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Pressed: 52 Weeks Being Now: Week Thirty-Two: The Spirit Moving

4 Jul

52 Weeks Being Now: Week Thirty-Two: The Spirit Moving.

IMG_3402

**My experience in my Spirit Movement Class on Pender Island

The Spirit Moving

by

Shelley Robinson

Asynchronously around me
The playlist
Bursts everyone open into flame
A free flow frenzy of dance
I lay pressed to the floor
Shallow breathing
Heart flatlining
Tears trickling
The wooden floor vibrates
Their footsteps recalibrate my soul
I stir, and breathe, and wake
Quietly

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Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 28: Sparking Serendipity

25 May

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 28: Sparking Serendipity.

IMG_6622

Bonfires of the Heart: When listening to the song by James Blunt called “Bonfires of the Heart” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1j1qwQQ8-Q) the other day, I realize that our lives are often very much about laying down the paper, kindling and firewood with the hopes that the fire in our hearts will set ablaze when the right situation, opportunity or person comes along. Too often we are searching for exactly what we think will turn us on–that little spark that ignites the flame. I’ve spent much of my life thinking that there is a certain type of person–an alterego, that fits a profile that would be my perfect match. However, when “Mr. Perfect” happened to come along recently, fitting all of the criteria that I had outlined for myself, it ended up being very ordinary, and not longstanding. I got swept away for a brief time, thinking that I knew what I was talking about, and that I had actually found “it”.

Magic Happens: What I learned is that the Universe prefers “magic” to happen instead. It is not satisfied with the ordinary for any one of us, unless, of course, we insist upon it. If we arm wrestle with the powers that be, we will get what we want, and that is often very average dreams embedded in fear-based outcomes that demand assurances and security. However, when we let the universe call the shots, real change and opportunity come alive. This life altering shift is no ordinary change, but it often involves a quake that results in massive “second order change”. Second order change is not about tweaking what we are already doing, but it can sometimes mean blowing up the house and rebuilding it from the ground up. It means that after the earth quake that can shake up our worlds, we have to look down into the faults that have opened up in the earth around us, and let the spirit rise inside of us.

In other words, we have to let ourselves fall back into the abundance that is being offered to us and trust that the spirit will catch us.

Serendipity can be defined as “look[ing] for something, find[ing] something else, and realiz[ing] that what you found is more suited to your needs than what you were looking for” (Lawrence Block). This requires us to shed the expectations that we held up so highly in our hearts in the first place. When we “accidentally stumble upon something truly wonderful, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated” we have to stop and open our hearts to the possibilities. I am finding that the more I shift my own path to the one of my inner calling (a disconcerting process), that serendipitous moments are opening up all around me. I notice them where I may not have paid attention before. They resonate with me to my core.

Recently I met someone who is the type of person who I was attracted to when I was younger. He is not the person that my grown-up persona would assume is my right match. He has not followed my ultra-responsible path, nor is he a duplicate of my polished personal and professional resume. He is instead, this charismatic person with sky blue eyes that pierce through to my soul and ask me questions that I haven’t had the courage to ask myself in a long time. Interestingly, he is from Salt Spring Island where I can see its Mount Tuam and Mount Maxwell from my Pender cottage across the Swanson Channel. Unbeknownst to him, he took me on a couple of our “dates” to explore these summit vantage points where I can see down on my little island. Fortunately, we are both in love with nature and its healing power. We are joyful souls, disparate in our circumstances, but completely aligned in our intense spiritual connection. Together, we flow into each experience we have the opportunity to share, one to the next, side by side in utterly fluid comfort that is fed by the heart and the spirit. It seems to make “sense” as it unfolds, even when I think it isn’t “sensible”. It ends up reminding me that this is exactly what was intended for me in my life at this time.

Ignoring the Road Signs: When someone touches us in ways that soften our edges and allows us to see ourselves with kinder and more loving lenses, we are being warmed by the bonfires of the universe. It will not burn us if we trust it. It is asking us to step up and get closer to warm our bodies and souls next to the fire that we were meant to experience all along.

For example, when I was younger, I naturally and intrinsically knew exactly what turned me on when it came to the opposite sex. I was closer to my essential self at that time. I had not had years to convince myself of who I was supposed to be, and to be led by my overly-responsibly parenting standards, nor an ego that steered me away from the things that are most important to me. In my early years, I gravitated to the type of people where I could truly be myself which has always been a feisty, sassy girl who liked to speak her mind, dance, play sports, debate, race, enjoy cards at night, listen to music (and actually hear the lyrics), swear on occasion, read and write poetry out loud, appreciate being outside in the middle of the woods (lost sometimes), party late, write often, compose music, crack jokes, laugh a lot, and more importantly, have fun.

I am designed to have fun and what a joy it is to remember how to do so when for so many years, reason stepped in and held up the signs that said any one of these things: “you have things to get done…you are too old for this…you have a child to take care of and launch…you need to be safe…other people need your attention…you might get hurt…make money…be responsible!” In following these road signs, I accomplished a lot, and I don’t have many regrets because I made a solid career for myself, and raised a wonderful son, and explored destinations that were only possible through a strong work ethic. However, what I forgot about in doing so, was my biggest asset (and one that I hope that my dear friends will remember about me), which is my ability to abandon myself to joyful moments.

Reminders from the Universe on the Fairway of Life: I believe that we know that we are being nurtured by universal serendipity when all of sudden, something wonderful catches our attention. The essence…taste, smell, look, touch, sound…whatever, take our breath away, and we cannot move. It jolts us awake. In my case, I could not breathe. If I tried to walk away and ignore it, I had a visceral response to the pull. I had to turn around and wonder, “What just happened? Who are you? What is this?” I had envisioned something like it, but when it came along, it caught me by surprise.

Life feels just a little bit differently when something or someone comes along that we are supposed to experience. Some people describe it as falling in love, but I baulk at this description because it implies that we are relying on the “other” for our happiness. For me, serendipity is more powerful than simply a chemical reaction between two people that captivates their attention, and draws them together for awhile. Serendipitous experience involve spirit at a profound level, like a falling into self. In my case, I feel like I can rest into it. When I swing, it follows through. The sweet spot connects, and before I know it, I catch myself looking up a fairway that I didn’t even know that I was playing. There is remarkable joy to see my little white ball landing right in the middle of the green. How did that happen? The universe seems to answer: “It has always been there, and where the hell have you been? It is your turn to putt. Everyone is waiting for you.”

The Spirit Moving
Shelley Robinson

Asynchronously around me
The playlist
Bursts everyone open into flame
A free flow frenzy of dance
I lay pressed to the floor
Shallow breathing
Heart flatlining
Tears trickling
The wooded floor vibrates
Their footsteps recalibrate my soul
I stir, and breathe, and wake
Quietly

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 28: Sparking Serendipity

24 May

IMG_6622

Bonfires of the Heart: When listening to the song by James Blunt called “Bonfires of the Heart” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1j1qwQQ8-Q) the other day, I realize that our lives are often very much about laying down the paper, kindling and firewood with the hopes that the fire in our hearts will set ablaze when the right situation, opportunity or person comes along. Too often we are searching for exactly what we think will turn us on–that little spark that ignites the flame. I’ve spent much of my life thinking that there is a certain type of person–an alterego, that fits a profile that would be my perfect match. However, when “Mr. Perfect” happened to come along recently, fitting all of the criteria that I had outlined for myself, it ended up being very ordinary, and not longstanding. I got swept away for a brief time, thinking that I knew what I was talking about, and that I had actually found “it”.

Magic Happens: What I learned is that the Universe prefers “magic” to happen instead. It is not satisfied with the ordinary for any one of us, unless, of course, we insist upon it. If we arm wrestle with the powers that be, we will get what we want, and that is often very average dreams embedded in fear-based outcomes that demand assurances and security. However, when we let the universe call the shots, real change and opportunity come alive. This life altering shift is no ordinary change, but it often involves a quake that results in massive “second order change”. Second order change is not about tweaking what we are already doing, but it can sometimes mean blowing up the house and rebuilding it from the ground up. It means that after the earth quake that can shake up our worlds, we have to look down into the faults that have opened up in the earth around us, and let the spirit rise inside of us.

In other words, we have to let ourselves fall back into the abundance that is being offered to us and trust that the spirit will catch us.

Serendipity can be defined as “look[ing] for something, find[ing] something else, and realiz[ing] that what you found is more suited to your needs than what you were looking for” (Lawrence Block). This requires us to shed the expectations that we held up so highly in our hearts in the first place. When we “accidentally stumble upon something truly wonderful, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated” we have to stop and open our hearts to the possibilities. I am finding that the more I shift my own path to the one of my inner calling (a disconcerting process), that serendipitous moments are opening up all around me. I notice them where I may not have paid attention before. They resonate with me to my core.

Recently I met someone who is the type of person who I was attracted to when I was younger. He is not the person that my grown-up persona would assume is my right match. He has not followed my ultra-responsible path, nor is he a duplicate of my polished personal and professional resume. He is instead, this charismatic person with sky blue eyes that pierce through to my soul and ask me questions that I haven’t had the courage to ask myself in a long time. Interestingly, he is from Salt Spring Island which I can see from my Pender cottage. Mount Tuam and Mount Maxwell loom in the distance across the Swanson Channel. Unbeknownst to him, he took me on a couple of our “dates” to explore these vantage points where I can see down on my little island. Fortunately, we are both in love with nature and its healing power. We are joyful souls, disparate in our circumstances, but completely aligned in our intense spiritual connection. Together, we flow into each experience we have the opportunity to share, one to the next, side by side in utterly fluid comfort that is fed by the heart and the spirit. It seems to make “sense” as it unfolds, even when I think it isn’t “sensible”. It ends up reminding me that this is exactly what was intended for me in my life at this time.

Ignoring the Road Signs: When someone touches us in ways that soften our edges and allows us to see ourselves with kinder and more loving lenses, we are being warmed by the bonfires of the universe. It will not burn us if we trust it. It is asking us to step up and get closer to warm our bodies and souls next to the fire that we were meant to experience all along.

For example, when I was younger, I naturally and intrinsically knew exactly what turned me on when it came to the opposite sex. I was closer to my essential self at that time. I had not had years to convince myself of who I was supposed to be, and to be led by my overly-responsibly parenting standards, nor an ego that steered me away from the things that are most important to me. In my early years, I gravitated to the type of people where I could truly be myself which has always been a feisty, sassy girl who liked to speak her mind, dance, play sports, debate, race, enjoy cards at night, listen to music (and actually hear the lyrics), swear on occasion, read and write poetry out loud, appreciate being outside in the middle of the woods (lost sometimes), party late, write often, compose music, crack jokes, laugh a lot, and more importantly, have fun.

I am designed to have fun and what a joy it is to remember how to do so when for so many years, reason stepped in and held up the signs that said any one of these things: “you have things to get done…you are too old for this…you have a child to take care of and launch…you need to be safe…other people need your attention…you might get hurt…make money…be responsible!” In following these road signs, I accomplished a lot, and I don’t have many regrets because I made a solid career for myself, and raised a wonderful son. However, what I forgot was my biggest asset (and one that I hope that my dear friends will remember about me), and that is my ability to abandon myself to joyful moments.

Reminders from the Universe on the Fairway of Life: I believe that we know that we are being nurtured by universal serendipity when all of sudden, something wonderful catches our attention. The essence…taste, smell, look, touch, sound…whatever, take our breath away, and we cannot move. It jolts us awake. In my case, I could not breathe. If I tried to walk away and ignore it, I had a visceral response to the pull. I had to turn around and wonder, “What just happened? Who are you? What is this?” I had envisioned something like it, but when it came along, it caught me by surprise.

Life feels just a little bit differently when something or someone comes along that we are supposed to experience. Some people describe it as falling in love, but I baulk at this description because it implies that we are relying on the “other” for our happiness. For me, serendipity is more powerful than simply a chemical reaction between two people that captivates their attention, and draws them together for awhile. Serendipitous experience involve spirit at a profound level, like a falling into self. In my case, I feel like I can rest into it. When I swing, it follows through. The sweet spot connects, and before I know it, I catch myself looking up a fairway that I didn’t even know that I was playing. There is remarkable joy to see my little white ball landing right in the middle of the green. How did that happen? The universe seems to answer: “It has always been there, and where the hell have you been? It is your turn to putt. Everyone is waiting for you.”

The Spirit Moving
Shelley Robinson

Asynchronously around me
The playlist
Bursts everyone open into flame
A free flow frenzy of dance
I lay pressed to the floor
Shallow breathing
Heart flatlining
Tears trickling
The wooded floor vibrates
Their footsteps recalibrate my soul
I stir, and breathe, and wake
Quietly

Pressed: 52 Weeks Being Now: Week 25: Happy Endings

25 Mar

52 Weeks Being Now: Week 25: Happy Endings.

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Don’t Tell Me The Ending: How many times has someone told you about a good movie, and you put your hand up and begged them to stop because you didn’t want them to ruin the ending? You simply didn’t want to know until you read the book or watched the movie yourself.

However, why are we then so compelled to know the outcomes of our everyday lives in such rigid and fixed detail? Consider how much time we actually spend in our lives to assure that we do know what the endings will be in our day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year lives. We create plans and regimented schedules at work and for our personal lives that help us anticipate and in some ways guarantee our lives in multiple ways. This organization is seen to be purposeful, and also helps us to be less anxious over unknown outcomes. As we all know, uncertainty can be anxiety provoking. Therefore, we know what will happen to us first thing in the morning, at noon and at 3:00 PM, and then, as well, in the evening. We know where we will go to bed, and are pretty assured that we will awake in the morning at a set time, and will likely repeat much of our previous day, all over again.

How often do we approach fortune tellers asking to know what is going to happen to us. This mysterious, unknown Future both intrigues and disturbs us because we don’t really know what life will deal us or our loved ones. We cocoon ourselves in our daily tasks so that we don’t have to look at the truth of the randomness of the universe in the eye. We attach ourselves to domesticated routines to help us pretend that we can determine our destinies in love, business, finances and other. Why not? If we just do A, B and C, then D will happen. Right? Some people coordinate their lives so carefully, that there is no room for “error”, in their minds. They become quite disappointed or surprised when things don’t happen exactly as they expect that they are supposed to happen. However, life unfolds as it intends to manifest itself, and we sometimes need to be reminded of how little control we truly have over it.

Letting Go: Perhaps we need to embrace this “unknowing” with greater inner abandonment. Just as when we are watching the movie, we don’t want to know the ending until the end, so should we sometimes give things up to chance in the living of our lives. By allowing space in our day for life to breath into us what could or should or might happen, we can allow ourselves some connection to that which pulls at our souls. Perhaps we don’t know where we will eat dinner. Perhaps we sit down in a restaurant with someone new and have a conversation about something else that we might not have considered before. On the weekends, we might allow our time to be flexible, and do things based on how we feel at the time. Perhaps we push ourselves out of our comfort zones and travel or hike or bike somewhere we have never been and invite along new people that push us to think about topics differently. Maybe we travel by ourselves so that we can be truly open to what is just around the corner, and to meet new people that might ask us to think about life in new and exciting ways. Maybe we take time to read literature that we might not normally read, or write letters or emails to people to whom we have been meaning to write. At work, we try new things, or ask for different opportunities. Perhaps we do nothing at all and just meditate so that we have time to breathe deeply. In other words: What compels us to do, think and be things in new and unpredictable ways where we don’t know what the ending will be?

Happy Endings: And what if I told you that everything is going to be okay? You will meet the person that you are meant to be with. You will be secure in your future until you pass away. You will have grandchildren. You will publish your book. Would you then let go of needing to carefully orchestrate your life in an effort to assure that this will, in fact, be the outcome? Now all you have to do is live for the moment because you don’t have to worry about the outcomes. You can just live and enjoy each moment that you encounter. Everything else will take care of itself naturally and through the natural course of things intended by the universe. Perhaps the endings will not be exactly what you were expecting, but maybe that is better. Expectations just have a way of upsetting us anyway. I suggest that you wait to read the book of your life until you get to the end. Enjoy it. Wait to be surprised, and enjoy the unexpected, instead of feeling anxious about it. I will meet you somewhere along your journey of happy endings.

52 Weeks Being Now: Week 25: Happy Endings

25 Mar

1781455_10152373020356383_1331996233_o

Don’t Tell Me The Ending: How many times has someone told you about a good movie, and you put your hand up and begged them to stop because you didn’t want them to ruin the ending? You simply didn’t want to know until you read the book or watched the movie yourself.

However, why are we then so compelled to know the outcomes of our everyday lives in such rigid and fixed detail? Consider how much time we actually spend in our lives to assure that we do know what the endings will be in our day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year lives. We create plans and regimented schedules at work and for our personal lives that help us anticipate and in some ways guarantee our lives in multiple ways. This organization is seen to be purposeful, and also helps us to be less anxious over unknown outcomes. As we all know, uncertainty can be anxiety provoking. Therefore, we know what will happen to us first thing in the morning, at noon and at 3:00 PM, and then, as well, in the evening. We know where we will go to bed, and are pretty assured that we will awake in the morning at a set time, and will likely repeat much of our previous day, all over again.

How often do we approach fortune tellers asking to know what is going to happen to us. This mysterious, unknown Future both intrigues and disturbs us because we don’t really know what life will deal us or our loved ones. We cocoon ourselves in our daily tasks so that we don’t have to look at the truth of the randomness of the universe in the eye. We attach ourselves to domesticated routines to help us pretend that we can determine our destinies in love, business, finances and other. Why not? If we just do A, B and C, then D will happen. Right? Some people coordinate their lives so carefully, that there is no room for “error”, in their minds. They become quite disappointed or surprised when things don’t happen exactly as they expect that they are supposed to happen. However, life unfolds as it intends to manifest itself, and we sometimes need to be reminded of how little control we truly have over it.

Letting Go: Perhaps we need to embrace this “unknowing” with greater inner abandonment. Just as when we are watching the movie, we don’t want to know the ending until the end, so should we sometimes give things up to chance in the living of our lives. By allowing space in our day for life to breath into us what could or should or might happen, we can allow ourselves some connection to that which pulls at our souls. Perhaps we don’t know where we will eat dinner. Perhaps we sit down in a restaurant with someone new and have a conversation about something else that we might not have considered before. On the weekends, we might allow our time to be flexible, and do things based on how we feel at the time. Perhaps we push ourselves out of our comfort zones and travel or hike or bike somewhere we have never been and invite along new people that push us to think about topics differently. Maybe we travel by ourselves so that we can be truly open to what is just around the corner, and to meet new people that might ask us to think about life in new and exciting ways. Maybe we take time to read literature that we might not normally read, or write letters or emails to people to whom we have been meaning to write. At work, we try new things, or ask for different opportunities. Perhaps we do nothing at all and just meditate so that we have time to breathe deeply. In other words: What compels us to do, think and be things in new and unpredictable ways where we don’t know what the ending will be?

Happy Endings: And what if I told you that everything is going to be okay. You will meet the person that you are meant to be with? You will be secure in your future until you pass away. You will have grandchildren. You will publish your book. Would you then let go of needing to carefully orchestrate your life in an effort to assure that this will, in fact, be the outcome? Now all you have to do is live for the moment because you don’t have to worry about the outcomes. You can just live and enjoy each moment that you encounter. Everything else will take care of itself naturally and through the natural course of things intended by the universe. Perhaps the endings will not be exactly what you were expecting, but maybe that is better. Expectations just have a way of upsetting us anyway. I suggest that you wait to read the book of your life until you get to the end. Enjoy it. Wait to be surprised, and enjoy the unexpected, instead of feeling anxious about it. I will meet you somewhere along your journey of happy endings.

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Fifteen: Fleeting Memories

19 Jan

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Quick Memory Vignettes:  Every so often, a memory will register in my mind–a quick glimpse of somewhere special that I have been, and catch me off guard by its poignancy. Lately, without any real impetus for a specific memory, I am remembering experiences like visiting the museum in Seattle. Suddenly, I am back there.  I am not certain why this particular part of the day sprouts back in my memory because the rest of the day was much more interesting. The Burke-Gilman bike trail through the city was a demanding one, and we stopped all over the city as we wound through the University of Washington and down to the harbour. And yet, this little museum gift shop jumps out in the foreground.

Another example was that while working this past week, I suddenly found myself reliving a walk along the Freedom Trail in Boston and our walk down to the ferry terminal past the Old South Meeting Hall. Another recollection was of a heli-hike up the Purcell range to the Sunrise Lake Chalet.  Instantly, I felt as if I was right there summer-skiing on the glacier snow in my hiking boots.  I also found myself reliving a few minutes in the sleeper car down to Luxor in Egypt.  It is this quaint little train cabin, and the rattling of the train over the uneven tracks that re-invites itself into my present more than all of other grand landmarks of the area.  All of the memories sifting through lately are usually very focussed sound-bites of time, and I am momentarily transformed by the recollection.

Is this normal? Is this something like Alzheimer’s, but in the reverse?  Can someone have a problem with remembering things too vividly, and for no particular reason at all? It is somehow fragrant in its effect, as wafts of experience capture my senses and set me back in time and space. I am not certain of the reason for it, and why so noticeably at this time in my life. However, like dreams, if I try to grab onto them too directly, they disappear, and I am left grasping out for them a bit. I have learned instead, to relish in them a bit without thinking too much about why they are appearing. My mind has remembered them clearly, and the vivid ones are those from my travels and childhood.

Simpler Times: I suppose my mind escapes to times where I had the ability to breathe, play, focus and be creative. I did not know at the time of my initial experiences that I would be able to re-trace them in my future with such clarity. These memories reach out and sustain me at times where perhaps I am feeling overwhelmed, and under-stimulated. My mind has decided to entertain me with better experiences telling me to “stop”. “Remember when…” is the dialogue box going on behind the visuals coming back to me. My inner counsellor beckons me to reconsider my present course.

I am meant to be creative, and “do” something with these memories. Perhaps I am meant to write them down so they are not lost. I likely need to capture and transform them into a descriptive narrative that might reach other people who have not had the opportunities to experience these things, or keep them somewhere just for me to pull out of a drawer someday. These ideas are tapping me on the shoulder and I need to listen and to follow to this inner tour guide or counsellor. Many (not all) of these memories include my son, so I don’t think it takes much psycho-analytic brilliance to interpret this as missing his company and cherishing our time together. However, some are not with him, and indicate that there were times where I was able to uncover something valuable in an experience, and it stuck inside of me. The picture albums stay on the shelf, but the visuals are embedded in my head.

Specific Memories This Week:

-Mont Martre in Paris and walking down the hill past a little ancient restaurant where we eventually ate, indulging in food that can never be re-created anywhere else
-Walking adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial Park Reflection Pool, and making my way along the road to the Whitehouse
-Playing soccer as a child, and running with utter abandonment until dark and into the night time with all of my friends from elementary school
-Going to the symphony with my mother and falling asleep in the second half after intermission
-Staying in a little bed and breakfast in Northern Ireland called the Carriage House within a couple of kilometers of my great-grandfather’s homestead
-Waking up in PEI to a snowstorm that had utterly consumed our car. We laughed so hard knowing that we needed to be plowed out of the parking lot of our motel
-Sitting around the wooden stove in my grandmother’s Finnish kitchen. The smells of her cooking in all of its richness still transend time

The Deal: I think the deal we make with ourselves as we go through life is a simple one: Is what I am doing right now worthy of my memory? Some of what we do remember will surprise us, and in the remembering, will tell us what we might likely remember going forward. I suppose the key is to pay attention, relax into our experiences and breathe.

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen. ~Edward de Bono

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Nine: The Collapsible Day

27 Sep

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Nine: The Collapsible Day.

The Collapsible Day

Essential Questions:   If we were to collapse today into its most meaningful and essential moments, what would they be?  What would be the experiences that mattered most or that best reflect our essential selves in these 24 hours?  If this is difficult to answer and it all seems a blur of positive or negative or something in between, we are likely moving too fast, or sleep walking through our experience on autopilot, letting our habits of mind guide our trek.

As a child, I remember driving to Golden BC once a month to visit my grandmother.  My family got in the car, and sped past the glorious countryside.  In one deep breath, we literally lept from Calgary to Golden.  Had we really been in the mountains?  Much of it I slept through, and more often than not, I would try to read a book or something else to while away the time.  However, recently, I have been driving to Golden, or past it, on my own.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), I am not a very strong driver, and get tired easily.  Therefore, I need to stop and rest, and literally get out of the car.  In doing so, I am experiencing this familiar trek in very unfamiliar ways.

I see through my driver’s seat window a whole new experience on this journey and others, and in the end, when I reflect on my day of travel, I appreciate the various moments of the journey because I have to stay awake, pay attention and really understand where I  am going.

Today in Retrospect:  If I were to collapse today, September 25, 2012, I would realize that I was running through much of it to get things done; make people happy; and to insure that students are learning optimally in my new school.  However, there were a few moments that I believe I could harvest for this exercise:

  • When I woke up, I took my time.  I appreciated the breeze coming in the window, and how it was just chilly enough to want to stay in bed under the cozy comforter.  The ride to work was beautiful, and once again, the ocean stuns me with its beauty, especially on a blue sky day like today.
  • I laughed a lot today.  I find the office staff particularly friendly and they like to joke as much as I do.  We appreciate the humour in the moments that we share together.
  • I was invited by a staff member to the theatre, and accepted because I have time to go.
  • I sat with my group of students in my teacher advisory group, and we talked today, more authentically than we have in the past.  They are still not sure of me, and me of them.  We hedge ourselves tentatively around each other in our daily ten minutes together to discuss announcements and review attendance.  Terry Fox was our topic today, and perhaps the meaning behind his cancer run touched us in a special way.
  • I worked with teachers over lunch around the topic of professional development, asking ourselves how we can support the growth of teachers around their work with students and their understanding of education with each other.  It was exciting work, and enjoyable enough for us to want to meet again tomorrow to continue the conversation.
  • I grappled with a teacher around the topic of planning ahead, and the value of being accountable.  His students are challenging ones with special needs.
  • At two o’clock, sushi never tasted so good, but I ate it too quickly because I had waited too long.
  • A nice hug from my Comox realtor made me realize that tomorrow, everything from my Calgary home gets moved here, and this is the final steps of my relocation to the island.  On Monday, I get the keys to my new house.  Next week, the furniture and boxes will arrive, and then the unpacking begins.
  • A bike ride to Goose Spit this evening reminded me of the extraordinary beauty of this town, province and country.  How lucky I am to be healthy and wealthy enough to live here.

Take Two:  Distilling Further:   In retrospect, I believe that I captured the highlights of today, but I do not believe that I truly savored these experiences.  I did not bite into these juicy minutes and seconds and relish them with a presence that would have made them tastier.  I was and always seem to be cognizant of the time, and the bells, and the next meetings.  I am often thinking ahead about what the outcomes might be, or where we will go from here.  I am a navigator, and trying to get myself and others to places in interesting, productive and efficient ways.

Therefore, if I were to distill my experiences down to the truly delicious and essential moments, where I was truly in “bliss” and feeling happy or at peace, I would say that it looked more like this:

  • Lying in bed, pressing snooze, and hearing the birds through the window was the best nine minutes of the day. 
  • Getting some messages on Facebook from good friends was very special.
  • Tasting a good chocolate bar after the sushi was really what made this meal.
  • Talking to a nice man on the beach by Goose Spit as he brushed his blind dog made the bike ride worthwhile.
  • Sitting for a long time by the ocean with no reason to hurry, was truly engaging.  I just sat there and looked out at the ocean, breathing in the experience with every part of me.
  • The wind and sun on my face during my bike ride, especially down hill, was also spectacular.  It reminded me of being a child again on my first bike.
  • And finally, knowing that I had time to write my thoughts and feelings in this blog tonight held a special happiness all of its own.

I think that it is important to take time to collapse our days, and examine them in depth.  What really mattered today?  It is an interesting exercise, and forces me to be more present in my experiences so that when I de-centre and distill them down in this type of in-depth review, the day in retrospect holds vibrant moments to remember fondly.

Namaste