life lessons

#ESMEINK : "Traditions" Day 23

sacred

{ TRADITIONS }

This weekend, my family and I were honoured to attend a wedding that included a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony to honour the bride's elders, and bless her as she departs from her family name, and takes on a new one.

The ceremony was in a beautiful setting, on the Seymour river in North Vancouver at my cousin's house. Just breathtaking.

The ceremony itself, was full of tradition and quiet emotion. It seems that in our culture, weddings seem to be getting so far away from tradition, and resemble more creativity and diversity. The more different a wedding is, seemingly, the more praise it gets. (Of course this is not always the case) I'm not sure that's not a bad thing, but I do feel sad when tradition becomes watered down, or lost. Tradition to me, resembles roots, foundation for future, and strength in clan.

The ceremony began with an introduction explaining why this ceremony takes place, and who it honours. From there, each elder-mother, father, grandparents, aunt's and uncle's from both the bride and groom's side sit, and A red envelope is presented to the bride and groom (containing money for granting them a start on their new journey) as they kneel before their elder(s), and exchange greetings and blessings. They then sip on traditional tea (or a liquor-although I'm not sure if that's a choice, or for any specific reason) It was so refreshing to be part of such an amazing experience!

My hope for the future, is that marriage remains sacred. That traditions are upheld, and that it's not just the "wedding" with all of it's bells and whistles that a bride or groom looks forward to. Because the road ahead of us all is not an easy one. That's not to say that it's not beautiful, but there needs to be a large foundation built in order for a marriage to grow upwards and outwards in love.

A common, traditional short poem that may be said to the bride and groom goes something like this one below; (To my cousin Joe, and new wife, Lisa, I hope I've got this right);

zhù nĭ men
xīang jìng rú bīn
xīn xīn xīang yìn
huā hăo yuè yuán
băi nián hăo hé

(Translates to): Wish that you two
 May you respect each other like honored guests.
May you always see heart to heart.
May fragrant flowers bloom and full moon shine over your life together.
May your joy and happiness be forevermore.

sacredmarriage

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Change" Day 11

perfection.jpg

progressCHANGE

{name it so you can change it}

I thought naming what sucks was a good topic on it's own. So, today I'm going to name it to change it again.

To say that trying to be a mom with a career is hard, would be an understatement. If i'm being honest, some days I want to throw in the towel. I think part of it is the age of my kids. They require lots of attention, love and teaching, and are not in school full time. Another part of it is time management. I know I could definitely do better in this area. I love being a mom. Wouldn't wish for my life to be any different. I only wish for strength and wisdom to do it better. I feel the same way about my career.

{symmetry}

Finding balance in all things in life, is an ongoing process. Juggling family and career is just one of them. When I put too much effort into one, the other suffers. Sometimes my mood determines which one I exercise my focus on.

I know the key to maintaining balance, is knowing when I've lost it. Paying attention to symmetry in my life. Putting all of my eggs in one basket, could be described as a bit extreme. But I want the best of both worlds. I want to be the best at everything I do. It's in my nature.

I am learning for sure, that taking time to live life-like, really LIVE, will only inspire my work. So maybe that's just where I should put more focus.

Also, I have to remind myself, it's okay to turn work off to live the life you dream of.

I think all I can do is be my best at whatever is is that I'm doing at the present moment.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

perspective

#ESMEINK : "Love" Day 6

lightandlove

{ LOVE } 

Yesterday's solstice, on a full moon, spoke of a summer of love, a bountiful harvest to come, new beginnings, letting go, addressing fears and relationships. Strangely, all topics I've been compelled to write about in my journals this past week.

Today I write about love in the light of this moon!

I love, love. Always have. I believe there is someone for everyone. I knew I would find true love, and then, finally I did. When I least expected it, and that's a beautiful cliche.

Darkness is necessary for my growth.

I didn't get married super young, and I'm glad. I came close to settling. A couple of times. Yesterday I mentioned that I'm grateful for my ugly relationships because of what I learned from them. Today, rather than refer to them as "ugly relationships", I call them "the times that taught me about love".

These times became dark, and scary. I ended up feeling hatred towards myself, and I developed walls which would eventually effect future relationships. For me, these dark moments were important and necessary.

Darkness is where all seeds begin. They can't grow, blossom, or be appreciated by others if they're not down in the cold dark dirt to lay roots, and start growing. And grow, I did. I knew what I would and would not accept in a relationship. I knew what things I was willing to let go. I knew that morals had to match. I knew that Self growth was something I never wanted to be frowned upon, or discouraged. I knew how much I was willing to give back. I became ready for love, but didn't realize it until love smacked me in the face.

{True love.}

When Stacy and I met, we fell in love fast. So fast it was frightening. We decided to just go with it.

He accepted me for where I was at in my life. A lost soul, in need of real love. He helped me break down my walls when I was ready. He wasn't afraid of my baggage. He accepted my past, and wanted a future. It seemed too good to be true, and wasn't.

There are so many stages of love, and I don't' know how to explain them. All I know, is hindsight is beautiful. I love reflecting on where we've been, how far we've come, the beautiful moments, the challenges. We are entering our 7th year together this month. Rough patches in a good healthy relationship are pretty easily forgotten. They are normal. It means that we are, and always will be our own divine, individual selves, working together to achieve a feel-good, meaningful spiritual life.

We take the time to self love, in order to better love each other. We support one another in our decisions, knowing that our belief systems are aligned and keep us strong. We believe in each other, helping us believe in ourselves.

The future is bright with burning love.

{MANTRA}

Shima, shima, shima.

(Love, love, love.)

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson