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What Lights You Up? – Reflections on Creativity

The Journey Home Cropped

THE JOURNEY HOME

Machine Pieced, Hand Embellished, Machine Quilted

At a workshop last week, I asked the participants to share something with the group that really lit them up. The diversity of the shares touched my heart. One of the participants asked me to share what really lit me up. My answer, without a second of hesitation, was, “Creating intuitive fabric art!”

When I’m working in concert with the creative muse, revelling in the kaleidoscope of colour before me, and feeling the texture of the fabric as it moves through my fingers, I am in the zone. In this place I am fully in the present moment, and have no sense of time passing. The so-called ‘real world’ is the illusion, and anything associated with it becomes irrelevant. I am transported beyond the confines of the ordinary, to an extraordinary world where every possibility lies before me.

My favourite part of the whole creative process is when the piece I am working with, speaks to me. I begin with an idea of what I want to create. Eventually I get stuck, and the ideas stop flowing. At that point the muse asks me to set my ego aside, surrender, and allow the piece to tell me what it wants to be. As soon as I am able to let go of my small ideas and open up to receive, miracles happen.

Love & Light 2

LOVE AND LIGHT 2

Machine Pieced, Hand Embellished, Machine Quilted

When I allow myself to be a clear channel for whatever is calling to come through me, the resulting work is divinely inspired. At the end of the process, I gaze upon my work, as if seeing it for the first time. I stand in awe, and recognize that the piece has come through me, but is not of me. And I feel such deep gratitude that the universe chose me to birth this piece of art into the world.

This is what lights me up 🙂 What lights you up?

To Be 6 Again

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Today is my first granddaughter Kallie’s 6th birthday! I’m wondering where the time has gone. It seems like only yesterday that I watched, in absolute awe, as she made her grand entrance into the world. It was as if time stood still. I truly felt the presence of God that day. And not in the religious sense, but in the sense of a love of such magnitude that it took my breath away. As I witnessed this incredible being traverse her epic journey to the outside world, I realized that she may have been entering the world of the physical, but spiritually she was not quite acclimatized to this so called reality. She was so much more than just a tiny human. She was a soul of epic proportions, a bright light, braving a new lifetime, and bringing her own brand of miracles to transform our family. In the delivery room to welcome her were her mom and dad and Auntie Caitlin. As well as her Grandma (me) and her Grandpa (my ex-husband). And that was just the world of the seen. In the world of the unseen I could feel the presence of the ancestors, who were also welcoming and celebrating this beautiful soul.

In her 6 years Kallie has taught me a lot about unconditional love, and about savouring every delicious morsel of the present moment. She has shown me that perseverance is the way to realize your dreams, and that there isn’t anything in life that love can’t make better. I was wondering what words of wisdom 6 year old Kallie might offer to me at 6 years old. To little Neesie who was so sensitive, and lonely, and afraid. Or what she might say to the 6 year old inside all of us.

I think Kallie would tell the 6 year old in all of us that we matter. That we have great gifts to share with the world. That there has never been another soul like us, nor will there ever be. That the world is waiting for our unique and sacred gifts. That we are loved beyond measure, by forces seen and unseen. And mostly, that we don’t have to do life alone. I can envision Kallie taking Neesie’s hand and inviting her to play.

So, baby girl Kallie, thank you for the gift you are in my life. For the constant reminder that this life is so much more than meets the eye. Thanks for putting your tiny hand in our hands and trusting us with the gift of your life. Now, let’s go play!

Much love to you on your 6th birthday and always beautiful girl. xoxo

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New Beginnings

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This is my first blog post on my new blog, where my intention is to post a blog once a week! As soon as I wrote that “once a week” part, I felt the pressure inside me start to build. The self-imposed crazy rules about perfection, and duty, and getting it right. So I’m doing my best to set all of that aside, and write from my heart. My heart is my soft centre of vulnerability. The only place I can ever truly connect from. If I get out of my head and into my heart, what is it that I’d like to say to you?

First of all, that part of me is scared setting off on this new adventure of exploring and speaking and teaching about the concept of shift. Scared of putting myself out there in a bigger way than I ever have before. The introverted, introvert part of me (see explanation of this in my TEDx talk) really, really wants to cocoon on a deserted island somewhere, with a 6 month supply of books and music 🙂 Somewhere where there is no risk of rejection, or ridicule, or confrontation. And yet, the bigger part of me keeps calling, keeps encouraging, keeps asking me to step outside of my comfort zone, again and again. “Use your life,” it says to me. “Take all that you’ve lived through and shine the light of hope for other people.”

So, here I am, holding that light in somewhat shaky hands, trusting that the Universe knew what it was doing when it called me! That it chose the right person to shine that light. Trusting that I can be scared and excited at the same time, and I don’t have to be perfect to follow my calling. I just need to keep listening to my heart, feeling the fear, and doing it anyway. And doing it in a way that feels authentic to me.

I keep seeing ads everywhere promising miracles. Three steps to this, or 5 steps to that, and then you will have a 6 figure income overnight. And the hype snags me for a bit. What can I deliver to you that will create those kinds of miracles in your life? And the truth is, nothing. The miracles happen moment by moment, as you start to factor shift into your life, and engage with all of life. The great parts, and the messy parts too.

How can I serve you? I can offer you my heart, my most precious gift. So my promise to you is that if you let me take your hand, I will offer you my heart, and we can set off on this new adventure together, and see where it takes us.

For those of you in the Lower Mainland of B.C., please consider joining me at my free 2 hour live business launch and mini workshop on the evening of Thursday, November 16th in Langley BC. Spots are limited, so please pre-register on my website workshop page and I will send you the event details. Pot luck snack donations are welcome, and I will be accepting financial donations towards the Joe Webb scholarship fund. This fund enables girls between the ages of 10-14, from a disadvantaged background, to take part in leadership programs offered by Carla Webb of Empowered by Horses.

Thanks for being here, and I hope to see you in person on November 16th!

Much love,

Denise

Standing at a New Door

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2015
Original Post: Standing at a New Door

door

“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

I love this quote! It speaks to me of limitless possibility, the sanctity of life, and the miracle of being able to re-create my journey in every moment.

As some of you may know, I left my office job at the end of November. There came a day when the thought of spending another minute within the confines of my work there was almost more than I could bear. And I made a choice that day. A choice to cast off what was no longer serving, and take a step into the unknown. A choice to move outside the box and follow my soul’s calling.

So I gave my two week’s notice without having any idea of what the next step on the journey might be. And I did it, not from a place of reaction, but rather from a place of a deep inner knowing that it was time to move completely into the work I believe I came to the planet to do…to fully embody being an ambassador of hope in a world where many, many people have forgotten the Truth of who they are at a soul level. They’ve forgotten that their life matters and that they have totally unique gifts to offer humanity. They’ve forgotten that we are all connected and that love is all there is.

I’ve spent the time between the end of November and now, getting clarity on how I can best serve the world in this capacity. How do I shine light into those places of darkness that sometimes seem almost impossible to move beyond? It’s been a time of deep soul searching, stretching way beyond my comfort zone, and learning to listen to and follow my intuition. There have been tears, stand offs with my ego, conversations with myself that have my poor cat wondering if I’ve lost my mind! And in truth, I have lost my mind. It was a precursor for moving more into my heart. It’s been a process not unlike labour, this giving birth to a dream. And I am grateful for the tremendous learning within the metamorphosis.

2015 finds me standing at a beautiful new door! I have accepted the invitation to fully enter my life. The dream is still being birthed and I’m doing my best to stay fully present in each moment of its unfolding. Stay tuned…there’s a new website in process, upcoming inspirational speaking engagements to announce, new upcoming workshops in the creation phase. If you’re interested in getting more details about any of these offerings, or if you’d like to be on the newsletter distribution list for future events, and free inspirational info, please send me a message on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter (journey2Self).

Thank you for being on this journey with me. Each and every one of you make a difference in my life and I am grateful for you!

As you move into your new year, what’s calling you? Will you open the door and step across the threshold into your wild and precious life? I’d love to hear about your dreams.

Honouring My Mom

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2013
Original Post: Honouring My Mom

Today would have been my mom’s 74th birthday if she were still here in her physical manifestation. She made her transition from this earthly realm almost 18 years ago. Our journey together was a challenging one, shaped by the distortions of alcoholism and abuse. I have lit a candle for her this morning, as I do every year. And each year I move closer and closer to joy as I reach deep into my heart to really witness the sacred dance that her and I chose this time around.

This day, I am answering your cry for love mama. I hear you and I honour you. I am forever grateful to you for your fierce love for me, and for doing the best you could with the knowledge that you had. I am strong, and brave, and compassionate, and loving because of you. I thank you for joining me in this amazing legacy of strong and heart centred women that you and the grandmothers before you began. And I thank your spirits for being with us now as we go forward in this Age of One, inviting strong, heart centered men to partner with us in our dance with life.

This song was one of my mom’s favourites. From early on, I rebelled against her love of old country music. My choice was hard rock. And then, in the last couple of years of her life, when I was beginning to soften and see her with new eyes, she introduced me to this song. In my heart it became our theme song. Mom, I love you, and I stand with you today, and every day, building bridges with love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pqGOf_V2T4&feature=share&list=LLQo1LCCZoNkaBzjZUxGF8rQ

Proud to be your daughter.

Adventures in Online Dating!

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2013
Original Post: Adventures in Online Dating!

DENISE’S ADVENTURES IN ONLINE DATING LAND
…or, HOW FAR DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WILL I CHOOSE TO GO?

At the end of December, after a 3 month whirlwind courtship that began on Facebook, I declined an invitation to be the financial donor in a romance scam 🙂 Then, I made the very uncharacteristic move of signing up for a one month membership on an online dating sight. At this point, those of you who know me well are probably double checking to make sure that this post is actually from me! I’ve been on my own for several years now, and the decision to step into the rabbit hole of online dating was not an easy one for me. I had to get past my own judgements and antiquated ideas of the “right” way to meet a potential partner. And I had to get beyond a comment one of my daughters had made several years ago about online dating being the last refuge of the truly desperate!

I had been thinking on and off in the last year that it would be an amazing gift to have a partner in my life again. It is such an honour to have a witness to your life and to be able to be the witness and support in another’s life. And I felt like I had unpacked enough of my own baggage to be able to enter clearly into a new relationship. Then along came “Michael” (most likely not his real name). He told me all the things I wanted to hear and for the first time in my life I truly opened my heart up wide to love. That heart opening shed light on all the baggage I had unknowingly hidden under the bed for years. And so, the truth is that even though the connection from Facebook turned out to be a scam, I am eternally grateful for the gifts of awareness the encounter bestowed on me. Because of “Michael”, I have been unpacking and releasing the remnants of the old suitcases of “self-doubt”, “fear of intimacy”, “distorted body image”, “protective wall around my heart”, “fear of men”. Baggage I would not have known still existed without him as the catalyst. In his own way he has helped me to pave the way for the next great love of my life, by showing me all of the barriers I had put up to prevent myself from recognizing, and welcoming that love with open arms, when it arrives.

If life is a mirror for me, and I truly believe that it is, then I must ask myself some difficult questions if I’m going to walk my talk: What is the romance scam mirroring back to me; What was my part in the dance; Where am I seeking external validation for Truths about me that I am not acknowledging within myself; Where am I not being 100% authentic in my life? I don’t have all the answers yet, but I’m totally willing and open to receive them as they come to me. And I have faith that they will come…in God’s timing…not Denise’s timing!

What I’m most excited about in all of this is that I did not allow my disappointment to close my heart again. I continue to say “Yes!” to life, in all its messiness and seeming imperfection, and I say “Yes!” to love. So…how far down the rabbit hole will I choose to go? The answer is: All the way. As Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

New Year’s Day 2013

New Year’s Day 2013
Photo Credit: Caitlin Mellor Photography 

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2012 has been a year of learning and growth for me. Most times it felt like anything that was no longer serving me was coming up front and centre, at warp speed, to be healed and released! And then there were the other times; the periods of respite…times spent totally in the moment with my beautiful granddaughter. Times when I remembered the Truth of who I really am…a spirit having a human experience. There’s something about being in the presence of total innocence and trust that softens me, cracks my heart wide open to love, and helps me transcend the ego’s reality, for the Reality of Spirit.

So many new connections last year. Reaching out beyond my comfort zone again and again. Finding kindred spirits all over the world. Souls determined to spread more love in the universe despite what appear to be overwhelming odds against it. And I marvel at the synchronicity in the meetings. Some on Facebook, some via e-mail, some in person. Towards the end of the year, the possibility of having a partner again in my life arrived. While it appears at the moment that the relationship will not result in the spiritual partnership I had envisioned, I will be forever grateful to him for bringing up all of my blocks to love and my mistaken beliefs about men and relationship. In some ways, and on some days, it feels like our connection to each other as humans is so fragile and tenuous, and yet another part of me knows that we’ve always been together in spirit. There is no separation…we are all One.

As we begin this new age of One, where the Divine Feminine walks lovingly and equally, hand in hand with the Magnificent Masculine, please know that I have deep gratitude for each and every one of you who have touched my life in the past year. I look forward, with an open heart to the infinite possibilities available to all of us as we take the first steps into this brave new world. Thank you for being in my life. It matters that you are here.

Pausing Before the Exhale

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011
Original Post: Pausing Before the Exhale

I love the week between Christmas and the New Year! There is a beauty and a stillness in the non-doingness…a calm, centred place of just being. A quiet inner knowing that all is well, no matter what external circumstances might indicate. A breathing in of all that has happened in the last year, then the breath held briefly in anticipation, just before the exhale into all that is waiting to be birthed in the new year.

It’s been an interesting year of change for us all. It feels like more and more, we are re-membering and shifting into the Truth of who we are. Sometimes that process has felt easeful, and at other times, more challenging. I received the gift of a car accident at the end of July, that quite literally stopped me in my tracks for two months. The resulting whiplash and concussion rattled my body and brain. It left me in a place of being, because I could not put two thoughts together to do anything! The downtime gave me the opportunity to ask myself a lot of questions.

How did I want to put the pieces of my life back together? And were there some pieces that no longer served and were best left to fall away? I began to realize that my former sense of urgency to get things done had been ego driven. And with that I started to relax into listening to the guidance of Spirit and only taking action when prompted by Spirit. Divine timing…not my timing! As I let go of my plans and allowed myself to come fully into each moment I began to experience more moments of peace and harmony.

Then I was gifted with the birth of my granddaughter Kallie in November. Looking into her angelic face reminds me of miracles. She is beauty, innocence, and pure love; all of the things we all are, but have sometimes forgotten. As I watched her make her physical entrance into the world, her spiritual connection with God/Goddess was palpable in the room. It was almost as if she had not fully landed yet on this plane. Her connection to All That Is had not yet been completely veiled. In that moment, and in many moments since, she has reminded me that life is a gift, and that it is possible to experience heaven on earth, by simply being all of who I am.

As this new year begins, I am choosing to remember that I am beauty, innocence and pure love, and that I am connected to All That Is. I am choosing to live more from my heart and less from my head. And it is my intention to continue the dance with joy and gratitude and grace. What are you choosing? May we all re-birth the Highest versions of who we are, in the amazing way that only each of us can. It matters that we are here because we each bring our own unique pieces of heaven on earth. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Namaste.

Finding Love in the Eyes of a Horse

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011
Original Post: Finding Love in the Eyes of a Horse

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There are times in my life when healing has been hard won; through years of counselling, personal growth work, and/or the school of hard knocks. And then there are, what my friend Pat calls, “God shots.” Those moments of healing that happen with such exquisite timing and perfection, that we could not possibly humanly orchestrate them. They are delivered to us as a gift.

I received such a gift through two horses; a majestic Freisian stallion named Nyk, and a wise Quarterhorse mare named Indy. My introduction to these spirit guides came about because I headed to a farm one sunny summer afternoon to support friends in the launch of their new business. They were using the human-horse connection to help people heal. My feelings about horses had swung between two polarities; awe and extreme fear. The awe was inspired by their size, their majesty, and their connection to Source. The fear was a lingering misperception from a childhood horse experience. I really didn’t know anything about horses but my soul had called me to be at the farm that day to help me see them through new eyes.

The miracle began at the round pen where they had just turned out Nyk. I stood leaning on the boards watching this magnificent creature run freely around the ring, with flowing mane and tail flying in the wind. Before I knew it the tears were streaming down my face. Time stood still as I was drawn into Nyk’s spell. He was unabashedly being all of who he was, throughout every fibre of his being. Nothing else existed for me in that moment but a heart and soul connection with a living breathing example of grace.

Then I volunteered for a session of equine guided healing because I hoped to find a way to overcome my fear of horses. I was asked to think of a question that I wanted the horses’ help in answering. My question was, “How do I learn to love myself more?” We went to the barn and visited with each horse. I was told that the horse that was meant to work with me would come forward. I was sceptical, to say the least. Imagine my surprise when I got to the third stall, and Indy came right up to me and put her nose on my nose. My teacher had chosen me.

Indy and I joined each other in the round pen. She was untethered, and I was told that I could do whatever I was called to do. There was no agenda. “What do you mean there are no instructions?” I thought. Panic started to set in. I was used to having a game plan; a list of things to do. Indy wandered around exploring and I allowed myself to move beyond my fear and walk beside her. I talked, she listened. I moved closer, she stood still. She moved, I moved with her. We became partners in an otherworldly dance, to music only she and I could hear. Time became irrelevant. When we were done we had ended up face to face. I was holding Indy’s face in my hands as we looked into each other’s eyes. My fear had vanished. The tears rolled down my face as she passed on her answer to my question…She told me, “You don’t have to do…just be.”

A Mother’s Prayer

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010
Original Post: A Mother’s Prayer

This poem was written about and for my daughters.

A Mother’s Prayer

When I look at you, almost all grown, I wonder where the time went.
And I wonder if I have prepared you well for life.
There are no words for the depth of love I feel for you. It’s a love that defies description.

It began before your birth and it will endure until the end of time.
Within that fierce love, my intention was to teach you about kindness and strength and unconditional love by the example of how I lived my life.

More times than I care to remember I have fallen short of that intention.
Sometimes I spent more time conditioned by the past, or worried about the future, and neglected to actually be present in the moment with you.

If I had it to do over again, I’d spend less time worried about what others thought and more time looking into your eyes to see how you felt.
I’d listen more to my heart and less to the “experts”.

For the times that my mistakes may have hurt you, disappointed you or let you down, I apologize and ask you to forgive my flaws. May you instead remember the truth of who we both are; people doing the best we can with the knowledge we have…people learning and growing, who are deserving of unconditional love, dignity and respect.

I embrace and honour your gifts and your innocence. I see your value and your wisdom. May the beauty, power and vision of your youth change me…change the world.

Thank you for the gift you are in my life; for being one of my greatest teachers. My wish for you is that you will always find light in the darkest of times, and that you will know, without a doubt, that you matter and that you are never alone. My wish for me is that I remain open and trusting in our relationship and never grow too old to learn.

May we have many more years of learning and growing together.

And so it is.