Palettal Prose: River of Positivity

I like the way this roles off my tongue…

Return to positivity

with gratitude to negativity

for letting us know what to change

for letting us know what we don’t want

for reflecting how we are eating our poison

Lady awareness

thank you for introducing me

to the story teller that tells me my story

to put my attention to what the river took away

I will let life be thy witness

like an out-of-body experience

but not like in sleeping dream

but in awakened state of lucid dream

letting the waterfall flow

in what force she feels like

she free and we feel her within us

life throws us into the river to swim in her

looking into our honest eyes

smokey mirror is getting cleared

the spirit can be felt in everything

especially in the space between words

so let us close our eyes

and dream a beautiful

and then open them

and look what the river

is bringing today

~Don Jose Ruiz, My Good Friend the Rattlesnake: Stories of Loss, Truth, and Transformation

Sun Songs and Crystal Turkeys

debris in the way Today was one of those perfect mountain days that needed to be spent outside. I recently made a commitment to meditate daily, for at least ten minutes, as well as spend quality, outdoor time with the pooches. With that in mind, I drove to a little known spot called ‘Bulldog Canyon’. Coincidentally only a kilometer from my destination, the road was closed, taken over by large amounts of impassable debris. There were plenty of lovely places I could have turned around to but I was a girl on a mission as I felt a certain calling to continue onward.

We always end up exactly where we’re meant to be.

Sun Song
I didn’t make it to the canyon but found a lovely outcrop of rocks overlooking the lake where the sun was bright. I have a ‘go to’ meditation where you visualize a ball of light in the center of your heart chakra. You allow it to fill that space and then expand the light to fill your body, your immediate surroundings, the town, and then send it out to the world. It’s really a beautiful practice, both simple and fulfilling and that’s where I headed today as I settled in. I quickly realized however, that the sun shone so brightly that my black jacket soon burnt; I saw this as a gift. The light was going to fill me from the outside-in today instead of my having to produce it myself. Honestly, it was a bit of a relief. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I spend a lot of time carrying the light without much outside assistance. This was the universe’s way of reminding me it’s always there to light my way and I’m not in it alone. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of going outdoors to remember this-  a matter of humility.

With that, I was able to shift my attention. It’s said that prayer is you talking to God(dess) while meditation is listening. What came about today was combination of both. My favorite thing to do in nature is isolate the different sounds, allowing yourself to  absorb without analysis. It’s a process of recognition and release. There were several kinds of birds going about a variety of business. My two dogs rustled about adventuring and wreaking innocent havoc on our surroundings. The squirrels they chased scampered and shouted at them.

As I continued to settle in, I could hear the far off creek that had been our intended destination while the soft thundering of a waterfall across the lake revealed itself. There wasn’t a scrap of breeze so the trees didn’t share their secrets with me today, but within that was a sound I’d never heard before. It was music and I knew somehow that it was coming from the sun. Maybe angels, or other beings of light were singing to me. Maybe it’s just the sound the the sun/light-source makes. Whatever it was, within my silence I found something brand new (to me) that wasn’t at all FROM me.

Another gift and another reminder to reach out in this immense universe as it will always provide…

With music in my ears, I shifted from meditation to prayer. “Forgive me God for forgetting you.”- a prayer given to us by Reno, at my recent yoga teacher training. She knows what I need so I didn’t feel the need to state requests. I simple asked for forgiveness and offered gratitude as it is what felt right at the time. Because here’s the thing, regardless of what you’ve been told, there’s no wrong way to connect to your creator. If you are not causing harm and are working from a place of love (humility is also a good goal), then you are doing it right. For real.

The sun went behind a cloud and I knew it was time to open my eyes. I’d brought my animal medicine cards with me for additional teachings and pulled Turkey. I’ve had these cards quite a while now and use them very regularly but have never before pulled Turkey. They always surprise me. 

Turkey Medicine is a Gift

Turkey medicine is: ‘Give-Away’. It is  the recognition that your individual well-being is tied up to that of the whole and the willingness to offer what you have to make that possible- even if it means going without. Authors Jamie Sams and David Carson writes about Turkey, “You have transcended self. You act and react on the behalf of others. You aspire to help those who need help. This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious guild. Help an sustenance and given by Turkey out of the realization that all life is sacred. It is an acknowledgement that what you do for others you do for yourself.”

I’ve been struggling for months on how to deal with growing strife between myself and an individual who had once played a huge role in my life. Recently, I’d decided to write a letter but had been struggling with how I intended to go about this. I was questioning my approach and as always, the animals gave me the guidance I needed. My self-doubt cleared and I knew I was on the right path regardless of the aftermath.

Nature's Gifts
Turkey also tells you a gift is coming and as I looked to the ground for the first time since arriving, I realized that I was surrounded by beautiful crystals! One had initially caught my eye and as I dug it from the ground I was immediately drawn to its vibration. I gathered several others and got acquainted with them as well but in the end, decided the original was the only one I needed. I love working with raw stones found at their source. Their only fingerprints are your own and our Mother’s and they vibrate at such a unique frequency.

Settling inI often use crystals when giving readings or Reiki but I knew that this particular crystal was meant for me alone. Along with Turkey and the Sun Song, it was among my many gifts of the day- offerings to assist me on my path. As I headed back to my car, I projected my gratitude with excitement of the teachings to come.

From my heart to yours, Jenn

Turning 30 like a Yogi

Another birthday has come and gone and the statistics are in. Facebook wall posts held steady at 60 something with belated wishes still trickling in. Text messages are up from last year, as are private messages. Phone calls have stayed a consistent three.

According to social media, I’m really quite popular.

But here’s the thing.

I spent my birthday alone this year.

For the first time.

And it was the big 3-0.

I don’t generally call for big fan fare on my ‘big day’, liking to keep things low key….but to be alone? Well, that’s new.

How did it make me feel? Well, I can admit that as plans were slowly cancelled, I was a little sad. After all, it’s 30! But it didn’t get me down for long. Overall, it was kind of…neat.

I’m supposed to have matured beyond that sort of thing by now…right? And thank goodness! If I’d had to spend an early 20 something birthday alone, I probably wouldn’t have coped as well.

I suppose this is a bonus to being an official ‘grown up’. You just don’t take things as personally. At least, you’re not supposed to.

I could have, maybe should have, taken a look at my relationships at this point and questioned if my solo-ness was a result of how I run them. Maybe I don’t put in enough effort. Maybe I don’t express my love. Maybe I should give more or be more, but let’s be honest, that’s a terrible thing to do to yourself any day of the year, but particularily so on your day of birth.

And it goes against the above-outlined adult-wisdom of ‘it’s not personal’.

And it isn’t. Life happens. We have obligations to family, to work, to our health. There’s Canadian winter-road conditions…

I don’t think I even informed the cancelling invites it was my birthday!

I suppose that’s another difference between 20 something and 30 something.

In your 20s life revolves around fun and your friends and parties (for the most part) but as you move yourself through the decade there are suddenly children, careers, partners, and mortgages (for some of us anyways, I’m slow to evolve to such things).

Other things hold your attention. This is a good thing.

By 30 most of us enjoy our own company anyways.

I’m happy alone.

I’m happy with company too.

Mostly, I enjoy being alone. Though with two canines, I suppose I never really am.

Thank you Ann Schwartz for the great photo!

Thank you Ann Schwartz for the great photo!

The point is, I’m just happy. I have the pleasure of making that decision for myself because as Don Miguel Ruiz tells us, we are all creators. With that, we and we alone have the power to create not only our lives but the way we feel about them as well. I’ve chosen a life of BLISS and with continual reminders to myself and conscious creation, I have it. For the most part. It takes practice but one day it will just be.

And 30 is great because you’re no longer eating ramen noodles for every meal!

You drink every night but never get drunk (hang overs just aren’t worth it any more!).

The days of six-packs for six dollars are behind you, if you want them to be.

You don’t get sexy with anyone unless you really want to; there’s no more guilt attached to sex.

You have disposable income.

You go to bed by ten (sometimes) which feels normal and waking up at seven feels equally normal.

Essentially, the closer you get to relieving yourself of your 20s the more tangible freedom exists.

There’s a responsibility that comes with this new decade though.

By now, you should know how to fold a fitted sheet. It’s really quite easy and an essential life skill.

You need to be able to say ‘I’m sorry.’

And write thank you letters.

You need to be able to forgive.

And hold yourself accountable.

Here’s the thing.

Talking to my father, I realized, I don’t have any 20 something excuses left.

He laughed and told me at least I have my blond excuses.

But I just dyed my hair…

By 30, you’re more comfortable expressing yourself and speaking your truth regardless of the repercussions.

You stick up for yourself.

Your relationships change. Some disolve, others form, and loved ones return.

There is constant evolution.

More and more I crave stability and stillness.

I will not miss the days of seasonal living….at least not for a while.

I still need adventure. I pray that never changes.

I get to be comfortable in my own skin and no longer care about ‘being cool’.

I’m can easily admit that four minute down dogs inspired by Chantal Kreviazuk, make me a little emotional.

As do three minute hero poses to Coldplay.

In private of course.

I haven’t evolved to the point of public emotional releases just let. Being a Scorpio, reserved and composed by nature, that will probably have to wait until 40.

I can also admit, without embarrassment, that my yoga mat, tights, and speaker all (accidentally) match.

Tights, Mat, Music

Accidental or not, that would have never happened in my 20s (don’t ask me how, I just know these things).

Recent feedback I got about my writing was to put more ‘me’ into it. That’s going to be a 30 something goal, beginning with this post.

Hopefully you like me but it’s ok if you don’t.

Something particularly wonderful about a solo birthday is the personal space for ritual. I was blessed with the gift of a full moon in Taurus (far more appreciated than the foot of snow received). As mentioned in other posts, full moons are great opportunities to purge.

And so, I took this opportunity to do just that.

I let go of my 20s (though not my youth).

And I purged insecurity.

Post asana, I sat and reflected on this. Not only did I commit to releasing myself of insecurity but listed the different (and apparently many) ways in which I experience it.

Purge Insecurity

And then, I went downstairs and I burnt the list.

They say after you empty yourself of something (purge) it is important to fill yourself back up.

Dance party it is. First, soft sways and swoons, followed by hair shaking anthems, and finally, concluding with some sexy hip shaking.

I am after all, a 30-something, former dancer turned yogi-mountain girl, and everyone should get to be sexy on their birthday.

From my heart to yours, Jenn

A Ritual of Thank-FULL-ness: The GR-ATTITUDE Circle

Happy Thanksgiving!

Growing up in a Catholic household, dinners were always preluded with GRACE. We would join hands and either share in unison a generic preordained prayer or a single member would give thanks on behalf of us all. With this pause, we took a moment to be great-FULL for the food before us and the hands that prepared it. A beautiful ritual really apart from one wildly apparent shortcoming- it lacked that personal touch. We were either dependent on the appointed head of house to speak on behalf of us all or we spewed the same words that had been force fed to Catholic children everywhere since the dawn of time. Regard-less, it was not the voice of the individual that mattered at this time. It was one voice dragging along the others. Of course, we were meant to be saying our own separate prayers ‘in our head‘ but we were not encouraged or given the space to offer our individual thanksgivings aloud.

Child in Prayer

Gratitude ExpandsLast winter, while living in Mexico, a beautiful adopted family was formed. Its members, from various parts of North America, having escaped the chills of home, all had much to be thankful for. It was through this family that I learnt and put into practice the ‘Gratitude Circle’. This soul enriching ritual takes only a moment and gives each attendee the opportunity to express their individual grace.

Join hands if you like, don’t if you prefer. Each person takes a turn to express something they are thankful for at that time. It can be simple or complex. It doesn’t matter what you choose. There are no rules. The point is that it’s yours and you get to share it with the same people you have chosen to share your meal with.

When I got home, I brought the Gratitude Circle with me and continue to practice it at every opportunity. Even when I dine alone, I take a moment to voice what it is I am thankful for that day. I love it.

Today, I am thankful for Joyus, who shared the Gratitude Circle with myself and the rest of the family, putting it into our daily practice.


From my heart to yours, Jenn