Sunday, September 27, 2015

Surrendering to the Open Road

Beaumont, AB

Oh hey Autumn! I wasn't quite ready for you YET! But alas, here you are. I hope you all had an amazing, beautiful and LONG summer in the Northern Hemi:) And happy spring to the Southern Hemi (jealous)!

I have finally found some time to write has I am somewhat settled now from moving to a different apt in my building earlier this month. I returned from a 2 and a half week road trip through the great western provinces of Canada in early August and playing catch-up and packing/moving/unpacking/purging since. If I could have, I would have just kept right on going to the right coast. Alas, I was so very grateful I got to go as far as I did - my Dad's farm in SK!  

In the weeks leading up to the trip, that pesky illness that randomly drops into my life decided to visit a few times. If you're new to this newsletter, in a nut shell, I get sick pretty randomly and mysteriously. It comes with an array of symptoms: brain fog, extreme fatigue, burning eyes, shortness of breath and just an all over feeling of pure SHITE. Still unexplained but of course there are many theories: heavy metal poisoning, ileocecal valve dysfunction, parasites from SE Asia travels etc. Most of the time it just comes out of the blue with no warning or trigger but also any measure of alcohol will initiate it too, which makes eating out unbelievably scary and difficult.  Just not drinking is not enough. There is alcohol in so many things you'd never guess and I have had to learn the hard way many times and now find it hard eating anything I haven't prepared myself. If I only got sick for a day or just a bit flushed - no probs. But I pay DEARLY (life comes to a full stop) and for a lengthy time if it happens.

So I was really hesitating on going. What if I got sick mid-trip? Or even worse, when I was all the way in SK and still had to drive home? 

I am truly getting so tired of living in constant fear and either not being able to follow through on plans or not making them at all. The only person who has ever really made any headway amongst the medical doctors, specialists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, medical intuitives, allergists, herbalists, energy healers etc. is my Homeopath, Jana Cimermanova. Sometimes it takes one remedy, sometimes two but she always gets me righted eventually. Which is some MAJOR progress compared to my life a couple of years ago. She is not just any Homeopath. She has a highly scientific background that serves as a foundation to her mastery in Homeopathy and on top of that, very intuitive. In short, she is GIFTED and would highly recommend her to anyone with any kind of health issue.

After contemplating it for some time I knew that I had to go. If I didn't start showing the universe that I want my life of adventure back, then I would just keep living this narrow life full of fear - the absolute last thing I want. My peripatetic soul feels like a caged bird at times and I want it to feel free again. 

So off I went into the unknown. As soon as I got past the city limits on the open highway I felt such happiness and relief. And I could feel my courage already being restored. Hear THAT universe?!

I met my friends, David and Lindsay, and their kids, Brianna and Logan that evening in Osoyoos. We went swimming and chilled at the beach before spending the night catching up on their balcony overlooking the lake. I was SO happy not only to see and be with them but to also not be sitting at my jewelry bench and away in new and different surroundings aka NOT my apartment:) 

We said our goodbyes the next morning and I started making my way up to Kelowna to meet my friend Angie to celebrate her birthday. But I started to feel not so swell. I was upset but thought at least it is happening now and it's not that far to drive back home. I took the homeopathic remedy Jana  sent with me. I knew there was a possibility it could work but also that it could not. Sometimes it is bang on and I feel well within a few hours or a day and other times I need a different dosage or a completely new remedy. Luckily for me, within a few hours we were paddle boarding, swimming and flying over the water clutching a rope like Janes of the Jungle!

We are never really in control. We just think we are when things happen to be going our way. 
- Byron Katie
I can't explain how grateful and blessed I felt to recover so quickly and be able to enjoy that day of sunshine and bliss as it could have gone the complete opposite way. And the next day was EVEN better. I visited with some old friends who moved to Kelowna from Saskatchewan where I grew up, Peggy and Ron. We always have never ending things to talk and reminisce about. My Mom and Peggy had so much fun together dressing up as various characters or spraying everyone with water guns at parades dressed up as Bonnie and Clyde back in the day!

Angie and I decided it was time to hit the water park. I will say this without any hesitation: that was THE FUNNEST 25 minutes of my life! We giggled the entire time and had we not had life jackets on, we might have drowned from all the laughing! One feels completely off balance and somewhat inebriated. It's almost impossible to regain balance or composure or look graceful in any way trying to get thyself up on the trampoline or up the slide. I felt like a clumsy seal, which really isn't far off from my daily life:P 

I said goodbye to Angie on Monday morning and headed on down to Nelson. This stretch was absolutely delightful! Fresh organic fruit stands and delicious espresso at every turn! I arrived in Nelson around dinner time and booked myself into a sweet little hostel there, Dancing Bear Inn. I splurged and got my own room. The extroverted introvert that I am, I love being around people but living alone for so long, I need my TT time to recharge.

I went down to the lake and walked around aimlessly with no destination or time limit...ahhhhh. After dark, I went to a wi-fi cafe to get some emailing done. It was SO WARM that I sat outside on the deck with the skunks and lanterns. I do want to live in a place someday where I never need to wear a jacket or shoes. Barefoot and a sundress. BLISS! 

The next day I cruised around to all the cute little stores to see if I could find a good fit for my jewelry. Lucky for me, one of the stores I dropped my business card at emailed me shortly after and made a wholesale order - yay! It's called The HeArt Gallery and I am so excited to be a part of this store filled with so many cool, local designers. 

I drove myself over to Cranbrook later that afternoon just in time to catch the new Terminator movie with my bro! The next day we hung out and checked out Kimberly. My brother has had a pretty rough road. Seeing him looking and doing so well couldn't have made my heart any happier or at peace.

I set off for Edmonton later that day but made the mistake of getting an americano misto in Radium that was WAY too misto-y that almost put me to sleep on the road. So my friend Kevin, an extremely talented photog finishing his Master's in Fine Arts, was kind enough to put me up at his place in Calgary, despite his busy schedule. We had a lovely evening walk with a view of the skyline and chatted about our photography and non-existent love lives. Ha!

After he went off to school the next morning, he told me to just close the door behind me when I left because it would automatically lock. Sounds simple enough (for most people)! I decided to start taking my bags out to the car and when I opened the door I noticed my camera equipment wasn't at the bottom of the stairs where I thought it was left. I was afraid someone had opened the door and snatched it. So I panicked and ran out to my car to check if perhaps I left it in the trunk. It wasn't there. I ran back to check upstairs and..DENIED (locked out).

I had barely gotten ready, hair sopping wet but at least I was dressed! Lucky for me that it was the laptop bag I took out to the car and finally found a Starbuck's in the neighbourhood so I could steal some wifi and email Kevin on Facebook and let him know what happened. So he had to drive all the way back to let me back in. OOOPSIES! I'm sure he can't WAIT to have me back as a houseguest! And my photography equipment was there. It was just upstairs:P

I carried on to Beaumont to stay with my faux parents, Sue and Gar! Which reminds me, I still have to write about my trip to Florida I took back earlier in the year:/ That was the last time I saw them and had been missing them so much! They had sold their house in Millet and moved to a newer, cozier one in Beaumont. It really doesn't matter where they are because any place I see them feels like home:)

It was here that I managed to get some work done finally! In the evenings I would take Sue's bike out to watch the sunset over the prairies outside of town. I always thought that Vancouver had the most stunning sunset with the mountains and ocean in the foreground but there is something very extra especially beautiful about big open skies and land.

I also got to see some of my old homies in my other hometown of Edmonton.

Then it was off to Saskatchewan to my Dad's farm in Birch Hills. This is about a 6 hour drive from Edmonton. It was actually quite a relaxing drive compared to the mountains since one can just put on the cruise control and just make sure the car stays straight on the road. I even did some yoga stretches and painted my toenails (kidding Dad, kidding!).

I had a lovely stay at my Dad's. It is so nice to be on the farm in the summertime. Fields for miles, the silence, the earthy scent after a rainfall, the sound of crickets chirping, stardusty skies and the wonderful memories of growing up there. The trees that used to be so tiny when I was a child have all grown into their full potential, on guard around our yard like a cozy evergreen shield.

Dad and I hopped on his Harley the next day to take a little road trip up to Waskesiu where I had spent every summer growing up. I had not been back since I was 16 so I couldn't wait to see how it had changed. Riding on the back of my Dad's bike took me back to 1987! Listening to Emmy-Lou Harris, Johnny Cash,  Steve Earle, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson...I felt like I was 12 again:)

We went to the cabin we stayed at every year and the playground where I had so many good times with cousins and friends. And of course the beach, where we spent 90% of our time! Some things had changed drastically and others were exactly the same. I was hoping to see or hear a loon for that is one of my most vivid memories and one of the things I loved most about being there. Either way, it was quality father daughter time. I am so proud of my Dad and what he has accomplished in his life. I know I got my independent spirit and wanderlust from him, as well as the passion to make a living doing what I love!

I set out a couple days later to go back to Edmonton but unfortunately started to feel pretty icky. Hour by hour, I felt worse and worse. I contacted every health store in Edmonton on the drive to see if I could get the same remedy I had taken in Kelowna but to no avail. I finally found a Homeopath that would make it up for me but I thought it would all be in vain. I couldn't fathom driving back to Vancouver if it got any worse so I had to TRY and trust that all would be well.

Low and behold, by the next afternoon I started feeling better and better, hour by hour! I was so overjoyed and decided that I would head back to Vangroovy the next day. But first, I had to build my market display for Make It Edmonton coming up in November!

Garry and I went to Home Depot and got just about everything we needed from the scrap pile. All in all, I spent $40! It wanted to build it there so that I wouldn't have to drive and bring all my display stuff and just fly instead with my product. The last time I drove to Edmonton in November, I SWORE would be the last time.

But in the end, I took the damn thing with me anyway! I knew I would get a lot of use out of it here in Vancouver and I couldn't bear to part with it. Soooooo...I am still going to fly, but get in a week early so I can make another one! HUGE shout out to Garry for helping me to build:)

I drove the full 13 hours home the next day. I had bought some audiobooks along the way to keep me awake and my brain stimulated. These were the two that I got the most insight from:

Outrageous Openness: Letting the Diving Take the Lead by Tosha Silver 

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection by Michael A. Singer

When I set out on this trip, I could only do it on faith and trust that I would be taken care of. That no matter what happened, it was just meant to, and I had no control over it. Whenever something doesn't go our way, we have to be open to the possibilities of the good things that can stream from it. To remember that life is working for us and not against us and these challenges elevate us to being better beings, as hard as it is to see when we are in the thick of it.

If anything is certain, life is uncertain. I am learning and trying to be OK with its uncertainty and accepting that maybe things are happening because they are SUPPOSED to be happening, not because I should have made this or that decision or I think it is unfair.

“The single most important decision any of us will ever make is whether or not to believe that the universe is friendly.”  
- Albert Einstein

I could have stayed home and spent a perfectly enjoyable, safe, stress and adventure free 2 weeks in Vancouver but I would have missed out on so many good memories and people I love and just the act of getting out there and LIVING. Even though I did have am uncomfortable bout in the was very brief and at the END when I was planning to be on my way home anyway. It could have been much worse, and having been on the 'worse' side enough times in my life, I can appreciate the good, sorta good, mediocre and even just 'meh' SO SO very much more the most miraculous day, full of potential.

If we surrender to life and trust that it loves us and wants us to win, we will be lead in the right direction. Who can say that their life has gone exactly as planned? My life is FAR from what I imagined it would be like now, but have had to let go of how I think things should be so I am able to live more presently, in a state of grace and open to other possibilit.

Inspired jewelry...

“…Without mud, you cannot have a lotus flower. Without suffering, you have no ways in order to learn how to be understanding and compassionate…. Happiness is the lotus flower, and the suffering is the mud. So the practice is how to make use of the suffering, make use of the mud, to create the flower, the happiness, and this is possible.”  
- Thich Nhat Hanh
If this sickness had never entered my life, I would not have been forced into being an independent artist which has lead me to so many beautiful people, places and experiences and making an income for myself that I work hard for, but am very passionate about.

Life rewards us with some amazing gifts, if only we can just stay open to them, let go...and enjoy the ride!

I am realistic - I expect miracles. 
- Wayne Dyer 

Approach the world with an attitude of I wonder what will happen and then watch the story unfold
- Teal Swan
More pics from road trip here.

1 comment:

Snowcoast Boards said...

Did you try stand up paddleboarding? Im sure you and your family will enjoy it. There are several lakes in Canada to visit and go paddling. Paddleboarding Red Deer