Kub Kars and Cubs

Kub Kars is what being a cub is all about.  A few weeks back we gave each cub a Kub Kar set.  There was a block of wood, 5 wheels, 5 nails and the Kub Kar Rules. Each cub set out to design their block of wood into a car by following the Kub Kar directions with the intention of racing them.  The cubs designed their cars and parents came together with power tools and helping hands to make their designs come to life.               

 The night of the race brought great excitement to the church hall.  Cubs got their Kars weighed to make sure they did not go over the 142 ounces.  We divided the group into 3 weight classes; lightest/ middle weight and heaviest.  

The race track had enough room for 3 kars to race at a time and it was exciting, enjoyable and fun! I truly believe that it's a great experience for kids to make things with their hands.  In our world of everything ready made and accessible it is important to experience that satisfaction of handwork.  The kub kar experience gave exactly that.  It also gave that experience of adult support, encouragement and community. 


My sister and I were two of the 16,000 fans sitting at the Scotia Bank Centre, waiting to see Oprah Winfrey, last Wednesday night.  Like many of you, I grew up with Oprah.  I watched her religiously every day at 16:00.  As I grew through my adolescence into adulthood, Oprah grew from a trashy talk show to an inspirational program that changed many lives.  It had been a long time dream of mine to go to Chicago and visit this icon of a woman.   When my sister called to say that Oprah was coming to Ottawa and we should go together, I jumped on the opportunity. Thanks Mad!
The excitement in the building was palpable.  The girl sitting to my left introduced herself as Lindsay and she was literally crying from excitement The moment finally came when Oprah stepped on that stage and the crowd went crazy.  We jumped to our feet with screams of delight, happiness and joy.  She had not said a word and yet we knew we were in for a good night.   The stage was simple with 2 comfortable chairs, some flowers and her presence.  We sat in the 200s almost directly across from her.  She looked small on the stage in her glittery purple dress but her face glowed on the big screen.  

Here are a few notes that I wrote down while she talked.  It is but a fraction of her message. As she talked she also went through her life experience, showing photos of her growing up and how she became who she is.

Who are you? 
Her answer: You are divine energy, source, light ...

Why are you here?
To reach your highest potential on this earth, your life is your art.

Keep redefining yourself.

Are you living your purpose? 

To know your calling you have to be still.

Who are you? Have you really thought about it?

I am a whisper in the breath of god.

I aspire to be my connection to source the Same force that made the stars, the sun, the stars, the moon...

You become what you believe.

You are a spiritual being having a human experience.

Do  unto others as you would have them do unto you.

3 laws of motion: for every action there is a reaction.

The energy that you are putting out comes back to you.

Work on being whole.

Gratitude is the one single truth to change the negative from the positive.

I was most impressed by her standing there for 2 hours just talking to us as though we were her long time friends.  She is funny, inspirational and just like us a human walking this Earth figuring things out. 

Yes, I loved seeing Oprah, I loved her message but most of all I loved being there with my sister.  As we left the premisses one of us said something and we burst out into our sister laugh.  We laughed so hard that my stomach hurt.   I love my sister and I love our belly laughs.  Thanks Mad, I love you!


Snow Shoe

 I spent the weekend up in the Gatineau Hills.  It was time well spent.  Hatha Yoga Teacher Training finished 2 weeks ago, so this was my first weekend free in 6 months.   Life is changing at a drastic pace these days.  We are moving and that in itself has a lot of little details that go along with it.  There is another little change that I am not ready to let out of the bag, just yet. 

 While in the hills I took the time to relax.  I hung out with Jay, worked on the whitehouse and today we went for a 3 1/2 hour snow shoe. Yes, snow shoe.  There is still so much snow here.  Although it is melting fast there is still a lot of it.  It was so great to be surrounded by trees again and feel the healing effect that they have on my spirit.   Hikes in the woods are therapeutic and is a big part of keeping my sanity. 

When is the last time you went out for a hike in the woods? 



“Happiness is your birth right” – Yogi Bajhan

There is something that we all have in common, worldwide.  This common thread is our wish for happiness and satisfaction in our lives.  Of course we have already have moments of this light in our lives. It arrives in the birth of a child and in the finding of new love.  It arrives in watching the joy of children at play. It is felt after a shopping spree, attending a yoga class, after a great achievement, after drinking that coffee and in so many other forms.   Of course these moments arrive, settles in for a while and soon fades into shades of dissatisfaction and unease. 

This is the nature of life outside our centre, it is always in movement, transforming from one thing to the other, it is the ebb and flow and the order of things.  But there is a possibility of a state of steady happiness and that space is not found outside of us, but within.  Within every one of us there is a well of happiness that is forever present, bubbling with delight.  This nectar of joy can be attained with a meditative practice.   You must sit in concentrated relaxation, reach through the spaces in thought, through the spaces in the cells and there and only there will you find your centre of steadiness.   Once you journey there you will notice a sense of contentment and satisfaction.  You will be able to observe the comings and going of your emotions and the order of life without getting caught in the snags of happy and unhappy.
Once you dedicate time to your meditation practice you will notice that your become less reactive to the world around you.  Anger, frustration, stress, fears, and the runnings of the mind will become less dominant and an underlying sense of well-being will ensue.  With regular sittings you will be able to notice the play of life arise and you will let them play out and stay in a space of peace and contentment. In this way you will find a state of happiness and contentment. In Sanskrit we call it Santosa.

Meditation is like a seed that needs light and water to spring forward into new life.  In meditation one can see the breath as the water that feeds the mind into relaxation and the attention brought to the practice as the light that takes away the dark shadows of the mind.  Once the shadows are removed contentment is unveiled and all is as it should be.  But take note as the plant takes time to bare fruit the meditator must be patient with the flowering of his mind.

There are many forms of meditation; vipassana, transcendental, mantras etc… Below you will find a simple breath meditation that you can use to begin your journey into the mind.  Before you begin set a space aside that is clutter free, a space that you can return to everyday at the same time.  Meditation is a great way to start your day but you will find the best time for you with your schedule.  It doesn’t have to be long.  Even 10 minutes a day can make a difference.  With discipline you will notice that it is your practice that helps sustain you during your day.

This is a spot in the whitehouse
Come into a seated position either sitting cross legged, on a chair or if this is not possible lying down. It is important that you are comfortable. If a cross-legged position brings your knees way up past your hips, sit on a cushion.  If you are sitting in a chair make sure that it has good back support so that you are not slouched.  If sitting up is not accessible to you, lie on your back. Wherever you are in whatever position, close your eyes.  Bring your attention to the sensations in your body; the legs, the torso, the arms, and the feelings or emotions that come up. In this way, practice allowing the sensations to be exactly what they are sensations, nothing more, nothing less.  Remember that the meditative mind poses no judgment on things and situations.  It sees things for what they are and is in acceptance what that is. 

Begin to relax the body; relax the jaw, the facial features, the shoulders and start noticing each inhale and exhale. Notice everything about the breath, the expansion of the lungs as they inflate, the letting go of the exhale as they deflate. Notice the air as it passes through the nostrils, the pause between the inhale and exhale.  Be creative in the different ways you can explore the observance of the breath.   The mind will interrupt, distract and irritate you and  this is normal. When you recognize that you have stepped away from the breath come back to it over and over again.  Observe the experience of the breath with the body and the playing of the mind.  With regular practice you will lengthen the space between thought and develop the ability to observe the playings of your life without getting caught up in the dramas and you will stay steady in a state of peace contentment and happiness!

“Only a silent mind can look within.  Only a silent mind can hear the silence, the happiness that is always bubbling there.  It is so subtle that with the noise of the mind you cannot hear it.” – Osho
Before I sign off I want to tell you that our for rent sign is down. We are 95% sure that we have found a place!!! Yeah!