Slow and Steady CAN Win the Race!

The Tortoise and The Hare

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There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?”

Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, “There is plenty of time to relax.”

Slow and Steady walked and walked. He never, ever stopped until he came to the finish line.

The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, they woke up Hare.

Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was over the line.

After that, Hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!”

https://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/tortoise.html

I love the story about the Hare and the Tortoise; – written over a thousand years ago by a slave and writer in Greece this fable has taught children to slow down and be in the moment for 1000’s of years.

Being vs. Doing

To many people, there seems to be an inherent conflict between being in the present and accomplishing everything that needs to get done. But do you have to choose between your housework and meditation?

If you practice hatha yoga, you’re no doubt familiar with this scenario: You’ve had an invigorating and inspiring practice session in which your mind was totally focused on your body and your breath. By the time you’re done, you have a deep sense of peace and relaxation that seems to pervade every cell. You feel centered, balanced, in touch with yourself. You vow not to let this feeling slip away as the day progresses.

But halfway through the work day, you’re overwhelmed by the press of urgent emails and encroaching deadlines, and you’ve completely lost the connection and composure you had. Even more disturbing, you have no idea how to get it back. It’s as if a door has closed on a deeper dimension, a place of balance and flow, and you can’t figure out how to open it again. By the end of the day, you’re frazzled and stressed out, and you can’t wait to get home to your yoga mat.

Of course, you don’t have to be a hatha yogi to be acquainted with this terrain. Perhaps you find your connection to being through tai chi or running, walking in nature or playing with your children. Whatever the activity, you enter a zone where you feel poised, open, relaxed, and attentive. In the midst of the doing, there’s a sense of enjoyment, fulfillment, and alignment with a deeper current of aliveness. But as soon as you position yourself behind the wheel of your car or sit down in front of your computer, you tense your shoulders, hold your breath, increase your speed, and lose touch with yourself. What happened, you wonder. How did I lose my balance? Where did I go wrong?

 

 

The Crucible of Everyday Life

As a zen teacher and psychotherapist, I’ve worked with hundreds of meditators, hatha yogis, and spiritual seekers who agonize over this issue. They’ve read the latest books, heard the teachings, attended the retreats, practiced the techniques diligently, and vowed to implement them. Yet they continue to be seduced back into their old habits and routines: overbooking their schedules, speeding up to match the pace of their technological devices, completely forgetting to stop, breathe, and be present. Instead of bringing what they’ve learned on their meditation cushion or yoga mat to the crucible of everyday life, they lose their balance and go unconscious again and again.

There’s no question that we live in uniquely challenging times. We’re working longer hours, taking fewer vacations, and feeling more hurried and stressed than ever before. At the same time, our lives are changing more rapidly, and we can no longer rely on keeping the same job or partner for a lifetime—or even for the next few years. As a result, we’re constantly confronted with major life choices that seem to threaten our physical survival and require that we spend more time than ever in our minds, assessing and deciding. “Our lives are extraordinarily complex,” says psychologist Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Inner Peace for Busy People, “and we’re being bombarded with choices, both significant and trivial, that demand a great deal of effort and energy to make.”

Not only do our lives move faster, but they also lack the flow of simpler times, when the measured rhythms of nature and physical labor modeled an intrinsic balance between being and doing. These days we’re pulled staccato from one urgent input to another, from cell phone to email, PalmPilot to pager, forced to mold our analog bodies to the digital age. “The sheer volume of information impinges on us and keeps us in a state of physiological arousal,” says Borysenko.

Given the unprecedented demands of postmodern life, perhaps we just expect too much of ourselves. Without the supportive structure of sacred communities like monasteries and ashrams, in a secular world that seems to be spinning insanely out of balance, is it really possible to stay consistently connected to just being while pursuing material success, a healthy body, a fulfilling relationship? “What’s new to our times is not that we’re having difficulty maintaining balance, but that so many people who don’t live in monasteries have awakened to the spiritual dimension and don’t quite know how to find a place for it in their lives,” observes Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein, author of Going on Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change.

Certainly regular retreats and workshops can help. As we deepen and expand our awareness, we find it easier to notice when we’re lost in striving so we can more readily reconnect with the present moment. But intensive practice is not necessarily a panacea. In fact, I’ve watched many clients, friends, and colleagues struggle with the transition from retreat to everyday life. “After my first vipassana retreat in 1980, I saw a legitimate way to slow down and relax,” says Anna Douglas, a founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. “I was given permission to move at the rhythm of life. Then I entered a phase of trying to make my life like this all the time. I got rid of my belongings, became a retreat junkie, and dreaded going back into the world.” As her practice matured, however, Douglas saw that she needed to integrate retreat life and daily life. “Meditation teaches us the value of being, but we need to bring this being quality into the doing world.”

The Ultimate Forgetting

The deeper question is, What prevents us? In a memorable exchange with my teacher, Jean Klein, a master of Advaita and Kashmiri yoga, I asked him whether it was possible to stay connected to being in the present even in the most difficult life situations. He invited me to see that I was trapped in a world of spiritual concepts and to notice the moments in daily life when the sense of a separate me was absent. I stopped to absorb what he had said. “Yes,” I responded finally, “I know what you’re talking about. But somehow I keep forgetting.” “Ah, forgetting,” he said, with a knowing smile. “The ultimate forgetting.”

 

 

Despite our best intentions, there seem to be powerful inner forces at work that induce this “ultimate forgetting” and sabotage our genuine attempts to create balance and peace in the midst of activity. From my experience with clients, friends, and my own spiritual unfolding, here is a list of the most influential:

Our self-worth is linked to our accomplishments. As children, we’re asked by well-meaning relatives, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As adults the first words out of our mouths when we meet for the first time are “What do you do?” The message is clear: We’re valued for what we contribute, not for who we really are. Since we all want to be loved and appreciated, there’s an enormous incentive to work harder and faster but hardly any encouragement to slow down, do less, and enjoy life more. This further fragments our already disjointed lives and drains away the spontaneity. “Even over-scheduling wonderful things can take the joy out of life,” says Douglas.

We’re driven by a relentless inner critic. Most, if not all, of us have internalized a deeply ingrained set of beliefs about duty, perfectionism, and responsibility that have been passed down through the generations. “There’s a suspicion in our culture about being,” says Douglas. “Our puritan ethic teaches us to be productive and responsible. Our mission in life is to acquire, to accomplish, to succeed.” We’re taught that we’re inadequate as we are and need to improve—and spiritual teachings can merely compound this low self-worth by relentlessly encouraging us to compare ourselves (unfavorably, of course) to some lofty spiritual ideal: What, you can’t stop your thoughts at will, or remain in Headstand for five minutes, or feel compassionate in all situations? Because it apparently has the best of intentions, the spiritual critic is especially insidious; while driving us to be exemplary meditators or yogis, it can cut us off from the inherent perfection of being, which is always available.

We’re afraid of losing control. If we really slowed down to a more balanced pace and took time to enjoy life, what might happen? Would anything get done? Would we survive? Frightened of loosening our grip and free-falling into an imagined abyss,we struggle to impose our agenda on life while contracting away from the natural, ever-changing, and unpredictable flow of being. Like Arjuna on the battlefield when Lord Krishna reveals his splendor in the Bhagavad Gita, the mind is innately terrified of being because it represents mysterious, unexplored terrain. In fact, the mind’s job is to resist the unknown and create a false ground of security, constructed of beliefs and identities designed to protect us from the groundlessness of impermanence and change. As the great spiritual traditions teach, however, our essential nature is far vaster than the mind can encompass.

We make a strong demarcation between sacred time and secular time. Sure, it’s OK to be present on my meditation cushion or yoga mat, we tell ourselves, but the rest of the time I have too much to do. So we compartmentalize our lives into sacred and secular, being and doing, and reserve our sadhana for certain prescribed periods each day. The secret is to view every moment as fertile ground for practice, as yet another opportunity to wake up to the beauty and sacredness of life.

We lack the commitment or motivation to stay present. Despite our repeated vows to remain balanced in all situations, our loyalties are divided between our spiritual aspirations and the fleeting satisfaction of excitement, accomplishment, and acquisition. “Why do we get knocked off our center? Perhaps we don’t have a wholehearted commitment to a path or a teacher,” suggests John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga. “When I’ve had dry periods, I’ve found that I’ve lost touch with my commitment to my teacher or my love for my path. When I rededicate myself with passion, I feel rejuvenated and more motivated to stay connected.” An oft-repeated Tibetan Buddhist slogan echoes Friend’s remarks: “Everything rides on the tip of your motivation.” But motivation is not some quality that can be cultivated—it comes from deep inside, from suffering or desperation, from what the Tibetans call bodhichitta (the heartfelt wish for the happiness of all beings), from trust in our teachers, and from a profound desire to wake up and be free. Unless we keep asking ourselves, “What are my priorities right now?” we tend to lapse back into old unconscious patterns.

 

We don’t recognize being in the midst of doing. Many people mistake being for a familiar feeling or experience they’ve had in meditation or yoga practice, such as peace, relaxation, or a pleasant current of energy. Then they try to “reconnect with being” by recapturing the buzz. But feelings have an annoying habit of coming and going and resisting our attempts to control or reproduce them. Being is much more immediate than that—it’s the pause between thoughts, the space in which everything comes and goes, the stillness underlying all activity, the awareness that’s looking out through our eyes right now. Immediate though it may be, it nevertheless eludes our efforts to “make it happen” or grasp it conceptually—and it’s so subtle and empty of content that the mind may overlook it. If we open to our experience just the way it is, however, we can attune to being. Paradoxically, this simple attunement often, though not always, gives rise to the very experiences we were trying to reproduce in the first place.

We’re addicted—to speed, achievement, consumption, the adrenaline rush of stress, and, most insidiously of all, to our minds. At the heart of our resistance to being—indeed, at the heart of our speed and our stress—is the incessantly chattering “monkey mind,” which is obsessed with past and future, loss and gain, pleasure and pain. The mind is terrified of the present moment, which is where being inevitably occurs. In fact, it’s the mind that gives doing a bad rap, because the attachment and struggle it generates makes many forms of doing so unpleasant. This compulsive mind constructs a separate sense of self, often called the ego, that’s trapped in a world of psychological time, surrounded by other separate selves that threaten its survival. It then invents the spiritual search and other self-improvement schemes as an attempt to escape the trap it has created for itself. The only way to kick this addiction to the mind and its creations, advises Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, is to awaken to our identity with something much vaster—being itself, our essential nature.

Portals to Being

From the highest spiritual perspective, we can never lose our connection with being. In fact, the separation between being and doing is just another fabrication of the mind. No matter how still we try to become, doing is always happening: The heart is beating, the lungs are breathing, the internal organs are functioning, the eyes are blinking. In the words of the Bhagavad Gita, “Not even for a moment can anyone remain without performing actions. Everyone is unwittingly made to act by the primary qualities born of nature.” In the end, any attempt to be, whatever that might mean, is just another form of doing.

So the question is not, Are we doing or being? But rather, How do we relate to our actions? Do we identify ourselves as the doer, the separate individual who struggles to achieve and survive, or do we remain unattached to the fruits of our actions, as the Gita and other sacred texts recommend, and identify as the observer or witness of life as it unfolds?

“You can learn to be and do at the same time,” notes Rodney Yee, coauthor of Yoga: The Poetry of the Body and director of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. “If you’re flowing down a river, you’re just being, yet you’re moving downstream. The present moment is like that. If you concentrate your attention in the moment, you’re totally present, yet it’s not stagnant or fixed. The stillness is the state of mind that observes the movement.”

However, until we experience this stillness—which is actually not an experience or mind-state, but the deeper stillness of being that underlies and pervades all experience—we can’t realize the union of doing and being that the great spiritual texts describe. Where do we discover this stillness? In the timeless moment, the eternal Now, free of the conceptual overlays of past and future. As the scriptures remind us, time is merely a creation of the mind, and only the Now exists. When we awaken to our identity with this timeless dimension, the problem with finding a balance between doing and being drops away as the separate self-sense dissolves, and all that’s left is simply life living itself.

 

This may sound like a lofty, unattainable state. However, both meditation and hatha yoga, if practiced without effort or struggle, can be living portals to the Now. “asana practice is the continual refinement of staying present with the mind so time stops,” says Yee. “When you’re just being, you lose the aspect of time, but you don’t lose movement. When the mind stays steady on the moment, there is no time.”

In Zen, the corresponding approach to meditation is called “just sitting.” There’s no attempt to achieve some particular state of mind, not even satori, but merely a steady presence in the Now. Of course, this practice needn’t be confined to the cushion: In everyday life it takes the form of “just walking,” “just eating,” “just driving.” In other words, total absorption in every activity without separation.

Ultimately, the attempt to find balance becomes irrelevant when we recognize that reality is by its nature a seamless, indivisible union of the two—the dance of Shiva and Shakti, the meeting point of consciousness and its manifestations, the absolute and the relative, the timeless and the time-bound. “For me, being and doing are complementary and come out of the same spirit, the same universal presence,” says Friend. “At the ultimate level consciousness is spacious, vast, luminous, completely free. Out of this ground of being everything arises: material reality, thought, emotion, activity.”

Even though we may appear to lose our equilibrium again and again, our search comes to an end when we awaken to a deeper dimension. This is the supreme view taught by the great masters and sages of every spiritual tradition. “The reason everything looks beautiful is it is out of balance, but its background is always in perfect harmony,” observes Zen master Shunryu Suzuki in his classic book of talks, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. “This is how everything exists in the realm of Buddha nature, losing its balance against a background of perfect balance.”

 

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In Recognition of Nurses

I spent 10 years rushing to the Roseau or Marigot Hospital with my husband.

We would arrive by ambulance at the hospital after a seizure at any time of the day or night – often dishevled and confused.

Over and over again I was blown away by the kindness and caring of the nurses we came into contact with.

He had a form of Alzheimers so his behavior at the times he was hospitalized was often bizarre and sometimes violent (definitely not normal for him) yet we repeatedly experienced understanding and competent professional behavior.

I saw a nurse so aware and quick to react she caught a patient through the bars of the emergency room registration window to prevent her from falling to the ground.

I saw nurses working really really hard often when everyone else is in bed for very low wages with very little resources still take the time to stop and give a smile or comment to their patients.

I saw nurses deal with messes only a loved one should have to deal with without batting an eye and without embarrassing the person in their care.

I saw busy nurses with so many patients in the ward the beds were lined up down the center isle stop to get a cool glass of water for one of their wards who could not help themselves.

One of my strongest memories personally was the night Hillborn had gone home without me but with my purse. It was a mistake because he was confused after his seizure. When the nurses realized what had happened and that he had taken my money one of the night nurses went to her own purse and took ourt $5 to give me eto get home. I never saw her again that I knew but I will never forget that kindness in such stressfull terrible times acts of kindness can help you get through those intense moments

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Just to see if it flows – Remembrance Farms

Over the last month a good friend was here and he was kind enough to take me out all over the island whenever he rented a car.

I rarely get to do this so I had a long list of activities to do and places to see.

One place I wanted to visit was Remembrance Farms way over on the Rosalie Side.

My friends had built a clay house on some remote family land there and I wanted to see what they had done. Plus they had left a package for me years before when they visited and it was a chance for me to pick it up.

When almost there I realized I forgot to bring the phone number for the young man who would take us there but we decided to try to find it anyway ……. just to see if it flowed.

We found out where the road was from a friend we visited in Grand Fond so off we went to try to find this house built from the very earth it stood on ….. just to see if it flowed.

We gave a lady who was returning home from church a ride – she lived right near where we were going – then we turned onto the road to find the farm ….. just to see if it flowed.

We climbed the hill stopping to check we were heading in the right direction a few times and were told to just keep going up so we did ….. just to see if it flowed.

The road turned into 2 dirt ruts and took a sharp left just by a Rasta man – we passed him and then decided to back up to ask the Rasta the way ….. just to see if it flowed.

It happened to be that was the very Rasta we needed to see and we had met him at the exact moment he reached the corner (later in the day than he usually goes up on the first day in weeks he had had time to visit the house) ….. how life can flow!

We walked in as if we were all old friends as he told us the history of the road which led to the farm and the repairs they had done.

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We paused to wait out the rain on the way in.

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Got to have a private concert while we were sheltering in a farmer’s shed. Then we continued on – sadly through fields and fields of land that had been treated with herbicide even in this remote place.

The first view of the house as you arrive – is of a wide welcoming wrap around balcony. It is still under construction and there is much work to do yet but when you walk in the door you can feel the earth centering vibes.

It was so nice to hear the story of the house – from the truck loads of gravel as foundation to the unique way they figured out to macerate the coconut fiber for the earth mixture to the multiple ways they secured the house to the ground and the roof – our guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

This earthbag structure has in its first few years withstood the vibrations of earthquakes and the waters of tropical storm Erica with little damage.

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We enjoyed some delicious organic guavas after the tour and after hugs all around we decided to take a group photo for Ursula and Bless to enjoy.

What a wonderful adventure we would have missed if we had not tried even though I had not brought the number ….. just to see if it flowed!

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Dominica Dementia Association

It is an act of kindness to participate in a volunteer way to a NGO with a collective goal of bettering the world in some way.

When I saw a Dementia Association had started in Dominica I wanted to find out more. My research was really interesting.

On an International level a group of young people have created a world wide organization called World Young Leaders for Dementia – a network of passionate, young professionals working across disciplines and borders to develop innovative dementia solutions. WYLD emerged from a series of meetings following the 2013 G8 Dementia summit. Together, they developed a draft a set of proposals to present at WHO’s First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in March 2015. This process sparked a number of new research collaborations and creation of the WYLD network.

Last September The Dominica Dementia Foundation was started by an 18 year old Dominican girl whose motivation came from her grandfather who passed away in 2013 with Dementia and so she set out to see that Dementia is a healt14202650_10153995546431312_1179165817598255150_nh priority in Dominica.

From an article on the WYLD website:

A young initiative by a young (and impressive) woman – The Dominica Dementia Foundation

At WYLD we are constantly excited by the impact young people have on raising awareness about dementia in their society. Here we showcase a very new foundation headed up by 19 year-old Riana Patterson on the island of Dominica in the Carribean.

You can follow this organization on Facebook

The Dominica Dementia Foundation

They have regular meetings. The had one today November 27 at Fort Young and the next meeting will be January 7 2017. Contact the The Dominica Dementia Foundation for more information.

I think their idea of helping the children of families of Dementia is brilliant.

One of their goals is to assist family members who have Dementia and support the children involved. Since at this time the organization has quite a number of youth members they have decided they will assist the youth as we can.

You can donate or volunteer if you are

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Masters in IT Technologies and Farmer

 

I was catching a ride the other evening from Portsmouth to Roseau (for me this involves standing by the side of the road; looking in the direction of the vehicles heading in the direction I am going; reading a book or magazine while I wait); about 8 pm I was so thankful when I saw a car put on its blinker and pull over. I was off again on another angel driver adventure.

Angel drivers are people who enjoy looking for people to pick up and help them get to their destination. The drivers I have met are both male and female, young and old, and of many different races, religions and levels of income. As I live in Dominica the majority of the people I have caught a ride with are Dominicans.

I see it all the time – more than once a day as I travel Dominica – people look for people they know or in need so they can stop and pick them up to give them a ride. This is a double feat these days as with air conditioning and the darkers on the windows those on foot cannot see inside the vehicles as before. 🙂

This amazing young man and angel driver I met that evening – born in Dominica; mid 20’s – was inspiring when you think about the future of this island and the world. When asked what he did for a living he said “IT Technologist and Farmer”. That caught my attention right away; what an interesting blend of occupations.

He described his farm with the same love he described his incredibly intricate job keeping a major internet network functioning perfectly for an international company – his job is beyond my abilities to comprehend even though I am on computer a lot.

He was articulate, polite, kind, no talk of violence, just a pleasure to be around.

We reasoned about yoga; exercise; organic farming; computers; living in Dominica; why people chose to live here and the horrible effects on the brain of organophosphates in farming.

I went to bed that night feeling like everything is going to be ok; the future is in good hands.

 

 

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The pineal gland

I love learning new things through reasoning with others – I like to greet each person I come in contact with as someone to learn from.

I had never looked at meditation from the slant of its effects on the pineal gland. As soon as I got home I looked it up and found: the pineal gland is a small pine cone shaped endocrine gland about  5 to 8 millimeters long. In vertebrates, the main product of this gland is considered to be the hormone melatonin.

I found multiple university studies that claimed meditation had a positive affect on melatonin levels – it did not seem to matter what type of meditation technique.

According to an Australian medical paper – melatonin was first isolated in 1958 as a neuro-hormone mainly synthesized and secreted from the pineal gland. Since its discovery, further investigation has revealed that it is also produced by several other organs. It has been found in the gastrointestinal tract, brain, eye, lungs, skin, kidney, liver, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, immune system and reproductive system.

Normally melatonin levels begin to increase as it gets dark; remain high while it is dark and then lower as day dawns. During the hours of darkness even a little artificial light especially the blue light from computer and smart phone screens can dramatically alter melatonin levels and our health.

Scientists feel that in mammals, including humans, the pineal gland has lost direct photosensitivity as ‘lower vertebrates’ seem to have and instead responds to light via a multisynaptic pathway. It is believed the mammalian pineal gland also controls an internal calendar that regulates seasonal cycles in reproduction and other functions in photoperiodic species.

Interestingly humans are not considered photoperiodic but the existence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and its successful treatment with light suggests that they have retained some photoperiodic responsiveness.

When humans are given melatonin supplements it induces drowsiness or sleep – only when administered during the day or early evening when melatonin produced by the body is at a low level. Melatonin administration also has mild hypothermic and hypotensive effects.

Recent data seems to show an association between levels of  melatonin manufactured by the body and the onset of puberty, hypogonadism and/or infertility.

It is also recently proposed that melatonin is involved in immune function, with high levels promoting and low levels suppressing a number of immune system parameters. The detection of melatonin receptors in various lymphoid organs and in lymphocytes suggests multiple mechanisms of action on the immune system.

Melatonin has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant and has anti-carcinogenetic properties as well. Finally there seems to be abnormal daily melatonin profiles in a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders, but the significance of such abnormalities is far from clear.

A few weeks ago I met that lovely young man on the bus; he remembered me and called me “Miss Trudy! Do you remember me he said?” I looked at him and smiled and said “pineal gland!”

We laughed and I had a wonderful healing experience. I hope he did too.

Meeting a youth like that my mind says: “Don’t worry be happy – everything is going to be ok!”

 

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Congratulations to the Mahaut Girls Soccer Team

Last night for some reason there was no bus – after waiting for my bus for about an hour – I started the process to catch a ride we use in Dominica – flag (wave your arm and hand) everyone and call out the name of the place you are going.

I don’t mind the wait as I read and relax by the road – always a few interesting conversations from people walking by and I get to say hi to all the people I know who drive by.

After another hour – this was so unusual – I decided to give it 5 more minutes and then go stay by a friend. Then I saw a bus! So exciting – as it passed filled with young people with the same colour shirt and the bus driver called out I’m on a hire – I realized it was not a public bus! I must say – it must have shown in my face 🙂

The young girls at the back of the bus said to the bus driver give her a ride! The bus driver was already coming to a halt before they called out and he stopped just pass me. The girls at the back said “come, come” and I was getting a ride home at last.

The bus was carrying the Mahaut Girls Soccer Team and they were happy – they had won their game by a big margin!

What an amazing group of young people – laughing; singing at the top of their lungs – no swearing; no mean comments; polite and kind to me! How refreshing!

I was amazed at the bus driver’s ability to drive calmly and skillfully while 12 or 14 girls sang rap songs at the top of their lungs and yelled to each other over the music!

Catching a ride in Dominica you meet a lot of angel drivers …. they don’t have wings or a halo but they are angels……..

When all the girls had disembarked he looked at me and said I will drive you home.

I told him I liked how he let them get out their energy and happiness through the singing even though it was really loud!  He proudly described what a great team and group of young ladies they were.

He proceeded to take me right to my bus stop – one of my latest nights I ever had getting home from Portsmouth – challenging but so fun to meet that example of the next generation and another angel driver.

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Angel Driver – Beautiful inside and out

Rainy night in Dominica

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It is almost 8 pm; pouring rain;  I am trying to get to the other end of the island from Portsmouth and I taught 6 hours of yoga  that day including a killer cardio yoga class.

I see a vehicle pull up  and I know that company does not usually allow riders.

The person driving asked where I was going and then said “get in”.

I was so thankful; I must have said thank you sir 3 times.

We never spoke for the whole way to my destination – almost an hour of pouring rain – I just kept thinking how glad I was for the ride and to be dry.

When we arrived I offered bus fare as I usually do whether a car or a truck or a bus picks me up; I know what life and wages are like here; and it is like car pooling as I am on the road so much.

The driver said “no, that’s ok” – I said thank you sir for a 4th time – yeah I know it was a lot of times but I WAS thankful. 🙂

As I was getting out the driver looked at me and I immediately recognized my error – SHE said “ok you’ve called me sir 4 times I have to correct you”.

I must have shown my embarrassment because she immediately smiled and said “it’s ok mam I did not take offence”.

I just took it for granted the driver was a male even though I realized afterwards that this same woman had been an angel driver and picked me up before. I am sure she stopped to pick me up that night because she knew me from the other ride yet when I did not recognize her and more insulting did not even discern she was a woman she was so kind.

I do not know her name and I do not know if I will ever see her again but I will be forever thankful for the graceful way she handled this situation.

How beautiful this woman was –  inside and out – as well as an excellent driver of a commercial vehicle that I personally would find extremely challenging to drive. It is woman like this that have inspired me to do what I wish throughout my life.

Catching a ride in Dominica you meet a lot of angel drivers …. they don’t have wings or a halo but they are angels……..

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Angel Driver – Friendly Firefighter

It is such a beautiful way to start your day with an act of kindness!

Angel drivers make their way around this island looking for people they can help!

I am standing by the bus stop and a car stops. I am not so good at recognizing cars and with those dark windows I cannot see into it and the person has to back up and lower their window to ask if I want to go to Portsmouth.

Angel drivers not only give you a ride they often go out of their way by backing up or waiting till you realize they want to help you!

This lady has picked me up before as she lives in Roseau and works in Portsmouth.

In one hour we share thoughts and dreams; talk about kindness and capitalism.

As she drops me off she only accepts thank you even when I offer bus fare!

Thank you amazing lady! I hope you follow your dream!

(please be aware that any ads that follow this post are not mine; wordpress inserts them without my knowledge because I cannot afford to pay them for the no ads site; this is a change since I started blogging – nothing is free any more!)

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Angel Driver – Dark Corner

The years the road to Marigot was closed were the roughest years for catching a ride to Marigot. Some people went through the road that was being repaired; others took the longer route through the Kalinago Territory.

This night I was returning late. Absolutely exhausted after looking after Hillborn all weekend. My ride went only as far as Castle Bruce and I ended up in a very dark corner trying to catch a ride.

No cars for almost a half hour then I see the lights.

Thank you angel driver for stopping on the dark corner to give me a ride.

This gentleman is the director of the Cooperative Movement in Dominica.  I used to see him all the time when I taught yoga by the Legion Hall. Thanks again for that safe ride home from a dark corner!

(please be aware that any ads that follow this post are not mine; wordpress inserts them without my knowledge because I cannot afford to pay them for the no ads site; this is a change since I started blogging – nothing is free any more!)

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