Wednesday, February 28, 2007

For Whom the Bell Tolls

There's a tiny ray of light desperately trying to break through the never-ending drab of Toronto's winter sky. I see a touch of beautiful blue, the smallest hint of it peeking out cautiously from behind a blanket of opaque grey.

I'm on the streetcar on my way to work, trying to ignore the sound of the woman on her cell phone behind me. Cantonese. Consonants.

Church Street. The streetcar grinds to a halt, the doors pop open, and I hear the ringing of the bells from majestic St. James Cathedral.

"For whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. Ernest Hemingway," the driver intones over the streetcar's PA system. I smile.

We pass Victoria Street, screech to a stop at Yonge Street, "Yonge Street, home of the King subway." I watch as a new stream of passengers tiptoes through slush and mud, and up into the warm car.

Chug Chug Chug. Continuing. Cantonese. Consonants.

I ring the bell signalling my stop, "Bay Street, home of financial wizards and money moguls, streets paved with gold, known as Wall Street in New York..." the driver continues.

I get up, stand by the door, lean in as he whispers to me, "what are you? money mogul or financial wizard?"

I pause.

"Frustrated writer?" I say, with a question in my voice.

He laughs, a nice, big belly laugh, "take care and have a wonderful day!" The sky clears, and fills with bright sun, its splendid azure lifting my spirits instantly. I'm smiling all the way to work.

Now did I mean him or me?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Energetic Pathways: Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

Tabula Rasa: Latin for scraped tablet or clean slate, refers to the epistemological thesis that individual human beings are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word, "blank", and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world.

If you believe, like I do, that life is images of the mind expressed, you can imagine how powerful this meeting with Josep was. It was as though my brain was turned inside out, fractured into a million pieces and totally reconfigured. The principles I'd been studying, the patterns of behaviour I'd been releasing, the new thoughts I'd been processing; well, they boiled over in my brain and crystallized into a single, brilliant point of focus.

My life could be whatever I desired it to be - unfettered, unhindered, unburdened - inhibited only by the limits of my own imagination, faith and certainty.

Tabula Rasa.

I was finally freed of the constraints I had placed upon myself all my life. The voices of my parents, societal expectations, the fears of well-meaning friends, cultural conditioning - all of these were wiped clean. The particular beauty of this moment laid in it's complete absence of fear. For the first time, I was totally unimpeded by any fear of failure. How could I be when there were no limits, no constraints and no expectations? I decided that I would be kind to myself. I would forgive myself. I would not expect "perfection." No. Instead, I chose to see my life as a grand experiment. Every event would be viewed as a valiant, imperfect, sublime attempt at creating the life of my dreams. One that could be continuously tweaked and refined. With Josep's help, I had shifted the lens. With profound implications.

And so, in this delightful vacuum of silence, I began to consciously create my life. What did I truly want? What had I not allowed myself to consider out of the fear that it wasn't possible? What had I avoided because I could not see "how it would be done?"

To be continued...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Saint Valentine was beaten with clubs and beheaded in ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that soldiers did not want to leave their loves or families to join the military, and so he cancelled all marriages and engagements. Saint Valentine secretly married couples and for this, he was martyred on February 14th.

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! I hope your life is abundantly full of joy, gratitude and bliss, and may your belief in beautiful, perfect-just-as-it-is love not cause your beheading!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Energetic Pathways: Part 1

I've been trying to write this post for a very long time. It's been saved as a draft for countless weeks, while I try to figure out exactly how to tell this story. I guess I'm afraid that I won't be able to imbue it with all the weight and feeling of grace and completion that it deserves. Still, it's something I want to share with all of you, so here goes...

Everything happens for a reason. This little phrase is running constantly in the background of my life. Events happen. People come into my life. Some things are good. Some things are bad. But it doesn't matter. Because everything happens for a reason.

I always believed this to be true on some superficial level, or perhaps I convinced myself of this to soothe in troubled times. Who knows? I can say this though. The events of the last year have proven to me that everything does happen for a reason. Without a doubt.

This particular energetic pathway stretches way back to December of 2005, when I had a psychic reading at a restaurant. You can read about it here. It was just for fun, and honestly, I don't put too much stock in psychic readings. At best, they give you a snapshot of the future at a moment in time, but since we are constantly creating, evolving and growing, the reading is only valid for those particular circumstances and conditions. In the next moment, your life has shifted somehow, and thus, your future. So when the psychic told me I would meet someone named Joseph, who would be significant to my life, I locked it away in my brain and then forgot about it.

That is until I went to Miami in October of 2006, and met Josep from Tarragona, Spain. A bunch of things happened between December 2005 and October 2006 that laid the foundation for me to even notice these energetic connections, but that's a whole other story. The point is that there was a sequence to all of these events. One could not have happened without the other, and when you're able to observe an overarching energetic pattern that stretches across years, it's a true moment of grace.

Everything happens for a reason.

Yes, Josep and I had a lovely time together. Yes, we are still in touch. And yes, he was significant, but not for the typical vacation fling reasons. Josep was important because he helped me shift my thinking in a very profound way. Through him, I realized that I had a whole slew of limiting beliefs around money - how to earn it, career - how to create it, life - what was possible. Essentially, Josep functioned like an atom bomb in my brain. One that detonated and set off a whole sequence of serendipitous events one by one by one...

To be continued....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Open Your Heart

Relax your calves, relax your calves, relax your...
Thighs...relax your thighs, relax your thighs, relax your...
Hips...relax your hips, relax your hips, relax your...
Chest...relax your chest, relax your chest, relax your...
Neck...relax your neck, relax your neck, relax your...
Face...relax your face, relax your face...

The Bikram yoga instructor's voice lulls me into a meditative state. I'm half awake, out of my head and fully present. My brain waves slow down. Alpha. Beta. Theta. Delta.

OPEN YOUR HEART he commands.

Tears spring instantly into my eyes. This is a surprise. An unexpected gift.

Let go.

I lie in Savasana for another 10 minutes as tears roll down my cheeks. I can't stop it. Nor do I want to. I am filled with emotion and flooded with a feeling of peace and gratitude.

As I leave the class, the bells from the big, old cathedral on the corner are ringing. It's Sunday after all, and service is over. My eyes fill with tears again. The sound is so beautiful. I am overflowing.

My heart chakra is awakening, and I am overcome with a profound sense of well-being and ease. I feel blessed, awed by the innocence and interconnectedness of the world, the perfect way in which all things flow harmoniously together.

El Collie writes about The Open Heart, and explains it much better than I can. Here's an excerpt:

In many spiritual traditions, it's considered the greatest blessing when the heart chakra awakens. Many regard this the most important energy center of the human psyche. The heart -- or fourth -- chakra is located at the center of the chest. When this chakra begins to awaken, a variety of sensations and physical symptoms can arise...Often there is heat focused in this area when the chakra is awakening. This may feel like a warm, glowing sensation or a feeling of incandescence, with the chest blazing hot as a furnace. After my heart chakra awakened, I discovered that whenever I was in the presence of anyone who felt sad, I would feel a dark weight on my chest. And when I was with anyone who was directing love toward me, my chest would become very warm...As the heart awakens, profound emotional changes frequently occur. The heart seems to both literally and figuratively break, releasing torrents of sadness and grief...During this same period, I was often overcome with intense compassion for people. I would be easily moved to tears upon hearing of any adversity in my friends' lives. This was not maudlin pity, but a deep sadness at the spiritual opaqueness of the world. Everyone evoked sweet-sad, deeply affectionate and reverent feelings in me; I felt such innocence and beauty in them all. There are many transcendent states that can accompany the heart awakening. Numinous beings of love and light may appear. Deep feelings of gratitude, joy and bliss may arise. A sense of the incredible beauty of all creation can be staggering. Tears of rapture can flow as easily and uncontrollably as tears of sorrow. Realization of unity with the divine and/or with all existing beings is dramatic at this time. Tremendous feelings of appreciation and compassion arise. Every sentient being is felt as precious...

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I've been working on a new post for about a week. The topic is so complicated to write about, that honestly I'm having a lot of trouble getting it down in any understandable format. It IS a story I want to share with all of you though, so I'll keep plugging away at it. In the meantime, I thought I'd share some pictures of the new loft I purchased a few weeks ago, since it's actually part of the OTHER story I'm trying to write. Yes, this is an incredibly lazy post, but the other one, is taking up all of my energy.

The loft is pre-build, and will be completed in October of 2008. It's a boutique building in downtown Toronto with only 86 units. The finishings are absolutely fantastic! Quartz counters, wood floors, stainless appliances, tempered glass backsplash, fully tiled bathroom, ceiling heights over 9 feet, a gas stove, and would you believe a gasline out to the balcony for a BBQ!! Now THAT is a rare thing for a condo. I'm so excited to move!!