Tuesday, 20 December 2011


"only connect"
        ~E.M. Forster

Mr. Forster wrote this quote in his book, "Howard's End". He spoke about choosing to live in fragments no longer. He spoke of how we all, perhaps, have many parts to our selves, and keep them isolated - the monk and the beast. He spoke of how, if we could stop isolating our "parts", we would no longer live in parts, but would be whole, and when that happens, "human love will be seen at its height".

what a lovely thought.

I'm going to wander in a different direction with his quote, "only connect". As we head into this season that is supposed to be about family, love, warmth, companionship, and generosity, I'm so aware of how easy it is to feel disconnected. This holiday season can be really difficult for a lot of people. Certainly for people who have lost a loved one, through death, or the break-up of an important relationship. Certainly for people who are estranged from their families. And, let's be honest, even if we spend time with our families, we know that most families have their issues, and spending time together is not always peaceful or wonderful. The holiday season can bring up such feelings of loneliness, in people from every walk of life: poor or rich, healthy or unhealthy, young, old, city folk and country folk, married with kids or single. Somehow, this season of love and kindness can leave us feeling super-disconnected.

Only connect

What if we set an intention, this season, to simply focus on connection?

Could we all take time, each day, to connect with ourselves? Maybe while sitting in the glow of the christmas tree's lights, or on your yoga mat, or in a corner of a room where no one else will find you, or perhaps even on a quiet stroll through the forest. A time, each day, to focus on breathing. To focus on connecting with and listening to ourselves. A time, each day, to draw inwards, away from the busy hustle and bustle of the season. Away from the stimulation of the senses, brought about by the barrage of colours and music and noise and commercial energy. (it's amazing how anxiety and frustration will fade away, if we take time to do this)

And, could we all take time, each day, to connect with others? Not simply to talk about the weather, or argue about family stuff, or bump into each other in last-minute rushes at the mall. Could we take time to sit with another, to ask simple questions about their life, to really listen and remember we are all really one, really connected, in this journey of being human? Could we remember that, perhaps, a majority of us struggle a little with this season, and the simple act of connecting can ease the pain?

only connect

To connect with ourselves, to connect with others, perhaps to connect to a higher power, if you believe in that. In connecting, we realize that we are NOT alone. That there is love, beauty, energy, that flows between us all. What a lovely thing that is.

Happy holidays, everyone. Please, if you have a wonderful connecting experience, share it here under comments!! I'd love to hear your stories!

Shanti. Peace.

Monday, 19 December 2011


"uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom"
                                       ~Deepak Chopra

I am in such a strange season of uncertainty. Uncertainty about relationships, about jobs, about this path I'm on. Uncertainty about myself - who am I, what am I doing here, where is my life going? Why do I seem to go around the same mountain, again and again?

In my season of uncertainty, I respond in various ways.

First, I become a bit obsessive about trying to figure it out. Trying to figure out the right way, the right path, the solution to my uncertainty. There is a tremendous amount of anxious energy in this obsession of mine. I read articles, books, desperately question friends and wise people, strive, grasp at anything outside of me that I hope will bring me an answer.

Second, I become overwhelmed with all the inspiration and messages and directives on how to create the life I want - images, energy work, vision-boards, intention, and then I crash. Because these are just more things to DO. More actions, more messages that I'm not doing it right yet, that I should be doing something differently. Not that I don't believe that these tools are very powerful, and we do create our own reality. I do believe that. But in grasping for the answers outside me, I get more exhausted, more frustrated, more uncertain, it seems. And it doesn't feel like freedom to me at all. It seems like more tasks, more things to do.

But what if, WHAT IF, I could accept my uncertainty as a gift? Instead of thinking I have to have it all figured out (which I do... eldest child sydrome, maybe... maybe just some vow I made to myself somewhere along the way...), could I view uncertainty as a thing to be valued? If I could stop grasping for answers outside me, if I could go inside and greet my uncertainty, and welcome it as a gift, maybe, just maybe, the anxiety and depression wouldn't grab me so hard?

Because in uncertainty IS a freedom that doesn't exist, when you're buckled into a specific, particular way of life. When there is uncertainty, there is space to dream, to envision things I might not envision if I was on a certain path.

And really, if I'm honest, all the grasping, all the striving, all the painful obsessive thinking, doesn't actually change anything. My life continues to unfold, in lovely, simple, always-beneficial ways, as I can see when I take time to recognize that.

So, things in my life are uncertain. There are some things that are certain - each day that I get to wake up and breathe again is a gift. I am surrounded by loving, supportive people. I have a lot of love in my life. I am supported; I am taken care of; I am perfect, just the way I am.

And, for the things that are uncertain (jobs, relationships, etc), well, there is room for creativity and freedom. And I guess that's something to smile about :)

When do you feel uncertain? How do you respond in those times?