Change is not a bad word…

Today I saw on the news reports how legions are looking at the final curtain. This saddens me while it also causes me to ask and wonder about natural endings. I personally belong to a chorus and this question has crossed my mind, is this the end of our chorus? As I read about book stores selling out of books it was not long ago when there was a vein of conversation about the written word and were books going to go extinct and now there is a surge of book reading.

This ebb and flow in our lives is real and it is evidence of the cycle of the life of beginnings and endings. Every day we witness beginnings and endings. Some are more obvious and more painful than others and some simply happen without us even noticing … beginnings and endings are inevitable each and every day. In being aware, it is our way of accepting and or coping that individuates and singles us out. The event itself may happen for many people and yet while some cope well, some struggle and some have a total meltdown. This is mental health awareness …. and this is how we observe and care for our fellow humans on this planet when we care for these experiences.

One of the first courses I took in the bachelor program in 2007 was Spiritual Journey, Rites of Passage, Honouring Life’s Changes and it was the roots of the work I do today. On our spiritual journey we find our way, individually, how to be in the world. The purpose and meaning of our own lives. Rites of passage, are the small ways that we celebrate and honour the endings in our lives to allow beginnings to flourish and be welcomed into the space where we live. Honouring life’s changes take living life with purpose and realizing everyday things are important and key to being happy and joy-filled.

This time of isolation has reset many things, of which I am personally happy about. I believe COVID in its essence has brought about change that is good. This virus has inadvertently brought us back to community, brought us back to our home plate, called the team home, and anchored us back in family and the root chakra. This virus has been a gift, although many will be challenged by this statement, I ask you to look around and see what has ended in your life and where new beginnings have taken root right under your very nose. While you were grieving, lamenting and hunkering there was a green shoot of hope springing up right beside you, in what you were perceiving as the darkness of Hades.

Alvin Toffler wrote in Future Shock, “Change is avalanching upon our heads and most people are grotesquely unprepared to cope with it.” That is the work I love to do …. help people cope with change. As I work in the space of personal awareness and living in this time and space in order to understand the future and the past I watch people blossom as they are given permission to simply be where they are and feel the grief, pain and sadness. To virtually hold the hand of the child that fearfully walks into the valley of death is a gift and an honour.

The 23rd Psalm reads, “Lo’ tho’ I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me … your rod and your staff protect me…” in ancient text there is much wisdom … experience is the gift of the divine energy to allow for purpose, meaning and passion for life to emerge. Step into your own experience and live in the valley of death so you can begin the new experience of heading to the next light filled peak!

Trees and Seedlings

As I awaken each morning there is a tree on the south side of the house that is visible from my bed through the window. I watch this tree each morning, 365 days a year, and now have watched it since 2017. That does not seem like a long time considering, not only my life of 60+ years but, this tree’s life of what might be many more! I do not know its history, how long it has been there or what it has seen. What I do know and all that is relative to me is what I have witnessed while looking the window at this tree.

Bella Coola BC

Each morning as I awaken, open my eyes, stretch, I look for the tree. It dawned on me today I somewhat take it for granted that it will be there and sadness filled my heart knowing my brother recently had to take down a large beloved maple tree in his back yard because it had become dis-eased and was dangerously dying a slow death. It could have fallen on people and the house. They had doctored it, supported it, propped it and loved it however the day had come when end of life was upon them. The mourning started, planning vigil and saying goodbye was imminent. The tree has now transformed back to the land and the stump remains.

The sadness I feel for him as he looks at the stump came over me this morning as I appreciated my tree; I call it “my tree” even though it is not “mine” for many reasons. I looked out today and genuinely felt an overwhelming thankfulness for the tree and all that I have endured in the last years. This tree and I have seen storms aplenty and have both weathered them well. We have scars and wounds yet still stand strong.

Yesterday, I planted seedlings in the garden and left them there to take root and grow. I worried as I looked to the sky and the clouds were grey and dark. For the first time I feared a coming weather storm would pummel my precious seedlings. How do farmers stand it?! These seedlings are not my livelihood! The storm did not amount to anything last night so my seedlings have a chance to strengthen before they face another day.

This tree, these seedlings are precious reminders of life’s journey, spiritual awakenings and rites of passage. The tree gives me hope and strength that season after season it weathers whatever Mother Nature offers. My seedlings may live on or they may die in the elements; it is now out of my hands. I seeded them and they must survive on their own now. My children are in their 30’s with children of their own and my little seedlings have weathered and matured well. I am blessed. As the birds sing, now while I write, the tree sways, the sun shines, the earth rotates, and I am here in this moment where all that matters is at hand. I am exactly where I need to be … in the now! I have let go of all my seedlings, allowing the divine source, God if you will, spiritual guidance to take over and bring life where life is to be, leaving room for joy. Letting die where death is necessary and allow for mourning to take place. What will be will be revealed as we need to know it, all in perfect timing; no fear and no promise. The seeds of tomorrow have potential in them… plant them and let them go …

May you plant your seeds and let them go in love and faith, finding your own tree of assurance that all is right in the world and as it should be.

Fresh rain on the leaves ..

Strength Inside

Sunday May 24th – 35 km cycling — Monday May 25th – 45 km cycling …

What does it mean to feel strong physically? It is when we are in a state of dis-ease that we struggle with motivation, finding passion and energy. I know that feeling. I have spent many days where I feel I cannot lift my head off the pillow …. I sit at the computer and just stare at social media and, when I was drinking, reconciled it was justified having a glass of wine with my lunch. I know what it feels like to be down, out, overwhelmed and depressed. I was dis-eased and out of sync with the world.

I chose to find passion and motivation again. It was hard some days and all I managed to do was to get out of bed and get dressed and go to work … that said, THAT is what saved me. The tiny habits of simply doing something, anything that can be celebrated. I love BJ Fogg’s approach to changing behaviour that in turn changes your life.

One of my first race finishes… so proud!

I did not start out cycling 35 – 45 kms in one go! I also did not start out running 10+ km in one go either. I vividly remember thinking to myself one day … “I cannot imagine running 10 kms.” and that was that. I could not imagine it so I never even thought about it. In March of 2017 my daughter had just birthed her first child and was beginning her training again to get back to where she had been pre-pregnancy. She is a runner, cyclist and swimmer; a triathlete. She said, “mom you should train for a tri-a-tri!” and with the birth of my baby grandson came the birth of my now routine. She had a baby and so did I! I began there. I could not necessarily imagine doing a tri-a-tri (350 m. swim, 10 kms bike, 2.5 km run) what I could imagine was training with my beloved daughter because she believed in me. I found this touched my strength inside.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with my fitness level …. it was a start! A change in my behaviour that changed my life. I began there. The first race I did was a 5 km and I walked and ran my way through it. The second race I did, again a 5 km, I ran as long as I could and then began walking … my daughter passed me and she regaled as she went by, “way to go Mom, you did 1.3 kms before walking!” I was elated … celebration time.

When we trust our strength inside of ourselves the well is deep. It is endless and the potential for successful living is exponentially increased. So exciting … it is possible. Since that season in 2017 I have completed a ½ marathon and have seven finisher medals and 15 bibs hanging on my wall. I have gone completely alcohol free and have passionately cleaned up my eating habits … except for ice cream! I love ice cream and I am 60 years old! I have dreams and aspirations to race around the world and will qualify for the world’s multi sport at some time when racing is happening again. Until then I look after me, I race with me, I run and bike for me with me and I have found my strength inside. You can too!

#womensfitness #runningaspassion #olderadultfitness #elderyearsfitness

Find life ….

Often when we are feeling lost or lonely it is very difficult to find life. Hard to see green shoots or hope, new growth … I love baking and making food for myself. I live alone and have developed a passion to care for me, with great food and exploration.

Most recently I have begun to sprout seeds. This shows me there is life everywhere… Bee happy … find life … watch for life around you and ask to see it. As one is grieving it is often that signs of life are lost. Imagining new life, watching trees sprout leaves and gardens pushing out shoots of green. Sprouting seeds in your kitchen to watching your house plants come to life. The simple act of watching will bring renewed hope and wellness to your heart and soul.

Butterfly Effect … Cocooning

I am so entrenched in the chaos of this phenomena known as COVID-19 and the effect of the virus and its spread. What happens when we look at this as an amazing opportunity to restart and shift gears? This flower is in full bloom in my photo and yet was ephemeral in nature … I took the photo to freeze the blossom in time so I can look upon it with my eyes. That said, each time I look at it with my eyes it conjures up the moment in time when I laid my eyes upon it and so this flower, which no longer exists, is alive, well and real in my mind’s eye.

Like our loved ones that have passed through this human experience and the soul released from the flesh we can conjure them up simply by looking at a photo or touching something they once touched. They are alive in our hearts and souls. This is heaven. When a loved one goes to heaven … there we are. Heaven is a place of beauty, timelessness and soul quenching energy. We can visit whenever we choose.

#breakingstibah is about breaking the habit of limitation. Culture and society place upon us boundaries of what it means to live and we fall in line. Break those boundaries and erase those limitations. You are free and your spirit can be the source of your existence. Listen and hear the bloom in this flower …

Listen and hear the laughter of those gone before… Listen and hear the call of our ancestors who travel around us each and every day. The veil of the spirit world is so close we can taste it, should we choose to stick out the tongue of imagination, passion and desire.

#griefcafeBradford and #breakingstibah invite you to change, grow, push through the grief of your life and witness the spiritual flow that is at hand. Fall into the arms of divine spirit and rest your soul with love.


What is Grief?

Grief by definition is a keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. Grief is our way of dealing with the losses in our lives and the deep sadness attached. Suffering through grief can be one of the biggest challenges we have to face in our life.

Grief can overwhelm our whole sense of being, the way we live our lives, and impact on our emotional, physical, psychological and behavioural well-being. 
However these are all normal reactions to the pain of dealing with loss, and whilst there is no one way to grieve there are ways to understand what grief is, and how to react to it.

Grief is usually associated with the death of someone but can also  be the result of:

  1. Any relationship breakdown
  2. Loss of employment including retirement
  3. Changing locations or moving
  4. The death of a pet
  5. Life threatening illness
  6. Any traumatic experiences

#griefcafeBradford allows people to find out:

  • about grief and its impact
  • and strategies to try and deal with it

​We gather twice monthly in a safe and caring environment. Our sessions include time for sharing, meditation and teaching. Tools and techniques are helpful while grieving and learning how we store grief in the body explains our aches and our pains as well as our emotional distress. People can ask questions and gain information about grief and coping tools. There’s also the opportunity to talk to share space and time with others being a support while you are being supported.  

Grief often is seen as being witnessed in five stages:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Bargaining
  • Acceptance

It has been studied and better understood that these stages ebb and flow, and while being listed in an order, often do not occur in the order listed here. A person can feel well and coping and something very simple sets off a whole new set of feelings and emotional overwhelm. This is when #griefcafeBradford can be of service and help.


The word “stibah” was inspired through my reading of the Harry Potter books this past year. I had pledged to read 12 books cover to cover in 2018 and, with my daughter’s probing, I decided to read the seven HP books. I am currently reading #6 The Half Blood Prince … I have completed more than my 12 self-promised books, some were audio as I was book reading the Harry Potter series.

In the first book there was the mirror of erised …. from the book comes this, “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi” At this point I am not going to go into what it all means. If you figure it out maybe it will interest you enough to find out more about my programs, teaching and leading. If you cannot see it, then come to my introductory program and you will learn what it is all about.

Walk with me,
Talk with me,
Share the journey with me.
Are you brave enough?
What if I show you everything you need to know?


The word “stibah” was inspired through my reading of the Harry Potter books.

In the first book there was the mirror of erised …. from the book comes this, “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi” At this point I am not going to go into what it all means. If you figure it out maybe it will interest you enough to find out more about my programs, teaching and leading. If you cannot see it, then ask and you will learn what it is all about.

Walk with me,
Talk with me,
Share the journey with me.
Are you brave enough?
What if I show you everything you need to know?

Anniversaries … Rites of Passage

Two years ago January 29 I took my last drink. I did not know it would be my last because I had taken what I thought was a last drink many times. This time, on January 29th 2018, did turn out to be my last. So I am celebrating every day that I chose to make that drink my last.

A few weeks ago I had my last bowl of ice cream. I did not know it would be my last because I had taken what I thought was my last bowl of ice cream many times. This time, a few weeks ago, did turn out to be my last. So I am celebrating every day that I chose to eat my last bowl of ice cream.

Some may laugh at these two paragraphs, however I am serious. Will I drink alcohol again, not likely, will I eat sweets and ice cream again, most likely. The point of this comparison is that the need to eat ice cream and the breaking of the habit is completely linked to the drinking of alcohol. The difference is once I had done it once I can repeat it over and over again.

These two substances both fill the gap left by loneliness. I would feel I deserved a glass of wine and once it was gone I would fill that gap with ice cream. I would eat 2 L. of ice cream over a couple of nights. I started out eating a bowl, then one bowl was not enough, so I would take a scoop or two more, creating a second bowl. Then two was not enough so a third bowl was introduced… and the gap would never be filled, of course, but my sick feeling from eating ice cream would then overshadow my loneliness hole, I would have something else to think about.

Letting go of ice cream was just as difficult as letting go of alcohol because I had to face the loneliness gap in my life. That is the hardest thing to do.

What are you doing habitually to avoid facing your own fears?
What is making you sick emotionally by calling on substance to fix it?
What if I could help you face your fears, tread on your shaky road, walk through the fire to find the cold water stream to bask in and heal your heart.

Taking your last drink, eating your last chocolate bar, losing your temper for the last time is always just a look in the mirror away. You can do it … Ask me, I know, because I have done it too!

Empty your cup and fold your hands as your reach into your own soul cross that bridge over troubled water …. soul help, that is what I do … I am a soul companion and spiritual search guide.

Testing my own bias!

The burning bush …

This is known as the burning bush … it is the symbol of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and is a beautiful representation of fall being upon us here in SouthWestern Ontario. Firey red leaves, crimson with colour and stays that way well into the snowy days ahead. I have been watching these bushes of late as they alway remind me of my passion and love for the PCC and my time discerning with them, most ‘specially with the little church in the fields where I served for over two years as their student minister. It is where I did much growing and changing and fighting and struggling. It is where I was tossed into chaos and learned to trust in the now and simply be present to all that is in our day to day lives. It is where I cut my teeth on the ring of personal growth, my own obstinance, arrogance and opinion. The place where the divine forces placed me to simply blossom.

This burning bush today caught my eye as I was walking to an appointment in the cool fall afternoon. Blowing in the breezes and simply glowing with energy. The burning bush, a place of warmth if I am to step up close enough and bask in the glory. This burning bush reminded me of Moses standing on sacred ground asking into the firey throes of energy … “who shall I say sent me?” … “what is your name?” According to Exodus God says, “I AM as I AM”. God is asking Moses to go and bring the people to freedom, lead them out of their peril, show them the way … bring them to the foot of the mountain .. and Moses’ mouth drops open … who ME? Many look into the face of the divine and say “who me?” and wonder can they make a difference in the world. I ask that question every day and am humbled at the chances I am given to grow and learn while standing in front of I AM.

Today I met with a young journalist who is writing a story. We talked for over two hours about religiosity, faithfulness, “God”, doctrines and humanity. We talked about the future, the past, where religions are going, Christianity, Islam, politics and religion and how we both believe love and kindness are the beginning for all relationship and community. As we were sitting in my car finishing up the interview, a young black man stepped up to the passenger side window. I looked past the young woman journalist, past her hijab, through the window. She turned and looked into this young man’s black face. He rapped on the window. I put the window down a few inches and he said, “Are you my UBER driver? I just called an UBER.” I said, “no, I am not on the clock today” and just as that another car like mine, similar in colour with an UBER sticker in the window, like mine, pulled up and the young man ran to the car and got in. I stopped still in my seat. I asked my companion what her thoughts were and we both paused in the moment. I was ashamed …

Why was I ashamed? Because my first initial thought was fear based and immediately raced to a place I am ashamed to admit. So ashamed I am blogging about it so I can call out others who still have bias in their hearts that is so deeply engrained that even though my immediate, second thought was of kindness and openness, my first was out of fear. Why, oh why, I painfully lament to myself did I go there? Would I have felt the same fear if it was a white girl? white boy? black girl? I honestly don’t know. I have no excuse I only have learnings. I did open the window. I did invite his question. We did laugh together when he saw his UBER however I am still ashamed for my immediate reaction. It will be my burning bush moment for a while to come.

Should the divine call me to the precipice and ask me to go and bring the people I would ask forgiveness for this moment before I could ever help anyone else. In this moment of learning I have great compassion for our entrenched bias that is infused so deeply. I learned today to always have empathy, love and compassion for any bias and always leave room for learnings.

I stood at the bush today and gave thanks, thanks for lessons learned every day, all day and every way and all ways … no one is perfect or exempt, that said, the forces that make the beautiful burning bush expects me to be the best, challenge myself, and take these learnings to heart.

Bloomin’ time….

Is there anything more joyfilled than a sunflower? As I discovered the work of my mantra this morning these greeted me across the street and on my first steps.

What is my mantra today? Well it started last night. I went to bed thinking simply “get up and run” nothing more nothing less. I have been struggling with getting out there. I love it once I go, I am passionate about taking the steps, and I want to participate in the 1/2 marathon in Toronto in October. I cannot do that, in fairness to my body, without training and healthy consistency. So I consistently work on positive thinking and in the moment encouragement. Today, if I can simply go running for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes, either way I have just done it.

So often it is getting going, getting started, making a move, shakin’ a leg, testing the waters, setting aside the apathy and simply doing it …. that makes the difference. Last night I put bananas on my Rolo ice cream … putting some nutrition in there … its a start!

What is the sunflower in your life today? As you bloom and blossom are there petals still stuck that haven’t quite got with the bloomin’ fullness yet? I am sure there are and all I can say is enjoy the process… because at one point or another in your life some plans are buds, some are partially open and some are in full bloom and others are dying off making room for new growth.

The best I can say comes to mind in the words of Eliza Doolittle, from My Fair Lady, “Moove your bloomin’ arse …” and get your mantra in place!

Blessings on an incredible day!

My passion for hospice

No one can see the future and in all honesty really does not need to see the future. We are born, we live and then we die. As I remember the first two-thirds of my life I am so very thankful for all the learnings and the challenges I have faced. I held on to so many ideas, thoughts and cultural infusions only to discover once I opened my hands and let it all go that is all they were; ideas, thoughts and cultural ideas.

It is now I stand in my own beautiful place in this world and reach out to help others find this beautiful place for themselves. This beautiful place is only where you choose to find it. The old saying, you find what you lost in the last place you look! The last place you look is sacred because you will find yourself. The lost parts that have all come together; it is only a question of when do you choose to find yourself … sooner or later?

I am a life celebrant and offer spiritual services to families looking to build a bridge with death and find ways of grieving, bereaving and in a heartfelt way celebrating the lives of those who have transitioned on to the next journey. Sadness will be present and the losses can be great, yet in this is the celebration of the soul that has moved on to a higher plain.

Through a beautiful ceremony, peace can be found and love sought in death. Contact me should you be looking to grieve in a healthy way, say good-bye to a loved one in a spiritual service or simply celebrate loss in your life.