No New Year’s Resolution Required

Another new year is here!

In keeping with tradition, I like to take a little time to review the past year and make plans for things I’d like to do in the coming year. I do not, however, join in on a few other well-practiced traditions:
– beating myself up over things I’ve eaten over the holidays, weight I’ve gained, or any other thing I’ve done.
– making ridiculous, unrealistic New Year’s resolutions — for me, that would be to stop eating chocolate or cheezies!
– beating myself up over resolutions broken — or shall I say, blasted into smithereens, like a high-speed collision between two satellites in space.

No, I don’t beat myself up over anything. I’ve come a long way!

To beat myself up would be a savage act of violence to a survivor of violence, an act of profound disrespect for the journey I have been on. It would be like peeing on Martin Luther King’s grave or stomping on the tulips that so stalwartly push through the soil in spring.

As I said, I’ve been through a lot. When I first left home, I went through a very difficult stage, adjusting to city life and making ends meet. I went to the food bank at my church a few times. I was shy, but it was really self-discovery. I had good boyfriends and bad, and a marriage “we won’t speak of.” It was bad, but on the flip side — the recovery side — I unlocked creative potential I never knew I had. I wrote upwards of 10 songs. I was a singer in a Christian rock band for 4 years. Then I started writing; the creativity needed an outlet somewhere. I’ve written two books* so far and countless blog posts.

I’ve gone through phases where I didn’t like myself much. I’ve even had, for a short time, suicidal thoughts. I’ve had to work hard, physically and mentally, to shed all that baggage and baloney that was weighing down my spirit, festering in my mind.

Yes, I’ve come a long way. I’m so incredibly happy where I am now. The changes in me were not sudden, yet they’ve been significant. They were gradual, and inevitable. You cannot hide from the Light for long, before it finds you, warms you up, thaws your frozen heart, and lets you know you are loved.

You are loved.

You can do it.

You will make it. If I can make it, so can you.

You don’t have to change.

Change if you want to, not because you hate yourself. You know, even if you are in exactly the same place a year from now, you won’t be a failure. You are precious, and you are on the perfect journey.
Do some things differently in 2014, if you’d like, but do it because you’d like to see where it takes you. Do something new to have a new experience, but while you are learning, changing or just living, be easy on yourself. We are always changing — nothing stays the same — so why not think about what kind of person you’d like to become… what direction is your change going in? I find this more helpful than making resolutions!

New Year’s is a great time to reflect and review, but never let yourself get lost in the past. (Chapter 28 in Love Your Skeletons talks about this more.)

Let 2014 be the year you appreciate yourself more, forgive yourself more, and love yourself more.

You are only limited by

Related posts:
Starting Over…
Lifelong Growth
What Does the Future Hold?

*My first book is the one associated with this blog, Love Your Skeletons and my second book is York Boat Captain: 18 Life-Changing Days on the Peace River.

The Wisdom of the Trees

wisdom of the trees

One particularly lovely day, as the sun set, I asked the amazing trees nearby, who had stood like sentinels for decades, what they would tell me if they could speak. This is what they said:     Be.     Here.     Now.     Simple yet powerful advice!


I interpret this part of the message from the trees to mean to stop worrying so much about doing, accomplishing, filling my days with tasks and pleasures. Just be. Just breathe. Spend more time simply existing.


I realized that I spent quite a bit of time in my head, wishing or imagining I was somewhere else. Part of the power of the present moment comes from an acute awareness of where I am — the power of getting out of my head and into my body, coming back to Earth, so to speak. Being grounded in the here is the first step in being grounded at all.


Our personal power is focused in the present moment, right now. The ability to enjoy the present fully and create the future we want starts, literally, now. It’s fun to think about how the direction my life will take in the months and years to come is hinging on this very moment — this exact second. I neither want to strain for the future, nor do I resist going into it. I am not looking back to the past to relive “the good old days” nor am I straining to leave it behind. I do I see the past nor the present as my source of defining moments. I am who I am now and only now. I know, it gets a little hokey sounding, but it is true! My entire life to come is balancing on this moment, teetering, and I can easily decide what direction I want it to take: more kindness, peace, fun, and adventures! 🙂

Be.     Here.     Now.

It is the doorway to a deeper peace, profound assurance and trust that the world is a loving place.

Starting Over…

Happy New Year’s!

Okay, so it isn’t actually New Year’s Day, is it? But what if it was? Have you ever noticed how great it feels to start over? Possibilities float up. The idea of new beginnings excites us. Anything is possible, and today is a new day — not burdened by yesterday, and never to be repeated.

You can choose to make EVERY day a “New Year’s Day” — a day where you put the past behind and determine to make a new start today. Did you cheat on your New Year’s resolution months ago and give up on yourself? Don’t do that! It is never too late to start over. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt — forgive yourself — and start over.

Still feeling haunted by a mistake from your past? Let today be a “New Year’s Day” where you stop looking behind you and start living in the moment. (And of course, reading Love Your Skeletons will really help!)

I’m not a morning person, so even when I’m feeling good, I have to talk to myself for a while to convince myself to get out of bed. I think that setting the intention before going to bed that tomorrow is a new day helps! When you wake up the next morning, you might find it a little easier to leave the past behind and face the day with renewed courage.

Tomorrow is a new day

What Does the Future Hold?

Little Doctor Lake, NWT

Sometimes, it just hits you — I don’t need to know everything, and that’s okay. The Universe is looking out for me… And I can finally breathe easy and relax.

– – – – –

This photos is taken looking back at Little Doctor Lake, NWT, as we fly away in the float plane that brought us there. 🙂


Sometimes, I can't help but think

Sorry I haven’t posted any new articles or insights in a while, but I have been writing on other projects lately. In fact, what started out as a blog post for this site is now becoming a chapter in my next book, so although you’ll have to wait a while until you get to read it, it’s good stuff! 🙂

This week’s inspirational picture was taken along the Mackenzie River, in Canada’s beautiful Northwest Territories. The float planes are from Simpson Air, in case you’re interested, and seeing them truly does make me think of the possibilities! With a float plane, you don’t need a runway or a landing strip — any lake that’s big enough or river that’s not full of rapids will do!

A Safe Harbour

Safe harbour

When times are tough and everything seems so difficult, remember that there is always a safe harbour waiting for you. You are never far from the Source of wisdom, insight and strength… Spirit is but a thought away, waiting to help… and you have more friends than you know!

– – – – –

I took this photo on the west coast of Vancouver Island, not far from Ucluelet, BC. Beautiful!

Two Ways to Embrace Life

In Love Your Skeletons, I talk about how we are made up of body, mind and spirit, and in this post, I talk about how we often feel like we have a dual nature — sort of bipolar — between physical and spiritual. Let’s look at the body and spirit aspects of ourselves — we “do the looking” with our mind — to see how we can live a happier, more unified life.

I think sometimes people think that in order to be truly enlightened, one needs to deny the body and become some sort of extreme yogi, nun or guru. Well, I have a different idea.

If you have the courage, passion, and make the conscious decision to live fully in the physical world

soaking in every moment, thrilled in every pleasure, basking in every joy, feeling every pain fully, not withdrawing from uncomfortable things, breathing deeply, seeing deeply, hearing deeply

then without really trying, the spiritual world is opened to you as well. You will see the miraculous every day, connect to your higher self, touch a deeper wisdom, hear and talk to angels… feel the presence of God.

On the other hand, if you have the courage, patience and make the conscious decision to live more closely to the spiritual world

look for angels and faeries, pray without ceasing, use mantras, deny the physical desires and seek the spiritual enlightenment instead, and listen constantly for the still, small voice within

then without really trying, the physical world is opened to you as well. Things go smoothly. You will not be concerned with how your needs are met. What you want or need will simply show up with perfect timing. You will experience all of life’s sweetest joys and lovely pleasures. Your senses will be highly tuned and your physical world will be sweet.

If, however, you neither embrace the physical aspects fully — you numb yourself with mood-altering substances like drugs, alcohol or food, or distract yourself constantly with TV, movies or games — nor commune with the spiritual — you believe in science so fully, you refuse to acknowledge there is more to life, or you allow your ego to run your life — you will live in a shadowy netherworld of the mind, not living fully, not experiencing all that life has to offer. You will embody mediocrity. Your life will be painted in shades of grey, or beige, or taupe.

Yet we are all living in the shades of grey! None of us has it all figured out, doing everything we mean to do perfectly and consistently. But being aware of where you are, why you are doing what you are doing, and how your thoughts are affecting your life is amazing, so go ahead and celebrate the beiges, greys and taupes!

You don’t have be a spiritual guru. You don’t have to give up all life’s pleasures. You can choose instead to embrace, rather than fight, your physical nature. You will naturally remember your spiritual side.

Or perhaps the idea of being a guru — a highly tuned spiritual being — excites you! Then do that, and do it fully! Before too long, you will also be at peace with your physicality as well.

So, let this be a gentle shake, a friendly nudge, to get out of mediocrity and the world inside your head and live your life!

Now is the time and we are the ones. - Ernest Holmes

A True Friend’s Creed

I will not join you

A true friend will stick with you without falling for your story.

They will see the best in you, even when you’re at your worst.

They won’t get sucked in to your self-pity but will remember your awesome potential when you have forgotten.

They are precious, but not like gold or jewels, for they are free, and never to be owned.

– – – – –

This photo was taken in Wrigley, Northwest Territories, Canada. The mountain is commonly called Table Mountain, and the sunrises are breathtaking.



Chapter 20 of Love Your Skeletons is all about Finding Forgiveness.

This photo was taken in Canada’s Northwest Territories, near Little Doctor Lake, in early September. We were flying back from an amazing weekend spent in the beautiful woods at this lodge. The plane was a DeHavilland Beaver — a classic float plane — and we were flying over the boreal forest. 🙂


Everything is for my good