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.

My wings.

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I love wings. Faerie wings, Ladybug wings, angel wings, bat wings and delicately feathered bird wings to name just a few. I have a whole wall in my home devoted to an art collection of different wings. I also have a tickle trunk full of costume wings the likes of pink faeries, green dragonfly and black raven wings – you know for those occasions that call for wings. I have also always wanted to fly…you know when you get asked what superpower you would like to have – mine is always flight – soaring through the air, around trees, in and out of clouds, way above the ground. And as much as squirrels, llamas and every other furbaby I come in contact with love me, birds really really love me and more than a dozen times over my life, they’ve landed on me and stayed awhile so we can make birdy like sounds and become friends. I’m pretty sure I was a bird or flying bug in one of my previous lives.

I also have my own set of wings, dragonfly wings tattooed across my back. They are my spirit animal. It was during a particularly bumpy time after my Mum passed away and I lost my faith in magic and felt frozen, unable to fly. I remember standing in my river under a full moon in that spotlight a full moon debuts and I was yelling and cursing at the universe for letting me down, damning it for making my Mum suffer and daring it to give me a sign that there was still is good and light left in the world. I went to bed that night in my cabin to be woken up the next morning by something tickling my hand. I opened my eyes to see a huge dragonfly just perched on my hand looking me straight in the eyes. I laid there staring at it wondering how did you get into the cottage. How did you find my room and land on me? It just sat there blinking and kind of smiling at me, tilting its little head, in no rush to fly away. It was my sign. The universe sent her to let me know there was still good and light left in the world. As a totem, the dragonfly is the power of light and is symbolic of transformation, being adaptable and finding joy in the lightness of being. The dragonfly lives in two realms: air and water and is the essence of the winds of change delivering messages from the elemental world. That spoke volumes to me, so I had those magnificent wings permanently set on my back to remind me to be light, to always use them to fly high and wide, to explore the skies and watch from above; and when I’m tired or feeling down, they are always there to lift me up.

“She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”  

Ariana Dancu

My Burning desire.

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Something amazing is happening.  It’s taken a heck of a long time to be this close to something I’ve really, really, really, really wanted for a really really long time. In fact, I’ve been lighting the flame for over 35 years; sometimes very consciously, other times unbeknownst to myself – but the point is when the time is right – the magic makes shit happen!

I’ve been so lucky in my life so far to have done and seen some pretty awesome sauce things and it’s always been driven my insatiable curiosity to explore our world, the universe, what makes us tick or tock, what makes me, me and how to become a better me, a better us with an aim to one love. Travelling to amazing faraway lands has gifted me with perspective, appreciation and a sneak peek into the realm of other cultures.  Being in nature, and experiencing remarkable nature continues to fuel and fill my spirit with wonder, awe and proof magic is real. Choosing to be open-minded and open-hearted has bestowed my life with the most extraordinary people who share, celebrate and personify courageous, authentic self- expression.  So what’s next?

Burning Man of course!

It’s been a dream of mine, since my twenties to go to this other worldly reunion of kindred spirits… or as the Burners say – “return home”.  Simply put – Burning Man is “A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreams and doers.  This year’s theme is “Radical Ritual” – a celebration, an exploration, a revelation of yet to be.  There is no point in defining or describing it – as I believe it is something I need to experience.

And I want to experience this.  I’ve manifested it for decades. This January, I built a little Burning Man temple, where I place my hopes and dreams on a daily basis. I’ve connected and been accepted to an incredible tribe of like-minded souls who have invited me to become part of their Burning Man camp and family; and tomorrow… Wednesday, March 22 at 3pm the universe opens its portal to the first step in getting a ticket to the event.  I’m going. I know it. I’m meant to be there…but if you could all just send out a little breath of loviation in that direction for me, my spirit will soar to the moon and beyond the stars and when I go, I promise to tuck you all into my make believe pocket and take you along for the ride!  Peace, Love & light! xxx

Pompoms, faerie dust and feathers.

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Last week I read a line that spoke volumes to me…”in a gentle way, you can shake the world”. I instantly thought of pompoms, which led me to sprinkling faerie dust and lastly tickling someone with feathers.

It got me thinking about how harsh, how aggressive, how savage our world has become, how the art of patience, benefit of the doubt and second chances has been lost to wars of words and worse. How people have such a bit chip on their shoulders (man that must be heavy to carry around), and the weight of holding onto that grudge or always scrunching your nose up making “that” face of distain. It takes a lot of energy to be grumpy, to be angry, to carry hurt, hang-ups and worse hatred.

So on my hopscotch path to life I ‘m going carry this light thought with me and offer it up to you too….

When you feel like swinging a bat – tickle with a feather.

When someone is spewing “YOU SUCK” obscenities at you – throw some sparkles at them or hand them a unicorn sticker.

When someone (or yourself) is stomping mad – grab those pompoms and shake it baby shake!

“Better than a thousand useless words is one single word that gives peace” Take the gentle path.  The Dhammapada

 

Fake it till you make it…hmm maybe not

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I learned a good lesson today. An uncomfortable lesson and one that will probably take a while to sink in and take effect. This is a new lesson for me, and as always I don’t pretend to be any sort of guru or know-it-all, so take it with a grain of salt and do as thou whilst  shall be the whole of the law…I’m just blabbing.

I have decided to not “fake it till I make it” any longer. It has served its purpose. I have decided to dissolve the façade of “acting as if” everything is perfectly hunky dory. Well of course it isn’t and honestly I’m pretty real.  I always advocate “you have feel, in order to deal, in order to heal.” I support the whole flag waving, parade marching aspiration of choosing positivity…heck I organized the parade!  It’s my rally cry, my go to, my way of being in the world. It’s my choice and will continue to be, because it works. It really works and I believe in it whole heartedly because it has pulled me out of deep holes and helped me focus on the prize, to see and choose the light, over darkness. Its set a strong intention, a mind shift to practicing reaching the finish line, an assumption of first place, achieving the trophy…and hearing the crowd go wild.  In fact it works so well and I’ve mastered it so profoundly that I may have overlooked feeling something that needs to be felt. “Oh that little boo-boo”…hmm. And because I am an explorer of truth and discoverer of answers – I’m gonna stumble down a dusty path and kick up some dirt!  My problem isn’t with choosing positivity or believing in my ultimate potential, my problem is with the word “fake”…it just doesn’t jive with my commitment to authenticity and being really real.

So I’m going to take my own advice and crack open the vault and reach down into the subterranean caverns of my soul to pull out some bare naked self. I’m gonna relinquish being Super Woman, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc and Maria from the Sound of Music and just be.  I mean…this isn’t anything brand new, I like to dig deep and I have in the past, but not completely; and I can tell because there’s this little nugget of wisdom that really wants to be felt and it’s poking me and begging me to let it be recognized, acknowledged and respected. Crazy because that’s the very three things I want for myself.  So be it.  I will unchain the dungeon, lower the drawbridge, and let the dragons out to play.  I will put down my sword and shield, take off the armor and face it and feel it – unguarded, unprotected and real – so I can release it and really be free.  And I thought being a Warrior Princess was about being super strong and resilient, now I think I have a better sense of what real bravery feels like.

What a nice thing to say.

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This week was quite a week for compliments!  I was told I was 1 – Abnormal, 2 – Unbelievable and 3 – Indomitable!  All true and all taken as very highly regarded endorsements, kudos and terms of affection – regardless if they were meant that way.  First off – who would EVER want to be normal? CACA-POOHEAD NO! Like my Dad use to say, “Patrick, normal is a setting on a washing machine”. Normal is snoresville boring, predictable, insipid, ho-hum and humdrum. Abnormal is fantastical, curious, uncommon, unusual and unexpected.  In fact, it’s the un in my believable…which leads me to #2 – being undeniably unbelievable. Well thank the Gawds for that!  Of course I am credible and trustworthy – but for me, being believable is just a general term to describe anything we accept as true, even in the absence of absolute proof…kinda like my pet unicorn.  Now being unbelievable says beyond belief, astonishing, unimaginable, like imagination to the power of 11 or as I like to call it pretty darn prodigious.  Yuppers that’s me – larger than life and I will stand tall at 5’4” by it.  Now for indomitable…well I hope so!  I mean what’s the point if you fold early? I’ve always chosen to climb instead of cave in and I’d much rather live a life of “OMG YES” or even “Opps” then “what if”. I also believe in what I believe – especially the unbelievable – so with grace and grits I will dig deep, toes curled into the sand and not give in, I will not subdue my stance and I will never admit defeat.  I am a warrior princess after all.

Now after all these nicey-nice words having been said, it gurgled up a few ponders in my soulpool.  Starting with – compliments matter. They really matter and should be given often and freely.  I make a conscious effort to give at least a dozen away a day. They are effortless gestures of appreciation; acknowledgement and validation that make people feel good. Make people feel like they matter, like they exist.  From a simple “you are so smart and pretty” or “WOW such a clever idea – great work” to “holy awesome rainbow sparkle eye shadow” and “I admire your chutzpah gurl”…just for instance.   Also what’s up with mean people?  Honestly, it’s so easy to take a moment to give someone a pat on the back; why do people feel the need to give you a kick in the shins instead?  Didn’t their mother’s tell them “if you can’t say anything nice – say nothing?”  Mum also said to kill those people with kindness and smother their sadness in nauseating sweetness…which can be hilariously fun and wonderfully squirm-worthy. She also told me to feel empathy for them, because they’re lost and can only find fault with everyone else instead of focusing on fixing their own bumpy bits. I guess they weren’t told they mattered enough.

And lastly but absolutely not leastly, just in case anyone out there isn’t getting the loviation they deserve, or made to feel and be told you matter – I’ve got this for you:

You matter a lot. A heck-of-a-ginormous a lot. You are the reason the sun rises and the moon sheds light. You are one in a million, a trillion, a kabazillion. You light the stars and make them sparkle. Birds sing to you, worms wiggle around in the ground in utter glee and every fur baby on this planet just yearns to be petted by your sweet, gentle touch.  You are a child of love and a loved child and the universe will take good care of you. You are a brave pioneer and a lifter of veils. Good for you! So proud of you! I’m so happy to know you and you mean the world to me. You are the awesome in my sauce.

A journey of inches.

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I am an impatience bunny.  I have an enormously lengthy list of “to do’s, want to do’s, gotta do’s, should dos and dream to dos” and I want it all now…better yet, yesterday.  I get uber duber excited about lots of things – like the next book I am writing, where I want to travel next – Burning Man; what to make with all the fabric I brought back from Bali, going though my 2000+ photos and making an photo album, then there’s what colour to paint my deck this spring, oh and finding true love and purging my closets, contemplating a new hair doo, deciding where to hang my Balinese art work, and UG…make a grown up, gosh darn dreaded RRSP because that’s the responsible thing to do; oh and I need to buy a new vacuum and I probably should consider exercising before bikini season, omgawd I totally need to paint my toes, look up new pork chop recipes and figure out my purpose and following through with creating a fulfilling future living out my purpose…whatever that fricking purpose is!?!?!?!

Can I go back to Bali and hang out with my monkeys please!?!?!?!!   Why do I do this to myself!?!?!?!?!?  Why do I let my little brain spiral into a tumultuous whirlwind tornado spinning completely out of control and knocking my molecules around like a tumbleweed on a dirt path to nowhere…and I think I just saw the Wicked Witch of the West fly by!?!?!?!?   How, how, HOW does one keep their feet on the ground and move forward without tripping?

Well after a good meltdown and boo-hoo fest (hello I’m human); my shiny light force life coach uttered 4 simple words. A journey of inches.  BAM – that’s good shit!  It was like taking a step off the high wire while trying to balance a 10 tonne rhino on my very sore shoulders and land safely and softly on two feet (without breaking a bone).  Let me say it again… a journey of inches. Now that sounds doable, manageable, focusable, plannable and non-freak-out-able.  Once more for good luck… A JOURNEY OF INCHES.  Just wee, tippy-toe, chug-a-chug-a choo-choo train movement forward in the general direction you want to go. Smaller than my average daily on slot of post-it-notes…just one slight shift, a baby bust-a-move bump that creates an impetus that spurs on and sparks up the evolution toward greatness.  I can do that!

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.