Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

I am so tired of the voices of hatred, derision and division… All in the name of a gigantic corporate fabrication… All in the name of what is America… All in the name of what is resistance… All in the name of progress…
To be told, “You don’t know anything about persecution!”
The lives of many gay men are filled with visceral and violent experiences of hatred, loathing, shunning, verbal, mental and physical abuse.
To be told that these men know nothing of discrimination, hatred and sexist homophobia is, to me, intolerable.
Shout out! Shout out you message of hatred!
Tell your message to the 6 year old who is shunned because he plays with a different set of toys… Tell that your message to the 12 year old pushed, shoved, shouted at and pushed down to the ground as those around kicked….Tell your message to the 14 year old who was ridiculed, shamed and beaten simply for being different… Tell your message to the 15 year old hijacked and dropped in the woods 10 miles out town… Tell your message to the 16 year old whose cloths were laced with lye and had burns all over his body… Tell your message to the 17 year old who was teased, ridiculed punched, kicked, beaten all because his cloths were different…Tell your message to the 18 year old who was told don’t worry you will get over it… Tell your message to to the 25 year old that he “can not see his lover” in the emergency room, unconscious, lying in a coma in a shrouded deathly hospital bed… Tell your message to the 28 year old that he is not family and that his LOVE is illegal… Tell your message to the 30 year old that those guys who are going to beat you are justified because you live your life out loud and proud, that he has no RIGHT to be GAY and so QUEER…Tell your message to the 35 year old store owner whose windows were egged by those who could only hate… Tell your message to the 40 year old who is told that it is better to be a man than gay… Tell your message to the 45 year old who was told another friend has died, another loved one has been taken… Tell your message to the 50 year old that his voice is irrelevant and no one cares about what he wants for his community… Tell your message to the 55 year old who was able to conquer a life filled with loathing and bring love and tenderness back to his family.
No angry message of hatred can penetrate. No angry message of hatred can derail my life. I have lived far too long and have too much PRIDE for my life and for the accomplishments and successes that I have brought to the world. Your message of hatred and exclusion could never convert me and have me think that I am anything but positive, inclusive and welcoming of all diversity in my life. You unknowingly, paint me with a brush filled with your anger, hatred and loathing. This poisonous brush seems to cover all men, all white men, all gay white men. You and your egregious and righteous anger can never, ever convince me that I am a racist, that I know nothing but privilege, that I am exclusionary and that I am intolerant. You know nothing of my life and you know nothing of what I have been through to get to where I am today.
Out of the pain and hurt that I have felt all of my life, your message of hatred will fall on deaf ears. Your message of hatred, divisiveness and exclusion will fall silent to me. I will go on with my life. You will go on with your rage filled existence. I will continue to give and partake in community, life, happiness, joy and and love. BECAUSE I am GAY!
BECAUSE I have all of these HURTS!
BECAUSE I have lived my life to the fullest and richest that I can possibly have ever dreamt of.
BECAUSE I have given myself every opportunity I could possible take despite the poverty, adversity, hatred and prejudice that I have learned to live with.
BECAUSE I have learned to utilize your hatred to my greatest advantage.
PRIDE 2016 Toronto

PRIDE 2016 Toronto

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)

Starting a morning practice of LOVE.

-♥-

This morning as I woke up and got ready for the day I noticed that something was a little off. I was in a hurry, I was anxious, I was distracted.

I realized that over the past while I had dropped a practice. I had stopped doing something that I had very much enjoyed doing.

I began again. I simply looked closer at the day and with each thought of the day looked to how I could bring more LOVE to that part of my day.

How could I BE more LOVE?

How could I bring more LOVE?

How could I deliver more LOVE?

How could I create more LOVE?

When I got to the idea that I am simply a creature of LOVE I was able to relax, slow down, and concentrate more.

Looking forward to bringing back my morning practice of looking at LOVE.

-♥-

When you arise
in the morning,
think of what a precious
privilege it is to be alive
to breathe, to think,
to enjoy, to love.
~Marcus Aurelius

Bringing more LOVE to the world www.phillipcoupal.ca

Bringing more LOVE to the world http://www.phillipcoupal.ca

Love

1.

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.

a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3.

sexual passion or desire.
4.

a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
5.

used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like: Would you like to see a movie, love?

Hope

1.

the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2.

a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3.

grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
4.

a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
5.

something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.

 

Life

1.

the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolismreproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
2.

the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, especially metabolism, growth, reproduction,and adaptation to environment.
3.

the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one’s life; a short life and amerry one.
4.

a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul:eternal life.
5.

the general or universal condition of human existence: Too bad, but life is like that.

 

Wish

1.

to want; desire; long for : I wish to travel. I wish that itwere morning.
2.

to desire, a person or thing, t): to wish the problem settled.
3.

to entertain wishes, favorably or otherwise, for: to wish someone well; to wish someone ill.
4.

to bid, as in greeting or leave-taking: to wish someone a good morning.
5.

to request or charge: I wish him to come.
The great JOY of living needs Hope and LOVE and Wishing

Sparkle Plenty

Awaken Studio a safe and loving environment for QUEER expression

Radiance OUTSIDE and Sparkling Fire INSIDE

Let your light shine Join the Queer Heart Talking Circle Second Sunday of the Month 1:00 pm

QUEER HEART TALKING CIRCLE at the Awaken Studio

Information – Questions – Curiousity phillip@phillipcoupal.ca

Sparkle - Awaken Studio a safe and loving environment for QUEER expression www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Sparkle – Awaken Studio a safe and loving environment for QUEER expression http://www.awakenstudiotoronto.com

Something happens when a group of men get together and touch one another. This creates, for me, an opening to the Magic.

When men get together and touch one another and dwell, if only for a few minutes, in their pleasure and desire, magic can happen. It seems as if for a micro-secod the universe opens up.

This something is like magik to me. I feel so blessed and blissed to be a part able to offer and manifest these groups where men come together and get real. The get in the now of their body and they let themselves feel the power and connection that is within themselves to be a part of their desire.

Something happens when a group of men get together and true to tehemselves and real with others.

This is something like magik to me. I leave these groups with a sense of reassurance and feel so very grounded in my love of humanity. Each time I leave one of these events I feel like living my life more fully and more joyfully. It helps that I just completed a group, cleaned up the studio and made my way home. I am left with a sense of openness and delight. LOVE

The next event is on January 26th at the Awaken Studio. Men 4 Men Sensual Touch with Tantric Exploration

When will you ever be over that… ?

Early last December I was out with a friend.  We were in the Gay Village here in Toronto, having a coffee in the late afternoon. We got to talking about relationship and that brought me to speaking about some of what goes on in me and passes through me when I let myself dwell in the pain of rejection and heart ache that I am able to feel in the dissolution of a relationship.

As our conversation developed, I was a bit surprised as I spoke, that the friend that I was with, asked rather abruptly… “When will you ever be over that? … What will it take for you to move on?… It has been so long will you ever be over this?…”

The particular relationship, that I will speak of here, is not what one might expect. This is not about the severing of a relationship between two human beings but the dissolution of the relationship between myself, a human being, and a corporation.

These questions about the way I process my pain and grief  around my separation, left me to wonder and ponder what was going on in me that I could not get over what had happened. This left me to analyze what really did happen and why I should feel so hurt by a business, a corporation.

First, I drew little distinction between the corporation and the human beings that were steering the ship, driving the organization. In my experience, the voices on the phone, the fingers typing the emails were human and not corporate.

Second, I had given, over several years, a lot of my energy, passion, skill and devotion to this company.  I had given my human LIFE force to this corporate organization. Again it never felt like I was involved with a company but with a group of people. I felt I was involved with other human beings. I felt that all was friendly and that I could be vulnerable and continue to operate in my human way, rather than in the defenses of a hard-shelled corporate and very inhumane manner.

Last, I look at what really happened. All of it was business and I simply could not see that the humans I was dealing with could disengage from their money driven pursuit to get to a heart driven pursuit. The humans and the corporate zombies could not be separated. My defenses as a human were compromised and I simply had to close up and wall myself off from the corporate onslaught.

In the face of the dissolution of our once tender relationship, I had to defend myself in the most silent ways. I was threatened, by the other – my former partner, with all of the corporate defenses. These including law suits, the forfeiture of my daily income and finally the threat of unending bullying and threatening if I ever spoke or wrote of the experience that I had with this small and ultimately very predatory and dangerous corporation.

This is the crux of the whole experience for me. That these PEOPLE, fellow HUMAN BEINGS, could not act like the human beings that they looked like; however, instead stayed in their corporate, financial and money driven pursuit. This organization that spoke of spirit, this organization that spoke of heart, this organization that spoke of human integrity and human healing was ultimately unable to operate from a heart centered model and shifted to, what was for me, a rather vicious and hurtful, greedy corporate model.

I wonder to this day what happened to the humans that were involved in the operations of this business. These humans had touched me, showed themselves to me in truly human forms. Part of the hurt and the great sense of fracture in this very painful separation is that the humans disappeared and were replaced by vacuous and dangerous zombie like human forms that were simply robots of American Corporate culture.

So, back to the question, “when will I be over this”?  I don’t think I ever will.

The experience, this rather ugly corporate divorce, has ingrained in me a wariness and deep felt skepticism of corporate culture. The experience has taught me that indeed, corporations are NOT human. This wariness and skepticism has me super vigilant as I work to operate in a heart centered world rather than in a corporate and money centered world.

Everyday this scar that is in me, poses to me the question and offers me the challenge… “Can you live your HUMAN life, and carry on your HUMAN business in life, from a HEART centered model?”

I have determined in my musings and in my stumbling through life that it is my greatest pleasure and my wildest dream to live my life fully from my heart. It is my profound desire to treat each and every being that I encounter in the most humane, kindly, compassionate and loving way that is within me.  -♥-

Here I am everyday bringing forward, my very human SWEET JUICY HEART.

BE well! and Blessed BE! Glad to have a FAERIE name that fits.

SWEET JUICY HEART - www.phillipcoupal.ca

SWEET JUICY HEART – http://www.phillipcoupal.ca

 

Naked Yoga for Men at the Awaken Studio Toronto

Tuesday evenings Join in a Naked Yoga Practice welcoming all men.

The sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 8-9:30 at Awaken Studio (270 Carlaw Ave Unit 102).

Gregory Saliba will be leading the session that covers December 2013 to February 2014 We will be welcoming Andy Sinclair back in the session that starts up again in February.

Drop-ins are welcome. Please make sure to contact Phillip and let him know that you will be attending. The space is limited and we want everyone to be satisfied, peaceful and content. This is a quiet, warm and private space to make discoveries and deepen our yoga practice. There is a washroom onsite.

This yoga experience will focus on gentle and safe exploration through an alignment-based Hatha practice. All who manifest male in the world  are welcome.

Please check the webiste for current information: Naked Yoga for Men at the Awaken Studio

Today World AIDS Day. December 1, 2013

Waking up to feeling like the MISFIT that I am. Realizing and knowing that I don’t really fit in, I don’t really belong and I never have. Even in the groups and organizations that I felt like I belonged to and was a part of for so long I realize now that I was simply too different to fit in.

For a long time I felt that being so different was a problem. Being so different made me an outcast and undesirable. Something is different today. Something inside of me has changed.  Something is different and I am finally, after cresting past middle age, realizing that all the stuff that makes me so different and such a MISFIT is actually what makes me myself. I don’t have to be a victim of this MISFIT, QUEERNESS.

Today I feel powerful and I can actually let all that QUEER ENERGY and all that sense of not belonging feed my POWER and my SENSE OF SELF. This is the place where I can make that QUEER MISFIT, into a BEING that is FIERCE and BOLD and full of the wholesome richness of life and love. I do not have to be afraid, ashamed or guilty that I am so different. I can bring that BIG, BOLD and FIERCE, QUEER out into the world and some good and kind and gracious LOVE into the community that I am a part of. 

I finally able, at this point in my life, to look at myself and feel good about what I have done and what I am doing. What is that you ask? What are you doing?

What I am doing with my life these days is creating a space, a community that welcomes and embraces all that is diversity in men who LOVE men. The Awaken Studio is that physical place. A space and place for men to come together and be a part of. A part of what we can create together, a part of what we each put in and a part of what we will each take away. An urban space and downtown place welcoming all of the energy of not belonging. An open, welcoming and hospitable place where men can bring their queer energy.  This queer spirit can be focused and channeled and sculpted  into creating community,events and gatherings for all men who love men.

Check out the Queer Heart Talking Circle, a gathering for all queers and all men who are willing to dedicated themselves and create a safe, welcoming and honouring environment. A gathering where men who love men can come together and share their Queer Heart and LOVING Gay Spirit.

For more information about the Queer Heart Talking Circle gatherings contact Phillip and the Awaken Studio at: phillip@phillipcoupal.ca

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

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