Saturday, August 7, 2010

Invitation to Follow

Dearest Followers,

You can now officially follow the blog from the website.

Thanks always for reading.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moving Homes

Dearest Readers,

Inspiring Works Blog has moved!

One For All

Dearest Readers,

Have you ever noticed that the word "community" ends in the word "unity"? You probably have because it's rather obvious but I don't think I actually became aware of it myself until last year. I was looking to name an Inspiring Workshop for an NGO and suddenly realized that one was embedded in the other.

Pun intended. The word "unity", in fact, comes from the Latin unus, meaning "one". I have a friend who used to say, "We're all One," all the time. Whenever a coincidence happened or when something arrived full circle and we all went, "Wow," she would pipe in with, "We're all One." Well, we are!

Yesterday I was speaking with someone who said she'd been looking for a community in which to feel "a part of" for years. Last week I heard a woman say she never felt like she fit in anywhere. The experience of feeling "apart from" is more common than we think.

My whole life I felt like an alien. I was sure I'd been dropped on the wrong planet. You guys got it somehow and I didn't. Or, the opposite: I got it and none of you did. I felt isolated, different, separate.

Even though the mind will tell us that the cure for this kind of profound loneliness is isolation, we must not buy in. The cure is Community. The cure is Oneness with our fellows.

How to find the fellows with whom we can truly connect? First, we have to know who we are. How can I join a community of like-minded people if I don't know my Self? Self-discovery is a vital part of making that community connection.

For instance, I used to try to connect with the party crowd. It's who I thought I was. Bar-hopping, shot slamming, wild and crazy guys and gals. But aside from some drug-induced conversations that felt really deep in the moment I mostly just felt more alone than ever.

Time for a new crowd! I had to come to terms with the Truth: This is not who I am.

So who am I really? I am a person who has a desire to live a clean life, a spiritual life, a life of service and connection and Love. I am a person who believes in Higher Guidance. Once I connected with my true Self I could begin to connect with others like me.

Finding our fellows is not necessarily an easy task. It takes time and energy and a large dose of willingness. But those whom we seek are out there. Whenever I lead Cultivate Your Courage there is inevitably someone in the group who will say, "I can't believe I'm in a room full of people who live with fear the way I do."

Believe it. We're out here. Come and find us.

Inspiring Message of the Day: The cure for my loneliness is Community. I will continue on the path of Self-discovery so that I may begin to seek out like-minded people and find my place among them.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Don't You Try Acting, Dear Boy?

Dearest Readers,

Have you ever experienced the magic of theatre? Seen a sheet transformed into a baby or an ocean, watched an inanimate object come to life with an actor's deft touch? There's nothing like it. This magic can transport us to other worlds. It can also serve as a wonderful reminder to keep it simple.

Next week, I'll be performing in Nakai Theatre's Homegrown Festival with a new show I'm developing called GITA: God in the Army. The piece is still very new and I'm going to present an excerpt, about 10 minutes.

For the set, I was planning on hanging a couple of chains from the ceiling with hooks on each end. Upon the hooks I would lay a bar to create a kind of trapeze. The trapeze would have a number of functions the primary one being a bar for doing chin-ups (or for attempting to do chin-ups).

This idea seemed simple enough. But it has been causing me some consternation. Gotta do this, gotta do that, gotta buy that, measure that, hang that, figure that out etc.

In rehearsal last night I was using the bar as a prop and because I don't have chains hanging from my own ceiling I held the bar above my head and acted as if I was pulling myself up in chin-up-style-fashion. It suddenly occurred to me that this maneuver was just as effective as having the bar actually secured by the chains.

One of the greatest things I've learned from coaching is that we are allowed to make things easier for ourselves. I come from a "make-it-harder" kind of family and thinking I need to take the more difficult path is an Old BS (belief system) that I've been letting go of for many years.

The new belief is about Being Gentle on myself. How can this be easier on me? What would take the pressure off? What can I do to simplify the situation so that I can relax?

So, dear friends, the chains are gone (good metaphor) and I'm gonna act the chin-up instead. Olivier would be proud.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When I am in a situation that feels overwhelming I will ask myself what I can do to keep it simple, make things easier and let go of pressure. I will allow the Gentle Road to be my Path.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do the Do

Dearest Readers,

As I negotiate the murky waters of grief made even more so by the distance between me and the dearly departed I find myself searching for things to help me connect to the loss. Is there a song on the iPod that will bring the tears? A poem? A movie?

One of the most challenging things to do (at the best of times) is to stay present. I've got a couple of months of travel coming up at the beginning of June and it's incredibly tempting to future-trip my way to departing, traveling and returning back home in fantastical avoidance of the Here and Now.

"Life is a trip," is what I've been saying lately in reference to all that can happen in a day or a week. I honestly don't know how people do it, and by that I mean live, without a spiritual life. What sustains me, what keeps me going and fills me with hope and excitement and the willingness to keep moving forward is faith.

Faith in the Power that makes the grass grow, the sun shine and the wind blow. Faith in the Abiding Presence of this Power in the minutiae of our daily lives. Faith in Love, that inexplicable Energy that springs forth majestically in even the darkest of situations.

For me, this faith is not blind. It's not hoping. It's not wishing. It's practical and it takes work. It's practical because it makes me want to live fully and deeply, which is a heck of a lot better than wanting to die and I've been there done that. And it takes work because it requires prayer, meditation, demonstration and practice to bear fruit.

This blog, as I've mentioned before, is part of this faithful work. When I woke up this morning I was heavy with the burden of facing another day. Not wishing to stay in that place and being aware, at least on some level, of the incredible abundance in my life (making gratitude practically mandatory), I set about doing the things I needed to do to shift my thinking.

As I head toward completion of this post I have a lighter spirit, my energy is beginning to flow and I am feeling much more like do-ing the tasks at hand while be-ing in the present to do them.

The shift began with willingness on my part. "Despite my fear I am willing to move forward." From there I sought help from Higher Guidance. "Help me, take this day, show me. I'm small, I'm weak, I can't do it alone." Slowly but surely my energy has been restored, returning little by little as I do the next thing, take the next step, walk through the fear.

The rain falls steadily but I can see the Sun behind the clouds.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Life's a trip. An ever-unfolding adventure. When we forget this idea and it instead feels like a slog we can ask the Higher Power Back of All Things to support us and hold us up. It will carry us forward with steadfast Love.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Working Out the Bugs

Dearest Readers,

When I was a child growing up in the Yukon the wilderness was my backyard. Even though our house was in a proper neighbourhood there was nothing behind it but bush and mountains. My sisters and I had a tree fort and when that got boring we'd venture further afield by climbing the clay cliffs, exploring the forests and running along the hidden backcountry trails.

One of the telltale signs of spring in the Yukon is the crocus flower. With a hairy stem, purple petals and a yellow centre, this sturdy little soldier grows in clumps, pushing up from the ground in the most surprising places. "Haven't seen any crocuses yet," is an oft repeated remark by Yukoners around the end of April.

I have a vivid memory from my childhood of sitting on the slope of the clay cliffs behind our house on a spring day surrounded by an explosion of purple blooms. I remember picking one and examining it closely, admiring its fragile beauty. Upon closer inspection, however, I discovered the flower was crawling with teeny, tiny black bugs. Shocked and repulsed I threw it away as though it had stung me.

On a walk yesterday I saw the first crocuses of spring. A set of twins or triplets here, a clump of fifteen there, their lovely pale mauve and yellow faces shyly opening to the sun. I suddenly remembered the episode I just described and thought how apt a metaphor the story is for the duality of nature.

In everything there is beauty and there is ugliness.

Not that bugs are ugly for all you entomologists out there but humour me, will ya? The Duality of Nature: there is light and there is darkness, there is life and there is death.

As some of you know I am grieving the loss of my friend Leanne Coppen and so, admittedly, I've got death on the brain. The Big Questions are swirling around in my head. The only answer that brings me any peace is this one: The Great Mystery.

There are black bugs in the flowers. There is death in vibrant life. We must live fully every day knowing each side of the equation has its place in the Universe.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will embrace the duality of Life to the best of my ability. I will accept that being fully human means allowing both darkness and Light to enrich my experience.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Receiving and Giving Back

Dearest Readers,

This will be a short post today as I've committed to helping with a specific chore and time is running out with all I have to do this morning.

The chore is, in fact, a service. My upstairs neighbours have been kind enough to let me use their second vehicle for errands that require four wheels. In order to give back I have committed to helping them clean it so they can now sell it.

This service is really the least I can do. They wouldn't take my money and I believe in paying back. Sometimes we are given gifts and we need to accept them as such. But other times we are obligated to return the gift through selfless service. This is how we maintain spiritual balance.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will make good on any non-monetary debts I owe through service. I will give back by taking action in the appropriate way.