When sending an email to a friend last night a familiar quote came to mind: Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures, believed to be by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, living 460 to 370 BC. I needed desperate measures to write October's newsletter before the month ticked its way into November. Then, during a final website review, desperate measures presented the idea of reprising highlights from Innisfree's first five October newsletters (2009 - 2013)!
But, before we go there, an update: The content of Innisfree's website has now been simplified under three banners: Welcome, Books and Newsletters. The audio version of Fireside's book of short stories can be listened to by chapter, or in its entirety. Archived newsletters for the current year continue to list the month and topic, while prior issues can be accessed by year.
Reviewing the site's content and past newsletters was a refresher course for me - often surprisingly so! May you find something that speaks to your heart from the following October excerpts.
2013: Did you Laugh today? We read of the health benefits of laughter, how it relaxes tense muscles and reduces stress. A smile is the beginning of laughter. Do you have laughter therapy? Perhaps classic comedy movies, or sharing a funny story with a friend? The late John O'Donohue (author of Anam Cara - a Book of Celtic Wisdom) suggests passing a mirror and giving ourselves a wink! (I've tried it, and had to laugh at myself). Did my illustrated teapot above give you a smile? After many years, I still enjoy its whimsy ... And, just in, an email from a friend travelling overseas whose birthday is today, thanking me for the laugh from her birthday e-card ... laughter knows no borders!
2012: Will you Retire or Re-Wire? We each have a Masterpiece inside us, one that only we can create ... Are you living the life you have envisioned, or is there something you would like to bring about? It is never too late to start. My favourite Dodinsky words are: "Look not at the days gone by with a forlorn heart. They were simply the dots we can now connect with our present, to help us draw the outline of a beautiful tomorrow."
2011: Just be ... With No Regrets! A few days before writing the October 2011 newsletter I had married a caring couple in a tearful and emotional ceremony, as the young bride was then in palliative care. On returning home, received a phone call about the death of a special person who had gifted me a photograph of an eagle signed with her personal message: Just be - which remains in one of my journals. Two days later, learned that someone making a career change was heeding her brother's advice on his deathbed: Make sure you leave this life with no regrets. Those events had me questioning the seeds I was planting, and whether I had regrets? I recalled reading that decisions and discipline weigh ounces, but regrets weigh tons. I share these thoughts for your reflection. May you believe in yourself and step confidently into living each day, just being you, with no regrets, knowing you were doing the very best you could at the time.
2010: Go With the Flow! Do you know how to go with the flow and relax ... or, do you need to have all your ducks in a row beforehand, as if relaxing was a guilty pleasure? We have only to look to Nature for perfect examples. Birds and animals know when to sleep. The soil needs to rest. My cat, Cadi, just was Cadi, reminding me of Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne's delightful Pooh Bear ... Pooh 'just is' his delightful self. Author and illustrator Andrew Matthews of Being Happy: A Handbook to Greater Confidence and Security, reminds us that relaxing lets our brain rhythms move into a slower mode, enabling us to be more creative.
2009: Welcome! Innisfree's first newsletter shared some blessings that are included in the 2006 Stepping Stones booklet (listed under the Book banner). They were written by the late JoAnn Janson in her book Define Yourself and Discover Your Destiny. JoAnn was a beautiful highly spiritual young woman living in White Rock, BC, who made her transition in 2006. Permission to reprint the blessings was granted by Cal Pawson, holder of her copyright, and it was with Cal's permission that I adapted them here to the present tense.
In closing, I share a priceless gem I just heard this morning (October 20) on CBC Radio - Tom Power's interview with Janelle Monáe on her book, The Memory Librarian: You are creating your memory archives ... be your own memory librarian. Until next time, I do thank you for joining me.
Blessèd be to you ... Namasté!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada