Carrying the Light of MAPS Through the Dark

The Courage To Be Your Beautiful Self:

The Legacy of Darcy Belanger

Part 1

Today I would have posted the conclusion in my four-part series on co-creation. But given the devastating news last Sunday of the sudden death of my dear friend and colleague Darcy Belanger, I will be sharing a daily recount of one of the most harrowing and transformative weeks of my life.

I don’t often share publicly the work I do on a daily basis as the founder of Parvati.org and visionary for MAPS, and as the volunteer CEO and Managing Director of our all-volunteer team. Mostly people see me as a touring musical artist and yoga teacher. But my daily work for MAPS also ranges from overarching vision, executive direction, team leadership and motivation, to project management. Since inception in 2014, I put in about 100-120 hours for MAPS every week, as a general baseline. I welcome the workload, being deeply passionate about MAPS and how it supports all life everywhere. Goodness is a tremendous motivator.

Serving MAPS has been the apogee of my life to date. It continually orients me back to gratitude, humility and non-resistance to what is. It asks me to embody the peace sanctuary that we seek to create in the world. MAPS strengthens my connection with my guiding stars of openness, readiness, and willingness to co-create, rooted in understanding our inherent interconnection.

This has been especially true this past week. I have had to continue to carry the light of MAPS through one of the darkest times for me personally and for MAPS, while trying to process the heartbreaking news that Darcy died. He was Parvati.org’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, on his way to the United Nations Environmental Assembly for MAPS via Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that crashed, with no survivors, on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

My heart has been with Darcy’s immediate family, and his extended family of friends, and the whole team at Parvati.org. And of course, with all those who have been affected by the tragic crash. It is impossible to quantify the value of a person’s life. All I know is that Darcy is missed beyond words.

Darcy was a shining light for MAPS. I had only known him for a few months when the vision to travel to the North Pole in 2010, to raise awareness of the melting polar ice, first came to me. Without hesitation, he was all in and chose to support its success in every way he could. When I realized the world needed a treaty to safeguard the Arctic Ocean to protect all life, Darcy immediately understood my vision and my passion to make MAPS a reality for the good of all. Just as Darcy trusted my knowing to see MAPS swiftly realized, I was able to trust him to implement my direction. He was my right-hand man, a force of nature with a tremendous ability to execute efficiently and with heart.

I know that MAPS is a summons from nature itself. I heard the call and I listened. Darcy attuned to it through our friendship. We all can attune to MAPS, because we are one Earth family.

I feel Darcy is still with us, now helping MAPS from the other side. In the magnitude of his sudden exit, it has felt as if he has gone supernova, his light now traveling in all directions to touch us. It is no surprise that this past week has seemed to move at the speed of light, as though I was at the crest of a luminous shockwave. It has also been a week of profound teachings in courage for myself and all of us at Parvati.org.

In honour of my dear friend and colleague, the brother I never had, I would like to share short recaps of this past week at the Parvati.org headquarters, so together we can grieve, grow and move forward for MAPS with tremendous courage, Darcy-style.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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