I am not a blade of grass.
I am not like everyone else,
Cut to the same height,
Living shoulder-to-shoulder,
Standing-room-only on the lawn,
Waiting to be walked on.

I am a wildflower,
Growing on the bank
Of a beautiful river.
Swaying in the breeze,
Basking in the sun,
Bobbing in the rain,
Roots spread out,
Reaching for the sky.

If you try to cut me down,
Stomp on me,
Or control how I grow,
You will see my wild side!
I cannot be crushed,
I cannot be stopped.
I will grow and flourish
No matter what,
Because to do so is my nature,
And nature can’t be stopped.

I bloom and grow,
See the river rise and fall,
Sway in the breeze,
Bask in the sun,
Bob in the rain,
Roots spreading out,
Reach for the sky.

purple pasqueflowers

I wrote this poem for a beautiful, Filipino waitress serving me at a local “greasy spoon” restaurant. She was sweet, friendly and efficient. I glanced up and saw her carrying a load of plates, full of food, to a nearby table. She wasn’t “on” in that moment; she wasn’t performing or pretending. She saw me looking at her and a split second passed — of knowing, of shared struggles, of understanding — before she put her smile back on. I grabbed a pen and wrote this on a napkin and left it for her on the table.

How to Change Other People :)

Christmas can be such a stressful time for people. Family relationships are strained to the max, and people who can barely stand each other (often in-laws) are forced to spend time together and try to get along. Ever wish some of those people were different? Try my 3 quick and easy steps to change other people.

3 Quick and Easy Steps to Change Other People (Family or Friends)

1. Understand the Problem

As with so many other situations and problems, you can’t change it until you understand it fully. You will need to analyze your loved ones to understand what’s wrong with them. Only then can you move on to step 2.

2. Formulate a Plan

Once you have determined their main problem — a superiority complex, manipulating personality or judgmentalism, for example — only then can you formulate a plan for how to change them.

3. Force Them to be Different

This is, of course, the most obvious way to change people who annoy you — just make them stop. Make them act differently. It’s really very simple.

Just kidding.

Obviously, I am just being facetious. So why do we often want to change those around us? Because they annoy us? Because we know how much easier our life would be if they did things differently? Because we can see what pain and difficulties they could avoid in their own lives? All of the above.

But clearly, changing someone else is no easy feat. Heck, have you tried changing yourself, someone you have full control over? It ain’t easy! Changing others is absolutely impossible. I might as well remind you of that now.

Often, the desire to change others takes the form of a desire to help, but it’s just as misguided and futile as wanting to force someone to be different. We are in control of our own lives, and no one else’s. We have difficulties because of things we have done, or simply because we think that life is supposed to be hard. We may believe that we are on this planet to help others, however, there are some times we just have to let those around us — even the ones we love dearly — go through a sticky situation on their own. Only then can they grow and learn something from the situation and become stronger by going through it. When you attempt to “rescue someone,” you are often NOT doing them a favour (especially if the situation is not life-threatening, but simply a challenge).

Try and step away from the desire to change those around you. Just look at them and love them exactly as they are. Look around that Christmas dinner table and appreciate the differences and uniqueness that is so celebrated in the spiritual realm. We are lovely, beautiful, and absolutely unique in the world, and that’s how we are meant to be. We are exactly how we are supposed to be.

Don’t compare yourself with others, and don’t wish for yourself to be different. You are perfect. You really are totally and completely perfect the way you are. Perhaps you would like to change some things about yourself — do it if you feel led to, but don’t allow that goal to interfere with your happiness and contentment right now. Change yourself for fun, not because you think you must, or because you don’t like yourself as you are. In fact, the reason you want to change the ones you love is because there is something about yourself you are not happy with. See if you can gently discover that for yourself, about yourself and come to terms with it.

When you wish you could change another, you ultimately want to change yourself.

But you don’t need to. Not one iota. You are amazing and incredible exactly as you are this very moment.

Let it sink in.

Accept yourself fully.

Take a deep breath and let it sink in more.

And every time you feel tempted to change someone, remember that you don’t need to, because you are exactly how you are supposed to be.

Live and Let Live

Sometimes, I wish the world was more of a “live and let live” kind of place. It occurred to me that there are two aspects of this: “Live” and, of course, “let live.”


You gotta live! When we don’t live our life to its fullest, that’s when we get grumpy, snarky, and we stop accepting others around us. If we “settle,” give in, or just play it safe all the time, we cheat ourselves out of all the best life has to offer and deep down, we know it. So we feel unhappy, because being unhappy is a signal — sort of a neon sign! — that we need to change something in our lives, and quickly!

So, if you’d like to join me on this planet of Live and Let Live, please make sure you do the first part thoroughly! Go on that vacation you’ve always wanted, or at least start planning it! Spend time with your favourite people in the world. Go to the park, the beach or the bookstore — whatever you enjoy most. Go to your favourite restaurant or listen to your fav band play. Take time out to visit a friend. Leave work early. Live it up!

Let Live

What does it mean “to let live?” It means to accept others as they are and not have any great desire to change them. It’s not about tolerating people who are different — it means celebrating each and every person exactly as they are!

photo from http://eatsleepquilt.blogspot.ca/2011/06/my-mid-morning-walk.htmlHave you ever watched a child play? Didn’t you feel joy or fascination at their freedom, playfulness and exploring spirit? Imagine watching a couple of little children splashing in a kiddie pool or public fountain on a hot summer day. They are having fun and living in the moment, and you can’t help but smile as you see the joy on their faces. That feeling (what you feel while watching them) is pure acceptance. You don’t have any desire to prevent them from splashing, or to make them conform to your way of splashing. You feel happy just watching them do what they do. That’s what it feels like to accept others as they are and to “let live.” You don’t need them to be more like you, to agree with you, or to stop doing something they are doing. You simply accept and love them as they are!

Another aspect of accepting others relates back to accepting ourselves. If we don’t accept ourselves, we will find it very hard to accept others. The aspects of another that irritate you the most are probably aspects that you are not proud of in yourself. Why not look at yourself like you look at those playing children — in wonder and amazement at your growth and how far you’ve come.

Let me know your experiences with “live and let live.” Is this easy for you? Do you struggle with it? Or do you think it’s not even very important these days?


Cue guitars….

I can’t get no-oo
I can’t get no-oo

If you are feeling dissatisfied with life lately, it could be because you are resisting the natural tendency toward growth. We are growth-oriented beings, but if you are nervous or afraid and backing away from life, even slightly or subconsciously, you may end up with a vague unhappy or unsettled feeling. Reconnect with the abundance of nature and the incredible beauty and power of gradual, sequential growth!

Everything grows, and so do we. Remember this saying:

The only thing constant is change.

When we spend too much time in a rut, either because we are afraid of change, or don’t think we have the ability or strength to grow through a situation, we usually end up bored and depressed. Embrace growth again by surrounding yourself with growing things like plants, baby animals, or the new sprouts in a garden. Marvel at it and know that your growth can be as effortless and smooth as the growth you see in nature.

Where You’re Hurting

Nobody likes pain. We don’t like physical pain and we don’t like emotional pain. When we feel it, we want it to stop, and we’ll sometimes go to great measures to do so.
But pain is not all bad. Sometimes when I’m in pain, I have to tell myself “this hurts, but it will not kill me. I am not going to die.” This helps me not to panic, and it might be helpful to tell yourself that too.
Let’s talk about physical pain for a moment and then make some comparisons to emotional pain. The following is taken from this website, which is about how pain works, and how our mental state affects how we feel pain and how we heal. Read on, and don’t worry if there are parts you don’t understand. The most important part is the last sentence:

“Pain can be defined as ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional (conscious) experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.’ Although unpleasant, experiencing pain is important for a variety of reasons: in the first instance it acts as a warning of harm, but it will also give rise to a number of physiological responses. The best known of these is axon flare (activated through the axon reflex), which causes vasodilation, reddening and increased sensitivity of the skin surrounding an injured area (triple response). This immediate physical response to injury and pain is important in initiating the processes necessary for repair.”

So without pain, your body would not know it’s hurt and would not start the physical responses that we know as “healing.” Pain has an important part in our healing process. Where you’re hurting is where you’re healing.
Think about this with respect to emotional pain now. If you are hurting from a particular situation, for example, a broken relationship, you also have the most potential for healing in the areas of relationships at that time. If you never hurt — if you were a heartless, nasty person — you have no capacity for healing or growth. Once you are over the pain, the potential for healing and growth in this area decreases. This makes sense if you think about it; when you have healed emotionally from a situation and you are back to your normal routine, you aren’t as inclined to grow. You’re cruising along on the growth you have already accomplished, and that’s a good and necessary stage to go through too!

So, what area are you hurting in? If you did some journaling, do you think you might realize exactly what areas you are growing in? Can you imagine what you would look like having healed from this particular hurt? Spend some time in thick self-appreciation imagining yourself “all healed up” and know that this is the road you are on.

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