it’s Flow, obviously

Hello darlings,

So much has happened since I last spoke. I spent two weeks visiting my brother and sister; I started conducting workshops for my community development course; I started teaching art classes to elementary school kids; I kept up teaching yoga, practicing yoga, swimming, painting, reading and writing.

 All the while chaos was unfolding around me. I was caught in a riff between two people that I love immensely. Both sides were wrong. Both sides were right. I learned about the damages of near-sightedness, of being unyielding, and of miscommunication in cross-cultural relationships. When I sympathized with one, I insulted the other. I oscillated between the two, not quite knowing where to stand, feeling increasingly confused and hurt by the circumstances. Eventually, my partner left to go back to the United-States.

I still don’t know how I feel about the whole situation. At first, I was angry at them both; profoundly confused. Some days I want to lay in bed and cry because I love him and miss him. Other days I feel excited about moving on without him. Sometimes I’m frustrated because I can’t make up my mind. I’ve come to accept the process of not knowing; of questioning. My favourite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke said in his letters:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

This resonates with me so profoundly. It evokes deep feelings of gratitude within. Everything is exactly how it should be. Not knowing is perfectly acceptable – sometimes my perfectionist self tries to get in the way and control things… I see it clearly now when I write to you.

Meanwhile, I’ve been talking back and forth with my friend Brett, who owns the farm I will be managing with (and sometimes for) him this summer. Seeding calculations, production plans, garden plans, greenhouse schedules, convincing people to buy what we call CSA shares (which consist of weekly vegetable baskets – hey if you’re in Ottawa and you’re interested go to https://www.cadencefarm.ca/), amongst very many exciting farm preparation things. Most of our help with labour will come from youth groups that want to learn about growing food sustainably. I am thrilled to not only be a farmer, but also an educator.

I’m also painting a lot more. I am refining my skills, and I find myself less and less frustrated by the process and more and more in a state of flow. Which brings to mind a poem I wrote last summer.


it’s flow, obviously

tesselate

move

stand up straight

groove

there’s no time to wait

soothe


the wounds

from the past

these things always pass

yet we quiver at the thought of separating from the mass

we shiver in anticipation knowing how fast

yet simultaneously slow transformation has


changed us

deceivingly betrayed us

intuitively guided us

to flow

flow

flow.


Now, this makes me think of something Eckhart Tolle said in one of his talks. He was talking about how we’re always waiting. Waiting for lunchtime to come around, waiting for spring to come, waiting for someone to speak first, waiting to quit our jobs and start the next exciting thing. Waiting. Waiting. He says when we start cultivating awareness. I want to emphasize that. When we start cultivating awareness, we start being present. We start being here, Now. With whatever we are doing. We stop waiting.

And yes, blah blah blah, you could start contesting that with thinking “well what about decisions that I need to make? and choosing a ‘career path’? and planning a vacation?” Those are all legitimate concerns, truly. And maybe your life requires you to think in that way. But that might also be the reason that the human race is stressed out, anxious and unfulfilled. Which brings me to something touched upon by Osho. He talks about spontaneity and recognizing the flow within. If a decision doesn’t come to us spontaneously, from that unknown place within ourselves, then we are trying to control. We are lying to ourselves and fooling ourselves, in a very subtle, but profound way. Because then we are pretending that we know better than the flow does.

I have certainly been catching myself trying to control things and people and circumstances. Know that I am only sharing my thought processes and understanding of things with the purest intentions. I just want to learn through sharing, and I encourage you to do the same. I am always open to receiving your thoughts and ideas. I most likely will answer, though sometimes I feel like it’s unnecessary for reasons that depend on the immediate circumstances.

I love you.

Namaste,

Bee

‘lady blue’ my most recent painting… go to my Etsy store for more

receptive

I started this painting two years ago. A self-portrait. I’ve always been obssessed with this design, and I’ve always been obssessed with the idea of becoming a plant. Of transforming my body to be able to photosynthesize and absorb the power of the sun, transforming it into what I need to survive.

At one point I stopped allowing my creative energy to flow, which is when I got really depressed. My soul felt crushed. Then I set myself free and when I finally came back to this painting a year ago my creative energies were ever-flowing. They flowed and overflowed. I worked on it overnight for many nights.

I wrote a poem titled ‘receptive’ not long after, which gave life to the feeling behind the painting, and a title to it.

Here it is. My first real painting, ‘receptive’.

You can buy prints of it on my Etsy store if you’re interested! The link is in my menu.

eyes wide open

forever, it has been

whomsoever therein

born, again and again

 

consciousness ready

auspicious buoyancy

bottomless mercy

of the universal divinity

dawn

I wrote this poem, reflecting on my daily morning yoga practice that I have been cultivating for seven years now. Slowly peeling different layers. I noticed a profound beauty in long-term practice and persistence. Noticing different aspects of the mind, body and soul; interconnecting and unravelling themselves.

infinite space

concealing

ethereal stars

receding

faithful moon

mourning

 

divine freedom

experienced

as i salute the sun

balanced

my mind’s maelstrom

silenced

 

river of tranquility

grounding

simulated empathy

interconnecting

newfound immortality

everlasting

 

consciousness sublime

attentiveness divine

aligned spiral vortexes

such subtle cosmic dances

profound moments, intense shift

into the morning’s deep stillness.

Verse 27 – Tao Te Ching

A knower of Truth

travels without leaving a trace

speaks without causing harm

gives without keeping an account

The door he shuts, though having no lock,

cannot be opened

The knot he ties, though using no cord,

cannot be undone

The Sage is always on the side of virtue

so everyone around him prospers

He is always on the side of truth

so everything around him is fulfilled

The path of the Sage is called

“The Path of Illumination”

He who gives himself to his path

is like a block of wood

that gives itself to the chisel –

Cut by cut it is honed to perfection

Only a student who gives himself

can receive the master’s gift

If you think otherwise,

despite your knowledge, you have blundered

Giving and receiving are one

This is called,

“The great wonder”

“The essential mystery”

“The very heart of all that is true”

Lao Tzu, translated by Jonathan Star

the river

darling, there’s no need to figure everything out now

no use in getting stuck in cycles of thoughts, asking ‘how?’

 

there is only the present to simultaneously look forwards and backwards to

cultivating the appropriate intentions and remembering the Tao of Pooh

 

for your reality is shaped by the lens through which you see the world

this choice that you make will distinguish the grain of sand from the pearl

 

it’s in these fuzzy moments of confusion that we become out of tune

countless nightless hours of worry and delusion will only bring us gloom

 

so we keep fostering and embodying the river’s flowing energy

coming and going without thought; as the Source is connected to it perfectly.

Soaring: beautiful, beautiful change

Namaste Darlings,

Oh, Life. Right when I am thinking that things will go a certain way, according to a certain plan, everything changes. Perceived challenges and obstacles come, triggering a variety of emotions. I ride the wave; observing them; not reacting. Seeing what is truly there; what needs to be done; how to move forward.

It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. To have that feeling of spaciousness, devoid of anxiety and pressure to act. And I realize that this comes only when you have absolute Faith in the Universe. Faith that things will go exactly as they need to go in order for you to keep evolving as you need to in order to fulfill yourself. It’s easy to believe blindly and to delude ourselves into thinking that we do have this faith. But when it is truly felt – physically – and experienced, you transcend. You soar.

After some weeks spent meditating, sketching, painting, reading, and writing in our isolated home, cabin fever came. It’s interesting how it manifests itself. Lethargy. Uneasiness. Delusional thinking. Something was off and we felt we needed to do something about it.

We longed for social interaction and looked for events happening nearby, but we immediately we encountered a barrier. We live in a community of retired, elderly people with the occasional family that comes to their cottage here from Seattle when they have some time. There aren’t many things happening because people come here to rest from all the things happening.

The feeling went on for a week or so, intensifying and building up to a point where we realized we need to get out of here and move on. So that is what we are doing. Leaving Washington; heading towards Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Canada. Yeeeehooo, a new adventure.

Throughout this time, I went through a lot of emotional turmoil. It all started with my parents offering to pay for me to take an online course that would contribute to the pursuit of my undergraduate degree. For days, I was assailed with flashbacks of the traumas I lived last time I studied in university. I relived the anxiety, the soul-crushing depression that drove me insane, making me feel like I was suffocating. Like I was a bird trapped in a cage. I struggled to detach myself from those past feelings, knowing that it would be absolutely different this time. Slowly, I succeeded in dissociating myself from those flashbacks. I called my amazing mother, who reassured me that I am not the same person anymore, living in those conditions that I was living under back then. She reminded me of my power, rooted in the true self that I’ve found over the past two years. Talking to her pushed me over the edge, liberating me from my past.

I am now enrolled in an online environmental studies class on community development. Reading through the course description and units makes me excited. I thought “wow, this is Bee”. I am looking forward to giving my full attention to this course, delving deep into the learning and evolution that will come from it.

Going back to Sturgeon Falls means that I can start teaching again. When I was there last, I taught a free weekly yoga class, which taught me so much. I learned about what it means to start a yoga practice, what it means to be a good teacher, how to support the students through their learning process. I learned about what it feels to share vibrations and to elevate each other through that. I also taught a yoga/wellness/art class to high school students, which I am looking forward to picking up again. It brings me so much joy to share my experiences and wisdom, and to facilitate learning processes within fellow humans, thus facilitating my own learning.

My meditation practice has deepened throughout this time. I have experienced wisdom and insight through my practice, and I am amazed at the difference in my character. Again, the spaciousness. It’s unbelievable how developing mindfulness and constant awareness allows you to notice your immediate responses to situations even before responding. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes it’s hard. But I keep doing my best. In one of his lectures, Swami Rama says: “Discipline means not allowing yourself to be dissipated.” That got me thinking a whole lot about how I dissipate my mental energy. Whether it’s through engaging in negative thoughts, debating whether I should practice yoga before reading or not, and overeating/undereating. For a lot of people, this mental energy is dissipated through television or Netflix, social media, intoxicants, superficial interactions, etc.

To keep following this line of thought, for many of us the new year is a time of transformation and motivation to change. To facilitate change consciously and intentionally we so often need discipline. Therefore, I am wondering if you would like to share your reflections about discipline; your struggles, your victories, your progress and ideas for the new year. I love hearing about you, and knowing how you’re doing. Sharing is important to me.

Before I leave you, I want to share a realization that has come to mind, randomly:

Magic DOES exist. For me, it comes most often when I am standing in the forest, witnessing the trees and the plants breathing. The birds flying around, singing. The inconspicuous mushrooms and the smell of decaying leaves. The sunlight streaming through the trees. Magic is there when I am waiting for Michael to come to pick me up at the gym. I am simply standing outside, witnessing. The people and their conversations; coming and going. The clouds and the sun, rising and passing. Life, unfolding around me while I am totally absorbed within it, consciously, intentionally. Magic is there when I notice the power of my thoughts, creating my reality. Setting intentions and watching it unfold, coming to fruition. Magic is there when I look into my Beloved’s eyes, feeling the ancient and profound love that we share, and the power that emanates from it. Seeing and feeling the potential for divine communion. Absolute communion. Magic.

May all of you experience real harmony, real happiness.

Love and light,

Bee x

People

Have you ever been offended because of something someone else said? Or sad? Or felt judged by the look in their eyes? Maybe you’ve felt indignation within yourself just by the way they’ve behaved or interacted with other people. We go through it all. These feelings and impressions come to us from our learned behavioral patterns that protected us as children. Defense mechanisms.

Of course it’s easier to avoid those people altogether, but by doing so you are actually limiting yourself.

The principle of energy conservation is one of the most basic laws of our Universe. Nothing is ever created or destroyed; everything is flow. And it’s flowing in a certain direction. It doesn’t matter if it has a destination or not. The point is that Nature, flow, the Universe, God – with no regard for the barriers that language may pose in speaking of That/It/He/She – works with ultimate efficiency. It never wastes any energy whatsoever in its process of becoming.

Then how could anyone or anything be at the wrong place at the wrong time, let alone experience anything of no use?

Every. Single. Interaction.

Every. Single. Experience. That we’ve had up to this moment has made us into who we are at that point and will serve us in the future. Every person that we’ve met has been on our path to teach us something that will be essential for us to accomplish our mission.

There’s no need to avoid anything or anyone. It’s all there for a reason. We just need to have faith in the certainty that the Universe is perfect. We might not see all the pieces of it now, but it might all come together later. It might also not. We must have courage to face our faults and work with them. The Universe provides opportunities for us to practice that.

My Sensation Paradox

Sometimes I sit in meditation, overwhelmed by an emotion. Usually it stems from my ingrained triggers, the ones that I repeatedly work with in my everyday life. At times I get pieces of insights into those triggers and it’s awesome – a part of them dissolves. There is newfound space. It is that space that enables me to notice the behavioral pattern before reacting to it, thus permitting me to choose an intentional action.

Other times I sit there completely overwhelmed, wanting to scream; to cry; to crawl out of my skin; to smash my face on the floor; or to get up and climb right in to bed to forget the world (and myself). These are the moments where exercing equanimity is most important. To observe the feeling and where it comes from. To resist moving. To detach oneself.

Clearly this is easier said than done. Tonight when I was struggling with emotion I realized that I wasn’t focusing on my bodily sensations, as the Vipassana technique teaches. I was engulfed in my fury. So I brought myself back to my elbow, which is where I was at before the anger started. The tingling sensations associated with my experience of scanning familiarily arose once more and a paradoxical thought came: “oh sensation. I may be a whirlwind of colours and thoughts and emotions; but sensation is always there, tingling away.”

This thought strikes me as comical and paradoxical now – though it wasn’t at the time – certainly because Goenkaji’s teachings are based on the changing nature of mind and matter. He repeatedly emphasizes that everything is constantly changing; arising and passing away; especially sensation. In that moment where I experienced agitation of the mind, sensation seemed permanent to me. A familiar feeling to go back to. To rely on when everything else is chaos. That is part of why I find comfort in meditation.