Archive for March, 2009

Do No Harm

I was shocked down to my core tonight.

On my way home from work, I witnessed a beating in the metro,
in our local subway system.

I don´t know if someone was singled out for a particular reason.Or if it was just a random thing. It just did not make any sense.

I was talking to a police officer later and as he took down the report, he asked me a question that just made me stop and think.

He asked me if I would be willing to testify.

Those words hurtled me years back in time, with another police officer and another police report.

You see years ago I was a victim of a crime.
There were many people who witnessed it.
People that I knew.

And not one of them stepped forward.
Not one of them was willing to testify.

I remember a friend of mine being so angry that none of them were willing to come forward and she told she wished she had been a witness because she would have testified on my behalf.

But I couldn´t blame them, any of them.

Why?

Because I understood their fear.
Because it was my fear.

The experience of navigating our local justice system, the police stations and courtrooms, made me a bit wiser to the ways of life, I believe.

I became a bit tougher inside, as a result I know.

When it comes to physical violence, emotional and psychological abuse,and harassment off all kinds, I have no tolerance.

ZERO TOLERANCE.

Whether the harm is aimed at me or others, I simply won´t tolerate it.

Because it´s simply not acceptable.

Over the years, I´ve had many people turn to me for help, who were dealing with difficult situations, and I always did my best to stop the harm to them from continuing.

As someone who organizes group activities in town, I´ve always kept a careful eye on the welfare of the people in my groups. Some people have been very angry with me because of what they say is the strict membership rules I have for my groups.

But those rules are there for a reason – to protect the members of my groups from harm.

As best as I can.

There was one incident sometime ago, where someone was harassing women within our activities. I removed that person so that people could attend my events freely, with no worries.

I have no tolerance for such things.

There are many who perpetuate violence or who harm others who may apologize or have a vast range of excuses.

I am sure many battered wives in the world have heard those excuses.

I say to those who regret their actions, this:
If you are truly sorry, than stop what you did in the past.

Just stop.

And go forth, and do no harm.

My answer to the police officer tonight:
Yes, I will testify.

Someone needs to stand up for the victims.

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Reconnecting The Soulful Dots

Lately my mind has been occupied with one of my favorite activities: counting my blessings.

And when I count my blessings, the very special people in my life, who have crossed my path, are at the top of the list.

This past week, I tasted the tastiest soul food of hearing from not one, but 5 people who all hold a special place in my heart. Five souls that I lost touch with who I was so very happy to hear from again.

One was a dear friend I studied with many moons ago, who moved so very far away. A soul-sister with whom I used to share little haikus, silly little doodles, and moments of mindfulness. Another soul sister whose beautifully generous spirit I shared soul-nourishing alternative books and philosophies and a tender softness that comes with the best hugs. Another was my one & only treasured childhood friend that I still keep in touch with. The one I shared the madness of teen years with, and decade after decade of life-changing events. Another was a special young man, who sadly had moved to Toronto sometime ago. A young man filled with such a bright light and wisdom and love. And another special young man who is a very talented photographer. The young man who took my very mischievous portrait picture that grace a few of my websites.

Ah what goodness, what light from them all.

My day was made all the brighter from hearing from each of them.

And hearing from them made me think of all the areas of my life where I have been blessed with the connections that feed my soul.

All those Positive People in Toronto & all over the world who shared this spiritual journey with me.

The wonderfully eclectic collection of wonderful new friends I´ve made from the many events I´ve hosted & attended in my ever-busy social life.

The dear friend I found again after 10 years of searching. So far away across an ocean but so often in my thoughts.

My best buddy with whom I shared a night of sci-fi movie goodness and most excellent cheese, not too long ago.

My dear dad. Much too far away from me, who is in my heart and thoughts every day.

It is time to catch up with all my emails, all my phone calls, all my messages, with all the soulfully-rich people who have touched & blessed my life.

The Healing Power of Babies & Kids: The Spiritual Reboot

How appropriate for me to finally write this blog as I am slowly recovering from bronchitis.

But this blog has been on my mind for some time.

Now that I have internet access at home again, I can finally sit down and mull over my thoughts about this.

There is something special about babies and kids that can just bring the greatest light in the darkest of days.

When my mother passed away in November of 2007, it took quite some time before I could find some joy in my days. I remember the moment when I first remember smiling again. It was a very snowy day in January 2008. I was riding the bus home and got off at my stop. A woman with a tiny newborn in a stroller got on the bus just as I got off. It was such a beautiful sight and made me think – once I was a little newborn in my mother’s care as well.

I remember another day in the month of August 2008. I had just received some very bad news from the bank and then went to meet a good friend for lunch. We sat in the park and talked. I looked over and there was a young mother playing with her toddler son. They were playing badminton or horseshoes or some such thing. And the little boy must have been around 2 years old. You know that age when they just start to walk but their little legs are kind of rubbery, because they don’t have confidence yet in that walking thing? Oh it was just too cute. And it was a beautiful sunshiny day. Not a cloud in the sky. And the sight of that little boy playing with his mom just instantly lifted my spirit up.

A couple of months ago, I was having another bad day. It was one of the worst days I´ve ever had on the job. I had been yelled at by a client on the phone, chewed out by a supervisor and then lost my contact lenses at work so I couldn’t see the computer screen. So another supervisor sent me home to pick up a spare pair of contacts and report back to work to make up the time lost in traveling back & forth. So I headed back home and then off to work again. In one of the worst snowstorms of this year. So I was sitting on the metro on my way to work and trying to reboot my thoughts. When suddenly I saw this beautiful baby girl. She had the tiniest cornrows I ever saw and was dressed all in pink. What is it with little girls and pink? Anyway, suddenly she waved her little hand at me to say hello. And I waved a hand back with a smile. It was like this little miraculous creature knew I needed some cheering up. And it sure did the trick, I headed back to work with a skip in my walk in the middle of all the blowing snow. It was great.

Thinking back, another rough day in my life comes to mind.

Many, many years ago we had had a very bad scare with my mom. She had been rushed to the hospital when she just collapsed one day, She was misdiagnosed at first by a careless doctor with the worst bedside manner I ever saw. Basically, he took a look at some x-rays of my mom and said, “Yup. It looks really bad. Prepare for the worst.” And then he just walked off after saying that to our family. I felt my knees give out as I sat down hard on a wooden bench in the hallway where the doctor decided to dump this bad news on us. Oh and by the way. Within a week’s time, one of my uncles was also rushed to the hospital when he collapsed. He was sent to the Montreal Neurological Institute, where they found he had had a brain aneurysm. And he was literally across the street from my mom, who was at the Royal Vic.

So that was a very challenging time for our family. We kept both my mom & my uncle in the dark about each other & their being at the hospital at the same time. We spent our days going back and forth from both hospital rooms.

When you spend a lot of time in hospital rooms visiting, it takes it toll on you of course. One day I just had enough and went for a walk inside the hospital, trying to figure out how to change the thoughts in my head.

And then I had this most excellent idea. I decided to visit the newborn section of the hospital. I walked into the wing and looked through the glass at all these tiny little babies. They were in every shape, size and colour. There was even a redhead with a healthy shock of red hair on his little head. And the department? Oh it was filled with such joy. People were coming in and saying congratulations in every language imaginable. Carrying flowers, gift baskets and balloons. And a few weary new mothers were walking around with their beautiful new creations. All wearing the biggest smiles. It was just what needed. I breathed in all this beauty and joy with a happy heart that somehow felt lighter.

I do believe that there is something special about babies and kids.Their very presence is filled with such innocent wonder. Joy. Amazement at the workings of our physical world. And they are filled with such a pure sweet light. And love. Oh so much love.

Well, I highly recommend this “baby healing therapy” to anyone feeling a bit down or having a bad day. Just look around at a baby or kid near you somewhere. Or go to a place filled with them.

And just let their light heal your heart and soul.


Video Montage: The Flow
Following the flow of the universe, with a photo montage I created. The song is "Twisted Hair" by Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble, featuring the sublime operatic voice of Sioux singer Bonnie Jo Hunt, who sings over the sound of crickets.
Also posted on youtube:

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