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Perfectly Imperfect

For a moment everything appeared calm and perfect. Even the pigeons on the roof of the ferry building were closing their eyes after a good grooming session. It made me wonder if they felt as relieved as me that the sun had come out despite the rather gloomy weather forecast. Then without warning the peacefulness was interrupted by a crow joining the sleepy crowd. Everyone scattered making room for the strange visitor who nonchalantly moved to the eavestrough for a drink. Holding up a found treasure which looked like a white pearl in his beak he stared down at me. It felt like one of these special moments that invites you stop everything you are doing or thinking and just become present.

Not sure until the last moment if I was going to risk the predicted stormy weather to visit my sons on Mayne Island I am so glad that I went for it. Driving down Vancouver Island and making my way in stages I was enchanted by the fall colours and the dramatic changes of weather embracing the feeling of freedom.

From sun to heavy rainfalls autumn made itself known to be here. Rainbows graced the sky a few times making the long awaited visit even more special. It was my first trip since Christmas and it felt wonderful to be walking along the trails with my sons sharing the treasures and views along the way just like we have done since they were little except in those days we lived on a mountain top in the interior and now we were sharing the wonders of a little island in the ocean.

Every now and then one of them pointed out something they wanted me to see like a large snail crossing our path or a seagull rocking precariously on a moving log in the water giving me a glimpse of the past and of the wonder and curiosity in the young boys eyes seeing or experiencing something for the first time. Yet so many times I still have the experience of awe in nature and seeing with brand new eyes and I sense it is still there in them as well. Nature just invites this kind of opening and expansion.

Having visited Mayne Island quite a few times now the different landscape still surprises me each time I go. It is so much fun to discover more details and let my eyes feast on unfamiliar rock and sand formations that seem so unique to this island. Hearing also more about the rich history fills in the imagination of what it must have been like in the past and colourful sceneries come alive in a new way.

This trip my curiosity was drawn to the strange mounds of rocks scattered all over the forest. They look like little peaks where the ocean may have pushed the rocks into pyramid shaped forms a long time ago. It made me realize how everything changes over time and consider how high the water must have been at the time these came into being. What seems normal today may some day be something odd or strange, not quite fitting the landscape surrounding it.

Taking in the beautiful colours of the water surrounding the island it took me a while to figure out who was hiding in the kelp. All I could see was the whiskers of some mysterious water creature. It looked like a beaver, but I dismissed that idea not sure that beavers actually live in the ocean. So my next guess was an otter, but it wasn’t that either. Ever so slowly the animal’s head rose fully out of the water revealing a very sleepy seal, who could barely keep his eyes open to take a look at me before sinking back down until only his mouth and whiskers showed just above the waterline.

Standing still I watched it rise and fall, opening and closing its eyes, I imagine it was probably glad when I decided to join my sons and leave it be in peace. My sons were waiting for me around the bend and we got one last glimpse together of the seal hiding for an afternoon nap floating in the kelp before we moved on.

As short as the trip was the joy of sharing these special moments with loved ones was priceless and well worth the effort. I was so grateful that the weather was part of the wonder rather than stopping the trip before it even began. Watching the ferries go by and the dramatic change of clouds and light was like watching a silent movie together while we shared food, memories and what is current in our lives.

On my ferry rides and drive home I had much time to reflect and rejoice in the time we had together and feeling the fullness of my heart. Remembering also the recent visit of my dear friend and a special tapping session she did with me where she helped me embrace my “perfect imperfections“. Examining how much the idea of perfection had stopped me from doing certain things in my life because I knew I could never be perfect at it, her simple statement that I was being perfect at being imperfect brought tears of joy and relief. This I could be!

Laughing out loud on this perfect drive home I was so happy to embrace the beauty of imperfection. The freedom and joy I have felt since releasing this old belief formed such a long time ago is quite remarkable. Knowing whatever I do is perfect in its imperfection allows me to have a lot more fun with whatever I do.

On The Cusp

Summer is officially coming to an end tonight. I let the fact sink in and notice a little bit of sadness. Somehow this summer was very precious because it was so different. It not only gave my body time to recover but also allowed grief that was still in my heart to finally move through and made it so clear what changes still needed to be made.

There are dishes in the sink waiting to be washed but just for this moment I pause and remember. It feels important to acknowledge the changing of the season and express appreciation and gratitude for the many gifts of this summer: the opportunity to rest and be still, the quiet solitude, the fruits, veggies and the flowers from the garden, witnessing the sun rise, just breathing, deeply taking in the smells, the sounds, the shooting stars, the colours and the unique beauty of summer. Nature took care of me and taught me how to take care of myself by following my own rhythm and to listen.

Photo by Michelle Venne

Today squirrel knocked on my window – literally! It had never done this before even though we had a few discussions about throwing pinecones at me when I am walking beneath the large pine or digging holes in the middle of the path to my cabin.

Hearing the strange knock on the window this afternoon I drew back the curtain just in time to watch something leap off the windowsill onto the deck. I expected it to be a bird and was surprised to see the squirrel instead. Once it had my full attention it talked quite excitedly while moving along the edge of the deck, stopping every few steps as if it wanted to show me something important.

I thought I had learned to listen. Yet when the squirrel asked me to follow it today, I chose not to go. Reflecting back on it now I see that none of the reasons for not going were good enough to miss taking in the fullness of this last day of summer and receiving whatever the squirrel was trying to show me. I wonder now what I may have missed…

One late evening this summer as it was getting dark I got the clear instructions to go down to the water. I was feeling very tired, but I hiked down to the ocean anyways and I am so glad I did. It was profound to get such detailed information where to stand, how to connect with a whale who was resting in the distance through sending messages from my heart to his, breathing together and then having to hurry all of sudden to a certain outcrop of rocks which was not easy to do in the dark. I found myself standing at the edge of the water just in time to witness a pod of dolphins swimming by lit up by the bioluminescence in the water. I will never forget the sound they made nor the magic of seeing them gracefully gliding through the water like fiery arrows with sparkling light everywhere. It felt like the sound and light was moving right through me. In that moment it was so clear that there is no limitations of what we can manifest.

So glad I decided to leave the dishes for now and dig a little deeper. I had completely forgotten about the incident with the squirrel until I stood out on the deck after dinner tonight enjoying the feel of the rain on my face and feeling my socks grow heavy from the moisture.

Feeling grateful and excited about welcoming in the new season I intend to apologize to the squirrel in the morning for not listening and following its invitation. Still I keep on learning…

Gentle Equinox Blessings to you!

A Revealing New Moon

The sound of the woodpecker’s rhythmic drumming on the Arbutus tree just outside my window reminds me to light a candle for this New Moon in Virgo. As the flame flickers wildly I wonder what new beginnings and new ways of being this moon invites me to open to.

Looking more closely at the pictures that the Woodpecker so graciously allowed me to take I discover to my delight that some of the white shapes on its wings look very much like tiny hearts. This brings a smile to my face. Who would have thought that the woodpecker would be a messenger of Love?

Today seems to be one of these days where things that I have not previously seen come all of a sudden into my awareness. Maybe I didn’t look closely enough before or perhaps other things distracted me.

This morning for instance while sitting out on the bluff for my meditation I noticed to my great and utter surprise a little bump of land just behind Kinghorn Island that I had never seen before or don’t remember seeing. I have no idea if it is a part of the island or if it is another smaller island behind Kinghorn. This was a rather startling discovery as I have looked at the same view pretty much every day since I moved here a year and a half ago.

Perhaps this is what Raven had been trying to tell me this morning while we were watching Kinghorn island slowly appear as the veil of smoke began to lift. With no background of the coastal mountains to distract me the little bump of land framed by the smoke finally was able to attract my attention. The fact that I had been blind to it all this time made a different kind of impact than the mighty mountains that continuously draw my gaze with their undeniable majestic beauty.

With the smoke limiting the view considerably it also seems to accentuate or bring into focus little details I have never noticed before. I have a feeling this New Moon in Virgo may also be encouraging me to look more closely at the little details in my life that I have not looked at or have not been able or willing to see.

It was fascinating to watch the boats go by and notice that they were all kind of colourless, blending in with everything else, which stood in sharp contrast to the rising sun’s fiery light on the water. Somehow the smoke makes everything appear to be the same except for the sun. It stands out like a beacon in the sky changing from vibrant red, orange and yellow – the same colour as the fires that are burning.

All of a sudden a different kind of smoke fills the air from the burned out candle as I type this. It seems I am meant to be present with, rather than resist, the fumes both on the inside and outside and what they wish to expose. It is not lost on me that it is another New Moon that inspires me to write and share once again.

A little later in the morning as I sat with my friend on the same bluff eating a late breakfast both of us in the same moment discovered the spiral on the button of my shoes. My friend spoke first as I stared at the beautiful swirls. I couldn’t help but laugh because I have owned these shoes for a few years now. The spiral reminded me of the mystery and the sense that life isn’t linear but full of swirls, illusions and moments of joy, moments where our hearts crack open and moments that may feel so challenging that we wonder if can rise to the occasion.

Ever since the Sun has entered Virgo I have felt the need to de-clutter and organize, discerning what needs to be let go of, what is aligned and what isn’t. This has also given me the energy I needed to move forward in my life and offering my services – coaching, counselling and Shamanic energy work – to those who are in need of support in these turbulent times as many of us are being called to give our gifts and rise to the occasion. Doing this work fills me in a way I can’t put into words and I am aware I have come full circle.

Now looking at the picture taken a few mornings ago of the sun rising over the mountains behind the smoke I allow myself to enter into the mystery of the glowing fiery circle with a trusting heart and open to what else wants to be unveiled on this New Moon where the sun and moon meet in the sky.

Beautiful New Moon Revelations and Blessings to you all!

First Day

Wet green moss beckons

as she steps barefoot into the New Year

Out of time into the warmth of Now

Love illuminates the barks, mosses and leaves

while stag moves slowly 

towards her unmoving presence

Golden Elephant breaks through

the last clouds in her heart

offering her the universe in one drop

Laughter bubbles to the surface

inviting one numb foot after the other

into the welcoming womb of unexpected bliss

Sailing away into the misty moment

she lets the seaweed caress her skin

on this first day

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wild Christmas Beauty

For Belonging
by John O’Donohue

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never become haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you,
mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

Walking through the woods on this Christmas Day I noticed how the trees were lit up like Christmas trees. It was so beautiful and unexpected to find Christmas out there in the forest. Breathing in the forest air a deep sense of belonging filled my heart. There were so many gifts to be discovered, like secret little hiding places which made me wonder who actually lived there and many different mushrooms and mosses glistening mysteriously, hinting at a wild world which was beckoning me to enter. I came home two and half hours later filled with so much joy and wonder.

So before this Christmas Day comes to an end, I want to wish you a “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”!

And may the wild beauty in our hearts guide us into this new decade and New Year and allow us to broaden our sense of belonging and our part in that greater family.

Much love to you!

Messenger Outside

Discovering a young buck lying peacefully outside my door was such a sweet surprise this morning. Peeking from behind the window I watched him for a long time just chewing his cud. It was strangely meditative observing him bring food back up into his mouth and slowly chew it before swallowing it again. Suddenly the elusive answer to a question that my mind had turned into a complex mess popped up out of nowhere. Here it was, right in front of me and so simple. Watching the buck also inspired me to finally start sorting through my boxes, full of things from the past, deciding what to let go off and what to keep.

Flashes of memories of visiting my grandmother and her people on their little farm easily came to mind as I stood by the window gazing outside. I still remember the excitement and fear I felt of helping my great-aunt “Tante Bärbchen” with the cows. We would take them out onto their pasture in the morning and bring them back in the evening. Recalling the loud sound their hooves made on the pavement, as we walked through the tiny village, I always marvelled that they didn’t just run off. Instead they listened carefully to my great-aunt and were happy to come home to the barn, which was attached to the house, to get fed and milked. I loved seeing them lie peacefully in the straw at night chewing their cud.

These memories must have prompted me years later to get my own goats. Again the joy I felt milking them and taking them on their daily walks in the wilderness is still with me. My son was just two at the time and I would take him with me on these walks. Everyone would join us: the horse, our dog Mika, our two cats Cinderella and Tinkerbell and most of the chickens and Mr. Rooster as well. It was a funny looking herd to say the least.

The goats were very protective of my little boy and wouldn’t let anyone except me get too close to him much to Mika’s irritation. After all he was supposed to protect us. Instead he had to watch out that the goats didn’t succeed in butting him if he dared to come too close. He barked with outrage at them, but they kept their tight circle around my son whenever they felt some perceived danger.

Afterwards we would hang out with the goats in their shelter for a while. It was warm and cozy as we watched them peacefully chew their cud. So grateful to have these memories…and yet there is this funny dilemma with memories when you don’t remember who you told them to already. So please forgive me if you have already heard this. These were the images that came to the surface while watching this beautiful wild animal lie so trustingly near my door step. Perhaps in a way it is me chewing my cud in the form of these vital memories from what now seems like a long time ago.

Well, of course I had to try and take a picture of this magnificent animal. It took about ten seconds for him to jump up after I opened the front door and make his way to his brother or buddy who also had been lying down nearby. It was such a powerful sight seeing these two look back at me. You just never know what unexpected gifts, messages, answers or memories are brought to your door step…

The Scrawny Caterpillar

Once upon a time there was a little caterpillar who did not want to do what other caterpillars did: eat all day. Instead she wanted to see and experience the beauty of the world around her. Often you could see her sitting on the highest leaves of the tree looking at the ever-changing landscape. She loved watching all the creatures in the forest and took delight in whenever one took time to talk to her. But she didn’t get much eating done and consequently was much smaller than her peers.

The other caterpillars were too busy eating to notice. One day Grandmother Bear walked by and right away saw the scrawny caterpillar sitting on a leaf looking out at the world. She asked the caterpillar why she wasn’t eating like all the other caterpillars. “Are you sick? ” she asked. “Is this why you don’t eat as much as the others? The little caterpillar shook her head. “No!” she replied and explained that she just didn’t think all the hard work of finding food and eating constantly was what life was all about. She wanted to just experience the beauty of the forest and the world around her. The wise old bear shook her big head when she heard this and said: “You know that you are a caterpillar and eating is what all caterpillars must do, so that they can evolve to the next stage of becoming a butterfly.” After she spoke the big old bear continued on her journey and disappeared behind the trees.

The scrawny caterpillar had listened carefully to what Grandmother Bear had told her, but didn’t really understand what it meant to be a butterfly or how to even get there. After the old bear had left she sat in silence for a long while and watched all the other caterpillars in their busyness and noticed how much bigger they were. She asked one closest to her if he was happy doing what he was doing. He looked at her with a puzzled look thinking about what she had asked. He then answered slowly speaking with his mouth still full: “I am doing what my inner nature is prompting me to do. I don’t really think about if it makes me happy. I just eat, enjoy being in the moment and trust that it is what I am meant to be doing right now”. Then he took another big bite and turned to crawl to a new leaf that was beckoning him.

The little caterpillar thought about his answer and wondered if she should try this. She could always go back to doing what she loved to do: sit in nature and just be. As she took a bite off the leaf she was sitting on, she allowed herself to tune into her own inner knowing. This started taking her to the best food to eat and soon she felt very full and ready for something….

As she listened closely to her own inner guidance she found a special place where she carefully began to spin a silk chrysalis around herself. From the outside it looked like she was resting, but on the inside many transformations started taking place. Then one day when she was done all the forming and changing on the inside another prompting came. It was time to come out of her chrysalis. Slowly but surely she emerged from her cocoon as a beautiful blue butterfly. Her wings were still soft from having been in the tight enclosure. But after a rest she felt the urge to move her wings for the very first time. Blood pumped into them and soon she was flapping them vigorously. She knew when she was ready to take flight. Something inside her just knew!

In that very moment Grandmother Bear magically appeared again walking down the trail towards her. She immediately saw the beautiful blue butterfly and showed no surprise when it spoke to her: “I want to thank you Grandmother Bear for taking the time to speak to me and telling me of my destiny. I didn’t know what you meant by what you said, but I did listen and now I understand.” She then gracefully spread her beautiful blue wings and lifted effortlessly off the branch she had been sitting on. Dancing joyfully around the bear’s head before flying off to the nearest flower she drank for the first time the sweet nectar of life and never questioned again her own inner knowing and allowed herself to be guided from one beautiful flower to the next, delighting in each of them and in just being herself.

The End

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Beyond Duality

Looking at the sky early this morning while standing out on the bluff I wondered what the day would be like. The sky looked like it had a hard time making up its mind. The clear division of sunshine on one side and dark heavy clouds on the other made me laugh reminding me no matter what, that I have choice through which lens I want to see the world and meet what life brings me.

As it turned out it was a mixed bag all day, quickly changing from sunny to cloudy… back and forth. However the flowers on my deck still wet from the gentle rain last night and shining vibrantly despite the cloudiness were calling me to take a picture of them. Perhaps it was the greyness of the moment that made their beauty even more pronounced.

I love taking pictures after a rainfall. Each glistening drop sparkling, containing and reflecting the mystery of life to all who care to take a closer look, just as each flower speaks to us of a beauty far deeper than what can be seen by the eye. Perhaps that is why gardening is so deeply satisfying as it allows us to enter and commune with both the very tactile grounded earthiness and the mystery contained in each seed planted. I do not have a garden here as I literally live on a rock, but the planters on my deck filled with herbs, greens and a few flowers gift me with the joy of being connected with the cycle of life and feed me in so many ways.

As the summer is deepening I allow myself to slow down and take in the gifts of the season… it’s scents, colours and delights. The Humpback whales have been hanging out nearby and I can’t describe how deeply it moves me to hear them breathe and speak to each other and perhaps even speaking to me and my friend as we sat under the starry night listening and watching stars fly through the sky. Neither of us had ever heard whales speak. Such incredible magic!

Yesterday the whales were slapping their fins and breaching for a long while. What a magnificent sight that is! It made me long for a better camera, as I kept missing those perfect moments. However I know I did not really miss anything as I allowed myself to take in the joy and exuberance that was being offered with my whole being.

I feel so blessed to have a place to call home and not just any place, but such a special one. And I get to share this gem with others who find their way here for a session or come for a cup of tea and hang out in the magic with me. Each moment is so precious and I love the gentle relaxation after a crazy busy spring, just being, still healing and enjoying this incredible beauty, the abundance all around me and the many fun and heart connecting community gatherings.

Yet just as sunshine and dark clouds meet in the sky and the whales dive again deep into the depths of the ocean I am aware of the duality we live in, which contains it all: birth, life, death, joy and grief… and the pearl that can be found in all of it: the love which takes us beyond duality.

Remembering Abundance

Lying in bed this morning with no motivation to get up, I heard a quiet voice inside whisper: “What is here is enough….it is more than enough. It is true abundance!”

This got me out of bed in an instance, wanting to write it down as it struck such a deep cord inside. The day before I drew an angel card as I often do, receiving the Angel of Abundance. It made no sense to me in that moment and couldn’t relate to it at all, feeling not well from the after effects of a tick bite, infection in my body and the antibiotic treatment I received that morning.

Now, however, it didn’t only make sense in my head, but I remembered with my whole Being what it meant and knew that I can trust in the perfection of what it is here…and as I watch the squirrel make its way to the bluff, I feel the invitation to follow it and allow my body to be gently moved.

Wishing you all a beauty filled day with so much love!

Five Years In The Making

Making my way to the bluff I take off my shoes as soon as I reach the moss covered ground. The moss is dry and brittle, but still soft beneath my feet. I drink in the heat of the sun through the soles of my bare feet as well as my skin. It is surprisingly hot after a few cooler days with just a sprinkle of rain. I don’t last long in the full sun, enjoying one last look of the gorgeous view of mountains, forests and ocean and retreat to my cabin that I am blessed to now call home.

Meeting a very friendly squirrel on the way back, it surprises me how it comes fearlessly all the way down to the path I am on, checks me out with gentle curiosity and then keeps on going past the bathtub on some sort of mission. With no rain in sight and already a Level 3 drought warning I let go of my plan to have a bath in the moonlight tonight. That will have to wait till rain is in the forecast and will be something to look forward to and celebrate.

It feels good to be back in the much cooler cabin and it feels incredible to finally have a year round and hopefully longterm rental and not only that, but such a special one. What a relief and joy after a year and a half of looking for a new home.

Painting it from top to bottom was well worth it, even though I had no idea how much work it would turn out to be and how long it would take. Preparing this space was a labour of love, not just for myself but even more so as a healing space for others. It felt like it was just made for it and I was so happy when the moment finally arrived and I was able to offer my first session here last week. It was like coming home on many different levels.

This feeling of being in the right place surrounds me here among the Arbutus trees. Even the dead ones still hold a powerful energy and beauty and remind me once again that endings are tightly interwoven with new beginnings. This is the place I first stayed at on Cortes Island five years ago over a long Easter weekend. I fell so in love with this beautiful island then, that I didn’t want to leave. Little did I know that my yearning to be here and my sense of belonging would fulfill itself in such a way, bringing me back not only to the island but to the place where it all began almost exactly five years later.

Trusting that life has opened this door for me for a reason, I delight in being here, feeling so happy to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and feel so welcomed in this neighbourhood. Amazingly I am doing exactly what I had envisioned five years ago: sitting by the big window amidst the Arbutus trees and writing on my computer. What a confirmation of manifestation….

With so much gratitude to all my wonderful friends that helped me paint, move, build a gate, decorate and support me in so many ways on this journey…thank you so much!