Love · poetry · relationships


A mother wakes moments
before her baby’s cry, or
reaches with loving arms
just as her toddler stumbles.

Call it instinct, or premonition.

A sister calls in timely fashion
was feeling a little concerned,
or arrives with tea just when
a break is exactly what’s needed.

Call it instinct, or premonition.

A daughter rushes to
her mother’s side , senses
the unanswered calls
are more than busyness.

Call it instinct, or premonition.

Then, why when he cheated –
flaunted his courtships
with self-righteous bravado –
did I miss all the signs?

Denial negates instinct,
negates premonition.

(The Daily Post prompt is premonition.)

health · life · ME/ CFS · poetry


The body has a voice –
not silent, nor harsh –
it is a knowing.

When ego drives hard –
screaming ambition
demanding to be heard –

Block it out!

Let your body speak –
waves of understanding,
gut feelings, truth.

Logic has no place here –
book learning seldom serves
the needs of the soul –

Set it aside.

Listen to your body –
that pounding in the chest,
that sudden surge of vertigo.

Intuition is cellular –
ancient, ancestral instinct;
trust the voice within.

(I originally wrote this in October of 2014, while contemplating how I let myself become so ill.  Admittedly, I had for years ignored my body’s signals.  Be well all.)



culture · poetry · spirituality · women's issues

It’s Time, Women

It’s time to resurrect
our confidence,
recapture the sensitivity
of intuitive knowing,
acknowledge the power
of our resiliency;
we are women
merciful companions
healers attending
Divinity’s passage,
directing life’s journey.

Too long have we equated
self-esteem with
patriarchal agendas,
disappointed with
our inability to meet
media standards,
blamed ourselves
for divorce,
staying home
to raise the children.

It’s time to honour
our strength, restore
feminine worth,
align our resources,
we are iron grace,
mindful caregivers,
mate with intention,
our vulnerability,
our sensuality,
aspects of intrinsic
wisdom, we are
keepers of the dream
beings steeped
in mystery:
it is time.
(Image artist: Shikha Agnihotri Pandey )



health · poetry · recovery


The body has a voice –
not silent, nor harsh –
it is a knowing.

When ego drives hard –
Screaming ambition,
demanding to be heard

Block it out!

Let your body speak –
waves of understanding,
gut feelings; truth.

Logic has no place here –
book learning seldom serves
the needs of the soul.

Set it aside.

Listen to your body –
that pounding in the chest,
that sudden surge of vertigo.

Reason is cellular –
ancient, ancestral instinct.
Trust the wisdom within.


Embrace your intuition.


Day 172 “Change Your Destiny”

I was five when I first learned that there was something not quite right about my grandfathers visiting me in the middle of the night.

My mother and I were sorting through a box of old photographs, when I spotted one of her father.  I dug deeper and pulled out a photo of my father’s father.  “My Grandpas!” I exclaimed.

Years later my mother told me that the hair on the back of her neck stood up that day, I frightened her so.

“Did someone else show you pictures?”  she asked.

“No, Mom,  I know them because they come visit me at night.”

“When?”  She pulled out a picture of a crowd of people and passed it to me.  I pointed to her father again.  “Yep, that’s him.”

“They come at night when everyone is asleep.”  I could see that something was upsetting her, and I didn’t want her to be mad.  “Oh don’t worry, Mom, they don’t wake me up.  They just stand at that end of my bed until I wake up, then we visit.”

“And what do you do during these visits?”

“We go to the kitchen where we won’t disturb anyone.  I ask them if I should wake you and Dad, but they say not to bother, they’re just here to see me.  We talk.  They ask me about my day, and tell me how big I am.  I take turns sitting on their knees.”

My Grandfathers, it turned out, died before I was born.  Grabbing me by the arms and forcing me to face her, my mother told me that I could not share this story with anyone else.  She told me that what I was seeing were ghosts and that other people did not see ghosts, and more importantly, people who saw ghosts would be locked away for a very long time.  “Stop seeing ghosts!”  she pleaded with me in desperation.  (I would later come to understand that an uncle of hers had been condemned to life in a mental hospital for this reason.)

I didn’t know what to think of all this.  My Grandfathers looked like everyone else, they just visited at funny times of the day.  Nothing about it had seemed out of the ordinary.

I was ten when I woke up to find my cousin and the three little ones standing at the foot of my bed.  “Tell them we’re okay,”  Willy said.  I was still struggling to fully open my eyes when they disappeared.  The chill of their presence still lingered in the room.  I decided I had better tell my parents.In the hallway, I could hear that my parents were awake, my father on the phone.  He put down the receiver just as I walked into their room.

“Willy and the kids are dead,”  I said.  “But they are okay.”

“They died in a fire,”  my father said glancing at the phone.  “How did you know?”

“They were just in my room.”

“Why didn’t they come visit me?”  my cousin Katie pouted at the funeral. “Willy liked me better. ”

“I don’t know,”  I answered honestly.  Willy did like her better.  He and I always fought, in fact, just the week before I told him I wished he was dead.  Was he punishing me?

Having caught wind of my peculiarity, my older sisters would put me to the test, trying out my abilities.  We discovered that not only could I see the deceased, but I could track down the living with some kind of freak body radar.  At eleven, I was suddenly invited to accompany them downtown, where I would use my “powers” to locate boys.

I experimented on my own, too, reading about out of body experiences and attempting to recreate the phenomena.

At fifteen, it all became too much.  My next oldest sister, Mai, was away visiting her brothers on the East coast when I suddenly knew something was wrong.   I was sitting in class, concentrating on the lesson, when suddenly I felt shooting pains in my finger.   I looked down to see that it was the same finger that wore a ring Mai had given me.  I slipped the ring off and the pain stopped.  Put it back on and the pain resumed.  My body radar was at work again, and this time it was telling me something was wrong with Mai.  The office paged into the room at that moment and asked to have me sent down.  Mai, the secretary told me, was being flown home.  My parents were picking me up shortly.  Somehow, I determined that it was all my fault.

I decided that my mother had been right.  Nothing good could ever come from this stuff.  I shut it down.

For thirteen years.

And then the wall came tumbling down, and the ghosts returned, and my body sensitivities heightened, and I saw and knew things more clearly then ever.  And people started to come to me for ‘readings’ and to talk their dead beloveds, and to see the future, and I complied, because I thought that it was my destiny.

Yet, my mother’s words always echoed in the back of my mind, and I wondered if what I was doing really was serving a purpose, or was it all just a fancy parlour trick.   Oh, there were times when I knew that I was truly able to help others, but there were also times when the message I delivered was not helpful, and sometimes maybe even destructive, and this felt all too much like I was trying to play God, and so I shut it down again after twenty years, for the most part.

But my son carries the same burden, and so it is never fully gone from my life, and I can’t help but wonder:  Was I destined to see things differently, to experience the world inside out for a reason?  Is there merit in all this?

I told my therapist some of my story, obviously still reluctant to disclose everything, given my mother’s warning.  She says some people are more intuitive than others, and make sense of the world that way.  She says people like me do not understand the logic of others, nor how they are able to draw the conclusions they do.  She suggested I just learn to trust my instincts as that is my way of being.  She doesn’t know the half of it.  If I let my intuitive side open up again, who knows what will happen?

I do believe we can change our destiny.  I know that born to a cross-dressing father, and a divorced and emotionally crippled mother, I was destined to have a challenging life, but I chose to make the best of it, determining from early on that what I was given served a purpose, and would help prepare me for my destiny.   I also know that I control the gifts that I have been given, and that I use them or not, at my discretion.  That much I have proven to myself.

Whether or not these gifts serve a worthwhile purpose, is something I have yet to come to terms with.  I don’t know what my destiny is, but I do know what I want to do my life:  I want to make a difference, alleviate suffering, empower others, and inspire change.  And I want to do it with humility and in service to others, not as some freak sideshow performer.

Destiny is a such a big, and overwhelming word.  It suggests finality and lack of free will.

“All paths lead to the same destination,” a medicine woman once told me.  “We always end up where we are meant to be.”

So is the journey all futility?  I would like to think not.

I have danced with my destiny several times, choosing to step off the path now and again.  Today, I stand in the cover of the forest, and look back at the path I have traveled and wonder, will I pass that way again?

creativity · memoir · spirituality

Intuition and Understanding

First notice how you are feeling – physically and emotionally.  Notice any thoughts.  Set all this aside, then take the object in your hand and allow any thoughts, feelings or sensations to speak to you.

These were the instructions my teacher had given me.  My cousin Lynne and I were trying out psychometry:  the art of reading energy from objects.

Immediately, I felt light and expansive.  “This person is deceased,”  I speculated.

“Correct.”  Lynne’s job was to bring me objects and test me, without telling me anything about them or their owners.

“I see a woman, tall and thin like yourself, but dressed from another era – like that old photo of Grandma and her sister.”


“I feel a lot of stiffness in the neck and upper body, maybe signifying rigidity, or an unwillingness to look at viewpoints other than her own – stubbornness.”

“Yes, you could say that about her.”

“She is showing me a violin.”

“She played.”

“And I feel a warmth towards you – she’s showing me a picture of a younger you, running in a field.  She seems to be indicating that you were a happy child, carefree.   And, I have the smell of baking, like fresh bread and pies.  This is fun!”

We decided to expand the experiment to involve others.  I introduced the technique to my meditation circle and we all brought objects, and photos to test our intuition.  It was amazing to be able to connect with another person, unknown, and have an experience of understanding.

Beyond the superficial magic of the moment, this experiment taught me much more.  It taught me compassion.  I learned that it is important to look beyond appearances, because what lies within is not always what an individual shows on the outside.  My ability to “read” others brought many people to me over the years, and with it the realization of how important it is for each of us to feel understood.


life · memoir · spirituality · travel

Navigating Intuitively

In 1997, the annual Therapeutic Touch conference was held in Vancouver, and to my great delight, my then husband encouraged me to attend.  The conference was to be held over a weekend, but as I had a friend living on Vancouver Island, I decided to extend my stay. Two others wanted to join, and while I said they were welcome, I wanted it to be on my terms – outside of the conference, I wanted no set agendas, or schedules.  I wanted to be fully open to the experience, and whatever presented itself; to let my intuition alone be the guide.

One of my teachers and mentors was also living in Vancouver at the time, and as it turned out would be on the island during our stay.  Em agreed to meet up with us.  We needed a place to stay.  J, who lived on the island, scouted out a cottage we could rent for cheap.  It was November, so very off season.  She found a three bedroom that looked like it would accommodate us.  We were excited.

We flew into Vancouver and rented a car.  By late evening, we were in Victoria.  We decided to stop for the night.  S and I were up early the next morning, ready to explore.

“What does it mean to follow your intuition?” she asked as we set out on the deserted streets in search of an open coffee shop.

“Some teachings believe that Spirit speaks to us through omens and signs, but most of us miss this guidance in our day to day living, as we are too focused on schedules and obligations.  I just want to see what happens when we open to guidance.”  A large black bird squawked from its perch across the street.  We both looked.  “Like that bird, for example.  What would happen if we followed it?”  On cue, the bird flew a short distance, then stopped.  We followed.

S and I were going into business together.  She already had an established business, and I had a vision.  I wanted to create an environment in which people could find help in times of need, but I didn’t want it to be clinical, or formal.  We were thinking a book store, with added services. We shared ideas as we continued to follow the bird, who seemed to be enjoying the game.  He would fly only within sight, and wait for us before journeying further.  Eventually he stopped just outside a store front.  The store was called “The Pomegranate”.

“I like it,”  I exclaimed.  I had just read something about pomegranates, and how some scholars believed the original apple in the Garden of Eden was actually a pomegranate.  I shared this with S.

She told me in the Jewish religion, the pomegranate was a symbol of the many ways man can serve man.  She said the pomegranate has multiple seeds (over 100) and that each seed was representative of a different act of service.  Our discussion became lively and animated.  We walked on, our harbinger forgotten.

When we returned to the hotel, L was ready to move on.  We loaded up the rental vehicle, and headed north.  L would drive, S would occupy the passenger seat, and I would be the backseat driver, listening for ‘signs’.  With its combination of mountains, trees, rock, and water, it is difficult not to feel inspired on the island.

I tried to pay attention not only with my eyes, but also with my other senses.  We hadn’t travelled far before I felt a shift in my physical perception.   I asked L to pull over.  My companions looked at me expectantly.  Not sure what I was experiencing, I explained that I felt something different, a sensation of depletion, as if the energy was being zapped out of me.  We got out and looked around.  Not much to see. I pointed in the direction where I thought the sensation was coming from.  There was some big machinery there; it looked like it might be the beginning of construction.  We asked a passerby, who responded that the forest was being clear cut here.  What a shame, we thought.

We drove on until I suddenly felt my heart begin to flutter, as if it had taken flight.  “Pull over,” I announced.  “I feel like soaring.”  We got out and looked up.  Three eagles were circling high above.  We watched in speechless reverence.

Our next stop was close to the inner channel.  I suddenly felt playful, bubbly.  “It’s in the water!”  Sure enough, it was.  A lone dolphin was jumping in the waves.

“This is fun,” L said.  “But I’m getting hungry.  Where does your intuition say we should eat?”

“Wendy’s,” I blurted.  A chorus of groans erupted.  We had driven past a number of quaint towns and cute little restaurants, and fast food was the last thing on our minds.

“Surely, not.” L protested.  I shrugged.

Wendy’s came into sight.  Reluctantly, we pulled in.  I made a beeline for the washroom, while L and S got in line to order.  Inside the bathroom, I had the sensation of the earth moving.  Something was here, but I had no idea what.  “This is the right place.” I told the ladies when I caught up with them.  They rolled their eyes.  We pushed through the crowded restaurant to find a seat, and were nicely tucking into the food when I heard an unmistakeable laugh.  Em was here!

Across the room, seated with her back to us, was a middle-aged woman with a long grey-black braid down her back – Em.  We embraced and laughed at the serendipity of meeting in this restaurant, when all of us avoided fast food. Em was visiting friends and would be meeting up with us on Miracle beach later in the week.  She travelled by motorcycle, and preferred no schedules.  We would see her whenever.

We set off again, now convinced.  If we make room in our lives, and open up our awareness, Spirit can speak.  It was the beginning of an incredible week.  Our setting was aptly named: Miracle Beach.  The miracles for that week had just begun.