Cold Splash of Vulnerability

I started the today in the Beach Prayer room. It’s called that because it’s basically on the beach and over looks the lake. I have been a bit nervous about this evenings Satsang as my guide has asked me accompany her on my piano for singing and chanting. I got in one practice and hope I interpret the songs correctly. I started my meditation with the Om Tara I have been working with while sitting in the prayer room. As I sat and chanted I began to think about my 5 senses. Then as I chanted more and wondered why I was thinking of them literally instead of how I use them when going on a shaman journey. They are tools that can help filter out what barriers are coming up for me.

We see many things in our dreams or when journeying or mediating that don’t exist anywhere else. I have smelt sage burning or the perfume of a flower where none should exist. Sound is a conduit to heal I am learning. I have been thinking that I have spent too much time playing music while here. I now know it’s part of meditation.

I didn’t get to play tonight. Part of me is relieved part is bummed. It was determined that I was too new to the ashram and should be able to attend a few more sessions before diving in.

My guide didn’t know this protocol and when she came to tell me she seemed a bit nervous now. She would be playing and leading the session herself. She was told that satsang isn’t about performance it’s about a creating sacred space. She looked vulnerable and I saw that she was learning just like me. We are all on our personal journey. I have seen so much about human interactions here. How to live where all your senses are eager for stimulation.

I started the day in the Beach prayer room and I ended it there also. Sitting in the dark with another karma yogi just after we had took a dip in the ice cold Kootenay lake. All my senses came alive and it felt vulnerable but invigorating at the same time.

I am learning more than I ever thought possible about myself and about how I interact with others. I am learning I can live without a lot of space. Since I only have spotty internet connections I am writing this blog post on my phone. Another first for me to put my thoughts on such a tiny screen.

The mantras are filling me with strength and insight. I am excited to explore them further. OM OM OM

Taking Up A Smaller Space

All moved to my new “tiny space” for the next two months. I get the day to settle in then join the community this evening for Satsang. Since COVID the ashram has had to split up Satsang into two locations. Everything seems more complicated with this virus. I am grateful, to be in a community setting.

My room is about 6 feet wide and 12 feet long. Great practice for my desire to live in a van. Space is an illusion I think. I seem to have plenty. There is something soothing about a confined space. Freud might say it has something to do,with being in the womb? I am at the very North end of the property now closer to the gardens. The birds are chirping right outside my window. Good thing I brought earplugs for their AM wake up song. I spotted a group of deep blue, blue jays perched in the birch trees. They remind me of the swamis robes which are a similar blue shade.

I decided to move and get settled in so I could relax. It’s quiet right now as everyone is still out doing their karma yoga. Soon, I am sure, the building will be bubbling with activity.

I am ready to start this next leg of my journey. Joining into a community when I haven’t been part of any type of, in person interactions for almost two years. How does that happen? Easy when you go virtual and work from home. We are so disconnected these days. Consumed by accumulating space and stuff to fill it with. These little pockets of only use what you need and occupy as little space as possible are truly an opportunity to practice minimalism. Let’s making a short blog today to stick with that intent. Practice taking up a smaller space and filling it with abundance.

Namaste

Moving Day

Patience

Last day of quarantine

It doesn’t take long to become conditioned to a routine. At 6pm every night, I check a website to find out what I will be doing tomorrow. I knew that today was probably going to be my last day of isolation so I had a mixed of anxiety and excitement to see what the website would tell me was planned for me, my last day of quaratine. I checked at 6:05pm, nothing, 8:00pm still nothing hmmm. My night was restless knowing that I was the last to arrive in my cycle of Karma Yogis so I would be the last one out of quarantine. I didn’t sleep well. The wind howled all night, it rained and the hill side gushed with water towards the lake all through the dark hours. I woke up at 4:00am and tried to go back to sleep. I drifted in and out and then finally got up at 5:30am. I decided to recite my new mantra and then meditate for a while. I felt better after and eased into a morning yoga flow. I like the idea of setting an intention for the day. I decided that “Patience” was going to be needed. So patience it was. I got a call at 9:30am wondering why I hadn’t shown up for karma yoga…lol. I had been waiting with patience for further instructions. Now I put my jacket on and hiked up the hill to help with more wood cutting and stacking.

Transitions make us ansy, even for someone like me who likes change, changing bunkhouses, assigned duties, new group of people takes a few minutes to adjust. Luckily, the ashram gives you a day to move, understand the new pace and rest before you begin, again. The girl staying in the side house of the cabin moved yesterday. You can tell when someone has done this before. They gave her a day to move and she took the whole day. I asked her whether there was a time she needed to be done by through the closed door. She said she just needed to sleep in her new place, other than that there wasn’t a specific hour. Now there was patience. Squeezing every moment of peace and solitude that comes from having your own space and not giving up a second of it.

I shake my head at myself. I mopped the floors yesterday and cleaned up the kitchen. Today I sorted my laundry and organized what I was going to wear tomorrow. I am so used to deadlines whether at work or when traveling that the organizing starts a day or two before my vacation is over. Why do we robbed ourselves of those final hours of bliss before we need to immerse back into the chaos?

Patience. Tomorrow I will slowly make my way over to my new lodgings. Maybe take a few things and go check it out after breakfast. I have one of the only tubs that is available at the ashram. The other bathrooms are showers only. So I plan to take a bubblebath before doing the final cleaning. I have a few pages left of my book to read and some contemplations to record in my diary. Maybe even sit and soak in this wonderful little cabin of paradise for one more day. I hope I remember this if travel ever becomes a resonable option again as we all could use a little patience.

Om Tara Tuttare Ture Soha

Finding a mantra that resonates

The above sandscript translates into english as: praise to Tara who removes all fear and grants all successes. 

I am writing this blog Sunday morning as I sit at the cabin kitchen table. I ponder synchronicity and timing of things. As I struggle with what is the right thing to do in my life I know I have been given a gift by being here in the right moment with the right opportunity. I am aware of this place, stretch of time and state of desire to explore an alternative path.

Every day, my vision is clearing. My space is becoming infinite.  A focus that magnifies aspects of my life, existence and behavior. The first day of arrival I saw a lake and shoreline across the water. The third day I saw a lake, shoreline, road and powerline. By the 5th day I saw a lake, shoreline, signs of life across the water, waves changing colors from white, grey and shades of blue. On the second week I experienced a shift of perspective. I still saw all of those signs of life and more. Everyday I am able to split through a little bit more of the outer layers of my view to start to understand what is really there for me to see.

Sight is an interesting one of the  senses. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and determination to clear many years of conditioning. We learned at a young age to trust what we see. The challenge is, what do you really see and do you trust it?

I chanted the mantra “Om Tara Tuttare Ture Soha” for a moment this morning to give me the words. I opened my eyes and an eagle flew by, swerved and headed back out onto the lake. It’s been snowing this morning so the view is a bit muted against the clouds. When I saw the eagle I stopped writing, grabbed my coat and went outside. I wandered down towards the cliffs and stood out on the summer house balcony below me. Searching for the direction the eagle had gone. It was nowhere to be seen. Sigh, am I so easily distracted? Is this another test of my undisciplined mind?

The heart of the message, in this blog entry, is about discipline, practice and trust in a process. As I learn more about mantras, chanting, symbolism, life seals and life strategy it all comes to nothing if I don’t take the tools and apply them to my healing. Apply them to stripping away the layers of my life experiences. I am starting to feel like those memories have been learned for me and yet they aren’t my now. The mantras and chanting can help me to channel new thought patterns.

In a class we talked about some of the main Gods that the Yasodhara ashram studies such as Shiva, Krishna, Tara and Radha. We went through a mantra that is attached to each and then were asked to work with one that resonated with us.

I chose Tara. More research on the deity provided me with some intuitive reasons why this one was standing out for me. Green Tara ( apparently there are many versions and colors) the goddess of healing energy that brings awareness and relief from negativity, fear and ignorance. She embodies bounty in nature and the energy of growth and regeneration. Sounds like a good goddess to start practicing with don’t you think?

I have a couple more days in quarantine before I will be relocated to the general population. I am excited and nervous. The solitude has been exactly what I needed to gain footing before I join the chaos.

The snow has stopped and I see a patch of blue sky starting to widen. I won’t go chase the eagle as I know it’s moved on. It only wanted me to know, it’s there when I need it. I may, though, find a secluded spot to chant my newly learned mantra and give thanks to Tara and my many blessings that have come to me through the divine light.

Namaste

PS as I proof read the blog post the eagle is back…sigh. My discipline is a work in progress for sure.

On A Path To Awareness

Moments of reestablished balance exists between steps

I have always been a fan of walking meditations. They are used in silent meditation workshops I have attended to help break up sitting for hours and hours. You walk with purpose. Usually in a small space in any pattern you choose. The point is to focus on the breath and the senses. Some points I have been given in the past are to try walking with your eyes partially closed in order for the other sense to become more tuned in.

The meditation assignment today has added a new twist. It asks to compare the motion of walking to your life and see what comes up for you.

When you stand still you feel balanced, weight evenly distributed and your equilibrium is solid. Think of your life. You are perhaps standing still, it feels solid and balanced on the surface. Trouble is, it probably isn’t possible to stand in one place forever. You get stiff, get bored, maybe grow roots that become hard to pull up or weeds grow to impair your view of what’s really going on. Your body is meant to be in motion and your body and soul want to grow outward.

Life is motion,development and change.

In order to move, you need to decide to upset the equilibrium. Change your situation. Change your life. That can be frightening and cause unbalance. When you shift your weight or change your direction, you become off balanced. Take another step and what do you observe? Your weight shifts, balance reestablishes itself. In that moment between two steps is an opportunity to once again find equilibrium. Moments between two steps, between two events and between two thoughts are all opportunity to connect with present. Recognize the moments exists and use them as opportunities to rest and renew.

The key is in the recognition of the moments. They can help you to unlock the door to your life. The path on the other side leads to freedom.

In the words of a great band called Shinedown, “The first step is the one you believe in. The second one might be profound”

I have loosely adapted the above from the writings of Yoga Path to Awareness. I hope you find it as meaningful and useful as I do.

Namaste

Reflective Moments

It’s the last day of a long weekend, and I’m up so the dogs can be fed. I’m also up to enjoy some solitude in my house. Everyone else is asleep. It’s the only time of day where there is absolute quiet and no expectations of me.

When I invited my parents to live with us four years ago, I had no idea how much work it would be. In my mind, I’d pictured fishing trips with my dad, working together in the yard, and going shopping with Mom when she felt like it.

Little did I know it would become an endless parade of medical appointments, that their health would decline so rapidly, or that Mom would die from a massive head injury sustained from a fall in our garage. In the past year, my Dad started to lose his vision and is failing before my eyes.

So much has changed in the past four years in addition to my parents. My marriage ended. My son graduated high school. I found a new partner. I lost my job, and found another. We’re also one year into a global pandemic.

There are days I’m overwhelmed. Most days, I’m grateful. As much work, and at times frustration it’s been, being able to care for my parents at the end of their lives gave me time with them I haven’t had for years. I moved away from home in my early 20’s and never again lived in the same city. Visits were three or four times a year and weekly phone calls.

The job loss was a blessing in disguise. It gave me time to take stock of where I’m at and where I want to go. I realized I’m not ready to retire, despite how much the idea appeals to me. I learned how much I’d ‘muted’ my true self to try to make the marriage work, and began to bring my ‘self’ forward. I examined what it was about me that made me choose partners who, in the end, were not good matches. I can go forward with new self-awareness.

I do not live a conventional life. When we realized our marriage no longer served us as a couple and acknowledged we were – indeed – roommates, my husband and I opened our marriage. Through that, we both found people who give us the relationships we want. When the pandemic hit, he invited my partner to stay with us on his days off so we didn’t have to rent AirBnbs. Both his partner and mine helped us build our deck.

Yesterday, Valentine’s day was marked by formally signing our separation agreement. We’ve decided to stay in the house together, but separate. I occupy the second floor, and he is finishing the basement to live there. We will share the main floor. This arrangement gives us an economical way to live independently of each other, keep the house we like, the yard we love, and our pets. How long it will last, we don’t know. It works for now.

My day is about to start. I hear Dad coughing in his room. Soon, he will need me to guide him to the kitchen, make his breakfast, and get his medications ready for him. The silence will be shattered by the sound of game shows and “The Big Bang Theory” coming from his TV. When my son wakes, he will start chatting and gaming with his friends. This will carry on long after I go to bed.

I cherish these moments of solitude where I can sit in a sunbeam, drink my coffee, and not have any immediate responsibilities. It’s a gentle way to start the day.

Life Seals and Life Strategies

Happy Valentines Day! Let’s celebrate by loving ourselves.

Today is a day of rest and reflection at the ashram. We have been given some homework for review next week. Since next week is looking more like addition of integration into everyday life as quarantine comes to a close, I figured I would do the homework today while I had the time and energy.

The assignment reads “to embark on a journey of finding out more about yourself, where you are now and where you want to be we are going to explore the strategies for getting there”.

Exercise 1- You need crayons, scissors, tape and timer and trust in the process.

Draw a symbol for your 5 senses. You have 15 minutes don’t think too much about it and use only the crayons that have been provided. Ok, I can think of 4 of the senses-taste, touch, sound, sight hmmm what am I missing? I don’t want to cheat so I don’t google it. I think about what I rely on for senses. Intuition comes up. Ok I have at least 5. Now draw them.

Exercise 2

2 strengths and 2 weaknesses. You have 12 minutes. Wait, wait…do I draw these or just think about them? Write it down? Doesn’t say so I draw them

Exercise 3

Draw a symbol for you Mind Chant. You have 5 minutes. Right away a symbol comes to mind. That one was surprisingly easy as the symbol has popped up in many shamanic journeys and meditations.

Exercise 4

Draw a symbol of your Essence Chant. You have 5 minutes. Hmmm this one is harder I have an idea and start to draw it. My fingers fight me and draw something completely different. Ok must be right.

Final Exercise

Cut out all the drawings and arrange them on the big canvas provided. This ends up being quite interesting and not what I expected. My unconscious mind/will has created a pattern I wasn’t aware of.

I arrange the symbols on the big sheet of brown paper provided and stand back. Adjust the order until it feels right. I had assumed that the order would stay in the same sequence as the exercises. It didn’t. As I contemplated each piece and it’s placement I realized many things. The universe was trying to tell me bits of the puzzle I had been missing. Information about myself. How I had relied on my senses, my mind and my lack of checking in with my essence to confirm my direction.

I hesitate at this point to show you and describe my outcomes just in case you decide to try this yourself. I have decided to go ahead though because part of my journey is to share my insights as they are given to me in this community. So, if you want to try this exercise stop reading now and go for it.

Stop here if you want to try the exercises…If not proceed…

For those that chose to continue here are my insights about Life Seals and Life Strategies. There is a caveat though, I haven’t been through part two of this exercise yet. That will come on Wednesday next week when the group gets together to discuss it and gain any clarity that is needed.

The exercise, for me, lead to a lighted path pretty much down the middle of the canvas. One, I noticed quite quickly, I could step onto and walk/meditate on each symbol or step that I had created. I was excited and decided to try them out.

In the direct route of the path,which ended up in bright colors subconsciously, was the Mind symbol first, then Intuition(sense), Essence symbol then finally at the top Resilience(as a strength). Those stood out as being vital to my Life Strategy.

In the meandering path the colors were black, browns and yellow and weave back and forth from the main artery. Need to control (weakness) was to the right of Mind, Taste to the left, Sound to the right, then centered back to Intuition. Next came Trust ( weakness). I was curious about my choice of symbols here. I chose a cross, why? I am not religious. I believe in energy and surrender to the universe but not necessarily a god. Yet, blind faith kept popping up in my mind. My Essence symbol is centered here with Determination (strength) to the left guided by touch and sight. At the top I decided to put Resilience(strength).

I closed my eyes and walked the labyrinth a few times to test it out and see how it felt. I am confident I could do it again in meditation also. Which I am excited to try.

I encourage anyone reading this to try it and see what comes up for you. It took an hour and a half to put together. I feel changed by honoring it’s process. I would love to hear from some of you what comes up out of your unconscious mind.

We will learn on Wednesday whether the intent was anywhere near my experience. Either way it was time well spent.

Namaste

My version of Life Seals and Life Strategies by Swami Radha

She Who Splits Wood

Fear is something I have had an intimate relationship for most of my life. Fear of not being in control, fear of loss of a loved one, fear of not being employed, fear of not being loved and fear of not being enough.

Surrender and learning how to trust are tools that I have known were available to me but I lacked the courage to put into practice on any regular basis. I have gone out of my way in life to take control of my situation. It gave me a false sense of stability. It was like, if I could control what was happening, plan for most contingencies, then all would be right in my world.

How did that turn out for me? In the moment, it gave me space to breath. A bit of stable ground under my feet. Yesterday, at the ashram, I started the day by striking cuts in the ice on the paths with a blade then filling them with dirt. I was pondering the cuts and thinking about control. The cuts alone wouldn’t help to control people slipping. I had to add another layer of dirt in the cracks to gain some resistance. Even then the theory wasn’t a 100% slip proof there were so many scenarios that could happen where you could still fall. Control is a nefarious beast don’t you think? Can you really ever be in complete control?

I have run myself ragged trying to be everything to everyone. The only person I forgot to include was me.

We did two cords, it felt wonderful to be so physical

The groundskeeper took us through a demonstration on how to use the wood splitter. There were four of us, so I was pretty sure I could slip into a comfortable job of tossing the wood into the trailer. We had a rhythm going and it was working efficiently until he says “switch places”. My heart starts beating quickly as I am next at the control switch. This time I don’t want control. Everyone shifts and I find myself staring at the machine. “Nice and easy now” he says. I take a breath, straighten my big girl panties, lift the lever and push down the throttle. I did it! Yeah big deal, now keep going.

Here’s the thing, it’s not about being in control. It’s about letting go, having the courage to trust in complete strangers that they are there for you. Is that easy? No. Will someone always catch you when you fall? No. Should you keep expecting to trust those around you who don’t show up for you? No.

To me, it’s more about finding my way while I try to establish connections with others who values of give and take match mine. I will still encounter harm, moments of distrust and being alone in my struggle. Life has taught me the hard way that you take a chance when you step up to split the wood. All kinds of things can go awry. Yet all kinds of things can show you that you are stronger than you think. By some miracle, there are still people in this world that are trying just like you to help each other without an agenda. You take a chance when you step up and trust someone else to give you what you need. It’s those times when all goes well that I crave. You lean back and they catch you.

I feel for my friend Sharon. I can see where she is at with the cycle that I just recently completed in the last few years. My sister’s passing, my dad’s dementia,estrangement from his kids and then passing. Being the only relative left to care for him because he had made it impossible to be around him. My mother in-law passed next and then the final chip at the ice came in 2019 when my mom passed away. I thought that I could rely on close family to take up the chisels and make the path stable for us all. That others would gladly fill their buckets with sand and sprinkle the way with support. It didn’t happen. At least it didn’t feel like it to me. Brene Brown talks about “meeting people where they are at”. I have been pondering that aspect of expectations of others. Maybe I have expected too much from those around me. I know that I have never been that great at expressing what I need. One of the messages circulated here at the ashram is that “we aren’t mind readers, you have to say what you need”. They go a bit further and express it’s not only good practice it’s vital to the success of community living.

I hope to get better at saying what I need. Trusting that others will help me to step up to the wood splitter and take my turn. As I look at the fire in the fireplace I am full of gratitude. Knowing, for probably the first time in my life, that I am in a place where others want to help me. I can let go of some of the control and surrender.

Namaste

Midlife Sandwich

One thing our readers are sure to notice over the next few months is the different experiences Vanessa and I are having in our midlife journeys. While she’s experiencing all the ashram has to teach her, I’m at home learning lessons about caregiving at opposite ends of the life cycle.

One one end, I have an 18 year old son who is still living at home. He’s taking some classes towards a certificate, working part-time, and weightlifting. He’s developing skills and confidence I’ve never seen in him before. It’s a pleasure to watch him become the self-assured young man I always knew was within him.

On the other end, I have my 82 year old dad living with me. While my son needs less and less parenting, my dad requires more. Over the past four years, I have become Dad’s primary caregiver. He’s lost most of his vision and is no longer able to cook or bathe by himself. I take him to all his medical appointments, do his shopping, manage his money, and try to make life as interesting as possible for him.

I’m in a midlife sandwich. How I’d love to be able to leave the house for two months to go do karmic yoga at an ashram; to have the time to be in nature, learning, growing. Right now, I can barely leave the house for an hour. Dad can’t be left alone much longer than that.

At a time when I’m encouraging my son to find his independence, I’m watching my dad lose his. Just this week, Dad asked me to look into nursing homes. He’s starting to get lost in the house because he doesn’t have enough sight to help guide him. He thinks he’s walking in a straight line, but he’s not. He gets disoriented when he finds himself somewhere other than where he wanted to be. It’s frustrating for him and sad for me. This man who always seemed larger than life, who could solve any problem, who was so giving of his time and energy – he’s fading before my eyes.

It’s a time of such mixed emotions. I’m proud of my son. I feel sorry for my dad. I feel guilt that I can’t do more for him. I feel relief knowing he will be in a place that can give him the level of care he needs – and then more guilt because he won’t be living with family. I don’t know if he wants to move because it’s better for him, or if he’s doing it for me.

We all have our own paths to walk. My son is just starting; my dad is near the end. I’m somewhere in the middle.

Mistakes Will Be Made

Day 5 at Yasodhara and time seems to be flying by even though in reality it’s moving the slowest it has ever done for me.

Started the day in meditation, then a good yoga stretch and some homemade yogurt with granola, nuts and fruit. I have never ate so healthy and clean. My body isn’t sure what to do with all that fibre. You can draw your own conclusions as to the outcome there…lol.

As I was eating breakfast I got a message “meet at the Mandala building at 9:00 am for some more Karma Yoga”. It’s a bit colder today so there was an option to stay in if I wanted to. Ah nope, bundle up and let’s go! We got to see a new face today, well half a face, under a mask. Mike has been at the Ashram for 3 weeks and just newly out of quarantine. He has been tasked with showing the newbies what paths to sand and where to fill it back up in the wooden boxes along the paths.

We go on a bit more of a tour first and Mike showed us some of the things we could potentially be doing as we progress. Manual labour is available at every corner when you are in a compound this size. We trudge up a hill and walk towards some stuff covered up with tarps. It turns out to be a wood splitter. Mike is confident that my companion who is 5 foot nothing and about 100 pounds and myself can operate the wood splitter. We don’t test that theory but I do have a private chuckle. At home, I am not allowed to operate the power tools probably for good reasons. Here? We shall see…oh boy this could be fun or this could be a disaster.

We continue on our tour until we get to the back of the property close to the gardens and orchard. Here is where they keep the dirt pile. There is an inside joke to how all instructions are given here. I remember it from before and I have travelled a lot since 2013. The method is to be vague about how to do things or what to exactly be doing. You may get a bit of information, for instance, put sand on the ice. Mike, being a week 3 veteran, volunteers that instructions are ambiguous. He hauled wheelbarrows of sand all around and put it on as many as trail as he could find. At the end he was exhausted and thought he would for sure get all sorts of recognition for his thoroughness. Oh dear, I suspected as he was telling us this that wasn’t the case. Here’s the thing, you can put sand on all of the trails or you can observe where the main arteries are and make sure those ones are covered first. Then if you have time and still lots of energy to burn do more. We chuckled over him sharing this vital piece of his learning with us.

In the afternoon we had a Zoom meeting to be introduced to Satsang and some things to expect in the coming weeks. It was good to see the small but mighty group and to meet more of the yogis and swamis who are in residence. What was unexpected was that one of the swamis recognized my address where I live. She said that her family had rented that very home in the 1960’s. That is crazy. Such a small world. One of the questions they had us ponder was “What makes for a good learning environment?” I have pondered this question many times in my professional career as a learning developer. So I had the corporate answer. I tried very hard to push that response down to the bottom of the pail and then allow something different to surface. I wrote down: trust, open heart, perceptive mind, mutual communication with teacher and student. I also thought about the connection between the exchange that occurs. You observe, listen, understand intent, ask questions, get feedback, then perhaps offer suggestions or introduce new ideas or ways of doing the task that take the learning to the next level.

The girls I have arrived with (I do say girls as they are both early twenties if not younger) have such amazing insight and self awareness. This generation will be the saviors of this world I am convinced. They join the conversation with such wisdom, kindness and care. They hold back just a bit and yet when they do speak up it’s profound. One spoke of “the space to make mistakes” and the other the value of asking questions and experimenting with changes to the method being shown. There is hope for this universe through these wise souls.

Another conversation lead to talk about mantras and meditation ideas. There was some discussion about “non-violence” towards negative thoughts. The practice is known as Ahimsa. The gist is that when you are aware of toxic thoughts revert to active thoughts or movement of compassion. There is more to it than that but I am sure if you are interested you will explore it further.

Final thoughts of the day? I am very ok with making mistakes, I have made many and will probably make many more. What I have started to put into practice is to change my approach after they occur. Today I was very focused on learning the songs in the songbook to have a pretty good idea of the melodies before I come out of quarantine. As I sat inside and played my piano I kept looking out at the lake and the sun moving across the sky trying to entice me to come and enjoy it. My rationale was that I had spent the morning outside shoveling sand so I was good for today. When was there ever a quota to spending time in nature. I am sure I made the mistake of missing a key insights if I would have got out on the trails. I am confident though, since I have made space for mistakes and the universe loves to give me ample “do overs” that I will spot the learning as I venture out tomorrow.

Namaste

The ice along the creek and Kootenay Lake have been breathtaking. It looks like a fairy garden made out of glass.