Generously and Open-Heartedly

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

If my Vision was my Valentine, it would generously and open-heartedly, bring me these gifts:

Flowers ~ To remind me to slow down and appreciate the beauty in front of me. The diversity of colours, shapes, and sizes each have their own allure and hold something to discover and appreciate if I just take the time to look closely enough. People are the same. While I love and enjoy certain types of flowers more than others, each one has something interesting about it, something to reveal and be learned from. It helps me to remember this when I meet someone new. 

But what about the ones closest to me? The ones I love the most? I have a tendency to get caught up in my head, focused on my schedule, checking off items on my “to-do” list. I don’t always give my full attention. Familiarity breeds a forgetfulness, a lack of appreciation, and a rushing past what is right in front of me. I sometimes forget every flower has it’s own cycle of growth and full expression of itself just like we do. To witness this growth and hold the space for the full expression of each of the ‘flowers’ in my life is the purpose of my vision.

Books ~ Books are magical to me and always have been. Growing up, my Dad would take my brother and I to the local library every Sunday after lunch. This was my favourite thing to do every week! Browsing through the aisles, reading the titles along the spines, pulling out the ones that spoke to me to read the backs. What new characters would I meet? What adventures would I go on that week? I always left with six or seven and would spend the remainder of that day curled up in the beanbag chair in the corner of my bedroom, disappearing into the stories. We weren’t allowed to watch much TV so reading was my entertainment. It was, and continues to be, my greatest pleasure. And I am a page-turner! I tried an e-reader a few years ago but it wasn’t for me. There is just something so satisfying in holding a book and turning the page. Books are a never-ending source of expansion for me. Now I tend to read more to learn, to increase my knowledge and understanding and open up to to new insights and ideas. 

Oh, I have a confession. There is a seed, buried deep within, that whispers to me from time to time. That I have a story to tell. It is the seed of a dream that has no substance yet. And that is okay. I have a quote on my Vision Board; “She left the old story behind her and stepped into a new Once Upon a Time”. I am looking forward to the new story this year will write in my herstory.

Time in Nature ~ I took this picture last summer when I was regularly going to the lake to see the sunrise. I would sit in the peace of pre-dawn, observing and listening to the waves lap up on shore. It would become lighter, brighter and then the sun would peek over the horizon. As it rose the colours would shift and change across the sky. My senses were heightened. I felt a deep appreciation for the consistency of the sun rising each morning, for the cycle of nature. Every morning, while similar, was different. Some mornings the beach was mine, alone. Other times someone would be walking their dog, or going for a run. Once I had the pleasure of watching a young woman paddle-board out into the lake and greet the sun with her yoga practice. 

This was my meditation. The place where insight, inspiration, and feeling flowed freely. And it wasn’t always the beach. It could be on a hike on the Niagara Escarpment. Heck, it could even be sitting barefoot under the huge tree in my backyard! Time in nature brings me back to me. It grounds me and allows me to become one with the energy of the world around me. The infinite source of energy. I have come to understand and know that my vision needs this connection to source to be able to expand, evolve and grow.

Wine ~  My vision includes wine because of what it represents to me: friendship, love, relaxation, and connected conversations. A glass of wine shared is one of my greatest pleasures. Over the years my husband and I have worked opposite shifts, sometimes going days without having time to connect and check in, other than a quick ‘hello’ or ‘how’s your day?’.

Getting a night off together and sharing a glass of wine is a treat we both look forward to. A chance to sit at opposite ends of the couch, toes touching, and chat for hours about our independent lives while making plans and reinforcing our connected one. 

Then there are the girls’ nights! When a few of us carve out an evening in the busy schedules of our lives, wear comfy clothes, bring a dish to share, and open a couple bottles of wine. The insightful conversations, laughter, and sometimes even tears, strengthens the bonds of friendship that bind us for the weeks or months between get togethers. These evenings and these ladies are priceless to me.

Wine also represents relaxation and travel for me. Every trip we’ve taken included learning about and sampling the local wine. I’ve met fascinating people whose knowledge and passion for wine far exceeds mine but their contribution added depth and flavour to our holiday and created many beautiful memories. I don’t even have to buy a plane ticket as we have some incredible vineyards within a forty-five minute drive of our home! 

Each of these Valentines gifts represent a piece of my Vision; Purpose, Appreciation, Magic, Creation, Connection, Love, and Expanded Experience. I gratefully accept every one.

Written by: Kirsten Frey

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