Look at this pretty place where I live! It's been glorious weather here - sunshine, heat, cool nights for sleeping, divine. The days are flying by. I've been enjoying the days - lots of learning, lots of chopping, lots of visiting and meeting interesting people. The days are very scheduled, and I did succumb to a cold that was going around here. I think I'm still pretty tired and a bit run down from the stress of leaving my job, leaving my apartment, leaving my city, leaving my friends, and I guess my immune system is a little weak, so I got the cold. But, I'm living in a place where it's ok to sleep when you need to, take a day or two off of chopping, where there is amazing food prepared that I can eat when I need to, where there is free-flowing tea every moment of the day, and where there is an all-natural pharmacy right down the hall from my room. literally 50 feet from my room, with a brilliant pharmacist to listens and recommends supplements and such. Which means my cold, which would likely last 10 days in Ottawa (pretty typical for me!) lasted 2 days! brilliant! I know the moment my fever broke, yesterday, and have been feeling stronger and stronger with every hour. Man, the body works so well, so brilliantly, when there is no stress. when there is space to rest and eat well and let yourself heal. It is so clear to me!!
Here are a few more photos, of places on the property. the first two and the last one are a view I see each morning on my morning walk. The next three are of a waterfall that you find at the end of a little hike, where many people who live here hang out, read, journal, meditate, swim. It's so beautiful.
There's a common phrase used around here a lot: everything is for your upliftment. At the heart of this phrase is the principle that no matter what happens to us, every situation, every circumstance, every encounter, is in our life to uplift us. move us forward. bring us closer to the best Self we can be. In a spiritual sense, it is the belief that God, or universe, or Spirit, or Divinity is at it's core, benevolent, kind, uplifting, healing. That everything that happens is for a purpose, and that purpose is to uplift us, in a variety of ways. On a psychological level, it works with the idea that our mind can affect the way we live in the world, that "the mind is it's own place and in its self can make a heaven of hell; a hell of heaven". John Milton knew that our mind could interpret situations in ways that made us feel great, or made us feel shitty. Choosing to see the glass as half-full. Choosing to see the silver lining. It may be that we are uplifted by learning something, by receiving something, by heading on a path that is ultimately the best path for us. I'm pretty sure most of the time we have no idea how we're being uplifted, until weeks, months, years later. Or perhaps there are times we have no idea how we were uplifted, but we choose to believe that in the big picture of our lives and the lives of those around us, we have been uplifted. I think of friends who have had events in their lives that seemed like absolute tragedies. And yet years later, perhaps, can see that there is so much goodness and love and wisdom in their lives that wouldn't have been there if the "tragedy" hadn't occurred. I'm not for a second saying that these events or circumstances don't bring all the very real, very valid human emotions to the surface. Grief. Anger. Resentment. Confusion. All very normal and very right reactions. And I don't believe that any pat answer should be given to someone who is grieving, or going through something that seems wrong and unfair and terrible. But maybe, just maybe, could there be reasons for things, for meetings, for things we label as good and bad, that we can't even imagine or visualize? I wonder. No, I don't even wonder. I know. Because I've definitely seen it in my own life, in very small and pretty big ways. That I can't see the big picture, and maybe there are purposes I can't imagine. So for now, I think I embrace this: everything comes into my life for my upliftment. Maybe it's not true. Maybe I'm delusional and idealistic. But hey, it seems to make a heaven out of what could be seen as a hell! And I might not remember this in the midst of deep sorrow or crisis, so friends out there, please remind me!! But it is easy to see the upliftment when I'm living in such gorgeous surroundings:)
One fun little thing happened to me... so I was sick for those couple days, and spent a lot of time napping and resting in my room. Yesterday, someone came and knocked on my door. It was a resident from here, asking if I'd like to come participate in a workshop for the weekend, for free (regularly $300), all about a massage technique called Abhyanga. Check it out online - think flowing, moving massage with very warm oil all over your body, and then a steam room afterword. Talk about upliftment!!! So I've now learned a new massage technique, given massages and gotten massages! what a delightful gift, especially after having been a little sick and feeling a little low and homesick. so very nourishing, for my body and soul and spirit. I am so grateful. And it's reminded me again of how much I love body work, love healing works, feel my heart swell and my eyes tear up with the beauty of sharing love and healing, being able to be a vessel to facilitate healing. That maybe that is where I want to be in the future. Not maybe, most likely;) A lovely serendipitous offering that I am enjoying this weekend:) I'll share my new techniques with you when I'm home:)
so dear readers, I hope you are all well and taking good care of yourselves, and maybe being able to see something that is an upliftment in your life.
Love and peace to you.