happiness

Healing steps 

Today we took a huge step on our healing journey. It didn’t go the way that we had hoped, but I’m learning that prayers are always answered and that there’s a reason for everything. The fact that my kid took the steps he did despite so many fears shows his desire to heal and be happy. 

I am so incredibly proud of my son. He showed huge courage, strength, compassion, openness, and forgiveness today. The person he was seeking healing with didn’t show up for him, but he learned so much today and walked through it with grace and dignity. He is an inspiration to me and I am forever grateful that God blessed me with his light. 

We have had a huge amount of support from our tribe who have stood beside him quietly showing love while he sorts through what is going on in his heart. 

My happiness moment was one in the midst of deep heartbreak as I saw the level of inner strength that my son possesses within his soul. His faith and his strength will carry him far in life. 

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Skate time 

We are more settled into being home all the time. The kids tell me how they finally really feel like they have roots here and belong. It’s been years of living in limbo, never knowing where we were going to be long term, so it’s extra comforting to know we are home. 

Today Jenna skated. She loves this sport so I love going and supporting her. That’s what you do for the people you love, you support them. And I’m happy to do it. It brings me incredible joy to watch her gain confidence as she learns a new skill. 

My happiness moment today was sitting at the rink watching her smile as she skated around the rink. 

  

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Attracting it in 

I’ve realized lately that I’ve spent much time and focus over the last few years attracting safety, home, freedom and love into my life. Now that I have all of that (yay for the law of attraction), I realized I forgot to also attract money. 

Perhaps because I always had enough to be comfortable I wasn’t  actively working at attracting cold hard cash. And even now, thanks to my family  helping me through this rough patch we still have enough to be safe while we wait for Mr. X to be convinced to make support payments. 

I’ve been much more focused on attracting not just money but abundance into my life again. As a little nugget of proof that the law of attraction works, I found 20$ lying on the ground in town today. There’s a lot that I can do with that money. Like make sure that this isn’t the year Jenna has to find out that  the Easter bunny couldn’t make a stop for her. There’s huge gratitude for that. 

  
I don’t just want monetary wealth – that alone leaves one with only a very shallow and surface happiness. I want abundance and wealth on the inside as well. 

I was asked over the weekend what is it I like to do for fun? I felt myself stutter over the answer. As I was figuring out what to say, I realized that the reason I was having difficulty  was because I’m pretty close to living a life I don’t need a vacation from. 

What that means is that almost every aspect of my life involves me doing something that I like to do for fun. I thrive on parenting the kids, I love driving them to and from school, I am so grateful that I get to see my mom every day, I am grounded in this home in a way I haven’t been in years, I have awesome friends,  walking the dog brings me peace, I adore learning Ayurveda. What I like to do for fun is live my life. I get to do that every day. 

My happiness moment was driving home this afternoon laughing until it hurt as the kids cracked jokes. A darkness has lifted from our family and I’m enjoying the light shining back in. 

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My peeps 

My happiness moment today is remembering how awesome the people are whom I have in my life. So many of you have reached out to us in love and support – not only these last few days but in the last year or so. I am so incredibly fortunate to have such loving, supportive, kick-ass people in my life. 

I was standing in the kitchen of the house that was provided to us by family, after driving the car my sister has loaned to me, having spent the day with my mom who has just been a huge source of support and I realized how incredibly fortunate we are. What a safe place to fall. 

Having beautiful souls in my life is the greatest gift I could have. So as a top off to that happiness, the kids and I are going to cuddle on the couch and watch a movie together. 

Thank you all for your love and support. It means the world xox. 

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And so the sun sets on this year 

Tonight is my personal New Year’s Eve as I finish off another trip around the sun. A year ago tomorrow I began my journey to happiness with this blog. When I go back to the early days of my happiness journey I am struck by how much things have changed. I was so desperately seeking happiness, but I was so lonely and afraid and unhappy. Now I am surrounded by loved ones, less afraid, and so much happier. I love my life being back home, grounded into our roots, secure in the love of our family and friends.

There has been much joy over the past year, reuniting with old friends, strengthening bonds with family, walking happily out in the fields at the ranch, and living in a place that makes my soul feel complete. There has also been a lot of sorrow, losing my dad, and learning to let go and surrender (still working on that one).

Through it all, I am filled with immense gratitude. I have a blessed life and I am surrounded by wonderful and loving people.

I had three happiness moments today. First I heard Jacob describe his day of snowboarding at Nakiska with his school. It was his first time on the slopes and it seems to have been a resounding success. Secondly, my nephew had his surgery and is back home recovering. Thirdly, I had some wonderful visits with family that made me feel strengthened and loved. I am so thankful for my tribe.

 

 

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Who has your back?

  
The past couple of years I’ve made a very focused effort to surround myself with the kind of people who have my back. I finally realized how important it is to have people in my life who hold me up and make me a better person. Its made me become strong enough to help others and have their backs too. It’s been amazing since I’ve made that my mindset how people who love and support not just me, but the kids as well, have appeared in our lives. 

Jacob has a teacher who is one of these special people. The three of us (with some help from the assistant principal) have been working hard to stop this Caillou name calling, bullying issue at school. Finally it seems we have some resolution. The kid has been moved away from Jacob in class, there has been no more teasing, things are settling down. 

This teacher has really stepped up and it is so impressive how she’s making sure Jacob feels safe and secure at school. I’m so glad she is there and that he was comfortable enough with her to reach out to her for help. 

My happiness moment today was when Jacob jumped into my car with a huge smile on his face. All the way home he chattered happily about his day and the things that happened at school. It’s been a long time since he’s been so carefree and light hearted about school. Warms my heart. 

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Stampede breakfast at the Hall

Every year our community hall throws a stampede breakfast and all the neighbours (most of whom are related) come out and have a long overdue visit. The kids and I have been fortunate enough the last two years to have been able to attend this community function. 

Communities aren’t the same as they used to be, or maybe it’s that we have been the new people in so many communities over the past few years that we missed the sense of belonging. But in this community, our community, most of the families have been here forever (which in Alberta terms is just over a hundred years). So, even when there are faces I don’t recognize, I can still figure out who they are by asking a couple of questions. 

I had some lovely visits with family and neighbours today. I feel like some of these people I wait a whole year to see at the breakfasts. Sad since we now live so close (hopefully this changes and I will see them more often) but it shows how important these community events are because we need to see each other.

My happiness moment today was when my Mom arrived at the Hall. She came a little later than we did, so I was already sitting at a table when she came in. I was in a position that I could see not only her, but the expressions of people around her. The smiles and love and warmth that radiated out of the family and neighbours as they watched her come in was overwhelming. This community of tough and strong ranchers also has so much tender love to give. The love and support on their faces as they welcomed her into the crowd is exactly why we need to be around our tribes. 

I had a bonus happiness moment today. My cousin and her family from the Yukon came over for a visit this afternoon. I haven’t seen her since 2007 and I’d never met her kids.  I love the family tie that can bind you together even when years and time may keep you apart. 

We went out for a walk and I saw my favourite flower, the wood lily 

   
The lily on the right is actually a conjoined twin flower. There are two complete lillies on one stem. I’ve never seen anything like that. Pretty cool. 

 

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In the midst of a storm. 

We scattered Dad’s ashes today. We have some saved for one more area, but most of them went in his most beloved places around the ranch. 

How blessed Dad was that he had so many favourite spots all so close to his house. We live in a beautiful area and I have a lifetime of memories of walking over a hill or just glancing west and saying look at that view. Isn’t it amazing here?  

He’d told us a few places he wanted to be scattered and today we went out and tried to honour his wishes. 

Of course after days of 30C weather and a beautiful, sunny day; when we went out there were storm clouds blowing all around us and thunder crashing to the north and the west. But, in the midst of the storm where we stood together it was calm enough to do what we needed. 

There in the midst of the storm we quietly and lovingly said our prayers and sang our goodbyes and sent out our love to Dad. 

How lucky we are that we have each other. Blessed that we had Dad, blessed to have each other to walk through this with, blessed to have this beautiful area to walk our goodbye. I’m not doing so well with the goodbyes, but I’m  thankful I have these people to do the goodbyes with. The love and the shared memories will bind us together. 

I was thinking as we were doing this that its no wonder I and millions of people before me have stopped and dedicated life to figuring out the meaning of life, why are we here? Where do we go? What becomes of us? Because if all we are is just reduced to those ashes then it’s hard to see the point of it all. 

I am grateful for my faith because I believe that there is something after life. The curious and impatient human part of me would really appreciate knowing what that is. Again, a time when being able to call Dad up on the heaven phone would be useful. He could answer all those questions for me.  Is he still Dad and watching over us? Does he still know he’s Dad? Does he remember life here? 

Those are my questions, but I think I would also like to know for him – is he happy? Am I on the right path to discovering my spiritual truth? Was it scary? 

At the end of the day, for me, it all just comes back to faith. I have to believe that Dad is more than those ashes. That the part of Dad that made him Dad is still an energy being somehow and somewhere. Something that shines as brightly as Dad’s soul did can’t just cease to exist. 

The happiness moment was celebrating Dad’s life and remembering walking and talking with him in the areas we chose today. I miss him so deeply but I’m so thankful to have known him and to have had his unconditional love and strong guidance. 

One of Dad’s favourite places along the ridge. We walked there together many times.   

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The beginning of the aftermath of crisis. 

When we were in crisis mode I had the overwhelming feeling that we were the only people in the entire world to be going through a crisis. I was the only little girl (at the age of 44) who was about to lose her dad ever. We had a wonderful support team around us, yet at times it felt so all encompassing and lonely. 

Even then the rational part of me knew we were hardly the only ones facing a crisis, and how even during our storm we were held onto by so many loving arms. 

Here’s what I’ve noticed in the beginning of the aftermath of the crisis. Those feelings of being so alone are gone. We are holding each other up. We are held up by our tribe. And coming quietly out of the woodwork is the support of the others. Those who have already lost a spouse or parent. 

Before I had kids people may have tried to warn me of the pain of childbirth. I’m sure even if they’d graphically and accurately described it I would never have believed that such a pain exists and you can live through it and see better things. These others who have survived the death of their loved one come silently behind us and hold our hands while we work through the pain. They are proof you can make it through. They understand that pain that you can’t describe. 

The tribe we have has circled around us and enveloped us in love and support. I am so grateful for the amazing people we have in our lives. God put us right in the middle of a very strong and loving support system. 

The messages I have received from people telling stories about how dad impacted their lives has let me know that he was this powerful force of love to so many other people as well as to us. 

All of these people slowly and quietly holding us in a nest of love. How grateful I am. 

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