Sunday, December 22, 2013

Living in the Hidden Dimension

I put together a slide show last night for a Christmas Feast we had at our church.

This photo was last.  

We were celebrating how God can show up anywhere at any time, sometimes when we least expect it.  I shared some photo images of where I had journeyed, and how I suddenly came across a beautiful spiritual experience in a place I didn't expect.

I found myself at the Coco Bongo Club in Cancun with my camera, watching an amazing acrobatic depiction of the Passion of Christ movie playing on their multiple screens around the club.  It felt like I was right there in an old Roman arena, surrounded by high tiers of seating, layers upon layers of people screaming and clapping as these men dropped down onto the dance floor.  I remember being amazed that they let me through security with my camera at all, and captured this shot with little or no thought to technical settings or point of view.  I just snapped in my enchanted state of the moment.  It landed up winning first place, in my designated category, in the Caribbean Travel  & Life Magazine Photo Contest I entered every year that I travelled south.

The funny twist to this story is that the projection we had at the church would not pick up any pink tones in my photos.  We hadn't had time to run through the show beforehand, so after a long afternoon of putting together my small piece of art, my photos all came out with a blue undertone!  I was crushed.  There were vivid sunsets, landscapes, and artistic visual scenes I wanted to share in the full beauty of how I had en-captured them.  After I shared this frustration with a few close friends, they were surprised to hear the photos weren't meant to be that way.  They thought them very interesting and uniquely artistic.  

As I thought of this later, I realized this also represented a perspective of my life here in the small town of L.A.  For the past going on almost four years now, I not only have found a safe harbour to rest and re-alighn myself, but have also been hidden away to some degree, not fully projecting the beauty of who I am or what I will contribute to my world.  I needed to become very small and quiet.  The people  here accept my hue as it is, not aware of the visual I see in my mind and or feel in my soul of my colourful destiny.  This has been a gift and a curse.  For I know what is waiting to burst out of my heart, but timing is of the essence and I must wait and be content with the view from this projection.

If you too find yourself in a hidden state, don't fret.  There is no way your light can stay hidden, unless you suppress it yourself. There will be unexpected strategic sign posts along the way to help, if you're looking for them.  The key is to trust and keep the faith in what is unseen.  The hidden picture of who you were truly created to be is waiting to burst free into the open, and bring creative beauty to those around you.  That is your spiritual magic.  When the time is right, it will shine.

Merry Christmas,


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Art of Waking Up

I am reading a very enlightening book right now about uncovering the Art (with a capital A) I was made to live.

I am aware we all have artistic gifts, even if they can be somewhat hidden for some, and far too exposed for others. 

Some gifts are hidden in the kitchen, some are traversed in the studio, and some are even sunk into numbers.  The author presents her argument that no matter where one finds their "life", THAT is the arena they are to present their Art.  This then becomes less about the external circumstance and more about the internal divine delight in all of us.

"Who is the Artist?  You want to know the meaning of life?  This is your highest calling:  You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos.  This breath is your canvas and your brush.  These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making.  Nothing is off limits.  Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversations, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul.  You're making a living with every step you take.  --Jon Forman"

I like it!

The reason I like that is because I have struggled with this very question most of my life.  Growing up we're all asked the all-encompassing question of what we want to be when we grow up.  Have mercy!  I hated that question.  I mean why do we need to DO anything?  Can't we just find a good book and read?  Won't that do?  One day I thought this, another day I felt that.  I was not one to really have a set plan for my life.  Ironically my life then became exactly that, unfocused and filled with variables that shifted on any given day.

Now, in this pivotal point of my life where I am at a crossroads of not only what to sink my feet into but who really belongs to these size 10 AA shoes, I am intrigued to ask that age-old question from a whole new perspective.  Not just what will I contribute to the world and my community as a certain creative gift, but what kind of Artist will I be inside my soul?  What resonates within each current circumstance that defines me uniquely?  How does my response to life reflect my understanding of my Art within?

When will I wake up to my Art?

And then it seemed to happen, effortlessly.  This morning I literally woke up, then WOKE UP.  I saw the dream of my Art laid out in its perfect form.  I saw the various pieces of what has always been placed inside my heart and soul, come together in a beautiful tapestry of living.  I always knew those pieces existed, but the fragments seemed disjointed until now.  Parts of a story that didn't quite fit until I recognized the heroine within each piece...myself.

Waking up can take time and determination.  It won't always come softly in the early morning, but sometimes only after long dark nights of the soul where you battle with yourself to truly know yourself.  I am only now truly waking up to the Art of my soul.  I'm not sure how the journey will unfold but I am willing to be brave and start making a map that shows where I began and where I hope to finish...with my Art shining bright.

Until next time


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rest Patiently for the Soul

Dragonfly at Rest
As the summer comes to a close, I look back on my last post and realize that not only did I retreat from my writing goals this season, which was the exact opposite of my intent, but I retreated from others in my community, which was also not my intent.  

What is it about our convictions, vows, or determinations that can actually circumvent the very thing we desire? Some believe its a setup for our own fall so don't bother, just live in each moment to truly enjoy the journey and each surprise that shows up.  

I do believe I can struggle with this side of the coin more than the other.  Don't plan?  Don't set an agenda for a purposed outcome?  Are you kidding?!!!  Who can live that way?  Surprisingly many do and with great rest. 

On the other hand, as I let my intent go this summer I felt a certain loss in the outcome.  Or is it just the loss of my expectations of the outcome?  Hmmmm.

So now that the summer is over and I did not complete my creative courses, or write more pages in my novel, or engage in more BBQ parties in the backyard with friends, I stand at the crossroads.  I can either allow personal regret to set in or rest patiently for the next season of surprises.  I am choosing rest!  I am choosing patience towards what is presented before me in its perfect timing, perspective and presentation instead of what I could push through according to my own agenda.  I will allow the spirit to dictate the soul, not the busy mind of my limited perspective.

I am also choosing to look back with gratitude on what I did enjoy, accomplish and engage in.  Laughing with my daughter on weekends, watching shooting stars with my best friend, sharing my personal story at campfire to a group of young women while holding a dollar-store sunflower fly-swatter, voicing frustration at a TV screen with my dad over football, and the beautiful quiet mornings on the porch before work.  Should there be more than that?  Have I become so accustomed to some kind of internal production mode that there has to be more to my summer memories than those?

I am willing to concede I know nothing about what this day should hold, although can still be moved by moments of accomplishments, achieved through my diligence and perseverance.  If I don't write, I won't see my novel done.  If I don't practice with my camera, I won't become proficient in my photography.  If I don't engage in relationships, I won't have any.  The challenge then is when and how do I motivate (or not) myself in the flow of my day to engage in these desires?  For when I actually take part in their delights I am in bliss, but sometimes the process in getting there is painful!

I know there are those who are not complicated by this quandary.  People who live right in my house whom are driven in each moment to accomplish the task, achieve the goal, track their progressive creativity, pursue their relationships diligently.  I admire them.  I finally concluded though, that I cannot be exactly like them, for my spirit longs for something unique.  Something more soft, more blue, more quiet.  Moments where just watching geese fly through the air is sufficient for my day's accomplishments.  Where a cup of coffee in the early morning is my total achievement.  Where a few chosen words on a page will suffice to the completed novel of my heart.  Does that make me any less accomplished than the driven spirit?  No.  Each in its extreme is out of balance.  Each has its own dark pits of despair and delights of conquest. 

So then my conclusion on this quiet Sunday comes to this: Find my own balance and rest patiently for the soul to quicken.  Don't condemn my own heart for either its quiet or its desire to produce.  To be at rest with each moments' fullness, then when ready, spread my wings and fly to the stars in whatever task, desire or accomplishment that moment brings.  As each moment completes itself perfectly through my poet's soul, I will find rest, for I will be perfectly at peace with my own living compass.

Then of course, finish off the day with a lovely glass of chocolate wine and a soft laugh, just in case I took my day much too thoughtfully!

Until next time,


Friday, June 28, 2013

What I Learned in June....Three Dimensional

One of my favourite blogs, Chatting at the Sky, has put out a viral call to her followers to give feedback on lessons learned in June.  Of course I could not resist!

Apparently she was not necessarily asking for the deep and epic revelations of personal truth (we all know I can digress into that pit easily enough!) but the little simple things that make me laugh, cause me to ponder, or become a turning point in the journey.

Here's my top three D's for June:

1.  Despicable Me:  Light....Bulb.  If you haven't watched this movie, as I hadn't until last night with a few mothers/daughters while eating copious amounts of chips and drinking red wine, you are missing out on an adorable visual delight.  My favourite part was when Gru, the evil dad, kept saying "Light....Bulb" in a very slow and deliberate way, so that none of his minions could miss the very depth of his revelation!  Ha....Larious.  The little girls were beyond cute and reminded me of a few precious children/nieces of my own. Who knew I had missed out on this delightful tale this whole time?!  Looking forward to Despicable Me 2 next week.

2.  Dripping Kitchens:  I'm not one to freak out on just any small whim (ok, well not as much lately I should say) but when you come home from watching a riveting NHL finals game with your dad and daughter only to find your kitchen ceiling dripping water through the ceiling fan, there is cause for a little panic!  I started imagining the ceiling crashing down in the middle of the night with sparks of flame shooting from the electrical wiring starting a house fire while I was ensconced in my bed dreaming of the Caribbean beach.  As I pulled out pots and towels, I realized that nothing is really stable or solid in this world.  You can be as prepared as you want, and still discover a crack in the veneer that will tear your security into shreds, until the only thing left to do is take your imagination and go to bed.  

3.  Days Gone By: A fragile warmth has come over me these days when I'm reminded of my past.   Little flashes of people and moments that I enjoyed.  Take movies for instance.  Who didn't love Michael J Fox in the 1985 classic Back to the Future?   I saw an old picture of a boy I used to know in High School, and even though we weren't close, we hung out in the same circle of friends.  It felt nice to see an old familiar face.   I enjoyed dinner with my oldest girlfriend a few weeks ago, and as we reminisced about past adventures,  I was amazed how good it felt to hear how she remembered me.  I cherish my past.  Now THAT is a huge revelation for me.  There is large amount of pain, wounds, regrets that I have only and ever wanted to erase from my past these last few years.  I am coming more to terms with what was, what is, and what is yet to come.  I also enjoyed a weekend with my second oldest girlfriend in Radium, and again the theme was to look back, see the gold vein through the rock then move into a new and fresh way of loving and caring for each other. A refreshing change (Thanks Girlfriend!).

Thanks for Chatting.

Until next time,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

For Such A Time As This....Facing Reality

I have been quiet these past few weeks, pondering my need to write this blog, and what message it should hold. As I sat in the stillness of this reassessment, the waters of torrential rain flooded the city I once loved and lived in for the longest period of my life.  Calgary was blindsided by a deluge that has never been seen before and hopefully will never again.

I had moved from Calgary to Lethbridge 3 years ago, but still felt the thread that tied me to all that I had experienced and embraced there.  Sure, I had lots of grief, many heartbreaks, yet still called it home.  Lethbridge became my safe harbour, where I nursed my wounds, regained my footing and began to hope again that there was a reason I was here "for such a time as this."

Recently I read the most inspiring blog entry from a beloved writer who understood what is needed when heroes are hard to find and there is loss all around us.  

There is a book in the bible called Esther.  Its my favourite story because it depicts a young woman who goes from complete obscurity, to becoming the Queen of Persia.  A biblical Cinderella story. Except there is so much more substance to this epic tale than the fairytale Disney has put on film.  For not only does she move into the palace and become the second most influential person in the kingdom, but she uses this position to help save a whole generation of her people from becoming annihilated. 

The key to her heroism is that she hasn't told the king who her people are (oops.  Rule #1: always tell your new beau about your family background so he doesn't have to find out in a crisis situation!) AND she has to go before the king uninvited (which is a BIG no-no) to intercede for her people without telling him first any details.  This girl is in a tight spot!  But she doesn't back down.  She takes the high road and plunges in to play her part "for such a time as this" and shows what her true substance is all about.  Even unto death.  Luckily the king accepts her request and she was able to tell him her tale of woe. (If you want the full accounting, go find a bible and read Esther in the Old Testament, after Nehemiah and before Job. Amazing story!)

There is a similar theme throughout the media these days regarding the heroes of Southern Alberta.  One is even dear to my family.  He decided to go down to High River and offer his support, his strong back, even in the face of possible danger.  He chose to go.  He left the high ground and went down to the flood lands to play his part in the story of his time.

The question I have been asking all week is what is my part?  Where am I to step in and contribute my personal role? Because that's what we all want, isn't it?  To be the hero of our story?  To step in when the odds are stacked against us and we feel small in such a large cost?  To go when we're afraid and help those who are in need?  Or are we too comfortable?  Do we like our distant sympathy, not wanting to put feet to the feat.

This blog is "for such a time as this".  Its to encourage, to feed the soul with truth, to look fear in the face and say, "I see you, but I'm going anyway!" To get off the Italian couch and head back to the foothills of Alberta and stand with those who are knee deep in the flood, facing the annihilation of their homes, their land, their lives, and still not give up.  

I'm no hero.  But I am part of the Esther Generation that will go into the court and face the king, fighting for those who are outside my gates, who need a voice to speak on their behalf.  To stand with them when they face tragedy, to see their anguish and encourage them to have hope.

For what better purpose could this blog have than to feed and nourish the soul with words towards hope for a new day?  Hope for strength.  Hope for community.  Hope for a helping hand in the storm.

Until next time,

(I am letting go of my imaginary story and entering into the reality of who I am "for such a time as this")

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Striving To No End

Has anyone else been striving this week besides me?  
It seems to be the word for my week.
Striving to be the best person, striving to do the right thing, striving to help and support.  None of these things are wrong, but when the striving becomes a way to be accepted, noticed, admired it becomes restless and uncomfortable.

I was at a birthday party this week for a friend's daughter, and as I kept asking if there's was something I could do to 'help' the husband looked at me and literally said "stop striving!"

At first I was so stunned at his choice of words (how was he to know I struggle with the 'Martha' syndrome of staying on task, instead of relaxing in the 'Mary' mode of enjoying the people I'm with?!), then I realized that there is a posture I sometimes put on when I'm engaging with people and certain circumstances.  I strive.  I'm not really at peace with the outcome.  I have an agenda and I'm determined to see it to its end.  It can actually push people away from the very purpose I'm endeavouring to accomplish.  The more one strives in the doing, the more others recoil from the BEing.  Thank goodness my dear Sista quickly stepped in and replied its my Love Language so I was graciously excused!

As I walked down my little Italian cobbled road here outside my Tuscan villa the other morning, I was suddenly mesmerized by a very large tree.  It was beautiful.  I was enthralled by its stature and grandeur.  I felt small and still in its shadow.  It reminded me of how very small we really are in the true scope of living.  We fight our small battles, determined to win a war that isn't even ours.  The tree knows which hill to die on, which storm to brave, which direction to grow.  It doesn't strive or worry.  This is the beauty of mankind, but also its demise, I concluded.  We were created to wonder and believe in things unseen, but our finite minds twist it around so we get distracted by the striving of simply being.  The tree knows and responds in perfect harmony to its surroundings.  I am constantly picking fights that aren't worth the discord it creates in my soul.  

My food and beverage of the soul this week was rest.  Rest in the beauty of being in the still point through my internal compass.  The God-given peace that goes beyond making sure I am seen and heard correctly, and brings relief to the constant striving.

Until next time,

Lady Jane

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In the Blink of an Eye

Thursday, May 16

Today is not a day where I can spout beautiful words and create soft imaginings.
Today is a day of sorrow and grief for me.
There has been loss.

The first loss was not so grievous, yet I still felt its weight.  JayLynn left yesterday for her volunteer trip to an Island far away.  She'll be helping kids, building sidewalks and enjoying some adventures.  I can only be joyful for her....and yet, here I am without my backup.  I discovered quickly that limited communication between us is not our pattern or desire.  I was proud to help pack her bags, buy her travel insurance and drill down into all the logistics I love taking care of for her.  But at the end of the day, she is gone and I am here, wondering and praying her journey will fill her with wonder, steady her in trial and open up a space in her heart that she never new existed.

The second loss is more heart-wrenching.  A young girl gone.  Getting caught in the darkness of her soul and not finding the crack in the wall.  Family was close by, watching, holding to hope, not realizing how close she was to falling.  If I lived in another time, in another place, I would rip my clothes and pour ashes over my head, raising my arms to the heaven's to cry out in anger.  Oh God!  The young woman are falling, how can we help them?  What words would I have said?  Would it had made any difference?  What kind of hold does this darkness have the even the brightest hope of light slips away before it can be grasped?  How can we hold tight to these young girls and give them a lifeline in their darkness, when the only sound they can hear is the beating of their desperate heart?

In a blink of an eye, they disappear. I'm left to mourn and rage with others who see the vast throng of desperate hearts and cannot reach them all.

The sea rushes in and out like a child breathing.  I can hear its rhythm and feel its pull.  It lulls me into believing I am safe in its depths, but when I am pulled down into its wake, I flounder, and discover there is danger past the foam and wave.

Saturday, May 25

Today is a new day, a week after the grief of last Thursday.
Today is my baby's birthday.  

20 years ago she grabbed my heart and although I didn't hang on to hers as I should have, she kept the faith in me and kept holding on.  I have tried to encourage in her in the light of day, to hold her in the dark night, to love her when my heart was broken.  I believe she knows my weakness as she discovers her own.  She is a colourful soul that makes me laugh and sing soft songs of hope.  She has persevered when all seemed lost and found her heart's desire.

Today I want to give thanks for the beauty and strength of both my daughters.  They could have been lost in the beautiful ugly of our journey, but they both stood strong in the current and didn't give up.

They are my hope, my faith and my love.

Until next time,

Lady Jane

Monday, May 6, 2013

They Call It Stormy Monday

Well dear friends, here we are.  Stormy Monday.

Its not really storming here where I sit in my Italian villa overlooking the azure blue Mediterranean Sea, but its Monday none-the-less.  Saturday passed, Sunday passed, and I found myself sitting here alone, having missed the soulful weekend guests, who usually venture out to chat with me on my well-worn sofas.

I apologize.

I had good intentions, but time became a tyrant and drove me like a stormy whirlwind to Monday.  I fought hard against it, praying for a brief reprieve to just sit and engage with you, but to no avail.  I was overtaken!

I hope this Monday finds you ready to face another week, your weekend having filled you with what was needed to get you here.

I posted a Facebook status on Friday encouraging my friends to "hold books with pages, mugs with steam, and hands that know your secrets" during their weekend.  I had some of you answer immediately, but I was hoping more of you might want to share with me, so I could envision what you did or might have done with these three intriguing initiatives.

What books did you hold?
What mugs or cups did you partake of?
What hands did you grasp that know your deepest secrets?

I held a few books (as is my usual custom, but less so this weekend due to ballet shows and off-load food truck sales) but the pages I turned the most were from The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  The story captivates me as it twists in and out of different time eras, and winds itself around a writer of fairy tales whose personal story ripples into future generations.

I partook of a steaming coffee on Saturday morning, which is my tradition, but also sipped from a delicious shaken lime margarita on a sunny patio Sunday night in celebration of the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo.  Both beverages were delightful and satisfying in their own time and purpose.

Last, but certainly not least, was the hand I held.  My eldest beauty, JayLynn, sighed her typical "mother, really?" as I grasped her hand on Saturday and professed that she alone knew all my deepest secrets!  Her sudden alarmed glance made me realize this is a very solemn and somewhat disturbing undertaking for a first born daughter.  I quickly revised my statement, reassured her that she actually didn't know ALL of them (as children never should), and confirmed the Baroness, in fact, was the actual gatekeeper of my secret locker. Relief was apparent.

Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is to share with me your weekend selections, and if you have not done so yet, what would you have picked and who would you have held? All comments are welcome.  

 It satisfies the soul of words, the sense of taste, and the heart of connection.

Until next time,

Lady Jane

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blessed Sundays

Dear Friends:

I know I am a day late.  I usually write on Saturdays.   I'm trying to be consistent, not just with this blog but in other areas of my life that need some solidity.  Yesterday was such a day that would not allow a quiet moment at the computer, so my Blessed Sunday is right now, here, with you.

I would imagine that we are comfortable, the sun baking the sand on the private beach outside the patio doors. Soft Italian words are drifting up from the neighbours balcony's.  One couple is hoping to move soon, tired of the quiet seaside, looking for more stimulation in their lives.  I would say they're in their 20's.  Another neighbour of mine is a lonely bachelor of 50 who has ound himself divorced and living in a a small apartment by the ocean, not quite sure what to do with his time, his heart, or the realization that he must start over mid-point in his life.

There is a Still Point that comes in one's life where you find no music, no melody, just silent rest.  It might appear that the song is over.  You've hit the end of the bar and have nothing left to offer.  This is not the case.  I had come to such a point.  Its a delightful revelation to find that this is just a rest before the next melody begins.  Its the Still Point where you wait patiently, knowing the music will start again in your life and you may discover a song that is more beautiful than the bars before.  This is good.  Be at peace.  Rest.  Wait.  Don't fret!!  It's not the end, its like the dew that settles on the grass when the temperature drops and air becomes still.  Anticipate the blessing that is coming.  For when it becomes still, there is only peaceful rest that precedes the crescendo rise of refreshing notes, which carries you towards a destined path of abundance, should you choose to accept it.

I was told recently that I have much to say and tend to rush towards it.  This may be true. I desire my words to be a reflection of my heart that serves others in encouragement, truth and edification.  For what better purpose can there be for word but this?  

If you find I am relentless in this, so be it!  I revel in the joy of writing and acknowledge those who understand this restless muse.  There are Saturdays to write about important things.....

Then there are Blessed Sundays, where the soul sits in the Still Point of waiting for the next breathe to exhale.  I pray that breath comes from deep in our bellies and will resonate within us so rich, we will long to share it with others.

Until next time,

Lady Jane

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Transcendance in the Dining Room

Hello my friends.  Do you have your coffee ready?  I can give you a minute if you need it.

While we wait, I wonder if you all knew I lived with 12 other people?!  Not here in the Italian loft, this is my sanctuary just for us, but back home, where I daily work through the true essence of living.  I would love to tell you all about them, for each family member has given me a mirrored image of the "beautiful ugly" within myself.  Do you know what I mean by that?  Even in those deep scarred places where we want to hide away and not look to closely, there is a beauty that shines through, if we let it.

You're good to go now?  Excellent!  We can't really sit and chat without some kind of delicious aroma wafting into our senses, as far as I'm concerned!  I thought about going down the old cobbled street outside my seaside door to Francesca, my local baker, to pick up the most amazing cheese buns for us to sample, but felt prudence was needed this morning.  I have been sick this past week, and didn't think my constitution could handle the onslaught of yeast!

I have just finished reading through an interesting book called "Yearning for More.  What Our Longings Tell Us About God and Ourselves" by Barry Morrow.  His writing sinks deep into the philosophy of how our disenchantment with our lives is evidence of another reality for which we were created for.  He tries to move the reader from a shallow state of easy existence  to "signals of transcendence" all around us; in our hatred of death, our desire for heaven and even the humdrum of daily living. (Don't you love this kind of stuff?!!  OK, I realize this may be a big much for Saturday morning, but if you lived in my head for even a moment, you would take pity and join me in the abyss!)

In Chapter 5, "Celebrating the Daily Humdrum", he touches on Different Rooms in the Sacred House.  How do we really transcend, even in our homes, with our kids, in the dishes, the socks and cat litter?  As he goes through each room, he comes to the Dining Room, and my "spidey" senses start to tingle!  Here's what he says about our F&B experience, if we would chose to transcend the simple task of eating.

"Perhaps behind the activity of eating is the picture of community and fellowship with one another.  When we set apart the business of eating from the rest of the household functions and approach it as the occasion when men, women and children gather together, is this not a gathering together to enact our common  humanness?  When we think about the most joyful occasions of our lives, were they not frequently focused around dining with close friends and relatives?  Is there not an almost sacred aspect to these gatherings?  Is there any surprise that most of the major religions of the world include eating as a central element in their faith?  Do these gatherings not in fact resemble Holy feasts?"

Hmmmmm.  So if that is not happening in our homes, what are we gathering for?  What is the sacred we come together on and share in our humanness?  Food for thought.

I realize this entry was long and for that I could apologize......but I won't, because the F&B for the Soul can be a deep cavern that only the brave might enter at their own risk.

Until Next Time,

Lady Jane

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Relationships Around the Table

Morning.  (I was going to put an exclamation mark behind this, but for all those of you who read this at 11:15 under bleary eye, sipping on your first cup of strong java, instead of 7:24 am real time, it means you might not appreciate my sunrise exuberance)

I was awake at 6:11.  Actually earlier because I had awoken, but then HAD to stay ensconced in my delicious bed as long as possible, before it became too painful to imagine all the fun things I was going to do today and just lie there staring at the first hind of dawn outside my curtains! (there, I had to do it)  Thank goodness there was a drop of coffee in the maker to kick-start the word flow.

I took this photo in Canmore, when the Baroness and I went for our first lunch, to kick off my St. Patrick's Day birthday weekend in the Rockies.  I have grown to love Canmore more and more, as I sample its hidden treasures, especially the food.  This homemade Buffalo Burger with Pommes Frites & Aioli at the O Bistro did not disappoint.  I had been to Canmore many times, but lately its become a whole new world opened up to me that keeps calling me back.  For many of you dearest to my heart, you know that Banff has always held my soul in the rocks of the Banff Springs Hotel, but Canmore is slowly wooing me over. (Shoes t'Boot, where you find the most amazing Italian shoes, also entices me along)

I was also caught up in the ecstasy of pasta at Luna Blue, with the Linguine Wild whole wheat pasta dish with white wine cream sauce, and topped off with grilled pork tenderloin.  Oh MY!  (that was for another lunch excursion, I might add.  Who needs to wait for supper to enjoy pasta?  Certainly not me)  Debbie, our server, was delightful, thoughtful, and enjoyed getting to know why we were there, not just what we desired to eat.

These two memories makes me think of how much we enjoy our relationships around the table.  My dearest Sista has been teaching me about the true definition of hospitality.  I tend to be more of a task master when it comes to serving and comfort, whereas my Sista sees the person behind the practical need and wants to come sit with them in their souls.  I guess this blog is partially because of her.  If I miss the true service of the heart & soul, then I have really missed the reason for hospitality, and have slipped back into my natural tendency for organizing and facilitating an event.  As much as this is needed to keep a good function running smoothly, the deepest craving for most of us, is the F&B of the soul; connecting to others who know and understand us.  Finding a soft place to sit and be vulnerable.  

Some day I hope to own such a place.  Not just on this screen, but an address you can all come and visit, put your feet up, have a coffee, tell your story, and rest your soul for a bit.

Until next time.

Lady Jane

Monday, April 8, 2013

What's in a Name?

Hello my friends;

I was reminded today, from a dear friend BP, that many of you may not know why I signed off my last entry with "Lady Jane".

This is a lovely story, so please grab your beverage (and lunch if you haven't eaten yet), tuck your feet up onto the couch and enjoy this story.

My very dearest (there is dear for those who know me well, but not as long as the VERY dearest) friend, the Baroness, who has stayed close beside me through many of my soulful excursions.  I feel I have grown up in her shadow, and now we are mirroring each other in our creative journey together.  This kind of friendship takes much nurturing, time and effort.  I know for a fact that there were many moments when she was to the point of exasperation with my niave viewpoint of my world, and how I was to live in it.  I wanted to keep the rose-coloured glasses on for as long as possible.

But, I digress.  That is for another delicious chat together.

So, as we woven the fabric of our relationship together, we discovered that we both shared a desire to portray a story that would play in the land of "one day".  She had already uncovered her dream of owning land and being like the Baroness of old English countrywoman, who ran their estates with dignity and grace.  At the time we began our dreaming, I was living in a house called Willow Lane Manor (technically only in my mind, but that was the very best place to imagine something, isn't it?) Besides, I was a lovely manor home that someone built for me and I cherished its very stones) and became Lady Jane of the Manor. Since then I have left my Manor and now I am the Lady of the Lake, but both have the same undercurrent of identity.  My middle name is Jane, and as with all the strong Jane's of old England (there are too many to recite right now), I felt I was destined to identify with those woman who ran and ruled their courts with grace and beauty.

Its only a sweet dream between us, but by identifying ourselves in this manner, we confirm that we know who we are deep down, even when our circumstances won't or haven't allowed the truth of it to be revealed.

Feel free to try it sometime.  If you could call yourself anyone, who would it be?  Then go a bit deeper into the story and ask yourself why?  What values, what truths, what grace, would this identify with you?  Because in there somewhere is a sparkle of who you have always wanted to be, and either have shut that part down to manage in the reality of your life, or have never allowed your innermost spirit to acknowledge it even exists.

Until next time,

Lady Jane

Saturday, April 6, 2013

WELCOME to my Sanctuary


I'm so glad you've joined me, on this first morning, of my excursion into the delectable tastes of the heart and soul.

What is F&B for the Soul, you ask?  Excellent question.

First, get your own cup of coffee, or tea, or beverage of your choice, because part of this blog will be sitting together enjoying our own unique food & beverage while we share ideas, thoughts, musings, that come from the deepest parts of who we are.

Imagine, if you will, we are sitting in an old, weather-worn eclectic loft room, just off the streets of a small Italian villiage in Tuscany.  Its early morning, and the sun has just started to shine through the ceiling-to-floor ancient glass patio doors that face out to the sea, with wisps of light white curtains blowing from the breeze that is squeezing through the door cracks.  We are comfortable, ensconced in my antique couches, putting our feet up on the new french chic coffee table I just bought at the flea market.  The smell of coffee combined with sea air fills our mouths, as we lean back and rest our heads against the soft woven fabric.

For today, we will just sit and drink deeply of the provisions and beauty around us, not needing much conversation.  This is, in fact, our first encounter together, and I want you to feel comfortable.

What is to come is up to us.  Photos, poems, random thoughts, recipes, whatever is edifying to our souls and brings hospitality to our hearts.

The purpose is to imagine each word we speak and thought we share brings sustenance to ourselves, and sends us off to our own worlds with something to offer others in the same way.

It's so good of you go come. I'm looking forward to our new beginnings and tales of old encounters that shape us more and more into divine messengers of unique and creative beings.

Until next time,

Lady Jane