Awakening and mindfulness

I started on a journey of awakening, well, I guess I’ve always been on this journey, in this whole life time and many other past life times.  That is our ultimate goal as humans, to wake up past the unconsciousness and to remember the truths that we all still have in our hearts, deeper down or closer to the surface, depending on where you are in your personal journey.

I feel like I’ve always had this inner awareness, this inner voice/presence that would  guide me, that would sometimes look at the world in shock, and that sometimes propelled me beyond what I thought was possible.  I’ve also though, been super weighed down by the collective unconsciousness, by the ego that has many of us in its grip.  My true journey of realizing that I was that inner presence, that inner voice, and not the ego, started last April 2011, when I had my first healing session with Jean Brazeau here in Ottawa, Ontario.  I was lead to Jean, whom I found because she is listed on The Journey website as a practitioner, when our family naturopath was trying to help me on the path to health, and she told me I had to clear out some emotional blocks to truly heal and that the Journey process would help me.  I have continued this deep work with Jean (which is more than the just the Journey I have come to learn!) of looking within, finding what is there that is preventing me from living my true life, and I have been constantly astonished at what I have found.  Many of my past blog posts have been about what I have found on my deep inner explorations.  This post will be about how I see the world now as I awaken, with mindfulness, with presence and with a new awareness that is awesome and sometimes shocking because of what I am finally able to see and sense.   Here are a few of my latest observations:

We have gone so far beyond what any of us ever wanted for ourselves on this beautiful planet.  How did we get to the place where sod farms, flower farms, tree farms and pumpkin farms were ever okay?  I had never ever questioned where sod comes from, and then one day I saw this huge truck driving by and it said sod farm right across it.  The realization hit me so hard!  We have chopped down trees just to grow green grass that we need to cut every week when it’s hot and that we spray chemicals on to keep it uniform and free from weeds.  Whoever decided what a weed was?  Is this really how we want the world to look or are we needing to keep what we can see around us perfect because of the fear of how imperfect and how unloveable we are inside that is driving us?

A sod farm in Texas. From http://www.king-ranch.com/sod_texas.html

Why are we using precious land just to grow pumpkins that will be carved and thrown out?  The same for tree farms for Christmas trees?  I love traditions!!  I super do, but at some point, we all have to breathe in together, one big collective breath and let it out and say, “okay, we are so many on this planet, maybe Christmas trees and carving pumpkins are a bit wasteful, maybe we can create more planet friendly traditions?”

When are tons of flowers at funerals and weddings going to cease being important and necessary?  Where are they growing all those flowers that are in every single grocery store in Canada?  Can we not just keep them in florist shops, to keep the numbers lower, to keep the quality high?  Yes, they may still be grown in the same way, but not in the same immeasurable quantity.  When did we decide that planting a seed and watching flowers grow in our garden was too slow, that we need to be able to go to a garden centre and to buy flowers that are already in bloom.  I know that Canadian winters are very long but there is the option of planting bulbs in the fall and getting to watch them poking out of the soil in the early spring, I really enjoy that!

An artist’s painting of a flower farm in California. From: http://celioarts.blogspot.ca/2009/12/flower-farm-in-gilroy.html

I’m not necessarily saying any of these things are inherently good or bad, but it’s more that they are observations from an awakened, aware and more mindful perspective than I ever had before.  I’m wondering if what is being offered to us and what we are buying, is what we truly want?  I’m starting to feel the force and the pull behind advertisements too and I’m having to be mindful in stores and even just when I’m checking my email to ensure that I am not being led by the advertisements instead of by what I actually need.  Are we just so used to buying and buying and buying (and being influenced by ads to buy more too) and having more and more, or are more and more of us ready and willing to look inside to find the source of that need, so we can slowly stop our unconscious habits?

When did Halloween and Christmas and Valentines Day get so commercial, so overloaded and so overdone?  I went to the party store today to buy balloons and I was so overwhelmed by the size of the store and the vast amounts of “party” merchandise they offered.  There was this huge blow up monster with blood marks on it’s blow up teeth at the front of the store and I was beyond shocked.  When did we all get so senseless (I mean when did we all get to a place where that isn’t horrible and scary) that we think that our kids need that for Halloween?  They even sell “severed” hands that you can put in your trunk so that the hand hangs out the back of the trunk.  Again, that just seems so senseless to me.  I pray that my 3 year old daughter doesn’t see one of those.  I know that I can explain it to her, but should I have to?

How can we explain these to kids and are they really necessary for Halloween fun? I’m not sure I want to know anything about a grim reaper….From http://www.explore-harford.com

We have taken the need to be the best, to have the best, to shock and awe, to impress so far that we now have to have a party store the size of Costco for our parties.  I just wanted balloons! There were aisles of goody bag things, some even pre-packaged, like we are so mindless that we can’t be creative and find some little things that would delight children to have, instead of tons of stuff that costs 35 cents so we can buy a lot?  When did a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner become important?  Wow.

In an age when we in Canada (I can really only write about what I see in my own city, but I feel comfortable generalizing it to my own country, but no further really:)) are starting to see the importance of composting, recycling, buying local, eating organic, meeting a farmer, using public transportation, why are the big businesses not catching on?  Why is every new store being build three times the size that it really needs to be?  I would imagine at some point that we all will shop at the smaller stores because we like customer service, we like knowing the name of the owner, like how it used to be.  I remember being a kid and going to my baseball coach’s party store to get balloons.  That was always very special for me.  I sound like I’m 75, but I’m only 32 and things have changed so much in my short life time.

I know more and more of us are wanting that connection and closeness with others wherever we go.  Our world needs more connection with actual people, instead of just through texting and facebook and twitter.  Again, it’s not that any of these things are bad, it’s more the way we are using them, the reasons we are so dependent on them.

We are all beautiful beings of light who are so connected to each other, to the divine, to the source and the more we teach that, the more of it is available through the internet, through groups, through workshops, the more of us will awaken to the beauty within and the world will change.  We’ll go back to helping our neighbors, to having more time as we pull out of the so called “rat race”, we’ll have more time for our children, family members and friends, and competition won’t be driving us any more.  I look forward to the upcoming new world age, as we step into it and awaken, open up more, and move towards love and peace and we leave the unconsciousness, the fear and the violence behind.

Peace to all.

Bradlee

A morning with the Dalai Lama confirms my life purpose

The Dalai Lama addresses a packed crowd at the Civic Centre on Saturday morning.

From: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/04/28/ottawa-dalai-lama-civic-centre-speech.html

The Dalai Lama was in Ottawa today, April 28th!  I was fortunate enough to go with a friend who had won tickets to the talk today.  I hadn’t planned on going since I had seen him a few years ago when he last came to Ottawa,  so it was an unexpected gift to go!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked onto the stage today and the energy in the room, even before he came out from behind the curtain, was huge.  It shifted from anticipation to elation super quickly.  When he appeared on stage, it was so powerful, it was this wave of love that just swept through the Civic Centre, where 7000 people had gathered to hear his insights and messages.  I had tears in my ears and so much admiration in my heart for him.  It’s interesting, because I only know a little bit about him, but I do know that he is the truth, he lives his life from his heart and he speaks the truth.  There isn’t any bull from him, he just speaks the truth and lives that way.  I think we all felt it today, the truth and the love that emanates from him, he is truly what we are all seeking and he represents what we can all do, regardless of who we were in a past life and who we are right now.  He is hope, truth and love, and because of this, he can see the world changing.

Today, he said that the 20th century was a century of violence, and that we were living in such a state of fear, fear of death, fear of the world being blown up.  Then he gave many examples of how the world is starting to shift, like how we are starting to care about our planet more, and he said that with these examples, we all have the power, humanity as a whole, to make this the century of peace.  It is truly what we all dream of, a world beyond power and control, a world of love and peace and camaraderie where we support one another instead of suspect one another of being out to get us.  He mentioned that to have a true friendship, there needs to be trust and respect.  He said we can’t have that relationship without trust.  He said the opposite is to not trust your friends, which then leads to being suspicious of everyone, and if you live from that place, it gets quite lonely, because you have to keep a distance to be safe.  He was coaching us all to try it, to try to trust, to shift our perspective of anger and irritation towards others, to try to look at that enemy differently, to take a second and not be taken over by the emotion, but to feel the anger taking over and then breathe and see if you can look at that person differently.  It was awesome to hear!!

I super appreciated his words today, he confirmed quite a few things for me today about the work I am doing for myself:

  • learning that we are not our emotions and that we have a choice, let them be who we are, or not give up our power to our emotions and try to see beyond them
  • I used to be too scared to trust anyone, I was always hiding from others, and I was so lonely.  I’ve been shifting away from how I used to view the world and have been letting people in, learning the world is safe, that I am safe no matter where I go and that there is so much more beauty in the world when we can be open and trusting, that life is so beautiful when we can love others and let them love us
  • compassion is the key, even towards people we wouldn’t normally be compassionate to.  opening up your heart and seeing that person and their situation instead of seeing them through our veils of emotions and baggage.  I kind of see the compassion that he talks about as a lack of judgement, we all live from such a judgemental place (myself included and I will keep working on it until I can live from a place of freedom!!), and to move beyond the judgement and when we do, there is only love, acceptance and compassion for our fellow human beings with whom we share the planet
  • motherly love is super important, lots of affection for the children and training and coaching as they age about mindfulness, ethics and compassion
  • our school systems are not adequate, they need to focus on the heart and the mind and all the emotions and thoughts and how they can take over, but that we can focus on mindfulness, compassion and living from the heart instead.  He said there is focus on the physical body in school but no focus on learning about the mind and the heart and how to use them as tools instead of the ego/mind working against us.

I felt like the Dalai Lama was talking to me when he shared his thoughts about the school system being inappropriate for our current times, especially as we have just committed to homeschooling our 3 year old daughter, and I have been teaching those same principles to a group of children through yoga, dance and singing!

As I have been doing this healing work, I have been more and more led to work with children, to teach them about how to be in this world without getting taken over by it, without losing themselves (like I did).  I’ve been creating these classes to teach this to kids and I have been loving it. I’m calling the classes Playing From The Heart: Kids Connect and it is so amazing for me to teach the kids about how they can come back to their hearts no matter what is going on in the world.  For example, yesterday in our class, one of the kids was upset and it was slightly distracting so I said to the kids, “okay, so let’s do our eensy weensy spider meditation and let’s just sit quietly, breathe into your heart and feel your body.  Let’s see if we can change the energy in here and bring in some quiet.”  So we did that.  We sat for about 30 seconds and I was just gently coaching them and sure enough, the peace and quiet in that room was almost as powerful as when the Dalai Lama walked in.  I told the kids, “look what you all just did, look how powerful this is, you all just did this, I didn’t do it, I just told you you could and you all made it happen.”  I could see it sinking into the kids, that no matter what, they could always come back to this place of love and security, right inside them. I told them they could do that at the grocery store if there is a crazy panic in there or at home or wherever and I’m thinking they’ll actually start to do it.  To me, that’s what we all need to learn how to do, this is what needs to be taught in school, how to connect to you, so you know yourself, so you can come back home when you are lost, home in your heart.  We need to teach this to kids, their parents and every one, so we can all stop reaching for material things, or for others to help us, when we have so much within that is unacknowledged, and it’s only unacknowledged because we haven’t been taught about it.  I was so excited to hear the Dalai Lama saying just what I know is true, let us teach the children, let us guide them and teach them about their hearts, about living in this world, about mindfulness, and let’s let them play and have a blast all while doing it.  Nice.  Nice confirmation that I am on the right path for me, for our children, for our planet, that I am learning all of this through the healing work I’m doing, to share it with our children and their parents, so that the century of peace may actually be possible.  It needs to start within, if we can all learn about how to cultivate mindfulness, compassion and inner peace, the world will change on its own, and we will live in our glory, like we all can together.

Namaste Your Holiness.  Namaste to the children, namaste to our future of light and peace and love and compassion. Namaste to my heart, that which has been beating quite loudly lately and has been guiding me towards this work with kids that the world needs.

 

 

The line between caring and taking on responsibility

Well, it seems as though this is really my deal lately.  Trying to find the balance between being there for someone and not taking on their life story as my own.   Letting their journey be their journey….My great friend is going through a lot and much of what I have learned lately could be helpful to her, or so I deemed.  So I tried to cautiously share what I’ve learned, leaving it up to her, without putting pressure on her to see “my way”, without making her feel like she’s doing it “wrong”, because she’s not, and for me, trying to just be there for her and love her.

I was pleased with how it was going and then I felt myself getting caught up in it, feeling like, “oh I need to share this,” with the operative word being need.  Do I really need to share it?  Does she really need to hear it?  Need?  No.  May she find it interesting, yes.That’s where I want to be!!  So, I tried to take a deep breath, pull myself back to the neutral place full of love for her in my heart.  I did it, but not before getting really involved.  You might ask how I knew I was really involved, how did I know that I was taking on too much responsibility, how did I know that part of me was with her in Toronto even though I live in Ottawa?  Well, I have learned that my body is a super useful guide for me.  I noticed that my digestive patterns had changed, like I was getting bloated, and I wasn’t as hungry.  I also noticed that I kept thinking of her and her life, when I really just wanted to be living my own!  I even felt back pain, like the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I think we all know that pain, right below the neck, at the traps…ya, I’ve learned that some of us (me too!) do feel responsible for everything and everyone and by feeling that, by living that, we actually are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and then our bodies slow down and we feel heavy and tired.

So I started feeling all of that in my body and I was seeing my mind race all over the place.  I laughed and went, well there you go, I was trying not to have this happen and it has.  The moment I realized it and emailed her to apologize, to let her know that I had gone too far, that I love her and that I support her no matter what.  My body slowly relaxed and by the end of the day, I was feeling much better physically.  Another lesson for me.  I’m glad to keep learning it!  I’ll also be glad when I can stay in that neutral place all the time, when I just radiate love and support without needing to change anything or anyone.  I am learning lots of cool stuff, about healing, the power and love we all have within us, the wisdom of our bodies, how we are not our emotions and I will find the balance with how to share it and live it and not let it become my cause, but rather just a part of me.

Here’s to all my beautiful friends and family members.  I love you all, you are all perfect as you are, I support you in your journeys and I am here for you.  May my heart and mind find the balance of love and caring and not taking on responsibility.