Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Cost of Business

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you. Running a business is expensive! Even if (especially if?) it is a part time business.

time and moneyIt’s on my mind because I have had to order more supplies recently. More business cards. More marketing. More website resources. More product.

And more time. (I wish I could buy that as easily as I can the business cards, although I’m sure the time would be MUCH more expensive!)

When you run a business, there is always something that needs to be done. There is content or product to create, networking to be done, and marketing. There is always more marketing that can be done.

And it’s probably the place I miss the most opportunities. I love creating content. I love designing. I love teaching. I know how important marketing is. I even know a lot of the “how to”. I still struggle with it.

It takes time. The resource I struggle to manage the most as I follow my passion. It’s a good thing I love what I do!

Blessings,

Mary

Honouring the Elders

Last week, the BC Elders Gathering was held in Campbell River, near where I live. As part of the Gathering, they set aside a space for pampering the Elders. There were people cutting hair, giving manicures and pedicures, cedar brushing, and giving readings. All of these were free to the Elders attending the Gathering. I was invited to participate as a tarot reader.

All I can say is wow. What an amazingly powerful gift I was given.

I used to be one of “those” people. I didn’t understand why there was such animosity between Aboriginals and Whites. Yes, White people took their land, and confined them to reservations and broke promises and… but that all happened generations ago, right? Can’t we just get over it already? Move on from today? I used to compare Aboriginal/White relations to a scene from Babylon 5:

Please forgive me my ignorance.

Now I’ve learned more about the horrors of residential schools. I’ve learned more about the cultures of the people around me. Understanding brings respect.

Over the course of the three days of the Gathering, I met a lot of Elders. I sat with them and witnessed their joys, their struggles, and their pain, as it was shown to me through the tarot, and through what they were comfortable sharing with me. And let me tell you, there is a lot of pain.

These people have had their entire culture, and their entire way of life, vilified and squashed. There are beautiful customs and language that are remembered by only a few. And those few are working hard to bring them back.

I saw a lot of wands. The wands represent the passion these Elders have for their people and their culture, as well as the struggle to bring it back, and to bring healing to their communities.

The 6 of cups came up frequently as well. This is about nostalgia, looking backwards and missing the way things used to be. I experienced this not so much as missing their own childhoods (because no one wants the residential schools back!), as missing the way things were for their ancestors. Life was simpler, the land was respected, and communities looked out for one another.

The Hermit, The Emperor, and Judgement came up in quite a few readings. The Hermit is about dealing with your “stuff” – working on your own healing so you can be a brighter light and help others better. Pulling all the skeletons out of the closet and determining what you need to accept, what you need to change, and what you need to forgive. (I’ll come back to forgiveness…)

And Judgement is about letting go of the baggage of the past, letting each day be new, and making your choices and decisions be made from today, and not what happened yesterday or 5 years ago or 20 years ago. It doesn’t discount what happened. Just like forgiveness doesn’t make what happened ok. It means taking back your power and making choices consciously and not from a place of reaction.

The Emperor is about authority and boundaries. Some Elders have a strong sense of their own authority and healthy boundaries, and others struggle with that because they were punished if they did not obey. So there is a sense of reclaiming their power, and not allowing others to dictate their circumstances just because they are in a perceived position of authority.

Some Elders aren’t ready to forgive yet. Given the horrors they have experienced, I can understand. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, especially when the pain runs generations deep. It is a process, much like grief, and it takes as long as it takes.

Speaking of grief, there is so much grief in the First Nations Elders. There is grief about what has been lost – language, land, customs, and culture. There is grief because parents are burying their children, whether because of alcohol, or drugs, or depression, or suicide, or violence. There is grief about the effort of healing, and being the ones left behind to do this work.

I’ve spoken a lot about the pain, but I also witnessed a lot of joy and healing. Many of the people who sat with me for readings are incredibly strong, talented and gifted. They were beautiful in their wisdom. They were so grateful to be able to come together with family and friends from near and far. And even through the grief and the pain, they have a strong desire to be a part of the solution, to find ways to bring healing and reconciliation to their loved ones, as well as the greater community.

I am truly humbled and honored to have been able to witness and serve this beautiful group of people.

Blessings,

Mary

I Miss Them Already

The week before last was crazy. It was extremely busy, and good.

My family was here for a week (it wasn’t long enough). My parents have visited before, though my sister and her family have not. Well, my sister visited, but not to our current home (and we’ve lived here over a decade). We also had friends from Winnipeg out during the week.

Usually when my parents visit, we keep things pretty low key. We do a little sight seeing, and mostly we visit and catch up with each other. When we visit my family, there is usually a lot planned, and I know my sister and her boys like to be active. So I had a busy week planned.

We went to my eldest son’s graduation. We went to the suspension bridge at Elk Falls. My mother, my sister and I all got matching tattoos. We played in the waves on Long Beach on the west coast of the Island. We walked through Cathedral Grove, and saw the Goats on the Roof in Coombs. We ladies relaxed in the hydropath and pampered ourselves with pedicures while the boys and the children explored the Air Force Museum and played at Nymph Falls. We celebrated Canada Day and my parents renewed their vows in celebration of their 45th anniversary.

Like I said, it was a very busy week!

Unfortunately, because of my dad’s health, he wasn’t able to join us on many of the excursions. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to spend more time with him. With all of them. I also really enjoyed being a tourist on my Island, visiting places I haven’t been as well as sharing beloved spots with people I love.

While the week was busy, and I am glad to have my home back to relative peace, I do miss my family. I don’t know how long it will be before I see them again.

Hug your family. Tell them you love them.

Blessings,

Mary