Sunday, March 31, 2013

The chicane and the lotus.

I am writing from the warmth and comfort of my sister’s home in Oakville where we have just celebrated Easter together.  It’s our first gathering since Dad’s passing and I was anxious to see how Mom was faring.  This would have been her 60th Easter with him were he still here.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but was absolutely thrilled to see her looking very well and full of beans when I arrived. She met me at the door with white furry bunny ears on.  I think she is going to be just fine.

All my siblings were here (there are five of us), and most of our kids, some with their partners, joined in the festivities.  We were never at a loss for words, food, laughs, games, and music. Oh yes, and the little silver sports car.

All of my nieces and nephews are very talented.  The two oldest boys have a zest for life that is inspiring.  They are excellent musicians, run a very successful corporate video production company, and co-own a lovely little Lotus Elise.  When they asked me if I’d like to go the racetrack and do a few laps with them, I didn’t hesitate.  We took my sister’s Mini as well as GoPro cameras so we could record the shenanigans.

It was a blast.  I confess to being a bit nervous when we went from the proverbial “0- to-well-let’s-say-60” in a nanosecond and then hit the first corner (which was the most difficult one on the course).  I was able to remain calm for four 3-km laps, and then I figured I’d tempted fate long enough.  I was done.  After our cool-down we went back to the sidelines. It wasn’t long before I was hankering to get back on the track, so out we went in the Mini.  Not tricked out for racing, it still gave us a good run for our money. (I would tell you how fast we were going but my sister reads my posts.)

We relived our experience later that evening on the big screen and had fun watching everyone else’s reactions to our adrenalin-junkie pursuits earlier that day.

My favourite part was the chicane.  Normally if I were driving around town and came upon two opposing curves, I would slow down and maneuver through the turns accurately.  Not necessarily so on the track.  You can follow the straightest trajectory through the turns at top speed and it is possible to come out the other side unscathed. That’s what we did of course. I didn’t realize how tense I was throughout the whole experience until today when I woke up so stiff I could hardly move.  That’s how tight I was holding my neck and back in anticipation of crashing or losing traction. It was fabulous.

When my heart rate returned to normal and I had some time to think about my afternoon with the guys, I wondered if this was reflective of my whole life… Do I just barrel on through or do I meet each twist with careful thought and weigh the pros and cons?

Actually, I believe it’s neither.  I enjoy life to the max.  I expect my days to be full of excitement and adventure and they usually are.  They can be high speed and full on, or they can be simply an adventure of spirit where I close my eyes and just sit still.

Racing through the chicane served both… I had the thrill of the ride and it also reminded me how important it is to slow down and meet what life has in store.

Never bored, I remain authentically yours,


Monday, March 25, 2013

Message in a Bottle


 What a week! It felt like being hit with a tsunami of feeling so intense that fighting it was not an option. I had to learn to surf.

In the words of Carl Jung, “If there is a fear of falling, the only safety consists in deliberately jumping.” And jump into the watery depths of my emotions I did. While I always advocate going with whatever one is feeling, breathing into what arises and letting go, this time was different. Once I had dropped into myself fully I let my feelings be the priority and made space to completely express. I rode the feelings whenever they came up and dissolved with what I can only imagine the pleasure of surfing might feel like. One glorious wave after another, I rode epic fluctuations sometimes with fear, sometimes in agony, but always open and trusting. I accepted myself completely in the process and so the invitation to feel deepened even more.

The trigger was Buns relationship spring cleaning which included dissolving a business partnership that I thought we were both committed to. For Buns it felt like freedom once she moved past the discomfort of telling me. For me it felt like a loss of a dream. And yet I didn’t spend much time with the trigger. I chose to stay inside myself, riding the present moment and its emotional undulations. I gave up management. I let go.

 A girlfriend appeared at my door who I hadn’t seen in years and in the midst of catching up she said she has been sad since October. I said I am sad right now. It seemed the most nature thing in the world to hold each other in this place of acceptance and just cry.

Why are we so afraid of deep intense feelings? Why do we need to create stories about the feelings as if to justify or explain them? The bliss of this experience for me was the completely non judgmental contact of heart to heart depth with another human being.

My sleep after that gentle exchange was deep. My body’s communication was complete. I woke to find the waves had crested and subsided. I had cried myself out. Or perhaps IN.  It felt like I had cried myself into The Gap. I inhaled the stillness…the relief…the space. Joy started to bubble to the surface and I took a rich cleansing breath stretching into what felt like infinity. It was like waking up to sunshine and crisp air after a turbulent storm. And the space, oh the wonderful space both inside and out. A sense of possibility wrapped itself around me like the arms of a mother. My body felt new, my connection with the world powerful and my capacity for creativity increased. The melodramatic woe was gone as if a distant memory. If infants can cry themselves to sleep, I cried myself awake.

I believe bringing my messy unpredictable feelings to The Gap, especially in my daily meditations is what granted me a sabbatical from sadness and doubt and invited synchronicity to my door. I don’t have to aim my arrow at peace. In the stillness I am peace and I feel the beauty of this moment fully. And since that is where the juice of creation is, the universe decides to talk to me directly.

I check my phone messages. “Hi,” says a male voice. “My name is Guillaume and I was out in my boat today at Lasqueti Island and guess what I found… your message in a bottle.”


As we moved into 2013 Buns and I did a New Years Eve ritual writing out individual visions for romance and sealing them into bottles. In the dark we threw our declaration out to the sea, surrendering desire to fate. Just a tad risky, right? I had included my phone number.

 We had a few hysterical moments laughing, picturing the bottles never making it out to sea but rather sweeping right back to shore and being found by a beachcombing local who would know us. We saw the headlines in the local community paper and howled about the potential embarrassment.

And now the universe sends me Guillaume. He says it is my destiny to come and visit his isolated magical island. I had never even heard of it. I find out it’s off the coast of Vancouver Island, not far from Texada. The idea starts to move through me and I feel the rippling of a new adventure.

 I am in no rush. I think the weather needs to warm up and I need to get good hiking boots. I Google Lasqueti Island and see that much of the population are artists and healers, grow their own food and live in cob houses. It will be like going around full circle since I had attempted this way of life in Prince Edward Island in my 20’s. No electricity, no mirrors and a herd of goats were going to be my panacea for the urban jungle of Toronto that had ceased to resonate for me. Perhaps it’s time to reclaim some more of my wildness in the wilderness.

Thanks universe. I am listening and learning once again that figuring it all out is NOT where my safety lies.

 Co-creation, my greatest desire is alive and well and always accessible in The Gap. Allowing, acceptance and trust that the universe always had my back, seems to be the highway to get there.

Branded by spaciousness,

Authentically yours,


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

And the day came ...

“... when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  Anaïs Nin

Last weekend I attended a personal growth course with David Wood.  Well known for his work with T. Harv Eker and the Millionaire Mind seminars, he is now a formidable trainer for Isagenix and his events are not to be missed.

This is the second time I’ve done one of these with David, and I wondered if I would learn anything new the second time around.  I will never question that again.  While a lot of the subject matter was a repeat, I was able to delve deeper into the content, and apply it to not just my business, but to my life.  In spades.

One of the main thrusts of the weekend was to get out of my comfort zone.  Funny, I had just written a post about that a couple of weeks ago (Scared Shiftless).  I must have been getting ready for this next step!

Of course Marty was there with me (another one of our adventures!) and we were able to have honest conversation about our friendship.  We did an exercise where we determined our personality type and what motivated each of us depending on our “colour”.   It was so freeing to be able to have a platform from which we could neutrally talk to each other about those little niggling things that we do through our own motivations (e.g. to feel good or avoid discomfort or rejection) and to find out how the other person experiences them.  In fact, it was clear that not understanding each other’s reasons for doing things got in the way of our growing friendship.  And that if they are named, it actually expands the relationship.

I came away from that weekend with a deeper connection with Marty and an understanding of some of the things I do that drive her nuts (and other people too no doubt)! It has helped me become more conscious in my everyday words and decisions, and I anchored my understanding of “how I do anything, is how I do everything”.

But it didn’t stop there.  Every day since then, I have been reexamining my modus operandi in relationships (both past and present) and found some golden nuggets. And here’s the scary part for me. I know that my relationships need freshening up and I can’t get away with a superficial glossing over of stuff just to keep them intact.  I need to get out of my comfort zone and come clean – whether it’s telling someone that the dynamic needs to change or telling someone that I love them and am grateful that they are in my life, or both!    

So I have personally declared March as “Relationship Spring Cleaning Month”.  Wherever I feel there is unfinished business or something that needs airing, I am getting out my cleaning supplies and starting to scrub.  I’m not leaving myself out of the equation.  I think a good deep cleansing for me would just add to the exhilaration I feel when I think of the relief of not having to sustain something that isn’t authentic.

What I have come to value the most in my relationships is a willingness to evolve, through thick and thin, through discomfort, and not just feeling good all the time at the expense of capital “T” truth.  I am now willing to lose relationships if I can’t be authentic within them.

Branded by a rose in my teeth (and a lampshade crown),

Authentically yours,

Buns xo

P.S.  If you want to find out more about David Wood here are the details... 

For your listening pleasure, here is another of my favourite songs...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Perfection of Imperfection

I was super excited when Andrew said that we could share our blog Authentically Yours here on the Conscious Living site. Buns and I have been writing it anonymously for over a year and it has been a labor of love. Birthed out of gratitude and a desire to live full out, we committed to sharing our adventures transparently both in touch with spiritual principles and our fabulously flawed human nature.

This journey of self exploration has challenged and stretched me. Do I reveal everything that is bubbling in the dark corners of my mind, including problems and struggles or do I only present as positive? Can I show you my fears and insecurities? Which is riskier, more of a stretch?  

How come it seems the more spiritual people claim to be, the less revealing they are of their own challenges?

Do you really believe that being awake is an absence of issues?

To me, being awake means my relationship to what is an issue or flaw becomes softer, infused with acceptance and even humor. If I can show it, I am in effect saying I am not it.

My goal is to lighten up and accept all aspects of my human experience. No more hiding or holding back. I commit to real. Can you imagine if we all just stopped trying to look good? If we stopped listening to the voice in our heads that says, “don’t show that, it’s weak or unevolved or way too messy’. What if demonstrating self acceptance by revealing is the essential first step in healing?

I see the sharing of flaws as declaration that we are all the same, that there is nothing to hide. And when the mask that separates us is dropped and authenticity becomes your go to…that is when energy floods in and life gets really juicy.

I am committing to loving my imperfections. I can be a brat, feel sorry for myself, judge, compare, be a baby AND in the moment of my own acceptance I can shift and be free of defining myself as that experience. I have my thoughts, I am NOT my thoughts. I have my feelings, I am not my feelings.  

I don’t want to hang out with people who pretend to be evolved. I want my tribe to be diverse, full of contradictions, messy feelings, vulnerabilities and loyal to being real! Managing, controlling the spectrum of the human dilemma is not spiritually evolved. It is boring. I like being around people whose inside matches their outside. People who take risks.

Having gone through years of trying to become some better version of myself through workshops and spiritual practice I have discovered the simplicity of wholeness comes when I accept my entire human experience and yours too. Then I am acting as my spirit self would.  

I won’t leave my flaws behind. I can’t. I like chocolate too much, and a perfect martini with double extra large olives and being impulsive, like last night’s encounter where we fell in love with strangers over dinner at Nook
 and are now planning to rent a European villa with them somewhere in Italy or France.

So Buns and I invite you to catch up on our adventures on the Blog and share your comments and stories.

We are all one and we will feel that most fully when we drop our defenses and simply get real. Human real! That’s what spirit would do if it had a body. Oh wait. It does!

Branded by imperfection,

Authentically Yours