Oh Canada?

I don’t know how I feel about Canada day to tell you the truth.

I know it’s our “big” 150th birthday – but what exactly are we celebrating?

I would like to say that Canada day celebrates the union of a beautiful country, rich in history, in culture and in potential.

But I can’t say this.  Not with a straight face anyways.

The anniversary of our constitution was, in some way, the moment we all decided as a group of (colonial white) people to claim land that wasn’t ours – call it our own, give it a name (when it already had one) and push away the people who were already here, or just weaken them so much to the point where they have forgotten who they were meant to be in so many cases.   Same as in the United States – a bunch of Irish, french, Spanish, British immigrants – yes immigrants, who decided to bully indigenous people from their lifestyles and land.

Is this what we are celebrating? Our ability to dominate and bully – for 150 years?

It’s true that today that we all have a different and in many cases very beautiful relationships with each other.  I have some very dear and close first nations friends. When i was growing up, i was told the stories in our classes and was taught the pride and beauty of the first nations culture.  I feel like we came from that – not that we took that from them.  In my generation, we went to school all together, and we grew up knowing each other just as children with all different kinds of families and ways.  Just the way kids do.

But recently I was doing some art, and i was warned that i may be accused fo “Cultural appropriation”, because of the traditional indigenous style I am exploring.  It was intimated that it was not “my right” to do art in a style of first nations cultures, because it was not my culture.

Let me tell you how I feel about this.

The spiritual beliefs that I learned about through the stories and from my father who lived in the prairies on a reserve as a boy , taught me about love, and connection to nature, respect and about helping each other.  I grew up believing first nations people had “special abilities” to hear what nature said, and to help heal if that was needed.

In my younger adulthood, and through my years of studying and learning about the world, I came to see that the only real solution to our world’s serious and debilitating issues is for people to understand and learn from indigenous people about what they know about the planet – the land and the energy that runs through us all.

But I see now – even they have forgotten this.

This can sound harsh to you maybe.  The First Nations people of both Canad and the United States have been abused in ways that are not even conceivable to most people.  Their women raped murdered and missing.  Communities overwrought with misery, young people committing suicide – they have been pushed away and slaughtered by our ancestors.

There is a reckoning that must occur.

So what are we celebrating?

Let’s assume the celebration is a personal thing.

I will celebrate my pride in this country that despite even these serious internal conflicts has managed to keep its shit together amidst some pretty serious world turmoil

I will celebrate that they are renaming the “Trump” hotel in Toronto, because Canadians can’t stand that guy.

I will celebrate the breathtaking land we live on, and the bounty it offers us.

I will celebrate the artists dancers and musicians, writers and poets who so awesomely demonstrate the diversity of this place.

I will celebrate that I do not live in the United States.

I will celebrate that I can say, do and express what I feel without rancor in this country.

I will celebrate that we love having new people join us and expand our culture.

I will celebrate that people are becoming more aware and trying harder to alleviate the strife of our first nations people.

I will celebrate that we have peace.

that we have food and people we love.

Yes. There are many things to celebrate.

Happy Canada Day – EVERYONE.






The Asking

Step bravely forward into your Asking

Chest first.

And if the Truth tears away at the center of your eyes,

Don’t be afraid to raise your voice,

Like you did as a child.

Sing your Asking loud and clear.

Remember;  young hearts have no fear.

To the very moon herself

the Queen of Love will reply,

Bearing notes on sweet wings that fly,

and dance your Asking into the velvet night,

waving determined fists in the sky,

Living the Asking Song’s delight.

And before even the first note is sung,

the unraveling of Creation has begun.

For our daughter’s and son’s

Hold the center of fire within themselves.

Sculpt out the essence of your Asking,

But leave the center to god;

Whatever you conceive That to be.

Step forward boldly into your Asking;

It is not done for you,

But with you.

You only live once,

Again and again.

And if the sun should tear away at the center of your eyes,

Raise your voice and finally begin

To paint the sky.


The F*ck

(Warning: Adult content. Writing poetry is cheaper than therapy. Thanks for listening ;))


We live in a world where we can say whatever

The F*ck

We want to say whenever

The F*ck

We want to.





These are MY words.

Yo* can take them,

Or leave them.

Sit on them,

Or fl*sh them.

Yo* choose,

To place meaning,

On what I say.

This is yo*r b*siness.

Yo* choose to follow

The winds of liars,

digging us f*rther into the r*t,

of our thin skinned morality.


I will live in world where,

My children are free to be whatever,

The F*ck

They choose.

If you wo*ld like to give me your *nreq*ited opinion

(That means I don’t care what yo* think)

Then we can converse in h*shed intimate tones,

Like lovers who hate one another,

awash with masks and inn*endo,

On the s*perlative cost of Freedom.

We can tell the stories

Long into o*r darkest night

Of times past,

Hard gripped baskets

Flowing with rotten *gly things.


I live in a world where I can be,

The best version of whatever

The F*ck

I am today.

It is not p*nishable by death

Or h*miliation

By men

for me to *se these

or any



I do not wish to live in a world,

Where we kill one another

For words.

This is not my world.

If this were so,

Then Shakespeare’s heart would have only been pierced by thorns,

His eyes wo*ld have never gazed *pon the rose,

And there wo*ld be no love stories to tell,

At all.








Love doesn’t always mean

Being sticky sweet  nice.

Love isn’t,

letting the world use you as a doormat.

Love doesn’t mean

that everyone will like you.

In fact…

Sometimes the greatest acts of love

Cut to the deepest places

This is the special love

that changes you forever.

And that is O.K.

Love isn’t ice cream on a cone,

or sweet flowers in a vase.

Sometimes love is a harsh goodbye,

When hellos are holding you back

Love is an ear,

When the mouth wants to move.

Love is seeing you,

without needing myself in the picture.

Love is not a complicated thing,

It’s all in the heart,

Opening wide –

Creating a new bright star.

Love is expansion

Not contraction.

Holding within its own self

The natural possibility of All.

Simply put;

Love is what you are.



Jo’s SoapBox – Entry 1

I have been meeting allot of people…I mean ALLOT of people who say

Image result for I dont talk politics

“I don’t talk politics” like its beneath them or

“I don’t watch that stuff it, just upsets me. ” Seriously? Are you more upset than the mother in the Sudan who just watched her baby die of hunger while you ate a bag of chips in front of the TV?

Another woman told me it makes her angry to talk about current events- and she doesn’t like to be angry.  Is that about what my mother said – that anger will give me wrinkles and make me ugly when I am older?

Wait a minute! Damned right you should be angry, Lady!

Every woman on the planet should be furious!

Pay attention to a few very good reason: (this is not fake news…):

There is a lunatic running the free world!

Men making choices for women’s bodies. Again.

Babies dying of preventable diseases and hunger.

Wars all over the place because of fanatical religions that suppress women.

And yet – we are hesitating to even begin the conversation about how to heal this because – we think it is all bigger than us – when in fact it CAME from us!

Nothing that exists in this world has happened outside of us.

But we don’t like to talk about it.

Why do you think this is?

Partly because we are angry and we don’t know what to do about it. It is anger born in impotence.

Notably, anger is  a weird thing for women in Western cultures.  There are allot of social conventions around our expression of it. It is probably where we most resemble our Muslim and other sisters who live in female suppressing cultures and I think this may be a big part of the problem. Ask yourself: Why Western women aren’t rising up like furious lions in the current climate of injustice and environmental aberrations taking place.

Is it not deeply in our nature to protect our children and the place they live?

Image result for dalai lama on angerThe Dalai Lama says that anger can be a good thing – if it is used consciously and purposefully.  Anger can be a sign that something needs to be changed or fixed within yourself or your environment. Anger can be a fuel – a kind of combustion towards positive action.

He also said it was Western Women who would rise up and protect the earth. Image result for dalai lama on western women

So, where are we?

As a person who is “spiritually focused” –  I tried for a long time to just let the issues of our world, wash off me – I thought THAT was the spiritual thing to do. Knowing what I had power over – which was not the governments of the world, or even the environment, outside of my own little house.  I thought knowing how small I was – was humble and in effect – Spiritual.

It took me a long time to come to the realization that without involvement in the larger construct of our lives, our cultures and society, we are not only not living anything close to a spiritual life.  Image result for spiritual living in society

Indeed, we are not living at all – but merely existing.

The purpose of your life is to know yourselves.

We know ourselves best by finding the “thing” we do, the passion we have for some form of creation or creativity.

Then we teach or we find a way to share that creativity with others and inspire them to do the same.

This is critically important on the search to self discovery.

A spiritual or any living construct is moot if there is no culture or society within which to practice it.

The point of living a life with larger focus, is not to gain security for yourself, but to assume and know that you are best serving your life if you are able to attain this understanding of yourself.

Right now.

Not next week or next month.

This has to happen right now.

Many of us are aware that there is a consciousness movement on the planet. And for those that have been connecting and practicing long enough to be self aware of their self awareness…then now is the time to pull out all the stops.

I do realize it is fine and well to give you the rallying cry and then, leave you hanging as to what exactly to do – I mean really TO DO.

The planets problems seems to all be tied into one central philosophical focus – our morality.  What we believe about life, what is owed to us, and what we need to survive. Our political, social and economic turmoil all reflect a lack of connection to our moral selves.

This is why a spiritual life not only fits in with the chaos of this period in history, but is the only “unified potential” for a solution.

Peace – the peaceful mindset – the idea that LOVE is an actual force that can make change and ensure the survival of our race, is the only solution to the binding crisis we find ourselves in.

Even that idea seems esoteric, so I will give you other more solid ideas, and potential courses of action to take to begin to manifest change in our world. Rea life changes.

The time for thinking, talking and self discovery is coming to an end and we are entering the time to put our practice to work, to walk our talk, and refuse to engage or participate in any form of violence or hatred whatsoever.  Not our actions nor our thoughts.

1- Stillness: Be quiet at least once a day. Meditate, sit, just be still in silence and away form technology. This is the time to refuel your inner manna, raise your vibration and in turn that of every living thing around you.  Image result for spiritual pictures

2- Have the conversation: Don’t back away from local conversations.  share opinions and ideas. Change the way you see the interchange of political ideas.  It was in the beginning that we gathered in discourse to create and build ideas that would result in the societies we inhabit today.  Don’t be afraid to continue and evolve this conversation into new ideas about how to establish deeper peace in our world.

Image result for censoring women

3- Expand your mind outwards – and include issues outside of your own self interest in your conversations and interchanges.

Image result for open your mind

4- Monitor your thinking: eliminate any and all negative or fearful thoughts from your mind. each time one is noticed, gently remind yourself to be more kind to your self. Even if the thoughts are not about you, they still have an impact on your perceptions.

Image result for observe the mind

5-Don’t be afraid to speak your mind when you see injustice. don’t be afraid to walk the picket lines, to express outrage and to take peaceful action where it is needed.  Peaceful non-violence does NOT mean powerless and without passion!

Image result for peaceful protest

Have a day without violence at all – in your mind, actions thoughts words – only peace. and when you drift off course because of habit – just go back to the middle where peace waits for you. Image result for non violence

Bring that peace everywhere.  And when you see something or someone who needs it, share it, in whatever way you can.





This is my soap box.

😉 I hope you can find one of your own and begin to spread your good ideas.

Take action.



Beautiful Hands

Image result for quebec flood

Its good to see neighbours,

standing shoulder to shoulder,

Using hands to help,

Spread out the burden.

Lending hands,

Holding hands,

Praying hands.

Beautiful hands!

Seeing each other,

Sometimes for a first real time.

Take a stand,

side by side,

While we watch the river rise and rise,

And we are not afraid!

We see each other,

around each other,

and we feel happiness!

even at our loss.

Children in uniform,

Deployed to safe zones,

Where they are showered in love and appreciation,

Perhaps and occasional

homemade cookie.

This is as it SHOULD BE!

Overflowing LOVE,



loving each other,



Let the disasters wash away,

the dark mysteries of our hearts,

and leave only the clean love,

we were all born with.

Out the back door,

You peer your neighbours house,

Washing down winding roads,

Grandma still rocking on the front porch.

Meanwhile those gathered in churches,

Where hands pray,

And touch softly the places,

we may have lost

and now regain.

We stand together,

when we must,

Be made safe again,

With each other

there is no loss.

Future memories,

Kitchen tables,

where we gather to talk,

with laughter and tears,

about these very  special days,

and all the magnificent things,

Our beautiful hands did better



Image result for quebec flood hudson







What would my father say

If he were alive today?

After a lifetime of what he called

“Fighting for our freedom”,

would he look at now

and feel he had succeeded?

Could he walk proudly with head held high

And not see that even he

had helped to destroy the sky?

Would he walk with grounded feet

And not feel his own moral retreat?

What would our fathers say

if they could all gather here today

Is this a good world we are making?

Or should we be ashamed,

at our near perfecting of,

“How to Hate”.

What do you say

being alive today?

Tell me but

Don’t bother to speak with words of relief.

Acting them,

Is the only way to bring true Peace.


We Who Are Willing

A few days ago I got to sit with an old friend who happens to describe himself as “a liberal-conservative”.   I must also warn you that he believes Rush Limbaugh is “right 99.9% of the time” and that he is a very “wise and knowledgeable man”. So, depending on which side of the scales of morality you sit on, this will either be an agreeable or a disagreeable statement to you. Either way it gives you a pretty clear indication of what I was dealing with.  But, I really desire to expand my mind, keep it open and hear all sides of an issue – because no matter how much I see something as insanely wrong, i know the  the person who believes it, really and truly believes in what they believe.  Just like I do. So, if what they believe is “inconceivable to me”, then it’s me who is missing something, not them.  My job is not to change anyone’s opinion but to allow everyone to live as they are while still maintaining my own beliefs which include:

Non interference. I don’t care what you believe in as long as you don’t hurt anything.

On the other hand if you DO intentionally cause harm, then I also feel it is incumbent on me and all of us, to disallow and repair this harm. Eg: American Slavery, Treatment of First Nations People, ecologically irresponsible natural resource extraction, treatment of wildlife…this is a very long potential list. You get the picture.

If we can allow, we can also step in when something is truly fundamentally wrong.  Like – extracting more coal from the earth.  This is CLEARLY a bad idea for the planet.  The fact that it contributes nothing positive to the earth that supports us, should naturally extricate it from consideration as a resource for humans, by default. So, why is it still being pursued?

Because throughout our evolution we have prioritized comfort and self gain over the planet.

Some beliefs are difficult to questioned and must be recognized at least, by each person: we must become consciously aware of what we believe and why we believe it.

In your discovery of your own beliefs (from the heart) as opposed to opinions (of the mind), you will find beliefs come from a soulful place, and certain things will always remain inconceivable to you.  For example, war will never be ok with me.  There is no rationalization for war. There can never be a “good reason”. You can’t Shawn Spicer away any war, they are all bad – for me.

But, my opinion on universal healthcare – is something more elastic.  Something that requires room for growth and further understanding.  There are ideas in our minds that must always be questioned. But when we enter a “fundamental” approach to life – through religion, or political culture – we eliminate the questioning and become pre-programmed without plasticity and allowance for individuality. We become soldiers of a belief system which does not represent us.

Leaving ourselves open to really engaging and hearing the other side, has the two fold positive effect of allowing us to maybe take in more useful information, or it can substantiate what we have already come to understand about the world.

We cannot be FUNDAMENTALLY anything, because everyone believes what they believe based on a lifetime of their own experiences, and no religion, political system or even culture will completely support what we as individuals have come to see and understand from our own particular lenses.  That’s why communism doesn’t work – its why it is fundamentally unfair to the human spirit; because it does not allow for the individuality of a person and all of their understanding to flow freely through their life choices.

Fundamentalism in politics, business, religion  and culture no longer have a positive or productive value for human beings.

The man I spoke to who is a supporter of Trump seemed to be adamant in his belief that the “left wingers” were responsible for all of the violence happening around the planet, indeed, and that all of the protestors that we are seeing for climate change, the pipe line, the women’s march for example, are all paid and bought for by private interest organizations.

Yes a perfectly intelligent person said this to me.

Of course you would not believe me if I aid he was a minority, or short or poor, fat, gay or a woman – you know, any of those things that make you sensitive to the needs of the world. No, he is a half-read, fully brainwashed and fear based representative of a massive number of people who believe

1- that the country they live in owes them a certain lifestyle

2- that this lifestyle does not include anyone who does not look are act like them

3- that isolating people based on their beliefs or cultural values makes some sort of sense to them

4- building walls is the solution to a moral problem they themselves have created

There is a cloud of paranoia covering this country which is beyond description and magnificently terrifying and its starting to make my country stink.  I’d like it to stop right now.

How will it stop?

Well like other kinds of dysfunctional family squabbles, such is the relationship between the United States and Canada. the United States right now is like the drunk uncle who shows up every single Christmas, and predictably gropes you and all your cousins.  That is the united states right now, and its pretty much how Canada is feeling I suppose.

Remember how in the Walton’s whenever they had a big fight over  little Ben would go out missing in the woods and get surrounded by wolves, or Elizabeth would have a temper tantrum and run into an electrical storm atop a mountain?  The point is, the family had to work together!

And that’s what is goign to happen here – with four famines rising up in our world, there will come a point where we cannot ignore the real and terrible things that we could be alleviating if we could just focus our thinking in the right direction – towards each other.

The good news about all this is NOW you know what it looks like, acts like, sounds likes – and how it makes decisions based on fear, and disillusionment.

Consider creating some personal guidelines and become aware about what you support:

For example:

If it increases hate – don’t support it.

If it decreases health in communities – don’t support it

If it can cause harm to the planet – don’t support it

If it creates tiers of advantage – don’t support it

If it causes war and people to die – DO NOT support it

If it hoards things we have too much of when other people need it – Don’t support it

Basic rules. Compassion we all have and can easily access.  And anyone who believes even ONE of them to be true, cannot support Donald Trump.

The bottom line  is that we need not support anything that doesn’t not support us.  WE are the living things on this planet.

There are VERY VERY few human examples of people like Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong whats-his-face. Thank whatever God you believe in that this is true.

And there are a hell of allot more people like you and me, who want health and happiness and are willing to live a more simple life so that the whole world can get better. We who are willing to open our minds and our communities to those that need help. We who are willing to share our food, time and talents to increase the “happiness quotient” of this planet.

We who are willing to live together.


What to Do With Hatred?

A few weeks ago I was approached by a gentleman in the store where I was working who told me that he was a minister who spent his days traveling around and organizing prayer circles around the world. This was intriguing and I asked him to tell me more.

“Prayer Canada” his card said.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t really consider which religion he adhered to, I like them all. But I assumed it was some form of Christianity.  I told him I was a spiritual person too and thought that prayer was something very powerful & I wanted to know more about what he did.

He joined me at the cash and we began a conversation that would last an hour – but would create an indelible and powerful impression on me.

He told me that god spoke to him and told him things. OK, fair enough.

That he had just received a message that God wanted me to know something – urgently, and I had to really listen to him.

OK – ready.

He asked me if I had any Muslim friends.

Of course I do. I started life in an international high school and then traveled most of the world – so yes, I enjoyed a circle of friends from all walks of life.

Well – he said, that is very dangerous.  You must not let these people into your life.


He told me the story about a man who had a “best friend” who was Muslim. And when he asked his “best friend” if his religion told him to kill him, would he?  And the man responded that yes he would (I would too, what a dumb question…) Then he told me that I would be destroyed by sharia law, and that “they” were “taking over” our land…

I know what you’re thinking. Stop there.

In hindsight I have a million things I would have said to this man. But at the moment, I was just in shock. And it would only get “better”.

He then waved to the lovely massive Tibetan Buddha to my left and spoke about those who worship “hocus pocus” and false idols.

“I didn’t insult your religion sir – and your people have killed more than any other in history.”

I swallowed my desire to give him a history lesson and tried to soften things, the way a Buddhist might:

“Do you want to know about that Buddha? Because each one has a very interesting story?” I wanted to take the focus off the hatred and weird shit he was saying.

“This is the Buddha of enlightenment. It represents the moment at which Buddha realized that he is a manifestation of and connected to everything alive around him.  The Pineapple on his head represents that the Pineal gland, in the brain which looks like a pineapple when it is fully activated. Somehow ancient Buddhists knew that this part of the brain was fundamentally important to spiritual enlightenment; something our scientists today are only catching up on.” He looked at me blankly, like you look at a three year old who is babbling.


“Um – Buddha and Jesus taught the same thing you know.” I ended, hoping a real fact would stir him out of his stupor.

By now his wife had joined us. She looked exactly as you might imagine a pastor’s wife to look; middle aged, neatly dressed with smart reasonable shoes and a sort of permanent “amen” stuck to her face. As her husband spoke she habitually amen’d through his diatribe:

I remember him going on and on about stuff like:

There is only one book…amen

The word of our Lord…yes lord

People of the devil…help us lord

Take over our land…amen

Lord is right.

My brain rattled off epithets of admonishment always ending in something like

I have Muslim friends sir. I find your rhetoric insulting and based in fear.  It is ABSOLUTELY NOT what Jesus would teach.

It is the opposite.

That’s what I would have said – If i would have had presence of mind. Anger and shock take that away from you.

I would have said – if I thought saying anything then would have made a difference. It’s what i said in my head a million times since he left the store with his Amen wife in tow.

But my silence was I think part of a sudden sadness that I felt like I was not in my own country anymore. Something in me thought we Canadians were “better than that”.  I was so proud of us when I lived in Australia. We are good people. Kind people. We like to help and we have abundance and we like to share.

We’d like to say that what is going on in the USA is their problem, and we are untouched by it culturally. I think in Canada there is a bit of a sense that we are “above that” and it doesn’t really have anything to do with us – but it does, I see now.

Somehow, the shift in the American political winds has created a platform where it is OK and even celebrated to spew and propagate hatred and fear. And now, this dark wave is  somehow seeping into neighourhoods and personal interchanges. That is really disturbing.  It seems those fearful disillusioned and ignorant folk who were “dampened” by a culture of hypocritical political correctness, can now come out of the woodwork and expound their fearful rhetoric.  They have found their people now – they have friends who support their ignorance. Indeed they have even found a leader.

I wanted to write about this in case you encounter hatred on your path.

Be prepared.

How will you respond?

Because the world does not need all of us bowing to hatred and fear – even if the anger is directed at those that perform the greatest atrocities, of which the misuse of power is one.  Someone has to keep their head on.

It is more likely today than it has been before that you will encounter this idea – that one kind of person is dangerous or not good enough for your country.

So what will you do about it?

If I could have a “do over” i would have liked to have been more prepared for this, so that i could somehow have effected positive change on this man, and discouraged him from going around using his authority as a self proclaimed representative of God – to incite hatred and fear in people.

I don’t know what the answer to such a thing is, but I am certain that silence is not it.










Never Born

Image result for mother earth

The world I have awakened to

is not the same one that cradled me in sleep

under bright stars – with promises to keep.

The morning world reminds me

I remain.

How can I grow old –

If I was never born?

I cannot die.

I have nothing to remember

or forget.

On this tiny blue ball,Related image

as we fly together,

safely nestled within her belly,

through our versions of eternity.

Sparks and sparkles of life,

flicker on and off,

Dancing upon her surfaces,

we don’t even know what our feet are.

Isn’t it amazing that we can dance?

There was no arriving at this place.Image result for mother earth

You have always been!

The cardinal outside my window sang

this spring morning.

It said You are “Appearing to be only what you are not”,

what comes and goes has no being,

and what is real,

does not change.

The real does not die.

The unreal never lived.Image result for mother earth

You are complete,

here and now.

you need absolutely nothing,

You were never born.