The front cover this month is one of the rare pictures that has my Mom in it. Haircut Day with all six of my smiling brothers. I like this photo because it captures our family's style of living: simple and casual, where a smile was genuine. The antique barber chair was kept in the wash house with the old wringer washer. Mother had a battery-operated pair of shears and everyone got the same hair cut which didn’t bother anyone.
Let me introduce you to the family...Donald is the youngest, sitting on a board getting sheared. He is the only one still living in Rosswood, where we grew up; he is married and has a little girl. Michael is sitting on the foot rest. He moved to Terrace years ago, is married and has 2 girls and 3 boys. To the right of Mike is Billy, who was killed in a motorcycle accident many years ago. Paul is the one pointing: he has moved back to Michigan and is married with one boy. I am next in the family line and then came my two older brothers Phillip, a bachelor is living in Terrace and David, the one with the hat, is married with two boys and now living in Grand Forks. My Mom travels a fair bit but is presently living in Summerland. My Dad died many years ago.
At the time this picture, was taken, I was the only one wearing glasses besides my mom. Today...Phillip, Paul, Mike and Don have also been blessed. I have always believed my glasses were a gift. When I was a child they not only helped me to look more like Mom but also to see the blackboard. As a teenager, I chose when to wear my glasses, depending on how old I wanted to look.This was the time when I needed them most, as my vision was really out of focus. I have read, that many teenagers have the same blur problem, usually caused by the stress of growing up, having to meet expectations.
In the last ISSUES, I promised you the story of my journey to have better eyesight, so here it is. Ten years ago, I read a book entitled "Vision Therapy, The Natural Way to Better Eyesight". Written by the Better Vision Eye Institute in Oakland, California, it was a small, easy to read book that probably cost $1.00. It described how we depend on glasses and how we are programmed into wearing them. Since I was doing as much as possible the “natural” way, it seemed to make sense to lessen my dependence on glasses.
The first six months were the hardest because I was programmed to reach for my glasses as soon as I got out of bed. So, I started leaving them in the kitchen at night and making a conscious choice when to wear them. At first I would get headaches and my eyes seemed strained but the simple exercises suggested by the book quickly helped to strengthen them.
Whenever someone came over to visit, I would always put my glasses on; then one day, I forgot. I remember the strange feelings I felt inside and the uneasiness of my stomach when I first started talking to people, with no glasses on. How unprotected I felt when I walked without my specs in the fresh mountain air.
Back in the good ole days when I used to be a much slower and quieter person I wore my glasses faithfully, now I need to remember to take them with me, so I can legally drive. But I was beginning to change...unbeknownst to me. One day about five years ago, when I was lifeguarding, a voice in my head said “Smile, Angele, smile”. Since I was not having a very good day, I knew it wasn’t my imagination. I felt the need to know more. But where do you start?
I started by reading books, attending seminars in Vancouver, I started to focus on things that I have always done instinctly, not knowing why. I started to network with people....and one day I realized that there was a power greater than me that was guiding my footsteps.
By then I had decided to make networking my life's work ...my pleasure as well as business and realized that the foundation was already laid. I seemed destined for this work and felt the universe had made a good choice. The name for my business came to me, as things always do, when I went for a walk. I would call it Visions...unlimited. I didn’t realize at the time how the subconscious layers of our mind affect how our conscious mind works and creates. I was beginning to "see" things more clearly in my life and the name just seemed appropriate. I started asking myself where the like-minded people were around Penticton when a friend mentioned that the Spring Festival hadn't occurred the previous year and he was wondering why. We phoned the Wholistic Living Center in Vernon and were told there was no energy left to organize it. Peter, my friend, said “You can do it, Angele, and I’ll help”, so we applied and were accepted to sponsor the event. Peter left town shortly thereafter but I was bound and determined I could do it. All I had to do was find people, like me, that wanted to help.
Looking back, I marvel at how the universe unfolds, never giving us more than we can handle at any one time. Consciously or not, I have asked for every challenge, everything I've ever gotten. Today I am a little more aware of what I ask for but it never ceases to amaze me how my questions are always answered. I thank God and the universe daily for my many friends and for the special ones who help me with the Festival. The bond of love amongst us grows stronger at each meeting and from year to year, as does our respect for each other's creativity and energy. It is indeed my pleasure to be part of the circle.
A new era of my life is now beginning and "when the student is ready.....the teacher appears". Vision expert, Dr. Robert Kaplan was recently in Kelowna and gave a talk about seeing beyond the physical side of life. It made so much sense to hear that our eyes are a direct link to the brain. We see according to...how we feel. Through our eyes we see the "soul" of each being.
And so I've come full-circle from wearing glasses since I was five years old, to lessening my dependence on them as a shield against the stress and fears of living, to "seeing" at a higher level of discovery. I will continue to exercise my eyes, to eat nourishing food and to love myself. For I have discovered through all my reading and workshops that the only person in the world one can change is oneself. And if we are to have peace and not war the change must start internally.
It's a matter of vision, "you see"...