20180428_192423

This Gem is Multi-Faceted

I recently discovered that emails from a close connection had been placed  by my email account into a folder I didn’t notice before. She had been sending me information to help move my business forward  on a monthly basis for some time. She prepared beautiful videos, chock full of meaningful information to assist any entrepreneur. She had invited me to presentations and events.

And I hadn’t read one of them. Not one.

They had been sorted by my email system, categorized as junk mail,  and sent to a separate folder that I never paid attention to. Until that day I did. Suddenly, much information came into my awareness. She was not the only person believing they had sent me messages that in fact, did not reach me.

And it brought me a huge ‘AHA’ moment. A few actually. This gem is multi-faceted…..

How often do we think of someone, or do lots of work with great intentions, only to fall short in reaching the very people we wish to share our message with? How many times do we replay over and over in our minds the words we wish to speak to someone, and then blurt out something entirely different when the opportunity to be with them arrives? And perhaps more importantly, does it actually matter in the big picture?

I was introduced to a poem years ago that I go back to and re-read often. It was shared by a fellow hospice volunteer who had just completed training through me, and she wished to read it to the group at our final gathering before each moved to their chosen program. It’s called “love’s journey home” by mary ann radmacher. The line that speaks to me most deeply is

love isn’t completed as it is returned. it is completed in its choice to be given…

This really resonates with me. With intention, with love, with thoughts of peace and comfort and all things noble and sincere, it is not in the receiving that the difference is made. The offering is enough. It is always enough.

Eventually, in my case on the exact day I was ready to accept her invitation of assistance – on the one day that I felt called to ask for help – it arrived in the form of me noticing a folder in my inbox that I had as yet left unopened. And when I opened it, I discovered multiple gifts awaiting inside.

Perhaps on the day it is best heard, our message will be delivered and expressed perfectly.

Isn’t that how life is? So much awaits us, and is simply there for the taking. We simply need to open our awareness to it, and when it feels right, then to say “yes.” Yes, YES, YES!  Both arms flung open YES!

In vibrancy, Laurie.

1004 Arizona69

Beginnings and Endings

Why is it that we are so excited and positive about new beginnings, but often so uncomfortable with endings?

For even in the most magnificent of beginnings – love partnership and union, birth of a baby, travel, new career opportunity – there is a corresponding goodbye. Goodbye to a previous lifestyle, routine, or way of being; to a location or culture; sometimes goodbye to people we used to see regularly; to neighborhoods we called home; possibly goodbye to roles we assumed or belief systems we adopted.

For anything new to arise, there must be a corresponding release. Something that took that time, that space, and that energy falls away to allow for whatever is new to enter.

I write this in the knowing and anticipation of my eldest son and his life partner’s move to Australia. Half a world away from British Columbia, Canada where he was born, raised, and has been living independently for 11 years now. An entire lifetime of material possessions is being reviewed and assessed. Decisions on what to keep, and what to sell, discard, or pass along to someone else are suddenly at the forefront for them.  It’s a time of reminiscing – of taking stock of the past.  Of placing values on items that may have been set aside for some time. Of visiting and reaching out to family and friends whom they may never see again. Of hopes that they will…

And on the East Coast, another man is also doing the same. Taking stock of the possessions of his life, paring it down to just the essentials, visiting friends and family, and neighborhoods of his past.  Making every arrangement necessary to be with the woman he loves (me!) on the West Coast.

I am doing similar work. First recalling the recent past when I chose to take stock – not only of material possessions but in the ways in which my life was being lived. Mainly though, I am holding space and love for both my eldest son who is moving across the globe, and for my life mate who is making his way to me. I am finding a new place to live in partnership, and in which to create new and lasting memories. Setting intentions to visit my son in a few months – giving both him and myself time to settle into new beginnings.

Beginnings and Endings. Future Meets Past.

Contemplating this somehow brings me to the present moment, as I direct my attention to my breathing pattern. I notice that my rhythmic breath simply unfolds effortlessly. I am not typically conscious of where one breath ends and one begins. But at certain moments, I can be. Following one’s breath with conscious intention is a wonderful tool during Yoga practice, or when I take pause to feel into my body – anytime I choose to bring awareness into the present moment.

Beginnings and Endings.  Simply unfolding. Sometimes with conscious focus, sometimes not.  Both are beautiful.  Honour Both.

In vibrancy, Laurie.

 

*Published in SIBYL Magazine, for the Spirit and Soul of Woman, February 2018

1003 Arizona41 Laurie

Make Me Feel

A facebook post the other day mentioned staying away from people who make you feel hard to love. I chose to respond in this way…

Although I believe that no one can make you feel anything, I do know the power of my feelings in any given experience. They are my best guidance system ever: put in place to draw me towards or away from people, places, experiences. I can now look back and honor those times that brought me my most raw and humble lessons. Other people are responsible for their thoughts, words and actions, to be sure. But my feelings are mine – to notice, to accept, and to honor by moving through in the most loving way I can. Trust in yourself. And know there are others who stand with you. Exactly BECAUSE you are you.

Yes, it drew a strong response. A few, in fact.

It has been a long process for me to first define the actual feelings I feel; next to recognize how my pre-patterned belief system (often limiting beliefs I adopted in childhood) flavor my internalization and perspective of the situation that is sparking my feelings; and lastly to shifting the beliefs that simply do not hold true to me any longer.

We choose our thoughts. We choose our words, our actions, our friends, our work, our surroundings. We can choose to modify and improve our habits and behaviors. We can also choose to move towards people who uplift and inspire us to reach more deeply into our authentic self. Those who will encourage us to be the best version of our true selves, standing by us as we shed roles, expectations, obligations and belief systems that no longer serve our growth forward.

This is a courageous process. It has brought me to my most humble, vulnerable, exposed (and at times to my raw, fully-bared) self. And yet I choseand continue to choose to notice some hard truths about my conditioned thought patterning, limiting beliefs and behaviors. Some of which have been difficult for me to accept and to understand. Hard to even shine a light towards, let alone uncover and completely expose.

I choose to stretch and to fill myself by loving myself deeper, by extending to myself the same kindness and compassion I do to others. By noticing acts of kindness and goodness in the world. By choosing to hold positive and loving expressions in my heart and mind, and to bring them forward to others.

In vibrancy, Laurie.

*Published in SIBYL Magazine, for the Spirit and Soul of Woman, April 2018 issue.

1003 Arizona41 Laurie

Awareness

I recently discovered that emails from a close connection had been placed  by my email account into a folder I didn’t notice before. She had been sending me information to help move my business forward  on a monthly basis for some time. She prepared beautiful videos, chock full of meaningful information to assist any entrepreneur. She had invited me to presentations and events.

And I hadn’t read one of them. Not one.

They had been sorted by my email system and sent to a separate folder that I never paid attention to. Until that day I did. Suddenly, much information came into my awareness. She was not the only person believing they had sent me messages that in fact, did not each me.

And it bough me a huge ‘AHA’ moment. A few actually. This gem is multi-faceted…..

How often do we think of someone, or do lots of work with great intentions, only to fall short in reaching the very people we wish to share our message with?

And perhaps more importantly, does it actually matter in the big picture?

I was introduced to a poem years ago that I go back to and re-read often. It was shared by a fellow hospice volunteer who had just completed training through me, and she wished to read it to the group at our final gathering before each moved to their chosen program. It’s called “love’s journey home” by mary ann radmacher. The line that speaks to me most deeply is

” love isn’t completed as it is returned. it is completed in its choice to be given”…

This really resonates with me. With intention, with love, with thoughts of peace and comfort and all things noble and sincere, it is not  in the receiving that the difference is made. The offering is enough. It is always enough.

Eventually, in my case on the exact day I was ready to accept her invitation of assistance – on the one day that I felt called to ask for help – it arrived in the form of me noticing a folder in my inbox that I had as yet left unopened. And when I opened it, I discovered multiple gifts awaiting inside. Perhaps on the day it is best heard, our message will be delivered and expressed perfectly.

And isn’t that how life is? So much awaits us, and is simply there for the taking . We simply need to open our awareness to it, and if it feels right, then say “yes.” Yes, YES, YES! Both arms flung open YES!

In health and vibrancy, Laurie.

Written Words

Beyond the Words

It’s interesting to me that I enjoy the poetry and eloquence of the written and spoken word as much as I do, especially since the bulk of my healing work and volunteering is done in the powerful – and often profound – realm beyond words.

With the variety of energy work I provide, compassionate care is offered through light touch or near touch to guide people’s energy field to wholeness. Most of these experiences are provided in an atmosphere of soothing music, and often with little conversation. And yet, there is much communication. In this intuitive and responsive time together, I notice things, trust what arises, and offer appropriate focus of care based on a multitude of non-verbal signals.

I realized early in my Hospice volunteering that much communication occurs in the space beyond, and sometimes beneath the words. When in the depths of final transition, so much cannot be conveyed with words. Sometimes, despair doesn’t allow for words to come. Sometimes, the person I am sitting with is in the final moments of life, and unable to speak.

These are profound moments that serve as reminders of the immense power and sanctity of non-verbal communication. A willing hand to hold, a gentle presence, a gaze of understanding and compassion, or simply holding space for someone in need are all meaningful in this immensely rich time beyond words.

Perhaps this is why I appreciate the times I hear or read words from others that resonate with me. They serve as reminders of the interplay within communication. Because the message is heard in the ear of the listener. Irrespective of the actual words said, it is the perspective of the listener that creates the framework for their meaning.

I recognize the enormous power for inspiration and influence the written word provides. I have been asked to share a bit of my life journey in a collection of stories showcasing the power of defining moments within the lives of a variety of people. I am blessed to be part of this collaborative book, and will dig deep to articulate words that best express my moments of clarity, of choice, of connection, of experiences that have both shaped my world and rippled to those around me. I will seek to transmit the feelings within my story in an authentic way that both honors the people on my path, and invites readers on a journey of discovery.

I have also been inspired to write books of my own. So I set out, pen in hand, to place strokes of writing onto the once blank paper. I naturally feel more connected to paper than a computer, and actually feel the flow of creativity differently when it moves through my hand in swirls and doodles and margin notes. Creating a dance of ink on the canvas of paper.  I trust that the energy of expressing written words, pen on paper, will resonate beneath the words themselves. Happy reading!

In vibrancy, Laurie

Travel Key

What’s In A Name?

Last night, I was gifted with the most beautiful news. Magical news. The words many of us have come to know. The ones that fill our hearts with a tapestry of so much emotion, it is hard to articulate exactly what each strand is.  We only know that the weaving of them is sublime.

My eldest son and his life partner came to town in celebration of their move to another country. They arranged for a large multi-family gathering of those they love in Kelowna – the place he was born and raised.

And while they were here, they surprised us by celebrating a few birthdays. Mine was just a few days ago, his Dad’s upcoming in a few weeks. So, our son and his partner each had a small cake, complete with candles and sparklers. As they entered the room, singing Happy Birthday, and joined by everyone in the room, they placed a cake in front of each of us. Mine said “Happy Birthday, Grandma!”, and his said “Happy Birthday Grandpa!”.

This was the enchanting and delightful, celebratory way they announced their pending parenthood. How magical.  It was a flurry of emotion! I think I shouted in glee. I know I leapt up from my chair and hugged her with such emotion that I thought I might trip and fall on top of her. I absolutely kissed her cheek and held her, bellies touching. Then, I floated to my son, the biggest smile on my face – and his. Yes, sons can glow!  He was beaming.

Others at the table immediately looked at the message on the cake, read it out loud, so all would know what the commotion was about! Then everyone was on their feet, hugging, crying tears of joy, expressing congratulations.

And a while later, it happened……

Someone asked me what I would be called. Grandma? Grammie?  Nana…..?

It transported me to when I was faced with the honour of naming my own children. I didn’t understand at that time the energy of, or held within, a name. Only that the written and spoken word was rich with depth and meaning. I fully understood the extreme importance of selecting a name that both honoured the new being that entered the world, and the intention parents hold for their life script.

What’s in a name?  Energy. Vibration. Power. Intention. Connection. Frequency.

When pondering what I will be called, I know I will meditate and be guided to the perfect name. One that feels good as it travels through my mind, voice box, throat, tongue & lips. One that lands on their ears and in their hearts like no other. One that holds blessings of this new – and future – children of my children…

It is not a decision to be made lightly. It is not one I will change once the selection is made.

Once again, I trust in the voice of my spiritual guides, and ask the question.  Stay tuned for what reveals itself through me!

1004 Arizona50 Dragonflies

I Notice Things

I notice things. I notice a lot of things. Always have.  I am keenly attuned with the energy in a space, person, or object.

This skill informs my healing practice immensely, since I intuitively know where to focus my attention to help ease the pain of my clients.  It helps me in my Hospice volunteering. As I sit with people in their final breaths, noticing the many and varied subtleties of change to their breathing, their hands, the feeling in the room, and whether I should play music (and if so, what kind?) or if now is the perfect time for silence.

I notice when negative thoughts arise, and I use different tools to release them. Sometimes I simply re-frame them in a positive way. For example “don’t trip” turns into “please be careful”. Regularly, when hearing others with negative messaging, I silently send out positive re-framing which guides the energy to bounce and shift to something uplifting. And I believe that by so doing, positive energy ripples throughout the entire space.

I notice how a sincere, friendly smile or simple gesture can uplift someone. How far it impacts. All because one person took the time to offer a friendly word or other comfort to another.

Someone once wondered how I can be so happy all the time, especially knowing the intense type of work I have pursued. It’s not that I have not seen pain, witnessed deep sadness and fear, nor lost meaningful relationships or connections. It’s that I choose to see them for the gift they were; to take the lessons from those losses; to glean the wisdom and to release with love. Absolute love. The total acceptance of others as they are in each moment – without attachment to designing their lives to mold to mine.

What works best for me is to open my heart, to deeply inhale all of life’s goodness, and to exhale it all out back to the world.  With the unshakeable knowing that my essence is to radiate love, wisdom, honor and respect to each; to  inspire and uplift; to model what I call heart-centered living by example.

To reach more deeply, I continue to expand my immersion into healing arts; I mentor others; I commit to daily meditation, movement, gratitude, and journaling practices. I take immaculate care of my body and mind, eating a variety of healthful foods; drinking re-structured, alkalized water; plus constantly studying the many facets of healthful living and spirituality that resonate with me. I maintain an even flow of energy in my body by dedication to these practices, by serving others in my professional practice, by writing for multiple platforms, and by volunteering regularly for causes that are important to me.

I notice things. And I am constantly recognizing pathways to making the world a better place. For me, it starts with awareness. And then taking action, often by creating and reaching out to the heart centered community around me.

In vibrancy, Laurie

IMG_0008

Anger Needed A Place To Land

I had a recent experience where someone was expressing anger towards me. It was strong anger – no filter, no space of kindness, no taking a few breaths and letting words come through the heart, or perhaps even the brain – simply an explosion of feeling. Of intensity. Of rawness, and depth and force.

And during the time of this encounter, I chose to listen – to truly listen to the pain behind the emotion. I grounded and centered myself, feeling and visioning myself as the eye of the storm, with swirling winds and extreme turbulence all around me – but simultaneously sheltered: protected in my solid foundation of truth and knowing.

You see, the anger that was expressed was unfounded in its origin. It was not based on truth. This person was challenging my integrity in this expression. Which made me extra happy and proud that I was able to simply listen without reacting in the moments of his sharing.

I knew that the feeling of anger, that strong and sudden and passionate emotion, needed to be expressed and released by him. And I chose to ride out the flare of emotion that erupted, in faith that I would have my time to respond and assist his understanding.

So I listened, but drew an important boundary while doing so. All by simply making a conscious choice to be kind and true to myself. To honour myself in the midst of intensity of emotion that was directed towards me.

I could have gotten defensive. I could have pushed away energetically. I could have walked away, or shut myself down from listening altogether.  My choice instead was to allow the expression of anger through his words until they came to their natural end. And then, trusting my heart to find the words, I said the following:

“I know that your anger needs a place to land, but I choose to let it bounce.”

I did not take it on. I did not allow the emotion of anger to come into my peaceful field, let alone be tainted or dominated by it. I recognized straight away that his accusatory tone and words were based on an untruth.

I honoured myself, my truth, and my integrity. The situation we encountered together that triggered this anger was as much a surprise to me as to him. The biggest difference was the way in which we each chose to view it.

He from a victim mentality “Why me?” “Who can I blame?” Me from a personal growth viewpoint, “What is the lesson?” “How can I grow?” “What’s the next most loving step I can take?”

And the next most loving step I took was to let the anger bounce.

Vanc Fireworks2017 3

Energy Mirrors Reflecting Back

I was in conversation with a friend of mine recently, and he shared an interesting observation. He said that a few people in the past short while have shared their life story with him. He noticed how he didn’t interrupt, as he has done in the past; his thoughts didn’t leap ahead into how he would respond, and his typical labelling and judgements didn’t arise.

He simply listened. With interest.

I understand the power of presence in listening. I have long held skills for courageous conversations, which have been especially useful in – and in large part shaped by – my many hospice experiences. For as long as I can remember, strangers feel instantly at ease with me. The person next in line at a coffee shop, or sitting next to me on a flight will share the most remarkable and often raw parts of their personal struggles.

And yes, I listen. Listen with my whole body – eyes, ears, and compassion engaged. I offer wisdom, if it feels right. If they in fact want anything other than a willing ear for their words to land on.  Because sometimes, all we need is to be heard. Not to be validated, not to receive anyone else’s advice, not to to fix whatever has been shared by offering “you should…..”.  Just to listen, to be fully engaged and focused on the words and emotions they are offering.  What works best for me is to ask the question, “Do you wish for me to offer thoughts, or do you just need a place for your words to land?”

My friend then shared with me that he has been meeting remarkable and kind people lately, too. Knowing the personal journey he has experienced, I immediately smile and rejoice inside.  Because he has just discovered a key – this beautiful key to unlock understanding. This I know from my own journey and understanding.

Energy mirrors are reflecting back to him his current feeling of being heard. Truly heard. He and I have spent many hours in meaningful conversation, actually of him speaking and me listening.  So it is no surprise that others are now appearing to him, providing him the gift to now be the listener.

He is modifying his thoughts to choose differently. To hold gratitude for all the positive experiences and gestures he is witnessing, no matter how small they may seem at the time. Each one adds to the next in steps that are yet leading upwards.

And he is noticing that as he displays kindness to himself and to others, this is also being reflected back by the new people who are arising in his interactions.

I smile a knowing smile, in anticipation of what he will notice next.

Another beautiful journey is unfolding. I am honoured to both share insights that have helped me, and to bear witness to another’s growth and rejeuvenation.  Feeling blessed.

20180429_222620

Savour

SAVOUR

Written by Laurie Bartley, Vibrational Catalyst – integrating Yoga, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, spirit, nutrition, and mindfulness for a fuller, vibrant life.

I attended a publishing/writing retreat in April to provide me with guidance and inspiration on the important steps to take when bringing the words in my heart to the world in the form of a book (or book series, to be more precise). It was at a beautiful oceanside resort on Vancouver Island, BC. The first day, we were given 3 minutes to free-flow write, prompted only by cards on the table with one single word on each.  The instructions were, “select your word and then write”. Here is what flowed in that time. And how these 3 simple minutes made a difference for someone else. I hope you enjoy it, and also find inspiration.

“Savour”

Savour life

Take chances

Speak your heart.

Live with abandon

Climb mountains

Meditate

Kiss.

Inhale deeply

Honour life.

Touch the Earth; Touch the sky.

Remember your power

Trust your Inner guidance

Explore yourself – all of yourself.

Give yourself permission to discover, to learn, to lead;

To help others forward with a smile, a gesture of kindness.

Savour friendship

Share your heart as deeply as you can;

Walk to the edge. Those who stand with you are there for a reason.

Trust, trust, trust that the universe is friendly.

Savour.

A few days later, a friend of mine was having a particularly challenging time, and she came to me for counsel and connection. Mostly for deep hugs and that place of safe haven – of feeling truly seen and heard. Of offering her true feelings in the moment and knowing they would land softly, without judgement, by someone willing to hold space and bear witness to her pain. After spending time listening, it felt right for me to share this writing with her. Which brought me the gift of realizing just how impactful 3 minutes can be.

In 3 minutes, a friendship can be made or broken; words can be spoken that heal or harm; love can be shared and accepted, or someone can step onto a different pathway than yours. A first kiss, or final kiss can be experienced. The final passage of childbirth can bring a tiny miracle into the world; or the final words you will ever say to someone can be spoken. In 3 minutes, a piece of music can uplift and inspire, an act of kindness can be given, words can be written or spoken, a dancer can move a heart to tears by their performance, seeds can be planted for many to enjoy a beautiful garden. So many amazing, brilliant, thoughtful, caring acts can be performed in 3 minutes.

Let’s take time to build 3 minutes of magic into our day – and into the lives of others, by extension.

In health and vibrancy, Laurie.