I wish I could go back in time and thank that stranger

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They just seemed to appear.  I did not know their names.  It was a gentle touch or a kind word.  It may have been only a small gesture to them although it made a big impact in my day and in my life.

The tow truck driver who came to the rescue when my car broke down on a busy highway, smoke coming out of the hood of my car.  I had two very young girls with me, one who made sure her precious “Mr. Bear” was tossed out of the car first, saved from certain peril.  While transporting the three of us and our vehicle to the garage, this kind man first stopped to buy the girls treats, snacks and drinks.  He turned a stressful day into a fun adventure, especially for these two little girls.

The lady sitting next to us at the Michael Jackson 3D show.  Many hours of  nonstop amusement park rides resulted in our 7 year old having an upset stomach.  To our little girl’s embarrassment, she became ill on the lady sitting beside us.  This very kind lady discretely joined us in the bathroom to tidy herself and help us.  She was thoughtful and concerned.  She helped turn an awkward, embarrassing moment into something minor and now it is a funny story we continue to share.  

The lady that seemed to appear out of nowhere when I had a meltdown in the school washroom and I could not stop crying.  It was the first trimester of an intensive school year. I was overwhelmed with the demands of school work, homework, lack of sleep and raising a young family. No words were exchanged. She stopped and gave me a big hug. I will never forget that hug and how it made me feel.  I could now pick myself up and go on with my day, my morale bolstered by that spontaneous act of love from someone I had never met before and whose name I will never  know.

 Many strangers have made a difference in my life.  Their acts of kindness have strengthened and renewed my spirit, oftentimes when I needed it the most. 

Since I cannot go back in time, I can thank them by remembering, sharing and paying it forward.  Hopefully, I will make the difference in someone’s day and ultimately in their life. 

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Thank goodness for my Spidey Sense!

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I really believe that I am here today because of my Spidey Sense.   

I think that is true for all of us and our survival instincts.

This past year, I became more aware of all of my senses and how intuition has played a large part in guiding the trajectory of my life.  Information on our senses is very complex and there is a lot of overlap.  I found out that our Spidey Sense is a type of ‘sixth sense’ referring to our ability to sense imminent danger.

I am sure each one of us has encountered circumstances when the hairs rose on our arms, when you “feel” someone looking at you and you look back over your shoulders, when goosebumps prompt us to turn around and cross the street. 

For me, I am glad I didn’t submit to the insistent coaxing and go up to a man’s apartment on a first date, after only a few short encounters.  I still vividly recall an immediate sense of fear, my survival mechanisms fully engaged.  I did not see him after that.  Even at a very young age, my Spidey Sense alerted me to danger.

Another example is when I was compelled to look out a rarely used window in our home and I saw the lawn mower ablaze.  My adrenal glands immediately kicked into high gear and I called the fire department to extinguish the flames before they reached our house.

I do not know whether it is potential danger or actual danger I have avoided when I paid attention to the hairs tingling on the back of my neck, my heart beating faster, my fight or flight response.  It may have been a premonition or my primitive survival instinct or both.

 I plan to continue to be aware of all of my senses.  If I have a bad feeling and I get a strong sense of something being wrong, I do plan to listen to my Spidey Sense.  I believe that is why I am still here today.

 

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I did not know it had a name

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A woman I really like and respect asked me how I was doing. The response I would normally give is, “good, how are you?”  Only the two of us were in the room.  I decided to share with her a challenge I was facing, causing increased worry and sleepless nights.  She looked at me and listened quietly to my story.  When I was finished, she said “I will hold space for you”.

I paused.  I had not heard this phrase before, although it felt right.  She did not interrupt me or give me any guidance.  She had silently listened to me.  I immediately felt better.

We all have challenging parts of our life and worries that keep us awake at night.  We all benefit from a safe place, a friend, where we can share our story.  

When someone shares their struggles with me, I often want to jump in, give advice, fix it.  There are times where possible solutions and other perspectives are welcome.  

Often, what we need most is a kind, loving presence, someone who will be there to give us unconditional support.  I now know that it has a name.  “I will hold space for you.”

The 5 W’s – How do YOU harness your Monkey Mind?

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WHAT?  Writing –  thoughts, observations, pervasive feelings, lessons that begin in whispers……lessons that get louder and louder, stories just for fun

WHERE?  Everywhere

WHEN?  Always

WHO?  6 year old me, the now me…..and everything in-between

WHY?  Creativity, many notes, paying attention, stories wanting to burst out of me, my constant attempt to be succinct, KISS, obtain some clarity……. my goal to Harness the Monkey Mind.  WHY?  Sharing:   your thoughts, opinions, perspectives greatly matter.  You always inspire me.  I am a work in progress, constantly learning, evolving, recreating.  We are in this life together

The Challenge?  Requires courage, overcoming fear, taking risks, increased vulnerability..….…..the rest is fun

How do YOU harness your Monkey Mind?

Which one of your Senses would you miss the most?

 

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These types of questions do not truly resonate until they hit close to home, directly affecting you or your loved ones, affecting a special little girl in our lives.

This past summer I listened to a powerful, riveting interview with Amy Purdy, the Paralympic medalist for snowboarding. She contracted a form of bacterial meningitis leading to septic shock, her legs amputated below the knee, and other serious health complications.  Amy Purdy described her near death experience.  When she was on “her last breath”,  “moving to the edge”,  she thought about the people she loved and all she loved about life, especially “all the sensory stuff….. the smell of rain…..the sound of ocean waves”.     

Every day, since listening to that interview, I have been keenly aware of my senses, and what I will miss when I leave this body.  I have observed more details in my surroundings, the scent of rosemary needles outside the yoga studio, how good that hug really feels and hummingbirds actually create a lot of sound.

Which one of my senses would I miss the most?  I have decided that it is my intuition, my gut feeling, my inner voice, that has had the greatest impact in my life. 

 Listening to my intuition has steered me in the right direction (when I have paid attention to it).  It led me to a move I made that changed the trajectory of my life.  It is how I met my life partner.  It is how I chose a career I loved for 25 years.  My life would likely have taken a very different course if I had always listened to the analytical part of my brain processing information from my other senses. 

 In retrospect, I have not always made the best decisions when I relied on cognitive reasoning, pros and cons deductions, other people’s well-intentioned advice………I should have listened to my gut.

As to the special little girl in our lives…..we were advised early on (before birth) that our little 2 1/2 year old may not see or hear.  We are very thankful this little girl sees well, always with a twinkle in her eye.  Her hearing is just fine, when she chooses to listen and this is confirmed by her witty responses and her “I can do it all by myself”.

Most of all, I hope she will pay attention to her sense of intuition to help guide her throughout her life.  I hope she listens to her inner voice to follow her dreams, help her through life’s adversities and life’s joys, to surround herself with the people she loves and who love her.

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Do you happen to see 11’s 111’s 1111’s everywhere?

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I had never noticed the numbers 11, 111, 1111.  Now I see them everywhere!

2 1/2 years ago an ICU nurse mentioned to me that this little girl will be special.  She was born on a date that holds special significance.  She will be watched over by angels. 

 It was already an emotionally charged day.  I  thanked this nurse for her kind sentiments and her care.  Over the next few busy weeks, I almost forgot about our conversation. 

Then, I slowly began to notice 11’s, 111’s, 1111’s.  I would see them on the stove and microwave clocks.  They would often appear on the car dashboard and on my cell phone.  Even the motel room we were given had the number 111 on it, the last room at the Inn. 

I mentioned this to friends and family and I now receive texts with screen captures and photos of the numbers 11, 111 and 1111.

There is a lot of information online describing the possible significance of these numbers. A number of sources cite that events linked to 11:11 appear more often than can be explained by chance.  Folklore? Synchronicity? Coincidence?

I actually have no idea whether these numbers randomly occur or whether they are a form of divine intervention.  Although, now when I see 11’s, 111’s and 1111’s, I  stop for a brief second, take a breath, and pay attention. 

 I do think all children are special.  I do think all children are watched over by angels.  Of course, this little girl is extra special to us, and she just happens to be born on January 11.

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Empty nest……..again………

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Gorgeous weekend…………. some exploring, lots of quiet time……..no firm plans (my favourite kind).  Then, why the melancholy?

I see the rubbermaid containers filled with clothing size 3 to 5, the extra yogurt and fig bars in the fridge, and the many dinosaur books and toys.  I should be happy for her.  I am happy for her.  Then, why the melancholy?

Last week, she asked me whether I would miss her when she starts school.  She was so excited to show me the new school clothes she had picked out.  She told me the name of a friend that would be in her class.  

I told her that I will still see her lots. She will have a lot of fun and many stories to share. I told her that people who love her will be happy for her. Then, why the melancholy?

I have gone through this before.  I have had practice.  I should be good at this.  No one told me it would be just as hard, 30 years later.  I should be having all of the fun, without all of the responsibility.

  Then, why the melancholy?

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