You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

Since it is Halloween, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a real live ghost story with you.

It took place in this farmhouse where I grew up on Granite Hill Road in northern Ontario, with my mother, grandmother and two sisters. This photo was taken in 1963.

When my mother was 12 and still living in Toronto, her father passed away during open-heart surgery. Throughout my childhood she spoke very fondly of him and I regretted that I’d never had the opportunity to meet him.

She shared this story with me some years after it happened and I believe her.

The event happened a couple of years after they had moved to the farm. See the window in the lower right corner of the house? That was our dining room, the place where mother experienced this. Here is what happened.

During the winter months the house was hard to keep warm and so the dining room was closed off from the rest of the house. We had our meals in the kitchen at the back of the house where the fireplace kept us warm.

This one particular evening mother was preparing dinner and decided to use some dishes that were kept in a cabinet in the dining room. She went into the dining room and when she returned to the kitchen a brief moment later, with no dishes in her hands, my grandmother noticed that her face was rather pale.

But mother didn’t say a word. Instead, she asked my grandmother if she would go and pick out some dishes. So into the dining room went grandma. She also returned quickly, with no dishes and a pale face.

They took one look at the other and my grandmother nodded instantly when my mother asked “Did you see it?”

This is giving me chills as I write!

What did they both see?

In the corner of the room next to that window was a figure. It had only revealed itself from the chest up and was gently floating on the spot. My mother recalled that it was her father and he was smiling at her.

Both mother and grandma agreed that they had seen the same thing and I don’t doubt either of them.

I don’t understand the phenomena of ghosts, nor can I prove it. But I don’t need proof because I accept it as a very real possibility. I keep an open mind because I too have had a few ghostly experiences in my life.

But, that is another story.

What about you? Have you had any such mysterious experiences? Do you believe in ghosts?

Please share your comments below and if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.

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While I waited for my senses to surrender to sleep, I listened to the wind whispering through the trees outside my window.

I felt connected. Complete. I drifted off to sleep while other senses were awakened.

The wind was the last thing I remembered before waking from a dream. In this dream I was dressed in army fatigues and being held prisoner. I was not alone and eventually helped the other person to escape.

I awoke from the dream slowly, still looking through the eyes of that person who had remained behind. Interestingly that person no longer felt like a prisoner.

I had this dream while preparing to write this article and feeling the frustration of writer’s block. How could I write about living a balanced life when I was struggling with it myself? Nothing I wrote felt right. I had become so attached to the outcome of the article I wasn’t letting the creativity flow. I was disconnected. What was interesting about this dream was my interpretation. The person who had been set free was my creative muse.

My thoughts returned to the connection I had felt while listening to the wind. I knew there was an answer there. Memories of other times I felt connected swam through my mind and I relaxed into knowing what living a balanced life meant to me.

Seeing a shooting star. Catching a snowflake. Watching the sunrise on a misty morning. Admiring a rainbow. Smelling the new cherry blossoms in springtime.

These are things that fill me up. They are without expectation. And because I am not attached to the outcome I can be more fully in the moment. Nature does that for me. It wakes me up. It inspires that feeling of being connected. When I feel connected I also feel balanced.

We have become separated from the natural flow of life in an effort to control it. Calendars and schedules attempt to balance our daily activities, yet we still run in circles seemingly getting nowhere. We have created this world and yet it controls us. We are out of rhythm and less flexible because we depend on these schedules to tell us where to be and when.

Life has a schedule of its own and it unfolds as we are trying to fold it up, throw it into a briefcase and run for the next subway train. We don’t even see where we’re running because subconsciously we’ve already reached our destination.

Because we have become so disconnected with our natural rhythm we feel unfulfilled. This brings an unconscious desire to fill a void. And fill it we do – with things. But it’s never enough is it?

Trouble is, the more things we collect the more complicated our lives become and the more out of control we feel. It is a never-ending cycle.

You can stop the cycle. Here are five suggestions.

1. Feel your connection: Balance is achieved through connection. What are you doing when you feel connected? See it in your mind and remember how it feels. When you feel out of control, revisiting this feeling can stop you from living ahead of yourself. It brings you back into the moment. When you are in the moment you are less likely to be distracted.

2. Honour your values: When you know what your ultimate goal is (the big picture), hold it in your intent but don’t become attached to it. Working with values gives a person the ability to make more powerful and appropriate choices about how to reach their goal.

Finding rhythm in attaining a goal comes through knowing that each step is connected to the other; like a dance. They’re not separate actions to be scheduled in a specific order. They naturally support and feed each other with little effort. One clue that you are not honouring your values is through your internal dialogue. See #3.

3. Choose your dialogue: Be aware of how you talk and think. What words are you choosing? When you say, “I should” or “I have to” you are putting pressure on yourself. Or, perhaps what you are trying to accomplish is not of value to you and you shouldn’t waste your time on it. If it is important, choose more empowering words such as “I want to” or “I will”. They’re less likely to cause resistance to action.

4. Practice meditation: Simply put, meditation encourages clarity. We aren’t scattered because there are too many distractions. It’s because we are not focused that we notice the distractions. When a person is not focused they are more vulnerable to outside influences. Responding to people and circumstances takes a back seat, while reacting takes the front.

5. Focus on fulfillment: Fulfillment surrenders to balance. As I mentioned earlier, when we are not feeling fulfilled we unconsciously try to fill a void with things we believe will fill us up. When a life is built on false beliefs any perceived balance is fragile and short-lived. I’ve had days where my life seems as organized as it can be, but find myself feeling restless. Something is missing. Things appear to be balanced, but I’m not fulfilled.

One thing to remember. If you’ve ever tried to stand on one leg you’ve noticed that balance fluctuates. That means if you aren’t flexible you’ll end up a prisoner of your own controlled efforts.

Wake up to your senses and they will lead you to the fulfillment that designs a balanced life.

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This article is my submission to the Life Balance Group Writing Project over at Create A Balance blog.

Please share your comments below and if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.

Photo Credit: Alison Lyons Photography

Liz Strauss at Successful Blog has asked her readers to think about community, connectedness, being linked together, synchronicity, serendipity and oneness.

And then she gave us this challenge.

Put our thoughts into a sentence or phrase of exactly 25 words, illustrating how we each believe bloggers are connected.

Here are my 25 words.

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FROSTY SUNRISE

A blogger’s words may grow icy with frost;

a published presence, subscriptions lost.

But wireless pathways and creative minds,

share colourful comments that forever bind.

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I had no idea what was going to bounce off the keyboard when I started this.

But, while playing with the words and the rhymes an idea started to take shape. This poem/meme has given voice to a not so frosty post over at The Writer’s Manifesto Blog, entitled “Do You Really Care About Your RSS Feed”.

In this rant of a post Monika says, “Personal interaction is worth so much more than awe-inspiring RSS feed subscription numbers.”

In her comment section I shared that, “I recently unsubscribed from one blog because the blogger rarely replied to comments. You know what that’s like? Going to a party where all the guests sit around in the living room chatting, eating snacks, waiting for the host or hostess who never shows up.”

I enjoy replying to comments and reading the playful and sarcastic banter in the comments section on other blogs. I get excited when my subscriber count goes up too.

But personally, I get greater satisfaction from connecting with readers and other bloggers through our comments. Blogging would be pretty boring without that.

My next post has yet to be given a title. It is a submission to the Life Balance Group Writing Project and if you want to participate there is still time. The deadline is October 26th.

Please share your comments below and if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.

Photo Credit: Mark Wakefield

This is my contribution to Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty.

“Prosperity is not just having things. It is the consciousness that attracts the things. Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.”

– Eric Butterworth

Poverty consciousness is about more than money. It arises from the fear of not having enough.

It causes us to deny ourselves material possessions and on the other extreme, we may buy things for ourselves and regret it after. It is about the limiting belief that there are consequences for spending money.

The number of material possessions you have is not reflective of your relationship with money; your attachment to them is.

The best time to challenge yourself and break through poverty consciousness is when you feel the fear of not having enough. Now would be the perfect time if you are experiencing uncertainty during these times of unstable money markets. 

Now obviously I’m not suggesting going on a spending spree when funds are lower than the norm, but I do suggest buying that item you would normally avoid buying because of the circumstances.

This scenario has played out a number of times in my own life.

Please continue reading on page 2. 

 

 

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A Tribute To
Loving Pulse Readers

Here at 49°16 N & 123°07 W we are closing in on the Thanksgiving Day weekend. It is nicely coincidental that I planned this post for this time.

Although I usually post on Thursday evenings I can’t wait any longer so this one is launching a day earlier.

To start off, I want to share a fun passage that I read years ago and hung onto because I loved it so much…

If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it.

People would walk around it, marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing between the pools.

People would marvel at the bumps on it and the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas.

The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball, and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it as sacred because it was the only one and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt.

The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to pray to it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to wonder how it could be.

People would love it, and defend it with their lives because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it.

If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter.

Author unknown

Obviously the Earth is more than a few feet in diameter and thankfully, the blogosphere has given us the opportunity to connect from around the globe.

I wanted to list all my readers here but the list is long and so, to keep the length of this post manageable I chose to let the numbers do the talking.

On page 2 you will find a list of the top ten commenters on Loving Pulse where I have highlighted 20 posts from their blogs. You won’t want to miss reading such posts as “How to Be a Man and a Woman Both at the Same Time”, “Bye-Bye Birdie”, and “Was I Talking About You?”…

Please continue reading on page 2.

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Luny Landing won first place in the Master Team Sculptor’s category in the World Championship sand sculpture event. This event was hosted in Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.

Artists from around the world went to great lengths to build these sculptures to withstand the elements and remain show worthy for the public and of course, the judges.

From the most artistic design to the smallest, most intricate detail, this show of more than 70 sculptures was a pleasure to see. It was quite clear that these artists had realized and embraced their passion for creativity.

Please continue reading on page 2.

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