Letting Go

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Yesterday, my tears flowed freely as I spoke to my currently stubborn 7 year old grandson who changed his mind about going to the pool with his Mom, sister and me. (I was having ‘one of those moments’ that occur as I adjust to arriving back from Australia to the turmoil of finding work and a home.) I’d been elected to stay home with my GSon after his refusal to go. I’d also been looking forward to pool time as my grandchildren are fun little “fishes.” I told him that. I also told him that at age seven trying to take control of an agreed on plan had consequences. He was tearfully told to go to his room until my daughter and grand daughter returned or change into his swim suit. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to handle things but my point is that I showed my feelings. He chose to come, his mood quickly dissipated and we all had a wonderful time.

Some times I wonder if this “me” in human form isn’t trying to take control of the plan agreed on with Higher Self before arriving on this Earth. I start creating havoc in my life (and others’) if my resistance to that plan is allowed to build. Of course it’s usually built around not being patient enough for doors to appear that I can walk through. Some doors don’t arrive quick enough to ward off the fear that precedes them! Like this month. I’m in need of an enjoyable source of income and a ‘cute’ place to live. I know that I can most likely apply to the company I previously worked for but my heart longs for something else. Does knowing that I’m not doing the practical thing bring on the fear? Do I fear that my ‘prayers’ will not be answered and I’ll make a fool of myself? Do I fear that my family and friends will pass a negative judgement on my waiting process? Is it fair to live in someone else’s space while I wait? These are my fears, my current places of resistance. If I rush about, forcing the process, I open the doors to havoc and depression.

This human me, feels. I cry, sometimes I withdraw for a bit and sometimes I speak a little sharply. I laugh when I am able and I smile a lot. Most of the time I rest in loving others and myself. Feelings do not take control and ungrounded emotions will try to. I am learning to notice the difference. Yes I need the help of others right now to house me but I am blessed enough to wait a while longer for my dreams to manifest. Meanwhile I will give help where needed and let my feelings flow freely within me. I just read this quote from Panache Desai today: As fear arises, just breathe. Be with it because it is serving a purpose. It is leading you into the greatest expression of you.

Does it get any better than that?
p.s. I thought I’d start blogging in an orderly fashion about my trip to Australia. My guess is it doesn’t really matter about order. I’m back and sharing again. My heart is happy with that. The picture was taken on my first night in Canberra, Australia.

 

 

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Loving the Unlovely

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How do I express the profound love I discovered for a lizard during my stay at Eden Atenas? Over and over I have contemplated this question as time slipped by from my special days with Mr. Lizard.

My first encounter was when I was barreling along towards the bottom gate to work in the outdoor raised veggie garden. I was still learning to pay closer attention to my surroundings and he was scrambling down the opening in the pipe at the gate before I saw him. The next day I managed to stop myself when I spotted him and backed quickly up the hill to take his picture. That day I left him to sun himself and returned later to water. Jan thought I was a little crazy. It’s a steep, hot, walk up and down that hill.

They have tiny pink bananas growing on the property that are too seedy for humans. I’d peel one and leave it on top of the metal fence for him. A few days later when I approached, I talked to him and he stayed put. I was thrilled and the treats continued. Then came the day I was able to open the gate while he remained on top.

I talked to him as I passed within a foot of him and my heart flooded with love and respect for this lizard. He stayed out sunning himself while I worked in the garden.  IMG_2388 I’d glance towards him with tears in my eyes. I realized that so many people dislike critters like lizards. That saddened me. I wondered why and whether this dislike carries some sort of fear with it. Maybe some who read this page can explain in the comments.

I confirmed how trusting Mr. L was to me about 20 minutes later. Max, my german shepherd buddy came down the hill. Instantly Mr. L dove down the pipe. Of course I couldn’t be annoyed with Max for coming to check on me but I was sorry to see they couldn’t get along. I’m pretty sure Max and Lily chase the lizards on the property!

This lizard trusted me. Within days I could put the banana directly in front of his nose. I’d stare at him, hoping that some special wisdom was being communicated even if I couldn’t understand it. I prayed that someone would follow in my footsteps who would respect him and also bring him treats.

On my last day the dogs once again had Mr. Lizard ducking for cover. His tail remained sticking out the hole however. Hoping he’d forgive me for crossing ‘boundaries’, I reached out to stroke his tail, leaving a blessing of protection and health in the process.

Please if you find yourself disgusted by lizards and other “unlovely” looking critters, pause and ask yourself why. Maybe give them a chance to talk with you. You might find that loving the unlovely isn’t so bad after all. On behalf of all the Lizard family I’m sure Mr. L thanks you.

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Leaving Costa Rica

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I’m flying high over Texas as I start this. In five hours I’ll be back on B.C. ground after three months in Atenas, Costa Rica. “Have I changed during my time away?” I wonder to myself. I feel different, but maybe that’s because I started out 13 1/2 hours ago and downed a bag of almonds and M & M an hour ago. “I must be changing,” I answer myself. “I ate the chocolate but I didn’t enjoy it; I was wishing I could quit.” (This wish did NOT last.)

As the plane rose in the sky I marvelled at my favourite part of flying – rising above the clouds to look down on them. I remember being almost childlike on my way into Costa Rica as the clouds began looking like big balls of candy floss. Tonight they were scattered and I pondered on how looking at them from above was like my favorite phrase, “Looking at the other side of the coin.” I’ll have to explore that further.

I smiled as I tuned into the conversation of the younger men behind me. They are discussing how much they like Australia. My ears perked up as I’m planning a trip there around the end of February. Of course they talked of hockey and parties so I turned my attention back to writing this. I don’t feel old today, but I do feel disassociated from their discussion. I’m not even sure why I am going to Australia. Why does one follow a teenage dream 45 years after it began? But also, “Why not?” I think what held me back over the years was thinking that I could never afford such a trip. I was also afraid to venture forth!

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I have been grateful today for those who are holding me up in love as I leave behind, Lily and Max, the two german shepherds. I think of my vegetable plants, grown lovingly from seed. They responded so well to my care. I whisper to them to continue to grow and produce in my absence. Of course my heart begs Max and Lily to some how understand that they belong to another and weren’t mine to contemplate staying with. Max understood what my suitcases meant as I left this morning. I can see him staring at me, hurt and confused.  I wonder if he’ll remember that I curled up on his blanket last night beside him for a few minutes in an attempt to say goodbye? The dog trainer in me knows that it isn’t kind to show too much emotion as one leaves so I do so, for my own sake, the night before I go.

Mr. Lizard may, in his own way miss the treats I brought him daily. Maybe Jan will leave him something. She is incredibly busy looking after the place and doesn’t have the connection to critters that I have. Mr. L might be on his own again. I realize my life is about finding MY path, my personal journey — not just supporting the journey of others. I had to move on. The easy choice would have been to stay, even though I was physically working hard every day.

My first plane ride this morning had me seated by a young lady from Germany. She was frantically getting in her last texting before take off. Tears ran from her eyes as they did from mine a couple hours earlier. I patted her on the shoulder and smiled. It turned out that she’d been staying with a family for 4 1/2 months but had to leave. I helped her with her custom’s slip. I wonder whether one day I’ll work with young folk in a way other than care giving. I’d enjoy that.

So this is my flight home. I am sad to be leaving new friends that I made, Sabine and Nico. I spent my last afternoon and evening with them. Sabine put out Christmas napkins and made a tasty pasta dinner for us. I pray that their massage business will take root and grow for them so that they can remain in Costa Rica and not have to return to Germany. They bring love with them to Costa Rica and a dream. I wish them only goodness, that includes their midsize rescue dog, Linda… or Linny as Sabine likes to call her.   IMG_2369

Goodbye Costa Rica my heart whispers. Venus blinks at me through the plane window. She brings me courage to face the many changes ahead. I have been officially homeless for over six months now. My small stack of belongings are probably snowed in at a town I won’t get to this time back to B.C. Full time work at my old caregiving job awaits me until I go to Australia. I play in my mind a little with what I’ll do after that… but honestly, I have no real idea. One step at a time is enough.

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“Triggers: Hurtful or Helpful?”

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Triggers: those little comments or actions by others that reduce me to tears, anger or flight mode. The tears encompass all kinds of feelings. Some times they dump me in a deep pool of quicksand where I sink beneath my resulting self pity. Other times the tears course down my cheeks in a great ‘ahaaa’ moment. Then I receive lovingly from spirit and my life shifts.

There is a growing attitude I’ve observed amongst ‘spiritual beings’ that appears as “feeling proud to trigger another.” I have been watching this closely, both in myself and others. You know the comments such as, “Oh good that I triggered you, now you can heal.” “Really?” my heart whispers back. “Is this loving and kind?”

I canceled my planned move to Ecuador in August a month prior to going. I rerouted to Costa Rica, realizing that in all appearances, this is where I was originally felt my heart calling me to go. Many triggers, within the relationship I was in, helped bring me to this understanding. Triggers that literally sent me to the Emergency ward with symptoms induced by heavy stress. When I slipped and painfully injured my foot on top of this (after another trigger erupted) I got the message! It was time to make some changes.

My ‘partner’ and I had a friendly parting on the day he left. Our conversation went in an interesting direction. “Well maybe it’s a good thing that we triggered each other and helped get ourselves on our proper paths,” he said. My following response (given in love) is what prompted me to share this blog message. I replied, “Maybe next time you’ll discover more loving ways to trigger someone in your life to get back on their own path.”

Recently I shared with a friend, these comments, “When ‘God’ triggers me (often through another) I feel good. Touched deeply, I move towards a needed change.” When a friend triggers me through other means, I react and have to sort through the resulting hurt to make my change. That realization has been perking on my ‘back burner.’

When God (I use this term in an all encompassing capacity of Source) uses our friends to ‘trigger’ us, is “S/He” limited by the degree they have learned to love? Someone, that I considered a friend, recently decided that I might be ‘needy of gratitude’ so decided to withhold even a simple thank you for several months. These are the words I hear within, as I ponder his choice:

“Beware of the pride associated with hurting/triggering a loved one. For I looked within your heart and found no means to deliver my message in a kinder way. It was not because your friend deserved to hurt that she was left feeling so poorly. It was because your heart was not open to receive what would have blessed her to hear. Do not be smug that you felt strongly to withhold your gratitude because she is attached to ‘needing’ in order to feel appreciated. She is well aware of this fact. In your judgement of what you considered her ‘stuckness.’ You, not I, prompted you to withhold gratitude. Spirit would have moved you differently had you been more open. It is in building another up, in pointing out their strengths, not driving them into their weakness that truly brings the greatest release to another.”

It is easy for many of us to notice what another is clinging to from the “old” paradigm of life. I do hurt when I give of myself and someone purposely chooses not to acknowledge the giving. Am I attached to praise? Perhaps a little still. My question is, “Does it help me deal with letting go of this attachment by forcing me to suffer with a “no show of gratitude?” Or does it just create a pathway for guilt to flood in? I am already aware of the attachment. Perhaps love and kindness would find another way if judgement was released from the heart of the one withholding the praise. Trigger me into release, not into joining hands with the attachment.

I once, most likely in jealousy, squatted in front of my mom. I was two years old. She was cuddling my newborn brother on her lap. I looked directly at her and peed on the floor! I grew up with this story of how she rubbed my face in that puddle of urine. She was proud that I never did it again. It also took me most of my life to work past the hurt that buried itself within me. I feel this story summarizes what I’m sharing with you today. There is often a kinder way…

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Winds of Change, Again!

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Ant speaks: Are you sacrificing your own goals and your own dreams for someone else’s?  

Australia: I was 16 years old in a Social Studies’ class when I fell in love with this country. “Finally,” I thought, “A country shaped like a dog’s head; a terrier to be exact.” I went on to daydream about holding a Koala Bear and watching kangaroos hop through their local landscape. From that day on, when someone asked me where I’d like to travel, Australia was the answer. About seven years ago a young friend from Germany,  travelled to Australia. She sent me a post card of herself holding a Koala Bear. This was her gift, in case I never made it there myself. Little did you know that it watered the dream I carried deep inside.

I’ve never traveled outside my country just to treat myself. That may sound like a lie since I am writing this from Costa Rica where I’ve been for over two months. I almost treated myself into coming here originally. But I was too fearful to come alone and had talked myself out of it. Within two weeks of that spoken, “No, I can’t do it,” I met a man who was moving to Ecuador, South America. “I’ve had daydreams of South America,” I thought. I immediately wanted to join him. It was a high risk situation but I sold most of my things, gave up my home and job, buried my Mom and packed for the move.  I was a bit stubborn at first about seeing the large STOP signs along the way but eventually I paid heed to them. This was not my path, but his. I rerouted to Costa Rica.

I arrived September 21st with a return ticket for December 19th. (Costa Rica

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I leaned strongly towards staying longer here. I was quickly rooted in a

routine of working in the green house, preparing outside gardens and

training my friends’ two beautiful German Shepherds. How could I leave?

For several years now I have been paying attention to messages from critters and occasionally from friends. I knew lizard was talking to me as ‘he’ and Gecko started appearing to me more and more. IMG_2203 Lizard: “Follow your own path. I will help you clear the fears and doubts found along the way.”  Gecko chattered to me every night outside my room, “I will help show you how to emerge successfully from the changes occurring within.”

Daily Vultures circled over head. “Fly with us, we will teach you how to bring your unconscious desires into consciousness; soar above your own limitations.”  Dove softly cooed, Tap into your own creative energies.”  The Motmot bird sat staring at me on three occasions, “Do you hear me? I will help you manifest your destiny as you listen to your own intuition.” The Kiskadee, too, would land and look at me, “I can teach you to be brave,” I’d feel him say.

Bat, one night, flew across my path in ‘slow motion.’ My friends didn’t seem to take notice but I have watched bats for years and this one was so slow I could see his full body shape. Listen to the voice of your soul speaking.” 

I asked a girlfriend to tune into receiving a dream about me. That night she shared the following exert from her dream of me: “It is time for you to move from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat.” Another girl friend pulled cards for me, at my request and the ‘past changes’ was mentioned as well as new changes coming up. Bat also lead me to hear from Stag through a friend’s visit from one.

I’d like to expound on that message (written in italics) as it was so confirming to my idea of going to Australia.

(Thank you Amy, I used your picture of Stag from http://herladypinkrose.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/stags-message/)    image200

Stag shared that:

  1. This is an opportunity to release something, to make room for the new. (Is it time to let go of my attachments to ‘my’ veggie garden and Max and Lily?)
  2. It’s time to pay close attention to information that comes through psychically. (I’ve shared a few things above under the Bat comments.)
  3. This is an Invitation for an adventure: I had a sudden invitation to visit Australia from someone last week who I hadn’t chatted with in over a year. I contacted another friend about a blueberry farm he had helped at for two months in 2006. I found out that she looks for help via WOOFers between January and May. I made a list of people, including a cousin who lives in Australia and came up with five names. I phoned my ex boss about some temporary work over Xmas and she said she plans on going to Perth in February and I’m welcome to join her.

There was more from Stag but this paints a clear enough picture. Fears continue to flit in and out ever since I announced my decision. The big challenge will be ‘not to get too comfortable’ back on home ground in Canada. It helps that they’ll be experiencing winter . What gives me the greatest incentive is that this trip is for ME. I hear my ‘teenage me’ sigh, “It’s about time. I thought you’d never care enough to follow through.”

In closing a message from the heart of the German Shepherd breed:

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Pursue your passions fearlessly – no matter where they take you.

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Taking Notice

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 There’s been some talk lately about many of starting to see things that have been right under our eyes all the time. I am hoping that I am one of those people. A few weeks ago someone described how they saw “molecules” in the air around them and how they were able to focus on them. I thought, “I recognize that description. When do I see them?” So I went outside and tried, “Sure enough there were those familiar squiggles in all around me. I always figured it was just something weird going on in my eyes. Well in a way that is true perhaps, but regardless of why, I do see them and have been for years. Why didn’t I ever wonder? Did I somehow see them as so familiar that didn’t bother to question them. It wouldn’t be the first time.

I don’t mind baby steps. I can accept baby steps into greater awareness. Something just stopped me and I may have to test out these two statements in the days ahead. Are they really true?  Perhaps I’ll reword this: I don’t mind a few baby steps while I lay a new foundation. After that, fast forward would be appreciated. What do I see as baby steps? IMG_2001

Let me explain. I’ve been here at Eden Atenas for over seven weeks now. I’ve been overwhelmed with new types of plants and names for them all. I had only two familiar faces in the whole country for  the first few weeks and an unknown language on the street signs and store fronts. I found that I started to really see the difference between plants, in stages. Heck I couldn’t even get my barring on which little garden ‘room’ was where for a while. This week I really started to see that change.

I now know my way around the gardens and notice the individual plants and trees. There’s a banana tree right across from the main entrance. Today I really saw it there. These things are quite normal. What really caught my attention were the frogs and lizards. According to Jan, they’ve been out and about the whole time but I haven’t been seeing them.

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First the cane frog appeared. It’s quite large, so it’s movement easily caught  my attention. Next I started noticing the lizards darting about outside. A little movement and then they’d come into focus. Yesterday was the little lizard I put in the above picture. Now s/he was a treat and let me tip toe up very close to take a picture. Today I walked out the door and saw this IMG_2126 - Version 2little orange headed gecko scurry away. He was enough to pause for a picture.

Molecules, frogs and lizards. Such baby steps forward will soon lead to those wonders that I trust exist even if I haven’t seen them yet. Start preparing, another treasure hunt is underway. This time though, we will simply tune into our awareness and SEE what’s been there all along.

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Trip to Granada, Nicaragua

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I have a ticket to return to Canada on December 19th but might want to remain here longer. That means I have to leave Costa Rica for three days before that date. I really wasn’t ready to travel out of country alone in December so when Jan and Sabine planned their three day trip to Nicaragua I jumped on board.

Nicaragua is a poor country. I know nothing about it except for what I saw on our way from Atenas, Costa Rica to Granada and back. It’s the rainy season so I saw lots of green growth and interesting trees from the bus window. Of course the first thing I really started to notice as we entered Nicaragua was the increase in horses along the road sides. They were tied, with a loose loop around their heads to a stake. I was thrilled. I’ve been really wanting a horse experience.

The homes however became more and more like little shacks in bad repair. I stayed in a tree house in B.C. this year that looks like a dream home in comparison. I saw families sitting outside their homes and something beyond words settled inside of me. This was their life. They probably accepted it.

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We arrived at Casa del Agua after getting charged three times the going taxi rate. A young Australian woman forgot it was check out day and left on a tour with the keys to “our” room so we were quickly shuffled into another room. It hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly and the moldy smell was strong but there was a promise to move upstairs to a brand new room in the morning. The reduction in cost was appreciated.

Our host Gerry, who owns the “motel,” is from Ireland. This was Jan’s fourth stay there so it was like meeting her friend. He was a great host and pointed out the birds overhead and the geckos eating bugs on the walls. He also gave me a couple of left over sections of chocolate bar. I almost planted a big kiss on his lips for that!! One was delicious. The second was the typical chocolate I find here… very chalky and lacking flavor. Thankfully Jan makes me a delicious chocolate treat at Eden so I wasn’t too ‘desperate.’ To tie up the story on Gerry, he also drove us to the bus on Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m.

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One thing fascinated me with so many of the places in Granada. They have open courtyards. At Gerry’s I sat and watched the rain splash in the small pool in the middle of the main floor. Every restaurant has tropical gardens, open to the sky in their centre courts. They must take pride in their gardens because they were all very impressive. Even Gerry is attempting to grow flowers at his place. I think Jan has helped influence this over the past year or so!

Day 2 was my highlight of the trip. I woke up to the chocolate bar in the fridge. We then found a nice restaurant for breakfast. After eating, Jan and Sabine waited while I went for a bathroom run. Little did I know that I’d have my heart stolen in the process. No, not a lovely Nicaraguan man; I met a parrot in a cage outside the bathroom!! He flirted with me, doing loops up and down the side of his cage. I recognized this lovely mode of communication as the same I’d watched from a parrot I met when I was 16! This fellow talked to me, in Spanish. He made special courting sounds and looked deep into my eyes. I knew I had to go but couldn’t leave. Jan finally came looking for me as I was saying a long and sad adios.

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Horses and carts line up in the big square offering tourists rides.  A few horses are in good shape. Most of them are extremely skinny. It’s upsetting but Gerry told me it used to be worse before tourists started refusing rides with the really unkept horses. Some were decorated with gaudy big bows but they thought they were making their carriage and horses beautiful. They did stand out. The horses at cart #26 made the biggest heart connection with me. These two horses started snuffing their nostrils at me. I blew softly back, communicating in ‘horse language.’ I laid my hand on their faces. The one seemed to connect so deeply with me for a moment. My touch felt so appreciated. I never did get a buggy ride. My two companions would have done so but they’re not horse people. I didn’t push it. Somehow loading a cart with three more humans almost seemed mean. At the same time though, we would have helped pay for their hay. It’s a tough call. I did feel a bit saddened that I’d given that young man my word twice that I would be back and never returned. Such is life when others are involved.

I can’t leave out another HUGE highlight. We went shopping for some clothes as I needed shorts badly. In one store a man sang latino love songs in Spanish. After buying something the sales girl saw me dancing a bit in the aisle and encouraged me to dance with the singer! I said, “No,” while everything else about me yelled, “Yes please.” She helped make it happen and there I was, in an open wide doorway to the main market street, swaying in his arms, to the music of a love song. He gazed into my eyes and I gazed back as if I understood every word. I milked every sensation through that long, dreamy song. Who cared about the people looking in from the street? Not I!

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On the streets of Granada there are many endearing and some times very rude street children who beg for money via something they make. Many boys wander around making delightful grasshoppers and flowers from the long reeds of plants. It fascinated me to watch them deftly make the items. Every block we walked we had someone trying to sale us something: They carried big cardboard sheets of sunglasses, duffle bags of beautiful pottery and brightly woven hammocks. We spoke the words, “No Gracias” non stop. Jan knew how to say, “Good luck” and felt they appreciated it.

That evening we ate supper on the street under a big umbrella while it rained. I was served a large plate of fish and rice and immediately decided to save a small portion for one of the street dogs. Although none had approached us yet, they were everywhere. Not even five minutes passed when I looked down to see sitting beside me at the table, a meek, polite dog. She had a sore eye and was sad I think. She just stared at me as if to say, “You called?” I don’t usually feed a dog from the table; I could hear my son’s voice preventing me from feeding a sea gall earlier last summer at a restaurant. That night I happily placed bits of my supper on the pavement. She wouldn’t eat from my hand.

During supper we were serenaded by a three men street band. After supper there was an artist who came by on crutches and recited in perfect, passionate English a beautiful poem. He talked a bit and I watched him later painting, propped up along the sidewalk. Two adorable young girls, selling a tray full of trinkets, gave him some change. I went to talk to him further. He’d lost half a leg to a bullet at some point. He shared how these little girls had very little for themselves yet gave to him. This touched my heart big times.

I spent Day 3 walking around shopping with Sabine. She had a list of things, as prices are much lower in Nicaragua than Costa Rica. The streets are narrow and many store fronts down town are painted in bright pastel colours. Single lanes of traffic drive down the same roads we sauntered along. They have shoe stores everywhere. The market itself was full of them. It was quite an experience, one that I didn’t have my camera with me to capture.

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That evening I found a place to dance that was only a few blocks from our room. Sabine and Jan sat while I danced. They kept bringing us white rum shooters as it was Ladies’ Night. They couldn’t have been very strong or I was dancing really hard because I felt little effect. I do know that it wasn’t my favorite music but I danced my heart out amongst the locals and a couple from California. Jan called it, “Supporting Nancee night.”

Some how the people of Granada and their care for their inner city made an impression with me. It was loud, but it was filled with many smiles from friendly people who were willing to put up with broken Spanish and lots of hand signals.

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