Dearest friends,

Right now it is quiet. The wind is blowing ferociously and beautiful fluffy white clouds are flying through a chilly blue sky. Sunshine smiles through them. And, it is quiet.

I have learned many profound lessons about life from the natural world. I turn to nature as a teacher, as a source of wisdom and for healing. The lessons it shares are different each day. Today it is reminding me that stillness exists in the midst of movement. Stillness is always here. The clouds have no agenda, no timeline, no concepts of better or worse, no wanting or not wanting. Moving or not, they simply are. The sky is. Life is.

I learned recently that physicians, including myself, are now allowed to write prescriptions for ‘time in nature‘. Yes, the medical community has finally conceded that nature has healing benefits for many many different health conditions from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer recovery, to ADHD, mental health struggles and more. It boosts the functioning of our immune systems, reduces inflammation, and reduces the levels of cortisol, one of our key stress hormones after an average of only 20 minutes being in nature.

While not everyone has easy ready access to natural spaces, and those of us who are in the middle of the winter may be less inclined to spend time outside, I do so hope that those who can access nature, make it a habit to do so.  We are lucky that this is one of the few things we can still do amidst a pandemic under lockdown. Even something as simple as touching the earth with your hands or feet, putting your fingers in a lake, or feeling the bark of a tree can encourage our bodies and minds towards healing.

On the theme of healing, I’m also absolutely thrilled to share that Heart Space is going to be gathering together representatives from six different faith traditions to hold an online Multi-Faith Healing Service. The purpose of this service will be to send ripples of healing energy to each other, to our respective communities, to those known and unknown, here and around the world. We already know there will be attendees from around the globe and would love to have you join us. The service will be facilitated by Father Charles Ogada and the Global Joy Village Team (which includes me!).  The energy of joy and compassion that emanates from this team is extraordinary so I hope you will have a chance to enjoy and benefit from what they share. To register you can click here and you will be added to the participant list. There is no cost for this program. It is purely an offering from the heart.

While on the zoom call we will also be inviting participants from around the world to add a land acknowledgment beside their name on Zoom.  For example, Toronto is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, Haudenashaunee, Anishnabe and Wendat First Nations. If you’d like to learn more about the  traditional territory that you live on you can check out this interactive map which covers areas around the world where indigenous lands have been colonized, remapped and renamed https://native-land.ca/

With love,
Shira

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