Because You Matter

Weaving The Threads Of Our Breast Health Through Our Whole Body Wellness

Statistics show that many people experience breast discomfort at some point in their lifetimes, and that the number of folks that will report this pain to their primary care giver, or to anyone, is quite low…why?  Perhaps because most of the time breasts don’t receive healthy attention as an important consideration in a persons overall care.  Breasts are often sexualized rather than respected, which gives many people a decreased sense of confidence in voicing any concerns they may have about their breasts.  

I want to very gently remind you that your breasts matter, that you matter; every inch of your body matters and is deserving of care and supportive attention. 

Our breasts feed and nurture life in our infants, have an extensive role in our lymphatic system and offer us wisdom and insight into our hormonal health.  When we look specifically at our breasts, they have a simple anatomical design and quite straightforward needs; however they are often neglected in the overall care of our bodies. This neglect can create; pain, discomfort, lowered self-confidence and often fear. Emotionally our breasts, with their proximity to our heart and our lungs, hold some of our most profound emotions.

There are many things we can do to optimize the  health of our breasts and our overall wellness, as well as empower ourselves, this is a step on that path

The Healthy Breast Program was created by Sat Dharam Kaur to help us to intend towards a decrease in the statistics of cancer incidence, and to realize we can be an active participant in our own health.  It was such a blessing and incredibly inspiring to move through this program in the Spring of 2020. As human beings, Sat Dharam reminds us, we have the capacity to tune into our higher consciousness and use our inner light and wisdom to guide our thoughts, words and deeds.  We have the privilege of choice.  We can choose to be stewards of our health, the health of our families, the earth, other species and future generations, or we can misuse and contaminate our bodies and the resources we’ve been so generously given.

It is an honour to weave the teachings of Debra Curties and her work with breast massage, the work of Sat Dharam Kaur, and my 20 years of learning through workshop facilitation, one – on-one care, yoga and massage with people on their breast health journey, into this empowering 6 week experiential program.

Through this process may you become a little more conscious, and walk with greater appreciation, harmony and care in your sacred body on this beautiful planet, our home.

I would like to acknowledge that as a little girl I lost one of the most important and special women in my life, my Nana, to breast cancer, this offering is created in her honour.

The next session for this 6 week Integrative program, Because You Matter, will be in March 2022.

Why should you mark your calendars?  Because you matter, your whole body matters.

This program is primarily geared towards breast health, but explores different facets of our overall health and the ways we are woven together through body, mind and spirit.  There is an accessible movement and yoga practice each week, with meditations, and a different focus at each session over the course of the full program.

What can you expect?

  • We’ll be discussing the connections between your breast health and your whole body
  • Learn and practice yoga and stretching specifically for your hormone and breast health
  • Learn self breast massage and other self care techniques you can put into practice immediately
  • Learn about different oils that help to support your breast health
  • We’ll explore the lymphatic system and how you can optimize the ways it supports you
  • Explore nutritional considerations for our breast health
  • Discuss the emotional aspects of this sacred part of our bodies
  • Connect with community in a safe way
  • Weekly check in/practice sessions
  • Support through reflective practices, exclusive weekly downloadable videos, electronic worksheets, and handouts, and a live 90 minute (optional) weekly discussion where we’ll move our bodies and dive deeper into the material.
  • Ongoing support during the 6 weeks, as well as unlimited access to Amber’s live zoom classes for the duration of the program.

Enrollment in the full program is necessary, as each week we build on the previous weeks material..

An optional in person day retreat near the course completion (with Covid safe protocols in place) – If there is space, you can also sign up for the day retreat ONLY. More details to come!

There are a maximum number of spots for each session, to maintain a safe space supporting you to show up exactly as you are.

Amber is beyond excited to be offering this very important program and she looks forward to this journey with you…..

Dates: 

October Dates: Registration Closed

Spring Registration will open January 2022

April 4, 11, 25, May 2, 9, 16 Monday mornings 10:30 – 12:00 (no class Easter Monday, April 18th)

Optional evening offering

March 10, 24, 31, April 14, 21, 28 Thursday evenings 7:00 – 8:30 pm (no class March 17th and April 7th)

Cost: $180 (+HST)  Includes all materials, downloadable practice videos, handouts and worksheets, weekly live sessions, an unlimited pass for access to Amber’s Live zoom yoga classes valid during the program dates.

Payment is due on registration to hold your spot as spaces are limited, and does not include the cost of the day retreat.

Refunds (minus 20%) available up to 7 days before program start date, and subject to a 20% admin fee.

In an effort to make this support accessible for all women, I am offering 1 full Scholarship and 1 spot at 50% off of full cost in each session (needs based). Email me at amber@suryadaya.ca for more details and to find out how to apply.

Optional day retreat: Dates TBA

Cost: $65 (+HST) for participants of full program

$95 (+HST) If space is available, for day retreat only.

Inclusivity In A Confusing Time

“I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of revolution. Whether I Like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become the woman (human) I’m meant to be next is inside my feelings now. Life is alchemy, and emotions are the fire that turns me to gold. I will continue to become only if I resist extinguishing myself a million times a day. If I can sit in the fire of my own feelings, I will keep becoming.”

Glennon Doyle

Becoming a more truer version of ourselves, perhaps that is the biggest learning of this pandemic. I have never questioned my values, my relationships, my integrity, my responsibilities, and the people and things that I love and care about, so much as during the past year. 

My whole life has pivoted, in ways that were necessary both professionally and personally.

 I listened to a video the other day, with Simon Sinek, which seemed to encapsulate exactly what I was feeling.  We can’t go back to the way things were, that is the nature of change.  Many people talk about when things go back to normal, when things are stable again – but you know the truth is, life isn’t stable.  And I wonder what the heck is normal?  In the history of my life, I  don’t think I could ever describe my life as “normal”, nor would I truthfully want to. 

We are constantly changing, and resisting that change only limits our growth.  Can we be creative in how we move with the flow of life, especially when the waters are a little extra choppy.  I urge you to look at how you respond in times of crisis in your own life, be honest with yourself here.

 Then I urge you to look at the ways you keep yourself resourced?  On a daily basis.  How do you fill yourself back up?

 People are feeling a lot of different emotions, and if you’re anything like me you are feeling not only your own often intense waves, but also the ripple effects of those around you.  My anchors keep reminding me to be a little extra gentle right now, and I want to remind you to do the same. 

One of the saddest things I am attuning to these days is all of the division.  What makes your decisions more right than anybody else?  For you, absolutely, but for them?  For them, the only person that knows their whole story and understands their reasoning – is them.  So please, maybe ask more questions, and be a little extra gentle right now. 

As I make decisions in my own life with the ways I am in service, I am really sitting with it all.  I feel we should all have the space to speak our truth, and to not face judgement for that truth – is that not how we grow stronger in ourselves, and as a community?  As humans it is my hopes we would have empathy for one another, especially during times of crises. 

I was vaccinated so I could see my mom who lives in a different city from me, probably for the last time.  I was told I would not have been able to have touched her had I not made that choice, and potentially not even be able to be with her – I knew that was how I could best reach her.  I have an autoimmune disorder which added to this picture, and made all these decisions a little more complex, none of this has been easy.

To the best of my ability I sit with all sides of this story we’re moving through globally, I certainly don’t have clarity and am not afraid to admit I don’t know what the best thing to do is, I am confused – I sense like many. 

 I often sit long and quietly with all of this.

 I have had conversations around holding in person classes again, and I started to cry as I imagined myself on one side of the fence, and people I have held safe space for over the years, people dear to my heart – on the other side of the fence because they made a different choice in alignment with who they are and what they need.

I have decided to continue with my online classes as we move through the fall and winter, a safe neutral space where people can just be held. 

I don’t want to exclude anyone, or add to the division, especially holding classes responsibly with the intention to  help us all to heal and to find our way again.  For me, I need to sit with this all a little longer, so I can move with integrity, honouring the deep respect I feel in my soul for all of you, and staying anchored with compassion regardless of what and who shows up. 

 These decisions are complicated, especially when we’re faced with hurt hearts because people, it seems these days, often don’t even want to take the time to really listen to your story.  Many are also scared to be honest and talk about being confused or decisions made – for fear of rejection. 

We all have our stories, and can we try to hear eachother, especially when it’s not comfortable  – it’s when we need it most.

Sending you so much love on your journey,

With a gentle heart

Amber

If you’d like to join me online for a class you can register by clicking on the days you’d like to join, and you can purchase class passes here

I will continue to hold some outdoor forest classes, private sessions, and move with fluidity through these changing times – the changing times of an entire life lived. I will eventually return to in person classes, but I need more time to sit with this all.

Supporting you with some soul nourishment and self-reflection, Jessica and I created our soul wisdom cards, made with love from our hearts to yours.  Find out more here.

A Time Of Balance Between Shadow and Light

As we move into the fall equinox, welcoming Autumn, we are once again given the opportunity to reflect. As our natural world embraces this time of equality between light and dark, I wonder if we can find that same honouring in our own lives.

A time of harvest and celebration as the air cools and the trees start to change colour and gradually shed their leaves.

During this season of change we take stock of how balanced we are in our own lives – does the amount you give away outweigh the amount of nourishment you take in? During this turn of the ancient wheel of the year, we can take that insight and start to prepare ourselves for the cocooning that lays ahead, as the steps we take now inform the months to come.

This is an important anchor point to feel deep gratitude for the abundance of your own life, but also to consider the parts that you are ready to shed.

I find the autumn and spring equinox very grounding, they offer us this space of transition where there is no dominance. Permission to pause and reflect on all of our amazing beautiful bits, but also to gently ponder what lays in the undergrowth. You see if you dig a little deeper over the coming months, and uncover what lives there, it often paves the way for deeper healing, deeper self understanding and in time a whole lot more of the beautiful bits to surface.

The equinox is a perfect point of integration and acknowledgement, if we are able to give ourselves permission to rest here for a while. This place of being and becoming, of longing and belonging, of light and dark, of stillness in between ……

The transition into Autumn is a time to both honour our wholeness and at the same time shed layers that inhibit our continual growth, without urgency but an innate understanding of what needs to go, honouring the mystery and the stages of transformation.

“In this stillness, I am the trees alive with singing. I am the sky everywhere at once. I am the snow and the wind bearing stories across geographies and generations. I am the light everywhere descending. I am my heart evoking drum song……. and I am time captured fully in this now. I am a traveller on a sacred journey through this one shining day.”

Richard Wagamese from his beautiful gift to all of us: Embers

Living in harmony with the natural rhythms around you, creates a profound shift in the way we approach our lives and our reciprocal relationship with the precious earth we are all a part of.

Wishing you an easeful Autumn equinox, with joy in your heart at all the abundance around you, the courage to acknowledge what can be put down, and the reverence to hold it all as sacred.

With so much love, and respect,

Amber

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards (including where to get yours). Each deck is personally bundled and filled with a special blessing for you.

I’m just preparing my fall and winter teaching schedule, starting the week after Thanksgiving, stay tuned for more information! Plus I’m super excited to launch my Self Reflective Breast Health Program, Because You Matter, later this October.

Invariant Constants – Reclaiming Our Inner Guidance

“For thousands of years sailors have used the stars to help establish their position upon the earth. We need a similar series of inner reference points to help guide us through the waves of change which are appearing on the ocean of our times. There is a name for such stars which arises out of a scientific way of depicting the world, invariant constants. Invariant constants are those qualities, processes and hidden organizing fields of life which endure throughout all changes. They are known as truth. The discovery of these invariant constants is the life task of any human being. And in the mystery of the universe, it appears that each one of us is afforded the opportunity to arrive at such constancy through our own particular journey. Stray too far from the truth and the chaos of change will tear you apart. Place your trust in it and you will find guidance though the seas may grow rough around you.”

– David La Chapelle

Taking a deep breath as I reread this important reflection, and I find no coincidence in stumbling upon this pondering at this precise moment in my life – and in our lives collectively.

As the macrocosm of our world is changing, I wonder about your microcosm experience? Like Chapelle reminds us “stray too far from the truth and the chaos of change will tear you apart.” What is your truth? Your invariant constant that keeps you anchored through times of change? I think often the sadness or the overwhelm we feel can be traced back to the inability to connect with our own inner guidance. In a world such as the one we find ourselves presently living in, I think the noise and chaos around us can easily throw us off course, and often quiets our guidance so it seems almost imperceptible.

I think perhaps our ancestors have much to teach us here, as the stars have provided constancy and guidance for thousands of years.

The more time I spend amongst the rocks, sitting at the roots of the trees, or pondering my place in this wild world while gazing up at the stars and the moon – I find I can come back to a place of belonging – not outside of myself but right here in my own heart space.

As you shift and change through this phase of your life, make sure you’re carving out at least 3 minutes a day to connect with whatever it is that anchors you.

As I close, I share a little early morning window of anchoring time

To join me for a guided breath practice click here

I’m just preparing my fall and winter teaching schedule, stay tuned for more information! Plus I’m super excited to launch my Self Reflective Breast Health Program later this October.

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards (including where to get yours). Each deck is personally bundled and filled with a special blessing for you.

If you’d like to get in touch and practice together, you can reach me at amber@suryadaya.ca

Bringing Our Hands Together At Our Heart

How are you doing?   Take a moment and listen to what arises for you today – honour the truth of how you are, in this moment, in this breath.  I don’t want a patterned answer, or one you might think I want to hear, I want to know how you truly are in this moment – on all ends of the spectrum. 

Last week I was guided to explore Anjali Mudra a little deeper by one of my own teachers, Barrie Risman.  We’ve been exploring this practice in my community classes as well. 

Anjali means “reverence” and refers to the honouring of the divinity within ourselves and all beings. When we come into Anjali mudra we are balancing all of our polarities – within and without. Joseph and Lilian Le Page remind us that this gesture directs breath, awareness and energy into the center of the chest, supporting us to turn inwards toward our authentic being and understanding on a subconscious level that we are all connected.

Anjali mudra calms the mind, reducing our stress and potentially lowering the blood pressure.  This posture helps to release tension through the shoulder blades, and supports the health of your immune system.

As we consciously bring our action oriented hands to meet at our heart center, we honour the guidance found within. When we meet ourselves here, the answers often flow clearly through us – not always easy, but the answers we seek become clear. This reminder supports us in making decisions and traveling our path with compassion and integrity.

As my hands came together this morning, I was filled with a memory. Many moons ago I studied various massage and cancer trainings with Tracy Walton, she invited us to massage as if it was the last time the person you were working with was going to be touched – or perhaps the last time you were ever going to touch someone.  She asked us to really show up and be present to not only our time massaging – but to our whole life experience – to live as if it was equally the first time and the last time you were here experiencing this moment. Arriving with curiosity and departing with reverence. The sacredness that ripples into our life experience with this perspective is beautiful. I extend this invitation to you, to be present in every moment; from exploring Anjali mudra as your hands make contact, to holding a hand, to sipping your tea, to yes, even doing the dishes. 

Sometimes I think about how my life would be without these practices, and then I return to my mat.

Please join your hands in front of your heart with your palms facing together, fingers directed up towards the sky.

Press your finger pads, the base of your fingers, and the inner and outer edges of your hands gently together

Allow a slight openness at the center of your palms.

Fanning your fingers apart from one another – honouring the space around your heart.

The outer borders of your thumbs coming into contact with your sternum ( breastbone).

Relax your shoulders back and down, with your elbows held slightly away from the body and the spine naturally aligned. 

Bring a slight nod to your head, and follow the gentle journey of your breath

I bring my hands together at my heart center, and I bow to you.

With much Love, Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice together, I offer live in person and online zoom classes, (which will be taking a break through the month of August and resuming in September) and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards.

Your Whole Self

I find so many things swimming around in my thoughts these days, I think perhaps it’s safe to say this may be the case for many of us.

As we’ve moved through this past year and a half, we’ve been given so much to reflect on, and this continues. Identifying priorities in our lives as we understand our own truth a little more, and maybe finding the courage within ourselves to speak that truth with a little more strength.

I think it’s important to also take some time for yourself to acknowledge the collective experience of grief this period in our lives has brought each of us – for lives lost, for moments missed, for forced separation from those we love. I’m really feeling that collective experience right now. This is going to look differently for each of us, but it is felt in some way by all of us. I strongly believe we need to carve out some intentional time to integrate, find out the deeper meaning for you, honour whatever emotions arise and take time to be honest with yourself with how you’re doing – deep down inside. As we transition to this next chapter of our lives, really savour heartfelt hugs, embrace your connections and nurture those relationships where you find unconditional love and reciprocity.

Time on our mats can be a profound place to reflect and to support this integration – in our bodies and through our breath.

It’s easy to get carried along with those around you if you don’t take this time, swimming in all the thoughts. For your own mental, emotional and spiritual health – take some time to ground yourself in how you’re doing now, in this moment.

This morning as I sat in meditation on one of my favorite moss covered rocks I was given the honour of listening in on 2 owls as they had an early morning conversation from the treetops. These moments are magic, and they seem to bring me back to my center without trying to get anywhere. I just seem to arrive.

The sun was rising, the mosquitoes were making themselves known, and these 2 wise beings connecting overhead. I felt like I was listening in on the most sacred of conversations. When I wended my way back down the path to my home, I came across a brilliant quote (certainly not by accident) which I kind of think we all need to hear right now, and perhaps what the owls were sharing with me this morning.

We don’t have to compromise, ever, and settle for an almost version of who we are. We do not have to conform to some external truth, some version of what someone else is telling us is better, or more right, or more holy, more human. We don’t have to fit in. Isn’t that the most blessed thing we could ever be told, or could remember? We don’t have to fit in. We don’t have to contort who we are in order to fit a mold that was never meant for us

Meggan Watterson

Don’t be afraid to have different opinions, or make different choices, especially right now – honour you, there’s only one of you, so if you’re busy being like everyone else then we lose the gift of what only you can bring into this world.

It’s also okay to take your time with your reemergence, as we begin again. Think things through for yourself right now, and lead with compassion (starting with yourself). Try to refrain from judging others for seeing the world differently than you, instead learn from one another – and lead by letting your whole self be seen.

Our world can change in the blink of an eye – so what are you waiting for?

With so much love, Amber

I just want to acknowledge the owl picture above was taken by my dear friend (and soul wisdom cards co-creator) Jessica Hibberd. The owls this morning didn’t let me see them, this was taken a few months ago.

If you’d like to practice together, I offer live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

I do want to share that I will be taking a teaching break through the month of August – time for me to integrate and renew before the autumn is upon us! My Patreon videos will continue, but apart from my Monday afternoon Carebridge classes – I will be taking a break from live online classes and resuming (online and in person) classes in September.

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards.

Love Is An Action

Today feels like a good day for a little deeper reflection. I don’t know about you, but it’s been quite a week! Take a moment and check in with yourself.

What does this breath feel like? How does your body maybe need a little extra support today? This is where we start from.

It is my hopes that within the window of  Canada Day yesterday, that perhaps there was a moment of reflection for you. Maybe not the celebration of days gone by, but perhaps some time to reflect on the trauma that the Indigenous people of this land have experienced and the pain that continues.  Holding so many in my heart these days, often it feels overwhelming, but then we take a deep breath and know just how important this safe holding is right now.

I know through my own personal commitment that supporting yourself to show up for yourself on a daily basis and doing what you know you need to support yourself in body, mind and spirit; provides stability, gives you strength, and can help build your own resilience and internal resources.

 If we can’t even take care of ourselves, how then can we support others?

I know that being called to be an active support for the injustices in our world asks this of us.  It takes strength, courage and determination to break patterns. My friend Anna Karuna Egan reminded me in an email this morning that living with wisdom and compassion is possible, her teacher taught her that Love is an Action, I think I needed this reminder today. Thank you Anna for inspiring me to share my own thoughts today.

We can act differently as we move forward, being led by love. Don’t underestimate YOUR actions, and the ripples that happen, often with the simplest and smallest of steps forward.  The more we attune to love, the more easefully it shows up in our lives as a constant, and the more we support not only ourselves, but others to heal..  

It’s important to have uncomfortable conversations and to listen to peoples stories. It’s also important to know in your heart of hearts, that you can make very different choices for yourself going forward.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With so much love,

Amber 

If you’d like to practice together, I offer live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards.

Summer Solstice Blessings

Happy Summer Solstice Blessings To YOU!!

A time we celebrate the light, our inner fire, the obstacles we’ve overcome, our community, our power, our gardens as they grow, (maybe some compassion towards the groundhogs that – yes – they live here to, deep breaths), and we commit to taking steps to nourish ourselves and one another!  

Summer Solstice is a time we also honour the tilting of the earth wrapping us in the longest day of sunlight of our calendar year.  We move through the cycles of seasons and witness our own rhythms as they ebb and flow. 

With every sunrise we’re actually offered a new beginning.

I feel like over the past year, we’ve been reminded in numerous ways, to not live with regrets, because wow, the unexpected can occur at any moment.  If you moved through our circle of balance last week, perhaps take that learning and actually make those shifts – or at least baby steps towards them. Regardless of all the confusion around us, you know you can find clarity within. Clarity of YOUR next steps in your life, but first we need to commit to our self care to have the space to hear that guidance. 

I invite you to light a candle today, and honour your connection to the light.  Get your hands and feet in the dirt, and honour your connection to the earth. Honour the goodness inside of you, and the impact you bring forth with your actions. 

Before I close today, I want to remind you of a powerful practice Sat Dharam Kaur shared with me last year at this time. Carve out a little window to consciously reflect and write out 27 visions for the life ahead of you.  Not with the intention of wanting to be somewhere you’re not, but rather as a way of celebrating all the seeds inside of you. Try to nourish them if you can, rather than pushing them deeper into the darkness.  The simpler the seeds the more profound they can actually be. Feel it in your breath and in your bones, see yourself in those moments of your life, remind yourself why life is worth living. 

Happy Solstice, from my heart to yours,

With love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice together, I offer weekly live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards, including where to purchase your own deck.

Finding Space – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Sometimes in the sleepless nights seeds are planted.   These days sleep is definitely a rare commodity,  however I’m finding if I can stop tossing and turning and resisting the consistent wake ups, I notice ideas start to flow in, priorities become obvious and greater clarity around where there needs to be space in my own life is put on centre stage in the meandering of my thoughts.

It’s really easy to hold off on all the uncomfortable things and to keep spinning our wheels, during those windows of our lives we often hold the shields a little closer to our bodies.  There comes a point when it’s imperative to create some space between your body and the protection so you can breathe and truly discover who you even are and what you need – independent of everyone else’s ideas.  I love the image of a bed of moss surrounding my own body, moving with my breath – rather than preventing it,  and being permeable to a healthy flow of what is needed both within and without.

As I write this, the birds are just waking up and the early hours of dawn are approaching.  I feel sleepy, but alive and grateful for the magic of our natural world as I gaze out my window.  I am a part of it all, and I realize that a little bit more every day.  The treasures we find outside in our natural world are also found within, but again we need the space to discover, and remember, what those are.

I just finished reading the book Big Magic (Thank you Sarah and Nicki), by Elizabeth Gilbert.  There is a quote that really resonated with me, and I’ve posted it up in my office as a daily reminder.

“…because your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here…….

It’s what we all want.

And you have treasures hidden within you – extraordinary treasures – and so do I, and so does everyone around us.  And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small”

Ahhhh I get goosebumps when I read this.  And those treasures – they may be the simplest offerings; your nourishing and simple vegetable garden, your rose bush, or your incredible cookies that you bake, the way you listen, or the one poem that needed to be written in your lifetime, the care of your children (human and nonhuman), or perhaps the strumming of your guitar played quietly for your soul and your soul alone. The simple treasures are often the most miraculous, remember that.

Elizabeth’s words remind me to stay connected with the moss, making space for my personal practice, reminding me of the magic inside of me –  and you.  It reminds me to listen with all that I am when the birds sing, to breathe fully and completely with every cycle of breath, and to open my eyes with the wonder of a child as the daffodils emerge from their winter slumber – before they fade away.

As my mom fades away, I am reminded of my brief visit here on this earth – in this body, with these unique gifts, for this cycle of my life.  It’s my choice how I show up, and the space I let myself inhabit.

I ask you to find some space to breathe between the shields life hands you, maybe imagine them as a bed of moss wrapping you in love, and offering you protection in a way that doesn’t force you to stop breathing – but rather to start being. 

Taking time to honour the earth as we celebrate Earth Day tomorrow , giving gratitude for the trees who support us to breathe.  David Attenborough reminds us the Earth will continue long after we’re gone, so let’s recommit to our care and stewardship of our home  while we’re here, as we discover our magic during our time here.

Much love. always

Amber

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly live online zoom classes , and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.

Photo by Jasmin Mori

The Kindness Of Strangers – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

My first Ontario winter living out in the country, and some days the snow doesn’t stop falling.

We make decisions sometimes; stop at the corner store, run that extra errand, or perhaps to stop and check the mail on the way home.  I decided to stop and check the mail a few short days ago.  Driving on our country roads you need to pull over to hug the edge as another car comes to pass, and sometimes that hug can pull us right in.

Within seconds, me alongside my two little companions, found ourselves in the ditch.  Over the years, and especially over the past year as we’ve navigated the pandemic, I have come to  realize how much we need eachother.  How much all of life, needs eachother.

Reciprocity.

The kindness of everyone who passed, offering their help.  A beautiful young soul drove the 15 minutes away to borrow his grandmothers tractor.  I didn’t know if he was going to come back, trusting……surrendering into the ditch, breathing with my companions………….and trusting.  When did we stop dropping everything to help one another, especially when we need it the most.  Or when did that become a rare occurence.  I have shared this story with a few friends and I am surprised at how shocked they are by the kindness of strangers.   Once upon a time, there was no question, we helped without hesitation.

Suddenly, we saw the tractor meandering along the snow covered country roads, and this incredible experience of joy bubbled up from inside of me.  Who knew a tractor could bring so much relief and so much happiness (I guess it depends on who you ask).  I turned to my 11 year old son and asked him what he thought I should do to thank this caring young man, in his wise 11 years of life he asked me

Why would you need to do anything? 

If you gave him something in return for his offer of help, he would feel obligated to do the same if he ever needed help, can’t you just say thank you and accept the help?  If you gave him money, he would feel bad asking for help if he didn’t have money.  You would want the same if the situation were reversed. 

Mom, just promise to pay it forward. 

Ahhh my eyes filled with tears, and it made me sad that in our society there are often strings attached, the simple kindness of strangers – helping eachother because it’s why we’re here – at the base of it all, how can we be of service to the greater whole, for no other reason than our innate nature to care.

I am so grateful, and will never walk away when someone has fallen.  This doesn’t have to look big, and there needn’t ever be an expectation of anything in return.  It’s why we’re here.  In community we all do our part, we bring our strengths to the table and we offer our gifts.  Those gifts are anything from knowing how to drive a tractor and having an open heart to help the lady and her 2 children as  they find themselves stuck in a ditch with no way out, to offering a love filled soup to nourish your family or your neighbour, fixing a pipe, finding a book off a shelf for someone, or writing a masterpiece as a creative expression of your soul and balm for the soul of others…….

Reciprocity; nurturing the circle of helping hands, we offer from a place of compassion and gratitude, and we learn to accept, and the circle continues.

This week I ask you to take a bit of time to ponder a few thoughts

  • How would you respond if someone needed help, a stranger?  In small and big ways?
  • How have you recieved the support of someone else’s kindness, often in unexpected ways?
  • What does community mean to you, and what do you think your offering to your community is?
  • What does reciprocity mean to you? What might that look like in your own life?
  • Consider deep gratitude and appreciation as a form of reciprocity.
  • What are you grateful for today?

I’m grateful for tractors, for a lovely young man who offered help, for the snow and the ditch that offered me this learning, and I’m grateful I live in such a special community.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts today, as I watch the snow continue to fall outside my window.

Much love

Amber

xo