Work Aparent

I listen to my grown kids talk about their professions these days and wonder… will they ever find a profession they are passionate about? Is that even a thing anymore? You hear lots of stats that say we will change professions at least 4-5 times or more. I chatted a-bit with my daughter. She is thinking about making a change. After so much education involved in professions are we brave enough to walk away from the money and security to pursue something different? Do we owe it to ourselves to try? She said she is thinking about stopping renting her “self” out for labour. Hah, what a great way to put it. We all got to make a living but do we all get to make the most out of life? Someone mentioned universal income to me the other day. Should we have a society that pays us not to work when we chose not too? The world is such a different place these days. Maybe this is part of the shift and trend in thought? Time will tell.

As a parent, I have changed my views of traditional work theories for my kids. I have changed. Don’t just put your head down and do what pays your bills. Find something that gives you a sense of moving forward. Be brave and able to pivot even if you feel that you owe your profession something of yourself. You don’t, in fact the more the shift and change the more valuable you become to any company worth exploring.

W.A.I.T.

There is a badge you can get in the gift shop here at the ashram. It says Speech Awareness on it. Silence and speech awareness are part of the daily practice here. Meals are taken in silence and karma yoga is practiced with limited chatting if possible. At first, I was a bit taken back by not being encouraged to talk while we work. I then started to read the Kundalini writings.

Why do I need to talk? Is there a purpose to my words or am I enamoured with my own voice? Hmmm. The text talks about those that feel the need to fill the silence with chatter and equates the behaviour to being an infant or full of self importance.

Why Am I Talking? W.A.I.T for short. For many years I have got paid to talk it’s a hard habit to break. My daughter and I took a rode trip from Vancouver to Seattle and back one time. On the way back, she told me I talk too much. I love my daughters directness. We drove in silence for a while and then she couldn’t stand it and told me to start talking again.

I have been practicing speech awareness here and to reduce my need to contribute often to the conversation. Its a hard habit to break and yet it feels warranted. Do I really have something worth saying or do I feel the need for attention? Wow, taking a closer look at ones own ego trips is revealing. How many times have I felt the need to add in my own experiences instead of sharing in others with the gift of just listening? The more I make a conscious effort to restrain myself the more I am aware of my speech.

So where do I go from here? Just stop talking? No, I don’t think that is the point. Be comfortable in the offering of silence. Be generous with my ability to listen. Become more present and speech aware. Practice W.A.I.T. when opportunities are available.

W.A.I.T.

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.

For Every Action

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I went for a walk today. In my head I had planned the route, decided I would not listen to a podcast and just concentrate on moving. I needed a clear headspace to just think and home wasn’t providing it. I parked, got out of my car and was instantly distracted by my three eagle friends circling high over the coulee edge. I had intended to go the other direction but soon found myself chasing the eagles and their flight path. I tredge up the side of a cliff with my head down and feet forward. My mind now consumed by sighting the eagles once again. As I approached the top of one incline I began to see there were rows and rows of up and down paths. I looked up to see where the eagles were so I could choose an optimum path. They were gone. I zig zagged up and down the mounds and kept looking towards the horizon in hopes they would reappear.

Nope, they were gone. I had filled my space with lingering thoughts of more messages I could use in upcoming decisions I need to make. I wrote about a shaman journey in a previous blog. In that journey, the eagle had given me explicit instructions, heck even hand gestures to use on how to sort my chaotic mind.

So why was I still looking for more?

Newtons’ 3rd Law is not lost on me here. It can relate to decisions we make in life just as well as physics. I had asked the eagles for help they had given it. Now I was just being greedy and I suspect eagles are not big on needy types. So they had decided to move in the opposite direction from me to get me back on track and focus on why I needed a walk in the first place.

I applied for a residency at an Ashram in BC. It’s for two months and I will be totally cut off from most of my social media and communications. It’s an opportunity to grow in my yoga practice, my meditations routines, “Karma Yoga” character building and being in a community of like minds and souls. I am excited and thrilled.

I am terrified and second guessing my sanity and judgement.

For this action, I know there is an equal and opposite list of reactions. My husband and I have never agreed on this type of stuff. He doesn’t get it, though mostly he just says whatever he is going to say and then knows I will do whatever I feel I need to do. I have gone away on trips for up to a month before but never this long. I am nervous about this big of a change in both our lives and yet, I need this in order to be “Me”. The book, on our podcasts, talks about “You do You”. It doesn’t say “Doing You” will necessarily get you points with others or disrupt their lives and routines.

So, do you step forward on a path not knowing if it leads you to Shangrala or the “River of Sorrows”? The eagles gave me tools to guide me if I choose to ask and honor their method of sorting my chaos. The book “The Magic of not giving a F#” gives me a way of understanding what I value and the limitations of my”Fuck Budget”. I am sure the yogis at the Ashram won’t appreciate my choice of words here but I do know they will understand the language of my heart. Nothing like big open spaces to clear your core.

I was on a good path of clearing space. As I worked through my shit, I soon understood that it wasn’t enough. I needed to go deeper to unpack past trama and triggers. I know two months isn’t very long and yet, to some, it’s a very long time.

I started the “action” my wonderful readers by accepting the residency…stayed tuned to learn what equal and opposite reactions are yet to come…

Non-attachment

Be in the world but not of the world

I had a dream a few years ago and it has stayed with me. I am weeping because my husband has told me he sold our home and we were moving. I wasn’t upset about the house nor its contents. That, I was perfectly fine to let go of. What hurt my heart was to leave my gardens behind. I have spent years in development of my outside spaces. I have created a space full of fruit, flowers, havens for bee and birds. It is my own little oasis. My paradise. It’s an interesting attachment. Perhaps even a little unrealistic as plants, earth, rocks and wood can all be recreated anywhere. Yes, it would take time but it isn’t impossible to do.

In buddism there is a practice called “non-attachment”. The gist is to not allow your sense of wellbeing to rely on anything other than your own presence of awareness. “Be in the world but not of the world”.

Be in the world but not of the world

Buddha

We spend much of our time seeking out the approval of others. We are addicted to “Likes”. We are on a perpetual quest for acceptance, recognition of contribution, confirmation that we matter. We have lost reliance on our own awareness. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to check in with those we trust to make sure we have a good grip on reality. Opinions, though, are a tricky thing. They can come from a place of love. They can be contructive and they are attached to someone elses perspective.

So what’s the point? The month of Januarys’ theme has been “clearing spaces”-mind, body and spirit. I have been working on the connections between mind and spirit. Pulling up past traumas to examine it with the lense of being present and self-aware (as aware as possible). I know I have choices to consider. I can blame others for how I think and feel about me or I can practice non-attachment.

If my gardens ever disappear from my life, I know I can recreate them in my heart and mind. I am master of my universe any time I choose to be. I have proof this is possible projecting memories and spaces in meditation and dreams at will. I can do the same with how I think and feel about myself. Learning to rely on intuition, empathy and a sense of “self” to guide me perhaps to a new oasis non-attached to a world or space that no longer relevant to my wellness or growth.

Are you ready to “let go” and practice non-attachment?

Untethered Space

In this blog I am going to do something a little different. I have been on numerous hikes through the coulees that surround where I live in Southern Alberta. I have heard many times that the area is situated on a unique number of vortex’s and natural energy throughout the rivers habitat. I have found that to be the case.

I invite you into one of my shaman journeys today. I always find the practice full of useful information and guidance. I hope you do too!

Meditation in Pavan Park Lethbridge

The Ace of Space Podcast With Luna Terra Soul

We have been talking about clearing space now it’s time to start to think about what we want to do with the space?
To help us add clarity we invited Selena from Luna Terra Soul to join us for a Sunday evening chat and personal card reading. Listen to our next podcast to hear what the cards had to tell us…

Check out Selena’s site and offerings @lunaterrasoul

Don’t forget to subscribe if you want to get notified of our next blog and podcast postings.

30 Days Of Purging…Part Two

The benefits of living in a home for over 35 years is that you don’t have to pack up your stuff very often and move. The drawbacks of living in a home for 35 years is that you don’t have to pack up your stuff and move.

Let me give you an example of the level of excess going on in my home. At Christmas time I decided to decorate a small fake tree. Thanks to practicing the art of “out of mind…must not have one so go buy it syndrome” I purchased a new small Christmas tree. I then logically thought I needed ribbon and decorations for this tree, so purchased them as well. In the back of my mind I knew if I wanted to dig through the black hole under the stairwell I would find enough holiday knick knacks to put everything together, but I decided on all new this year since 2020 had been less than stellar.

Sharon and I agreed to “creating space” as our topic for January 2021. We alluded to the topic in our second podcast titled “Obligations, Traditions, and Making Space for Joy”. New year, new decade might as well clean the slate to gain some much needed space. What I didn’t count on was the level of work it was going to take to tackle this properly. I have attempted to “downsize” my possessions in the past and they just seemed to creep back into my house and life. This time I wanted to be more purposeful and permanent with the attempt. 

Like in the past, I started with a list of things I needed to buy in order for this to be a success. I needed storage bins, shelves, organizers and so on. I was about to go and purchase these things and then stopped…wait a minute, isn’t the objective to get rid of stuff instead of get more stuff? I had to think about this, my past behaviors and determine that I didn’t need anything but strength, determination and will power to get this party started.

Why do we always start with the physical and tangible things when we decide to create space in our lives? I have a theory, it’s because we can see the carnage. Well, let me clarify, we can see the borders of the carnage, what’s underneath is anyone’s guess.

The door under the stairs leads to a magical place of mystery and intrigue. Actually, it leads to a whole lot of things that haven’t been interacted with for two years or more. There is a couch in front of the door with many other items to prevent me from easily opening it. Baby steps everyone, this is a big project here. I pull out everything and try and organize it into piles of keep, throw away, sell and give away. 

I soon realize I have four Christmas trees plus the one I just purchased. To some that might not seem like many. To me? I had no idea that I had bought – some time in the recent past – almost exactly the same small tree I bought this year. I had almost 40 rolls of ribbon. Again, I had bought more ribbon this year. I am not going to go item by item here. Let’s just say there was a lot of stuff hiding in that magical black hole.

To make this easier on myself I have committed to a little less everyday for 30 days. So far? This is day 3. I have kept a little and made several trips to the Goodwill Store so that someone else can enjoy my excess. I have been brutally honest about if I really need something or not. I am leaning toward the “not needed” pile. Wish me luck. I am hoping it won’t take all year to complete this mission, and for now, I have committed to 30 days. I thought I would let you peek into my stashes just a little, so enjoy the excess while it lasts.

30 days of Silently Purging A Path To Clarity-Part One of Two

This year’s mission is to reclaim space. It will have to be a slow and steady process of sorting, evaluating level of connection and then making the decision…keep, sell, give away or turf. I can’t even fit this blog post into one post.

When things are physically apparent in excess it’s a bit easier to evaluate their worth and potential for future use or to purge. The piles can be seen, compared, and then dealt with as appropriate. What often gets missed is the things you don’t see. I know of people who rent storage units to hold onto momentos and family history. That makes some sense. I even got a notification that suggested I up my iCloud storage account as it was getting full. What? Something I hadn’t given much thought to was my digital storage footprint. It’s so easy to keep thousands of videos and pictures when you don’t print them anymore or save them to disks. You can even specify, in you will, what you want done with your Facebook page.

Here’s the thing about possessions – they come with a price tag and it’s not the one you think. In order for you to possess them you have to give up the space they occupy. The space can be tangible or intangible. The more you accumulate, the smaller the space becomes and sooner or later you either run out of space or find yourself trapped in a corner behind layers and layers of things you don’t value anymore.

One of the last places we tend to think about spring cleaning is in our minds, and yet it’s one of the most healthy things we can do to improve our quality of life.

We have all heard of Steve Jobs wardrobe preferences. Dress the same everyday to free up your mental state to concentrate on other things. It’s scientific fact that our brains only have so much capacity to concentrate on any given number of thoughts and concerns about anything and everything going on in our lives. If you are skeptical about this concept I recommend you try a weekend silent retreat. I won’t torture you with an invitation to take a seat in my mind during one of these retreats. Heck maybe your monkey is worse than mine?

As with anything, a whole lot of practice can create habits. Habits become routines. A regular routine of purging that which no longer serves me is a direct route to clarity in my opinion and my mind, body and soul.

I have routinely attended weekend silent retreats over the last few years. It usually happens in February and is hosted at a local convent. The place is on the edge of the coulees, nestled into the side of the hills and is cut off from outside noise. It’s pure outside noise deprivation for 3 days. Now, this either scares the heck out people or lights them up with eagerness to join. The first day is like going through withdrawal symptoms just like someone who is addicted to a substance. You don’t realize how loud your life is until it’s not or you take away the source. You don’t realize how loud ambient noise is or the degree of stimulation that bombards you daily until it’s cut off completely.

By the end of the first 24 hours you might experience headaches, physical pain or nausea as the noise purging starts. The practice begins each day with awakening before dawn (4:30am). The first meditation begins at 5:30 am and continues with the rising of the sun until the breakfast gong rings at about 7 am. There are 3 group meditations each day, afternoon naps, personal time and shared silent meals. Every movement of your body is tracked in your mind on purpose. One of the purposes is to recognize connections between your physical, mental and spiritual self. By day 3 you are becoming comfortable with the silence. If you are lucky you have purged some of your monkey mind. Believe me when I say that 3 days of listening to the crap of my inner musings is enough to make any sane or otherwise person exhausted. The retreat, if you can call it that, gives you a taste of what it would be like to decompress and let go of all that internal and external clutter that takes up space in your mind, body and spirit.

So for the month of January in the 2021 year I am starting a practice of letting go. Any good purge starts with some rituals that help to make them stick. We will share our journey and insights as we go.

Follow along with us as we delve deeper into the excess and discover that which we will choose to keep or let go of. We will also explore what is behind the door that connects to my basement stairs and other interesting crevices in my house and Sharon’s.