Friday, May 25, 2012

Groovy Kind of Love

It's May. In the past seven or eight years in my life, this means that I have lost or about to loose a loved one. Between March thru May, I always cringe when the phone rings late at night or early in the morning.

Last year, I was invited to be the voice of a client who was dying. He chose me to be his agent. He also met his long lost brother... Who never left his side. We were as close as a client / staff member could be, and this helped me to know and understand what his wishes were. When he passed, I had a sense that it happened, as I couldn't sleep. He is missed and he is remembered.

This May, I have that pleasure again. J and I went up to hospice to visit R on Monday. It was a hard visit as R wasn't able to communicate like he once did- he was famous for teasing me and making me laugh. I was able to keep it together until we left his room... I cried in the lounge prior to coming home.

Why do I do this? I am chosen, and this is a privilege. The clients loved me and I love them back.  There is a trust there that allows them to choose me.  I know their wishes and they trust me to follow through on them.

Last night (Wednesday), the hospice called my place of work... R wasn't going to make the night. I was sent up to be with R as he passed.  It was a hard thing to do, however, I was well supported and in turn I was able to share this support with R.  When it came time for him to exhale for the last time, I was there, letting him know how special he was, how much love we shared and how he will never be forgotten.  I have an amazing team that I work with- I was checked on and hugged by every single one upon my return. The people that I had to get in touch with- coworkers who also knew and loved R- were so supportive and loving.  I love that kind of love.

This is a journey of the soul.  I never knew that I could be so strong, so full of love for the ones who chose me to be there.  I know that I am loved.... by my Higher Power, by my J, my family, friends, framily,co-workers and my clients... and this helps me give what I love get away.

Groovy Kind of Love- the love that is chosen to be given away.  Share that love today!  The offical music video for the song by Phil Collins.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FRIAMILY.... The Family That You Choose

FRIAMILY: Friends that turn out to be closer to you than your family.

I am reflecting on this as part of my first Link Up Party at Women Living Well at

I live 3,048 kms from where I was born.  My parents still live there,  and my sister and brother in law are only 2 hrs away from there.  I can't just go home for the weekend like most of my friends can.! I have to take a 4 hr flight, a 2 hr car ride to get there!  I have been this far from my family for the past 15 yrs.  That's a lot of Christmas's, Easters, Birthdays, Thankgivings that I haven't been there for!  I do have some family out here: my grandfather is the eldest of 15 kids!  However, it's not my immediate family.  I do have my in laws: J's wonderful parents, grandmother and brother- who have adopted me 8 yrs ago!

I have made my own family out here.  I have close friends that are more like a brother, a sister,  or "Pops".  These peeps are my friamily: the family that I choose.  Beyond best friends, these are the people that I go to for advice, to cry on, to call on, and for support.  They come to me for the same thing.  I remember introducing my father to my "pops", and seeing that they are only 3 years apart and a lot alike, they hit it off. (yay!) 

I am also blessed with a great family at work.  I know that I have been writing about the changes at work for me, however, I still have that work family.  Just last night as I was trying to settle in, my former teammate called up to me to check in with me.  That was an amazing start of my shift!  I have been on this shift before, and still have those closer relationships.  When you are in a caring and supporting role, you must be able to do so for each other.  It's how our emotional tanks stay filled.

The amazing friends that I have made at my home church have become my "church family."  Through taking part in Bible Studies, Care Groups,  and a Apologetics Course` I have met many different women, and couples.  These are the people who love me, accept me, and support me--- just because of who I am.  They have opened their arms to my J as well.  Their support, care, concern, loving correction have helped me grow, serve and fill my emotional tap.  These are the women that I know look to me for the same.  I have always hated being the new lady in church... breaking in, making it my own, yet, the people that I have come to love, have done that for and with me.  From opening their homes, serving on a team, having breakfast together, praying and sharing together- we have become family.

The best part of Friamily?  We can't choose the family that we were born into, because we get to choose who our friends are.

How do we make our Friamily?  Be there for the person.  Be that mentor that the younger you is looking for.  Support and give feedback when necessary for growth.  Pray together.  Listen.   Treat them like your brother, sister, pops or ma... or even better that then ones that were given to you.  I love to her "hey Sis" from a few of my friamily members, as to "dear", "buddy".  Terms of endearment always bring a smile.  I believe that if coffee and cheesecake cannot cure what ails you, then  you haven't tried the right on- sharing a meal, a snack, a dessert with someone is a bonding moment.  No agenda other than to just bond, love, support each other.

Love the ones that you were given.... Love the ones that have chosen you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phew... I made i!

I made it through my first night back on the ol' night crew!  I have been posted back to where it all began for me, and it felt like a reunion more than anything else!

Oh, I had to answer a lot of questioning looks, and questions...  and I did so with integrity and heartfilled answers.

I was able to see the day crew arrive this morning, and was able to chat with a couple of them.  I can't remember how it came up, however, I do remember the feeling that I had with it.  I have given this journey over to my higher power, and I had made the comment to a couple of my coworkers that I trust and love : "There is a plan, I just don't know it yet.  The One that does is only sharing it piece by piece."  That Bible verse in Jeremiah was finally not just a verse that I had learned and meditated, it was something that I was living as well!

I feel that I have come full circle- back to where it all started.  On the crew that I started with.  There are lots of new faces, lots of new routines: and those will soon become a part of my worklife as well.

I was sore, tired, yet happy to know that I had a small part of taking care of my fallen sisters and brothers this morning.  I was able to chat with my J as he was awaiting for his work to begin.  I was able to sleep a bit as well.

Life is a journey... there will be peaks and valleys, there will be roadblocks and straight roads, there will be beauty and ugliness.  All that matters is how we enjoy it... how we face it... and who we have beside us.

My challenge to myself tonight is to make a difference in one person's night.  To give of myself freely (within the professional boundaries) and let the love and peace flow through me.

Now, I am off to do my self care so that I can achieve my goal! :)

Jeremiah 29:11 Bible Verses

Monday, May 14, 2012

Change is in the air

It's been quite the week for me.  I found out on Monday afternoon, that my role at my work was no longer.  I was being reassigned to the night crew.  This was all expected but also not expected.  I did expect that my role was to be terminated: no need to do my work when the role that I was supporting was also terminated.  I expected to be given a role still within my team~ not being sent back to nights.

In the past, being sent to nights was the "kiss of death" and even as I told some of my coworkers that this was happening to me, they brought that up.  I am determined that it will not happen to me!

I have had a few days to get into my head and heart.  I still have a job.  I can still support my family.  There will be changes as budgeting changes.  I will be able to give myself,  for the majority of my shift, to my clients- those people who need me.  I will be able to support my coworkers by being the loving and caring person that I am.

These conclusions did not come easy. 

Why was that?

I got negative.  I hated what working nights did to my health earlier in my work... I got  depressed and riddled with anxiety due to lack of sleep, lack of sunshine, lack of  support.  I hated being depressed: it affected my job satisfaction, my work ethic, my ability to fulfill my role properly, my judgement.  I now know who I can go to for extra support: I have a church family that loves me so much  that they will carry me on.  I disliked having no social life... just as I was joining clubs, attending care group, and starting to write again.  I may not be able to attend all meetings, however, people will understand that I am a shift worker, and make allowances for such!

Why negative? I listened to my head not my heart.  I remembered all the horrible things that I did not like, and forgot all about what I did love of the night shift.  I went to that dark spot that we all have, that we harbour negative feelings, thoughts and experiences.  I went so deep that I wasted all of my days off fighting it off instead of taking care of myself. 

Lesson learned this weekend:  There is always two positives for every negative.  Change is a good thing~ it should be embraced and welcomed. 

Here is to the third shift!  Look out, I'm going to rock it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Emotional: "I'm an emotional Girl!"

Emotional:  Definition: of or relating to a person’s emotions; arousing or characterized by intense feeling.
                        Synonym: emotive, affective, sensitive, sentimental

Being in touch with your emotions is always an adventure.  It seems that you experience more emotions when you “wear your heart on your sleeve” than others who do not. Emotions are personal, individualistic, private.  I am an emotional person.  I tend to share my emotional journey during the day with whoever I come in contact with.  People can read me and know when something’s up: be it excitement about travelling or nervousness about upcoming test results, or even when I am not feeling good.

Being that kind of person is a blessing and a misfortune.  It is a blessing, as you can always know how I am even if I reply that I am fine. J  It’s a misfortune when I panic and let my emotions lead me, not my head. Does it make me more sensitive?  I don’t think so, I think I am a strong woman, and being an emotional one, makes me human.

I love experiencing emotions.  Good pieces of classical music can have me smiling, crying, laughing, and back to smiling.  A movie that evokes emotion is a good release.  I loved it when J and I went to a play that was very moving, and I found him crying as much as me!  He is a big, tough truck driver, and when his heart is touched, he shows it.  I cry at weddings- nothing is worse than having me read a poem after the bride comes in- I’ve cried all her way down the aisle and look terrible.  Just ask my girlfriend Donna.  Audible laughs come from reading a good comedy book, such as a Christopher Moore book. 

I often wonder about people who claim that they don’t experience emotions, or are not emotional.  Are they human?  Do they know what they are missing?

Today I would like to challenge my readers to be emotional! As they come to you today, go into it, experience it, and learn from it.  We are all unique and they way we each will experience, express and filter our emotions proves it.

“Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized
 his emotions.” ~ David Borenstien

“ The emotions aren't always immediately subject to reason, but they are always immediately subject to action” ~ William James
 “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” ~ Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Devotion: “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.” Albert Einstein

Devotion:  Definition: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, cause or activity
                  Synonym: loyalty, dedication, attachment, adherence, piety

A devotion to someone or something can be a healthy thing in our lives, or it can be a destructible one.  A healthy devotion can cause us to move, to change, to grow in a positive way~  leading the way for happiness, contentment, a sense of reason.  The opposite can cause harm, pain, sadness, ~ leading the way for collapse, ill health and poor mental health.

What would make devotion to something or to someone healthy?  Looking into my own life, my devotion to my work causes me to feel fulfilled.  It  is the reason that I get up when I don’t feel like it on weekdays, as I know that once I get there and am with the people that I care for and those who care for me, I will have  a good day.  Sharing a smile with a client will cause that client to feel love and will react with love.  My devotion to J, (I often refer to him as “my J”),  brought me to this Metropolitan City that I live in, it had me driving from 00:30am to 02:45am every weekend to get to him before the move.  It drives me now to provide him the support that he needs to be successful in a new job.  It is the driving force behind me being faithful.  My devotion to my faith is what I am struggling with right now. Again.  I will get it back and it will become a part of me once again.   

I have seen what I would call misplaced devotion- devotion to alcoholism, illicit drug use, food, work- and what it caused in the lives of those who experienced it.  My own misplaced devotion to food caused me to eat mindlessly, to fill the void that is there, in the pit of my stomach. This caused me to gain weight, which lead me to feeling bad about myself, which then took me on a downward spiral of depression.  It was only when I was able to put that misplaced devotion to food- what it tastes like, how it made me feel-  to a devotion of eating more fresh, organic, less carbs, more pure foods  that I am to overcome the urge for fresh, hot French fries with a piece of hot, fresh baked squash! I feel better, am losing some of the weight and am learning to love my outside me as much as my inside me.

What can we do take to be devoted or to add devotion to our lives? 
Find something or someone to believe in.   Find your higher power and talk.  Pray.  Spend time doing something for a special person in your life ~ creating a wonderful dining experience for a spouse out of their favorite foods, just to say that you love them , to me would be an act of devotion.  (Especially if you cook your least favorite foods that they absolutely love!)  Be that loyal friend:  hold their hand, give them that supportive hug that is needed. 

“Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love.”
Morihei Ueshiba

“True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.
Henry Miller

Friday, May 4, 2012

Drama: Being free to let it be

Dramatic: Definition: of or relating to drama or the performance or study of drama. (of an event or circumstance) sudden and striking.
                 Synonym: scenic, theatrical, histrionic.

Drama.  Many thoughts come to mind with this word of the day.  Drama- as in the art of the theatrical arts as seen in Romeo and Juliet.  Drama, such in “her life is full of drama.”  Let’s not forget the use in ‘dramatic decrease of waiting times.”
My favorite of these modern day use of the word drama is the theatrical drama.
I have loved live theatre most of my life.  I can remember going to community theatre with my mother- our most favorite one was My Fair Lady. She knew all the songs as she played them on our family piano and I learned them on the recorder for my final grade 6 performance of such.  Later on, in high school, my highlight of the year was spending my birthday money going to Stratford, Ontario to see a play at the Shakespearean Festival.  To see Rome and Juliet, Our Town, Macbeth, Comedy of Errors and others live, brought my study of such written works alive for me. In fact, it was part of my decision to attend Stratford School of Nursing- just to be inspired every day.  In the present, the last play that I saw was Billy Bishop Goes To War, a gift to my company for its fiftieth anniversary.  I saw the play with one of my good buddies, and we didn’t know it, however, it was to have been one of our last outings together prior to him moving. (Anyone who knows me really well knows of my passion for all things Billy Bishop and Corner Gas! <One of the actors of CG was the main actor in the play>)
I was in church plays every Christmas.  I had a learning disability, and I am sure that I drove every director crazy by my inability to learn my lines- however; I could gesture and use the tones of my voices.  The final year of my schooling in Saskatchewan, I was a part of the student leadership team, and we did an opening skit~ our take on a few of the summer’s blockbuster movies combined.  It was an enjoyable experience and one that I look back on fondly.
My favorite recent memory of drama right now is my experience in Haiti.  Being (cough) almost middle aged, and not yet a parent, I found it hard to connect to some of the children of Haiti… until I found that through my limited French and my ability to be dramatic and use gestures, facial expressions, etc I GOT LAUGHS. We put on skits, brought alive Bible stories and lessons for all ages- which we had the children re-enact where time was available to do so.  Seeing those little ones trying to be dramatic and following our skit was adorable! It brought smiles to our ministry teams as well as the caregivers/teachers of those precious little ones.
How can we bring drama to our lives today?  We can’t always go to the theatre to make us smile, nor spending hours in front of the TV. … however, we can choose to turn off the music radio station and listen to a radio drama.  We can make funny faces in the mirror; participate in a community acting class or community playhouse.  We can volunteer to help out or direct a church/school/community play.  We can step outside the comfort zone and bring alive a new character.
Let’s put some flair in our lives today!  Dress up, throw on that boa and create! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Courageous: Boldly, Confidently Moving

Courageous:  Definition:  not deterred by danger or pain; brave.  The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.
                        Synonym:  brave, bold, valiant, plucky, gallant, hardy           

When I think of courageous and courage, I proudly think of my high school pals who are currently serving our country in the army, navy and air force.    I fondly remember the members of the RCMP detachments that I volunteered with.  I smile and think of my friends who are in the mission field, and have been for most of their lives, if not the entirety of it.  I am proud of the women in my life who have left undesirable, dangerous relationships, and still love unconditionally.

It takes a courageous woman to leave all that and all who she knows, to start fresh in a different part of Canada.  I did it, twice.  I left Toronto, Ontario on a Royal Airline Flight, not knowing who will be meeting me in Regina International Airport.  It was one of the best things that I ever did- left all behind in Ontario, started fresh in Saskatchewan.  I was stretched, I grew, and I fell in love with a new way of life.  The second time, I moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta, in the middle of the night- having to spend the first night alone in a bus station until I could move into my suite in the morning.  It was a good move- I was forced to be independent and I was stretched and pulled into who I became. 

Courageous moves happen all round us, all the time.  Someone puts their name in to run for City Counselor, who is just wants to make a difference.  It is a courageous move, as they are moving forward with confidence, with a boldness to put themselves out there.  A man chooses and decides that he is going to live as long as he can, while dying of cancer, in a homeless shelter, is courageous.  He changes the way society views homeless, the way we all view the choice of dying with dignity.   A woman moves out a of a house she turned into a home for many years, leaves behind memories, friends and life as she knows it- is courageous.  She has the boldness to stand up for herself after years of putting herself last.  She is courageous as she does not know what is a head of her, and yet she is determined to be happy, to be confident, to be true to herself.  These folks are courageous as they are afraid, yet they still choose to move forward, make themselves take action or stand up for what they want. 

Living courageously means to move! Just do it, and do so with confidence!  The first time will be the hardest; however, the next time will be easier! It is a choice, a healthy one even, to take that first step, and to do so with confidence, self esteem and self love.   It all starts with the choice, followed by the push of self, and followed by end result of happiness, contentment, love.

How can we choose to live courageously today, in this moment?  Step outside of your boundaries.  Have you met your neighbors yet?  Be bold, and introduce yourself.  Are you living in a fear? Write down that fear, and three steps that you can take today to help end that fear.  Are there feelings/emotions that you cannot describe or talk to anyone about?  Call the distress centre, write to a mentor center, walk into a church, or grab a coffee with a buddy.  

Courageous living starts with the decision to do so.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."- Ambrose Redmoon      

 "Courage is not living without fear.Courage is being scared to death and doing the right thing anyway."- Chae Richardson

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Benevolence: to love mankind with a desire to promote happiness

Benevolence: Definition: well meaning and kindly; (of an organization) serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.      
    Synonyms: charitable, kind, benign, benignant, kindly.
When I was growing up, our church had a benevolent fund.  The plate was passed around, very casually, after the very somber communion service.  This is my first memory of the word benevolent. It was just something that we took part of, as we cared for those who came to the church, or used the church’s programs.
Growing up, my parents were very benevolent: giving financially when they can, sharing what they did have with those who didn’t have at all, and giving a supportive phone call to those who needed to be cheered.  I can remember having couples, students, singles, and single moms with their children over for a good Sunday dinner after church.  It was fun to learn about new cultures, new theologies, new theories, new music over the afternoon- it was also good to be able to be kind to someone who was new to the church, was visiting or even a missionary on furlough.
Being benevolent started as a child for me.  I was always the kind hearted kid that got hurt emotionally for being too kind.  I had a tendency to do good things for the neighbours around: from keeping the lonely, older gentleman around the corner company as he walked my part of the block, to sharing our (my sister and I) artwork and to finally being able to supply the neighbourhood with Girl Guide cookies.
In my teen years, I would volunteer my time in the summer to a horseback riding school for the physically and mentally challenged.  I would volunteer my Friday after school hours to both the adult and youth aquatic division of the Special Olympics.  I learned about diversity, self esteem, responsibility and love during those many hours in the pool or in the barn.  I also had the pleasure of being a part of daily miracles- all because I gave of my time.
In my adult years, I have worked for non profits my entire working years.  I have worked for charities, raised awareness for the charities, and participated in many different fund raising adventures- like sitting on the rooftop of a homeless shelter, in -15 weather, in a tent in the middle of December! (With 2 of my favorite people who have touched my life)
This has shaped me.  I am a person that seeks to find the love of mankind, which in turns brings my desire to promote others’ happiness.
 To bring a smile to someone else’s day brightens mine.
To make someone laugh causes my laughter to be jollier.
To give away my last dollar in order for someone to afford something that they need makes my day.

Benevolence is more than just giving money- it’s handing out smiles, hugging that co-worker who is hurting, putting the dirty dishes where they belong, and perhaps spending time with a shut-in.  It is being kind, doing good, being generous.

When we are kind, it causes a chain reaction- Let’s be the first one in the chain today!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Authenticity- Be Who You Really Are

Authentic: Definition- To be of undisputed origin; genuine; not false or copied.
                  Synonym- genuine, true, real, veritable, original, reliable

What does it mean to be authentic?
It means to be you.  Be who you are, not who you are trying to be.  We all have perceptions of who we should be, who we want to be, who we don’t want to be… however, how  often do we be who we are?

We all want to be loved- but are we lovable?  To be authentic means to become love, that we all are, then we can accept it.

We all want to be liked- but are we likeable?  Try something- invite out someone who you think doesn’t like you- and watch your boundaries come down.  I recently tried this, and I have a new friendship in bloom!

Watch your words: they can be harmful or helpful.  Mean what you say, say what you mean.  Repeating others’ words will only bring others’ problems. 

Something that I just learned: smile when you want to, not when you think you need to.  This is an outward expression of the authentic self.

If we just become and live the life that we were given to live… boundaries will be open, arms will be opened, and lives will be changed.

I have the best test if I am being authentic or not, to myself and to others.  I work with a population where trust has to be earned, no matter who you are.  If trust is gained, lives are changed.  If I am not genuine to the one that I am serving, they can see that, and won’t trust me.

 The How To...
Be who you are.
 Let go of “I should be’s”.
 Don’t try to fit in to a certain group, if you don’t- there is always a group of people who will love you for who you are.
There are websites set up to share how to be authentic to yourself.  This is a good one:  Another excellent resource is:

 The end result:  Life will be more rich, and fulfilling.
Resist the authentic you no longer!