happiness

(Reluctantly) embracing change

Today I was informed I was to ride a different horse in my lesson. Even when I rode all the time and was young and brave, I was hesitant to ride new horses. I’ve always been part badass brave and part chicken shit, but my confidence isn’t what it used to be. However I’m finding the more I’m riding the braver I’m getting – in the saddle and in life.

This new horse is huge! And he’s my instructors horse so he’s very well trained. After I got over my fear of heights I discovered I was really enjoying myself. It’s a constant challenge, these lessons, and I am always learning new things I can work on.

I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with my program lately, going back to school at this stage of life has not been easy. Riding helps me stay brave in all areas of my life

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happiness

I am

The last few days this song has been playing in the background of my mind noise. When I meditate and am more quiet it plays loudly in the forefront. Clearly I need to pay attention to it.

It’s simple and yet incredibly powerful. When I sat down and played it today immediately surrounded by animals and slowly surrounded by kids who just sat and listened.

I am.

We all are this.

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happiness

Line of integrity

I spent the day listening to Tony Robbins, Rachael Hollis, and many other motivational speakers. All of it was amazing, much of it transformational. I’ll be absorbing it for a while.

Before today I’d never heard of Erin Skye Kelly, but she altered my thinking about decisions I make, and made me question my own integrity. Not my integrity towards others so much as my integrity towards myself. Do I honour my promises to myself the way that I should be?

She showed us this chart and said that we are all behaving in one of these four ways

The first one is where we are all aiming to be. I nudged my friend and said I feel like I’m stuck too often in the third box – where we do things that feel good but aren’t good for us. Because box two is hard, and box one feels unobtainable so often.

Then Erin said that the red line we see dividing the boxes is the line of integrity. And I quietly muttered shit.

It’s the little things like having that extra piece of chocolate, not doing my morning readings, not meditating, not working out, not forcing our asses around the dinner table. They seem small, but out together they place me on the wrong side of the line of integrity. It makes it so my words (or intentions) and actions don’t line up.

Today was absolutely amazing. I am filled with gratitude that I was able to be there and experience the energy, the love, the knowledge, the struggles, the wisdom, the peace.

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happiness

Two years ago

Two years ago today I went out for a lovely evening ride with my niece and ended the evening in urgent care with a shattered shoulder.

I didn’t know then that I was entering one of the most difficult phases of my life.

And now here we are. On the other side. Or if not the other side, no longer stuck inside the hurricane.

I have learned to much about grace and love and forgiveness in these last two years. I’ve been humbled, helpless, strong, scared, brave, happy, sad. I’ve lived the deepest of any emotion and learned to embrace all of who I am.

It’s been intense. But so beautiful and sweet. 🦋

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happiness

Grow from what we go through

Last night before bed, after I’d written my blog, I read something that put words to what I was trying to express yesterday. I was trying to say that embracing the shadows, the shadow part of myself, my life, of other people, and the world in general is imperative not just for healing but for peace.

Marianne Williamson says We are acting out our anger and our fear because we are not facing the depth of our pain…. yet we seem to have great resistance to looking at our lives, and our world, with emotional honesty. And I think we are avoiding more than pain. We are avoiding the sense of hopelessness we think we will feel when confronted by the enormity of the forces that obstruct us. Yet, in fact, it’s when we face the darkness squarely in the eye – in ourselves and in the world – that we begin at last to see the light. And that is the alchemy of personal transformation. In the midst of the deepest, darkest night, when we feel most humbled by life, the faint shadow of our wings begins to appear. Only when we have faced the limits of what we can do, does it begin to dawn on us the limitlessness of what God can do. It is the depth of the darkness now confronting our world that will reveal to us the magic of who we truly are. We are spirit, and thus we are more than the world. When we remember that the world will bow to our remembrance… 

These are times that challenge our spiritual assumptions, as the power of darkness seems to be taunting us, demanding, “So where’s all this love you believe in now?” The answer is that love is inside us, just waiting to be unleashed. The darkness is an invitation to light, calling forth the spirit in all of us. … that’s the spiritual meaning of a situation: not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us and who we decide to become because of what happens to us. The only real failure is the failure to grow from what we go through.  (The Gift of Change) 

That’s why I feel like it’s time to embrace my shadow side, to not be afraid of the darkness, to accept what happened and to know that it is part of my spiritual growth. But that growth can only come from embracing the darkness as much as I embrace the light.

And in a “life still has happiness moments” moment, I was blessed to spend the day with my boy. Our schedules are so crazy lately I barely see him and I was so grateful he set aside a whole day just for me. It feels like not so long ago I was registering him for kindergarten, and now he’s off to post secondary in the blink of an eye. And the girl? Well, she spent the afternoon braving the freezing cold of the creek with her cousin – also an important moment of happiness.

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happiness

More than a feeling

Father’s Day weekend is a challenging one in our house. We all miss my dad, and the kids see their friends celebrating their dads and it hits home that their dad not only isn’t present in their lives, but is actively trying to sabotage their safety and sense of peace.

Joy and sadness often travel together and Father’s Day is no exception. The best revenge is a life well lived, and that’s the only revenge I am interested in these days.

How can anyone doubt the existence of God when the world looks like this? I get upset with God at times, but I always know he’s walking beside me. I am so grateful that we are back here where we belong. I am grateful every day, but intentionally so this weekend, for the wonderful men in our lives who show my kids that men are good, strong, kind, wise, people of integrity.

My dad would be happy to see the man my boy is turning into.

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