June 21, 2023
Happy Sunday hellos from Toronto. When I return to Canada, I often underestimate the hold of jet lag, perhaps because I always aim to integrate quickly with all that awaits me. I met a woman in Ireland whose partner is a diplomat and they lived in many countries. She said she didn’t experience any jet lag, even with a twelve hour time difference. Whatever the time was at the place that she arrived, was the time it was, and she never questioned whether it was different to her body’s clock. I thought this was brilliant and maybe I could do the same. Not so much this time!
Like everywhere, Toronto has plenty of new growth, new buildings, new chaos. There is no shortage of Teslas on the roads, or people living on the streets, struggling to feel alive. In any blink of the eye, you can witness thriving to coping. Some parts of our city work very well, some not at all, and everything in between. When I was walking this week I felt very sensitive to people’s hardships and suffering. I could feel it in my bones, perhaps echoed by my tiredness.
We may not be able to change what unfolds for us but we can choose how we meet it and interact. My lovely friend Eilis, who facilitates parts of our retreats in Ireland, was asking me about how to remain compassionate when we are manipulated and challenged. Then she wrote this, which I’ve read several times as a reminder of how we can liberate ourselves from negative emotions, which will almost always benefit the external circumstance.
Our adversaries are our greatest teachers
From time with them we learn;
To take what is fair and no more.
To be flexible within clear boundaries.
To remain consciously aware of our own thoughts and actions.
To listen to our own needs but not our narratives.
To mother with love our wounded human heart.
To recognize and accept this moment for what it is.
To look in our opponent’s eyes and let displeasure fall on the ground between us.
To remember that a pause to listen to the next breath may save us a lifetime of regret.
To measure the distance between thoughts and words.
To stand tall and feel rooted to the earth when all around us is chaos.
To opt out of the cycle of blame and guilt.
Above all, they teach us to release the anger which can poison us and reach deep for compassion.
If we can learn what they have been sent to teach us, we will have mastered our minds and nourished our hearts
and will win the gift of peace.
There is no path to joy, ease and fluidity that will be without obstacles and adversaries. Not in the world, not even in our homes. When we understand that having the courage of compassion is not a gift but a practice that we can develop, we have already befriended what we are seeking. Hello darkness, my old friend, is a wonderful way to embrace difficult emotions when they are triggered. Bless your wisdom Eilis.
Thank you to those who have ordered pieces from the store last week. Everything has been shipped. It is wonderful to be creative with my hands again. I had lots of fun organizing and getting reacquainted with the inventory of gems and have now updated the site with the full malas that I am able to make at the moment. Wearing high vibration gemstones is another way of protecting and feeding our energy body. When we look after our energy body, we benefit our physical body also.
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