June 30, 2008


I've always wanted to work in a job where I could wear shorts, on the outside, unlike the inner ones of my previous blog called Boxers or Briefs. Today's the day. It's 30 degrees C. and that's also hot in Fahrenheit, so I decided to wear shorts to work. I expect to hear some reaction from the boys in the warehouse but I'm pretty sure that is just jealousy - of what, you might ask. I grew up in a time period where very few people dared to expose themselves in any way - especially men. I remember the only pair of shorts that I ever saw my father wear were a pair of dress pants that must have had a hole in the knee and my mother cut them off and made him wear them on one of those hot, muggy, Ontario afternoons. I'm still surprised to this day, at how many men are reluctant to wear shorts, although they are usually the first ones to line up to check out the day's Sunshine girl. Come on you guys! Live a little and don't worry, I would never use the old comment, "Hey, are those your legs, or is that a chicken you're riding?"

June 28, 2008


on being part of an "era"

The other night, someone in the house was watching a previously recorded episode of " So You Think You Can Dance" and since there is no hockey to watch, I attempted to endure yet another reality show. I don't know if I was happy or sad to learn that disco is now considered a "dance genre." I do know that what the kids on the show did, bears absolutely no relation to the essence of cool displayed on the dance floor in my day..... There were no aviator sunglasses, large mustaches, polyester bell bottoms, gold chains hanging in their chest hair, no cigarette in one hand nor scotch in the other. Who can dance without a couple of scotches for Pete's sake? The judges even referred to John Ravolta at one point, but the worst part was when they used the term "iconic status" during their commentary on the era of disco. I'm not even sure what that means but it sounds neat, errr... cool....I mean, far out! It's also pretty far out to be part of an "era" in a wierd sort of way. Perhaps I'm coming down with Saturday Night Fever - a double scotch on the rocks will fix that....

June 27, 2008


"When I was young...it was more important to get to the end of the trip than enjoy the journey."

inspired by a thought from THE WEST COAST TRAIL: One Step at a Time

I've often wondered what it really means to "enjoy the journey." So many things keep pulling us this way and that as we try to balance work, home, family, finances, fitness, spirituality and the million other things competing for our time and energy. In retrospect, we kept learning the same lesson over and over every day while we were hiking the West Coast Trail. We were constantly torn between our need to get to the next campsite and the incredible views and natural beauty that stood in front of us at every moment. In truth, we didn't stop nearly often enough to enjoy what was staring us in the face. Our focus was clearly on the next place to set our foot down without falling off a slippery log, caroming off a ladder or sinking into the mud, all the while trying to maintain some artificial timetable that we had established. The Trail, like life, offered us the opportunity to experience the beauty, smells, sounds, joy and peace if only we would take our eyes off the goal and turn them to what was right in front of us, in that moment. The funny thing is, those are the real goals that most of us express anyway, we just have to slow down and experience them.

June 26, 2008


"We have learned the importance of the moments that are;
the now of our lives.
We have learned that every moment is endowed with opportunities to love
and this moment is all we have.
And death has been our teacher."
Mary Regina Morrell

I like to portray myself as tough, cynical, opinionated and irascible but when a friend's son takes his own life, my insides turn to mush. I've never experienced the loss of a child but know many people who have. It is always a tragedy but the common denominator that I have noticed is that the parents display incredible courage. So much so that they usually do the consoling for the first few days. I am in awe of each of them as I am again today. Yes, he is in a better place.

Peace be with you.

June 25, 2008


"...recommended for experienced backpackers only.*"

When we hiked the West Coast Trail a few years ago, this quote was on the front page of the map sent to us by Parks Canada. Fortunately, I didn't notice it until I was home safe and sound from the adventure of a lifetime. Many things come with warning labels such as, toys, clothes, televisions, toasters, paint, sporting goods, theatre tickets, food, prescription drugs, cigarettes and booze but the important stuff doesn't have one. Things like love, children, rainbows, bird calls, flower fragrance, smiles and night skies, you know, the important stuff is all available without a lawyer warning us of its dangers. One of the tricky things about warning labels is when to heed them and when to ignore them. Risk is the only thing that truly moves us forward whether on a back country trail or through life itself.
Knowing when to take the risk and step into the abyss is an inexact science but the truth can be felt through our own intuition located deep inside the dark recesses of our mind. Funny thing, but that's where spirituality, God and wisdom are located too. Some pretty interesting dance partners roaming around inside us, aren't there?

* from a thought expressed in THE WEST COAST TRAIL: One Step at a Time

June 23, 2008


success is measured not by what you do but rather, how you do it

This comment is so self-evident after I read it a few times but for some reason it struck me as very insightful the first time. That would, of course, mean that it has some special significance and that I need to pay attention to it. We can point to millions of examples of this truism in action whether we are looking at various careers, professions or practices. Some people make a complete success of whatever they are involved in and some don't. The difference is the person not the task or action that is being undertaken. Regardless of how we might decide to define success using terms like money, popularity, power, promotion, marks, these are the results. The success was determined by how the person approached the task at hand. Interestingly, there are three ways to approach the task that will lead to success.

I thought you'd never ask.......

1. Acceptance: It may be something that you don't particularly want to do but know that you must do it anyway. You proceed by accepting the task, accepting the fact that you must do it and then letting go of the resistance.

2. Enjoy: Whatever task or action that is before you is something that you enjoy doing. It brings you a sense of joy and lightness and you are eager to jump in, thus ensuring its success.

3. Enthusiasm: You approach the process with a great and intense enthusiasm because you can't wait to get started. you can feel your enthusiasm in the pit of your stomach.

You don't need to feel all three to ensure success - they all take you there.

Good Luck

June 21, 2008


"... it was just such a great way to experience something that seemed to demonstrate our own place and importance in the universe."
from The West Coast Trail: One Step at a Time

On our last night on the West Coast Trail, we realized that the bright light in the western sky was the planet Mars and that this was the closest it had come to Earth in 65,000 years. Aside from making the night noteable on a memory level and from reminding us of our stature in the universe itself, it served to give us some insight into the concept of time. We humans generally consider time in relation to our own lives as we relate to everything in our world on the basis of a human lifetime. This puts us at a distinct disadvantage when we are considering many things like environmental impacts, climate change, geological movement, evolution, the cosmos and our own place in history. The planet has been here for almost 15 billion years and so the proximity of Mars every 65,000 years is simply a drop in the bucket. When put in that light, it is remarkable how much impact humanity as a whole and individuals in particular, can have on our existence.

June 20, 2008


A few years ago I hiked the West Coast Trail located on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island and then wrote a book about the experience. Information about the book can be found on my website from the link on the right hand side of this page. The entire experience of training, preparing and hiking along with writing about it, produced some life lessons that have stayed with me and now I have decided to share some of them in this space from time to time.

"one step at a time"
Wow, nothing could be closer to the truth. Survival, in the most basic of senses, depended on adjusting our focus to the step we were currently taking. Mud, roots and ladders were the challenges that faced us and offered impediments to progress and the only way to exist was to look no further ahead than to the step we were currently taking. Awareness of what we were doing in that precise moment, rather than thinking about the future or worrying about the past, was the only way to survive. I think this is probably a real life example of what is meant by "living in the moment."

June 19, 2008


Have you ever noticed that when you take a deep breath, you can't think at the same time? Go ahead and try it, close your eyes, settle in and take a deep, slow inward breath. Try to feel that breath enter your body and then stop for no more than a second before exhaling. Let it out slowly and then do it once more. During the minute that it takes to take two full breaths, notice that your mind quiets, the internal voice stops for that minute, you can almost hear your body saying "thank you" as it heals itself.
It's just a suggestion, but this might be a nice treat to give ourselves, several times a day.

June 11, 2008


A couple of people have inquired about my lack of blogs, etc. and wondered what I was doing. Tough question and I'm not sure I have an answer. You've been paying me the big bucks for opinions, rants and judgements about all things political, economic, environmental, educational, medical and media related. I feel myself observing all of these areas and many more, but don't feel the need to create an opinion about them. I feel a certain sense of anticipation without the need to create a plan. There is a freedom in seeing events and circumstances without the need to judge them as either good or bad. I have always taken great pride in the amount of effort I put into thinking about things, but find myself not wanting to think, just for the sake of thinking. The book I am reading at the moment is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth," and I have a sense that I am simply living in the moment with a few lapses into history and flights into the future. The best I can do to describe where I am right now is to say that I am thinking about thinking.

I bought a new lob wedge the other day and it has been raining so much that I haven't been able to play golf at all - maybe that's got something to do with it too.