Yesterday was a perfect day. I had no idea that it was going to be when it started out. In fact in the morning I was a little miffed that I had to go to Treherne with Cecil when he went for lab work. I'd gone to Portage the day before to get a criminal record check, only to be told there that I had to get it in my own area, the Treherne office. So I begrudgingly headed into town with him.
As we got that done, we headed on a drive to Elm Creek to pick up the tarp for the boat, then had lunch in St. Claude and headed for home. It was a beautiful, sunny day, the first we've had for ages with all the smoke that has filled our skies from the wildfires across the country. I decided if I was going to get any pictures of the canola fields that were in bloom, today would be the day, as the smoke and haze is supposed to come back in the next day or so.
When we got home, we both decided that we'd go to our day's projects on the quads. He would ride with me to the field I wanted to photograph, and then we'd carry on in our separate directions. I'd intended to just go to the one field and head for home...but I got sidetracked. More than sidetracked...I got lost in the day...and it was glorious.
I ended up going from one field to another up along PR242. Then headed for home past Mom and Dad's old place. Some of the back-roads I took were so overgrown with clover, you could barely see the trail through, but the sweet smell of the clover was captivating. I'd forgotten how those sights and smells can take you away from your everyday into something magical.
I made stop after stop, turning of the quad, listening to the sounds around me and photographing the wild flowers in the ditches. As I was about to head for home, I ran into a neighbor that told me the pink lady-slippers were in bloom over by the cemetery, so I changed directions again and headed off in search of them, the wind in my hair, the dragonflies surrounding me.
In the end, four hours just disappeared. I never once took my cell phone out of my bag to check for messages, or Facebook or anything else. The time was just mine, capturing the beauty of nature, preserving it's magnificence digitally for days to come when that kind of escape might not be possible.
Back at home, I had to reflect on why I don't allow myself to do that more often than I do. Our days of summer are so limited. Our days are limited, period. Why not grab on to those moments when they appear and go be with nature, with no regrets or excuses..to yourself or others.
I look at all that is going on in the world. All the pain, the wars, the anger. I wonder when was the last time, if ever, that some people have had the opportunity to be lost in the timelessness that I was blessed with yesterday. Have the had the chance to sit in the grass, stare at the sky, explore the wildflowers and just breathe. Even more important...Just BE. If people had more opportunities to commune with Mother Earth, would there be that anger and disconnect that is so prevalent today? I don't thing so, and I know that it's not easy or possible for everyone. Most of the world does not live in the boon-docks as I do...but what if they could find a way to just spend some time away from it all. All the noise, all the buildings, all the other people who are also in that space. I wonder and I wish that opportunity for all, just every now and then.
Have you ever read Mitch Albom’s ‘The Five People you Meet in Heaven’? Its one of my favourite books…well, maybe I should really say most of his books are ‘one of my’ favourites! But that one I love, mostly because in it Mitch proposes that heaven will be whatever we really, really want it to be, based on our life experience, our favourite moments and places, and what our perfect place would be. What a wonderful idea!
What is most incredible about is is how blessed I am that I am living in my heaven as I write. I’ve always loved and cherished this little nook in the world, but every year I think I cherish it more. We’ve created a little campground, up on the hill, in back of the main yard. It’s got the most beautiful sunsets over the Assiniboine River Valley. It’s so quiet, you could literally hear a pin drop, except when the generator is running to charge up the batteries in the 5th wheel. When it’s off, there isn’t a sound. Not the hum of a furnace, or traffic, or anything. What there is are birds, insects, the gentle breeze and occasionally the howl of coyotes in the distance.
We put our camper up here early in the year, and take advantage of as many moments as we can. I can tether my cell to get a little wifi reception, to work on things that I’m passionate about pursuing. The cell phone might ring, but most times not. And for the most part it is absolute, blissful peace and tranquility. It feeds my soul and nourishes my spirit like nothing else seems to be able to do. Time at the ocean comes close, but that always comes at a cost…the price of energy expended to share that space with the hundreds of other people who have chosen that as their get away of choice. This is different. This is ours, and the only other people that might be here in this little niche are those we’ve invited to embrace this with us.
I like the camper, because that is ‘my space’. Cecil prefers the quiet and the rustic life he can enjoy in his cabin, just feet away from where our camper is sitting. On the deck of the cabin, we’ve got the greatest swing that was given to us by friends who were moving and decided not to take it with them. We can sit and swing and just stare out into the beauty of the valley for hours, without the need for a word to be spoken. Just drinking in the beauty and the quiet that is this place.
We all need that ‘place’ that is ours to go to. To gather our spirits, reboot and reenergize our souls and ground ourselves for all that the world throws at us. I know how lucky I am to have this, and hope that you have a place of your own that does that for you. It doesn’t have to be large, or remote or even space that is your own, if it’s somewhere that allows you to breathe more deeply and connect more solidly with the source of what keeps you going day after day. If you don’t have that space for you….you need to find one. Honor yourself by making finding that space that is yours a priority, not something that you’ll do one day. Something you will do now, before the world pulls any more from you that you don’t have a chance to replenish.
Some people are pulled to nature, as I am. Others find that in a sacred building, a sanctuary, a coffee house that affords them a corner to themselves, or a museum. It can be on a bench along a small strip of greenspace, or a walkway along the water’s edge. It can be whatever your idea of Heaven might be, even if it’s a sacred space you’ve created in your own home that is yours to go to and be undisturbed for the time needed to replenish yourself. The where is as individual as each of us are, but the need to find this and gift it to ourselves is universal. Have you found your little peace of ‘heaven’ here on earth that nourishes you? If not, what are you waiting for….because you know it’s waiting for you.
It can be hard. It can be really hard to figure out who you are in this life. Especially after years, and years of being the 'roles' that you've lived. We become so lost in those roles. Whether its the work we do, the gifts we have, our station in a family or a community, we become so much of what we do, that we forget just who it is that we are. It happens to almost all of us.
I get that. I live it just like you do, but I am intent on continuing my growth towards who I am and how I want to be spending my time. That can be difficult and it can be scary.
I have recently taken a big step back from the work that I have been doing for the last twelve years. It was time, and I knew that, because the joy that filled my heart in doing that work was no longer present. And if we don't have joy in our lives, what else is there?
It is frightening when you step away from the security of knowing what your income will be, what the expectations of the role you play are, what is familiar. But there is a there is a comfortable peace that comes with those big decisions if your heart knows that they are right for you. And my heart seems to know.
Cancer was definitely the catalyst to make the decision, but only a catalyst. So now at 54 the real work begins, the work of ensuring that I remain authentic to what fires me up, brings me to joy and breaths life into my spirit. I know that I cannot support others to do that, if I am not living those values myself.
Initially there was a certain amount of guilt in that I am spending so much of my days doing the things that I love to do! Playing more deeply with my photography, learning more about social media and website development, writing...writing, writing, writing. And expanding my coaching business and what it can offer others. But the funny thing about doing what it is you are meant to be doing is that things begin to flow, and they begin to fall into place in some most unexpected ways. They days go by and if someone asks what you did, it's hard to explain because on one level it could be seen as nothing really, but on a level that really matters you did everything! It's a wonderful place to be.
The one thing I am very intentional about is that whatever I am doing, it is aligned with my passions. My list is always close at hand, and if I question something as to whether it is moving me closer to my vision and my passion I pull that list out and read it through one more time. If the answer is no, then I put the request or the activity aside, and return to what fuels my spirit. That can be challenging in it's own right, because so many of us live our lives as people pleasers that have spent decades saying yes to what matters least, sacrificing what matters most, in an effort to please others in our lives. To not let others down. To not be considered selfish or self-centered by those we love.
But the truth is, that those that love us are going to keep loving us. They will begin to see those actions not as an insult, but as you making self-care a priority in your life, and respecting that. And in an ideal world, they will see the value of doing that for themselves as well when they see you lead by example.
So here's to always growing and to growing all ways. Here's to taking the leap of faith that this is what is meant to happen at this stage of life, and trusting that the net will be there to catch you. Here's to knowing that the universe will provide for you when you are aligned and living the life that you were intended to live. Sharing the gifts that only you have to share, doing the 'work' that your gifts and passions were intended to do. And spreading the light that is YOU into this world. Here's to each of us being who we truly are...being Truly You!
Note to my readers: I need you to know that if you do decide to click on any of the advertisements on my site, I may receive compensation as an affiliate of these businesses that I support...but I hope you know that in doing so you are supporting my own vision of living life on my own passionate terms and being truly me!
The world can overwhelm us from time to time...roles, responsibilities, the expectations of others...or more often ourselves.
Take time in your day to let your mind be quiet. Remind yourself of who you are at your core, what your intention for this day is, and just breathe. You give so much to the world...take time to let what's around you give back for a moment.
It takes time and energy to become who we truly are! In life, so many things can get in the way of our figuring that out..but the time comes in each of our lives where we need to be able to do that if we're going to live happy fulfilling lives that are authentic reflections of our best selves. These are just things I've learned along the way. I hope that they might help you in your own journey into being Truly You!