Soul Retreat: Living From Your Truth

I had a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains in front of me and the river meandering along a stony bed below, sitting in a Muskoka chair high on the ridge. The sun gave the large popcorn-shaped clouds above me a bronze ruffled-edged glow. The mountains were snow peaked, rugged and immovable.

This was my reality last weekend, out with some girlfriends away from Calgary to find soul rest. We were at Kingfold Retreat Centre. Time tends to consume me with its responsibilities and demands, pressures and challenges, moving me along the river of life at a frantic and tumbling, turbulent pace. I find I’m weary and longing for rest. Spiritual and soul renewal. I have learnt to take time; to swim, often it seems, upstream, to the river’s edge. This is where the water is less frantic, cool and calm. An ebb of peace and quiet. At first it feels foreign – lots of ‘what if’s’ and some fear that I won’t come away with what I expect. In the end, it’s what I need.

The quality of our outer life is always dependent on the quality of care we give to our soul.

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Surviving Winter – 5 Dimensions of Resilience

It’s been a cold, unrelenting winter here in Calgary. As I write, the temperature is a frigid -27 ‘C, with wind chills at -39’C. For American readers, that’s -38.2 Fahrenheit! My son walked 10 minutes home from a friends’ place. He had multiple layers of thick winter clothing – for a Canadian teen, highly unusual and unnatural! Usually it’s an open winter jacket no matter the cold! He looked like an overstuffed Easter egg! Upon his return, ice crystals lined his eye lashes and brows.

The interesting thing about Calgary is its Chinooks – warm air, coming from the ocean over the Rockies, can see rises in Iciclestemperature within hours of 15-20 degrees. We enjoy a yo-yo of weather consistently through the winter (a killer for migraine sufferers). Surprisingly, my perennials return each spring, able to bear these extreme fluctuations. As a gardener, I’ve learnt the stronger they become during the summer months – with deep roots and sturdy stems, the greater their chance of winter survival.

And that makes me wonder, what is it about us as expatriates (who have regular doses of transition – often more than we anticipate or desire), that allows us to thrive the winter weather of our souls? Those times when we feel the extreme challenge of life and wonder if we’ll suffocate… or survive?

Last blog we looked at 6 Keys To Understanding Resilience and found that there’s no resilience without challenge. Neither is there a scientific formula – each of us has different ingredients for resiliency. Today we look at…