FORGIVENESS

Are there any people in your life that have wronged you in any way?  Are you still hanging on to all the emotions that are attached to someone who has caused you grief, anger, hate, hurt, pain and suffering?  If you answered yes, it is time for you to let go of that anger and those old feelings and emotions that are limiting you from moving forward.

Forgiving should not be about making someone else feel good about their actions – Forgiving is about YOU and allowing you to move past whatever event that someone has inflicted on to you in order for you to move forward in a positive way. 

Think about how you feel when someone causes you anger or hurt, it doesnt’ feel good – you withdraw yourself, your body tightens, you clench your fists and your teeth – all things that will cause your body to respond negatively.  Allowing these negative feelings to fester will cause you to become emotionally and physically sick and may even lead to serious illness later in life.  When you don’t let go of the past and when you do not allow yourself to forgive yourself or anyone else that has wronged you – you are only causing yourself emotional and physical pain.

Forgiveness does not justify the actions of those that may have hurt you.  You should remember the hurts and pains that others may have caused you – these are opportunities to learn and grown.  Take your experiences and help others that may have been in a similar situation and help them move forward.  It is hard to forgive someone who has committed a horrible act against you or against someone you love, but if you don’t the alternative can be devasting for you, for your loved ones and for anyone else that comes into your life. 

I have forgiven many people who have caused some minor issues in my life – that was easy.   It was much more difficult to forgive people in my life that have caused me so much hurt, pain, anger and suffering but if I didn’t, I would still be hurting and suffering.  What if you forgive someone and they continue to cause you hurt and pain?  How can you move forward in a positve way and contribute to society if someone continues to hurt you?  You can’t.  In my personal experience, I have removed myself from situations and people that I have forgiven but continue the behaviour that I have forgiven them for.  I also try not to judge those I am forgiving becauase I don’t know what may have happened in their past, maybe they are suffering and holding on to emotions from the past that perpetuate their behaviour?

If you can truly forgive – the potential for creating wonderful, positive, healthy and a rewarding life is endless.  Look within yourself and think about those that you may want to forgive in your past and in your current life.  Forgive them and move on!  You may be the one that someone else needs to forgive – think about that and allow yourself to make things right for those that require your forgiveness.  

May the positive energy you give out into the world – find its way back into your heart and soul!

MONTREAL – MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME

I am back from a brief vacation to Montreal! My partner and I took a mini-vacation there to celebrate his 37th birthday.

Every time we go to Montreal – we are always pleasantly surprised on how so many people are smiling, happy and laid back. Is it because we are not there long enough to see the hustle and bustle of a Monday to Friday work week? Is it because are spirits are heightened because we are there for pleasure and not business? Or is it because the people of Quebec (Montreal to be more specific) have a more ‘laid back’ approach to life? Could it be that they work hard therefore they must play hard….I don’t know.

Jason (my partner), searched the internet to find events/activities that we could that we normally have not done before. We bought a 3 day subway/bus pass and found that it was very easy, safe and economical to travel this way. We made our way to Parc Jean-Drapeau (located on Ile Sainte-Helene) to check out several things – the view of the city from a different perspective, the Biosphere – Environment Museum and our main reason, the Piknik Electronik. We were not disappointed.

First the Biosphere or Environment Museum – Its educational exhibitions is a great way to get a better understanding of major environmental issues: air, water, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development, and much more.. and the view from the Biosphere was fantastic!

The Piknik Electronik is a weekly event that takes place on Parc Jean-Drapeau. This event is not exclusive to electronic music lovers – it is great for everyone, there were families, teenagers, young old, black, white, gay, straight – everyone was enjoying the warm afternoon sun, good music and a fantastic attitude free surrounding. Jason and I plan to make this an annual visit – hopefully more than once throughout the summer months!!

If you plan to visit Montreal in the near future – I would highly recommend visiting Parc Jean-Drapeau for both the Biosphere, Envirnoment Museum and the Piknik Electronik!

Here are the links to Parc Jean-Drapeau and the Piknik Electronik:

http://www.piknicelectronik.com/en/about/mission
http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/8-Biosphere_Environment_Museum-montreal-attraction.html

IMPORTANT FACTS ON WHY I BECAME A VEGETARIAN and ANIMAL/ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST

I can’t remember how many times I have been asked why and when I became a vegetarian.  My answer has not changed and my reasons vary from the drastic environmental implications caused by cattle/meat farms, the unethical treatment of animals and the diseases that one can acquire from eating meat.

I have decided to share some facts about why a vegetarian lifestyle is a much healthier choice for anyone – and please don’t let people convince you that these are not facts – an educated vegetarian is a healthy vegetarian when you have the facts!

  • meat has no fiber but is laden with fat and cholesterol, which is why the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the final edition of his book Baby & Child Care, recommended against feeding children any kind of meat.
  • on the American Heart Association (AHA) diet, which includes meat, patients’ arteries continue to clog, while Dr. Dean Ornish’s vegan diet unclogs arteries.
  • as a nation, we’re getting fatter, and the Atkins diet has only made matters worse because it only works in the short term.  Only 2% of pure vegetarians are obese, which is about one-ninth the figure for meat-eating Americans.
  • a USDA study found that 98% of “broiler chicken” carcasses had detectable levels of E. coli, indicating fecal contamination.
  • there are more than 50 million cases of meat-related food borne illness every year in the United States, thousands of which lead to death.  Animals accumulate dangerous chemicals in their flesh and fat (which meat-eaters consume), including dioxins, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and even the most toxic form of arsenic.
  • a full 80% of U.S. agriculture land is used to raise chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals.  If the massive quantities of grain, soy, and corn now fed to factory-farmed animals were freed up, there would be plenty of food for the world’s starving people.
  • a totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.  Time magazine reports, “Around the world, as more water is diverted to raising [cattle], pigs, and chickens, instead of producing crops for direct consumption, millions of wells are going to dry.”

These are just a few facts concerning a vegetarian diet vs a meat eating diet.  If you took some time and looked a little deeper you will be amazed at the countless benefits to becoming a vegetarian and/or vegan.  Some people ask “well, what do you eat…lettuce and leaves” (and if I did, it would be better than sticking contaminated flesh into my body).  My answer is that there are so many meat substitutes out there that have the same consistency and tastes so much better.  I eat veggie burgers, make lasagne, stir fry’s, meatless turkey, BLT sandwiches without the B (I have a tofu substitute that is heavenly), chill, filling salads and soups…..and then there is the dairy-free desserts – you would never believe it.

I used to miss meat and BBQ season – those days are long gone.  Every time I smell a barbecue – I am a little sickened because all I can think about is that that smell is actually burning flesh (sorry guys/girls – it really is).  I don’t miss chicken wings, steaks, sausages etc….those things are constant reminders of how unhealthy I felt after eating them.

If there are any meat eaters reading this post – please don’t look at me with judgement.  I know how you feel, I was a meat eater!  I also know that you can feel much better both physically and mentally by choosing to eat meat less or remove it from your diet completely.

Some things you can do to make your day (and someone else’s day) more positive

Today – I have decided to post a short blog challenging all of you out there to do something good for someone today.  You don’t have to know the person in fact, it would be more effective if you didn’t know the person.  Here are some suggestions:

  • hold the door open for at least 10 people
  • carry grocery bags out of a grocery store for someone
  • when out for lunch at a restaurant, cafe, etc….choose a table and buy them their lunch without them knowing who bought it.
  • make some sandwiches and hand them out to homeless people
  • make a donation to an animal shelter on behalf of a friend who loves dogs/cats
  • offer to buy gas for someone at a gas station
  • ask friends and family members to help you volunteer at a food shelter
  • offer to babysit for a new parents or single parents who need a night out

These are just some simple suggestions of what you can do to contribute to a more positive life.  I know how I feel after I do something good – and that feeling for me is satisfaction enough.  You may inspire others to start doing ‘anonymous’ good deeds…..it is contagious and so rewarding.  I strongly believe that ‘whatever energy you put out into the universe is the exact energy that comes back to you’.  Reward yourself – and feel the gratification and satisfaction you feel when you give positivity back into the universe.

Love, light and positive energy to all!

 

Things You Can Do To Quiet Your Mind

There are so many things that easily distract us in our day-to-day lives – things that can preoccupy our minds and cause much unwanted static.  Television is a primary source to inject our minds with fear, anger, hurt and disappointment.  I believe that most networks want us to fill our time watching meaningless reality television or programs that do not promote positivity in our world.  We are constantly bombarded with negative news stories from around the world about politics, the economy, natural disasters, mass murder, environmental disasters etc…It is hard to remain positive in a world that seems to only want to instil fear, hate, anger and rage.  I have found many ways to ensure that my mind is not filled with the poison that television tries to ingest into us (besides the obvious of turning the television off), here are my 10 favourites:

1.  Exercise

If you have had a bad day – and you have much pent-up frustration and anger inside of you, there is no better way to release this anger than by working out.  Getting the blood flowing in your body is a great way to release stress, anger and the days frustrations.  Start with some light full body warm ups, then 30 – 45 minutes of strength training and ending with a nice relaxing 15 – 20 minute jog.  You will feel rejuvenated having released your frustrations and have a sense that you have accomplished something great for your mental and physical health.

2.  Meditation

A great way to relax for daily tension is to meditate.  This may take some practice (especially for those who find it difficult to silence your inner voice) but once you have practiced a few short meditations, you will find it very rewarding to connect with a higher consciousness.  By quieting our inner voice, we can sync our energies and focus on the things that  are of real importance to us.

3.  Go Back To Nature

A great way to give us perspective on what really should matter in our lives is the natural and beautiful landscapes our earth has given us.  Going back to nature is a great way to forget about our troubles and to quiet the mind.  Listen to the whisper of the trees, the gentle sounds of water meeting with the shoreline and the relaxing chimes of the birds singing.  If you really want to feel connected to our earth and marvel at its beauty – you don’t really have to go far.  Connecting with our earth may even ignite a passion in you to defend its natural beauty.

4.  Learn Something New That Isn’t Too Stressful

If you love art – try taking an art class.  If you love to cook – take a cooking class.  If you love languages or have always wanted to speak another language – take a course to learn a new language.  If you love to dance – take a dance class.  The opportunities are endless and we are never to old to learn something new and exciting.  Never limit yourself to what you can’t do but to what you want to do.  Look at learning new things as fun and good rather than scary and hard – this will make learning something new so much more positive.

5.  Listen to your favourite music and music artist(s)

I always found that listening to my favourite light music has always allowed me to relax from daily tension.  If your music library has been worn out….try listening to new music – especially world music.  I found that New Age and Chillout  music has contributed much to helping me quiet the static in my mind.

6.  Keep a journal

I find that keeping a journal (you don’t have to write in it daily – although you probably will) and writing every time you feel stressed, angry, upset, hurt etc…will allow you to release that stress or whatever pain you are feeling from keeping your feelings inside.  This is a great way to help you understand and pinpoint the exact reason someone or something is bothering you.  Sometimes what is really bothering us is not really what we thought it was at all.

7.  Read a book by your favourite author or take the time to discover a new one

A great way to take your mind of something that has been festering in you is by reading a book.   Reading takes some concentration and the use of our imagination – once you pick up a book you will have to focus on giving those words meaning and bringing them to life.  What better way to escape from our day-to-day lives by creating a world using only words and our imaginations.

We don’t realize how important it is to give our minds a break from the demanding and fast-paced pressures of today’s world.  Many people can’t even function without the help of pharmaceuticals to keep us going – some people need help with sleep, anxiety, depression, stress, nervousness, etc….if we just took the time to quiet our minds and allow ourselves the luxury to really feel and be present in what we feel and what we do – we would be so much more loving and positive with one another.