Nightmares and daydreams 

My son had to wake me up twice last night because I was having night terrors. Not just regular old nightmares, but sleep paralysis and night terrors (it was just as lovely to experience as it sounds). The after effects of a rather traumatic experience last week. The boy knew exactly what they were and shrugged and said I got those a lot last summer after I saw my dad,  then went back to bed. So that was lovely to hear, and kept me awake for a good chunk of the night.

But, the nightmares don’t last in the daytime and today I made a special effort to be thankful for the good things in my life. The boy and I went to to the farmer’s market and we have enough cherries, berries, and peaches to get good and sick off of (I have no self control when it comes to cherries), we looked at displays, tried curries, and bought Indian food. It was a success.

In the spirit of continuing to de-clutter I worked on my poor, neglected vegetable garden. I’m hoping that in two more days it will look like a loved place once again.

Then I went out for a ride. If I ever need a reminder that God loves me and that he preforms miracles all I have to do is look at Drishti. He is a miracle in my life and he teaches me to love, to trust, and to not be afraid. He also just lets me be happy.

Plus, I am home, I am safe, and this is the view I get while I’m on my horse. There’s a lot to be thankful for, and that makes me happy.


Waterton wellness day

The girl and I drove down to Waterton for the day. This is one of my happiness places, and even if the visit is short like today it does amazing things for my soul. 

The beauty and peace of the place is really something that must be felt, but here’s a little sample of what it is like 

If I ever doubt God’s existence all I need to do is see the beauty He created in the world around us. I can feel His presence strongly in places like this. And that was good – I’ve needed to be rebalanced and regrounded. 

That is happiness. 


Safe place 

I have realized over the past couple of weeks that even though I strive to provide a safe environment, even though I have worked so hard to feel safe and to make the kids feel safe, that in fact we are very insecure in our feeling of safety. I believe we are safe here, but I think because we were unsafe for so long that those fears are hiding not far beneath the surface.

Although I was very conscious of the fact that we actually were unsafe when we were living that life, I had no choice but to stuff that feeling as far down as I could and try and keep moving ahead – not only for myself but for my kids too. I didn’t realize until lately how fearfully unsafe they felt during that time as well. I don’t know what I could have done differently, but I wish they didn’t carry that burden as part of their life history. Now that there has been some time and some healing I seem to need to go back into that space and acknowledge the fact that there was no safe place, no grounding, that it was in fact a very scary time. I wasn’t making it up or exaggerating it, it really was that bad. I have journals of that time that make me cry whenever I open them (which isn’t often – too much pain).

I went out for a walk today and without consciously intending to, ended up at my safe place. This is the place I visualize when I need to stop, breathe deeply, and imagine where I am when I feel safe. It’s a spot that is filled with decades of my footprints. Skating, swimming, walking, horseback riding – I’ve been here with loved ones, on my own, with my horse, with my dog. It’s my sacred ground. It’s funny, when I was away I spent time in my memory on many parts of the ranch, but not often here. It wasn’t until we were back and I was out walking that I remembered how much of my childhood I had spent in this spot.

I realized as I was standing in my safe place, taking in the security and the beauty of my surroundings, that I need to come to a safe place within myself. I think one of the hardest things to heal has been the fact that I lost faith in myself. Part of that was years of him telling me what a stupid, useless piece of crap I was, part of that was me not listening to my intuition, not trusting myself, and instead following someone who I knew was not being true to me. I lost faith, or the ability to trust myself, and that means I couldn’t feel safe within myself. I am learning to have faith in myself, I am learning that I can trust in the fact that I can look after myself and my kids. I will get to that safe place within myself.

And until I do, I need to remember that I have this place that lets me know what safe feels like. Being there is pure happiness.

It’s Canadian camouflage – the dotted dog and the grey horse


Our swimming/skating spot


So sensitive 

Last night I attended an online lecture talking about people who are energetically sensitive. For as long as I’ve been alive I’ve been so sensitive to the emotions and energy of the people I come in contact with. Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing, and sometimes it makes my life a bit more challenging as I have to deal with the impact of other people’s vibrations. 

A few years ago I was reading the resume of Mr X where he listed as a skill the ability to take the emotion out of any situation and move ahead without that clouding his decisions. I said then that was one of the biggest problems in our marriage because I put  emotion in every situation I went into. This is not a slag on him, it’s just pointing out that we approached every situation from opposite ends. The fact that I was so emotional in a relationship that was devoid of any made it very difficult for me. 

It’s not just that relationship though, I’m sensitive to the energies of almost everyone I come in contact with. The more of a bond I have the more intense it is, but it’s still there. 

This talk last night addressed why it is some of us react the way we do. And even better, gave some tips on how to ease some of the raw sensitivity- while embracing that it is this same sensitivity that makes us special. 

One of my favorite parts was where he described us like: the energy from our higher power is supposed to flow into and through us and then out to the world. When we get our energy overwhelmed we aren’t able to do that. It’s my goal to realign myself so I’m flowing that love through me and into the world. 

This afternoon while waiting for Jenna’s guitar lesson we sat and had an Uno tournament. Then when she went in and played, Jacob and I had an intense one on one battle. We had great belly laughs and really enjoyed some quality time as a family. My happiness moment. 

 His hand. He won this game.  


Do what calms you 

Learning Ayurveda has truly changed everything about how I live my life. I look at all the emotional events that have happened in the past year and I know that a few years ago I would not have had the strength to deal with them. 

Now I’m dealing with all of these things head on. Not always in the most effective manner at first, but I’m absolutely walking through all the joys and sorrows of life. I’m a better, calmer, happier version of myself. 

I may not have any idea where this new path I’m on is taking me, but I feel deep in my soul that I have the strength to flourish and appreciate every step. 

A big part of what has helped guide me has been developing a meditation practice. I don’t follow the one I was instructed to (I did do it for a long time). Last May, a little before Dad died, I discovered the Moses Code Meditation and completely fell in love with it. When I meditate along with the music I feel myself being drawn into heaven, or drawn towards Source. It’s often very emotional for me as I feel Dad’s presence very strongly – so usually I spend a huge part of my meditation crying. But I love it, and it makes me want to meditate. 

What’s even better is that the kids also love it. They’re drawn to the music on the same instinctual level that I am, although their feelings and reasons are different. We do it nightly, and I never get any complaints that it’s something they don’t want to do. 

My happiness moment – sharing that time of connection to each other and to our Greater Power. Namaste.  


Valentine’s Deja Vu

I was reminded today that love comes in so many different shapes and forms. I am blessed to have so much love in my life. From the cuddles with my cat and the play with my dog, to the games with my kids and visits with my family, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by loving, kind souls.

Tonight my sister and I were heating up leftover supper from last night when my aunt and uncle stopped by (to share chocolates with my niece- it’s chocolate day you know). They ended up staying for dinner and we sat down to an almost identical meal to the night before – one family from the larger family gathering was missing this time. My uncle and I looked at each other across the table and he commented on how here we were again doing the exact same thing as last night, sitting in the same chairs, eating the same meal. I said it was like supper deja vu.

To a lot of people this may not be a big deal, but we spent 10 years so far away from our family. There was no chance anyone was just popping over for a quick visit, or an unexpected but very welcome meal. It was such an awesome moment looking around the table and seeing everyone laughing and sharing stories. The kids are now so relaxed and feeling like they are grounded here and a part of the flow of the family. I feel that way too.

To sit and visit and laugh with the people whom I love most and who know me best in the world, that is a great Valentine’s happiness moment. We are giving and receiving great love.


It’s all part of the same family

Tonight we had a wonderful happiness moment in the form of a family supper. Jacob and I came late to the party as we wee back in urgent care getting his ribs checked (again). Arriving tired, emotional, and hungry, it was so heart warming to come into the house and see it full of family. 

That house has always been a multi generational home in my heart. As far as my memory goes back there have been grandparents, parents, kids, siblings, and cousins running around the place. The people may have aged and the generations shifted, but there we are all the same. 

Tonight once again there was laughter filled in the dining room by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and everything in between. Keeping these roots that help me grow strong is so important. 

As we were leaving, Jacob looked down the driveway and said there’s three different families all sitting here waiting for us to pull out (we had parked everyone in). And I replied and yet we are all the same family. 

Having those bonds with the ones I love is priceless. This is what being home is all about and I’m so thankful I can provide this kind of grounding and security for the kids. 


Girls in the barn 

This old barn holds so many magical memories. Generations of my family have worked and played inside it. My grandfather handpicked all the logs and then built it about a hundred years ago. It is one of those special places that holds my heart. 

This afternoon Jenna had a friend over to play and the first thing they did was run up to the barn to play. They ran around looking for cats, and then just enjoyed playing outside in the corral. 

I love that I can look out my kitchen window and see this building that holds such fond memories of my youth. I spent countless hours either playing in the loft or grooming my pony inside while looking out towards the mountains. 

It was a great happiness moment to see my child enjoying an earthy, blissful moment in beautifully grounding and stable (haha get it) place. 


Alberta Bound

I have a happiness playlist on my phone that I listen to almost constantly. The songs are many and varied, but for different reasons they all bring me happiness when I listen to them.

A year ago the song that was played over and over was Alberta Bound by Paul Brandt. By that time we have been away from home for over 10 years, Dad was so sick, and I was desperate to be back among my people. We had decided the fall of of 2014 that the kids and I would be able to return home June 2015, but I was filled with uncertainty about how that would happen and if it would happen before it was too late for Dad.

I was listening to the song again today and thinking of what I was doing a year ago right now, still living in Virginia, still so uncertain, and alone, and homesick. I played Alberta Bound continuously as I prayed that somehow we would safely return back to our tribe. I remember sitting on the floor of our kitchen repeating the words over and over

I’m Alberta Bound
This piece of heaven that I’ve found
Rocky Mountains and black fertile ground
Everything I need beneath that big blue sky
Doesn’t matter where I go
This place will always be my home
Yeah I’ve been Alberta Bound for all my life
And I’ll be Alberta Bound until I die

Somehow I figured if I repeated it often enough it would make it happen.

And then it did. Things got quickly worse with Dad and I knew that if we didn’t come back right away we would not make it in time. We packed our essentials, left the rest of the packing in the good care of my friend to supervise (and later my husband to ship) and we left. Alberta bound.

We made it in time to spend two and a half months with Dad before he died. I will be forever grateful for that time that strengthened our family for what was to come.

 Back home again. The barn built by my grandpa  
Now we live in the house that was built by my great-grandparents, beside the barn built by my grandpa ( I can see it when I look out the kitchen window. That is happiness). We have our tribe all around us, we are firmly grounded in our roots, and I can see horses in the field (you have no idea what that does for my soul). This place has always been my home and I am so thankful that we are back here. We need the love and the support of our family and friends, and we are so blessed to be blended back in with them again.

Today on my drive home from the morning school drop off I had to pull off a couple of times to admire the beauty of where I live. It was a gratitude filled happiness moment.

  Those amazing Rocky Mountains. I never get enough of them. 


Machinery in the hay valley by our house  


Family Christmas Party

Today there was a family Christmas party hosted by my Great Aunt and her daughters. She’s the same Great Aunt who holds the annual family Canada Day Party, and these events are so important for us all as times to get together and visit and laugh and share.

I consider myself lucky because I come from a family that has mostly stayed in the same area since my great grandfather and his two brothers came out here in the 1880s to ranch. I think in many ways before we moved away,  I took for granted the strong community bond that we have out here because it was all I knew. It wasn’t until we started moving that I realized how many people are floating around out there without their tribe. I am so happy to be back in mine.

My happiness moment today was a long chat with an old favourite uncle. When I was a kid they used to hold Pony Club at their place – in fact they were known in the area for throwing the best “D” Rally and that was something we all looked forward to. I have memories of being somewhere around 5 or 6 and spending the week there sleeping in a silo at camp, and lots of memories of racing our horses around the cross country course.

In times when I need to dig deep and find some bravery, I think of my times there how they taught me to find that inner strength. Some of it was just out of sheer terror and not wanting to look like a big chicken, but that was only because I looked up to them all so much and  I wanted to be able to keep up with everyone.

When I was 9, I had a rotten (but really cool) horse named Snowflake whom I loved deeply but who had a terrible habit of rearing up when she was nervous. Uncle Harvey was the timekeeper that year and as he looked at me and said “one minute”, Snowflake reared up and I slid right off her bum and landed feet first on the ground. I walked around to her side, someone gave me a leg up, and without missing a beat Uncle Harvey started the countdown 10, 9, 8, 7…. and I was off on the course. I look back at that moment as a really special one in my life, he gave me wings to soar.  First of all, there was a very strict no helping the rider rule – so the fact that I was given a leg up showed that they were quietly supporting me. She was tall and I was small and I used to have to jump up, dig my knee into the stirrup and then climb my way up into the saddle. The fact that my uncle didn’t make a big deal out of what had happened meant that I also didn’t make a big deal out of it.  We ended up not only having a perfectly clear round, but coming in first in every class that day. It was one of my best days as a kid.

It was so lovely to be able to have a long chat with him today. I got to hear all about his family and how they’re doing and just chew the fat a little bit. Even though he doesn’t live that far away, I don’t see him all that often (last time was at the Canada Day Party) so it was a real treat. These family parties are so important for all of us. We need to remember that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Another happiness moment (aside from the general joy in seeing family/neighbours) was seeing smiles on older relatives when they learned that we are living in the old house. Everyone has memories of coming to the old house and visiting, or sometimes living here. One uncle (the twin of my happiness moment uncle) said that his first real bath was taken in the footed tub in our bathroom here. I love that we are living in a home that has so many memories for all of our relatives. It’s a great way of feeling bonded and grounded.