Sunday, February 23, 2014

Be. Present.

The Olympic Range from Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011

Not so many years ago, my body was a powerful force. I was in the gym about four times per week - swimming, weights, treadmill and Qi Gong. I surfed. I was very strong physically. For a variety of reasons, this is no longer the case. The time went by so quickly. I need to do more but beating myself up for my gold medal baked good consumption and absence from the treadmill is not the purpose of this piece. 

Aging may be considered unpleasant but I'd gamble more pleasant than the alternative.... I love life. I am so grateful for it. Each passing day holds great import and enjoying the moments more meaningful with the passage of time. Every second is a thread in the fabric of life. How is it we do not spend our lives on our knees in the wonder of it? Every breathe is an irreplaceable gift. Waste not a moment of this precious elixir. 

Drink deeply from the cup of life. Quench your thirst for love and knowledge and give all that you can freely give. Do not let fear of failure, fear of loss, keep you from reaching for the greatness you were meant to live. Play. Give. Receive. Love. Be present.

Let the miracle of your existence be the sustainable fuel for your life fire for as long as you may share your time here. 

Thank you to everyone who pauses here and shares their thoughts and comments. Our connection is one of the most beautiful parts of my week. With wishes for joy, peace, ease and love. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. February 23, 2014.

The Faithful Heart
Fernwood - Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. February, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olympian Bravery

This week, in the middle of Olympic events and Valentine's Day and other world expansive and world expensive events filled with declarations of love and pride, there is another important event in Nevada this weekend. The Human Rights Campaign, Time To Thrive conference has been taking place in Las Vegas. 

At the kick-off on February 14, Ellen Page, in a moment of Olympian bravery, stood up to speak her truth. Please watch: 


Apologies to those mobile visitors who can not click on the video here. Please follow the link embedded above.

"The Human Rights Campaign Foundation in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association present Time to THRIVE, the inaugural national conference promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth ...everywhere!" - HRC / Time to THRIVE website.

At 11:40 am on Sunday, Hilary Clinton gave the closing plenary. Please watch and listen

This week, as we watch and listen through television and social media, bombarded with stories of athletes and lovers, take a moment to think of the courage and strength it takes the young person who is sitting down to tell his mom or dad, friend or teacher that he is part of the spectrum we name: LGBTQ. Think about how this young person is terrified and hoping that the person he tells will still love him, that he won't be thrown out of his home and onto the street, that he will not be beaten, killed or forced into something he is not. For those of you who naively believe this no longer happens, it does - EVERYWHERE. It happens where the laws have changed and it happens where they have not. It happens within every race, religion, workplace and school in every country. Yes, there have been many positive changes but change comes slowly and is difficult to measure. From my perspective, at 52, change has been glacial in speed and warmth. If we face the reality that hate can be persistent and insidious, it will be easier to move forward in truth and love.

Watch the video and listen to Ellen Page - another young person hoping that being herself will not crumble her world and destroy all that for which she has worked, hoping that her truth will not bring her violence, loss and hate, that she will not be treated as "less than" for living that truth.

As you go forward through your days, breathe and act with kindness, breathe and act with love, breathe and move without fear of difference. Breathe and remember that many colourful threads make for strong and beautiful cloth.

We are one in life and love. 
-Gillian Cornwall, c. February 16, 2014.

All photographs by Gillian Cornwall - c. February 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Energy of Love

Shasta Daisies
G. Cornwall - Salt Spring Island, c. 2010 

"However much energy there was at the start of the universe, so there will be that much at the end." - Peter Atkins, The Laws of Thermodynamics - A Very Short Introduction

Every petal of every flower reminds me of the loves I have known in this life - love of self, love of friends, love of family members, love of all the creatures of the earth and sea and the love of my lovers - loves in passion and in peace. They move through my every cell, every cell a universe, these open thermodynamic systems, searching for equilibrium. They move through me, rippling out through eternity and cycling back through me again, like breath, like heat, rising and falling. 

When love for all flows freely through us, through all, then we shall know peace. This is our purpose. When we realize, when we accept there is no loss, we shall know eternity. In this moment, I am alive. This is me. How do I want my life to be right now?

We have access to "all", the universal energy, and we may choose how to utilize that capacity. In studying physics, it is said that energy is constant in amount - the same at the beginning as at the end - regardless of other change. In knowing this and believing we are all of energy and integral to the whole, there is nothing to be lost - nothing to fear. We can remain open and allow the energy of "all" to flow through us, unimpeded by fear and holding - whether beings, moments or things. 

We are fluid. We are ever-changing. We are perfect in this moment. 

The practice of Qi Gong is simply the practice of opening ourselves to this energy flow, creating an awareness around blockages in our bodies and allowing that universal energy to flow through us freely, thus, healing the pain and illness that results from these blockages. We cannot meet our full potential while attempting to hold that which cannot be made stationary. 

It is about absence of resistance. There is more strength in fluidity than there is in holding. This is represented throughout life. It is seen in everything from the human body to high-rise buildings: that which is flexible is stronger than that which is inflexible - just like our muscles in motion, a building in an earthquake or a tree in a strong wind. 

Start by breathing deeply and slowly for one minute. Close your eyes and let go of fear, assumption, want and loss for one minute. Be at peace in the magic of life itself. You are loved. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. February, 2011 

Buddha - The Island of Hawaii
G. Cornwall, c. December 2006

Other Resources:
The First 16 Secrets of Chi: Feng Shui for the Human Body - Luk Chun Bond 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

In the Name of Love

 Sun Through the Palms
G. Cornwall - Lana'i HI, c. 2013

I will stand by you
and fight for us
side by side
or Jedi knight

I will hold a light
when your path is dark
to remark:
you can
you have done
you will

We stand
- separate trees -
of matching wood
in that we give
and that we take

We loom not 
o'er thoughts and plans
life-giving sun
nor quenching rain

We grow in time
in our peaceful company
stretching to the heavens 
our true love
strong and free

-Gillian Cornwall, c. February 2, 2014.

As the Ocean Meets the Shore
Gillian Cornwall, Lana'i HI c. 2013