and for our connection to our boys and to each other.  And it is also important for our boys to experience something other than the lifestyle we had created up to that point.   Busy, busy, busy, go, go, go isn't life sustaining.  So now we are focusing on experiences rather than stuff and timetables... and free weekends and evenings allow that.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

The last thing I created was this digital print.  Not my usual mode of creating, but I guess that would qualify as the most recent.  It is a scan of a painted background I did some time ago with a quote from the book "Marry Your Muse" by Jan Phillips.  I sent it to some friends to print and hang in their studios.  It was put together in Illustrator so completely a computer generated project.  I have a few things I want to get to next.  I bought a small piece of felted wool and some colorful merino wool fibers to make a flower hair piece for myself.  I've been saving mandarin orange wrappers and candy containers for a recycled journal project I've got in my head.  That one will most likely become a tutorial I will share later.  And I have several journals that I have lots of ideas for that I want to get to very soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Year in Review

I've never been very consistent with this blog...or anything for that matter.  I guess I'm not the "consistent" type.  Whatever that might mean.  Other words:...diligent, disciplined, stick-to-it-iveness, etc.  I'm more of a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" or "when-the-Spirit-moves-me", or "I'll-do-whatever-the-hell-I-feel-like...Gosh!" kind of girl.  It's handy sometimes, but it can often be a liability.  As an attempt to do a bit of "brain rewiring" as it were, I am participating in #reverb10.  It is an online project designed to reflect on the year 2010 and to manifest going forward.  Since I stumbled upon it three days late I have a bit of catch up to do.
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
Crab with a heavy load
 Overwhelming.  Period.  With our family's move to Vancouver island recently, the year was dominated with all that goes in to making the decision to uproot a family, fixing up and selling a home, purging and packing, finding a new home, moving, setting up in a new place, attempting to make a new community a home, worrying about all that needs to be done, how everyone will be affected, and trying not to forget anything.  We left good friends and old careers behind and looking ahead could only see the unknown.  It was just plain...overwhelming...from March clear to the present day.

A door to restoration: Demali Lavender Farm

Is it any wonder then that my hope for 2011 is something at the far end of the scale from that experience.  Peace, Health, Balance, Settled, Connected, Focused, Stable, Content, Stillness.  Any of these would surely apply.  I think in all of the "noise" of life, (and this year for me was VERY "noisy"),  one can very easily become disconnected from oneself, from one's own intuitive guidance, from the Wisdom within that tells us what to focus on, and what might be the best move in the moment, and how to feed ourselves, and where to go, and how to simply BE.  So, for me I want to find that stillness within me again that makes me feel grounded, free of anxiety, and more sure of where I'm going, what I'm contributing to, and who I am.  To do that requires a daily conscious choice and an awareness.  It is an plug back in to Self.  In one word?  Restore.  It's time to restore my soul..the HOW of it is a long laundry list, but all of it sustaining and nourishing.  From THAT place one can make an authentic and meaningful  contribution in the world.  From THAT place one can support and love a family deeply.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

What don't I do?  My distractions are numerous.  Far too many to list here.  Some can be eliminated and others can't.  The trick for me is to be mindful enough to catch myself when the thing I am engaged in is not a valuable exercise.  Mindless email, web-surfing, TV, even house cleaning, when not the most important thing to focus on in the moment, is a barrier to writing or creating.  There are obviously times when all of the above is necessary, but there are limits.  Observing the limit and moving on to more meaningful activities is the precious choice to be made.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore
I distinctly remember a day this past July.  Our house had finally sold.  A HUGE stress lifted.  I had arrived in Victoria to house hunt with Dan and had actually taken the time one sunny day to stroll down to the ocean and sit on the rocks at Songhees.  The spot has long been considered a sacred space by the indigenous people who had many gatherings here in years long past.  No wonder I was enjoying the energy there.  I spent a long time just watching boats and float planes come and go out of the harbor.  The smell of the sea was fresh and cleansing, the sun warm on my skin, seagulls flying overhead and calling out to one another.  I spent a good deal of time sketching the buildings on the opposite side of the harbor in my journal and as I did I remembered a trip taken 2 years prior.  We had brought the boys to this very spot when coming to visit friends.  The boys loved the ocean and we talked then about how wonderful it would be to live here.  Realizing that here we were, 2 years later,  having manifested a dream without really recognizing that we had, I was filled with gratitude in the moment.  I felt blessed and completely content both by the stillness in that time of solitude and by the opportunity to live in this new beautiful place.
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