What Do I Have to Say These Days?

So many things that I forgot all of them. I often think of something I’m passionate about or that I feel is worth writing about then don’t because “I’ll do it later”, and end up not writing and here I am, still nothing.

I guess deep down I have so much to say that it can’t come out? Who knows? I’m here now, though. I’m just writing because it’s healing to me and helps me sort through things that need sorting and other times I just write because it makes me happy. Like today. I feel good this morning.

I woke up early, made my coffee, lit my smudge and said a prayer. I managed that much with two dogs running amok and at my ankles. I need more smudge and prayer in my life, especially with these two ~ Jonni and Cash. I sure love them although they drive me crazy at the same time.

Pretty much sums them up every day.

It’s 7AM and it’s almost time to wake up the kids for school. I’ve been dealing with a lot of emotions around our son is graduating and soon leaving the nest, and I’m anxious about his leaving. On the opposite side of that, when both kids have left the nest, I think that’s when our lives will really begin, as two adults, husband and wife, with no kids in the house. What does that look like? What will we do with all our time? See? It’s scary, weird and exciting, I think? Who knows? Maybe I have a complete meltdown and midlife crisis and move to be with them? Maybe you could watch said meltdown unfold right here! Only time will tell.

So, it’s the end of February and I’m still unemployed, taking things day by day. You’d think all I would be doing is writing with all my free time but I’m just taking each day as it comes, focusing on myself and all that’s inside, letting go of things that no longer serve me a purpose. I’ve been reading, playing solitaire, seeing the people I need to see, helping friends, and keeping the house afloat, while the hubs works and the kids go to school.

I’m also off to see Tony Robbins very soon with my aunt and I’m excited about that. I set a goal, added him to my bucket list and boom, here it is! Isn’t that awesome? I think so.

So I didn’t say much, nothing that’ll blow your mind anyway, but I wrote and that’s what matters. Writing makes me happy. I choose to be happy.

Have a good day.

PS ~ It’s almost time to wake up the kids. *insert audible groan here*

R

Kids These Days

Have you ever looked at your kids’ baby pics and just felt so overwhelmed with love, that it felt like your heart could possibly explode? That’s what happened to me today and I cried. Call me crazy. Crazy in love with my dehzonas. They’ve been everything to me and Greg but it hasn’t always been that way.

Life before 2009 was a blur, and somehow, we managed to not mess up our kids. I owe a world of gratitude, a debt that I could never repay to my parents, especially my Mom, for helping raise them when we weren’t able. I’m not proud of the shit I’ve done nor can I take it back but they’ve been our everything since we got life on track and started to really live and be parents. It’s one thing to have kids, quite another to be a parent. Even today, I’m still learning to parent. Parents living beyond the “teens years” should be a medical miracle.

I got a photo of them today from my cousin who lived with us at the time who took the photo and just so happened the kids’ school photos were on the fridge so I placed the other along with it and my heart felt so overcome with love, gratitude and happiness that I get to see them every morning and wish them a good day at school and tell them I love them. Look at those kids!! Those smiles. Oh, my heart! Before, I wouldn’t see them for days and parts of me still feel deep shame for that. I’m sorry my kids.

I looked at the photos, then sat on the couch and cried. Even writing this, the tears well up. So many years taken from them and us, all because of alcohol and drugs. I hate those memories. They stole a mom and dad from their children. I think about my own parents, too, the struggles they faced became my life, too. I don’t blame them for my past. I had choices. I had to choose the right path for me and for our kids and eventually I did. I’m thankful every day.

Soon our son will be graduating and our baby girl the year after. We will have an empty nest and our kids will make their own ways. I trust Creator will guide them, as he’s guided us to today. It hasn’t always been easy but we’ve had each other and that’s the most important thing. I want my kids to know how much we love them, no matter where their lives take them, home and away, they will always come first. We love you so so much.

Kids these days make me a slobbering, emotional mess. I kind of wish they stayed small forever but then the world would never get to experience the great, helpful, smart, funny and adventurous dehzonas we brought into this world. Xo

R

Old Behaviors Die Hard

I woke to a bad dream at 4:00AM. I dreamt of the past, things that I’m not proud of and with that, the same feelings came rushing back which woke me up. It’s almost 8 and I still feel the feelings. Ugliness inside. Occasionally, I feel pangs of shame and regret of all the things I’ve done to the ones I love – mostly, Greg, our kids and my parents, who never gave up on me.

I am not sure if the dream has anything to do with me taking part in the Recovery Through Expressions program last night offered at FNFN, which I loved, by the way. I’m happy I went. Art is healing and peaceful, too. I’m really happy I got out of the house and did something I’ve never done – that’s twice in one week, might I add! Says a lot about my 2018 goals.

I went thinking it was about addiction and recovery and wasn’t sure how I felt about talking about addiction after all these years but soon realized it was not that at all. It was about whatever we wanted it to be. I felt like part of it was dealing with my Grandma’s passing and the whole grieving process but ended up sharing how I’ve been feeling lately and thinking about that old life. The life I used to love and live for. The life where I didn’t have to be responsible and could drown all my issues in alcohol and drugs.

You’re probably wondering what my pictures above mean. Well, so am I. The pretzel documented how I was feeling about being at the program, which sums it up pretty well. The middle photo was the outcome of the ‘recovery through expression’ piece and to sum up my piece, is the last image. I am happy I went. I got to talk and laugh with a fellow member who I don’t get to see that often and just take some Renee time. It was good. I look forward to more programs like that.

But, back to that dream. I am not sure what it all means but I do know it was a good reminder of why I chose sobriety. I hated myself in those dark days and some days, I still do. I’m still learning compassion, love and patience for myself. I know that was not the real me. The real me is the me you see today – learning, healing, growing. I’m really thankful for my family who loved me anyway and never gave up on me. That life is a part of who I am and that will never change but today, I’m happy that my old behaviours in that dream, were just that – a bad dream. I woke up sober, healthy, knew where I was, and got to see my kids before school. That is the life worth living.

Watching Shameless at 7:00AM probably doesn’t help improve the mood but that too, is a good reminder of why I’m grateful for today. Haha!

Bless you all on this beautiful winter day.

R

Monday Morning Feels

It’s Monday. I’ve been meaning to write on Sundays because it’s a “down day” whatever that means? I just like to make stuff up so it’s easier to procrastinate then I end up doing other things and realize it’ll have to wait until tomorrow so here I am, it’s ‘tomorrow’.

There’s been so much on my mind lately. Coming, going, being present, my future, self-worth and values, and, and, and. So it goes. Usually when I have those thoughts, my instinct is to write but then the filters in my head go off, and I get the “I’ll do it laters”. Then when I write, I don’t know where to start?! So many things in my head and heart.

Anyway, here I am. It’s Monday in case you missed that part. Who knows? Maybe you have a ‘case of the Mondays’. The puppies are asleep (must be nice), I’ve had my breakfast and coffee and shoveled snow. Being outside with the fresh air sure makes a difference in how I feel, it’s refreshing. It’s like when you realize that it’s all small stuff and you exhale the bullshit. Ahhhh!

What am I trying to say? I guess it’s just that I feel thankful for clarity. It hasn’t come easily but I’ve continued to do the work. I attend regular counseling because who couldn’t use a good bitch session? I smudge and pray. I seek out my supports for their feedback and try to talk my way through the hard stuff. I have a great support system. I mean, the best, you know lifers? Those people. They’re great. I highly suggest you seek out those people in your life, too. It’ll do wonders.

With clarity and I guess, age, I’m able to see things differently than I did 1, 2, even 5 years ago. With each death our community has suffered, I’ve come to appreciate life and genuineness. I don’t care for small, petty, dramatic stuff. Yes, I still get amped up about things that grind my gears, but usually after I’ve had time to reflect, I am quick to realize that it does NOT matter.

All that matters is my husband, kids, parents and how I make my way in this world. Am I hurtful to others? Am I being a leader for my kids? Am I setting healthy boundaries for myself? Am I helping or being kind because it’s the right thing to do or am I seeking some kind of reward? Is my ego in check? Why do I care about that or this and is it my business? Most of it is not my business. I better recognize!

All these things are constant work and with each passing day, I try to do better and be better and some days, I put it off until tomorrow. I owe it to my ancestors, kids and future grandkids to pave a good path for our future generations. Every day is an opportunity to do the right thing, be kind, helpful and loving, and when mistakes are made, admit my wrongdoing and apologize and move on. Let shit go. Nothing else matters but right now. All we have is this moment. Life is so short and I certainly do not want to spend my days amped up about things that are none of my business and seeking approval from external sources when all that matters is what I, my husband and kids think of me. Who the hell cares what “Jenny from the block” thinks of me? (I thought that sounded better than Jane or John Doe)

I have a good life. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clean water, a bed to sleep in, a loving family, three dogs, and CLARITY. More so than I’ve ever had in my life and for that, hell yeah! Forty-something is the new 20-something, I say! Haha. To end, I wish you a good and clear day. Focus north! (Only my close friends will get that last part and that’s ok.)

Peace! Blog to you soon.

R

Morning Thoughts & Birthday Blessings

Today my Grandma would have been 88. She went Home to be with the Creator on December 26, 2016. The heartache and memories around her loss are still fresh, especially on days like today.

A lot goes on when families lose someone; the various stages of grief, funeral preparations and the emotional trauma of ‘what’s next?’ How do we move forward while being held hostage by our emotions and grief? How does a family heal when people’s feelings get hurt over things said and done?

I think back to the days when we lost my her and how confusing and chaotic things became. Miraculously, I somehow held it together amid the turmoil but I had a job to do and that was my focus. My job was to memorialize her and through that I was able to grieve and focus on what was most important in that time – her, my Grandma, our family’s rock. All the noise and stuff that was not my business, didn’t matter.

Most recently, our family suffered through another loss and with that, came more turmoil. Again, I focused on my job at hand and the most important person through it all – my cousin. I didn’t attend his funeral, although I heard it was a beautiful service. In all the deaths I have experienced, whether they be family or friends, I have learned to grieve in my own way, staying focused on the important stuff, honoring the loved one with peace, humility and grace, and taking care of myself. We all grieve differently and to thine own self be true; we have to do what is right for us. Every time.

Am I rambling? Probably. I’ve been up since 1:45AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. It’s 5:45AM now. I’ve had a coffee, let the dogs out, have two puppies running amok and it’s dark as night out still. I just have so many thoughts in my head and heart that I needed to just write. It’s my therapy.

Ultimately, I wanted to honor my strong, loving, hard-working Grandma on what would have been her 88th birthday today. I could never have anticipated how much our family structure would change with her passing but I know I’m stronger and wiser because of it. I miss her greatly, as I know we all do. I used to wish that things were back to ‘normal’ but were things ever really normal to begin with? I don’t think so. They just were. That’s life. Now they’re different. Maybe they are normal after all?? Life is crazy and beautiful in all its glory.

All I know for certain in this moment is that she’s with me in spirit. In her honor, I will practice love and kindness because that is what my Grandma exemplified every day. Happy heavenly birthday, Grandma. God bless you forever. We love and miss you.

R

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Grandma and me at the Behn family cabin
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Grandma, me and Grandpa – Keeping It Behn!
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3 Generations – Grandma, Mom and Me
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Our last family dinner with Grandma – thankful for memories!

A Shitty Start

IMG_7512Well, 2018 has proved to be off to a shitty start. There’s been losses of loved ones for my family and that of friends’. There’s so much heartache and grief in our lives that it’s hard to see beyond the pain. How do we go on living a life of health and happiness when we experience so much grief, sadness, pain and heartache?

I don’t know the answers. Is there a right answer? How do we help those who suffer endless pain and loss? What is the right way? Is there a right way? So many questions, so little answers. All I know is that I’ve come to the conclusion for me. I have to say good-bye in my own way. Grieve in my own way and participate in my way. I can’t attend another funeral. I can’t. I’m tired of death. There’s so much of it.

I sat here this morning thinking about all that’s happened in this first week; it’s been the start of a new year which is supposed to be celebrated with hope and rejuvenation, yet I worked on a memorial for a family member and held a friends’ hand as she cried for the loss of her young son, all while I celebrated our daughter’s sixteenth birthday and an important milestone in her life, getting her learner’s license. All this in one day. ONE DAY!

I’ve lost count of the funeral’s I’ve attended and the memorial’s I’ve made to honour the life of loved ones in my years. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve cried because of death. Death has become normal, numbing and expected. It’s madness. Yet, here I am. Alive and well. I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful I can see the light of day, see my kids another day and hug my family one more time. Not everyone can say that and for that, my heart hurts for my friends and community. I question what is going on, why is this happening, why them, why us, why, why, why? I don’t know the answers but I believe in a higher power and that when it’s our time, it’s our time. Someone in heaven needed the departed more and that somehow, the living, will heal with time. Through pain, heartache, time and prayers, healing will come. This I believe to be true.

I hope that those hurting today, including my family, find peace and healing. I fully acknowledge that it won’t come easily, or quickly, but with time and patience, broken hearts will heal, even though, it may feel like that will never happen. I pray for our departed loved ones who went before us. As much as we wanted you to stay, you had a higher purpose in Heaven and for that, we had to let you go.

As crappy as the start of 2018 has been, there’s also been good things, too. As I said, our daughter celebrated her sweet 16th birthday, got her learner’s license, our son’s grad photo proofs came in, I booked tickets to see Tony Robbins in March with my mentor and aunt, and I’ve been busy with not one, but TWO, new puppies who make me crazy and happy at the same time. I have not given up hope that 2018 is going to be great and better than last year, albeit the shitty start. I am hopeful. Full of hope. Full of love for life, my family, friends and community. Bless us all. Together we can get through anything, including all the pain that’s before us, in this moment. Healing will come.

Xo,

R

“It is kind of shocking when your world falls to pieces and everything and everyone around you carries on with life. How can the birds continue to sing? How can people carry on loving life? It is like you become frozen in time and are now watching life like a movie. As the weeks and months roll by, life becomes more real again, but you will never forget that point in time where life stood still.” – Zoe Clark-Coates, from http://www.sayinggoodbye.org

 

I love you, Gregory, Ashton and Danielle. Forever and always.

It’s 2018!

It’s 2018! Hello, new year and new beginnings! I’m so happy to see you.

I don’t want to start my new year by dwelling on the past but 2017 was something else, I tell ya. Wow. That. Is. All. Good bye!

What’s so great about 2018? Well, for one, I have my voice, freedom and health back. My health took a beating but I’m definitely better than I was so 2018 is off to a great start already. Secondly, there are no limits to what I can do. I’m open to what the universe will provide and so I’m getting out of my own way and going to be present, with my eyes and heart wide open!

Let’s sparkle this place up! I’m excited and I hope you are, too. Life is short, be kind, live large and love plenty.

R

Abundance

It’s day 6 of my 29 days of giving. I decided I wouldn’t write every day, otherwise, I know I’ll get ‘over it’ very quickly.

Day 5 and 6 resulted in my paintings as my gifts to a friend yesterday and to my Mama, today. I made them with love and prayed with them before gifting them. I hope they bring them both happiness.

I’ve been thinking about what to write for day 5 and 6 and turns out I’ve been seeing little things that are signs of abundance and purpose, letting me know I’m on the right path, like this book title that caught my eye at the public library. In the sea of books, this caught my eye. Abundance, the future is better than you think. Alrighty then! I believe it when I see it! I’m still excited for what is to come.

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I also got to have a heart to heart with an ex-coworker who is struggling and ensure them that life will be ok and this challenge is nothing that they can’t get through; they’re strong, capable and loved.

I got a call from my Dad tonight, too. Something that’s not happened in a long, long time and he invited the kids and I over for a later dinner of take out P & T. We definitely didn’t miss out on that opportunity and headed over to share his feast. It’s a small gesture and Creator knows I needed that tonight. I’m going to bed with a grateful heart.

To round out these last few days with signs of abundance and gratitude, we also got a call from our Saskatchewan kiddo today! He made my day. He sounds so good, healthy and happy. We can’t wait to see him.

Anyway, I’m trying to stick to my regular sleep schedule, so I better get off here, read and head to bed. While I was at the library the other night, when Abundance caught my eye, another book also caught my eye and so far I’m loving it! It’s called “The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World.” That’s my goal, too, but for now, I’ll start right here at home.

Life is nehzoo. Good night.

R

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Snow Thanks

It’s day 4 and there’s been a snowfall warning issued which means I stayed home all day while it snowed buckets.

The upside of this snowy day is I painted! Yay! It’s such a great stress reliever, I love it. In case you’re wondering, I’m not a painter. Haha, I just like to paint. I highly recommend it. Soothes a snowed in soul for sure.

During a break, I made buns and the kids liked them so that was a bonus, too. The only thing was the recipe only made 6 buns so we all got two each.

For my gift today, I gave my last bun to Lynda. She deserves it. I really could never repay her for all she’s done for my journey, so I try to bring her treats and supper when I can. Today I had one bun left and I wanted to share it with her.

I really owe her so much more than treats, supper and buns because Lynda has supported and encouraged me in all areas of my life for a long, long time and I’m so grateful. I know she knows how much I appreciate her but it’s also important to remind her because we’re all deserving of acknowledgement and praise for the work we do, even when we’re ok with not receiving it.

Mahsi, thank you, Lynda.

Before I go, I have to share the good that came in to my life today. Give, get, abundance, remember!?

Well, before I went to see Lynda, I asked my son to shovel the walkway and when I left, noticed he shoveled a path right to the side of my vehicle door so I didn’t have to trudge through the snow. How great is my son?! He’s so great and treats his Ma so good. I’m blessed and less stressed and life is freakin’ fabulous.

Good night.

R

Life is Nehzoo

It’s day 3. I have to admit there was some stress over the gift and who the gift would go to. I had no idea what the gift would be let alone who I’d give it to once I figured out what it would be!Most Saturdays I rarely go out, oh my, I thought.

I slept in and did the usual when I got out of bed – let out the dog, made coffee, tidied up. I made some breakfast and decided I’d move the living room around. Not really though, it just went back to the way it was before I moved it the last time.

By then, it was afternoon and I agreed to take my Ma to pick up the pies she bought from the local fundraiser “Grandma’s Pies” and ended up staying for the meat draw so I could see Freddy. I’m happy I stayed, I didn’t win meat but I won $40 on Keno and I got to see Freddy, laugh till my cheeks hurt and give him a big hug before we left. Oh, and I got a meat slap. Frickin’ Freddy!

By 4pm, I still hadn’t gifted anything but shortly after getting home, I had a family member stop by out of the blue and I listened as they vented about life and stress and realized this was my gift. Listening. Being supportive. Helping out to ease their stress. Being present. Gifts are gifts. I don’t believe a gift has to be tangible to be considered a gift. Time, love and help is just as important.

Once my family member left, I was able to start supper and then spend some time painting. Both the kids were out, so I had the house to myself to just paint in peace. That’s the gift to me from the universe… Renee time.

In all this, I see things happening and recognize the positive impact the gifting has had so far. I’ve done more things for myself and with others in this last 2 weeks than I’ve done all year. Seriously. I’ve been crafting, visiting, going to the movies, attending community events.. and it’s only going to get better. I’m excited. Still!

But I’m also tired, so good night.

R

Photo by Freddy

Wonder

What a great day that ended with a Wonder-ful movie with my friend Vick (aka Vicky).

I wrote about some of this on my Facebook status so not much more to share but if you’re not on my friends list, this will be new to you.

This is my Day 2 of the 29 days of giving.

I got up. I Facebook’d in bed before rising. Not the best habit, I know. I threw on my ski pants to let out our Cannon dog and breathed in the cold fresh air of our Northern winter. Refreshing!

I made a coffee and painted a rock that I was going to gift today. So much peacefulness in the morning before the rez rises, kids get up and dogs start barking endlessly at mostly nothing. I leisurely paint my rock and sip my coffee.

Then I realize the time, our son has to take his car to the shop, I have to give him a ride, and I have a medical appointment so yeah, the rush is on. Feeling hurried, I decide against my initial thought, and spray it with a clear finish and eek! The ink runs! Errgh!!

By this time I realize I have 10 minutes to make the appointment and the painting is wrecked but think “life isn’t perfect and she will love it the way it is.”

I go to my appointment, turns out I rushed for nothing, and it’s actually at 1:40 and not 9:40, so aha! Miraculously I instantly have more time to fix my rushed artwork (painted rock) and gift it as I’d originally hoped. Do you recall me mentioning how great the universe is and how it’s all just falling in to place?? See! Isn’t it great?

I pick up the kids and treat us to a chocolate covered donut for breakfast because why not?! Psst! Overwaitea’s are the best.

We get home, I paint my errors, we attend Elders lunch at the Health Centre and check out the gym and realize how amazingly awesome it is! If I was working, who knows when I’ve had time or made time. Today, I had and made time! Yess!

First, I gifted a coworker who loves music with some CDs for her travels and got to give her a big hug and have a good talk about the outcome of my leaving and that it’ll be ok. I think people feel sorry for me but in reality, I made the choice and I will be ok. Promise.

Then, finally, I got to gift my perfectly painted rock to Dr. Lupu. I wanted her to know how much I’ve appreciated her help and support this last year. She was the first person I talked to who got what I was going through and when we had that first talk, I finally felt relieved, that I’d have the help I felt I needed. If you see her, maybe the rock will still be on her desk.

Before I gave it to her this afternoon, I held it with both hands, smudged it and prayed to pack it with all the good she deserves so she can continue to help others in our communities. During my visit, I told her how much the book she suggested I read “The Bully at Work”, made sense and made me see that I wasn’t alone and that I had to do what was right for me. It is important to tell the people that impact your life, how thankful you are, and I feel that I did that today. I am so grateful.

She gushed and smiled. She asked what “mahsi cho” means and I told her. She said it was beautiful and didn’t know which side she should have it facing, since it’s painted on both sides. She was genuinely happy for me and for the gift and I could feel it.

So, to end this great day, I got a $50 deduction from my Bell bill and got to go to the movie with my friend, like I mentioned. Its been a great Friday and day 2.

One thought I have is..will I be able to gift every day for 29 days, especially when I like to stay home?! We shall see. If you skip, you start over, as per the book.

Oh yeah, and the other best part of this day?? I talked to my Dad on the phone. It was so good to hear his voice. I love you, Dad.

Thank you, Creator, for this day.

R

You May Now Take Flight

I quit my job of four years today. I rose to the occasion. I left a job I loved and gave my all to. I loved it enough to let it go because I matter.

In the last 2 months I started reading books to take my mind off the things that had been happening at work and low and behold, the universe (and those books) brought me to today. Here I am. Alive and well, still.

I made a choice, accepted the outcome and I am looking forward to what is to come. It’s a new chapter. I woke up this morning knowing what was coming and decided I would pull some cards to get me in a good head space for this day.

My first card, a Sacred Path card, was the Dreamtime card.

“You are being asked to see with unlimited vision. Our world is pregnant with possibilities. You are now being given the ability to go beyond the accepted reality. You may now take flight.”

My second card, a Native Spirit card, was the Tribal Spirit Dancer card.

“Let go. Say yes to life! Unfurl your wings and fly. Cast aside conventions and restrictions. Laugh. Explore. Go beyond your predictable behaviour. You are on the planet to be free. You’re here to explore, expand, and step in to your extraordinary self. Clear out mental and emotional clutter. Move beyond those situations you have outgrown. This is your time.”

When I went to put those cards away, I realized one had been left behind, so as to not mess with the flow, I read that one, too, it was the Nature Spirits card.

“Be open to the wonders of the universe flooding in to your life. Innocence and delight are abounding. Happiness is on its way! Relax. All is well.”

So, tell me how could I deny that the universe/Creator/God is guiding me in the right direction?

I carry on with the last of my cards, the Angel cards, my quick go-tos. I chose the angel Bridgette card. At first, I was skeptical because it didn’t sound too great. Honestly, it sounded like bad news. The card caption read: “Caution is warranted. Look deeper at this situation before proceeding further.”

“You have asked for Heaven’s guidance and it is given. This situation isn’t right for you. Trust your gut feelings, since that is how I communicate with you. Please don’t worry that this situation is the only opportunity available to you. It isn’t! There is something better waiting for you, but first you will have to free yourself. Clearly, it takes courage and faith to leave a situation that you had vested interest in. You deserve situations that are aligned with love, and you don’t have to settle for anything less.”

Wow, right? I know!! I could not have asked for a clearer message than if my angels showed up on my door and slapped me in the face. That surely put some pep in my step and off to work I went. I know it will all be ok just like yesterday’s by-election outcome. The universe had my back then, too. It just wasn’t my time and I’m completely ok with that. When the time is right, I will know.

So, with all that good stuff, I have more good stuff to share, too. Yes! MORE good stuff. It’s crazy how good it already is and I’m only on day one!! DAY ONE, people!

There’s an amazing book called “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life” and I believe all of t  h  i  s is the result. I read it, I cried and came to the conclusion I am doing the 29 days of gifts and my first gift is going to be to me – I made a final decision about my work woes – I was going to quit. I had to. My well-being is too important to me and to my family to let work consume me one more day. When I made the decision to leave, good things immediately started happening, even before I started the gift giving!

Today, day one, I started giving for real and I’m going to give a gift every day until there’s 29 days done. Maybe I’ll do 29 more, the limits are endless! When I decided I was going to give and be open to abundance, I felt a shift (honestly!) and things have noticeably improved just like that *snap!*! I strongly encourage everyone to read that book. See what happens in your own life. We are worth it. If it helps us and feels good and brings us just as much good in return, the better question is, why wouldn’t we??

I also gifted some of the people I work with and appreciate a final farewell email and told them how much I will miss them and how much I’ve appreciated them, their time and support during my time at FNFN. I will miss my job but nothing compares to taking care of numero uno – me!

Lastly, I also gifted a coworker a card with a warm sentiment appreciating her for her service to our Nation and how much I’ve appreciated her hard work and that she’s remained loyal through all the challenges. She later emailed me said I’d made her cry and thanked me, too. Again, abundance, abundance, abundance!!!

Life is so good. The universe will provide for us granted we believe and are open to the beauty of life and all its gifts. I’m so excited to write and share this journey with you and spend time with my kids and really focus on being present and alive, every day. Onward and upward.

R

Vote Renee!

Good evening, members. Thank you for your interest and participation in tonight’s candidate’s forum. Unfortunately, I am unable to be in attendance but prepared this statement for your consideration.

As many of you know, I resigned from Council a year ago this November. It wasn’t an easy decision but I had to do what was best for my health at the time. Thankfully, today, I am feeling healthy enough to let my name stand again and I am thankful for the nomination and your continued belief in my abilities.

With that said, I let my name stand because I am an advocate for equality, accountability and transparency. When I was on Council, I tried to ensure that council stayed focused and was clear about their goals, often revisiting past topics to stay the course and be sure Council followed through with what was decided. I believe it’s important to clearly communicate goals and outcomes to Administrators and most importantly, the community. Council has to remember they work FOR the members. The members are their bosses and they are the driving force of our Nation.

Anyone who knows me, knows what I stand for. I believe in organization, clear communication, accountability and positive, healthy leadership. I do my best each day to live in a way that models to my kids and others what I want for our community. I know some people are skeptical because I resigned but their opinions are only that, opinions. They don’t know the fights I fought in Council, the things I stood up for at that table or the topics I pushed forward for our Nation. They only know what they think they know and choose to believe. I’ve done my best to stand up for what is right for all FNFN members, and regardless of the outcome on November 22, that will not change. I will continue to be an advocate for change and strong voice for all, just as I’ve always been. I choose to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Before I go, I’d like to thank those who vote for me, Renee Lomen, and for those of you who don’t. It’ll be the way the community wants it to be and as I said time and time again, being on Council doesn’t change anything, I will still continue to advocate for good, healthy and positive leadership for all because I am FNFN, too. I don’t require a seat on Council to be a voice for the people. Vote for the person you believe the best advocate for YOU.

Good luck to my fellow candidates on November 22!

Mussi,

Renee

VOTE RENEE!

Saturday Sunrise Smudges

It’s a beautiful windy, chinook-like morning. It’s Saturday. I decided to smudge and seek a ‘message’ from Creation, God, my higher power, angels (I’m ok with whatever you refer to them as). I refer to them as all of the above. I often speak to my Grandma, aunties, uncles and cousins who’ve passed to the spirit world.

I made a coffee, after venturing outside to feel the warm winds refresh my mind and body, and lit my smudge. I seriously love days like today. This warm winds reminds me of renewal, blowing away all the negativity and garbage. Ahhh! I grabbed all 3 sets of cards. I don’t often choose all 3 but today, felt like I needed them all.

I smudged and prayed, thanked Creator for this beautiful day and the gifts he’s provided me with and one by one, I pulled a card and read the messages, each in the order they’re shown below.

IMG_6343The message reads:

“Confidence. Entering your power. Standing strong. You are a leader. Stepping into the light. Let your truth be heard and felt by others. Make a stand in life. You carry deep inner wisdom. You are a teacher and a leader in the deepest sense of the words. You are a beacon for others.

In native cultures, the elders, tribal chiefs and clan leaders are looked to for advice and leadership. When this card chooses you, it’s time to step into your leadership role. An elder walks the path, stomps the grass down, and throws the boulders out-of-the-way so the path is easier for others. Sometimes you might find yourself alone or tired, but know that you’re doing what you’re doing is making a difference in the lives of many. The greatest leaders are those who know how to serve, supporting others to reach their dreams. Even if you’ve been in the background in the past, right now it’s your turn to step forward and become the light for others.

Being an elder and a tribal leader means speaking the truth, even if it’s hard or even if you’re afraid. If there’s anyone you need to stand up to you, this is the time. Being a leader means supporting others, so if there’s anything you need to support or make amends with, this is the time.”

IMG_6344My angel message was pretty clear:

“You are a giver and God loves you for that. The more that you allow me to give to you, the more you will be able to give to others. Take care of yourself, and don’t allow yourself to be swayed from this important mission. Take steps right now to create time for relaxation. You will feel happier and have more peace of mind as a result, which will benefit everyone in your life.”

In essence, take care of ME first so that I can take care of you – my family, friends, community and so on and so forth. I’ve learned the importance of that with age. I guess the saying is true, “with age comes wisdom.”

IMG_6345Finally, the Sacred Path Cards: Council Fire. Isn’t that something else?

“It takes courage to make changes in your life and all changes must begin with a decision. Do it and don’t look back. Life awaits you in all its beauty. There is no need to make your decisions based upon another’s. Consider all possibilities and how your decision affects others, then be courageous enough to act. Find your truth and stick to it.”

How many more messages do I need to tell me that what I’m doing is the right thing? If I could tell you the things I know, I would. If I could tell you the things I speak up against, I would. As I mentioned before, there’s going to be those that think what I have to say is baseless and that because I resigned, I shouldn’t have a seat on Council, but I’m doing it because I know it’s my duty to stand up for what is right for our community. I know what I stand for and that’s all that matters. I’m doing it because I stand for change on a larger scale. Our community and our people are worth fighting for and I’ll do that for the rest of my days.

So, after all that, I decided I’d write this blog and as I was coming to start writing, I started to laugh thinking of the Elder card. “Hey, wait a minute!” I think I am the ‘Elder’ of the bunch and so does that make the wisest? Does that make me the best candidate? Probably doesn’t mean much, other than I have the experience (like a few others) and I am farther along in life (by age only) but I definitely believe, these cards are a good way to start any day and assure me I am on the right path. Go Renee!

Have a super Saturday, family and friends. Life is good and beautiful, enjoy it. I feel alive and my spirit is happy. Bless us all.

Mah’si Creator.

R

 

Taking a Stand

Good morning.

I thought long and hard about posting this but after everything I’ve been dealing with personally and professionally, I feel I must. It’s not only taking a stand against wrongdoings, abuse and bullying against me but all people. Why do we accept this behaviour amongst adults but expect our kids not to bully and hurt one another? What kind of role modeling is that? That is why I’m posting this. It makes me sick that this is our community today. People hurt one another without thinking what the other is going through. Thankfully, not everyone participates in this type of online behaviour but sadly many do. I can’t change that because when you know better you do better and one day those people will know better.

I’ve let my name stand to stand up against this type of shit. Say what you want about me but don’t think I won’t defend myself. You have every right to your opinion but I also have a right to defend my name, my character and my choices, which also does not mean I have to justify taking care of myself to you or anyone. I did what I had to do for me at the time and that’s that. If you don’t like that, that’s your issue – not mine.

Written October 22

Why do you think it’s acceptable to attack me online? I am taking a stand against your abuse, bullying, lateral violence or whatever else you want to call it. Just because I let my name stand or am on Council (when I get voted in) doesn’t give anyone the right to publicly bash me on Facebook or anywhere else for that matter. This is one of the biggest issues of our time and some people, particularly one family, chooses to participate in it. Say what you want about me but remember, I have a right to take a stand against your abuse.

 

Why is your behaviour acceptable? It’s not. I make a conscious choice to NOT do that online, that’s what leaders and members who want change do. There’s a difference between stating your opinion and bashing. I’m here if you wish to ask me questions, ask away.

As I mentioned in my previous blog that clearly they’ve all read – mahsi, by the way! – I stand for transparency and accountability but if they recall “someone’s” Mom got in to the seat I resigned from and then another Councillor resigned, so is that my fault, too? Everyone is entitled to take care of themselves and I will NOT apologize to anyone for doing just that. They are also entitled to their opinion and poor behaviour but I will not tolerate it since it’s about me.

“I will not tolerate your abuse just because I’m letting my name stand or just because I’m on Council (when I get there). You’re entitled to your opinion as am I but don’t think I won’t address what you have to say since you think you can bash me on Facebook. Instead of bashing me, why not try to ask me questions and seek to understand the reasons for my actions and choices. You have no idea what I was going through at the time so simply put – don’t vote for me. Trust me, I’ll survive either way. Vote Renee!”

So in all this they’re also blaming me for “costing the Nation thousands of dollars”, “during a time when our members are facing job loss and tough times in general”. What does one have to do with the other? Like I said, the second by-election is a result of another council seat becoming vacant, something I had no control over and moreover, what do by-elections have to do with job loss? So everyone not working is now my fault like it was previous Council’s fault for putting a stop to the oil and gas industry? Thank you for placing so much power in my hands.
When FNFN chooses to change their election code – what’s happening with that anyway?? – than they can include the stipulation that prohibits people from running if they resign. That’ll be fine by me. Since that’s not the case, I’ve let my name stand and you can vote Renee on November 22.
Have a fantastic day!
R

PS – Vote Renee on November 22!

 

 

“Renee is running for a seat she resigned from?!”

Yes. Yes I am.

That very question was posted on a friend’s Facebook post and this blog answers what I’m sure a lot of other people are thinking, too. I had planned to post this blog a week ago before I’d saw the question and just hadn’t yet. Today is the day.

Vote for Renee.
Vote Renee. For transparency. For accountability.

So here you go…

I’ve been nominated for a seat on Council for the remainder of this term ending in August 2018. This comes as a result of resigning from the same term.

I know what you are thinking, “Why is she running when she resigned?” It’s been a year since I resigned and I’ve had time to reset and refocus, and more importantly, focus on my health. I’m confident that I can contribute in a meaningful way as I believe I’ve always done. I’m not here to try sway your vote or seek sympathy. I believe that voters already know who they’re voting for at the close of any nominations, so you’re either going to vote for me or you’re not. It’ll be the way the majority wants it to be. I will be ok either way but remember, it is YOU – the community – who elects Council.

I contribute to the community regardless of whether I’m on Council or not. I don’t require a seat on Council to do that. I speak up when I want action and I speak up against things I feel are wrong but more than that, I have hope and a deep love for our community and our people. The only difference is that on Council, elected members have more of a position to invoke change but only if they see the need for change on a broader scale, not just at that table. There are so many things left undone by the many leaders who have come and gone because there is never enough time. A two-year term certainly limits how much a group of people can do so I won’t promise you anything. My time is limited.

“I speak up when I want action and I speak up against things I feel are wrong but more than that, I have hope and a deep love for our community and our people.”

What I can promise you, though, is to always speak up for the people – our community – and to seek answers and be available for you. That’s a given and that will not change, on or off Council. I firmly believe that transparency and accountability for everyone is key, especially Council and senior management. Council has to remember they work FOR the people. The people are the real leaders, it’s not the other way around. When you vote, remember that. YOU are the boss, YOU are the leaders and the membership should ALWAYS come first. They most definitely should have a voice when it comes to the direction our Nation is going.

So there you have it, my “why I’m running” talk. I’m running because I want to give the community a voice. If you disagree with my choice to let my name stand that’s ok. I know I won’t fit everyone’s ideal Councillor mold but I’m me and if you really know me, you know I’m not blowing smoke up your ass. Like in my first term, I will continue to be the voice you elected, and speak up for the people so no matter the outcome, I will always be here to help, support and encourage positive change for our community. No one needs a seat on Council to contribute in a good way that benefits all. You either are part of the solution or part of the problem.

Power to the people; the way it should always be.

Before I go, I want to personally thank Kendra and Monica McMillan for their vote of confidence in my ability to lead our Nation and for their nomination. I proudly accept this nomination for a seat on Council and look forward to being a voice at the council table for YOU – our community.

Renee

“No needs a seat on Council to contribute in a good way that benefits all.”

Vote Renee Lomen
Vote Renee Lomen. A leader for the PEOPLE.
By-Election Notice
Vote Renee Lomen on Nov. 22

Jello Legs + Sweat = Radiance

Hello, World, and all its beautiful inhabitants. I’m back. Same idea, different location.

Last week, I made a list of 100 goals. One of my goals was to revive my blog. I want to…Write. Shit. Down. Lay my thoughts out in text. Here. In this blog about my life and shit.

So, here I am. Maybe you’re here, too. Maybe people read this, maybe they don’t but even if they don’t, I am writing and that was my goal! Whoooo! I have stuff to offer in my head and heart and I am excited for what is to come so I’m going to keep writing and writing some more. You’ll read it eventually. Wink!

It’s been one week today, since I participated rather reluctantly, in Transformation Weekend with Erin Skye Kelly at Infinite Strength Wellness Fitness Centre and well, I feel I have been transformed like some kind of butterfly or something. It’s actually pretty amazing. Not even shittin’ ya.

https://giphy.com/embed/9pU835oKJv15K

via GIPHY

I tried to talk myself out not going because it was a Saturday and I like to do nothing on Saturday – it’s one of my days off and all. Plus, I don’t have a social life and I really like just chilling around the house and staying in PJs. Hey! There’s nothing wrong with that!

I texted the owner, Toni, who is also a friend from her NLC Recruiter days and tried to get her to tell me something that would be the deal breaker for me.

“Is there going to be tables and chairs?” I texted. “I don’t want to be sitting on yoga mats and shit all day, ” dreading it already. Not that I have anything against yoga or mats, I just really tried to talk myself out of not going. All the while bitching out my cousin, Crystal, because she was feeling the same. I can jam out but she can’t I rationalized. I talked her in to registering, after all. Eye roll.

“Tables and chairs,” Toni texted back, “Trust. Come, it’ll be good.”

That was it. I went. I couldn’t jam on Toni when she’s been there with me through a lot of ups and downs and I wanted to support her doing this for Fort Nelson. Like, I was doing her some sort of favour, right? Eye roll. I had to tell myself what the hell ever I could to make myself go. That was it and I went. Have to support the friends!

I am so fucking happy and have never felt this alive.

https://giphy.com/embed/dWhHUkuWnGxFK

via GIPHY

Saturday came and I got my socks knocked off. I felt like I’ve not felt in a long, long time – ALIVE! Focused and clear. I don’t want to talk too much about Transformation Weekend because it will be different for everyone and I don’t want to ruin the excitement for you. I will say, though, I’m beyond grateful for the spark it lit within me. I feel revived.

Remember the 100 goals I mentioned? Well, one of them was to lose weight and today I started my gym sessions with Toni! Yayyy! I turned 42 and have been telling myself for some time (since I turned 40) that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore and finally, it’s time. Enough talking, more doing. Action, baby! We need action! So I showed up today ready to get sweaty and that’s exactly what happened. I felt like I had accomplished so much in just 40 minutes. I feel alive – still! And, that is super.

I would never have imagined I’d feel this great in just one week all because I took time out of my weekend and took care of ME! I’m worth it.

Jello legs + sweat = radiance. I am beaming inside AND out and that is what life is all about. This place of peace.

Fearless.

Excited.

Strong.

I am so fucking happy and have never felt this alive. 42 is going to be the best one yet!

R

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