Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Finalé of Sorts...

Today my teens start a new semester. They’ve had a week and a few days off of school as they prepared for and wrote final exams and now they have a new slate of classes to look forward to. For Max, it is his final semester in high school. He’s one of those kids that loves school and until he was in grade nine, arrived home and when posed with my question, “How was school?” answered, “It was great!” This made my life with him so easy. He is an optimist and sees the good in each endeavour. When he was in grade nine, it stopped and I thought that it was just his age and that I had lost that enthusiastic little fella. Then in grade ten, it started again and has continued with only one day in grade twelve that I can recall, when he wasn’t thrilled about something in his school day.
Max was the kind of child who always cherished and made the most of his free time. We have 4-5 tree houses in the yard, a zipline, paintball course, basketball court and our trampoline doesn’t owe us a dime. He had to be coaxed in for dinner, from the snow hills at night even in -30 degree weather and he created and created and created… But he also did any job I asked him to do, diligently and readily without complaint, completed any schoolwork that was brought home without being asked and when he went to bed at night, slept soundly until morning. He learned early to take charge of his own life and I have just been here on the sidelines guiding and marvelling.
I’m not saying that Max hasn’t had his challenges, but he has been a bit of a dream child and as he enters the final semester of his high school career, I am feeling bittersweet emotions. I know that there are kidlets along side of him with struggles that I wish they didn’t have to face at this age, or any age for that matter, and I would love to tell them to remember recess and snack time, story time and helping a friend button his coat, and how simple these things are at asking us to just be. Inspired by Stuart McLean’s School Pledge, I hope that during these last few months of Max’s elementary and high school life, he and his classmates will make time to laugh, really laugh, and to play with a joyful and kind heart because HOW they play is how they will live their life, and I want Max and all children “to follow the path of peace and understanding and live softly on this good earth”.
~ Ellyn

Friday, January 25, 2013


Numbers are constant, until they are not. Our inability to influence outcome is the great equalizer. Computers generate random numbers in an attempt to glean meaning out of probability and list numerical sequences lacking any pattern, but during a cataclysmic global event, tsunami, earthquake, the attacks of 9/11, these random numbers suddenly stop being random. As our collective consciousness synchronizes, so do the numbers. Science can’t explain the phenomenon but religion does. It’s called prayer. A collective request sent up in unison, a shared hope. Numbers are constant until they are not.
~ Jake Bohm

I am a wordy not a numbers person, but with respect to numbers, I am awed by their orderly harmony and wonder about the so-called randomness to which some numbers noticeably, reoccur in my life, 4, 7, 13, 108…
Prayer, meditation, appeals, requests, desires, hopes, wishes. Call it what you will, but before my feet touch the floor in the morning, I step into that place, grateful that I am awake to a new day. When my children and Brent drive out of the yard each morning, to school and work, I ask that they be surrounded in love and protection, that they are assisted in making decisions for their highest and greatest good and that everyone with whom they meet be blessed. When I hear news of a local individual that has a challenge before them or a group of people on the other side of the world, struggling for peace or in need of food I know that I am part of a powerful collective with a shared desire. Throughout and at the end of the day, I offer out my thanks because I choose faith, over fear, which doesn’t mean that fear doesn’t show itself, but it is subsided through prayer. 

During cataclysmic global events our collective consciousness synchronizes so do the numeric sequences created by random number generators. Science can’t explain the phenomenon but religion does. It’s called prayer. A collective request sent up in unison, a shared hope, fear relieved, a life spared. Numbers are constant until they are not. In times of tragedy, times of collective joy, in these brief moments it is only the shared emotional experience that makes the world seem less random. Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s an answer to our prayers.

~ Ellyn
Michael Angelo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunshine Goodness...

The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Following several days of overcast cloudy weather, snow and wind, today the sun peeked through for a few hours and I was reminded of how easy it is for me to be happy when the sun shines. On cloudy grey days, I have to work at it.
My husband has been preoccupied at work with the grief that winter weather can deliver him but gratefully, my son was home today on his semester break, and he was able to plough snow so that I could drive out of the yard, head to town and get some groceries. We store enough meat for the year, eat very few foods stored in cans, jars or boxes, of which I buy in bulk from an organic supplier and so I just pick up fruits and vegetables each week. I did stop in the health food store for some almond flour and vitamin D3 drops and the owner remarked on how beautiful it was outside. I smiled warmly thinking about how I too rely on that beautiful sun to help me breathe easier. I’m not sure if I have always been this way or not, but I do know that ever since I started staying home to write, I have come to cherish every drop of sunshine that peers through these great windows beside my desk and that today, it shines, and I move about easily and gracefully in thankfulness.
~ Ellyn

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Brief Post...

My posts vary in length. Some writings need more elaborating, not for the intended reader, but for me, the writer.
I write for me. Not for any particular audience, a corporation who has asked me to endorse a product, or for a set number of people, but because I am compelled to sit here and write.
I have written for others, for their deadlines, and am grateful that presently, I can set my own deadlines. Deadlines are one way of not getting sidetracked but most importantly, for me, they are ways for me to honour my writing and let people who are close to me know that I am at work.
When I first stayed home to write, I struggled with stating what it was that I was doing at home all day. It seemed to me that others thought that if I wasn’t leaving the house to work, I wasn’t working. But maybe that was just me, making that assumption because I was struggling with justifying what I did.
Fast forward a few years and I see the volumes of writings before me and I know how healthy these words on the paper have assisted me in being. Will any of it ever be published in the form that I desire it to be?
Yes, why of course.
~ Ellyn

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Say Stuff...

I grew up in a household that was cautious around my maternal grandmother. She was a domineering force who poked and prodded and we had to be careful not to say certain things in front of her for fear of her going into a tirade and causing my mom even more grief than she already did.
When you are taught to omit details in order to keep peace, and I know that peace is truly what a being wants, you simply learn to omit details in order to keep peace. I wasn’t very good at this because… well… I say stuff.
As a child, I would emote and blurt out whenever the impetus to do so arose. When grandma was about and I opened my mouth, I remember watching my mother grit her teeth and hold her breath while my brother just frowned at me. This doesn’t mean that I would use curse words, or say something disrespectful, it was more like, “Hey mom, remember when I was trying on grandma’s glasses and you said it scared you? ” Or “We don’t like the television shows that you watch, grandma.” Sounds pretty harmless, and yet I remember the kind of wrath that followed these statements.
If the intent is honourable and not filled with malice, being open and saying what one wants to say, is healthy and makes for much richer relationships, and it was something I had to relearn after years of trying to stifle what I wasn’t supposed to say.
Now, I say stuff.
~ Ellyn

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Peaceful Parenting

On a very early morning a couple of days ago and while I was in the dentist’s chair, I listened to the two professionals working on my mouth talk about a little girl, aged 3, who refused to take part in her dance lesson the previous day, and instead wanted to sit with her mom and cry. I was immediately transported back to my younger mommy days where I learned to commiserate with my 2-year-old son.
Max was a volatile 2-year-old and when he flipped, I flipped. I’m thankful that it didn’t last long because I am still frustrated with myself that I too flipped. He was speech delayed and we struggled to understand what he was trying to say to us. For a brief period, I used Time-Out but I discovered that it was only fixing the situation in the moment, not really addressing his volatile behaviour nor teaching him how to honour and deal with his emotions. I know that this method is used in love but even when Time-Out is used briefly with dialogue following, I feel that it is an undesirable form of punishment that fails to teach problem solving, invites submission and creates pleasers.
One evening my husband Brent, quite by chance, picked up our 2-year-old emoting fella and just held onto him, with love, whispering and kissing his head. Max struggled to go but Brent told him it was Time-In time and Max just relaxed and began to cry. From that point forward, we commiserated with Max, saying things like, “You must be so frustrated. Sit with me until we can figure out what you need.” Max became a puddle in our arms during these very few times that needed to occur and what seemed like instantaneously, we no longer had a volatile child but a little boy who wanted us to know what he was feeling, asking for our help.
At 17, Max is certainly in touch with his feelings, honouring them and emoting constructively and positively. Would he have been otherwise? Possibly, but this way of being with Max, that Brent created, was a change for the better that I am utmost grateful for and as a mom of a teen who will be leaving home soon, I know which encounters are important and which ones I can let go of.
What I wish I could have offered to the two professionals, talking about the little girly at dance, was that that little girl will not be 3 for long. I want them to cherish each moment and if she is not ready to dance with a group, hold her gently, wrap her up and let her dance at home.
~ Ellyn

Monday, January 14, 2013

RSS Feeds

In 2013, I find that I am inundated with reading, which, for the most part, is a good thing. There is so much information at my fingertips, I feel the need to practise discerning what writings are truly the words that are essential for me to sink myself into, in any given moment. And… I am grateful for my RSS feed.
A Rich Site Summary, which is often dubbed Really Simple Syndication, allows a person to easily follow a weblog (Blog), news feed or other site, by issuing alerts or feeds of newly published items to a reader location. In this way, I can readily go to my reader service to see what’s new, choose to read a portion, or not, and link to the actual site if I want to read more.  
RSS is not new, with conflicting information about when it was actually created. What I do know is that RSS 0.90, developed by Netscape, has been around since 1999 and, that I have been using this service for a very long time and only recently, was asked how to efficiently follow many blogs.
The reader service that I use is Google® but there are many others. You need to look for the RSS symbol when you are on a blog of note, click on that icon, choose a reader service and follow the steps so as to continue following that blog. 

I hope that this brief message helps the person that was asking and if you have any questions or comments please share them here.
And of course, you can always follow this blog if you so choose.
~ Ellyn

Friday, January 11, 2013


 It is said that “the shortest path between two points is a straight line but what happens if that path gets blocked? When sediment impedes the flow of a river, it redirects, zigging and zagging instead of following a straight course. But like to the crow like meandering is to the water’s most efficient route, source to outlet, nature finds a detour.” Jake Bohm
Yesterday while a twitter friend and I were zigging and zagging about in our own little corners of the world, a straight line was presented. To connect us. I am in awe with this wonderful Universe that we live in, and bow in gratefulness.
I’ve quoted Jake Bohm before, the young character that David Mazous plays in Fox Network’s television show, Touch, but maybe I should give credit to creator and writer, Tim Kring. The way in which every instalment unfolds is not only tightly woven within each episode, but to the entire story and is obviously very important work for those involved and for those whose lives it touches, like mine.
These are the connections in life that hold me captive and cause me to be truly enraptured by life, hence the name of this blog. That one person in this world would be studying Mother Teresa and her profound life, and that at that moment another person would see a comment about Mother Teresa and would comment back, and very briefly and yet powerfully be bonded in goodness offering harmony, peace and warmth to each other, restores my faith that “if two points are destined to Touch, the Universe will always make it happen.”
Thank you Vicki for Anyway and for being with me yesterday, for your words… your vulnerability… your honesty… 

~ Ellyn

Thursday, January 10, 2013

For the Love of Coconut Oil...

This morning's writing was going to be about edible oils but instead, has become solely about coconut oil. Besides the fat found in the food we eat in some vegetables, eggs, nuts and meat, there are only three fats that we have retained and use in our kitchen. One of those is coconut oil, and although the smell of coconut in the past has repulsed me, I have come to love the heavenly scent of good quality cold-pressed virgin organic coconut oil, and can be found with my nose in the jar just breathing it in.
Our bodies metabolize each fatty acid differently and being that coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, the liver and the gall bladder do not need to digest and emulsify it, causing us to have more energy, an increased metabolic rate and better circulation. If you’ve had your gall bladder removed, this is indeed the fat for you.
There are many uses for coconut oil including applying it to the skin and hair. However, I have found that using sulphate-free real soap (yet another story) on the outside and hydrating and healing my body from the inside, is a better way.  
Aurora Geib, who writes for Natural News, adds that if you have been on a low fat diet the possible side effect you might have from coconut oil is diarrhoea, but eventually proper bowel function will prevail. She suggests that each adult should consume about 3 ½ tablespoons a day and although, in our home, we are not each consuming that much, it has become the primary oil that we use. Coconut oil can be eaten right out of the jar and being that it is heat stable, can be cooked using high temperatures.
There are many coconut oils currently on the market and I certainly have my favourite. A friend of mine calls it coconut butter with the hope that one of her children will embrace it like the others have. Do you have a story about coconut oil? I would love to hear it!

~ Ellyn

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We Are Paleo Creatures - 2

We are paleo creatures and have been since September 1, 2012. I began researching the paleo lifestyle, which was gaining popularity, in February of that year, mainly because my husband was increasing his insulin injections, was feeling sluggish and had fallen into a slump regarding his health. I had asked my teens to jump on board with us for the month of September and that if the way of eating didn’t suit them or us, we would make another decision. Quite surprisingly, Brent cut his insulin in half, steadily lost a little weight and we were all feeling like we had more energy. By November, our active and athletic teens felt that their lunches weren’t satisfying enough and we added wraps to theirs but did not add any other grain products to their diet and continued with a complete paleo lifestyle for Brent and me.
Enter December.
With parties and gatherings, grandma’s fudge and Christmas cake, we fell off the paleo wagon. Ugh! Any bugs that were in the air that landed on us, took hold and 3 of us battled colds and sore throats and yet we continued to choose mouth-tasting foods with gluten and sugar in them over good-for-our-body foods.
The thing is, we knew that we were feeling lousy and yet we continued to choose these old favourites. I know that we are what we eat and that we were not appreciating the miraculous way in which our immune system works, which relies on the lining of the intestinal tract to help it work properly.
It will take some time to rid our bodies once again of the toxins that we willingly popped into them, but we will do it! The article about our complex immune system that I want to share with you today comes from one of my favourite blogs, The Paleo Diet Lifestyle as well as one of our favourite mealtime recipes from Irey's Kitchen in Australia.
Enjoy and stay tuned for follow-up posts.

~ Ellyn

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Word for 2013

The word peace has shown itself to me intermittently over the years. Throughout November and December, however, I took note of it showing up more frequently.
In any given situation, I have a choice and I can choose peace in response to all else.
Will I consistently choose it?
Probably not.
In spite of this, what I endeavour to do this year, is to recognize my feelings surrounding a situation, acknowledge those feelings, breathe through them and attempt to choose peace in response to what is going on inside me and around me.
For a few years now, I have worked through A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. I have yet to get through the entire course and have settled with the decision that that is okay. Maybe each point, at which my being stops, is where I need to just pause; let ideas in the course ruminate. The cool thing is, is that a few of the ideas in the course keep cropping up for me. One of those thoughts is, “I can choose peace, rather than this.” I love it and have noticed situations diffuse when I smile warmly, consciously breathe and step into peace.
This undertaking sounds simple, but I actually laughed aloud and shook my head when I realized what was before me, knowing that it is not an easy task, nevertheless one worth accepting.
I continue to be grateful for this and all else and will be gentle on myself, knowing that peace has chosen me. 
~ Ellyn

Monday, January 7, 2013

Inspired by Debbie Ford, I know that we all yearn for different kinds of love at different times in our lives. Sometimes I need acceptance and gentleness and at other times passion and adventure. When my daughter Jillian was born, everything happened so quickly and I wasn’t sure if I should be helping by pushing or not. Brent was being his gentle self just quietly breathing, offering soothing words and stroking my hand. One nurse with an angry voice put her face in my face and sternly said, “Look at me and I will tell you exactly when to push!” After Jillian’s birth, the nurse apologized but I refused to accept it and instead thanked her. This was the kind of love I needed right then with direct instructions.

This week’s self-love exercise that I have chosen to engage in, asks me each morning to breathe into the area around my heart and notice any feelings or emotions that reside there. This morning the colour I felt was an intense orange, which made me smile excitedly. Orange is my passion colour. It calls me to laugh loudly, eat voraciously, sit on the edge of my seat, run hard and love intensely. No gentleness for me today. Instead it was coloured with fierce expression!

~ Ellyn

Why I Write...

I am a writer, therefore I write.
These are the words that face me as I sit at my desk to write each morning. Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to convince myself that I am indeed a writer or are they inspirational, reminding me to keep going.
Upon reading Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s post last week about the questions she is presently asking herself, surrounding her own writing, have given me the impetus to wonder about mine.
Do I write because that is just what I have always done? Do I write because I think I have committed myself to doing so? Do I write because the words in my heart want to spill out onto the page?
And like Oriah and other writers, the answers to these questions changes.
What is important to me today, is that I ask myself these questions and unlike Oriah, I am asking myself why…
~ Ellyn