Possess A Second Soul


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To have another language is to possess a second soul.


One of the things that I am most grateful for is that my parents taught my brother and I German.

We’re first generation Canadian. My parents immigrated to Canada in 1960. Three years later I was born and sixteen months after that my brother was born.

Mom and Dad spoke only German at home. We didn’t learn English until we went to school. I had a German accent up until about Grade Four. Mom recently apologized for only speaking German when we were little, but I’m so grateful to know the language.

As luck would have it, we lived in the Montreal area in Quebec, so Mike and I were also exposed to French. Before I came out west I could pretty much speak and understand French. I’ve since lost most of it, but when I visit Montreal, within days I understand what French-speaking people are saying. Mike is still perfectly fluent.

There is something really special about knowing more than one language. It opens up more of the world.

It does kind of feel like possessing another soul.


Do you know a second language?

There is a hole inside of you

When you are grateful for what you have. When it is enough. Then you are rich, no matter how little you have. That’s what came to mind when I read the post David shared yesterday…

Live & Learn

Dr. Craig Barnes, Wake Forest University

There is a hole inside of you.

It has been there for a long time, but by the time you graduate from college, you are acutely aware of this thing in your life that is missing. I don’t know what that is.  It may involve a relationship, it may involve something regarding your health, or something troubling in your past. Trust me it does not matter how many degrees you get, you are never going to have a better past.

Or, maybe the hole in your life is a dream that just seems to keep alluding you. It’s not the same thing for all of us. The only thing that’s the same is that we are all missing something.  Trust me on this, your future success depends completely on how you handle this hole in your life. 

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Doing Things Together Is Like Magic To Me


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We can do more together than can be accomplished alone

We can do more together than can be accomplished alone

This last week has served to remind me how much I value, and how important community is. Community, or a sense of belonging if you will, drives us to discover the things we have in common and start from there to create something beautiful together.

On Thursday night from 6:30PM to 3:30AM on Friday, I volunteered with a group of people, some of whom I’d never met, at a local casino to raise funds for Oxford House Foundation of Canada. It was only the second time I’d ever worked a volunteer shift at a casino. And oh man, staying up all night is not as easy to bounce back from as it was in my twenties! A month or two ago I worked a day shift for another wonderful organization called Fresh Start.

I gotta tell ya, both volunteer shifts were incredibly fun in that I always like learning new things and I always love meeting new people. The outstanding part of this experience for me, has got to be the fact that over the two days that a non-profit organization hosts a casino, up to 40 volunteers are needed to make it work. And they all work together, very hard I might add, to benefit a specific charity.

It really is something of great value when opportunities like this arise and one is able to take part in them!

On the following Saturday, I was invited to speak to a group of about hundred people on fundraising. Fundraising is both a science and an art, and I focused my talk on the art.

The art is all about relationships. And relationships are all about two-way communication, learning from each other and adding and gaining value from working together. In essence, it’s about building community which just happens to be my core passion!

My talk was divided into parts including: Know yourself and know others. One of the best ways to build solid relationships is to connect through stories: telling your story, learning their story and building a story together.

In other words, my story with the challenges I’ve faced and the resolutions I’ve come to have shaped who I am, what I value, what I am passionate about and why. The same is true of your story. When I know myself and I know you and what your values and passions are, we can find ways to be together for the greater good to create a better world for all of us. We are committed through our common values, passion and goals.

Now that’s like magic to me! What could possibly be more meaningful than that?


What is one of your favourite stories about working with a group toward a common goal? What was one of the challenges you have faced in your life that has made you who you are today? Which values did you adopt because of it? What are you passionate about?


The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


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Waiting for a new day

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moment.


Friday Pick 189 – How soon can “them” become us?



I ACTUALLY know Rick over at Tobits personally. I had the pleasure of meeting him some 20+ years ago at a conference in Calgary for front-line street-level workers. Rick is a national leader in, and sought after inspirational speaker on social justice, poverty alleviation and homelessness. I feel blessed to call Rick friend and was thrilled to find out that he started a blog recently. And so today I happily share it with you!

In Ricks’s own words:

Dr. Rick Tobias is one of Canada’s best-known advocates for people whose lives are defined by poverty and exclusion. With credibility earned through front-line experience and innovative leadership, he has involved thousands in a vision for lasting change for people and communities.

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

In this post Rick shares the story of his grandmother’s immigration to Canada and presents a challenge to us in regard to Syrian refugees… 

Go ahead and visit the link below

How soon can “them” become us? by Tobits


*I’ve left my comments open because at the moment you cannot leave a comment on the writer’s page so please free to leave one here*



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Several years back, I was faced with a difficult choice. I was at a crossroad. I was so inside my own head, I could not find a way out. I could not see a clear path. I hurt so much, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Sometimes, when things seem murky, when I can’t see clearly, when I am afraid – I write. I write as fast as I can to capture the thoughts running through my mind. I don’t pay attention to grammar or political correctness or sit in judgement of the words that spill out. I just write.

I’ve long since come through that particular difficult time.

But yesterday I came across what I had written back then. It’s so weird to read it. Some parts don’t even sound like me, to me, not anymore anyway. It sounds whiny, helpless, weak.

And I want to edit it so bad before sharing it!

But maybe there’s some value in the rawness of the words. Maybe it’s, I don’t know – human-ish. And maybe it will help someone else to not feel so alone in their thoughts when they are struggling; to not feel like they’ve lost their mind. So here it is, for what it’s worth. As it was written then.

I am trying not to be hasty

I am unsure of myself

I am a peacemaker—I want to make things alright

I need support in things I am not even aware of

I am angry

I am clinging to ideals

I am struggling to keep the fire burning, the passion in my heart

I second guess everything

I operate by instinct and am struggling with process

I feel undervalued

I feel steamrolled

I am tired

I am confused

I take my responsibility seriously

I am a collaborative person by nature

I believe in buy in

I am overwhelmed

I am scattered in thought

I am afraid to fail/disappoint

I operate at best when I feel inspired—I don’t feel inspired

I feel like the things that are important to me don’t matter

I feel incompetent

I feel like I’m expected to magically be at a certain level

I have important strengths

I love people

I believe in impassioning others

I believe in our people, that they can be all they can be

I believe in my team and honour their strengths

I give credit where credit is due

I look for the good

I believe I was called to this place

I believe that God has a purpose for me

I believe in building community and promoting tolerance

I believe in breaking myths and stereotypes

I believe in healthy balance of life

I believe that my staff want to do a good job

I need clear vision/direction

I need to know that my superiors believe in me

I learn best through mentorship and experience

I want to understand and be understood

I know who I am

I know who I want to be

I value mentors

I value protégées

I try not to be judgmental

I live in the grey/the in between

I am not black and white

I believe there are many I’s in team

I value disagreement/different perspectives

I am open

I value constructive criticism

I strive to be a better person

I strive to be a model in decency by the way I conduct myself

I work hard not to speak in anger, but to eventually speak

I believe in kindness

I am a persuader

I offer a unique perspective

I struggle with loneliness—at the same time I keep people at an arm’s length

I am direct

I value honesty

I want to make a difference

I want to leave a mark

I want to empower others to make a difference and leave a mark

I want to unite community

I am generous

I am loyal

I believe in complimenting people, edifying them, pointing out their strengths

I am optimistic

I am impatient

I strive to be a good listener

I strive to communicate in others’ language

I struggle with authority

I believe God places people in leadership and I trust that process

I think staff morale is important

I don’t like phonies

I strive to be true to myself—I don’t always succeed

I have a hard time letting people in

I am drawn to confident people

I am repelled by arrogant people

I promote understanding

I am interested in the whole person

I value friendship

I believe in people

I want to be recognized/acknowledged when I do good

I believe in investing in people


Have you ever felt this? Had similar thoughts? What is your strategy when you need to find your way?

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!


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Margot with Diana

Margot with Diana

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

For making our lives a 1000 times better than yours had been.

For baking a European-quality cake every Sunday and feeding it to us for breakfast with a vitamin every morning.

For preparing delicious home-cooked meals every day and cooking our favourite meal on our birthdays.

For reading to us every night. For singing ‘You are my Sunshine.’ For brushing my hair while we watched TV. For helping us with our homework. For teaching us manners, good work ethic, respect, honesty and integrity.

For making sure that we went on outings to get fresh air by visiting the zoo, going on a picnic, going to the park, going to the beach, going on a bike ride, taking a walk and so many other things. Things that you did not experience as a child.

For all these things and more, thank you and Happy Mother’s Day Mom!


Prayer vs technology?

We’ve all lost something that’s made us a little crazy while we search to find it.

Tric has really nailed how this affects us and sucks in those around us in this hilarious post about losing her phone – Enjoy!

My thoughts on a page.

Those of you who follow me on facebook will have read my plea for help last night.

Can all of holy Ireland and those with any influence please call on the all seeing St Anthony to find my phone. As a non believer he’llphoto credit: Open road via photopin (license) never listen to me, even if I promise my instant conversion. I took it home but it’s gone. So demented here that I’ve even looked in the dish washer and hot press for it.

By the time I posted it I was… well lets just say I had gone past the growling ‘Ah lads where is my feckin phone?’ stage and moved into the snapping, ‘I have looked in the car a thousand times already!’ stage. Those left in the hunt for my phone were brave, and certainly not doing it for the gratitude I was showing them. As I sat in a huff asking social…

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Red Bricks and Spring – Two of My Favourite Things


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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

Margaret Atwood

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy – I love spring! It makes me so happy that if I were a dog, not only would I be wagging my tail, my whole back-end would be wagging.

In the spring, even when it’s overcast, like it was on Saturday, I want to be OUTSIDE!

So what? It's overcast. Look at all the green leaves!

So what? It’s overcast. Look at all the green leaves!

And pictures look sharper when it’s overcast, don’t you think?

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And then just when I’m thinking that it couldn’t get any better, Sunday brings with it the sun and now it’s flip-flop-summer-clothes-wearing-heaven!

So after I published my regularly scheduled DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES post. I headed outside to take it all in. And I’m so happy that if I were a cat I’d be purring so loud you’d think I was a tractor-trailer!

The red fake bike catches my eye!

The red fake bike catches my eye!

Oh look at those bikes outside the Good Earth Café. It would be a GREAT spring day to ride a bike. Yes, a fine day to ride a bike. I WANT A BIKE!

Just around the corner I spotted Del and Doug, momentarily forgetting about bikes because I haven’t seen them in a long, long while.

After catching up with D & D I continued on down 11th Street to 13th Ave where I turned right and snapped this shot.

Carl Saffron Building

Carl Saffron Building

See those box looking things? I dream of convincing six strangers to stand on them one day, so I can take a picture of them. I think it would be cool, if they all do different poses, look in different directions – It would look like a 60s album cover!

I continued to 8th Street and turned left and then right on 11th Avenue.

But the best part of the day, and oh this made me so happy that if I were a young foal I’d be kicking up my front, then hind legs and prancing all around the paddock, I bought a BIKE – a very cool bike!


And it WAS a very GOOD day for a BIKE ride!


What do you like to do in the spring? Do you have a bike? Has it been warm where you live?

What To Do When You’re Wrong


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egg in face

“Swallow your pride occasionally… it’s non-fattening!” ~Unknown

Upon the realization that you were wrong, you could continue to argue your point and hope that the individual who is right will just give up.

Or when it dawns on you that your neglect or malicious actions have done another harm, you could just continue to act as if you harmed no one, as if you are free from blame, as if it is the harmed one who is to blame, the one who ruined everything.

You could that, and maybe others will believe you, but you won’t find lasting peace that way.

Why not acknowledge the egg on your face. Own up to what you’ve done. Eat crow if you must. Lay in the bed you’ve made. Pay the piper. Take your licks.

You aren’t the first human to mess up, and you won’t be the last. I mean it’s not like everybody doesn’t already know. Your denial doesn’t make it go away.

So say sorry when you’re wrong. Seek forgiveness. Make amends if you can. And if there’s a price to pay for what you did, then pay it.

Swallow your pride occasionally…it’s non fattening!



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