Sunday, December 30, 2012

Observations Along The Path

We're back after an eight day stay in Banff over Christmas. I love going to Banff at this time of year, it is incredibly beautiful.

Most of the days we were there John and I were helpers in Santa's Workshop at the Banff Springs so it isn't really a holiday but it most certainly is a change in pace and focus. I'm always amazed at the creativity that comes out when people are given the opportunity. I have also been the celebrant at the Banff Springs Christmas Eve service for the past 5 years which is a bit more my element.

It's all great fun and I admit a bit tiring so it's also good to come home again even though I hit the ground running starting with a meeting Friday night for a Celebration of Life service on Saturday before I could even unpack. Then I presided at a commitment ceremony as well on Saturday night in Leduc. I call it a celebration of love ceremony actually which is very much in alignment with the whole Celebrant thing that is the major direction my life has taken over the past year.

In 2011 I thought I was heading into a new career in coaching with a sideline of celebrant services but that has all shifted in 2012 and now I would say I am a celebrant with a coaching sideline. Works for me. I love the celebrant work and feel very blessed every time I am invited to serve families in this capacity.

I am in the process (ok, I've bought the hosting package and that's about it) of creating a new website for the life celebrations work which will include pet celebrations as well. That is my project for January and since I seem to work a lot better when I put things in writing and announce them to the world I'm going to say that I will have the new site up and running by January 15th. There, I've said it, now I know the universe is already creating the space and time for it to happen. Now it's time to go with the flow and see what evolves.

It's fun observing life and the way it unfolds rather than thinking I am the one who has to make things happen. I realize that even the desire to be, do or have things is not personal, it comes from far beyond this little idea I call me. That includes the desire to create a new website. It just showed up one day and I am the vehicle through which it is unfolding.

As much as decisions appear to be conscious choices, I really doubt that's the way it's actually happening. The more I observe life the more it is clear to me that the projector is not the originator of anything. What I call me is just that, the projector, through which the film of life is unfolding at this particular point in consciousness. And I do so love movies!

Namaste

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Responding to Painful Events

When emotional pain is not acknowledged and attended to it morphs into all manner of effect. It can become disease, injury, resentment, bitterness, anger, violence which is often referred to as 'evil'.

When I learned of the school shooting in Connecticut I felt deep pain and sadness and wondered what might make a young man kill his mother then drive to an elementary school and start shooting children and teachers then himself? The immediate response was 'pain'. The most likely driver would have to be emotional pain of some sort that may have been festering for a long time and somehow triggered (pardon the pun). 

When this kind of event takes place you find people everywhere reviewing their safety practices and making new laws and rules while busily condemning evil and hating the perpetrators. In the end, how does that address the pain? It's no different from what we do personally when we are hurting and don't know what to do with it; there is a tendency to blame and to put up more layers of defense.

There is another way. We can attend to that which is hurting with compassion and understanding, whether it is our own pain and the pain of others. We can learn to see beyond the outer layers of hatred and anger to the soft center of innocence and vulnerability. We can give what is actually being called for which is love instead of rejection.

One of the reasons I don't turn away from the 'news' is that every time something like these shootings or any kind of painful event happens it is an opportunity to focus love and compassion where it is most needed in the world and in myself. After all, the way we perceive the outer is but a projection of the inner world in the end.

Start right where you are, attending to your own pain and see how that affects your view of the world and the way you respond to events like these school shootings or wars or drunk drivers or any other painful scenario.

You want peace and love? Be peace and love.

Namaste

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Death and Presence

I love celebrations of life. So much so in fact that I have decided to expand that aspect of my services to include pet celebrations.

I've been toying with the idea for quite some time but had not acted on it until Ardeth who owns Appel Funeral Home started a pet funeral home in Edmonton. It inspired me to jump in and offer celebrant services to help people deal with the loss of their beloved furred and feathered friends.

It's so easy for society to dismiss this kind of loss or gloss over it as though it should be no big deal, but it is a big deal when your pet is your best friend and source of love and comfort. Loss is loss and when a very important part of our lives dies, whether human or animal, it is important to acknowledge, grieve and celebrate the life lost.

When I was younger I didn't think grief was a big deal, matter of fact I didn't let myself grieve the losses I had encountered, I just suppressed the pain and carried on as though nothing had really happened. When it finally did all start coming out I was quite shocked at the layers and layers of unacknowledged grief I had been carrying. It wasn't that it hadn't been affecting me, it was just that I didn't know what it was when I acted out or get depressed or lost interest in life.

I suspect unacknowledged grief is being experienced in epidemic proportions in our culture because we have made death something to be hidden away or unnatural somehow. Death is every bit as natural and part of life and birth is, they are two sides of the coin of life which must be experienced by everyone and everything that is manifest. We like to soften it up by using words like transitioned or passed over but the reality is that the physical presence is no more, it has died, regardless of what one may believe about what happens next. There is a loss which needs to be grieved.

What I've learned with my own grief is that when I acknowledge the loss and associated pain and sadness and am fully present to it I don't have to act out or get depressed or run away through any kind of distracting behavior. I move toward it instead of trying to get away from it, giving it the quality of attention it needs which is compassion and understanding. It is only then that I can experience the poignancy and sweetness of the experience which leads to a state of deep peace and ever expanding waves of love.

Presence, presence, presence. That's what is truly available in all of life's experiences when I embrace them instead of turning away and pretending. Presence is the home of peace, love and joy and that is what is continually calling from within. It's all right here, right now as long as I am too.

Namaste


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Seeming Contradictions

Wow, there's so much going on in the inner world these days it can be a little overwhelming at times. Life however brings everything up in its own time and so moving with whatever shows up is always the best option.

One of the elements of the human condition I have been getting insight on of late is what might seem like internal contradictions or what some people have called pairs of opposites. We tend to experience them as duality a lot of the time and the ensuing struggle can be very confusing and even paralyzing at times.

The aspect of duality or contradiction I'm referring to here is the existence of two seemingly opposite ideas co-existing in the psyche at the same time. For instance there is a desire in me to be seen and at the same time there is a desire to be invisible. There is a desire for 'wealth' along with a pull toward 'poverty'. I could undoubtedly go on about this but you get the drift.

What I notice about these desires is that one tends to be more unconscious than the other generally and there is a definite sense of separation between the two, an either/or kind of energy. They seem very complex with layers of feelings and beliefs surrounding the desires. When I simply observe the thoughts around them rather than getting caught up in them however, I notice that the thoughts are not the truth but rather assumptions and beliefs that have developed over the years in an effort to make sense of the opposing desires.

When I move toward the essence of the desires however I get that they are actually a continuum of possibilities based on an idea. Visibility and invisibility seem to be based on an idea that I would call existence; wealth and poverty on an idea of ownership or possession. They are experiences available to us in the human form and we get to play with them or (suffer through them).

When I view these seeming contradictions from the perspective of possibilities based on a single idea I feel a kind of freedom and the movement of energy in my body. There is nothing to struggle with from this perspective because all my beliefs about it are not The Truth, they're just ways I can experience these ideas. They can co-exist very comfortably within the psyche when I become aware of the spectrum which I had previously been seeing as contradictions.

Life really is just one big adventure isn't it?

A Continuum of Possibilities

Namaste

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ideas and The Creative

Life is so amazingly full and rich it is sometimes quite overwhelming. We went to the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert today for brunch and the Make It Show. It was absolutely jam packed with people, creativity, and amazing Christmas stuff. The meal at the Glasshouse Bistro was exceptional too by the way.

It was clear to me that there were a number of visions being expressed there today as there are everyday in our lives when we have the eyes to see. The creative force has never stopped creating. We are all part of it and are not only expressions of creativity ourselves but outlets for it as well as a means by which the wonder and delight of creativity itself is appreciated. Wow! What a vision the Creator is unfolding in this little Universe of ours. Makes me wonder about what else is being created in other universes and how infinite the wondrous possibilities really are.

I keep thinking of the first line in the Book of John which is "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Pretty powerful stuff, especially when you take it out of the confines of the usual christian interpretation of the Word meaning Jesus. When I ponder that phrase what I see is that everything starts with an idea. This idea is in and of the creator of all that is and it is what is unfolding in the manifest world. It never actually left the creator, it is the creator. Ideas are the creator. Ideas are what is unfolding. Ideas are always playing out as whatever they are. Even our opinions of ideas are ideas that are creative in nature. We don't always like what is created as ideas play out for us but that doesn't make them any less powerful, it just makes our experience different than when we do like them.

Ideas, ideas, ideas; all having a life of their own it seems and yet they are not independent or separate, they can only appear to be so. Life (God) is the source and the force which is playing out in the Universe.

Let yourself be fully present to the wonder of what is going on here. Let it permeate every cell of the body (idea) through which Life is experiencing itself as you. Delicious!

Namaste

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Idealism, Not My Thing

I was in a situation the other day where idealism came up. The other thing that came up at the same event was what I can only call self-delusion. I have to admit I found myself reacting to both somewhat so I got curious about that.

I am aware that self-delusion is a huge part of the human experience. It has been my life journey to uncover my own self-delusion because I knew even before I started onto the 'consciousness' path there was something about it that was making me very unhappy. Generally speaking I don't get too caught up in other peoples delusions unless I'm in situations where there has been some kind of invitation to help people see where they may not be telling themselves the truth as in coaching sessions or workshops.

My reaction came when the person was clearly saying they felt they were being held back because of other people judging (critizing) them but they themselves did not judge (criticize). If one particular person however was not the way they were then all would be well. Ummm, excuse me but isn't that a judgment? If I need you to be different for me to be happy or successful or whatever I think I want in the moment then am I not somehow being critical of the way you are? The in congruence of what they were saying and how they saw themselves got the better of me I'm afraid and I felt compelled to point it out. That's what really caused me to wonder why I would be bothered by it. Who cares really, it's their life and they had not clearly asked me for my opinion. And wasn't I just doing the very same thing I was accusing them of?

Then another went into describing a very idealistic world and I didn't say anything but I did have a bit of a reaction to that too. Wow, I was really on the reaction roller coaster. I kind of have a thing around idealism where the speaker says this is how we're all 'supposed' to be. Really? We're all supposed to be peace and love and helping each other because we're all one? Wow, that sure isn't my take on oneness. The oneness of Life isn't about sameness to me, it's about realizing there is only one Life and it is expressing in an infinite number of ways. But again, why would I care what someone else thinks? They are just as entitled to their views as I am to mine.

So I took a bit of time to explore my reactions because I knew it was all related. I knew it wasn't about them but rather about how I was not being true to myself even being in that situation.

I do not tend to be attracted to situations where it's all about idealism or philosophies because they have no relevance to what my inner being is continually calling me to which is being present to what is real in the moment. I wander off into the nether regions of philosophies now and then and of course there is an element of it whenever we articulate ideas but I don't wish to reinforce them or argue about them. They only serve as context, not truth. I also love good fiction and movies which have nothing to do with reality either nor are they meant to. I don't delude myself with thinking that fiction is the truth. The same can be said about my life story. What I think about it is not the same as what really happened and I know it.

So in the end I figure my reactions the other day were really redirecting me to stay on course with what is mine to do and let the other stuff be. Idealism is fine for those who are called to it, I am not. Presence is constantly calling me Home to the moment, that's where I belong.

Namaste

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Journey Home to Essence

A few days ago I posted a blog about deadlines and creativity. I said I would finish my book and get it to the epublishing site by next week. I'm a bit early. I uploaded it today and it is already available for purchase. It was an amazingly scary thing to press that upload button but it is done and it feels good. By the way it is available at smashwords.com.

I love the way the universe works to support clarity. I've been playing around with this book for months and it wasn't until I finally said enough! I'm going to get this done now that Life conspired to give me the time and space to do so. Now, some may say it wasn't the greatest way to have that happen since it was do to a fairly severe chest cold but hey, who am I to argue with what works?

My process has been to be present, to treat myself with compassion and kindness and to do what I could do which was edit and prepare the book for publishing. I still have the cough and some congestion but it feels like its on its way out. Perhaps its purpose has been achieved, and maybe not, who knows? All I can do is work with what I've got. In the end, that's all any of us can really do and you know what? It's enough and more than enough.

Namaste


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Deadlines and Creativity

I just read a little book called The Spark about Cirque du Soleil and igniting the creative fire within. It was a very good read and I really appreciate the wonder and magic the people at Cirque du Soleil create.

One thing stood out for me that I want to share in this blog. I actually shared it in a celebration of life service I presided at yesterday for a young man who died in Thailand on his way home after being in Australia for a year. He was one of those guys who goes out and does it all. Really engaged in life. The reason The Spark idea came up as I was writing the service was that this young man had really made the most of his short life. The idea from the book was about deadlines and how important they are in the creative process.

There is often  a tendency to dislike deadlines and feel nothing but pressure and stress when trying meet them. The truth is however that without deadlines of some sort we often get very little done. I can use my efforts at writing a book as a prime example. I wanted a draft ready for when I did a workshop in Calgary a few months ago. It spurred me to sit down and do what I had to do to achieve that. Then the part about editing and more editing came up afterward and guess what? The book is still in editing! I do a little on it here and there but I haven't imposed another deadline on it so there it is languishing on the island in the kitchen waiting for my attention.

We actually all do have a 'deadline' (I've got a whole new appreciation for that word from the book and the service). We act as though we've got all the time in the world but do we? What if we actually really got that we don't have all that time, we only have now and what are we doing with that? Life is a process and the question is are we enjoying the process and doing what is important in the moment or are we waiting for something to happen in order to get moving?

As I play with the deadline and creativity idea I am much more energized even though I'm a bit under the weather these days. That being said, this is the perfect time for me to impose a new deadline on that little book of mine. So here it is. I will have the current edits done this week. It is an e-book that is being self-published so I'll have it off to the publishing site by the end of next week.

It is now written, it is so. I am back in the creative process and that's what counts.

Namaste

Thursday, November 1, 2012

After The Darkness, The Dawn

In my last post I talked about being in the darkness and moving with that. It has been a truly wonderful time of introspection and more quiet energy.

Over the past few days I've really come to realize that what happened was that I lost touch with my vision in a way. I was kind of wandering around without any real sense of direction. Interesting experience and what it brought me to was a time of clarifying for myself what that really is at this point in my life. It isn't about what I am doing so much as being about where I'm doing it from in consciousness. When I am grounded in my vision or definition of success if you will, everything flows, my life feels purposeful and I am at peace and joyful no matter what is going on in my world.

On reflection I realize this has a lot to do with the retreat I've got planned along with Cliff Turner. We decided it would be a good idea to go on retreat and have a workshop on what success actually means to you at this point in your life. Instead of being driven by the old societal concepts of success it has been important for me to have a true sense of how I experience success within. I did a lot of work on this over 20 years ago and I am now in a very different phase of life so it really is time to do it again.

The beauty of the way life works is that whatever we focus on, we experience. So the Universe has been getting me ready for the retreat by getting me to go into it in a big way for myself again. I love the way that always unfolds. I get an idea of something I want more of or want to know about and the Universe always provides what I need even though it is rarely what I would have thought it would look like.

That's why it's so important to let go of needing to know how; the focus really needs to be on one of two things. 1) What you want (not the lack of it) and/or 2) True appreciation of what is right now. Being fully present to what is going on in the moment will inevitably take us where we need to go, we don't have to worry about all the details (or anything else for that matter). Just be available for the wondrous unfolding of Life.

If you'd like more information on the retreat you can go to my website and join us for one of the free information sessions we have planned in the Edmonton area.

Namaste


Friday, October 26, 2012

Dark Times

I seem to have entered a bit of a darker period. Doing something of a life review and finding some sadness there. I really haven't got any clarity as to why I am here but that isn't my concern anyway. What I find most important is how I treat myself while I am in this place.

We all go through dark times and contrary to the 'everything's got to be positive' crowd, my journey isn't about avoiding or wallowing in the sadness and heaviness but rather being fully present with compassion and understanding. Being present I can really feel the inward pull to spend quality time with inner being. It really is quite delicious even if it isn't all yahoo and go get 'em.

Namaste

Friday, October 19, 2012

Experiencing Life

It amazes me at times just how much old programming kicks in to tell me it isn't quite safe somehow when I step out of the old comfort zone. It's easy to fool myself into thinking all is peace and calm and in the flow when I'm not actually out of that safe space which is so very familiar.

I'm involved in a year long program that is about learning referral based marketing. I've been in three workshops with them so far and every time my 'stuff' comes up. Yesterday I was at another one, this one about using the phone which I have had a great deal of resistance to in terms of marketing. As I started the day I became deeply aware of my limited ideas and negativity about the whole subject. I was definitely projecting from beliefs that are not serving me and are not really applicable to what we were actually doing. What was particularly cool for me was that I noticed it very early in the process, thanks to a couple of comments made about how negative I was about it all. Ah, time to breathe and make a shift. I ended up really enjoying the workshop and felt I learned a lot in the process. I don't know how much of it I'll be using but there you have it.

This is not an isolated incident and is a good example of how our programming works. It can go dormant for long periods of time until we are challenged in some way. What I really appreciated about what happened for me yesterday was how I was able to be gently introspective with it all afterward and tell myself the truth about where I was. There was nothing new about the beliefs that showed up and so I just needed to remind myself of that and bring some loving, compassionate understanding to inner being. Then, instead of thinking I needed to change anything or that there was something wrong I just enjoyed hanging out with the being who had gotten caught up in the game. It's life, it's the way it is with me. We all have our 'thing' and it's all perfectly OK right now.
Hubble
I'm so grateful for this vast array of experiences that are always available and that what may have seemed like such an awful thing at one time is now a stepping stone into an expansive, appreciative, gentle and compassionate space.

Namaste

Friday, October 12, 2012

Holidays, Gratitude and Events

Home again after a great holiday.

Old Montreal, the cruise down the St. Laurence and down to Boston and the train ride back to Montreal were all great. My favorite thing was the fabulous food everywhere we went, especially in Montreal and the dining room on the ship (Holland America, I highly recommend them). I'd say the bonus part of the trip was on the train especially between Albany, NY and Montreal. Upper New York is absolutely beautiful, especially with the wonderful fall colours. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel and experience so much beauty and history.

Now I am back home and back at work and loving that too. I have a funeral and wedding this afternoon and I feel so very privileged to be officiating for both. Life is such a mix of blessings; endings and beginnings. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate it all.

Through my work as a coach and a celebrant I am constantly reminded that everything is indeed temporary. As my favourite saying goes, 'This too shall pass'. No matter what is happening in life it is but a fleeting experience in the grand scheme of things. I find it very helpful to have this constant reminder because it opens me to be even more fully present and appreciative of whatever is going on in life. The more difficult experiences are just as important as the most joyful ones. As my beloved is so fond of saying about the weather, 'there is no good weather or bad weather, these is only different weather.' So it is with the weather of the inner world.

Speaking of change, if you haven't already gotten the invite, I am one of the panel of presenters in a one day experiential workshop on October 20th here in Edmonton called Your Life, Your Masterpiece. It's a very different kind of adventure for me; yet another experiment in a life full of experiments. It feel good though and I'm looking forward to the experience. You can check it out on Eventbrite.

If it resonates with you in any way, do join us for a fun and enlightening experience.

Namaste

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turning Coal Dust into Jewelry

In port in beautiful Sydney,NS. What a gorgeous day! I can't seem to upload pictures from my iPad to blogger so I can't show you but there you have it, so many of the fabulous experiences we have simply cannot be shared in their fullness can they? I bought some jewelry at a little craft fair here this morning which I did manage to upload a picture of to Facebook and Twitter. The thing I was most impressed about was that it was made of coal dust. Coal mining used to be a huge part of their economy here on Cape Breton and of course it is mostly done with along with the steel mills that were also important for their economy. I thought it was brilliant of someone to take what was deemed as useless and turn it into something so beautiful. Great metaphor for life. We are so quick to judge our past sometimes and deem it useless for what is going on now or where we want to go but is it really? There is something about everything we've experienced that can now serve us beautifully in a new form, we just have to get a little creative sometimes and learn through a little trial and error what will and will not work. The people who started making the coal jewelry had to try a few different processes before they had a product they could use. Bottom line, what is one thing from your past you thought wasn't good for anything anymore that can be turned into something beautiful and profitable? Namaste

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Travels

Our journey continues as we relax in a shipboard lounge after several hours of wandering about Charlottetown, PEI. A lovely little city where it all began for Canada. The lobster rolls are fabulous too. We're on day 3 of our Canada New England cruise and have been thoroughly enjoying it. There's so much more history at this end of the country and the leaves are turning though still in the fairly stages in many places. It's just nice to relax and be taken care of at times. I do find it a bit challenging maintaining any kind of routine in terms of inner self care when doing this kind of traveling but I have been able to stay connected anyway for the most part. I do find being connected internally enhances my experiences and my enjoyment a great deal so it's always worthwhile to take the time to be aware of the breath and what's going in inside as we'll as out. The other thing I am aware of as we travel is how much I enjoy my work and as much as I love doing the traveling and exploring on a physical level it could not replace the work I do at this point in my life. I am so very blessed to be able to enjoy a balance of both! All things work together to create a life of wonder and I am so very grateful! Namaste

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Deep Gratitude

Today was yet another day filled with wonder, delight, passion and joy for me. I can't tell you the depth of my gratitude for these experiences. Today was special because I did my first Inner Self-Care For Rapidly Changing Times workshop and I had a fabulous time with the wonderful participants who came out to play with me.

It's an amazing and wonder-filled thing to be doing so much of what I love to do. I love these workshops and the regular gatherings I host. I love my coaching work, I love my Celebrant work and I feel blessed every day to be in a position where I am actually doing those things I love every day. There was a time in my life I could not have imagined that. Thankfully it was several years ago now.

One the the main reasons I see for being in this position is that I am clear about what is important to me in terms of what kind of experience I want. Part of the workshop today was in helping participants get clear about that and as I was working with them to do the process I too did mine and was happy to see that though I may not be 100% in all areas of life living my essential expression, I am doing so a majority of the time. Persistence through the dark times in letting go of those beliefs that have not been in alignment with what is most important for me plays a big part in that.

Bottom line is, don't give up, keep getting clearer about what it is you really want to experience and keeping saying yes to it. Life responds to that clarity and when we learn to see everything as a means of moving into what is most important it gets to be even more fun.

Namaste

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Ocean of Life

Life is like an ocean, sometimes it is calm and placid, sometimes full of gentle waves and other times it can be pretty rough out there in the wide open seas. None of it is good or bad, right or wrong, just shifting energies and the more we learn to ride whatever shows up the more we tend to enjoy the voyage.

Then there are those times when we get hit by that tidal wave that capsizes our little craft and we find ourselves submerged in the ocean of life fighting to breathe. That's when it would come in handy to be able to grow gills. Either that or be able to hold our breath for a long time. We usually manage to find some way to pull through those more challenging experiences and carry on with life and then again sometimes the only thing we can do is surrender to the pull of the ocean and let go of all our efforts to tread water. It is in those moments that we are most likely to 'grow gills' and learn a whole new way of being that isn't about fighting for air but rather drawing what we need from the very waters we thought we would drown in. 

Should you find yourself overwhelmed and afraid of drowning in a sea of feelings you are uncomfortable with or afraid of, perhaps it's time to breathe deep, relax and surrender into the feelings instead of trying to tread water or pretend it isn't happening. 

Let yourself be amazed by what you find below the surface.

Namaste


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rapidly Changing Times

It's a good thing I'm doing a workshop on Inner Self-care for Rapidly Changing Times soon. The busy-ness of life seems to have increased exponentially for me so it's more essential than ever to be clear on what is most important to me at this point in my life. Dealing with constant change and the great unknown with compassion and understanding is the order of the day.

One of the things I am involved in at this time is learning more about networking and referrals and being clear about what I offer, none of which I am currently proficient at. The workshops I am attending with Mary Lou Gutscher (magneticbusinesssolutions.com) are excellent, and they bring up all kinds of limiting ideas I have about myself. Great opportunities to do my own work which I am always grateful for.

Life on fast forward can be very exciting and it needs to be balanced. Taking a few minutes at least twice a day to be fully present to the inner workings as well as what is actually going on around me is a life saver. It helps me remember to be present throughout the day as well even when things are busy.

There is awe and wonder and so much beauty in the moment. Have you noticed?

Namaste

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Attachment to Beliefs


There is so much attachment to some beliefs and assumptions that sometimes it can seem quite impossible to even attempt to question them. Well, most people don't even try really but for those who are looking to see beyond the veil of illusion it can be quite a challenge.



I've noticed that those who have the most difficulty with seeing through their beliefs are those whose self-identity is excessively outer focused, in other words, totally dependent on how they think the world sees them. When there is little or no inward focused sense of identity the very thought of deeply held beliefs being false seems to be so threatening that it just bounces right off. I find this quite fascinating really and have been pondering why that might be.

I could speculate that it may have something to do with some core idea that either there isn't anything there to identify with or that whatever is there is so bad or wrong somehow that it must not be revealed. It could also simply be that it is not their path to dismantle those illusions, who knows?

The real question for me however is how I respond to it when I meet someone who has come to me for coaching to help them deal with life in a more effective way and this is what I encounter. It's always about how we respond to what life presents us isn't it? All I know to do is the best I can and to be compassionate toward both them and myself in the process. It is what it is. I don't really know why, I can only speculate which is making more assumptions which is all part of the illusion. So what I wrote in the last paragraph, fun to play with but not the truth. The truth is I don't know. There I rest and carry on with my day with appreciation for the experience.

Namaste

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dragonflies

Have you noticed how many dragonflies there are this year? I heard the City of Edmonton had released a bunch to help control the mosquito population but we were out at Beaverhill yesterday and there were an unusually large number of them there as well.

I'm quite fascinated with dragonflies these day with them being my symbol of choice and all. One of the symbolic meanings of the dragonfly is dispelling self-created illusions which is what so much of my work is about. As I was pondering why there were so many dragonflies this year it occurred to me that, of course, the conditions have been perfect for them to propagate this year with all the rain we've had.

Did you know that dragonflies start life out as water bugs? Then at some point an inner calling directs them to climb up the reeds that grow in ponds and marshes and once out of the water they dry and eventually those beautiful iridescent wings spread and off they go on dragonfly adventures. The fact that they eat mosquitoes is one of the reasons we love them so much along with their beauty and grace.

OK so I can't help but appreciate the fabulous metaphysics in all this. When the conditions are right for us we too climb out of our wet little ponds of self identity and eventually learn to fly when we are no longer encumbered by the beliefs that keep us mired in the swamps. We can not only learn to fly  but we can also learn to allow those pesky memories (mosquitoes) to be nurturing food for the soul instead of seeing them as annoyances we just want to get rid of. So perfect!

I love metaphor!

Namaste

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Appreciating What Is

I officiated at a beautiful wedding yesterday at the Muttart Conservatory here in Edmonton. I hadn't been there for several years and was reminded that we have some really beautiful places here that we can enjoy any time.

There is so much beauty everywhere really when you open your eyes, let your mind take a break and just be. Looking out my office window I am greeted with the sun shining on a beautiful Mayday tree creating all kinds contrast and shadows. Yesterday was equally beautiful with the clouds and wind and a bit of rain here and there.

The world is full of wonders for us to behold yet there is such a tendency to get lost in thought and not even notice. The mind is constantly trying to resolve issues, answer questions and figure things out which is part of its function but there comes a time when the mind must be relieved of all that.  Life is unfolding in its own sweet and wondrous way without the mind having to figure everything out.

Breathe, relax, appreciate the wonder of what is for a moment...whatever is on your mind will resolve itself in ways you could not imagine if you will but let go of the need to be in control and know exactly how. Revel in the moment, loving what is and let tomorrow look after itself.

Namaste

Monday, August 20, 2012

Changing Time and Energy

I sometimes wonder what's happening with my relationship with time. It's been very different of late and I've found myself double booking things, feeling out of sync with what I used to consider the normal flow of time and just plain feeling odd with it. Whatever it may be I think I'm finding my feet with it again and even though it's different there's a new norm arising.

My continued focus on the self-compassion  project I initiated a few weeks ago has been a huge help in these shifting times. I must say I feel very blessed as I move through all these changes and life in general with compassion and understanding. It really doesn't matter what shows up, when I meet it with love and compassion  it just eases the way and helps release the natural resistance that shows up with change.

I was in a great conversation the other day about making wanted change by working with energy. It was brought up how easy and wonderful it was to get results  by seeing yourself being and doing what you want and really getting into the energy of it. I totally agree that the quality of our vibration is what determines our experience and when there are no opposing energies at play the unfolding of what we envision seems quite miraculous.

What I was reminded of in that conversation however was the reason The Liberation Process was created in the first place. It was in response to what I perceived as the need to deal with those opposing energies which are based on our beliefs systems. If what I truly desire and envision as my life is not what I am experiencing chances are pretty darn good that I have some kind of programming running that is not of the same vibrational quality as what I think I want. So much of the work with the law of attraction and all its derivatives seems to want to ignore that programming, telling us to just focus on what we want and it will happen. There's so much about that idea that doesn't work I don't even know where to begin. So I won't get into all the details but keep my comments to just a couple of ideas that may be useful.

First, if you are trying to make some changes and are feeling stuck or frustrated, I find it very helpful to take a big breath and stop trying to make it happen. Efforting your way through change probably isn't going to work for you any more, it sure doesn't for me. If you notice yourself trying hard and getting little or no results you are likely caught up in those opposing energies I mentioned earlier. Move toward the frustration instead of trying to get away from it and notice what you feel and think about yourself, about what you have and about what you want. Is there any thought/feeling that isn't in alignment with the change you desire? Are you caught up in a particular picture of what it has to look like or are you willing to allow all kinds of possibilities to unfold? Is there any thought floating around in the background that says something like 'I'll never get to have or be what I really want' or 'I don't deserve (fill in the blank)' or 'I must have done something wrong and I'm being punished' or 'This is just another example of the world being against me'. I think you get the drift.

Any kind of belief that says you 'can't' is quite likely going to negate what you want. The same is true with any belief that limits what is possible because you've already decided it isn't going to work 'that way'. For the most part you're probably so used to thinking the way you do about whatever it is that is blocking change that you don't even realize you're doing it. That's why it's so important to learn to listen to yourself with compassion and understanding instead of dismissing the obvious. It opens the way to being able to gently question the beliefs that have had a hold on you all your life and change the energy. If you can gently let yourself know that what you've held to be the 'truth' about yourself or life or whatever you've been thinking isn't in fact true but rather just a belief you've adopted then the way opens that allows you to experience life anew.
energy
There's so much more to life than we could possibly conceive. Why not go with the flow letting the universe unfold as it will anyway and release all that angst about it? The energy of appreciation and wonder is so much more fun.

Namaste

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meeting With Resistance

I'm loving this self-compassion project. it's bringing up all kinds of goodies to be dissolved in love.

It's also bringing the levels of resistance to change into sharper focus as well. We had a great conversation about that on Sunday at the gathering because it was so obvious in the group. It's never easy to effect real change within and there's something about being truly present, kind and compassionate to inner being that is particularly challenging. If I was to guess I'd have to say it has something to do with dealing with pain in the opposite way from what we've been accustom to. Mostly we've deflected, protected, rejected what we were experiencing when we got uncomfortable and didn't understand what was really going on. That was how we survived the human condition.

cruise shipOn the journey back to Essence we are being invited to be present to, have compassion for and embrace those painful memories and experiences instead of the way we used to try to get away from them. Sounds good doesn't it? Not easy though I assure you. Whatever that was that drove us to move away from Essence may be calling us back now but we're so used to going the other way turning around is really a project! I just had the visual of a giant cruise ship turning around. It doesn't happen on a dime and neither does the turnaround in how we relate to ourselves. The very process requires compassion and patience and lots of practice.

The beauty of it all however is that what the self-compassion project is bringing up is exactly what is needed as we journey home to Essence. Even the resistance is perfect and you are invited to meet it with compassion and understanding too. I have not encountered anything so far that can withstand true compassionate presence. Don't fool yourself into thinking that if you just think about it that's enough; thinking about a thing is not the same as being present to it. Let the thoughts rest for a few moments and just be.

Namaste

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's All God

Sometimes my heart just wells up with gratitude and love for Creator/Creation/Life/Source, whatever you want to call it. It isn't something I can manufacture or affirm into being, it's just what rises up from deep within for its own reasons. Quite frankly, I don't care why those overwhelming feelings show up I just appreciate that they do on a regular basis. It's like I just want to open my arms wide and praise the All Being.

The wonder of Creation is so vast and intense it completely humbles me and opens my heart in a way that is beyond words. My sister made a strange comment a couple of weeks ago when we were finishing with cleaning Mom's house. I said something like 'Thank You God!' and she says,'Oh, do you believe in God?' Such a good Catholic girl she is and that was such a typical comment for her to make ya gotta love her.

I certainly am not into the many concepts of God that most religions espouse so I can see where the comment might have come from; for me it's all God, we live, move and have our being in God. There is only God expressing always and all ways and that is difficult for the more religiously minded among us to conceive. 'What about evil and bad people and all the bad things that happen? That can't be God!' Really? There's God and then there's something else? Not in my world. Even forgetting that there's only God is God as far as I can tell.

I just don't use the word God much. I prefer Life, it doesn't feel so pigeon holed.

Namaste

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Journey Home to Essence Video

I've been having some creative fun the past couple of days creating a little video on some of my thoughts about the journey home to Essence.

The idea for the video came when a went to a PechaKucha night here in St. Albert. I had heard of PechaKucha a few times before but wasn't really clear what it was about, so I found out.

Doing a video in this style, 20 slides of 20 seconds each with narration, has been on my mind ever since, so here it is. 

Enjoy, share freely and I'd love to get your comments!

Namaste

Friday, August 3, 2012

Opening The Cell Doors

Since the weekend there's been a lot of physical pain that has been quite unusual for me. My commitment to bring unconditional, compassionate attention to whatever shows up has been a wonderful gift in this process. Constantly bringing my focus back to the pain in the body with understanding and acceptance opened out a way for some very deep, previously well-hidden memories and feelings to come to the surface.

The flash of insight about what was behind the pain came not while I was focused on the pain but when I was doing something mundane where my mind wasn't completely occupied.

Awareness is like that. What we need to know doesn't show up when we expect it to, nor does it seem to have anything to do with how we think we're going to receive it. It really does seem to be about simply making space through acceptance, compassion and understanding then responding when the insight does arise. In this particular case the response has been to acknowledge what was previously denied and to bring more understanding and acceptance every day for as long as it takes.

It's important to note that this kind of release really isn't a one shot deal. What was buried for so long seems to require lots of space and time to fully reveal itself and be freed from the confines of its long imprisonment. This one was at least a 55 year sentence so there is some adjusting to do as the cell door opens and light is admitted.

It doesn't matter that the prison was created in false assumption and misguided beliefs. That is also acknowledged but the imprisonment was still experienced for a long time indeed so patience and gentleness is the order of the day.

Namaste

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Opportunites for A Little Compassion

Life is always presenting opportunities to practice what I preach. One of the essential elements of self-compassion is that it is about being kind to oneself when being less than ideally loving and kind.

I've just had a couple of days of cleaning out my mother's old house from which she moved 3 years ago and has been occupied by my brother until I finally sold it this month (possession date is today). This has been a very difficult situation for everyone for a long time.I eventually stepped in where I did not really care to tread and sold her house for her which meant my brother moving on. This was not easy. Long story short, he had been less than forthcoming about how much he wasn't getting done to clean out the house so the rest of us converged on the scene Sunday to finish the job. We had moved into that house in 1969 and I don't think my mother and brother ever threw much away.

I knew there was a lot of stuff but I had fantasized that most of it would be gone but of course there was still an incredible amount there and the place was filthy. Sunday we got the rest of the stuff out of the house, piling a whole bunch of it in the back yard to be taken to the dump, putting some in storage and bringing more to my brothers tiny little apartment which is full of stuff he couldn't let go of.

We were exhausted by the end of the day and my sister, sister-in-law and I went back yesterday to do some cleaning. I have to admit my thoughts about my brother and mother were not as charitable as I would like at times in this process. I have something of an aversion to housework at the best of times, and these were not what I consider the best of times.  We did get it done though for which we were all grateful at the end of the day.

In the midst of all that and the aches and pains in my body I have to admit I am truly grateful that I had the focus of the Self-Compassion Project to continually bring me back to being gentle with myself. I found in that process that I was also able to find compassion for my mother and brother as well. What is, is. They lived, and continue to live, in the way that is theirs to live and I am part of it whether I really like it or not. Self-compassion reminds me that I don't have to be thrilled about it, and I don't have to stay angry or resentful either. I can bring understanding and compassion to those oh so human tendencies.

Today I am sore all over and I am at peace. I appreciate the way it has all unfolded and that we're all doing the best we can given where we are and all is well.

I've always maintained that the work I share is really for me and this project showed up exactly when I needed it most. Even though I have been working with the process for a long time it's easy to wander off so I really appreciate these particularly focused times. This is a journey after all. The path leads us where it leads us.

Remember, it isn't about doing it all right; it's about being alright with what we do.

Namaste 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Self-Compassion

I noticed myself getting caught up in shoulds the other day about something I didn't want but had not given myself permission to say no to. The mind wanted to justify and come up with good reasons all the while rejecting them all. There was a bit of a dissonance going on which all the logic in the world would not bring peace to.

I soon realized that what was really needed was a moment or two of compassion and understanding instead of argument and trying to convince myself of something. The mind quickly settled down then and I was at peace with the way it is for me. It wasn't so much about what I had to do about it as it was about allowing what seems like contradiction to coexist.

I could then see clearly how often seeming contradictions show up in life where the personality thinks it has to be one way or another, not both. One example would be around money. I love doing the work I do, the coaching, the teaching, life celebrations and weddings mainly. I also appreciate and want to be paid for the work I do. There's some bit of programming in this personality however that says I shouldn't think about money, I should do things for nothing all the time, I'm shallow if I think about money, etc. Nothing new there, I even had that running when I had an oilfield supply company. How funny is that?

The point is that there seems to be a contradiction going on between the idea that I should do everything for free and that I want to be well paid.  When I move past the shoulds into the desire beneath it to be of service and to be compassionate the contradiction falls away and the ideas of being of service and being paid can go exist. When I'm not judging myself for being human there is no argument. It's all here, it's all perfect and I can joyfully give things away as well as be paid.

The human condition is full of these contradictions where we tend to be fighting inner battles all the time. Mostly the battles are about the way we should be as opposed to what we may want or think or feel at the moment. Being compassionate toward it all and understanding this is simply the human condition playing out goes a long way in ending the war.

By the way, if you haven't heard about it yet, I've developed a 40 day process called The Self-Compassion Project with this very kind of thing in mind. You can get more info and download the instructions and daily quotes on my website. By the way, it's free!

Namaste




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Observations From Stillness

Wow, time is flying by as this month turned out to be way busier than I had envisioned. I remember distinctly writing a post at the beginning of the month about things being slower. Hmm, I wonder what happened to that idea? I have to admit there are times when it's great to be wrong!

It seems that with all I'm involved in I find myself constantly aware of the ever changing landscape of life. It rarely looks the way I thought it would and it changes before I can ever get used to the way it is and it's all perfect.

The old ideas around safety in sameness are quickly dissolving in favour of the realization that there is much more aliveness in being present to the way life moves and shifts and changes without resistance. I think another reason change is so much more enjoyable now is that while I'm observing the perpetually shifting nature of the manifest world, I am simultaneously deeply grounded in ever constant Source.

What I am is not moving and changing, that remains the same; what is being experienced is what's always shifting. It's a lot more fun watching the unfolding from stillness rather than being overly identified with that which is always changing.

Namaste

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rolling With Life

As life keeps rolling along with its own agenda, I am constantly reminded that I really have no idea what's going to happen or what anything really means. While it is fun to assign all kinds of meanings to things at times, it's also fun to just hang out with what is and let everything unfold without any particular meaning. That doesn't mean I don't make any commitments to things in the future, I just make commitments to what seems right as it is presented to me, if things change, they change, if not, on we go.

I'm just having fun with the way things are happening these days and noticing my reactions when they should arise and then noticing them slip quietly into the gentle night. Why make more of things than I need to? I think a lot of that stuff around giving meaning to things is really about making the self important when in truth that isn't even an issue.

Namaste

ps This picture doesn't have any meaning either, I just liked it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Multi-Tasking or Presencing?

The ebb and flow of life as it is experienced in the moment is constantly calling me inward, to the peace of presence. It's so easy to get caught up in the business of living instead of being present to what is.

I noticed an uneasiness in the background of awareness over the weekend and realized that I had been very busy with all kinds of great stuff but I had been side stepping my usual practices of just sitting for a few minutes morning and night to just be fully present to inner being, what I call presencing. I had sort of been paying attention but only on the fly so to speak.

Ah yes that insidious habit of multi-tasking.  I spent so many years being so very proud of the ability to multi-task I find it a bit challenging at times not to get into it and of course I succumb on a regular basis. Nothing wrong with that, it just isn't very effective when it comes to being present in the moment and being at peace.

Moving deeply into the uneasiness yesterday the shift allowed peace to permeate the disturbance and today there is once again a sense of joy and appreciation in the moment.

Funny thing is I wouldn't have said I was unhappy yesterday because I was doing something I love doing and I was having a good time, there was just this background noise of something calling me that I had been ignoring. I spent most of my life in that state, except the noise was much louder in the past, and I got really good at ignoring it or distracting myself so I wouldn't have to do anything about it. The only problem with that was that I also rarely felt connected or appreciative or happy. Now that I know the difference, the old ways of ignoring and distracting just aren't very attractive any more.

Namaste

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cancelling Beliefs

Sitting in the backyard enjoying yet another dog day of summer. I feel so blessed as I enjoy the gentle breeze and listen to the chimes gently singing their songs.


I've been pondering the interesting phenomenon of duality in terms of our desires and beliefs of late, instigated through a couple of different conversations.These aren't new realizations but I'm not sure if I've written about them from this particular perspective.

I've noticed that for every unrealized desire or dream there seems to be a corresponding belief that it is not possible or will never happen for 'me'. For instance you may have a desire for a loving, intimate relationship and have had for a long time. Along with this unmet desire there is undoubtedly lurking in the background of consciousness a subtle (or not so subtle) pattern of thought that would say something like 'I'll never have that' or 'I never get what I really want'.

We have become so adept at being in denial for the most part that even though we may be vaguely aware of the canceling belief for the desire, there is a tendency to ignore it and convince ourselves that we don't know why we don't seem to be able to have or experience what we really want. 'It must be because I'm unworthy or bad or not doing enough or I'm not enough.' Really? Great distractions but I don't think they have much to do with the truth. When you bother to examine these ideas they usually don't even make sense. What could you possibly have done that was so bad?

I'd be willing to bet that something painful happened that you didn't understand once upon a time and you assumed it had something to do with you. You then inserted whatever you may have been told at some point or what you decided it must have meant and have been looking at life from behind that veil ever since.

If you find there's such a desire or dream in your life, I suggest you take a minute to question the validity of the beliefs that have been distorting your vision instead of denying them. You'll never know what's possible as long as you've already decided it isn't.

Namaste

Monday, July 9, 2012

Appreciating Everything

I love those times when I can do nothing but appreciate what is. I've been in one of late and I am so grateful. The stillness, the light, the heat, the peace, the opportunities to share, the moments of real connection, the active times and the quiet times, my beloved, all that I am blessed with; all this and so much more fills my heart with gratitude.

Embracing whatever shows up seems to be the key that turns the lock in mind and body, opening out to the wonder and awe of creation.

The less personally I take life the more flow I seem to experience. Who knows why really. It doesn't matter, these are just words and they aren't what really matters. Being in Life, that's all there is.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Great Timing

 Life is always operating on perfect time (time may be an illusion but it does serve in many ways). The last blog post was about the impersonal nature of Life. Not easy to grasp for so many reasons but as previously stated, perfect time for being the focus of some pondering of late.


There is a project unfolding in the house this week (John took some vacation time for it). There is painting going on and some finishing work that the last owners had not completed when they had done renovations several years ago. John is a detail man. When a project is undertaken it's hard to know exactly where it's going to go because there is a tendency to look after all those little details along the way. The end result is great but the process can be a little rocky, as anyone who has done any kind of renovation or sprucing up can attest to.

The reason the timing is so perfect with what was written the other day is that there can be some crabby moments when the focus is on an ever expanding project and it's important to remember, it isn't personal. Those grumpy moods aren't about anyone, they're just what is going on in the moment of dealing with lots of detail and being focused on the project. Best bet is to stay out of the way and allow whatever needs to happen to unfold.

There is much gratitude for this awareness; there have been times in the past when this was not so and life was not fun.

Namaste

Monday, July 2, 2012

Impersonal Nature of LIfe


abstract artPondering the impersonal nature of Life for the last few days. No idea where it is going but it isn't leaving so whatever wants to be said will be written here.

The pondering began in a conversation regarding the lack of personal service in so many institutions and businesses. Lamenting about how people were just a number in so many cases, dealing with computer responders and even with individuals who seem to lack people skills. For example, a call to a specialist's office to confirm an appointment the day before was responded to by an answering machine where the recorded message very clearly stated what the options were and that, no there would not be a call back. OK, then...

In the course of conversation there was brief flash of how the impersonal being experienced in the world may be a reflection of the true impersonal nature of Life. There is a tendency to rail against the impersonal, wanting to feel special and wanted and acknowledged but is that part of a false concept? Is it perhaps a desperate attempt to maintain the illusion of separation? Could the lack of personal-ness that is evolving in the world not mean there's something 'wrong' but rather be revealing a deeper truth? Yeow!

What if it really is all impersonal and all the meaning given to self and others is really just a sad attempt at creating importance for the ego's survival? On this journey home to Essence is there really an invitation to let go of any concept of personal? Perhaps that's exactly what is going on. No wonder this work isn't all that attractive.

In going deep into Being, beyond all those beliefs and feelings and concepts on the surface of life that's exactly what is found; no me. Touched into this place often over the past couple of years yet there is something within that still wants to grab onto something personal and make it all so very real. It's also easy to be fooled into thinking life is not being taken personally when it actually is. The illusion must be entered fully it seems in order to come to the no-me state, so here again the paradox of Life is experienced. By paying full attention to that in 'me' that wants attention in the moment peace is attained and there is recognition that there is no need, no me. By trying to ignore the cry for attention more resistance is created and somehow the personal seems 'realler'. Ah Life you are a fascinating, beautiful contradiction.

Imagine not taking life personally; wow! Perhaps in the end there really is no point in railing against the impersonal tendencies in the world; it's a wonderful reminder that Life is not personal, it simply is what it is.
 
By the way, this essay was first written in the personal, using a lot of I's. If there is no 'I' then whose writing, whose having the experiences? Hmmm... There is quite a challenge in writing impersonally about experiences playing out at this point in consciousness. Here's what the essay looked like in the personal. Neither is right or wrong, just different language. What's important is that whether using I and me or not, Life is what is having the experiences.


I've been pondering the impersonal nature of Life for the last few days. I have no idea where it is taking me but it isn't leaving so I thought I'd write about whatever wants to be said.

It first came up in a conversation with a friend when we were talking about the lack of personal service in so many of our institutions and businesses. We were lamenting about how we were just a number in so many cases, dealing with computer responders and even with individuals who seem to lack people skills. I had called a specialist's office to confirm an appointment for my beloved the day before and I got their answering machine where the recorded message very clearly stated what your options were and that, no they would not be calling anyone back. OK, then...

In the course of conversation with my friend I had a brief flash of how the impersonal I was experiencing in the world may be a reflection of the true impersonal nature of Life. There is a tendency to rail against the impersonal, wanting to feel special and wanted and acknowledged but is that part of the mistaken concept we have about what we are? Is it perhaps a desperate attempt to maintain the illusion of separation rather than the interpretation that the lack of personal-ness that is evolving in our world means there's something 'wrong'? Yeow!

What if it really is all impersonal and all the meaning we give ourselves and other people is really just a sad attempt at creating importance for the ego's survival? On this journey home to Essence am I really being asked to let go of any concept of personal? I suspect that's exactly what is going on. No wonder this work isn't all that attractive.

When I have gone deep into Being, beyond all those beliefs and feelings and concepts that keep me on the surface of life that's exactly what I've found; no me. I've touched into this place often over the past couple of years yet there is that in me that still wants to grab onto something personal and make it all so very real. It's also easy to fool myself into thinking I'm not taking life personally when I really am. I have to enter the illusion fully it seems in order to come to the no-me state however, so here again I find myself deep in the paradox of Life. By paying full attention to that in 'me' that wants attention in the moment peace is attained and I can move through it to where there is no need, no me. By trying to ignore the cry for attention I just create more resistance and somehow make the personal seem 'realler'. Ah Life you are a fascinating, beautiful contradiction.

In the end I guess there really is no point in railing against the impersonal tendencies in the world; it's a wonderful reminder that Life is not personal, it simply is what it is.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gratitude and Flow

Today we celebrate Canada Day and I for one appreciate being in this country. I have no idea why I ended up here instead of some of the places in the world where life is much more difficult, but I did and I'm grateful.

My life has had some sad times, some happy times, some loss, some gain, some insanity, some calm and I have no idea really why it has been as it has or where it's going but it is, so I rejoice and appreciate what is.

In the end that's all I can do because as much as I may plan or think things are heading a certain direction I've lived long enough to know that life has its own plans and I either go with the flow or I resist and make myself unhappy. I know that sounds fatalistic and it is in a way. I don't think that whatever I am experiencing in the moment is what I am fated to experience the rest of my life, I just see that there is a tapestry being woven that is beyond my ability to comprehend as to how its all happening and that my personality is simply not in control of it.

I even let go of the idea I can manipulate the world and its events with my thoughts about it. I simply don't know what will be so instead of catastrophizing or trying to convince myself things will turn out the way 'I' want I remind myself that I simply don't know what things mean or where it's all going. I just do what appears as mine to do and rest in knowing that the Universe in doing what it is supposed to as well. There's an amazing peace and freedom that comes of this realization and I am grateful for that too as well as everything else life is offering up in any given moment.

Namaste Eh!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living Between The Lines

The script of life is written every day
In its own time and in its own way.
Sometimes it seems the writing is too tight
There's too much going on between morning and night.
Or sometimes the writing gets somehow discordant
That's when living between the lines is really important.
Take a deep breath now and dive right in
The space between is ready and always has been
To receive you and nurture you
And remind you you are home,
You're safe here, all is perfect
Rest now and know
That while your story may go on and on
The space between is what life really rests upon.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Replace or Be Present

Another wonderfully full and rich week comes to a close. I've also just finished the first draft of my book which I'm calling The Journey Home to Essence, A How To Manual for Dismantling the Illusion of Separation. There's a lot more work to do but it's been an interesting journey with it so far and I have to doubt there are more interesting adventures to come. It is nice to complete at least one step with it though.

I've also been having lots of fun with being present this week, which has been very helpful in keeping me from going into overwhelm. Someone asked me the other day about what to replace all those beliefs we're dismantling with. There are a lot of teachings out there that really promote filling in the space with affirmations or a different concept so that you don't end up filling the emptiness with the old beliefs and thoughts patterns. When I think of it, this thinking reminds me of some of the fear our more fundamental friends have around meditation; if you make a space then the devil will come in. We find new language but you know, some of those old ideas just keep getting recycled in new ways don't they?

Back to the question, what do you replace old beliefs with once you've realized they aren't 'The Truth'? I end the Liberation Process with opening to wonder and possibility instead of another thought about myself or whatever I've just dismantled, which is another way of saying I open to being present to what is right now which is an awesome place to be, yet I know as well as anyone that old thoughts tend to soon come rushing back in. In the unconscious moments those thoughts just run around the mind-scape the same way they always have (by the way that happens if you've tried to replace them as well) but the magic is in those moments when I become aware of my thinking and and bring my focus back to the present moment. I don't need to replace the thought with a new one, I need to be present to what is.

Thoughts come and go and roll around but I don't have to hitch a ride every time one goes by. I may notice there are thoughts floating through but being present for me means seeing right through those thoughts and resting in the space where Life is unfolding so very perfectly. Delicious!


Namaste


Monday, June 18, 2012

Joyous Opportunities for Compassion

I just had a fabulous weekend in Calgary with some great 'girl time' with friends, one of whom I hadn't seen in a few years and then doing the talk at Unity of Calgary followed by a mini workshop on the Process of Liberation. It was mini in time and in attendance but it was mighty anyway.

I am so grateful for every opportunity there is to share what has become a great passion, dismantling the illusion with compassion and understanding. My whole being responds with a joyous expansiveness whenever there is sharing and breaking through the veils. I don't care if the sharing is with one person or one thousand, it's about being what I am teaching. I long ago realized that I teach what I most need to be. It is a circular process really where as I teach I expand in what I teach and the teaching in turn expands. The Universe is such an amazing experience!

One of the things that was really important for me this weekend was the realization that some of my own false ideas were coming up prior to the Sunday event and how doing the work completely shifted the experience and opened up a whole new level of joyous experience.

I long ago made the commitment to myself that no matter how often the same old patterns show up my response is to be unconditionally present with compassion and understanding, realizing the fearful or painful thoughts about whatever is happening are what is not true. Patterns are patterns and they rarely just disappear but they also don't hold the sway they had when they were unconscious and believed hook, line and sinker.

Every time old patterns arise it is yet another great opportunity to be the unconditional, compassionate presence, and that truly is delicious living.

Namaste


Saturday, June 16, 2012

More of the Unknown

Being fully present to whatever is going on within and without is certainly an interesting challenge when you really don't know how to respond; even when you do know, it's still seductive to go directly to distraction. I'm deeply aware of some assumptions I made long ago as they surface for me today. To be honest some of it sadness me a little yet I am also grateful for the awareness coming up now instead of after the fact. As I sit here and bring my full compassionate attention to the feeling in my heart,there is a distinct relaxing and a gentleness that flows through me. I'm so grateful that I no longer feel the need to run away and pretend. Breathing fully into my heart brings even more peace and reassurance because I am also aware that the story is all based on assumptions and interpretations that have more to do with the past than anything coming up in the near future. The truth is I have no idea what's coming and I'm OK with that as I rest here enjoying the warmth of the sun and the warmth in my heart. Namaste

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weathering The Storms

stormy weather



We had a wonderfully stormy Saturday night and I loved it. Hard rain, a little thunder and wind feels so good once in a while. As with all things, it wouldn't be so much fun if it was that way all the time but alas, nothing lasts forever, at least not in the temporal world.

Speaking of things that don't last forever, I've been noticing some discouragement in people around me who are trying to make changes in their lives and are not experiencing what they thought they wanted. It's interesting to explore what's behind discouragement because there is often such a mixed message that it isn't surprising whatever they try doesn't work.

Let's play with an example of what I mean here such as wanting to have a significant, harmonious relationship for instance and constantly falling back into conflicted relationships that do not satisfy the need to feel significant to the other person. I've seen this kind of dynamic played out over and over for a lot of people even though they may know that it's really all about their beliefs and assumptions about life. I fully understand discouragement as it is something I felt most of my life; I may well meet up with it again but it's been a while since I've really gone there.

So what's the shift that has to happen in order to be at peace with where you are instead of struggling with the same old thing? There are probably all kinds of answers to this but I'll just share some of my experience around it.

First off, it's very helpful to be aware that there are indeed conflicting beliefs and needs at play. Using the example above, a need might be for significance/importance which is part of the human condition. When that need was not met sufficiently (or at all for that matter) in childhood, all kinds of strategies were likely developed in an effort to get the need met. Often these strategies are not pretty, they're just pretty desperate. Acting out, being especially good, over achieving, underachieving, trying to do as much as possible to make another happy, becoming reclusive are all strategies used to deal with the need. Some sort of work, sometimes but in the end you're left feeling empty and discouraged because they don't really work to address the core issue which has been masked in all the efforting. Then there is often a belief that develops that says no matter what I do I can't get that need met. So, the conflict is born and you swing back and forth from desperate effort, to giving up, to discouragement and despair, back to trying hard and round and round you go.

So now that you're aware of the conflicting beliefs and needs the next step is to be fully present to the pain of it all. Stop the merry go round for a moment and breathe, just take some nice full breaths and let your focus drop into your body where the conflict has been playing out in the form of physical pain or discomfort (fear, sadness, anger are likely the feelings associated with this kind of dynamic). Take a few moments to breathe with it where it lives in your body and to bring compassion and kindness and understanding to the being who has been so desperate and so discouraged. Just be fully present to it without all the criticism and blame. Notice how innocent this beingness is. There was a perception of need which every human experiences and so you were simply trying to get it met. There's nothing to condemn in that is there? As a child you had no way of knowing what was really going on so you filled in the gap with some kind of assumption about yourself and what you had to do to survive and you've just been living that out ever since; going back and forth, trying and giving up over and over. But now you have a new option because you're aware and I presume you would like to alleviate the suffering (bring compassion) and the most effective way I know to do that is to simply give the quality of attention to that inner being that it has been trying to get from others even as it has been hiding from it. Just breathe into it for a moment, be kind in your thoughts toward it but most of all be present with understanding.

The next step is to question the validity of the belief that this need is bad or that you have to get rid of it or you have to get anyone else to meet it. You are in this moment meeting the need! That is such good news. You can let everyone else off the hook, you can let go of all those ineffective strategies and you can be what you've been seeking. Breathe into that for a moment. Nothing needs to happen in the world for you to be ok; you're ok right now and you can rest here. It isn't true that this need will never be met is it? Eureka, the barrier has been broken, love can flow once again and all that energy is freed up. Take a moment to open to the wonder of infinite possibility that has just come available to you, appreciate all that is right now and all that is to be. Life is such an adventure! Life is happening in and through you and it's all a wonder.

Here's a question that's particularly important to consider; will the conflict show up again, will you be challenged with your old patterns again? You bet! The difference is that you know what it is and you can go right back to that place where the pain lives and be fully present and compassionate and give yourself exactly what you really need again and again. Who cares how often you have to go back there? What could possibly be more important when the need shows up?

You'll probably forget all about doing this more often than you remember but every time you do give that compassionate attention and call the bluff on the beliefs about it is a gift. Why not receive it over and over?

Namaste

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Safety in Sameness?

What does anything really mean? I have my ideas, you have yours and they may be similar, or not. The only significance there is in any of it is how it affects our daily lives; do the meanings we assign things align with what is most important to us or are we just operating on automatic or default programing?

I often stop to question the meaning I give interactions or events, especially when they leave me feeling uncomfortable somehow. When I do I find that I've usually gotten caught up in my own point of view, not because it's right or that it is superior but because it's a habit. I was having a conversation the other day about how many people like to go to church because they like the sense of safety they get in knowing what is going to happen. There is a ritual going on that is predictable and makes them comfortable. I had to giggle a little because that is the very thing I railed against when I was in ministry, that little box that felt more like a coffin than a safe space for me after a while.

I started having weekly gatherings on Sunday mornings recently because it was a convenient time but it isn't about the kind of safety that comes from sameness. I haven't had the same set-up twice and I never know exactly what we're going to be doing which is where the juice is for me. There are certainly parameters and intentionality but I see this as a place to explore and go beyond the safety zone. There is always the lure of falling into a routine however and it may happen at times but the intention will undoubtedly guide us in shaking things up when needed.

Life is always doing what it needs to do to lead us on our unique journey so what is, is and what will be will be. It's all perfect.

Namaste


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Now

I have nothing to say this morning but felt like writing anyway; who knows what may show up. I'm having a fabulous weekend and am looking forward to the gathering this morning even though I really don't know where that's going either. That's what makes it fun and interesting for me, the not knowing part. I plan some things but they either happen or they don't and each gathering has a life of its own anyway. Pretty much like the rest of life isn't it? We plan and imagine what might be and in the end we have what we have and it really has little to do with our planning.

I've been pondering what is and how we keep trying to devise ways of not being where we are, of making the future a better place and making what is coming special somehow. What's that really about I wonder? What if we stopped trying to be somewhere else and were simply here, now exactly as it is? And what is it about this moment that is so unacceptable anyway? Is it what's going on or is it just what we think about what's happening? What if this is it? This is as good as it gets? What if I were to give up any thought of some kind of future salvation or enlightenment or things just being better? Quite frankly this moment is pretty darn perfect even with having a slight headache and not having turned the heat on so I'm a bit cool. Just being present to those sensations...and everything else in and around me... I am in awe and appreciation. The next moment things are different, and they remain the same. Hmm...

I seem to be contracting myself somewhat here, first I'm looking forward to the gathering then it's about being present to what is. That too is life.

I guess that's what I had to write about this morning.

Namaste