Blog

westcoast snow on holly

Celebrate a Snow Day

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

Zen Seeds – an excerpt

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

Playful Calculations

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

Barbara Kingsolver – Teaching Herself Joy – over and over again

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

Wabi-Sabi

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

Immersed in Beauty

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