Hello, G’day Mate, Hola

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

We arrived back in Toronto less than 48 hours ago after three weeks in sunny Australia.  And in an hour and a half we will be making our way back to the airport to head out to Spain to begin our 400+ kilometer trek across northern Spain.  Some have asked why did we even bother to come home, but I’m glad we did.  The short time put a lot of pressure on us to really focus on what needed to get done and we spent a lot of quality time with my Mom and Sister.  I really enjoyed it.

IMG_20150701_095452

Our trip to Australia was good.  Before leaving I had a feeling that things weren’t going to go as planned, and with life, that usually happens.  Overall it was a great trip but it had its challenges – from faulty aircraft entertainment units, adjustments to travel plans for family, little internet connection and even not up to par accommodation.  It was challenging, I won’t deny that.  In the heat of the moment I found it difficult to deal with, but what I can see now is that it played a purpose to teach me things.  My initial reaction was to play the victim and have a poor me attitude, but these events weren’t about me.  Things went wrong, people had to look after themselves, I had to adjust.  And I had to let go and let be.  Isn’t that what we should be doing most of the time anyway?  I promised myself that despite what happens, I will have a good time.

IMG_0205

The purpose of our trip though, was to see my husband’s daughter, who happens to be an extremely beautiful and talented actress, perform her opening show for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Sydney Opera House.  What an honour to be able to witness and be a part of this.  Wow is all that I can say!!!

Hubby with daughter

Hubby with daughter

We spent most of our time in Queensland, specifically in the Gold Coast, minutes from Surfers Paradise, and up in Hervey Bay, and of course in Sydney.  I already thought that Australia was beautiful, and now I’m even more convinced.  We played tourist for more of the trip, doing a lot of touristy things such as daily walks on the beach, body surfing, visiting amusement parks and meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in years and just took it easy.  It was a busy yet relaxing vacation where we were on the go a lot. Oh and the sunsets were to die for.

IMG_0447IMG_0703

IMG_0686

But now a new adventure is going to begin, one that is entirely different.  I hope to write more.

Buen Camino to us!

Love,

Smartie

And Soon It Will Begin….

I had a dream last night.  I don’t remember much of it.  But one thing that has clearly stuck to my conscious mind is the message (which I can still hear being said with a big, deep voice): Yooooou neeeeeeed to coooonnnnnect with yourrrrrr creeeeaaaativity agaaaaain.

Yeah, yeah….I’m not surprised.  I’ve been missing writing, drawing, dancing and singing (don’t tell my hubby the last part!).

me and phil

I’ve just been busy.

This year, 2015, has brought many new things into my life.  I’ve traveled to the Caribbean and Australia, my hubby was picked up by a British publisher for his book, I’ve been in school, opened up a holistic practice (Cheney Holistic) and now a Solution-Focused Coaching practice (Teal Tiger).

Through all of this, I’ve felt myself being stretched in so many ways.  I’ve been happy with the growth, wisdom and knowledge I’ve gained.  My relationships with the special people in my life have improved and I can honestly say that life is good.

IMG_20141226_154211

It hasn’t been all rosy, trust me.  I’ve done a lot of ‘inner work’ which forced me to uncover a lot of stuff that I didn’t want to.  I’ve taken a two week home retreat in which I dedicated my 9-5 hours to contemplation and self-discovery.  That was so hard.  I found out about a bunch of belief systems I was carrying around which I realized that they weren’t mine, but were adopted from others.  I learned about what I like and don’t like, and most of all, I was able to make peace with parts of myself that wanted to be heard.

A lot of my growth came especially during my intense studies in Solution-Focused Coaching.  There were many times in class where I felt I was struck by an eighteen wheeler truck as I learned about behaviors, beliefs, values and vision.  My passion for this just kept growing and growing.  I can honestly say that I’ve found my calling in life, and I look forward to helping others live their life to their fullest.

As busy as the first half of 2015 has been, my journey is just beginning.  The next three months will be a different sort of journey; one that requires me to leave the comforts of my home, my city, my friends, and some of the time my family as well, for an extensive period of time.  We will be visiting Australia again and from there we will be going to Spain to do a 400+ kilometer pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago plus other travels.

elcam

Many people have asked that we post pictures of our trips onto Facebook.  I honestly didn’t want to post anything, and wanted to stay screens free during this time period and disconnected.  I’ve really been trying to minimize my interactions with social media and really, media in general.  I am planning to write in my journal during this time, and my husband is planning to take pictures so we’ve decided to combine the two together.  This way, you can join our journey with us.

And so, our journey began today with our last long walk on our favorite path.  We’ve walked this path for months and have logged at least about 300 kilometers on it as we trained for the Camino.  We’ve encountered many friendly (and curious) people along the way, and have seen such beautiful wildlife (deer, rabbits, beautiful birds, beavers, snakes) – all within minutes of our front door.  I will miss this path during the next few months, and look forward to seeing it again in the fall.

IMG_20150627_094108image (1)

If you’re wanting to hear more of our journey, please subscribe to this blog.

With Love,

Smartie and Philosofree

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

“For life is quite absurd / And death’s the final word / You must always face the curtain with a bow / Forget your sin – give the audience a grin /  Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow” – Monty Python

I bet you sang, didn’t you?  And I apologize if you have that song stuck in your head…well no, not really…because it was intentional 🙂

Recently I had the pleasure to converse with a few good friends.  This conversation first took place in person with a couple of gals, then over email with other people and then finally with a wonderful woman.  The common theme was “thinking positively.”

Although I’m trying my best with that, and I admit that it is very difficult at times but I think overall I’m making it a habit to think positively. But a friend brought up a good point, that thinking positively will only bring you so far.  And he’s right, you can work your butt off with thinking positively but you really have to look at what’s behind your negative thoughts in the first place.  Why do these negative thoughts come up to begin with.  In other words, you have to find out what’s going on inside of you and pick things apart.  You have to go on a journey – like I did to Australia (joke).  Seriously though, you do have to take a journey.

journey

And it’s scary to do so.  We are conditioned to repressed certain beliefs, memories, feelings for a reason – because we don’t want to face them and acknowledge what they mean to us. It could be that we will have to admit to a big mistake, that we hurt someone, and the worst thing of all – that we’re human! Imagine that! But I’ve found out in my work that facing these beliefs is a lot easier than continuing to repress them, and a lot less tiring.  It’s actually beautiful really.

I do this a few different ways, and what I find the method that works for me is to get out in nature and meditate.  I admire the scenery while in thought or take a walk in nature.  As a result, I am beginning to see the beauty in everything including nature, people, situations and events.  I’m a lot more calmer, more open to relationships, more easy-going and accepting.

In fact, I make it a habit that whenever I’m outside, whether leaving home or a building, or even driving, I look up to the sky and look at what beautiful picture has been painted across the canvas sky.  It centers me. Like this beautiful sunset I saw last night as me and my daughter came out of the mall.

night sky

Wouldn’t you want to be in this place?  It’s there for your taking, if you’re willing to do the work.

Under Construction

“Be able to read blueprints, diagrams, floorplans, and other diagrams used in the construction process.” ~ Marilyn vos Savant

That’s what I’ve been up to all these months – construction.  Seriously, I have.

Under-Construction

I haven’t been building a house, or anything of those sorts.  I have been building my life.  And I’ve had to take a mental break from a lot of things, including writing, not willingly.

Let me tell you a bit more of what has been going on.  Back in January, since my last post, I was laid off again.  Yeah, it sucks, three times in two years but I decided to take it as a sign from God.  Or more like a kick in the butt from him to tell me to finally get on with my plan, my path, my purpose.  Yeah, I know, I’m stubborn and I don’t listen very well but it’s one of the areas in my life which I’m reconstructing.

Then about a month later I made the trip with my daughter to the land of Oz.  It was a life changing trip for me.  I do believe that I had to go on this journey to spring forward my spiritual journey.  That was the beginning of a lot of changes to my life.

IMG_20130311_163014

And to add more to the mix, the house I’m living in right now finally sold while I was away, and I’m in the midst of packing and getting ready to move on.

And the list goes on and on and on and on.  FINALLY! I’m starting to live my dreams.

So like I said, lots of rebuilding going on here.  But all good, and all will be good.  You’ll starting hearing more from me again, I promise.  Oh, and you’ll see changes slowly take place here too, so don’t worry if things don’t seem familiar.

Missed you lots,

Smartie