Monday, October 31, 2011

Ask Parvati 34: The Journey to YEM

Dear friends,

I am still settling back in from my trip to Florida for the St. Pete Yoga Festival. I will post the next Ask Parvati beginning tomorrow. But to give you a taste in the meantime, this is the question I will be answering:

Dear Parvati,
I have recently bought your YEM DVD. I really enjoy your teachings and
all the amazing information that the DVD offers. I have found the
exercises are really starting to sink into my daily life. Thank you! I
would be interested to find out a bit more about you. Would you be
wiling to share a bit more about how you came to YEM and what Yoga
means to you?


I look forward to discussing my yogic journey with you this week.





Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bonding Over Electronica

Bonding Over Electronica

I am now back from doing my show and my YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine workshops as part of the St Pete Yoga Festival in the Tampa, Florida area. It was an excellent time. I met super people and was able to be part of a new wave of conscious energy in that part of the world.

The show promoters arranged that I would meet a couple local dancers who would learn my choreography and perform with me at the festival. Five days before I was to perform, I met Lana and Kerry, two yoga teachers who were willing to be part of the show.

It took some yogic adaptability on their part to get their heads around what they had signed up for: a fully choreographed show, not free form improvised movement. Oh my! Not being trained dancers, they adjusted and rolled with the opportunity with grace and skill.

We met and worked together each day for hours. There was a lot to learn. I watched them move, understood where they were at and modified the choreography to suit their comfort level. We ended up with an excellent final product, a show that wove together a couple local yoga teachers who played the role of reptiles that transform into Disco Yoga Tantric Fairies. Fun!

They both did amazingly well at delivering with confidence and conviction. They were so good in fact that people thought they were part of my tour! Thank you Lana and Kerry for your superb contribution to the success of my show.

As Kerry's rehearsals continued on her own time at her home, her son Porter took interest in learning the moves as well. The photos and video of Porter are here below. A crystal light with intelligent luminosity, I just love that child!

As an active blogger, Kerry wrote a short piece below about her experience being part of my show. Tomorrow I will post my next entry in the Ask Parvati series.

Electronica's Inner Child
by Kerry Wills
10/22/11 @ 4PM

My son is a sucker for a synthesized beat with a dash of gold glitter. He found his heart's longing in Parvati, a Canadian performer who recently graced our little Florida town with her big show, “Yoga in the Nightclub.” In fact, I managed to land a temp job as one of her two back-up dancers. Enter Lana and Kerry as the yoga disco tantric fairies. Don't know how that happened exactly, but it's not really the point of the story.

We've been rehearsing for a week and the show is tonight. I have been listening to dance-y fabulous-ness for about three hours. Only a third of that has been me rehearsing. The other two hours have been that incessant son of mine (He's five; it's normal). If I flub my moves tonight, it will not be because I have not learned the music.

I have had quite the turn around from my mood 10 days ago upon viewing the show for the first time. My first thought was, “Who the hell do they think I am?” And then, “Who the hell are these people?” And finally, “Oh, shit!”

I can be a bit of a curmudgeon sometimes. More self-absorbed than curmudgeonly, I guess.  I mean, fun for me is spending six hours studying the anatomy of the foot. That's what I was doing right up until I watched the 'blocking videos' last week. Apparently, Lana and I were to figure out our dance moves based on these. Enter Audacity :)

Well, Lana and I spent a few days wrapping our head around this new assignment before Parvati arrived, or shall we call her 'Natamba' for our purposes here. That is her character's name in the show. She's an alien being of Cosmic Intelligence, come to Earth in human form to explore yoga. With a sense of humor, thankfully, or I might have cried after that first full rehearsal.

I respond rather well to straightforward instructions though, and Parvati has that in oodles. She's direct and tactful, which is a hard combination to nail. Somehow I've managed to learn the music, the moves and get my head in the right space for a full-on live performance in a few hours. Enter Light… my son.


Kerry's son with his improvised Natamba wig!

As I've watched him prance through our family room with his improvised head dress and costume (à la Natamba), singing and dancing to his heart's content, I found the inner child who will accompany me tonight to the performance. And that IS the point of the story.

About Kerry

Kerry Wills is certified in Dharma Yoga (Austin, TX), an approach that emphasizes mindfulness. She has also studied Ashtanga, Iyengar and Yin Yoga, and is currently enrolled in Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Course. She studies the Yoga Sutras online with AG Mohan. Kerry’s teaching style stresses breath support and functional alignment, which allows each student to feel the internal forms of poses. Awareness in each posture tends to encourage more spacious movement and breath patterns. From this perspective, asana is a tool that facilitates increasing awareness of oneself. She draws inspiration from Yogic and Buddhist philosophy, yet resonates most directly with the sciences of Psychology, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Theory (particularly the work of Steven Pinker, Oliver Sacks and Richard Dawkins). She teaches a naturalistic approach to this ancient practice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ask Parvati 33: When Are We Being Too Rational?

Dear Parvati,

I'm still having a really hard time thinking outside of the box and thinking about possible experiences. I am not happy in my current work situation but fear taking risks. I know the kind of person I am. I need to feel financially stable before I make a move. I won't throw all my money to the wind and say, "let's travel the world". But I want to travel and take courses but I need to feel like I have an interest in the travel and there is a reason why I'm there (besides just the experience). Am I being too rational about all this? Do I just need to take a plunge? That scares me to no end. Please advise.


Being rational is an impediment to the spiritual path when it squelches joy and stops us from expanding and evolving. Joy is expansive. Joy amplifies evolution, as evolution in its very nature is in alignment with the fundamental vibration of the universe, which is love. Joy is one of the things we bring when we pass from this Earth. When our body disintegrates and all matter that we thought was who we were is no longer, our spirit soars and our soul moves on to its next evolutionary phase. What is rooted in the soul are the experiences that have led us to expand. The soul is enriched by how well we have loved, how fully we have lived.

We do not take the contents of our bank account. I love the image of Alexander the Great who realized this at his deathbed and ordered a casket built for him where his hands were left open and visible. That way, during the funeral processional through the village, everyone could see that he did not bring with him any material riches. But experiences, love, laughter, travel, adventure, sharing, caring, openness, joy....  we take all those things with us. Perhaps you have noticed that with painful times, once they have passed, we often look back at them and laugh at what craziness that was. Hindsight is 20/20.

Being rational is important when we need to make practical decisions, like whether we by that new piece of clothing or pay our bills. This is very useful. Yet it sounds to me like the word "rational" may be a way you justify living in fear. Fear comes in many forms. Here it may be the fear of not getting "it right", measuring our life by an external yardstick that acts like a judge that squelches our impulses, joy and soul voice.

When we look more deeply at the "gotta get it right" voice that so many of us have in varying degrees, we can ask, get it "right" according to what? "Right" for whom? Usually this stems back to figures of authority from our childhood, teachers, parents, priests, people whose approval we wanted at the expense of our soul voice. These are the voices that keep up bound to the past and keep us living small and unhappy. We must challenge these voices to live fully.

To me, getting life right is to live it! Yes, of course, if you are 5'6" and wanted to be 6'5", no matter how much you wanted it, it is good to be rational and see that it will not be so. Or if you were to strap wings to your back and jump off a cliff, it would be good to have done all the research to see if those wings will work.

Taking courses and traveling are experiences that add value and riches to our life. They may not pay the bills right away, but they add riches to our life at a soul level which helps us live with greater joy and fulfilment. This may also contribute to bill paying down the road. Experiences help us grow, live, find out who we are. They are the things that make us expand. Hanging back and not trying things out is living in fear. It is not being rational. I have never regretted any course I  have taken. I studied architecture at university. Look at my life now. I have no regrets. Those studies made my life much richer. I feel I use those skills every day in the most creative ways. It is in part those skills that make me a good music producer and producer of shows. It is partly those skills that support me being a good healer, seeing things multidimensionally. Experience makes us richer. In that richness we see opportunities we would not otherwise see.

As an independent artist, I get the money thing. Each day I seek a balance between the rational and the intuitive. My bank account is not yet brimming full. There are months I squeak by. But I am ok with this for now, because I know I am building things that mean the world to me, that add value to my life and to the world. Pursing my music, singing, writing, producing, serving others, bring me infinite amounts of joy that a Prada purse could never in a million years. Or even a regular haircut. I let some of those "normal" priorities go because I have other priorities that to me are way more valuable.

Money does come when we follow our joy. The universe is governed by love, not fear. If you believe in God, God is love! God loves us. God wants us to be happy, fulfilled, full of joy. Or if you don't like the word God - then use the word pure consciousness or the universe or life itself. There is an intelligence that runs through everything. That intelligence is pure compassion. We are loved and supported beyond what we can imagine.

I cannot tell you if a course or traveling is right for you or not. You need to decide that. Just make sure that you do not block yourself with a limited vision of what you can offer life and what life can offer you. There is infinite possibility. What makes life fun is you can choose what you like and life will support you. We are part of a huge infrastructure of loving intelligence that is saying "Go for it! You can do it!" -- what ever it is that brings you joy.

Hope that helps in some way. Keep opening and exploring! Life is so very rich. There is a true abundance of love everywhere always.

Big hug,



PS: My next blog entry will be next Sunday with a new Ask Parvati question. Please send me your questions ( by Thursday, October 27 to have them included in the draw. In the meantime, if you haven't yet checked out the latest issue of Parvati Magazine, please do so!

PPS: My show "Natamba" at the St. Pete Yoga Festival went great!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Parvati Magazine - November 2011

Hi everyone,

This is Pranada with a quick post while Parvati is in Florida getting ready for her show this weekend.

The November 2011 issue of Parvati Magazine is now live. Please go and check it out!

From Parvati's "Letter from the Editor" article:

As the weather turns colder, the days shorten. Nature turns inward and so must we. Potentially attached to our external tendency, we can get hung up on life being a certain way. We can become habituated to fast paced living and getting things done when we want them to be. As the fall wraps its cool breeze around our lives, as the leaves turn brilliant colours and float to the ground, we are reminded of the power of letting go.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Ok. I cannot help but offer a little shameless promotion about my up and coming show. I am just too happy not to share! This is the show synopsis:
"When the reptiles invade Avalon, Natamba, disturbed from deep meditation, leaves for planet Earth. Like a ray of liquid gold light, Natamba arrives on Earth to find it riddled with interference. While on Earth, Natamba explores the meaning of Yoga: to be one with all things. By embodying I AM consciousness and by seeing Yoga everywhere, even in the nightclub, Natamba transforms the desolate world back to a lush landscape. Natamba brings to life a message of hope, interconnection, love and celebration for all we have."

Fun, huh? It is kinda sci-fi meets spirituality, Cirque du Soleil meets Madonna. For those of you who don't know, Natamba is the character I become in my shows. She is a ray of gold light that recently downloaded to Earth from a planet she calls Avalon. She embodies Yoga, that is, our true human potential as a ray of gold light. Natamba is one with light and brings to life all that she encounters.

Natamba, the word, came about as I was living in India. I was by chance repeatedly called Natamba by two men from Brazil who were living in Japan. I have no idea why they called me Natamba. The name stuck. It became a sort of alter ego that entered into my creative journal writing and imagination. Natamba was born.

Interestingly, "nat" in Sanskrit is often seen in reference to "Nataraj" referring to dance. "Amba" means Mother or Goddess. So the name means Goddess of Dance. I often hear the name embedded within the chants of the 1000 Names of the Divine Mother. One of those mantras is "Om kumara gananathambayai namah" (Salutations to Devi who is the mother of Subrahmania and Ganesh. Parvati is that Devi.)

The "Natamba" show (and all my work) supports the awakening of I AM consciousness in myself and in all beings. I have used the phrase I AM consciousness often in my blog, but what is I AM really?

I AM is the expansive experience of interconnection to all, through all, of all in each moment… pure consciousness arising. First though, must come the practice of rooting our life in the positive possibilities of being, a state in which we unequivocally know that our true nature is Love. In the positive possibilities we know and experience that we are loved in each moment, connected beyond the grasp of the limited mind to and within a vast, mysterious whole, of which we are an integral part. In this, there is a release of the impossibilities tendency to grasp, repulse, constrict and try to control the moment. In the positive possibilities we meet this moment, without resistance, and witness what is. In that space of what is, I AM arises, and so flows the expression of pure consciousness. The positive possibilities are the fertile soil for I AM consciousness to grow.

My life focus is the realization of the One. Art is a vehicle through which I express and explore this journey. My performances, including my current show Natamba, are Grace for me. They provide me with opportunities to activate, live and share the spaciousness and release I practice in sitting meditation. They provide me with a playground in which to practice non-attachment, to witness what is, to expand and share the joy of being alive.

People have asked over the years about the title of my song Yoga In the Nightclub, thinking it was about doing yoga poses in a club setting. It is not. Yoga is so much more than a series of bendy exercises for physical health. These are only an aspect of Hatha Yoga, the Yoga that awakens pure consciousness through exercises that purify the body/mind. There are many branches of Yoga, from Hatha yoga, to Karma yoga, which focuses on self-realization through selfless service, seeing the love-light energy within all things, especially those in need. Yoga is a vast life science that explores and reveals to us our true selves, beyond the grasp of our limited ego and personal will.

My shows and music celebrate the non-duality of life, that we are indeed expressions of the divine. Through song, lights, sound and theatrical elements, we are brought through a journey of transformation, beginning in the desolate, interference ridden landscape of isolation and despair, to the lush expansion of Avalonian consciousness flowering on Earth. We begin to see the possibility that yoga is everywhere: each moment, be it in a nightclub or in a meditation hall. Each moment provides us with seeds to awaken to who we truly are.

This is a word I use quite a bit in context of the show. I understand that it can be confused with other folklore words of the same name that may conjure up images of Sir Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
For me, this word references a place that existed in co-creation with Nature. Avalonians would be a group of beings who remember our inherent state of oneness with creation. Perhaps, some time long, long ago, Avalonians were in communication with humans. Perhaps there was a time Avalon was invaded, hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the gap between Nature and humans grew.
There are people on the planet now I would call Avalonians, those who remember the potency of this subtle and immense interconnection with Nature. With the influx of industrialization and the subsequent increase of greed, there is no doubt that Nature is suffering and so are the Avalonians and our connection with Nature. In denser energies, we lose the ability to experience the power of subtlety.
Natamba is from Avalon and embodies this Nature co-creative intelligence. She reminds us that we are part of it all, not separate.

So I invite your creative imagination to spark. Perhaps, contemplate the way in which you are Avalonian, like Natamba, connected to Nature, one with all. When we remember Avalon, we find heaven here on Earth.

Happy sparkling,

PS: The next issue of Parvati Magazine will go live tonight or tomorrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Life of Charity


I am about to head down to St. Petersburg, Florida where I will be performing to headline the St Pete Yoga Festival. So think of me next Saturday night, October 22nd, and send lots of happy thoughts of fun and delight. I will be sending you the very same. The following day, I will be teaching a YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine workshop, then a full day workshop that week.

Performing is a great joy of mine, sharing the love I have for music, singing through a vibrant array of colours, movement and sounds. I am happy with my show and thoroughly enjoy it. I can't wait to share the new costumes with you. They are stellar! (Big thank you to Sunanda for that!)

Throughout the week, I will be in rehearsal with dancers/yoginis I will meet there. I have never met them before, let alone worked with them. They have been reviewing the choreography for my show, which we will go over and weave together this week, in preparation for the big night. So this week will be full of rehearsals for me, directing, blocking, coming up with alternate choreography, supporting technical lighting work and art directing. Then, on the night, I let all that go and step into the role of the artist, embody my character Natamba and perform. The life of an independent artist involves wearing many hats!

This show is a fundraiser for Embracing The World. Embracing the World is a not-for-profit international collective of charities founded by renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, also lovingly known simply as Amma, or Mother.

Embracing the World exists to help alleviate the burden of the world's poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs - food, shelter, education, healthcare and livelihood - wherever and whenever possible. The organization is founded on the belief that these needs are fundamental human rights, and that it is the responsibility of each of us to strive to ensure that one day every human being can live in dignity, safety, security and peace. The organization acknowledges that everyone - rich or poor - has the power to make a difference in the life of another. No selfless gesture is insignificant. Rather, it is selfless actions that hold the key to true peace - peace in the individual, peace in the community, and peace among diverse cultures, nations and faiths. For me, it is a true honour to support this remarkable, inspired organization.

Volunteer work and actions done with no desire for reward form the foundation of spiritual practice. We have all heard, when we give we receive. It is a popular saying because it is true. For spiritual aspirants, one of the quickest ways to realize the divine is through karma yoga, the practice of selfless service.

If you wish to overcome the interference energy of wanting and target it at its root, practice karma yoga. When you redirect your energy to giving rather than getting, to serving rather than wanting, your entire biochemistry changes and begins to vibrate at a higher rate. You feel more connected and fulfilled in ways never imagined. A richness begins to grow deep within that banishes unhappiness, permanently.

If you have not already, participate in your local food banks, shelters, old age homes and hospitals. Volunteer and get involved. Do it just because it shakes things up and asks you to look at life differently. There is nothing like volunteering to ward off complacency. You can also participate in an organization like Embracing The World by sending your charitable donations. By choosing to spend your money wisely, you can give opportunities to those who are far less fortunate than we are. What you give comes back to you multifold, in ways you cannot imagine.

This week, we launch the November issue of Parvati Magazine. I will let you know here when it is up and live. Make sure you check it out. It will be your blog food while I am away performing. There are great articles from a wide range of people.

I have answered an Ask Parvati question this week, but will post it next Sunday since I will be away. Once I return from the show, I will post my next Ask Parvati blog on October 30th. So please do keep sending your questions to


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ask Parvati 32: Gratitude, The Action Of Grace - Part 4: Thanking Adversity


(Continued from Thanking Illness)

We would all love our lives to flow. Experiencing green lights along our path feels smooth and effortless and can give us a sense of being on path. Yet we all have bumps along the way at some point. We often tend to see adversity through a black and white lens: seeing obstacles and challenges as a sign of failure, or seeing them as some mysterious blessing we yet have to uncover. We can may hope to learn from our mistakes but feel unsure how. We can also believe that there are no mistakes, that all is good, in denial of our responsibility in our happenings. But what if practicing gratitude for what is, shows us something beyond these polarities?

It is my belief that we are constantly supported by a much greater whole while our consciousness goes through a process of refinement. As I explored in my last blog entries on creating our reality, what we experience is a reflection of our thoughts. So if we do not like our life, we need to change our beliefs and refine our state of consciousness.

Many people can take a downer approach and berate their life and inwardly fight what is, in some frustrated effort to change. That kind of judgemental and tense attitude will create suffering. Others may take what I would call a bit more of a denial approach and say that all that happens is ok. What if what happens is a reflection of our thoughts, and is also grace? What if what we experience mirrors back to us our tendencies - and because of that mirror we have the grace to
see it? So, what is, is both a reflection of our distortions, our erroneous perceptions, and a reflection of the love that there is for us throughout the universe. If we see what is through the lens of gratitude, we can see that we are both learning and fully supported.

When we have this grateful attitude in each moment, we can meet what is as both an opportunity to see ourselves more clearly and full of all the loving guidance we need to help us grow. Both are true. It is not balanced to say that life is a cold mirror that reflects back to us a harsh reality in which we can punitively judge our skills. Nor is it balanced to see life as a gooey, all-accepting playing field. There
is personal responsibility and guidance. There is free will and grace. Grace is always holding our capacity for free will. We must open ourselves to see it. Even when our free will moves us in a direction that causes us pain, we have an opportunity, due to grace, to see that which is as lovingly guiding us to wholeness.

My guru Amma shares a story about a man who is running along a field at full speed. He steps on a thorn and curses it, wondering why God has punished him this way. What the man does not see is the cliff he was heading towards, where he would have come to an untimely death. The thorn he curses saved his life.

When we begin to feel grateful for all that is, we meet life in its fullest expression. We see that everything is part of a greater, loving whole, supporting us both to learn and to grow as we return back to the One state of pure undivided consciousness. We are both guided and personally responsible. We are rooted in our sense of self, vital to mobilize and interact with life, and expansive to meet what is as a reflection of who we are so we may embody our fullest potential.

When we meet adversity with humility and receptivity, we can find gratitude even there. Though our feeling of gratitude, we find an internal freedom that brings us all the wealth, joy and wonder we had been seeking all along.

May your life be full of such abundance, joy and blessings.

May you feel grateful for the life you have and share your unique gifts with the world.


PS: Reminder that tomorrow is the last day for question submissions.
Please send yours to

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ask Parvati 32: Gratitude, The Action of Grace - Part 3: Thanking Illness


(Continued from It Is All Grace)

Colds. Flus. Injuries. Accidents. We have all suffered from various illnesses to varying degrees of severity. When we are met with something that challenges our health, many of us can feel irritable that our busy lives have come to a grinding halt. The illness can feel like it is in the way. Our body is no longer doing what "we" want "it" to do. We feel less in control, perhaps even powerless, and that can
bring up all sorts of deep emotions and possible spiritual awakenings. (I look at this more in depth in my blog entry Listen To Your Body Talk).

Many may choose to medicate their way through any discomfort until it has passed and they can resume their lives. There is nothing wrong with medication, as long as it is done with mindfulness, not as a means to move away from or numb our sense of personal connection, the voice of our soul. There is a time and place for everything.

If you are faced with an illness, perhaps try to thank the illness for the experience you are having. That may sound backwards, but perhaps it is not. If we give thanks for what we have, we begin to release resistance to it. When we release resistance, we let go of undue energy tied up in things that do not serve our highest good so we may return to flow. At the root of gratitude is non-resistance to what is. Gratitude is a state of receptivity. Gratitude is not born from a closed fist, a closed mind, a closed heart. When we open, we receive. When we give thanks, we feel abundant and tapped into the infinite.

Our tendency may be to push away pain and discomfort. We want it gone. It will pass eventually. What if instead of pushing, we thank the pain for the discomfort? What would happen? Does the pain or discomfort offer any wisdom? Is it simply an interference? Look again. I am quite sure that within the pain or discomfort there is guidance to your spiritual growth, the voice of your soul clamouring for your attention.

I have had many physical ups and downs over the course of my life, from the minor to very severe. Through first-hand experience, I have seen the frailty of the body, and the immense power it has. When I stopped fighting it and expecting it to do what I wanted it to do, I started to work with it. I started to see that my body offers my consciousness a direct link to Nature and helps me remain in balance
within a much greater whole. In this way, mindful connection to the body roots our spiritual evolution and keeps our ego in check.

Next time you get a cold, or are in a situation that asks you to slow down, practice seeing the situation and your body differently. Instead of resisting what is, give thanks. Give thanks for the situation so you may go deeper inside, get to know yourself better, learn to live with greater interconnection, to see this moment as grace.

I find thanking my body has become a part of my daily routine. When I do my yoga practice, I am listening to my body, not pushing. I thank the muscles for stretching. I thank my bones for bearing weight. I thank my organs for doing their work. I thank my body for being such an amazing vehicle for my spiritual journey while on Earth! Wow! I have also started to thank the very gift of breathing, the gift of
walking. These are things we take for granted. Bringing our attention to them helps us remain humble, open, honest and true.

So today, write a list of what you feel grateful for in terms of your health and physical self. If you are feeling poorly, approach your illness with gratitude rather than pushiness. Ask the illness what it is teaching you, and open to the wisdom there. You may just find a whole new you is ready to be born.

Then lie down in a quiet, uninterrupted setting. Place one hand on your tummy and one hand on your heart. Then feel your body touch back… your body is touching your hand. Feel the relationship there. Then send gratitude to your body. Allow gratitude to fill you up, like a liquid light quenching a deep soul thirst. You can sense or visualize all your various body parts in this way, such as thanking your brain, your eyes, your mouth, your heart, your lungs… You can go into as much detail as you wish. Give thanks. Receive the gratitude. Take as many opportunities as you can to sincerely thank your body for all the hard work it does… all so you may evolve while you are on this planet.

(Continued tomorrow with Thanking Adversity)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ask Parvati 32: Gratitude, the Action of Grace - Part 2: It Is All Grace


(Continued from Giving Thanks for All We Have)

I am from Montreal. In Quebec, Thanksgiving is called L'Action de
Grace, which literally means, the Act of Grace. I love that name. The
Act of Grace. Why would Thanksgiving be connected to the act of grace?
Perhaps it is that all we have in our lives is an act of grace.

We tend to think of the painful things as mistakes and the good stuff
as luck. Or perhaps we think of the stuff we like as grace, a gift
from beyond, and things we don't like as a curse. However we choose to
see the moment and understand our life, we must ask, what is grace? Do
we have any control over it? How can we amplify it? Where does it come

Grace to me is an alignment between our Nature Body (the physical,
emotional, intellectual and spiritual bodies, or sheaths that create
our aura) and the Cosmic Intelligence Body (the etheric, astral,
causal, mental and alien realms). When our Nature Body and the Cosmic
Intelligence Body align, we have usually an "a-ha" moment, where all
seems to brighten and go from monochrome to technicolour. Somehow, our
field of perception just broadened. That alignment, I call Grace.

For the most part, many of us are walking around through our days
somewhat cockeyed, feeling disconnected, wanting life to be different,
wondering why it is not. There is tremendous unhappiness in the world
and we contribute to it through our disconnected states. A milky fog
can run through our mind and seep into our day, like somehow we are
just not quite there. In essence, we are not. We are lost in wanting,
in thoughts about what could be or what was, rather than what is. We
can resist what we feel and deny the happenings in our lives so our
feelings and lives go on as they are while we look another way.

To me, the above describes a disconnect, a way in which we have not
quite rooted into our being on the Earth, tapped into the vitality of
this moment, and expanded to meet what is. If we are going to give
thanks, we need to feel connected to this moment. If we are going to
connect to this moment, then we need to look at what this moment

If this moment brings tension, see it as grace. If this moment brings
expansion, see it as grace. See all as grace. When we see all as
grace, we stop resisting and begin to expand beyond the limited
confines of our ego and tap into the vastness of pure consciousness.
We begin to remember that we are not the doers, but vehicles for the

I have explored the notion of the illusion that we are the doers in
many blog entries. It is worthy of the repeat because the habit to think of
ourselves as in control is so very deep in our psyche. We think life
is happening "to" me and we are "in control". This leads to suffering.

When we begin to realize that all is grace, we begin to feel grateful
for what is. Think about it. You breathe. You are alive. You likely
can walk, even run. You likely can wiggle your fingers and toes. What
force is keeping your body alive? Really think about that. What force?
Is it not totally amazing?!

If ever I feel a bit down, I reconnect with that thought, the profound
WOW at being here at all - alive. This life provides us with such
riches, we can oversee them so easily because we are busy wanting
something from the future or the past. We miss the here and now.

We take the simplest things for granted, but they are there only
because of grace. Today, go for a walk. Fall colours are beautiful.
Take a look more closely at the immense complexity of life, the many
layers, intricacies. What force runs through all you see? Remember,
you are a part of it all! Now please, just let that blow your mind, at
least a wee bit. In that "wow" for this moment, there is the
tremendous power of gratitude just waiting for you to breathe it all
in. Breathe it all in and know you are loved.

(Continued tomorrow with Thanking Illness)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ask Parvati 32: Gratitude, the Action of Grace - Part 1: Giving Thanks For All We Have

Dear Parvati,
I have learned that approaching circumstances with gratitude is a great catalyst for opening, transformation and healing. But sometimes it's really hard. I especially struggle to find gratitude in situations in which I perceive injustice. I also am not really all that happy with my own life. How do we feel gratitude when faced with personal dissatisfaction and with so much unrighteousness all over the world?
Thank you for this question. This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so I presume that is partly what fuelled your question. Gratitude is a key that unlocks many riches and much joy. Let us explore the notion of gratitude this week. 


This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you celebrate with a turkey, contemplate grateful thoughts or prefer to skip it all together, this celebration is a true Canadian happening that can support your spiritual awakening if you so choose.

Like in the US, Canadian Thanksgiving blends the European and Native traditions to give thanks for the harvests. But in Canada, Thanksgiving also celebrates a homecoming. In 1578, the explorer Martin Frobisher held an official ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for his safe journey through the Arctic Ocean's Northwest Passage. A year ago, I echoed Frobisher's thanks during my Thanksgiving festivities around this time, feeling grateful for my safe return from the North Pole.  

Complaining is easy. Perhaps that is why so many do it. It has an entropic force that seems to pull us along. It can even be addictive, our ego getting high on our sorry stories, feeling we deserve more, leaving us endlessly wanting. 

Thanksgiving gives us a gentle reminder to practice gratitude. Yet, many can feel there is little to be grateful for. But when we look at the immensity of the world and all the people on it, we can quickly reconsider any feelings of being hard done by. 

If you live in Canada, North America, or Europe, you are blessed with a cornucopia of opportunities. We are not war-torn countries struggling with famine, drought, brutal dictatorships or tyrannical political regimes. We have free will. We have free mobility. We have freedom of speech. We have supportive health care. We have the means to make the life we choose to have. We are immensely blessed! So if you have a hard time finding gratitude in your life, then perhaps put yourself in someone else's shoes for a moment, such as someone living in Somalia, and consider what your life would be like. 

My year living in India taught me, in part, to see this way. I was brought up in a Christian home and taught to see the needs of others, collecting for Unicef and doing volunteer work at food banks as a child. These were important teachings that created a seedbed for my personality and spiritual being to blossom. But the reality of the blessings of my life did not hit home until I was living in the midst of tremendous poverty. 

When I was around people who had very little, I was shown the capacity to love. My inspiration to love did not spontaneously spring forth from my inner being, but grew in awe from experiencing the selflessness from others. I was living in a small village in Rajasthan, in the Northern part of India. It was amazing to see how people with so little would still have the sense to give. Whomever I was with, I was offered what food they had. If there was enough food in a meal for six hungry mouths, then they would divide what they had into seven to accommodate me. Even though people had so little, there was a feeling of internal space, and ultimately, wealth.

Watching the poor village women taught me about taking care of my body. We can take our physical selves for granted. We can bathe when we want to, buy whatever cleaning products we want, go to the beauty salon, buy new clothes, etc…Yet often fashion trends in wealthy countries can glamorize grunge styles, unwashed hair, unkempt clothes, tattered presence. Amazingly, in the tiny village in India, even the very poorest of women would wash their clothes and iron their saris. If they could not afford gold or silver jewelry, they would wear plastic bangles. If they could not afford fancy hair clips, they would keep clean, tidy hair and find a simple pin or flower to embellish their style. There was a sense of dignity and self-respect that I found mesmerizing and noble. Though a single life there was cheaply valued with mortality rates high, immense poverty, illness and tremendous political corruption, there was a sense of meeting the day with all they had to the best of their abilities. 

Of course, there is diversity everywhere. I mean not to make sweeping generalizations about cultures. I simply share what I witnessed, that perhaps having a lot is not a prerequisite to feelings of gratitude. 

It is possible that our wealth breeds complacency. Tempted by manufacturing abundance, we may want more and forget to feel contented with what we have. If we were not able to have more, due to our circumstance, would we still want? Or would we find a way to feel happy with what we have? Have we fallen prey to cultural greed?

From my experience, abundance comes from the feeling of enough, not from feeling not enough. If we want to feel fulfilled, we need to begin to practice gratitude for what we have. If we are going around saying, "I am not enough. I don't have enough. There is not enough…" consciously or unconsciously, we are in effect creating that reality, the reality of not enough. Is it any surprise then that we feel unfulfilled?

If we begin to meet this moment as it is, with all its colours, dark and light, we begin to see possibility in our lives. We let go of wanting things to be other than they are, and start to feel rooted, vital and expansive in this moment now. It is there that we find happiness. It is there we find abundance. It is there we find gratitude. When we feel grateful for what is, we begin to tap into a wealth of power and vitality that had been waiting all along. We were just too busy looking for fulfilment elsewhere. 

So this Thanksgiving weekend, do yourself and the world a favour. Write a list of all the things you feel grateful for, however small or large. It could be, "I like the colour of my eyes", or it could be, "I feel grateful that I paid off my credit card". Challenge yourself to go deeper than you usually would. Once you have your list, take a moment to breathe in the wealth of gratitude you already have. This is your life. Let it be one rooted in gratitude and grace. 

Throughout the week, I will be exploring in this blog the notion of gratitude in various aspect of our lives. May you feel grateful and abundant in all you do!

(Continued tomorrow with It Is All Grace)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 5, Moving Through Depression And Attracting The Love You Want

(Continued from Letting Go of Wounds)

Question: It seems I have this pending topic 12 years ago and I fell on a depression state but in that moment I didn't follow a therapy or anything. How can I deal with that and start trusting myself and a possible future partner, from a difference perspective out of ego?
It hurts so bad and I feel blackened...

My answer: If you still struggle with depression, it is best to work with a trained therapist to help support your healing. I would also suggest taking a look at the blog entries I wrote in the past specifically on depression and despair. You may find them very useful.

We are only going to attract the partner that we wish to have in our life, once we have found a true loving connection with ourself. I leave that as a single paragraph to emphasize how important this is! We are only going to attract the partner that we wish to have in our life once we have found a true loving connection to ourself. So important!

We all have to face a deep wound: feeling lack of love. It seems to be part of the human condition. The problem is, most people think that another person is going to fill their need for love. But that will never work. We look for that perfect person, but remain unfulfilled. Even if we find the person we think we wanted, eventually, we find out that it too leaves us feeling empty. The emptiness inside can only be filled by ourselves and our relationship to the Divine. No one but ourselves can do that. We must cultivate self-love in order to love.

So my sense is you must work on developing your own sense of self-worth and self-love in order to be in a lasting relationship. Relationships are not two halves making a whole. That will not last. Relationships are two whole people coming together to celebrate the gift of life. The love and respect they feel for themselves is amplified in their connection. The other one does not fill the other up. Each one already is full, ready to share, learn and grow. It is a bit like how a fruit needs to ripen before it is savoured. We must each ripen in our own way to be ready to truly love. To have a solid, loving, lasting relationship, we must learn to love ourselves.

From my experience, in a committed relationship for the past seven years (my anniversary comes up this month), even when we meet our partner with fullness, there is lots of room for growth. A partnership is like two universes coming together. Jointly, we co-create possibility. If we are not ripe in ourselves, if we are wanting, we will co-create impossibilities and pull each other down. We must be rooted in the positive possibilities of being, in order to co-create with another person in the positive possibilities. Then, when the proverbial "shit hits the fan" and we encounter conflict, we can look at the conflict from a healthy, rooted and expansive point of view, not one that threatens our very existence. If our self esteem revolves around another person loving us, we have placed our relationship to ourselves in something that is non-permanent and bound to change and cause pain. If our self-love is founded on our relationship with the Divine, then we have a rooted sense of self that is fed by the infinite. We then begin to see relationship as a spacious process of shared witnessing. We each are called in a co-creative relationship, to witness each other's fullness of being with delight and joy, and to be compassionately present when there is suffering and the opportunity for growth. That process of witnessing is the foundation of eternal love.

I go over the issue of self love and relationships in depth in the blog entry "I Suck, Please Love Me".

Thank you for this week's questions. I hope you have found my answers useful in some way.

Don't forget that today is the last day to send in your questions to be drawn by lottery for next week's blog topic. Please send in your questions to

Have a wonderful weekend,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 4, Letting Go Of Wounds

(Continued from Transcending Anger and Low Self-Esteem)

Question: How can I heal past relationships wounds and let go to start living my life? 

My answer: Everything in life has a cycle. There are seasons for flowers and season for snow. Everything plays a part of the greater whole. There is a time in our healing process for anger and a time for grief. Then there is a time for forgiveness. Only when you have had the humility to be honest with your feelings and see your part in the situation, only when you can see yourself in the other person and cultivate understanding, will you be able to let go. Letting go happens when you feel ready. When you become tired of holding on to the anger and hurt, you will let go. The other person, the situation, nothing but yourself is holding on to the hurt and anger. No one is choosing that, other than you. You cannot blame anyone. There are no victims here. When you feel you have had enough of ultimately hurting yourself and creating the feeling of hurt, will you let go. There is no judgement in what I say. It is totally natural to feel dark, painful emotions. Everything has its place and season. You will let it go, when you choose to love yourself enough to treat yourself with the love and kindness you deseve.

You may find the blog I wrote that explores childhood wounds very helpful. It is called Be A Mother to Yourself.

(Continued tomorrow with Moving through Depression and Attracting the Love You Want)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 3, Transcending Anger And Low Self-Esteem

(Continued from Faith and the Unfaithful)

Question: How can I transcend anger, lack of confidence and self esteem when I know it's the ego playing tricks in my mind? 

My answer: The process of transcending anger, lack of confidence and low self-esteem are a slow and deep process. Lifetimes slow. If his Holiness the Dalai Lama says he has transcended anger, well there is hope for us all. Yet we must remember that he is in a state of Buddha Mind. So it takes a lot of time and practice! 

My experience tells me that learning to meet life with humility is a very powerful tool to cultivate self-esteem and self-confidence. When we are willing to learn from our mistakes and painful situations, we begin to see life as a gift, as a supportive process, rather than something "happening to me". We then feel we have choice, and the ability to create a life we love. If we are willing to admit our own faults and shortcomings, we can feel more compassionate for the shortcomings of others as well. 

It is natural to feel angry when someone hurts us. But it is a reactive reflex, like you would get if you stepped on a lion's paw. Anger is not a considerate and compassionate response. If we are willing to go deeper, slowly, with mindful practice, our human tendency to have that knee-jerk reaction will subside. We will develop more God-like qualities, such as understanding, compassion, wisdom and love. 

Compassion requires the cultivation of self-love, so that we can see ourselves in others. Through the eyes of compassion, we would see the ignorance in others as the same ignorance we also have. We may not be acting it out in this moment, but we certainly have that potential. So really, we are not that different. When we see our similarities rather than our differences, forgiveness begins to happen. Then there is undemanding, connection, humility, love. Anger cannot live in that kind of environment. But this takes time and practice. It does not develop overnight.

You may find the six blog entries I posted on anger very useful. You can begin with Part One and follow the links at the end of each post to go to the next section.

(Continued tomorrow with Letting Go of Wounds)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 2, Faith And The Unfaithful

(Continued from Jealousy and the Ego)

Question: What relation is there between unfaithful and cheated on past experiences? 

My answer: I am not sure what you mean. If you mean what is the relationship between us cheating and then being cheated on, then I would say, you can call it instant karma. But I think you mean, why do we experience being cheated on? Is that some past karma of ours? I think we need to ask that question. That which happens in our life is a result of our karmas. This is a good thing. If we are willing to see life as a mirror, we will find life teaches us all we need to know.

I have had to go deeply into that question myself as I too have experienced that, as I am sure many have as well. Even recently, I experienced one of my closest friends deeply betraying me in a public setting. It was like being cheated on because we had had a sacred contract of love and trust as super close friends. In any intimate relationship, we have faith in the contract and bonds we have made. But not all people have the same relationship to their word.

People will do what they feel they must do. What they choose is not about us at all. My friend did what she felt she needed to do. At that level, her choice to be adharmic, to act in an unrighteous manner, had absolutely nothing to do with me. In fact, before she did what she did, I had asked her to reconsider, that what she was about to do was not in alignment with love. But she made her choice.

In the midst of my healing, my heart wounded, raw and cracked open, I had to ask myself, what is this experience teaching me? What is life mirroring back to me to witness, to learn and to let go? I realized that at some level, there was a play of ego I had with this friend, that was not balanced. She was in a lot of pain, and I realized that I was subtly trying to "help" her, do the work for her. I had unconsciously taken on some of her job of healing herself. That was subtly stroking my ego. She loved it. When I started to catch on that this was at play, I shared it with her. But she did not want to make the shift. She chose instead to feel victimized by my call for rebalance and personal responsibility. She did what she felt she needed to do. Again, I had nothing to do with that. 

Deeper still, I had to see that her betrayal of our bond was ultimately a gift to me to see the subtle ways I still betray myself. I was brought face to face with the questions: "Am I truly, fully, wholeheartedly in service to my soul voice?" I had to answer no, that I still sabotage myself. I still get in the way. I still betray my own magnificence. I wanted to say that the problem was all hers, but it was not. Her choice to betray our friendship was totally hers. But the gift in the experience was for me to see part of my own shadow and ultimately move beyond it. 

In the end, I feel grateful to her for being a catalyst in my growth. Sometimes life has big explosions to blow open parts of our ego that are in resistance, so we can see parts of our shadow that are in our blind spot. In that way, I feel the situation was Grace, a purification process, helping me be far more discerning with whom I share so deeply and teaching me to honour with much deeper reverence the voice of my soul.

To explore more deeply the ins and outs of relationships and how we can grow from them, I think you may find my blog entry Finding Balance In Relationships very helpful. 

(Continued tomorrow with Transcending Anger and Low Self-Esteem)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 1, Jealousy and the Ego


Dear Parvati:

I know jealous thoughts and feelings come from our ego but why, if I know that, do they hurt so badly? What part of my ego is in resistance? What relation is there between unfaithful and cheated on past experiences? How can I transcend anger, lack of confidence and self esteem when I know is ego playing tricks in my mind and these situation is unresolved? How can I heal past relationships wounds and let go to start living my life? It seems I have this pending topic 12 years ago and I fell on a depression state but in that moment I didn't follow a therapy or anything. How can I deal with that and start trusting myself and a possible future partner, from a difference perspective out of ego?? It hurts so bad and I feel blackened...

Thanks for your kind advice.

Thank you very much for your question this week, which really is a series of many questions! I will be answering them over the course of this week. I answered in a more conversational tone, like a question answer discussion, due to the many questions that were sent in here. I also reference other blog posts I wrote as this question touches upon many topics I have looked at over the past year. Please send in your questions to be answered for next week at

Relationships are complicated for most of us. We hardly have a handle on how to relate to ourselves in a healthy manner, let alone to another person. And perhaps, that is part of the problem. Because we look for fulfilment outside ourselves, we end up not focusing on developing a strong foundation for inter-personal relationships. All relationships that last must be built on a strong relationship to our self, one that is rooted in self-respect and self-love. We can only love another as well as we love ourselves. Yet even when relationships don't work out the way we had hoped, we can find healing and personal growth. Our capacity to love can deepen. If we are willing to have humility and look at what life is mirroring back to us, we may just find that the person we once loved, then hated, we can still love, in gratitude for the lessons they brought into our life. Life is constantly teaching us and supporting our evolution. All things that happen are Grace. If you have not read last week's blog topic on Creating Your Reality, you may find it helpful.


Question: I know jealous thoughts and feelings come from our ego but why, if I know that, do they hurt so badly?

My answer: Things hurt because we are attached to that which is impermanent. We want things to be exactly as we want them to be. That is our ego. But life is full of change. It is ever evolving. If we hinge our happiness on that which is impermanent, we had best be prepared to learn to let go, or we will get hurt.

We identify with things happening "to me", rather than feeling we are part of a much greater whole. We think life is someone else's doing, rather than our thoughts reflected back to us. If your thoughts hurt, then you are identifying with those thoughts as real. Jealous thoughts are just a reaction from a wounded place that does not yet see the full picture of what is. If we were to reveal the hidden mysteries in each moment, we could only love. When we feel pain, we have not yet found Truth.

If you feel jealousy, then you are feeling a lack of love. Jealousy only comes when we feel we are not enough, not loved enough, not talented enough, not good looking enough… If you are identified with not enough in any way, you will feel jealous.

Question: What part of my ego is in resistance?

My answer: I appreciate the desire to ask this question. However, I feel that to ask what part of the ego is in resistance ultimately does not matter. The question in itself come from the ego's trickiness. If you are asking this question, your attention is focused on trying to figure out the ego, and in so doing (the ego loves this!) your consciousness moves deeper towards the ego. Is it not enough to simply know it is ego, a sense of "me" that is living in disconnected defensiveness? Is that not enough to let it go? When we focus on trying to find what part of the ego is in resistance, it can be a trick, because we are focusing on the ego, the temporal, the divided, rather than focusing on the divine, the eternal, the universal.

When you find yourself focusing on trying to figure out what part of the ego is in resistance, simply pause. Be still within and embrace this moment as it is. Allow yourself to see that you are face to face with your ego. Do not try to push it away. Do not run from it. Just stay right there, with it in stillness. Breathe. Breathe more. Allow yourself to be. My sense is, in that stillness, when you shift your focus from from trying to pin or attack or conquer the ego, to a space that embraces the ego, you will find insight and possibility begin to flow. There will be awakened spaciousness. You will see, from a place of witnessing, what lies behind the jealousy and hurt. If you gently rest your focus on the space around the ego, you will allow the voice of your soul to speak. Give yourself room to feel the space around the ego. In that space is the flow of self love. That way you are present for the ego without getting entangled in it.

You may find the blog I wrote on jealousy very helpful: , especially the entry that looks at the notion of "It's happening TO me".

(Continued tomorrow with Faith and the Unfaithful)