Thursday, 27 October 2011


Too much of this

 Ended in this!

Every now and then something happens in our lives that makes us thankful for the rest of our lives! Pain is very effective this way.  For three weeks now I have been in intense pain from a Sacral Iliac joint injury.  Pain has been my constant companion, reminding me every moment of every day that there is something happening in my body that needs attention.
Pain is far more perseverant than I am.

Pain gives me empathy for others who live with chronic pain.
Pain takes you on a journey.
Now, just to give you a picture, I have included a diagram of the area of my body that is injured.

As you can see, a joint injury here is affected by every movement I make. Any medication I have taken for this pain only takes a bit of the edge off. It doesn't take it away.

This journey of pain started with fear. What on earth was going on with my body?!
Then self pity. Ow, this hurts, feel sorry for me!
 Some anger....I don't have time for pain like this!
Denial,....maybe it's not as bad as I think it is....maybe I am being a baby. Oops, yep it is as bad as I think. OW!
I am not sure that I will make it to acceptance! I hope it's gone before then! 

I realized  I have a choice in how I respond to this situation, just like any other.

I can rest in any one of those stages and ride out this pain storm from there, but I don't find any of those stages to be very enjoyable at all! 
While I have been lying in bed I have been reading a book called "Prisoners of our minds" by Alex Pattakos. One of the core principles he speaks about is 'Exercising your freedom to choose your attitude'. This got me thinking..... what attitude was I choosing? What attitude could I choose? This is definately a book worth reading. See details below.
During this time I have also been seeing a massage therapist. She has been taking a course recently and when I brought up this conversation about choosing our attitudes she told me how the class she is taking is discussing how the attitudes we choose physiologically effect our bodies. So then the question becomes 'how do I want my thoughts to effect my body?' Well, obviously I want my thoughts to have a positive effect on my what thoughts do I choose?

For now this is me!!!
Till next time my friends! Have a happy Halloween!

Details about Prisoners of our thoughts by Alex
Why do some people seem to have an easier time dealing with complex and challenging situations than others?
Why do some people seem more capable of dealing with change than others?
Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work applies the therapeutic system of world-renown psychiatrist and philosopher, Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, to contemporary life and work situations. Learn how to bring deeper meaning and fulfillment to your everyday life and work, and achieve your highest potential!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

I thought a picture of stairs was fitting for my blog! Sometimes our journey's take some hard work and it's uphill!  But the positive side of it is that life is always colorful and there is always something unexpected to see along the way!!

I guess then it's  all about seizing the moments we have, grabbing hold of our dreams.
Mixed with being comfortable with what is.
Sometimes we have to do things we wish we didn't have to do.
Right now I would rather be somewhere like this

Of course it would be a cottage on a beach of a lake or the ocean!
But since I am not, I will enjoy the gorgeous pictures
I find online and plan for a vacation!
For those of you who are vacationing now or have been
I drink to you and hope you are having a wonderful summer!!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sometimes life just sucks!

I work in a women's emergency shelter.
 I have for seven years.
And somedays the reality is that life sucks.
 Bad things happen to people and they never deserve it.
Children are exposed to things they should never be exposed to.
People feel hopeless, helpless and backed into a corner.
 People sometimes think that suicide is an option.
 And it is sad.
 And it is stressful.
And it is heavy.

But I believe there is always hope.
Even when I don't feel like it
 I choose to believe that there is hope and that things can change for the better.
 I choose to believe
 that people are resiliant and capable of incredible strength and integrity in the darkest of situations.
 I choose to believe
in every woman and child that has ever crossed the threshold of our shelter and any other shelter.
 I choose to believe
 that even when it feels hopeless miracles can and will happen.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Non-Profit Sector

I work in a Women's Emergency Shelter. I have for the last 6 years. I love my job, and it is fulfilling in many respects. However, it comes with many challenges. I have become very cynical about the systems in place to help vulnerable and needy people. I am cynical and frustrated with the Legal system, which cannot be called the Justice System in my opinion. And most of all I am frustrated that our government does not see fit to properly fund core positions within the Shelter sector.

I am also afraid....afraid of the future of Shelters in the Province of Alberta. Workers in the Non Profit sector make much less than those who work for government. Not a big surprise. But here's a twist. We receive our core funding from the Ministry of Children's Services on a contract basis. They are not our Employer. However, in order to receive the core funding shelters have to fulfill a list of 'jobs'. And, this 'list' is getting longer, taking time away from our clients, but with no increased funding to provide more staff to help complete these jobs. It is getting more and more difficult to manage, especially in the rural shelters. Many shelters in larger centers receive funding and donations from large corporations. As they are larger shelters they have much more staff. They have Crisis workers, maintenance workers, people who clean, people who cook, admin staff, and data entry staff. In a small shelter all that work is done by the Crisis Workers.

To add a little insult to injury, there is a myth that those who work in the Non Profit sector are compensated for their work by the satisfaction they get from working to help people. However, such satisfaction doesn't pay bills, and makes me wonder why the two ideas - satisfaction and adequate pay - can't co-exist!

This may sound like whining, which isn't my intent. My intent is to raise awareness of the state of our Social Programming in the Province of Alberta. To raise awareness of how this will effect the vulnerable population.

This is just a little scratch on the surface of what it is like working in a Non Profit Women's Emergency Shelter. I have an electronic copy of a well written Fact vs Myth brochure on the subject. I will see if I can link it to this blog. However, if you are interested in reading it, leave me a comment with an email address and I would be happy to send it to you.

Also, check out this site:
Alberta Council of Women's Shelters is a group that advocates for shelters in Alberta, who provide training for shelter workers, who support the shelters in so many ways.  If you want to know how to help Shelters, or how to make your voice heard, ACWS is the site to check out. If you are in a different province, different country, or different continent, call your local Women's Emergency Shelter to see how you can help them out.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Thrift Shopping

Aahhhhh, thrift stores.
 A mecca of treasures just waiting for me to snoop!
I haven't been thrift shopping for a while, and today I had the opportunity to go to one nearby. With all the searching online for things bohemian, I was primed to look for some fun stuff
Take a look at my new treasures!

Especially exciting is this handpainted piece. Not sure of the material, very thin. Gorgeous!!

Cool celtic design cloth hanging decoration

Some glass trinkets for fun!

There you have my finds of the day from the thrift store.
Here are some 'finds' online - pictures I love!

This lovely couch was refurbished by
Jane Hall of Toronto 

Check out her fabulous designs!

And here is some detail I just liked!

On another note, I am following a couple more blogs.
Check them out!

And on yet another note, going back two posts, I am adding #4 to the list of things that helped me in my time of need.
4) Shopping is theraputic! A note of caution, it is wise to know the limit of what you can spend, and don't go beyond it. I love to thrift shop, which enables me to buy more for less! There is a method here! So if you can afford to, enjoy some shopping. Whether it is a new candle, gorgeous earrings, nail polish, a scarf, or bubble bath, it can soothe the soul.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Let me tell you about my journey

So, I called my blog a journey. Today I want to share some of that with you.
Preamble....Monday I had a great visit with my good friend Meme whom I hadn't seen in quite a while.  As we were catching up on each other's lives I did a trip down memory lane over the last three years or so. That is when events took place in my life that changed so much, so quickly and irrevocably. At the time it was devastating and painful, and there are still some remnants of pain here and there. But in retrospect I want to share some things I learned.

1) Take the time to heal. Though our wounds may not be physical, we still need to take time to allow ourselves to heal

2) Allow yourself......Often we get busy, caught up taking care of other people, etc, and we don't allow ourselves what it is we need, whether that is to take some time away, extra sleep, time to weep, time with good friends or time alone. You are worth it! Allow yourself.

3) Protect yourself. We have all spoken to well intentioned people who have said or done something very insensitive. When you are raw and vulnerable, protect yourself from those people. Keep close those you trust. You have the right to protect your body and mind and spirit.

At this moment, I just have to say a huge thank you to all the beautiful, trustworthy friends in my life who also kept guard over me! I love you deeply!

I'd love to hear about your journey! Do you have tips you want to share?

On a different note, I bought 3 cans of mistinted paint! I can't wait!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bohemian, Gypsy, Moroccan; I love the look!

But what does home decor have to do with my journey?

Here are some pictures I found online....
that inspire me in my quest to change my decor!

Well, everything! It's about reestablishing myself, remembering who I am and what inspires me, delights me, makes me feel alive. 

I have been deciding how I want to decorate my home, picking colors, textiles, furniture, and doing a lot of dreaming and scheming! 

When I look online the colors that attract me most are the rich jewel tones, dark reds and golds. And design. I love patterns and patchwork.

I want my home to welcome me with open arms when I walk in. My home  is a refuge to me, a place to feel safe and secure. It has been a place of healing and reclaimation.

What does your home mean to you? How do you decorate? What inspires your choices? I would love to hear!!