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On Sunday, May 2nd, I will be a part of a Holistic Seminar, hosted by SOL Pilates FIT. Please join me for a chakra clearing meditation. The event will be held at the Extraordinary Beginnings unit at 5261 Hwy 7 in Markham, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register call 416.948.SOUL (7685) or email lynne.stewart@solpilatesyoga.com

Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Please join me for a
meditation class at SOL Pilates and Yoga Studio in Markham. The class will be held at 7 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Please contact me for additional details.

Do you long for a relaxing treatment for your mind, body and spirit? I'm now accepting clients for Reiki treatments. To register for a class or to book a treatment, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reviewing the Past Year

Photograph: 'Intricate Journeys' by P. Grodecki


With only a few more days before we welcome the new calendar year, many of us are already starting to think of resolutions for 2009, setting goals and making decisions about what we wish to accomplish in the new year. It seems that many people are eager to forget 2008 or, rather, are hoping that 2009 will be better in some ways. I feel it is unfair, however, to forget an entire 12-month period in our lives, or to dismiss it as unsatisfactory to our goals. Every past and present experience in our lives contributes to future events while making us stronger and better able to face these events.





Before starting to set positive aspirations for the exciting months ahead, consider taking some time to review the year to which we are about to say ‘goodbye.’ After all, it seems rushed to welcome in the new year before bidding farewell to the equally important year that is about to escape out the door quietly while everyone happily awaits the time when the clock strikes midnight.




Sit down comfortably, and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself. In your journal, or on a sheet (or a few sheets) of paper, write down your memories from the past year. You may choose to reminisce of the happy experiences that you enjoyed and write them down first, later thinking of the experiences that may have brought some sadness into your life. As you think of each memory and record it, visualize the memory being filed on a shelf in your mind, where you know that it will remain carefully labelled, to allow you to access it at any time, if you wish.





Next, think back to this time last year, when you were celebrating New Year’s Eve 2008. Did you set any resolutions? Perhaps they are recorded in your diary. You may choose to return and read them to yourself to recall these details. Have you followed through with your goals? If you have accomplished all that you wished to accomplish, give yourself a pat on the back and record this in your notes. This is a time to celebrate your accomplishments, to which you may not have paid great attention until this time.





If you did not accomplish all that you had set to accomplish, please remember that this is normal. Instead of becoming upset over this fact, analyze why you did not meet your goals. It may very well be that the goals that you had set in January lost their importance as the year progressed. You may have grown and evolved into a different person, developing new, different interests and letting go of old patterns. Again, celebrate this growth and embrace it!



Perhaps 2008 was not the time to accomplish some of your goals. If they are still important to you in 2009, however, perhaps this is a time to rephrase your goals and start to think ahead about a different approach that you may wish to take in 2009 as you work to meet your aspirations. I will discuss this aspect in my next post.





Finally, summarize the year 2008 in one sentence. Think of this part of the exercise as writing a goodbye note to a good friend who is moving to another country and whom you will not see for a long time. Describe the year 2008 in terms that you would like to use to describe your friend. Please remember, 2008 will never return, as it has served its purpose in all our lives. It is giving way to fresh new experiences, having prepared us for whatever is to come. Take a minute to acknowledge this as you say goodbye to another wonderful year and prepare to welcome a new friend who has waited a long time to travel from afar.




Wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration!




Affirmation: 'I bless my past as I prepare to open the door to an exciting future.'



Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Gifts for the Holidays

Photograph: 'Simple Gifts' by P. Grodecki


Last week, my husband brought to my attention an interesting ad, which he came across while browsing postings on a buy-and-sell website. The poster was advertising that she would like to give a free Christmas dinner to a family in need. She outlined ingredients for a basic traditional Christmas dinner that she would provide to the family that would be the first to respond, and mentioned that she would normally prepare a festive dinner using those ingredients, but has no need to cook for anyone this year.

This ad inspired me. The poster is offering a free meal to a family that would probably otherwise struggle to put nutritious festive food on the table. The latest headlines have certainly been keeping many consumers away from the mall and have encouraged people to mind their budgets. The essence of Christmas – and indeed many other holidays – can easily be lost among the bustling malls with ubiquitous ads that urge us to buy expensive gifts for those about whom we care. All the while, the most beautiful memories of the holidays are not of shopping to satisfy our family members for a day but of sharing the holiday spirit with our loved ones and providing them with memories for many holidays to come.

Think, for a moment, of how beautiful it would be to extend this love and the spirit of sharing toward people outside our families and even our circles of friends. When we extend a hand to others and give of our own abundance, we open our hearts and celebrate the true essence of the holidays, bringing our joy to others and, in return, bringing joy to ourselves as we bask in the natural high of gifting. This holiday season, I invite you to share your joy with others by buying and donating toys, clothing, or food items to people in need. This is a great opportunity to involve your family members, and especially children, in this project. I have a feeling that for them, this experience would be most memorable and truly valuable, perhaps inspiring them, for many holiday seasons to come, to continue to extend a hand to people in need.

If you can think of other creative ideas of gift giving this year, such as in the case of the generous poster of the ad, who wishes to provide a free meal to a family, I would appreciate it if you would share it with the readers of this newsletter. Please e-mail me or leave a comment with your ideas or stories of what you may already have done to give a special gift for the holidays. Let us share our inspiration with others and continue to widen our circle of giving. After all, a creative idea is also a beautiful gift.


Affirmation: ‘I give freely and share my abundance widely with those who need it. My heart is open to giving, and by giving, I receive an ocean of joy in return.’

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Working with Others to Share Gifts of Inspiration


Photograph: 'Teammates in Harmony' by P. Grodecki

After a day that seemed rather ordinary, I exited the subway train and made my way toward the parking lot and my car. All around me, people were rushing to get home, many of them with tired expressions on their faces after another busy day at work. As I approached the spot at the subway station where a musician usually stands, I felt something different. My ears were filled with delightful music as I discovered that on that day, there were not one but two musicians whom I frequently see playing individually at different stations. This time, they had teamed up to play together. As the older man sat playing the accordion and the younger man stood beside him, playing the violin, the atmosphere around them felt alive and electric. The looks of joy on the faces of the musicians expressed a sense of liberation from ideals of competitiveness and necessary isolation.

In our busy world, it seems easy for us to buy into a culture of competitiveness, which in turn can create a sense of isolation in our lives. When we strive to do everything on our own, without anyone's help, we may do so either to prove to ourselves or someone else that 'we can do it' or to ensure that others do not interfere with our goals. However, such thoughts keep us away from the truth that we are all connected and that by working in unison with others, the beauty of our creations can be magnified tenfold, just as the music of the subway musicians sounded so much more lively when they played together, creating harmonious vibrations of happiness that resonated in all directions.

When we work together with likeminded people who share our passions, we allow ourselves to enjoy new experiences and remain open to new ideas and lessons. However, we are not the only ones who benefit. The people working in partnership with us also benefit from our presence. We inspire one another! I think many readers would agree with me when I say that inspiration is a wonderful gift that we receive from people who safely let their light shine brightly, confident in their own presence. The wonderful inspired subway musicians who shared their light with all who were lucky enough to hear their music and witness the joy of the moment, in turn inspired all the passersby who were open to receiving this inspiration. After a long day at work, inspiration is a truly invaluable gift.

This week, I invite you to share your light and inspiration with as many people as possible. It's a free gift that we can sprinkle on the world to help bring a smile into someone's day. And that someone may just go on to inspire others, reminding us, once again, of our infinite and beautiful connection.

Have an inspired and magical week!

Affirmation: "It is safe for me to allow my light to shine brightly. I work with wonderful, likeminded individuals who inspire me and whom I inspire."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Life as a Movie

Photograph: 'Reflections of Life' by P. Grodecki


If you're like me, you may frequently enjoy relaxing at home on the couch or in a movie theatre with a bowl of popcorn in your lap while watching a great movie. My favourite films – and books – are those with a great plotline in which I can get lost. I like to fall in love with the main character and enter his or her state of mind, feeling what the character is feeling, thinking what she is thinking. When the film is good, I am never a passive viewer. Although I watch many movies that are more than a bit fantastical, I can usually find something in those films that I can associate clearly with events that have occurred in my life, or I recognize the characters in the film as similar to people with whom I interact every day. I hope for a certain outcome to the film, without trying to guess the ending. I like to forget that the movie has already been filmed and that the ending is pre-determined; instead, I watch the story unfold before me and delight in every moment.



I sometimes like to play a game by pretending that my life and all that happens around me is a movie in which I am the narrator. In the role of a narrator, I sometimes feel safe and isolated from the actual plot because I feel I can simply step aside at any point and pretend that I am not involved in what happens around me. However, the role of the narrator is actually very important, as the narrator sets the mood of the story. And although the narrator isn't able to change the plotline of the movie, it is possible for me to change my tone of voice to be more or less dramatic, thus influencing the tone of the scene.



We are active participants and creators in the events of our lives. Although we may not always feel that we have complete control over our destiny or the actions of the people around us, we are always able to reign in the role of the narrator, thus changing the tone of the story as we see fit. Can you imagine a scary movie narrated in the kind voice of a fairytale princess? How about a romance drama narrated in a dry, monotone voice? Those films would be completely different thanks to the narrator's tone. Thus, too, we are able to influence the story that unfolds before us by actively working toward creating a different outcome to the scene that we are watching.



This week, I invite you to join me in the game of pretending that our lives are movies in which we are given the important role of the narrator. How can you, as the narrator, influence the story that unfolds before you? Remember that you are never passive and have an important role to play, every day, in everything you do.




Affirmation: I am a responsible and creative narrator in the story of my life.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Drifting Forward on Wings of Change

Photograph: 'Peaceful Change' by P. Grodecki

Change is all around us. Can you feel it?


Old ideals no longer work to serve us. In the recent years, we have seen truth rising up to the surface to reveal to us the ligaments that are barely holding together the old structures that are breaking apart, piece by piece. Stale rules are just that – stale. Instead, we seek something more from life than that with which, for many years, we had been taught to be contented. Instead of being just okay with living a life in which our voices are not heard and believing that our beliefs do not matter, we are now realizing that a simple action of a child or a sentence spoken by ‘the average’ person can have a tremendous impact on us, which is why it is so important for each of us to take full responsibility for our actions.


Tuesday’s U.S. election was inspiring to me and, I am certain, to many others all around the world. What I found especially fascinating is the sense of solidarity and hope that not only American citizens, but also Canadians shared as we awaited the results of the election. I feel that a powerful statement was made this week, reinforcing in us the belief that strong unity for one goal, the core of which is Love, can triumph over the old world order. Although U.S. citizens had the opportunity to make a difference by voting, people in other places were praying for positive change. The event was incredibly symbolic of the struggle of the old world order to remain in the foreground while the new world order, in a seemingly natural vibrant manner, rises gracefully in front of the old faded curtain.


And so, we continue to remain united for one goal of the new world order, for a world in which Love triumphs over old principles and beliefs. As we live with Grace, we can safely follow our paths and speak our truths, remembering that we are all One. We can take a moment, right now, to feel this connectedness to one another and to all beings in the Universe. With each new triumph, our hopes can be renewed and strengthened, allowing us to continue on our path with confidence.


One Love!


Affirmation: I live in a vibration of Love. I am connected to All There Is and to all beings in the Universe.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Excuse to Meditate

Photograph: 'Nature's Art' by P. Grodecki

Recently, several people have asked me about the process of meditation and specifically, how to meditate. Many people hold an image in their minds of a Yogi sitting cross-legged on a mat for what seems like an infinite amount of time. While such an image certainly portrays a more traditional form of meditation, there are myriad other forms of meditation. Each of us needs to find a method that works for us, based on our personalities, time we can dedicate the practice, and our favourite style of meditation. When an artist is fully engaged in his or her work, hours may pass before she may decide to take a break, look around her, and realize that she has been focused only on her painting. Everything around seems to have stopped while she was busy doing what she loves. In reality, the world around the artist continued buzzing with its usual busy excitement as people rushed to get to work in the early morning; traffic outside the artist’s studio may have come to a standstill while the drivers cursed angrily at one another; in the coffee shop around the corner, the hot aromatic liquid was poured into 20 cups every two minutes, satisfying the morning cravings of the customers. None of that matters, because the artist found her inner peace by absorbing her attention fully in her work.


When we engage in an activity about which we are passionate, time seems to fly until we wonder where the day had gone while we may have gone for a long walk along the shoreline, played an instrument, or spent time baking in the kitchen. It may come as a surprise to some readers that these very activities, when performed with great attention, with every moment infused with passion, are meditative activities. Meditation is an activity during which we go inside and get in touch with our spirit. Naturally, a way of getting in touch with our spirit is by doing what we enjoy doing. We find our inner peace as we allow ourselves to focus on one activity and perform the activity with purpose and careful attention, concentrating only on the activity itself. Therefore, we can meditate anywhere and at any time, taking as much time as we can afford to spare.


Next time you wish to take a break and get away from the noise of the bustling city or a hectic office environment, you may choose to take a five to 15 minute break and engage in what you enjoy. Perhaps you find walking to be an excellent meditative exercise that allows you to focus on the present moment and your present state. You may enjoy knitting as a form of meditation, concentrating only on the intricate stitches and the click-clacking sound of the needles. Dancing, jogging, singing, playing an instrument, or visiting an art gallery or a museum and studying the art on display are meditative activities. Whether you have 10 minutes or two hours, you may wish to engage in what you love to do and forget, for that time, about your commitments or things on your ‘to do’ list. I like to think of this as an excuse to meditate. After all, our emotional and spiritual health is just as important as our physical health and naturally contributes to better physical wellness. Just as it is important for us to exercise our bodies to stay physically healthy, it is also important to engage in spiritual and mentally calming activities, for holistic wellbeing.


Affirmation: I make time to meditate while engaging in the activities about which I am passionate.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrating Perfection

Photograph: 'Autumn Harmony' by K. Grodecki



This past weekend, in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving – a holiday that I truly enjoy because of the colourful autumn weather, the wonderful food that we share with our loved ones, and the company of our favourite people. Every year on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend, I make a trip to pick apples and a pumpkin in one of the many beautiful orchards around Toronto. Last Saturday, while looking for the perfect pumpkin to take home, I thought about what makes a pumpkin ‘perfect.’ I was specifically looking for a big, round pumpkin with a rich orange colour, and one that would look interesting when carved on Hallowe’en, with a candle burning inside.



In a field of hundreds of pumpkins, there was one that appealed to me and matched my wishes. I found my perfect pumpkin. But what about the other neighbour pumpkins that were left in the field as I walked away with the one that I chose? Are they less than perfect? And what about the apples left hanging at the very top of the trees in the orchard? They are the last to be picked because they are too high up for most people to reach. And the apples at the top will, most likely, be left there until they fall to the ground. But they are never wasted. The apples that fall to the ground will provide compost that will contribute to the healthy growth of additional ‘perfect’ apples.



Although to many of us it sounds like a cliché, the recognition of perfection depends on our state of mind. Some people are on this earth to contribute to the beauty of the world with centre-stage-worthy talents, while others prefer to work behind the scenes to enhance the atmosphere in the theatre, providing a stunning, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for the audience and the performer. Just as apples and pumpkins need nutrient-rich soil and the support of a strong tree in order to thrive, we also benefit from the support of our family members and loved ones. Even after the harvested fruit had been taken home, it does not perish immediately but continues to maintain its vibrant colours and delicious taste long after it had been picked. And when we, and indeed all living things on Earth, have the support and love of our family members and loved ones, we also hold these gracious gifts in our hearts forever, because those are gifts that no one can ever take away from us. I believe that these gifts of love and support are key ingredients in the recipes that make each of us perfect.



Take a moment to feel the love and support you have all around you right now, and celebrate your perfection. Please remember that regardless of what we may experience at different times in our lives, and regardless of what opinions others may hold of us, as long as we follow our dreams and allow our dreams to manifest, we continue to honour our perfection as we love ourselves and others around us, holding ourselves and everyone and everything around us in high esteem. This Thanksgiving, and all through the autumn season, please remember to enjoy the abundance of the Universe and remember that we are exactly where we are meant to be at this very moment, and that we are always very, very loved. And Love gives us strength, vibrancy, vitality and beauty. So, enjoy those apples and pumpkins, and meditate on the uniting thread that holds us all together, creating beautiful, perfect harmony for which we give thanks.



Affirmation: I celebrate the perfection of the Universe and give thanks for the love and support that are gifted to me, while remembering the perfect harmony that surrounds me every day.




Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lessons of the Mountains


Photograph: `Mysterious Whispers' by P. Grodecki


I believe that everything is interconnected and it is not surprising to me that so many of us strive to maintain our connection with Nature. Nature speaks to us continually, every day, and it is up to us to engage in a dialogue with Nature, or to simply stop and listen. While on my recent trip in Europe, I took the time to listen and learn from the mountains

While travelling in Germany with my husband, we took a day trip to visit Zugspitze, the highest point in the German Alps. While on the bus, passing through the beautiful and serene countryside with its green plains, we sat quietly as we marveled at the overwhelming mountains rising beyond the villages. The beauty of the mountains, with a thin layer of snow visible at the peaks, made the enormous nature-made structures feel comforting, despite their intimidating size.

At times, it may seem to us that various issues that we face in our daily lives may seem overwhelming, overbearing, and stifling. So, too, can the fog and clouds that cover the mountains seem suffocating at times, as they obstruct the mountain peaks. And yet, perhaps we can strive to be like the mountains: serene, present in this moment, confident with our position in the world, finding comfort in the notion that we are always protected and supported, come what may.

Any problem can be measured against ‘the big picture.’ The size and proportions of the issue that we are facing can be regarded from several different perspectives. So, too, can we try to look up at the peak of the mountain while standing on the ground, or enjoy the views below after climbing up to the summit.

And even when looking at the view of the land from the top, we may need to wait for the fog to clear before being able to see the towns and lakes below. It is important to take the time to wait for the right moment to examine the situation from a clear vantage point. Even then, however, we will only see what we are meant and ready to see at this time. It is good to wait for certain secrets to be revealed to us at a time when we are more aware of the truth behind the secret and are ready to understand its meaning.

My husband and I took the cable car to reach the summit of the mountain. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was clear, allowing us to clearly see the lake and farmlands below. We took the opportunity to take many photographs, as we knew that the fog would not linger below. However, even as the fog began to rise, it provided us with a different, more mysterious view of everything around, and, once again, made us wonder about what lies beyond the clearly visible space. And that’s a beautiful gift. After all, the element of mystery is an important ingredient in the recipe for cultivating the zest of life. Don’t you think?

This week, spend some time in Nature and allow all your senses to communicate with all that surrounds you. If you live in an area with mountains, perhaps you can engage in the same dialogue that I shared with the Alps. Similarly, we can learn other valuable lessons from the trees, earth, and the air that we breathe. Allow them to speak to you and meditate on their ‘words.’ Enjoy it! This experience is truly a gift that is given to us naturally, if we choose to accept it graciously.

Affirmation: I listen to the voices of Nature and thus continue my learning experience.

Wishing you a wonderful week, with mysteries to explore and beautiful views to enjoy from a clear vantage point.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lifting the Veil to Experience the Magic

Photograph: 'Enchanting Neuschwanstein' by P. Grodecki


If we wish to see a different reality, we need only to close our eyes and then open them, without expectations, and allow the magic to set in. Ironically, this way of seeing the world could perhaps reveal to us the true reality, covered by a screen that shows us what we have become used to and what we refer to as the true nature of things. We wish to see clearly, without distortions, but for that, we need to allow ourselves to let go of preconceived notions of what is true, what is real. It is important to release all expectations of what we wish to see, and open our minds, instead, to new ideas, new images, new realities. The letting go of expectations is the part that many of us find most challenging or, perhaps, even frightening. However, if we allow ourselves to let go of these fears, we may break all boundaries and uncover the truth. I believe that this truth is what many would call magical, as it allows us to see, from a clear point of view, the truth behind the thoughts and actions that so many people in society refer to as ‘normal’ but which, in fact, may have veiled what is most naturally beautiful. I believe it’s time to explore this beauty, as it’s all around us, and it thrives in our souls as our souls thrive to reach closer and grasp this beauty, to feel its essence in the very core of our existence.


Over the past two and a half weeks, my husband and I travelled in Europe, taking the time to visit family, as well as explore new places that I have dreamed to visit. One such place is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. I remember first seeing a photograph of this enchanting castle in a book, many years ago, and literally felt myself stop breathing for a few seconds while my eyes beheld the wonderful image that appeared imaginary, non-existent, and yet, the photograph proved its existence. Since then, I had longed to visit the castle and see it in front of me, to touch its walls. There was something that drew me to this place as if my magic.


In the last two days of our trip, my husband and I visited the castle twice, and in reality, it is more magnificent than I ever imagined it to be. The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II, who wished to create a real-life fairy tale castle in the forested mountains, in order to live in that beautiful place a comfortable, solitary life, away from society. The energy all around the castle, in the forests that surround it and in the King’s rooms, is truly magical. Hiking through the forest on my way back down toward the town, I felt in the very least the traces of the inspiration, emanating from the Bavarian forests, that the Grimm brothers must have felt and which compelled them to write their fairy tales. Everything in those woods was buzzing with enchantment, as though one needs only to close one’s eyes and open them in order to allow the veil to lift and reveal what human eyes cannot see as long as we remain focused on what we feel we need to see.


I wondered whether this idea cannot be applied to our daily lives. If we look at the world around us as though upon opening our eyes for the first time, we may find that everything around us is infused with beauty and magic. It may sometimes seem challenging to maintain this perspective when others around us may not share this opinion. Perhaps, if we can find grace and beauty all around us, it will become natural to see and feel beauty without actively seeking it, as it naturally surrounds us. And maybe, just maybe, others around us may also be inspired to seek this beauty in the wish to lead a more magical, brilliant life.



Affirmation: My life is infused with magic and beauty. I need only to close my eyes and open them once again to remind myself of what is most important in the Universe.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Revisiting the Past

The Nature's Secret Whispers newsletter will return with a new, inspired and – hopefully – inspiring post on or around September 28th. Until then, please feel free to read other posts in the archives.
Photograph: "Remembering..." by P. Grodecki


Welcome to September! For me, the beginning of September has always felt like a beginning to a new year, with children in many parts of the world returning to school, and I remember excitedly and enthusiastically looking forward to going back to the classroom. Somehow, this time has always retained that particular quality, in my life. Having only recently completed my last term as a grad student, I will not be returning to school in September. However, the same childish excitement lingers on, filling me with renewed fervor, a hope for something new. As a child, I remember feeling as though time dragged on for ever and that I would never get older, and yet, at times, I very much wished that I could speed up the days and move faster into the future. A few years later, I discovered the beauty of the present moment, and haven't wanted to move since.


For a reason I cannot explain, September often brings back memories of my childhood. Perhaps it's the rainy autumn weather that always gets me feeling nostalgic and brings back flashes of the past. I am not certain about these reasons; nevertheless, after travelling back to the past and reviewing my life eighteen to twenty years ago, and comparing it to the place in which I am today, I recharge my inspiration as I realize that the lessons I learned long ago have helped to create the person I am today. And for that, I am grateful.


How often do you review the past as it applies to your life? This week, I invite you to join me in comfortably reminiscing about the past and reviewing how far we have come. You may wish to think about the past two years, seven years, or twenty years, depending on your comfort level and the places and times to which you wish to venture. Some memories may be incredibly pleasant, while others may be slightly more challenging to revisit. However, please remember that you are in control of where you wish to go and that you are always welcome to return back to the grace of the present moment. Please follow your intuition with the depth to which you wish to travel and the neighbourhoods you would like to visit. Enjoy this activity and revel in the beauty of time and its changing, evolving nature on this physical plane. Although it may seem, especially when we experience sadness in our lives, that time appears to have come to a standstill and that nothing could ever change, this exercise may remind us that nothing could be farther from the truth. Following this experience, please take the time to return to the present moment and feel its safety. You may wish to journal about your impressions from this exercise, and you are welcome to return to this exercise if and when you wish.


And of course, although we cannot change the past, we can create the future in which we want to live tomorrow, a month from now, and many years from now. Rejoice in the present moment while envisioning that best outcome for any situation in which you may find yourself today. The experiences of the past make us stronger, more positive and more empowered co-creators of our future.


Affirmation: My past, present, and future are always safe. My life is a beautiful experience, in all directions of time.


Wishing you a wonderful first week of September! Here is to another beautiful season!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Harvesting Our Memories

Photograph: 'A Nighttime Visitor' by P. Grodecki

As the last days of this year's summer in Canada are approaching, I can feel the change in the air. People are slowly migrating away from the beach and into department stores, to shop for back-to-school items. The contradiction is incredible, as we all wish to be prepared for the first days of September and the new, more structured schedule, and yet, we strive to hang on tightly to the summer memories, unwilling to let them go. A similar pattern is happening in my garden, as a few tomatoes have already ripened and have been picked for delicious salads and snacks, while others are still clinging tightly to the vine, adorned in a protective shade of green.


I often feel that we rush from one season into another without stopping to truly cherish the passing season and saying a proper goodbye to the days that have passed. We wish to be prepared for the future, for the days to come, but in our preparations, we forget to stop to enjoy the present moment while harvesting our memories. While it is very important to prepare for the days ahead, let us remember that this moment is more precious than any other time, because it is all that we have right now. So, let us cherish this moment and create memories for the future while at the same time, reflecting on the days that have passed and making note of our best experiences from the past few months.


For this week's exercise, you may write in a journal your answers to the following questions, or discuss the answers with your family members or friends with whom you have spent a significant amount of time this season. What were a few of the highlights of the season? Did you go away to an interesting place? Perhaps you enjoyed simply spending time on the patio with your friends, or, if you live in Australia, you may have enjoyed a ski getaway with your family. What were your favourite memories, from the past two or three months, which you wish to cherish?


It might also be a good idea to review the season's photographs while answering these questions, and enjoy a few laughs in the process. You may even wish to create a scrapbook to commemorate the highlights of your experiences.


Harvest your most precious moments and write down your memories so you may review them in a few months, when you search for something to put a smile on your face. And please remember that this moment is precious and that we create our own memories. So, make the best memories you can and enjoy every single day. Let it be the best day of your life.


Enjoy the harvest season!

Affirmation: I can harvest my memories at any time and store them on shelves in the kitchen on my life in order to enjoy them when I long to cherish their sweetness.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Implementing the Law of Attraction in Our Lives

Photograph: "Spread Your Wings and Soar Higher" by P. Grodecki



In the past couple of years, the Law of Attraction has become a popular buzz topic. People speak of The Secret and many have even started to refer to the Law of Attraction as 'The Secret.' However, along with the groups of people who rave about the Law of Attraction and how, by practising positive thinking, they were able to improve their lives, other groups criticize it, saying that "The Secret doesn't work." I believe that many people have a flawed understanding of the Law of Attraction and all that it entails. Many seem to think that, by holding a specific wish and thinking that it will come true, one day, they will wake up and that for which they wish will materialize in front of them. It's no wonder so many people are disappointed with this idea of the Law of Attraction and decide it might be easier to revert to negative thought or a passive attitude. The Law of Attraction is an incredibly powerful force. The following is my take of the meaning of the Law of Attraction and how we can implement it in our lives.

Most of us don't have the kind of luck that allows us to make a wish, close our eyes, snap our fingers, and when we open our eyes, see that our lives have changed and that we have all for which we wished. Instead, it is important for us to guide every single thought that we have in the direction in which we wish for it to be projected. If we constantly worry about not having enough of something, we focus our thoughts on the lack of something, rather than on how much of that something we already have in our lives. When we worry about not having enough, we live in a vibration of fear, and as many of us have already discovered, nothing good can ever be born out of fear. Instead, when we allow ourselves to let go of all traces of fear-based thoughts and concentrate our entire existence on abundance, we attract even more abundance.

The following is the formula that I utilize in my work with the Law of Attraction. Over time, this will become natural and it will not be necessary to remind yourself of the steps or to ‘think only about what you want.’

1) By focusing on how much of something we already have, and by being truly happy with the present moment and living in its grace, knowing that all is as it is meant to be, we direct our thoughts in a direction that allows us to attract more of what we already feel we have in our lives. Think about people who say that they never win anything or who consider themselves unlucky. It really does seem that bad luck follows them everywhere they go, and when someone is afraid of having bad luck and is waiting for disaster to strike at any minute, is it really a surprise that they attract precisely that which they fear?

By focusing only of the good things we already are blessed to have in our lives and truly feeling the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, it becomes natural for us to find joy in the smallest things in our lives, to follow our passions and wish with pure, good intentions for the highest good of all involved. That is when the Law of Attraction naturally begins to work for us and by living in a happy vibration of abundance, we only attract to us what is welcome in this vibration.

2) By visualizing ourselves already having all for which we wish and being grateful for our blessings, we allow the outcome to manifest. When we feel convinced that our dreams will come true and when we do not allow any lower frequencies to distort our focused thinking, we allow our dreams to come alive. So, remember: no ifs or buts! Truly feel yourself already having what you want to have.

3) Take action and facilitate the Universe in bringing to us what we wish to have in our lives. Think about how much help we can provide the Universe when we get up and start to make things happen, instead of simply sitting there and waiting for good luck to visit us. Remember that it is not enough to simply think and wish. Actions are also very important. When we take steps toward making our wishes come true, we become active participants and co-create with the Universe.

4) It is important to be aware of every single incident in our lives and what brought it to be. Remember that no event in our lives is ever separated from another event. One moment flows into the next and all our thoughts and actions inform one another. Hence, it is important to be consistent in our practice and regard it as a meditative exercise to which it is important to commit. With consistent practice and keen observation of all the details in our lives, we can become increasingly mindful of the work of the Law of Attraction in our lives. As with all other lessons in our lives, we can learn from our experiences and become better at working with this gift that is available to us at all times.

5) Keeping an open-mind is a must! It is important to remember that the Universe works in unpredictable ways and that although we are active co-creators of our lives, it is also necessary for us to sit back and observe the Divine works of the Universe. We need to continue to wish for the best while giving ourselves the opportunity to move with the flow and trust that all is working out in our favour, for the highest good of all involved. Remember that the outcome may not always manifest the way we may expect for it to manifest. However, when we loosen the reigns and allow the Universe to have control of the ultimate outcome of the situation, all the while thinking only about that which we want to see happen and living every moment in the abundance of the outcome, then all will work out for the best.

This week, I invite you to try to utilize the above formula in your life. However, I must also warn you that one week is often not enough to drastically change our thought patterns and outlook on life. However, each day brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal. Like many other transformational projects, this takes great commitment, consistent practice, will power, and faith.

As you observe the benefits of the Law of Attraction in your life, it is very helpful to record your progress in a journal. Most importantly, enjoy the process!

Affirmation: I work with the Law of Attraction and the Law of Attraction works for me.

Until next time, have a beautiful week!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Looking Back as Inspiration for Planning Ahead

Photograph: 'In Progress', by P. Grodecki


To me, it seems as though January was just two months ago and that only recently I was making a list of New Year's resolutions for 2008. The other day, I suddenly realized that it's already August. At the beginning of August, I also celebrate my birthday, and this year, I decided to review my personal year and to think about my achievements and accomplishments in the past year. I found the process of reviewing the past year to be quite effective, as it reminds me of my goals and allows me to consider whether those goals are still applicable to my life today. After all, plenty can change over just a few short months, let alone a year.

Instead of reviewing the entire year after it had ended, we can also take some quiet time and review our progress at different points throughout the year in order to determine whether we are on track with our goals. It also allows us to think about how much we have changed since we first set those goals and whether the same goals are still applicable to our lives today. Eight months after the start of 2008, this may be a good time for such a review!

This week, if you wish, please join me in the following exercise:

Review – Mentally review the goals that you set in the first few days of January this year. Alternatively, if you have been keeping a journal for some time, you may copy these goals out of the journal. Please list the goals from January 2008 in your journal or on a sheet of paper.

Track – Ask yourself about how far you have come with each goal that you had set. Record this progress.

Analyze – Analyze each goal that you had set and take some time to think about and record the factors that had contributed to the success of your progress. Please also consider the factors that may have hindered some of your plans. What or who inspired you to continue working toward meeting your goals? In what ways were you inspired? Why do you believe certain goals were not met? Perhaps you may discover during this process that the reason you had abandoned some of the goals that you had set is because those goals no longer suit who you are as a person. It may also be the case that you are holding on to certain fears or are worried about the results of your wishes and dreams. This particular part of the exercise requires us to be honest with ourselves about these reasons. Please ask yourself to take an honest look at your goals and the progress you have made. However, I ask that you please take your time with this exercise and do not attempt to rush to find the answers to these questions. It's important to be gentle with ourselves while exercising honesty.

Plan – Toward what goals do you wish to continue to work? What goals no longer serve you? What goals do you believe you can accomplish within the next five months, before the end of the year? How do you intend to accomplish these goals? Again, this exercise requires us to be honest with ourselves about how much we can accomplish, realistically. However, this exercise also gives us a soft nudge to take our goals to the next level and to see whether we think we can accomplish more than we thought we could accomplish before. I like to think of this part of the exercise as a game, a friendly challenge to myself.


Keep this list and review it again when you are ready to review, track, and analyze your goals and plan and set new goals. You may wish to repeat this process in the first few days of 2009, or you may wish to do it sooner. What I enjoy about this exercise is its continuity. Think about how fascinating it would be to review a five-year-old list that continues and keeps growing and changing along with us! We can learn plenty about ourselves from such lists.

So, why wait for a birthday or the end of one year and the beginning of another? Now is a perfect time to review our progress and adjust our plan accordingly. When January 2009 rolls in, we may feel more in control of our goals and be ready to make a new list and revise the old list yet again, taking responsibility for our progress and remembering that we learn and grow along with our lists. Enjoy reviewing, tracking, analyzing, and planning!

Affirmation: I celebrate each day and remember that today's beginning is symbolic, as it represents my personal growth and new opportunities for further progress. I review, track, analyze, plan, and enjoy each moment!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Allowing Ourselves to Drift


Photograph: "Waiting for a Princess" by P. Grodecki


This past weekend, I was watching one of my favourite movies, Roman Holiday, when I was inspired to write this post. In the movie, Princess Ann (played by Audrey Hepburn), frustrated by her monotonous and strict royal lifestyle, escapes from her room, leaving behind her royal duties, and spends the day doing everything she has always wished to do, in Rome. On a whim, Princess Ann steps into a barber shop and, confidently, asks the hairdresser to chop off her long locks (this results in Audrey Hepburn’s famous short haircut, of course), and then proceeds to eat gelato on the Spanish Steps, drink champagne on the patio of a sidewalk cafĂ©, drive a Vespa around the city, which leads to her being picked up by the police, and experiences many other amusing and Romantic adventures on her day ‘off.’ Truly, throughout the movie, the transformation of Princess Ann, the sheltered girl, into a confident young woman is remarkable and the joy that comes over her face is contagious.


Perhaps I may have inspired you, with my description, to watch the movie. However, that was not my main intention. I found myself wondering about the last time I did something completely out of the ordinary for me, took a risk and made the most of my decision. When was the last time you did something that was considered out of character for you? Do you remember how that felt? Perhaps you may have been nervous but also excited about what was taking place? You may have regretted the decision. However, I am certain that your decision to pursue something that was out of character for you also shaped your personality as it is today and you were affected by the entire experience.

When we make a choice – and most often that choice is spontaneous – to pursue something unusual, we allow ourselves to step outside of our protective shell. We allow ourselves, then, to be immersed in an adventure. We loosen our reigns and drift along the stream, all the while enjoying the scenery and paying closer attention to all the details, as the experience is so new and so extraordinary for us. For some, this unusual experience could involve a major leap, but this does not have to be so. This experience could involve a haircut appointment during which we allow the hairdresser to do what he or she wishes with our hair, or a choice to pick a direction and follow the road, to see where it will lead, without a predetermined destination.

Sometimes, we are not the ones who make the decision to experience something different. In fact, even when we believe that we are well protected when we perform the same routine each day, surprises are inevitable and it is up to us whether we are willing to roll with the experiences or will try our best to hang on tight to what we know. Sometimes, it pays to let go of that which we know and, instead, to allow ourselves to drift with the flow. As a matter of fact, in Roman Holiday, Princess Ann herself admits that she only wished to escape from her room for a couple of hours, but because of a sedative that she was given, she falls asleep on the street, which leads to her adventure. Instead of crying for help and longing to return to the life she knows, she seizes the opportunity and enjoys every moment of it. This leads me to another question: Are you like Princess Ann, the adventurous explorer who enriches her life thanks to her extraordinary experiences?


I suppose for most of us, the answer to this question would depend on the particular experience and circumstances in which we would find ourselves. However, this week, I propose the following exercise. Do one thing new and adventurous. This does not have to be a highly unusual act. If you wish to play it safe, please do so! But simply try to do something in a different way. This may even be as simple as wearing an outfit the style of which does not suit your usual choice of clothing. What have you always wished to do but weren’t brave enough to try? Perhaps you have always wished to learn to bake an apple pie. What better time is there than now? Have you always wished to learn to swim? Well, summer is a beautiful time of the year for that activity. The ideas are limitless, but please do follow your intuition with what you truly wish to try, and please acknowledge the limits that you are willing to explore; step carefully outside of your comfort zone and take one step at a time. Enjoy every moment!


I would love to read your thoughts about what you have always wished to do but do not feel ready to try? If you will pursue this exercise, I would also enjoy reading about your experiences and what you gained. Please feel free to leave a comment under this post, or send an e-mail to naturessecretwhispers@gmail.com



Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lessons from the World Outside the City

Photograph: "Whispers of Wisdom" by P. Grodecki


There are many lessons to be learned from Mother Nature and her children, her creations. By observing animals and birds in their natural environments, following their movements and noticing their behaviours, we may begin to see patterns, similarities, and differences between the lives we live and those of the fauna. We may also begin to understand the importance of moving and growing organically along with Nature.

I truly enjoy camping and view the activity as an adventure, an opportunity to escape the busy city and live a simpler life, if even for only a few days. When I leave the city, I also leave my watch at home, to forget about time as defined by the 12-hour clock. In the morning, the sound that wakes me from a deep sleep is the singing of the birds, and it’s a pleasure to step outside the tent and breathe deeply, inhaling the freshness and beauty that surrounds me. The forest is alive and the trees move their branches softly, whispering, “Good morning.” The agenda for the day is to relax and marvel at all the magnificence with which I have been blessed. Even dinner preparation above the open fire is a challenge and a real pleasure. At night, after dinner, to warm up in the darkness of the woods, we can sit by the crackling fire while listening to the stillness all around and the sound of the hooting of an owl somewhere nearby. Shortly after the sun sets, after looking at the stars, it is only natural to retire back to the tent and rest until the morning. After all, what more is there to do at that time?

Think, for a minute, about how different that pace is from that of the Monday to Friday nine-to-five lifestyle. We often stay awake until late into the night, ignoring our tiredness just to watch television or read. While camping, we come a little closer to experiencing the everyday life of animals, many of whom – save for the nocturnal animals – wake up with the sun as it rises, work diligently during the day at what they truly care about, taking care to ensure their personal wellbeing and that of their loved ones. And after a busy day, they go to sleep before nightfall. This pace of life feels natural as it flows in harmony.

If you have a chance in the near future, try to get away from the city, if even for just a day – regardless of the weather! However, even if it is not possible for you to drive away from the city, even a day at a park is enough to get close to Nature. If you live outside the city, you may already be very closely familiar with the wonderful lessons that Nature presents to us each day. All we need to do is be open to receiving its messages.

Next time you are on a camping trip or enjoying a day at a park, take some time to relax, breathe deeply, and simply be aware of the glory of Nature all around you. Allow yourself to bask in its beauty and take this gift back with you when you return home. Enjoy!

Affirmation: I bask in the beauty of Nature and remain open to its messages and blessings.



Friday, July 18, 2008

What inspires you?


Photograph: "Inspiration Out of a Hat" by P. Grodecki


To allow ourselves to fully experience the innate creative force that flows through us, we need to allow ourselves to feel inspired. Inspiration and creativity can never be separated from us, because they are the very elements that contribute to our overall makeup, as spiritual beings living a human existence in a physical body. However, we often hear people claim that they don’t have a single creative bone in their body. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth.


We apply creativity in everything we do and everywhere we go. Nevertheless, we can become more aware of this truth when we make the decision to become and remain inspired, allowing ourselves to feel inspiration and creativity at our very core, infusing every breath, every movement, every action. Sources of inspiration are everywhere around us, and within us. It is up to us to allow ourselves to open our senses and align ourselves with their vibrational energy in order to step back into and move with the creative flow.



We can take steps to move into alignment with the inspirational flow by identifying what inspires us in our individual lives. Start by asking yourself what it is that you most enjoy doing. This could be something that you had not done in a long time, or something that you do every day. What makes you truly, perfectly happy? For some, this could be a refreshing walk in the rain, waking up early to watch the sunrise, listening to beautiful music, playing an instrument, or even simply laughing with a good friend.


In your journal, or on a sheet of paper, make a list of what makes you happy, and call it your List of Inspirations. I could bet that simply reading the list will bring wonderful warmth into your heart and a wide smile will form on your face. You can take this exercise to the next step by creating a second list by writing down how each of the inspirations that you had identified in the first list makes you feel. Think about whether the people who or things that inspire you also lead you to think and/or act in creative ways. Write freely, without questioning your feelings or thoughts. Simply go with the flow. You may find that simply by performing this exercise, you will experience a beautiful flow of creativity rushing through you, pouring out through your pen, and forming words on the paper.


This exercise is the embodiment of our inspired and inspiring selves. Please remember that when we live an inspired existence, we also – naturally – inspire others. Review these two lists as often as you like, to remind yourself of your inspired and inspiring creative essence. You are a beautiful being, so shine your light and go with the creative flow!

I would also appreciate and enjoy reading your List of Inspirations, if you would like to share it with me. Please feel free to include your list by leaving a comment after this post, or send me an e-mail, if you do not wish for your list to be published for other readers to see. In exchange, I will share a small portion of my personal List of Inspirations with you:

dancing, barefoot, on dew-covered grass early in the morning

walking in the rain

singing

dancing

sitting on the grss while listening to the singing of the birds and the rustling of the leaves on trees around me

drinking tea with my loved ones

relaxing by the fireplace on a cold winter evening

journalling

playing with crafts – cross stitching, knitting, scrapbooking

storytelling

reading good, inspirational literature

travelling to beautiful places

spending time with animals, and especially with my two cats

meditating

feeling Love everywhere around me and within everyone I meet

blessing everyone I meet

driving through the countryside

fairy tales

rainbows

butterflies

animals

children

sunshine

autumn

daydreaming

Affirmation: I am a creative, inspired and inspiring being.


Have a relaxing weekend and another wonder-filled week! Many blessings!



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quiet Times


Photograph: "Enjoying a Peaceful Moment" by P. Grodecki

Sometimes as we travel along our personal journey of learning and growing, we may feel as though we have reached a plateau. Life may seem to have become uneventful and even boring. At such times, it's not unusual for us to start searching for reasons behind the plateau that we experience. We start to feel as though something is not right in our lives because everything suddenly seems to have come to a standstill. We search for a scapegoat, for something – or someone – to blame. Many times, we end up blaming ourselves. However, these quiet times are often a blessing, and if we take some time to acknowledge it as such and allow ourselves to sit with the experience, we may discover that the quiet time has been granted to us as a gift that may even lead to a major breakthrough in our personal growth and development. Thus, as the co-creators of our future, we can also take this opportunity to play an active role in co-creating our future in order to reap the greatest rewards.


Life is never truly uneventful, and time never comes to a standstill. We are constantly learning and growing, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. Much of our growth is deeper than we can comprehend at this time. An intricate 'net' is being built at this very moment, comprised of our knowledge, experiences, beliefs, and expectations. This net will become more and more prominent in the future, after a large enough portion has been weaved and we have reached a certain level at which the net may make its existence known to us. Certainly, it can also become a 'safety net' for us, providing support for us in the future. It is up to us whether we wish to allow it to become a support mechanism of sorts.


Among the things in our lives that remain constant is deep peace, and it is up to us to find and get to know this peace, making the most of it. The quiet periods in our lives provide us with an opportunity to delve deeper into our being and discover peace. Through such contemplation, we may even be able to uncover an astounding amount of information about ourselves and our very being.


So, an experience that may feel as a plateau is never truly a plateau. Instead, we may wish to make an effort to enjoy the quiet times in our lives and remember that during those times, we continue to experience the organic growing process that accompanies our personal development. During the quiet times, it is best to let go of the attempt to have control over each and every experience in our lives and to simply relax and let ourselves to go with the flow while allowing the deeper forces within us to continue building a net weaved of positive reinforcement and only the strongest materials. In the future, this net will assist us as we witness the outcome of this quiet period, and we will be grateful for having allowed ourselves to let go and move along with the dynamic flow.


Affirmation: I let go and move with the flow, allowing it to carry me forward into wonderful new experiences. I know that my life is ever-changing and I assist the Universe in the co-creation of my life while enjoying constant peace.



Sunday, July 6, 2008

Looking Within


Photograph: 'The Light Within' by P. Grodecki


Since we are infinitely connected to All There Is, is it a truly surprising idea that we already have within us that which connects us to the rest of the Universe?


When facing a situation about which we feel the need to make an important decision, we may choose to ask other people about their opinions on the matter, in order to weigh those responses and then reach a decision that suits us. However, we may also notice that often, we discover while talking to others that we already have the answer to the question that we ask, and that we wish to hear the same answer from someone close to us. Although communication with others, especially in challenging situations, is important, we may often underestimate our own ability to answer the questions that are in our hearts, thus seeking approval from others around us when the answer is already there.


It is certainly healthy to speak with others and hear various opinions; nevertheless, it is important to never underestimate our own ability to find answers through introspection. Instead of looking for approval or confirmation from external sources, we may try to look within ourselves. When faced with a question or when feeling the need to make an important decision, we may pause and spend time in quiet contemplation, paying attention to how we feel about the situation at this particular moment. We may pay attention to our physical and emotional responses to the question, noticing whether we feel tense or relaxed, nervous or excited, and whether, ultimately, we receive a positive response from ourselves regarding that about which we ask. If you wish, you may wish to try this exercise at this time, if you are trying to make a decision or are seeking an answer to a particular question.


Sit quietly in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths and try to clear your mind of any thoughts or expectations. Ask the question that is in your heart. Next, simply pay attention to your breathing as you inhale and exhale deeply. Notice the sensations in your entire body. As thoughts drift in and out of your mind, try to pay attention to how each thought makes you feel, but do not let the thought linger. Simply let them drift and notice how you respond each time. Continue to do this until you feel ready to open your eyes and complete the meditation. Gently, open your eyes and spend a few quiet moments in the same position. You may then wish to think about the thoughts that floated in and out of your mind throughout this meditation, and you may wish to note them in your journal.


By practising this meditation exercise regularly, our ability to answer our own questions becomes better developed and, therefore, stronger, as we build intricate holistic bonds within ourselves.


Affirmation: I explore and trust my ability to find within me the answers to the questions in my heart.


Have a wonderful week!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Busy Relaxing


Photograph: Guilt-Free Pleasures by P. Grodecki


I apologize to the readers who live in the southern hemisphere, as this post centres on the summer season and, living in Canada, it's natural for me to focus on the topic of summer at this time of the year.


Summer is certainly here to stay for a while, resting comfortably, beckoning us to fully welcome the radiant warmth of the sun, allowing it to warm our hearts. As the days linger on, we start to allow ourselves more time to rest. We go about our day at a slower pace, pondering the details that we otherwise tend to dismiss in the colder months, speed-walking to escape the chill, all the while longing for indoor warmth. With the warmer days and glorious sunshine, we shift our daily patterns, listening to the call of our intuition to stay outside and enjoy this time, cherishing every moment. Nature communicates with our spirit in the most poignant, yet intricate ways, and in the summer, we are all compelled to listen to this call particularly closely, as our souls long to be enriched with the wisdom of Nature.


This is also the perfect time to allow ourselves to spend a portion of our day doing what we wish to do, instead of what we feel we have to do. After all, this is the time of vacations and getaways – a romantic time that makes everything seem almost euphoric, enchanted. I recently finished reading the book Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert (I highly recommend this book if you are searching for the perfect summer literature, for some laidback reading that stimulates the mind and spirit), in which the author uses a wonderful phrase to describe Italians as the masters of ‘il bel far niente’ – the beauty of doing nothing.


Indeed, the European lifestyle does tend to encourage extra time spent with family, over excellent food and wine; a wonderful shift occurs elsewhere in the world when the weather becomes warmer and we begin to align ourselves with these values. Instead of feeling guilty, we allow ourselves that extra bit of time to lounge on the patio with a glass of wine and a good book. Indeed, some of my favourite memories relate to sitting outside on warm evenings, with my family members or close friends, talking about nothing and simply connecting, allowing our spirits to speak their own language.


So, this week, and indeed for the next two months, allow yourself to spend more time doing what you love to do, instead of what you feel you should do. Let go of thoughts about the future or the past, and focus on the present moment. Make time to spend with your favourite people, as well as to lazy around by yourself on the patio, soaking up the sun (while wearing sunblock, of course) and enjoying the present moment. If you find it difficult to meditate formally, try to simply sit outside in the shade of a tree, and pay attention to the songs of the birds as they chirrup around you, and enjoy the rustle of the trees and the long grass. My personal favourite summer indulgence is to wake up early in the morning and walk, barefoot, on the dew-covered lawn, welcoming the new day and enjoying the whispers of Nature. Most importantly, do not feel guilty about doing something that you wish to do. Now is the perfect time to indulge. Pay attention to Nature’s communication with you. This truly is an enchanting time, and there are no limits to what we can learn, on the most profound level. Enjoy it to the maximum!

Affirmation: I bask in the warm sunlight and make time to relax and recharge. I allow Nature to enrich my soul and spirit with its infinite wisdom and I communicate with the Universe in an infinite number of ways by being one with Nature.