Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

allow a refuge where all your feelings are welcome

Danette Relic

The Guest House

by Jalaluddin Rumi

Translated by Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Read Full Post »

The new years’ wishes are starting to flow in. Most of them hold a tone akin to, “Fuck you, 2020. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.” I get it, it’s been a harsh year, but I have a hard time giving it the finger. Here’s why:

We seem to have some sort of mistaken idea that teachers come primarily in human form, and that they are wizened and wise, soft and kind. Anyone who has any relationship to the Dark Goddesses and Gods knows that this is only a small portion of the overall picture. We know that teachers also arrive who are wretched in personality and form. They are traumatizing, brutalizing, terrifying, and they burn the place down. They are people like Number 45 down South, or any of the madmen and women who are in positions of power around the globe. They are members of the police force who blow people away for the colour of their skin. They are forest fires, cyclones, tornadoes, and a virus, invisible to the naked eye, that has forced the entire planet to its knees.

Welcome Teacher. I bow to you.

And why? Because sometimes we humans need a good, stiff kick in the ass. We are creatures of comfort. We love our snuggly zone where we can hunker down and pretty much go to sleep right down to our bones. We will hold our comfort around us like a warm blanket, even if that “blanket” is our own trauma, because it’s familiar. Because we like familiar. Because unfamiliar is too scary. But the longer we hunker down and stay blind and silent, the more out of balance things become. And the more out of balance things become, the more likely we are to encounter The Big Guns, the darker side of the Universe, the ones that smack us in the face to WAKE…US…UP.

I’ll bet you’ve been pretty awake during 2020, awake, aware and uncomfortable. I know I have. There hasn’t been much chance to fall back asleep. 2020 has been relentless. It has been raw, bleeding from the eyes raw. It has been loud and gory and obnoxious. It has had most of us sitting, jaws hanging open, starting at screens and asking, “What the fuck is going on?”

Our Shadow, people. Our Shadow is what the fuck is going on. Ugly, innit? Our rape of the land. Our overconsumption. Our disgusting selfishness, as individuals and as nations. Our disregard for the health and well-being of others. Our inability to handle ourselves, or quiet time, or stillness. Our addiction to shopping at all costs, and busyness, and distraction. Oy!

But here’s another truth – darkness does not exist on its own. Where there is Shadow, there is Light. Such is the way of the Universe.

In the midst of all of this chaos, we’ve caught glimpses (or bold images) of beauty. We’ve witnessed the bones-deep commitment of so many people on the front lines who are working to keep us safe and help us heal. We’ve seen an entire nation say “NO!” to an insane megalomaniac who sees nothing but his own desire. We’ve watched neighbours helping vulnerable neighbours who can’t get out to get food and supplies. Artists and creative events have become more accessible as they move online. Performances have been offered for free so people could feel like they were helping somehow by lifting spirits. Families have had a chance to do more together. People are cooking, painting, walking, dancing, writing. We now know the value of a hug, a smile, a touch, a maskless face, a human life. We understand the privilege of being able to roam freely throughout this world.

For myself, the preciousness of my loved ones has been even more deeply impressed upon me; I want no harm to come to them. I’ve come to know just how much I love my students, and how much I miss them when they’re not around. I can better feel how much I love my work. I have been forced out of my comfort zone and into the wild unknown of the online teaching world. But in so being forced, I have been able to connect more often with loved ones I would normally see maybe once a year. Students who have moved away can come back to the community to learn again. All of this has helped me to feel bolder, more confident. Maybe I can take some of those hidden ideas and bring them forward? And I’ve been able to be still the way I need to be still, with no pressure to go anywhere, do anything, or see anyone. As a child of the winter who often finds her Magic during the dark months, this has been a blessed relief.

So, how about you? What has come forward for you? What has become illuminated? What has necessarily died?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish for a constant diet of Harsh Teachings. We can’t thrive in a state of perpetual destruction. But we need to remember that some seeds are sowed only during forest fires, that beautiful things grow out of piles of rot. This is not the end of the story.

My prayer for 2021 is that we continue to wake up, to grow, to evolve, but that we have the chance to do that in a softer way. I pray for ease. I pray for a chance to breathe and to integrate. And I pray for healing. May we all heal in deep and lasting ways, as individuals and as nations.

2020, my Harsh Teacher, I bow to you for all you have revealed. 2021, the Teacher yet to come, may you have mercy on us. May it be so.

All my love and so many blessings to you all.


Read Full Post »

This seems to be the time of year when we hear so much about supporting local/small businesses. Over the next few weeks I will highlight my Top 5 most influential (to me) woman-run businesses out there. It gives me a chance to brag about people who have greatly impacted my life and who have helped me transform. Who doesn’t want to brag about the good stuff? 😉

Stay tuned!


Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: