Eat, Pray, Love – Part II

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The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
― Barbara Hall

In the autumn of 2017, I had written an article titled Eat, Pray Love. A new path was unfolding – it was a journey of soul searching and to go inwards. To summarize, the article touched upon a one year sabbatical leave from the corporate world. I did not realize how much I needed this break and the influence it had upon my spirit. It truly was placing pause on everything and learning to trust.

I had a million expectations on how the year would unravel, which in all honestly taught me a valuable life lesson. What came forward was to expect nothing, and allow each day to progress naturally. In my mind, I anticipated to be working in a new high paying job, living in a big city and to be in a new relationship. Having all answers to come instantantly and everything to be perfect harmony. Traveling to India was high on my bucket list as well as “finding myself”.

Did I ever get a dose of reality! My perceived expectations on how the year was to unfold was completely unrealistic. I wanted to be in control and had to surrender, progression happens on its own terms. I wanted all the answers however, had to be patient. Teaching yoga, meditating, writing along with self-care is what my heart truly desired. I began to understand what I was really seeking was balance, serenity and connecting with the higher-self.

To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

On my year off, I began to pay closer attention to nature, and its cyclic rhythms. The sun shines without any hesitation and provides light to the world. This light changes with each season, as we now are into winter it offers retreat. It’s time to reflect and nourish yourself during the darker days. Each season offers a gift, this miracle I never would have recognized if I had not taken a year leave. Falling snow reminds of me of patience and to be in sheer appreciation of what life is. “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and it whispers grow” . The beautiful quote from the Talmud was so humbling to reflect upon as there truly are unforeseen forces that guide us along our path.

Life led me to the United Kingdom instead of India. My grandma fell ill at the end of 2017 and familial energy pulled me to England. I knew traveling would happen at some point. In summer/ autumn of 2018 I flew to Paris, France as my first destination. Then ventured to Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy. Traveling to India was not in the stars during my year off. I realize that I was trying to force this trip. Instead I was brought to a new energy and love – Paris. The city has such a bright light as there is much is to be seen & discovered. It is a soul calling just as much as Italy was.

In hindsight your own unique experience of Eat, Pray Love can happen anywhere. Cities or countries call on your spirit for a reason. It is so enriching to travel but ultimately, we are what we believe. Sometimes I wonder if traveling has all the answers or do we need to just silence the mind and meditate? I believe we must do what feeds our soul. Will I ever stop traveling – NEVER!

Throughout our life, there are unpredictable circumstances in which we are never ready for. In November of 2018, my Grandmother from the United Kingdom passed away. We truly never know what each day has to offer or which direction we will pursue. My new perspective on Eat, Pray, Love in remembrance of my Grandmother.

My Grandmother was 92 and lived an abundant peaceful life. She personified Eat, Pray, Love for many reasons.

Eat: From the moment I would arrive home Grandma would always ask me if I had each meal throughout the day. She was simple and really just wanted everyone to be together especially at tea time.

Pray: My Grandma whom we also called Beji prayed profusely and this is one thing I take from her legacy. To always know you will be taken care of, believe in the unknown.

Love: Grandma had 5 children, 18 Grandchildren & 17 Great Grandchildren, for me this embodies love. Family always came first, along with service, prayer and laughter. She remains in my heart and soul and I dedicate this article to her light. I do feel when one leaves the earth plane, the memories are never forgotten, if anything there are etched into our being forever.

What does Eat, Pray, Love mean to you? Your path with unfold, allow the signs to come and know that there are no mistakes but lessons. Travel, learn about yourself and never forget to leave a bit of sunshine wherever you go. Take time to understand yourself, and take those moments to appreciate where you are and how far you have come. There is a purpose to everything in your life story. One day you will look back and connect the dots as Steve Jobs said in his famous dialogue.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. — Eskimo Proverb

 

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(Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams

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Look into my eyes – you will see
What you mean to me.
Search your heart, search your soul
And when you find me there you’ll search no more.Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for.
You can’t tell me it’s not worth dyin’ for.
You know it’s true:
Everything I do, I do it for you.Look into your heart – you will find
There’s nothin’ there to hide.
Take me as I am, take my life.
I would give it all, I would sacrifice.Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
You know it’s true:
Everything I do, I do it for you, oh, yeah.There’s no love like your love
And no other could give more love.
There’s nowhere unless you’re there
All the time, all the way, yeah.

Look into your heart, baby…

Oh, you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for.
I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more.

Yeah, I would fight for you, I’d lie for you,
Walk the wire for you, yeah, I’d die for you.

You know it’s true:
Everything I do, oh, I do it for you.

Everything I do, darling.
You will see it’s true.
You will see it’s true.
Yeah!
Search your heart and your soul
You can’t tell it’s not worth dying for
I’ll be there
I’d walk the fire for you
I’d die for you
Oh, yeah.
I’m going all the time, all the way.

This past week I saw live Bryan Adams in concert!  It was the perfect way to end January.  A Canadian Pop Icon who has recorded 14 albums and truly is a legend.  I regret that I never saw George Micheal or Prince in concert.  However, seeing Bryan Adams was truly inspiring, such talent and inspiration.  He sang all of his classic hits and his love ballads were just beautiful!  What is your favorite Bryan Adams song?

St.Francis Prayer

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The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Wisdom from Paulo Coelho

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It was 2012, when a dream came true as I attended Oprah’s Master Life Class Tour live in Toronto, Canada! It this extraordinary event I heard renowned speakers such as: Anthony Robbins, Deepak Choopra and Ilayna Vanzant. Oprah Winfrey is a woman of grace who has made such an impact with the OWN Network. Her desire is to bring knowledge and help individuals rise to there utmost potential. Oprah is instrumental for bringing together a new wave of authors and she truly in captures the light of everyone she encounters. There is an author I have wanted to meet my entire life, I have read many of his novels and he goes by the name of Paulo Coelho.

The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams. –Oprah Winfrey

I’m truly a seeker and will always be intrigued by serendipitous signs, omens and more! I delve into books, Ted-Talks and Podcasts and anything that makes my soul awaken. In my early 20’s is when I first read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho and it transformed my life and has resonated with my spirit for years. It illustrated the values and ideologies I have practiced my entire adult life. I recommend The Alchemist to anyone who is on the spiritual path or open to it. It was the cornerstone to uncovering myself.

The main character Santiago is from Andalusia Spain – A Shepherds son lives a comfortable life with his parents and starts to question is there more to his existence. In the beginning of the novel Santiago while sleeping under a sycamore tree has a recurring dream that he needs to travel to Egypt to find his treasure. He can not shake this prophecy and feels inclined to pursue this path. Dreams hold particular messages if we are open to receive them. The protagonist is tested with challenges that encouraged him to pursue his own path “personal legend” to understand his soul. He was an Alchemist all along, and obstacles where placed in his life as to keep him faithful. This was all done for a divine reason, to uncover parts of himself in order to evolve. Omens, signs and people were sent along his journey, I believe many of us can relate to Santiago when we are trying to figure out which direction to pursue. Follow your heart!

Now back to Oprah! During the latter part of 2017 I stumbled upon an interview with Oprah and Paulo Coelho. It was called Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. She has interviewed many new age authors such as: Micheal Beckweth, Gary Zukav and Caroline Myss all incredible authors who offer spiritual insight in today’s world . This was a sign I felt, to reacquaint myself with The Alchemist. Messages come into your life at particular times and this was one of them.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil to devout Catholic parents. During the conversations with Oprah the author illustrates that was an artist at an early age and knew he wanted to be a writer. His parents did not favor his chosen path and begged him to follow an alternative career. His own parents even insisted he go into a facility for his mental health! They were so afraid he was going against the grain and not following the life they intended for him. He later attended law school and dropped out to travel the world. On a chance encounter with an individual in Amsterdam he received a message to travel to Spain and walk the holy pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. Here is where he received the intuitive messages to become a writer. I felt so inspired when listening to Oprah’s Soul Conversations that I had to write about this!

The author offered such insight to life and I feel that I was meant to share is wisdom! Here are a five segments that may help you LIVE YOUR AUTHENTIC LIFE:

  1. You may get off track in life however you will always be drawn and guided to the right course. Every person, experience or obstacle you encounter is for your highest growth and healing. You may feel life is shattering underneath you, this is when you are being reborn.

    There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey”

  1. Know what you want, the universe will conspire to make it happen –TRUST! Do not let anyone sway your decisions. You have all the answers within, the universe wants to help you.

    And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

  2. The universe will always direct you to your path, follow your heart it will never lead you astray. Your heart center is sacred, within lies all the wisdom you are seeking. Your heart holds all treasure.

    Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense .”

  3. The language of the divine is the language of the world.  Be still and present to what you need to hear.

    “There was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”

  4. Dreams are when you reconnect the symbols and signs. Never stop dreaming, visualizing everything you desire. Its a request that you are transmuting to the universe. YOUR dreams will happen, stay focused on all the blessings each day of your life.

    It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

After all the lessons and experiences Santiago faces he eventually makes it to Egypt. However, there is no treasure. As he goes back home to the sycamore tree where he had the recurring dreams – his treasure is found. The author and main character Santiago understand that love is the cornerstone to spiritual awakening. You will encounter signs along your journey that will direct you towards what is meant for you – please pursue them. It could be a dream, epiphanies or your intuition steering the ship of your life. You must tune in and allow your spirit to carry you.

Paulo Coelho never abandoned his dream – it was within him all along. What is your dream? Work towards it on your own terms. Don’t be hard on yourself and know it will happen. For myself writing is a form of freedom and expression. I have often questioned whether I will write a book or an editorial one day. All I know is that writing connects me to my heart. Hearing Paulo Coelho’s life story again ascertained that we all have a calling and its our mission to honor it in this lifetime. Have no regrets, be brave, make a decision and know its all working out for you!

But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Pursuit of Happiness

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Still a dreamer, yet more of a realist than ever before, I knew this was my time to sail. On the horizon I saw the shining future, as before. The difference now was that I felt the wind at my back. I was ready.
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

In the moment of conception, we enter into this world alone unaware of what is happening around us. We are oblivious to our surroundings, and of all the newness that is about to occur. The five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing become a journey of discovery throughout the aging process as children. We are at complete peace, oneness with the experience of life.

There is such an innocence and pureness when we are young. Happiness, confidence and self-worth are etched into our core. We are fearless, speak our mind and have no concern to what others think about us. There is a sense of resilience and creativity is what makes the soul blossom. We see at a young age how children are painters, chefs, writers and teachers. As one develops from being a toddler to adolescence and finally an adult there are many twists and turns. We sometimes forget who we once were and what truly made us content.

Let us liberate ourselves from any form of control. Let us focus at the inner drum, where the rhythm aligns with that of our heart. The measure of responsibility, equals to the need for evolution. Just listen, the inner child, let it whisper in your ear.
Grigoris Deoudis

Are we born happy or do we have to work at it? Is it a conscious choice we make? These are the questions that have been pondering over the past few months. I believe happiness is an internal process and there are times we have to work towards creating it. There are numerous times when I would mask emotions of fear, anger or envy in order to keep that happy momentum. I was not being authentic whatsoever, and felt like I was avoiding parts of myself. I do believe happiness comes naturally when we are in alignment and we follow our hearts desires. When those moments happen, I bask in them and remind myself of the simple pleasures of life.

Our we a product of our environment and does epigenetics play a role in our development? I’m in no way a physician, however believe we absorb characteristics from our family relationships that determine some of our innate behaviours. Becoming an emotionally intelligent adult is clearing those blockages and experiences we endured as children. We are cleansing our spirits as we gain self awareness and personal power. We may blame our parents however there will be a time that you will see them as your teachers who gave you unconditional love. As they say the spiritual journey is coming home to yourself.

As we get older finish our education and follow a certain path, we live a certain way even though internally we have a deeper longing. We get caught up in the routine, work-life balance and forget about the importance of connecting to others. Is happiness in a job, car, relationship, or material status? Is that what makes life meaningful or is there something more?

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Albert Camus

There is something more! I attended a Buddhist Monk Meditation in February and it gave me the direction I have been seeking, along with inspiration for the remainder of this article. What I learned from that significant meditation is that INNER PEACE = HAPPINESS! Meditation brings you back to your core of who you are and that stillness is the key to your happiness. I’m in the process of applying the principle of non-attachment to situations and outcomes . By just being still is the source to happiness.

Here is insight from the meditation session that has ignited clarity into my life:

We all have attachments, fears unfilled desires and this creates inner turmoil. Breathe into your discomfort and surrender. Inhale white light and exhale black particles that do not serve you

When you are wavering into anxiety or stress learn to get touch with your feelings

You have all the wisdom and knowledge within, when you meditate answers appear

Stop going outside yourself and trust your divinity

Stay close to the centre of your heart, the mind is like a diamond, nurture it, feed it and water it with love

Let go of expectations to the way you think life should be and be so engrossed in the presence

Appreciate silence, it is connected to your soul

Love and self-love is the antidote you are seeking

I leave you with the story of Gautama Buddha. He was born into a wealthy upper class family in India surrounded by prestige and influence. Buddha was inquisitive spirit and knew there was a deeper meaning to life and would ultimately forge his own path. One day, he decided to leave and became a humble man who lived the life of ascetic. As Buddha detached from everything, is when he felt truly rich. Meditation, prayer and living a simple life is what transformed his soul. Remember its your internal happiness that makes your soul light up just like the stars in the galaxy.

Is there a simple remedy for happiness? Why are we always searching? The concept of searching finally made sense – I had an epiphany! Happiness is not a destination, its a choice we make daily. It truly is the little things which add up to making us smile. Come back to your inner child, remember who you once were at that young age. Embrace that care-free, radiant soul who lived in pure joy. Make time and space for mediation, the more you practice you will settle into peace.

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

–Atisa

Jim Carrey: Do What You Love

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“I wondered who I’d be without my fame. Who would I be if I said things that people didn’t want to hear, or if I defied their expectations of me? What if I showed up to the party without my Mardi Gras bat mask and refused to flash my breasts for a hand full of beads? I’ll give you a moment to wipe that image out your mind. When I was about 28, after a decade as a professional comedian, I realized one night in L.A. that the purpose of my life had always been to free people from concern just like my dad. When I realized this, I dubbed my new devotion the Church of Freedom From Concern, the Church of FFC. I dedicated myself to that ministry. What’s yours? How will you serve the world? What did they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out. As somebody who’s done what you’re about to go and do, I can tell you from experience the affect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.

Everything you gain in life will rock and fall apart, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart. My choosing to free people from concern got me to the top of a mountain. Look where I am. Look what I get to do. Everywhere I go … I’m going to get emotional because when I tap into this it really is extraordinary to me. I did something that made people present their best selves to me wherever I go. I am at the top of the mountain, and I was. The only one I hadn’t freed was myself. That’s when my search for identity depend. You can join the game, fight the wars, play with form all you want. To find real peace, you have to let the armor go. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Now, fear is going to be a player in your life but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future.

All there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. Please. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love”.

Jim Carrey’s inspiring speech of following your dreams, living your truth & being authentic! Let’s make 2018 a year of transformation, full of miracles & more!! Stay inspired xo