Posted in Advice, Advice for Women, Andshelaughs, Anxiety, Break Ups, Breaking Up, Broken Hearts, dating, Dating Advice, Fearless Living, Girl Stuff, Inspiration, Life, Living, Loneliness, Loss, Motivation, Psychology, Self-Help, Women's Issues

Just When You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse

danceinthekitchenI have had one hell of a year.

It’s been a  ‘real doozy’ as your granny might say. Like a feather pillow at a pre-teen slumber party, sometimes you just get the emotional shit kicked out of you.

Tonight as I stretched toward the top of the cupboards with the longest barbeque tool I could find, I heard the voice of he-who-shall-not-be-named telling me that I was going to hurt myself. Deftly I scooped up a long wicker tray, and tipped it into my waiting hand…like a boss.

A few months ago, I was planning things with this he-who-shall-not-be-named sweetheart. I hadn’t been that happy in sooooo long. I was over the moon.

Tonight I’m alone.

As over the moon as I was a few months ago, I dove that deeply into mourning the loss of all that it was going to be.

What is it they say? I think it goes something like this, “ My knight in shining armor turned out to be an asshole in tinfoil“. Whatever… and at this age and stage, who cares?  It is, whatever it is. It’s. Not. My. Problem.

One thing that I do know for sure is that the future is too precious to waste dwelling on the past.

As I heard that voice in the back of my head, tipping my wicker baking basket over my head, I realized that I was truly happy. Happy. Goofy smile, humming to myself, dancing like a fool all by myself in my tiny kitchen.

I  stirred caramel corn and baked devilishly good cupcakes while bopping around my little kitchen in tights and a t-shirt, not missing anyone or anything. You see, just when you think it can’t get any worse, it often does, get better.

Over time, and with careful observation of how my mumster handles herself with grace, strength, and my favourite trait; humor, I realize just how much control we do have when it comes to having a good day or a bad day.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes life just stinks, and you need to curl up in a ball. You need to rage, cry, hate, feel insecure and alone. You need to do all of this without apology or holding back.

And one day you’ll be done with it.

You’ll find yourself all alone, smiling from the inside out, and you will realize just how damn wonderful this one, precious, life really is.

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Posted in Advice, Andshelaughs, dating, Emmylou Harris, Friendship, Girl Stuff, Guy Stuff, Inspiration, Life, Living, Love, Lyrics, Mark Knopfler, Mastery, Meditation, Monday Meditation, Music, Musicians, Relationships, Romance, The Art of

Monday Meditation: Mastering the Art Of

romantic_couple_vintage_french_postcard-r792d7aa37d8c48428098e51999afbeb3_vgbaq_8byvr_512I love watching someone who has mastered whatever particular thing it is that they’re doing. It’s reassuring when you must depend on them, and it can be sexy as hell.

It’s like watching  Mark Knopfler sing. It’s like the music and meaning move effortlessly through his voice and the way her connects with the guitar.

When we master who we are, when it doesn’t have to be a conscious thought, it just flows, I believe we touch paradise, Shangri-La if you will. A little bit of nirvana right here on earth;

During a lunch date with an old flame (who still manages to keep my girlie bits warm and excitable), we talked about how easy it is to be together.

We talked as only old lovers can, with ease, candor, humour, and intimacy. It’s the kind of conversation that reminds us that we are sensual beings. A conversation with a  touch of  alchemical magic which inspires a healthy hunger for living.

It doesn’t hurt that man knows how to kiss me in a way that still makes my knees go just weak enough to remind me that I am a desirable woman. God bless him.

As artists, parents, and professionals in our respective fields, we’ve come to a comfortable stage of life. We’ve had time and experience to get to know ourselves. With the same grace and ease that Mr. Knopfler sings, we manage to carry ourselves through our work-a-day lives. At least we do a heck of a better job than we used to. Most of the time anyway.

He’s a perfectionist. I have come to embody his ‘dudeness’, and come to the world every day, giving my best, and feeling that it is, indeed, good enough. As he criticized his inability to be perfect, I boldly pointed out that life doesn’t have to be such hard work.

He countered with, “But you’ve found it. You’re one of the lucky ones who gets to go to work and live a life of purpose every day. You don’t feel like you’re just out there making a buck for someone else.”

He was bang on. But all good men are…

I’m skilled at my work and I love it. It’s part of who I am. No longer do I have to put on a mask or an act. My wants, needs, and purpose are integrated.

I’ve mastered the art of being me, of living, of balancing my sense of self with that of the material world around me. I’ve mastered the Art Of…

We create or keep ourselves from creating our own Shangri-La, happiness, and security in our sense of ever-changing self.

I’m one of the lucky ones, and I have every intention of enjoying every, single,  moment.

Tonight your beauty burns
Into my memory
The wheel of heaven turns
Above us endlessly

This is all the heaven we’ve got
Right here where we are
In our Shangri-La, oh

Posted in Artists, Creative Writing, Creativity, Girl Stuff, Gratitude, Gratitude Journal, Guy Stuff, Inspiration, Life, Living, Meaning of Life, Meditation, Motivation, Poetry, Poets, Prayer, Spirituality, Sunday Mediation, Writers, Writing

Sunday Meditation: Every Day Ritual

takecomfortI wake up this morning of my own accord. There is no alarm clock, just time to be me.

But there is ritual in this nothingness, this casual waking and being.

I pad to the kitchen, stumble over my own feet, turn the patio blinds, come back to the enveloping embrace of my still-warm, duvet mountain of a bed and send up a prayer that I’ve come to realize I’ve been saying, in my own way, at my own speed, for many years. It is a prayer of gratitude.

And then my mind turns to wonder…this morning it’s about a lunch date with a an old flame, the pros and cons of moving, how much I’m looking forward to sprucing up my little corner of the world….

Wonder, the butler to her majesty; Curiosity.

Eventually I pour  coffee, a lot of coffee,  into one of my  oversized mugs that was gifted from friends, open the window over my writing desk, and sit down at the keyboard. My feline mentor scrambles onto the desk,past the plant that I barely manage to keep alive, and paws at the lace curtain until I lift it up, and place it over his head like a wedding veil. We both look out to the painting mother nature has created over night and breathe in the cool, fresh, morning air. .

This is my ritual. Every writer has one, and this is mine.

This morning, as I clock-watch and know that my time in front of the keyboard at my little window is short, I am grateful for my simple ritual. It grounds me just enough for inspiration to take root.

It grounds me just enough to turn anxiety into excitement, fear into courage, and sadness into a fading memory.

Posted in Andshelaughs, Business Careers, Comedy, Comics, Girl Stuff, Guy Stuff, Humor, Humour, Hump Day, Inspiration, Joy, Joyful Living, Life, Meaning of Life, Motivation, Movies, Muppet Movie, Muppets, Music, Rap, Wednesday

Hump Day Hilarity: Because Sometimes You Just Need to Lighten Up & Laugh

The Swedish Chef makes me laugh uncontrollably. He’s right up there with King Julien, the other intellectual stimulation I sometimes seek after particularly stressful days.

I send this out with a heart full of love and a wish to hear your laughter ring out amid the crappola that can be the middle of the work-week.

Have fun people, and don’t forget that just because you’re an adult does not mean you can’t be silly.

Posted in dating, Dating Advice, Friendships, Joyful Living, Life, Lists, Living, Meaning of Life, Reading, Writing

It’s the Simple Things

Welcome to Monday.

Let’s hang on to the gloriousness of the weekend, shall we darlings?

I offer you a list of ‘weekend things’ that made me happy….domore

Text messages from old friendsmegabestfriends

  1. Artisan pizza

artisanpizza2

3) Play-off Baseball

octoberbaseball4) New Undies

Knickers1 A new, old book

zenmotor

6) Coffee shops that stay open late

coffeeshop 7) A fresh bar of Ivory soap

ivory8) Afternoon naps

nap

9) Pink nail polish at the spa

OPIPinkaDoodle

10) Catching up on gossip with your friend and finding out she has a potential latin-hottie to set you up with…

gossip

Posted in Advice, Advice for Women, Andshelaughs, At Issue, Battle of the Sexes, Canada, Canadian Culture, Canadian Politics, Canadian Writers, Columns, culture, Fearless Living, Fearlessness, Feminism, Feminist Culture, Feminists, Free Speech, Free Thinkers, Freedom of Speech, Girl Stuff, Guy Stuff, Health, Healthy Living, Human Rights, insight, Inspiration, Life, Living, Meaning of Life, Men's Issues, Mental Health, Misogyny, New Feminism, Niqab Debate, Opinion, Perspective, Philosophy, Rants, Relationships, Sexual Health, Shame, Society, The Art of Living, Toronto Life, Women's Issues, Words of Wisdom, Working Women

The Niqab Debate; A Feminist Canadian Perspective

maninchapsI’ve debated whether or not to write this post.

Let me be clear, the Niqab is a political, social and emotional hot button, and our Canadian Conservative spin-doctors hit the nail on the head when they reeled in this red herring.

This is and is not a political issue. It is because it addresses the clusterf^@k that happens when church and state mix. It is not because we should be focused on the complete erosion of democracy that has been achieved by the Conservative government.

I am by no means a social conservative. I am, however, amongst other fabulous and wonderful things, a feminist.

As a woman, the idea that any faith or culture requires a woman to hide her body reinforces the grand debate about the inequality between women and men.

It’s all bullshit folks. Women, men, and everyone who lives in the spectrum between these binary ideas of gender, deserve to be treated equally according to their achievements, gifts and status as a human being.

This morning, sipping my coffee, I read a social media post, (read it folks- it makes a great point, the twitter handle is @manwhohasitall ), which emphasized how screwed up our culture is when it comes to assigning value to typical gender roles.

The title of the article was; If we gave fathers the same nonsensical advice we give working mothers. Here are a few of the more ridiculous quotes;

TODAY’S DEBATE: Is fatherhood the end for career men?

RISE & SHINE FRAZZLED DADS! Wife & kids asleep? Now is the time to declutter cupboard under the sink & snack on your open pores. ‘Me time’.

Working husband & father? Feeling overwhelmed? YOUR FAULT. Drink more water, get up earlier & dress in your ‘wow’ colours.

Now that we have established the double-standard that still exists for working women, let me dive right in to Canadian politics and culture.

People flee to this country because it has a reputation for being nice, for offering equal opportunity, and not allowing our citizens to slit one another’s throats in the street because of basic human rights such as gender, religion, or ability differences.

You know why that exists folks? Because we separate religion from politics.

Given that the history of the niqab as religious versus cultural choice is debatable, let me hit you with a feminist, Canadian, patriotic perspective; women are sick and damn-tired of being told what to do. As Canadians, we’re sick and damn-tired of people from other countries coming here and telling us that they want the same religious-cultural government that they fled from.

If your argument is that not being allowed to wear the niqab is a religious right, perhaps you can cover your face and symbolically demean women in another country. I would never dream of travelling to Saudia Arabia, wearing a bikini and whining about being persecuted for wearing it. It just doesn’t happen.

I wouldn’t mind if all heterosexual men were mandated to wear ass-showing chaps so I could size up my next pony-ride, but I doubt that’s ever going to happen. Because it’s sexist and demeaning.

I agree with Naheed Nenshi’s latest article in the Globe and Mail which talks about Canada being a country of hope. I do not agree with starting down a slippery slope of mixing church and state via the not-so-subtle misogynistic tradition of devaluing the feminine in the name of religion, a la Niqab.

Don’t give me the ridiculous argument about Hallowe’en or Newfie Mummers. It’s not the same and you know it. You know why?  Because females and males participate equally in both. Because no one shows up at airport security, in a courtroom, or in any other situation with their face hidden. It’s a slap in the face of every woman who has ever had to fight to vote, be legally considered a person, been paid less than a man for the same job, the list goes on and on.

Yes, mandating an uncovered face would be telling women what to do, and men too. It’s also telling citizens that we are all accountable for our actions, that hiding behind religion or cultural traditions which symbolically treat women as the property of men will not be tolerated.

Like it or not, allowing the niqab to be worn in public flies in the face of women’s rights in North America. We have worked damn hard to achieve the reduced level of inequality that we have now.

Misogyny cannot hide behind a veil. Instead, that veil screams to North American women that it is alive and well.