Reflections on Resilience

the first hundred are the hardest

 Thoughts on the first hundred years of my grandmother's life.  She passed at 103. I remember when she was scheduled to celebrate her 101st birthday in 2013.  The collective perception from those who saw her regularly is that she is slowing down somewhat in recent days. Her body was tiring, less resilient to chronic aches and pains, her mind a little foggier and memory not quite so reliable. At less than half her age, that was just a typical Friday night for me! Grandma will likely not be remembered by thousands nor memorialized for an iconic contribution to our nation ...
Read Full Post

taking a break from evolving

If memory serves, I was fourteen years old when I first came upon a dog-eared copy of a Wayne Dyer paperback in a cardboard box of my mother’s books and had my first close encounter with the concept of ‘self-actualization’. I was hooked. Ass-over-tea-kettle in love at first self-development sound byte. So what did it matter that I didn’t truly know what it meant or how following its siren call down the left-foot path of life would impact me from then on? If I’m computing correctly then that means I’ve been walking this personal growth road for literally decades which ...
Read Full Post

the habit of love

Without exception, she consistently, unabashedly expressed her joy daily when seeing me. She listened to my rants and rages without judging. Remained impartial and didn’t give unsolicited advice. With her, there was always a freedom to be my odd, obsessive self. Her stellar level of intuition meant that she most often knew I was sick well before I did. For fifteen years, this fellow introvert and I connected daily. Affectionate greetings. Shared silences. We were each other’s love habit. My friend was not human, much more of the feline persuasion, yet she has been a hard habit to break. She ...
Read Full Post

the sharpest tool

  “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a sharp pencil.” (shamelessly modified Chinese proverb)   Tucked into a corner classroom, far away from the hum of row-upon-row of high school exam-takers in the large auditorium, two dozen other students, with extra time and separate space testing accommodations, are hunched over math exams, graph paper,  unsolved x’s and y’s, calculators, word problems and flecks of eraser residue. The discomfort in the room is palpable. Compulsive glances at the clock, nail-biting, deep sighs and the occasional frustrated forehead dropping down onto a desk in a moment of utter math despair. ...
Read Full Post

the gift of waiting

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. (Joseph Campbell)   Waking up this past week in la belle province was a gift I gave myself in light of several significant losses that were weaved loosely throughout the fabric of my autumn. Although not intended as a way to avoid the discomfort of the stories that often accompany my sadness, the simple of act of choosing a new action despite my learned pattern to become inert with grief was a beneficial choice, for me.     A ...
Read Full Post

sunday hand

  When I was in primary grade school, I had an art teacher who was delightfully adamant about order and process. Before each student was allowed to dip into their genius, their inner Van Gogh, or the three paint pots suspended on the easel, it was imperative that they designate one of their hands as the “Sunday” hand.   The concept of wearing your “Sunday” best would have been widely recognizable to the students at a time when the majority us still attended a place of worship with our parents and would have understood the idea Sunday being a different ...
Read Full Post

how to cure a people hangover

  You know the feeling.   Your head aches, ears buzz with that post-concert-like hum, mouth is cotton-dry from repressing outbursts of irritation and nervous system is set on “If one more person even speaks to me, I’m gonna lose it”.  And when in this state, we promise ourselves that we’re never going to indulge again.  We’ll move to a shack on an island devoid of all other humans to avoid ever having to feel this terrible again.   Forget the shack. I’ve discovered a much more accessible cure for the People Hangover that doesn’t involve perpetual isolation. With practice, ...
Read Full Post

my precious morning routine

  “I am not a morning person. I have to ease into my day slowly. First I have my coffee. Sans eggshells or anything else one tends to pick out of the garbage. Then I have a low fat, high fibre breakfast. Finally I sit down and read a crisp, new newspaper. If I am robbed of the richness of my morning routine, I cannot function. My radio show suffers, and like ripples in a pond, so do the many listeners that rely on my advise, to help them through their troubled lives. I’m sorry if this may sound priggish, but I ...
Read Full Post

3 steps to pacify the panic

As a young student, I quite enjoyed going to school. Despite my social awkwardness (and maybe because of it), I was able to achieve relative academic success especially in tasks that allowed me to work alone. I had never considered myself slow to process information but I do recall that the subject where my comprehension was the lowest and slowest was the one that coincidentally caused the most personal panic. Math! Ugh!   Math seemed much more like a foreign language to me than French ever did and, for some reason, Math had the added element of time pressure.   ...
Read Full Post

pattern interrupted

  We each contain within us a multitude of patterns and unconscious reactions. They’re often thinly disguised in thoughts and phrases such as “I can’t help it, this is who I am”.  Or perhaps they come to light in a moment of “Why do I always do that?” or when we catch ourselves consistently and insistently complaining about a particularly annoying person or event.   But what if a pattern is no longer beneficial and even becomes a hindrance to our growth and prevents us living freely, then what?  What if a pattern is trapping us in our own Groundhog ...
Read Full Post
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.