During a conversation with a yoga student who has temporarily relocated her family from France to Canada, she described her Canadian experience as living in a "culture of kindness." Merci Isabelle! Heartened to hear these words used to describe Canada, I encouraged students to cultivate an inner culture of kindness with mindful awareness of self-talk.
At the same time, I also paid tribute to the passing of Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip's lead man and Canadian music icon. As requested, you'll find the playlist posted below. The first 4 songs are all by Canadian artists (these pieces were played as students entered the space), yoga class commenced with a salutary flow to the Tragically Hip's song Wheat Kings, and our final stretches were set to Fidder's Green, Trick Rider and Downie's contribution to the aboriginal reconciliation movement "The Stranger".
Here is the TED Talk by self-compassion educator & researcher Dr. Kirsten Neff that inspired the classes this past week. Thank-you to Burnaby-based therapist Anna Cahill (M.S.W. and R.S.W.) for sending me this Ted Talk.
Here are a few self-compassion supporting quotes and mantras that were mindfully planted through-out the classes this week. Thank-you to yoga student Lesley Arnould for sharing the first mantra prayer.
"May I be grateful for what I have,
May I bravely acknowledge what I need,
May I wisely know that the path to enlightenment requires both" Canadian Living Magazine, Oct 2017
"My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart." - Swami Kripalu
While sitting in a meditative posture with hands resting upon the heart centre, repeat to self
"Be still beloved heart, and know that you are safely held" - Amy Weintraub
You are the sky. The clouds are what happens, what comes and goes.
- Eckhart Tolle - Stillness Amidst The World
"You can't force a rosebud to open by beating it with a hammer."
- Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. (author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal")
" When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless and stemless". We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each stage, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is."
- W. Timothy Gallwey (author of The Inner Game book series)
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
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 whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
- Jellaludin Rumi
Masters Level Clinical Counsellor (MA)