Since being back in Toronto for a week, I've had the opportunity to know what it's like to walk a mile in another's shoes. What an extraordinary way to quickly gain perspective. The primary aim of my return was to help my daughter who started a new job five weeks ago. With the two week quarantine ended for fully vaccinated people, I could now come. Gala had intense online training that she would do from home. With schools not resuming, she would overlap her training with two children at home challenged with online schooling and another in daycare. How does one find balance or even the recipe to cope 24/7 as a single mom with three children at home during the pandemic and the intense training of a new job, plus cooking and cleaning.. to say the least.
Every day I stayed to help as an extra pair of hands, mind or heart . All was very welcomed. Every day, I became more worn for wear and my respect and awe for her endurance grew. It's a wonderful aspiration to practice kindness and compassion. The willingness to walk a mile in another's shoes catapults you to another field with deep humility.
When I was returning home yesterday on the subway, there was a man across from me with a walker. He didn't look quite right so I kept an eye on him. When he got up for his stop and grabbed his walker, he simply struggled to pull one leg behind the other. He made it to the door with the walker but the door was closing on him. His walker went sideways and he fell with his body balanced between the subway and the platform. I quickly jumped up and stuck my body in the doorway while trying to get him up. He was dead weight and too much for me while ensuring the doors didn't close. A couple of young guys came to help me get him up. Then the conductor came and assisted him to a nearby bench to ensure he was okay and suggested he rest before he left. The challenged and forlorn look on this man's face imprinted on me and cracked my heart open a little more. How fragile this life really is.
There are ample opportunities every day to reflect on the perspectives we can live by. We are all challenged with limitations, for sure some are more obvious than others, and we all bear some unique gifts. What inner voice do we choose to listen to? Who has control of our steering?
I left Gala's home with an empty tank, consumed with wanting life to be easier for her. Seeing compassionately this man and his frailty filled me instantly with gratitude for having a fully functioning body and a presence of mind. This all can change in a moment. It also reminded me that Gala's grace for endurance is her tremendous gratitude for good health, a home and three sons she loves. When we forget, we can always begin again. Consciously inhale, exhale, smile, release and begin again.
There is a lot of suffering and challenge on the planet right now. The more we can activate our empathetic gene towards others, the easier it is to enjoy the present moment with the same kindness to ourselves as well. We always have the choice to adjust the aperture and see in better light. The Dalai Lama reminds us that there are at least six versions of every story to help us not get stuck. When our fuses are short, it's important not to give in. Walk with it and invite the clarity of patience. When our vision becomes unclear, we can also choose to begin again. Inhale, exhale, smile, release and begin again.
Retreat with me..
There are a few spots left for our three day mala making and meditation retreat at the end of July. The process of mala making is a very contemplative practice. Since Cedar Healing Arts is beautifully nestled in nature, we also get to enjoy small hikes, as well as meditation, yoga and sound healing with crystal bowls. Acupuncture and massage can be incorporated to help maximize your personal experience.
The cost is $625 for a shared room and there is one single room at $950. This includes accommodations, all delicious meals, teaching and practice. I will bring my lovely selection of gemstones and books to peruse the metaphysical properties of the stones. You can purchase the beads from me or you are certainly invited to bring your own.
Our intention for the weekend is to restore balance in our bodies and our lives with care and inspiration. If you would like to join us or have more questions, please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Until the next time.. love to you from Toronto
PS. Thank you Gala for allowing me to share a bit of your life in this newsletter. I'm quite sure other's will relate. Mostly, thank you for sharing your love.