Up, up, and away

If you want to practice surrender, go for a hot air balloon ride.

First, it takes an average of 3 years to get a booking for a flight that will proceed. You must be persistent and non-atttached to flying.

Then, there is no way to steer a balloon. Your talented pilot must sail the wind. So, you can’t plan a route or even where you will land.

I went up last night. Because of the aura currents, we were stuck in the air for 3 hours with no where to land. I say stuck, because we had no choice, but in context it was a great adventure.

In the end, we did a landing in a ditch and were pulled out by the crew. About 6 cars of onlookers chased us by land, curious about the balloon and our descent. Ironically, they added to our unwieldy landing as they blocked landing space on the road.

I had no control. I was hungry, thirsty, and so tired. I imagined stepping onto a balloon for an hour. This was a 6 hour process, starting from balloon set up to stow away. All I had was the ability to surrender. In that, I had an adventure I will not forget. I was in the flow of the wind, and of life.

All I had to do was let go. Then I could fly up, up, and away.


3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Bucket List

I turn 50 in a few days. It means nothing to me, I have discovered. I may stop counting, not as a fear of age but as a celebration of reality. I don’t feel 50 although I don’t know what it would mean to feel 50. I have the blessing of feeling alive, as alive as I did 20 years ago, while having the awareness and consciousness of Now.

I don’t have a Bucket list – a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. I thought about it, because I love lists, but instead I learned something. Here are 3 Reasons to NOT have one.

1. Giving to Life

There are two approaches to Life. You can try to take as much as you can from life, or you can give as much as you can. Will anyone mention your trip to Hawaii when you die or will they talk about your impact on their lives? Which reflects your deepest values?

2. You Don’t Know When You Will Die

A bucket list assumes a period of time to get things done. People die in their 20s, 40s, 90s. Wouldn’t it make more sense to live today to whatever vision or awareness that guides You? Too many bucket lists are about fear of dying instead of living.

3. You Live to Your Beliefs Not a List

Make a list, and look at it. What is your relationship to that list? Do you see yourself there? Did you add “Go Skydiving” because you want to do that? Why haven’t you done it? Is your list a way of changing who you are or affirming something inside you? Use your list to surface your beliefs and explore how they point to who you are.

If there are things you want to do in life, by all means do them. Do it to be alive. Do it to celebrate the flow of life.

Bending Time

I am told time feels slow when you are young and passes too fast when you are older. 

It is a matter of belief. 

If you believe your remaining time is getting shorter, this is a false belief. None of us know the day we will take our last breath. People who live to be 100 may have expected to pass at 70 – what a waste if they lived those 30 years believing time was getting shorter. 

When we are kids, we are more likely to live in the now. The now is infinite. It is when we live in the past or the future that we get messed up. Neither exist, so they are easy to project our beliefs and fears over top. 

My days are no shorter or longer than before. I experience my days in terms of energy – intense, loving, flowing. I surrender to the moment (at least that’s the intention). 

Called to Silence

wpid-2014-02-03-23.39.13.pngI have been a person who defines herself in relation to others.  My needs are usually put second to those around me, like my daughter or my siblings.  At some point, I realize how bad an idea that is, but it is often prompted by anger.  I have learned that anger in me always means that a need I have is not being met. (It also means something that is happening is making me feel like I am not enough, which tends to intersect with my needs not being met.)

I own all of that.  It is mine to change.  So lately, I have been changing that, actively.  Like any new choice or skill, it takes practice.  I have run the gambit from doing it so badly that I needed a lawyer, right up to graciously taking time to reflect and find my silence.

In fact, I am called to silence more and more.  I was a woman who liked to get out and do things – try new restaurants, travel, go to concerts, see a play, work hard, keep my house to a standard.  I was a perpetual motion machine!

Now, as I begin working on my vision, listening to the source is more important than going to a menu of options and trying to set goals.  If I look at my creation lists of the past, they are more like wishes than they are reflective of the flow of the current of consciousness.  Some of them I laugh at now.

If I listen to my silence, it is longing for more silence.  I have joined a new community, and what draws me is the silence.  We sit and meditate.  We connect, but it is not over the mundane.  I look at my work, and I create silence in issues as they are shared with me.  In that silence, the next thing that is needed arises.  From the silence, all that needs to be arises.  It does not need me to force it.  It does not need me to be its stick.

This poem speaks to the insight that is coming to me.


The waves of the mind
demand so much of Silence.
But she does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
every feeling
every moment.


She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.
No name you give Her
touches Her
captures Her.
No understanding
can embrace Her.

Mind throws itself at Silence
demanding to be let in.
But no mind can enter into
Her radiant darkness
Her pure and smiling

The mind hurls itself
into sacred questions.
But Silence remains
unmoved by tantrums.
She asks only for nothing.


But you won’t give it to Her
because it is the last coin
in your pocket.
And you would rather
give her your demands than
your sacred and empty hands.


Everything leaps out in the celebration of mystery,
but only nothing enters the sacred source,
the silent substance.
Only nothing gets touched and becomes sacred,
realizes its own divinity,
realizes what it is
without the aid of a single thought.
Silence is my secret.
Not hidden.
Not hidden.

Adyashanti – Emptiness Dancing

The Fastest Way to The Heart Is Through the Belly

Chicken Kiev, homemade mushroom risotto and tabouli salad. Organic mushrooms and thyme baked in filo dough. Spring greens, watermelon, feta and cashew nuts tossed in lime, ginger and sesame oil. Arugula tossed in lime juice served with a poached egg and prosciutto.

Not the menu from a restaurant – my meals this week, all homemade. 

I have always loved good food and I really enjoy cooking excellent food. I had a long standing belief that I had to cook for someone else to invest in cooking amazing meals. So if I was alone, I ordered in garbage or I ate popcorn.   The clear message was that I was not worth the investment. 

Flash backwards about 3 years ago as I prepared to go to John of God in Brazil: I have to set an intention so I chose loving myself. I have no idea what that feels like. 

Shortly after, my whole life came into alignment around loving myself. Many of the relationships I was in all dissolved away (romantic and friendships), leaving only my deepest friendships. My career changed. My health changed. My home and garden changed. My spiritual process deepened exponentially.

When I was growing up, my grandmother used to say that the fastest way to a man’s heart was through his stomach – meaning men loved good cooks. For me, one outer proof of my love for me is the food I am eating. My meals are a celebration of my creativity and my recognition of what I deserve – true nourishment.

New Year, New You? That’s Not What It’s About

For the last few years, I begin my year with a numerology reading. I am an 11, and most of my character is about deeper spiritual pursuits and enlightenment. No surprise there. 

Everyone asks what your New Year’s resolution is. When everyone else is setting goals about weight loss or fitness, spiritual people often set goals like being more present, doing sunrise yoga or switching from vegetarianism to raw foods. 

But, those types of resolutions, more politically or spiritually correctly relabled as intentions, are ways of recreating a more acceptable ego structure. That too must fall away. 

I have heard Adyashanti say that he sat on a bus bench, and told the universe he would accept anything the universe put in front of him that would help him achieve enlightenment. If that meant he would be rich and famous, so be it. If it meant he would be homeless and face challenges, so be it. No more conditions.- Huffington Post 

Could you do that? Could you completely accept what is with no conditions, no meaning, no judgements? I am poignantly aware that Neale Walsh and Byron Katie hit rock bottom as part of their turning point. 

 So how do you begin a New Year in alignment with Consciousness? I find the answer in these words:

“Once we come back to our Self, then whatever is created is happening not so much from a perspective of “What do I want?” but from a pure intention. Not an individual intention, not a collective intention, but the intention, the primal intention. It’s not an intention with a choice or a chooser. It’s a primary creative energy that comes from the Source.

When we really have returned to the Source, creation is no longer distorting itself through our wants or desires. That’s when we’re seeing, “What is? That’s what I want. What is actually happening? That’s what I desire.” And I’m no longer interested in creating anything, because I realize that everything, as it is, is what I always wanted it to be. It was always my intention; I just didn’t know it. I didn’t really want to manifest my individual intention, I wanted to come into the purity of intention itself.” – Adyashanti

Wow. What if I wanted exactly what is? How do I move into intentionality itself?

Ironically, despite everything I have said, moving into intentionality is my intention for 2017, for life. 

For A Thought: Justifying Fear

I am not really that political. I don’t volunteer for candidates at election time. I don’t vote for one party consistently.  I am more of a social leader. I challenge values like sexism, ageism (young and old), and support environmental issues, albeit inconsistently and not ascribing to any one movement.. Mostly I define myself as a humanist. 

Yet, as I watch the American election, one I cannot vote in as I am Canadian, I can easily get riled up. I feel compelled to challenge people to examine their beliefs and mental models. I feel compelled to do something to combat the insanity I see. 

How easy it is for us to begin to feel threatened and fearful over someone who doesn’t think as we do. How often do we see violence or murder, just for a thought that is different than our own? 

Consider Malala Yousafzai. As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (Wikipedia) Despite political violence, her stance is to promote non-violent dialogue and greater education.

“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’

But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’

Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliba

Just as relevant for all countries is this view:

“He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

More clearly than ever, this is an opportunity for awakening. Politics are a siren call for our highest collective consciousess to shine. Politics triggers our fears and unexplored ego issues.

When is it more clear than in politics for us to ask if what we believe is really true? When else are we more clearly called to live our values? When else do we as individuals show as clear an image of how easily we become fundamentalists?

And we do it all for a thought.

A thought.

Thoughts change. Thoughts are ego chatter. Thoughts are lenses that obscure reality.

And for a thought, we allow violence in our words and actions. We allow violence in our energy field.

Today, ask yourself what happens when you believe your thoughts. Who would you be without those thoughts? What would change in the world?