Happy Thanksgiving

autumn leavesIt is Thanksgiving Weekend here in the Great Not-White-Yet North – traditionally a time of gratitude for all that you have been blessed to receive during the past year, and a prayer of thanks for all you hope to receive in the year to come.

Here it is also Autumn – a time when the leaves turn many colors, and at their perfect time, carpet the ground below. They dance midst the winds with a kind of reckless abandon as though they know their time is running short. I find myself incredibly grateful to watch them on this sunny day. I have always loved the dance of leaves.

I am grateful also for you, wherever you are – friends and strangers – those who click ‘like’ here and those who choose to ‘follow’. Thank you for dipping into the well that is 22shangrila and thank you for hanging around. Whether we have met or not, you make everything a bit brighter.

We live in an exquisitely beautiful world. Not always easy to remember in the midst of chaos, I know. So thank you for noticing its beauty, for taking the time to breathe it in, and for honoring it in your lives. For that, and for all you dare to do that is full of love, I am most grateful.

To you all, and to this very special planet which we all call home – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

May your days be ever blessed with love.

Advertisements

To Be or Not…

TO BE OR NOT…                                                                            by Aliana Alani ©2017

This is a long read so hang in there with me.

As I was counting my blessings yesterday morning, I found myself giving thanks for living in a relatively peaceful country. I say relatively because we all have little chaos gremlins spinning around in our minds from time to time encouraging us to bitch about this or that, whether this or that is even worthy of bitching about (gremlins, you might remember, don’t actually care about worthiness and are not known for being discriminatory at all). So it’s easy enough to get on that bandwagon without really thinking about it and well, give out, as they say. Giving out being a golden road to heaven for a gremlin.

maple leafThat said, Canada is a decent country. Most people generally do get along. We have a high percentage that believe in kindness as a path to well-being, like the idea of a healthy environment, and would prefer dialogue to out & out warfare. Sure there are things to change, things we could get better at, things we should get better at, and yes there is the issue of the weather – this is where you are to picture intense chill and vast amounts of white flakes falling for far too many months at a time. Clearly I am not one of those who love to ski.

So there I am basking in the soft air of blessedness and tranquility. Grateful all the way to those maple syrup rafters for being in a peace-filled land. Until I turned on my computer and read the latest news.

Now, I am not one for getting political on this site. I admit there have been fleeting moments when I have dipped the tips of toes into those waters, but generally no. This is a site for soft words, for the poetic, for blossoming gardens, for life built anew in beauty and love.

So forgive me as I step outside of that realm. It is precisely because of that realm – the realm of a peaceful loving world – that I do so.earth in space  2

WHEN A MAN IN THE ROLE OF LEADER OF A LARGE COUNTRY dares to say, in front of a vast group of other leaders and representatives from many countries in the world, that he would not think twice (if provoked of course) of TOTALLY DESTROYING a country – this should be a warning to us all to stand up and say – Not On My Watch, thank you very much! Why? Because if we don’t, if it becomes okay to blatantly speak of obliterating another country, especially in this nuclear age, as if it were all a computer game to be won or lost by the best little twinkie in town, then we are dangerously close to crossing a line that we, as a human species, may not recover from – certainly not in this incarnation.

I am not naive. I realize that one country desiring to take over another is not new (it may not be good but it’s certainly not new). Nor is it new to have despots clamoring for power. Look around. We seem to be full of them these days. I get that in many ways this is but history repeating itself. But must we? Must we repeat this? Have we learned nothing from the suffering and devastation of the past, let alone what’s going on right now?  Have we learned nothing from Hiroshima? Do we honestly think that we could have a war (no matter the excuses we give for its rightness), obliterating a country (and its entire people by the way) full of nuclear energy, perhaps using nuclear weapons to do it, and not have it affect the rest of the world? Do we think we can get off scot-free from such actions? Clearly the Man in the Role of Leader of a Large Country thinks he can, if he’s thinking about it at all!

And that begs the question – does anyone, role of leader or no, have the right to make such choices – choices that could, probably would, intimately affect the rest of humanity and the planet? Clearly the Man in the Role of thinks he does. And that is a most worrisome thing.

SO IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S UP TO US.lotus flower

If we truly desire a world of harmony and love, then we must do everything we can to bring that into being, and from the looks of things, we must do it now.

Each in our own way, we can stand up and say, NO – Not in my World – Not on my Watch!  But what about the positive – the YES. What can we do there? As is often the case, it’s the small yet constant that makes a difference. Those little thoughts and actions that build like droplets in an ever-growing wave. You don’t think they’re going anywhere until suddenly you turn around and, poof, there’s your new life. In this case, a blossoming peaceful world.

So now would be a good time to envision it within your heart and mind – make it into a grand movie that you delight in watching again and again. Cultivate the still point within each and every day so that you bring as much peace to the equation as you can – remember, every moment of peace sends a ripple into the world and makes a difference. Water the garden of your life and world as if it were your child and you the parent nurturing it into wellness and exquisite being. Speak words that encourage love and compassion, to those you know and those you don’t know. Whatever you do in your day, do it with love. Smile often. Laugh much. Stand up and be counted. Write about it. Paint it. Share stories. Whatever is your talent for helping this world be better, use it. And as the old adage says, ‘treat people the way you would want to be treated’.

This is a world crying out for love.  Dare to love it back. Please.

And remember – deep within, YOU are the stuff of dreams. The love that passes all understanding. The divine flame that burns eternal and everlasting – YOU.

You are needed. We are all needed. And we are needed now.

NAMASTE, and thank you.

burning candles, like a heart

 

Happy 150th Canada!

maple leafTO ALL OF  YOU IN THE GREAT WHITE NORTH … HAPPY CANADA DAY … HAPPY 150th!

Have a wonderful day wherever you are in this vast land. Celebrate what is good and kind about it, raise a glass or two to those fluttering maple leaves, tell every crazy Canadian joke you can think of, hum at least one Leonard Cohen tune, and vow to bring your talents and inspiration to its table that all who call Canada, home, may flourish and blossom midst its ever-evolving story. May this country prove to be a beacon of peace and love in action for all. HAPPY 150th CANADA!

Prayers abound…

TO ALL THOSE IN CANADA in flood-stricken areas, our prayers are with you.

To Quebec, the Gatineau, Ottawa, the Okanagan of BC, and regions in the Maritimes experiencing flooding – stay strong, stay as dry as you can, and know that we are with you in spirit as you go through this difficult time.

May the waters recede, the rains lessen, the lands dry. May kindness and caring prevail for you wherever you are. May strangers and neighbours be your helping hand, now and during the days of clean up ahead and those of building anew.

I am reminded of the lotus flower that births forth out of the depths of the watery mud to be share its magnificence, serenity, and beauty with us all.

Even now, in the midst of devastation, such birthing is possible. May it be yours.

lotus flower

A Light in the Window

                                                                    ©Aliana Alani 2017

I have just put up a  new page called, A Light in the Window – a call of love in action to all – inspired by a woman in Ireland many  years ago – Mary Robinson. A light in the window is a call to – BE A LIGHT UNTO YOUR WORLD – to take a stand for kindness and love here and now.

lamp2-txt-sized-down

 

 

LET’S IMAGINE, YOU & I…

PUTTING A LAMP in the window of our homes, and turning it on – a soft glow that shines for all to see – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. A light, that by its very burning, says here stands a home for decency, kindness, and caring.  Here shines a light of peace and love for all.

To learn more about what this is all about, please go to the page A Light in the Window If it touches your heart, turn on that light – and share this posting (and the ones to come) wherever you can. And bless you for doing so.

Tempests and The North

     by: Aliana Alani ©2017brewing-storm-with-lightening-and-tree

 

Tempests, when they brew, have a tendency to swirl and spit, which can sometimes fly, the spit that is, and sometimes far. When tempest spit lands, at this point being a rather toxic substance, it can oft times burn. It also has a nasty habit of starting little tempests of its own.

Tempests like to gather momentum, pulling from the energy around them. It matters not what devastation is left behind. A tempest simply wants and so must have. It likes to grow. It’s in its nature. Tempests, it is worth noting, are generally not there for happy endings.

So here we are. standing midst a developing world of brewing tempests – some in their oh-so-tiny phase, others gathering lightening-speed momentum. One only has to glance south to recognize this. Given the instant access of social media and online news (some true, some not) that can inundate one before realizing it with an unexpected tempest fury, it is perhaps important to take a deep breath, stop, and remember what truly matters in our lives, who we are as individuals (and as a country), and where we choose to place our focus and actions – ideally, one hopes, for the betterment of all.

That thought brings me to The North.

Though some might say otherwise, ours is not a perfect land. Resplendent in natural beauty, our choices have not always been wise. There is fallow ground crying for seeds of caring to be sown. Areas needing nurturing more than others.  And there are wounds still to be healed. Gratitude to be offered. And forgiveness to be given. Like all people and places in this world, here too love is needed.maple leaf

Still, we carry within a kindness, a genuine decency and caring that for whatever reason seems to waft strongly through the air and song lines of this place we call, CANADA. It is a gift given to us by all that is sacred in this land. It burns unconditionally, like a small flame, calling. And it is possible that because of it, we who live here have an ongoing opportunity, perhaps even an obligation, to share this caring through acts of kindness and compassion with each other, and with this world.

Never has such kindness been needed more than now.

With that in mind, let us not import a negative eye, no matter where it comes from.  Let us instead support a positive vision. Let us not adopt the ranting and raving of others. Let us speak in tones of genuine caring and compassion. Let us, with our words and thoughts and deeds, empower, inspire, and uplift. Let each of us, and hence this country, be the constant calm in the middle of the storm.

I believe that areas of this planet carry within qualities and keys that when recognized, honoured, and truly embodied, support the blossoming and prospering of our world into its true essence and story. When that happens, and it will, we will know without question the amazing garden of love and beauty we all live in. We will know it for we will finally be living it at that level of being ourselves.

If our key here in The North, in Canada, is one of kindness and caring, let us dare to live its song fully, let us courageously walk the gentle rhythm of its melody day by day – for the sheer honour of doing so, and for the pure joy of being one with it. Let us humbly and gratefully be the loving calm within the storm.

Waves of Love & Gratitude…

single-red-rose-3TODAY IS SUNDAY – our LET’S MAKE SUNDAY A DAY OF LOVE day. Whether we share that love with those close to our hearts, or with casual friends or strangers through kindness and compassion, it is a day where we choose to allow Love to be the guiding light within out lives.

In a world currently up to its proverbial rafters in drama, let alone the real pain and suffering so many are going through, Love is needed more than ever. To see the other through the eyes of Love is to give our hearts a chance to open to the world as it is meant to be. It is an opportunity to offer the one gift you can truly give that can know no bounds – the Love That Passeth All Understanding. Touch that within yourself, allow it to flow forth unconditionally, and you will have found the door to Home.

Digital Camera

Here in the Great White North  – not so white yet but large and definitely North – it is also THANKSGIVING WEEKEND – a time of gratitude when we acknowledge, appreciate, and give thanks for all that has been given to us. We give thanks for the kindnesses that have been offered, for the food on our tables, the friendships that prosper, and the blessings that have been given. And for the opportunity each day provides for us to share our gifts and our love with the world.

And so I thank you, each and everyone of you, wherever you may be, for your courage and willingness to step beyond the norm, to share your kindness with others, your laughter, your joy, your smile;  to dare to love, and in loving, nourish your visions of a world of harmony, balance, and yes, even peace – so that one day, hopefully very soon, those visions will have become our reality.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!

Remember

Love is the answer.

Always has been.         Always will be.

Happy Canada Day!

maple leaf

Yes, it’s Canada Day.  A day to celebrate who we are and what’s good about our country. A day to join hands and spirits, toast the leaf (no, not the team), and do the things that Canadians do best – be kind to each other.

As a friend recently said, ‘It’s a good time to live in Canada’. And it is. So celebrate it. Be grateful for it. Help it to continue. And on this day of flags, fireworks, laughter, and yes probably a few beers, remember – good things are like seeds in a garden. If they are to flourish and grow into the fullness of what they can be, they need attention, they need watering, they need love.That applies to countries as well.

So you of the Great White North, albeit dressed in summer clothes, enjoy the day, and as you do, carry high the flag of kindness and compassion. Help Canada, and each one of us, be a beacon of light and love unto our world.

HAPPY CANADA DAY TO YOU ALL

For everyone from Fort McMurray

.

images-lotus

 

 

Wherever you are at the moment, stay safe – and know that our prayers are with you. May angels guide you during this difficult time.

This is for you, Justin.

A majority of voters have elected you the new Prime Minister of Canada. May the blessings of all that is sacred grace your days and light your path.

You have before you a window of opportunity. Use it well. Waste not one moment on petty grievances, needless insecurities, paranoia or fears that may come your way, no matter the spin or swirl. Light a candle in the political heart of this country once again and let it shine a mirror of goodness for all to experience.

We are a vast country, but we are but one of many. The world needs compassionate leaders more than ever. Be one of them.

Be strong, yes. Courageous, of course. Act with clarity and decisiveness, absolutely. But remember the heart of kindness and caring that beats within each member of this nation and help us, as a country, to come home to that again – because it is who we truly are, and because each and every member of this nation matters, no matter who they are or where they are or where they’ve come from.

There once was a Canada that people in the rest of the world looked to as one that could be admired, whose policies could be taken as a template for their own, whose way of caring was sought after. We lost that in the political mist of yesterday.  Act with heart and sincerity in ways that bring us back to our place at the world table, and once there, let us as a country with you as our leader act with even greater clarity, diplomacy, and humanity than ever before. Let us, once again, be a positive contributor to the wellness of the world.

You were elected because people in this country chose to believe in you. Be the beacon of light you were destined to be. Make Canada proud.

Blessings to you, your family, and the path you now walk.

I wish you well.