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A Sweet and Gentle Surprise this Wednesday Morning

A Sweet and Gentle Surprise this Wednesday Morning

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometime." Winnie-the-Pooh
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Next Steps...part 2

Next Steps…part 2

Time slips through our fingers, and there is no sense regretting what we haven't done. Start where you are is always the best policy.
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We're Better Together

We’re Better Together

Staying in touch and reaching out to old friends and family members may seem like too much trouble. But it isn't trouble. It is more like self-care.
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Blossoms

Blossoms

It's funny how things come together.
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A story I remember with delight

A story I remember with delight

A story I remember with delight or how point of view changes things.
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Words as Gifts and Words as Weapons

Words as Gifts and Words as Weapons

During this time of weaponized words in almost every sector,  let's join the resistance by offering words as gifts to those who cross our paths.
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early tulips

Let’s Celebrate More

Wanderer, there is no path. We lay down a path in walking. Antonio Machado
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Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island from St Marks

Musings at 30,000 Feet

It seems to me that whoever you are and wherever you are we all have nothing to lose by being anything other than our ordinary ourselves.
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gardens

Back to the Garden

The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure. Dr. Oliver Sacks
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cherry blossoms tGabriola

Never Take a Break From Learning

As I observe her many years of living fully I see that the attributes of ageing well, are similar to living well with illness.
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cherry blossoms Gabriola

Nature’s Healing Gifts are Waiting For You

How truly amazing that anything will survive because it is too cold or too hot, or there is too much or too little rain. And yet survive it does...
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Legacy, Community and the Golden Thread

Legacy, Community and the Golden Thread

There are multi-coloured threads, all with a hint of gold weaving their way in and out of our circles of influence. The tapestry becomes rich, meaningful and beautiful.
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A Sufi Tale for the here and now

A Sufi Tale for the here and now

"Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious mistakes, and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here." Neil Gaiman
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special moments

Unforgettable Moments

We can become a "moment spotter," one who notices the opportunities to make a moment special, for someone else and consequently for ourselves.
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Wake up call

Wake-up Call

Illness can provide a wake-up call. We can use illness as an opportunity to get down to business with living.
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The  Freedom of Fifteen Minutes

The Freedom of Fifteen Minutes

"Don't squander the 15 minutes," Dr. Heather Palmer declares; see all the things you can do. Time deceives us and we often think we need much bigger blocks of it to do anything.
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tulips

Futility of Unnecessary Comparisons

We would be a sorry lot if we spent our days fretting about all the things that might and could go wrong. And we aren’t better off if we think only good things should happen to us.
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photo solstice GAM

The Power of Music on Health, Well-Being and Ageing

Currently there is a fascinating 10 year study being carried out by the National Institute of Health on the power of music to heal.
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westcoast snow on holly

Celebrate a Snow Day

As Randy Pausch adds "Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun."
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lanterns tokyo

Sometimes Yes and Sometimes No

"All too often we cannot bring ourselves to say No when we want to and know we should." William Ury
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The World Continues to Support Us

The World Continues to Support Us

If we don't pay attention or only notice all that is wrong, so much of our lives disappear into the background, unnoticed and unappreciated. When we pay attention to the support we receive our world expands and we have more fun.
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ring the bells

The Element of Surprise and Caring

I believe that this kind of caring is essential and particularly important for anyone with a chronic condition. If that is you and you don't have it, ask others for recommendations. Turn over every stone to find it. It can change everything.
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hope

Zen Seeds – an excerpt

Happiness that depends on what you acquire or become is only conditional happiness, not true happiness.
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Humour, Hope and Nasrudin

Humour, Hope and Nasrudin

Humour, from my understanding and experience boosts our spirits, if not our immune system. Granted, there is so much we don’t know for sure, but we all seem to benefit when we can have a good laugh. Funnily enough, we don’t all laugh at the same things.
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Greetings for the New Year 2019

Greetings for the New Year 2019

It is important to seek out what you need. Sometimes the locked door opens, even a crack, and allows some light to get in. Sometimes it doesn’t, and yet, our efforts and the efforts of others keep us from being alone.
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Christmas moonlight in Parksville

A Shift of Perspective

Let’s end our year not just counting our blessings or emphasizing what we neglected, but noticing the things we actually got right. Let’s encourage each other along, including ourselves.
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A Small Steadying Sail of Love

A Small Steadying Sail of Love

This season is not joyful for everyone. There are many where the lights and good cheer exacerbate their deeply personal sorrows. I am thinking of you, in particular, as I write this post.
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I Want to be Remembered for This

I Want to be Remembered for This

Several years ago, a new friend was dismayed that I had a real tree in my home at Christmas. “It must be a very small one,” she commented. “No,” I said. “It is always very tall and beautiful.” There was silence.
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Japanese Bowl blog Post

A Japanese Bowl by Peter Mayer and the Art of Kintsugi

Kintsugi repairs the brokenness and the ageing of the vessel in a way that makes the container even more beautiful and valuable than it was prior to being broken. Peter Mayer a folk musician from Minnesota wrote a beautiful song that refers to the beauty and metaphor of this art."
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Taking care of the pond Anne Lamott post

Show Up With Hope: Anne Lamott’s Plan for Facing Adversity

With Earth beset by conflict, climate change, pollution, and other ills, the best-selling author asks: What better time to be hopeful?
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The one who is not busy rowan

The One Who No Longer Rushes – thinking of those who are too busy

After many decades of living I now aim to reclaim the spirit of “no rushing.”
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Ichigo Ichie - Once In a Lifetime Chance

Ichigo Ichie – Once In a Lifetime Chance

Ichigo Ichie - A once in a lifetime chance of you and I to be together, in this particular way. The implication is that every such occasion is a treasured moment, and treated as such. Nothing is taken for granted.
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kindness of strangers

Good Luck Bad Luck and the Kindness of Strangers

It doesn’t mean everyone is helpful. It means that when things go wrong, kind people always appear on the scene, wherever you are. Even in the middle of bustling and busy New York City. Even when we are by ourselves, we are not alone.
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Fall in the Gatineau sometimes this Sometimes That

Sometimes This, Sometimes That

Truth is, life is short. What do you really have to lose by putting it out there - who you are and what you want to do. Failure is always part of the package when we try new things and being willing to risk failure is a passport to living fully.
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Sail boat Trim tab

You Are a Trim Tab

“A trim tab is the tiny, trailing part of a ship's rudder. Slight pressure on the trim tab moves the rudder, which in turn directs the ship. We are all trim tabs, tiny pivots affecting the overall direction of humanity. As Fuller advised, it is time to take a long view. Zoom out, look at where we've been and where we might be going. See it? Now choose your path and act accordingly.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro speaking about Buckminister Fuller
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Everyone Loses Something

Everyone Loses Something

“At one time or another, everyone loses something. We lose loved ones. We lose our health. We lose our glasses. We lose our memories. We lose our money. We lose our keys. We lose our socks. We lose life itself. We have to come to terms with this reality. Sooner or later, all is lost; we just don’t always know when it will happen." Lama Surya Das
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Blind Spots

Blind Spots

With extreme exceptions, I believe that people are doing the best they can, with what they know, in the circumstances in which they find themselves.
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blind spots

Enjoy Your Life

The truth is, life gives us challenges on a regular basis. We use our wit, skill and all the help we can get to take action on the things we can do something about. But don't stop there. Use all those skills to find precious moments of surprise and delight waiting outside your door.
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A Shift of Attention

A Shift of Attention

We are all well practiced in knowing what is wrong. Historically, being aware of the negative and all the possible things that could go wrong was part of our survival kit.
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Settling for Safety

Settling for Safety

There is a tendency, as we live longer or have health challenges, to gravitate towards safety. Sadly, what is considered risk free continues to diminish as time goes on.
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Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

If It’s Raining and You Have an Umbrella, Use It.

This advice from Psychiatrist, Dr. Shoma Morita, means that when you find yourself in difficult circumstances and there is the possibility of taking any action to relieve or influence those circumstances, then do so.
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playful calculations

Playful Calculations

How many days have you lived Nana? How many hours? Yikes...something to think about.
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Thetis Lake I get To blog

Three Little Words: I Get To

Nine years ago, I was happily preparing for my last treatment at the Cancer Centre. “Finally, it will be over,” I said to myself. A celebration seemed in order and I was making plans. The week before this auspicious date, however, I was given pause for thought.
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transformation, butterfly, blog

Barbara Kingsolver – Teaching Herself Joy – over and over again

Barbara Kingsolver teaching herself joy, over and over again.
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wabi sabi

Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-Sabi – the beauty of imperfection, impermanence and incomplete.
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wabi sabi shampers bluff

You Can Do It

When we face the unexpected and the difficult, we all have resources to "bear it." As tough as it can be, let's never forget this important truth.
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Change of Scene

Change of Scene

Dr. Jinroh Itami, who developed Meaningful Life Therapy specifically for cancer patients, used travel as one of his non-medical tools. He famously took a group of Japanese cancer patients to climb Mt Blanc three decades ago, long before strenuous exercise was encouraged in cancer circles.
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Blameless

No Blame

As I sit on a bluff above Georgia strait, with the city of Vancouver in the distance, I am thinking about the concept of blame. There are so many reasons to blame another. So many things to blame as to the cause of our illnesses, failures and disappointments. And yet…
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importance of water for the brain Japan walk

Something Surprising

Last week I accompanied a friend and my grandchildren to the Museum of Nature to view the special exhibit on the brain. Of all the marvels this wondrous organ provides, the surprising fact that has stuck with me is the effect of even mild dehydration on the brain.
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Meaningful Memories Japan

Meaningful Memories

We all, at our core, are bold and brave and have something original to contribute. why not do so while we have the chance.
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Help and be helped blog

How to Help and be Helped

We show up for each other, wholeheartedly, and we learn on the job by paying attention as we live our lives.
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Initial Shock

Initial Shock

Yesterday, my friend Patricia, sent me a link to an article by the well-known writer’s writer, Natalie Goldberg. The article is called Old Age is not Guaranteed and is an excerpt from her new book called Let the Thundering World Come Home.
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peonies immersed in beauty

Immersed in Beauty

Set aside sometime everyday to spend with something that you love.
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apples generous impulse

Never Resist a Generous Impulse

"Never resist a generous impulse." Words spoken by the Dalai Lama at a conference I attended in Vancouver 2004.
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Laughter is good medicine blog

Laughter Is Good Medicine

There isn't much to laugh at when it comes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so many other painful, life threatening, and on-going difficult illnesses that life throws in our way. One of my teachers, Dr. Itami, uses laughter as part of his healing prescription for cancer patients.
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Showing Up 5k thanks to Nacy MacKenzie for the photo

Showing Up Wholeheartedly

Woody Allan, along with others, has been quoted as saying that 80% of success is just showing up. There is a kernel of truth there but I suggest that showing up wholeheartedly may be the defining factor.
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Blog - Sing while there is voice left

Sing While There is Voice Left

I read a book, as a young 20 year old living in Montreal, called Sing While There is Voice Left. It was written by a theologian and I remember nothing specific about it, other than the title. The title, however, has stuck with me my entire life.
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Dr. Itami's Meaningful Life Therapy Guidelines for People Affected by Illness

Dr. Itami’s Meaningful Life Therapy Guidelines for People Affected by Illness

Dr. Itami's guidelines are available and helpful to anyone dealing with a difficult illness, including caregivers.
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