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Alignment, Costa Rica, light

Living in a Land of Butterflies and Pancakes

June 4, 2015

“If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”  ~ Meister Eckhart


pancakes meghan gengeThe day-before-yesterday wasn’t fun. Well, it started out fun, but in the middle it was truly disgusting and smelly and darn right mouldy.

But I’m not going to tell you that story.

Some days here have been easier than others. There have been lots of non-human house invaders, personal challenges, and even a week of gastroenteritis. (For two people and one bathroom without walls, that was a real adventure!)

But I’m not going to tell you that story either.

We have left the known and landed in a world of the unknown. Every day something requires us to pay attention. And you know, it would be so easy to get lost in the hard.

I know someone who is lost in the hard. They believe that life is hard, that it is never going to go their way, and that the universe is out to get them. I know they believe this because they say it all out loud every single time I talk to them. They have said it so much that they actually can’t see all of the blessings that are in their life.

That is their story.

In the past when I have been focusing on the positive, the light, or the hope, I have attracted people who seemed to think that it would help me if they gave me ‘practical’ advice. They have seen my choice to see the positive side as proof that I am being naive or that I haven’t thought things through. They have felt the need to manage my expectations, or tell me the facts, or in some way bring me back to reality.

The reality is that I am now a fully-fledged grown-up. A grown-up who has a choice.

The day-before-yesterday wasn’t fun. But yesterday was.

Let me tell you that story!

Yesterday started with home-made chocolate chip pancakes. Yesterday held a two-hour laugh-filled conversation over the magical waves with a soul-sister. Yesterday had a storm that shook our house, and a hummingbird that hovered just outside of our window, staring at us eye-to-eye for a full minute. Yesterday held howler monkeys and the smell of a damp tropical jungle. Yesterday had butterflies.

I may not tell you the whole story about our life here, but I will tell you the story of our magical adventure. Because I believe that the more I tell any story, the truer it becomes.

So please don’t think I don’t see the mould or the dark or the hard, because believe me, I do. But when it comes down to it, we all have a choice in what story we tell. You can choose to see whatever you want to see. And my practice – every day – is in choosing to find the blessings.

So yes, it is sunny in my world. It’s rainy too. And it’s magical and intense and my ability to wonder is going into overdrive.

In my story, I live in a land of butterflies and pancakes.

And I’m good with that.




Alignment, emerge, I AM

Building a Mystery

May 19, 2015

Clear away expectations, and let yourself picture a wild, grand new world. ~ Martha Beck


Caroline W Casey quote


I am sitting on my own in the gathering twilight. The jungle of the day is winding down, the jungle of the night is waking up. I was listening to a recorded call by Martha Beck and Boyd Varty, and they were talking about truth. They were talking about the importance of gathering and deep work and play and something bigger and deeper than magic. They were talking about connection.

They were speaking my language.

And in that way that the universe plays with us, as the talk finished, my shuffle went to Sarah McLachlan singing Building a Mystery.

That’s how I feel right now. Like I have been given a sacred gift: the gift of being able to build my life from the ground up. But it is currently a mystery.

And I don’t know what to do with it. 

Martha and Boyd talked about not knowing where they were going, but knowing that they were going to be prepared to ‘move at dawn.’ To follow where the path leads.

Part of me would give anything for a crystal ball; for a way to see that we are going to be okay. But then it wouldn’t be a leap of faith. Part of me would like to be in total control and to have things work out exactly the way I want them to. But I know that would be an unnecessarily limited future as I can’t dream big enough for myself.

Caroline Casey, in Making the Gods Work for You, writes about playing with the universe and actively working with the magic and the stories and the stars. In the quote above she talks about conjuring the most beautiful and loving world, but it’s about collaboration with, not dominance over. It’s about moving forward and having faith and doing what you can to align with creation. It’s about listening. It’s about letting go. As I typed that, Sarah McLachlan (another song – Full of Grace – on shuffle, and I haven’t heard her on shuffle for years) sang ‘letting go’ exactly as I typed it.


I’ll say it again: it’s about letting go.

It’s dark now, under the new moon. We are so deep in the jungle that the only light I can see is from a few scattered fireflies and a single light up on the ridge above us where the driveway onto our farm meets the dirt road. It’s a different world already, and it feels like anything is possible.

So right now I am asking for help. I am asking for a miracle. I am asking for transformational abundance. I am asking that together we conjure the most beautiful, loving world possible. And as always, I am asking for magic.

And now? I am letting it go.

Building a mystery is going to be so much fun.

I know it. 😉





Alignment, Costa Rica, emotions, fear

When you finally decide to change your life, you’d better mean it.

April 15, 2015

“Embrace those parts of yourself that you’ve skilfully avoided until now. That’s your true adventure.”
― Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road


mouse windowRight now, in front of me, I can see two Cinnamon Hummingbirds, a male Cherie’s Tanager (also a bird), two enormous Turkey Vultures, and the noisiest House Wren ever. We’ve also seen a Brown Basilisk (iguana), and lots of other small lizards, birds that might either be Toucans or Aracaris (they move too quickly to make a positive identification), and a White-Headed Parrot happily having his breakfast.

There are also dozens of beautiful butterflies and moths, and I am becoming very good at rescuing day-flying Green Urania moths from our enclosed porch. I’ve managed to get to a place where I can calm myself enough enough to get them to sit on my fingers so I can take them to the window. I love watching them go free.

I know what all of these things are because we have a book and a pair of binoculars and I am my father’s daughter. I also know what they are because they have a) kept a respectable distance and/or b) they are not scary.

We also now know what a 2m Bird Eating Snake looks like close up, and that the Spiny Pocket Mouse can climb up a rope bannister, leap off of tall buildings in a single bound, enjoys hammocks regardless of their occupants, and will climb a window screen to try to get out of a room (see photo above).

And don’t even get me started on the ants. In our bed.

When we decided to move to Costa Rica, one of the things we bought was a book on the wildlife. It all seemed rather foreign and wonderful from a distance, kind-of like the country itself. But when foreign becomes your day-to-day experience, things change. I’ve done it before – moving from Canada to the UK – but in many ways, that was a different sort of foreign.

When you decide to change your life, you have to mean it. You have to go all in. If you go in half-way, or go in not knowing if it’s something you really want, or if you are running away from something, then the dream can become lost when the little things seem hard.

In the UK and in Canada, a mouse in the house would simply mean buying a trap and getting on with things. Here, it meant trying to reason with my hysterical mind while wielding a dustpan and helping my husband try to chase it out of the open front door in the middle of the night. The same woman who two hours earlier was happily freeing butterflies, was nearly in tears saying, “I can’t do this.” But the thing about emigrating is that in time (hopefully) a mouse in the house will just be a mouse.

Perspective. Timing. Fatigue levels. It all adds up. Every problem is as big as you allow it to be.

We’ve chosen this life. All of it. And for every 91 degree day, there’s body surfing in the sea. For every loss of comfort, there is the most delicious avocado ever (and I do mean ever). For every Spiny Pocket Mouse, there is a Blue Morpho.

Just like being in love, changing your life requires daily decisions. And maintaining perspective.

And hopefully, eventually, I will even be okay with the ants.