Wednesday 22 February 2012

Exploring Fiber Art

I have been learning the art of weaving fibres from my friend Margie, a talented fibre artist and seamstress extraordinaire, and what a fun experience!  A few weeks ago she took me through the process of making my very own purse made from recycled fabrics and yarn all done on a cardboard loom; you can see bits of cardboard sticking out in the photo.  Over homemade sorbet and good conversation I actually weaved the entire purse.  The next steps will be to put in a lining to give it a bit more durability, and to put on some straps.  Seriously, art projects are such a great thing to do with friends. 
Weave on cardboard loom

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Harley Davidson Teaches Patience

 I am currently house sitting for a sweet and wise 14 year old miniature schnauzer named Harley Davidson.  Most of my experience in the animal kingdom resides with cats and horses, though since arriving on Vancouver Island, I have developed a love and respect for dogs.  They are highly intelligent beings.  It's not that I didn't think they were, it is more that I had yet to witness their intelligence first hand on an intimate level.

Let me give an example: the other evening I asked Harley to get "horsie" from a big basket of stuffed animals.  He disappeared and then minutes later came back with the horse stuffed animal in his mouth...from a BIG basket of various animals!  I was amazed.

The dogs are having their afternoon get together.  Harley is the one with the Harley Davidson sweater on!

Animals can be our greatest teachers.  Harley is definitely teaching me patience.  When it takes me 15 minutes to get him out of my car, or when I have to plea with him to eat his breakfast so I can give him his daily insulin dose, I find my patience level being put to the test.  What I find helpful in cultivating patience is breathing....taking long deep and slow inhales and exhales.  My goal is to take five big breaths and by that time my patience usually settles in.  If not, then I often resort to a couple minutes of alternate nostril breathing.  That technique always works: it is so wonderful in balancing the mind!  I suppose it also helps to be surrounded by an abundance of beauty. :o)
Beachcomber Park - Nanoose Bay

Sunday 19 February 2012

Clearing the Confusion

A Fall day on the Danforth (the old)
I have had a few people inquire about my whereabouts, given that one of my blogs states I reside in Toronto and work at the Carrot Common on the Danforth, and the other reports I live in BC.  I have decided to clarify what is going on for me in blog land.  At some point while I was in Ecuador last year, Google made some changes, and when I arrived in BC, I soon discovered I was "locked out" of my account.  After numerous attempts to contact the support people at Google, and various back and forth emails with various Google reps over a span of four months, it became clear that my efforts were futile.  I tried a couple things with my domain name provider that also proved dismal.

I was not going to let that stop me from expressing myself on the vast and expansive world wise web, so I asked a tech savvy friend to help me set up a new blog.  It works.  There's some wonderful and useful information on my previous blog,, so you actually may find perusing it time well spent!

At some point I may address this issue again, and for now I am content to have the old and the new.

My campsite in BC on a 10 day solo camping retreat (the new)

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Deep Thoughts on Love Day

Today is Valentine's Day, supposedly a day to honor love.  I think every day calls for honoring love, nevertheless somewhere along the line February 14th came to be officially known as Valentine's Day - the day of hearts, all things sweet, giving and receiving, and loving relationships.

I am sure many people are celebrating their loved ones today, as I am in my own special way.  What has been coming up for me lately though is the realization of a lack of love for myself...This is not the case all the time, though I am certainly aware of the ways in which I do not love myself fully and completely.  I think for some, we learn to truly love ourselves by first knowing what it feels like to be in "unlove", at least this seems to be my path.

On a day like today, with all the love in the air, I thought I would feel pure bliss and in full self-love.  Let's see: I recall having fun today going on a mini road trip with a friend, being excited by witnessing community, creativity and cohesion, and yet I also felt some frustration and a lot of fatigue.  This seems to be true for me often these days, and this state is likely directly correlated to some healing work I am doing on my mind, body, and spirit. 

Part of being in self-love, in my view, is being loving with yourself no matter what.  It is about loving yourself through the uncomfortable, the pain, and accepting yourself in that less than perfect place, the place of uncertainty. We are human beings and to love oneself to me means to honor what comes up, even if it's not pretty.  It has got to come up to come out they say.  Unfortunately, many of us have been taught to only show what looks good; smiling is good, and tears in public places are usually not good.  

Lately, I have been feeling less than luminous.  In these times what I cling to is the knowing that change is the only constant.  I know I am that deeply luminescent radiant being I have once experienced myself to be, and I am working on excavating the blocks and rebuilding that self-love to a whole new level of depth and an even deeper sense of knowing.  So no matter what day it is, I am in full expression of self-love.

Perhaps a day like today is a good one to reflect on your self-love level, and to be content with whatever answers you come up with.  Asking these questions and listening for the answers, in my opinion, is a key part of the process to cultivating infinite amounts of love for the self and others.

Monday 13 February 2012

Doctor as Gardener

I recently read the book, The Reinvention of Work, by Matthew Fox, in which he calls out the need for the revitalization and renewal of daily work; work that includes the spirit.  The book was written in 1994, though I think the message is perhaps even more relevant today.  This man was ahead of his time!  If I had to come up with one word to describe the Earth's current status, it would be "breakdown".  Yes, breaking down.  It is quite clear to me that the Earth is in crisis, the issue of water access and contamination, deforestation, our broken health care system, public school system, and I could go on.  The Earth is desperately craving to be healed, and in his book, Fox suggests that in order for the Earth to receive the healing, we as a species must claim back our spirits that have been buried in the machine age era.  We are embarking on the age of the environment.  Hallelujah!

Given my passion for health prevention, nature, and high vibrational living, I especially liked his thoughts on health care.  He referred to a Chinese acupuncture and herbal medicine clinic in San Francisco, founded by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, that takes an Eastern medicine approach, "doctor as gardener", versus the Western mechanistic model of "doctor as mechanic".

"The doctor is a gardener who respects the processes of nature, for the gardener does not make the garden grow.  Nature does.  The gardener is an ally who prepares the soil, sows the seeds, waters, and removes the weeds, placing plants in the proper relation to each other and the sun. The human body, in essence, is like the Earth body, for both the garden and the human body are microcosms of nature.  The human body is to nature as a violin is to an orchestra, and the theory of correspondence dictates that in order for a larger system to be in balance as a whole, each smaller system within must also be balanced."

So a couple of things here: first, I am a firm believer that our body heals itself naturally if given the proper environment, water, and nutrients.  That is how people are being nursed back to health from having cancer without using chemotherapy (The Gerson Institute is a wonderful example).  Second, humans represent a group of very highly evolved beings on Earth, and thus our healing on a micro level creates a healthy Earth on a macro level.  In essence, each and every one of us needs to take responsibility for our "selves" - body, mind, and spirit. Makes perfect sense, don't you think?

Monday 6 February 2012

The Talk of 2012

Last week I ventured down to the Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, where the Nanaimo Metaphysical Group meets once a month, to attend a presentation on 2012.  With all the speculation surrounding the significance of the year 2012, Dr. Gregory Arkos, a Physics professor at Vancouver Island University,  was invited to present his findings. The turnout was grand, and I think a lot of people's minds were put to ease as Gregory's scientific evidence was compelling.

His talk of 2012 definitely appealed to my left brain, though my right brain felt undernourished.  Here's why.  He aimed to debunk a few key theories regarding December 21st, 2012, that are getting lots of press on the internet these days, including, planet X - Nibiru, solar flares and pole reversal.  These forces have all been suggested as having the potential to end life on Earth as we know it.  With respect to Planet X, he claimed that we would be able to see this planet with the visible eye within a year of it being able to reach Earth, and the research is clear: there is no such visible constellation to speak of at this time.  Given we are less than a year away from the target date of December 21st, 2012, this theory would be considered null and void.  The other two theories were also deemed invalid from a scientific point of view.

The talk explained the reason behind the specific date of December 21st, 2012.  Apparently the Mayans, an ancient civilization residing in Guatemala to this day, had an advanced way of keeping time, and not only produced a calendar based on the stars, but also intricate observatories to view celestial objects.  According to their calendar, the 2012 December date is when the calendar goes from to baktun.  I won't get into the depths of number significance here, though basically the 13th baktun represents a new cycle period in history. 

So my right brain is wondering if perhaps this significant time is meant to signify some sort of shift on a global scale, perhaps a shift in consciousness, versus a physical "end of the world"disaster.  This discussion was very briefly touched on, by one of the audience participants, though it was VERY a notable person getting an honorable mention at an award ceremony.

So I did a bit of research and stumbled upon Carl Johan Calleman, a man well versed in the Mayan calendar and culture, who had this to say on the subject:

" “2012” has for too long been a playground for pseudo-science and the many unfounded “singular day” ideas blur the fact that the end scenario of the Mayan calendar is really about a socio-economic transformation resulting from processes influencing human consciousness. It is thus about the human beings themselves and how we co-create the birth of a new world and not about any geological or astronomical event that we only would be observers of anyway."

Here is what my right brain has to say about the matter: perhaps December 21st, 2012 signifies the beginning of a new era on Earth.  A shift from the industrial era to the environmental era.  A move back to our roots, back to nature, a revival of the our spirits and of the Earths' spirits.  I think we are embarking on an exciting time of transformation that is requiring humans to do the necessary inner work that will enable us to attend to the Earth's call for a major make-over.

All in all, I found Dr. Arkos' talk to be informative and at times humorous.  With only a few minutes left, he confessed that he did not want the group to leave feeling too comfortable and at ease.  For this reason he ended his talk with the news that, from a scientific standpoint, asteroids are a major hazard that can destroy life on Earth, and is only able to be detected within two days of an attack. 

Knowing this information, I would say that the main message I left with is to cultivate joy and love each day, because nature plays by its own rules and you never really know what is going to happen on our beautiful planet Earth!

Sunday 5 February 2012

What's in a Name? Nothing at All and LOTS!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about names, mostly because I have been playing with the idea of making a change to mine to better reflect who I am understanding myself to be.  So that got me thinking.  I know a handful of people who have changed their first and/or last name over the years.  My friend, who I did a course with in Ecuador, recently changed her name, and I like it.  I think it suits her better.

If one was to do a little research on famous actors and musicians, one would surely find that many of them have in fact changed their names.  Cat Stevens, Prince, Marilyn Monroe, Demi Moore, and list could go on and on. Even though a part of me thinks that a name is really just a random phenomenon that is nothing more than a shell, and the real beauty lies beneath, names seem to be significant.  In the book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", by Dale Carnegie, I recall a key secret he shared with his readers. Dale said to, "remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."  This was a surefire way to get people to like you.  Something makes me think this suggestion directly relates to appealing to a person's ego, nevertheless, it is a word that we identify with on a daily basis.  And I will say, Dale's suggestion came in handy!  I read that book the summer I sold Cutco knives, and I sold more knives that summer, ranking 5th top seller in Canada, than I ever imagined I would.  It also helped that the knives were of stellar quality, and I felt like I was truly helping people to have more fun and productivity in the kitchen.

I digress - back to names.  Given my current phase of transition and transformation, I figured I was ripe for a name change; one that would reflect or symbolize this significant time in my life.  Then, my beloved sister, Corrie, entered the picture.  She called attention to my name change on my hotmail account, and was inquiring.  I shared with her my name experimentation phase, and then she reminded me of something I had completely forgot about.  When I was 18 years old, I traveled to Israel to explore my "home land".  We visited the Diaspora museum where they had this big  machine in which you could look up the significance of your last name.  Being my curious self I was first in line.  In went my name and out came a one page printout that gave all kinds of information pertaining to my last name.  What it boiled down to was that my last name, HAIN, translated to "LIFE".

What a gift?!  How could I have forgotten that?!  Sometimes we need to be reminded of things by the people we love.  So as it turns out, I have decided that the renewal occurring within is already being reflected by my given name.  How lucky i am?!  I get to symbolize life - a life that makes me ooze with passion and love and beauty, and this is precisely what I am working on creating for myself.  This experimental project, called life, encompasses much of the transition and transformation that I find myself in these days, and one that I will speak about more in the posts to come.  Looks like I don't need a name change after all.  And after all, in my opinion, a name is simply a shell; what truly matters is the beauty that lies beneath!