Here I will put links to books and other materials that for 45 years have been invaluable to me as a successful entrepreneur and employer, healing from paraplegic to dancer and for the last 23 years as a counsellor.

Some of these materials have been transformative for me. They enabled me to thrive in young, exciting times and survive and heal through difficult times, physically and emotionally.

Remember one thing: every person does their best, even when it’s not best for us. Always. Not ‘the’ best as we might judge it. But ‘their’ best. At the time. Under the circumstances. (Which may have sucked for us).

Being fair, just, loving and kind to others is essential. Of course. But… It’s human to make mistakes. At the time we make those mistakes, we are just trying to survive and grow: we’re doing our best.

Remember to practice self-compassion. And compassion for others.

It’s also good to remember that those mistakes, including our mistakes, may have had an awful impact on others. As did the pain we experience ourselves when someone else’s ‘best’ hurts us. Compassion and self-compassion don’t give us permission to hurt others but rather encourage us – give us the courage – to be aware of the consequences of our actions on others and the strength to face those consequences.

I think this is always true but never more so that in the last few years. 20:20 is perfect vision. Clarity. I was excited to welcome in 2020. I was so sure it would be the best year. Well… Now we know how that played out.

What’s happening today in Canada makes a perfect case for the need for NVC (Non Violent Communication) in all walks of life and to help get us through all sorts of trauma.

Even the most peaceful people – Canadians have that reputation – who loose sight of compassion and kindness toward others can quickly become divided and spiteful.

I was in a Hecklers comedy show at the end of Nov 2021 and the so called ‘comedian’ warmed up his audience by eliciting cheers from the audience to support the vaccine and the vaccine passport. He then quite quickly went on to tell ‘anti-vaxxer’ jokes. Including jokes about how it will be ‘great’ for our divided country when the anti-vaxxers die of covid and “no longer endanger the rest of us”. I’m fairly level headed and resilient but I was horrified and shocked. I walked out. If anyone told such ‘jokes’ about any other minority they would be prosecuted for inciting hate. I couldn’t believe my ears and was so disgusted and ashamed of him.

Recently I watched “Rebellion” on Netflix, which is an awful reminder of what can happen when compassion, common sense and community goes out the window. And compassion went out the window during covid.

Passions today are fanned by government rhetoric and the media. The people are not treated with respect and given all the facts – both sides of an argument. There is no cool-headedness, compassion or facts. This is what happened in Ireland and England. The Irish are in many ways similar to Canadians. In fact many Irish came to Canada to find a decent life. The country is only one religion: Christian. Although some people are Catholic and some are Protestant. That difference in religion was used as the ‘reason’ for the trouble and governments and media fanned and manipulated hatred among the people. The reason for the fighting was in fact political and of course financial. There are no discernible physical differences between the Irish or the Canadians. In fact I would say there is no real difference between any people, anywhere. A peaceful solution could easily have been found. And many lives and families saved. Eventually it was…

I believe the same applies to Ukraine and Russia. The issues are not what we are led to believe. The people themselves are of the same blood. Many families are mixed. I believe this trouble too is manipulated and for political reasons. The same is true of trouble and war all over today’s world.

Until now Canadians could easily see through such cruelty and evil and intolerance. Canadians were proud of the Charter of Rights and of our acceptance of minorities. Fear changed that.

The distances between the mainland of BC and Vancouver Island – or BC and Alberta – are not unlike those between Ireland and England. Watch the movie. It’s horrifying. An eye-opener. I remember stepping over firetruck hoses criss-crossing the street, ready to douse the aftermath of an explosion.

What would it take for us all to pull together and insist on being able to hear all sides of the issues we’re faced with and act with compassion for each other?

More than ever we need to practice compassion and kindness now. Even when we find the subject beyond our understanding and logic. Never lose your humanity. Never lose respect for your brothers and sisters and the fact that it’s perfectly OK not to agree. That’s what democracy is all about?!

The freedom to choose was a priceless gift, given to us proudly by our ancestors at a great cost to themselves.

I believe that all of us are afraid. Tired. Worn down emotionally by see-sawing government directives, none of them based in reality. And I am afraid that exhaustion might be being used against us, deliberately? There is an obscene amount of power and money here at stake too. Don’t they always say ‘follow the money’?

Essentially we are all in the same boat: the boat of simply wanting the best – and safety – for our loved ones. Genuinely believing one group poses a threat to the other. But longing for a return to ‘normal’ life.

The media believe their bosses and believe they are fighting on the side of right as do some politicians, healthcare workers and other officials. The pharmaceutical companies, certain industry and heads of government are getting rich and enjoying amazing power. Fear is a very powerful motivator.

I beg us all to remember that we are ALL afraid. We are ALL sick and tired, emotionally and physically. We are ALL worn down by see-sawing government directives and years of lockdowns and masks. The pandemic really has cost us dearly. And while we can see that things now seem to be going back to normal and there seems to be consensus that the vaccines are neither safe nor effective and we seem to be doing equally as well without them, we can’t really believe that anyone, let alone ‘our own’, would do anything as wicked as try to harm us. Yet… But, no. It’s unthinkable. We are just not ready to go there yet. It has to be simply a mistake. One that has cost trillions of dollars and where the vaccine and the treatment itself cost thousands – and maybe millions – of lives. If we can’t trust our neighbour and fellow man… Massive, unthinkable thoughts that exhausted minds just can’t think.

We ALL want the best – and safety – for our loved ones. Both ‘sides’. None of us are ‘granny killers’. Which is one of the awful things I heard that night at Hecklers. We all have grannies and love them dearly. I am a grannie! And I don’t want anyone to lose their job or be forcibly vaccinated for me. Never! That’s a fact.

Investigate. Research. Talk. Agree. Disagree. Be strong. Be Brave. Be Canadian.

Why is this ‘rant’ of mine relevant here in this ‘marketplace’? It’s here because in order to heal, I believe we have to own our issues and research and think. We have to find the courage to try. and we really can’t leave it to the experts. If I had done that I would still be in a wheelchair. Sad but true. I believe we all have contributions to make and we can all learn from the experience of others and make our world better. Experts can help but where we can we all need to pitch in. Research. Think. This ‘marketplace’ offers reading and tips that has been helpful to me, to heal and to recover from trauma. Physical and emotional. . I invite you to check it out?!