Metanoia is an ancient Greek word meaning to change one’s mind. I heard this word for the first time today. The meaning is beautiful I think, and the idea of the journey of changing. Sometimes we walk a dark road and then, through grace we find our way when the light shines on the path of our mind, heart, or way of life.

I’ve being doing a lot of thinking the past few weeks. I try not to think too logically, but I think with my heart intuitively. I trust my heart over my mind. It hasn’t always been this way. With age comes experience and knowledge. Then comes discernment which brings a level of peace and contentment regardless of what’s going on around me.

“We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”

Henry Cloud

A Summer Hug


We all need someone to understand us, and we all need hugs. Social scientists tells us we need four a day at least. This can be easier said than done for many of us who live alone. So we need to find other ways to comfort ourselves, to get our needs met, and that contribute to our happiness.

I’ve been spending my days the past three to four months doing just that. Not working for the first Summer in a long time has been very pleasurable in many ways.

I’ve been getting lots of regular sleep, rising up and going to bed early. Taking good care of myself with healthy food and exercise has been very energizing.

Sitting outside early, first thing in the morning under the canopy of my maple tree, sipping hot coffee, watching the Hummingbirds buzz around while reading, and writing in my journal has been a glorious Summer indulgence, because I am outside. I feel very connected to nature. I always am uplifted and inspired by the beauty of where I live and fills my heart with gratitude and happiness.

Reaping the rewards of a both my vegetable and flower gardens has been lovely and having fragrant fresh herbs is a sensual delight. I can hardly wait to make salsa with my Roma tomatoes and herbs.

This Summer has been self-nuturing and helped me to understand myself. It’s like I’ve been given a great big hug by myself, by Summer and by the beauty of the natural world, where I feel understood.

Comic Relief Vs Difficult Times


The media has inundated us with coverage of the US election campaign especially Donald Trump’s diatribes which are much like dog and pony show performances.

Although I do take having a social conscience very seriously, I really can’t take politicians very seriously, and it’s never where I’d put my faith.

It seems those who are watching and are paying attention to politics,  spend a good deal of time providing comic relief in order to combat that which has been described as being the hysteria of the masses. This may provide some comfort and provides a few laughs, but after the laughs are over, what then?

The serenity prayer immediately comes to mind because after all is said and done, this is the only real relief that will bring happiness in the long run.

Hopefully there are lessons to be learned by Canadians watching, as the US continues go further down into the political dumper. In the mean time, I’ll keep saying that serenity prayer.

The World


The World

“The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? You make someone worry about aging. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a T.V. show? By making the worry about missing one.How do you get them to buy a new smart phone? By making them feel like the are being left behind.To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable, messy, human selves, would not be good for business.”

The New Earth Eckhart Tolle

Never having read Eckhart Tolle  I am not familiar with any of his self-help books. Oh I know Oprah raved about him and I have known others that speak so highly of him and his wisdom. I can’t say exactly what that wisdom is but I assume it is directly related to living life in the present and to our full capacity. I am always a little skeptic of the latest self-help trend especially when it’s toted by big media hype, and public figures.

Today a friend posted this quote from a book and without me knowing who wrote it, I was struck but the message. After doing a bit of digging I found out it is from The New Earth, a book written by Eckhart Tolle. *

I will say that no one “makes” us do anything. We all have a choice, we decide what we do or don’t do. I refuse to let the world depress me, but saying that, I haven’t bought into the things mentioned in this Eckhart Tolle quote.

I am happy with my non-upgraded, and comfortable, messy, human self.

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting the same result.

I stopped doing this 22 years ago and that’s brought me much happiness.

 * Note: The above quote may not be attributed to Eckhart Tolle but a quote from Matt Haig’s book Reasons to Stay Alive.



Horses and Happiness

CEM Skyler and Koebe Egg Tempera on Wood Panel 15inx 20in 2012


I don’t think there are many little girls who don’t long and dream of having for a horse. I was no different. But it wasn’t until I became an adult until I could fulfill this dream for myself, because I came to realize I was the only one responsible for my own happiness. No person place or thing can make us happy. These can certainly add to our happiness, but ultimately happiness is an inside job, as they say.

Children seem to be inherently happy until the introduction to unmet needs become apparent and the sense of self is more developed, and then they can loose their way.

Animals intrinsically add to a child’s happiness, and I can say this from experience growing up with animals. They have continued to greatly add to my happiness.

I feel badly for those who have missed out on the unconditional love of animals growing up, or have had bad experiences with a dog that has bitten them or some other negative animal encounter.

Can Praxis , a wonderful organization that provides Equine Therapy to Vets with PTSD, and other kinds of animal therapies demonstrate the healing power of animals to effectively increase and add to an individuals happiness and healing.

The highlighted word horse will link you to a beautiful touching video of a little girl and her loving interactions with a pony.



Are My Relationships Making Me Happy and Healthy?


Robert Waldinger

TED Talks are something I’ve really enjoyed watching for a number of years now, and I’ve found many of them very informative and insightful.

One of my good friends from University posted this today, stating that she has also watched many of the talks, but found this TED talk by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger to be the best one she had seen to date. After I watched it, I understood why she said that, and I think I have to agree, if not the best, it’s one of the most important for people to watch.

I’ve long believed that relationships are what life is all about, and the most important  thing about being a happy healthy human being. The 75 year study that Dr. Waldinger has participated in, bares witness to this fact.

During the special holidays such as Easter, we become more poignantly, and sometimes even painfully aware of how important our relationships are as we gather together or not.

Sadly the reality is today there are increasingly more people who are alone and lonely, whether through circumstances beyond their control, or because they have chosen to isolate themselves in one way or another for a myriad of reasons. This leads to unhappiness and ill health. If we can make an effort to reach out to another in love, this can make all the difference, to not only to someone else’s happiness and health, but also to our own health and happiness.

We need to take care not to take our relationships for granted and need to make them relationships of quality, and substance. It will surely make for a happier and healthier world.




Big Brothers

Photo Ralph005

Today is a sad day for me.  I am remembering my late big brother, Guru Ralph, who died 14 years ago at the age of 59, and he’d be 73 on this day March 26th. It’s hard for me to talk about, painful and all, but I think it’s always therapeutic to talk about difficult feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. I had a life time of that, and it’s toxic to always keep painful feelings suppressed.

From the get-go my brother was always my hero. Once I hit puberty though we came to logger heads. He was very protective naturally, being a ten years older. But I was having none of it once I hit my teens. Not him or any one else was going to tell me what to do. I was a sixties wild child.

Our age difference meant, he grew up in the 50s and was a die hard greaser. Black and white t-shirts,  blue jeans with cuffs, Converse running shoes, Brill Cream,  shirt sleeves with his smokes rolled up in them, Rock & Roll music and the whole deal. I was the opposite, or so I thought.. I was what I call a fringe hippie, not quite old enough to be a full fledged hippie, but I was determined to try hard to be one.

I learned so many things from my brother Ralph and especially once I became an adult. He taught me by example, how to live life with grace, humour, humility, strength, and courage in the face of adversity.

We always had a laugh about his nickname Guru Ralph because he’d come up with these crazy sayings, like ” Do unto others , then beat it.”

Many years ago when I was young and foolish, I resented him trying to tell me what to do, now I wished my big brother was around to do just that, because he lived up to his nickname, Guru Ralph, in lots of ways. He was full of wisdom. My big brother Ralph was the best brother a little sister could ever have,  I’ll miss him always, and he’ll always be my hero.

Photo Ralph003