World Kindness Day: November 13th

World kindness day is November 13th each year.

It has been delegated in order to help nations and individuals create a kinder world. It’s also a wonderful representation of how individuals making decisions are investing are investing in our global unity.

For kindness to exist among countries – it must first be an individual experience. It must be practised as a human condition – as an instinctive reaction among each one of us – and as what we teach and model for our children and future generations.

Kindness can be a deliberate and yet natural outpouring of who and ‘what’ we are.

Kindness is a life value. It is our inherent nature and yet it is also an intentional practice that we choose to uphold. Kindness can (with consciousness and deliberate will) become our ‘go to’ response based on choosing to think of others (and ourselves) with positiveness rather than mistrust, fear, and judgement. Kindness begets kindness. Being kind helps us to cultivate understanding; to see others as equals, and to remember the end goal of our discussions, deliberations, and even disagreements – which is always to remain – kind.

Kindness ultimately resolves potential conflict, allowing people to be as they are, realizing the fact that we all have our own unique preferences and beliefs– while challenging ourselves to look for how we are all alike.

If the other person remains unwilling to be kind, then your kindness will always serve you best in dealing with others in a fair and civil manner. When we are deliberately kind, it is far easier to hold compassion, care, and trust. (If someone has proved to be untrustworthy, we can still trust that our kindness will show them that we are capable of empathy and compassion – even if we choose to uphold our relationship boundaries with them).

Kindness is what builds and sustains positive, healthy relationships. When we think of being kind first even in the face of unkindness, we are able to dismantle much of the negativity and fear based behaviours of others. With kindness, we are able to realign ourselves with a common goal; and if we continue to hold differences, then we may do so respectfully, with the acceptance that others may have a different belief system or set of ideas. When people (and ultimately nations) come together in kindness, they are ultimately able to agree on the fundamental life values of peacefulness, respect of all living beings, and the ability to live in harmony rather than war.

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An international movement to practice kindness (aka Kindness Day) reminds us of the need to choose how we will be in any given moment (and especially when it may seem easier to react in frustration, anger, displeasure, or even aggression).

Practising kindness outwardly teaches us much about responsibility. First, to ourselves as we make the conscious choice to be kind even in the face of what may seem like our ‘right’ to respond in defence of others not being kind. Practising kindness teaches us how to see beyond the action of another and to remember that any unkindness directed towards us is rarely about who we are, but rather the other person and their personal struggles to be heard, accepted, valued, important, and secure.

Whether as a personal challenge in light of world kindness day or as an opportunity to become kinder more consistently…consider what deliberate and thoughtful acts of kindness you can do today. Pay attention to how your conscious attention towards being kind, changes how you feel in that instant; softening how you think and feel about yourself, others, and the situation. You might also want to notice how act of kindness (much like a boomerang) come back to you quite effortlessly.


Some important questions to ponder to examine your own commitment to being kind:

Are you teaching your children about the importance of kindness first as a way of being in the world, and as a part of their personality and behaviour ? – For example in sport (where you can still be highly competitive – yet kind)?

Do you model kindness for your children, peers, and co-workers? Do you choose to think kindly of someone rather than assume they have ulterior motives or are dubious and untrustworthy? (You can still be kind to someone that you have chosen to uphold boundaries within if they are not trustworthy or kind).

Do you practice kindness (here’s a tougher one perhaps) in the face of unkindness? Can you personally be kind to someone who is showing you envy, rage, anger, discontent?

If you choose to embrace the power of living kindly as who you are, what do you need to change of your existing behaviours?

Namaste everyone!


WKM is an international movement with no political or religious affiliations. The idea for the formation of the organization came out of a conference in Tokyo in 1997 when Japan brought together like-minded kindness organizations from around the world. It is now recognised as the peak global body for Kindness, . The mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world. Members of the movement include over 25 nations with representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Scotland, South Korea,Switzerland,Thailand, United Arab Emerites, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the USA.
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Spiritual Growth: A message for April 2012

Spiritual growth is what happens as we begin to examine our ‘self’ by going within…often in quiet contemplation or meditation … and realizing that we are much more than the physical being that we see. 

Just as winter may hold a space in our lives for the ‘hibernation’ of inner observance and examination; the season of spring offers an impetus to move forward; to open further to the wonders of what we have been discovering; to reveal what we have been ‘working on’ and to seek much more.

Photo by: Colleen Pope The new 'Meditation' steps at The Briars Resort and Spa; the location of our SPRING RETREAT: Awaken Your Spiritual Self (April 21 & 22, 2012)

This past weekend I had the ultimate “gift” of facilitating a spiritual retreat: something that I felt strongly ‘called’ to do in January (a time when I typically go deep within; listening to the inner wisdom of my soul guiding me, while simultaneously asking for what ‘next steps’ are on my path).  Spiritual growth – like anything we embark upon in life – only happens as we allow ourselves to step on the path; to move in a direction; to have faith that what we “do” will be the ‘right’ thing.

I watched with true appreciation as these remarkable  people (who chose to follow their inner truth; their inner knowing that this retreat would in some way be exactly ‘right’ for them at this time) allowed their inner beauty to open and be revealed; trusting in my gentle direction and in the vast perfection of their unique and personal meditation experience. 

In the sacred space that we created, I was also reminded of the perfection of sharing.  When we open to share our inner self; whether it be a private thought; a past experience; a fond memory; a story of humour – we learn; and in learning from one another we move ahead on our path with the fruit of knowledge; the gift of insight and life experience that we may not otherwise have known.


This too is the beauty of spiritual growth; to be on a path regardless of where along the path you are on your journey; and to ever so often – reach over and share, give, teach, connect with another who is on their path.  This both validates your inner work and simultaneously reminds you that you are not alone; that spiritual journeys are occurring for others around us and that they are becoming a more prevalent choice in the experience of life.  For the true purpose of life is to discover our nature as beings of spirit … of energy … of divine love.


For anyone who is contemplating a spiritual journey; I hope you will trust in the divine timing of your ‘inner calling’ and let your heart open and follow whatever is the inspiration for your inner work.  You will ultimately become happier as a state of being, grounded and centered; and feel a greater sense of perfection and joy in life …as you journey within; discovering and knowing yourself better; both as a physical being and a being of spirit.


For those of you who have already begun a spiritual path…my hope is that it remains an important part of your life.  Go within regularly and notice where your meditations take you; feel nourished and supported as you rely and trust in your ‘inner truth’ to provide you with ‘right’ direction; and allow yourself to feel the immense vastness of your infinite potential – for spiritual growth reminds us that anything and everything is possible.




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EARTH HOUR 2012: What’s Your Challenge?

Earth Hour is a worldwide event that is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)* and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.



Let Earth Hour be a reminder of your commitment to:




refrain from buying STUFF you really don’t need and will end up in landfill

plant trees and flowers

consider what you are pouring down the drain or spraying into the air

learn how things are made so you can make wise consumer choices

know what you are ingesting

go and see where your garbage goes…..

What will you do to take action; to contribute?

Earth hour is a global initiative.  Know that you can effect positive change in the planet -in your lifetime.


Earth Hour 2012 Official Video


What’s Your Challenge?? 

Consider your own challenge to keep the planet healthy; to live in respect and reverence of the planet; to help the earth nourish itself – and to make it a better place because of your choices and awareness.




*World Wildlife Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental conservation through science.

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International WOMEN’S DAY 2012

It is no surprise International Women’s Day falls on my Father’s birthday.  He has raised me to be my own advocate, to stand proud of my abilities and accomplishments, to seek any goal that I may choose, and to see myself as capable and equal to all of humanity.

We might choose to be reminded of any or all of the injustices that continue to exist in the world today for women.  Or we may choose to notice that inequality exists first and foremost in our mind.  We may be taught to believe that we are not good enough, not worthy, unlovable…and yet these are not gender specific beliefs. 

All of humanity struggles with issues of self-worth, confidence, and a sense of personal power that comes from trusting in their abilities and knowing their self.

Inequality exists only as you believe it exists

If you see yourself as an equal to others, you will behave as such… you will see the opportunities and possibilities that exist for you even if you aren’t always sure how to reach them without seeking help.

International Women’s Day might be a reminder to nurture the talent and esteem of all young girls – and especially those who don’t have strong role models in one or both parents …so that these future women might learn to experience their world as a place where they can explore, live freely, make choices that are right for them (especially when these choices do not reflect the majority of previous generations in their particular culture or religion), and to express their free will as an inherent right.

Today we might acknowledge the path of women…but we also serve our planet by embracing the path of humanity; and for remembering all of the ways in which we are empowered to help all others to live free and with love.


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Divine Guidance: Reflections for February 2012

We are all divinely guided.

We all have the capacity for greatness: of being greatness as our true nature as beings of spirit and of love.

Whether or not you believe in a higher consciousness (something we typically refer to as god): receiving divine guidance simply means that you are able to exist outside of the racing, ‘anxiety-driven’ thoughts in your mind and simply experience life – “be in it with full presence”.

When you begin to slow the incessant thoughts that fill most of your waking moments, you start to notice the gaps….the small spaces of quiet in between.  As you bring attention to those gaps they expand…even a little, offering a quiet ‘nothingness’ … and the experience of pure being.

At first, you may experience a state of being by accident, a longer moment of quiet in Shavasana at the end of a yoga class, a moment or two of QUIET between your thoughts as you walk along a snow covered path in the forest, or a moment of pure joy where you realize you were simply existing in the present moment.  Each and all of these are what you might experience -heightening your awareness of the inner quiet that is possible.

Meditation is one example of a formal practice in ‘quieting the mind’.  The objective is to experience the present moment, usually by using a focal point such as your breath, in order to maintain your attention.  Once you develop a feel for what being present is truly about, you can intentionally bring your awareness into the moment at any time knowing that to do so simply requires you decision and perhaps a deliberate “letting go” of any and all thoughts that may be in the way.


Perhaps you then consider integrating a regular practice: of prayer, meditation, or guided contemplation whereby you quietly observe your self in silence – simply being – giving way to your inner knowing – the version of your highest self – that quietly, yet faithfully begins to surface from its place in your unconscious mind (which typically you don’t have access to in your waking busy moments).  This inner knowing gives you “right direction” for your life.  It exists from within you as a felt sense, an intuitive feeling, or sometimes as an inner voice.  Your intuitive or higher self – this divine nature that is both within you and in all living things becomes noticeable in your conscious mind only after you have turned down the volume of your conscious mind (and all of the internal self-dialogue noise) long enough to feel and hear from within.

This is the sacred dwelling place of your inner wisdom – your divine guidance.

If you continue exploring, your intuitive nature will direct you to a spiritual path.  This is because your divine guidance is the pure energy of the universal consciousness and not of form.  Pursuing a spiritual path, you become mindful of the higher values of love, truth, and your connection to this infinite universal intelligence. 

You and every other human being has the potential (the free will) to choose an existence that supersedes the everyday aspects of life that we have been conditioned to accept with limits.  The more you actively seek out your highest self as that part of you that is also part of the infinite universal consciousness, the greater confidence you have in your ability to be divinely guided; to know what is inherently best and right for your life, and to trust in your path using your god-given talents to contribute positively in the world.  On a separate and related level, your intuitive nature inspires you to pursue your life seeking the most compassionate gifts of spirit: love, kindness, joy, faith, trust, compassion, and truth.


The path of love and healing begins with you.  From the mysteries (divine blessings) that you cultivate in walking a path of divine goodness, your openness to learning self-improvement, higher integrity, and loving self-care, culminates in living a life you are deeply proud of.

Remaining ‘open’ to your spiritual journey, you examine what comes into your life with curiousity rather than condemnation.  You can observe moments of irrational outbursts or vulnerable fear and be grateful for an opportunity to learn from these rather than feel defeated by them.  You can ask in moments of quiet contemplation or prayer for the ‘right’ path, for strength to live in ‘right’ ways, for the courage to make ‘right’ choices and then follow and trust what you receive.  Sometimes you will experience your divine guidance directly and other times you will receive messages in the form of signs, symbols or words “randomly” spoken to you through others.  These are all moments of divine guidance being present in your life.

As humans with free will we all have the ability to choose.  Choose a path of goodness, of right moral order, or choose to hide; deceive yourself and others, deny and condemn.  Each of us is capable of any action; we always get to choose.  Consciously or unconsciously we choose everything.

And the wondrous part of all of this is that we have the ability to continue seeking more, evolving, and becoming a greater version of ourselves…. for as long as we choose to do so.

Be open to the idea of a universal intelligence that is both responsible for manifesting what we know as our physical world as well as the infinite consciousness that is a part of everything.

This universal God force or consciousness is what reminds us of our infinite potential to be the very best version we can possibly imagine for our self.  All of the fears, insecurities, wounds, and misperceptions that we experience in our life as physical beings can be overcome by stepping out of our ego-driven self and instead bringing conscious attention to our quality as infinite beings of spirit (energy).

Divine guidance while on this journey involves a contemplation of our nature as good and a freedom for living with joy and in prosperity.


This month, open yourself up to the divine guidance that already exists in your life.  Seek answers, knowledge, information, as well as the courage and strength to move toward what changes you seek: both in yourself but as a being of love.  See your own path as infinite and divine and in quiet moments of spirit, ask for help; ask to be divinely guided as part of what will help you realize your biggest ideals.





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