Sometimes I feel like some kind of food alien ~ and get odd looks from others. The big question being "but where do you get your protein??" This blog post is inspired by that particular question. And the next time a curious person asks me that, I can direct them to this post! :-)
I didn't take the photo above, and am not able to find the credit of the person who did ~ isn't it beautiful though? Does it make your mouth water? Mine does.
At 19 years of age, I read John Robbin's book 'Diet for a new America' and it opened my eyes to a whole new reality of living and eating, not to mention it brought to my consciousness the harm that is done to animals in order for us to eat them. I vowed to do no harm ~ a vow of Ahimsa ~ and have honoured that with devotion when it comes to eating any land animals. I became vegetarian and began on my path of exploring what to feed this body of mine.
Back in the 90's, if you chose to be vegetarian, tofu and soy products where your substitute for meat/protein...
"Prairie people - grounded people - we have a sense of the Sky...." -Rajan Rathnavalu, at The Camrose Hospice Society training, October 2018
It certainly feels that way - as we have landed back on our home turf. Living in my mother's house has been very healing. We are fixing it slowly, not feeling a rush, and at the same time - wanting to make it our own. The tiny hamlet we live in is very quiet and at night I've heard owls - in the summer the coyotes are audible from the surrounding fields. The snow has now blanketed us and the sun shines regularly, the snow lighting up like a sparkling cloth. The light makes my heart sing after so many dark, damp winters on the coast. The dry air and consistent heat in this tiny house makes me feel really warm and cozy... even down to my toes! What a revelation!
We are slowly weaving our way in to the lovely community in Camrose, making new friends and attending events and gatherings. And it all happened through our decision to take the hospice traini...
There are big changes coming up for me and my family next month. We have decided to drastically simplify our lives and downsize our home and eliminate our financial debts. We are selling our house and moving from Bowen Island, where we have lived for the past 16 years, to a small home in Alberta. That small home is 88 years old and used to be my mother's house. Our plan is to restore it and live the simple life there, marinating in the experience of living slow, living debt-free, and living with less things. This is a big endevour, and it has taken much time to unload our current home here. There is much to release, and I am looking seriously at my attachments to 'things'.
Needless to say, I have certainly developed an attachment to all our dear friends and Soul Tribe here on Bowen over the years! I plan to stay in touch and I'm grateful that there are many ways to do so! ♥ ♥ ♥ I have learned so much from you all... I'll carry that learning forward, with honour and grace. Tha...
It was November 2013, and I was on the bus to serve at a 10 day Vipassana course at the Dhamma Surabhi center just outside of Merritt, BC. I remember making an intention to serve those who were sitting - with LOVE. Having been through two previous 10 day sits myself, I knew what they were in for and had a deep sense of compassion for everyone who was choosing to sit this course. My mission was to do my tasks and do them well. It was that simple.
Or at least I thought.
Upon arrival, there was a bit of a stir because the female manager had cancelled last minute due to an unexpected circumstance. I had signed up to serve in the kitchen, and it being my first serve, I was feeling quite nervous. I had also arrived the evening before the course started, so was amongst the first few people to arrive. I met the people in charge of the center and the Assistant Teacher (AT) for the course – Hans. He was a lovely, soft spoken gentleman who had a very fatherly demeanor, and we shook hands and share...
Sharing the vibrations of LOVE - which is also the name of our Kirtan band here on Bowen Island. In the picture above, right to left is Elle Burke on Shruti, Jack Resels on drums, Soorya Ray Resels on guitar, Ron Serna on banjo and myself - Leah on harmonium.
This recording was captured at our last Kirtan gathering at The Well on Bowen, April 22, 2018.
Chanting together is a beautiful way to raise our own energies and move into our hearts. It is a powerful form of devotion, or Bhakti yoga - singing to the Divine, which also resides in each and every one of us.
"Bhakti is love – loving God, loving your own Self, and loving all beings. The small heart should become bigger and bigger and, eventually, totally expansive. A spark can become a forest fire. ”
I've had a precarious relationship with my singing voice over the years - I was told to sing louder during my 20's, to which I of course rebelled and stopped singing for quite awhile. It wasn't until 6 years ago that I opened myself to song once again through a local singing group here on Bowen - the Village SongCircle with my dear friends and mentors, Shasta and Brian. Finding my voice again was a bit awkward at first, as my singing voice is nothing fancy - no vibrato, or anything special. Just an alto. (Haha. And now I know very well that if you have a voice, that's all you need. It doesn't need to be fancy! And there is much joy to be had in singing alto!)
So, I sang happily in my alto voice over the years, enjoying the sensations the music created within me - the harmonies we would a...
"A dear friend invited me recently to share what I’d say if I could go back and give some advice to my 14-year-old self. I thought about it for a while, then realized that the advice I would offer my 14-year-old back then is the same advice I offer myself now, fifty years later …
I know you don’t fit easily into this world. The truth, my love, is that most of us don’t fit. But most of us surrender to the world and turn ourselves into people who do fit. And then we no longer fit into ourselves. And as we grow older this makes us miserable – even insane.
Therefore don’t change a thing. Don’t try to fit. For a while this will be a lonely journey, so stay close to that handful of odd, precious people who know and love you and who appreciate what it costs on the inside for you to stay true to yourself.
Believe me, your faithfulness will blossom into the most rich and satisfying life. And one day a strong, beautiful, one-of-a-kind you will emerge. On that day you’ll realize that you w...
“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.” ~ Rupi Kaur
Ahhhh, deciding to be whole. I love that, and I would like to feel that I have made that choice for myself and it is what I strive towards... wholeness. How about you?
And wholeness depends upon a strong foundation, a groundedness of prepared soil on which you stand firm. You create a home for yourself there and decorate it as you please with precious ornaments and lush furniture. You feed your belly as well as your Soul with nourishment that also came from rich soil. You thrive when you decide to be whole.
And it is just a decision to be made! You make it for yourself, and start doing the work. It does take work, and you know that and do it anyway. You tend to the wounds, lick them even. You write your lists of who and what to forgive. Forgive and let go. Yo...