I was recently travelling for work and was staying at a hotel for the night. I was getting hungry so I made my way down to the restaurant to have dinner. As I was waiting for the waiter to bring the menu, I was observing the other people around me. There were tables full of friends, families and co-workers, however I started to notice a trend. Every single table had at least one person who was on their phone. They were texting, scrolling through pictures, searching for information, but none of them were joining in on the conversation or paying attention to the people around them.
I understand that technology is a very big part of our lives and that it is important for us to keep moving forward, however I do sometimes wonder how much we are actually sacrificing because of it. Being on our phones has become a very unhealthy addiction and we are all guilty of it. Our face to face conversations are becoming limited and when they do happen we become distracted, wondering what messages or updates we may be missing out on.
As I was scrolling through Instagram one day (yes, I am guilty too), I found an amazing picture that summed it up for me. I can physically feel the complete chaos that surrounds this woman and the utter calm within her. My goal is to get to the point where I can forget my phone, look up and just enjoy!
I dare say that it is finally that time of year again! There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and hearing the sounds of birds singing their hearts out for us.
I am so blessed to live in the country which means some of my wake up calls are given by crows and ravens. Some people may think that the voice of these birds are very harsh, but I disagree. There is nothing that makes me smile more than hearing a crow or raven squawk. These birds actually identify with magic.
One day while arriving at work, I was getting out of my car and a very large crow was up above in a tree. He appeared to be yelling at me and would not stop until I looked up. I said "good morning" but went about my business as I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. I locked up my car, walked around to the entrance of our building and into my office. I took off my coat and was just about to get comfortable when I realized I had left my phone in the car. I laughed because I finally realized what the crow was trying to tell me. I made my way back outside and was pretty sure he would be there to say "I told you so".
When is the last time you looked up and expressed your gratitude for these amazing friends of ours?
Taking the time to be in silence is one of the most basic and important needs of our human experience. Reality and daily life is so busy, it can literally be all consuming. How many times have you run through your entire day only to realize at the end of it that you have no idea what you've accomplished or how you even got home?
Self-care is critical to our overall health and well-being. Contrary to what some people think or in some cases how they try to make you feel, taking care of YOU is not a selfish act. It is a very brave and pro-active one. If you allow yourself to become depleted, you will not have anything left to give. Silencing the "voice inside" will allow you to re-energize and fill yourself back up. It also helps your creativity and problem solving skills to flow with greater clarity.
Take a few minutes each day to look up at the sky, stare at the clouds, walk on the grass or just inhale deeply. Silence is indeed, golden.
Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up and have a sense that everything is going to go wrong? Your internal dialogue starts yapping on and on about how you have so much to do, not enough time to do it and that you won't do a good job anyway. Sometimes the conversations we have with ourselves can be the most negative and hurtful.
Animals live every minute of every day in the moment. You can leave your house for 5 minutes or 3 weeks, and they will react just as excited to see you every single time you walk in the door. They give you love unconditionally and effortlessly. Through their eyes, you are the most amazing, thoughtful and caring person alive.
As you go through your day, envision your animals looking up at you- I guarantee it will change the way you see yourself!
In October, I was blessed enough to spend a week by myself at Grail Springs in Bancroft. This was my second visit at this amazing retreat and it will now be somewhere I go to every year to regroup. Although I participated in a few of the activities such as yoga, hiking, group meals, and guest speaker evenings, I also made sure I spent some time on my own. I love to read, journal and just relax.
I have always wanted to establish a meditation practice, but no matter how hard I've tried, I have struggled. And then I found colouring. I remember when I was a little girl, how much I loved to colour. I recently rediscovered this passion and it has become my own form of meditation. I could sit for hours and let time pass, clearing all thoughts and just be in the moment. I look at a black and white picture and I can feel the colours I am going to use to bring it to life. Colouring animals is one of my most favorite things to do. I hope you like this one!
Do you ever have one of those days (or weeks) when you just feel "off" but you can't explain why? It wasn't until I started on my Reiki journey that I quickly learned there was an entire energy system running through my body that dictates whether I am well or not. This system, known as the Chakra system is critical to our physical. mental, emotional and spiritual health. Without getting into too much detail, each chakra is like a spinning wheel and when that wheel stops, it can really affect you.
So how do you keep your wheels spinning? Re-group- in whatever way works for you best. Take a walk, listen to your favorite song, dance, colour, do yoga, work out, find a body of water or simply sit in silence. Taking a few minutes to breathe in what is needed. Walk on the grass barefoot or hug a tree- as crazy as it might sound to some, it is the quickest way to "ground" yourself and bring you back to your centre.
Reiki is also a great way to get you spinning again!
I recently completed my certification of Animals and Reiki and have so much gratitude for what I experienced. Learning about animal behaviours and how their chakra system differs slightly from ours was very interesting and as you can say, I had a lot of "aha" moments. But the best was yet to come.
As a part of the training, we had the honour of spending one full day at Flying Moon Farm in Beckwith with amazing animals called The Courage Herd. The Herd consists of five horses- Echo, Freya, Sonnet, Pearl and Cedar , one miniature horse- Finn and a donkey named Whisper. To call this a magical day would be an understatement. I have never felt such connection. This herd works with people to help mirror and heal the emotional body. They naturally give on a regular basis. The day we spent with them, our intent was to give back to these loving creatures. Through our Reiki practice, we were able to connect, send Reiki blessings from a distance and most amazingly give some hands on energy healing to the members of The Courage Herd that came to us directly.
The two things I have quickly learned about animals is that 1) most love to receive energy healing and 2) that they will very clearly let you know when they have had enough by walking away abruptly.
I was blessed to have a strong connection with both Whisper- the donkey and Sonnet- one of the mares. Whisper is the resident energy caretaker, constantly working with the horses that are in need. She was well deserving of the energy treatment we gave her and she absorbed it all for a long period of time.
Sonnet was interesting and an amazing learning experience for me. She came extremely close to me a few times. As she neared, I put out my hands but was still at a bit of a distance. Suddenly she turned her back end to me and wanted my hands directly on the top of her hind quarters. Every time I shifted so I wasn't directly behind her, she shifted again so that I was. We went on like this for a few minutes until I realized that this is obviously what she really needed. When we went inside and were explaining our experiences with our Reiki Teacher- Samantha Smith, she explained to me that Sonnet usually stays at a distance. When I described our interaction, Sam confirmed that Sonnet has had some hip issues so she was clearly in need of some energy healing in that area.
I have now worked with dogs, cats, birds, horses and a donkey and each experience brings with it new learning. I know that this is a very big part of my spiritual path and that I will be working with animals forever.
This is one of my favorite photos taken. You can barely see me, but I’m in there. I was in the Mayan Riviera, taking a walk along the beach first thing in the morning and this was the view. In my eyes, you can’t get much more perfect than that. Whenever I come across this photo, it instantly calms me and takes me back to when I could actually hear the ocean waves crashing. Serenity.
It has been a long time coming but it is finally finished. Although I have had this property and view for over 7 years now, I was never taking advantage of it. I am so blessed to be surrounded by nature, forest, animals and birds- a true oasis.
I was recently in Las Vegas and although it is amazing to see, I couldn’t wait to be away from the lights and the crowds. As I sit here, early morning, drinking my coffee, I am listening to the remarkable sounds of nature. There must be 30 types of birds singing their hearts out for all to hear. The problem is, many of us get too caught up in life to notice. Nature gives to us constantly and unconditionally and we don’t take the time to appreciate what we have.
I am making myself a promise to start spending time out here, in silence....no phones, no tv, just the sounds of nature and complete peace.