Category Archives: Passion

5 Ways To Change the World

So December 21, 2012 has arrived. I am still alive to blog about it.

The Mayans are hopefully having a chuckle over the fact that the second stone tablet never made it into the history books. Or maybe it was just a theoretical end of the world. Maybe just maybe we will wake up tomorrow and few major issues will start to resolve themselves.

Looking back in the last year, a lot has happened to me personally, but a lot has also happened in my country and around the world. There is so much on both scales. I don’t even know that I am emotionally capable of unpacking it all and still writing a cohesive blog post.

I will say that I have a small list of what I hope changes for people on an individual level, which I hope might affect change on a larger scale.
After all it is all the combined small things that collectively are able to make miracles happen.

1)Forgive. Forgiveness is so important and powerful. Forgive yourself first and foremost and forgive all of those that hurt you. It does not mean you must forget. It means that you accept a person or a situation or a circumstance as it is, and move forward. Hang ups never help anyone.
2)Help. Help yourself by constructing positive habits, relationships and positive environments. Give a hand up, not a hand out, every time you can and not just for a tax receipt. True charity is almost entirely anonymous.
3)Be grateful. Let the positive overpower the negative. Be grateful for all of the things you do have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Shower yourself with feeling empowered by all that you have, and not all that you perceive that you lack.
4)Love. Love yourself, love your family, friends and humanity. Love doesn’t expect anything. Love is simply gentle acts of kindness, consideration, and empathy. With a little more love in the world and a little less anger or hate we can and will change the state of the world.
5)Live. Live life to the fullest. Live like there might not be a tomorrow, because frankly every missed opportunity to experience life is a tragedy. Do what you want to do. Do what you need to do. Make time for people you care about. Breath the air into your lungs and feel the ground move under your feet. Get out of the bubble you put yourself in and live, experience life with the community, with your networks, through your daily lives.

Happy start of a new world everyone!

Some inspriation from the Bible

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Corinthians 13:4-8

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Corinthians 13:1-13

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Corinthians 13:7

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:31

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

One love

 

This is a message I sent to someone I know very well but I share it with the world because it is a universal message.

One people, one world, one love.

Strength is admitting where you were weak. Courage is doing what you should even when it hurts or you are faced with fear. Faith is knowing the difference between destiny and choice. And love is strength, courage and faith. And loving (and forgiving) and having understanding for your enemies and those who wrong you is divine. Stop avoiding your inner self,  (face hurt and fear and move forward). Be strong, courageous and faithful and loving and don’t just tell yourself you are. Show it to everyone you encounter. Positive thoughts, actions and words. (We all have the power to do great things for ourselves and humanity- we all just need the conviction to get out of our own way).

Be smart, brave and kind in this world people. It’s not always easy, but one love.

Reminder to self

 

Faith in tough times is the strongest faith of all.

Belief in the higher power will help overcome all adversities.

I do not need any external affirmations as to my skills, talents and abilities, I just need to believe in myself.

I am grateful for what I have, and this is exactly what I need at this moment.

One Great Studio Grand Opening

A sneak peak of pics from event I was lucky to take part in on Friday in lovely Falmouth NS!

Go Turbine go!

www.turbine.ca follow: @TurbineFashion this week at Atlantic Fashion week!ImageImage

 

Boyfriends of Christmas Past

I am reflecting on the relationships I have had, to envision a relationship I am going to have next. I have had 4 major deals where at least the term boyfriend was asserted in the process.  I am a few years away from 30. So this is likely a decent tally. I can honestly say, I still care about them all. There is something about me that is very exposed in life, but very guarded in love. All of these men got me to take down my walls in one way or another. So for that they all hold a little place in my heart.

The one thing I can thank my boyfriends of the past for is learning life lessons. ;essons are so key to personal growth.  I am going to recollect the ones I have chalked up as a reminder of lessons I wish to not re-learn in the future.

Boyfriend #1: Patients is a virtue and compatibility is longevity. With this Mr. I was just ready to move forward from the moment I fell for him in freshman year. It was a 3 year long distance relationship and I was ready to take it to the next level once we were in the same postal code. His next girlfriend got the apartment, dogs and wedding. Sometimes to make the long haul- you need to slow down and enjoy the ride.  This guy also taught me a lot about self-discipline and financial planning. I was a total flower child and he was in the navy. I am still a child of the earth and he is married and still in the navy. I wish him well and think of him and his family often.

Boyfriend #2: Romantic love and responsibility are not one in the same. I first fell for this guy when I was 14. There was something majestic about the first feelings of like and lust in relation to forming romantic love. We never got around to being in a real adult relationship until after Bf #1. But I cared so deeply for him. I felt like he was my soul mate. He is the father of my child, and  taught me about family love. At the end of the day I took this lesson fully and highlighted my responsibility as a mother, which meant my love for him had to take a backseat. This man taught me that no man or the love I have for him, is greater than the love I have for my child. I could not save him from himself, because I had to save myself from him for her. I’m glad he is no longer in pain from his addictions and rests peacefully. Maybe the best thing he could have done was leave when he was not the father, friend, and lover that we needed.

Boyfriend #3: This guy came along at the right place and at the right time. I needed to live again and not just be alive. He was nothing like the person I pictured myself with. He was cool, fun, and friendly, and musically talented, and his family was amazing so he locked me down with no other good rational to say no. After the bad vibes from the in-laws on BF2 this guy had the total package coming from a fine bunch of folks who welcomed Ateam with open arms. I felt a part of something with him, it was new and nice. The issue with this relationship was maturity, motivation and ambition. The lesson I learned here is the more you push something onward, the more it stays exactly where it is. In love and life- it is about going with the natural flow. I wish this guy well on his journey to figuring it all out, and I hope he discovers confidence in his talent. I see him around and still keep in touch with his folks.

Boyfriend #4: Where to begin. If BF#3 wasn’t my type, this guy certainly was not. Two words: alpha male. I’m such a patriarchal female; I tend to go for the awesome yet under the radar type guy. Honestly this relationship was about forces of nature with a lot of attraction and repulsion. In this relationship I learned many of the lessons over again that I learned with BF 1-3. It was as if, I’d never learned them at all the first time. I also learned that when you play with fire, you are bound to get burned. I learned that to remain optimistic blindly in love is to allow your hand to stay on a red hot burner while you say what’s that burning smell? And really its a recent reminder of the dangers of falling in love, and allowing yourself to be exposed and vulnerable in the process. I also learned that while change is certainly possible for everyone, it’s highly unlikely for many of us. I can’t help but think of this man often, his alpha male objects are all around me to act as constant reminders. The main lesson here is to hold out on what you hold close.

So dear universe, done with learning lessons in love and done with reminiscing about Boyfriends of Christmas Past. I know where I have been; please show me where I am going. The final installement can be lovey tell your mother- thanks.

 

Good Grief

I never thought I could publish anything like this. At least not so soon in my blogging adventures. But good grief! Grief just seems to be everywhere these days. It’s also been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, so here it goes. Here is my lovely tell your mother thoughts on the matter.

My first brush with grief was the loss of my bio father. While he did not actually kick the bucket, I never saw his face again after age 4. This was my first experience with loss. Around age 11, my bio mother was the victim of a murder suicide. This was my first experience with total tragedy, and to make matters peachier, I read about the details in the news. At age 22, the love of my life and my baby daddy met his end. This was my first complete and utter heart break. I can’t actually count the number of friends that have died since or in-between. This is where my immunity to grief was fine tuned.

When a close family member or friend dies you hear the words be “strong” and I’m “sorry” a lot. Even upwards of 15 years later.  Just last week someone told me they were sorry for the loss of my mother after they found me on Facebook.  I typically don’t say these things to people grieving. I’m generally pretty sick of hearing these things myself. However I don’t blame others; it’s just that awkward moment when you don’t know what else to say.

In my opinion, grief is not limited to the family of the deceased. Any loss of any human life is grievable by any person who is aware of it.  In many cases ignorance can be bliss. I guess that’s why a lot of people just don’t pick up the papers anymore. Maybe there are some assholes out there that don’t have an empathetic bone in their body, but I don’t know them personally.

I believe a community can grieve, a workplace can grieve, the extended circles of family and friends of the deceased can grieve the list goes on. Even the unsavory people who die, people can grieve them too. The fact is death and subsequently the effect of grief affects everyone. It makes us face our own morality. This is what is called being human.  What amazes me the most, in all of my close experiences with grief, is not that people die. Again I feel this is inevitable. Not even that people die tragically, or unexpectedly.  This too is part of life. What really amazes me is how the people around the dying or dead person, act, react, and respond to others.

I preface this by saying it is truly despairing to recount these two examples, as a female, a mother of a daughter, and of an orphan of crimes against woman. But this sadness, I am willing to accept for discussions sake.  A few months ago a young woman disappeared and was found murdered weeks later. Her case made national headlines because her disappearance was captured in part on a video tape. This happened in the region that I live in, and I have driven past what once was a memorial for her, that now is completely cleared of the tokens of grief and which now bares a for sale sign on the property. Even more troubling is that 2 days ago a young woman about the same age shows up in a river in a hockey bag in the area that I grew up. Tragic and disgusted does not begin to describe how I feel about either case. But in the second example the public did not even know the young lady was missing.

The main difference I have noted between these cases; is the parent’s response to the media and thus the communities affected by these tragedies. The first young woman’s family and community appealed to anyone who would listen- the message was bring her home. When the media broke with the story of remains of the woman found by a home owner the reports indicated that the womans was identified and that next of kin was notified, and that details were remaining confidential at this time at the request of the family. Subsequent stories reported around the issue and disclosed the identity which was met with grimaces from online communities.

My commentary with these cases is related to the role of the media, and in the public responses by the families of the dead. These two communities in the same province were not permitted to grieve in the same manor for the loss of 2 young woman who were victims of severe acts of violence. This is in our own communities, outside of the urban centers, where people suspect these things are supposed to happen.  The parents who appealed shared their grief with the community and allowed them to be concerned about their own mortality and the mortality of others. The parents who have not, instilled fears for those who are informed yet remain uncertain.

My mother had cancer before she die. After reading the headlines I pieced together what happened, that her cancer medication Oxytocin was the catalyst for the end for the Romeo and Juliet junkies. I say this with every bit of love and respect for my birth mother. But facts are facts. After years of abuse, this stuff put them over the edge.  Just before my mother’s death I was rejected by my family and placed in foster care. It was like they knew the end was coming and removed me from reminding them of how horrible things went. My family scapegoated me.

When David died I read a small article that stated a man was found dead outside of Calgary. We lived at least 2.5 hours away. The article did not paint any sort of tragic picture, and it was more or less, something happened.  Coincidentally, my child’s father’s family rejected us both after his death. At least by a sweeping  95 percent. There was no thought that my 5 month old child was the last sentiment of his recent existence. I was hated, I was blamed, and I was ejected from participating in the grieving before, during and after his funeral.

In both cases, I had no role to play in the demise of the people I loved and yet I am somehow excluded, rejected, and sent off on my own with my sorrows. No worries I am ok. I made it out alive. But what continues to plague me is how people can do this to one another. When people die we should be clinging to each other.

Recently I have been scapegoated for grief yet again. This time, I don’t know the deceased. I know his sister. God love the whole family. It was unexpected and sad. I have known the sister for almost a decade. We have had our ups and downs. When I found out, I cried and wept and prayed. I went to my guru and asked her to send her lots of love and strength that way. But despite my efforts, I was 5 days too late in my condolences. I did not get the news.  So now I’m not allowed to enter the grieving circle. I am not able to support a friend that I have cared a great deal for, and went through a great deal with.  I am actually told that I am no longer a friend. The rational is, I should have figured out what was going on via social networking and showed up for the events like everyone else. It does not matter that no one shared this with me through word of mouth, or that my social networking feeds don’t always prompt you on the things you need to know. Or even that I was in touch with the friend and another friend who knew, just to say hey, and without any responses, I missed the grief train and now I’m just ousted, like I never cared at all, and like I have nothing at all to contribute in the department of helping others deal with death. The man who died I only saw once in Tim Horton’s. I just knew that he was my friend’s brother from pictures. While this news is sad it has nothing to do with me personally, I get that, but loss of life as part of the human experience, like I mentioned in this article, affects us all. Losing a friend because I didn’t know about the death sure as hell does.  But what the hell can I do now? Nothing at all. I can only hope they all get through without me. I can only worry about what I can control.

And I can’t, never could, and never will control over how other people deal with their grief.  But maybe this article may influence anyone who reads it – in their responses to others around grief.

Death is tragic. The media plays (or sometimes does not) play a part in how people find out and engage with the death either by themselves or as part of community.

For the love of good grief- when I die- please do not have a funeral. Please just party.  Don’t be mad at anyone for showing up, or not showing up or for whatever.

Let the love, laughter and light flow.

In thoughtful and loving memory of those loved ones lost.

A great project I am lucky to have worked on!

Community Voices: A Stakeholder’s Action Plan with the Office of African Nova Scotia Affairs.

http://www.gov.ns.ca/ANSA/communityvoices.asp 

Miscommunication

When communication fails, I can’t help but be discouraged. I am a communicator. I believe in open, honest, and timely communication. When communication breaks down personally or professionally, I over analyze the crap out of it.

In my experiences communication typically breaks down for one of two reasons; misinterpretation and opposing viewpoints. Communication is like a dance, you have to flow, and pause, and continue with many other things in mind; the context, your partner, and the objective of being engaged in the event/activity.

Avoiding misinterpretation is achievable by everyone. First you need to be timely, when communication via email or text most quickly gets out of line is when there is a lag in the response for asking and answering questions. This is where a mole statement becomes a mountain to climb. For people initiating the communication, indicate the who, what, when, why and how of information pertinent to the conversation, and don’t assume that the reader of your message receives this information as you intend. For receivers of messages, when you are not sure, ask to be sure. Keep the dance going, be in step with the music, and flow and break when needed. Common understanding of the context and purpose of the communication helps everyone engage in the dance more effectively.

On the other hand, consistency in viewpoints and consensus is not always generally achievable. Because uniqueness is ever present and people do not always agree, on all issues, all of the time, consideration has to be made on when to toss in the towel if common acceptance is not possible. So I think acceptance is the biggest hurdle to combat the second cause of miscommunication. People just have to accept that people are different; they have different needs and different approaches. Dancing and communication are all about give and take. You have to offer and you have to accept. You also have to be willing to adjust when needed. Because people align their views, actions and behaviors based on their values, so with communication it’s impossible to find consensus on all matters, all of the time. Acceptance should be the goal when the viewpoints involved in the communication vary greatly.

Another factor in avoiding miscommunication is asking yourself what to do when facing a dilemma or dispute is why is the communication breakdown occurring? Does everyone involved know the who what when why and how, is this situation arising because of misinformation, misunderstanding, or just a difference of world view points?

Sometimes the best strategy is avoidance, sometimes its acceptance (even if it’s only you accepting) and sometimes you have to assert yourself in a situation. When communication fails, its ultimately where things start getting tossed around, where emotions are high and where considerations have to be made. Do your best to mitigate these situations as best you can by simply understanding the situation and determining what’s the ultimate goal of the communication, how can emotive responses be defused and how can you resolve the misunderstanding, if that’s possible.

I personally can’t allow these conundrums to continue to affect me so much in the future. It’s counterproductive towards my ultimate life goals which are driven in effective use of what I have My time and mind space is limited.  Not allowing ineffective and negative communication consumes me is a positive step in the right direction for me.  It just sucks up my time, and depletes my emotional reserves.

The best advice I have to offer as a communications professional and person with life experience is to understand your situation, decide if clear communication or resolution of miscommunication is at all possible and, if not, make the most of bad situation by asserting yourself. Don’t allow people to crap communicate to you. Block what’s bad by only absorbing what’s good, insert hip moving and shaking here.

No Frackin Way.

Fracking. What is all of the fuss about? Well it’s a method of resource extraction. It uses copious amounts of water. It is deemed to contaminate water tables and create sink holes in areas where this form of resource extraction is conducted. No big deal. Right? Wrong.

Here is Tatamagouche, people are saying frig right off to fracking in the area. People are vocal and against the efforts in this rural Nova Scotia neck of the woods.

I think they have a point. I think we should all be concerned about this. I’m not going to dooms day anyone here but when you mess around with mother nature she can mess back. Be aware and concerned about what is going on in your back yard.

Check out the frackin tracker for Canada and US (http://canadians.org/water/issues/fracking/index.html)

Here is a Fracking song  worth a listen- http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/nofrackingway. I am not saying I support this organization. The song is an interesting piece. I agree songs have powerful abilities to get people on the peace train.

Give a Frack!

Fracking is no friend to H20.

Fracking is a growing concern among people educated about its risks.

Fracking is expanding in almost every province across Canada.

Fracking is f*cking with the earth’s crust

Fracking is like asking earthquake anyone?

HEY FRACKERS—-PLEASE NOT ON OUR Land.

Sink NS and Tsunami? No thanks.

Just frack off Fracking! You are definitely not Lovely Tell Your Mother.