Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meltdowns and miracles.

The lead up to this latest potential end of the world, and then Christmas (if we were still here) was like the Warrior Dash obstacle course ... short, sharp, and hardcore. Talk about being given messages to STOP what I was doing!  I needed to take note and make decisions moving forward that were absolutely in alignment with who I am not who I want people to think I am.

Everything happened at once an unexpected tax bill for our construction company (big one), a disappointing season in my retail world, tenants moving out of my condo, Dad still in the hospital, a friends mother dying suddenly (younger than me), and no exciting dates – all in all, the ingredients for a top-of-the-line, Grade A meltdown.  And the constant undercurrent of another Christmas looming without Dunc and his antics would creep up on me at the most inopportune moments. Frankly I was a mess.  And of course it all culminated on the 21st of December – normally my favourite day of the year as things get brighter from that point on (although in my throes of despair I failed to see the correlation).

So I called my Mom.  My history is rife with at least one epic breakdown before Christmas each year so I’m sure she was expecting my call.  She is good.  She was able to talk me down out of my panic attack, put one of my amazing sisters on the line, and I was able to gain a toehold on the concept that I would be fine.  364 days of the year, this is easy for me to believe.  Not this day.

So enough about me.  Time for the miracle stories. I was at work and in walked this very handsome man with whom I’m barely acquainted (and on whom I have a small crush). I hadn’t seen him for about 8 months.  He presented me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and said he had been thinking about me and how I must be feeling about Duncan and thought I’d appreciate them. 

Next, I was performing at Cypress Mountain, and right in the middle of singing “Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight”, a huge avalanche of snow off the roof came crashing down outside the window behind us.  Yes, Santa had arrived. 

Later that day we continued to our neighbourhood pub and put on an impromptu carol-singing session which got the crowd into a festive mood.  One of the guys listening had tears in his eyes (I knew the look) and so I asked him what was going on.  He said he had lost his Dad two years ago on Christmas Day and that he still had a hard time with it.  It told him about Duncan and somehow, helping him realize that his Dad is always around, helped me feel better.  The next day, he arrived with a huge bouquet of flowers to thank me for my openness and tenderness.  I didn’t even know his last name.

Then came Christmas Eve with Sean and his girlfriend.  As soon as I arrived, the first words out of his mouth were, “Mom, sit down.  Put your feet up. You don’t have to do a thing. ”  I’m sure he has no idea how sweet that was to my ears.  I sank into that couch and enjoyed the evening and Christmas morning with them thoroughly.

The day after Christmas, my wasband (rhymes with husband) gave me a gift that he and his wife had made.  It is so perfectly me that I burst into tears at the thought that he still knew me so well.  It was very touching. 

Today, my friend Denise who works for me at Presence, thanked me for encouraging her to look at Christmas in a completely new way and open her heart to enjoying it.  She said it was the first time in 55 years that she really did have a good Christmas and was grateful for my inspiration.

Oh, and my condo?  It’s been advertised in every nook and cranny for a month and not one bite.  I went to a Boxing Day party, ran into an old friend who said, “Your condo in Squamish isn’t by any chance available is it?” I’m showing it to his son on January 1st. 

It’s two days until 2013.  Marty and I will be spending our third New Year’s Eve together.  Full of ritual and delight, we plan to usher in a year of riches, success on all fronts, and a lot of laughs.  I can’t wait.

Branded by miracles,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Ahhh…is there any pleasure greater than breakfast in bed, in an out of town local with no expectation other than enjoyment. Snuggled in a crisp white duvet in the sunken bedroom, rich steamy coffee in hand, a fire dances next to the fresh pine vistas as  I try to decide between an invigorating hike up to Lost Lake or a soak in the massive Jacuzzi tub that sits a few steps up, smack dab in the middle of this space. I am a lucky girl today. It’s the Whistler Film Festival and we have blind picked a couple of films that sound promising. Tomorrow it’s brunch at Chateau Whistler and a full day soaking in the outdoor pools at the Scandinavian Spa.

 La la la la la….yes that’s me singing and doing a mental happy dance. Still not leaving this smooshy warm cocoon.

I had a random thought earlier. In my desire for authentic closeness I wondered if I get overly attached to the evaluation of what is real and what is not. If perception is simply a coating on the lens of the glasses we look at the world through, am I peering at those in front of me with critical eyes, eyes attached to outcome, eyes that have some sort of agenda? Do you know what I mean?

There is an exercise that illustrates this beautifully. Two people gaze into each other eyes and DECIDE what perception they will write on a pair of metaphorical glasses. Breathing deeply, you might start with seeing through the lens of thoughts like, this person loves me, this person is my friend, this person has my back and wants nothing but the best for me. You would notice your body’s response to those statements. Then taking off that pair of glasses you would put on another pair.

 This pair offers a perception based on negative thoughts like, this person does not like me, this person judges me, this person wants me to fail.  And again you would notice how your body responds. The difference is extreme. Now you have a quick and intense example of how the thoughts we run impact our physiological and emotional experience of the world and the people in it. What I love about this is it means I can choose ANY perception I want to govern my experience. I have the ability to be emotionally free based on what I am thinking.

So my random musings percolated into my consciousness as I wondered about what is written on my glasses when I have thoughts like, this person is not being authentic with me, this person is asleep, I can’t listen to another drop of the superficial drivel coming out of their mouth.

Oh I am so politically incorrect but honestly I sometimes feel like screaming “Stop, time is too precious, let’s get deep and real with each other, vulnerable and even messy but fully, utterly and completely alive!” And that’s when I wonder mmmm…. maybe I could just let go and love what is in front of me. Maybe I could chill and choose to perceive goodness or at the very least get curious and go with it. I could open my heart, breath and soften. Really what is real anyway but the love that is always available to be expressed…or not.

Ok. That’s my mantra for the day. On my glasses today with each person I meet, I will look through the eyes of, this person is unique, this person has a story, this person is the same as me. And I will breathe deeply as I do it.

Sigh. All is well. Oh and please universe, I know I am a dreamer, but a cold snap so we can play in the snow today would be bliss.

Branded by ease

Authentically Yours,


PS: Guess what…it happened…SNOW!! Yippee!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Druthers. I’ve got ’em.

For as long as I can remember, December 21st has been my favourite day of the year.  For me it symbolizes a new beginning. The days start to become longer, and I am filled with that phew-I-made-it feeling.  Even from a Mayan calendar point of view, I am looking forward to it.  Perhaps it will be the end of the world as we know it.  I, for one, believe its time.  Time to divest myself of all the things that dont serve me well in a spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional sense.  Vamoose.  Be gone.

And Im getting the sense that the universe is conspiring to help me make some hard choices about what to keep and what to let go.  In the past couple of months, I have experienced challenges that threatened to do me in, especially in my financial realm. From parking tickets to an unexpected tax bill to an empty condo (translation  no rental income), things are tight.  And yet for some reason, I am calm as I cast my gaze to include a wider horizon of possibilities.  Im just starting to see that this is really an opportunity to take stock, and decide what can be discounted, written off, or forgiven. And I’m not just talking about merchandise.

What relationships, possessions, beliefs, grudges, or worries can I release? What really matters?  This is the time to declutter.  And Im up for it.  Im ready for a change.

I used to say if I had my druthers1, Id do certain things.  Id sing for my supper.  Id help others help themselves. Id help build houses on a Caribbean island. Id take my master gardeners course. Id go and visit my parents back East any time I wanted to. Id earn an honest living without needing to have bricks and mortar as the veneer of successful entrepreneurship. My focus would be to use my talents well in the service of others.  A close friend of mine sent this to me the other day saying that he thought of me when he read it...

I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
Ravindranath Tagore

This is my druthers.

Branded by joy,

Buns xo

As I write this, my dad is in the hospital and there is the possibility that I may not see him again.  The last time I was with him, we had a wonderful visit and I was able to tell him how much I loved him and how he had so eloquently (yet silently) shown his support for me when my son passed away. I have been able to make a clean decision not to go back to see him before Christmas.  If that is to be last time I get to see him, it is a beautiful memory. I love you Dad... 

1druth·ers: noun plural \ˈdrə-thərz\[Alteration of the phrase 'd rather, from would rather.]