writing, practice, contemplation, poetry, journal, clinics, salons, spiritual, possibilities, gratitude

Peas-full- Soul Sustenance

I like peas/in a pod, garden direct, shelled/popping and pinging

into a small bowl,/cupped in a hand/eaten raw—their sweetness

a reminder of sunshine/and rain—their nutrients/bursting onto my tongue

mixing with saliva, that spit/full of tiny bubbles/ready to crowd

their green/nectar around my mouth/then,  just before swallowing

it spread gifts, miraculously—

I like peas/frozen and joined/to any soup or meal.

Green pebbles/ready to thaw/the moment heat/ embraces their skin.

I savour their journey/to my plate or bowl, /and express thankfulness.

In my delight to absorb/such wonder, such simplicity/and digest such splendor;

I remember the health/and wellness it gifts me/one fruit pod at a time,/

one pea,/one molecule.

I love peas. Thank you,/each and every one/for your magnificence.

Such sustenance for the soul.

Writing Practice: Embrace an opportunity to write about a great love or passion that feeds your soul. It can be anything that “pops” into your mind. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral; Person, Place or Thing. In-joy the experience and be surprised! I was…

Dreams are a matter of engagement in the world…

Part of the story I tell myself is that I may not have the energy to sustain this longing to take writing clinics on the road. That somehow, I will be thwarted in the process, although that’s not all of it.
I want to share my journey with others so that others may grow their insights into their health and wellness and take baby steps towards wholeness as they see it through the power of the pen.
o I see that personal health and wellness is reflected in the environments that we create around us.
o I see the environments around us that we create are reflected in the world as a whole.

This struggle is in all of us, and the world around us. It is rampant in the fragmentations of life yet, truth is—we are all connected.

The interconnectedness of all life eludes me in the day to day slog (in the past) and the blocks (today), I imagine that stop me moving toward my dreams. Dreams are a matter of engagement in the world. They were never the airy fairy ether trails imagined by some, and now I have grown to see it as only one polarity while the other exists in the severity of how one is supposed to be in the world rather living our passion.

The story I tell myself also is who cares in the big scheme of things? It is of no matter unless I deem it so.

A client I work with experienced a stroke and has searched for reading and listening materials to help her better grasp her new reality. There are few personal stories (My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor) an exception, and only clinical accounts. Within our work together, I have suggested she has her own story to tell and I can help her with that. Her response was at first—who cares—my family doesn’t care? My response was twofold. Her family may, or may not care; however in a sense the way she is struggling to find context in her situation, so they are too. They may simply not know how to care.

In a way it is similar to the health care system. When care is physical—clean beds, medicine, physiotherapy, food- the outcome is quantifiable, and can be identified and tracked—however when care is emotional it moves the finite into the infinite with variables that are as individual as each one of us. There are likelihoods, trends, and indicators, but the journey is individual, and often felt to be solo.

Does my client’s story matter? Yes it does. Why because as human beings we are in search of a truth that resonates with us, and telling that story will allow others of like-mind to connect to it, give them an opportunity to grow emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally in ways that without that exposure, or without that experience and process, the nuggets of clarity will be lost.

Her story of grief, loss and reframing is essential to her peace of mind, and that alone is worth the time and effort to provide support to her in her life journey. So who cares? I care and maybe others will come to see another way to care and see stroke survivors as whole human beings no matter their changed abilities in the contents of the story she unveils.

By the same brush, I paint myself—in the big scheme of things, who cares whether I write, take clinics on the road? My response to myself is— I don’t know, but truth be told—I can’t imagine doing anything else except take one step at a time, and buckle up hunny bunny, you’re going for a ride even though you don’t know the route. If you’re meant to do this, it will be, otherwise my inner knowing will guide me to another step. In other words I’ve been given an opportunity—embrace it with wholeheartedness—and go with the flow of uncertainty. It is the process that matters, not the destination, or the outcome.

I was moved to write this blog inspired by the resource identified below by one sentence. What story did you tell yourself that prevented… (p.64—see details below).

It struck me that I was using an excuse about my physical energy levels to stop me moving ahead with a plan to take Writing Clinics for Health and Wellness on the road. Energy level is something to be considered, but it is neither a literal nor metaphoric roadblock—unless I deem it so. So, I change my story…

Writing Practice:
o What is the story I tell myself that stops me from moving ahead?
o How does health and wellness connect between feeling stuck and being unstuck?
o How to know the difference between a made-up story and what is true to our inner knowing?
o What story do I tell myself that prevents me from taking a risk and honouring my inner genius—genius being that part of me that makes my heart sing—the inner knowing that resides in us all when we listen from inside out.
o How is this reflected in the world around me?
o How do I find balance between the two and how do I take the next step?
®Angela Simmons- write4health.ca

Resource: Writing to AwakenA journey to truth, transformation and self-discovery by Mark Matousek. This gem of a book offers numerous ways to deepen practice and dig a little deeper.



Stillness- a way of life…

Stillness blogStillness is one of the twelve Vision Cards- a visual reminder and/or prompt for the Possibility PLAYbook to be published in July. The PLAYbook  is the final piece of the Health and Wellness Package– an outgrowth of the past seven years of recovery from a motor vehicle accident that changed my life on January 12, 2007.

In search of a way to climb into a new life with a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and multiple physical injuries, I sought PLAY (Purpose, Lightness, Action, Yes), once I was able. PLAY became my path. When I faced any challenge, I sought ways to play with it in simplistic ways. This was about eighteen months after the accident. Subsequent years have been about recovery, one step at a time, and exploring the tools of PLAY.

P: Finding purpose is essential to anyone, especially when something interrupts the flow of one’s life- be it an event, dis-ease, a physical and/or metaphoric death- anything that shatters and/or alters our life journey.

L: Lightness is an ability to bring “light” (and laughter) into anything and everything that we face on our life path. It is a capacity to find a gift of any traumatic event and reframe it in a lighthearted way in small and significant ways. It is about shedding “light” into the dark, and darkest places of our lives, and allowing that “light”—those tiny tendrils of grace— to filter down on us that offer choice.

A: Action, is about embracing those tiny tendrils of grace, however they show-up, and taking baby-steps along our life path—especially when everything in us, in saying “no”—taking any action, helps “stuck” energy to move, change and transform.

Y: Yes, is about simply saying “yes” to life.

YES I can…involve trust, seek stillness- two Vision Cards highlighted in this blog so far. There are ten more to go…

Today, I “pulled” the Stillness Card. I’ve just returned from a 1,600 km road trip. The good news is that I was able to do it, although it took two days going up and back- a total of four days- which is the good thing. Seven years ago, I could have driven one-way in a day- and three years ago I could not have driven half-way. I call that progress- slow and steady, just like the tortoise!  That is what health and wellness is all about- never say never, and, one step at a time.

For the next two weeks, I want to contemplate stillness in my life. While the image itself is static, it indicates constant movement- the sky, the sandpiper, the waves, the sand crawling with life. It is like much of our life—constant movement— and in many cases that unbroken demand is a mere perception. Taking time-out and finding stillness within in our daily activities comes from the inside out, and becomes an opportunity to ground ourselves, and move forward in equilibrium.  Join me…

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

Salmon jump


Howard Thurman, philosopher, theologian, educator, civil rights leader


When I was four, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew-up. Now over five decades later I am curious about the path that leads and becomes a life. Many paths have almost invisible forks, divining and dividing with an uncertainty that hovers just beyond reach.   There have been many changes in the path, changes in direction and compass. It has moved and pulled me, shifted and adjusted, and each bump and scratch has propelled, catapulted or nudged me in some way; all of which make up the days and moments of unfoldment.

Hearing babies cry in a nursery at four, something invisible shifted in me. Bare, blatant anguish bounced around the walls and the desolation crept inside me deeply finding a nook where it still lollygags. It is like a scab that just won’t heal, no matter how and in what ways I dress it. It can be drawn to the surface in an instant. A cry, a threat, an injustice; it is like a worm wiggling itself out of the dark into the light; it is like a dark discomfort yanking at my belly. I want to run away and chase it simultaneously. Let a wind blow me into the open sky, let the kite hovering there shimmer in the light, dip and dive on gusts and billows, let it show me the way. It is forever there waiting for inclusion and acceptance. It is separate from and part of the whole. It is both/and. This sign, these voices still call; tuning to the frequency, is a fine art of fumble and finesse.

There are divers and skimmers in the world. Each of us hover over one more prevalently than the other. Divers dig deep beneath the surface, turn their passion into an all-consuming study; they are the experts among us, the master craftsmen. Skimmers pick from here and there bouncing, gathering, sorting to make sense of their world. They are collectors of concepts, perceptions and tie all of it together in some resemblance of order, loosely. They are the philosophers perhaps, the cultural creatives that push past the edge of the norm, and in doing so discover a new way of being in the world.

Neither path is chosen- the path chooses you. Dallying between the two is a dance from a tango to a waltz where change is the flow between chaos and order, fuzziness and focus. It could be named the middle-way, or classic fence-sitting. It is always about point-of-view and perception. It is always about where you are in the world, what luxury or poverty cloaks you, what political landscape confronts you, what voices you hear or ignore.

I’ve heard it said that at four years old we know our connection with Spirit unquestionably. We understand our purpose in the whole, and our interconnectedness to all that is on a spiritual level; also miraculously we know those actions and pursuits that make our hearts sing. It is however, the next eighty plus years we spend trying to remember what we intuitively knew as a child, honouring the agreement we made as spiritual beings, and learning to listen.

What voices do I hear today? They are occasionally as clear as a whale song from the depth, occasionally as silent as salmon-speak. I can see mouths open and close, yet cannot hear a voice. Tuning in to the frequency of life and hearing its cry, from earth, animals, humans-all sentient beings- is tough, a gift, complex, simple—it is both/and. In its paradoxes, all is possible. The choice is ours.