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The lockdown of 2020 has been difficult yet also providing new opportunities to many. This blog post will hopefully bring you some uplifting and encouraging spirit into your life. Further, this post will be a reflective piece on the following (some things that have also kept my spirit up and centred), which may inspire your life this 2021:
1. History 📜
2. Health & Wellness ⚖️
3. Connection 🗺️
1. History : The Italian Renaissance (14th century-17th century)
"GENIUS IS ETERNAL PATIENCE." - Michelangelo
Thankfully, my twin sister has some positive news to share at times (article here). She had brought up a historic story that has boosted morale for the people who heard it. Just remember, the Bubonic Plague-also known as the Black Death-hit the world especially hard in Europe and Asia, in the middle of the 14th century. The good news was, after the plague was over, a Renaissance came to be.
Although things are different today, is it possible for such a Renaissance to manifest on a global scale? 🌷
In this first global lockdown-from the plague that has quarantined many this 2020 and beyond, let us remember that we are capable of a hopeful future as well.
I found this passage quite interesting, and you may too, from my research on the 14th century Renaissance :
“The general mood was one of pessimism, and indeed many expected that the world would end sooner or later. Alongside this fear of death and the general mood of pessimism, there was a desire to experience the pleasures of life and seize any happiness on offer. This contradictory impact of the Black Death on the culture of the time can be seen in the writings of two of the greatest figures in European literature, Petrarch and Boccaccio. These two writers at times wrote in despair about the human condition yet they also wrote about the joys of life and the beauties of nature.
This sense that life was fleeting and that every happiness should be seized led many Italians to seek solace in art and literature, and this was one of the factors in the development of the Renaissance."
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In summary, where there is death, there is also life. In general, any human who experienced the plague, including many Europeans like the Italians, were wise to connect with art, literature, and nature, but also spirituality-if you dig deeper into their reflections on life and their role in the universe. Speaking of connecting with your spirit and becoming one with nature, I have included Johanna's short video talk from the Instagram AlwaysChoose-TheGood to share a positive meditation practice (Falun Dafa) and how it is helping her cope throughout the times.
🌿🌳🌎 🌍 🌏🌳🌿
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2. Health and Wellness
Cultivating Inner Peace
During the lockdown of 2020, I was fortunate to meet Johanna and Andrea, sister-friends originally from Austria, through our meditation practice of Falun Dafa, where we share the noble cause to acknowledge the benefits of meditation and sharing it with others who may be interested to learn, but of course, being aware at the same time of the unkind anti-human persecution going on, where many who have practiced it inside Communist China were sent to labour camps (think Gulag from Soviet Russia and the Nazi's H. Camp experiments, this is what is being done to their population right now) ever since the evil Communist leader Jiang Zemin launched it out his cruel jealousy (as millions where practicing it in parks peacefully, his blood thirty power and control personality was threatened and he ordered to crush the people who dared to practice openly in 1999).
Interestingly, I have been following the popular Dr. Jordan Peterson, and appreciate how he speaks up about the injustice of communism. He claims that Mao has been the biggest monster of the brutal dictators in history, but I think he doesn't know the full situation yet, as details of history is still catching up on revealing itself to the surface and light to those who are brave enough to share the truth of it, just like it took time to do so with the previous evil camp experiments from other cruel leaders. I ended up watching his daughter's podcast the other night, where she interviews Yeonmi Park. I highly recommend you watch it and learn about the world from this North Korean survivor who was sold as a slave in Communist China (which is funding North Korea's dictatorship) and now lives free but fighting for freedom and raising human rights awareness on our beautiful North American continent.
Back to the peaceful meditation practice of Falun Dafa. I have found that this meditation practice, rooted in the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, has brought me profound experiences of inner peace I have never experienced before. The experience of calmness and peacefulness was infinitely profound. Plus, it has helped me overcome alot, let alone help grant me the wisdom to create works of beauty and wellness like Virtueberry. This practice helps one strengthen wisdom, when one searches within. It's not easy but that is why it is a good practice, especially in a world full of darkness at times. I highly recommend checking out the short version of the sitting meditation exercise. Enjoy!
DESTINY & YOUR RENAISSANCE
During the winter of 2020, I took a therapy course and met a new adopted lovingly family member, whom recently shared a story of wisdom about life. It was inspiring and relatable to hear about how things she had wanted in life did not work out exactly as she wanted or at all, and what she got was something far greater, and this is true for some of her closest people in life as well. I was truly grateful to hear this wisdom that is very aligned with Falun Dafa's principles, and was reminded to reflect upon my own life and the truth of sometimes letting things unfold, despite our plans. If a word could sum this section on 'connection' up, I would call it 'destiny'.
'Destiny is Predestined.' -Virtueberry
A paradoxical phenomena, destiny is something we have only partial control over. An appropriate metaphor for the phenomena of destiny may be how our life is like sailing on a boat. No matter how much we want to steer in certain directions at times, there will be strong winds or currents that steer us to another place. Perhaps destiny guides us to learn our life lessons, maybe to a deeper meaning and purpose.
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In neighbourhoods in Victoria, BC, Canada, there are small community libraries that people donate books too. I have donated quite a few books to my local one. Surprisingly, a few months prior to writing this blog, I felt inspired to bring home a book of one of the most famous Renaissance artists-Michelangelo (which I will be passing onto another adopted lovingly family member as a gift in their new home-with many human sculptures). The book is called: The World of Michelangelo.
As I write this blog with a Renaissance theme, I felt this book was certainly predestined to hang onto before it gets passed on again. Since, for some time, I forgot about this book. When I found the Michelangelo quote, which is mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, and then I remembered the book. This is certainly predestined to write about it here for you!
Another observation on predestined relationship: Johanna (who's now living with her husband in California) is a professional sculptor. She also teaches at New Masters Academy (you can check out her bio here).
I hope that this story on the phenomena of destiny will spark memories of how life has its unique ways of synchronicity, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes with or without extremes of existence. But perhaps they all are good experiences, if we enlighten to a lesson from them to make us more wise and good people.
And in closing, did you know that renaissance means "rebirth" in French? When the New Year arrives, people celebrate and look forward to new beginnings, and in a sense, a "rebirth" of their life, through setting new goals to just having an open mind on what good may arrive or how to handle challenges better.
I know that many of you that I may know or may not know well yet, but I appreciate your generosity of spirit in noble causes, like supporting local artisans and more. I wanted to thank you for your support in 2020 and the past years as well. And I would like to leave you with a question:
What kind of Renaissance would you like to experience in your future?