Parvati - Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary: What Does Peace Mean to You?

What does Peace Mean?

Peace is as vast as the universe, as broad as the sky, as exquisite as the most precious flower and as deep as the roaring oceans. In this way, how can we really define it? When I was a child, I heard that having a spiritually connected life meant finding the “peace that passes understanding.” That phrase has always stayed with me. How could we ever understand peace with our limited mind or through the lens of our ego or finite will, when it rests in, and is a gift from, the infinite?  

Yet just as the light of the sun will reflect in every pool of water and show itself to us, we will see evidence of those whose hearts, minds and souls are ignited by peace. Moments of peace may make themselves known to us through the sparkle in a child’s eye, the knowing smile of a silver-haired senior, the joy of a frolicking puppy, or the activist who sits quietly yet resolutely in an endangered tree. As we continue to move through our “Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary” workshop, I’d like you to consider what peace means to you. What is your definition of peace? I would love to hear your thoughts.  

What World Peace Means and Why Inner Peace is Essential 

 It takes my breath away that as I write this post, Wikipedia staggeringly lists 50 wars, conflicts or skirmishes that have killed people in the past year. And beyond those tragedies, I think of all the personal wars we wage against those around us, disguised by our desire to be right, feel heard or get ahead in the world. I also consider the very real war we wage on ourselves, even from moment to moment. 

 To me, peace in the world means an end to violence, both within and without – the way we harm ourselves and others. It also means an end to injustices such as oppression, discrimination, and all the senseless crimes against our very nature that cause suffering. When we live in peace, we live with the awareness that we are inherently interconnected. From this, a courage is born to choose compassionate action toward ourselves, each other and the world.  
In peaceful living, we shift from experiencing ourselves as disconnected beings who seek to solve problems we perceive as “out there.” It cures us from our human tendency to sense that somehow life is “happening to us.” We are inspired by the truth that however we choose to think, feel and act affects all life, everywhere.  

This week, please consider these questions throughout each day: 

  • What does peace mean to me?  
  • How do I wage war on myself, others and the world? 
  • Am I willing to see a more peaceful way?  
  • What could I choose to do differently?

Please share your thoughts in the comments if you wish. To ensure you don’t miss a post, sign up below for weekly updates. Have the most peace-filled week ahead. 

From my heart to yours, 

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?

Thank you so much for being here. Please share this post with your family and friends, and sign up below for weekly updates if you have not already.

From my heart to yours,

Parvati-Finding your inner peace sanctuary

Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary

How do we find peace in today’s world?

As I continue to complete the content of Global Education for MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, it has been clear that realizing and sustaining an external peace sanctuary goes hand in hand with each of us finding our peace sanctuary within. So in support of MAPS and the greater good of all, I have developed a workshop for this blog space. It is a chance for us all to explore together the meaning of peace and how we can experience it practically, on a day to day basis in our lives. Beginning today, I’ll be posting short excerpts here every week. I have been developing material with the intention to share it over several months, because I want to provide soul food in bite size pieces—peace pieces!

If you are just coming to my blog for the first time, welcome! Thank you for being here to be a part of this. Please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments.

My commitment to peace

In my life, I have had the privilege of being exposed to multiple spiritual traditions and peace practices. Whether working as a CEO, musician, author, counsellor, lay-assistant minister, yoga teacher or workshop facilitator over the years, it’s been a lifelong passion of mine to live peacefully with myself, others and our world. This commitment has deepened since I dedicated myself completely to MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Seeing how much suffering there is in the world sparked me to engage in inspiring peace globally. So here, I will share what I have learned, and look forward to hearing from you in return.

I love giving workshops, because they are a chance for us all to feel connected and remember that we are not alone. When we come together, we create something beautiful, greater than the sum of our parts. I am really looking forward to seeing how this will evolve. My number one priority is that it be of service to you, so please be a part of the conversation.

Invocation of presence

I’d like to begin with a simple moment of presence. There’s an invocation that I lead whenever I begin a workshop or bring together a creative team. I use it because it powerfully brings us into the present moment. An invocation is different from an affirmation in that an affirmation replaces one thought with another, while an invocation is a cellular restructuring. So as you say these words, really breathe them into your body and allow yourself to be recalibrated around a life of possibilities.

Let’s try it now:

Begin with a long, deep breath.

Then another.

And one more long, deep breath.

Feel how already, your mind and body are just a little bit quieter, with just a bit more space around all of the other busy-ness of your day.

Now, if you would like, let’s invoke, “I am open, ready and willing to be completely restructured around the positive possibilities of being me.”

You can say it out loud, under your breath, or silently—however you feel most comfortable.

Repeat this statement. Then repeat it again. I am standing right next to you, saying the same words. Just like you, I am feeling my own mind and body attune to the opportunity right here, right now. We are connected.

Now, simply repeat: “I Am.”

“I Am.”

“I Am.”

In this space that we have now opened together, let’s turn our attention to the question: What does peace mean to me?

Take a moment with that. This is not about a right or wrong answer. I will share my own perspectives, but this is an opportunity for you to begin to connect with your own core beliefs and truths.I invite you to write down what comes to you. Consider treating yourself to a notebook just for the purpose of this workshop. Science has shown that the physical act of writing helps our brains integrate information. Now, consider this question: In what ways would I like to experience more peace in my life? Again, take your time. The wonderful advantage with this online workshop format is that you can go at the pace that’s right for you. Take a few moments with this question:

In what ways do I wish for more peace in the world?

And finally, consider this question: What do I hope to learn from this workshop on peace?  I welcome you to set intentions such as, “I would like to come away from this workshop with a deeper understanding of how to feel peaceful every day”, or “I would like to learn practical tools to stay calm and peaceful in stressful times”, or “I would like to recharge my spirits so that I can be a happier and more present mother/father/volunteer/teacher/lawyer/activist/etc.” Go within. Find your own truth. I’ll be looking for your comments and will make every effort to answer your questions.

Next week, I’ll start to share some ways I have found to experience deep peace and compassion and support others around me doing the same, even in today’s hurting world. Please do check back here next Sunday. To make sure you don’t miss a post, subscribe below for weekly updates. And please share this blog and let your friends and family know to join the workshop. I know that as each one of us shows up and shares our hearts, everyone wins. We each are the healing we – and our world – so urgently need.

From my heart to yours,

The Gift of Declaring Peace With the Moment

As I have been working daily for the past four and a half years on MAPS (the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary), I have been thinking a lot about peace and peaceful living. My personal commitment to inner peace has been the foundation from which the vision for MAPS was born. It has also been the …

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How to be peace in a hurting world

How to Be Peace in a Hurting World

Peace is a gift we can give ourselves and the world. This is why I am deeply involved in creating the world’s largest peace park ever. As we create the physical boundary of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, we support it coming into being and staying in place by cultivating our inner peace sanctuary. I am dedicating all my music, yoga and words in support of this. This creative content is part of the Global Education Strategy for MAPS.
Last week, I mentioned that this blog will be changing direction to support your inner peace sanctuary. While I complete the new work, here is a sneak preview.
I recently asked my 78-year-old mother whether she felt that the world was crazier now than when she was young. Or was the underbelly of the human psyche simply more visible today due to the power of our media? She immediately responded that she felt people were much more on edge and violent today. Her response echoed what a 92-year-old World War 2 Royal Marines vet recently told me when I asked him the same question. He too felt that the world is more intense now, even more so than when he went through the devastating war.
There is no doubt that our world is hurting. We see it in the hateful words that people hurl at each other in person and online, disconnected from compassion and understanding. We see it in the growing number of senseless acts of violence. We see it in the increase in radical groups that seek to kill and destroy. Yet, and this is important, there is also a growing effulgence of luminosity, which I feel when I choose to turn my focus to that which is eternal. There is so much pain, and so much grace, available to us all in this unprecedented time. The choice of where we place our focus is up to us. What we choose now affects how we experience this moment, and determines what our future brings.
As I sit in daily meditation practice, I become a neutral witness to whatever may be. I allow myself to receive this moment exactly as it is. In so doing, I can feel my cells and my entire being opening like a flower to a field of utter possibility. The light in that field fuels me and brings with it clarity, effervescence and calling. I feel inspired to inspire, as my heart bursts with a greater sense of interconnection with it all – the dark, the light, the suffering and the freedom from pain.
The growth in global darkness is ours to collectively transcend as one Earth family. We must take heart, remembering that whatever we choose to focus on will grow. We cannot fight hate with hate. Only more hate will come from such a choice.
No amount of figuring out, strategizing, plotting or planning will end violence. We have tried these strategies many times through history. If they worked, we would not now be in a situation that my 92-year-old vet friend calls worse than World War 2. When we come to understand that our true nature is eternal luminosity, we will see that only love, compassion and wisdom will set us free.
Doubters may say that to love is too soft an approach, that it denies the pain and the gravity of the situation we face. But love at times of horror and terror is the clearest and most courageous choice we can make. Our human, knee-jerk reaction is to point fingers, to judge, to valiantly roar into the battlefield. Yet the root of the word courage is “cor”, Latin for heart. To have courage, we must have a heart that sees the fullness of what is with wisdom and compassion, and is willing to live rooted in such insight, despite what fear may say.
Founding and dedicating my life’s work in music, yoga and words to establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary is one way I live that insight. Establishing MAPS will not only protect the Arctic Ocean and accelerate the global shift to renewable energies; it also brings people and our global leaders together with one common purpose. It sends a powerful message of peace and interconnection to the entire world. For the sake of all life, there must be a place on the planet where guns and ships are silent and the voice of Nature can be heard. Signing and sharing the MAPS petition and getting involved as a volunteer becomes a simple and practical way for people to do something productive with the anxiety they may feel about the future.
May we remember that the only way to end war for good is for each of us to end the war we inadvertently carry within. May we all remember that our true nature is love. Only love is real.
I am grateful that you read this post on cultivating your Inner Peace Sanctuary. If you enjoyed it, please share it by clicking below. For a free weekly roundup of inspiration on positive possibilities living, yoga, activism and more, please sign up below. A healthy world is possible! Let’s get there together.
From my heart to yours,

Parvati: Peace in the world starts with your inner peace sanctuary

Peace in the World Starts With Your Inner Peace Sanctuary

Peace in the world begins within.
At, we understand that the realization of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, happens as we each cultivate our own inner peace sanctuary, that is, our conscious choice to express peace, compassion, and interconnection in all we do.
In support of your inner peace sanctuary, I am working on some new content to inspire you in finding greater peace and happiness.
In the meantime, check out the “Breath” issue of Parvati Magazine to breathe new life into your world. It has lots of juicy articles to help you feel fabulous and connected!
I look forward to sharing more very soon.
From my heart to yours,

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: How to Feel Connected, Joyful and at Ease, by Darcy Belanger

How to Feel Connected, Joyful and at Ease, by Darcy Belanger

Dear friends,
This month’s Parvati Magazine, going live later today, is a special commemorative edition dedicated to my dear friend and colleague Darcy Belanger and all he gave to MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Tragically, Darcy recently lost his life on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. He was on his way to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya to represent MAPS.
Here are his insightful and inspiring words about MAPS and the ease and flow it has brought to his life. He wrote this article a month before he left for UNEA.
May his legacy of courage and confidence inspire you this week. May we all live with awareness of our inherent interconnection that gives rise to compassionate action for the greater good.

The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) has taken me on a journey. As part of my responsibilities to secure signatures from world leaders on the MAPS Treaty, I have traveled to United Nations conferences in Europe and Africa, presented MAPS at Earth Day in Texas, went to Fiji to speak with heads of governments, and have met with everyone from students to CEOs. I have created friendships and memories along the way that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Working on MAPS has exposed me to people who, through their convictions to a healthy world, woke me up from the delusion that our current lifestyles are sustainable. They understand our interconnection with the planet and each other. These people have helped me to reclaim the sense of reverence and stewardship for nature I used to have when I was a child. For this I am profoundly grateful. But this reconnection and reconciliation with my values was only the first stop on my MAPS journey.
Being involved in a project as extraordinary as MAPS brings with it some very unique opportunities for self-discovery. The first question I had to ask of myself when I first committed to MAPS was, “How much of my time am I willing to give to realize MAPS?” Five hours per week? Ten hours per week? Since we are an all-volunteer organization, everyone who devotes time to MAPS does so above and beyond their day-to-day commitments. What would be reasonable based on the commitments I have to my family, career, health, and personal pursuits? It was difficult to come up with an answer to this question at first. I struggled for a while to find the right balance between “my time” and “MAPS time”. Relief came when I realized that the question itself was off the mark—it assumed a division, a separateness, between me and everything else. No wonder the answers I was coming up with weren’t satisfying! My entire perception and approach to MAPS was being colored by a belief that I was separate from this work—that somehow my very life didn’t depend on the water and air I was trying to protect.
When I realized that I was approaching MAPS from this perspective, I paused. What if the belief system that I was separate from MAPS and the rest of the world was inaccurate? I challenged myself to find a perspective that would produce the greatest amount of ease and flow. What would need to shift to find this peaceful state?
I soon realized that when I felt the most connected, joyful, and at ease in volunteering my time to MAPS was when I reminded myself that MAPS would have positive benefits for all life on this planet. When I reframed MAPS as a vehicle through which I can contribute to the health and wellbeing of people, animals, and plants everywhere, my resistance immediately evaporated and I was left in a deep sense of interconnection and gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this work.
On an even deeper level, MAPS has shown me the misperceptions and old stories to which I’ve been attached, that have gotten in the way of my success. With awareness comes the opportunity to choose my response to each moment. My entire experience of life has shifted as a result. I’ve learned to use uncomfortable feelings as signposts to point me to an even deeper part of myself. Inevitably I discover something I no longer need, but am afraid to let go. Clinging to it is impeding my ability to move MAPS forward. Once that thing, whatever it might be, becomes clear to me, I can often integrate it, heal it, or release it. I am receptive to each moment as it unfolds because I no longer feel that anything is happening to me. Rather, I’ve become part of a grand dance and I’m enjoying the appearance of every person who steps onto the dance floor with me.
MAPS has taught me how to live life from a place of playful curiosity. From this place there is no “my time” that I’m trying to parcel out to serve an illusion of separation. There is only a peaceful flow state when I choose to see the world and my place in it from this perspective. This experience is profoundly liberating—and it is mine to claim in each moment. This has been the true gift that MAPS has given me.