Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’


Nine Times Nothing II

November 23, 2011

Oh, it’s one of those mornings when Milo had me up far before I wanted to be out of bed. Just wanted to snuggle back down into the warmth and catch a few more zzzz’s. What is it they say about best laid plans? Ah yes, they often go awry. Murphy!  Sort of a brain-dead haze in front of the computer catching up on news and posting a couple of pics on Facebook.

Things to do – must get motivated and moving. Murphy!


Looks like the cloud is cupping the sun, doesn’t it?

My Attitude Adjuster

(The image above is the intellectual property of my friend Lea Kelley; all rights and credit for its creation are hers. Her writings can be found here: ) 

Must choose my attitude before I head out into society at large. Clean up; show up; give it a shot.

Sidewalk Chalks

Co-ordinate my colours and put a smile on my face.

My Yoda

Seek wisdom from the ancients. Ssssh…. listen and you will hear.

Okay – I’m ready to face the day. Have a good one!


Special to BJ; & Kel and Sue in Oz

December 7, 2009

This is in regard to the Christian Meditation session I attended last Tuesday. I had a reply from Carolyn, the woman who ran it, which contained some info I asked for. Following that I searched for and found some links.

‘The recorded talk was by James Finley – called Mediation for Christians: Entering the Mind of Christ. He was a long-time student of Thomas Merton.’

LINKAGE: James Finley

Thomas Merton

more on Finley and Merton

Finley downloads—James-Finley/product_id/3483/?cid=g0262&gclid=CJTFh47UxJ4CFchn5Qodf3o1pg

Wikipedia re Christian Meditation

I haven’t had a chance to go through all of it but will when I can.


Dashing Off Notes

December 4, 2009

** We tied a 70 year old record for having a snowless November. Woo-Hoo! Colder weather is upon us and the white stuff could start any time now.

** Getting political – just sent a letter to several local and provincial politicians to protest planned cuts to funding for local mental health and addictions services. Per capita funding is way below average.

** My smoking quit is more a reduction for the time being – cut use by half. Not great but better. Yeah, yeah… I’ll get on it.

** I attended that meditation session back on Tuesday and enjoyed it; found it to be beneficial. I’m getting details on whose recording we were listening to and will share them later. Prior to – they had a labyrinth set up in an adjoining room and I walked it. It will be there once a month on the first Tuesday of the month. Similar design to ‘Chartres’ but a wee bit different. Walking palms down inward letting go; upward on the way back out receiving. A bit of self-care.



October 28, 2009

In the comment section of the previous post I made reference to the Serenity Prayer. Routinely, the first 4 lines from this ‘long version’ are recited to open A.A. meetings in this area (and many others). For anyone who isn’t familiar with it…. it helps keep me from sitting on the fence. By using this I’m better able to let go of things beyond my control and get on with the work on things I can influence the outcome of.

God grant me the SERENITY to
accept the things I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can;
and WISDOM to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that He will make all things
right if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

This journey in recovery from alcoholism brought about  the process of redefining my identity and attaching once again to ethics, values and ‘humanness’. This prayer has played an important part in my attitudes to others; in being of service to others. The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

What jumps out at you in this? What do you use for your personal guides? Care to share?


autumn rushes



July 26, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doppelgänger: In the vernacular, “Doppelgänger” has come to refer  to any double or look-alike of a person.

Earlier tonight one of our clients calls me aside and says, ‘ I finally figured out who you remind me of; it’s Peter Fonda.’

‘Hmmm…???’, I’m thinking. Okay, is this a set-up?? Where is the zinger coming from?

Yeah?, I say.’ The more current one of ‘Ulee’s Gold? (1997) Or the old one from ‘Easy Rider’? (1969)

Peter Fonda - 1997

Peter Fonda - 1969

‘Oh – definitely Easy Rider’, he says.

‘Good answer’, sez I.

(Buddy should really get his eyes checked.)


Mistaken Identity:

A few weeks ago I had just arrived at work wearing a dark crewneck shirt that had a cream-coloured band around the neck, a collarless black shirt over it and a grey jacket. From 15 feet away the mother of one of our guests looked my way and said to her son, ‘My, I didn’t know they had clergy on staff here, as well.’

in my father's house

in my father's house

I laughed nervously as I waited for the bolt of lightning to smite me straight to hell. From on high my father is laughing his butt off. ‘Say WHAT???’


Self Image; Self Esteem; and the Face we present to the world

Recently someone (who shall remain nameless) commented on a shot I had posted here of myself and called me ‘handsome’. My reaction to the compliment was same as always – HUH!?!? – I never know what to do with them when they come my way. I suppose it’s because I don’t think much of my looks and like most folks I ‘get up, suit up, present the best face I can, and show up’. Like Popeye always said, ‘I y’am what I am and that’s all that’s I y’am.’ Gotta work with what God gives ya.

I think I could get a consensus to this proposition – 10% of the population would get classed as attractive, beautiful, handsome; at the other end, 10% would be lumped in as unattractive, ugly, hard on the eyes; the rest of us – the other 80% fall somewhere in the big middle ground.

A post I was reading last night included a section where the gal used to play a game with herself – ‘if I could change one thing about myself it would be…..’. Well, as I’m starting to show the signs of my advancing age that one thing would be my eyelids. I’m getting this hooded look to my eyes that I don’t like but in the big scheme of things…. so what?? I’m not going under the knife anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Far more importamt to me these days than the external is anyone’s internal composition – heart, mind and soul sorts of stuff. By the time I sought help for my problems with addiction I was a hurting unit bled practically dry of identity and self-esteem. This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of  re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces. At first it was all about substance, the absence of it and finding ways to a new state of ‘normalcy’. Then it got to be about re-attaching to roles – son, husband, father, friend, employee. Finally it came about to integrating values, ethics, qualities of character, moral beliefs and living a life that included spirituality. From that eventual internal foundation I’ve been able to move more to outside concerns where I’ve been allowed to be of use to others – family, friends, clients and strangers. It’s being open to ongoing change, adopting an attitude of willingness and engaging in action toward improvement. Progress not perfection….. hand steady on the tiller.


When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

Have some fun and comment.


Perception Check / Alteration

June 26, 2009

Oooo, there’s been trouble brewing in them thar hills this week. I don’t normally have tough weeks or particularly tough days for that matter. To have a string of them in a row is really unusual. Each day this week has seen some sort of problem right off the get-go to start my day. It has been a struggle to get my mind and mood altered sufficiently to be civil once I get to work in order that I treat our clients accordingly. ‘Cuz it wouldn’t be fair to take my frustrations out on them, would it?? No. Thank God for that 20 minute drive to work, I tell ya.

Most of it stems from problems getting a service guy out to check the air conditioner; then when he did arrive for the check up the fan motor was seized. This, of course, occurred during our first real hot weather of the season – the house is like an oven. Anyway, it has created some tension between Lynda and I – plus there have been other situations happening in concert with that which haven’t helped. The weather is supposed to cool off somewhat by Saturday which is when the replacement motor is to be installed. Natch. So that has been my week so far – less than ideal…. but read on. This isn’t just a bitch session.

On arriving at our community meeting tonight, on the bus with our clients, I ran into my female friend C___. We give one another a hug and a check in, ‘How you doin’?’ We both acknowledge that we’re having a few tough days, laugh it off initially but it’s really apparent that C___ is deeply troubled, dwelling on something. There’s an interruption, my cell rings with a call from a former client, a quick dialogue and then the meeting starts. Following, C___ and I cross paths again and she asks if we can talk – ‘Sure, what’s up?’ “During the meeting I realized I’m angry; really freaking ANGRY and it’s AT my therapist!” We didn’t get into the issue that is causing her to be angry but did have a talk about who her anger is harming, what the anger might be a symptom of, how to deal with the subsequent emotional fall-out and whether it might be an adverse reaction / delaying mechanism to where her therapy is leading her. She had cancelled her last scheduled appointment with him because of how she was feeling about him. (Besides being an alcoholic and an addict C___ struggles with having been sexually abused as a youngster by someone in a position of trust.) I came away feeling my problems were small potatoes. I can deal with my stuff.

The meeting itself was a special one celebrating one of the members, Murray, who had achieved the 30 year mark in his sobriety. Everything throughout the night went off without a hitch except for one notable absence – Vince, the fellow who was supposed to present him with his medallion pulled a no-show. Seemed sort of odd but he is, after all, pretty old and known to have problems with memory. Could simply have been feeling off as it has been awfully hot and humid. After arriving back at the residence I received a call to inform me that Vince had been found dead in his home today by a family member; likely as the result of a heart attack. Stunning….. and suddenly I felt as though I have no problems large or small. I’m living, breathing, am cared for and about, I had enough to eat today and have a roof over my head… I’m okay.

A couple of special notes about the meeting. Murray asked his 26 y.o. grand-daughter to be the speaker and she did a terrific job speaking about her 3+ years in recovery. Difficult circumstance with so much family in attendance; wonderful execution. I also spent some time talking with my 88 (89?) y.o. girlfriend Audrey – in a couple of days she leaves for western Canada for 2 weeks holiday at her son’s. While she’s away she will mark 52 years sober. God love her.


8 Soul Songs

June 23, 2009

When I see something I like and am invited to play along; I’ll play. Kel at xfacta picked up on Magpie Girl’s ‘Songs For The Soul’ idea. I’ll try to keep so much as possible to their themes but the tunes I choose will be ones that make me feel connected to life and living or that make me feel like I’m in the presence of greatness; soulfulness. Some of them will have a distinctly Canadian vibe, too.

Seeing as how there has been a lot of talk about the blogs lately regarding people leaving mainstream churches I’ll lead off with this though. #1 – R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion’.

#2  – Steve  Winwood and Eric Clapton performing ‘Presence Of The Lord’ at Crossroads Festival 2007. It’s a song from their days as members of Blind Faith back in 1969.

#3 – From the tribute concert – Concert For George – Billy Preston sings Harrrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ backed by a stellar ensemble band.

#4 – k.d. lang performing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah‘. Must be heard to be believed…. amazing. ( 2 Canucks in one go)

#5 – Jesse Cook – ‘Dance Of Spring’  Amazing flamenco guitarist. It was Cook’s 1998 album ‘Vertigo’ which was the deciding factor in buying my Bose surround system. It kicks! (Another Canuck – that’s 3)

#6 – Neil Young – ‘When God Made Me’. Neil waxing lyrical about life, mortality and what it’s all about. (Hey, one more makes 4)

#7 – Rufus Wainwright with Moby & Sean Lennon performing the Beatles ‘Across The Universe’. (Rufus makes 5)

#8 – A beautiful George Harrison instrumental composition from his posthumous release ‘Brainwashed’ – ‘Marwa Blues’.

Keeping the list to just 8 is difficult but these are the first ones that came to mind. Feel free to jump on board and play along.

** Late breaking bonus: My late father’s favourite hymn to play on the church organ. He could rattle the rafters with this one. ‘Jerusalem‘.