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Springing forward

20140322 175030 Springing forwardHere we are with crazy weather for the first official day of spring. Stormy drifting snow with icy road conditions made for a tense and treacherous drive to the airport. Never before have I been so grateful and excited to leave behind a Canadian winter. So here we are: my dream has finally arrived, after months of a long harsh cold haul that had me itching to escape to warmer climes. We’re finally on our way to Spain! Don’t get me wrong. A well earned tour through various yoga studios in the Toronto area with our yogaFLIGHT flair has me grateful to have had the time that we did connecting with an ever expanding community. Yet I am thrilled to be springing forward on this marvellous equinox evening to the warmth of Europe.

It’s been a long time it seems that I’ve played tourist abroad. Spain will be an incredible adventure that hasn’t any set direction or expectation, apart from milder sunnier weather :).

20140322 180456 Springing forwardLanding in Frankfurt after a wonderful Lufthansa flight has me on top of the world, although I feel physically drained and exhausted from little sleep over the past week. Several all nighters this past week took their toll as we crossed the Atlantic; I crashed deeply and soundly for much of the flight. I’d highly recommend the exceptional friendliness and attentive courteousness of the Lufthansa staff. The german culture with the meticulous emphasis on detail has me happy to recommend and fly with this airline anytime!

Meeting with our friend Mic at the airport has me grateful for world travelling friends who go out of their way in being hospitable. I’m constantly reminded by the generosity and lovely spirit of my friends in this lifetime. How lucky am I to be living the dream life that I am?! This trek into the European unknown has me excited about sharing it with my husband and best friend.

What excites you about travel and springing forward into life? What has you most grateful about journeying into the unknown?

Excess Baggage

Now that my husband and I have made firm plans on a trip to Spain (we leave in under a week!), I am debating what to travel with on our 9 week trek to Europe. I’m trying to travel as light as possible, which is quite challenging when trying to factor in such electronics as a laptop, tablet & phone (not to include all the plethora of accessories + chargers). On top of that, I’m uncertain on which camera to take — do I go with my Nikon SLR with the standard 28-50mm lens or choose instead my efficiently portable Nikon point & shoot camera. Forget about the 70-300 zoom lens for the SLR. I’ve got too much as it is. And trying to narrow down to the basic ‘necessities’ is proving to be difficult when it comes to hauling around expensive toys across the big pond. I’m even considering bringing the GoPro. But now, am I going overboard? I have video capabilities on both my cameras and phone. Too many gadgets weighs me down in my travels. I have too much experience living that truth …. I want this trip to be hugely different from my travel days of 15+ years ago when I lugged around a HUGE 75 litre Lowe Alpine backpack plus a day bag. At the time, I wasn’t just on week or month-long trips. I was trekking for YEARS. And carrying all that excess baggage really was a literal pain in the butt. It limited my options, at times, of spontaneity and freedom. I even took my skydiving rig with me on an overload tour of Africa. But it was functional and well-used during that trip. So it made perfect sense. And this was well before the days of expensive electronic gadgets and stuff. Nowadays, I’m of the mind that the less I have, the better.

I remember sharing a bunkhouse with an amazing nomadic world-travelling goddess in India, 7 years ago. She travelled scrupulously lean with little to her name except for her explicit desire for her music library by her side. Megan hauled around a ridiculous amount of CDs for her cd-playing Walkman. But she couldn’t live without her music. An iPod was not an obvious option for her at the time (she had never actually heard of an iPod 7 years back, even though this amazing Apple life-changing invention had been released in 2001). That memory of Megan’s music devotion reinforces the concept that many people tend to travel with excess baggage that they deem important and are unwilling to relinquish. Myself included! I’m having a hard time considering 2 months away without my laptop. Dang.

MACbookpro Excess Baggage

I’ve toyed with the idea of only travelling with a tablet. But after spending a few days out and about trying to navigate my working habits, I quickly saw the limits of said device. Editing photos and websites are tedious at best, even with several different blogging and photography apps. For me, nothing can beat a traditional computing experience where hardy software and an accessible hard drive provide for all my digital needs. Having a keyboard is key. I’ve yet to see a usb keyboard that would serve the functionality and ease of my laptop for the iPad. I’m open to recommendations and suggestions! So back to my plan A. Laptop goes with me to Europe. In reality, no one really needs a tablet to accomplish all their digital needs. But once had, tablets are certainly hard to give up! The reading experience is pleasurable compared to trying to surf on a phone. The screen size of my iPhone 4S is not meant for reading large amounts of material online or in book form. Hence the iPad. I’m a MAC girl at heart, and having the whole payload of Apple’s toys at hand is hugely gratifying and appealing. Worth toting around the European Continent??? Something yet to be determined. I’ll keep you in the loop!

To what lengths have you travelled the world with your toys and life possessions on your back? How much is too much when it comes to baggage? And what have you given up in the process?

Fear, the Biggest Hurdle

They say that deciding to make a major change in ones life, following through and taking that initial first step, is the biggest hurdle to accomplishing goals and approaching transformation head on (whomever ‘they’ are). At this juncture in my journey, I can honestly say that indeed yes, ‘they’ are correct! A statement that I heard today resonated profoundly to the depth of my being regarding change: “Live fearless. Find joy. Live large.”

jet sky Fear, the Biggest HurdleI’m in the throes of excitement sparkled with fear as slaDE and I plan a last minute trip to Europe for 9+ weeks. I’ve always been a very spontaneous and somewhat fearless international traveller. If I felt an urge or craved an adventurous getaway, I would jump at any chances or opportunities that oozed my way regardless of their shape, size or form. My passion and enthusiasm for stepping beyond my own comfort zone into a different country and an unfamiliar culture in the past has been my strength and motivating force to perpetuate adventure in my life. And I am so feeling this with the notion of taking yogaFLIGHT to Europe. Specifically to Barcelona. Initially however, I was faced with a whole different and puzzling challenge of extending to my husband the premise that such a trip could be hugely viable, sprinkled with the potential for yogaFLIGHT greatness. I really wasn’t expecting his walls of uncertainty. Fear was getting in the way. For the first time in a longtime, we were at a crossroads in the way that we approached our life’s journey together.

Historically, I’ve tended to leap before looking, without forethought of the potential consequences when it came to travel (BS ~ before slaDE). On the flip-side, slaDE tends to logically think out and rethink every step of the odyssey. Me, I just go. And live with whatever unfolds along the way (I may be generalizing somewhat hugely, but you get the picture).

When I travelled in my twenties and thirties, I didn’t have the internet or the massive educational resources (library books, travel blogs and DVDs, etc) that we have today at our fingertips ~ instant consumption. Back in the day, I was an intrepid nomadic global wanderer. Now that, as a society, we have opportunities to go crazy in online planning, I’m finding myself overwhelmed by the possibilities and the plethora of vast information overload available online. Such a different medium and age in these travel plans. This however seems to be a positive influence for slaDE and his process, helping him work through any anxieties and fears that might have existed. After watching an instrumental inspiring video on living life fully (What would you do if Money Was No Object ~ Alan Watts), slaDE has now boarded the sKYtrain line of thinking, and currently, we are in the process of booking flights! Hurrahhhhhhhhh!

I’m noting that once an initial decision is made to actually go forth and explore, the rest is awesomely ‘easy’ and hugely fun!  For me, lists play a HUGE part in maintaining my sanity and organization. Thoughts, ideas and must-dos come tumbling out at the most random of times. And having a notepad at hand is vital to keeping me sane and on-track! One challenge that I am discovering, however, revolves around the planning details of currency exchange and money. I’m still trying to figure out best and common practises, and what would be the ideal choices for uS. My days of backpacking in the 90s revolved around the usage of Travellers Cheques (TCs) and cash as a way to live, with little difficulty in travelling from country to country currency wise. However, I’m repeatedly hearing that TCs are not as globally painless or accepted as they once were, during my heyday of overseas trekking. But I’ll leave that for another blog posting :).

As of now, I am so ready  and excited at the decision to catapult into this next shifting and phase. For the longest time, my head and heart have been out of the starting gate with an engine vibrating at the ready, yearning for international travel. It has been WAY too long!!! Yahoo!!!! Europe, here we come.

Here’s the transcript of Allan Watt’s video if by chance you are interested and searching for answers to that very same question of “What would you do if money was no object”!

What do you desire? What makes you itch?  What sort of a situation would you like?

Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, “we’re getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do”. So I always ask the question, “what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”

Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much.

That’s everybody is – somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will. But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track.

See what we are doing, is we’re bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all retch, and no vomit it never gets there.

And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question: What do I desire?

What are your biggest hurdles in initiating change? Do you have someone cheerleading you on the sidelines when faced with the obstacles of doubt and indecision?

The Body In Motion

Have you ever been inspired by the human body in fluid motion? I’ve always been especially curious by the mechanics of the human form in its beauty as I flow through my yoga practice, exploring the depths of mobility, expansion, flexibility and flexion. Watching this video had me misty eyed at the gorgeousness of the physical anatomy, stunningly created by the medical 3D visual eFX team of Hybrid Medical Animation. Here’s how the Company described their project’s idea:

We wanted to combine the beautiful moves of yoga with this new visual approach to bring the full human skeleton to life. Hybrid’s illustrations and animations extend beyond the boundary of highly informative graphics: they enter the realm of high art, achieving a combination of Truth and Beauty

skeletaltree 300x258 The Body In MotionI am certainly inspired and entranced by this visceral journey through the skeletal landscape of the body, fluid in yoga motion. This dramatically unique video enhances my gratitude for a healthy mobile body that reaches beyond the proverb of beauty being only ‘skin-deep’. I hope you enjoy this profoundly gripping and humbling journey through the body in motion.

Herein lurks a deeper lesson for me. Beyond the movement of yoga lies stillness. And with the stillness and silence, one can explore the wisdom and lessons that are contained within each precious moment of our life.

The gifts of presence in body, mind and spirit is immeasurable. And magical.

What inspires you about your body, on or off the mat?

Divinely Decadent Avocado Pudding

Sometimes I need to force my way through ease, like a bungling klutz, alcoholic binging set aside. When my body seizes up from the winter’s brazen rawness, I seek comfort. Sometimes in all the wrong places. But solace comes in many shapes and sizes. And today, I turned to my VitaMix. I craved something stimulating, rich, carnal and velvety smooth. So with that image in mind, I checked through my food pantry and immediately pounced on my stock of overripe avocados (bonus buy @ 99¢ for 6). Such a luscious place to start! I dreamed up a raw chocolate-y heavenly treat, that came more from instinct than recipe.

Et voila! Here below lies a recipe of gorgeous comfort that fulfills the gap of ease that has been missing from my day. I really hope you enjoy this yummy concoction. PLEASE experiment with your own sexy ingredients! And take pictures along the way :).

BTW, Valentine’s Day is coming up. This naughty decadence is a perfect ensemble for your special someone and day / evening / event planned. Make this concoction a two-way preparatory invitation to luscious fun. If you’re going solo, you get to enjoy this blissful naughtiness all.to.yourself. ENJOY!

ddavopudding 781x1000 Divinely Decadent Avocado PuddingDivinely Decadent Avocado Pudding (veGAN = Bonus!)

Succulent Vegan Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup organic apple sauce (recipe made in Vitamix with organic russet apple – no sugar or water; 100% pure apple)
  • 13 prunes soaked in boiling water (left to cool to room temperature). Dates may give this a different taste, consistency and sweetness. Prunes is what I had. And they worked beautifully in community with the other ingredients.
  • 1/8 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 fruit juice (I used 100% passionfruit)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar ~ (this can be excluded if you prefer less sweet). Honey, coconut or brown sugar could be used instead.
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (used to dissolve sweetener of choice) + prune soak water
  • pinch of himalayan salt

Experimental Toppings:

  • Chopped pistachios, cashews or walnuts
  • Dehydrated pineapple slices
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Shredded coconut
  • Coconut cream
  • Chocolate nibs
  • Chocolate covered toffee bites
  • Chocolate covered coffee beans
  • Anything else chocolate that you can handle or desire

Spinny Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to a VitaMix (a blender or food processor will suffice if you’re not lucky enough to own said VitaMix … go here to buy one if you’re interested! :)) in the order of ingredients as listed above.
  2. Twirl until smooth and lusciously irresistible (I’d say about 2-3 minutes). Use the tamper if you’re using the VitaMix.
  3. Add any additional liquid of choice until the avocado bliss pudding is the consistency you desire. If it’s a little thinner than desired, that’s okay. The more quantity, the merrier! The pudding will thicken up once it’s chilled in the refrigerator.
  4. Spoon into beautiful bowls, cover and chill (IF you can resist it that long).
  5. Take fingers or spatula and lick out entire mixing container.
  6. Be forewarned:  this pudding is a high-fat, high-calorie, highly addictive dessert. It will serve about 4 people (or good 4 body-painting for 2 >> make less thin, and skip the chilling).

vitamixyumminess Divinely Decadent Avocado PuddingNow that’s what I call  delicious ease, grace and divinity with a creative twist!

What’s your definition of ease when life dips below the tolerable line, and much-needed simplicity and comfort is desired in your life?

 

PS. For those that don’t know me, I often speak metaphorically when I write — I couldn’t alcoholic binge if I tried :). I am, however, at times, a bumbling oaf.

Three words … Clarity. Determination. Fulfillment.

Clarity. Determination. Fulfillment.

These are my three words. They just emerged in the heat of my Moksha practise, from the depths of my being. I wasn’t looking for anything actually. But yet the words popped in to mind, clear as day, as if I had sought out an intention to rock my world for 2014. As I wrote in ‘A New Year‘, I am not one to set resolutions at the rollover from one year to the next. But somehow, this feels different. Perhaps the seeds of desire from another have soaked into my consciousness, and from there they have manifested as three guiding words? Mental and verbal cues that bring me back to conscious action. A visual framework of sorts that represents three major focuses that I want to evolve in my life.

cdf 3words Three words ... Clarity. Determination. Fulfillment.

Words of Focus

1. Clarity:

bridgeart e1390424452780 Three words ... Clarity. Determination. Fulfillment.
I’ve been feeling extremely muddled and cluttered the last few months. Mental disarray to the extreme. Focus in thought, word and action has not been my strong point. Clarity in intention is vitally important, and has  been lacking. Sifting through my disarray means that I need a roadmap of sorts, to guide me through the chaos of my unhealthy patterns. For me, prioritizing and being accountable to a person or schedule is a big first step. I’m really good at sticking with a course of action that requires a daily commitment. I’ve successfully accomplished several yoga and smoothie challenges over the past year. But I didn’t have anyone to answer to, beyond my own desire to maintain a 30 day habit.  I have Maneesh Sethi to thank for my current impetus: “Hack The Habit Program”, which I stumbled upon more on a whim than with a plan. And before I knew it, I had two accountability partners, one in Singapore and the other in South Africa. 30 days of answerability. The concept – create a daily habit that is enforced through daily accountability checkins. My daily task must be cued by an already established pattern or routine  ~ i.e. after brushing my teeth every morning, I will do my 4 sets of plank holds. What happens if I fail to accomplish my desired task? A monetary stake is established for every day that I miss. At $50 a pop, the motivation to carry forth with my task is high.

I hope that with digging deep in my daily motivations, I can expand on my accomplishments and pave a pathway of clarity throughout my daily life.

2. Determination:

A seemingly simple word that establishes firmness of purpose and resolve. A commitment to my greater self, of establishing what it is that I want (clarity) and dedicating my all. I know that depending on others can be scary and messy, but depending on myself can at times be simultaneously empowering and terrifying. What if I fail? How do I bounce back without allowing my vision to dwindle away, disguised by the clutter of defeat and distraction?  By seeking out tools to guide me through the process of resolve, I might find that staying the course is easier than that without a plan. Meditation is a wonderful place to start. Starting small, committing to watching the breath, allowing for distraction to flow through rather than build story: this is my first step to building success on the path to determination. Creating an actual written daily plan of action, such as Donald Miller’s Storyline Productivity Schedule is helping me be productive. An aid to overcoming procrastination by setting forth an action plan. Focusing and prioritizing what’s truly important in my day to day life is vital. By establishing my current state of being, and accessing where I am going / where I want to be, I can navigate both the path to clarity and resolve, in tandem.

3. Fulfillment:

The power of Gratitude is mind-blowing. Appreciation for all things {from the most basic elements of the cosmos to the most complex of thoughts and emotions}, I believe, will help me in the process of finding more clarity in life. By envisioning and understanding things differently (creating an alternative paradigm of thought and action), I am beginning the process of wanting and desiring from a place of transformation. Stepping outside of my comfort zone, and being open to the challenges and opportunities of daily living, allows for a flow of grace that is juicy & balanced, wondrous and accepting, guiding my innermost truest self to complete fulfillment in all that I do.

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.”

~ Thomas S. Monson

The biggest challenge through this entire process? Knowing myself, honouring my needs and being kind to all those around me (including myself ~ especially when I stumble and falter).

Savasana Bliss

Happiness indeed is a quiet mind. The quieter I can become in my daily life, the more I can hear from within. Yoga is an infinite path & transformative tool that leads me to finding that happiness and my edge.

Yoga = connection, being open, attuning to my inner awareness, and easing into a state of meditative groundedness. Savasana is that place of stillness; the culmination of a yoga practice, that perfect possibility for tuning in to the power of ones own unity and balance.

“Savasana: savasana is being without was, being without will be. It is being without anyone who is.”
~ Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar

shadowyoga Savasana BlissYesterday, as I sweated it out in my new-to-me Moksha hot yoga class, I was inspired by the cleansing effect of my sweating. I’m really not one to sweat. Rarely. So I found myself quite surprised by this intensely hot yoga class …. the humidity, my shortness of breath, the at-times unbearable uncomfortableness of so.much.heat. that produced an alarming amount of sweat dripping from my body. It was like a faucet that I couldn’t turn off. Drip, drip, drip. I ached to leave the room into the coolness of the reception area, yet I was determined to weave my way through this strange sequence of asanas that left me, admittedly, a bit befuddled. To be honest, the class took me by complete surprise.  After the standing practice led to the sweet release of my body to the reclining series, I found that my mind was completely clear and focussed while my body was entirely at ease and perfectly released. There I lay, almost comatose in a state of savasana bliss. Whisperings of the breath, unwinding inwards to complete surrender. Now this is the exotic tranquility of complete emptiness. Bliss seems like the inimitable and only way to define my state of surrender to the Moksha practice I experienced.

At first, I was reluctant to be drawn in to the ‘cult’ of hot yoga (that’s what it feels like when I read about and witness the flow of people entranced by this practice). But I was curious, and I had a 30 day intro offer that I couldn’t pass by. $40 for 30 days of unlimited yoga at the Moksha Yoga St Clair West studio was my idea of a good deal that I wanted to take full advantage of (even if it means a 30 minute walk each way to the studio). Oftentimes, at home, I find it hard to maintain a sense of motivation to practice daily asana. I may have the intention, but my day gets carried away by the spell of my internet and working journey. By having this 30 day commitment drop in to my lap, I have an incredible opportunity to explore a new style of yoga that will help me get through the cold brutality of this winter of Polar Vortex weather here in Southern Ontario. So far, I’ve attended 10 challenging Moksha classes, 8 consecutively (all late evening = 8:30pm!). Not that I’m counting. I just don’t want to miss out on this amazing window for growth and yoga. And the nighttime repose sets me up with the divinity of relaxation sublime after a hectic day.

I LOVE this poem from the website “Peace. Love. Free“. For me, it describes Yoga and Savasana perfectly. Release the stories that do not serve us … SUCH a difficult but necessary task!

The mind says ‘mistake. regret. punishment’.
The heart speaks ‘long. ache. grieve’
The body pulses ‘want. want. want’


Yoga answers ‘you are nothing but your breath. exhale’


The legs scream ‘go. run. escape’
The ceiling fan whispers ‘you are still here. be present’

The critic declares ‘not enough. do more’
The practice replies ‘exactly right. infinitely curious. eternally gentle’

The hips protest ‘no. I can’t’
Yoga says ‘release the stories. they do not serve’

The hands grasp ‘hold tight. don’t let go
The pose demands ‘loosen. relinquish. release’

The tension says ‘do not move’
The breath says ‘you are free’

The habit pushes ‘control’
The mantra answers ‘surrender’


The spirit cries ‘scared. so scared’.
The music sings ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’


The head whispers ‘afraid of shadows’
Yoga answers ‘you are nothing but light’



The muscles complain ‘so tired’
Savasana responds ‘rest now. be still.’


The fear says ‘ordinary’
Nameste reminds ‘divine. divine. divine’


The self says ‘I am here’
Yoga says ‘yes. yes, you are’

om shanti shanti shanti om

A New Year

2014 New Year blessing 300x300 A New YearFor weeks now, I’ve been receiving emails and newsletters about the impending New Year. Messages transmitting peoples’ immense desires and wishes for 2014: the potential for starting a clean slate with set goals and resolutions; tips on how to keep and maintain them; habit changing 21 day programs that’ll establish a lifetime of wonderful healthy choices; etc, etc. I’ve glanced over them, trying not to get sucked in by the enthusiasm and propaganda, taking them in with the finest grain of salt. I know that humans, for the most part, have the best of intentions. Excitement kicks in at the thought of starting anew, refreshed by the reset button of a new year upon us. Giddy with enthusiasm and positivity, many people kick their proverbial butts into high gear and start the marathon of a lifetime with a sprint rather than a casual trot. I’ve witnessed it all too often, within my own life and within the context of those friends and family around me, the habitual pattern and results of setting too many lofty goals all at once. The end result? I’ve gleaned that we can all be highly fallible in our choices and actions when resolutions are set and established. Without the enduring and subtle commitment necessary to be at the core foundation of our resolve, we tend to set ourselves up for failure. With this in mind, I’m choosing to continue life as per normal: open to receiving this new year with an open mind and unwavering forward motion.

My life as a teacher and student has me consistently on the lookout for ways to propel my life forward to higher heights of health, wealth, renewal, integrity, generosity and empathy. Human as I am, I fall down (far too often for my own liking). But after the lesson is (hopefully) siphoned, it’s important that I pick myself up and brush myself off (both mentally and figuratively ~ oftentimes with tears and cries of pain), so that I may continue on this amazing life journey, with forgiveness and love in my heart. For this, I need and resolve to move inwards (meditation and journaling are perfect tools in this internal pilgramage). It’s critical that those insights are conceptualized, contextualized and garnered from within, or I will find myself continuing to propagate an unhealthy pattern ~ sometimes leading to destruction of self and relationship. It’s vitally important to remember that I have all the information within my being that I could ever need or want in sustaining a healthy and happy life: I am my most perfect role-model and mentor (Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa aside … RIP). If anything, religion and spirituality (or lack thereof) has taught me this greatest of lessons. Positive momentum in an imperfect world is renewal enough, regardless of the outcome.

For me, this decline from the winter solstice is a time to excavate the deepest bowels of my wisdom, and tap into the intelligence of intuition. Such a challenging task, especially when nigglings and nuances of fear, uncertainty and trepidation get in the way. But I know that my well is full. It’s time to seek clarity at the deepest roots of my core.

Whoa. Looks like 2014 might be a rocky but highly rewarding year of deep channeling and discovery!

Missed Opportunities

brave belize Missed Opportunities

Today, I was unwinding and enjoying some quiet time, shopping at the local market, intent on a selection of delectable dinner fixings. Food for the soul: mundane but comforting after a flurry of activity over the past week. Sadly, what really elevated this day into a strange cataclysm of emotions was a simple interaction at the checkout counter.

As I approached the Cashier who was assisting the Gentleman in front of me, I overheard the employee sharing an unfortunate incident that she had experienced earlier in the week, all the while elevating her voice so that the whole checkout line could share in her harrowing tale. This Lady had hit a motorcyclist, almost changing the destiny of the young man involved. Fortunately, both lucky souls walked away relatively unscathed, although the motorbike was totalled and the Rider was undoubtedly shaken AND stirred. Who knows what emotional scarring may have been experienced by either party involved? All I could do was listen intently with compassion. Until the Cashier blurted out that she had no idea why this bike or Man was on the road at this time of the year. She started purporting that motorcyclists should stay off the roads in the Fall & Winter, and the Gentleman with whom she was conversing exclaimed that they should ban motorcyclists entirely. She nodded her head in agreement, smiling & exclaiming at the craziness of her misadventure. I was thinking … what next? Ban pedestrians from crossing the road? Outlaw cyclists from ever being a nuisance? Hinder any attempts at free will in a democratic society? What really blew me away was the Cashier’s total neglect for taking responsibility. She had in fact hit the motorcycle, seemingly (and obviously) unaware of her surroundings and of him.

Yet I suppose, what really stirred me were the emotions coursing through my soul at remembering my brother who had lost his life in a motorcycle accident, 22 years ago. One of the less lucky ones. icon sad Missed Opportunities My family crawled away, scarred for life, losing a son, brother, artist and mentor.

As the transaction was completed before me, I remained calm, quiet and somewhat terse when the Cashier asked me if I was okay. I nodded numbly, turned away quickly in the midst of my tears and briskly walked away. In this moment of quiet angst, I had lost an opportunity for sharing my story. Such was the potential for education that could have ensued on a matter that wreaked of crazy bias and self-righteous indignation. But I was too afraid to speak, lest my emotions runneth over into something uglier than what I was witnessing and hearing.

Sigh. A missed opportunity to be sure, but this was a point of reflection for myself that shifted me. Surprisingly, I moved into a sense of compassion for the checkout Lady, once I was able to step away from my trigger point, assessing what had actually transpired before me on this beautiful Fall day.

Have you ever missed such an opportunity for growth in conversation where you held your tongue, for fear of emotion overtaking your sense of duty to educate and communicate? Or worse, spoke your mind in anger or judgment without really allowing room for conversation? Life truly does begin at the end of ones comfort zone.

I feel that it’s so important for all the involved parties to take a figurative walk in the other person’s shoes, rather than expressing theoretical proponents of insight that are most likely non-relevant to the situation at hand. Informed insight is a far better way to educate oneself, learning through experience, than by espousing our self-imposed belief system. Knowing that we are all imperfect, human and hopeful allows room for growth, trust and the potential for mutual understanding, in a life worth living, with every sense that we can muster.

The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

As Colin Wright has quoted: “Think. Do. Learn. Share. Grow.” Add in ‘Breath’ and ‘Repeat’, and here I have myself a winning formula to a life full of exploration and positive development.

I feel that it’s our duty to humankind to create a better AND kinder world for those around us, one loving and compassionate breath at a time. What do you think?

Trashing Stupidity is Ok

trashcan Trashing Stupidity is OkI remember the times growing up when not wearing a seatbelt was pretty common, gravel running with a 2-4 was a Friday night gig, smoking in a vehicle with the windows up or in an office and bar was acceptable, and throwing one’s garbage out the window was a recurring sight. Times have certainly changed, and for the better, in my opinion. People and their health are ‘better’ protected, the environment is being considered, and all around, such changes have left a marked impact on many lives.

All these thoughts are trailing through my mind this morning, as I’m marvelling at the gorgeous Autumn weather being blessed on us as I pole-vault into my daily walk. Sadly, a few minutes in, I stumble across an empty Tim’s cup {with the non-biodegradable plastic lid intact} haphazardly thrown from the window onto the road. And I think, REALLY?

What kind of person still throws their garbage out the window? I am truly mystified. Delinquency indeed comes in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, I think said actions stems from a combination of laziness, self-centred stubbornness and climate change denial. Ignorance about one’s own actions, in this case, is certainly not an excuse. Such careless and disrespectful actions leave me sad and a little bit seething. Just because it’s convenient certainly doesn’t make it right!

I try to think compassionate thoughts, but my no-nonsense environmentalist brain won’t stretch that far today. All I can do is roar an inner growl, pick up the offending rubbish and make a small prayer to Mother Earth for our transgressions. If only our Politicians were as thoughtful and caring in the roles that they fill, cleaning up the garbage and mess that they’re leaving behind instead of stomping all over terra firma and the law-abiding thoughtful citizens of our planet (most of whom are tax-payers supplementing government incomes).

roadstretch clean Trashing Stupidity is OkPerhaps if everyone in this world had a daily duty to clean up a mile-long stretch of an Adopt-A-Highway, and/or had the moral obligation to show compassion in some form to Mother Earth, we could literally bag all the offenders and realize that the tiniest of self-imposed actions can all make a difference. The snowball effect would be incredible!

Now if only we could clean up all the political trash, turning the wasteful actions of the delinquent into something positive to help those less fortunate and able.

/rant. Full-stop.

envirothief Trashing Stupidity is Ok