Today is one of the coldest days of the year. Which is exactly what Kinook, my ten year-old Akita-Chow dog likes.
This morning we took a long walk in the woods, at just a seven minutes drive up my street. The sky was pure, clear azure, and the sun was shining in all its glory, filtering down golden light through trees' branches. A couple of days ago we had freezing rain, and every tree and tree branch is still covered with a glossy film of ice. Kinook and I walked, having the whole space to ourselves to explore. We split the tasks: she explored the ground, and I, the treetops. While her wet nose was reading the snow and tree roots, my eyes stayed lifted up to the sky. The branches were glistening in the sun, looking, and in the perfect quiet stillness of the morning, sounding, like crystal chandeliers clinkering in the wind. It was a spectacular Light and Sound show.
I feel fortunate to have the time, the eyes and mind and heart and all that it takes to appreciate such beauty. December has provided me with a slow pace of contemplation.
The year, however, has started with a high-paced array of renewed activities. In January, I started exercising again, after a long break. I found my way in the fitness room, but after toying with machines for a while, I steered towards fitness classes. I discovered Zumba, the Latin fitness, and I LOVE it! With the right instructor, this is the most playful and sexy fitness I know of. I always laugh during the class, and have too much fun to realize what hard work it is.
A year ago I joined a social group, and this changed completely my Ottawa social life. Now I have one! So this year I have been partying and making up for all the years I hadn't. I have been singing karaoke, taking Cuban Salsa classes, bowling, mini golfing, camping, going to pool parties, home parties, picnic parties, you-name-it-parties. In June I went to my first camping trip in Canada. Raised my tent on my own for the first time ever! Tasted wilderness without showers. Noticed that the Sano Dai Israeli mosquito repellent does a great job repelling Canadian mosquitoes, but does nothing to deter the Great Canadian Black Fly from sinking its teeth in my flesh!
For the first four months of the year, I ran a pilot project called "The Love Workshops". The workshops were offered weekly in my Network Chiropractor's office downtown, and they covered all Love aspects from erotic love to spiritual love, passion, flirting, the masculine and feminine energies, communication skills and more. They were extremely successful, with groups size around eighteen, twenty something, sometimes thirty people. Most of the participants were members of my social group, where I advertised. My reputation went ahead of me, and they decided to nickname me the "Love Guru". I had a wonderful time with the Love workshops, and I am now working on taking them from experiment to lucrative. Stay tuned!
After half a year of having the time of my life, the ceiling fell. Seriously, and literally. In July we had some heavy rains, and an old roof leak caused part of the living room ceiling to collapse, revealing mold. Mold can be toxic, and neuro-toxic (affecting the nervous system). The bad news is that I went crazy inhaling the thing. The good news is, this was an old problem that got revealed – 'the bubble burst!- so I could solve it.
It had been quite some time that I was sensing a funny odor in the house. With a hole in the ceiling, I recognized the smell, and now it was strong and pungent. This was just what I needed to get me off my ass, and even get Jeff off his, and clean the house, and change everything I wanted to change and never did. I tore away all the carpeting in the house, and I gratefully found real hardwood floor underneath! Then, we called the Mice-Busters because we had mice infestation, and when we cleaned the basement, and disturbed them, they looked for new nests upstairs. We hired the "Humane Wildlife Control" guys, who block the entrances and install one-way exits for the little buggers. So the house becomes mice-free, and nobody gets hurt.
Mold, mice, dirt, cobwebs, you-name-it, it was there. I faced my worst nightmares. I was cleaning the house, and crying. Crying and cleaning. I felt like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. I had some help with the work, but still did a lot of ripping, tearing, lifting, carrying, moving, sweeping, mopping and painting. Reorganized the house too! Jeff's toy soldiers moved downstairs. His room is in the Marriage area of the house according to Feng-Shui. One day, after dreaming that I was violently killing Jeff, he agreed to remove the soldiers. I could feel the hostility tension leaving with every batch that returned to its box; and felt increasing affection inside. Even Jeff, who 'doesn't believe in these things' can tell the difference. Jeff has now the downstairs, where I used to teach my classes. He turned the rec (recreation) room into his den, He decorated it with his Northern art, and of course, battle scenes; the toy soldiers are doing a good job keeping us safe from basement demons J I got my upstairs office back, all mine now, and made it cozy, with a lazy-boy chair, candy dish, exotic décor, candles and incense. It's just the best place for creativity. The office is in the 'children and creativity' area of the house (Feng-Shui stuff).
The living room was the last to get fixed. In the meantime, we have a new roof (I think of the metaphor of having a new roof over my head), new ceiling and walls in the living room, new feel about the house, and even a new car (a Toyota Yaris 2008). It has certainly been a year of renewal (and renovation).
The living room has been already tested: it has amazingly pure and clear energy for my Reiki classes, and for meditation and yoga. The energy in the entire house feels light, bright and clear. I enjoy being at home, and now that the hardest work is behind me, and I recovered from the mold and stress induced craziness, I am basking in the fruit of all this work. I am very, very grateful.
In September I spent ten days in a retreat with Swami Satyam, my Kryiayoga guru from India. Ate vegan, did my practice, and I must confess that keeping up with my practice makes a difference. Kryiayoga is very powerful stuff, and I am fortunate to have found it. One of the Kryiayoga tricks is the direction of the eye gazing: up, looking ahead to a space in front of my forehead. I have noticed that when I put myself in a negative self-talk trance (in plain English, when I think bad thoughts), my eyes point down. The moment I catch myself doing it, I lift the eyes, and I snap right out of the trance. Changing the eye gazing direction changes my internal state.
November was an exhilarating month for me. On October 31st, I found out about the NaNoWriMo or "National Novel Writing Month" contest, which was starting the next day, on November 1st. I had thirty days to write a novel of at least 50,000 words – no revising or editing, just right-brain writing. Quantity, not quality. I had wanted all my life to write, and every time something seemed to be in the way. Too much of this, too little of that. Well, it is amazing what I can do when presented with a deadline. I wrote my book and had a draft of 55,000 words in 27 days! I won! Now I have a draft to complete, revise, edit and publish, plus ideas for the next books! I noticed that the more I write, the easier it gets. I 'flush' the creativity channel. I also have the feeling that writing books is like giving birth to children. The first one is the hardest, and then the next ones just pop out. I can't wait to find out!
December has been a sweet, easy month, sprinkled with snow, Hanukah candles, more parties, and shopping. I love the first snows, the virgin fluffs that crunch under my steps. It's Kinook's favourite time of the year. If in the summer she refuses to get out of the car because it's either raining, or too hot, or too scary because of fireworks and fire crackers, well, in the winter she refuses to return to the car after our walk. I call her, keep the door open for her like a valet, and this little stubborn monkey-face goes towards the opposite direction, 'cause there's yet another paw-print or pee-print she has to sniff.
In the middle of the month, I received a humongous package from Israel, filled with funky, adorable clothes. My friend Dana sent it to me, and I was in the Ninth Heaven unpacking and trying them on. Ottawa's fashion carries both a Victorian and North-American capital flavour in its signature, rendering it too austere for my taste. The Israeli fashion is nonchalant, feminine and playful; it made me both homesick and uplifted to wear clothes with 'a taste from home'.
All throughout the year I have been in touch with friends, local and overseas, thanks to technology. In November I bought a Bezek (Israeli phone company) service that gives me a local Tel Aviv phone number, so now anyone in Israel can call me at no cost! Is this good, or good? I am a people person, and I need people like I need air. Which is why I am writing this, so I can feel you closer to me, to my heart, by sharing my 2009 adventures with you.
And I wish you a New Year filled with blessings and joy of all kinds; a luminous, prosperous year for you and yours. May you grow in your human and spiritual capacity, integrally, and in the flow; and may you always know greater freedom and greater happiness. May your life be full and meaningful. I am glad you are in my life, and caring to read this. I am grateful.
Happy New Year! With lots of Love,