Finding Orion

As a child I looked at the stars so often and for so long, I started to notice patterns among them. At some point, I learned about constellations and always yearned to learn more. I forget how and when I learned about the constellations but I do remember learning about the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and some others. For me, they were all hard to spot except for one. Orion. Orion was the easiest one for me to recognize mostly due to Orion’s belt. I could easily find those three little stars and from them I could see the entire constellation.

Find one pattern; step back; and see all the other patterns begin to connect. By finding the patterns in the stars and seeing how they connect, I learned how to see the bigger picture.

From then on Orion followed me throughout the years. During the winter months on clear nights, I could always count on Orion to be there. I remember many times pulling into my driveway not wanting to go inside to the chaos of my house, I would stand in my driveway and look up and find Orion. I could stay with him for as long as I needed. On nights when it felt impossible to sleep, I would look out my window and Orion would be waiting. Whether I needed some peace and quiet or a sense of ease, I could always rely on Orion’s remarkable presence to provide comfort.

Unlike my reflective conversations with the stars, there were not many conversations with Orion. It was more about seeing each other and being seen was important because I had felt unseen for so long. Orion validated my presence. I felt heard by the stars and seen by Orion.

In the recent past, I experienced many life transitions, which included many moves. During this time, I lost my connection with Orion. I had not seen nor looked for him in a couple of years. I was busy with other things and was looking forward rather than looking up. On my last move from the United States to Canada, I had settled into my new place. After a few months, everything was starting to feel stable. I awoke in the middle of the night and felt compelled to look out my window. It was a clear winter night. There had not been many clear nights in Vancouver since I moved. I looked out at the quiet street below and then I looked up. I could feel a warm comforting wave flow through my body and I smiled. There was Orion shining bright as ever. My reliable constellation. He was there with me in my new home. However, this time was different. This place was a home I created on my own. It was a haven filled with peace. My home finally had everything I needed to feel safe. Orion was not there to ease my pain. He was there to celebrate in my joy.

Seeing Orion thousands of miles from my childhood home and in my new home, felt like a full circle moment. And in that moment, everything felt like it would be all right.

If you are ever feeling alone on those dark winter nights, look up, find those recognizable three stars and you will find Orion waiting for you.

Lost in the Moment

Do you know that feeling of being blissfully lost in the moment?

It’s those times where you are so happily immersed in something that time seems to stand still and the whole world just falls away.

In that moment, all that matters is you and whatever has captivated your attention.

I love those moments and I recently realized I miss having them.

I remember the last time I felt like this was when I started working with clay. I was working on my first sculpture in my first hand building ceramics class in my undergrad. In the beginning, it was overwhelming trying something new. However, during the process of creating, I found a deep focus that I never experienced before.

I experienced these blissful moments of being engulfed in the present moment. It was just my art and me.

The experience of being lost in the moment or better stated being present in the moment is something people are missing.

Recently, this is something that is resonating with clients.

They miss that joyful feeling of being lost in something they love doing.

In order to find that again, sometimes it’s a matter of returning to something old or daring to try something new.

For me, I will be returning to something old.

I begin a hand building class next week.

And we shall see if I will get happily lost again.

Photo: My first ceramic art piece in undergrad.

What Helps You Feel Safe?

When I was a child, I would often go outside at night to look up at the stars. I felt drawn to them. The starry night sky became the one calm constant in my life I could count on. They shined so bright amidst the darkness and made things better for a moment. When I was with the stars, there was no yelling, or fighting, or chaos. I was not scared or anxious something bad was happening or about to happen. When I sat under the stars, I experienced the most blissful peace. I could talk to the stars about my fears and troubles and they would always listen. There were days I eagerly waited for the sun to set and the sky to turn a dark indigo so I could sit with those sparkling glints of hope. They may have been millions of light years away but they were always close by when I needed them. On the nights when the moon was full were my favorite. The full moon made the darkness that surrounded me lighter. I would smile at the full moon feeling her light envelope me all the while knowing her stay was temporary. When the nights were warm, it was easy to stay out as long as I needed to chat with my confidantes. When the nights grew colder, I would stay out until my little fingers felt like icicles. It was always hard to leave.

Now as an adult, I still look up on dark nights and smile. The stars are still there for me.

And when the moon is at her fullest she still shines her light on me offering her safe embrace. They are all waiting to hear what I need to say and I am open to any answers that may arise.

The Counsellor’s Journal

The Counsellor’s Journal is a collection of journal entries based on my own experiences, perspectives, and reflections. Many entries will reflect on my past; other entries will explore my present; and some writings will focus on my future.

I always share with clients how healing journal writing can be. Journaling has not always been a regular habit in my life. However, when I do write my thoughts and feelings down it always provides some form of relief or insight. Moving our thoughts and feelings out of our bodies through the action of writing can be cathartic. When we write something on a page, we offer our bodies a way to release things we have been holding onto far too long. And when the words are on paper, we have created space between us and what we’ve written.

In this liminal space is where change can occur. It is a space where we can make choices that best suit our healing in the moment.

One option is to go back and read what we have written. Because we have created this distance, this space, we may be able to see things from a different perspective and gain some insight on our circumstances. For some, this happens while writing so there is no need to go back and re-read.

Another option is to simply write everything down then put it away and have that be enough. There is no need to re-visit the written words because the act of moving the thoughts and feelings out of their bodies was all they needed and that is okay.

There is also the option to burn the completed pages and release the ashes using water. This has been a beautiful ritual for many clients and one they return to regularly. Fire and water are healing elements for those who feel drawn to the process.

I have done all three depending on what I needed in each moment. I do invite you to try some journaling and know however you choose to journal is your choice.