Happy Yuletide Season

Many warm wishes for a happy Yuletide Season are coming your way.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate this time, may it be filled with love … for this is a time traditionally where love and light are meant to flourish … where moments of loving kindness are meant to be shared … and where reverence and joy are meant to abound – for all life and all peoples.

It is a time of giving … and it is a time of love.

So get out there and celebrate. Sip the good sup of Christmas cheer. Enjoy that delicious meal with friends or family. Give gratitude for what you have, large or small. If you’re anywhere in the North, get out that shovel and do yourself and your neighbor a good turn, for the white stuff seems to be everywhere at the moment.

And remember – the Love that is Eternal and lives deep within us all knows no bounds. In it, we all prosper.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

(a tiny message from the Land of Snows)

 

 

 

 

Dare to love…

 

Perhaps Martin Luther King said it best – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

As we wake up to the news of increasing hatred and violence, and all the pain and suffering that can bring, this thought comes to mind –

Dare to be the light of love unto your world. For YOU and your light of love are needed. Perhaps now more than ever. Never doubt that. Never doubt the power of love.

Kind thoughts … Kind words … Love in Action.

 

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!

Happy January 2017

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be changing a few things around at 22shangrila – taking down pages, putting new ones up. Consider it a bit of ‘de-cluttering’ for the New Year.

There will be a page called, WHAT’S NEW, which will mostly be about what’s currently available to buy, with a few added ‘bits’. This way you’ll be able to check it out at your leisure rather than having to scroll down on the main section to find things.

And there will be a page entitled, THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH. You may find a quote there or something longer. Hopefully it will in some way inspire you and touch your heart. Because we are almost at the end of January (hard to believe, I know), it will begin February 1st, the Celtic New Year.

I’ll also be changing the POETRY page periodically. Mostly you see new postings of poetry in the main section, and that will continue. But from time to time, I will scoop one of them up and tuck it into the Poetry Page. Do go and take a peek now and then. I hope you enjoy them.

I also hope you’ll stay with me as we walk these challenging times together. The year 2017 promises to be a year of opportunity, but it is opportunity cast within a swirl of chaos. Chaos, as you may remember, can be diva drama at its best. As such, it loves to pull you in and hold you in its sway. It wants you to believe it is the only game in town. It needs that to succeed. However, if your desire is for peace and harmony, a growing serenity within, a life of kindness and caring for yourself and your world, this year will be your chance to truly live that desire.

Meditate. Find the stillness within. Look beyond the illusion. Stand true to your core knowing in your heart of hearts. Be kind. Be caring. Share your gifts and talents generously. Laugh in small giggles and big HAHAs. Let people know how beautiful they are – because they are. Daily tend your garden of life that it may flourish and grow. And above all – LOVE.

 

Love is the answer. Always has been. Always will be.

lotus flower

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.

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.