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Are you feeling stuck? Or are you just sticking to the wrong things?

I sat here this evening with my feet plunged into my roasting pan. Yes, you read that correctly. My roasting pan. I haven’t penned nary an inspirational thought in months and this is what I start with. Even I am interested to find out what narrative will follow…

I sat here this evening with my feet plunged into my roasting pan. Yes, you read that correctly. My roasting pan. I haven’t penned nary an inspirational thought in months and this is what I start with. Even I am interested to find out what narrative will follow. But let me explain the roasting pan. There’s a hole in my spa bucket Liza and my heels resembled the remnants of a beached trout that had dried in the hot sun for a week. I have a live event tomorrow where I simply cannot tolerate the idea of donning my typical high black boots, instead opting for my simple pink summer sandals. I decided this due to the indescribable burning toes that have been forced into carrying the whole extra human I grew this last two years. They’ve just had enough and the protest is loud in the wrong footwear. But, back to the roasting pan. I promise I will not use it to cook in again. There’s been no need anyway this past while. And for those that might be interested in knowing it holds two size 12 feet side by side quite comfortably. Hot water. I cup of mouthwash. I cup of vinegar and one roasting pan. Be sure to follow me for more recipes folks.

I further painted my toe nails pink. It’s a disaster of proportions I cannot describe. I lost my distance glasses when they tangled in the mask some weeks back. In my frustration I yanked them free and placed them on a counter in some store somewhere in the city. I don’t know which store because my brain went off with my toes in an act of mutiny. Therefore the painted nails were done basically by feel alone. If you are sitting here wondering why distance glasses to paint my nails then you clearly did not gain another human these past years and can bend over like normal people. I did consider propping the little paint brush onto the end of my selfie stick at one point. Should I actually attempt this I might find myself the recipient of 100 thousand likes on Tik Tok if I can balance my camera between my teeth to record it. Stay tuned.

Someone (likely my frustrated nail person) will be reading this right now and quietly muttering expletives at me for not simply making an appointment. I did set up an appointment and then had to cancel it because my travel plans changed yet again. Those are my favorite words this past year. Yet again. “Oh we’re cancelling it yet again are we?” “Oh we can’t be within three feet of other humans yet again eh?”

My “yet again” repertoire did grow somewhat to include the phrase “Oh we’re doing this now are we?” As the rules loosened, the goalie was pulled setting us up for a clear win only to shoot the puck forward as they tossed the entire defense line across the ice to slow the movement we were making.

It’s been incredibly difficult to get out of the stuck lately. I know this to be true because nearly every single human I have spoken with has asked me the exact same question. “Why do I feel so stuck?” “How do I get unstuck?” I believe I may have found some wisdom to share but I am almost hesitant to utter a word for fear of the defense line taking us right off our skates again. But what is risk if not for risking it right? Standing on the ice on thin blades comes with its possibility of landing flat on our ass. I feel pretty good about landing on mine given that I grew a spare to take the first slam. Silver linings folks. Look for em.

And here comes the wisdom of a moderately visually impaired sage with great toes of fire and a brain full of fog. I begin with one simple question.

Are you actually stuck?

I asked myself this recently. And the answer was no after about ten minutes of trying to convince myself otherwise. That ego brain that always thinks it has the real answers. Set that down for a bit and let the soul speak instead. To help you along with this exercise I will share what mine chose to show me. You may recognize yourself in this so pay attention.

I am not stuck at all. I am simply resting while I pull myself from the grip of the glue I believed I needed. The discomfort that I am experiencing is merely a period of grieving as I come to understand that to peel from old processes will cause pain. As ridiculous as it may sound on the surface, one of my old processes included running to a favorite store on days where I could claim points and feel like I won something. As one of those humans that simply has not had the life path that includes winning anything on a giveaway, the points for me represented a lucky break, a nod from the universe that I too had value. Sure, I spent way more than was necessary, purchased items that I really didn’t need but look at me universe. I won 40.00 in points. My bank balance dropped by 120.00 but I’d walk out waving my receipt at my spouse like I just won the Olympic Gold. I have successfully disengaged from that sticky hold although I will admit to the sadness that still follows the initial rush of adrenaline when I get my email urging me to come play the game. I know it’s a strange example of grief but for someone who never got a ribbon in school it’s a wee wound that got salved in being rewarded for buying more makeup than she needed. The wound is healing much more nicely now as I choose to drive past the shop and out along a quiet back road that rewards me with peace. The dividends of that far exceed the worth of what I believed made me happier.

Like thousands of others on this same journey this past two years, I found myself lamenting everything that this took from me. The comfortable faces, the typical places. The ever changing and new experiences that moving from one city to the next offered me. The changes of the seasons from one province to the next. The incredible stories I would hear, the people that would teach me about strength, about forgiveness and about joy. The busyness that kept me in your lives while keeping me from getting close to my own. As the days moved into the months, moved into the year I found myself grieving what I felt I needed to be my best version of me. As the world around me lost faith in the universe I found myself at a loss of words to try to bring them back again. This was a difficult unsticking as it hit me one morning that the only words to bring them back were the words that I wanted to say. Not the words that the world needed me to say. It’s always been so much easier speaking to your truths because in yours I find the real pains and the real triumphs. I truly feel you and applaud you. Yet if I listen to my own narrative my ears measure it as whining and I’ve never been comfortable in my own skin as anything less than tough as nails. This past two years has been an eye opener for me to delve into those discomforts that I have always pushed aside as “life lessons” and to allow them to bubble to the surface. It’s been both cathartic and rather shocking to find the extremes of which my emotions shift when I am forced to sit still with them. As the world has moved to reopening and I find myself sliding back into the arms of the crowds I am changed. Where I once stood in front of someone with tears running down their cheeks and found more significance in their pain, I now can commiserate more effectively by allowing myself to recognize their pain instead of trying to make theirs unique while trivializing my own. I feel that I now know you better by knowing me first. Our experiences may be different. What brought our grief will be as personal as your own DNA. But grief is grief when it comes right down to it. Although I cannot possibly comprehend the grief of a child loss I can commiserate in the heavy emptiness that is mirrored in the loss of others that I once stuck to as validation that I existed myself. So if you find me standing before you offering you a tissue and taking one for my own tears don’t be surprised. It’s become an all too common new theme for me and I am no longer feeling it necessary to hide that. And for me that’s big. It’s huge. So now I am the weepy, moderately vision impaired, brain fogged sage standing before you. And that’s OK. Because I unstuck myself from the bravado and instead stuck to myself and learned to accept that I too have struggled . And it’s OK to not be super human and carry everyone else that can’t get there. To be able to finally say after 57 years that I am too tired to pick you up today, but we can sit here on the ground together until we find the strength to stand again. The dividends of this shared experience holds much more value than my pulling out the cape to feign courage and yanking you back to your feet without telling you that I completely get why you hit the ground in the first place.

We are not stuck at all. Like flies to paper we can choose to just lay down our wings and let what we feel holds us back consume us. Or, we can flail our wings like hell and break free and fly as far away from what threatened to hold us from our journey.

Go on now. Stick to yourself for a spell. You will find an incredibly powerful and beautiful soul in there. Perhaps a little more bruised than you expected. Maybe with a few broken parts that you missed along the way. Stick to yourself to find the healing instead of sticking to what you believe was healing you. You can do a much better job. Trust me.

In love and light

TT

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Christmas, Chocolate and Chicken

Our Christmas decor thus far involves eight Swiss Chalet Lindor chocolate shops delivered over the last four Festive Special meals.

1:02 am. 21.12.21

My Nanny used to always say “You laugh too much my girl and you’ll wind up crying” or something to that effect. I recall just slipping down the wall in fits of hysterical giggles and not really paying much mind to her ramblings. That’s always been my way to see the humor in difficult moments and if we are frank, the moments of this last two years have been some of the most uncomfortable of our collective lives. The humor however has always served me well to get through them and the first few paragraphs below will reflect that. By the time we reach the end of it my perspective might have changed. I might now understand her.

Have you found Christmas this year? I seem to have misplaced it. My husband tells me it’s leaning up against the back of the bedroom closet, but I haven’t been into that closet since I gained a whole extra person this last year. What need is there to hang up the leggings and oversized hoodies exactly? None that I can think of. Going into the closet will only serve to remind me that I have been wholly incompetent at connecting to my physical self since this entire debacle began. I call this reasoning number one for not getting into the tinsel. My second and more logic based reasoning is the addition of a ten week old feline named Binx to our family that already boasts two large canines who shed like they are building a whole new litter. The entire idea of wrestling this demon from artificial branches whilst surely bleeding from the effort does little to inspire me to want to decorate. Neither do I relish the gagging ( my own) when forced to mop up as he hurls whatever sparkly and non edible item he managed to find still adhered to the tree from Christmas’s past.

Our Christmas decor thus far involves eight Swiss Chalet Lindor chocolate shops delivered over the last four Festive Special meals. These boxes are empty of course, because well….chocolate. I currently have 80.00 in Chalet Cash that came stapled to the rooftops, so I am fairly certain I can carry this over to the Valentine meal deal. It’s a win win. I get a free holiday village display and chicken to take me well into 2022.

I don’t know that my husband agrees with my decorating scheme. When I asked him if he really felt it necessary to deck the halls his reply left me at a bit of a loss for words.

“I get it but I almost feel guilty if we don’t”

I sat with that for a bit and then understood it to be the sentimentality of the season for him. He has always been very much this way, while I have always been the opposite. I find sentimentality in fractions, in only the memories that stand out large, while he finds it in the more simple reflections. Every year without fail he pulls out his mum’s old tarnished Christmas bells, hanging precariously now from the velvet ribbons that are fraying with the passing of decades. And every year I want to find something new to top the tree with because my own mother is still adorning hers with a dilapidated plastic angel that is 50 years old, only 6 years my junior. I have warned her on several occasions that she does not want to put that on my side of the “china cabinet” For those that have not heard me speak of this before the “china cabinet” has been strategically managed so that in the event of her passing each child has specific treasures that she has collected over the years. My poor mum if she’s heard it once, she’s heard it a thousand times “I don’t want that, put it over there, my brother will love that” or “What in Gods name possesses you to believe I need a 12 pound carnival glass bowl exactly? Put it over there my sister will love that” I am sure she believes that I just have absolutely no attachment to anything. Partly true I suppose, but not entirely. When my much loved Nanny passed away I took home with me a set of little Chinese slippers that I am sure she stole from the Canton restaurant that she loved so much, two horrid little green ceramic frogs that made me laugh so hard because the potter had created one female and one male and both completely anatomically correct. I still have them if anyone needs proof. And the last thing I took was her dresser, because it smelled like the Chantilly powder she practically bathed in, and the aroma of her cigarette that she sat in the change holder in the top drawer while she went about her morning dressing routine. If you come to my office you will still see this dresser sitting there. The bottom two drawers removed it now serves as a small table, adorned with black and white photos of family inlayed into the wood.

Sentimentality to me is the feeling and nothing to do with the object. So if my mum is reading this, you would be further ahead to toss your hair curlers into my side of the cabinet, with one of the headscarves you used to hold them in place or perhaps a bobby pin stretched open to take me back to the memory of you furiously using it as a q tip. The curlers and scarf a reminder of how funny I always found your 3 day hair regime, the bobby pin a reminder that I would sit fascinated watching this and wondering how you weren’t deaf because of it. Maybe your old stand up makeup mirror that reminds me of how I sat and stared for hours and learned to perfect it through your example. Your old tail comb and a bottle of final net too.

Sentimentality for me is the remembering the emotional responses that are garnered. Which is why I am struggling with Christmas this year. Although the idea of busy shopping malls makes me cringe at the best of times, there is something so incredibly wonderful about the energy at this time of the year. The Santa workshop in the middle of it all, the kids all lined up, the carols piped in over your shopping experience. The bows and the paper, the foil and the ribbons. The teddy bears with big red bow ties, the nothing but songs of the holidays CD’s fronting the electronic center. The mall kiosk with hundreds of stockings waiting to be adorned with a name.

All of the things that I didn’t realize created a sentimentality in me have struck me sad this year in their absence. The malls may be decorated but we are all too busy trying to move around each other without affecting each other, to even notice. The conversations at the cash over holiday plans with complete strangers while we wait for the long line ups to move have been diminished. The smiles, I miss the smiles the most, hidden behind fabric and frustration with the ever changing rules of engagement. I know I have been surrounded by carols but I can’t remember hearing them because I find pressure in browsing too long, or pushing my cart up too close, or unloading my items onto the belt too soon before the customer ahead moves further away. Christmas from an emotional standpoint means connection. Finding each other, being kind to each other, sharing a laugh with a stranger. Christmas has long been held as that time of peace that descends over the world, we all feel it, the silence that speaks so gently. There is nothing that has ever felt more true to me in my entire life than the feeling that the calm of an early Christmas day provides. The knowing that we can expect to spend the day with certain people, in certain places just reminded us of every year before. So this has been hard for many of us in that we don’t know what it looks like anymore, but here we are hoping it looks like something we remember.

For now the Festive Village will suffice because it’s creating a new and silly thing for me to reflect onto when all of this is done. It will give me something to laugh about of a time that was so uncomfortable. And maybe my yearly date with Ebenezer this Christmas Eve will find me inspired to put out the tree before bedtime in the hope that it brings the same Christmas morning calm that I love so well. Perhaps you will feel it too and we can share in it together. This is my Christmas wish for us all.

I suppose I should pull out the tarnished Christmas bells too. 🙂

Merry Christmas with love.

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A Good Piece of GrASS

“I just need a good piece of GrASS”

In a sudden ridiculous (and almost laughable were it not so truly disconcerting) moment of insight I realized today that I miss the grass. With all that has been gone from me this year; the travel, the social connections, the usual family visits, the hugs, the music, the stages, the everything I considered normal…

Today I missed the grass. As I drove slowly past a city park and saw the walkers, the cyclists and the skateboarders, I realized that our restrictions include not stopping. Exercise is encouraged but only of the upright persuasion. A moment to pause on a bench or to drop cross legged to the lawns to contemplate over a blade of grass is discouraged. As if the plague of the century can not catch us in movement but waits to descend upon us as we sit quietly inviting it in. While wildly intelligent in its ability to mutate, I have some serious doubts about its ability to think critically enough to peg out the only person in the park who paused to lean against a tree.

Everyone was moving. There was such little comfort in that for me. In retrospect I can understand why perhaps, having been the subject of a death glare for daring to drop to my backside for a moment to lean into the energy of a local lake. To shift myself to the expansiveness before me and silence my mind. For this I found myself the recipient of a handful of uncomfortable looks or well aimed disparaging arched brows. And all I had to do was to sit down. It was a cold day, I huddled up in my hoodie, I hadn’t arrived with a shovel and pail or a beach blanket with intention to stay. I simply wanted a minute to share my space with the water. I didn’t fully appreciate the strangeness of these times until that very moment. I further appreciated the very tiny things we take for granted today when I found myself staring wistfully at the grass.

In all the busyness of my life this past decade, in the runs between provinces and towns, I forgot the experience of sitting cross legged in the park during Sun Fest, listening to the beat of the bongos from some tent nearby, having my nostrils assailed by the merging of aromas from the food trucks, and soaking up the familiarity of ease found in flowing gypsy dresses and khaki shorts that spoke of a different time ; an energy of flower power and bare feet. All of these wonderful senses provoked by the simple act of dropping to the grass.

I aim to understand many things in this lifetime, I seek answers to that which eludes me, I seek experience in those things I feel I need on this journey yet… in these times, I find it hard to comprehend standing still in a mile long checkout line while being discouraged from standing or sitting still for a moment in nature.

So you’ll forgive me if you find me with my ass in the grass but my senses need provoking. It’s hard to capture life in racing past it.

Just smile and wave kids. Smile and wave.

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This Is Our Unmasking

In those moments I permitted myself to feel the discomfort of all that has changed around me, all that has changed within me, and to grieve all that will never or cannot ever… be returned to me.

I approached the doors to the funeral home to find a young staff waiting with a thermal scan aimed in my direction. I leaned in slightly and on gaining her nod of approval of my afebrile status, was ushered forward to share my personal info with the woman behind the plexiglass window. This was my first celebration of life during these unusual and confusing times.

And it changed me.

Moving to the left I found myself staring into a space where seating was paired, two side to side with six feet to the next set, on both sides and behind. The stagger of the chairs bewildered me for just a moment, due in part I suppose to my expectation of how this should be. I stood there glancing about the room, not certain what to do in the absence of a grieving family standing to greet those who were there to pay respects to their loved one. I will admit to a pang of panic in not quite knowing what was expected of me in that moment. My husband indicated the familiar face of the Reverend officiating and I found myself steered in her direction with some relief that I could comfortably stand close without fear that I was encroaching on a bubble I didn’t belong to. The presence of another known friend found me taking the seats that sat six feet behind his own. The arrival of the widower permitted me my need to reach out, to return the requested hug and to share my sorrow at the loss of his beautiful spouse. I will admit that I have never been a fan of the family greeting line; to me they force the grieving into a position of accepting touch and comfort in a time when they are most fragile and at risk of shattering. It was a surreal realization for me to suddenly recognize that despite my distaste of the typical practice, I still stood there seeking its tradition.

Taking my seat once again, I glanced about the room finding only eyes to greet me, the masks dutifully drawn to the bridge of the nose, glasses perched and clouded or raised to sit on the head to clear the vision of the breath that steamed it. I felt that I had landed in a different place, a different time with a brand new set of rules of both behavior and engagement. I peered into the eyes of the older lady seated six feet to my right and smiled quickly realizing she wasn’t aware that I had done so at all. I felt sad in that moment that we had missed the opportunity to meet on that smile. Perhaps she had smiled my way also, and I missed it too.

My dear friend the Reverend stood to take her place at the podium, and I fell silent to listen to her words. As she moved through her eulogy, and the children stood to speak, I was quite stunned to find myself reaching up to wipe away tears that have never come easily to me. I am not that person. I am not that crier; I share in painful expressions of loss and pain on a daily basis, making this a highly unusual occurrence. I sniffed deeply back to pull it together and immediately found myself right back to tears dampening the cloth that covered whatever facial expression existed beneath it. I could feel the familiarity of the trembling lips, the attempt to then pull the lip between my teeth, as if that motion could stop the flow of fluid now freely escaping my lower lids. But this time the attempt ended in failure.

And then it hit me.

My mask had afforded me the vulnerability to be honest. Yes, I was pulled into the stirrings of emotions listening to a family share stories about a wife, mom and grandmother whom I respected deeply for her love of life despite her egregious health battles, yet a woman I hadn’t been blessed to know well at all. Her story and her fight to live shared over social media by her loving husband whom I knew well enough to be honored to be asked to share in the celebration of her well lived story.

In the short time that followed, I allowed myself to both partake in the words I was hearing, and in the thoughts of the losses I had encountered myself over the year(s) that just passed. With eyes dampened in tears, and the stain of eyeliner marking the trail, I glanced again around the room and found a comforting reality that I was not at all alone. Without the expressions to guard the tears, the tears were more truthful than I have ever witnessed. I felt each one, and became part of a whole in a way I could have never imagined possible. In those moments I permitted myself to feel the discomfort of all that has changed around me, all that has changed within me, and to grieve all that will never or cannot ever… be returned to me.

During a 45 minute celebration of life, I cried for the year(s) that I lost. The year(s) that we lost. Seated hidden beneath my mask, I bade farewell to the experience of what once felt real and felt a stir of hope that something better will fill the holes that these losses have left behind.

Behind my mask I found my pain, and I gave it permission to leave me. My wish for you is that you find your own, that you allow yourself to let it free to absorb into a piece of fabric that protects the vulnerability beneath. My wish for us all is that on the day that this ends, that we can turn new and beautiful faces to the sunshine.

My hope is that you find yourself immersed in the opportunity to understand and know yourself entirely before these strange times come to an end. My hope is that you find solace enough beneath the mask to give truth to what you grieve.

There is no joy to be found in the heavy loss of precious life during these present times.

But there is joy ahead for those that will understand why we have shared this together.

No one can see your lips trembling. Go ahead and grieve.

With love and light

Tania

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What The Dead Want Us To Learn From A Pandemic.

“You’re all in this together. Work it out”

What The Dead Want Us To Learn From A Pandemic.

With slightly off color forward by Tania:

Have you ever had one of those “I showed up to the party naked and everyone else was dressed” dreams? If you have then you know the feeling it evokes when you believe that everyone is staring at you in horror. That’s kinda where we are right now in relation to forgetting your mask in the car. At least that’s where I am. I leave home and as I cross the parking lot I have this uneasy sense that I forgot to put my clothes on and a wave of momentary panic ensues before I realize that it’s my face that is showing. At this point in the game it’s likely considered the more offensive nudity, which is somewhat disconcerting actually. With the current focus on inappropriate facial features, I almost want to walk into the mall in my bra and sweatpants and see if anyone even notices what’s actually missing.

Several times over the past few months I have reached out to my Guides, even asked those that belong to my clients if they might wish to chime in on our current state of being. Each time I have attempted to get a response, I have been thwarted with either a shoulder shrug or what might amount in the human world to an eye roll type of response.

To say this was a most frustrating experience is an understatement. In my experience those on the spirit side tend to have an opinion on everything, so this silence was both curious and concerning. Not to mention downright annoying as I was struggling to bring comfort to so many who were finding absolutely none. And then last week, we went into the dreaded “second wave” and my already thin patience snapped.

“We’re tired universe. This is exhausting and I’m fairly certain there is a mutiny mounting over Thanksgiving dinner; you have anything to share to bring about some form of calm to the masses, I would most appreciate it”

What I received in response may not provide the calm that I wished for but perhaps it may offer some perspective during these trying times.

Message From Those On The Spirit Side

“You are in this together; as one whole. Not one is separate from the rest, all are equal in their risks. What other way to unite you than to place you into the same experience? What better way to teach you to consider each other than to be considerate of your own frailty? It is only in your own fears that you can adequately understand the fears of those in your own community. We have watched for some time now. We have heard the discomforts of your hearts and souls with many of the unfortunate and tragic events that occur in your world. You can empathize with the catastrophes yet you cannot truly become a part of them therefore you learn little. You send your thoughts, your donations, your blankets, your love and your monetary assistance and then you continue with life as it goes in your own world. With little understanding of the continued struggles of those still battling the waves, you move forward, buy your usual coffee, read your usual news. This pandemic has created a vaster knowledge of the pains that many face in all times, not only during a viral outbreak. The discomforts of isolation, of loneliness, of loss of health and loss of loved ones. It has taught us that not one human is exempt and that all humans are in the line of fire. Regardless of social standing, of wealth or of poverty. This virus has no chosen few, it adheres to all demographics; all race, all religion, all human kind. This microbe might be the one single thing that helps you to finally see each other and not simply look at each other. Perhaps now you might find some understanding in those that struggle and must ask for help. Without the assistance of your governments you would have been in the same place in a short period of time. Perhaps now you might find some sympathy for those that struggle with mental health concerns or with thoughts of leaving your human world. Because now you have been subjected to having your usual set aside for something new and frightening and uncomfortable. Perhaps now you yourselves are beginning to feel the helplessness that arises when there are no answers or no direction to take. Your world will come through this, as it has come through everything that it has faced. You will come through this and we hope that you come through changed. We hope that you come through kinder, gentler and considerate to the plight of all those humans who have been living this very existence alone. That is… until a germ forced you to join them”

Powerful words…so simple yet so thought provoking. So relatable now that we are all in this same place, battling these same demons. A germ forced us to join all those that have felt dehumanized in their exemption from our good lives. This is a wake up call. I hope you all answer.

We are in this together. There is no other choice. We can heal this together.

In love, kindness, common frailty and in understanding.

Tania ( and friends)

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The Ghost On The Bridge

Sometimes just a stroll across a bridge can ease the discomforts of the present time. I did that yesterday. I hope you enjoy taking this walk with me today.

The Ghost On The Bridge

I suppose he built the small bridge of a familiarity, perhaps a time long past that he wished to resurrect into the time of now. Whatever the reason, I found myself standing in my Aunts backyard yesterday staring at this delightful structure that the neighbor had placed to share both his yard and her own. It covered no water, simply grass grows beneath it, but for me it brought back the sounds of the bubbling of a small creek from so long ago. I took the hand of the ghost that beckoned me and moved over the familiar arch of the wood plank and landed in a place I once loved. The yard around me suddenly bloomed into floral, to my left the Cape Cod inspired small white home appeared, and all of discomfort of 2020 evaporated into the smile of old Mrs. White as she followed the path to greet me. I call her old because in the time that I knew her being just a child she was 105 and had lived four lifetimes. In truth she was likely no more than 70 yet her deep wrinkles, the testament to hours tending her gardens, created the illusion of someone much older.

My Nanny lived across the road from this fairytale place in a small cottage that smelled of sulphur ,the sink and bath drains a testament to the old well water that created the inevitable rust stains. Instead of doors she had the beaded curtains so popular in the 1970’s, and each time I walked through I would walk slowly allowing each bead to fall off me as if I were entering some magical space. I loved it here. At times we would simply stay close to the cottage for the day, and would wander outdoors. To the space in between her home and the next, a large marsh area that gave birth to what seemed a thousand baby toads. I carried a large pickle jar, lined with grass and collected my new friends. If I overfilled I would laugh as the top toads used those below as springboards on which to propel themselves back to the ground. It was not uncommon to find me filling my pockets when the jar became burdened. I always released these small creatures back to home at the end of my adventure. To the back of the cottage a collection of old vehicles, parked haphazardly with a big yellow bus the focal point in the middle. This bus became the fodder of my imagination as I would climb aboard and sit alone dreaming of where it might one day take me. In my mind I painted it with peace signs and pink flowers. In todays world this heap of old metal would be removed, too dangerous for small children, and part of me wonders what the children of today might miss in not having an old bus to build dreams on.

Then we had days where we were to visit old Mrs. White. As we would walk down the long laneway from the cottage I would get excited as the weathered fencing would appear. There was, as you might imagine, a small gate that pulled outward and to this day I can still hear the creak that opened into wonderland. I would always run first for the broken down bridge that spanned the tiny waterway beneath it. Large trees overhead gave the sense that I had walked into where the fairies lived. Old Mrs. White would be across the way, bent over whatever bloom she was tending, and would always stand up and wipe her hands on her pants as we approached, launching into a conversation about something or other that would light up her wrinkles and remind me of crinkled tin foil. On some Sundays after church she would host her infamous pancake breakfast; the highlight of my church experience. To this day I believe my Nanny only went because it was something to do, or she wanted to catch drift of whatever gossip might be swirling in the small Meadow Lilly community. She was far from the religious type, yet nearly every Sunday she would sit in the pews as old Mrs. Whites son delivered his sermon, while I would color pictures of Jesus in the Sunday School below. But pancake day with Mrs. White was always the day everyone looked forward to. She was the quintessential witch of the time and the mother of the pastor. I wasn’t so much excited over Jesus but to me she was everything I hoped to become one day. The old lady in the white house, with the weathered lean-to buildings that housed her wheelbarrow, her garden tools and a plethora of old jars of odds n sods.

I would often catch on our walk over, the tiny toads and deposit them beneath the bridge. If she ever noticed she never said a word about my filling her yard with the little amphibians.

As I stepped back over the bridge yesterday I stopped and gave a grateful wave to old Mrs. White. For the reminder that when times are more difficult than they once were, that we can find some solace in old and familiar places. The reminder that some bridges should never be burned but left to stand waiting for us to cross back into a fairy tale of old buses, baby toads and the old lady that lives across the way.

In love, in light, in laughter.

Tania

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It’s Time To Let Go Now

September is no longer peering into August, but now standing at the open door. The breezes will cool, the rains will wash out what was stuck with humidity, and the days will grow shorter. What must soon die will first delight us with its splendor and then without resistance will fall to the earth to create a vibrant blanket of mosaic influence.

There are some that are struggling with releasing the summer sun, with letting go of the waters edge, of the sunsets and the barbecue. More so this year than any other, I have noted the shrill sound of discontent as the rains start to move in and the temperatures dip into hoodie status. We complain as if we are being further punished after a less than typical summer; as if the usual swing of the seasons should instead stand back until we have received what we feel we deserve.

It’s time to let go. Time to release the notion that we are owed anything more than what the universe is capable of providing.

Take a moment over the coming weeks to walk among the trees before the hues herald the end of this cycle. Don’t wait for the colors before you decide to look closer. Go now. Stop and peer into the branches, note the leaves and how they have dried, have cracked or have broken under the weight of the summer sun. Hold a leaf between your palms and note the bumpy texture where the tree tried to heal the small holes created by the insects that could only live by taking life. See the wonder of how this living thing tried to pull the edges together to be whole once again.

We are not so different as humans in our attempts to soothe what has created our cracks, to want to keep it together. To want to band aid our holes, to airbrush our pain, to stand strong and tall in the face of all adversity. What makes us different is that we add to the weight by holding on to what drained us, what drew from our roots and what took small pieces of our whole. It’s as if we believe we might be stronger than the oaks and that everything that is broken is ours to keep.

Are we smarter than the mighty oak?

Maybe its time we take a lesson from the tree.

The trees have so much wisdom to impart if we would take the time to listen. The trees intuitively understand that in order to nourish the seasons ahead they must release that which no longer serves them. To continue to be an integral part of the eco system, of the universe, of the air that we breathe, the trees must let go of all that they have experienced in the season before. How long would our world survive were the trees to grown thick and gnarled with what harmed them? How much nourishment could possibly be left to nurture the new while the parched drinks so deeply from the well?

What do we lose if the trees stop letting go?

What do you lose if you stop letting go?

So like the wise tree, take time over the coming months to reach down into the roots, to bring sustenance to the experiences that have grown you. To acknowledge each one lovingly with a splash of color that reminds you that each and every tear and fracture has its own role in creating what you are becoming. Paint brilliance to each moment. Bring life to all that you have given of yourself to sustain another, for all the times you curled away from the harshness of the winds.

The timing of nature is perfect. As the tree begins to wane from the weight of giving life, the cool rains appear to release the pigments of the palette. The tree now stands in the splendor of what it has learned for a short time before the winds move in to pull away each broken tendril and drop them to the earth below.

Oh the things we can learn from the tree. From the cycle of natural. To understand that what grew us must go below us to now act as a foundation on which to stand. Forever a part of our system but now giving of nourishment not draining.

Take a stroll once the colors drop. Jump into them, crunch them into the soil. The trees are gifting you the beauty of what they have given of themselves to make way for the new growth to come.

Be like the tree. For a short time stand in the brilliance of what you have given and stand proudly.

Be like the tree. Drop what you no longer need to make space for more life to follow. Crush what parched you and create a new layer of root.

And lay bare for a time to the cooling winds to soothe where it still stings.

The tree of life is every tree. The cycle of life is etched into its trunk not into the fresh shoots that appear in the springtime.

It’s time now to let go. To release the notion that you owe anything for a time.

Be a tree for the season and heal for awhile.

In love, in colors, in light.

Tania

Featured

F**ck Off, Namaste & Amen. With Love.

**This blog is intended only to serve as a reminder in these very difficult times. It is intended to be an honest and open expression of the truth and nothing more. I believe we can only get through this together if we understand each other a little better.**

If you are an empath, a counsellor, a social/healthcare worker or anyone involved in the easing of human discomfort you will understand when I say that we are in the most incredibly draining time in our own human history. The sadness is overwhelming, the fear is palpable and the loneliness in reduced social activity is creating need of immense proportions. To all those that engage in the human condition please know that it is OK to hang up your wings and swear when necessary. And drink wine. Whatever you need to get through your own day.

“Are Reverends allowed to say f**ck off?” This question popped up into my inbox this evening from a long time friend, a spiritual colleague and someone for whom I hold much respect. As you may have already surmised she is also an ordained Reverend. She worked long and hard to reach this place where she can be of spiritual service, be an ear when it’s needed and a shoulder to cry on. We are much alike in our respective careers so she understood that she could find confidence in me and that I could easily empathize with her frustrations.

Yes, my friends; Reverends are allowed to say F**ck off. Reverends and all those that walk along the spiritual path are certainly permitted to be human. As often and as loudly as is required to make it through a day.

She didn’t need to come to me for permission to use the expletive but it is a natural thing for those on this path to ask if they could have done better. I do it all the time. I seek out a close friend…we all do this. It is a built in system of self awareness. And it’s flawed.

“I snapped someone’s face off this morning, but they kept at me and at me and well…I just lost it. I feel terrible. I could have handled that better right?”

My friend never agrees with that part and is quick to remind me that I handled it exactly how it needed to be handled in the moment that it occurred. And as a psychologist in these current times she had to step back because her own seams were cracking. Lucky for me she hasn’t yet told me to “f**ck off” but if she does I will forgive her for being human first.

Half of the problem is that for most of us that do this work we keep our own private selves private. We don’t share the fact that outside needs pop up in the middle of a disagreement with a spouse. We don’t make it known that we might be grieving our own losses, through death or through disconnection. We don’t make you privy to the fact that at the exact time you sought us out for help, we were dealing with a family member in crisis and absently staring at our phone while scrambling to figure out what to do with them. If we can think straight we may reply with a quick “Sorry not today” or we may simply not respond at all because our brains have turned to mush in that moment. And then inevitably forty other requests arrive and we forget to respond at all. Either way we choose to respond we will be judged; we all know this and accept that it is at risk of our halo falling five inches.

My dear friend the Reverend took steps toward easing others through their pain because she carried the pain of losing a child herself. But she won’t tell you that while she comforts you in your own discomfort. Because she is an empath. We just simply don’t do that. And I for one am wondering what that characteristic is born of? Is it innate or is it groomed in by a world that expects halos to consistently shine without a tarnish? Is it that we were set on a path of being there for those that hurt and with that comes the responsibility to bear it no matter the cost? Or is it because at some point in our own lives we have learned that we never want to cause pain to another soul because we have known that pain ourselves?

I don’t know what the answer is for everyone but I do know that people need to remember that those in the more compassion driven careers are human after all as well. Even when we act like superhero’s, we still had to wrestle in the phone box before jumping into action.

My dear friend was cornered and bullied today because she said no to a request to do something that she wasn’t prepared to give energy to. My friend just put a family member into a nursing home. She was already feeling the sense of failing someone before this bully tried to convince her she failed in her vocation simply because she said no.

“I would have expected more of a Reverend” is self serving and disrespectful to everything this person has put ahead of herself these past ten or more years. And I have no problem with telling bullies such as this to “F**ck off” because despite it all she still feels uncomfortable saying that out loud because someone thinks her halo must shine and not be tarnished by the simple act of being human. So I have just said it for her. Loudly and proudly. And I seek no forgiveness for that either.

Lets try to work harder together. Lets not presume to set the rules for those in certain vocations. Let’s not make it our duty to enforce how they behave. Lets maybe start with not ripping into another human because they can’t wear a mask. We all fail if we continue to behave as if we are the only opinion that matters without consideration of extenuating circumstance.

Lets try not to fail each other through this.

In love of course. Namaste. Amen.

And I will hang up the wings and reserve the occasional “F**ck off” for when the need arises.

Featured

Viral Vulnerability

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it ~Maya Angelou~

This may be a slight diversion from my typical humor, but I wanted to share with you what I have been learning over the last year, but it took me til now to figure out what that was. I would love to know what you feel you have learned also during these trying moments. Thank you for reading.

I respect all opinions, all viewpoints and all choices. I hope that you stay healthy during difficult times and that you all try to do the best that you can to respect the health of others, while respecting your own limitations.

We are all experiencing viral vulnerability right now. We are not only exposed to the undetectable movement of an organic nature, but also exposed to the reliance on each other to ensure our own survival. We are wholly and completely attempting to survive while pointing fingers at those that may threaten this survival. One needs only to take a stroll through social media to find evidence to support my thoughts. And yet throughout these current difficulties we are expected to traverse our normal lives, with our normal responsibilities and our normal discomforts. Life as it is continues with all of its unexpected twists, with health issues that lie outside of the boundaries of a pandemic, with family needs that take precedence and with the ever growing knowledge that we are in control of none of it. So do yourself a favor and do others the same service. Respect how you choose to survive and allow others the same respect without demanding that you are their responsibility. Without attacking or bullying someone that doesn’t do it the way you believe it should be done. They no more know of what brought you to your choices anymore than you know what brought them to their own. I stood and watched a young woman burst into tears last week after being publicly shamed for forgetting to mask. As she stood there with an agitated toddler trying to get out of her arms, my heart felt her fear of being that one person held responsible for the life of everyone in that store in that moment. That’s too much. It’s gone too far when the weight of your survival falls onto the shoulders of that unfortunate soul that happens to be in your line of fire . We have to carry it equally and with that comes the responsibility to not terrorize another human without giving some respect to who that human is when they are not standing in line trying to buy dinner for a screeching child.

~Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know before you learned it. ~

I found this quote about a month ago now and it resonated with me deeply although I wasn’t certain why. I promised to write a blog because I felt stirred by the words but each time I attempted it my mind went blank. I guess I had to wait until I learned what it was I needed to forgive myself for not knowing sooner.

So…

I forgive myself for not believing myself worthy of respect of my human edges.

I lost my shit the other day. My spiritual self crashed into my frail human and the emotional response it garnered was both shocking and strangely exhilarating. As my middle finger hit “send” I experienced a quick flash of shame that the receiver was soon to read something they likely didn’t anticipate yet should have expected had they paid heed to their earlier words that perpetrated my own. Their response to my words simply seeking some respect of my “gift”, of my energy, of my time and of the time of the countless others currently in need was to reply with two infuriated sentences followed by blocking me. I fully anticipate that somewhere out there may be a shaming thread aimed directly at me, but if so that’s fine. They need to find space to place the anger that they feel in their lack of control of a situation that they are facing. It’s fine. I understand their anger, their fear and their impending loss, but a line was crossed in their expectation that I give to their need in the moment they expressed it.

I sat for a few minutes following this exchange and berated myself for over explaining my lack of availability in the moments that it was demanded. I berated myself for giving reasons for why I wasn’t prepared to respond right away. Berated myself for asking for patience as I nursed a painful tooth, which seemed unimportant in the face of their own health condition. I berated myself for being human and for being authentic in that humanness. And most importantly….

I berated myself for expecting that they might respect that.

As an intuitive, as a healer and as someone who simply wishes to ease pain, I have never desired to be the person that demands respect for the energy I share. I have always attributed that need to an EGO response and have worked tirelessly to avoid falling victim to it.

And it took a pandemic state to teach me what I hadn’t learned. That the giving and sharing of energy is something to be celebrated and appreciated, not something to be downplayed or anticipated because the spiritual have long been expected to be restrained in chasing accolades. That I can and will apply this celebration in both my personal circles and my professional circles. That despite having a gift considered unusual by many, does not make me unusual but simply makes me an unusual human.

An unusual human with a toothache.

I think we can all respect that.

I have struggled for decades with accepting thanks for what I give or share with others, believing it to be an inherent expectation on my part to simply do. So if I have ever brushed off your heartfelt gratitude, forgive me…

I didn’t know I deserved it until I took vulnerability by the hand and walked with her awhile.

What do you deserve….that you’ve forgotten?

With gratitude…and love…and with nothing but respect..

Tania

Masked & MentalPausal

Editors Note:

That’s me. I’m the editor. I’ve just always wanted to use that disclaimer in a blog. “The writing to follow is intended as humor only. If you wish to debate the mask vs no mask argument please go back to your Facebook feed, where I am 100% certain you will find a thread to sate your desire to battle with humans that don’t see it your way. If you can’t find one, just start one. It will take less than five minutes to find a fight. This blog is intended to help us laugh a little and nothing more”. Thanks for listening. “The Editor” 😉

The face shield was donned for creative use only. The time span between placing this on my head and snapping the photo was 1.7 seconds that seriously felt like three days trapped underground. As the fog rolled up via way of my “I’m having a contraction” inspired breathing, I found myself losing peripheral sight. And then the hot flash hit…

Great. So now I’m visually impaired, fogged up and in hell. I am saving the photo above to wave in my great- grandchildren’s little faces when they dare to complain about life and how hard it is. My parents used the whole “we walked through 8 feet of snow for 12 miles to get to school young lady” way of expressing their hardships.

Oh yeah? I survived a pandemic during menopause. You got something better than that kids? No I don’t think so. Yeah, you just go whine elsewhere. And the generation before me…pfft…snowdrifts. That’s adorable, thanks for sharing.

So the area I live in has decided to make masking mandatory in all indoor public spaces effective 3 months post pandemic. A man made this decision. I know that because any woman would have considered the hot flash. A woman would have issued 12 foot circumference electric fencing to be affixed to the hips of every female over 45 because let me assure you… 6 feet is not gonna save you when we are ready to beat you to death while you stand deciding between Tide or Gain. Let me be clear, we are literally heading into a physical and emotional meltdown of catastrophic proportions. Grab the Tide or face the consequences. We are not smiling sympathetically behind the mask. We are pursing our lips and wondering if we have to wear one in prison.

Another part of me truly believes this decision was made to stop the screaming matches in the grocery store lineups. The whole “everyone gets a blue ribbon” mentality so that no one feels left out or special. I don’t think its working as well as we hoped but being only one week into this new normal I suppose I don’t have much to quantify that with. Not yet at any rate. But give it time and I am certain that something more ridiculous will present to scream about; maybe the shopper ahead of you losing their schnitzel because you dared to wear open toed sandals. Wait for it. For those not in the medical field there are finger cots ( they look like little condoms for the troll dolls) available that could be used to shield your ten little piggies if necessary. No offense to anyone that has less piggies of course but the norm is ten. No offense to trolls either, I love your hair.

I want to quickly go over the upsides to the pandemic and the things we should be grateful for. Or things I am grateful for.

  1. Shaving your legs is completely unnecessary. Anyone on the beach is six feet or more away and unless they have x-ray vision you have no fear of being exposed for not touching your Bic or Lady Bic for the last 106 days. From a distance it looks like a Coppertone tan. Or a bear with a Coppertone tan. Doesn’t matter. No one cares. Half can’t see cause their glasses are fogged up anyway. Let it grow and embrace your authenticity. **This does not include arm pit hair. Please shave that cause we all know nothing tans in the dark**
  2. You’ve saved a fortune on razor blades in only shaving your pits. Have you seen the price of razor blades? This is a plus. Now you can stock up on Tide for your own safety. You have surplus income. Buy the Tide.
  3. You’re learning what you don’t need to survive. Prior to this adventure I was a grocery hoarder. I have learned that a half loaf of bread actually won’t evaporate in one day if I don’t run out to buy a new whole loaf as a “just in case backup”. In fact, I have learned that the half loaf is still sitting there six days later. It’s blue but it’s still there. I should throw that out. But the point is…why was I replacing what we weren’t consuming? When this is over I plan to patent four slice loaves of bread and approach No Frills. I may get rich.
  4. No antiperspirant? No problem. No one will get close enough to smell you anyway. If they do they have a mask on. Still can’t smell you. Cha-Ching. More surplus income for the loaf of bread you don’t need.
  5. Masks muffle words. You can freely curse at the person not wearing closed toed shoes and they will think you’ve been drinking and smile sympathetically. You won’t see the smile but it’s there and it’s sympathetic. Just be sure to change up your curse phrases because it won’t take us long to catch onto what “fluffin aspwall” really means. Be considerate and use your words to heal not harm.
  6. If you tighten the strings on your homemade cloth masks you too can be a flying elephant for a day. I tried it last week. Walked through the drugstore looking like Dumbo. The downside to this is that the hearing is improved because you’ve elongated your ear drums. So I now sadly know what the masked “fluclin ijiuf” actually means. I loosened the strings and now look like I have seven chins. But at least I can’t actually hear you anymore so will smile at you sympathetically instead of wanting to throw my sanitized cart at you.
  7. Masks can and most likely WILL cause middle age “wtf is this?” acne outbreaks and hide them at the same time. Win win. You won’t die and you won’t need Clearasil.
  8. We have seen a significant reduction in the phrase “date night”. Sadly this phrase has been replaced by new wording that may be considered as admissible in court one day, but the good news is I think we finally worked our way through that life phase. Halleluiah praise Covid. Sorry…not sorry. Do you know that in my early marriage date night meant he washed and I dried? Oh wait…now I sound like my parents.

Do you know I survived the 2020 pandemic in menopause?

Just buy the Tide and you might too.

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