Posts tagged ‘awareness’

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 . . . .

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October 4, 2013

When the moment calls you, listen

Ever wonder what it means to live in the present? Here’s a great example from Stephen Hume’s essay “A Walk with the Rainy Sisters,” published in his anthology of the same name:

The wind rose suddenly the other night, nudging me awake. It rustled through the forest canopy of maple and willow outside my window and snuffled around the eaves like some enormous, restless animal.

I slipped out of bed and into a pair of jeans, shrugged into my old Cowichan sweater with the snowflake pattern, stepped outside the world we parcel out in hours, minutes and seconds and went for a walk in the dishevelled vastness of time embedded in every starry night at the edge of the continent.

The wind had swept the sky clear. . . . Above the road, a river of stars, the Milky Way, the embracing arms of the galaxy . . . . The whole vista of the winter heavens spread around me.

Awoken on a windy night that seemed to whisper his name, Hume gave in to the mystery of that call. He didn’t roll over and go back to sleep. Instead, he grasped the moment and went outside for a walk, alone, in the middle of a dark, chilly night. As a result, he was dazzled by a clear, glittering sky and filled with such a strong sense of peaceful connectedness that the memory of it continues to move him to this day.

Being present doesn’t have to involve big moments. All it requires is recognizing — and acting on — the urges that pull you at the very moment they pull. They’re there for a reason, those urges. Listen, and your life will be rich.

September 21, 2013

Quote of the day: Just let it all happen . . .

Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.
(Wayne Dyer)

July 3, 2013

Be a gatherer (and keep climbing)

I came across these two anonymous quotes on the cover of a small notebook in my favourite local bookstore:

She climbed until she saw.

She is a gatherer: moonlight, found wishes, moments of gratitude.

Beautiful.

April 18, 2013

Poetic wisdom for open eyes and a wild heart

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean —
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

April 8, 2013

The prize for walking the slowest

One of my all-time favourite books is Walking Home:  A Woman’s Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail by Kelly Winters. The book is a memoir of Winters’ six-month hike along the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine — a journey that requires trekking 10-20 miles or more each day, day after day after day, in order to complete the full distance before the snow flies.  Trail hikers often become obsessed with going as far as they can as fast as they can, writes Winters, noting one particular campfire discussion about “trail records” held by people who hiked or ran the Trail in the fewest number of days.  I love what Winters has to say next:

If I ever had to set a Trail record, I’d want the prize for walking it in the slowest time.  I’d hike two miles a day and look at every flower, every stone, every view and every footprint, and I’d spend every afternoon watching clouds, talking to birds, and chatting with other hikers.

Such is the art of being truly present — of being unrushed, of living in the moment, of being aware of your surroundings and engaging with them, of simply being a part of the world instead of burning on by it on the fast track to somewhere else.

The prize for walking the slowest.  Something worth aspiring to, I’d say.

April 5, 2013

Book Recommendation – “The Raven’s Gift” by Jon Turk

The Raven’s Gift chronicles adventurer Jon Turk‘s journey to healing and self-awareness over six years of travel on the Siberian tundra and a series of encounters with a “magic” that permeates the natural world and connects it (and us) to the spiritual realm.  Insightful and incredibly well written, Turk’s story is a reminder of both life’s fragility and its resilience.  His experiences suggest that moments of awareness, connectedness and self-understanding are out there waiting for us, if only we trust enough to switch off our rational minds and just believe.  “It’s not how we seek self-awareness,” writes Turk, ” it’s whether we take the time and energy to make the journey [italics added].”  An excellent read.

 

Image of the cover of the book "The Raven's Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness" by Jon Turk

“The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness” by Jon Turk

July 18, 2012

Words from Shawn Atleo

Collected quotations from Shawn Atleo, who was today re-elected for a second term as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada:

On education:

First Nations youth are the youngest and fastest-growing segment of our population. Their share of the labour force will triple over the next 20 years.  First Nations youth who complete high school are twice as likely to be employed, and those who get university degrees triple their earning potential.  Increasing their graduation rates to match those of other Canadians [40 per cent of First Nations youth graduate from high school, compared to 80 per cent of non-First-Nations youth] would inject an additional $71 billion into Canada’s economy over the next 10 years.  This would help eliminate the employment gap, adding another $160 billion to the economy over a 10-year period.

Investing in First Nations is a long-term, sustainable stimulus plan for Canada’s economy.  And yet our learners languish.  First Nations children receive $2,000 less per year than non-aboriginal students.  Schools lack libraries, computers, even heat and drinking water.  Some of our communities lack permanent schools. Simple fairness dictates that we address this intolerable inequity.

When we open a door to a school, we close a door to a jail cell.

On resource development: 

First Nations can and must have a say in designing more sustainable resource development within our country and in our territories. . . . Together, we must plan what a sustainable future looks like.

On awareness and working together:  

Learning is all about . . . listening for understanding [and for] what each each others’ perspectives are.  Somehow we [in Canada] strayed, and it’s time to return to that sentiment.

The consciousness of [First Nations’] history is starting to become well known.  There’s a real sense of resilience.  We have come through a most unbelievably challenging time where most of Canada has not understood.  Now we are welcoming [Canadians] into this conversation.

Let us turn the page to a new chapter, together.