Reflections: Power Outage and What to Do?

We are at the cottage and the hydro company had designated a planned outage day a couple of days ago. As I was right in the middle of this, I was thinking “How can I make my life better under these circumstances?”

There are so many things that you can no longer do because it is all dependent upon electricity and power. No more surfing the internet for you! No more googling information at lightening speed access at your finger tips or oogling other people’s profiles or posts on Social Media. No more access to TV or Internet programming like YouTube videos. You are cut off from the world at large so to speak.

You can’t phone anyone unless you have a landline which we don’t. Being in the wilderness, so to speak, we can’t call anyone because we are out of range of cell towers and can’t call over the wifi internet because it is down too. I guess we will have to resort to smoke signals or sending telepathic messages with our minds.

We have a wood stove and although it is spring, it was quite cold at only about 10 degrees Celsius at mid morning. It warmed up a couple of degrees throughout the day.

Actually, going to the bathroom is even a problem because you need the water pumps to be working if you want to flush the toilet and get rid of the evidence of your business. We have buckets of water to the ready for that exact purpose.

It is great to have fridges and stove but they are not usable in a power outage. Food won’t go bad right away especially if you don’t open the fridge door or freezer that often. Cooking requires a BBQ with propane fuel or over an open fire pit or an old-fashioned camp stove. You can’t just microwave something easy to eat nor can you go to a restaurant because you are miles and miles out of town or the city. Neither can you call a food delivery service. Can you imagine how expensive that would be for the distance and gas costs if they even considered coming to your locale? And the tip for the service? Be ready with a manual can opener or fresh food that won’t spoil.

I had planned and followed through on making a batch of coffee before the timed power outage occurred. I was SAVED for sure!

So, we take our lives for granted and all the wonderful infrastructures that society has given us. Thanks to all those people throughout ancestral history and those more recent people who have contributed to a more modern and technologically advanced society with conveniences and those who figured out the paths to take forwards for an improved state of life.

With the experience the other day we needed to experience and to start living the way previous generations had and did. We had to be ingenious and enjoy doing things that other people used to do before the luxury of electricity and power which is not that long ago of an advancement in civilized society.

I have started an initial or tentative list of things to do when there is a power outage. What do you think and what would you add to the list? Here is the list in no particular order of priorities. Feel free to add your two cents worth and contribute to the discussion. The list will be more comprehensive one day.

  • Breathe
  • Think, Process and Glean Information
  • Plan Your Future
  • Reminisce about Past Memories and Events
  • Reflect upon Your Life
  • Light candles
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Cuddle, Snuggle and Hug someone (or yourself)
  • Sex (if you are mature enough)
  • Get dressed or not (stay in your pjs all day if you so desire or just feel like it)
  • Brush your teeth and comb your hair (We are not savages or wild ones, you know – not yet, anyways)
  • Read books or magazines or encyclopedias (remember them?)
  • Draw
  • Paint
  • Colour
  • Write poetry or words of wisdom or Stream of Thought Consciousness Writing
  • Print by hand or learn calligraphy
  • Journal
  • Clean your abode
  • Organize (everything from your living spaces to your wardrobe and most importantly, your mind)
  • Study
  • Work (AKA chores and tasks)
  • Go for a walk (jog or run, if you still can)
  • Cycle
  • Lift weights
  • Stretch
  • Exercise
  • Isometrics
  • Yoga
  • Go for a swim (if it isn’t freezing cold out still)
  • Sit by the water’s edge (Enjoy the water of the lake wave in and out with that lapping sound and sight against the shoreline)
  • Take photographs (Oh My, Yes, Of Course!!! )
  • Sleep
  • Nap
  • Dream
  • Relax and Release
  • Visualize
  • Say Affirmations
  • Sew by hand (or mend someone’s heart)
  • Forgive but do not forget so as not to repeat the experience
  • Do Puzzles
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Passions
  • Do a Vision Board
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Chop wood or kindling outdoors
  • Split wood (not hairs)
  • Meditate
  • Be mindful
  • Sit outside
  • Enjoy the sunshine (when it comes out from behind the clouds)
  • Appreciate Nature (by watching the leaves and flowers grow, for example or watch the birds fly by overhead high up in the sky)
  • Feel the windy breeze (as it passes you by on its journey across water and land)
  • Invest your eyes with gorgeous colour and beautiful sights
  • Talk to yourself or somebody special – like Billy Idol’s song from 1981 of “Dancing with Myself” that my husband changed into “Talking to Myself” as he often changes the words and lyrics to songs for fun and amusement and why not?
  • Sing, Hum, Tone or Chant
  • Play musical instruments like drums
  • Dance (solo or with someone else – Umm – again…Billy Idol…)
  • Tell or make-up jokes
  • Whisper to one another through the Silence and Quietness (for fun, of course)
  • Play board games
  • Play with toys
  • Play cards
  • Do magical tricks – pick a card, any card…
  • Play paper and pen games like tic-tac-toe
  • Play games like skipping rope, tag or hide and seek (old-fashioned games for the little ones or big ones too)
  • Play sports
  • Sit around the wood stove or fireplace or fire pit
  • Tell stories
  • Go for a drive
  • Pray
  • Count Your Blessings
  • Write a Gratitude List
  • Laugh
  • Love
  • Live
  • Kiss (especially SpiderMan Kisses with the upside down kind between Peter Parker and MJ or Mary Jane Watson)
  • Use your 5 senses of touch, sight, smell, hear, taste
  • Cuddle or play with your dogs, cats and other loving animals (even hug your plants if you want to although technically, they are not pets, you know…)
  • Use your 6th sense called Intuition
  • Be happy, joyful and content!
  • Appreciate and Celebrate Your Life!!!
  • Send out positive vibes and energy!!
  • Send out thoughts and feelings of LOVE!!
  • Finally, use your Imagination and Create Something Wonderful and of Beauty and Goodness to Benefit the World !!!

Maybe in the future, we will get a generator and will be able to utilize an alternative emergency power source but for what happened a couple of days ago, we were living old school. Here is the thing, YOU CAN AND WILL SURVIVE!!! We will too and we did!

In the meantime, while I have dealt with this unusual situation and circumstances, I just may have decided to not do much of anything at all and simply enjoy life and the passage of time.

So Be Well Everyone!!! Hope this helps someone someday. 

Lots of Positive Energy and Love Being Sent Your Way For Sure!!!

Mary Mikawoz

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Musings: Exist

Consciousness by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

So the basic question is how do you know you exist?

Is it the heartbeat in your chest that determines your existence? Is it because your brain is running all your organs and blood systems? Is it because your mind, which is different than your brain, is thinking?

What makes you human? What makes you more than exist? How, in fact, do you know you are thriving?

I would contend that it is a combination of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves – what I like to call PEMS for short. I think that to be a whole being and exist in this plane, you need a balanced approach to all these component parts. Being weak in one area may not mean you stop existing, however, I think it makes sure you are not thriving.

Beyond the point that it is important to have balance in your life, I think you need to recognize who or what is realizing that your blood is pumping through your body, you are processing food into energy and assessing information about what your five senses of touching, smelling, hearing, tasting and smelling are all about.

Who exactly is doing that? Is it the observer or witness inside of you? When you put all distractions away and just breathe, what is being realized of who or what is going on inside of you? 

Meditation Pose by 3333873 from Pixabay

I am not sure if you meditate but I do. I have done so for about 40 years of life thus far. Now, I have not always been very good at it especially at the beginning stages, but you soon develop a rhythmic breathing, a deep sense of knowing, a clarity and sense of peace that overcomes your body where you go inwards and become serene. That is when the clutter in my mind and world go away and I know for sure that I exist. It is precisely these special “down times” that I am able to escape the world and come into touch with my real self.

I am able to realize that I come from God and Source Energy. This is when I come to realize that we are all connected into a web of life just like quantum physics will tell us in experiments that they have performed such as the observer effect in the double slit experiment or the entanglement theory with two pairs of photons or electrons are still connected, reacting the same although at great distances apart.

It comes down to the realization that I am a spark of divinity and that I never die or was even born for that matter. I am eternal and ever-lasting. The world will continue on its path and I will continue on my own path and journey. Yes, I exist and I will forever more. The very same goes for you too.

Mary Mikawoz
February 25, 2023

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Musings: Shape

Basic Shapes by Gustavo Ferreira Gustavo of Pixabay

What shape are you? Are you square and not with it all? Are you round and kind of cool, going with the flow like a rock down a hill? Are you triangular and if so are you an equilateral being who is balanced or an obtuse one? I suppose you could be so many variations of triangles. Wait until we get into so many other shapes like rectangles, pentagons, octagons or even diamonds. 

I think it does not matter what shape you are like. We are all similar in that we are human beings but different and distinct in how we present ourselves to the world but does this really define us?

We can exist as individual sparks of divinity expressing ourselves in unique yet diverse ways. The question becomes then, how much are you defined by being different than others? Are you better for being the way that you are? Am I worse for me being me?

What does it really matter? Does the colour of my skin make me different and is this really an important distinction? What about my culture, my religion, my country, my sex, my gender, my orientation and so forth? After all, underneath it all, are we not the same?

I am not even talking about the blood and bones aspect of each us but on a soul level.

Don’t we all originate from the same source? Is there not an all encompassing “someone” or “something” that is greater than all of us here combined? Who or what makes us breathe? Is this simply a mechanical or biological feat of the body? Do we simply live and then die with no tomorrow or future?

Old Oak Tree by Mary Mikawoz

I contend that we are the observer or witness of our lives and that we are a higher spirit or soul. I contend that there is a force much greater than ourselves who manifests everything from the planets that are rotating around the sun to the seeds that grow in the Earth and then grow into a tomato plant, a beautiful flower or a solid oak tree.

I believe in a force greater than ourselves that is, perhaps, unnamable and far beyond our wildest comprehension but not of our appreciation and gratitude.

It does not matter what your shape is and how you present yourself to the world as long as you do so with a good heart and intention. It does not matter that we all follow the same religion to believe in a power greater than ourselves but that we recognize we did not get here all on our own accord. It was not our work but a higher force or divinity.

Snowflake by Gert Altmann of Pixabay

I challenge you today not to see the distinctions and differences in people as an oddity but a beautiful creation of God, the Universe or Source whereby we are each individually made just like there is no two snowflakes made exactly alike. Let us be appreciative of our connection to the all-divine and know we are perfectly made just as we are.

Mary Mikawoz
February 24, 2023

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Musings: Memory

Memory Video Reel – Photography by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Love this word “Memory.” Actually, for most it can be a combination of good memories or bad ones.

I tend to have changed my orientation lately in life. I choose to remember only the good memories. It brings me much joy and happiness to know I have had a good life overall.

I have definitely had bad memories, for sure, but now I choose to forgive those people who have done me wrong. It does not make the event acceptable but quite the opposite. I am seeing them as fallible or imperfect people. Most times people are doing their best under their current circumstances, experiences and knowledge.

This is not to accept what is evil or bad. I am not condoning abuse or violence or hate of any kind. I feel those people who have been hurt go around hurting others. It is like they can’t accept what has happened to them so they need to share their misery with other people. I am sorry that some people feel this way and that they act in a negative pattern of continuing to hurt others.

I don’t see the need to carry the past into the present moment. If you can do something about it that is legal and will help your state of mind, then do so. There are rules, regulations and laws exactly to deal with perpetrators. People need to know there are repercussions for their actions

Maya Angelou – Photograph by Getty Images

It is like what Maya Angelou has so famously written: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” These are such wise words of insight into the human character and the development of our spirit.

It does harm to treat people with disrespect and often times, it will boomerang back at you in the same way or intensity. What you give out is what you receive.

As the Bible say in Galatians 6:7 in the King James Version -”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Essentially speaking. “What you sow, you will reap.”

It makes sense that if you sow the seeds of goodness, that is what you will harvest then. It is your choice in every moment to decide how to think, feel and act. I wish you well in letting go of the past and remembering the good memories or moments of your life!

Mary Mikawoz
February 22, 2023

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Musings: Listen

Listening at the Wall Image by Couleur of Pixabay

I think listen or listening is one of the most important words available in the language regarding conversations. 

I find that some people are not really listening. They are kind of hearing but they are not listening. They are listening to the point where they can make their counter argument by saying inwardly, “I need to say this in opposition to that point” or “I can top that story. Wait until they hear my fish story about the one that got away.”

I think conversations are in jeopardy of losing their importance in society as we all turn towards interfacing with our devices be it a phone or tablet or computer. When we go into a coffee shop, what do we all do there? We have our faces stuck in some electronic gadgets and do not look up to interface with other humans. We rarely smile or even acknowledge someone’s presence or existence. We are involved with another world of reality.

Now, I am not saying it is all bad. I welcome the incredible developments in technology. I am of that age that you only received information via books, encyclopedias, the radio, the television and more learned people like teachers or other wisdom holders. I am of the age where you really had to search for meaning instead of just having it at your disposal in nanoseconds.

Kids these days do not know how good they have it but they really do. I suppose that is the point and that we are to improve, grow and develop with each coming generation of people. I think we have to take the best of everything and work within those parameters until there are no boundaries or limitations at all of what is possible in our realm.

I sometimes long for the art of listening where conversations over a cup of coffee or tea or even a glass of wine were meaningful in the most beautiful way of connectedness. I hope we connect even more especially since we are facing unprecedented change in our world. Smile to someone you do not know today and then enjoy that cup of coffee with your new found friend while you listen to their story. 

As a very good friend of mine, Ron Owens, says, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”

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Musings: Box

Box with Locks – Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

When it comes to all ideas are you likely to stay within the confining lines or do you think outside the self-containing and limiting box?

Sometimes, we do indeed, have parameters that we have to work on so that there may be an issue or concern to start off with that have some causal boundaries. If we are ever going to improve, however, we need to stretch our imaginations and mind muscles.

I think, honestly, the issue started when we were told to be “correct” or “right” back when we were young people and we were instructed to only fill in pictures by colouring inside of the line-drawing. Who says that is the right approach?

Now, I absolutely love beautiful art but isn’t beauty found within the eye of the beholder? Aren’t some of the greatest artists in the world ones who come up with new forms and styles of artwork?

I remember loving art as a youngster from even before kindergarten. I loved to express myself with colour. I just enjoyed seeing something great come out of those little colourful crayons. I loved to create and did follow the rules and coloured inside those lines. I was not about to get into trouble.

En Formation – Artwork by Mary Mikawoz

I continued my fascination in art until junior and senior high school. In grade 10, I took an elective in Art class but not beyond then as I thought it was too frivolous of a pursuit and needed to focus my studies in serious subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

I remember my art teacher in grade 10 being such a fascinating person – a real avant-garde type of personality. She liked my art work a lot and my creations were often chosen to be featured in a number of art shows or displays in various malls around the city.

Morphology – Artwork by Mary Mikawoz

I remember her special love of the expression of abstract art. I could not fathom it. In my judgment, I saw it as artwork that was simplistic and was created by a person who could not draw. Somehow as the years went by and that initial influence of my art teacher, I realized that those artists often could draw really well but chose to express themselves in another fashion. I then came to be impressed by them and their work. I could see how the essential elements of the object could be represented in an abstract way or concept.

Bursting Through – Artwork by Mary Mikawoz

I started to experiment and I found that there was a special fluidity and flow to my drawings and paintings. It helped me not only on an artistic level but also on a mind level where I could use both my left and right-hand hemispheres of my brain. 

When dealing with issues or problems at work, I was able to work outside the box. When coming up with new mission statements or major organizational work concepts, my mind soared as I learned to love to express new ideas. I loved to have brainstorming sessions where we fed off of one another’s ideas as nothing was left off the table and no one contradicted each other’s ideas to begin with. It was amazing how often we built on each other’s mindful expressions: building up the foundation of a new house of concepts.

Heart Roots – Artwork by Mary Mikawoz

So, when it comes to work or in life, are you still limited by the old paradigms or are you opening to the new, infinite world of potentiality? I hope you are open to stepping outside the box to create a new and novel approach!

Mary Mikawoz
February 19, 2023

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Musings: Obstruct

Obstruct and obstruction are interesting words. I immediately go to the thought of “Where are you, personally, causing obstructions in your life?”

I think of me getting out of my own way. I think of my belief systems and associated thoughts that are limiting what I can do. I think about all the barriers that I have placed in front of me in my life. For example, I can simply think, “I can’t do this.” This can apply to me being able to write or to me going to work out or whatever task or goals I have at hand. For many, it can relate to work or even how we deal with conflicts or problems with people and our interactions with them on a day to day basis.

“I can’t” is in many respects saying, “I won’t.” It becomes a choice.

Photography of Roger Bannister. Photo Credit: 

People believed that the 4 minute mile could not be beat until Roger Bannister did so in 1954. As of April 2021, 1663 athletes have been able to break that unsurmountable goal, according to Wikipedia. That is quiet an accomplishment when the belief system in society was that it could simply not be done at all. They thought it was a physical impossibility.

Photography of Usain Bolt. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Likewise, there was a 10 second barrier for the 100 metre race. Since the 1990s, many athletes have broken that time. Usain Bolt is the current world record holder at 9.58 seconds which he accomplished in 2009.

Photography of Jim Hines at Olympic Games. Photo Credit: Getty

However, credit must be first given to Jim Hines for being most noted as the first male athlete to break the 10 second barrier for the 100 meters. That very same night two others accomplished the same feat. Ronnie Ray Smith and also Charles Greene also broke the 10 second barrier on an eventful night that is known as “The Night of Speed” on June 20, 1968. Jim Hines went onto win Gold at the Olympics in Mexico City when the first legally electronically recorded time was used. 

You see, we are only limited first and foremost by what our minds can believe and then achieve. The physical action, if that is what it is your goal, is only the next step along in the process after the mind thinks it through.

We need to examine our obstructions in our belief systems and thoughts because we are creating neural pathways over and over again like a groove in a record. Similarly, a common held belief that was commonly held was that, “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick” but you can.

Neuroplasticity says that we can positively affect the brain and create new neural pathways. This has been proven in all mammalian species. Human cognition can improve both structurally and functionally. How great is that knowledge? 

So, the question, I ask is, “What and where are you obstructing your thoughts and belief systems which are preventing you from achieving your best?”

Mary Mikawoz
February 18, 2023

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Musings: Passenger

Photography by Mary Mikawoz

Don’t you feel like you are a passenger on a boat out in the ocean? There all sorts of boats, big one and small ones. There are fancy, dancy ones and ones barely staying afloat. They come in various colours and styles. The varieties are endless as are the multiplicity of quarks in the Universe.

There are calm days when it is smooth sailing and other days when they are rough and you wish you had not gone out there at all. Most of the time it is a good combination of flow – steady waves that rock you into the submission of life where you forget that you have a purpose in being there in the first place.

We all have a destination or somewhere we are going or need to go. We have an end goal or life purpose of being a passenger on this boat called “life.”

Sometimes, we get lulled into just the movement of the boat as time moves itself along the currents. One day follows the next but does it really? After all, time is an illusion and although we can have past experiences they may or may not impact our present circumstances, that storm you weathered the other day is over and gone and has moved on, so why don’t you do the same thing?

You are in a new space and a new part of the ocean. The future never really does come because you are in the ever-present presence. If we do make the effort, we can prepare for the “future” by doing the tasks we need to accomplish in preparation for the next moment or the ever present now.

It sometimes seems like we have little to no control. It sometimes seems that the ocean is God or the Universe and that he is controlling the whole scenario. The way I look at it, he is doing just that to a large extent but we are thrown into experiences to figure things out. We are then given the choice as to how we will deal with our next challenge or decision. That, then, is all about free will and free choice. 

Enjoy your boat ride in the ocean of life! Let’s hope you enjoy the journey before the huge wave comes out and knocks your boat out of the water.

Mary Mikawoz
February 17, 2023

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Photography by Mary Mikawoz.

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Musings: Women

Women make up half the population but we do not have half the votes or half the power that men still have. We have grown and changed thanks to the hard work of many brave women who fought against the patriarchal system. What ever happened to ancestral societies that honoured, revered and respected women and their matriarchal systems? Why can’t we have a balanced system where both sexes or genders are equal and equitable?

I have not even touched the subject of countries or lands or societies outside of modern day ones who continue to discriminate. They are so behind in so many areas of life. Women are enslaved and treated like dirt. They are considered second class citizens or worse and in many cases are not even able to be given participatory equivalents in governing systems. Having said this, modern day societies still continue to discriminate as well in various areas of life.

Being older, I have seen how things have changed through time. I remember running in junior and senior high school. I remember the boys my age being able to do weight lifting to increase their muscle strength and endurance. I wanted to participate too. I wanted to be stronger and a better overall athlete. I was already an excellent runner but I wanted to be even better.

I was not allowed to participate. I was given the awful and misinformed reason that it would adversely affect my reproductive systems and so was denied access. Even it this were true, which it is not, why were the coaches and authorities of the day given this momentous and important decision over my life and what I choose to do with it? It is my body and my choice.

It was only after high school that I was finally introduced to some weight lifting machines and permitted to lift weights. I have continued to do so off and on throughout the years and I have to say that I love it. I love how I feel during and after a good work out with weights.

The point is that whether it is working out with weights or whatever we want to be doing with our lives, we should have the choice and option. I remember many occupations and careers such as firefighting, police work or the military were kept away from women because there would be unrealistic barriers based on physical size and weight or other factors that most women could not reach. We were all painted with the same brush regardless of ability. It is more important that women are given the opportunity to prove themselves. 

There is so much more that I can say as I am definitely a feminist believing in equal rights and opportunities. Perhaps, I will have time in the future to continue my musings about various and similar topics.

Mary Mikawoz
February 16, 2023

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Musings: Aunt

The Polish name for Aunt or Aunty is Ciocia. I have had a number of Aunts on both sides of the family and the thing that I have to say about them is that they are very strong women – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They had to be. They lived in Poland during World War II which you can imagine was not an easy time.

I have such a profound respect for my Ciotki. They were very hard-working as many Polish people of that generation had to be out of necessity. They had it drilled into them because there were hard times on the farm and it was part of your ethic – essentially your personality – to work hard. You had to do everything yourself and be efficient and effective at it.

There wasn’t room to be slack and idle. You did what you could to help out.

I had one Aunt, Ciocia Angie, who was already married with a number of children. The story goes that she was helping a mother cow calve her baby. She was successful but came into the farm house, sat down in an arm chair, had a heart attack and died. That is how hard-working the women were. They did many things that the men would do. 

Now to talk about my Uncles or Wujki would be another story in and of themselves. They were extremely brave, hard-working and courageous. What they endured, no person should have to go through. Have I mentioned being imprisoned, being sent to work camps and being sent to a gulag in Siberia? 

Anyways, I honour my Cioci for teaching me to stand up for myself and help out where I can. It is through their example that I have learned to be hard-working in my life too in whatever I face or do. Thanks Cioci!

Mary Mikawoz
February 15, 2023

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