Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scared shiftless.

Just got off the phone with Marty.  I am at once excited and petrified.  She tells me we are about to have a much wider audience for our blog.  When she told me the numbers, a sudden torrent of self doubt, fear of visibility, and lack of confidence overwhelmed me.  I was at a loss for words and was worried that that would be a permanent condition.  Immediately I could hear those niggling little thoughts …
“What could you possibly say that would interest people? Am I exciting enough? Will people want to read about me and my life? Why?” My impulse to never write again was so strong I was quite taken aback. What’s so different from when we first began other than a few zeroes at the end of our readership numbers? 

So here I am, doing something that I absolutely love to do and now that it is gaining some momentum and notoriety, I am balking.  What’s up with that?

It’s funny it’s coming up now.  (Or is it?) Lately I’ve been asking myself a lot of hard questions about what I want to be when I grow up, (or ripen, rather). When I look back at all my choices for livelihood, there are only maybe one or two of them that didn’t have me being the support person (and quite formidable I might add), for someone else’s dream.  Whether it was a big corporation or a small entrepreneurial endeavour, I was only too happy to hop in the passenger seat and help with the navigating.

What it boils down to is this.  I’m not that comfortable being out of my comfort zone. I know. I know.  Doesn’t look that way to a lot of my friends.  I am comfortable singing on stage – actually more than just comfortable – I love it! I don’t have a problem with roller coasters or zip lines.  I’ll try anything once (especially if it has to do with food!).  I’m adventurous (just ask Marty).  I’m not the shy and retiring type. I embrace “living out loud”! But I’m beginning to see that I do it conditionally.  Yes.  That’s it.  I will live out loud as long as it’s comfortable.  If it starts feeling scary, I don’t go any further.  Mmmm.  That’s going to take me places isn’t it?

I still have a long way to go.  And what’s being dropped in my lap is fantastic.  Not just with the blog but with my new business as well.  All it takes to do incredibly well is to be authentic. To be me.  From the inside out.  Through and through.  Not just what I want others to perceive.

So I’m shifting gears.  I’m not going to settle for constant comfort any more.  Just like 60 is the new 40, discomfort is the new impulse to evolve.

Gotta go now.  Time for another adventure with Marty.  Oh wait.  This is one!

Branded by owies.

Authentically yours,


P.S. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done that ended up taking you to richer pastures?  We’d love to hear your stories!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Paradox of Healing

I have been wondering about health of late and it occurred to me that even following the right diet, eating healthy, a positive mindset, emotional and spiritual awareness, is no guarantee of healing a physical issue. I have been working with my health for a few years, clearing energy, getting to the root of possible beliefs that may be the source of dis-ease and still there is no change on the physical plane. So I wonder…how come?  What if trying to get rid of the discord is my contribution to maintaining the state.

What I mean is when a person gets ill they will fight, engage in a battle to rid themselves of the condition. Seems like a human enough response. And yet if one believes as I do, that inherent in every event, encounter or circumstance, is a beneficial intent, a special delivery if you will, sometimes wrapped up in a not so pretty package… well then the natural thing to do would be to open it up and wonder what its positive intention really is.

Perhaps we are still needing to learn something from the illness. If rest and self care is a need that is not being met the function of the dis-ease could be to ensure that rest occurs.

 If our lives are not fulfilled the illness could promote a “no time like the present attitude” to invite living life to the fullest.

Perhaps we are actually more comfortable dealing with pain that we would be with the unfamiliar joy of complete health. The absence of pain either physically or emotionally could seem entirely foreign if one has lived with many years of coping or struggling. The intent of the illness could be to illuminate this mindset and correct it.

Life is not meant to be a struggle. Challenges occur sure, but what if our task is to navigate them with grace and ease no matter how difficult the stormy seas. I like surrounding myself with people who know this and align with the task, not just give it lip service. It helps me remember.

So on that note when Buns suggested an Energy Reading that is part of her spiritual practice I said yes without missing a beat. Perfect timing with all my current meanderings.

I arrived early, was led to a row of 5 chairs with one empty. I naturally slid into the empty one, totally missing that there was a lone chair facing all the others. Unless I was going to read myself I was in the wrong spot. Weird… when I switched to the solo spot and felt the intense scrutiny of the four novice readers looking at me I still felt like I was meant to be reading them. And then the chair across from me was filled by Kelly and I settled in for receiving information.

It was fascinating, illuminating, interesting and finally after about an hour... transforming. As I asked my question about the root of my health challenge opening to its positive intention, I heard that I was still creating a paradigm that was looking at it as something separate. I was looking outside of myself. As the penny dropped, it was not a mental awareness but rather a shift of energy as I literally slid back inside and centered as Self.

Ah…be IN relationship with it. I had thought that was what I was doing and yet in this moment, as I relaxed and sank into sensation I actually felt the difference between mentally thinking about the relationship and BEING in relationship. Wow..what a gold nugget.

I have created a belief that tells me that my safety rests in understanding. That is limiting if my only way to understand is through the mental body. So a clunk, a drop and ahhhh… the words “I am intact” landed with a sigh of shifting sensation.

Tears are the only response for the depth of gratitude when one returns home to oneself, especially when you hadn’t realized you had left.

Thanks to the brave souls who offered their gift to me in the form of an energy reading.  I felt welcomed and nourished.

We all have the power to heal and yet it is only in our connection to the quantum field that softness is generated, acceptance of our wholeness and the knowing that anything but this state is actually illusion.

First within. Then without.

Branded by faith,

Authentically Yours

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Roses in the Snow

I just returned from a trip to my hometown where my mom, three sisters, brother, their partners, and all ten of our kids gathered to mourn and celebrate my Dad.

What a week it was.  From cancelled flights, to sub-zero weather, tons of snow, lots of tears, and many tasks to complete, it was destined to be a stressfest.  Nothing could be further from the truth. From beneath the blanket of sadness, grew something beautiful.  Like a flower, peeking up through the snow.

We all hunkered down at my Mom’s place and went to work.  We had three days to pull together our ideas for two visitations and a service.  We all wanted to be involved, to dive into the process of letting Dad go. We wanted to create a send off that befitted him – elegant, graceful, musical, and light- and warm-hearted.  

Dad was known for many things but what we wanted to highlight was his passion for Korea (where he was born), teaching (his life-long profession), music (he was instrumental in having a Casavant Frères pipe organ installed in the church), flying, (he was a pilot), Found’s Island (our family summer place since 1952), and an unshakeable devotion to his family.

We gathered bits of memorabilia and were able to put together a beautiful visual of all his loves.  Stones and branches from the island (and the old “Found’s Island” sign) were put together in one corner; yearbooks, school uniforms, and certificates signified his teaching years; tiny organ pipes and his favourite music was skillfully woven into the flower arrangements; and hundreds of family photographs were on display all around the room.  Dad’s ashes were placed in a beautiful “chong” – a tiny Korean chest. It was a perfect setting for his long-time friends, relatives, colleagues, and students, to spend time remembering him.  It was a joyous occasion… many commented on how uplifting it was to be there, to talk about Dad, and reminisce with laughter about the many good times we shared with him.

His memorial service was equally fitting.  The choir sang to the accompaniment of the organ, played by our original organist.  We all had a say in what music we wanted to hear and she played it beautifully.  We each wrote a memory about Dad (or Poppa, as he is known by his grandkids) and the stories were read aloud during the service.  Everyone sang “Jesus Loves Me” in Korean.  The meditation was very apropos… urging all who knew him to “go out and do likewise”.  Dad was a very kind and inspiring man. 

It was probably one of the best times I’ve ever spent with my family (excluding the escapades together when we were younger, before we all went our separate ways).  Even though Dad wasn’t there to pitch in physically, he was absolutely there in spirit.  The last night before I left, there were 27 people at the house for dinner.  We gathered in the living room, and before we joined hands to sing Johnny Appleseed (at the top of our lungs as Dad would have done), we placed the chong right in the centre and all sang to him.  We raised the roof in his honour.

I will never forget this past week.  We learned a lot about each other and about Dad – things that we didn’t know before.  (I found out that he never liked long hair, so in his honour and as a gesture of letting go, I cut about 10 inches off my mane yesterday – it was time!) We all learned a lot about having joy and laughter in the midst of sadness.  We immersed ourselves in all that Dad stood for.  It was beautiful.

Dad… Thank you for everything you taught me.  You were an amazing man.  (And I hope you like my haircut!)

Branded by Bruce,

Authentically yours,

Buns xo

P.S.  For your listening pleasure… one of my favourite Emmylou Harris songs. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Making Music

Life is not meant to make us happy. It is meant to make us feel. This idea has been sitting with me, beside me… inside me. I am befriending it and allowing the impact to lead me to a greater sense of self acceptance.

Buns dad passed last week and the grace and heart that she emanated while still fully feeling, was a gift to behold. You my friend understand the idea that has been tapping at my soul, or perhaps from my soul in a way that defies description. Still I will try.

Witnessing you open to all your feelings invites a softer and more gentle connection. It invites compassion. Your unfolding is an inspiration and an invitation at the same time. An invitation for all of us to open, to recognize what is truly important in life and to engage with a playful spirit that includes all feelings, all situations, all of life’s curve balls.

 When I think of you I think of courage. I once read a quote that said ‘courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow. And that is you Buns…the little engine that could, the tenacious spirit of going for the gold. And while you have always had the focus of making everything positive I see you now also including a whole range of feelings. It’s not that you didn’t feel them before but now you are sharing them…what a treasure. Seeing you IN your feelings is the greatest gift of all. For when we drop the cover that we think we need to present and simply allow the feelings to come and go we are glowing with our human possibility, our indomitable capacity to include everything and still remain true to our core. As you so beautifully teach Buns, our essence is indestructible.

This essence is who we are and it cannot be lost or harmed, taken away or even dented. We can feel all those things but the truth is our essence is our solid sanctuary and the home that we are blessed with as long as we are here. It is our safety and autonomy. Our essence stands for the freedom to experience it all and never lose faith or a knowing of what is really true…even if we can’t see it with our eyes.

Thank you my friend for sharing that wisdom so graciously, for helping us remember to try to hit ALL the notes, not just the easy ones. Thank you for the music you bring to my life just by being.

I just know your dad is smiling when he feels the beauty that is you.

Branded by appreciation,

Authentically Yours,