MOVING ON UP


Photo: ahhyeah on Flickr

Change is big and scary and sometimes horrible but also sometimes great. I’ve been living in the West End for close to five years, and the consistent issues I have with my building have reached their peak. Today at lunch I went to look at a newer apartment (less than five years old) on the border between downtown and Yaletown. I was approved and I accepted.

I can say goodbye to hiked rent for an apartment that features, well, not a lot. And instead, I can say hello to in-suite laundry, key-fob entry, a 3,600 square-foot elite fitness centre and – best of all – a place in which I can bring home a dog! I’m nervous and excited and don’t know what to expect but I’m looking forward to what this new place may bring into my life.

That being said, does anyone have any input and advice into which dogs are most suitable for apartment living? I’m leaning more towards either a pomeranian or a scruffy chihuahua/terrier cross. While I adore big dogs, mine will need to be small enough to fit into a cloth carrier to be brought on public transit and the ferries.

HEALING HANDS OF LOVE

Sometimes I’m a skeptic, sometimes I’m not. What I know that I always am is an open-minded person, and that means I’m usually willing to give anything a shot at least once. A recurring theme in my life lately is “taking care of me” because my needs have spent far too much time on the back burner in recent years.


Photo: topher76 on Flickr

A couple weeks ago, my friend Lindsay suggested I might try some reiki and/or quantum touch healing as one way of taking care of my physical self. Like her mum, Lindsay practices reiki and quantum touch healing, and at that point, I was willing to give anything a try. I happily accepted Lindsay’s offer and set up my first appointment with her.

While I wish I could recall more of my treatment, the truth is that I spent much of the hour lulling in and out of sleep in a deep, deep slow down. That intensity of relaxation is something that I have truly never experienced before. We all know the feeling of rest that occurs after a long day and we finally flop down onto our beds. With the reiki treatment, I was actually able to identify the deep relaxation in my knuckles, my elbow joints, my wrists, my knees and all the other hard-working parts of my body I take for granted.

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Mike and Lindsay
Original Photo: That Guy Who’s Going Places on Flickr

Beginning March 1st, Lindsay will be bringing her reiki practice to True Health Studio in Kitsilano on Sundays (for now). Attuned and taught by Reiki Master Jayne Hunter in Truro, Nova Scotia, this is Lindsay’s fifth year of practice. Lindsay’s husband, Mike, was attuned to reiki in October, 2008 and will be teaming-up with Lindsay in her practice at times. It’s important to bear in mind that reiki isn’t intended to replace medical practices, but even registered nurses are learning to administer reiki as it’s shown to be effective in supplementing and speeding up healing times.

Appointments with Lindsay are approximately 45-60 minutes each, with your first treatment costing $70 and subsequent treatments for $60. As a special introductory offer to reiki, if you contact Lindsay either by e-mail or by calling True Health Studio at (604) 221-8783, mention this blog post, and book your initial treatment before March 31st, your second treatment is free of charge.

Click here to learn more about reiki, and here to read more about quantum touch.

While I was not paid or endorsed to write this post, I did received my reiki treatment at no charge.

SOLDIERS HAVE TO SOLDIER ON

This weekend was the first weekend I didn’t spend on Vancouver Island in a month. Last night was rough and tough, and I felt very much defeated. I didn’t need something to keep me occupied or attempt at making me smile; what I needed was rejuvenation. Rejuvenation wasn’t what I expected, but it was exactly what I got on this optimistically gray Sunday afternoon.

I hopped the 601 bus to Tsawwassen and was picked up by Chelsea. We then hopped the border into the United States to spend the afternoon in Point Roberts.

She’d been wanting to show me Lily Point Marine Reserve for sometime now, and the experience was incredible. It’s funny how driving across an imaginary line can instantly cause me to feel so far removed from all that I want to escape. We were only minutes from Canada but miles from “life.”

Lily Point holds an interesting piece of history in the area. Between 1884 and 1917, the Alaska Packers Association operated a salmon cannery at the edge of the water, overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait. The cannery was subsequently abolished when the salmon supply depleted, but a few remnants still scatter the shoreline today. This is how it used to look.

It took no more than a brief glance to the silhouette of Saltpring and Vancouver Islands for my heart strings to feel a sharp tug. It will always be home, but what I yearn for there is in my past.

After admiring the view, we made our way down the clay cliffs to check out the cannery ruins up close and personal. Chelsea feels like Alice in Wonderland down here. I totally understand why.

Chelsea In Wonderland

Chucks In Muck

I wouldn’t be hard-pressed to guess that much of what remained of the cannery had been destroyed by fire at one point.

I saw these two horses wearing pretty purple robes. So regal-like.

Pretty Purple Horsey Princes

Obviously going to the U.S. and not raiding the candy aisle would be a tragic waste of time. We wasted no time. Chelsea’s big into the Swedish fishes.

Want some of my awkward Goobers? (Emphasis on the “awkward”.)

How’d you like them boxes, Duane?

Yessss… they’re very tasty.

That pink crap you buy? That’s not real cream soda, in case you were wondering.

The Creamiest

I’m a sucker for VitaminWater, but those lucky Americans are also treated to VitaminEnergy drinks. I’m jealous. So I bought one. I’ll let you know how it is. (Oh and it’s in a can, not a bottle.)

$18.49 American dollars later, and it’ll all go straight to… well, I dunno. I’ll sweat it off or something.

Le Haul

Photos are great and the candy will be eaten, but I wanted a permanent reminder of my day.

I’ve always been fascinated by beach rocks, and the colours I found amazed me.

Whether you believe in God or not is your call, but I couldn’t help but be in awe of the beauty Chelsea and I experienced today. The beauty in the nature around us, in the simple honesty of our friendship and of the spiritual recharge that this day provided for me.

It’s ironic to me that, on the bus ride to Tsawwassen, I started to read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, because those three elements were key to what brought me the most joy today.

P.S. Follow me if you’d like post updates, as I have – and will continue – to write less often.

I’VE BEEN DOWN TO DIXIE

“I went to a cobbler to fix a hole in my shoe
He took one look at my face
And said ‘I can fix that hole in you.
I beg your pardon, I’m not looking for a cure.
I’ve seen enough of my friends in the
Depths of the God-sick blues.

You know I’m a liar.
You know I’m a liar.
Nobody helps a liar.”

I’ve long prided myself on my incredibly high pain tolerance. I laughed through my tragus piercings and hardly flinch when I smack my funny bone. When snowboarding, any pain I experience doesn’t even register, let alone affect me. Last Saturday afternoon as I ripped down the Coaster run, I let my toe edge dip into the snow before I was ready and completed two cartwheels with a heavy board and boots strapped to my feet. Surprisingly, the transition from my second cartwheel back to carving was seamless. Downtime was non-existent. That’s not to say, however, that I didn’t feel it the next day.

My resilience in the face of physical pain begged a single question of me the other day: “If I am so quick to bounce back, pick myself up and dust off when my body’s battered, why is it seemingly impossible to do the same when the heart is what’s ripped?

Perhaps it’s because physical injury is tangible, often visible, and tracking the progress of healing is a much more practical process. We cut open our hand, the blood coagulates, inflammation begins, the surface of the wound epithelializes, soon after scar tissue develops and, if all goes according to plan, in time there isn’t even a remnant of the injury.

"Look At the Blood Stains..."

The same steps cannot be said of damage to our inner selves. The pain is not the same, subsequent emotions ping back and forth and up and down like a pinball machine and there is no cookie cutter-method to finding a cure. And even so, sometimes what looks healed over can break apart and open up, bleeding once more, starting the healing process all over again from square one.

Yesterday afternoon, as the sun was setting and casting warm golden light through the blinds, I sat in my therapist’s office for the second time in as many weeks. While I had much to say during my last appointment, I was much quieter this time around. She asked how I felt. I responded as saying “oblivious… and discombobulated.” Waking up each day and not knowing how you’ll feel moment-to-moment is disheartening and frustrating.

One thing I have been feeling a great deal of in the past few days is anger. As a child, it was never seemingly okay with my dad that I express anger. So many of the emotions we feel are labelled as “bad emotions,” but the truth is that they’re all okay – how they’re expressed is what’s most important.

Anger isn’t an emotion I’ve ever learned to express, but what I’ve noticed is the ways in which it’s seeping out of me lately. Snarky retorts to strangers who cut me off on the sidewalk and a death stare at a man who accidentally knocked my BlackBerry out of my hands on the bus yesterday are just two examples. While it’s clear that I’m trying to reveal what is – and isn’t – acceptable to me, I need to learn to express these sentiments in a way that won’t find me in a scrap fight.

My therapist suggested perhaps I look into taking up boxing.

It’s beyond cliché to say, but it’s tough to navigate life experiences like this without a manual. It’s a strange place to be, not unlike wandering a foreign city without a map and no knowledge of the language. I’m walking a fine line between encouragement through amazing personal growth and a dark place completely consumed with devastating sadness.

When black and white mix, there is only grey. Everything looks the same.

To be lonely is a habit,
Like smoking or taking drugs.
And I’ve quit them both,
But man, was it rough.

And now I am tired.

All lyrics from “Acid Tongue” written by Jenny Lewis; © Warner Bros. Records

“NOT ENTIRELY PERFECT”

It’s been 14 years since I was a sophomore in high school. I have a hard time remembering what that was like, whether because too much time has passed or most of us generally end up subconciously blocking out that part of our lives.

The mid-1990s were a time when our most fashionable clothes and boots came from Le Château, our Sony Walkmans echoed the likes of Counting Crows, the Gin Blossoms and the Cranberries, and the biggest worry my girlfriends and I had on a Friday night was whether someone else had snagged our film-du-jour on VHS from the video store before we managed to get there.

At 14-years-old, I was awkward, goofy, entirely uncomfortable with my looks and didn’t know a thing or two about a thing or two. As a teenager, I liked the music I liked because the singers were cute and I watched the movies I watched because I had crushes on the actors. In junior high, my film of choice was Dazed and Confused, even though I was too naive and confused to understand most of the social relevance. I would spend hours fantasizing that I, too, could party at the Emporium with Slater, Jodi, Randall “Pink” Floyd and Mitch Kramer.


“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man…”
Photo: Universal Studios

In high school, I shifted from being stuck in the 70s to modern-day New Jersey. I can’t tell you how many times I watched Empire Records and how much of that film I can still quote to this day. However, like any other movie I obsessed over as a juvenile, it was just entertainment to me.

Last night Empire Records aired on KVOS, so I decided to forego my nightly ritual of Law & Order: SVU for a trip down memory lane. What surprised me more than how much I still loved the film was the understanding I gained from watching it as an adult. What I realized was why movies such as this, Dazed and even Singles were films I loved so much as a hopeful youth.

I was too young to be jaded, too inexperienced to be cynical. I believe that, as a young girl, I fell in love with the ideal that all the characters I grew up with, despite their shortcomings and marred relationships with each other, found a way to overcome. Every story had a resolution, every dispute found an answer. While that may not always be an accurate portrayal of real life, the characters we grew up with can give us a sense of optimism and remind us that there are still people in our lives that possess a little bit of true “human spirit,” whatever that may be.