Today was pretty wonderful. Beautiful weather, great conversations, a full moon, and inspiration all around. My creative writing class was cancelled, so I had some extra time in the morning to work on my blog (as I write this, I still have not shared this blog with a single person!), and also I stumbled upon a video of Walk In Her Shoes in the U.K. and was deeply inspired by how much it has taken off over there. And so I announced on Facebook that I would be doing this 10 Km walk for the entire year, thinking it was kind of a big thing since I had been struggling with it so much, but no one even noticed or cared. Lol. So I set off. I walked along University Ave, where I saw a reporter from Global News discussing the Sammy Yatim case, and as I walked by I thought that maybe that will be me one day, reporting on Walk In Her Shoes and what women experience on a daily basis in all parts of the world. I do believe that it is the greatest human rights crisis of our time, and is the root cause of many other conflicts in the world.
I continued up University, through the MARS centre, stopped to have lunch at Hero burger, and briefly stopped at one of my favourite used bookstores on Yonge street, where I read a bit of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground. Reading it made time stand still. His books are truly works of the soul. Twisted, dark, clever, and offering deep insights into human nature, our demons, struggles, and triumphs. I can’t wait to read all his stuff. I eventually made it to the reference library where I read a bit of The Great Work of Your Life and First There Was a Mountain, about a woman around my age that goes to India to learn yoga with B.K. Iyengar, a Guru that developed his own system of yoga based on Patanjali’s yoga teachings. I love reading this book because I feel like I’m in India, where I often long to be. It’s weird that it feels like home even though the last time I was there was when I was 15.
I went to Balzac’s where I chatted with Isaac, a guy that comes in there often, about starting your own business and what it entails. Then Raj, my mythology teacher, called me and we discussed pretty much the same thing. He is my accountability partner. We are both developing our own brand and thinking of what we have to offer to the world, and holding each other accountable on a weekly basis to make sure that we are progressing on our goals. Raj is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. His ability to transmit ancient stories, transport you into another world, heal your wounds, and take you to higher place is something that you need to witness for yourself. I feel like everyone would benefit from his teachings. I am taking his Faces of Power class about Indian goddesses, and the last class was about Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, learning, and artistry. She represents the subtle. She will take you to your higher self and bring you awareness. Someone asked a question about patriarchy and why it exists, especially in India where the Goddess is worshipped and revered. He said that patriarchy is a response to fear of the feminine power. I couldn’t agree more! He also talked about how Saraswati represents the soul, and how the soul has no colour or race or geography (“Your soul is not made in China” he said).
After that I walked home, through Nathan Philips square where I watched the skaters and bopped to Jesus Walks by Kanye that was playing in the background. I got home and I just finished watching Justin Trudeau speaking at the World Economic Forum. He talked about how men should not be afraid of the word ‘feminist’, and how he refers to himself as a feminist all the time.
I’m incredibly proud to have a partner in my wife Sophie, who is extremely committed to women and girls’ issues. But she took me aside a few months ago and said Okay, it’s great that you’re engaged and modeling to your daughter that you want her empowered and everything, but you need to take as much effort to talk to your sons—my 8-year-old boy and my 2-year-old—about how he treats women and how he’s going to grow up to be a feminist just like dad. And by the way, we shouldn’t be afraid of the word “feminist.” Men and women should use it to describe themselves any time they want.
I just love listening to him speak about this stuff. As you can see, I am a sucker for charming men!