Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

From Parker J Palmer

Mary Johnson - Monday, December 31, 2018
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Parker J Palmer has shared a poem by Anne Hillman and beautiful thoughts on the New Year. Much more eloquent than anything I could say. Please enjoy and wishing you a delicious 2019.

"This “New Year” thing is a curious fiction, isn’t it? The hoopla we make at midnight on Dec. 31st is a tad over the top for what is actually just one more tick of the clock.
But this annual ritual allows us to imagine that maybe, just maybe, we’re on the threshold of something new and better. And some of our imaginings might come true, depending on what we do.
As Anne Hillman says, “we look with uncertainty” to the future. But rightly held, uncertainty can generate creativity instead of anxiety. To that end, here are five questions that Hillman’s words evoke in me—five questions for crossing the threshold that, if we took them seriously, might be life-giving for us and our world:
• How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
• What is my next challenge in "daring to be human" in personal, relational, and political terms?
• How can I open myself more fully to the beauty of nature and human nature?
• Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
• What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?
Nobody knows what 2019 will hold. But if we wrap our lives around good questions—and try to live our way into good answers every day—the better world we want and need is more likely to come into being.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! May 2019 be a year of Light and Life for you and yours. And may we help make it a good year for others with whom we share this brief but beautiful ride around the sun."

[If you’d like to learn more about Anne Hillman’s wonderful work, please visit http://annehillman.net.]

Christmas Carols

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, December 18, 2018

One of my favourite things this time of year are the playing of Christmas carols. When we put up the advent calendar December 1st, on goes Burl Ives, The Robert Shaw singers, The McDades, Bing Crosby, church organs and choirs. I love to do my Christmas baking to the music, tidying the house to Holly Jolly, journaling and now this year singing carols to baby Hailey. Have to tell you she's a most attentive audience! There is this amazing internal unfolding of love, memories and warmth for me as I croon along. I can tell Hailey feels it!

There is lots of fabulous music that has been a part of my life. Growing up listening to mom and dad's big band sound. Singing in the church choir. Being a child of the 60's and 70's. Smoking hot tunes from that time. Neil's love of opera and the classics. Listening to the tunes of my kids as they grew up. So much variety and delight. Different songs underscore different events and people in my life. 

So never really thought why playing Christmas carols every year is so satisfying. Then a chance comment shared by Serena Ryder with Terry David Mulligan Saturday night on CKUA struck a chord. (Ooo bad pun!) It was about the fact this music is played this time of year. Year over year. Bingo! The one constant, the one genre of music that has been a part of my life - my whole life, is the music played at Christmas. I revel in it for a whole month. See myself as a young child enchanted by all things Christmas. The women in my life - Grannie, Mom, Auntie's Audrey and Betty making the season merry and bright. Our joy as parents of our own children as they experienced the wonder of the season. And of course playing carols for our grandchildren. With luck this will become a forever part of their Christmases. Then like all good things the music, decorations, tree all get put away to again be brought out and savoured once more next Christmas. 

May your Christmas and holiday season be blessed with the love and companionship of good people, good health, happiness and of course good music. xox        

A baby changes everything

Mary Johnson - Monday, December 10, 2018

Our new wee Miss is almost 2 weeks old. She entered this world reluctantly her momma and dad told us. Inside seemed a better proposition than the outside world! :) None the less she's made that leap. Our son and daughter-in-law are living with us for a time. Not an easy transition for Neil and I. Can only imagine how it is for my son and daughter-in-law. Surprisingly or maybe not, all those edges or little rubs of adjustments have disappeared. We all are focused on this new little person. Our house is overflowing with the new gear required for a baby. The coffee tables covered with little barf rags and soft blankets. A bottle tree decorates the kitchen. Hungry crying along with the stretches and squeaks when she sleeps. It's an old world made new again. 

32+ years ago we had a baby on this sort of basis. My baby now has his own. Old patterns of rocking, talking, changing diapers and feeing have come rushing back. Caring for a baby is wired in the bones. It's not that I wouldn't want a baby of my own again. It truly is the work of much younger folks. Still to have a little person to discover and watch unfold is a unexpected privilege and delight. Neil and I smile and laugh a lot more watching it all unfold. Our house is overflowing with love. A baby changes everything!