One Flame Uniting People Worldwide

Week 36. This was a special one because it was in North Wales, where my Dad used to hike in his school days. We left from Coventry (where I was born!) and piled into the rental car and got comfortable for the 2-hour drive. We stopped to play with the sheep… well I did and everyone laughed because the sheep just ran away when I approached them. I felt a little agitated, wondering how I was going to make it through the day, staring at the sun and the mountains in awe yet still a little angry at God or whoever, but mostly just unable to process the amount of gratitude I was feeling. Roshni, Mom, and I sat in the back, crowded and trying to feel comfortable. Dylan sat in the front with lots of room and a big smile on his face. Dad drove, and led us through the hills and valleys, as we entered the place that he had fallen in love with as a child.

We parked close to Mount Snowdon, but we still needed to take a bus to get to the base. We discovered that we didn’t have enough change so Mom ran to a nearby taxi bus and asked him for change for a 10 pound note. She came back and we stood there waiting, then Dylan had the idea that we should just take the taxi instead of waiting for the bus, and so Mom ran back and asked him how much it would be and he said that it would be 2 pounds each (so 10 pounds in total). She came back and we agreed it was a better option (well first my Dad said that the bus would be cheaper, then realized it was just a small difference) and we all piled into the taxi. We enjoyed the smooth ride after being trapped in that small car for so long. It felt like the start of an adventure! Once we got to the base, we stopped to use the restrooms and geared up for our climb.

Base of Mount Snowdon, North Wales

The sun was shining brightly and it was very windy. We decided to take the Miner’s Path, a beautiful hike encircling two lakes, that is perfect for people who want an enjoyable hike without going to the summit. Throughout our hike, my Dad would find hills off the beaten path and him and Dylan would climb up them and almost get blown over by the force of the wind. We stopped at one of the lakes and had a rock-throwing contest – mine didn’t go very far!, Dad won, with Dylan came in a close second.


There were waterfalls and sheep and the views were beyond beautiful. I stopped at a waterfall and started to sing “I Would Die for You” – a flash of inspiration.

On our way home we stopped for lunch at a cute little café – I had a vegetarian breakfast consisting of eggs, veggie sausage, hash browns, mushrooms, and toast – all for just 3.99 pounds! I had to use the bathroom which was a porta-potty type thing, and on my way stumbled upon a beautiful little stream. I paid my 20 pence for the bathroom, got inside and pressed the LOCK button. Then the automated message voice announced “This door will open automatically in 15 minutes” which gave me a heart attack (how was I going to survive in there for 15 whole minutes?!!), immediately followed by “At any time you may press the button to unlock.” Phew!

We drove on and encounted a cute little place that looked like a B&B that turned out to be a yoga/retreat centre. We stopped outside and we were in awe of the World Peace Flame (image above).

The World Peace Flame is a universal symbol of global peace and unity. Peace is the change that you and I can make here and now by the way we think, speak, feel and act to create harmony in our day to day life and relationships.

There were seven flames in 5 continents that were lit across the world. In 1999 they were united in Bangor, North Wales to create the World Peace Flame. Since then the flame has been taken to every country in the world and serves as a representation for the unified desire for world peace. The flame is a call to action, and is associated with many humanitarian projects around the world. The World Peace Flame Foundation runs trauma healing programs in Sudan, Northern Ireland, and Nepal, and most recently programs to help Syrian refugees. In India, there are programs to empower local communities and provide free health care to impoverished areas.

We walked into the main office of the centre and met the owner Sue, who took us through and explained some of the programs related to yoga, meditation, mantras, the power of sound, and retreats. She was so lovely and animated, and made us feel right at home!

Me and Sue, Owner of Dru Yoga Centre, North Wales

In the picture you can see Saraswati in the back and the Bhagavad Gita! I wish I’d taken a picture of the passage it was open to. Sue handed us lots of brochures and guided us through the centre. I saw the book Full Catastrophe Living there, which was written by Jon Kabat Zinn, whose meditation I do on a daily basis. Then I said hi to the sleeping Buddha who was hanging out by the window.


It felt like a long drive home, but thankfully we all slept and were konked out for most of it. We arrived back in Coventry at around 9 PM, where my Foi was waiting for us and had a wonderful dinner prepared.


Your Soul Is Not Made In China

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!