The Adventure That Is Life

I was the oldest of four boys, and after our father died, mother supported us by taking in sewing. We were quite poor. I got an afterschool job as the janitor in a factory; it was the only way I’d have any money.

what's-your-storyAfter a couple of years I got bored with that, so I beat the pavement to just about every business in our small Ontario town. I found a job hammering nails. The cut in pay from $.40 per hour to $.30 per hour was worth it for the new experience. Unfortunately, this was to be a short-lived adventure; my new boss found out I was only 13, and child labor laws kicked in. I went back to my afterschool sweeping and toilets and kept a low profile…

My mother had always wanted me to go to university, but she died in a car crash when I was 16. Nevertheless, the janitoring and summer jobs financed my big adventure of going off to university. I was the first from my mother’s side to do so.

I had come to realize by the time I was 12 that I could choose to look at my life as a series of crises: drowning and resuscitation, abduction and torture, abduction and sexual abuse, father dying, poverty, my teacher labeling me “slow.” Alternatively, I could choose to look at my life as a series of adventures: solo hiking and exploring, hitchhiking to Toronto to spend a week each year at the CNE, long bicycling adventures, building a boat and riding the spring floodwaters amidst the ice jams on the local river, learning to hunt with a 12-gauge shotgun. I chose adventure over crisis.

When you are confronted with a life event, you are given a choice as to how you interpret it. And let’s face it; life has its ups and downs.

A “down” could be a disaster like a marriage failure… or the opening for the adventure of remarriage. I’ve been blessed with that adventure twice.

Another not uncommon disaster is a job loss or business failure that leads to the loss of your hard-earned material possessions. However, losing our business, our house and our vehicles cut our material ties to the east and led to the adventure of starting over on the west coast. Without the business crash two decades ago, my adventures in writing might never have begun.

Family is one of life’s big adventures, and three of my adult children dying in the last five years have been tragic. However, the time before each one died was one of deep mutual reconnection and re-bonding as we said our goodbyes… and that has been another blessing.

The nature of adventure changes with the lifecycle. I gave up motorcycle adventure touring a couple of years ago (downgraded to four wheels) and am now much more focused on my healing work and internet outreach work.

I invite you to reflect on the positive adventures of your life that have arisen from the ashes of the not so positive.


 – About the Author:

Psychologist Dr. Neill Neill maintains an active practice on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, with a focus on healthy relationships and life after addictions. He is the author of Living with a Functioning Alcoholic – A Woman’s Survival Guide.  Get a copy of his free report “Codependency and Alcohol Addiction” at,

The problem isn’t that we have problems.

The problem isn’t that we have problems. The problem is we’ve become weak. and we make most of the problems ourselves. There’s far too many people looking for “someone” or some “thing” to blame for their lot or stages in life. We’ve become a world consisting of a self-serving, hedonistic life-style that only breeds further contempt, shame, cynicism, and fear…HATERS, Look…

Read more>>The problem isn’t that we have problems..

Positive Words ‎~ Love

A heart being used as a symbol of love. Photo ...
Image via Wikipedia

Real love is not selfish; it frees both the giver and the receiver. Knowing we’re loved sustains our hearts and diminishes our difficulties. It doesn’t bind us, yet paradoxically it bonds our hearts. These encouragements to grow, to change, to dare to depart if it’s for our own good, are expressions of real love. Real love is never ownership, only stewardship of this moment’s experience.–

Finding “self” the first true path to mediumship

There is a lot more to mediumship than is sometimes explained or realised. The first step should be to get to know & understand your “true self”. To understand YOU means exploring your own true feeling towards life, your emotions/feelings, past experiences, mistakes you have made and your own personal philosophy on life. This is only a brief guide towards finding “self” but in my opinion (and it is only mine) finding and understanding “self” is one of the most important foundations of mediumship.  True mediumship is not all about passing messages from spirit sometimes people refer to you for guidance and understanding, for support, a shoulder to cry on. How can we truly understand the messages, the emotions, the love, the guidance from spirit or “be there” for people this side of life who need our love comfort and support, unless we understand and know “our true self”.

I have posted and article below from wikiHow as a guide and reference for you… I hope it helps… The path to finding self is not and easy one and it’s “on-going”… it never stops… good luck on your journey…

How to find Yourself

Finding yourself is an enlightening experience. You become self-sufficient and do things for others without expectations of something in return. You are no longer needy and become utterly grateful for all the things people have done for you in the past. Finding yourself is a time of harmony because you develop that philosophy or belief system that will carry you throughout the rest of your life. When you love yourself and who you are, you will savor and enjoy both life’s pain and pleasures. How do you know you have found yourself? When you are able to help others find themselves. Finding yourself is not easy. If you have never felt connected to who you are, and you want to find whatever makes you you, being yourself will be hard. The first step is always the hardest, but after that hill, you will be smooth sailing to discovering who you are.

Create your life timeline. Write down all of your major goals in your life that you feel will affect you and will make you who you are. Also, remember all your mistakes and take away the postive learning experience . Don’t dwell on negative experiences but realize that if it had not been for those past experiences you would not be where or who you are today.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life. Smoking, over-eating, and over-drinking will prevent you from functioning at your peak. This may take some major rehabilitation for some individuals. Remember, you can’t drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror!
  2. Now that you have a clean slate and you realize some people still think you stink: Forget about what everyone else thinks! You cannot please everyone. While you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist to fulfill other people’s ideas of who you should be, you’ll never know your true talents. “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull
  3. ‘Find solitude’. Get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.
  4. Ask yourself every question in the book, questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:
    • If I had all the resources in the world – if I didn’t need to make money – what would I be doing with my day to day life and why? Perhaps you’d be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don’t hold back.
    • What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted? Would you regret never having travelled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be particularly difficult for some people.
    • If you had to choose three words to describe the kind of person you’d love to be, what would those words be? Adventurous? Loving? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Realistic? Motivated? Resilient? Don’t be afraid to pick up a thesaurus. Don’t be afraid to choose words that are considered negative. Sometimes your traits that others don’t like become useful only in emergency situations or are valuable to the job you are meant to perform. If you do have a truly negative trait work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Exercising compensates for many bad habits and there are hobbies for almost every vice. Pole dancing is becoming a hobby! Don’t wash your clothes much? Try camping. Maybe you’ll like it?

Write down your answers.

Beyond your time alone, it’s easy for these thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again.

Act upon your newly discovered knowledge.

Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those water-colors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa, Mt Kenya, a walk at Nairobi Safari Walk. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you’ve decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.

Be ready for dead ends.

Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It’s not going to be easy – it never has been for anybody – but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you’ll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself.


  • You’re never as bad or as good as people say.
  • Resist the urge to feel like you’re the only one going through this:All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. ~ Ralph Ellison, “Invisible Man”
  • Be yourself and make sure no one influences who you are. It will make finding yourself even harder since people are influencing who you think you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to sleep on it. There’s no hurry in making decisions, and you’ll be more likely to make good ones if your mind is calm and rested.
  • Be forgiving and learn to let go.


  • Don’t spread bad gossip or otherwise speak ill about other people. Knocking others down is not the path to self-knowledge. It only compromises your dignity as a human being and makes others dislike you.
  • Do not let others decide for you what you are destined to do. Their path may not be the correct path for you. What works for one person may not work for the next.
  • Don’t lie to yourself and try to be someone you are not. Remember this is about being yourself. As it is important to not let family members decide, it is also important not to let society and the media push you in a certain direction, especially when it comes to your physical appearance.
  • Don’t let yourself get caught up in a habit of constantly changing who you are or how you act just to fit in.
  • Don’t feel you have to prove your worth to the world.
  • Be careful, you might not immediately like who you find.
  • Don’t over analyze everything! Don’t think about how you should act– just be yourself and the rest will come.

Two Doors, One Fly, and Much Imagination

Somehow, a fly became trapped between the screen door and the glass sliding door in my home, and I decided I was going to save his life. I managed to slide the screen door open while preventing him from flying into my apartment. All he needed to do now was zip a few inches toward the left from where he currently sat. He would be free and I would feel like a hero. I was so proud of my humanitarian efforts that I imagined him yelling, “Thank you, kind lady!” in fly-talk, of course, as he soared home to live the rest of his life in gratitude.

Unfortunately, this fly wasn’t about to hand me this ego-boost on a silver platter. He ignored my help and instead searched for his own path to freedom by flying toward the right. He would stop to rest between attempts, as though to gather his energy or perhaps to convince himself to endure, only to try again – toward the right. I watched this fly make the same futile attempts over and over for the next half-hour. He would fly to where his way was blocked, then fly back to the same resting spot located mere inches from the opening I had created for him.

I tried very hard not to judge him, after all, hadn’t I found myself in similar circumstances, knocking my head against the same wall – too stubborn, exhausted, or frightened to try another path – let alone an opposite one?

I held my tongue, though I wanted to yell, “You stupid fly! The opening is right there!” I resisted the urge to pound on the glass door to shock him into trying something new. I attempted to use my never-before-successful skills of mental telepathy, sending the message, “Fly to the left!” while visualizing where “left” was, just in case he didn’t know.

“I’ll bet this is what we look like to the heavens.” I said in frustration. We must look like this fly who continues to search for freedom through the same, unsuccessful path, never considering that there is another direction. I could just imagine the Divine Entities sitting on their heavenly clouds, watching us from afar and yelling, “Go to the left! Try something new! You’ve done that a million times already and it’s not working for you!”

Do they pound on our metaphoric glass doors by throwing challenges our way? Cancer, car accidents, divorce, losing our jobs – are these just ways to wake us up and shock us out of our self-imposed mazes?

It took about an hour for that fly to finally try another way. He is free now.

It made me wonder what the equivalent of that fly’s hour of life would be to mine? Twenty years, perhaps?


Written by Julie Okuma ~ Wholeheartedly Living


Fear or Intuition?

Have you ever wondered whether you were being driven by fear or intuition?

(Like, was it my intuition that told me I was in trouble in that hair stylists’ chair, or was it fear of change?  Shoot, maybe it was both!)

People often ask how to tell the difference.  It seems a good topic to cover, since having confidence in your decision-making skills is always helpful.  Especially when fear seems rampant in the rest of the world.

So I wanted to pick your brains about how YOU tell the difference between fear and intuition.

To get the ball rolling, here’s what Michael Neill of wrote in his newsletter yesterday (edited for brevity):

The common sense/innate wisdom approach to life is nearly always available to us – but most of us spend so much of our time caught up in the whirlwind of our thought that we don’t notice it. And even when we do notice it, we’ll often ignore it hoping that our intellect can find a different answer more in keeping with what we hope will turn out to be true.
I explained this idea to a corporate client with the first example that popped into my head – that nearly ever woman I’ve talked with who has come out the other side of a bad marriage has told me that she ‘knew’ not to marry the guy at some point before getting far enough down the aisle to say ‘I do’.
Before I could even finish my example, another of the women in the room burst into tears. It turned out she was engaged to be married and was doing her best to ignore her wisdom because ‘she didn’t want to let anyone down’.
‘Besides’, she asked me, ‘how do I know whether or not that’s some kind of inner wisdom or just fear?’
I offered her the following guidelines…
– Wisdom often comes disguised as “common sense”, but in reality is extremely uncommon in usage.
– Wisdom is sometimes quiet but always clear
– Wisdom feels right, even if it doesn’t always feel good.
– Wisdom comes most often in the midst of inner quiet.
– Wisdom is always kind
Your wisdom is right there inside you, just waiting for you to allow it to guide you. You need only to be quiet and listen – when you relax into it, you’ll almost always know what to do.

Shell Tain of said in her 9/29 issue of Money Knot:

Intuition is different from the charged emotion of fear. Intuition comes subtly and softly. Its tone is always neutral. An intuitive message may be negative, but the tone or delivery will always be neutral. If you are cranked up on the chemicals of fear you will not receive any messages from your intuition.
My best advice when you are in the fear based scary place is to not make any decisions or changes. Wait until you are in a calmer, clearer frame.

A couple years ago I wrote on the topic of how to tell the difference between Gremlins vs Guides:

  • Gremlin doesn’t move you into power; Higher guidance does
  • Gremlin is fear-based; Higher guidance is love-based
  • Gremlin rambles on and on with long explanations; Higher guidance comes in short “feeling” messages (inspiration, spark, inner knowing)
  • Gremlin makes your body feel tight, stuck, restricted, with shallow breathing; Higher guidance feels open and light

What do you think?  How do you know when fear’s in the driver’s seat versus when your intuition is in effect?

Would also love to hear real life examples of how you handle it!

Written by Jannette Maw  ~ Good Vibe Blog ~