A Place You’ve Been Before

After the occasion of January’s Super Blood Wolf total eclipsing moon last Sunday, I noticed with enthusiasm a number of people, commenting that watching the event was transformative, even mystical. That – seeing our galactic lunar companion, go from a luminous flat disk to a deep red, three dimensional, sphere, shifted, not just the night sky, but them. I felt that too.

Some described the experience as “spiritual” or “out-of-this-world”. Clearly there was something to be said for being with the moon and the many, for this dynamic, interactive experience.

Major collective events of the Natural world affect us all on a deep level, especially if we are personally involved or paying attention. They remind us, of the magnitude and wonder of this great universe that we are all a part of, as well as how small and vulnerable our own little concept of “the world” might be.

Experiences that cause a significant physical change often create a paradigm shift in one’s perceptions and established beliefs, and may provoke a wholesale shift in reality. Shifts can also be tectonic, occurring over time, moving along a incremental but accumulative trajectory. Either way – they happen. But what really interests me and I think it might you too, is: what is shifting and how can this be met for the best possible outcome?

Change can be unsettling, challenging the comfort of the status quo, which will either be met with resistance or curiosity. If the event happens in our personal lives – if we are suddenly or consistently catapulted out of our familiar, to a dramatically different state, it may be transformative, but it will likely not be enjoyable initially.

This process articulates the Spiritual journey, the evolutionary thrust of life – when we move from one level of awareness and consciousness to something much deeper and greater. To a place we’ve never been before – exciting

Spirit however is characterized with challenging attributes: paradigm shifts, changeable, creative, invisible, mutable, unpredictable, cataclysmic, evolutionary, curious, mysterious, paradoxical, mystical, indescribable, otherworldly. All of the things our linear minds have trouble with, even though we all want to be on the winning team, the one with the most “spirit.”

My fall 15 years ago today, Jan 25 brought me to my knees metaphorically, where on the precipice of the “unseen” and the “seen” worlds, I had to navigate a decision with Spirit, to meet with curiosity rather than fear, my new paralyzed state.

Humbled by the magnitude of my situation I chose to forego my resistance. That surrender was mostly practical, like a wounded bird, but also intuitive, I knew from other “shifts” that there was no better option. This is process is somewhat inexpressible in words because in that moment your consciousness expands, then your bigger questions of life take on a whole new perspective, that allows your understanding to deepen-where you see the intricate connections and without question feel faith in your understanding of the BIG picture. You may not be able to articulate that Big picture, but you sense it, know it – like a baby its mother. You will then notice yourself experiencing the Infinite of the whole within yourself, which illuminates and diminishes the difficult personal and societal challenges of our human life.

The opinion that these states are questionable or “unreal” without credence, speaks to the difficulty we have with our understanding of the spiritual, or the unseen world. This chasm has been going on for centuries and interferes with our capacity to fully perceive ourselves and the cosmos. That our understanding of Spirit is limited, is only because it is not immune from our human necessity to dissect things into small parts and name them. Thankfully no religious dogma or science has succeeded in doing so.

What animates all of life is an extraordinary, evolutionary consciousness that seeks to continually evolve and experience itself in more and more expansive and expressive ways. Our own personal journey is a unique piece of that puzzle. In fact we are co-creating our reality with the universal consciousness every moment. When we can really grok the magnitude of that relationship we are on our way to personal peace, harmony and fulfilment, realizing the limitlessness of our very own Nature.

Ways to Connect with your Spirit Nature:

1. Accept that not all things real, or of value are physical. Use your breath and your imagination to tap into your non-physical resources.

2. Take time every day to tune in and cultivate a relationship with your intuition, your instinct and your imagination. Notice insights, coincidence & joy.

3. Develop a daily conversation that offers gratitude, respect and recognition for all of the unseen & seen ways that the Spirited universe supports your life.

4. Practice non-judgement. Although useful for measure, judging leads to a stale state of mind, eventual deadening. See non-duality.

5. Rejuvenate yourself frequently in Nature, cultivate perception and presence.

6. Make time everyday to be in Silence or the ‘immeasurable’. Be awestruck!



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Your Healing Life

In the ebb and flow of life and the healing journey, fluctuations are inherent and inevitable. This would include our own health and the relationship we have to our bodies. There will be periods of optimum health and we will all encounter, in varying degrees some experiences where we are unhealthy or out of balance.

Our relationship to our own body is the most fundamental and primary relationship we have, yet it is often our last priority.  Add to that the contentious modelling and examples we have in our culture and traditionally in the healthcare system where the body is objectified and diagnosed, leading to a disassociated often fragmented relationship.

In the Eastern healing arts the body-mind interface is a continuous interwoven system, with the concept that what you think and feel is what you become. In Carolyn Myss’ words your biography becomes your biology.  This philosophy ties into the earlier concept of how we are fundamentally a part of Nature, moving, changing and evolving with the tides of life. Our relationship to our bodies-ourselves, is a healing, evolutionary process, with its insights being levels of awareness.

We all have a unique journey and ‘body-story’,  a tapestry if you will of many moods and modalities which we’ve embodied throughout our lives.  Our body, the vessel of our consciousness wear’s these stories or beliefs until given instruction to release them. That is your Healing Life, freeing your body and mind of what is not needed or what does not serve you.

This process is the healing journey, one we may take alone or with assistance.  Due to the nature of consciousness the fundamental laws of energy should be applied to this process.

1. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed only transformed. All is one.

2.  The body doesn’t lie. Healing can only happen in present time, with a tuned in awareness to the feelings, thoughts and sensory body

3.  Confusion is the Brink of Discovery.  Working in the non-physical world requires an appreciation and acceptance of paradox, synchronicity and irony. You will never be able to fully understand or explain the miracle of what shifts and heals us, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s a blind trust like a baby has for its mother.

I would be honoured to facilitate your healing process if you are being called to do that.  I offer years of my own healing journey along with tools from my teachers Carolyn Myss, Rod Stryker, Emilie Conrad, Mariah Moser to name a few, including my certification in Yoga Therapy, BAP-Brief Action Planning Health Coaching  and motivational interviewing.

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Resiliency in Changing Times

I’m not sure about you, but for me most everything this past year, including Christmas was different. From my own major health challenges and my mother’s passing to staggering political, social and climate catastrophe’s, the extirpation of outdated, systems, beliefs and ways of being that do not serve has disrupted the status quo, leaving most of us quite altered from where we started a year ago.

The roof across the alley from my bedroom window spilled the long low rays of the solstice sun over its ridge onto me as I lay heavily on my bed. Christmas eve day would be dictated by the deep acrid feeling in my belly, tormented from a unusual year of repeated monthly antibiotic toxicity. I felt completely depleted cellularly amongst the discouragement of the continual bodily assaults. But it is Christmas! However my usual approach – to rally in like the rest of the sheep, to the hark and herald song was different this year and I took notice. But it wasn’t just my delicate physical state dictating the shift. No, life was moving me, like many of us along on some unusual trajectory.

In addition to the kids not coming home or not exactly celebrating Christmas this year, my extended family were all staying put, adjusting to my mom’s absence and intentionally scaling back on the usual hype and seasonal stress. Initially I was concerned, having long held the belief and tradition of the Christmas celebration as the pivotal non-negotiable time to get together with family and do it up. Somehow if nothing else, it perpetuates or assumes the illusion, that things are the same and ok.

But maybe they’re not and that may be ok. Facing major change and re-structuring will challenge our emotional intelligence and resilience. In fact I think resilience is both a remedy and a result of life’s upheavals. It’s like courage, you need to have it to get through the challenges and you get more of it by using it. Christmas was delightful long distance calls, followed by a four hour massage and healing session ending with a beautiful meal prepared with love by my daughter and Boxing day visits with dear childhood friends . I marveled at how peaceful and fulfilled I felt. There was no thought “this should be different.”

What I noticed in myself was the amazing capacity to accept what is. I found myself not having expectations about what Christmas would be at all. I thought I would but I didn’t. My ability to re-orientate was refreshing. Normally my emotions would be pulled by my own and my community’s ideas’ of what Christmas ‘should be’. My teacher likes to say, “expectations are planned disappointments” in fact accepting ‘what is’, is the hallmark of most eastern spiritual traditions and a cornerstone of resiliency.

The other cornerstones which make up the foundation of the landing pad of resiliency are perspective, purpose and non-personalization. Resiliency is the ability to adapt and we need that now more than ever, personally and collectively. Resiliency is also the capacity to reimagine to reinvent and to find solutions when there seems to be nothing but barren ground. Often learned through adversity, neuroscience tells us that we can all learn to become more Resilient, it is a skill, one I realize I know quite a lot about, I have had my fair share of trauma and adversity. In fact I have been writing about my journey with trauma and resilience in my memoir, due to be available later this new year. Be sure to follow and sign up for updates on my Blog.

One of the ways that life has been moving me recently is to reinvent my offering to the world. Instead of focusing all on Therapeutic & Adaptive Yoga I am shifting to a new skill I have been developing – Personal Coaching for Resiliency. I’m very excited about this new direction and especially to share it with clients to help navigate through life‘s trials and tribulations. Find out more on my personal site or on Trinity Yoga.  For now I leave you with a poem for the new year of 2020 and may you all be peaceful and prosperous.

Something that will not acknowledge conclusion, insists that we forever begin.” Brendan Kennelly




Retreat of Choice

Do you feel your life has been metaphorically paralyzed? By now, the novelty (if there was any for you) of staying home has probably worn off; and your patience and capacity to deal with the day-to-day reality of social isolation is likely wearing thin too. At the same time, during this insidious pandemic I have been deeply moved hearing the remarkable stories of human compassion, dedication and leadership by the many who are serving on the multiple front lines; thwarting this coronavirus and its wrath from doing more harm.  

The passion and devotion of those who have purpose amidst this crisis, is inspiring and heartwarming. In contrast you may feel like your well-thought-out plans, your once burgeoning project, your special  “this year’s event” has been hijacked and blown-up in midair. And it has. And yes, it stinks. 

It’s not easy when your world changes instantly from order to unprecedented uncertainty. The unimaginable challenge of losing your life as you knew it coupled with not choosing, is the existential crisis we’re all dealing with. When I became paralyzed one of the ways that I was able to navigate the intensity of the similarly unthinkable massive change was to surrender to it entirely, not to fight it. That doesn’t mean giving in to something. It just means allowing and accepting the situation for what it is right now, along with the crucial attitude of curiosity.

As one of my favourite non-dualist teachers Adyashanti, would say, “You can’t argue with reality and win. You can try but it’s futile. So, what do we do?” Stay curious.

Curiosity is the essential ingredient that monks, scientist, meditators, healers, creatives, artists, inventors and seekers bring to any meeting with ‘the unknown’ to allow for the gifts of that entity or experience to reveal themselves. The quest to understand oneself and life, has been the curious thread weaving our collective evolution through time. In truth this quest has always been to understand the unknown, the power of the Life Force, the Divine, God or whatever ‘it’ is behind this all.  

For many and in days gone by this perennial search for meaning and for a deeper understanding of the source and nature of the Life-force was facilitated by retreating into a cave, a monastery, mountain cabin or a mountain peak. The concept to leave the rat race behind and retreat to a place where the societal and personal distractions are minimal is as old as civilization. The current trend of forced isolation doesn’t really capture the aesthetic concept of a retreat, nor of some form of chosen renunciation. It does however qualify as a lifestyle pivot, an abrupt 180. And in stepping back from the world as we know it, the opportunities inherent within a retreat are at our disposal. 

But How Do I Find Purpose When My Life has been Side-Railed?  

A couple of the things that still amaze me after 16 years of living with paralysis is 1) how busy humans can be at insignificant pursuits 2) how crucial our body-mind relationship is no matter what our physical state or lifestyle and how abusive we can be to our bodies. Think about it, we either adore and enjoy our body from an egoic place or we abhor it from a similarly distorted entitlement. In fact our bodies are a sacred system of energy and matter and our only way in, to a deeper and richer understanding of ourselves and our maker. Recent research is proving more and more that the neuroplasticity and agility of the brain (hence mental health) is directly related to the capacity to fully embody oneself physically, mentally and, yes, energetically-spiritually.  

Be fore-warned, when we slow down things that were muffled, drowned-out, tend to get louder. The bird song we are all hearing as a result of planes, traffic and construction shutting down is a wonderful example of this. The more difficult example is the tension you were holding in your body from overwork now feels more acute, the underlying anxiety you could avoid by keeping busy is now disruptive, the difficult relationship you put off until now, or your compulsive habits are all right at the surface, just like the bigger global issues, shouting – Pay Attention to Me! 

When instantly paralyzed most all physical and external forms of choice got taken away from me and I couldn’t ‘get away’ from anything, especially myself anymore. Choice is the coveted trophy for us twenty-first century beings, we really are attached to our power of choice. For us, it is the difference between having arrived and become successful or not. It is also the linchpin in any spiritual relationship.  Humans have for centuries sought out choice and free will, grasping for more and more choice and freedoms. This ‘power’ that we have attained through our minds, innovation and technology is a live fuse if not grounded in earth our bodies and what matters most. With our freedom and choice stripped away so abruptly, we can see the illusion of the power we gave it. We are at a time now where we can live very selfishly or we can couple our capacity for choice and free will, with Divine will.

This may sound somewhat lofty, but in truth it’s what the Mystics, Buddhists and the sages have been saying forever, that a simple life where we acknowledge that the only true power is love; That the true purpose of life is to love and to delve into all of the places where we feel separate from love, or question it – is the most fundamental accomplishment of life. Ultimately by remembering and acknowledging we are not separate from Love from the Source, we can fully embody and fulfill our relationship to It. 

On a simple day-to-day level that means dissolving all the places where you self deprecate, where you doubt yourself, where you detach from your body, your feelings, yourself. It means not projecting, but sitting with your anger, your restlessness, your resentment’s and allowing them to teach you self-compassion and loving kindness.  It means being mindful of your body and your ‘felt sense’ and attending to the simple movement of your breath. It means letting go of ownership of your body and your breath, even of your life and appreciating and living like it’s the gift that it is. 

Slowing down and retreating from the busyness of our consumer world has given us the opportunity to remember the basics: eating well, taking care of each other in ways that stretch our imagination, taking up a creative project or endeavour, reading a good book, teaching your child, growing your own food and long walks in nature.  We are realizing that so much of what we have been doing is taxing the earth, ourselves and our relationships more than we have admitted, especially our personal relationship to the Divine Life-force.  

As I mentioned earlier, becoming paralyzed made physically escaping myself or situations almost impossible, which is similar for many now. Words of another teacher rang in my ear on those long days when I was wondering “how I am going to get through this” to the tune of: “We create our heaven or we create our hell.”  In all honesty, that is the only choice we really have: the choice of how we will respond, who we will become and how we will meet each day. Who we are at a time of crisis or uncertain change, says more about who we are than any job title or sense of power we may have derived from the external world.

So at a time like now use your one mechanism of choice wisely, for yours and the greater good. Take care of yourselves and each other. Be well.



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