Turning Negative into Positive

We all have experienced negative people in our lives. Sometimes we become negative ourselves. It never feels good and can change our outlook on everything.

When that happens, I am reminded of the Native American Indian (Cherokee) wisdom of Two Wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This is a great reminder that even in hard times, we always have a choice. Which wolf are you feeding?

Reflect and Rejoice

January 1 is typically the day that many people make New Years Resolutions.  While that can be a worthy practice, I prefer to do what I call “reflect and rejoice” in early January.

Allow me to explain.

The start of a new year provides us all with the opportunity to change our calendars to a new one. If you are like me, the old calendar will have birthdays, anniversaries and appointments scribbled all over it. Before you recycle that old calendar, take the time to go through each month looking at the various days and the notes written. Reflect on the memories that each one provides and rejoice or give thanks for the experiences they provided.

Whether the past year was happy or sad, each day provided an opportunity for growth physical, mental or spiritual. In the end, it’s all good.

Happy New Year!

Moving On Slowly and Gently

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at us. When it does, it can be hard to find any peace or happiness for a time. Life becomes a struggle.

But there is a way to get out of it. It takes only a moment in time.

Start by observing what you are going through. Don’t try to change it. Don’t act on it. Don’t judge it. Just observe where your thoughts are taking you and what feelings you are having.

Then, slowly and gently, make a conscious effort to look at something else in the room or outside. Pay attention to one item. It could be as simple as looking at a chair or a picture hanging on the wall. Really look at it, as if seeing it for the first time. Look at the tiniest details. Don’t judge it. Just observe.

Then, listen to any sounds that you hear around you. Perhaps it’s a clock ticking, the fridge humming or a bird chirping. Put all your attention on the sound. Again, just observe. Just listen.

Then, take a brief moment to give gratitude to whatever you observed – yourself, something in your home, office or outdoors, the sound.

Do this as often as you like throughout the day. Take only a few seconds to start with, then eventually allow it to expand into longer periods.

Observe the change over time. Be gentle with yourself and know that it’s all good.

The Healing Power of a Drum

Last night I experienced the comfort and loving sounds of what it must have been like to be in the womb and hearing my mother’s heartbeat.

It was during a community drumming circle where about 50 or 60 people were sitting in ever larger circles. Each person had a drum to play and were instructed to drum a heart beat.

BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

I was invited to lie on a yoga mat with 8 other people in the center area for what was called a “rhythm cradle.” I closed my eyes and could hear the heartbeat around me.

More than that, I could feel the vibration of the drums throughout my body… all in time to the heartbeat.

Then people with native hand drums began to drum over top of my body. I could feel the power of the drum literally coursing through my feet, my legs, my arms, my entire body. Two men playing didgeridoos in the background came over and played their instruments right into my body. I could feel the rush of air and feel the amazing vibrations going right to my core.

Slowly the drumming over my body and the didgeridoos drifted away. I was left with the steady heartbeat of the drum in the background. BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

Then all was quiet.

I lied there for a few minutes. The sensation was so powerful.

So healing!

If you live in an area that has a drumming circle, go experience the healing sensations of the drum. In Calgary, Alberta we are so fortunate to have Judy Atkinson’s Circles of Rhythm.

Today Is The Day We Decide

There are many things I love about my husband. One of them is his constant focus on doing the right thing with regards to the environment.

We recycle and compost everything we can, as many people do. We also donate and reuse household items so as not to throw them out. If an item is no longer useable, my husband takes the time to find out how he can still recycle the materials (e.g. metal, etc.)

Just this past week our gas lawnmower, which was over 20 years old, finally gave up. After asking around my husband realized it would be just too expensive to repair and he doesn’t have the knowledge or tools to do it himself. He decided the best choice of action was to give it to someone who can repair it and buy himself a new one.

He came home with a push lawnmower.

Yes, they still make them. Good choice honey! I’m so proud of being married to someone who cares so much about our environment.

That said, we both realize that there is still much we can do to protect our beautiful world. There is much we can all do to help our environment.

Today is the day we can decide to do better.

This is the biggest thing David Suzuki has ever done. Around the world, more than 110 nations recognize the right to live in a healthy environment, but not Canada.

Together, we can change that: http://www.bluedot.ca/join-us

Six Spiritual Paths of Zen

I recently had an audience with Zen Master Nissim Amon of Israel. To say it was enlightening experience is an understatement. He shared six spiritual paths and encourage us to go out and share them with others.

Therefore, I am sharing these paths with you as I interpreted them.

Six Spiritual Paths

  1. Accept all stages of life, all experiences, without complaint (or at least try to complain less)
  2. Say “I love you” every day, to others and to yourself
  3. Gain wisdom, read books especially inspirational passages before bed
  4. Indulge in pleasurable experiences occasionally without self-criticism (drink, eat, nap)
  5. Ponder a question over time (years) without answering it rationally. BE the answer.
    • Question to ponder: A million things return to one. What does one return to?
  6. Experience nature (hike, garden, walk in grass barefoot, play with a dog)

Remember: It is all good.

This brief list pales in comparison to sitting and listening to Zen Master Nissim Amon explain each path. My hope is to provide a glimpse into his teachings. If you have the chance to spend time with Zen Master Nissim Amon, I encourage you to do so.

It will be a profound and life changing experience.

Zero Waste No Packaging Supermarket

I came across a video recently that was labelled “Genius Germans Invent Supermarket So Radically Simple You Don’t Have To Speak German To Get It.”

It’s true and so worth watching.

While the two ladies do speak German, there are English subtitles and you absolutely do get it without knowing the language. The concept is brilliant and I hope that it catches on world-wide.

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