Sale on canvas prints! Use code ABCXYZ at checkout for a special discount!


Displaying: 1 - 8 of 8

Our Happiness Lifts the Spirits of Others

July 24th, 2012

Our Happiness Lifts the Spirits of Others

Wow...we've certainly been through some rough terrain lately...some are struggling in this heart opening energy while others are feeling more free than they ever have. And that's okay.

Sometimes we can feel like we don't have a 'right' to feel happy and joyful when others are moving through tough emotions like sadness and grief but we do. It's important to remember that we are each on our own journey and that will bring what it brings. Our individual times and experiences of 'pain' are there for us to move through and become stronger in the end, and we all experience our times of struggle and pain at different times. It's important for us to have compassion for the people in our world (some we know, some we don't) who are being pushed into uncomfortable territory for their soul's growth but we don't have to take it on.

Humans sometimes 'feel bad' when they are experiencing joy and happiness in their world while others are suffering. What if our happiness and joy energy is helping to carry others through their hard times? It wouldn't be productive to feel bad for feeling good if that is the case. If we can be in our high spirit energy without guilt we can use it knowing we are lifting the energy of others while they are down. When we are down they might be up and helping to lift our energy. Even though it is an 'unseen' thing, doesn't mean it's not happening?!

So if you are going through a difficult time in your life, know that others along with Spirit are helping to carry you. And if you are happy and high on life...bask in it!! Get as high as you can without feeling bad, knowing that you are helping to carry them.

It's all about living in your heart right now. When I went through some of my hardest times, spinning in a deep dark hole not seeing even a glimmer of light, I can see now I was being broken open. Being made to 'feel' even though those feelings didn't feel good at ALL they were still feelings. Something I'd spent most of my life trying my hardest not to feel. I'm grateful now and can see so clearly that our hearts must be cracked open in order to let the light in. That's why we came here. To live in our hearts and it's happening, it just doesn't always feel good at the time. Those harder times also showed me who the people were who gave a shit and had my back. I wouldn't trade that for anything now because I had things all mixed up.

Our hardest experiences are often there for us to grow through and heal from so we can help others once we are in a good place again. We can't do that if we let our experiences break us down...we can only move through them keeping in mind that we are being role models for the others. Mostly our young ones. If they see us get healthy and strong through our painful times, it gives them hope. If we give up, they give up. They will be the leaders one day.

If you're happy and high on life...SOAR, laugh, and play and don't feel bad about it. Our happiness is infectious and contagious! If you're experiencing hard emotions now or lately, hang on, keep the faith, and you will move through it to a better place. You'll see.

You Gotta Believe It To See It

June 26th, 2012

You know that saying 'you gotta see it to believe it'? I think the more accurate saying would be 'you gotta believe it to see it'! Believing in the so called 'impossible' and keeping my faith in my dreams against all logic, has resulted in the realization of many of my dreams and desires on my journey. The latest being that of putting my artwork out for the world to see and enjoy.

In my younger years, growing up in a small town in Northern Ontario, I would dream of swimming with dolphins. Where was the logic in that? From where I sat at the time, it seemed like an impossibility, but I never lost faith. I always KNEW I would swim with my dolphin brother and sisters one day, and I did. It happened organically many moons later when I was in my early thirties. I didn't TRY to make it happen. I just kept the vision my whole life and trusted it would happen, and it did.

Swimming with dolphins was one of many visions I had for myself in this life. The one I felt to share with you today as an example of needing to believe in something in order to see it. There are many, many more I could share with you, but that would be a book not a blog! Some are small in comparison to others and some have fallen away as they aren't aligned anymore with the person I've become.

An important part of the visioning process is that we don't listen to the people who call us crazy and tell us that the vision we may have is 'unrealistic'. They may say 'that'll never happen', or 'who do you think you are?', or they may even tell you 'that's impossible!'. My advice is not to listen to them, or the voices in your head that may be whispering (or screaming) those very same things to yourself. It's best to surround yourself with people who lift you up, not pull you down. Try to remember those people are in your life reflecting your own doubts back to you, and projecting their fears about living their own dreams. Maybe they're afraid to live their dreams? Or maybe they're afraid that if you live yours, they will lose you? We humans really are a funny bunch, and the reasons aren't that important. What's important is that we find a way to do what we love, and to believe in the impossible, and keep the faith where our hearts desires are concerned.

If you are happy playing and making music, then do that. Put your heart and soul and energy into it, and the universe will support you by opening doors of opportunity to swing open to get your music out there to bring joy and healing to whoever is meant to hear. You may be a rock star one day, or maybe not, but you WILL touch the people you're meant to touch doing the thing you love to do. In the end, it's not about becoming a rock star anyway, it's about what you believed could happen. It's about what was created from your heart and freely given with the spirit to lift someone else up. Oprah's vision was not to be rich and famous, but rather to use her life. By following her heart and listening to her soul, the universe kept opening doors for her and giving her the platform she needed to do what she came here to do. Being rich and famous was simply a result of her doing what she loved to do.

I like to draw. It's one of the things that feeds my soul and has me feeling fulfilled. I put it away for many years as I lived life according to others, doing what I thought I was 'supposed' to do next. However, putting that part of myself away was like packing my heart away in a box and putting it in storage while I followed the sheep. There was this emptiness inside that could not be filled with anything or by anyone, despite my many attempts at reaching outside myself to find fulfillment.

The universe arranged to have a childhood friend and I cross paths again last fall. We hadn't seen each other in over thirty years. This friend would end up needing someone to stay in her beautiful home for the winter, on an acreage on Lummi Island in Washington State. I had been gypsy'ing around for a few years by the time of our meeting, and funds had run out long ago. I was tired and weary at times on my soul's path to purpose and non-conformity, so this was a huge blessing!! It was also something I'd visioned alot while spending an entire year in the city. I would dream about a wooden house with lots of windows on a peaceful acreage, and the universe delivered just that!! I had to believe it to see it.

My friend would follow her intuition and leave me an artist sketch pad, two pencils and an eraser before she moved with her husband to their second home. At first I thought I was given this solitude and the winter season to write my book, but apparently the universe had different plans for me. While I was drawing, I would vision my artwork in print and hanging on people's walls. Now it is available for purchase online!

I believed it to see it, and I hope that inspires you to do the same.

Peace, Love and Believe It to See It ......
(PLEASE NOTE: Faith and Patience will be required)!!

Preparing To Launch

June 20th, 2012

Preparing To Launch

What a great analogy! Our lives being like that of an arrow. Having to be pulled back in order to move forward and hit our mark.

There's another arrow analogy I remember from one of my favorite little books called The Lakota Way. It's about partnership. How an arrow on it's own is useless without a bow and vice versa. It takes both of them working together to create a useful result. That's a great reminder about the importance of having strong, supportive and equal partnerships in our lives.

I've not been in a 'romantic' (for lack of a better word) partnership for many years, mostly because I made a decision to take a step back and work on myself so I could eventually attract a spiritually connected bow and arrow relationship :) What has happened for me on what has turned out to be an amazing and powerful solo spiritual journey, is that my solid bow and arrow partnership has become the one between myself and Spirit. In addition to this now very solid partnership, I have some pretty darn solid bow and arrow friendships too!

It's very clear to me now, that when I would go through my 'pulling back' phases, I found myself getting closer to and seeking guidance and comfort from within and from Creator (which is what I choose to call God, Source, the Universe). In my younger days, I was too angry to even believe there was a God, so when I would go through this phase, I moved further away from that partnership because I didn't even believe it existed!! That's a whole other blog...I'll stay on topic here.

It's during these drawbacks (in whatever form they show up) we can, if we choose, take comfort in remembering that we can use that time as an opportunity to strengthen the most important partnership we will ever have on our journey here. The one with ourselves and a higher power. As we move through the time of pulling back, we can understand that we are in a phase that precedes forward movement. Sometimes the arrow is pulled back for longer with a more powerful bow, depending on the distance and strength of the intended target. The drawing back phase is essentially one of gaining momentum, and a very necessary part of our growth and movement forward.

It seems to me, the further and more powerful our destination, is oftentimes equated with the amount and frequency of set backs in our lives. Translated I'd say it means the bigger our purpose and the more people we are meant to use our lives to help, the more crap we gotta go through! How else are we going to gain the knowledge and experience to help those who come behind us with similar life circumstances?

I've been experiencing a time of drawback this past week or's been subtle but evident to me. It's surfaced this time as a quiet vulnerability and insecurity. The timing makes perfect sense, as this week I will be launching my artist website and selling prints and canvas of my latest creations. Drawing was something I did for myself, in fact many people who have known me most of my life weren't even aware that I sketched. In this time of my arrow being pulled back there's this quiet voice that whispers to me that I'm not good enough. I understand this to be my experience prior to the launch, so I can use this time to get closer to my bow, and then stand solid in my confidence knowing this isn't about me, it's about me using my life and sharing the gifts I've been given. As it is for all of us here.

If you're in a launch phase right now, I hope you're getting some awesome air time!! If you're in a pull back phase right now, be patient and keep in mind you're preparing to launch and it's part of our human process. Oh, and remember, you'll need your bow! ;-)

Peace, Love, and Bows & Arrows.....


June 13th, 2012


"Freedom from the desire for answers is essential to the understanding of a problem."
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Have you ever caught yourself going over a scenario in your head repeatedly trying to figure it out but no matter which way you look at it, you never get answers? Me too. I have. It's a human thing but we can choose to change it if we want.

Sometimes we humans paralyze ourselves by staying in our heads analyzing and attempting to find answers to things that are simply not meant for us to know yet. Heck, psychics are a dime a dozen these days for this reason alone. People's anxiety and curiosity about 'what's going to happen' has fueled this 'industry' but I think we're missing the point. Most of the 'predictions' I was given by psychics never came to pass, however I see clearly now, that Spirit used many of them as a channel to offer me guidance and direction which has been far more useful on my journey than telling me this or that was going to happen. That actually created more anxiety for me!

I believe we all need to become our own psychic and stop giving our power away to others by asking them to tell us about ourselves?! We are the captains of our ship and are in charge of creating our own lives. Not to mention our 'free will' option gives us the ability to change the outcome of any prediction. Having experienced this on my journey has been really helpful as I find myself now helping others using my intuitive abilities, to teach and empower people rather than offer predictions.

I'm speaking once again from experience, as I used to have severe anxiety attacks where I'd faint and my lips would turn blue and I spent my fair share of money on 'psychics'. Anxiety is when we are in our heads trying to figure things out and wonder what is going to happen, so much in fact, that our breathing becomes shallow enough that we get weak and dizzy and sometimes faint. I've learned over the years, to accept what is, and live in the moment more and more every day, which has my anxiety pretty much non-existent. I will sometimes observe it mildly surfacing when I'm going through short bouts of insecurity but I've made huge progress with myself I'm happy to say!

The time we spend trying to figure everything out actually robs us of living a more present life. It has us missing what is really going on. We're using all that energy going around and around in our heads aimlessly, never finding a solution anyway?!! Wasted days and wasted nights (yes, I sang that). It seems we're either crying over something that's behind us, or freaking out about what's before us. What about right now? What about today? Do you see the ladybug or the blue jay? Do you hear the music? Can you smell the flowers? Maybe you don't have time because you have to get back to figuring everything out and making a plan to fix what isn't meant to be fixed right now?

Usually taking a step back from the analyzing process, allows an answer to come in time. Obsessing usually pushes the answer or desired outcome further away from us. The 'letting go' process is definitely a learned thing. Like everything we want to master, we can only get there by practicing. I've been practicing every chance I get. We must first acknowledge when we are obsessing and over analyzing. Then from that point, we can CHOOSE to stop, accept everything and everyone exactly as is, and then CHOOSE a thought of gratitude instead? Or choose to send an uplifting thought that person's way or to someone who is going through a hard time. Or choose to talk to Creator, the angels or your spirit guides.

Maybe a relationship has fallen away for whatever reason. It happens. There are people in my life who had to sever ties with close family members because they loved themselves to much to continue being hurt. Sometimes that's the lesson. We don't always have to figure out and fix everything unless we want to. We really can choose to just let it be or even let it go completely. Guilt free. Worry free. Some relationships aren't meant to be 'figured out' or 'fixed' right now. Let yourself off the hook and let it be! Give yourself the time and distance you need. Finding inner peace and forgiveness is the main thing, and sometimes we have to take time and space to do that. It's okay. We are only in control of ourselves and our own actions. If you want to fix something, make yourself your own fix it project ;-) I've found no lack of things within myself to work on!

It's been quite freeing and empowering to choose to just let things be perfectly unfixed, and choose who I allow in my life and not feel bad for making those choices. I'll admit this feeling of not worrying or constantly analyzing and wondering how things are going to turn out, feels amazing yet at times unfamiliar. I observe my ego wanting me to slip back into my old familiar ways. I remind myself in those moments that everything is just as it is and it's not up to me to figure everything out and fix what clearly is not fixable right now. This makes room for me to enjoy the journey more. :-)

Peace, Love and Let It Be .....

Witnessing The Power Of Love

June 8th, 2012

Witnessing The Power Of Love

Just a few days ago, on May 31st, I opened my facebook after my daily routine of meditation and prayer, and the first post I saw on my news feed was that of my artist friend Aaron Paquette. Aaron is an amazing local First Nations artist, story teller and teacher from Edmonton, Alberta, who's work I respect deeply. We've connected only a couple of times but enough for me to know his soul. Strong, wise beyond his years, and compassionate.

By way of Aaron's facebook post, I learned that the previous night his beautiful, strong, young wife Clarice, had been in an accident involving two vehicles and a pedestrian. She was the pedestrian. (I've added his post as well as an update at the end of this blog for those who are reading and are unaware).

Life as this young couple knew it, changed in an instant that night. It changed for other people too. Me included. I cried that day for them and I prayed and have not stopped since I learned of their fate. I've never met Clarice or their one year old son Liam, but have come to know them through this journey on which Aaron is humbly and vulnerably taking us along via his facebook updates.

Creator works in mysterious ways and I believe has chosen Aaron and Clarice as powerful teachers in so many ways. Sometimes in our humanness (word? I don't know but I use it alot ;-)) we feel that life is not fair and we play the victim for too long, which ultimately hardens our hearts. While it's understandable to slip into that way of thinking at times, the path to true healing and strength comes from keeping the faith and trusting in a bigger plan for our lives. This is what I see Aaron and Clarice doing. They were both teachers prior to this accident. Clarice a school teacher and Aaron a teacher through his amazing paintings and writing. They have now become teachers to a wider audience and from an even higher spiritual place.

Clarice has been chosen to show us all what the power of love and prayer can do, as she continues to respond physically to the energy being sent her way by literally thousands of people. Showing us all, including the medical community, that miracles can happen. Aaron has been chosen to teach us that taking the high road by keeping the faith and humbly requesting our prayers and assistance that he has turned what some would call a tragedy, into a love story. His willingness and ability to communicate his family's heartfelt and very personal journey through words has brought thousands of people together in spirit.

He had a choice. He could have been angry and bitter, blaming people and even God, but he didn't. Just one day after the accident in one of his heartfelt posts he said "To the drivers, be at peace. We all make mistakes. Sometimes small things turn into big things in the blink of an eye. There are consequences, but there shouldn't be demonization. Use this moment and all moments after to strengthen your community. There will be a price to be paid, just make sure it's worth it. Again, none of us will ever live a faultless life." This doesn't mean that he will never feel anger about what has happened, that's a very important step in the process of healing. It does mean that he is not going to condemn these drivers, he has made the choice to use this entire process to learn and teach.

That, my friends, is taking the high road in life. Taking lemons and making lemonade as the saying goes, but this is not 'saying', it's 'doing'. Aaron understands that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. That experience may not go the way we think it's going to go, or how we had it mapped out. It's going to go how it goes. It is what we choose to do with the hand we're dealt that shapes our lives and the lives of others.

Aaron has shown us that it is okay to show our vulnerability by sharing our pain and asking for help. I believe that is one of the hardest lessons some of us humans have come here to learn. How to receive. Social media is such a powerful force when used in a positive way. Thousands of people from all over the world have been reaching out on facebook and extending their love and prayers, becoming a huge part of this family's healing journey. We are together witnessing the power of love.

This story is one we can use as an opportunity to get perspective on our own lives. It has the ability to pull us out of self absorption and put ourselves to better use by way of sending love and prayers to another human being who is worse off than us today. It has the ability to change an habitual careless, impatient driver into a more responsible, caring and patient driver. It has the ability to make us stop complaining about things and be grateful instead. It has the ability to change us if we choose. It's changed me.

It is customary among many Native traditions to dance for those who can't, sing for those who can't, eat for those who can't. I dance, sing, eat, and walk for others on a regular basis. It has been between myself and Creator until now that I do this. I'm telling you not to seek credit, but in hopes that you too will dance for Clarice, walk for Clarice, do yoga for Clarice, until she is strong enough to do it for herself again. Whether you follow a particular religion or maybe have been on the fence about what to believe, please pray today and in the coming's working.

While he has expressed repeatedly that prayers are worth more than money, they will still greatly benefit only if you are able. The following link will take you to the donation link on his website , while you're there, cruise through the gallery of Aaron's amazing artwork and soak up the beauty, and maybe even purchase yourself one of his powerful art pieces.

***********sharing two of Aaron's facebook posts...his first and his latest*************

POSTED May 31, 2012

"On Wednesday May 30, 9:10pm a body was shattered.

The body was that of my dear wife. She was just finishing up an evening jog with a friend when she was struck by a vehicle. It hit her and then ran over her, pinning her body beneath one of the tires.

Her friend was screaming at the driver but he was unaware there was anybody beneath the car.

Police and Emergency Medical personnel lifted the car from off her.

I was not yet aware of any of this as I was at home. Our 1 year old baby asleep in his crib.

Backtracking events leads us to the road snaking through our neighbourhood (she was only a few blocks from home), and a yield sign that was mostly ignored.

A car and an SUV had a contest of who could be more impatient, or who could text best while driving. Exactly what was going on in the two drivers’ minds I doubt we’ll ever know. But lack of concern, lack of precaution led to the accident. That we do know.

When I arrived on the scene there were dozens of people who had poured from their houses to see what was the matter. Emergency vehicles were on scene and my wife was in an ambulance.

She was alive. I asked her if she knew me and where she was. She looked into my eyes and blinked twice. Her whole body was shaking from the shock.

That’s when I noticed her wrist was snapped in half.

Her face was bloody and beginning to swell.

A couple of hours ago, after a long night of tears and waiting, we found out the rest. And there will be more to come.

Deep cuts, contusions and road rash all over her body and across her stomach.

All her ribs are broken.

There are tubes draining the blood that is gathering between her ribcage and her lungs.

Her liver and pancreas are lacerated.

Along with her wrist are broken fingers. This is her left arm. She is left handed.

She has fractured vertebrae. The worst is the T11. It’s obliterated. They will fuse the vertebrae around it with metal plates. There will metal plates holding her wrist together.

She will live.

She has many surgeries ahead and a long road to recovery. It’s uncertain yet if there will be any loss of limb function or if there will be any long term effects from concussion.

She will not be snuggling with our baby for a very long time. She won’t be doing any of the things she loves.

She loves to teach. She has a grade 3/4 split class. She was so excited to get back to them after her maternity leave and now she won’t be back for a very long time.

She loves to run. She was going to run a half marathon in two weeks.

She loves yoga.

She loves dancing.

She loves playing with the baby.

Right now she has tubes all over her, keeping her still, sedated, and alive.

Because someone couldn’t wait three seconds at a yield sign.

Because someone wasn’t paying attention as they drove a 1500 pound weapon.

I’m writing this to let everyone who is going to ask know what happened.

But I am also writing it to ask everyone who reads this to realize that as you scan these words someone is performing surgery on my beautiful darling.

Please slow down.

Please don’t text.

Please be patient.

And please remember that every time you sit in that car you take responsibility for lives you will never know except in passing. Literally.

Pass by. Pass by. Be aware and pass by.

And please, pray for my wife and especially for our little one who already misses his mommy.

We are blessed.

She is alive.


Please share this. Please let this horrific night make difference and save lives.

Please slow down and drive safe."


"Through the morphine and the pain I have been reading your heart felt messages to Clarice. She fades in and out of sleep but wants to hear them all.

She wrote this out on a tablet screen today and I wanted to share it with you.

Your prayers have overwhelmed us. They have overwhelmed the medical staff. Her wounds are healing so quickly. They took an X-ray today and tomorrow will see if she can take a few steps!!

My whole life I will never be able to repay your kindness.

You have changed our family for the better and I am a changed man today.

I will try to live a life worthy of your prayers.

God bless you.

God bless you

You have given us so much light it is shining out of her skin. She looks more beautiful than I can describe.

God Bless you."

Honoring And Moving Through Feelings

May 29th, 2012

Honoring And Moving Through Feelings

We humans certainly are a funny bunch. There is this thing we do when an uncomfortable emotion surfaces (usually triggered by something or someone outside of ourselves) where we feel we don't have a right to have that feeling. So instead of accepting that feeling, just sitting with it, or moving through it, we argue with it because we 'feel bad' for having it. Or worse, we blame other people for OUR feelings!! Other people may have triggered us to feel a certain way, but we are the only ones responsible for our feelings!

When we don't allow ourselves to 'feel' our emotions, they will continue to surface in some way. Maybe an inappropriate outburst of anger or rage, illness, an accident, or depression. We humans have been conditioned NOT to feel. "Don't cry or I'll give you something to cry about" sound familiar? If we were taught how to express our anger or fear or sadness in healthy ways, I definitely missed that class! Men have especially been conditioned not to feel. Personally, I have been a 'stuffer' of feelings my whole life. This has surfaced in a few of ways for me, a struggle with depression, 'snapping' and lashing out at the wrong people, sickness, accidents, and/or turning to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or whatever other diversion I could find in order to avoid FEELING.

I've learned through doing my inner work (which is pretty much a constant thing) and through coaching others, that forgiveness (of self first and foremost) is one form of letting go and one of the ways to inner peace. While I definitely believe that to be true, I see us sometimes skipping a very important and necessary step on the way to forgiveness. Expressing our feelings! When we are holding on to unexpressed hurt or anger, we will never be able to truly forgive and move on, until that hurt or anger is expressed, despite our willingness to forgive.

Our pain usually goes back to something that happened in our childhood, when we weren't able to understand our feelings, let alone express them in a healthy way. Throughout our lives we end up attracting similar circumstances or people who cause us to feel that old pain again, giving us opportunity to face it, feel it, forgive, and finally move on. When the uncomfortable feelings surface, instead of really feeling them and taking a look back in order to identify then express the 'old' painful feeling, we will 'react' to it by one of the many ways we 'avoid' feeling. Each human has different ways to numb or procrastinate when it comes to 'feeling'. Some people smoke, do drugs, drink, shop, gamble, eat, have sex, game, or turn on the tv for hours, all to avoid experiencing the uncomfortable feeling. You'll notice if or when you try to stop your addiction of choice, uncomfortable feelings will usually surface more than normal, which makes you crave your addiction more because you are trying not to feel it. The wheels on the bus go round and round!

I've managed to slowly identify my feelings by asking myself in the moment of reaching for my choice of 'diversion' "what are you avoiding or feeling right now Barb"? I'm not gonna lie, this self-awareness gig is hard work?! The willingness to be transparent to myself however, has been and continues to be the most rewarding gift I've ever given myself. It's still a work in progress and I love that I've made myself my own project!

We really do have to feel it to heal it. If we don't allow ourselves to feel our painful emotions, we will never truly heal them. If we keep reaching for whatever form of diversion or addiction we use to numb the feelings as they surface, we will never be free from the old pain. The numbing device will definitely provide temporary relief and sometimes even a feeling of elation, but it will be just that. Temporary. It won't be long before the pain surfaces again giving us another opportunity to feel it so we can heal it.

You can't change what you don't acknowledge so the first thing on the list is to acknowledge the feeling, feel it, then move it. Here are some ways I've used to move my feelings. It's important to move emotion. Motion changes emotion. If we don't move it, it gets stuck and continues to cause havoc in our lives.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY done with the intention of moving anger is a great release
JOURNALLING our feelings, or writing a really angry letter to anyone and everyone we feel anger towards, allows us to move those feelings out of us and onto the paper....really let loose then burn the letter unless you feel you need to give it to the person
SCREAMING really loud into a pillow, or while driving (with the windows rolled up of course lol)
CRYING....balling our faces off (watch a sad movie and let 'er rip...whatever it takes to get those tears flowing!)
SHARING feelings with someone we trust....confiding in one person for the purpose of moving emotion (as opposed to telling ten people and creating a drama)
WRITE music, poetry, or your story ... some of the most amazing songs, poetry and books have come from people's pain

Our healing tends to happen in layers so we need to be gentle with ourselves and the process, understanding that the same old feelings will continue to surface until we've worked through them. The more the layers fall away the more room there is for the happy feelings!!

I'm not perfect and don't have everything figured out that's for sure, but I can share what I've learned and continue to learn on my own journey to wellness in hopes of helping another on theirs.

Shake Ups are Wake Ups

May 18th, 2012

Shake Ups are Wake Ups

Shake ups can be our wake ups if we choose to take that road. It seems many people are experiencing more chaos than usual lately which makes sense as we are entering eclipse season once again....a time when circumstances tend to arise in order to push us forward on our life path whether we like it or not. Without shake ups we humans don't tend to wake up and live the life we were really put here to live. If we understand that the shake ups happen so that we are pushed to change, and ask ourselves why we are here and look at how we are using our lives for the greater good; we can use the apparent chaos as a chance for heart opening, self-awareness, healing and growth.

Shake ups come in many varieties...sometimes it's death of a loved one, loss of a friend through circumstances, a disagreement or fight, a house fire, news of devastation for a community, a forced house move, loss of a job, or a secret coming to light that brings us to our knees. The list goes on and on. The point being (and believe me, I've learned these things myself through painful circumstances) we can use the shake up to wake up or we can shut down and feel sorry for ourselves. The latter is playing the role of the victim which is the easy way out...if we play the victim, we get to pass on taking responsibility and can shake our finger in blame at the other guy...even God. We are NOT victims, unless we choose to be.

When our hearts are broken open by pain, we have a choice to shut down and become colder and more unfeeling than ever, or we can choose to let the experience open us up. You'll notice that when we experience chaos on a global level like the earthquake in Haiti for instance, how the devastation brought everyone to their knees and everyone felt the pain of the loved ones who'd lost loved ones and how through that devastation we were each made to 'feel' all at the same time. So there we all were, stopped in our tracks, feeling raw, open hearted and vulnerable, and the positive part was the world reached out and offered prayers and kind words and deeds and we were all just human in those days. We were in our heart space, we weren't the color of our skin, or our religion or nationality, or sexual preference, we were millions of souls having a heart opening human experience together! That's some powerful medicine.

It's so clear to me now how my personal shake ups have forced my heart open slowly. Every shake up cracked my heart so more light could eventually get in. Now that I can actually see this, I no longer resist the inevitable and have felt inner peace and joy on levels I never thought possible. I spent the majority of my years on this earth with my heart closed as many people do (usually as a result of an early childhood shake up). So much so that I couldn't fathom there was even a God or anything remotely positive in the universe. I'm happy to say I'm not that person today and I owe it to my shake ups and my choices to keep looking for the crumbs of good in amongst the debris.

When we are listening to our intuition and taking steps to change our lives, and when we stop hiding from ourselves and become more self aware and in the flow of life, the shake ups become less and less intense to experience. We come to understand they're part of the deal and stop dreading, and instead start accepting the opportunity for heart opening growth. Many people go through life trying NOT to feel, so sometimes we are brought to our knees simply for the purpose to 'feel' again. When we are forced to feel by something that has happened outside of us, it wakes our hearts up. So even though it can be devastatingly painful at the time, eventually we can find ourselves feeling other stuff, like joy and gratitude, at heightened levels. We can also help others who can relate to us by sharing our journey.

It's important to keep in mind as well, that often times the shake ups are actually answers to our prayers. We ask to become better people, to be shown what our purpose is, to become rock stars or the best mother we can be. If we are asking for help from Spirit to better our lives, then we need to get out of the way and be open to 'how' that might take place because I can guarantee you, from experience, it's not gonna go how YOU want it to! It's going to be uncomfortable because it's gonna mean change and change comes from shake ups! The bigger your dream for your life, the more open your heart must be so be careful what you wish for. :D

Here's a poem I wrote after experiencing a shake up eclipse season a few years ago might relate to it more around mid-June ;-)

Peace, Love and Shake Rattle n Roll......

Out of the eclipses
she emerges weary yet strong.
Left reeling from the preordained events
strategically placed for her soul's progression.
She wonders if it ever gets easier
at the same time knowing she is the only one
with the power to change her actions, her reactions.
She learns to use this energy
this gift from Grandmother Moon
to evolve, to emerge
from the inner to the outer her.
To find her power, her love, her purpose
understanding as eclipse time begins, chaos will reign.
She must stay grounded
while seeking higher perspective
until this energy passes
and all is calm again....
yet forever changed.

Written by
Barb Cote 2008 More poetry at

No place like home

May 8th, 2012

No place like home

I feel inspired to write about ‘home’ today. I've recently returned to Canada from a much needed six months living in solitude on an acreage in Washington State where I re-discovered my inner artist. Thanks to my Earth Angel Bobbie who synchronistically re-entered my life after thirty years and happened to need a ‘house sitter’ for the winter. We called the town of Cobalt in Northern Ontario 'home' as young girls.

This past spring weekend, I found myself visiting Jasper Park in beautiful sunny Alberta, surrounded by the snow covered Rocky Mountains, turquoise green water, and local wildlife (I am referring to ACTUAL animals here not people ;-)). I was reunited with some of the most REAL people who call the town of Norman Wells 'home'. Some of us go back thirty years, some only twenty, and I see so very clearly now, what a beautiful and rare gift this is. I used to assume everyone had this kind of connection to community and I took it for granted. Living in a small town most of one’s life, especially an isolated one in the Arctic, you create a common bond with people and these bonds feel like ‘home’ to me now more than ever. Most people think of ‘home’ as a house or apartment, but I no longer do. Home is in my heart.

I’ve been gypsy’ing around place to place for over three years now. I left the life I knew in Canada's Arctic, one of familiarity, security and all things material, in order to ‘find myself’ (for lack of better words) and my soul's calling. Much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I’ve been following the yellow brick road (signs and synchronicities) that Creator has laid out for me as I have learned from experience (not from a book, or a workshop, or a psychic) that when I am at home within myself, then I am at home wherever I happen to be. It hasn’t been this way my whole life and certainly wasn’t this way as I started out on my soul searching adventure, however I have finally come to a place where I can feel at home pretty much anywhere/anytime. I can be at home by myself or when I’m in a crowd, on a plane or a bus, in the wilderness or in the city, or when I have twenty dollars to my name or two thousand (although it's been many moons since I've actually had that many dollars all at the same time!! That's a whole different blog topic - one I'll call 'Money Doesn't Buy Happiness!!).

This lifestyle I have chosen the past few years, has found me experiencing with many different people and families, and living and sleeping in some pretty crazy places.…on floors, on the ground, in people’s spare rooms, in tents, in divey hotels and in luxury accommodations. I have experienced firsthand ‘no matter where you go, there you are’ as I’d noticed myself experiencing happiness in some of the most humble living conditions, and experiencing deep inner struggle and depression in some of the most beautiful locations on this Earth. Having lived and observed that part of my journey, showed me that if I wanted to find my true self, I needed to find it within. Leaving my comfort zone where everyone knew my name and who I was and what I did, to go out into the world where no one knew my name or who I was or what I did was the most vulnerable I’d ever allowed myself to be, but it was the way for me to find my way back to myself. It was definitely worth it, especially now that I can look back from this point in my journey having found myself. I’m truly ‘home’.

This past weekend, it was like I could see how so much came together, as some of my NWT homeys Barb-napped me from Edmonton to go on a road trip to Jasper, Alberta where some people from my hometown in the North, were gathering for a wedding. We are a community of people who call the same territory and town, ‘home’. We are like a very large family. We don’t always get along with each other but we look after each other as a community when the chips are down. Some of us have thrown dirt at others. Some of us have been hit with that dirt, and we all are quite aware of each other’s dirt. I think that dirt is what keeps us ‘real’. While I purposely left my physical 'home', having set out to find my inner 'home', I do know where I come from and I am proud to call Cobalt and Norman Wells, 'home'.

It’s interesting what they say about hindsight and it being 20/20. Time is the one thing that has to pass in order to have it. Some people aren’t fond of the years passing and the numbers that define our age climbing higher, but one of the gifts we are granted in that process, is hindsight. Thirty years have now passed since this young naïve teenager left the small town of Cobalt in Northern Ontario and move to Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, and I finally have 20/20 hindsight! Re-connecting with old familiar faces, laughing and sharing old stories, seeing the kids and how they've grown, I realized how truly connected we all are and will remain to be no matter where we are physically in the world. That's some amazing wind under one's wings!

I can see how my life has come full circle from the day I left the NWT to go on a walk about. Not only did I experience hindsight this past weekend, I ‘felt’ it. It felt like ‘home’, and everybody knows there’s no place like HOME.