Friday, October 25, 2013

Paradise Island Bridge and More

This week has been yummy. I have been visiting Nassau, staying with my lovely friend Sonia on Paradise Island.

In between counselling sessions, teaching and writing I have been enjoying getting caught up with friends. These are friends I have known, it seems like forever, for more than twenty years. 

These friends are like family. I love how we never have to explain anything. There is an instant and intimate understanding between us.

Have you noticed how it can also be like that with people you are meeting for the first time? I have and I am noticing it more and more.

Just the other day for example, I hopped over the bridge from Paradise Island to a shopping mall in Nassau. It's not really that far, maybe just over a mile, but when the sun is beating down mercilessly it's not the most comfortable of jaunts.

When it was finally time to turn around and head back home I decided to take a cab. I stood outside 'Fresh', a wonderful food store. I sent a simple message to the universe.

"I need to get home. Please send a cab."

Seconds later a cab pulled up. I asked the driver,

"Are you free?"

He told me,

"I have to get medication for my grandfather. Just wait a while and I will be right back."

Minutes later, he arrived clutching a brown bag. Then he jumped in the driver's seat and took off at break neck speed with me bouncing around in the back.

Shouting over his shoulder as we climbed the bridge, the cabbie told me his life story. He detailed where he grew up, which school he went to, the girl he married and lastly the health issues of his grandfather.

This is one of the things I love about Bahamian people. They are so open and friendly. They warmly invite you in as if they are recognizing you as a long lost member of their family.

They also laugh a lot and take things lightly. One of the things the cab driver insisted before he said good bye was this,

''Take it easy and stay blessed!''

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saying Yes.

One Friday afternoon in October 2013, a package arrived in the mail.  It was a book. The little, aqua-green gem had been wending its way to me for over a year.

The title of the book was, 'Tiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself.'' The author was Lori Deschene. Lori is the founder of the Tiny Buddha website. In August 2012, Lori had written to ask if she could use one of my articles in the book.

I said, "Yes."

A year later
, Lori wrote again. She wanted to know if I would support the book's launch, by offering a free gift.

She also wondered if I would like to participate in an interview. Lori attached a list of interview questions and asked for them to be completed as soon as possible.

At the time, I had just arrived back on Grand Bahama Island. Lori's e-mail arrived the morning after a grueling transatlantic flight. Back to the reality of island living, the heat and humidity was unbelievable, the car wouldn't start, there was no food in the fridge and I had a gazillion things to get caught up on. I was feeling worn thin and overwhelmed to say the least.

However, I said, "Yes."

Years ago, I remember reading about a Zen Master who asked one of his disciples,

 "Why do you always say No, before you say Yes?"

This question triggered an epiphany. In that moment, I realized I have rarely had this problem.

The reason is, I trust my heart.

Even with exhaustion and concerns about whether there will be time to get everything done, I know it will all magically happen. If my heart wills it, I trust that my heart will work it out.

Somehow, my heart just knows how.....

Tiny Buddha

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Life-Changing Moment

On a warm, sultry afternoon in July 2001, I was at an ashram. Surrounded by a broad swathe of other spiritual seekers, I was tingling with anticipation as I slowly inched my way forward to a podium at the front of the hall.

Seated on the podium was a stunning looking woman. Robed in the silken-orange tradition of the Saraswati order, it was obvious that this beautiful Indian Guru lived in a state of transcendence I had been looking for my whole life.

Questions, which had been bouncing around in my head hours earlier, such as, "Can she be real?" "Is she authentic?" dissolved the moment I laid eyes on her. My soul simply 'knew'.

Her energy field was thick, alive and vibrating intensely with the most intoxicating and limitless love I had ever felt. In the body of this love, there was no need for words.

Breaking the silence, a hostess whispered in my ear, "It is customary to bring something when meeting a Guru for the first time. In India, coconuts are offered, symbolizing the hard shell of the ego."

With this prompt I scanned the people around me. Sure enough, they were tenderly holding flowers, coconuts and exquisitely wrapped gifts.

A tumult of emotions began to arise. I suddenly felt terrible. Having left my bag by my chair at the back of the hall, I had nothing to give.

Looking down at my hands I decided, "I'll offer my engagement ring." Then I thought, "No it does not hold enough significance. I need to give something more meaningful."

With that determination, I took off my wedding band, placed it in the palm of my hand and held it to my heart... Read More