Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Someone asked me “What got me interested in doing what I do?” My response took some time as I needed to go through a few layers.

Right down at the bottom was that there was nothing here in Toronto that offered me what I was looking for. A safe place for me to gather with other men, to talk, touch and simply be myself without judgement and without having to become someone that I was not.

As a part of the story, I had travelled often to the United States to participate and assist in the events that offered what I was looking for. I wanted more of this and I wanted it with the people who are directly in my life on a day to day basis. I was tired of travelling. I was tired of making myself fit the corporate image that was demanded of me to be a part of these practices, for men coming together to be themselves as they related with other men. In my travels I had learned extensively about “holding space”, “creating a safe and uplifting environment” and ultimately I had learned that one of my strengths was that I could be myself, relaxed and loving as I welcomed men into the spaces and places of my dreams. I could find myself and be myself as I supported the men around me to be themselves.

The beginning of the Awaken Studio took place here in Toronto in March of 2012 as I prepared to offer this space for many events as a part of a very diverse program. The “NEW Beginning” really took place a few months later as I realized that I was totally and profoundly alone and on my own. I realized that my travelling days were behind me and that I simply needed to stand in my own ability to create, innovate and be exactly who I wanted to be. I had to give myself permission to cut the ties and simply be me and go for what I wanted and what I had dreamed of all of my life.

From the beginning, back in 2012 and even before that, for what seems to me to be all of time, I have grown and developed and found myself. I have explored and discovered the strength to stand on my own as I accept help, love and support from those around me. I have learned and found how to transform fear and uncertainty into permission to move forward fearlessly.

As an ongoing practice of my life I express gratitude on a daily basis. Today I find that I am profoundly grateful for the teachers that have brought me to this place. I can even say that I am profoundly grateful for those who have done their best to belittle me, tell me that I am irrelevant, that I will not succeed and that I am misguided for doing this on my own, I am actually able to be thankful to these bullies and miss guided souls.   I am profoundly grateful for the men who I interact with daily for they are the reason that I live. I am profoundly grateful for my husband of over 40 years as he is the reason that I can love the way I do.

The Happy Ending is not nearly so fraught with angst and fear as the New Beginning. The Happy Ending is really an ongoing opening into the world as I become more and more myself, grateful everyday for the world around me and the LOVE and BEAUTY that supports me and nourishes me.

LOVE – LIGHT and Blessings to all.

Awaken Studio Toronto www.phillipcoupal.ca

Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.phillipcoupal.ca

Awaken Studio Toronto www.phillipcoupal.ca

Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.phillipcoupal.ca

Wondering today about heroes and I looked to Eartha Kitt.

Listening to Eartha Kitt I was struck by an act of generosity bestowed upon me by a man who I admire. This man has lived a life that I can not imagine. There was something that brought me to the life of Eartha Kitt. Reading about her life I realized why she was such an icon to Gay Men in the 60’s and 70’s. She was such a rebel and came from such a strange and tormented beginning.

There are so many elements that I can identify with as read the life and history of this beautiful and passionate woman and I mused and was inspired by the generosity of the man who took me to dinner last night.

Heroes - Acceptance - Rebellion -♥- Awaken Studio Toronto

Heroes – Acceptance – Rebellion -♥- Awaken Studio Toronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in 1927 in a rural and poverty laden environment Kitt must have wondered what it was like to fit in and as well know the absolute and horrid bluntness of being rejected.

 

The particular element that stood out and had me in tears over my coffee was this quote:

“In a 1992 interview with Dr. Anthony Clare,  Kitt spoke about her gay following, saying:

We’re all rejected people, we know what it is to be refused, we know what it is to be oppressed, depressed, and then, accused, and I am very much cognizant of that feeling. Nothing in the world is more painful than rejection. I am a rejected, oppressed person, and so I understand them, as best as I can, even though I am a heterosexual.”

The part of this quote that rang out to me was of course the opening and my total identification with rejection. I do know what it is like to be refused. I also can identify as the man who took me to dinner last night was a man who had been “accused”, accused of a sexuality that was at that time rejected. I could identify and be very empathic as there have been certainly points in my life where I was “accused: for being gay, a homosexual. The part where I identify more though is is the deep and resounding rejection I often feel from the “culture” establishment that surrounds me and the corporate culture that I totally believe robs each individual of their humanity.

All the more reason to simply be me. All the more reason to take a stand and hold forth for what I believe is the calling of humanity.

TOUJOUR GAI From the Broadway Show “Shinbone Alley” (1957) (Joe Darion / George Kleinsinger) Eartha Kitt (Broadway Production) – 1957 Tammy Grimes (TV Production) – 1960 Carol Channing (Animated Film Production) – 1971

TOUJOUR GAI From the Broadway Show "Shinbone Alley" (1957) (Joe Darion / George Kleinsinger) Eartha Kitt (Broadway Production) - 1957 Tammy Grimes (TV Production) - 1960 Carol Channing (Animated Film Production) - 1971 
My youth I shall never forget 
But there's nothing I really regret 
The years I have poured down the drain 
Have sparkled like gold in champagne 

It's cheerio my dearrio 
Prance and pirouette 
It's cheerio my dearrio 
There's a life in me yet 
Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai 
Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai 
I sing all my troubles away 

I don't care to cry with a king 
But with any old beggar I'll sing 
I'll dance in the sun or the shade 
To any old tune that is played 
I'll sing 'neath a bleary-eyed moon 
A rowdy and rollicking tune 
But no time for sleeping have I 
I'll sleep long enough when I die 

It's cheerio my dearrio 
Prance and pirouette 
It's cheerio my dearrio 
There's a life in me yet 
Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai 
Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai 
I'll sing away my troubles 
They'll vanish like bubbles 
I'll sing all my troubles away 
Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai 
(Toujour gai, toujour gai, toujour gai) 

(Transcribed by Monique Adriaansen & Mel Priddle - April 2005)

JOY!
The pleasure and power of gathering with a group of men.
We talk, we laugh, we feel any range of emotions. We share our lives, our struggles, our triumphs, our sadness and our joy. We all have an opportunity to open ourselves and our hearts to the men who are gathered.
-♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥-
As the time passes, and we have gathered now for years, there is a greater sense of wellbeing within the group.
As the time passes, and we have used this talking circle for countless rounds of sharing, there is a greater sense of community within the group.
As the time passes, and we have seen life pass through this gathering, there is a greater sense of power and strength in numbers.
-♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥-
The Queer Heart Talking Circle has become this place where we can share freely, deliver both the good news and the bad news, smile with one another, put a helping hand forward, offer ourselves to one another or simply take a little step back and witness.
-♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥-
The Queer Heart Talking Circle meets on the Second Sunday of the month through the year. We gather at the Awaken Studio in Toronto. We share time by speaking and sharing in the ritual of the Circle. We spend time winding in and then after a time silence begins and we wind back down talking into ourselves the fruits that have shared our witnessing. The Circle disperses and we carry each other to share a dinner to which we all contribute. The offerings are rich and full of the loving kindness, compassion, respect and honour that we all have grown to have for one another.
-♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥- -♥-
All men are welcome to share in this event. The next gathering is: Sunday March 13.

http://www.phillipcoupal.ca/Radical-Queer-Community-Heart-Talking-Circle

Queer Heart Talking Circle - Awaken Studio - Toronto MORE? phillip@phillipcoupal.ca

Queer Heart Talking Circle – Awaken Studio – Toronto MORE? phillip@phillipcoupal.ca

Today… Day 110 – November 28

I am grateful to know that I am blessed with the power to change.

I believe that the power to change our minds, our thinking is a direct channel to changing our behaviours, our actions and our hearts.

Gratitude Day 110 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 110 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Progress is impossible without change,

and those who cannot change their minds

cannot change anything.

  – George Bernard Shaw

 

Today… Day 109 – November 27

I am grateful to be alive, grateful to have moved away from the oppression and cruelty that I have witnessed.

I am grateful for the present moment. This is all there is.

I wonder what the world would be like if there was much more compassion in our human interchanges.

Gratitude Day 109 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 109 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Compassion

Compassion is at the heart of every little thing we do.

It is the dearest quality we possess, yet all too often it can be cast aside with consequences to tragic to speak of.

To lose our compassion, we lose what it is to be human.

Today… Day 72 October 20

I am grateful to live right now.

I am grateful for the present moment. This is all there is.

Breath and Life and Expansion

Gratitude Day 72 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 72 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Today… Day 71 October 20

I am grateful today for the Gladiola – The Sword Lily

This expression of the earth is a glorious representation of masculine and feminine and the powerful blending of opposites.

I adore the gladiola, the firm spikes of floral flesh and the brilliant buds of fertility that burst forth along the blade of the sword.

Gratitude Day 71 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 71 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Today… Day 70 October 19

  • I am grateful for the CHOICES I have and can make towards my LIFE and how I LIVE MY LIFE.
  • I am particularly grateful that I all have the ability to MAKE simple CHOICES.
  • That I am blessed with the option to LIVE my LIFE just the way I want.
  • I am so very fortunate to have the ability to MAKE MY LIFE MY OWN.
Gratitude Day 70 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 70 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

 

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Today… GRATITUDE Day 61 October 10th

I am grateful for all of the energy and power of Earth and Sky

Mother EARTH and Father SKY give me LIFE and for my LIFE I am BLESSED. ♥

Gratitude Day 61 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 61 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

 

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com

Today… Day 60 October 9th

I am grateful for the DANCE of LIFE

The dance of life allows me to flow. There is surprise and wonder within each step.

Gratitude Day 60 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Gratitude Day 60 at the Awaken Studio Toronto http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

 

Join me in 365 days of Gratitude. Follow Juicy Heart at https://phillipcoupaljuicyheart.wordpress.com