Oh that old story.

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I love a good story. You know the kind that is filled with mystery, mayhem and mischief. A story with interesting, quirky and complicated characters who delve deeply into the caverns of adventure, the unknown, unreasonable and unbelievable. I like being taken on a mind-boggling journey somewhere I’ve never been or never have imagined, full of surprises, torrid twists and turns passion and panic, crisis and climax!

Now I have a pretty awesome imagination. I also spend lots of time day dreaming, noodling and contemplaying (yes I meant that) different scenarios…like when I get my Oscar, when I meet Javier Barden, or being an international spy. I also think I’m a pretty good story teller…full of exclamation and exaggeration and can weave a yarn that has my audience perched on the edge of their seats.

Last week I caught myself telling myself the same, certain story over and over. It’s not a great story; in fact it never has a happy ending.  It’s full of scary situations, dead ends and “oh why bother, I give up…I’ll never be able to do that”. It’s a story I must have been told many, many years ago, and now I’ve made it part of my fabric of being.  Maybe it’s out of habit, but more likely it’s out of fear.  And we all know I can’t stand being afraid of anything. Three cheers for “Feel Everything And Rebel”!  So this weekend I re-wrote a few stories; set new scenarios, switched up the characters, gave my leading lady a bundle of new superpowers, re-worded her rally cry and set a stage for success. Then I crumbled up the old stories and threw them in the trash because she won’t be needing them anymore. She had to lower her armor, admit a few vulnerabilities (which she detests) but knows it will serve her so much better. I softened some corners, stood still on my ground and opened my heart to a new tale, a new ending and a new beginning.

Just remember, whatever story you’re telling yourself, make sure that it is serving you to be your most awesomest sauciest being.

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For the love of dog, cat, hamster, bird, monkey, llama & spider.

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Hello my name is Patty and I am an animal lover. From wildly beasts of far away jungles and mountain tops, to cottage critters, forest fauna, barnyard buddies, domestic bliss fur balls, buggy beauties and the local likes of squirrels and their city counterparts – I love them all.

As many of you may already know; I was “imprinted” early on in my life by the spirit of animals. You know the story – I’ve told it a thousand times – left by my Mum for just minutes in my carriage in the backyard at the early age of 3 months only to have her return and find three squirrels nuzzled up snoring beside me and me with a peanut in my mouth…ever since that day the love and magic of animals has been with me.

Animals, birds, bugs and even our friends with fins have naturally mastered a beautifully simple way to live and be on this earth. They innately love themselves  – just as they are – which is something we humans could take a lesson from. When I was little, my Dad and I would sit in the woods for hours and just watch, listen and absorb every little nuisance of every living thing. It was a time of peace, togetherness and oneness.  Those times taught me that to have the privilege to engage with wildlife, one must be wildlife. To be one with their nature, respect their space, their routine, their energy and earn their trust before a kindred connection can occur. Oh and of course speak snerney berney* (* the ecstatic, euphoric, enraptured hysterically high-pitched rhyming, nonsensical language understood by all animals). It’s a magic moment to sit in the woods, making wailing sounds like a baby (official fawn call) – “whimpering” back and forth to nearby fawns, so they feel safe enough to come close and share a slice of apple.  If you ever wondered whether heaven on earth was possible, it is, as proof the time I visited a field filled with rabbit warrens, and lay with pieces of bread scattered on my body as dozens of bunnies hopped over to nibble (aka kiss) and hang out. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy love in – just wave peanut in front of a chipmunk’s nose and they’re in your lap and it’s love at first sight.

Call me a crazy cat lady, squirrel whisperer, pachyderm playmate or monkey maniac – but some of my best and my most profound experiences and lessons of my life have come from spending time with these perfectly magnificent and magical creatures of our world.

For instance, chipmunks teach me to always save a peanut for a rainy day.  Lucy, the Wolf Spider who lives in my tree house at the cottage shows me the patience and endurance it takes to weave extraordinarily artistic webs.  There was the time I was hiking the West Coast trail and was visited by a black bear (while sunbathing naked on an inescapable sandy inlet) I instantly learned “sharing is caring” as I handed over our lunch (for our lives).  Oh and then there were there were those ferocious, disease-infested, vicious monkeys in Burma that I was told to not approach, not touch, not feed and under ANY circumstance to not make eye contact with them – funny no one told me not to cuddle them – so I did and was overtaken by adorably loveable monkeys. Lesson learned… monkey see…monkey do. And those monkeys must have told the Bali monkeys that this Mama Munkey was cool because hanging with my peeps in the Scared Monkey Forest in Bali was like a long lost reunion of family time.

Speaking of family…I must give a little shout out to my two perfectly adorkable, snuggleable, personality plusable monster mittens Charlie and Sadie. At just 6mths old they have shown me so many life and love lessons…here are a few of my faves:

  1. Sadie proves that there really are faeries in the rainbow light spots that float around the room from the crystals in the windows, because when she catches one she licks it.
  2. Sadie believes in conserving your energy for eating, and if you can eat lying down – all the better!
  3. Charlie (aka the “Climber”) always says “just go for it”…worse case the Shower rod, curtain rod, curtains, towels and blinds just come crashing down.
  4. Charlie says you should love everyone – Wombat, squeaky bird, grey mouse, white mouse, rainbow mouse, and especially the catnip unicorn.

The more love you give – the more love you will have in return.

Go on…you know you want to!

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You’ve been thinking about it forever.  It’s on your must-have, must-do, gotta-see-it-taste-it-wonder-what-it’s-all-about-list. It tickles the corridors of your mind, poking and prodding …pushing you to dare.  Sometimes you have inkling, a hunch or whisper in your ear to go for it, investigate, and ponder the possibility!  Sometimes it’s an unanswered question, a conundrum or unsolved mystery longing to be uncovered. Sometimes you have no clue and it comes at you out of the blue, with the curled finger, pulling you closer to sneak a peek, crack open the door, look beyond the curtain and take a step in. And sometimes you never knew it existed until you already halfway stumbled into the vortex.

Curious what’s behind door #2?  Waiting to try something forever? Wonder how fish breathe under water? How about how tarantula taste or how to play the tuba? Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb Machu Picu or swim with sharks or want to experience what it feels like to sky dive, scuba dive, sing on a stage, run a marathon, kiss a monkey or go to Burning Man? What are you waiting for?  Permission? You’ve got it!  You own your will, your fortitude, and your ballsy brazen bravery pants of bold!

Curiosity is a vital life force. It’s a fired up catalyst to learn, explore, investigate and push our boundaries so we can realize what makes us tick and tock or not. It’s the why we are here, the purpose, the journey and discovery. It’s our awakening. Sure it can be nervy or scary – so tippy-toe into adventure or bolt in like lightening – just do it; don’t listen to the naysayers or no you can’ters … be an intrepid adventurer of the unknown!  Lift the veils! Open the vault! Unleash the lid! Bounce forward with moxie and hutzpah!  Be a ballsy brazen warrior of the bold – because life is meant to be lived full on!

Oh Mr. Burning Man!

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I’m the biggest believer I know. A princess of positivity. A magic moxie maker of magnanimous proportions.  The gatekeeper of mystical portals, chief pilot of the faerie brigade, commander of imagination station, supreme inspirer of the kooks and lovables, not to mention Great Goddess of the toad whispers. I don’t just set my mind to something I embody it with rainbow sparkly infused intention from head to toe.  And don’t you dare tell me no because I will stand on the tallest chair, on my tippy toes and yell hell or high water I WILL make it happen. You don’t earn Brownie of the Year 1969 for nothing.

So when it came to getting my Burning Man ticket I naturally assumed it would be a snap and simply land in my hot little hand. I built the temple, I meditated on the Man, I visualized wiggling my toes in the sandy playa in my leopard fun-fur shorts and rainbow tube top. I started to make gifts, outfits and art. I even was invited to become a part of a long lost family of LoveCows …a ticket – a shoe in right?

It was all going down on Wednesday at 3pm. I booked off a half hour at work – pretending to be in a meeting. I lined up my link, waited with dewy palms and heart murmurs in the Burning waiting room and at the strike of 3 got in the cue. I was over the moon excited, my dream was just seconds away.  Well it was actually 23 minutes watching some little green person meander painfully across a straight line till the horrors of all horrorablosity messages came up that the tickets were all carted.  WTF is carted – geez louise say they are in the CART!  Fear not I’m told as people won’t pay and be patient because there’s still a chance.  The veil was lifted twice without luck and I was shut out, shut down, and told no more tickets.

What happened next wasn’t pretty.  I’ve endured plenty of loss in my life but this hit me like a tsunami of whales rolling over on my heart. The tears welled up and soaked my t-shirt. Gutted, crushed and in disbelief. I KNOW – very dramatic right!

The cool thing is…once I settled my little emotional breakdown down with the help of a great big squishy hug and wise words of my beautiful Burner friend Diana (whom I AM going to Burning Man with) I realized something really important about myself and the B. Man was already showing me a lesson before I even get to play with him on the playa!  Trust little faerie, trust.  Sometimes you hold on to the expectation of something so hard it hurts and there’s a truth and freedom in letting go and letting the process happen as it should and as it will.   My friend advised me to “put it in a box and trust”…so of course I did exactly that (and made it pretty).  Here’s trusting I’ll see you soon my Burning Man.

Oh and btw…just three days after writing this, I got an out of the blue email from a member of the LoveCow Camp saying “Good news Patty, we have a ticket for you”. Cue hysterical elated jumping up and down, doing back flips in my fun fur onesie with tears streaming down my face and a smile that goes from ear to ear and my heart is busting out of my wee chest…my kittens are looking at me like I’d lost my mind but in fact my brain was actually infused with effervescent beams of love….yea just a bit happy and over the moon, past the stars to Jupiter and beyond grateful. And just like that I AM GOING TO BURNING MAN.