Monday, 30 December 2013

Plan B

The most successful people 
are those who are good at Plan B. 
– James Yorke

Friday, 27 December 2013


Just stop adding unnecessary baggage 
to who you already are. 
 – Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Your children need your presence
rather than your presents!
- Michael Gold

Merry Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2013


The optimal formula for success: 
Work hard, rest, work hard, rest…
the optimal formula for disaster: 
Work hard, work hard, work hard. 
 – John Bingham

Friday, 20 December 2013

December 20, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer

   I would like to say Thank You to the wonderful people who have shovelled our sidewalks, helped me get vehicles unstuck, and generally bailed me out.  I really appreciate all you do.  

~ ~ ~

   Here we are on the eve of the Winter Solstice.  The time of year where the day is shortest and the night is longest.  And, in our climate, there is usually lots of cold wind and snow on the ground.

   Ancient societies knew of the importance of the sun to their survival, especially in the northern hemisphere’s harsh winters, so the naturally decreasing sunlight would have been a grave concern to them.  Did we anger the gods?  Is the end of the world coming?  Are we all doomed?

   Of course, in these modern times, we know that it is the rotation and tilt of the earth that causes the solstice, but are we really any more advanced than the ancient societies during this time of year?

   We worry and fret, wear ourselves out, hustle and bustle, cram more and more into our days as we prepare for Christmas.

   At a time when we should be following nature’s example and slowing down, pausing, reflecting, resting and sleeping more than waking, we do the complete opposite.

   The ancient societies - especially the Celts in Ireland and Scotland - built elaborate observatories so that they could await the arrival of the first beam of sunlight the first day after the solstice. 

   Why?  Because they were filled with hope.  They knew that no matter how cold, bleak, and dark the longest night was, the dawn would come and the days would get longer and brighter again.

   No matter how dark your days and night may be, no matter how long they may last, there is always hope for a new sunrise heralding a new beginning, and better times ahead.

   This year, take a moment to pause and reflect this solstice and when dawn arrives in the morning, embrace the hope it brings to you - whatever challenges you may be experiencing.
   Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013


So much of the turmoil in our lives 
is the product of imagined ideas
 about how some other person thinks or feels. 
- Author Unknown

Monday, 16 December 2013


When we feel okay within ourselves, 
we are less impatient for answers.   
– Laura Berman Fortgang

Friday, 13 December 2013


The snow falls, 
each flake in its appropriate place.
 – Zen saying

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


When you fail, 
nothing bad happens to you…
the world forgets and the world forgives.  
 - Author Unknown

Monday, 9 December 2013


Very little is needed to make a happy life; 
it is all within yourself, 
in your way of thinking.   
- Marcus Aurelius

Friday, 6 December 2013

December 6, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer 
   What is normal?

   For the past few months I’ve been trying to maintain as much semblance of normalcy as I can in my life. Which in light of what I am going through, is really a foolish waste of my limited energy.

   My life is not normal (as I’ve known it to be in the past). Nor, in the future, will it return to any familiar form that I could consider normal.

   I’m not alone in this endeavour. Everyone does it at one point or another.  When a major change occurs in our lives, we cling tightly to as much of the familiar as we can. Usually to keep us sane as live hurls out of control.

   We think that if we can keep some things the same that we can control the changes that are occurring, or (our usual reaction) completely ignore the changes.

   But life doesn’t work like that. More often than we care to admit, our lives change - sometimes it is a series of small changes so we barely notice, sometimes it is a massive change that we can’t ignore, and sometimes it is both at once! Sometimes we instigate the changes, and sometimes the changes are beyond our control.

   In times like this, trying to maintain a state of normalcy is futile. Whatever was “normal” yesterday is rarely normal for us today, and definitely not any form of recognizable normal tomorrow.

   Instead of clinging to the old way of living, we should be exploring the emerging new way. I won’t say “embrace the new way” as that takes a while, and by the time we are ready, another change has often occurred and the cycle starts over again.

   For me, letting go of my idea of normal means acknowledging that I am no longer the very early morning person I’ve always been, and the course of my day doesn’t follow the routines I’ve been used to. As well, I must realize that I can’t keep going and pushing myself when I’m tired.  But the biggie...realizing I’m not able to be as efficient as I want.

   Am I there yet? Nope! But each day I get one step closer, and that helps minimize the stress in my life and body, and aids the healing.

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Nature is infinitely patient, infinitely calm.   
Everything comes, everything passes.
- Author Unknown

Monday, 2 December 2013


While man complicates his life, 
every other creature is busy enjoying it.
- Author Unknown

Friday, 29 November 2013

Right Thing

All the bad days 
have two things in common: 
You know the right thing to do, 
but you let somebody talk you out of doing it. 
 – Tom Bihn

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Monday, 25 November 2013


What looks like a people problem 
is often a situation problem…
Tweaking the environment 
is about making the right behaviours
 a little bit easier 
and the wrong behaviours 
a little bit harder.   
– Chip & Dan Heath

Friday, 22 November 2013


Purpose is tenacious, 
our calling takes over, 
and no matter how much 
we intellectually plan 
there is a higher consciousness
 that will use us in service 
and decides for us… 
- Colette Baron-Reid

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013


You cannot burn the candle 
at both ends and be productive. 
Working more does not equal 
getting more things done. 
Read that statement again 
and let it sink in. 
This was a hard yet important 
lesson for me to learn. 
I mistakenly thought that 
the more hours I sat in front of my computer, 
the more I was getting done. 
What I discovered is that 
when my “blade” was dull
 it took me twice as long to get things done.
 - Jonathan Milligan

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Monday, 18 November 2013


Big problems are rarely solved 
with commensurately big solutions. 
 Instead, they are most often solved
by a sequence of small solutions, 
sometimes over weeks, 
sometimes over decades. 
– Chip & Dan Heath

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Friday, 15 November 2013

November 15, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer 

   I love watching nature's colour scheme changes with each seasonal change.

   As spring approaches and the leaves start budding out, you can see new life emerging before your eyes.  Pretty soon, the landscape is covered in a blanket of deep green which contrasts beautifully with the clear blue of the sky and any bodies of water.

   Then the fruit trees and flowers start blooming and there is a profusion of rainbow colours everywhere.  In addition, there are many baby calves frolicking in the fields.

   One advantage of my many weekly trips to appointments in Red Deer is that I have been able to watch the progression from summer to autumn to winter.

   When I first started out, the hay was just being cut and baled.  Then I watched the canola crops bloom - there seemed to be fields and fields of yellow this year - and the barley develop its beard as each crop matured through the season. 

   As the season progressed, I observed the farmers harvesting their  crops.  For me, there is something magical about seeing a field of bales with the sunlight shining on them, against a backdrop of darkening clouds.  It is the perfect harvest picture.

   As autumn truly approached, and the temperatures started getting a little cooler, I enjoyed the changing colour of the leaves and the juxtaposition of the yellows and reds against the darker greens of the evergreen trees.  My favourite views are of the gorgeous fall colours reflected in some water along with the deep blue of the sky also reflected.

   Then we had our first snowfall, I was out early enough to not only see everything snow-covered, but also the hoar frost coating everything as the entire landscape sparkled and glistened in the sunlight.

   Now that winter seems to be here, the landscape has the pristine, spotless look after a fresh snowfall.  Any colour - such as the evergreens and birds - shows up clearly against the white background.

   As we enter the winter season, appreciate the beauty it presents to us.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Tranquility comes when we can accept ourselves.   
For some it is reaching a point of accepting 
they are what they will always be 
and for others it is the point of deciding 
what it is they will become. 
- Author unknown

Monday, 11 November 2013


When you really listen to yourself, 
you can heal yourself.   
– Ceanne Derohan

Friday, 8 November 2013


 The snow geese need not bathe
to make itself white.   
Neither need you do anything 
but be yourself. 
 – Lao Tse

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


I learn by going where I have to go. 
– Theodore Roethke

Monday, 4 November 2013


Life is full and overflowing with the new 
but it is necessary to empty out the old 
to make room for the new to enter. 
 – Eileen Caddy

Friday, 1 November 2013

November 1, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer 

   I’ve had a number of different people ask me how I can keep smiling when I’m going through this time and my life is falling apart.

   The easy answer I give is that I can smile because it doesn’t require any extra energy or effort.

   The truth is, I can smile because I know, beyond any doubt, that everything will work out eventually, because it always does. 

   While it may seem like my life/health has been falling apart, and I suppose in one sense it has, really it isn’t all that dire.  I’m still alive, I still have a roof over my head, I still have mobility, I can drive, I can still publish The Chautauqua, I still babysit my niece, I still have friends, and so much more.

   My life isn’t “falling apart,” though it certainly has been changing an awful lot!  I’m not sure I’ll even recognize myself when all is said and done!  I’m having new experiences such as the acupuncture treatments.  I’m reading and learning a little bit about different subjects.  I started a Facebook page for The Chautauqua - please feel free to visit and like the page.  I’m trying out various new recipes - some are keepers and some aren’t.

   However, because I’m human, I still have my occasional doubts and concerns.  I get frustrated and upset.  I would like to know why I’m going through this and have basically “lost” a year of my life.  I would love to know how and when this will all work out and what life will be like on the other side of this healing journey.  And I would really like to know why my computer acts up when I’m at my lowest point.

   That said, I don’t wallow or get bogged down by the uncertainty for any length of time.

   I’m thankful for all the good in my life, which far outweighs any challenges I’m currently going through.  I wake up in the morning and have another day of life with endless possibilities ahead of me.  I may not be able to take advantage of them yet, however, they are there.

   Now who could complain about that?
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Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Don’t feel guilty about 
making things easy for yourself. 
- Author Unknown

Monday, 28 October 2013


Calm…means finding a truer, deeper 
understanding of life’s problems.
 - Author Unknown

Friday, 25 October 2013


Health is the greatest gift, 
contentment the greatest wealth, 
faithfulness the best relationship. 
 – Buddha

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Tranquility can be reached 
once you are able to accept 
that life is unlikely to go 
as you had planned.
- Author Unknown

Monday, 21 October 2013


Nothing has ever happened in the past 
that can prevent you from being present now; 
and if the past cannot prevent you 
from being present now, what power does it have? 
– Eckhart Tolle

Friday, 18 October 2013

October 18, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer

   The municipal elections are just around the corner.  I encourage everyone, in municipalities with elections taking place, to make the time to mark a ballot.  You might as well, because there are many folks who are being deprived of that opportunity to vote this time around.

   As is often the case during election campaigns, the hot button is change.  Many candidates run on a platform that they will bring in change, in whatever form is most important to them, be it in spending, infrastructure, taxes, etc.

   Making changes are really easy.  Anyone can make any kind of change.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the change is good or right. 

   To make beneficial quality changes in any area of life, not just the political arena, requires approaching change with a totally different mindset.  You must want something more than you don’t want something.

   For example:
  • You must want peace and harmony more than you don’t want war.
  • You must want to be a responsible citizen more than you don’t want to get caught by the police
  • You must want health more than you don’t want illness.
  • You must want happiness more than you don’t want sadness.
  • You must want growth more than you don’t want the status quo.

   Now the two parts of each statement above may seem like they are saying the same thing, but they aren’t.  There is a world of difference between the two phrases.

   When you come at change from the mindset of “I don’t I will get rid of/change…” you are fighting a losing battle.  You are resisting the situation, and the cliché “What you resist, persists,” is all too true.  Changes may be made but they won’t last, or will bring about unexpected and detrimental results.

   On the other hand, if you come at the change from a mindset of “I want...what do I need to do to achieve that?”  You aren’t resisting anything.  You are looking to enhance whatever situation you are in.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Am I thinking, “When will this be over?” 
or am I thinking, “When can I do this again?” 
 If I am asking the former, 
then I am probably operating outside of my giftings.  
 If I am asking the latter, 
it is a good sign that I am operating in my giftings. 
 – Marcus Buckingham

Monday, 14 October 2013


You already have everything you need…
It’s mindset…that separates 
those who do from those who dream. 
– John Bingham

Friday, 11 October 2013


Be aware of your breathing 
as often as you are able, 
whenever you remember.  
 Do that for one year, 
it will be more powerfully transformative 
than attending [spiritual] courses.   
And it’s free.”   
- Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Your entire life journey 
ultimately consists of the step 
you are taking at this moment.   
There is always only this one step, 
and so you give it your fullest attention.  
 This doesn’t mean you don’t know 
where you are going; 
it just means that this step is primary, 
the destination is secondary.   
And what you encounter at your destination 
once you get there depends 
on the quality of this one step.   
– Eckhart Tolle

Monday, 7 October 2013

Strong Will

The difference between
 perseverance and obstinacy 
is that one often comes from a strong will, 
and the other from a strong won’t.   
– Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, 4 October 2013

October 4, 2013 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer

   If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart   

   Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we all have so much for which we can be thankful - big things and little things.

   But too often, life crowds in and we forget that we should be grateful.  That is, we forget until Thanksgiving rolls around in October. 

   We should be thankful ALL the time.  Not just one day, or weekend, in the year.

   No matter what the circumstances in your life currently are, there is always at least one thing you can find to be thankful for.  And once you find one, you can find another, and another, and another.

   Some things that I am thankful for include (however, this is by no means a complete list):

  • I’m alive!
  • my health is improving
  • I have multiple options in many areas of my life and live in a country/province/municipality that allows me to explore those options
  • time to rest and heal
  • friends and family who care about me
  • the lovely weather
  • I have a roof over my head
  • I have food to eat
  • I can try new recipes
  • playing with my niece
  • I am still able to put The Chautauqua together and share it with all of you
  • visiting with friends
  • the blessings that I am showered with daily

   As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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