Thursday, December 30, 2010

Xmas Xhale

Our Christmas tree has a heart.
Flippy is happy with her gift
of crinkly paper.
Christmas is over (yeah). I'm not a Christmas person. And every year I experience self-judgment and intense social angst around this flaw in my nature. The closer we get to the actual day the higher my tension levels rise. Shouldn't we all be Christmas people? What's wrong with me? Did I have a past trauma around Christmas?

In an effort to get into the Christmas spirit I vowed I'd get my Christmas cards snail-mailed by Dec 1st. On the 23rd those who remained on my list were getting the more familiar "I hope you had a great Christmas and that NEW YEARS IS FANTASTIC!"

Since December the first, in an effort to amp up the joy, I tuned the car radio to a 24/7 all Xmas music all the time station; blasting myself with Christmas songs on the radio. Are there only 25 Christmas songs in the whole world? The result: I drove around aimlessly in a deja vu induced Xmas stupor.

I truly enjoyed the Christmas light displays adorning neighbourhood homes. And though I'd set an intention to decorate ours a week before THE DAY, the 24th found Rod and I working together to drape our eves in multi-coloured lights to provide one of 2 displays on the darkened side of our street. Meanwhile, neighbours across the road flooded their side of the street with so much Christmas illumination that you could land a 747 on the road; tt's like looking into a solar flare, sunglasses are recommended during the wee small hours of the night. Christmas keeners all, they invited deer and elves to play on their lawns. Stars, wreaths and strings upon strings replaced Halloween's ghosts, spider webs and pumpkins the day after Halloween.

Rod and I (child-free) are extremely fortunate to have gracious friends and family who invite us to take part in their celebrations every year. They too have celebrated in our home. But logistics have changed, children now grown have formed bonds of their own. What would our Christmas be like? We wondered. And so, for the first time, we decided to find out.

As we declined invitations, "Was it something we've done?" "You're not going weird on us? Are you?" were some of the unexpected concerns that would not have come up had we told friends and family that we were going away for the holidays. We wanted peaceful time in our own home — a place that normally is shared by clients, and projects. How does one explain, "We just want to jump off the speeding freight train that Christmas has become and experience different ground?"

For the first time ever, we slept in on Christmas morning.  In the afternoon we visited Mom at the nursing home. The parking lot was full.  Other families visited their loved ones making for a delightfully upbeat experience. Mom loved listening to conversations, watching toddlers, kids and dogs bringing new life to the place. That night Rod and I cooked, shared a lovely candle lit dinner and cleaned up together as Christmas music played in the background. Rod had found a music station on the TV that played seasonal songs I'd never heard before.

And now we are in my most favourite time of the year...the time between Christmas and New Year! There should be a name for it something like CHRISTMAS IS OVER; EVERYBODY EXHALE!

And have a HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Here at 5305 it's all kitties all the time. 
I have gotten a new camera and of course it's full of cats!

Flip doesn't care that her butt is falling off.
She slept like this on this bag full of fabric for a few hours.
Maya has to try it out of course.
Flip chooses a freshly laundered kitty blankie full of catnip
- note the contented look on her face!
A study in black and white.
They love this couch!
Find the black kittie on the couch.
When her eyes are closed you can barely see her.
You have to be careful when you sit down.
It'll take a while for me to get the hang of this camera; I'd just felt comfortable with the old one when it chose to go kaphlooey. It was cheaper to buy a new one than fix the old one, of course. But, I love its portability... and it takes video too.

Lots more fun to be had exploring this new stuff. Youtube watch out!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sweet Tweets

I have discovered the world of TWITTER and, surprisingly, I have discovered that I enjoy TWEETING. I like the economy of trying to get my point across in 144 characters or less. Being a lover of micro-fiction (you may recall my READERS' DIGEST REJECTS series) you can see why it would appeal to me.

The question TWITTER asks is, "What is happening?" Well, frankly I can't see anyone being interested in what I'm doing as I'm an average gal doing what most of us are doing most of the time. Who needs more of that? I've found instead that I tweet from the perspective of the observer regarding meditations, realizations experiences and challenges of the moment. I guess I could call it a mind tweet as I comment on thoughts, spiritual and philosophical inquiry, reflections and expression.

They are a little cryptic, that's for sure as my sister-in-law asked me (on FaceBook) what I was so angry about today and I had to explain that I, in fact, wasn't angry but was exploring anger.

Because, you see, today I tweeted about anger. My goal was not to be angry for today. And, as all meditators know, when that is your goal what arises is awareness of the beginnings of anger. I'm not talking about full fledged pissed-offedness (wow I didn't know that pissed-offedness was a word, spell check accepted it...) but the minor little nigglings, inklings or signs of irritation, feeling pressured, rushed or, my special tell tale signs of frustration (a first stage of anger for me): beginning to speed up in action, thought or speech.

That moment in which I catch the "inklings" provides the distance needed to detach and then choose to let it go. And so what is meant to be a transitory flashing off of thought or emotion becomes just that as I watch it arise, label it and let it go, leaving a clean slate behind.

To see what I'm writing about check out my TWITTER site at AwakeningChoice

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fashion Statements

copyright Nance Thacker 1991
click on cartoon to enlarge
Do you know someone who can go out: without makeup, wearing sweats, torn sneakers and unwashed hair tucked into a touque and still look fabulous? Well, I do. This is one of life's gentle ways of giving you a head's up that life isn't fair.

Have you ever noticed someone with: hair and makeup done to perfection; blood red, salon groomed, nails glistening in the sun; wearing her "Sunday" best in clothes and bearing; plonked down in the middle of the Hamilton bus station (circa '75) who didn't look out of place? Well, I did. I almost felt compelled to give her bus fare.

I went to the One of a Kind Show and Sale last week with Di. She took pics of us on her cel phone. Infinitesimally, it looked fine; posted it on FaceBook, holy crap, I look like...I dunno what I look like. And don't go wandering over there to see, just take my word for it, I didn't look as fabulous as I felt.

That picture challenges my belief that it is better to feel good than to look good. Billy Crystal channeling Fernando Lamas would disagree as well...

By the way, you look MARVELOUS darlings.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


A friend agitatedly blurted out that she had difficulty with the concept of "choice".  I realized that I had used the word "choice" quite a bit during our conversation. Obviously since the word is included in the name of my hypnosis business AWAKENING CHOICE (which is also the name of this blog), the concept of choice is a biggie for me.

Though she expressed a desire to change her life, my friend was depressed, stuck, lacking in the energy and motivation needed to initiate action of any kind in order to change her situation. Though our situations differ, I too have felt like her; probably many of you have too. Energy suckers such as (and please feel free to add your personal faves): inertia, self-doubt, regret or longing for the past, holding on to past dramas or traumas, fear or a sense of hopelessness about the future, clinging to labels assigned to one's self by self or others, peer pressure to remain within defined confines, what will others think, who do you think you are, leave one feeling like a powerless victim.

When we have been a "victim" of a crime or a vicious act the responses listed above are amplified, seem insurmountable and the challenges appear far greater. The reality is that the human spirit is resilient. We've all witnessed inspiring examples of resilience. If one person can rise above such a situation so can we all. We have the capacity to heal ourselves and our relationships. Living in a human body subjects us to challenges, illness and loss during our life and guarantees that we will die but suffering is optional — just ask the Dali Lama.

What she couldn't see is that we make choices (consciously or unconsciously) every second of every day. When we say that we don't have choice we're really saying that we aren't conscious of the act of choosing, because we actually are choosing at every moment. Don't believe me? You are right now choosing whether to continue reading this post or to do something else.

When we become more consciously aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and sensations we are living in the present moment and the presence of choice becomes more evident. In this moment there is no past, no her/his story; in this moment there is no future. Without our story, life is full of potential.

When I begin to realize that I have the resources within me to enable me to choose a different action, feeling or belief, no matter how small, that opens up unforeseen possibilities and sets the stage for transformation. The moment I exercise that option it is like a droplet sending ripples through the stagnant pond which my life has become. These ripples become waves of change in relationship within and ultimately between me and the people and world in which I live. This reality can be pretty daunting and can stall me before I begin. It may feel easier to stay in the status quo, after all what choice do I have? 

In accepting the concept of choice I take responsibility for my actions, their consequences and my life.
Each time I consciously exercise my ability to choose I am actively participating and engaged in life. I become energized. Struggles become transformed into challenges. I recapture my love of life, see it as precious and realize that I am entitled to be happy and enjoy it; and gratitude flows.

For me the ultimate belief about choice is that we are all in this together, a consciousness evolving that has chosen to experience this earthly existence through many, many lives and lifetimes. We are all one.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Singers have more fun

When I sing I sound like a cat wailing. People react to my voice the same way they do to nails being scratched down a chalkboard which is very sad because I love to sing! It's worse at Christmas because while everyone else is Caroling their hearts out in public, I'm looking for a rock to crawl under knowing that I'm going to be expected to join in or be labelled an up-tight scrooge. I am anything but uptight.

People who can sing try to cajole me with, "What's the matter with you? The cat got your tongue?" Then comes the encouragement phase, "Oh, come on, you can't be that bad" which declines into the guilting phase, "everyone else is having fun. Don't be a spoil sport." So, just to shut them up, I oblige and if pained expressions were flash bulbs going off I would be blinded. Fortunately for all involved, it only takes a bar or two for the reality of my vocal inability to register and I return, without protest, to mute mode once more.

I love to sing. Fortunately I love to drive. That is where I do my best and most harmless singing — alone, locked in a vehicle, speeding down the freeway. Me and a bazillion others.

Next time around, when talent is being portioned out (I'm putting my order in, in advance) I would love to have a beautiful voice. People who sing well have appreciation showered upon them. Before they've opened their mouth to speak or done anything character revealing, it's assumed that beautiful singers, by the very nature of their pipes, are nice and good people. We assume the same about beautiful looking people too (so I guess I'll add physical beauty to that request as well, thanks).

And, I think that singers have more fun. Doubt this? Watch this video.

See, fun, right! And...they get applause too, how cool is that!

I love this stuff. Yet there are flash mobs of talented people writing in public all the time and what do we get...ignored.

Singers definitely have more fun!

PS in case you didn't notice, this is the CHRISTMAS blog post I promised you a while ago.
And I can now say MERRY CHRISTMAS!