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The Heart of the Matter

December 31, 2010 by Sandra Hindson

“What is your heart’s desire?” Swami Radhananda asks me in her light lilting voice that penetrates the veils of my emotions. It was the spring of 2007 and I had been experiencing depression. Out of nowhere, out of the ethos, out of the centre of my being comes “travel!” I hear myself say this wondering, “Where did that come from?” It was a very simple yet profound question, which set me on a journey that would span the next 2 years – it takes time for a seed to germinate fully into its bloom.

2007 was the year that the Radha house in Calgary was sold. I had been living and teaching there for 7 and a-half years rich and bountiful years of friendship, Light and joy. I had been given the precious spiritual gift of those years, the most memorable and meaningful of my life, where my personal growth was deeply nourished – so the loss left me with a heavy heart.

Impatient to fill the empty spot in my heart, I started to plan the journey of my dreams to Europe for that very summer. Europe, the land of art, beauty and a long Christian history, but something was off, it simply was not the time. I realized I needed to take time with family and old friends so I traveled back to Ottawa as a pilgrim, visiting a former life. It became a two-fold journey, a pilgrimage to the great cathedrals of Canada, in Ottawa and Montreal, and at the same time acknowledging my past and the changes that had taken place in myself.

As I sat on the dock of the still, quiet Lake Edja, a family retreat in the hills of Gatineau, with loons greeting the morning dawn, I contemplated my life. It was here that I brought my new self in dialogue with familiar faces of friends, family, taking gentle care of myself as old unhealthy patterns became palpable, choosing a different way.

I was bringing a new perspective forward, evidenced in my experience with Louise Bourgeois’ Maman, a giant spider in front of the National Gallery of Canada. As I looked up towards this great mother, just beyond I saw the golden Mother Mary holding the Christ Child, standing gracefully on the peak of Notre-Dame.

My heart soared with the visual irony of these two mothers. While different, both contain me, hold me in their arms. This is Divine Mother, She who has held me whenever I made leaps of faith into the unknown, responding to the messages She gives me.

It was a year later that the journey of my heart’s longing came true and Her presence was made even more palpable. There was much work to do to prepare for this Divine assignment. I had been blessed with Swami Radha’s teachings, spiritual practices to help guide my way.

December 30, 2007 Journal Entry:

I have just completed a 2-week visit with my family in Whitehorse and upon my arrival at the ashram I reflect on preparing the ground, opening up and exploring my relationships with family and security. I arrive just in time for the Ideals Workshop, an opportunity to reflect on what I want to initiate in my life in the New Year. My keywords, like signposts or ancient cairns, marking a sacred place, are to listen and develop clarity and take action in fulfilling my heart’s desire. I am preparing for a significant change, ending my work at the College as an art history instructor. I need to trust what I am initiating in myself – fulfilling this heart’s desire. I make a commitment to mapping out my next steps, an act to keep my process alive. A dream warns me that I need to be vigilant of old patterns of the mind.

Like an inner explorer, in the early months of 2008 I journeyed to the Ashram to chart my next steps. I drew them as Divine Mother revealed them to me, the first being the essential step, preparing the ground. Like the plow, I was plowing the earth of old concepts around travel, security and creativity to plant the seeds of the journey of an aspirant. I did not want to travel as a tourist, but rather as a pilgrim. How could I do this and what would it look like? I needed to travel in an authentic way, a way that was true to my inner being – like the new self I had introduced to old friends in Ottawa.

I begin to initiate the steps on New Year’s day, practicing a Straight Walk: as I walk towards the altar in the Radha Room, towards Siva, the destroyer of obstacles, I observe a desire to pull my hands around my back, of holding back. It feels uncomfortable to walk; I need lower back support. I engage my abdominal muscles, which supports my back, all the parts of me cooperating. I think of gentleness, not forcing the steps, but when the message comes, move swiftly!

Aligning my choices with my speech, body, mind and my spiritual goal requires confidence and a courageous heart as I leap into the unknown, embracing the darkness with the Light.

January 1, 2008 Journal Entry:

The first message of the New Year is delivered in the form of a Mother Peace tarot card, the Ace of Discs. She tells me to start saving as storage is needed. “Something is manifesting, a new beginning, a new life, a new pattern emerging. The person learns to make ideas into physical reality. The Ace signifies a time of meditation, an inward pull of energy.”

Standing in Mountain pose a few days later I reflect: standing still, seeking alignment with my ideals, I step into Divine Mother’s arms. She asks me to be clear about my intentions so She can guide me. This will take time, a journey on its own, into the heart, longing for the Light that will lead me to the desire of the soul. It begins with healing the sadness that is in the rainfall around my mountain, that nourishes the earth with new growth. These will be my first steps for this New Year… to heal my heart.


  1. Thank you Sandra for your courage to follow your hearts desire. You are an inspiration.

    Comment by karen Beck — December 31, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Sandra, thank you for sharing your reflection. To travel means many things, you have been on a journey already, one that has nourished you at the soul level. Namaste and may all your travels be one of learning. The best to you in 2011.

    Comment by Pat Lundy — December 31, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  3. Dear Sandra,
    You are courageous. You inspire me. I hope to see you soon.

    Comment by Rhonda Cox — January 1, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  4. I was so happy to see that you have begun to write about your amazing journey. I want to hear more!

    Love and Light, Faith

    Comment by Faith Stuart — January 1, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  5. Yes, Sandra – I hope we hear more. Your writing is like poetry – concise, revealing, heartfelt. Thank you.

    Comment by Terri — January 1, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  6. As I seek a sense of connection with my purpose here in Toronto, I turn to Lightwaves and there you are. Reading your story reminds me of devotion and deepening levels of commitment and controlling my mental images and thoughts. Life as a pilgrim rather than a tourist. Profound language for me at this time. Thank you Sandra. PeacePeacePeace, Karuna

    Comment by Karuna — January 2, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  7. Thank-you for your comments!

    I am curious as to what the article has inspired you to do this year. What is your hearts desire and what is the first step to meeting it?

    Lots of Light to you in this New Year.


    Comment by Sandra HIndson — January 2, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  8. Sandra-
    Namaste. Thanks for sharing your reflections. Journeys, paths, transitions, for me, are about movement and change. Embracing that change is my heart’s desire for 2011. The first step?
    Cultivating awareness today so I can be receptive and open to whatever comes with gratitude.
    Carol Austin

    Comment by carol austin — January 3, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  9. Thank you for this beautiful post Sandra. You write from the heart and it’s very inspiring. Much light to you on your journey.

    Comment by Nicole — February 3, 2011 @ 8:49 am

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