Gratitude: attitude or platitude?

Is gratitude the fix-all it’s made out to be? I was invited to start a gratitude practice — by someone I admire immensely, an unlikely pusher of positive psychology. I had resistance to the idea. To the very phrase, actually, and its ubiquity. Despite my squinty-eyed reaction, I agreed to participate in a daily gratitude…

Forget freely, remember collectively

I outsource memory. I don’t trust mine. So, when I see something that inspires me, I reach reflexively for my phone. Snap. Screenshot. Store. As I offloaded hundreds of images onto my desktop the other day, to de-bloat my phone, I saw how pointless this had been – all these things I’d wanted to sit…

The Downside of Deceleration

Most of my life, I’ve been in a hurry to get to the end of the task, the top of the heap, the other side. Then, somewhere approaching the midway point of life, I clued into the fact that racing to get to the end was not smart, and I should start thinking about ways…

Letting Go: on the first day of kindergarten

You expected me to cry, I bet. Granted, I nearly lost it when I glanced over and saw my husband tearing up. But I didn’t. I held it together. It was time. Everything was signaling it – from the five year old’s dead-forward focus climbing up the bus steps and heading off to kindergarten, to…

Are you ready for the Analogue Travel Challenge?

In praise of the soul lap, the undocumented adventure. Stephen Hui has taken thousands of photos of pristine backcountry vistas. But these days, he’d rather leave his camera behind, especially if he’s hiking a trail he’s been on before. Even though his work, as author of the just-released and already-a-bestseller guidebook, 105 Hikes in and…

The pleasure of not thinking

To the farmers, firefighters, day camp coaches, event workers, frontline service people, road re-pavers, emergency responders, investigative reporters, I need to apologize. I’m sorry. I see how hard you’re working to keep the wheels turning. I’m not pulling my weight. “No thinking in August” is my friend Mike’s mantra, and the moment I heard it,…

Falling therapy

“Advanced Women’s Climbing”, an all-day clinic offered at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy in Squamish July 21-22, seems innocuous enough when I sign up. I have taught enough women’s only ski clinics to know that an all-yin environment can instigate some great breakthroughs. What I hadn’t anticipated was that our guides, Arc’teryx endurance athlete and mountaineer…

How to be a safe place in a dark moment

Suicide prevention training being offered in Pemberton, August 16-17 In the seventeen years that Nada Shureih, now 34, has been living in the Sea to Sky corridor, she has been personally affected by at least a dozen suicides. The most recently released figures from the BC Coroners Service, (from a summary of suicide deaths between…

Across the Divide

When I saw the book on Emma Gillis’ desk, I laughed so hard, I snorted. “Shall I put your name on it?” asked Pemberton’s Library Director, in her fantastic Irish brogue. “Sure.” When I pick it up from the Holds Shelf a few weeks later, I sneak it into the house and hide it under…

Breaking Points

Once, when I was really under pressure, blocked by my own ambition, I plagiarized. I stole an entire paragraph of someone else’s writing and offered it up as my own. The story ran in the newspaper. I was sent a cheque. And cashed it. No one ever found out. Except my mother, who was suspicious…