I am beautiful
I am worthy
I am raw and wild and untamed
I am intelligent and rational, spiritual and intuitive
I am dignified, yet when it comes to love
willing to throw it all out the window.
I am love incarnate.
I am submissive, yet defiant;
sensitive, yet callous –
I long to experience the joys of love and union,
yet value my independence above all.
I am WOMAN.
I have eyes that can see through the depths of your being,
hair that falls graciously beyond my shoulders,
hips that sway to the rhythms of the earth.
I am everything you think I am and more,
yet can be magnificently misunderstood.
I am logical, yet open to forces much greater than me
I am powerful, yet acknowledge that the black hole of doubt
can drain me of my strength.
I am an artist, seeking his muse.
I am everything at once, yet deep down I know that I am nothing.
I am spirit and soul, earth and water.
I am never-ending….
“I AM” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. The universe responds to this as would ‘a genie in a bottle’ – it knows no other way to behave. My friend Melinda once asked me to summarize what I thought about this statement and this is what I said:
I always say that “IAM” is the most powerful statement in the universe. It has the power to change your body and mind, which can be rewired simply by repeating this basic mantra. It can be as straightforward as “Iam love, Iam light”, or as intricate as “I am the being that recognizes the God in you.” The repetition is important, especially in times of doubt and when you don’t believe what you are saying is true.
This is the passage from Conversations with God that first introduced me to its power:
“When your thoughts are clear and steadfast, begin to speak them as truths. Say them out loud. Use the great command that calls forth creative power: Iam. Make I– am statements to others. “Iam” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. Whatever you think, whatever you say, after the words “Iam” sets into motion those experiences, calls them forth, brings them to you. There is no other way the universe knows how to work. There is no other route it knows to take. The universe responds to “Iam” as would a genie in a bottle.”
Another cool fact about “IAM” is that the reverberation it makes in your body has a realigning effect. In every enlightened being, and in every major religion, you will find the sound “IAM” – in Hinduism it’s AUM, in Islam it’s Ameen, and in Christianity Amen. They all derive from the same universal source/sound, and are one and the same. Cool huh?
Here is a recording of me saying “AUM Shanti” – have a listen and pay attention to how you feel when hearing it. Then when you have a moment on your own, take a deep breath in, and on the exhale, let out a long “AUM”. There are lots of different opinions on how to say it properly, but I just say it the way that feels right to me.
As you go about your day, keep this AUM sound with you, and let it lead you to the place of peace within yourself.
Recap of Monday’s walk, which I haven’t gotten around to writing about until now! Clearly need to organize my time better. The kids at the Ronald McDonald House (where I tutor on Wednesdays) listed ‘organizational’ skills as one of the most important in their career-building activity today, and I agree that it is very important to be well-organized, otherwise your life can feel like a bit of a disaster.
It was beautiful weather on Monday, and I walked up University, past 525, and up to Queen’s Park. There was a big crowd gathered so I stopped and asked what it was about. A friendly man in the crowd told me that it was for an appearance by Prince Harry, who was in town to promote the Invictus Games, which are being held in Toronto next year. The name Invictus is Latin for “unconquered, undefeated.” The games are for wounded, injured, or sick veterans to compete in sporting events, and are a wonderful event that bring people together, show the power of perseverance and the indomitable human spirit, and generate lots of excitement and goodwill. Prince Harry was inspired to start these games after his time serving in Afghanistan.
I waited for maybe half an hour, and saw him arrive in big black SUVs. Unfortunately we just saw the back of his head and everyone was pretty disappointed.
However if I’d waited an another hour for him to leave, I would’ve been able to meet him along with these lucky people!
The games help veterans heal not only from physical injuries, but in terms of their mental health and PTSD. It is interesting that the motto for the games is “I AM”, as in I AM Invictus, unconquerable. I AM is also the most creative statement in the universe – anything that follows these two words will change the way you think and feel.
Following my Prince Harry failed sighting, I walked along Yonge street, and passed by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
At Balzac’s I ran into Isaac who gave me a long explanation of the dangers of drinking tap water because of the fluoride content. He seems to be very knowledgeable about this stuff! I also ran into Elizabeth, who is a woman that walked the Camino, an 800 KM trek from France to Spain. She told me about an article she was interviewed for, which got published in the Star this week! She advocates for a better justice system that is easier to navigate and more cost-friendly (she herself had to pay over $100,000 over the last 7 years in family court). We also talked about getting over heartbreak, and how physical exercise helps in getting your power back.
Coincidentally, I was at the part in The Underground Girls of Kabul where Jenny talks about women and sports in Afghanistan, and how women are held back in this area because it is not appropriate; it may make them too masculine, too competitive. Women are instead expected to be spectators at men’s sporting events. But the real reason is something deeper, that has to do with the patriarchy and the position of men in segregated societies.
A woman who feels her own physical strength may be inspired to think she is capable of other things. And when an entire society is built on gender segregation, such ideas could cause problems for those who would like to hold on to wealth and power.
On the way home I stopped at Chapters to pick up a card for Mom, and ran into Rahim and Monika. It was nice to have some company on my walk home!
I woke up this morning to the most beautiful view. I love living up so high and seeing nothing but water. I felt so grateful to be alive.
Then in the afternoon I went to tutor at CCVT. I go there every Tuesday as a volunteer for the homework club. It is a place of joy and laughter, a place where children and volunteers and the wonderful staff come together to provide a safe and nurturing environment for kids to learn and explore and play. It is so much fun to be a part of, and I’m always left in a great mood. Today I helped one of the younger children with his math homework. We learned long division and practiced his multiplication tables. The picture is of Amy who runs the program and some of the kids. So much fun!
This evening I met my friend Emilia at the Shambhala Meditation Centre. I used to go there years ago, and then like many other things I’ve started over the years, I stopped going with the intention of picking it up again when I was less busy. It’s an incredibly peaceful place and there is an overall calming energy. We did a 1-hour instructional meditation session, and then had tea and cookies and talked about things we notice about ourselves, in particular insecurities and self-defeating thoughts. One thing that I’ve noticed is that meditation has helped me over the last couple years to become less self-conscious. I am more open and generally more willing to make a fool of myself. Maybe not a good thing but life is much more interesting this way! I sometimes surprise myself with what comes out of my mouth.
On the subway ride home Emilia told me that she was reading The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen. I perked up at this, because it was a reminder of how powerful the statement “I Am” is. It is the most powerful statement in the universe. I first encountered that wisdom while reading Conversations with God, and have noticed its effects ever since. Whatever you say following the statement I Am actually affects your reality. I have a mantra that I repeat daily, and it starts with “I am a reservoir of peace, I am an ocean of love…. “. Much more effective than “I am a raging bitch” (which to be honest is also quite true a lot of the time).
Here is the excerpt from CWG that I’m referring to:
So, you’ve asked when your life will “take off,” and I’ve given you the answer. You get your life to “take off” by first becoming very clear in your thinking about it. Think about what you want to be, do, and have. Think about it often until you are very clear about this. Then, when you are very clear, think about nothing else. Imagine no other possibilities.
Throw all negative thoughts out of your mental constructions. Lose all pessimism. Release all doubts. Reject all fears. Discipline your mind to hold fast to the original creative thought.
When your thoughts are clear and steadfast, begin to speak them as truths. Say them out loud. Use the great command that calls forth creative power: I am. Make I am statements to others. “I am” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. Whatever you think, whatever you say, after the words “I am” sets into motion those experiences, calls them forth, brings them to you.
There is no other way the universe knows how to work. There is no other route it knows to take. The universe responds to “I am” as would a genie in a bottle.