Thursday, February 28, 2013

Toronto calling

And so I return home to Toronto.
It's February, and people expect winter to end soon - the comment I hear:"it's been a cold winter..." is a reflection that the warmth of spring is needed for the weary body and the spirit.
The question I am asked is "what are you doing here? This is a time to be in a warm place and you choose to be here!"

It has been a nice week+ since I came back. The warmth of family and friends warms the heart and the snow does not feel that cold. So yes the body is adjusting as is the mind which needs to remember to prepare for being outdoors, it is not as simple as opening the door and walking out

Between packing, sorting and unpacking I have found time to nurture this body and soul. A couple of restorative yoga sessions and today a challenging core workout assures me that the body is in gear. The delicious long hours of soaking the sun as I meditate are keeping the spirit warm.

I spent time with the boys and their beautiful partners in life. Endless chatter with Asim and Kamila, the stories and pictures of their recent travel to Italy, the tax season and its challenges and then the oscars and review of those wonderful movies that were contenders for winning. Sharing sushi in our favorite Japanese restaurant and enjoying the warm ambiance of the new Panera in the neighborhood.

Last night I lit some candles and incense and Catherine walked in enjoying the smell of the incense. Soon Jafer came and put on the soundtrack from the movie "the life of Pi" and we three huddled in my bed, just so nourished by the moment.

I will end with sharing of this thought that popped up today. Using the analogy of yoga chakra centers. The lower three are all about security, money, physical form, physical relationships and power. When we approach life from these three chakras it is all about the individual and the benefits derived for "me and myself". As the awareness of life and living moves into the heart and into the upper three chakras we begin to live life with a kind of joy which enjoys seeing everyone happy. Inner life becomes introspective and contemplative expressed as passion and contentment.

 The joy of living life in all and finding what is referred to as "truth or love" takes on a sweet meaning. We speak and hear with the heart voice.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

North America - Houston calling...

The last few days back in North America, to the luxuries of living in a first world, concrete world….immense gratitude for being with the family and friends. And then the news - as I watched the cruise ship and its 4000 some passengers going through their personal stories of discomfort as the systems broke down on the luxury liner….unhappy people with unmet expectations. They paid for the few days of time off to relax and get away, to pause - all the reasons why we take vacations. Now we are talking about protecting the "planet from space"…. a meteor hitting Russia and a close call from an asteroid. One in a million chance of two cosmic events happening on the same day… I cannot help but think of Oscar Pistorius….an inspiration for many, those who met him speak of his kind, gentle and friendly disposition. Our behavior and interactions with others is the mirror, it is the outer projection of who we are. So are we to stop taking people at their "face value", the nicer you are the more hidden demons within? Not! yet it does reinforce the belief that the outer masks need to come off. Not only to express our inner demons, but for each of us to get closer to how we feel, in any and every given moment. The awareness of ones' feelings, without outer distractions - allows one in finding the thoughts surrounding those feelings. This awareness not only help to diminish the intensity of the emotional outburst but allows one to channel that energy; with the hope that the internal conflict does not result in a "volcanic" eruption. Awareness then becomes the freedom to "pause between the stimulant and the action"… Once the comfort level with being with the feelings becomes acceptable, then the "expression" of those feelings becomes manageable, it changes from hostile to compassion for self and for others. As a society we have been conditioned to start the outer relationships in order to feel good inside, could this be the unachievable approach or just another distraction. How about we start a relationship first with oneself and then with others. Life and living is not linear, its now with all its happenings, and all the cosmic coincidences are just another reminder. A daily pause, a ritual to find the space to pause. As essential to life as the breath. This is the journey we want to be on, the pauses and vacations to take from the hustle bustle of every day commitments. Just as the breath and breathing keeps the body alive, the awareness of each moment keeps the soul alive. Is it time to get back to the basics. Take time to appreciate, the laughter of a child, the one meal and each bite each person gets to eat. The joy of loving with just this moment, the presence, the immense ocean of compassion which drowns out all the dramas. Time to think and live simply, finding the beauty in the here and now. In the laughter shared, the mistakes called life, the freedom to feel without the outer distractions to numb this moment. To be simply humans, living and approaching life with the passion and acceptance - two sides of the same coin. The glamour, the perfection, and the inspiration we seek from the external and the outer - causes an imbalance if the inner is not touched. Taking time to be by oneself, to be introspective and contemplate. It is all inside - the outer seeking by so many becomes the destruction of "one"- sometimes the means destroys the end.