Listen Express

My friends may we gather

together in celebration in

thanksgiving

as they do their best

to have us to spend money

we don’t have,

on things we don’t need.

Manufacturing opportunities

for us to participate in this

game invented

Instead

Let us

express our thanks

express our thanks

express our thanks

And listen,

not to what is going

in our head

as they speak

But listen to them

Listen as a space

not waiting to talk

Listen body and bones

till their heart sings

at being heard

Till down in the corridors

of their soul, behind lock

and bolt they know

It is safe

Safe to emerge

Safe to peer out

Safe to venture beyond

walls constructed to protect

and isolate

Join them in the field

Holding hands

In that space

In that open field

Play

With arms stretched wide

Spin

With eyes closed

head back

Dream

When your turn comes

Express your thanks

Express your thanks

Express your thanks

For the blessings

of your spirit

For the blessings

of your soul

And the blessings

of them

And kneel

Arms spread open wide

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God’s Tattoo

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Did I jump too soon?

Celebrate too early?

Will I like others before

Become the cliche of sports re-runs?

Will they think I am enough?

go behind my back, cutting me out?

Did I make the right move?

Involve enough of the team?

Questions flood my brain flood

my thoughts

blocking out beauty

Pausing I see amidst the turmoil

I am not these thoughts

They are a playback of an earlier time

Stuck in an endless feedback loop

Blocking the truth

Am I successful? asks this tree before me

Do I have enough?

Did I grow in the right location?

Do I have enough sunlight?

Will my offspring grow tall and be without burden?

Will other’s in my community thrive?

Will I be cut down before my time?

Did you notice my missing limb?

Do they trust me?

Do they love me?

My heart knows that trees

don’t think that way

They are

All their days in the

full presence of God

Connected to heaven

Intertwined with the earth

Allowing

Being

Dancing in place

Ain’t no Saint No Guru

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Ain’t no Saint, no Guru

Yet I am willing to listen to you

And I am willing to share tonight

Just don’t take it as everything right

My words are for me, my experience of strife

They come as I reflect stories of my life

From the death of my dad and now my mother, new

From the places have been, and the people met too, from the mistakes made this pass through.

And I can listen and sit you see and let you talk, let you share with me.

You can share your joy, your pain, just try

We can laugh together or quietly cry.

I have been on this path a time or too

Just ain’t no saint, ain’t no Guru.

New Beginnings & Gratitude

Good morning,

Last night, I shut the door on a place that housed me for the last 32 months. It was nice to clean it completely. I feel it heals a past indiscretion in my youth when I left an apartment in shambles on my way home from University. This time I did complete work – and am grateful.

I have not moved a lot in the past 27 years – this will be only my 3rd move. When I was a kid, some years I moved three times in one year – that is a story for a different time.

This move is about simplifying, letting go of what I don’t need – I am doing that with space – and within this space I will be letting go of many things also.

Mom also lived in that place with me along with her cat Nissa and later our dogs, Keira and Koda. For a time, we all lived their together. Each of them contributing to my life in their own way. And then one by one, I had to let them go as they were off on their own new adventure as I continue on mine.

I continue to work toward building my vacation property management company. Sharing my own slice of heaven is coming along well – and I will let the heavens know that I am ready for new guests.

Beyond my own space, I am in talks with two other companies regarding their properties and with each new conversation, new possibilities are opening up. I have huge learning curve in front of me, how blessed I am.

I am grateful for all who have showed up on my path over the last couple of years. That includes all of you. There are only very few who I did not know.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be in the space of a monk (actually 3 monks). Bhaktimarga Swami (the Walking Monk) I had met last year. He noticed that I was a lot more grounded this time.

On Sunday, I shared an evening of chanting & discussion with him, his two colleagues, my good friend and teacher, Meranda and others. It was a beautiful evening of song and exploration.

It helped me to remember my first yoga teacher, Sarojini Bremner from 20 years ago. Sarojini once told me that Yoga was not something she did – it was something she was.

As I continue to walk forward on this adventure – I am grateful for all of it.

For the blessings and obstacles, for the lessons and gifts. For my rising faith and my deepening sobriety.

Mostly though, I am grateful for YOU. For what you have brought into my life. Thank you for sharing your life with me.

God Bless, Namaste.

Gordon

Action

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10 years ago, I was an Intern leading the project team for a 350 person sales meeting in downtown Toronto.

During the same week that we were there, Toronto was abuzz with TIFF – the Toronto International Film Festival.

During the pitch a few months before, the advertising company came in and pitched ACTION! as the meeting theme.

That was it!

And yet the marketing folks did not like that they did just one – and so back to the drawing board. A pointless exercise really – – they had it right all along -The ACTION Sales Meeting was born.

In Dec 2015, as I was suffering under the weight of my life awry and sitting in my seat during the Landmark’s Advanced Course, the leader said that most of her colleagues around the world – work for 3 weeks a month and then get a week off. Me she said, I work a week and spend 3 weeks in bed recovering, explaining that she had lupus.

I don’t suffer she said, just take ACTION.

This week I took ACTION placing my Cabin on Airbnb. I had been thinking about it for 2 years wanting to but doubting whether anyone would want to come and not wanting to deal with the rejection and did nothing.

Werner Erhard, the founder of the work that Landmark Education bases its work on says “we need to get clear for ourselves, that the only access to impacting life is through ACTION.

“the world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel or what you think, and certainly has no interest in what you want and don’t want. Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act”

And I am seeing that for myself these last two days.

All my thoughts, ponderings, wondering about what to do with my cabin – how could I have it be that I could keep it – afford to maintain it, while working through my current financial space had no impact whatsoever.

I needed to take ACTION.

Yet only hours after the listing got posted, I had my first potential customer, then two. Then I shared it on Facebook and I witnessed other people sharing it also and people asking questions clarifying my rules of the place – Pets – Sure”

When my Rotary Club posts on Facebook, we sometime beg people to share our posts. Liking it does not do it anymore – sharing it is where it is at. So far my initial post has been shared 9 times and liked 37 times And I have had two serious inquiries and one booking. (That’s the world moving for me)

Today, one day later, I welcomed my first 3 guests to my Airbnb. (After 6 hours of ACTION called cleaning) …my house could use that as well.

And my brain is on fire – thinking of how I can market it as the fall & winter approaches.

Along with my 6 hours of cleaning, I made sure to pick up a bottle of Red (the colour of choice) and a new Guest Book, at Hallmark in Mount Pearl. I set up a new category on my expense app that I track all my expenses for Airbnb and Cabin Rental for bookings outside of that model.

I can see that my first guest will bring me $168.78 and so far I have had an outlay of $95.65.

And I want to give a shout out to The Airbnb app – it has been seamless and simple. I have used it twice as a traveller for that Dec 2015 trip to Toronto and an amazing find of a listing in Los Cabos Mexico in Dec 2016. And yet this is my first time as a host. (I wonder if I can augment my house income by doing it also for the house I rent – my mom’s room likely won’t be getting used any time soon)

And I can kick myself all I want about why I never listed it last week or the month or year before that. None of that matters. All that matters is that I did it.

Recovery is like that too – an ACTION program. Suffering is optional.

My mom has been sick for 9 weeks following her fall and broken hip and since that time, both of my dogs have died. It landed heavy on me and I could not seem to get out of my own way in terms of putting pen to paper to write this blog or to write a poem, or take ACTION in the way that I must in terms of my business.

And yet while I have been silent, I have been in ACTION in my recovery. In doing the work, making the calls, reading, going to meetings, and talking to my sponsor. My sobriety is growing for which I am so grateful.

Today I wrote a poem for the first time in a while, called “Taste the Sky” after using those words to tell a songwriter why my cabin was such a great place to create.

For today, I have come to the end – as it is way past my bedtime.

So I have to ask – what are you waiting to take ACTION on?

Taste the Sky

Shall we taste the sky
You and I

Shall we get on our knees
breathe in the dirt

Not in a dress not in a skirt

With our hands the shade
gun metal gray

Watch worms ply their journey
Ants on ant time

Or lie on our backs
Watch heaven go by

Shall we marvel the joy
The beauty felt

As God in his wisdom
Reveals the cards that he dealt

Shall we ponder a rose,
a leaf or a twig

And wonder just wonder
if we could take one little swig

To drink in the lemons
drink in the lime

In this pursuit
we don’t bother the time

Not even a worry
With strife but a scar

The sun will keep calling
Why you travelling so far?

Shall we taste the sky
You and I

Surrender begins

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Surrender begins like a fairy tale

In a distant land

Begins as a Dream unknown

scares us shitless

Surrender begins

a blanket with nails

We hang on … letting go no option

Hang on to the known

Even if that known is the darkest night

Even if that known has dragged us through the mud, left us naked in the street

Surrender begins with a whisper

A candle flickering

Dancing,  embracing the darkness that peers in so close

Surrender begins

With the mystery of an empty page

The words elusive the ink dry
Surrender begins

a map without borders

A voyage with no defined destination
Surrender begins

loneliness in a crowded room

fear, emptiness.
Surrender begins

With struggle

And pleads
I stand now on the other side of surrender

Knowing it’s grace and power

Looking out at those who cannot yet see

Surrender begins with love

With letting go

With saying yes to life

Surrender begins

With tears running down my cheek

With falling to my knees

Surrender begins

With holding hands

And hugs of understanding

Surrender begins

In this moment

In this place

Here

Now

Camouflage Not Needed

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I vanish from sight

Disappearing into the landscape

Trapped in a world of my own design

Caged without chains
Your words are not enough

Flood my brain

Stay silent
Awakened by the radio

Emerge from the wood

Your camauflage not needed

Contribute
I pondered for days

For what

For whom

Stay silent

Let it die
Something changed yesterday

Listening to voices

Heard cause shared

Through willing ears
A hashtag births a movement

An evil geniuses design

Floods the streets, a $5 high

A great grandmothers praise

Raising esteem and belief
Emerging from darkness

Simple

Pulling open a curtain

Allowing light to fill the room
I spent the day engaged in play

600 words not more

One, a collection

Something to explore
Tupac’s words flood my ears

The words of a mother too

Contribute share
I don’t play the lottery

Because I will not win

But life is no lottery

Or perhaps it is

One won a long time ago
Staying silent

I choose to abandon

To celebrate my voice

In His glory

That’s just the way it is

Things’ll never be the same

On Course…Off Course

Off course…on course
I am back.
I would love to say I was off on some grand adventure of which I will now impart some wisdom

Yet the truth is that I went silent and did not want to share
So what changes now?
Tupac Shakur. As I watched him being honored posthumously in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, he said that the only thing that could stop him was death and even then his music would go on.
Aren’t we all so grateful for those who are willing to share: Prince, Leonard Cohen and Tupac amongst the many -for while gone now we can simply turn them on and be risen
Many many years ago, long before Chicken Soup for the Soul, I was introduced to the work of Jack Canfield in a series called Self Esteem and Peak Perfomance
Off course… on course was a story he told about our lives.
When moving toward our goals, going off course is going to happen, it is natural, for the path we are walking does not come with a map.
And yet it is not the going off course that matters, what matters is our response to it.
Are we stopped? I know at times that is my response
Do we cry and act like a victim? I have been there too

Do we get angry and rail against those who remind us that we are off course?

Or are we thoughtful.

Willing to stand back and realize. And make adjustments to our path.

Notice when you walk across the room that you still get to the other side even when you walk straight.
Have an awesome week exploring your reactions to On Course, Off Course