Archive for January, 2014

January 28, 2014

Live your future every day

Thought for the day, from American writer Margaret Bonanno:

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.

Cheers to that. Now let’s live it.

January 24, 2014

Why I love B.C. — A province of paradox

British Columbia is a lovely land of vast contrasts and elegant extremes. Author and historian Terry Reksten highlights this wonderful incongruity in the following passage from her book The Illustrated History of British Columbia:

Whenever [the first people] came [to British Columbia], [they] found a land of great diversity. A “sea of mountains” with a broad Interior plateau. A land of dripping rain forests and dusty deserts. A land where the annual rainfall can be as much as 813 cm (Henderson Lake on Vancouver Island) and as little as 20 cm (Ashcroft). A land where temperatures can plummet to -58.9°C (Smith River near the Yukon border) and climb to 44.4°C (Lytton and Lillooet). They also found a land of stunning biological diversity. Of the 196 species of mammals found in Canada, 143 make their home in British Columbia. Of the 3,218 plant species, 2,500 are native to the province.

Just another reason why British Columbia is a truly fantastic place to live, explore and protect!

January 23, 2014

The paradox of change

Thought for the day, from American psychologist Carl Rogers:

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

Accept who you are, be gentle with yourself, and you will open yourself to positive change: this is a theory that I’ve heard applied to several aspects of life.

Learn to love and accept yourself and you will then be able to find a loving and respectful relationship. Accept your fears and you will then be able to detach from them, rationalize them, overcome them. Accept your limitations — learn to work with them rather than against them — and you will then be able to overstep them. Accept that you are OK just as you are in this very moment, and then, miraculously, you can grow beyond that moment.

Acceptance is key to so much in life, yet it can be a tricky beast to master. We often set incredibly high standards for ourselves, and we are certainly our own worst critics. So be gentle with yourself. Become your own best friend, your loudest cheerleader. Start letting go of the need to control how everything turns out. Work on acceptance, and, slowly, it will flower within you, empowering you to transform your self (and your life) into so much more.

January 15, 2014

Embrace the other side of fear

An entry from the book Transform Your Life: A Year of Awareness Practice by Cheri Huber:

The other side of every fear is a freedom.
~ Marilyn Ferguson

The quickest way to find the freedom on the other side of fear is to stop running from the fear, turn around, open your arms, and invite it in.

Today, notice “who” you have to be to have the courage to embrace that which you fear. Choose something you’ve been running from — start small — and embrace it.

Can you do this — turn and embrace that which you fear? I’m certainly going to try . . . .

January 9, 2014

Change lives within you, always

A gentle reminder for the month of January, author unknown:

I don’t have to do it the way I did it yesterday.

You are never stuck in any single pattern of behaviour. You are never limited to act or respond in a certain way, even if you’ve done so many times in the past. What happened last time doesn’t have to happen again. You can change your direction, your approach, your perspective at any time. Ruts don’t exist, unless we let them.

I’m reminded of another quote — one of my favourites — from film director Cameron Crowe:

Every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.

You are always free to carve out a new direction in life. Nothing holds you back but yourself.

January 6, 2014

If time is a circle, can you live on the edge?

We may not realize it, but the concept of linear time is very much a construct of Western civilization. The idea that a person can physically exist in only one temporal dimension — the present moment — without the ability to move between the past and the future worlds, does not hold sway in many other cultures, where time moves at a different pace or even on a different continuum.

Take, for example, the Haida First Nation living in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), a remote archipelago off the northwest coast of British Columbia. For the Haida, writes author John Vaillant in his 2005 book The Golden Spruce, “time operates more like a spiral, or like the rings of a tree.” Vaillant continues:

There is a saying among the peoples of the Northwest Coast: “The world is as sharp as the edge of a knife,” and Robertson Davidson, [a well-known Haida artist and carver], imagines this edge as a circle. “If you live on the edge of the circle,” he explained in a documentary film, “that is the present moment. What’s inside is knowledge, experience: the past. What’s outside has yet to be experienced. The knife’s edge is so fine that you can live either in the past or in the future. The real trick,” he says, “is to live on the edge.”

It’s an intriguing concept, this idea of time growing outwards like a tree. In this case, time is circular, but the plane is horizontal, not vertical, and the direction of movement is outwards in radial lines from the centre, not in loops around the circumference. Here, the countless “rings” of past life and experience accumulate in the centre of the circle, pushing the present — and the future — ever outwards, but remaining close at hand, consolidated and strong, in case of need. This circle, it seems, would collapse without the foundation of the past to keep it strong; yet the circle would also cease to expand and grow if not for the present moment always moving towards (and into) the future.

As novel as this concept may appear to a linear mind, the Haida perspective does share one thing in common with its Western counterpart — and that is the difficulty of staying in the present moment. The present moment is a knife-edge, says Robertson Davidson; it is easy for a person to slip off that edge into either the past or the future. Whether you slip off that edge in a physical sense or a mental one doesn’t really matter, I’d argue. In the end, the trick is the same:  to live on the edge — not in the sense of embracing risk or pushing boundaries, but in the sense of existing in that hair’s-width space of the present moment.

January 2, 2014

Wise words about love and affection

Thought for the day, courtesy of the Buddha:

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

January 1, 2014

January challenge: Become a wild child!

This month’s challenge is inspired by the lyrics from the song “Wild Child” by Enya. Your goal is to start the year off by trying to be completely present to as many of the events, experiences and sensations swirling around you as possible. Take an hour, a morning or a day — or several days! — and give in to the magic of it all. Big or small, loud or quiet, every moment has much to offer, if you give yourself over to it. Even the rain can glimmer with beauty and joy; just look with an open heart.

Best wishes for 2014!

Ever close your eyes?
Ever stop and listen?
Ever feel alive?
And you’ve nothing missing
You don’t need a reason
Let the day go on and on.

Let the rain fall down
Everywhere around you
Give into it now
Let the day surround you
You don’t need a reason
Let the rain go on and on. . . .

Only take the time
From the helter-skelter
Every day you find
Everything’s in kilter
You don’t need a reason
Let the day go on and on.

Every summer sun
Every winter evening
Every spring to come
Every autumn leaving
You don’t need a reason
Let it all go on and on.

What a day, what a day, to take to
What a way, what a way, to make it through
What a day, what a day, to take to
A wild child.