Fight-or-Flight the Universe

Fight-or-flight response…I’m sure you are all familiar with this terminology.  It’s an instinct that we all have.  Part of our human nature that we needed for survival many thousands of years ago.  It is a great thing to have.  But have you ever noticed that we seem to fight way more than we flight?  Think about your life…are you a fighter or a flighter?

I know I definitely have fought my way through this parenting gig over flying through it.  We all think as a mother or parent that we know what is best for our child…but do we really?  I admit that I’ve been wrong many times.  I realize my instincts are more based on my selfish, controlling nature than actually what may be the best for my child.  What might help my child soar through this Universe.  But I am slowing releasing this control and encouraging my children to take flight and stop this internal fight we all feel the need to participate in.

I remember a few years ago, my son was the only grade nine student on the high school varsity basketball team.  I really struggled with this for many reasons.  First of all, he was very slight in stature and still only a baby in my eyes!  These grade 12 boys were morphing into real, live men!  Huge…muscular…HAIRY…men!  On the court, they made my son look like he should be in grade six, not grade nine.

The biggest reason for my apprehension was the team travel situations.  My 14 year old innocent child was going on weekend trips with 18 year olds.  Try swallowing that one!  Two opposite ends of the spectrum teenage spectrum.  What an 18 year old is exposed to was nothing that I wanted my 14 year old to witness.  I wanted to shelter my son from these more mature boys that I thought would most likely corrupt his precious, naive mind.

Two years have passed and now I have seen my son’s life unfold through divine providence.  Everything that happened was all happening for his benefit.  Not only did having him on the varsity team at a younger age give him the opportunity to work with the best basketball coach in the province, but it also enabled him to better himself as an athlete.  This amazing opportunity of being on this team also gave him the experience of winning the AAA Provincial banner for his school, and now his name is forever on the wall of his local school.

This opportunity also formed his solid friend circle.  Two of his teammates, who are now in second year university, remain two of his nearest and dearest friends.  These two boys, that as a mother I had a fight response towards, turned out to be two of the greatest young men that my son’s life was ever blessed with.  They continue to support him, work out with him, and make an effort when they come home from university to connect with him.  They broke the mold with these two fine young gentleman, and I was the controlling one who wanted to fight this situation, instead of let my son take flight and become all that the universe was trying to create him to be.

Now that I look back, if I had of intervened and not let my son play on this team, his life might be totally different.  Sometimes, even as parents, we have to just sit back and let the Universe take control of the situation, even if it is giving you gray hair with worry.  In all reality, the Universe has a master plan.  We can fight it, or we can fly with it.  Maybe that is a different fight or flight response that we should be working on…fight the Universe, or fly with the Universe…it is all up to us.

How many things come into our worlds that we “label” as good and bad…but are they really?  Or is it just our own insecurities and our horrible urge to control or fight against our lives as they unfold for us?  Not too many of us enjoy the unknown.  Not too many of us love taking risks, especially if we’ve predetermined things as “bad” before we’ve even given it a try.  We have to stop judging life “good” or “bad” and just learn to roll with the punches.  We have to stop fighting the things that come into our lives, and let the Universe fly them in the direction they were supposed to soar.

As Lao Tzu says in the 38th chapter of the Tao Te Ching, “A truly good man does nothing, Yet nothing is left undone.  A foolish man is always doing,  Yet much remains to be done” Let the universe fight your battles and you just sit back and enjoy the flight!


Marriage Mirage

Marriage!  Oh!  How my opinion has changed on this subject over the past two decades of my life!  So much has happened.  To me…To my friends and family members…To the students I teach…To co-workers…To friends of my children…To parents of my friends…Even society itself, finally allowing same sex marriages!  I have really learned so much.  Heard so much.  Experienced so much.  And lived so much.  Marriage is really just a mirage.  The longer I am on this earth circling the sun, the more I realize I know nothing and should never judge anyone or anything.  Especially other people’s relationships!

Over the past 20 years I’ve witnessed many of the marriages that I attended in my early twenties crumble.  It happens at all stage of marriage.  I’ve known some marriages to last only a few months…not even a year!  I’ve also witnessed people who move on from marriage after their children are grown and have grandchildren.  There seems to be no time constraint on the dissolving of a marriage…it just happens.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve heard of many people who just stay in their relationship for the children.  I know of others that stay under the same roof but sleep in separate beds.  Then there are open marriages that are always scutinized.  And I know of many marriages that have worked through infidelity.  There are few…if any… “normal” marriages anymore…or what I had imagined a normal marriage to be when I was younger.  Marriage is more of a mirage.  An optical illusion to anyone that is not in that particular marriage.  A fantasy for the couple in the relationship.

But who are we to define what is normal?  What right do we have to give people advice on a subject so fragile?  Something that is really happening to them only.  It’s their mirage.  Did you realize that loneliness has become the number one epidemic in America even above obesity!  Crazy right?  They have deemed this the number one public health crisis now.  Loneliness.  And how many of your reading this blog are feeling some degree of loneliness?  Every living thing straddles the ideas of stability and change.  We all want the stability of a relationship.  We love the familiar, the known and the comfortable.  But we are also changing and we crave this in our lives…most marriage don’t really foster this need.  I know I have definitely changed tremendously since I was first married in my mid-twenties.

Interestingly, I discovered from studying different religions that, from the Buddhist point of view, marriage is neither holy nor unholy.  Buddhism doesn’t put any religious label on marriage and doesn’t make it out to be this divine intervention that is ordained in heaven.  Buddhists also believe in non-attachment because nothing is permanent and we aren’t supposed to let ourselves get attached…but try not attaching yourself to your children, or your parents, or anyone you truly feel you love…I think it is impossible, but this is the Buddhists’ practice!

Did you know that the Buddhists only have a 10% divorce rate?  Maybe they are onto something.  Their practice of a relationship also includes that of impermanence. Their view is that nothing last forever…which is true…not even a marriage.  All relationships come to an end…they either break-up or die.  This is inevitable.  They realize that marriage is a mirage.  Maybe we should take on this mindset too?  Realize that nothing is permanent and stay in the now with your relationships.  Life is all about change.

I like the teaching of Esther Perel, a marriage counselor who says that we will go through approximately three marriages in our lifetime.  We can have three marriages to three different people or we can have three marriages all to the same person.  It is our choice.  Either way we have to recognize that we all change and that this is totally ok.

I love Eckhart Tolle and his book the Power of Now.  He explains the importance of staying in the now and realizing that everything is happening for a reason.  “Life will give you whatever experience is the most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”  Remember life is happening for you…not to you.

Every relationship has to stay in the now and let what is going to happen, happen.  Instead of setting crazy expectations for this institution, have more of a Buddhist mindset and realize that nothing is permanent and we should not attach to anything.  When it comes to other people’s relationship journey don’t judge whatever is happening and provide the support, love and kindness that everybody in this society so desperately needs.  Kill the loneliness and kill the judgement.  That could be you or a family member some day.  Who knows.  It’s all just a mirage.

As far as your relationship realize what works for you, doesn’t have to work for anyone else.  It’s your mirage.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it…and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about anything you chose to do along your fantasy.  Especially yourself!  We can be our own worst enemies.


Sweat Lodge to Unlodge the Real You

How can the most intense heat produce such an incredible experience?  One of my favorite things to do lately is participate in sweats in a sweat lodge.  It is the most exhilarating experience that I’ve experienced in my life to date.

If you were like me, I had no idea what it even was, even though my hometown is surrounded by four different native tribal areas.  It is only since I started on my spiritual journey that I have been drawn to participate in these sweats and truly appreciate their tremendous value to eliminating the negativity in my life that I was seeking to destroy.

The more of these sweats that I do, the more that my “Conductor” is letting me take on more responsibilities and is getting into the deeper teachings with me.  I have SO much to learn, but I can’t get enough of this wise man’s knowledge.  The symbolism within the entire ceremony is very deep and touches my soul.

First, I had the honor of being the Fire Keeper and start the Sacred Fire where the Grandmother and Grandfather rocks are heated.  It is one of the most amazing fires I’ve ever experienced.  I was so excited that my Conductor let me take on this roll.  The beauty of this fire mystified me and I couldn’t believe that I started such a strong piece of this glorious ceremony!  Definitely the most powerful fire I’ve ever witnessed.

Then you shower and cleans your external body before the conductor will bless your body by smudging sage all over its perimeter with his large eagle feather.

After the blessing, you write a letter to the Creator of what you would like to eliminate in the sweat for that day, or what you want the Creator to help you with in your life.  Then you add some tobacco to the letter, ball it up and say a prayer and place it in the Sacred Fire.

From there we boil some blueberries and add a small sprinkling of sugar and bring them out to the Sacred Fire where they wait until they were ready to be offered to the bears, which are our protectors in this world.  This happens during the third round of the sweat.

While we wait for the Sacred Fire to tell us when the rocks are ready to bring into the sweat lodge, we smudge the sweat lodge, inside and out, and the Sacred Fire with sage or sweet grass.  Everything is completed in a clock-wise manner. The actual sweat lodge is a symbol of our mother’s womb.  The rocks that are being heated on the Sacred Fire are all our grandmothers and grandfathers.

Once the Sacred Fire shows us that our Grandmothers and Grandfathers are ready for the sweat lodge we bring in a big pail of water and a group of cedar branches, which is the instrument used to splash the water onto the hot rocks during the sweat.

Once the rocks were ready, the participants piled into the lodge and the Fire Keeper brings in half the rocks out of the Sacred Fire and put them in the hole in the sweat lodge.  This represents the umbilical cord between the Sacred Fire and the lodge.  I was also the Door Keeper, who is in control of the door and rolls the door down and makes sure no light can get in.  It is literally as dark as the mother’s womb.

The conductor then sprinkles a combination of different herbs, sweet grass and substance found on white birch bark onto the fire.  The heat from the rocks makes it look like the stars in the sky on a clear night.  Then each round of the sweat is dedicated to one of the sacred directions, starting at the East and ending in the North.  Each direction is prayed for and honored by the conductor and then the conductor splashes the rocks and prays and chants in his Native American language.

After the first two sacred directions are prayed and chanted for, we add the remaining rocks to the fire and the process continues.  In the end the conductor pours all the remaining water on the fire and closes the ceremony by giving thanks for all that we’ve been blessed with that day.

You have to experience this to appreciate it.  When in the sweat, the intensity of the heat is almost unbearable.  You think you are on fire.  You fight with your mind and struggle with your thoughts on whether you can bare it for any longer.  The feelings against your face and nostrils is one you’ll never witness anywhere else.  The conductor explains that the steam is the medicine and it will heal whatever needs to be healed.

The more rocks, the more intense the heat and the more medicine that is being brought into your body to cleanse and purify anything that your body needs.  In my experience, by the third round, my brain finally gave up the struggle, and I felt my body release.  After this I could take big deep breaths without feeling the burn I had before.  I could feel the steam having a positive effect on my body.  Once I finally stopped fighting internally, my external symptoms we alleviated.  It was the weirdest feeling that I find hard to put down in words.

As I sat in my symbolic mother’s womb at 44 years of age, having my face rapidly going back and forth, up and down in pure darkness trying to find some relief from the extreme heat, I realized that that is exactly what I am doing in this world.  I’m going in all directions, in pure darkness, fighting with my Ego the entire time.  Once I finally gave in and just let go, all the pain was lifted and the heat was more than bearable.  If only I can do the same thing in this world.  Just give in and let go!  It made me understand the Rumi quote, “When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.”

Once it was over, and I exited my mother’s womb for the final time, I felt like an entirely new person.  Fresh.  Ready for a new start.  I can’t wait to go back and breathe in more of this potent medicine that is offered in this sacred space and I cannot express how much I recommend everyone trying this at least once!  We all could use a fresh start in this world and give into the Universe and let go of all the brainwashing that has happened to us all since birth!  Who knows what we might become?



Food for Thought

Do you know how many strange looks I get when I say the four words, “I don’t eat sugar”?  People have a variety of reactions.  Some look at me with remorse as if I just told them I lost my dog.  Others look at me with total bewilderment wondering why I would ever make a lifestyle choice like that.  Then I have those who just come right out and ask me the question that everyone is thinking, “Are you wacked?”

I have to admit that giving up sugar was a great personal triumph for me.  I never thought I could do it.  One of the hardest part was the people surrounding me that couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to put such a chemical in my body.  Why I would deprive myself of such a joy in this life.  Judgement was and still remains the worst part.  It is socially acceptable to eat sugar.  If it was cocaine that I was giving up society would be totally understanding and supportive because doing that particular drug is not accepted in society.  It’s totally frowned upon. Giving up sugar, on the other hand, is totally judged and talked about by certain circles of people.

There are many temptations in life that are not socially frowned upon but are still bad for us.  Geeze, our government legalized marijuana but banned chocolate milk from the school system.  Even myself who is very open-minded and a huge promoter of limiting sugar intake sees that maybe we could reevaluate some of priorities here.  However, that is just my perception on these matters.  I think we all should have free-will no matter what the topic.

We also have things that are socially unacceptable but really don’t have that big of an impact in our world like social etiquette in different cultures.  If I was born in the East into an Indian Hindu family it is considered proper Indian etiquette to eat with your hands as this is how the majority of the Indian people eat in the East. It is traditional and part of the Indian culture.  Once they come to the West, they form to our culture and change their patterns of eating…but which one is right?  It all depends on what you want to value.  In all reality neither of them are right or wrong.  They are all just a perception.

As a society we have to let go of all this judgement and just let people live.  If they want to order chocolate milk at school, let them.  If they want to enjoy the health benefits of marijuana, let them.  If they don’t want to put sugar in their body, just let them be.  Who cares if people want to eat with their hands, chop sticks or a fork and knife.

I love when I am in the staff room with my fellow teachers.  I have multiple generations in one room with males and females alike.  Some are on the way to retirement and some are just starting on their working journey which gives us a wide variety of opinions.  When I bring up my next hair-brained idea, like fasting for 3 days, they all chime in their thoughts and share their concerns.  Instead of just supporting and acceptance, they all have a thought or perception on what I should be doing. I adore them all but they are just one example of how society without meaning harm is very judgemental.

Whether it is fasting for three days, giving up sugar, not eating meat, the way you spend your money, what substances you put in your body or relationship issues, everyone is going to have their opinion on how you run your life.  Their own judgements on what you should do, is really just their own issues about that issue.  I love Dr. Wayne Dyer and one of my favorite quotes of his is, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” 

We have to learn to just realize other people’s perceptions are their own and have no reflection on you.  Just do what makes you happy and let others do what makes them happy.  We are all on our own journeys in this life, and we should respect this in everyone we meet.  Hands, chop-sticks, fork…who cares!!!!


Leave the Leaves

I adore this time of the year.  The dazzling landscapes of all the breathtaking colors that tickle my soul.  Social media is littered with picture upon picture of families posing with these incredible backdrops.  It truly is a remarkable time of the year.  All the changes from the summer are actually refreshing.

My property is scattered with maple trees, and their vibrant red leaves pop in the contrast to all the other colors of the season.  I love when a single, bright red leaf lay solo on the walkway, it seems so endearing for some reason.  It left its secure tree and fell all by itself to this landing area.  Nobody helped it.  Nobody controlled its journey to the ground, it just ended up where it is supposed to end up.  The lone leaf waiting to see what is in store now that they left the security of their home tree.

Will it stay on my walkway for the rest of its journey?  Probably not.  It will end up being swept up by the wind and maybe find its final destination propped up against an oak tree in the forest, or maybe its final destination is in the river to float to another city.  Where it finally ends up is not for us to say, predict, or even know.  It is up to the journey of that particular leaf.  A tree just leaves its leaves in the hands of the universe and trusts that what happens is what should happen.

We all could learn from the journey of these leaves.  We could all realize that we have no real control over our journey.  We may think we have control, but really, that is just our egos feeling the need to think that we have control.  In all reality, what is going to happen to us is going to happen to us.  We can make wise choices and make our journey more pleasant, but we all have to take our own journey that is already predetermined for us.

How many of us look back on life after something that we tried to control, but it didn’t work out the way we tried to force it to go and realize that that was the best thing that could have ever happened to us?  As if it was supposed to happen.  We all can see how life plays out years later, but for some reason we have to try and strangle the life out of our own lives trying to make sure everything plays out the way our ego thinks it should.  It is our egos that can’t just trust that the universe has the best plan.

Instead of letting the winds of life take us where we should, we plaster our present lives with worry and try to figure life out to the micro-level.  This robs us of enjoying our present because we are so preoccupied with might arise or occur that our bodies become sick with worry.  Our need to control overtakes the real joys of our lives.  Our egos tend to do this.  It is obsessed with finding a way to control and problem-solve situations that we dream up in our worlds that we think need our control.  We have to be like nature and just leave the leaves.

Do you think this leaf is laying on my walkway wishing that it was still attached to that tree?  Do you think it is worried about all the poor choices it made while it was a green leaf?  Do you think that leaf is overanalyzing a relationship that went wrong?  Is that leaf devastated that they are alone on the sidewalk?  No, that leaf is letting nature take its course and leaving their past behind them, not worried about the future, just enjoying the place where it is laying in the now.

We have to start training out minds to be this way too.  Enjoying the present.  Not letting our egos strike our minds with worry of what was or what could have been.  Just leave the leaves!  I love the book “Take me to Truth, Undoing the Ego” by Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira and recommend it to anyone who is determined to tame their egos.  Chapter Seven is my favorite chapter for helping undo the ego and I want to share this quote: “The truth is that right at this very moment, problems or not, we are all right.  If we keep our focus acutely in the present moment, undefiled by ego thoughts of tomorrow or last week, we realize that we are not our problems or our life stories.  They just go on regardless.  In fact, we have no problems or needs at all in the now.  There is great Peace to be had in this place of Grace.”

We have to stop creating the problems in our world, and let the worry that ego creates blow out of our world with the winds of universe.  We have to stop thinking we can control where our leaves blow.  We have to stay in the now and just relax wherever we have been placed in this grand universal design.  Just leave the leaves.  Let life blow you were you should be.  Let your life tumble where it is directed to go.  Let all worries go and undo your ego and see how your life will change like the leaves this fall.  More beautiful than you could ever imagine!


Internal Delete Button

Social media is a great thing, but it can also be a real pain.  There are so many people who hide behind their smart phones, or keyboard and monitor and become very brave to type things and say things that they wouldn’t usually.  People with built up negative energy thrive on these sites because somewhere in Social Media Land will be another very negative person just waiting to join in on the other person’s pity party.  I just have to shake my head and send these poor individuals love and positive vibes.

We have a restaurant and its incredible how cruel some people can be on the comments on our social media pages.  My husband and I sometimes just shake our heads at the comments.  Some people must have such built up anger and bitterness inside of them if all it takes is a longer wait than promised, or a stranger made a mistake making your food, for them to blow their fuse, then all I can encourage is sending these people love.  If this makes or breaks your day and makes a person so angry that they resort to unleashing their anger and frustrations on a Facebook page, these people need more than me sending them love.  They really need to find a different way to channel their energy.

One particular lost soul actually made two negative comments within hours on just two regular posts.  Good thing for the delete button.  I quickly deleted these negative comments and went on with my day.  I could be judgmental, and get angry or upset, but I don’t.  I know that we can’t give what we don’t have inside of us to give.  I am constantly trying to learn how to make my life and the people’s lives around me better.  I try to avoid this exhibited behavior at all cost.  That’s why I love the delete button so much.  I don’t have to participate in this vengeful behavior or even look at it.  I have my own karmic path to travel, and I don’t want to get messed up on anyone else’s path.

I know I’ve mentioned the book “Power Verses Force” written by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., and his great Map of Consciousness before I’m previous blogs. This has all the emotions and their level on the vibrational scale.  Of course, all the negative emotions like scorn, hate, craving, anxiety, regret, despair, blame and humiliation being in the bottom of his chart.  Well, Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” has a chart that is called, “Elevated Emotions Vs. Limited Emotions”.  He further categorize these emotions which he calls “Survival Emotions” or “Selfish Emotions” which include: doubt, fear, anger, insecurity, worry, anxiety, judgment, competition, hostility, sadness, guilt, shame, depression, and lust.  These are all emotions that are holding us back as human beings.  They are slowly killing us and like his book suggests, we really have to break this habit of being ourselves!  Break ourselves free of these selfish emotions and start to control our minds so we can live a totally fulfilled life.

I recommend both of these books to anyone who is ready to start changing themselves internally.  You have to start changing yourself internally before you are ever going to see any changes externally.  It is the same with any part of our lives.  So many people are not happy with their bodies and they are all looking for that secret diet pill, the special diet, or an excellent workout regime that will promise fast results to the body of our dreams.  If only people would realize that once you’re are happy on the inside, the outside won’t matter any longer and it literally will take care of itself.  You will love yourself just the way you’re are made.

This unhappiness with your body image is just one of many ways that we can be unhappy with our lives.  Other forms of unhappiness comes from marriages, children, financial situations, health problems, our jobs, and the list goes on.  The same things holds true.  If you can find ways to delete the negative internal dialogue of yourself, all the external factors will change.  Next time you feel these negative emotions rising inside of you, press your delete button and have them disappear from your internal monitor system.  As Dr. Dispenza says, “To truly change is to begin to think and act differently in the same circumstances in your life.”

I’m going to circle around to another one of my favorite books written by Don Miguel Ruiz called “The Four Agreements”.  The second agreement in his book is, “Don’t take anything personally”, and that is exactly what we have to remember when people are striking out on social media or anywhere else in our lives.  We can’t strike back with negative emotions that they are typing us up because then we are letting our internal systems lower to their levels.  Just press the delete button again and keep your internal system flying with these other high vibrations such as, gratitude, love, joy, inspiration, peace, wholeness, trust, knowingness, presence and empowerment.  Then you will see your life change for the better.

I know it happens to everyone all the time.  People are constantly reviewing others whether it is on a social media site or just in life in general.  Instead of joining their social media or life’s pity party, press the delete button, don’t take it personal and send the person love.  As Dr. Dispenza also says, “If you can’t control your mind, everything and everyone else will.”

Take control of your emotions and internally strive to have a constant high level vibration ignited on the inside of you and watch your external circumstances change.  Do what I do with the negative comments that come to our Facebook page… press delete and keep loving life!


Truth of Temptation

“Temptation is a dress rehearsal for a karmic experience of negativity.”  Just let this quote from Gary Zukav’s “The Seat of the Soul” sink into your brain for a second.  Read it over a few times.  This is what life on Earth is all about.  We come here to be put through this boot camp called Life and we have to make many decisions and experience a series of events to help us grow as people.  Including temptation!

We are all facing temptations every single day of our lives.  Some of us struggle with the temptation of drugs and alcohol.  Others are fighting temptation of food.  Much of society today is being tempted with adulterous behaviors.  Sex.  Pornography.  Money.  Lying.  Shopping.  The list could go on and on, but we all have our own temptations.  Almost like they were developed especially for us, and in all reality they were.

This is the life that our soul chose to be born into so that we could grow and become better souls.  We are faced with these vices in order to learn and grow.  I know myself, I was addicted to sugar.  It was a huge part of my life, and so was sickness.  I was riddled with allergies and severe asthma all my life.  Not only was it allergies and asthma, I would catch every little germ going.  When the H1N1 was going, I got it, even though I was vaccinated for it.  Constantly sick.  I knew that it was probably based on my sugar intake and the fact that sugar increases swelling in the body.  Finally, I decided to eliminate sugar from my diet, and what a difference.  Not only do I have more energy, I also have not been sick since.  Fall is always my worst time of the year for allergies and asthma and again, I am not experiencing any of these symptoms.

Finally, I clued in that sugar was a temptation that I had to remove from my life.  I had to find the desire inside of myself to quit this temptation.  For my own well-being.

If you look at temptation as being the Universe’s gentle way of teaching you what could happen if you let the scenario play out in real life, then, probably, you will see what harmful things could happen to you.  If you fall to temptation, then you may lose your whole world as you know it.  That is the law of the universe.  We all make decisions that we know are not good for us.  Just like me and my sugar addiction.

I realize sugar is just a little temptation compared to many other vices that others are facing, but I have other temptations that are faced with me every day as well.  Just like everyone else, I have one that has lingered in my world day in and day out for years.  It takes over my dreams by times, which is a battle of my subconscious.  Sometimes I try to distance myself from this temptation.  Do I want to give into it?  Absolutely!  Nothing would probably give me more pleasure, but I have to realize if I do give into it, then I am just giving myself permission to be irresponsible, and then harmful negative karmic actions will flood my world.

Zukav gives an example in the book that if you are experiencing a divorce than this is what your soul needed to grow and become better.  Or if you are an addict of some sort, than this is what you are to overcome to become a wiser, stronger soul.  We have choices how we see what happens to us.  We can learn from them or we can blame others and stay the same as we always were.  Totally up to us.

Take an honest look at your life, and your own temptations.  Instead of blaming others in your life for the way your life has unfolded, realize that this is the path that you had to take to let your soul grow and strengthen.  It’s not your scaring childhood that you had to endure that made your life turn out this way, it was your choices.  It wasn’t your spouse’s fault, it was your choices.  It wasn’t the person who first introduced you to alcohol, it was your choices

This is all hard to swallow, because we are brought up in a society that likes to point fingers and lay the blame on everyone else but ourselves, but we have to start looking at life this way, and realize Karma is real.  We are the only one fully in charge of our Karma, and we have to evaluate our temptations and learn from them, not feel sorry for ourselves because we have them.  Everyone does.  Remember, life is happening FOR you, not to you!  It’s time to face the truth of these temptations and see your life transform!


Counting Crows

“One crow for sorrow, two crows for joy, three crows a letter, four crows a boy.”  Does that poem sound familiar?  My mother taught me that poem when I was very young and it is something that I always find myself saying in my head when I see a crow, or a group of crows.  I’ve since taught my daughter this poem, with a totally different flare!

When I actually googled the poem, since I could only remember the first four lines of the first stanza of the poem, I found out that the poem that my mother taught me at a young age, was actually not the true poem.  She had taught me that three crows meant a letter, yet, the actual poem on Google said that three crows really meant a girl.  This actually makes WAY more since, since the four crows stands for a boy.  Where my mother got the letter idea, I will never know.  Probably from her mother, or whoever taught her the poem.  They obviously had a different perspective on the poem and learned it a little skewed from the original poem.

Since my childhood, and my spiritual journey, I love crows.  I feed them my scraps.  I admire them on my lawn and perched in the trees.  I love seeing them in groups and honestly, when I see them I still think of the poem that my mother taught me decades ago.  However, now, I don’t say the same thing, or think the same way.  If I see one crow, I just admire it and realize what a cool creature it is.  I don’t think that sorrow is on its way.  I don’t think negatively anymore, so this poem has been redeveloped in my mind.  But, I do LOVE seeing two crows together!  Then I think, “Yay!  I’m going to have joy today!”  If I see three crows, I still think the same because now I see two crows and an extra.  I don’t look at the group of crows like the poem at all anymore.  If I see four crows, then my mind is programmed to think, I’m going to have double the joy today!  Whoop!  Whoop!!!  And this is the version of the poem I taught my daughter.  Now, my daughter is trained to see the group of crows in my way of thinking.  I’ve changed the perspective of this poem to focus totally on the joy part.

Funniest thing happened while I was teaching my ten year olds the other day.  I was at the front of the class teaching a lesson, when out of no where a crow appeared.  Perched on a power line looking right in my classroom window.  It was like he was talking to my kids and trying to steal their attention.  Of course, I had to acknowledge this fine creature as he was cawing at my class. Then one of my sweet little girls started reciting the same poem that I was taught by my mother, only her poem was again, totally different than mine, or the one I researched on google.

Funny isn’t it?  How could one poem can be changed so many times?  What we are taught as young children is what forms our core beliefs.  If we were taught that Muslims are bad people when we are children, we are going to believe all Muslims are bad people.  If we are taught Germans are mean people, we are going to believe that Germans are mean people.  If we are taught that there is only one way to go to heaven, and the rest of the world is going to hell, then again, that is what we are going to believe.

Are any of these statements true?  Well.  If you believe them, then I guess, in your world they are, but not to me.  I feel they are the farthest thing from the truth!  There are one or two Muslims or one or two Germans that may be super passionate and have a different perspective on life, but that doesn’t make them bad people.  Is there only one way to heaven?  I think God loves all his creatures great and small, and heaven isn’t a fancy country club for only one religion.  No person is a better than another.  No nationality is superior to another.  No religion holds the golden key to paradise.  All human being were created equal!  It is judging and discriminating that is the horrible thing in this world.  It is teaching young minds these horrific beliefs that is unhealthy!

We all have to realize that what is inside of us, is what comes out of us.  I love this quote by one of my favorite writers, Eknath Easwaran, “For in almost all human relationships, we see others not as they really are but as we are.  To a suspicious person, everybody seems suspect; to a resentful person, every action is worthy of resentment.  Similarly, to a loving person, everybody is worthy of love; every occasion is an opportunity to practice love.”

If you have love in your heart, you will see others as loving beings.  If you have hatred in your heart you will see others as hating others.  If you have bitterness in your heart, you will only see bitterness in the world.  Why would anyone want to see the world through eyes of superiority, hatred and bitterness?  We have to change our perspective and realize the world is nothing but love.  Even if you were taught differently as a child, it is never too late to learn a new poem.  It’s never too late to rewrite what has been embedded into your psyche!  Love is all there is in this world, and once you realize that, life is an amazing ride, filled with joy, joy and double the joy!  Try out my poem on the crows and realize every crow is really just a sign that you are going to have an amazing day filled with joy!


Tribute to Terry Fox

Every September in our school system we have the privilege of raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation.  Every year we are directed to educate our students on why we value this fundraising event.  As I watch the videos, read the stories and share the trivia about this young man, it touches my heart deeper and deeper each year.

Terry Fox was the epitome of a positive person. He was a very determined young man who was going to try and raise one dollar for every Canadian in attempts to raise awareness for cancer.

This man, on a prosthetic leg, ran a marathon a day!  Can you believe that?  There are people in this world that lay around and take advantage of society, and this man was trying to better society by making the country aware of the effects of cancer on a person, their family and their world.  What a self-less man!

Unfortunately, at the height of his efforts, he was rushed to the hospital where he found out the cancer spread to his lungs and sadly, he died shortly after.  Never fulfilling his dream of running across the entire country.  Never being able to be greeted at the finish-line by his family and friends.

Even though he didn’t accomplish his dream during the time he was alive, his efforts go further and beyond what Terry ever hoped or dreamed they would do!  Before he passed away, he even acknowledged that his life had a bigger reason than he ever dreamed and his pain and suffering was all for a reason. What a great way to look at life.

How many of us, see many years later why we had to go through pain and suffering.  It really does all have a reason.  Even when we are going through our season of pain, and don’t understand why we have to go through it, we should use Terry Fox as a guide on how we should handle our painful time.  We still have to remember that we should remain positive and live life to the fullest.

At one point some of the media was turning his story negative.  Imagine.  Man!  Some people.  One lady told him that he was doing too much, pushing himself too hard.  You know what Terry’s response was?  He wasn’t doing enough.  That is an incredible positive response to such a negative person.

How many of us have a bad day, and it is the end of the world.  We get into a bad mood and become all self-centered and wallow in self-pity.  This man had blood running down his prosthetic leg and still pushed on.  This man knew that he was very ill, but still kept pushing for his cause.  This man should be everyone’s role-model.

Buddha said, “With our thoughts we create our world.” When you choose to start looking at life’s bumps in the road with the thought of “what is this bump in the road trying to teach me” instead of the self-pity mind set of “why is this happening to me” your life will totally change.

We have to use people in this world, like Terry Fox, as lessons of what we should aspire to be.  It might not be cancer that you are going through, but when we face pain and bumps in our path of life we should use this pain to help us grow as individuals and as a community. Whatever the subject is, take your pain and turn it into a method of helping others who are experiencing the same pain as you.  Just like Terry Fox did.  A national hero.  Thank you Terry Fox!

Still the Chaos

First week of school over and done with.  Whef!  Now on to the second week…If you have no involvement with a school, and have no idea what goes on inside the four walls of the school during the first four days, I have to admit it’s quite chaotic.  Actually, very chaotic!

We have a huge list of important items we have to accomplish in the first week. Fire drill procedures.  Lockdown protocol.  Make sure students get on the right bus and make it home at night.  Paper work.  Classroom routines.  We don’t get to teach much curriculum during this week but we cover all the important items that they will need to have a successful school year.

I’m in my eleventh year of teaching grade 5 French as a second language.  In grade 6 my students have the option of entering the French Immersion program or continuing in the straight English program that they have been doing all along.  Every year I have the parents that ask me for my opinion if their child has the ability to be successful in the Immersion program where they will be taking every subject in the French language, and I value them asking me my opinion.

Some years, I do have parents that don’t ask for my opinion and put their child in the Immersion program, but usually these children are the ones that struggle with the program and end up coming out and transferring back to English.  If their parents had of asked me, I definitely could have given them my professional and educated guidance on whether their child would have the ability to be successful in this program.

As I’m preparing my presentation for this year’s Meet the Teacher night, a light bulb went off in my head.  How foolish are the parents not to ask me for my guidance on this big life decision for their children, but how foolish are we that don’t ask our Divine Creator for his guidance in our own big life decisions?

Do you know how many of my own big life decisions that I have made without asking in prayer or through meditation what I should do?  I would have to say the majority of my life.  Since I started meditating four years ago, what a difference it makes when I sit in silence and meditate about my life altering decisions.

The Universe is merciful and it will make our life unfold the way it was meant to unfold. The Universe also gives us the ability to have free will and form our own opinions and make our own choices.  Will your choices always align with that of your Creator?  Not necessarily.  That is why it is important to sit in silence and meditate on what you should do when you are making your choices.  Even little choices.

I love Marianne Williamson and her ability to help bring a better light on the teachings of A Course in Miracles. This was one of my favorite teachings about the power of meditation. “Meditation is power. Enter chaos from the place of internal stillness, and your stillness becomes a chaos buster.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing chaos at this time of the year and I’m not the only one who has many tough decisions to make about my life, my children’s lives or my financial life, etc. Why not try sitting in silence and witnessing how this does absolutely still the chaos of your life and witness decision making become a thing of the past. When you sit in silence all the answers just come to you. As if the Universe was whispering the answers in your ear! Sit and listen for yourself. You will hear everything you need to hear!