One Breath at a Time

It’s been a crazy past few weeks, trying to keep grounded and keep the dream, the vision in sight! Two weeks from today, we’ll be firmly seated in Vancouver at the Yoga Conference, with the move behind us, and all our belongings tucked away in a Calgary storage facility, waiting patiently for us to return and begin our journey back to Ontario.

Between then and now seems a lifetime away :). So much to do! Where to start? What priorities are on the top of my to do list? Breathing might be a good place to start from. Slowly, with purpose and focus. Moment by moment. Where’s my husband when I need him? I could use some yogaFLIGHT right about now :).

Gratitude

It’s Saturday evening and I’m just about to sign off the computer. Oh the luxury of having non-stop power, running water, free-flowing internet and all the conveniences of home. Bearing this in mind, I can’t help but think, as we move through this transition phase from a stable grounded comfortable convenient home in Calgary to life on the road in our Airstream, what the repercussions will be on my / our spirits, as we gain our wings and let everything go. Unattached and free. Open to the universe and the path that opens its arms to our journey of healing and adventure. A totally new concept for the past 3 years. Time to shift modes and grow into a new sense of self, a recreation of uS and our marriage. We’ve done it before, shape-shifted into a new skin. For example, the coming of age into the form of yoga instructors, me as a budding aromatherapist and re-birthed skydiver. 8 years together, and we’ve learned to adapt and mould into what we foresee as a life partner. We mirror those that we love and respect. I’ve become a much more dynamic, open and loving partner because of my husband. I have become what I would like to have in my own life. To this extent, I’m so excited bout the journey that lay ahead for uS. Truly blessed and grateful. Gratitude. Extremely powerful and life-changing. Thank you slaDE~ for shining your example upon me and exemplifying the truth behind my innermost star.eye of the sunflower

Words to live by

The verse below expresses such beautiful words of wisdom. A truly wonderful reminder that life is to be lived fully, with joy and with gratitude, each and every moment, breath by breath, thought by thought, action by action.

Oh how blessed we are to be thriving and alive in this world!

Kick it, love it, live it.

There are four things that you cannot recover in life:

(1) The Stone ………. after it’s thrown,

(2) The Word ………. after it’s said,

(3) The Occasion ………. after it’s missed, and

(4) The Time ………. after it’s gone.

45 Valuable Life Lessons

Blooming life joy in the vision of a sunflowerWritten by Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

1.       Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2.       When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3.       Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
4.       Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends and parents will.  Stay in touch.
5.       Pay off your credit cards every month.
6.       You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.
7.       Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8.       It’s OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.
9.       Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.
10.     When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11.     Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12.     It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13.     Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14.     If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15.     Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16.     Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.
17.     Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18.     Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19.     It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20.     When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21.     Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.   Don’t save it for a special occasion, today is special..
22.     Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.     Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24.     The most important sex organ is the brain.
25.     No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26.     Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27.     Always choose life.
28.     Forgive everyone everything.
29.     What other people think of you is none of your business.
30.     Time heals almost everything.  Give time.
31.     However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
32.     Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
33.     Believe in miracles.
34.     God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35.     Don’t audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.
36.     Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37.     Your children get only one childhood.
38.     All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39.     Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40.     If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41.     Envy is a waste of time.. You already have all you need.
42.     The best is yet to come.
43.     No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44.     Yield.
45.     Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Michael Jackson, in his own words, thoughts on Immortality

On September 25, 2007, legendary artist Michael Jackson had his last major public interview with, then editor of Ebony magazine, Bryan Monroe. What made this interview fantastic for me was MJ’s pure openness about his music. To me, that was what Michael was all about. A pure genius at what he did best. In truth, a King indeed. This audio section on immortality foreshadowed the irony of Michael’s words. Forever he will truly be alive with the pop music and dance moves that MJ left behind. In essence and soul, a luminary pioneer and superstar of his times. A Musical Icon, an American Legend, a Humanitarian.

Words of healing and restoration are what his fans need right now. For the record, Michael Jackson was more, so much more, than tabloid headlines. I forever honour you Michael.

Bob Geldof epitomized it best “When Michael Jackson sings, it is with the voice of angels, and when his feet move, you can see God dancing.”

PS If the audio can’t be heard, click here for the audio or here to read the text of the whole interview.

Memories of the great King

Michael Jackson: the King himselfMichael Jackson …. a huge influence on my beloved music style, growing up. Oh how I thrilled to dance along with his awesome music videos. I had all of his early vinyl records (wonder where they are now?) and often plastered my bedroom walls with his handsome rockstar King smile (always with a twinkle in his eye, like the glimmer of Tinkerbell’s magical dreams). He was an idol of mine growing up, indeed. This utmost respect andadmiration continued on into my adult years. To a time when my innocence and naivety waned, yet belief of all that is good existed and remained. When the days of judgement bore down on Michael, accusations of child molestation, I truly was a disbeliever. Acquitted on all 10 counts filed against him, I celebrated in his purity and innocent child-like wonder. He mirrored such raw huge talent, but reflected back a boy-like wonder that never left him.

Today I watched and cried as the world mourned and memorialized MJ at the Staples Theatre in LA. A most befitting tribute to a King. THE King. It was strange to simultaneously witness the live CNN streaming of Facebook profile updates that either glorified or vilified this man so dear to my heart. I couldn’t understand why some people chose to disrespect this man, his family and friends during a time when millions paid their last respects? Can you imagine that happening, say at a funeral of your dear friend or sibling? Incredibly sad and disrespectful are words that come to mind. I say this in light of having lost my own brother, and recalling the pain of loss and finality. So easy to judge. As Michael would say, why not look at the man in the mirror.

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

With the title of ‘King of Pop’ comes the pitfalls and serious problems which blur reality and fiction. It’s a crazy world we live in where there are more people focussed on the likes of ‘Kate & Jon’, etc. than the ailing weaping wounds found elsewhere in our world in … Iraq / Iran / Afghanistan / Darfur / Poverty / War (the lists are unending) You name it, we look for releases / avenues of escapism from the woes which are untouchable from afar (human suffering around the world) but wreak havoc on our emotions if we let it. We look to the likes of Celebrity as a means of idolization. But, for me, in my adoration of MJ, I looked at his incredible talent which he gifted to the world, my world. I only have to listen to ‘Rock With You’ or ‘Remember the Time’ or even ‘Thriller’ to take me to a happy place and a time in my history when his music had a huge emotional impact on my being and my childhood. His craft and musicianship left me often speechless. And that had nothing to do with hearing about who and what and when he did whatever. His music was powerful. And I loved him, for all that he was, in light of his humanity and imperfections. Beyond that, I look to the contributions he made … countless charities; children’s organizations; world hunger; musical genres stretched and musical milestones achieved (beyond anyone’s imagination); and, above all, MJ inspired those around him to dream of potential in a world where minorities are often crucified for their skin colour / beliefs / actions / innocence. Michael stretched the boundaries of public opinion and personal change (to the consternation of many). He however repeatedly dusted himself off after being knocked down. He may have stepped back into hiding in his darkest hours, but rebound he did.

His latest impending comeback was especially exciting for me. I seriously contemplated buying tickets to his concerts being held in the UK at the O2. In fact, had MJ lived, today would have been his first comeback concert, July 7. Tragic and heartbreaking indeed. He was one performer I would have spent thousands to witness live in concert. Gone too soon indeed. Not just for me or for his billions of fans. But for the 3 children he left behind. I can’t imagine losing a Father, especially at such a young age.

I honour you Michael for your life here on this earth. Thank you for your music, your innocence and contributions. MJ will surely have met his maker and judge on June 25, 2009. Bless his soul. May he rest in peace.

May all those that have passed before us rest in peace, free from the suffering and burdens placed upon us as we live from breath to breath, moment to moment. Blessings to all.
Amen.

Earth-friendly tips for using your orange / lemon peels!

the orange peel guyI know, it has been AGES since I’ve posted. Life has just been to crazy busy to keep uP. So here’s some tips I found really enviro-green and interesting (as slaDE and I go through so many citrus items each week!).

Have you ever had a bunch of lemons or oranges going soft, but instead of pitching, you’ve wanted to maximize the life and use of them? Try squeezing the juice out of them, freeze it in one-cup containers to use whenever you need a cup of lemon juice for cooking. Waste not, want not!. When it comes to the peels, we traditionally have composted everything of organic matter for the past 2.5 years at the local community garden compost bin. However, in the near future, we’ll be ‘unable’ to compost such matter (living on the road). Ever the seeker, I wanted to research the possibilities of reusing, reducing, recycling. As a beginning tip, I found these t0 tips to stretch the most out of our citrus peels!

10 Easy Ways to Use Orange Peels
For Food

1. Make orange zest (preferably from organic fruit). Grate the peel with a hand grater or zester and use it in baking or cooking like my amazing pumpernickel bread.

2. Soften a brick of brown sugar. Put a piece of orange peel in a container of brown sugar to keep it from drying out.

3. Make candied orange peels . Yum!

4. Make orange liquor. Seal a container filled with orange peels and vodka and put it in a dark place. A few weeks later, strain out the orange peels, and have orange infused vodka. Double Yum!

For Cleaning

5. Destink your sink. Run orange peels through the garbage disposal to freshen up a stinky garbage disposal. Add a few ice cubes and you’ll sharpen the disposal blades too.

6. Rid a room of odor. Simmer orange peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in pot of water on the stove to freshen the air naturally. For safety’s sake, keep an eye on that pot and do not leave it boiling unattended on the stove.

7. Scrub a sink. Use a fresh orange peel to scrub through the gunk in your sink. The natural oils in orange peel are an excellent cleaner and shine your sink too.

For Pest Control

8. Scat cat! Scatter orange peels in your garden to deter cats from using it as a litter box. Cats hate the smell of orange oil and will do their business elsewhere.

9. As bug repellent. The oils in orange peels are also a natural insect repellent. Puree orange peels and water in a blender, and pour the solution down anthills to kill ants or pour/spray it outside the house to keep ants from coming into your home. Some folks rub a fresh orange peel on their skin and use it as a natural mosquito repellent too.

For Fire

10. Light your fire. Use dried orange peels instead of newspaper to start a fire. Orange oil is flammable and lights easily which makes it an excellent fire starter. Burning orange peels in your wood burning fireplace is supposed to remove any creosote that’s inside your chimney too. Just use caution because you are playing with fire in this tip.

How do you use orange peels?

PS One of slaDE~s hidden talents is his ability to always peel the shape of an ‘S’ out of his orange peels. It’s quite sweet and romantic actually :).

Gout & Cross Country Adventures

Within a months time span, slaDE and I have been blessed twice with the company of my Father w/hen he made a cross-country truck trip from home — Ontario. On Dad’s first visit, I was very tempted to travel back home with him. I’m feeling a bit homesick and weary of the Calgary winter, longing for a much-needed vacation. Florida was our last spontaneous trek of any length, and prior to that, our Level 3 Yoga teacher training in Abbotsford. Before that a blur of travel and momentous occasions (i.e. our wedding, Nelson yoga retreat, Lost Prairie, etc). Experiencing a whirlwind summer and then living through a quiet snowy haze has left me wanting and longing for more. I dream and yearn for the day when we can set foot in our Airstream and travel at our whims delight! Never in my life have I ever been so busy with such a full-on schedule. Adjusting to a full-time job after contracting for 7 luxurious years was quite difficult and extremely challenging. but 2 years into it, I’m enjoying my life and the community of friends and yoga I’ve built at work. But holy smokes, teaching 4-6 classes on top of full-on employment has left me feeling rather drained and looking for a retreat of any kind. And that opportunity came when Dad ran solo this trip out to Calgary. Spontaneous travel is my forte, so I decided that now was an opportune time to head back home on a quick visit. It’s been ages since I’ve run a long trip with my Father. Unfortunately slaDE~ has less freedom in taking a vacation, so this trip is a solo journey for me, for uS. However, I am truly happy to spend this quality time with Dad. Little did I know how eventful and meaningful it would be!

When Dad arrived in Calgary Sunday morning, he was suffering immensely with a swollen inflamed ankle and a gout-riddled right foot (of course that would happen to be the foot he has to use the most when driving — poor Dad; driving an 18 wheeler and suffering such pain is not a pleasant or meaningful way to live through one’s days). In the afternoon, we spent some quality educational time with my herbologist friend Ray, who provided a consult with my Dad on trying to help cure his gout naturally. Although we intrinsically believe in healing without the use of pharmaceutical drugs, when immediate relief is needed and a short-term solution has to be guaranteed, sometimes medicine is the only way to go, unfortunately. An eventful evening was spent dodging between hospitals for the quickest possible way to see a Doctor for my Dad’s serious gout inflammation. With the hospitals behind us, we dropped Dad off at his truck and went home to spend a lovely evening together before my journey adventures.

I was up until about 3am packing, cooking and tidying up. The night before any big trip is usually rather hectic. Although I’m not a big time procrastinator, I find that things on my to-do list scramble for individual attention, like needy children yelling “me first, me first!”. And being a good ‘mother’, I have a hard time favoring one task over another. Hence prioritizing objects is not my strength nor forte. Especially knowing that I’d be getting up in 2.5 hours. BlaH!

Sleeping solidly and soundly (but never enough with only 2+ hrs to my name), the alarm clock bolted me out of bed so that I could get slaDE off to his work for 6am, shuttling the car to my workplace, only to arrive 2 hours early. Double blaH! Luckily I had things to do, ‘gripping’ enough to keep me wakeful through the morning.

Life in uncertain economic times. What to do next?!

Can you believe it (I certainly can’t)? We’re seriously thinking about buying a house. Some sort of property to give us equity in economic times when investing in anything other than land and oneself seems to provide uncertainty and a bit of anxiety, considering the amount of $$ lost by many in the stock market. We look pretty decent on paper right now, and before hitting the road in our Airstream, it might be a wise idea to look into mortgages before we give up the 8-4:30 job routine and become travelling hippies :). But what exactly does this credit crunch look like? I’ve read many articles and listened to even more podcasts on the whole demise of our current economic situation (which reportedly is now in an upswing!?). But sometimes, just seeing the whole thing in simple layman’s stick-figure terms can prove to be more enlightening and revealing than any other ‘propaganda’ out there. So here I offer you this video, as a way to learn and decipher the muck many are wallowing in.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Crisis of Credit

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