Tag Archives: Love

Visually Productive – DoWoo #265/365

one_biteWoke up at about 4:30 this morning envisioning all we had on our plate today.  One of the things which has kept me reasonably sane through everything we’ve done these past few months is to remind myself “eating an elephant is just one bite at a time”.  

Yesterday, today seemed daunting.

Today however, started with me laying in bed, mapping it out in my mind, stacking things which were ready to be moved into one area – leaving only what still required sorting into what would visually appear as a smaller more manageable pile.  Yesterday we had gone to the storage unit, and while I knew it was 5x5x8, seeing it allowed me to visualize it spatially.   Once I moved all the stuff not required in the front room, I was able to set aside a space which I marked off with green masking tape as a 5×5 space.  This way I could start stacking into this space and visually know how things are coming along.   When Walter saw what I had done he smiled and said “I love you!” 

As far back as I can remember I’ve been a visual person.  I love the kind of math where you can visually draw what you are trying to solve. I love a good book where I can see the movie.  I love being able to shop for items which I can see all together in one room before they are placed there.  Auditory works only when I can take what I hear and somehow translate that onto paper for review.  Love spreadsheets – especially the colour coded ones.  

20150523_222305

Green tape bottom left corner

So once I had that tape on the floor, representing a space I had stood in, I was able to stack and emotionally feel like we were getting somewhere.  AND we are!   We have more than 1/2 of what we are storing sorted, packed and stacked.  We have a pile for donation and another for garbage.  AND we have another section, much smaller than it was yesterday, which includes only what still needs to be sorted.  

Walter worked outside preparing the yard and cleaning up. Gregory helped by being “Vac-Man” – vacuuming the entire crawl space and the rest of the house.  THEN to make it even more special we had the buyers over for our last “pizza night”, creating a special soon-to-be-your-home moment while sitting around the fire in the yard and chatting, with the final finishing touch being Walter, Gregory and I having a cuddle on the laydown swing once our visitors had left.  

A wonderful, productive, enjoyable, visual, sociable day.  The last moment however, priceless.

Mya…being Mya! – DoWoo #263/365

Today was one of the hardest days we have experienced thus far in our current journey.   As I explained to Gregory….sometimes the right thing is not what is the easiest or feels the best.

Having lived on a roller coaster these past few months – as it relates to taking our dog Mya with us on this next chapter – confirming her being on an American Airlines flight and purchasing Walter a ticket at twice the price of the other airlines in order to to get her accompanied, then to finding out she could not go on the airline or to this particular airport, then finding out not even in cargo, to finding a pet carrier who said they could do it as they found a solution, only to find out they had missed the key factor I had clearly explained – it needed to be an extra large kennel, so now she could not go again, to finding one carrier that said they would take her only to find out from another source that she would not…..whew! are you as exhausted as we are?

I was seriously trying to come up with logical reasoning to share with Walter about spending $4,000 for a pet transportation company when he brought me back to reality.  

We had a very warm day and Mya was not active at all, panting and lethargic with the heat and humidity.  This would be every day in Costa Rica.  THEN, he pointed out that after we had boarded her at a pet resort for 3 days, she was never the same – it had a traumatic effect on her personality.  He asked me to think about how she would be after 12 to 24 hours on a plane in a crate, not being let out – only to arrive in a place which was hot and humid?? THEN when the pet carrier started explaining that the Costa Rican import process could be challenging – and if the paperwork was not perfect they could either ship her back to Canada immediately or euthanize her right there. None of these options sounded remotely good.

Once we took away what we wanted and concentrated on what Mya needed…I kept coming back to her needing us to keep her safe – not putting her well being at risk.  She deserves a family who do right by her – making she is is comfortable, happy and well cared for.  This meant we needed to give her up.

We dropped Mya off with the dog rescue organization today.  They are an amazing group who truly care for their charges.  They have a wooded oasis in Muskoka.  AND there is already a person who may be fostering her and is seriously considering adopting – she has 2 Belgian shepherds and the 3 got to meet each other and got along so well.

The best part was seeing how quickly she adjusted to where she was – checking everything out, the garden, the yard, the other dogs – she even wandered off by herself and explored the back yard – and when we called she came trotting from the back – ears up – happy.  This is when we knew she would be just fine.  

I cried. Walter cried.  Gregory did not but he said he was sad.  He’s doing his best to look at both sides of the coin in this matter and explained some areas we will miss and other areas (like her butt in his face in the back seat of the car) … not so much!

Last night I decided to record our play time.  Here is Mya….being Mya!  

Flying – DoWoo #258/365

We completed our final garage sale today.  Ended up with 2 car loads being dropped off at the donation centre which supports local charities.  The balance of our belongings were sold clearing out over 30 bins of “stuff”.    I remember bringing all those bins home and filing them with everything we own in order to ‘de-clutter’ the house for selling.  

Walter likens our “stuff” – the materialistic aspects of our daily existence – to be small anchors which hold us in place.  I have to admit the more “stuff which goes out of this house, the more free-er I am feeling.  Anchors appear to be a good analogy and certainly the visual fits. 

bird on branch

The best part of the garage sale today was parting with stuff I loved by seeing someone else find joy in it.  Watching someone try on a piece of clothing and oooh and ahh at themselves in the mirror.  Seeing someone pick something up – and by the light in their eyes it seemed they found something they were looking for.  We even had repeat customers from 2 weeks ago.  

I observed a significant amount of closure today AND I am grateful beyond anything I could have imagined.   We are flying! 

Mom’s Message – DoWoo #255/365

telephoneMy mom passed away just over 2 months ago. Today I felt a significant shift – almost like she was here with me. Numerous times today  I felt like I wanted to share something with her only to realized I no longer needed to pick up the phone.  The same way I’ve been communicating with dad for the last 25 years now exists for mom! 

I spoke to her. I thought fondly of her. I found pictures of her. The one which fell out of a huge pile of photographs being sorted was her walking down the stairs at the cottage – holding out my baby blanket.  She gave it to me when I was 27 years old.  I had no recollection of ever seeing it before.  It was a mini sleeping back all covered with elephants. I now had a possible explanation for my ever present love of elephants. 

elephantOn Saturday morning I stopped and picked up flowers to take with me to her interment later that day. On the way there, with no time to spare, I remembered they were still at the house. Later, when I saw the cemetery associate stuff the flowers from my siblings into the ground with the urn, I thought all things happen for a reason.  Coming home to the flowers I bought with mom in mind allowed me to think of her each time I looked at them.

20150513_072748This morning I walked into the kitchen to see the vase of flowers I picked out for mom and the vase of tulips Walter and Gregory picked from our garden on Sunday morning for mother’s day.

The flowers called to me.  I looked over and realized the flowers changed my wall sign from Live to Love!

Mom’s message to me today: Imagine your Dream; Create your Happiness: Love your Life.   

Thanks mom! 

No Goodbye Required – DoWoo #251/365

cemeteryWe buried my mom’s urn today.  On the way to the cemetery Walter stated neither he nor Gregory had ever been to this cemetery before.  I thought back to my father’s funeral…it would be 25 years ago this July…and found I could not recall having been to the cemetery either.  I asked my siblings and they confirmed, yes – we had gone to the cemetery for Dad.  I remember the funeral home, the church service, sitting in the limo behind the hearse…but I do not recall the actual burying of my father at the cemetery.  Interestingly though I somehow retained a visual on the approximate location of his burial plot…but have no recollection of how I would know this. 

I will remember today though…but not as a day I said goodbye.  The attendant offered us an opportunity to touch the urn and say goodbye before it was lowered into the ground.  I did not feel any desire. I did not feel like I needed to say goodbye. It may be that I have adopted our son’s philosophy in that my mom is not lost to us – she is everywhere now. 

qofEAt the funeral service back in March I read the poem “The Dash”. My mom’s best friend Diane was not in the country at that time. She spoke today and shared her personal perspectives on mom.  She commented she likes to group everyone into one of 2 categories – those worthy of being introduced to the Queen (of England) and those not.  She considered my mom fell into the first – and went onto use words to describe why.  This was heartfelt.  This was someone who saw the best that my mom offered this world. Another person to share how well my mom spent her dash.  

“They” say that only a few of those around us actually make it to our funeral and then of those, only a smaller portion would go to the grave for the burial if it were raining.  I am glad mom had a good turn out for both. Mom was loved.  She remains loved.  She is everywhere now – with a pieces left behind – one of them it seems, within me.  

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who have a mother! We are all connected.  We are blessed.  

Mothers-Day-Cards-2

Kind Words – DoWoo #239/365

behaviorI came across my school report cards during my sort – my dad saved all the way back to kindergarten – and read a few comments. I seemed to always like to be in the middle, involved, appreciated, recognized.  I have – apparently – always been someone who seeks attention.  LOL – go figure!!!

In the Master Key class we revisit what we were like when we were five – which then helps us identify our core motivation.  Identifying and aligning your vision with your core motivation allows you to fuel your dream to reality.  Very powerful! 

Turns out we are all some sort of combination (typically 3 or 4) of the 4 motivations.  My first core motivation turns out to be “intimacy” with my next, running a very close second, being “fun” (certainly explains a lot about me!!).  Turns out what my teacher wrote when I was 5 has remained within me – being what makes me “tick” for all these years.  

And….this got me to thinking….someone actually studied all this stuff and created a tool which helps anyone identify it and understand themselves better.  Way cool!

PREG

This evening we had the pleasure of spending time with the new owners of our home.  We had agreed to offer them first shot at all our stuff before the garage sale this Saturday. As first-time homeowners there are things you just don’t realize you need till you’re in that space.  Between Walter and I we have a lot of those spaces well covered!   We are honoured to be able to offer what we have to two such kind people.  Their enthusiasm about their upcoming journey here was joyous to behold. 

This couple has a dream.  This home has been our garden to grow the reality of our dream.  I am so very grateful to be passing it onto the next dreamers for their desire to be fulfilled.  

We were sitting at the table, chatting and waiting for the boys to wrap up their time in the shed (boys and their tools!) when this beautiful spirited young woman made reference to my spirit, commenting that I make her smile when she thinks of me.  Now this is what makes my day!  Her kind words of appreciation touched my heart.  As Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world.”  I want to be – and continue to be – the person she sees.  I truly believed in her kind words today.  It made me feel as I was meant to feel – fulfilled!   

 

Foretold – DoWoo # 237/365

christmas treeAbout 20 years ago I remember showing up at my mom’s place to give her her Christmas present early.  She was going on vacation with my sister and her family over the holidays – I seem to recall Barbados. 

When I arrived she commented about it being good timing –  she has just finished up her update on the detailed list of who was getting what in her will.  I admit this made me uncomfortable.  I had lost my father only a few years prior.  I explained that I was not planning on being “there” when it all came down – I did not wish to be part of the kerfuffle.   I suggested that anything I had given her could be given back if that worked for her…and if she wanted to leave something personal – one specific thing she would like me to have – I would be grateful. She offered me her wedding rings.  She brought them down for me to see as I had never set eyes on them before…she wore her mom’s rings as hers no longer fit.  She commented that the one was engraved all the way around it…so sizing upwards was not an option.  Amazingly they fit me.  As the youngest of 7 kids and the 5th daughter, I was grateful immediately – she gave them to me that evening. 

memoriesMy mom died recently.  I’ve run across a lot of pictures of her during my sort.  I’ve also run across things she gave me over the years.  What I realized today, it’s not about all those “things”…I have the best legacy my mom could leave me with.  My mom loved me. Sometimes she did not care for my choices but I know she loved me. The memories of our interesting conversations over the years (I was occasionally more direct about certain things with my mom than I believe my siblings were able to be) has been a source of entertainment each time I think of one. 

It’s the memories which are so very portable.  There are no limitation in the number we can have.  There are no weight restrictions.   They don’t take up any room in the luggage.  I am still grateful this many years later.  I also acknowledge I am blessed. Thanks Mom! 

Connectivity in Energy? – DoWoo #225/365

20150413_162130My mom was recently cremated and her urn has been at our place for the last month.  Today one of my sisters picked up the urn to have at her place for the balance of the time until ‘mom’ is interred.

While I know the ashes are not the essence of who my mom was, representation of the ashes in an urn are a reminder to me of her connection to this plane of existence – where the rest of us remain. While each of us morn differently, I have chosen to embrace the philosophy that once our energy is no longer attached to our earthly bodies, we remain as energy. I embrace how our son chose to describe it – that our loved ones are not lost to us, they are still here – just everywhere.

So while I experienced a moment of sadness that mom was leaving us, I wonder whether that is even the case?

Walter and I were talking the other day about what “home” is.  And he commented it is where we hang our hat.  It is not the ‘stuff’ which which makes a space home. So it does not matter that we will no longer have all this ‘stuff’ we’ve collected over our life with us in Costa Rica – as long as we are together, in health and happiness – we are home.

I wonder whether this is similar to death in that we still have mom here with us, in our hearts, and therefore she is at home with us. We do not need her body to have her with us.

images (1)I also believe…since I started out as a microscopic piece of her, and so having been created by her, of her, she remains within me always. Maybe that is why I feel I am being reminded of her love and support. The only thing I cannot do is physcially touch her – but when I close my eyes, I can see her smile.

However, now I’m wondering…since I am energy, and my body will also cease to exist at some point, and she is energy whose body already ceased to exist…if I am able to still connect with her now, why would I not continue to connect even once both our bodies no longer breathe?  And if that is the case, we are always and forever together.

Hmm…Another interesting avenue to ponder further.
Please weigh in.  I’m truly interested.

Give Joy; Get Joy – DoWoo #222/365

During the craziness of our day today, Walter and I realized our plan to have Gregory’s friend join us for the hockey game tomorrow evening and then sleep over, did not allow for the two best friends to hang out and play together as much as we know they like to. Mid day, we altered the plans, calling the friend’s mom to make sure it would work from her end. 

After school, while Gregory was finishing his project due for Monday, Walter sneaked* out to pick up his best friend without Gregory being remotely aware. When Walter walked in the door, he called out to Gregory to come down…he had a surprise.  I quickly got down by the front door so I could witness the “surprise” gift we had arranged. 

When Gregory came around the corner, and saw his best friend, his whole face lit up!  It was like Christmas morning for him…and amazingly for me as well.  

Greogry's Surprise Look

Why is it that seeing the light in another’s eyes, the lift of their smile, when they are given a gift, makes your own heart sing?  Joy is what I saw. Joy is what I felt. 

At the time of organizing this slight change in plan – allowing them to have a pizza/movie night, sleep over, all day of electronic fun, ending with a hockey game; rather than a hockey game, sleep over, hour of electronic fun – I had no thought to how this would make me feel. Only that this would please our son. 

In addition to Gregory receiving his surprise, we were given a gift which only comes with giving.

* I originally typed in the word “snuck”.  It turns out this is not a proper word and the correct term is “sneaked”. Since it sounded correct in my head the improper way…I decided to make a note here for anyone who wishes to weigh in on the rightness of the verb. I tried finding other words with similar relations: Peak is not puck (it is peaked) and leak is not luck (it is leaked). Freak is not fruck – it is truly being freaked out!  So why did snuck sound right?  Feel free to add to the conversation.

Faster than the Speed of ____ – DoWoo #220/365

Question: Is there anything as fast as the speed of light?  Speed of light iStockphoto_COSMOS Science Magazine
Possible answer: The speed of darkness!

Ever wonder what came first – darkness or light?  Walter has said over the years that light can come into a dark room and darkness scatters – but darkness cannot enter a room. Light conquers dark.

download (2)What about light thoughts and dark thoughts?  When you are thinking positively – lightness can grown and expand and share your inner brightness with the world. However, when a dark thought comes into your mind, it too can grow and expand and reach out to darken not only your mood but others.

This is what happened to me today.  But Walter saved me from my own darkness.  I am grateful for his brightness of heart and spirit.  I am blessed beyond measure.  

God’s Hand – DoWoo #200/365

A pivotal number for a pivotal day.  I saw God’s hand in how this evening unfolded.  I am reminded of an earlier post when we commenced this year’s Master Key; when I considered God feeling exuberance beyond anything I could possibly conceive – to be holding all our dreams in His vision. I wrote:

Universe_in_handThe juggling and multi-tasking which must go on at that higher level to listen, truly listen to all of us. To what we desire, what we hope for, where we aspire to be.  And as long as God deems it does not take away anyone’s good, we are granted the path to our dream. We need to be clear, concise and heartfelt.  Then we must be patient and open to the path given to us.  The path may not always be clear, and most likely nothing like we imagine it, but God has computed all the possible permutations and shown us the path, most beneficial to all, for our dream to come to fruition. 

I bore witness to, and was hugged by, one of Gods blessings this evening.  I met the beautiful young woman of the couple who purchased our home.  In sharing our experiences, which brought us to this day, we recounting our interaction with God and his plan to bring us together. When you hear how things were meant to be…you can do nothing but embrace the reality of it all – God truly does have a plan!  

Why have I chosen to fight challenges I am given? Why have I chosen to second guess what transpires?

I must choose to embrace my path knowing, truly knowing, that I am exactly where I am meant to be in order to truly appreciate all those permutations God calculated to create the magnificence He has in store for me – for us.  

If I had any doubt in my mind, prior to this evening, it is obliterated.  The only thing left to say is Thank You, God! 

Available Knowledge – DoWoo #183/365

Received a phone call early this morning, just as we were getting Greg off to school; My mom had passed away, peacefully in my sisters arms, moments prior. While I had imagined how I would feel, I realized it was not until I was in the middle of this reality did I know how I felt.  

My initial reaction was relief she was no longer in pain. Walter shared he had had a similar reaction when his mom passed only 39 days ago. The next thought was mom and I had had our special moments – no regrets.  I found myself crying as there is now a piece of me that I will not be able to touch again (on this physical plane) but I recognize she now is able to look in on us from wherever she is (at least that is the philosophy I have chosen to embrace). 

scanmom

Given that there was sadness but comfort in my beliefs, I chose to treat my day with as much normalcy as possible. We had showings on the house scheduled – we tidied up and left. I had a therapeutic massage appointment – when I arrived I told Don “I needed this”. AND I did – I felt more grounded when I left.  I went to the hospice and the family said our farewells. I worked on a report and sent it off. Reviewed a few websites for my part of the Master Key digital call. Went to a restaurant and ate appies and drank wine – while Walter and Greg picked up Mya from the kennel. Took time to think of mom. Hopped on the Digital Call with my fellow divas – these ladies were there for me! And lastly Walter and I reviewed 2 offers on the house, negotiated and then accepted one. 

Hmmm…   Is that what normal looks like? 

We waited till Gregory came home from school to let him know about his Nana. He pouted for a few moments (translation – sad face). He then asked “Does this mean we have to go to another funeral?” Yes.  I thought it may help – so I reminded him this time he would not have to look at a body as Nana chose to be cremated. He looked up at us and said “Like squished or burnt?” Squished?? “Yes (making a hand movement as if he were running his hand back and forth across a smooth surface) cream.”  Ah! He as thinking “cream” cheese you spread!   You gotta love how kid’s brains work out the results based upon their available knowledge. 

mom first in real estate

Mom – beginning her 30 year career in real estate

Come to think of it, is this not what we all do? No matter what age we are? We make conclusions, after we interpret what is going on, based upon the knowledge we have at our disposal.   This may be why we all grieve in our own unique way. We make decisions about death based upon our interpretation of our place in the universe as it relates to death.  

I conclude that mom looked over us today, creating the perfect bidding situation between 2 buyers to allow us to sell our house this evening – for what we are all in agreement is a reasonable value. We are happy. The agents tell us the buyers are happy.  This home will see more family happiness within it’s walls.

Thanks mom!  Love you!  
(Notice…the “Realtor” logo on her jacket!)

Someone’s Eyes – DoWoo #178/365

frontexteriorview2_1200The first thing I notice as we pull up to the house is that it’s cute…and the front door is red. It looks like a bungalow. Ooh, I kind of like the hedge. I can imagine it green and straight cut. 

As we walk up the path, I’m looking at the massive picture window which is in the front room – it’s beautiful.

livingroomview1_1200The great room is the first thing we see as we walk into the foyer. It’s red with white trim. Not much furniture and only 1 couch…but boy, what a couch.  That’s huge. Our sectional would work nicely in here. Maybe the TV up there. Or, as I walk farther into the room, I turn around and can see it on that wall too.  We’ve got choices. Could not imagine painting a room red but I like this.  Its warm and yet modern. 

frontentranceview2_1200Walking out I notice the front closet – double louvered doors with a light inside. The floors are kind of a light moss green.

kitchenview1_1200Ooo – the kitchen is a really good size.  Wow a table and a hutch in this space? Good layout. Open. 2 decent sized windows. Again, lots of light.

Which way does this face? South east. So we’ll get morning light.  NICE! 

kitchenview2_1200Door to outside. Let’s see the rest of the house first. Stone wall. That’s kind of different. I run my hand over it. The texture is warm.

Bathroom. Check. Jacuzzi tub. Now THAT will be inviting after a long day. I can see candles up on the window ledge at night…the tub going.

bedroom2_1200This is a good size bedroom – enough for a chair.  You can see the back yard from here. There’s a shed. It’s fenced. Next bedroom…it’s a really good size for an office. 2 desks fit in here. 

masterbedroom_1200Master. Closet. Drapes and sheers. Pretty. Oh, there is a slide. And a swing with awning in the back yard. I wonder if they have pictures of the yard in the summer. Wow. There is a lot of room on either side of this bed! And that’s a queen.  That means a king size bed will fit in here! 

Linen closet. They must have cleaned this up…no one’s linen closet looks like this. Interesting door.  Basement door has glass panels. Pulling open. That means we can easily open it coming or going.

finishedbasementview2_1200This is bright! Hey, bar stools…and a bar. Is that paneling? Cool. Retro!  Fireplace. Obviously wood with that stack over there. This stone wall is huge. And the granite! It’s pretty thick. I can see myself chilling down here. 

The “for sale” sign went up on the house. The virtual tour photographer was here this morning. This whole thing became real. Maybe “more” real than it has been. When I started thinking about the house and how we are all concentrating our thoughts on someone loving this house enough to make it their home – this weekend – I started to imagine what they would say as they walk through the house.  I can feel their vision. I see it. 

I am confident someone is going to come through the door and feel the love and happiness we have infused into each corner of this brick house. Gregory explained he figures they have a son his age so when we leave, his best friend Anil will have a replacement friend at the same house. Love his imagination!  No limits. We look forward to coming home on Sunday.

If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!
When you choose what you see – it becomes real. 

Would you like to see something different than what you are currently seeing? If so, please opt in below. When the scholarships for the next class are available, you will be on the list to received the details before the masses. No obligation but so so much to potentially gain if you end up being rewarded a scholarship.

the master key experience

The choice is TOTALLY up to you!

Reconnect – DoWoo #174/365

28767714Walter and I were driving to dinner tonight – date night without a babysitter as Gregory is at camp! Woo Hoo!  Anyway, I commented on the traffic, and Walter did not listen to me.    I commented it was a good thing he had not listened to me as my observation was incorrect.  His response: 

“I do listen to you, I just make my own decisions.”

imagesWhoa! I like that!  It makes so much sense.  People DO listen and then they make the choice whether they wish to do anything with the information you shared, let it drift out like it was never there or possibly choose to comment on it for discussion. 

download (10)So…Walter and I had a great time chatting during dinner, we even asked Josh to slow down the service as it was timed so we did not have time to chill while eating, great fast hot food but we were in the zone to just be relaxed. He did a great job of readjusting the food schedule.  We talked philosophically liked we used to.  It was a glorious evening of reconnecting. 

it-was-my-pleasure-thumb you-are-welcomeWe had a great discussion at the end of our dinner with our server – Josh. We shared the philosophy of choosing to respond to the phrase “thank you” with either “you’re welcome” or “it is my pleasure” rather than “no problem” which gives the person who just thanked you two negatives words (even if they were not meant in that context – remember, words are the highest form of architecture). 

Josh listened and made his own decision. He chose to embrace the information we offered to share and he agreed to receive.  What I loved was his reaction to our interchange…he said he would love to pull up a chair and sit down and chat with us.  How kind! What a compliment.

 

Makeover in Reverse? – DoWoo #169/365

images (22)Many of you may recognize the name Ben Franklin.  Back in 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character.  Using a list of 13 virtues he tracked daily his observations of these virtues.  And in the words of a dear friend, one can only recognize something in someone else when we have it within ourselves.    We can use the Franklin method and choose any aspect of our character we wish to identify, magnify and multiply.  By Observing, Tracking and then Recognizing, we can create a ripple effect within ourselves to grow that which we concentrate on.  “Whatever we think about grows.” – Napoleon Hill. 

REVERSE ARROW_OCS ICON_86 x 81 blueToday I observed this process in what I can only describe as the Franklin makeover in reverse.  I recognized someone who does not see a particular character aspect within themselves AND interestingly they also do not recognize this same character aspect in another.  Allow me to try and elaborate without calling attention to anyone in particular as that is not what my writing today is about.  

In the first example – let’s consider that I personally wish to magnify kindness. By observing and then recognizing (while recording in order to track my progress), acts of kindness around me in my daily life, I begin to observe and recognize this same attribute within myself.  Then by seeing it within myself, I see it more in others and more in myself. Creating a wonderful cycle of positive growth. 

Hill also states “We refuse to believe that which we don’t understand.”  THIS is where the observation of Ben Franklin’s makeover IN REVERSE came into play. 

2811977537_e0699089abIf someone has no idea what kindness is, what kindness looks like, no point of reference, how can one recognize it in another? And if we cannot recognize that trait / virtue in another, how can we recognize it within ourselves?   So if we don’t understand it, then we will refuse to believe it exists.  

Walter reminded me that we cannot talk to someone about breaking out of jail if they have no idea they are even in jail.  If one does not know what a spider is how can one realize there is a spider in front of them (or right above them as the case may be)? 

We are each on our own journey of discovery.  Upon reflection, all I believe I can do for this person is to send them blessings of love as they pass through my orbit.

If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

Would you like to see something different than what you are currently seeing? If so, please opt in below. When the scholarships for the next class are available, you will be on the list to received the details before the masses. No obligation but so so much to potentially gain if you end up being rewarded a scholarship.

the master key experience

The choice is TOTALLY up to you!

Seeing Red or Red? – DoWoo #167/365

I wonder why people refer to “seeing red” when they are irritated or annoyed but then red heart shapes are considered to be the epitome of love.   I was told some time back when I was a teen (not sure by whom) that love and hate are very close to each other and sometimes one can switch quickly from one to the other regarding another person – ultimately recognizing that those we love can also be the ones who irritate or annoy us the most. 

Does anyone have an idea of what may have happened today?

Yep – that would be it.  Walter annoyed and irritated me. It’s a long story so I won’t elaborate. The good news is that by tomorrow, or the next day, it will most likely have all blown over, but tonight…well, its still pretty fresh. 

I remember the first time I really saw red – pure anger without any rational thought coexisting within my being.  Comparatively, today was about 1/10 of that moment I can so clearly recalled. I now hold the tools to use to adjust one emotion for another.  

The good news is that no matter what happens, no matter whether I annoy or Walter annoys, we are solid in our love.  Our souls recognized each other the moment we met in this lifetime. Walter is already planning for when we meet in the next.  This aspect of our relationship is one of the strategies I used to allow me to walk away from the red and start see the red – recognizing that in the end we are soul mates – we are love – we are us! 

I send blessings to everyone to recognize the love within and without. Recognize that you are love itself and embrace your gift to humanity.  Love is truly the answer!

If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

Would you like to see something different than what you are currently seeing? If so, please opt in below. When the scholarships for the next class are available, you will be on the list to received the details before the masses.  No obligation but so so much to potentially gain if you end up being rewarded a scholarship. 

the master key experience

The choice is TOTALLY up to you!

Chicken Soup & Fluffy Snow – DoWoo #159/365

Who said Chicken Soup was good for the soul?

Chicken-Soup-for-the-Mothers-SoulI went to visit my mom on the way up to the resort this afternoon.  When I arrived one of the volunteers at the hospice was reading to her from “Chicken Soup for the Mothers’ Soul”.  The volunteer asked to finish the story, only 2 pages left, as she too wanted to know what would happen.

Mom thanked her for reading to her and she handed me the book. I asked mom whether she would like me to continue to read. I did so.  I read for about 45 minutes…numerous stories, all very poignant with many of them talking about death.  I kept getting choked up but mom did not seem to be with me…so I pressed on.  She drifted in and out of sleep, and then all of a sudden, just after I said aloud “Could these stories be any more heart wrenching?”, mom started getting choked up herself. I took her glasses off, passed her a tissue and she wiped her eyes as the tears rolled down.

Mom and I agreed that this was not the book we wanted to read.  An observation we can both feel better about.

I arrived at the resort 2 hours later, having driven through two areas with significant snow fall. The resort was covered with about 2 inches of fluffy snow. You know the kind you can just blow on and it moves out of the way.  It’s gorgeous.

20150206_210035Now…anyone who knows me, will confirm I am not a ‘winter’ person. However, if winter was like this for 3 months…I may have a slightly different position. It’s crisp out without being brutally cold.  A bit of winter exercise of any sort and you’d be feeling pretty comfortable in the cold.  The snow crunches under your boots when you walk, the silence of the cold night air making the sound more audible.

I am officially off grid other than my DoWoo. I look forward to awaking tomorrow and going for a walk in the morning.  I look forward to what I am able to create tomorrow.  You?

 

A Picture Is Worth One Word – DoWoo #156/365

If you’ve followed me for a bit you may have read that I sometimes sit down at the end of the day and have no idea what to write about and then something strikes.  I allow knowing it will come and I’m exceedingly grateful each time when it does.    Tonight I had 2 mini thoughts to share and then received the pièce de résistance.

Safety

What ONE word would you attach to this photo?

Walter had been gone all day to help out his dad with a few things.  I kicked my organizational ass into high gear and put all the stuff into the crawl space that I packed the last few days. Then I packed another 8 boxes and cleared out the majority of our kitchen – with most of the stuff not going with us.  Walter arrived home in time for supper. Afterwards he went to the cupboard looking for a particular bowl for desert and it was not there.  I explained that I had packed it.  He was surprised saying we use them all the time.

I responded that since I figure they were most likely not going with us to Costa Rica, we should get used to not having it now.  He thought this was quite humorous.    I’m still trying to figure out why.  Walter explained that this was a very round about way to get from point A to B.  I see it as a straight line but hey…those are based upon my synaptic thingies not his.  

David-Goliath-262x300

What ONE word would you attach to this photo?

Then we were chatting by the fire when I told him about going to check out the local funeral home (as I was asked to for mum for comparison purposes). I explained it was nice enough but I found the decor overwhelmingly neutral.  Walter smiled quite loudly and said this was up there ‘positively negative’.   Do you think this could be the next big real estate term??  

Now for the final inspiration for today’s musings. Walter was sent home with some memorabilia from his dad. There was a 46 year old photo album filled with pictures from his parents wedding renewal on their 25th anniversary. So his parents at an age just slightly younger than us.   He particular liked the picture of them dancing which supposedly was a rare opportunity. I however, saw this picture and immediately saw love.

They say (there’s that ‘they’ again – they certainly do get around!) that a picture is worth a thousand words.  I say the right picture can be worth one word.  In this particular case: LOVE. 

I saw the same look on both of Walter’s parents faces that I have seen when Walter looks at me. LOVE. 

Can you see it? 

love

 

Oy! Positively Negative – DoWoo #148/365

“I give myself permission to say and do what I believe to be true without second guessing and self reassessment.”

F00B362B-7B4B-4D7B-BB3F133348747762Up until today my perspective on funerals has been mostly negative…a bunch of hooey and ceremony…and the person is gone already…what was the point? I vowed none of this traditional crap was going to happen when I’m gone. If you want to party and tell stories great! But other than that, don’t bother. I never understood why people would stand around and cry and talk about missing the person? Why everyone says they are sorry for our loss (yesterday’s DoWoo)? Why we don’t just celebrate their life instead?

I was missing a piece of the puzzle.  

e517c136f17680613c2d60c1271718dcWhat I observed today, and over the last few days, were some interesting rituals we put ourselves through when someone we love dies.  I’m still reflecting and digesting everything. I’m fairly certain it will be different when it is my mom rather than Walters…so this may require a bit more time before everything has been fully assimilated. For the most part though… what I recognized for myself was this is not about them…what we do…it is all for us.  I’m sure we’ve all heard this before…that funerals are for the living – giving us an opportunity to grieve and say goodbye to our loved ones.  But WHY?  

I did not get it until today. 

memory-memorial-quote-life-celebrationfuneral is a ceremony for celebrating, respecting, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. 

Being there today to hear others speak of Bunia (Nina), remembering all my happy memories with her…the funny stories, her quirks, her love, her kindness, and then one of my favourites…her bone crushing hugs received upon showing up for a visit (as she was overwhelmingly happy to see us) and then again when we left (believing she may not see us again so making sure she gave it her all). 

This is when it struck me.  

YES, we do this for ourselves…but it is not in a selfish or negative way. It truly is an opportunity to say our goodbyes to someone we LOVE. Someone who meant something to us.  THIS is the piece I was missing. 

It struck me when Father George sat back beside Nina and spoke of his recollections: how she was always so welcoming, so cheerful for others, someone who said exactly what she meant and when Father George said “Nina was positively negative” and most of the group at the service laughed, I appreciated the ritual. I too loved that about her. 

I said goodbye to someone I loved today. 

 

We love you more! – DoWoo #144/365

For just over 12 years I have had the privilege of knowing, and the pleasure of loving, a very kind and wonderful woman – my husband’s mom. Since our son arrived on the scene we’ve called her Bunia (short for Babunia).  At just over 90 she has been in palliative care for the last few months with her health gradually declining. Walter went today and within an hour of his visit, she left this world for whatever is next.  

I truly believe she was waiting for her “Vlady” to visit – so she could hug him and say ‘love you more’ – an expression both Walter’s parents would say as we departed or signed off a phone call.  The love and acceptance this woman had for her family was endless.  She welcomed me into their home from the very first day and we never looked back.  

All GVS 007

Bunia with 3 week old Gregory

I have fond memories with one in particular – the day we brought our son to visit his grandmother at 3 weeks old.  She held her grandson, looked up at her 54 year old son and said “Vlady…you have a son!”  (picture the godfather kind of thing going on – but with a Ukrainian accent). 

One of the ‘traditions’ of visiting Walter’s parents was to eat and then pack up the left overs so she could give us a care package.  We encouraged her not to cook and suggested we go to the Chinese buffet (they were regulars there – especially on holidays!) and then we would adjourn back at their place for a proper visit. What I found humorous, after having eaten at the restaurant…we somehow still managed to be sent home with a care package full of food. 

May 13 227a

Carolynn, Bunia and almost 2 year old Gregory – Mothers day – in front of the ‘forget me nots’ Walter brought home to his mom 50 years prior

When Gregory was young, she started giving him a bag of chocolate to take home with him – something every good grandparent loves to do.  I explained to Bunia that Gregory does not do well with the caffeine in chocolate – so she started sending him home with a bag of fruit.  One time, I seem to recall he was about 2, the bag was as big as him – and he proudly carried/dragged it to the car. 

I will miss this kind and loving woman.  I take comfort though in knowing today she is no longer in pain and for that I am most grateful.  

Bunia – We love you more!

bunias rose

The only video I have of Bunia is when she, Dito and Vlady (Walter) are singing to Gregory (not yet born) a Ukrainian song Walter hummed to Gregory throughout our pregnancy.   These three are so cute! 

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