When A Vision Has You

After a wonderful surrender into the body and beyond, we were directed to visualize a beautiful meadow. Our guide prompted us, “Remember, it is possible to create anything with your imagination. You can fly, swim or do anything you want.”  She continued, “Now take some time to play and have fun in this meadow.”

Suddenly, I was standing atop one of our fields, looking at a beautiful sunny scene below. I noticed the barn reflecting light from its gorgeous teal metal roof.  The donkey and miniature horse were happily grazing, and the two horses were in the fields beyond the barn. I swooped down (with my imaginary wings ) and picked up the donkey and carried him in my arms like a baby.  Next, I placed him outside his pen in a lovely grassy area. I played for a while rearranging pens and fences and my heart burst open with joy. It was a beautiful meditation and I was inspired for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon I reflected on my childhood where I would spend hours in the toy shop with my pocket money, painstakingly choosing which tiny winy farm animal I was going to buy that day.  For years I had collected a farm with horses, sheep, haystacks, fences, goats, pigs and even a little dog. I would play for hours moving the animals around, acting out various scenarios. It was my pride and joy and a precious gift I passed on to my daughter when she was old enough.

Next, I thought about my beautiful 38-acre retreat centre, Xenia, which was a bit like a hobby farm. We have ponies, a donkey, a pig, horses, barns, fences, trees, rivers and many of the things I visualized as a child.

WOW….I am living this childhood dream.

My farm…. had manifested from this hobby and dream as a child, and I hadn’t quite seen the impact of this and the manifestation until now, in this beautiful meditation. I didn’t deliberately or consciously set about to create a farm. In fact, growing up in England as a working-class member, the idea of actually owning anything would not have entered my head. Just like going to university wasn’t in my vocabulary, but somehow a roadmap was set in place and my soul was following it.

I love how my work with Honour Your Calling was seeded a long time ago and every day another piece of understanding sinks in.

What clues do you have from your childhood about your soul journey? You will likely find it from the fun and joy you experienced as a child.  Sometimes we find the clues through the opposite; like what you hated and were opposed to as a child.

The Gift

Each one of us has locked deep within the crevices of our soul, an important gift.  A seed containing a holographic component of truth.  This seed comes tattooed to us at birth – it is our birthright.  As we grow, we seek a warm, safe rich soil in which to plant this precious jewel so that we can watch with eager anticipation, the deliverance of its promise.

We are all given certain gifts or better to say, we have earned specific gifts that are pertinent to our soul’s evolution and our human journey in this lifetime. These gifts, like a loyal dog, are always there for us to use and no matter how we ignore, abuse or throw them away—they will continue to return and look up at us with tenacious enthusiasm.

Children naturally know and express their joy and creativity, yet most adults have more difficulty.  You can experience the essence every now and again peering out through the eyes, but often it remains hidden.   Even though this is a natural phenomenon, many have not quite found the spot warm enough, safe enough to trust the wisdom of the soil.  Others have unwittingly cast their seed to the wind, only to have it land on barren soil.  Still others had their daises stomped on, smashed like pulp back into the earth.

Saddest of all are the ones who do not even realize this gift is within them awaiting expression.  Frustrated by their many attempts, they resign themselves to mediocrity and life without passion. The human dilemma: haunted by an inner knowing.  Feeling teased with the mystery, intrigued by its tenacity … but never giving up the search.

The seed knows what it will be.

We do not have to figure it out, it is already pre-determined. If it is given warm fertile soil, water, sunlight and love it cannot help but become what it is.  This is so for all of us—if we simply trust and allow the creative essence to come forth, free of doubt, free of judgment, it will reveal itself.  Hardy seeds are bound by nothing, even the coldest concrete will not stop their existence.

The expression of our unique gift happens naturally with ease and grace here at Xenia. The gifts we were born with.  Sharing with precious mentors and friends, gently witnessing our emergence is a huge gift in itself.

Mother nature awaits our call to nurture and nourish our spirit, to embrace us and listen to our story.  So when we take a risk to know ourselves at the deepest core of our being and when we have found a place safe enough, then centred like the mature willow, we can reveal ourselves to the wind and the rain.

Now I invite you to come and experience that which money cannot buy, for yourself.

There are a variety of programs offered at Xenia and you can check out our website: www.xeniacentre.com

Visitors are welcome to come and spend time with OPA, The Labyrinth and our Sanctuary and there are Donation Boxes in the area.  We thank you for your contribution and receive it graciously to upkeep the sacred space of Xenia.

Groups are required to contact our office to book time at any of these areas. Again we except a financial contribution for bringing your group into this space.

If you wish to book retreats with accommodation, please contact our office at 604-947-9816 or email [email protected].

What’s Right in Front of You, You Cannot See?

In 1986 I took a sabbatical in a treehouse on Bowen Island and had the most magical journey of my life. For two and a half months I lived high up in the trees, in solitude, in silence and away from the maddening crowd. It was one of the most transformative times of my life. Out of the treehouse experience, I wrote a manuscript: Messages from a Tree House and with the help of my husband, who picked me up on the last day of my retreat, conceived our baby girl.

Ever since this purely creative time, I had dreamed of having a treehouse again to be creative and birth other books. I thought one day when: I have enough money, time, help, etc…… I would build this place. I even described it: It would be bright with tons of windows, skylights, big bay window, deck leading off into the woods, close enough to my house so that I can go there often. Electricity of course and warmth for year-round use would be needed. There would be a great desk and couch for musing ideas……… get the picture?

Twelve years later, I awoke from my sleep to a feeling of expansion and intrigue. There was a foreshadowing of some unsuspecting gift.

As I made my way to my rather dark office, which was tucked downstairs at the back of the house, I suddenly realized (in a blinding flash of the obvious), I already had my treehouse office. It existed right in front of me – it was my bedroom. My bedroom: which is bright with tons of windows, skylights, big bay window, deck leading off into the woods, close enough to my house so that I can go there often. With electricity of course and warmth for year-round use. There was a great desk and couch for musing ideas.

My new cozier bedroom

All this time I had been sleeping in my dream office without seeing its potential. And to boot, it was too bright for sleeping in with all the skylights anyway. I would wake up and usually head downstairs and not return until late at night. I was so programmed to believe you go upstairs to bed at night and that was that.

 

 

 

 

The next two days my house was topsy-turvy, as 3 rooms got completely moved around and instantly (and without any cost) I was living my dream of a Tree House office. And win/win, my new bedroom is way cozier and more perfect to sleep in, without skylights. I am totally surprised that it took me so long to see this. I love my Tree House office.

Maybe you do not have a treehouse office but is there any way you can shift the energy of your home to feel more alive and inspired? The environment definitely makes a difference. The energy has shifted and unlocked my creative expression once again and two more books have been written in this space.

 

Over the next couple of weeks, I started to ask myself the question: What else is right in front of me that I do not see?

And with this, new things are popping into my consciousness every day. From simple little things like improving the efficiency of my kitchen cupboards to changing the way I set up my work calendar and busting old traditional ways of doing and seeing things.

I noticed with my business the same thing applied as I started to connect with people right in front of me who I had not considered before. We have all lived such programmed lives and until we question and expand our thinking – the Universe is unable to give to us, the abundance we deserve. And sometimes it is already in our possession. I heard a great Master once say: End of struggle is easy; it is to want what you have and don’t want, what you don’t have. The question is: What do you have? What and Who – is right in front of you?

 

Work the System, then the System Works You.

Some things are so obvious to one person yet blind to another. I had one such blind spot when it came to systems.   One of my mentors for years talked to me about the importance of systems.  Being the spontaneous, slightly rebellious, non-conforming Aquarian, I thought systems meant irrevocable rules. I blotted out the word from my mind and especially my actions.  In spite of this refusal to reap its rewards, I brushed it aside and went about life in my own sweet way. Surprisingly I achieved a fair bit of success in my businesses and perhaps more than I deserved given my lack of systems.

One day I was at a Business Meet Up in the city, listening to Karen McGregor deliver her one hour talk and I was impressed with many things about her.  Her look, her attention on the audience and her seeming to have it all together.  At one point throughout her talk, I knew she would be my next mentor.  During the Q&A section, I threw up my arm to ask a question about how she got her speaking gigs.  She said that is the last question to ask. The first and most important question is, do you have a system?.  WHAT, there is that word again.

The next morning sitting with my cup of tea contemplating this, I reflected on what is a system and why is it important.  Why is spontaneity and being present with what is, not enough? Suddenly in a blinding flash of the obvious, I saw what a system truly is.  I love systems and do my best work with them and I have just completed two awesome examples.

Let’s back up a month to my discovery of Marie Kondo. Many of you may have been inspired by this little Japanese sprite, who is taking the world by storm with her Tidy Up campaign. She is on Netflix and written many books.  One day I watched all 10 shows and that was it, I was hooked. I spent the next month, with the help of my dear friend Diane, and went through my entire house and followed her SYSTEM. Wait a minute, I didn’t know it was a system then.

Begin with your clothing she said. Pull all the clothes into the middle of the floor in a big pile.  ALL OF THEM. Open your closet, your drawers and stack them in a pile. Next, you are going to go through every item and touch each one tenderly and ask if it sparks joy?  If it does not, you thank it for its service and send it on its way, (either goodwill, clothing assignment or garbage can).

Then you learn how to fold the clothes in a very particular way so that you can actually see them and access them easily when you are looking for them. This blew me away when I saw the neatly folded colours and order of things in my drawers and closet.

Next, you work on your books and do the same thing, all of your books into the middle of the floor.  Then paperwork and memory items, which for me took the longest and was the most difficult. But it is all done now.  I have noticed, the impact of this system is now running through all areas of my life including renovations, credit cards etc. I worked the system and the system is now working me.  It is awesome.

Next, I thought about the program I recently completed with Dr. Angela Lauria, called the Author’s Incubator.  Her system was extraordinary if you followed it impeccably. I did follow it impeccably and successfully wrote my book in 90 days, Honour Your Calling, The Professional Guide to Quitting Your Job and Doing Your Soul Work. I see now it was her system that moved the program along so elegantly. Part of her system was putting out an expensive program without a refund.  That was built into her system because people sign up for things and then don’t follow through. She didn’t want people to make excuses and presumably it was her way of encouraging them to continue on since they put a lot of money on the line for it.

My aha moment revealed.  It was a SYSTEM I have been looking for all along in getting my beloved retreat centre program and the silent retreats out there.

You may be thinking how I could have gotten so far without having this piece fully understood.  I would say it was totally easy because I lived from inner guidance, I managed pretty well. And it would be guidance from within that brought me to this moment.

Now I’m all about systems and learning my next steps in this regard.


 

 

 

 

Tea with TinaO

Welcoming Angelyn Toth to TinaOLife

Angelyn Toth on TinaOLife

Tea with Angelyn feels like having a cuppa with a soul whisperer. In her light and enchanting way Angelyn Toth, the owner and founder of Xenia Retreat Centre on Bowen Island in BC, Canada draws out the simple truths that live just beyond our perception of what is possible within us. As for me, every time I’ve sat down or walked the lake with her, it’s as if she pulls out a bright yellow highlighter to illuminate precisely what’s going on inside of me, and how I’m choosing to play small instead of live up to my potential. Today I share her with you.

So put the kettle on and meet your heart centred transformational new friend, Angelyn Toth.

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Over February 10th-12 I am opening Xenia’s doors to host a ‘user-friendly’ silent retreatfor those who are ready to unplug in the quiet sanctuary of nature. It seems that there has been a lot of confusion in the study and valuing of silence and I wonder if perhaps it has fallen off course as a religious endeavour.  We do not have to be an avid meditator to appreciate and understand the benefits of silent contemplation. We simply have to be willing to make the conscious commitment to allow silence to be the teacher and the teaching. It is simple work and immense in its nature.

“We have to re-educate ourselves about the work of silence, it is deeply misunderstood in our society.” 

Angelyn Toth on TinaOLife

Deep down inside, there is a natural longing for this space – it is our natural birthright. Deepak Chopra, in his work says that there are characteristics or traits of creative people. The first in they find comfort in and seek out silence. The second is that they enjoy nature. The third is that they trust their feelings.

In the sanctuary of silence, the veil thins and our emptying out process begins, it’s here, that the doorway to our own intuition opens. Did you know that we  can communicate without words, and strangely enough, actually hear each other?

In silence, we learn how to trust at a higher level because we tap into the guidance that is forever present but often missed when we’re attached to our busyness, noise, stories, tv, books, phones, appointments and so much more. These days, our list of distracting ‘conveniences’ and go on and on. Without them for awhile, we become an empty container, into which insights, inspiration and messages can pour.

“…allow silence to be the teacher and the teaching.”

In the stillness we can begin to learn from and follow our natural ultradian rhythms freeing ourselves from the attachment to the mind and all of this non-doing delivers greater peace with acceptance of who we are, really, in silence as the result.

Translating that experience into our regular lives when we’re back at work etc… we begin to see how simple it really is to listen, trust and find reverence in all life.

In this Cuppa Tea with Angelyn, I’m asking you if you know who you are in silence.  Have you listened to the story of your inner silence lately? Have you touched the centre of all that is inside you to be?

If not, believe me, you can.

While this is an intimate retreat, if you’re interested in attending the February 10th-12th Silent Retreat, please connect with me at [email protected] or give us a call at 604-947-9816 and we can talk. 

“It’s hard to believe that so much can happen in what appears to be nothing at all.” 

I look forward to our next cuppa.

with love, Angelyn

The Creative Fire

What is creativity? Where does it come from? How do we describe such an energy force that is something to be discovered, awakened – unfolded?

It is a flow of energy that literally sweeps you into its vortex and spits you out sometimes days, weeks or months later. Where does the ‘me’ go when being consumed and100_3191 caught up in the muse?

This is its power – there is no me and that is why it is a wonderful happening. When the me is lost and I is free to soar with the oneness of all that is. You have no choice, it has you and it has lured you into itself. You no longer exist apart from it. Being used as a mere instrument through which the creative source can manifest itself. What a trip – what an adventure to watch the great movie of life at work. To be the movie.

The creative force may or may not declare an actual physical manifestation as proof of its coming but more often than not it does reveal itself in one form or another.

There is a way of being and that usually happens when one is placed into the container of silence. In the space between the sounds there it dwells, dormant like a sleeping giant. Infinite in its capacity to consume, devour or awaken. It owns you until it lets go its grip but not before it has had you and squeezed you for every last drop of essence it can suck up for its fire.

Yes it takes courage to surrender to this power. It may create fear – but fear of what? Fear of the unknown for the creative force will take you on a journey deep into the great void where ideas and inspirations hang out. Will you return? Who knows, that is the risk you have to take. But once you have taken the trip you will never be the same and you will never be satisfied to simply live a life of mediocrity, a life without passion. If you separate out again, you will find yourself sitting at the bus stop of forever waiting for the hand of destiny to pick you up and carry you off on another ride …..an adventure….. One with the Creative Source.

Dynamic Silent Retreat

1914 translation by H. Rackham

“But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleas

What is Tea with Angelyn?

What is “Tea” to Angelyn?

I was born in England and tea was the fundamental staple regime of every class whether it was high tea with the upper class or a good old cup of tea with the working class. I grew up with this class distinction but with tea, there were no barriers to entry. If someone were hurting or sad, you would hear; sit down love and let’s put the kettle on. There was an immediate relief and knowing that everything was going to work out just fine. Tea for me is a ceremony and conscious practice that I begin my day with. I love waking up and sitting quietly with my cup of hot tea before the day begins. Ahh, yes the first sip of tea begets the feeling of peace with the world.

What’s it all about?

So what happens then at these Tea with Angelyn visits? Well after we’re all settled in with our tea we will connect about whatever is up for you and how it relates to your dreams and gifts. Sometimes people just need a good listening to and that’s what these interactions provide. Many times solutions, ideas and insights springs forth, not from me to you but because we sat together. When two or more are gathered, synergy, magic and divine inspiration has a doorway through. Most people have their own answers and in a quiet, listening space, you will hear the whispers of the soul’s messages. Sometimes when we sit together you discover it is a 2 cuppa and we may need more time or a second visit. It may lead to a Silent Retreat or an Instinx session. Perhaps we will have a walk around the Labyrinth or the lake if you happen to be staying at Xenia. I also do sessions on line by Zoom or Skype. Another way I will be using this Blog is to share thoughts and ideas in the morning over a good cup of tea. Stay tuned.

Teenagers, Horses & Harmony

I grew up on the back of a horse. It was my passion, my life and my study. To understand the horse is to understand everything and little did I know that it would be integral to my work later in life and it would deepen close to my 60th Birthday.

I had the privilege of watching Monty Roberts, the Horse Whisperer at work decades ago and he confirmed what I knew as a child. Since then many other horse whispers have enlightened the field and thankfully the horse becomes the teacher.

I noticed in my work with teenagers that when I applied the same principles I had learned from dear Monty, a beautiful trust and openness occurred. The relationship with teenagers demanded gentleness, honesty and spaciousness to develop any kind of trust and safety.

We have learned you don’t break a horse’s spirit as in the old paradigm of getting control over a horse but instead you join-up with them. This means with respect and grace not control and power. You command respect not demand it, which has a very different quality

You don’t go out and catch the horse that wants to be free and wild but instead you let them catch you. And most importantly you leave your ego at the gate before entering their domain.

The same is true with teenagers, you cannot control them and the more you try the more you alienate them and send them away. There was only one irrefutable rule in my household and that was respect. Respect was the pinnacle upon which everything else was built. After that I was able to say “yes” most of the time.

Teenagers have less if any desire to please adults, unlike the younger age group. They are sorting out who they are apart from the indoctrination they have received. Their programming and conditioning has racked havoc with their spirits and we wonder why they are known as rebellious. The last thing they want is for some well-meaning adult to inflict their pearls of wisdom upon them. Who said it is wrong to make mistakes anyway, to fall down the hole in the road as many times as is needed to become aware. Who said pain was bad?

Teenagers have their own destiny and our only job is to hold out a safe container to be available whenever they need us, so they can catch us.

Don’t give too much eye contact or too much attention – let them have their space but be there when they need us even if we cannot see it openly. Look for the subtle clues that say “It’s ok to say something kind to me…its ok to love and hug me….but not too much and not in front of my friends and please back off when I have had enough….

On one particular retreat, we had some of the roughest street kids. Some were coming off drugs, one young man was on his way to a detention facility. As they arrived I made a point of being around but not overly attentive or welcoming. One girl in particular had an attitude and clearly was incredibly angry at being sent to the retreat. I understand her mother bribed her with money and cigarettes if she would attend. She was there to kill time but not to participate and she made that painfully clear. I watched her for the first couple of days but at the corner of my eye, so as not to intrude. On the third day I could see she was curious – who is this women who owns this place? She’s not saying very much. I could tell she wanted to connect with me but I didn’t approach her. Then that evening at the fire pit, I sat down beside her on a log, still not engaging with her directly but simply sitting looking out at the fire. Soon she started talking with me and that was it. The join up had happened. From then on she trusted me and we created a strong bond and platform upon which we could build. It took a while in fact 3 out of the 10 days we were together but that was how long it took. During those 3 days she had created a lot of stress in the group but I knew if I took my time, I could really connect with her.

The clues are all there if we are aware. Opening pathways of awareness is what this work with teenagers is all about and I love it as much as I loved working with spirited horses in my early years.

How can we empower our teenagers to be members of the tribe without shame, blame or projection? Easy – do our own work first. Let them see our own vulnerability

Mentoring life-skills – truly make them a partnership in our homes, not slaves and not guests. We don’t do them any favours by doing everything for them. My daughter who is now an Equine Veterinarian had chores from an early age. She learned how to take responsibility for animals before and after school. Her work ethic has always been stellar even as a young child when she would ask me if it was time to go to bed. She was willing to work for her dreams. I never once insisted that she do her homework. Frankly I didn’t believe in it but she did. I never pressured her to do anything but always remained open to her path and what interested her. Many who know her would say I really lucked out with who she is and that would be true. I would take a little credit though for the fact that respect in our household was paramount. Which led to us being able to say yes to her often. Rather than no, no, no….which is what most kids hear.

There are many myths and particularly that we have to entertain our kids, otherwise they will get bored if you don’t have so many things for them to do. But is this really true? Do we really have to fill their calendars and drive them here and there after school for various activities? Perhaps we have lost the art of communication and co-creativity with the advancement of technology?

Doing chores together, cooking together, building together, playing together, crying together. Notice the word ‘together’. We cannot protect our kids from life’s emotional dramas but we can offer our support and love when asked for it.

We are not owners of our children or anything for that matter. At best we are privileged to have them teach us for a number of years to open our hearts and deepen our ability to accept reality. Being non-judgmental is very important and this will allow huge growth to flourish.

Horses and teenagers love harmony and though it may not appear that way on the surface, you may be surprised what a little tenderness and awareness can do.