Fall’s Mystery

September 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been almost a year since my last blog entry.

I forgive myself. It’s not like I haven’t been writing.

I make lists and post status updates all of the time. I am an email junkie and the author of countless stories which I tell myself; some, I believe deeply and emphatically; others I indulge in unconsciously or for old-times sake, until they’re neither rich in drama nor entertaining in the least, at which point, the story line pretty much falls apart and I must generate a new one.

The fall is like tree sap running in my veins; as the air cools and leaves drop, an internal process starts to take over. The more I observe and feel the changes outside the more deeply I’m drawn inward. Words or thoughts alone have never sufficed to breach the barrier of magic and mystery; to explain the sweetening in the dying, the almost-satiety but for the immutable pull of longing in the stillness.

The fall makes me think of my dad, who lives in Ontario. We used to take walks around the neighbourhood in the fall. Sometimes he’d have gloves on or be holding a cup of coffee that would steam awhile in the night air. His long legs would stride with some purpose, but slower than usual; like he was trying to remember something as he walked, and to do both was a bit distracting. So we’d walk and look around at the houses, and talk about the past year and the coming winter. There was an apparent comfort and need to sum up what was gone and done, and to look ahead and prepare for what may come to be.

But it was more than that. I always felt the closest to my dad in the fall, on these walks, because while we walked and talked, and then didn’t say much at all for a while, in the silence and unasked, unanswered questions, together we touched the Mystery.

To be continued …

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iKind

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

It starts with you, but it’s not about you.

My new campaign for 2013 – iKind – is all about tapping the pure potential for love and kindness within, to make the world a sweeter, brighter, more humane and decent place to be.

As yoga reminds us, we are human beings not human doings, (which is why i think everyone who doesn’t embrace this philosophy fully already should stop, drop and do 10 Downward Dogs, then see how the world looks different from the inside ♥!) Here I go …

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The sheer and maddening momentum with which so many of us strive toward our myriad and ever-changing notions of success, might make an alien from outer space think that our reason-for-being here, on Earth, is, in fact, doing!

iKind is about creating space for Metta, which is a Pali word (maitri in Sanskrit) meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence.

Interestingly, on Wikipedia, the word Meta (from the Greek preposition μετά = “after,” “beyond,” “adjacent,” “self”) is a prefix in English used to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, employed to complete or add to the latter. 

You complete me. Get it?

The happier you are, the happier I am. Without each other we are both incomplete. And I don’t mean that in a Jerry-McGuire-confessions-of-love kind of way, but more so in the spirit of What-the-Timbit-said-to-the-Donut. If there were more kindness in this world, there would be less pain and suffering, and fewer people would feel alone. Self-centeredness isolates and separates us from one another. Kindness brings us together.

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A dearth of metta, I believe, is why so many of us, today, feel empty inside and are constantly searching for completion in unhealthy relationships, addictions, distractions and delusions of grandeur – or in yoga-speak the omnipotent Ego Self.

So what do I plan to do?

Five acts of kindness a week for three months. Hopefully by then its just a habit I don’t think twice about. And don’t worry, I’m not going to brag about all the nice things I do on Facebook; that would miss the point and fall into the realm of super-annoying ego-gratification. Besides, no one likes a self-tauting do-gooder and I don’t want to lose any friends over this;)

What can you do? Pick up a copy of  the January 2013 Chatelaine and read the article “A New State of Kind” which inspired me to launch iKind. Then, if you feel so moved, go to kindcycle.ca and register (it takes one minute) and the Lisa Watier Foundation will instantly donate $100 on your behalf to the Canadian Women’s Foundation to help stop violence against women.

Then, Join the iKind campaign and spread some meta-love around. You will have already done one random act of kindness, so why not keep going? And to spur you on, anyone who does five acts of kindness a week for one month (on yogi’s honour) will be entered into an April draw and one lucky person will attend my next yoga retreat, May 24-26, (value $400) for free!

What do you have to lose? Don’t think of it as another thing to do, but rather another way to be.

With Love,

Jenn


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Alchemy

December 3, 2012 § 1 Comment

In the online Writer’s Croft course I’m taking (again), we had 10 minutes to write about Magic for our warm-up. The idea is to just flow without inviting the Internal Editor to the party.

Wanted to share what came out:

It was magic … or, should I say, magick?
 
On the outside, several conditions converged and the effect in that instant was seamless. Magic.
 
On the inside, it felt like many million sutures in a past life must have been stitched with loving devotion to produce this one fabric without even corners, held in its manifolds, by angels.
 
The alchemy of present awareness and clear, elevated intention. Magick.
 
The difference is the k-factor, or “ki” … qi, chi, ch-i, prana, the stuff in the conduit, which makes container and contents indivisible, you and angels uncut from the same cloth.
 

Have a magical day ❤

 
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Make new impressions

August 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

‎Sometimes the Loneliness, it comes from a place that’s untouchable; a raw, wounded, shameful place where delusion reigns, where the belief in separation was first imprinted, and Love mis-cast as a shadow of its exquisite self.

Do not linger in the old, abandoned tree houses and forts of your youth. Loneliness begets loneliness, while life marches on. In order to be truly free, to be your glorious self in the world you must turn away, and away again, from the Boogie Man, willfully unlearn a wounded Inner Child’s misconstrued life lessons by turning, instead, toward the light, and new impressions of Love.

“All the sorrow exists for one reason – that you may end sorrow for ever.” ~ Rumi

The Thing About Red

July 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Purge continues.

I’ve been silent for a while in the WordPress blogosphere but that doesn’t mean I’ve fallen off the Buy-Not bandwagon.

On the contrary, it’s been almost eight months! Eight months since I stopped shopping like the duds on a runway model’s back were going out of style while she strode the Catwalk. Imagine!

My track record isn’t perfect, but I did manage to clear my Visa and balance my books – which felt stupendously liberating – and if it weren’t for Tax Time, which kicked me like a proverbial gutter rat back into the red, I’d now be enjoying beautiful solvent freedom from encultured debt and throwing all kinds of cash toward my favourite charities and future retirement. (That’s the goal anyway:)

Okay, it’s confession time: back in February I saw a red sweater in Banff that I thought would be just PERFECT for an upcoming Groupon photo shoot which I bought almost a year back. Of course, because I couldn’t buy the sweater, I wanted it even more. Yet strong-willed as I am, with all the might I could muster, I put it back on the rack and hung tough. Then my beloved boyfriend saw the anguish in my face and bought it for me anyway. I seriously doubt I’ve ever loved a sweater more.

Then March was my birthday month and Mom sent me cash to buy “something nice for myself” and didn’t this just ever-so-sweetly circumvent the game rules for my year of spending austerity?! Before I could figure out what to do with the money that wasn’t self-serving or indulgent, I spotted a red summer blouse in a Whyte Ave. boutique that spoke to me with hypnotic legalese, and, well, that was that.

I have worn it a ton, and feel devilishly unprincipled and libertine every time! Regrets, I have none, ’cause don’t you know it’s my favourite go-to blouse in my closet, and since it’s summer and I love dressing up for a dinner or drinks on the patio that’s no small, frivolous thing. ♥

And then, finally … there were the Spanish Mary Jane shoes, in April … which I fatedly set eyes on one Tuesday, when against my better judgement I accompanied my fashion-forward friend Trish on a shopping expedition for her new spring wardrobe.

Do you know what it’s like to have the image of a pair of sweet little wedges WEDGED in your brain, day-in and day-out, in the midst of a politically and morally imposed period of SHOPPING ABSTINENCE??

Needless to say, I coerced my boyfriend into being an accomplice to my iPurge transgression on the grounds that I would spend the exact same amount on him if he’d only swipe his plastic and buy me the damn pumps already!

Amused, and silent, he played along with the little ruse, and although I feel unconscionably cute in my new red shoes every time I wear them out, I do recognize that this time it was plain, old, unmitigated cheating, and I feel terrible about it. Kinda. Sorta.

But what do they say about quitting smoking? Sometimes you have to butt out a few times before you’re truly through with the filthy, addictive habit. I’m all about second tries. Practice, practice!

And besides, a girl doesn’t see shoes like that everyday. So sometimes a shopaholic diva needs to preemptively strike, make a deal with the Devil and pay penance by discarding a few pairs of shoes at home later. (For what it’s worth, I donated six or seven pairs of old summer pumps to Goodwill). So I am absolved.

Now, let go of your judgement, Dear Reader. Aren’t my shoes lovely, and won’t I just wear them for yeeeeeears to come??

But what’s with all the RED?!

A psychotherapist would have fun with that one – although it probably doesn’t take one to figure it out.

RED is a colour of passion and creativity. My favourite colour. And part of who I am, folks, is a girl who loves expressing herself through fashion, and, in case you hadn’t guessed, through words:)

It’s taken me a while to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, but now I think I’ve got it: sometimes we buy to make ourselves feel better; to fill a void, quell a loneliness, boredom or sense of inadequacy and separation.

Other times, though, it’s an honest-to-goodness well-earned reward or treat; a celebration of who we are, a way to articulate outwardly to our selves, and the world, the personality that shines within. I guess I shine red.

The real sin, anyway, I think, is not wearing what you already have. These days I can actually push hangers apart in my closet, and I truly enjoy what’s there.

So, now that I’ve cleared my conscience and survived half of my summer holidays without loading up on senseless souvenirs and succumbing to token binge shops, I am ready for the home stretch.

Yes, I fully intend to continue my iPurge until the end of 2012, and next weekend I will even be “giving back” to the Edmonton and Area garage-sale community by hosting my very own official iPurge garage sale. Come on out! I’ll be selling lots of junk and treasures cheap, so if you want to check out my hoarder’s heap ‘o’ stuff email me and I’ll send you the deets. As always, thanks for reading. It is a joy to write.

Elevator Confessions

July 4, 2012 § 2 Comments


The other day, I was riding the elevator in the City Centre Mall parkade with a bored-looking corporate guy, a momma and her babe in stroller.

When a baby is aboard the rules of elevator-riding etiquette and politesse go out the window – or shaft, I guess. We can all break from our dull, safe routine of avoiding eye contact by staring, alternatively, at the lit pressed buttons then up at the ascending or descending numbers.

Unbound by social convention, babies stare wide-eyed with wonder at anyone and anything, and it frees the rest of us to stare back. So we did.

The space between strangers dissolved, just like that, even as the elevator confines grew expansive. As I looked and looked at that child’s celestine eyes, my breath caught in my throat, and the mundane of my day evaporated into pure marvel and wonder at Life, itself.

The only thing better than riding the elevator alone without any unwanted stops before your floor, is breaking the barrier: making a real connection with someone in an unexpected place – sharing a smile, laugh or exchange that snaps you out of your head and ejects you back into the pounding heart center of the eternal moment; reminding you of the Truth: we are all spiritual beings who are having a human experience – one that is too often stressful, lonely, and punctuated with suffering.

We stopped on the sixth floor, and mother and child disembarked, as Mr. Suit and I made eye contact and smiled. The doors closed.

“Cute kid.”

“So sweet.”

Pause. 

“If I could be that young again, I would do it all different,” he confessed, so simply. I didn’t even have time to respond. What would I have said?

The doors slid open on the eighth floor and a second later he was gone. I wondered for a moment about his regrets, and whether he’d find the courage to change his life if he wasn’t happy. And whether he had real friends to talk to, or sought regular catharsis in downtown elevators.

It’s not a bad idea, given how many elevators there must be in the Greater Edmonton area. And it’s free. And weird and wacky in a kinda beautiful way. Whichever floors he’s travelling in between, I hope that he finds peace. We all deserve it.

Babies are shooting stars, full moons, spontaneous peace treaties that sidestep darkness and demons with pure light and angel dust. They come from beyond, carrying traces of the unseen on their delicate wings, so that we may all remember: this home away from Home, which we mistake for shelter, can be a long, pitch-black night out in the cold or every living beings’ blessed eternal sanctuary. If we will only bow and Enter.

And elevators are great inventions. They are not merely modes of speedy vertical travel for busy humans, but chambers of communion and therapeutic offloading; portals to places even John Malkovich would covet. Let’s enjoy the ride.

Yogalicious!

May 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

I am really looking forward to this summer. It’s going to be full of fun, frolic and excitement!

For work and pleasure, I will be travelling to Montreal, Toronto, Kelowna, Nelson and Spokane, Washington. I can’t wait to visit family and old friends, and to begin a new book-writing project with a couple of new clients. To stay inspired, happy and grounded I plan to hit up local yoga classes in each new place.

If any of you lovely people have recommendations for studios or cool cafes and accommodations in any of the above locales, please let me know!

I will definitely continue writing this blog, but have created a new one especially for everything yoga. You can check it out here: Yogalicious! and I will be regularly updating my Facebook yoga page with new vids and pics along the way.

 

Thank you to everyone who drops by to read. Writing about my beefs and bouquets with life keeps me sane, centred and many shades of happy. Keep stopping by!

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