The past four weeks have been particularly full-on for me, for a long list of reasons I won't get into here. For anyone who reads my blog regularly you'll probably have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Those who know me personally will know the extra bits outside my book launch and the flooding in Calgary and my efforts to do some fundraising through the sale of my paintings.
|100% of the proceeds from the sale of|
any of my paintings, print or original,
will be donated to the flood relief efforts
in Calgary, Alberta.
Anyhoo, the short of it is, this is the nature of life.
I used to be the sort who would say, "When things settle down..." - but I have to admit, realising that life never 'settles' has been a liberating thing. I no longer look at difficult situations as 'bad' situations. I accept that I grow best when I'm challenged and that even the most challenging of situations won't kill me. Especially when I've got loads of support.
This is why I wrote Wise at any Age and why I stand by my belief that I'd rather learn from my experiences than wonder what my life would be like if I'd been brave (foolhardy?) enough to take the plunge and try something new or different.
As it is, everyday when I wake up I ask myself the wise words of Pema Chodron: "If death is certain and the time until death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?"
Watching the recovery and clean-up in Calgary isn't just testimony to the resilience of the people who live there. It's testimony to the resilience of humankind and that, when we are really faced with what truly matters versus trivial 'first world problems', most of us are pretty well equipped to know the answer to this question. Those who aren't are confused and a reminder that no one does anything because they want to feel worse.
We're all scrambling for ground in a world that is constantly throwing curveballs or blindsiding us.
For me, the most important things are not tangible. They are almost ineffable, in fact.
They are community - friendships, human connection, the knowledge that we are sharing this planet and every action has an equal and opposite reaction and what we put out in the world is what we will get back.
They are good mental health - the ability to know what is necessary for my happiness, for my personal well-being, regardless of the situations I find myself in.
They are the ability to grow - to know what I am capable of changing, accept what I will never have control over, and the strength to let go.
I want to thank everyone who has been sharing the link to my paintings and doing all they can to help. Calgary is a beautiful city and no matter where I may find myself in the world, it will always be my home. It means so much to me that people have been supportive of each other and I'm immensely proud to see how people have banded together. I feel less helpless knowing I have something to offer, even if it's not very much (although if I were to sell all my originals it would actually be quite a lot), because at least it's something at all. Every little bit helps!