Adventures Of a Little Shop

moon-treeAman was at the counter where the cash is when I came in today. She was with a customer at the crystals. I could hear his voice was very loud – even a little aggressive.  We get all types – but mostly very nice people.  He was a big man and seemed to be almost bent over Aman in a sort of imposing way.

For such a peaceful little place – the energy was weird and tense and I didn’t like the way he was pushing her, one question after another no chance to breathe or respond.

Really? What does this do?” he would say almost sneering, pointing at a crystal or a wand with conglomerate crystals in the cases I had lovingly cleaned and rearranged the day before.

And this? What  about this one? eh? Really? Do you really think that? Or is it a lie? What do you think – is this all just crap? Eh?

Aman was patiently repeating to him that truth is inside of him and she could not decide for him what to believe.  Everyone once in a while you meet someone raring for a fight but normally it is when I am singing a bar, not in a  gentle little Indian store with peaceful wares.

“It is what is inside of you”, Aman was patiently trying to explain to this bizarrely belligerent customer.

Belligerent and paranoid.

“You know – those hydro meters are really screwing up our energy man – you know what I’m talking about?  They just put those things in our houses without asking and now I’m all messed up, you hear me?” as he spoke his voice grew in intensity. I could feel the conspiracy theory craziness seeping from his pores and I took a step between the two of them, deliberately interrupting the flow of this interchange.

Although I have only known Aman for only a couple of weeks, and yes indeed she is my boss and I have great respect for her in that role because she is very good at what she does.  We both respect each other’s strengths and this is really amazing to me – she has taught me that we are women first, and I knew she that she would completely understand my inhabitual rudeness when I crushed my body between hers and the increasingly agitated man, knocking over the display of silver necklaces cursing under my breath. Another boss would have been angry at a new employee when the man thrust his body around the corner and spat in my face “Hey! You got a problem with me? You having a bad day?! I think you have bad energy!” and he looked at me with his crazy eyes.

I waited to consider the few words I would give him. His words had shown me that he was in some terrible pain – fear or something – inside of himself. I felt aman figure it out too and we both sort of settled down.

“No. Stop being nasty or you will have to leave. You’re acting aggressively and its uncomfortable. We can help – but you have to be nice.” I said quietly. I felt a weird kind of  affection for him at this moment. he had nothing to fight against. As I held his gaze, what was most remarkable was that my heart beat rhythm didn’t change. I felt Aman beside me her quietness radiating outwards, in that place full of love and good intention – and I was steady and sure that this guy was just not feeling well that day, and we could handle that

Then, as though we had all agreed on it somehow,  we all let the energy drop – just like that.

Very soon I ended up talking to him quite congenially about Himalayan salt to find his balance, and that maybe he should consider a serious detox.
And let me admit that normally that kind of “confrontational” stuff – ohhkay ANY kind of confrontational stuff – would last for with me for days. But even this morning I started with a whole different kind of confrontation and somehow I have been able to work and be and do, and I am fine.

Nothing is sticking to me and that’s a massive relief.


Aman’s husband Romy teaches me about attachment of the mind and things that cause us to suffer – which is always what we think about something.  He shows me through words and examples a kind of “congenial detachment”, peppered with good humour and a continuous attention to letting go. What I am being shown is magnificently functional and often results in me having insanely happy days.

Maybe something about having bosses that are focused on kindness and love, that teach me about attachment and staying truthful even to yourself in your mind – helps. It is incredibly refreshing to see people who live every aspect of their lives with the highest priority of helping others in the best way they can, every day.   moon-tree

People really live like his?


This changes everything.

In some ways it’s like discovering that unicorns are real or something!

This is fantastic!

And is surely – a continuing story…


I will not tumble backwards,

Just because normal,

is what my body longs for.


I will not fall prey,

To the embellishments of the mind,

And the stories it laments,

About times never past.


There will be plenty of time for grieving,

Or for reprieving,

Or whatever the hell it is one does,

When they try believing.


I will not let my heart shatter into a thousand pieces,

Because it could never sing the song,

The audience really wanted.


I will not forget who I am

Or what I have come here to do,

Which does not include,

Sitting on the sidelines,

Waiting for the next circumstance to make my next choice.


I will not kneel to my fears,

And let them baptize me with their venomous intentions.


I will however,

Follow through with my prayer.

The one where I fully offered myself,

to the All of it,

And stood on the edge of the world


To hear the clear soothing voice,

of my own heart.







The Little Blue Fish Called Joy

The idea of animals and energy is fascinating.  Once you spend enough time with animals in any capacity, you will find that you can easily feel and transmit subtle reciprocal energetic exchanges.  Animals react to our emotions and energy in a substantial way.


Years ago, one of my dear friends and fellow horse farmer was having a celebration for her fiftieth birthday. She had invited a few friends over to celebrate and we were going to have a bonfire, tell some stories, sing some songs – a good summer night.


That same afternoon, her horse of many years began to die.  She was very old and had faced a plethora of health problems over the years. The vet was called and by the time I arrived it was already dark and people were sitting around the fire.  They had set up a sort of drive-through IV on a tree limb so the horse could get intermittent hydration treatments while we tried to keep her from going down through an endless walk many horse owners regrettably face at some point.


We all took turns helping  keep the mare moving but finally she lay down and there was nothing we could do to get her up. In our resignation we gathered around the fire and decided to send her off with good energy by playing guitar and singing. While her breath slowed, our songs became incThis went on and soon there was a feeling of celebration and coming together – the heaviness had vanished and had been replaced with music, love and community. Suddenly without a warning, the sweet old mare stood up, shook herself off and proceeded to continue to live in that body for three more years.  There is no doubt in any of our minds what had changed the events of that night – it was all about energy.

Recently, I began working at a little store that is filled with beautiful things from Nepal, India and other fairly sourced places. It is in fact the only shop I have gone out of my way to visit for many years. Romi and Aman, the owners,  are generous and warm people. They have beautiful carefully chosen items for sale in the store – each one somehow meant to have a good result for the person. A gift of energy and healing in a stone, or a spring jacket with vibrant colours  of Nepalese clothing. Although the store appreciates the business clients give as they are hard working people with small children and the winter season leaves them with absolutely no income in the seasonally abandoned tourist town. But just as I much I think they love when you ask questions and take time look at all the beautiful things.


My life was at a massive cross roads and I was feeling pretty spun-around when Aman called me and asked to meet them at the store. When they offered me a part time job – I took it on the spot knowing there was no better place for me in the world.  As we chatted excitedly about plans and training, I saw a stunning molded glass bowl with a sad looking little Beta fish in it, huddled at the bottom.

“Your fish is sad.  Cold I think…”

“Yes, yes” Romi replied. “She keeps dying and coming back to life. She has not been well in a long time.” And with great concern for a beloved pet, Romi and Aman talked about the little blue fish, now dull and old sitting at the bottom of the bowl.

My first day of work was two days later and  I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Imagine going into your favourite place and your boss’s first directive is “Make everything beautiful! –  the way you want”.

Seriously. Yay.

The first thing we did was deal with the beautiful fish bowls. Perched on dried roots they were an amazing thing to behold. A woman came in to look at them and within minutes the little blue fish found herself homeless and in transition.

Aman and I took incredible care working together to move her – gently cooing in the bathroom, snuggling her from one bowl to the next as if she were a kitten or something.

Aman  set up little stones, amethysts especially to bring a renewed energy to the water.  Then we brought her into the sun and watched the magic happen through the day as the sweet little fish began to dance around her bowl unlike anything she had ever done before. Aman returned to her bowl about 35 times to joyfully exclaim.”Look! Look how happy she is!” We received so much of our own joy from her joy!

“Joy” Photograph Sarah Vinnah Davis

One person after another streamed into the store that day.  The happy feeling of connection was palpable and filled with “Joy”full loving energy that abounded from our small victory bringing the little fish back to health.

Romi and Aman’s care of Joy was truly an awesome thing to behold and incredibly contrasting in a world where the news can be so bad watching two people show authentic concern for a little blue fish made me smile from the inside out.

Here’s to good vibes …




The Magic Necklace

Many years ago I discovered the small shop in the water side tourist town of Ste Anne De Bellevue.  Unassumingly off to the side along the edge of the rolling st Laurence river neighboured by eclectic little restaurants and shops that offered a sea side multi-cultural experience to tourists and students alike.

I had spent a great deal of time in this place for many years off and on for different reasons; as a substitute teacher at the local high school, visiting friends or buying honey and cheese at the local farmer’s market on weekends.

When I discovered Shiva, the small Hindu store in Ste Anne’s my life was a maelstrom of conflicting emotions and I was clearly in the tumult of change. On that particular day, I was driving blindly to the Montreal General Hospital to see my mother, who had been suffering from cancer for about two years.  All of the relentless treatments they had given her had led to a depressed immune system, and a reinvigorated cancer that had found its refuge in other places when shunned by the treatments. I was to attend a meeting with her doctors about her end of life care.

Even though she had had “cancer” – an idea I had almost come to be accustomed to – the possibility of her death was a shock to me and it suddenly struck me, as I was driving, how final this was all going to be. I found myself crying nearly unable to move my car forward, so I took a quick turn off for the Ste Anne’s exit for a breath before facing this particular music.

I had never really noticed the small store with the colourful Hindu items in the window before. To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a shopper but I felt myself being drawn inside. I wiped my tears and went in to be greeted by the bright wide smile and shining eyes of Romi, the owner of the shop.  I tried to put on my best face but it instantly dissolved as I saw all the smiling Buddhas around me;

“Hello. My mother is dying”, I proclaimed to him flatly “And I need some help.” I stopped, unsure of what I was saying or doing.  I had meant to say I need to buy something to bring her.

I noticed Romi’s face had not changed. He was not shocked, or put off by my rush of emotion. He remained  undaunted, still leaning on the counter looking at me more serious now, but his eyes still smiled.  After a moment of stillness that allowed the gravity of my emotions to settle like dust in the sunny windows, he stood up straighter and smiled even more brightly;

“I have something for you,” he said, an Indian lilt in his words.

He disappeared behind a colourful mandala curtain, returning a few minutes later. I noticed he was limping – quite badly, like a handicap he had all of his life. I later learned he had polio as a child and somehow this made him even more authentic and brave to me.

He put a necklace on the glass counter for me to see. It was magnificent- a Tibetan necklace with a small oil vial, containing a beautiful bone etched ying and yang in the center. I understood immediately that this was for me and not for my mother, because the best gift I could give her was to focus on staying balanced within myself so I could offer her the best of what I had for all she may need me for.

I’m pretty sure I hugged him then. I felt incredibly relieved,  like the whole universe would always somehow catch me when things became too heavy to bear.

I went to the hospital that day with a renewed vigour, an open heart and an optimistic view of life, death and the absolute love I could have for my mother without being afraid of her leaving.  I was present and fully accepting of everything.  I walked through the hospital on a wave of happy and people all around me smiled. The world looked somehow brighter.

10169198_10152078709586476_5811091101471076124_n.jpgDo you think there was magic in that little vial?

I guess in a way there was. The kind of magic that happens every time two people come to help each other in that random anonymous way that keeps us believing that everything is possible.