Jeanine // June 1st, 2018
I was sitting on a water taxi and talking with a friend of mine. We were both travelling to Gambier Island to spend the weekend at the Lightwork Ecovillage. And in this moment, as a wave crashed across the bow of the boat, I noticed how much meditation has changed me.
In the past, a long weekend would typically mean two nights available for partying instead of one. A long weekend might mean some chores and lots of television. Maybe, if I was able to organize it – a long weekend might mean grabbing brunch with some friends.
But now? This current version of me was excited to be spending a long weekend digging a drainage ditch, meditating, checking out the extensive garden, investigating the winter pond situation, cooking delicious and healthy meals from scratch, and enjoying time with friends.
This current version of me was able to have this weekend full of all these amazing things I love, with very little space for unconscious, zone-out time. And it’s because I love myself enough to spend an entire weekend doing things I love with people I enjoy spending time with. I love myself enough to eat healthy, embrace exercise, and spend downtime watching the world around me.
Meditation has given me this great gift of an increased ability to have more of what I love in my life, and less of what I now identify as “painkillers” (rather than joy-givers!). I don’t need to binge watch an entire season of something to avoid my life and forget about the things I don’t like. I don’t need to drink large amounts of alcohol to interact with other people. I don’t need to feel lucky I shared a single meal this week with friends.
And getting off that water taxi? It felt like the life I’ve always wanted was in motion.
Krista // May 4th, 2018
Before I started meditating I was filled with anxiety. I remember saying to a friend, “I am nervous all the time.” I said it to this particular person because I looked up to him and wanted guidance. His response was, “I think most people are nervous all the time.” And that was it. There was no offer of a solution, tip, guidance, or promise of a different way. I was being told in that moment that nervousness was problematic but essential to the human experience.
Upon hearing his response my puzzler was puzzled, but I knew deep down there was more to this story. I was to keep searching until I found a new way, a different way, an alternative to constant worry, concern and stress.
And thankfully I did find it!! When I first started meditating I remember I started to feel different immediately. I was experiencing sensations in my body that I wasn’t used to. I started to feel what I was like, what life was like outside the perpetual anxiety. I had been practicing worry for 24 years and was determined to try something new!
Now, at this point in time, I have been meditating for 17 years. I feel like over those years, it has been a process of whittling down the amount of time I spend worrying. Do I still have worries? Yes! Are they there all day everyday? No! The worries are there sometimes and when they are they are much much quieter, taking up way less energy and space in my life. I continue practicing the new way, knowing with diligence, one day worry may be a distance memory of the way I used to be.
Until then I keep whittling…
Julia T. // April 1st, 2018
I saw the best shirt of my life in 1987 when I was 8.
It was a black T-shirt. The sleeves and the bottom were fringed, making it totally tough-looking. But what really intrigued me was the message on the front, in cursive font: “If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours, if it does not come back it was never meant to be.”
So intriguing! My 8-year-old brain started to play through scenarios of what this could possibly mean. If you took the leash off of a dog, and it ran away and never came back…it was not meant to be, so just suck it up? I asked my mom who didn’t seem to have a satisfactory reply. I wondered, who would wear that shirt? So hardcore.
Fast-forward 30 years to today. Would I wear that shirt? I’d have to consider it. I may need to wait another 30 years before that wisdom fully soaks in. Don’t get me wrong I like idea of fringe. But what does it mean to truly set something free?
It makes me think of a technique I learned in Lightwork Level 1 Meditation. The technique is about consciously creating what you want. In last part of the technique you use the following message, “I would like this to be manifest if it is of my highest integrity and the highest integrity for all.” You hold the intention of creating the thing you want only if it won’t harm you, or anyone else. Then you completely let go of attachment. It feels so good to let go in this way.
I remember when I first moved to Vancouver I was looking for a place to rent. I did the conscious-creating technique in meditation, including that last crucial step of letting go. That weekend my roommates and I looked at two suites. One had such a horrible stench we could barely make it through the tour. Nope. The other was lovely. Wood floors, fireplace, great location. We put in our application. And waited.
The landlord said no. Application rejected. Somebody else got that beautiful place. We were so bummed! Where would we go? Not the stench place? Noooo.
I kept having the feeling I should walk down 3rd Ave, and sure enough, there was another suite for rent on that street. A little mountain view, reasonable rent by Vancouver standards, a newly renovated kitchen. This place was great! We said, “We’ll take it!” and the landlord agreed.
A few weeks later, I walked by the beautiful place we didn’t get. I could smell the fire before I saw it. The neighbouring house had burnt to the ground and ravaged the surrounding homes, including the suite we had admired but not secured. I could see directly into the suite, as the fire had eaten right through the walls. It was shocking. I was stuck with the knowledge that I had so wished for that suite, and now I was so grateful I didn’t get it.
It was a good reminder that sometimes even though I may really want something, but there may be more than meets the eye as to why I can’t have it. I’ve learned to trust the process, and allow myself to just let go.
Tiffany // March 1st, 2018
About 10 years ago now, I moved to Vancouver from a northern Gulf Island. I was coming out of a tumultuous time; it was the end of a relationship. I was full-on soul searching and making a major course correction in my life. I was ready to let go of pretty much anything that stood in the way of finding a renewed sense of myself.
I moved to Vancouver to take the Lightwork Level 4: Transformation program. I felt hopeful about this decision and other big changes I’d made; I landed a new job and scored a great apartment, seemingly overnight.
Settling into the city felt like taking a plunge into a deep sea. It felt rattling, relentless, unfriendly and cold. I missed the green and wild of island life.
I couldn’t get over the realities of city-living, like hearing the pedestrian walk signal from my apartment, and feeling the thick concrete floor always beneath me. It was a new and different place to call home. And while I had deep sense that I would find my way, it was definitely one of the most uncomfortable times of my life.
In retrospect, I now understand the enormity of what that move represented. I was basically laying it all on the line, spiritually speaking. I needed answers to some important questions that had been plaguing me, and a way out of an unhealthy relationship pattern. I was doing major repair work, and everything in my life was changing around me. I was in the throes of an intense transformation.
At times I felt raw and vulnerable. Sometimes uneasy. Sometimes emotional. Yet simultaneously more comforted, more at peace and more free.
At some point, I realized that I was out of the woods, so to speak. And I was ready to give back. This was a wonderful shift.
Skip ahead to present time and my life feels quiet, strong and settled. I see now that it’s hard to witness one’s own transformation while it’s underway; it’s hard to know that it’s actually happening. But with commitment to a healing path, change does happen and pain is alleviated. It just takes a little while sometimes.
Now, as one of the Lightwork staff, it gives me great joy to teach meditation classes and give energy healings to others. This past year I’ve had the honour of assisting the current Level 4: Transformation students as they dive into their own self-healing journeys. What a thing, to see the process full-circle, and now be in a position to offer support. I am immensely grateful. I can’t think of anything more satisfying.
Jacqueline // January 31st, 2018
It was the end of my work day, and I needed to rush out the door to make a class. I’d been reconciling a project budget all afternoon, but the figures on the spreadsheet just weren’t adding up. The final budget was due on my boss’ desk the next morning. I felt the pressure rising up within me – I was getting irritated and upset that I couldn’t find the error.
That’s when I noticed that I was in a state of effort and resistance. So, I closed my eyes, sat back in my chair, took a deep breath, and centered myself. I grounded and shifted into a state of flow. I reminded myself that everything can be done from a state of ease or effort. I had been attempting to solve the problem using effort, and clearly it wasn’t working.
I asked myself, what if I tried again from a state of ease and flow? I let a smile grow on my face and I felt the tension leave my body. I opened my eyes and calmly gazed at the spreadsheet. I immediately saw the formula error and corrected it in seconds.
I couldn’t believe it! My own fears of failing had clouded my mind, blocking my ability to see clearly. A simple 1-minute meditation reset and I was operating from a clear place again.
Since then I regularly use a 1-minute meditation as a reset technique along with the powerful question, “What would it be like if this easy?”
Leslie Dickout // December 31st, 2017
Life in North America is designed to be busy. We are expected to fill our time
with work, friends, family, social media, travel, and a host of other activities. I
believed for a long time the fuller my life was, the richer my experience of life
was. And although I have no regrets, I recall the moments when I thought my
life was at its “richest” and still there felt like something was missing, or that I
wasn’t truly happy.
Meditation has allowed me to make room for what was missing…simplicity.
Calm. Presence. Me. Instead of filling my time with more and more, the most
fulfilling thing I do is the same meditation each day that brings me back to my
centre, to my grounding, to that quiet yet alive place that is me. It’s a kind of
fulfillment I have only dreamed of.
Experiencing life from this place has made everything I do throughout my days
that much richer. From taking in the changing leaves on the trees in autumn to
having conversations with loved ones, interactions with colleagues, or time by
myself. Being more present in each moment, and letting that be enough, has
allowed me to feel the true richness of my life.
Krista // November 30th, 2017
A few years into my meditation training, I was telling my meditation teacher about a situation that kept happening with my then-boyfriend. We kept creating the same tense situation over and over again: we would set a time and place to meet he would almost surely be late.
After I told my teacher about it, he pointed out that I couldn’t control my boyfriend (aka The BF), but I can be in charge of my response to these situations. I had been getting upset, feeling let down and letting these feelings ruin the time we had together…because he was late, I was upset and it was his fault!!
My teacher pointed out my penchant for creating situations where I would feel betrayed to ‘prove’ that men weren’t trustworthy. I would get upset, and believe it was their job to make me feel better.
Yup, true. That was painfully familiar.
My teacher told me I could choose to be unbetrayable – I could own my side of every situation, and not blame anything on anyone else. Ever. I was stoked by the challenge.
To remind myself of my new way of being, I went home and made a poster with big font stating: I AM UNBETRAYABLE!
This statement immediately reminded me of the 1990’s song Unbelievable by the British band EMF. Instead of singing the line, You’re unbelievable, Oh!, I would sing, I’m unbetrayable, Oh! Duh, duh, duh duh duh duh duh, so unbetrayable!
With my new melodic, kick-ass, personal mission statement I embarked on a weekend away with The BF. Lots of opportunity to practice my new approach. It was The BF’s job to line up the timing of our ferry travel with the bus schedule, and get us to the town of Tofino on Vancouver Island.
We got to the bus stop…and we realized we missed our connection. I. Could. Feel. My. Body. Starting. To. Freak. Out. Then I sang it…can you hear it? I’m Unbetrayable, Oh!
And I sang and sang it until I started to believe it.
Instead of going down my familiar road of feeling disgruntled, I changed my response. And you know, instead of seeing my BF as bad and wrong, I saw him for the person he was; loving, kind, patient and trying his best.
Thank goodness for spiritual teachers, personal mission statements (especially melodic ones) and the ability to choose how I respond to situations, because my then-BF is now my husband and I am so, so grateful!
Julia W. // October 31st, 2017
Lightwork meditation focuses on awareness of the human energy system to keep your body healthy and Spirit bright. Instead of focusing on watching the breath, you consciously move your energy through your energy channels and energy centres.
You still your thoughts as you move the energy throughout your body, letting go of tension and anxiety. It is an active, engaged form of meditation that can work well for anyone more used to doing rather than being.
Cathy // September 26th, 2017
I am extremely grateful to be on the journey of self-discovery and growth.
Over the summer I was taking stock of my life with some changes in mind. As I did this review, I realized that I live a very textured life. My life is rich in experiences and relationships.
Meditation has helped me get to this place. It has supported me in letting go of fear and limiting thought patterns. I have been able to open my creativity and express myself more clearly, develop more authentic relationships and simply be me.
Julia W. // September 1st, 2017
Needless to say, dating can be anxiety producing.
The smallest thing can trigger nervousness as insecurities come to the surface. Wondering if your comments were misunderstood or if your hair is sticking up. You wish you wouldn’t care what your date thinks about you…but this is super challenging when you are attracted to someone.
Meditation helps me let go of all the critical voices in my head, and reset to a state of calm and love for myself. It relaxes my body and brings a sense of peace.
From this more relaxed, self-referencing state, I can find my sense of humour again, and have a good laugh at the awkwardness and embarrassments that dating someone new can bring.