Blog

Benefits of Travelling

Benefits of Travelling

The sights, sounds, and tastes of a new place, which differ from our own, awaken our senses.
Summer was Half the Year and other musings

Summer was Half the Year and other musings

I was devastated and humiliated when my classmate proved to me in no uncertain terms that I was wrong
Musings- old and new - ending of June and beginning of July

Musings- old and new – ending of June and beginning of July

However, what really stood out this week was the unexpected...
Summertime in the City

Summertime in the City

What can I do in summer that is uniquely summer? That is something we can each ask ourselves.
Oh So Hot

Oh So Hot

tonight I am just stopping by to wish you well from my phone.
“In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.”Blaise Pascal

“In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.”Blaise Pascal

Beauty is everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled.
Time Well Wasted

Time Well Wasted

There are so many wonderful ways not to be productive that boost our spirits and improve our well-being.
Success and No Medal

Success and No Medal

"Effort is good fortune," Dr. Shoma Morita
Fresh Strawberries at Midnight 2024

Fresh Strawberries at Midnight 2024

“Dr. Huxley, perhaps more than anyone else alive, you have studied the...traditions of the world. What have you learned?”
A Very Short Greeting

A Very Short Greeting

Too much to write about
We Teach Best What We Most Need to Know

We Teach Best What We Most Need to Know

"Equanimity is said to be an anchor. It protects you against the wordly winds."Daisy Fernandez And I add that it reduces suffering.
Making Excuses Isn't Necessary

Making Excuses Isn’t Necessary

"Better to keep a limber mind and develop a tenderness toward existence. “—Natalie Goldberg
TGIW - Thank God it's Wednesday

TGIW – Thank God it’s Wednesday

I know it sounds corny but the truth is I appreciate every Wednesday:
Path With Heart

Path With Heart

Wouldn’t you love to step onto this path and see where it ends up?
Freedom Is not Always how We Imagine

Freedom Is not Always how We Imagine

Freedom is being at ease in noise and chaos.” By Guo Gu
Leaning Into it Once Again

Leaning Into it Once Again

This, too, is a new country, and we can learn to navigate it one step at a time.
Music and Healing Update

Music and Healing Update

"There is no other stimulus on earth that simultaneously engages our brains as widely as music does," says Brian Harris, certified neurologic music therapist at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
A Ship in Harbor is Safe

A Ship in Harbor is Safe

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
Four O'Clock Noodles and other surprises

Four O’Clock Noodles and other surprises

The funny thing about statistics is that it gives us a snapshot of trends in a large population but doesn’t address the individual, me or you.
Come To the Edge, he said...Guillaume Apollinaire

Come To the Edge, he said…Guillaume Apollinaire

Trying new things and climbing up to the Edge in NYC
JOMO - FOMO - and other musings

JOMO – FOMO – and other musings

I chose JOMO - the joy of missing out - as my operative word and cancelled two workshops that I was looking forward to attending.
Hana's Suitcase and Small Wings

Hana’s Suitcase and Small Wings

We can learn so much about humanity from this group of young, curious, kind and determined young people, along with their dedicated teacher and mentor, Fumiko Ishioka.
Musings on Epictetus

Musings on Epictetus

Like all Stoics, Epictetus was concerned with the fundamentals of life...
Things are Not Always as They Seem

Things are Not Always as They Seem

...if we learn to notice our direct experience rather than paying attention to the stories our mind offers up we may be surprised.
Bits of Rubble Into Gold

Bits of Rubble Into Gold

I appreciate this idea of turning challenging and unpleasant aspects of our lives into gifts without ignoring the rubble. 
Oubaitori and Other Things

Oubaitori and Other Things

When I investigated Oubaitori, I discovered that it represents a concept I deeply value: not comparing yourself with others.
How Delight Can Heal Us

How Delight Can Heal Us

It is wonderful how delight arrives in unexpected ways and places. Take today
The Second Day of Christmas

The Second Day of Christmas

I came up with a crazy significant idea: I would use the 12 days of Christmas to...
The Shortest Day of the Year Holds Possibilities

The Shortest Day of the Year Holds Possibilities

Solstice - It’s also a time to recognize everyone’s fundamental interconnectedness—with each other, nature, and the cosmos.
When Giving is All We Have

When Giving is All We Have

In an era of continual judgment about everyone's shortcomings, I come to value the human capacity to be able to tolerate each other's foibles,  blind spots,  and just plain old-fashioned mistakes.
Sometime Things Don't go From Bad to Worse

Sometime Things Don’t go From Bad to Worse

"Sometimes things don't go from bad to worse."
Reverse Bucket List

Reverse Bucket List

A “reverse bucket list” starts with the gratitude we find in examining our previous accomplishments and fulfilling experiences we’ve had.
Trust in Life and do our part

Trust in Life and do our part

I have a great trust in life against all odds, even though I see that life isn't always fair
Stopping to Notice

Stopping to Notice

"...We all have a torch – we just don’t remember to turn it on!" Comment from a lovely reader.
A Shower of Colour

A Shower of Colour

Thirty seconds of awe changed my day.
The Uncertainty of Not Knowing

The Uncertainty of Not Knowing

Getting bad news about our health can be devastating. especially when all we hear is “inconclusive – let’s just wait and see.”
Warm and Welcoming Alberta

Warm and Welcoming Alberta

Here I am in beautiful Alberta having completed, as of tonight, a public talk, a weekend retreat for Wellspring members, and an afternoon program. I started in Calgary last week and today wended my way north, driving three hours to Edmonton. Mind you, I wasn't driving, rather I was driven by my dear friend and colleague Nancy. The truth is, I have been supported every step of the way by loving colleagues and friends, even before I stepped off the plane. It is hard to explain the profound impact of seeing beloved Wellspring members, once again, in person. And new
Guess Who I Get to See This Week?

Guess Who I Get to See This Week?

I will fly to Calgary early in the morning for two special reasons.
Uncontrollable Events

Uncontrollable Events

Much of our worry is fueled by our desire to control the uncontrollable future. We want certainty and guarantees. And sadly these are not available to us.
Savouring Autumn Days

Savouring Autumn Days

I find it remarkable that we have a national holiday to celebrate what we are thankful for.
The Gods Must be Crazy

The Gods Must be Crazy

A cosmic joke. The advantage of living long enough is learning that life is full of the unexpected.
Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are

Self-compassion is simply showing some kindness to yourself.
My Palindrome - 77 - Birthday

My Palindrome – 77 – Birthday

It is breathtaking when you stop for a moment and realize how we all got here. (short post)
Let’s use the good dishes

Let’s use the good dishes

The desire for life is strong in most of us and I desire as many seasons of living fully as possible. 
Don't Put it Down - Put It Away

Don’t Put it Down – Put It Away

How much time, energy and stress do we lose and exert by looking for things?"
Make Things - it is Good For Our Health

Make Things – it is Good For Our Health

"Think about making art like any healthy habit, such as eating well or exercising." Professor Christianne Strang of Euroscience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
Significant Moments

Significant Moments

I think we need little stories, now and then, that offer moments of reassurance, meaning and significance.
I Just Knew YOU Were an Artist

I Just Knew YOU Were an Artist

I am having fun as I scribble away here in New Brunswick on the last week of my family holiday.
Laughter Is Good Medicine

Laughter Is Good Medicine

I have been without internet the past two days but I have a brief window this morning to say hello. To take advantage of this situation I am reposting the second blog post I wrote back in 2018. I continue to be on holidays in the Maritimes until the 13th but next week I will be able to scribble away as usual. Until then I hope this note finds you immersed in summer and loved ones and various adventures. I also know some of you, like me, will have received sad news about the death of a friend or other
Ikigai - small joys - past, present, future

Ikigai – small joys – past, present, future

Although with Ikigai and Illness, we situate it in the present and determine what we can do now, we are not independent of our past and future. And that can be a good thing.
Starting Early

Starting Early

We have a birthday tradition on the west coast -we get up early enough to enjoy the pre-dawn light and watch the sunrise.
Bittersweet - a quiet force

Bittersweet – a quiet force

"Bittersweetness is not, as we tend to think, just a momentary feeling or event. It's also a quiet force, a way of being," Susan Cain
Collective Effervescence and other things

Collective Effervescence and other things

"Collective effervescence is the feeling of energy and harmony when people are engaged in a shared purpose."
Summertime - let's not miss it

Summertime – let’s not miss it

How many more summers do we have? Let's relish this summer in the best way we can.
June 21 2023 - National Indigenous Day - International Day of Yoga - Summer Solstice

June 21 2023 – National Indigenous Day – International Day of Yoga – Summer Solstice

I could spend the rest of my days just writing thank-you notes to all the wonderful humans that have crossed my path.
Yutori and the Art of Spaciousness

Yutori and the Art of Spaciousness

Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called yutori.” And it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. Interview with poet Naomi Shihab Nye
A Gentle Hello

A Gentle Hello

Look for the beauty in nature and be oh so generous in sharing it.
Forget-Me-Not

I Left my Baggage in Chicago

The original meaning of dropping or leaving your baggage had to do with travel. Later on, it became a psychological tool of leaving behind what no longer serves you well.
Celebrating Showing up Wholeheartedly for Five Years and other things

Celebrating Showing up Wholeheartedly for Five Years and other things

Please celebrate your own markers. It is essential to acknowledge significant moments. 
Is It a Weed Or a Flower plus

Is It a Weed Or a Flower plus

Wikipedia describes a weed as "a plant that is considered undesirable in a particular place." Ralph Waldo Emerson described a weed...(you will have to read to find out. haha
Letter Writing Is on My Mind

Letter Writing Is on My Mind

We all need connection, beauty, joy, laughter, and a few good words. Letter writing can be a transformative option.
The Certainty of Uncertainty

The Certainty of Uncertainty

And the bottom line is we can and do co-exist with uncertainty. And it doesn't have to ruin our lives, even though we don't like it or want it. 
There Are no Small Things

There Are no Small Things

"Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive." David Whyte
Things Are Not Always Like They Seem

Things Are Not Always Like They Seem

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. You need one because you are human." Jane Howard, Families.
What Exactly Is It that Makes You Great?

What Exactly Is It that Makes You Great?

What do I want to do, in order to be a "great" grandmother? In a way, it's a non-material legacy question, for us all.
Joy and Pain are Tangled Up Together

Joy and Pain are Tangled Up Together

...what if joy is not only entangled with pain, or suffering, or sorrow but is also what emerges from how we care for each other through these things?" Ross Gay
Climbing Into Spring

Climbing Into Spring

Three steps forward, and two steps back but even if I get impatient I don't get discouraged.
No Blocking with a Most Unusual Twist

No Blocking with a Most Unusual Twist

No blocking is a principle in Improv that helps move the action along and makes the players look good.
Flowing Moments

Flowing Moments

To move along in a stream, as water does.
Wake up Call 2023

Wake up Call 2023

Illness can provide a wake-up call. We can use illness as an opportunity to get down to business with living.
Wabi-sabi

Wabi-sabi

Living Wabi Sabi by Taro Gold,  claimed that if you ask people on the street in Tokyo to describe wabi-sabi. "they will likely give you a polite shrug and explain that Wabi Sabi is simply unexplainable."
Just One Thing

Just One Thing

"‘Be especially skeptical of what you’re sure is true. These are the beliefs that often get us in the most trouble.”
Today - one day after Valentines

Today – one day after Valentines

I understand that some of you won't open this post because you are tired of the Hallmark Holidays. I get it! However, I'm not one of those people. I love celebrating. It is part of my Ikigai.
Doing Things You Enjoy with People You Care About

Doing Things You Enjoy with People You Care About

Our relationships are the most important thing.
Three Good Things in Nature

Three Good Things in Nature

A daily practice, costing nothing, which cultivates awareness and reminds us to take time to see the beauty in our own backyards.
A Fireside Chat on a Cold Winter Night

A Fireside Chat on a Cold Winter Night

To age exuberantly, you must actively recognize your “internalized ageism” and fight against it,
Changing our Minds

Changing our Minds

There is every reason to change our minds with additional information.
Uncertainty Can Offer Hope

Uncertainty Can Offer Hope

All of us have an uncertain future, even those with perfect health. And yet...
...Bury All Old Quarrels...

…Bury All Old Quarrels…

A favourite poem and a few musings to begin the year.
The Third Day of Christmas

The Third Day of Christmas

Coming to grips with ultimate reality - we can't do it all.
Thinking of You

Thinking of You

Two poems for this time.
The Smell of Christmas (please insert your special holiday here)

The Smell of Christmas (please insert your special holiday here)

I think it is great to keep doing what works. But when it no longer works, do something different or add something new.
A Small Steadying Sail of Love by Nancy Gibbs Richards

A Small Steadying Sail of Love by Nancy Gibbs Richards

It is a challenge to accept the truth of what no longer is possible and yet embrace all that still can be.
48th  Week of 2022

48th Week of 2022

Every day that we wake up we have an opportunity to do at least one lovely thing for ourselves and for another.
A Reminder to Slow Down - no rushing

A Reminder to Slow Down – no rushing

When we can start letting go of our own self-imposed constraints and open up to the wonder that is this moment we can still do something for others and for ourselves. We are free.
Only This Moment Now

Only This Moment Now

Many children... delight in the small and inconspicuous. Rachel Carson
Les Petit Bonheurs - Small Joys

Les Petit Bonheurs – Small Joys

Possible side effects include moments of spontaneous gratitude, pure joy, a desire to live fully while we can, and an urge to give back.
Fallor ergo sum - I err, therefore I am.

Fallor ergo sum – I err, therefore I am.

"Be patient with the fact that you’re human and that you make these mistakes. That’s more important than getting it right.” Pema Chodron
We Can Easily Abdicate Personal Responsibility For the Basics

We Can Easily Abdicate Personal Responsibility For the Basics

It's worth a try to create the conditions for rest and restoration so we are able to faithfully take care of ourselves and our obligations.
Let's Splurge with Words

Let’s Splurge with Words

Let's splurge with our words while people we admire are still alive.
Fall in the Gatineau sometimes this Sometimes That

Lost and Found

At one time or another, everyone loses something. What a surprise to be found.
Joy and Not Joy

Joy and Not Joy

The subtleties of our lives are no small thing. I was not grateful for my cancer diagnosis but I was deeply grateful, since I had it, to be diagnosed early. Both are true.
You Can't Get Blood From a Stone (or can you?)

You Can’t Get Blood From a Stone (or can you?)

The ones with the magic touch are treasures.
International Day of Gratitude

International Day of Gratitude

I'm not a big fan of International Days, only because there are so many of them. So I pick and choose,
Beauty

Beauty

The things that count in our lives are most often things that can't be counted.
I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me...

I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me…

I know it is hard to imagine that we will run out of moons. But like it or not we are mortal.
What  Matters Now?

What Matters Now?

The answer to this question can change as we live longer and our circumstances change. It is a question to be asked several times throughout our lives.
Ibasho - Where one fits in

Ibasho – Where one fits in

"Ibasho is more than a place. - a situation where you feel safe, at peace, secure, accepted and where you belong. A sense of well-being." Nick Kemp from his new book Ikigia-Kan
Noticing the Signs

Noticing the Signs

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in." Rachel Carson
Meaningful Memories Japan

The Human Predicament – Pema Chodron

"As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux." Pema Chodron
Summer Holidays

Summer Holidays

The summer we... and if we aren't too concerned about picking and choosing then each summer day is the best one yet.
A Few Snippets

A Few Snippets

As long as we have life, we have the opportunity to mend our fences and express our love and appreciation.
Counterfactuals - an interesting study

Counterfactuals – an interesting study

Have you ever compared yourself to the fantasy of what you imagined your life would be like by age X?
"Come, My Friends, Let's Sing and Dance All Night Long" Ryokan

“Come, My Friends, Let’s Sing and Dance All Night Long” Ryokan

"Come, My Friends, Let's Sing and Dance All Night Long" Ryokan
Wild About WildFlowers

Wild About WildFlowers

No matter what else is going on, whether I am tired, feeling flat, grumpy, or anxious when I see the incredible beauty and carefreeness of simple wildflowers my heart bursts.
The Cure For It ALL - Julia Fehrenbacher

The Cure For It ALL – Julia Fehrenbacher

My regular readers know that I would never say this. I don't really like that slippery word, cure. However...
Finding New Eyes

Finding New Eyes

"Taking in the good, whenever and wherever we find it, gives us new eyes for seeing and living." - Author: Krista Tippett. The On Being Project
Taking Time To Be a Friend to Yourself

Taking Time To Be a Friend to Yourself

Being a friend to yourself is good self-care. It costs no money and you don't have to get on a plane.
The Power of Just Showing Up

The Power of Just Showing Up

We don't need to know what to do or say or have a plan. Showing up is what matters.
When You Have Nothing Give it Away

When You Have Nothing Give it Away

When You Have Nothing Give it Away
Ikigai - The Sum of Small Joys in Everyday Life

Ikigai – The Sum of Small Joys in Everyday Life

One of the things I love about ikigai is its relationship to everyday life.
A Short and Sweet Holiday

A Short and Sweet Holiday

A note from Vancouver in the middle of a beautiful five day moodling holiday.
Making Sense of It All

Making Sense of It All

There's no way to be successful without massive amounts of adversity, criticisms, failures, and mistakes," claims Dr David Sinclair at Harvard University Medical School
A New Word - Ajuinata - Never Give Up

A New Word – Ajuinata – Never Give Up

Ajuinat is an old Inuktitut word It roughly translates to "when you are confronted with adversity, or things that are difficult, you keep going."
Grumpy Bird

Grumpy Bird

Living well with illness is not about consistently feeling great and simply overlooking the difficulties. It is about not falling in a hole and staying there and allowing our illness to define our life.
When It All Seems too Much

When It All Seems too Much

"It all feels too much said the fox...as long as you know it won't feel this way forever said the moon." Charlie Mackesy 
April 13, 2022 - Memories of our Wonderful Mother

April 13, 2022 – Memories of our Wonderful Mother

102 years ago today my Mother was born. I am celebrating her loving life and her natural wisdom here today.
Follow the Trail of Yes

Follow the Trail of Yes

If you have a new idea you want to express, just do it. What is holding you back?
Life Is Not a Bowl of Cherries

Life Is Not a Bowl of Cherries

I wonder what gave us moderns the idea that life should be free from pain and suffering. Our expectations that those "things" shouldn't happen create the piggyback suffering we so want to avoid. 
The Best Kind of Fever- Spring Fever

The Best Kind of Fever- Spring Fever

This is a natural time to start making plans, tentative perhaps, but there is joy in the possibilities.
Scattering Seeds...

Scattering Seeds…

Scattering a few seeds: poetry, video...
Glimpses of Spring

Glimpses of Spring

When the world is in chaos it is a good time to pay more attention to our surroundings and the small things in our daily life.
In Times of Trouble

In Times of Trouble

The paradox of not liking and feeling helpless with what is going on in the world, yet also loving the daily life we have been given
A Change of Pace - What If?

A Change of Pace – What If?

What if it all works out? Let's Imagine that for an hour or so.
Snippets - A Little of This and Some of That

Snippets – A Little of This and Some of That

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
Things Are OK Even When They Could be Better

Things Are OK Even When They Could be Better

"We treat our plans as though they are a lasso, thrown from the present around the future, in order to bring it under our command." Oliver Burkeman - Four Thousand Weeks
We All Need Something to Look Forward To

We All Need Something to Look Forward To

What took your breath away this week?
It Feels Like Home

It Feels Like Home

Sometimes in life we all need a lift. Returning to a place that feels like home, can work its magic.
Anything Can Happen to Anybody at Anytime

Anything Can Happen to Anybody at Anytime

It is however no laughing matter because it is true. It is life, and in a single moment, we go from this to that.
Salutogenesis - an old and neglected word

Salutogenesis – an old and neglected word

There is a long (but often neglected) western tradition of interest in salutogenesis, the origins of health, which is concerned with understanding the causes of health as opposed to pathogenesis, the origins of disease.
Restfulness - Simplicity

Restfulness – Simplicity

It's a quandary that at a time when we are predisposed to hibernate with a need to curl up in front of the fire there are many demands to exercise our will in all manner of goals and resolutions for the New Year. I will try my hand at something different this year.
Compassion for Yourself

Compassion for Yourself

It would be fun to experiment a little this New Year and see if we can each find a way- a small ritual perhaps to start or end our day that brings tenderness and kindness...
Gratitude - my one word feeling state today

Gratitude – my one word feeling state today

"The most important aspect of the practice of grateful living is trust in life." by Brother David Steindl Rast
15 min photo

Simple Pleasures in the Busy Season

Simple pleasures are different for all of us. I have had a few unexpected pleasures this week. Although the winter sun beaming through the windows is hard to beat. What are yours?
westcoast snow on holly

Affection – the Humblest of Virtues – once again

Affection broadens our minds: of all natural loves, it teaches us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who 'happen to be there.' CS Lewis
If You Must Rush - do it Slowly - Dec  1st

If You Must Rush – do it Slowly – Dec 1st

December can be a beautiful last month of the year with light, love, music, good food, and wonderful people. Let's reduce the pressure and pick a few important things to focus our attention and effort on.
I Woked Up Today -

I Woked Up Today –

I know nothing about enlightenment and I do not pursue it.  I have, however,  read about it so I am aware that it seems to have  something to do with waking up.
“Our challenge is not to choose between the fragility and strength of life...” by Mark Nepo

“Our challenge is not to choose between the fragility and strength of life…” by Mark Nepo

"Our challenge is not to choose between the fragility and strength of life but to cultivate our wonder by holding both in our heart." Mark Nepo
Remembrance Day - repost

Remembrance Day – repost

This day prompts me to also take stock and remember my family and friends who have died not though war but through illness and old age. I have anchored this practice of remembering to the 11th of November.
Limited Time and Beauty Everywhere

Limited Time and Beauty Everywhere

"If you try to find time for your most valued activities by first dealing with all the other important demands on your time, in the hope that there’ll be some left over at the end, you’ll be disappointed." Oliver Burkeman
Dusting Myself Off

Dusting Myself Off

With only a change in perspective, the most ordinary things take on inexpressible beauty. Karen Maezen Miller
Three Things that Caught My Attention

Three Things that Caught My Attention

Sleep - Memory - On Becoming an Artist - these three recently caught my attention,
Now Is the Time

Now Is the Time

This past few weeks I am thinking about priorities and how everything can change in a flash
A Million Ways to Say Thanks

A Million Ways to Say Thanks

"I want to spend the rest of my life rejoicing in the beauty of this world and finding a million ways to say thank you.” - Anne Schrievogel
An Active Acceptance -a bit longish

An Active Acceptance -a bit longish

We already have plenty of evidence in our lives that we can handle things. We are here now.
Saying Thank You

Saying Thank You

A note about thank you
The Shirt Off Her Back

The Shirt Off Her Back

I was the recipient of the literal "shirt" two days ago on my Birthday.
It Feels Like Hope

It Feels Like Hope

"Let’s start by telling just one small thing that costs us nothing but our attention." From the poem, Introductions, by Susan Glassmeyer
The Secret Art of Travel

The Secret Art of Travel

"If we savor each step toward our destination as an experience never to be repeated, then we will have learned a way of walking in which any stopping place is good." Shundo Aoyama
Unexpected Stillness

Unexpected Stillness

Why does it require a power outage for me to enjoy this gift? Must every hour be filled with what needs doing?
Early Morning Rides and Walks

Early Morning Rides and Walks

As I live longer I am convinced that the beauty of the natural world is our treasure trove for what ails us.
A Million Things are Going Well...

A Million Things are Going Well…

We can't change the past. Yet, we can change the future by what we do today.
Something to Think About

Something to Think About

The harbinger of joy is to focus on noticing, appreciating, sharing more of what is already given and present. Kristi Nelson
A Song of Praise to White and Yellow Lines

A Song of Praise to White and Yellow Lines

If I were a poet I would compose an ode to the road but since I'm not I will make a list instead.
"We are born and we die..." John Tarrant

“We are born and we die…” John Tarrant

"We are born and we die and in between we have the chance to keep each other company and that's the thing that counts the most." John Tarrant
A Hot and Humid Summer Night - Life is Good

A Hot and Humid Summer Night – Life is Good

“I don't want you to hear my story and say, "My own suffering is less significant." I want you to hear my story and say, "If she can do it, then so can I!” ― Edith Eger
cherry blossoms Gabriola

Thinking about Kokoro

I love the word kokoro - "heart and spirit and soul and mind all together."
Ikigai and Illness: A Guide to Living Fully with Purpose, Meaning and Joyful Moments

Ikigai and Illness: A Guide to Living Fully with Purpose, Meaning and Joyful Moments

I want to say that it is actually scary to write a book, even a small one, and put it out there... But time is short and everyone reading this has their own gifts to share with the world.
Summer - Another Reason to Celebrate Joyful Moments

Summer – Another Reason to Celebrate Joyful Moments

The summer season is short. I find it beautiful with a certain carefreeness that I don't experience at any other time. Let's not miss it and only notice summer after it is gone. I invite you to notice something beautiful each day of this summer season. You might jot it down. Your summer treasures of 2021.
How Might I Do This One Thing Now, if I Knew It Was the Very Last Thing I Would Ever Do?

How Might I Do This One Thing Now, if I Knew It Was the Very Last Thing I Would Ever Do?

This is one of the things I appreciate about living for 75 years. There is so much that I can overlook now. So much I don’t need to prove. Many new things to learn.  And where I can relax and enjoy the ordinary every day ups and downs of life.
"Take a Second to Bask in Vaccine Serenity"- Emma Rooney

“Take a Second to Bask in Vaccine Serenity”- Emma Rooney

May you spend some of your moments basking in the serenity of a special, although ordinary event. Taking the time to take it in, and even wondering what your life might be like without it.
A Favourite Spot to Simply Sit and Be

A Favourite Spot to Simply Sit and Be

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.  - Rachel Carson
Living a Long time

Living a Long time

The secret to a happy and vibrant old age?  Strive to do what you love for as long as you can do it." Jane Brody
Musings on On a May Morning

Musings on On a May Morning

Nature is a good teacher and a good healer. It is possible to stop and  to look! to listen! to smell! to touch!
tulips

There is no Life Without suffering – yet…

As for me, I continue to want more of these living, breathing days.
How to Help and Be Helped

How to Help and Be Helped

This is not the stiff upper lip behavior of the denier; this is grief and tears and agony, but it’s real. We show up for each other, wholeheartedly, and we learn on the job by paying attention, as we live our lives.
Forget Me Nots and Blessings

Forget Me Nots and Blessings

"Our challenge is not to choose between the fragility and strength of life but to cultivate our wonder by holding both in our heart." by Mark Nepo
Languishing - an Old Fashioned Word

Languishing – an Old Fashioned Word

I think this old-fashioned word, languish, is entirely appropriate to describe these times.
Teahouse Practice

Teahouse Practice

I miss her and I see her everywhere. "...from this window, like the moon, I keep sending news secretly." Rumi
The Important Concept of Yutori

The Important Concept of Yutori

"Yutori is a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around."Naomi Shihab Nye
Disenfranchised Losses

Disenfranchised Losses

...disenfranchised grief is made up of the disappointments and losses that are hard to acknowledge, when worse things are happening to others.
The Season of Hope and Beauty

The Season of Hope and Beauty

There is no end to Celebrating Life and Spring - To pay attention to the awe of the ordinary gives us a chance each day to experience joy, beauty, meaning and relief, which are welcome in all kinds of times.
Spring is Close at Hand

Spring is Close at Hand

Throughout my lifetime spring has always represented beauty and hope.
A Shout Out to a Maligned Medical Procedure

A Shout Out to a Maligned Medical Procedure

As I rested on the gurney this afternoon, waiting my turn, I thought a lot about how truly grateful I was to get this procedure.
Blog - Sing while there is voice left

Sing While There is Voice Left – it may require a risk #2

This maxim  is embedded in my operating system. And it reminds me of what is important,even when the world is turned upside down.
Thinking Out Loud about Grief and Mourning

Thinking Out Loud about Grief and Mourning

I am holding in my heart those who mourn, especially the “nearest afflicted.” We can all remember to tread gently with our dear ones and ourselves.
How to Fly a Horse

How to Fly a Horse

The best way to begin is the same as the best way to swim in the sea. No tiptoes. No wading. Go under.
Scrambling for Certainty

Scrambling for Certainty

We will never arrive someplace where we can rest undisturbed for the rest of our days.
Arugamama - An Important and Favourite Japanese Word

Arugamama – An Important and Favourite Japanese Word

Looking at the challenges and catastrophes that come our way we can view arugamama as a readiness to say, “what now?” With things as they are, what can I actually do right now?
When Is the Last Time You Did Something For the First Time?

When Is the Last Time You Did Something For the First Time?

Learn something new. You may try something new and fail. Guess what?  Failure is always part of the package when we try new things and being willing to risk failure is a passport to living fully.
Celebrating a New Chapter and A Warm Welcome

Celebrating a New Chapter and A Warm Welcome

Today is historic. A new chapter. A fresh slate. You don't need me to reiterate all the firsts. I simply want to honour and dedicate this day  to our American friends, relatives, and neighbours, and join them in celebrating their new President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
We all Need Sunflowers

We all Need Sunflowers

Sometimes we need sunflowers in the middle of winter as a reminder of things to come when the wind blows cold.
Greetings for the New Year 2021

Greetings for the New Year 2021

2021 awaits us with 359 new pages for our book of life. Let's all live them fully, in the best way we know how. "Zigzagging (along) you there, me here...as the snail does."
Reflections and Adieu to 2020

Reflections and Adieu to 2020

I don't have a crystal ball. However, I think it is safe to say that by this time next year things will be different. Since change is the only constant I can't be wrong. So, I enter 2021 filled with realistic hope and will cross each bridge as it comes.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Everyone

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Everyone

I leave you with my wishes that life will give you strength and courage to work with all the trials facing you, and that you are living with, right now. Also, "may your life be crowded with unexpected joys." H Jackson Brown
When Giving is All We Have by Alberto Rios

When Giving is All We Have by Alberto Rios

You gave me What you did not have, and I gave you What I had to give—together, we made Something greater from the difference. Mark Nepo
westcoast snow on holly

Affection – the Humblest of Virtues

Affection broadens our minds: of all natural loves, it teaches us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who 'happen to be there.' CS Lewis
A Few Good Words to Tide Us Over

A Few Good Words to Tide Us Over

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. Mary Oliver
Give Up on Trying to Perfect Yourself

Give Up on Trying to Perfect Yourself

Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.
Do It On Monday

Do It On Monday

Playfulness is a key to all serious skill development. Take a day or a half a day to have fun with an interest that captivates you.
Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

This day prompts me to also take stock and remember my family and friends who have died not though war but through illness and old age. I have anchored this practice of remembering to the 11th of November.
This Also is True

This Also is True

As easy as it is to speculate on what might happen in our lives, when we are devastated by illness, financial ruin, divorce, politics, and so on, it seems best to stick with the facts. 
Do Whatever Works Until it No Longer Works - Part 2

Do Whatever Works Until it No Longer Works – Part 2

If you don’t like something about your current life, do something different.
Creativity is Good Medicine

Creativity is Good Medicine

"Creativity is great medicine for all, both the creator and the one who experiences it. It is not an indulgence; it is fundamental to medical practice.” Patch Adams
Take Back the Secular Sabbath

Take Back the Secular Sabbath

I really am suggesting that we take back the sabbath – having one day a week to rest, play, have fun, bike, walk, reflect, turn off our devices and breathe.
Something to Praise

Something to Praise

Let's do it: something, anything, that deserves praise that is often overlooked. It is a great attention exercise.
What Matters Most

What Matters Most

At the end of life, when people look back to see what mattered for them and brought meaning, it's not about what they bought and what they owned. It's about what they did to help other people to live and how they related to other people and grew in wisdom.
Blind Spots

Blind Spots

With some exceptions,  I believe that people  are doing the best they can, with what they know, in the circumstances in which they find themselves.
special moments

In Praise of Moodling Time

So I am on my own mission to resurrect my  moodling time. For years I chose Sunday – the entire day- for the sole purpose of unstructured time. I got to read, bike, photograph, take long walks, write, visit with a friend, read poetry, and play the piano, daydream, and so on. Even though I am no longer the example,  I have the longing and motivation to keep trying.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it (anywhere i go) E. E. Cummings
You Can do It

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, you can do it. We all can.
Small Joys Les Petits Bonheurs

Small Joys Les Petits Bonheurs

Possible side effects include moments of spontaneous gratitude, pure joy, a desire to live fully while we can, and an urge to give back.
We All Leave a Legacy

We All Leave a Legacy

It’s about accepting responsibility that you’re important to people. Lyndsay Green
Mostly a Quiet Time this Evening

Mostly a Quiet Time this Evening

...Every year, everything I have ever learned in my lifetime, leads back to this...Mary Oliver
A Forest Walk

A Forest Walk

My sweetest of all possible Mother's, departed this earth on Sunday afternoon, July 26th, on beautiful Gabriola Island. She will be missed and never forgotten.
A Smiling Face

A Smiling Face

My sweetest of all possible Mother's, departed this earth on Sunday afternoon, July 26th, on beautiful Gabriola Island. She will be missed and never forgotten.
An Anchor and a Springboard

An Anchor and a Springboard

Lead your ordinary everyday lives extraordinarily well in all the ways that count. Do what needs doing and always be kind.
Letting Go in Order To Let it Be

Letting Go in Order To Let it Be

"A big part of what you must learn if you’re to be less worried about controlling everything is how to let go of your compulsive need to feel in control." Darlene Cohen 
Forget-Me-Not

It’s All Been a Blessing – Guess Who I Am Talking About

Rather than waiting for something better to come along, take the initiative and find a way to make something better actually happen. Rabbi Schachter
A Few Poems For my Mother

A Few Poems For my Mother

"...poetry as water: essential, calm, churning, a vortex of light and shadow, refreshingly cool, pleasingly warm, and sometimes just hot enough or cold enough to jolt, charge, render slightly uncomfortable, and bring one fully, deeply to life once again." Claudia Zoe Bedrick
You Already Won the Lottery

You Already Won the Lottery

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”- Mary Anne Radmacher
Break the Mirror

Break the Mirror

I am not suggesting that we break our mirrors, but I too learned that I am not just what I see reflected back at me.
Optimism of Uncertainty

Optimism of Uncertainty

"An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time.
If I Diminish You I Diminish Myself - Archbishop Desmond TuTu

If I Diminish You I Diminish Myself – Archbishop Desmond TuTu

The concept of Ubunto, "to be human we need other humans." Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Zoom Challenge from Japan

Zoom Challenge from Japan

Mt Blanc Project: to demonstrate to themselves and others that you can live an active, purposeful and joyful life while ageing  and while experiencing serious illness.
Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

So the question is, when is a weed not a weed?
Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

I wish us all well as we venture forth with awareness, intelligence  and fortitude.
Fresh Strawberries at Midnight

Fresh Strawberries at Midnight

During that conversation I was asked for some examples of my Mother’s kindness. And without a second thought I told them this story.
It's not joy that makes us grateful it's gratitude that makes us joyful.  by David Steindl-Rast

It’s not joy that makes us grateful it’s gratitude that makes us joyful. by David Steindl-Rast

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Chief Medical Officer for the province of British Columbia says everyday, "Be kind; be calm; be safe."
Deliberate Search for Joyful Moments

Deliberate Search for Joyful Moments

Make the best of where you are and with the way things are. Take the flashlight of your attention and go on a treasure hunt.
Option B  Was a Roaring Success

Option B Was a Roaring Success

Option B was a roaring success; "it was worth living 100 years just to celebrate my birthday in such a unique way."Eileen Wilson
April 13, 2020 - Celebrating 100 Years of Living and Loving with  Our Favourite Centenarian and Everyone's Mother

April 13, 2020 – Celebrating 100 Years of Living and Loving with Our Favourite Centenarian and Everyone’s Mother

The gift of years. So here is the thing. I know that many people like to show the youthful photos of their Mother and I love that idea too but I really want to celebrate my Mother's successful ageing. She has lived 100 years and you can see her good spirit, love, and joie de vivre shining through.
Make a New Plan Stan...

Make a New Plan Stan…

It is only in the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is  invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from The Little Prince
Let's Learn Something New

Let’s Learn Something New

I think it is a good time to be bold and try new things that we can do within the walls of our homes. Let's experiment.
Be the Calm One On the Boat

Be the Calm One On the Boat

Be the calm one on the boat
Obviously, Not Business as Usual

Obviously, Not Business as Usual

Spy hopping is a vertical half-rise out of the water performed by a whale to view the surroundings.I think this is going on all over the place right now.  A half-rise to take a peak, get the lay of the land to see what needs to be done. Improvising.
The Unwanted Guest

The Unwanted Guest

"We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance occurence of monstrous proportions. Nicholas Nassim Taleb
Call it a Family

Call it a Family

"Whatever you call it, whoever, you are, you need one." Jane Howard
Something to Think About

Something to Think About

Today I have been thinking about the way quotations have influenced my life. In many ways they are just as important to me as poetry.
"It Isn't the Mountains Ahead that Wear You Out..."

“It Isn’t the Mountains Ahead that Wear You Out…”

It isn't the mountains that wear you out but the grain of sand in your shoe.
Life is Amazing

Life is Amazing

Life is amazing - a short post today.
Tulips Today

Tulips Today

For now, allow yourself to love and be loved by those who are there.
No Words For It

No Words For It

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”~ Lao Tzu
How Delight Can Heal Us - (I borrowed this title from Tricycle's Daily Dharma)

How Delight Can Heal Us – (I borrowed this title from Tricycle’s Daily Dharma)

There was an understanding that things would change; feelings would fade; noone escapes sorrow and that somehow things would get better around the corner. Love and laughter helped.
Any day is a Great One to Begin a New Habit

Any day is a Great One to Begin a New Habit

For this week why not choose one thing you want to do where you have not been consistent. Make it reasonable. Make it tiny. The Kaizen approach really works.
A Blessing for the Brokenhearted

A Blessing for the Brokenhearted

There is no remedy for love but to love more. -Henry David Thoreau
Greetings for the New Year and the New Decade 2020

Greetings for the New Year and the New Decade 2020

2020 awaits us with 365 brand new pages for our book of life. Let's all live them fully, in the best way we know how. "Zigzagging (along) you there, me here...as the snail does."
I Want to be Remembered For This - (a repeat with edits)

I Want to be Remembered For This – (a repeat with edits)

May those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, or Christmas and/or Solstice create memorable and joyful moments with your loved ones.
We Give Thanks for our Friends

We Give Thanks for our Friends

As long as we have life, we have the opportunity to mend our fences and express our love and appreciation.
The Wednesday Outing  or A Six-Hour holiday

The Wednesday Outing or A Six-Hour holiday

Here's the secret to taking a six hour mini holiday in the middle of the week. Do it for someone else. Someone you think the world of, who you believe could use a change of pace.
"Now, You Must Promise Me to Start Using It Right Away."

“Now, You Must Promise Me to Start Using It Right Away.”

Don't wait for something 'special' to put in it. That way it will sit on a shelf forever.
A Few Good Words

A Few Good Words

A few good words
Taking it One Day at a Time

Taking it One Day at a Time

One day at a time is really the best way I have found to deal with the intractable difficulties of life. Dr. Itami's, Meaningful Life Therapy, which my work is based on is "present centered." What can I do today? Interesting video this week for you to watch from philosopher Alain de Botton at The School of Life in London.
A Japanese Bowl

A Japanese Bowl

Kintsugi dates back to the 15th century and  is a method of mending or patching broken ceramics that makes them even more beautiful and valuable than in their original state. I also like to think that it can be a metaphor for our own cracks.
Vancouver Island Whale Watch - Humpback

Momentous Moments – they can happen everyday

We are busy people, and often worn out by illness and care giving. I will now make a wild proposition for us all, including me. For our good health we need to take ourselves outdoors for one hour every single day.  One hour out of 24.
"Go ahead - you first"

“Go ahead – you first”

Imagine a Poetry Pharmacy that dispenses first aid with poems, including support for good mental health. My kind of Drugstore.
Looks Like I'm Walking Today

Looks Like I’m Walking Today

When I was going through my cancer treatment, I kept a blog called Joyful Wrecks.  I decided on the name to illustrate my experience that although I would be looking for joyful moments, and working to create them, I recognized that there would also be moments when I felt shipwrecked.
The Risks of the Reality Check

The Risks of the Reality Check

I now do more unrealistic things than I used to. I have more hope that things will work out. I say yes whenever possible, including to myself. Realistically, if my life was audited by the world, from beginning to now I should have more worries, fears and insecurity.
One Hole in the Net and You Slipped Through

One Hole in the Net and You Slipped Through

I was struck by the advice one of the Morita Psychiatrists gave in his presentation. He suggested that we take a few minutes everyday to take stock of "what didn't happen."
blind spots

Enjoy Your Life – repeat – Enjoy Your Precious 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.
In Praise for the Incredible Kindness of Caregivers

In Praise for the Incredible Kindness of Caregivers

Toward the end of his life an interviewer asked, “Dr. Huxley, perhaps more than anyone else alive, you have studied the great spiritual and religious traditions of the world. What have you learned?” And Huxley answered, “I think we could just be a bit kinder.”
The Anxiety and Stress of Not Knowing

The Anxiety and Stress of Not Knowing

The relief, even with the bad news is this. "At least now I know what I'm up against."
What Is It About September?

What Is It About September?

September has Arrived Fall is in the air. You can smell it; see it; hear it and almost taste it. I can almost touch it. The quality of the air feels different. It is the most glorious season for me. My Grandaughter insists it is because I was born in September. There is truth to that as for me it represents fresh starts and new beginnings far beyond the calendar New Year. At this minute, the sun is streaming through the south facing windows at my daughter's home. The cat is curled up in a state of total relaxation. I
It’s Easy to Live Well when you hold All the Aces

It’s Easy to Live Well when you hold All the Aces

The truth is that there is nothing unusual about any of these things. Except to the person they are happening to.
We're All on Our Way Out: so Use The Good Dishes

We’re All on Our Way Out: so Use The Good Dishes

The joy of living is knowing how precious and tenuous it really is to be part of the full human experience.
Wandering Around In a State of Wonder

Wandering Around In a State of Wonder

Staying curious and paying attention to the world around us.
The Universal Language of Generosity

The Universal Language of Generosity

Let's just say that language was not a barrier. The messages conveyed went way beyond ordinary language and opened my eyes to a communication without borders.
"It's a Great Day to be Alive"- Kevin Kaminski

“It’s a Great Day to be Alive”- Kevin Kaminski

"It's a great day to be alive." Kevin Kaminski
A Few Encouraging Words

A Few Encouraging Words

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. Pema Chodron
The Mont Blanc Effect

The Mont Blanc Effect

The purpose of these Japanese hikers is to demonstrate to themselves and others that you can live an active, purposeful and joyful life while ageing  and while experiencing serious illness.
Do Whatever Works - until it no longer works. Natalie Goldberg

Do Whatever Works – until it no longer works. Natalie Goldberg

Don’t make a rigid structure and then chastise ourselves when we don’t live up to it. Better to keep a limber mind and develop a tenderness toward existence.  —Natalie Goldberg, 
A Great Day - "we woked up!"

A Great Day – “we woked up!”

"Creative individuals don’t have to be dragged out of bed; they are eager to start the day. This is not because they are cheerful, enthusiastic types." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Sail boat Trim tab

Summertime

"We have two lives; the second begins, when you realize you only have one." Mario de Andrade
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
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.
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.
Blossoms

Blossoms

It's funny how things come together.
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.
Forget-Me-Not

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.
early tulips

Let’s Celebrate More

Wanderer, there is no path. We lay down a path in walking. Antonio Machado
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.
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
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.
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
westcoast snow on holly

Celebrate a Snow Day

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

Zen Seeds – an excerpt

Happiness that depends on what you acquire or become is only conditional happiness, not true happiness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
playful calculations

Playful Calculations

How many days have you lived Nana? How many hours? Yikes...something to think about.
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.
transformation, butterfly, blog

Barbara Kingsolver – Teaching Herself Joy – over and over again

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

Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-Sabi – the beauty of imperfection, impermanence and incomplete.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
peonies immersed in beauty

Immersed in Beauty

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