Rights

Originally posted on my website.

Have you ever found yourself in a discussion that left you feeling very unsettled? Well that’s how I am feeling today.

This is not the first time I have thought about the issue of “rights” and it isn’t the first time that I have written about it, but today it takes on a new layer as I continue to contemplate the workings of a “community”.

I won’t get into the specifics of the situation that triggered this blog because that is irrelevant. The rationalizations are what I am interested in. The main “truths” that are used in the debate go something like this:

1. they think that their rights are more important than mine and that I have to give up my rights so that they can have their rights. (I do not have to stop what I am doing!)
2. they chose to live like that, not me, and I do not have to give up my rights because of their choice

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot now (same “truths” as above, but with a twist):

1. “I” think that my rights are more important than theirs and they have to give up their rights so that I can have my rights (They do not have to stop doing what they are doing!)
2. I chose to live like this, not them, and they don’t have to give up their rights because of my choice

Head spinning yet? Do you have lots of “yah but” thoughts? Perhaps. But my purpose is not to determine who is right and who is wrong. My point is that in a community or, I should say, “in a healthy community”, people work together to find ways to support everyone’s needs and goals. There are compromises and negotiations to determine what works for that particular community at that particular point in time. And these compromises are not made with a “poor me” attitude but in the spirit of giving and supporting others and thus the community as a whole.

A community is not about “me” and “them”; it is not about winning/losing; it is not about my rights… it is about “us”, about win/win; it is about the rights of the greater good and finding a way to allow everyone to be able to contribute in his/her own way and have the resources needed to achieve this.

I feel better now. I wonder how many debates about “rights” I will hear in the next little while? I wonder what pieces of Wisdom I will discover as I sit back and listen to the justifications, rationalizations, and “truths”.

Shoes

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

Good Enough.

In two different parts of my life this week a discussion has taken place resulting in the words of wisdom “good enough”.

The wisdom of these words comes from the caution to not produce mediocre work. When we hear the words “that’s good enough” run through our minds, the ego voice, for whatever reasons, is blocking us from our full potential.

When we are aware of the limiting words we can check out our responses to it. If we are aware and if we are honest with ourselves, we may recognize signs from our body, a twinge in the stomach or a frown perhaps, telling us that we know that we should do more, that we should raise our expectations for ourselves.

“Good enough” can raise its ugly head in our creative work, our office work, our relationships, and our lives as a whole.

Are you living “just good enough”? Listen to your body. Is there an area that you need to focus on and put more effort into?

I could say more, but that’s good enough. I think.

~ Debbie, Journey Within

One People

I just posted a new free podcast, “one people”, on my website. I won’t repeat the message here but talking about the concept of “one people” has been sitting with me all day.

One of the signs of a disconnect from our Sacred Selves is when we judge others. I like to think of each of us as a droplet of water in a wave, each droplet doing their own thing and going in their own direction but at the same time being part of the same wave flowing in or flowing out as one.

There is something glorious about that wild wave rushing against the shore. It is so powerful, so beautiful, so brilliant as the water droplets find their way to the destination – can you see those individual droplets leaping through the air, glistening in the sunlight? Brilliant!

But, sadly, as human beings, our ego voice, in an attempt to protect our “selves” (not the “big S” Spiritual Selves), tries to keep us focused on our own individual journey of being the first, the best, the brightest or some other descriptive word. In this aim for survival and superiority comes judgment.

It is as if we take a snapshot of a single moment and can only see the other droplets in a certain state rather than seeing them on their journey in the wave. We see others as competitors, as mean, as snobs, as instigators, as [insert your own descriptor here] and we forget to see that they are on their own journeys, having experienced many things in their lives, been corrupted by their pasts, struggling to survive in their present and make the most for their future.

This disconnect from the wave breaks us into individual droplets… I feel a great sadness at this moment as I type this … we are one people, one wave. We have to start releasing the thoughts and the feelings that keep us, US, from connecting with the wave. This isn’t about the others, this is about our own individual journeys. It’s all we have control over. Right?

We, you, I, need to release the negative bonds to this disconnect. We, I, need to let go of the hatred, the judgments and all the other methods that we use that keeps us from being part of the wave that is moving forward.

I am of the wave. I am the wave. We are the wave. And I admire your brilliancy as you glisten under the sun, as you walk your journey as part of the wave.

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “

http://journeywithin.ca

Spirituality

I recently posted a blog at GardenTenders.com and daltzguy made a point that got me thinking…

Spirituality is not only about honouring all things as Sacred but it is remembering that we are not a vital component of the big scheme of things on this planet. Mankind has such a big ego that we think everything revolves around us. It doesn’t. When we remember our place, we recognize the Sacredness of all things – the equality of all things.

When speaking of the environmental issues, as daltzguy points out, it is not about saving the planet but saving ourselves. Reducing our carbon footprint, the 3R’s, and all of the other strategies that we are using to “save the planet” are really forms of honouring. At this point, most people who are environmentally friendly are trying to make a difference, trying to save the planet. But “spirituality” takes it beyond this. We really don’t have the power to save the planet (surprise) but what we do have the power to do is realign ourselves, intellectually and spiritually, with our place in the Universe. Our species is just one grain of sand on the beach, as they say, and Mother Nature, the Universe, is so much bigger than you and I.

We are in the house of Mother Nature. We are the guests. We need to act as such.

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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Individuality

I watched a documentary yesterday and a piece of Wisdom started forming in my mind. I’ve been thinking about it again this morning.

Individuality does not come from the clothes that we wear or our physical appearance. It does not come from the possessions we have or the size of our bank account. What makes each of us “me” are the gifts and talents that we have been given- the unique way of giving back, of helping others, of contributing to the Greater Good and the next seven generations and of how we honour the past and our Ancestors.

In our society if you take a close look you will find that our homes are relatively the same, the clothing is relatively the same and in people’s efforts to display their individuality they “have to” purchase the fad of the day, the same objects that everyone else is having in order to be an individual.

Looking behind the layers of the physical world, when you watch people, really watch, you can see how they interact differently, how they interpret events differently, how they problem-solve differently, how they prioritize differently and so on, and so on. These differences are clues to the true individuality – the mixture of gifts, skills and personal characteristics. These unique combinations of qualities are what give us “individuality”.

And, on the grander scale, the individuality factor is what makes the world go round. We are all here as part of a giant plan, each of us being that proverbial thread woven into the fabric of life. Regardless of how vibrant or strong our piece of thread is, if we aren’t interlaced amongst the other threads then we may look good but our “individuality” is not contributing to society as a whole.

What makes you an “individual” and how do you use these qualities to add to the betterment of our society?

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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Ceremony

All things are Sacred, as everything comes from the Great Mystery.

And if everything is Sacred then everything we do should be performed with Ceremony, honouring, respecting, and giving thanks for the objects, the gifts, and the support they provide on our journeys.

It is hard to remember this as we go through our day, or I should speak for myself – I find it hard to remember this, but on occasion I will remember and treat whatever I am doing as a Ceremony.

What an extraordinary experience it is to wash one’s face or make a cup of tea in a Ceremonial fashion. Even putting on socks becomes a powerful event when thought of as a Ceremony. It is amazing how many things one can be thankful for just by putting on socks! There is the material that the socks are made from, the people who made the socks, those who delivered them to the store, the store, the financial resources needed to purchase socks, the feet that the socks are going on, the changes in weather that make socks a much-appreciated resource, the hands that put the socks on, the nerve endings that sense the socks as they are being put on… and the list goes on! Extraordinary.

Have you experienced the effect of such Ceremony for simple, daily activities? I’d love to hear about it.

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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Badges of Honour

At one point this morning I thought about the little age spots appearing on my hands and I smiled.

Looking at my hands, my thoughts turned to my great-aunt Ettie, a wonderful woman, an extraordinary woman, who had grandmother hands. Her hands had birthed hundreds of infants, baked zillions of pies and cookies, fed many flocks of chickens, cared for flowers and for her family, and, oh the list goes on.

My great-aunt Ettie had many badges of honour, besides her hands. Although I’m sure she had physical scars from events in her life, I don’t think I ever saw them. What I did see were wrinkles, glorious wrinkles that reflected the love she had to share. They symbolized the caring and nurturing she had done throughout her life. They showed the years of work, hard work, she had done over her lifetime, caring for her family and her community. And most of all – they spoke of her Wisdom, the knowledge and insights she had gained throughout her life.

In our society, today, we try to hide our badges of honour, pretending that we are living in our years of youth. The sad part of this is that we are perhaps embarrassed by our pasts and our wounds.

My journey over the past several years has taught me to celebrate the wisdom learned from our pasts and let go of the negative emotions that we have attached to our experiences. And then, looking at those badges of honour that appear on our bodies we can see them as symbols of the experiences and the Wisdom that we have gained.

Looking at my hands now, I see the life experiences that I have had, the Wisdom that I have gained and I am proud of the woman that I have become. My body and I have experienced over 52 years of life and there is a lot more to come, a lot more experiences and a lot more Wisdom — AND a lot more badges of honour.

And I celebrate this!

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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Ask the Children

I have a story to tell you. I hope you find it joyful and perhaps insightful.

Yesterday I had an experience that reminded me of a dream/vision that I was given some time ago. I won’t get into that story, other than to say that the message was: “Ask the children. They already know.” The dream was a reminder that the children of today have a stronger connection with Spirit than we have and are very aware.

Yesterday, while in a waiting room with my Mom, a little girl (about 4 years old) came into the room and walked up to me and put her face very close to mine. I ignored her closeness but it was hard not to check her out, since she was right in front of me. She wore glasses, her eyes big like saucers, and she had a splint on her one finger.

She ran back to her mother after our brief connection.

A few moments later she returned to me and the following dialogue went like this:
Girl: What’s your name?
Me: Debbie. What’s your name?
Girl: (her name)
Me: Pleased to meet you…
Girl: Pleased to meet you, too.
( a pause and then she stepped closer to me)
Girl: I have a very sad story to tell you.
Me: Sad? Do I need a kleenex?
(she looked at me, thinking)
Girl: I will tell you the story first. You see if you need a kleenex.
Me: Ok.
Girl: I was at the pediatrician’s and when nobody was looking I took it off. (She held up her finger in the splint.)
Me: Uh-Oh
Girl: (she steps closer again). Did you need a kleenex?

Over the next hour of waiting, she and I had several discussions (I had my Early Childhood Educator hat on and did a few little lessons on “running” and “controlling one’s body). She listened, and in her words, “I tried to control my body but it won” – as she made her last sprint around the waiting room.) But I’m getting off track. So easy to do, when in her presence.

My Mom noted, later, that of all the people in the room, she came up to “me” – perhaps the one person who would listen and interact. Perhaps .. but there was something. She was aware of something… she knew what nobody else knew. And she acted on it.

After our 3-hours spent in the waiting room, my Mom said that she would have left long ago if I hadn’t been there. My response, “Yes, but you wouldn’t have gotten to meet this little girl.” My Mom smiled. “Very true,” she said, “Very true.”

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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Breaking Through The Bubble

When working with clients who are struggling with turmoils in their lives and/or emotional upheavals, I use the analogy of a balloon to help them through their current challenges.

Picture yourself in a balloon, all is well – until you want to break free. To get to that outside world, to the possibilities that lie outside the closed space, you have to get through the balloon’s outer surface. You can’t just step through, you have to push and twist and shove. You will probably sweat a little, have some not-so-nice words popping into your head and even, perhaps, off your tongue, but you struggle through, because you know that on the other side there is a great freedom.

This struggle is what we experience when we are in the process of changing our lives, breaking free of our past and walking into the opportunities of the future.

Emotional chaos and roadblocks along your path are just notices from the Universe that it is time to move onto the next step of your journey. It is telling you that the current (or past) way of life isn’t good enough any longer. You have learned those lessons, grown as much as you can from that lifestyle. Now it is time for new lessons, new possibilities – a new “you”.

Are you currently struggling to break through a balloon? Oh how exciting!! I wonder what lies on the other side, for you?

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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