Saturday, June 29, 2013

Inspired by Calgary's spirit ...

Inspired by the bravery courage and spirit of our city, a video montage ... ♥

(Images from various News Media, Facebook & Google Images)
(Music by Vitamin Quartet performing Bon Iver's "Calgary")

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

" Justify My Love ... "

What are you gonna do?
What are you gonna do?
Talk to me - tell me your dreams
Am I in them?
Tell me your fears
Are you scared?
Tell me your stories
I'm not afraid of who you are
We can fly!

I'm open and ready
For you to justify my love
To justify my love
Wanting, to justify
Waiting, to justify my love
Praying, to justify
To justify my love
I'm open, to justify my love

~ Madonna ~ Justify My Love ~

How many times have you heard someone who has said or done something that is hurtful justify it by saying the recipient left them no other choice?  

Chances are you have crossed a line if you’re justifying behaviour ... because something deep inside might be sensing that it’s gone from enjoyment to dependence.  Sound familiar? ... yeah we’ve all been there, but the thing is that it only lasts for so long.  In your core, you know what is right and what is pushing it.  Perhaps just an example of using blame to excuse your own bad behaviour.

And really what IS the big deal?  Well, blame is like anger, it dulls our sense of empathy.  It gives us permission to act in a hurtful way to others since it removes the inhibitions ordinary humans have that serve as a buffer against what we know is destructive behaviour.  When we justify, we allow our emotions to take over our self-control in order to achieve a selfish end.

Blame is a defensive to protect our philosophy, emotions and ego ...

Blaming behaviour and selfish behaviour work together.  How?  well, if there some emotional benefit, comfort, entertainment or psychological stability, the actions will continue to consume  you ... as long as things work out for the blamer.

And when there are unintended consequences, instead of taking responsibility for one self’s actions, the blamer begins to find reasons why they should be excused from the repercussions they don’t feel they deserve.

When we blame others we overemphasize ourselves 
and under emphasize the negative effects of our actions ... 
we gain something pleasurable and avoid something unpleasant.

So where do you draw the line?  That’s up to you to decide.  Yet pretending like your actions don’t have consequences, and staying within your comfort level so it benefit’s you, again you decide if that is selfish or protection.  Your morals, your choices, your life ...

We surround ourselves with people that think and act as we do.  Yet sometimes we may need to check in with outside of our circle ... and get an objective opinion.  We may not like what we hear but this critical perspective let’s us know how we are being perceived and therefore how we will be treated.

And really you may not care what others think of you ... but if asking yourself “what would I lose if I did allow myself to see what I don't want to see?” makes you a wee bit curious, then maybe you really do want to know ...

Monday, June 24, 2013

" Give ... "

I been down right stubborn,
At one time or another,
And found it easier to bend.
I've had a shoulder to lean on
Been the one who got to be strong
And peace was waiting at both ends
I've felt the power, I've seen what it can do
It's seemed so simple, so simple that it's true

If you want to get love then give it
If you want to feel some forgiveness
Then you've gotta let go and do some forgiving of your own
If you want a friend then be one
A little bit of kindness, show some
You'll be surprised at how much finds it's way back home
It don't matter what it is
If you want it, give.

~ Leann Rimes ~ Give ~

I guess it would have been easier to just write a cheque, or donate money online but Monday morning we decided to contact the Siksika Reserve and find out what they needed and drop it off.  They are located in Gleichen, about 45 minutes to an hour away from Calgary and add another 40 minutes of commute time from our home to the city limits.  They need pretty much everything as 200 families were displaced during the recent Alberta floods.  

It has been a humbling experience ... this whole time.  Mother Nature, her fury and being able to do nothing but watch it happen.  Russell and I are so blessed to not have been physically affected but emotionally, well that is a whole other story.  An environment filled anxiety, fear, and stress as this wrath unfolds on our beautiful city.  

News reports reaching far and wide, overseas and down under ... Calls from friends and family ensuring everyone is “okay”.  Physically yes, okay, but this experience has changed our city, our citizens, our community ... a reality check, as things can change in an instant.

Yes it would have been easier to just send money but the impact that it had on us today is not replaceable ... gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for all we have ... an abundance.

We have so much and we are weathly ... maybe not in the eyes of the rich and famous, the oil barrons or the executives ... but in the eyes of those we met today, yes an abundance.

Tonight, I am going to let my burdens go.  
I am going to have faith that everything will get better.

There is something we all feel when we help others.  Perhaps an improved sense of well-being ... in order to help others in need ... a sense of purpose in life, an inner satisfaction.  Selfless giving ... no strings attached, recognizes that you have taken action in line with your spiritual beliefs by offering your resources to others in need. 

Personally, today was a very emotional and humbling experience.  It has been so easy to be consumed with my cr*p and today I realize, I have a roof on my head, I have warmth, I have food, I have a bed, I have ... an abundance.

I may not have everything I want but I have everything I need
at the two most important moments .... Here and Now.

If I need love, it’s already inside of me.
If I need peace, I just breathe.
If I need permission, I can say yes to me right now.

I have everything I need, because what I need is what I have.

Friday, June 21, 2013

" Humility ... "

Behold the beauty that surrounds us
See the wonders we take for granted
Roam the world in all her glory
Sail the seas and climb the mountains

Discover things you never knew
Be happy that you're alive
So many reasons to remain
So many people to embrace
So many stories to be told
So many errors to correct

Turn your gaze towards the moon
Even further if you dare
Turn your face towards the sun
And be grateful that it's there

~ Covenant ~ Humility ~

Unbelievable ... Wild ... Unreal ... Never before ... This doesn’t happen here ... OMG ... probably capture the feelings and attitude at the moment in Calgary.  With continuous rains and a weather system that won’t move on, we are experiencing the worst flooding ever in this city ... mass evacuations, road closures, school closures, office closures .... And after living here all of my life, I can say I don’t remember anything quite like this ... this is OUR natural disaster.

Natural disasters, Act of God, or Mother Nature’s fury some may say ... the intersection of the average and the extraordinary; when we are expected to be average in extraordinary conditions.  You see operate on thinking, forecasting and planning for average.  And then we are shocked when conditions are not.  Yet we must remember that our Creator is anything but average, that is if you believe.  Perhaps he displays his power with in this way ... to see how ordinary will cope using love, compassion and heroism.  

“We stand in mute shock at witnessing the forces of nature 
beyond our control or even our imagination ... “

When our natural habitats are affected, we are being reminded that our lives are no more or less than anyone elses.  It can happen anywhere, anytime ... whether it be on the other side of the world, or in your own backyard.  The overwhelming forces of nature make a mockery of humankind’s efforts at taming them ... forcing us to surrender to its wrathful and destructive unpredictability.  

Yet, if we allow these moments to bring introspection and lead us to an understanding of the necessity of humility and kindness in our lives ... then this natural disaster, unwanted and inexplicable as it is, may have value for each of us.

“ Situations seem to happen to people, but in reality, they unfold from deeper karmic causes. The universe unfolds to itself, bringing to bear any cause that needs to be included. Don’t take this process personally. The working out of cause and effect is eternal. You are part of this rising and falling that never ends, and only by riding the wave can you ensure that the waves don’t drown you.”
~ Deepak Chopra

  • Nature teaches us to resist nothing and to just allow things to happen as they are meant to happen.  We can’t force anything, we only think we can.

  • Nature teaches us to let go of our expectations, the need to play out how things should happen, how people should behave, how not to be so cruel and how life should not be so unfair

  • Nature teaches us to forgive and forget.  We realize what matters and how holding grudges is such a waste of time.  

  • Nature teaches us to be patient.  We can’t fight the forces, we can only pray and wait for the storm to pass, all while practicing patience with self and the people around us.

  • Nature teaches us how to feel compassionate towards every living being affected by the fury of Mother Nature ... we are all ONE.

  • Nature teaches us nothing is ours to keep, not our expensive homes, luxurious cars and not even the lives of our family and friends ... letting go of attachments.

  • Nature teaches us to build our castles in the sky and not here on the physical level.  As we continue on our journey to feel superior, we may forget about doing good more than making money.

  • Nature teaches us that we are all equal.  Disasters affect the poor AND the wealthy.  There is no separation except for the one we create in our minds.  Help yourself and those around you ... and help Mother Nature.

Earth is our HOME.  The way you treat yourself, the way you treat others and the way you treat this planet has a huge impact on each and everyone of us.  Continue to open your arms, open your hearts and open your home because we belong to each other ...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

" Liberation ... "

Take my hand,
I've changed my mind again
Really, I believed it true ...
But I was wrong,
I've learned that lesson well
All the way back home at midnight
You were sleeping on my shoulder ...

To free in me
The trust, I never dared
I always thought the risk too great
But suddenly, I don't hesitate, so

Take my hand,
Don't think of complications
Now, right now,
Your love is liberation

~ Pet Shop Boys ~ Liberation ~

The thought of liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth is exciting.  To strive hard and perform good deeds, so that your soul may rest in peace after death ... Moksha (liberation) or Mukti (release).  When a person attains Moksha they are free of suffering and pain.  And we all know that it sucks to get old.  I for one want a healthy life over a long one.

So how does one truly achieve Moksha?

Well Moksha is a very broad term ... peace, knowledge and enlightenment are used to describe it.  Yet Moksha within the Hindu religion, is self realization and knowing ones purpose.  The ultimate unification of man and God.  It means eternal freedom from social and natural programming.  It comes from letting loose or letting go.  And it can be attained while living on earth by four paths:

  • selfless work
  • self dissolving love
  • deep meditation
  • total discernment

Believing that the body is not identical with the soul ... the body assumes the qualities from association ... the eye, the ear, or any other sense organ or for that matter, the body itself incorporating the mind and intellect, is a mere instrument whose functioning is made possible by the soul.

So, the real Moksha or freedom is to realize the fact that “I” awareness is a physical awareness, which is not self-awareness.  Which leads to what self-awareness is .... when the formless soul or consciousness remains aware of its one non dual true nature. 

Hm mm a lot to consider when you thought your 
Moksha Yoga class was just another name/style 
to describe shapes on a matt ...

Now some may or may not believe in reincarnation, soul separate from body and/or even God.  But personally, the idea of serving others, selflessly is resonates with me.  That feeling when you spring into action, become a hero, help the hopeless, and just be present doing good in the world.  Is it too much of a “kumbaya” moment ... maybe.  But if this increases my chances of freedom from all suffering, then sign me up.

Friday, June 14, 2013

" Fix You ... "

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse ...

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

~ Cold Play ~ Fix You ~

How do you fix things that seem unfixable?  Most of us have had the experience of breaking something and knowing, in an instant, that it could never be repaired.  And even though I am a believer in new beginning and do overs ... sometimes it is brokenness that is beyond repair.

For example, take an object that breaks into several pieces.  If the pieces are large then it can easily be repaired but if it is broken into a millon little pieces the likelihood of repair if next to none.  

The same can be applied to relationships yet how can you tell if you are dealing with a million little pieces or a few large ones?  As dynamic and unique as we are, for some it may be an easy fix and for others not so much ...

So what determines if something is fixable?
How we handle situations and how we cope has a lot to do with it.  As well everyone has their breaking point and may be less forgiving of some things than they are of others.

“Your greatest successes always precede your greatest failures ... “

Most of my experience with unfixable brokenness has to do with things I have said ... I speak and the damage is done.  And in an attempt to fix it, the more I talk, the worse I get ... the hole gets deeper, the pile becomes larger, the mess gets messier and there you have it, a perfect mistake aka a painful learning experience.

So you let it go and move on because maybe you can’t fix it.  
I recently read that there are a few effective things that you can do about what you can’t fix ...

  • Shift your focus to the things you can change
  • Simplify your life
  • Decrease your needs 
  • Create more art
  • Be prolific
  • Help more people
  • Look for the opportunities in disguise
  • Spend more quiet time alone
  • Ask for Help
  • Learn Something New

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them ... so upgrade our mindset to be able to face our new problems”

Regardless don’t focus on what you can’t fix otherwise you’ll lose hope ... because there are many things that you can do something about and it’s enough to worry about them.

Friday, June 7, 2013

" Guilty ... "

I swear to tell the truth
The whole truth and nothing but the truth
I said
Right hand high, tell a lie ...

Lets go
Right hand to the sky
Strike me down if I lie ...
Should have let me be

I'm balling against the law shorty go on arrest me then ...
Tired of your little games, I take the blame
I did it, guilty.

~ Usher ~ Guilty ~

We can be sure that there is nothing we can do to change the past.  Life is all about making decisions, taking risks and remembering what doesn’t work ... in our attempt to find out what does.  So why then do we continue to dwell on our mistakes, feel guilty so that we can feel guilty?

Well it seems that each generation has taken on guilt and then passed it down to their children.  Humans have used guilt for behaviour modification, punishment and revenge.  Guilt is so much a part of our culture, like a plague, causing pain, suffering and despair.  

Life doesn’t run smoothly and we don’t live in a perfect world ... combine that with not accepting reality.  We hope for a better change to how things should be, only to constantly disappointed.  Acceptance breeds understanding and not guilt.

Guilt is a foreign substance that tags along on our emotions like an infection.  And therefore doesn’t allow the natural flow to occur within us.  We feel the feeling and then it’s gone ... leaving a space for another ... but with guilt, we get stuck and hurt.  

Anger without guilt feels like power ...
Fear without guilt feels like anticipation ...

Remember a good conscience does not depend on guilt but rather on a self-assured sense of what is right and wrong.  Guilt erodes conscience by degrading self-esteem and even causing self-hatred.  Guilt makes us feel obliged to prove just how bad we are.  

Think back to a situation that makes you feel guilty and now realistically look at the situation you were in at the time, how much you knew, your circumstances, your state of health and ask if you could have done things any better ... because when you know better you do better.

And if someone is using their own insecurities to make you feel guilty, ask if they are justified ... no one is perfect so accept and work with the imperfections rather than pretending they don’t exist.

“When it is in us, it is guilt. When it is in someone else, it is blame. Guilt we feel impossible to own ourselves becomes blame when it is projected out onto another ... “

Real healing comes when guilt is confronted and removed ... releasing the judgements that confine us.  We are here to learn, trial and error, a part of growing and evolving.  Believe mistakes are feedback.

“The secret is simply to decide again ... 
take back your original judgement, 
change your mind, un-decide, un-judge ...”

Every choice we make is valid when used as a learning experience.  So when you release judgement you are free to decide again about how you will feel and act in a similar situation ... and you are free to let go of what was and look forward to what can be.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

" Competition ... "

She's got no idea where you've been
No idea what you've been doin'
You've been living dangerous
You're trying to keep it just our secret ..

You better learn to be discreet
If you wanna keep it just our secret ...

Goodness I like this
It's risky business ...
That you never knew existed
You try to keep it secret
You can try and try to keep it ...

She's the competition ...

~ Dragnette ~ Competition ~

We seem to be surrounded by competition in our life.  The addiction to the energetic reaction that you are beating or could beat another person within a specific activity.  

But does that apply to “healing” as well?  Sadly, yes, that is what I have experienced.  It doesn’t make sense, I didn’t think it was possible ... I thought it was about sharing and caring ... instead it was others judging according to how they think they are being judged ... “I know better, I know best” ... a far cry from a space of healing for me ... my journey, my judgement.

You see the basic principle as to why we compete is to experience what we believe is victory over another.  Yet, it is within you, in your mind, your ego that generates a response ... because there is no universal recognition blessing you with gratification.

Isn’t it really about the craving of recognition, 
love and acceptance?  
Aren’t we hoping to receive the gold stars 
that are handed out in life?

Sadly we when we crave something, we create an energy around us of desperation and neediness, pushing away the very thing that we crave.  I have learned to release all attachments to a particular outcome in order for the very thing to come into my life.

Now what if we don’t compete anymore?  Could we un-limit ourselves to activities that give us sufficient ground for competing.  Will we try things we have never done before simply because we will no longer be directed by the mind, telling us which activities to follow?  Perhaps there would be no more judgement of self because there is no right or wrong.  Perhaps all would be from the starting point of self-enjoyment and self-movement.

So why not fully express ourselves here in the physical reality, unconditionally and within this allow and support each other to do the same, so that there is no harm done in thought or deed towards ourselves and others?

For me, life is not a competition or race anymore.  You see when I can be sincerely excited about the accomplishments of my peers, I seem to find that my life goes more smoothly ... because when I feel that someone doesn’t deserve their happiness, or that I am more deserving, then I am operating from a place of false pride and ignorance.

My journey ... I believe that we all deserve happiness and we all define our life by our own criteria.  I believe we can choose our state of mind and it has nothing to do with outside events.  I believe we are in charge of our life, attitude and perception.  I believe life is good when you claim it good ... my judgement.