Wonder

October 15, 2017

in Waking Up, Growing Up

These days there are times when I sit quietly and simply wonder. This morning what wafted in were sensations and images of circular connections. As my experiences wind their sometimes baffling circular way through the years then come to completion they interconnect with previous circles and cycles linking the ever-growing chain of my life.

Often I am surprised at how an event in the present suddenly appears to be a completion of something from long ago that had no apparent connection until the moment when it all pops together into my awareness. I think of the image on the screen of my iphone when I am downloading an ap, watching the little blue circle fill in bit by bit (sometimes excruciatingly slowly) until that final dot of blue connects and voila, it is complete! Satisfaction, fleeting as it may be.

I continue to marvel at the beauty of the people in community surrounding and supporting me in so many heartwarming ways, and as I was sitting in wonder today I had a flash of memory from when I was fifteen years old, pregnant, in turmoil and sometimes terror. I was isolated, shamed and expelled from all family and community. As I reflected on the contrast of then to now the final dot of blue popped into place—I felt and saw the vision of that completed circle linking into the chain of my life.

My experience of that time has had many influences on the course of my existence. Until today it hadn’t occurred to me that one of them is valuing and at times even astonishment at the beauty of community.

It was the early ‘60’s, my mother, father, brother and I were living in small town Ontario in a new subdivision. I was going to school and had a few friends, however I recall no sense of community, it was a location. By this time, we had lived in at least eight different cities, four different states in the US, two provinces in Canada and we were now in the third town in Ontario. We had lived in at least ten houses and my brother and I had attended many schools. I think the sense of any location and any friendship being temporary was already instilled in me. A beneficial learning that has held me in good stead is that I became adaptable to many different environments and situations.

I was utterly ignorant about sexuality, sex, being in a girl body, certainly nothing about a boy body. Literally no information or guidance. All I knew, for a very brief time, was that I enjoyed the pleasure and excitement of being with an older boy who found me desirable. Even confirming that I was pregnant and what that meant took some time and information from an older girl acquainted with my boyfriend.

When I found the courage to tell my mother and father that I was pregnant the impact was devastating. My mother became hysterical and continued to have bouts of hysteria. My father was busy with his business, I believe overwhelmed and in my reality disappeared. One of the ways my mother handled it all was to tell her friends about my situation and the news spread, as they say “like wildfire.” The effect on me was immediate. I was pulled out of school, and the other girls parents told them they were not allowed to associate with me. I had become a novelty, a negative influence. An event that stands out is when I was walking down the street in my neighbourhood one day, two classmates were walking toward me—when they saw me they crossed to the other side of the street, still looking at me and smirking. I recall that as the time when my defiance and determination to not be defeated and to stay strong in the face of all this burst into full bloom.

My few relatives were two older aunts who had never married living in Kentucky that I adored (we had lived with one of them briefly.) After hearing the news from my mother one of them never had contact with me again, the other sent me a pink, frilly Kleenex box holder and $5, and then disowned me a short time later for my wanton ways.

This was an excruciatingly painful time for my mother as well as me. During one of her outbursts she began to physically attack me and in my fear the only person I could think of to call for help was the minister of the town’s Anglican Church. Although I have difficulty recalling names, I always remember his. The Reverend Ken Richardson. We did not attend church with any regularity but I had been confirmed in his church when I was 12 or so and found him kind and understanding. He came quickly and immediately arranged for me to be sent to an unwed mother’s home in Toronto for the duration of my pregnancy.

Usually unwed mothers spent the last three months of their pregnancy in the home, however due to my “unusual” circumstance I was allowed in when I was less than three months pregnant. Walking along the institutional-looking hallway for the first time to be shown to my room is another experience I have imprinted. I recall the shiny floors, the sound of our feet on the tiles, the faces and eyes of girls and women in their rooms looking out at us as we passed. I even remember what I was wearing! Although I wasn’t showing, I was wearing a dark brown pleated maternity skirt and a rust-coloured cotton top with a single thin ruffle around the bottom. A girl has to pay attention to what she wears!

I had already had too many experiences of standing at the front of a classroom being introduced as “the new girl, Linda.” This was an introduction of another dimension. An immediate expansion of my world into a reality I could never have conceived existed.
There were girls and women ranging in age, race with vastly differing life circumstances. I heard stories and was introduced to ways of life that held me spellbound. I thought of one person as an older woman, she was in her mid-twenties. Some of them were tough and bawdy, I remember one particular red-headed girl that at first I was terrified of and who l later came to like and get along with. An aboriginal girl who had been raped by her father and I were the two youngest and I remained the youngest for the duration of my stay.

As far back as I can remember I have been fascinated with people, our uniqueness and what makes us tick. My exposure to this amazing range of girls and women broadened my horizons and enriched my experience of life, blowing off the confining walls of my conditioning about who is good, bad forever. I think that was the beginning of my learning to choose curiosity over fear that has nourished and supported me to view my life as an adventure rather than a problem to be solved.

Yet again in my short life, connections were temporary. It was against the rules to know where we lived and each other’s last names, it was first names only. Once someone went to the hospital to give birth they didn’t return to the home and we were instructed to not keep in touch with each other. I remember crying when my red-headed friend went into labour and left for the hospital. We never saw each other again although I had broken the rule and found out her last name. I did try to find her a few years later without success.

Oh the stories that are coming back to me about my time there! I learned so much about life and about people. For that I have no regret and feel grateful. I think the seeds of the work I do with people related to sexuality, to boundaries and to communication began to grow during that period.

I had been assigned a social worker that at the time I thoroughly disrespected, believing her to be incompetent. In my fifteen-year-old arrogance I immediately decided that she was fresh out of school, she was talking to me as if by script from a textbook, not as a real person and I wanted nothing to do with her. I believe I was a huge source of stress for her, I actually recall times when I noticed her flush, the look on her face and somewhere underneath my stubborn defiance I felt for her having to try to deal with me. I was just too defended to allow empathy. For a long time afterward I objectified and carried a negative bias toward social workers which later proved to be ironic given what I discovered to be my life’s calling.

As I write this now I am considering that my experience with her coloured my pattern of working with people spontaneously and personally and my dislike of following a script. I had no concept of boundaries in those days, however I recall being outraged when another social worker tricked one of the women in her twenties into meeting the father of her baby face-to-face in spite of the woman insisting that she did not want to. When I was first introduced to the importance of honouring permission at Haven the blue dot of that circle popped in.

The world I was plunged into at the home was so unlike anything I had previously been exposed to, and although it was difficult and I viewed it as being imprisoned (there were strict rules about going out, perhaps related to my age which I’ll never know) I began to experience a sense of community over time. I liked that. A few times several of us would sneak into one person’s room after the lights-out curfew and play cards. We were caught and disciplined which simply led us to be more careful and added to the fun. Late at night I dared to escape, climb over the fence surrounding the gated grounds to go out into the noisy city and bring back a pie and ice cream, which we devoured with delight. I felt a strong sense of belonging and acceptance in those few and precious moments.

One of my most traumatic experiences of isolation was during the Christmas, New Year’s season. Although my parents didn’t visit me in the home, I was allowed to go back to their place for those days. I was thrilled to be freed from the home.

My parents had clearly forbidden any contact with the father of my child. We had been cut off most of the time, no cell phones or texting in those days. Even access to long-distance phone calls was limited. He had driven to Toronto a couple of times to visit me and that was it. We were passionate about being in love and wanting to be together. Primary on my mind during the season was to be in touch with him, to try to see him.

Taken by my dad, he loved to photograph flowers

Although I was less aware of it at the time, my parents were struggling with their own hurt, frustration, guilt, shame. By this time I was six months pregnant. They were having friends over to the house and asked me to stay out of the way, downstairs in the basement rec room. I was pleased, seeing it as an opportunity to try to call my boyfriend. My father heard me and uncharacteristically exploded. I imagine the pressure of all the feelings he had been repressing erupted into this rage and he disowned me on the spot, throwing me out of the house. My assumption is that I had already been in varying states of shock since I had become pregnant. Facing my father’s rage, his pointing and yelling at me to get out of his life, telling me that I was no longer his daughter or a member of this family was truly shocking. I went numb.

Back to the home I went and I remember sitting alone in the stark games room as the New Year of 1962 rolled in.

With the current scientific revelations about the impact of the mother’s environment, physical and emotional state on the unborn fetus, there are still moments when I ride the almost unbearable cliff-edge with my thoughts, feelings and “what if’s” that course through me. I have been profoundly fortunate since those times and feel abundant gratitude for what I have learned about self-compassion and acceptance.

By the time of my son’s first Christmas my parents and I began to reconcile, to the relief of us all, and our journeys together continued to take their twists and turns until each of their deaths many years later. Fortunately for us all they were important and lovely influences in both of my son’s lives and I feel enormous compassion, loving and gratitude for each of them. I remain eternally grateful to what I eventually learned about life and relating at Haven, which helped me nurture my relationship with them over the years.

There are many seemingly disparate events that are now coming full-circle in my life in the most amazing ways. I am waking up to how they are linked one by one.

So today’s wonder time has provided further insight into the link between knowing dislocation and isolation in my bones and then opening to the embrace, acceptance and belonging in community, and why this is so deeply moving and a source of awe.

All I can say is yay. And be curious about what will emerge next time I sit and wonder.

Love, light laughter linda

 

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Linda Nicholls

Trees were already my heroes, and since reading “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben and Tim Flannery I have become even more entranced with them. Because I am excited about the information, here is a brief summary of some of the fascinating they are discovering about trees.

They are social beings, they live in community, communicating amongst themselves and with other species. They have memories, experience pain and nurse their young.

The languages they use to communicate are chemical signals through the air and underground electrical signals. Sugars, nutrients and electrical signals are passed through a network of interconnected roots and fungi under the earth. Dr. Suzanne Simard, UBC, calls this the “wood wide web.” Sending pheromones and chemical signals through the air they warn each other of dangers such as insect attacks and diseases and work together as a community to help ward off threats.

They form friendships to help each other stay healthy and live longer – they care for each other. If one in their community is sick others come to its aid by sending them the vital sugar and nutrients via their “wood wide web.”

If one tree in a community is getting lots of sun and water and is making more than enough sugar for itself it shares with trees that are not in ideal growing conditions, equalizing the amount of sugar for each tree in the community.

They also communicate with other species such as birds and insects through their emissions.

They operate much more slowly on a different time table than we do, however they have a sense of time and the ability to remember. They sense temperature and day length, compare the amount of sunlight from one day to the next to know when to let their leaves fall.

They are also individuals. Even trees of the same species living in the same conditions don’t react in the same way, and some of them make bad decisions for their health and survival just the way humans do.

They learn. If a tree goes through a dry spell and uses too much of its stored water, it will ration its water in the future even if there is plenty of water at the time.

If a tree suffers pain and injuries in its trunk it fortifies the weak areas.

Trees are heroically working to improve the quality of our air –trapping large quantities of pollen, dust and pollutants produced by humans, and giving back beneficial compounds such as phytoncides that have antibiotic properties. During the day a healthy forest is high in oxygen but at night, when the trees are resting from photosynthesizing they are emitting carbon dioxide, which is why we have a different experience being in the forest at night.

A crucial bit of information: It is the old growth forests that are adding beneficial compounds to the air. Trees in planted, artificially managed forests are sending out distress messages and pumping out defensive chemicals that cause stress in humans. 

Trees in forests act as “water pumps” taking vapor that blows in from the ocean and transferring that water, forest by forest, deeper into inland regions so they don’t dry out.

They are crucial to the global carbon cycle, influencing our global climate.

More recent studies show that many established assumptions are not accurate, and that they are much more like animals than has previously been believed.

One of the assumptions to be rethought: Scientists have believed spruce trees live about five hundred years. In Sweden, a small spruce trunk surrounded by shrubby growth was found and researchers concluded its roots are 9,550 years old. Until this discovery they believed that the first conifer appeared in this region only about 2,000 years ago. Wohlleben says “For me, this inconspicuous small plant is a symbol for how little we understand about forests and trees and how many wonders we have yet to discover.”

And all of this is the measurable science. Just as science has yet to pin down our human soul, our spirit, our consciousness under the microscope, personally I believe it is the same for trees. They too have their unique consciousness and are willing and available to interact with us should we be open to it. Many of our ancestors knew this and in these times we are being invited to reawaken, re-connect, re-integrate and recognize our interdependence with the phenomenal more-than-humans around us. 

Next time you meet a tree, please treat with dignity and offer gratitude. 

Better yet, approach with respect, be gentle and don’t trample their roots, ask permission to engage, introduce yourself, reveal more about yourself and your life (just as would when talking with any intimate) so they get to know you — and then breathe, breathe some more, be still, listen, listen, listen.  Prepare to be amazed!

We humans tend to take from, want something from.  This time offer yourself, your friendship.  Of course, if you have permission, touch, hug, lean, embrace.  Breathe with.   

And don’t forget to express your gratitude when you leave.

love, light, laughter, linda

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Arbutus Dragon

When I was young I loved to draw trees. I felt such pleasure focusing on the intricacy of each branch connecting to another branch then another branch then a smaller branch, out to the tiniest twig. No two formations ever duplicated. Drawing roots held the same fascination for me. I imagined that if I were to somehow be able to grab a tree in the middle of the trunk and turn it upside down the branches would become its roots and its roots its branches.

I don’t’ recall ever sitting down in front of a tree to try to copy it, I drew from my imagination and happily impressed myself with the wonderful results. Unfortunately none of those early masterpieces have survived.

At that time in my life all that I was awake to was that trees were outdoor things, pretty enough and somehow worthy of my fascination. No consciousness or clue that they are also living, breathing beings and that one day I would wake up to our relationship with each other. It was beyond my comprehension to consider that far into the future, when someone asked me who I hold as a hero I would reply “the tree.”

Long ago, I don’t quite remember when or why, I stopped drawing trees.   I vaguely recall eventually being sent to an art lesson, being told to copy a mug and an apple, then being told I wasn’t good enough and believing it.

Many years later I connected with my enduring love of hiking, tenting in the forest, and the experience of becoming grounded and soothed amongst trees.

My most powerful awakening showed up in a surprising way one remarkable night.

When my 30-year old younger son became quickly and intensely addicted to drugs I was ignorant and ill-informed about that world. His tragic death from dirty drugs was devastating for me. As I look back now I see that it took me years to emerge, cycling through varied phases of shock and grieving. One belief I carry is that the draw to drugs and what fuels the addiction for many people of all ages is their yearning to satisfy a spiritual longing, to fulfill a spiritual emptiness that is somehow not being met in everyday life. Unfortunately it is still rare in our era and in our culture to offer responsible, skilled guidance to those seekers and I profoundly regret that I wasn’t awake enough to provide this for my beloved son.

This belief was an aspect of my desire to understand for myself what lay beyond the barriers of everyday consciousness. My good fortune was that I was given the gift of being initiated into the world of teacher plants by loving, responsible, skilled guides.

A couple of hours into my first journey, suddenly the walls, the doors, the structures around me simply dissolved.   Now there was no human-constructed barrier between indoors and outdoors. Without having moved I was seated within only natural surroundings — the dark night sky, shadowy images of trees and bushes, my body responding to the spaciousness. I wanted to walk and explore, yet to do that I knew somewhere within me that I had to deal with my physical body, I had to stand up.   Without being able to explain properly even now, the cord of my ordinary consciousness was also still connected. I mustered everything I could to stand up and found myself immediately at the precipice of what my reality could tolerate: for probably a nano-second, which I still recall clearly, there was no wall and no door, I was seeing and feeling only the natural environment around me. But then, some thread of my ordinary consciousness came hurtling into the foreground insisting that to “go out” I had to reach for the door knob and open the door. Although I had that split second of knowing no wall or door existed and that all I had to do was keep walking, I was instantaneously snapped back into automatic — before I could interrupt I saw my hand materialize in front of me, I felt my mind working to manifest the door and the knob, I saw them form into solid substance in order to be touched by my hand. I opened the door and “went out” into the night.

Whenever I reflect on these moments from time to time, two things come to mind:

  1. If only I had been able to sustain that expanded consciousness longer, I would have been walking around in the natural environment without having had to manifest the wall or the door. How wondrous that would have been.
  2. Now I think I have an inkling of the role of intention that physicists talk about. Energy follows focus. Everything in our existence is a manifestation of intention, and it is within the realm of possibility to not be entranced and trapped within our common consensus of reality. I had to intend the door knob for it to be there.

Now I am wandering away from getting to my tree-awakening, so I will bring myself back to that now.

It was a cold, clear, star-lit night. But it was not the stars I was drawn to. It was the brilliance of the aliveness surrounding me. Startled at first, I blinked and gasped in wonder as I witnessed the energy field of each distinct blade of grass, plant, leaf, tree radiating exquisitely. Since that illuminating moment I regard other-than-human consciousness with the deepest respect, gratitude and awe. Simply no words at the moment to adequately describe my feelings. How fortunate for we humans that the trees and plants are not wasting their precious consciousness on manifesting door knobs.

Our own ancients knew and lived in harmony within this consciousness, accepting and honouring their interdependence. Indigenous people around the globe knew and still know. Although we humans are all indigenous to our planet, so many of us have forgotten.

Arbutus and me — not Grandmother Tree, she lives elsewhere

That night I was not hallucinating, I was being taught by being shown. This lesson has been indelibly imprinted within me.

In my range of explorations since my recent cancer diagnosis, wondering about my inner incongruities, I find that I have been separating some of my most personal, impactful learning by remaining quiet and not sharing openly with others. This is one reason why I am committed to sharing now.

I was magnetically drawn to one particular tree. She appeared to be opening her arms in invitation. Her body was much wider than mine. I leaned my back against her sturdy trunk, anticipating hard bumpiness, and was surprised to feel as if I were sinking into a cushion. There was no distinct separation between us.   I was enveloped in a lovingly tender embrace like none other I have ever experienced. I absorbed a sensation of bonding that I believe so many of my ancestors had been deprived of as they battled hardships, growing further and further away from their integral relationship with the natural world. The cord of connection that had been severed so many generations ago mended during this embrace. The frayed, disconnected strands were rewoven back in time to my ancestors and strengthened for the generations yet to come. I later learned that others before me had called this precious tree Grandmother.

Arbutus Dragon from a distance

I had embarked on my teacher plant journey with some trepidation, expecting I would be shown ugliness, more sorrow and even terror. Instead I was shown beauty. The beauty had been there all along but I had been missing it. Relationship with the natural world had been there all along but I had been missing it. So much to grieve and to praise.

That was my waking up to consciously relating with trees. There have been many amazing adventures and stories since that time, several of which gently reappeared in the foreground not long ago as I was sitting in a hot tub at night gazing up at the trees.

Because this is so long, in a separate blog I’ll add more about what I have been learning about them.

PS:   In previous blogs I may have mentioned that my journey with cancer has been a mystical experience. One dimension has been an abundance of synchronicities. And here is one right now: I began writing this blog while sitting in the Nanaimo airport — as I put away my ipad and stood up to go through Security I turned around to see a large poster with trees on it and a table with an array of printed materials. It was National Forest Week.

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No Core Nugget

September 18, 2017

in Waking Up, Growing Up

Today I opened an email from one of my wise friends, Wayne Dodge, offering his thought about my line in my recent blog “Although I may not have gotten to the core nugget . . . ” Wayne’s offering: “What if there is no core nugget? What then? There, for me, is often the deeper acceptance.”

Zing – my mind, my heart melted instantaneously into recognition. Surrender. Compassion.  Instead of narrowing down to a nugget, deeper acceptance feels more to me like heart and mind expansion, merging with an infinite field, explanation not necessary.

Thank you Wayne! This strikes right into the heart of the mystical aspect of the passage I am navigating. I’ve been awash in a multitude of extraordinary moments flooding in from so many different directions that forming my thoughts and words to satisfactorily describe seems out of reach. I feel and hear my soul calling for expression and am convinced that learning to articulate in a connecting way with others is a vital learning edge for me. Just as opening to receive is a newer way of “being” in flow, so will learning to openly express my soul view.

I have to start somewhere so I intend to follow up in this blog. In my shadow workshop I remind people that when we begin to unearth and bring into the light aspects of ourselves that have lain dormant, it is natural to bumble along awkwardly for a while, which is what I expect to be doing.

Synchronicities have been abounding, to the degree that I am relaxing and taking them more in my stride. Instead of “wow” it is now more “of course.” These events are teaching me about what it is like to live in faith rather than strategy and control.

I mention synchronicities because amongst other things they are happening regularly with books. Sometimes I stumble across a book I’ve read recently and open right to a passage that directly relates to what I’ve been thinking or wondering about. It isn’t hard in my home to literally stumble across a book because I have them on shelves, in baskets, on the floor, piled here and there. Although I’ve read many of them, there are lots of wanna-reads calling out to me. Sometimes I am suddenly drawn to one of the wanna-reads and it also opens to exactly what hits the spot.

Just after Wayne’s email today, I opened Bill Plotkin’s “Nature and the Human Soul”, one of his several books that I value. His work has been a profound influence for me.  The passages I read today illuminate an aspect of my current context, including embracing my elderhood and the accompanying responsibilities whole-heartedly.

He offers his compelling blueprint of authentic human development through an eco-centric (rather than ego-centric) lens in eight stages of life.  For now I will share what he has written about Stages 6, 7 and 8. Although I differ somewhat with a few of his ideas, he beautifully describes several things that I strongly relate to through direct experience or as an appealing idealogy.

Stage 6) The Artisan in the Wild Orchard

This is the stage of late adulthood, the stage of cultural renaissance. At this stage we are concerned with manifesting a genuine system for the delivery of our soul work. Our domain is the wild orchard, a robust environment of ripened fruit. We have discovered our unique vocation. Our induction into the circle of artistry is a cultural boon, but we are diligent in our cultivation of soul. We are learning how our soulwork is also artwork, and how to deliver it as a gift to the world. Art is paramount. Benevolence is primary, teaching is secondary. Our life is all about planting the seeds of our knowledge and communicating deeply with others: human, and other-than-human. We seek to cultivate the philosophy of soul-centrism and eco-centrism by imparting its wisdom onto others. We can now hear nature speaking a language older than words. Our ego is in full flight. We are becoming a creature with the capacity for mastery. “The world was made to be free in: this we know in our bones, and this definitive and fearful knowledge is what both supports us and requires us to turn away from our secure but less-than-joyful lives.” -Bill Plotkin

 Stage 7) The Master in the Grove of Elders

This is the stage of early elderhood, the stage of wholeness. At this stage we are concerned with the world as a whole, as a vibrating interconnected web of life. Our domain is a grove, a place that is linked to the entire ecosystem. We have planted our seeds and now we get to watch them grow. We have been crowned with the mantle of mastery and now we see with “over-eyes” how the energy of psyche/culture is joined and linked forever with the energy of nature/world. Wisdom is paramount. Vigilance is primary, observance is secondary. Our life is all about caring for the soul of the human and more-than-human community. We seek nothing more than to tend to the web of life with a humor of the most high. We can now both hear and speak, fluently, a language older than words. Our ego flies above all, tending to the way it all fits together. We are becoming a creature with the capacity to surrender to the cosmos.

 Stage 8) The Sage in the Mountain Cave

This is the stage of late elderhood, the stage of grace. At this stage we are concerned with tending to the universe as a whole. Our domain is a mountain cave, a place up high where the cosmic structure of the universe is displayed in all its glory. We have surrendered to grace. We are humbled by our wisdom, and honored to have lived a life of soul-centric/eco-centric relevance. Gratitude is paramount. Numinosity is primary, luminance is secondary. Our life is all about being one with cosmos and spirit. We seek nothing more than to let go, to give way. We have become a language older than words. Our ego is at rest, nesting in an infinite nest. We are becoming a creature with the capacity for rebirth, but first, death.

Caring for the soul of the human and the more-than-human community, I know this is possible, I know people who are living this now, the question is how to invite more into the community.

love light laughter linda

 

 

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Short Medical Update

This past Thursday I went to Lion’s Gate Hospital for my third Herceptin and chemo treatment. The routine includes meeting with the doctor before they start the IV’s. My previous treatment had been a tough one, I was there for over 8 hours because of a complication. Last week, during my retreat in Victoria, I was […]

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Receiving with Self-Compassion

RECEIVING WITH SELF-COMPASSION Throughout the decades that I’ve been guiding others in their personal development, one of the things I’ve taught about is learning to develop self-compassion rather than live with the perpetually nagging inner self-critic driven by self-hatred. Along the way of teaching others I have also dedicated myself to continuing my own learning, […]

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Ecstasy

Last night I experienced ecstasy. Naturally. Within more-than-human community — communing with trees, stars, sky, the moon. I am in a hot-tub, fresh pure clean water located at the base of a hill, surrounded by forest. Different than the dense, wild, tangled forest that I love so much on Gabriola Island. This is a pristine […]

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The Beauty of Community

The caring, heartfelt, inspiring messages and acts of kind generosity that have been abundantly showered upon me since my diagnosis of cancer have moved me to share in a new and different way. Blogging is something I have yet to master however it seems the best option at the moment, so I am resurrecting my […]

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Second Update

Update to my dear and valued friends and cohorts: Although I have often thought of contacting you with an update about my current cancer journey I just haven’t gathered my thoughts well enough nor made the time to try to encapsulate what this has been like and where I am going next. Over the past […]

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Cancer Diagnosis

Dear Valued Friends and Cohorts: I have some personal news about recent events in my life that I would like to share with you. In March, shortly before our team’s trip to China I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This has not been a secret, however I have not been doing much emailing or communicating […]

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Breathe for Life

Written for Brin Jackson’s Health Series – Registered, Certified Reflexology Therapist. You are living your life between inhaling your first breath and exhaling your final breath. You can live for weeks with no food, days with no water, yet only around four minutes with no breath before your brain becomes altered. Experiment with holding your […]

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