Archive for February 2014
My personal spiritual journey, a look at an experience that opened more than doors for healing and growth.
As many of you know June of 2012 I traveled to British Columbia to meet and report on Paddle for the Planet’s Bob Purdy’s first World Paddle as he paddled the length of Lake Okanagan 80 miles. This experience changed my life. All the elements for a spiritual awakening were present, and as I look at it now, I realize my life had been preparing me for that very moment. The environment, with the majesty of
the mountains surrounding the incredible lake, the spirit of the First Nations People both in struggle and peace, the energies of the Universe with so many true healers in one place including my hosts, Bob and Sharon Purdy, all combined created a safe portal for my true self to “see”.
I was awakened to my calling of healing through compassion, love, and peace through an amazing experience of speaking to spirits of those who have passed before me, and a journey through several lifetimes of places and environments that my physical body has never seen before. I saw through the eyes of a great eagle, breathed deep in the ocean as fish, sparkled in the universe as a star, felt red clay walls of a cliff dwelling, saw the faces of ancient children who stood behind my out stretched arms with words “protector of peace” coming to me 3 times. I glided across huge mountain ranges silently as if part of the wind, swirling shooting stars funneled downward to be recognized as sperm traveling into a birth canal.
I now know this experience is called Astral Traveling. I had no knowledge even of the word at this point, all I knew is that I truly experienced something extraordinary. The actual date was June 21st, summer solstice, after a week of deep connection to the water spirit, the soul of nature, and to the planet in the Okanagan Valley. This was witnessed by my photographer and best friend, Joan Vienot who shared the space we called home for 10 days at the Purdy’s. It had to be witnessed or no one would believe me. I do not use drugs, I rarely drink alcohol and on this particular trip we were eating so organically and clean my body was in pure health.
I was fully aware and talking out loud to Joan as it happened. In fact, it all started with me waking up in bed around midnight and matter-of-factly commanding her to not talk, and to listen and remember. She sat up immediately on the bed across from me as she knew from the tone of my voice she needed to pay attention. I kept rubbing my eyes to see if they were open, they were not, the images were clear as day. Between each event my body would breath so deeply it felt like air was reaching the bottoms of my feet. I saw and described in detail each place as if it was a personal IMax movie screen with 3D glasses. After about an hour I finally said, “I think I’ve had enough for tonight” and my body sank into the bed for sleep. When I woke I looked at Joan across the room with a confused and dazed look, and asked if I was I dreaming? She shook her head and said, “no”. I was exhausted, but eager to talk this out with Bob and Sharon to see if I had gone completely crazy. I sat on their couch telling the experience and was overcome with great emotion. They both knew exactly what I had experienced. They nurtured my soul and physical body with nutrition and a peaceful environment as I still was trying to make sense of it all.
I had planned on competing in the Kal Classic Stand Up Paddle race that day in which Bob said, “I think you should not race and just take it easy today”. That was the first time I welcomed a stay off the board idea. We went to the event on the shores of Lake Kalamalka in Vernon BC. It was bustling with pre-race energy, a bit rainy and cold. I went into stealth mode, flying low and under the radar of the crowd. I was there, but almost as if I was outside of my body watching. My senses were so heightened. I could hear each raindrop on my hat individually, my sight was crystal clear seeing distances and details. I felt my heart beating and the movement of blood and oxygen in my veins. The sounds of nature, the feeling of the weather on my skin seemed personal. I sat off on the dock away from the beach where paddlers were lining up to race. I could hear the start, the frantic paddling and board knocking as the paddlers set off in competition. My heart rate remained calm and steady the noise of the competition fading to background sound as I only now could hear the water splashing up against the dock I was sitting on alone. The traveling happened again that night, but with an action of protecting a shoreline from a great wave. Incredible images continue to present themselves to me which I believe are gifts from our creator, angels and guides. Wonderful people continue to come into my life to guide, lift and support and be supported.
The story doesn’t end here, and of course it didn’t begin here. This experience of huge growth came at a time when I was ready, and perhaps because I can serve in a greater way at this timeline on earth. There is so much more to tell, but this is all for now. As I write I can see how my most recent experiences with my jaw and forced time out are all playing a role in my spiritual growth. I used to be fearful of telling this story as I was worried people would think I was crazy, just like the fear I used to have about telling my story of sexual abuse. Fear traps and paralyses growth. Our paths must have obstacles to help us grow, experience, feel, understand, and overcome that which scares us the most,”the human experience”. Be fearless today, be gentle to your soul with love being the ultimate goal and with that know that everything is possible.
Thank you for your continued well wishes and healing prayers and energy. Love~Leslie Kolovich
September 27, 2009, Jordanelle Reservoir, Park City Utah. First interview with Dr. Bob and Betsy Risner.
It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon in the Wasatch Mountains when I first met Bob and Besty Risner. I had traveled to Salt Lake from Florida to attend my volleyball reunion at the University of Utah. The Sport of Stand Up Paddling was on the verge of explosion inland USA to lakes and rivers. The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show had been producing weekly shows since the beginning of Summer talking to people from every corner of the globe who had found this new, but ancient activity we now called sport.
I met up with Utah Paddle Surfing’s founder Rebekka Stone. She was bringing the sport to the Great Salt Lake. She was in the know for all the Utahns who were becoming passionate for Stand Up Paddling.
She gave me a list of names I should contact including Bob and Besty Risner. She said this couple found the sport 10 weeks ago and had been paddling everyday since and were training to compete in the 2nd Annual Battle of The Paddle in Dana Point California, oh and, they were in their late 50s! I knew I needed to meet them.
One phone call and a paddle was scheduled on the Jordanelle Reservoir with this dynamic couple. As soon as I stepped out to meet them you could feel the high energy of Dr. Bob! He wears bright colors, orange and red it matches his energy of passion. The air was crisp, the water cold the altitude 7000 plus feet. They took care of this thin blooded girl from Florida and only made me do 6 miles. Dr. Bob and Betsy were kind to me, made me feel like family as they did with everyone they met who shared a love for the outdoors and especially paddling.
In this podcast interview you will hear the complete excitement of this new sport coming from Bob and Betsy, especially Bob. His story and life philosophy of living every moment within something you are passionate about resonates deeply today.
This interview was before everyone outside of California and Hawaii knew anything about the sport. We had just discovered that the Battle of the Paddle was the Super Bowl of racing in the ocean, and Dan Gavere was the first person to run white water on a stand up board, and that there were such things as race boards and differences in designs and manufacturers.
In this interview you hear pure passion from Bob. It was a lifestyle he and Betsy had found and wanted to promote to get people outdoors on the water. Bob and Betsy, originally from Ohio, moved to Utah, discovered a Stand Up Board in of all places a mountain sporting goods shop, and bought 2 on the spot. Bob describes his first outing as “disastrous with unexpected encounters with the water”, but he continued to find his balance and speed on the lake which he and Betsy paddled daily for at least 8 miles.
And after just 10 weeks he and Betsy took it all the way to the highest level of competition in the ocean in Dana Point California for the 2009 Battle in both races. They were all in. They became part of the thread in the tightly woven SUP community from the West coast to the East coast. Fierce competitors with the friendliest after parties around! There are so many memories of the early days that include Bob and Betsy and I am forever grateful for them.
With Bob’s unexpected passing this week it makes us take pause, and listen carefully to his words about living your passions. Bob lived every moment no doubt, could he have slowed down? I think not. In fact if one believes in reincarnation, Bob is already choosing his next adventure, if not, Bob is most likely having a conversation with the one in charge about redesigning angel wings for more speed and efficiency.
Our hearts go out to Betsy knowing the pain of this loss to her. Let the peace from the water be with you, and the love of your community hold you and know the passion and energy Bob carried can never be gone.
With love, respect, and great gratitude~ Leslie Kolovich
Standing Up For The Planet by Bob Purdy
I am only one person, what difference can I possibly make? It’s hopeless, our problems are too big. Anything I do is like dropping a pebble into the Ocean. Government controls everything in the World, what chance do I have of changing anything? Money rules and corporations dictate how things are in the World. There is no hope. These are just a fraction of the statements I hear on a daily basis at “Paddle for the Planet”.
We can all use a little inspiration from time to time, especially living in the chaos we currently call “Life on Planet Earth’! The following are just a fraction of the cool things being done by people in the World who are making a difference. They know that it is not only possible for one person to make a difference, one person is the only thing that has ever made a difference in the World! If you are not inspired after checking out these links, I would strongly suggest you give your pulse a check!
Let’s start with Leslie Kolovich, and her SUP Radio Show! Back in the day SUP stood for “Stand Up Paddlesurfing”. She has evolved SUP into“Soulful Uplifting People”. Leslie interviews people from all over the Planet in all walks of life. Surf through her website, and you will meet the coolest people making a difference in all kinds of ways, including most all of the people I mention next!
Looking to become an activist, my good friend Norm Hann is about as good an example as you will find! Norm is a World Class Standup Paddle Surfer and founder of “Standup4GreatBear”. He is passionate about protecting the Great Bear Rain Forest, and our B.C. Coast from the potential of oil spills. He is featured in 2 films, “Standup4Great Bear” from 2010, and “Stand” a multi award winning film from last year!
There are so many young people making a difference in the World, and here is one who has had a global impact! Sara Brenes is somewhat passionate about Sharks, she is known as “The Shark Whisperer“! And you won’t believe how old she is!
“Say Yes More“! Gotta love a guy who is an eternal optimist and extreme adventurer! Meet Dave Cornthwaite!
I was introduced to Taina Uitto recently through a mutual friend. When I heard her story, I thought “How cool is that”? Her efforts to reduce plastic use will motivate you at the very least, at most bring you to tears! Plastic Manners.
Dr. David Suzuki is the main cause of my awakening to the environmental challenges in the World a couple of decades ago. He has been advocating on behalf of “Mother Earth” for several decades, and continues to do so today, well into his seventies!
Steve Fugate is about the closest thing to Forrest Gump that you will find on the Planet! He is still walking all over the States, and the reason for it will surprise you!
Unko George Kalilikane will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of his “Bay of Dreams” this coming March! He is on pace to have introduced the sport of Standup Paddle Surfing to 5,000 people in Hawaii where he lives! And he has not charged one of those 5,000 people a dime to give it a go!
I met Justin Riney on facebook a couple of years ago, and had the chance to meet him in person during “World Paddle for the Planet” in Florida this past October. Google “Expedition Florida 500” to see how passionate he is about stewardship in Florida! He is just starting his newest adventure, “Riney Ranch”, give his page a like for ongoing inspiration! And MotherOcean.org
I met Steve Archambault last year through Mark Jennings-Bates! Steve is literally putting his money on the line to make a difference in the World! His “Uniting the World Foundation” has the potential to be a game changer for the Planet!
There are so many people and organizations doing amazing things in the World that it would take a book to list them all! And that’s just the people that I know of! If you take anything from this article, I encourage you to recognize the strength YOU have to contribute to the World in a positive Way! Find your passion, then get out there and “Change the Way we live on the Planet”!…
~Reminder World Paddle For The Planet 2014 is in Tofino, British Columbia September 13.
Standing Up For The Planet by Bob Purdy
Support– to show that you approve of someone or something by doing something.
Opposition– action that is done to stop or defeat someone or something.
Perception– the way you think about or understand someone or something.
We support our children. We support various causes. We support political parties. We support teams and athletes. We support the Arts. We support each other. Support happens when our beliefs and values align with someone or something. Support is a Tribal mentality and social custom that has been around for centuries.
The opposite of support is opposition.
Perception is the glue that binds support and opposition together. Perception is what keeps humanity in the dark ages. How is it possible that two or more people can witness the same event, and come up with polar opposite views about that event?
The Olympics are a hot topic right now, so let’s visit two fictional characters, Pro and Con. Pro loves everything about the Olympics, Con, not so much. Pro says the Olympics represent everything that is good about sport, Con says it’s just a money grab. Pro loves the pomp and ceremony of the Olympics, especially the opening and closing ceremonies. Con says the money spent on all that glitz and glamour could be better spent elsewhere. Pro says the skaters are beautiful to watch, Con says the judging is rigged. Pro was glued to the TV all through the Slopestyle event, Con said the course was dangerous and the event should not have been held. Most of the time, Pro and Con agree to disagree, and their different points of view mostly result in spirited conversation, that is until the hockey started. Pro and Con are both avid hockey fans, however they cheer for different teams. It just so happened that both their favorites made it to the gold medal match. Ooh Boy! One questionable call by a referee, and the fight was on, in the hockey rink and the living room. Suffice it to say there were a few frosty days, at home and abroad, afterwards.
Interesting how perceptions lead to support or opposition. Even more interesting how our beliefs and values lead to support or opposition of those perceptions. It’s not really hard to see how wars get started.
Some things in life are absolutes. That is to say, it doesn’t matter what your perceptions are, or whether you support or oppose those absolutes. Air is one of those absolutes, we all need air to survive. There is no perception involved, nothing to support or oppose, it’s really simple, without air we die. I have never heard an argument about the importance of air, in fact I hardly ever hear air mentioned except in relation to the quality of it. Water is another one of those absolutes. Food ditto.
We find ourselves at a time in history where the three absolutes I mentioned are threatened, at least that’s my perception of it. I personally support all and any efforts to take better care of these three absolutes. I am personally opposed to any action that places these three absolutes in harm’s way. If we were all on the same page we would have clean Air, clean Water, and healthy Land to grow food. We would take careful steps to protect these absolutes with every fiber of our Beings, for ourselves, and for Future Generations. Because I see something different in the World, I have to assume that there are those who have a different point of view. Pollution is acceptable as long as there is an economic benefit? It’s OK to use the Oceans as a dumping ground? Pesticides and herbicides are acceptable practices? Etc, etc, etc. At least that’s my perception of it.
I now open the floor for discussion about Air, Water and Land!…
The Paddler’s Planet by Christian Wagley
On a quiet Sunday afternoon last week a biologist friend called to ask if I could help hoist a dead dolphin into a truck for transport to a lab. I hopped on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could to meet him at a nearby boat ramp.
When I arrived it looked like a crime scene, with a few somber people standing around while the dolphin bobbed at the water’s edge. It was much like what we see on television when a person has been found dead and the authorities move around the crime scene collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.
In this case the cause of death was pretty clearly an accident. An anchor line tangled in fishing line was wrapped around what my friend said was an eight to ten-year old female, with the boat anchor still attached at one end.
The immediate response is to think of how to clean-up and prevent marine debris. What I also thought about was the simple act of breathing, and how the denial of breath wiped out a beautiful young animal. That led me to ponder our own fullness of breath.
We’ve all been breathing every moment of our lives, so we think we know quite well how to do it. And of course we all know how to breathe for the sake of survival, but most of us do not know how to breathe in a way that enhances our experience of life. We are denying ourselves not the breath, but the fullness of breath, and the fullness of life. In recent years I have learned to breathe more consciously and deliberately, which has made me better able to concentrate and fully experience the world before me. With deliberate breathing I see things in a way that makes them seem so large and powerful as to nearly glow, with all that is extraneous reduced to the background. It’s also nearly impossible to be nervous if you’re conscious of your breath. With that I’ve been able to turn fears of public speaking into something I now enjoy and actually seek-out. In breathing fully, a quivering and uncertain voice can turn into a clear and confident one. As we advocate for more protection of our environment and the places we love, we need strong voices to help us get there.
There are many breathing exercises to try, but the first step is to simply feel and recognize your breath. As paddlers, we often feel our breath more completely with the calm of being on the water, and with the vigorous flow of air that comes with exertion.
We can work to be sure that we don’t limit our own lives by restricting our breath, and instead finding and developing it to its highest. As we find our breath we come more into balance, and that’s where we need to be in order to fully appreciate our existence and to “live with purpose”. Once we are in balance we can also balance our relationships, including the one we have with planet Earth.