Archive for September, 2015

Rely Upon the Divine and Victory is Assured

September 30, 2015

Rely Upon The Divine
The Butterflies Attack

I spend so much of my time doing things
that feel “highly improbable”
if not impossible.

I have butterflies in my stomach most of the day.
They’ve become my constant companions.
Sometimes they’re quiet, meditative butterflies.
Sometimes they’re jumbo mutant killer butterflies!

I have learned to recognize this as fear
trying to slow me down.

Fear Tries To Stop Me

This fear tries to stop me from
making that phone call
booking that show
sending that email
planning that class
choreographing that dance

In essence from chasing my dreams!

And it gets me all too often
I think it gets sneakier and sneakier
The more I push against it.

The thing about the ego is,
it’s very devious.

My onliner is:

“The Ego is smarter than you!”
– Vivek


Rely Upon The Divine

That’s why I don’t rely upon my own understanding to beat it.
If I did I’d be feeling like there was no way for me to achieve victory.
Instead I rely upon the Divine.
And in doing so, I know my victory is assured,
guaranteed
and inevitable.

krishna and arjuna

Arjuna The Warrior King – Terrified

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra Arjuna was fighting for his life.
His army was outnumbered
and there were invincible warriors on the opposing side.
It was an impossible situation.
He was terrified and about to quit.

Krishna says “I have already slain your enemies for you!”

Krishna told Arjuna to go into battle and fight with all his might,
knowing that his enemies had already been slain.

He told him to rely upon the Divine Spirit within him
and not to be fooled by his circumstances.

If he did this he would be victorious.
He told Arjuna to fight the battle without fear or fever.

Victory is Inevitable

It was a long and terrible battle
It looked like he would lose many times
But in the end His side won
and the kingdom was restored to justice and order

For me, this is the main work,
increasing my belief level that the Divine is taking care of me
and knowing my enemies are already slain.

This awareness allows me to relax
Even in the midst of chaos.

Parenting by Principle

September 29, 2015

parenting by principle
Our House Is A Very Harmonious Community

My daughter is 18 years old.
All throughout her childhood, tween and teen years
our family has been a place of joy and peace.
No arguments, no fights and no rebellion.
We get along like best friends.

We have fun together, we create together and we learn together.

We also deeply respect each other’s opinions.
My daughter knows that I want her to do what she feels is right,
but she also will take it very seriously if I offer her a suggestion.

Rather than resist me she is extremely open to my input and actually values it.

I could go on and on listing the wonderful qualities
of our relationship and our family.
I feel very fortunate that things are the way they are
and I feel that my daughter is going to go out into the world
with a solid foundation.

Harmony is Neither an Accident Nor Luck

Having said all this I feel it is important to note
that this did not happen by accident.
Nor is it a result of my daughter being some kind of magical child.
At least no more than all children are magical.

When looking at my family and the relationship that I have with my kid
people often assume that things have been easy and effortless all the way along.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth.

Harmony Through Effort

Our relationship is as it is because of
the hard work we have both done to make it so.

Uncommon Recognition And Respect

From the very day my daughter was born
I have treated her with uncommon recognition and respect.

When I looked into those deep beautiful eyes
the moment she popped out,
even before her cord was cut,
I could see the power, intelligence and love in her.

I knew in that moment that I had to treat her as though
she were my equal and
not someone I had power over.

We Were Equal Learning Partners Right From the Start

I could see that she had at least as much to teach me
as I had to teach her, probably much more.
This has certainly been the case as I reflect back upon our lives together.

It is because I saw her this way and treated her that way that she responded in kind.

I could tell from the moment I saw her that she knew me.
She knew my heart and mind.
She knew my intentions and she could feel my respect.

She agreed to teach me what she knew
and was gracious enough to receive what I had to teach her.

Imagine growing up feeling like your parents admire you
and learn from you so deeply.
What a beautiful self-image this creates.

Living by Principle Requires Fighting my Programs

In order to live this way consistently
I have had to be continuously aware of my own mind.
Like all of us, my mind is a product of my experiences.
My dramas and my victories, my joys and my pain.
I was programmed about life
and my own self
by my parents
from the day I was born.
Those programs are very deep inside me.

Inner Vigilance is Required

Therefore I have to always be on the watch for when a program,
thought or behaviour pattern emerges
that is contrary to the principles by which I chose to parent.

It is too easy to allow those things to take hold
and just become a reflection of my own upbringing.

Instead I chose certain principles and have continuously
pushed myself to adhere to them,
regardless off my own reactions.

I Fail Every Day

Of course I have failed at this often.
If I’m honest I will say I fail every day.
And yet I persist.
However many times I fall off track
I push myself back on and keep going

So the bliss in our family has come through a lot of effort,
gut wrenching effort!

Harmony Available To All

I say all this not to show off, but to express that all families can be this harmonious.
I do believe that a joyous family is possible for everyone.
Anyone willing to work at it can achieve it.
Sometimes even the smallest change in the direction of the conscious parenting principles
can transform your family so dramatically it seems like magic.

To Rule or Not to Rule

September 28, 2015

thumb-NO_RULES

A Conversation About Rules

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend tonight about rules.  It went something like this…

Me: I have never had any rules in my home. As a father I chose to decide everything collaboratively rather than make a rule and enforce it with consequences of some sort.

Friend:  So did you decide on rules together as a family?

Me: No we didn’t do that because I didn’t want to have any rules.

What makes a rule?

Friend: A rule is enforced by some consequence.

Me: Exactly and I never wanted to use any punishment or consequences with my daughter because I never wanted to exert power over her.

Everyone Do Their Own Dishes

Friend: What about making a rule that everyone does their dishes?

Me: Let me ask you, why is it important for everyone to do their dishes?

Friend: So that everyone chips in and shares the work.

Me: Why is it important that everyone chips in?

Friend: It shows respect for the community and each other.

Me : Why is it important to show respect?

Friend: Because of love.

Me: Ah, now we’ve hit the essence of things.

Love.

Love Is The Foundation of Doing Dishes

Recognizing that love is the essence of everything, including doing the dishes, my approach always was to create an atmosphere of harmony and love, mutual respect and equal sharing of power.

This way my daughter naturally wanted to take care of the community, of the household, because she felt love, power and ownership over her own home.

Her Home Is Her Happiest Place

Her home is a place of joy and acceptance. When she is at home she can truly be herself. She doesn’t have to hide who she is or act in a certain way to gain my approval.

Living in this kind of atmosphere she cherishes the harmony that exists and wants to do what she can to preserve it.

The Need for Rules Disappears

With this kind of approach there is no need for rules. Instead we function from a place of naturally occurring love and respect and everything flows from there.

The Foundation of Wild and Enduring Romance

September 27, 2015

IMG_20150927_185737

2 powerful centers come together

The only way to have a deep, fulfilling and lasting
romantic relationship is for both people to be solid at their centres
(or at least consciously working on solidity)
and to bring those strong and independent centers together
to increase and amplify each other.

If I don’t need you to fulfill me
and you don’t need me to fulfill you
and we come together to fulfill each other,
amazing things can happen!

Be Open and Vulnerable

And Yet…

If we do not let ourselves be vulnerable to each other
and allow the other person in soooo deep
that we can be wounded by them,

If we do not open the secret compartments
where our soft and weak places exist,
if we refuse to give our lover any power over us,

then true romance cannot blossom.

Safety Limits Intimacy

If you try and keep yourself safe
You will not be able to express the fullness of your romance.

If you hold parts of yourself back
they will form obstacles to true intimacy.

This kind of relationship can possibly be a fun time,
a convenient arrangement,
even somewhat passionate perhaps,

But still safe

Romance Isn’t Safe

Romance isn’t safe
it’s wild
and uncontrolled.

That is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult
and painful
and also why it is so Glorious.

When we give our hearts to another
and when we receive the same,
it is an awesome responsibility
that requires we be our best.

Can You Live the Dangerous Life?

Are you willing to open up completely?
Are you willing to keep opening day after day, year after year?

Are you able to live with your most vulnerable places exposed?

Are you willing to be strong enough and have powerful integrity
to handle the responsibility of caring for your lover’s most vulnerable heart?

If you can answer yes to this,
and be willing to continuously work at this,
then you have the foundation for
a truly passionate, wild and enduring romance.

It Is In Being Truly Authentic That We Are Fulfilled In Life

September 26, 2015

It Is In Being Truly Authentic That We Are Fulfilled In Life
Touch Your Heart

To touch your heart
to really touch deep
Is a powerful work

To dig beneath all the layers of your personality
that life has placed over your light
the light at your centre
requires significant effort.

You Deserve Perfect Love

You deserve perfect love.
The beginning of receiving perfect love is
working towards giving yourself perfect love.

It appears selfish to some
to spend time going within.
To learn to see myself clearly,
to love myself deeply,
to accept myself unconditionally.

But I know that my ability to touch the hearts of other people
has largely come from the work I’ve done to touch my own…
Deeply.

Giving Love to Your Younger Self

Can you give yourself a hug?

I often reach back to my 3 yr old self
My 13 year old self
my 20 year old self

and give him a BIG, loving and supportive hug.
I let him know how loved he is
and how grateful I am that he worked so hard
face and overcame many obstacles,
So I could live the wonder filled life of joy that I do.

Love Destroys Obstacles

Every time I do this I am healed a little more.
I can feel myself open and relax.

It is in loving yourself where healing begins.
It may be hard, but it’s powerfully important.

The thing about love is,
you don’t have to find a reason for it,
just do it.
Force it upon yourself.
Make it an aggressive act if you must!

I’m still working on loving myself every day
and the more I do
the more it leaks out all over the place.

Honour Yourself

I am loving away the obstacles to my authenticity.
For it is in being truly authentic that we are fulfilled in life.
When we honour ourselves
We are able to give our highest gifts to the world.

p.s. Just imagine how this whole concept relates to parenting!

Imagination Is The Foundation of Innovation And Creation

September 25, 2015

Imagination Is The Foundation Of Innovation And Creation
Set Your Imagination Free

Imagination is one of the most powerful forces in nature.
It is one of our most powerful abilities.
It is the foundation of innovation and creation.

Imagination Is The Foundation Of Innovation And Creation

If we cannot dream big
and believe bigger
and hope even biggerer

then our world is doomed.

The Family of Revolutionary Imagination

But there are those of us who will dream/believe/hope without fail,
without fear or even in the face of fear, and against all rational evidence.

We believe Love is the greatest power
We believe there is goodness in everyone
We believe in Compassion, Generosity, Abundance and Joy
We believe we are all truly One

We are a family of Spirit
Spread all over the globe
And we will be the agents of the Divine transformation.

Imagination is the foundation of innovation and creation
and imaginators are the agents of Divine transformation!

There will always be risk in living this way
It’s a risk we gladly take
To elevate ourselves
And everyone we touch

Are you with me?

There Is A Whole Universe Under The Table

September 24, 2015

There Is A Whole Universe Under The Table
Playing In The Restaurant

I was watching a couple kids play in, around and under the table at a restaurant the other day. They were enjoying themselves so much, laughing and giggling.

I could see that when they were under that table
a whole world of wonder and magic existed.

Imagination Is Real

Anything that they could imagine became real for them.
They may have being on a ship sailing the ocean.
Perhaps they were flying in a rocket to the stars.
They also might have been ninjas fighting a battle.

I am sure for those two young adventurers there are no limits.

Even as they were running around the restaurant you could see they were having a good time. It was my impression that their parents encouraged their imagination. I got this feeling from watching how they interacted and responded with them and also with how free their kids were being.

The Magic Table Cloth

And yet there is something special about being under that table and covered by the tablecloth. It is an interesting phenomenon that even being in the presence of adults can curb the freedom of a child’s imagination.

Children can feel how we have lost
a certain amount of our imagination
and it makes them question their own.

That is why when the table cloth is thrown over the table and the kids are underneath there is suddenly a deeper freedom to be completely immersed in their imagination.

They are not pretending to be in a rocket ship, they are in a rocket ship.

I Made Imagination a Parenting Priority

This is something I always tried to see in my daughter as she was growing up.
I made the conscious effort to be aware of the power of her imagination.
To respect it,
to value it,
to celebrate it
and mostly to learn from it.

From Before She Was Born My Daughter Has Been My Teacher

and this has been one of her primary lessons to me;
That imagination is real.
That there are no limits on our imagination
other than the ones we place on ourselves.

Imagination Dissipation

One of the difficult things in watching my child grow older
has been seeing the dissipation of this level of imagination.

All kids go through that as they get older.
It seems to be the way of things.

Even with all the care and attention I put into
supporting and encouraging my daughter’s imagination and playfulness,
it still has a tendency to decrease in intensity over time.

The Cycles of Human Evolution

I believe this is probably a necessary part of human evolution
because we then have the opportunity to reclaim it when we are older.

At least I can feel that I reduced the damage
to a significant degree with the attitude I had around it.

Imagination Positive Environment

Now my daughter is 18 and I can see the lingering residue
of the imagination positive environment in which she grew up.

Her very creative and flexible mind,
her ability to spend time by herself,
her ability to accept the ebb and flow of life.
I think a powerful imagination contributes greatly
to all of these excellent qualities.

Encourage Imagination in Every Child

Whenever you encounter a child interact with them
in a way that reinforces their belief in their imagination.
Always support it.

The challenge is to open our own imaginations enough
that they can feel we are connected to them.
We may not see the dragon in the sky as clearly as they do,
but we can stretch ourselves to see it more than we’re used to.
This effort can be felt by kids and they feel so wonderfully appreciated.

Of course the benefit of this is
your enjoyment of life necessarily increases.
That is a pretty good side effect I would say!

A Story About Humility

September 23, 2015

a story about humility

There is a story about Krishna who came upon some Gopis (Devotional Disciples)
on the bank of the river Ganges.
The river was storming and raging.

The Gopis needed to cross the river,
but they could not even get on their raft while the storm was so fierce.
Believing in Krishna’s power, they pleaded with Him to come to their aid.

Bring Me Food

Krishna told them to bring him a big bowl of rice and ghee.
They didn’t expect this response, but they didn’t argue.

They brought him copious amounts of food.
He feasted on bowl after bowl
and when He had eaten the last drop of food
He stood up, faced the river and declared…

“By the power of my fast I command the river to become calm!”
The river immediately became still.
The Gopis were amazed.
They surrounded Him and offered their sincere gratitude.

A Contradiction When Viewed From The External

But they were also confused.
They asked Him how He could have used
the power of fasting to accomplish this goal
when He had just eaten a huge meal?

He responded saying that He had offered every bite,
every grain of rice to the Divine and taken none of it for Himself.
Even the enjoyment of the taste was truly the Divine’s enjoyment and not His own.
So in truth He had not eaten a morsel.

A Sincere Offering – a Recognition Of The TRUTH

It was the sincerity of His offering,
The awareness of His true Infinite nature
that made His oath of fasting completely truthful
and therefore held such power.
Not the outward appearance of fasting.

Even if He had not eaten for days, fasted to the point of near death,
there would not have been as much intensity behind those words.

This is source awareness,
this is humility.

Denying Your Greatness Is Not Humility

Neither is acting meek or unimportant.

Enjoying your talents and accomplishments
is not in opposition to humility.

Humility is foundational.
It comes from profound self-knowledge.

I Love To Celebrate Myself

When someone says to me something like
“You are so good at that Vivek”
my usual response is just to say
“Yup!”

I usually do not deny it
and in fact will join them in celebrating it.

And yet inside I work at constantly recognizing
that this limited body-mind is not the real me
All my accomplishments come from my infinite spirit,
which is the same as your infinite spirit
for there is only one spirit.

I try and think of this story of Krishna as often as I can
and implement this attitude in my life.

Learning To Love Myself Is How I Learned To Love My Child

September 22, 2015

Learning To Love Myself Is How I Learn To Love My Child

How Did You Learn To Love Yourself Vivek?

Recently I was sitting with some friends in the park
after dancing together for a couple hours.
Somebody asked me about how I learned to love and accept myself.
In general I enjoy my own company and I think I am a pretty alright guy.

This has not always been the case,
it is a condition that I have worked towards for many years.
Through much self-analysis, hard work and education
I have achieved a reasonable level of self-love.

The more I love myself, the more that love leaks out to others.
This is a great benefit of doing the work.

My Child Was My Main Motivation

My answer to them was that many years ago
when I decided I wanted to be a father
I knew that if I wanted to be the best I could be
this was an important part of that process.

If I wanted to make my child feel loved and accepted for who they are
I have to love and accept myself for Who I am.
If I did not have this quality well-entrenched
I would not be able to pass it along as effectively to my daughter.

Who We Are Says More Than What We Say

As parents we teach our kids more about life from who we are than
what we do and what we say. Of course what we do and say are very important, but the kind of person we are, deep inside has more of an effect than anything. When who we are, how we think, what we say and what we do are all harmonized, we present the most powerful parenting package we can.

So working on the kind of person I wanted to be
became almost more important than anything else
I could do to be a good father.

Love Yourself

This meant learning to love myself no matter what wounds,
trauma or guilt I was harbouring from the past.
This meant forgiving myself for any perceived wrongs that I had done during my life.

Honour Yourself

It also means learning to honour myself for who I really am.
Not to be swayed by the perception and judgment of others,
but to be true to my own heart.

These things were important to me for my own self development,
but recognizing their importance in effective parenting
they became even more valuable for me to work on.

Having my daughter as my motivation,
learning to love myself became a significant priority in my life.

Over the years I have gotten better and better at this
and hopefully have managed to pass on this attitude to my child as well.

A Tool to Increase Self-Love

I would like to share with you one of the primary tools I have used
to convert my habits of self-criticism and judgement
to love and acceptance.

When I make a mistake or I’m feeling bad about myself for any reason
I immediately imagine a small child coming to me feeling the same way.
How would I respond to that sweet innocent child?
My natural reaction is of course to give that child love and acceptance.

I actually feel myself holding the child and telling it
everything’s okay you are just fine as you are.
Then from that feeling place I turn it around
and give myself that same love.

Healing Old Wounds

I know many of my own wounds come from
a lack of love and acceptance in my own childhood.
Little Vivek is hurting inside and needs to be held.
He needs to be told he is good, beautiful and lovely just as he is.

Every time I do this for myself a little piece of me is made whole again.
A little bit of my fragmented self re-joins my center.

Doing this over and over again throughout the course of 20 years
has had a significant effect upon my relationship with myself.

Developing Love is a Life Long Process

Even so I find I still need to be reminded that I am worthy of love and friendship.
Just 2 days ago a good friend was telling me that she wishes I could see how people respond to me because she knows I still don’t believe that I am loved and accepted by my peers.

So this shows that the work really is never ending.
The cycle of growth continues.
Each time I evolve a little more I lift myself to another level
and the process of learning to love myself begins again.

The Results Of This Work Show Up In My Daughter

My daughter is now 18 years old and has a very strong sense of who she is.
She values herself, she honours herself and she knows that
regardless of how anyone else perceives her
she will follow her heart and respect her own values.

Hopefully as I continue to love and accept myself more every day
I can pass on a little bit more of this to her.
If I do I feel like my job as a parent has been reasonably successful.

Learning to love myself is how I learn to love her.

Nature and the City Boy

September 21, 2015

I am one with the
Mountains and Trees,
Wind and Clouds

I love to burn in the desert
and  melt into the ocean

When I listened to the glacier
It knew me
How is this possible?

Yet I was born and raised in the city
the concrete and tar
smog and cars
busy bustling rushing
honking swearing fighting
city

Did you know that there are power spots in the city too?
One must be able to discern them
beyond the noise
Beyond the tension, anger and stress
But they’re here

For cities are built upon the same earth
as the forest.

Nature and her wondrous power is available to us and every moment and in every circumstance.
We just have to be able to tune into it.

I remember years ago walking with a friend along a path in Banff. We saw a tree that had been surrounded by pavement. Just next to it was a tree very happily planted in the earth not touching the pavement.

I was thinking in that moment that the tree in the pavement had to fight harder to survive.

If that tree were planted somewhere else in an open and nurturing environment it would instantly thrive.

If the tree that was already in a nurturing environment were then to be planted and surrounded by pavement it would struggle to survive.

The adversity of the first tree gave it a strength and power it might not otherwise have had.

I try and remember this when I think that being a city boy means I am removed from nature. In fact I think I am able to bond with nature in a unique way because of my life experience.

The rain enjoys the texture of my skin
The rainbow delights in my colours
And the sky is in awe of my vastness

Nature and I  appreciate and nurture each other.