Stronger Than You Think

I am ever amazed at the resiliency of human beings.  Five mornings a week I teach English and settlement skills to refugees and many other newcomers to Canada. In my role as teacher, I have heard some of the most horrific and heart wrenching stories. On a day-to-day basis I witness the struggle that these newcomers have adjusting to a new life in a new land were almost everything is strange and often incomprehensible. Despite the hardships they have faced, the separation from family and friends, and the daily struggle to learn a new language, life and culture, the students arrive at school with a smile and an amazingly positive attitude. I often wonder what it would be like to be torn away from family and friends and then shuffled about from country to country to finally end up in a place where you were to begin again. You are alone with your nuclear family or perhaps not. You no longer have your family support system. Your friends are either dead or in another … [Read more...]

Fear the Darnedest Thing!

At times everyone is gripped by a some level of fear. You know that tightening of the stomach, the inner dread, the tensing of the body, the sweaty hands or the extreme case of ‘which way do I run’. Fear can be overpowering and debilitating. So, what is fear? First, there is the real fear of personal safety. This is our natural built in fight or flight response. A healthy thing to have in extreme cases where your personal safety is in jeopardy. In these rare cases, thinking stops and your natural inner wisdom kicks in to guide you. You might not agree with me. However from the safety of this moment, most people think they know what they will do but, I can attest from personal experience you will do the unexpected. But what about all the fears that are built around the “what if” story? You know, the story that begins with: “What if I don’t know what to say? What if I make the wrong decision? What if it snows? What if she doesn’t like it? What if I fail?” I bet you can … [Read more...]

Opening the door for fresh new ideas!

I notice at the end of the year I was in a very low place. I was tired, grumpy, unhappy and overall miserable. Intuitively, I knew that something had to change. But as often happens when we are operating from our thinking rather than from the spacing between the thinking, we feel that we can't make a decision. For me it was no different, I played around with different scenarios. I batted around the pros and cons. I stirred up financial insecurities. I even played the “what if” game. An interesting aspect of all of this, is that I was bouncing between tired and miserable versus loving what I was doing and enjoying it. I was actually watching myself fluctuate between the highs and lows of my thinking. About the same time I was introduced to Michael A. Singer’s book The Surrender Experiment where he shares his experiment of surrendering to the flow of life. As the saying goes, when a student is ready the teacher shows up. I feel that this was the case with Michael Singer's … [Read more...]

Where did that come from?

Every one of us have had moments when something happens and we ask, “Where did that come from?” Perhaps it was an idea, an unusual solution to a problem, or a knowing something you hadn’t seen before. Or maybe you have faced a difficult situation and had to act quickly but did so with clarity and precision. It could have been a dangerous situation where you noticed you were unnaturally clear and grounded? In these situations you are anchored in the moment. Your thoughts aren’t racing back to the past or into the future, you're fully focused on what is happening right now. What happens in these moments doesn't arise from thinking or planning it comes from somewhere else, from your own inner wisdom, Divine Intelligence or the Field. This happened to me when I was living in Lesotho when I was mugged by three young men in the middle of the day. What I recall most sharply from that incident was how calm I was, how aware I was of everything in the vicinity, and how I knew what to … [Read more...]

Step back, wait and see!

This past week I had the joy of watching the natural flow of events transform someone. It began with a client sharing her ability to step back and not get wrapped up in the stress associated with making the decision to move and trying to control the outcome. It revolved around her desire to move closer to work which lead to her house hunting. She found one and really wanted it, but she was one of 6 interested in renting. After talking with the owner, she was asked to wait without any assurances. Instead of her usual mental mind games and need to push things forward, my client stepped back and allowed the process to unfold. The waiting became stressless when she let go of the outcome and any thinking around the house. She marvelled at how easy it was to accept that it would be what it would be. Several days later the house was hers. When we spoke over coffee later she was in awe. Her previous pattern of worry and trying to manipulate the situation didn’t even arise. She had … [Read more...]

Home Away From Home

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.  ~ Maya Angelou   Last weekend when I was driving toward my vacation condo, I had a flash of insight about the concept of home. The first flash was a reflection of all the places I have called home: a luxury apartment, a run down farm house, a townhouse, a spacious 3 bedroom bungalow, a room in a guest house, a trailer, to name a few. Following came the realization that I felt completely at home and at peace in each of these places. I would enter, have a look around and make it home. Then when it was time to move on I did so without pulling on the strings of attachment. These places where mine to use for a while before something else came along. In this moment, I truly understood the saying that home is where the heart is. Because I was at peace and comfortable with myself, the building I was living in didn’t matter. I would bring my peace and contentment into each structure. I didn’t let my … [Read more...]

Just show up!

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle While engaged in the “Creating the Impossible” course with Michael Neill, he used a phrase I’d never considered before. The phrase was ‘showing up’. Initially, I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. I was showing up each day by waking up, going to work, taking care of my family and all the other little details of a busy life. I tried to keep my life balanced and positive. But the more I listened to him, I began to understand what he was getting at. I was getting up, going to work and doing all the other things, but half of the time my mind was some place else or focused on an expectation. Let’s take work example: I showed up every day, not really liking what I was doing, but I liked the pay cheque. I showed up with the sole purpose of monetary reward and went through the motions of productivity. I did what was required to get the reward, but gave little else. Much of the time I was … [Read more...]

A Hole in the Sidewalk.

Life is like a hole in the sidewalk, this metaphor running through Portia Nelson’s poem simply describes how our thinking keeps us trapped in repeated patterns/habits. This poem could be my autobiography. I would find myself in a situation, blame everyone but myself. Play all kinds of mind games. Finally, my awareness would expand to the point where I could see the hole ahead and choose another path. This poem represents the 3 Principles in action. How does it speak to you? An Autobiography in Five Chapters 
by Portia Nelson Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost….I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. Chapter 2 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the side walk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. Chapter 3 I walk down the same street. There is a deep … [Read more...]