“When somebody provokes your anger, the only reason you get angry is because you’re holding on to how you think something is supposed to be. You’re denying how it is. Then you see it’s the expectations of your own mind that are creating your own hell. When you get frustrated because something isn’t the way you thought it would be, examine the way you thought, not just the thing that frustrates you. You’ll see that a lot of your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.”  Ram Dass


Sometimes You Just Have to Pee in The Sink.

out of order

The other day I was working on an art piece and I needed a screwdriver.  My husband had recently moved everything out of the attached garage to the large garage/shed in preparation for our painting the floor this weekend so all the tools were under lock and key.  The key was the issue, it was somewhere safe . . . on his key chain, with him, on the golf course.  I couldn’t put off what I was doing until he got home so I found a nail file that worked.  Later I needed to hammer a nail in.  I had plenty of options to use in place of the hammer;  I used the heavy handle of an older knife.  I was intent on what I was doing, and I made use of whatever was around me to get the job done, even though what I used was not normally used for that purpose.  Success!

It pretty well sums up my approach to life.  I tend to make my own arrangements.  I work with what I have to get the job done.  I don ‘t think I have ever had an “incomplete” or that anyone has ever had to talk to me about deadlines.  I always get my work done and, I tend to thoroughly enjoy myself while I do it.  Even with the most mundane task, I have learned  to make it into something else entirely.

I can remember being a  kid and having to shell peas endlessly one summer and I transported my mind out of that and became the princess that had to save her people and thwart the wicked witch by out shelling all competitors.  I had a whole fantasy with characters and conversations that played out while the afternoons whiled themselves away.  At times the story took over and I lost myself in my own imagination and at times I was trying to beat a certain number of peas shelled in a minute.  I adapted that practice as I grew up.  Fantasy stories fueled by my imagination gave way  to personal challenges that had nothing to do with the task at hand, but had everything to do with pushing me.

We tell ourselves the stories that either make what we are doing unbearable or, doable.  Shelling peas was mind numbing and I would have been overwhelmed with the amount and of peas that had to be done and the number of summer afternoons sacrificed doing something I hated.  I changed what the task was by changing how I thought of it and making it into something I could use that did serve me.  Finding a way to make things relevant to my life was my job.  I never had to settle with just being bored … unless that was my choice and it never has been.  I try to use what I am given in life, even when the tools suck.

We reach the point in our lives where we start to have time to examine where we are.  We have the family, we have some stability, we have routine . . . and we start to wonder what else there is and if our bright flame has already burned down to embers.

What, in life, is ever going to be as magical as our sport hero status, our homecoming queen win, emancipation, our wild and crazy nights out with friends where the soul purpose was to completely have fun without any constraints, landing a great job, our falling in love, getting married, getting our first new car, our house, our kids ?

Why do we feel so bittersweet about everything that we have done and completed?  Why do we look at what has been and consider what is ahead of us and lean towards depression?

It is a point we all reach somewhere in our time line.   We have journeyed a long way from our childhood and usually we find ourselves with one foot in our parents plan of life and maybe only a toe in our own dreams of what life was going to be like.  Worse, we sometimes see ourselves drowning in the very life we swore we would never choose.  How we got there seems irrelevant to the bigger concern, how do we escape?

We know we don’t have the luxury of just scrapping everything and starting over because we have responsibilities.  It can make us bitter.  I can make us want to give up completely.  We do that because we feel powerless and because we look at it as something that was done to us.  Sometimes it becomes easier to blame the world and the people around us than to step up to the plate and realize we made the choices that brought us here.  We may have done it by simply not paying enough attention, or we may have consistently made choices that were the easy way or the wrong way,  but it is all on us.   Taking personal responsibility for ourselves is the only way to take our power back.  The good news is that once you accept you got yourself here, you must also begin to understand that you can use that same power to change things.   We don’t have to carry on with an unhappy life as if we have no choice.  We still have choices.

The second reason we feel defeated is because the distance between what we want or need and where we are can seem impossible.  How do we get from here to there when we feel so trapped.

You can’t just grab the wheel of a boat and jerk it sharply in the direction you want to be going.  You have to slowly correct it by making a gentle and sweeping arc that turns you towards your intended destination.  It is the same in life.  You begin.  You get in touch with who you are and what you want, even if it is just the feeling.  Then you make the corrections slowly, working with the boat, against the wind and seas and all else that factors into your move, as you make a wide sweeping turn.  Once in the process, the obstacles morph from stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

You can do that with your life.

You can look around you and start focussing on what you have and how those things can serve you instead of only worrying about what you do not have.  You can stop those things that no longer feed your soul.  You can rid yourself of constant contact with people who do not support and enhance your life.  You can learn new skills, you can live this day with the heart of the person you want to be, changing habits and acts that no longer serve you.   You can connect with those people and experiences that you now realize mean something.

The TV character, McGyver was respected because whatever he got himself into he could improvise and get himself out of the situation.  He didn’t understand the word “can’t.”  He didn’t worry about the perfect solution.   He knew himself and he knew his own abilities.   Knowing yourself affords you that same confidence.  It gives you options, and the most exciting point of all of it is, these are options that are about you.  These are options that bring you tremendous peace, or joy.  You can live with even failure and tragedy when you can own them.  If you know there was nothing more you could do, that you did your best, that you did not intend something … and you love yourself . . . you can get through it.

You  get to a place where you are so sure of who you are that the circumstances of your life are just tools you have to work with.  If the screwdriver is not available, you make use of the nail file.


“Sometimes you just  have to pee in the sink.”  Charles Bukowski


‘The degree of love we manifest determines the degree of spaciousness and freedom we can bring to life’s events.

Imagine taking a small glass of water and putting into it a teaspoon of salt. Because of the small size of the container, the teaspoon of salt is going to have a big impact upon the water. However, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake, and put into it that same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the vessel receiving it. Even when the salt remains the same, the spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything.

We spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or protection – we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way. Ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. Our true work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt, even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to receive it.’  Sharon Salzberg


TFFT: Compassion is Powerful, Find Out Why.

Compassion hurts

It is hard to be tender hearted.  Despite the best efforts of my grandparents who raised me, my teachers, all the cruelty of the world and the mean heartedness of some people, I have survived.  I stopped fighting it as a young woman when I finally realized that despite the pain, it was also my greatest gift, affording me sight and understanding that not everyone else had.

But compassion is not just a gift, it is a necessity for our lives, and especially for the future of our children.

The ability to feel compassion means you have a connection to the world around you.  It is what causes us to stop from bullying someone when we have been bullied.  We can remember how painful it was for us so we can understand the hurt our actions will cause someone else.  It is what allows us to respond with a hug and kind words when we see that someone is depressed.  It is what can even spur us into action to do away with injustices.



But there is an even greater power in compassion.  Not only do we know understand that the emotions we hold in our bodies have a direct impact on our DNA and the life affirming or life denying chemistry that is released in our bodies, we know that compassion has the most  powerful impact of all the positive emotions.  (See Emotions Can Change Your DNA.)

Dr. David Hawkins in his book Power vs. Force created a Map of Consciousness of the effect of emotions on the energy level, which can be measured through applied Kinesiology.  He shows how the presence of just one person who resonates at the higher levels of compassion and empathy are capable of positively impacting the energy of the masses.  You can test out and try many of the things he talks about in your own life.  It is a fascinating book, well worth a read.

We all have had experience with how the energy of a positive or caring person can alter a room for the better and how someone who is depressed and negative can seem to suck the life right out of people.  I have experimented myself by noting the change in my office staff with a change in the emotion I hold in myself.  I have learned the power of learning to catch the negative emotions as they happen and channeling myself through simple exercises and practices to a more positive place.


Inner Peace


It has brought me such joy to realize I can enjoy what is natural for me instead of being an emotional football that is at the mercy of how others treat me.  It has given me a sense of purpose and a firm resolve to honour what my heart asks of me.  As I work to improve my ability to overcome my many failings and shortcomings I am moved that in doing so I can make a difference in the world around me and in the lives of those people I love.

Looking at the world and others with compassion has helped me feel more connected, more forgiving, more willing to do what may seem difficult and beyond my reach.  I know that all that is needed for all of us to find peace and joy is simply for us to love one another, support one another as each of us find our own ways and determine what our journeys are about and how we will journey them.  Defeat is what happens when you focus on the impossible.  Success is what happens when you find one thing that you can do right now and do it.


“And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout form the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authentically always and absolutely carries a a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.”  Ken Wilber

Pray For Peace. Compassion One Heart At a Time.


It is easy today to point to people in other countries and situations and talk about their shocking lack of compassion.  How could they kill innocent children like that?  How could they do that to women?  How could that woman have done that to her child?

But I live in a world, in my small corner of life, where there are people living their lives without compassion.  Their happiness seems predicated on making other people suffer.   These are not random acts that occur that one could say it was a mistake, they didn’t mean it …. these are systematic, prolonged efforts to destroy other human beings with unkindness.  These are people who are not only openly practicing hate in their own lives, they are teaching their children how to do the same.

Peace is not something that has to happen in a third world country or at the neighbour’s house.   It has to begin within our own hearts and govern our actions.  It has to start with the ability to act with compassion in all things.  We can be firm, have principles, effect laws . . . with compassion.

Because the only other choice is for people to join together to cut out the cancers in our society, to start saying “No” to the people who fill our lives with their hateful words and conduct.  I know for me, once there is a clear pattern of behaviour that says, “no matter what I choose to continue to act with malice and hate.  It is my intent to continue to hurt and destroy others.”  I am out of there.  THEY have to find their hearts.  THEY have to effect change in their lives.

Choosing peace, choosing compassion is as much about what we do not choose.  There is no place in a world of peace for people whose view of life and love is so narrow that they require people around them to hate others in order to be “loved” by them.  This is the mindset of the sheep herd.  This is the mindset of bullies.  This is the mindset that leads to war and death.  It is not something “over there” it exists all around us and we have to start saying “no” to it in our own lives, and making sure it no longer has any place to be comfortable.