Parvati - Inspiring Quotes from Peaceful Leaders

Inspiring Quotes on Peace

Hello! Welcome back to my new workshop on Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary. I have just had the privilege of a grace-filled retreat with a realized master, one of the great beings on the planet today. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, affectionately known as Amma (Mother) and the “Hugging Saint”, came from humble beginnings in a south Indian fishing village. Though she only has a fourth-grade formal education, she has become the inspiring leader of a vast network of global charities, providing food, shelter, education and medical care to countless people around the world. She tours North America every year, sharing insights on a life of compassion and selfless service, and embracing everyone who comes her way with indescribable unconditional love. She is able to do all this because she lives in a state of unshakable inner peace.

Under Amma’s guidance, I have the opportunity to deepen my meditation and practice selfless service, which are the foundation of my life, every day. I cultivate peace of mind and peaceful living by learning from spiritual leaders who set beautiful examples of compassion to inspire global change, through internal awareness and personal responsibility.

We are moving through a challenging time in the world today. The need for peace has never been so apparent. At the same time, we are blessed to have access to shining inspirational lights such as Amma; Eckhart Tolle, the German-Canadian spiritual teacher and author of transformative books The Power of Now and A New Earth; Jane Goodall, the primatologist who became the UN Messenger of Peace; and Desmond Tutu, the South African theologian and human rights activist who co-authored The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. They, among others, show how peace in the world begins within. They embody the wisdom-compassion that can bring lasting peace to the planet – if we find the humility to truly listen, learn and live from such precious, timeless teachings.

So this week, I would like to simply share some of their words to inspire you.

Quotes on Peace

“Compassion does not see the faults of others. It does not see the weaknesses of people. It makes no distinction between good and bad people. Compassion cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths or two religions. Compassion has no ego; thus there is no fear, lust or passion. Compassion simply forgives and forgets. Compassion is like a passage. Everything passes through it. Nothing can stay there. Compassion is love expressed in all its fullness.”
“The more space we create for others within our heart, the more happiness we experience.”
– Amma

“A good question to ask is: what kinds of thoughts go through your mind all day long? If a large percentage of those thoughts are negative you will manifest negative situations. You will react to people and things in a negative way and make situations worse. Once you become aware that you have certain thoughts in your head, you can observe these thoughts. Now there are two dimensions: you have the thoughts and you have the awareness. The person who is totally in the grip of ego is so identified with the thoughts that there is no awareness whatsoever. That is the state that generates conflict, violence and all the enormous amounts of suffering human beings inflict on themselves and others. The key is the growth of awareness in you; the realization that there is a dimension in you that is deeper, or higher, than thinking.”

“It is inner stillness that will save and transform the world.”
– Eckhart Tolle

“Let us move forward with faith in ourselves, in our intelligence, in our indomitable spirit. Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion and love.”
– Dr. Jane Goodall

“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. […] Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.”
– Desmond Tutu

I invite you now to take a moment with these quotes, then consider the following questions:

  • How can these great beings inspire my week ahead?
  • Am I willing to take steps each day, however small, to live more peacefully with my neighbours, co-workers, family and friends?
  • Am I willing to take steps each day to live more peacefully with myself?

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From my heart to yours,

Parvati Blog - International Day of Yoga

How an Ancient Life Science Can Save the World

Happy Father’s Day, Summer Solstice and International Day of Yoga!

Lots to celebrate!
Today in particular, I think lovingly of my dad, Dennis Rose. He was a respected fine artist and portraitist who also ran a multimedia house and graphic design studio in Montreal and later in Toronto. My father was also very athletic. He loved playing baseball, swimming and cycling. Having three daughters did not stop him from starting his baseball team in Montreal, where we even played outdoors in the winter! Even in his 70s, he thought nothing of cycling from Toronto to Hamilton (an hour drive on the highway!) to have lunch with his brother, and then cycling home for dinner.
Our family conversations often revolved around spirituality and art. Though very open about religious beliefs, my father loved the Bible and Jesus. He woke up every day at 4am to read from the Good Book, meditate, seek guidance for the day and deepen his connection to Christ consciousness.
My father tragically passed away in an accident a few years ago, but I feel very much that the light of his essence is alive today. Not only in my beautiful niece, his granddaughter, who was born after he passed, but in my sisters, my mother, and all of creation. There is a vitality that is expressed in our inherent connection to nature that is beyond time and not limited to form. It is the stardust of which we are all made.
Whether your dad is with you or not, whether you feel happy about your relationship with him or not, see if you can find some gratitude for the part he did play in bringing you into life. Beyond the temporal and passing nature of personalities, thankfulness and love are all that remains between your eternal light and his. Go there.
This week also brings both the Summer Solstice and International Day of Yoga on June 21. As a dedicated yogi, I sincerely aim to celebrate yoga every day, be it through morning meditation practice, asana refreshes as I step away from my music production console, or the repetition of my mantra throughout the day.
For many, the question is: what is yoga really? Why does it have the power to make a profound difference in our lives? And why is MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, an act of yoga?
To most in the Western world today, yoga is a series of physical exercises involving flexibility and perhaps some hints of Eastern spirituality, such as a statue of Shiva Nataraj (the universal father, first teacher of yoga and cosmic dancer), incense, or the chanting of Om (a Sanskrit syllable that invokes the sound of the universe). Yoga has become a trendy practice and a lucrative industry, but in many cases, it has also become disconnected from its intended purpose—which is to be a means for realizing our essential unity with all that is. Once we set aside popular perceptions, we gain the opportunity to enter a sacred garden within, and touch the healing heart of yoga.
With all forms of yoga, the potential for union relates to the breath, which is involved in everything we do. Breath is the vehicle for our very life-force; it literally keeps us alive. At the same time, it is shared by all living things. As such, it reminds us that we are not isolated beings, but interconnected with the uncountable billions of living beings that share this planet—all breathing the same air. Remembering this, we live with greater awareness and responsibility, while receiving the vitality that comes from being tapped into a collective whole that is so much bigger than the limited ego.
We may come to our first (or our one hundred thousandth) yoga practice hoping to find better health, deeper inner quiet, or some relief from the stresses of life. But we have walked into a far bigger picture than these three admirable intentions. The riches of yoga have so much more to offer.
Aside from physical exercises on the mat, yoga is an ancient art and science of life. Through yoga, we learn how to live as human beings in the world. Whether we find ourselves in a yoga studio or anywhere else, we discover how awakened action purifies our mind, body and spirit—returning us to our true, interconnected nature. As this beautiful and rich process unfolds over time, our actions become powerfully effortless, and we experience relaxed joy. We meet the challenges of every day with greater clarity, luminosity, kindness and effectiveness. Our very presence will help others do the same. Ultimately, yoga changes not just our own lives, but the world.
Just as yoga helps us brings awareness to parts of our body which are suffering, it helps us become aware of the need in the world around us. Most people don’t know that the Arctic Ocean protects literally all life on Earth, but is under unprecedented threat. It is our planet’s air conditioner that ensures we all have the food and water we need to survive. Yet it is melting at an unimaginable rate, and corporations and governments are moving in to profit from its open waters.
With a vision I attribute to my long-standing yoga practice, and supported by yogis around the world, MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is an effective and immediate response. It transforms the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle into an international peace park. By taking Arctic seabed oil off the table, MAPS will accelerate a global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies. As countries come together to declare MAPS, our world moves from short-term individual gain to long-term collective good. MAPS is an expression of yoga.
To realize MAPS now requires urgent action for immediate conservation. This is only possible by melting the hearts of the world, creating lasting global transformation in the way we see ourselves, each other, and our world. Yoga supports that global shift. Yogis like Seane Corn, Koya Webb, Tias Little and Deva Premal understand this, and have already aligned themselves with MAPS through the growing Yogis Unite movement.
As stewards of the Earth, we are all called to live in harmony with ourselves, others and our planet. As we breathe and reconnect with our true nature through the practice of yoga, we give life to the world.

How to Find Balance When Your Feelings Are Hurt

The universe is the ultimate compassionate teacher. It lovingly makes sure that we walk the talk and serve to our utmost by presenting us with many life lessons that support our growth.
Yet we so often lose touch with this compassion, and get stuck in emotional pain. How do we feel the unconditional love of the universe when someone acts hurtfully toward us? It begins by being willing to go within and take stock of what our hurt feelings reveal. Here is an example.
Someone had done something I found particularly hurtful. Unsure how to respond, I meditated for some time and then prayerfully asked for guidance on the situation. I pulled a guidance card (like an angel card), which read: “Today I identify some of the behaviours that create obstacles to my spiritual growth.”
My mind wanted to dismiss the card as a mistake. Surely the other person was at fault. Then I decided that the card was telling me that the other person was the obstacle to my path. My ego went on a little journey trying to blame and avoid seeing my part in the incident. Luckily, that only went so far. I caught myself starting to feel like a victim. I know that any sense that life is “happening to me” is unreal, a delusional manufacturing of the ego in order to sustain itself. Having checked my ego and its antics, I was left with the need to look at myself more deeply and discover what the situation was teaching me. So I went within and considered how I was choosing to perceive life. I asked myself, “was I living in unattached truthfulness? Or was I validating my assumptions for ego gratification?”


I discovered that some of my core beliefs needed revision. I was holding onto a perception that I was powerless in some areas of my life. In seeing this, my immediate reaction was self-disgust. “What, me? No way!” passed through my mind, as my ego found the idea of powerlessness intolerable. But as I relaxed in the face of what I perceived to be an ugly beast within me, I came to meet no monster. I found instead a broken, lamb-like little girl who needed my loving attention and care. My heart softened and I opened to her.
As I listened to the stories the child had to tell, I was asked to welcome my own feelings as they were, right then and there. I sat with them all in presence, without the need to fix, judge, push or pull at what was. I said to myself, “So it is. So it is,” and breathed myself into greater wholeness. With this newfound inner space, self-compassion arose effortlessly. In its sweetness, an inner fight melted away.
Welcoming this broken inner child into my heart by accepting her as I found her, I started to feel that a disowned part of me was being brought home. I became more whole. Through this, the energy that had been caught up in my outdated beliefs was set free to in more creative and healthy ways.
I rested in what I know to be true: I am no victim in life. No one has power over me unless I give it to them. Then I had the a-ha moment that was my healing breakthrough. The painful encounter with this person was caused by my finding her expression of feeling incapable and powerless to be intolerable. My perception was the obstacle that the card had highlighted!
My choice to perceive myself as powerless had been reflected back to me in the painful situation. I was brought face to face with what the spiritual master Amma teaches as one of the essential steps for spiritual growth: “If someone is doing something that you find really offensive, check to see whether you are doing something similar to someone else or yourself.”
I came to see that I had been uncomfortable and triggered by the other person’s painful actions because I had not yet accepted ways in which I too was similarly suffering deep down. Though this person’s behaviour was technically hurtful, I only felt hurt because I identified in that moment with being small and disconnected.
The encounter with someone in pain highlighted the ways in which I was attached to the small “me”, busy defending the passing and the temporal as I mistook it for my true infinite nature. So I suffered. If I had been able to be more present and see more clearly in the moment of the exchange – and not through the lens of my preconceptions, wounds and core beliefs – I would have only seen a broken person expressing her own feeling of powerlessness, rather than someone who was doing something “to” me.


I am humbled and empowered in knowing that I am still learning to meet this moment with equanimity and compassion, rather than with judgment or prejudice. I can now feel gratitude for the person whose actions I found so offensive, who I felt was so “wrong”. That person was acting out unconscious pain, her own unseen, broken parts she too had disowned and will someday be called to integrate, love and heal through presence. This person was not only a clear mirror to my own pain, but a teacher in showing me how to love the world and myself beyond condition.
Hurt feelings are not something to “fix”, “forget” or “get over”, but to understand. For most of us, it can be a knee-jerk tendency to say to ourselves “I don’t want to feel that”, and either tuck uncomfortable emotions away somewhere convenient (like in a tense neck, shoulders or belly) or attempt to splatter them all over another person or thing we want to discard. Unconsciously justifying our avoidance in dread that life circumstances will prove our deep fears true, it is easy to turn a blind eye to what we don’t want to see. Yet when we resist the moment, we miss the opportunity to meet our true self, beyond perceptions.
Our commitment to personal growth and healing is actually the most potent form of ecology. Peace on Earth begins with each one of us developing ease of being and inner peace. That is why all aspects of the work at, the nonprofit I founded, to realize MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, revolve around our Global Education Strategy (GES). This strategy creates lasting transformation in the way we all see ourselves, each other, and Nature. It generates the international momentum for MAPS at the speed required, so that we can all live in a cool and healthy world with the food and resources we need to survive.
The universe gives us daily gifts—some painful, some joyful—that teach us how to free ourselves from our limited perceptions and be present for what really is. When we do so, we flower into a love that knows we are one. And we give back to the universe out of compassion for all beings.

Embrace This Gift and Discover a World of Possibilities

The opportunity for co-creation is a magnificent gift. My blog series on co-creation paused for a month while all of us at faced the loss of our dear friend and colleague Darcy in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Yet co-creation has been present all along. I have chosen to allow a co-creative spirit to inform my choices as a CEO to lead our team through the storm. Awareness of a positive possibilities, co-creative universe has helped me as a spiritual aspirant to come to terms with Darcy’s tragic passing. Darcy studied the many ways we can co-create and consciously chose to co-create in the positive possibilities. Respectful, win-win co-creation is what I sought in every media interview and talk I gave about him and his extraordinarily courageous work for MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Our collective efforts at to honor Darcy’s legacy were also a co-creation rooted in gratitude and willingness to serve.
I think of the beautiful Parvati Magazine cover designed by my friend and artistic collaborator Adam Nathan of Jellyfunk, surrounding Darcy in flowers—especially roses. He created the design over a few hours after hearing the devastating news. While working, he did not know that Darcy’s favorite flower was roses, or that since Darcy’s passing, his wife Amie sensed his presence and smelled the floral fragrance.
In open-hearted appreciation, as well as grief, and in the sincere desire to honor his friend and colleague, Adam was able to touch something beyond his own knowledge. The image brought tears to all of our eyes at We too did not know about the flower connections at first. But we felt the heart, and the resonance within the inspired magazine cover.
Today is Easter Sunday, a holiday symbolizing profound transformation and renewal. Easter shatters the illusion of the finality of death. It reveals the oneness reality in which Christ exists and to which we are summoned.
In addition, this weekend marked the beginning of Passover in the Jewish tradition, which celebrates the intervention of God to liberate the Israelites from all forms of bondage. As such, this festival of sincere remembrance also speaks to profound renewal and hope for the future, a shift into a new way of being in relation to ourselves, our surroundings and the divine.
Both these holy times point to the astonishing world of possibilities that open before us when we are willing to co-create with something greater than our limited selves.
With gratitude for these beautiful celebrations, as well as for Earth Day tomorrow reminding us to listen to Nature and protect our planet, I conclude the blog series on co-creation.
I would like to shout out a big thank you to all of the MAPS Ambassadors across Africa (Kenya, Benin, Nigeria) who so graciously have organized various Earth Day MAPS presentations.
As I shared in part one of this four-part series, co-creation expresses the complete range of human choice, from violent and hateful disconnection to a merging into unconditional love. Through co-creation, we access profound power. What we do with this power separates the wise from the ignorant.
The various types of co-creation exist along a continuum from extreme unconsciousness to pure consciousness. At one end, we would be fully identified with the idea of life as suffering. At the other, all aspects of our lives would arise from absolute unity with the light that we are, the very fabric of life itself.
To anchor all that we have looked at over this series, here’s a suggested range of co-creative possibilities, from the most painful to the most radiant. I have grouped them broadly into two sections, the first being co-creation in disconnection. The second illustrates co-creation in interconnection.


“Life is happening to me”

“There is only me”

When in extreme impossibilities, we operate in an unconscious state. Disconnected from the whole, who we are and why we are here, we are unaware of our power of choice within a co-creative universe. Ignorant of being part of anything beyond ourselves, we identify with nobodiness. It is as though we exist in a void, a hungry black hole inside our mind and heart. As such, we have no understanding of the needs of others, or of our impact on them. Consumed with survival and physical security, our only reality is “me” with a notion of “life is happening to me”. In this disconnect, our world revolves around the false thought that there is no love at all. We co-create with hate, rage and revenge and manifest the consequences of such. In its most extreme form, this becomes sociopathy or psychopathy and expresses itself in atrocities like murder. Yet it also exists in subtler forms, be it physical violence, emotional abuse, or controlling behavior.

“There is only what I want”

At this stage, we begin to become aware of the world around us. However, still in disconnect and feeling alienated, we respond to our surroundings not with presence but through wanting. Our limited ideas about life become sorry stories, which we project onto the moment. We cling to and identify with them, because they enable our ego and the illusion of our disconnect. Greed and loneliness drive us to seek relationships for egoic gratification, however fleeting. In the impossibilities, we mistake unspoken contracts for love. We co-create with others in the expectation that acting in a particular way will get us something from the other person, and vice versa. This behaviour is often manipulative and controlling. Playing the victim or victimizing others gives us a sense of temporary power over all the moment contains.

“I am the doer”

We now have a greater sense of the world around us and increased self-esteem. We become aware that we do have access to the power of choice. But still disconnected from the whole, we identify with our limited personal power. We feel we must make our lives happen, believing that we alone are in charge of our lives. We mostly co-create with our willpower as our tool for survival. We believe it is who we are. We may claim good intentions, but fundamentally we feel separate and are still driven by the idea that life is “happening to me”. This leads us to push and pull at life. Then we find ourselves on an endless rollercoaster, trying to satisfy our likes and dislikes that fuel our ego. At best, we experience brief fulfillment, feeling puffed up by all “I” have done. By co-creating with wanting, willfulness and self-centeredness, we seek reward and recognition for our actions, and feel punitive towards self and others when we do not get them. Sustaining our sense of “I” through the notion of being separate, we feel empowered by our likes and dislikes, enabling a divided, egoic identity. When we exist in this bandwidth, as I saw in my friend’s comment in the conversation that sparked this series, we perceive guidance from a spiritual master as happening to us or as militant. We are identified with being the one in control, proud of our expertise, and attached to knowing best. But our sense of self is limited. What we interpret as militant may simply be a challenge to our ego, inviting us to live instead in service to the whole.


“I am a conscious participant”

“I am connected”

When we consider our attachments to being the doer, it becomes clear that we thought we were the very force that gives us life. We lost sight that life-force flows through us and sustains us in each moment.
We now choose to let go of co-creating with painful energies. We understand that we had allowed them to distort our thoughts, affect our actions and turn us away from our true nature. As we stop giving them power, we step into our magnificence.
At this stage, we wish to make choices that benefit not just ourselves, but those around us. We may at first be motivated by our own personal desire for happiness. Yet we soon see that there is no such thing as an isolated decision. What we do also affects others. We seek to align with the good of all, no longer interested in the temporary high of personal recognition. We act out of compassion for ourselves and others.

“There is something greater”

Awakening, we seek to understand our place within the whole. We recognize the limitations of our individual self, will and power. Aware of a force greater than ourselves, we let go of wanting to direct, control or own it. We question how our personal will is in alignment with divine will. This leads us to contemplate what divine will may be for us. We consider “Thy will be done” to encourage the release of our singular way. We consciously experience and participate in a force beyond our limited will, and choose to serve it.
It is clear that it is not up to us to make life happen. That is the universe’s role. We are active participants within it. Our job is to be receptive, one moment after the next, to this loving and benevolent force. We mindfully get out of its way, so that it can work through us.
In the conversation that began this blog series, I was seeing the moment and the opportunity to co-create from this vantage point. When the compassionate universe expresses itself in the form of guidance by an egoless spiritual master, we sincerely and wholeheartedly follow their instructions. In this way, Luke Skywalker surrendered to the direction of Obi-Wan Kenobi and trusted the force, knowing it was not an oppressive order. We choose to consciously welcome and harmonize with guidance as a divine blessing for the highest good of all.
We understand that our lives are flowering within the garden of the universe. Clarity arises naturally, and we effortlessly breathe into our next step. We do not forcefully make anything happen out of a false sense of control. We are in a divine conversation, in flow with the universe’s cosmic play.

“I am interconnected”

As our understanding of connection deepens, we come to realize that we are vastly and wisely interconnected to universal consciousness. What we think, feel, say and do both reflects and affects everything in existence. It influences the trajectory of evolution, and participates in a growing, changing, alive whole. We feel a sense of flow within the whole, and are aware of the whole within our personal flow.
Because of our interconnection, as we choose to bear witness to the limitations of ego, everyone in turn moves towards lasting freedom. Through our choices to co-create, we can either support others or interfere with their evolution. As we create and perpetuate suffering within ourselves, we create and perpetuate suffering for all life. But as we choose to set ourselves free, we support the freedom of all beings everywhere.

“A divided me is an illusion”

Now, our personal agenda and willfulness are gone. We recognize that who we truly are is no different from the energy of the divine which moves through all. As we come to fully experience that our essence and everything within and around us are one with unlimited consciousness, we realize our divine nature. Understanding this, we begin to love all things equally. That with which we co-create is not separate from us, because nothing is. We exist in the reality of unconditional love as the fabric of the universe.
We are still evolving spiritually. Because oneness is the substratum of reality, any co-creation that is not within that frequency illuminates our skewed perceptions. It shows we still have potential to grow further along the co-creation continuum to find ultimate love and freedom. With remaining traces of our ego, we go through some ups and downs. As we practice the release of all attachments to any lingering illusions of a separate “me”, we experience greater, lasting happiness.

“There is only oneness”

With our ego extinguished, we no longer i-dentify through any separate sense of “me”. Even the i-dea of such an i-dentity is impossible. There is no more lens through which to relate to the perception of a divided, external world. We reside in a permanent state of oneness with infinite consciousness, and unity with all that is. We are effortlessly and perfectly arising in each moment in unity with an intelligent whole.
At this final stage, we are in a state of isness, experiencing bliss. We have transcended the notion even of death. Yet we may choose to remain in human form to assist the release of suffering in all beings. Egoless spiritual masters abide in this reality. This is why co-creating with them could never be about taking orders. There is no “me” in them to give orders. There is only isness. By choosing to align with that, we move closer to this reality for the good of all.
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma, speaks of this state with first-hand knowledge:
“As the realization that everything is pervaded with Divine Consciousness dawns within you, you also see that every human being, everything in creation, is already Divine. The only difference is that you know that you and they are one with Divinity, but they do not. It is only a question of uncovering the truth.”
From my heart to yours, may you be inspired to embrace the highest form of co-creation in each moment. May you live in the reality of love and unity.

The Gift of Co-Creation and Why it Matters

A month ago, before the devastating news of Darcy’s death, I was sharing a four-part blog series about co-creation. This subject is more important than ever as we confront the ways our collective navigation system is faulty. I recap parts 1-3 here today.
PART 1: The Gift of Co-Creation
There is a famous and often-repeated quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” These words, sometimes mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, are in fact those of Marianne Williamson, in her book A Return to Love. She touches on an important truth of our human existence: we are far more capable than we realize.
PART 2: What You See Is What You Get. What Are You Choosing to See?
Last week, we were looking at the amazing gift of co-creation. I recently had an experience that reminded me how essential it is that we understand this innate human power—as well as how our perceptions affect it.
I was conversing with a group of friends who are all committed to personal and spiritual growth and the protection of Nature. Yet, the discussion became tense around the topic of co-creation, particularly when someone brought up working with a realized master.
PART 3: How to Let the Power of the Universe Move Through You
At the climax of the movie Star Wars: A New Hope, the Death Star was poised to destroy the planet where the Rebellion was based. A fleet of rebel fighter spaceships approached it on a one-chance-in-a-million mission to stop it. They were so small and so outgunned in comparison to the Death Star, it was like a tiny swarm of insects trying to halt a massive boulder. One by one, the rebels were shot down until only Luke Skywalker remained—pursued by his nemesis, Darth Vader himself. What Luke did next illustrates the true potential of co-creation.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this series next week!
From my heart to yours,

How to Be All In for a Richly Meaningful Life

Yesterday, I spoke on behalf of everyone at at our friend and colleague Darcy Belanger’s Celebration of Life in Sherwood Park, his hometown just outside of Edmonton, Canada. I felt people needed to know about his amazing commitment to being “all in”. Here is the eulogy in full. May it inspire you.

Good morning to everyone here, and to all those online.
I am grateful to be among you, in this beautiful church that celebrates the gift of eternal light and our opportunity to embrace it.
My name is Parvati. I’m a musician, former lay assistant minister, and the founder and CEO of the all-volunteer international nonprofit I’m here today on behalf of our organization, from Canada to Kenya, in love and appreciation for Darcy.
As our Director of Strategic Initiatives, Darcy did so much more than we could ever fit into this brief time, which is why we dedicated a fifty-page magazine to him which is available here today, outside the reception area. He was the quarterback for our immediate mission to realize MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, which transforms the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle into the largest ocean preserve the world has ever seen.
He joined this mission because he understood that the Arctic sea ice is the cooling system of our world. It reflects half of the sun’s heat away from our planet and regulates the global weather patterns that grow the food and resources we all need to survive. But today it’s under threat as never before.
There is 75% less Arctic sea ice in the summer than there was just 50 years ago. And corporations and governments seek to profit from its melt. The ripple effect of suffering worldwide is an underreported ecological and humanitarian crisis. Darcy was moved to act on an immediate and practical response to protect us all: MAPS.
If I had only two words to describe Darcy, they would be “All In”.
Being “all in” develops richer meaning the greater the commitment. That certainly was the case for Darcy. I would like to share with you the extraordinary evolution of light and courage I had the privilege to witness in him as a friend and colleague.
I vividly remember the first time I met Darcy ten years ago, at my Toronto home. I was immediately struck by the light in his eyes and instantly felt I knew him. He soon became like the brother I never had.
Our journey towards MAPS began in an unusually hot Toronto summer in 2010. I was scheduled to do a musical tour in Asia, but kept having a recurring dream of lying on ice while a great blue whale in the ocean below came to greet me.
I told Rishi, my music manager (and now husband), that I needed to postpone my tour and perform instead at the North Pole to raise awareness of the melting Arctic ice.
Darcy was one of the first people to step forward to support the trip. And with his TV producer skills, he coached Rishi on handling a video camera to document it.
Though he did not yet fully understand why I needed to go, he sensed the importance and was all in.
The trip solidified the message that Darcy would end up carrying around the world: we are interconnected. What happens in the Arctic Ocean affects us all, and what we do affects it.
In fall 2014, I learned of plans for seismic testing in Canada’s Arctic waters. When we develop technology without clarity and compassion, we hurt life, including ourselves. In seismic testing, companies look for oil and gas in the ocean floor by firing airguns 100,000 times louder than a jet engine – every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day. I knew I could not let this happen.
So I rallied friends to join me in founding for a healthy world. Darcy was one of the first people I called. His response? “I’m all in.” Though he had no formal environmental training, he saw the urgency of the work and was committed to its success.
Nothing in his professional life had prepared Darcy for his first mission, to personally hand MAPS information to former US Vice President Al Gore in the spring of 2015 – which he did – on his own time and funds. Then Darcy went to the UN in Paris to represent the newly written MAPS Treaty at COP 21. He had no pass, no diplomatic or political background, and he needed to approach the highest-ranking officials from all over the world. But he had that spark in his eyes, courage in his heart, and the staunch support of his teammates. It was tough, but he made inroads.
The following year, COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco, Darcy had an official UN Observer badge and greater access to officials. He worked nonstop there, but jokingly referred to his biggest challenges being the dangerous Marrakech streets, and the hot African sun on his bald head.
At COP 23 in Bonn, Germany in 2017, Darcy’s efforts were paying off. More people than ever knew about MAPS. He gave a keynote to officials from small island developing states critically affected by the melting Arctic sea ice. Samoa soon became the first MAPS Treaty signatory.
Not long after a whirlwind trip to present MAPS in Fiji, he attended COP24, the UN conference last December in Poland. MAPS was now a known quantity and Darcy was in his element. He and his colleague Vandana, our legal counsel, secured a MAPS Treaty signature on the spot.
I saw the light growing in Darcy every time he made the courageous choice to be more “all in” by letting go of attachment to his personal preferences and committing to the highest good of all.
He knew 14,000 tons of Arctic ice pour into the ocean every second, and that 1000 children die every day as a result. He knew we don’t have time to wait and we need MAPS now.
The more open he became, he discovered that MAPS is not just a mission, but a way of living that asks each one of us to cultivate our own inner peace sanctuary and express compassion in all we do. He came to embody our ethos that MAPS is not only a boundary that protects Nature. Nor is it just a boundary that protects the fate of humanity. MAPS redefines our values to support the collective good.
Darcy stepped up in service to life itself. As he surrendered to his work as a spiritual practice, he found ease and flow because he stopped seeing himself as separate from the whole.
He had courageously followed the light even before he could see the path. Now it was all coming clear. The ground of love and unity had been beneath his feet all along. He was more “all in” than ever before.
In Darcy’s last video message he was full of light, like a star. None of us expected that he would then go supernova. Like a luminous ripple expanding out to the universe, Darcy’s light has travelled to remind us that death will never be the end.
We are all eternal light, masked only by our egos. Darcy sought this truth every day in meditation. Now, he has become the immense, luminous peace he was cultivating. His love is now unbound, unlimited and everywhere.
In that light of love and clarity, I think back to this scene.
On March 10, 2019, Darcy walked happily down the concourse of Terminal 2 at Addis Ababa Airport. In his carry-on bag were copies of the beautiful MAPS presentation booklet produced by his teammates, the book that had opened so many doors for him over the years in his travels, the message he was looking forward to bringing to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi.
He got to his gate, boarded the Boeing 737, took his seat and stowed his carry-on overhead, as he always did. Then he settled in for takeoff.
Minutes later, we had a devastating reminder of the dangers of technology created without clarity and compassion.
Why was Darcy on that plane? Because he knew our collective navigation system is faulty. He was representing an urgently needed course correction. He was all in. And we at are all in to make sure that his voice and all he gave for MAPS and for the greater good are known.
A few days after the crash, a report from the Washington Post made my jaw drop.
In the dark soil of a farmer’s field, 40 miles southeast of Addis Ababa, a MAPS brochure had been discovered prominent and intact in the rubble.
The message Darcy was carrying has risen like a phoenix from the ashes. The discovery of that lone MAPS booklet in the wreckage is more than poignant. It is a providential symbol of survival. The message Darcy carried lives on, because the truth always comes to light.
Darcy knew there has never been a better time, or a more urgent need, to be all in.
Darcy’s legacy is what MAPS is about – courage born of the profound understanding of our inherent interconnection that gives rise to compassionate action for the good of all. As each one of us calibrates to this reality, as Darcy did, we re-orient our collective navigation system to protect life itself.
Thank you, Amie Belanger. We recognize all you have given to MAPS by selflessly supporting Darcy.
Thank you to the Belanger family for bringing into this world such a courageous light through Darcy. The world is so much brighter because of him.
Darcy, thank you, for following your heart and for being the shining light that you are. Through that light, we are all in.

Parvati Blog - The Courage to Be Your Beautiful Self

The Courage To Be Your Beautiful Self: The Legacy of Darcy Belanger

I feel as though I have been riding the head of a comet over the last couple of weeks, revealing the fiercest light and the most raw vulnerability.
Life has travelled at such speed that I have barely had a moment to process what has been charging through me. This includes the special series of daily blogs I found myself moved to write this past week.
They were sparked by the tragic death of my dear friend and colleague and the brother I never had, Darcy Belanger, two weeks ago today on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. He was on his way to the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi representing MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.
In honour of his extraordinary life, as well as of our human need for integration, I offer a recap of the special series this past week in my usual Sunday blog slot.
I don’t often share publicly the work I do on a daily basis as the founder of and visionary for MAPS, and as the volunteer CEO…
The storm hit early last Sunday morning, barely dawn on March 10, 2019. I woke up to learn a plane headed to Nairobi had crashed in Ethiopia with no survivors…
In the wake of the tragic news, the room was quiet. People were clearly shaken, raw and red-eyed. However, a palpable unity filled the space…
Words raced through my mind as I lay in the dark. I couldn’t sleep, even though I only had an hour and a half to do so. The moment I settled into my pillow…
I woke up on Thursday morning after another hour or two of sleep, but this time with barely a voice at all. The hoarseness I was experiencing called for…
Throughout the day of interviews and directing, my thoughts hovered around the miracle of the paper brochure at the crash site…
Ten light blue sticky notes were neatly stuck to the surface of Darcy’s desk, arranged in a grid on the right. But when I saw a close-up of the handwritten notes, everything stopped…
Spring is a time of change, and this one has been more catalytic than ever. I sense there are many more changes to come. In light of this, I recognize that part 4 of the Co-Creation blog is outstanding. But there may be other arisings to share here in the coming week or two before I return to them.
Love yourself.
Love others.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.

Parvati Blog The Infinite Light of the Heart

The Infinite Light of the Heart

The Courage to Be Your Beautiful Self:

The Legacy of Darcy Belanger

Part 7

Photo by Jeff Gerald
Art direction by Jellyfunk
Every adventure of transformation begins with a call. Mine came from Nature Herself through a recurring dream of lying on ice, while a great blue whale swam below. We each are heroes on the MAPS journey because MAPS is about us all, for us all. Darcy’s passing has called the volunteers at into a new stage of that journey, one that has been both bittersweet and full of grace.
The outpouring of love from unexpected supporters has shown that the voice of MAPS and the call to its adventure have extended far beyond our core group and touched the world. The opportunity to embody the courage Darcy lived and wished for is alive through us.
All great heroes have a mentor. I know from experience that guidance comes when we are open, ready and willing to serve a broader purpose than our own. When we are humble, grateful and in non-resistance to the moment as it is, we see through fresh eyes the fullness of life and the gifts it brings. We discover teachers in the most unlikely of places. I am blessed to receive guidance from a spiritual master, and my life is anchored in a daily meditation practice. But this week a most unexpected mentor came to my aid.
In the storm of grief, the unassumingly mundane is transformed into the spiritually profound. Like water droplets illuminated by the light of the golden sun, when aligned, we become prismatic rainbows that shine in all directions.
In the light of truth, we saw a few humble pieces of paper transcend the destruction of a 45-metric-ton flying machine and all life on it. They showed the world that the message of MAPS would not be silenced. Then a few simple office sticky notes brought home to my deepest core that which had been summoning my attention all week.
As Darcy’s wife Amie prepared to fly back to Edmonton from Denver a few days after the crash, she took a picture of Darcy’s home office desk, where he had spent so many hours working on MAPS. Then she kindly sent it to us. When I first saw the photos, I burst into tears. In Darcy’s exceptionally organized, clean and sparse workspace, the hollowness of his empty chair felt like a gaping wound. His broad wooden desk was virtually bare. Ten light blue sticky notes were neatly stuck to the surface, arranged in a grid on the right. But when I saw a close-up of the handwritten notes, everything stopped—my tears, my breathing, even (it felt like) time itself.
I read intently through the notes Darcy had carefully inscribed, each with a short and specific spiritual reminder to himself. Then, I read them again.
I could not believe what I was seeing. The words on the sticky notes were mine. He had taken them from conversations where he had sought my guidance.
In unmistakable terms, I had been brought face to face with my influence on Darcy’s life, of which I had been entirely unaware. As I stared dumbfounded at the messages, my memory went to specific phone calls, where Darcy openly shared that he did not quite understand my direction, but that he would move forward in full confidence, because he had absolute trust in me.
This was why I had been hearing him say, “Be your beautiful self,” all week. He wanted me to know that on his adventure of life now complete, I had been a mentor. My own mentor was my inner knowing. I encountered this truth in Darcy’s absence. My hoarse throat shifted instantly and my voice became clear and relaxed. This was what my soul had been calling me to understand.
Courage to “be your beautiful self” meant being willing to see my own role in the lives of others, and to step forward to share this. It was time for me to honour the knowing more fully and openly.
But then my heart skipped a few beats and anxiety set in. I was brought back to the morning of the crash, the moment the news was confirmed. Rishi had walked out into the hall, pacing, as he does when he gets upset. I was sitting alone in our room in utter shock. I completely broke down. Rocking back and forth, my head in my tear-soaked hands, I repeatedly muttered, “This is completely my fault.” And then I screamed it out loud. Rishi came to console me, urging me to stop thinking this way.
In the full-on week that followed, I did not have a moment even for grief, let alone the lurking fear that I had caused Darcy’s death. I was unaware that guilt lingered, along with the shadows that fed it. From time to time, I would notice thoughts like “If only Darcy had never met me” rattle through my mind. I was scared that people would blame me: “Well, she gave him this guidance, and he got on a plane and died, so it is her fault.” Deep down, I was terrified they would be right.
After I stared at Darcy’s notes, I lay on the couch in my music studio to consider the meaning of what I had seen. Once again, my meditation practice led me to deeper presence. As my body softened into the sofa, I began to welcome the fear, exactly as it was.
I recalled how I had been held within a perfect field of light to witness the spiritual unfolding that had taken place in Darcy’s final moments. I opened now to a luminous expanse of unity, the shimmering fabric of life. I rested into its light filaments, while my soul sought the fullness of truth.
In the stillness of my mind, I scanned my body through the wreckage of the week. I felt a jagged, heavy, metallic weight in my torso, as though a fragment of the plane had lodged into my chest. In the infinite light of the heart, I finally realized this weight was not mine to carry. These fears served no one.
I had never insisted Darcy go to Africa. He went by choice. He was fulfilling his dharma, his passion, his calling. He served selflessly, willing to go where he needed to go, absolutely and unquestionably committed to the immediate success of MAPS.
In that moment, I sat up with an renewed impulse to lead the tasks of the day. I had come to fully accept that just as my part as CEO for MAPS had asked me to step aside from my personal agenda, Darcy had followed my lead and stepped aside from his own fears and comfort zones to serve MAPS.
I was now being called to take my stepping aside to the next level and trust my role as the mentor and guide for MAPS. My only purpose is to serve, open myself more deeply than ever to the gifts this moment brings, in all colours, shapes and sizes, and face whatever consequences may come when I stand for truth.
As I met the inevitable intensity of my day, my heart was breaking open to love, to rage, to terror. In the fullness of the now, I was standing amidst the storm of the complete human experience. There was so much emotion, vitality and aliveness. For to be in equanimity and balance did not mean living without feeling. To be in presence meant to be it all.
I was left with one choice: awakening to the inescapable reality of unity – unity with uncertainty and knowing. Through filaments of light, I was always interconnected with it all. Amidst the grief, the tears and the laughter, we are ever a part of a oneness reality. The shock of Darcy’s passing had jolted everyone at from any possible sleepy resistance to act in vivid unity.
Darcy’s death was within the mastery of time of the Great Mother that holds us all. It was as though he had experienced, in the moments of his transition, a swift acceleration of karma—his own, and that of all those who had been touched by him. We could imagine Darcy on a slower path, where over the next fifty years he would eventually experience the depth of spiritual surrender he had been passionately seeking. But instead, for reasons that no one will ever know, in an instant he made the choice to surrender in a way he had never done before. I pictured him in a swift spiritual freefall that somehow propelled us all along our journey – the unavoidable consequence of our inherent interconnection and oneness.
I often say that the heart does not just break, it can break open. And openness is a choice. Beyond the temporal nature of even the deepest devastation, we can awaken to a luminous continuum. Then, we realize we are both as tender as flowers and as fierce as lions. In the face of it all, we soften, and soften more, because courage is in the heart and the heart is honest.
Through the course of my friendship with Darcy, I had been witness to his learning that courage was not about muscling in, or being a tough guy. Courage is to be present. Its truest power is in softening. Because to be courageous is to be receptive, honest and gentle. In this, we become of greatest service to the whole.
To create the world’s largest peace sanctuary begins in the heart with profound equanimity. Darcy knew this. Now, all of us who love him have been called into a deepening of the heart—which is an amplification of MAPS.
Darcy gave us the opportunity to understand more fully the purpose of being alive, not the end of it. When we soften to accept our inherent unity at the heart of it all, we experience transmutation and realize we are one.
A spiritual master I know has said that joy is the fabric of the universe. It is the call from Nature Herself for us to remember our interconnection and make right efforts to be receptive, to surrender to the totality of life, to trust the perfection of this moment and be joy. To live in fullness is to live rooted in the understanding of our fundamental unity.
We are called to go deeper, then deeper still, to touch a place of eternal light beyond our hungry souls. That is where Darcy is.
In this exquisite truth, there is no room for wanting. Should we feel constriction or loss, we have lost sight of this. Our sense of interconnection and the peace sanctuary within are our compass. We must return to them again and again. The antidote to grieving is in the realization of the oneness reality. Through selfless service, we let go of all unhappiness. We come to fully accept that we are—and always have been—held perfectly within the Divine.

Parvati Blog - The Unstoppable Voice

The Unstoppable Voice

The Courage to Be Your Beautiful Self:

The Legacy of Darcy Belanger

Part 6

Photo by Jeff Gerald; image by Jellyfunk
Despite very short sleep after another 22-hour day, I woke up Friday morning with more of a speaking voice. I had a phone interview scheduled first thing, and was glad I could do it.
I had already received feedback from colleagues on the live TV interview I had done the night before. They said it went very well and did not feel the pause I had was problematic. Our web administrator even reported enthusiastic email responses from people who had seen the segment and looked us up, made donations or asked to join as volunteers, while specifically complimenting the way I had spoken.
I shook my head, immediately thinking of how I drove my parents crazy in high school and university after writing exams. I was usually sure I had failed, only to discover that in fact I had gotten top marks. I considered how I hold myself to a high standard. In some ways, that had served me well. However, it also had the shadow of self-criticism, something I no longer choose to engage.
While I was seeing and feeling Darcy in the wind, in the quiet light of dawn, or hearing him whisper to make his presence known, I was changing. We each have tremendous capacity, as open as the sky and as deep as the sea. Inspired by the breadth of possibilities and catapulted by the pain of loss, I was cultivating the innate, infinite capacity for greater compassion, which always begins with self.
The image of the phoenix rising was still very much on my mind. An emblem of infinite life, power in the face of devastation and transformation regardless of circumstance, the mythical bird had long fascinated me. Even in the early days of getting to know the man who would become my husband, we playfully asked each other what animals we would choose to best describe ourselves. We both had the same answers: unicorn and phoenix. I knew I had found my soulmate.
A sense of renewed interconnection was moving through my heart and mind when I dialed into the morning interview. To the reporter’s first question, “How are you today?”, I answered honestly: “I am well, thank you.” Discovering the phoenix booklet had given me strength.
When I asked her the same, for a moment I saw the world through her eyes. She was flustered and agitated by the work on her desk stemming from the shootings in New Zealand. She expressed how the event was adding stress to her life, almost as though she sought my condolences. I paused. Here she was, speaking with someone grieving the loss of a dear friend and colleague in a tragic accident, and she seemed to be complaining that the horror of the shooting was inconveniencing her. I was reminded how I was stepping again into the media circus that had an agenda different from my own. Where she was perhaps more interested in her quota, I sought to communicate truth. I answered her questions carefully and kept on point.
After the call, I directed other portfolios at and ensured that we were organizing youth more officially for MAPS. This had come to me during my morning meditation, as insights for our work often do.
Throughout the day of interviews and directing, my thoughts hovered around the miracle of the paper brochure at the crash site. I considered the message not only that it carried, but that it now told the world. I remembered how the first inklings of MAPS began through my recurring dream of a great blue whale, summoning me to the North Pole. In the wreckage and chaos of our lives, MAPS, as a call from Nature Herself, was illuminating the path forward for our very survival.
We have tried to confine, define and contain Nature. But Her strength, and the will of the Divine of which She is a part, will always be so much greater than our limited ego. We need to learn to live in harmony with Her, if we wish to remain living upon Her body. The message of MAPS could not be buried in the rubble, because truth is an unstoppable voice that will always rise to be seen and heard. Nature would make sure of it.
I was also aware that I needed to inquire more deeply into why I had lost my voice. Though it was better this day, it was still by no means healthy. What were Nature and my soul teaching me? Had I learned the lessons?
A close friend once gave my shadow the nickname “Givey-Givey” because I have a tendency to take care of others to a fault. Yes, it is an honour to serve and it is a gift to give. There is no doubt that we gain immeasurably in doing so. But I may at times tend to others as a way to avoid sharing of myself. This past week was highlighting this for me. If giving eclipses my own health, basic needs and soul alignment, it is not giving, but hiding, a deflection of honesty. Then, it is not in harmony with Nature. I realized I had to watch for this shadow more closely.
I wondered what true equanimity would have looked like within the intensity of the days I had been living. How could I have found the depth of presence within utter chaos?
My thoughts returned to how I kept hearing Darcy suggest I be my most beautiful self. Had I been? What would that even have looked like?
I considered who I would be if I dropped the givey-givey forever and allowed myself to be utterly vulnerable. Would I not meet the essence of the universe itself, where there was nothing but raw, naked power? In such transparent honesty there could only be perfect equanimity.
I have experienced moments, even periods in my life, where I felt in complete harmony within the whole. But how could courageous, even balanced, presence exist in the wake of death itself?
I had been at the head of a comet this past week, hurtling through life at immeasurable speed as my former self burned away. The shattering news of Darcy’s death had propelled me into a deeper understanding of who I am and how I move through the world to honour the truth I serve. I was learning a subtler balance between respecting my inner self and my external responsibilities, while remaining rooted, vital and expansive.
The fullness of the teaching was not yet completely clear, but was coming into greater focus. It was apparent that while I was busy making sure others were heard, I had silenced myself. Yet in presence, there was room for it all – the painful, the beautiful and the victorious.
Now it was for me to deepen my practice of total trust that I was always held lovingly within a perfect whole. I realized in a flash that I had come full circle. This teaching had been at the core of healing from my spinal injury, which had happened on March 11, 2011, almost eight years to the day that Darcy died. Both of these traumas would forever change the way I live, think and speak.
Through my years of spiritual practice, I had been seeing my heart as God’s living room, asking the Divine to rest there. But now I was understanding that if open, the voice would become a conduit for Divine will.
Just as I am dedicated to daily meditation, I needed to receive the blessings that the voice had to offer. It had the capacity to mediate, as angels do, between heaven and Earth, and invoke heaven on Earth. Like a temple that needed mindful tending, it was for me to honour with greater reverence, as a gift from Nature Herself. It was my ally and teacher, keeping me honest, on path, and in harmony with the whole. It was asking me to attune to it and my place in the world in a new way.

Parvati Blog - Truth in the Dark

Truth in the Dark

The Courage to Be Your Beautiful Self:

The Legacy of Darcy Belanger

Part 5

I woke up on Thursday morning, after another hour or two of sleep, but this time with barely a voice at all. When I tried to speak, I croaked. I did not have a cold, so it was no infection. It was somehow related to the shock of Darcy’s death. It was pointing to something within myself that needed my attention, but I still did not know what.
As soon as we completed the urgent press outreach, I would need to get back into my music studio to record a song for Darcy. There had been talk the day before of me coming out with a track as soon as possible. My voice had to heal quickly. I was also acutely aware that in each second, 14,000 tons of Arctic ice melts into the ocean. There was literally no time to lose.
The hoarseness I was experiencing called for complete vocal rest, which meant no talking, not even whispering. But how could I do that with more interviews that day? And how would I direct my fellow volunteers?
Speaking felt too costly. More than ever, each word I would spend with the media had to count. Throughout the morning before the first interview, I silently communicated in any way I could— texts, written notes, and gestures—whatever it took to move MAPS forward. Rishi was invaluable, joining phone conversations to interpret my gestures. I remember one instance when speaking with a colleague working on media outreach, I sensed she needed to persevere with greater determination. I gestured a karate chop, which Rishi accurately interpreted to my friend as, “Parvati says you need to be more fierce.” I am blessed to have a husband who understands me so well.
He accompanied me to one of the last interviews of the day, at a national TV studio downtown. Once hair and makeup were done, I was outfitted with a microphone clipped to my blouse and an earbud allowing me to hear the live interview questions being asked in another studio. Seated alone in a dark room, facing a black screen with intense lights on me, questions seemed to drop into my ear out of nowhere.
After days of virtually no sleep and feeling emotionally maxed out, I was inwardly asking for grace that each word would serve Darcy and the message of MAPS. But then, on live television going out to the whole country, I drew a blank to one of the reporter’s questions. A few seconds felt like an eternity. I am usually quick on my feet, sharp and focused. So instinctively, I rested into the moment, feeling sure an answer would arise as they always had. But this time, nothing came. I offered, in earnestness, that I had no answer, then swiftly pivoted the conversation back to Darcy and his legacy of courage.
Rishi and I walked out of the studio into pouring rain that soaked through my down winter coat. I slipped into a restaurant for shelter as he continued on to where our car was parked, so he could pick me up. My mind felt like cold rain, pelting me with relentless self-criticism.
I was sure I had bombed the interview and done MAPS and Darcy a disservice. I had not hit the points I had planned and worse, I had frozen on live TV. I sat alone in my soggy clothes, confused and deflated. What I had relied on—flashes of insight, intuitive knowing—and now Darcy—had gone.
Rishi drove up and I darted through the rain to jump into the car. I was quiet for the trip home, not just because of vocal rest, but because of the inner chatter that I knew was not serving anything. There was no need to give energy or voice to feed a downward spiral. I needed to give it space and let it be. I turned to my spiritual foundation to remind myself that “this too shall pass”. Thoughts are like clouds that waft through the sky. And at that moment, I was temporarily settled under a raincloud in more ways than one.
I wondered if I would ever do interviews again. I was still processing anger at the media circus I felt I had been in that week. This outlet at least was making right by offering Darcy and MAPS a corrective live interview after a poor news clip the day prior. But some of the other interviews I had experienced made me feel I needed to be more discerning. I could not be part of any system that was unwilling to partner for the truth. After all, that was what interviews were: partnerships, two entities coming together to support each other in shared purpose. But had we had the same goal? Or were the partnerships one-sided, even taking advantage at times?
In all my songs, books and videos, I feel I can tell the truth. But in some interviews, I felt filtered through someone else’s agenda, and edited into their voice. I was beginning to sense that I had allowed my own presence to get buried in the rubble of the crash I was reporting.
Soon after Rishi and I returned home, a friend forwarded an article from the Washington Post—the same outlet that had reported at the end of December the alarming news of 14,000 tons of Arctic ice melting every second. After Rishi saw the news on his phone, he handed it to me. My jaw dropped.
As I scanned through the article, I could not believe the words I was reading. The reporter was describing the plane crash site. He highlighted that after the remnants of the airplane had been pulled from the ground and piled to one side, a brochure for MAPS lay prominent amidst the rubble.
I knew that this was our “MAPS book”, a twenty-page, full-colour, spiral-bound brochure used to present the problem facing our world and the way MAPS responds to it. I also knew that it must have been in Darcy’s carry-on bag, probably close to him, because he never checked luggage when he travelled. Despite the crash that instantly ended every life on board that plane, somehow the simple paper document had emerged intact.
This jolted me out from under my personal raincloud. As I breathed in what I was seeing, I felt a heat surge through my spine. The discovery of the lone booklet in the wreckage was more than poignant. It was a symbol of survival. The necessary truth of MAPS will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and set us all free.