Solstice Blessings

With each change of the season, it is wonderful to reconnect with the fortunes and grace which fill my life and body.
reverenceThursday was the 20th anniversary of my brother Kenny’s death. A day of reverence for me, to the higher power which giveth light, darkness, life and death. A lesson to be acknowledged each and every day …. Life is so very precious. It is everywhere, filling us from the inside, surrounded by the world’s creation, enveloped by a spiritual hug.
Yet in our daily lives we are usually carried away by our forgetfulness, anger, and worries, lost in the past, unable to touch life in the present moment. When we are truly alive, everything we do or touch is a miracle. To practice mindfulness is to return to life in the present moment.” And so, with the reminder of our mortality, it is vitally important to celebrate my vitality; life as I know it is fleeting, a blessing to be appreciated and honoured, with each and every breath of awareness that I can muster. To be alive, thriving and healthy …. WOW! Yoga helps me to reconnect with this cognizance.

Yesterday, the Solstice, was an amazing opportunity to yogically connect with the greater good, through a charitable yoga event which brought together a community of people willing to share their life blessings. slaDE~ and I were fortunate to have the instruction of Kathy Nash; she skillfully guided us beyond the physical asanas, coaxing us into a deeper understanding of the greater relationship that binds us all together within this Universe. Letting go of attachments to my life as I know it is a challenge throughout my yoga practice. Injury persistently hounds my senses, and trying to breath through that pain and discomfort is so extremely challenging. Somehow Kathy breathed fire into my core, and I achieved an impossible awareness that has been lacking since my beginning days of yoga. Solstice. Blessings. Connection. Breath of life and fire. Healing. All coexisted yesterday on this staggeringly beautiful day.

On this Solstice, I wish for you a deep connection with not only your inner light and grace, but also with Mother Earth’s divinity. I wish for you celebration of your fullness, shining magnificence and radiance. I wish for you peace, prosperity of heart and the wisdom to make profoundly exemplary choices for you and mankind.

Top Ten Father’s Day Movies

As posted on Kaboose, Jane Louise Boursaw picks her top 10 favourite Father’s Day movies. Click on the movie title link to see a YouTube video … hope that you enjoy!!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
When eccentric single-dad Caractacus Potts invents a revolutionary car, a foreign government becomes interested and will do anything to get their hands on it.

Father of the Bride
George and Nina Banks are the parents of young Annie, whose journey from girlhood to womanhood has seemed oh so short. She’s just about ready to head down the aisle, which has George shaking in his sneakers.

Paper Moon
Newly orphaned Addie temporarily falls into the care of small-time con artist Moses Pray when he gives her a lift to her aunt’s house. Turns out she’s the better grifter and he’s not such a loner.

Mr. Mom
When Jack loses his job, he and wife Caroline decide that he’ll stay home with the kids while she goes off to work. Oh, if he only knew what he was getting into…

National Lampoon’s Vacation
Chaos ensues when the Griswold family embarks on a cross-country road trip to the Wally World theme park.

Field of Dreams
An Iowa corn farmer hears voices in his head commanding him to build a baseball diamond in his fields. Once he does the Chicago Black Sox show up to play, including one very special player.

About a Boy
Hugh Grant plays a London hipster who passes himself off as a single dad to meet women—sure of his ability to say buh-bye when they talk commitment. But his bachelorhood is in jeopardy when he meets 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and his hippie mom (Toni Collette).

Three Men and a Baby
Three bachelors find themselves forced to take care of a baby left on their step by one of the guy’s girlfriends.

Gil and Karen Buckmans are your average Midwestern couple, dealing with high-stress jobs and estranged relatives, all the while raising their kids to be good people. And somehow, they never lose their sense of humor – especially Gil.

#1 (One of my top picks as well!)
The Pursuit of Happyness
uring a string of bad luck, single dad Chris Gardner finds himself living in shelters and eating at soup kitchens, all the while telling his son that even though times are hard, he’ll always be there for him.

Happy Father’s Day!

A Father Means ...I just spoke with my biological Father, our Dad, on the phone. I can honestly say that I have 2 Dads … my Mother’s husband Pat and Theodore, my Father. I miss them both so much! But not for much longer — what’s truly exciting about the conversation we just had is that my younger sister Aaron has officially set the date of her wedding for August 24th, this summer. Slade and I will both be flying home and spending quality time with everyone near and dear to us. Our bosses have yet to learn of our spontaneous plans, and hopefully it will not be too major an issue, with my work moving the same day I want to fly back to Ontario (my birthday, no less).

Father’s Day holds the emotion of both joy and sadness for our family; 20 years ago, my brother Kenny died while riding the motorcycle which provided freedom and joy to his world. Little did we know that he would gain his wings that Sunday June 19th.

Daddy's little girlI’ll never forget that day, when I flew back from Ottawa, into the waiting arms of my Father and my family. My brother wasn’t the only one who died that day … a piece of each one us left this world with Kenny. And we all miss him tremendously. Father’s Day … a time of both fond memories and of heartbreak. I write this with tears flowing down my face ….

My Father is such a rock in my life … so supportive; there is nothing that he would not sacrifice for his family. Dad is still one of the first persons whom I call when things go right… and when they fall apart. Many a day I have called to listen to his soothing voice, heart in pieces. Somehow, through it all, he sends his love and support across the airwaves, from afar, and I somehow at least feel a bit better, aching heart in tow.
So, on this August, I will be there to celebrate with him at Aaron’s wedding, as I was there for him in support when in own brother Ralph died this past November. In both good times and bad, I am privileged to have 2 Dads by my side who love, support, encourage and accept Katherine TC Weishar (aka sKY::). And I will do whatever it takes to be there for them whilst they live and breath and bless my life.

Sex and Marriage

to risk or not?Marriage … ah the eternal debate over an institution filled with both flaws and promise. Should I or shouldn’t I? Can I risk to be vulnerable, interdependent, gambling against all the odds with no guarantees that life won’t throw a tire-iron my way? And if things go awry in a big way, what should I do then? Remain or leave?
Huge questions …. all pursued in the new ‘Sex and the City’ movie that I savoured and devoured last night, sadly solo (all my best girls are out-of-country — and my best boy didn’t deem SATC as a big screen kind of pic). This was one feature that I longed to share, to pursue the questions that arose from the big statements boldly and brazenly lavished upon me. I LOVED EVERY MOMENT. It was such a fabulous story. And it left me with a few revelations on relationships and marriage that I by far didn’t expect from 2.5 hours of high fashion, humour and scandal. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte wrestle with love, sex, children, weight gain, friendship, humiliation, and forgiveness …. all in a hilariously realistic fashion (haute couture, of course ☺). Where else could one find a movie where marriage is both crushed and lauded, from every possible nuance and angle.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet and like surprises, stop reading now!

Carrie -- ties the knot!Carrie and Big ultimately get married but only after one is left standing at the altar on their first attempt. The most profound question from the movie, for me, which evolves from the lessons learned (in true Carrie style), is: ‘Why Marriage?’ Did she believe that without marriage, their efforts and relationship were not good enough? Do you have to be married to be real, be true and be accepted as seriously involved and committed?

This debate is something that I have struggled with in the past and sometimes find myself examining / disputing. In my heart I know that marriage is not the end-all be-all. Divorce is a reality truly close to home for so many loved ones. For myself, on the one hand, when one grows up in a hugely Catholic, sizable family where marriage is the persistently inevitable little girl’s dream, it’s hard to break out of those defining stereotypes, living fully and completely, with no holds barred, unravelling all expectations. Yet from day to day, slaDE and I live our love, married in heart, without that niggling piece of paper, pushing the evolutionary buttons which others define as ‘playing house’. With no guarantees of longevity of life and love, I can only live each day fully, acknowledging my husband as a dedicated loving fully present male who, for better or for worse, has stood by me for 6.5+ years. And I remain a beloved besotted wife. Actions speak louder than words on a piece of paper. AMEN.

Now, with the film complete, it’s up to the rest of us to release the vanquished breath, carrie on with our own lives (punnY!), come up with our own answers. And continue asking new questions, pushing buttons along the way.

The heat is on!

gatorade is not an optionSummertime is just around the corner, and it’s important to keep hydrated, especially if you sweat a lot. Sweat is the body’s internal air conditioning, keeping you cool from the inside out. But with sweat comes a loss of electrolytes (i.e. sodium, potassium, and chloride = sweaty salty skin) and water.

Instead of reaching for your sports drink* (which often has awful artificial food dyes and colourings), try this natural sports drink recipe below (organic optional, of course) to keep your boost on, maintaining a hydrated, healthy and happy body.

500 ml water or coconut water (coconut water is nature’s sports drink)
Juice of 1 organic lemon
Juice of 1 organic lime
4-5 tbsp of organic maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt

Blend all these ingredients and enjoy!

* The main benefit sports drinks provide is hydration, which is why water is their most important component. Dehydration both decreases performance and is potentially life-threatening. Regular water intake is essential during exercise.

And here’s a recipe for an inexpensive protein drink — not for the lactose or dairy intolerant

To 2 scoops of skimmed milk powder, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 apple. Blend and enjoy!

Fragrance and body care products

deadly artificial fragrancesHaving just completed an aromatherapy course, I am very interested to learn about scent in the products I buy, whether it be natural or artificial (and to be honest, I am making most of my own face and body care products now with the base ingredients being as pure, natural and organic as possible). How often do we stop to think about the tantalizing smell in our air fresheners, body care products, cleaning products? More often than not, scents in our environment are chemicals.

Did you know that the cosmetics industry can put any chemical into a product’s “fragrance” without showing it on the ingredients list?!! Enviroblog, a blog focussing on the environmental connections to public health, states that:

A major loophole in FDA’s federal law lets manufacturers of products like shampoo, lotion, and body wash include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name “fragrance” without actually listing the chemical.

This however, is just the tip of the iceburg! Check out the Dr Bronner website to read about the lawsuit that they have “against Major ‘Organic’ Cheater Brands: offending Companies claim “Organic” or “Organics” on their labels, when in fact the main cleansing ingredients are based on conventional agricultural and/or petrochemical material”. I was quite surprised at the list of offenders, named as: Estee Lauder, Stella McCartney’s CARE, Ecocert and OASIS, Jason, Avalon, Nature’s Gate, Kiss My Face, Juice, Giovanni, Head, Desert Essence, and Ikove.