happiness

Afraid of changing

I’ve always feared change, and if not feared it at least not welcomed it.

And yet my life has been full of change. Big moves, saying goodbye to friends and loved ones as I’d prepare my family for a new life.

This last move, our move home, should have been the easiest one of all- and yet it was not at all. The entire bottom fell out of my world and I had to stop and reassess everything I believed was true about my life.

I’m tired of change, I want things to stay the same, I want to get comfortable. And yet that’s not how one grows. Change is essential for growth, and pain is often what forces that to happen.

But sometimes change is beautiful. Letting go, even when we don’t want to, opens up the possibility for new and often better things and people to enter into our lives.

Today I had a beautiful fall drive through Bragg Creek to get my girl. It was a perfect day for leaf peeping and that’s a great area to do it in.

I’m learning not to resent all the change, some of it I’m embracing, and some of it I’m getting excited about.

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happiness

They’re back

I first noticed the swans on Wednesday, but today when we were driving home there were several pairs swimming on the slough. The swans showing up seems to be a real signal that the season is changing. The weather is cold and they’re heading for a more decent climate to spend the winter.

I’ve always loved watching the swans as they rest here before they continue their journey. We used to go out as kids and watch them, dad used to take awesome photos of them, and this year I (finally) got to go out and ride among them. They’re beautiful creatures and they seem to carry a sort of peace with them (when they’re not threatening to attack because you got too close!)

This is a photo Dad took a couple of years before he died. I’ve been missing him lately and when I see the swans it makes me feel closer to him again. I love the swans, they are a source of happiness.

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Happy paws

I had a very simple moment of happiness – which was quite welcome after so much emotional energy shifting these last few days. 

It was sunny and warm(ish) out so o grabbed my dotted dog and went for a walk along the ridge. I love that place, it clears my head and is filled with ghosts of memories past. She was the happiest dog in the world this afternoon. 

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Shaped

Finally, after weeks of trying to get organized, the girl and I made it to church this morning. These past few months I’ve felt a real spiritual void and I wasn’t doing the right things to fill it. I know that for me the best way to do that is to step back, allow the quiet to come in, meditate, and just be with my tribe. Doing, or trying to make something work that does not flow easily, never works for me to get my spiritual mojo going. Sometimes I forget that.

The past couple of days I’ve been carrying around the book The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope. I bought it on a trip to Kripalu a few years ago, read it, and loved it. Dharma, understanding what mine is and how it is to be of service to the world has been what has been niggling at my heart the past few weeks. So, I had the intention of getting that book read this weekend. I have not even opened it yet. And still, the theme of Dharma has been following me around. I can feel it brewing in my stomach (ignited in part thanks to my session with Asrael – that energy stuff is awesome).

I signed Jenna into her Sunday School class with the full intention of running across the street to Timmy’s to do some quiet reading. A very friendly lady came up to me, introduced herself, and invited me to join their women’s group. I was standing there trying to think of a reasonable sounding excuse to bail, when she said what the group was about. It’s called Shaped by God, and it’s purpose it to help this group of women come together to discover who we are, the purpose God has created for us, and how we can be equipped to serve according to our SHAPE (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences). 

So, essentially I was invited to join a group of women where we could get together and discover our Dharma and then learn how to give that gift that God has given us to the world.

I can be pretty dense sometimes, but I’m learning to pay attention to these super obvious signs that God sometimes sends my way. I went to the group. It was fantastic.

One thing I really appreciated in the group was how the leader lifted up the introverts of the world. I find often when I’m in groups like this , the louder, more outspoken extroverts get a lot of time to shine while the quieter, more introspective, introverts often get lost in the shuffle. She praised how the introverts so often quietly sit and offer their gifts in such a way that it is not completely obvious, but usually so helpful and effective. As one who creates best when I come from a place of quiet peace I appreciated that.

Spiritual happiness.

I met a quieter need this afternoon when I went walking along the ridge. I’ve been missing Dad the past couple of days more and walking there where I’ve been with him so many times helped me reconnect to who he was.


Plus, there were horses there. I stopped and petted them for a while – then (and I’m not ashamed to admit this) I stood and smelled that wonderful horsey smell that was left on my hands. They bring me such incredible peace. Horses are how I’ve always connected best to my spirituality. Fall time happiness moment.

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The cousin thing 

I know I talk about it all the time, but it is such a huge blessing to be back here at home surrounded by our tribe. After so many years spent feeling ungrounded and uncertain I will never, ever take for granted the love that comes from our people. 

Moving around so much it was a constant effort to make new friends and establish ourselves. Now when we go into town we always see people we know, we live in a yard filled with family, and see loved ones on the road every day. 

This morning I received a text from a cousin asking if we could meet for coffee after school drop off. We did, it was a really fun and very quick catch up. We are the same age and have 45 years of shared memories (well, she has a few months more…) which makes for a very real and special kind of friendship. 

This evening Jenna headed off on her bike with her cousin. They’re forming the same kind of bond that my sister and I have with our cousins and it warms my soul to see this happen. I’m so happy for both kids that they are living in an area surrounded by people who love them. A big happiness moment this evening watching those two take off laughing. 

I followed slowly on foot. It was a gorgeous evening. 

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Weeeeeeee

The kids and I were in the grocery store today after school when they began their typical song and dance bugging me for gelato. I kept saying no and Jacob responded with I’m just going to say weeeeeeeeeeeee in your ear until you say yes

This weeeeeeee that he does is in some weirdly pitched cartoon like voice that he knows drives me bananas. So he starts doing it and I get the giggles so badly I have to stop walking. It gets better when there is a softer weeeeeeeee heard from the direction of the bulk foods. Some teenage girl is answering his call. They weeeeeeeeee back and forth for quite some time while Jenna and I lean against the shelf laughing. It was a gut busting happiness moment. 

The evening was made complete  with a beautiful fall walk along the road I love so much. It is such a blessing that we are here, we are safe, we are in our tribe again. 

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Cameras, Swans, and Dad

My sister and I spent part of the weekend dividing up Dad’s cameras. It’s something I know he would want us to do, but a very difficult thing nonetheless. Dad loved taking pictures, and he loved sharing them with his loved ones. We know that he would want us to keep on taking pictures and capturing family memories.

I was fiddling with my camera this afternoon and noticed that there were still photos Dad had taken left on the memory card. It seems he took them this time of the year (or maybe it was early spring) because the swans were on the slough just like they are now.

He has some amazing swan photos, the ones on my camera aren’t some of his best work. But, it was both my happiness moment, and a  sadness moment to open them up and take a look.

I have lots of memories in my head that I will take with me forever of Dad and of our family unit. However, having these tangible memories he made for us helps my heart heal a little bit more. It reminds me to get out and look at the swans, to go out walking, to admire the mountains and the barn, to jump into life every chance I get.

I’m noticing the farther I’m getting into my days of happiness the more that happiness is truly becoming part of my life. I still look for my moment each day, but I’m getting happier and happier all the time. Happiness in the core of my being is becoming more a way of life and I’m so grateful for that.

a couple of Dad’s photos

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