Who Am I

Feb 18, 2011

I was born and raised on a farm on the prairies in Alberta, in western Canada. I had three brothers, one sister, a mom and dad, a hired man, dogs and cats and a horse that frequently ran away with everybody. I didn't notice. I thought we were galloping because I wanted to.

A typical day included dad hollering, "Daylight" followed by the sound of our feet hitting the floor to get ready to feed the animals before school. Mom was a fantastic cook and could make a meal out of one potato and sometimes did. We were poor enough, money-wise, that mom and dad lived in a tent when they first married. Eventually they moved to a small house, but we didn't have running water or a television. Due to that circumstance, I spent some my childhood thinking I was deprived. Now I see the blessings and have gone back to no or little TV by choice. The days on the prairies were long, and hard work was the ethic and reward of that time and place.

Our farm was a mixed farm, which has both livestock and crops. We had cattle, sheep, hogs and chickens, and grew all of our own feed so that meant we all knew how to bale hay and use farm equipment before we old enough to see over the steering wheel. I still like to drive the tractor, now and then, because it takes me back to my roots and the memory of the warmth of the feeling of the sun shining down on my cheeks as I putt-putted along through the fields in the midst of summer. I became a better steward of the earth by spending so much time with her as a young child.

When I was little, I was a bad kid pretending to be a good one. As I think back, there are a startling number of examples of that. I once loaded up one of my brothers onto the tractor and drove three miles to the store to get candy. When I was about ten years old I talked the hired man into letting me drive his car. I drove it out of the yard and into the ditch. I frequently said I picked all the weeds in the garden when I hadn't. We had a garden that was over an acre. That's a big garden with a lot of weeds. I told the bus driver that my brother poked a fork in my eye and that was why I was blind in it. That's not true, I was born that way. It made my brother crazy though and that seemed to make me happy. I purposely annoyed my sister so badly that she chased me with a knife one time, but I ran as fast as two feet can go and found the hired man who had such a soft heart that he couldn't say no to anything I wanted, and he saved my hide. There's more, but you're probably getting the picture by now.

I was an average student except where music came in and then my piano teacher, Colonel. Belcher, asked me if I was slow. My older brother and sister were star athletes and smart as whips, and I didn't have a coordinated bone in my body and still don't. I've always wanted to sing and even took lessons, paid for by the family who have asked that I don't sing in the common areas like the living room and the car, but I still can't sing. I can't dance either, but, in the mornings, while I clean the house, I put my iPod on and joyfully dance around to Cher and Bob Dylan and others of the same era.

I did some of the raising of my younger brothers from the time I was twelve. Life got the best of mom and she battled her demons in another world while I battled my own. Dad, who started his life dirt-poor, living in a sixteen by thirty-two foot oil-shack, with a grade eight education, three of it in a schoolhouse, ended up as a politician, being elected by landslides into the Alberta legislature four times. He held fast that a good education was obtained in the barn where you learned how to work, and behind the barn, where you learned how to behave because, when necessary a switch could be taken to a naughty kid's backside. My own backside never did get spanked, a fact that I still lord over my older brother and sister, whose did. Dad was a great politician who voted for the people all of the time. He used to say to us, "If you want to know what to do for the people, ask them." I remember one time when he stood up in the legislature and voted against the house, which is against the rules. He thought he'd be kicked out. He was shaking and red-faced but the conviction that he had to vote the way the people wanted was stronger than the possibility of ending his career. That moment inspired me more than any other I can remember. The Premier turned and looked at him, and that meant 'sit down', but dad didn't. He stood there shaking and refused to buckle under to the status quo, and to what, he felt, didn't serve.

He is still loved to this day because he treats people with such tremendous respect. He does have a little streak of his mother in him, my grandmother, Lucy, who was herself, a western legend. She was a real lady, educated by nuns, from a rich family, could speak French and play the piano well. She also liked fights and started and starred in a lot of them. She was one of the wildest women I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She killed a cow with a pitchfork in the corral, one time because it was chasing her sister. That woman was made of true grit.

My mom is a beautiful person. She's tiny and gentle and loves without reason. She's a good teacher for me. I've never heard her utter a swear word even though I did provoke her as much as possible on several different occasions to see if she would. She was an expert shot with a gun, built all of our cupboards in our house, sewed all of the dresses we refused to wear, and gave her heart and soul to raising us as long as she could.
I travelled through about twenty counties for very short visits and when I arrived home after one trip, I was walking downtown with my brother and I saw a man with beautiful blue eyes walking towards us. I knew, in that moment, he was the man I would marry. I officially met him at a poker game at my house one night about a year later. I didn't know how to tell him that I was going to marry him, so I didn't until he asked me three months later. I fell in love with Blake in a heartbeat and then fell out of love with him over time, and am back in love with him, thanks to BreakThrough.

I was a workaholic and started or invested in about twenty businesses over thirty years and some of them turned out okay and some of them turned out not okay.
My education aside from what I learned in the barn, includes diplomas in Business, Creative Writing, and an Associate Degree in Holistic Nutrition.
Blake and I have three children together. Some of you know Amanda. She's our first. Then came Kerri and then came Cody. If you wonder who you are, have kids, they'll show you. I lovingly call them Projection Number 1, 2 & 3. My heart has no defenses whatsoever when it comes to them. We've gone through hard times, like everyone else has, and have come out of them, like everyone else does. We've laughed together and cried together, and helped each other wake up to what's important.
Now we have three grandbaby girls. I'm smitten times ten. I love spending time with them and I do. Children are little gurus. They bring me to my knees, without even trying, by the love they show.

Nowadays, when the snow starts hitting the top of the fence posts in Canada, we head south to our home in Mexico where my husband and I walk the beach every day after I'm done working, and because he's recently retired from a long and interesting career in the oil patch in Alberta, he says he's going to take care of me. I like the idea of it. It's not true either. I'm taking care of me. More than I ever have, thanks to BreakThrough.
When I stumbled across BodyTalk, I was a bit of a redneck and insisted we don't do tapping and other things like that. I took Module 1 & 2 one weekend, Module 3 the next weekend with John, and went home and quit my job the next morning and became a practitioner, full-time. Then I took BreakThrough back when John and Esther taught the class together. I didn't really get it and wasn't that impressed and left the class early. Ha. The rest is history. I teach it, live it, breathe it, and love it. It loves me back.

The bottom line is that our work is about love and I love that. I hope to meet more of you who feel the same.

Thank you for reading about my life. It's not who I am.

-Brenda Miller, Senior BreakThrough1 Instructor

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