Category Archives: Smile

The Dream Effect

Poetry, like dreams, stem from some truth –

a feeling, a thought, a perspective, an experience.

I cannot tell if my dream stemmed from a poem, 

or if this poem stemmed from a dream.

But it bloomed…and I hope your being

blooms, too.

Love, T

*****

 

 

I had the most beautiful dream

the other night.

It was a dream that stemmed from,

and exuberated, LOVE.

And I mean LOVE.

Pure and true.

And real! So very real!

 

The love of my life

was in my dream

and he was happy.

I mean HAPPY.

His smile, warm and contagious,

lighting up his face in a way

I always wanted to remember him by.

He was healthy too.

Healthy and happy.

Is there a better combination of state,

to have one BE,

in life?

I don’t know if there is

anything much better than that.

Truly.

It was a sight to see…

He was the way you would wish

someone you love

TO BE, but really,

to feel.

He was always beautiful,

to me,

but in this dream,

he was shinning.

Bright.

It felt amazing

to see him in that

light.

 

And it wasn’t just he

who was in my dream,

although he stood out

from the rest.

It was a home,

full of happy people.

My home.

My family.

 

Exhilarating.

It was an exhilarating dream.

It lifted me to a high that spilled

over into my

reality.

Not because it gave me hope

that my love and I will

BE,

one day.

But because my love

was healthy and happy.

I couldn’t wish him

anything other than

health and happiness…

 

I hope my dream

turns into his reality,

into YOUR reality,

into YOUR love’s reality…

health and happiness,

from my dream,

to your being.

 

 

Live.

Love.

Learn.

Grow.

Let go.

 

 

Fly.

 

Photo © T.Nikic 2014

Photo and edit © T.Nikic 2014

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EXIT

I’ve been practicing Bikram hot yoga (at Bikram Hot Yoga Center ) since September 2009. Not consistently or as frequently as I’d have liked to, but nevertheless, I feel that it has been challenging, engaging and beneficial enough to my body, spirit and overall well-being, that I’ve attended the 90-minute classes (held in a  40 degree Celsius room of about 40 percent humidity), for almost five years. And it’s no small feat to captivate my interest for that long – I LOVE being challenged and this yoga practice is very challenging.

 

I receive the BYC email newsletter and in the most recent one, I saw that two intermediate classes with music were added to the schedule. With music, captivated me. In fact, when I went to practice a few days ago, I asked a teacher if I’d be eligible to take it, and when he said yes, I immediately made the commitment to my Self, and to him, to attend.

 

Today, was the very first class offered at an intermediate level with music at BYC. Was I excited? Yes. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I scared? Absolutely! Even after all those Bikram yoga classes I’ve attended, I still did not feel as if I could always get into the deepest expressions of some of the postures nor have I ever done a head stand. But I stuck to with music and that helped me calm my nerves down…a little bit.

 

Unlike regular Bikram yoga classes, this one did not have verbal instruction, but we all were to move in unison with our instructor. It was simply incredible to practice yoga in synergy and with music which included Hindu chants, prayers and songs of Shri, Krishna Das, as well as the music of the band Stars, Leonard Cohen, Eva Cassidy and Dan Gibson! The absence of verbal instruction and correction from the teacher made me feel more accountable to my own Self awareness – body, posture and position, as well as mind/thought and feeling. The few new postures which are a part of this class were challenging but surprisingly enough, I was able to do most of them…except for the head stand. I mean I did try to set it up, and even though it was something I’ve always wanted to be able to do, it was just too scary for me to do it on my own, for the first time, in this class.

The group of us who attended the class, were told at the very beginning to bring our mats in towards our instructor, as we were meant to be much closer together than in a regular class. Somehow my yoga mat ended up directly in front of the EXIT sign and door. After the standing series, I was faced with that EXIT sign every time I laid down for the Shavasana. I started thinking about the word itself. EXIT goes with escape, with letting go, with some form of freedom. And I realized that I did not allow my Self to EXIT my own thoughts which made me apprehensive about doing or attempting something new, something different, something scary. Although there were other things in my life this applied to, in this case, that was a head stand. Well, remember how I told you that I love challenges? I asked for some help and this is what happened:

I did it!

I did it! (Source BYC Instagram page)

I realize how powerful our thoughts are – they can help us face our fears or nurture them. I chose to literally EXIT the realm of CAN’T, with music, and some help. Like the mural at the BYC studio states: “Be afraid not of growing slowly, Be only afraid of standing still.”

 

Love,
T


Honouring Dr Maya Angelou

 

"The rose is without why, It blooms because it blooms, It cares not for itself, Ask not if it is seen"~Johannes Scheffler  (Photo © T.Nikic)

“The rose is without why,
It blooms because it blooms,
It cares not for itself,
Ask not if it is seen”~Johannes Scheffler
(Photo © T.Nikic)

June 28th will mark one month since Dr Maya Angelou’s passing. I have wanted to write this since, but I simply wasn’t ready. I suppose you could say that I needed some time to process and reflect on the lessons I gained from her books, her poetry, her wit, her wisdom, her grace.

 

This blog was inspired by her. In fact the title, ARainbowInTheClouds, was inspired by the words I heard her speak in person. The very first blog post is about the time I saw Dr Angelou speak in Toronto. (You can read it here: http://wp.me/p1AZhb-6 .)

 

I watched the live streaming of Dr Angelou’s wake on June 7th+8th at home (you can watch it here: http://new.livestream.com/wfu/angelou ). I cried through most of it. It was such a wonderful celebration of joy, which she exuded much of. There were some powerful and amazing things said about Dr Angelou which I noted.

 

“As long as we have time, we should keep the courage to begin again.”~Bill Clinton sharing what he learned from Dr Angelou.

*
“When I look at you, I am really looking at mySelf in a different costume.”~Oprah sharing what Dr Angelou taught her.

*
“Anything that diminishes a human being, diminishes all of us.”~Guy Johnson on what his mother taught him.

 

 

After her passing, I went through my own meditation and reflections of her lessons, which I did through this sketch of her:

Dr Maya Angelou Charcoal, graphite and pastel on paper

Dr Maya Angelou
Charcoal, graphite and pastel on paper

 

The greatest honour, I believe, that Dr Angelou was given at her wake is this one:

 

“Sequined in the black velvet sky of night,

shines a star with fiery hot, fire possessed,

leading all those who wish to claim what is right

to look within themselves and find their best.

Over my life shines this glorious beacon,

lighting my path through the dark shadow land.

With this as my guide

I shall not weaken my strive

to be a strong but gentle man.

Others had been led by its incandescence

to be more than mere flesh and bone.

To love and be loved is its true essence

for only the heart can change this world of stone.

Thus fortune graces me like none other

for this star,

this nova,

is my mother.”~Guy Johnson’s poem for his mother, Dr Maya Angelou

 

 

Dr Angelou, you believed that words are things which seep into everything – walls, hair, hearts, spirit. There are not enough words to express the gratitude I feel in my heart for the love, lessons, life and wisdom you shared with the world. I agree with you – courage is the most important of all the virtues. It takes courage to love, to speak the truth, to forgive, to engage in our own soul flight. As I am typing this, I am watching birds in flight, high in the sky, and I am reminded, once again, why the caged bird not only sings, but is free – we all are, when we learn how to fly the wings of our soul, our spirit. Thank you.

Love,

T

 

“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word LOVE, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.”~Maya Angelou


Soul Dance

Photo © T. Nikic

Photo © T. Nikic 

*This is a true story.*

In an ‘authentic’ Thai restaurant

On Bloor street,

One day, my friend and I

were eating.

We were sharing stories

about love and relationships,

and our current hardships with/in IT.

It was then that I first heard:

“Your souls danced together!”

spoken back to me

in response to the situation I had been describing.

And it made me think about LOVE, differently.

I recalled my past experiences

and how devastated or sad I was

when some of them ended;

and I realized that it was due to the fact that

I had associated that person

OR that relationship

with a hope, or a dream,

or a future which

I had only imagined for my Self,

while not really present in each moment of that relationship,

nor truly in tune with the person whom I was in IT with.

And then I had met HIM.

I knew he was the love of my life

about three weeks in…

of course that was also about the same time

I realized that WE were not going to BE in IT –

a relationship.

In any case,

I do not wish to glorify

the tragedies which seem to follow

MY “love” LIFE

but to tell you about my

SOUL EXPERIENCE,

with the love of my life.

It happened in steps,

gradually,

but all of a sudden and all-encompassing, it seems.

We spoke for hours at a time,

always looking into each others’ eyes.

And that was important –

to always look into each others’ eyes –

because they are the doorway

through which souls are able to greet each other.

Then, there was the soul baring nakedness –

this is not a physical thing,

but a spiritual connected-ness of Self

which was proudly and gladly shared

with the other.

It is the sharing of one’s limitlessness

with the other.

During that soul baring nakedness,

each soul bares its truth via

words, energy, tears, laughter, their gaze…

whichever way is most appropriate

for that soul’s story to be told.

And the soul who is receptive of the other soul’s story,

is embracing it and experiencing it

in a non-judgmental way.

The receptive soul may even shed tears,

or engage in laughter or

neutralize or intensify the energy

of whatever the naked soul is sharing.

(Side note: both souls are spiritually naked during this soul baring nakedness.)

It is an experience of elevation,

vibrations and souls

and life and being.

It is, in certain moments,

indescribable,

but only because the souls immerse and engage completely

in the dance with one another,

thereby leaving no real memory of IT,

the soul dance,

just the knowledge that the experience

DID, in fact, actually happen.

The souls who are able to dance with one another,

also serve as mirrors to each other,

of the conditions of the other’s soul,

of the energies their soul carries,

of the work that the Self needs to do

in order to stay true to,

and enable,

the flight of their own soul.

See, souls don’t belong to the Self,

but the Self ‘belongs’ to the soul.

The EGO twists the Self

into thinking that one can achieve control

of whatever pain or demons

are embedded in one’s memory,

and the ego is what coaxes Self

into holding on to that memory –

for if the Self holds on to those things

which have once ‘hurt’ it,

those past experiences will

continue to impress the “damage”

upon the Self;

and the Self will try to unload it

onto the soul,

but the soul does not hold on

to such memories –

the soul is only capable of

recognizing and exchanging ENERGIES.

And this is how the souls which choose to

dance with one another

act as a mirror –

they disassociate the Self from the experience,

so the ego cannot tarnish or attempt to question

the authenticity of the dance.

It’s just a soul dance

between two souls

that transcends time,

which travels alongside them,

and space,

in which their Self resides.

It’s an experience unique to the two souls

which engage in it.

Last thing I will say about it,

is that the dance between two souls

can only happen if the two souls

are able to recognize one another

from a time prior to the lifetime

their current Self is in,

and engage in the soul dance courageously.

And that, ladies and gentlemen,

is the true magic of IT.

The memory

of dinner at that ‘authentic’ Thai restaurant

on Bloor street,

reminds me that

another soul recognized ‘my’ soul’s experience.

And in that moment of,

and in each moment of recalling that memory,

the warmth of my Self’s smile

reaches my soul,

and that soul dance is recalled,

not as a memory,

but an experience

whose energy ‘my’ soul will

forever carry with it.

Dance well, soul beings.

Love, T.


One Day, It MUST All Make Sense…

It’s past my bedtime…kind of. I’m sitting up in my bed, with my old laptop on one leg (can’t have both legs go numb…yes my laptop is quite old…but it works!), and with my hair still wet from my shower, I am reflecting. Looking outside of my window, I’ve decided that mother nature is creating some kind of a winter wonderland that we’ll all wake up to. If I look up from my laptop, a painting I bought in India a few years ago, greets me. Even as I write “a few years ago” (which it actually was), I shock my Self, because that trip to India seemed to have happened a lifetime ago. In fact, this entire year, feels like it encompassed more than a few…at  least to me.

I can’t speak for everyone else, but I know that for me, 2013 was a tough one. As I reflect back on it, I am still in awe that so much had happened. And yet I am able to look back in pride and say that I DID IT! I not only survived but in some ways, I thrived! And I can honestly say Thank You and FAREWELL! without any regrets, sadness or anger. I’ve learned a lot, and I’d like to share my lessons with you. I’ll list them. Maybe you’ll find something good in them. Maybe you’ll want someone you know to read them. In either case, I am sharing them here, and wishing YOU a VERY Happy New Year!

Much love!

T

“MY BIGGEST LESSONS OF 2013”-LIST:

– finding forgiveness in your heart for whomever hurt you, gives you your power back

– the universe nurtures and protects you when you listen to your heart

– connections with others can come about randomly and unexpectedly, but relationships only willingly

– know your worth and speak your truth

– secrets erode relationships along with your mental health – free your Self of the burden and start healing

– it doesn’t make sense to keep doing what you’ve always done when you’ve learned and grown from who you were before

– if you want it, go for it

– learn to let go…and learn to listen to your Self on WHEN to do so

– NOTHING is promised or guaranteed – not even this moment – find gratitude in everything

– you have to learn to save your Self…often from Your Self

– do you

– there are some really amazing people out there

– not everyone is, nor has to be your friend

– people come to your life for a reason, season or a lifetime – know when to end a season tactfully

– listen to your intuition

– there is nothing wrong with seeking help of a professional (counselor etc) to help you deal or get through something

– family isn’t perfect but that won’t make it or break it – communication, respect and effort (or lack thereof) will

– addiction kills spirits – of the addict but especially of those who allow the addict in their circle

– know and state your boundaries when needed – those who care will respect them

– laughter. is. necessary.

– love can happen when you least expect it but don’t use it as a reason to knowingly start a going-nowhere relationship

– there is SO MUCH MORE to relationships than love

– love DOES NOT make a relationship

– crying is a good release

– do what you love – everything else is secondary

– be with people who make you feel good – anyone else is unnecessary

– don’t be afraid to face your fears – you grow and become so much better as a result

– a good hug goes a long way

– when you follow the truth in your heart, the universe helps to guide you to your dreams

– there are omens for everything

– stop and take in the sights, sounds and (SOMETIMES) scents around you

– take pride in your work

– stand for something

– love. just love.

– honesty really is the way to go

– know your worth

– being present alleviates the stress over what was, and the uncertainty of what will, be

– being present in each moment of now is tough but extremely rewarding and fulfilling

– what often hurts us the most is not expressing our Selves AND the thought of how something SHOULD be

– heart smiles are wonderful

– YOU ARE IMPORTANT

– YOU MATTER

– YOU ARE LOVED

– YOUR ABILITY TO LOVE IS NOT ALTERED OR SUPPRESSED BY PAIN, BUT BY YOUR CHOICE


Slow Dance

Nat King Cole’s voice, his music, his words, make my day better when I hear him. 

It makes sense it’s interwoven into a dream, right?

Dance well.

T

********

I want to slow dance
While Nat King Cole plays
In the background
With my best friend…
In our living room….
Amidst the chaos the day has left behind –
Toys, bibs, papers, – the results of lives
Our love has created.
I want to look into the eyes of my best friend
Before we embrace for our slow dance
And see his heart, his pain, his soul, his love….
I want to still see myself.
As he holds me close,
I want to rest my head on his shoulder
To take in his comforting familiar scent,
In gratitude,
And remember all that it took
For us,
To get to that present moment,
With the knowledge that it was all worth it.
I want to slow dance with my best friend…
Dance…
Slow…

 

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gETTFM2PCYg


Heart Back!!!

February 16th, 2013 was one of the best days I’ve had personally, in maybe all of my adult life.

If you follow or read my blog at all, you may have read the poem I posted last, titled Frozen Heart. And as the title suggests, my heart was frozen. Well I actually not only froze it with the help of past hurts and disappointments, but I also buried it and hid it behind some super high walls. And on top of all that, not only were these walls high, but they were solid, very thick and backed up against one another like vertical layers. Simply not penetrable. It’s a sad existence of one’s heart, I admit, but I actually didn’t realize I had done all this! I mean I knew that I was guarded and all but I did not know the conditions in which I left my heart. *insert a few spoonfuls of Self forgiveness here*

Now my close friends know that I’ve been through a lot of personal growth and I’ve done A LOT of Self work in the last three and a half years. Trust me when I say, I’ve come a loooooong way! As we go through life, people will pass through, some will stay a little while and some will stay for a lifetime and this is true for me as well. The thing I’ve really focused on a lot in the last few years was my internal reaction to people who I have interacted with personally. I would be lying to say that I always followed my internal reactions to others – because let’s face it sometimes we think we know better than our instinct – but nevertheless it was there. In my opinion, it is important to isolate how another person makes us feel because it adds to the weight of our decisions that have to do with that person, but holding on to feelings/internal reactions that one person made you feel (be it negative or positive) and extrapolating it to another is bad. It is actually really bad to do that because we use our egos and not our head, for one; and two, we extrapolate our experiences with one individual to another but the two have no connection or similarity except for the capacity in which we’ve allowed them to be in our life. Which is why Self work is important – it helps us identify unhealthy behaviours which impact our relationships with others and with our own Self. So basically to make a long-story short, I did this. I know! I know! It’s not right and it’s ego based, it’s totally childish and not mindful at all, but I think when we get hurt really badly in a relationship, even once, it becomes almost a self-defence practice we do but it’s not conscious or deliberate. In my case I didn’t even know I did it until someone came along and ACTUALLY pointed it out to me. Okay, so maybe in my case it was a group effort…of different ways…at different times…but I finally got it, and that’s important! *insert extreme gratitude here*

Needless to say, when I finally understood the magnitude of my issue along with the issue itself, I got in a serious funk. I didn’t want to have a frozen heart – I knew it was damaged a little but it was a GOOD heart. Yes my heart experienced hurt in the past but it also experienced love and projected a lot of warmth towards others. And I came to a point in my life where I did NOT want to cast heavy shadows on my heart by walls built by past hurts, lies and disappointments which carried fears, insecurities and old ‘negative’ feelings. I just wanted more for my heart and for me. *insert start of ego death here*

So, back to February 16th, 2013… The last month was challenging for me because my walls had finally come down, the rubble was cleared and my heart started ‘thawing out’. (I must say, I have a couple of science degrees and as I read this I think that this is a great place for me to state that my actual, physical heart is at a normal basal body temperature and has been doing a great job at pumping blood through my body for the last thirty one years. I’ve taken very good care of it and continue to do so. Ok back to my other ‘heart’ now…) At first, I HATED the feelings that started to surface from the ‘thawing out’. I couldn’t believe that after doing ALL this Self work over these years, I had fears and insecurities that were completely irrational in the context of where I am in my life and the people who are in my life. I shed many tears, I had many serious conversations with my Self, I simply felt like all the personal growth I’ve gained was in vain…until that morning. The morning of the 16th I woke up and felt a warmth, a calmness, serenity and beauty within. And yes I cried again but these were tears of joy. I felt like I reached my bedrock of truth. It was the most beautiful feeling I’ve felt and I felt beautiful. I laid in my bed, staring up at the ceiling as I smiled inside and out and as I laid there I felt my heart. *insert a lotta Self love here*

I decided that I wanted to go to a hot yoga class in the afternoon. I went there knowing that it was going to be a completely different practice from the last three years I’ve practiced Bikram hot yoga. I positioned my mat and towel in the front row, directly in front of the mirrors. As with every class, you’re supposed to use the mirrors to help you get into your postures, which I did but I focused my gaze on looking directly into my own eyes. And I saw a woman I love, respect, admire, and LIKE! Looking into my own reflection, I felt like I FINALLY saw ME. It was powerful. Liberating. Humbling. Beautiful. It was during that yoga class that I realized I got my heart back. Sure it had some dents and small holes, there were few bits missing but it was warm, beautiful and it worked! It was all worth it. EVERYTHING. *insert reaffirmation of Self strength and Self Love here*

To some, this may have been waaay too much information, but  I shared all this to let you know that if I was able to, I KNOW that you can do it too. If your heart is hidden behind some thick walls and a little cold, go get it back. Give it a chance to love again. You owe that to yourself. Trust me when I tell you this – you are are so much more beautiful than you know.

Much Love,

T


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