Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Drew Marshall Show Replay

REPLAY: Drew Marshall Show, October 25, 2014

I was contacted by Drew Marshall of The Drew Marshall Show, "Canada's most listened to spiritual talk show," for an interview. Went on just before Starsky (how totally cool is that?) Very cool guy - fantastic interviewer. A good time was had by all.

Unwrap a bar, pour a glass, smoke a bowl (whatever strikes your fancy) and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Happier Story

No truer words. The tug-of-war of the mind. One feeds instead of depletes, one blesses instead of punishes. Faith and fear. One hands down a sentence and the other sets you free. Be brave and choose the happier story.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love More

When our heart gets broken, for whatever reason, our primary instinct is to protect it – to shut it down, cover it up, build a wall around it, wrap it in so many miles of bubble wrap or bury it in a hole so deep that it won’t ever get broken again. But that never works. Ever. All it does is shut us off from the sunshine and oxygen necessary for our heart to naturally heal itself. And it does, or can – every time – if we allow it. Just like a cut finger or broken arm is programmed to heal itself if we give it the support it needs to do so. If your heart is broken DON’T STOP LOVING. Love is exactly the ointment, bandage, cast, splint, iv drip that the heart needs to come back to life. If your heart is broken, LOVE MORE. Love your friends more, love your family more, love your kids more, love your pets more, love sunshine more, love music more, love life more and, above all else, LOVE YOURSELF MORE. Love bigger, love better, love braver, love more fiercely, love more peacefully, love kinder, just… Love more. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Broken Open

If you don't, Life will do it for you. Either way, BE BRAVE. Beautiful treasures spill out of broken hearts.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Surrounded by Assholes

Before you diagnose yourself with depression low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” William Gibson

We spend so much time looking inward – which is good, and self-diagnosing – which isn't always but can, on occasion, be good that all too often we forget to just open our eyes and ears to the things we are surrounding ourselves with. Is some, or most, of your pain simply being caused by assholes around you? Are the assholes on TV and the assholes around your dinner table getting too much air time? If you’re depressed or living a far lesser version of yourself, tune in to the voices around you. Maybe it’s time to change the station and find a new table to eat at.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Afraid of the Dark

(From "Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big?" Originally written Wednesday, January 23, 2008)

Last Friday night I attended the premiere of my friend Richard Dutcher’s latest film Falling. I almost wrote "I had the pleasure of attending" but watching the film was anything but pleasurable. By that I don't mean that it was bad or not worth seeing - quite the contrary. It was brilliant. And bold. And brutal. 

I did have the wouldn't-trade-for-the-world pleasure of working with Richard for several years at Zion Films / Main Street Movie Co. and consider him to be one of my closest friends. Me and Richard, and our mutual love of all things warped, stuck in an office on a Friday afternoon, laughing until we pee, is something few people should ever be subjected to. Simply put - I adore the man. Local critics and rival filmmakers can say whatever they want but you gotta give him this - he is one hell of a cinematic story teller. And a pretty cool human too.

Much as I would love to have a Richard Dutcher love fest right now - that's not the point of this post. I spent a lot of time after the film thinking about darkness. Honestly, one of the things I loved the most about Falling was that it so apologetically took me to the raw center of some very ugly darkness and didn't try to make it okay. It didn't attempt to wrap it up neatly or make watching remotely comfortable. It presented something for examination and then just left me alone to wrestle and sort for myself.

Now, I am not one that is "into" darkness. I don't love violence and things that are generally labeled "evil." I detest horror movies. I refuse to watch the news because it actively works too damn hard against my extremely hard earned belief that this world is NOT, after all, a shitty place to be. I believe that every one of us having this human experience ought to rock the world for good. That, in our individual circles of influence - large or small, we have an obligation and a blessed opportunity to leave this world a better place than we found it.

But does that mean that we need to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that darkness doesn't exist? No. Just because we ignore it doesn't mean it's not there. There will always be others creating it. Does that mean that we need to embrace it, give it our energy and feed on a daily diet of it? Of course not. Does it mean we need to cower in the corner shielding our eyes from it? Absolutely not. Darkness is nothing to be feared.

I think darkness can be a great teacher. I think darkness bears examining because it mirrors for us our own, and others, humanity. It deepens our human experience. It gives us an experience that makes us reach towards light. It provides a contrast from which more light is created.

So many people run screaming, with eyes and ears tightly closed, from anything they feel is dark. Especially if it is internal. Taking a look at our own personal darkness can be the most frightening - but the most rewarding. The only way out of darkness is through it. The only way to diminish darkness is to shine some light on it.

We need to not be children crying for an emotional night light. Darkness doesn’t have to be scary, it just is what it is - whatever we allow it to be. And for me it is a teacher, a mirror and an important piece of my spiritual and emotional compass. It is something to recognize, to face, to learn from and then to move through and beyond.

Because the light that is beyond the darkness is absolutely breathtaking. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


You know how, sometimes, you meet someone and instantly think that you have them all figured out? Not in a passing judgment on them kind of way. I’m just talking about that initial moment, that first glance, when your brain gathers data about the way they dress or wear their hair, and you are fairly certain you know how they spend their Friday nights. The girl with the pink phone, jewels in her nails and glitter on her eyelids goes to the mall; the guy with the mullet goes to the raceway; the woman with the skin tight dress and heels goes to the club; the guy at the club with the creepy eyes that sits alone all night leering at the woman in the skin tight dress is going to go home to his parents basement to look at porn; and the sweet, quiet woman in her sensible shoes and cardigan sweater will go to the library or play a quiet game of scrabble with her sister, or equally sweet and quiet husband.

That was Janice.

Janice worked at the financial company I worked at last year and was as cute as they come. A pageboy haircut framed her small, friendly, wire rimmed glasses wearing face. Her timeless appearance suggested that she could be a grandmother without necessarily looking like a grandmother. She was in no way dowdy – just small, cute and quiet, never doing anything to draw attention or notice. She sat in her cubicle and did her work so quietly that I only remembered she was there when she smiled and waved goodbye to me on her way out. Probably the word I would have used to describe her was: Safe. On the human scale Janice was the exact, polar opposite of me.

The reason I write about Janice in the past tense is because, at a dinner party for the office that I was most thankfully invited to last Monday night, she up and died.

Not in a literal, choked on her beef and landed ankles up under the table, sense of the word – but the shy, safe, timid, scrabble-playing Janice I thought I knew, without question, bit the dust, bought the farm, kicked the bucket and is now, most definitely, off somewhere pushing daisies.

Her pulse started to slow when she walked in the door with her husband, whom we had never met. He was tall with a big, boisterous, life of the party personality – the kind of person I am immediately drawn to. “Huh,” I thought, “So that’s Janice’s husband… Wow. Never would have put those two together.” I found myself deeply happy that she had a man like that to love her. Suddenly she looked a little different to me. Taller maybe. Pinker. Which is strange for someone who is dying.

But it was at dinner that sweet Janice croaked - and, in the process, rocked my world and forever changed the way I hope to ever look at anyone again.

I was letting the grilled beef with sticky Thai peanut sauce have its way with me when Janice, who was sitting directly across from me, said something about how cool it is to fly upside down in an airplane. We all paused, mouths most definitely agape.

“Wait... you’ve flown upside down in a plane?”

“Uh-huh.” She giggled.

“Who was flying?”

“Well, I had an instructor.”

You flew a plane upside down???”

And it just took off, a million miles an hour, from there. Janice and her husband are pilots that have flown to Alaska. Janice has done stunts in her plane. Janice has sky dived – several times. Janice goes spelunking! (Okay, I went spelunking once in college and would never in a million years do it again.) But Janice? Janice, apparently, does everything. With bells on. Things that I will, most likely, never do. Safe my ass!

I sat there, glued to her every word with such amused delight, such awe, such respect. I listened to story after story - suddenly wishing with all my heart that I were on the Janice end of the human scale. I watched as she closed her eyes and took her last breath, never for a moment thinking of resuscitating her. I blinked and she was gone. And in her place was this windblown Superhero smelling of life and excitement and daring and faraway places. Someone I desperately want to be when I grow up.

Catwoman in a cardigan. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Poem: Kathleen Boylan

Once upon a time, there was a nameless Little One.
Life gave this Little One the first of many lessons.
"What should we call you then, Little One?"
Trembling, Little One responded, "Fear"

Time passed, and the lessons continued.
With each new teaching, came a new name.
"What should we call you now, Little One?"
Laughing, crying, screaming, Little One responded, "Joy.Despair.Rage"

More time passes, and more lessons are learned.
As the latest lesson is received, so was the latest identity.
"And what should we call you today, Little One?"
Standing staunch and proud, Little One responded, "Survivor"

Ran into Little One the other day.
Lessons still come, life still goes on.
"What name do you choose for this day, Little One?"
Smiling, easy, glowing, Little One responded, "I no longer wish to be identified by my struggles.
From now on, I wish to be called by my greatest strength. "
"You may call me Love."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy LOVE Day

Love. One of the simplest complicated emotions-experiences-feelings-desires we humans have. There are a million ways to feel it, to express it, to let it in and to shut it out. Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” I cannot imagine a better goal to gage our loving by – not only for our beloveds but for ourselves. So often love is fettered, bound and defined by our deepest fears and limitations. We place ourselves and those we love in cages designed to keep us comfortable, safe and, most importantly, not alone. We know that we cannot truly love another until we truly love ourselves. Do you love yourself in such a way that you feel free? Do you honor and adore yourself to such a degree that you wouldn’t dream of having and being “less than” in a relationship? Do you soar to untold heights not only in the arms of those you love, but in the deepest places where you hold yourself? Be brave enough to embrace the paradox of letting go that you may hold, releasing that you may keep and unbinding that you may remain tied. Happy Valentine’s Day, Internetland. Love freely, freely love, and eat ridiculous amounts of chocolate.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Own Little Traveling Guide

There was once a King who decided to hold a contest. He gathered everyone in his kingdom together at a certain place on a certain road that led to his castle and announced that he would give a great prize to the person who traveled the road the best.

Each person tried to outdo the next in creativity, strength and agility – dancing, spinning, walking on their hands, cart wheeling and hand springing… They created outrageous bicycles and other wheeled contraptions. They all did their very best - even when, one by one, they came upon a large pile of dirt and rocks in the middle of the road that they had to stop and climb over.

As every person reached the castle the King asked them how their journey down the road had been. And every person answered the same way – it was great except for that annoying pile of rubble in the way.

The King threw a feast for all who had participated and as the celebration was coming to a close, in walked one lone straggler – a young man, tired and hungry, hours later than the rest. In his arms he carried a large wooden chest. The king asked him what had taken him so long and he apologized for being late, explained that there had been a pile of rubble in the road that he had stopped to clean up. He had found the chest under the rocks and had come to return it to its rightful owner.

The king stopped the festivities - announcing to the crowd that this young man had won the prize, a chest full of gold, because “He who travels the road best is the one who makes it better for those that come after him.”

I think that’s what Life is all about – making the road safer and happier for those that follow. And I know it’s what I have committed my existence to  – not because I think I am super special or am after any sort of prize but because I really believe that is how I am to live my life. I have navigated ridiculously treacherous terrain, as have many of us, and I think that all any of us can do is to share where we are and where we have been with others that are traveling on the same road and do our best to make the journey safer and better for them. Just doing our simple best to ease the hearts of fellow travelers who feel the same pain we have felt and are climbing over the same obstacles we have – that’s all.

At times I have done my road clearing from an army tank, other times from a clown car. Now I find myself traveling in a polka dotted tank covered in hippie signs and Namaste bumper stickers that shoots bubbles and sunflowers and chocolate kisses. And occasional shots of Tequila.