Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off and Start All Over Again

So here’s the thing.  I love writing and I love my blogs.  I was so excited about my Sixty in the City idea.  I couldn’t wait to get started.  Ideas flowed in my head and my heart.  When I was out ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pictures poured in.  This is my passion.  I love sharing ideas and hopefully inspiring others. Ok, so what happened ….why did I stop?  Why do I have lists of blogging ideas in my “To Do List” and why haven’t I written in months? Why?  What stopped me? Hmmmm…… time to explore the usual suspects.

loose-cassette-tape-650x280  The old tapes I suppose.  What do I mean by the old tapes?  Those are those thoughts that flow through our mind.  Crap that other people told us or crap that we repeatedly tell ourselves?  Can’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t.  Yowzers!!  How did that stuff get into my head?

 

half-fullI pride myself on a cup that is more than half full and often spilling over.  I think that I am a “take charge, get it done, kind of Womyn”.  I never leave dishes in the sink or laundry unfolded.  I plan my meals, plan my grocery list, take time to cook healthy from scratch food, keep my home neat and tidy, stay in touch family and loved ones, remember birthdays and special occasions, make lists and check things off. Yup, you got it….I can busy myself with a lot of mundane details and tell myself that I was too busy today but tomorrow….no the next day….ok no….next week….  I’ll do it….cause I love it.  What’s going on????

Looking back over the years (and when you are sixty, there are a lot of years to look back on) I know that many times when I was on the brink of following my passion to have my own business as an Alternative Healing practitioner. My passion for facilitating groups to inspire womyn to create the changes they want for themselves and for the world…..I didn’t follow my own advice but instead took a different path.  Consistently a solid, dependable job or contract  would come my way and how could I say no to stability and normality?   I am not criticizing those choices.  I was a sole support parent with 2 amazing daughters who I wanted to provide for.  I am certain that isn’t all there is to this pattern, though. My daughters have been self sufficient and stable on their own for over a decade.

Last spring I found a great inspiration partner.  We both wanted someone to keep us on track to achieve our goals.  We met every other week and we created a whole system to keep us motivated.  It was so exciting and so organized.  sunraysWe called our goals sun rays and each ray was a stream that we wanted to pursue and follow.  In this time I got my licence to marry couples and started officiating weddings.  I was blogging very regularly and many of my ideas were unfolding .  I started my training to become a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess).  I was doing it!!! And… Then…I …Stopped !!!!!!!!!  Right in the middle of doing what I was sure I loved and what I am still sure I love.  What happened? One thing only….I got in my own way.

The really awesome part of all this is that it’s ok to stop and it’s ok to start again.  The old but timeless song, “take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” Listen hear

fred-and-ginger

What have I done?  I found my old mentors again …..Sarah Ban Breathnach, Louise Hay and Sark.  I dug out my vision journal and I have enjoyed looking at it again.  (some photos from my old vision book)

Today I am going to start working on expanding that vision journal with my new visions and discoveries.  Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests that you get piles of old magazines and cut out pictures that you are drawn to, putting them into separate piles for the various parts of your life.  Here is a description from one of her books.

You can usually find Sarah’s books in second hand book stores.  I suggest starting with “Simple Abundance”. Currently I am using “Something More” as my guide.

I am ready to commit to me again…..that means healthy choices and exercising, it means writing out my gratitudes from the day before, giving thanks to the Goddess, reading something inspirational.  It means making a commitment to my personal success by creating an action plan and following it though.  For me it means stepping out of my usual comfort zones.  It means finding joy in all the little spaces like walking barefoot on the beach in November in Nova Scotia or wandering through the Allan Garden Conservatory in Toronto on Boxing Day when it is cold and rainy outside.

 

 

 

What does it mean for you?

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Celebrating Your Life Cycle Events

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SandraLaya Ruch, Life Cycle Celebrant – Weddings, Funerals, Coming of Age, B’nai Mitzvah, Retirement, Unbinding and more.

 SandraLaya brings a professional attitude to all your Life Cycle events.  She will work with you to create just the right atmosphere to meet all your hopes and expectations. She is a mother and grandmother, a choir member, after school teacher and lay leader in her Temple community. Today she is working toward her ordination as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess).

SandraLaya lives in Toronto area and works as a Holistic Health Care practitioner, human rights activist, and Teacher/Facilitator. She has travelled extensively for both work and pleasure.  She brings a sincere openness to people and their personal beliefs and values.

Wherever you choose to celebrate – in a traditional setting or under a waterfall, Sandra will bring just the right amount of reverence to your Life Cycle event.

 Areas include the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), London, and Hamilton

  • Weddings
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Contact:  sandralruch@gmail.com

Telephone 416-716-4010

 

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Testimonials

Kasha Coming of AgeThe coming of age ceremony you did for Kasha was very beautiful and touching! You’ve got the gift of bringing people together in a meantingful way.            Marla Slavner June 2016

David and Wayne” Thank you Sandra (Ruch) for your professionalism. It was a pleasure to have you as our officiant to the start of our life together. Sandra had a gentle personality, dressed very professional and had great shoes. We have nothing to say except great things.”   David and Wayne

Kenana for Sandra RuchSandra Ruch was absolutely amazing! She went above and beyond to provide us with a ceremony that my husband and I both loved. She provided with us with many readings and gave us an outline of how the ceremony would go. She was professional, responsive and gave us lots of ideas! Our guests thought the ceremony was beautiful and memorable.Thank you so much Sandra! Kenana & David 09/17/2016

Kale and JustinSandra Ruch went beyond our expectations, she was kind and really guided us through the entire process. I have already had numerous people reach out to me asking for Sandra’s information – she was a huge hit. Sandra was truly magnificent. She was accommodating with us being out of province, she provided so much guidance in the process and really gave us a warm feeling. She has the combination of a really heartfelt smooth tone with genuine excitement and love when performing your service. We would recommend her to all. Kale & Justin

AndreaRob2016We had the absolute pleasure of Sandra Ruch officiating our wedding ceremony. From the moment we met Sandra it was clear that she truly cared about us and wanted our day to be tremendously special. She spent an evening getting to know us and helped guide us through what turned out to be a very personalized, well executed, and beautiful ceremony. Thank you Sandra for caring so much about us and delivering a beautiful ceremony. Andrea and Rob

From start to finish my experience was fantastic! Everyone at All Seasons Weddings made our official wedding ceremony easy plan and they are extremely efficient in planning and wonderful to communicate with. Sandra was our wedding officiant and I can’t say enough about how pleasant, kind and wonderful her spirit is. When I first welcomed her into our home, I felt like I had known her for years. She is warm and caring and took the time to get to know us. Initially we had planned to have Sandra come to our home and sign our marriage certificate but she made us feel special and put the care into her role to present a sweet speech and really highlight what it means to commit to marriage. We had already had a symbolic wedding ceremony at our destination wedding but Sandra still made our quaint living room gathering feel special. Thank you Sandra! I talk about you to all my friends getting married and really hope that you can spread your kindness and spirit to other couples. You really left and impression on us and thank you for being our officiant!  Courtney & Allan

 

Is That Garbage?

For me it is all about the thrill of the find.  When it comes to decorating, I rarely spend time shopping for home decor.  I am always on the lookout for a great giveaway and I am continually scouring the street.  I have been doing this as long as I can remember. I take great pride in my home, spend hours looking at home decor magazines and watching home decor shows.  I just enjoy “finding” and adapting the perfect piece.

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Home decor magazines

One day waiting for the bus, I looked across the street and saw a table on the street – not just any table but one that I had several pictures of in my vision book.  I ran across the street – stood greedily beside the table and quickly called a cab – $10 later, I was the proud owner of my dream table.  I found 2 chairs at another bus stop recently.  This weekend I am going to paint them “butter cream”.  In the photo below – the cabinet (which I had seen and liked at Ikea) was a $50 find on Craigslist.  One of the chairs was from my daughter’s garage sale and another, an inheritance from a beloved friend. The vase was found in the magic laundry room. (read on)

Table and chairs
Street finds – table and chairs

I know my habit of scavaging was a source of embarrassment for my daughters.  One day I found  old railway ties in front of a house put out for garbage pickup.  I stopped the car (with my girls in the backseat) and started loading them into my trunk.  I had a vision of a pathway in my backyard.  Turns out it was the home of one of the friends.  I think they were ducked down on the floor of our family vehicle. In the end, I built my little walkway that led to my hand dug pond (filled with a child’s swimming pool someone had tossed out the week before).  The  found pool didn’t work (kept leaking) and I had to buy a real pond liner after all.

I live in a relatively affluent neighbourhood and I have made some incredible discoveries there.  A few years ago I was walking home and found a beautiful cabinet. I  couldn’t believe it was a giveaway so I knocked on the door just to confirm.  The woman who answered said they had just got a flat screen television, no longer needed the cabinet and her toddlers were continually opening and shutting the doors – she just wanted it gone!  I called a friend for help, called a taxi (asking for a van) and between myself, my friend and the driver – we got it to my home less than 500 metres away.  I paid the driver $30.  I looked online to see if I could find a value for this gorgeous piece and found something very similar retailing for $1500 at Pier One (sale price $800). My daughter now has it in her dining room.

This is just one of my many finds.  I bought a white wicker chair for my living space and not long after found a very similar one left in the garbage area of my apartment complex. Can you guess which one was garbage? Probably not.

One Saturday after a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk, I found 2 half moon end tables.  They have had many uses since I brought them home.  Once I put them together and made a really nice round table. Last summer I found a white Ikea sofa on someone’s lawn with a sign “take me”.  I was looking for the cushions to put on a folding single bed frame as my summer bed.  I felt a bit guilty leaving the frame behind but I am getting a lot of use from this find. I am waiting impatiently for summer to enjoy it again.

 

I also have a magic laundry room and I couldn’t possibly remember all the things I have collected from there or all the things that I have left there. I call it magic because usually I find something  within days or weeks of imaging it.  Last week I left a dozen or more picture frames from my daughter’s recent purge and 2 days later they were all gone.  I have found a beautiful onyx chess set that I gave to my son in law.  Salad bowls, a gorgeous white platter, a ceramic espresso maker, cds, a radio, books, glass vases, a salad spinner (my most recent find).  Honest, I am not a hoarder – usually if something comes in, something else has to go. I just love the thrill of the find…..tell me, don’t you?

Laundry room finds
from the magic laundry room

 

 

 

Living Large in My Tiny Space

I do live in a tiny space and I love it.  I found this apartment 9 years ago when I moved to Toronto after 2 years of living in Haifa.  I didn’t think I would be here almost a decade later but I knew the minute I crossed the threshold that it was home.  It is just 500 square feet including the 100 square feet  of balcony.  I use that balcony in the warmer months and it was one of the non-negotiable items on my must have list – clean building, public transit, balcony, wooden floors and bathtub.

When I left Canada in 2004, I sold the house and most of what was in it.  My daughters took what they wanted for their first homes and I kept 3 antique pieces that I had inherited from my Grandmother, a coffee table my father had commissioned and 5 boxes of books and other treasures.  I safely stored them away in my brother’s home and travelled with 2 very large suitcases of clothing and shoes.

I purchased a few new pieces when I moved in – a Beddinge sofa bed from Ikea, a bookcase and a chair from Pier One and an Ikea cabinet I found on Craigslist.  The rest, I have to admit, I have found or inherited.  Yup, found, fabulous pieces set on the curb in my neighbourhood.

table find
This is a table I had many pictures of in my vision book and there it was on the street looking for me.

In my space I have created nooks – a reading nook, an office nook, a dining nook, sitting nook.  My space has a separate kitchen, a huge walk-in closet, linen closet and entrance.

My living room converts to my bedroom with a quick flip of the sofa bed.

bed

…………and my kitchen space

I added  a baker’s rack to my kitchen and it holds extra bowls, baking pans, cast iron frying pans. I  have catered from this little space, held dinner parties for up to 10 and cooked daily for myself.

This year as I prepare to train as a Kohenet (a Jewish Priestess), I have added my altar.

altar

I love to nest wherever I land.  Do you?  How do you live in a tiny space?

 

 

A Contest: Help me keep dancing and win a dream pillow.

I still find dancing in the morning to be the best exercise for me – “dancing for my life”.  We know that exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. I have a workout playlist on YouTube and I add to it from time but lately…………..I know I need something new.  So while dancing this morning I decided to open it up to everyone to add your favourite song – that song that propels you out of chair and onto the floor to dance.  The winning entry will be the one that inspires me to dance like crazy.

The prize is a hand-made dream pillow (hand made by me) valued at $20.  email your entries to sixtyinthecitynow@gmail.com.  Contest ends on February 29th and the winner will be notified by email.  The winners name will be posted on the website and on Facebook.

If you live in the GTA and want to learn how to make your own dream pillow, I am offering a workshop on Thursday, February 25th at Anarres Apothecary read more here