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Spring Festival of Awareness ~ April 26-28th in Naramata, B.C.

Join Nancy at the beloved Naramata Centre, April 26th-28th as part of the Spring Festival of Awareness 2013

Come to enjoy the company of women...

SUNRISE MEDITATIONS ~ Awakening the Heart – a guided heart opening meditation with song and movement (for both Women AND Men) 6:45-7:30am  BOTH Saturday and Sunday mornings

MINDFULNESS & INTIMACY (for Women Only) – Sunday am 8:45am-Noon

In a sacred circle of women, explore tools for cultivating a deeper intimacy in your relationships, beginning with yourself. Through body-based meditation, movement, artistic  and emotional expression and creative activities, you can begin to connect with your deeper knowing, awaken to unconscious patterning, and learn to let go of behaviours that no longer serve you.

When we learn to clearly and cleanly express our emotions with blame, we experience the joy of awakening to a new, more intimate relationship to self and others.

This 3 hours workshop is a “taste” of Nancy’s work with women. She will focus on group process, celebrating the community of women and having fun!

For complete details : Call Marion @ 250-497-6861 or Angele: 1-855-366-0038  Click here to visit WEBSITE

On-Site Registration starts 12pm Friday, April 26th at Columbia Hall, Naramata Centre

 

Couple Work

Nancy offers private sessions for couples at any stage of their relationship. If you have an urge for deeper intimacy and want to explore a more authentic, clear emotional expression with your partner, contact Nancy directly at 604-266-6785 or by email: nancy@mortifeetraining.com

Private sessions take place in person at Nancy’s Vancouver home or on SKYPE/Facetime.

 

 

For the men we love…

Every so often, a beautiful poem or video reaches my inbox, sent by a woman or man who feels deeply. I want to share a couple of them here as we move closer towards Valentine’s Day.

Whether it be our husband, partner, brother, uncle, co-worker or friend, we all have men in our lives who are hungry to grow and learn, just like us. May they be well to live and love as they wish and to heal with their mothers, sister and every other woman in their lives. The world is a safer place when we all strive to live the words of this prayer…

Man Prayer by Eve Ensler

 

The Awakening Man:

A Portrait Of Possibility For Humankind

by Jeff Brown

The awakening man is conscious, heartfully defined. Through his eyes, being conscious is not a cerebral construct, nor an intellectual exercise bereft of feeling. It is a felt experience, an ever-expanding awareness that moves from the heart outward. It is feeling God, not thinking God. The new man is always in process, awakening through a deepening interface with the world of feeling. He continues to strive for a more heartfelt and inclusive awareness.

The awakening man has shifted his focus from a localized and ethnocentric perspective to a world-centric framework of perception. His community is humanity. Rooted in the relational, his sense of responsibility extends well beyond his localized self and community. Where possible, his choice-making is fuelled by an expansive vision of possibility for all of humankind. Not every man for himself, but every man for humanity.


The awakening man has reverence for the divine feminine, in all her forms. He celebrates the wonder that is woman. He is respectful, honouring and gracious. He is saddened by the horrors perpetuated against women by the malevolent masculine. He holds his brothers accountable. He makes amends for his own misdeeds. He co-creates a world where all women will feel safe to move about freely, to find their voice, to actualize their inherent magnificence. He welcomes a world where women and men stand as equal partners. Humankind.

The awakening man is not externally derived. He is authentically sourced. He does not compare himself to others. He does not adapt his personality to the dictates of the crowd. He stands in his own centre, respectful of others but not defined by them. He works diligently to liberate his consciousness from the egoic ties that bind. He has become his own benchmark, valuing authenticity over image. He is the sculptor of his own reality.

The awakening man courageously works on his emotional processes. He clears his emotional debris and sheds his armour. He faces his issues and unconscious patterns heart on. He calls himself on his self-avoidant tendencies and honours the wisdom at the heart of his pain. He communicates his feelings in a way that is respectful to others. He learns and speaks the language of the heart.

The awakening man leads a purpose-full existence. He has heard the call to a deeper life. Not satisfied with survival alone, his ambitions are rooted in higher considerations- the excavation and actualization of his sacred purpose. He is energized by his purpose, not by the machinations of the unhealthy ego. He is coated in an authenticity of purpose that sees through the veils to what really matters. His purpose is his path.

The awakening man is accountable for his actions and their effects. He does not deflect responsibility. He does not sidestep or blame. He is self-admitting and emotionally honest. He admits his errors, and makes amends. He works diligently in the deep within, crafting a more clarified awareness with every lesson.

The awakening man moves from the inside out. More interested in inner expansion than outer achievement, he cultivates and honours his intuition. He explores and develops his inner geography. He adventures deep within, integrating the treasures he excavates into his way of being. He seeks congruity between his inner life and his outer manifestation.

The awakening man seeks wholeness. He is not satisfied with a fragmented way of being. He has no attachment to archaic, linear notions of masculinity. He seeks a sacred balance between the healthy masculine and the healthy feminine. He seeks an inclusive way of being, one that reflects all of his archetypal aspects.

The awakening man embodies the highest standard of integrity in his words and deeds. He makes a sustained effort to work through anything that is not in integrity within him. His framework of integrity is never convenient or self-serving. He honours his word, even at his own expense. He moves from a value system that is unwaveringly incorruptible. He recognizes that success without integrity is karmically unsound and meaningless.

The awakening man prioritizes conscious relationship. He values authentic co-creation. He honours relationship as spiritual practice. He seeks physical intimacy that is deeply vulnerable and heartfully connective. He is attuned, engaged and healthily boundaried. When relational challenges arise, he courageously works through any obstructions to intimacy. He stands in the heartfire.

The awakening man is a warrior of the heart. He has taken his clarifying sword inward, cutting away everything that is not compassionate. After too many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a benevolent warrior is being birthed at the core of his being. He honours the warrior capacity for assertiveness, but he is not arbitrarily aggressive. He moves from love and compassion.

The awakening man endeavours to live in a state of perpetual gratitude. He is grateful for the gift of life. He is grateful for those ancestors who built the foundation that his expansion relies upon. He is grateful for those who encouraged him before he could encourage himself. He is grateful for those who stand beside him in this lifetime. He knows that he does not stand alone.

The awakening man is comfortable in his vulnerability. He participates in his own revealing. He is not afraid to surrender- to reality, to love, to truth. This is not a weakened form of surrender, but one that is emblazoned with courage. It takes more courage to surrender than to numb. He openly explores his capacities for receptivity and tenderness. He does not identify these capacities as distinctly feminine, but as whole human. He is strong enough at the core to live in a vast array of emotions.

The awakening man moves through the marketplace responsibly, with a vigilant eye to the ways of the unhealthy ego. He is not opportunistic in a vacuum. He does not compete for competition’s sake. He does not accumulate for the sake of accumulation. In charting his course, he is mindful of his impact on humanity. He is empowered but he does not exploit power. He derives his power from his connection to source, not from power over others. Where possible, he shares the abundance, gifting back to humanity. He works hard to bridge the world as it is with a world of divine possibility.

The awakening man has reverence for Mother Earth. He has reverence for animals. He never imagines himself superior or distinct from the natural world. He understands the interconnected and interdependent nature of reality. He knows that if he does damage to the environment, he does damage to himself. He walks carefully, with awareness, consciousness and appreciation.

The awakening man has no claims on God. His spirituality is tolerant, inclusive, respectful. He honours all paths to God, so long they are respectful of others. He accepts those who believe, and those who don’t. He condemns any path that uses religious differences as a justification for destruction.

The awakening man brings forward many of the qualities of the healthy masculine of old. He is noble. He is responsible. He is productive. He is kind-hearted. He is protective. He is unswervingly honourable. He is down to earth. He is sturdy. He is flexible. He is realistic. He is hopeful. He is sensitive, not fragile. He is healthily egoic, not self-centred. He is both practical and heightened at the same time. He ascends with both feet on the ground. He is really here.

Jeff Brown

 

My thanks to Alison van Buuren for her thoughtfulness in sharing both of these…

 

My Winter Story…from resistance to presence

For me, winter has been a season to just “get through”. I have pined for summer’s heat long after the season of sandals and swimming has passed; all the while, the opportunity to be present to where I am and what “is” has been lost in a dream of warmer days and sunnier climes.

That all changed last week when I played tour guide to two dear friends from India who experienced our beautiful city, Vancouver, almost exclusively in the rain. It was the mystery of the Musqueam welcome pole outside the Museum of Anthropology that made me think about how such treasures last for hundreds of years throughout hundreds of winters and layers of rain, ice and snow.

So, I have made it my early New Year’s resolution to kindle a, dare I say, warmer relationship with winter this year. This photo is from our “backyard” in Naramata, the Kettle Valley rail line, a favourite route we take in every season. More walking in quiet contemplation is my winter medicine, while embracing appropriate winter footwear sooner and without resistance. I’ll let you know how it goes…

More walking in quiet contemplation is my NEW winter medicine...

Naked Option; a last resort

A few weeks ago, my stepdaughter Claire sent me the link to a deeply moving documentary called “Naked Option; a last resort”.  Recently chosen by the Athena Film Festival as one of the 10 Movies that can change the world, the film chronicles the banding together of women in Nigeria’s Niger Delta to fight against the economic, social and environmental devastation resulting from the presence of multi-national oil companies on their homeland.  After years of silent suffering and watching the efforts of the village men failing, the women threaten, as a “last resort” to strip themselves naked in public, violating one of most serious cultural taboos.

Women of the Niger Delta

Watching the film I experienced many feelings, including rage and deep grief over the suffering of these people. “How can this STILL be happening?” I cried.  (link to film below)

The next morning, during in my meditation, my mind returned to the scenes in the film. I tried to pull back and witness my reaction to the film. I’ve learned that when something on the “outside” hits me in such a powerful way, I need to use it as an opportunity to ask, “How am I like each of the characters in this drama?” Thich Nhat Hanh, in his famous poem, Please Call Me By My True Names, teaches us how all human experience weaves together into a single tapestry of the whole. All that we may consider beautiful, horrible, positive and negative, is found within oneself, if you are willing to take a look.

Please Call Me By My True Names

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow-even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: ever second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old-girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labour camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my truse names, so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

——————————————-

So, I ask myself, “How am I like that multinational oil company?”

We may try to only invest in socially responsible businesses, and yet, do I really know how the people are treated in the factory where my running shoes and cell phone are made? And how about the raw materials that go into the creation of my wonderfully fuel efficient little Prius? Is the health of someone’s drinking water being compromised?

With increasing regularity, I see pages of Facebook “complaints” about the state of the  world that leave me hungry for personal ideas and self-reflection. How can I/we be more mindful of our OWN actions and responsibility for our world? How can we expect to change if we think Monsanto’s behaviour has no relationship to our own?

The women of Nigeria have been afraid to speak up, afraid of the violence, rejection or abandonment that might result from taking a stand, especially in the face of the masculine. How are they different from women living in a world of privilege? Learning how to speak up has been one of my biggest life challenges. I can say the same for many of the woman I have worked with.

It takes courage and conviction to suspend our judgment of our self and others long enough to find our compassionate nature. As far as I can tell, it’s the only route that can lead to personal and subsequently, global, change.

So thanks, Claire, for helping to remind me to keep asking the difficult questions of myself and encouraging others to do the same.

The Naked Option- Click here to watch the film.