Some of us LOVE our shoes, some just buy something that fits (or not)… regardless of the sentimental value, our shoes are a symbol of who we are or what we think about ourselves.

Think about your shoe collection or about that one pair of shoes that are your favourites. Picture them as a self-portrait.

What do my shoes say about “Debbie”? Perhaps, for me, what speaks the greatest is the shoes that I “don’t” own. I love shoes. As someone once pointed out, that for many women they are the one piece of clothing that the size needed never changes! Once a size 6, always a size 6. (Oh that felt good, saying that I was a size 6.) Anyway, in my past I have owned dozens of shoes, often chosen for some funky quality that just seemed too cool to pass up. I loved shape, colour, height, texture. Yes, indeed, I loved shoes.

Today, however, (although I still seem to have quite a stockpile of shoes) they are pretty practical and purchased based on need. (Now, here is where the men in my family roll their eyes because it seems their perception of “need” is different than mine. But the ladies out there understand what I mean.) The common factor for all the shoes is comfort. Today I need a shoe with really good support. If the shoe fits the purpose and feels right, preferred colours etc go out the window.

This translates into the rest of my life – comfort, support and basic needs.

Now — what do YOUR shoes say about you? I would love to hear your interpretation!

~ Debbie, The Journey Within

Journey Within


Exciting Times Ahead!

At this time of year, here in Ontario, children are getting ready to start their school year. They will possibly be meeting new teachers, going to new schools, making new friends, taking new classes, learning new skills, and, well, there really isn’t an end to the possibilities!

For me, I, too, seem to be at the beginning of a new year, as my September is filled with a variety of new projects. The following are some of my new ventures:

~ I am co-facilitating a “Wise Woman’s Circle” in our community. I am really excited about this. Not only will I be facilitating self-awareness and empowerment discussions but I will also be learning from a group of ladies, learning from their wisdom, from their experiences. I know that these Circles are going to be very powerful events.

~ the “WoW: Empowerment Series” will be available online within the next month. The program is finished and ready to go and I’ve listened to the audio files twice now, since completion, and each time I have had new aha moments and been inspired.

~ the Gatherings continue to take place here in The Cabin as well as at the Welkin Centre. I have a feeling that something wonderful is going to take place at these Gatherings over the next few months.

~ the 2nd Annual Li’l Creek Bluegrass Jamboree is around the corner and that will be a wonderful afternoon of music and socializing.

~ there are new things happening with the / / sites, but I’ll have to leave you wondering about that one. Announcements will be made within a couple of weeks, I hope. (For those of you who don’t know, I am the Community Manager for these online communities. If you are a woodworker, a gardener, or a home refurbisher (for fun or profit) be sure to check out our sites.

~ and last but not least is our big family get-together in December. Our entire family will be home for Christmas. I think that the last time this happened was for my Mom’s 80th birthday in 2007.. no, not everyone was able to attend that. So, I can’t remember when the last time was! This is going to be a wonderful year.

New Beginnings – new possibilities, new inspirations, new Wisdoms. Life is good!

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “ logo

New Website

I have a new website!

Not much to say other than: check it out.
“The Journey Within at the Gathering Place”

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “ logo

The Olympic Feeling

I don’t know whether it is my age or because the Olympics were held in my own country, but with this Olympics, for the first time, I realized the impact these events have on our World.

Regardless of the chaos (both natural and man-made) that is taking place around the world, during these past two weeks there has been an overwhelming sense of Unity. We are one world supporting each other, motivating each other, challenging each other, and celebrating with each other.

Although the medals are the tangible goal for the events, for me, what was most powerful were the stories – the stories behind the athletes, the families, and the fans. Not only did my eyes tear up on a daily basis but the strength of Spirit – the lessons to be learned about commitment, passion, endurance, overcoming challenges, pushing on, adapting, and so many more inspiring qualities — this strength just has to make its way into every viewer’s fibre of being and hopefully can be drawn upon during our own life journeys. I feel that I have been blessed in so many ways just by being able to watch the Olympics (via television and the internet). Thank you to the athletes, the organizers, the sponsors, supporters, families, communities, and countries.

I also have to say that for the past week what I also felt was the power of media, the power that it has and should use on a daily basis, to empower and inspire. With just a few exceptions, the media coverage was positive and strength focused, rather than highlighting our flaws and the traumas and dramas that mankind can get caught up in. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this inspiration was “in our face” every day, pushing us to live better and to strive/aim higher.

We also can’t forget about the people (the protesters) who have an important message about money spent on practical needs rather than spent on such things as the Olympics. I understand that perspective. But the outcome of the Olympics — priceless. Somehow we have to be able to achieve both goals. And with the Spirit of mankind that has been demonstrated over the past two weeks, I know that we can succeed!

One last note is to quote Donald Sutherland from an interview on CTV at the Olympics: “{We are] kindess, generosity and passion and peace and we have been able to show that to the world […] This has shown this country as what it truly is – a blessing for the world.”

~ Debbie

Oh — and “Go CANADA!!!”

What does “Yin Yang” look like?

Ever wonder what “Yin Yang” looks like? Well check out these 151 different perspectives showcased in the LumberJocks’ Woodworking Awards event.

The woodworkers were challenged to use dark and light wood to express a sense of “Yin Yang”. There are so many unique creations and the descriptions that go along with some of the projects are very thought-provoking.

A big “well done” to all the participants and good luck with the Awards.

~Debbie, The Gathering Place
(P.S. here is my own personal entry)

Click for details: Yin Yang: "The Void"

Bluegrass Treasures!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending “January Thaw” presented by the Thames Valley Bluegrass Association .
The two groups playing during this amazing event were: Rhyme & Reason from SW Ontario and Hardline Drive from Michigan.

Both bands were amazing – the music was fantastic and it was so clear that each of the musicians loved singing and playing up there on the stage. I will be watching for upcoming performances.

If you enjoy listening to Bluegrass music then I highly recommend both of these bands as well as events through the Thames Valley organization.

Now I just have to comment on the amazing voices of the two female vocalists with Hardline Drive. The lead singer, Toni, has a powerful voice that just fills the room. As she sang, I was reminded of my all-time favourite voice: Don Williams. Don’s sound is described as “soft hickory” – smooth – and that is what I was hearing this afternoon. Smooth power. Loved it!

Take this sound and add in the powerhouse voice of Danielle and you have one amazing sound that just makes the room vibrate with song. As I watched Danielle bring that mandolin alive, burning up those strings, I was amazed at her talents and then those pipes broke loose and, wow, – where did that come from? As I said to her afterward, “Are you kidding me??!!” The voices of the two singers compliment each other so perfectly. Phew. That’s all I can say, other than “you just have to hear it to believe it”.

Again, thanks to all the musicians for a perfect afternoon.
~ Debbie