Culture of White

“Culture may even be described simply as that which makes lifeworth living.” T. S. Eliot Notes Towards a Definition of Culture(1948)

Statue in downtown The Pas, MB – The Gateway to The North!

I’ve reflected on the idea of culture many times before and I love immersing  myself completely into new ones on a regular basis, the root of this curiosity stemming from a perceived lack of culture in my own life. What I learned about myself through this was that  I am my own culture. I believe we all are.

The more ways I experience life, the more open minded I become and the more I see that I am not in need of belonging to any one way of being in the world. If anything I am grateful to know the freedom associated with not being attached to one way of life.

That being said I love seeing cultural practices alive and well because there is ALWAYS an element of connection to the earth and the creator which is so primal and calls to the very very animal nature in all of us.  So this is the dichotomy; the love/hate of it all. I see how people fighting for their culture can become angry and resentful, pulling them further from their truth. I see how one culture believing they are “right” has detrimental effects on other human beings.  I see what one needs to give up in order to stay connected to anything pure. And I see that fear lies somewhere beneath the surface of all of this.

Rwandan drummer practicing with traditional dancers at Inema Art Centre, Kigali, Rwanda. The sounds and movements are rooted in the earths pure energy.


Fear of what? Fear of not knowing who we are if we are not our culture? Of feeling a sense of being lost in the world without it to identify with? Feeling like an outsider on the inside when we run into something within a culture that doesn’t seem to fit us?

My 10-days of Yoga retreat group at Yasodhara Ashram, 2010.

Through the practice of Yoga, which in itself is a culture, I came to understand myself as something much greater than any external thing, rule or idea. I practice identifying with my highest Self which is a practice everyday as I am met with my very real human nature which my physical self and my mind provide for me.

If I identify with my Soul, as the term Namaste suggests, then what purpose does Culture serve in forming my identity and is it beneficial to human evolution?

Traditional mukluks made by woman in God’s Lake Narrows and traditional snowshoes make for a fun afternoon in the bush!


As a “white” person living in Central/Northern Canada I am reminded daily that I am not a native to this country in various ways. My heritage is questioned every day at my workplace as I engaged with Native people of this land. In Rwanda it was even more blatantly obvious that I was not of the land by the simple fact that I had white skin and blond hair. And yet in both of these places I felt I belonged somehow and found great connection to the people. Traveling to other countries and immersing myself into cultures helps me see the thread which runs through all of us……….Oneness.

The human spirit knows no barriers.

My ancestors came from Norway, Ireland, and England as far as I know. I identify mostly with the Norwegian side, I think because of my blond hair and blue eyes…….also the gap in my front teeth which I inherited from my Grandfather who was full blood Norwegian. This is my fathers side of the family.

Me and Gramps out for a winter walk on the farm!


My grandfather married a local girl in Alberta whose parents were from England. My great Grandfather, her father, started the first Newspaper in Vermilion, AB – the Vermilion Standard which still exists today. It wasn’t until I started to write that I realized I had roots in this field and I began to see myself more clearly in terms of my genetic blood line, my human qualities began to take more shape.

One of my first published stories for the Opasquia Times


My mother’s mother was English as well and married a Military Airplane Mechanic whom she met in her 30’s. He was of Irish decent. I never met my grandfather but from what I hear he was a quite and gentle man. My grandmother was not! She was feisty and independent. She loved to dance, cook and gamble! I definitely see myself in her!



All of these people are living in Canada today because someone in their family was brave enough to get on a ship, sail across the ocean with very little and enter into a new land with hopes of a better life, or maybe just for the adventure. They did so with great courage, personal strength and faith – Wether they knew it or not these are the qualities they brought over with them and began planting some very wild seeds. It is these seeds which laid the foundation for the next generation of adventurers, my parents and now me.

My parents… Awesome are these two!

My parents, two farms kids from rural Alberta got married and moved to Northern Manitoba in their early 20’s. Adventures by nature, they flew the coop and unknowingly created what would become my norm.

It may not be a ship but it gets me across the ocean waters!

So with all of these characteristics, genes and cultural backgrounds how on earth could I identify with any one culture. And with life being so easy these days compared to the harsh reality my ancestors faced to provide me with the only life I know, how is one to find a cure for the inherited fiery adventurer spirit?

Winter Peacock!

Never identifying as one type of person and constantly updating and recreating how I exist in this world. I go against the grain, searching for meaning in all experiences and utilizing the gift of the life I have been given, thanks to my ancestors efforts at a “better life” for themselves. They may not have experienced much of the supposed “good life” that they thought was awaiting them but I benefitted from their goal being realized to a certain point. Is it then my role to continue building on their dream by creating my dreamlike? Its as if every soul/life is connected and seeks to support the next generation in reaching a “better”  place in which to be human. Evolution of the human spirit one generation at a time.


Village in Rwanda, searching for Nataraja!


Being “white” (as I am referred to in The Pas) or a Muzungu (which I am referred to in Rwanda) I am lumped into a category of people which has become a diluted version of various European cultures which facilitates, if one is to place weight on culture as identity, a great sense of disconnect from me as a human being, the same as everyone else in the world.

The practice of identifying myself as something greater than anything  earthly supports me in this place of lacking a pure cultural identify which once held my life hostage.  I believe as humans evolve and move away from identifying with these ideas there will eventually be more peace in the world. Not that cultures will disappear but the fear around losing them will be replaced by a celebrating heart which seeks to share in our common human experience.

World Dance 4 Humanity,  a group of women dancing in Santa Barbara, CA to support cooperative in Rwanda and making a huge impact on everyone involved. Talk about sharing in human spirit!

Where I once felt lost I now feel at home. My existence on earth is unique in this day and age with the ability to travel to the other side of the world in only a day or two and communicate in different languages with friends around the world on my phone. Instead of holding tight to someone else’s idea of who I am, I now have created my own culture which lives within me. It has flow, movement and is always taking in, shifting and updating along with me. It has become who I am and how I exist in the world, I don’t need to think about it or fight for it as it simply exists.

What worked for me one day may not work the next but I carry the experiences with me in my back pocket for when a time arises where I am called to utilize the skills I acquired and thus more learning takes place as I see how one experience facilitates success in another.

Learning Water Release Therapy* with my Orca brother, Rob Harrington in Santa Barbara, CA – Water is a Culture near and dear to my heart! My lifeguarding and Nursing background were very useful tools for success here.

What began as a barrier is now my key to freedom. The feeling of being lost led me to an awareness of a life long journey full of wonder and curiosity. This is my practice, my art, my Culture of Self.


Hoop Dance Culture rocks my soul! As well as creative expression being captured through the lens of another being. Photo by my dear friend Amy Senecal,






Way of the Atihk (Caribou)

Connected to the rhythm of the earth, roaming the land in search of sustenance, never stopping to get comfortable or stable or stuck, simply listening and following through. Pulled by the Creator to move on, keep doing, in order to live. They do not store fat, no  excess “just in case” – they trust.

As much as I try to live my life in line with the cosmic pull that I feel within, the system of this society itself is strongly set up to create the opposite, in my mind as a way of controlling and limiting conscious evolution and is a result of fear and lack of trust in something greater. As a human, I feel weak and helpless compared to other animals. I don’t come equipped with the survival adaptations they do for life in the wild, yet humans tend to treat them as if they are the lesser being – which I find laughable. We are totally dependant creatures which lead us to create all kinds of gadgets and technology to support our needs. We need them to survive. Without the sacrifice of animal lives we would not have had life and would not know life as it is today. And if and when technology fails us we will once again be called upon to connect to our survival nature.


As I settle with the reality of this and take part in modern days cultural rituals (i.e: me posing with a dead animal) I feel a sense of connection to a very vulnerable part of myself, my human self. I am not or have not conquered anything as the photo would suggest but instead I have survived another day and the relief that comes from obtaining sustenance in a fear based world view is what drives me to sit on top of a dead animal and claim dominance – false dominance because it is actually a balancing act. Ones sacrifice leads to another’s survival and so it continues in various new shapes and forms in todays world.

I have found great freedom in letting go of strong believes about what is good or right. I have gone from one extreme to the next. Hunter to Vegan and anything in between. But the learning for me in all of this is when I am presented with opportunity to look at why I do what I do and decide if it serves me in the present moment or not. Right now reconnecting with my survival skills feels important and it is here for me in every day life, so I take the opportunity every chance I get and this is a gift.

Animals come in packs, flocks, gaggles, and very few survive totally alone, independent from others yet we, humans, attempt to do it alone all the time. Separating ourselves emotionally, mentally and physically from others into our own lives. Like an injured member of a herd, I find myself wanting seclusion so I can heal or allow parts of myself to die, in my case give birth to a new version of myself.

Often people around me jest about a perceived lack of commitment on my part, my transient nature, I feel, because there is a blind fold to what I am really doing in my life. I, similar to the Caribou, am living in line with my instincts and intuition therefor the draw of owning a home, having a husband and children, a career, a pension and everything I need  at my finger tips does not exist the way it once did. I exist this way because I have experienced both sides and know I find great joy in flowing with my Destiny, my Divine Plan. I am 100% committed to this and only this.

There is a myth attached to this kind of lifestyle as well which is just that….a myth, that living life without the responsibilities of society norms is somehow easier and more free, more fun. From my experience, both are equally challenging in their own unique ways. It is a conscious choice to be separate from the norm and that, in many circles, can mean death.

As I dive into what looks like a relatively “normal” lifestyle, at least from the outside, I am anything but playing this game the way I did before. I take comfort in the beautiful space I have created and the financial gains my education/experience has brought me but I am not attached to them. I will let them go once again when I am called to do so, when it is time to go. For now the adventure is to stay, settle within my self and soul and allow all the seeds I have planted to begin to take root.

As much as I find it painful at times to be on this part of the journey somewhat alone, my herd scattered around the globe,  I know it is necessary and I am met with challenges daily.  My energy being asked to focus on areas I don’t want to focus on, things I don’t want to look at and things that seem so all consuming I wonder where I even begin. I know that until I do this work I will not move on, or at least I will not naturally move in flow with what is meant to be which would only make the lessons harder to learn. I do not just jump from one fun experience to the next, I do the work I am called to do and when I feel the pull to move on I take steps to do so.

Caribou leave an area when it no longer sustains them, supports them or gives them what they need. As much as my dreams are bigger than living in a small, remote Northern-ish community with all its beauty and limitations, it is here – and only here, I will develop the skills, strength, support and courage to step into the bigger picture, the one that no one else sees but me. In this I find the limitations are not limitations at all but gateways to unlocking potential. I have given myself a way of focusing of what really needs attention by living in a space free from many other distractions which seek only to pull me off course. I practice surrendering  to my human desires for entertainment, stimulation, excitement and all the luxuries many other places offer because I know that road does not lead me to true happiness and I learn to refine my desires into a balanced view of needs and wants which seek to move me forward.

The Pas is known as the “Passageway to the North” and for me it describes exactly why I am here. I am here for ReBirth and am currently in the labour stage of this process. I’m patient and push only when its appropriate, keep on breathing and trust that this natural and beautiful event will deliver me into a new world view.

I want to go “UP” and I am sitting at the gates right now, arranging my tools, supplies and preparing for the journey ahead. Spiritually I bring with me trust, faith, and a deep sense of knowing. Physically I have financial support and practical tools for meeting my human needs. The tangible results from  seeds planted will facilitate success and survival in the next step. Emotionally I have maturity, balance and awareness. Mentally I have strength, confidence, clarity and peace of mind.

These are the things which brought me here and I did the work to move into the place I am in today, taking every step as seriously as the next. When I arrived just over one year ago I had a duffle bag and a broken suitcase. I entered into the coldest winter in decades with only a few worn out summer clothes available to me. I had no income. I had to open the doors of support and allow the ripple effect which I had created to flow in and help me out.  I had to surrender to my needs and allow myself to receive. I did the work everyday to build on what I had put in motion many years earlier.

Now I have a beautiful home space. I have some nice clothes. I have multiple career paths simultaneously flowing abundance into my life and affording me the financial support I need to move forward as well as nourishing my soul.  I have a business and a car.  I have food on my table and hot, running water  – I am wealthy beyond my basic needs. I am slowly but steadily building a community and am engaging in beautiful traditions of the people in this area.

I am not stuck here. I am not doing anything so I can “get out of here”, instead I am staying where I am, soaking it all up until it sustains me no more. When I consume all that is here for me I  will move into the next place of abundance, eventually – but never stopping, coming to a balanced place of thriving.

*Inspired by my time spent with Mr. Rodney Forbes skinning and packing two Caribou. Thank you Rodney.*IMG_2058



Settling In

I am sitting in the aftermath, not quite sure of what is right or wrong, working very hard on not beating myself up internally as the mirror reveals yet another layer of truth. How in one moment can I feel so certain that what I am doing is exactly what I am meant to do and then turn around and see the many other sides, options and choices I had.

From experience I know that in that moment I was right. I was right in that moment and then that moment passed and the momentum of my choice was set in action. There is really no right way or wrong way, it just all leads me back to an new layer, another opinion and another truth. This cycle feels frustrating at times and days like today when I feel like a fool it takes strength to keep on trusting that I am ok.

I am no different than anyone else. I am a human and sometimes I seek to find myself as “other”. I search for ways to be different and ways to not fit in yet there in no escaping the fact that we are all on the same path just in different vehicles. I used to seek out the “other” in order to feel special or different which I believe came from a lack of self-awareness and a need to feel loved externally. As I watch myself continue to do it, and this time on a much grander scale, I feel the impact of it on my daily life and I want to run and hide from what I have created. I don’t want the attention anymore, I don’t need it. I want to be somewhat anonymous, alone and unseen but I know that is not what I have created and in many ways thats not what I really want either.

The whirlwind has stopped. The magical adventure of life “on the road” has passed and now I am settled into a life that looks very familiar to me which I have resisted very strongly, even though I KNOW it is what I need to do. It is in the doing of this that the deeper layers of truth reveal themselves and then I understand why I was resisting – it hurts.

Its painful to face the repercussions of ones decisions and when that swirly roller coaster of  having to be constantly moving in order to survive finally came to a halt – BAM!! I was taken by surprise, knock the wind out of me.  The consequences need to be faced and I can guarantee myself that I will face them but man there is part of me that puts up  a fight. Part of me is still really scared of myself.

I become very in tune with my emotions, my feelings, my senses and my intuition and that actually makes me feel quite vulnerable depending on where I am . Where I am now I feel very guarded and protective and am beginning to hear it in my voice and see it in my actions. I am not in Rwanda dancing for Joy, I am not in California doing Water Therapy and I am not living in an Ashram studying Yoga. I am in The Pas working in my profession, living in an apartment, paying bills, in the freezing cold and I am here alone. I am am now more aware of how the fear has played out over the last year and its quite staggering to honestly admit to myself.

I see why. I know why. Do I like why – no!! But I will carry on and keep on settling so that scared part of me will feel safe enough to emerge so I can reassure her and calm her down. For now I am using Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix to soothe her but that is running its course all too quickly! My practices of Yoga, dance and light are calling me back, they are my knight in shining armour and they never leave me, it is I who leave them.

I am here to face things that are quite scary to me. All the work of starting a business/non-profit, hosting Thrill The World, and trying survive on a ridiculously low budget has become a thing of the past. I have shed my exterior self and am now free of my amour. I watch as I try to distract myself and avoid what I am feeling but its all there. It keeps me up at night, it sits in my shoulders, neck and jaw and tightens up in my chest. These are the signs that I am processing something that will eventually rear itself and be passed. I take comfort in the passing as I know the drill and I know it is what I want. What I want this time is to not give it all my attention, not let it take my power and render me helpless to its energetic pull.

My truth is I’m freakin out inside with all that is being revealed to me over the last few months and I am just starting to allow myself to really feel it. I feel shame, guilt, embarrassed, judgment and even mortified. I watch as I project and misplace my pain onto others. I watch as I put up walls and put on faces, voices and tones. At times waves of feeling like the worlds worst human being for being on this journey BUT I know that I am a good person, we all are, and I know that I can change the actions that don’t feel good to me in the future (the key here is I can only change my actions, not the actions of others). Some how my past is what helps me see it more clearly and in this space I can forgive myself. The more good I do in the world the more doors open for me to see my dark side more clearly and I can rest my head and heart on the fact that I am creating balance.

“Christmas is a hard time of year”, I’ve heard that a lot about places like rehab centres, areas of poverty and the Ashram would turn into an emotional epicentre during this time as well – so much so that we openly joke about it! Its like everything all comes up to greet you at once, family, friendship, money, food, work, religion, you name it its here at Christmas!  At the same time the bonus lies in the fact that ….Its CHRISTMAS and most people are more friendly, there are more community gatherings, more giving, more light, more more more and its an openly spiritual time of year. Its like a big giant cosmic hug!!

So to end this on a bright note, I can look at my life today and because of where I am, exactly where I am, I can literally see the fruits of my labour surrounding me and I can just sit back and enjoy this part of the process in my swanky new round love seat, chair thingy I have dubbed “the nest” – just one of the many perks to being settled!




Layer upon layer, peel after peel revealing my ugly truths

Raw and open I stand before you offering the gift of presence during a time of weakness

Giver of space, holder of light

I worship the death that comes from the game we play

I am a seeker with no arms to fend off  baggage which blinds, spilling forth the guts and the glory to anyone willing to join the war

I am honoured to have you

The Gita has begun on this day of birth, reborn to reveal my souls nature

I trudge through being human with fumbling ecstasy in hopes of being honoured, if only for my efforts

I seek no one, no thing, no body, no soul to unit me for I know my essence is pure love

I seek no score, no peddles to propel me into learning as it stands before me in grace awaiting my clear eyes to see

There is no one for me, only me in truth

This I know, it is so

Balance comes in rocky stages

Foundation prepared for building a home on new a platform, yet I see the other options and turn my nose up in disgust

It is not for me I say and I move on down the path less travelled

My path

A pebbled beach trail at times with winds so fierce it knocks the sense back into me

A rough uneven terrain which strives to build my strength in ways I have not seen before now

l Iive with the deep well of Self below the armour of my heartshell

To love is to be human, to be accepted by my human self is my work in this life and to love it I must see it

Openly welcome the onlookers who donate time and energy to become a part of the master puzzle created as our playground

We take no recess, we have no holiday from the skin of the self within which our truth exists

Chance encounters with those that are presented and watch as the small seeds plant and replant themselves in hopes of something different, something other than the  same beautifully painful garden growing where it has many times before

Only this time I do not scatter them, I plant them orderly, intentionally and with care knowing that the time will come when the fruits of my labour will be visible to all and the judgement begins all over again

From within is what matters

The reflections back are fierce and my heart reacts like a lioness protecting her cubs from harm but this mothers heart is not broken any longer

She loves big and bold

Walk away scared souls and save the rest for those who are brave to receive

Give it to me and I shall share my milk with you, regaining the trust I once had to the mother connections above, below and in between

Ubiquity of essence


Light is seen in all things great and small

All beings come to receive, give and leave the earth with no more than they came with

The truth in this is that we leave with all we brought

Labouring our lives away to see ourselves through the lens of love, we can parish with peace of mind

Until then I will play, battle and brave the odds which come daily and without fail

Like a familiar cat sitting on the porch step, I return somehow to a place I barely remember

Landing on my feet over and over, lick my wounds and rise up once more

Clarity with each new sunset

Maybe this time I will take the road that I have travelled less, not concerned with the masses any longer

Finding my way


Pieces of my Tribe

“I get it,  you’re lonely” he states with confidence behind his gentle knowing voice. Somehow that word just doesn’t fit, its not the right word. So I decide to look it up!

I don’t usually go to books, internet or outside sources to help me pinpoint how I am feeling but I just wanted to know what lonely actually meant so I could see for myself what this interpretation of my request for company was.

Definition of lonely |ˈlōnlē|:
sad because one has no friends or company 
without companions; solitary 
(of a place) unfrequented and remote

Well this did not fit how I feel at all and so I moved on with the search of what was really at the root of this desire to be around people which is a new phase of the journey for me. I have been very much alone, not lonely, for nearly 4 years. Either in process, travelling, engaging in healing activities but always with a strong sense of isolation from those around me.

So I typed  “basic human need for companionship” into the computer to see what kind of info I would get about what feels to me as something lacking in my life at this point. What I got was – Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and this fit me perfectly!

Here’s what I found:

Level 1reduce current physical discomforts first: hunger, thirst, pain, air, temperature, smells, balance,  noise, light, and rest (sleep).

When those are satisfied enough now

Level 2:  We try to fill our need to feel safe enough in the near future. Safety comes from trusting that our level-one needs will be reliably met in the coming hours and days (our safety zone). In our society, that translates into believing that we’ll have a dependable source of money to buy those securities. The safety zone is short for some people, longer for fear-based (wounded) others.

      Maslow suggested that when we feel comfortable and safe enough, we then try to fill…

Level 3: our need for companionship: our primitive need to feel accepted by, and part of, a group of other people. We need to feel we belong to (are accepted by) a family, tribe, group, or clan. The alternative is feeling we’re alone (and unsafe) in the world.
 He proposed that if we fill our level 1, 2, and 3 needs well enough, then we focus on filling…
Level 4: our need to be recognized as special and valuable by our group. We need to be more than just a featureless face in the crowd, we need to be known and appreciated as a unique, respected person. Survivors of low-nurturance childhoods who were shamed too often as young children may search endlessly for the specialness and praise they never got.
Level 5: the need to be self actualized. A key reason people still value Maslow’s ideas is the universal longing to be fully ourselves. That implies we each have unique talents and abilities that we long to develop and use to benefit the world if all our other need-levels are filled well enough, often enough. Then we can become creative, energized, centered, focused, and productive and live on purpose, “at our highest personal potential.”
taken from:
Here how it relates to me:

The most basic level is physical human needs in order to stay alive.

While living at the Ashram this was taken care of for me 3 times a day for 2 years which allowed for freedom to move easily into higher levels of functioning. Since leaving and being on my own with very limited financial means I have been struggling with this one for nearly 2 years which makes functioning at higher levels a challenge, the catch 22 is that because I had 2 years of experience living at these higher levels of potential and the tools of Yoga to facilitate a connection to something much greater behind it all, I have actually been able to move into levels 4 & 5, while living in a state of poverty.

I have at some point in my life over the last 4 years experienced all 5 of these levels being both extremely high and low. At the Ashram I reached new levels of potential and the seeds were planted for more. In Rwanda there is no doubt in my mind that I reached a very high level within myself and my potential. But I did this with little financial stability and my basic needs being met minimally. Now I am really seeing how my lack of support for self in level 1 & 2 is leading me to put much more intense focus on level 3, out of fear of lacking. I currently have no stable place to call home, have taken holiday from my business, and other work so stability financially is illusive as well!  This sets me up for an intense desire for safe, secure interactions with people.

I am now going back to the basics and looking at what could be possible if I build from the bottom up this time, ensuring that I have my level 1, 2, and 3 needs met. I need to look at what my needs are and find out what it is I have access to here that will allow me to feel satisfied. Imagine what level 4 and 5 will look like with a  solid foundation beneath them!! I think its exactly what I am here in The Pas to do and that is why I am here to stay.

Bringing it all together into a balanced pyramid will open doors to things I was unable to visualize and imagine for myself because of the shaky legs I was standing on up to this point. I have done amazing things for myself even with this reality and I am now ready to soar into the new higher heights of my own potential taking all that I have learned along the way.

In the end I am happy to have confirmed that I am not lonely! I was just working my way around, in and out of, sideways through and round about this pyramid of needs, instead of climbing it one step at a time. My plan now is to consciously build up each level to a place of abundance in order to reach full potential.

I have recently been in conversation with my family again and that opening has given me more strength in Level 3. Family alone is not enough. I need different kinds of    relationships and people in that mix to help me feel fulfilled, safe and secure. I have this as a whole with all of my connections around the world but without having the ability to see, touch, or be in the presences of them all I feel like my tribe is scattered and that leaves me feeling unsafe and insecure. I see my tendency to have difficulty feeling fulfilled when my community is scattered but the truth is there is lots of community here in The Pas and my friends all around the world are only a finger tip away thanks to technology! Its all about how I see what I have in my life and that is my work!

I am currently housesitting in a beautiful quiet space (while I seek my next new home) not wanting to be here alone because I want to share, experience and be with my tribe, my village, my people and I am seeing the work that lies ahead which at times feels frustrating, exhausting, maddening, isolating, and yet I know, after all of this time, that I am doing it all right! It will come with time and then I will move into something else as a focus and not even remember how challenging this time was! I know this because I have done this a hundred times before!

Inward self reflection and seeking high levels of self awareness can lead to extreme isolation, even if only in the mind, and it is in a lot of ways a very lonely journey to be on.  I am blessed to have so many close friends in my life that support my journey and I feel as though I am ready to loosen the reins and let the learning come to life in a new way, a more relaxed and unconscious flow into truth.

No man is an island, even when we think we are alone we are never really that far away……




A way back into Love

I have entered a new phase. I am feeling quite done with the alone time, the big travels, the need to be putting my words, face, name and cause out there for all to see and hear. I am done with writing about my past, trauma and old desires. I am coming out of a cocoon of sorts that this journey wrapped me tightly in. A warm, soothing yet harsh, reality that transformed me at my core. My metamorphosis has reached a new state and I am ready to become fully this newer version of self.


I feel as though the last year or two have been a symbolic replay of my teenage rebellion. Previous to that, transition into womanhood was symbolically done while living at the Ashram. These rights of passage needed to happen and were holding me back. I felt stuck in the canal of my own birth – feeling caught, breathless and half way there most of the time. The cord has been removed from around my neck (what a powerful symbol that was!) and I feel like new life with fresh eyes has been given to me.

Because the necessary rituals and rites of passage have now been performed I can see the validity in the way society goes about things without all the pent up emotion around it, which I now see was an immaturity that created a fear about going to a place I had not taken the steps to get to internally. Just because I am old enough physically does not mean I am mature enough emotional or developmentally.

How can I be in a healthy relationship if I am still a scared 13 year old confused about her role as a woman and unsure about her body? How can I marry if I am still ashamed\resentful\ignorant of my ability to birth another human being? Does that make sense? I couldn’t and so I set out to give myself the experiences I needed to move forward and grow internally.

IMG_3874It really began to unfold in Rwanda, as I rode on the back of a Moto I had this rush of energy surge through me and in that moment I knew I wanted to be a mother. I have never had that feeling of knowing about myself before even though way deep down inside I have known that to be true, the realization and acceptance of self was a huge victory. This feeling came after months of exploration with sexuality, being surrounded by tribes of women carrying sweet little ones on their backs and witnessing family and community in a whole new way. It did not just suddenly appear  – I was intentionally working on healing the barriers to my own truth and each layer had to happen as it did, in its own time.


I am now back in my own culture, witnessing the rituals that take place here and they make much more sense to me now. I no longer feel anger and bitterness around weddings and marriage. I see babies as an amazing creation to be cherished and I see relationships as beautiful gifts of healing and growth. I also see work and money as a way to achieve my goals and create the life I need and want for myself.

I feel much more calm, settled and free inside myself than I have in the past. Almost as if the seeker in me can now take a bit of a break and sit back to reap the benefits of the hard work I have been doing for 4 years. Thats a really long time to be intensely studying myself, healing and consciously creating major transitions in order to become a better human being BUT I wouldn’t  change a thing about all that I have done.


I am here in The Pas where I will stay and continue to grow and learn with the help of my community and loved ones, old and new. I will engage in old things in new ways and witness the changes I have made in action. I am here to settle within myself on a new level and although it feels at times like its all way to simple, I am seeing that that is the gift! Life can be simple and maybe that is exactly what I needed to learn – Simply how to live in this world, as this human being. Part of me knows but is pleasantly surprised that it will look very similar to the life I left behind me but another part of me knows that internally it will be a very new experience.




(My home 4 years ago, which I now see as an amazing creation of love and self expression)

Photo 131

(My favourite pet Thelonius Sphere Hoyle!)





(4 Years ago I Iet this person and this life go and it is just now that I am able to appreciate it for all that it really was and what it offered me. Now I see the way we are looking at each other and the love that did exist between us with more clarity.)


There is less of a draw for attention, no need to be seen in the same way. A cabin in the woods with a loving husband, a beautiful baby, a few pets and a garden all sound really fulfilling to me now. I have not lost my sense of adventure, instead I feel as though I have refined it to now allow me to see it in all the things that are very common to us as humans.

Love, family, home, new life, connection, responsibility, sharing, comfort, security and stability are an adventure I am ready to take once again, this time with a brand new intention and a greater capacity to embrace!

Om Radha Om





What If….


What if I just took a breath and let it all out when I was done with it?

What if I just lived a simple life, nothing grand, not trying to do or be anything?

What would happen if I just let go of needing to be needed by someone or something?

Would I dimly fade away into non-existence or could I actually shine like never before?

To need is human, to love is human, to give is too but at what cost?

What will happen if I continue to give this way, under the disclaimer of being selfless, will I exhaust my source? Will I really let it go that far? Im afraid I already have.

Clear new eyes see the light of this day, Ego takes a trip and shame hits my brow.

I have lost, lesson learned and now I move on.

I give in order to receive, but don’t we all in some way?

To know that love exists between humans beings and that we will be there for each other is so natural, so foreign and hard to accept.

I live in a space of not being understood, not fitting in and not really wanting to.


I long to be an elephant, a lion or a giraffe, knowing my place in the kingdom of God.

I was born a human girl and this is my destiny.

Make peace with all that being human brings, live in my own worth and nothing less, take care of this my gifted temple, trust in the unknown and know that there is nothing perfect about this life except the life itself.



I Am what I Am

After a few weeks of telling myself that I am bored and lonely I have put into practice my beliefs and changed my mind. If I am what I think then I will be bored and lonely but that is not my truth, my truth is that I Am Love, I Am Light, and even more simply….I Am.


There is a part of me that feels this way and that part is very human which I am learning more and more to embrace and love. This human part is missing the easy connections with others that fulfill that part of myself. This part of me is also the part that will get me into relationships that are not healthy for me as they are based on filling that void and looking to others to make me feel better.

I had a conversation the other day with this part of myself and was quickly  introduced to my 7 year old self who was moving to a new town where she knew no one and left behind people that she considered family. This is a root and from here I can give than little girl part of me what she needs so she doesn’t feel the need to cry out. I talk to her and console her, give her what she is asking for so she can move on and let go.

This may sound strange but it is technique such as these that help me to heal and move into living more fully in the present. The parts of ourselves that cause pain will continue to do so if we continue to push them aside and ignore the messages they clearly send us.


When I look at the world I have created as my reality in the last few months I can choose to see it through the eyes of a hurt and scared 7 year old child or I can use my practices to see the world more clearly as a confident, wise and independent 34 year old woman who is consciously creating her life and feels her connection to something greater everyday.

Just this morning I was met with “Hey, you’re the Yoga instructor” from a gentleman at the park which lead to a wonderful conversation about healing, life and our purpose and role as community members in The Pas. This is the Universe telling me that I am on the right path and to keep on going. These are the signs I look for the guide me.

How can I ever say I Am lonely when people stop me on the streets and have heartfelt conversations like this? I can’t if I am living in the present.


My practice of Yoga is not about sitting on a mat and meditating for hours, I have left this type of practice behind of the most part and now find a mediative state in my daily life which for me is the point of sitting on a mat for hours in the first place.

Living the practice is more of a gift to the world and this is why I call myself I Am Love In Action: Healing Ourselves Heals The World! Sharing what we know, what we learn and giving our true selves to those around us is what connects us and heals us. My mission is life is to help others by continuing to follow my heart and give back in ways that are authentic to who I am. We all need healing and in that we are not alone but instead connected in our oneness.



Respobnsible for my Independence

Living in the present moment is a daily challenge and there is no perfection, no time when I will not have influences from the past in my daily life but the work is to notice and choose to live from the lessons of the past in that moment.

I may have met trauma head on during a trial run job interview for a Health Care Aide position but that doesn’t mean that I need to stop moving forward with my healing in regards to Nursing, it simply shows me where I am at so that I can move forward. So I am thankful for the opportunity to see my past so clearly and then to choose to keep on going.

And as I sit here writing this on couch that I spent most of yesterday on, I see that the layers of life are many and the lessons are not a one time thing. The more I grow and learn the more I see through them. It is in these new moments of clear vision that I see new ways of thinking and being in the world.

What I see in this moment is that I have a very hard time caring  for  and being responsible for myself,  seeing as I spent most of life in highly responsible job titles (lifeguard, Nursing) I was able to feel like I was responsible but it was always to other people and not to myself. These roles taught me to put myself last and others needs first.

I have created a familiar situation for myself and this time what I see is my tendency to not believe that I am capable of caring for myself and also not doing the work needed to get me the things I want in life. I understand now that I need to work on the root of this issue, which is Self Love, and begin to see myself as worthy of my own hard work and time which will facilitate more independence.

Responsibility equals Independence.

The focus has to be on me in a new way now, its time to take myself even more seriously and put my skills to the test.  As much as I want to help others, I am seeing that ultimately it is me who needs some tough love and to be seen as worthy of my own skills and talents to support myself. Only then can I truly give to others from a selfless place.

Loving myself is a gift to others. I am worth it and so are you.



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It feels like a cold hand gripping my heart from the inside, taking my breath away and leaving me spinning, unable to focus, Post Tramatic Stress. I have been told I have classic symptoms an RCMP officer and I have been told I need to just “Let it go” by those who don’t understand. I actually cannot remember if I have written about this event before or not and cannot guarantee that this will be the best read you will have but I just need to get it out of my body and mind.

I can honestly say that it is not this event alone that caused this. One small event after the other, gradually leading up to this one moment paved the path for my present. I realize that healing comes in layers and when I am ready they are revealed to me. I somehow never fully acknowledged this event for what it was and now it is begging for my attention as I move into a new phase of my life. I know that I cannot be successful in my business until I give this event the energy that it is demanding from me right now.

I am unsure about the date at this point and it seems irrelevant to me now but I do know that this event is one of the main reasons I left my place of employment, a place I had worked at for 10 years. It wasn’t just the event itself but also the reactions, response and lack of compassion and support from my colleagues and those that I feel are there to protect me and help me as a professional when I am not in a mental state to do so for myself.

I am pretty sure I was 27 years old when this event happened and I was working as a Registered Nurse on a medicine floor. It was nearing the end of the evening shift and the floor was quite as the shift change was imminent and report was being given. My patient had been confused and combative all night and I had previously witness him punch the charge nurse at which point I asked if we could give him something to calm him down and was told “No.” So when he wandered out into the hallway at 2315hrs or so, confused and talking gibberish I was hesitant and knew that I needed to be cautious with him.

A few days earlier he had been the exact opposite of what he was now; talking with me, confident, alert, ready to leave with no signs of delirium. He also told me about his life and career in the Navy so I knew that he was very skilled in the art of combat and self preservation. As he walked down the hallway trying to get into other rooms and beds I followed calmly redirecting him back to his room with very little physical contact, keeping my distance. We moved further and further down the dark hallway until we reached the end where two stretchers sat. He tried to climb on one of them, thinking it was his bed and at this point I took him by the hand and began to guide him off and away from the stretcher.

Suddenly he came alive, like he totally switched into a different person and turned around quickly and placed both his hands firmly around my neck and began to squeeze. I remember looking at his face and although the hallway was dark I could see that his eyes were totally vacant, they seemed black and hollow but angry at the same time. They looked right through me, similar to the eyes of the man who sexual assaulted me a few months later.

I remember that I thought right away that this was not really happening to me and that he would just let go and stop any second now. When he began to tighten his grip on my neck was when the reality kicked in and I yelled for help. At first with little effort and then the hands got tighter. I had a moment of clarity where I thought to myself “Ok, I know I need to bust out of these hands but I don’t want to hurt him, he is old and frail,” which brings so many other factors into play and I see how my entire life lead up to this moment. So I chose not to physically protect myself from a man who was literally choking me because I didn’t want to hurt him and this pattern has played out in my life many times before and after this event in a variety of ways. It is one of the main issues I work with through my healing journey and it always shows up in new places – like the bathtub tonight, which lead me to write this, finally!

I yelled for help 3 times, each time getting more and more faint. I was standing 3 feet away from the door to the room where all the new nurses and the charge nurse were gathered taking report and yes it still took three times of calling for help to actually get help. I was told later on that my co-workers on shift that they thought I was just a “little old lady calling for help, so we just ignored it” to which I say shame on you, either way it was the wrong choice.

When the door to the report room did open and someone came and pulled the patients hands off of me, I suddenly found myself leaning up against the wall in shock with a nurse beside me saying something along the lines of “oh, I had a little old lady bite me too….” and then proceed to show me her bite mark on her arm. Im sure there were some people asking if I was ok but it was short lived as I was soon told by the charge nurse to give the patient something to calm him down. I remember walking back to my cart, drawing up some Halodol in a state of complete shock and walking over to the man that had just assaulted me, who was now in a secured chair, arms still flailing, and giving him an injection. I felt like a zombie.

As people began to chirp about the big event and what they had just witnessed I was left to  myself to finish charting about it and it was I who inquired to my charge nurse about filing some kind of report to which I was told that if I wanted to I could and was then left to do it on my own and had to ask for help. No security, no support, no genuine sympathy as everyone was too busy feeling bad about their part in the event or their own abuse stories. I filed the report as best I could and left when I was done.

I drove home alone, in the dark, to my home where I lived alone and crawled into my bed covering my head. I was in shock and had no idea how to handle it. I was sent such mixed messages by the nurses I was working with that I didn’t allow myself to feel the magnitude of the event and maybe that is what is finally happening in this moment. I remember that I called my brother and told him, possibly the next day or maybe that night – I don’t know. He told me not to tell my parents because they wouldn’t be able to handle it, which is a pattern that I have followed most of my life in order to not cause them more pain. I now know this is really not my job but I somehow thought it was for many years and kept nearly everything to myself. Eventually all things good and bad were off limits because I was so bitter about this dynamic.

The next morning I was awoken by a phone call from the unit manager, sounding horrified and upset, asking if I was ok. Of course I was going to say I was -I barely knew her and honestly I felt like I was in trouble or going to get into trouble if I told her what happened. I did tell her that I was ok and satisfied she hung up and I don’t believe I heard from her again. I went to work that day, same shift, same patients and some of the same staff. I was assigned to look after the man who had assaulted me and it felt horrible, my stomach flipped and flopped and I became very angry. I said I was not going to care for him and I wanted to switch. I did end up caring for him for about half the shift until I finally just couldn’t take it anymore and said I needed to go home. My hands were trembling and I could barely breath. They were talking about the event on the floor but it was more like a good piece of gossip that did eventually get wildly out of hand, but yet I was still expected to care for this patient and that makes no sense to me at all.

The fact that I was assigned to this patient told me that I was over reacting to what had happened the night before and that I was not justified in feeling the way I did – very, very anxious and afraid. The response from the co-workers was even more disheartening as I was yelled at down the hallway by the woman who showed me her bite mark the night of the event and told that she would not make a statement on my behalf if I was pressing charges or going to security. In her eyes, he was the victim not me (I feel we both were). I was cornered on the next shift by a young nurse who was angry with me for involving security which must have resulted from the report I filed the night it happened. She told me I should go apologize to him because he was very upset – to this I lost my cool, began to cry from rage and dropped a few *F* Bombs before leaving the floor. This may have been my last shift, at least on that floor anyway.

I received a phone call from Pastoral Care and was asked if he could do anything for me, I didn’t even understand what he was talking about at the time. What kind of care could he offer me,  and what was God going to do for me? At this point in my life I was VERY angry towards Religion. I asked to have a meeting with the charge nurse and the nurse who was the witness and refused to file a statement. I could not understand why they treated me the way the did and wanted answers. I was very angry.

At the time I also worked at the Morgentaler Clinic as a Nurse assisting with abortions and the charge nurse that night had previously called me a “Sinner” and told me I was “going to hell” during a dinner break in front of my colleagues and I wondered if that had anything to do with her treatment towards me on the night of the event. I will never know because I did not hear from anyone again in terms of follow up or other services available to me.

Ok, so that felt good to write it out and just get it out of my system but I see where the projection, the blame and anger lie within the way that I tell it and I know that it is not 100% accurate because I was in shock and that my interpretation was or is still clouded by anger and other emotions. This is not ideally how I want to view the world but this is part of the process and I am going to do what it takes to heal myself even if it doesn’t look so pretty. This is another step towards facing this issue and making a mends with my past. I have once again requested assistance from services available to me but have previously had very little support even from programs designed specifically for this kind of help. I once called a crisis line and was told to call back in the morning!??? What the……???? Anyway, the Universe works in mysterious ways and I needed every obstacle I encountered to get me to this moment right now.

This issue not only clouds my view of Nursing but also of men and self trust. It was a big factor in the date rape that occurred only a few months later, the reason I was calling the crisis line, and in the man I chose to be in relationship with a few months after that. I am tired of being afraid but the truth is I don’t fully trust myself in situations because of the unhealed parts that remain from events such as this.  The energy that takes over me when this is  triggered feels sooooooo powerful and I am unable to make good choices from this space. Its like I leave my body. There is no “just let it go” from this as it is a very intense healing that still needs time to be recognized.

I wonder where my protection was that night? Why did I choose to let a man strangle me and fear hurting him even though he was capable of killing me? Why do I loose my ability to say no to people who hurt me? What are we as women or nurses so afraid of that we turn our backs on each other in times of crisis? Where is the safety net? I had nowhere to fall but I did anyway.

I fell apart a few years later after more hard hits, I couldn’t take anymore of that life and I finally just let it all fall apart. What was I met with? Anger from many people in my life that continues to this day. I was denied benefits from my insurance provider through work for going and living at an Ashram, a place where my Dr., my specialist and my psychiatrist were supportive of. I am not sure if I  spoke to my Union rep about this event, its a blur at this point but there was nothing that could be done and I was left to fend for myself.

Taking responsibility for my part here by saying that I told everyone I was ok after the event and felt like I had nothing to complain about or that nothing could be done for me, so I became very very angry with the system and myself. But as I look back on the event with clearer eyes, I see that no matter what someone says, a person who has just been strangled cannot be trusted to take care of themselves no matter how convincing they are – they were assaulted and are not thinking clearly. I needed help.

I faced more bullying from coworkers at a new job,  in a different hospital around the same time. For this event I did contact and get quite heavily involved with my Union to protect myself but it was exhausting everyday especially since I was now the known tattle-tail to those who were afraid of change and those doing the bullying. I was also becoming increasing ill and frail. I felt so alone on this journey of simply standing up for my right to be treated with respect in my workplace. I also had lots of support from co-workers who were sick of the way they were treated as well but not many were willing to stand up with me to make changes actually happen. I eventually left on sick leave for the first time in May of 2009.

I feel that I have accepted and worked with this issue quite a bit over the course of my healing but now is the time to remove another layer and take back my power. This event had a major impact on my life, my career and my health to which I am now and have been working very hard to rebuild. I see how I was repeatedly pushed to stand up for myself and how much I needed these hard lessons but I am ready to move past them now. This event and the way that my worth has been diminished by other major events in life are about to be revisited in a new way, a stronger way and I know I need to do this to demonstrate self love to me and to the world.

I deserve to ask for help and receive it, as a person, as a professional and as a victim of abuse. I have repeatedly tried to return to the practice of Nursing but was met with closed doors and now it makes so much sense. As I begin to open up these old wounds I see that this needs to be revealed before I can return to something that will ultimately be very good for me but I cannot rush into it. I will know when I am ready, my body will tell me.

Classic response from my body during times of severe emotional trauma is to feel ill, and get “Fibro” pain. This time around the pain was very mild and subtle which is a marked improvement and it is because I know and understand myself so well that I see these symptoms not as a cold coming on ora consequence to something I ate…..but as emotional release and a necessary step in my moving forward into healing and health. Because of this I rejoice in the symptoms and embrace the time that I have to be still and process.

Fibromyalgia to me is not a disease that a Dr. can diagnose or treat, it is a message to me that something needs attention. My body is finely tuned, self healing instrument that speaks a language all its own and it was Yoga that helped me learn my own body’s language. The only reason I call it Fibromyalgia is to relate to those who have been told the same thing or given the same diagnosis. But for me, I do not have “Fibromyalgia” in the sense of the word used by Medical Dr’s. It is a spiritual diagnosis and it is both the cure and the disease all rolled into one. Neither one existing without me having created it. I created it and I can use it as a tool to guide me towards enlightenment for which I am eternally grateful! I am grateful for all the pain, all the trauma and all the lessons!