April 2014 – Cultivating Joy, Dreams & Learning Lessons from Others

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My word for this year is presence… being present in what I do. LOVE this pic of landing in Victoria. Amazingly after only being in the North for 5 years, I have already forgotten that other parts of the world are not under a blanket of snow this time of year. I loved getting away for both the energy shift, but also to remind myself to be present.

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This picture was taken just outside my beautiful hotel. Love the detail, the color and how it wasn’t the center piece (just one of many rings around the many trees in front of the hotel) but how it still mattered. Often times I catch myself thinking I must lead in order to make a difference, but I think supportive roles and being the background (or the ring around a tree) is just as important to the beauty of the bigger picture of life. Perfect reminder for my first trip to the Women’s Council.

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Pitter patter of excitement when I saw the parliament. Fear…but it was the excitement kind of fear.  Amazing to meet such incredibly talented yet humble women. Mary-Anne’s words “they are just humans” really helped bring my energy level from freak out to breathe!

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Felt quite a pull to politics for the first time as a tool to make a difference (don’t worry, that passes by the end of month… will share more next month!).

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LOVE this pic! Mack presented to his class his “talent”. SO SO SO proud of him and his courage (at 6years old) to present this to his class. His talent is rock climbing (he’s wearing his harness and chalk bag etc).

The more I am a mother and the older I get, the more I realize the importance of having things we are passionate about. Not because we will do them for the rest of our lives… but because it is important to cultivate that JOY for something. Hopefully he will climb for a while, but either way… it is magical to see my shy little boy open up like a flower when he talks about something he loves to do. #proudmama #lovehisschool

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My dream class started!

There are absolutely no accidents in life. I am very grateful that I said YES to teaching this. It brought me back to this blog… but also to being very conscious of the life I am living. As I turn 40 the next month, this is the perfect year to be hyper conscious of my dreams, goals and stories. I love how I need to re take the course as I am teaching it. We SO teach what we most need to learn. Gratitude for the students that said yes, and that are there to hold the energy of what I send out to the Universe.

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Another example of PURE JOY!

I have learned SO MUCH from being a mother about myself.

Funny how when I say, “time to practice piano”… Reese always tries to make an excuse… I stay quiet and continue on with what I am doing… then she grabs her stuff, drags herself to her piano and plays. Then as she gets better, I no longer have to tell her to play… she gets up early and plays by herself.

This happens until she gets a new song/challenge… and the cycle repeats itself.

I see so much of the beauty of life the same way… We are excited about the concept/idea (she chose piano!), things get hard after the shine wears off at first (we whine a bit), even if you want to do them. They also take practice (lots of it) and we have to go through the yucky bits that don’t sound or feel good, but if we can stick to it, when we get good at it, we love it and we feel such a sense of accomplishment. I can feel how proud of herself she is when she can play with both hands…and she knows it sounds good too. Having those mini successes are so important throughout our lives. She celebrated with a sticker… me, a glass of wine! 🙂

My two year old guru is still teaching me at 5!

This biking photo above is her biking at the pump track. She was freaking out about not wanting to try the ramp at first…then after watching other kids and her brother do it a few times she tried it and LOVED it. Pure Joy!

This month has been a huge one for learning lessons from others. We have had so many friends and stories within our community that have been great teachers for us. Being conscious of the lessons is very important. Here are some of them:

Our amazing photographer had a premie baby and is going through a hard time right now. Her experience made Mick and I think about the time that Reese was in the hospital when she was 2 months old for RSV… different than Nicole’s story, but with very similar elements.

SO LONG ago now that I actually barely remember the details… but I remember the fear, the worry and the “how are we going to move past this feeling” or why is this happening… but we did! I know Nicole is probably having a hard time emotionally and spiritually too…but it really is true that hindsight is 20/20. This too shall pass and as you go through it, you will pick up the lessons you need for your next journey.

The way those hard times strengthened us as a couple, slowed us down to be in the moment with our kids (still remember for 30 days both kids were on ventilators and steroids nightly… but we held them and sang to them), to be grateful for the little things and the big things… And amazingly we made it through.

Another story that hit home hard was a big apartment fire in our city. At first I thought, “Oh that is sad, hope everyone is ok”… until one of our kids’ daycare worker facebooked her list and said that one of the families effected was from the daycare. The family had just moved to PG 2 weeks prior from Toronto and didn’t have their home insurance set up yet. They also had an infant and a toddler. Even typing it right now gets me all choked up… because that was us not long ago. We moved here 5 years ago, so lost, alone and this city rose up to embrace us.

Small gestures that are reasons we still live here now… We had the YMCA bring us into their family.. literally.. me crying hoping we could get into the only daycare (after visiting SO MANY!) we wanted our kids in… they said yes! We had a doctor (in a city and province that everyone said you can’t get your own family doctor) saying to us, “your family can join our practice”. To a group of business moms saying we will join your group that you are starting and helping me develop a support circle here in a new city. And then to mentors that came out of no where, offering to help me in my career in exchange for absolutely nothing… just for the joy of watching another person grow, develop, step into her fears, fall a few times, but get back up again stronger. Communities matter.

Anyway… I was brought to tears so many times this month for the gratitude in the orchestration of my life. The life that has given me struggles to strengthen me, but also joy and love to motivate me to hang in there.

As I move into my 4th decade next month, I am so excited to have that deeper trust and hope that I can hold this quote (even in the tough moments): “Life is happening for me, not to me!”

Here is a letter I wrote to the mother that we donated all our stuff to. I love that ultimately no matter how introverted I may feel we are, we are all connected and that we all need each other to shine light when we can’t and to help others when we can.

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