Posts Tagged "connection"

California Trippin’

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on California Trippin’

California Trippin’

I greeted the fall season in California this year. Yes! California! I went to do an intensive training for a practice I’m newly unrolling in November at Source Centre called the Art of Feminine Presence (more on that in a future post) and then I spent a couple of days in West L.A., a place called Venice Beach. I am always so enriched by, and grateful for, opportunities to explore myself in different environments. I spent many hours by the Pacific ocean just absorbing her roaring beating heart…letting the sun stroke my skin (this is a different sun, I tell you)…drinking in the salty air…taking in the extraordinary beauty of the horizon and the hills and the sky. I took precious time feeling my feelings and grounding my energy. Whenever I go somewhere I can come back and write a novel of my experiences, the details, and the way I felt and the things that opened up and transformed for me. It’s truly one of the gifts of our time to be able to visit faraway places with relative ease and expense. I stayed at the most beautiful spot, made some new friends and had an amazing time exploring myself through time and space in unfamiliar terrain. And I came back a different person than I was when I left. In truth, don’t we go to bed each night a different person than the one who awoke that morning? What’s our degree of awareness around it? Do we search it out and welcome it? It can seem a scary thing but so, so worth it. To be...

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In Nature

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Nature

In Nature

(Image: ‘Nature’ by dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Last month, I went to the Om festival in Collingwood . For one week, a temporary community camps in a beautiful forest, and works cooperatively to create the event. Everyone who attends is required to participate in the collective vision. Even meals are communal. Spending 5 consecutive days in the forest with nothing to do but be is complicated. As in other years, I grappled with the absence of urgency and purpose my urban existence demands. Without the ceaseless waves of doing pushing and pulling me in a tidal frenzy, I am left feeling sore, vulnerable, and at times lonely. Yet, day by day, the barriers built up by city living peel off; at times, whole walls collapse into a shivering heap of ash at my feet. And the forest, in its infinite presence and murmuring silence, holds the space for this opening, this deepening of connection with self. A literal understanding of “spending time in nature” is to dwell within one’s own nature. Being in nature is not simply the act of wandering through a park, it is about wandering through oneself. The so-called natural world invites this connection because it exists in perpetual presence. Trees dwell in their nature, as do flowers, squirrels, raccoons, bumblebees, and blue jays. Nature is not something that happens somewhere outside the confines of our houses, streets or cities; nature is within us, it is what we are. My invitation to you is to spend time in your nature. This can mean being in a presence-ful environment such as a park, or beach, or forest; practicing prayer, or still or moving meditation; singing; dancing; even laying down in a quiet room and simply feeling your feelings. Exploring and becoming intimate with the world within you ultimately opens you to the world around. Spending time in your nature brings you home to the deeply interconnected reality of...

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There is Enough

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on There is Enough

There is Enough

Recently, I joined the online traveler’s network, CouchSurfing.com. I was preparing for a trip to London, U.K, a location I had never traveled to, and was therefore lacking contacts in. While browsing the network for available hosts (an activity that felt eerily like creeping an online dating website) I came upon a review for a potential candidate. I was so taken by the reviewer’s warm words, and, upon visiting his page, his fascinating views and interests, that I decided to contact him. Since then, we have become good penpals. I look forward to receiving his emails (he is currently away from his hometown of Seattle, travelling through Europe and full of touching and exciting stories of his travels), and I am moved by how sincerely open we both are, as relative strangers. Now, being hundreds of thousands of miles apart may be just the buffer to enable real openness in a culture that often feels estranged. Indeed, at our nearest in daily life here in Toronto, it seems we are the most alienated (think of a packed subway car at rush hour, and the multitude of averting eyes). And yet, the longing for intimacy is palpable. I am frequently endeared to strangers, but I don’t always reach out to them with a smile or acknowledgement. I often puzzle over this hesitation about the innate desire to connect. It seems that protection is the action fear advises when confronted with intimacy. It is easy to feel safe when distant enough from others to be less than visible. However, the impulses of protection or defensiveness are rooted in the belief that there is not enough within us or for us to be truly seen and received as such. At the heart of the Shambhala tradition, a secular revisioning of the core Tibetan Buddhist teachings evolved by Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche, is the idea of basic goodness; it states that the foundation of everything is a goodness without foil, without opposite. In my experience, committing to this truth is like tapping into a limitless spring; it is about a deep and inalienable knowing that there is enough. If there is anything my own journey has taught me it’s that perspective is key; if we hold to the belief that there is not enough then we will invite and act out that reality. It is truly up to us what kind of world we wish to live in. And we have the power to choose. So, why not choose abundance? Why not choose basic goodness? What if, even in our day-to-day encounters, we could approach each other, and perhaps most importantly ourselves, holding that longing for connection, buoyed by our sense of these innate truths? If I ever meet my penpal face-to-face, I will choose to hold this abundance in my heart. Perhaps the next time you get on the subway, you will choose to share a smile or kind word with a...

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