happiness

He’s got this 

It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling both overwhelmed and frustrated with God lately. I keep coming back to a passage in a book by Marianne Williamson that says when you ask God into your life, you think God is going to come into your psychic house, look around, and see that you just need a new floor or better furniture, and that everything just needs a little cleaning – and so you go along thinking how nice life is that God is there. Then you look out the window one day and you see that there’s a wrecking ball outside. It turns out your foundation is shot, and that you’re going to have to start building it from scratch. 

I feel like the wrecking ball comes through and just as rebuilding is starting to happen another wrecking ball hits. And I’m tired.

Today in church I realized that maybe the wrecking ball keeps coming through because I’m building the foundation over and over again by myself instead of remembering to turn it over. I’m building on the same shitty foundation time after time and that needs to change.

The message of today’s sermon was to remember that God’s got this, and that He’s got you. At this point my life is so scary and overwhelming I don’t think I have any choice but to trust that those words are true.

This is a sunrise photo taken in my front yard last fall. The fact that we are here, we are safe, and we are loved is a miracle and that will always be a happiness moment.  I’ll just trust that He’s got this, He’s got me, He’s got us.

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happiness

Walk through it

The best way out is always through (Robert Frost).

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about when to fight and when to walk. Is the passive approach the way to peace? I used to believe the best way to actually resolve things was to choose the passive, not confrontational approach. I’m changing my stance on that. This has been one of the great lessons of 2016 for me. 

A month or so ago I was reading the Bhagavad Gita and totally understood why Arjuna was struggling to understand why he had to fight. I spent some time really thinking about that and what situations warranted a battle. Were there situations that warranted a battle? For the last few days The Coward of the County has found its way onto my Spotify playlist. I hadn’t listened to that song in years. And suddenly there it was – explaining that sometimes you had to stand and fight. Life lessons from the Bhagavad Gita and Kenny Rogers. 

Jacob has been struggling with some kids at school – mostly regular teen stuff – so I made him listen to the song. Now it’s on his playlist and he’s really diving into  the question of when it is time to fight and when it is time to walk away. 

I don’t think fighting always has to be a bloodbath. But sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe is right. You have to stand up to protect the ones that you love. You have to stand up to find your self-respect. 

Or at least I need to.

Robert Frost is absolutely correct. The best way out is always through. I’m going to make sure I walk through this, that I heal through this, that I stand up for myself through this. But also that I get through this. I refuse to get stuck in it. It’s not who I am, it’s something I’m going through. It’s changing me, but not defining me. 

I am going to come out of it so much stronger, kinder, braver, and with such a greater understanding of who I am and what I want. 

Today was a beautiful morning. It was cold as you know what out, but Jenna got up before 7 and headed to the barn with her cousin to feed Derek. I love the compassion and responsibility this is teaching her. I had to stop twice on the way home to look at the amazing sunrise. I feel so blessed that this is where we are. I feel Gods love so strongly for us, and the love and support of our tribe is unbelievable. We are fortunate souls. The sunrise, the strength, the faith, the hope for better things coming our way – my happiness moment.  

The view on the way home

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happiness

Absolutely nothing 

I’m lying here in the hammock in our yard staring up at the big old trees. I came out to put away all the outdoor furniture. But since it’s 20C and the 5th of November i. Alberta, I succumbed to the call of the hammock. 

I was looking at our old house. There’s so much history in those walls, in this yard. It’s where my family started building a life in Alberta a hundred and thirtyish years ago. 

I love that after all of our time  of uncertainty, of feeling ungrounded that this is where we were brought to heal and get strong  again 

Jacob looked out the window of his bedroom and waved at me. I realized that he and his great grandfather who were born 98 years apart both spent parts of their childhood surrounded by the walls of this home. 

The great thing about a beautiful day like this where I have accomplished absolutely nothing is that it has given me time to reflect on where we are, where I want to see us go, how grateful I am for all that God has provided for us, and how incredibly fortunate we are to be part of this tribe. 

It is what happiness moments are all about 

Sunrise from our front yard. 

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happiness

The unexpected gift

Every once in a while I get an unexpected life gift – they’re beautiful, extraordinary, and I cherish them in my heart forever. I got one of those blessings this morning.

I was sitting at Timmy’s with the boy having our usual quiet coffee time before school. Out of nowhere he told me that they had had an assignment where they were supposed to write about something that their parents had taught them.

He said:  most of the other kids wrote about things like “my parents taught me how to brush my teeth”, but I decided hell no – I’m going to use this assignment to write something meaningful.

He went on to tell me that he wrote about how his mom taught him to always stand behind the people that you love. He said I remember when things were really bad at home and I was scared. When I was fighting, you would jump in and fight with me. You always had my back, you stood up for me even though it got you yelled at. You made me feel safe and protected. I learned that is how you love people.

I didn’t even know what to say. I often beat myself up feeling like I failed them in so many ways. It was heartwarming to hear his perspective on how he remembered things. I mean, terrible that he experienced them, but wonderful that he remembered there was love in the middle of all that.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the notion of unconditional love. I have written a bit about it. I was raised with it, I love my tribe with it. I’m still caught off guard when the people that I love put conditions on their love for me. But, my sincere hope is that my kids will grow up knowing how to give and receive unconditional love. Based on his story I would say that he’s well on that journey. I am so proud of him, and so touched by the unexpected happiness moment he gave me this morning.

On our way out of the house we were greeted with God’s light display sending us love and peace – something that has held me strongly throughout the day.

the view from my front yard

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happiness

Embrace your light

I was reminded this morning that I have forgotten how to breathe. Not in the OMG I’m not going to suffocate and die at this moment way, but that somehow I’ve forgotten how to breathe into my peace and bliss. Sometimes I get so caught up in life, running around trying to put out fires, that I forget that one of the best things I can do for myself is to just stop and breathe. Slowly, deeply, inhaling that healing breath. It never ceases to amaze me what an immediate difference that makes to my nervous system.

I was doing the first of the new series of Healing Light Yoga Therapy classes lead by my friend and mentor Asrael. I have done every series she has offered so far and it has been such an important part of my healing journey.

It surprised me (although it shouldn’t have) all the emotions that were brought up for me in that class. This journey I’ve been on has been about embracing happiness, but there’s many more emotions attached to it as well. Part of finding happiness for me has meant that I also have been able to acknowledge that other emotions flow through me – anger, sadness, grief, anxiety – and that they all need to be honoured. I never really knew what to do with those feelings so I would just stuff them deep down where they would fester and damage me. Now, I can allow them into my life and still know that I’m a happiness seeker because… well… those other emotions are part of life too.

Today’s special visitors were sadness and grief. Those are ones that I’ve worked very hard at pushing away. The past few years have had so much loss in them. On top of losing my dad, I’ve had to give up the dream I wanted for my family. There’s a lot of good that is coming from that, but it still carries so much pain and sorrow that my kids won’t have the family I dreamed for them and neither will I. I’ve already grieved losing that person, but the sadness from giving up that dream still sneaks up on me. This type of yoga helps all of those emotions move out of my body. It’s tiring, but so healing.

I seem to keep coming back to discovering the gifts that God has given me and figuring out what I am supposed to do with them. Understanding that I need to listen very carefully to my heart and my intuition is going to guide me along the path of this part of my life. That is being told to me very clearly in everything I do lately.

It was a beautiful, sad, blissful, grieving, peaceful happiness moment as I worked at embracing my light this morning in my yoga class. We all have this light we need to shine into the world. I feel like I’m finally finding mine.

 

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Sunshine on my shoulder 

I started the day off by accidentally sleeping in. That doesn’t happen very often so I knew I was tired. However, instead of then bolting out of bed and racing into the day, I noticed that there were beautiful red colours appearing in my east window. The next thing I knew I was standing barefoot in the yard admiring the fantastic sunrise 

This does not do it any justice 


The whole day was beautiful. It was like summer, so warm and bright. It helped cheer me up as both the girl and I spent the day with sniffly noses and feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. 

This evening I decided to force myself to go out for a walk and it was the best decision I could have made. My entire walk was filled with my heart telling my brain can you believe we are back here? Isn’t this the best place in the world? It was perfectly beautiful tonight. And the clouds were amazing 

And of course the mountains 
My gratitude happiness moment. I am so happy this is where our roots are planted. 

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happiness

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. 

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will 

I came across this quote this morning while reading an article about the Canadian beef industry. Given my family and background, the article held a lot of interest to me because of the content. But, that quote just leapt out at me and hit me right in the soul. 

I have let someone else tell my story for a long time. Finally after a lot of work and faith building I am strong enough to start to tell my own story. 

My close tribe already know most of it. They have been my angels who have held me up as I have regained my strength and sense of self worth. Many others have just sensed it and have reached in with loving help. 

I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better, but I also know that I am strong enough to stand in this storm. 

I spent some time doing some energy work this morning with my dear friend and mentor Asrael from Ananda Ayurveda. I can’t express properly the gratitude I have for this wonderful, spiritual woman who had guided me out of my darkness. 

We worked on helping let go of a lot of the painful emotions that are coming my way. I have been putting myself in the path of the strong chinook winds and letting them blow all the yuck out of me – both in my imagination and literally as I stand on the ridge and cleanse my soul. As we were deep in our energy work Ella the Yoga Cat (who loves Asrael and always comes and hangs out when we work together) came by. She punched me in the head, glared at me, then turned and stuck her fancy tail up in the air and marched away. I don’t think she liked the energy I was getting rid of!! Me neither but I’m glad to have it gone! 

This morning I started my happiness moment early as I ran outside in my bare feet and danced around appreciating the beautiful sunrise. Ok, I was mostly dancing because my feet were cold. But it was a glorious way to start the day. A lot of good things are happening.   

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When opposite views come from the same thing 

This morning I had to stop everything and run out to the barn to look at the sunrise. 

We often get pretty beautiful ones, but today it was absolutely stunning 

 This is no filter and the sun really was shining that huge beam straight up into the sky.  
As I was standing there doing a happiness-gratitude dance, I received a text from my cousin who lives about a mile and a half away. 

Look at the lavender sky and the full moon!! She said. We couldn’t see the moon from where we were (and we were now getting late for school) but we did take in the beautiful colours over the mountains. 

She sent me a photo of the view from her window 

Breathtaking morning view of the moon and the mountains   
As I was driving home I was thinking how great it was that we had been sharing the morning beauty at the same time, and that she had thought to reach out to me to make sure I was enjoying it. I also appreciated how our opposite views – mine to the east and hers to the west were so incredible. They were completely different, and yet a product of the exact same morning light. 

What a great happiness moment. I just knew today would be a day filled with joy and blessings. 

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Swan memories of Dad

I spent last night and most of today down for the count with a stomach virus. Not a lot of fun, but I’m grateful that I was able to rearrange life so I could take some time and get rid of it. This morning Jenna (who has the week off of school) came into my room, hopped under the covers of my bed, and snuggled up with me.

We talked about how when the kids were little and one of them was feeling sick they would pile in bed with me and we would cuddle until things were better again. There is nothing like a good snuggle with someone you love to make the rainbows come and brighten things up.

While we were lying there, my cousin texted me that the swans were back on the lake by their cabin. When I see swans I think of spring and of my Dad. He was always so excited to see them come – because it meant the end of winter and because it meant he could take some great photos. It’s hard to believe we are looking at another spring coming, which will mean he will have been gone for a year soon. What a year this has been!

I thought the girl snuggles were going to be my happiness moment, but the text about swans left me with Dad on my mind all day today. Jenna and I were driving into town so she could have a sleepover at her Grandma’s and she started talking about my Dad and some of her memories of him. It was a beautiful moment to share as she laughed about how he would flip her on her raft at the creek, and how he took her out for wildflower walks (my dad knew the names of all the flowers and very patiently spent years teaching us about them. Later on he began taking breathtaking photos of the flowers). Naturally I started to cry, but it was so wonderful to share those loving memories with my girl. I’m so glad she has these to hold in her heart. Dad loved his grandkids (and his whole family) so much, he worked really hard to make a lasting impression on us all – and succeeded.

These photos of the swans near our place are ones Dad took  3 and 4 years ago. He loved being out there with his camera!

  
The happiness moment today was sharing fond memories of my Dad. I miss him so much there is an ache in my heart, but I am so thankful for his presence in my life. Soon the swans will be here too and I will be out with the kids and my Mom watching them and thinking about our memories of my Dad.

And just in case I forgot how much I love being back home, God put on an amazing show this morning:

The view from our front yard this morning. 


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A silhouette of hope

  
This photo that I took this morning seems to express how I am feeling right now. Some dark, some shadows, rays of light, and a beautiful horse. Because everything hopeful in my life should include a horse. 

I am in a period of great uncertainty where I am having to rely heavily on my faith and trust that every blind step I am taking is one that will lead to a happier life. 

Moments like this one with the horse give me great joy and happiness. I feel my soul calm and am able to breathe deeply and find strength to face the things that cause me fear. 

My happiness moment was this great moment of peace in the morning. It was enhanced by great moments of love and support given to me throughout the day. These came in many different forms:  words of encouragement, super duper help with child care and taxi servicing to lessons (from my awesome cousin), kind smiles, feelings of love, and the grounding of home. 

The warmth that I get from looking at this photo is one I know I will return to many times to find peace. 

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