Constipated

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Insofar as an appropriate degree of self-love is received, held, enjoyed, trusted, and participated in, this is the same degree to which love can be given away to the rest of the world. You can and you must “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 19:19)—for your own wholeness and for theirs. Without this full flow in and out, we frankly have many “constipated” believers. – Richard Rohr

In yesteryear if you weren’t putting others ahead of yourself, it was frowned upon. You were selfish, self-centered, entitled, narcissistic. After all, you must ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

I didn’t really catch the ‘as yourself’ bit until I was in my 40s. What a relief! I could also love myself, set healthy boundaries, take steps toward self-care. Live in peace and harmony with you.

But when I see what’s happening in the world today, how horribly we humans treat other humans who don’t think like us, believe like us, live like us, I wonder has the pendulum swung too far. Has it become all about me and how my corner of the world is affected by you? Do we now fear instead of love our neighbor?

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

Friday Pick 198 – Perfectly Imperfect

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I can’t remember when I clicked follow on To Kill a Mocking Girl but I’m intrigued that it is managed by three women, including Chelly, who all contribute posts. Also, this is yet another blog that seems to be written in the writer(s)’ second language. I hope you enjoy the post I’ve chosen as my Friday Pick and poke around some more when you’re done.

In Chelly’s own words:

First thing you do when you wake up? Turn around and fall back asleep. Favorite movie? Everything of Louis de Funès Favorite book? Goethe’s Faust, Orwell’s 1984 and Nietzsche’s Jenseits von Gut und Böse (I can’t choose)…

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Chelly tells us that attraction is subjective … 

Perfectly imperfect by To Kill a Mocking Girl

~ FRIDAY PICK ~

*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

Those Blue Shorts Dad Used to Wear

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The other day in the early hours of the morning I was sleeping and in my dream Dad was waking me up. I opened my eyes and he was wearing those blue shorts he used to wear and an undershirt. It was a younger version of Dad and he was handing me a gift…

I woke up thinking, I got to remember this dream and the gift. Later in the day I’d forgotten the gift. I should have written it down when I woke up.

“Those blue shorts. Man I saw him clear as day in that dream,”  I thought to myself. And then yesterday after work,  I remembered I had a picture of him, wearing those shorts and an undershirt!

Mom was always good at taking pictures. I still joke that if I go to the bathroom, I have to lock the door to prevent Mom from coming in to take a picture. But back in 1985, Mom and Dad came to visit me in Pinantan Lake. They’d flown to Calgary, rented a car and drove through the Rocky Mountains to see me.

Mom with Dad wearing those blue shorts and undershirt

Mom with Dad wearing those blue shorts and undershirt

Dad, me and Mom at Paul Lake

Dad, me and Mom at Paul Lake

Me, Shannon and Dad

Me, Shannon and Dad

Mom and Dad on the last day of their visit to Pinantan Lake

Mom and Dad on the last day of their visit to Pinantan Lake

It occurs to me as I write  this post, that Dad was two years younger than I am today back then and in my dream it’s sort of like two peers connected for a moment in time. And maybe that’s all the gift I really need to remember. I miss you so much Dad, thanks for visiting in my dreams.

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

Have you ever looked at picture of your parents at the age you are now and wondered what it would have been like to hang out with them as peers?

Where Are You? What Time Is It? What Are You?

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Nothing is worth more than this day.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

…or more precisely perhaps, than this moment.

Children know this. All you have to do is watch them happy at play and you’ll see it. They are alive in the moment. Nothing else exists. The joy of this very moment is written all over their wide-eyed little faces.

Recently, I saw the movie, Peaceful Warrior. In a nutshell it’s about a cocky, but talented college gymnast who ends up having a bad accident that ruins his shot at the Olympics. While he’s feeling sorry for himself, he meets a stranger who changes his way of thinking. He teaches the gymnast that a warrior never gives up on what he loves. He does what he loves in the moment, without thought of where he’ll end up. He cares about others. There is no greater purpose than service.

At the movie’s end, the gymnast is about to try out for the Olympics and he hears the stranger’s voice ask three questions which he answers as follows:

Where are you? Here.

What time is it? Now.

What are you? This moment

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

Those questions have stuck with me

Free-fall

Sometimes the best way to ‘shake it up’ a bit is to try something that you haven’t done before. As Kelly seems to say in her post there’s nothing quite as invigorating as being a bit afraid and a bit excited at the same time. When’s the last time you shook it up a bit?

Nurse Kelly

Free-fall

~

I think life is best lived in the moments that make our hearts race, that cause our breath to catch.

Whether we dash into the storm without an umbrella, eat the last piece of apple pie, or jump out of a plane, decisions we make between what is daring and what is comfortable are exciting.

In those moments before we decide, before we leave what’s familiar to try something new – perhaps scary – there is a feeling of invigoration… because if you let yourself fall, when you let yourself slip, you are free in that moment; free from self-imposed boundaries, the boundaries that contain you and can hinder your growth.

I think we need more of those moments… don’t you?

~

See you soon! xo

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Bloggers, Axe Murderers, Food and Walking

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Elizabeth, Diana and Ian

Elizabeth, Diana and Ian

This past Friday evening Ian who blogs over here and I met at CIBO on 17th Avenue SW in Calgary, Alberta to share a meal and come face-to-face with Elizabeth, a blogger who lives 14,069 Kilometers away on the other side of the world in Australia!

Was it awkward? Not at all! We’ve followed each others’ blogs for at least three years and we know each other well. So hugs all around were in order before I even sat down.

Elizabeth who blogs here, chose a pasta dish. Ian chose pizza with boar bacon. And I chose the gnocchi, which was scrumptiously delicious – thank you very much. Then we talked and talked about this and that – catching up with each other’s news as friends typically do. We noted the empty chair beside us. The chair Louise who blogs over here would have sat in if she were in Calgary. But Louise was in Vancouver celebrating her daughter’s wedding, which we graciously concluded was a good enough excuse for being absent. You’re welcome Louise.😉

At one point in the conversation, Elizabeth told us that her daughter was a bit nervous about her meeting total strangers, a.k.a. me, Louise and Ian because we could be axe murderers for all she knew!

We laughed out loud. Literally. Not LOL. For real. Because we were around the same table and NOT chatting online. How cool is that?

The next day, Ian dropped Elizabeth off to meet me at Eau Claire market so we could go for a walk. We crossed the bridge onto Prince’s Island, walked west past the outdoor stage, crossed back over and headed east toward East Village. We stopped for coffee at Phil and Sebastian’s in the old Simmons Building, took our drinks outside and sat on a bench by the river to rest and chat some more.

From there we headed several blocks south to Stephen Avenue Mall, snapping photos on the way and finally taking a selfie when we got there.

Elizabeth, it was so much fun to meet you in person and hang out. I hope you enjoyed your albeit-too-cold visit to Calgary too!

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

Meeting long-distance bloggers is FUN.

Who’s next??

assortment of smiley face expressions including very happy, smug, happy, mild surprise, shock, neutral, chagrin, sad, dead, skull with teeth

Stony Places

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A plant seemly overcoming all odds and reaching for the sunlight through a cement barrier. In the same way, when a community is engaged and working toward a common goal, anything is possible.

I have seen flowers come in stony places.

John Masefield

Often when we feel as though we are between a rock and a hard place, it is hard for us to imagine that anything good can come from the situation we are in. The weight of what we are going through feels like it will crush us.

I guess one of the benefits of getting older is that we begin to learn that ‘this too, shall pass.’

We remember that we’ve come through desperate circumstances before and although life feels rough and we are looking for a way out of the current darkness, the light will break through eventually.

The human spirit is amazing in its resiliency. It is so much stronger than we give it credit for. It is tenacious in its hunger for life. And just like the plant that found a way in my parking spot by pushing through the cement and reaching for the sunlight in the above photo, we can also find our way.

So the next time you find yourself in a stony place, remember the flowers, and know that you will find your way to the light too.

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

 

Friday Pick 197 – Mornings, What’s the healthiest drink to drink first

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I’ve only just started following Ula over at simple Ula and I have to say how impressed I am to find yet another blogger who writes in her second language. I think Europe has an advantage over us in North America because many Europeans speak and write at least 2 languages. I was drawn to Ula’s blog because she tries to live a simple life which I really aspire to do as well. I hope that when you’ve read my Friday Pick, you’ll check out some of her other posts and maybe click Follow as I have done.

In Ula’s own words:

I’m Polish, but should I really write in Polish? I feel like more people could read it when it’s written in English and most of the Polish people know English anyway so I hope I’ll have some polish readers here as well…My name’s Ula and I aspire every day to have a simple life. Simple life, meaning a lot of things which if you stay here with me, you’ll find out. Remember though that still you won’t know exactly what that means for me, but I hope we’ll find some things in common and you’ll visit me again and again and again.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Ula talks about healthy drinks for the morning …  

Mornings – What’s the healthiest drink to drink first by simple Ula

~ FRIDAY PICK ~

*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

Celebrating Josee

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I remember one summer day in the early 90’s when Josee picked me up from my apartment in Calgary with the Sporty featured on the above photo.

My friendship with Josee started long before then though. We met in the mid 70s and spent a lot of time in the basement of her house on Maple Crescent beside the park in Chateauguay, Quebec.

Ahh that basement. It was like an episode of ‘That 70s Show.’ It was there that we graduated from drinking tea to playing darts, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and talking about our relationships with the opposite sex. Thinking back, I feel bad for Josee’s mom who had to put up with us. But then again, she always seemed to be happy to see us.

Josee and I didn’t really stay in touch much after I left Chateauguay, but every decade or so we would manage to get together over a meal and catch up on each others’ lives. I was surprised and shocked when I heard the news of Josee’s passing a few weeks back.

This past Saturday, we celebrated Josee’s life at her daughter’s place. That’s the way Josee wanted it. She didn’t want people crying, she wanted us to enjoy hamburgers and chili, two of her favourite menu choices, and to reminisce about all the fun times we had. There were a lot of people there, family and friends, for this celebration hosted by Melodie and her husband Jordan.

Lots of stories were shared, but one of my favourites was told by Melodie. It seems that when Melodie was about 15 years old she was upset and in tears about a fight she’d had with her then boyfriend and current husband Jordan. Josee took the matter into her own hands by hopping on her Harley and riding it to Jordan’s workplace.

I could see it in my mind as Melodie shared the story – Josee, a petite yet formidable woman, pulling up to Jordan’s work place, taking off her helmet and shaking out that long dark hair, her jaw set in determination. Then spotting Jordan and walking toward him to give him hell. Man, he must have been shaking in his boots when she told him that if he cared about Melodie he should make it right and if he didn’t he should just get lost. I’m telling you, we were all laughing by the end of that story!

I also learned through her partner Sean how much she loved to travel. Often she went alone to bike through Europe for example, or visit places like Africa and Thailand. And I learned that she’d been a business owner for some years and then later she and Sean decided to sell the business and manage a resort in British Columbia so that they could travel together during the off-season.

Listening to all the stories, I couldn’t help but wish that I’d made more of an effort to stay in touch with Josee so that I could have known firsthand the person she had become. But maybe life plays out the way it’s supposed to. And maybe because it played out the way it did, it brings those of us who remain together to share our little part of her story, and in doing so we can see the bigger picture of Josee’s story together.

At one point on Saturday, I could not stop looking at Josee’s Sportster. In many ways the staging of Josee’s bike with her jacket laid across the seat at Melodie’s acreage, seemed the perfect tribute to her.

It spoke of her free-spirit, her courage, and her ability to reach her goals.

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

Josee, You will be missed. Your courage and determination in life, and in facing death, are a great inspiration to us. Rest in Peace my friend.

Those Who Have Been Through The Fire

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I love when people who have been through hell walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the fire…

Stephanie Sparkles

Over the years I have had the privilege of walking alongside some of the most vulnerable and traumatized people in our city.

When I came across the above quote, I immediately thought of these beautiful people, because it is often those coming out of the fire, those who need comfort themselves who provide comfort to another person. It is often those who have nothing that give everything.

Never have I witnessed as great a spirit of generosity, courage and love in another group of people. Never have I run across as great an example of people who ‘live in the moment’ better. Never have I been so inspired to reevaluate my views and the definitions of words like love, happiness and success.

When did it become all about ‘Me’ and ‘How much I can get’ instead of putting others ahead of ‘myself?’

When did it become easy to do nothing and turn away from those who are suffering?

What will it take to get us back on track?

 ~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~