Soul Food

Last night I found a file of photos from a Joffre Lakes hike hidden away in a corner of my laptop. As I looked through the images, I remembered my first glimpse of the turquoise, glacier lake and the shock of such raw, natural beauty right in front of me. A beauty so intense that it seemed a little surreal.

Every hike that puts me in the middle of the majesty of nature also puts everything in perspective. What’s important and what’s not, what’s real and what’s not….

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it…. People think pleasing God is all God care about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.  ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982
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The human soul needs beauty more than bread. – DH Lawrence

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Green Summer Smoothie

Summer is here and the beach is starting to call my name. Since I’ve been dipping into the chip bowl again (Miss Vickies, I can’t resist you!) I may need to do a little bit of maintenance work on my beach bod. Looks like it’s time to step up the workouts and jump back on my green smoothie wagon.

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The recipe for this emerald green tonic is a yummy blend of green veggies and fruit that will help you detoxify, energize and has a wonderful alkalinizing effect on your system too.

Green Goddess Tonic

Blend with one cup water until smooth:

1 cup organic dark greens
1 cup cucumber

Then add and blend:

4 stalks celery
pinch of parsley and
1 apple, 1 pear, 1/2 cup blueberries

Enjoy!

My Week of Beauty

I’m loving the new perspective my 10 things of beauty challenge gave me as I wandered through my week in Toronto and rural Ontario. The life lesson I learned the past few days is that beauty and magic are around every corner, if you are looking for them…

1. My wise and wonderful cousin, Judith. Beautiful inside and out and radiantly authentic.

2. An unexpected flower box with pretty, purple blooms spilling over the side in the middle of a grey, industrial neighborhood.

3. A lovely Barista wearing an awesome statement hat.

4. Sidewalk yoga!

5. An almost hidden, downtown side-street, lined with massive trees and wildly lush gardens in front of Victorian row houses.

6. Perfectly Bohemian Kensington Market. A neighborhood that makes my soul smile.

7. Sharing ideas and wine by a tranquil lake with my cousin Georgina.

8. Watching dragonflies dance in hollyhock gardens and country roads.

9. A turtle, the spiritual symbol of protection, stability, patience and strength, resting in a sparkly pond.

10. And, last but not least, I found Simba, my very own Lion King guide the first night in Toronto. A good sign.

The Challenge

Get outside and find 10 beautiful things. Capture them on camera or with pen and paper. Breathe them in. Listen to what they have to teach you. Come back here and tell me about it.

A friend sent me the above instructions and I’m gladly accepting the challenge. I’ll be visiting Ontario for the next week and am looking forward to having my creativity inspired by being up close and personal with intense emotions as well as spending time in a vibrant, beautiful, dirty, chaotic, magnificent city I love and lived in for a long time

If anyone feels inspired to join me, please do! I would love to see the beauty you found in your world this week.

The Journey Home

In a few days, I’ll be leaving for a week long visit to my former hometown, Toronto, and then my first hometown in rural Ontario . I haven’t been back for almost ten years and I guess I feel now is finally the time to face some things that I’ve been avoiding for quite a long while.

My early life was pretty difficult and I’ve worked hard at a) not thinking about it and b) pretending it did not happen. Unfortunately these two coping mechanisms aren’t working very well for me anymore so off I go on a slightly apprehensive trip down memory lane. I’m pretty sure I’m in a place where I can confront the ghosts and demons of the past without being destroyed by them. Still, it’s a tall order I’m asking of myself and, therefore, a little anxiety inducing as well.

My hope for this journey is some kind of resolution of things that have haunted me for far too long. I want to find a place in my body and soul to accept what has happened in the past, know that it doesn’t define me and know that I don’t have to run from it anymore.

I don’t have a vision of how I think this healing will look or conversations I hope to have but I have a deep sense that I need to do this. I need to be brave and just do this. I guess I’m taking a leap of faith that I will come back home to Vancouver a stronger, more whole person. And that, if that happens, would be a most magnificent gift.

This excerpt from The Lion King was given to me several months ago and has really stayed with me. In a way it inspired me to finally embark on this very necessary journey.You never know what unexpected places will hold the words of wisdom you need to hear.

Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.

[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]

Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?

Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.

[laughs]

Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.

Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.

[swings his stick again at Simba, who ducks out of the way]

Rafiki: Ha. You see? So what are you going to do?

Adult Simba: First, I’m gonna take your stick.

[Simba snatches Rafiki’s stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]

Rafiki: No, no, no, no, not the stick! Hey, where you going?

Adult Simba: I’m going back!

Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here!