Wednesday, June 30, 2010

on the bridge of love...

as i reached for her hand
i felt her spirit clutch mine
and i was so humbled
to be here, in this moment
simply holding her hand
on the bridge of love

~ ~ ~

open up
like a flower
and receive love

~ ~ ~

Earlier this week, I invited you all to join me in building a bridge of love around the world by doing a random act of kindness on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 (in celebration of the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday). My heart skipped a beat when I read your responses. you inspire me...I really do have the best blog friends eva! So, you can tell me. Have you been thinking about what you will do? Whose life you might change on that day? Oh, I wonder...

~ ~ ~

thanks so much for joining me, on the bridge of love:

Kim Mailot, Queen of Arts

Joanna Jenkins, The Fifty Factor

Kathryn Grace, Building Ordinary

Kim Living Life, A Box of Chocolates

Sarah, Writing

Tracy, Pink Purl

Christina, Soul Aperture

Elizabeth, Landanna

Teresha, Marlie and Me

Connie, Loose Lemons

Birdie, Simple Ways

would you care to join us?

~ ~ ~

one love.

Friday, June 25, 2010

if there was a bridge...

i drove through windy country roads
the beauty of nature enveloping me
and in that moment, i was happy
so i smiled.
The depth of suffering endured by people all around the world simply breaks my heart. It is of such an unimaginable proportion that at times, I can literally feel their pain. Today is one of those days. I am thinking of those who will continue to suffer daily, and remain neglected, because their story is no longer of interest to the media networks and their ratings. I thought to myself...
if there was a bridge
connecting the world,
what would you do?

May I become at all times
Both now and for ever
A protector for the helpless,
A guide for the lost ones,
A ship for those to cross oceans,
And a bridge to cross rivers,
A sanctuary for those in danger,
A lamp for those in darkness,
A refuge for those who need shelter,
A servant to all in need.
(Dalai Lama)
* * *
July 6, 2010 will be the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday - he will be 3/4 of a century old. So I started to think...what on earth could I do to celebrate such a wonderful day? Aha! - how about making a little contribution to help build a bridge of love around the world?

would you like to join me in doing a random act of kindness on Tuesday, July 6, 2010?

have a conscious friday and a divine weekend. one love.

*Twitter hashtag: #bridgeoflove

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

on a walking meditation...

Breathing in, I calm my body
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!
(Thich Nhat Hanh)

Here I go again. I have gotten lost on my walking meditation. Today, you can find me over at An Inch of Time. It would mean the world to me if you'd stop by and say hi. one love.

Monday, June 21, 2010

in the details...

So, I'm going to quote one of my dearest friends when I say, this photo doesn't really have anything to do with this post. ;)

What's on my mind? you may ask - that has gotten me to the point of not coordinating photos with theme of post. Well, have a seat and reason with me for a moment.

My daughter's school sent home a link to an educational website. We decided to test drive a few of the videos for fun. Of course we started with Harriet Tubman. A fairly historically accurate account followed. (check). Feeling confident, we cruised along to Susan B. Anthony when a seemingly insurmountable obstacle appeared in the midst of our educational path. It sounded something like this, Many African-Americans worked as slaves.
I slammed on the brakes.

Excuse me? Lemme think about this one for a know, see if I got this right: Soooo...I can be kidnapped and forever separated from my family; my lineal offspring will not recognise, or even know of each other's existence, as they will be indiscriminately spread across the globe. I will be raped with impunity...Oh, and my children will be too. Beaten severely when I simply want to take a break from toiling in the hot scorching sun or to give my weary body much needed rest. I cannot learn to read either because seeking literacy skills is against the law. I cannot run away from my self-appointed "master" because I risk that my family and I will be hanged or otherwise murdered. I will be treated as if I am less than a human being all day long, and sold when I no longer am needed by my oppressors. Damn, that sounds like a fantastic job. Where do I sign up?

I took a few deep breaths. (Ok, I admit it was more than a few.) After all, I had a child watching me and believe me, she can be quite the effective self-monitor. I meditated on this issue for a few days. I sat with it, and examined it deeply, but it still did not change. So I called the school and diplomatically explained the issue and how offensive it was to my family and more importantly, how utterly disrespectful that misinformation was to my ancestors. I notified the administration that I would be contacting the website directly to voice my humble opinion...and I sure did.

Within a day, I received an email from the company assuring me that they will re-write and re-record that line in the video. They thanked me for bringing this issue to their attention.

It is important to relay historically accurate facts in the education of our children. Therefore, when the new textbooks coming out of Texas are published, changing the term "slave trade" to the "atlantic triangular trade", I shall raise my voice once again. I refuse to let others denigrate my ancestors' existence, their very being, and the countless inhumane experiences they were forced to endure, with a play on words. So once again, I shall speak up because it is all in the details.

one love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

summer is here...

i'm counting down the days to summer fun
and even more importantly, no more school!
(c'mon say it with me) NO MORE SCHOOL!
it's time for fishing, swimming pools
double dutch, icecream trucks
hopscotch and riding bikes
giggling and having fun
now you tell me
why isn't life

it can be. one love.
i do hope you have a wonderful summer
(and to all the dads, Happy Father's Day!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

conscious friday: for me...

All is well, when Buju is singing my name. I was almost upset about how a certain series turned out tonight (bite your tongue) but then I buck up into Buju and he reminded me about what is really important in this world.

have a conscious friday and a divine weekend
one love.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

we are one...

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realize we cannot eat money
(based on Cree saying)

Even as I daydream about the most welcome respite, my heart breaks for those who will enter this summer facing dramatic lifestyle changes due to the catastrophic unnatural disaster along the Gulf Coast. To Mother Earth, and all sentient beings living in the oceans and surrounding ecosystems, prayers sent up.

We are all connected. one love.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

satisfy my soul...

the sun penetrates into the flowers,
and at some point, the flowers can't resist,
they just have to open up.
(Thich Nhat Hanh)

Mother Nature, you satisfy my soul.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

it's all about love...

I really wanted to take this moment to thank all of you who spend time with me here in my necessary room. I am grateful for the words of love and encouragement with which you brighten my life. It really means the world to me.

Tomorrow is promised to no one,
so tell someone i love you today.

...and speaking of expressions of love, you just have to visit this special new place created especially for us, with the most loving care by Empress Christina of Soul Aperture. (swooning!)

one love

Monday, June 7, 2010

in her own words: Africa Calling...

I was recently at an African festival and I saw this beaded chair. I appreciate that someone took the time, out of love, to create such a divine piece, bead by bead. I have always been fascinated by African art and culture and you can often find me daydreaming about what arts and crafts warmed my ancestors' hearts.

Did they also have the same special feeling that always walk hand in hand with creating some thing with my own two hands?

Did they also do their best to improve the world in which they lived -- often in seemingly impossible ways -- making it better for their children, and their children's children, like me?

I'm always encouraged when I see others trying to improve our world in their own way. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to today's guest, Lyn, co-author of the inspiring blog, Africa Calling. I hope you enjoy this unedited version of our recent conversation. One love.

Greetings, my dear friend. Could you please introduce yourself and give a brief description of your blog?

Thanks Se’Lah for your interest in our blog. My name is Lyn and I have been blogging for about 2 years now. This year my daughter Darcy and I celebrated milestone birthdays – I turned 50 and Darcy turned 18. We wanted to give special meaning to our milestones decided to take a trip this summer that we have been dreaming about for years. It is a voluntour adventure with Free the Children. Once we started planning and realized how involved it was we thought it would interesting to start our blog - Africa Calling – to share our experience and perhaps provide insight for anyone else considering such a trip.

How long have your lived in Canada? and in what region?

I am a proud, flag waving Canuck - born and raised in Ontario, Canada – a land where you are free to be.

How is your community demographically composed? Is there anything special about the local culture you would like to share with us?

One of the aspects I am most proud of as a Canadian is our aspiration as a country to embrace and include people of all cultures, orientations, and nationalities. We understand that diversity makes us stronger as a nation. We live in southern Ontario near Toronto, a city that celebrates a mosaic of international cultures. Darcy and I are pasty white, fifth and sixth generation Canadians with few struggles ... we have much to learn and understand.

Do you have any hobbies? Or any particular area of study that interests you?

I am a communicator by profession and some just say I talk alot! I love to capture moments with my camera and document the human experience. Darcy is starting university in the fall to study international development so we can’ t wait to soak up everything Kenya will have to offer.

I was so incredibly impressed when I first stumbled upon your blog, Africa Calling. Can you please tell us a little about Free the Children and your mission to help raise funds to help build a school in Africa?

The effort to raise enough funds to build a school was like the icing on the cake for us. We know we are fortunate to have the means to get ourselves to Kenya and started thinking of ways we could contribute and give back. Darcy has been involved with Free the Children for years now so we decided to participate in their 100 School Challenge. We established our own fundraising page, called Milestones for Education and started raising awareness of the importance of education – the ideal of access to education for all. We are only halfway there but we will continue our fundraising efforts after we return from our trip until we reach our goal.

Do you have any suggestions regarding how we can help you in this endeavour?

I have been deeply moved by the support of the blogger community. Seven followers of my main blog, Lyn’s Lifepixels donated to our cause which really blew my mind; a testament to the generosity of the human spirit. If your blogger followers could help raise awareness of Milestones for Education it would be greatly appreciated. Donations of course, no matter the amount are always appreciated as well.

Is there something specific about Kenya and its culture that tugs at your heart strings? Was there a defining moment that led you to the decision to travel there in person?

Darcy had been exposed to new ideas and issues that impact the world through the Free the Children leadership academy. She developed a keen interest in meeting Kenyans and seeing their way of life first hand. Darcy and I have been fascinated by the spirit of Africa – the resolve of the people to survive and thrive in an often hostile, challenging environment. I can’t think of one defining moment other than realizing that life is short and that some things have to be experienced in person. I saw this as a unique opportunity to share something life changing with my daughter.

Can you tell us what you hope to contribute to the children and people of Kenya during your visit? What do you hope to learn from them?

We feel an overwhelming gratitude for the quality of life we have and the opportunities that are available to us simply because we were lucky enough to be born where - and to the parents - we were. We have seen how people with seemingly insurmountable problems and burdens find reasons to smile and joy in their everyday existence. We know we can learn from this. We will be spending part of our trip school building and tree planting but truthfully, I think we will be getting more than we give. If I have anything to contribute I think it will be when we return home and help spread enlightenment and awareness of the issues Kenya is facing and how we can play a part in solving the woes of the human race. Africa is a continent of such astounding beauty and possibility – in both its people and landscape. We want to experience both.

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming trip to Kenya?

Darcy and I know we have much to learn about the complex challenges facing African and other developing nations. We want to see the faces of Kenya, hear the stories of the people, especially the mothers and children. I want to share the love in my heart and I will have to exercise restraint in not bursting into song – cause I can’t hold a tune!

Thanks so much for stopping by here, Lyn. Wishing you safe travels to Mama Africa. Please place your palm on her soil and tell her I send her peace and love. Do you have any parting words for our wonderful readers?

Blogging is a powerful tool that I believe can be instrumental in uniting the human race. I want to thank you Se’Lah for your tireless efforts to promote love and peace amongst humankind and keeping the struggles of those who need our help top of mind. Peace to you all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

a musical moment...

can you hear it?