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!

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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

The Boogeyman

©Aliana Alani 2016

  Light Within The Darkness              EVERY STORY HAS A BOOGEYMAN, that nasty force that shows up when you least expect it, peeking through the shadows of the deep forest of your awareness (often called, your inner world). Sometimes there are even two or three, dancing around like toothless vultures in the wind. They delight in tantalizing, teasing, even terrorising. They look for the chinks in your armour, the cracks in your heart, and the storm clouds inside your mind. They eagerly sup on the doubts that linger and the anxieties that grow within you. They are especially fond of fear.

FEAR IS FOOD TO THE BOOGEYMAN, its own perverse, somewhat inverted, life force. It takes what you have so it can grow. It thrives on destruction. It likes things that fall away. Consequently it quite enjoys watching as you, and all that you might value, begin to crumble before its very eyes. It likes this even more than it does seeing you tremble – trembling being an example of escalating fear.

AT ITS FINEST, THE BOOGEYMAN becomes the quintessential vampire of the story, merrily sucking the energy out of existence. By the time you become aware of the extent of its intent, you are apt to find yourself fast-forwarding into that blackness commonly called, the void. You will, of course, emerge again. But that will be at a later date and possibly with fragments of the last journey embedded in your psyche.

IF YOU ARE ON THE ROAD to enlightenment, you are guaranteed to encounter The Boogeyman many times over in many ways and many forms. After all, it comes with the territory. All part of the journey, as the mystics might say. Are you told that when you start along its path? Probably not.

ENLIGHTENMENT, AND THE ROAD TO IT, requires a single-minded focus; a bit like candle gazing for the soul. No matter what is thrown at you, what changes in the script or bumps in the road, your mandate is to gaze upon the eternal light of creation and the heart of love. That and the peeling of the proverbial onionskin of your psyche are the skills necessary for that quantum leap that will, at some point, be required – that moment when you cannon-ball into another level of awareness and find yourself smack dab in the middle of all that is. Bank on it. Nothing less can prepare you adequately enough. It is like the hero’s journey. You must prove yourself worthy. How do you do that? By facing the darkness within as it manifests without. You must know who you really are. If you are to claim the Golden Cup of Enlightenment and drink of its endless blessings, you must ultimately see The Boogeyman for what it truly is – a plethora of smoke & mirrors, dust in the wind, illusion’s folly.

IF THE WORLD STORY YOU ARE a part of is also on the road to Enlightenment (and this one is), then expect a sometimes bumpy road. It won’t last forever, but it might seem like it at times. When the tempest swirls, and The Boogeyman’s roster of weapons dash and dive all around, there may be moments when you feel swamped in an overwhelming sadness, as though it is all pulling the very skin from your soul. It isn’t, but it may feel like that.

REMEMBER THIS – you don’t fight The Boogeyman by playing its game. If it dances devastation in front of you, you don’t win by creating more. If it surround-sounds you with neon images that say ‘fear me’, that is precisely the time that you do not fear. You be fearless. You stare at your own shadow. You turn around. No matter how destructive things appear to be, you see beyond. You see beyond.

YOU LOVE IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL. You laugh. You share hope and kindness and understanding, because that is the realm of love, and that is the way to the middle of all that is. You be who you truly are. You hold to that. You hold.  And sooner that you think, the fears within you will abate, the smoke around you will begin to dissolve, the dust will settle, and your world will come into a place of balance and harmony once again.

YOU BE WHO YOU TRULY ARE. You be the love. You hold to that. You hold.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” …W.B.Yeats

shamrocks for st patrick's day

It’s St. Patrick’s Day – so go on now, celebrate The Green, raise a glass to the isle, toast the impossibly possible, dance with good friends, delight in great moments, and whatever you do, don’t forget the magic – because the magic is so much of what makes The Green, and life itself, truly special.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY EVERYONE!

shamrock

Here we go again. It seems to be a week of watching shining lights dash into the heavens.

rickman

Alan Rickman was, to me, a quintessential actor, capable of casting his talent like a magical net upon the story waters. He was a gem, often delightfully deliciously devious or melancholic in his roles. He could pull you into the core of a story, often with such subtlety, that you didn’t know it had happened till the end when you popped out through that looking glass and realized you’d been taken on one hell of a ride. You couldn’t help but love him. His knowledge of his craft shone brightly in everything he did.

There are certain roles, certain films, one simply cannot picture without him. And so it goes to say, he will be sorely missed.

Rest easy, Alan, and enjoy those stars. And thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

There goes another angel – flying high into those wild beautiful skies – or maybe to some faraway realm. Mork would probably have liked that.

robin williamsThe mad zany wonderful world that was ROBIN WILLIAMS. 

REST IN PEACE, ROBIN

You are pure genius and you will be profoundly missed. 

May you be wrapped in love as you make this journey beyond our world, just as you so often wrapped us in laughter, and yes sometimes tears.

You and your talent were a gift to us and we are grateful.