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

I took this photo in Japan, in the fall of 2014, in the Hakone area. It never fails to delight when I see their happy faces. It feels like yesterday.

Creating Joyful Moments in the Midst of Suffering

I think alot about creating joyful moments in the midst of suffering. I suspect it stems from having grown up with my particular clan in the Maritimes,  where we learned to accompany each other through the tears. It wasn’t about denial of difficulties nor forcing a false front, rather it was about broadening the view to see what else was true. 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.

What I have found is that things change on a dime. During times of illness and difficulty we are hopeful one minute, despairing the next and hopeful again. This cycle repeats itself and it is natural, considering the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.

And yet…there is always more, when we have our circle of friends and family. For instance, last week a small  group of friends came together, for two nights. More than one was grieving loss, so both the tears and the laughter spilled over through the music, poetry, games, spa and heart wrenching discussions. And still, everyone left feeling more alive, loved and grateful.

Moai

It brought to mind the Japanese concept of “moai,” a concept attributed to the greatest longevity in the world, particularly for women. Maoi is essentially a lifelong social network of friends who support you into old age. Although we don’t have a “word” like that, we all experience the essential nature of our important friendships.

Our western research is unequivocal regarding the improved health metrics of those who have a close and committed group of friends whom they can rely on. And although ideally we would all live in the same area, that is not the case in North America. We are often widely seperated from our old friends and family.

And still, we can help and count on those friends from afar. Not in the way we could if we lived down the street but this is where technology really helps. For all of our complaints and fears about devices, we have never had it so easy to stay in touch with loved ones.

My cousin reads books to her granddaughter several evenings a week. I have had one Birthday dinner with my Mom using our iPads, when I couldn’t span the 4500 KM distance between us that year. It’s not better than being there, but it is certainly the best alternative.

Meeting Half-Way

Last Friday my friends in Vermont drove to Montreal, while I took the train, and we met for coffee at a pre-arranged location. We had a fun-filled day of conversation, good food, and a surprising event – a spectacular and immersive VanGogh exhibition in the heart of Montreal. They drove home in the evening while I had the luxury of sitting back and enjoying a two hour train ride. In other words, we can instigate opportunities to strengthen friendship even when we don’t live near to each other.

We are all getting older and I consider it a privilege, so I want to live my older age, as long as I can. I found this video, which was part of a larger piece and I was touched, inspired, and delighted, by this six minute segment. I knew about this group of women but I didn’t know this aspect of their story.

Their effort and their joy make it worth sharing and not just because they are all in their 80’s and 90’s but as a reminder to all of us to reach out and find the spark and the love that makes life worth living. A reason to get up in the morning. (sub-titles)

Six min Video – In the land of the immortals- Click here

Finally, circling back to the title of this post, from Tricycle’s Daily dharma:

“Joy creates a spaciousness in the mind that allows us to hold the suffering we experience inside us and around us without becoming overwhelmed, without collapsing into helplessness or despair. It brings inspiration and vitality, dispelling confusion and fear while connecting us with life. Profound understanding of suffering does not preclude awakening to joy. Indeed, it can inspire us all the more to celebrate joyfully the goodness in life. The Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu are good examples of people who have seen tremendous suffering and are still able to inspire others with an infectious joy.” ~ James Baraz

Notes

Note 1:) It is no credit to me this winter that I have kept my vow for not complaining about winter. It is January 22nd and the weather has been amazing compared to the previous winters and compared to elsewhere in Canada. I feel the weather gods have conspired to help me keep my vow. I am grateful!

Note 2:) My tiny habits experiment (from last week) was only moderately successful. Let’s say 1/3; so, I have tweaked my exercise to see if I can do better this week.

Note 3:) In my family we are planning our Chinese New Year celebration for Saturday night, the 25th. This is always a fun-filled time with friends and family. It is the year of the rat and there are two of them in the family – my daughter and son-in-law. And I believe that two of my Japanese friends, Yoshie and her husband are also rats. Must be a good sign because they are all wonderful people.

Note 4:) Thank you so very much for reading this blog. I consider it a great honour and I deeply appreciate you all, dear readers. Warm regards, Trudy

 

Any day is a Great One to Begin a New Habit

Thanks to G Mitteregger,  for the beautiful photo taken in Yellowknife, NWT, in 2003 with Dr. Itami and his MLT group.

Many years ago, I used to go to the gym/pool, three times a week at 6:00 AM, with my Mother and a friend. We greeted the usual early birds, and had our pick of equipment, as well as a pool almost to ourselves. Showers and change rooms were plentiful. We thought it was great.

And then a New Year arrived and that first day back at the gym was crowded, with line-ups for everything.

“What happened,” I asked the attendant?

“A New Year,” she responded. “Don’t worry, she added, “they will mostly be gone by the 14th.”

She was right. Two weeks later we were back to our small group with no more lineups.

What happened?

According to an article by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, in Fast Company, he writes:

“So, why are significant changes to our habits so hard to attain?” Psychology provides some useful answers:

“First, according to Dr. Thomas, there is a big difference between wanting change and wanting to change. Even when people profess a clear desire to change, what that usually means is that they are interested in change as an outcome rather than change as a process. In other words, most people don’t really want to change, they want to have changed.”

That just about sums it up. I want to be fit, but I am less engaged in doing what that takes than the thought of getting fit. (for the record that is changing) :-))

So, what can we do when we really want to make a change?

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. One small step every day. Equally important, according to Stanford professor BJFogg, is to anchor it to something you already do daily without thinking. Such as:

  1. Brushing your teeth
  2. First cup of coffee
  3. Turning on your computer
  4. Dropping your child off at school

You get the picture.

None of us need to use our willpower to brush our teeth. It is an automatic habit. Why not use that to attach something else that you want to make a habit. We all know how to floss our teeth, but do we do it every day? If not, (and you want to) try something like this. I intend to start by flossing my two implants. I don’t like doing it, and I am inconsistent. I hope that by doing just that simple step of flossing implants, every time I brush, I can instill the habit of flossing daily, and, with time, I can add more teeth until I’ve got it. I want flossing to become like the simple act of brushing my teeth. I figure it is worth a try.

When I read the book, The Power of Moments, I liked Dan and Chip Heath’s take on New Year’s Resolutions:

Why wait for a new year if you want to make a change. Jump in at anytime and get started. If you’re struggling to make a transition, create a defining moment that draws a dividing line between Old You and New You. This is why people don’t often change their lives until the worst possible moment. It’s only once they’re on the brink of destruction, that they finally say, ‘I must either give up or rise up.'”

And this brings me to illness.

It is common when we get diagnosed with a serious illness that we make significant changes in our lives. Some changes are forced on us and others we initiate. For many, illness is that “defining moment” that the Heath Brothers talk about. A catalyst for new beginnings, where priorities and actions take on new meaning and change happens.

So,  don’t give up on yourself if building a new habit doesn’t come easy. Take it slow and one step at a time. Anchor it to something you already do.

No need to wait for a new year. We can start anytime.

Notes

Note 1:) I published this little piece on the private FB account I moderate, for people living with illnesses.  I apologize to the five readers here who read all of my scribblings, as this is a repeat for you.

Note 2:) I am learning something about tiny habits. I had created three for this week and one worked as I hoped but not the other two, so I tweaked them. This is the thing, when working with a new habit, if you aren’t doing it, try something different. Experiment. Just don’t give up.

Note 3:) Thank you for your kind comments and emails. Last week’s poem spoke to many and I treasure your responses.  I am grateful to you, dear reader, for showing up. I hope wherever you are, in this wide world that you have a week with unexpected good surprises. Warmly, Trudy

A Blessing for the Brokenhearted

A Blessing for the Brokenhearted

by Jan Richardson

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

-Henry David Thoreau

 

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—
as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it
as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still

as if it trusts
that its own stubborn
and persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom

but will save us

nonetheless.

There are people I know who read this blog who are brokenhearted, as I write. As well as some of you whom I don’t know. Some are lovingly, and, yes, wearily, side by side caring for the precious human beings who mean the world to them. Yesterday, a dear friend’s husband died.  It is with thoughts of her and her family that I especially write today. And always, it is with thoughts of all of you who caretake the everyday moments of your lives, with all of your particular joys and sorrows.

This poem of Jan Richardson has provided solace for me several times. I simply offer it to you here today.

Take heart. You are not alone.

With love, trudy

 

Greetings for the New Year and the New Decade 2020

Aurora Borealis 2002 – photo by Gottfried Mitteregger on New Year’s Eve in Yellowknife

First of all I want to offer my very best wishes to you and yours for this New Year and this New Decade. It can be an interesting opportunity to reflect back to 2010 and see what was going on and to see the changes. Some changes delight us and others bring tremendous loss and sorrow. And yet, the wheel keeps turning toward new learning’s, generosity and kindness. Don’t you think? Ultimately, through it all, to have the love of family and friends is the thing that counts the most. This configuration itself is malleable with the passing of time, yet it is always there, at the core of our lives.

A poem for new beginnings:

Eleven years ago my friend sent me the following stanza by poet Marge Piercy from her poem, The Spring Offensive of the Snail. She also added this note:

“This is a great poem to start off the New Year. There is also a ceremony among some First Nations people, which involves throwing water over their backs seven times. In doing so, they wash away any habits or thoughts no longer beneficial for growth.  People forgive those who have harmed them and ask forgiveness of those they have harmed.  Now they are ready to start the year anew.”

“…But remember to bury
all old quarrels
behind the garage for compost.
Forgive who insulted you.
Forgive yourself for being wrong.
You will do it again
for nothing living
resembles a straight line,
certainly not this journey
to and fro, zigzagging
you there and me here
making our own road onward
as the snail does…”   excerpt from Marge Piercy’s poem

I hope that this new year will be filled with many meaningful moments of joy, purpose, courage, solace, generosity, health, awareness, adventures, laughter and lots of time with the ones you love. Let’s not forget to stay open to the element of surprise. We never know what might happen around the corner.

There is always a door:

Furthurmore, it has been my experience that there is always a door. Help arrives during times of distress and great difficulty. Sometimes we don’t even need to ask for help. It arrives unbidden. And sometimes we need to seek it out. Knock on doors. Write letters. Make calls.

And, even with all of our pro-activeness, it doesn’t imply we solve the problem. Yet, we often find comfort, strength and new information. 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 and can provide words of comfort.

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.”

Above all, never forget that healing can happen, even when cure doesn’t.

With love and gratitude and a thousand good wishes for you all. Trudy

Notes

Note 1:) As this old year came to an end I reflected on what I can let go of in my life and what needs to take a priority. It came clear to me that I need less time with the news and more time with the muse. In  my case, the time to contemplate and the time to thoughtfully take action.

Note 2:) I  am choosing to make “the basics” my priority for 2020. Truth is, if I don’t put a disciplined effort into taking care of body and soul, I reduce my chances to continue to live a vital and joyful life for as long as I am still breathing. So, it is an experiment. What happens if I consistently provide  enough time for sleep; moving my body everyday to stay flexible and strong; eating well most of the time; taking time to be both out in nature meandering around in wonder and time to contemplate my interior landscape in gratitude, and to consciously stay in touch with family and friends. All things that can easily slip through the cracks, when they depend on enough time left over. 

Note 3:) As I enter a new decade I know for certain that what I am already doing is what I want to continue doing. Yet, there are gaps where loved ones can slip through the cracks and where small,and  important things don’t get done.  I want to narrow those gaps and be there for those who count on me.  I figure that my best chance to do so is to take care of the basics.

Note 4:) Last, but not least, I thank you for the great honour that I receive each time you click on “read more.” I humbly thank you for continuing along with me each week. Some musings are better than others and you are generous, dear readers, for so often joining me here, no matter what. I deeply appreciate you. You make my life better. Warmest regards, Trudy

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

Christmas Cookies:

Five years ago, when I was baking special Christmas cookies called Basler Brunsli, made from almonds, chocolate, sugar, egg whites and spices (hmm, I guess this makes them gluten free, as well as delicious) my grandchildren Sophie and Rowan were close at hand, faces aglow, as I removed them from the oven. They were four and eight, at the time.

Sophie, leaned over and  quietly said this to her younger brother, as he eyed the tray of small, chocolate bears. “Rowan, you need to know that Nana turns a blind eye to the cookies at Christmas.”

At that moment, I felt pure delight, if not enlightened. Like I had done something so supremely good in the world that I hadn’t even been aware of. As I looked into the faces of these dear children, I was grateful to be the one who “turned a blind eye to the cookies at Christmas.” They were unaware that I had overheard the conversation. I thought then, as I still think now, that this is enough for me. This is what I want to be remembered for.

And it isn’t completely about the cookies.

It is about the confidence they have in me that at Christmas time they can enjoy these special little cookies with ease and joy and on their own terms. When I open the freezer and see crumbs scattered and the container not fully closed, I smile to myself.

Am I worried that they will eat too many and get sick? Nope. I’m not. It hasn’t happened yet. My confidence in the ritual of certain traditions and the knowledge that chocolate is also a vitamin (vitamin CH) allows me to celebrate their joy. And that is one of several reasons why I love Christmas.

Christmas also deservedly gets a bad rap due to consumerism.  However, I mostly avoid those aspects by staying out of malls, not being caught up in the excesses of it all and concentrating on small things that mean something to me and my family. I claim my own traditions and ignore the rest.

The Christmas tree is another tradition.

In the darkness of November and December, in our northern climate, we need to warm our bodies and souls. Lights, candles, fireplaces, good food and a beautiful green tree in the house does just that for me, along with the good company of loved ones. The fragrance of the noble fir transports me to a wondrous place the moment I come in from the cold and my senses are greeted by that old, familiar smell.

As we decorate our tree, we dedicate the first few favourite ornaments to others, and say why. It turns the process into a reflective and fun event as we sometimes have tears and laughter in our remembering. After a couple of rounds we go back to finding just the right spot for whatever decoration we hold in our hands and then at random times one of us pauses (me, in this case) and says, “I want to dedicate this beautiful star to my friend, Helga,” as an example. The children always remember their family who live in different areas of the country so Grandma and Grandpa, Opa and uncle Rob, Jonathan and Michael and Great Grandma and so on…they eventually all get named.

Jolabokaflod – a new Tradition

Don’t get me wrong. I too can be overwhelmed at Christmas, yet, I still love it. This year, we are starting a new tradition, adapted from the Icelandic custom of bookgiving, called Jolabokaflod. This Sunday night the five of us will deposit our phones at the front door, exchange books, and curl up in comfy chairs in front of the tree and the fire, and read for the evening. Oops, I almost forgot that there will also be our favourite chocolates.  In Iceland this takes place on Christmas Eve, but in our family this new tradition will happen the Sunday before. I love the idea of intentionally setting aside an evening to exchange books and read together. I can’t think of a nicer tradition to start, than this particular family gathering, with time to sit and read together in front of the tree.

And so, the holidays have arrived, and all of us arrive with our own traditions of bringing light to the darkness.

However we choose to spend this time may it be with love and joy and yes, sadness, too for all of our losses. May we say yes to what is important and meaningful and no to the things that no longer matter to us.

I do urge you, nonetheless, to celebrate all that is good in your lives and not succumb to the cynicism and despair that can so easily gather in a crowd of sorrows and/or consumerism. Find your people, those whom light you up, and be that light to others.

Warmest wishes, Trudy

 

We Give Thanks for our Friends

I loved this little prayer, from the first time I encountered it. It speaks to me about the human condition. I reflect on the message and it somehow gives me hope, joy and peace that although we can disappoint others and ourselves, make mistakes and have regrets, we also celebrate and delight in the joy of each other. As long as we have life, we have the opportunity to mend our fences and express our love and appreciation. Thank you, to my all weather friends. With love, Trudy

 

We give thanks for our friends.

Our dear friends.

We anger each other.

We fail each other.

We share this sad earth, this tender life, this precious time.

Such richness. Such wildness.

Together we are blown about.

Together we are dragged along.

All this delight.

All this suffering.

All this forgiving life.

We hold it together.

Amen
From The Prayer Tree by Michael Leunig

Image002

 

The Wednesday Outing or A Six-Hour holiday

This is a busy time of year for most people.

It has been a little wild for me too, for several reasons, so it can be challenging to carve out time for a break. Yet that is exactly what I have done for the past two Wednesdays.  It has been amazing and I heartily recommend that you give it a try. 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. And then make a standing date.

All of a sudden you get to have that break which previously seemed impossible. It is such a simple formula. It’s in your calendar and you aren’t about to let your friend down, come hell or high water, as my Grandmother used to say.

So this Wednesday we went to the nearby town of Almonte and began with a visit to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Turns out that the textile industry played a significant role in that valley and Almonte was Canada’s capital of the woolen industry. There was also a lot of pain and suffering attached to that honour, and we can look back with amazement and dismay on our past. Coincidentally, there was a special exhibit called Spirit Seeds, which is a celebration of historic Indigenous beadwork, as well as how contemporary artists continue to contribute to that legacy. So many things I didn’t know about in my own backyard, discovered in a tiny and welcoming museum.

It was a delight to then wander around this quaint and charming town, situated on the banks of a  river, waterfalls and all. Charm galore, with trendy restaurants,  shops and gorgeous architecture. It was a little wonderland only 40 minutes from home. And here’s the thing. We both enjoyed every part of the outing and came back refreshed.  We didn’t even have to drive to Quebec city. Here was refreshment 40 minutes a way. Ottawa, like many cities is surrounded by several small towns within an hour’s drive. I now want to visit them all.

Dr. Itami, of Meaningful Life therapy fame,

used outings and travel as part of his comprehensive treatment plan for his cancer patients, along with chemo. Like Dr. Shoma Morita, before him, he considered travel to be part of cultivating curiosity, awareness and attention to the world around us , which could provide a healthy way to gain temporary mental relief from our cares and also have fun. I can vouch for it, after two Wednesdays.

Even with a packed slate, it is important to take that break and do something that you don’t ordinarily do. Explore a different part of town. Try a new restaurant. Attend a concert where the music is unfamiliar. Do these things with a good friend. Say Yes, when the opportunity arises. Make a date. Do not let all other obligations stand in your way of exploring, and enjoying your neighbouring towns,  close to home.

A 40 minute drive to a small town in eastern Ontario, with a friend, became a six-hour holiday with no line-ups, security or packing. We explored, laughed, ate a great lunch and shared a dessert. And then we meandered around and drove home.

And this is how it works. Thanks to my friend, who is letting me do something for her, I get to benefit the most. So, now we are doing something for each other. Taking the time to see new things, or even seeing old things with new eyes.

Notes:

Note 1:) “Oh for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,” D.H.  Lawrence

Note 2:) Thanks to my daughter who helped me keep my date today.

Note 3:) I highly recommend that you do some variation on this theme, especially when you think it is impossible. Close to home and a budget holiday that offers extraordinary value for our spirits. Thank you all for hanging in with me, here on the page. And thanks for your kind notes. I hope you have a good week. warmly, Trudy

 

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

This week I was going through an old blog looking for an article I wrote 11 years ago. Although I didn’t find the article, I found this post that I wrote almost exactly ten years ago. To my dismay/surprise I realized that I could re-publish this post right now because nothing has changed.

It went like this:

“Today I was going through a cupboard of drawers, sorting cards, pens, note paper, stamps, receipts etc. when I came upon some beautiful journal’s I received this year and haven’t used. Later on in the evening when I returned to this re-organization, I also found a wonderful reminder of what to do with these books, from my friend Patricia, who wrote the book Improv Wisdom an all-time favourite of mine.

This note had accompanied a beautiful journal she gave me on one of my  Birthday’s and I had kept it tucked away in a safe place and happily rediscovered it tonight. This is what she wrote:

“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. (I know, I have a half dozen blank books unfilled). Keep it as a ‘nothing special‘ book…jot down recipes, to-do lists, poetry; clip stuff and paste it in. Don’t make it a precious book. Use it by the telephone to write down notes or addresses. Find some way it gets USED! Promise it won’t be kept for some high purpose. Make it a lowly thing that gets used a lot.”

Her note continues with an assumption: “Good! Use it. I’m delighted you’ve started. Now keep on using it. Don’t stop to answer: ‘Is this worthy of the book?‘ Nonsense, if it strikes your fancy, add it. My friend Dalla has kept an ‘everything book‘ going at all times. She pastes and writes and scribbles…putting phone numbers, recipes, quotes, diary entries, poetry snippets…whatever is passing through her life at that moment. She keeps them by year or date. It is a great way to use such a book. Please do use it for everyday things. They are important.”

I continue:

Good grief! This is  the reminder I need. Tomorrow I will paste on the front page of Patricia’s beautiful book this advice, and follow-up with the stack of little paper treasures sorted on the guest bed. I wonder if you have beautiful untouched journals stashed away.  If so, what on earth are we saving them for?

Thank-you Patricia for this timely advice. I can hardly wait to get started on using my wonderful books.”

 

Present Day – Here’s the rub:

I just now opened a treasure box of things I brought with me to Ottawa and there it is, this lovely book. Safe and sound and barely used. I did paste the note onto the front page and place a few beautiful items, loosely, inside. I also scribbled a few commonplace things onto three pages, but I must have got cold feet, as it all came to a grinding halt.

Deciding is not doing. How many times did you decide to do something, and not do it? Of course, not everyone is like that. My daughter being one of the latter.

So, I brought the book out. It is sitting on my desk now, beside this computer, with a glue stick and a pen at the ready. By using the book every day, I honour my friend’s gift. There is no shortage of poems,  quotation’s, images or fleeting glimpses of insight that pass through my day. I will write them down at day’s end.

It can be my commonplace book until it is filled, and then I will start on other slightly used books in that same chest.

This isn’t a chore but rather a joy. A fun thing to do. A chance to write down serendipitous moments that can be memories for later years.

I bet we all have lovely things that are tucked away. Time to bring them out and put them to their rightful use.

What are you not using?  Your watercolour brush, guitar, a half-finished poem, family photos, samples of your pottery class that you loved but didn’t get back to.

Perhaps the time has come to re-discover the treasures tucked away in your own cupboards and bring them out to see the light of day. You may find treasures to pass on to someone else who would love those watercolour brushes, if you are not ever going to use them again. Many possibilities.

It could be fun giving new life to old things.

NOTES:

Note:1) I had such a good day with a friend visiting the National Art Gallery, and seeing an amazing exhibit called Abadakone: Continuous Fire. This is a series of presentations of compelling contemporary international Indigenous art, from 40 Indigenous Nations and 16 countries.

Note 2:) Do not grasp at the stars (alone), but do life’s plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” Lord Houghton

Note 3:) The photo today is a gift from the same friend Patricia. It is a Japanese folkart called Etegami.

Note 4:) Today is the last Wed in November. Hard to imagine. I can only continue to say thanks to you for opening the Wed email and clicking on “read more.” A deep bow of appreciation to you all. I wonder how you are all doing dear readers. Best wishes and warm greetings, Trudy

 

 

 

A Few Good Words

“Instead of trying to discipline your mind with ill will, fault finding, guilt, punishment, and fear, use something more powerful: the beautiful kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness of making peace with life. “Ajahn Brahm

I read this quote this morning and this is now the third place I am posting it. It seems that the longer I live, the less energy I have for fault finding, including my own. More and more I want to live, like these words from the Irish poet John O’Donohue:

Fluid
I would love to live life
like the river flows
Carried along by the surprise
of its own unfolding.

Notes

Note:1) I am loving November. I understand that we started winter early but it is such a nice one. Cold but not bitter. No rain. Rays of sunshine and beautiful sunsets and clouds.

Note:2) It cannot be said enough, how important it is to have your people, on whom you can rely. Come what may, when you have that you have everything you need.

Note:3) Thank you for showing up here week after week. Warm regards, Trudy

 

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?

I recently came across this 7 minute video from Alain de Botton. Many of you will know him already. He is a Swiss-born British Philosopher and author,  and according to his bio , “He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries.

Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education.”

For a change of scene I suggest that you take 7 minutes and watch this video. The School of Life does a fine job with their graphics to illustrate the spoken commentary. I have enjoyed several of the topics over the years but this one is new to me. I think you will enjoy it and relate to this fundamental truth of taking our life, one day a time.

Notes:

Note 1:) Welcome Winter. (I am going to take it one day at a time this year rather than fearing five months of cold and ice) Yesterday evening, crisp and clear, the night sky was dominated by an exquisite full moon. It accompanied  the kids and me all the way home from math class, a 40 minute drive. This morning I looked up info on this “full frost moon,” also known as the “snow moon.”

Nasa refers to it as the “beaver moon” and they added the words “spectacular,” to describe the 2019 display. They have traced the name back to the 1930’s and one interpretation is that the Algonquin named this moon because mid-fall was the time to set the beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.”

I find it interesting that each full moon has a story. What I do know is that the brilliant display  of this November moon was a gift of our brand new frosty winter.

Note 2:) A shout out to my Mother at 99 and one half years old, who has been recovering from a setback this past few months. Her mantra is “do what you can to help yourself.” She has been researching how to regain strength and is focusing on some extra protein, vitamin C and walking.  “I want to do my part to be as healthy as I can for as long as I am alive.”

Note 3:) I had notes from several people last week that you enjoyed the video on the Japanese Bowl. Thank you. Scribbling away, day by day is part of my Ikigai – a reason to get up in the morning. The fact that anyone reads what I write is an extra special gift. With a heart full of appreciation, Trudy