Journey of the heart


“Your world can depend upon the small beating in your heart.” The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

In May, 2007 my husband and I, in our fifties, moved from our home in Alberta to Nova Scotia. The why for our cross-Canada move is a story bigger than this blog: but importantly – though it was triggered by my husband’s desire –  moving was a mutual agreement, both of us willing to walk into this unknown journey. After our moving truck arrived, my husband helped position the household belongings in our house, then returned West for the next five months to complete work projects and wrap up our construction company.

I didn’t know a soul in my new community; after jammed-full weeks of packing, meeting with friends and families for last good-bye’s, driving for several days – I honestly felt relieved and excited to have a blank day-timer!

But really, what was I going to do with my time – how do I start building a new life after  fifty-plus years of living in the same community?

I was fortunate to be without pressure to find a job, and the way it played out me being temporarily “single”, I had the freedom to arrange my own time. I settled into the rural subdivision that was now home; drove around my new province; took care of our extensive yard; attended local fund-raising salmon suppers (this was new to me – met our dentist at one of these); I engaged with people!!

Not being aware of it I was giving myself permission to listen to my heart: in nature discovering the joys of hoisting a backpack for an overnight hike; meeting, traveling and staying with *strangers* at running events; exploring beaches, small communities or Halifax, the province’s capital. I was positioning myself with curiosity pointed outward and in –  ignited by a “why not?” attitude.

After getting my bearings, I trained for a diploma in natural nutrition which provided tools for consulting people in holistic health – facilitating my passion to help people not stay stuck in poor health due to dietary, lifestyle and mindset choices. A new dream.

Step by step I rescripted my life, energized by that small beating in my heart: I believe a central part of God’s design, helping me renew purpose for the next stage of my life.

The real story of our lives is written from the journey of our heart. C.S. Lewis termed the heart’s secret signature as “ at last is the thing I was made for…”. For me, the huge move in location activated awareness of my heart’s small and quiet beating, connecting from the who and what I had been, to listening to the longings of my heart.

Was this reframing easy, everything simply adjusting? Not at all. We didn’t move because of unhappy or dysfunctional relationships; I’m still dealing with the unjust irony that, since moving, my four siblings now live within minutes of each other! And missing poignant touchstones of family get-togethers, Friday breakfasts with my sister.

My rescripting is in progress – that process is different for each of us, but life brings changes to us all.

Maybe you haven’t made a major move, but it could be a career shift; or (early) retirement; perhaps a divorce, or a death; children leaving home; illness of a spouse or partner. You want a purposeful, challenging life- but you don’t know what to do.

It takes time and work. I believe the circumstances and the courage of the heart affect how vibrant rescripting will flow and take shape. But it can. If you are stuck, please reach out,, for guidance, inspiration and encouragement.


(top photo credits to my daughter, Renee Tougas)

8 Comments on “Journey of the heart

  1. Oh mom, I loved reading your story, written here. Sometimes I look at my life and wonder “where on earth did this trait to embrace adventure (if I feel secure – that’s an important “if”) come from?” Like you (and because of you) I grew up in one place, one community, surrounded by a loving, extended family. And then the moves and adventure and it wasn’t a mid-fifties rescript but a different path right out of gate. I get my adventurous-streak (where and when it shows up) in part from you and your endless enthusiasm and curiosity about life.

    I’m really looking forward to reading what you right here. Love you Mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Renee – and really, I have to say the challenge (and the fun) of your adventures have inspired many of mine, not wanting to ‘miss out’!!


  2. I love the word “rescripting”, as it’s what my family and I did a year and a half ago when we left California and moved to Thailand. Thanks for sharing your story!


  3. Karen,
    This is beautiful thank you for sharing so openly. Although many miles and a country apart, I still feel connected through what you share!


    • Thanks Nancy – in your long-distance family relationships perhaps you have also experienced ‘the pleasure and the pain”. xo


  4. Pingback: High-five to say YES!! – for Vibrant Living – Karen Toews

  5. Pingback: Tips for Re-Scripting summer with its changes in stages of life – Karen Toews

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