Tag Archives: spirituality

Choose to Defeat the Darkness Inside

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends.  My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.

Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:

“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”

My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.

The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.

Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us.  How are you choosing?

Say a Prayer for Cecilia

ceciliaCecilia has been fighting for her life for the last couple weeks, as a result of a horrible hit and run accident.

Anyone who has had a disability as well as constant health challenges, yet at the same time is an uplifting beacon of love and friendship for others, deserves a great blessing. Cecilia, a gifted young lady who is visually impaired and a brain cancer survivor, is such a person.

I met Cecilia at the gym about 5 years ago. She was an arts and crafts volunteer, working with children at the gym where I workout. I admired her general love for my daughter and other children, including her gift for making creative little paper toys to put smiles on people’s faces (as shown above) . We became good friends, and shared about our personal health challenges. I admired the fact that she never used this as an excuse to complain or stop contributing to life.

We had been sending a text to each other every Saturday morning, just before we met up at the gym. If either of us couldn’t be there, we’d let the other know. So two weeks ago when she didn’t respond to my text and I didn’t see her at the gym, I was a bit concerned. The same thing happened the week after. I was so concerned that I tried to contact her this past Monday. No success. I knew something was wrong. I feared it was a return of her brain cancer.

On Tuesday I got the call from her dad. He told me about the horrible car accident, and the search for the driver who caused the accident and ran away from the scene. Cecilia was so badly hurt that she was on life support and in a coma for a while.  She just recently came out of the coma, and though she is unable to communicate with me, she told her dad to call me and tell me what happened.

Though she is pretty broken up, I thank God that she is alive and is stable now. She is still facing a great battle. Her dad is asking for much prayers.

I have no idea what God has planned for Cecilia or any of us. I can only hope and pray that His plans includes a healing miracle for this inspiring young lady. Please pray with me.

Sometime You Need to Acknowledge What’s In Front of You In Order To Move Forward

front cover -c-blogIt’s not easy achieving what we want; and not because of the amount of work we have to do. We struggle because we are so focused on the end product, we don’t acknowledge the gifts right in front of us.

I didn’t have the money, people resources or faith required to get the collaboration needed to finish my book. It wasn’t until I began to have faith, opened my mouth and focused my thoughts that a force beyond me interceded, and the right people came. Content, editing, art, and layout support were lovingly contributed by  Melissa, Rob, Alexis, Ashley, Ashante and Scott. I needed to acknowledge these amazing gifts and givers before taking the next step forward.

The book is finally set to be released next week! For now, I am sharing the front cover and a draft of the back cover. I would love to hear your thoughts.

back-cover=blog

Confidence in Our Health and Beauty

ellipticalYesterday I was in the gym working hard on the elliptical machine. Like a Duracell battery, I was full of energy, moving my arms and legs joyously back and forth to the positive reggae music, which was piping through my ear phones.

A guy, who I have not seen for a long time, appeared in front of my machine. With a bright and friendly smile, he said:

I haven’t seen you for a while. You must be coming at a different time. Are you completely better now?

It was a question, but he spoke as though there could be nothing but an affirmative answer. He wanted to know if my limp, and all signs of my disability, that he had seen slowly improve for several years, had finally, or almost completely, disappeared. The question, which I get quite often, triggered my uptight self, and made want to say to him:

I was well the last time you saw me and I am still well. My physical disability remains, and it may or may not go away. Yet I am in as great emotional and physical health as I could ever ask for, able-bodied or not.

My cheeky self wanted to say that, but instead my more God-centred self just smiled as I nodded my head cautiously, to indicate there was some progress, and I was happy. He lingered a minute to chit chat; then off he went , jogging away as happy as a lark.

Why did I choose to respond the way I did?

The guy meant only to be friendly, and bombarding him with my hang-ups would have been a certain buzz-killer. I am the main person that needs to know and be happy with how well I am in the moment; for it is this knowing that pulls people to me and projects a vision of wellness. I am not perfectly able-bodied and I am wonderfully well!

No Courage Needed at Camp on the Rock

cotr2This past week I was at Camp on the Rock, located at Camp Kwasind in Muskoka. I lived in the bushes with some 100 people, most of them children and youth, with a few adults over 35!

Throughout the week, adult after adult commended me on being courageous. Something special was surely happening to me, but in my head, it had nothing to do with courage; for in that place, I was a bush woman, fueled by divine energy, fearless in my country roots!

I limped joyously around the camp, up and down sometimes steep stairs and across the beautifully rugged camp grounds. I raced cane-free to meetings, to camp fire, to worship, to meals, to the beach, and to just about every corner of the camp to chase after the bustling kids assigned to my cabin. Like any able-bodied person, I tired a little, I dragged my feet sometimes, stumbled once or twice, and even staggered drunkenly when I felt lazy and intoxicated from the heat.

A girl from my cabin group, who my co-cabin leader Lizzie (Mighty Leader) and I named Joyful, got me right! She watched me grab one end of the bench we just sat on for lunch, as Mighty Leader grabbed the other end; and together we placed the bench upside down and onto the table. With her curious joy and childish sincerity, Joyful said “You’re strong!” She was right.

I felt strength, but it wasn’t my strength. It was strength wrapped in the love of another much, much, greater than me! That love was in the eyes, arms and heart of Rowena (Arouser of Greatness). She compelled me into the lake, to attempt swimming for the first time since my stroke 6 years ago. When she held on to me, I felt so strong and I could swim!When she let go of me, and my feet could not kick to hold my body up, I felt myself going down beneath the water. Courage could not save me, only the loving arms of Arouser of Greatness; she reminded me that the water had no power over me!

Later, strength again took hold of me as I placed my bottom on the dock, dropped my legs into a canoe, and eased myself into the front, with Joyful sitting behind me and Curt (Extraordinary Leader of Leaders) at the rear.   Extraordinary Leader of Leaders skilfully guided the canoe, which carried us calmly across deep waters to the beautiful little island.

A stranger held out her hand, so I could lift myself out of the canoe and step up onto the dock. I then took the hand of Beautiful (the name Mighty Leader and I gave to another of our campers). Beautiful gave me the additional strength I needed to climb to the peak of the Island. And when it was time to climb back down to the dock, Sarah (Guider of Spirit) reached her hands behind her, so I could hold-on, add my strength to hers, and follow her sure-foot, down the steep path to the dock.

There was no need or place for courage at Immanuel Baptist Church’s Camp on the Rock 2013. It gave divine strength to all it touched, and filled us with overwhelming joy and love.

Hearing the Path to the Experiences We Desire

In mystical traditions, it is one’s own readiness that makes experiences exoteric or esoteric. The secret isn’t that you’re not being told. The secret is that you’re not able to hear.

These are the words of Ram Dass. My translation:

When it seems impossible to get what you want, it is not because you are not ready, nor is it because you are not given the information you need. It’s because you are not able to hear the thoughts that tells the path to all that you desire.

I used to think ‘I cannot write as good as the many good writers out there.’ I thought this over and over again, to the extent that I could not hear the buried voice of truth inside me.

“Write,” it said! “Your words convey emotion and touch people’s hearts.”

These thoughts penetrated my ear drums. But would soon be killed by a bombardment of worrisome, insecure thinking.

Today, I spend much time alone and in silence. As a result, I can often hear the gentle whispers of encouragement, pushing me towards writing and other success tools, things which ignite excitement in my gut.

I can finally hear the words “you are love. The pen belongs in your hand.” These words have long been pounding on my deafened ears. I am finally hearing and listening.

Are you hearing and listening to the way to the experiences you desire?

Finding Good in Situations Disguised as Bad

This morning, like a brewing storm, I approached the mobility van (service for persons with disabilities), enraged that the late driver gave me only an impossible 15 minutes to get me to my yoga class.  After a long-faced, hypocritical hello, I stepped up into the van, to the sound of blasting dance music. As I placed my fuming bottom onto the back seat, I noticed the paraplegic young man, almost motionless beside the driver, in front of me, in his motorized wheelchair.

At first I didn’t take much notice of him or the pouncing music. The negative bickering in my head was so loud that it was deafening my ears and eyes to everything else. Then a voice in my head said:

“You know anger is not going to get you to the class any quicker, or lead to anything good, for that matter. Find the good in what appears to be the worst of situations.”

I then widened my lips into a smile, which then moved like a virus throughout my entire body, and perhaps even into the air beyond me.  The delicious R&B music caressed my ear drums and compelled me to rock my entire body, in my seat.

My gaze was then drawn to the young man. He was bopping his head, and stretching out his left hand as he rhythmically danced to the beat of the music. He was having a ball!

Minutes later the young man reached his destination. With just his head, he powered his chair, slowly backed it up, turned right and travelled out of the van. Afterwards, the driver told me that he is almost completely paralyzed below his neck. Yet every time he picks him up, he insists on moving himself, requests rocking loud music, and dances his head away!

Then the driver took the 407 highway, an express toll road normally not allowed, and got me to my class on time!

Vengeance and Anger Killed My Cousin

On Monday morning, I received one of the most tragic news of my life. My cousin, who I loved, and grew up with as a child, shot himself to death. I was devastated by this tragic loss, but interestingly enough, I was not too shocked.

Though I experienced him in our childhood, as a kind and loving playmate. With age, he unfortunately seemed to become visibly bitter and consumed with vengeance and anger.

He was in the U.S. Army, and I remember him saying that ‘he could not wait to be deployed, because he would get to kill people.’ The comment made me uncomfortable, but I chose to believe it was just his ‘dark’ attempt at humour. I could never have thought that if he were not in a legitimate war, where he could easily pull the trigger of his gun to release his vengeance and anger, he would turn the gun on himself.

This reminds me of part 3 of the movie, Ong-Bak. At the end of this film, A Thai warrior named Ting prepares to fight an evil leader and his army. Ting burns with vengeance and hate for this leader. Before the battle begins, Ting has a vision of the battle.  In the vision, I could see the vengeance and anger on his face, as he virtually obliterates the opposing army. However, the evil leader throws a spear, which pierces Ting’s heart through to the other side of his body. As he comes to terms with his impending demise, Ting hears the message:

I feed off the vengeance in your heart. You can never overcome me.

At that moment, he reverts from his vision. He rids himself of the hateful emotions that consumed him, and begins fighting. The look on his face is calm, un-emotional and focused on ridding the world of the evil enemy. Vengeance and anger is replaced by the strategy and skill that would lead to the ultimate defeat of his enemy.

My cousin, it seemed, could never get rid of his enemy, his anger. He vengeance fed off the anger in his heart. He never overcame it. It overcome him. I will forever miss him, still I thank him for a most powerful lesson. I just wish he didn’t have to give his life to teach it.

Sometimes Killing Is Necessary

I hate to say it, but this is how I felt after reflecting on some cruel words, from a twisted friend.  She said:

Men are visual. If I were a man, looking for a woman to date or marry, I wouldn’t look at you. These are just certain realities that you will likely have to deal with. You limp, which, to put it bluntly, does not exactly pull a man’s heart strings. You can’t wear heels, so it doesn’t matter how great a figure you may have, you can’t dress in a way that would make men notice.

With her words lurking in the back of my vulnerable mind, I stubbornly went on-line in my quest for that special guy. However, I had to do the noble thing, which meant initiating conversations about disability and what is wrong with me!

Imagine that, a man goes on-line looking for love, looking for joy, looking for what is right, and meets pain and discomfort, what is wrong! The silly thing is that I rarely experience pain and discomfort, and when I do it rarely holds me back. Even more telling, I am overflowing with joy and love, what is wonderfully right with me.

‘What is wonderfully right with me’, I said to my friend, ‘should take the focus in my introduction to others’.  Still, she bombarded my head with noise about reality, my disability, and fairness. She wouldn’t shut up. So I consulted God. It was then that I knew. She had to go!

It’s not my way, but I had to kill her! I had to kill my friend, that disheartening part of me!

With God and no bickering controlling my head, I can clearly see that I, Nudaan, am love. I am not hindered by anything, but negative perceptions of self. I will forever kill any part of me that turns off the light in me, the beauty of me. As my light shines, I share with others the beauty of every part of me, even my sometimes stubborn right leg.

My life today is not about being transparent about my flaws or changing my marital status. It’s about my eternal quest to enliven the love in me, and one way to do this is to find and kill or disable, the negative parts of me.

The Good on the Backside of Super Storm Sandy

This storm was an unfortunate, yet necessary reminder that we are prone to disasters in many ways and many places. Hurricanes, super storms, diseases, and other disasters are conditions of our life on this earth.

These tragedies are like loud speakers, shouting the love that we are to each other, the love that we need to survive. Even those of us who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away from catastrophic happenings, are engulfed by emotions of love, compassion, and hope. This is certainly great good on the backside of this pain.

Situations and times like this bring out the greatness that lives within our spirit. Here are just a few examples:

  • Republicans and democrats laid down their political weapons and armour and opened themselves up to the love, compassion and collective responsibility needed to aid the storm
    ravaged victims and the world.
  • Good Samaritans set up charging stations, so people can charge their phones. Others used their vehicles to transport stranded victim from flooded areas.
  • Across neighbourhoods,  fire-fighters, police officers, and others courageous people put out fires, as well as rescued families and individuals whose homes were being destroyed.
  • In the middle of the furious storm, nurses, emergency management teams and others, courageously evacuated critically ill infants, the elderly, and other patients from hospitals in black-out conditions, including such acts as carrying a small child, who is struggling to breathe, down pitch-black flights of stairs.

We know that such disasters such as Sandy will come again. Perhaps much worse another time. We know also that it is our good that will be our ultimate lifesaver.