Winter wanderland

Bonjour,

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From my own space.

That time of the year when we feel the need to nest. The hunger for comfort and warmth. For me this starts with the decorating for the season. The house feels so beautiful, especially at night with all the twinkling lights. I try not to notice that the daylight is short.

Going for a walk with the puppy is so much nicer with all the decorations and lights out. Our little town is all decked out for the Holidays.

We have had a few days of continuous snow fall and so looking  forward to a white Christmas. The weather has been mild making our walks that much nicer. I always loved the sound of footsteps on the snow. The crunch, crunch as we walk echoes in the cold air. Winter is here!

I bought a down knee length coat to go on my walks with the puppy. I am usually all bundled up with  boots and scarves, fur headband and handmade suede mittens lined with sheepskin.  Why not indulge in nice winter-wear since we are snowbound for almost four months of the year? I do enjoy comfy winter  clothes and bundling up in layers.

This year I intend to make the most of winter and have the puppy as an incentive to go out. My plan is to go for a daily walk after work. I am hoping we will not get the sub-zero – 35C weather of last year. That is just a little to cold for woman or puppy.

Here are a few pics of our home decorated for the Holidays.

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Hoping all of you will have the Holiday you plan.

A bientôt,profile picture

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Excavating your hidden treasures -Finding your Bliss

Bonjour,

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From my own space. Actually a pic form my table at Starbucks last Monday.

“Our life has become so economic and practical in its orientation that, as you get older, the claims of the moment upon you are so great, you hardly know where the hell you are, or what it is you intended. You are always doing something that is required of you. Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it”   -Joseph Campbell-Mythologist

Serendipity ! This is so to the point of the work I’ve been doing- EXCAVATING- to find my true self. Do you have these moments in your life, when you ask a question, then it seems like life gives you crumbs to help you on your quest? That has happen to me more times than I care to count, but when it happens  I stop, take a breath and  say THANK YOU. And this is one of them. Wow!  So to the point of my blog , excavating your true self.

Finding your bliss! How great does that sound, or am I the only one still struggling to keep my days as close to blissful as possible.

Is that actually possible you might ask? I beleive that momentary bliss , the occasional bliss, the fleeting bliss, the just for now bliss is attainable. We all have our moment of bliss. IT never lasts, but the search for it never stops.

This reminds me of the start trek Generation when Captain Picard, with the help of  Captain Kirk, must stop a madman willing to murder on a grande scale in order to enter an energy ribbon.- bliss is found there.  It’s a dream world but he wants it, needs it, doesn’t care if it’s real or not and will sacrifice everything and anyone to get it. He is full on mad with it.  I don’t want to push it that far, but a daily dose of something good is what I’m aiming for.

We -Hubby and I-planned an overnight in the city this past Monday. I took my last day of vacation for the year. We left Sunday afternoon, enjoyed a great meal at one of our favourite restaurant, got munchies for the Hotel, were upgraded to a suit. Hubby was willing to go see a movie at theatre but I preferred staying in at hotel in our king size comfy bed with our munchies and watch a good movie.

My Monday off started with a complementary breakfast, then a few hours at Starbucks. Hubby knows me well, so he went to do his own thing and left me to my writing, reading all while sipping a wonderfully warm chai latte. Blissful! Simple pleasures are some of the most wonderful. The sites and sounds in the coffee house  are so inspiring as is the view of  shelves after shelves of books, magazines, note books and goodies. My inner artist is feeling the bliss!

Christmas time  I believe is the perfect time to enjoy ourselves and try to find that moment of bliss. And so to all I wish the greatest of Holidays and a dose of magical bliss.

A bientôt,profile picture

My planner system and word for 2017

Bonjour,

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From my own space.

My Word for 2017      INTENTIONAL

“To be intentional is to act purposeful, with a goal in mind and a plan for accomplishing it. “- Ann Epstein-

“Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.” – Davie Duchemin

And so this is what I aim for next year. To live more intentionally- with purpose, more conscious, be present which will hopefully lead to more content and fulfilled days.

So the big goal for 2017 is set. The real work will be to make sure I plan accordingly.

That time of year is here again. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and reading blogs to get some inspiration, really needing to get a good system going for next year. I spent this past year trying out different systems and have found that I  like the bullet journal system and using the Moleskin journals, but this leaves my beautiful ring bound planners without a purpose-just lying on my book shelves. This is a waste of good money and great leather planners and so I decided to purchase Franklin Covey inserts to put in my Crocco compact Franklin Covey planner.

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I love love love this planner. The leather is smooth , the smell, divine and it always makes me feel  sophisticated  and business like when I take it out of my hand bag.

I prefer the natural brown and tan colours of leather for my planners. Although I do have beautiful fuchsia and purple and red ones, my favourite is always the natural colours.

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After searching the planner sites, debating on printing my own or purchasing Filofax inserts again,  I decided to try the Franklin Covey inserts-a day on two pages. Wow! The size of the total bundle is way too much to fit all in my planner.  One or two months at a time will have to do.

 

I am loving the black and white theme. I have stickers that match. The dividers and pages have the  color books look that is so popular at the moment. I haven’t decided yet if I will color the prints or leave them black and white.

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I love that all the daily tasks and events and planning are on  the first page which leaves  a full blank page to use as you want. I will be journaling my day on that page and be tipping these pages in my Omni journal. I don’t need to archive my to -do -lists and appointments, but the daily journaling is all I want to keep. How perfect is that! Using one book and no waste. I love it.

That is the system I intend to use in 2017.  Sadly I will not be purchasing another Hobonichi cousin. I didn’t use it to its fullest last year – still have until March of 2017 to go since it’s the spring addition. But no. Not going to spend money on a system that doesn’t work for me.

I ordered two  Majestic notebooks from Taroke shop on Etsy, that I intend to try as an Omni journal for next year. It’s rather a hefty price to spend on notebooks- 25$ just for shipping-  but since I’m not getting the Hobonichi I thought I would give this journal a try.

The end of the year and beginning of the new one is always a time of planning and organizing and for paper addicts a stressful time trying to find the perfect planner and notebooks for the year. I think I will try not to stress so much this year and make it another year of trial and error and enjoy the process.

To all paper planner addicts Happy planning.

A bientôt,profile picture

A WELL FITTED LIFE

– like the most comfortable pair of shoes.

Bonjour,

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from my own space.

How great does that sound. Anyone else out there salivating?  I don’t want to sound ungrateful for I am truly grateful for all the blessings in my life. But like most I would have loved to have found a career that truly inspired me. Thinking back I don’t think in my case it was the career itself that was unfulfilling, but the lack of opportunities available to grow.

I have started to feel like my work days are keeping me on this dreaded marry- go- round.  Work /sleep ,work /sleep Five days a week , doing what is expected.  Monday blues are the worst. Round and round I go, when will it stop?  Will it ever slow down long enough for me to jump off?

I have friends who are loving what they do, love the office politics, the hustle and bustle of business life, but I am not one of them. Don’t’ get me wrong, I can play the role as well as anyone, but deep in my core that is not me.

Longing for the freedom from the career life is an ongoing struggle for a lot of people, myself included.

Some days I feel I am close and then other times the simple idea seems overreaching. Thirty years on this career path and I am starting to feel the pull of my true self. The Self that I have been working on excavating, for she has been kept hidden for many years.

The strange thing is I might go months unaware of being on the merry-go-round  ; so unaware of how far off the path I have come. The thing is when  I finally stop, take a deep breath the feeling becomes overwhelming.  Wow! Were the hell am I?

Ever felt like this?
Sadly  I have found myself in such a place more often than I care to remember. The point is that I feel the need to be present, to live every day with a sense of fulfilment and joy. Yes that elusive word Joy.

Joy= thesaurus  = satisfaction , wonder, amusement, bliss, comfort , delight, glee, pride, ecstasy, fruition, gladness,

As many of you trapped on that  dreaded merry-go-round ,I have learned to suppress my true self and go with the flow of the day to day work environment in order to survive.  Although after a while mainly surviving takes its toll on a person. For me this takes on the form of dark days and feeling of disconnection. Those are the difficult times.

I know what causes this, and I work hard to  keep these feelings at bay and most of the time I succeed.

But  this time of year I find it more difficult; when we start looking back on the year’s goals and setting new goals for the coming year- I hit a wall.

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I must say that  writing down my thoughts on a daily basis in my personal journal is helping. I need a place to vent and my journal and morning pages are my trusty listeners.

Wishing everyone out there a full life of Joy.

Keep on writing,

A bientôt,profile picture

Excavating your hidden treasures

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Bonjour,

IMG_2393from my own space.

 

I just love planning, organizing, starting the week thinking Yes I’ve got this. But often what happens is the Universe has it’s own agenda and life kicks in and my perfectly planned week goes out the door.

Trying to find a good balance between the demands of daily living and living a creative life has prompted me to search all I can on the subject.  All the reading and research I’ve been doing led me strangely to remember a parable in the Bible of all things.

I was reminded of The Parable of the Bags of Gold from  Matthew 25:14  to 29  -The story of the man who intrusts his servants with his wealth.

For some reason, my continuing journey in trying to live a more fulfilled life, rich with art, culture, ideas, books, creativity of all kind, back to nature and the simple life to name a few has sparked the memory of this verse.  Those riches we are given I believe are our talents- our creative gems hidden away and it is our job to excavate and find and develop those hidden treasures.

Talent , Capacity ,flair ,genius, aptitude, power  what ever you want to call your treasures.

This bible story serves as a reminder that  if we are not careful, what little we do have will be taken away.  For those who create and build on what talent they already have, unlimited talents await.  Keeping a daily ritual of creating is one of Julia Cameron’s most repeated message, form the Artists Way and The Right to write, Finding Water to name but a few. Since I’ve been researching the subject, this theme keeps coming up.

Last Saturday I spent a few hours enjoying myself , perusing the multiple book shelves at Chapter’s. I  was looking for another of Julia Cameron’s books ”  It’s never too late to begin again“. Of course as often happens I stumbled upon  another interesting book , this one by Elizabeth Gilbert  “Big Magic,  Creative living beyond fear“.  I enjoyed Live Laugh Love so thought I’d give this one a try. The title sounds interesting doesn’t it ?

I then indulging in a Grande pumpkin spice latté at Starbucks enjoying my finds.

I am looking forward to reading these  and I will be blogging about my experience with these books. Julia Cameron’s book is a self guided exercise book again, so this will take me some time to finish. I will start this one, once the Right to Write workbook is done. – yep! Still muddling through this one. I am finding this one challenging for some strange reason- I can only read a section at a time, then need to mull it through.

So my take on this is that  we need to continue searching and digging deep to find what sparks our creative nerve. Some are lucky they have found their hidden gems long ago, but for those like me who still struggle and are continually searching I hope you find them.

For myself I will be working on excavating to find my treasure(s).  How ’bout you?

Are you in  for an adventure into the deep recesses of your own SELF. Scary I know, but also intriguing.

I’m in for a little intrigue and adventure . Who’s on board?

A bientôt,profile picture

 

 

Writing as a spiritual tool

Bonjour,

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From my own space,

Being an Open Channel – from the Right to Write by Julia Cameron

“Moving alone onto the page, we often find ourselves companioned by higher forces, by a stream of insights and inspirations that seem somehow “other’ than our routine thinking. Universe – you take care of the quality, I’ll take care of the quantity.’

…channel writing. You may want to think of this as calling on the Muse.  (The Right to write by Julia Cameron)

Initiation Tool

Use a question and wait for the answer.

Tarot cards are useful for this exercise. You don’t need to know how to read tarot, for this just simply look at the image on the card and write down what you see, what comes first to mind , then write down what comes to you.

Integrating

…recognize when currents of change, like movements in a symphony are moving through …

…a subtle feeling of dissatisfaction, a sense of being out of control. Julia Cameron

This spoke to me so loudly, it was almost scary. I spent a three day weekend by myself, not counting my two dogs and the occasional visit from the kids, popping in for few minutes to get something, or use the laundry room. I was by myself, went for walks with the dogs, spent time out in the yard, tried to read, write, organize, plan. But I was distracted. Something kept me form enjoying my moment of solitude. I was uneasy – what is missing? You know the feeling  you should be doing something but don’t know what that is. I turned on the TV and watched Netflix to ease that feeling. I was able to dull the ache for a while, but by Sunday the feeling had intensified.

I even avoided writing my morning pages.I was too afraid to let my mind wonder on the page. I did write in my omni journal , but in spurts only  not really focussing on the task.

Today I feel the need to write until I find relief. What is going on?  Writing is my way of sorting things out, on my own, in confidence. Not letting anyone know how unravelled I feel.

Change is coming, I can feel it. As I have mentioned previously, I am not comfortable with change, but this dissatisfaction is disorienting. I love being in control, planning out how things will evolve and trying not to have too many surprises. But this feeling is uncomfortable, subtle yes, but strong enough to be felt. So is it a coincidence that I felt the need to read the next section of the Right to write and this is what it said.

I need to handle myself with gentle care.

…put it into perspective within a larger context.

His inner reality and his outer world no longer mesh.

…explore daily what I can do to move the life I have closer to the life that I want.

I have had many of these experiences over a lifetime and have come to believe in the information that I receive. This is just one of those experiences that might have freaked me out years before and would have though of as just a coincidence. I know better now and prefer to think of this as serendipity.

I have taken the information to heart and will be  writing down my thoughts and questions and use my angel  and tarot cards to see where this will lead.  The answers might take some time. I don’t know what will come of this exercise, but I am so willing to give it a go.

Writing is not only the river but often the bridge across the river

Walking into change — record change in tiny , manageable increments.  That for me is the key. Manageable – I find myself unable to deal with a lot of changes lately without feeling anxious and stress out. The need to stay in bed, under warm comfy covers and hide from the world is very strong at this moment. I cannot let it take over, I keep moving in short increments. Focusing on the needing to be done now, the dogs need their walks, the dishwasher needs emptying, the winter clothes need to be brought down form the upstairs closet, I must go to work today and focus…etc. Life continues, family and friends need attention and all this is done on automatic pilot. I do not need to think to accomplish these tasks, but the nagging feeling of STOP and listen is getting hard to ignore.

I just spent three days and did not use them as they were intended. I know this to be true, because of how I am feeling today. What is this feeling ? How can I make this go away?  Questions  I will be pondering on the pages in the next days and maybe weeks ahead.

Integrating – Initiation tool

Very often, without our knowing it, we slip ‘out of synch’ in our lives. We are subtly out of alignment, off our centre and it happened without our noticing.

Wow! That spoke to me so loudly I needed to read it twice and write it down. This is what I was looking for without knowing it.

Very rapidly complete the phrase “I wish’ twenty-five times.

Your wishes will range form the small to the substantial, from personal to professional.

…written out once a month, they actually move us on a subconscious level to act in the direction of our dreams. Repeat this exercise one a month or whenever you are feeling particularly scattered.

I have dedicated a page in my bullet journal to these exercises and plan on adding them to my To do list as needed. Maybe getting into a routine of doing a few writing exercises, at least the ones that speak to me, will help keep me in the writing mood.

Hope this blog might bring some incite to anyone out there feeling this unraveling feeling. If you are not in the habit of writing things down in a trusty journal, I recommend you start.  You might find surprising answers.

 

A bientot ,profile picture

Morning pages- Julia’s thing

Bonjour,

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from my own space.

The Right to Write-

Witness

“there has to be someplace where we can fall apart”. For me, that place is writings.”

“What writing brings to a life is clarity and tenderness. Writing, we witness ourselves. We say, like our own village elders, “I knew you when you were knee high and you’ve certainly come a long way.”

“Writing gives us a place to say what we need to say, but also to hear what we need to hear.”

“My Morning Pages might equally well be called “Mentoring Pages” because they help me to access a warmer and wiser part of myself than my busy modern business persona.”

Initiation Tool – Morning Pages

“Morning Pages …increase our conscious contact with spiritual guidance.”

“Yes, Morning Pages must be done IN THE MORNING. They prioritize the day we are about to have. ( If we do them in the evening, we are reviewing the day we’ve already had- and are powerless to change.)”“You want to catch your mind before it has its defences up. You want to surprise it when it’s still close to your dreaming consciousness.”What you do want is to catch yourself unawares, to record things you didn’t really know you were thinking. So simply move your hand across the page, recording whatever comes to mind. Do this daily for three pages.

Morning Pages are …a uniquely potent form of meditation. They allow us to empty our minds and hearts of disturbing distractions and simultaneously open our minds and hearts to deeper reflections. It’s important the pages be done longhand. There is an energy to the hand that leads our thoughts to a deeper and more connected place than writing on the keys does.

This section of The Right to Write has reminded me of  the importance of the morning pages and the need for me to do my morning pages IN THE MORNING. I started a few years ago with the morning pages, doing them religiously, then when it got too hectic with my new morning  routine I slowly stopped writing in the morning and sporadically infused my thoughts into my common- place- book throughout the day. Some days I would skip altogether; too tired after work to write anything down.

After reading Witness – I realized just how much I had missed them. They do keep me connected to my true self and are my grounding rod that keeps me centre. They are a form of meditation for me. I find traditional meditation very difficult; I have a hard time stopping my mind long enough to enjoy the benefits of meditation. The writing helps me purge the thoughts out and in so doing calm my frantic nerves.

For my morning pages I’ve return to using composition notebooks. The size is perfect, the paper adequate for simple writing and I don’t feel the need to be profound and deep, since these notebooks are inexpensive and readily available. And so I just go-t0-town with them and fill up as many as I need. This notebook stays in the side table in our bedroom. I take it out in the morning after bringing the puppy out , give her her Kong to keep her busy, start the coffee ( already prepped just need to push button) and get down to writing my three pages – longhand. Then return it to the side table to be read over if needed at a more convenient time.

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My morning pages of late is the place I  go to vent my frustrations as well as my little triumphs. My energy has been spent on training my new golden puppy lately. I hear myself telling my husband all the little challenges and triumphs Lexi has made that day- his eyes role in his head sometimes. I know he thinks I am too caught up in the PUPPY, therefore I am trying to stop talking about the puppy, but I need a outlet for my frustrations, my new research finds , the triumphs and my feelings about it all. Well writing about it in my journal is going to help me with this. Once I have written all that I need to say, I am hoping that this will diminish my need to tell my hubby about it. I must say the puppy has changed our lives in many ways and my husband is very patient with her, but my need to vent has been just a little too much I think.

So my morning pages look a lot like puppy 101 lately, with a few personal remarks. Hoping to get down to more substantial writing, but for now that is where I am.

For all of you doing the Morning Pages, do embrace the simplicity of the task that brings about such complex return.  For those who have wandered away I would suggest you start them up again. For those who have never tried, I ask ; why not give it a try?

A bientot,profile picture