Thursday, June 30, 2011

Part 2 Aftermath ... Accepting and Expressing

In my previous posting on the aftermath of the riot which I felt compelled to write (and did so extremely quickly), I wrote in part that in order to find peace, we must be peace. Likewise, that the reflection of our inner world is reflected in our outer world and vice versa. What does that say about us and the Vancouver riot that occurred two weeks ago? I know this might sound quite controversial, but I am speaking on a spiritual level.

What I didn’t mention previously is this: we all have a dark side. We all have the ability to love and to hate, to love and to kill. Love and fear are supposedly opposites. although most people think that love and hate are. Regardless, though these are extremes, I’m saying that every human being has the potential to express both, to the same degree.

We all have the potential to swing either way on the pendulum. Luckily most of us don’t swing on the dark side or too often. However, most of us don’t wish to accept our dark side or even see it at all and that is when we find ourselves in trouble, unbeknownst to us, at least initially.

You see, the dark side is still an aspect of your soul and if you resist it, it will eventually catch up with you. There’s a saying, "what you resist, persists.”

Similarly, what you resist is what you repress, denounce, avoid, deny. Example: you might not admit or even know that you’re a rageaholic, a term the author John Bradshaw used to describe himself in past. Furthermore, you may be an alcoholic portraying all the classic symptoms and be a violent one at that! Then you hit bottom.

Your hitting bottom may be experienced as the ‘dark night of the soul’ that Thomas Moore and others write about.

I have experienced this dark night, rather dark nights of the soul, an arduous journey that I so desperately wanted to run away and hide from, but it was too deep, way too deep for me to even climb out of it. It felt like an abyss, so dismal and dark.

This experience is not for the faint of heart and is certainly not a fun place to be in or live from. I don’t recommend it. However, it may be a necessary obstacle to overcome in order to balance amd assimilate our light(er) side, and come to terms with ourselves, both the light and the dark, these polar aspects of our soul.

Think of the light side as your essence, your true essence. Some of you may have questioned – I did! – after my posting on the riot’s aftermath – what has this (riot) to do with ‘expressing your essence?’ (as that is currently part of my blog name, albeit I’m considering changing it). Good question! I’m glad you asked! ; )

Well, it is about that which I just wrote. And it is also about the importance of expressing your essence, in this case your emotions – so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (as there’s really no such thing, that’s just human labeling) in a healthy way. If all the rioters, whether ‘die-hard’ hockey fans expressed their anger/frustrations in a ‘positive’ or healthy way, the riot would never have taken place.

Now I don’t know about you, but I have at times expressed my frustrations and anger in a not-always healthy and/or liked manner by the general public (i.e., those who were effected), and thus have asked the question: HOW does one express their anger and frustrations in a healthy way? Well again, thanks for asking! ; )

This is probably what drew me, in part, to study the expressive arts, perhaps on an unconscious or subconscious level.

Expressive arts therapy is a form of (psycho)therapy – I personally don’t care for that term – but it is – using Wikipedia as my source and perhaps a better explanation and more succinct than my own definition – described as follows: “Expressive therapy, also known as expressive arts therapy or creative arts therapy, is the use of the creative arts as a form of therapy. Unlike traditional art expressions, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product. Expressive therapy is predicated on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.”

I love that expressive arts therapy can heal people through the use of imagination and I also love that it focuses more on the creative process rather than the final product. If you read my bio, you would know that I have a passion for the creative and performing arts which is another reason why expressive arts therapy appealed to me.

The creative forms I studied included the visual arts (primarily painting), sound, movement, clowning, psychodrama, mask making, clay, poetry, and fairytales. Through these various mediums, I was able to at times channel my energy including anger and frustration. (Groups always trigger emotions!)

I learned to express these emotions in a healthy way that is considered acceptable to society, i.e., harmless. Now I know I may be a bit of a rebel at times (not in a bad way per se, more like playing devil’s advocate), but there comes a point when I need to be reasonable and follow the guidelines of acceptability, aka conformity, for a host of reasons. (You’ll understand more when I write about this topic in future. It relates to what I believe my purpose is.)

There are numerous ways to express yourself not limited to the (art) modalities I mentioned above: you can exercise, play sports, vent/shout/swear/scream (sometimes preferably in a pillow or something or else someone may either call 911 and/or think you’re crazy unfortunately), and the like.

But what about before a situation or temper gets out of control? What about curbing anger and frustration in the first place? Any way to express yourself healthily can be a great outlet in letting off steam. Such ways may include playing a musical instrument, singing, meditating, yoga, walking/hiking and the like in nature, and talking things out with someone you love and/or the person(s) you are having challenges with in a respectful manner. Blab if need be instead of blowing up. Get things in control before they become out of control, right?!

And accept yourself just the way you are with both your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides. However, focus on the light, your light, and let that light shine, your light shine like the song" "This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine..."

p.s. Photo on the right is courtesy of Ray Van Eng ( The one at the far right with me in it is the only one I seemed to have as I apparently misplaced (deleted?) some beautiful close-up photos that I had taken of the lit Olympic cauldron from above. When I saw it (lit at night) the song, "This Little Light of Mine" came to mind. Something of beauty, of remembering my light came to mind when I saw its majestic beauty and I was in awe of this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Aftermath of an Almost Glorious Victory

Are we so disconnected as a society that we feel that the best way to connect with others is through hockey? For example, dressing up in the city's hockey jerseys or even all in green, one of the team's colours? Or feeling the need to bond over beer and a sport as violent as hockey?

Do we as a city not have more soul and depth? Or are we artificial beings relating on a superficial level?

Some people may hate me for asking those questions, as well as when I say that I have never liked hockey and find it a violent sport, not to mention boring as a male in my choir attested to. It seems to have become more violent over the years and even off the ice as, unfortunately, we witnessed last night.

And at times like that I hate hockey. Yes, you heard me right. Not only because of the riot but because the city caters to hockey fans so much so that I hear rambunctious stereo sound when I travel the streets or when, last night, I sat with a friend outside trying to enjoy some dinner. I didn’t want any part of it. I wasn’t interested!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a total ..... (fill-in-the-blank here with your choice word). I would have loved for the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. We were so close.

However, would it have made any difference if we won? The riot may have occurred anyway. Just an excuse for some people to cause mayhem damaging private property and hurting people in the process. I don’t really care to share the details here. If you want them, check out the newspapers or online. (However, remember this if you do, what you focus on expands.)

Did we learn anything from the riot in ’94? It seems not. It’s no wonder that Vancouver was declared a ‘no fun’ city for quite some time, i.e., years afterwards. Things were starting to happen again to bring Vancouver on the map again, but maybe we’ll go back to square one in this case.

My hope and prayer for Vancouver at this time is that we find peace. One way is through healthy and safe expression of emotions. Another is to find acceptance. Accept things just as they are. If we were to accept our hockey team’s loss with dignity as the team did, none of this violent aftermath would have occurred.

If we want peace, we must be peace. Thus, if we want peace in the world, we need to find peace within ourselves.

What does the condition of Vancouver, let alone the world say about our inner world? Because what we see and experience is a reflection of us, both as individuals and as a community or society.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Signs of Cards and Butterflies

A card from the ‘Cards of Life' deck (created by Anne Marie Evers, known for her affirmations), that I use as a daily theme came up with a 'Relationships' card yesterday. It features a picture of a woman holding an infant in her arms. Whenever I see this card, I think ‘nurturing’ or taking care of myself.

Well, I didn’t quite follow that wise guidance, as I was busy doing laundry and doing some shopping errands. As I had a bad headache and the urge to rest came over me, did I listen? Noooo! Silly me! And what happened as a result? My headache worsened and eventually I ended up getting sick, if you know what I mean (won’t say here but you can imagine).

Today’s card was ‘Spiritual Growth’ featuring two doves facing opposite with an olive branch (?) in their beaks, holding onto the same branch. Though I usually think a lesson of some sort to learn and is usually if not always the case, today I also thought of peace, something that would give me or bring me to peace or a lesson that I need to learn in order to grow spiritually.

This time the lesson brought to my mind was listening or rather trusting my intuition. It is always right. Always! Yes, always! I just don’t always listen to it – silly me! – and why is that? My ego obviously must get in the way or else I would heed it all the time.

In the afternoon, I noticed another possible so-called sign from my window that came in the form of a yellow butterfly fluttering in the backyard. According to one source on Wikipedia, there used to be a belief that the butterfly symbolized a departed soul. Well, that would be very appropo considering the mediumship workshop that I had just attended; I wanted to learn how to connect with my dead twin sister.

I know butterflies can also symbolize transformation or metamorphosis and I suspect that is what I have recently been and will be undergoing as my attitude has shifted or rather adjusted about a particular issue. And I have, as a result, been witnessing a certain happenstance, i.e., chance circumstance) of joy and miracles. Times when I have been 'anchoring' joy (based on an NLP technique) and even performing a little happy dance! (See next blog about more details on this).

Just very shortly after finishing this last sentence, another butterfly appears. Well, I have rarely seen butterflies since I moved here so I think this is cool and perhaps a sign that I am indeed undergoing a change of sorts. Hopefully for the better! ; ) Another butterfly, the third of the day, graced me with its presence awhile later.

This is what happens when you listen to Spirit and heed its advice or guidance: this time in the form of intuition that had me stay home to rest as I woke up again with quite a bad headache. (Normally I would force myself to go to work and feel worse as a result.)

Well, butterflies or not, I am finally feeling better and now need to rest up for work tomorrow. Good night!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Double Whammy!!

Interesting! Interesting synchronicities!

Just a couple that I’ve experienced, one within a week, one within a few time speeding up, or what?!

Firstly, on MSN online today (the day that I posted this), I see 'Weirdest monuments in America' with Peanuts statues at Saint Paul displayed.

This only a week after a choir performance at the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver. One of the pieces the 'Burstin’ with Broadway' choir sang then was 'Beethoven Day' from the musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown featuring Schroeder and Lucy from the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz.
Lo and behold, what did I see on the home page but a picture of bronze statues resembling Schroeder and Lucy! Schroeder at the piano and Lucy in her usual pose leaning against the piano. (Forgive me as I couldn’t separate or delete the other attached picture. Ignore that one if you can! ; ))

When I clicked on the link of the photo above, a picture of a bronze Patty kicking a ball with the following blurb below:

Though he lived the majority of his life in northern California, "Peanuts" cartoon creator Charles Schulz was born and raised in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. For four consecutive years after his death in 2000, the cities staged tributes to Schulz by placing five-foot tall fibreglass statues of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus in dozens of locations. Those statues were auctioned off at the exhibitions' end, meanwhile several permanent, bronze statues were installed to fill the void. The best cluster of these bronze statues featuring Charlie, Schroeder, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Patty, Marcie and Woodstock are in neighbouring Rice and Landmark Parks in downtown Saint Paul.

Secondly, within two days (of the 'North Shore News' being published), though actually three – same day as the synchronicity above occurred – when I saw this, in Friday June 3rd’s edition, there was on the top of page A3 a headline, entitled “New course is the bee’s knees.”

Well, what was so interesting about that is that I had NEVER EVER heard of nor seen that expression before until Wednesday when I came upon a card that said "You're the bee's knees” as part of the greeting. I asked a few people if they knew what it meant and most people didn’t know. I later discovered it means "the greatest" or along the lines of being sweet.

Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo (theme of the Twilight Zone?)

Well, what is God/Spirit/The Universe (whatever name you wish to call it) trying to tell me? That I can manifest miracles and magic again (like I used to quite well)? Or to believe in miracles? Or to have faith? Or to trust my intuition? Or to trust myself? Or any of the above? Or all of the above? (I couldn’t resist adding the last two questions as it reminded me of tests at school! ; ) Didn’t you hate those types of questions?)

Anyway, this all occurred on a day when I returned from a mediumship workshop. I felt strongly compelled to undertake this because of my desire to connect with my dead twin sister, especially when I’ve been told by clairvoyants and the like in the past that she is with me often and is my twin flame.

So, I could rightly analyze all this and go into my ego mind. Or, better yet, I can go into my heart and just acknowledge and be grateful that these so-called, albeit small, miracles happen. And, of course, I can be amused at such particular occurrences, that is, the details or nature of them if they're funny (like above).

By the way, if any of you reading this think I took the trouble to research this and copy and paste just for the sake of creating this blog, forget it! I didn’t. This actually happened. And I love it when it does! Yeah! : )

I purposely posted it as a draft to prove that I found this a week after Burstin' with Broadway's show. What are the synchronicities happening in your life? Do you validate them by expressing gratitude (whether silently or out loud)? Do you honour them or ignore them, attributing them as rubbish, nonsense, foolishness, or the like?

Are there synchronicities that you experience that you may coin 'coincidences' (like I used to call them)?