I hope this note finds you with all the tools at hand to find peace and happiness within and in all that surrounds you. It is a grey and rainy morning in Toronto which matches this jet lag perfectly. It reminds me that when we are in love, we walk down the street and automatically see the benefit the water is giving to the earth, we notice the awakening of Spring everywhere, we see beauty in all the faces we meet, like a mother to her child. When we are deep in our suffering, we see the despair in the world, fear in the eyes, cracks in the walls. When we are suffering, and there is so much pain and anxiety in the world right now, our fears too easily trigger judgements of blame, anger and even hatred. It’s important to remind ourselves that both light and darkness with always coexist. One does not live without the other. I know this may seem a dramatic trigger from jet lag, but the body's energy tends to amplify its environment, and these are our times. ;-)
Plum Village shared a poem recently that Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) wrote during the Vietnam War.
promise me on this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead,
exactly at this zenith,
even as they strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember brother, remember:
man is not our enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion -
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.
One day, when you face the beast alone, with
your courage in tact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them)
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
and those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road
the sun and moon will continue to shine.
Man is not the enemy. Our
enemy is hatred, anger,
ignorance and fear.
This poem reminds me to sip my tea with presence. Savour the gift of breathing, allowing anything that is stuck in the body to fall away. Then I’m going to let my heart swell with gratitude and fierce compassion for everyone who needs it, and everyone needs it, including the one I meet in the mirror.
The life of an artist making jewellery for a living started for me in 1990 as The Barber’s Daughter. Then as I spiritually grew, my jewellery became more dedicated to being contemplative and grounding. The company became Mindful Necessities. Everything had to have a purpose, a message or a meaning. I sensed we all needed something to help us anchor and ground to what is important. Hence the energetic properties of the beautiful gem malas for practice, the meditation rings, the Being Peace medallions with Thich Nhat Hanh calligraphy, the hand engraved poetry, prose or prayer onto metal. What a joy. What a privilege.
As my spiritual thirst grew to better understand this human walk, I spent more and more time in Europe and India. The focus has been to live simplicity and retreat within, both in and with nature, whenever possible. What birthed was to create contemplative experiences for people. Meditative Experiential retreats to Ireland were offered twice a year since 2016, other than the last two years. Now, the first week of May we return to Ireland to have the retreat that was cancelled in 2020 and I'm so grateful. There is also the first Meditative Experiential retreat in Italy this year with a little added gastronomy.
While I have been on other continents, Gala and Patrycja have taken care of creating and shipping the lovely offerings from our online store. With both of them also busy with other work, change was imminent. Since I am out of Canada quite a lot, we have decided to close our online store. If I am home for the holidays or any extended period of time, I may put it up again or parts of it, as I will always love creating with my hands special articles that can help ground us.
If there is anything that you need or desire from us, this is your time. I am happy to create while I am here in Toronto. After April 11th, the website will continue to offer retreat experiences, details, updates and Sunday morning life blogs, but no longer malas and jewellery.
Thank you for walking this creative and contemplative journey with me. What gifts we have before us and in the present moment. Evolution at its best.