Blog

Staying Positive: Separating Actions from Outcomes

My best friend’s partner is a lifelong activist. Her activist work career is in the environmental field but she is also an activist for important matters like urban cycling and transit, and various manifestations of human rights, dignity & equality. She is an impressive human in her commitment to beliefs, in walking her talk, and in the energy she puts into it all actions. Honestly, it’s beyond me how Continue reading “Staying Positive: Separating Actions from Outcomes”

Removing Blocks by Making Blocks

One of my occasional pursuits since making the move to full-time rural living up here in northern Grey County has been making yoga blocks. I craft them from local White Cedar which I order from the Amish sawmill just a few minutes down the road. Blocks are a common type of yoga “prop” used for support or assistance manoeuvring into, or holding, postures. Though cedar is a harder surface than cork or foam yoga blocks, it is a light enough and soft enough wood that they are still comfortable to use, easy to hold on to, and with minimal slip. Unlike other types of blocks, there is a sensory experience with the light scent of White Cedar, the sight of intricate wood grain, and the feel of real wood.

Continue reading “Removing Blocks by Making Blocks”

When admiring a painting, don’t examine the paint.

When meeting an artist, don’t look at the brush.

~Taoist saying

Since early spring I have been spending a bit of dedicated time each day with a daily reader, 365 Tao by Deng Ming-Dao. Each day, a different saying accompanied by some notes, interpretation and perspective. Some click more than others—probably dependent in part on what mindspace and soulspace I am in on a particular day—but the July 27th entry titled “Essence” I particularly liked.

Continue reading

QotMLarge fires start small. ~Smokey the Bear

A well-known adage about forest fires, and commonly seen on materials promoting outdoor fire safety, it is simple, concise and true. The vast majority of raging bush fires got their start as a stray campfire ember, a spark from machinery, a carelessly discarded cigarette butt, or perhaps even a glass lens which just happened to be positioned in such a way as to focus the sun’s rays on a tiny spot of dry duff.

Forest fires are scary and destructive. But the notion of large fires starting small can also be adeptly applied to ideas and initiatives. Continue reading

Letting go without losing control

What with being fairly recently retired (though I like to call it repurposement not retirement), living off-grid on a woodland property, always hands-on tasks to be done… plus being an introverty kinda guy anyhow… my daughter jokes that life since mid-March hasn’t looked all that different from normal for me. Continue reading “Letting go without losing control”

quotesIn the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.     ~Dave Hollis

As governments, leaders, and the broad population, begin looking ahead to the COVID world past the hump of “the curve” it might also be worthwhile to look back at the past 6-8 weeks so that we can move forward with intention. Continue reading

Can’t hug a person? Hug a tree!

IMGP1535
Neil hugging old-growth pine, Lake Kukagami

During this COVID time here in Ontario most publicly-owned natural areas, as well as those owned or managed by pseudo-public agencies like conservation authorities, are closed—some (as seen in the GTA) even signed “no trespassing” to make the point. In contrast, elsewhere a number of countries, provinces, and jurisdictions are keeping some natural spaces open in recognition of Continue reading “Can’t hug a person? Hug a tree!”

At this time, who will you choose to be?

 

ST-logo-VIBack in January a good friend put me on to an author named Margaret Wheatley, who had recently been a guest on the CBC radio programme Tapestry. What hooked me in was the author asking, “the real question now is: as things get worse and worse, what is right action? What do we do?  Then the question is: who do I choose to be? Where can I still give service? Where can I live a meaningful life?” Continue reading “At this time, who will you choose to be?”