When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’    On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.   Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is


Have you ever walked by a supermarket check-out and seen packets of gardening flower seeds for sale? When I was a small child, I did, quite often, and I found the flower pictures on flower seeds packets wonderful to look at. I did not know the flowers’ names, the kind of soil they needed, or the kind of care they required. What fascinated me most was the sheer amount of flower varieties, all of them within the grasp of the gardener enthusiast!   My mother often found me contemplating these packets of flower seeds, standing in front of them with my mouth open and my eyes big. Gently touching the pictures on the packets with the tip of my small fingers, I wanted to know if their petals were velvet soft and their fragrance sweet. I even thought of taking a bite from the grown flowers to see if they tasted


Have you ever experienced a gushing water leak in your home? Where was it? Was it underneath the kitchen sink? Was it in the basement where water pipes tend to run hidden in the dark? What did it cost you to repair this leak?   In 2001, I bought a showroom townhouse. It had many upgrades like granite countertops, wooden kitchen cabinets, and so on. I loved this house house very much, it looked great on the surface… until the day I had my first water leak.    The day it happened, I did not know where the water valve was, so I ran panicking to my next door neighbour. He calmly came over, turned the water valve off, and told me to call a plumber. I had never had to call a plumber before and it made me feel deeply anxious and stressed out. Ever been in that situation?


Have you ever received a message from one of your LinkedIn contacts? In that moment, where were you physically? Were you at the office sitting at your desk? Were you standing at home with your toddler in your arms? Perhaps your spouse or teenager walked into the room as you were checking your messages? Keep these scenarios in mind as you read on…   One of my LinkedIn contacts, S. D., sent me a message in which he shared how his mother had recently died. He said he was ‘feeling lost’ and needed ‘empathy’. Since we all go through turbulent moments sometimes, I messaged him with words I trust are compassionate. I received the following response from him, “this is what I meant by empathy in message. sorry im not happy doing this or when I'm not doing this. please have empathy. thanks”.    To assist you in getting what


ROUND AND ROUND   Round and round We go again On the merry-go-round of life. Ups and downs, We think that’s life Until we get off our mount.   Round and round We go again On the merry-go-round of life. Laughter and tears We think we’re here Until we go deep within.   In and in We go again On the merry-go-round of life, Darkness and light Fuse into one Until we go round and round.   With love & compassion, Anne   What makes any of us go round and round in circles?


HOW FAR AM I WILLING TO GO?   Am I willing to go beyond the stars Where you and I were born Where the sun befriends the moon Where rainbows bridge us all?   Am I willing to go further than the eye can see Where trees plant their roots Where flowers drop their seeds Where leaves take in the colours of seasons?   Am I willing to go deeper than the ocean floor Where all the river beds make one Where the illusion of division is triumphed over Where we all feel as one?   How far am I willing to go?   I am willing to go At the centre of myself Where I hear it all begins The point of origin That unites us all.   I am willing to go Where ‘broken’ lines disappear Where there is no you or me Where there is only a


I USED TO THINK   I used to think A tree was just a tree I saw it with my own mind Roots, trunk, branches, leaves.   I used to think You were different than me I saw it with my own mind Bodies, fences, judgement, fear.   Thanks to my mentor, I met me For a moment, I stopped thinking, In stillness, my mind cracked open Discovering sunshine cooling breeze within.   How refreshing To hear inside the giggles of a small child Who never thought we were separate Who's always known we all belong.   Because of my love for this child and me The lines in my mind are becoming blurry If there is nothing separating you from me Then, who am I? What are we?   Willing to know, I ask her to show me the way How I may serve her from a place of


WHAT IS OUR PATH? Do we each have an individual path? Do we have a collective path together?     The other day, I had a dream…   I was walking on this road, unpaved, cream in colour. It was full of little pebbles and tiny grains of rocks and sand from side to side. Though it was wide enough to let a whole car drive through, there was only one person walking on this road, right in the middle of it, and this person was me.   I did not know where I was. I had never seen this road before, it felt unfamiliar to me. I looked up to see if I could find any road sign, any indication as to where I was, or where I was going. But there was no signs, only green mounts and valleys surrounding me.   I thought of the country I


“It wasn’t my intention!” he said, both hands up in the air as if to show me his intentions had been non-sexual all the way and I apparently was the one misunderstanding. Does this scenario look familiar to you?    Let me share with you this story…   About ten years ago, I met a beautiful woman called Amanda*. Both our young daughters were taking swimming lessons together. As is often the case in these situations, our girls developed a friendship and started having sleep-overs at each other’s place.   My daughter loved going over at their house. They had a big swimming pool surrounded by sofas, parasols, and two gigantic BBQ that seem to 'constantly' be cooking something, maybe because Amanda kept throwing popular pool parties with food and booze galore.   Amanda’s husband was a savvy businessman. She often said she felt blessed being married to him. Looking


Have you ever questioned your sanity or the sanity of someone else? Not in a way going “Ha, ha, that was crazy!” but rather in a deeper way perhaps, when things just didn’t quite seem to add up, and you were left doubting yourself like, “Am I out of my mind? This does not make sense!”   When I was young, I saw my mother literally go crazy. She was mentally ill and, during one of her latest psychotic episodes, she believed she was the Immaculate Conception pregnant with Jesus Christ. When confronted with the fact she did not have a uterus to conceive children (it got removed after the birth of her 6th child), she said it did not matter because the Holy Spirit was 'the father'.   Watching my mother physically resist my father before the medics took her away was traumatizing for me. I knew that, once