OCTOBER VIEWS – Heaven On Earth
As another chapter in my life comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on things that bring a yearning to stay in this South American country. Pure and simple moments come to mind, like that of the early morning snuggles with a warm, sweet child who climbs into bed and whispers ¨Morning Mama.¨ Then, there is the feeling of the morning sun on my face and the sound of the indigenous birds when hanging towels out to dry. A simple ritual that often evokes a memory of peace, which in turn brings peace. And throughout it all, there is the important habit of sitting down for meditation to just BE and openly welcome the subtle blessings of each day! All these simple moments have been precious and could become a part of the next chapter, I suppose…
Wherever we are in life we can choose to enjoy the little things, however for me there IS a special vibe here in Peru. It is a distinct, peaceful feeling that first came to me years ago, after days of hiking in the greenery of the Andes. It was upon hearing ‘los chiguancos’ on a quiet morning in the Sacred Valley. It was a clear blissful moment that I have felt many times here since, and I seek to experience it again and again. So with this in mind, in the midst of the move back to Canada there is also a scheduled visit to the Chakra Gardens of the Willka T’ika. It is a retreat center near Machu Picchu only a few hours from where I live. An extraordinary place where it is easier to be in silence and feel that sense of Heaven on Earth. A place where one is given ample opportunity to listen to the heart and intuition, and then step forward with courage with all that’s been heard.
Although I am learning to be comfortable with uncertainty and trusting what is to come, big transitions are still not easy. We only have so much control over things, and yet the power of intention is huge?! It takes clear intention to obtain and then maintain the awareness that helps us walk gracefully through tumultuous times. And I believe that if the desire to slow things down is deep enough, then it is easier to move aside the lure and trappings of society–the compulsion to work more, travel more and to technologically connect more. Since the urge to DO and BECOME more can continually take us out of the pleasurable present moment, remembering that peace and joy are always in our hearts, can truly help us to move through big decisions and transitions.
Our flights back to Canada are scheduled for mid-November and I am looking forward to many things about returning. Especially seeing family and friends over the holiday season! Thus I would say this transition is bittersweet. Will I be back in Peru anytime soon? I am sure I will. And will I ever live here again? I have a feeling that answer is yes, but I am willing to let the universal forces guide me. When fear creeps in now and again I remember, ¨May we all be free from suffering. Peaceful, happy and enveloped with love may we live in harmony with nature.¨ Heaven on Earth.
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Green Tip – Solar Power 101
Although the sun is not something the Lower Mainland of Vancouver thinks much about this time of year, it is always there is full force behind those clouds! How can we use more of the sun’s energy for our everyday needs? Around the world 40GW of solar power was installed in 2014. That was a record amount of solar power added to the world’s grids in 2014, pushing total cumulative capacity to 100 times the level it was in 2000. This is prompting renewable energy associations to claim that a tipping point has been reached that will allow rapid acceleration of the technology.
Solar Power 101:
•Solar energy is obtained from sunlight and has been used by humans for a long time for uses such as heating, cooking food, removing salt from seawater and drying clothes.
•These days it is also used to create electricity and heat homes. As technology has improved, solar power costs have decreased and it has become a more viable alternative, competing with energy sources such as coal and oil.
•While solar power is becoming more efficient, it only provides a small fraction of the world’s energy supply.
•Solar cells convert light energy into electricity.
•Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells.
•Solar cells can be used to power portable devices such as calculators and watches.
•Large numbers of solar cells are put together to create solar panels.
•Presently the largest solar power plant in the world is found in the Mojave Desert, USA but they are getting larger every year.
•Spacecraft and space stations such as the International Space Station (ISS) often use solar panels to generate power as well.