I hope this note finds you well. It's been great being back in Toronto to savour loved ones and Mindful Necessities. Rumi says "Let the beauty of what we love be what we do." I'm counting my blessings, both having carved a life by creating contemplative jewellery and now also enjoying the opportunity to create experience for people though retreats.
It took a long time for my body and mind to readjust from east to west, as it always does. Between the 10 hour time difference and the culture extremes, the practice of coupling patience and tenacity definitely came in handy.
I was on the Queen Street car last week feeling present in body while reflecting on India. Amidst being over populated with high air and land pollution and total chaos on the roads, the culture oozes with colour, acceptance of what is and acceptance of sharing what they have. Even in all the poverty, there seems a greater sense of peace than here in our land of plenty. How is that possible? There is a peace that is deep, not affected by the material world and the sicknesses that accompany individualism. Is one of the factors because they have never lost the knowledge of how to breathe?
Looking at the faces now getting on the streetcar and those walking by I was overwhelmed by how much stress and worries everyone seems to carry here.
I keep checking my breathing. When we are breathing shallow we are thinking shallow. We put ourselves in harm's way when we belittle ourselves, and sadly our western culture is so influenced by shame and blame that no matter how much we dream big we inwardly live small and peace exists in another place other than where we are. Breath brings incredible calm. Learn to breathe and thoughts will soften. Really, truly, simply, keep your focus on the expansion of the IN breath and the release of the OUT breath. Recognize the pure life force that you inhale and release any anxiety held in your body on your exhale. You can take just 2 minutes and do this anywhere and benefit from it. Remembering the mind is the king of the senses and the breath is the king of the mind, take your peace back.
Soon we will be packing bags to head to the lush Burren where Spring is bursting. I am super stoked about the Ireland retreat in just a couple of weeks. The opportunity to share this experience fills me with such grateful joy. This retreat is full but there are still spaces available for the special Haelen retreat we created for but not exclusive to care givers. It's September 1 - 7.
I will announce the Spring of 2020 retreat dates at A Mindful Society conference at U of T at the end of May and of course will email them as well.
A Mindful Society conference is one of the richest gatherings of mindfulness knowledge I have ever experienced in one place. If you have the opportunity to come this year, do. I'd wager it will be a gift that goes a long way. The venue does sell out so don't wait too long. Check out some of the speakers. https://amindfulsociety.org/speakers/ May 23 - 26.
We will be there with new one of a kind malas, the meditation rings, the being peace collection, a few other surprises and of course information on our retreats. Can't wait and hope to see you there.
Until the next time, may Spring blossoms meet you everywhere,