All posts tagged Acceptance

Gratitude: The Courage to Receive This Moment

To all Canadians, happy Thanksgiving! The temperatures are cooler. The leaves are turning gold and crimson. Houses are warming up with fires and extra blankets. We are preparing for the deep freeze of winter. I understand that weathermen are predicting a cold one again here in North America! Historically, Thanksgiving in Canada is traced back to Martin Frobisher’s 1578 marine voyage from England in search of the Northwest Passage, a once highly dangerous, ice-thick sea route along the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Due to melting ice, French sportsman Charles Hedrich successfully sailed the Northwest Passage solo in September 2009. It is fitting that this weekend I am putting the finishing touches on a grant submission for my next show, an immersive experience inspired by my trip to the North Pole to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice. With grace, it will be funded and I will share the cornucopia of creativity with you in 2015. Thanks to our British colonialists, Canadians have learned how to say “Thank you”. We have a reputation of being easily apologetic, polite and generally “nice”. It is almost cultural to say “Thank you” many times a day as we interact with colleagues, family, friends and our daily environment. Similar to the casual way in which…

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Healing Pain Through Love and Acceptance

LOVING MYSELF AND THE WORLD BEYOND CONDITION The choices you make right now, based on how you choose to perceive this moment, are literally creating your future. This month’s Parvati Magazine explores the theme Equilibrium. My article “Finding Balance In Relationships” looks at how our core beliefs affect how we perceive and therefore choose to interact with the world. As often is the case when I share, I get immediate opportunity to put my teachings into practice. I feel this happens because the universe is the ultimate compassionate teacher. It lovingly makes sure that I am walking the talk and serving to my utmost by presenting me with many life lessons that support my growth. This week, I had an encounter with someone through which my feelings were hurt. As I processed my experience, I discovered that some of my core beliefs needed revision. So I went within and took stock of how I choose to perceive life, asking myself if I am living in unattached truthfulness or projecting and validating my assumptions onto the world. I also went back to review my blog posts that celebrate the power of the divine feminine, a five part series written in December 2013 through January 2014. If you have not yet read them, they are pretty juicy and…

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Patience and Love for the Earth

Hello friends, It is another cold day in southern Ontario as spring continues to be elusive. But soon, it will be here. Time seems to be moving so quickly this year with all Rishi and I are doing – preparing for the release of two music videos, a surround sound album and show, and more in 2014. Here is a picture from one of the photo shoots we did this week with my talented friends: photographer Eric Benchimol and makeup artist Michelle Flannigan. I am not a huge fan of snow and cold, but I believe that we have the option to practice patience in situations that we may not like. You can read more about the power of patience in one of my past Ask Parvati columns. And any time is a good time to practice compassion for Mother Nature. If she is acting in a manner that seems deranged, we must consider: what is the cause for her suffering? As I have written in the past, our planet is a living organism to which we are all connected. If the planet is stressed, I feel we must ask ourselves in which way we are contributing to that stress. Then we can take action to help reduce any toxic impact we may have. Earth Hour…

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Witnessing: Meeting The Moment As It Is – Part 2

Continued from Part 1 By really listening to what my body was telling me, I soon found myself letting go of the idea that my meditation practice had to look a certain way, that is, sitting upright kneeling on a cushion. As I listened to the intelligence within my body that is a part of the wisdom of Nature, my headache began to show me ways in which I was not in balance. I listened, without agenda, to a natural impulse that rose effortlessly within my being. Its agenda was to guide me into greater integration. Staying present with what was here and now, without judgment, what naturally arose is the impulse to uncross my legs and roll onto the floor. (My habituated mind would say: “No. Can’t do that. That is not meditation. That is nap time!”). I let go of any distracting thoughts and proceeded to trust the unfolding. While watching my breath lying on my back, open arms, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, soon the notion floated graciously in front of my mind’s eye in a field of possibility: “What if I could totally relax, in this moment, now?” It felt like a divine invitation. The quality of my breath effortlessly deepened. I began to feel my whole body soften…

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Witnessing: Meeting the Moment As It Is – Part 1

When I am not on tour, my life is busy preparing to go back on the road. These past months have been full on with new musical releases, video and show production and website launching. Thankfully, I have a dedicated meditation practice that helps me revitalize and keep a big picture while being able to be present in the here and now. Every day, as soon as I wake up, I wash up and head downstairs to my cushion to start my day from a centered place. When I arrived at my meditation seat the other day, all I could feel was my pounding head. I had not had enough sleep, and woke up with a headache. For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction to pain is to either try to push it away with denial, medication and temporary pleasures, or run towards it by projecting judgment or anger at it, as though it were a roadblock to our happiness. In a meditative mood, I welcomed my headache into my field of awareness and allowed it to be part of my practice. After all, it was what this moment contained. Sitting quietly in a relaxed yet attentive manner, I opened to it, as though it were trying to communicate something to me. I did not prod.…

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The Yoga of The Will

The Ego’s Will The common use of the word “will” conjures the notion of determination and focus to initiate an action. It is associated with the idea of pushing to get what we want and making extra effort to have things go our way. As such, when we feel that our will has been beaten by others or thwarted by the universe itself, we can often feel like a pile of roadkill pushed off to the side of our life’s path. We can easily find many examples of this ego-driven understanding of the word “will”. It is praised in boardrooms, at schools, in sports, in entertainment – even in yoga classes, as I explore in my new book “Confessions of a Yoga Junkie”. This use of willfulness exists in most areas of life in which we wish to excel. But do we really understand the true meaning of “will” and the value it has along the spiritual path? From Unconscious to Spiritual Awakening When we live unconscious lives, we feel we must make our lives happen. Oblivious to being part of anything beyond our little selves, we imagine that we are the universe. In this limited perspective, our willpower is our tool for survival. It is our identity. The stronger our attachment to that identity, the…

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Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me. It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen…

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From Resentment to Forgiveness – Part 3: Painful Experiences As An Opportunity

We have been exploring the topic of resentment and how we can begin to heal deeply held emotions. Last week we touched upon the idea that we tend to project onto others what we want to see in them, rather than see actually what is. When we feel hurt by another person’s actions, in some way we have not seen them clearly, and have lost sight of our connection to the divine.   The great news is, another person’s actions are their choice. Our response to their actions is our own choice. Through my meditation practice, I saw how I lost myself in taking another person’s choices personally and in wanting them to be other than they are. There is tremendous power in these realizations. In seeing them, we reclaim the energy we have lost in being attached to incorrect perceptions of reality.   Rather than seeing painful happenings as a punishment that could build resentment, what my quiet meditation sit showed me was that a hurtful experience was an opportunity to recalibrate around deeper truths, greater clarity and fuller wisdom. It was the universe’s love showing me to be bigger, to let go of wanting, to let go of hoping someone would be the way I wanted them to be and that they would be…

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From Resentment to Forgiveness – Part 2: Unveiling Resentment

UNVEILING RESENTMENT: SEEING CLEARLY Last week, I shared how I touched in my meditation practice a place of resentment I had not been aware was there.  As I continued my meditation practice, what I saw, as I opened gently and lovingly to my uncomfortable feelings, was that I was ultimately hurt because the other person was not who I wanted them to be. I had projected my expectations onto another. What happened did not measure up to my idea of how they “should” behave. We want others to be the way we want them to be, because in some way we are attached to the idea that they are the source of our love. But to do so, is to not see the other person clearly. It is an unfair expectation that we have created and imposed upon another.  There is a story of a Buddhist master who receives a gift from his student of a glass vase. They admire the beauty and enjoy it. Until one day, the vase breaks and it is no longer. The student was distraught, whereas the master was undisturbed. The student thought perhaps that his teacher did not like the vase. He inquired, asking his teacher, “Master, did you not like the vase? Why were you not disappointed when it…

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It Is Up To Me: Cultivating Self-Love

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path Part 3: It Is Up To Me Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing here what I learned when I recently found that I was being unkind to myself. My last post was during the first period of Lent, as Christians prepare for Easter. Today I post this blog entry as we enter into the week of Passover, a Jewish festival that celebrates the miraculous release from slavery. To some extent, we all have parts of ourselves that feel enslaved, whether we are conscious of them or not. It is also a tendency for most of us to want others to free us from these painful places. But as I was reminded in my recent experience, when I saw that I was turning myself black and blue, it is not for anyone else to “save” me, take away my pain or fix my perceived broken bits. I need to face my inner demons just as you do, just as the next person does – on my own, in my own time, in my own way. It is a kind of miracle to realize that we have the ability to free ourselves in this way. By turning on our inner light, we invite grace, transformation…

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