Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ahnung visits in a dream

 I don't often dream of Ahnung. When she visits my dreams, however, they are powerful. Last night she appeared. She was laying down, resting, yet in a 'watching over' mode at the steps of what was an old historical structure, like those in Greece. Big boulders. She was resting at the top of the steps. In plain sight yet hidden. In my dream I wasn't looking for Ahnung, or anyone. I wasn't lost. I was simply leaving this structure. Something nudged me to look behind me. I saw Ahnung, resting, 'watching me'. I remember the calm that came over me. This connection; this deep connection of two souls. When she saw that I saw her she stood up and walked towards me. Slow, intentional pace in Ahnung fashion. She paused momentarily when she got to me, then she kept walking. Then in my dream, out of no where, Ishka appeared. She was next to Ahnung. I momentarily panicked ... i thought i have to get a leash on Ishka or she will get away. Ahnung kept walking. Calm. Ishka by her side. Their souls were also connected. White light and energy flowed over me as I watched them .. worry went away. I didn't need to worry about a leash, about anything. Ishka kept 'following' Ahnung ... she walked next to Ahnung, on her left side. She was a smaller version of Ahnung. They were now both asking me to follow them. In my dream it felt like we were One. Ahnung guiding us. There was an amazing calm, a trust ... in meditation this morning i reflected on this powerful dream ... there was no separation of this world and the spirit world ... Ahnung IS with us. She is always with us. And she clearly brought Ishkode ('fire') to keep the flame inside of me going.

Miigwech Ahnung for the gift of visiting me in my dream; miigwech for Ishkode'; miigwech for the reminder our souls will forever be connected.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pain as teacher

For the past few weeks I have been struggling with tension headaches. I have historically not had headaches issues in the past. So this has been new.  I posted the following on Facebook,

"i have a whole new appreciation for those who experience migraines and/or chronic pain of any sort ... yup, i have had a lot of health issues but headaches has never been something i have struggled with .. then about a month ago, it started knocking on my door. I noticed it but didn't give it the attention it needed ... and as any health issue (or anything in life), when something is trying to tell you something, and you don't listen, it continues to give you messages hoping you will listen, and if you don't pay attention, it will knock you over with something that will get your attention. The headaches would be constant but sometimes it would be like my head was going to explode. Then at one of my sessions with my trainer I mentioned it to him. He asked me more questions and began pushing on points in my neck and shoulder ... talk about shooting pain to the spot in my head .... radiating, pulsing with a vengeance! I have had a shoulder injury and my physical therapist 'warned' me about the importance of my posture. How our body adjusts and compensates for minor pains and injuries ... and my shoulder injury has been a long time coming from probably poor posture and other ways of moving. As painful as it has been, the good news is i feel like i can do something about this. I have a couple lacrosse balls and they have become my new 'best friend' ... i can push on trigger points ... my trainer tells me it will hurt, and boy does it hurt. He explains the physiology of muscles and scar tissue and nerves .. i am also having deep tissue work done .. let's say that that is also very painful but I can tell the difference already. So, needless to say, it's been a kinda rough week for this household, but this morning, i actually feel a little more alive. Maybe i will actually get a walk in today :)"

When pain in the form of intense, throbbing headaches came knocking on my door, i slammed the door on its face! No, not today. I don't have time for you. She kept returning. A few times i popped a couple tylenols. It wasn't until I had my conversation with my trainer and he pushed on trigger points and showed the connection of the tightness in my neck and shoulders that something shifted in me ... no more slamming the door on Pain; no more masking the Pain; listen to Pain ... she is my teacher; she has been trying to get my attention.

Dear Pain,

You have my attention. My undivided attention. I am sorry for slamming the door on you. I am sorry for not listening. I hear you now and I am committed to paying attention. It's not easy to learn a new way of walking, sitting, and noticing the very tiny shifts in my body and my muscles. Old habits do die hard! I have a lot to learn, and in the moments when the pain is intense, I will remind myself to breathe into you, relax and imagine the throbbing hurt dissipating. You are my teacher. I embrace my role as student.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grand Canyon ... and California Condors

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon with my partner, my sister and my niece. It was my first time to visit the Grand Canyon. I have seen photos. It is true .. photos aren't able to do justice to the magnificence and grandeur of standing on the rim of the Canyon, or as we hiked down the canyon.

I had the opportunity to also watch the sun rise, and the sun set ... breathtaking. And as we waited for the sun to set we had the opportunity to see a few california condors. Wow!!! These raptors are HUGE!! We were told their wings could stretch almost 10 feet!

Watching the california condors and turkey vultures made time fly as we waited for the sun to set, along with many other Grand Canyon visitors. I haven't had a chance to sit down and really reflect on the magnificence of our vacation. I hope to do that in the not too distant future.


Let go.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Reaching. Stretching.

Somehow, some way, along my life's journey i began telling myself a narrative that isn't true ... that i'm not creative or artistic .. and for many years, I also told myself I can't write. Sure, I played the piano. I rationalized that it was classical piano ... "anyone can read notes", yet I continued to pursue playing the piano, and even got a presidential scholarship in college to study under concert pianist Ruth Slenczynska. My gut knew it wasn't just about reading notes and playing notes ... then again, isn't anything in life so much more than what it appears to be on the surface? I would listen to jazz musicians and others who could just sit down at a piano without notes, improvising, creating music ... I would wish I could do the same. I honestly don't remember if I drew as a kid .... as an adult I could only draw stick people :). In the past week I have made a commitment .. a new stretch/reach goal for myself ... to challenge myself in creative ways .. to activate brain cells on the other side of my brain that have probably been dormant :). I have signed up for a Beginner's Observational Drawing class. It begins in a week and a half and I am super excited! The other day, I attempted to draw my pup Ishka.

It was an attempt of using 'grids' and drawing from a photo of Ishka on the dining room table. I thought i would post this photo and have an online documentation of my journey in developing my drawing skills :).

I am attempting to change the narrative that has been occurring in my head for longer than I can remember ... that I am not creative. I also used to tell myself I couldn't write. Fortunately, I have freed myself of that inaccurate narrative. I do believe I can write now ... in fact, writing is what has been a life jacket for me in my own personal healing journey.

So I am excited for this new creative journey ... of learning to draw; of learning to see the world in a whole new way ... to notice shades, tones, colors, light ... to explore new perspectives.

I may periodically post drawings as I embark on this journey. It will be a fun way for me to look back on this journey years from now :).

Thursday, May 18, 2017



Why pause?
To breathe.
To break patterns.
To create space for what is to be.
To let go of attachments, expectations.
To Be in the moment. Just as it is.
To honor the beauty and the pain of what exists in the moment.
To embrace and accept, without judgment.

Why pause?
To allow myself time to return to Center.
To allow myself time to see and notice the light that burns inside of me ...
inside all of us.
To walk the Earth.
To look up to the Sky.
To re-ignite the Fire inside of me.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spirit. Fire. Joy.

Legacy ... Play ... pure, utter joy.
I believe Ahnung brought baby Legacy into our lives. Legacy also brought the puppy and playfulness out of Ahnung. Maybe Ahnung wanted me to have a reminder (after she had crossed over into the spirit world) to not take life too seriously. To laugh. Play. Live in the moment.

Legacy and Ahnung were bonded in a very deep and unique way. I continue to feel Ahnung's spirit living on through Legacy.

So one of reach/stretch goals for this coming week is to notice each day, in whatever way, feels right, 3 things:

1. Ahnung - notice how the spirit of Ahnung is around me; moves through me. Is there any object, a song, a person, a spirit, an animal, an idea, a Way that touches me in the Ahnung Way. Just notice it. Then let it go.

2. Ishkode (means 'fire' in ojibwe) - notice the fire burning inside of me; notice when it ignites ... notice when I feel alive. Stay with it. If only for a moment. Acknowledge the fire; thank the fire; create space for the fire inside of me to ignite, to fizzle, or whatever course the fire needs to take.

3. Legacy - create time and space every day to feel joy; to play; to be a kid again. Live in the moment.

Ishkode (aka Ishka) ... my fire!

Ishka ... in her hyena, let's play mode with Legacy!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Slowing down. Stories. Spaces.

I had a busy morning yesterday with work calls. I was tired from lack of sleep and by mid day I wanted to lay down for a short nap. Yet something inside of me kept saying, just get outside Marilou. Walk. Take your nature walk. Bring your camera ... stroll. pause. be ... don't worry about steps, miles, exercise. I allowed my mind to daydream. The name and image of Mrs. Jensen popped up in my head. She was one of my favorite teachers in elementary school in Thailand. I fell in love with C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when she would read that story to our class every afternoon. I remembered an exercise she also has us do. She would have all these different photos on 8.5 by 11 laminated sheets .. she would spread them out on a table ... pick a photo that calls to you. Write a story.

As i strolled in the woods i intentionally slowed down and listened. I would often close my eyes and just listen to the songs of the birds, the cardinals, the pecking on tree branches by woodpeckers. I heard an owl. I was looking out into the water and saw the head of a turtle. I felt like he was looking at me, looking at him. He slowly swam towards a branch floating and crawled up ... stopped. And there he stayed. There i stayed too as I soaked in the peaceful, slow, quiet, healing energy of the turtle; I noticed his reflection in the water and asked him if it was okay for me to take a photo. I bring my camera with me to capture moments in nature. I am a visitor and a guest in this world, and in the woods I am in the land and home and space of wildlife and trees and rocks ... I ask permission. Yeah, sounds crazy, but I do. I am grateful yesterday for the gift of the turtle, the does, the downy woodpecker, the trees, the geese, the ducks, the robins, the water ... I am grateful to my elementary school teacher Mrs. Jensen who planted a seed so very early in my life to explore the ever changing story and landscape in every image and to allow my mind to wander and to write stories ....