Articles

Yukon: Land of the Midnight Sun

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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Whitehorse 11pm in early July, one of the many photos I took on my trip.

 

In early July, I went up to the Yukon to see part of Canada’s North.  I have lived in three provinces: Ontario, Manitoba and BC, and visited most of the others. What is the North like? I wondered. I flew up there to check it out.

The Yukon is a scenic landscape of many lakes, rivers and mountain ranges. The grandeur and beauty of this land and vast wilderness is spectacular.

Whitehorse is the capital and is situated on the banks of the fast-flowing Yukon River.  The town has about 30,000 residents and many people who live there have migrated from other parts of the country.  People I spoke to said they really love the North and have no intentions of moving down south.

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Yes, there is midnight sun in early July! I went outside at 11 pm and the sun was just starting to go down. I loved the amount of light that filled the town and surrounding hills late at night. In the winter, which is long and dark, people enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities.

There was a lot of smoke from forest fires from both Alaska and Yukon the day I arrived. Fortunately, this cleared on the second day.  I asked if there is a ‘forest fire season’ and people said No, there can be fires during any month. Climate change is evident here.

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I drove south to Carcross, and loved the beauty of Miles Canyon, a section of the Yukon River with very green water and high rugged river banks. Carcross is a lakeshore village, about an hour’s drive south of Whitehorse that’s filled with Gold Rush and First Nations history. It is the traditional territory of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and is a stronghold of Tlingit Culture (sounds like ‘Klingit’). The name of this village originates from ‘Caribou Crossing’, for the herds of caribou that once migrated through the narrow strip of land between Bennett and Nares lakes in the days before the Gold Rush (late 1890s). The Commons is filled with shops and restaurants all with First Nations paintings on the front… see photos. You can drive or take a train south to Skagway, Alaska, which is a port for many cruise ships arriving from Seattle and Vancouver.

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The Yukon Wildlife Preserve is about a half hour drive outside of Whitehorse and is a definite ‘must see’ if you ever go to the Yukon.  I took the slow-moving tour bus, for the 5 km tour around the 800 acres, guided by an enthusiastic naturalist who explained all the animals, their habitats etc. We stopped frequently and took photos of bison, elk, caribou, deer, fox, lynx, Dall sheep, and mountain goats. We watched the animals graze and rest in very expansive and natural settings.  It was a real treat to see these animals up close and also to have the naturalist answer our questions.

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The next day I drove west to Haines Junction along the historic Alaska Highway. There were gorgeous mountains on either side as well as lakes.  Somewhat obscured by the haze of smoke.  Kathleen Lake is a beautiful sight and there are campgrounds there surrounded by very high mountains.

I pulled into a rest stop, and a red fox came trotting up to my car. I got out my camera, but I had a hard time getting a good photo.  Maybe he was just curious. He wasn’t very big, but he was very cute and had a big bushy tail.

The Visitor Information Centre was a great place to go to get maps, directions and suggestions for travel.  I found Visitor Information Centres and also First Nations Centres in all the towns I visited and they all had beautiful buildings, were well-staffed, and great sources of information and support.

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I visited quite a number of wonderful museums in Whitehorse, and highly recommend the Beringia Interpretive Centre. It’s a fabulous multimedia exposition featuring life-size exhibits of animals of the last ice age, a full-size cast of the largest woolly mammoth ever recovered in North America, as well as interactive computer kiosks and dioramas depicting the unique landscape, flora and fauna of Beringia.  I became fascinated by the history of the lost sub-continent of Beringia dating back to the last great ice age. While the rest of Canada lay frozen under massive sheets of ice, a region encompassing eastern Siberia, Alaska and Yukon remained untouched by glaciers. Sea levels dropped by as much as 125 metres and a grassy tundra appeared, supporting an astonishing variety of animal and plant life.  This is a ‘must see’ if you like history.

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The annual Adaka Festival was happening in Whitehorse the week I was there. It was held at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, right beside the Yukon River.  There were workshops and evening concerts.  Adaka means ‘coming into the light’ in the Southern Tutchone language. This festival shines a light on the creative spirit of Yukon First Nations helping to preserve and revitalize their arts and culture. They had Indigenous visual and performing artists from every Yukon community and from around the world on the performance stages as well as a world-class art gallery.

Before the concert began I spoke to an Elder, Sam Johnston, a clan leader from the Teslin Tlingit Council.

“How many First Nations languages are spoken in the Yukon?” I asked him.

“There are 14,” he said.

“How many people speak Tlinglit?”  I asked.

“Only about 200,”  he said.

This made me realize that languages can disappear if people are not actively speaking them. Languages are the foundation of First Nations cultures, especially since their oral traditions are so strong.

The first two rows of seats had signs on them: These seats are reserved for our Elders.  This is something that is so lacking in our mainstream culture: a deep respect for Elders and their traditional roles.

I was amazed by the passion and the talent put on by the many artists and singers.  The MC spoke in both English and a First Nations language.  The evening was titled: An Indigenous Language and Song Gala. Performers launched new songs written entirely in First Nation languages. The drumming, guitar, and singing were outstanding, and even though I do not speak any of their languages, their messages came through in the rhythms and the energy that night. I could feel what they were saying in their song and music.   There is a very strong impulse and intention to preserve the First Nations languages and this was the theme of the concert gala.

I met people visiting the Yukon from Germany, Chile, Portugal, all parts of the U.S. and other parts of Canada.  Many people take extensive driving trips, traveling up to Dawson, then on to Alaska.

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I came back from my Yukon trip feeling inspired and so thankful I had the opportunity to see part of our North. I think it is important to visit and experience different parts of Canada.  We have a beautiful country.  I would like to go back to the Yukon in a season when I could witness the Northern Lights, a spectacle to behold.

 

Warm Wishes,

Brenda

How A Hip Replacement Changed My Life

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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Life brings us many gifts.  Some of these are small and may be expected. Others come along and scoop you up and take you to a new place in life.  I got a gift like this a year ago.  I got a total hip replacement and it changed my life.

Let me tell you a bit about how this came about.  I endured three years of chronic pain, mostly in my right knee.  I tried many remedies and treatments to deal with this: physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, exercise, and topical creams. You know, the ones on TV that claim to completely eradicate pain.  I tried all of these, and still no pain relief. I felt discouraged.  I don’t like to be a complainer, so often I held back from even talking about it.

We tend to tell ourselves stories about what is going on with our health.  I had a story that I had a bad knee.  Maybe I would learn to live with it.  I knew I had arthritis and looked to find ways to manage it.  I went to a series of educational classes about arthritis at the OASIS clinic.  There were many practical tips given to manage all aspects of arthritis. At a session with a physiotherapist, I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon who specialized in hips.  

I waited about four months for my appointment, and showed up at the doctor’s office on a cold, grey day in November.  I was feeling skeptical.  I had been enduring severe pain in my knee for a long time. I had days when I could not walk. The degree of pain was often a 8 or 9. I was not sure this doctor could do much for me.  

He looked at the fresh X-rays of my right hip and told me: “Brenda you are down to bone on bone in your hip. You need a total hip replacement.”

This was actually the good news.  Now I was finding out what was going on in my body.  Not only that:  this doctor offered me a solution.

This was a turning point. The surgeon told me the pain in my knee would go away once I had the surgery.  I doubted what he was saying; however, I readily signed the consent form that day.

As you may know, there is a big process in getting ready for a joint replacement.  Classes at the hospital.  A list of needed equipment for my house.  A support system of people to take care of me, bring me meals, and drive me places.  

I waited another four months for the surgery, and spent only one night recovering in the hospital.

After I came home, I felt confident in my new hip. I was committed to doing all the exercises which are strongly recommended.  And yes, the pain in my knee did go away.  Which amazed me!

We are so fortunate to live in a time when the medical system has perfected these hip replacements, which are usually highly successful. Imagine this: I now have finely crafted pieces of ceramic and titanium in my hip that function just like my old hip – and it all works perfectly!  

A benefit I got from this journey is the great compassion I feel for anyone suffering with chronic pain. I understand, because I have gone through it.  Chronic pain can affect your entire life: your mood, your mobility, your thinking processes, your memory and your energy. Having support and empathic friends certainly help a lot. Now that I have gone through the hip replacement process myself, I would be happy to help another person go through their journey. 

I received an unexpected gift after I got home from the hospital. Since I was not able to drive my car for an entire month, I stayed home, mostly lying on the couch.  But this gave me precious time to reflect on my life.  Being able to reflect on your life and see things in a new way is a wonderful blessing.

As I was lying on my couch, I said to myself: I am in a new stage of life (I had turned 70 two weeks before the surgery), and I have fewer years in front of me than behind me. What do I want these years to be like?  The answer came clearly:  I no longer need to tolerate any forms of negativity.  I can let go of people who drag me down or are not there for me.  This was a watershed time for me.  It seemed like my life was opening up, and letting go of negativity was like the shedding of an old skin that I no longer needed.

I remember the day I was able to walk with my walker across the street, sit in the park and enjoy the flowers, and people walking their dogs.  I felt liberated.  Welcome to my new life!

My new hip realigned my body.  My new insights realigned my life.

It is important to be discerning about the people in your life. Let go if they don’t make you feel good about yourself. Set boundaries that support you and find ways to build a support system that nurtures you.

Life is quite amazing.  Sometimes it delivers challenges that become big gifts for you.  When it does, it’s important to be grateful for recognizing all the gifts. I give thanks to the wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital. Thank you so much to the many friends who pitched in and supported me. Thank you Life, for the opportunity to sit back, reflect, and see with fresh eyes.

And you, dear reader: have you received a major gift in life, maybe something unexpected?   Have you suffered with something but also received new insights or blessings?

I would be happy to hear from you.

Warm wishes,

Brenda

2019: Follow Your Heart

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

2019-Follow Your Heart-Brenda Dineen

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Let’s welcome the New Year: 2019!

The old has passed away and the new is beckoning, full of possibilities. This is an opportunity to reflect upon where you are on your life path.

Picture doors of opportunity in front of you. See them opening. Step into this year with courage and purpose!

2019 is calling… How do you want to be living? What will make this year a truly memorable one for you?

As you go through your daily life, you are faced with making so many choices. Some of these are easy. Others more challenging. Have you noticed how you make your choices and decisions? Maybe you have a checklist of pros and cons. Sometimes this can work. Sometimes it doesn’t.

A woman once told me she made a major decision by writing a list of pros and cons. After writing the list, an inner voice was telling her what to do, but she ignored that voice. Instead she believed, that because her mind was so strong, she needed to listen to it. However, afterwards she experienced a lot of conflict and began to doubt she made the right decision.

The heart is a place of deep knowing. When you listen to your heart, you know what choice to make. The choice feels right. It feels true and it comes easily, without noise or distraction.

There are so many distractions, so many voices pulling you this way and that. How do you tune all of this out, and listen to the whispers of your heart? Sometimes people suffer with the wrong choice and finally listen to what they really want to do.

I once knew a man, Tom who became a lawyer. Tom went into law because his father told him that was the right choice and he pressured Tom to go to law school, even though the he did not want to go. Tom practiced law for a number of years but he was very unhappy. He had always wanted to be an artist. Eventually he listened to his inner calling and he quit law. Tom became an artist.

Have you made a decision because someone else told you to? How did it feel? How did it turn out?

Develop some practices to tune into your heart. It is often really helpful to become quiet and the answer will come to you.

• Meditate

• Go for a walk in nature

• Take a break from electronics

• Sit in quiet reflection

• Write in your journal

Learn to trust your instincts. If it’s in your heart, go for it. Listen when it speaks to you. It often whispers in your ear. It rarely shouts. Trust this inner guidance system to lead you on the right path. As you practice this, the more it will offer to you. The resources and supports you need begin to show up in your life.

Here is a practical way to support yourself: make a change in your morning routine. For the first hour of your morning, do not reach for your smartphone or check email.

Spend an hour this way:

• Meditate or spend a few minutes in quiet reflection

• Read a passage, or a chapter from an uplifting book

• Spend a few minutes doing yoga or stretching

• Review your plans and intentions for the day

• Make your bed

• Have a shower

Then, notice the difference your new morning routine makes to your day.

Don’t allow the noise and distraction of the world to silence the whispers of your heart. Walk away from something that does not feel right to you.

If you feel lost, confused or uncertain, tune once again into your heart. Notice the message it is giving you. Listening to your heart will become an integral part of your life.

In 2019, make a commitment to follow your heart. You will be glad you did.

Warm wishes,

Brenda

“Helping you navigate through the second half of life with clarity, vision and purpose”

To contact Brenda directly you can e-mail her at: brenda@brendadineen.com
or call: (604) 435-9400 for a FREE 20 minute phone consultation.

2017:
Be Calm. Stay Centered.

© 2017 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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“I have a calm mind. I have an open heart. I know my truth.”

Welcome to 2017 – our new year. We are living in turbulent times. The pace of life is fast, and we need ways to adjust. While some changes are welcome, others are not.

It is wise to cultivate personal practices to help stay centered and grounded. Being centered, calm and clear helps when it comes time to handle the challenges that life brings.

You create your life from the center of your being. When you are not centered, feeling fragile, you can be prone to being thrown off-kilter or blown sideways by the opinions and actions of others.

We are living in strange times called ‘Post-truth’ in which ‘fake news’ abounds, especially on the Internet. We need to check sources of information and dismiss what is not true.

Remember that love trumps fear and hate.

David Suzuki recently said:

“We mustn’t let fear and despair stop us from making the world a better place for everyone. It’s time to stand together …. ”

Here are some suggestions:

1. Hold fast to what you know to be true. Know your own truth and values and stand by them. If something does not feel good and right to you, then you should not automatically accept it as true.

2. Find healthy ways to channel frustration. For some, this means getting active in your community. For others, political action will be the chosen route. I was so inspired to see many thousands of people, especially lots of young people, protesting in the streets of U.S. cities during the days after the November election. Seeds of positive change are being sown.

3. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Always be mindful of your current support system. I find myself telling people there are seven billion of us on the planet. We are clearly not meant to go through life, especially challenging times, alone.

Some practices for you:

Radical self- care. This includes all aspects of your physical and emotional wellbeing. You can’t take care of others if you are not nurturing yourself.

* Taking deep breaths regularly. Connect with your body.

* Yoga and stretching

* Meditating

* Spending quiet time in reflection

* Writing in your journal

* Activities and places that make you feel centered and relaxed

* Asking for support when you need it

Write or declare your intentions for this new year. Perhaps have a mantra or a word that captures the essence of what you want your life to be this year.

How do we deal with darkness in our world? We do not give in to the dark. We bring our light. We bring hope and optimism. We bring a vision of a better future and we work towards it. We shine our light brightly everywhere. We show leadership. We stand out and we set an example for others.

Be mindful of your self-talk.

What is life calling you to do or be at this time? Take time to listen. Listen to your heart. Its whisper will call you. Do what you feel called to.

May you be calm. May you stay centered.

Be Calm. Stay Centered

May you have a happy and fulfilling 2017. May this year bring you many gifts and blessings.

warm wishes,

Brenda

The Healing Power Of Horses

© 2016 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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Sometime last Spring I had a vision of visiting a farm and living with some animals. A few weeks later I saw a notice for a horse ranch near Kamloops BC called Gateway 2 Ranch. This is it, I decided and I signed up for a one week retreat in September.

I have limited experience with horses but looking at www.equinisity.com and reading one of the books by owner and retreat leader Liz Mitten Ryan, One with the Herd, I got excited about the opportunity to have some new and wonderful times with the horses there.

I went to this retreat at a juncture in my life. I was looking for a special place to let go of mental clutter and to live more in the present moment. This retreat offered this to me.

Our group consisted of ten people, nine women, one man and I was the only Canadian. Lots of people from the U.S and two Brits. We got along well and meshed as a group.

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The ranch extends over 320 acres of natural forest, rolling hills, lakes, grasslands and underground rivers of crystals.

I loved the expanse and variety of land on this property, how it stretches far to the horizon and holds secrets in its rocks and hills. Each afternoon we went for hikes on various parts of the land. Years ago, the Okanagan and Shuswap peoples lived and roamed on this very land. I found myself more aware of Earth’s energy rising up through me.

It was such a welcome feeling to be out of the city and to let go of technology, news and media for a week at Gateway 2 Ranch. Each morning we spent time in the barn with the horses. Lots of time focusing and meditating. We sat on stools at the edge of the barn. The horses are amazing… they mill around, often meditating or standing still in a group. Then one or two horses might approach you. They breathe slowly, deeply and I found myself breathing in unison with the horse in front of me.

The horses at Gateway 2 are amazing animals. They are considered higher beings and they share their wisdom. Spending time with the herd at Gateway 2 Ranch you might find a deep connection that will surprise you.

This is a herd of about 12 semi-wild Warmblood horses, one Shetland pony, one foal, and a large bull, a big Buddha who is part of the group.

I felt no fear of the horses whatsoever. The horses, having been raised among people, are totally comfortable with people. Not only that, they seem highly sensitive and tuned into people. Everyone in my group reported having healing experiences with the horses.

Message from the book, One With the Herd:

To the People

The story we have to tell is one of peace; we are creatures of peace. Our spirits run freely through time, witness to the history of our species. Horse energy is powerful, magnificent, as is our form. We are here to guide you in the way of spirit, for this is our home. We have no fight with you; we have been your friends through the age the ages. We are not beneath you, except when we carry you on our backs. We are happy to carry you , to that place where we will all stand together in the sun.

– from the Herd

This is a special herd, a privileged herd of horses. They live together as a family, in the wild, yet also loved and doted on. In our world, this is not so common in horse-human relationships. Throughout history horses have been abused, mistreated and preyed upon. Horses carry all of this in their DNA. So this herd stands out. They are raised as a family, with love and respect. They ask us to be open to what they offer, seeking Oneness and truth.

unnamed (4)Each day I had some lovely experiences in the presence of the horses. The first day Epona (horse names are in italics) came up to me as I was sitting on a stool. She breathed on the side of my face, sending a huge shiver down my right side that lingered for several minutes. She seemed to be giving me a healing treatment. The horses milled around. It was quite quiet. One horse peed creating a huge splashing sound. Birds chirped. There were lots of birds. A cat crawled on me and licked my hand. Liz said they were getting to know us. I noticed how much I am used to noise and here I found a lot of quiet and I felt filled with feelings of peace. Pashar rubbed his nose back and forth on my right knee. Did he sense I need healing in that knee? I think so.

unnamed (3)Another day Serene came up and stood very still in front of me, breathing. I began to breathe with her. Crystal stood directly behind the wall at my back. It seemed like Serene was teaching me patience. I was meditating but my mind was wandering. As I continued to meditate I became very calm and the mental clutter floated away. My sense of Serene was that she is strong, still, patient and knowing.

Magic is a beautiful black horse with a white blaze on her face shaped like a heart with an arrow through it. She stepped towards me and breathed with me. Her breath was strong, steady. I felt powerful waves of healing rush through my body and shivers down my side. Tears came to my eyes. We continued to breathe together and she pressed her face against mine very firmly. I put all my trust in Magic. She kept pouring her love and healing into me. First one side of my face, then the other. unnamed (5)At one point she pressed her head onto the top of my head and pressed down like she was grounding me. She kept blowing her breath onto my face, my ear and my neck. I felt totally at One with this horse and felt a circle of unconditional love between us. This went on for a long time. What a gift from this horse. I felt so humble. What can I give to you?, I thought. I felt totally connected to Magic, to love and to inner peace. I had never felt such feelings of Oneness with an animal before. It was profound and unmistakable. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This was a peak experience. Very profound and hard to put into words.

I stood beside Prima and pressed my cheek onto hers. I stood there for a long time then I spoke to her. “You are a beautiful horse, wise and knowing. May you always feel wild and free.” I kissed her face. What an incredible privilege.

I was so grateful to have such deep experiences of Oneness and Peace with these horses.

To find out more about Gateway 2 Ranch you can look at www.equinisity.com. You will also find several books by Liz Mitten Ryan available.

We are living in turbulent times. Where do we go to find feelings of Oneness, when our everyday experience is to feel separate from each other and even from our inner selves? We need to find places and means to cultivate peace and to be connected in our hearts with each other and with nature.

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And you, dear reader, what oasis or special place do you have to experience peace? What experiences of Oneness and deep connection have you had? Have you had magical experiences with animals? I would love to hear from you.

Warm wishes,

Brenda

Summer Solstice: Welcome the Light!

© 2016 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

Mountains landscape in Vorarlberg, Austria

Summer Solstice is upon us: the longest day and shortest night of the year.

This is a big time of transition in the year. Nature is signaling change for us. Summer’s arms are opening wide, ushering in the new season. This is my favourite time of year, with so much sunlight and warmth.

In the past, our ancestors would mark this time with ritual and celebration. In current times we may have lost the deeper meaning of Solstice but many of us sense this time of year signals change. A number of years ago I used to go to a big annual Summer Solstice party in Vancouver where everyone wore white, we celebrated, ate barbecued salmon, danced and partied late. What great memories I hold of those parties!

Summer Solstice is a doorway to the second half of the year. We are already halfway through 2016!

May you embrace the possibilities that Summer holds.

Take a little time to reflect:

what is this year bringing you?
what are you learning?
what do you feel good about?
is there something you want to let go of?

Looking ahead to Summer, ask yourself:

what does Summer hold in store for me?
what do I need?
what do I want to create?
who do I want to spend time with?

I notice at the beginning of Summer I begin thinking of where I want to go and who I want to see. The rhythm of life shifts in the summer. We go on vacations, go to music festivals, spend more time outdoors, get out of some routines, enjoy less structure and often slow our work life down.

As well as activities, Summer offers greater rewards: a deeper time of rest, relaxation and reflection. Many people are feeling these needs. This is a time when you might be able to unplug from your usual patterns. Unplugging allows you to get new perceptions about your life and gives you a calm space to be creative.

It helps to approach the new season with awareness and intention. In doing so, you create more of the life you want.

Focus on what you wish to nurture and develop in yourself over the coming months. Stand at the threshold and ask yourself: What do I want to encourage or enhance in my life?

When you come to the end of Summer, how do you want to be feeling? Refreshed? Energized? Have new perspectives? Taking a little time to answer this question helps you create the best summer for you.

The warmth and beauty of Summer helps bring in expansive feelings. This is a season of possibilities.

May you allow the beautiful energy of Summer to fill your soul and to carry you forward. Share your experiences with someone close to you or write in your journal. I would be happy to hear how this goes for you.

Warm wishes

Brenda

Welcome 2016!

© 2016 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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Let’s welcome the new year: 2016! The old is passing away and the new is beckoning to us, full of possibilities. The New Year gives us an opportunity to reflect upon where we are on our journey, to review things we have been learning and to identify some things that hold us back or that we need to let go of. In our wisdom may we celebrate all aspects of our lives— the challenges and the opportunities— with gratitude.

The new year is full of possibility. Picture doors of opportunity in front of you. See them opening. Step into this year with courage and purpose!

2016 is calling. What is 2016 asking of you? What does it hold in store?

This may be a time to reconnect or to rekindle your passions and to live the life you were born to live- – a life of joy, abundance, and compassion. Remember this: the world needs your gifts and talents.

We each have the choice to live more consciously and to age wisely. As we do this, we contribute our wisdom not only to those who are currently with us but also to those who are coming after us.

Now I am in my late 60s, I am aware I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me and I savor this time. Somehow the years become more precious as we age. Perhaps this makes me dream and set my intentions more clearly.

Setting your intentions is a powerful way to direct your life. Intention is the driving force that fulfills our needs, whether for health, adventure, new learning, relationships and inner peace.

Some suggested steps:

– Reflect back on 2015. What did the last year bring you? What did you learn? What do you feel good about? What do you need to let go of?
– Get focussed.
– Set your intentions. As you do this, you bring everything into alignment. Take time to get clear in what you want in the coming year. When you take the time to focus on your intentions, you open space that brings them into fruition.

You might ask yourself:

– How do I want to be feeling?
– How do I want to enhance my health and wellbeing and how will I keep my commitments to these?
– What is my support system like right now? Do I have all the support that I need?
– How do I commit to living my life with greater meaning and purpose?

Nurture your intentions each day. Repeat them. Write them. Hold them strongly in your heart and most importantly, take active steps towards your intentions.

One of my intentions this coming year is to connect with people from my past. All those special memories of friends from the past are treasures to savor, and to weave into my current life. If you are someone from my past, I would love to speak with you about the special times we shared. Something I am interested in asking: What did that time contribute to our lives? Please feel free to contact me. I look forward to talking with you.

May your year be blessed with health, joy and fulfillment.

Warmest wishes for 2016,

Brenda

Where Are You Placing Your Attention?

© 2015 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

Pregnant woman practicing yoga, sitting in lotus position on a beach at sunset Read More

Honouring All Mothers

© 2015 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

Each year on the second Sunday in May we have a huge celebration for our mothers.  Mother’s Day has become an annual ritual . We take Mom out to lunch, buy her flowers and tell her we love her.

What about the rest of the year?  Do we honour our mothers on those days too?

When I became a mother at the age of 41, I went through a significant transformation. I suddenly saw myself as a part of the billions of women who are mothers.  No one prepared me for this transition. Before I had my daughter I went to pre-natal classes, read books, bought furniture, had baby showers and talked to friends who were already mothers. But no one told me anything about the personal transcendent experience of becoming a mother. I felt completely different and humbled. And I felt a deep and unconditional love for my daughter.

Do we all take our mothers for granted?  Most of us have issues with our own mother, including resentments. But it is always important to pause and be grateful to her for the precious gift of life she gave you among many other reasons to be grateful for.

On Mother’s Day this year, take a little time to thank your own mother for everything she did for you and all she is to you. You can do this whether she is here or not, whether you feel close to her or not.

My own mother is now 92, struggling with dementia as well as broken bones and decreased mobility.  She has courage as she goes through this time. She is coping with the losses of what is most important to her, her mobility and her mind. I often thought my mother was different from other mothers because she is incredibly outgoing, curious and adventurous. She taught me to be independent, to ask questions, have strong values and to go out in the world. I am grateful for all she has done and all the things she has taught me in life.

If you are a mother yourself, may you pause and acknowledge yourself for all you have done for your child (children).  We mothers can be critical, often berating ourselves for not doing things perfectly.

Let us honour all mothers around the world. The mothers in war-torn Syria and Iraq.  The mothers in Nigeria whose daughters have been kidnapped. The mothers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.  The mothers of black men who have been killed by police officers in the U.S.  The mothers of special needs children.  Mothers, both married and single, who need to work to support their families and have to juggle the loads of responsibilities they have. Mothers who work tirelessly for their families with no pay. The mothers in the Nepal earthquake who have lost family, friends and homes.  And the mothers who have died in Nepal.

Women who are pregnant and having a baby this year: may you have a very healthy and happy baby.  May you cherish the experience of being a mother.

Let us acknowledge all the mothers who came before us, our ancestors who birthed all of us.

Finally let us honour our own precious Mother Earth who is the great mother of all living beings on this planet. May we come to recognize we are not separate from her. We are One.  May we stop mistreating her and come to appreciate her and treat her well.   May we live in harmony together.

Let’s (honour) celebrate all mothers all over the world today and always.

love

Brenda

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