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Sunflowers and rainbows 

Starting the morning off the right way sets me up for the entire day. We had some bumps in the road this morning – couch surfing is difficult and even more so is getting used once again to the early morning *go* routine of school. I was running about in the kitchen at Mom’s while Jacob was getting ready to run back to our place to grab something he forgot when Mom came over and grabbed Jacob. They took off and after a few minutes he came running back telling me that Jenna and I needed to drop everything and run over there.

So, even though we were late, we did. On my way over my cousin texted me telling me to look outside. I read her text as I looked west and saw the most glorious rainbow doing a complete arc over the mountains.

From where I was standing, the rainbow ended directly into Mom’s sunflowers which somehow managed to survive the snow and the cold we have had the past few days.

God’s glory. Sunflowers reminding me of Dad.

An amazing happiness moment. We live in a beautiful place and I feel so blessed that I am able to breathe this in and let it flow through my soul. 

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Tears from heaven 

I’m finding as I move further into my understanding of who I am (with the help of my Ayurvedic studies, my meditation, my yoga, my increasingly closer relationship with The Source) that I am loving my sacred quiet morning times more and more. They are what gets me on my path for the day ahead and the more relaxed and at peace I can be when I start off, the better my entire day is.

This is how we started the morning on our terrace at the Tamaya Resort, so quiet and peaceful and warm

After helping Mom get ready for her course I headed back out along my Sunflower Path to clear my head and stretch my legs. As I began walking I was impressed with how quiet my head was. I was congratulating myself on how unstressed and uncluttered I was as I strolled along. Of course, no sooner did those thoughts come than my emotions were all like oh yeah? You think you’re all zen? Here, let me show you what’s really going on inside. And suddenly I was filled with rage.

By the time I realized how completely angry I was, I was at the halfway mark which looks out over the river towards the mountains and towards one of Dad’s sunflowers. So, I stood there and mind raged at the Dad-sunflower. 

Now, it was cloudy when I left for my walk, but I’d been out for about a half hour and although it was a bit chillier than I had thought, it was just overcast.

As I reached the peak of my mind-yelling at sunflower-Dad I started crying. Thank goodness I’m getting more comfortable with this whole bawling my eyes out in public thing (it helped that the path was quiet and I had this space to myself) because my eyes really let ‘er rip with those wet tears.

I was standing there bawling with a huge rock on my chest and a big lump in my throat as my mind-yelling turned into deep sorrow and I realized I was more really sad than really angry. At this exact moment it started to rain. Tears from heaven I stood there crying in the rain for a few minutes just allowing all the emotion to flow out of me and into the rain, into the river, and towards sunflower-Dad.

Then I was done and so was the rain. I felt the weight leave my heart and clear my throat. As these grief and sorrow feelings flowed away, the rain stopped. I waved to sunflower-Dad and walked back to the path to finish my walk. The second half of my walk was lined with the rest of the sunflowers and I had the strong feeling it was Dad reminding me that I wasn’t alone.

When I came back to the room I turned on the TV to listen to while I organized things. The channel was on The Doctors and they had some guy on talking with Vicki from RHOBH. She lost her mother a few months ago and she was getting messages from her through this medium. Then he went on say that so often people who have passed on are trying to contact us, but that we have to remain aware of the signs.

I smiled and thought how much I appreciated that Dad made his signs pretty easy for me to see. But, he loved us like that – he would try and make it as easy as possible for us.

I turned off the TV, rolled out my yoga mat and spent some time in quiet body stretching reflection.

My happiness moment: my tears joining with Dad’s tears from heaven. Because happiness isn’t always rolling on the floor belly laughing. Sometimes it comes from a deeper place in the soul.

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May it be

I have always been a big fan of having a personal theme song. I’ve had a few throughout the years – Don’t Stop Believin’, Rebel Yell, Say Hey (I love you), The Sound of Sunshine, Alberta Bound (this got me through the last year. The kids and I chanted it over and over and over… and look where we live) being a few of them.

Only a very few times has a song just completely captured my soul and it has sung out this is my song!! Stop and listen to it!! The first time I heard The Gayatri Mantra by Deva Primal my inner being swooned with love. I didn’t know who she was or what the words meant, but I knew that I had to listen to that over and over and over again. 9 years later it’s still something I listen to on almost a daily basis.

Today a song came up on my playlist that I’ve listened to many, many times over the past couple of years and my soul has always yelled that one. That is an important song. Stop and listen to it. Stop and listen I would, but I never knew the name of the song or really understood what the lyrics were saying. Today I stopped and pulled up the lyrics and followed them while I listened to May It Be by Hayley Westenra. And I realized that this has been the theme song of my life for the past few years as I’ve been reaching for better things.

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home

I started listening to this song when I was so far from home in every sense. Physically we were so far from home and our loved ones. I was so far from the home of my centered being, struggling to find myself in my storm of the dark night of the soul.

Mornië utúlië ([Quenya:] Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornië alantië ([Quenya:] Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow’s call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

It was exactly what I did. I just kept believing (although it was while I was humming Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey) and I started to find my way.

When the night is overcome, you may rise to find the sun. I feel like that’s where I’m at now. Like I’ve just awoken to the gift of a beautiful sunrise of life.

A theme song that has been guiding my path out of that dark night of the soul and I wasn’t even aware. I guess that’s the great thing about reaching for better feelings, that I don’t have to control or worry about where they come from, just reaching for them is enough to make them come to me.

My happiness moment today was a re-walking of yesterday’s happiness moment, but with my Mom. We talked again about the sunflower picture that is in the bathroom of our hotel.

the photo is horrible, but the with the lighting in the bathroom there is only so much you can do. It’s a beautiful picture.  But, you get the added bonus of seeing me trying to hide in the corner of the photo 🙂 

Yesterday morning before my walk with the spirit of Dad, Mom had commented on how beautiful the sunflower picture was and how much Dad would have enjoyed seeing it and the inspiration he would have gained for his own photos. As we were out walking in the desert among the sunflowers Mom said it’s like Dad saying I told you I’d be in New Mexico with you. It was a beautiful and peaceful moment to share with her. I said that some people say that departed loved ones come back as butterflies and rainbows, but Dad comes back as sunflowers. Very fitting for who he was –  I knew immediately he was with us.

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Sunflowers and memories 

Sunflowers always make me think of Dad. All wildflowers do – he spent hours and hours taking us out in the fields as children and then as adults (as well as his grandchildren) and patiently teaching us over and over again the names of the local flowers.

But sunflowers…. it seemed every time he saw a sunflower growing in the garden he was dashing off to get his camera and take the perfect photo.

This trip to New Mexico has been so much more difficult than I anticipated.  Last summer when I was home, I watched Mom and Dad spend a great deal of thoughtful time on their applications for Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation. Mom was accepted, Dad was not. With that,  the hope still was that he would accompany her here. Because Dad so wanted her to take this course and thrive in its growth. By the time I moved back home in March, we knew he wouldn’t be coming here, but the dream was that he would be home and mom could share her trip in the evenings on the phone with him while I was along in person to help her out.

And then he died.

After a summer of the family prodding and pushing and lovingly supporting mom, she bravely decided to come here.

And even with all that as background, I still didn’t think this would be so hard. 

I dropped mom off at her session this afternoon still thinking I was ok. I had a few minutes of sadness this morning, but in general had felt pretty stable. But, as soon as she went into the conference room I felt like pulling a Sadness moment from Inside Out and lying on my back with my leg up in the air for Joy to pull me around while I coloured all my memory balls blue. However after standing there in the (public) hall leaking grief from my eyes I realized I also had to be my own Joy. 

I took myself outside for a walk. It’s beautiful here at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Not only that, but it’s so soul warming and peaceful. You can see the effect of the place on the smiles of the people as they move around.

As I was walking down the path all I could think was I miss Dad so much. I wish we were walking here together. We loved walking together, it made us so happy. I miss him… I miss him… I miss him.

I came around a turn and I saw this:


  Sunflowers. Just hanging out in the desert. As I stopped to look they were  everywhere.

Every time I turned…    There was the spirit of Dad walking along with me.

(A tree of sunflowers!! A tree – how cool is that??)
  I got to the banks of the Rio Grande (yet another one of those cool places I thought I would never get to) I stood there with Dad in my heart and looked across to the mountains. My happiness moment.

I knew I had to turn around and come back, but as I stood there in joyful sorrow I felt peace and love. Look in the left corner – there’s sunflowers there too. 

There’s a lot of healing that could happen in a place like this. I’m not sure how to describe it, or even exactly what it is. But this is the kind of place that can help heal your soul.  I’m grateful Dad came along for my afternoon walk so I could share this with him.

Even with the sorrow and grief of today, I am so grateful that we are here. Life does go on, and no one loved to really live life more than Dad did. He would want us to live, laugh, cry, love, experience all that life has to offer. I deeply feel the best way to honour his memory is to keep stepping ahead. Sometimes with smiles and sometimes with tears, but living and loving with a full heart.

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