Lifestyle

A New Day, A New Dawn

 

It’s a New Day, a New Dawn

For each of us, this transitional time marks an end and a beginning, ushering in a powerful time of the year when we can choose that which stirs our deepest, most conscious yearnings for the journey we find ourselves on. December has always been, for me, a time to go inward and reflect. Often I am more emotional and seek that quiet space that allows me to consider where I have been and how far I have come, have not come. I do so with compassion for myself and gently honour it all.

This year has marked me and many of us significantly. The world as I knew it to be has been rocked to the core and so, sometimes, I struggle with feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness. What looms large in our world now is messy, scary and disheartening and I ask for clarity and understanding as I move forward. What I know to be true is that the powerlessness I feel sits around not being able to ease the fear that marginalized people out there must feel at this unsettling time in history. What I also know to be true is that I am not powerlessness to control what moves inside of me, and in fact, is the only thing I do have control over. So this is my work, every day. Observing self, my thought forms, emotions, fears and questions, allowing them each space inside of me to take shape while at the same time knowing that they too, are not static and organically evolving as I do. I am grateful for my current opportunity which allows me the solitude within an incredible natural landscape on an edge where land and sea meet, to ponder and consider all that shows up, sometimes crashing and other times like a slow rolling tide. What I return to again and again is to stay grounded and in love.

Recently I had lunch with a friend of many years, someone who has graced my life so lovingly for over 40 years now and who I may not see for many years at a time. Tyrone was the main architect of California’s wind energy policy, among other things, and he and I worked together prior to that at New Alchemy in Massachusetts. He quoted a friend of his at some point during our hours together, “If you don’t have a practice, you don’t have a chance.” This resonated for me as I found, and still find, myself in deep process over the changing world we live in and the changing body that I am. Having a practice is having a path to the person that I am, the place where I am at.

It does not matter the practice one chooses as a practice is something personal and unique to every human. What matters is that you find a way to access that place inside of you where you can return to whenever you require guidance, peace, when you need to gather strength or, simply, to remember. I think, more than ever, that the ‘remembering’ is crucial, to remember that we came from love, that we are love and that it is a requirement for all of us. Love is who we are and why we are here. There are as many methods to accessing the deep knowing inside as there are people on the earth. There are tried and true methods that many people adopt which may or may not provide the desired results for you. What do you desire? This too is different for each of us and so should the practice not speak to the desire? Your journey is your own and there is no finish line. My ways to be in connection may not seem ‘conventional’ to someone else but they work for me. More important than believing there is a right way is to remain open and find your own way.

The practice’s that work for me are the ones that I carry with me and access in every moment. They are about presence and awareness and holding space for it within my daily interactions as I move through my life. Instead of setting aside a special time in which to become present within myself, I exercise the ability to remain there through the messiness and uncertainty of life. One of the reason’s I choose this method is that it is always there to guide me in each moment while also allowing me to self-observe and in this way I strengthen my practice and self-regulate on a regular basis. It is always there for me. My practice provides my life with a richness that colours my world in ways that never cease to amaze me. You will know when you have found what works for you because it will resonate inside and small shifts in the landscape of your life will make themselves known.

In the days and years ahead I think we will all need to feel some control over our innermost thoughts all the tricks our minds can play, the havoc they can wreak. Learning to go inside and access the body, the feeling body where our true wisdom lives, will be our greatest strength. It will be from that place of grounded stregnth that will allow us as individuals to reach out in love and solidarity to assist others in times of need.

I wish for everyone to have peace in their hearts and love in their life.

Kathi


Explorations of Inner Space

 

 

Sunday October 1, 2017

10:00-4:00

$110 includes lunch, snacks

 

In these times of turbulence, uncertainty and anxiety it can be helpful to explore one’s “inner space” where there is a source of balance, strength, and wisdom. This experiential workshop guides participants to that inner calm through centering exercises, relaxation, guided imagery, free writing/drawing, and discussion. 

Susan Walsh is a counselling therapist with a background in creative arts and Psychosynthesis, a therapeutic approach that is based on the premise that every person has the potential to access an inner wisdom and source of healing.

 

susanwalsh487@gmail.com

 

Testimonials:

“I learned new skills/techniques to help me deal with stress, negative thoughts and change my way of thinking.” C. Cameron, nurse

The experience I had was magical…I felt a sense of relief and letting go when I left, looking forward to the next week.” J. MacKay, Healthcare Worker


Sheng Zhen Qigong Day Retreat

Date: October 21, 2017

Time: 10:00-4:00

Facilitators: Carol Anne Landry

Fees: $110
Day Workshop, lunch and snacks

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Sheng Zhen Gong is a system of Qigong that is unique in that it focuses on Opening the Heart and teaching that Love and Qi are original, universal energies that are never separate from one another. The theory is that everything came into being through the power of Love, including Qi. As one’s Heart naturally opens through the regular practice of Sheng Zhen Gong, Love and Qi begin to flow through the practitioner. In time, one begins to experience that, indeed, Sheng Zhen, or unconditional love, resides within oneself, transforming ones consciousness and view of life and the world.

As is eloquently stated by Master Li Jun Feng, “Sheng Zhen Qigong is movement and non-movement combined, internal as well as external, physical as well as spiritual. The heart and the spirit return to simplicity and freshness. You can be in the present to enjoy every moment in life; to taste the fullness of life.”

To embark on the practice of Sheng Zhen Qigong is to embark on a journey of rediscovery, back to one’s true home.”

Kathi Ryan is owner/operator of Loonsong and is available during this retreat for whatever you need to feel safe and comfortable. Kathi prepares delicious healthy food from local and organic suppliers.

Carol Anne was first introduced to Sheng Zhen Gong in 2003 through Dr. Rose Johnston. After attending a weekend with Master Li in Mahone Bay in 2009 she began teaching weekly classes in Antigonish. Her class has been offered through Recreations Programs in both the Antigonish and Port Hawkesbury areas, as well as yoga studios and meditation centres. In 2014 she attended a 10 day teacher training with Master Li and Jing and is now inspired to teach full day workshops a couple of times a year in the Antigonish area.

 


The Four Agreements

Posted on in Lifestyle.
The Four Agreements are four simple rules to live by and a tool for transforming your relationships and your life into a reality that is infused with love, gentleness and understanding. In this retreat we dive into the Agreements through engaging conversation and sharing our experiences around the use of them. The weekend is interspersed with time to enjoy the beauty of nature, to rest and be nurtured. We will use gentle conscious movement to assist in embodying the Agreements and for those who want to, there will be opportunity to integrate our learnings through creative processes. We ask that all who come to the retreat to read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and to come prepared for conversation around these Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word Don’t Take Anything Personally Don’t Assume Anything Always Do Your Best Massage Therapy with Kathi Ryan and Energy Work with Kathy Roy will both be available during the weekend. This retreat is limited to 6 people. All food is locally sourced and organic as possible, prepared and served with love. “Loonsong provided a beautiful space to come together as a group, to share and learn in a safe and trusting environment. The opportunity to spend time in nature and “cleanse the palate”, clear the mind of clutter and noise was very beneficial.” “What a wonderful, safe and welcoming place to connect, learn from others, about others, and most importantly, about myself.” “A perfect place and atmosphere to be yourself and to consider what is next.” Date: Friday September 10, 5:00- Sunday September 12 Early Afternoon Price: $375 includes light meal Friday, meals and snacks on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. To learn more about Kathy Roy and her offerings visit: www.KathyRoy.com Registration and a 25% deposit is required to hold your place for this weekend.

Spring

The Four Agreements are four simple rules to live by and a tool for transforming your relationships and your life into a reality that is infused with love, gentleness and understanding. In this retreat we dive into the Agreements through engaging conversation and sharing our experiences around the use of them.

The weekend is interspersed with time to enjoy the beauty of nature, to rest and be nurtured. We will use gentle conscious movement to assist in embodying the Agreements and for those who want to, there will be opportunity to integrate our learnings through creative processes.

We ask that all who come to the retreat to read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and to come prepared for conversation around these Agreements:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Assume Anything
  • Always Do Your Best

Massage Therapy with Kathi Ryan and Energy Work with Kathy Roy will both be available during the weekend.

This retreat is limited to 6 people. All food is locally sourced and organic as possible, prepared and served with love.

“Loonsong provided a beautiful space to come together as a group, to share and learn in a safe and trusting environment. The opportunity to spend time in nature and “cleanse the palate”, clear the mind of clutter and noise was very beneficial.”

“What a wonderful, safe and welcoming place to connect, learn from others, about others, and most importantly, about myself.”

“A perfect place and atmosphere to be yourself and to consider what is next.”

Date: Friday September 10, 5:00- Sunday September 12 Early Afternoon

Price: $375 includes light meal Friday, meals and snacks on Saturday and lunch on Sunday.

To learn more about Kathy Roy and her offerings visit: www.KathyRoy.com

Registration and a 25% deposit is required to hold your place for this weekend.


A Place to Heal and Grow

Posted on in Lifestyle.

The Casket. Oct 26 by Debbie Johnson

 

Kathi Ryan

Kathi Ryan

CL: Kathi Ryan sitting close to a brook near the Loonsong Cottage Retreat on her Country Harbour property. She has spent the last two weekends clearing a walking trail.

 

Loonsong Cottage Retreat has been a vision for a while for Kathi Ryan. The ex-pat American, who has come to the Antigonish area via Pictou County has worked in the holistic healthcare and healing sector for 30 years.

Loonsong offers programs, workshops and retreats with the focus on reclaiming the self which include programs like splint-style basket making being held in November as well as programs focusing on holistic, spiritual and physical growth and change. The retreat is also able to customize a program to suit the needs of groups who might want to spend a weekend in a relaxed and pristine setting.

From a personal journey Ryan saw the idea of having a place for healing and growth as part of it. The retreat, located in Country Harbour Guysborough County is this place. Though new to the area it offers a variety of programs and retreats for women.

With a background in massage therapy and a strong advocate of self-care Ryan’s assets reflect what she calls “her ability to nurture and take care of people,” having Loon song brings all of this together for her personally.

“I think of it as my sacred livelihood, Ryan said.

She has taken the time to get her information in the public eye with posters and an online presence with a new website.

“I am still on a huge learning curve with that and hope to do more writing and offering more programs.”

Wanting to work with other women in the area like Nancy MacFarlane with Spice of Life Natural Products and Kathy Roy, another holistic practitioner, Ryan is focused on women helping women supporting their own small businesses.

“I always saw myself as the person who supplied the space and the logistical resources for this kind of thing to happen,” she said.

The retreat is in place to allow other liked minded therapists and practitioners to share their skills and knowledge with participants in various programs offered through out the year. Though able to offer massage therapy and facilitating her own workshops she sees the retreat as something involving others who shared her vision.

Ultimately her hopes are to establish a co-operative business where women would be working together. Having worked in similar groups with local Pictou County artists and with institutes in the U.S. she has had positive experiences working with like minded women.

The whole idea of a place where women can be with their other female friends and do something a little different means Ryan will be able to offer something similar to a “spa menu” and is also hoping to come up with a studio space for participants.

Offering Nia or yoga retreats is another facet to this retreat she hopes to build towards. Nia is a body, mind and spirit fusion style fitness that has been around for about 30 years. It blends nine movements from the healing, martial and dance arts.

Ryan said the exercise is a healing form of movement that women get a lot out of it.

“It’s where I source my joy from,” she said, adding that she has close to 20 members who come to her weekly classes at St. Andrew’s Junior School.

She says that the Antigonish area has what is called “modalities in the line of energetic and spiritual healing.”

“Some things happening here I can’t find in California, there is something magic about this place for sure,” she noted.

When she first bought the property in Country Harbour she said she fell “in love with a spot” and didn’t have the retreat in mind initially but quickly realized that was what she had been looking for to create the retreat.

Her desire to help out others is the motivation behind Loon Song. She integrates basket making as part of her retreat because she says that using one’s hands is a “primal thing” driven by a desire to make something or being creative. As an artist she sees the creative value of being able to make something by hand.

Sian Turner, who has worked with Ryan on delivering the workshops has been making them for 30 years and has offered workshops for the last five. Having hosted a group of four friends who, for the last 20 years, get together for a weekend Ryan noted that their feedback on the basket making weekend was very positive.

Ryan and her retreat partners have conducted a number of programs over the last year and hope to grow and expand on them through positive collaboration with other small business owners who share her vision and passion for helping people grow, heal and fulfill their potential.


Hammock Sleeping

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I began sleeping in a Mayan hammock about 20 years ago when I discovered that in waking up I was able to stand tall with no stiffness in my lower back which, out of a bed, always had me moving around for 30 minutes or so before it would ease. It was a no brainer for me. As time went by I realized other benefits like deeper sleep and less pain in my neck and shoulders as the weave of the hammock supports the body instead of pushing against it, similar to how a water bed does.The main focus of a Mayan hammock is the intertwined, sprang-woven pattern that is the trademark of a Yucatan hammock. Each hammock is handmade and therefore each hammock bears the distinct finger print of the artisan. No two hammocks are exactly a like, each has its different quirks that makes it special.

Sprang Weaving is one of civilizations oldest weaving methods. It is a simple method of inter-locking parallel cords to produce a strong, flat fabric that is fixed in one dimension and expansive in the other dimension. The process does not use a loom and can be done between any vertical posts or small trees. It is labor intensive with no machinery. The benefit of the sprang weave style is that it allows the hammock to contour to the body. The hammocks do not put pressure on body’s pressure points. Instead, weight is evenly distributed, giving the user a relaxing sensation. IMG_1927 A new study, conducted by a team of Swiss researchers and published in the June issue of “Current Biology” has offered a scientific explanation for the longstanding global hammock craze. The team found that a swinging motion synchronizes brain waves, allowing people to doze off faster and attain a deeper state of sleep. Their results also support the ancient, and very much alive, tradition of rocking children to sleep. Designed in, and for, hot climates should not deter a northerner from experiencing the incredible comfort of a Yucatan hammock. It is easy to be warm in the nest of a hammock…….requires only blankets and/or a sleeping bag. Another huge benefit of hammock vs. bed is the space that is open for other purposes when hammock is not in use.

Perfect for Fathers Day these hammocks hold any size of man or 1500 lbs of weight.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or to try a Mayan Hammock  at (902) 867-1613 or visit our website at www.loonsongcottageretreat.ca.


Embracing the Dark

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I remember the first winter I spent in the east, where the seasons are clearly defined,  the sensation of my body knowing that the seasons and the human body share a rhythm that has since, become essential to me. Even before I experienced it there was a longing, a memory of something missing for me. I did not belong to southern California and the endless stream of sun and dry. At the age of nineteen I moved across the country and have felt ‘home’ ever since.

As we approach the shortest and darkest days of the year, challenging for so many of us, I always find comfort in the knowledge that my body appreciates this time. Slowing down and taking time to go inside becomes the comfort I seek and the fullness I sense in my being. The colder, darker days supports this simple act of rest and makes room for reflection and the shifts that can happen for us if we allow time to open ourselves to the mystery. Each of us have the ability to shift our perception around any situation, including how we ‘view’ this season and its inherent darkness.

As humans we possess both the light and the dark, our illuminated self and our shadow side. It is always in the balance of the two sides that we find harmony. In order to accept the dark as it dominates this particular time of our lives, we need to first accept this within ourselves, to grow comfortable with the fact that we own both. If we can look at the whole of ourselves with the light of love in our hearts then we can more easily accept the dark side of the seasons as purposeful. Just as our shadow side has its role in balancing our nature, winter plays its role of balancing the seasons of our lives.

Embrace this season. Let your light, which is always present in you, shine your love to all whom you come in contact with during this season. This simple act of giving your light away will come back to you over and over again and be the sustenance that will see you through. Each day longer by minutes…….spring is on its way to once again to create the internal harmony that our bodies crave.


Tending the Hearth

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This bodysuit where we reside is also the home and memory bank of the lives we have lived. We can pull up the scintillating moments of our past and relive the emotions of those highlights with great pleasure and glee. They are stored, not only in our mind and heart but in our bodily tissues, the muscle memory that maps our history.

What of our darker past? No one escapes the perfect yin yang balance that comes as our birthright. This is our path to travel, experiencing the joys of our days alongside the sorrows, the travails. All of it lives and expresses through the physical body that is our home.

Home. The word conjures sensations of safety, warmth, comfort, and familiarity. It also brings the image of a structure, four walls and a roof, a place where we return to at the end of the day, a place where we can safely spend the day in our pajamas and not brush our hair. I suggest that we tweak this notion a bit and consider that it is our physical body that is our true home and where, if everything we know and trust as real were stripped away, that this place, this body we live in, would now be the home where we would need to settle into for this same sense of comfort. If we can begin to make this small perceptual shift in which we understand that the peace that we feel in our house is what we need to seek within the interior of our being, then perhaps we would tend to the needs of our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies in a way that is more loving and complete?

When we are able and willing to meet the inner landscape of our being, that personal map imprinted in our muscle memory , with the same open loving arms that we would meet a beloved friend, we can then step into the possibility of softening what might have, over the years, become personal armour, a high barrier of a wall, constructed over our lifetime without our necessarily being conscious of it. These stored memories are mere moments in time, from a small perceived slight to a full blown assault on the system, planted as a seed and, if watered and tended, living and thriving as part of our NOW identity. Those who are willing to begin the exploration, who say yes to movement that is, not only possible, but an essential ingredient to the juiciness of life, can bring light unto themselves and all whom they love. Only shining a light on the dark will illuminate that which needs to be released.

Through Movement We Find Health. We live in a body that is designed and meant to move. When we move our bodies in awareness and ways that are conscious we can begin to move and release memories that no longer serve us, sometimes ones that we are not even aware that we harbour. We live in a time and a culture that does not always support the kind of movement choices that the body requires to stay healthy and to keep things moving and releasing in the normal course of our daily lives. It requires effort on our part to get to the gym, the pool, the trail, the studio and then more often than not these activities we choose are mechanical in nature. They lack emotional and spiritual expression and become exercise by rote which might serve the physical body but what of the others? Self care needs to encompass and address the whole of who we are, all of our bodies simultaneously.

Dance has been around for as long as we humans have gathered on this earth. We have danced in prayer, ritual, grief, joy, celebration, honouring, seeking, exploration and joy. Dance is how we move every part of ourselves, all of our bodies. It is prayer, it is ritual, it is celebration and it is what our bodies are designed to do. I say Dance. There is no right way to dance your body, there is only your way. And did you know that no other activity, not even crossword puzzles and suduko, come close to dance as an activity that increases brain function?

Nia is a fitness and lifestyle practice that is whole body conditioning on every level. Nia blends nine movement forms from eastern and western practices into a movement that is expressive, fluid, yin, yang, joyful and cardiovascular. It fosters flexibility, agility, stability, mobility and strength into one program that is never the same twice because we are never the same twice. For a movement experience that can transform both your body and your life, try Nia.

Or…..just dance. For the Joy of it.

If you are interested in a workshop in your area I travel Nova Scotia to offer this. New instructors are needed everywhere and a White Belt Training will be offered at Loonsong in the fall of 2017. A workshop offers the foundation and fundamentals of this practice

 

 


Reality Manifested

Posted on in Lifestyle.

 

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What does this look like? What does it mean to mainfest your own reality? It is a common phrase to hear or read these days and as real as the creating what you desire or what you fear is possible. We get to choose and we do so energetically.

I realize now as I can look back on the long road of my life, that I have been doing this since I was a young girl though not realizing nor calling it that. At some point in my life, maybe half way through it was clear that I had reached most of the goals that I had set in my life. It was actually a revelation. My mom did not talk about goal setting as far as I can recall but I did it anyway and the goals I set came from a place of clarity about what I desired or knew that I needed in order to be comfortable.

Then the day came when I knew that I needed to make a life altering change, one that would bring about pain and grief to more than myself and there was great fear in me about making a decision that would bring harm to others. I lacked faith at that point and was fully aware that it was faith that was required for this manifestation to be realized. I was very clear that I could not just theorize faith, that it needed to be a felt sense, fully embodied and grounded faith in something larger than myself.

One day it was there, as clear as when it was not. I made my leap of faith and I was so lovingly caught from that leap that I have never once since then, doubted how the Universe has been with me my entire life, guiding and directing my life and helping me to attain each goal I set for myself. I learned to get out of the way and to allow life to unfold. I learned to take the setbacks with grace and to let go of expectations around how I envisioned or desired things. I opened myself to greater possibilties by trusting that spirit loves me and knows what I need while it has its loving hand on my back, nudging me forward, reminding me to maintain humilitya nd keep the Joy present.

Something I have been saying for a year or so to people is that I have learned to be careful for what I wish for and to know deeply that just because I can do something does not mean I have to. I relax into the unfolding. I met a man yesterday who put it so well, “Set intention and duck.” I love the image that it conjures and smile at it’s clarity.

I was very clear in the intention set a year ago when winter was ruthlessly wearing me out, to spend this winter somewhere warm and to build community among those who share my life philosophy, that of simplicity, honoring each others gifts, sharing and helping one another and creating a life of Joy while being in service that benefits the earth and all living things. As JR Tolkien so beautifully spoke, ” I too am a steward. Did you not know?”

Manifestation may not always come exactly as you imagined and there may be obstacles along the way based on what you need to grow and learn. Every experience a gift as well as an opportunity. I was challenged greatly for the first 6 weeks I was here and feel such gratitude for the personal realization that I gained. When I found my ‘tribe’ it came packaged more beautifully and abundantly than I could have ever dreamed.

So be with your thoughts and let them go freely outward towards a vision that you hold dear and then, no matter what, never let go of the vision unless it is a conscious choice you make as life becomes change. It is the one thing we can count on…..life becoming change. Be like water, know that life flows through you and guides you to the places you desire.

Choose well……and duck.

 


New Beginnings Held Lightly

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It is the time of the year when we often make a promise to ourself, perhaps silently and yet no less potent by not having voiced the intention. Energy follows thought. Each cell in our body sits poised for the intention made to manifest. Enter self compassion. Making the decision to alter an aspect of ourselves is not the same thing as the necessary steps to execute said action.

I set an intention for myself several months ago following a retreat that we offered at Loonsong based on the Four Agreements. It was a juicy several days and left us with much food for thought which I am continuing to chew. I am grateful now for the Fourth Agreement, Always Do Your Best, as I bear witness to the struggles that both humble and excite me.

Currently I am living in a remote area of the world where I have not left the property for 2 weeks other than a few miles down the road to the largest living coral reef in this part of the world and a 4 wheeler expedition up the arroyo at sunset. I am face to face with myself each and every day, long hours of my own sweet company. I cannot hide, deny or distract myself from what is true. Self compassion is an easy practice for me and so I find it humorous and can laugh at myself as I observe how I am not doing that great on my intention even as I am doing my best. We are human and our best is different in each moment. Self compassion plays a huge part in giving yourself permission to make mistakes and can serve as a teaching moment to those whom you care about. We teach by example and most importantly, to our children. If we had all learned to be a little softer with ourselves at a young age we might all feel more content with who we have become.

So if you choose to set an intention for this new year ahead be sure to hold it lightly and do your best knowing that your best changes every day, every moment depending on……..everything. Speak love, think love and be love. It is all you need.

 

 

 

 


Choosing for the Self

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I share this experience of my life because the act of conscious choice  has been the greatest tool in my toolbox for life. It is such a simple tool, requiring not much more effort than the best you have in any given moment. This means it can be minimal effort since it is not about the effort but about the choice along with intention and the fact that you have made it. When you choose for you, the entire being, this essence that it is you, lights up with the awareness of love being directed and delivered straight to the source. Subtle yes but no less profound in its effect. It might be a choice as simple as, No, instead of going to the staff party because I am exhausted and feel totally obliged to do so, I am going to put on my pajamas and crawl into bed with a cup of tea and the wonderful book I am absorbed with. What a message of love you have delivered to yourself. What beautiful healing commences, unaware as you may be of the cascade of loving energy that is now flowing to all parts of your body/spirit. Surrendering into the peace and solace of self-care.

So simple. So hard by times. We are not given permission to pamper. What decadence is this? Is it? In my world I have experienced that the more I open to giving to myself, the more I give myself permission to slip into this soft place of loving kindness, the more I have to give away. My cup runneth over. Everyone benefits. I would say it requires that perceptual shift, taking the immediate thought response from, “that would be selfish” to “Yes, that would serve all of us better.” Who does not feel that they would like more energy to give to those who clamour for our attention (kids/parents/partner) or are in need? Tis the season. Rather than deplete yourself in the quest to be of service to everyone in your world, try making you number one, in small and simple ways, and see if it works for you, if see if you experience a richer form of joy and contentment within which to operate from. Start small, small is beautiful, and like any muscle stretching and growing into new form this will become easier. As you sense the benefits of which I speak you will not look back. You will experience a new vitality, one born of pure self compassion and self love and like the young child who is offered unconditional love by all, you will begin to thrive.

Best of the holiday season to you all. May it carry you through the long dark winter and into a new way of being and creating in the world. Me? I have chosen, for myself, to spend this winter in warmth, probably one of the wiser and more loving decisions of my life. I can only imagine how this will manifest outwardly to others, my blissful contentedness flowing out to all in its path. I hope to engage more with writing but will let that idea unfold as it will.  I am grateful to all who have registered on the Loonsong site and I apologize if your expectations have been disappointing.


Transition

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This week marks a large transition for the planet and all who live on it. We moved through the 7th and final Pluto Uranus Square on the 15th and today we experience a solar eclipse just one hour after the Spring Equinox when the balance of light and dark are equal. There are those who believe that this has no effect on  humans or other life on planet. How can this be when we all have experienced the influence of the moon on the tides and on the emotions of people, especially women, who live among and with us?

Denial is a response to the dark side of fear. What we do not know or understand we instead, fear. The side effects of fear are broad and far-reaching and perpetuate the places in us that are stuck and not moving forward. Fear is the monster under the bed and the doubt in our hearts.

This particular time and the significant planetary alignments  in the heavens that we are all experiencing is giving all of us the energy we need to break free of old and outdated beliefs, about ourselves, our world, our relationships and our memories. This time is a gift in which we are supported by the Universe to create the change we want to see, in ourselves and in the world, though the turmoil and chaos that we feel and sense in and around us does not necessarily appear to you like a gift. It feels far more dangerous and foreboding than that and fraught with uncertainty.

And so it is. Change is never easy. Faith cannot be called up or ordered instantaneously just because you wish you had it. I have lived in this place of knowing that faith was required but it meant nothing to know it and not to possess it. We cling to what we know, to what is familiar, to what is safe and comfortable because who knows what is on the other side of fear?

Ask for guidance and for the strength you need. There are those that are listening and waiting for you to ask. You will know faith when it comes to you and in that faith comes the absolute knowing that you will be lovingly caught in the choices you make towards liberating yourself from old belief patterns and ways of being in this world. I am not saying it is easy but it is simple.  We are each being called to go deep into our hearts and to honor what we find there. It is a soul-call and the reason we are here.

I bless and celebrate your journey.


The Awakening

Posted on in Lifestyle.

 

 

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A time comes in your life when you finally get it……When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks

And somewhere, the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying.  Enough struggling to hold on. Like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your own tears and through a mantle of wet lashes, you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is the awakening…….you realize it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world, there aren’t any fairy tale endings (or beginnings) and that any guarantee of happily ever after must begin with you and in the process,  a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are….. and that’s ok.

And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process, a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the crap you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children and what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the differences between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it truly is in the giving that we receive and that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop manoeuvring through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything; it’s not your job to save the world and you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You earn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love.  How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.  You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more loveable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love; and you learn you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms, just to make you happy.

You learn that alone does not mean lonely. You look in the mirror and come to term with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you ‘stack up.’

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that the feelings of entitlement are perfectly ok and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes, it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less. You allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his touch and in the process, you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So take more time to rest. Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul; so you take more time to laugh and play.

You learn that for the most part in life, you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen, is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s ok to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all; FEAR itself. You learn to step right into your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give into fear, is to give away the right to live on your terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers; it’s just life happening.

You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state; the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood or re-directed or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many  of the simple things we take for granted; things that millions of people on this earth can only dream about;  a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed and a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart’s desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind, you make a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

 

Author Unknown


Invitation to View Life As Art Creations

Posted on in Lifestyle.

 

Spring Woodland

Spring Woodland

 

Fortunately, for me, my mother was an artist of the highest caliber though she never thought of herself as such or did it for any other reason than the sheer joy of expressing self. She encouraged and inspired us at young ages to create with our hands and to find the joy in doing so. My two siblings and I have spent our lifetimes in creative pursuit and like her, mostly for the sheer love of doing so. Art has the capacity to feed a soul in a way that is similar to how a stunning sunset can momentarily take our breath away. This is why we need art in our lives. It allows us to transcend our earthly restrictions and feel a sense of the divine.

In economic times such as the one we are living in people need art more than ever and I feel this all around me as the local community continues to support artists at markets and fairs. In the depth of our beings we require that which is beautiful to bring solace and comfort.  Often someone will remark to me how much comfort and joy they receive from having my work on their wall, the heart of my work reaching out to them each time they see it. There is no greater compliment to an artist than to know that the work they do will continue to shine love and light long after the purchase and the placement of the piece.

So I invite you to peruse the work I began just over a year ago. This work represents the culmination of many years of working and striving to create a space for myself to be creative in and so what you will see is the pure expression and celebration of this accomplishment. The Life As Art Studio, where Yoga, Qigong and Dance happen downstairs, now sports an artist loft upstairs. I invite you to check out my work on the Gallery Page. Much, but not all of it, has sold and as soon as the big snows leave I will be back there creating new pieces. If there is anything of interest please let me know as I can create one just for you. I will continue to post new pictures as they come into being so stay in touch. https://www.loonsongcottageretreat.ca/life-as-art-inspired-creations/

Loonsong offers artists a secluded and tranquil place to create from. I am there to support you through offerings of Bodywork, Movement, nutritious food and guidance or I can be invisible. Consider an artist retreat for yourself or for a small group. All is possible.


New Beginnings

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Now, at last, in the final days of the year, winter truly shows herself to us. Not threatening but soft. It is difficult to find the words for the gratitude I feel for this gentle beginning, so unlike last year at this time.   I am ready, satiated with the ease of life and ready to embrace the dark snow days ahead.

This time of year always represents an opportunity to consider oneself in the grand scheme of one’s own life. I remember to be kind, compassionate and to treat me as I would a small child, with care and thought. At this time of year we need to let our staunch inner judge have a break so we can more clearly see ourselves as we truly are. Always ready to critique we must remember that the judge lives in our mind, speaks through our mind and this we should not always trust. The mind can twist, alter,  and lie about it and if instead, we can go into our hearts and open them wide to the magnificence of our being-ness we gain a completely different and a truer version of ourselves, a small yet powerful shift of perspective. It helps if you can sit quietly and place your hands on your chest, over your heart center. With your minds eye, take your awareness to your heart  and notice the sensations there. Notice the gentle beat of your life and imagine that same beating heart in every person on this planet. A heart that is strong in purpose and miraculous in its achievement. This alone should be enough for you to gaze in wonder at the beauty of you and at the beauty, at the core, of everyone.

Extending compassion to others is a worthy goal and one that each of us needs to practice but it is not possible to do this if we have not first extended it to ourselves. We need to make ourselves the first priority and once compassion for self is learned, then offering that to others is a natural extension of that, effortless.

Sometimes when we begin a new practice we can become discouraged, consider our failings instead of our accomplishments. This, however, does not serve us. A practice is just that, something we attempt to bring into our lives and it does not and should not ever be connected to judgement. This stops cold the flow of love and compassion. Rather than beat yourself up, place the hands over heart and breathe there for a moment and allow the shift.

The Age of Aquarius is upon us and it brings with it unity and one love for all and according to the Universe, there is no other path to follow.  Happy journeying to each and every one of you in 2015. May your year be thoroughly blessed.