The Year of Trust

I’m relatively new to the practice, but when January rolls around now, I enjoy setting myself a one-word intention for the year to come—a North Star or guiding light, if you will. Last year was the first time I consciously selected an Annual Theme Word. After some stillness, silence, and earnest soul-searching, I decided on the word “Ease” for 2014. To me, “Ease” implied loosening my death grip on the natural unfolding process of life. It suggested play, light-heartedness, and a general cooling of my jets, which had been running on overdrive since approximately… birth. Yes, “Ease” was a word that massaged me with a silky caress. It soothed me with promises of relaxation and glimpses of not having to try so damn hard all of the damn time. “Ease” was delicious to me—luxurious, decadent, and practically sinful. I yearned for Ease, and I hoped with childlike sincerity that the simple act of choosing it as my Word of The Year would somehow entice Ease to choose me back.

I choose you... but do you choose me?

I choose you… but do you choose me?

Hahaha– Let it be known that Ease does not choose.

Ease is available, yes— and willing, and delighted at every single opportunity to float, carefree, down the river of life. Certainly, I experienced many periods of Ease throughout 2014, and the magic of those moments rendered me dazzled and star struck. Ease will dance, it will stretch, and it will languish in contentment with anyone who wishes to be in its serene company. But Ease will never ask you to dance. No. You must claim Ease for yourself, rather than waiting on it to make the first move. You must demand its presence, not hope for a mere handout after everyone else has had a share. Ease requires ownership, in a sense—a commitment to step forward and to declare with confidence, “Yes, that’s mine.”

These twinkling, starry lights are MINE.

These twinkling, starry lights are MINE.

What I discovered throughout 2014 was that I approached Ease with a little too much apprehension and intimidation for its liking. Ease wanted me to feel comfortable and natural in its presence, which I did… sometimes. Otherwise, I was mostly awkward and stilted, practically tripping over myself every ten seconds to ensure that Ease was doing alright and that it had everything it needed. Can I get you a drink? Um, how is the temperature in here? Should I turn on the heat? Or the A/C? Can I feed you some grapes and fan you with a palm leaf?

This is sort of how I pursued Ease-- like a rabid, salivating, see-through hound. Not attractive.

This is sort of how I pursued Ease– like a rabid, salivating, see-through hound. Not attractive.

Basically, I was like a nerdy pubescent boy in the company of an ultra-sophisticated and hyper-attractive older woman, with the possibility of sex—inexplicably but distinctly—lingering in the air. Given my aching lack of experience, I did not have the confidence or, frankly, the balls to make her my own. (Yes: I just said balls!) Sure, Ease and I still had a nice time together… playing board games… and yes, we continued to hang out every now and then… um, surfing the internet on our iPhones, but it’s only with wiser, more perceptive eyes that I’m finally able to see what could have been between the two of us. And let me just say this: it could have been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

But enough with the creepy sex analogies! (Hi, Grandma!)

Ahem. In 2015, I’m getting back to the basics with my Word of the Year. I’ve learned through experience that it makes no sense to set a fabulous intention for yourself if precisely 2% of your being really believes that fabulousness is even possible for you (on a good day). Was “Ease” something I truly desired for myself? Absolutely! But deep down, did I actually believe a life of Ease was possible for me? That I was worthy of Ease, right now, with no adjustments or qualifiers required? That floating through an entire year on the magic carpet of Ease was something that was truly, immediately, and unequivocally available to li’l ol’ me?! Um… no. [cue sad trombone sound]

So close, yet so far away...

So close, yet so far away…

And quick aside, because I can hear your protests all the way through my spotty wifi connection: Am I suggesting that you shouldn’t dream big or that you should avoid setting glorious goals for yourself? Totally not! Am I imploring you to be “realistic” (aka: boring and stuck to the same old status quo)? No way! Am I saying that you should water down your most sacred of hopes, or that you should dilute and distort them until they are completely unrecognizable to your heart but benign and acceptable enough to The Man? Come on—never. What I am saying is this: set yourself up to win. How’s that for a novel concept, right? Enough with setting absurd, ridiculous, or certifiably impossible goals for yourself and then feeling shitty and deserving of punishment when you inevitably come up short. Enough. Instead, why not name yourself a prize that’s within reach now—one that you’ll still covet and adore—and then reach for it? Claim it. Own it. And then… do it again. Set yourself up to win a little bit more! State your prize—your star, your dream, a feeling that you’d totally relish!—and then reach for it. Today! Claim it. Own it! Rinse. Repeat.

I claim the colored light that's filtering through this glass!

I claim the colored light that’s filtering through this glass!

Listen: You know I am totally on board with rainbows, unicorns, and starry-eyed gazes toward the very bright future, but there’s also something magical and unbeatable about that “Yes! I did it!” feeling. And hey—maybe you still want to go way long when it comes to your goals for 2015, but for me, after coming up short with Ease last year and feeling disheartened about it, I’m ready to set myself up to win. [End aside.]


After all of this, my word for 2015 is “Trust”.Trust

To me, this word is profoundly personal and undoubtedly internal. However, it’s connected to a cosmic order, too. Most importantly, it’s available to me right now, and every time I consciously engage in an act of trusting myself, it feels like I’m taking a bath in pure rubies and silk. Decadence!

“Trust” is about grounding in myself again and taking root in my intuition. 1st Chakra Word, 100%. For years—starting in grade school and continuing throughout most of my adult life—I have largely pointed my radars outward. How can I excel in this environment? What do I need to do in order to earn an ‘A’ (or approval, or success, or the marker of achievement de jour)? What are others doing? How do I compare to them? Am I missing something? What advice do other people have for me?

Trust is about me, though. How do I feel? What do I know? It’s a reconnection. A rekindling. To me, Trust differs from a vague, outward-facing faith in a larger presence—ideally, Trust implies a recognition of that larger presence within myself. Similarly, Trust is not a vain attempt to control or manipulate the circumstances to my liking (although I sure have lots of experience with that!) Rather, Trust involves a deep, deliberate understanding that the circumstances are aligned in my favor, always and without fail. TRUST. Whereas “Ease” enticed me outside of myself to an extent, promising me a comfortable existence just ahead of where I was—one that always felt slightly out of reach—“Trust” now implores me to turn inward again. Right now. It’s already here. I already know. Everything is going to be alright.



Just like the Root Chakra itself, “Trust” lays the foundation for everything else. The way I see it, strengthening my Trust muscle is like building up my core stability—from that position of alignment and groundedness, everything else becomes more easily within reach. To return to my painful pre-pubescent analogy now– this year, I’ll be like the nerd who decides to hit the gym for a while. (In solitude, when it’s totally dead in there, like on a Friday evening at 8pm.) Anyway, I’ll be there with my headphones on, listening to Depeche Mode (the true music of my heart), and I’ll be totally tuned in while I’m pumping iron in my own little world. Gradually, I’ll develop muscles. Increasingly, I’ll up my strength and fitness. And one day in the not-so-distant-future, well, what do you know? Self-Assured, Chiseled-But-Totally-Not-In-Your-Face-About-It Me will bump into Ease. And, let’s just say, the sparks will fly… It all starts with Trust! 🙂              

Whew! You made it through my epic, long-awaited Word of 2015 post! How about you? Did you set yourself a word, theme, or intention for this year? If so, please share! If not, do you have an annual ritual that you engage in when December makes way for January? I’d love to hear about it.

The Call: Part 1

I’ve known from a young age that I belonged in the healing and helping professions. How did I know this? Well, it started out with the countless horoscopes that pegged me as a champion “nurturer”. I’d read about my inborn maternal instincts in the zodiac section of the newspaper and think to my (twelve year old) self, “Sure, that sounds like me.” At the time, I was an ace babysitter (!), sometimes caring for seven (!!) children at the same time (!!!) and practically peeing my pants at the thought of making a combined NINE DOLLARS AN HOUR (!!!!). “Helping professions– no prob”, I thought, “I’ve totally got this.”

Image sourced from

Image sourced from It’s like they know me!

Fast forward a few years, and I still had confidence that I belonged in the healing and helping professions. By then, I was working as an intake counselor at a sexual health center in Calgary, guiding women warmly through sensitive experiences like pregnancy tests and answering delicate questions about birth control methods, fertility, and pregnancy options. I. Loved. This. Job. I started at the center as an unpaid volunteer and practically peed my pants when I was offered a paid contract to cover a year-long maternity leave. “You mean I’m going to make actual MONEY doing this job?”, I screeched in the Program Manager’s ear when she told me the good news, unable to conceal my sheer delight and using all of my restraint not to kiss her square on the lips. “Helping professions, no prob!! I’ve seriously got this!”

Plus I got to meet my BFF, Gloria Steinem. Perfection in a career path!

Plus I got to meet my BFF, Gloria Steinem. Perfection in a career path!

Shortly after finishing up the mat leave contract, I went back to university and completed a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. There, my very foundations were shaken. My core beliefs disintegrated– replaced with GPAs and a thesis advisory committee– and leaving me standing in ashes of confusion and uncertainty. Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what even qualified as a “healing or helping” profession anymore, but one thing was now certain: I didn’t have the right credentials to be that sort of professional or to do that sort of work. What good was an MA in COMS, after all? I couldn’t graduate and become a Professional Communicator. (And even if I could, how lame would that be?) I wasn’t a Psychologist. I wasn’t a Clinical Counselor. I wasn’t even a Coach or a Registered Anything of Importance. Basically, I determined, my degree was worthless and I had just wasted two years of my life. Healing and helping professions, so long…

... but I know y'all are dying to read the riveting thesis I wrote, right? My Supervisor: What's the title of your thesis going to be? Me: Can I call it "Who gives a sh*t"?

… but I know y’all are dying to read the riveting thesis I wrote, right? My Supervisor: What’s the title of your thesis going to be? Me: Can I call it “Who gives a sh*t?” No? Okay, then I’ll call it the next lamest thing: “Communicating About Contraceptives”. Ugh…

*     *     *     *     *

Around that time, I started getting cozier with psychics, palm readers, and astrologists. (And, on a related note, I practically peed my pants when my favorite astrologist, Georgia Nicols, started following me on Twitter. Not that I’m ever actually on Twitter, mind you, but just having her follow me was a thrill!)

Anyway. Psychics and palm readers. Yes.

Dana LH 1

I had my palms read for the first time in the mall in 2008. (Don’t judge). Sandra talked at length about me belonging in the helping professions, and I was all, “Does working at a non-profit organization count as helpful? If not, should I go back to school and invest four more years and fifty thousand more dollars into further education? Should I become a psychologist?” (At that point, I’m pretty sure Sandra just took her fifteen bucks and sealed her lips forevermore). The Era of Over-Thinking Things had begun.

Do you want to work at the Harbour like me? Come on, I know you do...

Do you want to work at the Harbour like me? Come on, I know you do…

In 2010, when I decided to leave the world of non-profits and work full time with my Beloved at our now infamous art booth, I consulted with my trusted psychic medium to make sure that I was heading in the right direction. I certainly was, she said, and then I proceeded to riddle her with tangential questions about getting other training, degrees, certifications, or Officially Sanctioned Skills under my belt so I could legitimately work in the healing and helping professions at some point again. Poor psychic medium. She told me (nicely) to stop over-thinking things, and I interpreted this as “Yes. Training. Get more.” Heh.

So I decided in 2013 that I was going to become a Holistic Nutritionist. (Remember that? Hahaha.) An interview was scheduled. A tuition deposit was even paid. And suddenly? It didn’t feel right anymore. A quick call to my trusted psychic confirmed the intuitive ‘no to Holistic Nutrition School’ hit and also yielded a now familiar nugget of advice: “Healing and helping professions. Stop over-thinking things.

Me: Stop over-thinking things? What does that even mean? I wonder if it means I should get certified as an EFT Practitioner. Or maybe I should take a coaching course! Should I get coaching done for myself? I should probably get more online business training, that’s for sure. Maybe I should take that Crystal Healing qualification course, too? Or wait until I’ve got some Transcendental Meditation experience under my belt. Maybe I should try yoga finally? And then get certified as a yoga teacher, yes! I wonder how long it takes to become a Reiki Master. Or an intuitive healer! Can you get a degree in intuition? Maybe I should get a Ph.D. in Metaphysics. And then write a book!

Not over-thinking things– no prob! I’ve totally got this. 😉 

To be continued…






Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt

In case it isn’t obvious, I haven’t posted here in months. And months. (And months!) It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say– I did. It’s not that I couldn’t find the time to post– I could.

The thing is… I was being bullied into keeping my mouth shut. Yes, bullied! SHE told me that my ideas weren’t original, profound, or immaculate enough to merit a push of the publish button. SHE said that I could either be humorous or helpful, sarcastic or spiritual, but that I could never, ever, EVER be an offbeat mixture of the two. (After all, that would be blasphemous!)

Don't even try to pose for a romantic photo with your beloved husband, only to be photobombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. That just isn't done!

Don’t even think about posing for a romantic photo with your beloved husband in poor lighting, only to be photo-bombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. Things like that just aren’t done!

SHE is Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, and for a while– up until this very moment, in fact– I believed everything she said. And so the writing stopped. My voice dried up like a California raisin, dusty and uncertain, and Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt stood watch, ensuring that nothing suspect (i.e. helpful and entertaining) got posted here “accidentally” in the meantime.


Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Spoiler alert: Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is technically still me, only she’s the version of me who insists that everything self help-related be delivered in syrupy packets, swirling cursive, and/or sanitized affirmations.

“Reach for the stars!”, she will sing, her voice vanilla-scented and tinkling like the most delicate of bells. “Dream big and stay in school!”

Regular Me resists this flowery, woo-woo voodoo– fiercely. Pointedly. Aggressively. Still, though– Regular Me is drawn inexplicably towards things like crystals, tarot cards, and universal magic, and yet equally, viciously terrified of being sucked into a vortex of patchouli and tie-dye, never to return.

I say affirmations to myself in the mirror and worry that Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is peering over my shoulder, secretly setting a honey-kissed trap and plotting to steal my sense of humor forever. I complete a morning energy medicine routine and fear that she will swallow me whole! “Do you like the Law of Attraction?”, I imagine her coaxing me, her inquiry deceptively innocuous. “If so, pay the toll: NOTHING FUNNY CAN BE WRITTEN FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, FOREVER AND EVER, SO HELP YOU GODDESS.” Yeesh!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed from now on! (PS: Those aren’t my hands.)

want to talk about how awesome my abundance altar is, but not if I have to weave daisy chains through my peasant-inspired pleats to do so. (Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt would love that.)

I’m practically itching to tell you everything I’ve learned about tapping and energy medicine lately, but certainly not if I have to deliver my words in a solemn, earnest tone, delicately touching my heart chakra (you know, to keep the channels open.)

There’s so, so much to show and so, so much to tell, but honestly? I can’t bear to share any of it if I have to do it, Magick Faery Goddess Wind Chimes-style. That’s just not my style… most of the time, anyway. Heh.

So here’s what I propose:

I’m going to learn, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned here.

Sometimes, you might have to refrain from guffawing at your computer screen while you are at the office, reading my posts while you are supposed to be working. (That’s how outrageous and hilarious they might be!)

At other times, Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt might have her way with me, and I’ll serenely impart some nuggets of universal wisdom to you, perhaps causing you to touch your heart chakra involuntarily (you know, to keep the channels open).

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering...

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering…

Either way, I’m tired of not writing and tired of not saying all of the things that need to be said. Sound cool? Excellent.

I’ve missed you!

How you been since February?



Acting “As If” For the Win!

Several months ago, I was inspired by fellow blogger Robin to sign up for daily Notes From The Universe e-mails. These little nuggets of inspiration are sent out weekday mornings and contain pithy words of wisdom and lots of cheerleading from The Universe. “Rah, rah Dana– you’re amazing!” and “Reach for your fabulous dreams, Dana– you can do it!” sort of stuff. Things like that are right up my alley.

When you sign up to receive the Notes in your own inbox, you are asked to create a profile– basic things like your name and e-mail address, but also two of your most sacred hopes and dreams for yourself. These dreams have a character limit and need to be written out in a specific fashion so they can be inserted– proper grammar sort of intact– into special Notes every couple of weeks or so. Here’s the thing: Even though I’m fully aware that I personally created this profile for myself, I’m always secretly shocked when there are references to my biggest dreams within the daily Note. Sometimes I even feel tears springing to the corners of my eyes reading them, like, “OMG! How did the Universe know?! (It’s embarrassing. Yeah.)

Anyway. On December 20th, this was the Note I received from The Universe:

Hey Dana, great news!!!

Your new book sold out, again, “A Gorgeous Bright Serene Spacious Waterfront Home For Everyone!” Readers loved the chapter on “Acting As If.”

By the way, your publicist called and asked if she could bring her boyfriend to San Tropez?

And you said, “Darling, she can bring anyone she wants.”

Success has so not changed you,
The Universe

Predictably, when reading this Note, I was all, “OMG! How did the Universe know that one of my secret dreams refers to a gorgeous bright serene spacious waterfront home? And as a tangent: how perfect is it that the Universe also has a penchant for using too many exclamation points? It’s a match made in heaven!!!” (Full disclosure: my true secret dream actually contains commas and personal pronouns when it’s typed out, all official-style, but my, oh my— I do love me some serenity on the waterfront!)

In case you didn't figure it out, this is me being serene on the waterfront. They don't call me "Dr. Obvious" for nothing.

In case you didn’t figure it out, this is me being serene on the waterfront. They don’t call me “Dr. Obvious” for nothing.

I’ll confess that I let out a goofy laugh when I first read this Note. Telltale tears also pricked the corners of my eyes (those emotional bastards!). I noticed Marty glancing at me with question marks in his eyes, so I tried to act all nonchalant and whatevs by… letting out an even more exaggerated guffaw. No words. Just guffaws. The sheer force of this way-too-loud laugh then squeezed out more tears from my eyes, so I was hee-hawing and half-crying at the same time. Classy moment alert!

Why was I even more awkward than usual when reading this particular note, you might wonder? Well, first off: I was thunderstruck by the “Acting As If” reference in this note. We all learned in “Manifestation 101” class that one of the best ways to bring about something is to “act as if” it’s already there. And guess what, dear readers? On December 20th, I happened to read my special Note from the Universe whilst checking my e-mail at a badass computer desk in a gorgeous, bright, serene and spacious waterfront home. (FOR REALZ!!!)

Here's where it happened! At a desk made out of airplane wings... or something made to look like airplane wings.

Here’s where it happened! At a wicked cool desk made out of airplane wings… or something. But the home! Check out the brightness and spaciousness of the home in the background, though!

Yes! I am so on top of this “Acting As If” chapter! Marty and I are babysitting a dream home in Seattle for the holidays, so for two full weeks, I will be fully immersed in manifesting my own gorgeous home via “acting as if”. (You hear that, Universe? I am ON THIS! A++++)

Yep. I live here now. (For two weeks, but whatever... Minor technicalities.)

Yep. I live here now. (For two weeks, but whatever… Minor technicalities.) Is it bright and serene enough for YOU?

Rational Me has the unfortunate tendency to be rendered breathless/motionless by questions of affordability, practicality, and “trying to figure it all out”-ity when thinking about gorgeous and spacious waterfront homes. However, House-Sitting Me thinks nothing about pushing the “PH” (PENTHOUSE!!!) button in the elevator– after all, that’s where I live right now. It’s simply a matter of fact. (Delicious, marvelous FACT!)

And Seattle... hello!! Who doesn't appreciate solar-powered singing flower statues and the Space Needle?

And Seattle… hello!! Who doesn’t appreciate solar-powered singing flower statues and the Space Needle? (If you don’t, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.)

Logical Me doesn’t dare to dream too big when it comes to serene homes with an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean, lest I crush my own heart with disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. However, House-Sitting Me has lots of fun pretending that this super awesome PENTHOUSE SUITE is mine for keeps! (We’ve already designated Marty an inspiring studio room here and I’ve even called dibs on my office space… not that either of us are working on holidays, mind you.) House-Sitting Me is really great at playing make believe and isn’t personally invested in things working out one way or another. Let’s enjoy this place to the max while we’re here!

Ahhhh... gorgeous and spacious!

Ahhhh… gorgeous and spacious!

Serious Me would never dare to “make a place my own” while looking after it for somebody else. (In fact, Serious Me’s head would barely graze the pillow each night while sleeping– we wouldn’t want to actually sleep in the bed that’s made for sleeping!! That would be preposterous!) However, House-Sitting Me– that savvy she-wizard!– made a joyful ritual out of banishing any “non-me” items to the unused bathroom on Day One. Out of sight, out of mind! Those items will sit in quarantine for two weeks, all by their lonesome, but will magically and perfectly appear in their exact right places on the evening that our house-sitting duties expire. (Until then, this house is 100% mine!)

Let's be honest here: how many "air fresheners" does one house need? Well, if it's *my* gorgeous, bright, serene and spacious waterfront home, the answer is none. Scented candles, Febreze bottles, and sticks and sticks of toxic "scent", I sentence you to two weeks in the farthest corner, behind a closed door.

Let’s be honest here: how many “air fresheners” does one house need? Well, if it’s *my* gorgeous, bright, serene and spacious waterfront home, the answer is NONE. Scented candles, detergents, soaps, lotions, Febreze bottles, and sticks and sticks of toxic “fresh scent”, I sentence you to two weeks behind a closed door in the farthest corner of this beautiful home. Good riddance!

Stodgy Me wouldn’t dream of “going overboard” with this penthouse suite experience. Sure, it’s nice and exciting and all, but mum’s always the word when it comes to Stodgy Me. No need to bring it up in random conversations, right? However, House-Sitting Me… well, how do I put this delicately? House-Sitting Me is SUPER HARDCORE about enjoying this penthouse suite. (“Guess what, strangers I’ve never met before? I LIVE IN A PENTHOUSE SUITE! Hell, yeah!!”) Moreover, House-Sitting Me gets the EFFIN’ GOLD STAR for savoring **Every. Single. Moment.** spent in this gorgeous, bright, serene, spacious waterfront home. House-Sitting Me doesn’t care if it seems ludicrous. Or outlandish. Or excessive. Or shallow and materialistic. House-Sitting Me loves everything about this penthouse suite and might just shout that from the top of this gigantic ferris wheel:

I'm on it, Universe! A+++

PENTHOUSE LOVIN’ FOR THE WIN!! I’m on it, Universe! A+++

And you, dear readers? How are you planning to spend the holidays?

Anybody want to swap Penthouse stories with me? (Not those kind of Penthouse stories– the G-rated ones, obviously!)