Enough Love, by Irma Nadeau

Enough Love

My son Chad was four years old when my sister and her husband had the opportunity to offer a seven-year old boy who needed a forever family a permanent home in their family through adoption.  When they announced his pending arrival, my son disappeared.  I found him crouched in a corner obviously very upset.  I realized almost immediately that while the rest of us were celebrating this news, he was thinking about the impact this event would have on his special relationship with his favourite auntie.  This auntie provided care for him on the days when both my husband and I were working.  She loved him almost as much as we did.

When I queried Chad about what was upsetting him so, he replied that he did not think that Auntie Tina had enough love for both him and Sean.  I quickly thought of Mr. Dress Up’s song “Love is something if you give it away . . . you’ll end up having more.”  Mr. Dress Up was Chad’s favourite TV show and fortunately we had a tape with this song on it that we’d played so many times that we both knew all the words to the song.

Love is something if you give it away

Give it away, give it away

You’ll end up having more . . .

It’s just like a magic penny

Hold it tight and you won’t have any

Lend it, spend it and you’ll have so many

They just keep rolling

All over the floor

Love is something if you give it away . . .

We kept playing and singing this song over and over again, in my effort to teach him that love is limitless and infinite – not an easy concept for a four-year old to understand.

The next day when he saw his auntie, he asked her to open her mouth and he was looking way down her throat.  When she finally asked him what this was about, he told her that he was just trying to look down to her heart to see if there was enough love for both Sean and him.  She had the opportunity to assure him that indeed she had enough love for both of them.  Chad and Sean became great playmates and Chad experienced that sharing his auntie’s love was better than keeping it all to himself.

©Irma Nadeau February 13, 2008

Published in the Heartspace Anthology, Time for a Story?
Tartan Graphics, 2008

About the Author

Writing is one of the ways Irma explores her life experiences. As she writes, she is sometimes surprised by the new awareness and meaning she gains. Irma finds joy in creating meaningful moments and memories with family, friends, especially her grandchildren and sharing with her writing group.

A Blessing for Writers

http://write-away.net

A Blessing for Writers

 

O’ great writer of all that is and ever was

Bless us with your gifts of insight.

 

In the beginning there was the word.

Let that same imagination that conceived the universe

inspire and inform and infuse our hands and minds with the divine spark.

 

O’ great writer of all that is and ever was

Bless us with your gifts of possibility.

 

Let your current, your love, your ink flow through us.

Expand our thoughts. Touch our hearts. Connect our bodies. Inscribe us from within.

The future your clean white page. Each idea a stroke of your divine hand.

 

O’ great writer of all that is and ever was.

Bless us with your gifts of completion.

  

Kristen Lynch ©

June 14, 2016

Love Lives Here

In last week’s blog I described the writing exercise we used in the first February Transformative Life Writing™ class, Free Up Your Pen…Free Up Your Life. This week was the unveiling of last week’s five minute “freestyle” writing. By asking class members to share their writing and receive “Power Notes” from members of the class on key words and the impact of their writing, I realized that I might get the ball rolling by sharing what I wrote. Am I comfortable with sharing this? No. Does that mean I shouldn’t take the risk? No. So here it is.

Dear One,                                                             February 7, 2017

You have asked me to tell you everything I know about love in one page. I know this for sure; first love chooses you, then you choose it.

In a workshop called Marriage Encounter that I took with my husband Ted, they taught us that “Love is a decision,” not an emotion. To me that means that I won’t always feel loving toward my beloved, but I can choose to love  him because I have chosen him, even when I don’t like what’s happening between us, or how he’s treating me.

I love to be accepted and valued, and I suspect that most people do. Criticism, even over the smallest thing, can burst the balloon of love. It takes attention to kindle the fire of love, especially when the winds of distractions, distance and disappointment blow.

We were taught that love goes through many stages. The Pink Cloud is when you see only the other person’s great, good, wonderful qualities and imagine a rosy future as the only possible way this relationship can go.

Then fear and disillusionment can slip in and derail the bliss. Poof goes the pink cloud as you both land hard, facing the fact that you are two human beings, with flaws and imperfections you hadn’t noticed when you were floating.

There were tough times when the clouds of distance and differences hung mighty heavily over my relationship with Ted. When I thought we might come unglued, I posted a sign on our front and back doors, an affirmation of what I wanted to become our reality.

The signs said, “Love Lives Here.” And do you know what? It worked.  If you look closely at the inside of the front door of our condo, you’ll see the little, slightly dented, engraved brass sign,  shining its enduring message more that 30 years since I had it made.

We all need big, bold, intentions when we choose the greatest adventure this life offers, to love someone. 

May love live BIG in your life,

                Joanne

 

A Writing Exercise for February, Month of Love

A Writing Exercise for February, the Month of Love

Last night was our first new Free Up Your Pen. . .Free Up Your Life, Transformative Life Writing class for the month of February. To dive into the topic of love, we took an imaginary journey.

Closing the curtain of our eyes and relaxing into the spacious, warm embrace of unlimited imagination, we saw a young person that we hold in high regard approaching us. They asked an urgent favor.

“Please write one page and tell me everything you know about love that might help me.”

Coming back into the present moment, we picked up stationary with beautiful borders, and began addressing and writing our letters.  Writing freestyle, with resolve and abandon, we covered the page with heartfelt thoughts from our authentic, creative center. After five minutes, a gentle chime let us know that one more minute remained to close our thoughts.  Letters were signed, dated and folded, to be re-read, enjoyed or spruced up, added to or edited to share the following week, if we wished.

The closing thought was to consider that what had been written out of caring for another person was probably even more applicable to our own lives at this moment. Wisdom extended to another person with the intention to serve, contains seed thoughts that may be ideal to plant in the fertile soil of our own lives.

If you’d like to join in, find a fine sheet of paper, a favorite pen, and allow a few minutes to close your eyes and visualize a young person you hold in high esteem, either someone who appears that you know, or someone unknown to you, and absorb their request.  Without thinking about your response, pick up your pen and begin to write. Either a timer or the length of your page can let you know when our magical unit of time, just five minutes (J5M) is up. You can choose to continue or wrap up your letter.

Be sure to date and sign your writing, as always.

A brave experiment given to Free Up Your Pen. . . writers (always an invitation, never an expectation), is to designate someone as an “Anchor,” asking them to allow you to share your writing and discoveries with them this month, either in person or by email.

The mission of Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Life Writing™; Learning that Changes Lives:  Life enriching personal development and authentic, creative self expression, using the tools of Transformative Life Writing™. 

Please consider sharing your transformative life writing, on love or another topic, on our blog.

 Happy writing,

Joanne Klassen, founder of Heartspace Writing School, Winnipeg, MB Canada

Midnight Writing

The world is sleeping, as I could be, maybe should be, but not. There are ideas bouncing around like popcorn in a popper, possibilities, visions, notions of horizons that reach beyond my 10th floor window all the way to where the sky and earth meet.

This is my favorite time to write when the blank canvas of a new day is being born. Stars light the navy velvet sky. Lights on the far edge of town twinkle like a diamond necklace on the border of someone else’s neighborhood.

In this speck of space and time, the world is mine. No interruptions. No one wanting something from me, no where I need to be. This is freedom at its finest, from where I sit. I can think, I can focus, I can be present, a witness to my inner and outer worlds and the amazing heartspace where mind, body, spirit, and awareness meet. For this I rejoice.

The Day I Murdered February

February, a month for love?  Or?

Drastic times call for drastic actions. Yesterday it was -1 degree Celsius in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada where I live. This morning, I learned that the temperature, with wind chill factored in, was -34 degrees. The sun is shining, so, despite the logic of sun equals warmth, I know it’s very cold. The smoke from the chimneys of buildings I see out my 10th floor window is shooting straight up in plumes, another sign of very cold weather.

I’ve lived here since December 1975, and I am convinced that February, despite Valentine’s Day, the day that celebrates love, is not a month to be loved. It is a fickle month, as evidenced by the January 31 -1 comfort and an overnight dip to -34 for February 1.  I have tried to avoid being in Winnipeg in February over the years by scheduling vacations in warmer places. Not this year. We took a trip in January and here we are.

Decades ago we had a Hutterite friend who said that in her colony, her mother-in-law hated February so much that when the date rolled around she tore the page off her calendar.  I always laugh when I remember this story.  Today my compassion and empathy for this mythic mother-in-law grew to epic proportions. I turned over the calendar on the wall, tore off the month of February, wadded it up and tossed it in the trash. As I smiled at March, a friendlier month, a warm glow spread through my body.

One small act of rebellion against the inevitable, in this case removing the reminder of this frigging frigid winter month, from daily view, reaped instant, positive results.  Be brave, let ‘er rip.

© Joanne Klassen  Feb. 1, 2017 jklassen@write-away.net

Let’s get writing! Classes April 2017

This is your invitation to join a Heartspace Transformative Writing™ group in 2017 to breathe new life into your writing and your experiences.

  • Whether you have been writing for years or something is holding you back from where you’d like to go next, give your words and your life new vitality in this safe, hands on, “no red pens” experience.
  • Each week explore creative channels and topics to enrich your writing and your life by expanding awareness from fresh perspectives.
  • In this session we will build on the basics and add a “Full Circle Story Structure.”
  • Transformative Writing Tools™ change the stories we carry from life-limiting to life enriching, one supported step at a time.
  • Based on the book Tools of Transformation – Write your way to new worlds of possibility in just 5 minutes, Infinity Publishing 2004 by Joanne Klassen.

This April 2017 offering is limited to the first 8 registrants.

Instructor: Joanne Klassen is founder of Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Life Writing™ with centres in North America and Europe. Her stories appear in the 101 Best Chicken Soup for the Soul Stories; her books have been translated into Greek and Russian. Joanne’s joy is igniting passion and fresh pathways for life writing.Tuesday April 4, 11, 18, 25 2017       Time: 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.      

                        Cost: $225      Location: Osborne Village area, Winnipeg

To Register: Contact Astrid Schuhmann astrid.schuhmann@mtsmail.ca

or call 204-452-1941

 

Relative Weather

Although my home is in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, where January temperatures last week dipped to minus 42 degrees, on both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales, I am visiting my daughter Tiffany and her husband and children near Washington, D.C.  Here it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit last week and I was able to sit on the back deck in the mid-day sun in just a tee-shirt and slacks. Today it is mid 50’s and overcast and I feel colder than I would at home. How can this be?

The first thing that comes to mind is that at home we anticipate cold weather and dress for it. We plug in our cars if they are left outdoors, so there is a heater in the oil pan to ensure the oil doesn’t freeze and the car will start. We wait until the car has warmed up before we drive. I have a automatic car starter to allow me to start the car before I climb in to drive so it is toasty and warm. Stores, office and homes I visit are similarly warm, so I am seldom cold.

Two other factors play a role in the cold that my body registers here in the Washington D.C. area. The first is physical, the second psychological. The humidity in Winnipeg is typically very low. In fact, when the province was looking for a new slogan to put on license plates a few years ago, someone suggested, nodding to our famous frigid winters, “Yes, but it’s a dry cold.” This made me chuckle, and it wasn’t chosen–but it’s true. The higher humidity in D.C. makes even 50 on a cloudy day feel cold to me. Can the mind play a role in what we register as cold? Absolutely. Winnipeg has more sunny days (I’m talking clear, bright sky-blue blazing sun) than any Northern city of its size in the world. When I moved to Manitoba from Michigan, my former home, I wrote to tell my mother that when I looked out the window in the middle of winter, I would have thought I was in Maui, Hawaii, unlike the gray weeks of winter in Michigan. Of course, when I went outside it was more like the arctic, but the mood-altering bright sun makes the weather seem warmer.

In a moment I will walk over to the bus stop to greet my grand-daughter Leah. I’ll need to bundle up. Stay warm out there.

© Joanne Klassen

January 19, 2017 Rockville, Maryland

Two Grandma’s Houses

Stories

Two Grandmas’ Houses

On the breakfast table at Grandma and Grandpa Mellerup’s kitchen on Walnut Street in Des Moines, they have things we don’t have at home. Things I like. One is a white china pitcher for milk. It came from Sweden with Grandma’s Grandma. At home we have a glass milk bottle.

I also like what’s in the Mason jar: chunky cinnamon applesauce that Grandma made. It’s like breakfast dessert or you can put it on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes from the box with the rooster. Right behind it is the little stapled book with the colourful cover that Grandma reads a story and a prayer from after breakfast. A lacy white plastic table cloth covers their table. At home our table is bare. Ours has a gray top and chrome legs.

My Mom is short, like a girl, but both her parents are really tall. Grandpa has white hair and false teeth and tattoos (best kept covered, Grandma says) from when he was a sailor long ago. Grandma is almost as tall as he is, with nice gray hair pulled away from her face and curled, in a beauty parlour.

She wears necklaces and big shiny earrings. She always talks politely. She’s proper and Grandpa is fun, like a kid himself. He shakes hands and slips me a quarter between his fingers, then winks.

Their house is always neat and tidy with books and stacks of Arizona Highways magazines. It smells like lemons and they have lemon drops and sometimes Grandma’s homemade Swedish candied orange peels in a clear glass candy bowl with a lid.

The bedrooms are upstairs and the bathroom with the huge tub with scary lion’s feet is on the main floor. They have a screen porch on the front where I am allowed to sleep with Judy if it is really hot and we are good. Donnie sleeps upstairs with Mama. It’s a quiet house.

When we come to Iowa to visit, Daddy sleeps across town on Maple Street at his own Mom and Pop’s house. I like it better here. It doesn’t look or smell as nice but Aunt Phid and her family live next door on one side and Uncle Willie and his family live on the other side.

Grandma Hindal has a noisy yellow bird in a cage. People are always coming and going, banging doors. Grandpa is yelling and everyone teases everybody. It isn’t neat and clean all the time, or ever, really. There’s a black cat clock that rolls his eyes and wags his tail and I get to stay up later, way later.

I don’t know why Mom doesn’t want me to stay here—it only seems fair to share. She says she’s afraid I won’t brush my teeth or say my prayers, which I don’t, but nobody seems to mind.

© Joanne Klassen

A Message from the Star at the Nativity

The Star

I am the light

I am the light of all who have come before and all who will be

I shine a beacon to guide you towards that which is the key to your survival

I am guiding you to the destiny of your soul

For on this day a child is born

For on EACH day a child is born

Children are our future. They are blessed with the wisdom of the ages – an eternity of knowing.  They are innocent of all the

knowledge and judgment that we as humans accept as so. They bring wonder and pure love and within that love rests our salvation.

They don’t care about money, power or status.  They don’t wish for things. They do not pine for that they do not have.  They lay swaddled, safe and cared for, content with what they have right here, right now.

I am the light

I shine a beacon

I am guiding you to the path

When you think there is no room for you, when you have less than you think you want, when you face the trials and adversity of daily

life, I am here.  Within my light is all that you need.  I will guide you to hope, to possibility, to contentment, to love – true love. Love is selfless

and pure. It knows no bounds, no earthly measures.  It just is.

I am the light

I shine a beacon

I am guiding you to yourself

Begin your journey to all that you can be.  Pack your gifts, your rare talents and perspectives – they are uniquely you and all you need.  Bring them on your

way to where my light will take you.  Open yourself to the wisdom, the energy and the power of your soul.  Celebrate all that you are, bask in my light.

I will watch over you and carry you when you think you cannot go another step.  I will always be with you.

I am the light

I shine a beacon

I guide you

For on this day a child is born; For on this day, you are born.

© Cynthia Booden Firth

December 13, 2016