All posts tagged Courage

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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Ask Parvati 43: The Present Is The Present – Part 2: Turning Drama Into Fierce Discernment

(Continued from “The Bounty of Boundaries”) Bill can be a bit of a drama queen. He too is sensitive, like Suzie, but in a different way. He can easily lose his sense of self with others, should someone say something that may trigger him into feeling that he is a bad person. It could be the simplest thing. But for him, it becomes big. He then allows himself to get taken over by the idea of being a bad person, to the point that his drama queen will act out to draw attention to himself, so he can feel temporarily better. But like any painful cycle, drama can become exhausting. So Bill has been courageously doing therapy to look into these self-destructive patterns. Interestingly, Bill is an active devotee of the Hindu warrior goddess Kali. When faced with tricky, dark energies, Kali is never sucked in. Without a moment’s hesitation, She fiercely pulls out her sword, fully present for whatever is before Her. With razor sharp discernment that cuts through even the subtle complexities of Time and Karma, She severs any demonic ties and protects the evolution of light. Bill could choose to feel a victim to life and use his drama queen tendencies to act out his pain. Or he could choose to see his…

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Ask Parvati 40: Distractions – Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Part 1: Focus, Discipline and Courage

Dear Parvati, Thank you for your posts. I found last week’s particularly useful as it spoke to the way I want to make changes in my life this year. Though I love pursuing my life as a creative writer, I find I too often get pulled into listening to other people’s problems. I can literally spend hours a day helping people. I am happy to help, but then I feel drained, with little energy left after my day job to pour into my creative pursuits. Any words of wisdom? Thank you for this question. I understand the situation and often find myself needing to be quite ruthless with my time and how I spend it. Distractions always present themselves throughout the day. We must consciously choose how to spend our time and where to place our energy. Whether you are pursuing the life of an artist, are making life changes or wish to start a creative venture, you must have focus, discipline and courage. If you have not yet read Amma’s New Year’s message, she addresses this to some extent by reminding us that our most valuable asset we have is time, which we too often squander. Keeping focused on the purpose of our life is paramount, especially as we move through the day and encounter…

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Ask Parvati 22: It’s A Spiritual Life – Part 4, Commitment and Courage

COMMITMENT AND COURAGE (Continued from “Living A Spiritual Life”) To live a spiritual life, we must make that the goal of our life and commit to it. If we seek enlightenment, we must make our goal God-realization, so that we may experience the divine in everything. God-realization ultimately only happens through grace. Yet commitment and courage are essential in helping us continue along the path, especially when the going gets tough. Some people think that a spiritual life is supposed to feel like having rose petals showered under our feet. At times, it may be so. Perhaps when we become enlightened, we will be in a permanent state of bliss where everything feels like that. That I cannot yet say. But I do know that on the road to such freedom, we can feel supported by a force as sweet as a billion roses and yet often step on thorns that painfully hurt. Especially when the going gets tough, we must remain even more focused on our goal and commitment to realize God. Tough times along the spiritual path are like rock tumblers that help to erode our rough edges. They help us break through the resistance we have to this moment and loosen our attachments to our ego. This is why is it essential that…

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Ask Parvati 14: The Death of Niceties and Feisties

DEATH OF NICETIES AND FEISTIES THE BIRTH OF FIERCE COMPASSION Dear Parvati, I notice that when I am around other people I tend to go into people pleasing at the expense of myself. I wonder what you have to say about that. DIALING “THEM” DOWN, DIALING ME UP BECOMING AUTHENTIC One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie. He said something like the worst trick God could play is to make you mediocre. Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather be an A or an F student than a C student. Living by that belief, I developed two distinct personality traits, a tendency to edit myself to people please with niceties or plow through things with a fiery feistiness. Both extremes were fueled by a drive for what I understood to be “perfection”. The tension that lay between these and the fervour I put into trying to be “perfectly A” or “perfectly F” eventually consumed my health and wellbeing. By the end of high school and into my first year of university, I was exhausted and stressed because I was not being authentically myself. Though it took me completing university and facing…

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Ask Parvati 7 – Cultivating the Sweetness of Humility

Ask Parvati 7 – Cultivating the Sweetness of Humility Dear Parvati, You mentioned in your last entry that a gem of a spiritual seeker will have a warm humility. I try to practice humility, but struggle with a tendency to go straight into self-loathing when I feel that I have done something egotistic. I feel this tendency is not humility. Can you explain a little more about humility and how it is different from beating yourself up? I feel grateful for this question on a topic with which I am very much in process. I am no expert here, so I share some of what I have learned and witnessed so far on my journey. The lessons that have taught me aspects of humility have been among the toughest I have experienced, but also the sweetest. As the hard shell of the coconut cracks to reveal sweet meats, so too the hardness of our ego must dissolve in order to experience the nectar of lasting bliss. Humility is an essential spiritual quality that we must all learn to cultivate if we are to walk the spiritual path. Because of the powerful strength found in the deep softness of humility, this topic is often easily misunderstood. I acknowledge its sweet immensity in wonder and awe. Part of…

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North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Four

Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010 Part Four FROZEN MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT In the wind and -25C weather at the North Pole, Rishi unveils our video camera from beneath its own miniature “snow jacket”, while Sunanda sets up the tripod for the shoot. I take out my props, walk quickly through my routine now on snow, consider my performance flow, and check the lighting. The sun is fading fast but it will have to do. Rishi starts shooting immediately. There is no time to lose. The two pilots told us that we can be on this huge sheet of ice for no more than three hours if we are going to make it back with enough gas and avoid any turns in the unpredictable Arctic weather. That is fine. In this polar cold, batteries don’t last long. Dressed in my gold Natamba costume from head to toe, I position myself on the snowy ice to start my first song of four, when I realize I cannot move my hands. The deep cold has already frozen the acrylic paint on my costume gloves. This means I cannot press “play” on the backing tracks on my iPod, which is attached to me, buried inside my jacket and snuggled in with an additional hot pocket for warmth and battery…

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North Pole Journey – Day Four, Part Two

EUREKA Around midday, we land to refuel in the Canadian weather station Eureka, official population seven. As the plane lowers to the ground, I notice unusual animals in the distance that look like prehistoric woolly mammoths. As we deplane, the pilots tell us that we have landed near a heard of wild muskox. We are encouraged to take a closer look, so Sunanda, Rishi and I walk cautiously towards the heard. Their long, furry dark brown coats are layered with clusters of ice. A couple of beasts shake their heads, steam escaping from their nostrils in the rush of an exhale. They know they have onlookers. As though these creatures are the dark, rocky mountains that surround us come to life, a wild, untouched force feels clear in their presence. Soon a truck pulls up to the plane. Two inhabitants of the weather station have arrived to greet us, offering us the use of the washrooms there if need be, while the pilots refuel. The three of us go quickly to be back in the sky about 20 minutes later. We still have another couple of hours until we reach our final destination. THE ANGELS ARE WITH US As the hours pass, the kilometers of vast, expansive scenery out the plane window is breathtaking. Throughout the…

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Back from hiatus, and North Pole Journey Day Three Part Three

I hope everyone has had a restful Christmas holiday. Thank you for your patience while I took a wee hiatus from this blog in order to do some inner work in preparation for the New Year. In 2011, I will share here many more short and hopefully helpful blog entries intended to support your personal I AM journey so that you may live in the Positive Possibilities. Over the next couple of weeks, I will respectfully conclude the recounting of my life-changing journey to the North Pole, after which I will share new, inspirational material. For me, 2010 was a year of clearing the deck and building solid foundations. This January finds me more focused than ever as I look to build upon what now feels like a strong base. I believe that with a true heart, a clear mind and focused actions, dreams are realized. In this entry, I share a story from the North Pole that I feel illustrates the benefits of focused determination. May it inspire you so that 2011 becomes your best year yet. Namaste, Parvati Day Three: Saturday September 25, 2010 Part Three We return from visiting the thousand-year-old Inuit village that overlooks the Resolute Bay Memorial, ready to prepare for our final journey to the North Pole tomorrow morning. As…

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