patience please

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My personal space was Crown land

I’ve been told all of my youth to relax and chill out; don’t let the actions of others stress you out. I’ve avoided conflict and confrontation as much as I possibly could. It became a quest.  I became an artist, and alternative health practitioner because of this I believe.

I remember in a college class auction saving  all my chips to buy Inner Peace, while my classmates were bidding on imaginary sport cars, houses and millions of dollars.  I had it all figured out – if you had inner peace then who needed all the other stuff.  Two things to note here – “INNER” and all the other stuff.  I figured a sure and steady route would be to maintain an air of peace outwardly and work on the inside until they met in the middle. I’m sure you can guess how that has turned out.  First off the world doesn’t care how peaceful you are – it wants your money and your subservience.
Somewhere along the line that “Inner” thing becomes an issue to others on the outside.

One side of that is that your outward peaceful is counted as indifference to others. Most people are unfamiliar with inner peace you see. This may in fact piss them off more than inspire them to calm down.  The other side  is people may be doing loads to wreck that peace because all they see is your placid face not freaking out.  This signals them that you’re okay with everything happening to and around you. Try maintaining that  inner peace then!

What happens is that you keep all that resentment and your truths inside then they come rushing out when there’s no more room and you can’t take it anymore.  That is greeted by surprise from those who pissed you off in first place with “Why are you sooo aggressive?”  The answer in my head of course is – I’m not. I didn’t shout. I simply wanted to be heard. I got heard alright, but still not sure I got understood.

A very good friend of mine heard me, and respects me enough to tell me what she sees; apparently I lack some boundaries.  I’m guessing my acceptance of people and their foibles indicates to the world exactly where my boundaries lie…. I live on Crown Land – everyone is allowed in as long as they don’t poach the wildlife.   But even Crown land comes with signs stating the rules.  I love my friend, she has given me a clue. I need to make some signs!!!

We live in a world where kindness has become equated with weakness.  We are reduced to less than strong if we choose not to fight or quarrel over what in essence are small issues. We may choose to lead by example; by being able to adapt to the shifting emotions of others with a level response hoping that our outward cool and acceptance will foster reciprocal action.  The problems occur when a society is deeply entrenched in me first philosophy. Somewhere along the line we translated personal freedom and empowerment into entitlement take what you want, look out for yourself and let everyone else figure it out. we’re constantly given the message that we’re entitled to the whole enchilada. We’ve transmuted inner health into outer bravado. Respect no longer begets respect. Might makes right wrong.

While my “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you”  is noble in thought, it is unsuccessful in application in my current incarnation. I am learning how to paint my signs with color, light and indelible ink. I’m still wary of conflict and not too down with confrontation so I’m going to use my “healer” skills for preventative medicine (the most effective kind) instead. My first patient is me.

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could be a pussy cat or a tiger…

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delicious!

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private memories spark secret smiles

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gold medals require training

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Sprinkle that sh*t on everything

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Forgiveness Cometh…Tales from BrandiLand

Some blogs come. Sometimes I wake up with them already written in my head. There is an easy satisfaction with giving these stories away having sheltered them for so long in my own mind. But sometimes they get torn out of me, like I’m painfully giving birth to them. I always eagerly await the other side of these blogs. The sweet sorrow flooding with relief for having somewhere else to put them. This is one of those blogs.

People often track their lives like in the bible – “before christ’ and “after christ”. I do that too. Before the divorce and after. I’m surely not the first person who recognizes this fragment in their timeline for this exact reason.  There are plenty of groups, meetings, books and TV shows devoted entirely to this subject. I don’t believe I am any less or more impacted by it than anyone else but from my own eyes, it matters. It changed me. Deeply.

When I first started to imagine writing this blog, I was overwhelmed with how badly I wanted to write about the bad stuff. I’ve erased it about three times because they keep sneaking in, disguised as harmless explanations but really they want recognition. Look what’s been done to me.  Broken hearts always seem to want retribution. I have been seeking refuge from this desire for the better part of three years. I am haunted by the idea of forgiveness. It feels impossible some days to just let by gones be by gones. But I keep rolling Buddha’s words around in my head: Not forgiving is like poisoning yourself and waiting for the other person to die. Dammit Buddha. That is some solid logic.

I want to list for you all the reasons I should not forgive him. I want you to read them and recognize how terribly I suffered. I want someone to write him a strongly worded letter of admonishment. What I do not want is for you to look behind the heavy curtain and investigate my side of it, my contribution to the end. Of course, there is that. And perhaps this sense of denying forgiveness has a lot to do with forgiving myself. For my sins during the relationship, and there was many, and the way I short circuited my grief of rejection to include every living being on the planet so as to save myself from getting hurt again. Of course, this required  me to in turn reject people who loved me in the process. Oh what a tangled web we weave…

But here’s my first best go at it. I have spent most of this day trying to remember the good things about him, the things that made me fall in love with him in the first place since you cannot grieve what you don’t love.  I will admit, I have tantrumed several times as the lovely memories got mixed up with the hard ones. I can hear myself thinking “what the …” in response to some of his incredible kindness to me in the beginning. I still feel tricked. I have to stuff the idea down that he did some of those things intentionally to hide a whole bunch of other things. I’ll never know. I can only tell you what I remember and how it made me feel then. And in handling them all day, I have found some genuine space for them separate from the rest of it. It’s not quite forgiveness all the way, it’s demi-forgiveness. And it’s all I have today.

I feel compelled to tell you about the time he carried me through a lake to a floating dock in the middle of the night and we lied on our backs talking to each other and the stars. It was one of our first dates. I remember thinking right then, “I could love this man”.

His friends were the originators of BrandiLand..saying he was lost in it. We talked on the phone for hours. I couldn’t even tell you about what, but it was endless. One time he even talked to me almost the entire time while he was at a party and he passed me off to everyone there and said, “Tell this girl how much I like her” and I was regaled with tales from virtual strangers about how impacted he had been by my presence.

I remember the first time he went away to go visit his mom for 2 weeks. It felt like an eternity even though we talked every day. He shared very intimate things about his early life with his family – some sweet things, some disappointments, things he was struggling with being home. Without any forethought, I blurted out, “I want you to come live with me when you come home”. I surprised myself having been a cautious woman for many years. He said he knew I was going to say that for some reason and he was quick to say, “Dear god, yes”. I picked him up from the airport, he looked so handsome in his dress pants and baby blue button down shirt, all wrinkled and buttons askew from the long flight. He smiled at me from way far off as he caught sight of me coming down the escalator. And I stupidly stood and smiled at him. It seemed like an hour before he got to the bottom and we couldn’t get to each other fast enough. It was happening. Our beginning. He asked me to marry him with a baby blue stone because he knows I hate diamonds. Baby blue memories. Baby, baby blues…

I can still see him walking, barefoot, down the middle of our street, while our house burned behind us. I was just standing there watching the fireman struggle with the fire in the roof. I knew the house was going to be lost. I didn’t know one other tangible thing at that moment. I couldn’t grasp onto anything and it felt like I was just floating there. When I turned and saw him, I was utterly entranced by the sight of him, so self-assured, smiling at me with his head cocked to the side and that “Come here baby” look he gave me. He wrapped me up in a blanket and hugged me and said everything was going to be ok. And I believed him.

I have been trying, trying, trying to burn those memories into my mind over the smouldering, putrid aroma of our break up. It is the most insane thing, to love someone and then not know them at all, never see them again, never have the chance to reminisce of these things. It has always felt like the right way to break up was to have a moment where we shared those things that we would remember, those things that made a difference and say “Thank You” for all the good that came. People think I’m crazy when I say that but I’ve done it. And I picture all the people I’ve ever met who had terrible, bitter separations and how different it would look if it was mandatory on the way out to say a few nice things you’ll remember.

But something funny happens to people when they get caught in the face of their bad decisions. There is no last few nice memories to share. It is just  a heart tearing open trying to stem the blood with paltry excuses and denial. And you are left sputtering and gasping for air, viciously clawing your way out, trying to save yourself.

There is someone back in my life who has been graciously sharing his love stories with me, assuring me that love does come despite my cynical and protective denial of this for the last 3 years. I am so grateful for this light at the end of the tunnel, the signalling of a certainty that it exists.  I am trying to find a way back to love by practising with the ones I already love. By being mindful of myself in close contact with others. By being mindful of the times we hurt each other and rally back any ways. There are examples of it all around me.  Relationships I have nurtured and nourished for years that prove my theory wrong…Fairy tales are NOT just for suckas. Given a look into my life, you would be astonished at the calibre of women who have stood by me and raised me from the dead when I had all but given up. It’s not the same thing, humbly I accept that having someone love you as their partner, as their muse is different than your lady friends but it doesn’t overshadow it. On paper, my love life is a disaster but in the bigger picture, it is extraordinary. And if I died tomorrow, no one could say I wasn’t completely wrapped in some serious love. And save for the empty space left by him, I would never have realized by comparison how full the rest of my life really is. That is the way life works, it is in the absence that we appreciate what is present. A gift if you will, when you’re ready to open it.

 

 

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http://www.brandiland.net

knock knock

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Right there under your nose

To be totally honest, we’ve been put through our paces in the past three months.  collectively we’ve experienced illnesses, break ups,  some financial woes, the passing of a beloved family member and a sudden plethora of puppies! Throughout all the trials we have remained (mostly) positive, supportive and creative in tackling all the hurdles so far. we are a team, and now family.

Every once in while the Universe surprises us with an unexpected bonus. I think of it as incentive to keep on going; a sneak peek of of what zero stress feels like. Yesterday was one of those days. We had an unexpected and thoroughly soul recharging experience. I hooked up with a friend of mine who has studied yoga all over the world last week, and he offered to give us a class a few days later.  A couple of us decided during our early morning meeting to go for a walk and scout out a place near the river to have our session. As luck would have it we found the perfect spot on a sandbar.  We were so thrilled with our discover that we kept on walking the beach for another hour and a half.

Here’s Kim looking for a heart stones, camera in hand (her third hand)…

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Found one!

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After lunch we all gathered and walked back to beach.  Yeah that’s right a beach in Alberta! The weather was perfect; 25 degrees and breeze blowing off the river.

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Here’s a shot of our Yoga teacher, Brian Dickson. He is a most talented man.  I saw his aura that day, it was blue and ringed with gold…

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Kim did most of class then snuck around us snapping pics.

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We’ve all been dreaming of clear blue skies, and turquoise Caribbean seas.
We had been wondering about yoga by sea and the sound of the waves under a hot tropical sun.
We found all those things in my own backyard, on a whim and a chance circumstance!  It is those moments that keep us going.
They are the moments in between our thoughts that our Yogi puts emphasis on during meditation.

When I give it more thought I think that it was more than a carrot to keep us on track .
It was a message to all of us that often what we dream of is right under our noses.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

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