Winter Hideaway

I’ve taken you to the beach in the winter with me before. In my mind it is truly majestic, even if it is one of the Great Lakes and not the sea. My future holds intimate moments connecting with the sea in all seasons. For the time being, I must content myself with Lake Ontario lovely and splendid in its own way.

 

These photos were taken on three separate walks over a two month period. As you will note, the weather turned and Old Man Winter blew his icy breath upon us as the winter wore on. Spring is now peeking its lovely face forth like a child playing hide and seek, making sunny days ever so welcome. Yesterday was one of those bright days saturated with sunshine which has put a spring back in my step and a smile on my face.

 

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As the season slides dreamily into warmer temperatures, birds singing and flora unfurling and flowering, this Spirit of mine begs to see what she can see.

Our Own Little World

I have been in a bubble. Yes, I’ve had  the yearning to express myself not through words as I would normally feel compelled to do but on a much simpler, elementary level; to feel. The need to experience sensations without the need to compartmentalize Life into words. Does this make any sense whatsoever?

 

Perhaps it’s was a “tuning out” period that called to me so strongly. I needed a disconnect of sorts. A desire to work on Me, and the Us, without feeling any responsibility to be anything but in the moment. The moment has been eye-opening, mind-blowing and downright delicious.

 

As time marches forward, the call of the outside world beckons. The trumpet sounds aloud for all the planning and brainstorming to be executed. The plans are laid out on the table of Life. Movement is in the stars, beckoning for adventure and to savour each new experience on the horizon. I am digging deep for this as Life is far too short and can all too easily pass us by.

 

What calls to you? Dare you dive into the deep end, or are you one to dip your toe to test the waters first?

Life of a Bee

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“The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.”

– Jacques Yves Cousteau

 

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“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” 

– Saint Francis de Sales

 

Lessons of Life

Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we are here to learn. I think the past five years there were many stepping stones to the platter of lessons I have recently been blessed with. I say blessed like it’s a gift because quite honestly I look upon all things as gifts. Sometimes they are not gifts we would choose for ourselves, like opening a parcel with a nasty sweater at Christmas. Still gifts just the same. I have unwrapped a few unwanted gifts as of late. I won’t go into great detail due to the private nature and those close to me but to generalize the situations for the sake of soul-searching and allowing a connection with others that may possibly have recently opened a similar gift.

 

 

As a parent, I have been given the lesson of stepping outside my comfort zone. Not just the daily run of the mill parent craziness. Children are a supreme blessing in my mind. Swirling around them in constant motion are many things; love, chaos, frustration, joy, laughter, among so many other beautiful things. Sometimes though, a ripple in the smooth surface depicts an undercurrent that threatens menacingly. The demon reared its ugly head in my child’s life as Anorexia Nervosa. It was a slow and steady build up that went undetected by my cautious eye only to attack with a vengeance like an unexpected sucker punch. I struggled within myself originally, laying blame in my mind where I could. That route was fleeting as I stepped outside myself. This wasn’t about me and how I felt. This was about my child and how they processed things. The alteration to my thought process has allowed me to become the support structure this fragile Being needs. Simply, compassionately, I remain strong in the notion that I need to be the rock when my darling is feeling at a loss. There are those around us that still want to lay blame, find the root cause, or dissect everything to bits. I feel the process is about gaining back self love and control in a positive format. To know that love from those around the sufferer is unconditional. To be strong for them when they don’t have it within themselves to be.  There is a long road ahead to health and wellness for my child. It’s an all-encompassing disorder. Treatment is multi-faceted. To say I wish my child never had to deal with this is an understatement. However, taking this one day at a time makes this lesson a little easier to deal with.

 

 

Too often I hear people complain about their weight needlessly. Who truly thinks a thigh gap is remotely sexy anyway?  Don’t get your knickers in a knot if you are naturally thin and have a thigh gap. That’s a totally different thing. I’m referring to young girls (or boys) that starve themselves for this look that is not natural to their physique. It breaks my heart to see people think so poorly of themselves as to deprive themselves senselessly of proper nutrition. Learning to love and accept our bodies at their natural weight and shape is a practice in self love. We are all constantly bombarded by utter ridiculousness for the sake of industries to prosper at the peril of making us feel bad about our outer shell. Looking good is important for self confidence but being healthy makes one look fantastic! I don’t know about you but looking fantastic due to great health pummels the heck out of a mediocre “looking like everyone else” or not enough energy to do the things you want. I struggle when people ridicule others with differing figures. It matters not whether its an obese person calling a slim woman a bitch or an average built person being condescending to someone of heavier stance. Having hit many different weight points in my lifetime, I realize that every body shape and weight deals with some sort of stigma. When we stop ridiculing and scrutinizing others, perhaps we can all go a little easier on ourselves. Lets all just aim for healthy!

 

 

 

Absence

You may have noticed that I have been laying low as of late. Life has caught me within its chaotic tendrils in both a positive and negative  manner. I keep moving forward with a smile on my lips and a sparkle in my eyes. My Spirit is riding the waves that Life sends my way. As the dust is starting to settle slightly, you will be hearing more from me again soon.  Please stay tuned…I appreciate your friendship and patience.

 

– Melissa

 

 

invincible heart

Dig Deep…Then Leap!

Life is an amazing ride. You can jump on and take the ride or dig in and let so many incredible experiences pass you by. I personally refuse to look back with regret…with the would have/could have/should haves. I am leaning into the curves of life as they come at me.  Learning new behaviors that allow me to give thoughts a chance to become reality. I am challenging myself to take a leap when opportunity arises. Putting myself out there and taking chances that at one point I would have been too apprehensive to risk the possibility of failure. What is failure anyway? I have a new attitude where failure is concerned. It used to be a sense of rejection or a deflated feeling of humiliation of not accomplishing what was set out to achieve. My new attitude about failure is that it is merely a redirect – a change of course that will lead me on a new path. I’m good with that. Failure doesn’t seem daunting when it is renamed as redirection. So, why not stretch yourself to the limit and try something new? Push through your fears or nervousness of countless things that we allow to control us on a regular basis. Dig deep and find the strength within…you have it in you!

 

 

Never let your fear decide your fate.

 

 

 

 

go ahead - unknown source

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back with regret is not of interest to me. I’d rather look back with a smile on my face or have a good laugh at the things I had thought were mistakes at the time or good experiences that became great memories. Most of all I look forward to creating new memories through trying new things, meeting new people and living life to the fullest! There is no better time than right now to take that leap of faith and allow your wings to unfold.

 

 

 

Image - glit-z.com

Image – glit-z.com

 

How do you respond to challenges, failure, and/or unplanned events?

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Silence

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

– Caroline Myss

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Silencing the mind can be one of the most difficult tasks we as humans have to undertake. It sounds simple yet, if you are anything like me, the brain is usually swimming with “stuff”.

I honestly don’t recall a time in my life when I have been pulled in so many directions at once like I am at present.

Silencing the mind feels like an insurmountable quest lately. When things become so overwhelming I just want to escape, that’s exactly what I do. I find myself walking or surrounding myself with nature in some form or another.

There is nowhere indoors that can possibly come close to the uplifting and enlightening experience of being immersed in the great outdoors.

I feel part of a whole when I am outdoors. Infinitesimally small, yet connected to a web that’s never-ending.

Mother Nature instinctively wraps her loving arms around me and settles my heart and instantly quiets my mind.

It is in this peaceful embrace that my soul begins to heal.

Transitions

“Navigate your transitions by opening up to living a wholehearted, authentic life grounded in courage and self-worth.” – Gail O’Keefe

I happened to stumble across this quote this morning. It seemed to shoot straight into the centre of the swirling chaos that has taken up residence in my mind as of late. Transitions. It’s the perfect word to describe where I’m at in my Life at the moment. So much so that I can’t even put my thoughts into words where I’m at – which is very out of the ordinary for me. Usually my mind spews out thoughts quicker than I can type, yet over the last few weeks I am living in a perpetual thunderstorm inside my head – and my heart. Not an angry thunderstorm with brooding black clouds but a thunderstorm that is clearing the way for clear skies and thoughts. This quote holds the ticket. The ticket to the usual process of my thoughts and the way I generally choose to live life; with authenticity. My courage has tripped and stumbled and self-doubt has managed to slither in through the crack under the door, so to speak. It always seems as though when there is an inkling of weakness that the nasty nonsense that is lingering on the border of thoughts gathers together and charges in like a raging bull hoping to crush the Spirit that has withheld its advances for so long. I have been sucked into the evilness of over-thinking but today I have decided to grab hold of the parasitic practice and slam it to the ground…then stomp on it with my stilettos. A perfect use for impractical footwear.

” Think for yourself. Trust your own intuition. Another’s mind isn’t walking your journey, you are.” – Scottie Waves

I have made the realization that I have taken up residence in this mindset of over-thinking long enough. Realistic thinking that focuses on forward and positive momentum to better oneself is where I’m finally at. This is not a selfish act as I’ve been privy to hearing a few times lately. Nor is this mere self-preservation. This is about taking charge of my Life. Leaning into it and letting the wind blow my hair into tangles, feeling the sunshine bright and hot on my face, stomping through mud pits that try to hold me in its grasp but staying focused on the other side. Taking ownership of oneself by living authentically not only empowers the individual but impacts those around them, allowing them to do the same. We all hold back far too much. We worry about what someone else might say or think, we don’t want to be seen as eccentric, or possibly we have never thought there was anything else to life except running on the same hamster wheel day after day. I have always had my own mind and been a strong-willed female from the get-go. While I was often soft-spoken and jovial in my approach to things I have found that I have let Life steal moments from me occasionally. No more! I’m here to live…to dream…to play! To embrace the love of living like never before. Sometimes this means pulling forth strength from within that I never doubted having but that I never needed to rely on like I need to in this moment. I need to assemble my courage and self-worth to unprecedented levels and be more Me than I’ve ever been. To be true to Myself and to respect my own instincts while always being gentle with others. There is no accomplishment in being nasty to people in the name of being truthful to yourself. I would like to recommend that those that view another individuals journey into authentic living as a personal offence take a good hard look at their own life. If authenticity is undertaken as a means to embrace Life and love while being in full connection with oneself, transitions will benefit everyone involved. Change isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts like hell but brings a stagnant or unproductive state to one of empowerment and happiness down the line of Life. Other changes are for sheer personal empowerment or unrealized dreams finally brought to the forefront. Ultimately, change brought on in a methodical manner would be most beneficial. However, in this life of mine that never seems to fall short on the pizzazz-o-meter, a plethora of changes have decided to create a landslide at present. I know I will come through the other side, perhaps with a few bruises and scrapes but ultimately I will still have a smile on my face…even if it’s pasted on for effect.

” The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Beach Bliss

 

 

 

Snack Shack/Restrooms

 

Have you ever heard the call? The call to head to a certain location?

Do you listen?

This morning, although the temperature was frigid, the beach called to me.

I have not been spending as much time as I desire outdoors lately so when the beach called, I dropped everything and went directly there.

Wind blown sand and snow

Wind blown sand and snow

 

Nature holds many surprises if you look around and notice the details.

The windswept sand and snow is a temporary painting on the landscape.

I dare not walk past without admiring its beauty.

swim at your own risk

swim at your own risk

 

 

 

 

trees along the pier

trees along the pier

“Of winter’s lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer’s secret
Deep down within its heart.”
~Charles G. Stater

 

beach volleyball

beach volleyball

 

 

 

 

Winter Beach

Winter Beach

 

There is something so mystical about the beach in the winter.

It is other-worldly. The sights, sounds and scents are very different from during any other season.

I stood in this spot for an extended period of time. Taking it all in until my face started to hurt from the cold.

With my ear buds in, listening to music I found myself dancing. I know. Weird, right?

I was alone on the beach without a soul in sight and here I was dancing!

I rejoiced in the sensation of pure bliss – of Spirit and surroundings.

Think I’m odd if you want to…whatever. Before you pass judgement though I dare you to give it a go for yourself.

Glimpse of Summers Past

Glimpse of Summers Past

 

 

 

 

snow fence

“Land really is the best art.” – Andy Warhol

 

 

Winter Sun

Winter Sun

 

 

 

 

Bench

 

 

 

 

[W]hat a severe yet master artist old Winter is…. No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.”  ~John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866

Toxic People Test

Lately I seem to be bombarded by people off-loading toxicity. I would ask why but sometimes it’s just best to not let it eat up too much head space. To this I just shrug my shoulders, walk a LOT to breathe in fresh air, and spend more time with the friends that I know will make me laugh and help make sense of human stupidity and arrogance. There are certain instances where I know without the shadow of a doubt that people spew their garbage in my direction simply to get a rise out of me. I’m not sure they really want my reaction because it may never come. I have worked on my level of tolerance over the last ten years or so and have become a slow smolder, but there is a distinct threshold to my patience. I’m no mouse when it gets to this point. A lover, not a fighter is my true nature however there is fire in these veins.

 

 

Yesterday I was at the brink of popping someone. Yes, me. It felt like the negative bus had pulled up and offloaded an angry mob at my doorstep. To make a long story short, I worked through it with a few laughs along the way…but mostly a whole lot of working out, fresh air, journaling and loud tunes. I can’t hold a grudge or stay angry for long. After a few hours it just seems pointless and over-thinking kicks in. My bubbly nature tends to create waves again and I’m over whatever was bugging me. Moving on!

 

 

Feeling invigorated this morning and looking forward to spending time with a close friend, I had an upbeat attitude and a smile on my face. Even my hair was cooperating this morning!

 

I arrived at my local Starbucks to meet my friend, ordered my coffee and snagged a couple of comfy chairs at the window to enjoy the warmth of the sun. While waiting for said friend to arrive, I was within the auditory sphere of a group of ladies I have noticed here before. They were taking up a lot of space and dragged a bunch of chairs around a table, spilling over into the space of other customers. I waited patiently in my seat, minding my own business and trying not to overhear any of their bizarre conversation about the faults of one friends’ face and how said woman should do something about it. Good grief. As my friend was getting out of her vehicle, another woman came in to the coffee shop and joined this gaggle beside me. Only problem was, this woman dumped all her stuff on the chair I was reserving for my friend. I politely said, “Excuse me. This seat is saved for the person I’m meeting.” Well, you would think I woke a demon! The woman that was ever so sweetly pointing out her friends short-comings turned her wrath on me. “YOU CAN’T SAVE SEATS HERE!”, she snarled at me. What the heck? She proceeded to hiss at me that her friend had back issues and needed that chair. Then she told her friend to pull the chair up to their table! (Didn’t she just say her friend had back issues? Why was she not helping her friend with the chair?)  I was dumbfounded. Inside I chuckled to myself thinking how lucky this woman was that she didn’t try to steamroll me yesterday. Today she was dealing with normal me; whatever normal is. I kindly reported that I would move, since her friend was in need of that chair due to her back issue. You would think I had told her to go f*ck herself. She huffed and puffed like the wolf trying to blow down the little piggy’s house! I just grabbed my stuff and moved, whilst shaking my head. Weird.

 

Of course, my friend had walked in to see me moving seats and wondered what was going on. I let her in on the kerfuffle and was rewarded with a kind response about how tolerant I am of other people’s rudeness. That’s exactly what this boiled down to. Severe rudeness on this woman’s part and a sense of superiority. I was not going to be immature and argue over a seat, but clearly she was doing exactly what she told me I wasn’t entitled to do. What makes people think it is ever acceptable to speak to people like this? This is where every day dealings go off the rails. When we start speaking to others in such a way and with the tone that someone is worth less than another, issues arise. Not only is it rude, it displays a total lack of class. I would never think twice about giving up my seat to someone that genuinely needs it or asks politely, but bullying is pure toxicity. I will always use manners first and foremost. My parents taught me well that when you are kind, you are usually repaid with kindness. I only wish everyone had learned this wise teaching.

 

 

I think this was a test for me today…and I passed with flying colours.

 

 

 

“Anytime anybody is rude, it makes me double- check my own behaviour to make sure I don’t do that to other people.”  – Patricia Heaton