Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Winter Solstice

Welcome to winter!
December 21st will mark the first day of the Winter Solstice and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in our year. The full moon this month is on December 22nd so the weekend before Christmas will be intense with even more energy than usual!
As the light in our day shortens and the darkness surrounds us, it is an ideal time to prepare for the cold winter days ahead, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.
And that preparation includes nurturing ourselves - mind, body and soul - in all aspects of our life so that our inner light continues to glow. Offering warmth through kindness and consideration to others and light through gentleness and caring can go a long way on a cold winter's day.
Winter offers us a respite, a time to contemplate, refresh and renew what is important to us. Each snowfall offers a fresh new world to rejoice in whether we are outside  doers or inside dreamers. The cold forces us to be aware of our surroundings so that we remember to keep warm or face the consequences. It is a gentle reminder to be in our bodies, in our minds, and present in our lives.
It also shows us beauty in unexpected ways - the perfect shape of a snowflake or an ice crystal on a window, the blue blue of the sky on a clear day, the sparkling breadth of a star on a clear night, in a frosty aura that softens edges and re-frames our physical world.
Yes, it means icy roads, frozen toes, chapped lips and dry skin. It also means fluffy Christmas snowflakes, massive hills for sledding, red noses and silly toques, fogged up glasses and runny noses. It means breaths so cold they literally take your breath away, Central Park's Christmas lights sparkling in the dark of night, and hot chocolate with marshmallows and Bailey's. It means outdoor skating on rough ice and snowshoeing across parks and fields, slipping and sliding and laughter.
It means shovelling and scraping, and then doing it all again.
It means refocusing and looking inward, nurturing and nourishing, and remembering.
It is a thoughtful time and sometimes a difficult time for many of us. It is the yin to our yang-filled lives - a time to find stillness and observe, learn and grow, pause and reflect.
Every season has its time...and the time for winter is near.
Cherish it and all of its gifts. Embrace the stillness. Enjoy the pause.




Saturday, 22 September 2018

Fall Equinox

September 22nd - the autumnal equinox - as close to equal light and dark as our days in the northern hemisphere get. Here in Spruce Grove we have early snow, or as we like to call it 'first winter'. 

A time for reflection, a time to let go, a time to move into the the next phase of our year. As the daylight shortens over the next three months, it's time to contemplate, review and plan a strategy for getting through our winter season.

In my house, we are not avid outside winter activity people. Late fall and winter are when we pack away our trailer, kayaks and camping gear and work on inside projects. Like autumn, our projects have many hues - house renovations, photo projects, writing, reading, hunkering and just plain out enjoying the slower pace after a summer spent outside.

Warm slippers, cosy blankets, mugs of tea and the occasional fire in the fireplace enhance our days and lend themselves nicely to our sense of homey content.

I used to think that I wanted to live somewhere without snow. I think I would miss the change of the seasons, though, however brief that may be each year. There is a certain rightness to the seasons, to the ebb and flow of energies, to the peace of winter's stillness, and the energy of summer's heat.

The waterfall in our pond still bravely carries on flowing, surrounded by a soft mantle of fresh snow, with summer's flowers still peeking through, not quite ready to say goodbye. It's a pause - that place where autumn may yet parade her glorious colours before succumbing to the inevitable. We too can pause, reflect and remember before our winter's nap takes hold.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Summer's End...

As the end of summer draws nearer, it's a time to reflect, renew and rejoice the changing of the season. September is a time to jump into something new, something fresh, after the long dog days of summer have passed.
Join me as we move into this next phase - through writing and journaling, meditation, yoga and connection.

  • Thurs, Aug 16 - 6:30 to 7:45 Yoga Nidra at Simply Liv Yoga in Spruce Grove. Cost: $14 plus GST. Time all to yourself to experience the restfulness of yogic sleep - not quite sleeping, not quite awake, but always aware.  Call 780-962-9537 or Email to register.
  • Wed, Aug 22 - 6:30 to 8:45 Journaling/Writing Semi Monthly Group at Homegrown Foods Coffee Shop in Stony Plain. Drop in 10-pass card $45, 5-pass card $25. Meeting the 2nd and 4th Weds each month - join like minded journeyers into the realm of finding and telling your story. Email to register.
  • Sun, Sept 9 and Sept 23 - New Moon and Full Moon Celebrations - twice monthly at Simply Liv - $40 plus GST for both, $25 plus GST for one. For Info and To Register
  • Thurs, Sept 13 to Oct 18 Yoga for the Reluctant Yogi at Simply Liv Yoga in Spruce Grove. Cost: $75 plus GST for 6 classes. 6:15 to 7:15 pm. Not sure you love yoga? Need to move but not sure how? This is the class for you! Call 780-962-9537 to register.

Namaste and hope to see you soon!

Monday, 2 July 2018

Summertime and the Living is Easy...

We welcomed summer on June 21 from our campsite at Long Lake. Hot, beautiful and perfect kayaking conditions. Lots of swimming (COLD Alberta lake!!) and plenty of beach time too. A wonderful way to enjoy the solstice and launch the season. More time at Fish (Shunda) Lake only added to the bliss. Two weeks of camping with my One and Only...ahh.

Back at home, the weeds have also enjoyed the perfect conditions and are blooming rampantly and triumphantly. A little love in the yard will go a long way, I think. As lovely as getting away is, being at home feels like, well, HOME. Not quite as easy as camping but what can you do? Other things tend to intrude like working at our day jobs but enjoying what each day brings, and planning future adventures is a great way to breathe in each moment and savour each different taste.

I love helping people find themselves through stillness and meditation and use that knowledge to explore deeper and discover their own stories, their uniqueness, and their specialness. Would love to have you join me and connect our journeys, finding pathways together to bring out the best in both of us.

With the last six months of yoga teacher training completed, I'm a certified yoga teacher (RYT 200). I'll be offering yoga and meditation classes as well as full and new moon celebrations. Writing, journaling and memoir classes plus workshops are also in the works. Details will be posted over the next month...here on the website, and on Facebook.

In the meantime, I am immersing myself in summertime - reveling in the heat, the light and the lush bloom of nature. This season is so short and every moment, every second needs to be cherished. We are blessed with four seasons and each of them brings their own personalities to our world - embrace what is here and now. Wear sunscreen if you need to, and sunglasses too but let the light fill you until it's overflowing and feel the peace and joy that summer brings.

Live easy and live sweet...namaste.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Finding Om

Lots of exciting things happening in the Windsong world! 

Spring 2018:

April 28: Presentation at Hope, Health and Healing Symposium on Journaling Through Grief

April 29: Full Moon Celebration at Simply Liv Yoga & Massage

Newsletter - watch this space for more info!

Fall 2018:

Follow up Memoir classes will be offered for those who wish to continue the journey.

Yoga classes  - gentle yoga, yoga and reflective journaling

Full moon celebration yoga workshops  

Writing to Find Yourself with Mala and Me, September

Writing circles 

Writing circle for Journaling Through Grief

Journaling Through Grief workshops through Tri-Cala, October

See something you're interested in? 
Is there something you'd like that you don't see?
Please email me at ldgale@shaw.ca 

Namaste!

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Spring Forward

Spring is in our hearts, if not quite yet in our weather!
A hopeful, light, welcoming time to shed our winter woes and heavy coats, and step into the fresh lightness of longer days, warmer sunshine and rebirth.
I can't wait to jump into puddles, feel green grass on my bare feet, bury my hands in warm soil to plant my garden, and raise my face to the sun for warmth and inspiration.
I love all of the seasons - yes, even winter has a place in my heart - but spring is the most renewing. It holds the promise of summer, a time to explore, a time to revel in nature's beauty, and a time to consider what seeds we wish to cultivate in ourselves.
Lighter clothes, lighter foods, lighter thoughts. Our soul can relax and expand, loosened of winter's hold, fertile and willing to guide us to our deepest desires, manifestations and dreams.
Our heart can open to possibilities, new horizons, and even old horizons that somehow got swept under our consciousness for one reason or another.
What do you need to shed in order to spring forward? Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally? What can you pack away, and what can you sow?
Imagine the possibilities...then weave them into your life and let the universe perform magic in your life.
Namaste.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Short but sweet...

On Tuesday night, I was hugged by a new friend and welcomed as if she’d known me for years. Yesterday my lovely friend Leanne popped into my office unexpectedly with a hot delicious latte for me as a treat. This morning at Starbucks, the person ahead of me paid for my order.
Three simple but profound gestures that have literally made my days brighter, softer and just a little more grounded.
Kindness and generosity are two amazing gifts – whether channeled through a friend (new or old) or a stranger, the effect is the same. Gratitude, a feeling of connection, and a wonderful sense of being alive and part of the universe.
Love and light. Short but sweet.
#grateful

Sunday, 21 January 2018

January Reflections

Ah January, the month where so much - and so little! - happens. Thanks to the winter solstice on December 21st, our days are slowly getting lighter as they head towards the spring equinox. In Alberta, that is a long way away in January but the increased light gives us hope that we will get there. Eventually.
I swore off New Year's resolutions many years ago (no, that wasn't a resolution, merely a decision!) but crave setting goals and plotting in spite of myself. September and January are months of reawakening for me but both from very different perspectives. September is fresh newness, reminiscent of starting a new grade in school each year, quivering with anticipation, angst and unlimited potential. January, on the other hand, is quiet contemplation, cocooned in winter's heart, looking inward instead of out. Reflection, re-grounding, resolute.
Twenty-seven years ago, in 1991, it was a cold cold winter in Canmore with snow, snow and more snow. January was a very long month as I was 8 months pregnant with a two year old in tow in a mountain town but it ended with light and love with the birth of our son. I swear the month was 51 days long that year!
Every January transports me right back into that place. Not pregnant with a child, of course, but pregnant with a different sensation - a oneness with myself, with my family and friends, and the universe. A longing to give birth to something tangible, something light, something good.
This year, my 60th January on this Earth, something new is occurring. Instead of reflecting alone, safely in the warmth of my home and hearth, I am throwing myself into the world of yoga teaching training. New, scary, raw and real. I am labouring to giving birth to a new me - one who reflects outward, not inward, who listens attentively and doesn't try to fix everything, one who shares her fears in a group, one who tries something and fails, then tries it again and again. Who accepts herself as she is and says hey, hello, you are enough and you are awesome. Who recognizes that limitations are only limiting if you let them be and who opens her heart to the universe. Vulnerable, open and humble. One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. Me, my mat, and my open heart, raw and exposed, in a room full of amazing people who are doing the same thing.
Not only are my days more filled with real light from outside, but also with real light from inside. A journey of a lifetime - to find myself and share that with others who may benefit from finding out that they too are enough, just as they are.
My days are blessed with light and love.
Namaste.