I haven’t written here in a very long time. The last time was just after the New Year in fact. Then recently I received an e-mail from WordPress asking me to renew the domain for this blog. I had to make a decision if I should continue this blog or close it down. I have been doing what I am quick to criticize everyone else of doing: nothing. Well not nothing exactly, but I have been so busy wrapped up with work that I haven’t been doing anything else. Sound familiar?
I have been in the garden watering and weeding over the last few days. It has been hot and beautiful, perfect weather to be a gardener. I love the process of the planting and I love looking after the garden once it is done – the weeding and the watering. For me it is like meditation. There is sitting and walking meditation, could there be gardening meditation too?
I learned how to garden from my father over forty years ago as a child. I had my own garden in our backyard and he would help me plant pansies and marigolds. He showed me how to take the seedlings out of the pots, how far apart to put them, and then how to dig the hole, put the young plants in, and then fill in with the earth and finally to water them. It’s what we would do my Dad and I in the early spring after the May long weekend in sunny old Winnipeg.
I usually forgot about the garden as the summer progressed and we headed down to the lake for July and August. When I would come back after the Labour Day long weekend for school I would run down to see the garden and it would be bright with pansies and the marigolds would be strong and high. My Dad looked after it all summer for me.
My father passed away in January and I am wondering if that is why I stopped writing my blog. I think I always wrote it for him. I don’t really like to admit that, but I know it is the truth. It gave us something to talk about, something that kept us connected as we each grew older. I know that he didn’t always agree with what I wrote but he loved that I wrote. When my brothers and I were cleaning up his things we found files of everything that I had ever written. Not strange for a parent to do that, but I found it strange for my father. It was not how I thought of him: sentimental. Perhaps I didn’t know him as I thought I did, or I am more like him than I thought.
My garden this year is quite spectacular. There aren’t any pansies or marigolds, but I planted it exactly the way my Dad taught me to. I get out there on the weekends and I prune, deadhead, weed and I water. Just as I know my father did when I was down at the lake for the summer. He was there making sure it would be there for me when I came home.
I am not sure that writing this blog, or life, for that matter is any different. We need to be consistent, and work at it and give it the love and respect that it deserves. A garden, a blog, or life: You water it and weed it and give it some love. You work at it. I thought my father was showing me how to garden when I was a child, I think now that he was simply showing me how to live.
At this time of year most of us sit down to make new years resolutions for the coming year. We decide on all of the things that we are going to change, do differently and resolve to do better. Most of the time these resolutions revolve around losing weight, spending less money, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking, or changing our lifestyle or habits in some way.
What if you were given the chance to do something bigger than that?
What if you were given the opportunity to do something that you have always wanted to do?
The only requirement is that it cannot be about you, that you have to look beyond yourself and your own goals to a bigger vision. You have to change the lens on your camera from the usual one to a wide angle one that will take in all those around you and go even farther than the lens or you can see.
What if someone said to you: What do you want to do?
What would you answer?
Would you have an answer?
Or are you too wrapped up in the everyday problems that surround you to look beyond to something that you may have always wanted to do?
If you don’t ask
I don’t ask you these questions without asking them to myself first.
My answers I am sure are like yours and revolve around my small world and me. Yet that is not what the true answer is if I am honest with myself and slow down long enough to think of a real answer and not just the one I am supposed to give to pass the test.
This isn’t a test.
This is life.
And it is precious.
And it seems to be getting more and more precious each day, each week and each year.
So let’s challenge each other and ask the question now:
What do you want to do?
Now answer it.
Let’s mark our calendars for next year on this same day and time and see if we did what we said we would do.
I dare you.
What would you do?
Would you change your job?
Go back to school?
Go on a trip?
Do something that you have always wanted to do?
Better yet do it.
We all spend a lot of time here on the computer.
Since I started The Social Effect I have done a lot of things I never thought I would do.
Things I thought I was too afraid to do is the real answer.
I have learned that there really is nothing to be afraid of.
It has also taught me that if I let go of my fears then I help others.
Givers gain. Always.
That’s all we have to do.
Why be afraid of that?
Every morning I get on my iPad and I read the newspapers, go through Twitter and then check Facebook – first my personal page and then the other pages that I am administrator for, one of which is The Social Effect. About a week ago, as I was scrolling through the Newsfeed for The Social Effect I came across a post about a Flash Mob Meditation in London. I happen to be a fan of Flash Mobs. I have wanted to take part in one or stage one for years. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched the Oprah Flash Mob in Chicago or the Sound of Music Flash Mob in the train station in Belgium. I am not sure exactly what it is about them, the reference to old style musicals when everyone would break into dance, the simple joy of the onlookers, or is it just that they are a lot of fun! When I saw this idea of meditation and a flash mob THAT caught my intention. Yes, meditation is part of my life. When I am consistent it is morning and night, and when I am not, it is when it is. That simple. To put the two together seemed genius to me. I checked out the site for Med Mob Inquire Within that was the parent organization to see if there was a Meditation Flash Mob in Montreal and found there was only one in Ottawa.
It was almost before I knew it that I had typed and posted an inquiry on the MedMob page to ask how I could go about setting this up in Montreal. By noon that day I had spoken to Patrick in Austin Texas and heard his story about how the first Mediation Flash Mob had started, and by noon the next day, with Patrick’s help, I had a Facebook page and a Facebook event set up. If that does not show you the power of the Internet when we are willing to take action, I don’t know what does!
Is this not the time to create the world we choose to live in?
On July 28th, over 94 cities around the world will meditate in highly visible public spaces. The intention is to expose the world to meditation and expand positivity to every walk of life.
It is an event that is open to everyone, from every path, experienced or not. This is a movement that is happening throughout the entire world so we come together as one unified force to set the momentum for the future of our planet.
Right Here Right Now
The future of our planet?
Those are big words.
But think about it.
All over the world.
At the same time.
All of us.
Just for an hour.
And we sat in meditation.
Or as quietly as we could.
What would happen?
What would we hear?
We will never know until we do it will we?
“I can’t meditate!”
That is what I thought. But that is why they call it the practice of meditation. It is not something we perfect; it is something that we do. And when I do it, I am surprised at what I hear or learn about myself. Not always what I want to hear, and often I don’t learn anything. I always do come away a little quieter, with a little more space and patience and a lot more love for whom and what is around me. I started meditation as I went down a Buddhist path a few years ago, but mediation is part of all religions, some of our western religions just hide it better than others. Now it is part of my life and has no religious implications for me. It doesn’t need to for you either.
So why don’t you join us as we mediate on Thursday, July 28thfrom 12 to 1 in Dorchester Square in Montreal?
You aren’t in Montreal?
Then see if your city is having a Med Mob and mediate there.
There isn’t one?
You are working and can’t make it?
Sit in silence wherever you are. That works too.
Or do what I did: START ONE. Contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread the Word
Now, I have a favour to ask. I would like to get more people out to our first mediation next week. I have shared the event with all of my friends and many of those attending have done the same. If you are on Facebook, would you share it with your friends? Even if they are not in Montreal. Maybe they have a friend that is, or it will pique their interest and they will find the MedMob going on in their city.
Here is how you do it.
Right now we are at 40 Attending, 48 Maybe and 466 Awaiting Reply. It would be amazing to see 100 attending and 1000+ Awaiting Reply!
Silence is Golden
You can bring your kids or you can bring your parents, or: BRING EVERYONE! This is going to be a beautiful event that we will all remember. You are welcome to come to the entire event or for part of it. You can meditate the entire time, or you can sit and bask in the peace.
Come experience the power of collectively exuding peace and feel the impact we are having by sitting together, silently radiating happiness and grace in all directions. Simple acts can stimulate major paradigm shifts in thinking and with all we have going on in our world, I am not sure that would be a bad thing.
If you would like to join the Mediation Flash Mob Event on July 28th, click here.
If you would like to join the Montreal MedMob Facebook page, click here.
If you would like to learn more about MedMob Inquire Within, click here.