Monthly Archives: September 2016

Messengers

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It couldn’t be a more beautiful beginning of Fall. I woke up this morning just after the official time of the Equinox which was 7:21 am here on the Pacific Coast. The sun was just rising over the tree tops and I was noting to myself the place where due East is. Somehow this knowing seemed important. The morning has turned into a picture perfect day with amazing sunshine and warmth. Even the hummingbird visited the fuchsia on our deck when I was writing in my journal. It stayed for a long time checking out each bloom carefully, then coming over to see what I was doing. I was glad for the sweet interruption taking me away from my meditation on the inner discomfort I was feeling. The perfect calm and serene picture of our beautiful bay before me did not mirror what was going on inside of me.

Tomorrow I will be attending my first workshop at Hollyhock, a retreat centre here on Cortes Island. The workshop is called “Dance of Oneness: Dance Your Passion!” led by Banafsheh Sayyad. I am excited, curious and a little bit apprehensive, but mostly looking forward to immersing myself in a lot of things that I love: sacred dance, sacred poetry, meditation and chanting. It can’t really get much better.

As I look more closely at the discomfort I notice the familiar fear of the Unknown.  Perhaps that is what has been disturbing me. It is not so much the unknown of being in a group of strangers or what we will be asked to do like dancing in front of each other, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but this is more a fear of the unknown inside of me: what is my passion? Will I be able to get in touch with it and embody it, give it a true expression, without holding back? What else will be revealed in this process and will I allow myself to see it and be seen? Will I be able to let go of the”I”, and truly dance in Oneness? Dancing has been an incredible vehicle for me to let go of fears, let go of beliefs in me that stop me from freely expressing who I am, and a way to step out of my own way and let the divine express through me. I haven’t danced like that in a while. I haven’t let go like that in too long.

The other day when I went kayaking with my partner we came across these beautiful birds on the shoreline. Something other than wanting to get a good picture drew me closer. To my astonishment these birds did not move away. They sat there in stillness watching me and they did not appear to be afraid. kayak5

They looked at me with their beautiful dark eyes even when I was just a metre away from them. This experience stayed with me for a long time afterward. We discovered in a bird book that they are called Black Turnstone. The information about them was interesting, but it was not what stayed with me. Whatever I had seen in the dark pool of their eyes stayed present with me long after the kayak ride, and suddenly I knew what I had seen there and what had touched me so deeply: Trust! Deep trust was reflected in their eyes and the moment I got that, I started to remember…

I remembered the many times in my life when I had been able to take that leap of faith into the Unknown despite huge fears, by trusting. I remembered when I immigrated to Canada at the age of 18 leaving my family and the safety I had known behind, this moment of trust when I said Goodbye to my parents and the life I had known. As a dear friend reminded me this week there have been a number of moments in my life where I had to trust and let go. I can’t even say that I really know what I was trusting: life? myself? something bigger than me? All I know is that trust is what ultimately let me jump of the edge into the Unknown despite all the voices of fear. These little beautiful birds were the messengers asking me once again to trust in whatever will unfold and to trust in the perfection of it all and let the dance of life unfold in its mystery…

 

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~Photos by Dancing Wolf

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Creating from the Heart

 

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Photo by Elke

The sweet smell of pine and fresh ocean air delight my senses as I sit outside on our swing watching the tide come in. It always amazes me how fast it does that. Steadily the little bay (which we affectionately call our bathtub) fills up again changing from greyish brown to different shades of green to a deep emerald on most days. It is enchanting to witness and be part of. I notice how over the course of the last 15 months or so of living here, my relationship to Nature has changed. Slowly I am starting to recognize more and more that I am not separate from Nature, but a part of it. I am Nature! And this experience is not just a knowing in my head but a felt experience with my whole being. There is something so comforting about this, like coming home after a long journey.

Yesterday a dear friend of mine called and we talked at length as we always do about what is currently happening in our lives, what we are learning and discovering and where we are being asked to grow. I love our talks and how she describes her most recent realization: “I want to create my life from my heart!”.

It is such beautiful and powerful realization and statement. It made me reflect on my own life and what I have been able to or allowed myself to create from my heart like this beautiful place where we are currently living for instance.

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Photo by Elke

Not a day goes by when I don’t feel deeply grateful for being here. I am truly living my dream! In fact it is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined for myself.

And then there are still areas in my life where I create from my head, not trusting enough yet to allow myself to create work for instance from my heart.I have tried on and off over the years but I know I was not able to completely trust in my ability to manifest a livelihood that truly makes my heart sing. The old conditioning and self doubt run deep. But as I allow myself to write and take pictures of the beauty around me there is a deep sense of fulfillment and joy. Creativity has been calling me for years and finally I am jumping fully into it, not just dipping my toe in and pulling it back out. Writing makes my heart sing and so is walking or being in Nature, taking it in with all my senses, deeply listening and often trying in vain to capture it’s incredible beauty and mystery. But even just trying makes me so happy…

I also love sharing the beauty of my life with you. I realized something recently on a walk with my dog Frodo when I was contemplating what I like about blogging and what makes it so rewarding. The answer that most resonates with my heart is that it allows me to express who I am creatively and be seen, but mostly it is about connection. I love to connect with people from all over the world. This is what makes my heart sing. What about you? I would love to hear from you, what makes your heart sing?

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Photo by Elke

Presence

 

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Grey Beauty – photo by Elke

Just as I am taking in the gentle scene before me of raindrops creating circles on the water and I place my fingers on the keyboard, the sound of a low flying jet disturbs the peaceful moment of joyful anticipation. And just as suddenly as it came, it is gone again. I notice how quickly something in me closes down, protecting myself from the noise that is too much, too loud. It’s vibration actually hurts. It takes a while to open again. The sound of the raindrops on the roof are so different from the sound of jet. I wonder if it is not just the sound that disturbs me, but the thoughts that go with it. Do they close me down as much as the sound itself?

Every morning I pull a little Angel card. It is one of the first things I do when I wake up. I bought them many years ago when I was studying to become a counsellor. An instructor had brought a little box of cards to school one day and everyone got to pull one and keep it. I still have the one I got after all these years: “Efficiency”. It took me years to appreciate the reminder on my desk and I am sure that’s exactly why I got it.

Today I pulled the Angel card with the word “Presence” on it. I have to admit I often forget about it till I start writing in my journal later on in the day when I am trying to recall which card I got. So this is what happened again this morning.

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Angel Card “Presence”- photo by Elke

I couldn’t remember. Yet it came back to me as I wrote the last word in my journal entry: “Presence”. The moment I saw it written on the page, I remembered… It brought a big smile to my face. I do love when I am truly present and I have noticed that walks and being in Nature really bring me into the moment: the beauty, the scents, the sounds, all the different shades of greens and browns, the unexpected meetings with birds or other animals all make it easy for me to be fully present. Nature pulls me into it’s presence and I can’t imagine a more lovely place to be. There is always something to be discovered, a gift just waiting for me to open my eyes to, like the amazing clouds the other evening with pinks and greens and strange lines going through them. It looked like a brushstrokes on a giant canvas.

Yet, as I write this I wonder if the little Angel of “Presence” is asking me to be present with all that is, not just what I love or prefer.

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Canvas of Clouds – photo by Elke