Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eye Broccoli

It’s the season of birthdays. So many people I know seem to be turning 50. They do it with varying degrees of willingness and celebration. Tonight’s festivities were delicious.  From lobster risotto to wine braised short ribs, the food at Adesso Bistro was fantastic.
This particular spot in the west end of Vancouver was the former home of a raucous and martini mad, memory making restaurant called Delilah’s.  It’s inevitable that any restaurant that takes this space will invite gregarious fun. I think it soaked into the walls years ago and no redecorating or modern twist of velvet on the half moon banquette can quite erase those marvelous days of decadence and loose libations. Naturally we had to order martinis, and my expectations were high.

Adesso did not disappoint. The Vespa, a Gin/Vodka lemon twist mix with Lillet (a French aperitif that I had never heard of), wowed us. Gorgeous, we proclaim raising glasses and adjusting our volume to rise above the clamor.  This is not your romantic whispery night spot.  The place is bouncing with conversation and yelling is essential if you want to be heard, especially during table cross talk. There are times I would find this annoying but this is a birthday, a 50th and this particular table of souls are no wall flowers.

So the games begin.  You would think Sandra Bernhard herself was in our midst with the flavor leaning toward witty fencing and adventures in human frailty. I admire Sandra’s realness and last night felt everyone was willing to wear their true colors. I shared stories of past faux pas I made and liked and we rolled with waves of laughter not to mention numerous desserts.

 Our birthday friend opened her presents and read her cards, touched by the love surrounding her, a heart combination of history and understanding. Tribes form in the oddest of configurations.

I am thinking about 50 and all that involves.

There is a kind of directive, it seems to me, particularly relevant to this decade, to step out of seeking to get from the world and directly into the path of giving. The question is no longer what do I need to do to fulfill myself but rather what am I being called to give to feel my full radiance and purpose…to feel my passion.

The idea of being or getting eye candy is losing its glow. It is time to let go of this youthful way of defining ourselves.  We are all heading in the same direction, willingly or not and an over attachment to looks is just not on the menu of awakening and consciousness.

 Its time for language that reflects this essential transition.  So if we are to give up eye candy what do we replace it with. I was fond of that term I admit, fun, wait, I am giving it up!

So here is my attempt to live up to a label I can actually aspire to being.
The term eye broccoli comes to mind.
Yes, eye broccoli!

Eye candy is concerned with how things look.
Eye broccoli is concerned with substance and nourishment.
Eye candy tastes great in the moment, fades quickly and can leave residual damage not to mention cavities that ache for ages after the thrill is gone.
Eye broccoli can smell funny at first and many protest an initial dislike but toast some walnuts or toss it with sesame oil and there is a depth of nourishment that no buff six pack can hold a candle to. Well at least not in the long run.

 Marked by time with a well earned core strength that stems from adversity and a refusal to cave to appearances, a man or women described as eye broccoli has learned to accept all parts of self, shadow and light.

Eye broccoli chooses to know its goodness even as it invites a bold acceptance of its primal vegetable or in this case human nature.
Rather than looking good, the focus is on being good, giving good, radiating good.
And not by following the rules of the mask with shoulds and shouldn’ts devised by a fear based world to find safety in the defense of pretending , but rather in an authentic way that is in touch with the truth of your Essence.

And quite simply…that is good.

I am officially introducing Eye Broccoli as a spiritual term for enlightenment.  I never liked that word enlightenment.
But eye broccoli, I can work with…nourishing… filling and good for self, those around us and the planet.  Let’s all get old glowing with this expanded sense of self acceptance.

Broccoli would.
And self-acceptance is it's own unique sense of pretty.

Branded by birthdays… and broccoli…

Authentically Yours,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love in the dark

It was late, about 11 p.m.  A handful of us had walked down to the beach to end our evening of tribute to my son by floating white roses on the ocean. It was foggy and raining pretty hard. It didn’t matter. We were all feeling the warmth of the earlier gathering with close friends.  We had had a potluck dinner, watched a movie that the boys had made in their early teens, and raised a glass to Dunc.  We laughed and cried and thanked Duncan for being such an inspiration to us all.

We stood at the water’s edge.  It was low tide and I was thinking the roses would likely float right back to us on shore after we had set them adrift.  Everyone had their own space and time to say goodnight to him, and one by one, we cast our roses into the sea.  We watched in awe as they all began to glow.  It was the only thing we could see as everything around us was so dark.  Someone began to sing Amazing Grace softly.  Another had tears – and perhaps they were his first tears, I don’t know, but there was a lot of healing happening in that moment for all of us.

The roses continued to glow – a surreal sight and also a very real message that no matter how dark one’s hours can get, love won’t be extinguished. 

The roses did not come into shore.  Against the pull of the tide, those little beacons headed straight for Christie Islet, a place where we had scattered his ashes four years earlier.

We all realized we had witnessed a moment of truth.  Love is visible, love lights our way, and love leads us home.

Thank you Duncan.

Truly in awe,

Buns (a.k.a. Mom)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shadow and Light Source Both

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water?
Don’t try to

put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don’t
wash a wound with blood.

No matter how fast
you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes It’s
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes
your shadow.

But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you blesses you.

Darkness is your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.

I could explain this, but it will break the
glass cover on our heart, and there’s no
fixing that.

You must have shadow and light
Source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.

When from that tree feathers and wings sprout on you, be quieter than a dove.

Don’t even open your mouth for even a coo.

From the Soul of Rumi,for you Buns.

Authenticaly Yours,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

There is a cure for the January blues.

As a lot of you know, January has not been my favourite month for over three years now.  That’s when my son, Duncan, passed away and my life changed forever.  Before this year, I would anticipate January with trepidation and just want it to go away.  I hated saying the word, and I dreaded the approach of the 20th with a sick feeling in my stomach.  This year feels a little better and I know that my recent trip to Maui with Marty certainly helped.

You might think it was the glorious sunsets, the beaches, the respect-inspiring surf, the fabulous fresh food, exciting new friends, the fragrance of the local flora, and all the seductive attractions that Hawaii has to offer – and yes, all this was part of it – but it was something a lot more subtle.

Last Tuesday, we had the luxury of spending some time with a beautiful young Hawaiian mother and healer (Jeana Iwalani Naluai) who led us to sacred sites on the island, all the while “talking story”.  She shared with us her people’s history, beliefs, rituals, and spiritual practices.  Being in her company was very healing and it would have been so even if she didn’t utter a word.  We spent some time at one of the temples in silence, and it allowed a self realization to surface that I have been getting much more comfortable with as I begin to embrace it more fully. I was able to take a look at my “being nice” and understand the difference between being that way so people would like me vs. being that way because I believe that kindness matters.  I understood that everything I do in every moment has a consequence.  Has impact.  Creates a ripple effect.

Then there was Marty’s and my New Year’s ritual that we started last year.  We write on pieces of paper what we want to release.  Then we dip them in honey and burn them – a symbolic bittersweet “letting go” of that which doesn’t serve us any longer. One of my pieces was to let go of any unconscious limits I have placed on my ability to manifest abundance in my life – be it a loving relationship, a healthy business, or the wherewithal to get back to Maui as quickly as possible!

So… this January I’m not so blue.  I have much to do.  And I am already seeing a difference.  I am actually going to sing my heart out on the 20th.  It is something I love to do and I know that Duncan will be there listening.

The cure?  Just get so busy manifesting all that you can for the coming year, and the blues don’t stand a chance!

Branded by Maui,


P.S.  I am very lucky to have made many new friends in Maui… Aloha Jane, Chris, Amber, Skyler, Julia, Rhonda, Harvey, Jodi, David, Eric, Deborah, Jesse, Lisa, Ram, Suzanne, Ari, Lindsay, Mel, Bonnie, Larry, Julia, Lila, David, Marc, Jay and Paul.

For more information about Jeana, go to her website:

Monday, January 2, 2012


When the sun begins to drop, the anticipation on the island is palpable. There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet and when a letter is followed by an apostrophe called an, okina it means stop…pause…take a breath and pronounce clearly and with punch, the spot you are focused on.  One very simple mark reminds us to pause… I LOVE that.

 Sunsets are a bit like that here. Everyone and everything stops, pauses to join in saying goodbye to the day. It invites appreciation, glorious awe and reverence for the possibilities that occur simply by being alive.

Buns and I are in Hawaii and pausing for sunsets is an activity I hope to continue when we return home next week. Of course having a winter sunset in rainy Vancouver may be an anomaly but perhaps I will learn to blow the conch shell, which is what Hawaiians do to bid adieu to the day’s glorious end glow and I will just blow that baby, rain or shine. I like the thought of disturbing people in the downtown core by giving thanks, which in Hawaiian is said mahalo, with conch music.

Last night was New Year’s Eve. Buns was a dreamy vision in white, singing sweet notes of harmony to the inspired guitars on the beach, fireworks cracking in the background. I embraced molten gold and felt such soft tenderness as we celebrated my friends’ 25th wedding anniversary. Her words of appreciation for him, “thank you for loving me so I could live fearlessly” filled me with a deep visceral recognition of what is truly important in life.

We shared tequila shots, danced to old school tunes, (this was a couple who got married to Van Halen after all) and quite simply honored the longevity of a love that reached out and invited us to begin 2012, together.

Today the new year started with the ocean and a meditation to envision the coming months. I keep seeing the same picture. I am standing with my arms outstretched high over my head in a V. I wear red as I face the surf and feel the waves ripple through me and out into the world. I am at peace and on purpose….whatever that is.
Words are not necessary; this feeling of giving stands alone and needs no explanation. It’s a full body pulse of energy that literally expands as I inhale and generates more of itself as I exhale.

Limitless, vast and rooted to my core I feel his presence behind me. “I have got your back, he says.” I know him, I recognize his essence and have no need to turn around. I inhale even more deeply, honestly I can smell him and that scent of crisp windblown  blue linen softens me until my eyes close with pleasure.  The stability of such unwavering acceptance increases the freedom I feel in giving myself away, as my friend so succinctly put it …fearlessly.

And so to you Buns,  to all the friends who are here and back home as well…”Thank you for loving me so I can live fearless.”

This week it's Hawaiian style.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou
Happy New Year and may you live your heart’s desire fully in 2012.

I know I will.

Authentically Yours,