My life began to change once I started asking the right questions. Even without answers they were powerful reminders and directions to follow. I still ask a lot of questions and try to wait with an open mind and heart. I could feel myself lifting up out of despair and purposelessness when I asked myself things like “What wants to happen in this moment?”. The simplicity of it was profound enough to pull me out of my own beliefs of what should be happening and it allowed me to start listening, watching. Other questions I’ve asked during complete uncontrollable chaos is “What is being expressed right now? What wants to be expressed?”. I have discovered that the point for me is to be of service; to see the need without my own ideas and beliefs. To be available to fill that need with glasses of water, a warm hug, a bowl of soup or an ear to listen. We are all needed, so much more than we know. And it’s not about being a slave but rather being so clear in our purpose that we can be an incredible support to others and ourselves. Maybe what this moment is needing is a warm bath or a good cry or a nourishing bulletproof coffee for yourself? It is about doing small things with great love and purpose. And I get that it’s not always way and that it’s constant work. I’ll never be done opening myself up to what wants to come through. I wake up every morning having to re-commit. What is it like for you?
And just like that, without noticing, you’ll become what you’ve strived for. Your thoughts become less frequent and your heart more full. Colours shine more vibrantly and you exist less and less in a state of stress. You take it in and even allow the dark feelings to exist within you without judgement. A sense of acceptance of everything will wash over you and you’ll find yourself content and connecting with what you love. You have been asking for this. Did you believe that it could be this way? It’ll happen more and more, mostly with ease as you keep reaching and embracing for all the good. And there is a lot of good to be had. It is all good.
I’ve been reluctant to tell this story of the recent events in my life because I do not want to scare anyone from canning. I do want to let people know what can be done to prevent what happened to me and I still think that people should preserve food. It is one of the most rewarding and beneficial things to do. What happened to me is totally preventable, and maybe that makes me a bit of a dumbass. Here’s my story:
Sunday night I was pressure canning with the big 14 quart All American like I’ve done so many times before.
As I screwed on the lid I asked myself through groggy eyes and foggy pregnancy brain if I was doing everything safely.
I was doing it right at that point except that I had mismatched an old glass lid and rim jar with a gem jar meant for a short, metal lid and rim. Like this:
I had put Vaseline on the rim of the canner and screwed down the wingnuts evenly a little at a time. I sat in the kitchen and watched the pressure carefully as it climbed up to 11 lbs.
It took a couple of hours to can the stew and I was eager to get it out. I waited for it to depressurize and I screwed off the lid. Here’s my MAJOR mistake: The mismatched jar would not have mattered (other than it may not seal) if I had simply let the jars cool down in the canner before removing them.
LET THE JARS COOL IN THE CANNER BEFORE REMOVING.
As other advice I could add to not can when tired. Read your manual and proper recipes. Seek the advice of professional canners who use modern methods and canning companies. Another thing I will start doing is writing up a list of safety reminders and I will go over it at the start of the new canning season. I had simply forgotten this year.
As I went to pull the jar up, the lid blew off due to pressurized heat and the hot stew came spewing out onto my face, hip and almost my entire inside of my right arm. It also got my daughter a little on her back as she was in the kitchen when it happened.
Right after, I had my eyes closed and I didn’t quite know what had happened but Nova was screaming. I yelled for help and led her to the bathroom to wash it off to stop the burning.
I called my mom and she came over right away. All I could do to soothe the pain was to keep it under cool water, for hours. My mom sat with me for most of it. My neighbour and good friend came by and talked with me and then made food for everyone. My dad and partner got busy cleaning up the mess. I felt immersed in it all; in the pain and in their collective care.
I got into the shower to wash off the hot stew and contemplated what it will be like to be in my house in labour in pain and naked in the shower. This is coming up in just a few weeks.
Again, I found myself amazed and in awe of how beautifully people come together to help one another in an emergency. This time was different as I was the person being helped. It really shows the true colours of life when tragedy hits. It is the happening that highlights all of life making you see how whole it is. Through our vulnerability we bond and are reminded how fragile and precious life is.
I need these reminders.
Once the pain was at the point that I could have it out of water, we went to the hospital.
As I poured water over my arm while waiting for the nurse, and all I could think was “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
It felt a little insane, because for what would I be grateful in such hard time?
For cool water, for friends, for food,
for kind nurses, for family and for life. I always think to myself during hard times that something good will come of this. And it always does.
Just to be alive and to feel all that it means. Sometimes it means pain. And in the pain we find what matters:
Many people are giving me ideas
Of remedies to use and saying to go to the hospital. I’ve been going everyday where they re-dress the wounds and put flamazine (antibacterial silver) on it. Thank you so much everyone for the kind words, support and advice!
When I’m feeling stuff, the only thing I know how to do is write. Not much else helps me. It’s been emotional times these last few weeks and because of that I am beginning to clearly see what it is that triggers the emotion and then take responsibility for it. I put a lot of thought into what to say to about the emotions. I have this burning desire to get it out but at the same time I don’t want anyone to get defensive or feel responsible for it. We all have to do our own work.
When someone incites anger or sadness in me, I now know that it is them mirroring for me where I need work. That may sound stupid, but its incredibly empowering. To me, It’s all just too relative to be able to pinpoint fault. It must be me, after all it is my experience. Who’s to say what will incite my anger or sadness? It must be me. Maybe the same goes for you too?
So, I’m contemplating where I need work and asking how. But as I write this the “how” feels like its already working itself out.
Now has become the unexpected time to write. I don’t feel like it. I’m afraid of what may come out while I’m in my state of negativity. But I have to. I think it’s going to be important to write about it, so we all know that I’m human. I can not only write about my peace and freedom and joy… Sometimes I’m trapped, stunned and disabled. Sometimes the answers leave me and I am left in a state of not knowing anything at all. Maybe it is something that we can connect on. Do you know that feeling? It starts by being triggered by someone or something, usually someone or something they did or said. It is interesting that the trigger happens right after a long period of intense contentment, but it is as it should be. I still have much to learn and even more to tell you. I’ve been contemplating all the things I’ve not said yet. What can I tell you that is my unspoken truth? Can I tell you about all the times I’ve failed as a parent? Can I tell you about my complete unattached relationship with my first child? Would you be angry with me for the time-outs and spankings? Would I lose followers? Does it discredit me? It doesn’t matter. What we need now is truth and then healing. I don’t think I can be an advocate for gentle parenting without telling my own stories of NOT gently parenting. I want to tell others so they can feel my warm embrace and know that I get it. I’ve been there. I accept it. I feel deeply about inspiring others to find their own way; the way that feels amazing and true to you. And it doesn’t mean that you co-sleep or practice extended Breastfeeding. It means you listen to you, not me. I am so excited to see what wants to come through you as a parent and as a person. You inspire me. I’ve felt very touched by many parents ways who do not practice AP. I’ve also felt a fondness for the children too.
So, here I am broken open…
When I am triggered It’s easy to go off and blame that person, but I know that’s not real. I’ll sit with it and its sometimes scary. It is often scary. I receive strong urges to essential oil and cultured food it all away. Bring back the feelings that they often refer to as happy-hippy feelings. I ponder peace, love, free.. Does it exist? Wow. I’m so in awe of how the trees are still green and the flowers vibrant but there’s a heavy dominance of pain inside me that ignores it. Emotions are so powerful and strange as they become my entire world so suddenly. I think about my friends and the times of darkness that they’ve had. I smile, because I get it. I write and the sounds of the summer birds outside come back to me and I wonder if they were there all along.
Lately I have been seeing people post links to my blog when asked which blogs people follow and loved. I am always surprised by this! It feels so natural and not a big deal for me to share my thoughts and stories. I don’t put a lot of thought into the blog posts exactly as I am not focused on editing or having a perfect blog. I put a lot of thought and heart into life and that’s what I am hoping to convey in my writing. I type my raw stories on a smartphone wherever the moment should strike. So I am always surprised when people follow and adore my stories. I forget how much our stories mean. Storytelling is what makes us so uniquely human. Everywhere I look I see life tangled up with our love of stories.
I’m downtown Gravelbourg right now after a snow storm, as you see in the picture above. I can see old men at coffee with their stories, probably the same ones they have been telling for thirty years. We can become so attached to our stories…
Deep snow tracks through main street along with the sound of shovels on cement and humming of snow blowers tell me the story of mother natures delivery last night. I can also predict a future story that says the fields will be wet and nourished for the spring planting. The dug outs will overflow with their watery life willing and ready to complete the cycles once again.
We have so many stories. Which ones of mine would you like to hear? We all have our tales of disbelief, and I am no exception. Many tell me to put my life in a book, but even at nearly 30 years old, the book would be too long.
I’ve lived many lives, tried on many faces.
The things that have really shaped me are the things I’ve loved so easily. Like when I was gifted a pair of rabbit fur mukluks as a child. I loved the softness and the warmth but mostly I loved how real the snow felt beneath my feet. I could feel all of its texture and contours.
I spent most of my teenage years seeking a place for a place to belong. No one had ever told me that where we are, we belong. And so I searched..
I was lucky enough to have one friend who truly felt like home after my parents separated when I was twelve. But my home was not often homey feeling even before the separation despite my amazing parents. Their stories had been too painful and it shadowed the natural instincts to raise a child, or two; my brother and I.
My mother was born on a reserve, the oldest of six children. She was moved to an orphanage when she was nine, I believe and then a foster home at twelve. Can you imagine her stories?
My father was a child of five children and one mother. I can see his story of brotherhood is deep and his admiration of a mother that gave everything with multiple jobs to show them every bit of her world. Art and music was, and still is, important to them. The story of the non-existent alcoholic father always lingered in the air, it still does. My Aunt, the only girl has sworn to never touch alcohol because of this. They are all do strong and amazingly unique with their stories. They could each be a book too, we all could.
So, my teenage years… I found a place with kinship and cooperation. It was a whole other world and I became obsessed with it.
It was a Mexican Circus.
For the next nine years I would dedicate my thoughts and heart to being a part of this circus. I didn’t realize that it was the thing we are all missing and truly desire: To feel like we belong.
The story gets even more interesting but I’m not quite there yet…
Thank you for listening to my story.
Tell me yours so we can be human.
I’ve found that it way more powerful to get very clear on what I do want rather than to pick out what it is I don’t want. I get stuck sometimes in picking out what my partner, or someone else (my mother hehe) is doing and how I don’t like it. I do this without even knowing or being clear on what It is I do. want. I would like to invite you to get clear on what you want. And to make it even more powerful, share it with others:
My intentions and desires:
(This is how I will be as well)
I will be around people who are supportive and accepting. People who will explore options with me rather than complain or criticize. I will be around people who know that live and joy are always more powerful, and when we forget, we bring each other back around with that acceptance and understanding. I will be around people who understand that their emotions and their opinions are a reflection of
themselves and never me. I will be around people who chose to keep working towards health and happiness. I will be around people who desire to put healthy things in their body, things that are not for numbing pain. H h lv(to clarify here, I am referring
To something specifically and only to people I live with or who are very close
To me. I still want to be friends and love them regardless of what they eat. 🙂
I will be around people who speak kindly to me and I will do the same for everyone regardless of how they are behaving.
I will continue to learn about healthy foods and I will share that knowledge with people through workshops, Internet, consultations.
I will continue to be in love with the process of making these sacred foods and I will consume them daily.
I will deepen my connection with others and leave space for intimacy, love and acceptance. I will continue to listen to people without opinions, judgements or ideas. I will continue to know for people that they have everything they need to work things through.
I will be very successful and be able to support myself by sharing traditional and cultured foods and resources with people.
I will have lots of opportunities to travel with my foods.
I will continue to work on patience and love for my children all the time and when I fail, I will not waste my time in guilt, but rather forgive myself
Immediately and come right back to love.
I will support my children in their own passions by talking to them about it and obtaining resources and opportunities for them.
I will be nice to my mom.
I will have more regular contact with my father and brother. I’ll be honest and tell them what I am doing.
I’ll continue learning to be more organized and tidy. I’ll ask others for help.
I will spend time with my treasured friends.
I will continue doing the work.
I will ask a lot of questions!
I’ll do yoga.
I’ll be easy on myself when I don’t.
What are your intentions for life?