My Musical Education – Part III

Adolescence is a hugely influential time in any young girl’s life. Add to that the drastically changing world of music and you’re probably thinking about the 90’s… At least, I am! 

For me, the 90’s brings about a HUGE melting pot of genres – some that hadn’t been labelled before this decade.
Alternative, Grunge, Boy Bands, Rap, Loud, and who could forget GIRL POWER! 

I could write for days on the musical influences I found just in the 90’s alone – probably because I came of age in those years. Born in the early 80’s, I remember a lot of music from back then (a topic for a future post I am sure). What makes the 90’s more distinct (musically) are the memories that go along with specific songs. When I hear a certain intro, back beat or chorus, I am transported back in time to the very moment that song touched me.

Four songs, by four girl groups, each of which has special meaning to me:

1. Salt-N-Pepa: Shoop

Jr. High School video dance; a practicing feminist back then (I laugh when I say this), I remember saying to a friend “How could those girls parade around dressed like that? Don’t they know they’re women, and not objects!?”
Twenty years later and THIS song is what I request EVERY time I go to a club or a party. I know all the words, and I have a little dance to go with it! 

2. Spice Girls: 2 Become 1

Probably not their most popular single, these girls invented the “girl power” genre. I loved them, hated them, idolized them, secretly loved them, and was very sad when they split up. 

3. All Saints: Never Ever

This song reminds me of my junior high school days. Boys and girls pairing off, holding hands, calling each other ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend.’ Only to breakup and do it all over again with someone new the next week. More a spectator than a participant back then, I am recently reminded of this songs relevance and the importance of closure. The opening lyrics say it all:

A few questions that I need to know
How you could ever hurt me so
I need to know what I’ve done wrong
And how long it’s been going on
Was it that I never paid enough attention?
Or did I not give enough affection?
Not only will your answers keep me sane
But I’ll know never to make the same mistake again
You can tell me to my face or even on the phone
You can write it in a letter, either way, I have to know
Did I never treat you right?
Did I always start the fight?
Either way, I’m going out of my mind
All the answers to my questions, I have to find…

4. Robyn: Show Me Love

The year is 1999. It’s late spring, I’m laying on an air mattress in the spare bedroom of family friends in England. A warm June afternoon, the window is open, I can smell the BBQ on the patio below me. My discman is cranked up to 10 (or louder), and I am belting out this tune alongside Robyn: Show me love baby show me everything you got and show me life… As the song came to an end, I heard an enthusiastic round of applause from below. I had forgotten that the window was open, and that everyone in the house, but me, was outside.

Other “girl power” songs to check out:
Alanis Morrissette: Ironic
Natalie Imbruglia: Torn
No Doubt: Don’t Speak

What are your “Girl Power” songs?

Peace and Love,


Serving, a rant on the perils of servitude

Serve your man, serve your family, serve your country, serve your customers.

I have been a fairly complacent participant of the service industry for nearly 15 years. That is to say: I work in a restaurant and I serve many, many people everyday. 

The definition of server, servant and service has evolved greatly since the beginning of the 20th century. Though, some days at my job you’d scarcely know it. What follows are only some of the rules and regulations European servants of the 19th and 20th century had to endure:

European SERVANTS RULES of the late 19th century (and early 20th century)
These are excerpts from The Servants Behaviour Book:

  • Never let your voice be heard by the ladies and gentlemen of the house except when necessary and then as little as possible….
  • Never begin to talk to your mistress unless it is to deliver a message or ask a necessary question….
  • Never talk to another servant, person of your own rank or to a child in the presence of your mistress unless from necessity; and then do it as shortly as possible and in a low voice….
  • Never call out from one room to another….
  • Always answer when you receive an order or reproof….
  • Never speak to a lady or gentleman without saying ‘Sir’, ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Miss’ as the case may be….
  • Always stand still and keep your hands before you, or at your sides when you are speaking or being spoken to….
  • Nursemaids are often encouraged to sing in the nursery; but they should leave off immediately on the entrance of the lady or gentleman….
  • Never take a small thing into the room in your hand…any small thing should be handed on a little tray, silver or not, kept for the purpose….
  • Do not ever choose gay patterns or colours. Not only are such dresses unfit for morning work after they are worn, but they can never look becoming for servants….

While I may work in the service industry, I am not a servant!

I am afforded the same rights and dignities as any average person on the street. Cussing at me, and making outrageous demands will not get you your food any faster. Neither will remaining mute or talking on your phone the entire time – I still exist, even if you pretend that I don’t. No, I cannot change the prices. Nor do I have any say in any of the policies you think are silly, stupid, fucked up, or any other way you prefer to describe it.

I do not make the rules, I merely abide by and enforce them. 

Yes, I understand your frustration and I assure you I am doing my very best to ensure your visit (as well as that of the other hundred people I will serve today) is of the highest quality and I will do so with a smile plastered on my face throughout our entire interaction. 

Tipping does not make up for your failure to treat me like a human being. 

My job is by no means glamorous. It’s hot, sticky and smelly most of the time. It’s loud and busy. I can’t wear what I want to, I have to be conservative with my hair and makeup. No one looks good in a hairnet!

With all that in mind, I have the kind of job you can feel good about. Hungry people from all over the city come in, and I feed them. Whether they’re nice or not, whether they’ve noticed or not, I have made a difference in that person’s day.

I’m sure I could go on and on and on, looking for reasons to bash my line of work – I won’t.

And, while the days of please and thank you may be drawing to a close, replaced with those of “gimme a …” and swearing to get what you want, there are the few that make it all worth while: the children! Unspoiled by cynicism and downright rudeness, children never fail to warm the cockles of my heart. 

What makes you bitter?

Peace and Love,


Skimming through today’s Metro paper this morning at work, I came across this small, for lack of a better word, blurb in I don’t even know what section:

Forgiveness for You and Others
Written by Natasha Dern,
Host of The Buddha Lounge Radio Show

 Have you ever felt that someone did something to you, something that hurt you so badly that you could never forgive them? Of course you have. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t suffered the inappropriate and careless actions of another.

In refusing to forgive old hurts, you live with them in the present.

A part of you may wonder, How can I ever forgive what they did to me? Just remember, forgiveness of the person does not imply permission to abuse or hurt you again but about restoring your own sense of well being and peace.

Lacing up my running shoes for another after work walk (I’m “resting” from running), the word still resonated with me, echoing through my crowded mind. Forgiveness. For-give-ness.

While never much of a issue for me in theory or in practice, the sometimes not so simple act of forgiving those who  have trespassed against me has, on more than one occasion, left me with the bitter taste of resentment filling my mouth. I can recall several instances where I’ve been wronged or hurt by the actions of another, given my forgiveness freely, only to have those hurtful, sour-tasting, resentful feelings creep up again later. Perhaps when feeling jealous, envious or even spiteful of that individuals’ interaction with another “Well how come you won’t/never/can’t/etc **insert insignificant thing to be sour over here** with me?”

By holding a grudge I’ve made a conscious decision to live with my sour feelings. 

We all get screwed over. That’s a fact. 

Oprah and The Color Purple taught me in my childhood that forgiveness isn’t extending an olive branch and then throwing the who-did-what-to-whom back out into the universe at a time that’s convenient for me. The act of forgiveness is letting all those wretched feelings out, and not allowing them to stew into resentments. 

As Miss Celie in The Color Purple puts it, so emphatically:

Everything you’ve done to me, already done to you

Those that have done me wrong don’t need me to forgive them and tell them everything is going to be okay. They have to live their life knowing that they’ve hurt someone or done some wrong. And, if they can live with it, really live, without being torn up by guilt. Then, why should I allow their bad behaviour to affect my life?


Peace and Love,

Please Stand By

As she stared blankly at the untouched screen of her dusty laptop, she slowly realized she had nothing to say.
Moments passed.
She stared.
Days had turned to weeks.
Months into years.
Seasons changed.
And still, she had nothing to say.

The phone rang.
Screaming endlessly, invading her every thought.
She reached for the receiver.
And, as the jangling came to an end, she again realized, she had nothing to say.
Moments passed.
She stared.
Days to weeks.
Months to years.
Seasons came and went.
And yet, she still had nothing to say.

Peace and Love,

A Poem… or Two

My Suitcase

When I was born,
God gave me a suitcase.
He told me to fill it,
With treasures of my life.

As I began to grow,
My suitcase became heavy.
With all the riches of childhood;
Laughter and toys.

The older I became,
The heavier my suitcase.
Now filled with childhood joy,
And adult angst;
Worries and hurt,
Laughter and love.

Today, I unpacked my suitcase.
I unloaded all the things I once held as treasure,
All the lumbering weight,
All the old hurt.

Today, I unpacked my suitcase,
Until all that was left is you.



It’s funny how three words can come to mean so little;
I. and. Love. And. you.

I- I- I- I- I-
I am. I was. I think. I feel.
 I wish

Love love love love love
Love it. Love this. Love that.
Love you

You you you.
You can. You will. You won’t

I and love and you.

I and you
I and me
I and we

Love and you
Love and me
Love and us

You and me
You and me
You and me.


Peace and Love,

New Year’s Resolutions

“I do think New Year’s resolutions can’t technically be expected to begin on New Year’s Day, don’t you? Since, because it’s an extension of New Year’s Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.”              — Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary

At the end of December, we take a mental inventory of all the things we did, or wanted to do throughout the previous year. Filled with hope for the next calendar year, we begin making a grocery list of things to do or habits to quit, and we call that list our New Year’s Resolutions. 

From the get-go, it is a set up for failure. Generally speaking, a typical resolution doesn’t see the end of the first quarter. And by the time Lent rolls around, we’re kicking ourselves for not quitting smoking, or dropping those “last ten pounds.”

Resolutions are not something I generally participate in. This year, however, I decided I would. But, I made some alterations to the “typical” process. Instead of choosing clichéd things like lose weight, quit smoking (something I don’t actually do), or workout more, I marinated on the thought of resolutions throughout the month of January and carefully constructed a list of items that would improve my ME. Resolutions that emphasize my spiritual side, and help me to define my place within the universe. More importantly, resolutions that I won’t abandon by the end of March. 

In 2012 I resolve to:

Write and Paint more
Writing and painting are something I have always done to express myself. When my verbal skills falter, I am able to find the words in writing. And should I not be able to express myself in written words, paint and canvas have always been there. Over the years, I have tried many mediums of art, from photography to sculpture and I always come back to writing and painting. 

Meditate more
Meditation is something I was introduced to, formally, in 2011. I had always been curious about how to do it. Isn’t it just breathing? It wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to learn about meditation, that I learned about the mind-body connection. How becoming centered within myself changes the way I view the world. I am less stressed, less anxious, and more aware of myself and my emotions. 

Practice yoga more
Yoga and I have been friends for years. Since I lived at home with my parents and followed VHS tapes in my bedroom as best I could with what little floor space I had. After all this time, I am still a beginner, and that is okay. To me, yoga is not the practice of going to a class filled with strangers or following a video at home, it the experience of doing it. Much like meditation, it is a time for me to connect my mind to my body.

Do one kind thing each day for someone
This should be an obvious choice for everyone. We live in a cold dark world, filled with anger and hate. Simple acts of kindness like holding a door open for the person behind you; laughing at a colleague’s joke – even if it wasn’t funny; or smiling at a stranger as you cross the street. These small acts may not seem like much, but they radiate positive energy into the universe and, can even change a person’s day completely

Become more present in my daily life; worry less about the future
I am a worrier. I often find myself just going through the motions, and I sometimes fail to really see what is going on around me.
I take the same route twice each day: out my apartment door, across the hallway, out the building door, down the stairs, across the parking lot to the car. Every day, twice each day (some days more), for two and a half years, and only yesterday did I notice a small tree standing between two others. Surely it was new? Unlikely since it is March and the ground is still frozen. I notice the small things, the insignificant. When my coffee table has been moved an inch, I notice. When the floor has been vacuumed poorly, I notice. And yet, I walk through the same parking lot day after day and fail to see the things around me. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this small, and beautiful tree had indeed been there all along, and I had failed to see it. 

Have an adventure
Put simply, I am boring. A creature of routine. This year, I resolve not to abide by my daily “schedule” and instead, make every effort to do things spontaneously. To fly by the seat of my pants, and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into.

Open my heart to all the wonderful things around me
A little less than a year ago, I was a broken women. Never in my life had I experienced such gut wrenching pain. As I struggled to get through those first days, weeks, months, a hardness started to grow over my heart. I craved affection, and yet spent as much time as I could alone – even though I did not like my own company. I started to become cynical about everything. And then one day, as if by magic (or fate), I was sitting alone and it hit me: The world is filled with wonderful and beautiful things. The universe will give back to me as much as I give to it.

Take a vow of silence
Those of you reading this that know me, may laugh at this one. Ha! She can’t be quiet! And, you might be right. But, I still want to try it anyway! I look at it like fasting, but for the mind. A few days (or a week) where I can vanish off the grid, and be alone with my thoughts.

Go on a trip by myself
Single, independent, and not afraid to show it! To me, vacationing alone is the ultimate show of inner strength. I view this resolution as my Everest.

What resolutions did you make for 2012? 
How are they working out for you?

Peace and Love,

I, also, really wanted to share this… I found it on another Blog that I follow (In My Opinion)
It could be written directly about my life. I have had so many life-altering moments just by deciding to take my place in the universe into my own hands – by deciding to do something (or nothing) about my feelings of loneliness. Making a decision, even if that decision is to do nothing, is always more liberating than coasting along aimlessly.


The Meaning of Being Lonely and Feeling Lonely

by Lora Ciocan

We hear frequently nowadays: “I am so lonely!” or “Nobody really understands me!” What is the meaning of that? Why do we feel lonely? When do we feel lonely? And what is the difference between being and feeling lonely?

I will write from my own experience, from what I have been through in my process of heeling. I have always been a pretty lonely person. The only way to protect myself I have ever known was when I was closing into myself and when I was lonely completely. No friends, very little communication with family and no boyfriend. I was absolutely convinced that I don’t need anybody, that I can do it by myself without any help. Years passed by and nothing happened or at least it did not happen as I expected. I am sure that many people are in this situation.

And one day an idea just flashed into my head and that is that you cannot do anything alone because you are not alone in the Universe. You are a part of Something, of Something bigger than you. And you are influenced by everything and everything influences you. And that was the moment in my life where I realized that whether I change my way of thinking and heel myself or move on as my old self. Both ways nobody cares, it is my choice, but I am the only one who will lose.

What really means to feel lonely? What is actually loneliness? And when we perceive it as a blessing and when we perceive it as a curse? It is when we are disconnected from the Source, the Universe or the bigger power that is behind us. Some other people call it the super conscious mind or your higher self. Some religious call it God. It is called in many ways. I choose to call it the Universe or the Source. The Source of energy and inspiration for all of us. Because we all, without exception, have access to it.

Once I started to study ways of changing my life, I started to understand that we are extensions of the Universe because we are made from the same material: energy and we have the same powers. And if we choose to still stay connected during our lives we can live better and if we choose not to stay connected it is fine also. But we will struggle almost all the time. It is always about what you choose for yourself, what you believe you are able to, what you trust it will work for you, what you think about. Whatever you choose it is fine for the Universe. It will not force you nor to accept the flow nor to struggle. You can choose it but you also will live with the consequences of your choice.

As I accept I am part of an infinite Source of energy and creation, that I am the kid of the Universe, I also accept and trust that the Universe will take care of me. The parents probably understand better this concept. I am not a parent myself but it must be the same feeling, the same connection that the parents have for their children who are an extension of theirs. It is exactly the same with the flow of life: it will guide you, protect you, feed you and inspire you for whatever it is that you choose to have or be if you allow it into your life. The flow needs your approval; it waits for your permission to act in your life. It respects your privacy and choice. Isn’t that an amazing concept? It will never do anything if you do not become aware of it and send it your acceptance. But we are not usually aware that we just need to make a choice, to have a decision in order to start changing our lives. It will not happen from nowhere. Nobody will decide for us nor the Universe. There will never be anything or anybody outside of us who knows better than we do.

In the village where my grandparents were raised me it was said: trust in God because He knows better than you what suits you best. Here is how I understand this concept: for sure God or the Universe or the Source knows better how to get you to what you want and when it is the best time to deliver it to you. But He will not decide for what you want, He will not make the decision for you. The sad thing is that I know a person in their 80’s who lived a long life and he did not understand anything about the meaning of life. “That is God’s plan with me. He wanted me to be like this, to get born poor and to die poor. I did everything what the Bible said and went to church regularly and I did everything right. That must be God’s plan for me.”

In the state of the awareness that I have now, I know that God do not want anybody to be in a certain way that is why you can choose for you life, either to create either to destroy. Both ways are accepted by Him. What I know for sure is that He is not giving you anything that you are not ASKING for, anything that you are not sure of. Because when you ask something, means you have decided for it and give the Universe permission to deliver it to you. Now, when it will be delivered, in what conditions and by what means is the extended divine decision of yours that you cannot control any longer. That is the Universe’s domain. You cannot rush him or influence him. You have done your job, now it is time to let the Universe to do his. Be patient and wait. Prepare yourself to be shocked by what it could be delivered to you because the Universe is always generous. It just waits for your permission and your instructions to manifest.

So, we ARE alone when, for example, we are alone at home. When it is nobody else there. I personally, when somebody asks me:” Are you alone?” I replace it with “I am with myself.” It is such a great shift of energy.

And the saddest part is when we FEEL alone even when we are living with our partners and our children. We feel in this way because, again, we are disconnected from the Source. When you feel alone in the Universe it means that something is not at his place that you are away from the flow. And you can change it if you decide to think and feel differently. Anyone has access to the Source’s creating ideas not only the geniuses, as we like to call them. The difference between some of us and geniuses is that they have learned to connect themselves much easier to the Source and most important to trust that whatever they desire will happen to them. It is just a matter of time and the material manifestation is the last one that exists.

So: Decision, Trust and Patience. If we all take the time to lean managing these qualities, we have become in control with our own lives for good. That is where the magic and the miracles actually start to move into action


What makes you feel lonely?

It's a New Day...

I rarely post more than one entry a day but last night I was at the gym and I read this article and I couldn’t belive how much truth there was to it and how relatable it was so I wanted to share.  I give complete credit to the author Ms. Lora Ciocan

The Meaning of Being Lonely and Feeling Lonely

by Lora Ciocan

We hear frequently nowadays: “I am so lonely!” or “Nobody really understands me!” What is the meaning of that? Why do we feel lonely? When do we feel lonely? And what is the difference between being and feeling lonely?

I will write from my own experience, from what I have been through in my process of heeling. I have always been a pretty lonely person. The only way to protect myself I have ever known was when I was closing into myself and when I was…

View original post 1,149 more words

3 Words – Part I

As with any hobby, sport or past time, practice makes perfect.
Athlete’s train, yogis yoga, painters paint, sculptors sculpt, and writers write.
Since I consider myself to be a writer, I try to practice my craft on a daily basis. With writing, there is no such thing as perfect – any writer will tell you that. There are many ways in which to combat the insufferable writers block; surrounding yourself with inspirational quotes; writing in the same environment at the same time everyday; story boarding ideas; and the list goes on…

When I haven’t written anything in a while, one of my favourite activities is what I’ve called the “3-word method:”
Enlisting the help of friends, neighbours, and coworkers, I ask them to provide me with 3 words of their choosing. I then take a little time with each set of words, I type or write and say them aloud over and over until I feel that spark of energy, until something flows…

Recently, I played this “game” with some friends via Facebook. Their words were nothing short of challenging. What follows are a few examples:

Tin, compel, curve for Katie

Her cheek, a gentle curve
His heart, as cold as tin
Their tears, flowed together
Just like a gentle wind.

She asked him not to go,
He told her not to stay,
A lifetime’s loss of memories
All had gone astray.

For years her heart was broken
Alas, he was ashamed,
Compelled to live forever
With a heart that can’t be tamed.

Batman, tablecloth, Jupiter for Ian  

He knew he had a purpose,
He knew what must be done.
Batman could not aid him,
He is the only one.

A home far past Jupiter,
No kin he had to share.
His fortress was of solitude,
That was his private lair.

A cape made from a tablecloth,
His tights were blue and red.
To save him from his kryptonite,
He bore a box of lead.


I, heart, you for Shyla

Too many words to tell you,
So many words to say.
How do I say ‘I love you’
In a much simpler way?

The answer is within me,
I truly am so smart.
For all I have to tell you,
Is right inside my heart.


Peace and Love,

A Call to Action

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

It’s not unusual for me to hear about something, see it in the news, and then want to talk about it. It’s not unusual for me to be moved by cleverly written or filmed news stories and documentaries.

In the late 90’s I was criticized for supporting gay rights. In high school, I marched alongside my classmates demanding better air quality of our schools. During the height of the Occupy movement, in late 2011, I was criticized for openly supporting those occupying Wall Street and Parade Square, here in Halifax. I’ve run for breast cancer awareness, relayed for cancer research, and walked for Ronald McDonald House.

I was raised to speak out for those who can’t and to stand up for what I believe in.

It’s not unusual for me to see a well put together video, become emotional, make a few impassioned pleas on Facebook or Twitter, and then find something else to preach about. Call me a bandwagon jumper, call me a follower, call me a sheep in need of a master. I call me passionate.

This is different.

I have always had a soft spot for children, and anything involving them. Defenseless, they look to adults to make decisions for them: when to eat, what to wear, where to live… So, when I hear stories of children not given the opportunity for a childhood, first I am saddened, then I am angry. 

Invisible Children aims to make Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, the most famous man on the planet, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. 

For years, this man has been abducting Ugandan children, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into soldiers, forcing them to kill their own parents. The children of Uganda are so scared of the LRA that they leave their homes at night to sleep in guarded parking lots, schools and other public buildings. 
The LRA is supported by no one, and has no mandate other than to increase its numbers and power. So far, 30 000 children have fallen victim to this man. 

What if they were YOUR children?

In October 2011 the United States sent 100 combat-equipped troops to assist the Ugandan military in removing Kony from the battlefield. While this is good news, if he is not found quickly, the US will cancel the mission. 

Joseph Kony is a monster. He must be captured.

What follows is the documentary from Invisible Children.
If you do one thing to get involved in this issue, watch and share this video. 

“The people of the world see each other, and can protect each other. It’s turning the system upside down, and it changes EVERYTHING”



Find a Cover the Night event near you:

My Favourite Way to Meditate

Floating deep within my bathtub, arms crossed loosely over my chest, warm salt water enveloping me.
Calming music playing quietly.
I close my eyes and I imagine that the vanity light poking through the shower curtain is the sun high above me, its rays lightly kissing every inch of my exposed flesh.

My carefully measured breath, the low hypnotic rumble of the ocean.
I am transported away from my Halifax suburb.
I breathe in, the crystal clear salty water ebbs, and  as I exhale the warm ocean waves crash over me.

Sinking deeper, I take a breath for me, for the stress of my day.
I take two for my body:
One to thank it for holding me up today. 
One to repair and heal it.

I take a breath for my mind, allowing the ocean waves to wash away all my troubles.
I take one for each of the people I have encountered today who may not be willing or able to cleanse themselves of daily pressures.
I take a breath for every moment of a moment in which I had a negative or unkind thought.

I breathe.

I breathe and I float and I imagine.

What is your favourite way to meditate?

Peace and Love,