Saturday, March 30, 2013

" Basket Of Eggs ... "

You can rest your head in your wrinkled hands. 
But when you awake, you're in another land ... 
In fields of green rolling on endlessly 
You find a fallen nest where there is no tree ... 

I can tell what you're thinking. I see it everyday. 
I'll help you with your coat, see you on your way ... 
A basket of eggs may you count your days.
Though your gut lies filled, only shells remain ...

~ Basket Of Eggs ~ Clutch ~

This is the time of year when the earth renews itself.  It is spring and also a time when coloured eggs, bunny rabbits, baby chicks, lamb dinners, lillies are present.  Yes it is Easter!  

The word Easter comes from the Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara and Ostar ... and the pagan goddess Eostre.  All involve the season of rebirth and the growing sun.  And the Easter Bunny originally represented the symbol of fertility.

Interestingly the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, hence the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eras.  Whereas in Christianity, eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus and a reminder of his resurrection and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.

Also, the practice of decorating eggshells is ancient.  Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are over 60,000 years old have been found in Africa.  As well, representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver were commonly placed in graves of he ancient Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago.  And although some traditionally still use natural dye to paint eggs, modern customs substitute with chocolate eggs or jellybeans instead.  These eggs are hidden for children (and adults!) to find on Easter morning, left by the Easter Bunny of course, or placed in a straw filled basket to represent a bird’s nest.

Renewal & Rebirth ... for me, I embrace Easter as a time of year when we can believe in HOPE again ... HOPE that for as dark as the road may seem, there is always lies light at the end of it ...  HOPE that out of death and devastation, a new life is born.  I believe that all you need is a glimmer to pierce your darkness and that there is always HOPE ... 

ॐ  Easter Blessings & May all your prayers be fulfilled ॐ

Friday, March 29, 2013

" Sacrifice ... "

I tell you one lesson I learned
If you want to be something in life
You ain't gonna get it unless
You give a little bit of sacrifice
Ooohh, sometimes before you smile you got to cry
You need a heart that's filled with music
If you use it you can fly
If you want to be high

~ The Roots ~ Sacrifice ~ 

Most people I know are thankful to have this long weekend.  A break from the daily grind to spend time doing what they wish they were doing when they are working.  But this weekend is not your ordinary long weekend.  This weekend is because of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

From a place of compassion and love, 
I wanted to learn more about this paramount moment within the Christian faith ... 

I understand that Good Friday marks the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for the sins of the world, but what didn't make sense was why call it “good” then?  Well I found that the term Good Friday might be a bit confusing if you associate good with happy.  Good Friday isn’t a happy day, but its name is a reminder that humans can only be considered “good” because of what happened on that day.  This significant Friday is a day of mourning and sorrow over Jesus’s sacrificial death ... a day of gratitude for the supreme sacrifice that He made. 

It is even believed that the original name was God’s Friday, which over the years became what it is today.  To this day, in Europe, some call it Holy, Great, Black, Sorrowful or Quiet Friday as well.

And depending on your origin, there are differences as to how the anniversary is acknowledged.    Whether it is fasting, praying, street processions, kite flying, or draping oneself in black, most Christians hold subdued service inclusive of solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, messages, along side an observance of the Lord’s Supper.  

Easter Sunday is the resurrection of Jesus.  It is believed that three days after his death on the cross, He came back to life and through is death burial and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.

I will be honest ... wondering how is it possible that the sacrifice of one man be enough to redeem the gruesome sins of mankind?  Truly, our sins are many.  But they are limited, and His sacrifice is an eternal one by which we receive an eternal reward, that removes the consequences of our sinful nature.  Hence not only making it possible, but making it so.

We all have the freedom of choice .... and there are many who freely choose to reject this gift but there are also many who accept it.  Yet regardless of our response to this offering, the gift was generously offered for the redemption of all.  This gift is the manifestation of perfect love.  

So, ultimately if we accept this amazing gift, we can conform our lives to goodness, we can live in perfect love, we can celebrate the unity of brotherhood and respectfully be in gratitude ... 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

" Life In Color ... "

I do my best 
To find some kind of glow
I'm givin' it some heart and soul, now
From the darkest grays
The sun bursts, clouds break
Yeah, we see that fire
From the streets of Babylon
To the road that we've been on now
The kaleidoscope claims another

Whoa oh oh oh
Well this is life in color (color)
Today feels like no other (other)
And the darkest grays
The sun bursts, clouds break

~ One Republic ~ Life In Color ~

Today the festival of “Holi” is being celebrating by Hindu’s around the world.  Dating back to the 11th century, Holi falls around the first day of spring in the Western world and comes from the word “hola” which means to offer oblation or prayer, giving thanks for a good harvest.

Yet depending on different Indian legends, 
the meaning and symbolic messages vary regarding Holi ...

Spiritually ...
One story originates from the devotee named Prahlad, who endured many trials to maintain his faith and reach a higher level of love.  Prahlad worshipped the Divine in the form of Lord Vishnu but this wasn’t easy because his father was the king of demons.  Hence his father persecuted by giving him poison, ordering elephants to trample him, and placed him with poisonous serpents ... each time the Divine protected him.  Finally, his father ordered Prahlad to sit on a burning pyre on his sister Holika’s lap and even though his sister burned to ashes, Prahlad was once again protected.  In this story, Holi was named after Holika’s name.

Another legend associated with Holi is the story of Lord Shiva and Kama, the God of love and desire.  The people sought the help of Kama to make Shiva and Parvathi marry and bear a child.  It seemed that a seven day old child from them could stop the powerful demon from destroying the earth.  And the in depth story continues representing releasing lower desires for the desire of Divine love.

Culturally ...
Most people know very little surrounding the above connection to Holi as they just celebrate with natural colours.  These colors of Holi signify renewal and were traditionally made from herbs and roots with medicinal value such as turmeric, beetroot and its juice, henna and other natural plants.  Thrown from rooftops and in crowded squares, these colours and this festival transcends classes and caste.   Families also have bonfires to represent the burning away of the dullness of winter, the triumph of good over evil and sensual values over spiritual ones, connecting to the spiritual significance.

So why celebrate Holi?
Well it is an opportunity to forget differences and just have fun!  It is a celebration of the “Colors of Unity & Brotherhood” with no distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex.  The thrown colored powder breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed.  Such a positive and beautiful message ...

So you may not connect with the any of the above practices, but today, maybe consider that we are all connected and have a powerful bond with one another ... today, maybe break the barriers and just share joy, love and laughter with your fellow being 

 ॐ Color your life with the love of Holi this year 

Monday, March 25, 2013

" Tell them a story ... "

I submitted a short story recently for a non-fiction writing contest in Canada and although I didn’t make the final five, I wanted to post what I wrote ...

“I was 5 years old when I first discovered the “comfort” in food.  Like many other families from our birthplace, our family had moved from the fire intensity of Delhi, India to the cool, open space of Western Canada.  We, transplanted Indians, gathered together on the weekends, to relax in the comfort of our first language and soak in the aroma of our spicy food .  This weekend was a weekend like most others.  My Ma helped me get ready.  She began by vigorously massaging my scalp with coconut oil, the magic potion for strong hair.  Now sticky, Ma would slick my hair back with care, using it’s length to create two, neat pigtails.  I could select my party frock, matching socks, and ballet slippers, Ma would battle me over my coat, a rainbow coloured poncho with a dark purple fringe.  Like Linus and his blanket from Charlie Brown, my poncho came everywhere with me.  It was my cover and my protection.

Dad had the quintessential Indian mans’ moustache, wore thick rimmed glasses and taught Mathematics to budding Engineers.  He drove carefully, so as not to disturb his train of thought.  This mobilized Ma's impatience as she stated in her thick accent “if you continue at this speed, the party will be over by the time we get there”.  You couldn’t argue with her because really, she had a point.  As we drove up to driveway, I noticed how all the homes seemed to look the same.  Each lot had cement block steps spiraling up to a bungalow or bi-level split house, covered in sparkly stucco facade with fringed cheap siding.  With busted up lawn mowers sitting idle next to the house, most of the lawns were unkept with dandelions and weeds carelessly hacked away.  Yet thanks to the aroma wafting out from inside the house, you knew where the party was.  My initial feeling was one of embarrassment.  Just one time it would have been nice to smell meatloaf instead of chicken curry.  I wondered if the neighbors thought the same as the pungent smell must have made its way to their doorstep as well.  

I quickly made my way to the top of the steps.  Our familiar hosts were all ready for us as they propped open their metal screen door with a piston like holder.  The usual greetings were very loud as everyone talked over each other in hopes to acknowledge all for their presence.  After what felt like forever, we were finally able to take off our outside shoes only to be ushered to the basement where the other children play.  I viewed it as the parting of the ways with the big kids or Parents upstairs and the little kids downstairs.  We all understood that we would meet two times again, dinner and departure.  Skipping over a few steps I could feel the sting of the ice cold tile floors leading to the room.  I was hoping it would be much warmer yet the cozy low ceiling just accentuated the random mis-match furniture.  Even the bright floral patterns didn’t add any cheer.  The room just felt plain dreary.  Straight away I found my friends playing near the back of the room behind the large couch.  They glanced over at me and then went back to their business.  Usually they would be jumping up and down to get my attention so something didn’t feel right.  Also it was oddly quiet, with lonely voices coming from the television.  We all loved to sing along with The Lawrence Welk Show as we imagined our roles within the studio audience.  But this time my sister and I felt as if someone was angry or a fight had taken place.  It was as if only the two of us were there and no one else was even in the room.

I made my way over to the group and joined in.  We were building Lego-type structures but no one would make eye contact.  Thinking it may be a newly invented game, I just fell in line and thought to take their lead.  Eventually someone has got to share what is going on.  Then I noticed that one of us little kids would get up and make their way towards the big folding closet doors at the front of the room.  Those doors were floor to ceiling, stark white with large plastic handles.  Accompanied by an eerie creek, the doors would open, someone would walk in, and then the doors would shut quickly.  It seemed like eternity as I wondered what was going on in there?  Upon exiting, they would tap the next in our circle to go.  Pick me! Pick me! I wished and as luck must have been on my side, I got tapped.  Excited and curious, I skipped my way over to the secret doors.  As I entered I was startled to find one of the older boys in the closet.  With the doors shut, I could only see his face barely lit by the light coming through the closet door shutters.  I remember looking into his dark eyes as he took my hands and put them down his pants.  It felt soft, mushy, and just disgusting.  

Time just seemed to stand still as all the sounds in the room fell into a black hole.  I looked out towards the shutter with tears in my eyes.  All I could think was why are you doing this bhai (brother)?  I tried to speak out but It seemed as though I had lost my voice.  I couldn’t call out to my own sister who was watching TV.  I couldn’t call out to my friends who seemed relieved to have not been chosen.  Even my protective poncho seem to lose it powers.  Finally, my time was up and I got out.  I felt dirty and used.  My hands were wet and sticky.  My face was flushed.  I didn’t dare to make eye contact with anyone.  I felt as if they would blame me for what happened so I told myself, get the hell out of the room and run to the bathroom.  Tears rolled down my hot cheeks as I scrubbed my hands to rid the filth of what I had just touched.  I couldn’t understand how this could happen and I realized I wasn’t so lucky after all.  At that moment an Auntie opened the main door to the room and said “okay children, it’s dinner time”.  Right then and there I decided not to tell anyone.  I didn’t have to.  I could just eat dinner and pretend nothing happened.  Maybe it would just go away.  I knew the others had the same shame, the same guilt because I looked at their hands.  They were raw from scrubbing too.  

We never spoke to each other about it and I didn’t tell my parents.  I thought it was my fault.  I was just a kid and I didn’t know what to do.  I just knew that eating pushed those feelings aside.  The more I thought about it, the more I ate, the better I felt.  Food gave me the comfort I needed to make things seem normal again.  At least this is what I told myself as I started on the next plate.”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

" Suffering ... "

All that you suffer is all that you are
All that you smother is all that you are
And you're saying you're seeing, you're saying who you are
What takes meaning is cleaning the meaning of who you are 

All your struggles beneath your disguise
Drink from the reasons that hold you alive
'Til we're safe from the wounds of desire and pain
You must rise from the mounds of desire and change

Too late to discover peace of mind (have no peace of mind)
Too late to recover

~ Smashing Pumpkins ~ Suffering ~

What does it mean to suffer ... this was a question posed to our meditation class this week.  There were a variety of answers but our teacher Dr. P said “suffering is the difference between what is and what you think it should be”.

When we hold on to perspectives that no longer serve us and fail to see a new way to reframe our lives ... we suffer.  

When we intersect old and new thinking ... we suffer.

According to Buddhism, to live means to suffer because our nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in.  Life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete because our world is subject to impermanence.  And the origin or suffering is attachment to transient things - physical objects, ideas and perceptions ... their loss is inevitable, thus we suffer.

So how do we cease suffering?  Rethink our assumptions and link them with our “why” way of thinking.  The gradual path of self-improvement ... “can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning”.

When we get in touch with our own purpose, we can look for ways to which our difficult experiences support this.  Find a way of expressing a difficult experience so that logic or rationale can results as to why all this is happening.  You can transcend your suffering and get in touch with its meaning by developing a narrative, story, or theme.  This may help you see how, in the long run, this experience was a serendipitous match for you on your life’s path. 

Instead of asking about the meaning of life, think of yourself as one who is being questioned by life, moment by moment.  Lots of people are so distracted by searching for the light at the end of the tunnel that they cannot see clearly what’s right next to them.  “What is life asking of you right now? Can you light a figurative candle in your hand to illuminate this moment so that you and those around you can make a difference today?”

Define new habits or behaviours that have come from a time of difficulty that will support and strengthen your character as you move forward.  Consider your growth as a results of the challenges you face ... perhaps you are more creative, patient, compassionate and resilent.  Insights may flood in as a sense of becoming a new person.

Meaning can find you even when you can’t find meaning.  Just be open and willing to be found ... don’t wait until you have only a few days left to experience a meaningful life ...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

" Shame ... "

Well there’s three versions of this story mine, 
yours and then the truth
And we can put it down to circumstance, 
our childhood, then our youth
Out of some sentimental gain I wanted you to feel my pain, 
but it came back return to sender ...

What a shame we never listened ...
And all that went away was the price we paid
People spend a lifetime this way
And that’s how they stay
Oh what a shame.

Words come easy, when they’re true
Words come easy, when they’re true

People spend a lifetime this way
Oh what a shame
Such a shame, what a shame

~ Robbie Williams ~ Shame ~

Something that I haven’t talked about in a while is ... shame.  We all have shame, we all live with shame.  Previously I talked about the shame when I was diagnosed but only recently am I starting to make the connection between shame, vulnerability and courage.  

Dr. Brene Brown has spent  most of her research on the above.  She has the following though-provoking video worth watching:
... and can be found on Oprah’s Soul Sunday’s series as well.  

I learned about Dr. Brown through my weekly meditation class.    We were shown the above video and there are many things that resonated with me.  The idea that we are all unique but the same as well.  We want happiness, love, forgiveness and connection.  So despite our best efforts, what keeps us from living then?

Well we are all “living” if we are breathing ... but we may not be really “living” wholehearted and fully involved existences.

“Guilt is NOT bad for you” ... Dr. Brown says that guilt occurs when we compare something we’ve done or failed to do with our personal values.  But there is a difference between guilt and shame.  Shame happens even when we don’t know it is happening, but if feels different than guilt.  

Guilt is “I am sorry I made a mistake”.  
Shame is “I am sorry I am a mistake”.

The dictionary definitions of shame "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another... '"

But I am learning that unconscious shame is often the root cause of unfinished challenges.  Feelings of inadequacy or powerless, or great exposure can bring on shame.  Shame often comes up when we are “caught” doing, thinking, or feeling something that we and others find objectable.

A connected thought to shame that resonates with me is ... 
"Who do you think you ARE, anyway?".  
That little voice in my head recites this to me.  
My shame gremlin.

Shame is a prison because it keeps a person caged in feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred and even despair.  And there are several sources for shame ... culture, families, relationships and our own self-shaming thoughts and behaviours.  Shamed people fear that if others really knew them, they’d be disgusted or hate them.  Sadly, the basic nature of chronic or excessive shame is that the shamed person believes at some level that they should not exist.

Shame is toxic and bankrupts you spiritually.  
Guilt people fear punishment and shamed people fear abandonment.

I am learning that healthy shame tells us something is wrong in our lives and can motivate change.  I am also learning that healthy shame is temporary whereas excessive shame is not.

Next is to learn how to heal from shame, whether it be dealing with childhood wounds, grief work or giving voice to my inner child.  Integrating my disowned parts ... acceptance of ALL of my self.  

Choosing to love myself, unconditionally, is the greatest enemy of shame.  Unconditional love comes from within.  And I was told to start with reciting the following words ... "I love myself and I accept myself exactly as I am, right now, at this moment.".  And even if I don’t believe them fully yet, it is a start to healing those unfinished challenges ...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

" St. Patrick's day ... "

In the dark on the phone 
You tell me the names of your brothers 
And your favorite colors 
I'm learning you  ...

Everybody it seems to me that 
Just like to be 
Just like you and me ...

If our always is all that we gave 
And we someday take that away 
I'll be alright if it was just 'til St. Patrick's day

~ John Mayer ~ St. Patrick’s day ~ 

The Day of the Festival of Patrick ... Saint Patrick’s Day, the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.  

Named after Saint Patrick, this day was made official by Christians in the early seventeenth century.  Primarily observed by the Catholic Church, this day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland in the fifth century.  Yet for most of us, we celebrate with parades, festivals, wearing green attire and shamrocks.

And although the original colour associated with SP was blue, over the years the colour green and its association with SPD grew.

Green, my favorite color, a healing color ...

So what inspired the shamrock and associated designs on this day?  Well Saint Patrick is said to have used a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.  The phrase “the wearing of the green” means to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing.  So along with the religious symbols include snakes, serpents, harps, the Celtic cross ... most of us identify with the mythological creature known as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that the leprechaun keeps hidden ... 

And so on SPD around the world when some people indulge in Irish inspired spirits and foods, others plan a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory.  This is commonly associated with penance and spiritual healing since the early 13th century.  “It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins.”

Oddly, the day after SPD, some may be calling on their faith to just get through the aftermath of celebrating ...

Regardless, I find it interesting to know why we do what we do because of “tradition”.  And thankfully Saint Patrick’s Day gives us another opportunity for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaires worldwide ...

May luck be our companion
May friends stand by our side
May history remind us all
Of Ireland's faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness
May love and faith abide.
~Irish Blessing

Monday, March 11, 2013

" Full Pull ... "

Revving up my engines.
Lighting up the sky.
Red and yellow fire.
Burning in my eyes.

Full Pull!!!! Can you feel the power?
Full Pull!!!! Let me take you through the night.
Full Pull!!!! At a thousand miles an hour.
We're running hot and that's what you got.
Full Pull!!!!

Let's take it while we can ...
Ahh, This is just what we need ...

~ Kane Roberts ~ Full Pull ~

You may have heard about a traditional Indian folk remedy called “Oil Pulling”.  Originating from Ayurvedic literature, oil pull involves swishing oil in the mouth and is capable of improving oral health and treating systemic dis-eases.  And although “scientific evidence” may be “lacking” for some, there has been many studies to support these claims.

Since I was quite intrigued by this home remedy, I did my research and have made this part of my morning ritual.  It involves rinsing the mouth with 1 tablespoon of oil for 15 to 20 minutes and spitting it out.  

By helping the body get rid of toxins that have accumulated, 
oil pulling promotes self healing from within ...

Ayurveda advises oil pulling in the morning after brushing your teeth, cleaning you tongue and on an empty stomach.  To assist in healing, you can oil pull more than once a day but ensure that it is one hour after drinking or eating.  As well, when we do oil pull, the entire oil should become thin, like water, be white in colour and have no oily feeling should be left.  When that happens we would have utilized the entire oil for its purpose.  

The recommended oils to use are 
Sunflower or Sesame Oil, organic, cold-pressed, 
as it has been observed that other oils may not be as effective ...

Out of interest, a survey conducted in Andrha Jyoti (1996) asked practitioners to provide their personal data along with duration of practice and type of dis-ease cured.  Of the 1,041 people who practiced oil pulling and responded 89% reported a cure of one dis-ease or more.  The dis-eases reported included “allergies, common cold and cough, gum diseases, infections in the mouth, ear, nose, throat, eyes, and pains like headache, migraine, tooth pain, neck pain, back pain, lip cracking, fevers, and irritability ... all felt energetic, active and well.”

Some food for thought ... so if you are curious consider talking to your holistic health practitioner, your local health store or even checking uber sources online.  They’ll be sure to help you get started and give it a pull ...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

" Maha Shivratri ... "

Today my parents and I had the opportunity to join fellow Hindus and celebrate Shivratri, an auspicious moment in reverence of Lord Shiva.  Referred to as Maha Shivratri, this occurs every year on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna.  Shivratri (Sanskrit ‘ratri’ = night) is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.  The festival is observed for one day and one night only.

We travelled to our local mandir and participated in the ceremonial offerings of milk, rice, sindoor, fruit and other foods all whilst our Pandit-ji narrated ancient scriptures.  We chanted the sacred mantra dedicated to Lord “Om Namah Shivaya”, meaning “I bow to Shiva”.  

Out of interest, it has been said that if this powerful mantra vibrates continually in your heart, then you have no need to perform austerities, to meditate, or to practise yoga.  To repeat this mantra you need no rituals or ceremonies, nor must you repeat it at an auspicious time or in a particular place.  This mantra is free of all restrictions. It can be repeated by anyone, young or old, rich or poor and no matter what state a person is in, it will purify him.

Hindus believe that the worship of Lord Shiva with devotion and sincerity absolves a devotee of past sins.  The devotee reaches the abode of Lord Shanker, lives there happily and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death, attaining moksha or salvation.

Yet to truly understand the origins of Shivratri, we have to look at the ancient Vedic literature.  Accordingly, Shivratri comes from the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, from which a pot of poison emerged.  The poison was so potent that it had the power to destroy the whole Universe.  The Gods and demons were terrified so when Lord Shiva was called to protect the world, he drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it.  This turned his throat blue and since then he came to be known as Nilkantha, the blue-throated one.  By drinking the poison, Lord Shiva sacrificed himself for the safety of humanity ... hence Shivratri celebrates this event by which Shiva saved the world.

So regardless of your spiritual practice, today can be an opportunity to expand your consciousness.  The Calgary Hindu Mandir is open from 8am till 2am ... and whether you are a devotee, participant, volunteer or observer, you are bound to experience higher vibrational energies just being present 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

" Another Year Has Gone By ... "

I know you can still remember
Things we said right from the start
When we said that this could be special
I'm keeping those words deep down in my heart

Another year has gone by
And I'm still the one by your side
After everything that's gone by
There's still no one saying goodbye
Though another year has gone by

~ Celine Dion ~ Another Year Has Gone By ~

Another year has gone by and I can’t help but wonder how the heck did I get this far?Did I think I would make it, no.  But here I am.  Year two of GT.

I guess I could write about the pounds of carrots and greens we juice, or the pounds of potatoes we eat, or the number of coffee enemas, or ... but instead, I think I’d rather write about who I am today.

Looking back at two years ago, I don’t recognize that person anymore.  Yes, on the outside, I look a bit different.  But what is so cool is on the inside, I feel like a whole other person.  Hopefully kinder and more loving than before.  Hopefully a better me with what I choose now ...
if you constantly compete with others, you become bitter...
but if you constantly compete with yourself, you become better ॐ

For me ... 
I choose to take responsibility of my life.  If I want change, it is up to me to do it and no one else.  I stopped blaming other people and external conditions.  I choose to make room for growth as well, and this starts in my mind.  I have to believe in myself that I can grow and make the changes I want ... aiming to be the best that I can.  I choose to have realistic expectations, because it takes time.  

I choose to extract lessons from my experience.  Trying to keep my eyes open and grab every possible learning opportunity from challenging moments.  I choose to write about my journey to share with others who may find themselves in similar state.  I choose to build consistent habits such as prayer, meditation, playing music, reading and yoga to help my growth.  I choose to feed my mind with daily uplifting thoughts because my input determines my output.  I choose to have people in my world that are provide positivity, unconditional love, encourage me, act as a source of energy and inspire me.

Becoming a better person is a real process, something that doesn’t happen overnight.  What I realize is that it is important to grow every day, because growth provides progress ... so I choose to be a work in progress ... and yes, Happy 2nd Birthday to me !

Monday, March 4, 2013

" Reflect ... "

There are pivotal moments in our lives that we will never forget. They define us.  Approaching two years on my current therapy programme, I decided to reflect back as to where I was and how far I have come ...

At the age of 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The treatment plan: mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Excuse me? Could you repeat that please? My thoughts ... you must be mistaken, these are two wee lumps. How could this be happening ... cancer happens, but it doesn’t happen to me?

While I awaited the ‘results’ of my biopsy, I consulted Dr Google. I read the testimonials and stories of how others had cured themselves of cancer naturally. I also read horror stories of heartless doctors who’d hexed their patients with a dismal prognosis. I was fortunate to be surrounded by compassion. My doctor told me, “whatever you do, do it quickly”.

With those words ringing in my head, I made the decision to shift from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of health and happiness. I knew the statistics surrounding conventional therapy and I realized that if I wanted a fighting chance, I had to help my body to heal. I made the decision to embark on the Gerson Therapy.

The Gerson Therapy is a two year minimum program of intense detoxification and nutritional super-charging of our bodies’ immune system. By switching to an organic, vegan diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements, our bodies become equipped to heal themselves.

With my treatment path decided, I hoped and prayed to be accepted into the Gerson authorized clinic in Tijuana. I diligently provided the necessary paperwork and anxiously awaited to hear if I was in. It reminded me of when I was waiting to hear if I had been accepted into engineering school 20 years ago. I was told that there may be a waiting list, as many were interested. Then the call came. I was accepted into the clinic immediately, with the recommendation of three weeks. The reason for this: the doctors wanted to administer a laetrile (B17) IV for three weeks, the standard for those with my type of cancer.

Instead of relief, I hesitated. This was it. Did I really want to dedicate a minimum of two years of my life to this? Honestly speaking, I wanted to bury my head in the sand. Thankfully, my husband took charge and confirmed treatment, commencing on March 7, 2011.

There is not a direct flight from our home in Calgary, Canada to Tijuana and my husband had never been to San Diego, our connection point to Tijuana, so we decided to make a little vacation prior to the program. We were like tourists, enjoying the sites, the foods and each other’s company. My ‘last supper’ was an exquisite Mexican meal in Old Town, and I haven’t eaten anything outside of the Gerson menu since.

Waiting for the shuttle the next morning, I felt anxious. My stomach cried for food as I could not have breakfast, a preparation for giving blood and urine samples. Fear and doubt joined my anxiety and crowded out my high hopes ... what am I doing? Is this the right thing? What if I am wrong? What if I can’t do this? I comforted myself by thinking that this was just a ‘blip’ on the long path of life ... 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

" Gotta Serve Somebody ... "

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody's landlord you might even own banks ...

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed ...

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody ...

~ Bob Dylan ~ Gotta Serve Somebody ~

How do you serve others?  How do you contribute?  How do you give back?  Most of us believe we we are of service to others in many ways.  But the reality is that making yourself available if you want to, when it is convenient or if you are going to be recognized is missing the point.  Because if the aforementioned criteria isn’t met, there are excuses.  And if we are honest with ourselves, we probably can relate.

If your life is used to service others, you will do very well, as nothing expands without doing something in the spirit and glory of doing it in good service ~ OPRAH

So I asked myself, what does service to others REALLY mean to me?  I wanted to look beyond the obvious of volunteering my time, money and effort.  I wanted to look at how to serve others and be a catalyst in which moves us positively forward in life.

If you don’t feel alive or vibrant, shift yourself. Who you are and what you do to be of service - that’s the key! Ask yourself, “How can I use what I do for a living to offer it as a service, so that it shifts the energy?” ~ OPRAH

Start with your passion ~ I love helping children, I love playing keyboard, I love writing, etc ... it doesn’t have to be big, just something you love to do and share it with others.

Support not only those you love, but also those who need it ~ sharing instead of hoarding, because believing that there is not enough to go around will get you no where.  Help other people shine their light as it will light you up as well.

Wish well for others ~ celebrating another person’s desire or dream and take the focus off yourself.  This allows you to give yourself the gift of not thinking of your own “stuff”.  I have found that the more I give back, the more comes to me ... a huge shift in my own abundance, success and healing.

Let your own light shine ~ this is probably the most important because you are robbing the world if you keep yourself small.  If you are your best version of yourself, others will be inspired to start living their own truths.

My greatest desire is for people to bear witness and connect to the light of hope, possibility, and fulfillment. Everything we are searching for shows up in full force when we let the light shine in” ~ OPRAH

Making others feel they have been seen, heard and loved ... making them laugh.  There are always ways to serve so find the ones that serve you best and possibly become a “giving back addict” ...