Reflections on Resilience

a year of harmonic thinking

This time of year is naturally reflective for many of us.   Our minds stroll through the aisles of the past and the shelves of the future lingering at points to notice particular items. These may be dusty experiences to let go of. Or gratitude when recognizing ones that warmed and bolstered us. Or maybe experiences that inspired us to level up in terms of challenging ourselves going forward.   This is also the time of year when marketers prey on our deep and long-held insecurities of not being good enough and they promise us great return on our investment ...
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reading the body

  I adore secondhand bookstores.  And libraries. In fact, anywhere that books recline and bide their time until someone picks them up, thumbs through their pages and checks them out.    I used to think it was just my imagination that my body felt distinctly different in those spaces. Surrounded by wall-to-wall books, the whispers of other quiet explorer-readers and the unhurried time to wander, my body settles naturally. My jaw relaxes. The muscles around my eyes get soft. My core unclenches and my exhale is long and refreshing.     On the other hand, when I’m in spaces that ...
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tickled pink

R: You know how purple is your favourite colour? Me:  Yup. R: And you know I’ve been looking for a secondhand canoe for a long time? Me: Sure.   R:  Well I just found us a purple canoe! Me: (me looking at the canoe tied to the top of the car) That’s not purple. R:  Yes, it is! Me:  Not purple. R:  It’s purple like your shirt. Me:  My shirt is grey. The canoe is pink.  Petal pink. R:  I still think it’s purple. Me:  It's not purple.     For the most part, I’ve always been a serious person. I ...
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when hibernation ends

  I’ve grown accustomed to this semi-reclusive pandemic life. With my wild woman hair, dubious hygiene routine and the sweet, sweet pace of slow solitude. Alas, this deepening appreciation for the road less rushed is happening just as things are set to open up in my area. The return of the real world is coming whether I’m ready or not.   There’s a kernel of resistance to the impending re-entry deep in my gut. It may be a concern that the change may bring back to the unhealthy parts of the status quo.     Can I hold onto the ...
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Ground and Notice

  When you read this, your imagination may go into hyperdrive. You may imagine a mystical being floating through my gardens at dawn like a backyard Gandalf who converses telekinetically with the maples and the marigolds. Or you may see a more grounded, earthly being like Wendell Berry, a poet deeply connected to the land by working on it and writing from that deep connection.   Either way, you’d be dead wrong.   Instead, imagine the real me. With the most spectacular bedhead. Eyes still crusty with sleep. Dressed in last night’s wrinkled clothes pulled from the chair beside the ...
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quiet – good when you can find it

  It was a noisy weekend.  It featured a chainsaw for a backyard tree-pruning session, the use of an electric planer that rivals a dentist's drill for shrillness, and four days and nights of random neighbourhood fireworks.  In need of quiet, I was thoroughly enjoying our early morning bike ride where the loudest sounds were the slight breeze, the honking of the park geese, and the bells of a midtown church calling worshippers to wakefulness.   On this day, part of the multi-use path was blocked off for repairs.  The strollers, cyclists and the glassy-eyed Sunday morning wanderers wearing Saturday’s ...
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Yes, broken!

  Q: Hey, how are you? A: Okay. Q: Just okay? A: Yes.     Have you had this conversation or one similar to this with anyone in the past year?  Maybe you’ve felt broken and said so out loud.  And maybe in response, someone has said something like:   “You’re not broken. With hard work, a positive attitude and setting an intention to become whole, you can transform your cracks and fractures into something beautiful.”   Can we stop making it sound as if brokenness is a tiny puddle one can easily step over in order to start on the ...
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puzzling

  I love puzzles.  Crossword Jigsaw Lateral thinking Crime dramas (especially something from BBC) that can be on the darker side but with a minimal amount of gore and gratuitous violence Noticing my behaviour and the behaviour of others to solve the puzzle of ‘why"   Because I've been told that I leave no stone unturned in my attempt to solve life’s puzzles, it seems to suggest that my puzzling borders on obsession and less on casual interest.   Recently, while watching the surprisingly diverse wildlife embracing spring in our city backyard, my partner made an observation.  He noticed that ...
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grit and bear it

  On the first day of Grade 8, the homeroom teacher, Mr. Couch asked us to write a letter to ourselves that would be sealed in an envelope and returned to us on the last day of school.    The social and sensory overwhelm of school often took its toll on me so I was thrilled at the prospect of such a solitary and thoughtful task.  I loved the time given for silent reflection and the earnestness I had, that was not so popular in grade school, was free to be expressed in those moments with pen, paper and a ...
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have you tried pipe cleaners?

“You look like you’re on a mission”. Out of breath and not really in the mood to chat, I reluctantly slowed down, stopping about 10 feet away from the person who called out to me. I replied that I was walking at a good pace to burn off some nervous energy on a brisk January day after spending the morning unsuccessfully trying to avoid the weight of world news that left me with a buzzing mind and a clenched body. “Have you tried pipe cleaners?” I had to admit that I hadn’t. “Pipe cleaners?” I asked. Apparently pipe cleaners can ...
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