The Tender Feeling of Being Alive

There are days when the sun comes out and we are vibrantly alive to the birdsong outside our window or the laughter of children, but then there are days when the clouds roll in. We may receive bad news, have an argument with our partner or merely wake up with a  painful kink in our neck and it is at times like these that it may be harder to appreciate that this too (our suffering) is part of the tender feeling of being alive.

If we can allow ourselves to be with our pain (feeling it rather than pushing it away or making it wrong), then healing has an opportunity to enter the picture. This is how we ripen and grow as human beings. Yes, it is discomforting, but it is also, ultimately, liberating – we know more, we are wiser and when the clouds roll in again (and they will), we will be better equipped mentally and emotionally to work through any accompanying feelings of disappointment, confusion and pain.

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Canada 150: Turning the page

More interesting than all the hoopla to me is what comes next. Canada does not have a perfect human rights record, far from it, but it is my hope that as we turn the page on the last 150 years we will begin this new chapter on more inclusive, wise and compassionate terms.

Also, I turned 50 this year and somehow this has led to a deeper sense of connection and responsibility where my life as a citizen of this country is concerned. I am thinking a lot about how best to proceed on a personal level when it comes to the issues arising in the wake of the widening gap between the rich and the rest of us – the importance of generosity and kindness in particular.

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Compromise – guilty misadventure or art?

Being a woman of a certain age I have made my share of compromises and observed numerous others doing likewise. I am thinking of this particularly as it relates to relationship. Whether it be in the realm of family, friendship or the relationship of a more intimate and exclusive other, compromise is often involved in its maintenance.

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The Beauty in Our Brokenness

“… a sense of wholeness arrives when we finally locate the beauty in our brokenness, and live in solidarity with it.”

This excerpt comes from a piece I wrote quite a few years ago but stumbled upon recently. A lot has changed in my life since I first wrote this, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that we live in a society that still seems to view emotional/mental well-being as an exercise in hygiene – i.e. an undertaking not too dissimilar from that of washing the dishes. That is, we have been led to believe the issue is one of needing to be cleansed. Whereas I have come to know the matter personally as one arising more from a need for greater depth of understanding, patient self-care, incremental restoration and, eventually, a greater sense of wholeness.

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Altering How We Think and Act in the World

The frustration and outrage many of us are experiencing these days is understandable, but they are not enough. Working successfully with all the negativity and darkness that threaten to overwhelm means understanding in what ways we may have unwittingly been complicit in its emergence. Dark movements don’t happen all by themselves, they have help and it isn’t productive to displace responsibility solely on some conveniently placed evil ‘other/s’.

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Itchy Feet

It’s that time of year again when I begin to feel restless and long for new vistas. Also I’m tired of all the political mayhem south of the border that is currently sucking the joy out of living. Time for replenishment and a re-think.

Re-thinking what? Re-thinking the ways in which I move in the world and how that contributes inevitably to the making and re-shaping of culture. I think it may just be more important than ever to live with a heightened awareness of how the ways in which we do things participates in the culture we produce. Which is to say, if we live in politically uncertain times, if extreme self-absorption and an obsession with celebrity and stardom over every other worthy way of living and being in the world is running rampant, perhaps we’ve all had a hand in making it so. If ‘ordinary’ sounds like a swear word and ‘being nobody going nowhere’ a heretical phrase, then hear this.

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Beginning Again

We like to think of our lives in the world as an act of continual, reliable progress upward, but one thing this too neat and tidy philosophy neglects to factor in is the inevitable energy of chaos. Life may indeed be one giant act of continual progress, question is progress towards what? WTF are we all working so hard towards?! Where are we going with all this ultimately?

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