Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My heart goes out to Boston, my thoughts and resilience are with Venezuela, my spirit gathers strength with Amnesty International for there is much to do in this world.

My heart goes out to Boston, to everyone who participated, from runners to supporters, from individuals to families... I think of you. The world thinks of you.

My thoughts and resilience are with Venezuela, where elections were held a few days ago and the layers of corruption have yet again taken over the process of democracy.

I am inspired by those who extend their hand in the midst of chaos, those who keep on advocating for a just world, where human rights are met for one and all. In the midst of it all, these stories rise to the top, and I thank you for being a ray of sunshine on dark days. We stand for those who may not have the opportunity or freedom to stand, we speak for those who may not have the opportunity or freedom to speak, we act for those we may not have the opportunity or freedom to act, for themselves, their children, their country.

There is a quote by the Dalai Lama the XIV that I would like to share with you...

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

Hope carries us through. I believe Hope combined with Action has the power to change each and everyone of us, our immediate community and the world at large.

My spirit gathers strength with Amnesty International.. and that was really my blog today, but I just couldn't let the two previous events go unspoken. This is my second year participating in Amnesty International's Canadian Yoga Day. A day to raise funds for Women's Human Rights. 

I am a strong advocate of human rights, where does this feeling or need to act come from? For me it comes from growing up in Caracas, Venezuela and, as a child and young adult, baring witness to one to many violations of human rights. It comes from my work as a photojournalist seeking justice in my heart, trying to raise awareness about current social-political situations and baring witness to the unthinkable. Today, as a mother of 3, having found some peace within myself with the fact that the I may not be able to bring justice to every situation I encounter, but I can focus on educating my children so that they can become shiny just beings with open hearts. I can take part in creating awareness in my own community, from human rights to the local food movement, I can participate in events like Yoga Day were my efforts have a direct influence on someone else's life for the better.

So come on out for Amnesty International Yoga Day Marathon !! Come for one class, stay for all!

If you are on lands far away, you can still help and participate... you can donate! you can create your own event! Ask your Yoga Studio to get involved! Spread the goods and make it a world wide event! Actually you can create any event you want as a fundraiser for Nasrin... go on... gather your hope along with your action.. its time! Post it... what event will you create? what event will you participate... anything from Potlucks to Yoga! keep it simple, the canvas is yours... It would be fun to see what you come up to.... take some pics and post them up.. lets see if we can go around the world with this one! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Loving Memory of those who lead with a golden heart...

I had finally sat down after a long break away from the computer to write about Spring and about releasing the 'someting old' to invite something new.... when we heard the news.. news that make you stop in your tracks, feel a low thump on your heart, deeply appreciate every second that we have and begin to grasp at the fact that we don't have all the answers for the way things happen, that life is more complex and intricate and fragile (if I may) than we would like to think.

I know a lot of you who read this blog are part of our community and are already dealing with the news. On friday morning, the Dunsmuir family passed away in their house due to a fire. Details are not clear, but what is clear is the loss that we all feel.

In our community the Dunsmuirs were the golden heart that lead the way to heart felt interactions, that gave the community strength, courage, and compassion.  Mrs. Dunsmuir was the Director of the Queensville Montessori Academy up until 2010, where our kids attended school. A small school full of humanity, openness, universal thinking and awareness. It was an extention of home.  It was full of heart, love, integrity, respect and devotion.

I believe that as we interact with one another a small part of ourselves gets left behind, I see it as a gift, an inspiration, a blessing. Mrs. Dunsmuir's blessing that will always be a part of me was her golden heart, for when one leads life with a golden heart, there is a different resonance to one's actions, words, thoughts, there is a different quality to our life. She walked her talk with a smile.

I would like to honour and dedicate this meditation to the Dunsmuir family (parents, Kevin and Jennifer, teenage sons, Robert and Cameron.). To David, their other son who was away at University. and to the community at large.

When we meditate we align ourselves and connect with universal energy, we connect with the source, and we connect with our environment and the people that surround us. For all of you in our community, this meditation is for us to feel connected with the blessings they gave to us. For those of you who perhaps never met the Dunsmuirs, this meditation is for connecting with the blessings and inspirations others have left for you and for leading your life with a golden heart.

The Connection and Golden Heart Meditation

1. Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position. Breathe, deeply, a few times.

2. Begin to feel your body relax and let go of the stresses it feels.
Focus on your head, and feel your head relax as you gently exhale.
Focus on your face, and feel you face relax as you gently exhale.
Focus on your neck, and feel your neck relax as you gently exhale.
Go through your whole body. Neck, shoulders, arms, hands. Chest, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, organs. Hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet.

3. Come back to your breath. Focus on your breath for 5 rounds of inhalation and exhalation.

4. As you inhale, visualize a beam of golden light entering your heart chakra. Feel its radiance, warmth and love. Feel it filling up your heart chakra (upper chest) with golden light. Continue to be aware of your breath as you feel the golden light begin to travel freely all over your body, bringing along with it radiance, warmth, love, support. Connect with the blessings and inspirations others have left for you. Feel the beauty of life, feel the grace of a helping hand, feel the warmth and the depth of your own heart. Feel this golden light bring in new, fresh, vital energy into your body. Begin to feel refreshed. Begin to feel the lightness of your body as if a huge weight has been lifted of your shoulders. Feel the lightness and love in your heart.

5. Now visualize the golden energy flowing from your heart into the hearts of those around you, into your environment, into loved ones far away and into strangers nearby. This golden energy expands from your heart outwards into the world. Take some time to experience this flow of energy.

6. Come back to your breath. Come back to feeling the golden energy in your heart chakra and filling your whole body with it. Feel the gratitude in your heart for the blessings and inspirations others have given us and for the time shared together. Allow this gratitude to carry your own golden heart into the world. Focus on the inhale and the exhale a few times and then softly open your eyes.

"When my tears come, I breathe deeply and rest. I know I am swimming in a hallowed stream where many have gone before. I am not alone, crazy or having a nervous breakdown..... My heart is at work, my soul is awake. "- Mary Margaret Funk. (Thoughts Matter: The Practice of a Spiritual Life)