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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN ... this is a gentle reminder to pause and take a breath ...


Emily has a deck of medicine cards. They are a powerful way to connect us with the animal world. The other night we each pulled a card and read the associated description. I drew Squirrel.

Squirrel reminds me to prepare for winter, to save up some energy for the months and weeks ahead. Good timing Squirrel. Not just because it is nearing the end of August but also because September, October and November will be exceptionally busy months for me and my colleagues. We have the Union of BC Municipalities convention, First Nations Leadership Gathering and a short and dense Fall Legislative session.

I will certainly get back to the hot social, environmental and economic topics facing British Columbians. I'll dig deep again into issues like salmon, forestry, water, transportation and community governance in the coming days and weeks.

For now, I'm going to save up some of that energy and focus it inward, outward and spread it all around.

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Mettā means benevolence, loving-kindness, good-will. I’ve only briefly been introduced to Mettā through a few guided meditations. I’m going to invite you to meditate for a few minutes (or even for a single fleeting second) on thoughts or acts of benevolence and loving-kindness for yourself. 

Have you been hard on yourself lately ... how can you show yourself some goodwill ... how about a little benevolence? Or, perhaps things have been going well for you lately. Either way why not spend a few moments breathing some loving-kindness deeply into your spirit.

Breathe deeply and enjoy!

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As the dog days of summer give way to the cool dark mornings, and the leaves change with a brilliant display of colour before they blanket the ground with protection for the coming winter, I pause.

In our modern culture expectations are high: for ourselves, for others, for government and so on. When we fall short of those expectations, we can be exceptionally hard on ourselves. The script that we always have running in the background of our minds can be difficult to manage. So, I encouraged you to breathe in a little Mettā for yourself.

But I will extend this little exercise one step further. Is there someone in your life who you are close to, someone that you love and respect, perhaps an advisor, teacher or mentor, a friend, neighbour or family member who can use a little boost?

If you have a few moments now I hope you will put them in your mind and fill them with Mettā (loving-kindness) and wish upon them good-will. We often focus solely on how the world is not living up to our grand expectation or how we have let ourselves down. However, even in this state we are powerful support for those around us.

Breathe deeply and care for those nearest to you.

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And now, one last aspect of Mettā ... my suggestion is that we step out and focus our offerings on an opponent.

We all have adversaries in our lives. They are people with whom we can easily get into a dust up with, those who we would classify as an arch-nemesis. Rarely do we pause to offer our antagonists a moment of reprieve. It is our natural reaction to think poorly of them and wish them unwell.

However, as is the teaching of many wise people it is at this moment that we can also offer our "enemies" food, shelter and clothing. With this in mind may I invite you to take a moment to offer Mettā: loving-kindness, benevolence and goodwill upon those who you may think of as a foe.

We don't do that very often. Modern society, and culture, creates so many divisions that this an important reminder to meditate on the well-being for even those that we many consider our opponent.

Today I invite you to take time to meditate on something that you are thankful for. No doubt there is so much to be outraged about. However, there is also so much that we can be grateful for.

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