WORDS: LIFE IN THE POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES

How I Gave up Chocolate and Discovered the Power of Choice

As the holiday season gets into full swing, you may feel tempted to eat foods you know are not healthy for you, spend money your wiser self says you should not, or act in ways that don’t support your highest good. Beginning this week, I will share a series of contemplations on how to make healthy choices even when challenged. Until my mid-teens, I was convinced that the best desserts for me contained chocolate. That is how I had been encouraged, growing up in a house full of chocolate lovers. In a Pavlovian way, whenever I saw chocolate, I started to salivate. I was convinced I wanted some! But puberty brought with it a call to make choices that honoured my authentic nature. As hormones ran through my veins and my body grew in new ways, I also developed debilitating migraine headaches that would leave me sick and bedridden for days. The doctor told me that I needed to stop eating foods that were well-known migraine triggers, one of which was chocolate. I thought my world had ended. In some ways, it had; and as it did, a whole new one opened up. Life with my family became an opportunity to grow into my own choices. It was clear to me intellectually that chocolate was not…

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Challenge Your Core Beliefs and Live Your Soul Purpose

If you feel that the majority of your life is driven by guilt and obligations, or you find yourself thinking in “would have”, “could have”, or “should have” terms, your life is likely not in alignment with your joy. Let’s explore why that is, and discover how you can bring back your inner sunshine. From a spiritual perspective, the ultimate goal of life is the embodiment of wisdom-compassion and the realization of your oneness with all things. One of the way this can unfold is through doing work that is uniquely your own to do. It is not driven by “should”s or “have to”s. It is fuelled by your relationship with your true self as a reflection of the divine. I am often asked how I found the courage to leave a promising career in architecture and follow my dreams as a musical artist. For me, the life of an artist is one deeply connected to spirituality, rooted in the cultivation of both interconnection and humility. So the immediate answer I give is that I am in an ongoing, day-to-day practice, learning and discovering a deepening courage to live my dreams. When you work in a way that engages your soul, you become part of an unfolding process. Through it, layers of your psyche are revealed.…

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The Gift in Giving

Many of us in the Western world are deeply blessed. We rarely have to consider where our next meal will come from, or how we will find shelter. We likely travel and work without fearing for our lives. We likely have government-funded health care, or some support system to keep ourselves healthy. When we look at the poverty, starvation and suffering in the world, it is clear that we are graced to live as we do and have the opportunity to consider spiritual evolution. I love the inspiring words of the South Indian spiritual master Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, also lovingly known as Amma or Mother: “Gratitude is the ability to reminisce about all the support and help we have received, with an attitude of humility. It is a state of mind. When we lovingly recognize the goodness in another person, this helps to awaken the goodness in ourselves. When we look back at our life with this attitude, we will realize that we owe so much to thousands of people. It would take lifetimes to pay back these debts, especially towards nature and above all, to God. In fact, gratitude benefits us more than anyone else. The positivity and goodness that awakens within as a result of being grateful in turn benefits society and the entire…

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Gratitude: The Key to True Wealth

This week is Thanksgiving in the US. As I write, I am deeply grateful for the selfless efforts of my fellow volunteers at Parvati.org to move forward the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) at COP23 in Bonn, Germany in the past two weeks. I am also grateful for the openness of world leaders who realize that we are in a global crisis and must take action now. MAPS is an immediate and effective solution to keep our planet cool. Director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger and our Outreach lead Dr. Karen Ho met with officials from around the world and spoke about MAPS. With grace, several countries are interested in signing the MAPS Treaty. I am also grateful for the wonderful work that brings you Parvati Magazine every month. The December issue, on the theme of Presence, is now live, and features luminaries such as Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and Maty Ezraty! Please check it out and share widely! Thanksgiving has become a time of opposites. A feast originally dedicated to gratitude for an abundant harvest, it has an unfortunate history in the United States. The first American Thanksgiving was held by European settlers who relied on the generosity of Native Americans in order to survive. Yet, in the decades and centuries that followed, the generosity…

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Love Radically to Change the World

Anyone who has experienced an awakening or a spiritual breakthrough through a serious illness knows that poor health is a call from nature to shift into a new paradigm. When I lay in my bed for four months paralyzed from the waist down from a severely damaged spinal cord, I knew that my current reality was a reflection of my thoughts and perceptions. My body was expressing what I thought to be true. My broken spine was held in that configuration because of how I saw reality, how I understood nature and what I understood my role to be. I sensed, innately, that if I was willing to suspend all disbelief about how things “should be”, in other words, let go of my thoughts that were holding my tissue within a certain paradigm, I would open myself to the power of life-force energy, which would restructure my cells into a new harmonious relationship with life. I see the acts of violence that continue to happen around the world, such as the tragic shooting in a Texas church last week or the truck attack in New York the week before, as a sign of a collective illness and a call for each of us to awaken into a new way of being. If we want these incidents…

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Only a Pure Heart Ends Violence

The world seems more agitated than ever, with reactionary hate coming from all sides. While a person drives into a random group in New York City, killing eight, on the other side of the world hundreds of thousands of Rohingya flee for the perceived safety of Bangladesh from persecution in their native Myanmar. The United States and North Korea continue to engage in warlike rhetoric. I find it sobering to remember these tragic incidents and give thanks for the peace, health and goodness that exists in my life – even in the things we take for granted, like clean drinking water and shelter. As Americans look towards their Thanksgiving, we Canadians just had ours. At our family dinner, I asked my mother whether she felt the world was crazier now than when she was young, or that the underbelly of the human psyche is simply more visible today due to the power of our media. She immediately responded that she feels people are much more on edge and violent today. Her response echoed what a 92-year-old World War 2 British marine vet recently told me when I asked him the same question. He too felt that the world is more intense now, even more so than when he went through the devastating war. There is no…

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The One Question to Help You Speak Your Truth

Namaste, Every day, it seems that someone new is speaking up about a secret they carried for many years, such as having been harassed or assaulted by a person in power. My heart is with all those who find the courage to reveal such painful truths. We also see people taking a stand for what they believe in, even if it means displeasing those around them. Speaking the truth is an act of bravery. Sometimes it is met with criticism, judgment or worse. But when you hide and silence yourself, you can lose touch with the voice of your soul and your true source of power. That is why this week, I would like to explore how we find fearlessness to be seen and speak our truth. The fear of being truly seen is common. It can manifest as stage fright, self-sabotage, underperforming, social anxiety and more. It has its roots in our past. As children, we often discovered that hiding was a way to feel safe and protected amidst a turbulent world. Our parents were our source of food and shelter. Our very survival was keyed into making that relationship work. We may have observed that by not speaking up, we kept the peace, perhaps even avoiding abuse. Our coping strategies worked for a while.…

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Can You Create Your Reality?

Namaste, I would like to address a question that arises from time to time with my yoga students and clients, and is often discussed in pop metaphysical teachings. Do we create our reality? What does that actually mean? For guidance along my path, I look to the teachings of saints and realized masters. I explore my reactions and responses to my experiences and check in with myself as often as possible to see if I feel rooted, vital and expansive in each moment. Each day I make it a practice to explore the relationship between my thoughts and what I see manifest. As such, it seems to me that the idea that “you create your reality”, a popular metaphysical teaching, may be oversimplified. From all that I have seen, the potent concept of creating your reality is quite subtle and complex. For those who truly wish to cultivate deep humility and experience the death of the ego, it can be a profound teacher. But if we seek to fuel our ego’s need to feel right, validated, superior, or in control, the true power and import of this concept may be missed, and may even lead to suffering. To clarify this seeming difference, we need to understand the nature of reality, that is, the difference between the…

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Lighten Up and Get More Done

Namaste, We commonly use the term “hard work”, as though “work” and “strenuous effort” are synonymous. Our common use of the word labour – to work hard, slave, grind away, toil, struggle, exert great effort – does not suggest much lightness of being. But does hard work need to be hard? I have a committed work ethic, due in part to being the descendant of Canadian pioneers who helped found the country in which I reside. My parents, and those who went before them, were no strangers to the challenges of venturing into the unknown to build lives they loved. Having seen first hand what hard work, dedication and focus can yield, I have not shied away from the tenacious dedication it takes to follow my own dreams and honour an unstoppable creative spark that seems to arise within me. As such, I do frequently work 14-hour days, every day of the week. In the eyes of many, I work hard. Yes, I work very long days with tremendous focus. But to me, I don’t necessarily work “hard”. I am dedicated to getting a lot done with a lightness of spirit, while ensuring I am having fun. The word “fun” may immediately conjure images of leaving the workload behind for a day on the beach or…

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Why Being Yourself is a Radical Revolution

Namaste, One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie: “The worst trick God can play is to make you an artist, but a mediocre one.” Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather be an A or an F student than a C student. Living by that belief, I developed two distinct personality traits. Either I would edit myself to please people with niceties, or I would plow through life with a fiery feistiness. Both extremes were fueled by a drive for what I understood to be “perfection”. The tension that lay between these two, and the fervour I put into trying to be “perfectly A” or “perfectly F”, eventually consumed my health and wellbeing. By the end of high school and into my first year of university, I was exhausted and stressed because I was not being authentically myself. Though it took me completing university and facing the rest of my life to figure it out, I eventually realized that I had allowed other people’s voices, wishes and dreams to unconsciously run my life. My feistily polite drive for “perfection” was based on the fear that if I were myself, I would…

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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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KUPID'S PLAY SOUNDS THE I AM REVOLUTION

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WHAT LIGHT GETS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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Feel free to follow up with us directly at any time:

Rishi Deva, CEO, Kupid's Play Records
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Pranada Devi, Communications Manager, Kupid's Play Records
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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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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