Monthly Archives: August 2015

An adventure?

The Tao of Pooh

 

While I walked home on my daily morning exercise, I approached a little boy of about 9 or 10 years old dragging a large tree limb. The limb was a few inches thick and more than twice the boy’s height. Last night a storm had raged for hours and its remnants were scattered all over the city. I had passed many a street littered with branches and limbs that had been ripped from the mighty trees that lined our city sidewalks.

I jogged faster so that I could meet up with him, and as I strode beside him,  I asked if he was dragging the limb (or branch) home to be used as firewood. He said, nope.

We walked side by side for a few more steps, and then I asked him if he was going to use the limb in his home’s garden – as an architectural piece. He looked at me this time. Huh? I clarified my question: You know, as something pretty in the garden because I figure that you think this limb is pretty interesting?

He ignored my question. (I’m a gardener. That’s how I look at fallen branches.)

Finally he replied, I think it’s a nice branch.

Yes, I agreed, it is.

By this time, he is struggling with this huge limb so I offer to lift it at the other end.

No thanks, he says.

I watch his face:  a lot of sweat, but determination. Are you sure you wouldn’t want me to lift the end? I am persistent.

Same reply: Nope.

So I say goodbye and cross the street to go home. I sneak glances at him while I continue my walk; he is still struggling, stopping, swapping hands. He alters his position – he moves to the centre of the limb and tries heaving it to his shoulder. Then he drops the whole thing and sits down and rests for a few seconds. I yell out to him,  Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to help you?

Nope, but thanks.

Eventually I leave him behind and make my way home and relate my story to my husband. A retired teacher, my husband reminds me that the young boy probably was taught not to talk to strangers. My husband jokes that I was stalking him.

Me, a risk? I am wearing  my black yoga pants and a zip-up jacket, and an old green baseball cap that reads Newfoundland.  And brand new turquoise running shoes that scream older lady walking. I am not a risk. But the newspapers and CNN tell us 24/7 that risk comes in all shapes and sizes.

Besides, my husband continues, the kid probably liked the branch and he’s picked it up as a token. That’s what kids do. And he sure doesn’t want any help in carrying it home. That negates the whole adventure.

An adventure? I am reminded of Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh…this is something Winnie and his friends would do. I can hear Pooh Bear telling his friends that the limb (he’d call it a stick, I think) is a nice stick so let’s take it home.

I remember an old song…

  • The leaf was on the twig,
  • And the twig was on a bough,
  • And the bough was on the branch,
  • And the branch was on the limb,
  • And the limb was on the tree,
  • And the green grass grew all around…

Or something like that.

To that young boy, the branch (or limb) is a gift. I get that.

 

 

Winnie the Pooh has all the answers

The Tao of Pooh

A successful person is one who loves his life that he is living.

I’m reading The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff for the umpteenth time. My kids or sister gave it to me years ago; so long ago that I don’t remember who gave it to me.

I store it in one of my desk drawers and I pull it out every year to re-read it. The author’s simple explanations of the principles of Taoism by way of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh never fail to inspire me. Hoff (and Pooh) remind me that happiness lies in how we live our lives and not in our successes.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

A basic Taoist principle is that we appreciate life as it is – the sweet with the bitter; that we savour the sweet and that we learn from the bitter. Pooh Bear has that figured out, except he doesn’t know that he has it figured out. After all, he is just a simple bear who lives his life in the Now. He doesn’t waste time thinking about why is he happy? He is just happy.

He often tells his friends who include Christopher Robin, Roo, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore and Rabbit that he loves honey, but he will often admit that he isn’t sure if he loves the actual taste of honey more than the anticipation of the taste of honey. Both are so, so sweet!

When we enjoy our everyday moments fully, we, too, realize that we can enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Like Pooh, the anticipation of arriving at the destination is just as sweet to us as is the final quest.

And The Tao of Pooh reminds me that nothing and doing are equally important. Because in Taoism, doing nothing signifies something.

For me, I can’t arrive at inner peace if I am too busy (or too distracted) doing something…I can only arrive at inner stillness if I do nothing. (Oh, oh. I am sounding like a simple bear now.) Of course, the goal is to arrive at our inner stillness even when we are busy doing something. When we can mentally slow down and become aware of our busyness, that’s when we can do nothing while doing something.

The Taoist principles are based on Oneness, balance, cyclical growth (endless cycles) and harmony. Those are principles that I find are universally accepted when on a spiritual journey (no matter what our religions are).

Nature is an important part of Taoism because it represents the flow and harmony of the earth or the rhythms of life – each of the elements: wind, water, earth, fire and air are interconnected and dependent. For example, the element of water flows through, well, everything: it doesn’t resist and yet it is so powerful.

Harmony is born when opposing elements come together: birth and death; young and old; male and female; hot and cold; yin and yang.

Harmony or balance is the path to happiness or contentment or peace. That resonates with me. And it is a daily reminder that attention or awareness on all things will bring me to peace. And it is a reminder that awareness allows me to stay in the moment or the Now. One of the true gifts of awareness in all things is that we become open to the possibility that all is beautiful. Under the microscope, the simple dew drop is stunningly magnificent, complex and awesome. In awareness, we recognize that all is nothing; nothing is all.

To arrive at awareness, we have to let go of our resistance to perceived reality. In true awareness (in paying attention) we take note of our emotions, our feelings, our bodies’ signs of stress or relaxation. Because when we are in resistance to what is going around us (reality), we tighten and constrict. We are not in harmony; nor are we in balance.

To let go of the struggle or to let go of unhappiness, we have to become  observers (according to E. Tolle) and we do this by meditation, contemplation and awareness. Tolle reminds us in his spiritual teachings that our inner self is always at peace and in stillness – it is our outer self that is a mess. (Okay, he doesn’t actually say mess.)

When we are in the middle of chaos, tumult or drama, we need to become still and quiet our minds; we need to back off. We need to become aware of what is truly going on within our emotions, feelings, and bodies. And then, we need to find courage to remind ourselves that we do not have to add to all of this negative energy. In just those few moments of awareness, we can change our own energy – to one of acceptance and balance. In a small way, we can begin to flow (like the element of water) with the reality of the situation; instead of fighting and struggling with it.

On any spiritual journey we learn that balance and harmony within our bodies and minds will lead to balance and harmony in our lives, and most importantly, that balance and harmony will lead us to our beautiful, spiritual, inner qualities of love, compassion, unconditional kindness and acceptance.

In short, balance and harmony lead to Oneness.

Hoff is genius, I think. He gently reminds us over and over that we are enough…just as we are. No one realizes this more than Pooh Bear. Pooh just does what he does and all the while, happy while doing it.  And if a simple bear can know this, surely, we can, too?

 

 

 

How much is too much?

You say you want happiness but you are addicted to your unhappiness.   E. Tolle

My new friend that I met at the long-term residence where my mother used to live before she died, asked me if I thought stress and fatigue caused dementia. I gulped. I really didn’t know how to answer her.

I wanted to tell her that long-term stress can be one of the many factors that causes a myriad of diseases, including dementia.  But I didn’t have the heart.

I have watched this woman (who clearly has her own health issues) visit her mother who now lives in the long-term care residence where I now volunteer. I have watched her from afar – her body language and her face tell the story. She is burnt out.

She tells me that she visits each day since her mother arrived in the home – she stays from early morning (before breakfast) to early evening (after dinner). Every day.

My heart goes out to her. She cannot continue this pace without harming her own health (although I suspect her daily fare has already taken its toll on her).

How much is too much? Where do we draw the line?

I don’t have the answers. But I do know this from my own personal journey of caring for both my father and my mother, both who had Alzheimer’s disease: when I truly became aware and began to pay attention to my emotions, I learned to let go of my need to control and my resistance to what was happening.

That’s when everything changed. I accepted my new reality – and I began to live in the present moment.

I began to make better decisions – I gathered more information, I asked questions, I accepted support and help.

I dropped all of my expectations – I no longer made plans that were unrealistic; I lived one day at a time, one moment at a time.

I dropped my need to control – I accepted that if I went with the flow of the day, instead of trying to map out the day, minute by minute, that everybody was calmer, less stressed; yes, happier. (When we try to set an agenda, other people do not fall into line, and that makes us unhappy. When we let go of the need to set the agenda, we begin to live in the present.)

When the hospital staff and her own personal physician determined that our mother’s needs would be better met at a long-term care facility, we discussed it with reason and love (for our mother and for ourselves!). We made the difficult decision to agree to the hospital’s suggestions, even though we wished we could care for her at home (as we had for our father). Difficult decisions, but made with care and love. And we forgave ourselves.

Once our beloved mother was at the new residence, we did visit daily and we did stay for many hours but we knew from the very beginning that we would need to let go in time. After a few weeks we let go. We made the pact that we would only visit her and bring loving energy – if one of us was over-tired, fatigued, or stressed we would ask the other to visit. We would rest and allow ourselves to re-nourish our spirits before we visited again.

In time we learned to visit when our mother was alert and ready for company – we would often take her for walks or sit outside in the gardens of the residence where we spent many hours, sitting in silence watching the birds.

She enjoyed music therapy, drinking multiple cups of endless tea, or just sitting with us in the lounge looking out the large windows.

And we learned to let go – we learned to be daughters again; not caregivers. That is the most difficult thing to do…to stop being the caregiver. We recognized our need to control everything when she first began to live in the residence. Oh, sure, it’s necessary to be their advocate and to ensure they are properly cared for and attended to, but at first, we wanted to control everything! We don’t want our mother to wear that outfit – she doesn’t like it. We don’t like music played in her room, please turn it off. Don’t leave the door open. Don’t leave our mother unattended in the lobby. We don’t like her dining table companions; please move her to another table.  Do you have to serve that for breakfast? She just likes toast and tea. 

Oh, the list was long. So much control, so little time.

But in time we learned to let go because we learned what was important. Does our mother still feel safe? Does our mother still feel cared for? Does she feel loved? Does she feel that she matters?

When you can answer yes to the above questions, then you can be assured that you are doing the best that you can. (And that means if our mother does not like the new residence (which she didn’t) that we have to accept that. And let that go, too.)

I often tell people who are struggling with how much time should they spend with their loved one that the answer lies within: Do you bring your loving energy when you visit? An hour or two a few times a week or even less is much better than a daily visit that is filled with resentment.

We are not here on earth to heal our loved one. It is no one’s fault that someone is ill. But, nor is it our job to fix the situation. If our loved one does not like their new home – we have to accept that what is, is. And for those of us who think that the longer we stay and visit, the more our loved one will like the new home – that doesn’t work! Take it from me – in nearly three years, I have never seen the parent finally admit that they like their new home. Never! That doesn’t mean the residence is not nice and comfortable, it means that the resident just doesn’t want to be there.  (And they have a right to their own opinion. And besides, in a perfect world all of us would like to stay in our own home with multiple caregivers to attend to us.)

All that we can ever do is visit our loved one with a full and loving heart.

So when we ask ourselves how much is too much? The answer lies within us. Are we at peace with our visits? Are we enjoying our visits? Are we bringing joy and laughter to our visits? Do we enjoy and meet the other residents? Do we sit and talk to others – enjoy a laugh or a story? Do we share our stories? Do we share our gifts? Do we join in the activities with our loved one? Have we spent time getting to know the staff? Do we memorize their names? Have we listened to the staff – really listened? Do we join in, mingle, tag along on outings? Playing bingo with your parent may not seem very exciting, but it is an excellent way to get to know the other residents, staff and volunteers. Your parent might enjoy the companionship more than you will ever know. And family members begin to form bonds and friendships that become a support system…truly worthwhile!

If the answer is yes to the above questions, then you are probably visiting your loved one with plenty of love and peace.

But if the answer is no, then ask yourself why not? If you have real concerns, then advocate for your loved one. If necessary, find another residence.

But don’t allow yourself to visit many long hours and be completely miserable. Because your loved one (whether they have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-related disease) can read your energy. That’s when I would humbly offer to you: that’s too much. You need a rest. You need compassion – for yourself. Your health matters, too.

How much is too much? I don’t know the answer to that. But I suspect that you do.

 

It is too easy to become self-absorbed when we are caring for our parents.

During the journey of caring for our parents, it is very easy to become self-absorbed. Yup. Self-absorbed.

Isn’t that impossible? We are spending our days caring and tending to someone else’s life – making sure that they eat nourishing meals, making sure that they get to the doctor’s office, ensuring that they take their vitamins (supplements, too) and prescriptions at regular times, allowing outdoor time (walks, exercise), ensuring they are washed, showered, clean, combed, dressed, and yes, toileted. We even do our best to get them in bed early enough so that everyone will enjoy a restful sleep, without interruption (s).

So, if we are supporting our loved one on a full-time, daily basis, how the heck can we become self-absorbed?

Because sooner or later, the fatigue, fear, stress and imbalance in our life (and in our own health – body, mind, spirit) will overwhelm us, and because of the fatigue, we will no longer make careful and caring decisions – for ourselves! Instead, we begin to live in our thoughts (and they are full of fear).

Our friends will invite us to lunch, and we will decline because we are too tired.  Our friends suggest coffee at our convenience but we decline that, too. Our own physician’s office will call and inform us that we have neglected our annual check-up – we are long overdue, but we will not make an appointment because we tell them that we are too busy caring after our loved one’s health. We put our own health concerns on hold which really reflects that we have designated our own health as secondary; worse, insignificant.

Our partner, companion, husband or wife will plan a surprise dinner for us – we are not surprised or happy. Instead, we are upset with them because we are too stressed to sit down and eat a meal…don’t they get it? We ignore the effort that they have made – we are just pissed at them (and we don’t even understand why).

When we look into the mirror, we see someone who is a stranger – a tired, old stranger! Who is she? When did we become her? But in spite of recognizing that we need a hair cut, or that our nails need to be manicured, we will not make follow-up appointments. We would rather complain. It’s become so much more comfortable.

Under stress, we are so self-absorbed (living in our thoughts) that we cannot see what is truly happening to us – we are not living in the present; we are not living in the Now; we are not accepting our reality.  We are absorbed in our story and drama.

We push our friends away, we deny ourselves their support and friendship, and we are often oblivious to the real needs of our loved one who has dementia – they want to be validated and know that they matter still. When our hearts and minds are too absorbed with our drama of caregiving, we forget to sit down and hold their hands, to read them the daily newspaper – perhaps with inflections in our voices, making our loved one laugh or smile. We forget that being is more important than doing.

When I wrote my ebook on caring for parents with Alzheimer’s I dedicated a whole chapter to self-care and self-compassion.  Just so you know: self-compassion is the opposite of self-absorption. (It’s about love versus fear.)

I know the fatigue and the stress of caring for parents: they were my sole companions for some years.

When I look back on those years, I am grateful and thankful for the many lessons and gifts that I received from those years, but I recognize how difficult that time was and I am now passionate about reminding others to take care – of themselves!

I believe that I allowed myself to become self-absorbed. I played the poor me martyr role well. Even when my friends told me what a wonderful job that I was doing (always with the postscript: I don’t know how you do it), I always felt like a fraud. And I know this because my caregiving did not come from a place of acceptance – it came from a place of need.

Caregiver fatigue has many symptoms: fatigue, sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, and what I call the terrible trio: resentment, anger and guilt. Once we recognize and then accept these emotions, then (and only then) can we transform them. How do we transform them? We learn to accept that we have these emotions and we give them attention. We learn to ask ourselves some deep questions: Why am I angry? Why am I feeling such resentment? Why do I feel guilt? Then, you forgive yourself.

If we don’t pay attention to these questions, we will never move forward. We need to face the emotions and dig deep. Once we recognize that our anger or guilt is real (of course it’s real! you’re feeling them….therefore, they are real!) and we stop pretending that we are okay (We are clearly not!), the attention or spot-light on the emotion slowly begins to dissolve the emotion.

When we practice the art of paying attention to our emotions, we practice acceptance. In acceptance of my emotions, I learned some big truths about myself: that I could let go and allow others to help me; that I was safe (I am okay) even when I made mistakes and was imperfect; that I shared a common and universal bond with other people  – I was sad and mourned the loss of my father and that I mourned watching my mother’s mind decline, too. As adults, we are thrown off kilter to recognize how truly sad it is to lose our parents to a dementia. We are not prepared for it.

But another Truth I learned was that no matter how sad or depressed, or angry or resentful…I am enough, just as I am…and that insight, itself, brings great love for oneself. And love for oneself leads to love for others. Once we open ourselves up to love – deep compassion, kindness, gratitude and joy enter!

When we learn to accept our reality and our emotions, we can make small, but significant changes. We can ask for support; we can have more meaningful conversations with our family members; we can make better, more informed decisions (instead of knee-jerk reactions). Perhaps we can forgive ourselves that we cannot continue this journey of caregiving alone – perhaps, we need to search for alternative options. These thoughtful decisions can be life-changing for your loved one who has a dementia, but these decisions are also about our lives and our happiness, too. When we are too stressed or self-absorbed in our misery, we are incapable of making sound decisions because we come from a tight, constricted space, not an open and loving space.

In true acceptance, we accept that our loved one needs more help than we can give them. Or, we accept that it is a loving act to ask for daily help and support from an outside agency. In this state of acceptance of our reality, we learn to come to terms that our loved one is ill and we give ourselves permission to grieve – even when he is still here. We grieve for their loss and our own loss.

In true acceptance, we learn to set aside both the past, and the thoughts about the future. We try to live in the present and enjoy our time with our loved one – today. And it is in these moments (whether brief or not), we feel joy well up. We feel love surround us. We feel forgiveness, too. We feel the joy that can only come up from our spirit, validating that this is enough…just as it is. And we accept that. And we feel true compassion (because compassion is love for another’s well-being) and we feel a connection to all.

In acceptance, I learned that my life was still filled with love, faith, hope, resilience and joy. Joy.

All gifts.

Great Blue Heron, Pineries

pineries heron

When we sit in silence, beautiful things come to us.

(Great Blue Heron, Pineries, Ontario)

That’s a good bingo!

That's a good bingo!

That’s a good bingo!

On Wednesday afternoons at the long-term care facility where my mother lived, you will find me in the community hall (or according to my mother – the big mall where people sing) volunteering at bingo.

I go with an open mind and an open heart.

Every week I learn something new from my peeps at the residence. (My sister calls them my “peeps” and I like that so I use the term often.) The gifts that they give me are many and I cherish them.

If you want to meet people who are truly authentic…then visit a long-term care facility. Even those who have Alzheimer’s or a dementia-related disease are real and authentic. When you least expect it, the true essence of each of us shines through; the residents are no different.

My peeps inspire me, and teach me to live in the Now. Often they are so thankful and grateful for the smallest of kind gestures that I just want to weep. Whenever I am with them, I find myself laughing and full of joy.

Today at bingo, my beloved friend (who sat at my mother’s dining table and kept an eye on my mother) joined me. She is full of spirit and enthusiasm – she meticulously cares for her attire, hair, and make-up and always looks so wonderful that I sometimes have to re-check what I have on…am I appropriately dressed to visit her? She visits the chapel daily, she confides, as she is deeply spiritual. She didn’t have to tell me that – I guessed it from her loving and positive energy that she emits every time that I visit her. (I want to be just like her when I grow up!) In spite of a difficult past that I uncover in bits and bobs (as my mother would say), and because she is so strong and determined at the age of 92, I so want to hear her story and record it. But she’s skeptical and isn’t ready yet. I accept that because I have learned that she has withstood many terrible events and grief, and I am deeply aware that perhaps I, too, am not ready to hear her story. I trust that when the time is right, we will recognize that moment and she will share her story.

Another one of my peeps at the bingo table has had a full and rich life in the public eye. I know that because I recognize the people in the photos in her room when I pick her up to go to bingo. She is remarkable, in spite of her dementia. She loves music – I would call her a music aficionado – and often rates the music in the community hall. Her face tells the story – she frowns and says oh, no, that isn’t music, or  she’ll sway to the music, tap her feet, and smile at me and say, yes! When I am with her, I am reminded that each of us (no matter how old) has a rich and colourful past. We must not underestimate anyone. (And I would like to capture her story, too.)

I love the residents’ honesty! They don’t hold back. They don’t mince words. Many people don’t like that but I suspect it’s because we are all so used to such mediocrity, such blandness, such hypocrisy in conversations…that when a real and honest conversation takes place, well, we are confused.  We see that as oh, auntie is having a bad day.  In reality, auntie is just telling it how she sees it. And it isn’t always pretty.

When they are so honest, I think they are more authentic than ever. I have learned to read their faces and the emotions that sit there…words not spoken, but humour, love, distaste, disgust…all blatantly evident.

When the residents play bingo (I overstate that), most are not actually active in the game. Instead, volunteers or staff members sit beside them and help. The volunteers/staff point to the called numbers or actually cover the numbers as the numbers are called aloud.  At my table, there are only two of us to help the residents – the other person is a staff member who is a student. She is leaving tomorrow as she has graduated from her course and so this will be the last time I see her.

She is a special person. I am in awe of her. First of all, she is young, happy, full of joy and she is not afraid to express those traits with the residents. She leans in and kisses them on their hands; she often hugs them; she laughs loudly all the time. When someone yells bingo! (no one actually yells bingo!…it’s more like a whisper because the residents are often too weak or too shy to yell) she will jump out of her seat and start jumping up and down, often dancing! Oh, I just want her to stay and play bingo with us the rest of her life! Please don’t go, I tell her, which just makes her laugh more.

She has a beautiful singing voice, too. I know this because once a month there is music therapy at the residence and I volunteer. Since I am not a very good singer, I was terrified to sing alone the first time that I volunteered. But here’s the thing about music therapy at a long-term care facility – it’s the music teacher (who is a talented volunteer) and the volunteer who do most of the singing. Usually when I round up the usual suspects for music, we have only two or three residents who will join in the singing as most of the other participants are unable to sing (for various reasons). I have learned that one does not have to actually sing…to enjoy the music. I have witnessed many a toe-tapper whose eyes are closed.

My mother sang beautifully and sang often in our home when we grew up so I am pretty sure (once again) that I am drawn to music therapy for deep, psychological reasons (Ha!) and to get over my fears.

So I sing.

And I love it. (I love the fact that I choose to sing even though I cannot.) Here’s the funny thing: the residents think I have a lovely voice! (Okay, peeps – we are going to get along just fine.)

But I digress. Our student worker (the one who is leaving at the end of this week) once started singing the hymn that we were trying to sing during music therapy. She was in an adjoining resident’s room and just chimed in.

Oh, even the residents in wheelchairs who barely move or show any emotion, woke up. It was like a miracle! I practically burst out crying, with joy. And so did the woman who leads us. We looked at each other with knowing eyes and we (all of us in that small room) were connected – by the joy of listening to the student’s beautiful voice.

Oh, yes, we will miss her. Wherever she is going, lucky them.

At my bingo table the two of us are attempting to keep track of twelve cards or so, with help from a couple of residents who actually do play bingo, but are hard of hearing. Four? No, fourteen. Forty? No, fourteen. You get the picture.

Well, eventually someone whispers bingo! and then the tables all respond…we help the bingo card winner yell it out….BINGO!

When it’s my turn to check the winning card and give back the called numbers, I am always a little nervous – many of my peeps cover more numbers when I am not looking. I think they feel like they are doing something worthwhile – if I cover one number, why not ten other numbers?

So keeping my eyes on all of their cards, pointing to numbers, and ensuring that no one is “cheating/helping” takes a lot of attention on my part.

I always remind myself to just go with the flow of the afternoon.

Once it has been established that the card is good – that is, all the numbers have been correctly called and identified, the caller yells, “That’s a good bingo,” and we all cheer. As if we have really won the lottery.

Inevitably, after we do a victory dance (whether or not we win), the two of us help the residents to the smaller activity room (the room as my mother used to call it “where the whirling dervish lives,” the high-energy activity director) where the whirling dervish, oops, I mean, the activity director has prepared coffee, tea and cookies for the participants.

When we sit at the round table enjoying our coffees, I often think of my younger life as a mother, sitting with other young mothers, talking about our daily lives and keeping one eye on our kids. I’ve come full circle. Life has an unexpected symmetry, I think. Here I am with residents, keeping one eye on them as they sip their hot drinks, and talking about our daily lives. For a few moments, I know that I am in the flow.

And I think to myself... that’s a good bingo!

 

 

 

 

Creativity stones and synchronicity

Creativity stonesIn the little black bag I find five small stones. The enclosed card says that the stones are creativity stones. The orange stone is identified as orange calcite which opens the mind to imaginative writing and art.

My sister’s birthday gift to me.

When I looked puzzled, she tells me I thought you’d like them. I assure her I do like them, but that how did she guess my 2015 intention was creativity? How did she know that I have been reading books about creativity and blogging about the subject, also?

Well, she didn’t. But that is how synchronicity works, I believe.

My sister went into a store and while choosing a gift, she was drawn to the creativity stones. So she bought them.

When we trust in the flow of life, synchronicity happens.