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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happiness

Driving on the lawn

I have a few really good memories of my grandpa. I don’t have as many as I’d like since he passed away when I was 7, but the memories I do have really impress on me that he must have spent a lot of time with me when I was little.

I remember a few occasions when together we’d commit one of the biggest sins – driving on the lawn. Back then there was a carport where the garage now is, and sometimes grandpa would find a reason why, instead of backing down the driveway, we would have to drive forward over the lawn.

I have this memory of he and I giggling like mad men as he’d say boy is grandma ever going to be mad if she catches us and we’d race across the yard in his truck.

More than 40 years later I found I still have that same thrill as I had to drive across the yard this afternoon.

Grandparents are special. I’m so grateful my parents put in so much effort to build a relationship with my kids – those memories will carry them a lifetime as well.

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happiness

(Don’t) stop and collect yourself

I had a riding lesson today. I was tired, I had a crappy night sleep and I’ve got lots on my mind, but horses are my therapy and I knew I needed the healing time.

I was having a hard time holding him properly in the trot. On one transition I felt totally unbalanced, and basically like I was riding like a sack of crap. I tried to right it, felt myself getting off balance, it felt sloppy, I was annoyed with myself that it wasn’t going how I wanted, so I pulled him back to a walk.

My instructor got after me see, you dropped him and he fell into a walk. I said no, I’d felt like it was all falling apart, I couldn’t get it together, so I asked him for the walk so I could stop and get myself together.

She said you don’t get to stop to get it together, you need to get it together while you keep going. YOU ARE NOT A NOVICE AT THIS. The only way to actually get where you want to go is to keep pushing ahead.

And I was like

You have no idea how badly I needed to hear that.

My horse may be my therapy, but my instructor is like my life coach.

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happiness

Put on a happy face

I feel strongly that in order to truly feel happiness one must also feel all the other feelings. Inside Out did a great job of explaining that for us all and the movie was instrumental in learning to grieve properly after dad died.

So in the midst of gratitude, love, and peace, I also have this intense anger. Like I’m mad as f*ck.

And I need to acknowledge that. I refuse to be Facebook happy – you know where everyone pretends their life is perfect. Gratitude is essential to life, and I am happier than I was last year, happier than 4 years ago, and so much happier than 5 years ago when we were still trapped in that life.

But still, shattered pieces remain of that old life.

I’ve spent the last couple of months dealing with my lawyer again. We are having to take Mr. X back to court. Not only is he almost 70k behind in payments, he’s refusing to pay Section 7, and he’s refusing to say how he will he helping pay the boy’s tuition next year. The boy has worked hard to get into his program and it’s devastating for him that instead of an I am proud of you, son; that I have to take Mr. X to court.

Here’s the catch. If he refuses to pay his share of the tuition the boy won’t be able to go to school (he doesn’t qualify for loans since his dad earns so much money – haha what a joke that is) and if he doesn’t go to school, Mr. X doesn’t have to pay child support. You see where this is going right?

I had a conversation a while ago with someone who said to me that solo parenting must be so difficult since I never got a break.

I responded with, no- that’s not the hard part of it. The hard part is that my kids don’t have a dad. That is the hard part. The hard part is that the man who is supposed to love and protect them is hell bent on destroying them.

And my happiness moment is that inside all this anger and hurt and frustration- I know we will be ok. I know love will win, I know they are fantastic human beings who may be struggling with after effects of trauma, but they are absolutely amazing people who shine love into the world every chance they get.

Over and over I feel like The Who’s in Whoville – we will keep singing and we will keep healing.

And I will keep standing up to him.

I have to. My kids deserve better. So do I.

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happiness

Faith in humanity

We are sitting on our plane in Calgary having arrived safely from Victoria. On the way here a woman had a medical emergency – I’m not exactly sure what is going on

As we taxied in, the pilot asked us to remain seated so they could deal with the emergency safely.

The plane is full. Every single person sat in silence while they arranged for paramedics for this woman. They started to allow people off the plane who were in rows ahead of her, and again in silence people grabbed their belongings and departed.

The rest of us are quietly sitting here waiting for her to be assisted and taken to hospital.

We all get in a rush – to go somewhere, to go home, to get a connecting flight – or just get self absorbed sometimes.

I’m so inspired by the flight attentants and the other passengers who all have remembered that the health and safety of all of us is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Prayers for this woman. I hope she’s ok.

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