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Ten Thousand Days

Winter Renovation

December 18, 2019

Day 1942 – Day 1950

From my previous post, you will know that I’m looking to renovate this website over the next month or so.  It will be a DIY project so please bear with me.  As it is coming to the holiday season now, I’m also doing some deep personal renovations.

I’m grateful for the year I’ve had.  I came close to dying in the summertime and I cannot overstate how much this impacts one’s perspective on things.  Already a soulful person, I can see that I’ve been taken deep into myself and I am still processing it all.  I don’t expect to be able to communicate what this looks like except that I feel that I am being held still, so that I can experience a more profound depth with riches I hope to bring to the breadth of my life.

Gratitude is often linked to the positive psychology movement these days because – at first glance – it works in our lives by changing the way we think.  Replacing the negative with the positive helps to build new neuro-pathways in the mind and we open up to seeing more positive things in our lives.  This is very much an act of the Spirit, ascending to the heights of experience.  But, a life fully lived does not simply rely on the call to Spirit to feed our yearnings for communion with that which is beyond ourselves.   For a fully lived life, we also need to spend time tending to our Soul.

I say this is a time of renovation but first, I am being called to go within and really look into the dark corners and see what is there.  I think I’ve been doing this all my adult life, but there are junctures in life where we are called downward and inward to do the work of the Soul.  Being in hospital took me to a new and deeper level of this journey and where I am and where I’m going isn’t something that is easy to put into words.  Art and music are better expressions of what is being processed, though I will try to send postcards from the Soul, with this writing.

On that note, I intend to do more singing in 2020 (yes, bad pun intended), and I will be updating my artwork section of the website.  I haven’t updated it since I first started painting.  I’m happy to say that I have over 100 artworks now and I will find a way to share many of them with you.  I’ve experimented with style a lot in the last few years and the work reflects this.  I see a real change in my painting, since I left the hospital.  Hopefully, in 2020, I will be creating a body of artwork that has a cohesive sensibility, as I work from this ineffable place, within me.  I’m grateful for your continued patience as I fix the bugs on my website, become a better painter and musician, and figure out how best to link the written word with my other forms of creative expression.

I have some goals for the coming year and exciting new ventures that I hope you will find enticing.  Having come through 2019, I am more committed than ever to spending my time in ways that add Meaning to my life and help make Meaning in life, for others.  If I had a blueprint for 2020, it would be, simply: Making Meaning.  We often talk about wanting to ‘find’ meaning in our lives.  I think perhaps this is the first step on the journey and one I had intended for 2019.  Meaning can be found anywhere through connection, or what I call Oneness.  Once we’ve learned to make connections, perhaps the next step is to add value to those connections in a way that matters.  This is one way to live purposefully.  And, perhaps my experiences were necessary to humble me enough to get it: we only have this moment.  Let’s make it meaningful.  I’m grateful for coming so close to death and still finding in that, connection.  I’m grateful to be alive to use what I have learned.

I ask your indulgence if I post irregularly during this holiday season.  I want to prioritize time with family and friends, and with reflecting on the meaning of this year.  I wish you all wonderful winter celebrations, whatever holiday causes you to congregate at this time of year.  Even as we become more social, I want to remind us all that it is okay to go inward during these long nights.  Soon, we begin the journey back to the light.  Let’s do our inner work to get ready!

For what are you most grateful, right now?
What is your blueprint for 2020?

 

 

Articles, humour

5 Reasons to Be Grateful for the Holidays (Funny)

November 28, 2019

Photo: Angelina Jollivet

 

    1. You get to spend loads of time with family – including some members who crawl out of the woodwork only once a year.  We should be grateful for our family time.  Think of those poor people who have decided to live and celebrate, independent of their extended family.  They miss out on all the possibilities for personal growth that interacting with the family narcissist, martyr and black sheep provides.  Oh wait!  They ARE the black sheep.  Well, not only do they miss out on those relationship dynamics, they also miss out on the fun of building a new relationship with a therapist.
    2. This is a glorious time of year for gift giving.  It is the time of year when we can seek approval through overspending.  And, what better way to show our patriotism than to keep the myth of continuous economic growth alive through our own share of personal debt?  If you happen to be of another cultural tradition where a fat man in a red suit does not drive the economy, what an splendid chance this is to conform to societal pressure and adopt Santa! Oh, and we are truly blessed if we get some of that wholesome and quality ‘family time’ that storming the doors at the Black Friday sales affords us (since we won’t be able to afford anything afterwards).  Don’t forget to bring Grandma along.  Old ladies have the sharpest elbows.
    3. The holidays are the perfect time for a health check-in.  How will we know we are truly healthy if we don’t push our organs to the limits?  The holiday season is simply not the holiday season without massive consumption of alcohol to smooth all the wrinkles in the fabric of our families and to help mellow our experience of all this togetherness.  So go ahead and make sure to give your health a good check.  Emergency room staff like visitors, too, you know.
    4. Imagine what New Year’s resolutions would look like, in the absence of a month of gorging ourselves on rich and fatty foods?  How would personal trainers make a living, without seasonal indulgences?  In a way, we are going beyond simple gratitude here.  We are, in fact, providing a service to others in our community.
    5. If you happen to find yourself alone over the Holiday Season that seems to stretch into one single abyss until Valentines Day has passed, this is the perfect opportunity to spend quiet time reflecting on those solid life choices.  For the fortunate few, this ‘alone in the crowd’ feeling can be cultivated, even surrounded by loved ones.


      What a wonderful time of the year!!!!

      Photo: Justin Lim

       We know that, for many of us, the holidays are difficult.  Let’s not make it worse on ourselves.

      I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers, who celebrate the day.  If you do venture out shopping, please remember who you are.  Remember also that you have financial goals of your own that are worth honouring.  Please don’t let cultural pressures push you out of self-care, into debt, or make you feel somehow inadequate, this season.  Nobody’s life is like the Hallmark Channel.

      I propose that, instead, we play a global game of Treasure-Hunt, this season!  Let’s redouble our efforts to hunt for joy in everyday life, to be grateful for what we DO have, and to find every opportunity we can to be kind, to connect with and to serve others.  This is the surest way I know to have a happy Holiday Season and truly happy life.

      What are your REAL reasons to be grateful for this time of year?