musings of an aquarian age counterculturist


Unconscious Uncoupling

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.
You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”
– C. S. Lewis

So I have a Divorce Order in hand.

Shit sounds heavy.  But basically what a Divorce Order means in the Province of Ontario is that the marriage is dissolved 31 days following the date of the order.

The magic date, you wonder?  Let’s just say the wedding anniversary and divorce date shall forevermore converge.  Ironic, much?

The entire situation at this moment feels inexplicably odd.  A conclusion to the events comprising the train wreck that was 2013 is swiftly approaching in a thankfully undramatic fashion and with an unexpected neutrality of emotion.  The torrential rain of tears and grief that overtook me at the beginning of that story have pretty much dried up. Aside from a smidgen of PTSD, all that remains is a sense of relief.  I marvel at the thought of where I was, and where I am now, with a beautiful future flowering before me.

Lately I’ve given some consideration to the currently popular term “conscious uncoupling” with varying degrees of nausea.  For the few of us who actually had the opportunity to consciously choose to untangle ourselves from unhealthy relationships, I say: congrats on your decision!  For the rest of us, who were tossed into a toxic soup of misery and forced to sink or swim in the dark cold waters of grief, I say:  congrats on not drowning!

Perhaps it is more p.c. to refer to this divorce as “unconscious uncoupling” rather than “blindsided and tossed into a cesspool of shit”, but the song remains the same. That is to say:  Given the circumstances of said “uncoupling”, there really was no “conscious choice” involved here, at least not on my part.   That said, onward ho.  Yes, I’ll spare you from the myriad of jokes that particular phrase invokes in this situation.  You’re welcome 🙂

In any case.  The result of a door closing on that painful time is that another door has cracked open to a gorgeous new beginning filled with hope, love, support, peace and understanding.

I’ve come full circle and I’m so very grateful for the lovely path opening before me.

To those who rushed in with super-sized band-aids for my heart when I couldn’t find a way to stop the bleeding:  thank you.

To those who stood with me in the flames when I felt I was the last tree standing in a forest fire: you are my heroes.

To those who held me tight when I felt I could no longer stand on my own:  I love you.

To those going through similar turmoil and upset right now:  hold on.  Please hold on.  It gets better.  Truly, it does.


photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images


A Love Letter To My Heart

To My Heart:

You are the hardest worker I know. Pumping oxygen rich blood to all my cells, keeping me alive and whole, you perform your task unfailingly.  Conducting operations primarily undercover, you beat the drum of my life with precision and persistence.  Until you skip a beat in excitement or pound with fear, your efforts escape my notice.

Broken, bruised and battered last year, you took on a lot of additional responsibility for my well-being.  You cracked in half.  Contracted in pain.  Squeezed until there was nothing left inside to compress.

Then gradually, moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, you ever so gently began to expand again.  The wound progressively mending, new tissue emerging.  Old pain dissolving.  New life beginning.  I did not witness your handiwork.  I felt no immediate effects.  No, your craft is far too subtle and deep to ever be a big showy production in full view of the conscious mind.

It is true that you bear a scar where that deep cut used to be, but rather than an unsightly reminder, it is beautiful to behold.  Because it is the mark of healing.  A testament to what it means to overcome.

Yes, the scar still hurts sometimes in the tender spots, but those moments of pain are less intense and far more fleeting.  Love, patience and hope massage the remaining aches away.

I look at you in wonder now:  resilient, strong, loving and open once again.  A force to be reckoned with.

You are a miracle.

I bow in gratitude.

To My Heart.

Healing Heart

Photo credit: Google Images/Creator Unknown

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The Art of Moving On

Over the years I’ve become a seasoned expert in the art of transient living.  Or as the uninitiated might phrase it:  moving.

I am gradually making my way from room to room sorting through belongings.  Inventory time.  What will stay with me and what will go?  This pile for packing.  That pile for charity.  A pile here for selling.  A pile there for recycling.

Rule #1 for a frequent mover is to maintain a firm non-pack-rat-itis policy.  Collecting too much stuff or becoming overly attached to material things is danger zone territory.  Avoiding this trap makes it that much easier to part company with the goods when the time comes.  Even then, a certain level of ruthlessness is required when sorting through everything that originally passed the keeper litmus test.  After pile decisions are made, the lovely lightness of being that generally accompanies the liberation from unnecessary crap makes it all worthwhile.

This move is decidedly different.  This time, I’m struggling.  Deciding what goes has been painstaking.  I’m resistant to sealing up boxes in case I change my mind.  I feel unsteady and unsure.  Certainly not my usual characteristically focused self when it comes to changing residences and today I was reminded in a forceful way of why that is.

The person I expected to share my life with snuck up on me.  As I opened an envelope in a shoebox, I came face to face with forgotten photographs taken during the first year we were married.  Smiling, happy, shiny faces – his and mine.  Arms wrapped around each other, heads magnetically leaning in, expressions reflecting a moment that could not possibly be any better than it already was.  Photos of us together, with family, alone and smiling into the camera for one another.

I sat down on the floor with those images held close to my heart and cried for a very long time.  Who were those glowingly contented looking people?  Was that joy genuine and consistent, or simply a snapshot capturing a fleeting moment in time?  What did they really mean to each other?  I don’t know the answers and must accept that it is unlikely I ever will.

Yes, this move is different.  I am not merely swapping one address for another.  I am leaving behind all the hopes and dreams that were kept alive in this home for those two shiny, happy people who existed in those photographs but not real time.   A future dreamed, never to be realized.

This move means so much more than adopting a new postal code.   It marks my stepping forward into a brand new life.  Different dreams and uncharted terrain await.

In the leaving, I am taking a gigantic leap of faith into the unknown.  Letting go of old stuff.  Letting go of all the parts of myself that no longer fit. Letting go of the dreams that died within these walls.  Letting go.

It is time to take new photographs.

paparazzi sis

photo credit: eleventhbeatnik

Resistance is Futile

Hello again lovelies!

I have been silent on the blog lately, but behind the scenes it has been anything but sedate.  It is continuously astounding to me how much can change in the space of a few short weeks.  Or, for that matter, in the blink of an eye.

My New York journey was a resounding success.  I spent a great deal of time exploring, writing old-school style in a notebook, attending classes, walking neighborhoods, reconnecting with old friends, discovering wonderful new ones.  My days were beyond busy and my heart was overflowingly full.  When moments of uncertainty or pain resurfaced and threatened to overwhelm, I fully experienced the feelings, uncomfortable or otherwise, and allowed them to pass through.  Good days or bad days, I was never alone.  I experienced every possible emotion on any given day.  I was happy.  I was sad.  I was excited.  I was angry.  I was tired.  I was rejuvenated.  But most consistently?  I was alive.  ALIVE!!!  I embraced it all.

This was more than a trip to a special place.  It was a journey to myself.  Something irrevocably changed inside me.  I accepted the idea that it is not only okay, but critically important at this juncture to move forward.  I gave myself permission to dream again.  I made room for hope.  The essence of who I am remains the same but my perception has altered.  The main difference is that I am ruthlessly kicking that which no longer serves to the curb.  I am embarking on a life more in alignment with what feels right and true for me.  It no longer matters whether it is by choice or by design.  Resistance is futile and I understand that there is no turning back.

It is true that fear is a great motivator and it definitely plays a role here.  The last year has brought a lot of change already, welcome or not, and to actively court more requires courage.  The thing is that staying the same, not moving, being stuck scares me more than jumping into the unknown ever could.

I am here to tell you that I have officially  jumped off the cliff in more ways than I can get into now.  The power of non-resistance is more relevant than ever.  A decision has been made and now it is time to let go and allow.  Please wish this recovering Type A much luck with that.

The next few weeks are filled with craziness:  moving, applying for school, attending counseling, filing papers for Stage 2 of Divorce, buying smaller pants.

Updates to follow.  Stay tuned!

resistance is futile

Photo credit: Google Images/Creator Unknown



A Word on Authenticity

On the eve of my wedding anniversary with my pending ex-husband, my thoughts and emotions are scattered all over the map.

I considered writing about healing:  it continues.

I considered writing about coping:  I am.

I considered writing about rebirth:  in progress.

Without question, all of the above applies.

Yet there is one subject in particular taking up a hefty share of real estate in my thoughts the past couple of days.  To that end, I would like to address this little nugget:


Before going any further with this, I must first own up to the fact that I’ve been subjecting myself to many a self-help book in recent months.  Oh, you’ve been there too?  Good.  I’m not the only bleeding heart on the block then.  But seriously, I think it is simply a side effect of being human.  When something inside feels broken, it seems natural to try to fix it.  I’ve been going to counseling, reading the books, journaling, expressing on the blog, getting back into yoga and meditation, saying affirmations, and even creating a dream board.  All good things.  Healing things.  Helpful things.  Positive things.  There is no doubt in my mind that these methods of self-care are effective personal growth techniques.

But you know what?  It doesn’t always feel authentic.

Sometimes I feel like I’m literally living the cliche of “fake it, ’til I make it”.  Other times, I feel like saying “fuck it, let’s get real”.

For instance:

Sometimes when I’m feeling especially angry or frustrated, having a book tell me that I should look in the mirror and say “I love and accept you just the way you are”, makes me want to smash the mirror and burn the book.

On days where I’ve been feeling so incredibly sad that I don’t want to get out of bed or speak to another living soul, reading that I should “connect with my tribe” makes me want to dig a hole and crawl in.

In moments that I’ve been feeling particularly fragile and betrayed, to be told “let go and forgive” feels like being asked to hang myself for the transgressions of another.

This is sometimes referred to as the shadow side.  The darkness.  Where the nasty bits live.  These are the parts of ourselves that we don’t like to talk about.  We often fight hard to escape the nasties, and with excellent reason.  Those feelings are heavy to move through and difficult to witness in ourselves.  While I’m certainly not advocating that we dwell in those places should we choose to admit that is where we are, I think it is important to acknowledge that those emotions, while unpleasant, are a normal part of the human experience at some point or another.

So today, on the eve of my wedding anniversary, I am fully open to the authenticity of my emotions. I am confessing the fact that I have a post sitting in my drafts entitled “Friday, The 13th” with some text I’ll just chalk up to “processing” a difficult milestone.  My better judgment is dictating that those words will remain in draft. But I can’t resist posting the image I chose to accompany it.

Friday the 13th?  I’m feeling a little bitchy about it.  Authentically bitchy.

Friday the 13th

And for Godssakes Don’t Get Married.


Welcome Back, Yoga

“There are two ways to change things:
Either you are forced to change or you have the intuition to change.”

Yogi Bhajan

Change.  Rumour has it this is inevitable, like death and taxes.


Over the past few months I have been navigating my way through change forced upon me.  It has been uncomfortable.  And unwanted.  And painful.  And sad.  And weird.  And lonely.  Yet sometimes surprisingly exciting.  Let’s just call it educational.

These past few days, I’ve felt a subtle but significant switch in focus from change thrust upon me to change I am now willingly catalyzing.  It feels precisely in tune with the idea that change is either forced or intuitively chosen.

After years of swimming in that pit known as what is “perceptually expected”, I am walking forward into the realm of that which is “personally desired”.  I am intuitively and resolutely moving away from the comfort zone that has been my day-to-day existence for far too long into an uncertain, scary, unknown abyss.  Interestingly, I am not experiencing intense fear so much as a sense of certainty that stepping into the unknown feels infinitely better than remaining trapped in the stagnant, dead zone of the familiar.

I have no idea what is coming next.  Who does?  All I can say is that I restarted sadhana this morning after a time away and it has been my experience that shit shifts big time whenever I’m regularly practising yoga and meditation.

Welcome back, yoga.  Bring it.

Photo by Jim Marshall during 1972 Rolling Stones tour

Photo by Jim Marshall during 1972 Rolling Stones tour


Lost & Found

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves”.
Henry David Thoreau

I am “The One” in the family that left “home” for parts unknown at a relatively young age. Having relocated many times in my formative years, I grew more accustomed to a state of transition than to any sense of groundedness.  Aside from NY, I haven’t felt any significant attachment to a particular place in my adult life either.  In fact, even today I am basically living like a college student with sparse furniture and half of my belongings packed in banker’s boxes from my last move.  Which was over three years ago (!)

The apartment I now occupy was always meant to be a temporary space.   A placeholder for my husband and I to plot our future, a spot to share dreams and decide together on our eventual landing place in a home of our choosing where we would buy grown-up furniture, commit to paint colours, adopt another cat and maybe a dog.  Someday, if it was meant to be, we would create a baby.  Possibly a garden.  No white picket fence, but perhaps a row of trees.

Needless to say, all of those hopes and dreams died with the end of our marriage.  And ever since, it seems as though I’m wandering aimlessly lost and in dire need of directions.

This weekend I fly to Manitoba to spend a week with my family in cottage country.  It is a trip I had been putting off until I could bring my husband with me.  I wanted to show him the geographical place I was born, where my parents shared most of their lives together, my father’s resting place, where my sister and brother-in-law and nieces all call “home”.  The intention was to have a second wedding ceremony including my nieces and a lifelong friend that I to this day think of as my other sister.

And now, I acknowledge that all of those plans are gone.  Gone.  GONE.

I must also admit that despite the core sadness I am experiencing around this journey, under the surface, there is also a sense of excitement to see my nieces in the latest versions of themselves (I mean, shit!  Kids really do grow up so fast.)  Returning to a place I no longer consider “home”, but remains a part of my heart.

I’ve felt very lost going through the upheaval that has been my life lately.  But I’m also quite certain that this disorientation will eventually reveal itself to be a map.  An internal GPS that ultimately leads to whoever it is that I’m becoming.

As I regain my bearings, I look forward to discovering the next phase of my life.  Whatever that looks like.