Monthly Archives: December 2013

Giving The Gift Of Time










Time is one of the greatest gifts that we can give during this reflective time of year.

As we approach the darkest day of the year our bodies (and spirits) crave down time — time to reflect, rest, heal.  Yet December tends to be one of the busiest months for all of us.  “I just don’t have time!”, is something I hear a lot in my conversations with people right now.  Our culture has reconfigured this time of hibernation into a mass frenzy of doing!

Last week when the power went out we had a brief reminder of simplicity and slowness — yoga classes and acupuncture by candlelight!  Without all the usual lights, computers, phones, credit cards machines, etc., life seemed to be thrust into difficulty, yet in reality it all became easier, calmer.  Conversations seemed more meaningful, connections deeper.  We all slowed down without the hum of our machines driving us.  40 minutes later when the machines whirled back to life I was struck by how quickly the cadence shifted.  The power outage was a reminder that we all need to take time to turn off the power in our mind — the busy mind of doing, doing, doing — and give ourselves the gift of stillness and contemplation.

Instead of waiting for the power to go out, I have a suggestion,  turn down the autopilot and pause now and then during the holidays!  Give yourself the Gift of Time.


Celebrating the Life of Sasha

Our dear friend Sasha Berkovsky has passed away last week. He was a volunteer at Hemma on the front desk during the Spring and Summer of this year, as well as for a long stint a few years ago. Some of you had the pleasure of being welcomed into our space with his smile and patient presence. There will be a ceremony to celebrate his life this Saturday December 14th at 2pm, held at the Church of Truth in James Bay.

Sasha was dedicated to serving our community, living authentically and to being kind, helpful, and curious in life. He brought playfulness and a sense of wonder to many situations. All of my memories of him are smiling! I truly believe that he would want us to joyfully celebrate his life, and join in community to do so. Even if you didn’t know him well, please feel welcomed to join us on Saturday so we can weave the web of love around his spirit and share stories about this special soul. You can also share your stories here so his friends and family can realize how many people his kindness touched.

Sasha is smiling on us now 🙂
Rest in Peace dear friend.


In Memory









“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson

This quote which is often attributed to Nelson Mandela was written by Marianne Williamson. Mandela read this quote in 1994 during his inaugural address. I came across it around the same time, taped to the kitchen wall of the kripalu yoga ashram. These words have served as a guide over the past 20 years and are a fitting tribute to a man who lived them every day of his life. May we all be inspired by these words and the actions of a courageous and inspiring human being.