Sunday, April 23, 2017

Signs of Life

 Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

Signs of life
in every sense -
to hear, to see,
to feel and taste
- the scent upon 
the ocean breeze

 Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

the beating heart
in the earth
below our feet

Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

she pushes love
through loamy skin
as camas and as clover born 

Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

for bees to buzz
and propagate the species

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

each wave upon 
the pebbled shores
is yours

 Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

your blood
coursing and caressing

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

through Spring,
for life, life
in every bird song

 Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

a call to the duty 
of your life,

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

through space,
through time
- from your heart
to mine

-Gillian Cornwall, re-post: April 23, 2017
Originally posted: c. April 26, 2015

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter

An Easter Bouquet
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2015

Beliefs - we all have them. Our collective human history is filled with them. We base our culture and our systems on them. In some ways, they are the building blocks of our lives. They are held from perspectives - our own, that of another or our own translation of that of another.

A timely example: There is a bunny and he has a basket of eggs, sometimes chicken, sometimes chocolate, and he hides them on the Easter weekend for children to go out and discover. From this, I surmise that he can walk or hop on his hind legs. This is cool. My understanding is children get the eggs if they have been good, similar to Christmas presents. Here is some Wikipedian history of the Easter Bunny

It is Easter weekend in the Christian faith. It is Passover in the Jewish faith. Later this month it is Ridvan for those of the Baha'i faith. There is a great deal of belief, faith and wonder in humanity. I like that. I like the variety of our ways of being and I can find peaceful joy in our differences. 

"Peaceful joy in our differences" ...so why are there wars fought over who has it all right? Do we need so desperately to believe our way is the right way, the only way? I feel that my greatest knowing comes through listening and learning and making informed decisions as I walk my path. The way of knowing is not a still pond but a flowing river. My beliefs have changed over the years and I have not felt the need to hold fast to one way. I do not need a head nod from another, an " I agree with you. We believe the same thing." 

Does it feel good to share belief with another? Absolutely. Whether it is spiritual, or about the benefits of the practice of Qigong or the foods I eat, I love it when I find another who likes what I like. It gives one a sense of camaraderie and belonging; however, it is through difference that I learn and grow. I am not a stagnant being. I am amorphous and in motion. I want to challenge my beliefs which are largely based on those of my culture, my people, my history and the stories I have been told. 

I am amazed when people are adamant with me that I have to do Yoga - even after I explain that it does not feel good to me. I have been to a number of classes and it just doesn't suit my body. In fact, it hurts. On the other hand, Qigong strengthens me and provides a great sense of well-being. It works for me. I am delighted for the people who have found what they need through Yoga and I'm glad I had the opportunities to try it, but why would I continue if it is not for me? Is it to make others feel that they are right in their choice? Of course they are; they have found that which works for them, as have I. Neither activity hurts nor diminishes the other; they are just different. Can it not be this way with all difference? Can we not just listen, explore and celebrate one another with an absence of harm? I am probably over-simplifying, but I would love it if we could live and let live. 

I wish you each kindness, respect, peace, love, compassion and joy, no matter your beliefs and choices. Let us all try to care for one another and our planet. 

-Gillian Cornwall, April 16, 2017
Original post, c. April 5, 2015

 Different Ways of Being - Tulips
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2008

Sunday, April 09, 2017

The Life of Words

The Garden Gate -West Saanich, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015

Some days it comes more easily than others, this business of writing. There are days when the pages fill as though the lines of the story are forming queues in my mind, awaiting their turn to travel from my brain down my neck, across my shoulder and down my arm and through my hand where they travel down a river of black ink in my eco-friendly pen and out through the minuscule opening onto the pages of my notebook. Imagine them as workers awaiting the subway at rush hour or as foot passengers, anxiously awaiting the opening of the single lane gate to board the BC ferry to the mainland. They are players on the sideline at the football match: ready, trained and poised to do their part to bring the game to an acceptable result. I'm sure you get the drift. 

Conversely, there are times aplenty when the story plays a game of hide and seek: the words, the plot, the reason is out there, or in here, somewhere, evading my search. Perhaps I wasn't clear about the boundaries for the game and the words have run over hill and dale, escaped across a border for which I do not hold a current passport. Just as easily, there is a chance they are around the next corner, down the hall, giggling under a pile of coats in the hall closet, holding back a sneeze born on a whiff of mothballs and dust. 

This week has held both experiences for me, as is often the case; nonetheless, I will write. I write. I have written. This is my path, my need, my feed, my breath. It is not choice. Whether parading the queue out in orderly fashion or letting it spill out in chaos, whether stumbling over hidden roots, far from home in a forest previously uncharted and unknown as darkness gathers, this is what I do. 

I love it. It is my closest companion and the conduit between me and the world. It is possibility and passion, fear and triumph. It is Peter Pan and Captain Hook, wine and water. It matters to me and I hope you can tell.

I am grateful to you for playing alongside me. Thank you for reading and expressing your thoughts. I hope it brings you something: inspiration, thought or learning. You are integral in this process. Thank you for sharing your time with me here, for walking beside me each week. 

If you have ever wanted to write, I hope you do it. Pick up a pen and scratch the surface. Keep digging - the treasure is there. If you require a nudge or an all-out shove, consider a course offered at a community centre or a school. Pick up one or two of the many books available. I turn to courses and books as often as I can when I need a push back to my desk. Here are a few of the guides that help me reset my bearings:




 Happy reading and writing. Enjoy the journey.

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-Gillian Cornwall, re-posted April 9, 2017
Originally posted, c. April 6, 2014

Russell's Rare Books
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015

Sunday, April 02, 2017

A Woman of No Nation

On the way to Stow on the Wold
Gillian Cornwall, c. September 2015

I am a woman with her feet each on two different islands with a continent and an ocean between. I am alone, singular. I belong to no-one and I have few people near. My life lacks an embedded continuity and I have never "fit in." I have rarely had a sense of belonging and now look to it only as a sense of place in the universe, for belonging must mean that there are borders - an inside and an outside. Someone must always be outside and that causes pain.

Being in romantic relationships with women for the majority of my adult life has not always been a fabulous experience. I have been ostracized and harmed by people outside of my relationships and I have felt insufficient from within them. Many women in female / female relationships within my age group suffered harm if they came out at a young age or, by appearance, didn't meet the expectations and demands of the hetero-normative people in their lives - mostly males, though oppressed straight women also became oppressors because of hetero-normative socialization and their fear of repercussion from oppressive males in their lives. In the early days, male-female roles were predominant in lesbian and gay relationships though I never understood why we would buy into the same restrictive gender socializations experienced in heterosexual lifestyle. I used to cringe when people would ask, "Which one of you is the man?" ....seriously. Between all of that and being beaten, sexually assaulted, had work taken away for no reason but my identity, lost promotion for no reason but my identity, and generally considered as "less than" for not being with men and not bearing children has left me, at the very least, tired and worn. I am grateful for where I work now. It is the safest I have ever felt as an adult in the workplace.

I am single these days and I have a greater sense of peace in myself. In relationship, I inevitably feel as though I am letting the person down and I feel less than adequate to both my own and a partner's expectations. These are definitely not blame statements as I take complete responsibility for my choices and my own happiness and misery. I always have been responsible for my own emotions and feelings; however, all the relationships throughout our lives can complicate our personal sense of justice and conflate our sense of wrong-doing. My inability to be a good partner, largely arises from the PTSD I live with as a result of the harm done to me throughout my life. It has very little impact on my work ability but a significant impact on my personal life and my ability to meet the expectations of a partner.

I think I am a good friend though I think my honesty costs me and I have learned, and continue to learn, to temper that honesty with kindness.

Sometimes I feel sad and angry because of the oppression, violence, discrimination and terror I have faced in being a woman who has loved other women ... and, really, simply because I am a woman. It has taken a great deal away from me. A person cannot be violently attacked multiple times and have it not leave a mark.

I think that the painful aspects of my history are, in part, that which has taken away my desire for any kind of sexual identity/orientation. I still get punished for who I am and that harm is actually acknowledged less, because people think everything is all rainbows and lollipops now. The truth is, the haters and oppressors remain; they are just more clever with their oppression because they know that laws have changed out of their favour. They continue to punish others for not being like them, but they make it impossible to prove. So I relinquish the part of me that gets hated - my sexuality - though they will still hate me because they see that I don't want them. I am not gay. I am not straight. I am not, well, anything. I am of no use to them. I suppose I am a threat by the mere fact of my existence. Not awesome.

Many women of my age are considered to be a worthless commodity to men. As we are often no longer objectified as sexual property we are treated as worthless, we are ostracized in the workplace and, sometimes, less malleable than younger employees. Many of us would likely end up cast off to sea on an ice float if they hadn't all melted as a result of corporate greed/climate change. (Funny? ...not funny.)

I suppose some of you may read this and think I am a sad thing. I am not so. More often, I am less sad than I have been in quite some time. I am throwing off some of the burdens and expectations of my youth. Perhaps you think I need counselling - who doesn't? I have had decades of it and will likely continue to do so. If I still had a permanent job, I could afford it.

Perhaps one day I will choose to have some sort of love-like relationship, but I don't need to worry about that right now.

I need to continue to work - hopefully until retirement age - and I will spend my time away from work making art and writing stories and enjoying the companionship of a few friends who bother to keep in touch. I will probably feel a bit lonely at times but who doesn't feel lonely at times, regardless of their relationship status.

Find your peace. Find your joy. Be kind. Speak your truth. Feed your body with clean water and clean food. Be content in each beautiful moment of this gift of life. Try to remember that you are loved and essential to the universal energy of all and that you are a whole, perfect being on each step of your journey. This is what I tell myself. Most days I can get on with it, others just beat me down. Social media is chock-a-block with fictionalized "positivity." The fact is, at times, all of our lives are hard bloody slogging. For those of you who feel this is true, I hope it brings you some solace to know that I see you; I get it and I care. 


Hopefully reading this won't send you into a deeper despair; rather, I hope it lifts you up to know there are others who are finding it brutally hard at times, are saying so and hanging on for the good bits that inevitably come because science and statistics dictate the balance. Later today, I will go outside for a bit of a walk, likely alone, but I'll go. I'll do it because I know it will be beautiful out there. There are blossoms on the trees and wee birds and squirrels busy with Spring. I will pick up a few groceries and walk home. For today, that will bring me joy. I will smile at someone who looks sad or worried and hope that it helps to lift their spirits. That will be enough. You, you are enough. You always have been. 

With love to each of you. 


Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2, 2017

The Heavens
G. Cornwall, c. 2015.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Filling the Space

Into the Light
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015

I am posting this again because I know I have gone off the rails again with an inability to balance, to stop, to breathe and to pay attention where attention is due, to this gift of life. 

I eat to fill the space 
that once was filled with a whole me.
I yearn for sleep that lasts
more than 
two 
hours
at
a
time.
The only way to fix me 
is to be me
and the only way
to be me 
is to take the time
to heal me -
to walk the path of wellness.
For food won't fill it, 
my mind can't simply will it.
The only way to be me
is to walk free 
now.

...And so I step up to the mic and say, "Enough." Time is limited. It is my most limited resource and it is essential that I make the most of the time I have remaining. I am going to do what I need to best ensure I have as much time left as possible and that begins with self-care. This means moderation in consumption,  particularly food, and eating fresh, local goods - way fewer packaged comestibles. It means making gentle exercise a priority and re-embracing Qi Gong as a daily practice in my life. It means caring less about the meanness that exists in our world - and by meanness, I am using the English definition of the word ...because I am English.... Definition: "lack of generosity; miserliness." 

I will breathe deeply and be present. I will say what I need and give it to myself, such as: "Time to write please!" 

There is only one way to get what we need and that is to create a kind and loving space for it. Take time to consider how we work and what we do and whether it is of value. Are we performing a task simply because we always have, or is there still a need or a positive impact from that labour? If not, let's chuck it! There is time for other pursuits if we look for it creatively. Prioritizing how we spend our time is essential to the level of joy we have in our lives. 

So, I organize to make the time to create the time to have more time. Yes, I am able to see the first world entitlement and irony here.... When did I complicate my life like this and how do I re-take the reins? 

Attention. Attention to the moments, the days, the weeks, the months and years. Attention to how I utilize and create during the time I do have and a sound belief that I have the right and the autonomy to choose.

In this season of rebirth and renewal, take a look at how your time is spent. Be creative and make space for your exceptional individuality to shine and grow. Your greatest successes and inspirations will come when you make space for them to grow. Like all the flora and fauna of the earth, you will blossom with the right amounts of space, time, nourishment and sunlight. 

With love to each of you. 

-Gillian Cornwall, March 26, 2017
Originally posted, c. March 27, 2016

Chickadee Spring, The Warrens Garden, Brentwood, BC 
Gillian Cornwall, c. Spring 2015

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Renewal

 
Light Unfolds from the Winter Darkness
Gillian Cornwall, c. March 2016

This Spring, let go. Put down that which is not yours to carry. This is the season of renewal and rebirth - a chance to reinvent yourself. You owe no debt of servitude to another soul. You are unique and whole and perfect on your path. Respect all women for they are the life-givers and must be celebrated for their strength and capacity (which is immeasurable and perfect).

Tread lightly on the Mother Earth for she is the provider of all of your needs for life. Be patient and kind, mostly with yourself, and your patience and kindness with others will come naturally from this prescription. 

There is life to be lived. Go outside. Breathe into your belly. Remember that you are uniquely and infinitely connected to all through your dantian: your centre of life and energy. Participate in your life; celebrate it. Don't just watch the lives of others on the television. 

I write this as it flows through me. I hear this in my  ear, in my heartbeat and through this universal energy I call soul. 

May we embrace the Spring and burst forth into this season of our lives in all of our epic, unique beauty.

Gillian Cornwall, March 19, 2017
c. March 20, 2016

Spring
Gillian Cornwall, c. March 2016

Sunday, March 12, 2017

On Writing

Russell's Books
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015

"Show me!" I beg the page. I coax it forth with my pen, massaging word upon word unto the paper or, hands hovering over the keys as though it were some mystical Ouija Board, spiriting the truth from the world beyond. 

"I believe you!" This is what I say to the universal energy, for whom I am made the conduit of my stories. For it cannot be me, can it, that writes this stuff, when the rare gems issue forth? I am not swathed with approval from an institution issuing degrees of ability and confidence. I have a diploma in recreation from a community college and a life's worth of books travel through me, intertwined with the path I have walked through this life. From this, I learn and write.

I have decided my way must be baccalaureate enough for me. The late Richard Wagamese, who passed on March 11, 2017 - just yesterday, as I write this - spoke of his life as a writer when receiving the 2015 Matt Cohen Award. Watch it here. He captures it perfectly. He speaks of his formal education ending at Grade 9, but says this: 

"The only thing I have taken is the open opportunity that lay between the covers of a book." 

We read and we read more and we live our lives and we reflect upon our experiences and we engage with the artistry of the writers we admire and we learn and our writing grows and we create our own way of storytelling combined with the gift that flows through us. I must only be willing and present and open to that aspect of the process. 

To me, books are hope and connection. They are solace and friendship. They are meditation and encouragement. My novel is very close to completion. I suppose I will begin the task of contacting agents. I really have no idea how one goes about all of this but I will wade into the water and keep swimming. 

I dedicate this post to the late Richard Wagamese. It is not just his books that inspire me - I am quite new to his work, though they do inspire me, especially now as I read through Embers, but it is the man himself, as well, for not stopping his work at the absence of formal education, for not making excuses, for his ability to lift up all of those around him as he does so well in his Matt Cohen Awards speech. He wrote and he wrote well and his stories live inside us all.  

Rest well, Richard. May the next chapter fill you up the way you have filled us and brought us together through your stories. Thank you for your many gifts. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. March 12, 2017

The Heavens
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

International Women's Day

Still Running with the Wolves
Photo by T. Fitch / concept by G. Cornwall, September 2016

I couldn't have been more than seven or eight when I pulled a David Carradine and kung fu kicked the adult front tooth clean out of the mouth of a teenage neighbour boy for sneering at me and telling me I wasn't supposed to be playing in my own fenced-in backyard without a shirt on because I was a girl and girls, after all, were inappropriate at any age if they were found playing, shirtless.

I had already had enough of being made different by others for not doing what was expected of me and not looking as I was expected to look as a girl. Of course, by that age, I had already experienced numerous sexual assaults so I already had a "gloves off" attitude toward males by eight years old. Self-defence was my only recourse in that age of "don't tell" and I felt I would have been blamed and shamed had I told. The one time I did tell as a child, it did not serve me well. Admittedly, my violence toward this particular teenage boy stemmed out of my fear and frustration from previous attacks. He took the result of all of my pent up rage at being ridiculed for something so pure and simple as playing outside with the pleasure of the warmth of the summer sun on my child's chest.

Flash forward almost fifty years. The erosion, the constant wearing away and demeaning of my pure spirit, my strong and good woman's body, the body that still gets the once over on the days I wear my jeans and check shirt rather than one of my dresses or skirts and dare to enter the public restroom, is still happening. It never stopped happening. The barrage of comments and the threat I've been to others through my very existence persists. The insult of my way of being, felt by many males, keeps my existence under constant threat of violence and my behaviour checked for fear of repercussion.


I cannot count the number of times when I identified as a woman who loves women that I was told, "What a waste," the number of times I have told my truth of being flashed, beaten, intimidated and discriminated against and lost out on employment because of how I was born, only to be met with an eye roll or "You need to let go of it," or "Oh, just get over it," never having it acknowledged as unconscionable damage and trauma that needs a federal apology because we have not been treated with the common decency the human rights act should provide. Where is our damn apology let alone compensation for the price we have paid physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially?!

Is it better now?
Yeah, some. Is it perfect? Hell, no. Does it need to be made right with the truths told and heard and an apology made? Damn right it does!

 None of us are less than for the way we are made. We should be held up in our difference and loved for our unique way of seeing without having to mutilate our bodies and spirits to fit in.

Many colourful threads woven together make strong cloth.

Men, if a woman doesn't fit your idea of what a woman should be, get the hell over it. That should be your counselling bill, not hers. Get over your entitlement to every woman's body and way of being. It's 2017. We are neither your chattels nor your puppets. Learn. Grow. Challenge yourselves to be better and to do better.

Women. Do what you do for you. Don't buy into the BS. If we stand together, it will aid our freedom. Your beauty has its strength and truth in your spirit, not in the way you are viewed by men.

You are love, just as you are. You are equal to your power as life-bringers, protectors and teachers. The man behind the curtain with all of the perceived power is a brute, a liar and a coward.


The cost to me for a lack of basic human rights protections has been epic. So don't tell me, "oh, isn't it great now," because: a) it's not that great and b) there needs to be, at minimum, a national apology for the harm done. 

Even the act of writing this is another risk to my well-being and so many people will just say that we should be quiet and hide ourselves so no more bad happens, but it is just not true. Bad things will happen anyway, but healing cannot begin until the truth is spoken, heard and acknowledged by the perpetrators and that means everyone who stands by, unscathed and silent, complicit. 

I believe the stats indicate one in three women are victims of violence; however, I venture that, if one woman is harmed, we are all harmed. If you have been harmed, please reach out to professional resources near you. There are worldwide organizations and local groups run by women for women to assist you. Please do all you can to stay connected and to know that it is not your fault and that you are deserving of love, a life of freedom and respect. 

March 8, 2017 is International Women's Day. #BeBoldForChange. Acknowledging this and using it as a day to learn, expand your views, challenge misogyny and inequality of the sexes (I will not say gender as that is just a social construct made up to enforce inequality). Use it as a launching point. Listen to women who have been harmed and acknowledge it without trying to wipe away the pain with a harmful phrase like "But isn't it better now?" Try using that phrase in your mind when you think of any systemic harm done. We MUST recognize what has come to pass for generations and own it in order to move forward in a good way. 

I hope you will use March 8 as a place from which to step forward in a good way - with recognition of what has happened and the harm it has done, what has changed, what we can do today to make positive change and what we want to do to make the future safer for every girl on her path to a healthy, strong, equal womanhood. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. March 5, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

You Are the Gift

Spring in Victoria
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015

Have you ever worked your hardest at something and been over the moon excited to deliver it, only to receive little or no response or a different response than the one for which you had hoped?

Have you ever felt terribly dejected and hopeless, wanting to throw in the towel, certain you had failed, that you made no difference or impact whatsoever even though you had given it your all?

It's a disappointment, a debilitating feeling that most of us (okay, probably all) have faced or will face at different times in our lives. For those of you out there who are carrying these feelings, whether from recent or long past disappointments, I would like you to consider this:

We may believe we have failed, been ignored, misunderstood, overlooked or pushed aside but, the fact is, most of the time we are projecting the term failure onto the truth, which is: we are unaware of the actual impact we are having as a result of our actions. Sometimes, we miss the facts because we are so focused on the fiction we have written for ourselves around our own value and impact on others. We wrap our gift, whether verbal, physical, emotional or physical, in a hyperbole of our own expectations of the reception of the gift. 

"I have given this;
therefore, I expect that."

This is a pointless exercise as we cannot control the way our gifts are received - we can only give them. The truth is, we don't always know when or how our actions and words impact others. All we can do is be kind and true in our interactions.

If you feel as though you don't make a difference in the lives of others, I can guarantee that you are mistaken. You matter. If you have ever smiled at someone - friend or stranger, held a door open for someone or even thought a positive thought about a fellow being, then you have facilitated an endless ripple effect of positive energy and opportunity throughout time and space! You matter. You are a vessel of possibility and love. You are unique and irreplaceable. 

Your capacity to see another, to lift them with a smile, to give of yourself freely without expectation of return - this is your greatest gift to the world. Never doubt for a minute that you make a difference. You may not always get the reaction you hoped you would get or the result you expected, but if you put your heart into something, that in itself makes the world better. You may not know the difference you made right there and then, but be patient. Your good works will feed you and guide you and, if you are too focused on waiting and looking in one direction for your expected outcome, you may miss a beautiful gift being delivered from another direction. 

Give the gifts of yourself with a good heart. Do not worry about how they are received as that is beyond your control. Trust in your value as a loving person. Give what you are free to give and let go. 

I dedicate this to all those who suffer from anxiety and worry that they are somehow insufficient, not producing enough, or not succeeding enough, or not giving enough. I see your kind hearts and you are enough. Wishing you love and hoping I offer some light along your paths. 

Gillian Cornwall, February 26, 2017
-original post, c. March 29, 2015

From sky to tree to sea
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Be Brilliant, Bold and Mitigate Expectations

Maui - North Shore
Oil Pastel on Paper | Approx. 8"x 10"
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012
Sold

I originally posted this piece in 2014. I wanted to reflect on it from my perspective today. I hope it gives something to you too: 

My brother once told me, "Expect nothing and hope for the best." Many seasons have passed since he imparted this sage advice and, to this day, hope and expectation can blur on my page like once vivid watercolours, running from brilliant individual rivulets into a murky pool.

Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love.

There they go again, marching across the page, weaving together the precept of every piece I've ever written. Tiresome, isn't it? ...but also true. With every step, every breath, every crossroad, we must decide which path to tread. 

This brings me to the title of this week's piece. Let's look at the parts:

Brilliant: bright, clever, impressive, excellent - from the French brillant: shining

Bold: willing to take risks, confident, courageous

Mitigate: make something (bad) less severe or lessen the gravity of something painful; from Latin mitigat- softened, alleviated

So, it looks like I'm saying: shine and be courageous but make sure you do it as your truth rather than from a desire to receive a response or change from something or someone because if you expect results, you can be disappointed or hurt. Yes, that is what I meant. Good. Sorry to take you down that road with me but I wanted to make sure I was going where I need to go with this. 

Hopev. want something to happen or be the case 

Interestingly, as a verb, hope relates more to want than expectation; whereas, as a noun, expectation is dominant in the use of the word

Expectv. regard something as likely to happen

My brother's wise words convey that it is okay to want something but not to rely on it. I agree with this too.

Recognize that the greater your brilliance, boldness and joie de vivre, the more likely it is that you will be met with an equal and opposite energy of naysayers and folks who need to shadow themselves from your light. I want to remind you that reaction is not a measurement of the value of your action. If your intent is for the positive, if your action comes from a place of love rather than fear, then you may listen and consider but it is not for you to own or carry the reaction of another. 

So if you shine, shine. Be bold. Explore. Your light may be the very thing that someone needs to light their path or it may take you to a place that opens your heart and soul to reaches you have never imagined. Do not let your brilliance and boldness be extinguished by other people's fears. Your light is a foundation of greatness, of living a full and passionate life. Do not walk your path as though it is a red carpet, looking for applause or judgement. Walk your path for the journey, for the delight and learning of life. I'll see you along the way. 

May we have less fear and more love on each of our paths. That which we hold too tightly will only result in loss. The tighter we try to hold on to that which we have, the more likely it is to slip through our fingers to where there is room for it to be without pressure. Let go. Don't buy into the fear. May we make more decisions out of love and less out of fear. Wishing each of you some freedom in letting go of fear. Share what you have if you can give it freely and without expectation of return on investment - other than the good feeling of having given something. Avoid resentment. It is toxic and will poison your well-being. 

Be well and live with as much freedom as you can and, to all the folks that keep shining in their brilliance, thank you for your light. 

-Gillian Cornwall, February 19, 2017
Original post, August 24, 2014

Surf - Oil Pastel on Paper 
Approx. 8" x 10"
Gillian Cornwall, c. 1988
Available