Earth Hour – A Celebration of Darkness


At the moment I write this, Earth Hour is sweeping across Asia!  It is already happening and I feel it!

For the past 3 years, my family participates in Earth Hour.  This year, more than ever, we are all looking forward to it.  It is like a Holiday in our household.  Even my daughter’s best friend is disappointed she cannot stay tonight as she remembers our celebration in the dark from last year.

Honestly, all we did was shut the lights, light some candles, and sat around just talking and living in the darkness.  I had bought some special non electric lead lights, and put them on around the home, giving it a divine feel.

Really just turned off everything?  What is so special about that?  

Well, let me tell you, I think Earth Hour has a very special feeling to it.  Earth Hour feels like we are “collectively” doing something to change the world.

1 hour? How does that work?

Well think of it this way, on New Years Eve we check around the world to see how everyone brings in the new year with lights and fireworks and partying.. Earth hour, we collectively connect by turning out the lights.

Feels spiritual right?

Right!  I feel very spiritual during Earth Hour.. I feel at one with everyone, and last year, I even got a bit angry with my neighbor for having his “emergency bright light” on! It was literally shining in our window!!! It defeats the purpose, but I let it slide:

No light will ruin my darkness!

Which means, not everyone will be participating in Earth Hour, yet knowing that even big companies shut off their lights, whole cities go dark, and it is celebrated around the world.. Well Hell YA!! I’m doing it ..

To feel closer to change.. I’ll do anything..

Even shut the lights..

Oh.. and yes.. I get to use my NEW AirWick candle that changes colors! WOO!

Happy Earth Hour! 

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Kim

February a time for love… self-love


Without Valentine’s Day, February would be… well, January.  ~Jim Gaffigan

This Valentine’s Day will be different.  At first, I didn’t want to acknowledge it at all!  I wanted to sweep it under the carpet and pretend it is just another day.  However, I Kim M.A. Larocque loves anything that has to do with love, romance, and special occasions.  So this Valentine’s Day will be a courtship with myself.

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.  ~Thomas Alva Edison

I was handed two sheets of red paper from my therapist on Friday.  Those two sheets of red paper turned into paper hearts that I lovingly “sticky tacked” to my wall.  Looking at them reminded me of those Valentine’s we used to get in school. I remember patiently waiting for my turn to receive one and there were times, I didn’t… This made me very sad.  So, to please my inner-child I decided to go further with my project and make myself a huge card!

So, I took out bristol board, and paint, and used the cutouts as stencils.  I stated to create one heart out of white and red paint.. which turned out looking like this:

Then as I continued my quest to make myself a gift, my son jumped in and we painted until our hearts were content creating a masterpiece of love and delight:

Part of my journey into healing has been to rediscover my love for art, photography, words and play.  I totally get lost in wonder when doing these things and I hope one day to make art part of a regular routine when inspired to do so.  No more hiding this from myself.

The above is a dedication to self-love, and totally falling in love with me this Valentine’s day.  I will whisper sweet nothings in my ear, make myself a nice dinner, maybe even bake myself some chocolate cake.  I will sing myself a love song, write myself a love letter and maybe even share some of this new-found love with my children and all of you.. Actually I know I will share all this love I have inside.. because it is there.. waiting to be shared.. but first I need to stash away just a little for me…

I was thinking this morning, of the passing of Whitney Houston.  This brought me to listen to her song The Greatest Love of All!  If only she could have felt these words.. if only she could have breathed them in like air.  So today I am going to love myself even more… and will remember that I am loved..

Because she was loved.. yet it took her to leave this earth for her to truly see and feel the love that was surrounding her this whole time!  

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping my eye out for the red and purple heart!


Here is Kelly’s letter to Santa!

Dear Santa,

I know it’s been a while…how have you and the gang been? I’m still living at my parents, dreaming big, focused on climbing the mountain and reaching my goals. I haven’t asked for help in years, which is probably why I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get to where I want to go…ending up stuck.

This year I’m asking for some help…if you have a minute here is what I need help with, let me know what you can do to help me out. Take your time spread it out…it doesn’t have to all happen this Christmas.

I’m in the middle of a job negotiation, which is a true test of my self-worth. Unfortunately in the past I haven’t acknowledged my true self-worth, which resulted in pain, resentment, disillusion/confusion, and restlessness. This time I want to get paid what I’m worth, receive the benefits I deserve, and feel there is a genuine balanced between the job compensation and my time, talents, and skills. I need a job I can survive independently on, pay my bills/student loans, and enjoy life. If you can stick some negotiation tips into my stocking and sprinkle generosity into the hiring staff’s coffee that would rock!

My living situation is fine…I do have a roof over my head, a place to sleep, and food. The stress, clutter, and stagnate energy of living with my parents is costing me more than any rent I could ever owe a landlord. I need out…I need a place where I don’t feel like a prisoner to old tapes, childhood roles, and living patterns. What I’m looking for is a one bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, balcony for my 2 cats to hang outside, nice kitchen appliances, plenty of windows with a great view of the city or woods, ceiling fans, fireplace with mantel, fan in the bathroom, tub/shower combo, off street parking, plenty of closet space and kitchen storage, unique/charming atmosphere, safe location, close to work &/or bus line, Rent $500/month or cheaper that includes utilities, allows cats with a reasonable refundable deposit.

Some things I’ll need for my apartment: Couch or sofa, kitchen table with chairs for my friends/family to hang out at, TV/DVD combo, a big bookshelf, coffee table or chest, lamps, window shades/curtains, a couple fold up chairs for on the balcony, laptop, help me find my Mp3 player…it’s lost, stereo that can work independently and in my car, a couple area rugs, a welcome mat, and a water dish that circulates the water for Friar…he needs to stop drinking out of the toilet.

This next Christmas request is going to be a challenge…this will require work on my end as well as yours. Don’t stress over getting it for this year’s Christmas. My deepest desire is to find Mr. Perfect for Me…I’ve been making notes on what I’ve liked about guys I’ve dated in past and adding things I think I would want in a guy I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. I can send you the notes this Christmas Eve, we can work together with the Universe in making it happen!! If you are down with helping me out on this project give me a sign this Christmas…how about a red & purple heart shaped something…I’ll let you pick out how this sign will come. I know I need to shine up myself, and rediscover the parts of me I’ve hidden out of fear, and learn how to love myself so I can receive the love I want to receive from others…including my Mr. Perfect for Me guy!!

These are the things I need help with and want the most in my life. Anything else you throw in will be a bonus Santa!! I’ll keep my eye out for the red & purple heart! Thanks and love always, Kelly 🙂

Santa to me is…


My request this Holiday Season, was to write a letter to Santa. Asking him for whatever it is you wanted: From world peace, compassion, to the next IPAD or that “thing” you’ve eyed at the store. I The point of this excercise was to pour your heart out or even get mad at him for that “thing” you really wanted but never received.  

Making Christmas wishes is not only for Children, I find when I write my letter to Santa, I feel surrender happening.  

This first prompt is not a letter but description of the writer’s beliefs and profession of faith:  

Santa to me is:   by Sherry Barrett

When Kim posted this I was not sure how to go about it or what to say, so here is my thoughts on it.

Interestingly enough I do not remember writing letters to Santa as a child, wonder why. God is my source so I would pray to him for world peace and to rid the world of famine and to help every child to have love and a safe place to live and grow up and to stop the pain I was living in and that no child would be hurt as I was. So many prayers sent to God through those formative years and still to this day, knowing that God can handle everything far better than I could and would eventually make good out of the bad and bring about healing as I have watched it all unfold holding on through it all to the time when I would shine forth as gold as He said. Been quite a journey thus far and I look forward to the continued healing and what I become in and through it to be a better person and help others to do so too.

I remember seeing sleigh tracks and hoof prints on the lawn as a neighbor I later found out tried to make it look like Santa had come, I remember going to see him in the mall, we had out picture taken once with Santa, and I remember getting gifts that were from Santa as well. I remember my older siblings finding the gifts that were hidden away and knowing their was no Santa who brought them. I remember the church buying us gifts from the special tree as well to make out Christmas special.

Santa to me was like God as He could be everywhere and know everything and so I believed in him and prayed to God. As I said I was a deep child and thought alot about things and so figured in my ming thatwas how it worked I guess.

Thankful for the memories and the gifts and the Spirit of the Season.

Sherry Barrett

A Christmas To Love


This year created a Facebook Page: I For The Love Of Christmas. Why? because I am filled with wonderful memories of Christmases past. I am addicted to these past experiences because of the amazing impact they have had on me as child. I can remember the day I saw Santa Claus riding his reindeer in the sky. I was only 5 then, but the feeling .. The excitement.. The JOY! I felt was so overwhelming I couldn’t deny it.

Here’s the story:  I was sitting on my bed on Christmas eve, too full of Christmas anticipation to sleep. I had just returned from leaving Baby Jesus under the Tree, saying my prayers and kissing him goodnight. My brother and I were sneaking conversation under the covers when we heard a noise from outside my window (we lived on the second floor). Then, I got up on my knees to look out and that is when it happened: From the corner of my eye I saw him and eight tiny reindeer fly through the sky in a beam of light. I screamed so loudly that my mom rushed into the room to see what was going on. To this day… I believe.. Some may call it an overactive imagination..however, I like to call it creating the experiences: Thus, in my life, Santa Claus rides the skies on Christmas eve.

Now, at 46 years of life, I go around wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, singing Christmas carols and dance and ring jingle bells which drive my kids crazy. I’m passing on my Christmas joy and hope to create memories my kids will cherish.

Christmas can mean many things. This week, Monica Wilcox  posted an article on her blog Femme Tales – Truth with humor:   Can A Former Christian Find Meaning In Christmas? (If you can, read the article before continuing). I was about to write a similar post, yet Monica describes my feelings perfectly that I do not need to repeat. She also matches my position on Christmas and how I’ve taken the bible stories and adapted them to my spirituality. There is so much I love about this time of year, and the message I love the most is: “Peace on Earth Good Will Towards Men”. What is NOT to love about wishing our fellow humans peace, love and fulfillment? I am grateful for the story of Christmas, and the story of Hanukkah.. I take what I love about any celebration and adapt it to our family traditions. This, makes our experience unique, yet ingrained in common traditions around the world.

My initial point of writing about Christmas is…. although I’m all Ho Ho Ho! And Mistletoe …. I too get discouraged, nostalgic and often lonely. I’m like many of you, who, at times, find it difficult to listen to the “Commercialism” of Christmas, and to read newspaper articles on “How Shoppers are Scroogelike this year”. Furthermore, my family (mom, dad and brother) are not so close (geographically) and everyone often feels a bit of pressure on whose house to visit and when. This year I told everyone: “Listen to yourselves, do what you feel, and no strings!”  Lets do what makes us happy!

Also, finances also play a role in everyone’s stress. In our family, we have started over:  A move, a separation, a new environment..  There are many whom have lost their jobs, loosing their homes  and struggling to make ends meet.  This year especially, I must remind myself that Christmas is not about how big the gift is…. it is the love one puts into it. My children are asking for things I cannot afford, and I told them jokingly: “Santa is on Welfare this year”.. (not literally mind you) They laugh and guffaw at my statement, because they believe Santa, (even though they are teens) can create miracles!   Then every year, there is something they wanted under the tree.  They know Mr. Kringle cannot provide PlayStation XYZ to all children of the world.

Watching the news the other day, I saw a bunch of Santa’s at a real Santa School! Part of the curriculum is to work with the parent to “downgrade” children’s expectations, thus, Santa doesn’t promise anymore! I really thought this was a good sign in these times of IPODS, DS’s and WII’s. Not everyone can afford to buy these things, and to be honest, I think the electronic age puts much pressure on the parents! .. but that is for another blog post.. 🙂

What I am attempting to convey is:   even though Christmas can be difficult and stressful, it really doesn’t have to be. Since I’ve been volunteering at the foodbank (another future blog post) I am reminded of the gratefulness of those in need. They are SO happy to receive day old bread, old cheese, and a bag of milk.  This is something that many of us often take for granted or even throw away. The smiles on those people’s faces allow me to come home humbled and thankful myself. Volunteering has allowed the Christmas spirit to resurface even though its going to be so different for us this year.

So, in the end.. Christmas spirit comes from within. We do not need to be unhappy the entire season, but we do need to acknowledge that there will be times of pain and nostalgia, and sit with those emotions awhile. Yet, denying yourself the pure JOY which Christmas brings, is, to me, a punishment you are giving yourself. Find that lost memory, find your bliss.. See a homeless man smile or a teenage runaway accept warm food… Give this Christmas the gift of love.. That, my friend, can change the world!

“Poor, misguided folks. They missed the whole point. Lot’s of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give: of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.” From the Christmas Special Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Blessings of love to you this Holiday Season!

Do not forget I am hosting a Writing Prompt:  Your letter to Santa.  You can find the information here.  It is due December 15th

Easter to me is…. life


Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.

~S.D. Gordon

What amazes me about spring is how everything seems to come back to life. Every bit of nature awakens…no longer dormant from the long winter. Even the birds seem to come alive to sing their songs of love. Neighbours come out of their homes frantically cleaning every part of their yard, and throwing out things from their homes no longer needed. Those things, in turn, may go in a garage sale, and they too regain life and energy because someone else saw their worth.

So speaking in terms of Easter and resurrection, this: “the renewal of life” is what Easter/Passover mean to me. As a child born in a Catholic family, I’ve always embraced stories from the Bible and put them into contexts I could understand. This religion my parents passed on to me is not something I practice; however, I take with me great stories, which help me on this journey I am on today. Passover broken in two is pass over… and to me this means moving on, turning the page, and renewal. Both Easter and Passover to me, have similar messages to pass… over!

It is no wonder the egg, the flower and the rabbit (fertility and rebirth) have become symbols this time of year, their reference to abundance and life ring true. Our children can believe that nothing remains stagnant and everything is there for them in the palms of their hands, and by just planting one seed… everything can multiply a million times.

In this short post, to those who celebrate life, take time to review about what this time of the year means to you and please feel free to share with me.

Happy Sunday! Happy Easter! Happy Renewal Day! Happy Life!! Happy Spring!