outdoors adventures

i have a new perspective this season…

paddling lake okanagan

… not too shabby, eh?

camping season is well underway… we started a little later this year, but at least we haven’t been stuck in 5ft of snow like last easter!

i have a hard time “turning off” my need to work-work-work, so removing myself from internet, computers and cell phones usually does the trick!

i am so grateful for the outdoors and all it offers…

drinking coffee while the sun rises…

caffeine at Garnet Lake

or dandelion dew when the moon is out

dandelion caesars by the fire

slow sunsets

minnow lake

watching levon “the adventure dog” have the best.day.ever.

outward hound

paddling with no agenda

paddling Garnet Lake (in the rain/hail!)

and most importantly, campfire food!

fiddleheads!

banana - chocolate - peanut butter pancakes!

bring on the sunshine, summer and adventures! much love.

dance in the duality

A few weeks ago I had a very inspirational class at Trinity Yoga Centre (website here) with one of the most inspirational teachers that I would like to share. It was all about duality… or opposites… or compliments… as in; sun & moon, yin & yang, hot & cold, effort & ease.

Some traditions believe there are energy channels (called nadis) that exist in your body; the sun (pingala, active, right), the moon (ida, passive, left), and the sushumna, which is right in the middle. Ha(sun)tha(moon) yoga balances the nadis and the flow of life-force energy (prana).

This duality is always there, inside us.

Energy Channels (ida, pingala, sushumna)

Have you every thought it possible to be both happy and sad at the same time? If energetic duality exists within us, maybe it is possible for it to exist in the world… So, what if it’s not that you ARE “happy” or “sad”, but that you are CHOOSING to pay more attention to the emotion “happy” or the emotion “sad” that both exist within you. Like the idea that if there is sun, there is always a shadow.

So, if you can choose what emotions you pay attention to, like choosing what you eat for breakfast, are you (unconsciously?) choosing to be sad and, therefore, to suffer?

choose your mood?

what about the types of activities you choose to do, for example the type of yoga classes you attend. why do you choose that particular style? are you typically fast-paced and high-strung during your day and choose to take a hot power flow? or are you more laid back and love to yin?

Yang & Yin

.. have you ever though to do the opposite? maybe you have, but came up with a million-and-one excuses not to. maybe it’s time to notice when resistance shows-up for you and lean into it… it may be exactly what you need!

So, if you can choose what you pay attention to in your daily life, body and thoughts, then you can do so with your emotions. And it’s always possible to “look on the bright side of life“, because the duality is always there, light dances with the darkness.

… it’s a powerful idea, what does it mean to you?

I’ll leave you with some Monty Python… just because they make it so catchy to look on the bright side of life! much love.

p.s. i have lots to share in next week or two… from wilderness adventures, to family time, to caring for caregivers… stay tuned!

it’s okay to not know

I have a wonderfully spirited teacher, Kylie, at Moksha Yoga Kelowna.

She always seems to know the right thing to say.

Here is a passage from the book she often reads from during sivansana. I’m about to start the last year of my PhD and don’t have a concrete plan for the future… so, I find this quote very inspiring.

JUNE 15 – “It’s Okay to Not Know”

Sometimes we don’t know what we want, what’s next, or what we think our lives will look like down the road. That’s okay. If the answer is I don’t know; then say it. Say it clearly. And be at peace with not knowing.

Sometimes the reason we don’t know is that what’s coming is going to be very different from anything we’ve experienced before. Even if we knew, we couldn’t relate to it because it’s that new and that different. It’s a surprise.

Sometimes the reason we don’t know is that it would be too difficult, too confusing for us right now. It would take us out of the present moment, cause us to worry and fuss about how we could control it or what we have to do to make it happen. Knowing would make us afraid. Put us on overload. Take us away from now.

Sometimes our souls know, but it’s just not time for our conscious minds to know yet. Sometimes knowing would take us out of the very experience we need to go through to discover the answer we’re looking for. And sometimes the process of learning to trust the process of doing through an exerience and coming to trust that we will ultimately discover our own truth, is more important than knowing.

the process of moving from what we don’t know to what we are to learn is a process that can be trusted. it’s how we grow and change. it’s okay to not know. it’s okay to let ourselves move into knowing. the lesson is trusting that we’ll know when it’s time.

enjoy. much love.

cookbook care

after many recommendations and being on my “to read” list for a while, I finally sat down (well, on my busrides) and read A Bitter Pill: how the medical system is failing the elderly by Dr. John Sloan, a physician in Vancouver, BC, who now provides homecare healthcare to frail older adults.

The book talks about how the healthcare system is not providing for needs of a growing older adult population. His thoughts are that older adults needs are only met once we start to see them as individuals, with individual care needs. And that often by following standardized clinical care guidelines (or “cookbook care“) we are doing more harm than good.

cookbook care

He introduces lots of care-stories as well as different views his older patients have on dying, that range from “I don’t want to die with sombody I love hating what they have to do for me. I’ve had a great life, now it’s over.” to “I’m not ready, no way! I might miss something!

The answer to the question “what do older adults want?” is discussed throughout, and in the end the only answer is “they want us to listen“. How true! Just to genuinely be there and listen to their stories, complaints, needs, etc. … who doesn’t want that? And at the end of their life, that is what might provide them with the most comfort and affection.

chatting with elaine

caregiving is never easy. it takes a big heart, courage to do right by the person you’re caring for, the strength to carry around the significance of the role, and lots of patience… no matter if your role is personal or professional!

Success should be measured by:

  1. staying true to what’s happening
  2. listening to what the person wants
  3. treating them as individual human beings
  4. accepting they may be near the end of their lives
  5. and don’t try to hide mixed-feeling about the job… it’s not always an easy burden to bear!

baycrest.org

Encouraging new attitudes in health care, as Dr. Sloan mentions, will only improve care for everyone! It’s a very honest read that I highly recommend, and a much needed change in heart for healthcare. much love.