Winter is coming and a good six cords of wood will be needed to keep the Lodge warm and that takes three or four people about ten days, bringing down standing dead trees from the mountains, which are chain sawed into 6 foot lengths and loaded onto several trucks, then unloaded and chain sawed into 20 inch pieces. If they are large rounds they are split with a gas-powered wood splitter that is safe for everyone to use. The front cover shows Doug operating the wood-splitter while Crystal and Alex stack the wood shed. After that job is done a group of us will discuss next year’s programming for the Retreat Center as well as finish off a few construction projects over the winter months.
It was a busy year with lots of participation in a variety of programs. I am glad that Jennifer did most of the cooking and Doug worked with Richard. They have decided to stay another year, as have Kathy and Barbara. Each year lots of folks visit and each one brings their gifts, which I appreciate but I love it when some stay so there is a continuity of how things get done. As each person integrates into our collective it brings an added dimension with many learning opportunities for all, as we each become more aware of our needs in context of another.
Last month Richard and I listened to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in Calgary. First we got to enjoy several school performances, then the sound of a Grandmother Drum with prayer-chants to Mother Earth followed by three Cree ladies singing O Canada. After sitting down I took several deep breaths into my belly so I could really sense the energy - immediately I started to cry...quiet, deep tears as it moved through my heart for about fifteen minutes. I wasn’t the only one who felt this energy.
Once the Dalai Lama arrived he asked us to take the white scarves that were on the back of every seat and put them around our shoulders and give the ends to the person on either side. I felt the magic when I looked around the stadium with the white scarves glowing, connecting each of us in the circle, for we looked like we were all one. He then joked about his gratitude for the Chinese, even though they chased him out of his country, he still supports them by having them make the scarves. His overall message was to encourage 20,000 of us to explore deep within ... as that is where peace starts.
At the Peace Summit in Vancouver, BC, just before his Calgary visit, he reportedly said to the crowd “the world will be saved by western women.” I wonder if in his travels he sees so many impoverished and repressed women that he feels that western women are a force to be reckoned with, since we have time and interest in helping ourselves wake up and take responsibility for our actions as an individual and as a nation.
I just finished reading an article by Polly Young-Eisendrath titled Women and Desire. She says after twenty years of asking women, “What do you really want?” she came to the conclusion that women are confused because they have several layers of needs that are not easily understood. She goes to great lengths so we can understand the hidden compulsion to be desired and switch it to being responsible for our own desires. She says, “Women often sacrifice their real desires to fit someone elses expectations, which can undermine self-direction, self-confidence, and self-determination.” It takes courage to speak from our authentic self in the presence of another, knowing we are vulnerable to judgements, blame or rejection. If we fake our feelings, we retain the illusion of control but we lose the possibility of being loved for who we really are.
Being honest and direct while being respectful of those we are in relationship with takes practice, for our programming is subtle and deep. As we relearn speaking from an open heart, like little children or the Dalai Lama, we will find that almost nothing is impossible - not because we are in control but because we discover how to depend gratefully on others, how to change when change is required, and most importantly... listen to divine guidance as it comes and trust it.
Several western women have created a website for women who want to be inspired and create change: www.WomenOnTheEdgeOfEvolution.com. It has details about 14 of the world’s leading female spiritual luminaries including; Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston, and Lynne McTaggart. There is no cost for this live, interactive event, thanks to the generous sponsors and visionary women who have volunteered their time and wisdom. All you need is a telephone or a computer to take part.
You can also check out the Spring Festival of Awareness that happens the last weekend in April at Naramata Centre, BC, with over 35 presenters sharing their love and knowingness. Details in the next edition, which will be the 20th anniversary of Issues Magazine.
I am feeling it is time for someone else to step forward and take Issues Magazine for Empowerment to the next level of creation. Someone who would like to join our little community, has good English and computer skills, likes a challenge and is keen to learn about the publishing world while getting to know people in metaphysics. If you get goose bumps when you read this, then the angels are talking to you. Email or call me so we can talk. 1-888-756-9929. I also need help filling my racks in the Creston, Cranbrook and Vancouver areas. I would mail them to you. Many blessing for the Yuletide season and may the Solstice moon shine brightly on your intentions.