Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cultivate Positivity

I'm baacck!! Goodness how I've missed blog writing, and am I ever glad to be back.

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a daily Fuel Happiness card and share courtesy of the fine folks at lululemon.

Here is the one I drew today: Write about a positive experience that happened in the last 24 hours. 

It's somewhat silly, but here is what was a positive experience for me today.  I went to the dentist today for my bi-annual cleaning. I love my dentist's office. I feel like I'm going in to catch up with friends, they have beautiful art, they always hook me up with travel sized dental floss and I get to lie down for an hour mid-day (what's not to love).

As my hygienist Jeannie tells me, she cleans teeth the old fashioned way, I didn't know there was a new fashioned way, but she takes a lot of pride in her method. To me going to the dentist is a routine affair, I book in every six months, which seems to always fly by faster and faster.

This routine is something that many people in this country and many others do not have the luxury of carrying  out. This is why is it was a positive experience for me. What could be viewed as drag, I view as a luxury. I have been given two hands to floss my pearly whites daily, the vigor to rock my Sonicare occasionally three times a day and it brings me great positivity to hear the dentist say "keep up the good work, your teeth look wonderful"

Let the simple positivity in life be cultivated 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Letting go....

Another amazing share from the wise owls at Elephant Journal.
I am meditating on many of these daily :) 

It’s been said that the dharma teachings can be summarized in two words: let go.
Letting go is the ultimate zen habit we all must master, sooner or later. Letting go has also become somewhat of a cliche and is often misused in spiritual contexts. But it is the single most powerful, simple (not easy) skill we can cultivate in life. Let’s take a deeper look at what letting go isn’t and is—and some concrete ways to practice it.

What Letting Go Isn’t.
Letting go isn’t just cliche spiritual advice. Letting go isn’t not caring. Letting go isn’t passive. Letting go isn’t merely saying, “It’s all good” or “whatever.” Letting go isn’t lazy. Letting go isn’t giving up. Letting go isn’t the easy way out. Letting go isn’t always fun. Letting go is the most courageous thing you can do.

Letting go is wise.
Letting go enables life, energy, love and learning to flow freely. Letting go takes practice. How can we turn it into a revolutionary daily life practice? Here are 18 ideas for starters. May they be of benefit.
1. Let go of procrastination.
Raise your hand if you procrastinate a lot. I know I do. Procrastination is based in fear: of failure, of success, of sharing our stories, of what other people will think. Let go of these fears and take action. Just do it. All we have is now. Quit procrastinating.
2. Let go of going to extremes.
Walking the Middle Path isn’t easy. Trust me; I know. In my twenties, I was a manic-depressive Gemini yoga-teaching partier who thrived on extremes. But as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten more in touch with my inner Libra, and I believe balance is a worthy intention for daily life. The middle way is balance. Pema Chodron writes, “The middle way is wide open, but it’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel.”
3. Let go of clinging.
The opposite of letting go is clinging, grasping, clutching. See how softening your grip, opening your palms and relaxing brings peace and ease into your body and mind. As Buddha teaches, “You can only lose what you cling to.”
And meditate on humility. “Remember you don’t meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you won’t find it. You won’t be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.” ~ Ajahn Chah
5. Let go of comparing yourself to others.
When judgment, superiority, inferiority, jealousy and envy arise, see them as poisonous and let them go. “Problems are rooted in ideals. Let go of the ideals. Not easy, but letting go of ideals, accepting reality and acting appropriately and with compassion can be practiced.” ~ Leo Babauta (whose free ebook on letting go is what inspired this post)
6. Let go of busyness and multitasking.
Take time to just drink a cup of tea and be. The world will go on. Meditate. Make letting go a practice in itself. Set aside some time every day to sit and focus on letting go—of thoughts, feelings, ideas, memories, plans, physical sensations—simply letting go of whatever arises in the consciousness and returning to the breath, over and over, each time the mind wanders away. “Just go into the room, sit in the center of the room, open the doors and windows, and see who comes to visit. You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable. Your only job is to stay in your seat. You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come.” ~ Ajahn Chah
7. Let go of clutter and excess.
Get rid of excess stuff. The process of letting go of material things can be both painful and joyous, because lots of our things have both sentimental value. Giving stuff away is a simple yet intense process involving both loss and liberation. “Look at your own mind. The one who carries things thinks he’s got things, but the one who looks on sees only the heaviness. Throw away things, lose them, and find lightness.” ~ Ajahn Chah
8. Let go of trying to control others.
Recognize the difference between influencing someone and changing them. You can do the former; the latter is impossible. “Let go of wanting to control people, of wanting to change them. Instead, focus on yourself and be the shining example. Be the compassionate center.” ~ Leo Babauta
9. Let go of illusion and delusion.
See the damage done by hanging on (and being dragged). “Seeing the harm (of not letting go) allows us to let go, because we have a choice: hold on to the idea of the past and suffer, or let go and accept reality as it is, and suffer less.” ~ Leo Babauta
10. Let go of negativity.
Notice signals of clinging such as irritation, anger or fear. Notice the ideal or expectation to which you are clinging. See the harm in holding onto this negativity. Let go, with love and compassion.
11. Let go of the guru.
“Wisdom is in yourself, just like a sweet ripe mango is already in a young green one. You are your own teacher. Investigate yourself to find the truth—inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.” ~ Ajahn Chah
12. Let go of who you think you are.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” ~ Tao Te Ching
13. Let go of attachment to the plan.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
14. Let go of the demons from your past and the worries about your future.
Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey
15. Let go of certainty.
Because we just don’t know. And that is a beautiful thing. Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” ~ Erich Fromm
16. Let go of the illusion of control.
“But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.” ~ Alan Watts
17. Let go of what’s gone to let in the now.
“Let come what comes, let go what goes. See what remains.” ~ Ramana Maharshi
18. Let go of trying to let go.
Just let it happen. “Letting go” can’t be taught or explained, only experienced. It is not a numbered list or a step-by-step process like the stages of grief. Life is not neat and tidy. Things get emotional, dramatic, messy. “Letting go” is an awesome intention and a beneficial practice. But it isn’t easy. Take it moment to moment, day by day. “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will discover complete peace.” ~ Ajahn Chah


Woohoo! As a true and through Gemini I could not be more excited for this! It has been a rough one.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The greatest comfort comes from within...

It was my first time drawing this lovely card from my Mediation deck this morning and I thought to share it with all of you beautiful readers, please enjoy :)

Sit down comfortably.
As you control your breath,
let your mind watch your body.
Tell yourself,
"It's okay."
At this moment your soul will find peace,
and your body, too,
will follow, finding comfort
and new strength.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Forget everything and remember this...

A beautiful post for you this morning from Elephant Journal contributor Alex Myles.....

Forget about the first love that broke your heart.
And forget about the last break too.
Forget the time a friend you thought was best pushed a knife in your back.
Forget the words and the spite that resound in your head.
Forget the trauma that injured your flesh or your bones.
Forget the rejection you felt when someone failed to recognise your value.
Forget the tears that cleansed your soul.
Forget the mistakes that everyone makes.
Forget what you gave, without return.
Forget the mistrust, the resentment and the jealousy.
Forget about lies, betrayal and deceit.
Forget about the ones that got away—they were not meant.
Forget the time someone tripped you and caused a fall.
Forget the times you gambled but forgot you could lose.
Forget about whispers and gossips and stories—it is all an illusion, the truth only lives in one self.
Forget about rules and regulations—make new.
Forget about thinking—let the mind sit still.
Forget about time—let your heartbeat decide.
Forget about fear, it will paralyse—it is useless.
Forget about perfection, it is unobtainable—imperfection is true beauty.
And forget about forgetting—allow the release to happen. Naturally.
Then try as you can, to remember this…
Everything is already a part of you, the lessons have been learned, the memories etched and the effects have sunk in.
There is no need to hold on—it all already exists, so allow it. Let it just be. Without grasping.
Without pressing repeat.
It all had a purpose, once, long ago. Even if it was yesterday, or a minute ago—it has now passed. Past.
So just breathe…and breathe again. Deeply.
Right here, right now.
You are alive. You survived. In this very moment, this one… here…
You can choose. Choose to live.
Run. Fly. Wildly.
Begin again.
And begin to feel alive.
Everything and nothing and all in between—feel it all. Flushing through your veins—let it in, let it sit and then let it go.
Slowly, but very surely, replace all of the forgotten with all of the new.
Add to it, mix to it, blend whoever you were, who you are now with who you are about to become.
Alchemy—turn it to gold. Turn you. It is easy. Try. All of you. Every part.
Stir the storms with the rainbows, the pleasure with the pain. Create.
Forget the old. Sprinkle in new.
Stardust. Magic. Wanderlust. Mystery. Moonlit skies. Forests. Deserts. Sparkle. Dance. Have faith. Go. Find. Don’t look far. It is there. It always was, always has been. Right there, right here. Right now.
Be free.
And each time you are overwhelmed, or hurt, or angry or in pain—go back to the top, read once more, unlearn, forget and begin again.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Life is a gift

Could you imagine leaving every single one of your possessions behind, not knowing whether you would ever see your mother or bestfriend again, with your 9 month pregnant wife and toddler child in tow? That is the reality that thousands of Libyans have been faced with in a pursuit of a future for their family. Sadly, one too many have perished in the fight for life.

This is a situation that I learned more about on a trip to Sicily last year when a boat of 400 refugees sought their future in a small town of just over 4,500 people on the Mediterranean coast where we were staying. Italians cannot single handily find a remedy to this situation and war torn refugees deserve a hope to live the future, I pray that the European Union is able to find a remedy in this very trying situation.

I did not intend to make this a dark post, but as someone who experienced this situation first hand and is a great-grandchild of a man who fought to get his family to Canada 1908 I realize how much each day is a gift.

It is human nature to complain about such trivial details in life such as a traffic jam, the 10th rainy day in a row, the friend who pissed you off, Facebook changing its layout, all this petty sh*t.

If you were lucky enough to wake up this morning with a roof over your head, food in your fridge, a family that you love and a job where you can earn a living, please realize it. There are millions of people in this world who are fighting for every minute of their life. Giving is not the privilege of the rich it the privilege of the sincere.

This life is a gift, I hope you lead each day with love and gratitude. The world owes you nothing, it was here first.

Ahhh....peace and love

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Living in the NOW

This is one that is worth revisiting until you have it mastered. As the wise buddha says every morning we are born again. Everyday is an opportunity to live the life of your dreams. The Dalai Lama says there are only two days in the world that do not matter, yesterday and tomorrow.

Any which way you slice it, the message is the same. Live for the present day, live in the now, treat each breath as if it could be your last.

There will always be "worries" and a to do list, but at the end of your days you won't remember how many loads of laundry you got done but you will remember the belly laughter in the company of your friends.

Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.