Wednesday, 31 October 2012


This is Brittany. She is amazing! She came to yoga class tonight with part of her Hallowe'en costume. Her purple have to watch Warehouse 13, a sci fi show to know what the purple colour is all about. And she made a Tesla! What a lot of detailed and fun work. I think I am going to check out Nikola Tesla inventions. I bet that Brittany will have inventions too!

Happy Hallowe'en!

If you feel scared - just take a breath and relax.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


I talked with an old acquaintance today. He has a lot going on his life right now that is stressing him out to the max. I listened carefully to see if I could help in some way. I heard him say he needs caring for and he needs a hug. Awwwww, it is the hug, the love that we all need. And of course we shared a super big HUG. I wish I could start some kind of Hugging Group. That people could call for their friends and say this person needs a hug and this hugging group would send someone to hug, maybe different people many times a day, depending on the situation. Just hug. And hug. And hug. So that we know we are not alone. And that we don't always have to talk about it. Connection. Love. Hugs. One hug can make you feel good all day.

I've heard that 8 hugs are necessary for each person, every day.

I've tried this with my partner and it works wonderfully for connection: 6 hugs a day for 6 seconds each.

My daughter bought me this book. It warms my heart.

The benefits of hugging:
Eases tension
Fights insomnia
Keeps arm and shoulder muscles in condition
Provides stretching exercise if you are short
Provides stooping exercise if you are tall
Feels good
Overcomes fears
Opens doors to feelings
Helps curb appetite; we eat less when we are nourished by hugs - and when our arms are busy wrapped around others
Dispels loneliness

Hugging is also portable, is ecologically sound (does not upset the environment), saves heat, requires no special equipment, keeps on working to dispense benefits even after the hug's release, and demands no special setting (anyplace is fine for a hug).

Keep on hugging! Yahoo!

Monday, 29 October 2012

May you live like a frog in the muddy waters; content wherever you are.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Amazing women

We went to see the play, Freedom 85, tonight at Magnus Theatre. On a Saturday night and it wasn't full. That was surprising. The acting was absolutely superb. So many characters played by 2 women! The story had a lot packed into it.......sometimes a good thing can be over done.

My mom used to act at the Finlandia Club when I was young so I know what goes into it - everything you have and then some. I so admire a good actor! The practice, the memorization, the energy, and the heart! And opening night, belly was so full of butterflies for my mom. I felt so proud in the theatre. That's my mom in the lead role. And she's amazing! I always wished that she could have pursued that more.

It is Halloween weekend with an eery full moon soon.

Friday, 26 October 2012


It seems to me that magic exists everywhere. It happens everyday and everywhere but we are not usually aware of it. It is as if we are blind to it even though it is right in front of our eyes.

I felt an enormous sense of magic this morning as I walked Felix. After a few rainy, windy autumn days it was refreshing being out walking along the creek. Felix was bouncing, and sniffing and peeing, ears flopping as he ran. He was oblivious of his sore knee and was just ready for the next moment of adventure. He doesn't make magic. He doesn't try to make something happen. He doesn't look for anything mystical. It's all mystical, since he's a dog. So, I thought could I see the world through his eyes. Not knowing how everything works. Not knowing the names of anything. Not knowing how I am supposed to behave. And it's easy. All you have to do is "be" in the moment and for sure not "thinking" about it. Everything seems to become magical and it is like that the whole time and always but we can't see it because we are too busy with something else. The something else that to me seems boring and dry and important and logical and apparently known because someone else told us so. My conditioning - the things I think are true because I have thought them so many times it's created a groove inside my being. I believe my stale, old thoughts.

How would I be if I couldn't believe anything that I thought?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The other day

I would like to say I have a 'before' and 'after' shot of my office. I don't. I only have the 'before' shot. Sometimes I like looking at my office desk when it's full of stuff. Doesn't it look like I am a busy person? A smart person with all those papers and books? An important person with all those important papers to juggle? And sometimes I crave it to look and be organized, less cluttered, efficient, clean, and simplified.

I have a fridge magnet (my favourite fridge magnet of all time) that says:
"I clean house every other day. Today is not the other day!"
Isn't that great?
I think for my office - tomorrow will be the other day. I will be able to think better.....err.......maybe see better? Thinking is highly over-rated.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The book

Someone told me yesterday of a book that has just come out: Chit Happens by Narain Ishaya. Chit means consciousness in Sanskrit. ( I love that title)! Now I had heard of this book coming out months before because I have met Narain. So, I was all excited to order this book now that it was published. I checked the web and yes, there it was! I was greedy for it - NOW, so I thought to buy it on kindle. I have had kindle on my iPad for a while but only have 4 books or so on it. I pressed buy! And it said I already have a copy on my kindle. Weird! I checked my kindle and there it was. Now how that is possible I have no idea. I hadn't even seen the cover until 5 minutes before. I have thought and thought how it landed there with no ideas. It is a total mystery to me. How magical this world is. I just asked for this book right now - and there it was. Expect miracles!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Happy for a cold.

I have been mostly in bed for 2 days with a cold. It takes a cold sometimes to get us to lie down. For me, I haven't been able to think. I wish I could have read some of the books on my pile but no, I had to just lie down or sit up for a while watching television. It was hard to find something good to watch. I wanted something to make me laugh heartily. Even the comedians weren't that funny. Maybe it was my state of mind - full of mucous.

A cold is good for:
Clearing out, both literally and figuratively.
For looking at why we have to do so much.
For noticing that it's never done - there is always more to do.
For noticing that taking a day off or two isn't the end of the world.
Good for losing a little weight or at least feeling slimmer.
Good for getting more fluids (sometimes I forget to drink enough).
Allowing someone to pamper you and if you have no one then learning to pamper yourself.
It makes you stop and re-evaluate your life.
It boosts your immune system.

So, I am happy for having had this cold. Yahoo!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

October studio walkabout

In my neighborhood there are wonderful artists and every year they give a studio tour. They open their homes for viewing all the art they have been working on. We chat. We have some snacks. And these two pieces are what I bought this year.
The birch tree acrylic painting, in a small, fit anywhere format is by Luke Nicol. I just feel the Finnishness in it. I think my mom is getting it for Christmas.
The pottery bowl is made by Strawberry Hill Pottery, or rather the Powlowski's new work.
Aren't they beautiful?

Fall Garden

Another afternoon in the garden.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Couples. What a funny word. In twos. Hmm. Don and I are teaching a Couples Yoga class this evening. We have done about 10 classes together previously. Every time we learn a lot about each other. Especially when we practice the things we are planning to do. Sometimes I think we speak a different language. Actually, I know we speak a different language. So we spend a lot of time defining words. What does it mean to let the shoulders go? What is trust? What is connection? I've discovered that men don't understand talking until there is connection. And women don't understand connection until there is talking. What to do? We have to just step in there and figure it out together. Maybe breathe together. Look in to the eyes and see what is there behind them. Hug more. Listen more.

We expect relationships to be harmonious. That doesn't necessarily mean being peaceful all the time. There is a dance. A little this way and a little that way finally settling into harmony. And sometimes we are way off base and equilibrium. So what! That's the fun of it. Where can you possibly learn more about yourself than in a relationship? Every button that gets pushed in you is an opportunity to discover and grow into the person you actually are. And then you get to witness this discovery in another. An other. And other. Another. That's a funny word too!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

You are That!

Imagine a globe with littles holes all over the surface of it. Put a lightbulb inside the center. Turn it on. Now the light flows through all the little holes and looking at the globe from the outside you see all these little lights shining. They appear to be separate little lights. We are like those lights. We are brilliant and whole and not separate at all from each other. It is an illusion of separateness. We are all one and you are that inner lightbulb and me too. Let's look inward towards it :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Roasted Squash Salad with Maple-Ginger Dressing

I made this salad for Thanksgiving and for a potluck yesterday. It's easy, folks enjoyed it and it goes great with pork, chicken, or turkey.

It's from a great little cookbook called For the Love of Salad by Jeanelle Mitchell.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small butternut or buttercup squash (about 2 lb./2kg), peeled and cut bite-sized cubes
2 red onions, peeled, and cut into wedges
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, cut into julienne strips, (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar (if you haven't tried sherry vinegar - it's really wonderful)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F
Combine olive oil, squash, onions, ginger, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Spread the vegetables out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning vegetable half-way through the cooking time. Remove from oven to roasting bowl.

Combine vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and ginger. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined.

Add dressing to vegetables and toss to coat. Lightly toss in pecans and cranberries, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012


My friend and fellow meditation teacher, Shanta Devi, arrived today. We are teaching together this weekend. Yeah! We have had a wander through Thunder Bay and a fabulous dinner at Margaret's home......oh I love to eat.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Our bodies

I have asked a number of women in the last few weeks if they liked their body. Only one woman said "pretty much". Everyone had some part of the body that they didn't like. I then asked - and if you were somewhere with no cultural or societal conditioning (like a desert island) would you like your body. The answer was mostly a resounding yes!
So, does that mean that we actually do like our bodies when we are alone with them but not when other people are around? We care what other people think that much? If we didn't know what they should look like then we could just love the bodies as they are. Right? It's all perception. And that's not real. It's just a thought.

Don's beautiful feet -

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


In our meditation group tonight we shared our challenges with making choices. When do we make a choice and when do we surrender?

To me, making a choice from the surface of the mind (where we are conditioned and have our opinions and "know" things) is for the little stuff. For instance do I want to eat a piece of chocolate cake or an apple filled puff pastry? Do I want to buy this blue shirt or this striped one? The consequences aren't too big.....and it's okay if you change your mind and make another choice later.

For important life directions you can't make a decision and be sure of being sure it's "right" because there are just too many variables. We are all entangled with each other. We can't even know what the weather will be like tomorrow so how can we predict anything else. We can only make choices in the moment based on our conditioning or step back from our conditioning (be still, be silent, be present in no-thingness, no conditioning) in which we connect to pure source rather than our limited minds. I would rather step back into the bigger picture for bigger decisions. And then surrender the unfolding of the situation.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Eating together

I love eating food. We had a big gang at our place today.......eating and eating......and because there were a number of younger folk, we watched funny videos on YouTube. I don't think adults would purely watch these videos but with some youth laughing we got into the silliness with them. I notice how how teenagers and younger children love to see the adults in their lives laugh and enjoy themselves. Just to laugh for laughings' sake. They know we need this. And when do we forget and become so adult? Authenticity is everything.

Bless the times of plenty of food and laughter.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


There is nothing more powerful than an attitude of gratitude.
Being grateful for every moment......every moment.....just as it is, can change your life. At the very instant that I feel grateful by appreciating the moment, and the person, thing, stuff included in it, I can feel the surge of energy. It is like a surge of joy. An instantaneous surge of joy. 

We can do a gratitude journal by writing down 10 things that we are grateful for each day. That's great! And even more wonderful to notice at any moment how you are feeling. When you are not feeling joy you are wanting the moment to be different than it is - either wanting something else to be in it or something to be out of it. Even the moment that is uneventful or even seen as "bad" can be filled with gifts. It is so easy to criticize and to see what is "wrong" first. Turn it around and see the "good" and eventually drop all bad and good and just feel gratitude and thanksgiving. It's always all good. Trust that.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

An autumn work day

Autumn seems to have even more work than the spring. Spring in the north is a time when it just feels warm outside and I can hardly wait to get my hands in the earth and feel in the soil. In the autumn it starts to cool and today has a cold wind and it would be easier to be inside reading or cooking something in the oven. Tea is brewing, my face is rosy, hands are chapped and I feel so grateful to be in four season country.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ducks Fly Moon (Raven) Sept 23 to Oct 23

Those people born between Sept 23 to Oct 23 have the Jasper as their mineral totem, the mullein as their plant totem and their animal totem is the raven.

Like their stone, Raven people can come in a wide variety of forms, depending upon their mood or balance at any given time. When they have attained their balance they can be like the most treasured amulet of their stone - all heart. They are kind, loving, considerate and truly concerned with the welfare of others. When they are not in balance they can generate deep depression and confusion.

The colour of the Raven people is the brown of the autumn earth. Brown has the ability to help people unite the power of the earth and the power of the spirit through their own beings. It is a colour of grounding and stability.

From the mullein plant, Raven people are reminded of their many versatile and helpful talents, as well as their ability to shift and change. Some of the names of the mullein plant are good descriptions of these folks in their various stages of being, for they can be as scratchy as wool one day and as soft as velvet the next. The plant and the people can be very soothing to any ills that you have. Raven people should keep some mullein around for their own use.

Like the raven, people of this totem are capable of soaring to and fro and of winging down to a place where they can absorb the good energy of the earth. They are people who are comfortable in both the realms of the earth and the realms of the sky. How far they can fly and how gracefully they can soar depend on the state of balance that they have achieved within themselves.
Raven people are wary. They tend to withdraw from a situation at any sign of danger. They are intelligent people, able to learn from all the views and ideas that they are capable of seeing. They are adaptable. They are used to living in an emotional world of change, so changes in the physical world don't bother them greatly. They tend to be group-oriented. The home is important to these folks and they have an eye for attractive settings.

People traveling around the wheel at this point can experience the paradoxes of their own lives in a much more direct and intense way than they have before. They may discover how they can bring more balance into their lives.

Excerpted from:

Thursday, 4 October 2012


It is wonderful to sit at home all evening when the wind blows outside and the leaves swirl around onto the doorstep. I have watched television all evening and looked through old magazines for recycling........and drank hot chocolate. So ordinary. That's home......a place to be ordinary and enjoy it.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

All of it.

When someone said to my friend last week that she always seems happy, she said, "I am mostly happy, except when I am not." Isn't that the truth.

Yesterday, I was telling a group of people how I love driving alone when traveling. And I didn't want to offend anyone there (in case we ever drive somewhere together) so I said, except when I am traveling with people. Duh! But somehow it's all the truth. I am traveling alone and loving it and then when I am traveling with someone I am loving that too. Does it have to always be one or the other? I think not. Both can exist together.

I can't decide what season I love best. Today I feel like I don't want to put summer away in a box. And at the same time I love the smell of the air in autumn, the wood pile, the drying leaves. The flip flops and jackets and mitts in the morning, and the sleeveless shirt and scarf in the afternoons.

Maybe I can love all the seasons without a favourite.

Monday, 1 October 2012

To successful days

I've had the most wonderful busy day. It has been one of those busy days where everything (pretty much) that I planned to do gets done. I like that feeling of success. Usually I plan way too much for the day and grumble later when it is not completed or sorted how I planned. Today, I didn't overload myself, so there was time to do my own practices, as well as get all the work on my calendar done. So, I must continue getting to know what is the right amount on the calendar - so that every day I am a success. Well, I know I am always a success but I want to feel it this way too. I even have super energy and it's way past my bedtime.