Mark Nepo – Feeding Your Heart

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No matter how dark,

the hand always knows

the way to the mouth.

-Idoma Proverb (Nigeria)

Even when we can’t see, we know how to feed ourselves. Even when the way isn’t clear, the heart still pumps. Even when afraid, the air of everything enters and leaves the lungs. Even when clouds grow thick, the sun still pours its light earthward.

This African proverb reminds us that things are never as bad as they seem inside the problem. We have inner reflexes that keep us alive, deep impulses of being and aliveness that work beneath the hardships we are struggling with.

We must remember: the hand cannot eliminate the darkness, only find its way to the mouth. Likewise, our belief in life cannot eliminate our suffering, only find its way to feed our heart.

The above excerpt was taken from “The Book of Awakening”, by Mark Nepo. A reminder to look within. Trust your inner self, keep faith and love at the forefront of all life decisions. May you always tune into your heart. Stay blessed xo

Creativity

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To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it. Osho

In Grade 1, I was first introduced to the children’s literature author – Robert Munsch.  Every afternoon, my teacher had designated story time for the classroom.  With enthusiasm, I would run to the reading circle, and wait patiently for a story to be read.  The narratives of Robert Munsch always evoked such delight at a young age.  There was one particular story called “The Paper Bag Princess” that had hidden messages of self-love and empowerment.  

At the tender age of 6, I felt my imagination was being expanded.  Everyday we heard tales to enhance our vision.  Although I was still learning how to read, I was drawn to literature.  Hearing something daily elevated my spirit.  My mind would visualize all characters and was swept away.  As an adult, I reflect on the importance of “story time”.  It was tapping into that creative genius, we all have within us. 

The Story: 

The Paper Bag Princess is about an unconventional Princess named Elizabeth.  She is to be married to Prince Ronald.  Prior to the nuptials, this feisty lass ends up being held captive by a dragon.  While in the castle, she patiently awaits her Prince Charming to come and rescue her.  Twist to the plotline –  the protagonist ends up misleading the dragon and saving herself.  She encourages the dragon to fly and use up all its energy.  A little heroine in the making.  The Prince see’s Elizabeth, wrapped up in a paper bag, unlike the usual Princess attire.  Upon seeing this, Ronald criticizes Elizabeth and chooses not to marry her.  Her reaction – she calls Ronald a “bum”.  Lo and behold, life takes a new direction for Elizabeth.

Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you. Amy Leigh Mercree

Why am I sharing the story of The Paper Bag Princess?  I recently read it again, and it sparked something inside me.  There was a message I needed to receive.  First and foremost, it was a nudge from the universe to remember how much I love to write.  To keep writing, honour that creative genius even if my articles are not published.  Secondly, the reminder of self-love and empowerment.  You are in charge of our life.  Similar to Elizabeth, you empower yourself daily by the choices you make and the company you surround yourself with.   

In children’s books, there is always insight for adults.  It was a blessing to acknowledge the importance of self-love.  This was not your usual Fairy Tale ending but perhaps one many can relate to.  Elizabeth creates her own happiness, and dances towards the sunset – the light.     

What sparks your creative flow?  Is it travelling, journaling, cooking, singing or writing?  There are multiple avenues that will continually speak to your spirit.  Perhaps its numbers or gardening that make you tap into your higher self.  Whatever it may be, I ask you to keep discovering more about yourself.  You could be the next Picasso, Einstein or Vivaldi!  

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Albert Einstein  

The more you are in tune with your creativity, you allow parts of yourself to expand.  Your brain creates new pathways when you are in this flow of energy.  When you are in that space of creativity, you are receiving wisdom beyond yourself.  Channel that inspiration into what makes you feel euphoric.  The hobbies you have are here for a greater purpose.  These are you innate gifts.  Your task is to do this daily.  Allot time to do what makes you feel empowered.  

How can you expand on your creativity:

  1. Visualize, see how you want your day to unfold
  2. Journal – appreciate where you are in life today 
  3. Create, this could be drawing, doing a DIY project or anything that puts you in a state of equilibrium 
  4. Have fun, play, be in joy as much as possible
  5. Ask yourself how can you be service with your creative talents

The Paper Bag Princess, reflected on the theme of self-love.  The relationship you have with yourself is connected to your heart.  As you love yourself, this energy is felt outwardly.  Knowing your creativity is endless.  You may be the most effective communicator, designer, builder or entrepreneur.  There are ceaseless possibilities being birthed by you.  Remember to trust, you have known all along what ignites that inner flame.  Make time for the life you have always imagined.  Your creativity is asking you to reach beyond yourself.  Never stop learning, at any point in time your life can change.   

Kindness

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Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. Henry James

Wherever you are living, every human being has been impacted by Covid.  We are all collectively sharing a similar dialogue.  Though life has transformed, let us play our part by being kind to ourselves and others.  Have you ever noticed, when you smile at a stranger they respond in the same manner?  A smile is a warm exchange, that you are acknowledging someone.  This is true kind-heartedness.  It is an expression of gratitude from your heart to another.  

I am humbled to write this piece from my own personal experience.  We learn by hearing stories from others.  Similar to our ancestors, they shared stories throughout generations to guide and teach us.  These narratives were created to help you progress.  We are able to relate, reflect and share our experience for the better.  My story begins with nurturing of the spirit.  I was in need of some vitamins and required a visit to a health and wellness store.    

While searching for a few items, I saw a customer service representative and decided to ask for assistance.  We spoke for a few moments.  Instantly, I felt myself being triggered and judged.  The guidance was unfriendly and it caused emotions to arise.  Has this happened to you before?  An interaction with a complete stranger can cause you to feel intense emotions?  “I kept thinking, is this all about me?  Am I projecting energy this is causing this all to happen”?  

I absorbed the energy from the sales representative and was quite upset.  They were condescending, and right away I felt small.  Not a good feeling for the soul.  Instead of walking away, I took a few breaths and came back to equanimity.  Started to regain my strength and approached him.  I needed to advocate for myself.  I honoured myself and told him how the interaction made me feel.  I explained the importance of being heart centered and kind – especially during Covid.   

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama

What I reflect on daily, is that I am unaware of what someone may be experiencing.  When you demean someone else, majority of the time it is all about “YOU”.  Kindness is inner job, first and foremost are you being kind to yourself?  Your self-talk is vital to your wellbeing.  Plant seeds of kindness within. They will begin to blossom from you heart and expand.  Your inner discourse towards yourself impacts the mind and body connection.    

When one stands up for themselves, it creates a domino affect.  No matter what the situation is, may you always remember that you have every right to be heard and appreciated.  You are strong and here to make an impact in the world.  Kindness touches others.  You do this by loving strangers unconditionally.  Not by hiding yourself, however by shining your “LIGHT”.  Let us all rise to by extending our best selves forward.

During the time of Covid, many have been soul searching.  May you be mindful when encountering others, to be empathetic and genuine.  It cost nothing to be kind to people.  Why are we so guarded?  How can we return to the essence of love?  Love is a spiritual energy that changes the chemistry of our being.  My observation over the past year is that we need to extend our compassion and be kind.  Each day make it a priority to see someone smile.  Uplift others for no reason or expectation. 

Kindness is about giving from a sincere place within.  Giving can take on many forms: listening to others or leaving a thank you note, this is kindness.  Doing something for the sake of giving, to see someone light up from the inside out.  Let kindness be in your smile, radiating from your heart – this will impact those around you.  Do your best to do an act of kindness towards yourself and others daily.  Lets create a world based on this principle.  

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tzu

The Divine Essence of Nature

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Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things – Lao Tzu

The year 2020 was a period of inner awakening and reflection.  Not a single person anticipated Covid-19 or a global lock-down.   Life was placed on pause for all of humanity.  Visiting your family, going to work, dramatically shifted.  Communicating via online resources, is how everyone stays connected.  Social distancing and masks have become somewhat the norm for the mass.

We are living in a new timeline on Earth and unaware of what lies ahead.  We may be fearful of what is to transpire,  however life can only get better from this moment forward.  There are also many blessings from Covid.  I often question,  how did this all happen?  Has Mother Earth been trying to get our attention all along?  What comes to mind is nature, how can we learn from the elements of the earth?    If we listen intently, they speak to our soul.  

Moon  

First and foremost I am a Moon child, born under the sign of Cancer.  The Cancer sign is governed by the moon.  The moon is Yin energy, associated with the Divine Feminine.  When a Full Moon occurs, it is a time of retreat.  The themes of forgiveness, self-compassion and surrender are apparent during the transition to the full-moon.  The luminous moon is an elixir of dark and light.  As the moon enters different phases, human beings feel the gravitational pull as well.  The moon is asking you to honor where you are, and nurture your being.  

Sun

“Here comes the sun, and I say its all right”  Beautiful lyrics sung by the infamous Beatles.  The sun is known to have masculine Yang energy.  It is that inner fire within your soul.  Correlated to the solar chakra, which represents confidence, will-power, strength and more.  Do you ever notice when the sun shines, it brightens your day?  The sun gives light to the earth, helps with growth and vegetation and showers us with vitamin D.  The sun can be seen as a force so powerful, one can not comprehend its magnitude.  

Water

Water fluid, ever changing and representing the veins of Gaia.  Water represents our emotions.  The veins of water are oceans, lakes, streams and rivers.  With Covid how have you been, emotionally and spiritually?  Are you able to flow with everything or have resistance.  The more you can flow with life and surrender, it creates space for change.  Remember, water represents 70% of your body.  The more water you drink, it aids with nourishing your inner temple.  

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Air 

Historically the element of air is associated with new beginnings, creativity and intelligence.   When the forces of wind are roaring in the air, Mother Nature is trying to get our attention.  Could it be the wisdom of our ancestors speaking to us through the wind?  Perhaps, whispering messages for us to decipher or understand.  Have you ever heard that expression, spring is in the air?  Air is what we breathe in each day, gives us vitality.  Spring air brings in expansion, similar to all seasons.  The question is, are you listening? 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter — Rachel Carson

Fire

Fire is depicted as a masculine energy, providing light and transformation.  It starts out as a flame and has the capacity to burn anything which comes in its way.  Fire represents strength as there is a power in the flame.  It could be seen as a destroyer of the darkness.  This element takes out the old and brings in the new.  Fire is a force to be reckoned with. 

Earth

Earth energy is stillness, life and rebirth.  It is grounding, nurturing and wise.  By planting your feet outside on the earth you are healing.  There are many who noticed a shift during 2019 and the beginning of 2020.  On a personal level, my soul felt tired.  I was feeling lethargic, sensed I needed to rest.  I was not angry when Covid occurred.  I recognized it as a time of healing the spirit.  SELF-CARE became a priority for many.  There were many signs that Gaia was tired.  During 2019 Mama Earth, experienced wildfires in Australia and drought along with floods in the USA.  The fires may have been her anger, the floods her tears.  We needed to listen.  Earth, if you interchange the words – becomes Heart.  One could assume, the Divine Earth is the heart of everything.  

What have you Learned from Covid?  

The earth is the foundation to everything.  My firm belief is that we needed to go back to basics.  Be love, shine love, be an expression of love.  Nature is our source of healing, by being outdoors our senses are heightened and soul expanded.  Family time is something to never take for granted.  The value of making your meals and sitting with family is golden.  Memories that are irreplaceable.  Many realize that they require less to be happy.  Relationships have been tested and jobs as well.  However, there is balance.

In hindsight, could it be possible that collectively a break was given to us, to reflect?  To converse with your inner self and higher power?  I am a firm believer that everything happens for our highest good.  There is much to learn from 2020 on an individual and collective level.  Gaia is teaching valuable life lessons, we were finally listening to the frequencies.  The strongest energetic vibration is love.       

We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature  — Henry David Thoreau        

An Inspiring Story About Breathe

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There is an old Vedic story about prana that occurs in various Upanishads.  The five main faculties of our nature – the mind, breathe (prana), speech, ear and eye – were arguing with each other as to which was the best and most important.  This reflects the ordinary human condition in which our faculties are not integrated but fight with each other, competing for their rule of our attention.  To resolve this dispute they decided that each would leave the body and see whose absence was most missed.

First speech left the body, but the body continued though mute.  Next the eye left, but the body continued though blind.  Next the ear left, but the body continued though deaf.  Then the mind left, but the body continued though the unconscious.  Finally the prana began to leave and the body began to die and all the other faculties began to lose their energy.  So they all rushed to prana and told it to stay, lauding its supremacy.  Clearly prana won the argument.  Prana gives energy to all our faculties.  The moral of this story is that to control all our faculties the key is the control of prana/breathe.

The excerpt above is taken from “Yoga and Ayurveda” written by David Frawley pg. 120.  I opened this book recently, and landed on this specific page.  It was a gentle reminder to breathe.  The power of our breathe brings us back to the present moment.  Your breathe is home.  Remember calm is a “superpower “- stay well xo

The Golden Path – Seth Godin

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Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.

This is precisely why you’re stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way.

The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.

Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can’t help but improve, can’t help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star.

You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck.

Don’t just start. Continue. Ship. Repeat.

An inspirational quote, from Author and Entrepreneur Seth Godin.  A reminder to pursue the Golden Path.  What is the Golden Path you may ask?  It is your individual journey, the quest to inner peace and fulfillment.  We may veer off our path at times, do know you will always be guided home.  Allow love and peace to be at the center of your being.  Be ambitious, take risks and seek your adventure!  Stay blessed xo

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann

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GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

The Desiderata was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.  He was an American writer who wrote on spiritual themes.  I hope this selection of poetry provides comfort and peace during this time on Earth.  A reminder that the universe is working with you.  All things are coming together.  Stay humble, remember self-love and care. SHINE your radiant heart xo

Heal the Pain – George Michael

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Let me tell you a secret
Put it in your heart and then keep it
Something that I want you to know
Do something for me
Listen to my simple story
And maybe we’ll have something to show

You tell me you’re cold on the inside
How can the outside world
Be a place that your heart can embrace
Be good to yourself
Because nobody else
Has the power to make you happy

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
That you’re feeling inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

He must have really hurt you
To make you say the things that you do
He must have really hurt you
To make those pretty eyes look so blue

He must have known
That he could
That you’d never leave him
Now you can’t see my love is good
And that I’m not him

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
Won’t you let me inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

Won’t you let me in
Let this love begin
Won’t you show me your heart now
I’ll be good to you
I can make this thing true
Show me that heart right now

Who needs a lover
That can’t be a friend
Something tells me I’m the one you’ve been looking for
If you ever should see him again
Won’t you tell him you’ve found someone who gives you more

Someone who will protect you
Love and respect you
All those things
That he never could bring to you
Like I do
Or rather I would
Won’t you show me your heart
Like you should

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
That you’re feeling inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

Won’t you let me in
Let this love begin
Won’t you show me your heart now
I’ll be good to you
I can make this thing true
And get to your heart somehow

A HEART warming song by the late George Michael.  Remember to love yourself each and everyday of your beautiful, glorious life!! xoxo

The Seat of the Soul – Gary Zukav

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Reverence

If we perceived Life with reverence, and understood our evolutionary process, we would stand in awe at the experience of physical Life and walk the Earth in a very deep sense of gratitude.

Reverence is the perception of the soul.  Only the personality can perceive Life without reverence.  Reverence is a natural aspect of authentic empowerment because the soul reveres all of Life.  Therefore, when the personality is aligned with the soul, it cannot perceived Life without reverence.  Approaching Life with reverence not only protects the soul from karmic obligations that are created by personalities that do not honor Life, but it also is a step toward moving the personality into alignment with the soul because it brings an aspect of the soul directly into the physical environment.

Excerpt taken from The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav.  Reverence a theme that plays out in my life continuously.  Reverence is patience, non-judgmental and flows calmly like the river. “With reverence our experiences become compassionate and caring”.