Choices: Faith and Forgiveness

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

On my walk this morning, I thought quite a lot about Faith and Forgiveness considering the choices we have made and will make in our lives.


First, thinking about the meaning of Easter while looking at the early signs of spring in this northern region of N. America, I kept focusing on what gives us faith. While Christians tend to celebrate Easter every year (a constant), the meaning of Easter is all on based on faith. And a belief that Jesus rose from death and walks with followers now in Spirit. It has been this faith and belief that Easter has been celebrated for over a thousand years.

I was thinking of Jesus and all the steps He took during Holy Week under the guiding umbrella of faith. While Christian scriptures have described Jesus ‘knowing’ how the events of the week would unfold, it was faith that moved Him to make the choices to follow through with the events of Holy Week. (Of course, some might argue with this interpretation, please know this is my interpretation and my understanding of Holy Week).

I then began to think of all the ways faith is active in my own life. I remembered drawing ‘faith’ in glitter glue on my bedroom mirror in 2003 to keep myself focused that I would be able to finish my MA in Religious Studies. Then focusing on relationships: all the ways I have placed faith in people, and people have faith in me. My children, my family, my friends; and my clients have faith in me as a therapist.

I started thinking about the choices I have made and the choices I have yet to make and how many of these fall under the umbrella of faith. Faith in myself and faith in others.

I think the events of this past week in my own life while paralleling the events of Holy Week have invited me to a place of recommitting to a faith in myself: my beliefs, the rituals of my life and my relationships. Each day brings an opportunity to honor who we are, who and what we believe, and to have faith.

Forgiveness (There is no perfect ‘anything’):

Having faith in ourselves and our choices means that sometimes we make the wrong ones. Even more important to this understanding is that sometimes things do not turn out perfect even when we have made the right choices and done what we believed was our best.

Things are not the way we wanted, the way we chose, and definitely were not perfect.

In a Christian understanding of Easter, Jesus died for the sins of humanity. His death was about forgiveness. (Again, this is not about Christian doctrine, it is about my understanding of the parallels that have been presented to me this week with a hope that sharing will perhaps be important in your life).

As I was walking, I started focusing on the things I had to do today and was hit with emotional flash that ‘even if I did all the things right, sometimes they don’t turn out perfect”. I am not perfect. I need to forgive myself for being ‘less than perfect’. Now I know this, and believe this; And yet, this is where faith and forgiveness meet.

If I place faith in myself to make the best choices I can at the time, then I must also forgive myself when “life/the universe/whatever is greater than ourselves” makes another choice. Basically faith=forgiveness.

Is this part of the teachings of Easter? Most definitely. This was written however from my own learnings and reflections on my life, my own journey.

I need to have faith that when I light a candle in honor of a loved one, in honor of the Creator and Goddess, in practice of my beliefs, when I live in relationship with others, that it means something. And then I need to be willing to forgive, mostly myself, when needed.

Once again faith=forgiveness, as there is no perfect anything.

Following the cycle of seasons, in N. America, springtime is a time when the earth wakes up (snow melts, grass greens, trees bud, and birds return, at least in Alberta). I took this picture of robins last spring and saw them again the other day. I have faith that spring will return each year and I will have the opportunity to reflect and forgive once again.

Many blessings to you all! Happy Easter, a time of reflection and new beginnings.

Choices and Blessings

March 29, 2021

I have been blessed with reminders and teachings in the past 24 hours that I want to share.

First is about Choices.

I went for a walk yesterday morning and saw 2 houses for sale; they were ones that I had previously considered buying if they ever went on the market. Then I went for a drive by the house I built in the country. This was my dream house, the one I planned to leave as a family heritage for my kids. The very one I sold in 2001 when I moved to Ontario to go back to grad school. It was for sale. And today I start the renovations on the bathroom in the condo I did buy a year ago.

I was clearly being invited to consider some of the choices I had made over the past 25-30 years. What would my life had been like had I turned right instead of left? What would my children’s lives be like? What choices are in front of me now? How will those affect the ones I love?

When I think of Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, I can reflect on the choices He made with the knowledge He had about the events of that week we now call Holy Week. I cannot help but think of what Jesus needed as He entered that point in time. And then what we likely all need when we are faced with life changing choices. I believe we need an idea of the possible path, courage, trust, and faith.

This brings me to Blessings.

There are many blessings that we are given each day of our lives. Today I want to talk about water.   Most of the places that I consider sacred in my life involve water. These are lakes, rivers, and the ocean; places I have either visited or the ones I grew up with. In early February, I visited Waterton Lake as I needed to feel the connection to Montana and my recharging/healing spot in Glacier National Park. As I sat by the water, I felt encouraged to write or read every day for guidance. After getting home I spontaneously opened a book I have on St. Brigid. The passage I read encouraged one to spontaneously open a book each day and read what was there. It was hard to turn from a message as clear as that.    

Yesterday, the passage I read was about Brigid being the protector of water, the blessings of water and the blessing of water.

Two main thoughts emerge from this. One is that water is a blessing in our lives as it is necessary for our very existence. The recent events around the world in the past year clearly show all living beings the importance of water while presenting us with choices on how to move forward in respecting the water on our planet. It also invites me to consider the way water is a part of my life. As I commented earlier, I start the renovations on my bathroom today. I have chosen to remake the bathroom as if one were at a beach with images of one of my healing places, the sunrise and sunset and the healing power of water.

Finally, I am left with what choices will I make to respect the water that comes into my home and convey to Brigid that I honor this blessing.

I hope you find courage, trust, and faith in your next life decisions, be they small or life changing. And that you feel the blessings of the Creator and Goddess in your life.    

Holy Week then one full moon to another

March 28, 2021

Today is the beginning of holy week in the Christian church. Palm Sunday to Easter have always been a significant time for me. I love the release of Good Friday, and the celebration of life on Easter. This year, it is the same and different. As with everything in life, same and different.

This year will mark the point of transition from one stage of my life to another while renewing a commitment to my calling or higher purpose. I am a Celtic Healer. I was created and given the gifts of healing. For me, this healing has appeared in different ways at different times. In this point in time, I am a therapist, with the registration of a psychologist in Alberta Canada. I am also a mother, soon to be grandmother, friend, and emerging companion.

So, what does this mean? What is the point of transition? What am I talking about?

Last night into today is the time of the Supermoon known to some as the Worm Moon and to others as the Eagle Moon. I find that contrast parallel to the images I took of the moon in the dark sky and then with the morning light. The continual contrast of dark and light present in our lives.

Following both Celtic and Christian beliefs, I am going to commit to the learnings that will be given to me through my Christian practice over this coming week as well as the learnings given to me by the Creator, Goddess, and my ancestors between this full moon and the next.

I also know that the next month will offer me the insights into this next stage of my life. There was another significant point in my life when I was given a gift from the Creator that did not match the timeline I had considered. I feel this is perhaps the same while being different at the same time. All I know is I am going to trust the balance between the light and dark while I consider the learnings given to me.

Today we celebrate with palms the entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Hosana in the highest. Welcome in the name of the Lord.

Blessed be everyone.

Upcoming workshop: Developing Intercultural Resiliency, March 24, 2019; 10-4

I am pleased to be offering the Developing Intercultural Resiliency workshop in Calgary again this March. This presentation of the workshop will focus more on ways to foster resiliency and include new learnings from recent trainings in Ericksonian hypnosis and energy psychology. I am excited for this opportunity to present the workshop at Design Your Life Studio in Calgary. Please contact me for more information. Looking forward to seeing you there!

UPCOMING WORKSHOP: Developing Intercultural Resiliency, Kingston, ON, Oct. 10, 2018

Have you ever had a client who, because of religion, culture, or life experience, seemed so different from you that you wondered how you’d ever make a connection?

Developing Intercultural Resiliency is an interactive learning
opportunity to facilitate the understanding of intercultural
relationships through the development of resiliency.

Workshop participants will:

  • Discover the differences between multicultural, cross-cultural and intercultural therapeutic dialogues
  • Learn ways to incorporate the building blocks of resiliency in their work
    Have opportunities to self-reflect on their own world view
  • Learn ways to include religion, spirituality and culture in therapy
  • Understand the components of culture-infused counselling
  • Identify ways the resiliency process can be fostered across cultures
  • Learn ways to become a pluralist therapist, offering more diversified and inclusive therapy to clients

For more information, please contact Joanne at or 587-437-9019

Click here to register for the workshop


New Services from Sundancer Psychological Services

INDIVIDUAL SUPERVISION for Provisionally Registered Psychologists to complete hours on Form A or to maintain registration status on Form B. For inquiries or to arrange a supervision schedule, contact Joanne at 587-437-9019

GROUP SUPERVISION for Provisional, newly Registered Psychologists and practicing psychologists who want to connect with other professionals in a supervision format. Group supervision will be offered monthly in a small group format to discuss clinical issues within a variety of problem areas.

To find out the next group supervision time and location, contact Joanne at 587-437-9019. Group supervision offered through Sundancer Psychologist Services will begin the last week in May 2017.


THERAPIST TALKING CIRCLES: “The talking circle is a traditional way for Native American people to solve problems.It is a very effective way to remove barriers and to allow people to express themselves with complete freedom.”

Joanne was involved in monthly talking circles with the women from Morley and Cochrane between 1999 and 2001. She is offering to organize and facilitate these circles for psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals practicing in the Calgary area. Talking circles will be held the 3rd Wednesday of every month with 6-8 participants per meeting.

Addressing the need for professionals working in the mental health field to find ways to support their own mental health needs is a critical area that needs to be addressed.

From Joanne: “Participating in the talking circles offered me an opportunity to share whatever personal stressors were in my life at that time and to share in the journey of others and honor their stories. Talking circles are not to take the place of individual therapy but offer a place to be heard and recognized. My decision to facilitate talking circles for therapists in my community was based on the need for all of us to have a place to share outside the boundaries of the supervision relationship.”

To participate in an upcoming Talking Circle through Sundancer Psychological Services contact Joanne at 587-437-9019. A donation for any facility cost and an identified charity for that week is requested.






It’s finally (nearly) here!

After nearly a year of combining ideas, getting direction and taking consistent small steps, the book is nearly ready for marketing. Many thanks to Rebecca, my editor; Jeremy, project consultant and support; the rest of the family: Justin, Marina and Ashley for all your support and ideas and numerous friends