Happy Canada Day!

maple leafYes, it’s that day again when those of us in the North celebrate the leaf (maple, of course), the syrup (also maple), the moose, the elk, the beaver, and of course, the loon (no, not the coin but that’s okay to celebrate too). We can be found waxing poetic about the skies, the vastness of the land, the beauty of the waters (cold though they might be), the music, the vino, the micro-beer, and all other things wonderfully Canadian. Now that we are in the time of summer warmth (and for some of you it is truly hot hot), you might even discover a few of us thinking fondly of snowy chilly times, but only briefly, you understand, none of us wanting to inadvertently call the frozen realm toward us any time soon.

So go out there and celebrate. Wave a flag, lift a glass of cheer, say EH! if you must (clearly I’m not a fan), share a memory with someone near (only the good ones are allowed today), be generous, be polite (another quintessential Canadian trait), be happy, and remember – shower your life, your friends, and your world with loving kindness … for if ever loving kindness was needed, it’s now.

 

HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYONE!

Advertisements

Happy St Patrick’s Day

shamrocks for st patrick's dayAlright you lovers of Green, it’s that day again. So go on now, grab that Guinness, put shamrocks in your hair, wear green anywhere you can think of (hah), quote Irish poets who come to mind (there are a lot of them), watch your favorite Irish actors in your favorite Irish movies, do something kind for someone and don’t tell anyone (that’s an old Irish tradition), and wish the best of the best for everyone you meet.

And of course, give a topping of the hat (I’m assuming you’ll be wearing one) to the wee ones and their clans (of which there are many), should you be blessed enough to meet them.

It’s a special day but it’s also meant to be fun (also known as a bit of craic), so go have some!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Merry Christmas

May the true spirit of Christmas touch your heart and bless your day – and may love and harmony prevail wherever you may be.

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays

Peace on Earth

 Blessings to you all!

 

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.

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

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

How Fragile…

 

images-lotus

By: Aliana Alani ©2016

There is a beautiful song written by Sting called, How Fragile We Are. I heard it for the first time driving down a highway in the dead of night. Its haunting melody searched the horizons of my heart like the car’s headlights searched the road ahead. Were we travelling the same path? It felt that way. And so began, among other things, a love of Sting’s music, which continues to this day.

 

Light Within The DarknessOne would think that with all the topsy-turvy in the world we might just get used to the ebb and flow of life, its almost constant shift and change. You could even dance with the idea that within these upside-down moments, tremulous as they often are, reside opportunities hidden deep within, life lessons that can ultimately ease the way, shining a path to home.  And yet…

How fragile we are…

There is a vulnerability within us all. A soft spot we frequently like to protect. Instinctively we know it is a door to loving; still we’re careful, usually, about how often we leave it open, or who we let in, or whether we dare to enter it ourselves and live from its sacred domain, a center space we crave like some long distant memory. We’re careful, cautious, because inside we know…

How fragile we are…

And yet we also know, again at a deep level, that it is our greatest gift, this vulnerability, this circle of feeling. We sense, with every fibre of our being, that we are at our best when we are loving; that we are living our Divine potential when we are sharing that love without condition; when we are coming from a place of unlimited kindness and compassion. We know this, still…

When devastation happens – wars rage, fires ravage, floods submerge, people we love succumb to illness or despair and we find ourselves alone – when that which we hold dear dissolves before our eyes, it is hard to imagine that in such moments we are at the very precipice of loving, and yet we are. It may not feel like that. It may feel like an abyss with nothing left, no light, no home to go to, no one to hold onto. It may feel as though there will be no tomorrow – none you can see, none that feels worth living for. It may feel as though everything is closing down. And yet…

…the rain will fall, like tears from a star…

Every moment carries an opportunity – to dare to open, to heal, and to love again. Whether it is an outstretched helping hand, a smile that warms the soul, or a welcome mat you never expected to find – whether you are the giver or the receiver – whether we are talking about humanity, the earth, or beyond – it is all about the loving. Always.

…like tears from a star…

Nothing happens without all of us feeling it. All of us. Everywhere. Whether we know it or not. And everything blossoms and grows with love, especially when generously given. Things come and go. Worlds evolve and change. But the essence of love is always there, dancing throughout the play of life. It is who we are.

This love – infinite, knowing no bounds or limits – this is who we truly are.

 

Apologies and gratitude to Sting for borrowing some of his beautiful song phrases to filter through this writing. I didn’t ask ahead of time so I’m hoping he won’t mind. How Fragile We Are is, to me, one of the most beautiful songs ever written. If you have never heard it, do yourself a favor, find it, buy it, and listen.

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.

Happy Easter

Digital Camera

 

 

 

For those of you who mark this time of year, HAPPY EASTER!

 

May the true spirit of Easter touch your hearts and awake your souls to the magnificence of who you truly are – and in that knowing, may you come to each day with the offering of kindness, love, and compassion – remembering that each and every one of us is on a journey to the heart of awakening. 

For many of us…

 
For many of us in this world, the time of Christmas is close at hand. It is a time of celebration, a time of remembering, a time of gratitude, and a time of family. Within its spiritual story is the journey of a young couple searching for a safe place to rest; a place to birth a child who would later prove to be, for many, a messiah.

Finding no room at the inn, so we are told, wherever they went, they ended up in a stable where the child ultimately was born.

The flight from one place to another is not unique. As a species, we have been migrating for as long as history can tell us, probably even longer. We move for many reasons, but much of the time we move because where we presently are is no longer a safe place to be.

Like Mary and Joseph, we flee for a better safer land.

As we prepare to gather our families around us, to decorate and light the Christmas tree, to sing cherished carols, and honour a special time, let us ponder this – Let us not be the ones who punish the innocent because of the atrocities of a few.  Let us not be the ones who say – there is no room at the inn.