Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Darkness before Dawn

I volunteer at a Montreal hospital. Yesterday, in the Orthopedics ward, Diana, a young woman in a leg cast, asked to be wheeled outside for some fresh air. The real reason: wanting a cigarette. On the hospital grounds, another young woman, also in a wheelchair, spoke to her as they shared a smoke. She had jumped from her third floor apartment and ended up with multiple injuries.

This is when I discovered how Diana had broken her leg and pelvis. She, too, had tried to end it all by jumping – only from a bridge.

Both these patients are receiving psychological counseling.

But how many people in this time of job losses, debt, foreclosures and relationship breakups are increasingly overwhelmed? Too many feel they are only one step away from disaster. It’s important to ask for help, whether from others or in the form of a heart-felt prayer. How can it be wrong to ask for support, when we are part of the human family, connected to each other through our hearts?

We are heading for what many prophesized as “the end times” in December 2012. I believe this signifies a shift of consciousness and not the end of our world. It’s about our ability to choose love and peace over fear, hatred and war. Most of us now want a saner, more harmonious planet where life is revered and not destroyed.

It begins and ends with US – how we choose to feel and act towards one another. And what we focus our attention on.

May all of us who want these changes emerge into a glorious new dawn!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seeking Solace

Mirroring what is going on in most of the world, protests and demonstrations are now an every day occurrence on the streets of Montreal. A large portion of our population is made up of university students. Although the English students have, for the most part, carried on as usual and finished their school year, many classes for francophone students have been boycotted as they protest a tuition hike. Graduates who speak only French are not mobile. No doubt underlying issues like the high unemployment in this province, especially for the young, and the rising cost of living fuel their anger and frustration. They see little hope for their future under the current system.

People in general are increasingly stressed out – they work longer hours, have less and less job security and are exhausted from having to do so much just to stay alive.

Under these conditions, it’s especially important to take a few minutes each day to seek solace. For some, it’s reading inspiring literature. You could prefer journaling or writing poetry, or doing a nature walk. Or maybe you like working in the garden, feeling the earth between your fingers and the sun on your face. You need to get off that daily treadmill long enough to appreciate the moment and feel alive.

Though I no longer have that kind of stress in my life, I enjoy going for walks or cycling along the river. This morning I saw an egret, a tall, graceful bird, along with half a dozen great blue herons, fishing in the St. Lawrence River, all coming from lands further south. Last week, I saw three big turtles basking in the sun after their winter hibernation and a baby mink jumping over the rocks.

Sometimes all we have are a few moments to call our own. I urge you all to do something that brings you comfort as well as joy. That something will help you get through the rest of it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snowflakes after Rain (Earth Changes)

No one can deny that the weather on this planet has become erratic. Today I watch fluffy white flakes tumble from the Montreal sky, a common sight in March. But only last week, residents were out in shorts as temperatures soared to 26 degrees Celsius, at least twenty degrees above normal. Even nature was confused. Crocuses and tulips came out early and migrating birds arrived ahead of schedule, including hundreds of Canada geese honking their way over the St. Lawrence River.

The record-breaking temperatures were more than welcome here after a long winter. However, a recent series of strong solar flares took people unawares, producing reactions from digestion problems to stressed nerves. Almost everyone senses a change in energy these days. I understand that the base frequency of the Earth is also rising. (For decades, the overall Schumann Resonance measurement was 7.8 cycles per second. It is now over 11 cycles and climbing.)

To adapt to these changes, we must ground ourselves. This can be done through nature walks, regular exercise or more meditative movements. I practice yoga daily and am now learning Tai Chi, a sequence of slow body movements that, like yoga, improve the mind-body connection.

We all need to do what we can to stay in balance!

Friday, January 6, 2012

One Sure Thing

At the local grocery store, I run into Mary, an elderly woman whom I haven’t seen in over a year. She was always thin, no visible fat on her small frame, but now she's gaunt. Although dressed in layers, including a warm coat, she says she’s “freezing” in the produce section as she and her sister look over the bins of onions and potatoes.

I sense there is something terribly wrong with her health but dare not ask.

I tell her it’s slippery outside and to watch out for the icy patches beneath the snow. Her reply: “Oh, yes. I fell already. On the front steps.”

I am about to offer my sympathy when her sister speaks up. “It wasn’t the front steps and she didn’t fall this year.” She shrugs, “Her memory….”

I walk away after exchanging New Year’s wishes, knowing that she will take good care of her sister. They have lived in the same house for decades and go everywhere together. Still, it’s a shock to see someone you’ve known for years and realize she’s no longer the same.

I realized long ago that “security” is an illusion. All the wealth in the world cannot protect you from getting struck by a car, having a heart attack or getting sick.

The only constant in life, they say, is CHANGE. Nothing stays the same – not our bodies, and usually not the relationships or situations that we deal with. We’re here to grow and learn and often the way we do this is through difficulty. An illness, for example, can force us to slow down and appreciate the things which we may take for granted – like the kindness of others or even the way the sunlight glints through the window pane on a frosty January morning.

This year, 2012, is certain to be punctuated by the unexpected, considering the level of chaos in the world as well as the instability in many of our lives. It’s important to stay calm and centered, no matter what goes on around you. Find something to appreciate and to feel thankful for and send as much love and peace as you can to the planet (and to yourself). We are all more resilient than we imagine.

Of one thing we can be absolutely sure. No matter what changes we experience, the human spirit will live on!